September 2nd, 2009

How tyrannical takeovers happen: past, present, future

Today commenter “Artfldgr” asked the following question, “anyone else realize that what happened in germany took 12 years to go from start to finish?”

Coincidentally, last night (before that comment was posted) I had spent some time reading “The Rise of Hitler” at The History Place. It’s a relatively short summary of a relatively long process, rather than a comprehensive book such as The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (which I had read as a young teenager but not understood). But I read it with a new sense of urgency; I suggest you do so, too.

The urgency comes not from the idea that Obama=Hitler. I am not sure what figure in history Obama most resembles, although I don’t think it’s Hitler. Nor do I know Obama’s plans. But I have observed that every single step of the way he has shown his propensity for consolidating government and his own power, stomping on or eliminating the opposition (this propensity goes back to his very first election; see also the second half of this), affiliation with figures of the far Left, lying and misrepresenting himself in a host of ways, secrecy about his past, and cozying up to dictators such as Hugo Chavez.

At present, it’s Chavez whom I see as closest to Obama, both in goals and in modus operandi. Fortunately, our Constitution is more of a stumbling block to tyranny than that of Venezuela, but it’s not an absolute impediment. I wrote here (before I had even an inkling of anything about Obama other than the fact that he would probably run for president, and that he was an articulate young man who seemed to be a rising star in the Democratic Party) of what I called “the vulnerability of an easily amended constitution.”

I think some of my words then bear repeating now [emphasis mine]:

I haven’t followed every in and out of Chavez’s rise to power and his successful grab at more power, but I am under the distinct impression it was done with the appearance of following the rules of democracy.

You might think that, as a neocon, I champion democracy in all its guises. But the type of democracy I support (and I actually prefer a republic, but we’ll leave that aside for the moment) is one that includes a constitution that explicitly protects freedoms and individual rights, and features a system by which it is extremely hard to change that constitution and expand a leader’s powers as Chavez has done.

Chavez gained his expanded powers through a vote by Venezuela’s Congress, which is at present overwhelmingly composed of his supporters. This unanimity was gained because the opposition boycotted the last election, held in 2005…[T]he boycott enabled Chavez to attain––between his own party and allied parties––virtually 100% control of Congress, far more than the 2/3 it would need to amend the Constitution. One thing appears true: the election was controlled by a National Election Council totally sympathetic to Chavez, and the opposition perceived that, even if they participated, the voting would be rigged.

The entire process points out the utmost––and I mean utmost––importance of guarantees against such usurption of powers (which, by the way, Hitler used, as well, in his ascendance to becoming Fuehrer; Germany had a similar clause that allowed dictatorial powers to be given a leader by a 2/3 vote of the Reichstag, which Hitler then proceeded to abolish).

If you follow the Hitler link in the above paragraph, you’ll find an excellent summary of Hitler’s rise to power that contains the following statement:

Unfortunately, the [German] constitution also contained several fatal flaws. One of the worst was Article 48 of the constitution, which granted dictatorial powers to the president in times of national emergency.

Our own constitution is different. The process of amendment is more arduous: a vote of 2/3 of both houses Congress is required for the initial proposal, and then approval by 3/4 of the states’ legislatures or special state ratifying conventions.

This makes for a longer course of action in passing amendments, and involves a far less centralized decision-making process, one that includes many stages. So even if Congress ends up with a strong majority of representatives who are in the pocket of a President with tyrannical ambitions, subsequent usurption of power through changing the Constitution would have to be approved by three-quarters of the states.

Wartime has always been a period of special vulnerability, when US presidents tend to assume greater powers. But they cannot throw out the Constitution (or rewrite it, as Chavez did Venezuela’s). The story of how Chavez and his supporters rewrote the Venezuelan constitution can be found here. Note for our purposes that the process involved a single national referendum, and then a vote for delegates to a new constitution-writing assembly. The most recent move in Chavez’s consolidation of power has been a referendum to abolish terms limits for the presidency and allow him to become more fully Venezuela’s Castro.

If you really want to delve into some of the many twisting and turnings through which Chavez undermined the electoral process in Venezuela, in both little ways and big ones, please study this for details. I would bet that Obama is studying it (or its equivalent), too.

Our founding fathers understood tyranny. They could not foresee the future, and they could not protect us against any and every eventuality. With a strong enough cult of personality, a friendly enough Congress, and a rigged voting system, even this country can end up giving up its freedoms.

The writers of our Constitution were determined to avoid that eventuality if possible. But they were not naive enough to think that protection would not be needed, because they understand the seduction of power and the vulnerability of the people to the machinations of smooth-tongued tyrants. Therefore, the framers realized they needed to make sure the Constitution was not so rigid that it could not be changed in ways that were desirable, but rigid enough to protect us as best as possible against the sort of power grab we’ve seen in Venezuela and elsewhere.

I keep speaking of Venezuela, although I began with Hitler. Each case is different, and some more relevant than others, but there are lessons to be learned from all of them. One could also study the regimes of Bolivia, Ecuador, and so many others. One of the commonalities is the drive to pervert the voting process by intimidation and/or rule changes; to dramatically amend, rewrite, or even abolish constitutions; and most particularly to do away with term limits.

Regular readers of this blog know that I have written quite a bit about Obama’s policy on Zeleya and Honduras. This isn’t just because I am concerned for the people of Honduras—although I am that—but for what Obama’s support of Zeleya’s attempt to expand his power in these time-honored ways tells us about Obama himself, and his own propensities and possible plans.

It’s not a mere question of Obama looking on and doing nothing while a Chavez-inspired Zelaya grabs more power; I could understand non-intervention in the Honduran process. But Obama has gone out of his way—in a manner that contradicts his own stated preference for the autonomy of other nations—to actively intervene in Honduran affairs in order to protect Zeleya and his undermining of Honduran due process and its constitution.

There is no benign explanation for this policy of Obama’s. If the American people don’t understand what it tells us about him, it would mean that we have failed to understand history and learn from it.

The study of history is of vital importance. Not only has that discipline been watered down and even distorted in our schools in recent years, but even back when I was in school I believe the emphasis was wrong. Dates and battles are all very well and good, but we need to know more about the deeper patterns: for example, the ways in which tyrannies become established. There are commonalities there, and lessons to be learned from them.

But even if these things had been taught me in school, I wonder if it would have mattered. Would I have been able to understand and relate to them, or would I have considered them boring and irrelevant, from another time and place, an example of “it can’t happen here?” For most non-history-buffs—and that would include most people, including me—these facts have little meaning out of context, in the dry pages of a history text.

Until suddenly they do. Unfortunately, by that time it is often too late.

139 Responses to “How tyrannical takeovers happen: past, present, future”

  1. Scottie Says:

    Great post neo!

    The true genius I think of the Founding Fathers was that they just didn’t trust a poweful government or any single individual too much.

    They put in place limiting measures for that very reason.

    While there were technical issues as well that had to be addressed in our Constitution due to sheer travel difficulty if nothing else, this more serious limitation you note exists regardless of technology because it addresses human nature, not a technical problem.

    If the government, or any single leader, wants to change something within the Constitution, they are really going to have to make their case to a large audience rather than simply doing as they please….

    Such a limitation will always be valid.

  2. Steve G Says:

    I accidentally added this response to the next posting but it truly belongs here.

    On September 8, 2009, Obama will be speaking to ALL of the students in the USA. (A privilege never exercised by any other sitting president.) Will he be seeking to enlist the first cadres of the now forming Obama Youth? Will the first volunteers get the low party numbers? Are parents allowed to attend school with their children to listen to the speech?

    Is this more than just creepy?

  3. vanderleun Says:

    Neo notes, “I am not sure what figure in history Obama most resembles, although I don’t think it’s Hitler. Nor do [I] know Obama’s plans.”

    Perhaps we would be served by imagining that Obama wears a dog collar and on that collar is written:

    I am His Majesty’s dog at Kew.
    Pray tell me, sir,
    whose dog are you?

    “Engraved on the Collar of a Dog, Which I Gave to His Royal Highness” – Alexander Pope

  4. Occam's Beard Says:

    Great minds and all that: I just finished reading Pipes’s book The Russian Revolution, and am now re-reading Shirer’s Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, precisely to study how power was seized in each case.

    The shocking thing is how rapidly the Bolsheviks and the Nazis consolidated their hold: a matter of about a month before those daring to oppose them were in grave (pun intended) danger.

    Lenin established the Cheka in December 1917, i.e., about a month after the October Revolution (11/7/17 in the Gregorian calendar).

    Similarly, Hitler established Dachau in March 1933, i.e., within about a month of becoming Chancellor (1/30/33), while the Gestapo was founded in April.

    Moral of story: vigilance.

  5. huxley Says:

    On the other hand… Here’s a favorite Tom Wolfe excerpt on the occasion of a Princeton panel discussion in 1965 in which Wolfe participated with Allen Ginsberg, Paul Krassner, Gunter Grass and others. The subject had turned to fascism in America, which at the time the Left, like Artfldgr today, was morbidly certain of. Wolfe asks, “What are you talking about?” and is shouted down.

    Support came from a quarter I hadn’t counted on. It was Grass, speaking in English.

    “For the past hour I have my eyes fixed on the doors here,” he said. “You talk about fascism and police repression. In Germany when I was a student, they come through those doors long ago. Here they must be very slow.”

    Grass was enjoying himself for the first time all evening. He was not simply saying, “You really don’t have so much to worry about.” He was indulging his sense of the absurd. He was saying: “You American intellectuals—you want so desperately to feel besieged and persecuted!”

    He sounded like Jean-Francois Revel, a French socialist writer who talks about one of the great unexplained phenomena of modern astronomy: namely, that the dark night of fascism is always descending in the United States and yet lands only in Europe.

    – Tom Wolfe, Mauve Gloves & Madmen, Clutter & Vine p.108

  6. huxley Says:

    Obama is plenty creepy and he is going to do some damage before he’s gone.

    But notice how quickly he and his agenda have been marginalized. Our country and our people are standing against him and will continue to do so as long as he persists in remaking us to his ideological vision.

    We are not pre-Communist Russia nor pre-Nazi Germany. And Obama isn’t a patch on Lenin or Hitler.

  7. rafinlay Says:

    My first thought was also Chavez, but then I thought of Allende. Not much different, perhaps, in goals, but perhaps in means.

  8. jon baker Says:

    Neo, you speak of the way the constitution is SUPPOSED to be amended. But when our judges cite “emerging international opinion” in their rulings- they are effectively making an end run around both legislative and Constitutional authority.

    Not to mention how a casual reading of “Treaty’s ” as mentioned in the Constitution could be interperted as Treaties have the weight of an amendment- though I have heard, but never researched, that some of the founders did not mean it to be understood this way.

  9. neo-neocon Says:

    jon baker: yes, there are other ways to effect change, including all these czars about whom we don’t know so much, and who were appointed outside of the usual legislative approval. But Constitutional amendments would still be the time-honored and most productive and sweeping way to change things.

  10. John Says:

    Great post Neo.

    I just read this:

    Obama White House Has Secret Plan To Harvest Personal Data From Social Networking Websites

    http://nlpc.org/stories/2009/08/31/obama-white-house-has-secret-plan-harvest-personal-data-social-networking-website

  11. huxley Says:

    Constitutional amendments would still be the time-honored and most productive and sweeping way to change things.

    To be sure. However, it takes 2/3 of the Senate and the House or 2/3 of state legislatures just to propose and amendment. After that it takes 3/4 of state legislatures to ratify an amendment.

    Does anyone here seriously believe that Obama and his followers have the clout to push through an amendment that would pave the way for Obama to become a Chavez or some such?

    It ain’t happening in this Year of Obama. The only circumstance I can imagine would be an absolute calamity like nuclear war or a massive comet strike.

  12. huxley Says:

    I’m sure too that the czars will do some mischief as well — although I’m not sure how effective they will be with all the potential for cross-departmental turf wars and confusing chains of command — but does anyone here believe that the czars can implement fundamental changes to our government that would allow Obama to become Der Fuehrer?

    Sure, one can point to all sorts of Obama moves that are embryonically concerning, like his addressing all the school kids on Sept 8. But every time he does this stuff, Obama knocks another point or two off his polls and loses support for the big things he wants to do, as well as his reelection bid in 2008.

  13. huxley Says:

    …reelection bid in 2012.

  14. Amy Says:

    What if the internet existed in Germany before Hitler came to power? Would it have made a difference?

    I know I am thankful for fearless thinkers like you, neo, because you (and many of your commenters) are a few steps ahead of me. I click over for a visit, and I’ve got thoughts half-formed and few people to talk to who have your depth of insight, grasp of history and ability to seek and find good information. You help me connect the dots.

    My grandmother is 91, physically ailing but mentally sharp as a tack – and full of (abrasive) common sense. A member of the Greatest Generation, her husband was a Marine Corps sgt in WWII and she remembers hardship and sacrifice for a common American purpose. (Also, one of her fondest memories is of the first time she heard Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, while sitting on a dock as a counselor at summer camp.) Her most vivid recollections now are of her childhood in a river town in Iowa – Mississippi floods, fields of corn, gypsies, a little girl Indian friend, Lindbergh flying solo over her one-room schoolhouse. Her favorite son (not my father, but a beloved and usually wise uncle) persuaded her to vote for Obama, in large part for the historical significance of electing the first black president. She’s half blind but can still hear the TV news and tunes in faithfully every night. The other day she was talking to my dad and summed it up in her typically direct way: “Mac, Obama’s a Communist.”

    My dad and I talk about politics a lot, in part because I’m the only one of his 6 kids who pays good attention and is nearly in total agreement with him. For a year now, even before the election, we’ve fretted about the serious changes going on in America and wondered where they came from and what we can do. Every time I try to think back along a line of reasoning, I end up at the schools. Maybe because of my own more recent experiences with my daughters (now 20 and 15). The announcement of the Sept 8 speech to schoolkids by Obama was the last little bit of push I needed to realize ‘public schools’ are not (or are no longer) just ‘publicly funded schools’ – they are ‘government schools’. And that changes everything.

    My attempt to find a little humor and make a point today, thinking of an earlier time: Nation’s schoolchildren advised to ‘keep cool with Coolidge’ on Sept. 8.

  15. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Neo—I think that you are focusing on the wrong thing. Yes, Obama & Co. would have a very hard time amending the Constitution, which is why they will not—at least at this early stage—try to do so.

    Rather, they are trying to rule by invoking the idea of “Emergency,” and the necessity for haste, and by setting up an extra-Constitutional “shadow government” of Czars, who are not subject to Congressional confirmation or oversight, and report only to Obama and, it seems so far, are working through regulation, not law. Moreover, Obama & Co. are given critical aid by a MSM that unquestioningly accepts their justifications, dismisses and demonizes their opponents, and deliberately will not report in a truthful way on what is really happening and what its implications are. Have you seen any news items about suits being brought over the appointment of Czars and their legality/powers/pay? Have you seen news of any hearings or letters by Congressmen demanding answers on this issue, because I haven’t? Have you seen a slew of MSM articles questioning/dissecting/analyzing the “45 million American citizens without health insurance” figure, or the assertion that single payer systems in Canada, the UK and in other countries are working well and are successful in keeping costs down and improving health care in those countries, or the claim that our current economic problems are the “greatest since the Great Depression,” or analyses laying out what the implications will be of taking $500 billion dollars from Medicare to help pay for Health Care Reform, or what spending of almost $2 trillion dollars for FY 09–40% of it borrowed, and an anticipated $10 trillion dollar deficit (that’s the estimate today and who knows what it will be tomorrow) will do to our economy/dollar/capitalism/our children’s future? I think not. Democrats are not going to call Obama on the Czars or his claims (which are their claims too), and Republicans have, apparently, been neutered and have lost their voice.

    The stimulus bill was passed–with little knowledge of its contents and very little debate– on a rushed, emergency basis, with attempts, that have failed so far, to do the same thing with Cap and Trade and now the Health Care Reform Bill. Aside from this tactic, there is another much more serious aspect to the idea of an “Emergency.” While we do not have provisions in our Constitution granting a President the kind of dictatorial powers that Hitler got and Chavez is pursuing, there are all sorts of laws on the books that can give a President quite extraordinary powers in an “Emergency” (see Congressional Research Service summaries of some of the relevant laws, regulations and issues here, http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/natsec/98-505.pdf and here http://fas.org/sgp/crs/RS21024.pdf ).

