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"A popular Government, without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." --James Madison, letter to W.T. Barry, 1822

 

Iwo Jima
Feb. 23, 1945

 Those depending upon a benevolent government will find the same benevolence a sheep may find among a pack of wolves.

Jim Mullen

D9C49A

7-4-15

Happy Independence Day! Work to keep our great nation free!

What freedom means
 Jim Mullen

The word freedom stirs different passions in the hearts of the American people today when compared to past generations. The word has almost become a cliché among certain groups of Americans. Many of us wave the flag and reflect kindly on our Forefathers for their sacrifices in giving us the freedom we have, nevertheless, many of our citizens are complicit with the government in the abridgment and seizure of many basic personal rights that have made us unique in the history of the world.

Freedom is more than a word; it is an attitude. An attitude of independent thought and rugged individualism brought here and nurtured by men from countries contaminated by centuries of religious persecution, economic depression, repressive governments, and scorn for any concept of freethinking and individual rights. Most did not come here with riches; furthermore, they did not expect the government to give them riches. They asked only for the fertile ground of opportunity and independence. This alone would enable them to achieve anything their abilities and hard work would allow.

It is becoming increasingly more difficult to maintain the struggle for our freedom. With our blessings, career politicians feeding at the government trough, have corrupted our political system. They have no qualms about taking our money and selling our freedom for votes. They regale in people who cannot handle freedom and the responsibilities that go with it and thrive on those who feel more secure in allowing someone else to make their decisions and take care of their needs.

One such woman recently called a statewide radio talk show and exclaimed, “Our government gives us way too many freedoms!” She is typical of a growing number of Americans, who believe government gives us our freedoms. The Constitution guarantees our freedoms. Conversely, government only takes them away, and only we can protect and preserve them.

The Constitution clearly spells out the Federal Government’s role and its limitations in our Republic. The Bill of Rights spells out our independence from the government, but each time we allow politicians to take more money or enact more laws, our rights diminish and government’s power enhanced. When we resist, they pit class against class, race against race, and rich against poor - telling each group how dangerous it would be for the others to have freedom and how much more secure everyone would be if we gave up a few more rights. Politicians convince people they can better spend their money by promising equal results over equal opportunity.

Freedom at times is quite untidy and weeds will grow among the roses. However, if we use the Constitution as our guide, we will know what to pull and what to leave in our garden of America.

America is a beacon of light in a dark and dangerous world. In summary, if we do not return to the Constitution and hold our leaders accountable, our best years may be behind us. Remember, Obama’s promise, "to fundamentally change" this country? Do you even recognize this nation now? Work to rid our Republic of the New Socialists, and take back our liberty!

Jim Mullen


7-3-15

Don't Give Up On America

By David Limbaugh

As I've said, I was very alarmed, though not particularly surprised, by the two Supreme Court decisions last week in which the court's majority blithely bastardized the English language, the Constitution, the rule of law and the very idea of truth in order to further advance the progressive agenda in this nation.

But what troubles me more than the court's betrayal of its duty to safeguard the Constitution and the rule of law is the apparent complacency among the public about these decisions and the radical shifts we are witnessing in our culture.

Why do some seem resigned to the transformation of our society? Why have they surrendered? Do they strongly believe in anything anymore? Do they not understand the implications for the future of this nation — if not for themselves, for their children?

We all seem to agree that to a great extent politics flows downstream from culture. The problem for conservatives is that the left understands this better than we do. They long ago took over our major cultural institutions, indoctrinating society through the schools, universities, media and Hollywood to their anti-tradition and radically secular ideas.

It has been a brilliant, grand deception because the left's ideas are anything other than the salt and light they present them to be. They offer themselves as tolerant, inclusive, compassionate and morally superior decriers of "hate." Yet they are the intolerant and often bitterly hateful ones who are trying to suppress opposing voices and who demonize everyone who dares disagree with their positions.

Leftists have been denigrating America's history, culture and values and denying it. But don't you dare suggest they don't love the country they have spent so much energy trashing and trying to fundamentally change.

They have insisted they just want the freedom to live and let live; they just want equal rights. In no way do they mean to encroach on other people's rights. They are harmless, seeking only an equal seat at the table.

Yet across the board their actions contradict their words, and their subsequent positions flagrantly breach their promises and assurances.

In economic policy, the founding American ideal of equal opportunity is no longer enough for them. By itself, it is inherently unfair, because some people have more talent, better connections or a privileged race or gender status. So they demand equal or more equitable outcomes. They use the tax code, administrative regulations and unconstitutional legislation to even the score. But isn't something screamingly wrong and unsustainable about a society whose lower half of income earners pay zero income taxes?

On same-sex marriage, gay activists said they only wanted equal recognition and an equal right to marry. They wouldn't dream of encroaching on the religious liberties of Christians. How quickly their true intentions emerged once they scored their Supreme Court victory. They were never going to be satisfied merely with a lawless Supreme Court decision forcing states to accept their redefinition of marriage. They are determined to use the power of the state and economic coercion to neuter and punish dissenters.

Leftists are not about live and let live. They are about wholesale control. Their movers and shakers see society as their project, and they can change everything and everyone through government and their domination of the culture. There is no live and let live in their bones.

In view of all this, it is amazing that so many conservatives, traditionalists and Christians are blind to the hostile, aggressive and unquenchable appetite of the leftist movement. It is chilling to me that they don't realize this trend is going to continue until there is either a cultural or legal confrontation or the left stamps out all dissent. The left is never satisfied even with winning; they must stomp out the opposition. Just look at what they've done to the Christian businesses with which they gratuitously picked a fight over same-sex marriage. Look at the concentrated assault on Donald Trump, even if you don't agree with some of his statements. Look at what they do to anyone who doesn't comply with their 1984-ishness.

I repeat: Is our side asleep? Have they given up? Are they numb? Do they care? Are they cowards? Would they rather be thought of as wonderful and tolerant by these intolerant people than stand up for what they believe in? Or do they believe in much of anything anymore?

I find it inconceivable that in the past five years Americans' opinions concerning same-sex marriage have changed as drastically as certain polls and commentators suggest. It's as if because President Obama came out and admitted he favors same-sex marriage, everyone else is compelled to agree. Even if the polls show this, I don't believe a majority yet accepts, in its heart of hearts, that same-sex marriage is the way to go. My suspicion is that it's more a reflection of the bullying and propaganda than a societal change of heart.

Could I be wrong on this? Could society be that fickle — so apathetic about serious issues that they can turn on a dime? I'm not buying it. But I do believe people increasingly lack the courage to voice dissenting opinions against the politically correct position.

But I haven't given up hope. We can't give up on America. I don't believe American conservatism and traditional values are dead, but they are very, very sick. They need a doctor — in the form of a fearless proponent of our ideas, which spawned the greatest nation in history and can help to bring it back. During this chaotic GOP primary process, hopefully a leader will emerge who believes in America and can inspire like-minded people toward a political revival. In the meantime, a spiritual revival in our culture is long overdue.

May G0D not give up on but once again bless America.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh070315.php3#PWC4DyhSGw0GpB8D.99

7-2-15

Leftist Censors Strike Again

By David Limbaugh

I have often maintained that threats to freedom of expression in this country come predominantly — probably exclusively — from the political left. The censoring of a pro-life student club in a Las Vegas high school is a recent egregious example.

Angelique Clark, a sophomore at West Career and Technical Academy in Las Vegas, says the Clark County School District denied her application to charter a pro-life club as a chapter of Students for Life of America, the nation's largest youth pro-life organization. The district, according to Clark, said, "It was too controversial, and it would be too exclusive, and it would leave out pro-choice people."

Fox News reported that in a statement, the school district said that all the school district's clubs must have a faculty adviser before being allowed to form an official club and that Clark's proposed club did not. But Fox affiliate KVVU reports that it obtained a copy of Clark's charter application, dated December 2014, and it in fact does include a faculty adviser's signature.

The plot thickens.

I received an email from a representative from Students for Life, which said the school's vice principal told Clark that abortion is too controversial. Yet according to the email, this school has a Gay-Straight Alliance club. The vice principal also allegedly told Clark that there are "far more qualified" people to talk about abortion than a 16-year-old high-school sophomore. Wow.

Let's examine some of the school's alleged claims for denying this application. How about its claim that the proposed club would be too controversial and exclusive?

The constitutional right to free speech was designed to protect so-called controversial speech. Why would we need to protect speech that offends no one or that no one disagrees with?

Are people who make such arguments really that intoxicated by their own ideology that they can't understand that if governmental authorities get to decide what is and isn't permissible speech, you don't have freedom at all? Or do they not care? As they consistently demonstrate, they are not about freedom but about coercing the universal acceptance of their views and suppressing all dissent.

Their ideological blindness is clearly demonstrated not just by their willingness to allow a Gay-Straight Alliance club, with no apparent concerns about its potentially controversial nature, but by their obliviousness to their inconsistency.

The scary thing about the way these ideologues think — and this isn't an isolated case — is that they don't even recognize competing interests that must be weighed: free speech vs. ostensibly avoiding any angst in the school caused by controversial subjects. They doubtlessly have such contempt for the pro-life cause that they summarily dismiss the notion that it is protected speech within the school district's mini-tyrannical domain. Concerning the gay-straight club, they are so convinced of its cause that they automatically disregard any possible suggestion that it is also a controversial subject. It is sobering that these people are so deluded with Orwellian thought that they don't see themselves as censoring speech; they just simply redefine speech as that universe of propositions they happen to agree with, and ideas outside their universe are not protected.

How about the claim that it would be too exclusive because it would leave out pro-choice people? This is so ludicrous that it shouldn't require a rebuttal. What clubs don't encourage people with common interests or common causes to join? Is the gay-straight alliance not similarly exclusive? Are not all such clubs exclusive as the school administrators are defining it? Clubs, by definition, are groups whose members have something in common and therefore, also by definition, are in some ways exclusive.

Apparently, for people of the worldview espoused by this school administration, a gay-straight club is not similarly exclusive, because in their minds, a club that supports camaraderie among gay people and straight people is inherently inclusive. But what about people who don't agree with the platform such clubs endorse? Well, to the leftist ideologues, it is objectively unreasonable and usually evil to oppose anything such a group would endorse, just as those who disagree with the absurdly apocalyptical claims of extreme environmentalists are branded "deniers." And remember hearing proponents of same-sex marriage recently saying that speech opposing it is "hate speech" and not protected? It's the exact same type of thinking.

Again, the problem is not just that these leftists want to censor certain opposing views; it's also that they don't see their own tyranny, hypocrisy, intolerance and exclusiveness.

What about the claim that Angelique Clark isn't qualified enough to opine on the subject? Don't you see how this bizarre idea flows from the same warped ideological mindset? Since when did one have to be an expert on something to have a right to advocate it? And who decides?

The answer is the political left. Because leftists believe that the pro-life position is inarguably wrong, they apparently attribute Clark's endorsement of it to her youthful ignorance. What else could explain their embarrassingly ridiculous statement that she can't form a club because other people would be more qualified to articulate the ideas it would advance? Applying that standard, the school should have to ban all of its athletic programs because its athletes aren't so good as college or professional athletes.

I have no expectation that my arguments here will be viewed as reasonable by people who would agree with the horrifying thinking of this school administration, but I would never deny their right to think or express their views, nor would any conservative I've ever met.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh060215.php3#hJFuMTWJuLFxwR5J.99

7-1-15

Thumbs Down for Justice Roberts

By David Limbaugh

Last week's Supreme Court rulings on Obamacare (Burwell) and same-sex marriage (Obergefell) were enormously dispiriting for reasons beyond the substantive issues of socialized medicine and same-sex marriage.

I couldn't be more opposed to socialized medicine, which I believe is the endgame of Obamacare, and I am opposed to the societal sanctioning of same-sex marriage, but those are not my greatest concerns with these two rulings.

In both cases, the court flouted the Constitution, the rule of law, the English language and the truth itself. People who appreciate the unique American system of government and those who value truth itself should be very concerned.

First, let's briefly consider the Obamacare ruling. Though I was beginning to believe it was possible that the court would do the right thing in this case, I didn't allow myself to count on it mainly because of the endless insanity we've witnessed over the past six years.

Mindful of the absurd lengths Justice Roberts went to in upholding Obamacare initially — the verbal contortions he disgracefully engaged in to save this wretched law — why would I assume he would do otherwise with his second bite of the apple? There was a small part of me that was hoping he realized just how severely he had sold his soul on the first decision and would be looking for redemption. But that was always a long shot.

In the first case, he redefined taxes and penalties to justify a result he'd already reached in his mind irrespective of the law, flagrantly breaching his fiduciary duty to the Constitution. We hear that he descended into this sophistry because he believed he had some higher calling to preserve the image of the court.

Of all people, he should know that in deciding cases his duty is not to preserve the image of the court, except perhaps indirectly, but to objectively evaluate the law and facts and honor the integrity of our Constitution. It was wholly improper for him to disregard the plain meaning of the statute in order to save Obamacare because he might have believed that invalidating the law would be disruptive to society and damaging to the image of the court.

For Roberts to have done so was a high-handed act of self-serving cowardice, and he needs to be called out on it. It was immoral for him to presume to attempt to save the court by fundamentally violating its operating principles. It is ironic that in the process of trying to save the court's image he deeply wounded it.

The same exact criticisms apply to last week's decision in equal measure. No intellectually honest person believes the law was remotely ambiguous concerning Obamacare subsidies, and he literally rewrote the law to justify saving it again. Then he had the unmitigated audacity to write a dissenting opinion in the same-sex marriage case decrying, in eloquent and explicit terms, the very sin of judicial legislation he committed twice in the Obamacare cases.

Yes, I am strongly opposed to Obamacare as a policy matter, but I am far more upset about the court majority's undermining of the Constitution, the English language, the laws of logic and truth itself than that socialized medicine is one step closer to achieving permanency in the United States.

One of the main things that makes America unique is its Constitution, which was purposefully crafted to establish a system of government most likely to safeguard our liberties. When the court arrogates to itself the power to rewrite the Constitution, and statutes enacted by a popularly elected Congress, it dismantles the very foundation of the system that protects our liberty.

While Roberts is patting himself on the back for supposedly protecting the image of the court, he is obliterating the integrity of the Constitution, our system of checks and balances, our sacred liberties and the stability of society, because when you rule that words mean the exact opposite of what they actually mean, you are injecting intellectual and moral chaos.

If we can't rely on the Supreme Court to honor the plain meaning of the Constitution and of popularly enacted legislation, then our liberties are on shifting sands. No matter how unique our Constitution is, it is worth no more than toilet paper if its words can be twisted to achieve any result the justices prefer.

I make no apologies for being outraged at these decisions, and I pull no punches in directing my ire at so-called conservative justices who are a part of such disgracefulness. I won't waste my breath criticizing liberal justices in such cases, because everyone knows they believe they have a right to rewrite the Constitution at will, as long as it is in furtherance of the liberal agenda. But conservatives — constitutionalists — hold themselves out as honoring the original meaning of the Constitution. For them, there is no excuse.

Roberts obviously regards himself as one who takes seriously the integrity of the Constitution and the plain meaning of statutes, as his opinion in the same-sex marriage case makes clear. This renders him all the more culpable for his Burwell decision. No matter how much he may rationalize and engage in self-deception, he has constitutional blood on his hands.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh063015.php3#9t1Cy4itDvbib6AQ.99

6-30-15

Supreme Court Disasters

By Thomas Sowell

Many people are looking at the recent Supreme Court decisions about ObamaCare and same-sex marriage in terms of whether they think these are good or bad policies. That is certainly a legitimate concern, for both those who favor those policies and those who oppose them.

But there is a deeper and more long-lasting impact of these decisions that raise the question whether we are still living in America, where "we the people" are supposed to decide what kind of society we want, not have our betters impose their notions on us.

The Constitution of the United States says that the federal government has only those powers specifically granted to it by the Constitution — and that all other powers belong either to the states or to the people themselves.

That is the foundation of our freedom, and that is what is being dismantled by both this year's Obamacare decision and last year's ObamaCare decision, as well as by the Supreme Court's decision imposing a redefinition of marriage.

Last year's Supreme Court decision declaring ObamaCare constitutional says that the federal government can order individual citizens to buy the kind of insurance the government wants them to buy, regardless of what the citizens themselves prefer.

The Constitution gave the federal government no such power, but the Supreme Court did. It did so by citing the government's power to tax, even though the ObamaCare law did not claim to be taxing.

This year's ObamaCare decision likewise ignored the actual words of the law, and decided that the decisions of 34 states not to participate in ObamaCare Exchanges, even to get federal subsidies, would not prevent those federal subsidies to be paid anyway, to Exchanges up by the federal government itself.

When any branch of government can exercise powers not authorized by either statutes or the Constitution, "we the people" are no longer free citizens but subjects, and our "public servants" are really our public masters. And America is no longer America. The freedom for which whole generations of Americans have fought and died is gradually but increasingly being taken away from us with smooth and slippery words.

This decision makes next year's choice of the next President of the United States more crucial than ever, because with that office goes the power to nominate justices of the Supreme Court. Democrats have consistently nominated people who shared their social vision and imposed their policy preferences, too often in disregard of the Constitution.

Republicans have complained about it but, when the power of judicial appointment was in the hands of Republican presidents, they have too often appointed justices who participated in the dismantling of the Constitution — and usually for the kinds of social policies preferred by Democrats.

Chief Justices appointed by Republican presidents have made landmark decisions for which there was neither Constitutional authority nor either evidence or logic. The first was Earl Warren.

When Chief Justice Warren said that "separate educational facilities are inherently unequal," he was within walking distance of an all-black public high school that sent a higher percentage of its graduates on to college than any white public high school in Washington. As far back as 1899, that school's students scored higher on tests than two of the city's three white academic public high schools.

Nevertheless, Chief Justice Warren's unsubstantiated assumption led to years of school busing across the country that was as racially divisive as it was educationally futile.

Chief Justice Warren Burger, also appointed by a Republican president, gave us the "disparate impact" notion that statistical disparities imply discrimination. That notion has created a whole statistical shakedown racket, practiced by government itself and by private race hustlers alike.

And now Chief Justice John Roberts, appointed by George W. Bush, gives the federal government the power to order us to buy whatever insurance they want us to buy. With that entering wedge, is there anything they cannot force us to do, regardless of the Constitution?

Can the Republicans — or the country — afford to put another mushy moderate in the White House, who can appoint more mushy moderates to the Supreme Court?

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell063015.php3#dB8FHe1xaq3UX9uM.99

6-29-15

The Left Rejects Painful Truths: Left-Right Differences, Part IV

By Dennis Prager

Here's a difference between Left and Right that is rarely noted despite the fact that it is at least as important as any other and even explains many of the other differences.

At the core of left-wing thought is a rejection of painful realities, the rejection of what the French call les faits de la vie : the facts of life. Conservatives, on the other hand, are all too aware of these painful realities of life and base many of their positions on them.

One such example was the subject of my first column on Left-Right differences: whether people are basically good. When liberals blame violent crime in America on poverty, one reason they do is that liberal beliefs since the Enlightenment have posited that human nature is good. Therefore, when people do truly bad things to other people, liberals believe that some outside force — usually poverty, racism and/or unemployment — must be responsible, not human nature.

Liberals find it too painful to look reality in the eye and acknowledge that human nature is deeply flawed. This is especially so because left-wing thought is rooted in secularism, and if you don't believe in God, you had better believe in humanity — or you will despair.

Another fact of life that the Left finds too painful to acknowledge is the existence of profound differences between men and women. There is no other explanation for the rejection of what has been obvious to essentially every man and woman in history. It is certainly not the result of scientific inquiry. The more science knows about the male and female brain, not to mention male and female hormones, the more it confirms important built-in differences between the sexes.

Why then would people actually believe that girls are as happy to play with trucks as are boys, and boys are as happy to play with dolls and tea sets as are girls?

Because acknowledging many of those differences is painful. For example, feminists and others on the Left do not want to acknowledge that sex between two people who are not committed to each other usually means much more to women than to men. It is too painful to acknowledge that men are far more capable of having anonymous, emotionally meaningless sex than women. Therefore, feminism has now taught two generations of women that they are just as capable of enjoying emotionless sex with many partners as are men.

That the great majority of women yearn to bond with a man — more than they yearn for professional success — is another fact of life that the Left wishes not to acknowledge. Thus, feminism posited the silly false motto, "A woman without a man is like a fish without a bicycle" — because the reality is that most women without a man feel a deep hole in their soul. And that is too painful to acknowledge. (This hole also exists in men, but most men have no trouble acknowledging it.)

The entire concept of "political correctness" emanates from the Left's incapacity to acknowledge painful truths. The very definition of "politically incorrect" is an idea or truth that people on the Left find too painful to acknowledge and therefore do not want expressed.

Why are so many young black males in prison? The reason is politically incorrect, meaning too painful for the Left to acknowledge: Black males commit a highly disproportionate amount of violent crime.

Why are there speech codes on virtually all college campuses? Because Leftists — who control most campuses — do not wish to hear discomforting facts or opinions with which they differ. That causes them pain.

That is the Left's own language. Leftists constantly speak about people being made "uncomfortable" and about feeling "offended" (conservatives almost never react to an idea with which they differ by saying, "I'm offended"). If a man has a "cheesecake" calendar hanging in his car repair shop, the Left regards him as having created a "hostile work environment" — meaning some women might find it painful to see a woman presented as a sexual object.

Avoiding pain at almost all costs is at the heart of left-wing ideas and policies. That's why kids can no longer run around during recess at so many American schools. They may get hurt. That's why child protective services take children away from parents who allow their children to walk home alone or even play alone in the family backyard for 90 minutes without a parent at home.

Or take the left-wing bumper sticker idea: "War Is Not the Answer." Of course, war is often the answer to great evil. Nazi death camps were liberated by soldiers fighting a war, not peace activists. But having to acknowledge the moral necessity of war is too painful a truth for many on the Left.

One might say Leftism appeals to those who wish to remain innocent children. Growing up and facing the fact that life is messy, difficult and painful is increasingly a conservative point of view.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0615/prager061615.php3#TIv5xgWQuDwYXKK9.99

6-28-15

Existential Threats to America

By David Limbaugh

It's to be expected that I hardly agree with President Obama on any political issues, as we have radically different worldviews, but what I don't understand is why there isn't more alarm from all quarters about the potentially existential threats to this nation posed by his policies.

Obama's ideas, policies and actions in office are often so outrageous that when you describe them or the threat they represent, people discount your comments as extreme on their face. The trouble is it's hard not to sound extreme when what he's doing is extreme.

I probably disagreed with Bill Clinton 80 percent of the time, but I never feared that the country was in serious jeopardy under him. As bad as I believed Obama would be in 2008, I never thought those in the political establishment (sympathetic Democratic politicians in Washington and too many ineffective or gun-shy Republican ones) would either join him or abdicate their responsibility and let him accelerate the demise of the nation as rapidly as he has. It would be impossible for one man to do this much damage alone.

Matt Drudge recently tweeted: "Next 18 months going to be EVERYTHING. Bigger than campaign news: Obama's scorched Earth exit. You've been warned..." This makes me nervous. How could he get any worse?

Obama has already made serious headway in "fundamentally transforming" this nation for the worse. He so obviously rejects the American idea that I don't believe I should waste words proving it here. He is bitter about our founding and bitter about our current state — even though he's been radically changing it for six years. There's no satisfying a revenge appetite.

I am quite serious: On any one of a number of fronts, this country, without a dramatic course change, could be in dire trouble.

Let's look at the war on terror. Obama has been in such denial about radical Islam that he refuses to recognize even undeniable acts of terrorism for what they are — here and around the world. He holds to the painfully warped idea that Islamist terrorism and the violence that intrinsically springs from it are rooted in poverty, empirical evidence to the contrary be damned. If you don't recognize and identify your enemy or if you unilaterally declare a truce, you can't effectively fight it. But declaring a war over when your sworn enemies have told you they are committed to your utter destruction and are becoming even more aggressive is objectively insane — and suicidal.

Then there are Obama's negotiations with Iran. Even many Democrats admit that his actions make no sense and are dangerous. You can't possibly trust this radical, Islamo-fascist regime to honor its agreements when it has already broken promises it made to us on the very issue we're discussing — not to mention that this regime also is committed to our destruction and the destruction of Israel.

Our fiscal condition? Actuaries and other experts uniformly predict that entitlements will swallow our entire budget — 100 percent of our federal revenues — within a generation or so, and when it comes to budget projections, the gloom-and-doom predictions are always understated. Democratic politicians will not even acknowledge we have a problem with our discretionary budget, so the entitlement budget is beyond off-limits to them. All the noisemakers are talking about the mythical threats of global warming and completely ignoring — suppressing, actually — the incontrovertible fact that we are fiscally done if we don't get our entitlements under control, yesterday. But Obama is determined not to let anyone touch them and has even added another egregious offender — Obamacare — and don't even get me started on the fiscal and health care dangers it poses.

Next, our deliberately porous borders. I don't care if the perennially unexcitable tell you that our rate of immigration has slowed or if certain monomaniacal libertarian-oriented people tell you we need more people for more jobs. Far too many people (just one is too many) who hate America and want to destroy it are streaming over the border. Forget assimilation or acculturation. To leftists, you're a hero if you agree with them that America stinks. The more the better — because they'll vote Democratic.

On to racial, gender and class tensions. This administration is deliberately fanning the flames of division in this nation, and this distrust is tearing away at the fabric of our society. But if you support proven conservative policies, you're a racist, sexist, bigoted homophobe. If you call for tax fairness, you hate the poor. If you promote the free market as the best method to produce the most prosperity across the board, you are unspeakably reactionary, evil and bereft of compassion.

Our Constitution? Obama is making a mockery of its limitations on his power, the most recent example of which is the Obamacare subsidies. So little has been done to check Obama's power that some political analysts reasonably believe that future presidents — Hillary Clinton has been named, God forbid she wins — will trample even more heavily on the Constitution.

I talk to far too many people to believe I'm alone in my concerns. But the wrecking ball that is Barack Obama and his army of enablers in his party and the media proceed unabated in their destructive march.

G0D help us, and G0D save the republic.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh061215.php3#XuVedoi90JfD7Eg0.99

6-27-15

Green Lies

By John Stossel

Millions go to SeaWorld to learn more about sea life and get closer to killer whales. But fewer go now because the documentary "Blackfish" exposed what one reporter called "the darker side" of SeaWorld.

The movie, which CNN bought and ran over and over, tells how greedy businessmen take baby whales from their mothers and imprison them in small aquariums, where the frustrated animals are a threat to each other and their trainers.

"All whales in captivity have a bad life," says a biologist in the film. "They're all psychologically traumatized."

"Blackfish" is persuasive. Watching it made me agree with the protesters who shout, "SeaWorld is synonymous with cruelty!"

SeaWorld wouldn't talk to CNN, but they did talk to me. I will be showing their responses on Fox News this weekend.

I asked SeaWorld why they separate whales from their mothers.

"We haven't done that in 35 years," says Kelly Flaherty Clark, SeaWorld head trainer. "We have no plans to do it again, and the film implies that we're doing it yesterday."

SeaWorld says much of "Blackfish" is deceitful. "The things they describe just didn't happen."

"Eighty percent of the whales that we care for were born right here," says head veterinarian Chris Dold. "The key difference between what our whales experience and what killer whales in the wild experience is the fact that ... our trainers work with them every day."

I was most disturbed by a "Blackfish" scene that plays the mournful cry of a mother whale whose baby was taken from her. But it turns out the "baby" was an adult with kids of her own. "Blackfish" faked the scene by adding "sound effects that aren't even appropriate to a killer whale."

Blackfish also claims captive whales' droopy dorsal fins indicate that the whales are miserable. But whale expert Ingrid Visser says killer whales in the wild have collapsed dorsal fins, too.

The director of "Blackfish" and others who appear in the film would not talk to me, but biologist Lori Marino, who'd said that "all whales in captivity have a bad life," did.

I pointed out that life in the wild is rough, too — there's competition for food, sex, life itself. She answered, "these animals evolved over millions of years to be adapted to the challenges of the wild, not with living in a concrete tank. ... They need space ... and a social life."

SeaWorld claims its whales are "happy." But as "Blackfish" points out, "we can't ask the whales."

Dold replied, "While I may not know what my dog is thinking, I certainly know that he's happy and that we have a good relationship."

There have been moments when that human-whale relationship wasn't good. One whale drowned a SeaWorld trainer. But Clark says there's no evidence that the whale's behavior meant that he was frustrated because he lives in a tank.

Finally, "Blackfish" claims that captive whales die young. But Dold points out, "We have a 50-year-old whale living at SeaWorld. ... (O)ur whales' life parameters are the same as whales in the wild." Government research confirms this.

It's romantic to fantasize about freeing whales so that they can frolic in the ocean. That probably wouldn't work out very well. After the movie "Free Willy" ran, the whale depicted in the film was set free. But wild whales wouldn't accept him in their pods. Willy kept returning to shore to be near people. He let children ride on his back. Willy died not long after he was set free.

It's hard to think rationally when animals tug at our heartstrings.

Lori Marino says it's cruel to imprison whales in tanks where they "have to do stupid pet tricks." I see her point, but marine parks and zoos are often the only way people learn about nature, and ticket sales pay for education and conservation efforts. SeaWorld alone has helped rescue 25,000 animals.

I don't presume to know if it's moral to keep animals in captivity. But I do know that the activists distort the truth. I'll give more examples in my "Green Tyranny" TV special Sunday on Fox News at 9 p.m. (EDT).

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0615/stossel061015.php3#vRlBv6ETDpOFRKWX.99

6-26-15

Obama Is Bipartisan Like I'm a Democrat

By David Limbaugh

Of all the annoying things President Obama does, one of the worst is his hectoring Republicans and conservatives for their partisanship when he is the quintessential divisive partisan.

The Washington Post reports that the day after the shootings in Charleston, South Carolina, Obama began the day angry and frustrated and ended it admitting that he has been unable to change the culture of polarization and gridlock in Washington, which he is obviously blaming for the climate that led to the shootings.

Please imagine the level of arrogance it would take to assume one could, as president of the United States, even with the cooperation of other Washington politicians, create an atmosphere that would make such episodes of evil in the nation obsolete.

That Obama does make these assumptions is pretty clear from his immediate effort to scapegoat others for generating the type of angst he assumes led to this episode.

He said: "When I ran in 2008, I in fact did not say I would fix it. I said we could fix it. I didn't say, 'Yes, I can.' I said, 'Yes, we can.'" He continued, "If you're dissatisfied that every few months we have a mass shooting in this country killing innocent people, then I need you to mobilize and organize a constituency that says this is not normal and we are going to change it."

With that statement, he attempted to link up the partisanship with the killings and blame the former for the latter.

But let's accept this assumption, for the sake of argument, that a sitting president does have the power, in cooperation with other Beltway bigwigs, to bring about a wholesale change in people's attitudes and fundamental nature that could prevent mass shootings motivated by race or mass shootings in which a firearm of some kind is the primary weapon.

If Obama truly believed that, then why didn't he try to do it instead of being the most self-centered, divisive, partisan president in modern history and doing just the opposite? If he really values bipartisanship and collegiality so much, why didn't he ever attempt to compromise instead of running roughshod over anyone who even thought about dissenting?

Why did he tell Republicans to quit talking and to sit in the back of the car? Why did he remind Republicans that he is the president, implying that his will should control?

The reason is that regardless of what Obama says about valuing bipartisanship, he only does when people roll over to his dictates. As long as people are docile, he's happy and agreeable, but when they object to his destructive agenda, he becomes petty, bitter, strident, vindictive and despotic. For him, it's always been "my way or the highway."

When the people, through their elected representatives, rejected Obamacare, he ramrodded it through using corrupt and dictatorial tactics. When the voters repudiated his agenda in the 2010 congressional elections, he pretended to hear their message, but when he explained his perception of their message, we learned that he believed they had only rejected his agenda because he hadn't done a sufficient job of explaining it. It couldn't possibly have been that the bitter-clinging rubes were capable of gathering their own information and making informed decisions and had rejected his terrible policies.

When the people rejected his agenda again in 2014, he didn't listen and promise to make adjustments. He doubled down in his determination to circumvent their will further through highhanded executive orders and administrative regulations.

In case you think I'm unfairly charging Obama with scapegoating, please consider his other statements on the Charleston tragedy. He cited a letter he had received from a Colorado man who voted for him twice but expressed disillusionment over the continuing gridlock. Obama said he told him: "You're right. I am frustrated. You have every right to be frustrated because Congress doesn't work the way it should. Issues are left unattended. Folks are more interested in scoring political points than getting things done." He added that incentives are built into our political system to encourage polarized politics. "As mightily as I have struggled against that, I told him: 'You're right. It still is broken.'"

Obama hasn't struggled against polarization; he has elevated it to a new level and reveled in it.

He conveniently claims that by using the pronoun "we" in "yes, we can," he meant that all of us could change things together, but anyone who has witnessed his narcissism knows that he was trying to create the distinct impression that he — single-handedly, chin up in the air and Roman columns in the background — could usher in utopian changes. If he meant "we" in any sense at all, he meant that people could join hands and worship him together.

It's sad that Obama and some other leftists believe they can fundamentally alter the human condition through politics as a primary change agent, but it's even worse that Obama engages in the opposite type of behavior that would be necessary to make such changes if in fact they were possible.

He simply will not quit playing the race card and exploiting every tragedy for partisan advantage. When tragedies occur, he offers not reassuring words but words of division and blame, almost always grounded in partisanship and, when relevant, race.

It would be wonderful if just once, he could rise above his own partisanship and bitter feelings and at least try to offer words of consolation instead of invective and recrimination.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh062315.php3#j7AAfGRG4wYaA04t.99

6-25-15

You're What You Say You Are

By Walter Williams

Rachel A. Dolezal, the recently resigned president of the Spokane, Washington, office of the NAACP, has come under a bit of controversy. Both of her parents are white, but for eight years, Dolezal claimed that she was black. In addition to her role as president of an NAACP chapter, Dolezal was an instructor of Africana studies at Eastern Washington University.

Some critics claim that Rachel Dolezal's actions were motivated by greed and narcissism. By becoming a black person, she could more easily become an NAACP leader, chair a police watchdog committee and get a teaching appointment.

Dolezal is not the only white woman who has benefited from racial fakery. Sen. Elizabeth Warren claimed that she was of Cherokee Indian ancestry. That helped her land a job at diversity-hungry Harvard University as a professor of law. Not only was her great-grandfather not a Cherokee as she claimed but also he was a white man who boasted of shooting a Cherokee Indian.

Personally, I don't hold either Dolezal or Warren at fault for racial fakery. If you read my autobiography, "Up From the Projects," you will see that I had the occasion to fake my race. It was 1960, during my troubled time in the U.S. Army, when I had just landed from a troop carrier in Incheon, South Korea. Upon disembarkation, soldiers were required to fill out a vital information form denoting one's next of kin, religion, blood type and race, among other things. Where it asked for race, I checked off "Caucasian." The chief warrant officer, in charge of inspecting the forms, told me that I had made an error by checking off "Caucasian." I told him that I hadn't and was in fact Caucasian. After a couple of minutes or so of going back and forth, he asked me why I would put down "Caucasian." I told him that if I put down "Negro" — what we called ourselves at that time — I'd be given the worst job. I never changed the form, but the officer probably did.

By the way, faking one's race is not uncommon. There was a 1947 study by E.W. Eckard — "How Many Negroes 'Pass'?" — which estimated that 2,600 Negroes had become white, or passed, each year during the 1930s (http://tinyurl.com/pqhfzh8).

The bottom line is that modernity permits liberties previously unknown or unrecognized. Today we're not held to reality. For example, one does not have to accept the limitations of biology. Say that one is born with XX sex chromosomes and is therefore female or that one is born with XY sex chromosomes and is therefore male. One doesn't have to accept nature's determination. An XXer can say that he's a male. Or an XYer can say he's a she. One's sex is seen as optional. Moreover, if a male claims to be a female, others are expected to acknowledge that. For example, Bruce Jenner, Olympic decathlon champion and reality show personality, has recently become Caitlyn Jenner. People now are required to address him as her.

There is a condition known as species dysphoria, similar to gender dysphoria. It is a condition in which people think they are animals trapped in human bodies. I've been giving this option some serious thought. I've been thinking of calling myself a springbok trapped in a human body. Some people might argue that I would be in need of psychological treatment. I'd dismiss such a claim as being animalphobic. You might ask, "Williams, why in the world would you want to call yourself a springbok?" I would be doing it for personal gain, just as Rachel Dolezal and Elizabeth Warren benefited by pretending they were of another race. I'd be doing it for tax reasons. I've read a considerable amount of the Internal Revenue Code. It says nothing about wild animals having a federal tax obligation. Were government officials to demand that I, as a springbok, pay taxes, I'd report them to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams062415.php3#uItui3LRhY33mhLa.99

6-24-15

Micro-totalitarianism

By Thomas Sowell


The political left has come up with a new buzzword: "micro-aggression."

Professors at the University of California at Berkeley have been officially warned against saying such things as "America is the land of opportunity." Why? Because this is considered to be an act of "micro-aggression" against minorities and women. Supposedly it shows that you don't take their grievances seriously and are therefore guilty of being aggressive toward them, even if only on a micro scale.

You might think that this is just another crazy idea from Berkeley. But the same concept appears in a report from the flagship campus of the University of Illinois at Urbana. If you just sit in a room where all the people are white, you are considered to be guilty of "micro-aggression" against people who are not white, who will supposedly feel uncomfortable when they enter such a room.

At UCLA, a professor who changed the capitalization of the word "indigenous" to lower case in a student's dissertation was accused of "micro-aggression," apparently because he preferred to follow the University of Chicago Manual of Style, rather than the student's attempt to enhance the importance of being indigenous.

When a group of UCLA law students came to class wearing T-shirts with a picture of one of their professors who had organized an intramural softball game, those T-shirts were protested as a manifestation of "white privilege."

Why? Because that professor had written a book critical of affirmative action.

"Micro-aggression" protests have spread to campuses from coast to coast — that is, from California's Berkeley and UCLA to Harvard and Fordham on the east coast, and including Oberlin and Illinois in the midwest.

Academic administrators have all too often taken the well-worn path of least resistance, by regarding the most trivial, or even silly, claims of victimhood with great seriousness, even when that involved undermining faculty members held in high esteem by most of their students and by their professional colleagues on campus and beyond.

The concept of "micro-aggression" is just one of many tactics used to stifle differences of opinion by declaring some opinions to be "hate speech," instead of debating those differences in a marketplace of ideas. To accuse people of aggression for not marching in lockstep with political correctness is to set the stage for justifying real aggression against them.

This tactic reaches far beyond academia and far beyond the United States. France's Jean-Paul Sartre has been credited — if that is the word — with calling social conditions he didn't like "violence," as a prelude to justifying real violence as a response to those conditions. Sartre's American imitators have used the same verbal tactic to justify ghetto riots.

Word games are just one of the ways of silencing politically incorrect ideas, instead of debating them. Demands that various conservative organizations be forced to reveal the names of their donors are another way of silencing ideas by intimidating people who facilitate the spread of those ideas. Whatever the rationale for wanting those names, the implicit threat is retaliation.

This same tactic was used, decades ago, by Southern segregationists who tried to force black civil rights organizations to reveal the names of their donors, in a situation where retaliation might have included violence as well as economic losses.

In a sense, the political left's attempts to silence ideas they cannot, or will not, debate are a confession of intellectual bankruptcy. But this is just one of the left's ever-increasing restrictions on other people's freedom to live their lives as they see fit, rather than as their betters tell them.

Current attempts by the Obama administration to force low-income housing to be built in middle class and upscale communities are on a par with forcing people to buy the kind of health insurance the government wants them to buy — ObamaCare — rather than leaving them free to buy whatever suits their own situation and preferences.

The left is not necessarily aiming at totalitarianism. But their know-it-all mindset leads repeatedly and pervasively in that direction, even if by small steps, each of which might be called "micro-totalitarianism."

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell061615.php3#yIu19x0RTKdfVBi1.99

6-23-15

Hillary and History

Not qualified for presidency

By Thomas Sowell

There are no sure things in politics, but Hillary Clinton is the closest thing to a sure thing to become the Democrats' candidate for president in 2016.

This is one of the painful but inescapable signs of our time. There is nothing in her history that would qualify her for the presidency, and much that should disqualify her. What is even more painful is that none of that matters politically. Many people simply want "a woman" to be president, and Hillary is the best-known woman in politics, though by no means the best qualified.

What is Hillary's history? In the most important job she has ever held — Secretary of State — American foreign policy has had one setback after another, punctuated by disasters.

U.S. intervention in Libya and Egypt, undermining governments that were no threat to American interests, led to Islamic extremists taking over in Egypt and terrorist chaos in Libya, where the American ambassador was killed, along with three other Americans.

Fortunately, the Egyptian military has gotten rid of that country's extremist government that was persecuting Christians, threatening Israel and aligning itself with our enemies. But that was in spite of American foreign policy.

In Europe, as in the Middle East, our foreign policy during Hillary Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State was to undermine our friends and cater to our enemies.

The famous "reset" in our foreign policy with Russia began with the Obama administration reneging on a pre-existing American commitment to supply defensive technology to shield Poland and the Czech Republic from missile attacks. This left both countries vulnerable to pressures and threats from Russia — and left other countries elsewhere wondering how much they could rely on American promises.

Even after Russia invaded Ukraine, the Obama administration refused to let the Ukrainians have weapons with which to defend themselves. President Obama, like other presidents, has made his own foreign policy. But Hillary Clinton, like other Secretaries of State, had the option of resigning if she did not agree with it. In reality, she shared the same flawed vision of the world as Obama's when they were both in the Senate.

Both of them opposed the military "surge" in Iraq, under General David Petraeus, that defeated the terrorists there. Even after the surge succeeded, Hillary Clinton was among those who fiercely denied initially that it had succeeded, and sought to discredit General Petraeus, though eventually the evidence of the surge's success became undeniable, even among those who had opposed it.

The truly historic catastrophe of American foreign policy — not only failing to stop Iran from going nuclear, but making it more difficult for Israel to stop them — was also something that happened on Hillary Clinton's watch as Secretary of State.

What the administration's protracted and repeatedly extended negotiations with Iran accomplished was to allow Iran time to multiply, bury and reinforce its nuclear facilities, to the point where it was uncertain whether Israel still had the military capacity to destroy those facilities.

There are no offsetting foreign policy triumphs under Secretary of State Clinton. Syria, China and North Korea are other scenes of similar setbacks.

The fact that many people are still prepared to vote for Hillary Clinton to be President of the United States, in times made incredibly dangerous by the foreign policy disasters on her watch as Secretary of State, raises painful questions about this country.

A President of the United States — any president — has the lives of more than 300 million Americans in his or her hands, and the future of Western civilization. If the debacles and disasters of the Obama administration have still not demonstrated the irresponsibility of choosing a president on the basis of demographic characteristics, it is hard to imagine what could.

With our enemies around the world arming while we are disarming, such self-indulgent choices for president can leave our children and grandchildren a future that will be grim, if not catastrophic.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell062315.php3#ZbrjXGsm2mUXjdXJ.99

6-22-15

Culture and Social Pathology

By Walter Williams


The National Education Association and its political and civil rights organization handmaidens preach that we should improve, not abandon, public schools. Such a position is callous deceit, for many of them

A civilized society's first line of defense is not the law, police and courts but customs, traditions, rules of etiquette and moral values. These behavioral norms — mostly transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings — represent a body of wisdom distilled over the ages through experience and trial and error. They include important thou-shalt-nots, such as thou shalt not murder, thou shalt not steal and thou shalt not cheat. They also include all those courtesies that have traditionally been associated with ladylike and gentlemanly conduct.

The failure to fully transmit these values and traditions to subsequent generations represents one of the failings of what journalist Tom Brokaw called "The Greatest Generation." People in this so-called great generation, who lived during the trauma of the Great Depression and fought World War II, not only failed to transmit the moral values of their parents but also are responsible for government programs that will deliver economic chaos.

Behavior accepted as the norm today would have been seen as despicable yesteryear. There are television debt relief commercials that promise to help debtors pay back only half of what they owe. Foul language is spoken by children in front of and sometimes to teachers and other adults. When I was a youngster, it was unthinkable to use foul language to any adult. It would have meant risking a smack across the face. But years ago, parents and teachers didn't have "experts" on child rearing to tell them that corporal punishment was wrong and ineffective and "timeouts" would be a superior form of discipline. One result of our tolerance for aberrant behavior was that, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, during the 2011-12 academic year, 209,000 primary- and secondary-school teachers were physically assaulted and 353,000 were threatened with injury. As a result of this and other forms of school violence, many school districts employ hundreds of police officers.

Nowadays baby showers are often held for unwed mothers. Yesteryear such an acceptance of illegitimacy would have been unthinkable. Today there is little or no social sanction or shame for illegitimate births. There are no "shotgun" weddings to make the man live up to his responsibilities. But not to worry. Taxpayers bear the financial burden of illegitimacy. Any economist worth his salt will tell you that if something is taxed, expect less of it. If something is subsidized, expect more of it. Taxpayers have been forced to subsidize slovenly behavior. The statistical evidence proves it. According to the 1938 Encyclopaedia of the Social Sciences, that year 11 percent of black children and 3 percent of white children were born to unwed mothers. Today 72 percent of black children and 30 percent of white children are born to unwed mothers.

For nearly three-quarters of a century, the nation's liberals have waged war on traditional values, customs and morality. Our youths have been counseled that there are no moral absolutes. Instead, what's moral or immoral is a matter of personal opinion. During the 1960s, the education establishment began to challenge and undermine lessons children learned from their parents and Sunday school with fads such as "values clarification." So-called sex education classes are simply indoctrination that undermines family and church strictures against premarital sex. Lessons of abstinence were considered passe and replaced with lessons about condoms, birth control pills and abortions. Further undermining of parental authority came with legal and extralegal measures to assist teenage abortions with neither parental knowledge nor parental consent.

You say, "OK, Williams, the Greatest Generation is responsible for our moral decline, but what about our economic decline?" Ask yourself: What are the massive government spending programs that threaten to bankrupt our nation in the future? The answer would have to be Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. Over 50 percent of today's federal budget is spent on these programs. Around the time when many in the so-called Greatest Generation were born (1920), there were no such programs, and federal spending was $53 billion. In 2014, federal spending was $3.5 trillion.

If it were only the economic decline threatening our future, there might be hope. It's the moral decline that spells our doom.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams061715.php3#D3qkQ8fugzs1859s.99

6-21-15

Happy Father's Day!!

6-18-15

First Mary Jo Kopechne, then America

By Ann Coulter

Sen. Ted Kennedy's 1965 immigration act allowed the Democrats to start winning elections the same way they win recounts: by enlarging the pool of voters.

Liberals couldn't convince Americans to agree with them, but they happened to notice that the people of most other countries in the world already agreed with them. So Sen. Ted Kennedy's immigration act brought in millions of poverty-stricken foreigners to live off the American taxpayer and bloc-vote for the Democrats.

The American people aren't changing their minds. Americans are becoming a minority to other, new people.

Deft politicians used to know how to convince the 15 percent on the fence. But even Reagan would look at today's electorate and say:Who are you guys? We live in a different country, and I don't remember moving.

At the precise moment in history when the United States abandoned any attempt to transmit American values to its own citizens, never mind immigrants, the 1965 immigration act began dumping the poorest of the poor from around the world on our country.

When the Republican Congress passed welfare reform in 1996, one of the provisions prohibited immigrants from going on welfare for the first five years they were here -- a mere five years! It turned out to be the single biggest savings of the entire welfare bill.

The New York Times immediately denounced the provision, demanding that at "the very least," immigrants get food stamps if they become "disabled" after arriving -- i.e., the biggest scam in the welfare apparatus -- and also that they be eligible for health care under Medicaid. Previewing the line that would soon be adopted by the Democrats' plaything, Sen. Marco Rubio, the Times proclaimed: "After all, legal immigrants pay taxes like everyone else."

No, they don't. Perhaps the Times is unfamiliar with America's tax system, but half the country doesn't pay taxes. The only contact most immigrants have with the Internal Revenue Service is to receive money under the Earned Income Tax Credit. That's money meant for America's poor!

Also "cruel," according to the Times, was the Republican Congress' cut of $20 billion from legal aid for immigrants. (Americans: WE GIVE FREE LEGAL AID TO IMMIGRANTS?) Yes, it's "cruel" for the American taxpayer not to spring for lawyers suing taxpayers for yet more immigrant benefits.

At the risk of striking a discordant note: We don't have an obligation to bring in people who need government assistance intended for our own people. You only have to do something you don't want to do if you're obliged morally, legally or with a gun to your head. You have to invite your relatives to Thanksgiving dinner because you'd be a jerk not to -- but you don't have to invite your neighbor's relatives to dinner.

What is the point of bringing in immigrants whom we have to help? Oh, I remember now! The rich need cheap labor and the Democrats need welfare-dependent voters.

One year before Clinton's re-election in 1996, the Immigration and Naturalization Service began running a "pro-Democrat voter mill" -- as the agency itself complained -- by processing 1 million citizenship applications before Election Day. It was, The Washington Post said, among "the most damning indictments ever leveled at the immigration service: that it has cheapened U.S. citizenship."

Thousands of criminals were made citizens to ensure Clinton's re-election. If felony records were ignored, it goes without saying that there was zero effort at enforcing other basic citizenship requirements, such as having good moral character, five years' U.S. residency or an understanding of American civics.

Kennedy's 1965 immigration bill, combined with white self-loathing and, in some quarters, WASP-loathing, has made it impossible for America to assert any sensible traditions, even abandoning the requirement that immigrants learn English, our "common medium of speech," as Justice Louis Brandeis put it.

If tolerance is so important, why aren't Third World immigrants asked to be tolerant of American laws and morals? To the contrary, in any cultural conflict, Americans are expected to give way to immigrant values -- or be accused of opposing "inclusivity."

Why does all the bending and conforming have to come from us? Americans didn't move to Somalia; Somalis moved here. Apparently, the bargain is: We assimilate to Sharia law, and they assimilate to America's culture of constantly bellyaching minorities.

True, our laws and traditions are very different from the places where most of our post-1970 immigrants come from, but again, they moved here. It makes me wonder if maybe they'd be happier in their own countries.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/coulter061815.php3#mZjq03twgiC4LBoT.99

6-17-15

Please read my new article,

"Americans have sent 22 trillion dollars into a bottomless pit of despair"

6-16-15

The 588-year path to limited government

By George Will

Americans should light 800 candles for the birthday of the document that began paving the meandering path to limited government. Magna Carta laid down the law about "fish weirs" on English rivers, "assizes of darrein presentment," people being "distrained to make bridges," and other "liberties. . . to hold in our realm of England in perpetuity." But what King John accepted at Runnymede meadow on June 15, 1215, matters to Americans because of something that happened 588 years later in the living room of Stelle's Hotel in Washington, where the Library of Congress now sits.

Although the "great charter" purported to establish certain rights in "perpetuity," almost everything in it has been repealed or otherwise superseded. Magna Carta led to parliamentary supremacy (over the sovereign — the king or queen) but not to effective limits on government. The importance of the document was its assertion that the sovereign's will could be constrained.

In America, where "we the people" are sovereign and majority rule is celebrated, constraining the sovereign is frequently, but incorrectly, considered morally ambiguous, even disreputable. Hence the heated debate among conservatives about the role of courts in a democracy. The argument is about the supposed "countermajoritarian dilemma" when courts invalidate laws passed by elected representatives: Does the democratic ethic require vast judicial deference to legislative acts?

The first memorial at Runnymede was built in 1957 by, appropriately, the American Bar Association. It is what America did with what Magna Carta started that substantially advanced the cause of limited government.

The rule of law — as opposed to rule by the untrammeled will of the strong — requires effective checks on the strong. In a democracy, the strongest force is the majority, whose power will be unlimited unless an independent judiciary enforces written restraints, such as those stipulated in the Constitution. It is "the supreme law" because it is superior to what majorities produce in statutes.

Magna Carta acknowledged no new individual rights. Instead, it insisted, mistakenly, that it could guarantee that certain existing rights would survive "in perpetuity." British rights exist, however, at the sufferance of Parliament. In America, rights are protected by the government's constitutional architecture — the separation of powers and by the judicial power to stymie legislative and executive power .

Early in 1801, as John Adams's presidency was ending, a lame-duck Congress controlled by his Federalists created many judicial positions to be filled by him before Thomas Jefferson took office. In the rush, the "midnight commission" for William Marbury did not get delivered before Jefferson's inauguration. The new president refused to have it delivered, so Marbury sued, asking the Supreme Court to compel Jefferson's secretary of state, James Madison, to deliver it.

Chief Justice John Marshall, writing for the court, held that the law authorizing the court to compel government officials to make such deliveries exceeded Congress's enumerated powers and hence was unconstitutional. Jefferson, who detested his distant cousin Marshall, was surely less pleased by the result than he was dismayed by the much more important means by which Marshall produced it. Marshall had accomplished the new government's first exercise of judicial review — the power to declare a congressional act null and void.

