What is wrong with the United Nations? Should it be fixed? I suspect that the answer to the first question is that the UN stands for nothing in particular, except talk, and more and more often serves as a legitimizing venue for talk about approaches to the world that should curl the hair of any supporter of modern, liberal ideas about constructing democratic republics based on value for individual liberty and security. The answer to the second question is that it might be smarter to learn from our mistakes and craft a new organization, one which does not treat all possible state visions as equal, but openly and confidently promotes the formation of modern, liberal, democratic republics.
There seems little purpose to insisting that all visions of state organization are equally valid, since following that line of reasoning leads, and has led, to accepting that very repressive states should have equal standing in assessing and addressing the world’s repressive regimes. It means not being able to say, as a founding principle, that slavery is wrong and should be abolished, actually abolished, that suppression of women’s voting, education or other rights is just wrong, and should be eliminated. Or anyone’s voting, education or other rights.
If a member of law enforcement exercises the option to reduce the sentence (during sentencing or while a convicted criminal is serving time) of an incarcerated individual, and that individual harms any person or persons during the period that he or she could and should have been incarcerated, then the harmed individual shall have recourse to bring suit for damages against the law enforcement official who recommended, approved or made possible the early release of the offender. Similar recourse shall be available to anyone harmed by an individual who should have been retained by a state or local authority for any immigration violation, but who was released as a result of that state’s or locality’s established practice of noncompliance with federal immigration law, whether that practice is formally announced or not.
For this one, thanks and tip of hat to Louis Meyers at Facebook.
When the only tool you have is a hammer, they say, every problem starts to look like a nail. When the only tool you have is legislation, every problem starts to look like a new bill to pass. We have to find a way to limit both houses of Congress so that they are not allowed to propose new legislation on an activity unless and until they see to it that current legislation addressing the same general topic is being fully and effectively enforced. Congress, both houses, loves nothing more than to pass yet another bill, giving it some snazzy name (almost never indicative of the actual effect of the bill) so that the members can return home and crow about passing this or that bill.
Look where it has gotten us. Both house will fight this initiative tooth and nail, if I read the character of Senators and Representatives correctly.
Find the lighting technicians and have them light the White House in Red, White and Blue. Duration to be decided later.
Find the web designers and instruct them to put an American flag graphic on the home page of every government and military site immediately. (310 x 135 pixels would be fine, bigger if you can fit it in tastefully.)
Assume the worst will occur and have a mitigation plan for it. (1)
Do not set up or use a private email server.
Please remember that the White House is “the people’s house”, not my house, or our house, or your house.
Cheers and jeers are par for the territory, develop thick skin and a gracious smile; use them appropriately and generously. (1)
Call the folks at State and find out how we restore the clauses that were removed from the Citizenship Oath under Mr. Obama.
1. thx Ronald Freeman
I would love to see everyone who leaked operational details of the bin Laden raid prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If Mr. Obama participated, and they started with him, that would be fine by me. “As far as prosecutions, well, good luck with that. The perception in the halls of government is that anything ordered by the White House is automatically legal, as if by some royal decree but this is not the case”.
I found interesting things here: http://sofrep.com/10674/seal-team-six-and-the-white-house-throw-opsec-to-the-wind/
The nation-state structure was grafted onto the Middle East by Europeans in the aftermaths of two World Wars. Although it is reasonable to commiserate with residents there, there does not seem to be a great motivation to feel so very bad. Those in power in the region sided with the losers, twice, and bore the consequences. As a result, there are nation-states now that were mostly drawn by bureaucrats who might even have meant well. Whether or not they meant well, and I do not argue that issue either way here, the divisions they drew were artificial, as compared to the previous single reality of The Caliphate, both the very real Ottoman version in place until the fall of the Ottoman Empire, and the vision of a unified world under Islam that had been driving Muslims in their conquest of region after region across centuries.
In modern times, we continue to conflate dealing with or warring against nations with handling or eliminating terrorists. The repeatedly disastrous results across decades are, I maintain, the inevitable result of believing that the problem of eliminating terrorists must be dealt with by forming alliances with Middle Eastern nations to pursue what we, naively, frame as a common goal: The elimination of terrorists.
Instead, we should be dealing with two different goals, using two different strategies. One goal can continue to focus on dealing with, trading with, and pursuing common interests with nation-states wherever they exist, not to exclude the Middle East. Separate from these efforts, however, and only marginally related to them, should be our second focus: The elimination of terrorists who target civilian populations, make plans to harm us or our allies, and who have the resources to inflict wide-spread damage or pull off raids that harms our citizens or our interests.
The broad summary is that we would continue to deal with nations on economic and political agreements, but would consider the identification and elimination of terrorists a separate activity that we pursue with the same regard for territorial boundaries that they show as they move back and forth across borders and deliver their chaos and destruction as, where and when they please. We should visit our destruction on them, with far higher regard for innocent life than they will ever understand, as, where and when we please. We can and should locate and destroy them in their sanctuaries and training facilities, wholesale when possible, one by one when necessary, and we should do so without hesitation.
One summary is this simple: We deal peacefully with those who are willing to deal likewise with us, and perhaps with a preference for using a mechanism we understand, the nation-state. We deal lethally with those whose only demonstrated intent is to destroy us or those we deal with.
Let us continue together here to investigate the propriety and the practicality of such an approach.
I want to see the basic design of this country, as laid out in the Constitution, honored, understood, and played out by honorable servants of the public interest.
An article out of Augusta, Georgia informs us that businesses there were colluding with welfare recipients, who would sell their coupons at a discount to the businesses, which then redeemed them for full value. Both buyer and seller were breaking the law. (See article here: http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/metro/2014-06-10/54-defendants-charged-18-million-food-stamp-fraud-scheme-georgia.)
In exchanges where I commented on this, as one example among many, of the kind of fraud and waste of taxpayer money that simply must be hunted down and eliminated, I was asked by one lover of government programs whether I thought it was the fault of the government somehow that individuals are so dishonest.
Obviously, the answer must be no. That dishonesty falls on those individuals.
What falls on the government, which is to say us, is blame for providing ever more opportunities for this kind of abuse by creating program after program, in which more and more money is handled by more and more people further and further from its source, so that no meaningful accounting or supervision is possible or practical.
The further you send the money away from the taxpayer, the more layers you inject, the less possible it becomes to know where the money goes, how it’s handled, or who gets it. Ever-expanding government is simply not the answer to any legitimate desire.
First draft 6/12/2014 11:52
Each Executive Order must include citations in support of its constitutionality, citations in support of its consistency with existing federal law, and provisions for automatic withdrawal upon a finding by either the House or Senate that the Order violates Constitutional provisions or existing federal law. For purposes of this Order, “existing” refers to the period leading up to and including the date of signing of the Order.
We need someone in the White House who understands that the American Revolution, at just over 200 years, is just getting started. That’s me.
We need someone in the White House who does not favor any party just because it is that party. That’s me.
We need someone in the White House who understands that checks and balances serve a vital purpose. That’s me.
We need someone in the White House who owes no industry, no organization, no power-broker anything. That’s me.
We need someone in the White House who understands secular government as the best friend of religious and nonreligious citizens alike. That’s me.
We need someone in the White House who cheered Obama’s promise to have the most transparent administration in history. That’s me.
We need someone in the White House who understands that religion is a deeply personal issue and as a result will both respect the religious beliefs of others and insure that no one’s religious beliefs can be a compelling argument for determining national policy. That’s me.