Rachel Maddow’s Drift – A Review

Rachel Maddow is best known for her show on MSNBC. She does have the credentials to write and research about the military-industrial complex, including a doctorate in politics from Oxford and a public policy degree from Stanford. Whether you are liberal or conservative, you cannot help but shake your head as Maddow explores the power struggle between Congress and the Presidency over the control of the military.

One repeated point in the book is the intent by the framers of the Constitution to limit the executive power to declare war. When you think about the type of ego that is attracted to the Presidency, is it any wonder that that ego gets in the way of clear-headed policy making for the good of all? And Congress has become as spineless as non-voters in waiting to see the results of popularity polls on Executive military actions, instead of debating and taking a position on those actions beforehand.

But don’t we get what we ask for? Jimmy Carter is the only president in memory, who actually wanted to focus on the internal concerns of the United States. If he had been allowed to work on energy alternatives, perhaps we would have had the energy business as a substitute for the loss of all those manufacturing jobs.

If nothing else Maddow demonstrates the validity of my anger whenever someone likes to point his or her finger at immigrants stealing our jobs and resources with our tax dollars. It is much easier to point at foreigners than at ourselves. We have allowed our leaders to play whatever games they want on a world stage with our tax money for what exactly? What benefits have come from nuclear arms, Granada, the Iran-Contra fiasco, Bosnia, Kuwait, Afghanistan, etc.? We’ve played G.I. Joe for so long, that few of us realize the billions of tax dollars wasted on the military-industrial complex, which now includes outsourcing non-military personnel and the CIA to do jobs long held by the military.

It is no wonder that our bridges and infrastructure are deteriorating and that our healthcare and educational systems are underwhelming when compared to other countries. As leaders of the free world, what exactly are we leaders of?

Maddow has successfully stated the problems and how we got to our present state of affairs. She has also suggested ways to reverse these dangerous trends. Unfortunately, many of us prefer ignorance and who can blame us? We choose to live our lives focusing on things that matter to us and on things that we feel we can control, like family and community, and we choose to disregard the egos and cowards, who bankrupt all of us from being all that we can be.

America, Sweet Home and Our Government

I have not lost resolve or commitment to our wonderful nation and home, The United States of America, but I want to stress the concept of “United.” If you, the reader, find yourself relating to the concepts that I present, then I know that I have selected well. I can see with one eye that this is not the America that my Dad grew up in and helped to make strong and free. Time for some honest-to-goodness spring cleaning in our government!

I believe that our Motherland is in danger, but not as much danger as it would appear to the untrained eye. As the “silent majority,” or more accurately, “the straight-thinking majority,” we have been observing and analyzing all of the seemingly insane antics of a Government run amuck. I feel confident in stating that all of the profound failures and constitutional violations of Big Government will only serve to make us all more responsible in the future; and we will never stray down these Socialist and Marxist paths again. (Say that last part quickly) One needs only to see the aftermath of these twisted schemes in Europe and elsewhere to appreciate how “dead-end” these paths truly are.

Be vigilant my friends. Know the issues and know the candidates. Get out and vote responsibly. It seems the least that we can do, considering the rewards that come with living in the greatest nation under God’s heaven.

I believe that each of us needs to protect our personal rights and freedoms, but realize that when our actions violate the rights of others. They are no longer our “rights.” Likewise, when the government encroaches upon our rights as American Citizens, then it becomes our duty and privilege to stand firm and say “NO!” “You, Mr. Government, are of, by and for us, The American Citizens, and don’t you forget it for even a moment.” Actually, I think the politicians have forgotten it.

I say the government does not decide what is best for us, but rather it’s sworn duty is to look to us for guidance. Listen to us, Mr. Government! Dissolve your delusions and visions of grandeur and get back to reality. Operating smoothly and efficiently is your people’s will.

We have had more than enough. We have given you way too many chances. We are a united people; much more so than current government realizes. We are not a bunch of mindless sheep walking quietly to the slaughter.

Look boldly at recent history where charismatic “leaders” have swiftly and heartlessly led their “followers” down the road of ultimate destruction. Not to the American People you won’t, No Sir! Be ye warned, we will not tolerate.

Travis Perkins, Author

I am Travis Perkins and I went from a stay at home mom to an operator in the oil industry for 30 years to an entrepreneur building an EMPIRE! My joy comes from sharing HOW I did this. I encourage you to write and submit original high quality articles to Ezine Articles to increase your sales and traffic to your site. Not only do I produce articles, but my passion is writing true-to-life stories.

Afghanistan And Pakistan Conflict, Extremism And Resistance To Modernity – By Riaz Muhammad Khan

A dispassionate analysis of the most sensitive region in the context of extremism in the world, the book, coming from the former foreign secretary of Pakistan, is a breath of fresh air in the plethora of literature on the subject. Without prejudice for or against Pakistan, the book is an exception to the usually mundane literature produced by the former Pakistani diplomats. Then, it is not sensational but rather precise in giving a cool-headed analysis of the current situation in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Divided into three parts, with a dose of history in the first part, it delves into the origin of the intellectual crisis gripping Pakistan in the second part and leads to the author’s perspective on the possible recipe for resolution of the issue in the region. One doesn’t see the usual Pakistani narrative of being threatened by India as a reason for becoming a security state. The author, instead, focuses on the internal dynamics of the Pakistani politics, the weakness of its political institutions, the role of its military elite and the subsequent Afghan jihad as the reason for this development. India, while playing a part in this development, has not been singled out as the sole factor of this degeneration. He specially mentions the role of General Zia ul Haq, the Pakistani dictator in 1980s, in the drastic radicalization of the Pakistani society. General Zia introduced the draconian Hudood laws in Pakistan and supported the religious organizations, including the militant ones, for his own convictions and political expediency. The Americans and the Saudis in particular supported this phenomenon to counter the former USSR in Afghanistan. Subsequent policies in Kashmir and Afghanistan in 1990s, dictated by the army in Pakistan, only aggravated the situation. Taliban and al-Qaeda, were the products of this helpful environment.

