Tag Archives: Opinion

Half Test, Half Actual Content.


TheDougem Drives, where I rant in my car in order to make use of all the damn time I spend driving. Consider this my ‘unplugged’ segments. I’ll probably go off on tangents, I’ll rant, get pumped up, and probably bellow some since usually I’ll be talking about things that piss me off. Don’t turn this up too loud!

In this inaugural rant I discuss Breitbart’s death and the tone of commentary surrounding it as well as the broader political sphere.

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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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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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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Obama’s Inauguration: Monologue


I just finished watching the inauguration of our new president.

Talk about a complex swirling of emotions. For me, and many of the people I know, Bush has been our president for almost half of our lives. Many of us have been frustrated, and angered by his performance, and his approval ratings at the end of his presidency were amongst the lowest in history. America is frustrated, and desperate for some change in Obama. Personally, I am not happy with Bush for many reasons – mainly with the early conduct of the Iraq war, and his major expansion of government. However, I am forever grateful to the man for doing an outstanding job of watching over the nation. When faced with a world-changing attack on September 11th, he reacted exactly as we should have – and ever since that day, our soil has been untouched. Say what you will about Bush, but he cared about our safety, more so then almost anything else – and that’s what I believe history will remember him for.

It is during his last days that a president is often the most hated. Some of our most popular presidents of yesterday were despised by the common man under their rule, and as people today sneer at Bush, and call him ‘the worst ever’, I simply invite you to look at Calvin Coolidge, James Buchanan, or Warren G. Harding. It always could be worse.

I watched Marine One rise from the capitol steps with mixed feelings – this is a huge shift for this country. It’s not quite the end of an era – more like a change in focus – or an attempt to change the focus of the country. It was odd, watching the man who presided over a tumultuous period in our history finally leave, and hand his power to his successor peacefully, the way it should be. I knew it was coming, but it never quite hits you when it actually happens. When Obama finished his oath, people were cheering – but it seemed somewhat muted, as if people were remembering that we are stepping forward into hard times. And indeed, we are – the world is a much scarier place now then it seemed a decade ago.

I remain cautiously optimistic about Obama, and will continue to be as I judge his actions over the term, or terms, of his presidency, until he gives me good reason to believe otherwise. Many of you have high hopes, and others fears – and I expect he will surprise us all with what he ultimately does. Many folks love Obama right now – and this is a proud moment for our nation indeed, this is the time to be celebratory. But be wary – In times like these, inevitably, he will make choices that will be very unpopular. We must remember that there is still a great deal of frustration and fear in this country – frustration at the political process, frustration with corruption, anger towards people such as Bernie Madoff, and those in power who always seem to somehow get away with ripping off their fellow man.

Washington is still the same as it always has been, if Pelosi and Harry Reid have been any indication, as we saw with their political gamesmanship with Burris and Blagojevich. Don’t be surprised if we see a lot of spars between Obama and the Democratic leadership – already, lines are being drawn in the sand, rhetoric being thrown back and forth. Extremist elements in the democratic party are thirsty to use the power they have been handed by a disgruntled nation, and Obama’s biggest challenge will be to keep these elements in check.

The ceremony itself was fairly nice – the musical performance with Perlman, Yo-yo ma, and others was a treat – especially when it rang with echoes of Aaron Copeland, while the poet laurette and the 2nd pastor were a bit odd. What sticks with me however, was the National Anthem sung by the navy chanters. Call me sentimental, but when done properly – with dignity – it never fails to fill me with emotion. Obama’s speech was also pretty well done, and inspiring – while I listened with some skepticism, I was still impressed. Say what you will about him, but the man gives great speeches – like Bush used to when he was first elected.

So, my hat goes off to my – our new president. He finally has it – the day I never thought I’d be seeing has come and gone. I wish him the best, for all of our sakes. I do not agree with Obama on many things, and many of you know this – but I am an American, and Obama is my president. That simple fact will not change over the next four years, barring extraordinary circumstances. But I will also do my best to hold him accountable for what he does in office. And I encourage all of you to do the same, Left, right, no matter your ideology. I’m not asking you to be paranoid, or angry, or doubtful of everything he does – simply hold him to a high standard, make him EARN your trust and your faith in his actions. I think America has really stepped up to the plate in the past few months – as a whole, I believe we are more well informed, more interested in current events, and generally more actively involved in politics. This is a very positive thing – and it is exactly what we need to have continue so we can really make some progress in battling the corruption of the political class of this nation. Good luck Obama.

