News and Commentary for March 18

Will you do what you can to help fight for it?
Will you do what you can to help fight for it?

Stories of the Day

I have a bad feeling about this, no matter what others say. “Steve DelBianco, the executive director of NetChoice, a pro-business tech group, said the U.S. was bound to eventually give up its role overseeing Internet addresses. But he said lawmakers and the Obama administration will have to ensure that ICANN will still be held accountable before handing the group the keys to the address system in 2015. DelBianco warned that without proper safeguards, Russian President Vladimir Putin or another authoritarian leader could pressure ICANN to shut down domains that host critical content. “That kind of freedom of expression is something that the U.S. has carefully protected,” DelBianco said in an interview. ‘Whatever replaces the leverage, let’s design it carefully.’ When U.S. Steps Back, Will Russia and China Control the Internet?

ICANN in a nutshell. “The Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration said Friday it plans to give up control over the body that manages Internet names and addresses. The action means that the U.S. government will relinquish its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers, or ICANN, which manages a number of technical functions that help computers locate the correct servers and websites. Here are some basics of what’s happening.” ICANN 101: Who Will Oversee the Internet?

Dumb move that will come to bite us all. “As you might imagine, it matters a great deal who is in charge of this compendium, for whoever controls it can use the thing essentially as a global on/off switch. As it stands, a tyrant is able to restrict access to certain parts of the Internet in his own country, but he is unable to make a page or a server or a service disappear completely. To wit, if I write something nice about Taiwan on NRO, the Chinese government can restrict access to that page in any territory that it controls — in the name of “national security” or what you will. But it can’t delete NRO entirely; nor can it restrict access to our servers from outside its jurisdiction.” Handing Over the Keys to the Internet: It’s nuts to cede control of the Internet to countries with poor records on free speech.

Laughing stocks. “Skillful diplomacy might have headed off the crisis in Crimea.  But we did not field skillful diplomats. We sent John Kerry, backed up by Barack Obama, Susan Rice, and Joe Biden. As in 1854, “someone had blundered.” Tennyson recorded the result.  Today, the “reset button” turns out to have been disconnected at the source. Obama really did push it. Comrade Putin paid it no heed. He had taken the measure of the man long ago.  And if there was any doubt, in 2012, in a candid-camera moment, Obama pleaded with Putin’s protege Dmitry Medvedev to give him more “space” about missile defense. “This is my last election,”  Obama confided quietly to Medvedev, “After my election, I have more flexibility.” Noted. The microphones weren’t supposed to pick that up. In any normal world, the remark would have gone a long way towards sealing Obama’s defeat in 2012.  But this isn’t any normal world. It is the world according folks like Wolf Blitzer, who mocked Romney for describing Russia as, “without question, our number one geopolitical foe.’” Aristotle on Crimea

Repeats. “Commentators with a cruel memory have recalled the moment from one of the 2012 presidential debates when President Obama cited Mitt Romney’s warning about the growing threat from Russia and dismissed it with a superficially sophisticated putdown: “The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” When I hear President Obama threatening to impose consequences on Vladimir Putin et al., or imposing them, as he did today, I think: “The 1930s are now calling to ask for their piece of paper back.” The piece of paper would be the one Obama carries in his pocket whenever he meets with a tyrant.” The 1930s are Calling

Reruns. “Kennedy’s meeting with Khrushchev proved fateful in more ways than one. Something similar seems to have happened in President Obama’s meetings with Vladimir Putin, with much more evidence to support his reading of Obama than Khrushchev had in the case of JFK. In any event, today’s news brings word of one element of Obama’s response to Putin’s moves in Crimea and Ukraine: “Biden heading to Europe amid Ukraine tensions.” This seems to support the proposition that we’re in the history-repeating-as-farce phase of events.” Biden on the case

Regrets. “Romney’s op-ed in the Journal is being discussed as a classic “I told you so,” but Romney’s far too polite to say it. It’s also not necessary. Nonetheless, he certainly does criticize Obama’s leadership, noting that each time a potential crisis turns into an actual crisis, the president throws up his hands and defensively demands just what he’s supposed to do about it. There’s a reason for that, Romney writes: “A large part of the answer is our leader’s terrible timing. In virtually every foreign-affairs crisis we have faced these past five years, there was a point when America had good choices and good options. There was a juncture when America had the potential to influence events. But we failed to act at the propitious point; that moment having passed, we were left without acceptable options. In foreign affairs as in life, there is, as Shakespeare had it, “a tide in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Omitted, all the voyage of their life is bound in shallows and in miseries.” Romney’s Vindication Is Complete

