Delusional Diplomacy

My work is done here.

My work is done here.


President Obama’s foreign policy is based on fantasy

FOR FIVE YEARS, President Obama has led a foreign policy based more on how he thinks the world should operate than on reality. It was a world in which “the tide of war is receding” and the United States could, without much risk, radically reduce the size of its armed forces. Other leaders, in this vision, would behave rationally and in the interest of their people and the world. Invasions, brute force, great-power games and shifting alliances — these were things of the past. Secretary of State John F. Kerry displayed this mindset on ABC’s “This Week” Sunday when he said, of Russia’s invasion of neighboring Ukraine, “It’s a 19th century act in the 21st century.”

That’s a nice thought, and we all know what he means. A country’s standing is no longer measured in throw-weight or battalions. The world is too interconnected to break into blocs. A small country that plugs into cyberspace can deliver more prosperity to its people (think Singapore or Estonia) than a giant with natural resources and standing armies.

[…]

The urge to pull back — to concentrate on what Mr. Obama calls “nation-building at home” — is nothing new, as former ambassador Stephen Sestanovich recounts in his illuminating history of U.S. foreign policy, “Maximalist.” There were similar retrenchments after the Korea and Vietnam wars and when the Soviet Union crumbled. But the United States discovered each time that the world became a more dangerous place without its leadership and that disorder in the world could threaten U.S. prosperity. Each period of retrenchment was followed by more active (though not always wiser) policy. Today Mr. Obama has plenty of company in his impulse, within both parties and as reflected by public opinion. But he’s also in part responsible for the national mood: If a president doesn’t make the case for global engagement, no one else effectively can.

The White House often responds by accusing critics of being warmongers who want American “boots on the ground” all over the world and have yet to learn the lessons of Iraq. So let’s stipulate: We don’t want U.S. troops in Syria, and we don’t want U.S. troops in Crimea. A great power can become overextended, and if its economy falters, so will its ability to lead. None of this is simple.

But it’s also true that, as long as some leaders play by what Mr. Kerry dismisses as 19th-century rules, the United States can’t pretend that the only game is in another arena altogether. Military strength, trustworthiness as an ally, staying power in difficult corners of the world such as Afghanistan — these still matter, much as we might wish they did not. While the United States has been retrenching, the tide of democracy in the world, which once seemed inexorable, has been receding. In the long run, that’s harmful to U.S. national security, too.


I wanna live in a fantasy world. A world with nothing but cold beer, warm beaches and hot babes. And pizza.

Unfortunately, I live in the real world.

There was a time when border were fluid. Countries routinely invaded each other, claiming land and resources. The European powers of Spain, England, France, Russia and even little old Portugal divvied up the New World amongst themselves. Over the years they traded these lands, fought over them, and occasionally sold them to each other.

They saw nothing strange about it because that was how the world was – the strong enslaved the weak. Colonial empires existed for the benefit of nations with the will and the power to exploit them.

Times changed. The world’s borders have become more or less stable. The old colonial empires are mostly gone. Most of the nations in the world at least pretend to be independent and self-governing. There is less war now than at any time in recorded history.

It’s that way because we made it that way. Without the United States, the current arrangement would not exist. We convinced the other major world powers to go along, and together with them we (mostly) forced the rest of the nations to cooperate.

We managed to stop nuclear proliferation, or at least slow it down. We got the world to agree to ban certain weapons of mass destruction, like chemical and biological weapons. We established the existence of international law. We even created something called the “United Nations” that was supposed to serve as a sort of world government.

It wasn’t easy. It took a lot of American effort. It took American muscle, American money, and American blood. But make no mistake, even though we have been less than perfect world citizens from time to time in our history, the world has been a lot better off since we became the big dog on the block.

Diplomacy works because it is backed by something more than just words. In a perfect world we would always work things out non-violently. But pacifism is a useless strategy when the other guy punches you in the nose.

Old school liberals like FDR, HST, JFK and LBJ were hard-nosed foreign policy hawks. They lived in the real world where if you talk the talk you better walk the walk too. They understood that if you want peace you have to be prepared for war.



About Myiq2xu - BA, JD, FJB

I was born and raised in a different country - America. I don't know what this place is.
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136 Responses to Delusional Diplomacy

  1. The Klown says:

    “Pacifism is a shifty doctrine under which a man accepts the benefits of the social group without being willing to pay – and claims a halo for his dishonesty.”

