Monday, June 23, 2014 - Volume 5, Number 3

© Copyright 2014, The Ultrapolis Project.  All Rights Reserved.

Deep Into Dangerous Waters, Obama Faithful Falter

Will the President Regain Control and Avert Multiple Disasters Around the Globe?




In Dangerous Waters,

Obama Faith Falters

President Delivers Policy Americans Want


When the Ship Started Taking on Water


Last fall, in the UWFR November 27 issue we said, “…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.”  And, we added that we were now headed unto “dangerous waters.”  We noted in our March 5 Alert that we were now in those waters.  Well, now we are even deeper into them, as the world looks more and more like the last years of the 1970’s.


At that time in November, most pundits from the left and right were focused on the debacle of Obamacare as the most consequential, and many dismissed the long-term importance of the President’s non-action in Syria, especially those on the left, but even many on the right, citing (correctly) that most Americans just don’t care about foreign affairs.  Trouble with that assessment was that it either assumed there would not be huge consequences from that fateful act, or if there were, that most Americans would not take note.  But there were and they do.  See the latest polling reported by The Washington Post.


Seemingly validating our forecast from last November, Thursday, in The Wall Street Journal, Daniel Henninger said, “If there's one Obama foreign-policy decision that sticks in anyone's mind it is the "red line" in Syria.”  Actually, we are not sure that is yet true.  What he should have said is “If there's one Obama foreign-policy decision that SHOULD stick in anyone's mind it is the "red line" in Syria.”  But, in due time, it will be so (news today from The Hague regarding self-declared chemical weapons notwithstanding).


Media Begins to Abandon Ship


Now, even President Barack Obama’s friends at USA Today, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and even The New Republic (liberal-progressive journal), have begun to openly express disappointment, frustration, and even disgust with the President’s foreign policy.  The New Republic also featured on its May 26 issue a cover story consisting of a major essay aimed squarely at the President’s foreign policy, titled “Superpowers Don’t Get to Retire”.


Reading the expressions of disapproval, one will find different explanations for what they perceive as the reason for the president’s collapsing foreign policy.   The reality is that while the nation sports more ideologues than ever that will either 1) always find the President at fault, or 2) always find the President blameless, the center of the American public will judge the President by the effects of his policy.  As we took pains to detail in our UWFR issue of September 7, Americans tend to retroactively support or forsake a president based on the actual success or failures of his policies, and quickly forget whether they personally supported or opposed a president’s military action in a particular situation.  As they say, success has many fathers, and failure is an orphan.


It’s the Results, Intellectually-Challenged Person


We have repeatedly pointed out that the President is indeed doing, at a nuts-and bolts level, what most Americans want done in each foreign policy scenario.  What he is not doing is leading.  And, we have equally repeatedly pointed out that this will not spare him the public’s scorn in the end.  A poll reported by The Washington Examiner illustrates this dichotomy, as it reports that Americans agree with his specific policy in Ukraine (as they did with his policies in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, etc.) yet see him as a weak leader in dealing with his counterpart in Russia and elsewhere.  Americans will not generally connect through cause-and-effect the unfolding developments around the world to their original specific opinions, but they do perceive that developments in many places around the world have taken a turn for the worse, and Mr. Obama has been the president for the last 5 ½ years.


Just like with Obamacare, you can go point by point on the specifics of what the President has done in Ukraine, Syria, Iraq Afghanistan, Iran, China Sea, Israel-Palestinian Authority, and they will agree with the specific actions.  But, you ask about the whole, and just as with Obamacare, they disapprove.  This is what “leading from behind” looks like, and Americans don’t like what they see. 


President to Stay Course

(As He Is Able)


We see no indication that the President will re-consider his policy of world-wide disengagement, and even if he did, he has little political leverage – except for whatever American military muscle he actually uses (Ironically, but predictably, because he has said so much and done so little, only after he deploys military power will he now be able to broker any deal in Iraq, or elsewhere).


The President remains convinced, against all historical evidence, that the way to a more secure, stable, and ‘just’ world, is for the world’s leading power to retreat (even to the point of surrendering America’s nominal control of the Internet, which to date has made it very difficult for dictatorial and totalitarian regimes to restrict the flow of information).  He believes that if only we model ‘correct’ international behavior enough, then other countries will follow our example.  That this has not worked with Russia, or China, or Egypt, or Iran, or North Korea, or Syria, and that millions are now worse off, thousands have died, and that the world is currently more unstable as a result, does not dissuade him.  That some nation-states are persisting in their “19th Century” thinking convinces him only that we must persevere in our example – even if now and then we still have to “do something” to prevent total disaster while we allow time for the world to learn to follow the rules.