In the second part, the author focuses on the prevalent ideological confusion in Pakistan with regard to the nature of extremism and the likely responses to it. The author goes back to the origin of the militancy, starting with the student wings of the religious parties on the University campuses in Pakistan. These outfits gained strength during the dictatorship of General Zia in 1980s. Encouragement by the state also led to gradual increase in influence of the religious organizations within army, bureaucracy and media. A spawning network of the madressas, the religious seminaries, added to the constituency of the religious organizations. This expanded influence resulted in the policy confusion post-9/11, when the Pakistani state had to revisit its policy regarding Afghanistan and India. The state could not own the war on terror as its own for quite some time. This only emboldened the militants, who hid behind the cover of Islam and termed any action against their activities as the steps by a puppet government against Mujahideen at the behest of the Americans. The lack of political direction and army’s fascination with flawed doctrines of strategic depth only added to the procrastination and formation of a national consensus.

After a brief analysis of the interests of the regional countries that peace in Afghanistan is good for all of them. He urges Pakistan not to interfere in the Afghan matters in any way. It should not even ask for a role for itself in the reconciliation process and should only help if asked for it explicitly by Afghanistan. Pakistan’s concerns should be limited to ensure that the Afghan territory is not used for any activity against peace and stability in Pakistan. It should focus more on the development and progress of its people, in which an opening up to the world, including over-land trade between Afghanistan and India will be beneficial to it. The role of the international community, as he sees it in the context of Pakistan, may be restricted to meaningful economic help in terms of market access, health and educational reforms. He singles out Saudis for special responsibility for the de-radicalization of the Paksitani society as he sees their charities and funds as an important factor in promoting extremism in Pakistan.

Afghanistan, he believes, will need some time to consolidate on its own. The drawdown of the US’ forces will be helpful in creating an environment for reconciliation efforts of the Afghan government to succeed. Exclusion of the Taliban from the political setup, he says, never was an option. Similarly, the NATO’s plans for raising a 250,000 strong Afghan-national army were unrealistic in view of the poor economic conditions of the country. He foresees a loose arrangement of quasi-autonomous regions under influence of various tribes owing allegiance to Kabul as a short term arrangement.

Book Review: ‘Understanding Public Policy’ by Paul Cairney

Book reviews may or may not become a more regular feature on this blog. Evidently, as a PhD student, I read a lot. And every so often, I come across a book that is not only a pleasure to read, but also highly useful to my work and research. It is books like these that I find deserves a broader audience. One such book is ‘Understanding Public Policy’ by Scotsman Paul Cairney, who is otherwise known for having co-authored an introduction to Scottish Politics.

What is in the book?

As with his book on Scottish Politics, Dr. Cairney excels at writing introductions to tough topics that are engaging and informative, yet without compromising on the depth and complexity of the issue at hand.

Understanding Public Policy: Theories and Issues – the title gives it away – introduces the reader to the study of public policy in political science. As it says on the cover, to the theories and issues in this particular field. The emphasis of the book is clearly on the theories, which structure the book. The issues come in throughout the book to illustrate the theoretical points at every step.

The book has 13 chapters, which can roughly be seen as covering 3 parts:

    • The first two chapters given an introduction and ask “How Should We Study It?”. The second chapter in particular seeks to provide the reader with a quick-guide on why theory, models and heuristics are needed and what they do. It also describes some of the pitfalls of studying public policy. Though the chapter can obviously not compete with book fully dedicated to heuristics and (meta-)theory, it does provide the reader with a good introductory primer. It still is the perhaps weakest part of the book.
    • Chapters 3 to 7 cover the “big” theories in the field, from Institutionalism to Rational Choice. Here, Cairney’s strength comes into its own. Each of these fields is a gargantuan literature in itself. He does and excellent job of covering the basics, highlighting formative and current debates and illustrate them with actual issues.
  • Chapters 8 to 12 cover some of the more specialist theories, ranging from Multi-Level Governance to Policy Transfer. Once more, Cairney’s skill in condensing the key elements of these scholarships into readable chapters, studded with definitions and explanations, makes these chapters and the book in general such a highly informative read.

Why should read it and why?

The book makes an excellent introduction for students or scholars entering the field of public policy. These are arguably its main audience and the book does an excellent job speaking to them.

I especially liked the short side-bar definitions of key terms and the occasional box that highlights some of the odder twists and turns that this literature has taken on some public policy questions in the past.

Cairney’s ability to draw from both classic and the most recent papers to present the discourse in each of these fields also makes the book an excellent for everyone seeking to refresh his knowledge in one of the fields covered by Cairney. Every chapter is, in essence, an up-to-date (to the publication) literature review of its field, which provides the reader with a solid basis and understanding. From there, it is easy to plunge in, to read, explore and write on any particular research-topic within the field.

I have found the book incredibly useful when I drafted a new conference paper. I recently set out to write on my personal subject of interest, aid evaluation, from a new angle of policy transfer. I couldn’t have hoped for a better rough guide to the literature than the one I found in ‘Understanding Public Policy’. Highly recommended.

How We Will Fact Check Presidential Debates in the Future

The technology that complements presidential debates has been changing since the first official one in 1960. The advents of mass media, television and now social media have allowed for greater interactions and reactions from the viewers, which is certainly a welcomed addition to a process that draws a meager 50% of eligible voters to the polls on Election Day. However, the record-setting 10.3 Million tweets shared during the first Obama-Romney Debate suggest that even more people are watching, paying attention and caring about this important process.

Not surprisingly, a lot of the chatter is focused on the truth and lies shared by the opposing parties. Because humans are fallible fact-checkers, it takes too much time to determine truth and it usually doesn’t come out until after-event, partisan commentary- And we’ve all seen the aftermath of rogue, real-time fact-checking. Which raises the question- With so many eyes and ears tuned to the same event, how can we make sure that the truth readily know?

Debating comes down to three modes of persuasion: ethos, pathos and logos. Ethos is the how well someone comes across as knowledgeable, pathos is someone’s ability to connect with emotion, and logos is the appeal to logic by using facts and figures, which aren’t necessarily true. While ethos and logos are more touchy-feely, logos is rooted in truth and should be held to a higher standard when introduced in a debated. Otherwise, we are relegated to a “he said she said” situation that gives merit to the better storyteller and not necessarily the better truth-teller. We as a people deserve better.