    Robert A. Heinlein

  2. The Klown says:

    “Anyone who clings to the historically untrue and thoroughly immoral doctrine that violence never settles anything I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee and the jury might well be the Dodo, the Great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history that has any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at its worst. Breeds that forget this basic truth have always paid for it with their lives and their freedoms.”

    Robert A. Heinlein

  3. The Klown says:

    “As to liberty, the heroes who signed the great document pledged themselves to buy liberty with their lives. Liberty is never unalienable; it must be redeemed regularly with the blood of patriots or it always vanishes. Of all the so-called natural human rights that have ever been invented, liberty is least likely to be cheap and is never free of cost.”

    Robert A. Heinlein

  4. votermom says:

    Bammy is on teevee again calling Putin a meanie

  5. 49erDweet says:

    OK. What’s the joke? Is it April 1 already? This is the WaPo? Naw, don’t believe it.

  6. votermom says:

  7. The Klown says:

    Ace:

    If you remember, Obama suggested in 2008 that he would bring us “smart power,” rather than Bush’s dumb power. This was the Obama’s recasting of “soft power” as “smart,” and Bush’s “hard power” as, impliedly, not smart.

    But the ace arrow in their quiver always seemed to be — as it continues to seem to be — that all they have to do is patiently inform Russia (or Iran, or China, or whoever) that it is in their own countries’ best interest to act as “civilized” members of the “community of nations.”

    This is so arrogant and dumb I don’t know what to say about it.

    Did they really think that not a one of Bush’s diplomats thought to say something utterly obvious like “You know, it’s actually in your own interests to agree with us?” This is the first or second thing said in any negotiation, over anything at all — buying a car, buying a house, arguing with a spouse about who changes the diapers… The “it’s really in your own interest” is such a common gambit that it indicates the incredibly dull-witted nature of Obama’s squad to imagine this was new or novel to anyone else.

    The second level of arrogance concerns the foreign nation in question — Does Obama or Kerry (or did Hillary) really imagine these countries hadn’t already gamed out in their own heads what their own best interest was? Did they really think that Putin, for example, had utterly failed to consider the benefits of being a good actor in the “civilized community of nations” would net him, and what being a bad actor would lose him?

    I have to imagine that our counter-parties in these “smart power” negotiations are somewhat annoyed to be held by Obama’s people as slow children who haven’t bothered to think about the most basic things, such that they want and need Obama to remind them of the most basic things.

    Did they really think they could just Jedi Mind Trick the whole world?

    Just because it works on the weak-minded — Democrats, the media — doesn’t mean it works on everyone.

  8. votermom says:

    Remember Putin’s oped in the NYT?

  9. The Klown says:

    The Federalist:

    All of this was summed up in the Reagan Doctrine: a commitment to counter the Soviets and roll back their influence worldwide, point for point. This came from the president whose strategy for the Cold War was: “We win, they lose.”

    If President Reagan could see what Russia is doing today, he would cock his head and say, “Well, there they go again.” And then he would deploy the whole panoply of resistance we used against Moscow in his day. He might start with the fact that Poland has strong ties to Ukraine’s pro-European majority and a direct interest in opposing Russia, making the Poles an obvious conduit for support to the new government in Kiev—both open and covert, and both economic and military. The Baltic states are also freaking out, given their own vulnerability to Russian aggression, and they can be counted on for extensive support. The urgent priority is to rapidly convert Western Ukraine into a “porcupine state”—one that may not be able to win a war with Russia outright, but can make such a war too painful to be appealing.

    Instead, we get President Obama’s totally ineffectual response, in which he spends 90 minutes on the phone to warn Vladimir Putin that invading Ukraine would “negatively impact Russia’s standing in the international community.” As Julia Ioffe replies: “as if there’s much left or as if Putin really cares.”

    Implementing the lessons of the 1980s will require a lot of money and a lot of effort, and some tough decisions that will be very unpopular in the halls of the United Nations. It will also require something this president has found even more difficult to do: challenging the preconceived notions of the left.

    But we know what it looks like when American weakness and uncertainty allow an aggressive dictatorship and its allies to advance across the world. To avoid that outcome, we need to reverse course and do it fast.

    If we don’t, pretty soon the 1970s will be calling.

