Looking for an honest Democrat: two found

Diogenes_looking_for_honest_manGreek philosopher Diogenes lived 51 years, from 404 BC to 323 BC and founded the Greek philosophy of Cynicism. In his time he was thought of as a “crank” for his strange eccentricities. He would carry a lantern in the in the daytime and when asked why he would say, “I’m just looking for an honest man.”

Eating in the marketplace was a social taboo in ancient Greek, so that is where Diogenes liked to eat. Confronted for this he defended his habit by claiming it was the cheating and lying of the marketplace that made him long for sustanance. Diogenes’ quirks are apparently the source for the name given in 1966 to a present day psychological disorder called Diogenes Syndrome, characterized by extreme self-neglect, domestic squalor, social withdrawal, apathy, compulsive hoarding of trash, and lack of shame. It afflicts mainly the elderly.

So it must be with cautious trepidation that anyone would claim to be looking for an honest Democrat.  Were it not that Democrats have consistently chosen serial liars and cheats as their leaders since a least 1992 one would surely risk being dismissed as a kook for the implied accusation of sweeping and predominant dishonesty among Democrats.

“I did not have sex with that woman,” “If you like your insurance you can keep it,” “Benghazi was a spontaneous protest against a Youtube video”, and everything any Democrat says in regard to the ridiculous phony charge against Republicans for a supposed “war on women,” are only a few of the many examples of blatant Democrat mendacity that can be marshaled.  It won’t do to say Republicans are no better.  They aren’t boy scouts but they don’t misrepresent themselves with anywhere near the consistency of Democrats. The biggest charge to be made against Republicans is not that the lie about who they are, but that they don’t even know who they are and can’t figure out what they stand for.  Republicans appear to be on the cusp of winning big in the November election but if that happens it won’t be because they’ve given the American people any reason to favor them, but rather because people are fed up with Democrats at the moment.  A Republican win in November won’t be a win at all, it will just be that they were the ones left standing after the voters lodged their protest against Democrats.  But I digress.

There are at least two (2) Democrats who are smart, honest and decent and don’t want to put every man, woman and child in America on food stamps.  There are at least two Democrats in America who love liberty for themselves and don’t mind if the rest of us also enjoy some freedom.  It’s telling, however, that neither of them are elected politicians nor political insiders. One of them is 89 years old, however. Long may he live.

Nat Hentoff, born June 25, 1925, is an authority on the First Amendment. His books and articles regularly defend the rights of Americans to think and speak freely. He writes a column, Sweet Land of Liberty, that has been distributed by the United Feature Syndicate since 1992.  All of his recent columns can be found at Jewish World Review.

Hentoff was a columnist and staff writer with The Village Voice for 51 years, from 1957 until 2008. A jazz expert, Hentoff writes on music for The Wall Street Journal and Jazz Times.  Hs is currently much concerned with the attacks on free speech and due process on America’s college campuses. The “speech codes” that the Left is attempting to institute in the very place where freedom of thought and inquiry should reign supreme are anathema to Hentoff, as they should be to everyone.

Joel Kotkin is a lifelong Democrat and will no doubt stay that way, as untypical a Democrat that he is.  He is an authority on economic, political and social trends.  His books include The Next 100 Million: America In 2050 which explores how America will evolve in the next four decades; The City, a Global History, which examines the evolution of urban life over the millennia and attempts to explain what makes a city great; and his most recent that I am presently reading, The New Class Conflict, written from the point of view of those who are the losers in this class conflict: the middle class.  Kotkin’s most recent writing is a column in the Orange County Register last Friday, Thunder on the Left, in which he writes of the Leftward lurch among Democrats and their disenchantment with Obama’s fat-cat crony capitalism and his close ties with the moguls of Wall Street and Silicon Valley who have been the chief beneficiaries of his economic policies, while middle-class incomes have fallen.

