Friday, September 14, 2007

Why The Left Fears Petraeus

I do not know if there is really a Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy or not, despite the constant admonitions from people connected with the Clintons. But this past week has certainly verified that the Left has such a machine. The New York Times breaks the law and its own policies in order to run a full-page character assassination on General Petraeus by a group known for its strong and increasing influence in Democrat affairs, and no leading Democrat is willing to denounce it for the vicious smear it so obviously is. Indeed, Schumer goes so far as to claim we must thank terrorist warlords for the decrease in violence, and Hillary Clinton states that it would take a “willing suspension of disbelief” (a phrase commonly associated with fiction) to accept the sworn testimony of a career military officer and combat veteran, who was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in his role. A certain duck colleague of Bugs Bunny will need a new stage name, because the Left has laid a firm claim on “Daffy”!

But aside from pointing out the obvious, what is the deal with the Left’s hysteria? Although it’s well known that they have a psychotic reaction to the President and anything he says or does, the Left usually lets the President speak before they blow up. Shoot, they hate Rove but don’t go out and campaign in the media against him, so there’s a special emotion going on in the hard little rocks which serve as hearts in the Left, where General David Petraeus is concerned.

That emotion is fear. Raw, powerful, growing fear.

Recognizing this fact, we would reasonably next wonder why the Left fears Petraeus so much. And I have an idea.


It all comes back to the 2008 elections. The Democrats have done very well for themselves over the years in politics. They are the acknowledged masters in most local and Congressional races, especially in major cities and the large states. But they have never been able to lock up the White House. Oh sure, they win every so often, but not as often as they expect, and never in the kind of numbers they think should happen. And rather than examine the problem critically, with an eye to root causality and a logical response, the Left takes a very emotional perspective, and demands that the world act on the orders from Never-Never-Land. Or DNC headquarters, which tries hard to play the role of Tinkerbell. While Bill Clinton won 2 times in 1992 and 96, he never got a majority. Only two of the last seven Presidents have been Democrats. And the Donks have not out and out stomped the GOP candidate since 1964. So the White House race is always dicey for the Left, and this time is no exception.

So what’s the deal with California? History, for one. Cali is worth 55 Electoral Votes, more than 20 percent of the tally needed to be elected President. So that’s big right there. But what’s even more important is that the GOP does not need California, but the Democrats do. Dubya won twice without California, but in the last 9 times that the Democrats lost California, they only won the White House twice.

Also, California is on the move. W. took 44.4% of the Cali vote in 2004, 41.7% in 2000, Dole took 38.2% in 1996, and Bush I took 32.6% in 1992. See the trend?

Sure, it would be a real surprise if California got into play for 2008 but if it does, the Democrats are done. Period. End of story. So the Donks cannot afford to lose Cali. The problem is, Cali is not all Democrat, not by a long shot, and the trend is to close the gap.

There’s a lot of military people from California. Catch a Padres game on an afternoon in San Diego, and you will see a sea of Navy in the bleachers. The Army still has the Presidio in San Francisco, and the Marines come from all over Cali. And besides the bases, there’s the military families. The Democrats played a gamble, when they decided to oppose the War. They figured the GOP owned the pro-war side, so they could try to neutralize it by flashing patriotism of their own or else they could try to play against the war, and from 2002 on that was their game. They’re one-for-three in elections on that strategy. But that election gave them both Houses of Congress and they felt strong for 2008, so they doubled-down on the Anti-War effort, with all the major Donk candidates shoving each other to prove themselves the biggest opponent to the war. When General Petraeus came up for a vote, it seemed a sure thing that extra troops would mean higher casualties, more to use against President Bush, and when General Petraeus came back to report, he’d be admitting disaster and thus serve the Democrats well.

The reality was a bit different. The surge is working, so well in fact that the Democrats are desperately worried that it looks like we are winning. And winning not only would take away the ‘War-Monger’ card to play on the public All those Democrats who were on the record as saying we could not win, well they’d look weak and spineless at best. And every single Democrat running for the Oval Office could and would be painted as a defeatist. There was but one, desperate hope. A foul, nasty, dirty little trick of a hope, but the Democrats devoured eagerly and made it their identity. Just as they had misrepresented the war and its conduct for years, so now the Democrats turned on the leading figure in that war, General Petraeus. Never mind that they themselves had unanimously approved the man. Never mind that the troops found him eminently credible and a fit leader. Never mind that on his watch, entire regions of Iraq had become manageable and countless lives saved, military and civilian both. It was far more expedient to the Democrats to sacrifice the last vestige of their honor, than to accept the consequences of their earlier deceit and treachery. Having subtly demeaned and maligned the troops already in many separate decisions, it was just one more step to take that step into public derision of the military.

