Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."

THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

To paraphrase an old Kingston Trio song:

They’re rioting in Greece, they’re occupying America.

There’s unrest in China, and Middle East hysteria.

The whole world is festering with unhappy contrarians

The Islamists hate everyone, everyone hates Americans

Palestinians hate Israelis, someone hates the Dutch.

And no one likes anybody very much.

Amidst all this chaos, Americans want a president and legislators that will restore order, prosperity, and national security. It’s difficult to imagine how we can elect the right people, however, when we spend more time focusing on form than substance. (More)

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20 Responses

  1. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: U.S. Veteran

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    “Republicans nominate the wrong candidate and allow Democrats to succeed at Palinizing him”. Well, it’s good to see she has some use after all. McCain might have been a stronger contender, indeed he is a serious politician with all of the requisites, without her. That was a debacle of monumental proportion. And while my anti-Bush vote would have been case regardless, I would have at least had to think twice.

    Cain has even less substance than Obama did, so I’m surprised that anyone would take him seriously.

    The real frontrunners should be Romney and Huntsman, but the far right has Mormonism stuck in their craw. And since our prosperity is inextricably linked to the rest of the world’s, Huntsman is the logical choice as a candidate of “substance”. But the nominee will end up being someone who can stand toe to toe with Obama on stage, and that requires a great deal of “form”, not substance. Just as the ’08 election was the Dem’s to lose, and they capitalized on it, ’12 is the GOP’s to lose, and thus far, they’re not doing themselves any favors.

    Posted by Bob

  2. Matthew says:

    Ed,
    We want them to riot in the Middle East. The Arab spring is just what we have been waiting for and what American foreign policy has been pushing for. It was not until social networking and the internet that our message about democracy was able to reach enough people that the conditions were right for this dramatic change. Don’t fear change.

    They’re rioting in Greece, Italy, England and France because of the poor economy and that to is over due. It’s time we got our budgets under control and we stop paying today’s bills with our kid’s savings. Let them riot and let the Governments cut the budgets to the bone. This is a good thing.

    They’re occupying America? Well not quite. Tea party or Occupy DC, both groups have a problem with the economy. The Tea party just covers it up with nonsense about the founding farthers and the constitution.

    Occupy groups are disorganized and angry over the same issues. Elect Mr. Paul and after all the poor with no medical insurance die we can lower taxes on everyone else.

    All is well and as it should be, the militants are being isolated and silenced within Islam but it will take time and we can’t rush it. Israel won’t have peace without concessions to the Palestinians and the Palestinians will never have a country of their own until Hamas and the old guard are replaced.

    In the mean time we here in America need to stop the bickering and taking your political party over the country and try for once to just compromise. The republicans have no solutions we haven’t tried before. Neither do the Democrats. So let’s try something new and combine the best of both.

  3. Gene Myers says:

    If the republican candidates stop trying to outflank each other to the right, they might have a chance at success and maybe of actually doing some good for the nation. It’s a shame Huntsman, Romney and Gingrich can’t have a calm, intelligent debate, and forget all the other strap hangers

  4. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: The Heritage Foundation

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    I had the opportunity on Saturday to hear Ron Paul speak in St Cloud Minnesota. He defined his policy proposals and discussed how they could be implemented to roughly 3,000 people in attendance. He is a man of true conviction who has never wavered in his principled approach to governing according to the US Constitution. However his message does not fit the MSM agenda so he gets little coverage other than gotcha politics. I agree that what the media calls debates are a waste of time and energy. In the French Revolution it was “bread and circuses” today it is “trivial pursuit presidential”.

    Posted by Candace

  5. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    Sir: You must be living in an alternate universe. Every painter fills his palette with basic colors of their choice and then mixes for shade, tone, vibrance, etc. Apparently your palette contains only black paint. You should try to get out more.

    Posted by Joe Lee

    • Reposted from LinkedIn says:

      LinkedIn Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni

      Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

      @Joe, Really? Ed’s commentary is thoughtful, its not dark, its realistic. He is just voicing his concern and desire for a strong republican candidate and bemoaning the demeaning process we’ve been subjected to. I agree with most of what he says. What specifically do you disagree with? Your metaphor is appropriate to your response. Rather than thoughtful comment, your brush demeans.