Although the Constitution does not mention judicial review, the Framers explicitly anticipated the exercise of this power. Some progressives and populist conservatives dispute the legitimacy of judicial review. They say fidelity to the Framers requires vast deference to elected legislators because Marshall invented judicial review ex nihilo. Randy Barnett of Georgetown University's law school supplies refuting evidence:

At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Madison acknowledged that states would "accomplish their injurious objects" but they could be "set aside by the National Tribunals." A law violating any constitution "would be considered by the Judges as null & void." In Virginia's ratification convention, Marshall said that if the government "were to make a law not warranted by any of the [congressional] powers enumerated, it would be considered by the judges as an infringement of the Constitution which they are to guard. . . . They would declare it void."

With the composition of the Supreme Court likely to change substantially during the next president's tenure, conservatives must decide: Is majority rule or liberty — these are not synonyms, and the former can menace the latter — America's fundamental purpose?

Because one ailing justice was confined to Stelle's Hotel, it was there that Marshall read aloud Marbury v. Madison. This made Feb. 24, 1803, an even more important date in the history of limited government, and hence of liberty, than June 15, 1215.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will061315.php3#06agbs7w3x7XsEk9.99

6-15-15

Social(ist) (in)Justice

By John Stossel

Protestors demand "social justice." I hate their chant. If I oppose their cause, then I'm for social "injustice"? Nonsense.

The protesters usually want to punish capitalism. "Spread those resources," says Hillary Clinton.

Even capitalists often make the mistake of talking about "social justice" as if it's the opposite of free markets or a reason to rein in markets with more regulations or redistribution of wealth. But there's nothing "just" about the leftist protesters' claimed solution: more big government.

Oliver Stone, Sean Penn and Harry Belafonte praised Venezuela's Hugo Chavez for his socialist revolution. Chavez then proceeded to destroy much of his country.

Even after his death, his portrait remains on walls everywhere and his policies live on. They haven't produced social justice, unless your idea of "justice" is privileges for government officials and shortages of basics like food and toilet paper for ordinary people.

Only socialism could take an oil-rich nation and turn it into one where people wait in line for hours for survival rations.

The left-wing Guardian newspaper quotes a Venezuelan farmer saying that Chavez's policies left Venezuela with "no one to explain why a rich country has no food."

Not many people in Venezuela give such explanations — the government censors its critics — but free-market economists can explain.

Goods don't get matched to consumer needs by anyone's burning desire for justice. The amazing coordination of the marketplace happens because sellers and buyers are free. Sellers can sell whatever they choose at prices they choose. Buyers decide whether to pay. That flexibility — and chance to make a profit — is what persuades people to create what customers want and risk their own money and safety to stock it in a store.

Without the free market setting prices and allocating resources, all the cries of "justice" in the world don't help anyone. You can't eat justice. You can't use it as toilet paper.

Intellectuals, activists and government alike love it when politicians take "tough," decisive action — usually meaning sudden interference in the marketplace. A year and a half ago, Venezuelan government used the military to seize control of Daka, one of the country's largest retailers, in order to force the chain to charge "fair" prices. Punish those rich, greedy store-owners!

Surprise! That didn't work. The chain is now collapsing as looters take what they want.

Socialists say capitalists just want to make a quick buck, but it's government that can't plan for the long haul.

Instead of thinking in terms of returns on investment and sustainable business models, socialists think only of today: They see people who need stuff and stores full of stuff. Take the stuff and give it to people, and then tomorrow — well, those capitalists will always bring in more stuff, I guess.

Calling it "social justice" doesn't make it work.

Sometimes activists admit they aren't very interested in economics. What they really want is a more "tolerant" world with less sexism and racism. They act as if capitalism is an obstacle to that.

But it isn't. Capitalist societies are less racist and less sexist than non-capitalist ones.

In America, white people often take for granted the advantages that being white sometimes provides. But compare America to China, where one ethnic group, the Han, dominates politics and openly looks down on minorities — and where even scientists have tried to show that the Han are a distinctive race that does not trace its ancestry to Africa like the rest of us.

The autocratic nation of Saudi Arabia doesn't let women drive cars or open their own bank accounts.

Markets, in which individuals, not just rulers, have property rights, give people options. Businesses have an incentive to serve as many people as possible, regardless of gender or ethnic group. They also have an incentive to be nice — customers are more likely to trade with people who treat them fairly. Everyone gets to choose his own path. That's what I call justice.

Injustice is telling people that they must wait to see what their rulers decide is fair.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0615/stossel060315.php3#5TtVHi5uXQxgx0uh.99

6-13-15

Clueless & Planless

By Michael Reagan

We've known for a long time that Barrack Obama is clueless when it comes to dealing with what's left of Iraq.

Now we also know he's still planless.

Our president was in Europe earlier this week at a "Group of Seven" conference, where he met with leaders of the world's seven most industrialized economies.

During his concluding remarks he made news when he said his top security advisers were still working on a plan for how to train Iraq defense forces to fight ISIS.

 "We don't yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis," the president said.

He said the current problem had something to do with the central government of Iraq having trouble recruiting soldiers.

That confession reminded Republicans like House Speaker John Boehner what the president said 10 bloody months ago - that he was still trying to figure out how to fight ISIS. "We don't have a strategy yet," Obama said.

When it comes to foreign policy, the president and his hapless crew of advisers have had a chronic "strategerie" problem since 2008.

But the deep-down problem Obama has is that he simply doesn't know how to be the leader of the United States.

He still thinks it's all about announcing plans and asking the United Nations for permission to act like an American president.

Do you remember Ronald Reagan announcing plans for our warplanes to bomb Kaddafi's house in Tripoli?

Or announcing we were going to go into Grenada? Or asking the United Nations if it was OK for the United States to do it?

You don't remember, because my father knew what we needed to do regarding Kaddafi and Grenada and he did it. He made his decision and then acted.

Checking with the U.N. - or even Congress - to see if it was OK with them was the last thing on his mind.

It's called leadership. It's called being the president of the United States and knowing when to act like one.

No American president should ever wait for the U.N. to give him its OK on anything.

(And don't worry about those threats that if we give the U.N. the disrespect it deserves it will move its headquarters out of New York City.

(It'll never happen, which is too bad, because the U.N.'s corrupt bureaucrats are too attached to New York. It's where all their hookers live.)

So come on, Mr. President. You were elected president. Wake up and smell the White House coffee.

You have a lot of leading to do, if it's not too late.

Because you and Hillary have been so bad at your jobs, the Middle East has gone back in time a thousand years and collapsed into chaos and war.

Iraq has been broken into pieces. Syria and Libya too. Afghanistan will probably be next, as soon you have us leave.

The rise of ISIS is already a major disaster and will only get worse. A report recently said it has recruited 25,000 followers from 100 countries.

The last thing you should do, Mr. President, is hold a press conference and tell us you still don't have a plan to fight ISIS.

When you tell us that, you're basically admitting to the whole world that you are incompetent.

The world, sadly, already knows that. So do half of the American people. But why have a press conference and put it on the record?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan061215.php3#RXPlHEdtMefLB4tI.99

6-12-15

Who Lost Iraq?

By Thomas Sowell

After the pro-Western government of China was forced to flee to the island of Taiwan in 1949, when the Communists took over mainland China, bitter recriminations in Washington led to the question: "Who lost China?" China was, of course, never ours to lose, though it might be legitimate to ask if a different American policy toward China could have led to a different outcome.

In more recent years, however, Iraq was in fact ours to lose, after U.S. troops vanquished Saddam Hussein's army and took over the country. Today, we seem to be in the process of losing Iraq, if not to ISIS, then to Iran, whose troops are in Iraq fighting ISIS.

While mistakes were made by both the Bush administration and the Obama administration, those mistakes were of different kinds and of different magnitudes in their consequences, though both sets of mistakes are worth thinking about, so that so much tragic waste of blood and treasure does not happen again.

Whether it was a mistake to invade Iraq in the first place is something that will no doubt be debated by historians and others for years to come. But, despite things that could have been done differently in Iraq during the Bush administration, in the end President Bush listened to his generals and launched the military "surge" that crushed the terrorist insurgents and made Iraq a viable country.

The most solid confirmations of the military success in Iraq were the intercepted messages from Al Qaeda operatives in Iraq to their leaders in Pakistan that there was no point sending more insurgents, because they now had no chance of prevailing against American forces. This was the situation that Barack Obama inherited — and lost.

Going back to square one, what lessons might we learn from the whole experience of the Iraq war? If nothing else, we should never again imagine that we can engage in "nation-building" in the sweeping sense that term acquired in Iraq — least of all building a democratic Arab nation in a region of the world that has never had such a thing in a history that goes back thousands of years.

Human beings are not inert building blocks, and democracy has prerequisites that Western nations took centuries to develop. Perhaps the reshaping of German society and Japanese society under American occupation after World War II made such a project seem doable in Iraq.

Had the Bush administration pulled it off, such an achievement in the Middle East could have been a magnificent gift to the entire world, bringing peace to a region that has been the spearhead of war and international terrorism.

Germany and Japan had been transformed from belligerent military powers threatening world peace for more than half a century to two of the most pacifist nations on earth, in both cases after years of American occupation reshaped these societies. Why not Iraq?

First of all, Germany and Japan were already nations before the American occupation. There was no "nation-building" to do. But Iraq was a collection of bitter rivals — Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds, for example — who had never resolved their differences to form a nation, but were instead held together only by an iron dictatorship, as Yugoslavia once was.

Replacing German and Japanese dictatorships with democracy after World War II was a challenge. But both countries remained under American military governments for years, slowly gaining such self-governing powers as the military overseers chose, and at such a pace as these overseers deemed prudent in the light of conditions on the ground.

American authorities did not rush to set up an independent government, able to operate at cross purposes because it was "democratically elected" in a country without the prerequisites of a viable democracy.

Despite the mistakes that were made in Iraq, it was still a viable country until Barack Obama made the headstrong decision to pull out all the troops, ignoring his own military advisers, just so he could claim to have restored "peace," when in fact he invited chaos and defeat.

This is only the latest of Obama's gross misjudgments about Iraq, going back to his Senate days, when he vehemently opposed the military "surge" that crushed the terrorist insurgency, as did Senator Hillary Clinton also, by the way.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell060915.php3#XxQcCaayc1ueqp2l.99

6-11-15

'Does it do good?' vs. 'Does it feel good?' Left-Right Differences: Part III

By Dennis Prager

A fundamental difference between the left and right concerns how each assesses public policies. The right asks, "Does it do good?" The left asks a different question.

One example is the minimum wage. In 1987, The New York Times editorialized against any minimum wage. The title of the editorial said it all — "The Right Minimum Wage: $0.00."

"There's a virtual consensus among economists," wrote the Times editorial, "that the minimum wage is an idea whose time has passed. Raising the minimum wage by a substantial amount would price working poor people out of the job market . ... More important, it would increase unemployment. ... The idea of using a minimum wage to overcome poverty is old, honorable — and fundamentally flawed."

Why did The New York Times editorialize against the minimum wage? Because it asked the conservative question: "Does it do good?"

But 27 years later, The New York Times editorial page wrote the very opposite of what it had written in 1987, and called for a major increase in the minimum wage. In that time, the page had moved further left and was now preoccupied not with what does good — but with income inequality, which feels bad. It lamented the fact that a low hourly minimum wage had not "softened the hearts of its opponents" — Republicans and their supporters.

As second example is affirmative action. Study after study — and, even more important, common sense and facts — have shown the deleterious effects that race-based affirmative action have had on black students. Lowering college admissions standards for black applicants has ensured at least two awful results.

One is that more black students fail to graduate college — because they have too often been admitted to a college that demands more academic rigor than they were prepared for. Rather than attend a school that matches their skills, a school where they might thrive, they fail at a school where they are over-matched.

The other result is that many, if not most, black students feel a dark cloud hanging over them. They suspect that other students wonder whether they, the black students, were admitted into the college on merit or because standards were lowered.

It would seem that the last question supporters of race-based affirmative action ask is, "Does it do good?"

A third example is pacifism and other forms of "peace activism."

The left has a soft spot for pacifism — the belief that killing another human being is always immoral. Not all leftists are pacifists, but pacifism emanates from the Left, and just about all leftists support "peace activism," "peace studies" and whatever else contains the word "peace."

The right, on the other hand, while just as desirous of peace as the left — what conservative parent wants their child to die in battle? — knows that pacifism and most "peace activists" increase the chances of war, not peace.

Nothing guarantees the triumph of evil like refusing to fight it. Great evil is therefore never defeated by peace activists, but by superior military might. The Allied victory in World War II is an obvious example. American military might likewise contained and ultimately ended Soviet Communism.

Supporters of pacifism, peace studies, American nuclear disarmament, American military withdrawal from countries in which it has fought — Iraq is the most recent example — do not ask, "Does it do good?'

Did the withdrawal of America from Iraq do good? Of course not. It only led to the rise of Islamic State with its mass murder and torture.

So, then, if in assessing what public policies to pursue, conservatives ask "Does it do good?" what question do liberals ask?

The answer is, "Does it make people — including myself — feel good?"

Why do liberals support a higher minimum wage if doesn't do good? Because it makes the recipients of the higher wage feel good (even if other workers lose their jobs when restaurants and other businesses that cannot afford the higher wage close down) and it makes liberals feel good about themselves: We liberals, unlike conservatives, have soft hearts.

Why do liberals support race-based affirmative action? For the same reasons. It makes the recipients feel good when they are admitted to more prestigious colleges. And it makes liberals feel good about themselves for appearing to right the wrongs of historical racism.

The same holds true for left-wing peace activism: Supporting "peace" rather than the military makes liberals feel good about themselves.

Perhaps the best example is the self-esteem movement. It has had an almost wholly negative effect on a generation of Americans raised to have high self-esteem without having earned it. They then suffer from narcissism and an incapacity to deal with life's inevitable setbacks. But self-esteem feels good.

And feelings — not reason — is what liberalism is largely about. Reason asks: "Does it do good?" Liberalism asks, "Does it feel good?"

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0615/prager060915.php3#XcMW7wvsZWZPtBY0.99

6-10-15

Improving Black Education

By Walter Williams

Last summer's Ferguson, Missouri, disturbances revealed that while blacks were 67 percent of its population, only three members of its 53-officer police force were black. Some might conclude that such a statistic is evidence of hiring discrimination. That's a possibility, but we might ask what percentage of blacks met hiring qualifications on the civil service examination. Are there hundreds of blacks in Ferguson and elsewhere who achieve passing scores on civil service examinations who are then refused employment? There is no evidence suggesting an affirmative answer to that question.

According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, sometimes called the Nation's Report Card, nationally, most black 12th-graders' test scores are either basic or below basic in reading, writing, math and science. "Below basic" is the score received when a student is unable to demonstrate even partial mastery of knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at his grade level. "Basic" indicates only partial mastery. Put another way, the average black 12th-grader has the academic achievement level of the average white seventh- or eighth-grader. In some cities, there's even a larger achievement gap.

Black students and their parents believe that their high-school diplomas are equivalent to those received by whites. Therefore, differences in employment or college admittance outcomes are likely to be seen as racial discrimination. The fact of business is that if seventh- or eighth-graders of any race compete with 12th-graders of any race on civil service exams or the SAT, one should not be surprised by the outcome.

In terms of public policy, what to do? It all depends on the assumptions, implicit or explicit, one makes about black mental competency. If one assumes that blacks cannot academically compete with whites, the "solution" is to eliminate the "disparate" impact of civil service exams and college admittance requirements by dumbing them down or eliminating them in order to achieve "diversity." I do not make that assumption, so then what to do?

Many black parents want a better education and safer schools for their children. The way to deliver on that desire is to offer parents alternatives to poorly performing and unsafe public schools. Expansion of charter schools is one way to provide choice. The problem is that charter school waiting lists number in the tens of thousands. In Philadelphia, for example, there are 22,000 families on charter school waiting lists. Charter school advocates estimate that nationally, over 1 million parents are on charter school waiting lists.

The National Education Association and its political and civil rights organization handmaidens preach that we should improve, not abandon, public schools. Such a position is callous deceit, for many of them have abandoned public schools. Let's look at it.

Nationwide, about 12 percent of parents have their children enrolled in private schools. In Chicago, 44 percent of public-school teachers have their own children enrolled in private schools. In Philadelphia, it's also 44 percent. In Baltimore, it's 35 percent, and in San Francisco, it's 34 percent. That ought to tell us something. Suppose I invite you to dine with me at a restaurant. You find out that the restaurant's chef doesn't eat there and neither do the servers. That suggests they have some inside information from which you could benefit.

Politicians who fight against school choice behave the way teachers do. Fifty-two percent of the members of the Congressional Black Caucus who have school-age children have them enrolled in private schools. Thirty-seven percent of members of the House of Representatives and 45 percent of senators who have school-age children have them enrolled in private schools.

The education establishment says more money is needed, but more money does not produce higher quality. New York City spent $20,331 per student in fiscal 2013. Washington, D.C., spent $17,953, and Baltimore allocated $15,050. Despite being among the nation's highest-spending school districts, their education quality is among the lowest. Parents, given vouchers and choice, could do a far superior job in the education of their children — and at a cheaper cost.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams061015.php3#mrsOUS1hs67qBveJ.99

6-9-15

'Does it do good?' vs. 'Does it feel good?' Left-Right Differences: Part II

Dennis Prager


The difference between Right and Left addressed in this column concerns a fundamentally different method that each utilizes in order to improve society.

Conservatives believe that the way to a better world is almost always through moral improvement of the individual — by each person doing battle with his own moral defects. It is true that in particularly violent and evil societies such as fascist, communist and Islamist tyrannies the individual must be preoccupied with battling outside forces. Almost everywhere else, however, and certainly in a free and decent country such as America, the greatest battle of the individual must be with inner forces — that is, with his or her flawed character and moral defects. (See Left-Right Difference Part 1 concerning their differing perceptions of human nature.)

The Left, on the other hand, believes that the way to a better world is almost always through doing battle with society's moral defects (real and/or as perceived by the Left). Thus, in America, the Left defines the good person as the one who fights the sexism, racism, intolerance, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia and other evils that the Left believes permeate American society.

That is one reason those on the left are more preoccupied with politics than those on the right. A simple example should make this point clear. Whenever the term "activist" or "social activist" or "organizer" is used, one infers that the term refers to someone on the Left.

One consequence of this difference is that conservatives believe that good is achieved far more gradually than liberals do. The process of making a better world is largely a one-by-one-by-one effort. And it must be redone in every single generation. The noblest generation ever born still has to teach its children how to battle their natures. If it doesn't, even the best society will begin to rapidly devolve, which is exactly what conservatives believe has been happening to America since the end of World War II.

The Left does not focus on individual character development. Rather, it has always and everywhere focused on social revolution. The most revealing statement of then-presidential candidate Barack Obama, the most committed leftist ever elected president of the United States, was made just days before the 2008 election: "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America," he told a large rapturous audience.

Conservatives not only have no interest in fundamentally transforming the United States, but they are passionately opposed to doing so. Fundamentally transforming any but the worst society — not to mention transforming what is probably the most decent society in history — can only make the society worse. Of course, conservatives believe that America can be improved, but not transformed, let alone fundamentally transformed.

The Founders all understood that the transformation that every generation must work on is the moral transformation of each citizen. Thus, character development was at the core of both childrearing and of young people's education at school.

As John Adams said: "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

And in the words of Benjamin Franklin: "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom."

Why is that? Because freedom requires self-control. Otherwise, external controls — which means an ever more powerful government — would have to be imposed.

The more that Leftist ideas influence society the less character education there is. Instead, children are taught to focus on social issues. For example, The Wall Street Journal just reported that Common Core, the federal standards program for elementary and high schools, has unveiled a new K-12 science curriculum, the "Next Generation of Science Standards," which will indoctrinate young Americans concerning global warming from kindergarten on.

And when they get to college, American young people will be taught about the need to fight such things as "white privilege" and the "rape culture" on their campuses.

At the same time, as a professor of philosophy wrote in The New York Times, fewer and fewer young Americans believe there are any moral truths.

Meanwhile, at home, fathers and religion, historically the two primary conveyors of moral truths and moral self-discipline, are often nonexistent.

As a result of all this, we are producing — indeed, we have produced since World War II — vast numbers of Americans who are passionate about carbon emissions and fighting sexism and "white privilege" who are also cheating on tests at unprecedentedly high levels.

But the age-old wisdom embraced by conservatives remains as true as ever: Before you fix society, you must first fix yourself.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0615/prager060215.php3#lHHcl8huSeXyk2TR.99

6-8-15

Paying the Price

By Thomas Sowell

Baltimore is now paying the price for irresponsible words and actions, not only by young thugs in the streets, but also by its mayor and the state prosecutor, both of whom threw the police to the wolves, in order to curry favor with local voters.

Now murders in Baltimore in May have been more than double what they were in May last year, and higher than in any May in the past 15 years. Meanwhile, the number of arrests is down by more than 50 percent.

Various other communities across the country are experiencing very similar explosions of crime and reductions of arrests, in the wake of anti-police mob rampages from coast to coast that the media sanitize as "protests."

None of this should be surprising. In her carefully researched 2010 book, "Are Cops Racist?" Heather Mac Donald pointed out that, after anti-police campaigns, cops tended to do less policing and criminals tended to commit more crimes.

If all this has been known for years, why do the same mistakes keep getting made?

Mainly because it is not a mistake for those people who are looking out for their own political careers. Critics who accuse the mayor of Baltimore and the Maryland prosecutor of incompetence, for their irresponsible words and actions, are ignoring the possibility that these two elected officials are protecting and promoting their own chances of remaining in office or of moving on up to higher offices.

Racial demagoguery gains votes for politicians, money for race hustling lawyers and a combination of money, power and notoriety for armies of professional activists, ideologues and shakedown artists.

So let's not be so quick to say that people are incompetent when they say things that make no sense to us. Attacking the police makes sense in terms of politicians' personal interests, and often in terms of the media's personal interests or ideological leanings, even if what they say bears little or no resemblance to the facts.

Of course, all these benefits have costs. There is no free lunch. But the costs are paid by others, including men, women and children who are paying with their lives in ghettos around the country, as politicians think of ever more ways they can restrict or scapegoat the police.

The Obama administration's Department of Justice has been leading the charge, when it comes to presuming the police to be guilty — not only until proven innocent, but even after grand juries have gone over all the facts and acquitted the police.

Not only Attorney General Holder, but President Obama himself, has repeatedly come out with public statements against the police in racial cases, long before the full facts were known. Nor have they confined their intervention to inflammatory words.

The Department of Justice has threatened various local police departments with lawsuits unless they adopt the federal government's ideas about how police work should be done.

The high cost of lawsuits virtually guarantees that the local police department is going to have to settle the case by bowing to the Justice Department's demands — not on the merits, but because the federal government has a lot more money than a local police department, and can litigate the case until the local police department runs out of the money needed to do their work.

By and large, what the federal government imposes on local police departments may be summarized as kinder, gentler policing. This is not a new idea, nor an idea that has not been tested in practice.

It was tested in New York under Mayor David Dinkins more than 20 years ago. The opposite approach was also tested when Dinkins was succeeded as mayor by Rudolph Giuliani, who imposed tough policing policies — which brought the murder rate down to a fraction of what it had been under Dinkins.

Unfortunately, when some people experience years of safety, they assume that means that there are no dangers. That is why New York's current mayor is moving back in the direction of Mayor Dinkins. It is also the politically expedient thing to do.

And innocent men, women and children — most of them black — will pay with their lives in New York, as they have in Baltimore and elsewhere.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell060215.php3#Rq7xSBd9yHWVVVVd.99

6-7-15

Obama's Foreign Policy Delusions

By David Limbaugh

President Obama's stunning declaration that the global image of the United States has greatly improved under his administration is another example of his ideology and narcissism's blinding him to his many policy failures.

During a White House event with the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, he managed to turn the subject to himself, saying, "People don't remember — when I came into office, the United States in world opinion ranked below China and just barely above Russia. And today, once again, the United States is the most respected country on earth."

As evidence, the White House cited a Gallup poll, but it failed to mention a BBC poll showing that the United States is in the middle of the pack. Significantly, the BBC poll ranked the U.S. behind most of the countries with a positive image — such as Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, the European Union and Brazil — and ahead of mostly just those that always enjoy a negative reputation, such as China, Russia, North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.

Time magazine foreign affairs columnist Ian Bremmer says Obama's claim that the U.S. is "once again the most respected" country in the world is absurd, as our favorability ratings have fallen by 13 percentage points in Germany since 2009 and 19 points in Japan since 2011. "Don't bother," he says, "asking the Russians."

Besides the inconclusiveness and ambiguity of polls, do we really want to judge our foreign policy successes on how well we are liked in foreign countries by their citizens — as opposed to the extent to which we are respected by their leaders and are successfully safeguarding our national security interests?

Other than his ambition to get a second Nobel Peace Prize for a monumentally reckless nuclear deal with Iran, Obama, as evidenced by his latest State of the Union address, doesn't care that much about foreign policy. U.S. News & World Report's Lamont Colucci wrote after that speech: "There has not been a single success and no planning for how to keep America preeminent. If the Clinton years were a foreign policy disaster, the Obama years have been a foreign policy vacuum."

Even liberals know that Obama is bereft of a coherent foreign policy strategy. The Washington Post's David Ignatius wrote: "Under Obama, the United States has suffered some real reputational damage. I say that as someone who sympathizes with many of Obama's foreign policy goals." The Economist asked, "What would America fight for?" The Financial Times observed, "America is behaving like a declining hegemon: unwilling to share power, yet unable to impose outcomes." The New York Times at one point said that too often it does not feel as if Obama "is exercising sufficient American leadership and power."

Columnist Charles Krauthammer pointed out that for the first time in 40 years, Egypt asked Russia, instead of the United States, for assistance and for weapons, citing Egypt's "revulsion against the United States because we have checked out under Obama."

Obama's "reset" with Russia is in shambles, and both Russia and China are on the march. Speaking of China, our allies humiliated Obama by joining China's new bank, which observers said marked a diplomatic defeat for Obama.

Obama's failed Arab Spring projects and his embarrassing drawing of red lines will haunt his legacy. How about his deplorable relationship with Israel and his personal attacks against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he openly blames for the failure of the peace process with Palestinians? Obama had the audacity to say not long ago that he is disappointed that Israel is not living up to its own values.

Obama also claimed that because he's re-engaged the world, he was "able to end two wars while still focusing on the very real threat of terrorism and to try to work with our partners on the ground in places like Iraq and Afghanistan."

Obama has ended two wars? If you call snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq and a plan to do the same in Afghanistan ending wars, then perhaps Obama has a point.

How about Obama's bizarre observation about "the very real threat of terrorism"? Can any objective observer of Obama's reflexive reaction to deny Islamist motivation behind almost any terrorist attack fail to see he is in denial about the very real threat he claims to see? More significantly, how can anyone be comforted by Obama's assessment that we are getting the best of the Islamic State group as it continues to gobble up territory and behead Christians and others?

And who could possibly feel sanguine about Obama's nuclear negotiations with Iran? Other nations surely don't. Reasonable people know that Iran can't be trusted and that any deal based on trusting that evil regime would be criminally negligent. Just this week, we learned that Iranian nuclear fuel stockpiles have grown an enormous 20 percent during our "negotiations" for the past 18 months.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia reportedly has great concerns about Obama's proposed nuclear deal with Iran and says that if Iran were to go forward, nothing would prevent Saudi Arabia from developing nuclear weapons. Also, Obama has made a complete mess of our relationships with other allies in the Middle East. NBC News reported that the Sunni nations fear that the Obama administration is leaking intel to Iran in order to appease the mullahs. Most of our allies are losing confidence in American leadership. Foreign Policy magazine reports that France doesn't trust Obama on Iran, concerned that under Obama's policies, Iran is about to replace Saudi Arabia as a key ally in the Middle East.

There's plenty more, but these should make the point.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh060515.php3#YD7jSLQLJGTs1bB8.99

6-6-15

71st anniversary of D-D invasion


http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/d-day

6-5-15

Obama's Foreign Policy Delusions

By David Limbaugh

President Obama's stunning declaration that the global image of the United States has greatly improved under his administration is another example of his ideology and narcissism's blinding him to his many policy failures.

During a White House event with the Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative, he managed to turn the subject to himself, saying, "People don't remember — when I came into office, the United States in world opinion ranked below China and just barely above Russia. And today, once again, the United States is the most respected country on earth."

As evidence, the White House cited a Gallup poll, but it failed to mention a BBC poll showing that the United States is in the middle of the pack. Significantly, the BBC poll ranked the U.S. behind most of the countries with a positive image — such as Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Japan, the European Union and Brazil — and ahead of mostly just those that always enjoy a negative reputation, such as China, Russia, North Korea, Pakistan and Iran.

Time magazine foreign affairs columnist Ian Bremmer says Obama's claim that the U.S. is "once again the most respected" country in the world is absurd, as our favorability ratings have fallen by 13 percentage points in Germany since 2009 and 19 points in Japan since 2011. "Don't bother," he says, "asking the Russians."

Besides the inconclusiveness and ambiguity of polls, do we really want to judge our foreign policy successes on how well we are liked in foreign countries by their citizens — as opposed to the extent to which we are respected by their leaders and are successfully safeguarding our national security interests?

Other than his ambition to get a second Nobel Peace Prize for a monumentally reckless nuclear deal with Iran, Obama, as evidenced by his latest State of the Union address, doesn't care that much about foreign policy. U.S. News & World Report's Lamont Colucci wrote after that speech: "There has not been a single success and no planning for how to keep America preeminent. If the Clinton years were a foreign policy disaster, the Obama years have been a foreign policy vacuum."

Even liberals know that Obama is bereft of a coherent foreign policy strategy. The Washington Post's David Ignatius wrote: "Under Obama, the United States has suffered some real reputational damage. I say that as someone who sympathizes with many of Obama's foreign policy goals." The Economist asked, "What would America fight for?" The Financial Times observed, "America is behaving like a declining hegemon: unwilling to share power, yet unable to impose outcomes." The New York Times at one point said that too often it does not feel as if Obama "is exercising sufficient American leadership and power."

Columnist Charles Krauthammer pointed out that for the first time in 40 years, Egypt asked Russia, instead of the United States, for assistance and for weapons, citing Egypt's "revulsion against the United States because we have checked out under Obama."

Obama's "reset" with Russia is in shambles, and both Russia and China are on the march. Speaking of China, our allies humiliated Obama by joining China's new bank, which observers said marked a diplomatic defeat for Obama.

Obama's failed Arab Spring projects and his embarrassing drawing of red lines will haunt his legacy. How about his deplorable relationship with Israel and his personal attacks against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, whom he openly blames for the failure of the peace process with Palestinians? Obama had the audacity to say not long ago that he is disappointed that Israel is not living up to its own values.

Obama also claimed that because he's re-engaged the world, he was "able to end two wars while still focusing on the very real threat of terrorism and to try to work with our partners on the ground in places like Iraq and Afghanistan."

Obama has ended two wars? If you call snatching defeat from the jaws of victory in Iraq and a plan to do the same in Afghanistan ending wars, then perhaps Obama has a point.

How about Obama's bizarre observation about "the very real threat of terrorism"? Can any objective observer of Obama's reflexive reaction to deny Islamist motivation behind almost any terrorist attack fail to see he is in denial about the very real threat he claims to see? More significantly, how can anyone be comforted by Obama's assessment that we are getting the best of the Islamic State group as it continues to gobble up territory and behead Christians and others?

And who could possibly feel sanguine about Obama's nuclear negotiations with Iran? Other nations surely don't. Reasonable people know that Iran can't be trusted and that any deal based on trusting that evil regime would be criminally negligent. Just this week, we learned that Iranian nuclear fuel stockpiles have grown an enormous 20 percent during our "negotiations" for the past 18 months.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia reportedly has great concerns about Obama's proposed nuclear deal with Iran and says that if Iran were to go forward, nothing would prevent Saudi Arabia from developing nuclear weapons. Also, Obama has made a complete mess of our relationships with other allies in the Middle East. NBC News reported that the Sunni nations fear that the Obama administration is leaking intel to Iran in order to appease the mullahs. Most of our allies are losing confidence in American leadership. Foreign Policy magazine reports that France doesn't trust Obama on Iran, concerned that under Obama's policies, Iran is about to replace Saudi Arabia as a key ally in the Middle East.

There's plenty more, but these should make the point.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh060515.php3#YxQDSj2LzlQAZ2qq.99

6-4-15

Intellectual Dishonesty

By Walter Williams

President Barack Obama's stance, expressed in his 2014 State of the Union address, is that the debate is settled and climate change is a fact. Obama is by no means unique in that view. Former Vice President Al Gore declared that "the science is settled." This "settled science" vision about climate is held by many, including those in academia. To call any science settled is sheer idiocy. Had mankind acted as though any science could possibly be settled, we'd be living in caves, as opposed to having the standard of living we enjoy today. That higher standard of living stems from challenges to what might have been seen as "scientific fact."

According to mathematician Samuel Arbesman's book, "The Half-Life of Facts: Why Everything We Know Has an Expiration Date," many ideas taken as facts today will be shown to be wrong as early as five years from now. Arbesman argues that a study published in a physics journal will lose half its value in 10 years.

Many academics know that to call any science settled is nonsense. But their leftist political sentiments and lack of academic integrity prevent them from criticizing public officials and the media for misleading a gullible public about global warming.

The concept of white privilege, along with diversity and multiculturalism, is part of today's campus craze. Millions of dollars are spent on conferences and other forums teaching students about the horrors of white privilege. A Vanderbilt University sociology professor said white privilege is to blame for the Baltimore riots and looting.

I wonder how one goes about determining whether a person is privileged. White privilege can't be based on median income. Why? It turns out that Asian-American households had the highest median income ($68,636) in 2012. Median income for white households was $57,000. Maybe our academic elite should condemn Asian privilege instead of white privilege. But there's another problem. My income puts me in America's top 5 percent. If those who condemn white privilege could not see my dark brown skin color, they would also condemn me for white privilege. The bottom line to this campus nonsense is that "privilege" has become the new word for "personal achievement."

President Obama has often said the wealthiest Americans must make sacrifices to better the lives of poor people. At Georgetown University's May 12 poverty summit, Obama said, "If we can't ask from society's lottery winners to just make that modest investment, then really this conversation is for show." Let's look at this "lottery winner" nonsense.

A lottery is defined by Oxford Dictionaries as "a process or thing whose success or outcome is governed by chance." The question before us is whether wealth is something that is obtained by chance. Did Bill Gates acquire his wealth by luck or chance? Or did he produce something that benefited his fellow man, causing people to voluntarily reach in their pockets to pay?

Gayle Cook and her late husband, William Cook, founded a medical device company using a spare bedroom in their apartment as a factory. Their company specializes in stents and antibiotic catheters. Now Gayle Cook has a net worth in the billions of dollars. Was she a winner in the lottery of life, or did she have to do something like serve her fellow man?

Are those who work hard, take risks, make life better for others and become wealthy in the process the people who should be held up to ridicule and scorn? And should we make mascots out of social parasites?

Obama talked about asking "from society's lottery winners to just make that modest investment." Congress doesn't ask people for money. Through intimidation, threats and coercion, it takes people's earnings. If people don't comply, the agents of Congress will imprison them.

Most instructive for us is that Obama's remarks were made at a university. Not a single professor has said anything about his suggestion that people accumulate great wealth by winning life's lottery. That is just more evidence about the level of corruption among today's academics.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams060315.php3#lZQByOThsbbKOjTF.99

6-3-15

Obama again threatens possibility of allowing UN vote on Palestinian statehood, more

By Christi Parsons and Michael A. Memoli 


WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama took a step toward a tougher line with Israel in an interview released Tuesday, raising the possibility that the U.S. will allow a United Nations vote on issues related to the Palestinians if the two sides make no meaningful movement toward peace.

In an interview with an Israeli television station, Obama noted that his administration has "up until this point" quashed such efforts at the U.N. while insisting that the Israelis and Palestinians must negotiate a resolution. But he said it is a challenge for the U.S. to keep demanding that the Palestinians negotiate in good faith if no one believes the Israelis are doing the same.

"How do we move off what appears right now to be a hopeless situation and move it back towards a hopeful situation?" Obama asked in the interview. "That will require more than just words. That will require some actions. And that's going to be hard work, though, because right now I think there's not a lot of confidence in the process."

The comment was the latest sign that Obama has concluded that the U.S. must rethink its stance on the Mideast peace process if it is to maintain credibility in the world.

His thinking on the matter was clearly spurred this spring by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's stand against Palestinian statehood during his election campaign. Even though Netanyahu has since publicly reversed his position, Obama said in the interview that Israel "as a whole loses credibility" on the point.

"If, in fact, there's no prospect of an actual peace process, if nobody believes there's a peace process, then it becomes more difficult to argue with those who are concerned about settlement construction, those who are concerned about the current situation," Obama said. "It's more difficult for me to say to them, 'Be patient and wait because we have a process here' — because all they need to do is to point to the statements that have been made saying there is no process."

Obama's critical tone toward Netanyahu, describing him as someone who is "predisposed" to "think perhaps that peace is naive," appeared to return to the tough language that marked administration statements earlier this spring, around the time of the Israeli election. More recently, the White House had seemed to be trying to mend fences.

The apparent shift in tone seems "hard to understand," said a Democratic strategist with close ties to the White House. Previous White House criticisms of the prime minister clearly strengthened Netanyahu electorally, he said, speaking on condition of anonymity to avoid alienating White House officials. "These kind of attacks don't really hurt him. They help him."

Obama's veiled threat about Palestinian statehood lands hard at a time when the U.S. and other world powers are in high-stakes negotiations with Iranian officials to limit their country's nuclear program. Israel deeply opposes the deal on the grounds that it will bolster Iran's nuclear efforts and its economy and boost its aggression in the Middle East; some of Iran's leaders have said Israel does not have the right to exist. The deadline for a deal, a major foreign-policy priority for Obama, is at the end of the month, and the president is already gearing up for the difficult sales job ahead of him if an agreement is reached. Congress has demanded a chance to review the deal, a point Obama has ceded, but the deep opposition from Israel could complicate his attempts to gain approval from U.S. lawmakers who ardently support Israel.

In advance of that prospect, Obama recently visited a prominent Washington synagogue to talk about his deep love of Israel. Close advisers and friends have tried to underscore the point, with former senior advisor David Axelrod telling Israeli Channel 2 that Obama feels a deep personal affinity for the Jewish people.

And in an interview with the Atlantic magazine last week, Obama also talked about his personal commitment to the security of Israel, and idea he mirrored in the new interview with Channel 2's Ilana Dayan.

Obama told Dayan that the U.S. assistance to Israel on security, intelligence and military matters "doesn't go away" because it is part of a "solemn commitment that I've made with respect to Israel's security."

But there may be a "practical consequence" if there are new resolutions introduced in the U.N., he said.

The peace process could become a bigger problem for Obama in his complicated ties with Israel, but analysts say he has been trying to simplify that relationship lately by explaining himself directly to the Israeli public.

As he prepares to talk about a possible resolution with Iran over its nuclear deal, said one, Obama's primary message is about his intent.

"He has to persuade the Israeli audience that he is preoccupied with the security of Israel," said Jon Alterman, head of the Middle East program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Did wearing a kippa and speaking in a prominent synagogue do the trick? It certainly reinforced a sense of affinity and reassured some people of the nature of his ties to Israel."

As he spoke with Dayan, Obama drew his own parallels between the African-American experience and the Jewish one.

"In my mind, there is a direct line between the Jewish experience, the African-American experience, and as a consequence, we have, I hope, a special empathy and a special regard for those who are being mistreated because of the color of their skin or the nature of their faith," Obama said.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0615/obama_threatens_again.php3#zFF4BxkHH8VBA8uF.99

6-2-15

Cities Paying the Price For Liberalism

By Thomas Sowell

Baltimore is now paying the price for irresponsible words and actions, not only by young thugs in the streets, but also by its mayor and the state prosecutor, both of whom threw the police to the wolves, in order to curry favor with local voters.

Now murders in Baltimore in May have been more than double what they were in May last year, and higher than in any May in the past 15 years. Meanwhile, the number of arrests is down by more than 50 percent.

Various other communities across the country are experiencing very similar explosions of crime and reductions of arrests, in the wake of anti-police mob rampages from coast to coast that the media sanitize as "protests."

None of this should be surprising. In her carefully researched 2010 book, "Are Cops Racist?" Heather Mac Donald pointed out that, after anti-police campaigns, cops tended to do less policing and criminals tended to commit more crimes.

If all this has been known for years, why do the same mistakes keep getting made?

Mainly because it is not a mistake for those people who are looking out for their own political careers. Critics who accuse the mayor of Baltimore and the Maryland prosecutor of incompetence, for their irresponsible words and actions, are ignoring the possibility that these two elected officials are protecting and promoting their own chances of remaining in office or of moving on up to higher offices.

Racial demagoguery gains votes for politicians, money for race hustling lawyers and a combination of money, power and notoriety for armies of professional activists, ideologues and shakedown artists.

So let's not be so quick to say that people are incompetent when they say things that make no sense to us. Attacking the police makes sense in terms of politicians' personal interests, and often in terms of the media's personal interests or ideological leanings, even if what they say bears little or no resemblance to the facts.

Of course, all these benefits have costs. There is no free lunch. But the costs are paid by others, including men, women and children who are paying with their lives in ghettos around the country, as politicians think of ever more ways they can restrict or scapegoat the police.

The Obama administration's Department of Justice has been leading the charge, when it comes to presuming the police to be guilty — not only until proven innocent, but even after grand juries have gone over all the facts and acquitted the police.

Not only Attorney General Holder, but President Obama himself, has repeatedly come out with public statements against the police in racial cases, long before the full facts were known. Nor have they confined their intervention to inflammatory words.

The Department of Justice has threatened various local police departments with lawsuits unless they adopt the federal government's ideas about how police work should be done.

The high cost of lawsuits virtually guarantees that the local police department is going to have to settle the case by bowing to the Justice Department's demands — not on the merits, but because the federal government has a lot more money than a local police department, and can litigate the case until the local police department runs out of the money needed to do their work.

By and large, what the federal government imposes on local police departments may be summarized as kinder, gentler policing. This is not a new idea, nor an idea that has not been tested in practice.

It was tested in New York under Mayor David Dinkins more than 20 years ago. The opposite approach was also tested when Dinkins was succeeded as mayor by Rudolph Giuliani, who imposed tough policing policies — which brought the murder rate down to a fraction of what it had been under Dinkins.

Unfortunately, when some people experience years of safety, they assume that means that there are no dangers. That is why New York's current mayor is moving back in the direction of Mayor Dinkins. It is also the politically expedient thing to do.

And innocent men, women and children — most of them black — will pay with their lives in New York, as they have in Baltimore and elsewhere.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell060215.php3#vw0kh4ElkGofuI5H.99

6-1-15

A summer break from campus muzzling

By George Will

Commencement season brings a respite from the sinister childishness rampant on campuses. Attacks on freedom of speech come from the professoriate, that herd of independent minds, and from the ever-thickening layer of university administrators who keep busy constricting freedom in order to fine-tune campus atmospherics.

The attacks are childish because they infantilize students who flinch from the intellectual free-for-all of adult society. When Brown University's tranquillity of conformity was threatened by a female speaker skeptical about the "rape culture" on campuses, students planned a "safe space" for those who would be traumatized by exposure to skepticism. Judith Shulevitz, writing in the New York Times, reported that the space had "cookies, coloring books, bubbles, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, blankets and a video of frolicking puppies."

The attack on free expression is sinister because it asserts that such freedom is not merely unwise but, in a sense, meaningless. Free speech is more comprehensively and aggressively embattled now than ever before in American history, largely because of two 19th-century ideas. One is that history — actually, History, a proper noun — has a mind of its own. The other is that most people do not really have minds of their own.

Progressives frequently disparage this or that person or idea as "on the wrong side of history." They regard history as an autonomous force with its own laws of unfolding development: Progress is wherever history goes. This belief entails disparagement of human agency — or at least that of most people, who do not understand history's implacable logic and hence do not get on history's "right side." Such people are crippled by "false consciousness." Fortunately, a saving clerisy, a vanguard composed of the understanding few, know where history is going and how to help it get there.

One way to help is by molding the minds of young people. The molders believe that the sociology of knowledge demonstrates that most people do not make up their minds, "society" does this. But progressive minds can be furnished for them by controlling the promptings from the social environment. This can be done by making campuses into hermetically sealed laboratories.

In "The Promise of American Life" (1909), progressivism's canonical text, Herbert Croly said, "The average American individual is morally and intellectually inadequate to a serious and consistent conception of his responsibilities as a democrat." National life should be "a school," with the government as the stern but caring principal: "The exigencies of such schooling frequently demand severe coercive measures, but what schooling does not?" "Unregenerate citizens" can be saved "many costly perversions, in case the official school-masters are wise, and the pupils neither truant nor insubordinate." For a survey of today's campus coercions, read Kirsten Power's "The Silencing: How the Left is Killing Free Speech."

In "Kindly Inquisitors" (1993), Jonathan Rauch showed how attacks on the free market in speech undermine three pillars of American liberty. They subvert democracy, the culture of persuasion by which we decide who shall wield legitimate power. (Progressives advocate government regulation of the quantity, content and timing of political campaign speech.) The attacks undermine capitalism — markets registering the freely expressed choices by which we allocate wealth. And the attacks undermine science, which is how we decide what is true. (Note progressives' insistence that the science about this or that is "settled.")

For decades, much academic ingenuity has been devoted to jurisprudential theorizing to evade the First Amendment's majestic simplicity about "no law. . . abridging the freedom of speech." We are urged to "balance" this freedom against competing, and putatively superior, considerations such as individual serenity, institutional tranquillity or social improvement.

On campuses, the right of free speech has been supplanted by an entitlement to what Greg Lukianoff of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education calls a right to freedom from speech deemed uncongenial. This entitlement is buttressed by "trigger warnings" against spoken "micro-aggressions" that lacerate the delicate sensibilities of individuals who are encouraged to be exquisitely, paralyzingly sensitive.

In a booklet for the "Encounter Broadside" series, Lukianoff says "sensitivity-based censorship" on campus reflects a broader and global phenomena. It is the demand for coercive measures to do for our mental lives what pharmacology has done for our bodies — the banishment or mitigation of many discomforts. In the social milieu fostered by today's entitlement state, expectations quickly generate entitlements. Students are taught to expect intellectual comfort, including the reinforcement of their beliefs, or at least those that conform to progressive orthodoxies imbibed and enforced on campuses.

Until September, however, the culture of freedom will be safe from its cultured despisers.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will053015.php3#hBOK5pMorY7zijPh.99

5-31-15

Don't Go! College is a Scam

By John Stossel

It's graduation time! Have we learned much? No.

College has become a scam.

Some students benefit: those with full scholarships and/or rich parents so they don't go deep into debt, those who love learning for its own sake and land jobs in academia and those who get jobs that require a college credential.

But that's not most students.

Half today's recent grads work in jobs that don't require degrees. Eighty thousand of America's bartenders have bachelor's degrees.

Politicians such as Hillary Clinton promote college by claiming that over a lifetime, college graduates "earn $1 million more." That statistic is true but utterly misleading. People who go to college are different. They're more likely to have been raised by two parents. They did better in high school. They'd make more money even if they never went go to college.

Economist Bryan Caplan argues that there isn't much evidence that college grads are paid more because they learned anything at college that is valuable to their jobs.

Getting into elite universities and graduating from them is mostly a "signaling" device, he says. It tells employers you're a smart person, so employers can begin teaching you things you really need to know. Employers, not the colleges, turn out to be the ones making students valuable contributors.

This suggests college is more like a hurdle than an investment. It would be better if companies found cheaper ways to screen for talent than four years of college.

Most of America's prestigious universities started out as training centers for the priesthood and ways of confirming your status as part of the upper crust. In many cases, that's still true today. Taxpayers shouldn't be forced to subsidize that. But we are.

Now President Obama proposes spending more of your money on "free community college." Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders goes further, proposing "free tuition" at four-year public colleges.

Of course, "free" just means taxpayers are forced to pay.

This is nuts. When government subsidizes services, people supplying those services get wasteful. Colleges now spend millions on manicured lawns and fancy gyms.

A University of Missouri admissions officer bragged to my TV show crew about the university's "day spa" and said when it comes to recruiting students, "more important than reading, writing and arithmetic" is giving "our Tigers spring break every time they step into the student recreation complex."

I'm happy that Missouri's students like their luxurious gym, but I don't want to help pay for it. If the school thinks its "day spa" is crucial for recruiting, let them sucker their own alumni into making voluntary contributions for it. Leave taxpayers alone.

Government subsidies encourage students who don't belong in college to go anyway. Many don't graduate, feel bad about themselves and end up deep in debt. The subsidies also invite schools to increase the cost of tuition.

Democrats complained we need Obamacare because health care costs "were skyrocketing." But while the cost of health care rose 296 percent over the past 30 years, college tuition rose 553 percent. College is now a grotesque spending bubble, funded by government, that's about to burst.

Law professor Glenn Reynolds, author of "The Education Apocalypse," writes, "The rapid increase in college tuition began just about exactly the time the federal government started helping to subsidize college ... (Y)ou don't want to engage in subsidies that make universities more bloated and more inefficient."

But that's what Obama and Sanders propose to do.

A more compassionate move would be to warn people that college is not as valuable as colleges advertise themselves to be.

PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel encourages students to escape the college trap by paying them $100,000 not to go to college and instead to found their own capitalist ventures.

If we really want to build a better future and not just keep going through the same old motions, experiments like that are a much smarter idea than throwing more money at the college bubble.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0515/stossel052715.php3#iWLZk9JvaKhmoBfp.99

5-30-15

Libs Respect Me

By Walter Williams

During the early years of the Reagan administration, a Washington news conference was held for me for my first book, "The State Against Blacks." Before making summary statements about the book, I offered the reporters assembled that they could treat me like a white person. They could ask me hard, pressing questions. They could demand proof of the arguments that I was making.

People such as former NAACP President Kweisi Mfume and former Chairman Julian Bond and the Rev. Al Sharpton can make ludicrous statements. An intimidated news media just swallow the nonsense. They are probably afraid to challenge, lest they suffer guilt feelings of racism or be seen as racists for demanding that a black person back up his comments with facts.

You say, "Give us some examples of ludicrous statements." Sharpton, commenting on black history, said, "White folks was in caves while we was building empires." Mfume said of George W. Bush, "We have a president that's prepared to take us back to the days of Jim Crow segregation and dominance." Bond said, "The Republican Party would have the American flag and the swastika flying side by side." When those statements were made — and after other utterances of nonsense — I did not hear of any reporters demanding evidence. Racial etiquette or politeness requires that no pressing questions be asked of liberal blacks.

A number of people have made angry responses to statements made in my column a fortnight ago, titled "Some Odds and Ends." I pointed out that liberal Democrats claim that conservative Republicans have launched a war on women as a part of their overall mean-spirited agenda. Assault, rape and murder are the worst things that can be done to a woman. I said: "I would be willing to bet a lot of money that most of the assaults, rapes and murders of women are done by people who identify as liberals or Democrats, particularly in the cases of murderers. Most crime, except perhaps white-collar crime, is committed by people who vote Democratic." People have demanded to know what my evidence is. There are bits and pieces of evidence that show that most murderers are people who politically identify as liberals or Democrats. Whether these people also vote their preferences is not so evident.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice report "Homicide Trends in the United States, 1980-2008," blacks accounted for 52.5 percent of homicide offenders from 1980 to 2008 (http://tinyurl.com/mb29bfa). It appears to be a fact that most murders are committed by blacks. The next fact appears obvious: Most blacks identify politically as liberals or Democrats. In fact, the 2008 and 2012 elections showed that at least 95 percent of blacks were Democrats. If one adds whites and Hispanics who also identify politically as liberals or Democrats, I think there is no question that liberals and Democratic Party sympathizers commit most of the murders in the U.S. None of this is to say that whites are crime-free. Whites are a greater percentage of our population and commit most of every type of crime except homicide and burglary (http://tinyurl.com/bzyzpk6).

I'm pleased that readers have demanded proof from me about my comments. Similar proof is not demanded from liberals who accuse Republicans of warring against women. I would ask several questions. Do Republicans include in this attack their mothers, wives and female children? What are the weapons Republicans use? Are failing to believe in late-term abortion and wanting to require parental knowledge and permission prior to a minor's receiving birth control medication or an abortion tantamount to warring against women? Finally, are Republican women involved in the war against women?

Far more important for me in all of this is that liberals unintentionally treat me like a white person. Unlike their response to other blacks, they demand that I back up my statements. For that, I thank them.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams052715.php3#sFAtEJKxwbUUpOHF.99

5-29-15

Why your doctors may be on the verge of quitting

By Charles Krauthammer

About a decade ago, a doctor friend was lamenting the increasingly frustrating conditions of clinical practice. "How did you know to get out of medicine in 1978?" he asked with a smile.

"I didn't," I replied. "I had no idea what was coming. I just felt I'd chosen the wrong vocation."

I was reminded of this exchange upon receiving my med-school class's 40th-reunion report and reading some of the entries. In general, my classmates felt fulfilled by family, friends and the considerable achievements of their professional lives. But there was an undercurrent of deep disappointment, almost demoralization, with what medical practice had become.

The complaint was not financial but vocational — an incessant interference with their work, a deep erosion of their autonomy and authority, a transformation from physician to "provider."

