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November 24, 2009

V - The Aliens as Political Allegory

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TELEVISION ALIENS AS POLITICAL ALLEGORY:

THE ALIENS R US

 

“V”, ON ABC

 

Posted, Tuesday, 11-24-09, on the West Coast, USA, Earth.

 

This new series, which will hopefully continue after a holiday break, is more than a remake.  It is a powerful allegory about the initial seductive power of authoritarian governance.  No matter how the remaining episodes turn out, the first four will remain as a cautionary tale for our times.  

 

All friends of a free society should catch the first four V episodes online if possible.  The obvious contemporary parallels with an uncritical public that welcomes in the impossibly good looking aliens as their saviors are hard to miss. 

 

One giveaway line in episode one – “They’re offering us universal heath care?”  I admit to laughing out loud. 

 

It seems that underneath the promise of “world peace” and all those fuzzy warm feelings, there lurks a takeover plan to be followed by genocide. 

 

All that beauty, peace and those Utopian promises are skin deep.  Underneath the cool looking babes and Ken-doll guys are hominid reptiles with cold, predatory minds. 

 

In an early revelation, a professional television journalist is cajoled into asking only softball questions in order to “maintain access”. 

 

The underground opponents look like tea party right wingers at first, then....

 

The real mystery here is how these scripts slid by the politically correct censors at ABC.

 

JBG

 

 

PILOT – EPISODE 1 http://abc.go.com/watch/v/240273/240461/pilot#sl-0

 

EPISODE 2, THERE IS NO NORMAL  http://abc.go.com/watch/v/240273/241139/there-is-no-normal-anymore#sl-0

 

EPISODE 3, A BRIGHT NEW DAY

http://abc.go.com/watch/v/240273/241852/a-bright-new-day#sl-0

 

EPISODE 4 airs on 11-24 and will be available online later.

 

 

 

 

 

November 20, 2009

SAVING THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY FROM OBAMA

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LINK: http://jaygaskill.com/LooseCannon.htm

 

SAVING THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY FROM OBAMA

A ONE TERM WONDER?

 

 

Voters fear a “loose cannon”, which is how Lyndon Baines Johnson defeated Barry Goldwater so soundly in that watershed 1964 election.  And they disdain mere association with failure, which is why John McCain went down with George W Bush after the financial collapse, and why Hubert Humphrey, the LBJ stand-in, lost to Richard Nixon, and why Gerald Ford (a decent man tainted by R. Millhouse) lost to Jimmie Carter in 1976. 

 

And more than anything, voters hate weakness coupled with failure, which is why Jimmie Carter lost to Ronald Reagan in 1980.  No cannon at all loses to a loose one every time.

 

Every one of these examples is on the political analysts’ tables as president Obama struggles though the first year of his first - and as democrats now secretly acknowledge – quite possibly his last term as POTUS.

 

The Campaign Obama was the impossible dream: He was seen as a “cautious cannon” (a man of peace who would abandon Iraq in a measured and thoughtful way), a winner with the wind at his back, an idealist who would sweep in everything we have always wanted, a liberal to be sure, but a chaste one who wouldn’t f..k things up.. 

 

The post-election Obama has all too quickly mutated into an entirely different persona.  Non-partisan voters are concluding that our new POTUS is an impractical dreamer.  To them (note that the independents who elected this president now overwhelmingly disapprove of his job performance), President Obama is seen as cautious and moderate only in tone.  His rhetoric and policy are seen as increasingly self-contradictory.  Now some mutation is allowed in politics...over time.  But when it happens so quickly, many are led to suspect that we have a chameleon in the White House...or even worse, someone who is having “decision issues”.

 

Independents have already formed an opinion that may be difficult for Mr. Obama to dislodge: that our new president was a closet ideologue all along, a stealth radical liberal, hidden in plain sight. 

 

Knowing that perception becomes reality all too soon, Mr. Obama has made some conspicuous gestures to the political center, designed to show that, at heart, he is more pragmatic realist than a member of the Jeremiah Wright chorus.  He will close Guantanamo...someday.  He will smite the Taliban in Afghanistan...maybe.  He will abandon the public option...maybe.  He will cut those dangerous deficits...maybe.  Given the fervent utopian enthusiasm of the left wing of the Democratic Party, this comes off as betrayal.

 

Political capital can be spent, but gradually restored.  Trust, once betrayed, is simply lost. 

 

The current heath care struggle is a case in point:  The pending legislation is a complex, expensive mess. 