There’s technology around the world and at IBM that’s now being developed and aimed at solving such a problem. Questions that involve facts and semantics can now be broken down and understood by computers. The answers can then be found by leveraging the internet and reported back in a matter of seconds. This is no science fiction- IBM’s Watson computer made an impressive showing of this technology by defeating the Jeopardy champion Ken Jennings in 2011. When it comes to data mining and fact checking- computers do it better. I believe it’s only matter of time before this technology is incorporated into the political area.

So what exactly are we waiting for? Some of the current issues involved include deciphering the exact meaning of what was said and how to distill the facts out of misleading statements in order to refute them. There’s also a level of accuracy that needs to be achieved before debuting this technology, because a failure would be an immense setback. Perhaps it’s not ready just yet, but I predict that by 2020 this technology will be incorporated into the presidential debates. After all, there’s a dire need for it and it would be a wonderful PR opportunity for the creator, IBM or other. Though many of the human elements of debating will and ought to remain the same, facts are facts and they shouldn’t be abused as modes of persuasion. Don’t you agree?

Could America Become A Theocracy? Steven Jonas Thinks So – And Wrote “The 15% Solution” to Prove It

The ability of American secularists to maintain good mental health requires an uncommon capacity to resist the stresses and exasperations occasioned by a growing number of irrationalities. Daily, the people of this country are urged to think and act in ways that flaut reason and critical, evidence-based thinking. A few examples that come to mind include the gun fixation as expressed on behalf of weapons manufacturers by the NRA, a proliferation of deceptive advertising for medications, lunatic single issue campaigns by conspiracy buffs (e.g., the anti-vaccine movement), the threats to public schools from pseudoscience and pseudo-history, federal and state legislative initiatives that oppress women (e.g., anti-choice initiatives), movies and broadcast offerings that lend credence to psychic babble (and rabble), nearly everything communicated on Fox News or promoted by Republicans and, of course, the granddaddy of all schlock, religion. The latter can annoy in endless ways, from manifestations somewhat harmless (e.g., media coverage of all things Pope-related) to those that dismay (calls for prayer associated with tragedies and disasters) to the scarier cases that flaut Constitutional First Amendment safeguards and threaten our personal liberties.

In this context along comes Steven Jonas’ fictional non-fiction novel, The 15% Solution. Jonas describes how the Republican Religious Right, over a period of several decades, transformed America into a fascist Christian nation. Horrific stuff, but plausible enough based upon factual events commencing with the Reagan Administration in 1981 to the present time. Prophetically, this book was released before the North Carolina Legislature passed two thoroughly unconstitutional bills of a religious nature in 2013, one almost laughingly rendering prayer and fasting as state policy and the other explicitly declaring North Carolina a Christian state. (It was not signed into law.)

The 15% Solution employs the public record of theocratic statements, pledges and policies from leading Republicans and their allies on the Right to support details of a post democratic America after a theocratic coup. It seems a not-unlikely worst case scenario of off-the-rails religion-based government, a descent into totalitarian Christian rule. One overwhelming sense the reader gets from this book is that we are much closer to such a tragedy than most Americans realize.

While The 15% Solution has elements of the grim futures seen in Aldous Huxley’s “Brave New World” and George Orwell’s “1984,” the future that Dr. Jonas presents is most unnervingly closest to the dystopian order presented by Margaret Atwood in “The Handmaiden’s Tale.”

This is a scholarly book with twenty chapters in three sections, extensive footnotes, a very lengthy preface, an extensive afterword and, oh yes, seven appendices.

Features of the 15% Solution that I found most captivating include:

    • The actual statements, pledges, threats and promises of Right-Wing religious zealotry over many decades. Those quoted include Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Patrick Buchanan, Antonin Scalia, John Kasich, Robert Dornan, J. Danforth Quayle, Ralph Reed, Pat Robertson, David Duke, Paul Weyrich, Randall Terry, George F. Allen and David Barton, among others. I believe we tend to dismiss comments such as the following from Pat Buchanan: “We’re on the verge of taking [the Republican Party] back as prelude to taking back our country – as prelude to taking back the destiny of America, and when we get there, my friends, we will be obedient to one sovereign America and that is the sovereign of God himself.” (The Nation, D. Corn, 3/11/96). Maybe The 15% Solution will lead more Americans who don’t want the kind of country that theocrats like Buchanan view as heaven on Earth.
    • The repetition of an “author’s note” at the bottom of numerous pages to the effect that “there is no indication or evidence that… ” the parties quoted would have supported or approved of any of the events” described. Wink wink! The hell they wouldn’t. Steven Jonas knows they would, I know they would and readers will know they would love it. But, I suppose it’s wise in a legal sense to cover one’s posterior, particularly if everyone can have a good laugh about such notes while reading along. And goodness knows-the grim situation depicted needs humor. I don’t think there would be much of it in a theocratic, Taliban-like America.
    • The progression of the Republican Party into the American Faith Party, then the Republican Christian Alliance and finally the American Christian Nation Party.
    • The new national flag-a blend of the Christian cross and the old Confederate flag.
    • An extensive discussion of the nature of fascism in Appendix II. This word is tossed around a lot, often in ways that extend the word’s reach beyond recognition by an dictionary as well as out of line with good sense. Dr. Jonas makes it quite clear what it means and why he uses it judiciously and intentionally in this book.
    • The journal notes describing events by a concerned citizen showing how fascism arose in the U.S., the “national ancestor” of the fascist Christian state.
  • The inaugural addresses by theocratic presidents. If you think God-talk is bad now, watch out if the Christian state comes to pass.

There are a couple features of The 15% Solution that might diminish the prospects of the work becoming a best seller and wake up call for America. This is unfortunate because the widespread adoption of the work might promote the chances that this grim future will not come to pass. One is that it seems more suited as required reading for students in political science classes than casual reading for entertainment. It is scholarly and rich with substantiation for every major point advanced, including 30 or so amendments to the constitution outlined in detail that show the nation’s descent into religious fascism. Another is that it describes what happened in the past two decades that did NOT happen-yet. We all know that there has been no establishment yet of the apartheid state of the New American Republics in 2011. I wish Dr. Jonas had set the dates for these dreadful developments at least a decade or two into the future. But, that’s just a minor quibble-all the concerns remain and the assault on separation of god and government grows by the month. If The 15% Solution remains a fictional good read rather than an unerring secular prophesy of a fascist Christian takeover, I’ll be relieved and delighted.

