Awkward?

Just saw a post on Facebook from “Being Liberal” which thanks “Americans Against the Republican Party” for a photo of a woman looking deeply distressed and forlorn as she stares at her computer screen, with this caption:

Awkward.

That moment when you connect with an old friend from high school.  And you discover that she’s a fan of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin and Fox News.

It’s got over 43,000 “likes” and is pushing 9600 “shares,” and it’s coming from the very crowd that had a national hissy fit when Limbaugh said he hoped Barack Obama would “fail,” even though he’d made it clear he thought the president’s policies would hurt the country if they succeeded.

Now we’re in the midst of that hurt, with too many part-time jobs and too few full-time careers; huge national debt; record numbers of people on unemployment and/or some form of welfare assistance;  a surfeit of scandals including Fast & Furious,  Benghazi, and an IRS which targeted political opponents; a Justice Dept. which taps journalists; foreign adversaries who respect us less, allies who are angry over NSA surveillance; and a signature piece of legislation that’s proven wildly successful at getting people dumped off the health insurance plans they were assured they “can keep,” but  features a three-and-a-half year in-the making website that is about as effective as an Etch-A-Sketch at enrolling them in new health care plans.

A quick sampling of the comments following the post:

Heck, I’ve unfriended family members because I couldn’t take what they were sharing!!!

Oy! So true… AND, Glenn Beck. The worst!

I have family that are die hard Republicans. They swear by Fox News and all of the right-wing pundits. Thank God I only have to be around them once a year at Thanksgiving.

Ugh….pretty much my entire “HS” list on fb. Most of which are “do not show in newsfeed” or blocked.

I have quite a few liberal friends and relatives on Facebook, and for the record, I’ve never blocked anyone because I didn’t agree with their posts, much less “unfriended” someone because they loved MSNBC or Bill Maher or even posted photos from “Americans Against the Republican Party”  featuring condescending captions.

And yet, Being Liberal thinks my political views are unbelievably embarrassing?

What’s embarrassing is that the same people who are always lecturing the rest of us about “inclusion” and  “tolerance” and  “diversity”  seem blissfully unaware of their own tendency to be  non-inclusive, non-tolerant and non-diverse, ideologically speaking.

More importantly,  I believe they’re mistaken about human nature and thus miscalculate the likely effects of various policies or initiatives.  We subscribe to very different worldviews and place our faith in very different objects or institutions.  But there seems to be less and less mutual respect these days between people who differ philosophically, and Being Liberal’s post serves as a  snapshot in social-networking time, illustrating one of the main reasons:  the Left thinks the Right is too stupid to be worth listening to.

We’ve been “deleted” from the conversation about what ails our country and what might help it, because we listen to and admire the wrong people, and this, you see, cannot be tolerated.

And that’s not awkward; it’s sad.

“First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People”

 . . . all too many many others have been more cautious than courageous and have remained silent behind the anesthetizing security of stained-glass windows.

~Martin Luther King

Excellent piece here by Kirsten Powers on the horrors being done to Christians and other religious minorities across the Middle East and Africa, and the willful ignorance of too many of us back here in the complacent Safe-To-Be-A-Christian Zone.  I sent this article to my pastors and started a discussion — may I suggest you consider doing the same?Please share, and share ideas about strategies to pursue, too.

I’m not sure what we can, or should, do — but pressuring the State Dept. and our political class to start paying attention to religious persecution sounds like a reasonable place to begin.  And how about writing letters to our reps and the State Dept., advocating that we cut off aid to countries that promote or tolerate this evil?   We may not be able to “sell” our values of religious freedom and diversity abroad, but we sure as hell shouldn’t be subsidizing the extermination of Christians or other religious minorities.

Invincibly Ignorant

Administration’s Benghazi Review Board Discredits Itself in Congressional Hearing

Throughout their appearances Thursday and in their depositions earlier, both Pickering and Mullen insisted that their investigation was independent and thorough. But the substance of their testimony suggests precisely the opposite.