      Posted by Michael

      • Reposted from LinkedIn says:

        LinkedIn Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni

        Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

        Step beyond Ed’s implied endorsement of the Republican candidate and focus on the underlying message. Our present system of providing information on candidates for elected office to the electorate is flawed, especially for Federal positions. We seem to concentrate on form and not substance. Would you hire an individual based on the level of information provided by the various “debates” during the 2000 Presidential campaigns? As voters we need to demand that candidates fully explain their policy positions. At the same time, we need to demand that the media stop interpreting the story and inserting their own bias, but instead provide real opportunities for debate.

        Posted by Carl

  6. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Fox News Networking Group

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    Riots in America are a symptom of divisive tactics utilized by manipulative leaders.
    Republican candidates are doing great harm to their party, to their fellow Republicans and to the nation with their inane attacks on each other. The political system is not meant to be a schoolyard free-for-all. The candidates might choose to indulge in studious contemplation of statesmanlike characteristics valued in a potential president and then—when they have found these characteristics in themselves– present them to the nation. Children, please stop pointing fingers. Yes, I know, the President has elevated finger-pointing (misdirection) to an art form. Nonetheless, candidates are not obligated to follow his example.

    Sadly, this quote defines our desperation in America, “People want leadership… and in the absence of genuine leadership, they’ll listen to anyone who steps up to the microphone. They want leadership. They’re so thirsty for it they’ll crawl through the desert toward a mirage, and when they discover there’s no water, they’ll drink the sand.” We are crying out for substance, wisdom, ability and, yes, leadership. Until a leader steps forward—it appears that chaos will reign.

    Posted by Dr. Dorothy

  7. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Fox News Networking Group

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    The hard truth is “leadership” is not the people’s top priority. True leaders tell people things they don’t want to hear and that is not the path to election in this country. We continue to re-elect people who are very good at telling the people what they want to hear, That’s why so many of our problems don’t get solved.

    The answer lies in expanding the pool of applicants that seek public office by recruiting the real leaders in the community and supporting them in a serious way.

    Posted by Mark

  8. EWRoss says:

    Thanks much for your comments (all of them). I admit to a right-leaning bias. Rather than pretend otherwise I believe I have an obligation to my readers to be transparent. Having said that, I’ve lived on the outskirts of the hub of Western Civilization (Washington, D.C.) for over 30 years and have 43 years of military and government service. I understand how our government and politics works. Given the state of world an national affairs, however, I believe the times call for extraordinary efforts to make decisions and choose our leaders based on a clear understanding of the issues and consequences. We have become far too politically polarized. The politics of personal destruction, regardless of which side employes it, hurts us all.

  9. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Tea Party Connect – From A Business View

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    Unrest in China? Haven’t heard of this one.

    Some self immoations of buddhist monks and nuns, it seems, especialy in the wonderful, beautiful and untill recently very peaceful western parts of Sichuan.

    The officials of the PRC claim those were poor, misguided people who are mis-led by their religious leaders.

    They may even be right, though I can’t tell it from first hand experience what drove these poor people that far.

    Anyway, the country seems to be very far from burning at all corners.

    Posted by Ingo

  10. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Tea Party Connect – From A Business View

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    Well, I know for sure that some Germans (especially those in a hurry on the Autobahn) are not ver fond of the Dutch during the vacation season when the Dutch with their caravans block the left (the overtaking) lane at a spead considered rather a kind of ‘parking’ than driving.

    But, hey, that’s more like a ‘pet hate’, not true hate.
    And they all like the Swedes, especially the Swedish girls, don’t they?

    So, come on, there is some positive in this World, too.
    Just, damn it, where is is?

    Now that I mention it I somehow can’t find it any more…..

    Posted by Ingo

  11. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Defense ViPs

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    Ed,

    As a foreigner who lived in the US for ten years 1992-2001, I empathize with your view, but wonder whether it isn’t just a touch naive in its expectations.

    I agree that politicians focus on form over substance and fail to make robust, sustainable decisions on the issues confronting us. But we as a society (in Europe as much as in America) have abrogated our electoral responsibility and allowed a generation of ‘professional politicians’ (i.e. those who have known no real-life career or gained any substantive experience or knowledge other than political in nature) to rise to the top of the greasy pole.