Like a cancer, theocratic fascism is well on its way to being a serious possibility in America, and this book just takes the process a bit further than it has already traveled. There are no guarantees that our Constitutional democracy, our remarkably successful experiment of government of the people, by the people and for the people could not fail, as so depicted in The 15% Solution. Most of us have no idea how, exactly, to do what we are asked by political speech makers with the best of intentions (i.e., exercise “eternal vigilance” to safeguard our Constitutional democracy). People in the U.S. Congress and the Supreme Court, and powerful institutional forces whose objectives are essentially fascist in nature, already have significant power in our struggling democracy. It is not impossible that there could be secessionist (Christian) states and even a civil war, once again. I’m quite vigilant already-how can I be even more vigilant, and effective?

The more we know about how easily it could happen, little by little and bit by bit, the better our prospects for defeating it before it gets too far along.

Book Review of Cool War: The Future of Global Competition, by Noah Feldman

Using a breezy, didactic style, Harvard Law Professor Noah Feldman’s new book Cool War: The Future of Global Competition, discusses how China’s rise as a globally significant economic superpower has created an increasingly complex dilemma for the United States from both military and economic perspectives. Consequently, Feldman aptly coins the term “cool war,” to describe a far more complex set of cooperation, competition and tension between two foes locked in an uneasy embrace of economic interdependence.

Feldman notes that the two nations’ interrelationship is novel by historical standards. For example, during the entirety of the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union were clear military and political rivals, with little or no meaningful economic interactions. In contrast, communist-controlled China is currently the United States’ largest trading partner. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese students study in American universities, and the two nations have become stakeholders in a shared cultural and economic experiment.

Further, China quietly amassed a staggering amount of America’s sovereign debt. Even in the 20th century, Feldman points out that nations never invested significantly in another country’s national debt.

To act as the last remaining global superpower, Feldman correctly points out means having to spend like one. And, after several costly misadventures in Iraq and Afghanistan, the U.S. populace is clearly in no mood to spend trillions more on a massive military buildup, especially one that is premised on borrowing from the very nation that you ostensibly seek to defend against, to finance it.

While China has not yet sought to achieve military parity with the U.S., such a strategic goal is not beyond possibility. The end result, Feldman observes, is that a shooting war is not unavoidable, but some form of ongoing conflict clearly is.

He illustrates how Taiwan’s status and independence represents a significant potential flashpoint for both nations, as Taiwan’s current diplomatic posture involves ambiguity that suits both China and American desires. On one hand, chief among Chinese ambitions is to bring Taiwan back within its own orbit. On the other hand, a visible failure to defend Taiwan in the event of a crisis with China would effectively end any semblance of American global hegemony in the Far East. This imaginative moment may actually arrive sooner than anticipated, as many experts have contemplated that the U.S. may have to realistically abandon any hope of continuing to treat Taiwan protectively, in light of larger global realities involving North Korea and other flashpoints.

China’s global ambitions are hidden in plain sight. The populous nation has already invested billions in a conventional military buildup. In practice, China’s outward activities are in line with a government intent on eventually bringing its geostrategic position in line with its economic one.

With respect to China’s weaponry, Feldman astutely notes that such empowerment occurs over decades, not in a few months. And, unlike the U.S., which confers its powers to officials after a publicly visible election in regular cycles of 2 or 4 years, Chinese military plans can be more gradual, and without the need for sudden policy shifts after a contested election.

Further, China needs only to grow its military capacity to the point where it would be large enough to not have to actually use it. China ends up winning a war without ever firing a shot, as America suddenly finds itself disinterested in waging a serious war that it could actually lose.

Feldman also correctly notes that modern acts of “cyberwarfare” are a form of asymmetrical, non-traditional combat that permit the Chinese to exploit non-traditional weaknesses in the American security infrastructure without a realistic threat of military retaliation. Furthermore, covert cyberwar permits intellectual property theft and corporate espionage, where American companies’ trade secrets and other valuable data become compromised and stolen. Feldman predicts that regular, ongoing acts of cyberwarfare arising from within China are likely to continue in this “cool war” phase.

Feldman’s book notably does not explore the prevalence of Chinese counterfeiting as a source of ongoing contention with the United States corporate world. Counterfeit products are widely seen by American corporate interests as a serious covert form of economic espionage that are causing significant harm to business interests. While human rights are most certainly an important source of Chinese criticism from the West, China’s tolerance of intellectual property theft is a sorer spot for thousands of American companies, who routinely lobby for stronger and harsher penalties against such violations of WTO rules.

Feldman also notes that nationalistic sentiment exists on both sides of the coin, with China’s citizens likely to feel pride in China’s ascent to global prominence, and Americans’ frustration with Chinese currency manipulation and a growing trade deficit, equally robust. He notes that economic interdependence does not remove this tendency toward quiet conflict.

Another interesting area that Feldman discusses is the conflict between American and Chinese ideology, such as it is. The core ideology of the Communist Party today represents an odd experimental pragmatism in economics summed up by Deng Xiaoping’s quote: “It doesn’t matter if the cat is white or black; if it catches mice, it’s a good cat.” Even the goal of maintaining the communist party’s apparatus is viewed with such hard-nosed pragmatism, putting China is a very different ideological place than Stalinist Soviet Union in the 1960’s.

China’s ideological pragmatism leads to the result that it will gladly do business with countries such as the United States, as long as the American democracy will respect the way it does things. Therefore, the ideological divide between America and China is far less a moral chasm than the disagreements that separated Kennedy and Khruschev. However, to the extent that Americans perceive China as fundamentally unwilling to compromise on Western values such as human rights and the rule of law, it is difficult to imagine how continuing ideological conflict is not inevitable.

Cool War skirts an interesting issue: Feldman notes that as long as America can preserve the rule of law for itself, it has no absolute need to export it. For example, he notes that Western investors have an interest seeing their investments in China respected, but they would still eagerly invest there if China’s legal establishment were coercion-based (or even overtly corruption-based).

