Wednesday, November 27, 2013 - Volume 4, Number 10

© Copyright 2013, The Ultrapolis Project.  All Rights Reserved.

The Day the Obama Presidency Stood Still

When the President of Words Became the President of Sound


·         Iran's Siren Call to Obama for Nuke Deal Legacy

·         Zimmerman New Arrest to Bring New Bait

·         Readers' Comments: Zimmerman, UWFR Promos, Male Self Exams

·         Cartoon: Turkey Pardon by Nate Beeler

·         Thanksgiving Remembrance  (separate page)




The Day the Obama Presidency Stood Still

A Man of Words Becomes Only That, Obamacare Loses its Father

Truth & Consequences


The day the President’s legacy stood still was the day he exposed himself as a man whose word was nothing but a sound.  It does not matter that the people wanted to hear his words.  After all, they now had to know that they were words without consequence.


Retreat from Consequential Words


A headline on USA Today's front page on Wednesday, September 11, the day after the President delivered his much anticipated address to the nation on Syria, asked: "Was it foreign policy by gaffes?"  Of course, the question answered itself.


In our last issue prior to the President’s retreat on Syria, we said we would better predict the President's prospects of getting the Congress to back his lawyerly request for a formal authorization for the use of military force against the dictatorship of Syria.  This time we did not see it coming.  Would we live millenia, we still never would have come to expect the U.S. Secretary of State, pushing the cause of a U.S. strike on Syria, to tell everyone it would be "unbelievably small."  Unbelievable.


Nor did we then expect the President to clumsily present one of our harshest and most sinister rivals the opportunity to take control of our foreign policy, and (if we are to believe what the President himself so well explained to us on Tuesday,  September 10) our national security interests.


We did expect the President to make a sound and articulate case for why "Syria matters," and he did:


When dictators commit atrocities, they depend upon the world to look the other way until those horrifying pictures fade from memory... This is not a world we should accept. This is what's at stake...and that is why, after careful deliberation, I determined that it is in the national security interests of the United States to respond to the Assad regime's use of chemical weapons through a targeted military strike.


Overall, the front-end of his speech was the the kind of coherent articulation of a cause we have come to know he can deliver when he is pressed. It would have bought enough votes in Congress, even with the terrible mis-steps of the previous days.  But his up-to-then salient words took a surreal turn eleven minutes into his speech:


...And so I have therefore asked the leaders of Congress to postpone a vote to authorize the use of force... and we will work together in consultation with Russia and China to put forward a resolution at the U.N. Security Council...


...so that in the end we will do absolutely nothing in a foreseeable future to advance the cause so clearly just explained.


And thus, in those few words, came to an end the Obama presidency.  Nothing of consequence will come from him again – words or otherwise - even as it may very well turn out that it will never have; and we stand in awe of his blundering willfull blindness.


The Human Embrace of Plain Contradictions


We would have liked to have rushed to publish our forecast on the speech no sooner than he gave it; but with over two months passed (and this UWFR in drafting stages for the entire period), we can say nothing has changed: catastrophic damage was done to his presidential power and influence, and by consequence, (but less so) to American power and influence.


This was reminiscent of President Clinton's speech in 1993, in the wake of the killing of Marines in Somalia, whereby the President in one sentence said America must never withdraw in the face of such attacks, and in the next announced the withdrawal of American forces from Somalia - as if no one would notice the contradiction. 


We human beings are funny creatures in that we will accept blatant contradictions so long as at the near term, we get what we want.  All of us to a person, to one degree or another, accept deals that will ultimately cost us because the price is far off, and the reward is immediate.  We charge up credit cards today, or stay in an abusive relationship, or continue to support unsustainable trajectories of all kinds (GM, Detroit) because changing what we are doing extracts an immediate price in exchange for a future, nebulous payoff that is impossible to quantify, or even prove will come.


From brilliant CEO's to humble street sweepers, we all do it in some sphere of our lives, be it with small and manageable consequences, or with such that come to leave awful wreakage and pain in our lives, or even take us out completely.  In the end, we do arrive late, get fat, go bankrupt, lose our homes, end up lonely, get beaten or killed by a lover, destroy our businesses, lose our children, die of overdoses, abandon cities; and every century or so, we bring down a whole nation or two.  In the odd millenia, we do not stop indulging ourselves until an entire civilization comes down.  We cannot help ourselves. 


None of us ever entirely can.


