Friday Follies for May 29, 2015

This story could correctly be entitled, “Cycles.” For most of the 20th Century and the first decade and a half of the 21st, we’ve watched this cycle occur in our foreign and defense policies. It began with Wilson, continued with FDR, Carter, Clinton and now Obama. Each iteration of liberal polices led to disaster. It always seem to require a conservative administration to put our house back in order…until the next liberal administration betrays us once again.

Disavowing the appeal of the appeaser

The next president will be forced to face down tyrants whom Obama ignored

– – Wednesday, May 27, 2015

For a time, reset, concessions and appeasement work to delay wars. But finally, nations wake up, grasp their blunders, rearm and face down enemies.

That gets dangerous. The shocked aggressors cannot quite believe that their targets are suddenly serious and willing to punch back. Usually, the bullies foolishly press aggression, and war breaks out.

It was insane of Nazi Germany and its Axis partners to even imagine that they could defeat the Allied trio of Imperial Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States.

But why not try?

Hitler figured that for a decade America had been unarmed and isolationist. Britain repeatedly had appeased the Third Reich. The Soviets initially collaborated with Hitler.

Hitler met no opposition after militarizing the Rhineland. He annexed Austria with impunity. He gobbled up Czechoslovakia without opposition.

Why shouldn’t Hitler have been stunned in 1939 when exasperated Britain and France finally declared war over his invasion of distant Poland?

Six years of war and some 60 million dead followed, re-establishing what should have been the obvious fact that democracies would not quite commit suicide.

By 1979, the Jimmy Carter administration had drastically cut the defense budget. President Carter promised that he would make human rights govern American foreign policy. It sounded great to Americans after Vietnam — and even greater to America’s enemies.

Then Iran imploded. The American embassy in Tehran was stormed. Diplomats were taken hostage. Radical Islamic terrorism spread throughout the Middle East. Communist insurrection followed throughout Central America. The Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. China went into Vietnam.

Dictators such as the Soviet Union’s Leonid Brezhnev and Iran’s Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini assumed that Mr. Carter no longer was willing to protect the U.S. postwar order. Or perhaps they figured that the inexperienced American president was too weak to respond even had he wished to do so.

Then, Ronald Reagan defeated Mr. Carter in 1980 on the promise of restoring U.S. power. At first, both America’s friends and enemies were aghast at Reagan’s simplistic worldview that free markets were better than communism, that democracy was superior to dictatorship, and that in the ensuing struggle, the West would win and the rest would lose.

Foreign media damned Reagan as a warmonger for beefing up the U.S. defense budget, reassuring America’s allies and going after terrorists with military force.

The column continues onto a second page with Hanson’s analysis of Obama. The pattern is well established. Liberal, i.e., democrat administrations, weaken the nation, creates choas within our military with massive cuts and misappropriation of funds, thus allowing our enemies to become emboldened. The problems resist until a conservative administration is elected to fix the problems the liberals have created.

The column ends with this final statement:

The Obama foreign policy cannot continue much longer without provoking even more chaos or a large war. Yet correcting it will be nearly as dangerous.

Jumping off the global tiger is dangerous, but climbing back on will seem riskier.

Now you know why I said this section could rightfully be titled, “Cycles.”


Here is an item where the ACLU and Missouri conservatives agree. The use of ‘StingRay’ technology should be banned within the state. The St Louis Post Dispatch published this editorial on Wednesday.

Editorial: Secret use of StingRay technology could backfire on St. Louis police

May 27, 2015 4:07 pm  •

Last summer, as the American Civil Liberties Union was standing side-by-side with Missouri Republicans supporting the passage of a constitutional amendment that sought to protect “electronic communication and data” from unreasonable search and seizure, the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department was sitting on a secret.

In cooperation with the FBI, the St. Louis police had been using a cellphone tracking device known generically by the brand name of one such device: StingRay. The high-tech gadgets allow police to mimic a cell tower. They screen and track nearby digital data, determining the specific location in a building, for instance, of the cell phone they are tracking.