    Pre-election press coverage of personal foibles, perceived strengths and weaknesses and merciless exposure of closet-inhabiting skeletons outweigh serious analysis of issues by a factor of at least ten to one in the mass circulation dailies and in the broadcast media from which most people gather the so-called “raw data” on which they make their decisions – though I would maintain that almost anything in the mass media these days is anything but “raw data” – massaged opinion filtered through commercial expediency is more like it.

    In the United Kingdom we have clarion calls for a referendum on our relationship with the European Union. I dread such a referendum, though I applaud the democratic concept that calls for it. I dread it because no government in recent history has been diligent or successful in trying to explain the public what the issues and alternative solutions are in plain, simple language. The referendum would therefore likely be won or lost on the basis of opinion promulgated through the media and supported by carefully chosen eight second soundbites or deliberately out-of-context quotes from key players.

    We have riots in Greece, (and recent riots on the streets of London), anti-capitalist protests on hallowed ground in London, the resignation of two European prime ministers within a week, a British Home Secretary whom I strongly suspect is going to be found guilty of at least shading the truth to Parliament, and a culture of “vilify anybody more successful than me.” Couple that to a culture increasingly fascinated by celebrity and gossip – which means we don’t have to think on issues carefully and make an informed decision – we can just shout the latest headline as justification for a preferred course of inaction – and we have a society that, whilst not exactly imploding, as some doomsayers would have it, is at least suffering from severe social influenza.

    Translating that to the forthcoming presidential election, which I shall watch with great interest, I wonder whether it is a realistic aspiration to want to see candidates “debate issues for more than three or four minutes at a time.” Maybe – just maybe – it might do us more good to lobby the media rather than Congress. Tell the media we want more serious debate – more even-handed treatment of the critically important issues – better analysis of what proposed policies mean to every Joe in the street. As a journalist myself, I struggle very hard to show both sides of any issue on which I write. Surely that better serves the common good than partisan posturing?

    I hope you don’t take my comments amiss, Ed, and take them in the spirit in which they are offered. I have had a love affair with the US for over 40 years and thoroughly enjoyed my decade living on both coasts. But I fear that your voice and those of individuals who think the same may end up as voices in the wilderness, buried amid an avalanche of incendiary soundbites, clever headlines and ‘celebrity’ quotes. Which is the basis on which the Republican candidate – God help us all – is likely to be chosen. “Who can win the election,” rather than “who can best craft and implement a successful policy platform.”

    But then – maybe my voice is also too ‘down in the weeds’ to be heard. Which explains my frustration…

    Keep up the good work
    Tim Mahon

    Posted by Tim

  12. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    Ed, I agree with you that the politics of personal destruction is hurting our national agenda. Where I disagree with you is when you simplistically offer alternatives, such as imputing that a single person (the President) can make all the difference, or when you suggest that adherence to a Republican Party platform will solve problems in the face of evidence that neither party adheres to its stated platform.

    I presume that is what Joe meant by his comments.

    The world is more complicated than that. We hurt ourselves when we simplify our politics to sound bites and unimplemented platforms. I am no fan of the Occupy movement’s tactics, but their opposition to bipartisan rollback of the Glass–Steagall Act and limitations of SEC oversight make sense to me. People may be partially right without being wholly wrong.

    Posted by David

  13. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    Oh, and I did find your parody of the Kingston Trio song amusing. Well done.

    Posted by David

  14. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    @David, the Presidential election is important for many reasons, the key perhaps–in the context of your comment–is the appointment of the thousands of bureaucrats who then dictate by fiat how we live our lives. As the government has grown into the leviathan that it is today, bureaucrats run virtually all aspects of our lives. Even a reformist President will find the maze of government control an inertia not easily overcome. “The government is not the solution, it is the problem,” true then and more true today. You can be a pessimist and say, “does it really matter?” or we can work together to elect a constitutionally conservative President with the principals to shrink this beast. Our liberty is at stake.

    As for your comment on “Glass–Steagall and the SEC,” you must be reading different OWS slogans/statements than I have. OWS is a movement largely populated by leftist extremists who either champion socialism or it derivatives or who champion outright anarchy. That OWS has some reasoned participants, folks who are righteously angered by TARP and the derivative misdeeds of bankers I have no doubt. These voices, which are drowned by the louder anarchist voice, appear to be a small minority.