 

The latest anxiety about too much preventative diagnosis for women has struck a raw nerve.  Women who are at risk for breast, cervical and uterine cancer are an intelligent, well-informed and vocal subset of the electorate.  They immediately picked up on the implications of the new “recommendations” for a diagnostic retreat in these sensitive areas.  They are thinking: We’re being softened up for health care rationing.  We haven’t been told the truth about “health care reform”.  Maybe we should no longer trust this president.

 

The worst possible outcome for President Obama and the democrats would be for the current push for a major overhaul of our health care system to succeed.  Payroll tax increases, higher premiums, more health care delivery bureaucracy and a .8 trillion dollar underfunded entitlement DURING A DEEP RECESSION TEETERING ON THE PRECIPICE OF DEPRESSION? 

 

To paraphrase Senator Kerry when he ranted about the Iraq War, this is the wrong legislation, addressing the wrong problem at the wrong time. Not a chance this won’t come back to bite everyone who supported it. 

 

My advice to those who want the president to succeed in his presidency:  Pray that on this at least -- he fails.    

 

JBG

 

November 18, 2009

THE DELUSIONARY ECONOMY

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The following is taken from a larger article posted on The Policy Think Site:

 

http://jaygaskill.com/AmericanDreamAmericanNightmare.htm

 

THE DELUSIONARY ECONOMY

 

A PARABLE FOR OUR TIME

 

Pretend that you own a company that used to make and sell beer, firewood and baked goods to all parts of the world.  Your grandparents started this business with a private horde of gold coins, at the time the largest in the world.  We’ll call it the Pot of Gold or POG for short. Traditionally the family business was conducted by writing checks and IOU’s that were backed by the POG. 

 

When your parents took over the business, about half of the sales were of re-branded goods made by some people down the road, the Cutthroat family.   You parents bought them cheap and sold them for more, under the family brand.  When Mom and Dad got older, they began to cut more corners.  All of the beer and most of the baked goods were made and sold by the Cutthroat family, using the family brand, paying your parents a reduced royalty, who had nothing really to do with creating those products at all. 

 

Because of their declining income, Mom and Dad started selling IOU’s to the POG, then reselling those same IOU’s to others.  Your parents no longer produced enough to make it.  The basic necessities were being supplied by the Cutthroats as amazingly low rates.  Mom and Dad had been living off the POG all these years because of Cutthroat generosity.

 

One morning you awaken.  Mom and Dad are gone. You have just taken over the family business.  You discover that the demand for firewood is negligible.  Even the Cutthroats don’t want it. Then you make two dreadful discoveries about the POG:  It was not a horde of pure gold coins.  They were mostly copper and tin, and their market value was never more than 40% of your parents’ figures.  You also discover that the unpaid IOU’s and checks exceed the value of the POG by a factor of six. 

 

My God, you think.  We have been living off the family’s reputation all this time.  And the word about the overvalued and over leveraged POG has gotten out.   But the Cutthroat family is still sending you goods and services for the IOU’s.  Thank god for their kind hearted generosity, you think.  But then you learn that the Cutthroat family has a practice of executing their own business people for minor offenses...like overstating assets and borrowing with no ability to pay.  You begin to worry....

 

Your trusted messenger arrives.  She has discovered a secret Cutthroat family communiqué.  Here’s what it says:  “Just a little more time, and we will have it all.”  You ask, “What does this mean?”  Your messenger tenders her resignation.  She has just been hired by the people down the road....

 

[][][]

 

Our major strengths are in aerospace and agriculture, medical technology and cyber miracles.  Unless we act quickly and decisively, that list will shrink to agriculture and nothing new will emerge to add to the balance sheet.  Our current infatuation with paper assets a mass delusion, of a kind with the derangement of that homeless guy on the corner who honestly thinks that satellite spies have even noticed his existence.

 

More on this to come...

 

Stay tuned.

 

And Read - http://jaygaskill.com/AmericanDreamAmericanNightmare.htm 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November 13, 2009

CLARK KENT FOR PRESIDENT

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CLARK KENT FOR PRESIDENT

 

Rasmussen is the most reliable presidential poll of them all & puts POTUS consistently on the back side of a majority since the summer.   http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/obama_administration/obama_approval_index_history

Rasmussen’s data track a pretty stable pattern.  It will change only when our “left-of-the American-public” president is perceived to have done something effective that people generally support.  ...Or when he screws up in a spectacular and unambiguous manner. 

 

For these reasons, I think our new president is in a “no win” box of his own making.  He needs to move to the right (the deficit/fiscal crush and the relentless demands of the continuing jihad demand nothing less), but the anger of the spoiled left will unseat him.   This is the subset of liberals who dominate the Democratic Party for the moment.  They will punish betrayal -- just like the wife / lover who won't sleep with an unfaithful guy who is freshly contaminated with several STD's. 