Last month, as first reported by the Post-Dispatch’s Robert Patrick, prosecutors dropped more than a dozen charges against three defendants in a case where the technology was employed. Defense attorneys believe the charges were dropped because police don’t want to reveal details about their new high-tech toy.

But in Missouri, there may be a bigger problem. It has to do with that constitutional amendment that the strange bedfellows of the ACLU and Missouri Republicans were promoting.

A plain reading of the language of Amendment 9, passed by 75 percent of the voters who turned out on Aug. 5, suggests that it is now unconstitutional in Missouri to use a StingRay device — at least without a warrant that offers significantly more detail about the data being sought.

The column continues at the website. As the editorial admits, the Post-Dispatch opposed the passage of Amendment 9 last year. They are reconsidering that opposition now that it appears the St Louis Police Department is actually using StingRay technology in defiance to Federal, and now, Missouri law.

The Worm has Turned

This quote is said to have been created by Shakespeare in in Henry VI, Part 3, where Lord Clifford urges the king against ‘lenity and harmful pity, saying:

To whom do lions cast their gentle looks?
Not to the beast that would usurp their den.
The smallest worm will turn being trodden on,
And doves will peck in safeguard of their brood.

Another, more current reference is this one from Funtrivia that explains the phrase in this manner.

“Worm” is a common term for ‘dragon.’ In fairy tale terms, the flying dragon spewing fire would ravage fields and villages. To be in the dragon’s path resulted in inescapable destruction. What a relief if it changed directions.

Some political worms have turned recently against Obama. The first was the reversal of an ACLU suit in Massachusetts.

In this instance, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) received federal funds to provide services to trafficking victims under the auspices of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act. The contract between the USCCB and HHS contained provisions that the USCCB would not provide contraception nor abortion services The ACLU sued the Council of Bishops citing a conflict of the “Establishment” clause—the absence of contraception and abortion services in the contract between USCCB and HHS supported the anti-contraception and anti-abortion doctrine of the Catholic Church thus violating the Establishment Clause.

They lost.

A federal district court had sided with the ACLU. The USCCB appealed. The First Circuit Court of Appeals reviewed the case and decided for the USCCB stating there was no violation of the Establishment Clause.

The ruling effectively negates forcing religious organizations with doctrine against contraception and abortion from being forced into providing those services not specifically required by contract. The ACLU argued the terms of any such contract between federal agencies and religious organizations could not exempt those services. This ruling may have significant affect to provisions of Obamacare.

The second instance of reversal to Obama’s extra-legal acts concerns his recess appointments to several federal agencies. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit said that Obama did not have the power to make three recess appointments last year to the National Labor Relations Board.

Court: Obama appointments are unconstitutional

By SAM HANANEL,  Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama violated the Constitution when he bypassed the Senate to fill vacancies on a labor relations panel, a federal appeals court panel ruled Friday.

The unanimous decision is an embarrassing setback for the president, who made the appointments after Senate Republicans spent months blocking his choices for an agency they contended was biased in favor of unions.

The ruling also throws into question Obama’s recess appointment of Richard Cordray to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Cordray’s appointment, also made under the recess circumstance, has been challenged in a separate case.

Obama claims he acted properly in the case of the NLRB appointments because the Senate was away for the holidays on a 20-day recess. But the three-judge panel ruled that the Senate technically stayed in session when it was gaveled in and out every few days for so-called “pro forma” sessions.

GOP lawmakers used the tactic – as Democrats have in the past as well – to specifically to prevent the president from using his recess power. GOP lawmakers contend the labor board has been too pro-union in its decisions. They had also vigorously opposed the nomination of Cordray.

It’s gratifying that not every judge is a liberal rubber-stamp. We need, from time to time, the assurance that in some areas the Rule of Law still exists and is honored in the courts.