    Many of the broad, extraordinary powers that were granted to past Presidents in WWI, WWII, Korea and Vietnam either expired with the official end of those wars or were later eliminated by various acts of Congress, but enough still remain and others were created so that if there were to be, say, a “Reichstag Fire” type emergency, the President could invoke standby legislation and regulations that could greatly augment his power, and limit that of citizens. A creative definition and use of almost anything that could be declared an “Emergency”–from another major natural disaster, a severe outbreak of H1N1, to increasing public anger at Obama & Co and a riotous anti-Obama demonstration or two would probably do the trick, especially if the MSM spun the story to the benefit of Obama & Co. and, voila, any protests or demonstrations against Obama & Co are now forbidden criminal acts and, as they did in New Orleans, the police could be ordered to start confiscating guns “for our own safety” and the “safety of the public” and to “restore order.” One has only to look at the examples of Waco and Ruby Ridge to see to what lengths the government might go, to how much force the agents of the government might use, and how easily our government could kill citizens and get away with it.

    If things progress and play out in the really bad way I think they could, we will ultimately have to rely on our military and individual state police forces not being willing to obey unconstitutional orders, or to arrest—perhaps en mass, or to fire on citizens—I hope our military knows its allegiance is to our Constitution and not to any President, and is up to the test because, for, if it is not, they are our last line of defense, and all is lost.

  16. rickl Says:

    Excellent post, neo!

    History never repeats itself exactly, so Hitler wasn’t another Lenin, Mao wasn’t another Stalin, Chavez wasn’t another Castro, etc. Likewise, Obama isn’t exactly like any of them. I do agree that Obama is probably using Chavez as a model, but there are still important differences between them. For instance, Chavez is a stereotypical Latin American macho who came from the military, while Obama is more of a North American metrosexual.

    But I do believe that philosophically and temperamentally, Obama has more in common with the totalitarian thugs mentioned above than with any previous American president, although Wilson was pretty bad.

    The Founders certainly understood tyranny and did everything they could to forestall that happening here. But the republican form of government they created has been steadily eroded over the past century in favor of pure democracy. About the only thread left is the Electoral College, and even that is under assault from the Left.

    We have gotten to the point where each branch of the Federal government no longer recognizes any limit whatsoever to their power. There is no area of our lives where they don’t claim the authority to tax, regulate, or otherwise control.

  17. rickl Says:

    Wolla Dalbo raised a good point. I don’t believe that Obama is concerned with Constitutional amendments, because he clearly doesn’t care about the Constitution other than as an obstacle to get around.

    I also don’t believe that he cares about opinion polls or elections. Either he will settle for one term as long as he can get his Marxist agenda in place, or he has no intention of losing any future election. I’m putting my money on “B”.

  18. huxley Says:

    Any emergency serious enough to provide an opening for Obama to become our first tyrant is serious enough to blow up in his face and get him removed from office.

    Obama is just not that clever. He blew into office on a series of flukes. In eight months he squandered his messiah credentials and most of his good will by reneging on almost all of his promises and ignoring the economy while trying to cram a mucho expensive far left agenda down people’s throats.

    As far as I’m concerned, Obama has already played his Coup card. He lost.

  19. huxley Says:

    All these dark discussions about Obama as Chavez or whomever remind me of that famous cartoon of a scientist showing a proof on the blackboard. In the middle of several complex expressions is the phrase: “Then a miracle occurs…”

    The other scientist says, “I think you should be more explicit here in step two.”

    Yep. I think you should be more explicit in step two.

  20. rickl Says:

    huxley: I don’t believe he’s ignored the economy. I think he’s actively trying to bring it down.

  21. rickl Says:

    Addendum: After which he’ll blame the collapse on the “failure of capitalism”.

  22. Baklava Says:

    John,

    I get the feeling this is the calm before the storm on this subject

    http://nlpc.org/stories/2009/08/31/obama-white-house-has-secret-plan-harvest-personal-data-social-networking-website

    My ip comes from the state of CA network. Should I be terminated for accessing this site on my lunch hours? Should a personnel action be brought?

    What about my home ip?

    What business is it of the white house to monitor content anyway?

    Are they that paranoid about the fact that people don’t like their agenda??????????

  23. Steve G Says:

    I Pledge. It starts so innocuously. (The following link is to a youtube video reported on the DRUDGE report.)

    http://www.sltrib.com/news/ci_13249171?_requestid=5883011

  24. Occam's Beard Says:

    Btw, I didn’t mean to suggest up above that Obama is that sort of threat. Far from it; I think he’s too weak personally to pose that sort of threat.

    Having said that, I think we’re well-advised to keep a weather eye out amongst his associates for any who could make Obama our own dusky version of Kerensky.

  25. Don Says:

    The weak point of our Constitution is that it doesn’t matter if everyone ignores it.

    Thomas Jefferson thought the Luisianna Purchase was likely unconstitutional; advisors suggested he not bring that up and just move forward. Vola!

    FDR made a habit of ignoring the Constitution. EOs banning gold and locking up Japanese. Social Security, the ’34 gun ban, etc. Only when the court acted by throwing out the National Recovery Act was he checked.

    LBJ followed in FDR’s footsteps.

  26. Mr. Frank Says:

    Obama may or may not be a communist, but he sure seems to be surrounded by a bunch of them. Given what Glenn Beck has been exposing about Obama’s advisors, I hope Beck has good security.

  27. Artfldgr Says:

    A most excellent musing

  28. Colin Says:

    “I am not sure what figure in history Obama most resembles, although I don’t think it’s Hitler. ”

    Neo,

    I haven’t even finished reading the blog post yet, but as soon as I read that, I had to comment, because I think I know. It’s not Hitler, or Stalin, or Chavez, or any other totalitarian I can think of. It’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau. The man that burnt down that revered Old Dominion and built the modern European state on it’s ashes. The damage that man did has still not come to fruition yet, and we may not fully know the consequences of his actions until we see modern Canada break apart, but I feel the comparison between Trudeau and Obama is apt.

  29. Promethea Says:

    I would be a lot more hopeful if (1) Congress wasn’t controlled by Crooks and Liars, and (2) the newspapers reported on the czars, various congressional financial scandals, the ridiculousness of the Cash for Clunkers program, and the reasons why many Americans are unwilling to see socialized medicine come to this country.

    The only MSM source I now read is the Chicago Tribune, and it is shocking how bad this paper is. Every day I skim the paper to see how it covers the stimulus, the banking problem, and thievery by congressional low-lifes such as Dodd, Rangel, Pelosi, et al.

    There is nothing at all on the issues that concern us neo-neocon readers. If Chicagoans get their news from the Tribune, they are completely unaware of the economic and political disasters about to descend on them.

    I hope the internet can remain free and a source for news. I also hope all of you will think of ways to spread information if the internet comes under the control of one of the czars. We should all try to find out how Chinese people get their information despite government interference with the net.

  30. Tatterdemalian Says:

    huxley, I generally agree with you. But there are other governments in the world, in more precarious positions, and Obama can wield a lot more influence there than he should. Even if he can’t turn the US communist, he can certainly force communism on some Latin American nations, and it seems more likely every day that he will.

    If there’s one reason neocons tend to be linked with “International Jewery,” it’s because we both show more kindness to our enemies than our enemies show themselves. Just as Israeli doctors will patch up wounded Palestinian terrorists, I do what I can (limited to the blogosphere as I am) to educate or at least encourage discussion among people who would prefer to simply march in lockstep behind con artists promising them unlimited wealth through communism.

  31. Artfldgr Says:

    “I am not sure what figure in history Obama most resembles, although I don’t think it’s Hitler. ”

    I wonder how you would know given the clownish way that all of them are depicted hiding the rise of the next?

    he is a populist…
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Populism

    so he does not appear like a hitler to you since this tends more to communism, not fascism.

    also hitlers fascism was a quirky brand of it, where his means and choices of targets followed marx, but unlike the soviets was more selective as to whom the under men were.

    that wiki page has a huge wealth of insight into the kind of mentality going on. (Czar is Caesar)

    this is the source of the mentality of mandates and that the person who is leading IS the people as a mass.

    for instance if you look at the section as to nazi germany, you will find that populism was how hitler got everyone on board to get them across the event horizon where it didnt matter if they were on board or not, they were on board any way.

    a link to follow at the bottom related to populism is “Charismatic authority”
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charismatic_authority

    I wonder how you cant see the parallels between obama and hitler with the slight adjustment that this hitler is a acceptable to a majority of americans were we cant see what people saw in hitler or mussolini… (who looked like a brutish thug).

    “a certain quality of an individual personality, by virtue of which he is set apart from ordinary men and treated as endowed with supernatural, superhuman, or at least specifically exceptional powers or qualities. These are such as are not accessible to the ordinary person, but are regarded as of divine origin or as exemplary, and on the basis of them the individual concerned is treated as a leader [...] How the quality in question would be ultimately judged from an ethical, aesthetic, or other such point of view is naturally indifferent for the purpose of definition.”

    our recent propaganda in which charismatic people are the ones that the news and others go to for opinions set us up for that situation seen as normal and transcending law and so things like the constitution.

    but all that was just a formalization of an older term “cult of personality”.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cult_of_personality

    the point here is that obama is the center, the hub, the focus. the pocket watch you fall asleep watching.

    its interesting that if you go to my first wiki link you basically see a huge swath of left communist stuff in the american version, then you get to weber, in which hitler and mussolini are mentioned, then that gets you to cult of personality, where they use images of stalin and hitler

    perhaps one should list out the similarities between herr hitler and mr obama.

    you can start with the fact both ran populist campaigns and had a lot of support in the background.

    both manufactured public events to create huge crowds… you can throw lenin and stalin in for that too.

    both were effete and not threatening, and both could rouse their crowd. both were on the left, both were concerned with animal rights, smoking, healthcare, and other left iconic things.

    both nationalized their banks and auto industries. both appointed a shadow government to pull strings outside of the protective structures of their states.
    both used crisis, real or manufactured.
    both came from not too good home lives.
    both have racist views as to whom is to blame for the crimes they want retribution for.
    both saw nothing in living it up while the people suffered.

    both started a youth corps and public service program

    take this quote from the wiki page

    Generally, personality cults are most common in regimes with totalitarian systems of government, that seek to radically alter or transform society according to (supposedly) revolutionary new ideas. Often, a single leader becomes associated with this revolutionary transformation, and comes to be treated as a benevolent “guide” for the nation, without whom the transformation to a better future cannot occur. This has been generally the justification for personality cults that arose in totalitarian societies of the 20th century, such as those of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler.

    so those parallels exist too.

    maybe he resembles a mish mosh of these people:
    The criticism of personality cults often focuses on the regimes of Joseph Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, Mao Zedong, Josip Broz Tito, Nicolae Ceauşescu, Ferdinand Marcos, Saparmurat Niyazov, Ho Chi Minh, Kim Il-Sung, Ayatollah Khomeini, Soekarno, and Kim Jong-Il.

    by the way, if you want to move to art work, then obama is being presented in the same way that hitler, stalin, lenin, and mao were and are.

    want another parallel to these despots? i let nikita tell you:
    Comrades, the cult of the individual acquired such monstrous size chiefly because Stalin himself, using all conceivable methods, supported the glorification of his own person. . . . One of the most characteristic examples of Stalin’s self-glorification and of his lack of even elementary modesty is the edition of his Short Biography, which was published in 1948

    drug use, lying, union violence… those are more parallels.

    and from that you can be bop to milieu control… which describes how he is operating.

    oh… and if you want to notice there is a law coming to allow him to disconnect us from the internet (cant have twitter screw things up i guess).

    and they are now making a law which will allow non warrant entry and abduction if you have the flu. not kidding… i guess all those arguments about typhoid mary and the gays with hiv are now out, and relocation and isolation is in. (of course closing the border.. nah… then you couldnt make such a law).

    there are a lot more parallels and associations one can make…

  32. betsybounds Says:

    I’m amazed, and pleased, to see all these insightful posts. I don’t know where we’ll be without the internet (and I think he means to shut it down). I’ve thought for months now that he’s not concerned with the next elections (2012, and even 2010) because he means to render them moot (or even to cancel them), via ACORN-type activities or emergency decrees or something equally effective–not because he thinks he might lose in a free contest, but because he knows there will not be a free contest. I agree that the Constitution and its amendment processes trouble him not at all. They only matter when people agree to abide by them. My husband said some months ago that a basic question troubling him was what the American military would do if ordered to open fire upon citizens. He’s a Marine, btw (well, not formally anymore, but once a Marine, always a Marine). A friend of ours (Army) opined that it would depend upon the branch: Special Forces would obey. I’d like to think that the American people are too smart for all this and will never put up with it, and he’s going to fail. But in that connection, it’s worth recalling that Hitler rose to power by elective processes in what was arguably the most sophisticated, best-educated population in the world at the time. These guys are moving on every front, and yes, I too had a momentary panic when I saw the kinds of laws being contemplated in several states with respect to enforcing quarantines in the event of a flu outbreak. They’re certainly putting plenty of effort into ginning up pre-pandemic panic over something that, at least so far, appears pretty mild by just about any standard. I don’t like it, and I don’t think we have long to wait. “Change has come. . . to America.”

    No shit, Sherlock.

  33. huxley Says:

    huxley, I generally agree with you. But there are other governments in the world, in more precarious positions, and Obama can wield a lot more influence there than he should. Even if he can’t turn the US communist, he can certainly force communism on some Latin American nations, and it seems more likely every day that he will.

    Tatterdemalian: To be sure, and it wouldn’t be the first time that the US has made choices that resulted in third world countries going communist.

    However, here I am arguing against the constant concerted conspiracy-minded drone that on account of Obama we are going to wake up in a year or two in Cuba or Venezuela or worse.

    No. That’s not going to happen. Some bad things are happening and will continue to happen and it will take much heart, clear-thinking, and perseverance to block, but those aren’t the stakes.

    It’s dispiriting to read this stuff. It’s bad tactics and something of an affront IMO to what a remarkable nation and people we are.

    A lot of the posts here strike me as the excited screams of children at a horror movie. Yeah, it’s fun to feel those surges of adrenaline but it’s not reality.

  34. Tom Says:

    It is way, way more important to over-estimate your adversary than not, particularly when one is concerned not only with one’s own life and welfare, but also the life and welfare of the entirety of America.

    I modestly remind Neo that I first posted “Obama=Chavez” on this blog before his nomination.

    I have revised my thinking. He is in process of becoming a new Pol Pot. With his anti-human, anti-capitalist, egalitarian, Green czars, he is effectively doing in slo-mo what Pot did in months. But Obama has a 50-fold larger population to handle than did ol’ Pot.

    Think of the natural extrapolation of cap and trade, green this and that, seizing and controlling banks (see HR3126), slashing Medicare under the thinnest of excuses, limiting our mobility via vehicle, ruining our economy. Whaddaya get? an America reduced to subsistence levels comparable to the 19th century.
    Pot turned the 5 million he did not kill out into a natural agrarian setting where they lived on individual grains of rice.

  35. huxley Says:

    huxley: I don’t believe he’s ignored the economy. I think he’s actively trying to bring it down.

    rickl: Possibly. However, I’m speaking from the viewpoint of the average American voter.

    To voters, Obama has ignored the economy and instead gone haring after these big-ticket leftist-agenda items that have nothing to do with fixing the current broken economy. Even Bill Maher has called Obama out on this.

  36. betsybounds Says:

    huxley,

    I do hope with all my heart that you are right. Don’t be dispirited, though. I think that the people posting here may arguably be over-wrought (but, it must be noted, may not be, too), but to a person we are very different from excited children screaming at a horror movie. We are informed and alert, and I think we are prepared to fight back. It may not be easy, but anything worth having is worth fighting for. Freedom is worth having, is it not? Ergo! It’s not an affront to what a remarkable nation and people we are that we see things this way. It would more likely be such an affront if we didn’t. Eternal vigilance and all that, don’t you know.