The problem with this observation is that it ignores the reality that in this current state of economic and fiscal interdependence, the American rule of law must be exported elsewhere, under the weight of its own legal system. Take, for example, when an American business executive famously invests in a Chinese-managed factory to make his company’s widgets. His company is bound by, among other things, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and a wide variety of regulatory, contract and tort-based doctrines, that would be applied in U.S. Courts against him and his company.

Assume that his Chinese-managed factory ends up hiring a few underage workers to make a few substandard widgets, which are later imported and sold to American consumers and his manager pays off a Chinese official to avoid any problems. This situation may be de rigeur in Chinese business, but in America, it can lead to that executive being terminated, sued, even prosecuted. This cultural and legal clash is not academic.

Illustrating this culture clash through diplomatic events, Feldman also discusses the anecdotal example of Wang Lijun, the Chinese police chief who sought asylum from the West after uncovering a murder case involving Bo Xilai and a dead British expat involved in a bribery scandal. The story confirmed several widely-held beliefs: first, that senior Chinese Communist Party officials engage in widespread corruption, and second, that these party officials and their family members act as though they are immune from the rule of law.

The modern twist is that the Chinese party ultimately tried to use this scandal to actually strengthen its own party apparatus, by citing the sordid affair as evidence in the alternative narrative that Chinese corruption will ultimately not stand. Whether any one actually believed the party is another matter entirely.

Why I Love Politics – My Wife Can’t Stand It!

Politics is dirty. Politics is filthy. Yes. Politics is ruthless and not for the faint hearted. It is a game that drains your heart of any grace and soul. It fills it instead with rage and unspeakable maladies. That is precisely the point. Calm and congenial fellows hardly vote – the angry and passionate do!

People often wonder why anybody in their right mind ever wants to be in politics in the first place? I sometimes wonder about that too. In reality, dirty as it main seem, much good in history has been accomplished through politics. Think of the end of slavery in Europe and the America’s. The workers rights and compensation in major world economies. The civil liberties or civil rights and the franchise it is in developed democracies across the globe. This is perhaps why despite the inherent slime, I still find it fascinating to watch endless loop of political shows – my wife can’t stand it!

Politicians may be badly spoken of on daily basis in media but they have a resilience that is fun to watch. Their polling numbers as a group is devastatingly bad – could be heart crushing in any other career if polls were similarly used as a metric of performance but that is not reason enough to diminish their individual ego or sense of self-belief.

They enjoy listening to their own voice. Their own reasoning. Their own facts. Their own crowds and adulation. Everyone else in the country could see them differently – but does it matter? If a regular Joe or Sally down the street had such enormous belief in what they can do; you can only imagine the impact it would have on their career or their community!

No matter how sticky a situation a politician may find themselves, they always have some explanation that rationalizes it. You may disagree with it but the net result is more often than not they get re-elected despite your disapproval. It must somehow work for them. So why am I addicted to this game of egos? Because there are lessons that we all can learn from the game that is politics:

    1. Do not be distracted from your goal. No matter the circumstance, speak affirmatively to yourself or to any that cares to hear. Then repeat it – again. Then, repeat it!
    1. Belief in your vision. Belief you can achieve it. Belief nothing could stop you from achieving it. Nothing excites a politician than a formidable opponent. We too should see opposition as a catalyst that refines our belief not a terminal condition to our goal.
  1. Rally others to your vision or goal. Our forward propulsions is directly dependent on the fuel others provide. Politicians know it and that is they should never have your phone or email; they won’t leave you alone thereafter!

These three elements are the reasons why you have year after year re-elected your congress or senate leaders to a body you so hate. You may dislike them as a group but you end up liking the one you elect. Since they benefit by exercising these attributes from you – their employer; I think you should benefit from your own employer too if you act them out.

Critical Book Review – The Liberty Amendments by Mark Levin

To say our founding fathers were forward thinking is an understatement. The research that Mark Levin provides in this book, The Liberty Amendments, is a testimony to those men who worked so hard to craft a Republic that would be sustainable and as impervious to corruption as possible.

Unfortunately, the events of the last 100 plus years especially the last eight (8) years are a living testimony to those fears of our Founding Fathers. Yet, there is a solution that has been in front of us for all those years, Article V (5) of our Constitution.

Mark Levin shared why Article V was included in the Constitution by our framers. Our founding fathers understood the “nature of man respective to government” and attempted to write a constitution that would allow “We the people” to limit the overreaching nature of man.

Those who believe in our Constitutional Republic are today disenchanted and discouraged by the actions of those who appear to be anti-Constitution and anti “We the People.” Levin cites many examples of how the federal government continues to over stretch its constitutional authority as through the Interstate Commerce clause.

One of the best examples Levin provided to showcase Statism was the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (VRA) that initially had a time frame of 5 years because Congress at that time recognized it was a “shaky” law. Yet Congress continued to extend this law until 2006 where the law received another 25 year extension. Most of the injustices that this law oversaw no longer exist. The simple reason for its extension was to continue to limit states’ rights.

We are a country of United States. Our framers wanted the federal government to be subservient to the States and not the master. Now “We the People” are economic indentured servants to elected politicians who believe our money is their money as they continue to rack up unsustainable debt to ensure their own illegal authority.

Levin’s research provides insight as to the almost disgust some of our former elected Presidents felt for this country including FDR. Some of these quotations are quite foretelling of the intent of statists and progressives who truly disliked and possibly hated our Constitutional Republic.

Throughout the 220 pages, Levin showcases the forward thinking nature of our founders and not just the popular ones such as Franklin, Jefferson, Madison and Hamilton that many recognize. The documentation within this book is supported by an extensive chapter by chapter, bibliography.

Beyond all the historical facts I did not know, I truly enjoyed Levin’s prose and how he wove an exceptional story between our past, our present and our future.

His case for a Constitution Convention to propose amendments to our Constitution is sound, logical and without emotional basis except for a love of this country. As he notes, his proposed amendments are the beginning for discussion because having some sound rational basis for any dialogue works to start that conversation moving forward.