    • 49erDweet says:

      The folly of thinking a narcissist president could understand and influence the thinking of another leader is a hallmark of the Facepalm Party.

  10. The Klown says:
  11. The Klown says:
  12. wmcb says:

  13. The Klown says:
  14. wmcb says:

    What did I say earlier? The new talking point is that “No one has faced FP challenges like Obama has, so not his fault.”

    https://twitter.com/Noahpinion/status/440585415930949632

    • lyn says:

      Here’s another way to put that: No U.S. president has ever faced being a U.S. president the way that Obama has. Yeah, it’s not his fault he’s president.

    • Jadzia says:

      I… can’t. Does The Cold War ring any bells? J/C, I remember THAT, and I was just a kid.

  15. The Klown says:
  16. wmcb says:

    From a conversation on a friend’s facebook page, from a staunch anti-war commenter:

    Micah: The jingoistic pompous posturing is very reminiscent of the Cold War era. I found myself strangely longing for that kind of fear as opposed to jihadists hiding in caves, planning my demise.
    —–

    Me: Micah, I don’t fault Putin for looking out for his country’s strategic interests – though I may find his specific actions objectionable. Nor do I fault the USA for doing so (back when we did that.) I just despise hypocrisy, not being honest about what those interests ARE, or the hubris of saying “my country the USA can look out for it’s interests, but no one else’s can.”

    As strange and dangerous as the Cold War was, countries were mostly above-board about their positions. It may be that it’s that HONESTY you are feeling nostalgic for, not the conflict itself.

  17. helenk3 says:

    Russian UN envoy says Ukraine’s ousted President Yanukovych sent letter to President Putin asking him to use Russian military force in Ukraine – @Reuters

  18. helenk3 says:

    http://weaselzippers.us/178027-msnbc-outraged-jared-leto-spoke-about-ukraine-and-venezuela-instead-of-transpeople-during-oscar-win-speech/

    things like this might be why Putin has no concern about the USA.

    MSNBC outraged that Jared Leto spoke about Ukraine and Venezuela instead of transpeople during oscar win speech

    • wmcb says:

      What, people are without basic services, being shot, or have tanks moving into their streets? But…but…but…..how is that important? What about MUH FEEEEEEEELINGS????

  19. helenk3 says:

    US envoy to UN Samantha Power says there’s no evidence that ethnic Russians, Russian speakers in Ukraine are under threat – @Reuters

    and she knows HOW?

  20. wmcb says:

    On my facebook now:

    Every pundit or politician acting all !!SURPRISED!! WHO COULDA KNOWN??!! UNFORSEEN!! INEXPLICABLE!! over what Putin is doing in Ukraine is either a) a message-massaging hypocrite, or b) a complete ignoramus re: world history.

    Hypocrite or Idiot. Pick one.

  21. helenk3 says:

    http://tammybruce.com/2014/03/obama-offers-asylum-to-low-level-muslim-terrorists-but-not-to-christians-fleeing-persecution.html

    backtrack offers asylum to low level muslim terrorists, but not to christians fleeing persecution.

    Putin is not real fond of muslim terrorists and knowing that backtrack is why would he pay a damn bit ot attention to him?

  22. helenk3 says:

    http://nation.foxnews.com/2014/03/03/harry-reid-obama-must-get-europeans-approval-russia-sanctions

    per harry rieid….backtrack must get europeans approval before sanctions against Russia

    how the hell did this country sink so low

  23. wmcb says:

  24. The Klown says:

    When I worked event security I carried a gun, PR24 baton, an expandable baton, 2 cans of pepper foam (1 available to either hand) and 2 sets of handcuffs. I wore military jump boots, black BDU pants bloused military style, a bulletproof vest and uniform shirt. I kept my hair cut military style. I was always friendly, polite, and firm. I dealt with gangbangers, ex-cons, drunks and punks, along with lots of other people.

    My theory was peace thru strength. If the wannabe tough guys and troublemakers fear you they won’t try you.

    I rarely had to use any force, even if I was ejecting someone. Occasionally I was involved in scuffles. The only time I got worse than I gave was when a drunk sucker-punched me and took off running with me in hot pursuit. I didn’t catch him but he went to jail and I sued his ass (and I won too).

    • 49erDweet says:

      Pacification through strength and preparedness always trumps Rodney King-like wishful thinking. Always. Except during happy hour.

