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It Ain’t Over till the Fat Lady Sings, But…


Those are painful words to type, but I’m a mature person. If trends continue this will be a popular vote win for Romney and an electoral win for Obama, keeping him our president. You will not, by the way, see me calling for an overturn of the electoral college system and I very much discourage my ideological companions from touching that argument with a ten foot pole.

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/157173/

America losing touch with economic reality doesn’t change the economic reality facing this country. I’m frankly a little disappointed in my country tonight, but I will persevere.

Tom and I have some humble pie to chew into from today’s show in calling a landslide – perhaps we were picking up on the popular tally, perhaps we fell into the classic political junkie trap: We saw an amazingly strong case against Obama’s policies and stances, we saw so many instances where he outright lied, we’ve seen numerous scandals that colored him in a horrible light, and we just couldn’t see how people could not see those stories, take them to heart, and see that this nation needs a different course.

I’m not certain what this says specifically about the American electorate, but I can say one thing – it seems America’s historical problem of having to take a pounding before it turns around is again playing out before our eyes. We have an economic disaster on the horizon, period. It seems America has done an effective job of convincing itself that the problem is either too harrowing to contemplate or that the fed can happily print money with no consequences. The fantasy that federal money is free continues.

http://pjmedia.com/instapundit/157204/

Obama owns the last four years. A large number of his major policy moves were offset to kick in after the election, and in 2014. I will say it again: America is insisting that it needs a sucker punch before it sees the light of day. Fine. It will come. But I will go on the record – this mess would not have been entirely diverted by Romney. Romney would have given us an emergency landing as opposed to a crash. It could have been side stepped. It could have been cushioned. Instead we’re apparently going to accelerate.

Buckle up, folks. It’s going to be rough ride. Remember: As a country, this is the path we’ve chosen.

And I will still not give up on my country.

I remain, as ever, an optimist. I do, however, despair that this nation is now stepping into a period of history where we have never been so sharply divided politically, and where a campaign oriented around shallow tactics managed to win with classic politics. Obama has always been a master politician, and it’s something I will never deny or contest about him.

I intend to remain active, and bite the bullet and march on. And unfortunately – for my family, this election has direct consequences on our lives, and we’ll be making a number of hard decisions soon. I imagine it’s the same way for many, many other Americans tonight.

I’m feeling much the same way I did when Justice Roberts made the deciding vote to uphold Obamacare. Conservatism as a movement in this country is being given an incredibly trying test. We will ultimately be stronger for it – but damn if it isn’t painful not seeing the ‘easy route’ pan out.

Things to Watch:

  • Benghazi
  • Precious Metals
  • The Federal Reserve (specifically Ben Bernanke)
  • Ripple effects of Obamacare solidfying sinking in over the next two weeks
  • Overall regulations via the EPA aimed at energy producers firing over next several months, particularly coal

More thoughts from Vodkapundit via PJM that I encourage all of you to read.

Update: Why on earth is THIS my 100th post? Talk about bitter tastes left in the mouth.

ALSO: This piece is linked in one of the instapundit links, but a qoute from a Bom Krumm piece is worth highlighting:

“We are an evenly divided nation between two irreconciable ideologies.  On the one side is the collectivist progressive who knows that by centralizing control in the hands of leaders empowered by special powers, that America will be a fairer place.  On the other side is the rugged individualist who knows that if he were freed of extraordinary restrictions that he could accomplish extraordinary things and that will make America a stronger place.

This is not a new conflict.  In fact, it’s the conflict that gave birth to our nation, when we left and England and an anointed elite behind.  But we didn’t leave it entirely behind.  And by degree, collectivism has returned.  For decades we have been able to paper over the differences between the two camps through the incredible surplusses that we have amassed.  But those surplusses are soon to come to an end.”

Additional Reading

I really ought to listen to myself more often. Sometimes. Back then I was very put off by Romney – my opinion on Romney the man has changed considerably since then.

