"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
Feb. 23, 1945
Those depending upon a benevolent government will find the same benevolence a sheep may find among a pack of wolves.
Obama official 'fesses up: 'Narrative' created by administration sold Iran nuclear deal to clueless press
By Paul Farhi
WASHINGTON --- One of President Barack Obama's top national security advisers led journalists to believe a misleading timeline of U.S. negotiations with Iran over a nuclear-disarmament agreement and relied on inexperienced reporters to create an "echo chamber" that helped sway public opinion to seal the deal, according to a lengthy magazine profile.
Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, told the New York Times magazine that he helped promote a "narrative" that the administration started negotiations with Iran after the supposedly moderate Hassan Rouhani was elected president in 2013. In fact, the administration's negotiations actually began earlier, with the country's powerful Islamic faction, and the framework for an agreement was hammered out before Rouhani's election.
The distinction is important because of the perception that Rouhani was more favorably disposed toward American interests and more trustworthy than the hard-line faction that holds ultimate power in Iran.
White House press secretary Josh Earnest on Friday disputed the notion that there was anything misleading about the administration's advocacy of the agreement.
"I haven't seen anybody produce any evidence that that's the case," he said at his daily briefing. "I recognize there might be some people who are disappointed that they did not succeed in killing the Iran deal. Maybe these unfounded claims are the result of sour grapes. The truth is, the administration, under the direction of the president, engaged in an aggressive campaign to make a strong case to the American people that the international agreement to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon enhanced the national security of the United States."
Rhodes, 38, said in the article that it was easy to shape a favorable impression of the proposed agreement because of the inexperience of many of those covering the issue.
"All these newspapers used to have foreign bureaus," he said. "Now they don't. They call us to explain to them what's happening in Moscow and Cairo. Most of the outlets are reporting on world events from Washington. The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. That's a sea change. They literally know nothing."
Rhodes set up a team of staffers who were focused on promoting the deal, which apparently including the feeding of talking points at useful times in the news cycle to foreign policy experts who were favorably disposed toward it. "We created an echo chamber," he told the magazine. "They (the seemingly independent experts) were saying things that validated what we had given them to say."
The manager of the White House's Iran twitter feed, Tanya Somanader, said one reporter, Laura Rozen of the Al-Monitor news site, became "my RSS feed. She would just find everything and retweet it."
Rozen, in an email, said she does not know Somanader and that Samuels did not ask her about the staffer's claim before publishing his story. "As I read it, (Somanader) says my Twitter feed was a source of info for her ... Samuels seems to mischaracterize that to say the opposite."
She said she has had a long interest in U.S. Iran policy and covered "over 20 rounds of the Iran nuclear deal negotiations" over four years. "I do retweet lots of info, from lots of sources" - including, she noted, the Russian Ministry of Defense, "which I hardly expect most to take at face value or as an endorsement." She maintained that her coverage of the Iran nuclear diplomacy "was certainly not done as a favor to or in support of any administration."
Rhodes' assistant, Ned Price, told the newspaper that the administration would feed "color" - background details - to their "compadres" in the press corps, "and the next thing I know, lots of these guys are in the dot-com publishing space, and have huge Twitter followings, and they'll be putting this message out on their own."
In the story, Rhodes speaks contemptuously of the Washington policy and media establishment, including The Washington Post and New York Times, referring to them as "the blob" that was subject to conventional thinking about foreign policy.
"We had test drives to know who was going to be able to carry our message effectively, and how to use outside groups like (the anti-nuclear group) Ploughshares, the Iran Project and whomever else. So we knew the tactics that worked," Rhodes said.
Speaking of Republicans and other opponents, including Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Rhodes added that he knew "we drove them crazy."
He also cast doubt on the moderate nature of Iran's regime: "I would prefer that it turns out that Rouhani and (Iranian foreign minister Javad) Zarif are real reformers who are going to be steering this country into the direction that I believe it can go in, because their public is educated and, in some respects, pro-American. But we are not betting on that."
Rhodes' boss, Obama, has been a strong and consistent advocate for the agreement with Iran, which requires the country to stop its nuclear weapons program in exchange for the lifting of economic sanctions. He reinforced the misleading administration timeline in announcing the agreement last July. "Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States, together with our international partners, has achieved something that decades of animosity has not," he said then.
Rhodes' free-wheeling and cynical comments reminded several White House and national-security reporters of an infamous 2010 story in Rolling Stone magazine in which Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, and his aides mocked civilian government officials, including Vice President Joe Biden. McChrystal apologized for the comments but later tendered his resignation, which Obama accepted.
The Times article notes that Rhodes is a published short-story writer and aspiring novelist who is a skilled "storyteller."
"He is adept at constructing overarching plotlines with heroes and villains, their conflicts supported by flurries of carefully chosen adjectives, quotations and leaks from named and unnamed senior officials," author David Samuels wrote. "He is the master shaper and retailer of Obama's foreign-policy narratives."
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0516/farhi050916.php3#4VscDD1bDVuo7dtz.99
Hillary's Secret Weapon
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Last weekend, Hillary Clinton dispatched her husband, former President Bill Clinton, to offer a defense of her alleged espionage. The espionage allegations against her are that in order to escape public and Obama administration scrutiny, she had all of her emails as secretary of state diverted from a secure government server to a non-secure server in her home in Chappaqua, New York, and, in so doing, failed to protect state secrets in at least 2,200 instances during her four-year tenure.
The essence of her husband's defense is that the secrets were not secrets when she saw them and the investigation of her is all "a game."
We know that the FBI is getting closer to Hillary Clinton, because Bill Clinton had not addressed her email issues publicly before last weekend. The defense he offered belies the facts and the law.
He argued that prosecuting his wife over her emails is akin to prosecuting someone for driving a car in a 50-mile-per-hour zone at 40 mph because the police have arbitrarily and without notice changed the speed limit to 35 mph.
The implication in his argument is that Mrs. Clinton's emails were retroactively classified as confidential, secret or top-secret after she received or sent them and therefore she had no notice of their sensitivity.
His argument is unavailing for two reasons. The first is that it is untrue. Emails are confidential, secret or top-secret at the time they are created, whether marked or not.
The second reason is that Mrs. Clinton signed an oath on her first full day as secretary of state — after she received a two-hour tutorial from two FBI agents on the proper care and lawful handling of state secrets. In that oath, she acknowledged that she had an obligation to recognize and protect state secrets on the basis of the sensitive nature of the information contained in them — whether they bore classified warnings or markings or not.
State secrets are materials that, if revealed, could harm the national security of the United States.
Bill Clinton's speed zone example, if true, would be a profound violation of due process, the foundation of which is notice. In a free society, for a prosecution to be successful, the government must show that the defendant had notice of the behavior expected of her. Hence, changing the speed limit without notice would be a profound violation of due process and fatal to a prosecution for speeding.
His example is not even remotely analogous to Mrs. Clinton's behavior while secretary of state.
Why did he address this last Saturday?
He probably did so for two reasons. The first is that people in Hillary Clinton's inner circle from her time as secretary of state have been offered interviews by the FBI. They all hired the same lawyer, and with that lawyer, they are in the process of answering FBI questions. Bill Clinton — for whom the FBI once worked — knows that the investigation will soon be at his wife's doorstep, and he wanted to get her version out to Democratic primary voters.
The second reason for Mr. Clinton's broadside relates to an obscure but profound admission by the Department of Justice. Here is the back story.
One of the 39 Freedom of Information Act lawsuits brought in connection with Mrs. Clinton's email scandal was filed recently by Jason Leopold, a reporter for Vice News. He seeks copies of the emails Clinton tried unsuccessfully to wipe clean from her server, as well as copies of communications between the DOJ and Mrs. Clinton.
The DOJ moved to dismiss his lawsuit, and in support of its motion, it filed a secret affidavit with the court, signed by an FBI agent familiar with the bureau's investigation of Mrs. Clinton. In its brief filed the day before Mr. Clinton made his silly speeding prosecution analogy, the DOJ — which also once worked for him — characterized the secret affidavit as a summary of the investigation of Mrs. Clinton. The DOJ argued that compliance with Leopold's FOIA request would jeopardize that investigation by exposing parts of it prematurely.
In the same brief, the DOJ referred to the investigation of Mrs. Clinton as a law enforcement proceeding.
That was the first public acknowledgment by the DOJ that it is investigating criminal behavior — a law enforcement proceeding — and it directly contradicts Mrs. Clinton's oft-repeated assertions that the FBI investigation is merely a routine review of the State Department's classification procedures.
Many in the legal and intelligence communities have discounted her assertions because reviewing classification procedures of the State Department is not a function of the FBI, but now we have the government's own words that its investigation of Mrs. Clinton's email handling is one implicating law enforcement. Since that late Friday filing, Mrs. Clinton has ceased referring publicly to the FBI probe as an evaluation of the State Department's security procedures.
Perhaps she should tell her husband what was on that server before she tries to use him as a not-so-secret weapon.
Perhaps she now recognizes how hard-pressed she will be to claim to the FBI or to a jury that she did not know that satellite photos of a North Korean nuclear facility or transcripts from wiretaps of Yemeni intelligence agents' cellphone calls or the itinerary of the late U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens in the days before his murder or true names of American undercover intelligence agents — all of which were in her emails — were state secrets.
Perhaps she knows now that this is not a game.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0516/napolitano050516.php3#oYW8dPBfHRpetoPf.99
Outrageous! The government tossed its original Fannie and Freddie rescue terms, preferring instead to take all the profits
By George Will
Gigantic government’s complexity and opacity provide innumerable opportunities for opportunists to act unconstrained by clear law or effective supervision. Today’s example, involving the government’s expropriation of hundreds of billions of dollars, features three sets of unsympathetic actors — a grasping federal government, a few hedge funds nimble at exploiting the commingling of government and the private sector, and two anomalous institutions that should never have existed.
The two are the “government-sponsored enterprises” (GSEs) Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. This maddeningly complex story illustrates the toll the administrative state takes on the rule of law.
The two federally chartered but privately owned GSEs, which guarantee 80?percent of American mortgages, were created because Washington wanted to engineer — what could go wrong? — more homeownership than market forces would produce. What could go wrong did, and in 2008 the two GSEs floundered. In September 2008, the government rescued them with $187.5 billion and placed them in conservatorship, which is supposed to be temporary and rehabilitative. A conserved entity should be returned to normal business in private ownership.
Fannie and Freddie have recuperated profitably. They also have been nationalized.
The government’s original rescue terms were for Fannie and Freddie to pay a stiff dividend on the bailout funds — 10?percent, amounting to $4.7 billion per quarter. Then, however, the Treasury Department was told of the GSEs’ strong recoveries. According to documents recently unsealed,on Aug. 9, 2012, Treasury was told that the GSEs’ prospects were for strong profitability, requiring no further government assistance.
Eight days later, Treasury negotiated with the GSEs’ conservator, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), for an astounding revision (called “the third amendment”) of policy: Instead of the agreed-upon dividend, and already enjoying a right to 80 percent of the GSEs’ profits, the government would get 100 percent forever, far exceeding the size of the original bailout.
So, the government (Treasury) negotiated with itself (FHFA) to achieve a windfall for itself. And the conservator abandoned its duty to safeguard the assets of the entities in conservatorship.
The government claims it changed the terms in order to avoid any need to give the GSEs additional funds to pay the 10?percent dividend on funds already received. This claim, however, is not credible, given what and when the government knew about the GSEs’ profitability.
After the government “negotiated” with itself for the GSEs’ profits, the value of their shares cratered. Some hedge funds bet that the government’s transformation of the GSEs into a revenue stream for itself would not survive judicial scrutiny. They added to the GSEs’ shares they had bought before the “third amendment” when they mistakenly trusted the government to act properly as a conservator. They purchased additional shares for pennies on the dollar.
Legal scrutiny has arrived in the form of lawsuits with enormous stakes. One hedge fund stands to make $7.5 billion if the government is found to have unconstitutionally taken private property without compensation.
A federal judge has sided with the federal government. (See a pattern here?) He made the “utterly astounding” (New York University law professor Richard Epstein’s characterization) judgment — “without allowing any discovery about the underlying facts” (Epstein) — that a fiduciary (FHFA) can take private assets of the fiduciary’s supposed beneficiaries and transfer them to the government. Epstein expects a higher court “to decide that government conservators, like private conservators, cannot loot the corporations whose shareholders they are sworn to protect.”
Many individuals and community banks invested in Fannie and Freddie in good faith and have been injured by the government’s profit confiscation. Granted, a few wealthy people would become more so from judicial invalidation of the “third amendment.” This, however, is at most an argument against creating the moral hazard inherent in GSEs. It is not an argument for allowing the anomalous nature of these institutions to justify lawless discretion by a government as self-interested as those who would profit from restraining the government with law.
After the Revolutionary War, many state debts were bought by speculators at steep discounts from the original purchasers, who feared that the states would not pay face value. The buyers, however, wagered correctly that the federal government would assume the debts and pay at par in order to establish the nation’s creditworthiness. Alexander Hamilton successfully argued for assumption. Thomas Jefferson and his allies reluctantly acquiesced in exchange for a more southern location for the nation’s new capital.
Which is why Washington is where it is. Fannie’s and Freddie’s misadventures illustrate why Washington is what it is.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will050516.php3#jrdtcbwB31lYStvg.99
By Walter Williams
Republican presidential aspirant John Kasich stirred up angry words from women's organizations and the Democratic Party by his response to a question from a female college student at a town hall meeting in Watertown, New York, regarding sexual assault. Kasich said all the right things about prosecuting offenders, but what got the Ohio governor in trouble with leftists was the end of his response: "I'd also give you one bit of advice: Don't go to parties where there's a lot of alcohol, OK? Don't do that." Let's examine that advice. To do so, let's ask some general questions about common sense.
Does one have a right to put his wallet on the hood of his car, attend a movie show, return and find his wallet and its contents undisturbed? You say, "Williams, you've lost it! Why would one do such a crazy thing?" If that's your response, you miss the point made by Kasich's critics. People are duty-bound to respect private property rights. So why shouldn't one feel at ease leaving his wallet on the hood of his car and expect it to be there when he returns?
If the person's wallet were stolen, what would you advise? Would it be to counsel people to respect private property rights? Put into the context of feminists' responses to Kasich's suggestion, you might argue that it's outrageous to suggest that people "restrict their behavior." Plain, ordinary common sense would say yes, a person has the right to lay his wallet on the hood of his car and expect it to be there when he returns. But we don't live in a world full of angels; therefore, the best bet is for one to keep his wallet in his pocket.
Here's a does-the-same-principle-apply question. Does a voluptuous, scantily clad young woman have a right to attend a rowdy fraternity party, dance suggestively, get drunk and face no unwelcome sexual advances? My answer is yes. Her body is her private property, and she has every right to expect that her inebriated state not be exploited. Suppose you were the young woman's father. Would you advise the following? "Go ahead and wear scanty attire, dance suggestively and get drunk. If a guy makes unwelcome advances, we'll catch him and bring rape charges." I'm betting that most fathers' advice would be the opposite, namely: "Dress and behave like a respectable lady, and don't attend drunken parties and get drunk." It's similar to the advice about leaving a wallet on the hood of a car. People are not angels, and one's conduct ought to take that into consideration.
Suppose you have a well-behaved, law-abiding son whose friends are not so well-behaved and law-abiding. They do drugs, shoplift and play hooky. Your son does none of those things. As a responsible parent, your advice to your son would be that it is better to be alone than in the wrong company and that people judge you based upon the people with whom you associate. Your son might respond by saying, "I have rights. If I'm not doing something wrong, I shouldn't be judged based on what my friends do!" Your response should be, "You're right, but unfortunately, the world doesn't work that way."
Here's another common-sense issue particularly relevant to today's police/citizen relations. Suppose it's the middle of the night and a police officer is suspicious of a young male driver. The officer uses the excuse that the young man made an illegal lane change to pull him over. If the driver were your son, what would you advise him to do, exercise his free speech rights to berate the officer for making a stop on such a flimsy basis? Or would you advise him to quietly give the officer his license and registration and answer the officer's questions, which probably would allow him to drive away without a citation at all?
To teach young people, particularly young men, Benjamin Franklin's admonition that "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" is a challenging task. But it is the job of adults to get such common-sense messages across, even at the cost of leftist condemnation.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams050416.php3#Utm7AwZKvABDrwpG.99
Tale of 2 tribes: “Climate refugees” vs. EPA victims
By Michelle Malkin
The left has concocted a lucrative category of politically correct victims: “climate refugees.” It’s the new Green racket.
U.S. taxpayers will now be forking over untold billions to ease the pain allegedly inflicted on “carbon’s casualties” by industrial activity. By contrast, those who have suffered as a direct result of government incompetence by federal environmental bureaucrats continue to get the shaft.
Consider the plight of two tribes: the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw in Louisiana and the Navajo Nation in New Mexico.
The New York Times splashed a viral story on its pages this week spotlighting the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s $48 million grant to Native-Americans who live in the flood-ravaged coastal community of Isle de Jean Charles. About 60 residents, the majority of whom belong to the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe, will be resettled to drier land.
That’s a whopping $800,000 per “climate refugee!”
Never mind that the Times’ propagandists themselves admit that erosion on the island began in 1955 as a result of land-use and land-management factors that had nothing to do with climate change.
“Channels cut by loggers and oil companies eroded much of the island,” the paper reported, “and decades of flood control efforts have kept once free-flowing rivers from replenishing the wetlands’ sediments.”
Never mind that there are conflicting scientific analyses on the extent to which man-made greenhouses gases have caused sea levels to rise; whether the rate is accelerating; and how much, if any, reducing carbon emissions would actually mitigate purportedly rising sea levels.
Never mind that enviro-alarmists have conveniently changed their tune from blaming global warming for causing sea level rises to blaming global warming for causing sea level drops.
Oh, and never mind that many of the inhabitants of Isle de Jean Charles — whose forefathers originally moved there to escape forced government relocation under the 1830 Indian Removal Act — don’t even want to leave and have fought resettlement efforts for decades.
Obama’s social engineers are already plotting how to replicate the climate change relocation program. “We see this as setting a precedent for the rest of the country, the rest of the world,” declared HUD official Marion McFadden, who is running the program.
Even worse, the United Nations is looking to preemptively “address extreme weather displacement” by targeting refugees even before any apocalyptic event has caused them to seek refuge.
Can you spell “manufacturing a crisis”?
While these meddling liberals conspire to displace one tribe in the name of saving the planet, another tribe is still begging for help after Obama’s destructive EPA poisoned their waters.
It’s been almost eight months since an Environmental Protection Agency contractor recklessly knocked a hole at the long-abandoned Gold King Mine in Colorado’s San Juan Mountains. You should know that Washington has long schemed to declare it a Superfund site, which would increase its power, budget and access over the region.
A federally sponsored wrecking crew poking around in the mine last August triggered a 3 million-ton flood of bright orange gunk into the Animas River. EPA’s blithering idiots delayed notifying local residents for 24 hours and downplayed the toxic spill’s effects.
Downstream, the muck seeped into the San Juan River in New Mexico, where the Navajo Nation lives and farms. The impact on drinking water and livelihoods has been catastrophic. But the Obama administration refused the tribe’s request for disaster relief from FEMA last fall and yanked emergency water tanks the EPA had supplied for Navajo livestock.
Navajo Nation chief Russell Begaye blasted the White House at the time for shirking its responsibilities.
“U.S. EPA caused this entire disaster, they have harmed the people, the water and the land. … For years, we have consistently been at the receiving end of toxic spills and contamination with no adequate relief as the United States Government and Private Companies became wealthy off of the natural resources of the Navajo Nation.”
Our eco-savior on the Potomac’s response to the victims of his man-caused, government-engineered disaster: Never mind.
• One of the problems with being a pessimist is that you can never celebrate when you are proven right.
• If what you want from politicians are quick and easy answers, someone is sure to supply them, regardless of which party you follow. History can tell you where quick and easy answers lead. But, if you don't want to bother reading history, you can just wait and relive its catastrophes.
• What is "economic power"? What can Bill Gates stop you from doing?
• I don't understand how people who cannot predict the weather five days in advance can predict the climate decades from now.
• One of history's painful ironies is how often people on the brink of disaster have been preoccupied with trivialities. With a nuclear Iran with intercontinental missiles looming on the horizon, our intelligentsia are preoccupied with calling achievements "privilege" and playing other word games.
• Of life's many surprises, encountering an old flame, years later, is in a class by itself.
• Some people seem to think that Donald Trump has great abilities because he is a billionaire. But being born rich and getter richer is not exactly a Horatio Alger miracle.
• Of all the disheartening signs of the utter ignorance of so many American college students, nothing so completely disheartened me as seeing on television a black college student who did not know what the Civil War was about. Fifty years ago, it would have been virtually impossible to find a black adult, with even an elementary school education, who did not know what the Civil War was about.
• Global warming, due to greenhouse gasses, is the latest in a long series of one-factor theories about a multi-factor world. Such theories have often enjoyed great popularity, despite how often they have turned out to be wrong.
• One of the most richly rewarded skills in politics is the ability to make self-interest sound like idealism. Nowhere is this tactic more successful than in so-called "campaign finance reform" laws — spending restrictions that prevent challenger candidates from buying enough publicity to offset the free publicity that incumbents get from the media.
• At one time, it seemed as if the free world had defeated the world of totalitarian dictatorships twice — first the Nazis and then the Communists. But, with the slow but steady expansion of government control over our lives and the spread of the idea that people who deny "climate change" should be punished as criminals, it seems as if totalitarianism may be winning, after all.
• People who want to redistribute wealth often misunderstand the nature and causes of wealth. Tangible wealth can be confiscated, but you cannot confiscate the knowledge which produced that wealth. Countries that confiscated the wealth of some groups and expelled them, destitute, have often seen the economy collapse, while the expelled people became prosperous again elsewhere.
• Some people think that Ted Cruz would not have as good a chance against Hillary Clinton as would Donald Trump. They say that Cruz does not have a sparkling style of speaking. But, after months of hearing childish insults from Trump, the public may be ready for some serious adult talk by someone with substance, who can cut right through Hillary's shallow evasions.
• To me, beautiful music is whatever music makes you glad to be a human being, whether it is "Musetta's Waltz" from "La Boheme" or "Muskrat Ramble" from New Orleans. Much of what passes for music today makes me wish that, if there is such a thing as reincarnation, I can come back as a dolphin.
• Republican leaders seem to be worried that Donald Trump will get the nomination and lose the election. Those of us who are not Republicans should worry that Trump will get the nomination and win the election. After all, the fate of the country is a lot more important than the fate of a political party — and in far greater danger.
• As this country continues to degenerate, we hope that it never reaches the desperate stage where only a military coup can rescue it from catastrophes created by feckless politicians. But, if that day ever arrives, we can only hope that the military will do their duty and step in. It is one of the few institutions dedicated to something besides individual self-interest.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell050316.php3#UTXfE41y2fzSkuAQ.99
Fruit of the Poisonous Tree
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Would all of our lives be safer if the government could break down all the doors it wishes, listen to all the conversations it could find and read whatever emails and text messages it could acquire? Perhaps. But who would want to live in such a society?
To prevent that from happening here, the Framers ratified the Fourth Amendment, which is the linchpin of privacy and was famously called by Justice Louis Brandeis "the right to be let alone — the most comprehensive of rights and the right most valued by civilized men." He wrote those words in his dissent in the first wiretapping case to reach the Supreme Court, Olmstead v. United States, in 1928.
Roy Olmstead had been convicted for bootlegging on the basis of words he used in overheard telephone conversations. Because he had used a phone at his place of work that the government had tapped without breaking and entering his workplace, the high court ruled — despite the fact that the government had not obtained a warrant — that he had no right to privacy. Brandeis dissented.
Over time, the Brandeis dissent became the law. The Fourth Amendment, which protects the privacy of all in our "persons, houses, papers, and effects," was interpreted to cover telephone conversations and eventually emails and text messages. So today, if the government wants information contained in those communications, it needs to obtain a search warrant, which the Fourth Amendment states can only be given by a judge — and only upon a showing of probable cause of evidence of a crime contained in the communications it seeks.
If the government does not obtain a search warrant and listens to phone conversations or reads emails or text messages nevertheless and attempts to use what it heard or read to acquire other evidence or directly in the prosecution of a defendant, that is unlawful. That type of information is known as the fruit of the poisonous tree.
Evidence procured that is the fruit of the poisonous tree has been inadmissible in federal criminal prosecutions in the United States for the past 100 years and in state criminal prosecutions for the past 50 years.
Now comes the super-secret court established by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, reaffirmed by Congress last year under the so-called USA Freedom Act. Beware the names of federal statutes, as they often produce results that are the opposite of what their names imply; and this is one of them.
Congress has unconstitutionally authorized the FISA court to issue search warrants on the basis of governmental need — a standard that is no standard at all because the government can always claim that it needs what it wants. The FISA court does not require a showing of probable cause for its warrants, because it accepts the myth that the government is listening to or reading words by foreign people for foreign intelligence purposes only, not for prosecutorial purposes.
Never mind that Congress cannot change the plain meaning of the Constitution. Never mind that the Fourth Amendment protects all people in the United States, American or foreign, from all parts of the government for all purposes, not just criminal prosecutions.
Yet the FISA court still grants general warrants — look where you wish and seize what you find — exposing our innermost thoughts to the prying eyes of the intelligence community in direct contravention of the Fourth Amendment.
Enter the USA Freedom Act. One of its selling points to Congress was that it would permit the FISA court to appoint a lawyer to challenge hypothetically some of its behavior. The court recently made such an appointment, and the lawyer appointed challenged the policy of the National Security Agency, the federal government's domestic spying agency, of sharing data it acquires via the unconstitutional FISA warrants with the FBI. She argued that the data sharing goes far beyond the stated purpose of the FISA warrants, which is to gather foreign intelligence data from foreign people, not evidence of domestic crimes of anyone whose emails might be swept up by those warrants.
The challenge revealed publicly what many of us have condemned for years: The NSA actually makes its repository of raw data from emails and text messages available for the FBI to scour at will, without the FBI's obtaining a warrant issued by a judge pursuant to the Fourth Amendment.
In an opinion issued in November but kept secret until last week, the FISA court rejected the hypothetical challenge of its own appointee and ruled that the NSA could continue to share what it wants with the FBI.
There are several problems with this ruling. The first is the hypothetical nature of the challenge. Federal courts do not exist in a vacuum. They do not render advisory opinions. They can only hear real cases and real controversies involving real plaintiffs and real defendants, not hypothetical ones as was the case here.
The whole apparatus of hypothetical challenge and hypothetical ruling is constitutionally meaningless. It was the moral and legal equivalent of a law school moot court oral argument. Yet federal and soon state law enforcement will interpret it as giving cover to the NSA/FBI practice of data sharing, which is clearly unconstitutional because it is the use of fruit from a poisonous tree.
FISA and the USA Freedom Act were enacted under the premise — the pretense — that the data collected under them would be used for foreign intelligence purposes only so that attacks could be thwarted and methods could be discovered. Yet the use by the FBI of extraconstitutionally obtained intelligence data for ordinary criminal prosecutions defies the stated purposes of the statutes and contradicts the Fourth Amendment.
If this is keeping us safe, who or what will safeguard our freedoms? Who will keep us safe from those who have sworn to uphold the Constitution yet defy it?
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0416/napolitano042816.php3#CoFUvyoLDI0ULYPb.99
ESPN Fires Curt Schilling --- What About Liberal Offenders?
By Larry Elder
ESPN fired baseball analyst and former All-Star Curt Schilling for mocking the debate about the North Carolina public facilities law. On his Facebook page, Schilling posted a meme (a graphic) with the picture of an aged and overweight man dressed in just enough women's clothing to prevent flagrant violation of public exposure laws. The photo caption read: "Let him in to the restroom with your daughter or else you're a narrow-minded, judgmental, unloving, racist bigot who needs to die!" Under the meme, Schilling wrote: "A man is a man no matter what they call themselves. I don't care what they are, who they sleep with, men's room was designed for the penis, women's not so much. Now you need laws telling us differently? Pathetic."
About Schilling's firing, the Disney-owned sports cable network said: "ESPN is an inclusive company. Curt Schilling has been advised that his conduct was unacceptable and his employment with ESPN has been terminated."
Last summer ESPN suspended Schilling for retweeting a meme likening Muslim extremists to Nazis. Last month, he no doubt angered management for saying that Hillary Clinton should be "buried under a jail somewhere" for her email scandal.
So Schilling, to ESPN, is a serial offender. And as a private company, it can terminate an employee for perceived offenses.
OK, so Schilling has to go. But what are the rules?
ESPN hired former NFL star Ray Lewis in 2013. Originally charged with murder in a double-homicide case 13 years earlier, Lewis agreed to cooperate with the police in exchange for a guilty plea to misdemeanor obstruction of justice. (He told witnesses to "keep their mouths shut"). Obstruction of justice in a double-homicide case?!
As to employees who weigh in on political controversy, ESPN took no action against commentator Tony Kornheiser, who compared the tea party to ISIS. Filmmaker Spike Lee makes documentaries for ESPN. Lee once said he dislikes interracial couples: "I give interracial couples a look. Daggers. They get uncomfortable when they see me on the street." Lee said about then-NRA president Charlton Heston: "Shoot him with a .44-caliber Bulldog." Lee called then-Republican Senate leader Trent Lott "a card-carrying member of the Klan. I know he has that hood in the closet."
What are the rules?
James Earl Jones, Morgan Freeman and Samuel Jackson enjoy lucrative side careers pitching products on national TV. They've offered Schilling-esque opinions about the tea party and Republicans.
About the tea party, Jones said: "I think I have figured out the tea party — I think I do understand racism because I was taught to be one by my grandmother."