  25. leslie says:

    OT: Baby girl born about 20 minutes ago! She is 8 lbs 11oz. I don’t know how long, but I can tell you that my dil is a tiny little thing and yesterday she looked like she was gonna pop.
    We are going to meet this “little” girl later tonight. 😀

  26. The Klown says:

    Where’s Dandy Tiger? He’ll get this one:

  27. wmcb says:

  28. The Klown says:

    WRM:

    Washington’s flat-footed, deer-in-the-headlights incomprehension about Russia’s Crimean adventure undermines President Obama’s broader credibility in a deeply damaging way. If he could be this blind and misguided about Vladimir Putin, how smart is he about the Ayatollah Khameni, a much more difficult figure to read? President Obama is about to have a difficult meeting with Prime Minister Netanyahu in which he will tell Netanyahu essentially that Israel should ground its national security policy on the wisdom of President Obama and his profound grasp of the forces of history. The effect will be somewhat undermined by President Obama’s failure to understand the most elementary things about Vladimir Putin.

    With Hitler-style lies blasting from the well-tuned Russia propaganda machine (attacks on ethnic Russians! mass flight of refugees! fascism!) and armed soldiers backing up thugs in Crimea and elsewhere, President Putin is not exactly looking like a partner for peace at the moment—and Obama’s decision to work with him isn’t making President Obama look like a foreign policy genius.

    Prime Minister Netanyahu—and many other world leaders—will be looking at President Obama with cold and calculating eyes. They can see that he turned to Russia for help when his Syrian red line policy collapsed; they can see that he is betting heavily that Russia will help him with Iran, both in the negotiations and at the UN Security Council. They observe how Washington was flabbergasted and stunned by the events in Ukraine, and they are likely to conclude that President Obama’s Middle East policy is in much worse shape than he thinks.

    Both friends and foes are also probably thinking today that President Obama is going to have less control over the future of American foreign policy than he might like.

  29. helenk3 says:

    home schooling family that was seeking asylum lost their case in the supreme court. holder’s dept of crime won. not sure when they will be deported.
    meanwhile backtrack bunch offer asylum to low level muslim terrorists to come here, but not Christians fleeing persecution.

    it will be a long three years before this bunch is out of office and it is every American’s duty to see that nothing like them ever get near government office again

    • insanelysane says:

      Helen, After Obama is gone we will be able to pick up the pieces and fix the many things he screwed up, but what worries me is the 51% of the people who were ignorant enough to buy his load of BS to begin with. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president.

  30. wmcb says:

  31. driguana says:

    Klown, you need to get out of California and come to South Florida….I am constantly in the presence of cold beer, warm beaches, hot babes and pizza. In fact, as we speak, I’m off with hot babes for cold beer and pizza…there is a real world out there!

  32. helenk3 says:

    http://weaselzippers.us/178024-syrians-to-ukrainians-dont-listen-to-obama-when-he-says-hes-going-to-help-you/

    Syrians tell Ukrainians don’t listen to backtrack, when he says he’s going to help you

  33. The Klown says:

    Mediaite:

    The smug self-assuredness that often suffices for expertise on cable news was perhaps never smugger than when former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney warned the American public that Russia was rapidly positioning itself as America’s “number one geopolitical foe.” Among the worst offenders were the hosts and guests who provide MSNBC with content on a daily basis.

    In early 2012, President Barack Obama was caught on an open microphone telling Russia’s then-President Dmitry Medvedev that he would have more “flexibility” after the presidential election in his dealings with Russia. Romney reacted strongly to that comment. Appearing on CNN, the GOP nominee said that the United States should regard Russia as a geopolitical adversary and should work to limit Russia’s flexibility rather than to secure it. His observation was soundly criticized by the president’s defenders who, at the time, were still attempting to rehabilitate Obama’s floundering “Reset” with Russia.

    There were few who defended Romney’s comments. Even snake-bit Republicans, chastened by the swift backlash in the media, hedged when asked to back up Romney’s assessment of the challenges posed by Moscow. But MSNBC’s wagons circled particularly quickly in defense of the president. Volley after volley of snark was lobbed in the GOP nominee’s direction.

    “I don’t know what decade this guy’s living in,” MSNBC host Chris Matthews said with a sigh on March 28, 2012. “Is he trying to play Ronald Reagan here, or what?”

