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A Closing of the drysift Saga


Alright, this post has been long in coming, primarily because I’ve been a busy guy the past while. This topic deserves some kind of closer before I move on, considering the volume of traffic it generated and the strong feelings at play.

After the jump, I’ll throw up the links to the whole darn thing, as well as my articles on Occupy before my commentary. Those who are well and truly -done- with it all – never fear! You don’t have to hit ‘read more’.

There was also a show last night! I had fun, as did the 21 folks listening live. Many thanks to them!

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Quick Thoughts on NATO Strike in Pakistan


Howdy folks! We have some interesting breaking news as of today, the 26th – before I get into my rough analysis of the situation, please consider browsing my archives! While they are a little messy and don’t properly walk back and forth (from post to post) they’re there, I put work into them, and I’d love to have your thoughts! A few suggestions before the jump:

Also after the jump and at the end of the analysis, a few production notes. That’s incentive for you people to click the darned read more button! ;p

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Regarding the “Debate” With Drysift


As all of my readers know, I cannot go. The poll will be closed shortly, and the results are a very conclusive ‘respond first you derp’.

My last message to drysift before explaining my tactics and moving on is after the jump. If you are interested in watching the spectacle unfold, visit http://tinychat.com/debate at 7pm Pacific time and get some popcorn. I predict much whining.

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An Open Response to an Occupy San Diego Sympathizer


No-one responded to my question about whether or not to respond openly to a pm I got – so I decided to go do it anyways! Below is the message in full. I understand it’s a busy week for everybody – but all the same I hope I get you folks on the weekend. The video in question is linked in my previous post

Quick note to site newbies, please read the about tab before jumping to conclusions about how I tick, kay?

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A Souring on the Occupy Movement


Alright folks – I know I do this way too much, but in this case it’s warranted.

I owe you guys an explanation. This content draught has gone on much longer then usual, and before I unleash the full flood gates of what I’ve been up to – allow me to cover one of the reasons I’ve been very quiet over the past two months.

To put it simply, it’s been the Occupy Movement.

Over the past month, I really sat down and dunked my head deep into the mire that is politics. Not only did I absorb news coverage from all angles, I personally went down to Occupy San Diego on its opening day and took over 100 photos and several video clips. I have gone over and collected a few different manifestos, watched countless videos, really sat down and took it in. I published an initial impression of the overall movement. My first take – even after a half a week of thought, me trying to be fair! –  was that the soul of the movement was fueled by anti capitalism, and that troublemakers and professional protesters would hijack any moderates trying to turn it into a tea party like movement.

I have strong reason today to tell you, my audience, that I think my initial impressions were correct.

Tomorrow I’ll share with you a document I received about two weeks ago at the short lived “Occupy UCSD” movement tied in to the broader “Occupy Higher Education” tiied in to the “Occupy Everything” movement. I’ll happily go over – bullet point by bullet point – why their manifesto – one approved by Occupy San Diego and Occupy Wall Street – betrays the initial message of bi partisanship.

This movement has been coopted all along by Big Labor and hard leftists who want to crash the system to bring about socialism. THAT SAID. Believe me, I know that there are libertarians and ordinary minded folks frustraited with the system in this group – but their voices are being drowned out. I contend that all along, the idea has been to get folks hungry and angry through long term occupations, and then wield them as blunt instruments to bring about societal tension. Residents around the occupations get angry. The activists get angry. Inevitably, confrontations happen and they are gleefully embraced by the leaders of the movement.

Observe the videos below.

1) Occupy DC mob Injures elderly Woman at Americans for Prosperity Reagan Memorial Dinner

2) Attack Victims interviewed

How is this supposed to bring about meaningful reform and change? How is physcially intimidating, harrasing, and wounding people you disagree with supposed to color your organization in a good light? The occupy DC group expressely said multiple times that their intent was to bar conservatives from leaving the event. Why? What was that supposed to do? The event was hardly a sinister meeting of the ‘vast right wing conspiracy’ – it was a remembrance of what would have been Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday.

I’ll go into more detail on this later – but to sum, my biggest problem with the Occupy movement has been my impression that they act like a mob. They practice mob justice, they circle the wagons and/or excuse most criticism, and they more or less allow the vagrants and violent members to do their thing unchallenged. “We can’t police free speech!” after all. The overall attitude in my eyes is that their flagship inspiration – Tahir Square and the Arab Spring – is misguided. It seems like they feel that all they have to do is camp out for weeks on end, make noise, and get what they want. That is not how politics works.