Fundamental Ideological Flaw


The main critical flaw in this dominant strain of liberal-progressive thinking is the assumption that all others around the world want what we want.  But, this is not true even in our own communities, where we all see the need to maintain a police force, knowing full well that setting an example for our fellow citizens is not enough.  Every single day, in our own city, we apply violent and deadly force, or the threat of it, to maintain order, or restore it where it is broken.  In the larger world, there is no police force other than the might of the most powerful nation.  Historical evidence shows that when there is a strong leading power, there is less war.  When strong powers become weak, that is when wars break out, as other powers with different values and ideas seize the opportunity for their own ascendancy.


Clear Understanding Can Lead to Use of Force


Former President Richard M. Nixon, in his book “1999: Victory Without War”, made the point that conflict is often not about misunderstanding, as liberal-progressives like to imagine, but rather, from perfect understanding.  It is often the realization and perfect comprehension of two parties that they do not share the same goals or values, and do not want the same future.  Someone wants to invade your house, or your country? Words and modeling behavior will not dissuade them.


Next time a far-left liberal-progressive claims that all conflict is from simple misunderstanding, and all that is needed is more communication, ask him if he or she thinks that would work with the Tea Party, or Republicans.  (Funny thing about liberal-progressives these days, and also some libertarians: they see more promise in working things out with murderous dictators than they do with their own fellow Americans, their neighbors and fellow citizens who hold socially conservative ideas).  Ask your liberal-progressive friend if it is true that there has never been a conflict with another person she could not resolve with more words of understanding.   


Obama Sought World Approval

He Got Contempt


The second fundamental flaw in this same liberal-progressive (and libertarian, and right-wing isolationist) non-interventionist thinking is that a forceful American foreign policy causes the world to hate us, while pacifist entreaties, and unilateral concessions and disengagement leads the world to like us and be more cooperative.  Aside from the very visible foreign policy debacles that recall the waning days of the hapless Carter presidency, the polls have been in for some time now, and the results are almost unanimous across the globe:  President Obama, and the U.S., are viewed far less favorably now than when the President first took office in January of 2009.  A comprehensive Pew survey showed that it did not matter whether the respondents were pro-West Europeans, or anti-West Arabs; from 2009 thru 2012, views of President Obama became less favorable everywhere – except Russia.  And, this survey was taken before the compounding crises of the last year. 


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





Cruzmania at Texas GOP Convention.  Delegates at the second general assembly of the 2014 Texas Republican State Convention, by some news accounts the largest political party convention in the world, welcome Texas’ junior U.S. Senator Ted Cruz.  The voting strength of the assembly was north of 8,000, represented by delegates from the state’s thirty-one state senatorial districts.  The convention featured individual senate district caucuses, committee meetings, and three general assembly sessions that themselves included a heated and lengthy debate over the party platform, and speeches from GOP headliners from across the state and the nation, including Texas Governor Rick Perry, U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and convention favorite Senator Cruz.



< From column 1


Regarding the Russians, of course that has also more recently turned against Mr. Obama and the U.S.  as reported by the Los Angeles Times in the wake of the Ukrainian crisis.


Failures Will Stress Democrat Unity


Allies of Hillary Clinton will try to put the word out through news stories that Secretary Clinton was often in disagreement with the President, and will damage Barack Obama’s reputation as much as is necessary.  Democratic opponents of Ms. Clinton, of which there are many, will work to make sure she stays strongly connected to President Obama’s foreign policy.  Either way, President Obama will not enjoy the broad-based party farewell President Ronald Reagan received in 1989.


Hold On to Your Seats


As we said before regarding the domestic policies, the Democrats in Congress, looking to 2016, will be doing everything they can to get a hold of the nation’s foreign policy reins as well, which are now flailing wildly out of anyone’s control, having been deliberately dropped between the galloping horses and the wagon of the nation’s stage coach - with the full endorsement of the passengers. In the meantime, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine, Libya, Egypt, Israel-Palestinian Authority, et al, all will continue to languish as our foreign policy advances, in fits and starts, only in reaction to pleas from our allies. Expect a wild and chaotic bumpy ride in the coming months, and pray to high heaven the wheels do not start coming off before January 2017; because if they do, we will pay for it with American lives.