    Posted by Michael

  15. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    I too am a 25 year Washingtonian (actually VA Commonwealth) and over 40 years of Federal Government involvement with my 20 years military service. I follow national and local politics fairly carefully and try to be a good citizen, studying before I go to the polls. National Politics in DC is truly “Blood Sport” and none of the presidential or congressional candidates I have followed needs the political jobs they seek to pay the light bill. I often wonder how good people subject their lives to incredible scrutiny and mischaracterization by the media and/or opponents with “smear campaigns” and negative advertising. At any rate, with our current plight of overspending, overtaxing, and progressive policies that insure 50% of the American public have “NO skin in the game”, popularized by VP Biden. I personally have a lot of skin in this game and I would like to see a country and leaders that can come up with laws, regulations, policies and other doctrine that make the U.S. a fairer, more economically sound and safer place to live and allow us to raise our familes. I see the U.S. now heading the direction of: Greece, Italy, Spain, Portugal and Ireland with bloated social programs and no money to pay for them. None of us should fool ourselves, the national leadership embodied by the White House and Congress, have a serious impact on our economy, foreign relations, National Security, and many other items that most of us think are pretty important. No national politician will have a “book answer” for any of the issues they face ‘on the job’. Politics is about compromise and the use of guiding principles that each politician feels are heartfelt and fundamental. For some, they look to religion as a guidepost – others look to family upbringing about morals and civic responsibility. It is very difficult, but essential, that we each asses our politcal leaders during the election process for “what makes them tick”. It is hard because we get trapped into sound bites and national news coverage. But if you dig, some candidates publish fairly lengthy ‘tomes’, up to 100 or more pages, or 400 page books, on the way they intend to lead and what motivates them. Find this material, study it, integrate all the factoids you have about their past behavior, voting record etc. and hopefully make a wise decision about each candidate you choose or don’t choose. I certainly know some of the behavior I have NOT liked with incumbent politicians.

    Posted by Cal

  16. Richard riehle says:

    Given all that has been said here, the best course of action is to simply re-reflect the current President. BTW, the original text of the song was quite different, and performed in the 1960’s by the Kingston Trio.

  17. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    @David, Your link to the the Elizabeth Warren reelection campaign video (LOL) is only one of many attempts that the “mainstream” left has taken to try to steer the OWS movement to defensible positions (I actually agree with the deregulation argument in the video and would impose further but simple, restrictions like severe limits on the amount of margin leverage anyone can do with “other peoples money” and severe limits to derivatives trading). For instance, I’ve seen another rant by Dillion Ratigan about “corruption” and his demand to get the money out of politics. All good points to argue but those arguments are not what the ground game is about. I reassert my point that OWS protesters are primarily populated by the radical left and anarchists. Try as you might, your temperance campaign is not working. The radicals are not going to take the medicine and the left will be damaged by their association in the end. Mostly just a bunch of loons acting out.

    Having said that, we need to recognize that the radical left is dangerous. If economic conditions continue to deteriorate than this movement might have legs and the mainstream left’s inability to reign these nuts in will prove to be a bad thing. The Republican party assimilated the Tea Party by and large which was much bigger than OWS and infinitely less violent. I don’t think then Democratic party can pull that hat-trick with OWS.

    Posted by Michael

  18. Reposted from LinkedIn says:

    LinkedIn Group: Naval Postgraduate School Alumni

    Discussion: THEY’RE RIOTING IN GREECE, THEY’RE OCCUPYING AMERICA

    The demands for presidential candidates to enumerate the details of how they would solve every problem in American and abroad are unrealistic and misguided. If you were hiring a new CEO of a large major corporation, such as Raytheon or Lockheed Martin, you would not expect the candidates to know all of the details of every department and have a ready fix for all of their problems. You would asses the candidates on past performance, general fit with the company’s business culture and specific capabilities and relationships that might further the company’s short and long term goals and objectives. In fact, you would be very suspicious of any candidate that claimed to have ready fixes for all of the company’s problems. They would almost certainly be a charlatan.

    Posted by John

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