Keep an eye on this: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/executive-orders/disposition.html

EDIT 6/10/13: Light polishing

Digg: Giving Obama a Chance or Not


http://digg.com/political_opinion/Giving_Obama_a_Chance_or_Not ((Dead link 😦 ))

This is a great post, because it not only captures my own frustration (and the frustration of many of you who share my beliefs) but it also mentions appointments Obama has made since he has won the nomination. Something he has actually done, that has significance – not just based off of his rhetoric! I have already pledged to judge this man based on his /actions/, and so this week I will begin to do that. I want to give the man a chance – but that lasts until he actually starts doing things. Cabinet appointments are thus fair game, and so are his executive orders. ESPECIALLY his executive orders. I encourage all of you not to go overboard, however – it is important that we do not over reach or exaggerate, and that we remain logical and reasonable through this man’s presidency. We also need to force our party to fix itself – or make our own. The ‘old guard’ has lost it’s way.

6/10/13: Dead link warning

Israel Vs. Hamas: Analysis



The Skeptic Conservative is having a fun time at college – Classes have started off well, and his new years resolutions include fun things like making this Blog successful, staying in shape – the usual stuff. This will be a busy week for me, but I’m going to hold myself to publishing at least an article a day – we’ll see how long I can keep it up! As always, write – comment – anything! It will make me a happy blogger, and happy bloggers write more.

The war between Israel and Hamas has been going on for over two weeks, with the end drawing near. We’ve seen it dominate the headlines and the debate on the internet, and we have seen a vehement reaction against almost everything Israel has done – which, I suppose, shouldn’t surprise anyone. Briefly, lets take a look at Israel’s actual goals in this conflict:

1) Stop the current rocket barrage

Call them bottle rockets, call them toys, crude instruments being thrown at a massive, technologically superior enemy – the fact remains that these weapons kill, and they disrupt daily life in Israel. It seems many people are fond of romanticizing these rockets, but reality doesn’t quite support them. It has been documented that rather then being simple bottle rockets, these are unguided explosive devices packed with shrapnel. Some are also more sophisticated rockets smuggled in under the Egyptian border, courtesy of Iran. Because of this, whenever they are noticed, all life stops in Israel for a few brief minutes as everyone takes cover and waits for the impact. The damage of this weapon is psychological, and to a lesser extent economical, and anyone who doesn’t realize how someone may be forever changed by a rocket exploding meters behind them and nearly killing them is being blind to the facts. The rockets can’t be allowed to continue, it endangers Israeli civilians too much.

2) Prevent future rocket barrages

This is something I am afraid that Israel may not do good on – but I sincerely hope they are serious this time. The classic problem with Hamas that every time Israel has ceded territory, the rocket barrages have not stopped. There are several ways this can be done – first, Israel could live up to their “Reputation” of being genocidal maniacs and flatten the entire Gazan strip with heavy artillery and carpet bombs. Of course, they aren’t going to do that because they value human life. The other way – and what it seems they’re doing – Is to more painstakingly secure the entire country, obliterate Hamas, and stabilize the country before they leave. That way, quality of life can improve, the Palestinians can realize that Israeli’s really don’t want to kill them all, and they can live without fear of Hamas killing squads executing those seen sympathizing with the Zionists. This cannot last for too long – but it has to happen at some point for the peace process to move forward.

3)Destabilize and De-legitimize Hamas

Sure, Hamas was a popularly elected government – but it is an illegitimate one and the Palestinians made a poor choice in selecting them. Democracy is good – but in this case it failed because an extremist organization was able to seize power in the immediate aftermath of a bloody civil war. The Palestinians were half forced, half incited to vote the way they did, making them the ultimate victims. Hamas has no incentives to make peace in the region since their stated mission is to destroy and conquer Israel, so they simply must be toppled. They do not truly represent the people and their interests, since they do not value their lives.

