Homeland Security Expansion

You may or may not be aware of these developments:

“A footnote attached to the report by the Homeland Security Office of Intelligence and Analysis defines “rightwing extremism in the United States” as including not just racist or hate groups, but also groups that reject federal authority in favor of state or local authority, reports the Washington Times today.

“It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single-issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration,” the report states.”

” The report, entitled Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment (PDF link) was leaked to the Internet a few days ago. It also equates gun owners with violent terrorists and states that radical extremists are “stockpiling” weapons in fear of an Obama administration gun ban.

The document characterizes concerns about the economy, unemployment, the loss of U.S. sovereignty and the move towards global government as “rightwing extremist chatter on the Internet” which itself is defined as a potential tool for terrorists to network, build bombs, and send encrypted messages to each other.”

– from a post about Texas Governor Rick Perry

I don’t know about you… but this strikes me as ominous. Aren’t all those conversation “flags” simply topics that need discussion and part of what an alert citizen should concern themselves with, in debates, protests, and political action?

People all over the US are feeling pretty insecure and gun ownership is one response. Visit any Walmart and you know that ammunition is disappearing off the shelves quickly. This is more than “extremists” – this is a serious disconnect between the present congress and administration and the American People reasonable concerns. It ought to be handled that way and not drummed into a “Homeland alert” status.

Unfair and Self Destructive

I didn’t vote for Obama- I’m going to be upfront on that, but this trend:“The populist anger at the executives who ran their firms into the ground is increasingly blowing back on Obama” is not just politics. It is about preservation of the USA. All of us. Our economic health is not partisan and it isn’t even a divide between immigrant and citizen. We ought to hold the fire under those who are the problem. We ought to all be part of the solution. Pressure AIG, surely bring pressure to bear on the executives who ought to go be pariahs until they are ashamed enough to do what is right: return their obscene bonuses. Or something.

But don’t turn this into a political circus… and don’t get on the wrong side of it.

You know there was an old story in one of the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, it took place during a time of deep winter and blinding blizzards, when two young men risked their lives to get grain for their starving community. They understood the risk to be for their neighbors and family’s survival. The grocer who sponsored their undertaking decided that he was going to grasp this as his own personal windfall and hiked the price unconscionably high to the starving townsfolk. Just because he could. They risked their lives, he reaped the profits…for himself.

The irate reaction included the promised threat that for those who survived, there would be no patronizing this unethical man’s business. He was forced to back down -at least in the story. There is a certain strength in the voice and the power of the people so long as they keep their focus right. And it is this focus on the greedy individuals who have slaughtered our economy and its pensions and benefits for themselves… and continue to eat well off the carcass. Not President Obama.

Conservatives, don’t play the fool, stop making partisan hay while the barns burn down.

What is the Solution ?

Stuff in the News

Things that my husband and I are talking about:
Just a token article about a growing phenomenon, Growing gun buying, widening ammo shortage, there is huge backlog of demand for ammunition right now. This is another one of those background areas that thinking people need to pay attention to. I don’t believe this is just a ‘fringe’ or fly-by-night situation. There seems to be a growing number of people who are concerned enough about the direction of society and the government to take definitive action in arming themselves.

Several reasons I see:

  • The illustrated breakdown of civil society after Hurricane Katrina
  • The growing problem in Mexico with the importation of their gang and crime troubles into the US
  • The specter of the promises and pretty painted pictures turning sour as Democrats move their agenda forward, and resulting unrest and increased crime in the streets
  • A general loss of trust in the government
  • The rise of control and intervention beyond what the populace ever expected or can tolerate

Those are a few inter-related dynamics that are simmering.

IF our economy turns around, IF we develop a workable policy to deal with Mexican drug imports and their drug cartels, IF there is a convincing show of the government taking the interests of citizens to heart in things like privacy, property ownership (and help Americans feel fully represented by their government), I think there is hope. But that is a big order in today’s climate.

There are some very important issues arising these days besides those in that list. Not all have to do with the economy, which draws all attention at this time to itself (the Dow dropping below 7000 just today, and threatening to drop further). There are ethical issues, some of which waited in the background until just the opportunity they have today. One I am watching:Economic stimulus? Feds want your medical records

What about you? what is the topic of concern for your family and friends? what wshould we place in priority when we want our government to hear our voice?

