Posts tagged ‘deceit’

Radicals

So, I was at a meeting the other day to see a presentation on radicalism. The presentation, presented by a local well known professor focused on the psychology of radicalism, examining commitment, motivation, and the role of group dynamics.

It was an interesting presentation, of which I’ll provide a quick synopsis to capture the point of this post.

Radicalization

The professor provided a quick breakdown of what radicalization means: “support/adoption of radical means to address a problem.” Of course, this required a definition of radical: “a means that is contrary to generally accepted norms and values.” From this, the professor identified two implications

  1. The perception of radicalism is subjective to the value and importance one—and society in general—place on those norms and values.
  2. Radicalism is a matter of degree in the willingness of one to move outside those norms and values.

The professor then equated radicalization with extreme commitment, from which he identified a theory of three factors the develop commitment:

  1. Motivation (Individual level)
  2. Ideological Narrative (Cultural level)
  3. Group Dynamics (Social level)

The professor, at this point synthesized motivation down to a quest for significance. This is interesting in that the professor breaks it down as such:

The Significance Quest:

  • Significance loss (individual level, level of social identity)
  • Threat of loss
  • These therein introduce an uncertainty about the self, need for certainty (dissonance)
  • Which then provides an opportunity for significance gain and the removal of uncertainty
  • Summarized by Significance Loss creates opportunity for Significance Gain

The significance quest then uses ideology to reinforce the goal of significance and providing the means to attain it. For example, in Islamic terrorism, the return of the global Caliphate would be the goal and the use of Jihad is the means to attain it.

Group dynamics, through persuasive ideology and charismatic leaders, provide entry of uncertain individuals into a social process that acts as a conduit for the Significance Quest.

Basically, the professor’s point was that individuals who are less successful, who feel insignificant, and who are psychologically uncertain, are more easily susceptible to radicalization. Radicalization is about self-esteem.

So where am I going with this? The professor, who has traveled extensively and conducted many interviews and studies with radicalized individuals, displayed some empirical data that was quite telling. In particular, there were two charts the professor displayed that immediately jumped out at me.

I will not provide the chart itself, by I will provide an accurate representation:

Failure and independence vs interdependence

 

As you can see from the chart, individuals who are successful are independent, whereas those who are failures are interdependent. Let us let that sink in for a moment: success breeds independence and failure foments interdependence. It takes a village anyone?

Couple this with the second chart:

Failure and collective identity

 

Like the first chart, this one demonstrates that those who are successful identify as individuals, whereas those who fail, tend to identify in a collective. Now, the professor was studying terrorism, so the collectives he was most interested in were religion and nationalism, but one could easily substitute ideology. In fact, especially in the Error of Obama, Obamaism is the religion because everything is based on faith, despite what the facts or reality dictates.

The Left’s NEED for Failures

These charts are extremely telling, and explain so much about how the left engages and expands its base. It explains the policies, the decisions, and the ideology. Liberalism, Socialism, and Communism have just been summed up.

Conservatives have pointed out the consistent failures of leftist ideology for years, and I have commented several times on the left’s tactic of pulling everyone down to the lowest common denominator. This tells us why; the left is made up by, and caters to, failures. Of course, not everyone on the left is a failure, but that is the target demographic because failures need others because, well, they’re failures.

This explains what the left has done to the “black community”, and why it is necessary to destroy the family unit, diminish educational and professional work habits and expectations, and center all problems on race. Failure forces interdependence, and if there is anything “successful” about liberal policies, it is that they force collective failure. Of course, this failure then forces collective identification and interdependence, which becomes a self-licking ice-cream cone as collective liberal policies breed new failure—and the cycle then continues.

I have always looked at the left as a bunch of incompetent boobs, who’ve religious zealotry to a failed ideology inherently foment failed policy after failed policy. But now I have to sit back and really question this. Is it incompetence or intentional? Can a movement possibly be wrong every time?

Sure, this starts to sound awfully Alex Jones, but Conservatives have always believed that liberal leaders intentionally looked to force popular dependence on the state, and thus on them, for survival. That is demonstrably clear just based on the last six years of food stamp rolls, unemployment, and the entire premise of Obamacare. None of these were ever intended to fix anything. In fact, the exact opposite has occurred in each case; more—not less—people are on food stamps, more—not less—people are unemployed, more—not less-people are without healthcare coverage.