Presidents First Know the People, then What Must Be Done


So, President Clinton was right in that the contradiction and withdrawal would not hurt him politically at home.  Neither did the withdrawal of American forces from Lebanon hurt President Reagan over the long haul.  Americans wanted their soldiers home, as they always do, saw no connection to the events in Somalia and Lebanon to their own lives, and never took note of the rising death toll that followed each American withdrawal, or any link between retreat and escalated aggression.  Just like interest on a credit card is not connected to any particular purchase, or any particular day of cowering is not connected to a day of murderous reckoning at the hands of one unhinged spouse - or one socio-pathic tyrant.


Yet, it should be noted that neither President Clinton or President Reagan suffered long term political damage when they did use force - successfully - even when Americans were weary.  They merely had to endure the political fallout during its deployment.  In fact, their later military success obscured their earlier retreats, and enhanced their reputations as history now takes the longer look.


Greek Leader Came to Know His People, then Did What Had to Be Done


Almost 2,500 years ago, a Greek politician by the name Themistocles warned the people of Athens that they needed to invest in a navy to ward off an invasion from the Persian Empire.  Athens was a wealthy and powerful democratic city-state of the time.  But the people were not interested, and did not take seriously his admonitions.  They wanted to spend their money on more immediate benefits.  Shrewdly, he changed  his message and pointed out the commercial benefits of building up their navy.  They built the ships.


Within three years his wisdom and foresight would become jarringly evident as the Persian army advanced on all of Greece, with one of the largest armies the world had ever seen.  Powerful as Persia was, the largest empire of that place and time, Athens and its allies were able to respond with a navy that in the end was key to saving all of the mainland Greek city-states from losing their freedom.  Because of the vision and certainty of course of one man, a whole people were spared the consequences of their own narrow, parochial sights.  More than that, because this war ended the Persian attempts at conquering Greece, and because of the pivotal role classical Greek civilization came to later play in the development of our own Western Civilization, not least the ideas of democracy, many historians credit this Greek victory as one of the most important of human history.


Themistocles did not go along with what his people wanted.  He led them to where they needed to go.


Obama Heard the People and Gave them All the Cake They Wanted


The people did not want to be in Somalia.  They did not want to be in Lebanon.  They did not want to fight Nazi Germany or Japan.  And, they do not want to go to Syria.  Very understandable.  People don’t want to spend money and risk lives on fighting in faraway places.  And, it is very difficult to show the consequence of American power and influence abroad and its correlation to the benefits in in our daily lives at home.  Like connecting one cheese cake, one reckless credit charge, one more day of spousal abuse, to a distant day of reckoning. 


We want things that make us more comfortable today:  More free and subsidized healthcare, less taxes, more subsidized education, less taxes, more free food and housing, less taxes, more of everbody else’s toil, and less toiling of our own.


Continued column 2 >



Ultrapolis World Forecast & Review

Ultrapolis Project – ultrapolisproject.com



Editor: Marco Antonio Roberts

Copy Editor: Michael Alberts

Contributing Editors:

Mark Eastman

Mark Steele





TIMES magazine cover of September 16, featuring Putin Primacy in editions around the word, but hidden from U.S. readers.




< From column 1


Meanwhile, the things that pay off in the more distant future, like space exploration and the  preservation of our national architectural treasures, those we begrudge even a tiny fraction of our wealth.  We are a nation turning our sights to immediate comfort and pleasure, and President Obama has obliged.


A Man of the Times


President Obama overrode almost all of his senior policy advisers when setting  foreign policy in two major Middle East rebellions, the first time being Libya, the second time in Syria. From Hillary Clinton, to Leon Panetta, to Susan Rice to John Kerry, the President has gone his own way.  Clearly, the President does not want American power projected elsewhere - period - and for him that happily coincides with what most Americans want.


In September it was reported that Americans visited twelve web pages on Miley Cyrus for every one page on Syria.  Granted, the period surveyed was big for the little woman.  Others, however, like the Russians, the Iranians, and the Israelis were not so distracted by the dancing naked female, with more of them visiting pages on Syria than Cyrus.


President Obama is a man of the time.  He does not transcend it.  He reflects it. 


While We Watched Videos…


We will not detail here all the reasons we find this turn of events damaging to America's long-term welfare.  Others have made the case well enough.  For a brief summarization, we suggest the September 13, editorial "Putin Rules" in the Wall Street Journal. For a more elaborate outline, we refer you to Fouad Ajami's column in the same paper, same day "Obama Is Lost in the Mideast Bazaar."


In the UWFR of November 21 a year ago we said: “…and, we pray that no military emergency calling for immediate, decisive action comes our way.”  Well it did.  Now, the consequences of Syria will last at least until a new president is inaugurated in 2016.