Rant of the Year?

Ok, I’m not going to say a lot here, mainly because I tend to a moderate view on some of the proposed fiscal policy. That said, though, I do think we are hearing the voice of many people in our nation, when hearing the opinions voiced here. What it means to me is that if there are bailouts and buyouts and stimulus packages, they need to be wisely and carefully implemented. And because of it being government… especially Democrat managed government, I just don’t have lots of confidence that this is how it will go. At least the ranters are foreshadowing the umbrage that is simmering right now. It remains to be seen how seriously that is taken into consideration in the coming years.

Civilian Corps: Your Friendly Neighborhood Gestapo

That may be what we are headed for in realizing Obama’s promised Dream State. I have had a discussion going with Hootsbuddy about the idea of a civilian corps as put forth by Rahm Emanuel, that we took into private email for a few exchanges. All friendly, while in disagreement- the way good civil conversations should go. But I think it is time we took off the rosey colored glasses that give us the warm fuzzies whenever we hear of the bright bushy tailed civilian corps of paramilitary youth drafted for the “community good”.

Please read Hoots “Obama’s “civilian national security force” Explained”

Here is something that is reported to be happening now. This, my friends, is the direction of government regulation… and it ain’t all crunchy granola laced love and light.

Swat Team conducts food raid in rural Ohio. Read on.

Continue reading Civilian Corps: Your Friendly Neighborhood Gestapo

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Jewish Center…

“I must be the luckiest jihadist in town. What are the odds?” -Mark Steyn on terrorists in Mumbai

…but the ending is not happy for anyone, for “that is the way of a [jihadist].”

I beg to differ… things have changed

Been reading over the reactions of my fellow conservatives in the wake of the election of a Left Democratic President. A few things struck me.

One comment:”The Clinton’s entertained us for eight years with their hijinks and I’m sure Barry & the Clowns will do the same.

And, in the end little to nothing will change.”

That was appended to a post by Slublog,”He is risen“. I don’t think so. No one who has seen the economy wobble, the stock market fall… and not getting up, witness the exodus of the younger generation from the Republican party, the Democratic policy agendas that have been touted in the election, or put their finger to the wind of the prevailing mood of the nation can think that nothing will change. Things have already changed. And we are just going to witness the fallout of that as Obama begins to implement his goals.

I’m not optimistic. But I think the die had already been cast.

On the other hand, this is a resilient country and one that is still the land of opportunity. I just think we will need to stop looking to government to be our Messiah. And yes, I chose that phrasing on purpose.

Another thing that has struck me. a number of conservative voices are saying something like this,”I love this country too much to do to President Obama what the left did to President Bush, John McCain and Sarah Palin. I hope my fellow conservatives will do the same – demonization is not essential to opposition… I’ve spent far too much time criticizing the left to become like them.” (from the same Slublog post). And while I don’t doubt that this is meant and spoken in all sincerity, I don’t think it is all of the story.

The Right can get as down and dirty as the Left. Well, almost, but I think something else is going on here. I believe that we see that the challenges are not partisan ones, and that Obama has his good points. Perhaps I should say that we are drawn to him as a person, as much as we resisted that temptation, during the campaign, on the basis of what was at stake in the issues and the fundamental reality of the Supreme Court appointments. But the people have spoken, and we are all going to get the majority’s choices (no matter how slim, or mistaken that majority choice). So I think that the amiability of conservatives shows that they liked things about Obama, too. Just not the government that his politics will attempt to form.

So they talk of a “gentleman’s” war. Well, we’ll see about that. I’m not sure where all this courtliness is going or how long it will last, although I do think everyone is willing to see just what direction this new congress and president are headed.

Biden-Palin Debate

Watched the debate.. now all the commentators are giving their opinions, so here is mine.

Sarah Palin did well, which came as a surprise to some quarters. As a debater, though, I think Biden did better. That isn’t to say his arguments were better, but I was a little uncomfortable with Palin avoiding a few too many questions and points. I thought she did well to sidestep some, but it happened more than it should’ve.

On the whole, I think those who were for McCain-Palin are still for them… and those for Obama- Biden are still for them. On that count I don’t think the debate changed much.

Palin did well to point out some of the differences between Biden and Obama in their policy and voting records, and to clarify the complexity of some issues. Biden did better with rhetoric that drove home his contentions.

