Obama’s Unilateral Surrender Foreign Policy

Is-the-China-Regime-Hacking-or-Just-Monitoring-their-Investment-Epoch-TimesIt’s not always necessary for a nation to wave the white flag for its enemies to know it has surrendered. Sometimes a leak from an administration official will do just fine without requiring all the logistics of a formal surrender ceremony.

The Washington Post lays the latest Obama capitulation out in detail: “Months after the discovery of a massive breach of U.S. government personnel records, the Obama administration has decided against publicly blaming China for the intrusion in part out of reluctance to reveal the evidence that American investigators have assembled…

The administration also appears to have refrained from any direct retaliation against China or attempt to use cyber-measures to corrupt or destroy the stockpile of sensitive data stolen from the Office of Personnel Management.”

Contrast that feeble hand–wringing with the nation’s last reaction to a massive attack on the homeland originating from across the Pacific. Only four months after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, the Doolittle Raid returned the favor by bombing Tokyo.

Compare that with an Obama administration that can’t even be bothered to attempt corrupting the vital information stolen during the data breach. Even the French tried to spike the guns before they ran.

The much–touted Pentagon “pivot” to Asia has turned into just another Obama foreign policy plié.

This leak offers remarkable insight into the administration, and its media enablers, mindset. The reluctance to name China because of “concern that making a public case…could require exposing details of the United States’ own espionage and cyberspace capabilities.”

This is what happens when people who have spent decades attempting to destroy the credibility of Republican administrations finally get their hands on the levers of power. Since government no longer enjoys a default assumption of legitimacy — thanks in large part to their efforts — the administration can’t simply state that China was behind the attack and expect to be believed. The naysay chorus and the media will reflexively take the opposite side in the controversy, which happens to be China’s.

Self–induced public paralysis results and government legitimacy degrades even further.

In comparison, an administration that has not lied its way into disrepute, doesn’t find it necessary to drop its drawers to prove the veracity of a statement.

Another factor contributing to Obama constipation is his viewpoint regarding the nation: A vigorous response would imply the US is right in this matter and China was the aggressor and in the wrong. Unfortunately we’re vapor–locked by administration moral equivalizers contending, “nations typically do not impose sanctions as penalties for political espionage.”

Since when is a cyber attack that vacuumed up personal records of 22 million current and past federal employees “political espionage?” With this data it’s easier for China to identify potential spying recruits, easier for China to put pressure on critical government employees and easier for Chinese counter–intelligence to identify our spies.

It’s not like Peking downloaded the Democratic National Committee’s donor files or opposition research database. That would be political espionage. This cyber attack was conducted according to von Clausewitz’ maxim: “War is the continuation of politics by other means.”

Obama’s mountain of inertia is a real morale builder for the federal employees he purports to value. During the Bush administration an over–eager and under–skilled Chinese pilot collided with one of our surveillance planes in international airspace. Our damaged EP–3 had to make an emergency landing on Hainan Island.

The dead pilot was clearly in the wrong, but China accused our crew of ramming his fighter plane. It then seized our crew and held it hostage until China extorted a statement from the US. That’s how a nation tells its employees and the rest of the world the government has their back.

Meanwhile the Obama administration is dithering over whether to offer victims of Chinese identity theft six months or a year of free LifeLock monitoring. As the Pentagon orders military recruiters to consider armed citizens who have volunteered to guard recruitment offices a “security threat.”

Yet the administration is strangely solicitous of private sector employees. When Sony Pictures’ computer network was hacked “Obama quickly blamed Pyongyang and stepped up sanctions on the regime.”

The fact is the Chinese regard Obama’s “nuanced” foreign policy as pathetic nancy–boy pleading that can be ignored without cost. That’s why China is seizing isolated coral reefs in disputed Pacific territory and building unsinkable aircraft carriers. And broadcasting a documentary showing a training exercise where the People’s Liberation Army storms a replica of the president of Taiwan’s office.