    Hang on. “It’s goon to be a boompy ride.”

  37. huxley Says:

    It is way, way more important to over-estimate your adversary than not…

    This is not a serious argument. Once upon a time Reagan conjured the vision of Nicaraguans invading Harlingen, Texas. Would we really have been better off focusing huge amounts of money and focus to prevent that?

    There are any number of adversaries in the world while our resources are limited. Wisdom is seeing the world clearly and responding appropriately.

  38. MikeLL Says:

    Don’t worry. Be happy. Obama is lost at sea. He is in way over his head and he doesn’t know what to do about it. He has completely misunderstood his mandate and is now totally confused about why the American people elected him. Kind of funny that he thought he was fooling the people, but he himself was fooled. He is facing more opposition than he ever expected on every major issue he wanted to “change.”

    And all he can do is talk. Speech after speech after speech. Now, even his speeches are generating opposition. Look at the furor over his kiddie talk he has planned for next week. Too funny. The article over at FoxNews had over 1,700 comments when I checked it hours ago. Imagine facing a furor just because you want to talk to the kids. I don’t remember that happening when Bush did it. Although I will admit that Bush didn’t ask the children to write about how they could help him, but rather how they could help the country.

    I guess the only question now is will Obama find his bearings, a la Clinton, or will he crash and burn, a la Carter. I think a lot will depend on how well Bernanke does in soaking up the money supply over the next 12 months. If Bernanke screws up, Obama is in a world of hurt.

    Fascinating that just a few months ago I was totally quaking in my boots that this guy would actually succeed. I was actually terrified about the future for the first time in my life. Now I am laughing. God, I love this country.

  39. MikeLL Says:

    Steve G,

    Yes, that pledge thing is bizarre. Especially the end where they “pledge to serve Obama.”

    Totally nuts. But those are all Hollywood actors. It has been the same way with them my entire life. They are total idiots who only want to feel good about themselves.

    Blech.

  40. Gray Says:

    My husband said some months ago that a basic question troubling him was what the American military would do if ordered to open fire upon citizens. ….. A friend of ours (Army) opined that it would depend upon the branch: Special Forces would obey.

    Not. A. Chance. I’ve been in the Army 18 years. No military unit would. Least of all them….

    That is an unwarranted and mistaken aspersion on a group that is specifically built to train and raise guerilla units to fight tyranny and oppression.

    The motto? “De Opressor Liber”

  41. Scottie Says:

    I do have one casual observation regarding whether or not Obama could become another lil Adolf.

    Adolf was not the preeminent fascist during the early years.

    It was Mussolini.

    Adolf came along after he had already made that particular “ism” an acceptable form of government for those oh so enlightened europeans.

    If one were to draw parallels, one would wonder who is waiting in the wings to fill the lil Adolf role….

  42. Darrell Says:

    “if Bernanke screws up, Obama is in a world of hurt.”

    MikeLL, if Bernanke screws up, We are all in a world of hurt.

  43. grackle Says:

    My husband said some months ago that a basic question troubling him was what the American military would do if ordered to open fire upon citizens. He’s a Marine, btw (well, not formally anymore, but once a Marine, always a Marine). A friend of ours (Army) opined that it would depend upon the branch: Special Forces would obey.

    I have a special affection for Leathernecks. Of all the branches they suffer the highest percentage of casualties. And it is quite true there is no such thing as an ex-Marine.

    I think the answer to the question mentioned above has little to do with branch or specialty but on circumstance.

    I think most soldiers would question any order to indiscriminatingly kill innocent citizens. In fact it would be their duty under the UCMJ to question such an order – which would be an illegal order. I can think of only one recent example of a civilian being fired on by a military detachment and that would be Kent State when rioters were fired on by National Guardsmen – an event notable at least partly for it’s rarity.

    Although obedience(as in every other army) is demanded in our military our soldiers are not allowed blind obedience. In essence every order is subject to a legality filter and every soldier is subject to punishment if that filter is ignored.

    However if any detachment of soldiers faced a group of Timothy McVeighs I am sure that those soldiers would not hesitate to blow them away – in fact I believe it would be their duty to do so. And soldiers have a right to defend themselves against attack even if the attack comes from civilians.

  44. Perfected democrat Says:

    The democrats are testing the limits, and will stay underneath a threshold of mass violence, until they’ve achieved true police state stature; Even compromise as necessary to try to keep the public opinion numbers and votes in their favor, while they etch away at their agenda. They aren’t nazis politically, they’re communists, their aim isn’t explicitly to murder their opponents, but to consolidate their controlling party power on a long-term basis. The model is probably closest to China now, as a communist Obama aspires to be another Mao, but broader, as a UN internationalist, while simultaneously spearheading the accession of islam as the dominant religion; There the likeness to a nazi supremacist agenda. He’s simultaneously playing to two of the largest and most violent population masses on the planet, the disaffected and frustrated as well as naive and politically shallow, poor minorities, and the religiously dedicated muslim masses; Which together potentially engage as the largest consolidated human movement in sheer numbers in history. It has the potential to make the riots of the 60′s and 70′s pale by comparison if and when there is a transition to an authentic strategy of deliberate mass violence. We’re already seeing shades of the “cultural revolution” here, and in Europe, France in particular, uncontrolled muslim youth rioting and car burnings on a very regular basis.

    There will, however, ultimately be a middle class backlash, but by that time a lot of damage will have been done, a lot of tragedy experienced; Human history replaying the propensity for hysterical group behaviour descending into war and genocide. No doubt….

  45. grackle Says:

    The weak point of our Constitution is that it doesn’t matter if everyone ignores it.

    Thomas Jefferson thought the Luisianna Purchase was likely unconstitutional; advisors suggested he not bring that up and just move forward. Vola!

    FDR made a habit of ignoring the Constitution. EOs banning gold and locking up Japanese. Social Security, the ‘34 gun ban, etc. Only when the court acted by throwing out the National Recovery Act was he checked.

    LBJ followed in FDR’s footsteps.

    I would go even further: The weak point of the Constitution or any legislation, regulation, law, or rule is manifested if everyone ignores it. That’s one of the reasons why it may not be advisable to pass laws that are likely to be ignored by most because to do so is to ultimately foster contempt for the rule of law.

    Another question: Who enforces the Constitution? Not who rules on questions of Constitutionality, which would be the judicial branch of government, but rather what arm of our government would send enforcers to, say, the halls of Congress, or even the Whitehouse and arrest the inhabitants for violating the Constitution? Where in our history has such a thing ever happened?

  46. physicsguy Says:

    Just a quick observation: over the past week I’ve noticed a sea change in the comments here, and at other sites that have a conservative tilt. Also, these are sites in common with Neo’s where the commenters tend to be thoughtful and also respectful.

    The change that I’ve noted is that the word “communist” is being used with increasing frequency to describe the administration. As these sites/commenters in the past seem to be ahead of the curve, I think it will be interesting to see if that word starts making its way into the general populace soon.

  47. huxley Says:

    The democrats are testing the limits, and will stay underneath a threshold of mass violence, until they’ve achieved true police state stature…

    Mass violence? What are you talking about?

    How are the Democrats testing the limits? By trying to pass universal health care? cap-and-trade? by Obama’s address of schoolchildren?

    For Odin’s sake, they are Democrats being Democrats — trying to pass big government legislation so they can get back to the good old days of FDR.

    Sure, one can talk about authoritarian tendencies in Democrats, their flirting with sleazy practices and the far left — all nothing new — and one can imagine some set of freak historical circumstances where the US could slip into tyranny, but can anyone spell that out for me?

    There already is a middle class backlash. Why do you think Obama’s poll numbers are in free fall?

    There are all sorts of checks and balances in the Constitution and there is a huge practical check on the left given that half of America opposes their approach and the country’s center of gravity remains center-right.

  48. stan Says:

    Neo,

    I think you are focusing on the wrong threat. BO-zo is not the threat to become a dictator. He will not overstay his term(s). And unless the MSM can pull off what they did for Bill and Hillary in 1995 and 1996, he will be but a one term president. [Remember that Bill was considered a laughingstock by everyone in DC in the summer of 1994. That term -- laughingstock -- was used by Tony Snow in a phone conversation I had with him that summer. Without the major propaganda campaign from the MSM, he would have sunk out of sight. The impossible to imagine GOP takeover of the House (considered permanent Dem property) shocked the news lefties into radical action.]

    No, the threat is that govt run health care will be implemented in a way that destoys the chance to go back to a free market. The threat is that BO-zo’s natural inclination to support Iran will give them the bomb and permanently change the balance of power in the world. The threat is that BO-zo will wreck the govt budget and our military so badly that we will be unable to respond to world threats. The threat is bigger govt that can’t be easily scaled back. Remember, not even Reagan could scale back the damage done by the New Deal and the Great Society. He could only contain some of the growth. Without a Reagan on the horizon, it is difficult to see how conservatives will be able to can scale back BO-zo’s damage after he is gone.

    The threat is not from the man himself. The threat is from the permanent changes he seeks to implement. Some damage is irreparable.

  49. roc scssrs Says:

    Well, perhaps the center of gravity shifts leftward. More people begin to depend on the govt. (welfare and Social Security, union-protected public service jobs, universal health care). They see the President as protecting these things. If you’re sick and/or hungry, you lose your taste for liberty. They may not take our guns (right away), but cap and trade means the govt. controls who gets to burn fuel. Crises arise (crises always arise). The President acts–on behalf of the People, of course.

    And– I always thought that FDR’s America bore at least a little resemblance to the totalitarian states it was fighting (and the one it fought alongside).

  50. Artfldgr Says:

    Huxley,
    You value highly being perceived as being reasonable, there is a point where that stops being a good and becomes tinted lenses. You also suffer by thinking that you as an exceptional thinker represents the common man or voter. This is not true, you are not representative of a vast majority, but of a minority who actually think. You, as most of us, surround yourself with similar self selected people which reinforces this.

    However, here I am arguing against the constant concerted conspiracy-minded drone that on account of Obama we are going to wake up in a year or two in Cuba or Venezuela or worse.

    No. That’s not going to happen. Some bad things are happening and will continue to happen and it will take much heart, clear-thinking, and perseverance to block, but those aren’t the stakes.

    You then have accepted relativism over empiricism, experience, etc.
    Your opinion, not founded in any facts, trumps experience in the real world, they are equivalent and even surpass experience. Especially when you can cubby hole it all into a simple brush aside category making a vast assumption as to things by their surface appearance.

    You’re very much like the VERY reasonable, VERY smart, and not conspiracy minded average European/German back in the 30s. I can even bring up quotes from diaries and personal histories on the net.

    We are no longer making false comparisons like the left did with bush. How convenient that their prior behavior sets up a condition where your so over stimulated by their false game you no longer have any mind or wit left to make distinctions and so use your schema to make assumptions as to the new game. Its classic “Mileiu control”, where controlling things in the environment induces responses that are conducive to ends.

    All the facts I bring up are left to dangle alone and of course do not get summed up as clues to a greater whole. Any facts that don’t fit your world view of the puzzle get thrown away. You never get to build the whole image on the puzzle since so many pieces are discarded separately.

    More Obama Indoctrination going on in schools
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SMxOPvIohcM

    If you DO take the time to watch the video, just pay attention to the school film clip (for the purposes of this discussion. I don’t have time to find a ‘clean’ copy).

    Whets happening in the video is completely political. They would not do so for a different kind of president. They are also chanting to their parent’s equal work equal pay, a communist doctrine. And they are induced to this by the completely false overjoyed sounds and expressions coming from the adults as a form of adulation.

    This is EXACTLY the same as in the past in many other places.

    When an opponent declares, “I will not come over to your side,” I calmly say, “Your child belongs to us already… What are you? You will pass on. Your descendants, however, now stand in the new camp. In a short time they will know nothing else but this new community.”
    Adolf Hitler

    Now look at those kids again, they are in grade school and they are being taught to celebrate their dear leader and are spouting communisms mantras.

    It’s dispiriting to read this stuff. It’s bad tactics and something of an affront IMO to what a remarkable nation and people we are.

    Its dispiriting to hear that what’s going on above in the video is happening all over the country and that it has been completely unopposed because reasonable people like you didn’t want to see it for what it is. That we have internalized the relativist view as a nation, we don’t even notice the things that are being done.

    I will guess Huxley that your family didn’t come from this experience.

    A lot of the posts here strike me as the excited screams of children at a horror movie. Yeah, it’s fun to feel those surges of adrenaline but it’s not reality.

    What you off handedly throw away and think is children fantasizing is people RELIVING a real situation in their lives.

    Don’t you get that?

    To US, this is not some story of a far away time, this is the story of our childhoods, and our families reason for being in a new place. For US, it’s like running in front of a large army of misery and pain that has chased us around the globe and has us cornered in the last place standing.

    it’s not reality.

    Huxley, it IS reality. It’s not a story in a book to us.

    I remember going to picnics when young (Jāņi )
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C4%81%C5%86i

    It’s a pagan festival and a name day…
    A name day is a tradition in many countries in Europe and Latin America of celebrating on a particular day of the year associated with the one’s given name. The custom originated with the Catholic and Orthodox calendar of saints, where believers, named after a particular saint, would celebrate that saint’s feast day. In many countries, however, there is no longer any explicit connection to Christianity

    Its here that I would meet other Latvians and meet the old men, and women, who now are all gone. Its in June, so it can be hot. And the men would take their shirts off. You could tell history written in the flesh of their bodies. I learned fast not to ask about a scar under the arm, or other marks. The Latvians were conscripted and fought as Waffen SS.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SS_blood_group_tattoo
    The SS blood group tattoo was applied, in theory, to all Waffen-SS members, except members of the British Free Corps. It was a small black ink tattoo located on the underside of the left arm, usually near the armpit. It generally measured around 7mm (0.28 inches) long, and was placed roughly 20 cm (8 inches) above the elbow. The tattoo consisted of the soldier’s blood type letter, either A, B, (AB?) or O.

    When you saw this, you knew that he was one of the few Latvian corps survivors (or potentially something nastier too).

    So these men had scars under their arms, because that’s where the Germans tattooed them. The scars are from them taking their knives and cutting a chunk of flesh out so they would not be tortured by the Soviets, or be treated poorly by the Americans.
    When the war ended, the Allies were keen to catch all Waffen-SS members on account of the high volume of war crimes committed by some units. The blood group tattoo helped greatly in identifying former members, leading to their prosecution and, in some cases their execution. For this reason, after the war, many former Waffen-SS men tried to remove the tattoo, some by burning it off with a cigarette, but the scar left behind was almost as incriminating, leading some to make a similar scar on the opposite side of the their arm and then claiming the scars were from a bullet which had passed through their arm. In these cases, the Allies would often X-ray the arm to see if any bone damage had occurred, as would have had a bullet actually passed through the arm at those points.
    Because of the lack of perfect consistency between having the tattoo and having served in the Waffen-SS some SS veterans were able to escape detection, while others who had not served in that branch of the German military were falsely categorized as having done so. Some members of the SS who evaded capture in part because they did not have the blood group tattoo included Josef Mengele and Alois Brunner

    Before you call me a Nazi, you should learn that the Latvians have special dispensation as they were conscripted. They are the historical guards of Europe. They guarded the Czars, the German heads of state. They guarded Russia till Lenin could arrive on train. They guarded the men to be executed at Nuremburg.

    We refugees, their children, and such immigrants are not usually part of the circles of longer present Americans. We are a part and separate. We often talk among ourselves as if the Americans are ignorant, and usually we are talking about someone like you Huxley.

    [edited for length by neo- neocon]

  51. Tom Says:

    Thank you, Artfldgr, for your very moving summation. Spot on.

  52. huxley Says:

    Artfldgr: No sale. We’ve been through this before.

    I don’t read your posts past the first line or two that catch my eye.

  53. huxley Says:

    stan: Well said.

    It is Obama’s policies that are the genuine danger, and the Iranian nuke is a huge one. We know that Obama will do nothing effective to stop it. We can stop him from socializing medicine but stopping him from not stopping Iran is nearly impossible.

