Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

Palin Haters Not Exclusive to Left

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Them's Some Kooky Sheep...

I must admit to having read some bizarre conspiracy theories about Sarah Palin, because in seeing what these nuts write, one gets a sense of just how thoroughly out of touch some people have become.  For far too many rank-and-file Republicans, it’s all a cult of personality.  Few are concerned about fundamental principles, to such an extent that they are unable to linger over even the most obvious facts that might stand in opposition to their odd-ball theories.  I have been sent a link to a group of such odd-balls on Facebook, where one may find the most obtuse concoction of cobbled-together propositions embraced by psychological delinquents I’ve seen since the anti-Palin bloggers I have covered in the past.  It’s a veritable nexus of dumb, and it seems to be composed of Romney supporters who seem to believe Sarah Palin is an evil genius, setting up for a 2016 Presidential run in which she expects to face Hillary Clinton in what these brain-addled doorstops term a “mud-wrestling match.”  It would be funny if it weren’t for the fact that they have nearly one-hundred members.

This means there many more deluded, psychologically broken people in Romney’s camp than one might otherwise expect.  Their basic theory?  Sarah Palin is trying to undermine Mitt Romney in 2012 so she can run in 2016, and she’s being aided in that venture by none other than Rupert Murdoch.  Yes, there are certifiable mad-caps in the GOP, too.

Before any of the Palinistas reading this get too excited, I’d like you to have a sample of the intellectual rigor of the people who are positing this theory.  Says one:

“The whole point of Obama care is to take over Health care by creating another government beauracracy. It’s a communist take over of an industry. The people will not benefit from this, because they are not supposed to benefit from it. It is designed to create more liberals who will be working as beuracrats for the communist government. This has nothing to do at all with Massachusets, that’s just their cover to throw people off the trail. It is a communist take over. Communists always have a group of people they oppresss as part of their power grab. Obama care has already selected the first group that they will oppress, those without health care who cannot afford it. They will be given an oppressive …tax, that they cannot afford. This will then be used to garnish wages and confiscate personal property of those who do not pay the penalty. Year after year the debt will grow. I bet they will imprison people who fall into the catagory I described. The beauracrats, hired by their buddies in the government, will over see this oppression. This has nothing at all to do with Massachusets, or even health care, it is merely a vehical to bring communistic practices full circle. Who knows what mandated laws will be implemented once by Obama’s beauracrats, get going? The sky is the limit. Health care is only the vehical, not the goal. It’s just an excuse. What are we seeing already with the millions of dollars being put into the solar energy. It’s the same thing, they are empowering their own as they declare war on us. Has nothing at all to do with Massachusets. And sadly, too many will find out only when it’s too late.”

I kid you not.  This sad person isn’t merely a terrible speller, but is also blinded to reality.  Somebody should tell this young woman that Mitt Romney imposed precisely the kind of system about which she spends most of her time criticizing, and that in fact, Romney-care is the prototype for the system against which she is railing.  Yes, this is an example of the logic you will find in this group of utterly helpless people.

Naturally, you can expect a torrent of useless babble from any group that announces its intentions thus:

“It’s TIME for the Conservatives and the Moderates to UNITE to STOP Sarah Palin from pushing her way into this Presidential Election. Whether through manipulation, deception, or down-right dirty politics via a Brokered Convention, Palin is POISON and always has been. This group is OPEN, we are not speaking to just ourselves and don’t intend to. Join this group, share a link to this page, invite your friends. There is a WEALTH of info here documenting the REAL SARAH.”

Of course, the hits keep coming, because this group of mad-caps is so twisted-up with hatred for Sarah Palin that they can’t even objectively consider the nonsense they’re spewing:

“Regarding the argument that Christie would make a bad VP pick for Romney because Christie woud overshadow Romney, I have this to say:

“To overshaddow someone, you have to do it DELIBERTLY, When that happens, it’s no accident. Anyone who thinks overshadowing is done on accident is a FLIPPIN fool. Decent people with character know when to hold back. FLIPPIN backstabbers never hold back, cause it’s always about THEM!!! People with character know how to make it clear they are NOT number one. Christie has character, unlike the last no account, backstabbin, FLIPPIN quitter!!!!”

If you were to choose to”delibertly” avoid this group, I would understand. The same poster seems to study slow-motion video clips of Sarah Palin, turning every motion of her face into a secret, subliminal message:

“Because this is the Sarah Palin Conspiracy Threory, might as well mention it cause it’s something I have noticed before:

Speaking of Historonic personality disorder and excessive attention seeking, just saw Palin in slow motion licking her lips and heaving as she was being interviewed by Hannity, her eyes got really narrow and then really wide as if she was coming on to him during the interview. I have seen her do this with other men who let her run all over them. It’s like she does it on purpose, not only for control over the interviewer, but for control over the male viewers. Wonder if anyone else has noticed? Oh, and by the way, when Palin kept insisting that she is supporting Romney, because it’s: ABO – Anybody but Obama, and she kept repeating this over and over like she was trying to slap down Romney and degrade him with that, I noticed Hannity didn’t protest or confront her on this. Wonder if the lip licking has anything to do with Hannity’s compliance when it comes to Palin?”