Kotkin and Hentoff are two Democrats, Hentoff even calls himself a liberal, who care about much of the same things conservatives care about.  They care about (among other good things) liberty, limited government, and fiscal responsibility. They’re the only two Democrats I’ve found who care about those things. There used to be a lot more of them. My mother was one, until she died at age 100.

Gabby Giffords and The ad misericordiam logical fallacy

Screen Shot 2014-10-18 at 8.49.52 AMFormer Democratic Congressman from Arizona Gabby Giffords was shot in the head at a campaign rally in 2010.  We’re all glad she seems to have recovered from her physical wounds. We should not be glad she is now using that terrible experience in an attempt to force new gun control laws on law-abiding citizens who do not have any blame for what happened that day.  In fact, it was one of the those law-abiding citizens who was lawfully carrying a gun that stopped the shooter from hurting anyone else.

If she wanted to persuade anyone that gun control laws have merit, exploiting her horrific experience is the wrong way to go about it.  Public policy matters like gun rights should be open to deliberation and debate.  The politics of victimhood is always and everywhere an attempt to short circuit opposing argument.  It is an appeal to raw emotion in order to avoid the forces of reason and logic.  It reminds me of the old lawyer joke that goes like this: If the facts are on your side, pound the facts; if the law is on your side, pound the law; if neither the facts nor the law support you, pound the table.

Gabby Giffords’ arguing from pity and misery is even worse than the lawyer pounding the table because she is appealing to everyone’s sympathy for her victim status to gain support for her position.  The lawyer pounding the table doesn’t elicit sympathy from anyone. Giffords’ indulgence in the charged emotions of compassion for her injuries is meant to browbeat people into accepting her desired policy change without having to do the hard labor of making a reasonable argument for it.

Other Democrats running campaigns based on infringing gun rights apparently have noticed that Giffords’ tactics are backfiring, and they are seeking to distance themselves from her and her sleazy attempt to bully and intimidate people into self reproach.

Democrat gun control candidate distances herself from “aggressive” Gabby Giffords. New Hampshire’s WMUR 9 ABC reports that though incumbent Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH 1st District) is thoroughly in favor of gun control, the tone of attack in Giffords’ new ad is simply too much for her. The video on the outlet’s website clearly demonstrates Shea-Porter’s desire to move away from being associated with the former representative’s ad.

According to the National Journal, Carol Shea-Porter has “flatly denied any association” with the ads against Republican challenger Frank Guinta (R). Giffords’ group–Americans for Responsible Solutions (ARS)–is running the ad.

The ad attacks Guinta for his pro-Second Amendment stand in much the same way Giffords’ group has been attacking the pro-Second Amendment stand of Martha McSally (R) in Arizona’s District 2.

Guinta is leading in the polls.




“Fast and Furious” revelations show you can’t be too cynical about Obama’s government

Eric Holder’s Top Deputy Resigns Amid Revelation Fast and Furious guns Used in Phoenix Crime

The revelation is that an illegally purchased gun, a transaction facilitated by the ATF pursuant to Fast and Furious, was used to commit a crime in Phoenix.  The revelation in contained in documents obtained through a lawsuit by Judicial Watch against the Phoenix Police Department to force compliance with a public records request.  [These are public records but it seems to always take a lawsuit to get the documents].

James Cole, the official who has resigned, doesn’t admit that his resignation is because of yesterday’s revelation, but I’d say this is a case where the post hoc ergo propter hoc logical fallacy is no fallacy at all.  Cole claims he’s resigning because he wants to work in the private sector.  Sure.

From the article cited above, here is a primer on Eric Holder’s “Fast and Furious,” operation:

In Operation Fast and Furious, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) agents, under the direction of their supervisors, orchestrated situations in which criminals known as “straw purchasers” were allowed to purchase firearms from Phoenix-area gun stores. Straw purchasers are people who buy guns for others, and are regularly employed by criminal enterprises and weapons smugglers for groups like the Mexican drug cartels. Normally, ATF agents arrest such people as they make straw purchases, but during Fast and Furious they did not. During Fast and Furious, the federal agents let the guns and their purchasers get away—and hundreds of guns ended up in the hands of cartel operatives in Mexico. The scandal broke wide open after one gun was used in the murder of Border Patrol agent Brian Terry in December 2010, but hundreds of Mexicans are thought to have been killed with the guns, and congressional leaders who have investigated the matter say they expect more violence in both Mexico and the U.S.—like this instance in Phoenix—with the Fast and Furious weapons.