Our only hope for curbing an aggressive China rests on Princess Cruise Line. If a PLA naval vessel boards a cruise ship or otherwise impedes freedom of navigation, maybe the White House will finally be motivated to defend US interests.

Obama Internet Giveaway May Open Pandora’s Box of Porn

Porn hookPresident Obama has a new administration initiative, supported by tax dollars, to close the Internet pornography gap. The divide is caused by ill–gotten gains that give too many Americans fast, broadband access to the booming porn industry; while other Americans are reduced to lurking in seedy newsstands, sneaking peeks between the pages of lurid magazines and hoping the clerk doesn’t notice their free browsing.

ConnectHome “will bring high–speed broadband access to over 275,000 low-income households across the US.”

That’s good news for pornographers. They can always use new customers. Thirty percent of all data transferred on the Internet is porn according to The Huffington Post. While porn sites have more visitors than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

HuffPost also contends poor people are already online and elevating their heart rate. Mississippi is dead last in per capita income, yet this state leads the nation in average time — almost 12 minutes — spent per porn site.

There are a number of possible explanations. The extra time could be due to initial stupefaction on the part of Mississippi viewers or the Internet connection could be so turgid that viewers don’t want to waste time waiting for a new site to load. It’s even possible there’s a single Internet terminal in the library and viewers have to hot–seat the only chair.

Certainly closing the porn gap is not the official reason for the program, even though it’s likely to be the result.

Once again “it’s the children.” Cnet.com explains, “The effort will initially connect nearly 200,000 children to the Web.” Or as administration flacks put it, “While many middle-class U.S. students go home to Internet access, allowing them to do research, write papers, and communicate digitally with their teachers and other students, too many lower-income children go unplugged every afternoon when school ends.”

Still there is nothing preventing low–income students from logging on after they finish their free school breakfast or doing the work in study hall. They could even join a homework club and do the assignment after school before trudging home to their www.desert.

But this is an administration that discourages initiative and responsibility and encourages lining up in the freebie queue.

Yet the clichéd reason isn’t true, as we’ve come to expect from Obama. The Tennessean looked at Nashville and found that of the 5,200 homes targeted, only half contained any children, school–age or otherwise.

Administration dreamers no doubt believe the students will be spending the majority of their time on LetsAskArchimedes.com and not joining the epidemic of teens exposed to pornography. Those unable to resist the temptation to browse on the wild side have a grim fate in store, courtesy of Obama.

Webroot.com writes, “Pornography viewing by teens disorients them during the developmental phase…when they are most vulnerable to uncertainty about their sexual beliefs and moral values. A significant relationship also exists among teens between frequent pornography use and feelings of loneliness, including major depression.”

Parents concerned about the feds opening a sewer in the living room will discover blocking software and other parental monitors — assuming the kids have parents who will monitor — add additional cost to this “free” program.

Obama personally announced ConnectHome in a visit to Durant, OK. There the hapless Department of Agriculture (?) will be giving $50,000 to the Choctaw Nation for it’s web–in–the–wigwam program.

The amount is small, but Air Force One touched down exactly 2.2 miles from the Choctaw Casino Resort, an Indian gaming establishment that grossed an estimated $461,666,666.00 in 2010 according to NewsOK.

Since the Choctaw Nation claims “Almost all the profits of the tribe’s business enterprises are poured back into services for tribal members…” wouldn’t 50K for Internet be included?

The rest of the 27–city program is being paid for by various Internet providers and cellphone companies that know which side their bread is regulated on, but don’t expect ConnectHome to stay tax dollar free.

The FCC is already talking about expanding the Lifeline program to pay for Internet service. Lifeline is a spectacularly wasteful and incompetent federal program I’ve written about here and we pay for it to the tune of $2.2 billion yearly through cellphone taxes.

The Boston Globe quotes Jascha Franklin-Hodge, the city’s chief information officer, “Many students, especially lower-income students, may be able to get online in school, but when they go home, for reasons of affordability and access to equipment, they’re not able to get online.”