 

If my analysis is right, the best 2012 GOP opponent will be a Clark Kent conservative. I’ll explain that in a moment.

 

David Brooks has profiled South Dakota Senator John Thune (who defeated Tom Daschle) in today’s NYT.  Here is that link:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/13/opinion/13brooks.html?ref=todayspaper .

And here is the pull quote. 

“His positions on the issues are unremarkable. He is down-the-line conservative on social, economic and foreign policy matters. What’s notable is the way he talks about the issues and jumps off from them.

“He is a gracious and ecumenical legislator, not a combative one. When you ask him to mention authors he likes, he mentions C.S. Lewis and Jeff Shaara, not political polemicists. The first person who told me I had to write a column about Thune was a liberal Democratic senator who really likes the guy.”

“Thune also possesses the favored Republican profile du jour: conservative at the roots but pragmatic at the surface. ... [N]obody can question Thune’s conservative bona fides. As a result, he doesn’t have to talk about them.”

Why Tone Trumps the Meaning

The non-ideological minds in this country tend to “tone-filter” incoming information.  In this, they are like our pet canines who respond less to what we say than how we say it.  Dogs tend to wag their tails even when we say “I’m going to kill you and eat you for dinner” as long as our tone is cheerful and friendly, and the will cower in a corner even when we say, “You are the best god in the whole world and I’m going to give you a treat” when we adopt that snarling Hannibal Lector tone.

In the age of twitter and short attention spans, style and tone trump semantics and policy ... at least in the short term.

Senator Obama’s politics could not have been fairly or accurately characterized as “moderate” or “centrist”, but his reasonable tone beguiled 15% to 20% of the electorate who were to the right of his ideology.  They were seduced by a reasonable tone, then betrayed by leftwing policies.  There desertion will be complete when a reasonable alternative surfaces on the political scene.

Enter Superman or Supergirl

Clark Kent, AKA Superman, was a “mild mannered” man who could become the man of steel at will.  We can’t know who the magic GOP 2012 candidate will actually be, but I can see the template emerging. 

As for Senator Thune, watch the 2010 elections closely.  If Harry Reid is defeated (very likely at this moment), Thune’s star will rise.   If the GOP retakes the Senate in 2010 - with or without Senator Lieberman’s assistance, look for Thune as the next Majority Leader. 

What about the 2012 race?  The prospect of defeat wonderfully concentrates the mind.  The GOP will close ranks behind someone who can actually win.  Obama can forestall this only by moving firmly to the center, enduring the loss of passion and enthusiasm on the left and hoping to romance those quirky independents who actually decide races.

Stay tuned.

JBG

 

November 12, 2009

THE FORT HOOD TREASON VIRUS

THE FORT HOOD EVENT IN REVIEW, 'THE TREASON VIRUS', IS POSTED AT THIS LINK: http://www.jaygaskill.com/TheTreasonVirus.htm .

A treason prosecution, coupled with the murder charges (assuming that Major Hasan recovers as expected) may provide the catalyst needed to shock the bureaucrats whose politically correct timidity, ineptitude or both allowed this threat to mature in the very heart of our military.

More in the posted article.

JBG

November 11, 2009

Fort Hood III Perfidy & Treason?

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→The Policy Think Site: http://www.jaygaskill.com
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Copyright © 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008 & 2009 by Jay B. Gaskill
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FORT HOOD III, Perfidy & Treason
Connecting the Dots

 

It is Veterans, Day.  I’ll not dwell on our president’s peroration about the Fort Hood disaster yesterday, except to note a disabled soldier’s review quoted in today’s New York Times: “‘It was well-written...but I think he needs to do a little more from the heart. I can tell when someone is reading from a tablet and when someone is speaking from the heart.’” 

 

I agree.

 

Back to Major Hasan’s perfidy.  This evening, as time allows, I’ll fold this piece into my first two Fort Hood posts in a consolidation, “The Treason Virus”.  Look for that tomorrow morning.

 

 

Hasan as “Manchurian Candidate

 

The reference is to the famous Cold War movie, starring Frank Sinatra, who was a brain-washed veteran programmed by Chinese Communists to become an assassin when a code word activated him.  There was a remake starring Denzel Washington. 

 

As I’ve argued in post one, Islam is a complex belief system that, in its current pre-reformation iterations, is like an operating system fully vulnerable to malware, viruses and trojans, because of the compete absence of a firewall or security software protection.   The vulnerable features of this belief system don’t need to be sound Muslim theology, they just need to be “out there”.  They include the notion that infidels can be killed in the name of God.