… but isn’t it strange how the debate between the VP candidates holds more attention and weight than that between the actual presidential candidates? that may change over the next few weeks, but it still was a rather bizarre situation.

After The Speech

What a difference one speech can make. I think everyone all around agrees that Sarah Palin’s speech was a resounding success- McCain couldn’t have looked more pleased, and with good reason. It is obvious that Sarah Palin energizes and humanizes McCain. that is the best any candidate could hope for.. a running mate that lights up the stage, but spotlights their own best profile.

Did she do what the McCain’s election supporters hoped? She took a big step in that direction. Before I tell you how I look at it, I want to tell you the effect it had on my husband. He is more representative of a large group of people in this country, reflecting a specific conservative, populist demographic. The ones that many of the conservative bloggers appeal to, the ones that listen to Rush Limbaugh, the “everyman” that Sarah Palin invoked in her speech. For him, in his words, he’s “voting Palin”. That is right… the whole idea of voting for an Independent, or protest vote pivoted sharply in favor of the McCain-Palin ticket last night. What the news journalists (and I listened quite a bit to what CBS and my local PBS station had to say ( interviews with Tavis Smiley‘s guests, Charlie Rose‘s, plus the PBS news reports segments), what they are calling the “base” of the Republican party, those that my husband well represents, are won over to the fold. At least in an early sympathy.

But what last night has shown, to me at least, is that this is going to be one tough, tooth and nail campaign. In feeling I’d compare it to the Nixon/McGovern race of the past. I think that is true for a couple reasons. First, because it involves the dreams, invested dreams, of large numbers of people. The idea of breaking through the race barrier, and now of breaking though the gender glass ceiling, is a powerful impetus that is going to make it a high stakes election. And second, because both times involve an unpopular, debated war and its policies.

It has been high stakes for other reasons: judicial appointments, but that is all but forgotten in the electrical zaps of ideological dreams.

So my husband at this point is solidly in the Republican camp, at least right now. There are some choppy waters and unknown shoals yet ahead. Me? I’m a bit more of an iconoclast. Mavericks and such don’t easily “hang together”. They have to come to a place where their ideals and convictions engage. When I listened to Sarah Palin’s speech, the first part was very inspiring… she was saying things well, and her speaking ability was powerful. She and Obama both are very gifted in that ability. But as the speech went on I felt there were parts that would be picked up by Dems and would come back to haunt her… and the campaign. I suppose that is going to be inevitable, that is what happens when a campaign appeals to people in areas they feel very passionate about as this election does.

I did see McCain more favorably through his interaction and response to his running mate and what she represents. I do think, as many news analysts said, that Palin has a harmony with the characteristics of McCain. so I changed my mind on the idea that she might have been chosen just because she is a woman. I now think the choice had more levels than that alone.

I still have reservations about the “Supermom” aspect. There is also a priority position now given to our definition and discussion of “sexism”. I heard the issue raised quite a bit, and in ways that made me feel that, … even for those strongly involved in the issues of gender and fairness, etc. there is a whole new sensitivity that raises more than the usual debate. Race may be something taking a back seat, and gender debate may well be at the forefront of this election’s debate. At least, it seems that way to me at this point in time.

I tend to vote on issues more than on personality. I tend to aim for voting on what I see as the general good for the country, rather than my own personal moral views. ie I am morally against war for the most part( more complex than this post’s discussion merits- it would just digress)… so I was likely to vote for McCain anyway. Obama just held too many social issue views and opinions on how government runs (read that as the problems I have with the whole Democrat platform and agenda). As a person, I like him. I like his wife. I like the idealism. But the pragmatist in me wins, in politics. And I have been firmly conservative since the mid-seventies.

The one issue that will swing me is that I am pro-life. That will be a deal breaker for me… and the McCain-Palin ticket has the goods on that one. Margaret Thatcher showed me that a woman can lead well, and I think Sarah Palin is up for the job, but my reservations are with her time in life, not her gender. but as I am a bit of a Maverick myself, I’m willing to risk my reservations.

The Republicans have forged a formidable ticket, this time, I believe. The Democrats won’t have it as easily in their pocket as four years of deliberate invective against President Bush might have forecast.

Everyone agrees: this will be one interesting election campaign. And as bloggers are prone to say…. “Time to pop more popcorn!”