As one of them wrote, "My colleagues who have already left practice all say they still love patient care, being a doctor. They just couldn't stand everything else." By which he meant "a never-ending attack on the profession from government, insurance companies, and lawyers ... progressively intrusive and usually unproductive rules and regulations," topped by an electronic health records (EHR) mandate that produces nothing more than "billing and legal documents" — and degraded medicine.

I hear this everywhere. Virtually every doctor and doctors' group I speak to cites the same litany, with particular bitterness about the EHR mandate. As another classmate wrote, "The introduction of the electronic medical record into our office has created so much more need for documentation that I can only see about three-quarters of the patients I could before, and has prompted me to seriously consider leaving for the first time."

You may have zero sympathy for doctors, but think about the extraordinary loss to society — and maybe to you, one day — of driving away 40 years of irreplaceable clinical experience.

And for what? The newly elected Barack Obama told the nation in 2009 that "it just won't save billions of dollars" — $77 billion a year, promised the administration — "and thousands of jobs, it will save lives." He then threw a cool $27 billion at going paperless by 2015.

It's 2015 and what have we achieved? The $27 billion is gone, of course. The $77 billion in savings became a joke. Indeed, reported the Health and Human Services inspector general in 2014, "EHR technology can make it easier to commit fraud," as in Medicare fraud, the copy-and-paste function allowing the instant filling of vast data fields, facilitating billing inflation.

That's just the beginning of the losses. Consider the myriad small practices that, facing ruinous transition costs in equipment, software, training and time, have closed shop, gone bankrupt or been swallowed by some larger entity.

This hardly stays the long arm of the health-care police, however. As of Jan. 1, 2015, if you haven't gone electronic, your Medicare payments will be cut, by 1 percent this year, rising to 3 percent (potentially 5 percent) in subsequent years.

Then there is the toll on doctors' time and patient care. One study in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine found that emergency-room doctors spend 43 percent of their time entering electronic records information, 28 percent with patients. Another study found that family-practice physicians spend on average 48 minutes a day just entering clinical data.

Forget the numbers. Think just of your own doctor's visits, of how much less listening, examining, even eye contact goes on, given the need for scrolling, clicking and box checking.

The geniuses who rammed this through undoubtedly thought they were rationalizing health care. After all, banking went electronic. Why not medicine?

Because banks deal with nothing but data. They don't listen to your heart or examine your groin. Clicking boxes on an endless electronic form turns the patient into a data machine and cancels out the subtlety of a doctor's unique feel and judgment.

Why did all this happen? Because liberals in a hurry refuse to trust the self-interested wisdom of individual practitioners, who were already adopting EHR on their own, but gradually, organically, as the technology became ripe and the costs tolerable. Instead, Washington picked a date out of a hat and decreed: Digital by 2015.

As with other such arbitrary arrogance, the results are not pretty. EHR is health care's Solyndra. Many, no doubt, feasted nicely on the $27 billion, but the rest is waste: money squandered, patients neglected, good physicians demoralized.

Like my old classmates who signed up for patient care — which they still love — and now do data entry.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer052915.php3#HUPpxWgKfFGzEukU.99

5-28-15

The provision for collection of bulk data must be allowed to expire

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

The Patriot Act has a bad pedigree and an evil history. In the fearful days immediately following 9/11, the Department of Justice quickly sent draft legislation to Congress that, if enacted, would have permitted federal agents to violate their oaths to uphold the Constitution by writing their own search warrants. The draft subsequently was revealed to have been written before 9/11, but that's another story.

The House Judiciary Committee reviewed the legislation and revised it so that it would meet Fourth Amendment norms. The revised version permitted federal agents to write their own search warrants for business records, but the warrants could be challenged by the custodian of the records or by the person whose records were being sought. Because the records were in the hands of a third party, they were in no danger of destruction.

The Fourth Amendment was written largely to assure that the general warrants British soldiers used to search the colonists' homes would never be lawful in the United States. General warrants were issued by secret courts in London based on the government's needs, not on evidence of wrongdoing. They authorized the bearer to search wherever he wished and seize whatever he found.

In order to protect the natural right to be left alone — privacy — the Framers enacted standards in the Fourth Amendment that required the government to produce evidence about the person whose records it wants — called probable cause — and present that evidence to a judge when it wants a search warrant. If granted, the Constitution requires that the warrant particularly describe the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized.

After the House Judiciary Committee took all this into account in its redrafting of the proposed Patriot Act, the House Republican leadership and the George W. Bush White House pulled a fast one. They switched the painstakingly negotiated version of the Patriot Act for the original version and posted the original version on the House intranet, and leadership scheduled a vote within the hour of posting.

It is safe to say that no member of the House read the Patriot Act in that hour. It takes about 20 hours to read, as it is hundreds of pages in length, and it amends dozens of prior statutes that also must be read. Most House members clearly never knew what they were authorizing. The only negotiated-for provision that survived the switch was the sunset provision of section 215.

Section 215 only authorizes the feds to write their own search warrants for business records and for surveillance of so-called lone-wolf terrorists no matter what telephone they may use. The Bush and Obama administrations secretly persuaded the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court that somehow section 215 also permitted the NSA to acquire bulk data from telephone and computer use based on the government's needs, not based on probable cause.

Bulk data is undifferentiated as to persons. Rather, it is collected by zip code or area code or service provider customer base. Section 215 expires at the end of this week.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, the second highest court in the land, declared the collection of bulk data under section 215 to be illegal. The court ruled that the language of section 215 does not authorize bulk data collection, and no section of the Patriot Act does. That court gave Congress until June 1 to clarify the language. If Congress fails to do so by June 1, the court will entertain applications to bar the NSA from collecting bulk data, and it indicated it would likely grant those applications.

Last week, the House voted to revise section 215, and the Senate did not. Thus, it is likely to expire on Sunday night.

President Obama, who falsely claims to be opposed to the collection of bulk data, can stop it with his signature, but he has not done so. He claims to favor the House version of surveillance, which has ridiculously been dubbed the Freedom Act.

The Freedom Act would get the NSA's computer geeks physically out of the facilities of telecoms and computer servers, but would let them back in digitally with the FISA court's approval, and that approval is not conditioned on probable cause. Rather, it is to be granted whenever the NSA needs the data. In the 14 years of all this spying, the NSA has made more than 34,000 requests of the FISA court; only 12 have been denied.

If section 215 expires next week, the feds will need individualized search warrants in order to listen to phone calls. They already have been getting individualized search warrants for the phone calls and emails of potential lone-wolf terrorists and for the business records of suspected terrorist groups and those whom they have successfully prosecuted for terrorist acts.

If all of the above is not enough to induce anyone in Congress faithful to the Constitution to reject extending section 215, perhaps the findings of the inspector general of the Department of Justice itself will. Late last week, he released a report in which he found that the bulk collection of data has not stopped a single act of terror or aided a single federal terrorism prosecution since the Patriot Act became law on October 26, 2001.

The government's bulk collection of data must go. It assaults freedoms, and it fails to enhance our safety.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0515/napolitano052815.php3#r3FDR9UpcpSHk6Fm.99

5-27-15

Bernie Sanders' Foul Socialist Odor

By Michelle Malkin

Socialist genius Bernie Sanders has figured out what's really ailing America.

Our store shelves have too many different brands of deodorant and sneakers. Just look at all those horrible, fully stocked aisles at Target and Walgreens and Wal-Mart and Payless and DSW and Dick's Sporting Goods. It's a national nightmare! If only consumers had fewer choices in the free market, fewer entrepreneurs offering a wide variety of products and fewer workers manufacturing goods people wanted, Sanders believes, we could end childhood hunger.

Nobody parodies the far left better than far-leftists themselves.

In an interview with financial journalist John Harwood on Tuesday, Sanders detailed his grievances with an overabundance of antiperspirants and footwear. "You don't necessarily need a choice of 23 underarm spray deodorants or of 18 different pairs of sneakers when children are hungry in this country. I don't think the media appreciates the kind of stress that ordinary Americans are working on."

Try to suppress a snicker: Sanders, Decider of Your Sanitary and Footwear Needs, is casting himself as the Everyman in touch with "ordinary Americans" to contrast his campaign with Hillary "my Beltway lobbyist and foreign agent operator Sid Blumenthal is just a friend I talk to for advice" Clinton.

Blech. By the looks of the 2016 Democratic presidential field, liberals really do practice the anti-choice principles they preach.

At Caracas-on-the-Green Mountains, every business owner's success robs starving babies of vital nutrition. Because some tummies may be grumbling somewhere across the fruited plains, all must suffer. In Sanders' world, it's the "greedy"— America's real makers, builders and wealth creators — who must be punished and shamed, specifically with a personal income tax rate hiked to a whopping 90 percent for top earners.

Of course, the wealth redistributors in Washington never bear any of the blame for misspending the billions they confiscate. Nearly 100 million Americans participated in dozens of federal food assistance programs in 2014. The General Accounting Office reported last year that $74.6 billion went to food stamps, $11.3 billion went to the national school lunch program, and $7.1 billion went to the WIC (Women, Infants and Children) program, along with $1.9 billion for nutrition assistance for Puerto Rico and $10.7 million for a federal milk program.

But no, it's not the fault of command-and-control bureaucrats and their overseers on Capitol Hill that the War on Poverty and the War on Hunger have failed.

In Sanders' bubble, childhood hunger is the fault of selfish consumers, self-serving entrepreneurs and rapacious retailers who engage in voluntary transactions in a free-market economy. Just as Sanders believes there are "too many" products on the shelves, President Obama recently opined that families of America's top earners in the financial industry "pretty much have more than you'll ever be able to use and your family will ever be able to use."

We need not speculate about whether the wealth-shamers' recipe of less capitalist consumption, fewer private businesses, stifling of entrepreneurship and more government control over goods and services would result in happier citizens and fuller stomachs. In Venezuela, the shelves are unburdened by "too many" deodorants and shoes and too much soap, milk or coffee. Food distribution is under military control. The currency of the socialist paradise just collapsed on the black market by 30 percent.

Here in America, dozens of private household goods companies make billions of dollars selling scented, unscented, quilted, two-ply, white and colored toilet paper that people want and need. In Sanders' utopia in South America, the government imposed price controls in the name of redistributing basic goods to the poor and seized a toilet paper factory to cure the inevitable shortages. The lines are long. The shelves are empty. The daily battle for subsistence is brutal.

Take it from those who suffer most under the unbridled fulfillment of "you didn't build that" and "you don't need that" radicalism: It stinks.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin052715.php3#eGtDM6DxcgDlJhqO.99

5-26-15

Differences Between Left and Right: Part I

By Dennis Prager

Most Americans hold either liberal or conservative positions on most matters. In many instances, however, they would be hard pressed to explain their position or the position they oppose.

But if you can't explain both sides, how do you know you're right?

At the very least, you need to understand both the liberal and conservative positions in order to effectively understand your own.

I grew up in a liberal world — New York, Jewish and Ivy League graduate school. I was an 8-year-old when President Dwight Eisenhower ran for re-election against the Democratic nominee, Adlai Stevenson. I knew nothing about politics and had little interest in the subject. But I well recall knowing — knowing, not merely believing — that Democrats were "for the little guy" and Republicans were "for the rich guys."

I voted Democrat through Jimmy Carter's election in 1976. He was the last Democrat for which I voted.

Obviously, I underwent an intellectual change. And it wasn't easy. Becoming a Republican was emotionally and psychologically like converting to another religion.

In fact, when I first voted Republican I felt as if I had abandoned the Jewish people. To be a Jew meant being a Democrat. It was that simple. It was — and remains — that fundamental to many American Jews' identity.

Therefore, it took a lot of thought to undergo this conversion. I had to understand both liberalism and conservatism. Indeed, I have spent a lifetime in a quest to do so.

The fruit of that quest will appear in a series of columns explaining the differences between left and right.

I hope it will benefit conservatives in better understanding why they are conservative, and enable liberals to understand why someone who deeply cares about the "little guy" holds conservative — or what today are labeled as conservative — views.

Difference No. 1: Is Man Basically Good?

Left-of-center doctrines hold that people are basically good. On the other side, conservative doctrines hold that man is born morally flawed — not necessarily born evil, but surely not born good. Yes, we are born innocent — babies don't commit crimes, after all — but we are not born good. Whether it is the Christian belief in Original Sin or the Jewish belief that we are all born with a yetzer tov (good inclination) and a yetzer ra (bad inclination) that are in constant conflict, the root value systems of the West never held that we are naturally good.

To those who argue that we all have goodness within us, two responses:

First, no religion or ideology denies that we have goodness within us; the problem is with denying that we have badness within us. Second, it is often very challenging to express that goodness. Human goodness is like gold. It needs to be mined — and like gold mining, mining for our goodness can be very difficult.

This so important to understanding the left-right divide because so many fundamental left-right differences emanate from this divide.

Perhaps the most obvious one is that conservatives blame those who engage in violent criminal activity for their behavior more than liberals do. Liberals argue that poverty, despair, and hopelessness cause poor people, especially poor blacks — in which case racism is added to the list — to riot and commit violent crimes.

Here is President Barack Obama on May 18, 2015:

"In some communities, that sense of unfairness and powerlessness has contributed to dysfunction in those communities. ... Where people don't feel a sense of hope and opportunity, then a lot of times that can fuel crime and that can fuel unrest. We've seen it in places like Baltimore and Ferguson and New York. And it has many causes — from a basic lack of opportunity to some groups feeling unfairly targeted by their police forces."

So, poor blacks who riot and commit other acts of violence do so largely because they feel neglected and suffer from deprivations.

Since people are basically good, their acts of evil must be explained by factors beyond their control. Their behavior is not really their fault; and when conservatives blame blacks for rioting and other criminal behavior, liberals accuse them of "blaming the victim."

In the conservative view, people who do evil are to be blamed because they made bad choices — and they did so because they either have little self-control or a dysfunctional conscience. In either case, they are to blame. That's why the vast majority of equally poor people — black or white — do not riot or commit violent crimes.

Likewise, many liberals believe that most of the Muslims who engage in terror do so because of the poverty and especially because of the high unemployment rate for young men in the Arab world. Yet, it turns out that most terrorists come from middle class homes. All the 9/11 terrorists came from middle- and upper-class homes. And of course Osama bin Laden was a billionaire.

Material poverty doesn't cause murder, rape or terror. Moral poverty does. That's one of the great divides between left and right. And it largely emanates from their differing views about whether human nature is innately good.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0515/prager052615.php3#Jb26Dt95Eq7h8qUk.99

5-25-15

Restore the Fourth

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

If you plan to visit a college campus this month, don't be surprised if you see signs and placards encouraging you to "Restore the Fourth." Restore the Fourth is not about an athletic event or a holiday; it is about human freedom. The reference to "the Fourth" is to the Fourth Amendment, and it is badly in need of restoration.

In the dark days following 9/11, Congress enacted the Patriot Act. The Patriot Act has many flaws, including its prohibition of certain truthful public speech, but its most pernicious assault is on the constitutional right to privacy.

One of its sections permits federal agents to write their own search warrants and serve them on persons and entities who by law are the custodians of records about others, such as physicians, lawyers, bankers, telecoms, public utilities and computers servers. The same section of the act has been used perversely by the NSA and the secret FISA court to authorize the bulk collection of data.

Bulk collection of data — the indiscriminate governmental acquisition of the contents of emails, text messages, telephone calls, bank statements and credit card bills — is what the NSA seeks when it acquires all data in a specific area code or zip code or from a named provider, like Verizon, AT&T and Google.

What's wrong with bulk collection? The warrant issued by the FISA court that authorizes bulk collection is known as a general warrant. A general warrant does not name a person or place, but authorizes the bearer to search wherever he wishes and seize whatever he finds. General warrants were a tool of colonial repression used by the king prior to the American Revolution. They were issued by secret courts in London. They were so loathed by the Framers that they are expressly forbidden by the Fourth Amendment.

The Fourth Amendment requires evidence — called probable cause — about a particular person, place or event to be presented to a judge and requires the judge to decide whether it is more likely than not that the government will find what it is looking for. The wording of the amendment could not be more precise, and in a Constitution known for vague language, this precision is instructive: All warrants must "particularly descr(ibe) the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." The Fourth Amendment protects all persons' bodies, houses, papers and effects.

Yet the Patriot Act purports to avoid these requirements by permitting secret FISA court judges to authorize NSA agents to execute general warrants; thus, without probable cause and without describing the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized.

The purpose of the Fourth Amendment is to prohibit government fishing expeditions, common to totalitarian countries. The theory of the Fourth Amendment is that a restrained government — restrained by an instrument the government cannot change, like the Constitution — is essential if people are to be free. The natural right protected by the Fourth Amendment is the right to be left alone.

Enter Restore the Fourth.

Restore the Fourth is a movement gaining steam now because the section of the Patriot Act that is so constitutionally offensive expires on May 31. President Obama wants it extended so his spies can continue their bulk collection of data. The Republican leadership in the Senate agrees with the president and accepts the myth that less freedom equals more security. The Republican leadership in the House has proposed a Band-Aid that would require the telecoms and computer service providers to sit on bulk data until the feds come calling, but to surrender it without the judicial finding of probable cause or specificity.

The Patriot Act should be repealed because it violates the Constitution and it doesn't keep us safe. It renders us less safe and less free. The indiscriminate unconstitutional bulk collection of data is far too much raw material even for the 60,000 NSA agents and contractors to navigate. We saw that as recently as last weekend, when two jihadists known to the FBI and who had used email and cellphones attacked a free speech symposium outside of Dallas and were stopped at the last minute by courageous local police who saw their guns — not by federal spies' warnings.

When longtime NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander was asked under oath how many plots the NSA has stopped in 10 years, he stated 53. The next day, he modified his testimony to three, but declined to elaborate. Edward Snowden, whose revelations about NSA spying have never been refuted, says that no plots have been stopped because the NSA looks at everyone, rather than targeting the bad guys, as the probable cause requirement — if complied with — would induce it to do.

Americans are largely free because of the rule of law. The rule of law means a supreme law of the land to which even the government is subject, just as are all persons. Without the rule of law, we are subject to the rule of whoever runs the government, and our rights become licenses to be granted or denied by whoever runs the government. In that world, who or what would restrain the government? An unrestrained government is what we fought the American Revolution against.

That's why we must Restore the Fourth.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0515/napolitano050715.php3#QpXzq2wFzlbLAKVY.99

5-24-15

A Smorgasbord of Head-shakers

By David Limbaugh

Other than about a billion things, I'm feeling pretty upbeat about the current state of our nation under the leadership of those whose worldview and priorities I simply cannot fathom.

I would prefer not to be negative — even less so to be pessimistic and, still less, cynical — but current trends warrant serious concern. In the end, it's not negative, pessimistic or cynical to point out egregious conditions, especially if your aim is to alert your fellow citizens to the gravity of the problems and help ignite conditions that would put in place a plan to reverse this insanity.

Let me just give you a few things currently in the news that have me shaking my head.

President Obama has no coherent or rational foreign policy and is almost behaving as if he has no interest in containing the Islamic State group or global radical Islam, much less driving it back. The Islamic State has just captured the ancient Syrian city of Palmyra and reportedly now controls 50 percent of Syria. A few days ago, it took control of Ramadi, Iraq, a city hundreds of U.S. service members died or sustained injuries to protect.

Responding to questions about this disaster, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, "Are we going to light our hair on fire every time that there is a setback in the campaign against" the Islamic State? Earnest went on to assert that Obama's overall strategy against the group is working. On reflection, though, it certainly doesn't feel out of place for an Obama spokesman to have this attitude when you consider Obama's bizarre non-strategy against this global menace. It doesn't seem that odd when you recall Obama's stunning remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast comparing the current atrocities committed by the Islamic State to the "terrible deeds" that occurred during the Crusades a thousand years ago and were justified "in the name of Christ." Nor does Earnest's outlandish comment seem out of phase in view of his boss's referring to an Islamic terrorist murder of people in France as a "random" shooting of "a bunch of folks in a deli in Paris."

But can you imagine the outrage, the calls for resignation, if a spokesman for a Republican president responded so flippantly, so callously, so disrespectfully toward fallen American service members about an issue so important?

In a somewhat related point, did you watch Obama's commencement remarks at the United States Coast Guard Academy? He told the graduating cadets: "The threat of a changing climate cuts to the very core of your service. ... It will affect everything that you do in your careers." I simply have no words.

Moving on, have you heard the news that immigrants applying to enter the U.S. legally — you know, the ones playing by the rules and respecting the law — are facing substantially longer wait times as a result of Obama's lawless executive order granting amnesty to those not playing by the rules or respecting the law? I suppose it is consistent with Obama's typical bias against people who play by the rules, especially if they succeed in doing so, as he casts such people as lucky or life's lottery winners against whom he must even the score.

Or how about the news (it's really no longer news under this president) that 40 percent of the 8.5 million Americans who don't have jobs in this country have quit looking for work? The labor participation rate remains at a 37-year low, yet Obama spins the job market as if his policies are reducing unemployment — and the press allows him to get away with it, day after day.

Did you read about the latest confirmation that the Obama administration, including then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, outright lied in pretending the attacks on our consulate in Benghazi, Libya, were anything other than a planned terrorist attack? With malicious premeditation, the administration blamed it on an anti-Islam video when they conclusively knew, based on recently released documents, that al-Qaida terrorists had planned the attack 10 days in advance.

Then there are the Baltimore riots. Did you hear that one of Obama's Department of Justice officials, Vanita Gupta, head of the civil rights division, reportedly told a group of lawyers in Colorado that slavery and Jim Crow had helped fuel the riots there and in Ferguson, Missouri? Here again, is this that different from Obama's saying "persistent opportunity gaps" fueled the Baltimore riots? Yet he's been in office for six years, people who share his big-government ideology have been in control of Baltimore for 50 years and this city has received a disproportionate share of federal monies, and he's still blaming anyone but himself and liberal policies?

Finally, for now, how about Obama's beloved Obamacare? Did you know that the House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight chronicled 31 instances in which the Obama administration has issued regulations or guidelines that conflict with the language of the Affordable Care Act? Did you know that seven states wasted some $1.3 billion of federal money on Obamacare? That Obama's highly vaunted Obamacare exchanges are bleeding money and seeking more taxpayer bailouts across the country? That almost half the exchanges face financial struggles in the future, according to The Washington Post? Oh, yes, and though Obama always talked as if health insurance coverage would be the be-all and end-all of "compassionate" liberalism, we now learn that more than 1 in 4 adults who bought insurance for themselves or their families last year had to forgo medical care because they couldn't afford it.

I'll stop here, but could we please work hard to change the Washington climate instead of the global climate with our next president? That should be an ambitious enough goal to keep us busy.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh052215.php3#6XZtPumFlhGmKHPF.99

5-23-15

What If We Didn't Have a Constitution?

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

What if we didn't have a Constitution? What if the government were elected by custom and tradition, but not by law? What if election procedures and official titles and government responsibilities merely followed those that preceded them, and not because any of this was compelled by law, but because that's what folks came to expect?

What if those elected to office, and those appointed to it, as well, took oaths to uphold the Constitution? What if those who took the oaths promised fidelity to the Constitution? What if the Constitution declares itself to be the supreme law of the land? What if the supreme law of the land means what it says?

What if all in government, from presidents to park rangers, from generals to janitors, from judges to jail guards, take substantially the same oath? What if very few who have taken their oaths take them seriously? What if very few who have taken their oaths have actually read the Constitution? What if very few who have taken their oaths understand the values the Constitution upholds?

What if even fewer understand the historical, moral and legal bases for those values? What if most who took those oaths did so expecting someone else in government to tell them what the Constitution means and how to deal with it?

What if the whole purpose of the Constitution is to limit the government, not to unleash it?

What if the plain language of the Constitution puts clear limits on what the government in America may lawfully do? What if those in government began cutting constitutional corners about 100 years ago and overlooked prohibitions and limitations in the Constitution because they enjoyed exercising power over others and because they thought they knew what was best for everyone?

What if those prohibitions and limitations — some of which were in the corners that were cut — were written into the Constitution intentionally to keep the government off the backs of the people?

What if personal liberty is the birthright of all persons? What if government is essentially the negation of that liberty?

What if the Constitution represents the value judgment of Americans that our rights are higher in value than the government's powers to interfere with them? What if those who wrote the Constitution believed that personal liberty is the default position and government power the exception? What if the Constitution means that our rights should be maximum and government minimum?

What if our rights are natural components of our humanity? What if that humanity is a gift from God? What if we were created in His image and likeness? What if the greatest likeness we have with Him and the greatest gift from Him is free will? What if we are perfectly free as He is perfectly free?

What if He created us with such free will that we are free to reject Him? What if we are so free that we are free to reject the government? What logic could underlie an argument that we are free to reject the Creator who made us but not free to reject the government we created?

What if a government that rejects its own Constitution were to be rejected by the people? What if the people have had enough of politicians and government leaders who promise safety and demand the surrender of liberty? What if liberty once surrendered is never returned? What if the liberty-for-safety trade is a facade that impairs both liberty and safety?

What if that trade makes government's job easier, but does not keep us safer? What if the Constitution was written to keep the government's job from becoming too easy? What if it is easier to listen to everyone's phone calls than only to those as to whom the government has probable cause to listen? What if the Constitution recognizes that liberty is personal and cannot be sacrificed by a majority vote of representatives, but only by individual consent?

What if the greatest right protected by the Constitution is the right to be left alone, the right to be oneself, the right to answer only to one's own free will? What if the Framers who wrote the Constitution so valued the right to privacy that they wrote very specific criteria into the Constitution to govern the government's ability to interfere with it? What if the government violated those criteria millions of times a day in the name of safety?

What if the violation of the right to privacy is a gateway to all other government violations of personal liberty? What if every government witch hunt never stops until it finds or creates a witch? What if every government inquisition never stops until it finds or creates a heretic? What if government does create modern-day witches and heretics and then arrests them and seeks credit for keeping us safe from them? What if they never posed any threat? What if we fall for this?

What if those who love power defeat those who love liberty in a government election? What if there is no one left to enforce the Constitution against those in power?

What if all this is happening right under our noses? What do we do about it?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0515/napolitano052115.php3#ePA0hSteK1Q6lQGx.99

5-22-15

You want hypotheticals? Here's one

By Charles Krauthammer

Ramadi falls. The Iraqi army flees. The great 60-nation anti-Islamic State coalition so grandly proclaimed by the Obama administration is nowhere to be seen. Instead, it's the defense minister of Iran who flies into Baghdad, an unsubtle demonstration of who's in charge — while the U.S. air campaign proves futile and America's alleged strategy for combating the Islamic State is in freefall.

It gets worse. The Gulf states' top leaders, betrayed and bitter, ostentatiously boycott President Obama's failed Camp David summit. "We were America's best friend in the Arab world for 50 years," laments Saudi Arabia's former intelligence chief.

Note: "were," not "are."

We are scraping bottom. Following six years of President Obama's steady and determined withdrawal from the Middle East, America's standing in the region has collapsed. And yet the question incessantly asked of the various presidential candidates is not about that. It's a retrospective hypothetical: Would you have invaded Iraq in 2003 if you had known then what we know now?

First, the question is not just a hypothetical but an inherently impossible hypothetical. It contradicts itself. Had we known there were no weapons of mass destruction, the very question would not have arisen. The premise of the war — the basis for going to the U.N., to the Congress and, indeed, to the nation — was Iraq's possession of WMD in violation of the central condition for the cease-fire that ended the 1991 Gulf War. No WMD, no hypothetical to answer in the first place.

Second, the "if you knew then" question implicitly locates the origin and cause of the current disasters in 2003. As if the fall of Ramadi was predetermined then, as if the author of the current regional collapse is George W. Bush.

This is nonsense. The fact is that by the end of Bush's tenure the war had been won. You can argue that the price of that victory was too high. Fine. We can debate that until the end of time. But what is not debatable is that it was a victory. Bush bequeathed to Obama a success. By whose measure? By Obama's. As he told the troops at Fort Bragg on Dec. 14, 2011, "We are leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people." This was, said the president, a "moment of success."

Which Obama proceeded to fully squander. With the 2012 election approaching, he chose to liquidate our military presence in Iraq. We didn't just withdraw our forces. We abandoned, destroyed or turned over our equipment, stores, installations and bases. We surrendered our most valuable strategic assets, such as control of Iraqi airspace, soon to become the indispensable conduit for Iran to supply and sustain the Assad regime in Syria and cement its influence all the way to the Mediterranean. And, most relevant to the fall of Ramadi, we abandoned the vast intelligence network we had so painstakingly constructed in Anbar province, without which our current patchwork operations there are largely blind and correspondingly feeble.

The current collapse was not predetermined in 2003 but in 2011. Isn't that what should be asked of Hillary Clinton? We know you think the invasion of 2003 was a mistake. But what about the abandonment of 2011? Was that not a mistake?

Mme. Secretary: When you arrived at State, al-Qaeda in Iraq had been crushed and expelled from Anbar. The Iraqi government had from Basra to Sadr City fought and defeated the radical, Iranian-proxy Shiite militias. Yet today these militias are back, once again dominating Baghdad. On your watch, we gave up our position as the dominant influence over a "sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq" — forfeiting that position gratuitously to Iran. Was that not a mistake? And where were you when it was made?

Iraq is now a battlefield between the Sunni jihadists of the Islamic State and the Shiite jihadists of Iran's Islamic Republic. There is no viable center. We abandoned it. The Obama administration's unilateral pullout created a vacuum for the entry of the worst of the worst.

And the damage was self-inflicted. The current situation in Iraq, says David Petraeus, "is tragic foremost because it didn't have to turn out this way. The hard-earned progress of the surge was sustained for over three years."

Do the math. That's 2009 through 2011, the first three Obama years. And then came the unraveling. When? The last U.S. troops left Iraq on Dec. 18, 2011.

Want to do retrospective hypotheticals? Start there.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer052215.php3#LZX2TmdrdCMt8ots.99

5-21-15

Dr. Capitalism

By John Stossel

For years, my scientist brother Tom was the nonpolitical Stossel.

I defended free markets on TV, and he studied blood at Harvard and Brigham and Women's Hospital. Mom asked me when I'd get a "real job" like his.

Then the crusade against capitalism reached his world.

Medical "journalists" demanded that corporations distance themselves from medical research. They'll bias the results, "put profits before people" and sell dangerous goods.

Tom didn't notice this "conflict of interest crusade" until he joined the scientific advisory board of a biotech company and learned how difficult it is to bring medical innovation to market. Now he's furious about what he calls "pharma-phobia."

He says criticism of medical-industry cooperation "is a mixture of moralistic bullying, opinion unsupported by empirical evidence, speculation, simplistic and distorted interpretations ..."

You get the idea. At dinner, we tell him, "You're probably right, but shut up now."

But he shouldn't shut up. Trying to take money out of medicine will deprive us of the very innovation we want. Drug companies are the ones with the resources to create cures. It's insane to limit their access to medical research.

Tom just wrote a book about this titled "Pharmaphobia: How the Conflict of Interest Myth Undermines American Medical Innovation."

One way that the anti-capitalists want to purify medicine is by urging people not to trust scientists who consult for industry and to ban them from government advisory panels and scientific studies. But it's usually the smartest researchers who are hired by industry. Banning them means banning the most qualified scientists.

While activists denounce industry for "exploiting" sick people, industry keeps helping us live healthier lives.

"Over the nearly 50 years I've been a physician, health care has improved," writes Tom. "Our lifespan has increased by 10 years, we're half as likely to die of a heart attack or stroke, and suffer a lot less from arthritis as we age." If that's what happens when capitalists get involved in medicine, I say: Let's have more of it!

The activists take new treatments for granted but resent paying for them and resent the profit motive that brought them about. So do many patients.

Tom's brother-in-law Patrick was dying of cancer until he was given a new drug that's kept him alive for 15 years. Patrick was grateful but angry that the drug costs so much: $123,000 per year (his insurance company pays the bill).

That cost — $123,000 — seems outrageous, especially because activists claim government funds all-important scientific research. But that's a lie. Eighty-seven percent of new drugs are discovered by private industry, only 13 percent come from public-sector research.

Then there's the average 16 years of required government testing before it will allow you to sell anything. Only vilified industry has the patience and self-interest to wade through that process, knowing they may lose money because 9 out of 10 promising new drugs will never be approved.

You start to suspect that the activists aren't really concerned about what's best for patients. Some are purists, argues Tom, who just want profit removed from life. But many have self-serving agendas: Insurers benefit from drug price controls, and a demonized industry is easier prey for prosecutors and tort lawyers.

New rules imposed on universities and hospitals forbid doctors to educate other doctors about new drugs, or learn FDA-approved drug information from company representatives.

Even tiny gifts from companies, like a pen with a corporate logo, are regarded as potentially corrupting. Part of Obamacare called the "Sunshine Law" demands that companies report to the U.S. Department of Health any payment of as little as $10 to a doctor.

This is useless. Few doctors are corrupted by a box of donuts, and no one reads thousands of pages of disclosure forms. Much worse is that it diverts billions of dollars from drug research to bureaucrats working pointlessly in companies' new "compliance" departments.

In a free market, medical practitioners and medical companies earn more money if they make their patients and customers happy and keep them healthy. That's the best incentive. I trust that competition more than I'll ever trust the activists who want to shut it down.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0515/stossel052015.php3#spVfbpaxDefxtX4G.99

5-20-15

The True Black Tragedy

By Walter Williams

Hustlers and people with little understanding want us to believe that today's black problems are the continuing result of a legacy of slavery, poverty and racial discrimination. The fact is that most of the social pathology seen in poor black neighborhoods is entirely new in black history. Let's look at some of it.

Today the overwhelming majority of black children are raised in single female-headed families. As early as the 1880s, three-quarters of black families were two-parent. In 1925 New York City, 85 percent of black families were two-parent. One study of 19th-century slave families found that in up to three-fourths of the families, all the children had the same mother and father.

Today's black illegitimacy rate of nearly 75 percent is also entirely new. In 1940, black illegitimacy stood at 14 percent. It had risen to 25 percent by 1965, when Daniel Patrick Moynihan wrote "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action" and was widely condemned as a racist. By 1980, the black illegitimacy rate had more than doubled, to 56 percent, and it has been growing since. Both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks.

Much of today's pathology seen among many blacks is an outgrowth of the welfare state that has made self-destructive behavior less costly for the individual. Having children without the benefit of marriage is less burdensome if the mother receives housing subsidies, welfare payments and food stamps. Plus, the social stigma associated with unwed motherhood has vanished. Female-headed households, whether black or white, are a ticket for dependency and all of its associated problems. Ignored in all discussions is the fact that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994.

Black youth unemployment in some cities is over 50 percent. But high black youth unemployment is also new. In 1948, the unemployment rate for black teens was slightly less than that of their white counterparts — 9.4 percent compared with 10.2. During that same period, black youths were either just as active in the labor force or more so than white youths. Since the 1960s, both the labor force participation rate and the employment rate of black youths have fallen to what they are today. Why? Are employers more racially discriminatory today than yesteryear? Were black youths of yesteryear more skilled than whites of yesteryear? The answer to both questions is a big fat no.

The minimum wage law and other labor regulations have cut off the bottom rungs of the economic ladder. Put yourself in the place of an employer, and ask: If I must pay $7.25 an hour — plus mandated fringes, such as Social Security and workers' compensation — would it pay me to hire a worker who is so unfortunate as to possess skills that enable him to produce only $5 worth of value per hour? Most employers view that as a losing economic proposition. Thus, the minimum wage law discriminates against the employment of low-skilled workers, who are most often youths — particularly black youths.

The little bit of money a teenager can earn through after-school, weekend and summer employment is not nearly so important as the other things he gains from early work experiences. He acquires skills and develops good work habits, such as being prompt, following orders and respecting supervisors. In addition, there are the self-respect and pride that a youngster gains from being financially semi-independent. All of these gains from early work experiences are important for any teen but are even more important for black teens. If black teens are going to learn anything that will make them a more valuable employee in the future, they aren't going to learn it from their rotten schools, their dysfunctional families or their crime-ridden neighborhoods. They must learn it on the job.

The bulk of today's problems for many blacks are a result of politicians and civil rights organizations using government in the name of helping blacks when in fact they are serving the purposes of powerful interest groups.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams052015.php3#IdYZXqlMHyamaGlM.99

5--19-15

'Just Asking'

By Thomas Sowell

In a recent panel discussion on poverty at Georgetown University, President Barack Obama gave another demonstration of his mastery of rhetoric — and disregard of reality.

One of the ways of fighting poverty, he proposed, was to "ask from society's lottery winners" that they make a "modest investment" in government programs to help the poor.

Since free speech is guaranteed to everyone by the First Amendment to the Constitution, there is nothing to prevent anybody from asking anything from anybody else. But the federal government does not just "ask" for money. It takes the money it wants in taxes, usually before the people who have earned it see their paychecks.

Despite pious rhetoric on the left about "asking" the more fortunate for more money, the government does not "ask" anything. It seizes what it wants by force. If you don't pay up, it can take not only your paycheck, it can seize your bank account, put a lien on your home and/or put you in federal prison.

So please don't insult our intelligence by talking piously about "asking."

And please don't call the government's pouring trillions of tax dollars down a bottomless pit "investment." Remember the soaring words from Barack Obama, in his early days in the White House, about "investing in the industries of the future"? After Solyndra and other companies in which he "invested" the taxpayers' money went bankrupt, we haven't heard those soaring words so much.

Then there are those who produced the wealth that politicians want to grab. In Obama's rhetoric, these producers are called "society's lottery winners."

Was Bill Gates a lottery winner? Or did he produce and sell a computer operating system that allows billions of people around the world to use computers, without knowing anything about the inner workings of this complex technology?

Was Henry Ford a lottery winner? Or did he revolutionize the production of automobiles, bringing the price down to the point where cars were no longer luxuries of the rich but vehicles that millions of ordinary people could afford, greatly expanding the scope of their lives?

Most people who want to redistribute wealth don't want to talk about how that wealth was produced in the first place. They just want "the rich" to pay their undefined "fair share" of taxes. This "fair share" must remain undefined because all it really means is "more."

Once you have defined it — whether at 30 percent, 60 percent or 90 percent — you wouldn't be able to come back for more.

Obama goes further than other income redistributionists. "You didn't build that!" he declared to those who did. Why? Because those who created additions to the world's wealth used government-built roads or other government-provided services to market their products.

And who paid for those roads and other government-provided services if not the taxpayers? Since all other taxpayers, as well as non-taxpayers, also use government facilities, why are those who created private wealth not to use them also, since they are taxpayers as well?

The fact that most of the rhetorical ploys used by Barack Obama and other redistributionists will not stand up under scrutiny means very little politically. After all, how many people who come out of our schools and colleges today are capable of critical scrutiny?

When all else fails, redistributionists can say, as Obama did at Georgetown University, that "coldhearted, free-market capitalist types" are people who "pretty much have more than you'll ever be able to use and your family will ever be able to use," so they should let the government take that extra money to help the poor.

Slippery use of the word "use" seems to confine it to personal consumption. The real question is whether the investment of wealth is likely to be done better by those who created that wealth in the first place or by politicians. The track record of politicians hardly suggests that turning ever more of a nation's wealth over to them is likely to turn out well.

It certainly has not turned out well in the American economy under Barack Obama.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell051915.php3#jSozwFvFfM0gfZSS.99

5-18-15

Obamacare Exchanges on Life Support

By Michelle Malkin

At a recent White House science fair celebrating inventors, a Girl Scout who helped design a Lego-powered page-turning device asked President Obama what he had ever thought up or prototyped. Stumbling for an answer, he replied:

"I came up with things like, you know, health care."

Ah, yes. "Health care." Remember when the president's signature Obamacare health insurance exchanges were going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread, the remote control, jogger strollers, Siri, the Keurig coffee maker, driverless cars and Legos all rolled into one?

The miraculous, efficient, cost-saving, innovative 21st-century government-run "marketplaces" were supposed to put the "affordable" in Obama's Affordable Care Act. Know-it-all bureaucrats were going to show private companies how to set up better websites (gigglesnort), implement better marketing and outreach (guffaw), provide superior customer service (belly laugh), and eliminate waste, fraud and abuse (LOLOLOL).

You will be shocked beyond belief, I'm sure, to learn that Obamacare exchanges across the country are instead bleeding money, seeking more taxpayer bailouts and turning everything they touch to chicken poop.

Wait, that's not fair to chicken poop, which can at least be composted.

"Almost half of Obamacare exchanges face financial struggles in the future," The Washington Post reported last week. The news comes despite $5 billion in federal taxpayer subsidies for IT vendors, call centers and all the infrastructure and manpower needed to prop up the showcase government health insurance entities. Initially, the feds ran 34 state exchanges; 16 states and the District of Columbia set up their own.

While private health insurance exchanges have operated smoothly and satisfied customers for decades, the Obamacare models are on life support. Oregon's exchange is six feet under — shuttered last year after government overseers squandered $300 million on their failed website and shady consultants who allegedly set up a phony website to trick the feds. The FBI and the U.S. HHS inspector general's office reportedly have been investigating the racket for more than a year now.

In the People's Republic of Hawaii, which has been a "trailblazer" of socialized medicine for nearly four decades, the profligate state-run exchange demanded a nearly $30 million cash infusion to remain financially viable after securing $205 million for startup costs. The Hawaii Health Connector accidentally disconnected hundreds of poor patients' accounts and squandered an estimated 8,000 hours on technological glitches and failures. Enrollment projections were severely overinflated like a reverse Tom Brady scandal. After failing to secure a bailout, Hawaii announced this week that its exchange would be shut down amid rising debt.

In Maryland, a state audit found that its health insurance exchange "improperly billed the federal government $28.4 million as former Gov. Martin O'Malley's administration struggled to launch what would become one of the most troubled websites in the nation," The Baltimore Sun reported in late March. That's in addition to the $90 million the state blew on technical problems. The state scrapped its junk website and forced enrollees to resubmit to the tortuous sign-up process all over again.

Last week, federal prosecutors subpoenaed the Massachusetts Obamacare exchange after whistleblowers there exposed what a "technological disaster" its "Health Connector" program was. Boston's Pioneer Institute senior fellow in health care, Josh Archambault, released a report on Monday detailing the "complete incompetence" of the state's health bureaucrats from Day One. But taxpayers would be lucky if incompetence were the only sin.

After firing the tech boneheads of CGI, the same company behind the federal healthcare.gov meltdown, Massachusetts officials "appear to have lied to the federal government to cover up mistakes" made by both the state and the IT company. "In at least two instances we uncovered," Archambault revealed, what the state told the feds "was either in direct conflict with internal audits or highly improbable given what was being said in the audit and what whistleblowers said was happening at the time."

As health care analyst Phil Kerpen of the free market group American Commitment points out, Massachusetts "already had a functioning state health exchange" but "after receiving $179 million from federal taxpayers" to reconstitute it under Obamacare, "they were able to break that existing exchange beyond repair." An amazing feat.

Lesson for inventive Scouts and students wondering about what people in Washington, D.C., prototype: Government bureaucrats don't make things, kids. They break things.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin051515.php3#G1Ystg7jrcF750o7.99

5-17-15

America's Decay Is Speeding Up

By Dennis Prager

As one who loves America — not only because I am American, but even more so because I know (not believe, know) that the American experiment in forming a decent society has been the most successful in history — I write the following words in sadness: With few exceptions, every aspect of American life is in decline.

"Decay" is the word.

The Decline of the Family: Nearly half (48 percent) of American children are born to a mother who is not married. Forty-three percent of American children live without a father in the home. About 50 percent of Americans over 18 are married, compared to 72 percent in 1960. Americans are having so few children that the fertility rate fell to a record low 62.9 births per 1,000 women in 2013. And in an increasing number of states, there are now more deaths than births.

The Decline of Education: Compared to nearly all of American history, the average American school teaches much less about important subjects such as American history, English grammar, literature, music and art. Instead, schools are teaching much more about "social justice," environmentalism and sex.

Any of us who receive emails from large numbers of Americans can attest to the deteriorating education — including among those who attended college — in written English. In sophisticated commentary on websites as well as in email, one encounters the most basic errors: "it's" instead of "its;" "their" instead of "there;" "then" instead of "than," etc.

Most universities have become secular seminaries for the dissemination of Leftism. Moreover, aside from indoctrination, students usually learn little. One can earn a BA in English at UCLA, for example, without having read a single Shakespeare play.

To the extent that American history is taught, beginning in high school and often earlier, American history is presented as the history of an immoral nation characterized by slavery, racism, colonialism, imperialism, economic exploitation, and militarism — not of a country that, more than any other, has been the beacon of freedom to mankind, and the country that has spent more treasure and spilled more blood to liberate other peoples than any other nation.

The End of Male and Female: Whatever one's position on same-sex marriage, one must acknowledge that at the core of the argument for this redefinition of marriage is that gender doesn't matter. Marriage is marriage, and gender means nothing, the argument goes. So, too, whether children are raised by mother and father or two mothers or two fathers doesn't matter. A father has nothing unique to offer a child that a mother can't provide and vice versa.

Why? Because — for the first time in recorded history — gender is regarded as meaningless. Indeed, increasingly gender doesn't even exist; it's merely a social construct imposed on children by parents and society based on the biological happenstance of their genitalia. When signing up for Facebook, one is offered nearly 60 options under "gender." In various high schools across the country, boys are elected homecoming queen. A woman was recently kicked out of Planet Fitness for objecting to a man in the women's locker room. She was accused of intolerance because the man said he felt that he was a woman.

The End of Right and Wrong: At least two generations of American young people have been taught that moral categories are nothing more than personal (or societal) preferences. Recently, an incredulous professor of philosophy wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times titled "Why Our Children Don't Think There Are Moral Facts." In it he noted, "Without fail, every value claim is labeled an opinion" (italics in original). This extends to assessing the most glaring of evils. Since the Nazis thought killing Jews was right, there is no way to know for sure whether it was wrong; it's the Nazis' opinion against that of the Jews and anyone else who objects. I have heard this sentiment from American high school students — including many Jewish ones — for 30 years.

The End of Religion: There are no moral truths because there is no longer a religious basis for morality. More than the Enlightenment, it was the Bible — especially the Hebrew Bible (which was one reason America's Christians were different from most European Christians) that guided the Founders' and other Americans' values. Not anymore. Instead of being guided by a code higher than themselves, Americans are taught to rely on their feelings to determine how to behave. Instead of being given moral guidance, children are asked, "How do you feel about it?"

The End of Beauty: Just as morality is subjective; so are beauty and excellence. There is no good or bad art or literature. You like Beethoven; I like rap. You like Shakespeare; I like Batman. "Street art" (aka graffiti) is worthy of museum exhibition; paint thrown by an "artist" from atop a ladder onto a canvas is considered high art and fetches over $100 million; and a giant sculpture of a dog with lifted leg urinating adorns the front of the Orange County Museum of Art in California.

If you acknowledge that American society is in decay, it is your obligation to fight to undo it. If you can't acknowledge that American society is in decay, you are providing proof that it is.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0415/prager040715.php3#QyprbcC5JwchDWcy.99

5-16-15

Let's Recognize Who the Real Haters Are

By David Limbaugh

One may reasonably wonder whether the militant left in this country is solely dedicated to manufacturing issues to keep the nation in a constant state of uproar, angst and disharmony. We're seeing lots of negativity and intolerance from those so concerned that we all love one another.

Their most recent cause for hysterical urgency is Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The left has gone absolutely bonkers attempting to paint that legislation as a license for Christians to discriminate against gays for sport and is smearing anyone who supports it as a reactionary bigot.

Don't you long for those days when words had meaning? Now we have propagandists whose principal job is to deceitfully distort word meanings to promote their causes.

A few examples in the context of the issue at hand are "hate," "homophobe," "discrimination" and "anti-." People who oppose same-sex marriage do not fear or hate people who are gay. They are not advocating discrimination against them, and they are not against them.

These calculated distortions have had an enormous impact on our culture, infecting even people who should know better. Now enshrined in our popular culture, these misrepresentations affect the way people think (which is the whole point, of course) and lead to imputed motives with no basis in fact.

Consider U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy's unfortunate language in his opinion in the Windsor case, in which the court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act as unconstitutional.

Kennedy said the government's refusal to recognize same-sex marriages imposed a "stigma," codified a "separate status" into law and "humiliate(d)" a certain group of people. He said, "The principal purpose and the necessary effect of this law are to demean those persons who are in a lawful same-sex marriage."

Those were grossly unwarranted accusations. In fact, Kennedy's reckless language could cause the exact harm he professed to be condemning, for he flagrantly stigmatized, humiliated and demeaned proponents of DOMA in presumptuously imputing motives to them they don't possess.

Somewhat similarly, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, in walking back his position on Indiana's law, said, "No one should be harassed or mistreated because of who they are, who they love or what they believe."

That was a profoundly regrettable choice of words that only lends credence to the dishonest activists who are attempting to vilify people who support a law that protects one of this nation's most basic and sacred freedoms, the freedom of religion. Under no reasonable construction of language can business owners' refusal to perform services or sell products for events that celebrate causes that violate their religious beliefs be considered harassment. The only people being harassed on this issue are the business owners, because of their religious beliefs.

The Indiana law doesn't authorize businesses to deny services to gay people at will. Neither the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act nor any of the state RFRAs have been used as a license for merchants to refuse to do business with gays. But there is a qualitative difference between refusing to serve gays in general and declining to provide services for the very event that solemnizes their legal marriage.

We should expect better from Kennedy and Pence, but not White House press secretary Josh Earnest, who said the Indiana law "could reasonably be used to try to justify discriminating against somebody because of who they love." That incendiary language completely distorts the motive of those who don't want to service same-sex marriage ceremonies, and he knows it.

Leftists also want to marginalize Christians who support such legislation as hateful kooks and outliers, but the truth is that Christianity sanctifies marriage as between one man and one woman, and that is not only in the Old Testament. Those who claim that Jesus never condemned homosexuality should know that he did affirm marriage as between a man and a woman. Reciting Genesis, he said, "Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, 'Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh'?" (Matthew 19:4-5).

Let's not forget what the federal and state RFRAs, as construed by the courts, do. They seek to balance sometimes-conflicting interests. They say the government can't force people to violate their sincerely held religious beliefs unless it can prove it has a compelling interest in doing so, and only then if it does so by the least restrictive means.

Again, RFRAs recognize potential disagreements and provide for a reasonable balancing of those interests. But the ugly truth is that opponents of RFRAs don't want there to be a balancing test. They don't believe that the religious convictions of Christians on same-sex marriage deserve any protection. They are the extremists in this conflict, not the Christian merchants who choose to respectfully decline performing services for a very minute fraction of transactions involving gays.

What people should keep in mind is that any real hatred involved in this latest hot-button issue is emanating from the people who are falsely claiming to be victimized by hate. The nasty, mean-spirited rhetoric, the desire to harm people for exercising their religion and the efforts to smear a certain group of people are coming from leftist activists against Christians, not Christians against gays. Those are the facts.

The question is, Will our Republican politicians have the backbone to stand up for what is right on this issue and vindicate religious liberty?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh040315.php3#wPioixJ8p6zFESJi.99

5-15-15

At Georgetown, Obama Masquerading Again as Bipartisan

By David Limbaugh

I watched President Obama's remarks on poverty at Georgetown University, and several things stood out to me, apart from his umpteenth swipe at Fox News.

Obama sometimes makes statements that sound reasonable and moderate, but he either doesn't believe the things he's saying or has an ideological blind spot about what they really mean. But his practice of saying such things, I think, is one reason that during the 2008 presidential campaign, some were fooled into believing he was bipartisan and a uniter.

He continues to decry extremism from both sides and implies his own position is decidedly more moderate. For example, at Georgetown, he said: "The stereotype is that you've got folks on the left who just want to pour more money into social programs and don't care anything about culture or parenting or family structures. ... And then you've got coldhearted free market capitalist types who are reading Ayn Rand and think (people are) moochers. And I think the truth is more complicated. ... (Some conservatives) deeply care about ... the poor, exhibit that through their churches, through community groups, through philanthropic efforts but are suspicious of what government can do. And then there are those on the left who, I think, are in the trenches every day and see how important parenting is and how important family structures are and the connective tissue that holds communities together and recognize that (when those structures fray) that contributes to poverty ... but also believe that government and resources can make a difference in creating an environment in which young people can succeed despite great odds. And it seems to me that if coming out of this conversation we can have a both/and conversation rather than either/or conversation, then we'll be making some progress."

The problem is that no matter how reasonable he can sound sometimes — and it isn't that often anymore — in practice, he's been anything but reasonable. He has pursued an extreme leftist agenda, leaving the left ecstatic, the perpetually clueless still ignorant, the credulous feeling a bit betrayed and those who had him pegged from the beginning unhappily vindicated. If you listen to all of Obama's comments instead of his occasional feints toward bipartisanship, you know he's anything but a moderate.

For instance, he said, "I think if you talk to any of my Republican friends, they will say, No. 1, they care about the poor — and I believe them. No. 2, they'll say that there are some public goods that have to be made — and I'll believe them. But when it comes to actually establishing budgets, making choices, prioritizing, that's when it starts breaking down."