It may turn out those kids were the lucky ones after all.

Introducing another social pathology to join all the others low–income homes already suffer from hardly seems like an improvement, but that’s the way government works as it “helps.” Meanwhile the rest of us can sit back and watch Obamaphone meet Obamanet.

Bureau of Land Management Demands ‘Burning Man’ VIP Boxes

Leave it to members of the coddled ‘counter–culture’ to decide it makes sense to bring more heat to the desert. But like Pope Francis says, if the Burning Man festival wants to build an enormous bonfire in an already blazing desert, who am I to judge?

Burning Man is a week–long bacchanal that began in 1986 on a San Francisco beach when a derelict fell into a fire pit. Now it’s moved to Nevada and climaxes with the burning of a 40–foot tall wooden effigy.

Black Rock Desert, current home of Burning Man, is a barren tabletop as devoid of plant life as a BLM bureaucrat is of mercy. Temperatures range from over 100 degrees in daylight to near freezing at night. Wind has been known to gust to 70 mph, which comes in handy if you want to sandblast an ill–advised tattoo.

Climate is probably why BLM bureaucrats are now demanding organizers spend an extra million dollars to build air–conditioned VIP boxes for bureaucrats so they can enforce regulations without breaking a sweat. You couldn’t expect Sec. of the Interior Sally Jewell to share an outhouse with any old taxpayer.

Irritating and combustible details are in my Newsmax column at:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Climate-Change-Global-Warming/2015/07/07/id/653753/

 

New York City & the Powder Room Police

Traditional American outhouse.

Traditional American outhouse.

My father grew up in rural Texas during the 1930s. His childhood featured dirt roads, a hand–crank telephone and outhouses. Most, if not all, of the bathrooms the Shannons constructed were what is termed a “one–holer.”

Meaning the board that kept you from falling into a pit of (you–know–what) had a single hole carved in it, usually smack dab in the center. For some inexplicable reason, a some people built outhouses that were two–holers, possibly on the theory that if there were two of you inside, you stood an even chance with the flies. Although it seems to me it would have worked better if one swatted while the other, well, you know.

But on the plus side for modern progressives, all those bathrooms were “gender neutral.” The splinters didn’t care whose behind they poked. And the Shannons recycled without any government coercion. Last year’s Sears Roebuck catalog provided reading matter to pass the time and once you were finished passing, the pages helped one tidy up.

Today in New York City leftists with time on their hands aren’t reading mail order catalogs. Instead they’re running as hard as they can to catch up with Depression–era North Texas. City Comptroller Scott Stringer — whose authority, one would think, does not extend into bathrooms, unless it’s a pay toilet — is recommending all one–holers in the city be made “gender neutral” or in Ringling’s phrase: Come one, come all!

Stringer told CBS New York, “We must look to help trans-gender individuals who quite frankly, have fears.” Evidently there are Kohler Kops who closely monitor the comings and goings in city bathrooms and this legislation would persuade them to stand down.

The Comptroller of Commodes assures us that two–holers and above will be exempt from the law and all building owners will only be required to post a new sign, which I assume will not be my father’s “gender–neutral” half-moon.

Eoghann Renfroe, the manager of transgender education and advocacy at the Empire State Pride Agenda, told CBS, “Being transgender, it’s not about the bathrooms. It’s that other people try to make it that way.” I would have to agree. It’s not about bathrooms; it’s about indulging mental illness.

Unfortunately for NYC lavatory landlords, I fear that signage is only the beginning. Rules that cover the size of the sign, acceptable typefaces and size of the lettering are soon to follow. And, considering who we are accommodating, there may be rules on color schemes and logos.

And that’s just before you open the door. Once inside there will be disputes and edicts over one–ply or two–ply and recycled or fresh. And what about texture? Is it going to be soft, cushiony Mr. Whipple rolls or the more austere John Wayne paper (Won’t Take C**p Off Anyone!)?