    “This is Mitt Romney’s severely conservative problem,” University of Georgia professor Cynthia Tucker opined on-the-air. “It made Romney look dumb. He’s not a dumb man, but he said something that was clearly dumb.”

    Huffington Post reporter Sam Stein agreed that Romney’s statement was evidence of an “antiquated worldview.” He fretted further about how Romney, should he become president, would enter the office having severely complicated America’s bilateral relations with Moscow given his carelessly provocative statement.

    “I personally am worried about what it says to the Russian people,” Matthews added to a chorus of sagely nods.

    MSNBC hosts Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O’Donnell got in on the self-satisfied ridicule, too. Promoting Maddow’s latest book about the “unmooring of American military power,” O’Donnell asked if the flagship MSNBC host if Romney was merely reflecting on what he might have read in that book.

    “He read about Reagan’s private, outside-the-CIA cabal of team-B zealots who were telling him that Russia had all the stuff they didn’t have so he could justify a giant defense budget,” Maddow submitted scornfully.

    “It is amazing that Mitt Romney can flip like that just as soon as he hears something to exploit in foreign policy,” O’Donnell remarked. Watch that below:

    Maddow took her observations about Romney’s position on Russia one ill-advised step further on her MSNBC.com blog:

    I can appreciate why the Romney campaign would try to make Obama’s “hot mic” story interesting, but the problem is the former governor just doesn’t have any real policy chops in this area. He’s out of his depth, and struggles when the subject takes center stage.

    It’s not just that Romney is uninformed; it’s that he hasn’t figured out how to fake it.

    Appearing on Andrea Mitchell Reports in April of that year, Romney surrogate and former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour was confronted by the MSNBC anchor. Calling Romney’s comments “a throwback to the Cold War,” Mitchell insisted that “we work with Russia all the time.” “Hardly an ally but certainly not an adversary,” she declared.

    But the worst offenders was one who should have, and likely did, know better, former Secretary of State Colin Powell. The former Army general greatly entertained his MSNBC hosts with some of the snidest commentary about Romney’s observation.

    “Come on, Mitt. Think,” Powell said of Romney’s remark in May to the chuckles of host Joe Scarborough. “That isn’t the case.”

    He went on to suggest that Romney’s assessment of the threat posed by Russia was so dubious that it was possible he was being disingenuous or he was coached to make that statement.

    “I think he really needs to not just accept these cataclysmic sort of pronouncements,” Powell admonished. “Let’s not go creating enemies where none yet exist.”

    “Does this mean that we should trust Putin or Medvedev?” he continued. “No. Let’s be mature people and look at the reality of the situation and not find ways to see if we can hyperbolize the situation.”

    […]

    The president and his political appointees were the worst offenders when it came to mocking Romney’s clearly vindicated assessment of the threat posed by Russia. “The 1980s called, they want their foreign policy back,” Obama told Romney during a presidential debate. “Romney talks like he’s only seen Russia by watching Rocky IV,” Secretary of State John Kerry announced to a squealing crowed at the Democratic National Convention.

    This habit has apparently died hard. Obama’s advisors are still scoffing at their Republican counterparts in the flailing effort to mask their own readily apparent failures even as Russian heavy artillery rolled across the border.

    These and other dubious assurances are forgivable from the political class, but they are inexcusable coming from self-described members of the press. Their job is to determine accuracy or validity of the statements made by political actors in order to separate fact from fiction. That responsibility was abdicated by the personalities above in 2012 in defense of their preferred political outcome. That kind of behavior is so many things, but one thing it is not is journalism.

  34. wmcb says:

  35. The Klown says:
  36. Underwhelmed says:

    OT but such words of wisdom:

    1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity.

    2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving.

    3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else.

    4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it!

    5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that is the beginning of the end of any nation.

  37. The Klown says:
  38. wmcb says:

    Was thinking again today about govt regulation, and how so much of it kills small biz and favors large corporations.

    One example is eggs and chickens. Did you know that in a sane world, eggs do not need to be refrigerated? Eggs naturally have a protective coating on their shell, that keeps out bad bacteria. Eggs must be refrigerated here because our laws require that commercially sold eggs have to be chemically washed, and that destroys the coating. Why? Because large egg-producing farms have bacteria and salmonella problems. It is extremely rare for eggs from hens laying in a humane environment to have any issues at all. But cramming them together to lay constantly means contamination out the wazoo. Thus we needed the regulation to wash them, because salmonella was becoming a problem, and thus the need for refrigeration.