 

This particular anti-moral virus was employed in the service of a malevolent ideology, a perversion of the carrier religious belief system, a scripture-derived violent-terror jihad.  The transmission system was the media, the internet and person to person contact. 

I note that there are jihadist websites that are specifically designed to stimulate so called “lone wolf” terror agents, without ever having to formally recruit them. 

 

Major Hasan was a susceptible member of the faith.  He was exposed – no doubt willingly - and, in this scenario, he was “run” as a remotely stimulated “agent”.  His ensuing violence (“craven acts”, to quote our president) was a highly probably outcome.

 

Let there be no confusion here.  My analysis is allegory.  I believe that Major Hasan was sane.  He is fully accountable for his acts.  His acts were more than illegal – they were evil.

 

Was this terrorism?  That is beside the point.  Major Hasan turned on his own troops in a time of war.  I would charge treason.

 

JBG

 

 

 

November 09, 2009

FORT HOOD II - Jihad as Therapy

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FORT HOOD, PART TWO:
JIHAD-AS-THERAPY

 

We need a new DSM IV* category for rogue mental health professionals suffering with “HME Syndrome”, the Homicidal Martyrdom Escape Syndrome, HMES. 

 

* The vaunted DSM IV is the cookbook diagnostic manual used by mental health professionals to classify mental disorders.  [Buy one if you’re curious -- http://allpsych.com/books/index.html#r ] 

 

“He was obviously upset,” said Duane Reasoner Jr., an 18-year-old who attended the mosque and ate frequently with Major Hasan at the Golden Corral restaurant. “He didn’t want to go to Afghanistan.”

 

“He felt he was supposed to quit,” Mr. Reasoner said. “In the Koran, it says you are not supposed to have alliances with Jews or Christians, and if you are killed in the military fighting against Muslims, you will go to hell.”

 

This excerpt was from today’s New York Times.  LINK:  http://www.nytimes.com/2009/11/09/us/09reconstruct.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&ref=todayspaper

 

Major Hasan was psychologically trapped and infected with an anti-moral virus. [See my previous post.] 

 

 

THE MILITARY NEEDS TO RETURN TO ITS WWII TOUGHNESS AND COMMON SENSE.

 

This is what happened: 

A man with Palestinian Muslim roots, born in Virginia, never-married, predeceased by his parents, was provided a full medical education at Bethesda, with the pay-back proviso that he serve in the uniform of the United States Army for about seven years before he could leave the service.  He graduated as a physician in the immediate wake of 911.  While assigned to America’s largest domestic military base, Fort Hood (52,000 troops), he manifested increasing agitation about having been forced to serve in Afghanistan, where “Christians and Jews” were fighting Muslims, a scenario essentially condemned by the Prophet.   He was in a trap of his own making.  He consulted a lawyer.  He prayed a lot and kept to himself.  He purchased a private handgun and lot of ammunition.

 

By the way, under the current politically correct rules, soldiers on base (other than MP’s and other limited exceptions) DO NOT CARRY FIREARMS. 

 

Are you counting the red flags here?

 

This killer acted in a fully calculated manner (i.e., Hasan put his affairs in order, took the time and care to arm himself, carry extra clips of ammunition and position himself near uniformed targets).  Then our rogue mental health professional with the rank of Major shouted “God is Great!” in Arabic and began methodically executing as many infidel soldiers as time, the lack of armed resistance and his supply of ammunition permitted. 

 

If he had attempted this shooting spree in Israel among the IDF, he’d have been cut down in seconds.  During WWII on a US base, he’d have been taken out by an armed nurse and three typists.  In a Queens New York bar frequented by off-duty cops, Dr. Hasan would have been dropped before he got off the first shot.  As it was, he was cut down by a young woman with SWAT training serving a Texas civilian police agency, Sgt. Kim Munley, who took several shots herself, thankfully none of them fatal. 

 

In my moral universe, Sgt. Munley gets nominated for the Nobel Peace Price, if not made a candidate for Canonization.

More about the WWII ethos: The US Army was not run by politically correct fools or governed by wishy-washy civilian overseers.  Courage and common sense prevailed.  Think about it:  A number of heroic Japanese men served this country’s military in WWII.  Were they aboard the Enola Gay or serving in the South Pacific?  Of course not.  The Greatest Generation’s General officers weren’t imbeciles.  These brave Japanese warriors fought the Germans.