    I’m afraid we have to depend on Israel to pull the trigger and then all sorts of hell break loose. I’m not looking forward to it.

  54. huxley Says:

    We’re also approaching a threshold moment with Afghanistan. I agree that it is important to win in Afghanistan.

    However, I believe that Obama and the Dems were never serious about Afghanistan during the campaign — their support for that “war of necessity” was strictly CYA so that they could not be branded as “antiwar.”

    At the time they thought Afghanistan was a safe bet. I suspect the war there is heating up precisely because of all of Obama’s apology tours and 3-D chess playing. Our adversaries smell his weakness.

    It seems to me that Obama and the Dems are going to futz about and lose in Afghanistan. If that’s the case, I say pull our boys out now.

  55. Artfldgr Says:

    For Odin’s sake, they are Democrats being Democrats — trying to pass big government legislation so they can get back to the good old days of FDR.

    Norman Thomas, remember him?
    Remember Gus Hall?

    Norm and Gus were the socialist and communist candidates for the presidency.

    “I no longer need to run as a Presidential Candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform.” ~ Norman Mantoon Thomas

    so… no… not since (at least) then, have they been that same democratic party…

    norm is also famous for this too:
    The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.

    norm was just quoting another socialist from the soviet union.

    America is like a healthy body and its resistance is threefold: its patriotism, its morality, and its spiritual life. If we can undermine these three areas, America will collapse from within.
    Stalin

    World dictatorship can be established only when the victory of socialism has been achieved in certain countries or groups of countries … [and] when these federation of republics have finally grown into a world union of Soviet Socialist Republics uniting the whole of mankind under the hegemony of the international proletariat organized as a state.Stalin

    Do note that the communists were socialists… so were the nazis, and mao, castro, etc.

    obama is a socialist… ergo he is a communist.

    ALL socialists are communists… doesnt matter if they imagine there are different blends. for instance, doesnt matter if ted kennedy claims to be a catholic, as long as he was for abortion, and other issues antithetical to the church, he was only catholic in personal fantasy.

    the only difference between the two is that one lives in a state where rot hasnt damaged all functional relationships otehr than to the state, and those whose functional economical systems have collapsed and so htere is no way to start them again, and we call them communist.

    if Stalin could get the majority in the world to believe that hitler was on the right, how hard do you think it was/is to create a false dichotomy?

    “The difference between Democrats and Republicans is: Democrats have accepted some ideas of Socialism cheerfully, while Republicans have accepted them reluctantly”
    norm thomas

    dont matter whether you come to the table by will or by force. everyone eventually will dine.

    A nation’s life is about as long as its reverential memory. Whittaker chambers (spy who changes sides)

    and ask Occam to list out a few of the spies from the book i recomended to him…

    how about listing some of the confirmed manipulators from the past, since we are denying that such manipulation is now going on? think of it, in the past we worked hard to remove and fnid such, and today we dont, but we think in the past there were more, and today less.

    maybe its that we are now inured to them…

    Harry Dexter White
    Harry Dexter White (October 9, 1892 – August 16, 1948) was an American economist and senior U.S. Treasury department official. He was a primary participant in the Bretton Woods conference and the formation of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. A number of sources from the FBI and Soviet archives, and messages decoded by the Venona project, suggest that he may have passed government documents to the Soviet Union prior to World War II.

    so the creator of the world bank was a soviet? he worked t the highest level of our treasury?

    and what was he?
    White was a Keynesian New Deal Democrat. As head of the independently-funded Office of Monetary Research, White was able to hire staff without the normal civil service regulations or background enquiries. Some of those he hired had previously experienced security-clearance trouble in other government positions

    just another democrat being a democrat..

    then explain to me fullbright, and scholarships to the SOVIET union. Clinton was one… fullbright was his mentor.

    In 1942, Fulbright was elected to the House of Representatives, where he served one term. His two years in the House were distinguished by his vote against the continuance of the Special Committee on Un-American Activities(the Dies Committee). Fulbright said that the investigation of Communists in government or anywhere else was “unnecessary and moreover was not in the interests of maintaining good relations with our allies[the Soviet Union].” Also, as a freshman Representative, Fulbright succeeded in having the House adopt its first one-world resolution – the Fulbright Resolution by which the House went on record as favoring “the creation of appropriate international machinery, with power adequate to establish and maintain a just and lasting peace among the nations of the world, and [favoring] the participation of the United States…through its constitutional processes.” The Senate followed the House in adopting the Resolution. All of this in advance of the creation, and America’s membership, in the United Nations.

    When some congressmen suspected that the Fulbright Resolution could lead to a sell-out of American sovereignty, Fulbright began a career of invective against patriotic Americans: “The professional patriots beat their breasts and wave the flag and shout ‘sovereignty,’ hoping thereby to frighten us like sheep, into the corral of isolationism. In the minds of many, the word ‘sovereignty’ has some mystical connotation in some way associated with divinity.” Fulbright’s demagoguery and sound-bytes played as well then as they do today.

    fancy that… we dont chase after communists in our government… they dont exist…

    [edited for length by neo-neocon]

  56. Artfldgr Says:

    Artfldgr: No sale. We’ve been through this before. / I don’t read your posts past the first line or two that catch my eye.

    thank you for proving my point you didnt read.

    that you will out of hand discount real information to protect your social position which is maintained by being the “reasonable one” to bring sanity to things.

    Being such and having invested so much in that image (because you can get value out of it in normal times), you are jsut like the left who dont want to look at anything that may challenge that reality.

    you are blind to seeing the same thing in a different wrapper. that to discount stuff out of hand is what the left has been taught to do so that they never learn anything outside of their collective.

    you dont want to learn anyting outside your safe collective spot within the collective set of ‘reasonable’.

    you are cherry picking history, rather than accepting its whole. you completely erase a key history that molds our reality, as if it doesnt exist. and you do exactly what the left does which is reletivate opinion into standing equal to experience, and you preserve your personal reality over learnig about real reality.

    then you speak as if your personal reality IS real, and those who are not in the same personal reality are not seeing whats real.

    i am not a tin hatter. i am the first born american in a family of refugees.

    we are not kids titilated to a scary story, we are people who have LIVED the scary story SEVERAL TIMES…

  57. Gringo Says:

    Rafinlay
    My first thought was also Chavez, but then I thought of Allende. Not much different, perhaps, in goals, but perhaps in means.
    A big difference is that Allende NEVER had a legislative majority, which meant that he got through most of his hundreds of nationalizations by resort to a decree law issued by Colonel Marmaduque Grove during a short-lived military coup in the 1930s.

    By contrast, ∅bama has a legislative majority that Allende could only dream of.

    One similarity is that Allende resorted to Marmaduque Grove’s decree law, which justified itself in terms of an “emergency” that the government was facing. The “emergency” is also the justification for the de facto nationalization of GM and Chrysler, for example.

  58. Promethea Says:

    It is clear that Huxley hasn’t read much history, so he doesn’t have a historical imagination.

    Yes, “it” could happen here, just by controlling the polls. Obama’s minions are ruthless in their use of illegal votes, and they now have secretaries of state in several states who will rule in their favor.

    I hope neo-neocon readers have all taken a look at Bill Whittle’s Pajamas-TV video on American Exceptionalism. It’s very inspiring. We really have something special here, and we should all work hard to keep it.

    I believe that we’re at a critical point now, when so many people are dependent on the government for their livelihood. It makes them very statist, whether they realize it or not. Most of them truly don’t know where the money comes from even though they pay taxes themselves.

    If small businesses are further impoverished, then millions will suffer but never know why.

  59. Gringo Says:

    Sorry about not the messup on italics.

  60. huxley Says:

    Artfldgr: Still no sale.

    If someone wants to edit ADs ramblings into posts worth reading, I’ll respond to those.

  61. Artfldgr Says:

    This discussion is problematic due to common references

    That is, because the majority are pretty ignorant of detailed history, we are forced by that circumstance to stick with the references that others know.

    There is no way to directly impart information without references and such things. so I could form my discussions and points in terms of what happened in Czechoslovakia, or in Indonesia. But then there is no common point of reference.

    Because of our ignorance we are stuck using the same old example which Huxley and such are ill to hear over and over again. But they don’t do anything to relieve that situation as they don’t learn another situation.

    Our easiest most common reference point is Hitler.
    No one questions why we don’t have a bigger reference point with the Soviets!

    until the incurious learn the rest of history, it becomes easy for them to discount what’s being said because we have only been allowed to knock on german nazi socialism (so it can be tied to what it isnt a part of), never on Maoism, Stalinism, Leninism, etc. (heck we don’t even notice that each was their own brand either)

    What’s going on here parallels a lot of history of the last 100 years…
    But most only know a smattering of facts about a 12 year period.

    And from that tiny tiny little bit they extrapolate most of everything else with minor corrections if they know a bit more.

    Bottom line is that they have erected a wall that is their world view. Even if they claim not to do that, they are doing it, because they are choosing to discount without examination empirical relevant facts.

    They believe they would know. That they have the same special knowing of the left, they don’t see. They don’t see that they can’t discern such things in the dark room where distinctions would separate the dark from the light.

    I am sorry that I don’t have a better or less worn out common frame of reference Huxley.

    Faulting me for histories lack of a good example is not a way to prove the case, its only a way to throw away things out of hand without examination, and pretend that such is the act of a reasonable individual.

  62. Promethea Says:

    Artfldgr . . .

    I understand what you are trying to say. There are SO MANY examples of how tyranny arises but it takes detailed reading to find out how it happened.

    Most people don’t want to spend the time, so they don’t see how it actually happens.

  63. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    huxley merely argues for the position that nothing much of anything is wrong, that while Obama may be on the Left, and may be pushing some objectionable policies, he is within the normal limits of what we should expect from our Presidents, and Huxley is also dead wrong.

    But, I suspect that any catalog of “oddities” so far as Obama’s actions, statements, appointments, policies and legislation that I could possibly compile would always be denied as proving anything by huxley, who would insist on giving all the items in that compilation a benign interpretation, because such a benign interpretation is the more comforting one, and an interpretation that has always been largely correct in the past.

  64. huxley Says:

    huxley merely argues for the position that nothing much of anything is wrong,

    Nope. That’s not at all an accurate paraphrase of my position.

    But, I suspect that any catalog of “oddities” so far as Obama’s actions, statements, appointments, policies and legislation that I could possibly compile would always be denied as proving anything by huxley,

    Nope. There are plenty of odd unsettling things about Obama. My argument is their repeated recital doesn’t add up to a coup in today’s America unless you can provide some plausible road map beyond booga-booga, now Obama is our tyrant.

    And from where I’m reading, booga-booga is all you’ve got. If you had some serious points to make, you would make them instead of throwing in the towel.

  65. John Says:

    This has been an interesting thread. Here’s hoping I don’t screw it up. :)

    Tipping points are “the levels at which the momentum for change becomes unstoppable.

    It seems to me that Obama and the dims see their job as (a) pushing the U.S. to the tipping point, socially and economically. And ( b ) to make sure it is non-reversible.

    Back in June of 2008 this was posted on another blog I read. You can read the rest at the link below.

    How close to the tipping point are we?

    It seems each day we get closer and closer to that theoretical “51%” who will forever ensure a world of big government (not that it is so small now) and an ensuing retreat from freedom, liberty and market capitalism – the principles which have made us a great nation.

    A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 29% of voters favor nationalizing the oil industry. Just 47% are opposed and 24% are not sure.

    The fact that 29% favor such a thing should be startling and troubling to any American.

    http://www.qando.net/details.aspx?Entry=8702

    Tipping Point

    http://www.qando.net/?p=1847

    Financial Rescue Nears GDP as Pledges Top $12.8 Trillion (Update1)

    http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=armOzfkwtCA4

  66. neo-neocon Says:

    stan: I agree with you that, even without a dictator-like scenario, Obama’s presidency will be (and already is) damaging in ways that would be hard to remedy. Some of this is a reflection of the fact that the POV of people in this country has changed as a result of changes in education for several generations. Obama couldn’t do much of what he’s tryng to do (at least in the domestic sphere) without the cooperation of Congress.

    For foreign affairs, I think Carter-esque. Some of that was reversible by Reagan, although of course you can’t undo much of what was done. But at least the policies can be switched fairly easily by a new president.

    As far as a nuclear Iran goes, I think even Bush didn’t do much to stop that. The world (except for Israel) has no will to stop that. If it is stopped at all, it will be up to Israel.

    But I also think Obama would institute Chavez-like changes if he could.

  67. I R A Darth Aggie Says:

    I’m getting the vibe that he aims to be your garden variety Central/South American el presidente for life totalitarian. Especially how he’s cozied up with Chavez, the Castros, Morales and Zelaya.

    And now we’re seeing that Costa Rica’s President Arias would also like to do away with term limits in time for his brother to run for the office in 2014.

  68. grackle Says:

    There are plenty of odd unsettling things about Obama. My argument is their repeated recital doesn’t add up to a coup in today’s America …

    Pretty close to my own opinion. Obama is definitely far left but the Democrats have been tacking Left since at least the 1930’s.

    Carter was/is very Lefty, Clinton wanted to be far Left but decided to be more discrete, calling it “triangulating,” after a major legislative defeat over his healthcare initiative and a subsequent shellacking of his party in the mid-term elections of his first term.

    It may turn out that healthcare is one of those lethal issues that any party that screws around with it will be voted out of office.

    If so, both parties need to realize that it’s a blade that cuts both ways because both parties are calling for reform of healthcare.

    The Republicans also have a hankering to change the healthcare system almost as strong as the Democrats – just change it in a different manner than the Democrats want to.

    The way I feel now is I don’t want more government control of any sort, from either the Democrat’s direction or from the GOP.

  69. Artfldgr Says:

    ah, the problem is that it all hinges on what huxley thinks is plausible!

    as long as he doesnt think its plausible, it cant happen. i addressed that, but he doesnt read me.

    how about when Randy Johnson gave a pitch to the plate and a pidgeon exploded?

    of course to someone who has no experience in the matter, and who doesnt know the detailed history, and so forth. such would seem not plausible.

    Football (soccer) player kills pigeon
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CNCZC-bJJPI

    so now we have more than one occurance of the not plausible.

    but again… look in history and Hal Peck hit one in 1945 throwing from the outfield.

    one would think that it was implausible that a soviet spy could head our federal reserve bank, start world bank, and put us on the course of keneysian economics… but they did.

    how about getting a six inch spike embedded in your head?

    The six-inch spear plunged deep into Emerson de Oliveira Abreu’s head leaving only the tip visible after the fishing accident. The doctor does not expect the patient to suffer any lasting damage, although Emerson may have a temporarily impaired sense of smell. His friend Douglas Martins, who was with him on the fishing trip, said that Emerson was conscious and talking just after the accident.

    hows this for plausibility?

    A 27-year-old Chinese man ended up with a pair of 9cm long and 4cm wide scissors stuck in his oesophagus after they slipped while he was using them as a toothpick.

    both xrays and story can be seen here:
    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/top-stories/2009/03/31/incredible-x-ray-of-six-inch-spike-in-a-man-s-head-and-other-amazing-x-rays-115875-21242754/

    the problem is that the more ignroant a person is of things taht ahve actually happened and how they happened, the less that is plausible to them that IS plausible, and the more that is plausible to them that is not plausible.

    they have no measure of each, as their lack of knowlege is not knowlege to make a choice.

    many people have addressed the plausibility thing to huxley and they are not me. someone above mentioned that germany at the time was one of the most productive and highly educated populations at the time.

    since huxley has no idea of the process that things took in germany, russia, china, indonesia, cuba, vietnam, cambodia, and a huge list of others (into the hundreds actually), he has no means of judging plausibility.

    all of his arguments are internal, and ahve to do with things going outside the boudnaries of how he has lived and his experiences.

    the US is not even 300 years old.. the implausibility of the norm in politics taking hold here is farcicle.

    go through history, you can count the number of free states on one or two hands over the course of 10,000 years… all the others were not free.

    so what is the normal state?

    so how can normalcy returning to an exception be implausible?

    ah… and how can taking for granted that false normality, and not acting to preserve it or even think that it can fall, act to save it?