The Chinese, the Russians, the Saudi Arabians, the French, the Israelis, the Syrians, the Libyans, the Egyptians, the Turks, et al, have all since made very clear their contempt for President Obama (the man who was supposed to enhance our standing around the world), in harsh and blunt terms we have never seen before, not even during Jimmy Carter’s hapless term.


Most Americans simply do not appreciate how demeaning this process was for the President and for the country – not even most conservatives.  And they don’t want to know.  Time Magazine knows what it is doing to keep its U.S. circulation numbers (see caption and picture above).  But, the Syria retreat affected, and will continue to affect, everything.  Mostly abroad, but also at home.


For this reason, in Iran, there will be not be any real progress in stopping the Mullah’s nuclear bomb (see our companion article below).


Even Obamacare Will Retreat


Oh, yes, what about Obamacare?  Obamacare will be rescued in some form, but not by President Obama.  It will be rescued by  bumbling Tea Party Republicans whose every action gives the Obamacare supporters (Mr. Obama is irrelevant now) another figleaf and another crutch to keep the thing going; and by Democrats who realize that were Obamacare to fail, it would leave the Obama presidential legacy naked and  liberal-progressivism on the run.  That will not be allowed to happen.   But, any further efforts to save Obamacare will be funneled thru Democratic leaders in Congress, not thru the President, who will be increasingly told behind cosed doors what he has to give up if he wants to save any part of his signature legacy.


Obama Electoral Influence


The President will have no influence in 2014.  The 2014 elections will lean further to the right than 2012, just as 2010 did, as voters continue to see-saw between the two parties looking for someone who can really improve the lives of Middle America.  But the margin will be closer than in 2010.  2016 will be open wide.  Partisanship will continue its growing polarization under the President who promised a new era of bi-partisanship.


Reckoning at the Red Line


We said in our September 7 UWFR that the President would not escape responsibility for whatever comes to Syria.  In ways we did not fully anticipate, this has come to pass.  The President, like so many of his followers, thought the world could be changed by  the power of his words.


People will long talk about the Obamacare debacle, and how the President began to lose respect for his word after October 1.  But, in our estimation of history’s reckoning, September 10 will be the last day the President’s words mattered, when at 9:12 PM EDST, the President stood still at his own red line, turned back, and made his words cease to convey any consequence to friend and foe alike.


In truth, it is fine and good to talk about how we can all push the cart together; and it is all grand and swell to do this with eloquent words that motivate us and get us to understand how important it is to push the cart.  Words do matter.  But, at some point you actually have to push the cart.


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Iran's Siren Call for a Nuke Deal Legacy

North Korea Agreed Framework Redux


If Only Iranians Were Republicans


One wonders how it is that liberal-progressive Democrats can be so stiff-spined with fellow Americans called Republicans, while simultaneously entertaining all manner of concessions to the most regressive regimes on earth.   To many of the rank file, Republicans who oppose paying for someone else’s contraceptives are the worst evil to never be bargained with.  But the Iranian regime, known to have tortured and killed people for merely voicing opposition and actually oppressing women as women, it is merely misunderstood and worthy of equal-footing and trust at the negotiation table.  It is a perennial dichotomy one can always count on.


Following President Obama’s eager surrender to Russia of bargaining power with Iran's client state of Syria, his administration now seeks to follow the example of Bill Clinton's 1994 "Agreed Framework" with North Korea.  President Clinton's Secretary of State in 1994, Madeleine Albright, expressed in 2004 her surprise that the North Koreans "cheated" and did not keep their promises, and the much-hailed agreement did not stop North Korea from making nuclear weapons.  If anything, it made it easier for them to accomplish that goal, making the regime far more dangerous in a future crisis (and there will be a future crisis), while limiting America's options to respond.  (In a TV broadcast of Head to Head first broadcast on May 10, 1994, we forecast the framework would not work, and North Korea would violate the agreement, while our liberal-progressive co-host predicted ‘peace in our time’).


Continued column 3 > 

< From column 2


The forecast we made in the UWFR issue of February 10, 2010, regarding Obama's prospects in staving off a nuclear-armed Iran, remains firmly unchanged, for reasons equally firmly secured in a philosophy that unwaveringly values any paper agreement, however worthless and dangerous, over the pursuit of any serious policy that might fail to deliver a signed piece of paper.


France's Socialists - yes, France’s Socialists – initially put the brakes on what Obama's America was about to do, saying in 'diplomatese' what translates to "are you crazy?"  But this was only a momentary setback to the Obama administration’s determination to secure an agreement.