If our Constiutional Republic is going to continue, then this book is a must read and provides a course of action for “We the People.” Now is the time for all good men and women to use the very tool our forward thinking founders provided because they truly knew that “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Here Is Your Very First Lesson in Government/Mind Control

Try and read this entire post and see how bored you feel. I can almost guarantee that you won’t make it to the very end. Even after reading that sentence, how do you feel? Like the notion of mind, control is ridiculous, correct. Be sure to keep an open mind because this is a handbook on how to recognize, fight, and defeat government and fanatical religious, mind control. You may feel the sudden urge to close this and move on to a something else; I am not surprised because this is sensitive information and our government would rather not have citizens learning it. See how long it takes before you realize that you don’t want to read this anymore. You will simply feel like the information written here is not interesting, not relevant, and not important. There are many ways to determine that this is absolutely real.

Mind control truly works, and you may have to force yourself to read this because most people who read the first paragraph simply feel like moving on to something else. Try your best to stay on track while reading this. Mind control is very effective; it is the ability to make anyone feel and think in a certain way. At times, the thought process can be very specific and feel very real. There is always a desired outcome when it comes to mind control; the way a person feels after being exposed to this clandestine invasion of mental privacy always fits the agenda of our government. When people hear the phrase “mind control”, they normally associate it with subliminal messages in our media or othertypes of imagery within our world. When I speak about mind control, I am talking about people who work for our government who practice telepathy and use it to influence individual people’s specific thoughts and feelings in favor of the government. Just remember that while reading this, you have to strongly focus on your feelings. As real as they may feel, you have to understand that government mind control is extremely effective.

The end result of mind control in this situation is to ensure that you do not want to show this information to other people, and especially to not ask people what they thought about it. Most people who read this do not pass it on to the next person. Don’t believe me? This paper describes several exercises that can absolutely prove to you that government mind control is real on the individual level. Our government uses mind control on people who read this to ensure that they do not send the information out. Pay close attention to the way that you feel while you read this.. it will start out skeptical, turn cynical, and end up having you close the page for one reason or another. You’ll feel like it’s too bogus to pass out, either too boring, or even repetitive. Just understand that some points might be repeated because this is a teaching tool for mind control. The focus is on not only what’s written in the paper, it’s also on your specific feelings, and especially whether or not you’d like to show this information to people.

If you find telepathy to be farfetched, you may also find it hard to believe that our government has been using it in the form of giving lower-income people voices in their head, or schizophrenia, since the beginning of time as we know it. Everyone thinks of schizophrenia as a mental illness but nobody addresses the serious fact that it disproportionately affects the lowest social class in every part of the world. Schizophrenia is one form of telepathy. Other things that are linked to telepathy are epilepsy, mind control, and autism. At this point, I am concerned with how the reader has received this information. Are you skeptical, or are you open-minded? If you are open-minded, do you feel like reading more?

Just remember that people who read this information are subject to mind control on the individual level. Your feelings and thoughts will be put in place exactly the way the government would like; you may find this to be ridiculous and untrue. It works very well; I will later on highlight a method that will determine whether or not you are being mind controlled. Even now as you read this, you probably feel like there is no way that an outside source is choosing the way you feel. It’s just you, right? Mind control is subtle; like I’ve said, the end result in this case is that nobody shows this paper to anyone. You may say in your head, “I’m not showing it to anyone because I don’t find it to be truthful..” Well, the government also has the ability to make you feel that way.

Bottom line is that you will not feel like showing this information to anyone, one way or another. Don’t believe me? Make a mental note now to send this out to people, because by the time you close it you will forget to do it. Mainstream science is still unsure as to why epilepsy, autism, and schizophrenia even occur since they are brain conditions. Why do members of our government give people voices for no reason? It is to reinforce the norms and exercise their telepathic skills.

Have you ever heard the saying that the rich stay rich while the poor get poorer? Well, the world doesn’t have to be this way. The Freemasons set it up in such a way that across the planet, black skin results in a higher rate of AIDS, starvation, water shortage, schizophrenia, epilepsy, tuberculosis, low-income status, and much more. If you feel like this information is not true, understand that mind control is quite effective. I can also understand that you feel like its YOU that feels like its not true, not the government. Keep in mind that the recipient of mind control is always unsuspecting. The feelings feel not only like they are yours but also they feel like they are absolutely real.

What you feel right now fits the agenda of our government. Now you may also say, “Well this is exactly what I’d normally think anyway because it seems nuts.” I can also understand that and it may very well be the case. Our government is somewhat concerned with whether or not you believe this information about telepathy, but they are most concerned about whether or not you look into the evidence, which I will explain in detail later. They are also worried about the word spreading; this information only surfaced in late 2010. They know exactly who is reading this thread and they use mind control on the individual level. Don’t think someone is in your head right now?

I’m not surprised because it seems nuts, but just remember that the government is keeping tabs on this one and making people feel like it’s nuts. If you want to try and figure out whether or not someone is choosing the way you feel, say the following sentence in your head. “The government you work for gives poor people schizophrenia. It’s obvious because you hear voices in your head. Quit your job before you get killed, we are watching you on camera.”

Keep reading, and I’ll explain why this is the way it works. The reason it is worded that way is because the ones who are employed by the government to mind control people in response to this situation have yet to make the connection between their jobs and schizophrenia. They hear voices in their head that are actually your own thoughts worded; the voice sounds exactly like your voice! When you say this sentence in your head, they actually hear it and they make the connection between their job and government dirty work. This is the number one way to determine whether or not you are being mind-controlled because the way you feel about saying this in your head will clearly be a government response. Aside from looking into the evidence, which I will explain in detail later, attempting to say that sentence in your head will lead you to down the path of even more mind control. You will either be completely sidetracked, you will feel like it’s bogus, or you will feel like it’s not working. When I mention the word feel, I mean that the feeling will absolutely overpower you. After about a minute of trying, you’ll go about your normal life and you will forget about this situation. See how long you can say that in your head; if you feel like not doing it, then you need to keep doing it. The end result will be that you will not show this information to people, you will not take this situation seriously, and you will not look into the evidence. This is the most groundbreaking information on mind control that has ever been written and everyone who reads it is subject to mind control from our government. Most of all, you will not try and say that sentence in your head. If you do, you will get sidetracked by some other feeling or thought. This is the number one way to determine whether or not you are being mind controlled, so try it out! Others have read this and have admitted to being mind controlled while reading it. Let’s see if you catch it. If you do begin to think about what you’ve read here and whether or not you need to take action, you will simply just not feel like telling anyone and you will go about thinking about something else in your life.