Short Take — Libyan Embassy Crisis


The attack on the Libyan embassy and continued demonstrations at other embassies is deeply significant. First, this:

http://pjmedia.com/barryrubin/2012/09/16/the-truth-about-the-wave-of-anti-american-demonstrations/

I largely agree with Barry Rubin here. I am getting very steamed off by the administration’s response to this incident and the almost non nonchalant way they’re glossing over the death of a US ambassador. Don’t buy the ‘This stupid film caused it’ line. These people were looking for any kind of justification and to step into the trap of attacking free speech would only play into their hands.

This incident in Libya should have provoked the wrath of God from the US. And I don’t mean war per say – We should have been demanding protection and threatening to withdraw all support from affected countries immediately if they hemmed and hawed. Instead – we prattle, apologize, blow in the wind. It makes our country look weak and uncaring, and gives our friends even more reasons to doubt out word.

The killing of Americans – or any westerner, for that matter – should not be allowed to become a trivial act. If we fail to respond decisively to the death of an ambassador and several diplomats – an act throughout history traditionally regarded as an act of war – we simply undermine ourselves. 

I’ll break things down in more detail another day. But a few more thoughts –

It is likely that Iranian intelligence / Hezbollah was behind this attack, or Al Qaeda. Whatever party orchestrated what was absolutely a deliberate, planned out, targeted assassination is attempting to stoke a regional war, and as we all know with politics – it could be for any number of reasons.

I’m also deeply frustrated that the western press is so eager to baby and excuse religious bigotry when it come from radical Islam. There is a hard line in the sand when it comes to freedom of speech and expression, and people who wish to live in a modern world have to learn to take blows and suck it up just like everybody else does. Christianity and most modern mainstream religions regularly get ridiculed. Fundamentalist Islam should not get a pass just because they get violent.

This has just been an awful week news wise. A wonderful lead in to the election season!

September 11th – Eleven Years Later


Something short and simple for today. Work demands leave me with very little time to do a thorough reflection, so instead –

Red State Contributer Dan McLaughlin on his personal experience.

My Osama Bin Laden is Dead podcast, where I take the time to expand on my feelings regarding the day during the show.

One final recommendation, after some thoughts.

This day is never easy for me. Without going into too much detail, I had a family member who worked in the upper floors of World Trade 7. He and his floor evacuated and got out of harms way, but we didn’t get full confirmation until about halfway through the day. I remember waking up as a kid that morning and seeing a double picture of the pentagon and World Trade 1 & 2 in flames. I was in Middle School. I remember being struck by how most of my friends had no clue what was happening – or were talking about the event like it was an interesting football game they had watched the night before. A nonchalance.

September 11th has had a profound influence on my life and worldview. I firmly believe that it was my generation’s Pearl Harbor. The world changed that day, for better or for worse.

Whatever you think about that day, however close or distant you are to what took place – I would strongly encourage you to watch the entire documentary I have linked below, called ‘102 Minutes that Changed America’. I’ve said it before, and I will say it again – a true blessing of our times is just how integrated technology is in our lives. When monumental events take place, there are hundreds, even thousands of people with a camera, a cell phone, a tape recorder, any number of things that enable them to capture their perspective of events.

It allows us to see the world through their eyes and ears as events unfolded. I know there are people out there who encourage us to move on, forget 9/11, stop making such a big deal about it. I hate to be blunt, but when one sees rational individuals leaping to their obvious death, and hears the impacts of their bodies on hard concrete hundreds of feet below, it’s not something that fades easy. It shouldn’t. America was attacked on 9/11. Good people died horrific deaths and suffered in ways that is impossible to describe or imagine. I’m not saying that we should obsess – but we owe it to the dead and the families of those affected to be in tune with what they went through.

Watch the below when you have time and the chance. Please take a little time to reflect, today.

WARNING. GRAPHIC AND DISTURBING CONTENT. 102 Minutes That Changed America

God Bless.

-TheDougem

China and Hong Kong, True Enemies or False Friends?