And then there is the installation question. Should the sheets come over the roll like Niagara or make you pull the paper under the roll, which contributes to waste since the individual can’t use the roll for leverage during the tearing process. But since NYC is the home of Leftist total control, that may not be an issue. There is a good chance virtue vigilantes will demand single–sheet dispensers (always a favorite in the Sheryl Crow household) Vs. the individual choice, all–you–can grab continuous rolls.

Then there’s soap. Will they be allowed to continue using the industrial–strength soap that’s also used to wash jets or will the hyper–sensitive demand something organic that smells like butterfly wings? I suppose it’s too much to hope for paper towels. It will probably come down to a choice between those turbines that blow the water back on your pants or a fan operated by a foot pedal like pre–electricity sewing machines. Maybe the Fitbit system will give users exercise credit.

What most men fail to see, and I’m certain that includes Toilet Totalitarian Stringer, is that this ordinance is the opening feminists have been anticipating for the last 50 years. Mark my words the culmination of this drive will be an amendment that requires men to return the seat to the down position when they’ve finished, regardless of why they entered the bathroom in the first place.

Fines and sanctions to follow.

The Supreme Court & Robert’s Rules of Raisins

Evidently the philosophy of the Roberts’ Supreme Court is follow the Constitution when convenient, but if a decision strikes at the heart of the Big Government welfare state or would cause invitations from the Georgetown cocktail circuit to dry up, then the Constitution takes a backseat to the alliance of intellectuals and government dependents that rules our nation.

Fortunately for Marvin Horne, his case didn’t involve one of Obama’s signature initiatives like Obamacare. He was fighting a policy from our first socialist president: FDR’s Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 that fixed prices for farm products.

This meant Washington bureaucrats, whose only knowledge of soil and farming came when they cleaned the dirt from under their nails, arbitrarily set the price of farm products AND decided how much a farmer could grow. Just like the Soviet Union, except no gulag.

Marvin wasn’t going to take it anymore and he fought the law and the Horne won. Complete details in my Newsmax column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Supreme-Court-FDA-Raisins-subsidy/2015/06/26/id/652418/

 

How Apple Computer Delivered Gen. Jubal Early’s Last Defeat

Censorship graphicThis is what happens when people who lack common sense or even a sense of proportion try to stay current with the latest PC hysteria. The cultural surfers at Apple were having trouble catching a wave in the wake of the cowardly shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC.

There was no obvious alternative lifestyle angle, so a hot letter from CEO Tim Cook threatening to prohibit Apple employees from attending gun shows and reenactments was out. And then came the gift: The state’s Republican governor, Nikki Haley, called for the removal of the Confederate battle flag from the state capital grounds.

This discussion gave some pencil–neck at Apple an opportunity. The company ostentatiously announced a ban of all Civil War games in the Apple Store that used the image of the battle flag. Which would be every last one of them.

In a computer game the battle flag is an accurate historical representation of how units identified themselves. Quite by accident this exhibitionist edict will temporarily increase the accuracy of the games, because at the small icon size the official CSA flag is so similar to the US flag players, like generals in 1861, will have trouble telling the units apart.

A better question is what difference does it make? There may be game players whose goal is to succeed where Robert E. Lee failed. Thereby preserving slavery and the CSA in his imaginary White supremacist fantasy. But like viewing pornography, this revisionism takes place in the privacy of their own home. The only people damaged are the delusional player and his immediate family.

Apple’s self–serving explanation for the ban was “apps containing references or commentary about a religious, cultural or ethnic group that are defamatory, offensive, mean-spirited or likely to expose the targeted group to harm or violence will be rejected.” Which proves the ban was bogus because Civil War apps did none of that.

If Apple is declaring war on offensiveness, what about the farm simulations in the Apple store? Unless it’s Mrs. McDonald being milked, instead of the cows, vegans are going to be offended.