Asked if the tea party was racist, Jackson said, "It's pretty obvious what they are." He also said the only reason he voted for Obama was "because he was black. 'Cause that's why other folks vote for other people — because they look like them."
About the tea party and GOP Senate leader Mitch McConnell, Freeman said: "The tea partiers who are controlling the Republican Party ... and Mitch McConnell, their stated policy, publicly stated, is to do whatever it takes to see to it that Obama only serves one term. ... 'Screw the country, we're going to do ... whatever we can to get this black man out of here.' ... It is a racist thing."
At NBC — the same network that employs the race-card hustling, anti-Semitic, tax-deadbeat bigot Al Sharpton — sportscaster Bob Costas has enjoyed a decades-long career. About then-President George W. Bush, Costas said: "This is a failed administration. ... This administration can be rightly criticized by a fair-minded person who's smack in the middle of the political spectrum on a hundred different counts, and by now they're all self-evident. ... It is sad to say, this is a tragically failed administration."
At CNN, host Carol Costello ridiculed Sarah Palin's daughter Bristol, who told Anchorage police that she'd been assaulted. In introducing audiotape of Bristol describing the attack to the police, Costello said, "This is quite possibly the best minute and a half of audio we've ever come across — well, come across in a long time, anyway. A massive brawl in Anchorage, Alaska, reportedly involving Sarah Palin's kids and her husband. It was sparked after someone pushed one of her daughters at a party. That's what Bristol Palin told police in an interview after the incident. ... So sit back and enjoy." A near hysterical Palin says: "A guy comes out of nowhere and pushes me on the ground, takes me by my feet, in my dress — in my thong, dress, in front of everybody — 'Come on, you (expletive), come on, you (expletive), get the (expletive) out of here.' ..." At the conclusion of the segment, a smirking Costello said, "You can thank me later."
Costello did, two days later, apologize, but only in writing. Imagine mocking claims of assault by Sasha or Malia Obama?
So, what are the rules? Curt Schilling will have plenty of time to try and figure that out.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/elder042816.php3#w4caaFkEGqV5OLlR.99
Why the Left Loathes Western Civilization
By Dennis Prager
This month, Stanford University students voted on a campus resolution that would have their college require a course on Western civilization, as it did until the 1980s.
Stanford students rejected the proposal 1,992 to 347. A columnist at the Stanford Daily explained why: Teaching Western civilization means "upholding white supremacy, capitalism and colonialism, and all other oppressive systems that flow from Western civilizations."
The vote — and the column — encapsulated the left's view: In Europe, Latin America and America, it loathes Western civilization.
Wherever there is conflict between the West — identified as white, capitalist or of European roots — and the non-West, the left portrays the West as the villain.
I am referring to the left, not to liberals. The latter generally venerates Western civilization. President Franklin D. Roosevelt, for example, frequently spoke of defending "Christian civilization." Today, the left would likely revile any Westerner who used such language as xenophobic, racist, and fascist.
The left similarly describes any suggestion that anything Western is superior to anything non-Western. Likewise, it dismisses virtually all Western achievements, but regards criticism of anything non-Western as racist, chauvinistic, imperialist, colonialist, xenophobic, etc.
That is why the left is so protective of Islam. America's left-wing president, Barack Obama, will not use, and does not seem to allow the government to use, the words "Islamic terrorism." And, criticism of Islam is labeled "Islamophobic," thereby morally equating any such criticism with racism. It is not that the left is sympathetic to Islam, for it has contempt for all religions. It is that many Muslims loathe the West, and the enemies of my enemy (the West) must be protected.
That is why the left loathes Israel. If the left actually cared about human rights, women's rights, gay rights, or freedom of speech, religion and press, it would be wildly pro-Israel. But Israel, in the left's view, is white, European and colonialist, or in other words, Western. And the Palestinians are non-Western.
So, the Big Question is, why? Why is the left hostile toward Western civilization?
After decades of considering this question, I have concluded the answer is this: standards.
The left hates standards — moral standards, artistic standards, cultural standards. The West is built on all three, and it has excelled in all three.
Why does the left hate standards? It hates standards because when there are standards, there is judgment. And leftists don't want to be judged.
Thus, Michelangelo is no better than any contemporary artist, and Rembrandt is no greater than any non-Western artist. So, too, street graffiti — which is essentially the defacing of public and private property, and thus serves to undermine civilization — is "art."
Melody-free, harmony-free, atonal sounds are just as good as Beethoven's music. And Western classical music is no better than the music of any non-Western civilization. Guatemalan poets are every bit as worthy of study as Shakespeare.
When the Nobel Prize-winning American novelist Saul Bellow asked an interviewer, "Who is the Tolstoy of the Zulus? The Proust of the Papuans?" all hell broke loose on the cultural left. Bellow had implied that the greatest writers of fiction were Western.
Why such antagonism? Because if some art is really better than other art, your art may be judged inferior. The narcissism of left-wing thought does not allow for anyone to be better than you artistically or in any other way. Therefore, all art and artists must be equal.
In the moral realm, the same rejection of standards exists. Thus, the left loathed President Ronald Reagan for labeling the Soviet Union an "evil empire," because that would mean America was morally superior to the Soviet Union. And such a judgment was unacceptable. The whole left-wing moral vocabulary is a rejection of Western moral standards: "tolerance," "inclusion," "anti-discrimination" (by definition, standards discriminate), "non-judgmental," and even "income inequality," which deems some peoples' work more valuable than others.
Every civilization had slavery. But only thanks to Judeo-Christian civilization was slavery abolished there, and eventually elsewhere. Nevertheless, to speak about any moral superiority of Western or Judeo-Christian civilization is completely unacceptable, thanks to the left's stranglehold on education and most media.
In this regard, the protection of Islam by the left is so thorough that one cannot even say such obvious truths such as that the status of women has been far superior in the Judeo-Christian West than in the Islamic world. The veil women wear, for example, is dehumanizing. Yet, in a speech at the annual convention of the Islamic Society of North America, a rabbi who, at the time, was the president of the Union for Reform Judaism, said that a woman's voluntary choice to wear a head scarf "deserves our respect."
And finally, we come to the left's loathing of the religions of Western civilization — the Judeo-Christian religions, which have clear standards of right and wrong.
Bible-based religions affirm a morally judging God. For the left, that is anathema. For the left, the only judging allowed is leftists' judging of others. No one judges the left — neither man nor God.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0416/prager042616.php3#1wuqrPDdimd0M2SH.99
Immigrant goes to America,
Many "hellos" in America;
Nobody knows in America
Puerto Rico's in America!
— "West Side Story"
Puerto Rico, an awkward legacy of the United States' 1898 testosterone spill, the Spanish-American War, is about to teach two things that few Americans know: If conditions get bad enough there, its residents, who are American citizens, can come here. And if Congress does not deal carefully with the mess made by the government in San Juan, Congress will find itself rescuing governments in Springfield, Ill., and other state capitals.
Puerto Rico's approximately 18 debt-issuing entities have debts — approximately $72 billion — they cannot repay. The Government Development Bank might miss a $422 million payment due in May, and the central government might miss a $2 billion payment in July. Congress will not enact a "bailout," meaning an infusion of U.S. taxpayers' money.
But some Democrats — perhaps anticipating a day of reckoning for their one-party state of Illinois, and nurturing their indissoluble marriage to government employee unions, some of which have helped reduce Puerto Rico to prostration — want to reward the San Juan government's self-indulgence. They favor pouring more Medicare, Medicaid and other benefits into the island. They also favor giving protection of unionized government employees' pensions priority over payments even to holders of general obligation bonds guaranteed by the territory's constitution. Although Puerto Rico's per capita income ($11,331) is about half that of the poorest state (Mississippi, $20,956), Democrats oppose allowing Puerto Rico to lower the hourly minimum wage. A full-time job at the U.S. minimum, $7.25, which applies to the island, is two-thirds of the average islander's wage, which increases unemployment and hence immigration to the mainland. Some Democrats even want the earned-income tax credit and child tax credits paid to Puerto Ricans even though they do not file personal federal income tax returns.
Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) may also have his eye on Illinois and other states subjugated by the axis of the Democratic Party and government employee unions. He wants legislation for Puerto Rico to require U.S. state and local governments, almost 60 percent of which last year failed to make full pension contributions, to honestly state their pension liabilities. Puerto Rico has a $44 billion unfunded pension liability.
The most complex Puerto Rico issue is what treatments should be authorized for various categories of bondholders. Shed few tears for those who, by buying Puerto Rico's (or Illinois') debt, enable the sort of high-spending, vote-buying governance that bankrupted Detroit and soon will have Illinois begging for what does not and should not exist — a bankruptcy option for states. Puerto Rico's debts should not be restructured in a way that sets a precedent allowing Illinois to dodge both debts and reforms, particularly reforms pertaining to government employee unions that have contributed to the territory's dysfunction. The more Puerto Rico is allowed to evade existing legal processes and the need to negotiate with creditors, the more leeway it will have to resist reforms.
Puerto Rico's political class recoils from a control board exercising federal oversight, which Gov. Alejandro García Padilla calls a "shameful and degrading" measure to deprive the island "of its own government." But curtailing this class's discretion might not be seen as a deprivation by the 71 percent of Puerto Ricans who in a recent poll favored an oversight board for a government that is warning about being unable to fuel police cars and fund school services.
The president of the territory's senate likens federal oversight to "the worst colonial subjugations" and The Washington Post editorial board worries about "the legitimate prerogatives of the island's legislature." But what are the proper prerogatives of a mendicant legislature avidly seeking maximum leeway to repudiate debts?
Because the island is a U.S. territory, what happens there will not stay there: America needs to prevent, or minimize, a humanitarian crisis, some of which would be exported to America. But ameliorative measures must be made conditional on fiscal, labor and other reforms on the island.
The United States actually needs to have a salutary crisis in Illinois. It will be salutary because it will be a cautionary example for other states if Illinois suffers, without offloading pain on taxpayers elsewhere, the severe consequences of decades of ruinous choices. And Puerto Rico's troubles will benefit America if the bond market, sobered by a demonstration that government bonds can be risky, becomes a restraint on state legislatures by raising the cost of borrowing where the legislatures are most irresponsible.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will042816.php3#EhjxeXsr4sIEvMbA.99
A Superior Vision
By Walter Williams
Last month, I celebrated the beginning of my 81st year of life. For nearly half that time, I have been writing a nationally syndicated column on many topics generating reader responses that go from supportive to quite ugly. So I thought a column making my vision, values and views explicit might settle some of the controversy.
My initial premise, when looking at all human issues, is that each of us owns himself. I am my private property, and you are your private property. If you agree with that premise, then certain human actions are moral and others immoral. The reason murder is immoral is that it violates private property. Similarly, rape and theft are immoral, for they, too, violate private property. Most Americans will agree that murder and rape violate people's property rights and are hence immoral. But there may not be so much agreement about theft. Let's look at it.
Theft is when a person's property is taken from him — through stealth, force, intimidation, threats or coercion — and given to another to whom it does not belong. If a person took your property — even to help another person who is in need — it would be called theft. Suppose three people agreed to that taking. Would it be deemed theft? What if 100,000 or several hundred million people agreed to do so? Would that be deemed theft? Another way to ask these questions is: Does a consensus establish morality?
Self-ownership can offer solutions to many seemingly moral/ethical dilemmas. One is the sale of human organs. There is a severe shortage of organs for transplantation. Most people in need of an organ die or become very ill while they await an organ donation. Many more organs would become available if there were a market for them. Through the National Organ Transplant Act of 1984, Congress has made organ sales illegal. Congress clearly has the power to prevent organ sales, but does it have a right? The answer to that question comes by asking: Who owns your organs? One test of ownership is whether you have the right to sell something. In the case of organs, if it is Congress that owns our organs, then we have no right to sell them. That would be stealing from Congress.
People have the right to take chances with their own lives. People do not have a right to take chances with the lives of others. That is why laws that mandate that cars have brakes are consistent with liberty and seat belt laws are not. You might say, "Aha, Williams, we've got you there because if you don't wear a seat belt and you have an accident and turn into a vegetable, society is burdened with taking care of you!" That's not a problem of liberty. It's a problem of socialism. Nobody should be forced to take care of me for any reason. If government assumes the job of taking care of us, then Congress can control just about every aspect of our lives. When I was a rebellious teenager, my mother frequently told me, "As long as you're living in my house and I'm paying the bills, you're going to do as I say." That kind of thinking is OK for children, but not for emancipated adults.
I have only touched the surface of ideas of self-ownership. The immorality associated with violation of the principle of self-ownership lies at the root of problems that could lead to our doom as a great nation. In fiscal 2015, total government spending — federal, state and local — was about $6.41 trillion. That's about 36 percent of our gross domestic product. The federal government spent $3.69 trillion. At least two-thirds of that spending can be described as government's taking the property of one American and giving it to another. That's our moral tragedy: We've become a nation of people endeavoring to live at the expense of others — in a word, a nation of thieves.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams042716.php3#hcuMXaQZE1WCpff6.99
The 'settled' consensus du jour-
By George Will
Authoritarianism, always latent in progressivism, is becoming explicit. Progressivism's determination to regulate thought by regulating speech is apparent in the campaign by 16 states' attorneys general and those of the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands, none Republican, to criminalize skepticism about the supposedly "settled" conclusions of climate science.
Four core tenets of progressivism are: First, history has a destination. Second, progressives uniquely discern it. (Barack Obama frequently declares things to be on or opposed to "the right side of history.") Third, politics should be democratic but peripheral to governance, which is the responsibility of experts scientifically administering the regulatory state. Fourth, enlightened progressives should enforce limits on speech (witness IRS suppression of conservative advocacy groups) in order to prevent thinking unhelpful to history's progressive unfolding.
Progressivism is already enforced on campuses by restrictions on speech that might produce what progressives consider retrograde intellectual diversity. Now, from the so-called party of science, aka Democrats, comes a campaign to criminalize debate about science.
"The debate is settled," says Obama. "Climate change is a fact." Indeed. The epithet "climate change deniers," obviously coined to stigmatize skeptics as akin to Holocaust deniers, is designed to obscure something obvious: Of course the climate is changing; it never is not changing -- neither before nor after the Medieval Warm Period (end of the 9th century to the 13th) and the Little Ice Age (1640s to 1690s), neither of which was caused by fossil fuels.
Today, debatable questions include: To what extent is human activity contributing to climate change? Are climate change models, many of which have generated projections refuted by events, suddenly reliable enough to predict the trajectory of change? Is change necessarily ominous because today's climate is necessarily optimum? Are the costs, in money expended and freedom curtailed, of combating climate change less than the cost of adapting to it?
But these questions may not forever be debatable. The initial target of Democratic "scientific" silencers is ExxonMobil, which they hope to demonstrate misled investors and the public about climate change. There is, however, no limiting principle to restrain unprincipled people from punishing research entities, advocacy groups and individuals.
But it is difficult to establish what constitutes culpable "misleading" about climate science, of which a 2001 National Academy of Sciences report says: "Because there is considerable uncertainty in current understanding of how the climate system varies naturally and reacts to emissions of greenhouse gases and aerosols, current estimates of the magnitude of future warming should be regarded as tentative and subject to future adjustments (either upward or downward)." Did Al Gore "mislead" when he said seven years ago that computer modeling projected the Arctic to be ice-free during the summer in as few as five years?
The attorney general of the Virgin Islands accuses ExxonMobil with criminal misrepresentation regarding climate change. This, even though before the U.S. government in 2009 first issued an endangerment finding regarding greenhouse gases, ExxonMobil favored a carbon tax to mitigate climate consequences of those gases. This grandstanding attorney general's contribution to today's gangster government is the use of law enforcement tools to pursue political goals -- wielding prosecutorial weapons to chill debate, including subpoenaing private donor information from the Competitive Enterprise Institute, a Washington think tank.
The party of science, busy protecting science from scrutiny, has forgotten Karl Popper (1902-1994), the philosopher whose "The Open Society and Its Enemies" warned against people incapable of distinguishing between certainty and certitude. In his essay "Science as Falsification," Popper explains why "the criterion of a scientific status of a theory is its falsifiability, or refutability, or testability." America's party of science seems eager to insulate its scientific theories from the possibility of refutation.
The leader of the attorneys general, New York's Eric Schneiderman, dismisses those who disagree with him as "morally vacant." His moral content is apparent in his campaign to ban fantasy sports gambling because it competes with the gambling (state lottery, casinos, off-track betting) that enriches his government.
Then there is Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., who suggests using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, written to fight organized crime, to criminalize what he calls the fossil fuel industry's "climate denial apparatus." The Justice Department, which has abetted the IRS cover-up of its criminal activity, has referred this idea to the FBI.
These garden-variety authoritarians are eager to regulate us into conformity with the "settled" consensus du jour, whatever it is. But they are progressives, so it is for our own good.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will042516.php3#uLldBLDw4zOKCJHE.99
Imagine there's a horrible mass murder of 130 people and then another one a short time later in another town, with 14 people killed. This innocent collection of moms, dads, sons, daughters, husbands, wives, boyfriends, girlfriends, and best friends murdered as they were eating at a café, enjoying a concert with friends and loved-ones or celebrating the holiday season.
Then imagine someone explaining that he didn't grasp the "anxiety" such an event would cause because he didn't watch enough cable television. How is it, one might naturally ask, that someone wouldn't have the natural empathy or sympathy to understand the horrific nature of such of an event, and its impact, without watching television?
But that is exactly the position of the leader of the free world, Barack Obama, the President of the United States.
I am, of course, referring to the Paris and San Bernardino terrorist massacres and President Obama's shocking remarks to columnists, first reported by The New York Times: "In his meeting with the columnists, Mr. Obama indicated that he did not see enough cable television to fully appreciate the anxiety after the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino. ..."
It is troubling enough to live in a world where Western leaders have allowed such barbaric terrorism to invade the cities of the civilized, but quite another revelation when it's the president of the United States openly confessing that his connection to humanity is so tenuous he's unable to comprehend the most basic of reactions - like horror over mass murder.
Some pundits and columnists have argued Obama was simply re-stating his oft-expressed critique that cable television (read Fox News) presents terrorism as something more serious than it is; that he believes what's happening isn't as bad as people think, and certain cable channels are just ginning people up.
That, however, confirms my point: Obama truly cannot relate to the normal human reaction of disgust and horror over a terrorist attack. He genuinely doesn't think it's a big deal when any number of people are murdered by Islamist terrorists.
To believe that "cable television" is controlling the reaction of how normal human beings feel about a planned, indiscriminate slaughter of innocent people is in itself pathological in its lack of empathy and sympathy. It also highlights what Charles Krauthammer noted on Fox News: that Obama believes he's simply smarter than everyone else, ergo it's dumb and strange for others to have so much "anxiety" over terrorist mass murder.
Mr. Obama's lack of reaction to the Islamic State terror group's savagery, indicating he should be in a psychiatrist's office instead of the Oval Office, wasn't last week's only revelation. We were also informed that the Department of Homeland Security has in place a secret rule prohibiting immigration officials from scanning the social media accounts of foreigners trying to enter the United States.
Why, you may ask, would we ban a review of public writings of people trying to get visas or immigrate to this country? Because, as reported by The Hill and ABC News, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson decided to keep the prohibition in place in early 2014 because he feared a civil liberties backlash and "bad public relations."
Keep in mind, this ban on the use of public social media in the screening process due to supposed concerns about privacy for foreigners comes from the same Obama administration that has defended over and over again the NSA's wholesale collection of genuinely private communications of American citizens.
Also last week, The Hill ran a blockbuster commentary piece by Philip Haney, a DHS whistleblower, describing how the Obama administration shut down an investigative project that was connecting the dots between Islamist terrorists on U.S. soil and the networks which created and supported them.
"There are terrorists in our midst and they arrived here using legal means right under the noses of the federal law enforcement agencies whose mission is to stop them," Mr. Haney wrote. "That is not due to malfeasance or lack of effort on the part of these officers; it is due to the restrictions placed on them by the Obama administration."
Mr. Haney argued the information his team was assembling very well could have raised the red flags necessary to prevent the San Bernardino massacre.
It wasn't enough for Mr. Obama's regime to kill the project, they also literally deleted Mr. Haney's team files and research. He concludes, the "Obama administration is more concerned with the rights of non-citizens in known Islamist groups than with the safety and security of the American people."
Unfortunately, Mr. Haney is right. Consider all the latest revelations and their singular result of making it easier for Islamic terrorists to enter the country: Mr. Obama's obsession with flooding the country with Syrian "refugees"; the administration's refusal to attack the Islamic State with any seriousness; the ban on scanning social media of foreigners trying to enter the US; and the killing and deleting a successful government project tracking terrorists on U.S. soil.
The fact on the ground is this: Mr. Obama and his administration are taking direct actions deliberately making it easier for terrorists to enter the country. That is not a m istake, or an oversight, or incompetence. It's a choice, and it must not continue to stand.
Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host.
Yes, We Need a Canadian Border Wall
By Michelle Malkin
Canada's sloppy, rushed and reckless Syrian refugee resettlement program is America's looming national security nightmare.
Donald Trump shouldn't just be promising to build a Mexican border wall. He (and any other sovereignty-minded presidential candidate) should be vowing to rebuild the decimated "wall" of first-line watchdogs, field enforcement and patrol officers on our northern border.
The urgency could not be greater.
The Canadian liberal government has fast-tracked tens of thousands of Syrian Muslims into its country over the past five months and now plans to double its interim 25,000 goal by 2019. The bleeding-heart Canucks are forging ahead despite reports this week of the country's failed $16 million screening program to stop Islamic terrorists from slipping through the cracks.
Multiple databases are not interoperable. Information is outdated or useless. Canadian agents are delivering incomplete background checks too late to matter, anyway. Result: Garbage in, garbage out, and untold numbers of unvetted refugees from jihad hotbeds on the loose at our doorstep. (As if the 1,500 Syrian refugees a month that the U.S. State Department is directly importing here through November aren't enough of a security headache!)
Instead of moving to fortify our northern border, Washington is diverting our boots on the ground and downsizing our fleet of surveillance pilots in the skies. Turnover is high, morale is low, and the jihadists' path to illegal entry has never been smoother.
In Plattsburgh, New York, 45 miles from Syrian refugee dumping ground Montreal, the Customs and Border Patrol's air branch has been slashed from 25 pilots down to a shocking six in the last three years. Shifts have been reduced to bankers' hours, while terror plotters and smugglers never rest. Members of Congress have been alerted to the perilous impact of downsizing, but have done nothing (except, that is, to fully fund the White House refugee resettlement racket).
In Montana, Reuters reported earlier this year, our federal enforcement force is still so understaffed that the Border Patrol depends on 100 private citizen ranchers along the northern border to police the U.S.-Canada boundaries.
Of 21,000 total Border Patrol agents, only 2,100 are assigned to the northern border. There are only about 300 agents guarding the entire northern border at any one time. That's less than the number of Capitol police on duty to protect the Capitol complex in D.C. alone, Buffalo, New York, sector Border Patrol agent Dean Mandel of the National Border Patrol Council pointed out to Congress.
Little has changed since Border Patrol agents in Washington state first told me 15 years ago of vast, abandoned sectors protected by nothing but orange rubber cones — even in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.
Little has changed since the 9/11 Commission spotlighted multiple al-Qaida operatives involved in cross-border traffic and incursions (both legal and illegal) from Canada.
Little has changed since the U.S. Government Accountability Office reported in 2011 that a measly 32 miles out of the 4,000-mile border was deemed secure by Border Patrol agents heavily dependent on non-DHS personnel for support.
A U.S. source who works for the Department of Homeland Security on the northern border told me last week that there remain vast "no-go zones" in his upstate New York sector that stretch for miles unpoliced — such as the smuggler-friendly Akwesasne reservation, where Mohawks are notoriously hostile to our Border Patrol, Air and Marine operations, and field operations agents.
"There's a gigantic hole on our northern border," my source described, where "people from countries of interest are crossing" into America. "Special interest countries," as the U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security defines it, are those "designated by the intelligence community as countries that could export individuals that could bring harm to our country in the way of terrorism."
"Yes, I've personally seen them. Every day. We call them 'gotaways,'" my source sighed. These newest border-jumpers are detected (by high-tech cameras and motion sensors), but neglected because the core national security mission is not a priority and no one's around to act on the alerts.
On the southern border, "gotaways" spiked 100 percent between 2011 and 2013. This year, as illegal trespassers from dangerous special interest countries have increased through Mexico, a Border Patrol whistleblower told Congress two months ago that his supervisors ordered agents to fudge data on "gotaways" by omitting them from data reports.
Think the same whitewashing is going on up north? You betcha.
As the disgusted northern border CBP official told me: "The attitude is no paperwork, no problems." No problems, of course, until that one ISIS operative toting a dirty bomb in his bag rolls right across the wide open U.S.-Canadian border — detected, but neglected — and our government's malign neglect blows up in our faces.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin042016.php3#FzAVEwvAqRMlWmjm.99
The President, the Court and Immigration
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
In 2014, President Barack Obama signed 12 executive orders directing various agencies in the departments of State, Justice and Homeland Security to refrain from deporting some 4 million adult immigrants illegally present in the United States if they are the parents of children born here or legally present here and if they hold a job, obtain a high-school diploma or its equivalent, pay taxes and stay out of prison.
Unfortunately for the president, the conditions he established for avoiding deportation had been rejected by Congress.
In response to the executive orders, 26 states and the House of Representatives sued the president and the recipients of the orders, seeking to prevent them from being enforced. The states and the House argued that the president effectively rewrote the immigration laws and changed the standards for the deportation of unlawfully present adult immigrants.
The states also argued that because federal law requires them to offer the same safety net of social services for those illegally present as they do for those lawfully present, the financial burden that the enforcement of those orders would put upon them would be far beyond their budgetary limits. Moreover, they argued, enforcement of the president's orders would effectively constitute a presidential command to the states to spend their own tax dollars against their wishes, and the president lacks the power to do that.
In reply, the president argued that the literal enforcement of the law creates an impossible conundrum for him. He does not want to deport the parents of American children, as that destroys families and impairs the welfare of children; and he cannot deport children who were born here, as they are American citizens. Hence his novel resolution.
The case was filed in Texas, where a federal district court judge agreed with the states and signed an order that prohibited the feds from enforcing the president's orders, pending a full trial. The feds appealed.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit in New Orleans upheld the injunction against the president. In so doing, it agreed with the states that the financial burden on them that would come from the enforcement of these executive orders would be unconstitutional. It also agreed with the House of Representatives that the president exceeded his authority under the Constitution and effectively rewrote the laws.
This week, the Supreme Court heard the feds' appeal. Because the seat formerly occupied by the late Justice Antonin Scalia for 30 years is still vacant, the court has just eight justices — for the most part, four conservatives and four liberals. A tie vote in the court, which appears likely in this case, will not set any precedent, but it will retain the injunction against the president. The most recent time this happened was 1952, when the court enjoined President Harry Truman from seizing steel mills during the Korean conflict.
Though the issue here is immigration, the constitutional values underlying the case are more far-reaching. Since the era of Woodrow Wilson — accelerated under Franklin D. Roosevelt, enhanced under Lyndon B. Johnson and brought over the top under George W. Bush — Congress has ceded some of its powers to the president. It has enabled him to borrow unlimited amounts of money and to spend as he sees fit. It has looked the other way when presidents have started wars, arrested Americans without charge or trial and even killed Americans.
Can Congress voluntarily give some of its powers to the president, either by legislation or by impotent acquiescence when the president takes them?
In a word, no.
The purpose of the division of powers — Congress writes the laws, the president enforces the laws and the courts interpret them and decide what they mean — is to preserve personal liberty by preventing the accumulation of too much power in one branch of government.
The 26 states and the House told the Supreme Court this week that the president is enforcing the laws not as Congress wrote them but as he wishes them to have been written, because he actually directed officials of the executive branch to enforce the versions of the laws that he rewrote instead of the laws on the books.
That arguably violates his oath of office, in which he agreed that he would "faithfully" enforce all federal laws. We know from his notes that James Madison, when he drafted the presidential oath, insisted that the word "faithfully" be inserted so as to impress upon presidents their obligation to enforce laws even if they disagree with them.
During oral argument in the court this week, there was a bizarre exchange over terminology that the president used in his orders. In a weird series of questions, Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. asked whether the president's executive orders could be salvaged constitutionally by excising or changing a few words. This was improper because it treated an executive order as if it were a statute. It is not the job of the court to find ways to salvage executive orders as it is to salvage statutes, because the Constitution has given "all legislative Powers" to Congress and none to the president.
Statutes are presumed to be constitutional. Executive orders that contradict statutes are presumed to be unconstitutional, and the court has no business trying to save them.
All presidents from time to time have exercised discretion upon individuals when it comes to enforcing laws that pose hardships. But none has done so for 4 million people, and none has written substitute laws of his own making. Until now.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0416/napolitano042116.php3#tcBGP8yiomFtEJxy.99
Rights Versus Wishes
By Walter Williams
Here is what presidential aspirant Sen. Bernie Sanders said: "I believe that health care is a right of all people." President Barack Obama declared that health care "should be a right for every American." The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops: "Every person has a right to adequate health care." President Franklin D. Roosevelt, in his January 1944 message to Congress, called for "the right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health." And it is not just a health care right that people claim. There are rights to decent housing, good food and a decent job, and for senior citizens, there's a right to prescription drugs. In a free and moral society, do people have these rights? Let's look at it.
In the standard historical usage of the term, a "right" is something that exists simultaneously among people. As such, a right imposes no obligation on another. For example, the right to free speech is something we all possess. My right to free speech imposes no obligation upon another except that of noninterference. Similarly, I have a right to travel freely. Again, that right imposes no obligation upon another except that of noninterference.