  70. Artfldgr Says:

    John,
    you are describing something that everyone else doesnt realize or even if they say so, they dont get.

    the game is to convince peopel who dont know what temperature water turns to ice, to think that the best class of cold water is at 28 degrees.

    this is what huxley doesnt get, and in essence he will not belive it till it happens to him.

    which also was addressed in the conversations of “if only stalin knew”.

    we are convinced that a certain amouint of socialism will make the place better. so we are adding spam to everything.

    we are lowering the productivity level… and as that level goes down, there is what you call a tipping point.

    at this time the system CHANGES… and there is nothign the people inside can do about it.

    they cant since they have no control over the handles and brakes… they cant start businesses to support themselves and friends. they have no work.. the state is offering survival if you belive.

    if you beleive its a smooth spectrum from white to black… then your not going to worry about it crossing an arbitrary threshold that you dont know exists, or think is even plausible.

    between 200 degrees farenheight and 32 degrees, water is water… like capitalism it can operate across a wide range of temperatures.

    if one gave you a farenheith thermometer and you were told its temperature scale is celcius, you would think you were many degrees away from freezing when suddenly it all froze.

    obama and ilk only have to move it past a certain point. our actions in respons to that will create the forces needed to seal the deal.

  71. Artfldgr Says:

    to make sure it is non-reversible

    sorry.. i should have added that i addressed that part long ago… to the communists its preventing the counter-revolution (ie stop tea parties).

    to the russians it was “peristroika” (socialist restructuring)

    the original word for this in politicla theory is also from germany. its a kind of ratchet.

    HIGGS THESIS was one thing i put up.. but somewhere i also put up the ratchet (the wheel goes forwards but is not allowed to go back).

    but also. huxley doesnt read me…

    in fact after the post explaining this stuff, he said
    “Artfldgr — Thanks for logorrheia! Get your own blog and post links to this kind of thing.”

    but he doesnt follow links either…

    so he never read the words of lenin and gramsci and others…

    this protects his crippled sense of plausibility.

    Social chaos is the GOAL for the transformational Marxist. The crisis of crime and disorder is the door for the police officer as facilitator/change agent to enter the community (the “client”, or the latest term, “customer”)[13] and to initiate the paradigm shift! Even though these social architects plainly admit what is most vital in making for a crime free community, they have absolutely no intention of restoring “individual conscience” or going back to repairing the traditional family. On the contrary, for the past sixty years these socio-psychologists have been introducing these very dialectic concepts into our school system with the intent on demolishing personal conscience. Is there any doubt they have succeeded? For them, there is no going back

    by destroying the culture, they are like cortez burning the ships preventing return..

    huxley missed this one too…

    “The institutions in socialist society which act as the facilitators between the public and private realms are the Soviets.”

    commnunity organizers in your area doing all that is just another word for Soviet.

    but if you didntk now what a soviet was, would you know that you were restructuring to create one?

    neoneocon.com/2009/03/04/obamas-energy-proposals-and-your-utility-bills/

    as said in that thread, i cant bring someone up to speed in a paragraph. they dont trust me, and so they need all the information. but as i said in that thread… this cant happen because they wont read this fellow traveler stuff.

    or to quote myself…

    huxley didnt READ what i posted..
    he figures if its long, it must be no good.

    Das Kapitol is three volumes long .

    Gramsci’s work is nine volumes long

    just reading the stimulus is one law the state writes, is 1000 pages long.

    [to add oesterpinsky, ceucescue, marx, trotsky, and about 500 political theorists who are not read in the west by people like lee, is not somethin gyou can summarize in a paragraph to the completely ignorant… lee, if you werent so ingorant, i wouldnt be so long]

    its all gone round before… since the same players are not expanding their current knowlege… that is they are stagnated.

    that other post covering this stuff before was march 4… if some had read some of the stuff i was linking to, rather than tell me to link so that things aer short and they can get through to another short post by someone more their speed, they may have learned more of what i know.

    6 months ago… and we havent gone past the starting point because no one wants to learn the facts, get on a common ground, and talk.

    the facts are too implausible… so they are not in the conversation, and so it goes round and roudn and round…

    i miss fredhjr… he was one of the few who had read some of what i had.. he didnt come from a refugee family, but he had known them from the inside here… same difference.

    The terms “communism”, “socialism”, “Marxism”, “New World Order” etc., may be worn out and abandoned. The names change, because deception is one of the rules of the game. Many erroneously believe that the cold war is over and that we actually won. But the revolution is still very much alive and America is losing. The culture war is raging in our schools, our workplaces, our media and our churches. Antonio Gramsci would be very pleased if he could see just how effective his strategy has been.

  72. Ymarsakar Says:

    For most non-history-buffs—and that would include most people, including me—these facts have little meaning out of context, in the dry pages of a history text.

    History can’t be studied through the texts.

    There has to be some thinking engaged there, some critical thinking. Read history texts is like hearing someone explain how to operate a rifle or other complex machinery. Until you actually, you know, do it via practice, you will neither retain nor understand what they were talking about.

  73. Ymarsakar Says:

    Take battles, for example. Nobody teaches children or teenager why battles are won or lost. They don’t teach anything about a flank attack. They don’t teach people what it means for a person to be fighting one opponent in front and then getting blind sided by another threat they weren’t aware of.

    If you haven’t fought in anything, you don’t have the experience to understand what a flank attack means, what a rout means, and so you have no idea why battles are won or lost. Even if somebody told you exactly what happened. You won’t understand.

    But that is what education is for. TO Make people understand things that they have never actually done before.

  74. huxley Says:

    But I also think Obama would institute Chavez-like changes if he could.

    neo: I would like to have been the fifth Beatle, if I could. Wanting something is not the same as getting it.

    As it stands, Obama can’t even get his two signature bills passed, although he has large majorities in both Houses of Congress.

    The notion that one day Obama is going to get up, cancel elections, and declare himself El Supremo while Congress, the Supreme Court, the military, law enforcement, the Republican Party and the American citizenry all roll over and say, Oh well, the Constitution was nice while it lasted, is absurd.

    Short of the Cylons attacking, it is just not going to happen. Even if the Cylons attack, I’ll still bet against it.

  75. Ymarsakar Says:

    A friend of ours (Army) opined that it would depend upon the branch: Special Forces would obey.

    Special FOrces would be least likely to obey. THey are one of the most unorthodox branch of the Military Group Mind. They don’t think as a group, but as individuals. Their job requires it and they train for it.

    A lot of the military revolves around obedience, following orders, and doing whatever the SOP is. Well, SpecOps tend to create their own SOP on the fly using individual initiative.

    Besides, they wouldn’t normally be put in a position where they are active at home. They don’t do anything at home except train. It’s normally the NG, THe Army, and the Marines.

    If the AF or Navy was ordered to bombard/yell an American area, they would just report ‘technical difficulties’ and every pilot and engineer would suddenly come down with some ‘horrible debilitating disease’.

  76. Ymarsakar Says:

    No. That’s not going to happen.

    That’s like saying victory won’t happen in Iraq under Petraeus.

    You see, wars are won or lost through effort. NOt intellectual arguments.

    Intellectual arguments and ideas don’t really decide who wins, who lives, who dies, who gets buried in a mass grave or not. That is due to some a little bit more physically orientated.

    There is no guarantee in war, because there is no guarantee that something is going to happen. But that also means there is no guarantee that it WON’T happen.

  77. Ymarsakar Says:

    but can anyone spell that out for me?

    The fact that you can’t even imagine the scenario, that you want it explained to you, presents a rather limited view of your imagination and study of histories.

    Those that have studied previous successful efforts don’t have to be told how Obama will get it done here in America. We can tell Obama how to do it. Because in any given situation, where there is a will, there is a way. And we not only have the will to search out flaws in the US Constitution to defend it against enemies, foreign and domestic, but we also have the knowledge and experience of plenty of other people that have Failed.

  78. huxley Says:

    Meanwhile a genuinely bad Obama policy thing has happened.

    Chicago Democracy in Honduras

    If you can’t get Iran or North Korea to talk to you, if Russia has not exactly pushed the reset button you sent them, if China is not a country you can antagonize (if you want to continue to sell Treasury bonds), the next best thing may be to land on Honduras.

    The State Department announced today it has formally determined that what happened on June 28 in Honduras was a “coup d’etat” requiring the termination under U.S. law of a broad range of assistance to the poverty-stricken country.

  79. Ymarsakar Says:

    I think Carter-esque. Some of that was reversible by Reagan, although of course you can’t undo much of what was done.

    Causing a nation to fall to savagery and self-destruction is pretty hard to reverse. Iran and Rhodesia.

    Carter, for a guy that has lots of blood on his hands, tends to like to preach from the rafters to the rest of us. He’s about as morally pure as Ted Kennedy.

  80. huxley Says:

    The fact that you can’t even imagine the scenario, that you want it explained to you, presents a rather limited view of your imagination and study of histories

    Ymarsakar: Oh, piffle. Sure I can imagine, as I mentioned earlier, some freak historical circumstances that could result in the loss of our republic.

    I can also imagine some freak set of circumstances whereby I might have become the fifth Beatle.

    But spelling it out, I suspect, would make the weakness of the speculation obvious which is why no one has taken me up on it.

  81. Ymarsakar Says:

    Meanwhile a genuinely bad Obama policy thing has happened.

    Without a correct over-arching counter-strategy, all you will be doing is putting out brush fires.

    Reacting, not pro-acting.

    Fights, let alone wars, are not won by people trying to sit around and wait to be attacked so that they could defend themselves.

    You seem to think you can label some part of Obama a bad policy and another part something else. As if this was an intellectual exercise, with a reload button.

    This is not an exercise and you don’t have as much say in Obama’s tactics and strategic planning as you think you do. He’s going to do whatever he wants to do. Trying to label some of his actions this, some of his other actions that, will do nothing to defeat him.

  82. Ymarsakar Says:

    Sure I can imagine, as I mentioned earlier, some freak historical circumstances that could result in the loss of our republic.

    That’s Leftist imagination. Meaning, it’s another form of delusion, fantasy. It’s not imagination used to create plans, to create counter-plans, to imagine the thoughts of the enemy in order to think like the enemy.

    Your imagination is called fiction and fantasy, not feasible long term planning.

    You might as well say that to cure world hunger, we’ll just eliminate the need of the human body, VIA OUR IMAGINATION, to 200 calories a day, minimum.

    Yeah, that’s feasible.

  83. huxley Says:

    What everyone leaves out is the determined and ferocious opposition from all quarters that Obama would meet if he tried to get around the Constitution.

    Like I say, he couldn’t even get Obamacare passed the way he wanted with all the advantages on his side.

    The best possibility I could grant is that Obama and his minions could steal a razor close election in 2012.

  84. Tatterdemalian Says:

    “A friend of ours (Army) opined that it would depend upon the branch: Special Forces would obey.”

    It’s so cute when the grunts project.

    Anyhow, I’m not one to condemn fretting about the situation, but for God’s sake don’t take it as license to run out and blow up office buildings. I’m pretty sure any sort of domestic terrorist attack would be just what Obama would need at this point.

    Actually, more than that… if you know anyone or any group who’s gathering the materials and resources to launch any kind of “pre-emptive attack” against the government, turn their butts in right away. The neocons are currently in the position where, if ANY act of domestic terrorism takes place, we’ll be the ones the public will blame for it. Being innocent does not preclude being executed.

  85. huxley Says:

    Ymarsakar: Now you’re just going for ad hominems.

    Click.

  86. Ymarsakar Says:

    But spelling it out, I suspect, would make the weakness of the speculation obvious which is why no one has taken me up on it.

    What is obvious is that you don’t have the intellectual honesty to accept that you have already black listed the option.

    Why is anyone here required to waste their time explaining something to you, which you manifestly call the same as becoming a Beatle?

    Are people here supposed to give their “freak” scenarios to you when they have already nullified the freak scenarios?

    The problem with people who wish to be intellectuals is that they often fall to the inherent logical fallacy that only people that are smart can get things done. The truth of the matter is, the smart people are divided between thinkers and doers. A lot of the thinkers seem to think that the people doing things are somehow deficient, that they require the intellectual firepower of people capable of higher thought.

    As Victor Hanson spoke on, farmers are smarter than many give them credit for.

    When it comes to Obama breaking the system, you can think he’s going to fail because he looks inept or dumb to you, but Obama doesn’t need your kind of intelligence to break the system. All he has to do, is to do it. He doesn’t even need to succeed in his goals. Just do enough to break America.

    And here you are, thinking about why it’s impossible or simply fantastical that he could. The thinker vs the doer. Both require intelligence, but the former can often be caught in a maze of mirrors.

  87. huxley Says:

    Ymarsakar: Chatter on, lad.

    If you’ve got a scenario, let’s hear it. And leave your speculations about me out of it.

  88. Ymarsakar Says:

    Click.
    But spelling it out, I suspect, would make the weakness of the speculation obvious which is why no one has taken me up on it.

    To use your logic, the reason why you haven’t taken me up on my proposal to discount intellectual rules in this fight is, I suspect, due to the weakness of your analytical processes.

    Then again, I don’t use your logic.

    What everyone leaves out is the determined and ferocious opposition from all quarters that Obama would meet if he tried to get around the Constitution.

    You have absolutely no idea what people are leaving out. The total number of thoughts that go through people’s head don’t actually get written down on this thread. Not even close. As said before, there is no guarantee of victory and there is no guarantee of losing. Just because there’s opposition, doesn’t mean anything.

    The Left was for Afghanistan, not against Afghanistan. THe Left was for more troops in Iraq and then wasn’t for more troops in Iraq.

    Things change, because reality changes when people do something about achieving their goals. There’s no static intellectual debate room where everybody’s facts stay the same and they just shoot em off at each other and that’s pretty much it.

  89. Ymarsakar Says:

    And leave your speculations about me out of it.

    Your continuous speculations about Cylons and Beatles are inherently ridiculous, farcical, and delusional I would say.

    There are no Cylons and Beatles being considered, either by me, us I would presume to claim, nor on Obama’s side even.

    Since you made the original argument using such analytical data, you’re welcome to demonstrate the strength or weakness of your claims.

    Until you do, what’s the point of somebody else giving you a different analysis of Obama’s optimal behavior? It would be hard for anyone to make something click with Cylons and Beatles, you know.

  90. LisaM Says:

    Artfldgr, For those of us who DO believe you, what should we do about it? Does your family have any ideas about what might have stopped it in Latvia?

  91. rickl Says:

    huxley:
    I can’t describe a detailed scenario of exactly how Obama would make himself a dictator, because I can’t predict the future. Sure, I could concoct something full of “what ifs” and “maybes” but what would be the point? It wouldn’t necessarily bear any resemblance to reality–but at the same time, it does not preclude the original premise from coming true, either. It could happen in a completely different way than I think it might.

    Then there’s also the possibility of a “black swan” event, which is by definition an event that nobody sees coming, that is a sudden game-changer.

    Although I’m not a historian by training or profession, I have read some history, enough to see the patterns emerging here that strongly resemble the chains of events which led to totalitarian dictatorships in other countries.

  92. grackle Says:

    Neo—I think that you are focusing on the wrong thing. Yes, Obama & Co. would have a very hard time amending the Constitution, which is why they will not—at least at this early stage—try to do so.

    I don’t see the validity of the argument here: It would be almost impossible for Obama to amend the Constitution in any way but we should still be terribly worried because Obama may in the future try to do this almost impossible thing which if Obama were to try Obama would almost certainly fail. Why should we give this far-fetched hypothetical any priority in our personal universes of worries?

    Have you seen any news items about suits being brought over the appointment of Czars and their legality/powers/pay? Have you seen news of any hearings or letters by Congressmen demanding answers on this issue, because I haven’t?

    Here the commentor gets a bit more traction with me. Presidents have always had a host of informal unpaid advisors that were unconnected to their Cabinets. And in the past, from time to time, this commonplace has generated some controversy. But unlike previous administrations Obama has institutionalized these extra-Cabinet folks by somehow getting them on the payroll and elevating them to official status.