People problems

I have to be proud of my local Missouri state Representative Rick Brattin (R-Harrisonville) and Representative Mike Kelly (R-Lamar). They are proposing a bill to allow teachers and school administrators with a Concealed Carry permit to carry in school.

Mo. Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Allow Teachers to Carry Weapons in Schools

Posted on: 10:29 pm, December 19, 2012, by and

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Less than a week after a gunman shot and killed 26 people in a Connecticut elementary school, lawmakers filed a bill in the Missouri House that would allow teachers and school administrators with a concealed weapons permit to carry guns on the job.

The bill was filed on Tuesday by two Republican state representatives – Mike Kelly and Rick Brattin, who says it was drafted more than seven months ago, long before the tragedy in Connecticut. He does however say that last Friday’s shooting is a perfect example of why a law like this is needed.

Twenty of those shot on Friday were young children, while the others, teachers and administrators, some whom law enforcement say died while trying to shield their students from the rapid gunfire being aimed their way.

“These domestic terrorist, they absolutely, they thrive on seeking out the innocent and the easiest targets available and that unfortunately happens to be our schools,” said Brattin, who says the need to protect our children in schools is greater than ever. “We entrust our teachers to get them out of a burning building, you know, get them into the basement if there’s a tornado, to shape and mold their minds and educate them throughout their whole career. But the thought of the most educated people in our workforce you know not having the know how with the proper training to protect our kids in an event like this, I go kind of blank on that.”

“We shouldn’t be afraid of the gun. It’s not there to scare and fear-monger. It’s there to save their lives if need be,” Brattin said.

This is not a new concept. I related an incident from my childhood earlier this week where an armed school Principal defended himself and a student against three adults, one who was armed with a knife. I knew of a number of teachers when I was in school who habitually carried weapons. With the except of that one incident, I know of no occasion where any other teacher had to use or even draw his weapon.  But the potential to quickly end violence was there—and known. It is time to revert to our past when simple solutions worked and worked well. Let us not be lead by hoplophobic liberals.


Instead of focusing on firearms, why don’t we work towards allowing the state to hospitalize those with mental issues likely to harm themselves and others? A bill was proposed in Connecticut that would have allowed for the involuntary hospitalization of Lanza, the shooter. The bill was killed. By whom?  The ACLU.

ACLU Killed Connecticut Forcible Institutionalization Law That Might Have Prevented Killings

December 15, 2012 By

While we’re having that whole conversation about wadding up the Bill of Rights and throwing it into the trash, why don’t we have a brief conversation about what might have actually prevented the shooting by dealing with the mental illness of the shooter.

Let’s talk ACLU instead of NRA.

Connecticut is one of only SIX states in the U.S. that doesn’t have a type of “assisted outpatient treatment” (AOT) law (sometimes referred to as “involuntary outpatient treatment”). There’s no one standard for these types of laws, but (roughly speaking) these are laws that allow for people with mental illness to be forcibly treated BEFORE they commit a serious crime.

Whereas previous legal standards held that the mentally ill cannot be institutionalized or medicated until they harm someone or themselves, or until they express an immediate intent to do so, AOT laws (again, roughly speaking) allow for preventative institutionalization or forced medication

AOT laws vary state-by-state, and often bear the name of a person murdered by an untreated mentally ill person (“Kendra’s Law” in New York, “Laura’s Law” in California, etc.).

Earlier this year, Connecticut considered passing an AOT law (and a weak one, at that), and it failed, due to protests from “civil liberties” groups.

But thankfully the ACLU won and over two dozen children were murdered. And there will be of course no cries that the ACLU, rather than the NRA, should be held accountable for a dangerous lunatic being on the loose.

Let’s put the blame where it belongs—not the NRA and firearms but with liberal groups like the ACLU who believe that the dangerously mentally ill belong on the streets and that we should have no defense against them.