Are you hearing him? He is saying some Republicans may think they care about the poor but, when the rubber hits the road, they really don't. Why? Because they won't adopt his leftist agenda wholesale. During budget negotiations, he's the one who refuses to compromise. He's the one who takes such extreme positions that by the time Republicans compromise, we end up with three-fourths of what Obama wanted — such as with the sequester cuts, when they agreed to gut the military budget just to get Obama to agree to cuts, not in spending but in the rate of spending increases.

Obama has proved himself quite willing to use deceit when it serves his purposes, but I think the above are examples of his ideologically and narcissistically based tunnel vision. Like many liberal politicians and media figures, he sees his approach as the only possibly moral and reasonable one and anything deviating from it as being born of sinister aims, so he can't process opposition as ever being legitimate.

This mindset also explains Obama's repeated complaint, which he voiced again at Georgetown, that our society (because of Republicans) isn't willing to "invest" enough in "public goods," which is why the middle class and poor are hurting. This is depressingly devoid of reality. With more than $20 trillion of social spending over the years and no net progress (and much decline), how can anyone say there hasn't been enough of such spending? With $18 trillion of debt, how can Obama even consider spending more money we don't have, especially when he's improperly diverted so much money he promised to allocate to infrastructure?

Obama's incapable of considering that liberal policies haven't worked and making adjustments. If they haven't worked or haven't worked well or fast enough, it is always because we haven't gone far enough, a delusional excuse that will never run out of liberal policy failures to justify, because in theory, we could always spend more and further grow the government.

You can talk about extremes on both sides of the political aisle, but in fact, by far the greatest number of real extremists (among those in power and influence, at least) are in today's Democratic Party. Those Republicans whom liberals call extremists would be satisfied with achieving a mere moderate scaling down of the smorgasbord of extreme leftist policies implemented over the years. There isn't a Republican with any chance of electability who advocates wholly abolishing a societal safety net. Not even close.

So don't let Obama or other leftists fool you about either their own reasonableness or our extremism.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh051515.php3#w5uBgyWgZejsHReX.99

5-14-15

Punishing parents who deviate from the government-enforced norm

By George Will

Controversies about "free-range parenting" illuminate today's scarred cultural landscape. Neighbors summon police in response to parenting choices the neighbors disapprove. Government extends its incompetence with an ever-broader mission of "child protection." And these phenomena are related to campus hysteria about protecting infantilized undergraduates from various menaces, including uncongenial ideas.

The Meitivs live in suburban Montgomery County, which is a bedroom for many Washington bureaucrats who make their living minding other people's business. The Meitivs, to encourage independence and self-reliance, let their 10- and 6-year-old children walk home alone from a park about a mile from their home.

For a second time, their children were picked up by police, this time three blocks from home. After confinement in a squad car for almost three hours, during which the police never called or allowed the children to call the Meitivs, the children were given to social workers who finally allowed the parents to reclaim their children at about 11 p.m. on a school night. The Meitivs' Kafkaesque experiences concluded with them accused of "unsubstantiated" neglect.

Today's saturating media tug children beyond childhood prematurely, but not to maturity. Children are cosseted by intensive parenting that encourages passivity and dependency, and stunts their abilities to improvise, adapt and weigh risks. Mark Hemingway, writing at the Federalist, asks: "You know what it's called when kids make mistakes without adult supervision and have to wrestle with the resulting consequences? Growing up."

Increased knowledge of early childhood development has produced increased belief in a "science" of child rearing. This has increased intolerance of parenting that deviates from norms that are as changeable as most intellectual fads.

"Intensive parenting" is becoming a government-enforced norm. Read "The day I left my son in the car" (Salon.com), Kim Brooks's essay on her ordeal after leaving her 4-year-old in the car as she darted into a store for about five minutes.

Writing in the Utah Law Review, David Pimentel of Ohio Northern University notes that at a moment when "children have never been safer," government is abandoning deference to parents' discretion in child rearing. In 1925, the Supreme Court affirmed the right of parents "to direct the upbringing and education of children."

Today, however, vague statutes that criminalize child "neglect" or "endangerment" undermine the social legitimacy of parental autonomy. And they ignore the reality that almost every decision a parent makes involves risks. Let your child ride a bike to school, or strap her into a car for the trip? Which child is more at risk, the sedentary one playing video games and risking obesity, or the one riding a bike? It is, Pimentel says, problematic for the legal system to enforce cultural expectations when expectations, partly shaped by media hysteria over rare dangers such as child abductions, are in constant flux.

Time was, colleges and universities acted in loco parentis to moderate undergraduates' comportment, particularly regarding sex and alcohol. Institutions have largely abandoned this, having decided that students are mature possessors of moral agency.

But institutions have also decided that although undergraduates can cope with hormones and intoxicants, they must be protected from discomforting speech, which must be regulated by codes and confined to "free speech zones."

Uncongenial ideas must be foreshadowed by "trigger warnings," lest students, who never were free-range children and now are as brittle as pretzels, crumble. Young people shaped by smothering parents come to college not really separated from their "helicopter parents."

Such students come convinced that the world is properly devoted to guaranteeing their serenity, and that their fragility entitles them to protection from distressing thoughts. As Penn State historian Gary Cross says, adolescence is being redefined to extend well into the 20s, and the "clustering of rites of passage" into adulthood — marriage, childbearing, permanent employment — "has largely disappeared." Writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Cross says that "delayed social adulthood" means that "in 2011, almost a fifth of men between 25 and 34 still lived with their parents," where many play video games: "The average player is 30 years old." The percentage of men in their early 40s who have never married "has risen fourfold to 20 percent."

In the 1950s, Cross says, with Jack Kerouac and Hugh Hefner "the escape from male responsibility became a kind of subculture." Today, oldies radio and concerts by septuagenarian rockers nurture the cult of youth nostalgia among people who, wearing jeans, T-shirts and sneakers all the way, have slouched from adolescence to Social Security without ever reaching maturity.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will051415.php3#Ik8Flom5qk60JEzq.99

5-13-15

Some Odds and Ends

By Walter Williams

Occasionally, I wonder whether I'm alone in some of my wonderings. Look at the claim that conservatives or Republicans have launched a war on women as a part of their overall mean-spirited agenda. In the case of mistreatment of women — or of anyone else — assault, rape and murder are about as horrible as it gets.

But I would be willing to bet a lot of money that most of the assaults, rapes and murders of women are done by people who identify as liberals or Democrats, particularly in the cases of murderers. Most crime, except perhaps white-collar crime, is committed by people who vote Democratic. Therefore, it's not surprising that former Attorney General Eric Holder, President Barack Obama and their liberal Democratic partners want to end laws that prevent felons and ex-felons from voting. Felons and ex-felons are seen as an important part of their party's constituency.

What about diversity? Diversity is nothing less than a craze on most college campuses. Despite budget squeezes, universities have created diversity positions, such as vice chancellor for equity, diversity and inclusion; director of diversity and inclusion; manager of diversity recruitment; associate dean for diversity; and vice president of diversity. Some diversity chiefs — such as the vice chancellors of diversity at the University of California campuses in San Diego and San Francisco — have annual salaries that top $250,000. That doesn't include the millions of dollars spent staffing and equipping diversity offices.

The original motto of our nation, E Pluribus Unum — meaning "out of many, one" — was proposed for the first great seal of the United States by John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Jefferson in 1776. It recognizes the diversity of the American people. You can bet that the campus call for diversity is everything but a patriotic celebration of America. If anything, it's a condemnation and criticism of the United States and Western values. The academic vision of diversity calls for the celebration of people based upon their race, religion, genitalia and sexual behavior. And the last thing academic diversity means is diversity in thought, opinions and political affiliation. Taxpayers and irresponsible donors foot the bill for this deviancy.

Intellectuals argue that diversity is necessary for academic excellence, but what's their evidence other than plausibility? Here's what they need to explain. Japan is a nation bereft of diversity in anything. Close to 99 percent of its population is of one race. Whose students do you think have higher academic achievement — theirs or ours, who are diversity-rich? According to the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment, the academic performance of U.S. high-school students in reading, math and science pales in comparison with their diversity-starved counterparts in Japan.

I also wonder about sex equality. The Army's physical fitness test's minimum requirement for 17- to 21-year-old males is 35 pushups, 47 situps and a 2-mile run in 16 minutes, 36 seconds or less. For females of the same age, the minimum requirement is 13 pushups, 47 situps and a 19:42 2-mile run.

In "Defense Department 'Diversity' Push for Women in Land Combat" (http://tinyurl.com/axn9l93), Elaine Donnelly, director of the Center for Military Readiness, points to U.S. Army studies showing that women are twice as likely to suffer injuries and are three times more undeployable than men. Women are less likely to be able to march under load; that's marching 12.4 miles in five hours with an 83-pound assault load. They are also less likely to be able to crawl, sprint, negotiate obstacles and, worse yet, move a wounded comrade weighing 165 pounds while carrying that load.

So here's my wonderment: Should male soldiers sue the Department of Defense for sex discrimination, or should everyone have to live up to the same standards? Or should sex inequality be the official standard for our military?

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams051315.php3#YtaYX8wWtxjUTUOg.99

5-12-15

The Real Takeaways From the Halperin-Cruz Interview

By David Limbaugh

Liberal media honcho Mark Halperin really showed his "colors" as he tried to de-Hispanify Sen. Ted Cruz in an interview for Bloomberg Politics over the weekend.

If you like arrogant, condescending, rude, insolent and patronizing Beltway journalism, you may appreciate Halperin's performance. If you are a person of ordinary sensibilities, however, and not so intoxicated with the leftist worldview that you are incapable of dispassionately assessing the segment, you will have a different reaction.

What first struck me about the interview was not so much the objectively asinine questions Halperin asked but his obvious motive and attitude in asking them. Aside from a few throwaways, all of his questions were aimed at exposing Cruz as an inauthentic Hispanic. And as insulting as that is, there is something more noteworthy about it that some are missing in all the hubbub about the interview.

Halperin's unstated premise underlying his questions is that one cannot have a bona fide Hispanic heritage if he doesn't continue to bathe himself in the Hispanic culture and view American politics from a Hispanic prism. If you are ethnically Hispanic but have assimilated into American culture and embrace the American idea of government, you ought not be entitled to lay claim to your ethnicity or to receive support from the Hispanic community. Halperin and his liberal friends apply the same standards to assess African-American candidacies.

Cruz showed extraordinary class and restraint in fielding these boorish questions, but what was even more gratifying to me was that in his answers, he implicitly, though emphatically, rejected Halperin's assumptions, making clear that though he is proud of his ethnicity and considers his Cuban-American father his hero, he is a full-blooded American, proud of the Constitution and the liberties it protects.

At every turn, Halperin was trying to discredit Cruz as a Hispanic by trying to trap him into revealing that he doesn't qualify as a person who could attract Hispanic votes through identity politics, and at every turn, Cruz showed that he could do so indeed if he chose to; he chooses not to because he is about economic growth and opportunity for all Americans. He simply refuses to look at his candidacy as an opportunity to help any targeted groups, including Hispanics. This, my friends, was the takeaway from the interview, because in the end, it was about Cruz, not Halperin, who only confirmed that he's a mini-flyweight charlatan of a reporter.

To experience the full effect of this embarrassing charade, you need to watch the video, but here are some excerpts of the questions and my summary of Cruz's responses.

"What's your appraisal of (Bernie Sanders') candidacy, and can we hear your very good and very respectful imitation of Sen. Sanders?"

Cruz didn't take the bait but did use the opportunity to make a trenchant point: Sanders gets props for his candor in admitting he's a socialist. Hillary Clinton's economic policies are very close to Sanders', and it will be interesting to have her explain whether she agrees with policies he'll describe as socialist and whether they would be good for this country. Bingo.

"Your last name is Cruz, and you're from Texas. Just based on that, should you have appeal to Hispanic voters?"

Again, Cruz refused to fall into Halperin's trap. He didn't say, "Hey, I am really Hispanic." He said he is proud he received 40 percent of the Hispanic vote in his U.S. Senate race in Texas because his personal story resonates with the Hispanic community. And it does so not because he speaks Spanish but because it is an inspiring story of a father who relied on his own personal fortitude to achieve the American dream in a land of opportunity. Cruz's message to Hispanic voters is not "Vote for me because I'm one of you" but "Vote for me because I intend to restore the American dream and expand opportunities for all Americans, regardless of color — with policies that will allow you to unshackle yourselves from the burdensome and destructive policies of the Obama administration and will lead to your liberty and prosperity."

After a few more questions shamelessly trying to flesh out Cruz as a fraud and a faux Hispanic (asking him to identify his favorite Cuban food, Cuban dish and Cuban singer), Halperin asked Cruz whether the Republicans could win a majority of the Hispanic vote — as if that were all that matters in a Cruz candidacy.

Cruz graciously ignored the utter offensiveness and shallowness of the question and asserted that President Obama's policies have "hammered" the Hispanic community and other minorities. Cruz stressed that he is all about expanding growth, opportunity and jobs for everyone and promoting school choice as the civil rights issue of the 21st century because every child, regardless of race, deserves an opportunity for excellence in education. Just outstanding.

What Republicans should learn from this interview — and others — is that despite what they're telling you, Democrats and liberals are genuinely afraid of Ted Cruz because he is a class act, poised and unflappably enthusiastic about the American dream and will pursue an agenda to reverse Obama's "transformational changes" and restore opportunity for all Americans, irrespective of race, creed, color, ethnicity, gender or religion.

How splendidly refreshing — and exciting!

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh051215.php3#SKGBtZPiOHErUIa0.99

5-11-15

Black Murderers Matter

By Dennis Prager

The "Black Lives Matter" campaign is based on as big a lie as the "campus rape culture" lie; the Rolling Stone magazine gang rape at the University of Virginia fraternity lie; the gang rape by the Duke University lacrosse team lie; the "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" Ferguson lie; and all the other lies that animate leftist hysterias.

Building hysterias based on falsehoods is a primary modus operandi on the left. One can even say that without hysteria there is no left. First a lie or exaggeration is manufactured. Then it is repeated over and over by the mainstream media and myriad left-wing groups; academics hold conferences and write thoughtful-sounding op-ed pieces about the fake issue; meanwhile activists on its behalf demonstrate, taking over public buildings and highways, sometimes violently.

The latest left-wing hysteria is "Black Lives Matter" — based on the lie that black lives don't matter because white police kill blacks wantonly.

Two weeks ago the cover of Time featured the words "Black Lives Matter" in stark white letters on a black background. The cover also featured photos of what appears to be the morally inexcusable fatal police shooting of Walter Scott, a black man, as he ran away from a routine police stop. Credit the left with never giving up. In North Charleston, South Carolina, the left finally found its seemingly perfect example of a wholly unjustified police killing of a black man. Hence the Time cover, "Black Lives Matter."

The problem with the mantra and the hysteria is not that no blacks are ever killed unjustifiably by police. The problem is that it is so rare as to constitute a libel.

In 2013, of America's 6,261 black homicide victims, more than 6,000 of them — 97 percent — were killed by people other than police. About three percent of black homicide victims were killed by police. And of that three percent, nearly every one was armed and dangerous. To label that an epidemic of police racism is a libel.

In addition, more than 9 in 10 blacks murdered were murdered by another black person. Now that is an epidemic — an epidemic of black murderers. (In response, it is pointed out that about 83 percent of whites are murdered by whites. But there is no equivalency here. Blacks murder at eight times the rate of whites — 34.4 per 100,000 versus 4.5 per 100,000.)

In the eyes of Americans who value truth, the black and white leftists who blamed the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer for Michael Brown's death, despite knowing absolutely nothing about what happened, look like demagogues now that the truth has come out. That's why so many police officers turned their backs on New York City's left-wing Mayor Bill de Blasio when he attended the funerals of the two New York City policemen murdered by a black man angry about Ferguson and the Staten Island death of Eric Garner, another black man who died at the hands of police who, as in Ferguson, were not indicted. They were repulsed by de Blasio's generalizations about police routinely killing black men with no justification.

So here is a truth. The left is not only engaging in demagoguery and creating hysteria when it claims that "Blacks Lives Matter" in reference to police killings of blacks. It is also not telling the truth. Black lives don't really interest the left. If they did, the left would focus on all the black murderers taking black lives.

The left's overriding interest lies elsewhere: in defaming America, with its "legacy of slavery," "institutional racism" and "white privilege," and in depicting white police as racists. To understand the left one must first understand that it hates conservatives more than it loves almost anything.

Because if it really believed that "Black Lives Matter," its message would be "Black Murderers Matter."

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0415/prager042115.php3#KcGumeAr1IRl60Il.99

5-10-15

Is Baltimore's Mosby Seeking Justice or Something Else?

By David Limbaugh

It is the prerogative of Baltimore City State's Attorney Marilyn Mosby to prosecute the police officers involved in the incident that led to the death of Freddie Gray if the facts and law warrant it, but I am concerned that Mosby is pursuing something other than criminal justice.

I say this based on her apparent rush to file these charges, some of her comments and assurances in her prepared statement, and what appears to be a gross overcharging of these officers.

We were initially led to believe that the decision to prosecute wouldn't come so quickly, but then, almost out of the blue, she filed this raft of charges within 24 hours of obtaining the police department report against all six officers, three of whom are black — a fact I mention only because we are being forced to view this case, as we are with so many others, through the prism of race.

Many experts have stated that they believe Mosby overcharged the officers. Some pundits have cynically excused possible overcharging on the grounds that it can be an effective tool to encourage the defendants to point fingers at one another, which would enhance the state's case.

I don't understand such cynicism, such casual disregard for the principle of justice and the rights of the accused. We are not talking about an episode of "Chicago P.D.," where as audience members we might be sympathetic with aggressive police and prosecutorial actions to corner bad guys. We are talking about American jurisprudence, the Constitution and the principle of blind, impartial justice.

We have an adversarial legal system in the United States, which seeks justice through two competing sides fighting as hard as they can, within the rules of ethics and under the constraints of the law, to win their respective cases. It's not that truth isn't the primary aim; it is. The theory, in the words of the United States Supreme Court, is that "truth is best discovered by powerful statements on both sides of the question."

Some may not realize this, but in most jurisdictions, there is a partial exception to this practice in criminal prosecutions. The prosecutor's job is not to seek the harshest penalty she or he can in a given case but to seek justice. The American Bar Association's Criminal Justice Standards state, "The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict." The prosecutor is certainly not supposed to seek any other kind of justice than criminal justice or use her power to respond to political pressures.

Criminal defense attorney Steven Levin disputed Mosby's leap to conclude the officers lacked probable cause just because Gray's knife was a legal knife, but he objected even more strenuously to her decision to criminalize the arrest (with a charge of false imprisonment against the officers), even if they did lack probable cause. "The law provides a remedy if the officers are wrong, and that remedy is dismissal of charges" against the person being arrested, said Levin.

Levin also believes that it's going to be very difficult for the state to make its case of manslaughter by vehicle, which will require it to prove that the officer drove the vehicle in a grossly negligent manner and that such negligence caused Gray's death.

In addition, The Daily Caller is reporting that investigators with the Baltimore police task force investigating this case did not expect Gray's death to be ruled a homicide and that they believe Mosby's charges are not supported by the evidence. Mosby's second-degree murder charge against the driver, Caesar Goodson Jr., is especially suspect because it will require the state to prove he was acting with a depraved heart. The task force reportedly believed that manslaughter would be the highest charge made against any of the six officers.

Questions of overcharging aside, I am concerned with some of Mosby's comments in her prepared statement announcing the charges. She said "to the people of Baltimore and the demonstrators across America": "I heard your call for 'No justice, no peace.' Your peace is sincerely needed as I work to deliver justice on behalf of this young man." She repeated it. She also said, "to the youth of (Baltimore)": "I will seek justice on your behalf. This is a moment. This is your moment."

I think it's quite regrettable that she stressed twice that she had "heard" the threats of lawless people of "No justice, no peace," even though she urged them to be peaceful while she worked to deliver them justice. There was no condemnation of their violence, their injuring 20 police officers or their causing millions of dollars' worth of property damage — only a request that they refrain, for now. What if the officers are acquitted? I've already seen predictions of future violence should that occur.

Her promise to seek justice on behalf of youths was also curious because justice is not some political or social cause, and it is on behalf of not a select group of society but society at large. This should not be their moment. It's one thing for people to speak this way casually, but I believe that it was improper for her as a prosecutor to take this approach, especially considering that the people she seemed to be addressing were those who had wreaked havoc on the city, doing untold damage to the system of justice itself. Will she bring any of them to justice, or will she reward their lawlessness? It was almost as if she was sending them a signal that she was rewarding them for their violence. What a terrible and irresponsible message to send lawbreakers.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh050815.php3#8E2YitYPid8o3ZeH.99

5-9-15

Why the Left Won't Call Rioters 'Thugs'

By Dennis Prager

Two months ago, The New York Times published an op-ed piece by a professor of philosophy titled, "Why Our Children Don't Think There Are Moral Facts."

This is how the professor began his piece:

"What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it's wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised? I was."

The problem, as the professor described it, is that a generation of Americans has been taught that there is no moral truth. There may be scientific truth and historical truth, but no moral truth.

The professor is, of course, right, as some of us — overwhelmingly from religious perspectives — have been lamenting for decades.

Now we have another example of the denial of moral truths. Last week, a number of leftists — black and white — announced that it is racist to label the rioters and looters in Baltimore "thugs." Even though both the black mayor of Baltimore and the black president of the United States did so, the left-wing argument is that the term "thug" is never applied to whites, only to blacks. The T-word is, in effect, the new N-word.

Soledad O'Brien, former CNN anchor, on CNN's "Reliable Sources":

"I think when you examine when the word is used, it's used to describe the actions of people of color, specifically people who are in the inner city.

"I can't think of a situation where there's ever been a headline or someone has called a white young person who is in the middle of a violent protest demonstration, whatever, a thug. We use it all the time when we're talking about people in the inner city.

"Thugs" [is] a proxy, a word we use instead of the N-word."

Baltimore City Councilman Carl Stokes interviewed by Erin Burnett on CNN:

Isn't "thugs" the right word to describe the rioters and looters? CNN's Erin Burnett asked the councilman:

He responded: "No, it's not the right word to call our children 'thugs.' These are children who have been set aside, marginalized, who have not been engaged by us."

"But how does that justify what they did?" Burnett then asked. "That's a sense of right and wrong. They know it's wrong to steal and burn down a CVS and an old persons' home. I mean, come on."

"Come on? Just call them 'Niggers.' Just call them 'Niggers,'" argued Councilman Stokes.

The left-wing website Daily Kos agreed with Councilman Stokes and challenged Burnett:

"Did she or anyone else at CNN use the 'T'-Word" when the Denver Broncos won the Super Bowl ... or when the San Francisco Giants won the World Series?"

Actually, it turns out that this is precisely how many of us in the opinion media have characterized rioters of every race. A word search on "thugs" and "Occupy Wall Street," for example, reveals that just about every major conservative commentator called those rioters "thugs."

In the Times last week, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University, N. D. B. Connolly, wrote a piece titled, "Black Culture Is Not the Problem." Its thesis is that one cannot blame any of the social pathologies in inner city black life — presumably such as the disproportionate rate of violence, the almost 80 percent out-of-wedlock birth rate or the riots — on the values (or lack of them) in black culture. Any such pathologies are due to various manifestations of white racism. Specifically, the professor wrote, it is the "continued profitability of racism ... a country that still segregates people along racial lines, the financial enrichment of landlords, corner store merchants and other vendors selling second-rate goods."

Why is it impossible for the left to blame black rioters for their looting, burning and destruction — the latter including an old-age home in the case of the Baltimore rioters?

One reason is that the left does not divide the world between traditional notions of good and evil. Rather, it divides the world between white and black, rich and poor, and powerful and weak. One therefore sides with the non-white, the poor and the weak.

A second reason is that the left rarely fights evil (it fights those who fight evil). It fights such things as inequality, fossil fuels and an alleged "rape culture" on American campuses. But it doesn't fight real evil (like rioters).

A third reason is that the day even a third of America's blacks come to believe that their problems are largely a product of poor cultural values, they will have become conservative and the left will have begun to lose its most important demographic group.

Those are the reasons the left now opposes calling black thugs "thugs."

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0515/prager050515.php3#rr0i8iwWD5uXQLjO.99

5-8-16

Leftist Media See Conservative Goblins Everywhere

By David Limbaugh

Three more Republicans declare their intention to be presidential nominees, and the leftist media, as if on cue, pounce on their prey like panthers.

When venerated neurosurgeon Ben Carson announced his intentions, Washington Post reporter Robert Samuels leaped into action, under a headline reading in part, "Many blacks see a hero's legacy fade."

So what has changed? Has Carson been charged with a crime? Did he commit some violent act? Domestic issues?

No, it's simply that "for many young African Americans who grew up seeing Carson as the embodiment of black achievement — a poor inner-city boy who became one of the world's most accomplished neurosurgeons — his emergence as a conservative hero and unabashed critic of the United States' first black president has been jarring."

Let's pause right here. Isn't it sad that the politics of the black community are presumed to be inflexibly liberal, to the point that if one of its own, even one who has been universally respected, comes out as a conservative, it is newsworthy and scandalous?

Carson committed the sin of deviating from the prescribed monolithic political position by criticizing Obamacare and announcing his support for traditional marriage, and his glowing reputation among his own race — which he spent years building through incredible dedication, hard work and public service — is in dire jeopardy. That is truly sad, but we've seen similar fates befalling other high-profile blacks who have been outspoken conservatives.

The Post piece was relatively tame compared with one in Politico that took aim at Carson and two other Republicans — Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee — who are also throwing their hats into the GOP presidential nomination ring. Politico's headline reads, "Pushing the limits on the fringe: Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina and Mike Huckabee are launching, with no holds barred."

Yes, to the liberal media, if you are a conservative black person, you have betrayed your race; if you are any politician and adhere to conservative principles instead of pandering to the left, you are a fringe extremist.

If you stand up for constitutional principles and the Constitution's framework of limited government, if you are a businesswoman who still believes in capitalism or if you are an experienced state governor who is a card-carrying Christian, you are an enemy of society.

The leftist media obviously see no imbalance in their narrative of treating mainstream conservatives as dangerous kooks while depicting inarguably extreme and uncompromising liberals as reasonable, compromising and essentially centrist. For the leftist media, extreme liberalism is normal, and anything that differs appreciably from it is aberrant. It's not just a difference of opinion; it's morally bankrupt. Oh, the bubble they live in — often unwittingly.

So it is that the leftist media treat Barack Obama as an open-minded moderate despite his taking this country as far left as one man could possibly do nonviolently in a mere six years. His government takeovers of automobile companies and health care, his lawless executive and administrative orders on immigration and extreme-green enviromania, his politicization of the Justice Department, his fanning the flames of racial division, his ramping up the national debt to historic and frightening levels, his coddling of our enemies and mistreatment of our allies, and his panoply of scandals — from the IRS to Fast and Furious to Benghazi — are the new normal.

So it is that the leftist media willingly cover for the sordid scandals of Hillary and Bill Clinton, the most recent of which involve a brazen burning of improperly classified emails and a funding scam bursting with possible criminal conflicts of interest, a possible selling of the national interest and possible obscene personal enrichment leveraged by their political power.

So it is that while ignoring real scandals involving Hillary Clinton, the leftist media get out their high-power microscopes to examine Fiorina's "dubious record" as Hewlett-Packard's CEO. If a conservative reporter raised such questions about an accomplished liberal businesswoman, he would be treated like a craven sexist.

Equally revealing, though, is Politico's bogus question as to whether Fiorina "is still representative of the very business community whose values and expertise she touts as her greatest asset as a candidate."

What's this about, you wonder? Well, Fiorina is "increasingly out-of- step with her corporate brethren. ... Major U.S. companies have parted ways with a Republican Party that it once saw as its champion in American politics."

Do you see the pattern? If people from identity groups liberals pretend to exclusively protect depart from the liberal liturgy, they are no longer bona fide members of the group and are proper targets for assault.

Carson can't hold a view not held by most members of his race, and Fiorina dare not have an opinion different from the feminist perspective or from the views the media declare are held by corporate America.

So much for respecting individuality and freedom of thought. So much for respecting blacks and women — truly respecting them as thinking people by allowing them the courtesy of their opinions and treating them decently even if you don't agree with their views.

Leftists are nothing if not hypocritical and, sadly, blinded by their own morally inverted self-assessment as morally superior.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh050515.php3#qXeAOGZAPuj8Acx7.99

5-7-15

Another Cover-Up for that 'Religion of Peace'

By Michael Reagan

Turkey's President Recep Erdogan, one of President Obama's new best friends along with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, was extremely unhappy last week as truth—tellers worldwide observed the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide.

By the time the killing concluded an estimated 1.5 million Armenians lay dead in Turkey, killed by soldiers serving the Ottoman Empire.

One could accurately describe President Erdogan as a genocide denier. He claims the death toll is wildly exaggerated. What's more, according to him, there was nothing organized about the deaths. It was a time of civil war and unrest that just happened to be fatal to Armenians. Maybe they hadn't had their shots.

Erdogan does everything but blame outside agitators for the deaths.

My father knew different. In 1981 Ronald Reagan was the first U.S. president to call the Armenian deaths what they were: Genocide. On the other hand our current president not only doesn't refer to genocide as genocide, he manages to break yet another promise while dodging the truth.

Aysor.am reports "As a presidential candidate in 2008, Barack Obama promised, if elected, to refer to the Turkish mass killing of Armenians that began in 1915 as genocide." Yet the word is nowhere to be found in his statement regarding the atrocity.

What many miss in the discussion of the slaughter — and possibly the reason Obama was reluctant to use an accurate description — is the Armenians were Christian and the Ottoman Turks were and are Muslims. Since Muslims are supposed to be the world's victims now, what with the scourge of "Islamophobia" running rampant, it is inconvenient in the extreme for the PC Police when others point out the indiscriminate slaughter of Christians at the hands of a Muslim government.

Turkey's response to other government's acknowledgment of the facts does nothing to help its case. In fact, Erdogan's response only makes him look guilty.

When the Austrian Parliament signed a declaration condemning the genocide Turkey declared the act would put "permanent stains on Turkish—Austrian friendship."

Presumably Austria's parliament vote is a much greater offense than repeated invasions of Austria by the Ottomans.

Pope Francis also decried the mass murder of the Armenian Christians and for his trouble Turkey raged that his statement was "null and void" and recalled its ambassador. If this keeps up Turkey may have to construct special housing for recalled ambassadors since France, Germany, Canada and Russia join 16 other nations in condemning the genocide.

A better solution would be for Turkey to admit the genocide and then ask for forgiveness and make amends with the remaining Armenians.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan043015.php3#7ImaYDfu4emgoXex.99

5-6-15

Puffed-up Leftist Tyranny Punishes Dissenters

By David Limbaugh

Forget for a moment the ever-failing economy, the implosion of our foreign policy coherence, and our virtually unilateral withdrawal in the war on terror under Barack Obama's presidency. If liberty lovers don't start fighting back soon, we'll forfeit our freedom of thought and religious expression under the assault of fascist leftist activists in our culture.

Let's just look at two of the many recent events that should have us very concerned. As you may have guessed, they revolve around the controversial matter of same-sex marriage. At the outset, let me say that this issue is no longer about same-sex marriage or gay rights; it is about our basic liberties.

First, we read via The New York Times that "Ian Reisner, one of the two gay hoteliers facing boycott calls for hosting an event for Senator Ted Cruz, who is adamantly opposed to same-sex marriage, apologized to the gay community for showing 'poor judgment.'"

What was Reisner's sin for which he is now openly flaying himself in faux repentance? He and his business partner allowed Sen. Cruz to participate in a "fireside chat" for about a dozen people, which was not even a fundraiser. But as soon as word got out, gay activists apparently mobilized in force through social media outlets and phone calls calling for boycotts of Reisner's properties.

An ostensibly shocked Reisner, in an effort to stanch the bleeding represented by more than 8,200 likes on a Facebook page calling for the boycott, apologized on Facebook. "I am shaken to my bones by the e-mails, texts, postings and phone calls of the past few days. I made a terrible mistake," wrote Reisner.

Yes, he made the unforgivable "mistake" of hosting an event for a presidential candidate who has different views on social issues than the fascist boycott organizers have — and he has himself, for that matter, seeing as he's a prominent figure in the gay rights community, according to the Times.

Supporters of same-sex marriage, as many used to predict would happen, are not content with their recent victories on the issue. They obviously want to punish anyone who dissents for any reason — including religious and conscience reasons — and also bludgeon those (such as Reisner) who even inadvertently assist those who dissent (such as Cruz).

Next, we should consider the horrendous ordeal of Aaron and Melissa Klein, who used to own Sweet Cakes by Melissa, a bakery they built from scratch in Sandy, Oregon, in 2013. When they respectfully declined, on religious grounds, the request of two women to bake a cake for their wedding, the happy couple filed a civil complaint against them for failing to provide them equal service in a place of public accommodation. You know, live and let live — the attitude the activists and their fellow liberal foxhole buddies told us they would have if they prevailed in their quest to legalize same-sex marriage.

A group of unspecified people — real or robotic constructs of social media legerdemain — went into battle. "They got together and harassed all of our vendors," Melissa said. The vendors, according to The Daily Signal, folded and took Sweet Cakes off their referral lists, resulting in a 65 to 70 percent reduction in the Kleins' annual income, forcing them to close the bakery. (The Kleins have five children, and Melissa is reduced to baking a few cakes a month at home. Aaron now has a job as a garbage collector.)

But that heartless result wasn't enough for the victors. They pursued their legal action against the Kleins with the Oregon Bureau of Labor and Industries, and last Friday, an administrative law judge with that agency recommended the Kleins be fined $135,000 for the damages caused to the happy — and now happily married — couple.

When I first heard about this, my jaw literally dropped, and that takes quite a bit in this upside-down, crazy world we've grown to understand we now inhabit.

Aaron Klein said: "This country should be able to tolerate diverse opinions. I never once have said that my fight is (to) stop what they call equality."

Sorry, Aaron, and I do mean I am profoundly sorry for the injustice that has been imposed on you, but these activists are not willing to tolerate diverse opinions. They don't care that you are not proactively trying to oppose their march for whatever it is they're marching for. It appears that the true quest of leftist gay activists — and not just gay activists but those of many other leftist causes in this country (e.g., "climate change") — is to wholly shut down and censor opposing opinions, whether thought or expressed, whether publicly or privately.

I repeat: The real fight on these types of issues in this nation is no longer about the underlying "rights" involved. It concerns the appalling mission of activists to marshal the coercive power of government and of commercial blackmail to compel other people to agree (and publicly say they agree) with their opinions on issues they deem important.

Isn't it ironic that the people who are pushing for these rights always wave banners of tolerance, love, compassion and liberty? More than ironic, it's outrageous. And fewer and fewer people of principle are standing up to this tyrannical bullying because, understandably, they don't want to put themselves in the crosshairs of this gestapo. But history tells us the logical conclusion of this story. Some socially liberal Republicans naively believe that this is only about the social issues themselves, but it's about liberty.

G0D help us.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh042815.php3#Dk0LA0YpclcH5dyR.99

5-5-15

Race, Politics and Lies

By Thomas Sowell

Among the many painful ironies in the current racial turmoil is that communities scattered across the country were disrupted by riots and looting because of the demonstrable lie that Michael Brown was shot in the back by a white policeman in Missouri — but there was not nearly as much turmoil created by the demonstrable fact that a fleeing black man was shot dead by a white policeman in South Carolina.

Totally ignored was the fact that a black policeman in Alabama fatally shot an unarmed white teenager, and was cleared of any charges, at about the same time that a white policeman was cleared of charges in the fatal shooting of Michael Brown.

In a world where the truth means so little, and headstrong preconceptions seem to be all that matter, what hope is there for rational words or rational behavior, much less mutual understanding across racial lines?

When the recorded fatal shooting of a fleeing man in South Carolina brought instant condemnation by whites and blacks alike, and by the most conservative as well as the most liberal commentators, that moment of mutual understanding was very fleeting, as if mutual understanding were something to be avoided, as a threat to a vision of "us against them" that was more popular.

That vision is nowhere more clearly expressed than in attempts to automatically depict whatever social problems exist in ghetto communities as being caused by the sins or negligence of whites, whether racism in general or a "legacy of slavery" in particular. Like most emotionally powerful visions, it is seldom, if ever, subjected to the test of evidence.

The "legacy of slavery" argument is not just an excuse for inexcusable behavior in the ghettos. In a larger sense, it is an evasion of responsibility for the disastrous consequences of the prevailing social vision of our times, and the political policies based on that vision, over the past half century.

Anyone who is serious about evidence need only compare black communities as they evolved in the first 100 years after slavery with black communities as they evolved in the first 50 years after the explosive growth of the welfare state, beginning in the 1960s.

You would be hard-pressed to find as many ghetto riots prior to the 1960s as we have seen just in the past year, much less in the 50 years since a wave of such riots swept across the country in 1965.

We are told that such riots are a result of black poverty and white racism. But in fact — for those who still have some respect for facts — black poverty was far worse, and white racism was far worse, prior to 1960. But violent crime within black ghettos was far less.

Murder rates among black males were going down — repeat, DOWN — during the much lamented 1950s, while it went up after the much celebrated 1960s, reaching levels more than double what they had been before. Most black children were raised in two-parent families prior to the 1960s. But today the great majority of black children are raised in one-parent families.

Such trends are not unique to blacks, nor even to the United States. The welfare state has led to remarkably similar trends among the white underclass in England over the same period. Just read "Life at the Bottom," by Theodore Dalrymple, a British physician who worked in a hospital in a white slum neighborhood.

You cannot take any people, of any color, and exempt them from the requirements of civilization — including work, behavioral standards, personal responsibility and all the other basic things that the clever intelligentsia disdain — without ruinous consequences to them and to society at large.

Non-judgmental subsidies of counterproductive lifestyles are treating people as if they were livestock, to be fed and tended by others in a welfare state — and yet expecting them to develop as human beings have developed when facing the challenges of life themselves.

One key fact that keeps getting ignored is that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits every year since 1994. Behavior matters and facts matter, more than the prevailing social visions or political empires built on those visions.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell050515.php3#G0u3IdPx9Tkcpd2I.99

5-4-15

Hillary Candidacy Doesn't Worry Me, Part 2

By David Limbaugh

I don't get depressed too often, but I feel the blues coming on. Many moons ago, if memory serves, I tweeted my skepticism that Hillary Clinton would even get the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, much less win the general election.

I'm afraid I probably was right about her not getting the nomination, but I'm concerned that her implosion appears to be happening too soon — with way too much time for Democrats to regroup.

I realize that all of this is speculative and I could have egg all over my face if Hillary were to smoothly sail to the nomination — and gigantic omelets on my countenance should she win the general election. After all, I don't have a perfect batting average in predicting presidential elections.

But messy dairy products on my face would be nothing compared with the prospect of having Hillary Clinton back in the White House for at least four years. This country needs time to heal from the wholesale destruction visited on it by Barack Obama. And by "heal," I don't mean we need to learn how to get along better — though that would be nice, too. I mean the country needs to recuperate from the beating it has taken. First a little rehab and then back to full-blown powerlifting and muscular growth. But I digress.

A few columns ago, I shared certain reasons I don't believe Hillary is going to be that tough to beat, but things have gotten even worse for her in the short time since, and I'm really wondering whether the Democrats will have the guts to take her to the woodshed for an exit conference (with Bill in tow, obviously, because he'll be harder to dissuade than she will).

I think that will depend on whether Democrats believe they can find someone to replace her with a reasonable chance to win the general. But when they soberly assess Hillary's candidacy after the dust has settled, they may be forced to take action, which illustrates, does it not, just how far the Democrats have gone to make Obama — and no one else — their entire party. They have put all their eggs (sorry to be talking eggs again so soon) in that disastrous basket and have the shallowest bench in recent presidential election memory.

Some conservatives are surprised that we are seeing negative stories in the media about Hillary. The extent of negativity is not by any means the kind we'd see if a Republican contender were spectacularly underperforming as Hillary is, but nonetheless, there are some unfavorable reports. Perhaps the reason for that is she is the one they're counting on to carry the liberal torch and they are angry and disgusted that she is leaving them high and dry.

If she fails, they reason, the country fails because we'll be stuck with one of a number of bitter clinging Republicans who'll take us back to the stone age when balanced budgets mattered, "climate change" and Darwinism weren't twin pillars of the state religion, individual liberty meant freedom rather than redistribution of wealth, Christians weren't regarded as ogres in the popular culture, capitalism wasn't a curse word, and America wasn't in denial about the war the terrorists are waging against us and was fighting back — strategically and intentionally.

I honestly do believe that things have gotten much worse for Hillary over the past week or so.

She is an obvious fraud who, even after all these many years of dress rehearsal for this position, can't be natural around the people. Ironically, this former Saul Alinsky acolyte has become an out-of-touch elitist. She's been so ensconced in the halls of power and so intoxicated by its trappings that she can't even remember what it's like to pretend to be one of the people — which is an essential attribute of a liberal demagogue.

It's not just that she's out of touch with the people, which is kind of a cliche and, in any event,can be remedied by getting back among them. It's that she's really not an authentic person. She's a cardboard character hellbent on being president, and it shows. And that's harder to remedy. It's actually painful to watch her try. It's painful to watch "Saturday Night Live" watching her try.

Moreover, her hypocrisy, to paraphrase Val Kilmer's Doc Holliday in "Tombstone," has no bounds. She rails against the rich and is rolling in the dough. She actually feels that she is entitled to not just the presidency but also the vast wealth she's raked in as a result of her White House-spawned celebrity. With the passing years, I believe she's lost patience with faking otherwise.

She obviously has no confidence in her own ability to handle questions or even the routine PR rigors of a high-profile, national campaign. Even someone as insulated from media scrutiny as she is can't continue this charade. The question is: If she ever actually had it, has she lost it? I think that her defeat against Obama in 2008 took its toll and that she has lost confidence and become a bit bitter, and this, too, is hard to conceal.

Most damning is that she is surrounded by scandals that are real and voluminous enough to take her down all by themselves. With the media's help, she may be able to continue evading Benghazi, etc., but these recent revelations about foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation seem to be resonating, even with The New York Times.

I believe she's in trouble.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh042115.php3#MsjGo4zezeiW1Hm6.99

5-3-15

The tyranny of one man's opinion

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

Thomas Cromwell was the principal behind-the-scenes fixer for much of the reign of King Henry VIII. He engineered the interrogations, convictions and executions of many whom Henry needed out of the way, including his two predecessors as fixer and even the king's second wife, Queen Anne.

When Cromwell's son, Gregory, who became sickened as he watched his father devolving from counselor to monster, learned that an executioner for the queen had been sent for from France a week before her conviction, he asked his father what the purpose of her trial was if the king had preordained the queen's guilt and prepaid the executioner. Cromwell replied that the king needed a jury to give legitimacy to her conviction and prevent the public perception of "the tyranny of one man's opinion."

In America, we have a Constitution not only to prevent the perception but also to prevent the reality of the tyranny of one man's opinion. The Constitution's Fifth Amendment makes clear that if the government wants life, liberty or property, it cannot take it by legislation or executive command; it can do so only by due process — a fair jury trial and all its constitutional protections.

The constitutional insistence upon due process was the result of not only the Colonial revulsion at the behavior of Henry and his successors but also the recognition of the natural individual right to fairness from the government. If one man in the government becomes prosecutor, judge and jury, there can be no fairness, no matter who that man is or what his intentions may be. That is, at least, the theory underlying the requirements for due process.

President Obama has rejected not only the theory but also the practice of due process by his use of drones launched by the CIA to kill Americans and others overseas. The use of the CIA to do the killing is particularly troubling and has aroused the criticism of senators as disparate in their views as Rand Paul and John McCain, both of whom have argued that the CIA's job is to steal and keep secrets, and the military's job is to further national security by using force; and their roles should not be confused or conflated, because the laws governing each are different.

Theirs is not an academic argument. The president's use of the CIA is essentially unlimited as long as he receives the secret consent of a majority of the members of the House and Senate intelligence committees. The secret use of these 37 senators and representatives constituting the two committees as a Congress-within-the-Congress is profoundly unconstitutional because Congress cannot delegate its war-making powers to any committee or group without effectively disenfranchising the voters whose congressional representatives are not in the group.

Moreover, the War Powers Resolution regulates the president's use of the military and essentially precludes secret wars. It requires the public consent of a majority of the full Congress for all offensive military action longer than 90 days. That, in turn, brings about transparency and requires a national political will to use military force.

Mr. Obama has formulated rules — agreed to by a majority of the 37, but not by a majority in Congress — that permit him to kill Americans and others overseas when he believes they are engaging in acts that pose an imminent threat to our national security, when their arrest would be impracticable and when personally authorized by the president. This is not federal law, just rules Mr. Obama wrote for himself. Yet none of the Americans he has killed fits any of those rules.

Last week, the White House revealed that in January, the government launched its 446th drone into a foreign land, and this one killed three Americans and an Italian, none of whom had been targeted or posed a threat to national security at the time of his murder. The drone, which was dispatched by a computer in Virginia, was aimed at a house in Pakistan and was sent on its lethal way without the approval of the Pakistani government or the knowledge of Mr. Obama.

The use of drones is not only constitutionally impermissible but also contraindicated by the rules of war. Drones pose no threat and little danger to those doing the killing. Except when the intelligence is bad — as it was in the January case revealed last week — deploying drones is a low-risk endeavor for the country doing so. But Mr. Obama's wars by robots produce more killing than is necessary. War should be dangerous for all sides so as to limit its lethality to only those venues that are worth the risk — those that are vital for national security.

If war is not dangerous, it will become commonplace. By one measure — the absence of personal involvement by decision-makers — it has become commonplace already. A mere three years after his self-written rules for the deployment of drones were promulgated, the president has delegated the authority to order drone killings to his staff, and the members of the congressional intelligence committees have delegated their authority to consent to their staffs.

Mr. Obama apparently doesn't care about the Constitution he swore to uphold, but he should care about the deaths of innocents. Mr. Obama's drones have killed more non-targeted innocents in foreign lands than were targeted and killed in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001.

And the world is vastly less stable now than it was on Sept. 11. The president's flying robots of death have spawned the Islamic State — a monstrosity far exceeding even Henry VIII and Thomas Cromwell in barbarity.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0415/napolitano043015.php3#qcbLmA0VJohFH7bW.99

5-2-15

What Creates Jobs

By John Stossel

I took a camera to Times Square this week and asked people, "What creates jobs?" Most had no answer.

One said, "stimulus!" What? Government creates jobs? No!

I suppose it's natural that people think government creates jobs because politicians always say that.

"We've now created more than 10 million," said President Obama. But that just meant that he took office at the start of the recession, and finally job creation resumed.

He didn't cause that. In fact, his taxes and complex regulation slowed job creation.

His 2012 presidential election rival, Mitt Romney, was a little more free-market-oriented, but he sounded like Obama when he talked about jobs. He had "a plan" to add 12 million. Don't assume his plan was just to get government out of the way of the private sector — Romney said it's a bad idea to cut government spending during a recession.

FDR's New Deal was the dawn of belief that jobs flow from government. FDR didn't seem to care whether jobs people did were productive or sustainable. He just wanted something done about the "armies" of unemployed. If they weren't given jobs, they might become a real army and revolt.

Now that government has lots of power, people look to it to create jobs. Communist countries had five-year plans. They didn't work.

That's because jobs come from government getting out of the way and letting employers produce goods.

Every new layer of regulations sounds nice — protecting the environment, providing more health care, forbidding discrimination against disabled people — but most rules do more harm than good.

Humans have needs and desires. Entrepreneurs see those needs as opportunity. They hire people not out of generosity or because government told them to — but because it's profitable to employ people if they produce valuable goods.

If it's not profitable, that means those people would be better employed doing something else. The prices customers are willing to pay and the wages workers accept are the best indication of which jobs can be done profitably and therefore ought to be done.

But politicians don't trust business owners to make those decisions. Some also resent it if entrepreneurs succeed without kissing the politicians' ring.

President Obama famously said, "If you've got a business, you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen."

I'd think Hillary Clinton would have learned from the outcry that followed, but no — she then said, "Don't let anybody tell you that it's corporations and businesses that create jobs! That old theory, trickle-down economics, has been tried. That has failed."

But it hasn't failed. Free markets lifted a billion people out of poverty during Hillary's career. She just won't acknowledge it. Lawyer-politicians aren't comfortable with creative destruction they don't control. They prefer central planning.

That's why Hillary also said, "I voted to raise the minimum wage. And guess what? Millions of jobs were created."

This, too, is absurd. Politicians act as if they can wave a magic wand and grant everyone more money. But minimum wage laws don't create jobs. They just make lower-paying jobs illegal. Some of those jobs go away. That's basic economics.

The effect on the economy is small because 95 percent of American workers earn more than the minimum. But the more employers are forced to pay, the fewer people they'll hire. McDonald's responded to recent demands for higher wages by making plans to replace cashiers with automated services. Once more, political "solutions" create new problems.

People need jobs, and millions find dignity in work, but not from jobs that others are forced to provide. People want to be genuinely useful. They don't just want to go through the motions.

More and more, Americans want jobs that have meaning and "purpose," says John Havens, author of "Hacking Happiness." "Purpose" usually means creating actual wealth.

Governments talk about five-year plans and false guarantees of stability, but truly futuristic thinking happens when governments leave people free to explore, innovate and profit. If the politicians don't screw that up, that process will create jobs we haven't even imagined yet

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0415/stossel042915.php3#h4ZB4Do46LedwF9h.99

5-1-15

Men wielding power in hellish times

By Charles Krauthammer

"Wolf Hall," the Man Booker Prize-winning historical novel about the court of Henry VIII — and most dramatically, the conflict between Thomas Cromwell and Sir Thomas More — is now a TV series (presented on PBS). It is maddeningly good.

Maddening because its history is tendentiously distorted, yet the drama is so brilliantly conceived and executed that you almost don't care. Faced with an imaginative creation of such brooding, gripping, mordant intensity, you find yourself ready to pay for it in historical inaccuracy.

And "Wolf Hall's" revisionism is breathtaking. It inverts the conventional view of the saintly More being undone by the corrupt, amoral, serpentine Cromwell, the king's chief minister. This is fiction as polemic. Author Hilary Mantel, an ex- and anti-Catholic ("the Catholic Church is not an institution for respectable people"), has set out to rehabilitate Cromwell and defenestrate More, most especially the More of Robert Bolt's beautiful and hagiographic "A Man for All Seasons."

Who's right? Neither fully, though "Wolf Hall's" depiction of More as little more than a cruel heretic-burning hypocrite is particularly provocative, if not perverse. To be sure, More worship is somewhat overdrawn, as even the late Cardinal Francis George warned at a 2012 convocation of bishops. More had his flaws. He may have been a man for all seasons, but he was also a man of his times. And in those times of merciless contention between Rome and the Reformation, the pursuit and savage persecution of heresy were the norm.

Indeed, when Cromwell achieved power, he persecuted Catholics with a zeal and thoroughness that surpassed even More's persecution of Protestants. "Wolf Hall's" depiction of Cromwell as a man of great sensitivity and deep feeling is, therefore, even harder to credit. He was cruel and cunning, quite monstrous both in pursuit of personal power and wealth, and in serving the whims and wishes of his royal master.

Nonetheless, Cromwell's modern reputation will be enhanced by Mark Rylance's brilliant and sympathetic cinematic portrayal, featuring a stillness and economy of expression that is at once mesmerizing and humanizing. The nature of the modern audience helps too. In this secular age beset by throat-slashing religious fanatics, we are far more disposed to despise excessive piety and celebrate the pragmatic, if ruthless, modernizer.

Which Cromwell was, as the chief engineer of Henry's Reformation. He crushed the Roman church, looted the monasteries and nationalized faith by subordinating clergy to king. That may flatter today's reflexive anticlericalism. But we do well to remember that the centralized state Cromwell helped midwife did prepare the ground, over the coming centuries, for the rise of the rational, willful, thought-controlling, indeed all-controlling, state.

It is perhaps unfair to call Cromwell (and Henry) proto-totalitarian, as some critics have suggested, essentially blaming them for what came after. But they did sow the seed. And while suppressing one kind of intolerance, they did little more than redefine heresy as an offense against the sovereignty not of G0D but of the state.

However, "Wolf Hall" poses questions not just political but literary. When such a distortion of history produces such a wonderfully successful piece of fiction, we are forced to ask: What license are we to grant to the historical novel?

For all the learned answers, in reality it comes down to temporal proximity. If the event is in the recent past, you'd better be accurate. Oliver Stone's paranoid and libelous "JFK" will be harmless in 50 years, but it will take that long for the stench to dissipate. On the other hand, does anyone care that Shakespeare diverges from the record (such as it is) in his Caesar or Macbeth or his Henrys?

Time turns them to legend. We don't feel it much matters anymore. There is the historical Caesar and there is Shakespeare's Caesar. They live side by side.

The film reviewer Stanley Kauffmann said much the same about David Lean's "Lawrence of Arabia" vs. the real T.E. Lawrence. They diverge. Accept them each on their own terms, as separate and independent realities. (After all, Lawrence's own account, "Seven Pillars of Wisdom," offers magnificent prose but quite unreliable history as well.)