    And there are so many! Over 30 the last time I counted. The Czars. I do believe however that if legal action on this issue was feasible that we would have seen some lawsuits by now. Perhaps I’m wrong, perhaps there will be future legal actions.

    Where the commentor and I perhaps diverge is on the significance of the Czars. I don’t think the Czars are indicative of anything more than Obama has managed to find a way to pay his cronies. I certainly don’t see it as a sign that we are about to be taken over by a dictatorship.

    Democrats are not going to call Obama on the Czars or his claims[about the economy and healthcare] (which are their claims too), and Republicans have, apparently, been neutered and have lost their voice.

    Contrary to the commentor’s experience I have been listening to the Republican “voice” all over the web, in newspapers, magazines, talk radio and television. Michael Steele, for one, is constantly speaking out and writing op eds. Limbaugh alone has a following that is the envy of the political pundit world. Go to YouTube and key in “townhall meetings” to hear a whole bunch of voices. “Neutered?” :”Lost their voice?” Not from my ears.

    The stimulus bill was passed–with little knowledge of its contents and very little debate– on a rushed, emergency basis, with attempts, that have failed so far, to do the same thing with Cap and Trade and now the Health Care Reform Bill.

    The Stimulus Bill was passed quickly because everyone was afraid the economy was about to collapse. Every other nation in the world of any significance thought much the same. Historians of the future will argue back and forth on whether this was true or not. The commentor himself points out that the same tactic has failed to get subsequent legislation passed. I don’t see the passage of the Stimulus Bill as an indication of anything except that a frightened Congress, representing a frightened constituency, acted perhaps too precipitously.

    … there are all sorts of laws on the books that can give a President quite extraordinary powers in an “Emergency” …

    But there are very good and obvious reasons for these laws – and Obama didn’t create these laws – they’ve been on the books for quite awhile.

    the President could invoke standby legislation and regulations that could greatly augment his power, and limit that of citizens …

    But isn’t this the essence of emergency powers? That in times of emergency that the President have more powers than in normal times?

    … almost anything that could be declared an “Emergency”–from another major natural disaster, a severe outbreak of H1N1, to increasing public anger at Obama & Co and a riotous anti-Obama demonstration or two would probably do the trick …

    Apparently the commentor does not believe that major natural disasters, severe outbreaks of contagious, potentially life-ending, societal-disrupting disease or riots(which would have to be widespread) merit authorization of emergency powers. One wonders what would have to happen for the commentor to approve of emergency powers – an asteroid striking earth? The sun exploding? Invasions by aliens from outer space?

    … as they did in New Orleans, the police could be ordered to start confiscating guns “for our own safety” and the “safety of the public” and to “restore order.”

    One ill-advised decision by a municipal police superintendent during the confused aftermath of a devastating hurricane does not a pattern indicating a national dictatorship make.

    One has only to look at the examples of Waco and Ruby Ridge to see to what lengths the government might go, to how much force the agents of the government might use, and how easily our government could kill citizens and get away with it.

    I’m puzzled by the use of these incidents as examples of “how easily our government could kill citizens and get away with it.” In Waco there was a 51 day siege in which the besieged could have simply surrendered at any time. Having a group of idiots jack law enforcement around for the better part of 2 months doesn’t seem to me to be an example of easy kills by the government.

    In the case of Ruby Ridge one of the recalcitrants there first made the bad mistake of murdering a US Marshall. Cops hate to be shot when they are trying to serve warrants and their fellow officers get perturbed when it happens. This is an example of easy killing?

    If things progress and play out in the really bad way I think they could, we will ultimately have to rely on our military and individual state police forces not being willing to obey unconstitutional orders, or to arrest—perhaps en mass, or to fire on citizens—I hope our military knows its allegiance is to our Constitution and not to any President, and is up to the test because, for, if it is not, they are our last line of defense, and all is lost.

    I’m glad the commentator used the word, “could,” in the first sentence above, instead of “would.” It keeps what follows in a speculative mode, speculation which in my opinion is unrealistic and far-fetched.

  93. br549 Says:

    Looking at the presidency of W, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be president. Actually, I can’t imagine why anyone would want to be in politics at all. Anonymity, being forever invisible in any crowd is absolutely wonderful.

    So I am suspect of all who are in politics, regardless of chosen party. I am suspect of any individual in a chosen position of power over others in any way, suspicious of anyone who thinks he knows better than another about what one should think, say, do….you know the drill. Do what you like, but your rights stop where mine start as the opposite is true. And if you screw up and hurt yourself, I’ll take you to the hospital, but you have to ask.

    Obama has an agenda, and I smell a rat. The speculation and endless chatter from all corners are his friend. He seems to know how to play that angle, too. And it isn’t what he says, it’s what he does. Surely everyone knows that by now. What he has said is nowhere as clear as what he has done.

  94. br549 Says:

    Grackle, the last two sentences of your post are exactly what the current administration would want the other side to think, to believe. It allows that, that is creeping, to keep on creeping.

    There is more to Ruby Ridge other than what has been spoken here. Not saying anyone was right, but there is more to it. In the land of the free, every post one types, once the enter key has been pressed, passes through an NSA computer before reaching its final destination. Anyone know who was president when the NSA was brought to life?

  95. grackle Says:

    Grackle, the last two sentences of your post are exactly what the current administration would want the other side to think, to believe. It allows that, that is creeping, to keep on creeping.

    There is more to Ruby Ridge other than what has been spoken here. Not saying anyone was right, but there is more to it. In the land of the free, every post one types, once the enter key has been pressed, passes through an NSA computer before reaching its final destination. Anyone know who was president when the NSA was brought to life?

    I thank the commentor for the response but it’s difficult to debate generalities. The commentor would have to be more specific before I could respond in any specific manner.

    I don’t believe anything that I’ve seen in the comments so far realistically indicates we are in the beginning of any kind of Obama-engineered dictatorship and I’ve posted my reasons for my opinion.

    If I’m wrong show the readers where I’m wrong. Cryptic rhetorical questions(who was president when the NSA was brought to life?) and vague statements(There is more to Ruby Ridge other than what has been spoken here) need to have some sort of point attached to them before they can be seen to have significance.

  96. Vieux Charles Says:

    Our redoubtable Constitution will not last forever, it is vulnerable to the same force that has destroyed so many governments in the past: violent revolution. Obama is a charasmatic leader, innately skillful in the politics of personality, and surrounded by throngs of devotees who would believe anything and who would do anything.

    Given the right catalyst things could get very ugly, very quickly.

  97. rickl Says:

    Cryptic rhetorical questions(who was president when the NSA was brought to life?)

    That sounds like a pretty specific question to me.

    According to Wikipedia, the answer is Harry Truman. Yes, I had to look it up.

  98. betsybounds Says:

    Well I don’t know about Cylons and Beatles, nor do I know about the “grunts cutely projecting” onto Special Forces (as Tatterdemalian so smugly comments). To raise the question is not to answer it, however, and in any case, it’s not an idle or foolish question.

    Ymarkasar says, “Besides, they [Special Forces] wouldn’t normally be put in a position where they are active at home. They don’t do anything at home except train. It’s normally the NG, the Army, and the Marines.”

    Well the truth of the matter is that, because of posse comitatus, none of them except the NG normally ever do anything at home but train. That only works as long as those involved agree to it. Never before is not the same as never, though. I think it was Andrew Jackson who said something like the chief justice has issued his opinion, now let him enforce it.

    Obama knows no one is going to roll over and play dead while he works his will on the American people. He has said repeatedly that it’s going to be a helluva fight–”It won’t be easy, but we will get there.” He knows how many of the American people are armed and will fight. He believes, as we do, that something worth having is worth fighting for. He’s going to have to wave more than a magic wand.

    I think Huxley fails in imagination. We have no experience in this country of the triumph of tyranny, and many people simply can’t imagine it. I always try to remember that Hitler rose to power through mostly legitimate process amongst a sophisticated population that was arguably the best-educated in the world at that time. Never THINK it can’t happen here.

  99. grackle Says:

    Cryptic rhetorical questions(who was president when the NSA was brought to life?)

    That sounds like a pretty specific question to me.

    Sounds pretty specific to me, too. It’s cryptic because the commentor failed to explain the significance of the question.

  100. Oblio Says:

    Guys, we should give this a rest. huxley is one of us, and this blue-on-blue fire serves no useful purpose.

  101. Perfected democrat Says:

    As long as we idealize the notion of “democracy” above the ethical underpinning of the irrevocable “republic”, we are vulnerable to the kind of phenomena and group behaviour which is illustrated by communist China. Obama doesn’t aspire to be a dictator per se, but to rise to the pinnacle of the leadership of the party, personally wealthy, and as a revolutionary figure in history, champion of the common man in the classic left-wing conception, and simultaneously loyal to his muslim roots, and all that is implied with that.

    Huxley says: “There are all sorts of checks and balances in the Constitution and there is a huge practical check on the left given that half of America opposes their approach and the country’s center of gravity remains center-right.”

    What’s going on indicates very clearly that the country’s center of gravity has slipped to center-left. The Acorn phenomena and the unaddressed voter fraud is a gaping hole in the reality of the guarantees of the checks and balances of the constitution; Loaded courts, left-wing appointments, foreign policy turned upside down, government intrusion in private gun ownership, etc. The leap from coming peaceful demonstrations against creeping left-wing incursion, to riots during hyperinflation (note the probable affects of cap and trade), to martial law, to mass violence is not hard to see. The dems are only 9 months into their occupation, if they aren’t effectively stopped in the next election the potential for long-term damage and violence begins to grow exponentially; Especially with a weakened military, unable to respond adequately to aggression from China, Russia, and the islamic spearhead…

    I do hope you’re right Huxley, it genuinely surprises me that I think the way I do these days; But, to thine own self be true…

  102. Oblio Says:

    perfected democrat, you are quite right to worry. If there is one thing I worry about in all this, it would be a court-packing scheme to fill the Federal judiciary with Critical Legal Studies advocates. That would mean the end of the Republic and perhaps (probable?) civil war. We are already in danger at DOJ.

    Absent that, I’m with huxley, not that I’m saying that it won’t get ugly and that Mr. Obama isn’t likely to invite war around the world through weakness and perversity. I think it will get ugly as hell, and we should be counting up the bases and alliances that we must save. East Asia is in serious danger as Obama undoes Bush’s handiwork. Selling out Honduras will be reckoned as a rounding error when the future accounting arrives.

  103. grackle Says:

    What’s going on indicates very clearly that the country’s center of gravity has slipped to center-left.

    The country’s center of gravity has certainly shifted around from time to time – left during the Carter and Clinton years – right during the Reagan years – etc., but does this mean a reversion to a “communist China” style government for the USA? If not, then exactly what does the commentor think such shifts of “gravity” signify?

    The Acorn phenomena and the unaddressed voter fraud is a gaping hole in the reality of the guarantees of the checks and balances of the constitution;

    Voter fraud has been going on for centuries in this country. Many historians believe John Quincy Adams stole the 1824 election from Andrew Jackson and that Rutherford Hayes stole the 1876 election from Samuel Tilden. Throughout our history there are examples of voter fraud … yet the Republic still stands, the “checks and balances of the constitution” still exist.

    Loaded courts,

    Difficult to know what the commentor is talking about here.

    left-wing appointments,

    Or here

    foreign policy turned upside down,

    I don’t like Obama’s foreign policy either but I don’t think Obama’s foreign policy stupidities indicate a dictatorship is about to descend upon the nation.

    government intrusion in private gun ownership, etc.

    Actually gun ownership has been has been spreading, licensed carry laws have been enacted in most states, and 2nd Amendment issues and laws have trended toward freer private gun ownership in recent years.

    The leap from coming peaceful demonstrations against creeping left-wing incursion, to riots during hyperinflation (note the probable affects of cap and trade), to martial law, to mass violence is not hard to see.

    I don’t get it. Is the commentor in favor of riots? Or does the commentor believe the government should stand idly by while riots occur? If not, is the commentor afraid that the government does not have the wherewithal to handle widespread rioting? Just listing possible catastrophes without making some sort of point of why you are listing them leaves the reader with too much guesswork.

    The dems are only 9 months into their occupation,

    Myself, I’m not yet ready to characterize a political party’s recent success through a national election as an “occupation.”

    … if they aren’t effectively stopped in the next election the potential for long-term damage and violence begins to grow exponentially; Especially with a weakened military, unable to respond adequately to aggression from China, Russia, and the islamic spearhead…

    Here the commentor gains a sliver of credibility with me for reasons perhaps unintended by the commentor. The Democrats and Obama could certainly cause much harm(“damage and violence”) by weakening our military and refusing to adequately engage the enemy we face – in fact the damage from our enemies abroad could well be catastrophic. Google “EMP weapon” to get an idea of the seriousness of what could happen.

    But such an attack could well mean the deaths of many Democrats and perhaps Obama himself so it is obvious to me that they err from careless ignorance and not from a malevolent intent to destroy the USA. The type of destruction I fear could also destroy Obama, Pelosi, Reed and the rest of the Progressive idiots.

  104. Perfected democrat Says:

    People focus on what they want to and gloss over what doesn’t reinforce their (personal) agendas. My inferences seem obvious to me, I’m puzzled that grackle doesn’t grasp my general associations. The voter fraud which is being conducted now, especially Acorn associated, and the simultaneous legitimization of Acorn in spite of their record, seems unprecedented in some respects, because we’ve transitioned thru periods in America history exemplified particularly by the Democrat’s racist agenda during the civil war, post-civil war and first half of the 1900′s; True, we survived them, though the damage caused haunts the nation to this day, especially concerning the consequent economic degradation of American black culture. The Dems aren’t the sole culprits, but there’s is a peculiarly significant role thru most of 100 years of American history. True, there have been other voter fraud incidents during the Roosevelt and Johnson eras, then again Dem Party associated. My knowledge of history may be so limited that I’m not aware of a Republican Party voter fraud history of equal measure, but I have doubts they are equivalent. We may not arrive at a situation identical to Communist China, just like Obama doesn’t seek to be a dictator per se, but thru the vehicles of voter fraud, and the promotion, or at least acceptance of mass illegal immigration followed by the automatic naturalization of these populations, and the consequence of this and other factors resulting in political demographic changes, the stage becomes set for long-term single party, left-wing domination of all the seats of government, legislative, executive, and judicial. At that level the term “occupation” isn’t inappropriate, and need not be loosely associated with concepts concerning the alleged “occupation” by Israel of so-called Palestinian territories… The issue of proposed gun rights incursions are well documented by the NRA, if you care to focus in that direction for perspective. My comments about the nature of mass violence, rioting, etc is about the probable long-term social consequences of incompetent government, especially politically oriented management and legislation (similar to classic Soviet, Chinese and other left-wing notions of central planning, etc.), again, cap and trade and it’s probable inflationary results. I’m not advocating rioting, I think you’re deliberately missing my point…

  105. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Rereading the posts on this thread I noticed that early on huxley was quoting Gunter Grass to the effect that we here in America are prone to imagine that “the knock at the door” is immanent, when it isn’t.

    I find this quote to prove exactly the opposite of what huxley apparently intended it to convey, since it was revealed a few years ago that the lionized Grass–that great anti-Nazi writer i.e. the Tin Drum–fought for the Nazis in the Waffen SS.

  106. Tom Says:

    “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance”
    “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst”

    That means not resting in your Barca-Lounger in a fog of complacency.

    That means responding to signals early. That means extrapolating from present data to possible future risk scenarios, and taking preventive and pre-emptive steps NOW.

  107. grackle Says:

    People focus on what they want to and gloss over what doesn’t reinforce their (personal) agendas.

    So true.

    My inferences seem obvious to me, I’m puzzled that grackle doesn’t grasp my general associations. I’m not advocating rioting, I think you’re deliberately missing my point…

    No, what I’m trying to do is understand what the commentor’s points are. I don’t think that is too much to ask. After all, the readers can’t understand a point unless some sort of point is elucidated.

    No one said the commentor advocated rioting. The commentor listed rioting in a list of possible catastrophes without explaining why rioting was on the list – or indeed, explaining the significance of any item on the list. So … what was the commentor’s point about rioting? We still do not know.