Editor’s Note: With fews having ticked back up a bit, I’m finally publishing this guest article written by long-time readers Observer92 and Canadian_95_RTS. We could all use a little break from two weeks of political conventions! -TheDougem

Hi. This is going to be a co-written article between 0bserver92 and Canadian_95_RTS. Much thanks to TheDougem for posting this article.

After the Russians pushed Napoleon back out of Russian lands in 1812, they set up a Duchy in Poland, with a Constitution and plenty more freedoms than Tsarist Russia possessed. However, after attempts to create similar institutions in Russia proper, Russia slowly ate away at its freedoms until it was little more than a Russian puppet state.

Hong Kong has been a British colony for more than 150 years, after first winning the First Opium War with the Chinese. This was made into a treaty port, and Britain made good use of it, as well as adding additions through the Second Opium War, and the lease of the New Territories. This lease was 99 years long, and, come 1997, China wanted the land back. Britain did not particularly want to split the territory, and the New Territories were Hong Kong’s main supply of water. So, China took control of all of Hong Kong, but there was a catch. Hong Kong would keep some autonomy from China for 50 years, including freedom of speech, fair elections, and in general far more human rights than the Chinese.

Hong Kong’s system is a multi-party democracy, set up with a chief executive at its head. The executive council and legislative council both are also used under them. The executive council is appointed, while legislative council is elected. This is stark contrast to China’s system; with a one party dictatorship, where the government isn’t elected, and what the leaders say is law.

Now, Hong Kong has been a chopstick in China’s side for quite a while now (whoops, I meant to say thorn), with much of the population anti-Chinese. There has been much hostility by either side, with many Hong Kongers, including Chip Tsao among them, have been pushing for a separate state, or a return to British rule. However, there has been much racism between the two, as many Hong Kongers (mostly native Cantonese or English speakers) detest Mandarin speakers, attributing them with the government that oppresses them.

And I do mean oppress. China has been attempting to make Hong Kong a region more like itself, including many changes to the constitution, many China backed political parties, and the infamous Article 23, which would have stomped on many human rights in the country, including the ability for China to arrest anyone for treason. Chip Tsao says “We don’t want to become another Chinese city. We are an international city.” and many Hong Kongers feel the same. Many protests happen on HKSAR day (the day Hong Kong took control over China), to symbolically protest the Chinese government.

However, the two government bodies have formed a symbiotic relationship. Hong Kong is the hot spot for inward investment into China, while Chinese investment forms the backbone for Hong Kong’s infrastructure. Hong Kong gets large amount of resources from China, and China uses Hong Kong’s infrastructure. These two entities may hate each other, but when it comes down to it, neither entity can live without each other.0bserver92 – Hong Kong should ultimately be its own independent nation, due to its less barbaric stance on human rights. China is gaining much more from Hong Kong than Hong Kong has gained from China, and Hong Kong would benefit more from being independent than being a dependency of China. In summary, screw China.

 In the end, I think that China could learn a lot from Hong Kong about how to run a country. However, I doubt in the future that China will allow Hong Kong to keep the status quo. Hong Kong is almost symbolic in its resistance to China, and the Chinese government cannot let it go on for long, if their government is going to survive. I do despair for that year, 35 years from now, when China is allowed carte blanche on Hong Kong society, should the crisis even last that long. If it does, Hong Kong will not be in a good position to survive. I hope that Hong Kong will not end up like Poland in 1825, and get hopelessly crushed by the overbearing country with a noticeable lack of human rights.

Let’s end with a Chip Tsao quote: “It used to be just the locusts of the natural variety. But now the flying insects are evolving to have new steel forms, powered by a turbo engine.”

DNC: We All Belong to Government


Before I say another word:

DNC shows video celebrating the concept of belonging to government

Read, watch, and absorb for a minute. The whole thing!

Of course we know the video meant the phrase in the sense of belonging to a group – but note the reactions of the interviewed, and the broader mindset at play.

