People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it. Welcome to From On High.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What Is American Foreign Policy?

I read somewhere the other day someone trying to convince the world that Hillary Clinton should reconsider her decision to not pursue higher office, because she's done such a swell job as Secretary of State. Swell measured by the amount of interaction she's had with foreign potentates and their minions.

An odd measurement, but rational thought has never been a necessary asset for those who idolize our former cookie-baker-in-chief.

A more measurable examination of her rate of success might involve the evaluation of the foreign policies that she and Obama have put in place over the last few years.

And I defy anyone to figure that mess out.

We still have a presence in Afghanistan so that we can bomb terrorists in Pakistan. We're in Iraq because ... well, that conflict ended long ago, so who knows? We're now sided with Libyans and are killing Libyans because they (the latter ones) are harming the former ones. As they (the latter) have been doing for decades. And we're now NOT siding with the Syrians who are being harmed each day by their Libyan-like government because ... well, Hillary will get back to us on that one.


Does anyone understand any of this?

The Washington Post sure doesn't:
Shameful U.S. inaction on Syria’s massacres

For the past five weeks, growing numbers of Syrians have been gathering in cities and towns across the country to demand political freedom — and the security forces of dictator Bashar al-Assad have been responding by opening fire on them. According to Syrian human rights groups, more than 220 people had been killed by Friday. And Friday may have been the worst day yet: According to Western news organizations, which mostly have had to gather information from outside the country, at least 75 people were gunned down in places that included the suburbs of Damascus, the city of Homs and a village near the southern town of Daraa, where the protests began.

The Obama administration has denounced the violence — a presidential statement called Friday’s acts of repression “outrageous” — but otherwise remained passive.

As a moral matter, the stance of the United States is shameful. To stand by passively while hundreds of people seeking freedom are gunned down by their government makes a mockery of the U.S. commitment to human rights. In recent months President Obama has pledged repeatedly that he would support the aspiration of Arabs for greater freedom. In Syria, he has not kept his word. [link]
Hey, let's start a war with Syria too!

I don't follow the Washington Post closely enough to know what position the editorialists there maintain when it comes to our Libyan war.  I can only assume, if the slaughter of innocents is now a "vital American national interest," that they are big on bombing the stuffing out of government forces there.  That would be consistent.

Consistent.  A concept that is foreign to the Obama/Hillary regime.

But let's not give these two any ideas.  For Côte d'Ivoire beckons.  As does Swaziland (wherever that is).  And Chechnya.  And Baltimore, for that matter.  There's so much violence in the world.  And so many Predator drones.

Are we to be the world's policeman?

Who knows?

For an answer to that question we turn to Barack Obama, the Harvard/Yale educated ... peace candidate ...

I'm Not Alone

Remember when I wrote this the other day about the arrest and incarceration of the Reverend Terry Jones?
You know that Florida pastor who has gained so much attention for threatening to - and then following through on his vow to - burn a Q'uran?

Well, he was apparently arrested and jailed for planning to hold a protest in front of a mosque in Dearborn, Michigan (Dearborn having the largest Muslim population in the U.S., if memory serves).

He was jailed for planning to protest.


Since when is planning a peaceful protest a crime?

In these United States, in 2011, where hyper-sensitivity toward the potentially hurt feelings of Muslims abounds, apparently.
It looks like I - a layman when it comes to the law - ain't alone in my wonderment and outrage. Here's attorney Dodd Harris:
Well Done, Dearborn
Outside the Beltway

Pastor Terry Jones is an asshat. Of that there can be no doubt.

But even asshats have Constitutional rights. In fact, as is often said, protecting the fundamental rights of the worst of us is a vital part of ensuring that the rest of us can enjoy our liberties in peace.

So the fact that Terry Jones was jailed for, essentially, not promising that he wouldn’t hold a protest at a mosque, is unconscionable. Adding insult to injury, Judge Mark Somers ordered him to stay away from said mosque for 3 years, giving the proprietors a veto on his freedoms.

The charges against Jones are obviously, patently, incontrovertibly unconstitutional. The entire basis of the indictment is that their planned protest would “likely breach the peace.”

This case won’t have to go all the way to the Supreme Court. Michigan’s appellate court should vacate the convictions immediately. And then Pastor Jones will get to file his 1983 action and be entitled to damages from the state. All of which will do nothing but increase his media exposure and generate sympathy for his asshattery. [link]
Or, as I put it more eloquently, if not more succinctly:  


Quote of the Day

My heart bleeds:

"Being a Muslim in the United States is another form of torture, a psychological torture, an emotional torture, and it's just getting worse."