Yes, this is real. I’m not embellishing anything. I couldn’t fake being this stupid, and I don’t believe anybody else could fake it either.  Undeterred by anything even vaguely resembling a fact, this genius continues:

“The reason why the Palinbots are pushing for either Rubio or Jindial as the VP pick for Romney is because of this:

“The reason why the “base” (and I call them that losely, cause I think we all know that they are just a segment with their own selfish agenda, that has nothing to do with real people like us), is pushing for those lackluster two is cause they don’t want to win this time around, they want to throw it for their Imbicial Snow Queen. They know what they are doing, and it ain’t pretty. They can take it their two lackluster ones, and shove it where the sun don’t shine. Sorry for the crudeness, but they’ve earned it.”

Most Palinistas I know wouldn’t want either Rubio or Jindal, never mind “Jindial ,” whomever s/he may be.  If Palinistas had their way, I think most would like to see Allen West as VP.  Of course, the lunacy that pervades this Facebook group is quite stunning, and all the more when you consider this bit:

“The Tea Party is still dreaming of a Brokered Convention. Shame on them!”

This appeared with a link to an article in the Washington Times, in which Tea Party Nation’s Judson Philips is quoted as asking: “Is it too late to switch?”  This remark was made in the aftermath of Eric Fehrnstrom’s remarks about whether Obama-care is a tax or a penalty.  The rabid Romney-bots in this particular Facebook group simply cannot conceive of the thought that Mitt Romney might be seen by the broader base of conservatism as something of a sell-out.

They weren’t satisfied to go after the Tea Party, as they attack Mark Levin for his support of Sarah Palin, and generally regard Palinistas as brain-dead zombies.  Yes, they are leaping to the defense of Mitt Romney from the she-devil Sarah Palin, who they will tell you is a socialist.  That’s right, for these folk, Sarah Palin is a socialist.  Try not to soil your computer screen with spewed coffee as you laugh at these flakes.  I promise, you will read their ‘critiques’ of Governor Palin as very nearly a parody of leftist critiques, and I think this demonstrates my point from earlier Saturday.  If they had been mere Romney-bots, we might not have spotted the fact that these are full-bore kooks every bit as bad as any on the left.  It’s refreshing to have one’s assertions born out within the space of an afternoon.

Editor’s Note: While it is clear that these people claim to be Romney supporters, it is certain they aren’t doing this with the blessing or endorsement of the Romney Campaign.  Then again, he couldn’t tell the SuperPacs what to do when they were bashing Newt Gingrich, either. (Wink Wink) They could also be Obama-shills, attempting to stir up trouble between the Palinistas and Romney-bots, but at least on the surface, these appear to be genuinely nutty Romney supporters.  Go figure.

 

Marine To Be Given Boot Over Obama Remarks on Facebook

Thursday, March 22nd, 2012

Do Servicemembers Have Free Speech?

I know most people who read this story will want to side with the Marine, and I would like to do so as well, but there’s a reason I would urge you to reconsider, and it’s important that for those of you who have no military service experience to understand why his conduct, much as it is heartening in many respects, is intolerable for the chain of command.  Part of the problem is that the full and specific text of his remarks haven’t been disclosed, but when Marine Sgt. Gary Stein, a 26-yo, 9-year Marine made his remarks, he did so in a public way that poses a problem to military discipline.  I don’t like Barack Obama’s policies either, and I would hope that no Airman, Marine, Sailor or Soldier would ever follow an unlawful order, but to post remarks on what constitutes an unlawful order, in the context of the sitting chain of command, is a serious problem for the military.

Sgt. Stein is in trouble, and he says he’s surprised it’s a big deal, or that they’re seriously considering kicking him out of the Marine Corps, (note to Barack Obama: That’s pronounced like “core,” not like “corpse,”) but as a Non-Commissioned Officer of the United States Marines, he must know such things are not to be tolerated, and for very good reasons.  Were he a discharged veteran, there would be no problem.  He runs a Facebook page I have seen, but I wince because I know what will befall him.

I hate this sort of case, because I’m placed in the position of the “bad guy,” telling people some important truths they may not wish to hear.  The fact that this young Sergeant made these remarks about a politician who I find to be detestable shouldn’t deter me from recognizing why it’s important that no service-member say such things, certainly not publicly, and why a non-commissioned officer must never say them so that his subordinates may hear or read of them.  I realize that tempers flare, and that our service-members are entitled to their own political views, as they should be, but they are in the military to protect our freedom of speech, but not there to practice it.  When every service-member enlists, or is commissioned, they swear an oath to defend and protect the Constitution of the United States, and to obey the orders of the President and those who the President appoints over them.  The presumption is always that these will be lawful orders.