So with the different versions of More and Cromwell. Let them live side by side. "Wolf Hall" is utterly compelling, but I nonetheless refuse to renounce "A Man For All Seasons." I'll live with both Mores, both Cromwells. After all, for centuries we've accepted that light is both wave and particle. If physics can live with maddening truths, why can't literature and history?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer050115.php3#2WWsrm4HE7GajDBE.99

4-30-15

My Voting Evolution

By Ben Carson

I grew up in Detroit, in an environment where one was supposed to be Democrat and where people constantly told me that Republicans were evil and racist people. As I entered my teenage years, I did not have the exposure to the political world that is more easily afforded young people via technology today. I did not develop my own train of thought regarding political parties and what politicians could help accomplish for myself, my family and my community.

The first presidential election in which I could vote was in 1972, which saw George McGovern face off against Richard Nixon. As a student of Yale University, I found it comforting to follow my classmates and vote Democrat. While McGovern fell dramatically to Nixon, I still identified with Democrats and voted for Jimmy Carter in 1976 as he battled Gerald Ford. I decided to vote for Carter again in 1980, as he seemed like a decent person. However, he would lose in a landslide to Ronald Reagan.

During Reagan's first term, I had just begun my neurosurgery residency at the Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. I had exposure to many patients with unfulfilled lives because they were becoming dependent on government programs, and it struck me as the wrong way to go. Almost all of my patients were on some kind of medical assistance and social welfare programs, and their lives were in shambles.

Simultaneously, I listened to President Reagan's speeches and he did not seem evil and racist, as portrayed by the Democrats. In fact, I viewed him as a decent, trustworthy man who was a true leader. Thus, in 1984, I voted for Reagan. This was a pivotal moment in my life, as I allowed myself to make a decision based on who the candidate was and his capabilities. This was contrary to voting based solely on party affiliation, which I had been conditioned to do my entire young adulthood.

Fast forward to 1988 and 1992. I voted for George H.W. Bush, who seemed very pro-American and preached the importance of caring for everyone. My ways of voting Republican continued in 1996 because of Bob Dole's strong military and war record (U.S. Army second lieutenant during World War II), a man who appeared compassionate, was a strong leader, and who thrived as Senate majority leader for eight years. Although Dole did not win, I still believed strongly in my conservative values and realized that the more you build in your life and in your career, and the more you raise children, the more conservative and the less liberal you become.

When George W. Bush campaigned in 2000, his policies and general philosophy appeared more in line with my beliefs. The same held true in 2004, and I was intent on him seeing through what he had started in Iraq and other parts of the world. The country had been exposed to dangerous forces that threatened our way of life, and President Bush was adamant about protecting our nation.

2008 was monumental for the United States, with Barack Obama becoming the first African-American with a legitimate chance of winning the presidency. I was torn by history, being an African-American myself and understanding the tribulations that my race had endured over time. Nevertheless, I understood that Obama did not represent me as an American. Instead, Senator John McCain's principles and military experience earned him my vote.

The financial crisis that devastated our economy would prove to be an important factor in the next election, and I believed we needed someone with sound business acumen and an ability to lead the nation towards prosperity. With the risk of a growing national debt and frivolous spending, it was clear to me that the man I voted for, Mitt Romney, would be a more able candidate in uplifting the economy. Voting is critical to holding our elected officials accountable for their actions and inactions. Continue to exercise that amazing privilege and vote the leadership that is necessary to move our great nation forward.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0415/carson042915.php3#tvgpQZsPVS4SthtU.99

4-29-15

California's Water Problem

By Walter Williams

Californians are experiencing their third year of drought. Headlines read: "Current California Drought Is Driest In State's History; Scientists Fear 'Megadroughts' On Their Way." "Global Warming Upped Heat Driving California's Drought." Then there are scientific claims such as, "There's a rapidly growing body of scientific research finding that California is in the midst of its worst drought in over a millennium (and) global warming has made the drought worse." A Stanford University study said, "Human-caused climate change helped fuel the current California drought." One news outlet summarized the conclusions of a group of environmentalists this way: "California's severe and ongoing drought is just a taste of the dry years to come, thanks to global warming."

Let's examine a few drought facts. California experienced eight major droughts in the 20th century, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. They ranged from two years to as long as nine years, such as that which occurred from 1928 to 1937. In the previous century, there was the bitter drought of 1862-65, which was a catastrophe for the state of California — made worse by a smallpox epidemic. Scott Stine — professor of geography and environmental studies at California State University, East Bay — said that all of these modern droughts were minor compared with California's ancient droughts of 850 to 1090 and 1140 to 1320. One wonders whether California Gov. Jerry Brown and his cadre of environmental extremists would attribute those ancient droughts to man-made global warming.

A large part of California's water problem has economic roots. Whenever there's a shortage of anything — whether it's water or seats at a baseball stadium — our first suspicion should be that the price is too low. California agriculture consumes about 80 percent of the state's delivered water, and it has been exempted from many of California's new restrictions. On top of that, agricultural water users pay a much lower price than residential users. In other words, California's farmers are being heavily subsidized.

The Imperial Valley, located in the southeastern part of the state, is geologically a desert. Nonetheless, its farmers grow large quantities of potatoes, cauliflower, sweet corn, broccoli and onions. These crops would not be produced without there being subsidized irrigation and other state and federal subsidies. I need someone to show me that there is such a desperate need for somewhere to grow potatoes, corn and other crops that we need to subsidize making a desert bloom.

Western water is mostly controlled by the U.S. Congress and its Bureau of Reclamation. Through lobbying efforts, the Bureau of Reclamation is controlled by growers and other special interests. Water is distributed in California and other Western states not by market prices but by the political process. Agricultural interests have disproportionate political power. That means that agricultural interests receive taxpayer-financed handouts.

California farmers argue that without federal and state government subsidies, crops could not be grown in desert areas. That's a foolish, self-serving argument. If I were an Alaskan wanting to use government subsidies to build hothouses to grow navel oranges, I could use the same argument: Without government subsidies, I couldn't grow navel oranges in Alaska.

Some of California's water conservation regulations are mindless. It is illegal for servers in bars, restaurants and cafeterias to serve water unless customers ask. The amount of water that people drink per day is a trivial part of total water consumption. Estimates vary, but each person consumes 80 to 100 gallons of water per day flushing toilets, bathing and for other residential purposes.

Another California water conservation effort is "drought shaming." That's when vigilantes call water utility hotlines to snitch on their neighbors who are watering lawns, washing cars or filling pools. One wonders whether there might arise an anti-vigilante movement to punish the vigilantes.

The bottom line for solving California's water problem is that there needs to be a move toward a market-oriented method for the distribution of water. Government management has been a failure.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams042915.php3#zzTSiQ5Dh7BM2qu1.99

4-28-15

Please read my new article, Common Core repeal thwarted; students lose

4-28-15

Anti-Trust Law and Lawlessness

By Thomas Sowell

We all make mistakes and some of us learn from them. What is even better is to learn from other people's mistakes, where they pay for those mistakes while we learn free of charge.

Many Americans who say that we should learn from other people, especially Europeans, mean that we should imitate what they did. That may make those who talk this way feel superior to other Americans. But let us never forget that the most disastrous ideologies of the 20th century — Communism, Fascism and Nazism — all originated in Europe. So did both World Wars.

More recently, Europe has been belatedly discovering how unbelievably stupid it was to import millions of people from cultures that despise Western values, and which often promote hatred toward Western people.

Maybe that is a mistake that we can think about when Congress finally decides to do something about our open borders and our immigration laws that we refuse to enforce.

European anti-trust regulators are giving us another free lesson in confused thinking by filing anti-trust charges against Google, on grounds that its searching facilities give preferential treatment to Google's own searching services over other competing searching services.

The European Union's commissioner for competition explained the basis for the complaint against Google: "We have a focus on a certain conduct, a certain behavior which, if our doubts are going to be proven, we would like to change because we believe that it hampers competition."

Some of us think laws should be clear-cut statements of what you can and cannot do. Indicting people under laws that can lead to fines in the billions of dollars over what "we believe" or what international bureaucrats have "doubts" about is not really law. It is an exercise of arbitrary power, based on whatever subjective notions are in vogue among government bureaucrats.

The history of American anti-trust law shows too many similar vague and confused notions masquerading as law. The idea that the accused must prove their innocence, under the "rebuttable presumptions" of the Robinson-Patman Act of 1936, was a forerunner of the same mindset under later "disparate impact" theories in civil rights law.

What such fancy words boil down to is that very little evidence is required to shift the burden of proof to the accused, in defiance of centuries-old legal traditions that the accuser has the burden of proof in criminal cases and the plaintiffs have the burden of proof in civil cases. Otherwise, any fact or theory that sounds plausible to legal authorities is enough to force the accused to prove a negative or lose the case.

Such violations of the legal standards used in most other cases are usually inflicted on those who have already been demonized and whose guilt has been assumed and punishment is fervently desired, such as big business, employers accused of discrimination or men accused of rape.

Google is accused of running its Internet search programs in such a way that they are more accessible to the public than other search programs available through Google. Since people can search through other sources besides Google, it is not at all clear why Google cannot run its own operation for its own benefit, while others run their operations for their own benefit.

The whole point of competition in the market is to create economic efficiency which, by its very nature, means eliminating the less efficient producers. Confusion about the difference between maintaining competition and maintaining competitors has long plagued anti-trust law on both sides of the Atlantic. But Americans seem in recent years to be recognizing the difference.

In Europe, there still seems to be a notion that big companies with many customers should help their smaller competitors survive — especially if the big companies are American and the smaller companies are European. In other words, Google should be run in such a way that competing search programs are as prominently featured as Google's own search program.

Whatever the case that could be made for this argument, as a matter of manners, noblesse oblige or whatever, people in charge of anti-trust law are not in charge of manners or noblesse oblige. Law is too serious to be subordinated to fashionable notions or political expediency.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell042815.php3#IVwXzQKkoTOhkyTq.99

4-27-15

Hillary Clinton's Candidacy Is Depressing

By Dennis Prager

Hillary Clinton has announced that she is running for president of the United States. What her likely nomination says about the Democratic Party and tens of millions of Americans is depressing.

Other than Barack Obama — whose resume consisted of being a charismatic black — it is hard to come up with a less accomplished individual who has run for president in our lifetime. And, unfortunately, that is saying something. Moreover, at least Barack Obama had the excuse of having been in public life for only a few years, as a state senator and then a two-year U.S. senator. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has been in public life most of her adult years, as a very politically active first lady, a U.S. senator, and secretary of state.

Yet she has accomplished nothing.

Here is a trick question to pose to her supporters: What she has accomplished?

You will probably be told, as I have, that she was a senator and secretary of state — as if being something means accomplishing something.

So, why is her candidacy so depressing?

First, because much of her support emanates from her being female and potentially becoming the first woman president.

Is there anything more superficial as a criterion for becoming the leader of the most important country in the world? There was a time when most Americans voted for president out of the belief that the person would be best for the country. Now, at least for the American left, it is primarily about being the "first" — the first black, the first woman, the first gay, the first Jew, the first Native-American, the first transgender, the first atheist (so long, of course, as each is a Democrat). And once they are all elected, presumably it will be important to elect the first gay black female Jewish Native-American transgendered atheist (again, so long as s/he is a Democrat). And until we do, the left will continue to label America bigoted.

When Senator Joe Lieberman ran for vice president, many Jews who were not enamored of Al Gore voted for him because Senator Lieberman was a Jew. As a Jew who has been deeply involved in Jewish life all my life, and, I might add, who has been friends with Joe Lieberman for many years, I was delighted to see him nominated. But I voted for George W. Bush because I thought he would make the better president. Furthermore, I didn't think having a Jewish vice president would in any way improve life for America's Jews. American Jews have it great in America because it is the least bigoted country on earth and because Jews have worked hard.

This belief that elected leaders are good for the ethnic, gender or racial group to which they belong is a left-wing myth. It is difficult to name almost any significant contributions that all the black mayors and congressmen — and for that matter a black president — have made to black America's life. At the same time, it is next to impossible to name one disadvantage to Asian-Americans because there are few Asian-Americans in prominent political positions.

Nevertheless all we hear from the left is how important it is to have a woman president of the United States.

Anyway, how exactly does Hillary Clinton exemplify female achievement? What she has achieved — all the fame, being elected a US senator and being named secretary of state — is due to the man she married. Isn't that supposedly the antithesis of the message feminists want to convey to young women?

Compare Hillary Clinton to Carly Fiorina, a woman who went from small-town girl to CEO and Board Chair of Hewlett-Packard, one of the world's largest companies. The comparison should be embarrassing. Yet how many liberals who are preoccupied with having a woman president would vote for Carly Fiorina? Zero.

Second, I haven't begun to mention how unqualified, if character means anything, Hillary Clinton is to be president of the United States. The late New York Times Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist William Safire, never known for personal invective, opened his column of Jan. 8, 1996 with this:

"Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our First Lady ... is a congenital liar. ... She is in the longtime habit of lying; and she has never been called to account for lying herself or in suborning lying in her aides and friends."

Nothing has changed. Are there a dozen Americans who believe that, while secretary of state, she kept a private email account on a personal server because handling two phones was too cumbersome? And now that she has destroyed the data on her server, is there any doubt as to why she kept two phones?

Nevertheless, her mendacity and her lack of accomplishments count for nothing in the eyes of Democrats, feminists and others on the left. She is, after all, a woman (who's liberal). What else matters?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0415/prager041415.php3#jKxJ9rgYF6xdwP1X.99

4-26-15

Not Your Grandfather's FBI

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

Does the FBI manifest fidelity, bravery and integrity, or does it cut constitutional corners in order to incriminate? Can the FBI cut the cable television lines to your house and then show up pretending to be the cable guy and install listening devices? Can FBI agents and technicians testify falsely and cause the innocent to be convicted, incarcerated and, in some cases, executed?

In 2014, FBI agents in Las Vegas were on the trail of Wei Seng Phua, whom they believed was running an illegal gambling operation out of his hotel room at Caesars Palace. Instead of following him, asking questions about him and using other traditional investigative techniques, a few agents came up with the idea of planting a wiretap in Phua's hotel room.

They bribed a hotel employee, who gave them access to a place in the hotel where they could disable the cable television wires to Phua's room. When he called for repair, they showed up pretending to be cable guys, and he let them into his room. They repaired what they had disabled, but they also illegally wiretapped the phones in the room. Then they overheard his telephone conversations about his illegal gambling, and they arrested him. A grand jury indicted him based on what was overheard.

The grand jury was not told of the wire cutting and the con job, but a federal judge was. Last week, he criticized the FBI for conducting an illegal search of Phua's room, in direct contravention of the Fourth Amendment, which the agents swore to uphold, and he barred the government from using the tapes of the telephone conversations as evidence against Phua. If the government can get away with this, he ruled, then constitutional guarantees are meaningless.

These lawless agents should have been indicted by a state grand jury for breaking and entering by false pretense, but Caesars declined to seek their prosecution. No surprise.

It was surprising, however, when the FBI was forced to admit last week that in the 1980s and 1990s, its agents and lab technicians who examined hair samples testified falsely in 257 of 268 cases that resulted in convictions. Of the convictions, 18 persons were sentenced to death, and of those, 12 have been executed.

Some of these cases were federal, but most were state prosecutions in which state and county prosecutors hired the FBI to perform lab tests and compare hair samples from a crime scene with a defendant's known hair sample. The faulty lab work and erroneous testimony destroyed the freedom of hundreds and the lives of 12, squandered millions in tax dollars, and impaired the constitutional values we all embrace.

You probably did not hear about the FBI cable guys or the admitted 96-percent rate of false testimony in cases of conviction. That's because the FBI skillfully diverted your attention.

In an effort to pick a front-page fight with the government of Poland, FBI Director James Comey revealed last week that the very concept of the Holocaust has moved him deeply — so deeply that he has ordered all new FBI agents to spend quiet time at the Holocaust Museum contemplating its horrors. He argued that the terror of Nazi agents became so commonplace that its wrongness was no longer apparent to them. That's probably true. The Nazis did so much killing that their acts of killing innocents became commonplace to the killers. Then he blamed the Poles for their own victimization because of the few among them who collaborated with their invaders. This brought the hoped-for fierce blowback from the Polish government and top-of-the-fold criticism of Comey for two days.

Earlier this week, the FBI announced the arrest of eight persons for attempting to leave the United States in order to join ISIS. The actual charge is attempting to provide material assistance to a terrorist organization. These ISIS people are truly monsters. Yet, Americans have a natural right to travel where they want and associate with whomever they please. The test of a truly free country is the right to leave it.

Moreover, this was a controlled FBI sting. The defendants were instigated by and under the watchful eyes of FBI undercover agents. The FBI admits that the defendants never posed any harm. How can it be a crime — or harmful — for people to leave the U.S.? If people with evil inclinations want to leave, let them go; arrest them when they return if they cause harm.

For 600 years of Anglo-American jurisprudence, the definition of crime has included the element of harm. No one was harmed by this sting except the taxpayers. Yet, this announcement dominated the news cycle as hoped for.

Why chastise the Poles, who suffered egregiously under the Nazis, in 2015 for the few who collaborated with them in 1942? Why entrap losers who harmed no one into thinking they could freely leave the country and join an army of monsters and then announce their arrest during a bad week? To change the subject; that's why.

Will FBI agents who lie, cheat, break the law and testify falsely be brought to justice? Will their superiors who condone this be made to answer? Does the FBI work for us, or do we work for it?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0415/napolitano042315.php3#hfQBqSywYrtJjQfO.99

4-25-15

Stop graduating financial illiterates

By Ben Carson

When I was a young boy, I was not familiar with the concepts of financial literacy and responsibility. I did understand that luxury and a comfortable lifestyle — two things I had no experience with — would only be obtained by making myself valuable to society. After many difficulties in early childhood, I realized that the person who had the most to do with what happened to me in life was me.

Now, as we sit here with formidable annual budget deficits and growing national debt, it is clear that the people who should be the most concerned about our future obligations are the young members of our society who will be saddled with massive taxes if we do not change our ways.

During my college days, students were much more involved in what was going on in the country, and there were frequent marches and protests. Outside of the misguided Occupy Wall Street movement, there has not been much heard from the younger generations about current financial issues. It is essential for the next generation of young people to be exposed to and have a greater interest in what is occurring in our country and throughout the world, because it will profoundly affect their future. Our children and young adults should make their voices heard in order to create some guilt among the people of my generation who are voraciously spending the nation's future resources.

An interest and assiduousness regarding the economy can be instilled through early teaching and exposure to the ideas I alluded to earlier: financial literacy and responsibility. Becoming an informed citizen when it comes to finance certainly makes you a wiser voter and can enhance all of life's experiences, from planning a career to raising a family. Knowledge of basic household economics is critical for all Americans, and preparing our youth with a financial skill set will enable them to plan for a prosperous future. Key principles like balancing a checkbook and knowing that you do not buy a house that costs more than two-and-a-half times your annual income could have saved many Americans from a mountain of adversity prior to the housing crisis.

So what are some steps we can take to steer people in the right direction? On Jan. 29, 2010, President Barack Obama signed an executive order that created the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability in order to help Americans in understanding financial matters. This council — which comprises non-governmental representatives with finance-related experience, including financial services, consumer protection and financial access — was also created to help people make informed financial choices in order to foster financial stability.

On March 31, 2011, Obama said, "As we recover from the worst economic crisis in generations, it is more important than ever to be knowledgeable about the consequences of our financial decisions. ... We recommit to improving financial literacy and ensuring all Americans have access to trustworthy financial services and products."

I agree with the president, as we must integrate important components of personal finance into K-12 education. We also must encourage parents to educate their children in the lifelong pursuit of financial education. The best way to encourage our nation's parents is to provide them with the adequate tools and resources to understand and introduce financial literacy in their homes. With the widespread and ever-growing accumulation of student loan debt in the United States, this is a truly pivotal moment in time.

While balancing a checkbook, thinking through how credit works and understanding how debt accumulates may all seem elementary in nature to some people, there is a surprising number of adult Americans who lack the requisite familiarity. A worthy action step we all could take to help combat financial ignorance includes discussing financial responsibility with a young person in your sphere of influence this month. Help people to understand the incredible potential they have, and help them realize they don't really have to depend on a lot of other people once they are equipped with the proper skills.

And when you engage in your next financial endeavor, ask yourself: How will this affect the next generation? You may just realize that the effect is greater than you previously imagined.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0415/carson040815.php3#cDt2WUQ823kShyE0.99

4-24-15

Some Thoughts and Questions

By Walter Williams

What's the true test of one's commitment to free speech? It does not come when he permits people to be free to say or publish ideas with which he agrees. Not by a long shot. The true test of one's commitment to free speech comes when he permits others to say and publish ideas he deems offensive.

In March, a video surfaced of a racist chant by Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity brothers at the University of Oklahoma, a public university. It has brought widespread condemnation and the fraternity's suspension. Two fraternity students have been expelled. The University of Oklahoma's president, David Boren, said, "To those who have misused their free speech in such a reprehensible way, I have a message for you: You are disgraceful."

The Western world was shocked and outraged by another speech issue that led to the murder of 12 people at the offices of French satirical weekly newspaper Charlie Hebdo in Paris. Islamists were retaliating for what they considered the newspaper's vulgar portrayal of the Prophet Muhammad, an insult to millions of Muslims.

What's the difference between the actions of the University of Oklahoma administrators and the actions of the Islamist murderers in Paris? Both found the speech in question offensive. Both took actions against the people involved in that speech. So what's the difference? It's a matter of degree, but not kind. Both were unwilling to tolerate speech they didn't like. Of course, the difference in responses is by no means trivial — one being expulsion and the other murder.

The principle that applies to one's commitment to free speech also applies to one's commitment to freedom of association. The true test of one's commitment to freedom of association does not come when he permits people to associate in ways he deems acceptable. The true test comes when he permits people to associate — or not to associate — in ways he deems offensive.

An evangelical Christian baker in Colorado has been threatened with jailing for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a same-sex marriage ceremony. In 2012, for the first time in its 79-year history, the exclusive Augusta National Golf Club was forced to admit female members. At one time, blacks could not use restaurants, bathrooms, water fountains, public parks, beaches or swimming pools on the same terms as whites. In theaters, they could only sit in the balcony or in other racially designated areas. They had to ride at the back of streetcars and buses.

Permitting discriminatory practices in publicly owned facilities — such as libraries, parks and beaches — should not be permitted. That is because they are publicly financed by taxpayers and everyone should have a right to equal access. Denying freedom of association in private clubs, private businesses and private schools violates a human right.

Christian Americans are being hounded for their refusal to cater same-sex weddings. For those who support such attacks, we might ask them whether they would seek prosecution of the owner of a Jewish delicatessen who refused to provide services for a neo-Nazi affair. Should a black catering company be forced to cater a Ku Klux Klan affair? Should the NAACP be forced to open its membership to racist skinheads? Should the Congressional Black Caucus be forced to open its membership to white members of Congress?

Liberty requires bravery. To truly support free speech, one has to accept that some people will say and publish things he finds deeply offensive. Similarly, to be for freedom of association, one has to accept that some people will associate in ways that he finds deeply offensive, such as associating or not associating on the basis of race, sex or religion.

I am all too afraid that too many of my fellow Americans are too hostile to the principle of liberty. Most people want liberty for themselves. I differ. I want liberty for me and liberty for my fellow man.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams042215.php3#tPj64HAiqGXh1pdC.99

4-23-15

Chaos in the Primaries

By Thomas Sowell

Painful as it is to realize that both the Democrats and the Republicans will still be holding their primaries a year from now, that is one of the high prices we pay for democracy.

Seldom does the initial "front-runner" in either party's primaries end up being the actual candidate when election day rolls around. However, even if we cannot predict the outcomes of the primaries this far in advance, we can at least start trying to understand the candidates, the almost candidates and the people who are running just for the publicity.

One of the curious things this early in the process is that, while the Republicans' three freshmen Senators — Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and Rand Paul — have all had interviews on various television talk shows, veteran politician Hillary Clinton has been hiding out from real interviews by hard news reporters, as if she is afraid to be cross-examined.

This is by no means an irrational fear on Mrs. Clinton's part. There are all sorts of questions that she would find hard to answer. They range from questions about recent events like the e-mails from her days as Secretary of State that she destroyed illegally, after Congress called for her to produce them, to the still unsolved mystery as to what she and Barack Obama were doing during the hours when four Americans, including our ambassador to Libya, were under attack by terrorists in Benghazi.

Then there are the bald-faced lies, such as Mrs. Clinton's claim to have been shot at in a war zone, her claim that she and her husband were "poor" at the end of his terms as president, and her claim that charges of sexual misconduct against Bill Clinton in the White House were fictions invented by a "vast right-wing conspiracy."

Supporters of Hillary Clinton tout her "experience" in high-level institutions of government — as first lady in the White House, as a Senator and as Secretary of State. But years of such "experience" raise the embarrassing question as to whether she ever actually accomplished anything in all those years, other than being physically present.

Among the many Republicans' announced and unannounced candidates, three of the most prominent are freshmen Senators with no tangible accomplishments to go with their rhetoric. Whatever their potential, which seems especially striking in the case of Senator Marco Rubio, the White House is not the place for on-the-job training, in an age of international terrorism and nuclear bombs.

Barack Obama has already given us repeated demonstrations of what a mess a freshman Senator with rhetoric can make in the White House.

While there are a number of Republican candidates who can point to substantial accomplishments as governors, the fact that most have strong track records as conservatives means that they may well split the conservative vote so many ways in the primaries as to let the nomination go by default to a mushy moderate — of the sort beloved by the Republican establishment, but not by enough voters to beat even a weak or troubled Democrat on election day.

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is today's mushy moderate candidate who may well follow in the footsteps of a whole string of similar losers, from Mitt Romney and John McCain in recent elections, all the way back to Thomas E. Dewey, who managed to lose even in an election where three different Democrats were on the ballot, fragmenting that party's vote.

While the Republicans have several governors who would make good presidents, of whom Scott Walker and Bobby Jindal are the most prominent, that is very different from saying that these governors would make successful presidential candidates. How they handle themselves in the primaries can reveal that.

Former Governor Jeb Bush has lots of political savvy on his side — his own savvy and that of others — and a ton of money behind him. So he could end up being the last man standing after the many Republican conservatives knock each other off.

What could prevent that would be if each of the successive conservative Republican candidates who fall behind were to throw their support to whoever becomes the conservative candidate with the best chance of rescuing us all from another Clinton versus Bush election.

But we should never bet heavily on rationality prevailing in politics.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell042115.php3#FVLsxKu5M5CZmIRj.99

4-22-15

Hillary Candidacy Doesn't Worry Me

By David Limbaugh

Please forgive me, but I'm singularly unimpressed with Hillary Clinton in general, but especially as a Democratic presidential candidate. I'm neither smug nor complacent about the likelihood of defeating her, but I am incautiously optimistic.

I hope I'm not wrong; the country can't take four more years of the same disastrous policies.

Frankly, I'm a bit surprised that Hillary appears to be the anointed candidate with virtually no one in the party surfacing to challenge her for the nomination. If she was ever a good candidate, her time has clearly passed, because the mythical image that she has invested so much energy cultivating for herself has mostly been shattered by reality.

Perhaps the main reason the Democratic Party can't come up with anyone to challenge her is that for six or seven years, it has put all its eggs in the Obama basket. Live by the sword, die by the sword. The dirty little not-so-secret secret about Barack Obama is that whatever personal popularity he enjoyed (past tense), it never spread throughout the party.

Not only has he failed to have coattails for other Democratic candidates but also he's been an affirmative liability, as the congressional elections of 2010 and 2014 resoundingly demonstrated. President Obama has been a party to himself, having sucked the party dry of whatever goodwill it once had.

I don't want to underestimate the extraordinary ability of Republicans to squander golden opportunities, but if the Democrats are lethargic, unimaginative and arrogant enough to nominate Hillary, the Republicans start off with an immediate advantage — especially if they nominate a younger, vigorous candidate.

Why is Hillary such a terrible candidate, you ask? Let me count the ways, in no particular order, as many of them vie for top seating.

—Her main qualification is she believes it's her turn; she's entitled. It's not about what she can do for her country; it's about what her country owes her.

—Obama has been a dreadful president. Our economy and foreign policy are both in tatters. Our health care situation is barely managed anarchy. America's fiscal position, now and projected, is abysmal. People are out of work in record numbers. And never have Americans been more polarized.

—Obama's record necessarily taints Hillary Clinton for multitudinous reasons. Her husband's enthusiastic defense of Obama at the Democratic convention may have saved his presidency. Whatever policy differences the Clintons had with Obama, they effectively buried them there. If that weren't enough, Hillary was an integral part of Obama's administration as secretary of state, where she not only embraced his regrettable foreign policy but also contributed to making it worse. Though certain news reports alleged Hillary didn't agree with Obama on isolated policies, she has been vocally supportive of his policies when speaking on her own behalf, from Obamacare to Israel to "women's rights."

—Hillary cannot credibly claim that her economic policies would foster growth. She'll try to tie herself to her husband's economic record, but this century, she opposes all of the things that saved Bill Clinton's economy from Bill Clinton's policies, such as the forced controls on spending imposed by the Newt Gingrich Congress. Even if Hillary pretends to be a deficit hawk, there is no way she can disentangle herself from Obama, the most reckless spender in the history of the executive office. (And no, the reinstituted Clinton tax rates have not ignited growth but further stymied it.)

—Hillary is unlikable (see the latest poll numbers), conspicuously insincere ("I don't feel noways tired"), untrustworthy (see the latest poll numbers), arrogant ("What difference, at this point, does it make?"), elitist while pretending to be "dead broke," yet masquerading as a champion of the middle class and poor — and liberal New York Times columnist Maureen Dowd said, "Her paranoia, secrecy, scandals and disappearing act with emails from her time as secretary of state have inspired a cascade of comparisons with Nixon."

—She is scandal-ridden — pick any era, from Travelgate to the present — with Benghazi, the flushed emails and the sordid foreign campaign money.

—She fully intends to throw gender in our faces for the next decade. I trust that Americans are tired of the Democrats' identity politics always being placed above the national interests and — to borrow a Democratic prop — the good of our children. This country is going bankrupt, and that's going to affect every group, not just feminists. Besides, women don't primarily vote based on gender — thank goodness. Also besides, Hillary lacks authenticity as a fighter for women's rights, considering that she was the combat war general in charge of husband Bill's "bimbo eruptions."

—She has none of Obama's faux charisma; in fact, she has almost developed a sort of reverse charisma. Not even a fawning, wagon-circling media can alter this.

—She says she wants to bring people together "into a nice warm purple space where we're actually talking and trying to solve problems." Nice try, but in the polarizing department, she's a close second to Obama.

—They say she's experienced, but bad experience is not a plus. Her record is shrouded in negativity.

—She's a permanent fixture in Washington. She makes insiders look like outsiders, yet she'll expect us to believe she wants to work for change. Speaking of which, how can she plausibly stump for change when she's wholeheartedly embraced Obama's policies? Then again, how can she afford not to promise change, given his terrible record?

She rides by van: Hillary's inauthenticity problem

By Charles Krauthammer


See Hillary ride in a van! Watch her meet everyday Americans! Witness her ordering a burrito bowl at Chipotle! Which she did wearing shades, as did her chief aide Huma Abedin, yielding security-camera pictures that made them look (to borrow from Karl Rove) like fugitives on the lam, wanted in seven states for a failed foreign policy.

There's something surreal about Hillary Clinton's Marie Antoinette tour, sampling cake and commoners. But what else can she do? After Barack Obama, she's the best-known political figure in America. She has papal name recognition. Like Napoleon and Cher, she's universally known by her first name. As former queen consort, senator and secretary of state, she has spent a quarter-century in the national spotlight — more than any modern candidate.

She doesn't just get media coverage; she gets meta-coverage. The staging is so obvious that actual events disappear. The story is their symbolism — campaign as semiotics.

This quality of purposeful abstractness makes everything sound and seem contrived. It's not really her fault. True, she's got enough genuine inauthenticity to go around — decades of positioning, framing, parsing, dodging — but the perception is compounded by the obvious staginess of the gigantic political apparatus that surrounds her and directs her movements.

Why is she running in the first place? Because it's the next inevitable step in her career path. But that's not as damning as it seems. It can be said of practically every presidential candidate. The number of conviction politicians — those who run not to be someone but to do something — is exceedingly small. In our lifetime: Ronald Reagan. And arguably, Barack Obama, although with him (as opposed to Reagan) a heavy dose of narcissistic self-fulfillment is admixed with genuine ideological conviction.

Hillary Clinton's problem is age, not chronological but political. She's been around for so long that who can really believe she suddenly has been seized with a new passion to champion, as she put it in Iowa, "the truckers that I saw on I-80 as I was driving here"?

Or developed a new persona. She will, of course, go through the motions. Her team will produce a "message," one of the most corrosive, debased words in the lexicon of contemporary politics — an alleged synonym for belief or conviction, it signifies nothing more than a branded marketing strategy.

She will develop policies. In Iowa, she'd already delivered her top four, one of which is to take unaccountable big money out of politics. This is rather precious, considering that her supporters intend to raise $2.5 billion for 2016 alone and that the Clinton Foundation is one of the most formidable machines ever devised for extracting money from the rich, the powerful and the unsavory.

She will try to sell herself as champion of the little guy. Not easy to do when you and your husband have for the last 25 years made limo-liberal Davos-world your home. Hence the van trek to Iowa, lest a Gulfstream 450 invade the visual.

Clinton's unchangeability, however, is the source of her uniqueness as a candidate: She's a fixed point. She is who she is. And no one expects — nor would anyone really believe — any claimed character change.

Accordingly, voters' views about her are equally immutable. The only variable, therefore, in the 2016 election lies on the other side, where the freedom of action is almost total. It all depends on who the Republicans pick and how the candidate performs.

Hillary is a stationary target. You know what you're getting. She has her weaknesses: She's not a great campaigner, she has that unshakable inauthenticity problem and, regarding the quality most important to getting elected, she is barely, in the merciless phrase of candidate Obama in 2008, "likable enough."

But she has her strengths: discipline, determination, high intelligence, great energy. With an immense organization deploying an obscene amount of money. And behind that, a Democratic Party united if not overly enthusiastic.

That's why 2016 is already shaping up as the most unusual open-seat presidential race in our time: one candidate fixed and foregone, the other yet to emerge from a wild race of a near-dozen contenders with none exceeding 20 percent.

So brace yourself for a glorious Republican punch-up, punctuated by endless meta-coverage of the Democrats' coronation march. After which, we shall decide the future of our country. Just the way the Founders drew it up.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer041715.php3#P3gp1k3vK2hlowFd.99

4-20-15

Shriveled grapes, shriveled liberty: A raisin case goes before SCOTUS

By George Will

In oral arguments Wednesday, the Supreme Court will hear the government defend its kleptocratic behavior while administering an indefensible law. The Agricultural Marketing Agreement Act of 1937 is among the measures by which New Dealers tried and failed to regulate and mandate America back to prosperity. Seventy-eight years later, it is the government's reason for stealing Marvin and Laura Horne's raisins.

New Dealers had bushels of theories, including this: In an economic depression, prices fall, so a recovery will occur when government compels prices to stabilize above where a free market would put them. So Franklin Delano Roosevelt's "brains trust" produced "price stabilization" programs by which the government would fine-tune the supply of and demand for various commodities. In 1949, this regulatory itch was institutionalized in the Raisin Administrative Committee (RAC). Today it wants the Hornes to ante up about $700,000. They could instead have turned over more than 1 million pounds of raisins — at least four years of their production.

They have been refusing to comply with a "marketing order" to surrender, without compensation, a portion of their production for the RAC's raisin "reserve." The Hornes say this order constitutes an unconstitutional taking.

The Fifth Amendment says private property shall not "be taken for public use, without just compensation." Time was, "for public use" meant for creating things — roads, bridges, dams, courthouses — used by the general public. In 1954, "public use" was broadened to allow government to take property to combat "blight," thereby enabling "urban renewal." Then in the infamous 2005 Kelo decision, the Supreme Court held, 5 to 4, that government could seize a person's private property for the "public use" of giving it to another private party that would, by developing it, pay more taxes to the seizing government.

Perhaps the phrase "public use" is now elastic enough to encompass the seizure of raisins for the purpose of combating the Depression that ended a while ago. Or for maintaining an "orderly" raisin market. The Supreme Court must decide whether the government has inflicted on the Hornes an uncompensated taking.

Takings-clause jurisprudence is quite recondite. The government, however, says two contradictory things. It says the Hornes "acquired" raisins and hence must either surrender a large portion of them — in some years, 47 percent — or pay huge fines. But it also says the Hornes do not have sufficient ownership of the raisins to raise constitutional objections.

The government says the Hornes voluntarily entered their raisins into the stream of commerce, so they must comply with the RAC's raisin reserve requirement. But the Supreme Court has hitherto rejected the idea that a person must give a portion of his property to the government in order to purchase the government's permission to engage in a lawful business transaction, such as selling a commodity. The government says its required contributions to the raisin reserve merely regulates raisin sales. The Hornes say it is not a mere regulation but an expropriation.

The government says it owes the Hornes nothing in exchange for the raisins they supposedly owe it, because they somehow benefit from the government's manipulation of the raisin market. The Hornes say it would be unconstitutional for the government to come on their land to confiscate their raisins or the proceeds from their raisin sales, so it is unconstitutional to fine them for not complying with an unconstitutional requirement.

Justice Elena Kagan has wondered whether this case involves "a taking or it's just the world's most outdated law." The answer is: Both. The law has spawned more than 25 "marketing orders" covering almonds, apricots, avocados, cherries, cranberries, dates, grapes, hazelnuts, kiwifruit, onions, pears, pistachios, plums, spearmint oil, walnuts and other stuff.

Government sprawl and meddlesomeness mock the idea that government is transparent. There are not enough cells in the human brain to enable Americans to know more than a wee fraction of what their government is up to. If they did know, they would know something useful — how much of what government does is a compound of the simply silly and the slightly sinister. The silly: Try to imagine the peril from which we are protected because the government maintains a spearmint oil reserve. The sinister: The government is bullying and stealing property to maintain programs that make Americans pay higher commodity prices than a free market would set.

Progressives say, "Government is simply the name we give to the things we choose to do together." That is not how the Hornes are experiencing government.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will041815.php3#1may1GWdhglJkCd8.99

4-19-15

Obama's Wanton Lawlessness Should Disturb All Americans

By David Limbaugh

We live in a constitutional republic in which our elected officials are bound by the constraints of the Constitution, which means they don't have a license to do whatever they please, even if they think it would be best for the country.

That President Barack Obama so flagrantly violates this enshrined legal principle and much of his Democratic Party supports him in doing so is why so many other people are outraged and, at times, fear for their country.

Under past presidents in my lifetime (I was born after FDR), Republican and Democratic, we have not had to live in fear that the party controlling the executive branch would become a law unto itself. Mockers will cite President Richard Nixon's transgressions, but they don't register a blip on the radar compared with the colossal abuses of power this president and his party routinely engage in.

Many of us — and I'm not talking about the type inclined toward conspiracy theories, which I most definitely am not — truly wonder what these people will do next. How will they act outside the scope of their constitutional authority to take action they claim will be beneficial? It doesn't matter if their planned actions will be beneficial. Illegal actions are not permitted, even if for ostensibly benign purposes, lest we descend into tyranny and lose our liberties.

Leftists, who own and control the Democratic Party, subscribe to the axiom that the ends justify the means, so it is hardly surprising that they are so casual about the limitations on government institutionally imposed by the Constitution. They believe — and daily demonstrate, in general terms — that if a policy is desirable, they will find a way to implement it, irrespective of whether they have the constitutional authority to do so. It's such an antiquated document, after all.

This is such a dangerous mindset and one that will inevitably lead to the end of the republic as we know it if we don't get control of it.

Under no other president, for example, would I have worried that we might find the executive branch attempting to enter into an agreement with a foreign country involving something as monumentally important as nuclear weapons without acknowledging the obvious truth of its being a treaty and requiring the Senate's approval. Indeed, it is so clear that Obama has no authority to do this I am almost surprised that even he has had the audacity to attempt it. But nothing from this man should surprise me or anyone else anymore.

Intellectually dishonest leftists can play semantic games and engage in legal sophistry all day long about such an agreement's not falling within the legal parameters of a treaty, but every last one of them knows better.

Thank goodness that some Democrats have taken the honorable position and forced Obama to confer with the Senate, but it is deplorable that we would ever get to the point that the Senate needs to be voting on a matter validating its own unambiguous authority and duty under the Constitution. This is disgraceful.

Given that Obama told a group he had no authority under the Constitution to grant amnesty on his own when Congress had affirmatively rejected the DREAM Act, we know he intellectually comprehends the constraints on his executive power. When he reneged on his statement within a short period of time and took unilateral action anyway, we had further confirmation that he is not only disingenuous and insincere but also an opportunistically rogue president.

People think they know the difference between a democracy and a republic. But some of them don't appear to understand that for our republic to work, the rule of law has to be honored. This means that we are a nation of laws, not men, such that all people, even our president and all other elected officials, are bound by the law.

Our constitutional republic has a major democratic element: The people elect their representatives, and they are also the ones with the vested interest in ensuring that these representatives act within the law. When elected officials thumb their noses at the law and do what they please, they are disenfranchising the voters and systematically dismantling the very system that ensures our liberties.

Obama, with his faux compassion and tolerance, has, with the sinister stroke of his poison pen, not only granted legal status to millions of immigrants in wanton violation of the Constitution but also bestowed major substantive benefits on them that affect the rest of us. He has granted some 541,000 people Social Security numbers, which, according to Sen. Jeff Sessions, will enable them to draw federal tax credits and Social Security retirement and disability benefits.

If this is anywhere close to accurate, people should be utterly outraged and appalled. The people, through their elected representatives, are supposed to have a say in these matters, and they've already spoken legislatively against Obama's action, which, along with so many of his other ones, shows he has no respect for the rights of the people and that he has cynical contempt for the Constitution.

If you think I'm being too harsh, then I think you are being too complacent. This is our nation unraveling before our eyes. When will more people speak up against these abuses? When will Obama's party, including its rank and file, demand law and order from the highest elected official in the land?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh041715.php3#RwRjtFiCFrtMrsRU.99

4-18-15

'Sustainability' gone mad on college campuses

By George Will

Syracuse University alumni are new additions to the lengthening list of people who can stop contributing to their alma maters. The university has succumbed — after, one suspects, not much agonizing — to the temptation to indulge in progressive gestures. It will divest all fossil fuel stocks from its endowment. It thereby trumps Stanford, whose halfhearted exercise in right-mindedness has been to divest only coal stocks. Evidently carbon from coal is more morally disquieting than carbon from petroleum.

The effect of these decisions on the consumption of fossil fuels will be nil; the effect on the growth of institutions' endowments will be negative. The effect on alumni giving should be substantial because divesting institutions are proclaiming that the goal of expanding educational resources is less important than the striking of righteous poses — if there can be anything righteous about flamboyant futility.

The divestment movement is a manifestation of a larger phenomenon, academia's embrace of "sustainability," a development explored in "Sustainability: Higher Education's New Fundamentalism" from the National Association of Scholars (NAS). The word "fundamentalism" is appropriate, for five reasons:

Like many religions' premises, the sustainability movement's premises are more assumed than demonstrated. Second, weighing the costs of obedience to sustainability's commandments is considered unworthy. Third, the sustainability crusade supplies acolytes with a worldview that infuses their lives with purpose and meaning. Fourth, the sustainability movement uses apocalyptic rhetoric to express its eschatology. Fifth, the church of sustainability seeks converts, encourages conformity to orthodoxy and regards rival interpretations of reality as heretical impediments to salvation.

Some subscribers to the sustainability catechism are sincerely puzzled by the accusation that it is political correctness repackaged. They see it as indisputable because it is undisputed; it is obvious, elementary, even banal. Actually, however, the term "sustainable" postulates fragility and scarcity that entail government planners and rationers to fend off planetary calamity while administering equity. The unvarying progressive agenda is for government to supplant markets in allocating wealth and opportunity. "Sustainability" swaddles this agenda in "science," as progressives understand it — "settled" findings that would be grim if they did not mandate progressivism.

Orthodoxy was enshrined in the 2006 "American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment." Since then, the NAS study concludes, "the campus sustainability movement has gone from a minor thread of campus activism to becoming the master narrative of what 'liberal education' should seek to accomplish." Government subsidizes the orthodoxy: The Environmental Protection Agency alone has spent more than $333 million on sustainability fellowships and grants. Anti-capitalism is explicit: Markets "privilege" individuals over communities. Indoctrination is relentless: Cornell has 403 sustainability courses (e.g., "The Ethics of Eating"). Sustainability pledges are common. The University of Virginia's is: "I pledge to consider the social, economic, and environmental impacts of my habits and to explore ways to foster a sustainable environment during my time here at U-Va. and beyond."

Sustainability, as a doctrine of total social explanation, transforms all ills and grievances into environmental causes, cloaked in convenient science, as with: Climate change causes prostitution (warming increases poverty, which increases . . . ). Or the "environmental racism" of the supposed warming that supposedly caused Hurricane Katrina, which disproportionately impacted New Orleans blacks.

The same sort of people — sometimes the same people — who once predicted catastrophe from the exhaustion of fossil fuels now predict catastrophe because of a surfeit of such fuels. Former U.S. senator Tim Wirth of Colorado, divestment enthusiast and possessor of astonishing knowledge, says: If we burn all known fossil fuels, we will make the planet uninhabitable, so, "Why should any rational institution invest in further exploration and development when we already have at least three times more than we can ever use?"

There is a social benefit from the sustainability mania: the further marginalization of academia. It prevents colleges and universities from trading on what they are rapidly forfeiting, their reputations for seriousness.

The divestment impulse recognizes no limiting principle. As it works its way through progressivism's thicket of moral imperatives — shedding investments tainted by involvement with Israel, firearms, tobacco, red meat, irrigation-dependent agriculture, etc. — progressivism's dream of ever-more-minute regulation of life is realized but only in campus cocoons.

College tuitions are soaring in tandem with thickening layers of administrative bloat. So here is a proposal: Hundreds of millions could be saved, with no cost to any institution's core educational mission, by eliminating every position whose title contains the word "sustainability" — and, while we are at it, "diversity," "multicultural" or "inclusivity." The result would be higher education higher than the propaganda-saturated version we have, and more sustainable.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will041615.php3#Pm3hc87gk8auikMt.99

4-17-15

The Iran deal: Anatomy of a disaster

By Charles Krauthammer

"Negotiations . . . to prevent an Iranian capability to develop a nuclear arsenal are ending with an agreement that concedes this very capability ..."

— Henry Kissinger and George Shultz, the Wall Street Journal, April 8

It was but a year and a half ago that Barack Obama endorsed the objective of abolition when he said that Iran's heavily fortified Fordow nuclear facility, its plutonium-producing heavy-water reactor and its advanced centrifuges were all unnecessary for a civilian nuclear program. The logic was clear: Since Iran was claiming to be pursuing an exclusively civilian program, these would have to go.

Yet under the deal Obama is now trying to sell, not one of these is to be dismantled. Indeed, Iran's entire nuclear infrastructure is kept intact, just frozen or repurposed for the length of the deal (about a decade). Thus Fordow's centrifuges will keep spinning. They will now be fed xenon, zinc and germanium instead of uranium. But that means they remain ready at any time to revert from the world's most heavily (indeed comically) fortified medical isotope facility to a bomb-making factory. And upon the expiration of the deal, conceded Obama Monday on NPR, Iran's breakout time to a nuclear bomb will be "almost down to zero," i.e., it will be able to produce nuclear weapons at will and without delay.

And then there's cheating. Not to worry, says Obama. We have guarantees of compliance: "unprecedented inspections" and "snapback" sanctions.

The inspection promises are a farce. We haven't even held the Iranians to their current obligation to come clean with the International Atomic Energy Agency on their previous nuclear activities. The IAEA charges Iran with stonewalling on 11 of 12 issues.

As veteran nuclear expert David Albright points out, that makes future verification impossible — how can you determine what's been illegally changed or added if you have no baseline? Worse, there's been no mention of the only verification regime with real teeth — at-will, unannounced visits to any facility, declared or undeclared. The joint European-Iranian statement spoke only of "enhanced access through agreed procedures," which doesn't remotely suggest anywhere/anytime inspections. And on Thursday, Iran's supreme leader ruled out any "extraordinary supervision measures."

The IAEA hasn't been allowed to see the Parchin weaponization facility in 10 years. And the massive Fordow complex was disclosed not by the IAEA but by Iranian dissidents.

Yet even if violations are found, what then? First, they have to be certified by the IAEA. Which then reports to the United Nations, where Iran has the right to challenge the charge. Which then has to be considered, argued and adjudicated. Which then presumably goes to the Security Council where China, Russia and sundry anti-Western countries will act as Iran's lawyers. Which all would take months — after which there is no guarantee that China and Russia will ratify the finding anyway.

As for the "snapback" sanctions — our last remaining bit of pressure — they are equally fantastic. There's no way sanctions will be re-imposed once they have been lifted. It took a decade to weave China, Russia and the Europeans into the current sanctions infrastructure. Once gone, it doesn't snap back. None will pull their companies out of a thriving, post-sanctions Iran. As Kissinger and Shultz point out, we will be fought every step of the way, leaving the United States, not Iran, isolated.

Obama imagines that this deal will bring Iran in from the cold, tempering its territorial ambitions and ideological radicalism. But this defies logic: With sanctions lifted, its economy booming and tens of billions injected into its treasury, why would Iran curb rather than expand its relentless drive for regional dominance?

An overriding objective of these negotiations, as Obama has said, is to prevent the inevitable proliferation — Egypt, Turkey, the Gulf states — that would occur if Iran went nuclear. Yet the prospective agreement is so clearly a pathway to an Iranian bomb that the Saudis are signaling that the deal itself would impel them to go nuclear.

You set out to prevent proliferation and you trigger it. You set out to prevent an Iranian nuclear capability and you legitimize it. You set out to constrain the world's greatest exporter of terror threatening every one of our allies in the Middle East and you're on the verge of making it the region's economic and military hegemon.

What is the alternative, asks the president? He's repeatedly answered the question himself: No deal is better than a bad deal.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer041115.php3#oRxPaPfRsqUYruXq.99

4-16-15

Reality May Be Optional

By Walter Williams

One of the wonders of modern times is that reality is often seen as a social construct and therefore optional. Thus, if one finds a particular reality offensive or inconvenient, he just "changes" it.

Say that one is born a male or a female but believes that nature made an error. Some believe that nature's "error" can be corrected by calling oneself another sex. Possibly a medical procedure on one's genitalia can correct nature's error. However, Mother Nature is ruthless. Sex determination is strictly chromosomal. Females are XX, and males are XY. There is no medical procedure that can change that. Once a male or female, always a male or female.

What about the chant "Hands up; don't shoot," echoed during street demonstrations and rioting and even in the halls of Congress? The lie was that Michael Brown had held his hands up to surrender to a white racist Ferguson, Missouri, police officer, Darren Wilson, who then shot him in cold blood. Even after it was proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the reality was entirely different, it didn't matter. "Hands up; don't shoot" became the chant across the land.

"More women are victims of domestic violence on Super Bowl Sunday than on any other day of the year." That's the lie produced by feminists in 1993. It received a boost at this year's Super Bowl game in a 30-second, multimillion-dollar ad co-sponsored by the NFL, currying favor with women's groups as a result of a few players' misbehavior. Regarding the grossly bogus study, feminist writer Christina Hoff Sommers concluded, "How a belief in that misandrist canard can make the world a better place for women is not explained."

When President Barack Obama swapped five Taliban terrorists for U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, now charged with desertion, he gave us some historical insights. Obama said, "This (exchange of prisoners) is what happens at the end of wars." He added: "That was true for George Washington. That was true for Abraham Lincoln. That was true for FDR. That's been true of every combat situation, that at some point, you make sure that you try to get your folks back. And that's the right thing to do."

There was a bit of a history problem with Obama's claim. George Washington did not become president until 1789, six years after the Revolutionary War's end in 1783. There were no prisoners for him to exchange.

Lincoln was assassinated April 14, 1865. The Civil War ended June 2, 1865. Lincoln was dead and didn't have the opportunity to exchange prisoners at the war's end.

Franklin D. Roosevelt died of a stroke April 12, 1945. The war in Europe ended May 8, 1945. The Japanese empire surrendered Aug. 15, 1945.

The historical fact of business is that none of the presidents Obama mentioned was in office at the time that his war ended, so how in the world could they make prisoner swaps as Obama asserted?

Gun control advocates argue that stricter gun control laws would reduce murders. They ignore the fact that Brazil, Mexico and Russia have some of the strictest gun control laws but murder rates higher than ours. On the other hand, Switzerland and Israel have higher gun ownership rates than we but much lower murder rates. These are realities that gun controllers ignore.

Another reality completely ignored in the gun control debate is the reason the Founding Fathers gave Second Amendment protections. Alexander Hamilton wrote, "If the representatives of the people betray their constituents, there is then no recourse left but in the exertion of that original right of self-defense which is paramount to all positive forms of government." Thomas Jefferson wrote, "What country can preserve (its) liberties if (its) rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms." I leave it up to you to decide what representatives and rulers the founders were talking about.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams041515.php3#SIg8WuMvZ9vy1v7J.99

4-15-15

The New Inquisition

By Thomas Sowell

How long will this country remain free? Probably only as long as the American people value their freedom enough to defend it. But how many people today can stop looking at their electronic devices long enough to even think about such things?