While things have been difficult for the GOP in recent times, it must be remembered that to keep the White House, they only need to hold the states they have. And winning in Iraq improves those odds for the Republican candidate and hurts the Democrat. But states with heavy military populations, are truly wild cards, and if the Democrats’ war-hate gamble fails, states like California could flip and make the race a laugher for the Republican. If Petraeus is believed by the average American, the Democrat will not be supported in the election. So they fear him, because the consequences of their decision are more ominous for their personal egos than they ever imagined possible.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

You know what? They’re right, it IS easy and fun to play on names. Of course, it makes more sense when you are targeting a malicious group of screaming malcontents whose ability to comprehend an issue rarely extends beyond echoing the screeds of their propagandists, rather than falsely defaming the honor and mission of a man who has spent his life in honorable service defending our country and all its citizens, and a man impeccably capable of explaining the scope and requirements of the present war in Iraq.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

My 9/11 Article

You will notice that I did not post on 9/11. That was intentional. I spent the day watching documentaries on the victims, real people, good people, who did not one thing to deserve being murdered, to deserve the callous attacks by a few evil men who – quite wrongly – believed that they had the right to kill people they knew were innocent for the sake of their ‘cause’. It truly, deeply, disgusts me that anyone could or would pretend that 9/11 was the victims’ fault.

I am not a military expert, but I have read history and the works of some wise and intelligent men, so I know the basics. There is, to put it simply, a faction in the Middle East which exists to destabilize the region, in the same way that the Nazis’ violence in the 1930s destabilized Germany. It’s exactly the same fascist vision, carried out the same way, accompanied by the same lies for the same tactical reasons. The fanatical beliefs are in much the same vein, so it hardly surprises me to see how much of their ferocity is based on hatred of the Jewish people, a desire for genocide even as they lie about their motives. “Islam means peace” is in the same key as “we only want living room”, and no mistake about it.

This is not an attack on Islam, though. There are good Muslims, just as many Germans were good, kind people. But the threat is real, vicious and determined, and just as there were people who played up the Nazis’ propaganda, so too the Fascist Muslims have their own puppets. Famed pilot Charles Lindbergh supported and defended the Nazis, and so did Joe Kennedy, named Ambassador to England. In historical fact, there was a time in the 1930s when it seemed the Nazi Party even had a future in American politics. But the Democrats and Republicans of that day had enough backbone to stand for their principles and not kowtow to Der Reich, the way that modern politicians bend over backward to avoid looking offensive to groups whose minions chant ‘Death to America’ in ritualistic practice.

We are at war. Like all wars, this one has its detractors and its supporters, and people who make their political futures on the war as if they were the only, or at least the first, to have opposed the war or fought in its worst battles. Like all wars, there are times when things go as planned, and others where the plan seems to have failed. But those who fight and those who lead them are our very best, men of valor and ingenuity and integrity. It is beyond disgusting that anyone in America would make their fortunes by defaming our troops and our leaders.

We are the good guys. These days there many people who make their way through Life insulting and deriding America. Many of these people, oddly enough, are Americans by birth if – obviously – something else by choice. But when one looks around and honestly judges nations by what they do rather than by their slogans and chants, it is America – always – which does the most to help everyone else. We are the nation always called to defend the territory of free nations. We are the nation which sends more charity, most of it private, to other nations. By the way, did anyone notice what the world did when 9/11 happened? When Katrina hit? We got messages of solidarity, but nothing more. Compare that to our response to the 2004 Tsunami, to countless requests for military protection, to the continual outpouring of charity to South America, Asia, the Middle East, and everywhere there is need. Look at the agreements signed by nations, and then consider how well they keep their word. Imagine a world, where China, Russia, and Germany kept their promises to any degree like what the United States does. No, we’re not perfect but we’re hardly the hypocrites one finds in Europe. And it’s even more a contrast to consider the world as run by the United Nations.

So, our best go off to help everyone else, to heal them and defend them and die for them, and for that the people with the backbone to do the heavy lifting are villainized by people not worthy to clean their toilets. I guess we each remember 9/11 as we are able, some focusing on the good people, the victims and those who avenge them, while others look in the mirror and retch, and try to transfer that contempt to everyone they know, rather than admit their wrongs and try raise their level of consideration above those vermin they now so admire.

But the good shall prevail. I count on it.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Reich Shows Why Hillary Clinton Must Not Be President

The September 10 issue of BusinessWeek includes an interview with Robert Reich, the Labor Secretary under President Clinton. Economics Editor Peter Coy interviewed the Berkeley Professor for Public Policy, and posted excerpts in a one-page article on page 86, in the IdeasOutsideShot section. However inadvertently, Dr. Reich’s comments provide evidence that another Clinton Administration would be bad for America.

Coy admiringly compared Reich to Milton Friedman in places, but the comparison does not hold up to inspection. Reich admits that “Capitalism has proven itself the most successful system ever designed for allocating resources to where they’re most needed”. But Reich is unable to let go of the Socialist ideals he used to guide his decisions under Bill Clinton, and they are obvious in two key claims made by Reich in the interview. First, Reich bemoans executive compensation, claming “CEO pay diverges mammothly from the pay of average workers”. Reich also claims that job security is far too unstable in modern times, concluding that government needs to “police the border between capitalism and democracy”. The statements, as I see them, are not only dishonest on their face, but are wholly incompatible with American ideals.

