Notebook, 21 October 2015: What Really Built America and Why Only a Socialist Gets My Vote

It’s one of the most puerile notions I’ve ever heard that free enterprise is “the genius of America” (Barack Obama) or that it built “the greatest Middle Class in the history of the world” (Hillary Clinton). Yes, individuals and groups went out there and started businesses, the vast majority of which failed in under 3 years or were swept aside as others taking advantage of the economies of scale put them under, but that’s neither unique to Americans nor what built the middle class, because things never happen in a vacuum. Apparently, Clinton, Obama and everyone else who swallows that canard needs to return to elementary school.
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Updated 2X: Notebook, 8 June 2013: I Have Nothing To Hide Either, But . . .

A guy sits at a bank of computer screens at the NSA. On one screen is a list of the target’s contacts. Who placed the call, which calls got returned, the date the calls were made, the time and duration of each call. He doesn’t know who his target is? Of course he does. He has the phone number, which he cleverly enough matched up to a name he found in a phone book. (Lets just assume for the sake of argument that the NSA’s phone books are both a lot more comprehensive and more up to date than something you or I might buy on Amazon.) Both the target’s and the party (or parties – this could be a conference call) on the other end of the line(s) appear on another screen.

Which brings up a good point.

Just because the only FISA court order we know about is supposedly restrictive (just phone call meta data) doesn’t mean that the NSA doesn’t already have all the data they need to fill in the blanks, including content. After all, there’s always the much rumored, but never confirmed ECHELON Program. As far as I know, nobody has yet asked what the phone call meta data is being matched up with.

So this NSA analyst gets a request to keep tabs on the target, and being sufficiently “sound” to pass the clearance hurdles necessary to actually sit at this desk, he’s not only more prone than just about everybody else to follow orders that he knows are wrong, but he’s far more likely to embrace a world view in which the threat is routinely exaggerated. So he got his orders, and now he’s found what he’s looking for. His target has repeatedly made contact with an “anti-American” element.

This needs to be reported!
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Notebook, 7 April 2013: Democrats Drop The Ball On Jobs Again

While this week’s big buzz is over another of President Obama’s preemptive caves in dealing with Republicans in Congress by offering to cut the growth of the Social Security benefit by adopting Chained CPI which tends to lower cost of living adjustments (yet another GOP proposal the White House has made its own), the real story remains lackluster employment.
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Notebook, 15 September 2012: No Time to be Bitter Anymore

After seeing enough laudatory comments stemming from Michael Lewis’ Obama’s Way, I am minded to look back at what we won, and lost, when we undertook to intervene in the Libyan civil war, as well as come to a better balance on the outcomes.
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Notebook, 1 June 2011: Some Days, Isolationism Looks Good

How I spend my day off. I do some housekeeping here at home as well as on the various places on the web where I reside. A little organization to make life easier. It’s a regularly recurring task, because I normally use three browsers: one for news, another for blogs, and a third to touch base with various online foreign policy journals.

Using multiple tabs, opening a browser is an exercise in patience for me.

Later on today, I’ll scroll through the twenty or so studies and white papers I downloaded last night. My idea of a fun time.

One thing I did was to gather all my news links into one place so Firefox opens a bit faster than it did: my *Daily Readswas the target of some cleanup. Hopefully, while the rest of the political blogosphere moans and groans over things like the failed debt limit vote in the House (why this is news isn’t exactly clear to me, the GOP telegraphed their intentions months ago and the markets have ignored the kabuki), I will attempt a quick news roundup of stories of note which go unremarked in the lefty blogosphere:
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Notebook, 15 April 2011: Bitter . . .

Well, if you didn’t believe me when I posted Regime Change is the Official Coalition Goal, here you go. The road we started down when we first decided to intervene has now reached it’s logical conclusion.

Well. It was inevitable, wasn’t it? Does anyone remember when this was billed to us, the UN and the world as a no-fly zone?

Published in three newspapers, Presidents Obama, Sarkozy and Prime Minister Cameron have now publicly admit what many believed (me included) was always their agenda.

Actually, there was no “road” as I’ve described it here. We arrived at this destination in the first two weeks of March, and this is where we’ve remained ever since.
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Notebook, 23 January 2011: My Response to Howard Dean and bobswern . . .

Well.

I was flattered to be asked by Howard Dean for my thoughts on the way forward for progressives. Thank you, Governor Dean, that was gracious of you, and my thoughts follow.

I deleted my extended answer, then bobswern’s diary prompts me to revisit my concerns. This post is actually a comment which had gotten out of hand, as well as my response to Gov. Dean.

If you will, follow me beneath the fold . . .
Continue reading “Notebook, 23 January 2011: My Response to Howard Dean and bobswern . . .”