Meanwhile, attempts to shut down people whose free speech interferes with other people's political agendas go on, with remarkably little notice, much less outrage. The Internal Revenue Service's targeting the tax-exempt status of conservative groups is just one of these attempts to fight political battles by shutting up the opposition, rather than answering them.

Another insidious attempt to silence voices that dissent from current politically correct crusades is targeting scientists who do not agree with the "global warming" scenario.

Congressman Raul Grijalva has been writing universities, demanding financial records showing who is financing the research of dissenting scientists, and demanding their internal communications as well. Mr. Grijalva says that financial disclosure needs to be part of the public's "right to know" who is financing those who express different views.

He is not the only politician pushing the idea that scientists who do not march in lockstep with what is called the "consensus" on man-made global warming could be just hired guns for businesses resisting government regulations. Senator Edward Markey has been sending letters to fossil-fuel companies, asking them to hand over details of their financial ties to critics of the "consensus."

The head of the National Academy of Sciences has chimed in, saying: "Scientists must disclose their sources of financial support to continue to enjoy societal trust and the respect of fellow scientists."

This is too clever by half. It sounds as if this government bureaucrat is trying to help the dissenting scientists enjoy trust and respect — as if these scientists cannot decide for themselves whether they consider such a practice necessary or desirable.

The idea that you can tell whether a scientist — or anybody else — is "objective" by who is financing that scientist's research is nonsense. There is money available on many sides of many issues, so no matter what the researcher concludes, there will usually be somebody to financially support those conclusions.

Some of us are old enough to remember when this kind of game was played by Southern segregationist politicians trying to hamstring civil rights organizations like the NAACP by pressuring them to reveal who was contributing money to them. Such revelations would of course then subject NAACP supporters to all sorts of retaliations, and dry up contributions.

The public's "right to know" has often been invoked in attempts to intimidate potential supporters of ideas that the inquisitors want to silence. But have you heard of any groundswell of public demand to know who is financing what research?

Science is not about "consensus" but facts. Not only were some physicists not initially convinced by Einstein's theory of relativity, Einstein himself said that it should not be accepted until empirical evidence could test it.

That test came during an eclipse, when light behaved as Einstein said it would, rather than the way it should have behaved if the existing "consensus" was correct.

That is how scientific questions should be settled, not by political intimidation. There is already plenty of political weight on the scales, on the side of those pushing the "global warming" scenario.

The fact that "global warming" models are not doing a very good job of predicting actual temperatures has led to a shift in rhetoric, with "climate change" now being substituted. This is an issue that needs to be contested by scientists using science, not political muscle.

Too many universities are too willing to be stampeded by pressure groups. Have we forgotten Duke University's caving in to a lynch mob mentality during the "gang rape" hoax in 2006? Or the University of Virginia doing the same thing more recently?

Politicians determined to get their own way by whatever means necessary may have no grand design to destroy freedom, but what they are doing can amount to totalitarianism on the installment plan.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell041415.php3#2PUrRf4GWTgwqyXj.99

4-14-15

Rand Paul Puts on a Clinic

By David Limbaugh

At this point, I am mighty bullish on Sen. Ted Cruz but I very much like several other possible GOP presidential contenders, and I have to say that Republicans can learn a valuable lesson from Sen. Rand Paul's recent handling of the ambush media.

Often when Republicans are ambushed, they fumble around, grow defensive and apologetic, and shrink to a point just short of the fetal position. They just can't seem to take the heat of the accusations that they are bigoted or uncompassionate. Instead of striking back, they raise one arm up in defense, get further bludgeoned and descend into retreat.

We are right on the issues. We are the champions of liberty. We advocate colorblindness and equal treatment under the law. But we end up groveling to people of smaller numbers with bigger megaphones. No wonder we're losing the culture war. Yes, politics rolls downhill from culture to a great extent, but political leaders have a unique opportunity to impact the culture upstream. Sadly, our side usually doesn't even recognize this opportunity.

Rand Paul sat down for interviews just one day after he announced his presidential candidacy. Associated Press reporter Philip Elliott, presumably vying for liberal media ambush champion of the week, asked Paul what exceptions, if any, should be made if abortion were to be banned.

Paul tried to answer honestly: "The thing ... about abortion — and about a lot of things — is that I think people get tied up in all these details of, sort of, you're either this or this or that or you're hard-and-fast one thing or the other. ... In general, I'm pro-life. So I will support legislation that advances and shows that life is special and deserves protection, and that has been both legislation with and without" exceptions.

After the interview, the Democratic National Committee circulated a press memo on the exchange as ammo for the next media ambush competitor lying in wait for Paul. It didn't take long. NH1 reporter Paul Steinhauser, referring to the DNC missive, pointedly asked Paul, "Should there be any exemptions for abortion or not?"

Paul didn't cower. He didn't slink down or fumble around at the podium stalling for time to think of some answer that wouldn't marginalize him and damage his candidacy. Instead, he shot back, "What's the DNC say?" And it got better from there.

Paul continued: "Here's the question: You know, we always seem to have the debate way over here on what are the exact details of exemptions or when (life) starts. Why don't we ask the DNC, 'Is it OK to kill a 7-pound baby in the uterus?' You go back and you ask (Democratic National Chairwoman) Debbie Wasserman Schultz if she's OK with killing a 7-pound baby that is just not ... born yet. Ask her when life begins, and you ask Debbie when she's willing to protect life. When you get an answer from Debbie, come back to it."

That response had to stun the reporter, who is part of a group that believes it has a monopoly on ethics and is used to making the rules. How dare Rand Paul?!

But kudos to Paul for finally turning this issue around and pointing out, through a series of very simple statements, who the real extremists on abortion are. What abject absurdity for liberals to prance around wagging their fingers indignantly at conservatives over questions on which their own positions are so far out there as to be morally indefensible and darn near incoherent.

ABC News' George Stephanopoulos used this gambit on candidate Mitt Romney in an interview following a presidential debate in 2012, asking him, "Do you believe that states have the right to ban contraception? Or is that trumped by a constitutional right to privacy?"

Romney pointed out that it was a ludicrous question, but the Democrats nevertheless used the incident to advance their phony "Republican war on women" meme. The real extremists on that issue, as well, are the Democrats, who subscribe to the contemptible position that the government should subsidize abortifacients and that if you disagree, you hate women.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz, by the way, responded to Paul's question. "I support letting women and their doctors make this decision without government getting involved. Period. End of story," she said in an email to CNN. Then she continued with questions back to Paul about exceptions for rape and the like.

Are any reporters pointing out that Schultz dodged the question? That her implicit answer is that she favors abortion on demand up to the point of birth? Are they showcasing her deceit, which surrounds the leftist stance on abortion, that we ought to evaluate abortion only in terms of the extreme situations?

The extremists in this debate are the ones who so casually dismiss the killing of an innocent child in the womb as if it were a piece of lifeless tissue instead of a life, without even addressing the overriding moral issue involved in killing a human being. The pro-lifers, even those who wrestle with the exception questions, are engaged in a serious weighing of moral issues.

Kudos to Rand Paul for providing a free clinic on how you handle the ambush media and a blueprint for how conservatives should begin to reframe issues to bring them back to reality and show who the real extremists are.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh041315.php3#XcfCl4S8wul9bcIO.99

4-13-15

Iran's nuclear intoxication: Obama is merely choosing to settle

By George Will

This week brings a constitutional moment illustrating a paradox of Barack Obama's presidency. The catalyst of the drama is legislation proposed by Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.), chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, asserting Congress's foreign policy responsibilities and prerogatives. The paradox is this:

Obama's disdain for constitutional etiquette — his contempt for the institutional self-restraint that enables equilibrium under the separation of powers — has been primarily in domestic policy. His anti-constitutional actions have involved the Affordable Care Act; environmental, education, welfare and immigration policies; Internet regulation; and judicially rebuked recess appointments, among other matters. Now, however, Congress's revival comes regarding foreign policy, where constitutional logic and historical precedents are most supportive of presidential discretion.

Corker proposes legislation to prevent Obama from unilaterally ending sanctions that Congress wrote into law. If all 54 Republicans and 13 Democrats agree on this point of constitutional integrity and institutional dignity, Obama's promised veto of Corker's legislation will be overridden.

Some who partake of Obama's condescension say it is unseemly for the president to have to accommodate Chairman Corker, a former mayor (of Chattanooga). But one of the committee's best chairmen since 1945 was a former mayor (of Indianapolis), Richard Lugar. And the chairman who in the 1940s tugged Republicans toward internationalism, Michigan's Arthur Vandenberg, was a former publisher of a newspaper in Grand Rapids. For those who have forgotten the phenomenon, Corker's patient bipartisanship is what a senator behaving senatorially looks like.

Iran surely construes Obama's veto threat as evidence that, such is his hunger for an agreement, he will make concessions (about Iran's nuclear infrastructure, the modalities of inspections and the removal of sanctions) that are unacceptable to Congress. The negotiations about such issues already have reflected asymmetries of desire.

Obama wants to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, but more ardently wants, in the process of trying to do this, to encourage dynamics that will domesticate Iran's regime and validate his claim to greatness. Iran desires relief from sanctions, but more ardently desires a nuclear capability.

Obama's aspiration may be fanciful, but Iran's regime is unlikely to be the first in world history to last forever. Iran's aspiration may be sinister, but U.S. wars of regime change in Iraq and Libya have shown other nations the advantages of possessing nuclear weapons.

Obama's obnoxious air of entitlement to unearned immunity from oversight should not blind us to this fact that has been obvious for some time: Iran is going to be a nuclear power if it intensely wants to be — and it does; no practicable sanctions can be severe and durable enough to defeat this determination.

The Middle East today is more resistant than ever to America's healing touch. The 1990s disintegration of Yugoslavia demonstrated dangers that accompany nations — Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Kosovo — reasserting their sovereignties. Today's Middle East convulsions demonstrate the greater dangers when nationality is eclipsed by sectarian tribalism. It is unclear what policy changes could give America much control over these events.

Arms-control agreements that substantially alter nations' arsenals become more possible as they become less important. That is, until events in other spheres make the adversarial nations less so. Having abandoned the unobtainable project of blocking Iran's path to nuclear weapons, Obama has settled for trying to make the path longer and steeper. Even if the agreement merely extends the time during which Iran deceives inspectors to evade restrictions, time might matter.

Nothing is inevitable, but 10 years can be a long time in the life of a nation, especially when the regime is discordant with modernity: In 1979, the Soviets invaded Afghanistan; in 1989, the Berlin Wall came down.

With nearly 80 million people (almost equal to Germany) and the world's fourth-largest proven crude oil reserves, Iran is culturally ancient but demographically young. The median ages of Japan, the European Union, the United States and China are 45.5, 41.9, 37.3 and 35.1, respectively. Iran's is 28. Fortunately, nations such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia are flexing their conventional military muscles, a necessary precursor to a balance of power. However precarious it might be, such a balance is a start to containing Iran.

Dealing with Iran is disagreeable, but no more so than depending on Stalin's Soviet Union as a World War II ally more important than all the other allies combined. Deterring a nuclear Iran might be even more problematic than deterring the Soviet Union was, depending on whether Iran's theological intoxication is more than rhetorical. We are going to find out.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will041115.php3#ibpHdHgCSALtDTET.99

4-12-15

Amending the Constitution by wink and nod: The feds count on public indifference to their spying and lying

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

Here is a short pop quiz.

When Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed Congress earlier this month about the parameters of the secret negotiations between the United States and Iran over nuclear weapons and economic sanctions, how did he know what the negotiators were considering? Israel is not a party to those negotiations, yet the prime minister presented them in detail.

When Hillary Clinton learned that a committee of the U.S. House of Representatives had subpoenaed her emails as secretary of state and she promptly destroyed half of them — about 33,000 — how did she know she could get away with it? Destruction of evidence, particularly government records, constitutes the crime of obstruction of justice.

When Michael Hayden, the director of both the CIA and the National Security Agency in the George W. Bush administration and the architect of the government's massive suspicionless spying program, was recently publicly challenged to deny that the feds have the ability to turn on your computer, cellphone or mobile device in your home and elsewhere, and use your own devices to spy on you, why did he remain silent? The audience at the venue where he was challenged rationally concluded that his silence was his consent.

And when two judges were recently confronted with transcripts of conversations between known drug dealers — transcripts obtained without search warrants — and they asked the police who obtained them to explain their sources, how is it that the cops could refuse to answer? The government has the same obligation to tell the truth in a courtroom as any litigant, and in a criminal case, the government must establish that its acquisition of all of its evidence was lawful.

The common themes here are government spying and lawlessness. We now know that the Israelis spied on Secretary of State John Kerry, and so Mr. Netanyahu knew of what he spoke. We know that the Clintons believe there is a set of laws for them and another for the rest of us, and so Mrs. Clinton could credibly believe that her deception and destruction would go unpunished.

We know that the NSA can listen to all we say if we are near enough to a device it can turn on. (Quick: How close are you as you read this to an electronic device that the NSA can access and use as a listening device?) We also know that the feds gave secret roadside listening devices to about 50 local police departments, which acquired them generally without the public consent of elected officials in return for oaths not to reveal the source of the hardware. It came from the secret budget of the CIA, which is prohibited by law from spying in the United States.

What's going on here?

What's going on here is government's fixation on spying and lying. Think about it: The Israeli Mossad was spying on Mr. Kerry while the CIA was spying on the Mossad. Hillary Clinton thought she could destroy her emails just because she is Hillary Clinton, yet she forgot that the administration of which she was an integral part dispatched the NSA to spy on everyone, including her. And though it might not voluntarily release the emails she thought she destroyed, the NSA surely has them. The police have no hesitation about engaging in the same warrantless surveillance as the feds. And when Mr. Hayden revealed a cat-like smile on his face when challenged about the feds in our bedrooms, and the 10,000 folks in the audience did not reveal outrage, you know that government spying is so endemic today that it is almost the new normal.

Yet government spying is not normal to the Constitution. Its essence — government fishing nets, the indiscriminate deployment of government resources to see what they can bring in, government interference with personal privacy without suspicion or probable cause — was rejected by the Framers and remains expressly rejected by the Fourth Amendment today.

For our liberty to survive in this fearful post-September 11 world, the government's lawless behavior must be rejected not just by the words of dead people, but by the deeds of we the living. When the president violates the Constitution and the Congress and courts do nothing to stop him, we have effectively amended the Constitution with a wink and a nod — by consent, if you will. Its guarantees of liberty are only guarantees if the people in whose hands we repose it for safekeeping honor them as guarantees, and believe and behave as such because the Constitution means what it says.

Where is the outrage? If you knew the feds were virtually present in your bedroom or your automobile, and your representatives in Congress did nothing about it, would you buy the nonsense that you should have nothing to hide? Would you send those weaklings back to Congress? Or would you say to a lawless government, as the Founders did to the British, "Thou shalt not enter here"? Does the Constitution mean what it says in bad times as well as in good times?

These are not academic questions. They address the most important issue of our day. For nothing will destroy our personal liberties more effectively than the government refusing to honor them and Americans sheepishly accepting that. And without freedom, what are we?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0315/napolitano032615.php3#jFQYm2v0u1LdJlwF.99

4-11-15

A Right to Discriminate

By John Stossel

Bake me a cake, or go to jail!

Sadly, that is the new message from "inclusive" America. If you don't want to cater, photograph, preside over, sell pizza at, sell flowers to or otherwise participate in a gay wedding, you will be punished. If you don't want your business to pay for a kind of birth control that you consider murder, you will pay fines until your business is bankrupt.

Personally, I think both birth control and homosexuality are just fine, and gay marriage is as valid as straight marriage. But forcing everyone to act as if they think that way is just wrong. We have moved from "inclusion" to totalitarianism.

The list of people you must treat carefully keeps getting longer. Protected classes now include sex, race, age, disability, nationality, citizenship status, pregnancy, family status and more. I'm in two of those groups. You better treat me well!

Why force someone who disapproves of your actions to bake you a cake? Lots of other bakers would love the business. This debate has moved from inclusion to demanding that everyone adopt your values.

In a free country, bigots should have the right to be bigots. Americans should also have freedom of association.

American lawyers talk about special protection for religious freedom, and in the Hobby Lobby case the Supreme Court said you could escape onerous parts of Obamacare by paying lawyers a fortune and convincing judges that you are a closely held corporation with religious objections. But why must you be religious to practice what you believe? This should be about individual freedom.

Of course, government must not discriminate. The worst of American racism and homophobia — slavery, segregation enforced by Jim Crow laws, bans on interracial marriage, anti-sodomy laws, etc. — was government-enforced discrimination. That was wrong, and it was right for the federal government to intervene.

But private actions are different. If I start a business with my own money, I ought to be allowed to serve only libertarians, people who wear blue shirts, whatever. It's my business!

My customers have choices. If I am racist or anti-gay, the free market will punish me. Enough people would boycott my business that I would probably lose money quickly.

It would actually be useful to see which businesses refuse to serve one group or another. Tolerance is revealed by how people behave when they are free. American law fosters the illusion that everyone is unbiased, while their real feelings remain hidden, making them harder to boycott, shame or debate.

Punishment from the market is enough. The heavy hand of law is not needed here.

However, given America's history, I accept that there are a few exceptions. In the South, people banned from a lunch counter had few other choices. The Civil Rights Act's intrusion into private behavior was probably necessary to counter the damage done by Jim Crow laws.

But today such coercion is no longer needed. Even in the difficult days of Reconstruction, after the Civil War, business began to bring together whites and blacks who might not always have liked each other but who wanted the best deals. It took several years for racists to get Jim Crow passed so they could put a stop to that erosion of the old racist ways. Government helped keep racism going for several more decades.

Individuals should be allowed to discriminate. I discriminate all the time. I favor people over others when I choose my friends, jobs, hobbies, clubs, religion, etc. So do you.

Elizabeth Taylor married nine times. Had she married again, should the EEOC have ordered her to marry someone from an ethnic minority?

A homophobic baker shouldn't stop a same-sex couple from getting married. Likewise, a gay couple shouldn't force a baker to make them a wedding cake. No one should ever force anyone to bake them a cake.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0415/stossel040815.php3#4oIRzr7fuxJXA1lr.99

4-10-15

Everything is a crime

By George Will

What began as a trickle has become a stream that could become a cleansing torrent. Criticisms of the overcriminalization of American life might catalyze an appreciation of the toll the administrative state is taking on the criminal justice system, and liberty generally.

In 2007, professor Tim Wu of Columbia Law School recounted a game played by some prosecutors. One would name a famous person — "say, Mother Teresa or John Lennon" — and other prosecutors would try to imagine "a plausible crime for which to indict him or her," usually a felony plucked from "the incredibly broad yet obscure crimes that populate the U.S. Code like a kind of jurisprudential minefield." Did the person make "false pretenses on the high seas"? Is he guilty of "injuring a mailbag"?

In 2009, Harvey Silverglate's book "Three Felonies a Day" demonstrated how almost any American could be unwittingly guilty of various crimes between breakfast and bedtime. Silverglate, a defense lawyer and civil libertarian, demonstrated the dangers posed by the intersection of prosecutorial ingenuity with the expansion of the regulatory state.

In 2013, Glenn Harlan Reynolds, University of Tennessee law professor and creator of Instapundit, published in the Columbia Law Review "Ham Sandwich Nation: Due Process When Everything is a Crime."

Given the axiom that a competent prosecutor can persuade a grand jury to indict a ham sandwich, and given the proliferation of criminal statutes and regulations backed by criminal penalties, what becomes of the mens rea principle that people deserve criminal punishment only if they engage in conduct that is inherently wrong or that they know to be illegal?

Now comes "Rethinking Presumed Knowledge of the Law in the Regulatory Age" (Tennessee Law Review) by Michael Anthony Cottone, a federal judicial clerk. Cottone warns that as the mens rea requirement withers when the quantity and complexity of laws increase, the doctrine of ignorantia legis neminem excusat — ignorance of the law does not excuse — becomes problematic. The regulatory state is rendering unrealistic the presumption that a responsible citizen should be presumed to have knowledge of the law.

There are an estimated 4,500 federal criminal statutes — and innumerable regulations backed by criminal penalties that include incarceration. Even if none of these were arcane, which many are, their sheer number would mean that Americans would not have clear notice of what behavior is proscribed or prescribed.

The presumption of knowledge of the law is refuted by the mere fact that estimates of the number of federal statutes vary by hundreds. If you are sent to prison for excavating arrowheads on federal land without a permit, your cellmate might have accidentally driven his snowmobile onto land protected by the Wilderness Act.

Regulatory crimes, Cottone observes, often are not patently discordant with our culture, as are murder, rape and robbery. Rather than implicating fundamental moral values, many regulatory offenses derive their moral significance, such as it is, from their relation to the promotion of some governmental goal.

The presumption of knowledge of the law is, Cottone argues, useful as an incentive for citizens to become informed of their legal duties. Complete elimination of the presumption would be a perverse incentive to remain in an ignorance that might immunize a person from culpability. But "there can be no moral obligation to do something impossible, such as know every criminal law," let alone all the even more numerous — perhaps tens of thousands — regulations with criminal sanctions.

The morality of law, Cottone argues, requires laws to be, among other things, publicized, understandable and not subject to constant changes. Otherwise everyone would have to be a talented lawyer, "a result hardly feasible or even desirable."

Overcriminalization, says professor Reynolds, deepens the dangers of "a dynamic in which those charged with crimes have a lot at risk, while those doing the charging have very little 'skin in the game.' " With a vast menu of crimes from which to choose, prosecutors can "overcharge" a target, presenting him or her with the choice between capitulation-through-plea-bargain or a trial with a potentially severe sentence.

Given the principle — which itself should be reconsidered — of prosecutorial immunity, we have a criminal justice system with too many opportunities for generating defendants, too few inhibitions on prosecutors and ongoing corrosion of the rule and morality of law. Congress, the ultimate cause of all this, has work to undo.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will040915.php3#GpIh0luX8geZZpuJ.99

4-9-15

The Ticket to Prosperity

By Walter Williams

Gaza is home to Palestinian people, who have suffered injustices and have a history of legitimate grievances against both Israel and Arab governments. If there's one immutable fact of life, it is that history cannot be changed or controlled. What can be changed and controlled is the future. That points to the most tragic aspect of people in poor territories such as Gaza — focusing attention on the past, which they can do nothing about, and not paying enough attention to the future.

In the case of Palestinians, the first order of business is to recognize that they cannot militarily force Israel to withdraw from the West Bank and East Jerusalem and meet other territorial demands. Therefore, they should cease all military and terrorist actions against Israel. If there were peaceful coexistence, there would be reciprocity and accommodation on Israel's behalf. The major accession would be for Israel to end its military blockade of Gaza's port and border. The most important first step for Palestinian people is to recognize that they have been betrayed by their leadership and that their destiny truly lies in their hands.

A real-world example that Gaza might follow is that of Hong Kong. At the time of liberation from Japanese control in 1945, Hong Kong was a poor colony of Great Britain. Geographically, Hong Kong is little more than a rock off the coast of China with few natural resources. Hong Kong's wealth was its plentiful supply of cheap labor, which attracted many foreign manufacturing firms. Hong Kong's experience of going from a Third World colony in 1945 to having a gross domestic product per capita that ranks among the world's 10 highest in 2015 can serve as a useful blueprint for both Gaza and poor countries around the world. The basic ingredients for Hong Kong's progress were not foreign aid and other handouts from Western nations but instead law and order and a free market. A similar story can be told about Singapore. Both rank in the top 10 in wealth and the top two in economic freedom.

Despite decades of economic aid, many recipient nations are worse off now than they were before they first received development assistance. What foreign aid usually accomplishes is to enable tyrants to retain power, letting them be able to pay off cronies and buy military equipment to suppress their people and engage in military ventures. Foreign aid also enables tyrants to set up multimillion- and even multibillion-dollar personal accounts in foreign banks.

Today's Third World poverty is mostly self-inflicted — indigenously created. The growth-promoting characteristics of the non-poor countries that are all but absent in poor countries are protected private property rights, personal liberty, enforcement of contracts, rule of law and a market-oriented economic system.

A country need not be rich to create these wealth-enhancing institutions. That's much of the story of the U.S. In 1776, we were a poor nation, but we established the institutional structure to become rich. That institutional structure attracted not only foreign investment but talented, hardworking immigrants, as well. Contrast that with today's poor countries, whose policies and institutional structure do just the opposite — repel investment and export their most talented and ambitious people to freer and richer countries.

People with limited understanding make the mistake of making a link between economic freedom and democracy. There is no such necessary link. India, for example, politically is a democracy. Economically, it is mostly unfree and poor, ranking 128th on the 2015 Index of Economic Freedom. There are countries much higher on the economic freedom index that do not have much of a history of democracy, such as Chile, now ranking seventh, and Taiwan, 14th, yet these countries are far wealthier than some of their more democratic counterparts. Why? It's because their economic systems are free or mostly free, something that is not guaranteed by a democratic political system.

The bottom line for why some countries are rich while others are poor is best-explained by the amount of economic freedom.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams040815.php3#MR7LqAmAqUd9P8fL.99

4-8-15

The Iran 'Agreement' Charade

By Thomas Sowell

By abandoning virtually all its demands for serious restrictions on Iran's nuclear bomb program, the Obama administration has apparently achieved the semblance of a preliminary introduction to the beginning of a tentative framework for a possible hope of an eventual agreement with Iran.

But even this hazy "achievement" may vanish like a mirage. It takes two to agree — and Iran has already publicly disputed and even mocked what President Obama says is the nature of that framework.

Had Iran wholeheartedly agreed with everything the Obama administration said, that agreement would still have been worthless, since Iran has already blocked international inspectors from its nuclear facilities at unpredictable times. The appearance of international control is more dangerous than a frank admission that we don't really know what they are doing.

Why then all these negotiations? Because these charades protect Barack Obama politically, no matter how much danger they create for America and the world. The latest public opinion polls show Obama's approval rating rising. In political terms — the only terms that matter to him — his foreign policy has been a success.

If you look back through history, you will be hard pressed to find a leader of any democratic nation so universally popular — hailed enthusiastically by opposition parties as well as his own — as was British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain when he returned from Munich in 1938, waving an agreement with Hitler's signature on it, and proclaiming "Peace for our time."

Who cared that he had thrown a small country to the Nazi wolves, in order to get a worthless agreement with Hitler? It looked great at the time because it had apparently avoided war.

Now Barack Obama seems ready to repeat that political triumph by throwing another small country — Israel this time — to the wolves, for the sake of another worthless agreement.

Back in 1938, Winston Churchill was one of the very few critics who tried to warn Chamberlain and the British public. Churchill said: "The idea that safety can be purchased by throwing a small State to the wolves is a fatal delusion."

After the ruinous agreement was made with Hitler, he said: "You were given the choice between war and dishonor. You chose dishonor and you will have war." Chamberlain's "Peace for our time" lasted just under a year.

Comparing Obama to Chamberlain is unfair — to Chamberlain. There is no question that the British prime minister loved his country and pursued its best interests as he saw it. He was not a "citizen of the world," or worse. Chamberlain was building up his country's military forces, not tearing them down, as Barack Obama has been doing with American military forces.

Secretary of State John Kerry, and other members of the Obama administration, are saying that the alternative to an agreement with Iran is war. But when Israel bombed Iraq's nuclear reactors, back in 1981, Iraq did not declare war on Israel. It would have been suicidal to do so, since Israel already had nuclear bombs.

There was a time when either Israel or the United States could have destroyed Iran's nuclear facilities, with far less risk of war than there will be after Iran already has its own stockpile of nuclear bombs. Indeed, the choice then will no longer be between a nuclear Iran and war. The choice may be between surrender to Iran and nuclear devastation.

Barack Obama dismissed the thought of America being vulnerable to "a small country" like Iran. Iran is in fact larger than Japan was when it attacked Pearl Harbor, and Iran has a larger population. If Japan had nuclear bombs, World War II could have turned out very differently.

If anyone examines the hard, cold facts about the Obama administration's actions and inactions in the Middle East from the beginning, it is far more difficult to reconcile those actions and inactions with a belief that Obama was trying to stop Iran from getting nuclear weapons than it is to reconcile those facts with his trying to stop Israel from stopping Iran from getting nuclear weapons.

This latest "agreement" with Iran — with which Iran has publicly and loudly disagreed — is only the latest episode in that political charade.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell040715.php3#VUGf5fXWhg6jZK4f.99

4-7-15

All Politicians Don't Lie Equally, and Lying Does Matter

By David Limbaugh

Far too many people have become unacceptably cynical about the issue of integrity in politics, and it is having disastrous consequences. Only the scofflaws and reprobates benefit from such an unraveling of our ethical sensitivities.

I'm sure you won't be surprised to find that I believe this phenomenon is occurring largely on the political left today, and no, I won't violate the very premise of my piece and lazily concede that both sides are equally culpable. It's inevitable that the side that believes in moral relativism and that the end justifies the means would lie far more often.

Indeed, the right generally believes in and adheres to higher standards, which is one reason it's always at a disadvantage in the political arena. Test it sometime; challenge someone to a fight using Marquess of Queensberry rules while your opponent is under no constraints.

Consider the claim by Harry Reid, the Democratic leader in the Senate, in 2012 that someone with investment firm Bain Capital had told him that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney hadn't paid taxes for the previous 10 years. This was the reason, Reid charged, that Romney wouldn't release his tax returns.

This was a particularly effective lie because President Obama's strategy centered on depicting Romney as an uncaring rich person with no concern for the middle class or the poor. It paired nicely with Romney's statement at a supposedly private meeting that he had no chance for the vote of 47 percent of the population. When added to news about Romney's vast personal wealth, his connections with Bain Capital and his proposal to reduce the tax burden, including on the top income earners, it was potentially devastating.

Reid refused to provide evidence for his charge, and when challenged on it, he defiantly taunted Romney. "Let him prove he has paid taxes, because he has not."

Now, two-plus years later and after we've suffered through another couple of long years of the Obama presidency, Reid is virtually admitting he lied and not only is unrepentant but appears to be proud of himself for doing so.

When CNN's Dana Bash told Reid many considered his baseless claim to be "McCarthyite," he replied: "They can call it whatever they want. Romney didn't win, did he?" In other words, it worked, so it was morally justified.

That's Reid's response. How about the White House's?

Fox News reporter James Rosen asked White House press secretary Josh Earnest whether he or Obama would condemn Reid's lie as conduct unbecoming of one of our highest elected officials. Earnest said, "Not for something that's 3 years old."

I've heard liberal commentators dismiss this episode with their usual response: "We all know that people often lie in politics. Both parties are equally guilty of this type of behavior."

I am so tired of the left's claims of moral equivalence, which ultimately lead to a degeneration of our ethical standards in governance. I'm also weary of the intellectual laziness and cynicism that cause so many, including on the right, to let this type of statement stand, unchallenged. If you can assert this cynical defense at every turn, then there is nothing sacred anymore and nothing matters.

If, as an electorate, we are going to be so cynical as to pretend that all politicians lie equally, especially about the things that matter most, then we might as well give them our blessing and a license to do whatever they please.

People should not invoke "politics" as a defense on questions pertaining to integrity. It should be an exacerbating factor; if you lie in politics, it's even worse because politics is governance, which substantially affects our lives, our liberties and our pursuit of happiness.

Moreover, it's one thing to say "politicians often lie" as a sheer assertion of fact. It's altogether another to say it with the purpose of excusing those lies and saying truth doesn't matter, and sadly, that is the context in which the statement is usually made.

None of us really believes that lies in politics don't matter. Otherwise, everyone on both sides of the aisle wouldn't moralize so much about it. Why else would Democrats have expended so much energy engaging in the lie that George W. Bush lied about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Hey, all politicians do it. What difference, at this point, does it make?

But when you embrace moral relativism, you can actually elevate lying to a virtue, as Reid does when he boasts that his lie helped Obama win.

This is an insidious path we're on, for when you effectively glorify lying in politics, you are disenfranchising the people. You are justifying your lie based on your arrogant belief that you know better than the people what is in their best interests or, more likely, revealing that you just don't care. Consider Obama's whispering to the Russian official that he would be able to be more flexible on missile defense after his re-election. Translation: I'm pretending to be a hawk now because I know that the American people won't elect me if I'm not, but after I'm elected, I'll do what I want, not what I know they want, because my will is more important than the people's.

Shame on any of us who lazily or recklessly reject that truth in politics is a virtue, because that is the very type of attitude that is undermining our republic. It's unacceptable.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh040715.php3#1XewQp8hWxwdVHvF.99

4-6-15

Etiquette Versus Annihilation

By Thomas Sowell

Recent statements from United Nations officials, that Iran is already blocking their existing efforts to keep track of what is going on in their nuclear program, should tell anyone who does not already know it that any agreement with Iran will be utterly worthless in practice. It doesn't matter what the terms of the agreement are, if Iran can cheat.

It is amazing — indeed, staggering — that so few Americans are talking about what it would mean for the world's biggest sponsor of international terrorism, Iran, to have nuclear bombs, and to be developing intercontinental missiles that can deliver them far beyond the Middle East.

Back during the years of the nuclear stand-off between the Soviet Union and the United States, contemplating what a nuclear war would be like was called "thinking the unthinkable." But surely the Nazi Holocaust during World War II should tell us that what is beyond the imagination of decent people is by no means impossible for people who, as Churchill warned of Hitler before the war, had "currents of hatred so intense as to sear the souls of those who swim upon them."

Have we not already seen that kind of hatred in the Middle East? Have we not seen it in suicide bombings there and in suicide attacks against America by people willing to sacrifice their own lives by flying planes into massive buildings, to vent their unbridled hatred?

The Soviet Union was never suicidal, so the fact that we could annihilate their cities if they attacked ours was a sufficient deterrent to a nuclear attack from them. But will that deter fanatics with an apocalyptic vision? Should we bet the lives of millions of Americans on our ability to deter nuclear war with Iran?

It is now nearly 70 years since nuclear bombs were used in war. Long periods of safety in that respect have apparently led many to feel as if the danger is not real. But the dangers are even greater now and the nuclear bombs more devastating.

Clearing the way for Iran to get nuclear bombs may — probably will — be the most catastrophic decision in human history. And it can certainly change human history, irrevocably, for the worse.

Against that grim background, it is almost incomprehensible how some people can be preoccupied with the question whether having Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu address Congress, warning against the proposed agreement, without the prior approval of President Obama, was a breach of protocol.

Against the background of the Obama administration's negotiating what can turn out to be the most catastrophic international agreement in the nation's history, to complain about protocol is to put questions of etiquette above questions of annihilation.

Why is Barack Obama so anxious to have an international agreement that will have no legal standing under the Constitution just two years from now, since it will be just a presidential agreement, rather than a treaty requiring the "advice and consent" of the Senate?

There are at least two reasons. One reason is that such an agreement will serve as a fig leaf to cover his failure to do anything that has any serious chance of stopping Iran from going nuclear. Such an agreement will protect Obama politically, despite however much it exposes the American people to unprecedented dangers.

The other reason is that, by going to the United Nations for its blessing on his agreement with Iran, he can get a bigger fig leaf to cover his complicity in the nuclear arming of America's most dangerous enemy. In Obama's vision, as a citizen of the world, there may be no reason why Iran should not have nuclear weapons when other nations have them.

Politically, President Obama could not just come right out and say such a thing. But he can get the same end result by pretending to have ended the dangers by reaching an agreement with Iran. There have long been people in the Western democracies who hail every international agreement that claims to reduce the dangers of war.

The road to World War II was strewn with arms control agreements on paper that aggressor nations ignored in practice. But those agreements lulled the democracies into a false sense of security that led them to cut back on military spending while their enemies were building up the military forces to attack them.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell040115.php3#cEmEfpPUZ4GChxqf.99

4-5-15

The Democrats Win in Indiana

By Michael Reagan

March Madness hit Indiana hard this week.

It had nothing to do with the NCAA's Final Four Championship, which is coming to Indianapolis on Saturday.

And despite what you think, it wasn't about gay rights, either.

It was really all about was 2016 presidential politics.

The firestorm of media attention and orchestrated liberal outrage started last week after Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed his state's version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

The act was broadly written to protect all citizens of all faiths from being forced by government to do things that violated their religious principles.

It was not written to permit Christians or any other religious group to discriminate against gay people or any other minority. And it had nothing to do with the civil rights of gay people.

What Gov. Pence signed into law was hardly different from the federal law that Bill Clinton signed in 1993 and the laws that at least 19 other states already have put on their books.

That didn't matter to the national media.

Neither did the fact that Democrats never made a peep about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act for 20-plus years — and never saw the need to fix the law until Republicans got in power.

None of the fine print or legal nitpicking pertaining to religious freedom versus minority rights matters to the public now.

The media war of words is over. As usual, Republicans, Pence and conservatives lost. They were whipped in the public relations battle and the political battle, just as liberals hoped.

Pence caved. After the NCAA, the tourist bureau, Angie's List, half the major corporations based in Indiana and everyone else who buys or sells something in Indiana begged him to surrender, he did.

That tough stand he took in defense of Indiana's law with George Stephanopoulos last Sunday on ABC? History. Pence now says he "mishandled" the interview and says the state law needs to be clarified or fixed.

Until the culture war caught Pence and his state legislature off guard and transformed him overnight into the meanest Republican in America, he was seen as a possible dark horse candidate for the GOP in 2016.

The former Congressman had balanced his first two state budgets, cut unemployment rates and was pals with big moneymen like the Kochs.

Some thought the governor could be a worthy compromise for the Republican presidential nomination — or at least a solid VP choice.

Not now. He's probably burnt toast.

It's the usual story. Republicans were again discredited, put on the defensive and embarrassed by the Democrats and their attack dogs in the national media.

Pence, the GOP and conservatives were made to look like they don't believe in freedom of choice or tolerance when it's actually the liberals, the gay lobby and the Democrats who don't believe in either.

The madness in Indiana looked to the public like a battle over the rights of Christians and gay people, but it was really the political version of one of David Copperfield's slight-of-hand magic tricks.

Gay rights was the liberals' distraction for the audience. Their real trick — their larger long-term trick — was inciting their ground troops and creating a polarizing issue that could help Democrats hold onto the White House in 2016.

The other day Rush Limbaugh had a good idea. He said that if he were Gov. Pence, he'd turn the tables on the Democrats.

Rush said Pence should pull his state's version of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act and rewrite it word-for word, period-for period, the way Clinton and then-Congressman Chuck Schumer penned it in 1993.

What would the fair and balanced national media then?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan040315.php3#OxdBteMyCkVEkum3.99
Hey, pretty boy: Do you actually know what's in the news?

By Ann Coulter

When "NBC Nightly News" anchor Brian Williams crashed and burned over all the tall tales he had told, there must have been mirth in the hallways at ABC.

In the highly competitive world of TV news, finding the right anchor is crucial to a network's brand. After running through a few pretenders, ABC had finally filled the iconic Peter Jennings' seat on "World News Tonight" just months earlier with David Muir. ABC was perfectly poised to snatch the top spot from NBC.

During his first six months as "World News" anchor, the newly minted Muir had beaten Williams only a half-dozen times. But after Williams' fall from grace, ABC sailed to the most-watched evening news program.

ABC executives could go for long lunches and look forward to cashing their bonus checks. Muir is young, dashing -- one of People magazine's 2014 "Sexiest Men Alive"! -- and the proud recipient of the Walter Cronkite journalism award.

The vanquished Brian Williams had told most of his fictions off air. The only thing ABC execs had to worry about with Muir was that the new guy would tell fairy tales ON AIR, which is so much less important.

Last week, Muir began the news with a story about the retraining of New York City police officers under Commissioner Bill Bratton. To fulfill the new policy of not inconveniencing criminals, cops are being taught to subdue violent suspects without harming them, requiring the officers to learn a series of Bolshoi ballet moves.

This would work great if American cops were London bobbies arresting public school louts, but we have a somewhat different urban reality in the U.S. There's no question but that the "retraining" will get cops killed.

Muir led off his broadcast with a recap of the event that led to the retraining: "Ferguson, Missouri: An unarmed black man, Michael Brown, is shot to death. The officer is not indicted."

And that was it: "The officer is not indicted." Nothing about how the "hands up, don't shoot" hysteria was a bald-faced lie invented by Brown's ex-con co-conspirator Dorian Johnson. No mention of the police officer being fully exonerated in two separate investigations. No recognition of the fact that Officer Darren Wilson was an exemplar of good police work.

That summary -- "Ferguson, Missouri: An unarmed black man, Michael Brown, is shot to death. The officer is not indicted" -- is nothing short of Goebbels-like propaganda.

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Muir's statement of the facts would be wrong-headed and lefty if done before the Department of Justice issued its report on the Ferguson shooting. But Muir gave his summary well after the DOJ's months-long, ridiculously expensive investigation had found that Officer Wilson had shot Brown in justifiable self-defense. There are more beefcake photos of David Muir on Google than there are unjustifiable shootings of unarmed black men in Ferguson.

To be sure, Muir is new on the job, young, callow, a little insecure about his lack of experience. Maybe he didn't know any better.

So we need to know from Dave which of these is true:

(A) You knew that Big Mike never had his hands up, and the cop wasn't indicted because there is no more reason for him to be indicted than for you to be indicted in the shooting, but you just didn't give a crap.

Or:

(B) You didn't know any of that.

If Muir didn't know his summary was a lie, then he doesn't even have a passing familiarity with the news. In fact, after all the Sturm und Drang over Ferguson, it would mean that ABC's evening news anchor has managed to keep himself so astonishingly ignorant of current events that he really should be filing reports about seat cushions in America.

But it's also possible that Muir knew his Ferguson recap was a complete lie and decided his best course was to promote the left-leaning agenda of ABC News. A prettier face, but the same old propaganda.

We're dying to know which it is. When you have a moment, Dave, drop us a tweet and let us know.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/coulter032615.php3#kYgAHCay2Lwm7v47.99


4-3-15

Self-Enforcing Discrimination

By Walter Williams

Black politicians, civil rights organizations and others who say they are concerned with the welfare of poor black people often support harmful measures. One of the most effective tools for disadvantaged people is to be able to charge a lower price for what they sell and pay a higher price for what they buy. Let's look at this principle first using a couple of nonracial examples.

How does chuck steak compete with a more preferred cut such as filet mignon? Everyone knows the answer. It sells for a lower price, say $7 a pound compared to filet mignon's $20. Suppose one wanted to rig the market against chuck steak. He need only lobby the legislature to set a minimum price for steak, say $15 a pound.

Many customers would voluntarily discriminate against chuck steak in favor of the more preferred filet mignon. The reason is simple. Before the law, it cost 13 additional dollars per pound to discriminate in favor of filet mignon. With a minimum steak price of $15 a pound, it only costs five additional dollars to do so. A fundamental law of economics posits that the lower the cost to do something the more people will do of it. That applies to doing anything, including discrimination.

What about the opposite of setting not minimum prices but maximum prices like a price ceiling? Again, let's begin by using a nonracial example. Suppose you see a fat, old, ugly cigar-smoking man married to a beautiful young woman. What would you predict about the man's income? I'm guessing you'd predict it was high. The fat, old, ugly cigar-smoking man essentially propositions: I can't compete for your hand on the basis of a guy like Williams, so I'm going to offset my disadvantages by offering you a high price. Some might conclude that it's unfair for pretty women to exact higher terms from fat, old ugly men than from handsome men. If they managed to enact a law banning such a practice, they would take away the less preferred man's most effective means of competing with the more preferred man: offering a higher price.

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How about a couple of real-world examples of minimum prices? During South Africa's apartheid era, the secretary of its avowedly racist Building Workers' Union said, "There is no job reservation left in the building industry, and in the circumstances, I support the rate for the job (minimum wage) as the second-best way of protecting our white artisans." The South African Nursing Council condemned low wages received by black nurses as unfair. Some white nurses said they would refuse wage increases until the wages of black nurses were raised.

Racist intentions were obvious during the legislative debate on the Davis-Bacon Act (1931), the nation's first federal minimum wage law. Among the statements of support for this racially discriminatory law were those of Rep. William Upshaw, D-Ga., who complained about the "superabundance or large aggregation of Negro labor." Rep. Miles Allgood, D-Ala., said, "That contractor has cheap colored labor that he transports, and he puts them in cabins, and it is labor of that sort that is in competition with white labor throughout the country." American Federation of Labor President William Green complained, "Colored labor is being sought to demoralize wage rates."

How about the right to pay higher prices? During grossly racially discriminatory times, one could not prevent whole urban neighborhoods from going from white to black virtually overnight. Blacks simply outbid whites. For example, a white family might have rented a three-story brownstone for $100 a month. Maybe six black families told the landlord that if he'd cut the building into six parts, they'd pay him $50 a month for each unit. Landlords found the higher income preferable to their discriminatory preferences. If there were a law setting a $100 maximum rent on a three-story brownstone, discriminated-against poor people could not compete with wealthier more preferred people.

Minimum and maximum prices are but two ways do-gooders handicap poor and discriminated-against people.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams040115.php3#HjK43gig3KLx7wvC.99

4-2-15

Republicans Versus Republicans

By Michael Reagan

When Ted Cruz officially stepped into the 2016 presidential ring this week the boo-birds attacked immediately.

But it wasn't just the liberals of the mainstream media who threw bottles and chairs at the conservative Texan.

It was Cruz's fellow Republicans.

Is he qualified after only three years in the Senate? Where was he born again? Isn't he too aggressively Christian?

Isn't he too conservative to win the general election? Shouldn't we nominate someone more moderate, someone who isn't hated by the MSM and wouldn't scare independents?

Unfortunately, we're already heard lots of negative chatter — from Republicans — about the political weaknesses and ideological imperfections of candidates like Cruz, Bush and Christie. There will be more.

It's a shame. Thanks to Obama and his failures at home and abroad, Republicans are in a great position to retake the presidency next year.

Almost anyone who's thinking of running in 2016 — Walker, Bush, Paul, Rubio, Christie, Huckabee, Jindal, Santorum, Kasich, Carson, Fiorina, Pataki, Bolton, even Donald Trump — has a decent chance of winning the keys to the White House.

But America's most consistently conservative institution, talk radio, has already started stirring up trouble among Republicans the way it did in 2008 and 2012.

Talk radio is already taking sides and trying to tell conservatives which potential nominee is most worthy to wear the mantle of Ronald Reagan.

When my father ran in the 1980 primaries he was lucky. He was a lone conservative in a sea of moderate and liberal Republicans. The moderates split the moderate vote and he won the nomination.

Today the situation is reversed. Conservatives are splitting the conservative vote in the primaries and moderates like McCain and Romney are winning the GOP nomination.

Conservatives better watch out. If what happened in '08 and '12 happens in '16, we are going to blow our chance to regain the White House once again.

We need to decide early who we want to lead the GOP ticket in 2016. Unfortunately, we probably won't do that because we all have our favorite contenders.

When I tweeted that Cruz said something I agreed with in his speech, I got a flurry of tweets from Rand Paul people.

"Why do you hate Rand Paul?"

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When I tweeted something nice about Rand Paul, I got a flurry of tweets from Cruz's people. "Why do you hate Ted Cruz?"

This is one of the worst problems with conservatives. Liberals are led by ideology and they'll always support their nominee in the general election because of that.

Conservatives are always looking for their next leader — their next Ronald Reagan. But conservative nominees are all over the ideological map and each one has too many spiteful followers.

If Rand Paul gets the GOP nomination, the Cruz people will stay home in November. If Cruz gets it, the Paul people will stay home. Ditto for the followers of Huckabee and others.

Barack Obama is president of the USA today because too many conservative Republicans didn't show up to vote for Romney in 2012, not because too many Democrats voted to reelect Obama.

The GOP should nominate a strong conservative for 2016. I prefer ex-governors, but Cruz, Paul, Walker, Perry, Rubio and Kasich all come to mind as good candidates.

It'll take a miracle for Republicans to get their act together this time.

They should follow "The Buckley Rule" and choose the best conservative who has the best chance of winning the general election. In other words, not a Goldwater of 1964 but a Reagan of 1980.

But no matter who Republicans nominate, to win back the White House they'll all have to follow my father's 11th Commandment and fully support their party's presidential nominee -- no matter who it is.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan032715.php3#q8bYj1h7yj0ximpf.99

4-1-15

Cruzing Toward the Resurrection of Mainstream Conservatism

By David Limbaugh


The ambush-prone mainstream media (MSM) has difficulty trapping Sen. Ted Cruz, not just because he is mentally agile and verbally adroit. He has truth and authenticity on his side, and it is much harder to trip up someone of that description.

Media watchdog Newsbusters shares a litany of examples of MSM hosts doing their best to demean Cruz following the announcement of his presidential campaign. Let's just glance at a few of those.

NBC's Matt Lauer, co-host of "Today," was first up to bat for team MSM. He said to Cruz, "Senator, you're a guy who's known for taking on your own party. ... You've also led your party into some fights that backfired — the defunding of Obamacare comes to mind." (Yeah, I'm sure this just came to Matt's mind as he was formulating the sentence.) "So you have detractors," said Lauer, "not only across the aisle, but within your own party. How can you win the nomination unless you build a much broader coalition than the one you already have?"

These close-minded MSMers are fond of asking these "When did you stop beating your wife?" questions. It is hardly an established fact that Cruz's fight to stop Obamacare "backfired." I doubt he ever believed he had a good chance of defeating it. I think it was more about making a statement, calling attention to the egregiousness of the bill and rallying opposition to it across the country — perhaps to reassure Americans that not everyone has thrown in the towel and to keep our hopes alive that one day we might be able to eradicate it.

Cruz conceded the importance of building a coalition, but rejected the premise that it is necessary to dilute his principles in the process. Cruz said, "We need to bring together the old Reagan coalition of conservatives and evangelicals and libertarians and Republican women and young people..."

Lauer said, "And moderates?" Is there room in Cruz's Republican Party for those who are socially liberal, for those who are pro-choice, for those who support gay marriage?"

First, would Lauer ever ask a Democratic candidate a similar question from the other side? Would he ask President Obama how ardent Second-Amendment supporters, opponents of his open-borders policy, those who reject his global-warming hysteria, pro-lifers, supply-siders and strong constitutionalists would fit into his rigidly leftist ideological coalition?

The answer is "no," because it never occurs to liberals that people holding such views are worthy of being wooed into any coalition, save perhaps the KKK. To people like Lauer, it would not be admirable for a liberal to appeal to true conservatives, because they are intrinsically unreasonable and their views are abominably toxic.

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Second, what does Lauer mean in asking, "Is there room?" Is he wondering whether Cruz would turn moderates away if they announced their support for him — which is absurd? Is he asking whether he would moderate his views to win them over, even if he thinks he would be diluting and thus rendering less effective ideas that he believes must be pursued to get this nation back on track? Or is he inquiring whether Cruz would come up with some clever gimmick to pretend to meet "moderates" halfway like Obama invariably does before betraying his promises?

Cruz responded that he intends to stand on principle instead of — though he did not say this — pandering. How refreshing. How Reaganesque. What many liberals and all too many GOP Beltway denizens don't grasp is that the best strategy for winning national elections is to articulate conservative ideas as if you truly believe in them and present them enthusiastically as common-sense solutions for our myriad problems. The effective conservative candidate, as Cruz has said, is able to cut out the middleman and the distorting filter of the MSM and go directly to the American people to make his case. It will sell.

Lauer further accused Cruz of developing a reputation as someone who will not compromise and asked whether he'd "bring that brand of no-compromise to the White House" if elected. You mean, as opposed to that more extreme brand of no-compromise that characterizes the Obama administration?

ABC News White House correspondent Jon Karl was even more pointed, asking Cruz, "How are you with that hard-line conservative message going to appeal to moderates and independents? Nobody gets elected without appealing to them."

Again, Cruz rejected the premise and struck back. "You know, Jon, it's a funny thing when you work in the media that somehow you think it is a hard line to present a positive optimistic vision. My speech today talked about imagining an America that gets back to free-market principles and the constitutional liberties the country was built on."

Liberals have done such a thorough job of demonizing conservatism, at least in their own minds, that they assume it's a given that conservatism is a skewed ideology held only by people who are innately lacking in compassion, backward-thinking and harsh. Happily, the opposite holds true.

You see, liberals can't understand Cruz's strategy because they totally misunderstand conservatism. It is not, as many of them actually appear to believe, any of the terrible things they ascribe to it.

As Cruz has built his reputation on the mantle of authentic conservatism, it will be his primary job to resurrect it as contagiously appealing and eminently mainstream. It will be his task, in other words, to awaken and embolden the battered, bruised and currently discouraged majority. I'm looking forward to this.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh032715.php3#yqj4Xrd722AySKAX.99

3-31-15

Who Trashes Liberal Arts?

By Thomas Sowell

An op-ed piece titled "Conservatives, Please Stop Trashing the Liberal Arts" appeared last week in the Wall Street Journal. But it is not conservatives who trashed the liberal arts.

Liberal professors have trashed the liberal arts, by converting so many liberal arts courses into indoctrination centers for left-wing causes and fads, instead of courses where students learn how to weigh conflicting views of the world for themselves. Now a professor of English, one of the most fad-ridden of the liberal arts today, blames conservative critics for the low esteem in which liberal arts are held.