And where does it stop? Will Apple ban the Twitter app, since only 49 of 3,000 employees are black?

The outrage is selective and hypocritical. Case in point: If the United Daughters of the Confederacy attempted to open a meeting hall across the street from the Emanuel Church where nine blacks were murdered, the outrage would be instantaneous. It would be the largest simultaneous influx of Northern invaders since Gen. Sherman crossed the border.

The organizations would be attacked. The members would be attacked. The realtor would be attacked. There would be calls for an investigation. Demonstrators protesting the site would be heroes. While the worst possible motives would be ascribed to the individual behind the proposal.

No one on the left would warn that only 10 percent of the Daughters are also members of the Klan. The New York Times wouldn’t run a series on redneckophobia. And you wouldn’t see profiles of a Daughter oozing sympathy as her trip to Piggly Wiggly wearing a hoop skirt prompted strange looks from other shoppers.

Yet when plans were announced for the Ground Zero Mosque — a stone’s throw from a site where 2,606 Americans lost their lives at the hands of Islamic jihadists — the left attacked conservatives and patriots that were trying to block this example of Moslem thumb–in–your–eye triumphalism.

Pamela Geller, one of the principle opposition organizers was and is vilified by the MSM and the left. She’s known as an “anti–Islamic” writer and bigot, instead a patriot and a defender of free speech.

Banning the battle flag was right and proper. South Carolina was the first state to secede and was called “the cockpit of revolution” during the Civil War. Keeping a flag that represented the preservation of slavery on government land never made sense in a state that’s 29 percent black.

For that matter, it’s time to change the name of every US military base named after Confederate generals who earned their fame killing United States soldiers. I can’t think of another nation that has honored men dedicated to killing its troops by naming government facilities after the traitors.

There are plenty of honorable soldiers who fought in defense of the Union whose names can adorn those bases.

In their way the cultural commissars at Apple and the battle flag flagellators on the left are as bad as Major Gen. Jubal Early. His “Lost Cause” mythology scrubbed away the slavery from the Civil War and distorted American history instruction for 150 years. And now Cupertino and the rest of the PC police want to scrub away Jubal.

Office of Personnel Management: Leading the Way in Chinese Takeout

Whenever the nation is confronted by another failure of federal big government, the solution from the left is always more spending. Amtrak crash? Spend more on subsidies. Obamacare website disaster? Spend more on contractors. Illegal aliens streaming across the border? Spend more on social programs to make them comfortable.

There is simply no problem for which the left can’t deflect blame by demanding more spending.

But even if the more spending solution was correct — and in most instances it isn’t — the new influx of money will be spent by the same idiots and deadwood that caused the problem in the first place.

The Office of Personnel Management is a spectacular case in point.

While leadership was dozing at the top, Chinese hackers penetrated OPM’s computer systems and made off with the complete personnel files of up to 14 million past and present federal employees, including members of the military.

This is an intelligence catastrophe for the nation and an extreme provocation, unless you’re part of Obama’s pacifist administration that reserves its aggression for the TEA party.

Complete details in my Newsmax.com column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/China-Emerging-Threats-Homeland-Security/2015/06/19/id/651358/

 

Should the Feds Start Price–Fixing Hospital Charges?

The Washington Post headlined an alarming story that accused hospitals of trying to make a profit: “Fifty hospitals in the United States are charging uninsured consumers more than 10 times the actual cost of patient care…”

Gerard Anderson, one of the study’s authors, comments, “…consumers are paying for this when hospitals charge 10 times what they should. What other industry can you think of that marks up the price of their product by 1,000 percent and remains in business?”

Bottled water comes to mind along with women’s shoes, illegal drugs, cosmetics and Comcast.

The entire study displays an almost total lack of understanding of how any market works. The solution to the problem is more information and that’s something government can encourage.

Details in my Newsmax.com column:

http://www.newsmax.com/MichaelShannon/Healthcare-Reform/2015/06/12/id/650307/