The Obama Administration has been the epitome of failure. Its foreign policy has made the United States weaker, less liked, and more isolated. Its economic policy has bankrupted the treasury, hamstrung the economy, and damaged the fundamental ability to get a decent job. Race relations have plummeted as every single criticism of the Administration have been blamed on race instead of accepted on the merits of the facts. The nation has never been more divided or partisan. Class warfare, race warfare, political warfare—this Administration is destroying the fabric of the nation.

Obama’s fundamental change has been to celebrate failure, which clarifies who the radicals are in this country…

 

Big Fucking Deal

In military circles we have a phrase to guard against hype—expectation management. Pretty simple, don’t overly expect because the “fog of war” and the “friction” of action, to borrow terms from Clausewitz, ALWAYS impact the outcome. As such, many live by the mantra of, “plan for the worst, hope for the best.” Which brings me to a couple important definitions:

Hope:   noun: 1. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen.

 2. (archaic) a feeling of trust.

Verb: 1. want something to happen or be the case.

Hmmmmm, there’s a couple terms here that need further clarity, for our more challenged citizens who seem to struggle with the meaning of things.

Want:   verb: 1. have a desire to possess or do (something); wish for.

 2. (archaic) lack or be short of something desirable or essential.

Noun 1. (archaic) a lack or deficiency of something.

 2. a desire for something.

 

Desire:                 noun 1. a strong feeling of wanting to have something or wishing for something to happen.

 Verb 1. strongly wish for or want (something).

 

Wish:    verb       1. feel or express a strong desire or hope for something that is not easily attainable; want something that cannot or probably will not happen.

Noun     1. a desire or hope for something to happen.

 

Anyone who supported Obamacare lived/s in this vernacular. This is the language of the left, and it decidedly lacks some really important terms, like:

Plan:      noun     1. a detailed proposal for doing or achieving something.

 2. an intention or decision about what one is going to do.

 3. a detailed diagram, drawing, or program, in particular.

Verb      1. decide on and arrange in advance.

2. design or make a plan of (something to be made or built).

 

Accountability: noun 1. the fact or condition of being accountable; responsibility.

 

Honest: adjective 1. free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere; morally correct or virtuous; fairly earned, esp. through hard work; (of an action) blameless or well intentioned even if unsuccessful or misguided; simple, unpretentious, and unsophisticated.

adverb: 1. used to persuade someone of the truth of something.

 

Nothing that is happening right now with Obamacare should be a surprise. None of it. Aside from the common-sense perspective of knowing that there was no chance that the Federal Government was going to do this well, all of the woes that are being inflicted on the American people were predicted in 2009 and 2010. That viiiiiiiiiiiillllllllllllllllllllllllleeeeeeeeeeeeee Tea Party said this would occur, over and over again. The Tea Party were front and center on predicting the sky rocketing costs of health insurance and they very much predicted that millions would lose their insurance plans. Obama created the Tea Party, and now he has validated the Tea Party like no one else could do.

The one disagreement I’ve had with the Tea Party was the constant effort to delay or prevent Obamacare after the Supreme Court ruling. Chief Justice Roberts was on to something when he said that the Supreme Court was not intended to protect the people from their electoral mistakes. I have been of the frame of mind for some time now that America needs the pain of this travesty. No matter how many times Grandma told you the stove was hot, it took getting burned to really learn the lesson. Well, right now, America is getting really burned.

Obamacare has been a massive anchor on the U.S. economy, but, for whatever reason, it has been hard to convince people of the connection. Of course, this might have had something to do with it….

Obama’s strategy has always been to delay the impact of this law, knowing it was not going to be received well. He has repeatedly violated the law by arbitrarily delaying components of the law to fit his political constituency, or to minimize the blowback of the law’s effect. But October 1st brought about the end of that and splashed cold water of the face of the deluded who continued to hope, want or desire something better from an Administration that has sold this law as highly as it has.

There is a sense one gets, a feeling of betrayal tinged with anger and disappointment, when one gets swindled. When that great deal turns out to be a lemon or when you know that you’ve been robbed. I’ve repeatedly called Obama a Carpetbagger, but since his election in 2008, he’s really been a snake oil salesman:

Snake oil is an expression that originally referred to fraudulent health products or unproven medicine but has come to refer to any product with questionable or unverifiable quality or benefit. By extension, a snake oil salesman is someone who knowingly sells fraudulent goods or who is himself or herself a fraud, quack, charlatan, and the like.”