Holder, the attorney general, has failed to cooperate with the Fast and Furious congressional investigation led by Issa and Grassley. Holder was voted, on a bipartisan basis, into both criminal and civil contempt of Congress—a first in the history of the United States for a Cabinet-level official—after he failed to provide documents to Issa’s committee pursuant to a congressional subpoena. President Obama himself has asserted executive privilege over many of the Fast and Furious documents, an executive privilege claim that Grassley and Issa say is invalid and unlawful that is currently being litigated in court pursuant to the civil contempt citation. Ron Machen, the U.S. attorney for the District of Columbia, declined to prosecute Holder.

Grassley and Issa say Obama’s executive privilege claim is invalid because he is asserting the lower of two forms of privilege, deliberative process privilege rather than the higher form of presidential communications privilege. If he asserted the latter higher form, Obama would be admitting that either he or his top deputies knew of details of Operation Fast and Furious of which he and his senior advisers have vigorously denied knowledge—and the lower form of privilege, Grassley and Issa have noted, is considered immediately invalid with even the suspicion of government wrongdoing. In Fast and Furious, Obama, Holder, and the rest of the Obama administration have admitted there was not only a suspicion of government wrongdoing, but that government wrongdoing actually occurred.

We now know that Eric Holder and Obama have been lying all along about Fast and Furious. But why was this thing ever done in the first place? One simple reason, I believe. It was to make it appear that it was the Second Amendment that makes it impossible to keep guns out of the hands of criminals.  They believed that if the American people saw that guns from U.S. gun stores were regularly making their way to Mexico and the Mexican drug cartels, then the people would support draconian gun laws.  Of course, this depended on nobody discovering that it was the U.S. Government running the guns.

You can’t be too cynical about the Obama administration.



Obama has flubbed on protecting America from Ebola since 2008

In 2008, the incoming Obama administration failed to implement all of the CDC’s advice to prevent an Ebola outbreak

The Centers for Disease Control told the incoming Obama administration in 2008 that it should establish 18 regional disease detection centers around the world to adequately safeguard the U.S. from emerging health threats like Ebola, according to an agency memo.

But six years later, as the government struggles to contain the fallout from a deadly Ebola outbreak at home and abroad, the CDC still has only 10 centers — and none of them operates in the western Africa region hardest hit by the deadly virus.

“The existing centers have already proven their effectiveness and impact on detecting and responding to outbreaks including avian influenza, aflatoxin poisoning, Rift Valley fever, Ebola and Marburg virus outbreaks,” the CDC said in its memo to the Obama transition team, which The Washington Times obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request.

At the time, the CDC had five centers set up, and has only added five more of the 13 the agency had proposed “to complete the network and properly protect the nation.”

The memo sheds new light on the problems dealing with the current Ebola crisis, which intensified with the revelations Wednesday that a second Texas nurse had tested positive for the disease and President Obama used a White House Cabinet meeting to promise a “more aggressive” federal response to the threat.

The CDC’s plan outlined in the transition memo was based on the notion that the U.S. shouldn’t wait for a disease to enter the country but rather monitor threats in hot spots overseas to try to help local public health authorities control outbreaks before then.

His agenda was transforming America into a socialist welfare state, not protecting it from deadly diseases. In other words, his goal was to infect America with his political agenda, nothing more. Certainly nothing else had a higher priority.

Tom Frieden was appointed in 2009, so the CDC still had competent leadership in 2008. Frieden’s recent remarks show that he was probably never a supporter of disease detection centers. He has said that stopping Ebola where it exists in Africa won’t work. We should be scared to death of this strange statement and the sort of muddled thinking behind it.