 

There was a time when we Americans, all flaws accounted for, were governed by a sterner part of the moral order.  A hint to the naïve:  Those virtues weren’t “just made up” or adopted as a ‘life style choice”.  Check your survival manual.  Without them, we’d be a part of the Third Reich and our Jewish friends would all be dead.

 

JBG

 

 

November 06, 2009

THE FORT HOOD VIRUS

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FORT HOOD & THE MOST DANGEROUS VIRUS

[AS POSTED ON THE POLICY THINK SITE - LINK: http://jaygaskill.com/HeadlineVirus.htm ]

 

 

Headline:  Rare virus endangers troops.

 

Another, presumably unrelated headline (my own summary)

 

Rogue Islamist shrink shoots fifty American soldiers on American Base.

 

The first story (http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2009/nov/06/rare-virus-poses-new-threat-to-troops/ ) describes a biological pathogen.

 

The second story, the Fort Hood massacre, (http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/nation/la-na-fort-hood-shootings7-2009nov07,0,1269467.story ) describes a moral pathogen.

 

It seems beyond reasonable dispute that the Fort Hood shooter/murderer (Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan) was (1) a devout follower of Islam, (2) was not in sympathy with the American effort in Afghanistan.  Other details are emerging.

Dr. Hasan was an educated man.  It is almost axiomatic that most mental health professionals don’t become berserk mass murderers, particularly while serving in sensitive positions in American military facilities.    

 

Karen Armstrong is one of my favorite writer-thinkers.  She is a former nun who teaches and writes about religious issues from a profoundly ecumenical perspective.  Armstrong wrote a sympathetic account of the Prophet Mohammed’s life (Muhammad: A Biography of the Prophet -- http://www.amazon.com/Muhammad-Biography-Prophet-Karen-Armstrong/dp/0062508865  ) that I read recently.  It was written post-911 with the obvious purpose of tamping down some of the hysteria surrounding militant Islam. 

 

If there ever is to be an Islamic Reformation, books like Armstrong’s will be a good starting point.

 

There are pockets of enlightened, peaceful Islamic scholarship and teaching, most of which are taking place in safe havens in the tolerant West.  All those sparks of tolerance acknowledged, there still is no Islamic Reformation. 

 

After the death of Mohammed in the 7th century, there never again was a single Muslim Voice, no Muslim Pope, no Muslim Martin Luther, no one to lead the faith out of its pre-medieval fundamentalism.  The religion remains multi-focal and widely distributed - much like software tied to a common operating system, in this case the Qu’ran.  The software metaphor is useful because, like all distributed belief systems, Islam is subject to anti-moral viruses.

 

An anti-moral virus is an actively malevolent set of ideas, capable of being carried by an ideology or other widespread belief system, much as living organisms carry infections. 

 

I believe that the Islamist virus stems from a siege mentality, a deep sense of grievance and of being under attack from a decadent, profoundly immoral culture.  We know that the virus is deadly because of its fruits.  One cannot look at the carnage of 911 or the recent incident at Fort Hood without horror and revulsion.  Surely, we think, this cannot be sanctioned by a truly moral deity, the ruler of the Universe, the Father of the Abrahamic faiths. 

 

An anti-moral virus attaches itself to selected precepts from the Islamist tradition (precepts that post-reformation Muslims will say were taken out of context, but for now stand alone as co-equal injunctions from God’s Prophet).  Among these precepts are the classification of Infidels as unclean, the religious approval for their forcible conversion to Islam (with a tradition of beheading the resistant-apostate) and the sanction for glorious, violent martyrdom in the cause.  Caution: This is a functional analysis, not a critical theological one.  My scholarly friends who are deeply familiar with Islam will quickly point out why a careful and enlightened reading of the Qu’ran does not support terrorism, the slaughter of innocents, and so on.  But Dr. Hasan was an intelligent, well educated man and there has, as yet, been no Islamic Reformation.  The anti-moral virus is active in the Muslim culture.  I believe he was infected.

 

Who ELSE is infected?  Just HOW do you tell?  What measures are appropriate to quarantine or identify the possibly infected?  Clearly, the US military can never again afford to place itself in the vulnerable position that was so blatantly revealed in Fort Hood.  Before we jump on our politically correct, high horses, let’s take a moment to reflect on the practical side of this.  We need to be able (especially in sensitive locations, time and situations) to make in-depth religious and ideological inquiries about men and women placed in trusted positions.  And we need to be able to accomplish this without religious bigotry, but also without opportunistic sniping by the politically correct nannies.

 

Nothing truly important in this life is easy.  Stay tuned....

 

JBG

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