I thought in 2012 that the American people were going to see through Obama and the Democrat party’s lies, smell the bullshit, and punish them accordingly. What I didn’t take into account was the need to be burned. America, on both sides of the isle, has been exceedingly patient and accommodating to this Administration. Had President George W. Bush done any one of the myriad of flagrancies that this Administration has repeatedly done, the media and the people would have raised hell. But this Administration has been able to get away with it because A) ALL critics of its policies are defined as racists, and B) America sincerely wants to get beyond the race argument and thinks that if Obama is successful, then we will have made progress. While Obama has been able to hide behind the black half of his ancestry, the Dem party has not.

2010 was a clear rejection of the party platform, Obamacare in particular. Folks like David Plouffe, who unfortunately are associated with Obama’s white half and thus can’t hide behind skin tone, are hoping that Obamacare doesn’t hurt them in 2014 like it did in 2010. On ABC with George Stephanopoulos, Plouffe commented that Obama was not in a similar situation to President Bush in 2005:

“But where could we be in four or five months?” Plouffe continued. “Hopefully the website is working fine and people are enrolling for health care. Hopefully, we won’t have another Washington dysfunction—which is one of the reasons people are upset, it’s not just health care—and we pass a budget and move forward, and the economy continues to strengthen. So we could be in a much different place three, four months from now. No doubt this is challenging time, but I think you have to have some perspective here. The story could change.”

“The political notion that next year’s election, or 2016, the Republican platform is going to be getting rid of health care?” Plouffe continued. “Millions of people will be signed up. It’s an impossibility.”

Hopefully? Could? The Administration, and the Dem party in particular, are hoping things improve, and based on this hope, are asserting that the political opposition, who has consistently pushed for getting rid of Obamacare since the law passed via unscrupulous means, will not continue to do so. Do I need to define insanity?

No one trusts Obama anymore. Dems have been able to get by on Obama’s trust and likeability factors, but those are collapsing. To think that the Dems will be able to escape accountability for this disaster seems impossible:

 

Even while Dems are admitting that they knew this would happen, I have no confidence in our electorates low information voters willingness to seek the truth on this. The only way they are going to see the truth of the matter is to be burned. It is unfortunate, but necessary:

 

And maybe they’re learning:

 

I was talking to a friend of mine a couple days ago and we discussed how bad this has been, not just for the Administration and Dems in general, but for America. He commented that Obama’s legacy will be on par with Jimmy Carter. I told him that I most certainly hope not. There is a huge difference between incompetence and deceit. We should hope that Obama is not painted as Carter 2.0, but as Nixon 2.0. The people, and future generations, need to look back at this President and his Administration accurately, not as a group incapable of leading the nation, but one a group more than willing to lie, cheat, and steal to achieve power at the expense of current and future generations. Obama is, and has been, a tyrant, and should forever be regarded as such.

Obamanomics

All courtesy of zerohedge.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Character

I personally have a hard time with people who leak secrets.

I find that for the most part, there is almost never an altruistic motive for doing so.

So, off the bat, I have concerns with the recent disclosure of the NSA program. It does not help that I think there is a lot of misinformation out there on what this program is or isn’t. Since the American people are not read into it, it is hard to know what the ground truth is. The ubiquitous nature of electronic communications and the means of travel from Point A to Point B make it difficult to regulate. There are a tremendous amount of regulations involved in intelligence collection, and by its very nature, because of the need to protect sources and methods, not everyone knows about everything.

That said, the breadth and scope of the program—according to media—is alarming. It is one thing to target a U.S. person for collection, but entirely another to have a blanket dragnet encompassing millions of people who have no connection to security threats. To buy into the Administration’s position and accept that this program is not being abused, we have to have faith that the government will, as a fair arbiter, engage as an honest broker in the pure interests of security. Of course, when you have an Administration that has been exposed to be acting as a very unfair arbiter, then there is little to no trust. There has been a myriad of real—no shit—scandals over the last month or so (and this excludes the myriad of scandals from the last term, like Fast & Furious), and all of them are serious and revolve around two things: 1) a lack of trust and honesty from the Administration and 2) a rampant abuse of power.

From Benghazi, Department of Justice targeting the Media, IRS intimidation, HHS extortion, EPA FOIA bias, Department of Energy loans to political contributors, to this NSA wiretapping—all of these amount to tremendous abuses of power and corruption. Most importantly, they undermine any trust a society can have in a Government that is supposed to be of, for and by the People.

  • Benghazi was about corrupting the information cycle to protect an Administration running for reelection.
  • DoJ/Media was a corrupted abuse of power to intimidate the fourth pillar to protect the Administration from public scrutiny.
  • IRS was a corrupted policy to intimidate political opposition, in order to suppress their ability to assemble and vote.
  • HHS extortion is a corruption in a regulatory body intimidating funds from companies it is suppose to regulate.
  • EPA/FOIA was a corrupted policy to financially discourage and suppress freedom of information to political opponents.
  • DoE loans to political contributors was flat out financial corruption.