Let’s start with that gripe about CEO pay. The first question to ask, is whether that claim is really true. We sure hear it a lot, how the average CEO makes a ton of money while the regular guy gets shafted. To find out, I checked with the government’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on how many CEOs there are, and what they are paid. Using the Standard Occupational Codes (SOC), I found that there are 299,520 people coded as 11-1011, or “Chief Executives”. Sounds like a lot, until you remember that there are 300 million Americans, and the size of these businesses vary quite a bit. Anyway, those CEOs average an annual salary of $144,600, nice but not especially awesome, given the hours, responsibility, and personal risk they assume with the job. The BLS also says the Mean Annual salary for all occupations is $39,190, so the average CEO pulls down about 3.7 times what the average worker makes. And since the average CEO is either the outright owner of his company, or proved his worth to get the job through a combination of education and experience and personal ability, the range is not – despite the hype – quite as Dr. Reich claims.

So where do Reich and a lot of other screaming meanies get the idea that CEOs are, in general, overpaid? It comes down to a very selective list; compensation for CEOs of the S&P’s top 500 public corporations is around $10.2 million a year as of 2006, which does work out to around 260 times what the average worker makes. Of course, the same factors of experience and proven results make it hard to condemn these leaders with any validity, so what Liberals like Reich do, is to smear the whole on no basis other than blaming them for success, skewing the overall picture by focusing only on the few who make great deals of money, and highlighting the very few whose dishonesty makes headlines. It should be obvious to the thinking reader, that if fraud and corruption were common among the country’s business leaders, the nation would have had many more severe economic crises than we have seen. In actual fact, most CEOs work hard, are notably honest in terms of their job performance, and demonstrate a serious desire to see the employees of their company succeed. The attacks on CEOs, in essence, proves to be no more than envy, someone who does not make a lot of money resenting someone who does, even though there is no cause for that resentment. Millions of people who make ordinary incomes spend a lot of money to see rich athletes play professional sports, yet they do not complain that these athletes make so much more money than they do. They pay outrageous prices for tickets to see celebrities in concert and shows, and do not whine about those celebrities making huge amounts of money for what they do. Is it really reasonable to make J.K. Rowling a billionaire, then complain because the CEO whose company provides safe and nutritious food to your kids makes a few million? Is it reasonable to call A-Rod a great guy just for playing baseball, but despise the CEO of the company which improves automobiles for greater safety and comfort as greedy, especially when the guy actually making something which improves your life makes less money than the jock whose actions do nothing to improve your life? Don’t misunderstand, I do not resent authors or athletes or even celebrities, but if it’s OK for them to make millions, then morally it’s more OK for people who lead companies which keep us healthy and happy with their products to be rewarded by their directors. It is, to say it plainly, a futile and Socialist ideal to blame CEOs simply because they happen to succeed in their pay.

The complaint about job security might at first seem more reasonable; what could be more reasonable than to expect your employer to respect and protect your job as well as you do your company? The reality, however, is that you have the right to quit your job at any time and take a better position, and the company has that same opportunity. The way you keep your job, is to convince your employer that it hurts them to let you leave, and it is to their advantage to keep you happy. If you are doing your job in such a way that you look replaceable, it seems to me that you have the problem, not the employer. I’m not saying that all employers are wise or reasonable, but given the unemployment rate basically since Carter was President, a competent person should be able to find work. To bring up job security in an era where Unemployment has consistently tracked below 5% nationally, seems to me to do no better than play on fear.

Envy and fear; that is the essence of Dr. Reich’s opinion on Capitalism. He seems honestly unable to recognize the ideals and ethics by which the overwhelming majority of American businesses operate, or even to understand that all corporations, every one, are made up by their employees and leaders, real people with real visions and the determination to succeed through hard work, inspiration, and optimistic courage. As for his statement regarding a “border” between Capitalism and Democracy, it shows to me yet another obstacle in Reich’s mind, that he believes the two concepts should be rivals or even opponents. At least Reich, however unconsciously, admits a connection between Democracy and Capitalism; the more pervasive a form of Socialism is practiced, the less it has to do with Democracy at all, as evidenced by the unhappy histories of the Iron Curtain countries.

So what does this have to do with the campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton? Perhaps these quotes from the Lady Senator will illuminate her present economic theories:

“We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good." (06/29/04)

“(We) can’t just let business go on as usual, and that means something has to be taken away from some people.” (06/04/07)

“We have to build a political consensus and that requires people to give up a little bit of their own turf in order to create this common ground” (06/04/07)

“I certainly think the free-market has failed” (06/04/07)

Robert Reich is not just an old party hack from the days of Bubba, but a valid barometer for the Clinton style of policy. And another Clinton Administration would simply be poison for America and her citizens.