Reverberations. “The greatest difference between left and right in America today when it comes to national security is that the left always demonizes power, while the right recognizes that power can be used for good or bad. What Obama and his supporters do not recognize, however, is the reverberations of American weakness. Altruistic powers will not fill the vacuum; dictatorships will. When a Niccolò Machiavelli challenges a Neville Chamberlain, not only will the Chamberlains not win, but death and destruction will follow.” The Reverberations of American Weakness

Arizona

Uh oh. “Independents have surpassed Republicans as the largest voter bloc in traditionally red Arizona for the first time after years of growth, confirming what many have known for years: A growing number of voters don’t want to be associated with either major political party.” Arizona officially a purple state

Big/Corrupt Government

Does anyone have a clue what all the rules are? “The danger for society posed by these mountains of new rules spewing forth from government is that they create disrespect for the very idea of rules. If every part of your life can be regulated and ruled, even by unelected bureaucrats, it’s oppressive. Many of us just want to be left alone, but our Rule Makers think they can make demands of us merely because we exist. Without rules, chaos rules; “mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.” We need rules; Man is too fallen to live without rules. So anything that casts doubt on the need for rules is trouble. But doubt is being cast, and by the very people who make the rules. With the congressional elections almost upon us, Americans will soon get another chance to install a better class of Rule Maker in Congress. America needs new lawmakers who have reverence for the law, for the rules.” Rules and Rule Makers

Punishing their enemies. “Contrast Cole’s kid gloves when it comes to Swiss bankers with the aggressive treatment of Tea Party groups by Obama’s IRS. Like so much in the age of Obama, who you are determines how you are treated by the administration far more than what actions you take. This is also a Department of Justice that acts appropriately only after Congress applies pressure.” Eric Holder Gives Pass to Banking Criminals at Credit Suisse

This: “When conservatives argue that an overbearing regulatory state suppresses hiring and investment, doubtful liberals often say: Show us an example. Please meet the growers in Marion County, Oregon.” And this: “Labor has challenged Judge Coffin’s findings and asked another judge to review his conclusions. The growers have reiterated their position, and both sides are waiting for the ruling. For now, however, employers under Labor’s sway should prepare for the new regulatory model: Sentence first, verdict later.” Labor’s Blueberry Police: A case study in the Obama Administration’s enforcement method.

The Culture

Breakdowns every where, just as the Marxists in our country have intended all along. “General cultural decline is not hard to find either, with examples too numerous to list here. In a strong community, neighbors can rely on each other. They watch out for each others homes when they are away, and when the bad guys come, they should be banding together to notify the authorities and fight to keep the barbarians away from the gates. But when the family and the neighborhoods break down, everything built on top of this foundation rots away on top of it. And that’s the real structural problem that’s messing us up.” The structural flaws ruining America

Elections

Grab the popcorn. “6. Democrat freaking out will only make all of the above problems worse.” Anatomy of a Democratic Midterm Freakout

Getting what they deserve. “ABC’S Jeff Zeleny reported the obvious yesterday, on the rare day that the Sunday talk-head shows focused more on overseas stories than on domestic politics. Democrats have begun to worry that ObamaCare — and Barack Obama — have become political poison in the upcoming midterms.” ABC: Democrats privately admit ObamaCare is “political poison”

Hillary Clinton

Future President Clown Pants? “But I was alive and also a graduating senior at the time, and remember well the treatment Hillary got, and why she got it. For one thing, the clown pants she wore seemed rather comical.  For another, LIFE Magazine was actually read by people back then. The real story: Hillary Rodham was allowed to give an address to the student body of Wellesley at commencement, and she ungraciously used the opportunity to attack the commencement speaker, Senator Ed Brooke, the first African American senator since Reconstruction and a Republican, over his support of the Vietnam War. Naturally, neither Life Magazine nor Cillizza bothers to mention this impolite attack on a black man. Were the political parties reversed, imputations of racism would be highlighted, of course.” The Hillary ’16 propaganda machine launches a second foray