Meaningful politics involves actual action. Sitting in a square doesn’t count. I’m talking about things similar to Occupy’s teach ins, but done less destructively. Things that local tea party groups around the country (including one I’m getting involved in) do every day. Yes, folks, it is possible to be a political activist while having a life and a job. I intend to prove that over the next several months.

Do I see a crash coming? Yeah. Does that mean I think we should embrace what amounts to socialist anarchy? NOPE. I believe in reaching out to all ideologies in the goal of destroying corruption and bringing back an emphasis on locality in politics. It’s very possible, it’s hard work, and oh yeah – it’s been done. WITHOUT MOBS IN THE STREETS.

Mobs in the streets are bad things, folks, no matter who is part of them. You can have the noblest, most decent people on the planet in a mob – and bad things will happen when bad apples act. I’m not decrying all protests – but I AM decrying protests that are largely aimless, anarchistic, and open ended in nature because the founders of the movement deliberately wanted them to be that way.

Remember that I think that we have elements in power right now who want to create problems so they can force in the solutions of their choosing. Van Jones, here’s looking at you.

-Doug

PS: I will do an audio segment tonight or tomorrow on me and my plans and thoughts. As I’m becoming very fond of saying – We live in interesting times. Take nothing for granted, folks, and keep a careful, skeptical eyes on the news.

The Occupy Movement – A Few Links Worth Sharing


…because ultimately these folks give word to the issues better then I could. Links and more of my thoughts after the jump.

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The Occupy Movement – A Critique of the Message


Well, this has certainly been long in coming. Last friday – October 7th – I went in person to observe the Occupy San Diego protest. I haven’t been able to do any follow up since, but I’m planning to drop by Civic Center Plaza sometime this week to take note of crowd sizes, and most especially how the message has evolved since day 1.

Before I went down, I had several questions buzzing around my mind. We already had two weeks of the Occupy movement taking place, varying in attendance from city to city, but with a few common themes – the 99% argument, a general attitude of anti-corporatism, and anti capitalism that seemed to have socialist sympathies. It was being sold as a noble movement – the oppressed, the homeless, the foreclosed, the unemployed lower classes rising up against the rich to call for economic fairness. The leftist version of the tea party, if you will -a  comparison that has been made many times – usually by those commenting from the leftist sphere of opinion.

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Monologue: Israel vs Hamas


First of all, before I dive into the rhetoric, let me begin by saying I hope everybody had a fantastic holiday season and New Years.

As I relaxed during my vacation, things heated up considerably between Israel and Palestine. We saw a week of air strikes followed by a massive ground invasion of the Gaza strip. As ‘official’ casualties stand, 4 Israeli’s are dead and roughly 400 Palestinians are dead, most of them Hamas members. This is obviously a huge story, and represents several things for Israel. The events have been and will be discussed to death – and people continue to endlessly argue about the why, the how, the what of how evil/cruel/ruthless either side is. Truth be told, we will not know the real answers until this is over. But, Israel is entirely justified in their actions, and are going about this as carefully and powerfully as they should be.

It’s important to look upon these events with a sense of perspective – Israel and Hamas greatly mistrust each other. They have been fighting for years, and both sides have dirt on their hands. However, Hamas has proven itself over and over again to be a ruthless regime that cares little for the good of their people. As part of their charter, their stated goal is to annihilate Israel, to keep up the fight until they have taken back all of ‘their’ land. As part of the truce that expired, we saw continuous rocket fire over the entire sumer. Hardly the stance of a country that wants to make peace. Hamas leaders, in the past, and especially when this past ‘truce’ was ratified, have openly, even proudly stated that any peace achieved would be used to gather strength and to prepare for fighting Israel. It is easy for many of us to underestimate such statements, dismiss them out of hand – but they take themselves seriously. They use any and all means to battle, as we see when they masterfully employ propaganda to further their goals. When they were given Gaza, they made sure that infrastructure was destroyed in order to perpetuate Palestinian’s constant state of misery – this misery and poverty makes them very susceptible to being manipulated and used as tools in a far greater agenda.  We also cannot forget the fact that Hamas is openly backed and supported by Iran – an accepted enemy and rival of Israel.