Many are now looking to see what else they can get while the U.S. appears unwilling to do anything anywhere except talk.   Perhaps this is what led the Chinese to crudely test us this weekend in the East China Sea.  Fortunately, it appears the administration has not completely lost its senses, and called China’s bluff, as it HAD to.


We have been steered into dangerous waters under the argument that any immediate peace is better than any fight.  And as we already said in our headline column above, that is one argument the American people on both sides of the political spectrum want to buy.  We will pay for it with interest.




Left Will Switch & Bait (and Bait, and Bait) on Zimmerman

New Arrest to Bring Shell Game

But Arrest Backs View Left Was Wrong


Once again George Zimmerman, the WHITE Hispanic who was accused of targeting a young black male because of his race, has been arrested for another agressive act, this time against his latest girlfriend.  Even some previous defenders of Mr. Zimmerman seemed to back track against their own positions arguing Mr. Zimmerman's innocence of the crime of a racially-motivated assault.


No doubt, many who strenously insisted, against all the available evidence, that Zimmerman acted on racial motivation, will sieze on this latest episode as proof of their position.  In fact, it is the opposite: the alleged victim of his latest encounter was his white girlfriend, evidencing the equal-opportunity nature of his anger issues.




Readers’ Comments

Backlog! of Comments

In Chronological Order

UWFR, Please Stay Above Cheap Promotion! and other Sundry Comments


Zimmerman Pride & Prejudice


[RE: UWFR 8/9/2013 on Zimmerman case] Love UWFR!

Veronica Scarbrough

Spanish Fort, AL


My take[,]…I think it was tragic, and Zimmerman should have acted differently, but I don't think he broke the law, or profiled anyone. I think the media ginned the race thing up, and Al Sharpton stepped in and churned it. People wanted to believe there was racism, so they believed the media's twist.

Ashley Ellis

San Antonio, TX


Promo Emails & Male Self Exams


[RE: UWFR 9/7/2013 on Obama Syria Abdication pre-speech] Looking forward to reading your Syria writ [post speech].  Curious to see if it will really be non biased. That is so hard to do I have noticed.


I'm writing to tell you to throw a statistic like 90% [in UWFR promo email] cheapens what I'm about to read because it makes me believe you made that number up [regarding UWFR accuracy].  Maybe those sorts of  % claims are acceptable colloquialisms that the mathematician in me doesn't recognize.  But then I won't believe other % quoted. Although I guess you will site sources for those. 


I've so enjoyed reading your analyses. I like grounded opinions. You are a bit braggy, you might let the reader make the observations on your accuracy themselves!  Or maybe we need to form a praise  coalition to let you know we are impressed. 


I really did intend to be lauding you! The things I mentioned are but tiny perceived flaws in a great ship. 


[Regarding the UWFR 11/7/2013] - Love your work as usual.  I must admit I carefully watched the testicular exam exactly for the wrong reason!, except that it was the reason they were hoping for, I suppose.


Paul Schliesing

Austin, TX


UWFR replies:

Every statistic cited within a UWFR is vetted and cites or links to a reputable source.  The notification or promotional / marketing emails follow a different standard: one just a notch above that of the marketing departments of businesses and public agencies - admittedly, a far lower standard.


Government Shutdown Posts


[RE: Twitter Posts on Shutdown in Oct.]  I don't follow on Twitter, but I am o.k. with the Republicans shouldering most of the blame for the moment.  Our government seems to have limited ability for bipartisan governing.  I say limit terms in the House and Senate...most of the time the House spends planning their own re-election during their terms and seem to be unaware that their business is to make decisions that are best for the country not only special interest groups.


Rayford Joseph

Denver, CO


Zimmerman & Kennedy



[RE: UWFR 8/9/2013 on Zimmerman case] That [was] the best writing I've ever seen from you. Clear, sober, realistic, well thought out.  And (if I may be so bold) correct.


(A few weeks ago I found the Department of (in)Justice's Twitter site where they were asking the public for information on Zimmerman so that they can prosecute him. There were 10,000s of responses. ALL OF THEM (!!!!!!!!!) were making fun of the request and/or insulting the DOJ and Holder and/or stating the good things that Zimmerman has done. I laughed my ass off.  And I was very pleased.  Apparently large portions of the American public do NOT believe as the liberal media and this administration believe.)


[On the UWFR 11/22/2013 Kennedy Retrospective], Thank you.  A beautiful tribute to JFK.

Joaquin Arguelles

Miami, FL


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Our forecast record cannot be beat.  One can follow the herd chasing the latest hyperbolic, melodramatic, and soon-forgotten micro-trend on Facebook and Twitter, or one can be wisely and judiciously in front of it with UWFR. 


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Turkey Pardon



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