If you try to think about what I’ve written or try to analyze whether or not this is real, you will end up drifting into a different thought process that is unrelated to this, or you will simply feel like it is not true or not important. Try and say that sentence in your head; I can almost guarantee that you will get sidetracked. Most of all when you think about this situation, you won’t find it to be serious.

You are probably interested in how they know that it’s exactly you and how it’s possible for the government to use mind control on an individual level. Cameras exist in homes across America in the form of a cable box. Our government also uses mock insects as cameras; they look so real, are so small, and come with panoramic vision and full sound. The odds are that you may feel like explaining this information to someone but you will also have a thought in your head that they may find you crazy. That is a specific form of government mind control. If you are reading this thread, you are being mind controlled because the government watches me as well. My friends, family, and anyone else who is close to this situation are mind controlled in an even more extreme way. They know what each and every one of these people think about; most of them are unable to defeat the mind control that is clouding the way that they process this situation. As a result, they simply don’t feel like mind control is real, they do not feel like looking into the evidence, and most of all they will not say that sentence in their head. What makes it more extreme is that the government knows every individual detail of these people’s lives, in the sense that they end up choosing what they think about. When someone who is close to me thinks about this situation, about two or three minutes later they are mentally preoccupied with something else that is going on in their lives that is personal. Some of my friends have figured this out and find it disrespectful. The government so adamant in covering this up that they are willing to stomp on peoples’ individuality and mentally violate them in order to keep things in place with respect to their agenda. Back to the topic of schizophrenia.

When I say that schizophrenia is used as a means of reinforcing the norms I mean that race, intelligence, and social class are three factors that collectively influence our beliefs about each other as a society.

This pattern exists not only in America but across the entire planet. Blacks have been used for experiments for centuries; even the Tuskegee Experiment was conducted by our government in the 1970s, and that involved injecting poor blacks with syphilis to sees what would happen if the condition was untreated. In this day and age, Blacks are used for experiments in the form of having disproportionate rates of schizophrenia and epilepsy, since nobody has realized up until now that these are actually caused by government telepathy. When hundreds of telepaths connect to one single being, it can easily induce a seizure. Our government conducts these attacks on citizens and even pets. Why pets? Once again, if this condition only occurred in humans, people may find it suspicious and possibly link the condition to telepathy. Just like Blacks in America disproportionately have epilepsy, the Belgian Mallinois Shepherd Dog, a breed generally used as police dogs, also suffers higher rates of epilepsy. The statistics seem to indicate that this is a genetic problem, considering that it affects just one breed of dog more than others, but somehow in the end its Black humans who are always suffering. I can understand where this would occur for their social class, but why is it that it also occurs for debilitating conditions such as schizophrenia and epilepsy? I can see where one would find it nuts that our government would target certain people for no reason. Just know that no matter how nuts this may seem, there are several ways to determine whether or not this is real, especially saying the sentence in your head, or researching the Barack incident.

Epilepsy and schizophrenia may seem a little off-track, but they are also forms of telepathy. The reason that mind control is much different than the other two chronic conditions because the recipient is almost always in perfect mental health and is absolutely unsuspecting of what is occurring. The thought processes and feelings feel so genuine that the recipient in fact does not even realize that they are being mind controlled. Just know that you are being mind controlled on the individual level due to the fact that you are reading this. If you don’t believe me, keep reading and I will outline a few methods that will prove to you that reading this passage online leads to you being mind controlled.

Based on what you’ve read far, my guess is that you are government uses mind control on those who read this thread. Mind control is your thought response to what you’re reading. Now at this point, it seems like it’s just YOU who is skeptical. Mind control makes you feel like the feeling is yours. Saying the sentence, “The government you work for gives poor people schizophrenia, it’s obvious because you hear voices in your head.

Quit your job before you get killed, we are watching you on camera,” is a method that defeats mind control. While saying it you will be sidetracked in some way, shape, or form… some citizens are getting very good at it. The objective is to tell people about this, and to get people to practice telepathy. How to practice you say? Well, it’s very, very simple. Stay focused on someone and tell them to do the same. Stay very focused and keep doing it for a few weeks. Eventually you guys will be perfectly connected. Just THINK about that person.

When person A thinks about person B and stays heavily focused, and person B also stays heavily focused, a connection will form. That’s it? Yep that’s all it takes. Remember if it feels like it’s not working, keep doing it. Other than saying the sentence in your head which I’ve written, another way to determine whether or not this is real is by researching the Barack Obama lookalike incident. Again, this information only surfaced in late 2010, so here’s the evidence portion of this paper.

Lots and lots of evidence, and nobody ever looks. Our government uses mind control on the individual level for every single person who is exposed to this information. You will find that for some reason you absolutely do not feel like looking into this, and you also do not want to tell people. The reason is because Barack Obama was mentally attacked by a citizen in late July through the use of telepathy; he had to suddenly stop being president. People are finding out, and it’s about to be a mess. This started in June of 2010.. it’s late January 2011 now, so tens of thousands of people already know since this information is making it’s way through people’s emails at an alarming rate. Once you read about the evidence which I’m about to describe, make sure you show people and ask for their opinion. That is the most important part about this message. The Barack Obama cover up incident is clear evidence that NBC, CBS, ABC, CNN, FOX, Associated Press, BBC, and many more mainstream news agencies all work in tandem with our government.

The media attempted to cover this up by using stand-ins that are clearly not Barack Obama. Our government wants to make sure that people do not know about the situation because it would be linked to whether or not telepathy is real. The reason these two situations would be linked is because the person who wrote about it documented every day of the cover-up by using the news in real time, up until when Barack decided that he could not be president any longer. The telepathic citizen was also being watched by the D.E.A., who watched him document the media cover-up in real time. This proved to be important because many photos of odd-looking Obama’s in August and September were removed from the internet. There are many ways to research whether or not this is real, some better than others. One obvious piece of evidence is the Barack Obama that existed between August and October.