The Left

The truth hurts. “Paul Ryan is among the most decent and admirable politicians in America. He’s also among the smartest. Which explains the obsession and hatred many on the left have with him. He’s a threat to their ideas, to their policies, and ultimately to their power. The viciousness of their attacks is a testimony to his effectiveness. What was said by those who supported Franklin Roosevelt can also be said by those who admire Paul Ryan: We love you for the enemies you have made.” The Liberal Slandering of Paul Ryan

Media Bias

Our enemies within. “Smith went on to discuss the potential dangers come with a biased media. ‘The greatest threat we face in America is not necessarily a terrorist attack, not necessarily a recession or economic calamity. I think the greatest threat we face in America is a liberal, biased media. And the reason I think a biased media is such a great threat is because if they don’t give the American people the facts, if all they do is give the American people their opinions, then the American people don’t have the facts in which to make good decisions. And if the American people don’t have the facts on which to make good decisions we will lose our form of government, we will lose our democracy.’” Rep Lamar Smith: Liberal Media Bias ‘The Greatest Threat We Face in America’

President Obama

President takes time from enormously important presidential duties to defend his “mom jean fashion sense.” “In fairness, this was before Biebs’s Miami DUI. In fairness, also, the president does important work. Just the other day, he was photographed standing by his Oval Office desk, casually dressed in jeans, speaking to Vladimir Putin on the phone. The president had been savaged by Sarah Palin “as one who wears mom jeans and equivocates and bloviates.”  Retorted Mr. Obama: “The truth is, generally I look very sharp in jeans.” The sole exception, he added, “was one episode like four years ago in which I was wearing some loose jeans, mainly because I was out on the pitcher’s mound and I didn’t want to feel confined while I was pitching.” Thanks for clearing that up, Mr. President. In the meantime, Mr. Obama is imposing the sanctions he had previously threatened on Russia in the event Mr. Putin went ahead with his Black Sea conquests. “These are by far the most comprehensive sanctions applied to Russia since the end of the Cold War—far and away so,” crowed one administration official to reporters. By which the White House means a total of seven Russians and four Ukrainians. The sanctions were so light that one of the intended targets, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, instantly spat back his contempt in a tweet: ‘Comrade Obama, what should those who have neither accounts nor property abroad do? Or maybe you didn’t think of that?’” Stephens: How Obama ‘Gets Things Done:’ We need a president who rarely thinks and never speaks about how he looks in jeans.

Eventually the millennials will be sorry for what they’ve done—but it will be a long and hard climb back to freedom. “The president is able to power grab because there is no longer any checks and balances from the legislative branch or the mass media.  The founders must be turning over in their graves since they had counted on the fact that the Senators would not want to relinquish their role to protect and preserve their Constitutional rights.  Senator Lee cannot understand how the Democrats, during the State of Union Address, gave the President a standing ovation when he said he would bypass Congress to implement his policies. “If a Republican president said and did what President Obama has done I would be up in arms.  I think most, if not all, Republicans in the Senate would call that president on it.  I am stunned that not a single Democrat has come out publicly in opposition to what is happening.  Although, I must say some have told me privately they think I am correct in calling this president out for the sake of the Constitution.” Professor Foley blames the mass media and the some of the millennials who think the Constitution is just an old, archaic, outdated piece of paper. She regards the press as “being very complicit as they do the president’s bidding instead of being requestors of the truth.  I am sure if this were a Republican president they would be playing that role very effectively. Those in agreement don’t care if there is a legal process and consider that what matters is the end result.  This means we really don’t have a rule of law anymore.” Obama as Imperial President

Venezuela

The millennials in Venezuela get it because they know what not having freedom is like. Our millennials won’t totally get it until they feel the loss as well. “What drives young people like Juan?  After all, Juan was born in the early days of Chavizmo.  He does not remember the pre-Chavez days.  He has spent his entire life living in the Venezuela that Chavez’ policies created. Why the disconnect with Chavez or Maduro?  Why are the children of the revolution turning against the revolution? The answer is freedom and the economic shortages now a daily grind all over the nation. Check out the faces of demonstrators in Caracas.  You will see lots of young people like Juan!  It makes me optimistic that the young are not buying the class warfare and crony capitalism that Chavez left Venezuela with.” Young people are a huge part of the opposition to Maduro in Venezuela

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