We can remember also the words of Rahm Emanuel [Obama’s chief of staff at the time, now Mayor of Chicago]: “You never want to let a crisis go to waste because you can do things you wouldn’t otherwise be able to do. Preventing a crisis would have interfered with the agenda.  From that perspective, a crisis is an opportunity. The more deadly the crisis the greater the opportunity to implement socialism.

Front page of tomorrow’s New York Daily News


Obama is having a hard time getting a grip because he’s trying to figure out how to blame Ebola on the Republicans.  Glenn Reynolds: “If a problem can’t be solved by blaming Republicans, Obama can’t solve it.”

This is not the conservative New York Post, it’s the liberal New York Daily News.

James O’Keefe outs another Democrat liar misleading his constituents to get re-elected

Alison Grimes of Kentucky is well known for her lies about her support for the Kentucky coal industry. She says she will do all she can to protect coal in Kentucky. She’s been exposed as lying all along to get elected. Once in office she will join Obama in his attempt to destroy the coal industry. If she were honest about that she’d have no chance of getting elected in Kentucky.

Rush Limbaugh famously says that Democrats in general cannot tell voters what the really want to do once in office because they could never win an election if they did. Lying is therefore just the normal course for Democrats in order to win.

Now Mark Pryor of Arkansas is also exposed as lying about his stance on gay marriage. He’s for it but is trying to trick voters into believing he supports traditional marriage because gay marriage is a political loser in Arkansas.

Here is the undercover video that James O’Keefe’s Project Veritas Action team has produced on Mark Pryor:

If you think it’s wrong for politicians to lie to the voters you should never vote for any Democrat. It’s not that no Republican ever lies, but they are much more likely to get caught because the media will do its job where Republicans are concerned. We don’t need an undercover team to discover Republicans who lie, the media will do that. But the media gives Democrats a pass because in reality they’re just an arm of the Democrat party. Therefore, we know what Democrats are lying about only when it’s discovered by James O’Keefe. Of course, it’s now to the point that we might just as well assume they’re lying whenever their lips are moving. That’s certainly the case with Barack Obama.

Found: A smart mayor and 10 savvy county commissioners

In Loudon County, Tennessee:

Loudon County commissioners voted 10 to zero Monday night to take down warning signs that prohibit firearms inside the county’s office building.

This idea was pitched by recently elected Loudon County Mayor Rollen “Buddy” Bradshaw, who says this move is all about safety.

“What the gun signs in effect did was disarm a law abiding citizen, and I didn’t feel comfortable being a part of that,” said Mayor Bradshaw. ”I think this makes us safer. In my opinion removing the signs is the same thing as removing a bullseye.”

Sounds like they know 92% of mass shootings since 2009 have occurred in “gun-free” zones, and they decided to stop being a target rich environment for crazed killers.

There needs to be more of this.

The email I received from “Speaker Boehner” today

Here is what it said:

Our team at the NRCC sent me the spreadsheet of recent supporters and I don’t see your name on the list. We need all of our grassroots supporters engaged in these final weeks before Election Day.

The Democrats’ campaign machine is desperate and it’s stepping up attacks – if we don’t have the resources to respond we could come up short when votes are counted.

So, I’m personally asking that you do your part in electing conservatives by making a donation of $50, $25, $10 or whatever you can today.

Here is my reply:

You asked me to do my part in electing conservatives. I’m wondering why you haven’t been doing your part to elect conservatives. You have been attacking conservatives and the Tea Party for the last 2 years. You have given every indication that you don’t like conservatives, and that your feelings for the Tea Party approach hatred. You seem to want these conservatives out of the Republican party.

You have said that Republicans cannot win elections with conservatives alone. What happened? Did you suddenly realize that Republicans can’t elections without conservatives?

Too little, too late, Mr. Speaker. I bet there are a whole lot of names missing from your spreadsheet, people who were once loyal supporters who just don’t understand why you’ve been dissing them. Their refusal to give you any campaign contribution money is the just what you should have expected, don’t you think?