Sunday, March 18, 2012

Obama's National Defense Executive Order Sets Up Martial Law! (Really?)

March 18, 2012 - Do you remember when, back in 2004 and again in 2008, a lot of liberals publicly worried that President Bush would declare martial law, cancel elections and make himself the Supreme Leader? Of course you do, and those of us on the Right thought it was damned funny, albeit pitiful.

Well, welcome to 2012, when a lot of conservatives are acting just as stupidly over a whole bunch of things, most recently an as-yet-unnumbered Executive Order (EO) signed by Obama on March 16. Reaction to the EO, mostly from conservatives, is panic driven and fueled by ignorance. Too many people are so willing to believe anything bad about Obama that they will swallow outrageous twistings of truth and regurgitate them without one moment of critical thinking. Look, friends, somebody's got to point this out and since not many fellow conservatives are willing to do so, I take it upon myself. You're welcome in advance.

I am no fan of Barack Hussein Obama. I just want to clarify that before I go on. I dare say that my creds as a conservative activist are well established and go back to 1976. I will admit that what I'm about to write will upset a number of my fellow conservatives, but it has to be said. What I'm about to say is addressed to all the idiots out there who are staying up all night posting crazy stuff, like this from Twitter:
Executive order panic: Martial law in U.S.? #TREASON! #NoPoliticalCastration #IslammunistOutOfUSA http://t.co/WI3lUupP 
The person who tweeted the above obviously did not read the article to which they linked at "http://t.co/WI3lUupP." That's a shortened version of the original URL for a story at World Net Daily, one of the calmer conservative websites out there. The tweeter mostly likely saw the headline, "Executive order panic: Martial law in U.S.?" and retweeted it, adding the hashmarks strongly indicate that they mistook the WND headline as a statement of fact rather than the question that it really is. What the WND article says is not at all what the tweeter likely thinks it says.

The March 16 EO has caused a storm of idiocy to fly through the Internet. Headlines such as "Obama Executive Order: Peacetime Martial Law!" by Canada Free Press‎. The CFP article, lame by their own standards, offers no "proof" of the claim its headline makes. "A bit of history," writes CFP, as if to prove it's empty point, "During WWII, price stabilization didn’t begin until May of 1942, which froze prices on nearly all every day goods and rationing started in 1943. Why would the government want to control everything before a war?"

Huh? First of all, as we'll see shortly, Obama's March 16 EO does not give the federal government to power to "control everything." CFP's own question, however, is idiotic: They ask why a government would "want to control everything before a war," yet in the previous sentence they noted that "price stabilization didn’t begin until May of 1942." Uhm, news flash: The U.S. got into the war in December, 1941 – six months after the U.S. entered fight and years after WWII had already been raging. CFP's flawed assumption (I assume) is that Obama's intentions for allegedly wanting to control everything is that he's preparing to get us involved in a huge war. CFP offered no substantiation of that, however.

Calm the hell down, people! Take your tinfoil hats off and give your overactive paranoia glands a rest already. Breath deeply. Relax.

"The White House’s late-week release of an executive order," wrote Drew Zahn in the WND piece, "has sent the online community into an uproar, worried that President Obama had secretly provided himself means to institute martial law in America." Zahn added, "Filled with language about “government-owned equipment” and a “defense executive reserve,” among other vague statements, rumors began to spread that the executive order expanded the president’s power to do everything from seizing whole industries to drafting private armies."

Sounds scary, right? Sure does, if you're an ignoramus with a complete lack of critical thinking skills and not enough patience to get beyond the headline. Zahn let us know that Obama's March 16 EO is not a takeover or the beginning of martial law: "As it turns out, Obama’s executive order is nearly identical to EO 12919, issued by President Clinton on June 7, 1994, which itself was an amendment to EO 10789, issued in 1958 by President Eisenhower, and which in fact, was later amended by EO 13286, issued in 2003 by George W. Bush."