The government of Hamas is not interested in peace. They oppress their countrymen, and have forced Israel to act as harsh as they have the past year. The borders are closed for a reason – Weapon smuggling is rampant, and UN refugee camps have been used as centers for inciting hatred, violence, producing suicide bombers, and building weapons. Israel has every reason to want to control the flow over their borders, because they have been abused in the past. Egypt keeps their border closed as well – they do not want to get involved, and have other motives – which results in no supplies getting through except through smuggling tunnels. Egypt, like much of the arab world, sees the Palestinians as a useful thorn in the side of Israel. There are many reasons for this – there’s plenty of bad blood with Israel over past, lost wars, and with all the attention focused on Israel, they can maintain their oppressive regimes with little scrutiny. They will protest, trumpet loudly about the evils of the zionists – but they will only go so far, and we have seen them waffle and waver this past week.

Hamas must be toppled, and Israel has to step up to the plate and assist the Gazan state in rebuilding infrastructure and restoring normalcy to the area. Israel has already stated that their sole goal is to destroy Hamas, they have no intention of long term occupation. Gaza now belongs to the Palestinians, and it will stay that way. I urge all of you foaming at the mouth to condemn Israel to watch, wait, and observe events closely these next few weeks – roughly a week ago, Israel opened a border crossing, and we have seen them specifically target Hamas military targets. Civilian deaths result, despite the precision weaponry, because Hamas deploys in population centers. But, as Israel fills the region, and kicks Hamas out (Hamas has no chance of winning this fight, something I will discuss soon) we will likely see an outpouring of aid into the area.

I hope that I’m right, and I hope that this conflict is resolved as soon as possible. Not only is it dangerous for Israeli’s and Palestinians, it’s crucial to remember that as long as this conflict goes on, the world’s eyes will be averted from all else. Now is the perfect time for malevolent forces and regimes the world over to make bold moves and further their goals, and they’ve already begun.

A good overview of the overall situation, and yes, I read this AFTER I wrote this post. (Courtesy of a fellow digger)

http://www.honestreporting.com/a/gaza2008primer.html  ((Unfortunately dead link, goes to main page))

EDIT 6/10/13: Removed old announcements, dead link warning

Obama Wins


Obama won.

And it was a hard fought battle, but first thing’s first. This represents a moment of great maturity in our nation. Step back, both liberals and conservatives, and consider what has happened: America, a country that has had considerable racial strife in it’s past, has just elected it’s first African-American president.

Most of you who know me know that I had a lot of concerns about this man. He still has so many unknowns, so many odd views, things that worry me. But, I also consider myself an American before I label myself as a conservative, and above all else I respect our constitution and system. The people have spoken, and they chose Obama. I commend him for his victory.

A lot of people are worried now. We face the prospect of higher taxes, increased government, and legislative agendas that will try to mold our lifestyles. Congress has swung into the hands of democrats – but take heart. This election does not represent a swing to the left in the opinions of America, but rather – a rejection of the republican party. The shunning of a party that no longer cares about it’s founding ideals and it’s base. This is something I am almost positive Obama has realized.

If you haven’t already, I encourage all of you to listen to Obama’s acceptance speech. Not once did he mention ambitious social agendas, partisanship, or how evil the other side was. It was a speech asking for our support, and understanding. What I took away from his speech was that he knows that America is a country of moderates, and that there are many conservatives still out there. He will remember us, and respect our views – if you take him at his word.

Obama’s major challenge will be keeping congress under control – just take a look at the current congressional leadership. They represent the factors in the democratic party that have nearly hijacked it, and forced them to the hard left. Bernake, Schumer, Barney Frank, Pelosi – they are nearly foaming at the mouth, eager to nationalize health care, try the bush administration for war crimes, force through union agendas, raise taxes, cut military spending – you name it. They will be pushing Obama to accept their views – and we will truly know where Obama stands with his response.

If Obama pushes hard left, he will alienate all the people who took a chance by voting for him, and he knows this. Keep this in mind, as we go through the following months. Hard times are ahead, but there is reason for hope. But all that aside – even though I am giving Obama a chance, I will be scrutinizing his actions. If he fails to follow through, and takes us to the radical left, I, and many others, will hold him accountable.

It’s not over. Far from it. But pay attention, and keep informed, and give Obama time to prove himself.

For all of you who voted, congratulations. Even if you lost, your voice was heard, and it made a difference.