Contrast those rights to free speech and travel with the supposed rights to medical care and decent housing. Those supposed rights do impose obligations upon others. We see that by recognizing that there is no Santa Claus or tooth fairy. If one does not have money to pay for a medical service or decent housing and the government provides it, where do you think the government gets the money?
If you agree that there is no Santa Claus or tooth fairy and that Congress does not have any resources of its very own, the only way for Congress to give one American something is to first take it from some other American. In other words, if one person has a right to something he did not earn, it requires another person's not having a right to something he did earn.
Let's apply this bogus concept of rights to my right to speak and travel freely. Doing so, in the case of my right to free speech, it might impose obligations on others to supply me with an auditorium, microphone and audience. My right to travel freely might require that others provide me with resources to purchase airplane tickets and hotel accommodations. If I were to demand that others make sacrifices so that I can exercise my free speech and travel rights, I suspect that most Americans would say, "Williams, yes, you have rights to free speech and traveling freely, but I'm not obligated to pay for them!"
As human beings, we all have certain natural rights. Of the rights we possess, we have a right to delegate them to government. For example, we all have a natural right to defend ourselves against predators. Because we possess that right, we can delegate it to government. By contrast, I do not have a right to take one person's earnings to give to another. Because I have no such right, I cannot delegate it to government. If I did take your earnings to provide medical services for another, it would rightfully be described and condemned as an act of theft. When government does the same, it's still theft, albeit legalized theft.
If you're a Christian or a Jew, you should be against these so-called rights. When God gave Moses the eighth commandment — "Thou shalt not steal" — I am sure that he did not mean "thou shalt not steal unless there is a majority vote in Congress." The bottom line is medical care, housing and decent jobs are not rights at all, at least not in a free society; they are wishes. As such, I would agree with most Americans — because I, too, wish that everyone had good medical care, decent housing and a good job.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams042016.php3#UQKzloYfK8J7T77g.99
Histories that should not be secret
By George Will
When President Obama departs for Saudi Arabia, an incubator of the 9/11 attacks, he will leave behind a dispute about government secrecy. The suppression of 28 pages, first from a public congressional inquiry and then from the 2004 report by the 9/11 Commission, has spared the Saudis embarrassment, which would be mild punishment for complicity in 2,977 murders. When Obama returns, he should keep his promise to release the pages. Then he should further curtail senseless secrecy by countermanding the CIA’s refusal to release its official history of the 1961 Bay of Pigs debacle.
The nature of the 28 pages pertaining to 9/11 can be inferred from this carefully worded sentence in the commission’s report: "We have found no evidence that the Saudi government as an institution or senior Saudi officials individually funded [al-Qaeda]" (emphases added). Together, those five italicized words constitute a loophole large enough to fly a hijacked airliner through.
CBS’s "60 Minutes" recently reported that former Florida senator Bob Graham, a Democrat who chaired the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and co-chaired the bipartisan joint congressional inquiry into 9/11 intelligence failures, says the pages suggest the existence of a network that supported the hijackers when they were in the United States. Former Democratic congressman from Indiana Tim Roemer, who was a member of the joint inquiry and then of the commission, and who has studied the 28 pages, says they contain (as "60 Minutes" expressed his judgment) "provocative evidence — some verified, and some not" of possible "official Saudi assistance for two of the hijackers who settled in Southern California." "60 Minutes" said the two Saudi nationals had "extremely limited language skills and no experience with Western culture." Yet "they managed to get everything they needed, from housing to flight lessons," after being seen in the company of a diplomat from Saudi Arabia’s Los Angeles consulate.
Before John Lehman was a member of the 9/11 Commission — which unanimously supported release of its report uncensored — he was a member of Henry Kissinger’s National Security Council staff during the Nixon administration and was secretary of the Navy during the Reagan administration. Lehman understands the serious and the spurious arguments connecting secrecy to security. He says the 28 pages contain no "smoking gun," but he believes that senior Saudi officials knew that Saudis were assisting al-Qaeda. And he believes that because Saudi Arabia spends enormous sums worldwide funding schools that teach the virulent variant of Islam called Wahhabism, it is unsurprising that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis.
Now, about the Bay of Pigs invasion of April 17, 1961, a feckless use of American power that radiated disasters: President John F. Kennedy promptly deepened U.S. involvement in Vietnam; Nikita Khrushchev, unimpressed, built the Berlin Wall and installed missiles in Cuba. Why should the CIA history remain secret 55 years after the invasion?
A federal appeals court has ruled, 2 to? 1, against a Freedom of Information Act request for the release of the history. Citing a FOIA exemption that protects secrecy deemed essential to preserving government agencies’ deliberative processes, the court held that even after more than half a century the history is "still a draft" — never mind that its author retired in 1984 and died in 1997 — and hence is "still predecisional and deliberative."
So, documents can be kept forever secret by government agencies declaring them "drafts" or otherwise "deliberative."
Nations need secrecy to protect deliberative processes and to conceal from adversaries the sources, methods and fruits of intelligence-gathering. However, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan argued in his book on the subject, secrecy is government regulation, but unlike most regulations, which restrict what people can do, secrecy restricts what they can know. Secrets are property, and covetous, acquisitive government bureaucracies hoard them from rival bureaucracies, thereby making government even more foolish than it naturally tends to be because it has no competitors. For example, the U.S. military reportedly kept from President Harry Truman its proof, derived from what are known as the Venona intercepts of Soviet communications, that Alger Hiss and Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were spies.
On "Fox News Sunday" on April 10, Obama was asked if he could say that Hillary Clinton’s handling of classified information on her private email server "did not jeopardize America’s secrets." After waffling — saying Clinton would never "intentionally" jeopardize America — he intimated that many documents that are classified are not all that important to national security. He should apply this insight to documents pertaining to the disaster a decade-and-a-half ago and to the debacle 40 years before it.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will041816.php3#mpOEcdCfDcmfpYO0.99
Supreme Court Harkens Back to Three-Fifths Slavery Formula
By Dick Morris
The Supreme Court decision in Evenwel v. Abbott, harkens back to how our original Constitution enshrined slavery in power until the Civil War.
The Evenwel decision holds that states may apportion districts — and presumably Congress can apportion Congressional representation — based on total population rather than based on those eligible to vote. So immigrants here illegally, who cannot vote, are counted equally with voters in allocating legislative representation.
There is a terrible analogy between the Evenwel decision and the infamous three-fifths rule that was adopted to determine slave representation in the House of Representatives.
At the original Constitutional Convention, the Northern and Southern states wrangled over how to count slaves — who could not vote — in allocating congressional districts to the states. The South wanted its voting power enhanced so slave states could come closer to a majority in the House of Representatives and have more electoral votes in choosing a president (electoral votes are allocated by adding the number of senators and congressmen from each state).
The Northern states relented and agreed to count each slave as three-fifths of a person in apportioning legislative seats. The South and the slave interest benefited enormously from the compromise.
So, as a result of the Supreme Court's decision in Evenwel, immigrants in this country illegally are to be the modern equivalent of slaves in proportioning representation in Congress. Like slaves, these people cannot vote. But they are counted in determining how many seats in Congress each state gets. These phantom voters have no more right to influence the composition of our Congress than the slaves did — unless and until they can vote.
As Gary Wills explains in his 2003 book "Negro President: Jefferson and the Slave Power," the distortions caused by the three-fifths rule permitted the slave power to remain in ascendency. The Southern slave states had 47 House members in 1793 — under the three-fifths rule — while they should have had only 33. By 1812, they had 76 but should have been entitled to only 59. By 1833, they had 98 as opposed to the 73 they should have had.
Wills calls Jefferson the "Negro President" because it was the extra electoral votes that came from the three-fifths rule that let Jefferson eek past President John Adams in the electoral college in the election of 1800. In that contest, Jefferson won with 73 electoral votes to Adams' 65. But had the Electoral College votes only reflected vote eligible citizens, and excluded the three-fifths rule, Adams would have won.
This odious comparison illustrates the injustice of using illegal immigrants to apportion power but not giving them a voice in how it is used. Either make them citizens and count their votes or leave them out of apportionment.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0416/morris041416.php3#UvLxMGiwhedytpwv.99
American Workers Matter: A Chicago Wake and Wake-Up Call
By Michelle Malkin
Circle this date on your calendar: April 22. I'll be in Chicago that day attending what may be a very significant milestone in American politics and domestic policy. It's going to be a wake and a wake-up call, part memorial and part protest.
If you are a so-called American "STEM worker" in science, technology, engineering or math, if you have college-age children studying in the STEM fields, or if you have younger children who aspire to work in STEM industries and you are concerned for their future, you should do everything you can to join us.
April 22 is the last day of work for nearly 200 American workers at Abbott Laboratories, the pharmaceutical giant founded by Chicago doctor Wallace C. Abbott in 1888. The company sacked some of its most high-skilled workers in February to make way for H-1B and L-1 visa replacements from Indian offshore outsourcing firm Wipro.
One Abbott worker, who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, told me: "We were given an agreement which basically says that in order to get compensation you must sign away your rights to sue or disparage the company. I have 3 small children and a wife to provide for — I have nowhere to go because of the H1-B visa loopholes" that "every major company" is exploiting.
Intimidation. Layoffs. "Dig your own grave" severance agreements contingent on training foreign replacements before getting the boot on 60 days' notice. Promises from Washington to "end H-1B abuse" that is entirely legal because it was baked into the gargantuan immigration law cake crafted by self-serving lobbyists for Big Business working on both sides of the political aisle.
Sara Blackwell, a Florida lawyer and mom of three, knows this pattern well. She's representing American tech workers at Disney who suffered the same fate and are fighting back with a lawsuit against the entertainment conglomerate and its Indian offshore outsourcing conspirators, HCL and Cognizant. It was Blackwell's brilliant idea to hold a memorial for the terminated Abbott workers.
She's inviting the pink-slipped Abbott casualties' colleagues, families, friends, supporters, other compatriots "affected by the outsourcing or offshoring of American jobs," and, Blackwell urges, anyone else across the country "who cares about the American worker and the future of America."
The gathering will take place at Flanagan's Bar and Grill in North Chicago, Illinois at 5:30 p.m. on April 22, right after work lets out at Abbott Labs. (More information here: protectusworkers.org/2016/03/memorial-for-the-american-worker/.) Because of the stiff sanctions many American high-skilled employees have faced in the past for challenging the H-1B racket (including death threats, bullying and legal threats), Blackwell will be handing out "dark veils" to "conceal mourners' identities."
My friend and co-author of "Sold Out," programmer-turned-lawyer-John Miano, and I will be there to pay our respects not only to the Abbott workers, but also to pay tribute to the thousands of best and brightest IT workers and engineers whose identical plights we spotlighted in our book — along with the many brave whistleblowers John has represented as founder of the Programmers Guild and attorney for tech workers suing over bipartisan executive expansions of sovereignty-undermining guest worker visa programs.
For decades now, U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Silicon Valley lobbyists have dominated Capitol Hill and public debate with their fraudulent claims that there's a U.S. tech worker shortage and that wage-suppressing H-1B visas "create jobs." (I dare Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and Google's Eric Schmidt to come to Chicago and tell it to our faces.)
The good news: A long-brewing perfect storm — created in part by the rise of Donald Trump, the fall of Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, high-profile layoffs at Disney, Southern California Edison and Abbott, and transcendent disgust with the immigration expansionist gravy train — has changed the equation for U.S. workers.
Ignored by Washington, fed-up citizens like Sara Blackwell and John Miano are representing the invisible victims of H-1B and the rest of the cheap labor pipeline in court. Even better, they're entering the political arena themselves. Blackwell last week launched a bold congressional bid in Florida's House District 72. And you can bet there will be many more like her, inspired to do the job that too many American politicians refuse to do:
Protect American workers and put America first.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin041316.php3#bVu771JYMrgSIJ1b.99
Obama Damns Hillary With Faint Praise
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
President Barack Obama's recent remarks to my Fox News colleague Chris Wallace about Hillary Clinton's email issues were either Machiavellian or dumb. It is difficult to tell from them whether he wants the mountain of evidence of her criminal behavior presented to a federal grand jury or he wants her to succeed him in the White House.
He cannot have both.
His efforts to minimize his former secretary of state's diversion of emails from government-secured servers to her own non-secure home server by calling it "careless" may actually harm her in the eyes of the public or even serve as a dog whistle to the FBI. That's because carelessness is a species of negligence, and espionage, which is the failure to safeguard state secrets by removing them from their proper place of custody, is the rare federal crime that can be proved by negligence -- to be precise, gross negligence.
Gross negligence is the failure to perform a high legal duty with the great probability of an improper result -- for example, driving a car 90 miles per hour in New York's Times Square. The high legal duty Clinton had was to safeguard state secrets; the improper result is the exposure of those secrets contained in her emails.
What did she do that was criminal, and who was harmed by her behavior?
Clinton knowingly diverted all of her governmental emails from secure government servers to her own non-secure server in her New York residence. Among the 60,000 emails she diverted were 2,200 that contained state secrets. Because the essence of espionage is the removal of secrets to non-secure venues, the crime is complete upon removal. So Obama's statement in the Wallace interview that Clinton caused no harm is irrelevant. In espionage cases, the government need not prove that the defendant caused any harm.
Obama's further effort in the Wallace interview to minimize the classification of secrets into the statutory categories of "confidential," "secret" and "top secret" by snarkily commenting that "there's classified and then there's classified" is not what one would expect from someone who has sworn to take care that all federal laws are enforced.
Obama has interpreted that duty so as to permit his Department of Justice to prosecute for espionage both a sailor when he took a selfie inside a nuclear submarine and sent it to his girlfriend and a Marine lieutenant who correctly warned his superiors about an al-Qaida operative masquerading as an Afghan cop in an American encampment but mistakenly used his Gmail account to send the emergency warning.
The evidence of Clinton's failure to safeguard state secrets is overwhelming because of the regularity of its occurrence. The evidence is well-grounded, as some of the secrets were too grave for the FBI to review and all came from her own server. And the evidence is sufficient to indict and to convict because it was obtained legally and shows a four-year pattern of regular, consistent, systematic violation of the laws requiring safeguarding.
Obama's suggestion that some secrets were not really secret is also irrelevant, because Clinton, like the president, swore to recognize secrets and to keep them secret, no matter her opinion of them.
The FBI knows this and is taking it far more seriously than the president or Clinton.
Just last week, the team investigating Clinton sought and received the extradition to the U.S. of a man who was imprisoned in Romania for computer hacking. One of those he hacked is Clinton's confidant Sid Blumenthal, to whom she sent many emails containing state secrets. What will the hacker tell the feds he saw?
Clinton's surrogates began taking her legal plight seriously in the past few weeks by arguing that her behavior was no different from that of other former high-ranking executive branch officials who occasionally and accidentally took top-secret documents home or discussed top-secret information in non-secure emails and that the consequences for them were tepid or nonexistent.
Yet there is no comparison between these occasional lapses and the planned and paid-for four-year diversion of secrets that Clinton orchestrated. Moreover, there is no instance of unprosecuted behavior that her supporters can cite that involves the sheer volume and regularity of the failure to safeguard that we see here.
Though the government need not prove intent, there is substantial evidence of Clinton's intent to commit espionage from three sources. One is Clinton's email instructing an aide to remove the "secret" designation from a document and send it to her from one non-secure fax machine to another. The second is the Blumenthal hacking incidents, which occurred during her tenure as secretary of state and which did not stop her from emailing him from her home server. The third is a federal rule that permits the inference of intent from a pattern of bad behavior, of which there is ample evidence in this case.
On the same weekend that the president was damning Clinton with faint praise and cynically offering what he must have known were irrelevant legal defenses, Clinton continued her pattern of persistent public laughing about and dismissing the significance of the FBI investigation of her.
That attitude -- which is recorded and documented by the FBI -- must have caused many of those investigating her to conclude that she understands the predicament she is in but is minimizing it. Or she may be a congenital liar who is lying to herself. Either way, they await with eager anticipation their interrogation of her, should she foolishly submit to one.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0416/napolitano041416.php3#jS87qCicdRg68xtA.99
There is a consensus that aggression by one nation against another is a serious matter, but there is no comparable consensus about what constitutes aggression. Waging aggressive war was one charge against Nazi leaders at the 1946 Nuremberg war crimes trials, but 70 years later it is unclear that aggression, properly understood, must involve war, as commonly understood. Or that war, in today’s context of novel destructive capabilities, must involve "the use of armed force," which the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court says is constitutive of an "act of aggression."
Cyberskills can serve espionage — the surreptitious acquisition of information — which is older than nations and not an act of war. Relatively elementary cyberattacks against an enemy’s command-and-control capabilities during war were a facet of U.S. efforts in Operation Desert Storm in 1991, in theBalkans in 1999 and against insurgents — hacking their emails — during the "surge" in Iraq. In 2007, Israel’s cyberwarfare unit disrupted Syrian radar as Israeli jets destroyed an unfinished nuclear reactor in Syria. But how should we categorize cyberskills employed not to acquire information, and not to supplement military force, but to damage another nation’s physical infrastructure?
In World War II, the United States and its allies sent fleets of bombers over Germany to destroy important elements of its physical infrastructure — steel mills, ball-bearing plants, etc. Bombers were, however, unnecessary when the United States and Israel wanted to destroy some centrifuges crucial to Iran’s nuclear weapons program. They used the Stuxnet computer "worm" to accelerate or slow processes at Iran’s Natanz uranium-enrichment facility, damaging or even fragmenting centrifuges necessary for producing weapons-grade material. According to Slate columnist Fred Kaplan, by early 2010, approximately 2,000 of 8,700 "were damaged beyond repair," and even after the Iranians later learned what was happening, another 1,000 of the then-remaining 5,000 "were taken out of commission."
For fascinating details on the episodes mentioned above, and to understand how deeply we have drifted into legally and politically uncharted waters, read Kaplan’s new book, "Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War." Three of its lessons are that cyberwar resembles war, much of it is very secret and everything essential to the functioning of modern society is vulnerable.
The things controlled by or through computers include not just military assets (command-and-control systems, the guidance mechanisms of smart munitions, etc.) but also hospitals, electric power grids, water works, the valves of dams and the financial transactions of banks. And, Kaplan notes, unlike nuclear weapons or the ballistic missiles to deliver them, cyberweapons do not require large-scale industrial projects or concentrations of scientists with scarce skills. All that is needed to paralyze a complex society and panic its population is "a roomful of computers and a small corps of people trained to use them."
Clearly the United States needs a cyberdeterrent capacity — the ability to do unto adversaries anything they might try to do unto us. One problem, however, is that it can be difficult to prove the source of a cyberattack, such as that which Vladimir Putin did not acknowledge launching, but almost certainly did launch, in 2007 to punish Estonia for annoying Russia.
To appreciate how computer keystrokes can do damage comparable to a sustained air campaign using high explosives, consider what happened in 1995 in the private sector. Barings, founded in 1762, was Britain’s oldest merchant bank, having weathered the Napoleonic wars and two world wars, and its clients included Queen Elizabeth II. One of its young traders, Nick Leeson, in the bank’s Singapore office, was so skillful at navigating the derivatives markets that at one point he produced 10 percent of the bank’s profits. Inadequately supervised, he created a secret Barings account from which he made risky bets, including a huge one on Japan’s stock market rising. He did not, however, anticipate the Kobe earthquake. Japan’s stock market plunged, causing enormous losses in Leeson’s account that Barings could not cover.
The bank quickly collapsed and was bought by a Dutch company for one British pound.
If one rogue trader’s recklessness, motivated by mere avarice, can quietly and quickly annihilate a venerable institution, imagine what havoc can be wrought by battalions of militarized cyberwarriors implacably implementing a nation’s destructive agenda. It is long past time for urgent public discussion of the many new meanings that can be given to Shakespeare’s "Cry ‘Havoc!’ and let slip the dogs of war."
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will041416.php3#OjGqVKMVr0uG6IRy.99
Warning: Our Government Is a Threat to Public Safety
Forget gun control. America needs government control. Have you noticed the common thread among several mass killings and homeland security incidents lately?
Time and again, it's the control freaks in Washington who have fallen down on their jobs, allowing crazies, creeps and criminals to roam free and wreak havoc while ignoring rampant red flags. Let's review:
Washington Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis: Despite gun-grabbing Democrats' best efforts to blame a nonexistent "AR-15" for this week's horrific Navy Yard massacre, the truth is seeping out about shooter Aaron Alexis. The 34-year-old Navy veteran had been treated since August by the Veterans Administration for a host of mental problems that plagued him for up to a decade.
Officials say Alexis was paranoid, had a sleep disorder, suffered from schizophrenia and was "hearing voices." He told Newport, R.I., police after an altercation just last month that he believed a "microwave machine" was sending vibrations through a wall into his body. Friends say he was a heavy drinker and violent video game addict. A ticking time bomb, he had racked up a string of misconduct incidents during his military stint ranging from absenteeism to insubordination to disorderly conduct. He was arrested in Seattle in 2004 and in Fort Worth, Texas, in 2010 for separate anger-fueled shootings that terrorized neighbors and innocent bystanders.
Yet somehow Alexis passed several military background checks, gained high-level security clearance and had access to multiple military installations. The civilian contractor who employed Alexis blasted the feds on Tuesday for failing to fully disclose his history. "Anything that suggests criminal problems or mental health issues, that would be a flag," Thomas Hoshko of The Experts told The Washington Post. "We would not have hired him." And 12 innocent people might still be alive today.
Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Hasan: The red flag-ignoring government seems to have become an affirmative action employer for rage-filled madmen. Fort Hood jihadist Nidal Hasan, sentenced to death last month, had warned his military superiors well in advance of the massacre that he was prone to violence. Citing convicted Army fragger Hasan Akbar and others, Hasan emphasized that he was not alone among Muslim soldiers who believed they "should not serve in any capacity that renders them at risk to hurting/killing believers unjustly."
The feds buried concerns about Hasan and instead kept him employed to prevent accusations of discrimination. They did not want to be "crucified," according to one Army investigator. Twelve innocent men and women, plus one unborn baby, died as a consequence of the government's malign neglect and feckless indulgence of political correctness.
TSA nutball Nna Alpha Onuoha: Then there's the TSA. Last week, a former TSA agent was arrested on the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks for calling in threats to Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) and warning that there would be a "baptism of fire" on 9/11/13. Investigators found a raft of handwritten nutball notes by disgruntled TSA screener 29-year-old Nna Alpha Onuoha tacked up in his closet. Onuoha also operated a bizarro website titled Satanhasfallen.org, which featured "end of the world" essays. He was the same TSA agent who made headlines earlier this summer after harassing a 15-year-old girl at LAX over her modest apparel.
How did this young, single male from Nigeria of limited means get into the country in the first place, let alone end up at the TSA? I've heard from countless veterans and former police officers over the years who were rejected from TSA positions for being "overqualified." Yet somehow Onuoha moved to the front of the TSA employment line.
How many more? The agency's lax background checks and politically correct hiring practices are notorious. In July, the Government Accountability Office reported a 26-percent rise in employee misconduct violations over the past three years, ranging from theft to chronic sleeping on the job to ignoring basic screening protocols. Discipline is inconsistent to nonexistent. Last year, GOP Rep. Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee documented 50 galling examples of TSA employees arrested for crimes ranging from child pornography, drugs, rape and prostitution to bribery, conspiracy, assault and murder.
Two years ago, another GAO report revealed that TSA's counterterrorism specialists had failed to detect 16 separate jihad operatives who moved through target airports "on at least 23 different occasions." Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security has released nearly 3,000 illegal alien sex offenders from detention. And rank-and-file ICE agents blew the whistle this summer on the Obama administration's release of untold numbers of violent criminals who were designated as amnesty-eligible "DREAMers."
The motto of our homeland security overlords is "not on our watch." But like so much else attached to our post-9/11 national security bureaucracy, that motto has become a punchline. With the feds and military leaders looking the other way or closing their eyes altogether to menaces within their ranks, there is no watch. It's a Code Red alert for government incompetence.
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Attacking Our Nation's Founders
By Walter Williams
During Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign visit to Liberty University, he told the students that our nation was created on racist principles. Students at a Christian-based university, such as Liberty, do not often hear the founders-as-racists argument. But it is featured at many other universities, as well as primary and secondary schools. Most often, the hate-America teachings are centered on the fact that slavery is a part of our history. What is left untaught is: Slavery was a routine part of human history. Blacks were the last people to be enslaved. Plus, our Founding Fathers struggled mightily over the issue of slavery. Let us look at some of that struggle.
George Washington said, "I can only say that there is not a man living who wishes more sincerely than I do, to see a plan adopted for the abolition of it." Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, Patrick Henry and others were highly critical of slavery, describing it as a "disease of ignorance," "an inconsistency not to be excused" and a "lamentable evil." George Mason said, "The augmentation of slaves weakens the states; and such a trade is diabolical in itself, and disgraceful to mankind." James Madison, in a speech at the 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, declared, "We have seen the mere distinction of color made in the most enlightened period of time, a ground of the most oppressive dominion ever exercised by man over man." Benjamin Rush said: "Domestic slavery is repugnant to the principles of Christianity. ... It is rebellion against the authority of a common Father."
In their effort to create a union, the delegates at the Constitutional Convention had to negotiate many contentious, deal-breaking issues. Slavery was chief among them. Southern states made clear that they would not vote to ratify a constitution that abolished slavery or ended the slave trade. Northern delegates wanted to end slave trading and did not want slaves counted at all for congressional apportionment. Southern delegates wanted slaves counted as whole people. That would have given the South greater political power in the House of Representatives.
Convention delegate James Wilson offered a compromise whereby each slave would be counted as three-fifths of a person for the purposes of determining the number of representatives a state would have in the House. This rule applied only to slaves. Freemen, whether black or white, would be counted as whole people. Another compromise was to set 1808 as the year to abolish the slave trade.
Contrary to what academic hustlers teach, the Three-Fifths Compromise was not a statement about human worth; it was an attempt to reduce the pro-slavery representation in Congress. By including only three-fifths of the total number of slaves in congressional calculations, Southern states were actually being denied a greater number of representatives in Congress and hence electoral votes for selecting a president.
There's little question that slavery is an abomination and a gross violation of human rights, but the founders had to decide whether there would be a union or not. Had morality been their sole guide, they might have taken a hardened, nonnegotiable stand against slavery, but then the Constitution would have never been ratified and a union would not have been formed.
A question that we might ask those academic hustlers who use slavery to attack and criticize the legitimacy of our founding is: Would black Americans, yesteryear and today, have been better off if the Constitution had not been ratified — with the Northern states having gone their way and the Southern states having gone theirs — and, as a consequence, no union had been created? I think not.
Ignorance of our history, coupled with an inability to think critically, has provided considerable ammunition for those who want to divide us in pursuit of their agenda. Their agenda is to undermine the legitimacy of our Constitution in order to gain greater control over our lives. Their main targets are the nation's youths. The teaching establishment, at our public schools and colleges, is being used to undermine American values.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams041316.php3#1mRO8H2WkR7iDL7g.99
Calls for American Unity Are Either Dishonest or Naive
By Dennis Prager
Just about all candidates for president regularly announce their intent to unite Americans, to "bring us together."
It's a gimmick.
If they are sincere, they are profoundly naive; if they are just muttering sweet nothings in order to seduce Americans to vote for them, they are manipulative.
In his acceptance speech at the 2004 Democratic National Convention, John Kerry, one of the most polarizing figures in modern American political history, said, "Maybe some just see us divided into those red states and blue states, but I see us as one America: red, white and blue."
And President Barack Obama, who has disunited Americans by race, class and gender perhaps more than any president since the beginning of the 20th century, regularly campaigned on the theme of uniting Americans.
In his 2008 victory speech, President-elect Barack Obama said: "We have never been just a collection of ... red states and blue states. We are, and always will be, the United States of America."
In their current campaigns for president, Republican Gov. John Kasich and Democrat Hillary Clinton regularly proclaim their intention to bring Americans together. He, one suspects, because he is naive, and she, because she will say pretzels come from Neptune if it will garner votes.
Bringing people together is actually the theme of John Kasich's entire campaign.
One headline on the "Meet John" page of his website says, "BRINGING PEOPLE TOGETHER, LIFTING PEOPLE UP."
Senator Rob Portman said of Kasich on Feb. 1, 2016, "I am endorsing John Kasich because I believe he is the person our country needs to bring Americans together."
And Clinton, who, according to CNN, is tied with Trump for the most negatives in presidential polling for either Republicans or Democrats since 1984, also speaks repeatedly about her ability and desire to bring Americans together.
The "Hillary Clinton for President Supporters" Facebook page has even said, "We're in the business of bringing people together."
What's more, on April 6, 2016, CNN posted a YouTube video titled: "Hillary Clinton — We need a president who can bring people together."
Lanny Davis, who served as special counsel to former President Bill Clinton, wrote on The Hill website that "Clinton wants to bring us together."
Beyond Kasich and Clinton, Sen. Bernie Sanders made this a major theme in one of his ads called "Together," which begins with Sanders saying, "Our job is to bring people together."
Even Trump, who divides Republicans — not to mention other Americans — like no Republican ever has, uses this mantra.
A January article on The Hill site quoted Trump saying, "I can really bring people together."
Gov. Chris Christie introduced Trump on Super Tuesday, and a NJ.com column released that night was titled, "Christie on Super Tuesday: Trump is 'bringing the country together.'"
For the record, Sen. Ted Cruz speaks about uniting Republicans, but not often about uniting all Americans.
All calls for unity by Democrats are particularly fraudulent. Dividing Americans by race, gender and class is how the left views America and how Democratic candidates seek to win elections.
But calls for unity are meaningless no matter who makes them, because no one who calls for unity tells you what they really mean. What they really mean is that they want to unite Americans around their values — and around their values only.
Would Clinton be willing to unite all Americans around recognizing the human rights of the unborn? Would she be willing to unite all Americans around support for widespread gun ownership?
Of course not.