Zahn cites a "side-by-side analysis" of Obama’s recent EO as compared to Clinton’s, which was nicely done by conservative blogger Ed Morrissey over at HotAir.com. Zahn points out, rightly, that Morrissey's analysis "reveals Obama’s order is essentially just an update to reflect changes in government agency structure."

Conclusion: Obama's executive order of March 16, 2012 is nothing to panic about. Or worry about. Or post ridiculous loony conspiracy theory nutter stuff about.

Better we should concentrate on legitimate examples of Obama's abuses of power, such as was highlighted by his recent spat with the Catholic Church. "We woke up one day," wrote E. Thomas McClanahan at The Kansas City Star, "to read that the government was ordering Catholic institutions - hospitals, charities and schools - to provide coverage for birth control and the rest." McClanahan asks, in his headline, "If our government can do this, what can they not do?"

When conservatives – and I am a conservative – let themselves become distracted by things like the latest Obama EO it causes attention on things such as what McClanahan wrote about to be lost amid a sea of  counterproductive, empty foam. It does a number of harmful things:
  • It distracts us from real issues, actual facts and truth and causes too many of us to spend time and energy on things that do not have any substance;
  • It provides Obama and the Democrats with cover by allowing them to do things while we're not looking;
  • It makes the entire conservative movement look ridiculous;
  • It gives the Left legitimate reason to criticize us as paranoid;
  • It unduly frightens the ignorant and feeble minded (seriously);
  • It embarrasses the hell out of most conservatives, who disown you as the nutjobs that you are when we're asked about your behavior by moderates and liberals (oh yes, we do).
The Twitter item that I mentioned above was reposted by somebody on Facebook today. I commented on it by saying, "READ the Executive Order signed on March 16. Jeez, please, I am NOT happy with Obama but this is blown waaaaaaay outa proportion." I provided a link to the HotAir.com story.

Immediately, another person responded to me with an absurd comment: "If you lived close to Los Alamitos you could have seen dozens of military planes flying in to the base and black hawk helicopters paroling civilian neighborhoods all last week and weekend. Pretty scary." After leaning against a wall for a few moments to steady myself while laughing uncontrollably, I responded.

"Wow, imagine that!" I wrote, "Military planes flying into -- a military base! And helicopters flying over neighborhoods! My, that IS scary. Not. I grew up in Madison WI and we always saw military aircraft flying overhead. You know why they did that? It's the most efficient way for them to get to and from their base, that's why. And I'll betcha there were military planes and helicopters flying Los Alamitos around last month, and the month before, and for years prior to Obama becoming POTUS. Please, calm down."

After an hour, no response to me. Perhaps Los Alamitos realized how silly his comment was. I can only hope, but the fact remains that there are tens of thousands of other idiots out there right now who are busily tweeting an posting elsewhere that "Obama has seized control of everything."

One of those idiots is Brandon Turbeville, who writes for fear-monger Alex Jones at the ever-spooked InfoWars.com. Turbeville's March 18 post is titled "New Obama Executive Order Seizes U.S. Infrastructure and Citizens for Military Preparedness."  As we've already been shown by respected conservative bloggers such as Ed Morrissey, Turbeville's piece is nothing more than long winded paranoid drivel.

Consider this: IF Barack Obama wanted to seize control of everything and make himself a dictator, would he have even bothered with an executive order, let alone publish it for the whole world to see? Furthermore, IF Barack Obama was determined to seize control of "everything," why would he be going to all the trouble of raising campaign contributions so that he can run a re-election campaign? Hmmm?
There's an old saying that most of us know: "Just because you're paranoid," it goes, "doesn't mean they're not out to get you." That may be true, but it's also true just because you repeat paranoid fantasies loudly and often does not mean that they're not untrue.

In case I'm wrong about all this, I guess I'll see you all later after we've been rounded up and put into a secret FEMA camp. I just hope the authorities give some extra rations now and then for writing this.

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