    In regards to voter fraud, if the commentor’s point is that the Democrats seek to gain every advantage, legal or illegal, that they can in elections while they are in power I will heartily agree. Here’s hoping the Republicans can effectively counter the Democrat’s efforts to subvert the democratic process.

    But the commentor calls recent voter fraud “unprecedented in some respects.” I would agree but only in the sense that ANY event in history is “unprecedented in some respects – no event in history is EVER going to be exactly like any other event.

    Furthermore, that we have voter fraud today does not mean that there is a “gaping hole in the reality of the guarantees of the checks and balances of the constitution.” We have had massive voter fraud before in our history yet the Republic still stands and the “checks and balances of the Constitution” still exist.

    The commentor also wades into post-civil war history, apparently linking voter fraud to post-Civil War racism and “the consequent economic degradation of American black culture,” factors which had nothing to do with voter fraud as far as I can tell. Perhaps I am overlooking the commentor’s point with the racism material – in which case I respectfully request the commentor to allay my puzzlement.

    … the term “occupation” isn’t inappropriate …

    Good. I’m glad to see that the commentor is dropping the “occupation” label.

    Although I must agree with a few of the commentor’s points, some of it seems to be a case of elevating the obvious and commonplace to undeserved significance – especially the part about the desire by the Democrats for “domination.” ALL political parties seek to “dominate,” do they not? I can see no other reason to form a political party. The Democrats are not alone in this goal, which is the goal of ANY political party.

    I have not seen a call by leaders of either party for “automatic naturalization” of undocumented workers and I don’t see the connection of this issue with voter fraud. The commentor is also somewhat unclear with his unexplained references to “other factors resulting in political demographic changes.”

    The commentor is worried about “incompetent government,” a worry I believe we should all share as a matter of general principle but we’ve seen “incompetent government” many times before in our history, instances too numerous to set forth here.

    I don’t see how “incompetent government” today is going to necessarily result in an environment “similar to classic Soviet, Chinese and other left-wing notions of central planning.” There are elections, functioning political opposition, townhall meetings, political action movements such as the Tea Party movement and the deeply ingrained and uniquely American trait of lack of awe toward authority that are all still firmly in place.

  108. Random Thoughts » Patterns and power Says:

    [...] offers a must-read analysis of how tyrannical takeovers begin, explaining why we really need to pay attention to the past: The study of history is of vital [...]

  109. grackle Says:

    “The price of liberty is eternal vigilance” “Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst” That means not resting in your Barca-Lounger in a fog of complacency. That means responding to signals early. That means extrapolating from present data to possible future risk scenarios, and taking preventive and pre-emptive steps NOW.

    There’s also the old story of the boy who cried wolf. Warnings not based on reality only encourage complacency, complacency that could be fatal if a real wolf threatens. Or perhaps by concentrating on non-existent wolves, very real and dangerous bears are overlooked until it is too late.

  110. grackle Says:

    The issue of proposed gun rights incursions are well documented by the NRA, if you care to focus in that direction for perspective.

    I own 5 guns myself, am practiced in their use, am a member of NRA and visit the NRA website and other pro-gun websites frequently. Guns are one of my hobbies and I keep up with the issue of gun ownership. So I can confidently and happily report that the trend in recent years is toward FREER gun laws.

    State after state has enacted gun carry legislation, some even to the point of allowing sidearms to be openly carried. I can now travel form one side of this great nation to the other, crossing many state borders as I go, and be legally armed to the teeth!

    One of the bastions of anti-gun sentiment, Washington DC, was recently dealt a severe 2nd Amendment blow by the SCOTUS and my guess is that the SCOTUS will go even further in its next session.

    If the commentor believes I am wrong he needs to be more specific than to direct us to “focus” in some vague “direction” for some sort of mysterious “perspective.”

  111. Artfldgr Says:

    Ymarsakar,
    and so you have no idea why battles are won or lost.

    thats and the other stuff you wrote is a perfect example of what i meant by not knowing the process, even though we are aware of the facts.

  112. huxley Says:

    Wolla Dalbo: Actually I’m aware that Grass was later outed as a Nazi.

    However, I don’t see how that invalidates his comment. He is still an informed witness from that era. One could say that his status as a Nazi makes him an even more expert witness.

    In any event the police didn’t storm through the Princeton doors in 1965 to repress the students and they are not doing so now.

  113. Artfldgr Says:

    The notion that one day Obama is going to get up, cancel elections, and declare himself El Supremo while Congress, the Supreme Court, the military, law enforcement, the Republican Party and the American citizenry all roll over and say, Oh well, the Constitution was nice while it lasted, is absurd.

    but that is YOUR notion of what you THINK we are saying as you admit you dont read us.

    this is like hearing a feminist tell everyone that she knows what men are thinking and completely discount the men who sit there saying thats not waht they think.

    YOUR notion is that is what process we are saying. thats your nice little fantasy that prevents you from hearing any actual plausible way it works.

    when have i EVER said that he will stand up and say he is el supremo?

    hows this… when has ANY leader actually done that in the kinds of takeover we ahve discussed?

    answer: NONE

    that is, hitler never stood up and said “i won” the way obama did, he never had to. that moment you say is a fantasy movie reality of things.

    its the main fantasy everyone has of how it works. that the person maneuvers into position, and suddenly jack booted thugs appear overnight and he stands and no one can oppose them.

    heck, even russian history didnt work like that. lenin was in germany while others fought and cleared teh way for him. by the time he got on the train to go to russia, the deal was already set, but after a whole lot of turmoil and death.

    germany… hitler didnt appear and say, i am tyrant, love me, follow me. there was a process behind it.

    to make an analogy, you and i are standing near a wall… i am telling you we can go over it, and you say its not plausible. i say why, and you say, because we cant make a leap from here to the top.

    from that point on you refuse to hear me describe the process of using a ladder.

    why?

    beacuse as long as you can avoid seeing the ladder and how it works, you can pretend to be right in claiming its implausible and impossible and be seen as the reasonable one.

    its that simple.

    you are speaking for those who you do not allow to speak for themselves.

    oh… your defense is that your not doing that. but you are, not in their communication to others, but in the communication to you, as if you were the same cut as a leftist, just a diferent selection of what we are not allowed to say and be heard in front of you.

  114. Artfldgr Says:

    Ymarsakar where are you from, whats your family history. if i was to guess by name, you have lived under such… (or your family)

    Intellectual arguments and ideas don’t really decide who wins, who lives, who dies, who gets buried in a mass grave or not. That is due to some a little bit more physically orientated.

    basically to rephrase

    you know what i know and what von campe knows which is thought preceeds action.

    and you know what the socialists mean by materialism, which is not the love of the material, but that thoughts are nothing, they do nothing, its material acting on material, matter that matters.

    so thoughts are useless other than to motivate movement of matter which accomplishes ends.

    until one grasps the way anohter sees the world, one is forever trapped in the prison of their own view, even when they try to understand anothers.

    this is why most will say that someone is an idiot if they dont do what they think is right, and/or if they dont understand what they are doing.

    they seldom recast their framework to understand it empirically.

    the framework that was is no longer, its time to adjust and understand the mechanics of how the leaders do their thing in this new (to us) way.

  115. Artfldgr Says:

    Ymarsakar,
    Causing a nation to fall to savagery and self-destruction is pretty hard to reverse. Iran and Rhodesia.

    and thats the part that you and i see that the others dont. they dont see how you can get from a peaceful situtioan to that goal, but you and i see how they can get from chaos to that goal.

    we can see how the bank chaos wasnt enough and so printing money to hyperinflation will make the people in the city who start running out of food go nuts. (or any number of a 100 other easy things, like pumping up the pandemic and making it legal to quaranteen people. guess the constititional argumetns that kept typhoid mary free were lost on these people).

    i havent heard rhodesia come up in a long long time. I had a teacher who was there at that time. odd man, never was normal. i guess after he was forced to eat his wifes ears and nose after frying them up, he just wasnt all there any more. made for a freaky year of school though.

    these others dont get taht the minute the fire hits the street, you have 200k crips, 200k bloods, 120k ms13… (the ms guys are sandanista trained)

    they all jump in too…

    that is the despot does not step forward and say i own it all and you are mine and watch the riots. no.

    what happens is that the people respond to policy without a head to address, and they get worse and worse, and soon riots happen, and the despot comes out and he is begged by them to save them and bring peace.

    a coupe mechanics is that the crowds foment more of this, they dont let it stop. till the One comes uot and calms the seas when on one else can… its then that the despots rescue us.

    the idea that the military gets used in this is farcial. they are kept out. the mismanagement of afghanistan will keep the most patriotic away from home.

    and all you forget that military peoples families are on bases and can be held hostage. they can be relocated and the solder can be told to comply.

    you only need a few bad eggs to move them under some safety auspice. block them from contacting their family through some security premise… and the fact that they cant contact each other and cand do anything makes the military men, even loyal ones comply. (after all, one would have to beleive their duty more than family to say. ok, kill them)

    history is full of this kind of stuff… but you wont hear it on fox news, in the classroom, or even on the history channel.

    most will not be able to think of methods because they are lumpen proletariate. good people at heart who cant concieve of the means.

  116. Artfldgr Says:

    Reacting, not pro-acting.

    reactionary, not making history

    you understand stalin and hitler and why stalin was able to get hitler to take the blame for eradicating the cultures that were the reserve knowlege. the ships to burn to prevent going back.

  117. Artfldgr Says:

    That’s Leftist imagination. Meaning, it’s another form of delusion, fantasy. It’s not imagination used to create plans, to create counter-plans, to imagine the thoughts of the enemy in order to think like the enemy.

    BINGO..

    if one doesnt know about the wheel, then what?
    the wheel is not a given… many cultures didnt have it.

    but those that did, could do what the others coudl not imagine.

  118. huxley Says:

    I continue to find the arguments here that Obama is going to install himself as a tyrant unlikely in the extreme, and, since some people have been so generous in assessing my psychology, hysterical.

    Could it happen? Sure. History is plenty strange. Woodrow Wilson’s wife essentially ran the country for the last year of Wilson’s term.

    There may be some day in the future when the US is much weaker and a leader more canny, competent, and charismatic than Obama appears. who can maintain his cult following for more than a few months, we may be vulnerable, but not this time, not this leader.

    Obama has plenty on his plate right now so that he doesn’t entirely blow his presidency.

  119. Artfldgr Says:

    What everyone leaves out is the determined and ferocious opposition from all quarters that Obama would meet if he tried to get around the Constitution.

    how would you know? you dont read us…

    we do not leave that out. we have said over and over that such action is REQUIRED to fulfil the end.

    that is, the very opposuition your talking about facilitates the end by giving the despot a reasonable reason to take power..

    Like I say, he couldn’t even get Obamacare passed the way he wanted with all the advantages on his side.

    that has nothing to do with it. hitler didnt get everything he wanted either till AFTER the pieces were in place.

    to think that an early grab for the brass ring is a failure see it for what it was and is. a means of shortening the process if successful. and a means of fomenting the ncessary crazyness needed.

    but you dont understand the process… you dont want to understand it… among everyone with your knowlege you sound smart by being ignorant.

  120. Artfldgr Says:

    But spelling it out, I suspect, would make the weakness of the speculation obvious which is why no one has taken me up on it.

    What is obvious is that you don’t have the intellectual honesty to accept that you have already black listed the option.

    BINGO!!!

    he wont read me… and so he wont hear anyone that takes it up. he wins by ignoring the other once its set up this way. if he actually goes deaf, he wins all arguments by never recognizing anything anyone says

  121. Artfldgr Says:

    The problem with people who wish to be intellectuals is that they often fall to the inherent logical fallacy that only people that are smart can get things done. The truth of the matter is, the smart people are divided between thinkers and doers. A lot of the thinkers seem to think that the people doing things are somehow deficient, that they require the intellectual firepower of people capable of higher thought.

    go man go…

  122. Artfldgr Says:

    What everyone leaves out is the determined and ferocious opposition from all quarters that Obama would meet if he tried to get around the Constitution.

    You have absolutely no idea what people are leaving out. The total number of thoughts that go through people’s head don’t actually get written down on this thread. Not even close. As said before, there is no guarantee of victory and there is no guarantee of losing. Just because there’s opposition, doesn’t mean anything.

    now thats funny, becaause we can show that if its not adhd sized he wont read it.

    he wants a valid scenario, but wants it in sesame street sound bites…

    I have been pointing to all that stuff that would explain and show whats missing for more than a year!

  123. Artfldgr Says:

    Artfldgr, For those of us who DO believe you, what should we do about it? Does your family have any ideas about what might have stopped it in Latvia?

    Lisa… that is the first time i think anyone asked that of me.

    the problem is that nothing can be done because we let it all be done.

    we are at a point where what we do naturally will cost us. but we are also at a point where no one can tell anyone, even smart ones, anything.

    how could something make it different?

    we are limited by whats called weakest chain thinking.

    that is, if i and ymarksar see somethign, and we are smarter about it, we are prevented from being right because we are not the majority.

    that is, if the average IQ is 100 (of course), then those of us who are more educated on this cant present anything harder to understand than what 100 can understand.

    100 thinks they are 150, so if they cant see the solution your providing, its not real or its fake.

    cargo cult is another name for it.

    i get this all the time where i work and i lose jobs for it. why? because what i see is more than what they see (which technically is why they arepaying me – wouldnt you want your brain surgeon to know more than you?)

    so with everyone equal to an expert, and no expert able to voice something in a way in whiich a debate can go anywhere what cn be done?

    what huxley doesnt get is that those things ahve to have been stopped BEFORE now to be able to prevent whats coming.

    its a chess game. you cant let the enemy position his pieces where he wants to, no matter how innocuous any position NOW is.

    for later, when other things are moved, then what was innocuous NOW, is deadly when it converges.

    this was the process used in the community reinvestment act.

    what they did was operate outside the normal bandwitdh that people live in. too fast or too slaow and we have a hard time percieving it. cant see a bullet, cant see a fossil form.

    so its a chess game… and the only thing that will save us is the kind fo thing that saves all things. some men in the right places who will act at the right tiem to their oaths and beliefs.

    thats the certain thing that huxley believes. but ymarskar and myself we are not so sure.

    custer didnt have a calvary rescue…

    we have a chance of not having things happen, but in the long run, we are going to lose.

    why?

    because they already have several generations who believe and have broken mental processes.

    usually when they take over they cement the change with a death of approxamately 1/3 the population. from that point on, the culture is so wrecked and its transmission spoiled that they have nothing to go back to.

    why do the africans do so poorly in the US? they have had their culture stripped from them, so there is nothing to return to, and they are prevented from developing their own culture built on empirical truths and abstracted.

    sad truth is that my family had to die and see a family member tortured before they believed… then they just walked away from everything.

    which is why all the talk of closing the north and south borders… got to keep em from leaving.

    do you have the letters of transit?

    we cant do anything because we cant organise… and if we do organize, they will use their people to move their people into the controlling structuyres.

    short of the doers in the CIA saving us, and others, we are screwed…. we just dont know to what degree.

    and if others dont think so, then think of how we hve to pay off 12 trillion and how they are putting up the chinese flag at the whitehouse.

    by the way, this celebration of china will include the newwest nuclear weapons they now have, and other things.

    after all, they now know how to make technology, so now they have been making lots and lots of weapons, while their asymetrical abortions have given them 30,000,000 extra males of war age to conscript.

    does that mean they will use them? who knows? ownership does not necessarily imply usage. its more complex than that.

  124. Artfldgr Says:

    One could say that his status as a Nazi makes him an even more expert witness.

    ah… so i see, when they support your position, then the nazi is useful and so on.

    but when the waffen ss man is my grandfather a latvian conscripted into fighting, its not good.

    want to know the difference? Guss was not waffen… waffen was for foreigners, so he was SS, he lays on waffen because that absolves him of war crimes and such issues.

    so… my great grandfather were part of the 8 riflemen corps that created the soviet union.

    my grandfather, uncle, and others all who survived the first purges, were conscripted to serve.

    i even described what its like being a child and learning not to ask about the underarm scars.

    my uncle survives 8 years in one of stalins gulags.

    i put up works by bella dodd, leader of teh communsit party usa, and leader of the teachers unions.