The military must function with a chain of command that conveys both martial authority and delegates responsibilities.  When a service-member rises to become a non-commissioned officer, there are two things of note that occur:  The newly minted NCO is now entrusted with additional authority, and a higher standard of conduct is applied to all his or her actions, on duty or off.  This is because in function, to carry out a mission, the NCO will need the authority to issue orders, but with that authority comes a greater universe of responsibilities that extends to a higher standard of service and allegiance to the chain of command, and to the mission.  This is the professional standard expected of Non-Commissioned Officers, and it is a demanding one.

It must be this way because in combat, or in a war-time mission, the NCOs are the element of leadership that becomes most important in the organizational structure.  There are too few officers for them to be in every place at once, and NCOs are the professional core of the enlisted ranks upon which all military operations ultimately depend.  If you have poor NCOs, it won’t matter if you have great officers, and great junior enlisted personnel, because the force will suffer a vacuum of leadership that will ordinarily be crippling.  It is for this reason that the services spend billions of dollars each year developing its enlisted leaders.  The idea of a professional NCO has been an important core of the American fighting force throughout the nation’s history, and when a Sergeant makes comments that seem to disparage the chain of command, it is a highly unprofessional bit of conduct.

Now, as to the substance of what this particular Sergeant said, it’s not altogether clear how bad his transgressions may have been. There is little reported on the substance of his remarks, but rather some generalizations.  Here’s what is reported:

“Sgt. Gary Stein, a nine-year veteran, put comments on a Facebook page called the Armed Forces Tea Party page that said he would not follow unlawful orders from President Obama such as ordering the killing of Americans or taking guns away from Americans. He also criticized comments made by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta about Syria.”

“The Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits uniformed personnel from making comments critical of their chain of command, including the commander-in-chief, or engaging in political activity in a context that suggests that are acting as military members.”

Stop. This is enough to land him in trouble.  By specifying specific individuals in and policies of the chain of command, Sgt. Stein would have violated his obligations as an enlisted service member and particularly his station as a Non-Commissioned Officer.  Unfortunately, they don’t offer any direct quotes for analysis, but if this reflects the actual nature of his remarks, they have a case, and he’s in trouble for good cause. The story continues:

“An investigation into Stein’s comments was ordered March 8 by the commanding officer of the weapons and field training battalion at the Marine Corps Recruit Depot in San Diego. On Wednesday, the Marine Corps announced that rather than file charges against Stein, the matter is being handled “through administrative action.”

“Stein, who hoped to reenlist, told the Associated Press that he plans to fight the Marine Corps’ intention to dismiss him.”

“I’m completely shocked that this is happening,” he told the AP. “I’ve done nothing wrong. I’ve only stated what our oath states: That I will defend the Constitution and that I will not follow unlawful orders. If that’s a crime, what is America coming to?”

I’m sorry to be placed in the position of disagreeing with Sgt. Klein, but if he indeed criticized Panetta by name or position, and the specific policy as it applies to Syria(or anything else,) he has indeed violated the trust with which the military had privileged him.  An NCO simply cannot go about disparaging the chain of command.  No soldier should, but when it comes to NCOs, they are expected to exhibit a higher standard of professionalism, and this isn’t it.  The remark about Obama and unlawful orders might not have been so bad, in isolation, because in that sense, he is stating a general premise about not obeying unlawful orders, although calling out this specific president conveys a certain lack of support for this particular chain of command that is unseemly for an NCO.  They are and must be held to a higher standard, and again, Sgt Klein here fails to maintain that standard.

Understand that my appraisal here is that of a man who was a Sergeant at roughly the same age that this young man is now, and I note with some sadness that when I was an up-and-coming NCO, I had a pretty solid chain of command, so I wouldn’t have suffered from such doubts.  With that in mind, however, I cannot fail to mention that he should not have said these things, and certainly not broadcast publicly on the Internet.  I’d urge all soldiers to hold their tongues on political matters, precisely because this is harmful to the United States, whether you agree with this President’s policies or not.  I realize that none would carry out unlawful orders if they were issued, but the presumption of a soldier, particularly a mid-career Marine NCO, must be that the orders he will be issued will be lawful.  To spout about non-existent, highly speculative future unlawful orders in the context of a particular president is not prudent, and exhibits a lack of professional judgment, even if I agree with is political views.