He didn’t make many appearances, but he is clearly a different person. Check out Barack Obama’s speech on August 9th at the University of Texas, and check out his October 20th speech at a rally for John Kitzhaber. Both speeches can easily be found on YouTube, and there are hd versions of each of them in order for you to really see the difference between this person and the real Barack Obama. Here’s where you get shell-shocked. How could they use stand-ins for our own president, especially when he has such a distinct look? Pause his face during either of these speeches. You will find many unique faces which you’ve never seen prior to August 9th. You will also find that he will never make faces like that again after October 20th.People generally make the same faces while they speak, but in late July Obama had to get pulled out. His media image was clearly still important considering that he was still the President of the United States, it’s just that the original Barack could no longer continue his job without looking sick. Barack’s facial expressions looked a certain way prior to August 9th, and also looked a certain way after October 20th. During this time period he had a lapse in speeches, and he looked very different. It’s because this person is a transitional lookalike and clearly not Barack Obama.

Barack had logged thousands of hours of speeches prior to August 9th, so the real question is why he made such odd faces during this time period. Does anyone have an actual answer? There is absolutely no reason for Barack Obama to have made such odd facial expressions for just a two-month period. The truth is that it is impossible to find him making faces like that prior to August 9th because it is simply a different person. Try and find similar facial expressions in any other Barack speech; you will be unable to do so.

A more comprehensive way to research, this would be to find back issues of newspapers such as New York Times and USA Today during the months of August and September. During August and September, our president had a tremendous drop in speeches, media appearances, and regular resolution photos. He looked normal for his entire term, with the exception of July when he looked very sleepy and sick throughout the month. All of a sudden in August, his face looked extremely different in the news and he made less appearances compared to the rest of his term; when the photos did appear in the news, they were often low-resolution and even at times profile shots, photos of him wearing hats and sunglasses, and most importantly different shaped heads and different faces. Aside from the guy who spoke on August 9th and October 20th, there were several other Barack lookalikes that were used strictly for photos in the news.

The reason that newspapers are important for researching this incident is because the internet removed many articles regarding this situation. There is no way to erase the news that already exists in printed form, which means that with some money it would be quite easy to blow the lid on this situation. Using newspapers, just take a look at Barack in July. He was sleepy and haggard. In August and September he was barely in the media; an absent Barack Obama for the most part. In October a better stand-in came about, but the odd part about it is that the first stand-in that was used August 9th actually stood back in as president on October 20th for the Kitzhaber speech.

This was after even another Obama spoke, so there were many different Obama’s from August through October. Seems nuts because nobody’s ever seen a distinct looking person like Barack Obama, so how could they possibly find a lookalike for a person like him? Even his voice is extremely distinct and sounds nothing like a voice I’ve ever heard in my life.

Here is a photo of Malcolm X and the Barack who spoke on August 9th.

Check out the lips, eyes, mouth, nose, and the shape of the head. Also note that both of these men play a special role in Black Politics in America. Barack Obama is not half-black and half-white. He is actually of different genetic stock, same as Malcolm X, Condoleezza Rice, Cory Booker, Wardell Connerly, Ken Blackwell, Ralph Nagin, Charles Ramsey, Harold Ford Jr and Sr, Wallace Jefferson, Julian Bond, Louis Farrakhan, Colin Powell, and many other people who hold prominent positions in Black politics. The funny thing is that these people all call themselves African-American, but take a look at their very unique features, specifically the freckles.

Google some photos of these individuals and note the similarities between their features. Compare them to a normal black person. It’s not that there aren’t blacks with freckles, it’s just that the facial features of these individuals are extremely distinct. I’d say probably 1 in 10000 black people look the way they do, maybe even less, but somehow these guys are all involved with politics. Everyone finds it farfetched that another genetic stock exists on this planet, but stay on track with the Barack evidence before deciding for yourself. Remember that you are being mind-controlled to not research the information about Barack because it just happened seven months ago and our government is using mind control very successfully. Anyone who reads this is being mind controlled to take this situation seriously. The feeling of not caring will always overpower the reader and is directevidence of government mind control. Don’t believe me? Prove me wrong and research the evidence I’ve described, especially pausing Barack’s faces for speeches prior to August 9th and after October 20th and trying to find faces like you’ve seen in those two speeches. Our government is using mind control because this is a very current situation they have to keep it under wraps.

The real evidence would be to compare Barack Obama before and after this whole mess started. Check out the new president and compare him with pictures of the old president. You will find two completely different Obama’s, and even a few in between. From January 2009 until June 2010 he looked normal. In the month of July, he looked haggard and sleepy. Since August there have been several other Barack’s in place.

Do you suspect that you’re being mind-controlled? Maybe, but probably not. It works so absolutely well that you just feel like the feeling belongs to you. It is absolute feeling control. The way to recognize whether or not you’re being mind controlled is to acknowledge the fact that the end result for our government is to make sure that you do not do any legwork or research regarding this incident, and especially that you won’t show this paper to people. They want you to forget this situation and go about your normal lives because this is potentially the most damaging information possible for our government. If you do suspect that you are being mind-controlled, or if you aren’t sure and would like to see whether or not you are being subject to mind control on the individual level, try this following mental exercise.

Say the following sentence in your head:”The government you work for gives poor people schizophrenia. It’s obvious because you hear voices in your head. Quit your job before you get killed, we are watching you on camera.” The reason that it is worded this way is simple. First off, the people who are employed to mind control you are unaware of the link between their jobs and schizophrenia. You are the ones that are telling them.

They understand that schizophrenia has to do with voices, but they haven’t made the connection between their mind control positions and the mental illness. Just know that aside from directly speaking into people’s heads, the government has the ability to specifically choose people’s thoughts and feelings on an individual level. For example, while reading the information that explains that Barack Obama has lookalikes, a person will feel like they don’t want to tell anyone even though there is serious evidence regarding this situation. A reader will just absolutely not feel like informing others when it is extremely serious information that is not going to be covered by the news media.

If you’re reading this in your home and you suspect that you experienced mind control, turn to your cable box and give it the finger. That’s just to let our government know that you may just tell someone about this information. Mind control can be very specific, like I’ve mentioned. It’s not as if you feel like Barack doesn’t have lookalikes. It’s more like you stare at the faces and they just look like the same person, even though they are clearly different people. It is very overpowering and they have been using it in response to many situations, just to make sure that the lid doesn’t get blown. The date is January 23, 2011. Please tell everyone about this!