    I put up the words of Von Campe, a man who was also a nazi jugend, and served in the miltiary too.

    hang on… got to hear you say this again…

    One could say that his status as a Nazi makes him an even more expert witness.

    basically you just validated my position…

    I have been talking from that position. not that I am the person who lived through it, but that the people i learned from did.

    Gus is less of a relationship to you than my childhood was to my grandparents, father, uncles, and latvian comunity.

    so an ex nazi you dont know, could be insightful because you bring him up…

    and the ex nazi conscripts, soviets, and such that i know and lived with, are not even to be heard, because i bring them up.

    what a sham.

  125. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Artfldgr—so let me see if I understand your position.

    You believe that the Leftists in charge of our educational system for a generation plus now have churned out a citizenry—the younger cohorts–who many, if not most of them, have been rather thoroughly indoctrinated, and who have been systematically stripped of the history, the values and standards to measure by, and the intellectual tools needed to analyze and understand which is happening now—they have been deliberately, partially blinded, and then turned in a certain direction–so that they will be of little help in any struggle against Obama & Co.

    Second, that the steps—appointments, changes in policy, legislation and regulations–that Obama & Co. have already put in place and set in motion, have made it unlikely that we can avoid some sort of major struggle/violence if we want to retain our democracy, the Constitution and our freedoms.

  126. rickl Says:

    Wolla Dalbo:

    Art’s not here to speak for himself at the moment, but that’s pretty much how I read it. Americans didn’t just elect a Communist out of the blue. The ground has been carefully prepared for decades.

    The only quibble I have with your comment is that our system of government is a republic, not a democracy. At least it used to be. That, too, has been steadily eroded over the last century. In my opinion, pure democracy will lead inevitably to socialism. Today we do indeed have a nearly pure democracy, and we can clearly see the results.

    I would just like to add that this has been a terrific comment thread. One of the best.

  127. betsybounds Says:

    Wow. I think I’m seeing what artfldgr is saying. Wow.

    He’s quite right, by the way, that people don’t write everything that goes through their heads. I know I certainly don’t. He’s the only one here who seems able enough, and patient enough with himself, to even come close to doing that.

    Wow.

    grackle says:

    “I own 5 guns myself, am practiced in their use, am a member of NRA and visit the NRA website and other pro-gun websites frequently. Guns are one of my hobbies and I keep up with the issue of gun ownership. So I can confidently and happily report that the trend in recent years is toward FREER gun laws.

    State after state has enacted gun carry legislation, some even to the point of allowing sidearms to be openly carried. I can now travel form one side of this great nation to the other, crossing many state borders as I go, and be legally armed to the teeth!”

    This is true. But there are multiple ways to skin that cat. Have you tried to buy ammo lately?

  128. betsybounds Says:

    Does anyone here imagine that, if Obama’s approval numbers drop into the basement (where they appear to be headed) and he doesn’t get his legislative agenda passed on the first or second go-rounds, he is going to pick up his marbles, pack up his tents, and go home?

  129. betsybounds Says:

    Again I say, never THINK it can’t happen here.

  130. Perfected democrat Says:

    Thank-you betsybounds, “commenter” Grackle is (obviously) putting us on…

  131. grackle Says:

    Have you tried to buy ammo lately?

    I’m well stocked at the moment although I will may need some 9mm Luger FMJ in 2 or 3 months. A quick Google of my usual online suppliers shows Cabela’s, Able’s and MidwayUSA all having a variety of brands in stock. I was at a gun show 2 months ago and saw tables full of ammo of all types for sale but I usually buy ammo online – or at sporting goods stores – I’ve found it to be a more reliable product than gun show offerings. I almost bought a used Taurus Model 1911ss .45 ACP pistol at the gun show. I’ve never owned a 1911 and the Taurus is a beautiful weapon. But … never more than one gun per year and I purchased a NEF pump 12 gauge only a few months ago.

    Does anyone here imagine that, if Obama’s approval numbers drop into the basement (where they appear to be headed) and he doesn’t get his legislative agenda passed on the first or second go-rounds, he is going to pick up his marbles, pack up his tents, and go home?

    Well, I don’t know … try a third go-round? What does the commentor think Obama would do? Pull a coup?

    Thank-you betsybounds, “commenter” Grackle is (obviously) putting us on…

    Naw. I wouldn’t do that.

  132. betsybounds Says:

    grackle,

    No, a well-stocked citizen such as you obviously are has no need to put anyone on. :)

    However, in our neighborhood the recent shows and, especially, the firearms shops have been very low lately. As you may or may not know, in March, the DOD temporarily ceased the sale of used military brass, which adversely affected the supply of certain calibers. It may have been nothing significant, or it may have been a trial balloon. The point is that you don’t need to ban firearms to upset usage patterns and restrict availability.

    http://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/NRA_ammo_shortages/2009/03/19/193903.html

    Stockpiling has also been a factor in documented shortages, there’s no doubt about that.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/US/05/04/ammo.shortage/index.html

    http://www.wtov9.com/news/19561011/detail.html

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2009-03-29-ammo-shortage_N.htm

    We’d be in a fair bit of a mess if the trade were to be driven underground.

    Locally, we’ve had a good deal of trouble both at shows and shops finding numerous popular rounds, and talks with friends confirm the situation.

    I, myself, am not quite comfortable with buying on-line, although there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with doing so.

    My point of course is that, should the feds try to elide local and state carry and shall-issue laws, there are ways for them to do so, and the current shortages (and yes, there have been such shortages, whatever your personal arsenal may be) illustrate that. They can always try to approach a supply other than the actual firearms. Daniel Patrick Moynihan and others have proposed, over some time, ceasing attempts to control firearms and focusing on high ammo taxes.

    It’s a little like the not-entirely crazy notion that the Fairness Doctrine is not the only way to muzzle talk radio. Administration members have quite openly contemplated using diversity regulations and local-content rules as a different approach:

    http://newsbusters.org/blogs/seton-motley/2009/08/06/new-fcc-chief-diversity-officer-co-wrote-liberal-groups-structural-imb

    The contemplation of such novel routes for gaining control of multiple areas of commerce suggests some degree of determination, wouldn’t you agree?

    You seem to think that the notion of a coup is ridiculous on its face. I think otherwise, and, in the current situation, we should not be prepared to ignore any possibility. As I’ve suggested several times, we’d be foolish to rule out ANYTHING from the people now in charge. I think you might agree that it’s not as though there are no warning signs.

  133. Artfldgr Says:

    Wolla Dalbo, that was excellent…

    and i do think that to some i now am understandable to whom i wasnt before.

    note that i dont advocate any solution, just trying to describe the problem.

    oh and that we are this time on the inside where all other analysis we are used to is from the outside.

    i do not advocate weapons (especially those who are not versed in their usage), or extreme negative acts. they tend to be counter productive in most cases.

    i have no idea how the end will play out, sometimes it works, sometimes it dont, and usually whatever does it is not something sitting there easy to see like a log in the road.

    and as close as i can get to describing the real situation, it doesnt really carry more answers than the other musings. it would take one heck of a whipsaw to get such a values change. and to have that and not have that end up in more negative forms of the same thing would be suprising.

    one thing i CAN say is that the ball is in play. otherwise our willingness to talk and write letters and participate and even discuss things that are only relevent (ammo purchases) in a tiny way, as if it gets to that, the outcome would no longer matter since it would facilitate the burning of the cultural ships. it would take a sea change to how we view other people to facilitate such behavior.

    we shall see folks, one way or another, we shall see.

  134. grackle Says:

    My point of course is that, should the feds try to elide local and state carry and shall-issue laws, there are ways for them to do so, and the current shortages (and yes, there have been such shortages, whatever your personal arsenal may be) illustrate that.

    Of course if the government decides to go after gun ownership(or any other behavior) there are various obvious methods that the government could use. But that said, isn’t this another case of elevating the obvious to a position of undeserved significance?

    The battle between us gun-owners and the Progressives will no doubt continue for many years. That’s why I’m a member of the NRA, which is great organization that looks out for the 2nd Amendment.

    The commentor prefers to buy her ammo off the tables of gun shows, where ammo is apparently in short supply, disdaining reputable on-line sources where there seems to be no significant shortage, which a quick search of Cabela’s confirms. That’s her right, of course.

    For me the problem with buying off the tables at gun shows is that you can never be sure how old the ammo is or who manufactured the ammo, which could have been put together in the seller’s basement.

    But my original point was in response to a commentor including “government intrusion in private gun ownership” on a list the purpose of which the commentator never got around to revealing but was apparently intended to illustrate the commentor’s feeling that Obama is about to institute a dictatorship upon the USA. In response I had to point out that the trend in recent years is toward FREER gun laws. I don’t see that trend reversing anytime soon but time will tell.

    But I want to ask the worriers: If John McCain were President would you be worrying about a dictatorship at this moment?

    Next question: Did you campaign enthusiastically for McCain after he won the nomination?

  135. betsybounds Says:

    So grackle isn’t worried? Nice for him.

    Answer to question #1: I’m always at least concerned. Eternal vigilance and all that.

    Answer to question #2: I campaigned for McCain. Not real enthusiastically.

    My concern for on-line ammo purchases has nothing to do with disdain for the quality of the product, which I don’t doubt is very high. It has to do with potential monitoring of electronic transactions.

    Gun show ammo is sealed, manufacturer-packaged, trade-marked, high-quality brand-name merchandise. In case you didn’t know. Check it out sometime.

  136. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    In my part of the Universe, about 50 miles outside Washington, D.C., the local gun ship that used to have groaning shelves full of ammo now has pitiful little pyramids of perhaps 8 or 10 boxes of the more common calibers, and none of the more uncommon ones. Even a more rural gun shop, 20 miles further out, that caters mainly to hunters and has a much more plentiful–and expensive–supply, now has fairly large empty spaces on its shelves, that used to be full of ammo.

    I believe that if Obama wants to go after guns he will try an indirect approach, similar to what was tried in the first few weeks of his administration, when a change in an arcane DOD procurement rule would have required that used military brass be melted down and sold for scrap rather than sold to companies who recycled this brass into ammo for the police and civilian markets. At the time several major ammunition manufacturers said that if the change went into effect they would immediately be put out of business, with the effect that ammunition would be much more hard to find and much more expensive.

    I suspect that this indirect approach is the kind of thing Obma & Co. might try again in the future.

  137. grackle Says:

    Answer to question #1: I’m always at least concerned. Eternal vigilance and all that.

    Yeah, me too. But I need some believable evidence before I start barricading the doors.

    Answer to question #2: I campaigned for McCain. Not real enthusiastically.

    Too bad about the lack of enthusiasm. Going to react the same in the next Presidential election if your favored Republican doesn’t win the nomination?

    My concern for on-line ammo purchases has nothing to do with disdain for the quality of the product, which I don’t doubt is very high. It has to do with potential monitoring of electronic transactions. Gun show ammo is sealed, manufacturer-packaged, trade-marked, high-quality brand-name merchandise. In case you didn’t know. Check it out sometime.

    In the past I’ve seen a LOT of home-bagged ammo at the gun shows. Usually in mesh bags, it’s seemed to have been plentiful at every gun show(dozens?) I’ve ever attended. I will have to admit, though, that I haven’t really shopped for ammo at gun shows for years so a gun show ammo shortage could easily have escaped my notice.

    There’s also been some ammo that LOOKS like sealed, manufacturer-packaged, trade-marked, high-quality brand-name merchandise and most, even all of it, is probably good stuff but I can go to flea markets(a gun show is really just a specialized flea market – at least the ones in my area) and buy handbags that LOOK like Gucci, Louis Vuitton, etc. and other merchandise that LOOKS authentic but is actually made in Mexico, or Guatemala, etc. I guess my paranoia takes a different turn than yours, Betsy.

    I used to buy the mesh bags but someone pointed out that home reloaded ammo wasn’t always reliable. I switched to Sports Authority-bought ammo first and later mostly to online sources and indeed I do get better results on the range. Less stovepipes, misfires and tighter groupings. It could be the gun-owner version of the placebo effect but there it is.

    I find your “electronic transactions” aversion interesting. Care to elaborate?

    Lastly, let’s look at the big picture for a moment. This tango between gun owners and gun outlawers has been going on since before Obama was born and will probably continue with constant variation long after we have all gone to meet our reward.

    You say the latest dance means Obama is acting like a potential dictator – to me it’s just the usual Liberal campaign against the 2nd Amendment. What would be unusual is if a Democrat Whitehouse and Democrat Congress DIDN’T try some sort of gun control shenanigans.

    This line of debate began because a commentor put “government intrusion in private gun ownership” on a list. But gun laws have trended toward the freer end of the spectrum in recent years. That’s a fact. As for the ammo shortage, which I’m not denying – 2 things:

    It’s a good thing I’m not intending to fight a war and don’t need huge amounts of ammo. I have guns as a hobby and for self defense against naughty civilians – not to hold off the Marines.

    The corollary: If the government ever does decide to come after me a room full of ammo probably isn’t going to help me. I’ll come out with my hands up and get a lawyer after they book me.

  138. Wolla Dalbo Says:

    Grackle—the kind of thing I am arguing is not a change in “degree” but in “kind” i.e. saying that “if they come to get me I’ll, of course, put my hands up and call for a lawyer” assumes that the regime Obama & Co. are trying to create is merely one of different “degree”; sure, they might try to find some way to confiscate my guns or make ammo impossible to find because they have deliberately created a scarcity and dramatic price increases, but I can fight them using the usual means.

    I am arguing that Obama & Co.—if unchecked—will try to establish a regime totally different in “kind” i.e. if they “come for you” that won’t worry too much if they rough you up pretty bad or put you in the hospital, and if they kill you–no big deal–and as for your lawyer—look in the cell next to you.

  139. grackle Says:

    Dalbo, I don’t doubt your sincerity but I just don’t see it. I do see a President who is the epitome of the Progressivism of today – which has become imbued with many ideas that are Marxist in nature – who, like many Progressives, has a form of self-loathing which is projected from within themselves as a loathing for their own country – who, like most egotists endowed by huge opportunities of circumstance wants all the power he can gather – who is ruthless, shallow and without real morality.

    Don’t get me wrong, I am sure that Obama would love to establish himself as a dictator, although he would probably rationalize it as for the nation’s good but I also have no doubt there have been other Presidents who have secretly harbored this desire. Roosevelt came the closest to succeeding but we fixed that flaw with a constitutional amendment.

    There is a very simple way to counter Obama.

    It doesn’t involve the impractical romanticism of stock-piling ammo and weapons for God knows what.

    It doesn’t involve worrying about hypothetical events of which there are plenty of strong, well thought out institutional safeguards to prevent.

    It doesn’t involve blaming others for our failure to act.

    It is this mundane plan: In the next campaign and election get behind whoever is the Republican nominee and enthusiastically campaign for that person and their running mate – even if that candidate is “wishy-washy” and not deemed by you as an ideal representative of your particular brand of conservatism.

    Even if Ann Coulter says not to vote for them.

    Even if Limbaugh bad-mouths them.

    Even if Michelle Malkin has a fit(BTW she IS cute).

    Even if Laura Ingraham makes snide remarks about them.

    And poof! No more Obama.

    It would also be nice if we could get some more Republicans into Congress in 2010 to hold the fort until the rascal can be kicked out of the Whitehouse.

    All this hinges of course on the hope that the Republicans and others who dislike and oppose Obama can quit the self-destructive behavior of the post-Reagan years epitomized by the poor showing in the last election.

    Our system is finely tuned and ruthlessly self-maintaining. It forces individuals and organizations to make choices, adapt and sometimes compromise.

    Sooner or later, sometimes brutally, it discards those who continue to demonstrate they do not have these capacities, who become side-tracked, cannot face reality or keep holding on to comforting or exciting illusions.

    It happened to Jimmy Carter. It happened to Gerald Ford. It happened to the elder Bush. It happened to Newt Gingrich. It happened to McGovern and McCarthy. It happened to the Whigs. It happened to the South. It happened to many in our history and if the Republican Party is not careful it will happen to it.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.
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