    So, what if we had never made that “chemical wash” regulation? Well, the big egg farms would have either had to change to a more humane, chicken-friendly model, or go bankrupt getting sued over salmonella cases. Small farmers would have had little problem at all, and would have thrived, because normal chicken eggs on normal farms have few issues. In the end, what the regulation did was prop up and defend an unsanitary large-scale business model, and help kill off small egg suppliers, who often can’t afford the compliance costs.

    Did the regulation likely save some lives and have some positive health benefits for those eating those eggs? Sure it did! But we really need to start looking at the long-term overall impact of stuff like this, not just knee-jerk LETS MAKE A RUUULE! We might have, in the long run, had healthier eggs and healthier food and less contamination had we never regulated that issue at all.

    This is also why I shake my head over those who rightly see the problems with big corporations, but think the only solution is “regulate them some more!” No, that is often the WORST thing to do. It depends.

    • 49erDweet says:

      During the nineties was involved in developing national standards for operating commercial trucking and bussing interstate. From the gitgo had to fight off attempts to tip the playing field in favor of the biggies. As if owning a thousand rigs made a driver safer. We held them off, then, but the creep began before two years elapsed. Crooks!

      • wmcb says:

        Yep. That’s how it usually goes. “More regulation” gets sold to the masses as a restraining order, but they forget to tell you that it’s mostly restraining the little guy, not the Big Boys.

        • SHV says:

          That really got started with a vengeance during Reagan; gutted SEC, FDA, Ag. Dept., etc.
          FDA inspectors have little power since safety info.is considered proprietary business info. I read about a decade ago, that in order to bring US poultry to a European standard and eliminate the Salmonella problem, it would add 1-2/pound to the cost of chicken. Tyson, et al has killed any chance of that happening.

          The big boys pay the bribes and the small players get regulated into bankruptcy therefore proving regulation is bad.

          • Jadzia says:

            Hmmmm. Maybe I have FINALLY found the answer as to why the eggs in the supermarket here are not refrigerated. I have seriously been wondering about this since 2011.

    • elliesmom says:

      We raised our own chickens when I was a kid. We never refrigerated the eggs. If we weren’t cooking them , we scrubbed the outside of the shells before we cracked them. I still have a hard time remembering to put the eggs in the refrigerator.

      • wmcb says:

        I plan to have chickens once we finally move back home (we want a goodly piece of land when we do.) I shall have a lovely egg bowl or basket on my counter, and never refrigerate them again.

        • The Klown says:

          Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.

        • cynic says:

          When we moved to the country, the first thing that we did was to get chickens. In the summertime, they get veggies from our garden (chard, zucchini and cukes that have gotten too big).

          We love the fresh eggs with yolks that are almost orange in color, and they’re just beautiful with their deep brown, tan, and blue-green shells.

    • The Klown says:

      Molly Ivins had a great reply for people who opposed regulation. She said to imagine our roads and highways with no lines, lanes, signs, or traffic controls of any kind. No traffic cops, no laws, no speed limits.

      • DandyTIger says:

        That would be awesome!! Oh, was that not the right response?

      • wmcb says:

        Obviously. Because the only two options are total federal-level regulation of everything we do, or no laws at all.

      • angienc says:

        Was that line supposed to make people want to *support* regulation?

      • 49erDweet says:

        That actually was the case when autos first came out, when they competed for space on horse and buggy trails, Yes, they had accidents. But probably no more than today. Before regulatory laws were enacted most vehicle accidents were caused by lack of braking ability and malfunctioning or missing horns. One of the catch 22’s is once something is regulated, it can never be undone.

      • Jadzia says:

        That sounds frighteningly like the roads in my region. Which has a pretty high fatality rate even though technically the speed limit is NOT that high. OTOH, there is a pretty good book called “Traffic” that, among other things, talks about a traffic experiment in a rural part of the Netherlands where they removed all of the barriers/signs/etc. from the road going through a small town, and the accident rate plummeted. The theory was that the lack of signs telling people what to do caused drivers to be hyper-cautious.

