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Journal Journal: the most disastrous president in our history 2

< in terms of civil liberties >...

... perhaps the biggest blow to civil liberties is what he has done to the movement itself. It has quieted to a whisper, muted by the power of Obama's personality and his symbolic importance as the first black president as well as the liberal who replaced Bush. Indeed, only a few days after he took office, the Nobel committee awarded him the Nobel Peace Prize without his having a single accomplishment to his credit beyond being elected. Many Democrats were, and remain, enraptured.

It's almost a classic case of the Stockholm syndrome, in which a hostage bonds with his captor despite the obvious threat to his existence. Even though many Democrats admit in private that they are shocked by Obama's position on civil liberties, they are incapable of opposing him. Some insist that they are simply motivated by realism: A Republican would be worse. However, realism alone cannot explain the utter absence of a push for an alternative Democratic candidate or organized opposition to Obama's policies on civil liberties in Congress during his term. It looks more like a cult of personality. Obama's policies have become secondary to his persona.

Ironically, had Obama been defeated in 2008, it is likely that an alliance for civil liberties might have coalesced and effectively fought the government's burgeoning police powers. A Gallup poll released this week shows 49% of Americans, a record since the poll began asking this question in 2003, believe that "the federal government poses an immediate threat to individuals' rights and freedoms." Yet the Obama administration long ago made a cynical calculation that it already had such voters in the bag and tacked to the right on this issue to show Obama was not "soft" on terror. He assumed that, yet again, civil libertarians might grumble and gripe but, come election day, they would not dare stay home.

Well, yeah, that's how it's supposed to work. Whoever you elect, make sure (s)he's a lizard.

Businesses

Journal Journal: QOTD: 3

"People who commit crimes don't read the Wall Street Journal." - Michael Bloomberg

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Television

Journal Journal: The Riot Index

Too many riots were bad for business... but so were too few -- a sign that government had become soft and inefficient. Prudent government squeezed until the mob rebelled, then increased spending just enough to prevent extensive property damage. Optimal social policy was a matter of dialling in the <appropriate frequency of riots>.

Shoot them all, right? I mean it's working like a charm in Syria

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Beer

Journal Journal: Sad statistic 4

Now that all you guys abandoned us and gave your soul to the devil (for what, I'll never know), over 95% of the journals are nothing but spam now. Yeah, the interface is pretty much borked, but the workarounds aren't that difficult, and you can know that whatever you post here will stay up for a very long time, with no threat of banishment or loss of your account. Can you say that about the new house of cards you moved into?

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