Duke University's Muslim chaplain, Abdullah Antepli, March, 2011.

I'll have to defer to this chaplain's judgment.  Being Muslim, he obviously knows a heck of a lot more about torture than I do.

But "psychological torture"?  Is that akin to having your head separated from your shoulders?  And is that going on in the streets of America?

I must have missed that.  Perhaps I was distracted by all the Muslim ass-kissing that goes on around me each day.

Such hardship.  Give me a break.

The Best Laid Plans of ... Gov't

Remember Susette Kelo? No? As a refresher, she's the woman who was required at the point of a gun to surrender her property to her local government, ultimately approved in a now-infamous Supreme Court decision, Kelo v. City of New London.  The decision, along with the actions of local officials and the state court system, sent shock waves through the country because, it was decided, all private property was subject to seizure by any government entity if the property at issue could, as determined by a nameless, faceless government apparatchik, be of more value to the state if it could be determined that the property would (a) produce jobs and (b) generate greater levels of tax revenue when handed over to a contractor for private commercial development.

Lower middle-class Susette Kelo wasn't a particularly valuable citizen.  And a development company promised riches.  So she was kicked off her land.  By the government that was originally put in place to protect people like her.

Well, you may not have heard but Susette Kelo's property, after she was forced to abandon it, is now an empty lot.  No development.  No tax revenue.  No jobs.

As it turned out, the pharmaceutical giant, Pfizer, which had planned on having an office complex constructed on the site, backed out several years ago, leaving weeds and vermin, along with the government, to overrun the place.  Said the San Francisco Chronicle in 2009:
The well-laid plans of redevelopers, however, did not pan out. The land where Suzette Kelo's little pink house once stood remains undeveloped. The proposed hotel-retail-condo "urban village" has not been built. And earlier this month, Pfizer Inc. announced that it is closing the $350 million research center in New London that was the anchor for the New London redevelopment plan, and will be relocating some 1,500 jobs.
So, after the government confiscated the land in the name of some promise and whimsy of a future "public purpose" (a decision and an action that make toilet tissue of the Constitution of the United States, which clearly states that any "taking" of private property must be for public use), the property sits vacant.  Empty.  Desolated.

But it gets worse.  Until Susette Kelo was driven from her home, she was a property taxpayer.  No, she wasn't writing checks the likes of which Pfizer might have, but a taxpayer just the same.  And with the land sitting undeveloped, the city of New London is now receiving squat for its treacherous work.  But guess what the latest is.  The developer who controls the Kelo location is now asking for a tax exemption going forward if the land is to be made productive.

This is the stuff movies are made of:
Would-be Fort Trumbull developers seek tax break
By Kathleen Edgecomb, The Day

New London - A developer hoping to build housing at Fort Trumbull said Thursday they [sic] will seek tax abatements from the city to move the project forward.

Robert and Irwin Stillman, the father and son owners of Westport-based River Bank Construction, said the abatements were necessary to make the project financially feasible.

"If abatements are not approved, we would have to reconsider,'' Robert Stillman said during a meeting Thursday afternoon with The Day's editorial board.

The 90-acre Fort Trumbull development area has been an ongoing issue in the city for more than 10 years. The NLDC presented a plan in 2000 that the city approved that in essence leveled nearly all the buildings in Fort Trumbull to make way for new construction. [link]
So the parcel has brought about no jobs.  And has done nothing but act as a drag on tax revenue.  And, irony of ironies, the wealthy property owner now wants an exemption from paying taxes on the parcel.

And guess what he's using as a carrot.  From the article:

"Michael Joplin, president of the New London Development Corp., said the city should offer the abatements because it will help increase homeownership and eventually bring in more taxes."

The very argument that made an empty lot of the land that American citizen Susette Kelo fought to maintain and wretched, putrefied pulp of the Constitution of the United States.

For shame.

Susette Kelo didn't deserve to be treated like this by her government.

We don't deserve to be treated like this either.

And we sure as hell don't deserve the kind of intellectual vapidity that makes a mockery of our most sacred institutions and our founding documents.

Here's my prediction.  That development company will next approach the government geniuses who hold power and seek a government funding grant in order to begin its redevelopment project.  That will produce jobs ...  And tax revenue ...  Someday ...

And those geniuses will grant wads of taxpayer cash to the wealthy contractor because ... they can.

May God have mercy.