Which brings us to the NSA wiretapping program: I don’t know. Two points don’t make a trend, but six certainly do. Were they abusing the system? I don’t know, but there is a clear indication that the system is ripe for abuse from an Administration that has clearly shown a propensity to abuse the system.

So, is Snowden a traitor for leaking this information? Yes. Intelligence professionals take an oath to protect the information they are privy to and he broke it. Does this hurt the ability of the U.S. to collect intelligence against its enemies? Absolutely. So the question is, right now, should he have broken his oath, exposing this program, and does that excuse Snowden from his actions? I don’t know, but maybe we can’t answer this question till we answer this one: should we trust this Administration—let alone any other—with this level of power and insight into your private life?

Ultimately, we come full circle in how we should view and consider our government. The tenant of trust is paramount at this point. The clichés of ‘We get the government we deserve’ and ‘Elections have consequences’ don’t sound so cliché right now. More importantly, the importance a character in our elected officials suddenly becomes ever so clear. We have been derided, insulted, demeaned and marginalized by the left because of the sincere character questions we had/have for Obama. Cocaine and marijuana use for any other Presidential candidate really mattered (remember not inhaling?) and would have been a near fatal issue because respect for law and—more importantly—the character to use illegal drugs would have cast serious doubt on the candidate.

Of course there is also the character issue of leadership. Yes, leadership is a character issue. I’ve learned through life that there are three P’s to “leadership”: (P)olicing, which is what Supervisors do. (P)roduction, which is what Managers do. And (P)otential, which is what Leaders develop and foster. Not all Supervisors or Managers are leaders, but leaders certainly have all of these traits. So when we look at a Presidential candidate who has never been an executive, who has never been individually accountable for the success or failures of a team of individuals that he is responsible for, it begs the question—why not? How has this person managed to go through life and never be in a leadership position? How could they possibly be prepared to be the Executive of the U.S., yet have never been the executive of anything else?

How about the character issue of fairness? The ability to foster and maintain an environment that does not threaten those different from yourself. Hell, we have Constitutional Amendments on this, yet we were told repeatedly by a lapdog media that we were to overlook an overwhelming bias. Obama is suppose to be the President of United States, not the Liberals in the U.S., so when we see him come out and specifically target a media outlet critical of his actions, we should pause. When he calls on his follows to crush their political enemies, when he demeans a massive, grassroots movement with serious and legitimate concerns about his policies. Obama has demonstrated, repeatedly, that he is not interested in Governance, only in Power.

To me, however, the most critical character issue is honesty, and frankly, Obama’s honesty came into question early on. Unfortunately, he was never challenged to explain his inconsistencies to the American people, and we never demanded it enough to force him. His many contradictions to what he was saying while campaigning versus what he had said while in the Senate (State or U.S.), what he had written (or had claimed to write), and what he had done while in office—any office. Obama has been pretty much the only politician I’ve ever seen who has been allowed to get away with, ‘it is what I say now’ versus ‘what I have said or done before’ that matters.

But this isn’t limited to Obama. Congress has either endorsed or failed to provide oversight to an Executive clearly out of control. Likewise, the appointment of activist judges has resulted in the ideological approval/disapproval of policies and legislation that fly in the face of the Founding documents and the American spirit. The issue of character applies to all levels of government. Our government was designed to balance itself through the checks and balances of the branches, yet we’ve seen through the years the dismantling of these balances through the distortion of powers in the branches, most notably in the power of the Executive. There has been some effort to reassert balance, 2010 being the greatest example of this, and 2014 will likely follow suit, but this is only possible because the People still have a vote. Unfortunately, the judiciary—the last line of defense and arguably the ultimate arbiter of impartiality—is distorted and manipulated by partisan ideologues masquerading as justices (9th Circus, here’s looking at you), one loses hope. 2014 may be the last chance we get to stop an out of control Administration was attempting to stack the judicial bench with sycophants who worship at the alter of Obama, and not the Constitution.

The character of the situation, and of the Administration, is severely in question right now. The question of Governance vs. Power is beginning to take root. Many of us have, for some time now, cried foul at the rampant abuses and power-grabs of an Administration bent on ridding itself of political enemies instead of governing the populace. Unfortunately, the deception has allowed the Administration to continue, but there is a growing disquiet in America—a buyer’s remorse—that is beginning to finally question who the doppelganger in the White House really is. Perhaps all is not lost…