Dems Make Case for Attacking Syria
Undaunted by polls showing 80% of Americans opposed to an attack on Syria and undismayed by the UK Parliament's rejection of Prime Minister Cameron's request to join in a US bombardment of that country, key Democrats attempted to make the case for a unilateral US assault.
US Secretary of State John Kerry pointed out that “Assad is a thug and a murderer. He deserves to be punished.” Kerry also cited Assad's 11 year-old son's taunt on Facebook as “persuasive evidence of the need for action.”
The Secretary insisted that he is “personally convinced” that the Assad Government was behind the chemical attack. “I'll grant that the opposition has committed it's share of atrocities,” Kerry said. “But their methods are more primitive—dragging people out of their homes and butchering them in the streets, disemboweling them, beheading them. Gassing people is just not their style. So, I've got to assume they didn't do this.”
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif) Admitted that “there's a lot we don't know for sure about what's going on in Syria. We do know that over a thousand people died in what appears to have been a chemical attack. Based on some You Tube videos, our best guess is that the Assad regime is responsible. Others say the al-Qaeda rebels are. The only way we can figure out who did this is to launch a salvo of missiles into Syria.”
Pelosi dismissed calls for Congress to get involved as “unnecessary.” This stance is a sharp reversal of her opposition to former President Bush's successful efforts to build a coalition and obtain a Congressional endorsement of his use of force in Iraq. “Bush needed a coalition and Congressional permission because he lacked the moral stature to act alone,” she contended. “President Obama is an acknowledged champion for peace. As a winner of the Nobel Peace Prize he has all the credibility and the credentials he needs to initiate a war in order to promote the ultimate goal of peace in the Middle East.”
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf conceded that the Administration doesn't know whether Assad ordered the apparent chemical attack that killed more than a thousand non-combatants, but maintained that “the President has made it clear that he will not tolerate interference or delay of his quest for justice for the victims.”
While it seems likely that Assad will hunker down in a bunker safe from any US bombing sortie, it is unclear how the dictator will be punished. Even if he were somehow to be killed, the rebels who would form the likely successor government have strong links to the al-Qaeda terrorist organization.
Facebook Post Leads to Interrogation
An Arizona man who expressed a fear that America was becoming a police state in a post to his Facebook page was called in for interrogation by FBI agents within hours of making the statement. Faced with the threat of having a SWAT team kick down his door, Blaine Cooper voluntarily complied with a request to report to his local police station for an interview with federal agents.
Cooper described the situation as “unnerving. It turned my vague sense of uneasiness over the country's drift into tyranny into a palpable reality. They had every Facebook post I had ever made in a huge file, along with all my wife’s information, and parent’s information. They let me go for now, but reminded me that they will still be watching me.”
The FBI's rapid response to Cooper's Internet post was credited to the federal government’s XKeyscore program. “Thanks to technology we can be more vigilant that ever,” boasted FBI spokesman John Boot. “Implying that the United States might be a police state is dangerously defamatory. Dissemination of this idea undermines people's faith in and loyalty to their government. We need to nip it in the bud.”
Boot expressed the hope that “Cooper was significantly impressed by our diligence in this matter and will refrain from future slanders against the reputation and policies of his government.”
In related news, scientists at the University of Washington demonstrated the ability to control another person's movements via a direct brain-to-brain link. It is hoped that this new breakthrough can overcome the friction of free will that impedes the pathway between issuing a command and achieving obedience on the part of the targeted individual. Up until now, orders could be misunderstood or disobeyed. If this technique can be perfected government can eliminate the intervening consciousness and allow a designated official to directly control the actions of another person.
Pentagon Training Troops to Combat Extremists
Prepping US Armed Forces to cope with extremists doesn't sound bad until you discover that an example of the type of extremists our troops may have to suppress are people who oppose taxes or tyranny. According to the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute training guide, America's Founding Fathers were “extremists who unjustly opposed legitimate ruling authorities.”
The training guide says that “In U.S. history, there are many examples of extremist ideologies and movements. The colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule and the Confederate states who sought to secede from the Northern states are just two examples. The colonists' manifesto, for instance, asserts that rights come from a 'Creator.' This is an open invitation to defy the laws handed down by human governing authorities. It is deeply subversive.”
“The grievances cited by this manifesto could be lodged against virtually any governing body,” the guide continued. “It objects to excessive taxation, growing bureaucracy, rule by executive decree, barriers to commerce—all acts routinely embarked upon by governments of every stripe around the world today. It elevates liberty above cooperation with duly appointed government officials. This can only lead to anarchy.”
Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel vigorously defended the guide. “Is 'give me liberty or give me death' that different from 'behead those who insult Islam?'” Hagel asked. “Both entail violent thoughts. We cannot afford to overlook threats just because they emanate from the 'Yankee Doodle' side of the political spectrum.”
China Anxious about T-Bond Portfolio
With more frequent reminders coming from the Federal Reserve that its “Quantitative Easing” program will “taper off,” the Chinese Government is becoming increasingly alarmed. Should the Fed's program of buying bonds come to an end interest raters are expected to rise and bond prices to fall.
China's Minister of Finance Lou Jiwei urged that “the tapering not be too hastily implemented. We have billions of dollars on US Treasury Bonds that we must be given time to unload before their value goes down. The victims of such a move by the United States will not just be domestic capitalist exploiters, but the sovereign government of China. We would have to view it as a hostile act.”
Lou suggested that the decline in bond prices from the Fed's tapering off policy could be offset by mandating that US banks, pension funds, and mutual funds purchase these securities. “By compelling the monied interests in America to buy these bonds the US Government will solidify their support for the Administration,” Lou argued. “They would be inextricably tied to the success of President Obama and his policies.”
US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew was unsympathetic. “Anyone who lends the US Government money does so at their own risk,” Lew pointed out. “China will have to take its lumps just like anyone else. They can't expect us to provide them with a safety net while letting everyone else get the shaft.”
DOJ Sues to Stop School Voucher Program
The US Department of Justice asked a federal judge to prohibit school districts in Louisiana from issuing vouchers to students currently enrolled in failing public schools. The vouchers are intended to give these students an escape route while simultaneously inducing schools to improve their performance.
Attorney General Eric Holder didn't take issue with the desire to improve student outcomes, but counseled that “all must be treated equally. Under the voucher program, students with parents who care about their child's education will be able to opt out. Students whose parents are indifferent won't.”
“It is our belief that all must sink or swim together,” Holder continued. “It is fundamentally unfair for some to attain a better status just because they invest their own effort in achieving it. Only by requiring all to suffer from the consequences of poor instruction can we build momentum for the kind of comprehensive reform needed.”
Police Say Fighting Back Caused Elderly Man's Death
Delbert Belton, an 88 year-old WWII veteran, was beaten to death last week by two teenagers in Spokane, Washington. Spokane Police Chief Frank Straub attributed Belton's death to his efforts to defend himself.
“All the suspects say they wanted to do was rob Mr. Belton and maybe rough him up a bit,” Straub said. “Rather than give up his wallet and take a few punches, Belton insisted on fighting back. That was his big mistake.”
“Our advice to victims has always been to simply yield to whatever an assailant wants,” Straub added. “Resisting angers the criminal, making it likely that he will hurt you worse. So, whether its robbery, rape, or just a 'knockout game' assault, your best bet is to just roll with the punches. That way you may live to see another day. It's really your only option because the police certainly can't be counted on to protect you.”