Democrats (not all, we’re talking the extreme here) have been criticized in the past for treating government almost like a religion. That’s certainly debatable – but looking at the DNC so far, it seems that the average politically active democrat is enthusiastic about big government and the concept of the good of the collective.

There’s nothing necessarily wrong with that, but as this editorial points out – the Democrat party has gone off the deep end of promising almost everything to everybody, the pricetag be damned.

Ron Radosh explains the problem with that better then I can – but I’ll give my own nutshell that I’ve repeated here, and on the podcast may many times:

Entitlements don’t mean a thing if the economy collapses. If you throw more fuel (spending) on this country’s fire (severe debt) expecting the fire to go out – it will go out by burning itself out. (hyper inflation/dollar collapse). The current spending of this nation is simply unsustainable. Period. Lip service on cuts and increasing taxes is not going to solve the problem. This is a spending problem above -anything- else.

That the democrat party seems to be content with pretending that all they have to do is play cut throat politics and all will be well is obscene. They have to know how bad the problem is – and either they don’t care, or they only care that their party is in control of the country when the collapse happens.

Republicans are hardly saints in this picture either, but they demonstrate a far better grasp of the issues at hand. They certainly treat the American people much more like adults. I get the impression from the DNC that they just want to whisper sweet nothings in our collective ears and have us stare transfixed at various shiny strawmen.

Yes, I’m just a weeee bit cranky. It’ll be a fun rest of the election season, folks!

Obama to Invoke ‘Fairness’ as Campaign Push in State of the Union Address


Yet another example of the kind of story that made me scream at my radio.

I have said multiple times that I felt that the 2012 reelection strategy for president Obama would be a class warfare battle.  To be more precise, he would take essentially the occupy movement’s stance on things – Republicans are wall street, they are rich and thus terrible, they don’t care about anybody and are heartless, and just want to be big ol’ meanies and hoard their money while they -take- all your benefits away.

More after the jump.

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Caller Followup for Skeptic Conservative Podcast 1/13/12 – Ultra Orthodox Jews


Sorry this took a little longer then anticipated, and it may not be the most complete response but at least everybody will know my stance on this.

This is in response to a call from Observer92, a long time listener and follower who was talking about the potential for the Ultra-Orthodox jews to gain power and influence in Israel in the coming year, as part of the official predictions show. (The compilation of which I’m also working on now)

You can listen to the show HERE! My response and thoughts after the jump.

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Caller-Clarifications for Skeptic Conservative 1/6/2012


As I had a sudden influx of fresh faces on last night’s show, a few things were brought up – by one caller particularly – that I felt required further expansion on the blog. That’s why it’s here folks, and I want to continue to foster an air of discussion!

As a general note I’m going to try very hard to address all caller’s questions to the best of my ability on the blog if I feel like I didn’t do the question justice in show. Callers and listeners are encouraged to check in on these posts and ask further questions if needed.

Listen to the show here. More after the jump.

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TheDougem on a Bus Muses About 2012


Reposted from a OneNote note with no editing for your reading pleasure. Take it all with a little grain of salt, and for what it is – a bit of fun and some light predictions for the coming year. It should be a fun one, folks! More on the US vs. Canada later. We have Christmas to celebrate, darnit.

More after the jump.

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Guest Posting – Sharia Law in the Middle East


Editor’s Note (TheDougem): This will be the first ‘guest’ posting on the blog, written by Canadian_95_RTS, long time listener to the podcast and an avid follower of mine since my dark, primitive days on livestream when I was operating under the “Total War Tracker” banner. I wanted to invite any of you with writing inclinations who just may want to share something with my audience to email me at theskepticconservative@gmail.com ! I just might throw your post up with some minor edits and any accreditation you wish to have. I can’t promise any sort of compensation beyond exposure and critique, with how small I am right now. In general, anything I personally consider interesting and worth sharing with my audience is fair game. 

Please enjoy, comment, and pass around if you like this!  The post can be found after the jump, and concerns Sharia Law in the Middle East. Any bolded italics are my comments.

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