Surely a professor of English cannot be unaware of how English departments, especially, have become hotbeds of self-indulgent, trendy fads such as trashing classic writings — using Shakespeare's works as just another ideological playground for romping through with the current mantra of "race, class and gender."

Surely he cannot be unaware of the many farces of the Modern Language Association that have made headlines. And when our English professor uses a phrase like "critical thinking," he must be at least dimly aware of how often those words have been perverted to mean uncritical negativism toward traditional values and uncritical acceptance of glittering catchwords of the left, such as "diversity."

Diversity of political ideas is not to be found on most college campuses, where the range of ideas is usually from the moderate left to the extreme left, and conservatives are rare as hen's teeth among the faculty — especially in English departments. Academics who go ballistic about an "under-representation" of ethnic minorities in various other institutions are blissfully blind to the under-representation of conservatives among the professors they hire. On many campuses, students can go through all four years of college without ever hearing a conservative vision of the world, even from a visiting speaker.

The problem is not political, but educational. As John Stuart Mill pointed out, back in the 19th century, students must hear opposing views from people who actually believe them, not as presented by people who oppose them. In the 18th century, Edmund Burke warned against those who "teach the humours of the professor, rather than the principles of the science."

During my years on the lecture circuit, I liked to go into college bookstores across the country and see how many of their courses assigned "The Federalist" among the books students were to buy, as compared to how many assigned "The Communist Manifesto" or other iconic writings on the left.

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"The Federalist" is a classic, written by three of the men who were among those who wrote the Constitution of the United States. It is a book of profound thoughts, written in plain English, at a level aimed at the ordinary citizen.

It might even be called "The Constitution for Dummies." There are Supreme Court Justices who could benefit from reading it.

My survey of college bookstores across the country showed "The Communist Manifesto" virtually everywhere, often required reading in multiple courses — and "The Federalist" used virtually nowhere. Most college students will get only the left's uncritical negativism toward the American form of government, under the rubric of "critical thinking."

The liberal arts in theory could indeed make valuable contributions to the education of the young, as our English professor claims. But the liberal arts in practice have in fact done the opposite, not just in the United States but in other countries as well.

The history of the 20th century shows soft-subject students and their professors among the biggest supporters of extremist movements, both fascist and communist — the former in central and eastern Europe before World War II and the latter in countries around the world, both before and after that war.

Those who want liberal arts to be what they were supposed to be will have to profoundly change them from what they have become. Doing that will undoubtedly provoke more denunciations of critics for "trashing" the liberal arts by criticizing those who have in fact already trashed the liberal arts in practice.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell033115.php3#mapxQ8PRrrPjkwGZ.99

3-30-15

Clinton memory lane: Here come new opportunities for scandal

By George Will


An abscess of anger seems to gnaw at Hillary Clinton, but the reasons for her resentments remain unclear. The world's oldest party, which governed the nation during two world wars and is the primary architect of America's regulatory and redistributive state, is eager to give her its presidential nomination, in recognition of . . . what?

The party, adrift in identity politics, clings, as shipwrecked sailors do to floating debris, to this odd feminist heroine. Wafted into the upper reaches of American politics by stolid participation in her eventful marriage to a serial philanderer, her performance in governance has been defined by three failures.

Her husband, having assured the 1992 electorate that voting for him meant getting "two for the price of one," entrusted to her the project that he, in a harbinger of the next Democratic president's mistake, made his immediate priority — health-care reform. Then-Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan (D-N.Y.) urged him to begin with welfare reform, just as wise Democrats wanted President Obama to devote 2009 to economic recovery rather than health care, perhaps sparing the nation six years and counting of economic sluggishness.

Hillary Clinton enveloped her health-care deliberations in secrecy, assembling behind closed doors battalions of the best and the brightest — think of many Jonathan Grubers weaving complexities for the good of, but beyond the comprehension of, the public. When their handiwork was unveiled, it was so baroque that neither house of a Congress controlled by her party would even vote on it. This was one reason that in 1994 Democrats lost control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 40 years — a harbinger of 2010, when Obamacare helped end Nancy Pelosi's tenure as the first female speaker.

Clinton's Senate interlude was an uneventful prelude to her 2008 presidential quest, which earned her, as a consolation prize, the State Department. There her tenure was defined by the "reset" with Russia and by regime-change-by-bombers in Libya.

Russia has responded by violently dismembering a European nation. Libya was the object of "humanitarian intervention," an echo of Bill Clinton's engagement in the Balkans that appealed to progressives because it was connected only tenuously, if at all, to U.S. national interests. Today, Libya is a humanitarian calamity, a failed state convulsed by civil war and exporting jihadists.

These episodes supposedly recommend a re-immersion in Clintonism, a phenomenon that in 2001 moved The Post to say, more in anger than in sorrow, that "the Clintons' defining characteristic" is that "they have no capacity for embarrassment." This judgment was rendered as two episodes were demonstrating that the Clintons in power were defined by their manner of leaving it.

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Bill Clinton punctuated his presidency by pardoning the late Marc Rich, a fugitive who 17 years earlier had been indicted for tax evasion, fraud and racketeering. Rich also traded with Libya and South Africa in contravention of embargos and traded with Iran during the hostage crisis. His former wife reportedly contributed more than $1 million to assorted Democratic causes, $450,000 for Clinton's presidential library and $10,000 to the legal defense fund necessitated by Clinton's glandular life that led to the Supreme Court effectively disbarring him from practicing before it.

A year before the Clintons decamped from Washington to begin planning their return to it, they began trucking away from the White House$190,000 worth of furnishings. Perhaps exigencies dictated this; the couple was, Hillary Clinton says, "dead broke." The furnishings became, as things often do with the Clintons, another occasion for an "it depends on what the meaning of the word 'is' is" tiptoe along the ledge of illegality. The White House chief usher thought many of the items were government property donated in 1993 to a redecoration project. Several donors of items said they were told this. Although the Clintons said that all the removed furnishings were personal gifts, they returned $28,000 worth of them.

As Hillary Clinton begins her campaign to again reside with the White House furnishings, remember an episode perhaps pertinent to the family penchant for secrecy and to her personal e-mail server. Sandy Berger, who had been President Clinton's national security adviser, was his designated representative to the commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks that occurred less than nine months after Clinton left office. While representing Clinton, Berger frequented the National Archives.

Later, he was fined $50,000 for surreptitiously taking highly classified documents from the Archives and destroying some of them.

Another Clinton presidency probably would include a reprise of the couple's well-known patterns of behavior. Voters will make an informed choice.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will032815.php3#z1pGI4cXo6MMbCOv.99

3-29-15

The NAACP's Fomenters of Fear

By Michelle Malkin

They just can't help themselves — and their agenda-driven media enablers never, ever learn.

This week, the NAACP made national front-page headlines with a local press release demanding that the feds investigate the hanging death of a local man in Port Gibson, Miss. Derrick Johnson, president of the NAACP Mississippi State Conference, immediately invoked the specter of a "hate crime." In response, the Obama Justice Department flooded the zone with a whopping 30 federal agents.

News outlets grabbed the bait. USA Today asked ominously: "Was it a lynching?" The discovery of ex-con Otis Byrd's body swinging from a tree by a bed sheet "brought back unpleasant memories of America's violent, racially charged past," the paper's video reporter asserted. Voice of America similarly intoned: "Mississippi hanging death raises lynching specter." The Los Angeles Times leaped into the fray with: "Why this story haunts the nation."

Whoa there, teeth-gnashing Nellies. Didn't we just recently witness the implosion of an NAACP-incited non-hate crime with the same exact narrative? Why, yes. Yes, we did.

As I reported in January, the group was here in my adopted hometown of Colorado Springs hyping a so-called "bombing" at the city's chapter office. Local, state and federal NAACP leaders, amplified by political and media sympathizers, claimed the alleged hate crime "remind(ed) me of another period" (Georgia Democratic Rep. John Lewis); "undermines years of progress" (Texas Democratic Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee); "harkens to bad old days" (MSNBC); and "evokes memories of civil rights strife" (Time magazine).

But the allegedly racist perpetrator of the "NAACP bombing" turned out to be a disgruntled client of a now-deceased tax accountant who once worked in the same office complex. The financially troubled suspect had unsuccessfully tried to contact the tax preparer for years to obtain past tax returns. But unbeknownst to the "bomber," who set off a pathetic improvised explosive device on the opposite side of the NAACP office, the accountant had been sent to prison for bilking other clients — and had passed away several years ago.

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Confirming what only a few of us in the media dared to theorize out loud, race had absolutely nothing to do with the wildly inflated and cynically exploited incident in Colorado Springs. Zip, zero, nada.

None of this appears to have chastened the journalists who reflexively empower the NAACP agitators who reflexively cry racism. Just weeks after the not-NAACP bombing, here they are stoking fears of a probably-not-racist-not-lynching. Despite law enforcement reports that Byrd's hands were unbound, despite warnings from the local sheriff (who happens to be black) not to jump to conclusions, and despite the very real possibility that Byrd committed suicide, the papers and airwaves disseminated Blame Whitey and Blame Righty talking points without thinking twice.

The incident indeed "brought back memories" for me — memories of the embarrassing 1996 media malpractice of former USA Today reporter Gary Fields, who manufactured a purported epidemic of racist church-burnings in the South with 61 hysterical stories. A typical and familiar headline: "Arson at Black Church Echoes Bigotry of the Past." The NAACP jumped onboard and demanded that then-Attorney General Janet Reno investigate. President Clinton fanned the flames; panels were formed; federal spending programs were passed. But a year later, Fields' own paper was forced to admit that "analysis of the 64 fires since 1995 shows only four can be conclusively shown to be racially motivated."

Several of the crimes had been committed by black suspects; a significant number of the black churches were in fact white churches; and the Chicken Littles had obscured numerous complex motives including mental illness, vandalism and concealment of theft.

Same old, same old. Then, as now, for publicity and profit, the race hustlers stoke the very societal divisiveness they claim to abhor — and knee-jerk journalists suffering institutional amnesia aid and abet them.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin032515.php3#LomkZIUuMbOMmlhB.99

3-28-15

Ted Cruz, the Antiobama

By David Limbaugh

Sen. Ted Cruz's presidential announcement was immensely gratifying in numerous ways, including the venue he chose for it.

He made his announcement at Liberty University, which is a conspicuously Christian institution located in Virginia, the veritable birthplace of the United States of America.

In the world of political commentary today, we usually see analysis focusing on whether a politician or candidate hit the right themes and whether those — and he — will resonate with the voting public. The emphasis is usually on the game rather than the substance.

Possibly underlying such punditry is the cynical assumption that a political candidate who "hits all the right notes" is himself cynical, demagogic, opportunistic and a populist. There is a rigid reluctance to accept that someone actually believes the things he's saying if they happen to line up with what is thought to work politically.

One of the many things that distinguished Ronald Reagan from so many politicians was his unmistakable sincerity — the sense that unlike so many politicians, he cared more about the causes he was championing than his own political ambitions.

Cruz is nothing if not Reaganesque in terms of the policies he advocates and his boldness in proclaiming them. But many on the right, mostly the more moderate ones but not only them, have accused Cruz of opportunism, gamesmanship and charlatanism for staging a filibuster in the Senate that had little chance of working.

People will have to make their own assessments of a politician's sincerity and overall character, but I believe that those assessments are often colored by our ideological predispositions. The less conservative will be likelier to conclude that Cruz was insincere, selfish and on some kind of egomaniacal venture with his announcement.

I disagree. I believe that Cruz, like so many of us, has had it up to here with the lawless practices of President Obama and wanted to make a pronounced public statement of dissent and to call out Obama for what he is doing. There has been a noticeable spirit of defeatism that has dominated Washington Republicans for too long — a spirit that has led them to preannounce, in anticipatory surrender, their inevitable defeat should they tangle with Obama on any budget dispute and to have an almost paranoid fear that Republicans would be punished electorally if they ever called Obama's bluff to the end.

Their unwillingness to do so has demonstrated, I think, a degree of insecurity in conservative ideas and their lack of confidence in their ability to sell those ideas and in the public's willingness to accept them. Cruz, by contrast, believes in these ideas and in their energizing power. He doesn't just talk red meat; he intends to serve it.

We don't see this fecklessness among Beltway Republicans only in budget fights, sadly. We also witness it in such instances as the Republicans' broken promises to fight amnesty and in a number of GOP leaders announcing that we just can't repeal Obamacare wholesale.

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Can you imagine where we'd be if our Founding Fathers had been so easily discouraged? If they had been so vulnerable to pushback?

I find it very refreshing that Cruz is willing to call a spade a spade and to stand up and fight for our founding principles and ideals regardless of whether the odds are against his prevailing on this or that filibuster. That doesn't mean he should muzzle himself, and it doesn't mean that by making a voluble public statement against Obama, Cruz is creating any undue political risk for the GOP in the next presidential election. Indeed, the naysayers were proved wrong about that hysterical fear.

Cruz should also get credit for going full force in invoking Jesus Christ in this culture, knowing what the left, the Democratic Party and the media will do to associate him with the usual lies associated with that identification — racism, sexism, homophobia, bigotry, superstition, hate, knuckle dragging and the rest. By choosing the venue he did and embracing Christian values, he laid down a marker knowing it would raise obstacles, as well as elicit kudos. His speech was not just heard at Liberty.

Ted Cruz is the Antiobama. He represents those of us who believe that Obama and everything he stands for on domestic issues, foreign policy issues and culturally is wrong for and destructive to America. For my money, Cruz is right on all the major issues, from the Constitution to his emphasis on our liberty, including religious liberty, to life to traditional values to health care to taxes to economic growth to education to Israel to defense and foreign policy.

My purpose here is not to formally endorse Sen. Cruz; it's too early for that. But I will say that we need someone, like Cruz, who, from the bottom of his heart, believes in the ideas that have made this nation the greatest and freest in world history, who is unwilling to give up on America and its ability to rebound from this terrible assault we've been under, and who even believes that its best years could lie ahead.

Obama has gone too far toward destroying this nation for us to think it can be healed with half measures. It's time for the silent majority to recapture its self-image and confidence, to be bold and feisty, and to dare to believe that we can and actually will reclaim this glorious, unique land of liberty that we love.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh032415.php3#Pkcte5U1lHY2Roli.99

3-27-15

What's Gone Wrong With Democracy?

By Walter Williams

The Economist magazine recently published "What's gone wrong with Democracy ... and what can be done to revive it?" The suggestion is that democracy is some kind of ideal for organizing human conduct. That's a popular misconception.

The ideal way to organize human conduct is to create a system that maximizes personal liberty for all. Liberty and democracy are not synonymous and most often are opposites. In Federalist Paper No. 10, James Madison explained, "Measures are too often decided, not according to the rules of justice and the rights of the minor party, but by the superior force of an interested and overbearing majority." Democracy and majority rule confer an aura of legitimacy and respectability on acts that would otherwise be deemed tyrannical.

Let's look at majority rule, as a decision-making tool, and ask ourselves how many of our life choices we would like settled by majority rule. Would you want the kind of car you own to be decided through a democratic process, or would you prefer purchasing any car you please? Ask that same question about decisions such as where you shall live, what clothes you purchase, what food you eat, what entertainment you enjoy and what wines you drink. I'm sure that if anyone suggested that these choices be subject to a democratic process, we would deem it tyranny.

Our Founders saw democracy as a variant of tyranny. At the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Edmund Randolph said, "...that in tracing these evils to their origin every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy." John Adams said, "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts, and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." Alexander Hamilton said, "We are now forming a Republican form of government. Real Liberty is not found in the extremes of democracy, but in moderate governments. If we incline too much to democracy, we shall soon shoot into a monarchy, or some other form of dictatorship."

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By the way, the word democracy appears in none of our founding documents.

The Founders of our nation recognized that we need government, but because the essence of government is force, and force is evil, government should be as small as possible. The Founders intended for us to have a limited republican form of government where human rights precede government and there is rule of law. Citizens, as well as government officials, are accountable to the same laws. Government intervenes in civil society only to protect its citizens against force and fraud, but does not intervene in the cases of peaceable, voluntary exchange. By contrast, in a democracy, the majority rules either directly or through its elected representatives. The law is whatever the government deems it to be. Rights may be granted or taken away.

Alert to the dangers of majority rule, the Constitution's framers inserted several anti-majority rules. In order to amend the Constitution, it requires a two-thirds vote of both houses, or two-thirds of state legislatures to propose an amendment, and it requires three-fourths of state legislatures for ratification. Election of the president is not done by a majority popular vote, but by the Electoral College.

Part of the reason for having two houses of Congress is that it places an obstacle to majority rule. Fifty-one senators can block the wishes of 435 representatives and 49 senators. The Constitution gives the president a veto to thwart the power of 535 members of Congress. It takes two-thirds of both houses of Congress to override the president's veto.

If you don't have time to examine our founding documents, just ask yourself: Does our pledge of allegiance to the flag read to the democracy, or to the republic, for which it stands? Or, did Julia Ward Howe make a mistake in titling her Civil War song "The Battle Hymn of the Republic"? Should it have been "The Battle Hymn of the Democracy"?

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams032515.php3#97U0Wck5g1XDlFzI.99

3-26-15

How income inequality benefits everybody

By George Will

Every day the Chinese go to work, Americans get a raise: Chinese workers, many earning each day about what Americans spend on a Starbucks latte, produce apparel, appliances and other stuff cheaply, thereby enlarging Americans' disposable income. Americans similarly get a raise when they shop at the stores that made Sam Walton a billionaire.

The ranks of billionaires are constantly churned. Most of the people on the original Forbes 400 list of richest Americans in 1982 were off the list in 2013. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, was not born until 1984. America needs more billionaires like him, Michael Dell, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs. With the iPod, iPhone and iPad, unique products when introduced, Jobs's Apple created monopolies.

But instead of raising their prices, Apple has cut them because "profits attract imitators and innovators." Which is one reason why monopolies come and go. When John D. Rockefeller began selling kerosene in 1870, he had approximately 4 percent of the market. By 1890, he had 85 percent. Did he use this market dominance to gouge consumers? Kerosene prices fell from 30 cents a gallon in 1869 to 6 cents in 1897.

And in the process of being branded a menacing monopoly, Rockefeller's Standard Oil made gasoline so cheap that Ford found a mass market for Model T's.

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Monopoly profits are social blessings when they "signal to the ambitious the wealth they can earn by entering previously unknown markets." So "when the wealth gap widens, the lifestyle gap shrinks ." Hence, "income inequality in a capitalist system is truly beautiful" because "it provides the incentive for creative people to gamble on new ideas, and it turns luxuries into common goods." Since 2000, the price of a 50-inch plasma TV has fallen from $20,000 to $550.

Henry Ford doubled his employees' basic wage in 1914, supposedly to enable them to buy Fords. Actually, he did it because in 1913 annual worker turnover was 370 percent. He lowered labor costs by reducing turnover and the expense of constantly training new hires.

All these thoughts are from John Tamny, a one-man antidote to economic obfuscation and mystification. Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), who called economics "the dismal science," never read Tamny, a Forbes editor, editor of Real Clear Markets and now author of the cheerful, mind-opening book, "Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You About Economics."

In the early 1970s, when the Rolling Stones were coining money and Britain's top tax rate was 83 percent, Keith Richards, guitarist and social philosopher, said: "That's the same as being told to leave the country." The Stones decamped to France, leaving Britain, Tamny notes, to collect 83 percent of nothing.

Americans execrate "outsourcing," which supposedly involves sending "American jobs" overseas. Well. Nike employs 40 times more manufacturing workers in Vietnam than in the United States, but it could not afford as many American workers as it has without the efficiencies of outsourcing. Tamny cites Enrico Moretti, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, who says that when Americans buy an iPhone online, it is shipped from China and the only American who touches it is the UPS delivery person. Is it regrettable that Americans are not doing the assembly jobs for which Chinese are paid the "latte wage"?

Actually, Americans incessantly "outsource" here at home by, for example, having Iowans grow their corn and dentists take care of their teeth, jobs at which Iowans and dentists excel and the rest of us do not. LeBron James could be an adequate NFL tight end, but why subtract time from being a superb basketball player? The lesson, says Tamny, is that individuals — and nations — should do what they do better than others and let others do other things.

Millions of jobs, he says, would be created if we banned computers, ATMs and tractors. The mechanization of agriculture destroyed millions of jobs performed with hoes and scythes. Was Cyrus McCormick — founder of what would later become the International Harvester Co. — a curse?

The best way to (in Barack Obama's 2008 words to Joe the Plumber) "spread the wealth around," is, Tamny argues, "to leave it in the hands of the wealthy." Personal consumption absorbs a small portion of their money and the remainder is not idle. It is invested by them, using the skill that earned it. Will it be more beneficially employed by the political class of a confiscatory government?

"Nothing," Tamny demonstrates, "is easier to understand than economics. It is everywhere you look." Readers of his book will subsequently look at things differently.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will032615.php3#w6KqUheBmP4DSWAk.99

3-25-14

A Simple Question about Hillary

By Thomas Sowell

It is amazing how a simple question can cause a complex lie to collapse like a house of cards. The simple question was asked by Bill O'Reilly of the Fox News Channel, and it was addressed to two Democrats. He asked what has Hillary Clinton ever accomplished.

The two Democrats immediately sidestepped the question and started reciting their talking points in favor of Hillary. But O'Reilly kept coming back to the fact that nothing they were talking about was an accomplishment.

For someone who has spent her entire adult life in politics, including being a Senator and then a Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has nothing to show for all those years — no significant legislation of hers that she got passed in the Senate, and only an unbroken series of international setbacks for the United States during her time as Secretary of State.

Before Barack Obama entered the White House and appointed Mrs. Clinton Secretary of State, Al Qaeda operatives in Iraq had notified their higher ups, stationed in Pakistan, that their cause was lost in Iraq and that there was no point sending more men there.

Hosni Mubarak was in charge in Egypt. He posed no threat to American or Western interests in the Middle East or to Christians within Egypt or to Israel. But the Obama administration threw its weight behind the Muslim Brotherhood, which took over and began terrorizing Christians in Egypt and promoting hostility to Israel.

In Libya next door, the Qaddafi regime had already given up its weapons of mass destruction, after they saw what happened to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But President Obama's foreign policy, carried out by Secretary of State Clinton, got Qaddafi removed, after which Libya became a terrorist haven where an American ambassador was killed, for the first time in decades.

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The rationale for getting rid of Middle East leaders who posed no threat to American interests was that they were undemocratic and their people were restless. But there are no democracies in the Middle East, except for Israel. Moreover, the people were restless in Iran and Syria, and the Obama-Clinton foreign policy did nothing to support those who were trying to overthrow these regimes.

It would be only fair to balance this picture with foreign policy triumphs of the Obama-Clinton team. But there are none. Not in the Middle East, not in Europe, where the Russians have invaded the Crimea, and not in Asia, where both China and North Korea are building up threatening military forces, while the Obama administration has been cutting back on American military forces.

Hillary Clinton became an iconic figure by feeding the media and the left the kind of rhetoric they love. Barack Obama did the same and became president. Neither had any concrete accomplishments besides rhetoric beforehand, and both have had the opposite of accomplishments after taking office.

They have something else in common. They attract the votes of those people who vote for demographic symbolism — "the first black president" to be followed by "the first woman president" — and neither to be criticized, lest you be denounced for racism or sexism.

It is staggering that there are sane adults who can vote for someone to be President of the United States as if they are in school, just voting for "most popular boy" or "most popular girl" — or, worse yet, voting for someone who will give them free stuff.

Whoever holds that office makes decisions involving the life and death of Americans and — especially if Iran gets a nuclear arsenal — the life and death of this nation. It took just two nuclear bombs — neither of them as powerful as those available today — to get a very tough nation like Japan to surrender.

Anyone familiar with World War II battles in the Pacific knows that it was not unusual for 90 percent of the Japanese troops defending Iwo Jima or other islands to fight to the death, even after it was clear that American troops had them beaten.

When people like that surrender after two nuclear bombs, do not imagine that today's soft Americans — led by the likes of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton — will fight on after New York and Chicago have been reduced to radioactive ashes.

Meanwhile, ISIS and other terrorists are giving us a free demonstration of what surrender would mean. But perhaps we can kick the can down the road, and leave that as a legacy to our children and grandchildren, along with the national debt.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell032415.php3#2sGHMCq8b5mhQiDI.99

3-24-15

What's 'Fair'?

By John Stossel

Donald Trump's kids and Paris Hilton's siblings were born rich. That gave them a big advantage in life. Unfair!

Inequality in wealth has grown. Today the richest 1 percent of Americans own a third of the assets. That's not fair!

But wherever people are free, that's what happens.

Some people are luckier, smarter or just better at making money. Often they marry other wealthy, well-connected people. Over time, these advantages compound. Globalization increases the effect. This month's issue of Forbes says the world now has 1,826 billionaires, and some struggle to find enough parking places for their jets.

President Obama calls inequality "the defining issue of our time." Really? Not our unsustainable debt? Not ISIS? The president also said, "No challenge? poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change!"

Politicians constantly find crises they will solve by increasing government power. But why is inequality a crisis?

Alexis Goldstein, of a group called The Other 98 percent, complains that corporations got richer but workers' wages "are lower than they've been in 65 years."

That's a common refrain, but it's wrong. Over the past 30 years, CBO data shows that the average income of the poorest fifth of Americans is up by 49 percent. That doesn't include all the innovations that have dramatically improved everyone's life. Today even the poorest Americans have comforts and lifespans that kings didn't have a century ago.

George Mason University economist Garett Jones says, "If I was going to be in the bottom fifth in the America of today versus the bottom fifth of America in 1970 or 1960, it's hard to imagine that anybody would take that time machine into the past."

And despite America's lousy government schools and regulations that make it tough to start a business, there is still economic mobility . Poor people don't have to stay poor. Sixty-four percent of those born in the poorest fifth of the U.S. population move out of that quintile. Eleven percent of them rise all the way to the top, according to economists at Harvard and Berkeley. Most of the billionaires atop the Forbes richest list weren't born rich. They got rich by innovating.

Rich people aren't guaranteed their place at the top, either. Sixty-six percent fell from the top quintile, and eight percent fell all the way to the bottom.

That mobility is a reason most of us are better off than we would have been in a more rigid society, controlled by central economic planners.

Life will always be unfair. I want to play pro basketball. It's unfair that LeBron James is bigger and more talented! It's also unfair that George Clooney is better looking! It's unfair that my brother is smarter than me.

Jones points out, "I was born with an advantage, too. Being born in the United States ... totally unfair." He also has two married parents -- another huge advantage.

The question is not whether people start out life in homogeneous circumstances, he adds. "The question is whether government policies that try to fix this actually make things better or worse."

Worse, in most cases. Government "help" encourages poor people to be dependent and passive. Dependent, people stay poor. Also, most government handouts don't even go to the poor. They go to the middle class (college loans, big mortgage tax deductions, Medicare) and the rich (corporate welfare, bailouts to banks "too big to fail").

 

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Instead of making government more powerful, let's get rid of those handouts. Left and right ought to agree on that.

America has prosperity and innovation because we have relatively free markets.

Progressives say, "Keep the innovation but have government make us more equal." But that doesn't work. It's been tried. Government-enforced equality -- socialism -- leaves everybody poor.

Equality is less important than opportunity . Opportunity requires allowing people to spend their own money and take their own risks.

Instead of talking about "fairness," it would be better to talk about justice: respecting other people, respecting their freedom and their property rights.

Real fairness requires limiting government power.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0315/stossel031115.php3#lifsrJ8IYJljliVH.99

3-23-15

Invoking 'the children' is pure political BS --- except when it's not

By Michael Reagan

"What about the children?"

Politicians of both parties often stoop to using our children as props whenever they're fighting for a new law or pet government program.

They argue we need to cut the $18 trillion debt, regulate the Internet or pay teachers more "for our children."

"Think of the children" is almost always an emotional and irrational appeal made in desperation by those who don't have a reasonable or legitimate argument.

Invoking "the children" is pure BS. It's obvious political BS. But it's BS that's been used for a long time by Democrats and Republicans.

It became so common that it was satirized way back in the early 1990s in the "The Simpsons," when the character Helen Lovejoy constantly shrieked "Think of the children" during town debates over everything from lowering taxes to what to do about too many bears roaming the streets.

Despite becoming a cultural joke, using "the children" as emotional weapons in political warfare still goes on all the time.

Every other lousy politician in Washington who wants to tax, subsidize or regulate something still claims he's doing it "for the children" -- whether it's saving the planet from climate change, giving amnesty to illegal immigrants or intervening in Syria.

But when it comes to passing a piece of legislation that will actually do something to help hundreds of thousands of real children, it's another story.


As part of the latest parliamentary maneuvering and cat-fighting between Democrats and Republicans, the passage of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 has been delayed in the Senate.

Passed by the House, and having broad bipartisan support, the act would strike an important blow in the fight against human sex trafficking.

The act would create a fund to help authorities in the USA deter and combat sex trafficking, prosecute traffickers when they are caught and provide assistance to private groups that work to rescue and restore the lives of trafficking victims - most of whom are children.

We hear little about it, but human trafficking is a serious problem in the United States and around the globe. The U.S. State Department estimates there are 27 million victims of trafficking worldwide.

Human trafficking is a $32 billion industry involving more than 125 countries. The majority of victims are women and girls who are forcibly trafficked from one place to another to do work or provide sex, usually under horribly unsafe and unhygienic conditions.

The United States is not untouched by this crime against children. Experts say 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year and about 300,000 American children, particularly children in foster care, are continually at risk of being pulled into the hell of human trafficking.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the typical sex-trafficked child in the United States is 13 or 14 years old. The average pimp makes upwards of $200,000 a year from one of his four to eight children, who are forced to have sex 20 to 48 times a day.

Private organizations like the Polaris Project and Arrow Child and Family Ministries in Texas, which I'm affiliated with, are working hard to educate the public about the horrors of sex-trafficking and rescue as many young victims as they can.

But it's a huge job and the public and private resources to do it are spread thin and hard to acquire.

With the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, Republicans and Democrats are in a great position to actually do something "for the children" instead of just talking about it.

For now the act has become another bargaining chip in Washington's never-ending private poker game.

It will pass eventually. Even Congress gets it right once in a while. But it's time for politicians to quit playing politics with the lives of our children.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan032015.php3#ombMZZaFodjUYv1v.99

3-22-15

We need answers to these unasked Hillary questions

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

What if Hillary Clinton's emails were hacked by foreign agents when she was the secretary of state? What if persons claiming to have done so are boasting about their alleged feats on Internet websites and in chat rooms traditionally associated with illegal or undercover activities? What if this is the sore underbelly of an arrogant and lawless secretary of state who used her power to exempt herself from laws that govern executive branch employees and didn't care about national security?

What if the law required Mrs. Clinton to swear under oath on her first day as secretary of state that she would comply with all laws governing the use of federal records? What if the principal governing law — the Federal Records Act of 1950 — makes it clear that when you work for the feds all the records you receive and generate belong to the government and you cannot lawfully conceal them from the government?

What if she refused to sign such a promise because she knew she'd be violating that law?

What if the State Department has an inspector general whose job it is to assure the public and the attorney general that the secretary of state is complying with federal law? What if agents of the inspector general signed documents swearing that Mrs. Clinton told them she agreed to abide by the law, and so they permitted her to have access to federal records? What if they did this because Mrs. Clinton refused to sign an oath herself since she had no intention of complying with it, and because she ordered them to sign in her place?

What if the law required Mrs. Clinton to swear an oath at the time she left office that she had no federal records in her possession or control? What if she signed that oath knowing that nearly all of her records were in her possession and not the government's? What if she refused to sign that oath because she knew she possessed federal records contrary to law? What if she blamed her failure to sign that oath on her own inspector general? What if the law requires the inspector general to report her refusal to sign this oath to the attorney general? What if that report was made and the attorney general looked the other way?

What if the president has known since 2009 that Mrs. Clinton has concealed government records from the government? What if his assertion that "Hillary has given her emails back" to the State Department is a trick based on the slippery use of words? What if the emails of the secretary of state do not and never did belong to her, but rather to the federal government? What if her diversion of government records away from the government and onto her husband's computer server is a criminal act? What if Mrs. Clinton is a lawyer who knows the law and knows when she is breaking it?

What if the whole premise of the law governing the records of federal employees is that the government owns and possesses all emails and documents used by the employee, and if the employee, upon leaving the government, wants any of her records, she must ask for them, and the government then reviews her records and decides which are personal?

What if Mrs. Clinton turned that law on its head by keeping all of the government's records and having her own representatives review them? What if after that review she decided which records to return to the government and which ones to destroy? What if this amounted to the destruction of government property? What if we are not talking about destroying meaningless scraps of paper, but rather 33,000 emails over the course of four years in office?

What if Mrs. Clinton seriously exposed classified secrets that could affect national security by discussing them on an email system owned by her husband and not secured by a mature Internet service provider or by the government? What if she did this because she didn't want anyone in the government or the public to see her records? What if the real reason for her theft of records was not personal convenience, as she has claimed, but fear of exposure of her true thoughts and unguarded behavior? What if she feared she could not publicly account for her concealed behavior, and so she kept it from the government?

What if when she claimed her husband's email server had never been hacked she didn't know what she was talking about? What if victims can't always tell when they've been hacked? What if the persons with whom she has been emailing have been hacked? What if one of her former aides — with the lurid nickname of the "Prince of Darkness" (real name: Sid Blumenthal) — was hacked? What if among the hacked emails of the Prince of Darkness were some to and from Mrs. Clinton strategizing about the way to portray her role at the time of the assassination in Benghazi of the American ambassador to Libya?

What if all this lawlessness and secrecy was orchestrated by Mrs. Clinton herself — a person devoid of a moral compass, disdainful of compliance with law and a habitual stranger to the truth? What if she is presently the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for president? What if the Democrats don't care?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0315/napolitano031915.php3#6bA2bBaP9rco87Yw.99

3-21-15

Are there special standards of behavior for Hillary?

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former first lady, U.S. senator from New York and secretary of state, used a private email server for all of her emails when she was President Obama's secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

During that time, she enjoyed a security clearance identical to that of the president, the secretary of defense, the director of the CIA and others. It is the highest level of clearance the government makes available.

She had that classified clearance so that she could do her job, which involved knowing and working with military, diplomatic and sensitive national security secrets. The government guards those secrets by requiring high-ranking government officials to keep the documents and emails that reflect them in a secure government-approved venue and to return any retained records when leaving office.

I have not seen Mrs. Clinton's signature on any documents, but standard government procedure is for her to have signed an agreement under oath when she began her work at the State Department requiring her to safeguard classified records, and another agreement under oath when she ended her work that she had returned all records to the government.

She violated both agreements, and she violated numerous federal laws.

By using her personal email address — @clintonemail.com — she kept her work documents from the government. Concealing government documents from the government when you work for it is a felony, punishable by up to three years in prison and permanent disqualification from holding public office.

Failing to secure classified secrets in a government-approved facility or moving them to a non-secure facility outside the government's control is a misdemeanor, punishable by a hefty fine and a year in jail. Using a false email address that gives the clear impression that the user is not using a government server when she is, or one that creates the false impression that the emailer is using a government server when she is not, is also a felony.

The legal issues in Mrs. Clinton's case are all the more curious when one hears Mr. Obama's tepid reaction to this latest scandal. Asked by Bill Plante of CBS News last weekend when he first learned of Mrs. Clinton's use of a personal email server instead of the government's, the president told Mr. Plante he learned of it from the media, last week, when the rest of us did. He later had his press secretary state that he did recognize her use of a nongovernmental email address, but did not know it was unlawful or unsecured until last week.

Does the White House not know where the president's emails are coming from and where they are going?

I wish Mr. Plante had followed up with that question and more: Mr. President, are you not troubled that your secretary of state had a non-secure email account and used it for all of her work? Are you not troubled that she might have kept classified secrets on a server in her barn on her estate in Chappaqua, New York, that the Secret Service might or might not have known about, or at a computer company in Texas that the Secret Service was unable to protect?

Does it not trouble you, Mr. President, that foreign intelligence services likely would have had a far easier time hacking into the emails of your secretary of state because of all this? Mr. President, will your Department of Justice prosecute Mrs. Clinton for retaining 48 months of classified records on her personal server after she left office, as it did Gen. David Petraeus, who kept 15 months of classified records in a desk drawer in his home after he left office?

Mr. President, the premise of the law regulating government records is that the government owns them all, and when a high-ranking government official leaves office, the ex-official may ask the government for copies of her personal emails, and the government decides which ones it will give her. Mr. President, don't you realize that Mrs. Clinton turned the law on its head by keeping all of her emails from the government?

Thus, rather than the government deciding which emails were personal, Mrs. Clinton decided which emails were governmental, and she turned those over to the government. How does the government know what is contained in the emails she kept? Mr. President, this is a privilege that even you don't have, and it is the very behavior that the laws you have sworn to uphold were written to prevent.

Mr. President, did you cut a deal with Mrs. Clinton's husband that permits her to get away with this type of behavior? Mr. President, is it true that there are standards of behavior for Bill and Hillary Clinton and their friends and other standards for the rest of us?

Mr. President, do you remember that crackpot Sandy Berger, who was Bill Clinton's national security adviser from 1997 to 2001, and Mrs. Clinton's foreign policy adviser when she ran against you in 2008, and who stole documents from the National Archives in 2003 by hiding them under an on-site construction trailer? Do you know that Bill got Sandy a no-jail-time deal, including the return of his security clearance, and he got Sandy's prosecutor a federal judgeship?

Mr. President, when you ran against Hillary Clinton, you promised the most transparent government in history. Do you honestly think you have given us that?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0315/napolitano031215.php3#jRvwhC3B0Ztp8wh3.99

3-20-15

Obama Takes His Rage to World Stage

By David Limbaugh

Why is The New York Times lamenting the souring of the personal relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instead of assuming Obama will subordinate his personal feelings to America's national interest?

Well, probably because they know he won't. He's a man scorned — and he's getting more and more dangerous. Scorned? Yes, because when you don't bow to the wishes of a man with his personality, he apparently takes it as a personal affront.

That's why we read in Politico, "In the wake of Netanyahu's decisive reelection, the Obama administration is revisiting longtime assumptions about America's role as a shield for Israel against international pressure."

You want to know why? Well, let's let the article speak for itself. It continues, "Angered by Netanyahu's hardline platform toward the Palestinians, top Obama officials would not rule out the possibility of a change in American posture at the United Nations, where the U.S. has historically fended off resolutions hostile to Israel."

What, exactly, is this hardline approach that enrages Obama so much that he's willing to punish America's best ally in the region?

It is simply that Netanyahu took a strong stance against the establishment of a Palestinian state. Why would he do that?

Well, how about because Palestinians want to extinguish the state of Israel? How about because it would endanger Israel's national security and very survival? How about because of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's formation of a unity government with Hamas in June and his efforts, in December, to have the Palestinian Authority become part of the criminal court? Are these reasons enough?

Why should Obama presume to judge Netanyahu on that? Moreover, how could he possibly take this personally? Because that's the prism through which he views the world. It's all about him.

That's why Obama was outraged when Netanyahu chose to speak to Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat, which Obama continues to ignore — or, arguably, enable. That's why he refused to meet with Netanyahu when he was in Washington for that speech — again, putting his petty feelings above our national interests. And that's also why he has yet to pick up the telephone to call Netanyahu to congratulate him for his electoral victory this week. Incidentally, I believe that's also why he sent the Churchill bust back to the Brits. It's about him and his feelings, our relationship with ally Britain be damned.

Be fair. No other president has behaved like this. So don't defend it.

Obama had the audacity to accuse Netanyahu of partisanship for accepting the invitation to speak to Congress. It was Obama who overtly injected partisanship into that visit, by smearing Netanyahu with false charges of partisanship and attempting — outrageously — to defeat him in his reelection efforts by dispatching his political operatives to Israel.

Do I have proof that Obama dispatched those operatives? Not direct proof. Do I have proof that they had his blessing? He didn't lift a finger to stop them when he could have, did he?

There is also the fact that Obama is conspicuously taking Netanyahu's victory as his own personal defeat. Beyond dissing him with no congratulatory call, he is issuing stern, hostile statements.

One administration official said, "The positions taken by the prime minister in the last days of the campaign have raised very significant substantive questions that go far beyond just optics." The official would not rule out America withdrawing its traditional support of Israel in issues before the United Nations.

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Jeremy Ben-Ami, described by Politico as "president of the left-leaning pro-Israel group J Street," said, "I do think the administration is going to look very closely at the possibility of either joining, or at least not blocking an internationally backed move at the U.N. to restate the parameters for ending the conflict. Netanyahu's campaign statements (opposing a Palestinian state), added Ben-Ami, "make it a lot easier for the administration to justify going down a more international route."

Are you getting this? Obama is considering punitive action against Israel because its prime minister, looking out for his nation's security, would not cow to his demands. This, despite the fact that the Israeli people overwhelmingly agreed with Netanyahu, as they delivered him and his party a landslide victory.

Capping it all off, White House press secretary Josh Earnest unleashed on Netanyahu for allegedly damaging Israel's democracy and undermining America's relationship with Israel. Pot/kettle?

It gets worse. Earnest said the "administration is deeply concerned by the divisive rhetoric that seeks to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens." Obama is wagging his finger at others for divisive rhetoric — in the very process, no less, of issuing his own.

Still more outrageous, Earnest has said of the U.S. and Israel that "one of the things that binds our countries together so closely is our shared values," but "these kinds of cynical, divisive Election Day tactics stand in direct conflict to those values." What pumpkin truck do these people think we fell off of? Please tell me what "shared values" this administration has with Israel.

Is there any question whose side Obama is on anymore? Has he ever rebuked the Palestinians or any enemies of Israel for wishing or acting on its destruction?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh032015.php3#OCqzThdRPEIdoIsR.99

3-19-15

Ruinous 'Compassion'

By Thomas Sowell

It is fascinating to see brilliant people belatedly discover the obvious — and to see an even larger number of brilliant people never discover the obvious.

A recent story in a San Francisco newspaper says that some restaurants and grocery stores in Oakland's Chinatown have closed after the city's minimum wage was raised. Other small businesses there are not sure they are going to survive, since many depend on a thin profit margin and a high volume of sales.

At an angry meeting between local small business owners and city officials, the local organization that had campaigned for the higher minimum wage was absent. They were probably some place congratulating themselves on having passed a humane "living wage" law. The group most affected was also absent — inexperienced and unskilled young people, who need a job to get some experience, even more than they need the money.

It is not a breakthrough on the frontiers of knowledge that minimum wage laws reduce employment opportunities for the young and the unskilled of any age. It has been happening around the world, for generation after generation, and in the most diverse countries.

It is not just the young who are affected when minimum wage rates are set according to the fashionable notions of third parties, with little or no regard for whether everyone is productive enough to be worth paying the minimum wage they set.

You can check this out for yourself. Go to your local public library and pick up a copy of the distinguished British magazine "The Economist."

Whether it is the current issue or a back issue doesn't matter. Spain, Greece and South Africa will be easy to locate in the table near the back, which lists data for various countries. Just look down the unemployment column for countries with unemployment rates around 25 percent. Spain, Greece and South Africa are always there, whether or not there is a recession. Why? Because they have very generous minimum wage laws.

While you are there, you can look up the unemployment rate for Switzerland, which has no minimum wage law at all. Over the years, I have never seen the unemployment rate in Switzerland reach as high as 4 percent. Back in 2003, "The Economist" magazine reported: "Switzerland's unemployment neared a five-year high of 3.9% in February."

In the United States, back in what liberals think of as the bad old days before there was a federal minimum wage law, the annual unemployment rate during Calvin Coolidge's last four years as president ranged from a high of 4.2 percent to a low of 1.8 percent.

Low-income minorities are often hardest hit by the unemployment that follows in the wake of minimum wage laws. The last year when the black unemployment rate was lower than the white unemployment rate was 1930, the last year before there was a federal minimum wage law.

The following year, the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was passed, requiring minimum wages in the construction industry. This was in response to complaints that construction companies with non-union black construction workers were able to underbid construction companies with unionized white workers (whose unions would not admit blacks).

Looking back over my own life, I realize now how lucky I was when I left home in 1948, at the age of 17, to become self-supporting. The unemployment rate for 16- and 17-year-old blacks at that time was under 10 percent. Inflation had made the minimum wage law, passed ten years earlier, irrelevant.

But it was only a matter of time before liberal compassion led to repeated increases in the minimum wage, to keep up with inflation. The annual unemployment rate for black teenagers has never been less than 20 percent in the past 50 years, and has ranged as high as over 50 percent.

You can check these numbers in a table of official government statistics on page 42 of Professor Walter Williams' book "Race and Economics."

Incidentally, the black-white gap in unemployment rates for 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds was virtually non-existent back in 1948. But the black teenage unemployment rate has been more than double that for white teenagers for every year since 1971.

This is just one of many policies that allow liberals to go around feeling good about themselves, while leaving havoc in their wake.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell031815.php3#ty7ByoS17IJQ7i8f.99

3-18-15

Early Onset Clinton Fatigue

By Charles Krauthammer

She burned the tapes.

Had Richard Nixon burned his tapes, he would have survived Watergate. Sure, there would have been a major firestorm, but no smoking gun. Hillary Rodham was a young staffer on the House Judiciary Committee investigating Nixon. She saw. She learned.

Today you don't burn tapes. You delete e-mails. Hillary Clinton deleted 30,000, dismissing their destruction with the brilliantly casual: "I didn't see any reason to keep them." After all, they were private and personal, she assured everyone.

How do we know that? She says so. Were, say, Clinton Foundation contributions considered personal? No one asked. It's unlikely we'll ever know. We have to trust her.

That's not easy. Not just because of her history — William Safire wrote in 1996 that "Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our first lady . . . is a congenital liar" — but because of what she said in her emergency news conference on Tuesday. Among the things she listed as private were "personal communications from my husband and me." Except that, as the Wall Street Journal reported the very same day, Bill Clinton's spokesman said the former president has sent exactly two e-mails in his life, one to John Glenn, the other to U.S. troops in the Adriatic.

Mrs. Clinton's other major declaration was that the server containing the e-mails — owned, controlled and housed by her — "will remain private." Meaning: No one will get near them.

This she learned not from Watergate but from Whitewater. Her husband acquiesced to the appointment of a Whitewater special prosecutor. Hillary objected strenuously. Her fear was that once someone is empowered to search, the searcher can roam freely. In the Clintons' case, it led to impeachment because when the Lewinsky scandal broke, the special prosecutor added that to his portfolio.

Hillary was determined never to permit another open-ended investigation. Which is why she decided even before being confirmed as secretary of state that only she would control her e-mail.

Her pretense for keeping just a single private e-mail account was "convenience." She doesn't like to carry around two devices.

But two weeks ago she said she now carries two phones and a total of four devices. Moreover, it takes about a minute to create two accounts on one device. Ray LaHood, while transportation secretary, did exactly that.

Her answers are farcical. Everyone knows she kept the e-mail private for purposes of concealment and, above all, control. For other State Department employees, their e-mails belong to the government. The records officers decide to return to you what's personal. For Hillary Clinton, she decides.

The point of regulations is to ensure government transparency. The point of owning the server is to ensure opacity. Because she holds the e-mails, all document requests by Congress, by subpoena, by Freedom of Information Act inquiries have ultimately to go through her lawyers, who will stonewall until the end of time — or Election Day 2016, whichever comes first.

It's a smart political calculation. Taking a few weeks of heat now — it's only March 2015 — is far less risky than being blown up by some future e-mail discovery. Moreover, around April 1, the Clinton apologists will begin dismissing the whole story as "old news."

But even if nothing further is found, the damage is done. After all, what is Hillary running on? Her experience and record, say her supporters.

What record? She's had three major jobs. Secretary of state: Can you name a single achievement in four years? U.S. senator: Can you name a single achievement in eight years? First lady: her one achievement in eight years? Hillarycare, a shipwreck.

In reality, Hillary Clinton is running on two things: gender and name. Gender is not to be underestimated. It will make her the Democratic nominee. The name is equally valuable. It evokes the warm memory of the golden 1990s, a decade of peace and prosperity during our holiday from history.

Now breaking through, however, is a stark reminder of the underside of that Clinton decade: the chicanery, the sleaze, the dodging, the parsing, the wordplay. It's a dual legacy that Hillary Clinton cannot escape and that will be a permanent drag on her candidacy.

You can feel it. It's a recurrence of an old ailment. It was bound to set in, but not this soon. What you're feeling now is Early Onset Clinton Fatigue. The CDC is recommending elaborate precautions. Forget it. The only known cure is Elizabeth Warren.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer031315.php3#C7OxHWFs0ERP4mqV.99

3-17-15

Two Warnings

By Thomas Sowell

When Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress on March 3rd, it was the third time he had done so. The only other person to address a joint session of Congress three times was the legendary British prime minister Winston Churchill.

The parallels between the two leaders do not end there. Both warned the world of mortal dangers that others ignored, in hopes that those dangers would go away. In the years leading up to World War II, Churchill tried to warn the British, and the democratic nations in general, of what a monstrous threat Hitler was.

Despite Churchill's legendary status today, he was not merely ignored but ridiculed at the time, when he was repeatedly warning in vain. Knowing that his warnings provoked only mocking laughter in some quarters, even among some members of his own party, he said on March 14, 1938 in the House of Commons, "Laugh but listen."

Just two years later, with Hitler's planes bombing London, night after night, the laughter was gone. Many at the time thought that Britain itself would soon be gone as well, like other European nations that succumbed to the Nazi blitzkrieg in weeks (like France) or days (like Holland).

How did things get to such a desperate situation, with Britain alone continuing the fight, and struggling to survive, against the massive Nazi war machine that now controlled much of the material resources on the continent of Europe?

Things got that desperate by following policies strikingly similar to the policies being followed by the Western democracies today, including some of the very same notions and catchwords being used today.

Just recently, a State Department official in the Obama administration said that Americans have remained safe in a nuclear age, not because of our own nuclear arsenal but because "we created an intricate and essential system of treaties, laws and agreements."

If "treaties, laws and agreements" produced peace, there would never have been a Second World War. The years leading up to that monumental catastrophe were filled with international treaties and arms control agreements.

The Treaty of Versailles, which ended the First World War, imposed strong restrictions on Germany's military forces — on paper. The Washington Naval Agreements of 1922 imposed restrictions on all the major naval powers of the world — on paper. The Kellogg-Briand pact of 1928 created an international renunciation of war — on paper.

The Munich agreement of 1938 produced a paper with Hitler's signature on it that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain waved to the cheering crowds when he returned to England, and said that it meant "Peace for our time." Less than a year later, World War II began.

Winston Churchill never bought any of this. He understood that military deterrence was what preserved peace. With England playing a leadership role in Europe, "England's hour of weakness is Europe's hour of danger," he said in the House of Commons in 1931.

Today, with the Obama administration "leading from behind" — in practice, not leading at all — we see in Ukraine and the Middle East what that produces.

As for disarmament, Churchill said in 1932, "Alone among the nations we have disarmed while others have rearmed."

Today, the United States has that dubious and reckless distinction. Our pacifists, like those in England during the 1930s, argue that we should disarm to "induce parallel" behavior by others. In England between the two World Wars, the rhetoric was that they should disarm "as an example to others."

Whether others would follow that example was just as dubious then as it is today. While Russia and China increased the share of their national output that went to military spending in 2014, the United States reduced its share. Churchill deplored the "inexhaustible gullibility" of disarmament advocates in 1932. That gullibility is still not exhausted in 2015.

"Not one of the lessons of the past has been learned, not one of them has been applied, and the situation is incomparably more dangerous," Churchill said in 1934. And every one of those words is more urgently true today, in a nuclear age.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell031715.php3#L2WZQipwX5J3hPAE.99

3-16-15

America-phobic Bullies Target Old Glory

By David Limbaugh

Some wonder why conservatives get the impression that many leftists are not patriotic. Well, how about their belief that the ideas of nationalism and patriotism are noxious? We told you!

As you've probably heard by now, Associated Students of the University of California, Irvine voted to ban the American flag from an "inclusive" space on campus. Don't you just love loaded liberal words, such as "inclusive," which mean the opposite of what they imply? Is the American flag includable there?

The language of the bill, passed by a vote of 6-4, with two abstentions (some real courage there), asserts that flags "construct cultural mythologies and narratives that in turn charge nationalistic sentiments" and that "flags construct paradigms of conformity and sets (sic) homogenized standards for others to obtain which in this country typically are idolized as freedom, equality, and democracy."

Before proceeding, let me pause briefly to thank my parents for raising me to recognize such psychobabble for what it is and God for the discernment to filter it. This kind of thinking is amazing but is the logical extension of modern leftism.

To quote the old Ginsu knife ad, "But wait; there's more." The bill also claims that the American flag "has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism" and that "symbolism has negative and positive aspects that are interpreted differently by individuals." Well, what do you know? People have different interpretations? What could be more dangerous?

Now for the zinger — and where this line of thinking often ends up: "Freedom of speech, in a space that aims to be as inclusive as possible can be interpreted as hate speech."

Following the disturbing preamble, the bill includes these resolutions: "Let it be resolved that ASUCI make every effort to make the Associated Students main lobby space as inclusive as possible ... that no flag, of any nation, may be hanged on the walls of the Associate Student (sic) main lobby space ... (and) that if a decorative item is in the Associate student (sic) lobby space and issues arise, the solution will be to remove the item if there is considerable request to do so."