In combat, or even in training, the military relies heavily on its non-commissioned officers to carry out the mission, and it cannot tolerate, not even in minor ways, what constitutes the threat of mutinous conduct, or rabble-rousing in its ranks.  I know.  He said “unlawful orders.”  Fine.  The problem is that under certain circumstances, the President may order the killing of Americans or the seizure of guns. Those are limited circumstances indeed, but the discretion to determine which instances constitute an unlawful order lies not with a Marine Sergeant make conjecture about some unknown future order.  There are only very limited circumstances where such discretion is left to the individual service-member.  Sgt. Klein knew or ought to have known better than to let his public pronouncements go this far. Whether the punishment fits the crime is a matter of judgment on the part of local commanders, and the problem we have in assessing it is that we don’t have the full facts, or even the full text of Sgt. Klein’s remarks.  Let us hope that military authorities are not over-reacting here.  Chances are that they are not.

I realize there are those of you who will take issue with me over this, and that’s fine, but the problem is that I also understand how important the integrity of the corps of military Non-Commissioned Officers is to the safety of our nation.  Our military must not be undermined, neither from without or from within, and the conduct of Sgt. Klein threatens to do so, whether he sees that or not.  While I agree with his general assessments, to the degree they have been presented, that doesn’t mean I endorse the fact that he pronounced them publicly.  My advice to service-members who have similar views is very simple, and I know that most of them will understand me as I explain it:

For the term of your service, keep your mouth closed in public, and on the Internet still your fingers in saying or writing things publicly that would tend to place you in such a situation.  In other words,  while you are right to practice politics via your vote, as long as you are in the services, you need to be as apolitical as you are able, although in your talks with family, friends, and others in closed circumstances, you might still enjoy some of your limited freedom of speech, but you must do so with caution and an abundance of reverence for the oath you swore, that did not specify the party or politics of the Commander-in-Chief.  In other words, brothers and sisters, you must not permit your expressions to compromise your ability to lead, or shake the confidence of those who serve under you, in the chain of command.  Please remember this, and serve out your time in honor, and with respect for your oaths.  For those of you who are entrusted with positions of leadership, please remember that yours is an important role, and to undercut it with loose talk about the politics of the chain of command is to undermine yourselves.

I know the vast majority of our servicemen and women know and practice all of this, and it’s unnecessary to say it to most of you, but for those who are frustrated most with what you see coming out of Washington, I ask you to keep your cool.  This presidency and this particular chain of command is not permanent, so if you’ll wait around a while, it will change.  Whether you like that or not is your affair, but how you give voice to it is a matter of military discipline.  We need good and patriotic Airmen, Marines, Sailors, and Soldiers, and you had better believe that if things ever do go to hell in this country, we will have special need of you then.  Keep the faith, and stay strong, but do not put your careers at risk for temporary expressions of your frustrations.  We need you to stay strong, and I will do what I am able to support you.

To my friends in the Marine Corps, “Semper Fidelis.”

To those of you who are non-veteran civilians, I would remind you that you have a special responsibility too.  These young men and women in whose hands we place the security of our nation need your support too, and part of that is knowing not to ask or urge them to make statements of this sort publicly.  If they make them to you privately, that’s one thing, but do not expose them to legal liability on this basis.  Instead, as family members and friends, go be their voice.  They’re serving your security interests, and the least you can do is to try to represent their interests and support them.  Veterans, you will know precisely what I mean, and because you do know, having served, and because you now have your freedom of speech restored, you have a special responsibility because only you can express to those who do not know, what it is that soldiers must give up to serve their country.  It isn’t always measured in blood and lives, but more commonly the right to speak out publicly.  Let we veterans resolve particularly to be their voice so that our active-duty brethren feel no need to expose themselves to trouble, and so that our non-veteran neighbors can know the special meaning we hold the trust to which they have entrusted our fighting forces.

 

The Coming Facebook Initial Public Offering – How Many Pols Will Profit?

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

The Financial Times has put up an article about the coming initial public offering of Facebook stock, and as I read it, I wondered: “How many politicians will get fat[ter] on this IPO when it happens?  Going as far back as the early 1990s, I remember stories of how then Speaker of the House, Tom Foley, managed to get in on an unusually large number of IPOs.  It looked very strange, since getting in on initial offerings of stock is a highly lucrative segment of the market, but it’s harder than you might think, yet somehow, I think politicians must have an edge.

Of course, as Peter Schweizer has described in his book Throw Them All Out, we can easily guess that it has very little to do with luck.  Politicians seem to have an edge in virtually every department, but what we should realize about this is that they’re simply adept at working the system.  The insider information in which they trade enables them to make money in ways you and I cannot, and what’s worse is that if you and I behave as they do, it’s huge fines and jail for us little people.

As you watch Facebook go public someday soon, you might stop and wonder as you click through the pages which politicians are getting richer as you browse through those pages.

Sarah Palin Links to New Video

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

Sarah Palin, on her Facebook Wall, posted a link to a video:

Commenting on the video, Governor Palin said:

“I’ll be talking about this and more on September 3rd.”