She is willing to unite Americans provided they adopt her views.
Would Sanders like to "bring people together" in support of reducing corporate and individual income taxes in order to spur the economy?
Would Kasich be in favor of "bringing Americans together" by having them all support increasing the size of government and the national debt? One hopes not.
I first realized the dishonesty of just about all calls for unity during a 10-year period in which I engaged in weekly dialogues with clergy of all faiths. Protestant and Catholic clergymen and women would routinely call for Christian unity. When I asked Protestants if they would support such unity if it entailed them adopting the sacraments of the Catholic Church and recognizing the pope as the Vicar of Christ on Earth, the discussion ended. Similarly, when I asked Catholic priests if they would give up the sacraments and the papacy in order to achieve unity with Protestant Christians, all talk of unity stopped. And, of course, the same would hold true for both Orthodox and non-Orthodox Jews who routinely call for Jewish unity.
Even more absurd are the calls of naive Christians and Jews to have all the "children of Abraham" — Jewish, Christian and Muslim — unite.
The calls themselves can even be dangerous. One would be hard-pressed to name a single free society that was ever united outside of wartime. The only truly united countries are totalitarian states.
So, why do presidential candidates repeat this nonsense every four years? Because Americans fall for it every four years.
But it's time to grow up. The gap between the left and right is unbridgeable. Their worldviews are mutually exclusiv
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A battle to save the Princeton battlefield
By George Will
One of history’s most important battles happened here on a field you can walk across in less than half the 45 or so minutes the battle lasted. If George Washington’s audacity on Jan. 3, 1777, had not reversed the patriots’ retreat and routed the advancing British, the American Revolution might have been extinguished.
Yet such is America’s neglect of some places that sustain its defining memories, the portion of the field over which Washington’s nation-saving charge passed is being bulldozed to make way for houses for faculty of the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS). To understand the gravity of this utterly unnecessary desecration, you must understand the astonishingly underestimated Battle of Princeton.
In December 1776, the Revolution was failing. Britain had sent to America 36,000 troops — at that point, the largest European expeditionary force ever — to crush the rebellion before a French intervention on America’s behalf. Washington had been driven from Brooklyn Heights, then from Manhattan, then out of New York. The nation barely existed as he retreated across New Jersey, into Pennsylvania.
But from there, on Christmas night, he crossed the Delaware River ice floes for a successful 45-minute (at most) attack on Britain’s Hessian mercenaries at Trenton. This was Washington’s first victory; he had not been at Lexington, Concord or Bunker Hill. Trenton would, however, have been merely an evanescent triumph, were it not for what happened 10 days later.
On Jan. 2, 1777, British Gen. Charles Cornwallis began marching 5,500 troops from Princeton to attack Washington’s slightly outnumbered forces at Trenton. Washington, leaving a few hundred soldiers to tend fires that tricked Cornwallis into thinking the patriot army was encamped, made a stealthy 14-mile night march to attack three British regiments remaining at Princeton. They collided on this field.
The most lethal weapons in this war were bayonets. The British had them. Few Americans did, and they beat a panicked retreated from the advancing steel. By his personal bravery, Washington reversed this and led a charge. An unusually tall man sitting on a large white horse, he was a clear target riding as close to British lines as first base is to home plate.
Biographer Ron Chernow writes that, at Princeton, Washington was a "warrior in the antique sense. The eighteenth-century battlefield was a compact space, its cramped contours defined by the short range of muskets and bayonet charges, giving generals a chance to inspire by their immediate presence."
When the redcoats ran, the British aura of invincibility and the strategy of "securing territory and handing out pardons" (Chernow) were shattered. And the drift of American opinion toward defeatism halted.
In his four-volume biography of Washington, James Thomas Flexner said: "The British historian George Trevelyan was to write concerning Trenton: ‘It may be doubted whether so small a number of men ever employed so short a space of time with greater and more lasting effects upon the history of the world.’ But such would not have been the result if Washington had not gone on to overwhelm Princeton."
This ground, on which patriots’ blood puddled on that 20-degree morning, has been scandalously neglected by New Jersey. Now it is being vandalized by the Institute for Advanced Study, which has spurned a $4.5 million purchase offer — more than $1 million above the appraised value — from the invaluable Civil War Trust, which is expanding its preservation activities to Revolutionary War sites.
In today’s academia there are many scholars against scholarship, including historians hostile to history — postmodernists who think the past is merely a social construct reflecting the present’s preoccupations, or power structures, or something. They partake of academia’s preference for a multicultural future of diluted, if not extinguished, nationhood, and they dislike commemorating history made by white men with guns. The IAS engaged a historian who wrote a report clotted with today’s impenetrable academic patois. He says we should not "fetishize space," and he drapes disparaging quotation marks around the words "hallowed ground."
The nation owes much to the IAS, which supported Albert Einstein, physicist Robert Oppenheimer and the diplomat and historian George F. Kennan. It is especially disheartening that a distinguished institution of scholars is indifferent to preserving a historic site that can nourish national identity.
The battle to save this battlefield, one of the nation’s most significant and most neglected sites, is not yet lost. The government in today’s Trenton, and in the city named for the man who won the 1777 battle, should assist the Civil War Trust.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will040916.php3#sWRE72RWCOAqfMmo.99
By John Stossel
North Korea is called the "worst place on earth" for good reason. Thousands of people are tortured. Some North Koreans eat rodents to try to survive, and many starve anyway. In winter, they freeze. No one but the dictator has any true freedom, and no one is allowed to leave.
One person who understands that is Yeonmi Park. Now she's 22. But for 16 years, she did amazing things "In Order to Live." That is the title of her new book.
"We didn't have enough food. I had to see dead bodies in the streets," she says. Still, she and other North Koreans worshipped the late "Dear Leader," Kim Jong Il, and his son, current leader and "Brilliant Comrade," Kim Jong Un. Yeonmi told my TV studio audience that she believed Kim "could read my mind."
When she was allowed to attend school, Yeonmi was taught to hate Americans. "We have to call all Americans 'bastards'. My math problem was 'you had four American bastards and you could choke two, how many American bastards are left to kill'? North Korea educates people that our suffering is because of these bad American bastards. Because of them, we are starving."
But tiny bits of freedom can undermine a regime's monopoly on thought. For Yeonmi, a black-market DVD of a Western film made a difference.
"I watched the movie 'Titanic' and I was shocked. Like, how could this kind of ridiculous film exist? I'd never seen people dying for love, except dying for the regime and the party."
When Yeonmi was thirteen, she and her mother escaped into China, where they were kidnapped and sold into slavery: "Chinese government, if they catch us, will sell us back to North Korea, so we are very vulnerable in China. Chinese people, they know that."
Sex traffickers took advantage of that vulnerability. "That's what happened to both of us, my mother and me." At the time, she didn't know what sex was. "I didn't even know what kissing was."
For two years, she was an abused captive. Then a Protestant mission helped her escape to South Korea by walking across the Gobi Desert.
South Korea "was another shock," because she realized that freedom meant more than just having food — it meant making her own decisions.
"I thought freedom meant wearing jeans or watching movies without worrying about getting arrested or executed," says Yeonmi, "but what freedom meant in South Korea was you've got to think for yourself. They were asking me, 'What do you think about this? What do you want to do with your life? What do you like to eat?' I was so upset, like, 'Tell me what to do, tell me what to wear!'"
South Koreans sneered at North Korean escapees. "Everybody told me I was a loser, because I am from communism country. I don't have any knowledge of Western culture."
Books became the next step in her journey. "I devoured books," she says. "One day, I picked up a book called 'Animal Farm.' That changed my life. In that book, I saw myself. I saw my grandmother."
The George Orwell allegory about how noble-sounding revolutions can turn into tyranny resonated with Yeonmi. "I could understand what really had happened to me and what really had happened to North Korea."
Today she fears for family members who have been unable to escape: "My relatives, they're back in North Korea, and now Kim Jung Un, that fat guy doesn't like me, so he's using my relatives and denouncing me as a human rights propaganda puppet of the CIA. I'm hoping for the best — that they are safe and one day I can see them again."
Since today so many Americans call themselves "victims," I asked Yeomni if she was a victim.
She said absolutely not. "I am not a victim. I am grateful I was born in North Korea and escaped ... I would go through the same journey to be free."
I pushed back, asking, "Starving and being sold into sex slavery, you would do it again?"
"Yes," she answered. "I would do that again to be free."
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1015/stossel100715.php3#HM8ewBBZX9ZysROC.99
TSA: Total Security Abyss
By Michelle Malkin
While a TSA agent pawed my hair bun this weekend, presumably on high alert for improvised explosive bobby pins, I pondered the latest news on the Somalia airplane terror attack.
Intelligence officials released video footage of airport employees in Mogadishu handing a laptop to a jihadist suspect before he boarded Daallo Airlines Airbus Flight D3159 last week. The device allegedly contained a bomb that exploded on the plane, which created a massive hole out of which the bomber was fatally sucked. Two other passengers were injured in the blast before the pilot successfully made an emergency landing.
Several airport workers have now been arrested and the FBI is in Africa assisting the investigation.
The Somalia incident is not the only suspected in-flight inside job of late. Investigators believe a ramp worker at Egypt's Sharm el Sheikh airport was recruited by ISIS to plant a bomb on the Russian airliner that crashed last fall in the desert of the Sinai Peninsula. All 224 passengers and crew members aboard Metrojet Flight 9268 perished.
America can rest easy knowing that TSA aggressively tackled my harmless chignon like the Denver Broncos on Super Bowl Sunday.
But as the TSA carries out its multibillion-dollar charade of homeland security on babies' bottles of breast milk, veterans' prosthetic devices and suburban moms' updos, who is screening the screeners?
Last summer, the Department of Homeland Security's inspector general raised the alarm on the TSA's faulty aviation worker vetting process. The IG's testing showed "that TSA did not identify 73 individuals with terrorism-related category codes because TSA is not authorized to receive all terrorism-related information under current interagency watchlisting policy." Nor does the transportation bureaucracy have effective controls in place for ensuring that its employees "had not committed crimes that would disqualify them from having unescorted access to secure airports areas" and "had lawful status and were authorized to work in the United States."
On top of that, "thousands of records used for vetting workers contained potentially incomplete or inaccurate data, such as an initial for a first name and missing social security numbers," investigators found. "TSA did not have appropriate edit checks in place to reject such records from vetting."
Stunningly, the IG disclosed that TSA has had to "deny credentials to 4,800 individuals that the airports had previously cleared for work in the United States because it could not verify lawful status for those individuals." The report does not specify when exactly these 4,800 potential illegal immigrants from around the world finally had their badges yanked.
Eight months after this disclosure, the IG reported this week, "as few as one percent of all aviation workers applications" at larger airports are subjected to the inspections process to screen out aliens here illegally, visa overstayers and individuals convicted of disqualifying crimes.
Only in the last year has the Obama administration cracked down on airport and airline employees' unfettered access to sensitive areas and ability to bypass security checkpoints.
Only in the last week has the federal government finally changed its policies to allow TSA to access counterterrorism databases.
Actually, it's not clear from the DHS inspector general John Roth's follow-up testimony on Capitol Hill this whether and when exactly this will happen. "TSA now or will soon have access to this information," he told Congress. Hmm.
Even if and when TSA officials gain access to terrorism data, however, the question is whether that information is worth anything at all. DHS whistleblower Philip Haney, a 15-year veteran of the bureaucracy, reported last week on politically correct purges of counterterrorism databases ordered by his superiors. He says he was forced to "delete or modify several hundred records of individuals tied to designated Islamist terror groups like Hamas from the important federal database, the Treasury Enforcement Communications System."
It gets worse. "Going forward," Haney recounted, "my colleagues and I were prohibited from entering pertinent information into the database." Whitewash in, whitewash out.
A budget of $7 billion. A workforce of 55,000. Useless explosives-screening "puffing" machines. Unreliable full-body scanners. Thousands of lost and stolen badges and weapons. Unknown numbers of criminals, illegal aliens, imposters and terror operatives with security clearance to do as they please on ramps and runways across America.
Welcome to TSA: The Total Security Abyss.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin021016.php3#jK1MC17EqFU5e5Rp.99
Is Trump Right About NATO?
By Patrick Buchanan
I am “not isolationist, but I am ‘America First,'” Donald Trump told The New York times last weekend. “I like the expression.”
Of NATO, where the U.S. underwrites three-fourths of the cost of defending Europe, Trump calls this arrangement “unfair, economically, to us,” and adds, “We will not be ripped off anymore.”
Beltway media may be transfixed with Twitter wars over wives and alleged infidelities. But the ideas Trump aired should ignite a national debate over U.S. overseas commitments — especially NATO.
For the Donald’s ideas are not lacking for authoritative support.
The first NATO supreme commander, Gen. Eisenhower, said in February 1951 of the alliance: “If in 10 years, all American troops stationed in Europe for national defense purposes have not been returned to the United States, then this whole project will have failed.”
As JFK biographer Richard Reeves relates, President Eisenhower, a decade later, admonished the president-elect on NATO.
“Eisenhower told his successor it was time to start bringing the troops home from Europe. ‘America is carrying far more than her share of free world defense,’ he said. It was time for other nations of NATO to take on more of the costs of their own defense.”
No Cold War president followed Ike’s counsel.
But when the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Empire, the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, and the breakup of the Soviet Union into 15 nations, a new debate erupted.
The conservative coalition that had united in the Cold War fractured. Some of us argued that when the Russian troops went home from Europe, the American troops should come home from Europe.
Time for a populous prosperous Europe to start defending itself.
Instead, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush began handing out NATO memberships, i.e., war guarantees, to all ex-Warsaw Pact nations and even Baltic republics that had been part of the Soviet Union.
In a historically provocative act, the U.S. moved its “red line” for war with Russia from the Elbe River in Germany to the Estonian-Russian border, a few miles from St. Petersburg.
We declared to the world that should Russia seek to restore its hegemony over any part of its old empire in Europe, she would be at war with the United States.
No Cold War president ever considered issuing a war guarantee of this magnitude, putting our homeland at risk of nuclear war, to defend Latvia and Estonia.
Recall. Ike did not intervene to save the Hungarian freedom fighters in 1956. Lyndon Johnson did not lift a hand to save the Czechs, when Warsaw Pact armies crushed “Prague Spring” in 1968. Reagan refused to intervene when Gen. Wojciech Jaruzelski, on Moscow’s orders, smashed Solidarity in 1981.
These presidents put America first. All would have rejoiced in the liberation of Eastern Europe. But none would have committed us to war with a nuclear-armed nation like Russia to guarantee it.
Yet, here was George W. Bush declaring that any Russian move against Latvia or Estonia meant war with the United States. John McCain wanted to extend U.S. war guarantees to Georgia and Ukraine.
This was madness born of hubris. And among those who warned against moving NATO onto Russia’s front porch was America’s greatest geostrategist, the author of containment, George Kennan:
“Expanding NATO would be the most fateful error of American policy in the post-Cold War era. Such a decision may be expected to impel Russian foreign policy in directions decidedly not to our liking.”
Kennan was proven right. By refusing to treat Russia as we treated other nations that repudiated Leninism, we created the Russia we feared, a rearming nation bristling with resentment.
The Russian people, having extended a hand in friendship and seen it slapped away, cheered the ouster of the accommodating Boris Yeltsin and the arrival of an autocratic strong man who would make Russia respected again. We ourselves prepared the path for Vladimir Putin.
While Trump is focusing on how America is bearing too much of the cost of defending Europe, it is the risks we are taking that are paramount, risks no Cold War president ever dared to take.
Why should America fight Russia over who rules in the Baltic States or Romania and Bulgaria? When did the sovereignty of these nations become interests so vital we would risk a military clash with Moscow that could escalate into nuclear war? Why are we still committed to fight for scores of nations on five continents?
Trump is challenging the mindset of a foreign policy elite whose thinking is frozen in a world that disappeared around 1991.
He is suggesting a new foreign policy where the United States is committed to war only when are attacked or U.S. vital interests are imperiled. And when we agree to defend other nations, they will bear a full share of the cost of their own defense. The era of the free rider is over.
Trump’s phrase, “America First!” has a nice ring to it.
What if the Minimum Wage Increase Is a Fraud?
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
What if the latest craze among the big-government crowd in both major political parties is to use the power of government to force employers to pay some of their employees more than their services are worth to the employers?
What if this represents an intrusion by government into the employer-employee relationship? What if this consists of the government's effectively saying that it knows the financial worth of employees' services better than the employers and the employees do?
What if the minimum wage, now on the verge of being raised to $15 per hour everywhere in the land, is really the government's using threats of ruin and force to transfer wealth? What if the $15-per-hour figure is based on a political compromise rather than on free market forces or economic realities?
What if these wealth transfers will have profound unintended economic consequences and will negatively affect everyone?
What if one of the politically intended consequences is that the employees whose salaries will rise will show gratitude not to their employers, who will be paying them more than they earn, by working better but to the politicians who will have forced the employers to pay them more by voting for those politicians?
What if the right of an employee to sell labor by going to work and the right of an employer to purchase that labor by paying a salary are part of the natural right to exchange goods and services, which the Constitution was written to protect? What if during America's most prosperous periods, that right was protected by the courts?
What if there are clauses in the Constitution that protect that right but the modern courts have ignored them? What if the Constitution prohibits the government from interfering with freely entered-into contracts but the government does so anyway? What if the courts have approved this?
What if the Constitution prohibits the government from taking property from people without charging them with wrongdoing and proving the charge to a jury but the government does so anyway? What if the courts have declined to interfere with all this theft?
What if it is none of the government's business how an employer and an employee decide on salary? What if the employer and the employee know far more about the worth of the employee's services and the needs of the employer than the politicians in the government do?
What if the government has fundamental misunderstandings of the way businesses earn money, create wealth and pay salaries? What if the government's mindset is stuck on the governmental economic model? What if that model has no competition, guaranteed revenue and no creation of wealth?
What if that governmental mindset is one of control and central planning rather than appealing to the needs of consumers by providing goods and services better, faster and more cheaply than the competition? What if the government has no need to be better, faster and cheaper because taxpayers are forced to pay it for services they often don't use and the government has no competition?
What if forcing employers to pay employees more than their services are worth results in higher prices for the goods and services the employers produce? What if the effect of the minimum wage rise is to transfer wealth not from employers to employees but from consumers to employees? What if the rising prices of goods and services, caused by the forced increase in wages, put some of those goods and services beyond the reach of some folks who rely upon them?
What if the folks who can no longer afford some goods and services on which they have come to rely are the very same people whom the politicians have boasted they are helping by the increase in the minimum wage? What if the politicians who have done this do not know what they are talking about? What if they believe they can use minimum wage increases to bribe the poor for votes — just as they bribe the wealthy with bailouts and the middle class with tax cuts?
What if there are other unintended consequences to the governmental imposition of a minimum wage? What if, rather than pay employees more than they are worth, employers stop employing some of them? What if this results in higher unemployment? What if the rise in the minimum wage has the unintended consequence of harming the folks it is supposed to help?
What if the poor are better off being gainfully employed and earning less than $15 an hour, with an opportunity for advancement, than not working, earning nothing and relying on welfare? What if that welfare burden adds to already overtaxed state budgets?
What if states raise taxes to care for the newly unemployed? What if the newly unemployed lose the self-esteem they once enjoyed when they were gainfully employed?
What if all this came about not because of market forces, such as supply and demand, and not because people worked harder and produced more but because of lawless, greedy politicians — heedless of basic economics — who think they can write any law, regulate any behavior and tax any event without adverse consequences?
What if the politicians who caused this did so just to win the votes of those they promised to help? What if these politicians only helped themselves? What if the minimum wage increase is a fraud? What do we do about it?
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0416/napolitano040716.php3#0e1M9e3UyRFOwOU8.99
Campus Lunacy, Part II
By Walter Williams
Professor Victor Davis Hanson, a JWR columnist, is a classicist and historian with the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. He recently wrote an article titled "The hypocrisy behind the student renaming craze." Students, often with the blessing of faculty, have discovered that names for campus buildings and holidays do not always fit politically correct standards for race, class and sex.
Stanford students have demanded the renaming of buildings, malls and streets bearing the name of the recently canonized Junipero Serra, an 18th-century Franciscan priest who was often unkind to American Indians. Harvard Law School is getting rid of its seal because it bears the coat of arms of the Royalls, a slave-owning family. This renaming craze is widespread and includes dozens of colleges and universities, including Amherst, Georgetown, Princeton, Yale and the University of California, Berkeley. The students have decided that some politically incorrect people from centuries ago are bad. Other politically incorrect people are not quite so bad if they were at least sometimes liberal; their names can stay.
San Diego State University students are not demanding that the school eliminate its nickname, "Aztecs," even though the Aztecs enslaved and slaughtered tens of thousands of people from tribes they conquered — often ripping out the hearts of living victims. Should UC Berkeley students and faculty demand the renaming of Warren Hall, named after California Attorney General Earl Warren, who instigated the wartime internment of tens of thousands of innocent Japanese-American citizens? UC Berkeley students and faculty might consider renaming their Cesar E. Chavez Student Center. Chavez sent his thug lieutenants down to California's southern border to use violence to prevent job-seeking Mexican immigrants from entering the United States. President Woodrow Wilson was a racist who, among other racist acts, segregated civil service jobs. Should Princeton University rename its Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs plus rename its Woodrow Wilson fellowship program?
Most universities have a women's studies program. Part of their agenda is to make sure men learn that "no" means "no" and condemn any form of sexual assault. Should campus feminists make clear that former President Bill Clinton, a womanizer and exploiter of women, is unwelcome on any campus? Should they also protest any appearance by his enabler, Hillary Clinton, who helped demonize her husband's female accusers by cracking down on "bimbo eruptions"?
Recently, Brown University changed its Columbus Day celebration to Indigenous People's Day. By the way, many cities are following suit. There may be a problem. According to publications such as Lawrence H. Keeley's "War Before Civilization: The Myth of the Peaceful Savage" and Steven A. LeBlanc and Katherine E. Register's "Constant Battles: The Myth of the Peaceful, Noble Savage," we may have to rethink just how noble and peaceful American Indians were prior to Christopher Columbus. American Indians waged brutal tribal wars long before Europeans showed up. The evidence is especially strong in the American Southwest, where archaeologists have found numerous skeletons with projectile points embedded in them and other marks of violence. Comanche Indians were responsible for some of the most brutal slaughters in the history of Western America.
Our military has a number of deadly aircraft named with what the nation's leftist might consider racial slights, such as the Comanche, Apache, Iroquois, Kiowa, Lakota and the more peaceful Mescalero. Should they be renamed? Our military might also be seen as disrespecting the rights and dignity of animals. Should military death-dealing aircraft named after peace-loving animals — such as the Eagle, Falcon, Raptor, Cobra and Dolphin — be renamed? Renaming deadly aircraft might receive a sympathetic ear from our politically correct secretary of defense, Ashton Carter.
Victor Davis Hanson says that changing history through renaming is nothing new. Back in the Roman days, the practice was called damnatio memoriae, a Latin phrase meaning "condemnation of memory." It was practiced when the Romans wanted to erase the memory of people they deemed dishonorable; it was as if they had never existed.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams040616.php3#33cGGZur8OIQVtRy.99
When Did It Become Controversial To Keep Men Out Of The Women's Bathroom?
"But I will tell you what: the first man that walks in my daughter’s bathroom, he ain’t going to have to worry about surgery.” -- Lt. Gen. (ret.) William “Jerry” Boykin
I’m sure there are a great many people who are probably shocked to see that quote from William Boykin, but why should they be? Men have had that sort of protective attitude toward their daughters for as long as anyone can remember. That hasn’t changed, but what has recently changed is the profoundly unhealthy attitude many people in our society have taken towards transsexualism.
Determining what percentage of the population is actually transgender is very difficult. For example, would Bruce Jenner have counted before he started dressing in women’s clothes or not? But, the best estimate puts transgenders at about .3% of the population. However, if you’re talking about people who’ve had hormones and surgery and also dress in the opposite gender’s clothes as opposed to simply “feeling like a woman,” it’s most certainly lower. On the other hand, roughly 50.4% of Americans really are women. That means there are 168 women for every transgender person in America. Even if we accept that a transgender man dressed like a woman would be embarrassed to go into a men’s bathroom, doesn’t it make more sense for him to be uncomfortable than all those women? Why do his rights supersede the rights of so many women who just want to use the bathroom in peace without prying male eyes watching them?
Even with the limited experience we have as a society with this ridiculous idea, there have already been some incidents that should prompt the concern of lawmakers who are interested in protecting women in their state.
* "A Palmdale, California man wearing women’s clothing was arrested in a Lancaster Macy’s store after he was seen in a women’s bathroom. The man was allegedly videotaping women in the bathroom."
* “Seattle Parks and Recreation is facing a first-of-a-kind challenge to gender bathroom rules. A man undressed in a women’s locker room, citing a new state rule that allows people to choose a bathroom based on gender identity. It was a busy time at Evans Pool....The pool was open for lap swim. According to Seattle Parks and Recreation, a man wearing board shorts entered the women’s locker room and took off his shirt. Women alerted staff, who told the man to leave, but he said “the law has changed and I have a right to be here.”
How would you feel if you watched your 8-year-old daughter walk into a locker room and that man in Seattle walked in right after her? For that matter, what would you think about your college-aged daughter having to get dressed next to Bruce Jenner, who still has his male genitalia and is attracted to women? In a society where you can’t go five minutes without hearing someone scream “rape culture” or “it’s a war on women,” how is it that a threat to the safety, comfort and privacy of women in the bathroom is being treated like it is irrelevant?
It stems from the uniquely unhealthy way we treat this mental disorder and, yes, if you feel like you are the wrong gender, you have a mental disorder. The good news, especially if you’re young, is that it’s probably not a permanent condition. As the former psychiatrist in chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital Dr. Paul McHugh has said, “80% of those kids will” grow out of it as they get older.
So, what about the other 20% who will feel like they have the “wrong” gender long-term? Mental illness doesn’t make you a bad or broken person any more than a broken leg does, but like a broken leg, your disorder needs to be treated. Some people get over a broken leg in a few months. Others may have to deal with the consequences of that misfortune for the rest of their lives. So it is with mental illness. If you have a mental illness, it is possible that you may have to struggle with it for your entire life. That’s a sad reality that millions of decent people have to deal with every day.
Unfortunately, when it comes to transsexuals we make two huge mistakes.
First, we encourage them to embrace their mental illness. We don’t do this with depression, schizophrenia, paranoia, multiple personality disorder or almost anything else because it’s a terrible idea. It’s like telling someone who’s depressed that he’s worthless and everyone else would be better off without him. We would be appalled if anyone did that; yet encouraging someone to mutilate himself in a futile attempt to change genders is an even more horrible thing to do to another human being.
Our second mistake is that instead of having sympathy for people in that position, wishing them well and hoping for their recovery, we insist that everyone else cater to their mental disorder. There’s no law that says you have to stop cutting your hedges because your paranoid neighbor is suspicious of it. There’s no law that says you have to ask a person with multiple personality disorder whom he’s speaking to so you don’t shock him if you call him the wrong name. So, why are we willing to violate the privacy of half the population at one of their most vulnerable points during the day in order to cater to a mental disorder that afflicts a fraction of a percent of Americans?
This is insanity and until this mental health issue is no longer falsely treated like a civil rights issue, legislatures should do their duty and protect their female citizens by passing bathroom bills.
Lock Out the Establishment in Cleveland!
By Patrick Buchanan
The Wisconsin primary could be an axle-breaking speed bump on Donald Trump’s road to the nomination.
Ted Cruz, now the last hope to derail Trump of a desperate Beltway elite that lately loathed him, has taken the lead in the Badger State.
Millions in attack ads are being dumped on the Donald’s head by super PACs of GOP candidates, past and present. Gov. Scott Walker has endorsed Cruz. Conservative talk radio is piling on Trump.
And the Donald just had the worst two weeks of his campaign.
There was that unseemly exchange with Cruz about their wives. Then came the pulling of the woman reporter’s arm by campaign chief Corey Lewandowski, an atrocity being likened by the media to the burning of Joan of Arc.
Then there was Trump’s suggestion, instantly withdrawn, that if abortion is outlawed, then women who undergo abortions may face some punishment.
This gaffe told us nothing we did not know. New to elective politics, Trump is less familiar with the ideological and issues terrain than those who live there. But the outrage of the elites is all fakery.
Democrats do not care a hoot about the right to life of unborn babies, even unto the ninth month of pregnancy. And the Republican establishment is grabbing any stick to beat Trump, not because he threatens the rights of women, but because he threatens them.
The establishment’s problem is that Trump refuses to take the saddle. Again and again, he has defied the dictates of political correctness that they designed to stifle debate and demonize dissent.
Trump has gotten away with his insubordination and shown, with his crowds, votes, and victories, that millions of alienated Americans detest the Washington establishment and relish his defiance.
Trump has denounced the trade treaties, from NAFTA to GATT to the WTO and MFN for China, that have de-industrialized America, imperil our sovereignty and independence, and cost millions of good jobs.
And who is responsible for the trade deals that sold out Middle America? “Free-trade” Republicans who signed on to “fast-track,” surrendered Congress’ rights to amend trade treaties, and buckled to every demand of the Business Roundtable.
The unstated premise of the Trump campaign is that some among the Fortune 500 companies are engaged in economic treason against America.
No wonder they hate him.
As for Trump’s call for an “America First” foreign policy, it threatens the rice bowls of those for whom imperial interventions are the reason for their existence.
If the primary goals of U.S. foreign policy become the avoidance of confrontations with great nuclear powers and staying out of unnecessary wars, who needs neocons?
Should Trump lose Wisconsin, he can recoup in New York on April 19, and the following week in Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware and Maryland.