  39. helenk3 says:

    http://weaselzippers.us/177967-obama-promises-to-use-his-magic-pixie-dust-to-create-millions-of-jobs/

    but but isn’t that taking away freedoms? the dems in congress just said last week that being unemployed is a good thing. It gives you freedom to enjoy life and do what you really want to do

    • leslie says:

      the dems in congress just said last week that being unemployed is a good thing. It gives you freedom to enjoy life and do what you really want to do

      Is that the story they’re giving the thousands and thousands of military they are cutting?

  40. wmcb says:

  41. helenk3 says:

    talking about big business

    • leslie says:

      How funny is this… today, while waiting to hear about the baby, a rep from Comcast called and offered us any 2 of the premium movie channels for the next 24 months for $1 per month – because why? I haven’t threatened them for the past 10 months, maybe that’s it.

  42. 49erDweet says:

    OT. Rain, known elsewhere as drizzle, is forecast overnight for our area of CA, but it might be bad drought news. Temps are up, and when it reaches the Sierra the thin snow cover there could be quickly melted. Drats.

  43. wmcb says:

    Grain of salt and all that, considering the source, but I WAS seeing reports eaely on, purportedly from those within the Ukraine, that the whole Maidan overthrow was at least partly fomented by the West meddling and astroturfing.

    http://voiceofrussia.com/news/2014_03_03/USAID-got-Maidan-coup-up-and-running-media-6362/

  44. The Klown says:

    Hammer of Kraut:

    Remember the speech he gave at the U.N. when he started his administration? He said no nation can or should dominate another. I mean, there’s not a 12-year-old in the world who believes that. And he said the alignment of nations rooted in the cleavages of the long ago Cold War make no sense in this interconnected world. As our Secretary of State said today, or yesterday, after all this, this is a 19th century action in a 21st century world. As if what he means his actions where governments pursue expansion, territory domination, no longer exist in this century, as if that hasn’t been a constant in all of human history since Hannibal. They imagine the world as a new interconnected world where climate change is the biggest threat and they are shocked that the Russians actually are interested in territory.

  45. The Klown says:

    My nephew posted a link on FB to a survey on breastfeeding experiences for his wife’s doctoral dissertation. My response:

    I really don’t remember the experience. It’s been quite a while.

  46. wmcb says:

    I’ve talked about this a little bit. The EU, desperate to break the Ukraine’s ties with Russia, has encouraged some very unsavory characters:

  47. The Klown says:

    OMG!!

    Sarah Palin:

    “The world sees Putin as guy who wrestles bears and drills for oil and see Obama as a guy who wears mom jeans”

  48. wmcb says:

  49. DandyTIger says:

  50. helenk3 says:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-03-03/russian-troops-ukraine-hit-16000-us-department-defense-orders-them-go-home

    US DOD orders Russian troops in Crimea to go home.
    think they got a little mixed up and thought they were talking to the US troops they are cutting from our military

  51. wmcb says:

    Funny rant about the shitheads in Whole Foods:

    View at Medium.com

    • The Klown says:

      Before there was Whole Foods in California the elites shopped at Nob Hill Market. We always added an “S” on the front.

      • 49erDweet says:

        San Franciscans have never forgiven Tom Raley for buying out Nob Hill Foods. All they are now is a Raley’s with fancier checker’s outfits.

  52. wmcb says:

    Surprise! More conservatives than liberals belong to mixed-race families. Red states intermarry more. And limousine-socialist New Yorkers are segregated and racist as hell.

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/more-conservatives-than-liberals-belong-to-mixed-race-families/

  53. wmcb says:

    I’ve seen it with racial or gender stuff, with all kinds of stuff. You’ll see the press, in several outlets, start claiming that conservatives are saying terrible things. And simultaneously I’ll start seeing egg or new accounts on Twitter. Sure enough, claiming to be red-blooded red-staters that just hates them some dirty immigrants or filthy wimminz or whatever. Not saying those idiots don’t exist for real, of course they do. But it’s really odd how the sudden infestation always seems to come **right behind** the media making the claim. Almost like it’s coordinated or something.

  54. helenk3 says:

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2014/03/obamas-national-park-shutdown-barricades-cost-us-taxpayer-414-million/

    and thanks to backtrack’s pettiness my daughter and I did not get our birthday dinner at the Cliff House and she and her sister in law did not see alcatraz

  55. wmcb says:

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