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Media Bias Watch

Reporters Derelict or Deliberate?

Numbers Don’t Add Up

Or, Just Don’t Appear


PBS Numbers Bait & Switch


April 1, 2014 PBS Newshour


On a report regarding the Congressional opposition to more spending on federal pre-school program Head Start, the news reporter dutifully asked Peter Barnett, Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research (Head Start promoter), about a report showing Head Start gains completely disappearing by the third grade. 


The report gave most of the air time to Mr. Barnett, and only half as much to the Republican Congressman who explained why there was opposition to more money for Head Start.  But, Barnett argued that the $80 billion spent on the pre-school program saved money down the line in education and social costs.  He repeatedly referred to $80 billion vs. future costs of not having Head Start (over $700 for every person who pays income tax in the U.S.).


Mr. Barnett, responding to the report, smiling at his own obvious clarity that inferior minds amusingly fail to see, said:


It’s like a relay race.  You can’t say I ran a really good first lap, so now I can walk the next, right? You’re going to lose the race if you do that.  Well, pre-school’s the same way.  It’s a really good first lap.  You have to keep running hard.


So, apparently, it is not just $80 billion we have to spend on Head Start, after all.  That is just lap 1.  By his own admission, we would need to continue the program all the way to college to be able to actually keep the gains, and all his comparisons to the program’s cost of $80 billion were useless - except to hook us in like a salesperson that gets you to buy by only mentioning a portion of a price, and neglecting to tell you until after you have bought a product that it is useless without all the expensive add-ons.


The reporter did not address the implication of the answer.


CBS Feminist Spin


April 9, 2014 CBS This Morning


Watching CBS This Morning, one would notice that nearly every other day features a ‘news’ story that clearly presents a leftist view of women in the workplace.


When an anchorwoman on This Morning on CBS said she was “shocked” that more women are staying home (personal opinion anyone?), Deborah Gillis, President & CEO of Catalyst (a research firm) explained, in carefully paced and toned words meant to signal the seriousness of her thoughts:


There’s [sic] a couple of things that I think that are happening there.  If you look at the increase in the number of women staying at home, it’s tied to the economic downturns; more women are staying at home because they can’t find a job.  Another is really a question about, is work worth it?  And, if women are not being paid fairly and equally then families are going to make choices about who stays at home and who doesn’t, particularly when you take into account costs of daycare and other things.


She did not cite research to back up her thoughts, but presented her thoughts as if they were backed by research, perhaps because that very same Pew study indicated that most women who stay at home chose it voluntarily.  The percentage that actually cited the lack of jobs as the reason was 6%.   Furthermore, her comments about women not being able to find work as the reason for staying home more than men makes no sense when unemployment is higher among men.


The segment on This Morning was clearly presented as merely informative and educational.  In reality, some statistics were presented by a research firm whose CEO clearly has an opinion of what she would like to find, followed by her actual opinion presented as part of the research.  The anchors were all sympathetic and asked not a single challenging question.


In researching this topic we noted that almost all media interviews on the same report, asking why women were choosing to stay home in greater numbers than before, featured responses that always started with “it may be” or “I think” followed by speculation a feminist would approve, and not what was in the actual study.


Our Position


We take this issue up often only because the media coverage is so biased and relentlessly misleading on this issue.


Our position is: It is okay for men to be the one staying home, but it may also be true that women are generally more naturally-inclined to do this, and policies trying to force a 50/50 result may actually cause harm (see the next item below).


Globe and Mail Makes 12 = 85


On the above point, here’s a story in Toronto’s Globe and Mail from 2011 that ought to worry some who are considering having dad stay at home.  Yet, even this story, while dutifully reporting the statistics of greater divorce rates with stay-at-home dads, misleads again, trying to make it look like men are just as happy as women to stay home.  It says, “In Sweden, land of Ikea and common sense, 85 per cent of the country's fathers now choose to stay home with the kids.”  Yet, further down it says only 12% of households there have stay-at-home dads.  Looking further into that number, we discovered it is 85% choose to be home for any period of time, and only after the government bribed dads to do it with use it or lose it vacation time only available to dads.


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Next Story > 

Dome Destiny,

Houston Hallmark

Snow Skiing in Houston?