Yet, a loss in Wisconsin would make Trump’s climb to a first-ballot nomination steeper.
Still, if Trump goes to Cleveland, having won the most votes, the most states and the most delegates, stealing the nomination from him would split the party worse than in 1964.
The GOP could be looking at a 1912, when ex-President Theodore Roosevelt, who won the most contested primaries, was rejected in favor of President Taft. Teddy walked out, ran on the “Bull Moose” ticket, beat Taft in the popular vote, and Woodrow Wilson was elected.
Cruz says the nomination of Trump would mean an “absolute trainwreck” in November. But, Cruz, 45, with a future in the party, would be foolish to walk out as a sore loser, as Nelson Rockefeller and George Romney did in 1964.
A Cruz rejection of a nominee Trump would mean the end of Cruz. The elites would hypocritically applaud Ted’s heroism, publicly bewail his passing, then happily bury and be rid of him.
Cruz, no fool, has to know this.
If the nomination is taken from Trump, who will be 70 in June, he has nothing to lose. And as “Julius Caesar” reminds us, “such men are dangerous.”
Trump and Cruz, though bitter enemies, are both despised by the establishment. Yet both have a mutual interest: insuring that one of them, and only one of them, wins the nomination. No one else.
And if they set aside grievances, and act together, they can block any establishment favorite from being imposed on the party, as was one-worlder Wendell Willkie, “the barefoot boy of Wall Street,” in 1940.
All Trump and Cruz need do is instruct their delegates to vote to retain Rule 40 from the 2012 convention. Rule 40 declares that no candidate can be placed in nomination who has failed to win a majority of the delegates in eight states.
Trump has already hit that mark. Cruz almost surely will. But no establishment favorite has a chance of reaching it.
With Cruz and Trump delegates voting to retain Rule 40, they can guarantee no Beltway favorite walks out of Cleveland as the nominee — and that Ted Cruz or Donald Trump does.
No matter who wins in Cleveland, the establishment must lose.
Nuclear Jihad: The Threats Are Inside Our Tent
By Michelle Malkin
It's not over. It's never over. After last week's deadly airport and subway bombings in Brussels, the Belgian government remains on high alert for jihad attacks and espionage at its nuclear facilities.
One Belgian nuke plant security guard was murdered recently and his ID is missing. Two of the Brussels bombers reportedly spied on the home of a top senior scientist in the country's nuclear program. ISIS has been implicated in an alleged insider plot to obtain radioisotopes from one of Belgium's nuclear plants for a dirty bomb. Two former Belgian nuke plant workers left their jobs to fight for ISIS in Syria.
This is all according to plan. The al-Qaida house organ, Inspire magazine, has urged its followers to conduct attacks using "specialized expertise and those who work in sensitive locations that would offer them unique opportunities" to wreak havoc.
Could Islamic terrorists and other criminal menaces now exploit homeland security vulnerabilities at our own nuclear power plants and other utilities here in the U.S.?
Answer: They already have.
In 2011, a little-remembered Department of Homeland Security intelligence report warned of the ongoing enterprise of jihadi infiltration at nuclear, utility and other infrastructure facilities. The memo, titled "Insider Threat to Utilities," warned that "violent extremists have, in fact, obtained insider positions." Moreover, "outsiders have attempted to solicit utility-sector employees" for damaging physical and cyber attacks.
"Based on the reliable reporting of previous incidents, we have high confidence in our judgment that insiders and their actions pose a significant threat to the infrastructure and information systems of U.S. facilities," the bulletin detailed. "[I]nsider information on sites, infrastructure, networks, and personnel is valuable to our adversaries and may increase the impact of any attack on the utilities infrastructure."
No kidding, Captain Obvious and First Lieutenant Duh!
Since the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. nuclear industry has spent more than $2 billion upgrading security — including more than doubling the number of armed guards at entrances and checkpoints surrounding the plants.
But when the threats are coming from inside the tent, all those armed forces outside the perimeters are for show.
South Jersey jihadist and al-Qaida-linked radical Sharif Mobley held positions at several nuclear power plants in Salem County, New Jersey, before moving to Yemen. He had passed several federal background checks as recently as 2008. In December, Mobley was sentenced to 10 years in prison after shooting a guard during an attempted escape from detention on terrorism charges.
How many radicalized Muslims — homegrown converts, foreign business visa holders and foreign students — are working inside America's sensitive infrastructure? Thanks to our suicidal refusal to profile international visitors and workers from jihadist breeding grounds, nobody knows!
Politically correct politicians and terror-coddling grievance groups condemn monitoring and tracking of Muslim refugees and Muslims enclaves (such as those in Minneapolis and Maine where tens of thousands of Somalis have resettled). They cried "Islamophobia" when homeland security officials wanted to interview Muslim visa holders from terror-sponsoring nations after the 9/11 attacks.
And consider this: There are now more than 100,000 Muslim students accepted into U.S. college and universities every year from the Middle East and North Africa. Nuclear engineering is one of the fields of study for which F-1 foreign student visa holders can obtain work and extended residency through the Optional Training Program. None are screened for jihadist loyalties and sympathies.
How many legal visa holders (let alone illegal visa overstayers) who entered through these pipelines have gained access to sensitive facilities? Nobody knows!
Earlier this year, DHS admitted it doesn't investigate 99 percent of illegal visa overstayers who entered here on business or tourism — 500,000-plus in 2015 alone, including thousands from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Pakistan, Syria and Yemen. The feds still haven't compiled up-to-date visa overstay data for those who came in as foreign students and guest workers (including high-tech foreigners working in science, technology, engineering and mathematics).
Then there are the security breaches involving who knows how many illegal border-crossers, fake document users and deportation violators. Dozens of illegal immigrants using fake Social Security numbers were swept up in immediate post-9/11 raids at nuclear sub bases, power plants and Navy aircraft carriers. But it didn't take long for the feds to hit the snooze button.
In 2011, Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio arrested Cruz Loya Alvares, who was working at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station despite being a Mexican illegal immigrant who had been deported in 2000. He paid human smugglers to bring him back, secured work in construction, and somehow escaped re-deportation despite being cited by Mesa County Police for driving with a suspended license.
In 2012, another Mexican illegal immigrant, Nestor Martinez-Ochoa, who worked in construction, was arrested after trying to enter the same Palo Verde nuclear power plant with a fake ID — not by federal authorities, but again by Arpaio's office.
These arrests are exceptions, not the rule. Worksite enforcement under President Obama is a joke.
The specter of nuclear jihad is terrifying, but the chilling fact is that homeland security has already been in meltdown for years. We're doing ourselves in.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin033016.php3#OQdxfE8Qp4lIZ572.99
Republican peculiarities in this political season are so numerous and lurid that insufficient attention is being paid to this: The probable Democratic nominee’s principal credential, her service as secretary of state, is undermined by a debacle of remarkable dishonesty.
Hillary Clinton’s supposedly supreme presidential qualification is not her public prominence, which is derivative from her marriage, or her unremarkable tenure in a similarly derivative Senate seat. Rather, her supposed credential is her foreign policy mastery. Well.
She cannot be blamed for Vladimir Putin’s criminality or, therefore, for the failure of her “reset” with Russia, which was perhaps worth trying. She cannot be blamed for the many defects of the Iran nuclear agreement, which was a presidential obsession. And she cannot be primarily blamed for the calamities of Iraq, Syria and the Islamic State, which were incubated before her State Department tenure. Libya, however, was what is known in tennis as an “unforced error,” and Clinton was, with President Obama, its co-author.
On March 28, 2011, nine days after the seven-month attack on Libya began and 10 days after saying that it would last “days, not weeks,” Obama gave the nation televised assurance that “the task that I assigned our forces [is] to protect the Libyan people from immediate danger and to establish a no-fly zone.” He said that U.S. forces would play only a “supporting role” in what he called a “NATO-based” operation, although only eight of NATO’s 28 members participated and the assault could not have begun without U.S. assets. Obama added: “Broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake.”
The next day, a Clinton deputy repeated this to a Senate committee. And then-Defense Secretary Robert Gates said at the time that no vital U.S. interest was at stake. Recently, he told the New York Times that “the fiction was maintained” that the goal was to cripple Moammar Gaddafi’s ability to attack other Libyans. This was supposedly humanitarian imperialism implementing “R2P,” the “responsibility to protect.” Perhaps as many as — many numbers were bandied — 10,000 Libyans. R2P did not extend to protecting the estimated 200,000 Syrians that have been killed since 2011 by Bashar al-Assad’s tanks, artillery, bombers, barrel bombs and poison gas.
Writing for Foreign Policy online, Micah Zenko, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, notes that “just hours into the intervention, Tomahawk cruise missiles launched from a British submarine stationed in the Mediterranean Sea struck an administrative building in [Gaddafi’s] Bab al-Azizia compound, less than 50 yards away from the dictator’s residence.” A senior military official carefully insisted that Gaddafi was “not on a targeting list.” This was sophistry in the service of cynicism: For months, places he might have been were on targeting lists.
The pretense was that this not-really-NATO operation, with the United States “supporting” it, was merely to enforce U.N. resolutions about protecting Libyans from Gaddafi. Zenko, however, argues that the coalition “actively chose not to enforce” the resolution prohibiting arms transfers to either side in the civil war. While a senior NATO military official carefully said “I have no information about” arms coming into Libya, and another carefully said that no violation of the arms embargo “has been reported,” Zenko writes that “Egypt and Qatar were shipping advanced weapons to rebel groups the whole time, with the blessing of the Obama administration.”
On May 24, 2011, NATO released a public relations video showing sailors from a Canadian frigate, supposedly enforcing the arms embargo, boarding a rebel tugboat laden with arms. The video’s narrator says: “NATO decides not to impede the rebels and to let the tugboat proceed.” Zenko writes, “A NATO surface vessel stationed in the Mediterranean to enforce an arms embargo did exactly the opposite, and NATO was comfortable posting a video demonstrating its hypocrisy.”
On Oct. 20, 2011, Clinton, while visiting Afghanistan, was told that insurgents, assisted by a U.S. Predator drone, had caught and slaughtered Gaddafi. She quipped: “We came, we saw, he died.” She later said that her words expressed “relief” that the mission “had achieved its end.”
Oh, so this military adventure was, after all, history’s most protracted and least surreptitious assassination. Regime change was deliberately accomplished by the determined decapitation of the old regime, and Libyans are now living in the result — a failed state.
Stopping in Libya en route to Afghanistan two days before Gaddafi’s death, Clinton said, “I am proud to stand here on the soil of a free Libya.” If you seek her presidential credential, look there.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will033116.php3#3q1vSFXoiQfCssQe.99
The Clinton Investigation Enters a Dangerous Phase
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
The FBI investigation of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's failure to protect state secrets contained in her emails has entered its penultimate phase, and it is a dangerous one for her and her aides.
Federal law enforcement sources have let it be known that federal prosecutors and the FBI have completed their examination of raw data in the case. After the FBI acquires raw data — for example, the nature and number of the state secrets in the emails Clinton failed to protect or the regular, consistent, systematic nature of that failure — prosecutors and agents proceed to draw rational inferences from that data.
Then they proceed to corroborate those inferences, looking for other sources to support or even to contradict them. With one exception, all of this work has been done with neutral sources of evidence — documents, email metadata, government records and technical experts.
The exception is Bryan Pagliano, the one member of Clinton's inner circle who, with either a written promise of non-prosecution or an order of immunity from a federal judge, began to cooperate with federal prosecutors last fall.
Here is what he told the feds.
Pagliano has explained to federal prosecutors the who, what, when, how and why he migrated an open State Department email stream and a secret State Department email stream from government computers to Clinton's secret server in her home in Chappaqua, New York. He has told them that Clinton paid him $5,000 to commit that likely criminal activity.
He has also told some of the 147 FBI agents assigned to this case that Clinton herself was repeatedly told by her own State Department information technology experts and their colleagues at the National Security Agency that her persistent use of her off-the-shelf BlackBerry was neither an effective nor an acceptable means of receiving, transmitting or safeguarding state secrets. Little did they know how reckless she was with government secrets, as none was apparently then aware of her use of her non-secure secret server in Chappaqua for all of her email uses.
We know that the acquisition and corroboration phase of the investigation has been completed because the prosecutors have begun to ask Clinton's top aides during her time as secretary of state to come in for interviews. This is a delicate and dangerous phase for the aides, all of whom have engaged counsel to represent them.
Here are the dangers.
The Department of Justice will not reveal to the aides or their lawyers what it knows about the case or what evidence of criminal wrongdoing, if any, it has acquired on each of them. Hence, if they submit to an FBI interview, they will go in "blind." By going in blind, the aides run the risk of getting caught in a "perjury trap." Though not under oath, they could be trapped into lying by astute prosecutors and aggressive FBI agents, as it is a crime — the equivalent of perjury — to lie to them or materially mislead them.
For this reason, most white-collar criminal defense lawyers will not permit their clients to be interviewed by any prosecutors or FBI agents. Martha Stewart's lawyers failed to give her that advice, and she went to prison for one lie told in one conversation with one FBI agent.
After interviewing any Clinton aides who choose to be interviewed, the DOJ personnel on the case will move their investigation into its final phase, in which they will ask Clinton herself whether she wishes to speak with them. The prosecutors will basically tell her lawyers that they have evidence of the criminal behavior of their client and that before they present it to a grand jury, they want to afford Clinton an opportunity blindly to challenge it.
This will be a moment she must devoutly wish would pass from her, as she will face a damned-if-you-do, damned-if-you-don't dilemma.
Here is her dilemma.
If she were to talk to federal prosecutors and FBI agents, they would catch her in many inconsistencies, as she has spoken with great deception in public about this case. She has, for example, stated many times that she used the private server so she could have one mobile device for all of her emails. The FBI knows she had four mobile devices. She has also falsely claimed publicly and under oath that she neither sent nor received anything "marked classified." The FBI knows that nothing is marked classified, and its agents also know that her unprotected secret server transmitted some of the nation's gravest secrets.
The prosecutors and agents cannot be happy about her public lies and her repeated demeaning attitude about their investigation, and they would have an understandable animus toward her if she were to meet with them.
If she were to decline to be interviewed — a prudent legal but treacherous political decision — the feds would leak her rejection of their invitation, and political turmoil would break loose because one of her most imprudent and often repeated public statements in this case has been that she can't wait to talk to the FBI. That's a lie, and the FBI knows it.
Some Democrats who now understand the gravity of the case against Clinton have taken to arguing lately that the feds should establish a different and higher bar — a novel and unknown requirement for a greater quantum of evidence and proof of a heavier degree of harm — before Clinton can be prosecuted. They have suggested this merely because she is the likely Democratic presidential nominee.
The public will never stand for that. America has a bedrock commitment to the rule of law. The rule of law means that no one is beneath the law's protections or above its requirements. The DOJ is not in the business of rewriting the law, but the Democrats should get in the business of rethinking Clinton's status as their presumptive presidential nominee, lest a summer catastrophe come their way.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0316/napolitano033116.php3#lW71YD9uhr6ao3CO.99
By Walter Williams
The American Council of Trustees and Alumni publishes occasional reports on what college students know. Nearly 10 percent of the college graduates surveyed thought Judith Sheindlin, TV's "Judge Judy," is a member of the U.S. Supreme Court. Less than 20 percent of the college graduates knew the effect of the Emancipation Proclamation. More than a quarter of the college graduates did not know Franklin D. Roosevelt was president during World War II; one-third did not know he was the president who spearheaded the New Deal. But it is little mystery why so many college students are illiterate, innumerate and resistant to understanding. Let's look at it.
Student activists at Brown University complained of emotional stress and poor grades after they spent months of protesting for various causes. They blamed the university for insisting that they complete their coursework. One of the objects of their protest was an op-ed in The Brown Daily Herald, the university newspaper, that was deemed racist because it defended the celebration of Columbus Day. Brown University's faculty recently took care of that and renamed Columbus Day "Indigenous People's Day."
Professor Salvador Vidal-Ortiz of American University told his students that capitalism dehumanizes brown people and black people. If his students had one iota of brains, they might ask him why it is that brown and black people all over the world are seeking to flee to countries toward the capitalist end of the economic spectrum rather than the communist end. Campus Reform reports that Vidal-Ortiz, during the Q&A of a book talk at the University of Virginia, said he tells his students that though he is light-skinned, he refuses to be called white. "I will not be labeled as something that I know is violent," he said.
College administrators are short on guts and backbone. But there is a glimmer of hope every now and then. Young Americans for Liberty at Rutgers University invited Breitbart News' technology editor, Milo Yiannopoulos, who is a homosexual, to give a lecture. Yiannopoulos describes his lecture tour as "The Most Dangerous Faggot Tour." His lecture was titled "How the Progressive Left Is Destroying American Education." There were about 400 students who attended his lecture, plus there were protesters who smeared themselves with fake blood. Despite student opposition, Rutgers University President Robert Barchi called on his university to stand up for free speech, saying, "That freedom is fundamental to our university, our society, and our nation." That was also Yiannopoulos' message, namely: "The purpose of university is to interrogate new ideas, discover ourselves, meet new people and explore the world. What it ought to be is a free space without trigger warnings. In my view, anyone who asks for a trigger warning should be expelled. What they've demonstrated is that they are incapable of being exposed to new ideas."
Then there is Dr. Everett Piper, president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University, who bravely told his students, "This is not a day care. It's a university."
Stanford University's board of trustees is to be congratulated for not caving in to the diversity crowd in its selection of highly distinguished scientist Marc Tessier-Lavigne as university president. Students furiously denounced the choice because Tessier-Lavigne is a white man. The student-run Stanford Political Journal wrote: "We believe the Search Committee intended to select the best possible candidate, and, of course, white men should not have automatically been precluded from the search. However ... it would have been fitting for Stanford to select a president that deviates from the traditional white, straight, male mode."
The University of Missouri System's board of curators is also to be congratulated for firing professor Melissa Click, who was videotaped intimidating a student reporter during demonstrations that led to the cowardly resignations of the system's president, Timothy M. Wolfe, and chancellor, R. Bowen Loftin. Her firing was not a result of administrator and faculty decency. Private donations had plummeted, and Missouri lawmakers were proposing an $8 million cut in the system's budget. That proves what I have always held: Nothing opens the closed minds of administrators better than the sounds of pocketbooks snapping shut.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams033016.php3#z9WUiQdXP78rqeuZ.99
Supreme Court Hypocrisy
By Thomas Sowell
If there is one thing that is bipartisan in Washington, it is brazen hypocrisy.
Currently there is much indignation being expressed by Democrats because the Republican-controlled Senate refuses to hold confirmation hearings on President Obama's nominee to the Supreme Court, to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.
The Democrats complain, and the media echo their complaint, that it is the Senate's duty to provide "advice and consent" on the President's appointment of various federal officials. Therefore, according to this claim, the Senate is neglecting its Constitutional duty by refusing even to hold hearings to determine whether the nominee is qualified, and then vote accordingly.
First of all, the "advice and consent" provision of the Constitution is a restriction on the President's power, not an imposition of a duty on the Senate. It says nothing about the Senate's having a duty to hold hearings, or vote, on any Presidential nominee, whether for the Supreme Court or for any other federal institution. The power to consent is the power to refuse to consent, and for many years no hearings were held, whether the Senate consented or did not consent.
Nor have Democrats hesitated, when they controlled the Senate, to refuse to hold hearings or to vote when a lame-duck President nominated someone for some position requiring Senate confirmation during a Presidential election year.
When the shoe was on the other foot, the Republicans made the same arguments as the Democrats are making today, and the Democrats made the same arguments as the Republicans are now making.
The obvious reason, in both cases, is that the party controlling the Senate wants to save the appointment for their own candidate for the Presidency to make after winning the upcoming election. The rest is political hypocrisy on both sides.
None of this is new. It was already well-known 40 years ago, when President Gerald Ford nominated me to become one of the commissioners of the Federal Trade Commission during the 1976 Presidential election year.
After months passed without any hearings being held, I went to see the chief legislative aide of the committee that was responsible for confirming or denying. When the two of us were alone, he said to me, quite frankly, "We've gone over your record with a fine tooth comb and can find nothing to object to. So we are simply not going to hold hearings at all."
"If this were not an election year," he said, "your nomination would have sailed right through. But we think our man is going to win the Presidential election this year, and we want him to nominate someone in tune with our thinking."
Various Democrats who are currently denouncing the Republican Senate, including Vice President Biden, have used very similar arguments against letting lame-duck Republican Presidents appoint Supreme Court justices.
Last week, the New York Times ran a front-page "news" story about something Chief Justice John Roberts had said, more than a month ago, prior to the death of Justice Scalia, under the headline "Stern Rebuke For Senators."
Since Justice Scalia was still alive then, and there was no Supreme Court vacancy to fill at the time, Chief Justice Roberts' remarks had nothing to do with the current controversy. Nor were these remarks news after such a long lapse of time. But this was part of a pattern of the New York Times' disguising editorials as front-page news stories.
In short, the political hypocrisy was matched by journalistic hypocrisy. Indeed, there was more than a little judicial hypocrisy in Chief Justice Roberts' complaint that Senate confirmation hearings on Supreme Court nominees do not confine themselves to the nominees' judicial qualifications, rather than their conservative or liberal orientations.
If judges confined themselves to acting like judges, instead of legislating from the bench, creating new "rights" out of thin air that are nowhere to be found in the Constitution, maybe Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominees would not be such bitter and ugly ideological battles.
Chief Justice Roberts himself practically repealed the 10th Amendment's limitation on federal power when he wrote the decision that the government could order us all to buy ObamaCare insurance policies. When judges act like whores, they can hardly expect to be treated like nuns.
Politicians, journalists and judges should all spare us pious hypocrisy.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell032916.php3#WV5zr7DgVvZUGsqm.99
Obama's Unacceptable Love Affair With Communism
Conservatives and other Obama critics are entitled to a big "I told you so," after Obama's stunning admission that he doesn't believe there's that much difference between communism and capitalism.
Actually, it's not that stunning to people paying attention. Many of us warned about Obama's Marxist sympathies before he was first elected president, and we've repeatedly pointed it out during his presidency. Obama was raised and mentored by communists and spent many years engaged in community organizing (radical leftist activism). He established himself as the most liberal member of the Senate. Yet our warnings were met with cries of extremism, irrationality and, of course, racism. I wonder what these scolds would say now.
After playing his fiddle in Cuba and paying homage to the romanticized Marxist Castro regime while Belgium was burning, Obama spoke to a group of young people in Argentina. He told them, essentially, that there isn't much difference between capitalism and socialism and that they "should be practical." He said: "You don't have to worry about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory. You should just decide what works."
He praised President Raul Castro in Cuba for his country's universal health care and quality education. Please don't tell me you find that hard to believe, either.
Such extreme leftists as Obama are bound to ignore history and the mountains of evidence that render a verdict against socialism as a destroyer of prosperity and an enslaver and slayer of mankind. Their worldview compels them to advocate economic and political control over the masses for the ends they seek, and they shut themselves off from all information indicating that to exercise such control over markets prevents the very results they profess to seek.
Robert Bartley, late Wall Street Journal editor, said, "In general, 'the market' is smarter than the smartest of its individual participants." This was a modern restatement of Adam Smith's theories concerning the invisible hand of the market.
In "The Wealth of Nations," Smith wrote that an individual who "intends only his own gain" is "led by an invisible hand to promote an end which was no part of his intention." He added: "By pursuing his own interest he frequently promotes that of the society more effectually than when he really intends to promote it. I have never known much good done by those who affected to trade for the public good."
The great Milton Friedman explained: "Smith's key insight was that both parties to an exchange can benefit and that, so long as cooperation is strictly voluntary, no exchange will take place unless both parties do benefit. No external force, no coercion, no violation of freedom is necessary to produce cooperation among individuals all of whom can benefit."
Smith, Friedman and Bartley agreed that free market competition benefits individuals and the society as a whole and that there is no way a command economy, even managed by the most brilliant and beneficent of human beings, can possibly bring about comparable results.
Faith in Marxism, communism and socialism is grounded in human pride and promoted by people who believe they can defy the forces of human nature and the way the world works. Despite their hubris, it is impossible for a group of economic planners, no matter how gifted, to assimilate and utilize the infinite data necessary to make an economy run efficiently. In a free market, prices, profits and losses work in ways planners can't.
Thomas Sowell, in "Basic Economics," tells us: "Prices are not just ways of transferring money. Their primary role is to provide financial incentives to affect behavior in the use of resources and their resulting products. Prices not only guide consumers, they guide producers as well. ... Producers cannot possibly know what millions of different consumers want." Sowell adds that losses are equally important to profits for economic efficiency because they "tell producers what to stop doing — what to stop producing, where to stop putting resources, what to stop investing in. Losses force the producers to stop producing what consumers don't want."
Sowell notes that in allocating resources, command economies stifle the work of free market prices because in a command economy, prices are set not by supply and demand but by central planners. In other words, no matter how noble their goals, the planners lack the omniscience of market forces.
People with a modicum of common sense and basic fairness must acknowledge that among the reasons the United States has been uniquely prosperous is its free market system. They must also concede that socialism results in widespread poverty, misery and death. It has been estimated that in the 20th century, communist regimes in China, the Soviet Union, Cambodia, North Korea, Eastern Europe and elsewhere killed nearly 100 million people.
Yet our president is gallivanting about the globe telling young people and anyone else who'll listen that there isn't a dime's worth of difference between communism and capitalism.
This kind of pernicious thinking is what is leading to the impoverishment and destruction of the United States, and it must be defeated, which is why in November, we must elect a candidate who clearly understands the relationship among limited government, our liberties and prosperity. The one candidate who believes that our unalienable rights come from God and that they are preserved by the scheme of limited government enshrined in the U.S. Constitution is Sen. Ted Cruz.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh032916.php3#UpYBRJjS6FW5fgxZ.99
Judge Garland and the Left's Disdain for Truth
By Dennis Prager
The mainstream media -- that is, the liberal media -- share all the views and characteristics of the left. Among these is the left's view of truth. There are honest individuals with left-wing views, and dishonest individuals on the right. But truth is not a leftist value. Everything the left believes in is more important than truth: social justice, economic equality, reducing carbon emissions, expanding the power of the state, battling sexism, homophobia, Islamophobia, racism, and above all of these, destroying its conservative opposition.
The media's coverage of President Barack Obama's nomination of Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court should serve as one of the most blatant examples of both the left-wing orientation of the news media and their willingness to play with truth.
On March 16, the day after Garland's nomination, every major mainstream news outlet, both print and electronic, depicted the judge as a centrist.
The first sentence of The New York Times front page read: "WASHINGTON -- President Obama on Wednesday nominated Merrick B. Garland to be the nation's 113th Supreme Court justice, choosing a centrist appellate judge."
Similarly, the Los Angeles Times front-page headline said: "Obama's choice of popular centrist Merrick Garland for Supreme Court puts GOP to the test."
Another headline, seen in the Washington Post, read: "Merrick Garland's instinct for the middle could put him in the court's most influential spot." That same day, the Post published a second article mentioning how "Garland's deep resume and centrist reputation appear to have positioned him well to earn the president's nod."
Two days later, the Los Angeles Times featured a news analysis on its front page, in which a reporter wrote that Garland may actually be "the most moderate Supreme Court nominee anyone could expect from a Democratic president." The reporter also calls Garland "a superbly qualified judge with a cautious, centrist record."
There is no truth to any of these reports -- something easily proved by both Judge Garland's decisions and, amazingly, by the newspapers' reports themselves.
Take the Los Angeles Times' front-page "news analysis," for example. After describing the judge as a moderate and centrist, the LA Times reporter writes:
"If the late Justice Antonin Scalia, a staunch conservative, is replaced by a moderate-to-liberal Justice Garland, the court would tip to the left on several key issues, like abortion, affirmative action, the death penalty, gun control, campaign spending, immigration and environmental protection."
In other words, the very same author who describes Garland as a centrist believes that Garland votes left on essentially every major issue confronting the nation and the Supreme Court.
Additionally, that very same day The New York Times headlined that Garland is a centrist, it published an article on the nomination noting that "If Judge Garland is confirmed, he could tip the ideological balance to create the most liberal Supreme Court in 50 years."
In reviewing Garland's decisions, this Times piece placed Judge Garland to the left of Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan, way to the left of Justice Stephen Breyer and minimally to the right of Justices Sotomayor and Ginsburg.
By their own accounts, the liberal media lied in describing Garland as a centrist.
And the more research one does, the bigger this lie appears.
In a column in The Wall Street Journal, Juanita Duggan, President and CEO of the National Federation of Independent Business, wrote that Garland is so anti-small business and so pro-big labor, that "This is the first time in the NFIB's 73-year-history that we will weigh in on a Supreme Court nominee."
What worries the NFIB, she explains, is that "in 16 major labor decisions of Judge Garland's that we examined, he ruled 16-0 in favor of the NLRB (National Labor Relations Board)."
Elsewhere in the Journal, the editorial board wrote that they can't think of a single issue on which Garland would vote differently from the four liberal Justices that already sit on the bench.
Tom Goldstein wrote in the SCOTUSblog that Garland favors deferring to the decision-makers in agencies. "In a dozen close cases in which the court divided, he sided with the agency every time."
Another source reads that "Judge Garland would be a reliable fifth vote on all of these legal issues."
Those are all the fundamental issues that divide the left from the right.
So, the entire left is lying about Judge Garland, who, for the record, seems like a truly decent man who possesses a first-class mind. They do so because getting a fifth left-wing vote and weakening the Republicans is far more important than truth.
And believe it or not, there is an even worse lesson here, namely the media's effectiveness in saturating society with its mendacious version of reality. Unless an American makes the effort to study the issue -- and most do not -- they take the news media's version as truth. The terrible lesson, which has been affirmed time and time again since the 1960s, is that a free society can experience brainwashing as effectively as a totalitarian state.