~Stephen Hayes

Stephen Hayes’ blog on the Benghazi Hearings unmasks the completely DEpendent  Investigation run by the State Dept, and ought to be in every online dictionary next to the words  “corruption” and “farce.”  That most of the mainstream media are ignoring this cover-up  shows that the Fourth Estate and Integrity are no longer on speaking terms.

As the mother of Benghazi victim Sean Smith said,  “I don’t trust my government anymore because they lied to me.”  The fact that 12 of 14 Democrats on the committee left before she or Tyrone Woods’ father spoke says volumes about their trustworthiness too.

Breaking Weak

Since the U.S. has now taken the much-traveled road of WMD inspections as the path forward for ridding Syria of its chemical weapons arsenal, I am reminded of a lecture I attended many years ago given by an American scientist who’d served on one of the U.N. teams in Iraq.  We hadn’t invaded yet, but there were rumblings, and the scientist made it clear he wasn’t a fan of the idea.  I remember also his sympathy for Iraqi scientists who’d been recruited for Iraq’s WMD program with a steady government salary and the enticing benefits package of “staying alive.”

I don’t remember the lecturer’s name or if he ever made clear his reasoning for opposing invasion, but he clearly was not basing his objection on the “success” of the inspection program.  His experiences as an inspector were tales of obstruction, obfuscation and gallows humor.  The “surprise” visits were escorted,  the escorts often delayed, and by the time a team arrived,  the inspection site was often abandoned and buried under tons of fresh concrete.   Aw gee, you wanted soil samples?  Who knew?

At one particular compound there was a water tower, and an inspector told the Iraqi standing near it that he needed to get a water sample.  Reluctantly, he was allowed to ascend — but it wasn’t the tank he was after – it was the altitude.  From his higher vantage point the inspector caught sight of what he was really looking for: a long caravan of trucks trailing away into the distance,  which he photographed as surreptitiously as possible.   In the shell game of hide and seek, he’d found something.  The next morning he learned that the man who had allowed him to climb up the tower had been shot.

Fast forward to the current agreement on Syria,  which proposes to find chemical weapons which have already been dispersed, says our Secretary of State, to at least 45 locations.  “They have moved them, and we know they have moved them,” Kerry said. “We’ve seen them. We’ve watched this.”  (Btw — Isn’t that the sort of thing the administration lambasted Snowden for, that is, telling our enemy what our capabilities are?  Or is Kerry just bluffing again, using the “language of diplomacy”?)   At any rate, who will take him seriously now?  His talk of an “unbelievably small” strike, along with Pres. Obama’s “shot across the bow” was somewhat less scary than the French soldier in Monty Python and the Holy Grail — these were “I-Fart-in-Your-General-Direction” threats, on Zoloft.

Given that the players in Syria are a dictator; an old KGB hand;  an ongoing civil war featuring guest jihadists; and the U.N., which makes up for its bureaucratic incompetence by being endemically corrupt — not to mention that do-it-yourselfer bad guys with a few gallons of Sarin need only garage-shop tools to make an efficient dispersal unit – and the stage is set for an absurdist reprise of the Iraq WMD inspections, but in an even more deadly setting.

The new agreement is a successful pivot for our president only in that his schizophrenic dithering has now been outsourced to an international body which specializes in dithering.  People of  good will  and ill will alike in Syria will continue to be killed, if not from weapons of mass destruction, then from the usual mass application of weapons for more individualized destruction.

I’ve never been in favor of intervening militarily, at least not since it became clear that the replacements might be as vicious as Assad, if not more so.   And while I may not be hip to the nuances of diplomatic bartering, making idle threats about consequences – i.e., making it clear that your word is meaningless — is not generally a very efficient way to pressure bad guys into not doing bad things.  Heck, it’s not even a good way to get a nice kid to clean his room.

But if the deal struck in these whirlwind negotiations “holds,” the leader of the world’s biggest super power can go back to reading stern talk off his teleprompters,  lamenting that his hands are tied, and doing what he seems to have the most enthusiasm for:  attacking Republicans.    My  guess is that the Red Line will be pink for the rest of his term.

Who Knew?

So the Muslim Brotherhood is the Freedom & Justice Party in Egypt?   That’s kind of like the KKK being the party of Racial Equality.