These are your tax dollars at work, training students to be ready for a job upon graduation — at community organizing.

After news reports of this insanity, Breitbart News spoke to a UCI student who said she had heard a member of the ASUCI discussing "the (American) flag and how it triggered people." "Trigger," she said, was the word the person used, as in "the flag triggers me." Oh, boy. She speculated that one motivation for the student bill was to prevent "illegal citizens" from feeling bad.

To their credit, UCI administrators stated that they did not endorse the bill, calling its passage a "misguided decision," and the student body's executive cabinet vetoed the bill.

But the controversy and angst over the matter continue as a group of university professors signed a letter supporting the students who attempted to ban the flag. Their rationale? They wrote, "U.S. nationalism often contributes to racism and xenophobia, and ... the paraphernalia of nationalism is in fact often used to intimidate." And: "We admire the courage of the resolution's supports amid this environment of political immaturity and threat, and support them unequivocally."

I am not sure what these pointy-heads are referring to with "political immaturity and threat," but it's obvious that — typical of leftists — they are projecting. You will notice that the intolerance, immaturity "hate" and agitation involved in this brouhaha are coming from those denouncing Old Glory, not those displaying it proudly. These malcontents said not just "nationalism" but "U.S. nationalism," and they didn't show a smidgen of concern for the free expression rights of those displaying the flag.

This is the very mentality that leads people such as President Obama to mock the notion of American exceptionalism. They have a desire to defer important national matters to international bodies, have a gross underappreciation for the U.S. Constitution and advocate open borders. They see themselves as citizens of the world, perhaps more than of the United States.

Why would you care about people flooding illegally across our borders if you are not keen on protecting America's unique system of liberty? Why would you want immigrants to be required to go through a naturalization process whereby they learn the basics of American civics in order to attain citizenship if you don't believe our system is special?

I'll tell you what is offensive and unacceptable, and that is the ongoing distortion of the language employed by these bullies to suggest that positive pride in our nation equates to fear and hatred of foreigners and racism. This is outrageously false, and only those who think that way are capable of accusing others of such warped thinking.

If you believe that the American flag is offensive and emblematic of racism and xenophobia, what's next? Are you going to suggest that we fundamentally transform the United States of America?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh031315.php3#4zf62J35zOC6Gcc7.99

3-15-15

A president gone rogue

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

Can the president rewrite federal laws? Can he alter their meaning? Can he change their effect? These are legitimate questions in an era in which we have an unpopular progressive Democratic president who has boasted that he can govern without Congress by using his phone and his pen, and a mostly newly elected largely conservative Republican Congress with its own ideas about big government.

These are not hypothetical questions. In 2012, President Obama signed executive orders that essentially said to about 1.7 million unlawfully present immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthdays and who are not yet 31 years of age that if they complied with certain conditions that he made up out of thin air they will not be deported.

In 2014, the president signed additional executive orders that essentially made the same offer to about 4.7 million unlawfully present immigrants, without the age limits that he had made up out of thin air. A federal court enjoined enforcement of the 2014 orders last month.

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission — the bureaucrats appointed by the president who regulate broadcast radio and television — decreed that it has the authority to regulate the Internet, even though federal courts have twice ruled that it does not.

Also last week, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, whose director is appointed by the president, proposed regulations that would outlaw the only mass-produced bullets that can be fired from an AR-15 rifle. This rifle has been the target of the left for many years because it looks like a military weapon; yet it is a lawful and safe civilian rifle commonly owned by many Americans.

This week, the president's press secretary told reporters that the president is seriously thinking of signing executive orders intended to raise taxes on corporations by directing the IRS to redefine tax terminology so as to increase corporate tax burdens. He must have forgotten that those additional taxes would be paid by either the shareholders or the customers of those corporations, and those shareholders and customers elected a Congress they had every right to expect would be writing the tax laws. He has eviscerated that right.

What's going on here?

What's going on is the exercise of authoritarian impulses by a desperate president terrified of powerlessness and irrelevance, the Constitution be damned. I say "damned" because when the president writes laws, whether under the guise of administrative regulations or executive orders, he is effectively damning the Constitution by usurping the powers of Congress.

The Constitution could not be clearer. Article I, section 1 begins, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States." Obama actually asked Congress to write the laws he is now purporting to write, and Congress declined, and so he does so at his peril.

In 1952, President Truman seized America's closed steel mills because steel workers went on strike and the military needed hardware to fight the Korean War. He initially asked Congress for authorization to do this, and Congress declined to give it to him; so he seized the mills anyway. His seizure was challenged by Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., then a huge operator of steel mills. In a famous Supreme Court decision, the court enjoined the president from operating the mills.

Youngstown is not a novel or arcane case. The concurring opinion by Justice Robert Jackson articulating the truism that when the president acts in defiance of Congress he operates at his lowest ebb of constitutional power and can be enjoined by the courts unless he is in an area uniquely immune from congressional authority is among the most highly regarded and frequently cited concurring opinions in modern court history. It reminds the president and the lawyers who advise him that the Constitution imposes limits on executive power.

The president's oath of office underscores those limits. It requires that he enforce the laws faithfully. The reason James Madison insisted on using the word "faithfully" in the presidential oath and putting the oath itself into the Constitution was to instill in presidents the realization that they may need to enforce laws with which they disagree — even laws they hate.

But Obama rejects the Youngstown decision and the Madisonian logic. Here is a president who claims he can kill Americans without due process, spy on Americans without individualized probable cause, start wars on his own, borrow money on his own, regulate the Internet, ban lawful guns, tell illegal immigrants how to avoid the consequences of federal law, and now raise taxes on his own.

One of the safeguards built into the Constitution is the separation of powers: Congress writes the laws, the president enforces the laws, and the courts interpret them. The purpose of this separation is to prevent the accumulation of too much power in the hands of too few — a valid fear when the Constitution was written and a valid fear today.

When the president effectively writes the laws, Congress is effectively neutered. Yet, the reason we have the separation of powers is not to protect Congress, but to protect all individuals from the loss of personal liberty. Under Obama, that loss has been vast. Will Congress and the courts do anything about it?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0315/napolitano030515.php3#v2v57I6gcvDjb2Vd.99

3-14-15

Early Onset Clinton Fatigue

By Charles Krauthammer

She burned the tapes.

Had Richard Nixon burned his tapes, he would have survived Watergate. Sure, there would have been a major firestorm, but no smoking gun. Hillary Rodham was a young staffer on the House Judiciary Committee investigating Nixon. She saw. She learned.

Today you don't burn tapes. You delete e-mails. Hillary Clinton deleted 30,000, dismissing their destruction with the brilliantly casual: "I didn't see any reason to keep them." After all, they were private and personal, she assured everyone.

How do we know that? She says so. Were, say, Clinton Foundation contributions considered personal? No one asked. It's unlikely we'll ever know. We have to trust her.

That's not easy. Not just because of her history — William Safire wrote in 1996 that "Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our first lady . . . is a congenital liar" — but because of what she said in her emergency news conference on Tuesday. Among the things she listed as private were "personal communications from my husband and me." Except that, as the Wall Street Journal reported the very same day, Bill Clinton's spokesman said the former president has sent exactly two e-mails in his life, one to John Glenn, the other to U.S. troops in the Adriatic.

Mrs. Clinton's other major declaration was that the server containing the e-mails — owned, controlled and housed by her — "will remain private." Meaning: No one will get near them.

This she learned not from Watergate but from Whitewater. Her husband acquiesced to the appointment of a Whitewater special prosecutor. Hillary objected strenuously. Her fear was that once someone is empowered to search, the searcher can roam freely. In the Clintons' case, it led to impeachment because when the Lewinsky scandal broke, the special prosecutor added that to his portfolio.

Hillary was determined never to permit another open-ended investigation. Which is why she decided even before being confirmed as secretary of state that only she would control her e-mail.

Her pretense for keeping just a single private e-mail account was "convenience." She doesn't like to carry around two devices.

But two weeks ago she said she now carries two phones and a total of four devices. Moreover, it takes about a minute to create two accounts on one device. Ray LaHood, while transportation secretary, did exactly that.

Her answers are farcical. Everyone knows she kept the e-mail private for purposes of concealment and, above all, control. For other State Department employees, their e-mails belong to the government. The records officers decide to return to you what's personal. For Hillary Clinton, she decides.

The point of regulations is to ensure government transparency. The point of owning the server is to ensure opacity. Because she holds the e-mails, all document requests by Congress, by subpoena, by Freedom of Information Act inquiries have ultimately to go through her lawyers, who will stonewall until the end of time — or Election Day 2016, whichever comes first.

It's a smart political calculation. Taking a few weeks of heat now — it's only March 2015 — is far less risky than being blown up by some future e-mail discovery. Moreover, around April 1, the Clinton apologists will begin dismissing the whole story as "old news."

But even if nothing further is found, the damage is done. After all, what is Hillary running on? Her experience and record, say her supporters.

What record? She's had three major jobs. Secretary of state: Can you name a single achievement in four years? U.S. senator: Can you name a single achievement in eight years? First lady: her one achievement in eight years? Hillarycare, a shipwreck.

In reality, Hillary Clinton is running on two things: gender and name. Gender is not to be underestimated. It will make her the Democratic nominee. The name is equally valuable. It evokes the warm memory of the golden 1990s, a decade of peace and prosperity during our holiday from history.

Now breaking through, however, is a stark reminder of the underside of that Clinton decade: the chicanery, the sleaze, the dodging, the parsing, the wordplay. It's a dual legacy that Hillary Clinton cannot escape and that will be a permanent drag on her candidacy.

You can feel it. It's a recurrence of an old ailment. It was bound to set in, but not this soon. What you're feeling now is Early Onset Clinton Fatigue. The CDC is recommending elaborate precautions. Forget it. The only known cure is Elizabeth Warren.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer031315.php3#Wgg8TOUBUF7II0mT.99

3-13-15

Global Warming

By Walter Williams

"But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact," said President Barack Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address. Saying the debate is settled is nonsense, but the president is right about climate change. GlobalChange.gov gives the definition of climate change: "Changes in average weather conditions that persist over multiple decades or longer. Climate change encompasses both increases and decreases in temperature, as well as shifts in precipitation, changing risk of certain types of severe weather events, and changes to other features of the climate system." That definition covers all weather phenomena throughout all 4.54 billion years of Earth's existence.

You say, "Williams, that's not what the warmers are talking about. It's the high CO2 levels caused by mankind's industrial activities that are causing the climate change!" There's a problem with that reasoning. Today CO2 concentrations worldwide average about 380 parts per million. This level of CO2 concentration is trivial compared with the concentrations during earlier geologic periods. For example, 460 million years ago, during the Ordovician Period, CO2 concentrations were 4,400 ppm, and temperatures then were about the same as they are today. With such high levels of CO2, at least according to the warmers, the Earth should have been boiling.

Then there are warmer predictions. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, warmers, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, made all manner of doomsday predictions about global warming and the increased frequency of hurricanes. According to the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, "no Category 3-5 hurricane has struck the United States for a record nine years, and Earth's temperature has not budged for 18 years."

Climate change predictions have been wrong for decades. Let's look at some. At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, "The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind." C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization said, "The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed." In 1968, Professor Paul Ehrlich predicted that there would be a major food shortage in the U.S. and that "in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people (would) starve to death." Ehrlich forecasted that 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980 and 1989 and that by 1999, the U.S. population would have declined to 22.6 million. Ehrlich's predictions about England were gloomier. He said, "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000."

In 1970, Harvard University biologist George Wald predicted, "Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." Sen. Gaylord Nelson, in Look magazine in April 1970, said that by 1995, "somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals (would) be extinct."

Climate change propaganda is simply a ruse for a socialist agenda. Consider the statements of some environmentalist leaders. Christiana Figueres, the U.N.'s chief climate change official, said that her unelected bureaucrats are undertaking "probably the most difficult task" they have ever given themselves, "which is to intentionally transform the (global) economic development model." In 2010, German economist and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change official Ottmar Edenhofer said, "One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy." The article in which that interview appeared summarized Edenhofer's views this way: "Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection. ... The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world's resources will be negotiated."

The most disgusting aspect of the climate change debate is the statements by many that it's settled science. There is nothing more anti-scientific than the idea that any science is settled. Very often we find that the half-life of many scientific ideas is about 50 years. For academics to not criticize their colleagues and politicians for suggesting that scientific ideas are not subject to challenge is the height of academic dishonesty.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams031115.php3#p7dijQeEHElZ4TEp.99

3-12-15

What if the Government Fears Freedom?

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

What if the current massive spying on Americans began with an innocent secret executive order signed by President Reagan in 1986? What if Reagan contemplated that he was only authorizing American spies to spy on foreign spies unlawfully present in the U.S.?

What if Reagan knew and respected the history of the Fourth Amendment? What if the essence of that history is the colonial revulsion at the British use of general warrants? What if general warrants were issued by a secret court in London and authorized British agents in America to search wherever they wished and to seize whatever they found? What if the revulsion at this British government practice was so overwhelming that it led to the Revolutionary War against the king?

What if the whole purpose of the Fourth Amendment was to outlaw general warrants? What if the Fourth Amendment specifically guarantees the right to privacy to all in America in their persons, houses, papers and effects?

What if, in order to emphasize its condemnation of general warrants, the Fourth Amendment requires the government to obtain a warrant from a judge before invading the persons, houses, papers or effects of anyone and lays down the preconditions for the issuance of such warrants? What if those preconditions are individualized suspicion and articulated evidence of crime — called probable cause — about the specific person whose privacy the government seeks to invade?

What if these principles of constitutional fidelity, privacy and probable cause and the unlawfulness of general warrants have been regarded universally and publicly as quintessentially American values, values that set this nation apart from all others?

What if the administration of President George W. Bush was so embarrassed that 9/11 happened on its watch that it fought a useless public war in Iraq — which had nothing to do with 9/11 — and a pernicious private war against American values by unleashing American spies on innocent Americans as to whom there was no individualized probable cause so that it could create the impression it was doing something to keep America safe from another 9/11-like attack?

What if the Bush folks took Reagan's idea of spying on foreign spies and twisted it so that they could spy on not just foreign spies, but also on foreign persons? What if they took that and leapt to spying on Americans who communicated with foreign persons?

What if they then concluded that it was easier to spy on all Americans rather than just those who communicated with foreign persons? What if they claimed in secret that all this was authorized by Reagan's executive order and two federal statutes, their unique interpretations of which they refused to discuss in public? What if the Reagan order and the statutes authorized no such thing?

What if The New York Times caught the Bush administration in its massive violation of the Fourth Amendment, whereby it was spying on all Americans all the time without any warrants? What if the Times sat on that knowledge during, throughout and beyond the presidential election campaign of 2004? What if, when the Times revealed all this, the Bush administration agreed to stop spying? What if it didn't stop?

What if President Obama came up with a scheme to make the spying appear legal? What if that scheme involved using secret judges in secret courts to issue general warrants? What if the Obama administration swore those judges to secrecy? What if it swore to secrecy all in the government who are involved in undermining basic American values? What if it forgot that everyone in government also swears an oath to uphold the Constitution? What if Edward Snowden violated his oath to secrecy in order to uphold his oath to the Constitution, which includes the Fourth Amendment, and spilled the beans on the government?

What if all this spying by the feds has spawned spying by the locals? What if more than 50 local police departments now have received false cell towers from the FBI, but have sworn not to tell anyone about them? What if these towers trick cellphone signals into exposing the content of cellphone conversations to the police? What if the police have done this without the knowledge of the elected representatives who are their bosses? What if they do this without any warrants? What if the Supreme Court last year outlawed police invading cellphones without warrants?

What if both Bush and Obama have argued that their first job is to keep America safe, and they will twist, torture the plain meaning of and even break laws in order to accomplish that job? What if the presidential oath is to enforce all laws faithfully, including ones the president may hate?

What if Bush and Obama have been wrong about the priority of their constitutional duties as president? What if the president's first job is to preserve the Constitution? What if that includes the Fourth Amendment? What if the president keeps us safe but unfree?

What if invading our freedoms keeps us less safe? What if the president has failed to keep our freedoms safe? What if the government doesn't like freedoms? What if the government is afraid we will exercise them?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0215/napolitano022615.php3#FElXSFie0u7RaDh0.99

3-11-15

The 'Disparate Impact' Racket

By Thomas Sowell

The U.S. Department of Justice issued two reports last week, both growing out of the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of Michael Brown. The first report, about "the shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson" ought to be read by every American.

It says in plain English what facts have been established by an autopsy on Michael Brown's body — by three different pathologists, including one representing the family of Michael Brown — by DNA examination of officer Darren Wilson's gun and police vehicle, by examination of the pattern of blood stains on the street where Brown died and by a medical report on officer Wilson, from the hospital where he went for treatment.

The bottom line is that all this hard evidence, and more, show what a complete lie was behind all the stories of Michael Brown being shot in the back or being shot while raising his hands in surrender. Yet that lie was repeated, and dramatized in demonstrations and riots from coast to coast, as well as in the media and even in the halls of Congress.

The other Justice Department report, issued the same day — "Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department" — was a complete contrast. Sweeping assumptions take the place of facts, and misleading statistics are thrown around recklessly. This second report is worth reading, just to get a sense of the contrast with the first.

According to the second report, law enforcement in Ferguson has a "disparate impact" on blacks and is "motivated" by "discriminatory intent."

"Disparate impact" statistics have for decades been used, in many different contexts, to claim that discrimination was the reason why different groups are not equally represented as employees or in desirable positions or — as in this case — in undesirable positions as people arrested or fined.

Like many other uses of "disparate impact" statistics, the Justice Department's evidence against the Ferguson police department consists of numbers showing that the percentage of people stopped by police or fined in court is larger than the percentage of blacks in the local population.

The implicit assumption is that such statistics about particular outcomes would normally reflect the percentage of people in the population. But, no matter how plausible this might seem on the surface, it is seldom found in real life, and those who use that standard are seldom, if ever, asked to produce hard evidence that it is factually correct, as distinct from politically correct.

Blacks are far more statistically "over-represented" among basketball stars in the NBA than among people stopped by police in Ferguson. Hispanics are similarly far more "over-represented" among baseball stars than in the general population. Asian Americans are likewise far more "over-represented" among students at leading engineering schools like M.I.T. and Cal Tech than in the population as a whole.

None of this is peculiar to the United States. You can find innumerable examples of such group disparities in countries around the world and throughout recorded history.

In 1802, for example, czarist Russia established a university in Estonia. For most of the 19th century, members of one ethnic group provided more of the students — and a majority of the professors — than any other. This was neither the local majority (Estonians) nor the national majority (Russians), but Germans.

An international study of the ethnic makeup of military forces around the world found that "militaries fall far short of mirroring, even roughly, the multi-ethnic societies" from which they come.

Even with things whose outcomes are not in human hands, "disparate impact" is common. Men are struck by lightning several times as often as women. Most of the tornadoes in the entire world occur in the middle of the United States.

Since the population of Ferguson is 67 percent black, the greatest possible "over-representation" of blacks among those stopped by police or fined by courts is 50 percent. That would not make the top 100 disparities in the United States or the top 1,000 in the world.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell031015.php3#1zjQhilJO9uigq2A.99

3-10-15

A Churchillian warning: Netanyahu offered a real alternative on Iran

By Charles Krauthammer

Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress was notable in two respects. Queen Esther got her first standing O in 2,500 years. And President Obama came up empty in his campaign to preemptively undermine Netanyahu before the Israeli prime minister could present his case on the Iran negotiations.

On the contrary. The steady stream of slights and insults turned an irritant into an international event and vastly increased the speech's audience and reach. Instead of dramatically unveiling an Iranian nuclear deal as a fait accompli, Obama must now first defend his Iranian diplomacy.

In particular, argues The Washington Post, he must defend its fundamental premise. It had been the policy of every president since 1979 that Islamist Iran must be sanctioned and contained. Obama, however, is betting instead on detente to tame Iran's aggressive behavior and nuclear ambitions.

For six years, Obama has offered the mullahs an extended hand. He has imagined that with Kissingerian brilliance he would turn the Khamenei regime into a de facto U.S. ally in pacifying the Middle East. For his pains, Obama has been rewarded with an Iran that has ramped up its aggressiveness in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Yemen, and brazenly defied the world on uranium enrichment.

He did the same with Russia. He offered Vladimir Putin a new detente. "Reset," he called it. Putin responded by decimating his domestic opposition, unleashing a vicious anti-American propaganda campaign, ravaging Ukraine and shaking the post-Cold War European order to its foundations.

Like the Bourbons, however, Obama learns nothing. He persists in believing that Iran's radical Islamist regime can be turned by sweet reason and fine parchment into a force for stability. It's akin to his refusal to face the true nature of the Islamic State, Iran's Sunni counterpart. He simply can't believe that such people actually believe what they say.

That's what made Netanyahu's critique of the U.S.-Iran deal so powerful. Especially his dissection of the sunset clause. In about 10 years, the deal expires. Sanctions are lifted and Iran is permitted unlimited uranium enrichment with an unlimited number of centrifuges of unlimited sophistication. As the Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens points out, we don't even allow that for democratic South Korea.

The prime minister offered a concrete alternative. Sunset? Yes, but only after Iran changes its behavior, giving up its regional aggression and worldwide support for terror.

Netanyahu's veiled suggestion was that such a modification — plus a significant reduction in Iran's current nuclear infrastructure, which the Obama deal leaves intact — could produce a deal that "Israel and its [Arab] neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally."

Obama's petulant response was: "The prime minister didn't offer any viable alternatives." But he just did: conditional sunset, smaller infrastructure. And if the Iranians walk away, then you ratchet up sanctions, as Congress is urging, which, with collapsed oil prices, would render the regime extremely vulnerable.

And if that doesn't work? Hence Netanyahu's final point: Israel is prepared to stand alone, a declaration that was met with enthusiastic applause reflecting widespread popular support.

It was an important moment, especially because of the libel being perpetrated by some that Netanyahu is trying to get America to go to war with Iran. This is as malicious a calumny as Charles Lindbergh's charge on Sept. 11, 1941, that "the three most important groups who have been pressing this country toward war are the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration."

In its near-70 year history, Israel has never once asked America to fight for it. Not in 1948 when 650,000 Jews faced 40 million Arabs. Not in 1967 when Israel was being encircled and strangled by three Arab armies. Not in 1973 when Israel was on the brink of destruction. Not in the three Gaza wars or the two Lebanon wars.

Compare that to a very partial list of nations for which America has fought and for which so many Americans have fallen: Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Vietnam, Korea, and every West European country beginning with France (twice).

Change the deal, strengthen the sanctions, give Israel a free hand. Netanyahu offered a different path in his clear, bold and often moving address, Churchillian in its appeal to resist appeasement. This was not Churchill of the 1940s, but Churchill of the 1930s, the wilderness prophet. Which is why for all its sonorous strength, Netanyahu's speech had a terrible poignancy.

After all, Churchill was ignored.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer030615.php3#qmyiELIdx8e3KgmO.99

3-9-15

College Campus Update

By Walter Williams

President Barack Obama wants Americans to dig deeper into our pockets to expand college education. Let's update college indoctrination done in the name of education.

Cornell University assistant professor Russell Rickford, in a lecture titled "Ferguson: The Next Steps," told a packed auditorium: "Let's be very clear about what's going on. It's one every 28 hours. Dead black bodies in the street is a sacrifice America makes to the gods of white supremacy." He added: "The propertied classes leverage state violence to discipline, repress and contain them. America fears and despises all poor people."

Blake Armstrong, a South Texas College psychology professor, equating the tea party to Nazis, told his class: "In 1931, which was really interesting, the Nazis — people are kind of tired of them. They've been around since 1920, 11 years now. They've won seats. They're like the tea party! That's such a good example." Armstrong continued, "Don't tell anybody I said that, though."

William Claggett, a professor at Florida State University, told his class, "I don't read The Wall Street Journal — again, a rag of lies — unless I'm interested in who's the CEO of some particular company." As for news, he said, "So you know, when I'm at home clicking through the stations, oh, here comes Fox News, the Fox News Channel. Oh, I don't stop there. I know they're simply lying, and I keep on going."

Students learn from their professors. The University of California Student Association recently voted to divest financially of the United States government and companies that do business with Israel. Both resolutions passed overwhelmingly. Reasons given for divestiture included U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, as well as disproportionate imprisonment of racial minorities. It's early yet, but I'm wondering whether university trustees will instruct their fund managers to replace their U.S. equity holdings with those from the Middle East or Africa.

The University of Michigan spent $16,000 to launch a new "Inclusive Language Campaign" so as to not say hurtful things. Terms deemed unacceptable include crazy, insane, retarded, gay, tranny, gypped, illegal alien, fag, ghetto and raghead. Also banned are sentences such as "I want to die" and "That test raped me" because they diminish the experience of people who've attempted suicide or experienced sexual assault.

One wonders what advice University of Michigan students would give their brethren attending the University of Wisconsin. When College Republicans urged fellow students to keep an open mind about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's planned cuts to the university's budget, the College Republicans received responses such as, "You must have a big hairy pair of brass balls and a marginally functional brain to be recruiting for Republicans on the UW campus right now." "F—- Scott Walker." "Listen you c—-s, Don't email me this political bull——."

Last month, Megan Andelloux, aka "The Sex Ed Warrior Queen," encouraged Vanderbilt University students to put their cellphones on vibrate so as to masturbate in their seats as she spoke during an interactive sex workshop. (http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/21124). I'm wondering whether Vanderbilt University recruiters inform parents of high-school seniors about such a "learning opportunity."

Then there's Bryn Mawr College, founded in 1885, a private women's liberal arts college located in Philadelphia's wealthy Main Line suburbs. This year, Bryn Mawr will accept men, but it will remain a women's college. You might say, "Williams, that's impossible!" You'd be wrong. Bryn Mawr College will accept applications from men who identify as women. It will challenge what's become known as gender binarism as it transitions from a single-sex to a "single-gendered" college. Classification of sex into two distinct, opposite and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine is oppressive. I wonder whether Bryn Mawr biology professors will continue to teach the chromosomal distinction that males are 46,XY and females 46,XX. Could there be something in between?

There's another issue: What will Bryn Mawr's administrators do when brawny XY people dominate their sports teams? Maybe they will set quotas for XY and XX people.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams030415.php3#DyoJbYByTRoG5ICK.99

3-8-15

Obama's Ongoing Assault on the Constitution

By David Limbaugh

One of the many reasons constitutional conservatives consider President Obama a threat to the Constitution is his disdain for the separation of powers, illustrated most recently in his plan to bypass the Senate in making an arms deal with Iran.

The Framers understood that throughout history, the real threat to G0D-given liberty had been centralized, unchecked governmental power. As such, they crafted our system in a way to limit the consolidation of that power, especially in the federal government.

They did this in a number of ways, including establishing a system of federalism, which divided powers between the federal and state governments. They also specifically enumerated powers granted to the federal Congress and added the Bill of Rights, which expressly restricted Congress' encroachment on a panoply of individual liberties and also included the ninth and 10th amendments, which reserve powers to the states and the people.

As to the power granted to the federal government, the Framers took further steps to deter its centralization by distributing the functions of government into three coequal branches, the legislative, executive and judicial — known as the separation of powers. They also provided for an intricate scheme of checks and balances among the three branches to guard against expansions of their power.

Throughout his tenure in office, Obama has been exercising powers outside the scope of his constitutionally prescribed executive authority. Democrats have cynically denied his usurpations, saying that he's just doing what other presidents have done, but his abuses have been different in kind.

He has abused his power with premeditation, announcing early on, through his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, that he would govern through "executive orders and directives to get the job done across a front of issues." More recently, he has boasted that he has a pen and a phone — tools that will enable him to circumvent legislative authority.

He not only granted virtual amnesty to millions in contravention of Congress' authority but also created new, substantive rights for the immigrants, from Social Security numbers to driver's licenses. These rights could have far-reaching and material consequences, such as giving tax credits to millions who have lived here illegally. If that doesn't outrage you, you don't have a pulse, or you think the Constitution should have no greater weight than the sheets of paper it can be printed on.

In implementing Obamacare, he granted exemptions and suspended deadlines at his sole whim and even granted federal subsidies to people in states that had not set up an exchange, in direct violation of the law, as his advisers have admitted.

People have probably forgotten by now Obama's radical czars, whom he appointed to serve with all the power of Cabinet officers but without being confirmed by the Senate. Then there was Obama's planned defiance of the Senate in moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S. soil — in Illinois — despite the Senate's having voted 90-6 against such a move. Also, don't forget his unilateral reversal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay service members, his Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory end run around Congress to regulate carbon because Congress had refused to pass a cap-and-trade bill, his lawless subordination of secured creditors in favor of his union allies in the Chrysler restructuring scandal, and his defiance of a federal judge's order invalidating his imperious ban on deep-water drilling. There are many more examples.

Most recently, and quite disturbingly, Obama has signaled his intention to consummate a nuclear arms deal with Iran without so much as conferring with the Senate — much less getting its approval, as required by the Constitution's treaty clause in Article 2, Section 2.

When asked about this, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, "Ultimately, we can't put in place an additional hurdle for that agreement to overcome here at the eleventh hour."

So now the Constitution is merely "an additional hurdle" to these dangerous people? This should alarm everyone in this nation — not just Republicans, not just conservatives.

Obama will argue that he is allowed to do this because presidents have traditionally entered into agreements with other countries without the advice and consent of the Senate, known as "executive agreements." But he knows — there is zero chance he doesn't know — that executive agreements have never been used for something so monumentally important as establishing an (as opposed to terminating an existing) arms treaty with another nation — nuclear arms, no less.

Obama full well understands — constitutional scholar that he claims to be — that executive agreements are used to cover matters solely within his executive power or those made pursuant to a treaty or an act of Congress. The Framers were so adamant about presidents obtaining approval in important matters that they imposed a requirement of a supermajority of the Senate for ratification of treaties.

An arms deal with Iran could result in this militant theocracy's acquisition of nuclear weapons, which would be a dire threat to our national security and that of our allies, especially Israel. No one could pass a polygraph claiming that a matter of such grave importance should simply be written off as minor enough to be handled by executive agreement.

If Obama successfully formalizes such a deal, will there by anything left of this Constitution we all claim to so revere?

If your answer is that "it prevents him from raising taxes," you may want to think again. Word is that his IRS is preparing to raise taxes on corporations; they call it "closing loopholes." Please be bold, Congress.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh030615.php3#bGrLgmCdd9LgBbAL.99

3-7-15

College Campus Update

By Walter Williams

President Barack Obama wants Americans to dig deeper into our pockets to expand college education. Let's update college indoctrination done in the name of education.

Cornell University assistant professor Russell Rickford, in a lecture titled "Ferguson: The Next Steps," told a packed auditorium: "Let's be very clear about what's going on. It's one every 28 hours. Dead black bodies in the street is a sacrifice America makes to the gods of white supremacy." He added: "The propertied classes leverage state violence to discipline, repress and contain them. America fears and despises all poor people."

Blake Armstrong, a South Texas College psychology professor, equating the tea party to Nazis, told his class: "In 1931, which was really interesting, the Nazis — people are kind of tired of them. They've been around since 1920, 11 years now. They've won seats. They're like the tea party! That's such a good example." Armstrong continued, "Don't tell anybody I said that, though."

William Claggett, a professor at Florida State University, told his class, "I don't read The Wall Street Journal — again, a rag of lies — unless I'm interested in who's the CEO of some particular company." As for news, he said, "So you know, when I'm at home clicking through the stations, oh, here comes Fox News, the Fox News Channel. Oh, I don't stop there. I know they're simply lying, and I keep on going."

Students learn from their professors. The University of California Student Association recently voted to divest financially of the United States government and companies that do business with Israel. Both resolutions passed overwhelmingly. Reasons given for divestiture included U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, as well as disproportionate imprisonment of racial minorities. It's early yet, but I'm wondering whether university trustees will instruct their fund managers to replace their U.S. equity holdings with those from the Middle East or Africa.

The University of Michigan spent $16,000 to launch a new "Inclusive Language Campaign" so as to not say hurtful things. Terms deemed unacceptable include crazy, insane, retarded, gay, tranny, gypped, illegal alien, fag, ghetto and raghead. Also banned are sentences such as "I want to die" and "That test raped me" because they diminish the experience of people who've attempted suicide or experienced sexual assault.

One wonders what advice University of Michigan students would give their brethren attending the University of Wisconsin. When College Republicans urged fellow students to keep an open mind about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's planned cuts to the university's budget, the College Republicans received responses such as, "You must have a big hairy pair of brass balls and a marginally functional brain to be recruiting for Republicans on the UW campus right now." "F—- Scott Walker." "Listen you c—-s, Don't email me this political bull——."

Last month, Megan Andelloux, aka "The Sex Ed Warrior Queen," encouraged Vanderbilt University students to put their cellphones on vibrate so as to masturbate in their seats as she spoke during an interactive sex workshop. (http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/21124). I'm wondering whether Vanderbilt University recruiters inform parents of high-school seniors about such a "learning opportunity."

Then there's Bryn Mawr College, founded in 1885, a private women's liberal arts college located in Philadelphia's wealthy Main Line suburbs. This year, Bryn Mawr will accept men, but it will remain a women's college. You might say, "Williams, that's impossible!" You'd be wrong. Bryn Mawr College will accept applications from men who identify as women. It will challenge what's become known as gender binarism as it transitions from a single-sex to a "single-gendered" college. Classification of sex into two distinct, opposite and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine is oppressive. I wonder whether Bryn Mawr biology professors will continue to teach the chromosomal distinction that males are 46,XY and females 46,XX. Could there be something in between?

There's another issue: What will Bryn Mawr's administrators do when brawny XY people dominate their sports teams? Maybe they will set quotas for XY and XX people.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams030415.php3#mC4SW6U4adjDrdT5.99

3-6-15

The IRS' pattern of corruption

By George Will

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) is now chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee whose jurisdiction includes oversight of the Internal Revenue Service, and hence of Lois G. Lerner's legacy. He knows how interesting her career was before she, as head of the IRS tax-exempt organizations division, directed the suppression of conservative advocacy groups by delaying and denying them the exempt status that was swiftly given to comparable liberal groups.

In 2013, Roskam, in a televised committee hearing, told the story of Al Salvi, who in 1996 was the Republican Senate candidate against the then-congressman, now senator, Dick Durbin. Democrats filed charges with the Federal Election Commission against Salvi's campaign, charges that threatened to dominate the campaign's final weeks. Salvi telephoned the head of the FEC's Enforcement Division, who he says told him: "Promise me you will never run for office again, and we'll drop this case." That official was Lois Lerner. After Salvi lost, FBI agents visited his elderly mother, demanding to know, concerning her $2,000 contribution to her son's campaign, where she got "that kind of money." When a federal court held that the charges against Salvi were spurious, the FEC's losing lawyer was Lois Lerner.

Roskam's telling of Salvi's story elicited no denial from Lerner. Neither did the retelling of it in a column [June 13, 2013]. No wonder: The story had not been deemed newsworthy by the three broadcast networks' evening news programs, by the New York Times or by The Post. With most of the media uninterested in the use of government institutions to handicap conservatives, stonewalling would work.

It still is working through dilatory and incomplete responses to subpoenas, and unresponsive answers to congressional questions. Lerner's name now has an indelible Nixonian stain, but there probably will be no prosecution. If the administration's stonewalling continues as the statute of limitations clock ticks, Roskam says, "She will get away with it."

Now in his fifth House term, Roskam, 53, says, "The advantage in this town is always with the entity that doesn't want to do anything." Many thousands of Lerner's e-mails that supposedly were irretrievably lost have been found, but not released. The Justice Department's investigation, which was entrusted to a political appointee who was a generous contributor to Barack Obama's campaign, is a stone in the stone wall.

Roskam says the task now is "to see that Lois Lerner 2.0 is impossible." One place to begin is with the evidence — anecdotal but, in the context of proven IRS corruption, convincing — of other possibly punitive IRS behavior toward Republican contributors and other conservative activists. This justifies examining the IRS's audit selection process. This would produce interesting hearings for most of the media to ignore.

Next, there should be hearings into the illegal disclosure of taxpayer information about conservative individuals and groups to the media and to liberal officials and groups. Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer for some groups abused by the IRS (and for this columnist on different matters), also suggests prohibiting IRS employees from joining a union.

"The National Treasury Employees Union," she says, "provides no protection to IRS employees that federal statutes and the civil service system do not already provide. It already takes an act of God to hold an IRS employee accountable for his or her actions. But it is worse than merely redundant for IRS employees to belong to the NTEU. Because it adds nothing to its members' protections, it is a purely political organization. In 2014, fully 95 percent of its contributions went to Democrats, including 11 Democratic members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. So, the IRS employees' union dues finance the election of people who are supposed to scrutinize IRS behavior."

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments about whether the IRS's lawlessness has extended to its role in implementing the Affordable Care Act. The act says that federal subsidies shall be distributed by the IRS to persons who buy insurance through exchanges "established by the State." The act's logic and legislative history, as well as a forceful statement by one of its architects, professor Jonathan Gruber of MIT, demonstrate that this clear language was written to "squeeze" — Gruber's word — the states into establishing exchanges. But when 34 states did not establish them, the IRS began disbursing billions of dollars through federal exchanges.

The court probably will rule that the IRS acted contrary to law. If so, the IRS certainly will not have acted contrary to its pattern of corruption in the service of the current administration.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will030515.php3#sOcS7LEZjADEVdfP.99

3-5-15

Random Thoughts

By Thomas Sowell

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

• When President Obama keeps talking about "violent extremists" in the abstract, you might wonder whether Presbyterians are running amok.

• The mainstream media seem desperate to try to find something to undermine Republican governor Scott Walker's rise in the polls. The worst they have come up with is that he didn't finish college. Neither did Bill Gates or Michael Dell. The Wright brothers didn't finish high school. Neither did Abraham Lincoln or George Washington.

• Have you noticed that there seem to be an ever growing number of things that we are not supposed to say in public?

• Given the Obama administration's repeatedly failed policies in the Middle East and the lost credibility of the president's glib pronouncements, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress may be many Americans' first chance to get a realistic assessment of the Middle East situation and its potential for international catastrophe.

• Attempts to bring order out of the chaos in the paper jungle of my office usually get nowhere until I finally break everything down into just two categories: (1) urgently needed and (2) trash to be thrown out.

• It is going to take time to secure the border, and it ought to take time for Congress to explore the facts about immigrants from different countries before voting on new immigration legislation. Both processes can be going on at the same time. But those who want border security laws and immigration laws passed together — "comprehensive immigration reform" — are for denying us that time. Why?

• State Department official Marie Harf said, "We cannot win this war by killing them" but instead we need to get to the "root causes" of jihads by providing "job opportunities." We tried getting at the "root causes" of crime back in the 1960s — and crime rates skyrocketed. But we stopped the Nazis in World War II by killing them, instead of setting up a jobs program in Germany.

• The old advertising slogan, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" may or may not have been true. But surely the West should know by now that what happens in the Middle East does not stay in the Middle East. Throwing Israel to the wolves and signing agreements with Iran will not buy "peace in our time" and allow us to further shrink the military and expand the welfare state.

• Academics often defend tenure, despite its many negative consequences, on grounds that it allows academic freedom for independent minds. Yet there are few places in America with more taboos and intellectual intolerance than academic campuses. The young are indoctrinated with demographic "diversity" that contrasts with a squelching of diversity of ideas on social issues.

• It is remarkable how the Internal Revenue Service has been "losing" e-mails that Congressional investigators want to see and how "global warming" researchers have been "losing" the raw data on which their dire predictions have been based. In the social sciences, people just frankly refuse to allow their raw data to be seen by critics of such sacred cow policies as affirmative action.

• The radical feminist movement, so ready to go ballistic at any little remark that can be twisted to mean something offensive to women, has been strangely silent while ISIS has been raping women and even little girls wholesale, and selling them as sex slaves. Is the silence of the radical feminists just political expediency or moral bankruptcy? Or both?

• Secretary of State John Kerry says that there is less violence than usual in the world right now. Meanwhile the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, says the opposite, that terrorism is more violent and dangerous than ever. Since Clapper is Director of National Intelligence, maybe Kerry should have the title Director of National Stupidity.

• We should never again put a first-term Senator in the White House. But, of the three Republican first-term Senators who are prospective candidates for the 2016 nomination for president, Marco Rubio is one of the very few politicians of either party to publicly admit that he was wrong on a major issue — immigration. He may well be ready for the White House in 2020.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell030415.php3#scYPLi7Xh9R5rqO5.99

3-4-15

The Honesty Gap

By Thomas Sowell

There may be some poetic justice in the recent revelation that Hillary Clinton, who has made big noises about a "pay gap" between women and men, paid the women on her Senate staff just 72 percent of what she paid the men. The Obama White House staff likewise has a pay gap between women and men, as of course does the economy as a whole.

Does this mean that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both discriminate against women, that they are themselves part of the nefarious "war on women" that so many on the left loudly denounce? The poetic justice in the recent "pay gap" revelations is that the fundamental fraud in the statistics that are thrown around comes back to bite those who are promoting that fraud for political purposes.

What makes such statistics fraudulent is that they are comparing apples and oranges.

Innumerable studies, going back for decades, have shown that women do not average as many hours of work per year as men, do not have as many consecutive years of full-time employment as men, do not work in the same mix of occupations as men and do not specialize in the same mix of subjects in college as men.

Back in 1996, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that young male physicians earned 41 percent higher incomes than young female physicians. But the same study showed that young male physicians worked over 500 hours a year more than young female physicians.

When the study took into account differences in hours of work, in the fields in which male and female doctors specialized and other differences in their job characteristics, "no earnings difference was evident." In other words, when you compare apples to apples, you don't get the "gender gap" in pay that you get when you compare apples to oranges.

This is not peculiar to the medical profession. Nor was this a new revelation, even back in 1996. Many studies done by many scholars over the years — including female scholars — show the same thing, again and again.

A breakdown of statistics in an old monograph of mine — "Affirmative Action in Academia" — showed the pay differential between women and men evaporating, or even reversing, as you compared individuals with truly comparable characteristics. This was back in 1975, forty years ago!

There might have been some excuse for believing that income differences between women and men were proof of discrimination back in the 1960s. But there is no excuse for continuing to use misleading statistics in the 21st century, when their flaws have been exposed repeatedly and long ago.

Many kinds of high-level and high-pressure careers require working 50 or 60 hours a week regularly, and women with children — or expecting to have children — seldom choose those kinds of careers.

Nor is there any reason why they should, if they don't want to. Raising a child is not an incidental activity that you can do in your spare time, like collecting stamps or bowling.

If you trace the actual history of women in high-level careers, you will find that it bears no resemblance to the radical feminist fable, in which advances began with the "women's liberation" movement in the 1960s and new anti-discrimination laws.

In reality, women were far better represented in professional occupations in the first three decades of the 20th century than in the middle of that century. Women received a larger share of the postgraduate degrees necessary for such careers in the earlier era than in the 1950s and 1960s.

The proportion of women among the high achievers listed in "Who's Who in America" in 1902 was more than double the proportion listed in 1958. The decline of women in high-level careers occurred when women's age of marriage and child-bearing declined during the mid-century "baby boom" years.

The later rise of women began when the age of marriage and child-bearing rose again. In 1972 women again received as high a proportion of doctoral degrees as they had back in 1932.

The truth is not nearly as politically useful as scare statistics. The "gender gap" is not nearly as big as the honesty gap.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell030315.php3#ZxyU8YyVIbHQ8SHy.99

3-3-15

Applauding an Elegant Conservative

By Ben Carson

Recently, I was temporarily placed on the Southern Poverty Law Center's watch list for extremism simply because I vocally support traditional marriage. I remember thinking: When did advocating for lifelong love between one man and one woman become a hate crime? Fortunately, the group saw the folly of its ways and apologized, removing me from the list.

It was a small battle, a blip in the daily life of someone who has entered the political arena. And I enjoyed the support of many who rallied in the conservative media to my cause to help reverse such a silly distinction. But it wasn't that long ago when liberal extremism tried to suffocate traditional values, and there were few media voices to come to the rescue.

There was one, though, so powerful and elegant, persistent yet graceful. Her name is Phyllis Schlafly. And for the past 90 years she has been a tireless advocate for the nuclear family, for traditional marriage and for common-sense conservatism that resists injecting government into every aspect of our lives. On Wednesday night, she will be honored at the Paul Weyrich Awards dinner that precedes the start of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Schlafly fought battles most lacked the courage to fight, and time and again she won. She has been credited for single-handedly stopping the Equal Rights Amendment, which in the 1970s was racing on a media freight train toward ratification. Schlafly stopped it dead in its tracks. It was not because she didn't believe women deserve rights, but rather because she rightfully recognized the ERA was skewed toward favoring young professional women, and that it would punish middle-aged and older women who chose to stay at home and raise their families by taking away "dependent wife" benefits under Social Security and alimony.

Through good and bad economic times, and the ebb and flow of conservative activism, Phyllis Schlafly has remained a steady voice for common sense and traditional values. Her speeches, books, TV appearances and radio commentaries blazed the way for modern conservatism while also protecting the rights of traditional families from the onslaught of Hollywood's culture wars.

Her voice is as relevant and strong today as it was more than a half-century ago when she made the famous case for Barry Goldwater's conservatism in her great book "A Choice, Not An Echo." In her 2014 book "Who Killed the American Family?" she eloquently touched my heart with her keen insights on how President Obama's agenda and decades of prior liberal tax-code changes and court interference have substituted government intervention for parenting and federal dependency for self-reliance.

Like she has for most of 90 years on this planet, Schlafly cut right to the chase in diagnosing the problem with America today. In plain, simple and compelling language, she rightfully declared that "the government is making ordinary decisions about what the kid does that ought to be made by the mothers and fathers." So simple a declaration, and yet so true.

For those who believe this battle is already lost or isn't worth fighting anymore because the cards are stacked against conservatives, I implore you to step back and examine the extraordinary life of Phyllis Schlafly. She has proved that what seemed impossible can be achieved. She has lived a life of virtue and has never been tempted to compromise. And she has made the most compelling case that the family unit must be preserved in order for America's greatness to extend into future generations. For that extraordinary contribution, I salute her on this special day.


Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0215/carson022515.php3#30ExkkTGiY15diK2.99

3-2-15

The Cancer of Multiculturalism

By Walter Williams

President Barack Obama surprised many at the National Prayer Breakfast when he lectured us, "Lest we get on our high horse and think this (barbarity) is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ." Obama went on to explain, "In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often (were) justified in the name of Christ." In Obama's mind, Western outrage at Islamic barbarism should be tempered by the remembrance of what Christians did a thousand years ago in the name of Christ. Plus, that outrage should be chastened by our own history of slavery and Jim Crow.

President Obama's vision is that of a man brainwashed through an academic vision of multiculturalism, in which American exceptionalism has no place. It's a vision that has been shaped by a longtime association with people who hate our country, people such as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Weather Underground leader and Pentagon bomber William Ayers and Ayers' onetime fugitive wife, Bernardine Dohrn. A vision that sees a moral equivalency between what Christians did centuries ago and today's Islamic savagery is quite prevalent in academia. It's part of what's worshipped on most college campuses as diversity and multiculturalism.

College campus idiots — and that includes faculty members and administrators — call for the celebration of and respect for all cultures. In their eyes, it's racist Eurocentrism to think that Western values and culture are superior to others. But that's the height of stupidity. Ask your campus multiculturalist who believes in cultural equivalency: Is forcible female genital mutilation, as practiced in nearly 30 sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern countries, a morally equivalent cultural value? Slavery is practiced in Sudan and Niger; is that a cultural equivalent? In most of the Middle East, there are numerous limits on women — such as prohibitions on driving, employment, voting and education. Under Islamic law, in some countries, female adulterers face death by stoning, and thieves face the punishment of having their hand severed. Some multiculturalists are members of campus LGBT groups. Ask them to what extent the Muslim culture would tolerate their lifestyle.

At the very heart of multiculturalism is an attack on Christianity. Much of that attack has its roots among hypocrites in the intellectual elite. For example, Duke University sponsored Muslim calls to prayer in the name of promoting "religious pluralism," until external pressures forced it to cancel the practice. Earlier, Duke administrators removed Chick-fil-A as a campus vendor because of CEO Dan Cathy's comments regarding his religious opposition to homosexual marriage. So much for religious pluralism, tolerance and free speech.

Some public school boards have attempted to ban songs containing references to Santa Claus, Jesus or religious Christmas symbols. One school district banned a teacher from using excerpts from historical documents in his classroom because they contained references to God and Christianity. The documents in question were the Declaration of Independence and "The Rights of the Colonists," by Samuel Adams.

Western values are by no means secure. They're under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. These people want to replace personal liberty with government control; they want to replace equality with entitlement; they want to halt progress in order to worship Mother Earth. As such, they pose a far greater threat to our way of life than any Islamic terrorist or group. Visions of multiculturalism and diversity are a cancer on our society. We stupidly fund them with our tax dollars and generous charitable donations.

Islamists and leftists attack not only Christianity but also free market capitalism. They do so because Christian nations, which have a great measure of economic liberty, have been at the forefront of the struggle for personal liberty and private property rights for centuries. Personal liberty and private property are anathemas to people who want to control our lives. That is part and parcel of the multicultural and diversity movements infecting the Western world.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams022515.php3#FFyWT6utTUFDlZgw.99

3-1-15

A fatal flaw: America's looming capitulation to Iran

By Charles Krauthammer

A sunset clause?

The news from the nuclear talks with Iran was already troubling. Iran was being granted the "right to enrich." It would be allowed to retain and spin thousands of centrifuges. It could continue construction of the Arak plutonium reactor. Yet so thoroughly was Iran stonewalling International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors that just last Thursday the IAEA reportedits concern "about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed . . .development of a nuclear payload for a missile."

Bad enough. Then it got worse: News leaked Monday of the elements of a "sunset clause." President Obama had accepted the Iranian demand that any restrictions on its program be time-limited. After which, the mullahs can crank up their nuclear program at will and produce as much enriched uranium as they want.

Sanctions lifted. Restrictions gone. Nuclear development legitimized. Iran would reenter the international community, as Obama suggested in an interview in December, as "a very successful regional power." A few years — probably around 10 — of good behavior and Iran would be home free.

The agreement thus would provide a predictable path to an Iranian bomb. Indeed, a flourishing path, with trade resumed, oil pumping and foreign investment pouring into a restored economy.

Meanwhile, Iran's intercontinental ballistic missile program is subject to no restrictions at all. It's not even part of these negotiations.

Why is Iran building them? You don't build ICBMs in order to deliver sticks of dynamite. Their only purpose is to carry nuclear warheads. Nor does Iran need an ICBM to hit Riyadh or Tel Aviv. Intercontinental missiles are for reaching, well, other continents. North America, for example.

Such an agreement also means the end of nonproliferation. When a rogue state defies the world, continues illegal enrichment and then gets the world to bless an eventual unrestricted industrial-level enrichment program, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is dead. And regional hyperproliferation becomes inevitable as Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others seek shelter in going nuclear themselves.

Wasn't Obama's great international cause a nuclear-free world? Within months of his swearing-in, he went to Prague to so declare. He then led a 50-party Nuclear Security Summit, one of whose proclaimed achievements was having Canada give up some enriched uranium.

Having disarmed the Canadian threat, Obama turned to Iran. The deal now on offer to the ayatollah would confer legitimacy on the nuclearization of the most rogue of rogue regimes: radically anti-American, deeply jihadist,purveyor of terrorism from Argentina to Bulgaria, puppeteer of a Syrian regime that specializes in dropping barrel bombs on civilians. In fact, the Iranian regime just this week, at the apex of these nuclear talks, staged a spectacular attack on a replica U.S. carrier near the Strait of Hormuz.

Well, say the administration apologists, what's your alternative? Do you want war?

It's Obama's usual, subtle false-choice maneuver: It's either appeasement or war.

It's not. True, there are no good choices, but Obama's prospective deal is the worst possible. Not only does Iran get a clear path to the bomb but it gets sanctions lifted, all pressure removed and international legitimacy.

There is a third choice. If you are not stopping Iran's program, don't give away the store. Keep the pressure, keep the sanctions. Indeed, increase them. After all, previous sanctions brought Iran to its knees and to the negotiating table in the first place. And that was before the collapse of oil prices, which would now vastly magnify the economic effect of heightened sanctions.

Congress is proposing precisely that. Combined with cheap oil, it could so destabilize the Iranian economy as to threaten the clerical regime. That's the opening. Then offer to renew negotiations for sanctions relief but from a very different starting point — no enrichment. Or, if you like, with a few token centrifuges for face-saving purposes.

And no sunset.

That's the carrot. As for the stick, make it quietly known that the United States will not stand in the way of any threatened nation that takes things into its own hands. We leave the regional threat to the regional powers, say, Israeli bombers overflying Saudi Arabia.

Consider where we began: six U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding an end to Iranian enrichment. Consider what we are now offering: an interim arrangement ending with a sunset clause that allows the mullahs a robust, industrial-strength, internationally sanctioned nuclear program.

Such a deal makes the Cuba normalization look good and the Ukrainian cease-fires positively brilliant. We are on the cusp of an epic capitulation. History will not be kind.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer022715.php3#FShuZZT0Qdz7CVLQ.99


 

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