The reporting on Garland is that false.
This past Friday, a left-wing mob shut down a Donald Trump rally in Chicago. Most Americans viewing what happened saw it for what it was — another left-wing assault on the speech of those with whom they differ and on traditional American civility.
Not surprisingly, the media reporting has concentrated overwhelmingly on Trump for incendiary and inexcusable comments he has made at some of his other rallies that were disrupted by protesters. For example, he offered to pay any legal bills incurred by a man in the audience who sucker-punched a protester as he was being led out of a Trump rally.
Many have also noted the alleged assault by Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski, who was accused of trying to grab Breitbart reporter Michelle Fields' arm. (I say "alleged" because I have watched the video of the alleged incident four times but could not ascertain what actually took place.)
For the record, I have been relentless in my criticisms of Donald Trump, both in print and on my radio show, preferring any other Republican candidate. Based on his past, I have not had any reason to trust him as a conservative or as a Republican, and he has exhibited serious character flaws.
Nevertheless, truth must trump opposition to Trump.
And the truth is that the left-wing attack on Trump's Chicago rally had little, if anything, to do with what the incendiary comments Donald Trump has made about attacking protestors at his events. Leftist mobs attack and shut down events with which they differ as a matter of course. They do so regularly on American college campuses, where conservative speakers — on the rare occasion they are invited — are routinely shouted down by left-wing students (and sometimes faculty) or simply disinvited as a result of leftist pressure on the college administration.
A couple of weeks ago conservative writer and speaker Ben Shapiro was disinvited from California State University, Los Angeles. When he nevertheless showed up, 150 left-wing demonstrators blocked the entrance to the theater in which he was speaking, and sounded a fire alarm to further disrupt his speech.
In just the last year, left-wing students have violently taken over presidents' or deans' offices at Princeton, Virginia Commonwealth University, Dartmouth, Providence College, Harvard, Lewis & Clark College, Temple University and many others. Conservative speakers have either been disinvited or shouted down at Brandeis University, Brown University, the University of Michigan and myriad other campuses.
And leftists shout down virtually every pro-Israel speaker, including the Israeli ambassador to the United States, at every university to which they are invited to speak.
Yet the mainstream media simply ignore this left-wing thuggery — while reporting that the shutting down of a pro-Trump rally is all Trump's fault for his comments encouraging roughing up protestors at his events.
That the left shuts down people with whom it differs is a rule in every leftist society. The left — not classical liberals, I hasten to note — is totalitarian by nature. In the 20th century, the century of totalitarianism, virtually every totalitarian regime in the world was a leftist regime. And the contemporary American university — run entirely by the left — is becoming a totalitarian state, where only left-wing ideas are tolerated.
Tens of millions of Americans look at what the left is doing to universities, and what it has done to the news and entertainment media, and see its contempt for the First Amendment's protection of free speech. They see Donald Trump attacked by this left, and immediately assume that only Trump will take on, in the title words of Jonah Goldberg's modern classic, "Liberal Fascism."
And if these millions had any doubt that Trump alone will confront left-wing fascism, Trump's opponents seemed to provide proof. Like the mainstream media, the three remaining Republican candidates for president — John Kasich, the most and Marco Rubio the least — blamed Trump for the left-wing hooligans more than they blamed the left. It is possible that in doing so Senators Cruz and Rubio and Governor Kasich effectively ended their campaigns and ensured the nomination of Trump as the Republican candidate for president. The combination of left-wing violence and the use of it by the other GOP candidates to wound Trump rather than label the left as the mortal threat to liberty that it is may clinch Trump's nomination.
And if the left continues to violently disrupt Trump rallies, they — along with the total absence of condemnation by the Democratic Party and its presidential candidate — may well ensure that Donald Trump is elected president. Between the play-Fascism of Trump and the real Fascism of the left, most Americans will know which one to fear most.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0316/prager032216.php3#GL1FmVuApsIUlBka.99
Post-Jihad Gesture Theater: Je Suis Sick of It
By Michelle Malkin
While homicidal, suicidal and genocidal jihadists are busy plotting the next soft-target terror attacks on the West, docile Westerners are busy shedding cartoon tears and doodling broken hearts on social media.
European artists rushed to fill Twitter and Instagram with images of Belgian comic book character Tintin weeping after vengeful Muslim terrorists left the Brussels airport and subway system buried in rubble and dead bodies.
Residents of the besieged city — which recklessly opened its doors to mass Muslim immigration and criminalized the vocal dissent of those who've objected over past decade — meekly protested the Quran-inspired violence by leaving pastel-colored chalk messages pleading for "peace no war."
Echoing the "Je Suis Charlie" and "Je Suis Paris" rallying cries that followed the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo jihad attack and the November 2015 jihad massacres in Paris and Saint-Denis, tens of thousands of people spread the "JeSuisBruxelles" message with their thoughts, prayers and memes.
And, of course, there will be flags lowered and monuments lit up all over the world this week in the national colors of Belgium to show "solidarity" with Tuesday's victims of The Perpetrators Whose Religion Shall Not Be Named.
To borrow a useful phrase coined by British journalist James Bartholomew last year, we have reached the oversaturation point of post-terrorism "virtue signaling:" Hashtags, avatars and animated GIFs ad nauseam. These are the easy advertisements and maudlin displays of one's resolute opposition to an unidentified something that must be stopped somehow by unspoken means.
Virtue signals are "camouflage," Bartholomew explained. They are sincere-seeming shows of collective unity that disguise the millennial-age indulgence of publicly patting one's own back for supposed moral courage. "No one actually has to do anything," he opined. Virtue now "comes from mere words or even from silently held beliefs."
Pre-Twitter, outraged Americans all donned "Never forget" magnets and ribbons on our cars and lapels after 9/11. I was one of them. But after 15 years of hapless homeland security theater and bipartisan pandering to terror-coddling "Islamophobia" shriekers, I'm so, so sick of noble gesture paraphernalia.
I'm sick of preening celebrities who tell me to "PrayForTheWorld" and celebrate diversity while indiscriminate floods of Muslim refugees across Europe and America corrode the pillars of peace and freedom.
I'm sick of Silicon Valley moguls who pretend to champion free speech while muzzling the speech of those who use the Internet to criticize the very open door immigration policies that fertilized European and American soil for jihadists.
I'm sick of all the same old emasculated politicians who declare that "justice will be served," "this must end" and "we stand against terror," while refusing to take even the smallest baby steps to register and track Muslim refugees already here, stop new ones from coming in and tying up our overwhelmed immigration bureaucracy, and drain the jihad swamps inside our own borders.
We've had enough piles of memorial flowers. We've heard enough hollow lip service paid to resolve. Where is the world's active resistance to the sharia-imposing soldiers of Allah?
We need Tintin to wipe his nose, man up and remember Belgium's once proud history. When German invaders attempted what they thought would be an easy romp through the tiny neutral country in 1914 on their way to Paris, resistance fighters who were outnumbered 14 to 1 took a brave stand in defense of their sovereignty. Bracing for an onslaught, King Albert addressed his people:
"One single vision fills all minds: that of our independence endangered. One single duty imposes itself upon our wills: the duty of stubborn resistance. In these solemn circumstances two virtues are indispensable: a calm but unshaken courage, and the close union of all Belgians. ... It is the moment for action. ... [A] country which is defending itself conquers the respect of all; such a country does not perish!"
How far the West has fallen. Farewell, steeled wills. You've been replaced by an army of sad-faced emojis.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin032316.php3#k6eix1xyLxWLKeFl.99
Establishment Endorsements Don't Make Ted Cruz an Insider
By David Limbaugh
It is time to address the canard that endorsements for Sen. Ted Cruz from establishment Republicans damage his credibility as an outsider. It is opportunistic and lazy thinking.
As the Republican presidential race has narrowed, it is inevitable that the only two viable contenders remaining, Cruz and Donald Trump, will be receiving more endorsements. This is especially true this year because the seriousness of the threats facing the nation and the presence of strikingly unconventional candidates make this the most important election in decades. With the stakes so high, there will be more endorsements from people who under less dire circumstances would remain neutral.
Who would have guessed that Sen. Lindsey Graham or former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush would endorse Cruz? Graham quipped that if someone murdered Cruz on the floor of the Senate and were tried in the Senate, he'd be acquitted. Likewise, there has been no love lost between Cruz and the Bushes. And who would have dreamed former presidential nominee Mitt Romney would record robocalls for Cruz in Utah?
Will Cruz be perceived as selling out his principles if he accepts the endorsements or just remains silent?
Latter-day establishment foe Donald Trump suggested that the endorsements hurt Cruz and he wouldn't want them himself. But Trump met with a few dozen Republican congressmen recently, and he carted the Obama-hugging Chris Christie to campaign events all around the nation on his jet. What Trump said or did yesterday, last week or last month, however, has little bearing on what he says or does today, and it matters little to his infinitely forgiving supporters.
As with so many other issues, Trump will get a pass because he is held to a different standard. He has been in bed with and funded establishment and leftist honchos throughout his career, but that's irrelevant because he talks loudly and carries a big stick. He's an "outsider" because he's never held public office and he's not a lawyer, though he has boasted about buying insider influence and has been involved in more litigation than most seasoned trial lawyers. Even Trump's shallowness on policy detail seems to work to his advantage, as his unwavering admirers must assume it's because he has no access to secret knowledge that is accessible only to the evil insiders he seeks to depose.
Though I am well aware that Cruz will be judged differently than Trump, I still believe he should accept such endorsements graciously and, in any event, should not reject them.
Why shouldn't Cruz accept support from people he's been fighting, as long as the support comes without strings attached that would require him to compromise his principles? The Cruz team should view this support as a vindication of its campaign and as an indication that his intraparty foes prefer him to the other candidates.
Predictably, Trump supporters are already claiming that these endorsements prove that Cruz is an insider and that Trump is not. If Trump were the insider, he'd be getting these endorsements, they say. Establishment Republicans are scared to death of Trump, they contend, because they wouldn't be able to control him because he can't be bought.
But does that really pass the smell test? How many core beliefs does Trump have that are not negotiable? Trump has played footsie with them for years and has bragged that he'd be able to work with people but Cruz wouldn't — "because no one likes Ted." On the other hand, establishment types already know they can't control Cruz, who has shown them, to their great distaste, that he won't play establishment baseball with them.
Perhaps establishment Republicans are partially concerned that they wouldn't have so much influence over the largely non-ideological Trump as they would over some politicians, but they know they'd have a much harder time seducing Cruz out of his core beliefs.
So, what are they so worried about with Trump? I don't believe it has anything to do with his alleged outsider status or his policies, because they are just as concerned with Cruz's as they are with Trump's. Rather, it's his perceived demeanor, his behavior, his stability and his radical unpredictability.
Even if they aren't fans of Cruz personally, they know where he stands and they know what they're getting with him. They know that he's serious, that he would approach the presidency with deferential respect and that he is exceedingly knowledgeable and as capable as anyone has ever been to assume presidential power his first day in office. They know that he's calm and steady and that he would not engage in erratic behavior. Even if Cruz is too conservative for their tastes, they believe he would conduct himself as an adult and not demean the office of the presidency.
Though establishment endorsements are finally coming Cruz's way, he has not reciprocally endorsed the establishment or its centrist views in return. He remains true to his convictions, which is what matters.
Cruz has always maintained that he could reassemble the Reagan coalition by fiercely and clearly articulating the conservative message and that he wouldn't have to drift to the center to win the general election. Yes, the nation's demographics and culture have shifted, but Cruz conservatives believe that the majority of American voters are still receptive to an infectious conservative message if someone would finally present it enthusiastically.
We conservatives have always said that we believe in a big tent as long as we can build it without selling our political souls. So don't fall for the nonsense that accepting endorsements necessarily compromises the endorsee. In the case of Ted Cruz, there is and will be no abandonment of principles, and I am confident that his establishment endorsers are more certain of that than anyone else. So I say to all of them, welcome aboard the Cruz Constitutional Express.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh032516.php3#YvL6BCFwhDVbHRXR.99
Obama's ideological holiday in Havana
The split screen told the story: on one side, images of the terror bombing in Brussels; on the other, Barack Obama doing the wave with Raúl Castro at a baseball game in Havana.
On one side, the real world of rising global terrorism. On the other, the Obama fantasy world in which romancing a geopolitically insignificant Cuba — without an ounce of democracy or human rights yielded in return — is considered a seminal achievement of American diplomacy.
Cuba wasn’t so much a legacy trip as a vanity trip, vindicating the dorm-room enthusiasms of one’s student days when the Sandinistas were cool, revolution was king and every other friend had a dog named Che.
When Brussels intervened, some argued that Obama should have cut short his trip and come back home. I disagree. You don’t let three suicide bombers control the itinerary of the American president. Moreover, Obama’s next stop, Argentina, is actually important and had just elected a friendly government that broke from its long and corrupt Peronist past.
Nonetheless, Obama could have done without the baseball. What kind of message does it send to be yukking it up with Raúl even as Belgian authorities are picking body parts off the floor of the Brussels airport?
Obama came into office believing that we had vastly exaggerated the threat of terrorism and allowed it to pervert both our values and our foreign policy. He declared a unilateral end to the global war on terror and has downplayed the threat ever since. He frequently reminds aides, reports Jeffrey Goldberg of the Atlantic, that more Americans die annually of bathtub accidents.
It’s now been seven years. The real world has stubbornly refused to accommodate Obama’s pacific dreams. The Islamic State has grown from JV team to worldwide threat, operating from Libya to Afghanistan, Sinai to Belgium.
It is well into the infiltration phase of its European campaign, with 500 trained and hardened cadres in place among the estimated 5,000 jihadists returned from the Middle East. The increasing tempo and sophistication of its operations suggest that it may be poised for a continent-wide guerrilla campaign.
In the face of this, Obama remains inert, unmoved, displaying a neglect and insouciance that borders on denial. His nonreaction to the Belgian massacre — his 34-minute speech in Havana devoted 51 seconds to Brussels — left the world as stunned as it was after the Paris massacre, when Obama did nothing. Worse, at his now notorious November news conference in Turkey, his only show of passion regarding Paris was to berate Islamophobes.
David Axelrod called Obama’s response “tone-deaf.” But that misses the point. This is more than a mere mistake of presentation. Remember his reaction to the beheading of the American journalist James Foley? Obama made a statement expressing his sympathies — and then jumped onto his golf cart for a round of 18.
He later told Chuck Todd that this was a mistake. “Part of this job is also the theater of it,” he explained, “it’s not something that always comes naturally to me.” As if postponing a bucolic recreation was a required piece of political playacting rather than a president’s natural reaction — a mixture of shock and sorrow — to the terrible death of a citizen he could not save.
It’s not as if Obama is so super cool that he never shows emotion. Just a few months ago, he teared up when speaking about the Sandy Hook school shooting. That was the work of a psychotic. But when speaking about the work of Islamist terrorists, he offers flat perfunctory words.
I cannot fathom why. Perhaps having long seen himself uniquely qualified by background and history to make peace between Islam and the West, to now recognize how badly things have gone on his watch is to admit both failure and the impossible grandiosity of his original pretensions.
Whatever the reason, he seems genuinely unmoved by a menace the rest of the world views, correctly, with horror and increasing apprehension. He’s been in office seven years, yet seems utterly fixed on his campaign promises and pre-presidential obsessions: shutting down Gitmo, rapprochement with Iran, engagement with tyrants (hence Havana), making the oceans recede (hence the Paris climate trip). Next we’ll see yet another useless Washington “summit” on yet another Obama idee fixe : eliminating nuclear materials.
With the world on fire, the American president goes on ideological holiday. As was said of the Bourbons: “They have learned nothing and have forgotten nothing.”
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer032516.php3#mK3lzwxEWEgsUQip.99
Hashtag: We Are Neville Chamberlain!
Immigration is the new “No Nukes/Save the Whales” movement, only with more body bags.
After the mass murder committed by Muslims in San Bernardino, which came on the heels of the mass murder committed by Muslims in Paris, Donald Trump proposed a moratorium on Muslim immigration.
Explaining the idea on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” he talked about how Muslim immigration was infecting Europe: “Look at what happened in Paris, the horrible carnage. … We have places in London and other places that are so radicalized that the police are afraid for their own lives. We have to be very smart and very vigilant.”
Trump’s reference to London’s no-go zones was met with a massive round of sneering, which is what passes for argument in America these days. Jeb! said Trump was “unhinged,” Sen. John McCain called him “foolish,” and former vice president Dick Cheney said Trump’s remarks went “against everything we stand for and believe in.” (Based on Trump’s crushing primary victories, Cheney is no longer qualified to say what “we” believe in.)
To prove Trump wrong, reporters called British authorities and asked them: Are you doing your jobs? They responded, Why, yes we are! The head of London’s police said, “Mr. Trump could not be more wrong,” and London mayor Boris Johnson called Trump’s comments “utter nonsense.”
Within days, however, scores of rank-and-file London policemen begged to differ with their spokesmen, leading to the following headlines:
UK Daily Mail: ‘TRUMP’S NOT WRONG — WE CAN’T WEAR UNIFORM IN OUR OWN CARS’: Five Police Officers Claim Donald Trump Is Right About Parts of London Being So ‘Radicalised’ They Are No-Go Areas
The Sun: ‘THERE ARE NO-GO AREAS IN LONDON’: Policemen Back Trump’s Controversial Comments
UK Daily Express: ‘TRUMP IS RIGHT!’ Police Say Parts of Britain Are No-Go Areas due to ISIS Radicalisation
Then, in January of this year, Trump talked specifically about the Muslim invasion of Brussels on the Maria Bartiromo show. “There is something going on, Maria,” he said. “Go to Brussels. … There is something going on and it’s not good, where they want Sharia law … There is something bad going on.”
The New York Times headlined a story on the interview: “Donald Trump Finds New City to Insult: Brussels.” News is no longer about communicating information; it’s about imparting an attitude. Trump is rude, so whether he’s right is irrelevant. As the saying goes, “Better dead than rude.”
Indignant Belgians took to Twitter, the Times reported, “deploying an arsenal of insults, irony and humor, including images of Belgium’s beloved beer and chocolate.” Liberals have gone from not understanding jokes to not understanding English. When Trump talked about unassimilated Muslim immigrants demanding Sharia law, I don’t think he was knocking Belgium’s beer and chocolate.
Rudi Vervoort, the president of the Brussels region (who evidently survived this week’s bombing), rebuked Trump, saying, “We can reassure the Americans that Brussels is a multicultural city where it is good to live.”
After multiculturalism struck this week, Vervoort said, “I would like to express my support to the victims of the attacks of this morning …” Twitter bristled with supportive hashtags, the Belgian flag and professions of solidarity. The Times editorialized: “Brussels, Europe, the world must brace for a long struggle against this form of terrorism.”
All this would be perfectly normal if we were talking about an earthquake or some other natural disaster — something humans have no capacity to prevent. But Muslims pouring into our countries and committing mass murder isn’t natural at all. It’s the direct result of government policy.
It’s as if the government were dumping rats in our houses, and then, whenever someone died of the plague, those same government officials issued heartfelt condolences, Twitter lit up with sympathetic hashtags and the Times editorialized about effective rodent control, but no one ever bothered to say, Hey! Maybe the government should stop putting rats in our houses!
When people are killing in the name of their religion, it’s not an irrelevancy to refuse to keep admitting more practitioners of that religion.
But this is the madness that has seized Europe and America — a psychosis Peter Brimelow calls “Hitler’s revenge.”
Apparently, what we have learned from Hitler is not: Don’t kill Jews. To the contrary, the only people who openly proclaim their desire to kill Jews are … Muslims.
What we’ve learned from Hitler is not: Don’t attempt to seize hegemonic control over entire continents. The only people vowing to conquer the world are … Muslims.
And what we’ve learned from Hitler is not: Beware violent uprisings of angry young men. The only hordes of violent, angry young men are, again … Muslims. (And Trump protesters.)
But instead of learning our lesson and recoiling with horror at this modern iteration of Nazism, we welcome the danger with open arms — because the one and only lesson we’ve learned from Hitler is: DON’T DISCRIMINATE!
Trade Deficit Angst
By Walter Williams
Let's look at the political angst over trade deficits. A trade deficit is when people in one country buy more from another country than the other country's people buy from them. There cannot be a trade deficit in a true economic sense. Let's examine this.
I buy more from my grocer than he buys from me. That means I have a trade deficit with my grocer. My grocer buys more from his wholesaler than his wholesaler buys from him. But there is really no trade imbalance, whether my grocer is down the street, in Canada or, God forbid, in China.
Here is what happens: When I purchase $100 worth of groceries, my goods account (groceries) rises, but my capital account (money) falls by $100. For my grocer, it is the opposite. His goods account falls by $100, but his capital account rises by $100. Looking at only the goods account, we would see trade deficits, but if we included the capital accounts, we would see a trade balance. That is true whether we are talking about domestic trade or we are talking about foreign trade.
The uninformed buys into the mercantilist creed that trade deficits are bad and trade surpluses are good. My George Mason University colleague Donald Boudreaux wrote a blog post titled "If Trade Surpluses are So Great, the 1930s Should Have Been a Booming Decade" (http://tinyurl.com/zh559n8). The U.S. had a current account trade surplus in nine of the 10 years of the Great Depression, with 1936 being the lone exception. The fact of the matter is that our nation has registered current account deficits throughout most of our history, from 1790 right up to our modern period (http://tinyurl.com/jczqrhu). Over that interval, we went from being a poor, relatively weak nation to the richest and most powerful nation in the history of mankind. So if, as our fearmongers would have it, current account deficits are so harmful, how did we accomplish that feat? Economies are far too complex to draw simple-minded causal connections between trade deficits and surpluses and economic welfare and growth.
International trade operates under the same general principles as domestic trade. When we, as consumers, purchase goods from China and the Chinese do not spend a like amount for goods from us, there is a current account deficit. In 2015, Americans purchased $482 billion worth of goods from China. The Chinese purchased only $116 billion worth of goods from us, producing a current account deficit with China of $366 billion.
Now, here is my question to you: Do you think the Chinese are so charmed with green slips of paper with pictures of Benjamin Franklin that they just hoard them? No way. Instead of purchasing tangible goods, the Chinese purchase capital goods — such as corporate stocks, bonds and U.S. Treasury debt instruments. The Chinese purchase more capital goods from us than we purchase of the same from them. That means the deficit on our current account is matched by the surplus on our capital account.
A large portion of the surplus in our capital account consists of U.S. Treasury debt instruments held by foreigners. As of the first quarter of 2015, the Chinese held nearly $1.2 trillion in U.S. Treasurys. Japan's holdings were slightly higher. European countries combined held over $1.5 trillion. Some politicians gripe about all the U.S. debt held by foreigners. Only a politician can have that kind of impudence. Guess who is creating the debt instruments that the Chinese and other foreigners hold. If you said it is our profligate Congress, go to the head of the class. If foreigners did not purchase so much of our debt, we would be worse off because the Federal Reserve Bank and the Treasury would create an inflation and there would be higher interest rates.
I fear that the angst over trade deficits is simply a front for being against peaceful, voluntary trade among people of different nations.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams032316.php3#rrMVV3AZqr1Jho28.99
Black and White, Left and Right
By Thomas Sowell
Much is made of the fact that liberals and conservatives see racial issues differently, which they do. But these differences have too often been seen as simply those on the right being racist and those on the left not.
You can cherry-pick the evidence to reach that conclusion. But you can also cherry-pick the evidence to reach the opposite conclusion.
During the heyday of the Progressive movement in the early 20th century, people on the left were in the forefront of those promoting doctrines of innate, genetic inferiority of not only blacks but also of people from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, as compared to people from Western Europe.
Liberals today tend to either glide over the undeniable racism of Progressive President Woodrow Wilson or else treat it as an anomaly of some sort. But racism on the left at that time was not an anomaly, either for President Wilson or for numerous other stalwarts of the Progressive movement.
An influential 1916 best-seller, "The Passing of the Great Race" — celebrating Nordic Europeans — was written by Madison Grant, a staunch activist for Progressive causes such as endangered species, municipal reform, conservation and the creation of national parks.
He was a member of an exclusive social club founded by Republican Progressive Theodore Roosevelt, and Grant and Franklin D. Roosevelt became friends in the 1920s, addressing one another in letters as "My dear Frank" and "My dear Madison." Grant's book was translated into German, and Adolf Hitler called it his Bible.
Progressives spearheaded the eugenics movement, dedicated to reducing the reproduction of supposedly "inferior" individuals and races. The eugenics movement spawned Planned Parenthood, among other groups. In academia, there were 376 courses devoted to eugenics in 1920.
Progressive intellectuals who crusaded against the admission of immigrants from Eastern Europe and Southern Europe, branding them as genetically inferior, included many prominent academic scholars — such as heads of such scholarly organizations as the American Economic Association and the American Sociological Association.
Southern segregationists who railed against blacks were often also Progressives who railed against Wall Street. Back in those days, blacks voted for Republicans as automatically as they vote for Democrats today.
Where the Democrats' President Woodrow Wilson introduced racial segregation into those government agencies in Washington where it did not exist at the time, Republican President Calvin Coolidge's wife invited the wives of black Congressmen to the White House. As late as 1957, civil rights legislation was sponsored in Congress by Republicans and opposed by Democrats.
Later, when the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was sponsored by Democrats, a higher percentage of Congressional Republicans voted for it than did Congressional Democrats. Revisionist histories tell a different story. But, as Casey Stengel used to say, "You could look it up" — in the Congressional Record, in this case.
Conservatives who took part in the civil rights marches, or who were otherwise for equal rights for blacks, have not made nearly as much noise about it as liberals do. The first time I saw a white professor, at a white university, with a black secretary, it was Milton Friedman at the University of Chicago in 1960 — four years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
She was still his secretary when he died in 2006. But, in all those years, I never once heard Professor Friedman mention, in public or in private, that he had a black secretary. By all accounts, she was an outstanding secretary, and that was what mattered.
The biggest difference between the left and right today, when it comes to racial issues, is that liberals tend to take the side of those blacks who are doing the wrong things — hoodlums the left depicts as martyrs, while the right defends those blacks more likely to be the victims of those hoodlums.
Rudolph Giuliani, when he was the Republican mayor of New York, probably saved more black lives than any other human being, by promoting aggressive policing against hoodlums, which brought the murder rate down to a fraction of what it was before.
A lot depends on whether you judge by ringing words or judge by actual consequences.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell032216.php3#JiphAcLekyro6Bvs.99
By John Stossel
Democrats trash businesses. But if businesses promised things the way politicians do, the owners would be jailed for fraud. It's not legal to promise more than you can deliver.
I don't suggest that prosecutors should go after politicians who lie. Voters can do that. Political speech should be free.
But politicians' promises are routinely repulsive. I'm thankful that most of their promises will be broken.
For my TV show, I listed this presidential season's worst promises. Here are a few.
--Donald Trump says he'll impose a 45 percent tariff on goods from China and 35 percent on any Ford car imports from Mexico.
This wins Trump votes because so many Americans believe that trade "takes away" American jobs. Trade does actually take away some. Some autoworkers lose work when plants move overseas. That's the "seen" loss. But the unseen benefit is that when trade is allowed, more Americans gain jobs. We get better and cheaper products, too.
The historical evidence is clear. When countries close borders, stagnation and poverty follow. When trade is allowed, there are winners and losers, but most people prosper. The gains are harder to see because they are spread throughout the economy, but they are very real nevertheless. The chance that President Donald Trump would start a trade war scares me a lot.
--Bernie Sanders promises free college and Hillary Clinton offers "high-quality preschool."
But government has no money of its own. "Free" isn't free. Taxpayers and, later, other students pay tuition bloated by college loans. Taxpayers also pay for preschool that won't be "high quality" -- or at least won't stay high quality. Oklahoma and Georgia already tried universal preschool. By third grade, student gains disappeared. Of course, the extra spending -- that continued.
--Sanders and Clinton also want the national minimum wage raised -- Clinton to $12 and Sanders to $15.
Do people think that means Sanders is more generous than Clinton? If we could just pass a law and increase people's pay without harming businesses and making them less likely to hire in the first place, why not raise the minimum to $22? Or $83? Businesses pay according to value they get in return, like everyone else. No law can make you worth more to an employer. It just makes you more likely to get laid off. Or never hired.
--All current Republican candidates promise to increase military spending. They always do.
Republicans say our military has been "gutted." But in inflation-adjusted dollars, we spend as much as we did during the Cold War. It's true that America has fewer planes and fewer ships than we once did. But we have better and deadlier planes and ships. America is going broke but still spends $600 billion on defense, more than the next seven nations combined. That's not "gutting" the military.
If we didn't intervene in so many foreign countries, we could focus on actual defense, rather than nation building. Since conservatives are the ones who say they want to spend less, here's a great place to start.
--Donald Trump promises "a mandatory death sentence" to anyone who kills a police officer.
But the president cannot issue any criminal penalties. Does Trump care about the Constitution? Despite media hype about a "war on cops," the last few years have been the safest for cops -- ever. It's terrible when anyone gets killed, but we do not have a violent crime crisis on our hands. And what about the poor guy whose house is raided by mistake -- who thinks it's a home invasion and shoots in self-defense? Will he be executed, too?
Not every political promise was bad this year. Donald Trump was smart to change his mind and say America should admit more skilled immigrants. Bernie Sanders wants to "rethink" the war on drugs. Ted Cruz promises to eliminate the departments of Education, Energy, Commerce, Housing and Urban Development and more.
If only there were more good promises to praise.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0316/stossel031616.php3#1EbMKbsxdGrOkOk7.99
By John Stossel
In this year's Republican presidential primaries, Sen. Rand Paul got little traction. In 2012, his father failed. That year, the Libertarian Party candidate, former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, got just 1 percent of the vote.