Astrodome Fate Still Unknown


Last Fall Houston voters, mostly those living outside the loop, voted against a plan that would have converted the crumbling Astrodome (boasting a permanent and iconic name before names for all taxpayer-funded landmarks were open to the highest bidder), to an exhibition hall.  Some say that many of these voters, living in places like Copperfield and Cypress-Fairbanks, have no sense for history, living as they do in places that prize parking lot and strip mall convenience over cultural heritage.  Perhaps. 


But, a credible case has also been made by many that the plan proposed to save the Astrodome was neither well-conceived nor well-explained to the public.


Despite the vote, the ultimate fate of the dome is still unknown, with discussions still ongoing at the county level.


Astrodome Possibilities


One reader, our good friend Andrew Fletcher, suggested that the dome be converted to an indoor snow skiing facility, like the one that the dynamic city of Dubai built.  That actually could be quite an asset for a city so far from skiing resorts, particularly for talent Houston may want to attract from western cities.


The dome should be saved. It is the first structure of its kind built by humans. Preserved, years from now it would become a truly historical site, and not just one of those we see along so many Texas highways with nothing but an open field and few words to look at.


Houston has few historically significant structures of world significance. Actually, we only have one. And, it is huge. Here we are, about to destroy it, with plans to do to it what we have done with so much of the little historical architecture we do have in our city: turn it into another parking lot. It is why we in Houston have the reputation around the world as being a city just about business, only business, and nothing more.


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Facebook Closes Yet

Another Door to Privacy

Huffington Post Now Requires Use of Facebook to Comment


“Moving the Conversation” to Corporate Monopoly


As of June 2, anyone wanting to comment on any story in the Huffington Post must now do so through a Facebook account, and allow a link that can have any other reader eventually find you.  Imagine if The New York Times had a policy that said that the only letters to the editor they will receive have to be mailed by UPS, and only if they come complete with a list of all your contacts and other personal details.


We have many concerns regarding Facebook, and this is just one more.  More to come on this in future issues.


All we will say for now is, Facebook users, beware. 


BTW, Join our Facebook Group!


Incidentally, we have a group page on Facebook, if you would like to join!  You must be a Facebook user to comment on that group’s postings.  Sorry, it is the reality of the world we live in.  But, nearly everything we say there will be included on our pages here in some way, and you don’t need any account of any kind to comment here.  You can use our comment button below, email, or even write an actual letter, just follow the basic rules noted below.


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Reader Comments

On Bullies and Liberal-Progressivism Exposed


Personal Reactions to Personal Letter


I read your personal letter [UWFR 2/10/2014 - "Personal Letter: Truth Independent of the Self"] from your Ultrapolis website last night and was so moved by your honesty.  I too have felt many times isolated and a square peg in around hole for being who I am.  Very few people get my gay conservative Catholic Christian views along with my conservative political beliefs.  Living in California I will never expect to find anyone who has the same core values and beliefs as myself.  But, I am ok with that.  Just wanted you to let you know you are not alone – I share many of the same beliefs.

Lionel Vargas

San Francisco, CA


Thanks for continuing Ultrapolis.  Today's reading [UWFR 2/10/2014] brought me back to my junior high and college years. I was a really skinny guy going through the public school system with my share of bullies. I learned to fight and actually win some. I also was lucky enough to find two large athletic boys who decided to befriend me. I helped them with schoolwork and they had my back.  I will always remember Frank and Julian. My nemeses crossed both racial lines. I wasn't popular among the black students (in fact they did most of the bullying) and young white boys seeking to bolster their social standing. I learned to simply be me and stand up for myself. I was voted class favorite, I served on student council for four years and I even wrote a speech for the Texas State Organization of Student Councils.


I am constantly amazed at your perspective and intellect and perhaps most importantly your ability to verbalize so well your thoughts and perspectives.


Rayford Joseph

Denver, CO


I still cannot read or watch a bullying story without cringing.  I try to donate to help but nothing has impacted me as much as my being bullied (for reasons not known to me) as a kid.


Ken Council

Houston, TX


Reaction to X-posure of Liberal-Progressive Enlightenment


Holy [#$@$%]!!!!!!! I've lived a sheltered life [Re: UWFR 2/10/2014 – “Progressive Enlightenment on Display”].


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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Obama Foreign Policy 101 (Five-Second Course)

Libya: Benghazi Ennui


Afghanistan: Silver Plate Service


Iraq: Obama to the Rescue



 Main Index of the Ultrapolis World Forecast & Review


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