4) Put a good face on the war

Israel is simply trying to hard here. Before you chew me out, listen – We have already seen that the media is not interested in supporting Israel in the least. Despite showing tremendous restraint in response to Hamas, every case of friendly fire and collateral damage have been blown out of proportion. Israel needs to continue as they have, without fear – if they continue to be righteous, and ESPECIALLY if they help rebuild Gaza, the world will favor them in the long run. For now, no matter what they do, they will be condemned. I’m not saying they should completely shun the press – but they should not let the media and their headlines dictate their policies. It is weakness, and it is exactly what Hamas is seeking.

Hamas’ Goals

Hamas’ simple goals can be summed as follows:

1) Conquer Israel

It should be obvious to people that Hamas has a dedicated vendetta against the existence of Israel the state. It is blatantly, boldly stated in their charter that their ultimate goal is the destruction of Israel. They want to violently reclaim Israel’s territory, and most of all they want Jerusalem. They are not interested in coexistence with moderates, much less Jews. It is simply not possible to make peace with such a group unless you can convince them to change their views with diplomatic means, and as necessary, military means.

2) Maximize Civilian Casualties

Hamas does not value human life. They have demonstrated this time and time again in their struggle with Israel – using human shields is now a common tactic with them. Why shouldn’t they? The media loves to ignore, or sidestep, the fact that Hamas goes out of it’s way to put civilians in harm’s way. Rockets are fired from neighborhoods, Hamas operations are conducted in hospitals, all to guarantee that as rocket positions are destroyed, civilians are caught in the cross fire. Hamas also doesn’t hesitate to kill civilians who oppose their agenda. They even broadcast television shows that seek to brainwash children into hating Israel, Jews, and advocating their violent overthrow. To Hamas, the Palestinian people are useful tools to further their agenda, and nothing more. They do not value their lives much beyond that.

3) Wage Propaganda War Against Israel

This is the number one tactic of Hamas in it’s fight against Israel. Almost all of their public actions are carefully planned and carried out in a way to make Israel look bad. They cater to the West’s disgust of war by making sure Israel is forced to attack “civilian” targets, that women and children are killed, and that civilians get caught in the cross fire. To the mainstream, it seems that they can do no wrong – and they are cast as the David in David vs. Goliath. They also use the internet rather effectively – a tactic that saw widespread use with Al Qaeda in Iraq. They hate the West – but they will not hesitate to exploit the West’s weaknesses in order to fight them.

4) Continue the fight at all costs

Hamas has continually violated cease fires, truces, etc. during this prolonged struggle with Israel. Despite numerous concessions made by Israel, Hamas and their allies have continued the fight. In periods of peace, they smuggle in weapons, consolidate their power and then they begin to provoke Israel into striking back, and ‘breaking’ the truce. You would have to be a careful observer of television news to notice that Hamas had been firing rockets all summer long, despite the truce that had been put in place in July. Hamas cannot be assumed to act in good faith because of this.

In Sum:

Above all else, it is highly essential for you, who are mostly people in the western world, to realize that we are looking at a completely different culture then ours. Hamas takes itself very seriously – they know they are combating a technologically superior enemy that could squash them like a bug, but they are not afraid to go to the horrific lengths that we would not consider. I can almost guarantee that if somehow, Hamas had the strength and military might of Israel, they would not hesitate to massacre the entire nation, annihilate all signs of their presence, and build it over with symbols of their own culture. Hamas practices a branch of Islam that preaches violence, and spreading their religion by the sword. This is a fundamental facet of the ideology we find ourselves battling in Iraq and Afghanistan – to them it is a religious, cultural struggle. It is a sad and unfortunate thing that this branch of Islam has not undergone a reformation like Christianity has – but we must continue to oppose and battle this ideology of hate and oppression. But consider what I am saying carefully – I am deliberately singling out Extreme Islam, not moderate Islam. This struggle – this culture war, is sadly becoming one of the most key struggles in our history, and we must stand strong against it.

EDIT 6/10/13: Light polishing