We libertarians must be doing something wrong. Maybe our anti-government message is too radical, says Jerry Taylor. Maybe we should soften our approach.
"Libertarians need to be more realistic," Taylor told 500 young people at a taping of my TV show at last week's International Students for Liberty conference. In electoral politics, he said, finding libertarians is "like trying to find a daisy in Hiroshima" after the nuclear blast.
Taylor, a smart libertarian who runs a think tank called the Niskanen Center, says to become more popular, we libertarians ought to change our views. He criticized Rand Paul for saying that in 1964 he would've voted against the Civil Rights Act.
Actually, Rand didn't say that. He supported the act's ban on government racism, like Jim Crow laws. He objected only to the act's ban on private discrimination. Rand was right to object. If owners of a private business want to serve only gays, basketball players or bald men, that should be their right.
Market competition will punish bigots for their narrow-mindedness, because some people will avoid that store. There's no need for government force.
"Right," said Taylor, but "5 percent of the American public says yes to that, and 95 percent say no. ... They're not going to embrace a candidate who says, tough, people should just suffer under the teeth of bigotry because white people have that right."
I suppose Taylor is correct. Voters prefer simple answers ("Mexico will pay for a wall!"). They don't want constitutional lectures about property rights or free association.
Taylor is fine with welfare spending, too. He points out, "Even people like Milton Friedman and F.A. Hayek supported a safety net to help the indigent."
Taylor and some other libertarians sound like "reform Republicans" who want free-market advocates to embrace the welfare state. They think they're being practical, realistic.
But we free-market supporters know what really creates prosperity and opportunity: economic freedom! We saw it work in America when America was young. We see it now in Hong Kong, Singapore, New Zealand, Switzerland, Australia and other countries that today offer more economic freedom than the United States. Government that governs least governs best.
I said to Taylor, rudely, "Your plan for victory is to surrender?"
"No," replied Taylor. "I don't think it's surrender to say that the rights and freedoms of people in this country can be secured by government."
I don't either.
But America's government has gone well past "securing rights and freedom." Today's welfare state provides much more than a safety net. It's become a giant hammock that encourages dependency. Government today takes half our money and micromanages the workplace.
But Taylor criticizes libertarians who complain about that and "reflexively" talk about "taxes and spending and regulation. Other things are important too, like war! War is the engine of the growth of the state. Hundreds of thousands of people die."
All true. We libertarians should probably talk less about taxes and more about what we'd do about ISIS and how to help poor people without using government force.
But I won't "soften" my arguments. I know they are right. After years watching liberal and conservative "solutions" fail, I know that limited government is the better way. We haven't convinced today's voters, but people aren't endlessly foolish. If we keep fighting, maybe they will see the truth.
To help us understand more about these ideas, the "Stossel" TV show will host a Libertarian presidential forum. Three leading Libertarian presidential candidates -- "leading" because they placed top three in a poll done by the Libertarian Party -- will debate. They are former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, software entrepreneur John McAfee and Libertarian Republic founder Austin Petersen.
The forum will air, unfortunately, on April 1. But this is no April Fools' Day joke. Our future is a stake.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0316/stossel030916.php3#sQpHosoyYpfcvblK.99
Obamacare's Tax-Time Torment
By Michelle Malkin
"Where is my 1095-A? This is what it must be like dealing with a government agency in a third world country."
That was the lament on Twitter of just one poor citizen this week trying to get his tax records in order. Nationwide, hard-working Americans are struggling to meet the April 18 IRS filing deadline. Standing in the way: the bumbling Obamacare bureaucracy.
In Minnesota, an estimated 18,000 people who were on health insurance plans last year offered through MNsure, the state Obamacare health insurance exchange, still haven't received their 1095-A form. It's the "health insurance marketplace statement" required to file accurate tax returns and claim the premium tax credit.
Twin Cities officials blame "technical bugs" and promise they'll be sending more of the documents out next week. But it's small consolation to farmers in Minnesota who were required to file their taxes by March 1.
"This is the second year in a row MNsure has been late sending my 1095-A form and it's cost me extra money when I have to file for an extension on my tax filings," farmer Robert Marg of Winona County, Minnesota, told his local TV station.
In Hawaii, the paper-pushers sent out their 1095-A forms on time -- but the documents are worthless to thousands of taxpayers enrolled in the state's now-defunct Obamacare exchange, the Hawaii Health Connector. According to the Pacific Business News, "approximately 80 percent of the forms sent out to taxpayers" contain errors, including address problems.
The Aloha State is still digging out from the mess the overseers of the bankrupted state exchange made last year, when Hawaii Health Connector staff issued 1095-A forms manually because the bureaucracy did not have a working automated system for creating 1095-As. How many taxpayers were affected? "CMS and IRS have not been able to provide error rates for 2014," PBN reported.
What century is this?
After I reported on my own bizarro 1095-A nightmare last year and revisited the Obamacare tax-time troubles last week in Conservative Review, I gathered yet more horror stories. Citizens trying to get through to the HealthCareGov.com hotline have been trapped in the spiral of "escalation" -- Washington-speak for getting the runaround.
"On the phone with @HealthCareGov for more than an hour. I just want my 1095A or B form. #nomoreescalationsplease," one Obamacare hostage wrote.
"So apparently you have to re-escalate the escalation of the escalation. All to get my 1095A. This is INSANE," another wrote.
One reader detailed for me how she had withdrawn from Covered California, the state's health insurance exchange, in 2014, yet received 1095-A forms two years in a row incorrectly showing that she was enrolled.
Insurer Anthem "said that they called Covered California and reported that I did not have coverage for 2015," the reader told me. "Then 45 days later, we received a corrected 1095. However, it was not corrected. It was the same 1095 we previously received containing the same mistakes. After being on hold for 40 minutes with Covered California, the person I spoke with said, "Yes, I was not covered in 2015, but no one had gone into the system to generate a corrected 1095 and that I will be receiving the new one within 45 days. Unfortunately, that will be after April 15 when I am due to file taxes. What a nightmare."
Yet another reader lamented that D.C. politicians have been deaf to their plight. "Thank you so much for the kindness in responding to me," she wrote after we traded stories. "I am not kidding, I just about cried that a real human being has finally heard me. My husband and I know we are nobodies in the world. He's a small-business owner (a handyman) and I have an online vintage store on Etsy. So no one on the Hill cares about what people like us are going through."
It's always taxpayers who are forced to pay for the incompetence and apathy of their government tormentors.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin031616.php3#EOEAq7eHdmWjPtgF.99
The Heckler's Veto
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
On Feb. 7, 1946, Arthur Terminiello, a Roman Catholic priest who was a fierce opponent of communism and believed that President Harry Truman was too comfortable with it, gave an incendiary speech in a Chicago hall that his sponsors had rented.
The hall held about 800 people, but nearly 2,400 showed up. Father Terminiello's opponents outnumbered his supporters by a 2-1 ratio. The atmosphere in the hall was electric, with almost everyone present taking sides for or against this priest — all under the watchful eyes of Chicago police.
The speech delighted the priest's supporters and enraged his detractors. When it became apparent that violence might break out, the Chicago police approached Terminiello while he was speaking and asked him to stop and leave the building.
He refused to leave and resumed his speech. The police prediction soon came to pass. The fiery priest ignited the hatred of his adversaries, many of whom seemed to have come to that venue to silence him. The shouters hurled chairs, rushed the stage and attempted to attack him.
The police safely escorted Terminiello out of the hall and then, in the presence of the many rioters who by now had spilled out onto a public street, arrested him for inciting a riot. The charge was defined in Illinois in the mid-1940s so as to criminalize any behavior that intentionally arouses the public to anger or brings about public unrest.
The police did not arrest any of the rioters who smashed windows, destroyed the stage and assaulted the priest. They saw him arrested for his words that they hated.
Terminiello was tried and convicted. After his conviction had been upheld by the Illinois Supreme Court, he appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, which reversed his conviction. In so doing, the high court saved the First Amendment from authoritarian impulses that sought to narrow its scope, and it ushered in the modern judicial understanding that has informed the present-day parameters of the freedom of speech.
The ruling generally barred the punishment of speakers who are expressing political opinions and held that the First Amendment needs breathing room; and breathing room contemplates that some people will hate what they hear and articulate that hatred.
The court warned the police against permitting audiences to silence speakers — what lawyers and judges call "the heckler's veto." Thus, the police today cannot throw up their hands and permit a speaker to be silenced as they did to Father Terminiello. They have an affirmative obligation to take all reasonable steps to protect the speaker's right to speak, the audience's right to hear and the protesters' right to protest.
Fast-forward to last Saturday, also in Chicago, when Donald Trump canceled a rally and said he did so because he feared that protesters would disrupt it and some folks might be injured. Was this an example of the heckler's veto?
The legal issues here are complex and subtle, involving property rights and free speech. As a lessee of a government-owned building for his rally venue, Trump could not prevent any person from entering or remaining because of the person's political views.
However, he could have asked the police to employ reasonable force to remove those whose behavior made it impossible for him to use the venue for the principal purpose for which he leased it. Since the First Amendment requires breathing room, the police must be extremely tolerant of protesters and may remove only those whose behavior physically prevents the use for which the venue was leased.
Stated differently, protest of political speech is itself protected speech, but protest cannot be so forceful or dominant that it vetoes the speaker.
What about the allegations that Trump himself is responsible for the violence at some of his rallies? If Trump publicly demands violence and there is no time or ability for any speech to neutralize his demands and the demanded violence takes place, his speech is unprotected — and he can be prosecuted for incitement to riot. This is the modern rule that holds that all innocuous speech is absolutely protected, and all speech is innocuous when there is time for more speech to rebut or neutralize it.
When there is no time between the demand for violence and the responsive reactive violence, the speaker is liable for the violence he demanded. But if there is time for more speech to counsel against the violence, even if no neutralizing speech is actually uttered, the speaker cannot be prosecuted. And before any prosecution for speech may commence, the court must eliminate every possible lawful interpretation of the speaker's words.
All these rules further the whole purpose of the First Amendment. It is to recognize, codify and protect the natural human right to form thought and to express the thoughts, and to encourage open, wide, robust, challenging speech about the government, uttered without a permission slip, free from government interference and without personal hesitation.
In the case of the canceled Trump rally last weekend, many fingers have been pointed. The Chicago police claim they never advised Trump to cancel. The Secret Service claims the same. Trump says he was the victim of ideologically driven fanatics who wanted to silence him, just as their predecessors did to Father Terminiello. If there is ever litigation over this, a jury will decide the facts.
But the law is clear. The First Amendment tolerates the maximum possible public discourse, disagreement and confrontations; and it commands the government to protect the values it embodies.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0316/napolitano031716.php3#e1JFo3wHsvtXHlqo.99
What if the FBI Is Onto Hillary Clinton?
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
What if Hillary Clinton is in legal hot water and she knows it but won't admit it? What if she has decided to go on the offensive and make her case that she did nothing unlawful with her emails that contained state secrets?
What if the essence of her defense is that other secretaries of state used non-secure email devices and thus it was lawful for her to do so, as well as the point that none of her emails was "marked classified" at the time she sent or received them? What if these defenses do not hold up to even cursory examination?
What if the other secretaries of state to whom she refers are Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice? What if neither of them diverted all of their emails to a private server? What if neither of them sent or received state secrets — secrets that under the law of the land are marked "confidential," "secret" or "top secret," not "classified" — using a non-secure email account?
What if neither of them hired an information technology expert and paid him to divert both a standard State Department email stream and a secret State Department email stream to a private server in one of their homes?
What if neither Powell nor Rice is currently running for president? What if neither Powell nor Rice has had his or her behavior as secretary of state referred to the FBI for a criminal investigation by the inspector general of the State Department?
What if the law of the land is that a document or email contains state secrets by virtue of the information or data in the document or email and not by virtue of any warning label? What if the legal definition of a "state secret" in the U.S. is "information the revelation of which could cause harm to the security of the United States"?
What if it is the law of the land that people in the government to whom state secrets are entrusted are required to recognize the secrets when they see them and protect them from intentional or inadvertent revelation?
What if it is the law of the land that everyone in the government to whom state secrets are entrusted receives a multi-hour tutorial from the FBI on how to protect state secrets? What if the successful completion of that tutorial is a legal prerequisite to the receipt of a national security clearance and thus the receipt of state secrets?
What if that tutorial reminds the people to whom secrets are being reposed that it is their legal obligation to recognize and accept and understand the law before they can receive any state secrets? What if, in order to confirm that understanding, all people who receive the tutorial are required to sign an oath at the end of the tutorial recognizing, accepting and understanding the law and agreeing to be bound by it? What if Clinton signed just such an oath?
What if Clinton had no intention of complying with the oath she signed at the time she signed it? What if we know that because we know she hired the information technologist to divert her emails the same week she received the FBI tutorial? What if she never told the FBI that she planned to divert all her emails — including those that would contain state secrets — to a private non-secure email server in her home?
What if it is the law of the land that the failure to secure state secrets is a felony, known as espionage? What if it is the law of the land that espionage can be committed by a person who intends to expose state secrets or by a person who doesn't care if she exposes state secrets? What if the FBI explained to Clinton in her first day as secretary of state that the grossly negligent exposure of state secrets constitutes espionage?
What if before Clinton was secretary of state, she was a U.S. senator from New York for eight years? What if during that time, she was a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee? What if during her time in the Senate, she was exposed to hundreds of military-related state secrets?
What if Clinton is smart enough and shrewd enough and experienced enough to recognize a state secret when she sees one?
What if the FBI has seen emails in which Clinton ordered subordinates deliberately to avoid State Department secure channels of communications and to send state secrets to her through channels she knew were not secure? What if Clinton passed on state secrets to others who had no security clearances? What if she did so knowing she was sending state secrets from her non-secure server to other non-secure servers?
What if Clinton sent or received more than 2,000 emails that contained state secrets? What if she authored more than 100 of them herself? What if some of the 2,000 emails were so secret that the FBI agents investigating her lack the security clearances to view those emails?
What if Clinton did all this so that she could keep her behavior as secretary of state secret and away from all officials in the State Department outside her inner circle, away from the president and away from the American people? What if she orchestrated and carried out a conspiracy to violate the Espionage Act?
What if the FBI is onto her? What if the Democrats are not?
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0316/napolitano031016.php3#kiJcUSsMjLXOJbe4.99
James Madison, Our Forgotten Statesman
By Walter Williams
George Washington, our first president, is probably our greatest and most decent statesman. We celebrate Washington's Birthday each February. But March 16th marks the birthday of probably the second-most important and decent American, James Madison.
Madison became our fourth president, but his presidency is not the chief source of his greatness. There would have been an entirely different America without Madison's enormous input and foresight at the contentious 1787 Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. There were 55 delegates to the convention. Like Madison, some had a formal college education, while others did not. From Madison's notes about the quality of the debates and discourse, one could not tell who was college-educated and who was not. Their ages ranged from 26 (Jonathan Dayton) to 81 (Benjamin Franklin), with the average age being 42.
Alexander Hamilton was a key figure at the convention. He called for a president for life with total veto power over the legislature. Most other delegates, led by Madison along with John Adams, wanted a republic; none wanted a democracy. Madison, who would become known as the "Father of the Constitution," argued that in a pure democracy, "there is nothing to check the inducement to sacrifice the weaker party or an obnoxious individual." Delegate Edmund Randolph agreed, saying, "In tracing these evils to their origin, every man had found it in the turbulence and follies of democracy." Adams added: "Remember, democracy never lasts long. It soon wastes, exhausts and murders itself. There never was a democracy yet that did not commit suicide." Eleven years earlier, Madison had helped to develop the Virginia Constitution, and it was his Virginia Plan that served as the basis for debate in the development of the U.S. Constitution. Madison, along with Hamilton, argued for a strong but limited central government that could unify the country.
During the Constitutional Convention, a proposal was made that would have allowed the federal government to suppress a seceding state. Madison rejected it by saying, as summarized by the transcript: "A union of the states containing such an ingredient (would seem) to provide for its own destruction. The use of force against a state would look more like a declaration of war than an infliction of punishment and would probably be considered by the party attacked as a dissolution of all previous compacts by which it might be bound." This vision of a state's independence and right to secede was expressed at Virginia's ratification convention, which held, "The powers granted under the Constitution being derived from the People of the United States may be resumed by them whensoever the same shall be perverted to their injury or oppression." Rhode Island's and New York's ratification documents made similar statements. By the way, Rhode Island anti-federalist resistance against the Constitution was so strong that civil war almost broke out July 4, 1788.
Madison's political genius is mostly seen in his contribution to The Federalist Papers, which were co-authored with Hamilton and John Jay. The papers were written to persuade the citizens of New York -- and secondarily other states -- to ratify the Constitution. Ratification was no easy task. The 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended our war with Great Britain, held that each state was a sovereign nation. As such, each feared giving up its rights to a powerful central government. Anti-federalists wanted some sort of guarantee that states would remain sovereign and that the power of the federal government would be limited and it would be recognized as a creation of, an agent of and a servant of the states. They said their votes to ratify could only be obtained if the Constitution contained a bill of rights guaranteeing the rights of the people and their states. The most notable and influential anti-federalists were Patrick Henry, Samuel Adams, George Mason and Richard Henry Lee.
These few words here do little justice to James Madison's greatness as one of our Founding Fathers, but a day honoring his birth would help us learn more about his contribution and, as well, learn how much we have betrayed his vision of what constitutes a free people.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams031616.php3#XvO74LD21JzYQhbA.99
Say No To Kasich And Rubio -- No Brokered Convention
By Dick Morris
A vote for Kasich or Rubio, in today's political environment, would be a vote for Hillary. If either candidate wins in Florida and/or Ohio -- and fights on afterwards -- it virtually guarantees a brokered convention. And a brokered convention would cause such havoc in the GOP that it would make Hillary's election much, much more likely.
Vote for Cruz; vote for Trump. But don't vote for Kasich or Rubio. Vote for a candidate who can win the convention on the first ballot.
Even in Ohio, the latest polling shows Ted Cruz surging to only six points behind Kasich and Trump, who are tied for first place. Those who want to vote for Kasich in order to defeat Trump in Ohio are misguided. Cruz has as good a shot as Kasich at beating Trump. And, if Kasich does win Ohio, he will stay in the race, constantly splitting the anti-Trump vote and giving Donald the nomination.
Trump has an easy time getting a plurality in a divided field, but has only been able to win a majority on very rare occasions. With Kasich in the race, Trump will win. With Kasich out, it is likely that Cruz will get the nomination.
Why not a brokered convention?
The Republican Party does not have the superstructure to resolve a convention deadlock. There are no more bosses. The state party leaders are largely impotent. The party lacks elder statesmen. The Bushes are compromised.
Romney is too self-interested (that's why he is campaigning for Kasich -- to cause a brokered convention that might nominate him).
A second or third or fourth ballot would lead to an endless deadlock that couldn't be broken easily. The fissure would rip the party apart and its impact would be to create such bitterness that it couldn't come together in time to beat Hillary.
A brokered convention would be a disaster. If Kasich and Rubio both lose and drop out of the race, the threat will have passed from our lips. But if they win and stay in the race, we are headed for the rocks.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0316/morris031516.php3#4OkaKLjXJS0fD6l4.99
Hillary's Federal Education Jackboot Squad
By Michelle Malkin
Brace yourselves, parents: Hillary Clinton's Fed Ed jackboot squad is from the government and is here to "help."
Clinton wants a cadre of new government educrats to undo the decades-old damage of old government educrats in America's worst public schools. She pitched her creepy proposal at the Democratic presidential debate in Michigan on Sunday for an "education SWAT team" to swarm down and rescue students from failing districts in decrepit cities such as Detroit (run by whom? Oh, yeah. Democrats!).
"I want to set-up inside the Department of Education, for want of a better term, kind of an education SWAT team, if you will," Clinton explained in a bizarre, semi-blaccent, "where we've got qualified people, teachers, principals, maybe folks who are retired, maybe folks who are active, but all of whom are willing to come and help."
Clinton's SWAT team solution, you should know, is like all her other authoritarian plans: a moldy, recycled oldie. In fact, the U.S. Department of Education already has a real military-like enforcement division housed in its Office of the Inspector General -- and armed with its own arsenal of Remington pump-action shotguns and Glock pistols.
As usual, Big Sis's brilliant idea to fix the schools boils down to throwing yet more money down the sinkhole. According to the latest data, America spent more than $600 billion to fund K-12 education in 2011, mostly from state and local taxes. Last year, the feds allocated an estimated $154 billion on education, with a large chunk going to Elementary and Secondary Education Act Title I Grants to Local Education Agencies, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act State Grants, and the Pell Grant program for college students.
Washington already spends more per student (nearly $13,000 per pupil) in both primary and secondary education than any other of the 34 wealthiest countries in the world except for Austria, Luxembourg, Norway and Switzerland, according to analysis of data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Under the Bush administration, the No Child Left Behind behemoth authorized $23 billion a year on intrusive and ineffective federal testing and accountability mandates.
Under the Obama administration, the feds threw $4 billion into the "Race to the Top" racket, $10 billion into an Education Jobs Fund for teachers unions, and $100 billion in pork-stuffed stimulus funding for school programs and initiatives administered by the U.S. Department of Education.
Detroit Public Schools, plagued by massive deficits, financial mismanagement and graft, collected a whopping $530 million of that stimulus slush fund -- nearly $50 million of which went to a technology boondoggle that provided 40,000 Asus laptops to students and teachers despite little evidence nationwide that such programs do anything to raise student achievement.
States are spending upwards of $10 billion to implement the bipartisan Common Core racket of testing, textbooks and technology. That's on top of the pre-existing $700 million spent by schools nationwide on other standardized tests and assessments and the $24 billion in annual spending required by the NCLB successor, the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act.
Mo' money has only produced mo' problems. American test scores are still abysmal. One in 10 high schools remains a dropout factory. Highly touted improvements in graduation rates, such as those in Alabama, were achieved by abandoning requirements that students pass a high school exit exam.
Detroit's schools, swimming in $3.5 billion of accumulated debt, face bankruptcy in April. The district is now under FBI investigation for a vendor kickback scheme involving the very kind of "experts" -- entrenched teachers, self-serving principals, and profligate school officials -- whom Clinton would enlist to rescue the schools they are guilty of plundering.
It's government SWAT team business as usual: Destroying the village to "save" it.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin030916.php3#TqkbwYSAFaxLIb2U.99
The Holocaust and the Jewish identity
By Charles Krauthammer
Bernie Sanders is the most successful
Jewish candidate for the presidency ever. It’s a rare sign of the health
of our republic that no one seems to much care or even notice. Least of
all, Sanders himself. Which prompted Anderson Cooper in a recent
Democratic debate to ask Sanders whether he was intentionally keeping
his Judaism under wraps.
“No,” answered Sanders: “I am very proud to be Jewish.” He then
explained that the Holocaust had wiped out his father’s family. And that
he remembered as a child seeing neighbors with concentration camp
numbers tattooed on their arms. Being Jewish, he declared, “is an
essential part of who I am as a human being.”
A fascinating answer, irrelevant to presidential politics but quite
revealing about the state of Jewish identity in contemporary America.
Think about it. There are several alternate ways American Jews commonly explain the role Judaism plays in their lives.
1. Practice: Judaism as embedded in their life through religious
practice or the transmission of Jewish culture by way of teaching or
scholarship. Think Joe Lieberman or the neighborhood rabbi.
2. Tikkun: Seeing Judaism as an expression of the prophetic ideal
of social justice. Love thy neighbor, clothe the naked, walk with G0D,
beat swords into plowshares. As ritual and practice have fallen away
over the generations, this has become the core identity of liberal
Judaism. Its central mission is nothing less than to repair the world (“Tikkun olam”).
Which, incidentally, is the answer to the perennial question, “Why is it
that Jews vote overwhelmingly Democratic?” Because, for the majority of
Jews, the social ideals of liberalism are the most tangible expressions
of their prophetic Jewish faith.
When Sanders was asked about his Jewish identity, I was sure his answer
would be some variation of Tikkun. On the stump, he plays the Hebrew
Bible prophet railing against the powerful and denouncing their
treatment of the widow and the orphan. Yet Sanders gave an entirely
3. The Holocaust. What a strange reply — yet it doesn’t seem so to us
because it has become increasingly common for American Jews to locate
their identity in the Holocaust.
For example, it’s become a growing emphasis in Jewish pedagogy from the
Sunday schools to Holocaust studies programs in the various
universities. Additionally, Jewish groups organize visits for young
people to the concentration camps of Europe.
The memories created are indelible. And deeply valuable. Indeed, though
my own family was largely spared, the Holocaust forms an ineradicable
element of my own Jewish consciousness. But I worry about the balance.
As Jewish practice, learning and knowledge diminish over time, my
concern is that Holocaust memory is emerging as the dominant feature of
Jewishness in America.
I worry that a people with a 3,000-year history of creative genius,
enriched by intimate relations with every culture from Paris to
Patagonia, should be placing such weight on martyrdom — and indeed, for
this generation, martyrdom once removed.
I’m not criticizing Sanders. I credit him with sincerity and
authenticity. But it is precisely that sincerity and authenticity — and
the implications for future generations — that so concern me.
Sanders is 74, but I suspect a growing number of young Jews would give an answer similar to his.
We must of course remain dedicated to keeping alive the memory and the
truth of the Holocaust, particularly when they are under assault from so
many quarters. Which is why, though I initially opposed having a
Holocaust museum as the sole representation of the Jewish experience in
the center of Washington, I came to see the virtue of having so sacred
yet vulnerable a legacy placed at the monumental core of — and thus
entrusted to the protection of — the most tolerant and open nation on
Nonetheless, there must be balance. It would be a tragedy for American
Jews to make the Holocaust the principal legacy bequeathed to their
children. After all, the Jewish people are living through a miraculous
age: the rebirth of Jewish sovereignty, the revival of Hebrew (a
cultural resurrection unique in human history), the flowering of a new
Hebraic culture radiating throughout the Jewish world.
Memory is sacred, but victimhood cannot be the foundation stone of Jewish identity.
Judaism has 613 commandments. The philosopher Emil Fackenheim famously
said that the 614th is to deny Hitler any posthumous victories. The
reduction of Jewish identity to victimhood would be one such victory.
It must not be permitted.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer031116.php3#hm6eVVDHCPAZWyTk.99
By Thomas Sowell
It is desperation time for the Republican party establishment. Its extremely well financed favorite — Jeb Bush — never got anywhere with the voters in the primaries, and has already been forced out of the contest.
This should at least cause some second thoughts — or perhaps first thoughts — by people who keep repeating that money buys elections. It is one of many theories that seem impervious to evidence.
The desperation of the Republican establishment comes from the fact that the two biggest vote-getters in the Republican primaries — Donald Trump and Ted Cruz — are people they do not want to be the Republican candidate for President of the United States.
The immediate panic is over Donald Trump. His surprising string of victories in the primaries conceals his vulnerability in the general election in November. Most of Trump's primary victories were with less than 50 percent, and even with less than 40 percent. In the general election, less than 50 percent usually means losing.
Even more important, while Trump's style and substance may endear him to his followers, both that style and that substance are deeply offensive to many other people. Polls repeatedly show higher negative responses to him than to any other candidate.
Trump is not just in danger of losing this year's presidential election, which the Republicans would otherwise have a high probability of winning. He can poison the whole Republican brand, taking Republican members of Congress down with him, along with Republican governors and other state and local officials.
Stopping Trump is obviously a high priority for the Republican establishment, as shown by their biggest gun, Mitt Romney, suddenly coming out swinging against Trump in the media.
After Trump's momentum from his primary victories, it will not be easy to stop him at this point. But the strategy chosen suggests that establishment Republicans have more in mind than just stopping Trump, even if that is job one.
One of the secrets of Donald Trump's primary victories has been that the majority vote against him has been split among the various other candidates, making him repeatedly a "winner" with a third of the vote or so, but seldom 50 percent.
The most obvious way to stop Trump, if that was the sole objective, would be for the other candidates to drop out of the race, leaving it a Trump versus Cruz contest. But the Republican establishment has chosen the opposite strategy, wanting all the candidates to stay in the race.
That way, if Senator Rubio can win his home state of Florida and Governor Kasich can win his home state of Ohio, that can deny Trump two important, winner-take-all states. This may keep him from reaching the number of delegates required to win the Republican nomination. At that point, it becomes anybody's game at the convention.
If the only objective is to stop Trump, this approach seems less likely to achieve that objective than instead consolidating the non-Trump votes behind one candidate. In a number of the states that Trump won, the combined votes for Cruz and Rubio would have been enough to defeat him.
Now that Rubio is being badly beaten almost everywhere, and is substantially behind Trump in the polls for his own home state of Florida, the most obvious person to have the best chance of beating Trump one-on-one is Ted Cruz, especially after his primary victories over the past weekend.
The Republican establishment is not about to go down that road, even if that would increase their chances of stopping Trump from becoming the Republican nominee. This is because they don't want Cruz to become the Republican candidate either.
Senator Cruz has been fighting against the Republican establishment for years before Trump decided to become a candidate. Nor does he have Trump's new-found "flexibility."
But, whatever his merits or demerits, Ted Cruz is not the Republican establishment's idea of the kind of candidate needed to win. Neither was Ronald Reagan.
The kinds of candidates the Republican establishment has chosen — from Romney and McCain in recent times, all the way back to Thomas E. Dewey in 1948 — have had an almost unbroken record of losing, even to Democrats who were initially unknown (Carter, Clinton) or unpopular (Obama, Truman).
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell030916.php3#XHHzZXAhh66OrISb.99
The World Is Getting Worse, But This Time America Won't Save It
By Dennis Prager
I cannot imagine any thinking person who does not believe the world is getting worse.
The number of slaughtered and the number of refugees from slaughter is immense and growing.
Islamic State now controls territories from Afghanistan to West Africa. Libya is in the process of being added to that list. And other sadistic Islamist movements hold additional territory.
According to Pew Research, approximately 10 percent of world Muslims have a favorable opinion of the Islamic State and terror against civilians. That's more than 100 million people.
The Iranian regime has just increased the reward it will give to anyone who murders Indian novelist Salman Rushdie, is increasing its repression at home, now has more than a hundred billion additional dollars to spend on terror and regularly calls for the annihilation of Israel.
Iran just received from Russia the most powerful anti-aircraft weapons that exist outside the United States, making a successful air attack on Iran almost impossible.
Europe is allowing in another million migrants from the Middle East, few of whom share Europe's primary moral values. One consequence is that European women are being sexually attacked in increasing numbers. Another is that European countries are making criticism of Muslims or Islam — no matter how rational the critique — a crime punishable by jail time and/or fines.
The only thing stopping regular mass murder of Europeans and Americans is increased European and American police work. And no one believes that this will suffice to prevent future attacks.
Russia is led by a KGB man who seeks to replace American influence with Russian influence wherever possible. And he is allowed to do so by the American president and the Democratic Party.
While Russia continues to attempt, in Charles Krauthammer's words, "to fracture and subordinate" Ukraine, the United States under Obama refuses to send Ukraine weapons.
The United States is led by a president whose primary foe seems to be the prime minister of Israel, even though the prime minister's country happens to be the freest, most moral and most pro-American country in the Middle East.
The commander of the U.S. Pacific Command recently told Congress "that China is clearly militarizing the South China Sea," in order to gain "hegemony in East Asia."
Cuba now has American recognition, and as a direct result has felt free to increase its subjugation of the Cuban people. In January, the Cuban regime arrested 1,414 political dissidents, the second-most ever recorded. It will be rewarded by a visit from President Obama.
In the United States, most universities are being taken over by a fascistic expression of leftism. Student thugs take over administration offices with impunity, shout down speakers with whom they differ, and many faculty members support them. In the name of "diversity" and "tolerance," American universities, once a jewel of free thought and intellectual inquiry, have become places Americans who cherish liberty and cherish America increasingly fear to send their children.
Contempt for America and its founding ideals are indoctrinated into America's youth from high school on. If shown any of the iconic paintings of the Founders — such as signing the Declaration of Independence or deliberating at the Constitutional Convention — rather than seeing great people creating a great nation, most young Americans now only see racist, sexist, rich, slave-owning white males.
As its universities make clear, the West is committing suicide. At UCLA one doesn't have to read a single play by Shakespeare in order to receive a degree in English. But one is fully indoctrinated regarding "White Privilege," "systemic racism," "income inequality," "homophobia," "hate speech," "climate change" and whatever radicals care about.
A Republican presidential debate opens with a comment by the leading Republican candidate about the size of his penis. And the audience cheers.
The American president, a black man elected in the hope that he would unify the races, has overseen the greatest rift between the races since the 1960s. His repeated references to "Ferguson," reinforcing the lie that a white policeman killed an innocent black teenager for no reason other than the young man's race, is only one such example. One result is a rhetorical (and increasingly lethal) war on police that has led many officers to minimize proactively policing largely black areas.
The Democratic presidential race is between a socialist who has contempt for capitalism, the only economic system that has ever lifted large swaths of humanity out of poverty, and a woman who is so corrupt that she should be serving time in prison, not campaigning for president.
Meanwhile, the Republican race is led by a man who has mocks a POW as a loser; who repeats the libel that George W. Bush knew there were no WMD in Iraq; who calls for the killing of terrorists' families; and, who, as noted, proudly talks to America about the size of his sexual organ.
Many generations have believed that the world was getting worse. But since 1776, there was a great nation that one could still rely on to stem the decay. Now that great nation, under the influence of its own elites, men and women of the left, is itself in decay.
So, who can save the world now?
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0316/prager030816.php3#PwqzQ866r4ARP1UR.99
The Seen and Unseen
By Walter Williams
Claude Frederic Bastiat (1801-50) -- a French classical liberal theorist, political economist and member of the French National Assembly -- wrote an influential essay titled "That Which Is Seen and That Which Is Not Seen." Bastiat argued that when making laws or economic decisions, it is imperative that we examine not only what is seen but what is unseen. In other words, examine the whole picture.
Americans who support tariffs on foreign goods could benefit immensely from Bastiat's admonition. A concrete example was the Bush administration's 8 to 30 percent tariffs in 2002 on several types of imported steel. They were levied in an effort to protect jobs in the ailing U.S. steel industry. Those tariffs caused the domestic price for some steel products, such as hot-rolled steel, to rise by as much as 40 percent. The clear beneficiaries of the steel tariffs were steel industry executives and stockholders and the 1,700 or so steelworkers whose jobs were saved. But there is no such thing as a free lunch or a something-for-nothing machine. Whenever there is a benefit of doing something, there is a guaranteed cost.
A study by the Peterson Institute for International Economics, predicted that saving those 1,700 jobs in the steel industry would cost American consumers $800,000 per job, in the form of higher prices. That's just the monetary side of the picture. According to a study commissioned by the Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition, steel-using industries -- such as the U.S. auto industry, its suppliers, heavy construction equipment manufacturers and others -- were harmed by higher steel prices. It is estimated that the steel tariffs caused at least 4,500 job losses in no fewer than 16 states, with over 19,000 jobs lost in California, 16,000 in Texas and about 10,000 each in Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. In other words, industries that use steel were forced to pay higher prices, causing them to have to raise prices on what they produced. As a result, they became less competitive in both domestic and international markets and thus had to lay off workers.
Tariff policy beneficiaries are always seen, but its victims are mostly unseen. Politicians love this. The reason is simple. The beneficiaries know for whom to cast their ballots and to whom to give campaign contributions. Most often, the victims do not know whom to blame for their calamity.
Here's my question to those who want to use tariffs to fight cheap imports in the name of saving jobs: Seeing as back in 2002, the typical hourly wage of a steelworker ranged between $15 and $20, in addition to fringe benefits -- so we might be talking about an annual wage package averaging $50,000 to $55,000 -- how much sense did it make for American consumers to have to pay $800,000 in higher prices, not to mention lost employment in steel-using industries, to save each job? It would have been cheaper to tax ourselves and give each of those 1,700 steelworkers a $100,000 annual check. Doing so would have been far less costly to Americans than the steel tariffs, but it would have been politically impossible. Why? The cost of protecting those steel jobs would have been apparent and hence repulsive to most Americans. Tariffs conceal such costs.
When Congress creates a special privilege for some Americans, it must of necessity come at the expense of other Americans. Then Americans who are harmed, such as the steel-using auto industry, descend on Congress asking for some kind of relief for themselves. It all reminds me of a passage in a Negro spiritual play written by Marcus Cook Connelly, titled "The Green Pastures," wherein God laments to the angel Gabriel, "Every time Ah passes a miracle, Ah has to pass fo' or five mo' to ketch up wid it." I think Congress ought to get out of the miracle business and leave miracle-making up to G0D.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams030916.php3#bW0ZVSrgXqZgMQDS.99
By Thomas Sowell
Random thoughts on the passing scene:
The presidential election prospects for the Democrats are so bad this year that only the Republicans can save them — as Republicans have saved them before.
• Will a Supreme Court without a single Protestant justice rule that an "under-representation" of any group is evidence of discrimination?
• Here is a trick question: What percentage of American households have incomes in the top 10 percent? Answer: 51 percent of American households are in the top 10 percent in income at some point in the course of a lifetime — usually in their older years. Those who want us to envy and resent the top 10 percent are urging half of us to envy and resent ourselves.
• His Super Bowl win gave retiring quarterback Peyton Manning his record 200th victory. But it may also have benefitted losing young quarterback Cam Newton, by giving him a very sobering experience after his exhilarating 17 and 1 season. Over the course of his career, Cam Newton may become an even greater quarterback than he would have been without this setback early in his career.
• According to the Washington Post, record numbers of college students say that they plan to engage in protests. Our educational system may not teach students much math or science, but students learn from gutless academic administrators that mob rule is the way to get what you want — and to silence those who disagree with you.
• Many Americans were not only saddened but angry that Iran publicized photographs of captured American sailors weeping. But do you think that Reverend Jeremiah Wright was saddened and angry? What about his 20-year disciple in the White House? Let us not forget that President Obama voluntarily humbled himself — and America — by bowing to foreign leaders.
• People who are willing to consider virtually any conceivable excuse for criminals' acts cut no slack at all for decisions that police have to make in a split second, at the risk of their lives. For some people, it is not enough that cops put themselves at risk to protect the rest of us. They want cops to risk their lives for the sake of handling criminals more gently.
• What are the chances that the world's greatest violinist would make a good quarterback? Or that the world's greatest quarterback would make a good violinist? Why then would anyone think that a successful businessman would make a good president — especially when he is demonstrating almost daily why he would not?
• Many people, including Senator Bernie Sanders, repeat incessantly that the economic system is "rigged" by the rich — without providing either specifics or evidence. The latest figures I have seen show that the 400 richest people in the world have recently lost $19 billion on net balance. If they have rigged the system, they have certainly done a very incompetent job of it.
• If you listen carefully to what Senator Marco Rubio says, he is not for instant amnesty. He is for amnesty on the installment plan, though of course he would not call it that. Does anyone who knows anything about politics seriously believe that "legalization" of illegal immigrants will end that issue, without turning into citizenship over time?
• At last we have reached the point where we can say, "Next year this time, Obama will not be president." But the disasters he leaves behind will plague us for years to come. And some of those disasters may strike even before he is gone.
• Some countries in Europe have sealed their borders against refugees from the Middle East, as the Soviet Union once sealed its borders against people getting in or getting out. But somehow it is said by some to be impossible to seal our border with Mexico.
• When the Whigs could not get their act together on the crucial issue of their day — slavery — that led some Whigs to leave the party and form the Republican party, with Lincoln as its candidate for president. Today's Republican party has repeatedly failed to get its act together on immigration. That has produced the current divisiveness that may threaten them with the fate of the Whigs.
• Historians of the future, when they look back on our times, may be completely baffled when trying to understand how Western civilization welcomed vast numbers of people hostile to the fundamental values of Western civilization, people who had been taught that they have a right to kill those who do not share their beliefs.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell030816.php3#3eKFJdT27PoP6yQ0.99
An Establishment in Panic
By Patrick J. Buchanan
Donald Trump “appeals to racism.”
“[F]rom the beginning … his campaign has profited from voter prejudice and hatred” and represents an “authoritarian assault upon democracy.”
If Speaker Paul Ryan wishes to be “on the right side of history … he must condemn Mr. Trump clearly and comprehensively. The same goes for every other Republican leader.”
“Maybe that would split the (Republican) party,” but, “No job is worth the moral stain that would come from embracing (Trump). No party is worth saving at the expense of the country.”
If Republican leaders wish to be regarded as moral, every one of them must renounce Trump, even if it means destroying their party.
Who has laid down this moral mandate? The Holy Father in Rome?
No. The voice posturing as the conscience of America is the Washington Post, which champions abortion on demand and has not, in the memory of this writer, endorsed any Republican for president – though it did endorse Marion Barry three times for mayor of D.C.
Anticipating the Post’s orders, Sen. Marco Rubio has been painting Trump as a “scam artist” and “con artist,” with an “orange” complexion, a “spray tan” and “tiny hands,” who is “unfit to lead the party of Lincoln and Reagan.”
The establishment is loving Rubio, and the networks are giving him more airtime. And Rubio is reciprocating, promising that, even if defeated in his home state of Florida on March 15, he will drive his pickup across the country warning against the menace of Trump.
Rubio, however, seems not to have detected the moral threat of Trump, until polls showed Rubio being wiped out on Super Tuesday and in real danger of losing Florida.
Mitt Romney has also suddenly discovered what a fraud and phony is the businessman-builder whose endorsement he so avidly sought and so oleaginously accepted in Las Vegas in 2012.
Before other Republicans submit to the ultimatum of the Post, and of the columnists and commentators pushing a “Never Trump” strategy at the Cleveland convention, they should ask themselves: For whom is it that they will be bringing about party suicide?
That the Beltway elites, whose voice is the Post, hate and fear Trump is not only undeniable, it is understandable.
The Post beat the drums for the endless Mideast wars that bled and near bankrupted the country. Trump will not start another.
The Post welcomes open borders that bring in millions to continue the endless expansion of the welfare state and to change the character of the country we grew up in. Trump will build the wall and repatriate those here illegally.
Trump threatens the trade treaties that enable amoral transnational corporations to ship factories and jobs overseas to produce cheaply abroad and be rid of American employees who are ever demanding better wages and working conditions.
What does the Post care about trade deals that deindustrialize America when the advertising dollars of the big conglomerates are what make Big Media fat and happy?
The political establishment in Washington depends on Wall Street and K Street for PAC money and campaign contributions. Wall Street and K Street depend on the political establishment to protect their right to abandon America for the greener pastures abroad.
Before March 15, when Florida and Ohio vote and the fates of Rubio and Gov. John Kasich are decided, nothing is likely to stop the ferocious infighting of the primaries.
But after March 15, the smoke will have cleared.
If Trump has fallen short of a glide path to the nomination, the war goes on. But if Trump seems to be the near-certain nominee, it will be a time for acceptance, a time for a cease-fire in this bloodiest of civil wars in the GOP.
Otherwise, the party will kick away any chance of keeping Hillary Clinton out of the White House, and perhaps kick away its future as well.
While the depth and rancor of the divisions in the party are apparent, so also is the opportunity. For the turnout in the Republican primaries and caucuses has not only exceeded expectations, it has astonished and awed political observers.
A new “New Majority” has been marching to the polls and voting Republican, a majority unlike any seen since the 49-state landslides of the Nixon and Reagan eras.
If this energy can be maintained, if those throngs of Republican voters can be united in the fall, then the party can hold Congress, capture the While House and reconstitute the Supreme Court.
Come the ides of March, the GOP is going to be in need of its uniters and its statesmen. But today, all Republicans should ask themselves:
Are these folks coming out in droves to vote Republican really the bigoted, hateful and authoritarian people of the Post’s depiction?
Or is this not the same old Post that has poured bile on conservatives for generations now in a panic that America’s destiny may be torn away from it and restored to its rightful owners?
The 2016 GOP Debate Debacle
By Michelle Malkin
When the dust settles on this wild and wacky GOP primary season, there will be at least one clear Biggest Loser: the Republican National Committee.
After 2012, when liberal journalists routinely hijacked the party's 20 televised debates while cashing in on ratings and advertising revenue, the RNC resolved to change narrative-surrendering business as usual.
There would be no more cable TV anchors belligerently taking President Obama's side while arguing with the GOP nominee (as Candy Crowley infamously did with Mitt Romney over Benghazi).
There would be no more former Democratic operatives-turned journalists injecting their left-wing social agenda into GOP primary forums (as Clinton adviser-turned-ABC newsman George Stephanopoulous did at the January 2012 Republican debate in New Hampshire when he pushed the Democrats' War on Women propaganda by pressing Republicans on a nonsense contraceptive ban.)
And there would be real balance in the selection of moderators, through partnerships "with conservative media to make sure the concerns of grassroots Republicans are addressed."
RNC chairman Reince Priebus declared in 2014 after the committee adopted measures to reassert control over the process: "The liberal media doesn't deserve to be in the driver's seat."
How's that working out? It's the same old, same old. Last week's debate hosted by CNN was commandeered by a Telemundo celebrity journalist Maria Celeste Arraras, known as "the Katie Couric of Spanish TV," who soaked up nearly half the show representing "the Latino community" on issues such as Puerto Rico's bankruptcy.
It shouldn't have been a surprise to the RNC. She did the same during a Democratic presidential debate in 2004, when she argued with candidates about driver's licenses for immigrants here illegally. The lone conservative token questioner, Salem radio talk show host Hugh Hewitt, received a fraction of the time. The infamous "screaming lady" in the audience earned far more buzz.
Hewitt had made an earlier appearance in the second debate hosted by CNN last September. But again, he was relegated to the margins. As even the left-wing New York Times pointed out, the network "came to the second Republican primary debate looking for a fight" along with an agenda of setting up "catfights" between Donald Trump and the rest of the candidates.
Conservative blogger Scott Johnson of Power Line noted that instead of giving GOP voters "a chance to assess the strengths of the candidates and to pick the strongest candidate to achieve their objective...(CNN moderator) Jake Tapper had other ideas in mind. His consignment of Hugh Hewitt to the witness protection program is representative of his pursuit of other ideas."
The third debate hosted by CNBC in Boulder was deemed a complete disaster by observers across the political spectrum. Instead of focusing on economics, as the network and RNC promised they would, the "moderators" made themselves the center of attention with trivial and condescending questions designed to instigate circus conflict between personalities instead of enlightening viewers about actual policy differences between candidates.
Again, this shouldn't have been a surprise to the RNC. CNBC chief clown John Harwood had a long public record running interference for Hillary Clinton, denigrating conservative critics of Obamacare, and shrugging at convicted infant murderer and abortionist Kermit Gosnell.
As for giving actual conservatives a central chance to address the candidates directly, the RNC yielded to Google during the seventh debate in Iowa in January. We didn't hear from grassroots voters who had their health insurance canceled because of Obamacare or business owners negatively affected by Dodd-Frank or victims of illegal alien crime who oppose amnesty.
Instead, the privileged questioners included a YouTube fashionista who had crossed the border illegally from Mexico as a child and a Muslim activist who spread debunked, CAIR-style propaganda about "Islamophobia" hate crimes in America.
The ninth debate hosted by CBS in South Carolina was moderated by John Dickerson, a Beltway liberal elite who called on President Obama to "Go for the Throat!" and "declare war on the Republican Party," and to "pulverize" his political enemies over gun control, climate change and immigration. The event was remarkable not so much for any overt political bias as it was for a complete lack of control over both the candidates and the audience.
And, of course, no one remembers anything about the first debate other than the feud between Fox News Channel anchor Megyn Kelly and Donald Trump.
The obvious, effective solution is to wrest control from mainstream media networks and hold debates sponsored by conservative media outlets with conservative journalists and broadcast/simulcast on neutral ground (hello, C-SPAN!). The RNC had one such debate in the works, but abandoned the idea last month.
For the candidates, continuing with these rigged charades is an exercise in futility and masochism. For the RNC, it's suicide. By its passivity and complicity, the current batch of GOP enablers have proved that they don't deserve to be in the driver's seat.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin030216.php3#Wv8c5K1ZoS2MUASP.99
Hillary Clinton's False Hopes
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Surely, Hillary Clinton hopes for the happy conclusion to the maddening string of primaries and caucuses that have exhausted her. Surely, she hopes to be the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party this year. And surely, she hopes to be elected president. These hopes are realistic probabilities in her own mind.
But if she is hoping for the end to her legal woes, that is a false hope — and she knows it.
The relentless barrage of bad legal news for Clinton, which has been relegated to below-the-fold stories because of the primary news position of the presidential primary contests, must keep her and her lawyers up late at night. While her husband has been arguing with military veterans at her political rallies and while Marco Rubio and Donald Trump have been mocking each other's body parts, a series of curious developments has occurred in the Clinton email scandal.
It is fair to call this a scandal because it consists of the public revelation of the private and probably criminal misdeeds of the nation's chief diplomat during President Barack Obama's first term in office. Clinton's job as secretary of state was to keep secrets. Instead, she exposed them to friend and foe. The exposure of state secrets, either intentionally or negligently, constitutes the crime of espionage. For the secretary of state to have committed espionage is, quite simply, scandalous.
We are not addressing just a handful of emails. To date, the State Department has revealed the presence of more than 2,000 emails on her private server that contained state secrets — and four that were select access privilege, or SAP. The SAP emails require special codes in order to access them. The codes change continually, and very few people in the government have the codes. SAP is a sub-category of "top secret," and it constitutes the highest level of protected secrecy, for the utmost protection of the government's gravest secrets. It is unheard of for SAP-level data to reside in a non-secure, vulnerable venue — yet that is where Clinton caused four SAPs to reside.
Clinton's allies in the State Department have perpetrated the myth that the 2,000 emails were recently upgraded to reflect their secret contents. That is untrue. The emails possess secret status by virtue of their contents, not because of any markings on them. Clinton had a legal obligation to recognize state secrets when she saw them, no matter their markings or non-markings. On her first day on the job, she swore under oath that she recognized and understood that legal obligation and she promised to comply with it. She did not comply.
This past weekend, the newly revealed emails showed that Clinton emailed about the location of drone strikes. By their very nature, such emails contain state secrets. They contained state secrets when she received them; they contained them when she sent them; and they contain state secrets today.
Also this past weekend, Gen. Michael Hayden, formerly director of the CIA and of the National Security Agency, stated on CNN that it is a near certainty that the Russian government and others had access to Clinton's non-secure server and all it contained.
Lawyers familiar with the terminology of state secrets will refrain from using the word "classified" to describe the emails that contained state secrets, even though Clinton repeatedly does that. The word "classified" is not a legal term; rather, it is derived from the verb "to classify," and it means that the classification process has been completed.
Since nothing is marked "classified" — the legal markings are "confidential," "secret" and "top secret" — Clinton has been materially misleading the public and the FBI when she claims that she never sent or received anything "marked classified."
By saying that, she wants us to believe that in more than 2,000 instances, she failed to ascertain the presence of state secrets in emails she received or sent. No voter but the most hardened supporter, no federal prosecutor, no FBI agent and no juror will believe that.
The FBI investigation process is coming to its logical conclusion, and the judge who ordered the State Department to release all of Clinton's emails also has ordered that her top State Department aides submit to oral depositions — examinations under oath before trial — in the Freedom of Information Act litigation brought by Judicial Watch against the State Department.
He directed the Judicial Watch lawyers to ascertain whether there was a conspiracy in the secretary of state's office to violate federal law. If those lawyers find evidence of such a conspiracy, they may then seek the oral examination of Clinton herself.
This search for a conspiracy will take Clinton down the road to perdition — to the end of her hopes. Along that road are instructions to a subordinate to divert all her government emails through her private server. On the side of that road are emails instructing her aides to remove "secret" markings from documents and resend the documents to her via a non-secure fax machine.
On that road are emails revealing the names of secret undercover intelligence assets, the locations of North Korean nuclear facilities, the transcripts of telephone conversations among foreign intelligence agents, and the travel plans of then-U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens in the days before he was murdered.
Democrats who indulge in Clinton's false hopes will do so at their peril. Don't they want to know of her potential status as a criminal defendant before they complete their nominating process? Or do they, like her, think that they can just hope that all this will go away?
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0316/napolitano030316.php3#1h91h1vrlSBcGLGU.99
What Is the Fair Share of Taxes?
By Walter Williams
Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders, along with President Obama, say they want high-income earners, otherwise known as the rich, to pay their fair share of income taxes. None of these people, as well as the uninformed in the media and our campus intellectual elites, will say precisely what is the "fair share" of taxes. That is because they would look ignorant and silly, so they stick with simply saying that the rich should pay more. Let's you and I take a peek at who pays what in federal income taxes.
The following represents 2012 income tax data recently released by the Internal Revenue Service, compiled by the Tax Foundation (http://tinyurl.com/j5yr8cd). The top 1 percent, 1.37 million taxpayers earning $434,682 and more, paid 38 percent of all federal income taxes. The top 5 percent, those earning $175,817 and more, paid 59 percent. The top 10 percent of income earners, those earning $125,195 and up, paid 70 percent of all federal income taxes. The top 25 percent, those earning $73,354 and up, paid 86 percent. The bottom 50 percent, people earning $36,055 and less, paid a little less than 3 percent of federal income taxes. According to estimates by the Tax Policy Center, slightly over 45 percent of American households have no federal income tax liability.
With this information in hand, you might ask the next person who says the rich do not pay their fair share of taxes: Exactly what percentage of total federal income taxes should the 1-percenters pay? I seriously doubt whether you will get any kind of coherent answer. By the way, since 1-percenter income starts at $435,000, it might be pointed out that $400,000 or $500,000 a year is not even yacht or Learjet money. Plus, if one has two kids in college, a big mortgage and car payments, I doubt he would declare himself rich.
Our demagogues also claim that corporations do not pay their fair share of taxes. The fact of the matter, which even leftist economists understand but might not publicly admit, is corporations do not pay taxes. An important subject area in economics, called tax incidence, says the entity upon whom a tax is levied does not necessarily bear the full burden of the tax. Some of the tax burden can be shifted to another party. If a tax is levied on a corporation, and if the corporation hopes to survive, it will have one of three responses to that tax or some combination thereof. It will raise the price of its product, lower dividends or lay off workers. In each case a flesh-and-blood person is made worse off. The important point is that a corporation is a legal fiction and as such does not pay taxes. As it turns out, corporations are merely tax collectors for the government.
Politicians love to trick people by suggesting that they will not impose taxes on them but on some other entity instead. To demonstrate the trick, suppose you are a homeowner and a politician tells you that he is not going to tax you, he is just going to tax your land. You would easily see the political chicanery. Land cannot and does not pay taxes. Again, only people pay taxes.
Leftist politicians often call for raising the death tax, euphemistically called inheritance tax. The inheritance tax brings in less than 1 percent of federal revenue. It is on the books because it serves the interests of jealousy, envy and our collective desire to tax the so-called rich. The effects of inheritance taxes are economically damaging. It has this impact because in order for people to pay the death tax, they often must sell producing assets, such as farms, factories, stocks and bonds. These are high-powered dollars that are shifted from productive activity to government consumptive activity.
Too many Americans are ignorant of tax issues and thus fall easy prey to the nation's charlatans and quacks.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams030216.php3#6VcXsOtcs4eIZWdT.99
Last Chance for America? Part II
By Thomas Sowell
The worst political blunder of all time, according to scientist Freeman Dyson, was the decision of the emperor of China in 1433 to cut off his country from the outside world. In the wake of that decision, China lost its position in the forefront of human achievements and fell behind, over the centuries, to become a Third World country.
Before the end of this month, the United States of America may break that record for the worst political blunder of all time. Professor Dyson attributed the Chinese emperor's blunder to "powerful people pursuing partisan squabbles and neglecting the long-range interests of the empire." That can be our path to disaster as well.
After the results of "Super Tuesday," we find ourselves with front-runners in their respective parties who each could, as President of the United States, take the decline of America under the Obama administration, even further down, to a point of no return.
As Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton was in charge of the foreign policy that destroyed governments in Egypt and Libya that were no threat to America's interests or allies, and plunged both countries into a turmoil from which only Egypt managed to rescue itself, while Libya has become another hotbed of terrorist activity.
Yet Secretary Clinton is running on her "experience" -- even though it is an experience of unmitigated disasters for America, around the world. Her e-mail scandals and lies are important mainly as symptoms of her utter disregard of anything other than her own financial and political interests.
While Hillary Clinton seems, for all practical purposes, to be unstoppable in her quest for the Democrats' nomination, Donald Trump is by no means inevitable on the Republican side. But he may become unstoppable after the next round of primaries, especially if he wins in winner-take-all states.
Most of Trump's wins in various state primaries have been achieved without winning a majority of the votes. Yet these wins can create an impression of great victories, even when most Republican voters voted against Trump. The fracturing of the majority vote among numerous other candidates is the key.
What prevents the anti-Trump majority from coming together in support of one candidate who can defeat Trump? Only the kinds of narrow political squabbles that ruined China.
Senator Ted Cruz has the best track record against Trump, having beaten him in three states, even with the majority vote split among several candidates. But the Republican establishment would prefer Senator Marco Rubio, who has won only one state and is trailing in the polls in his home state of Florida.
Perhaps most important of all, there are signs that -- if push comes to shove -- the Republican establishment would prefer Trump himself to Ted Cruz.
Why? Because, despite Trump's reckless rhetoric and shallow reasoning, he is a deal-maker who will not let principles stand in the way of anything that promotes the ego of Donald Trump.
Senator Cruz, on the other hand, has repeatedly defied the Republican leadership in the Senate. Whatever the merits or lack of merits of his actions in particular cases, he has clearly shown himself not to be one of those who go along to get along.
Former president Jimmy Carter has criticized Senator Cruz for not being "malleable." No one was more "malleable" in the face of America's enemies than Jimmy Carter, both when he was president and after he left office, and cozied up to Communist dictators in Cuba and North Korea. We don't need that kind of malleability in a President of the United States.
Even if we accept the criticism of Senator Cruz's political enemies and critics that he is "opportunistic," that charge loses some of its sting if he becomes President of the United States. What greater opportunity is there for him at that point? Becoming a great president, which is certainly what this country needs.
Perhaps a political near-death experience thus far will sober up both Cruz and his opponents into a realization that their cooperation is the only thing that makes sense for the country.
But politicians do not always do things that make sense for the country, whether in 15th century China or 21st century America. But we will know the answer to that question by the end of this month. And generations yet unborn may have to live with the consequences of that answer.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell030316.php3#qSr5xxKT44Qbm8GQ.99
The more human energy is free to be turned toward the unseen; Govt should stay out of the way!
By John Stossel
Government pretends it's the cause of progress. Then it strangles innovation.
We know government understands that new technologies are important. The military invests in robots and traffic cops use radar guns. But when the rest of us use robots or fly drones, government gets eager to put rules in place before things get "out of control."
When it's hard to innovate in the U.S., innovation happens elsewhere. The Japanese already offer largely automated hotels. At the Henn-na (or "Weird") Hotel, the front desk clerk is a robot dinosaur — popular with the kids. Another robot stores your luggage, and another takes you to your room.
This may sound like an expensive stunt, but the robot hotel is cheaper than others nearby — partly because it employs fewer people.
That alarms politicians who fear change. Whenever there's been innovation, experts predict massive unemployment. They react to what they see . Fewer receptionists work at that Japanese hotel. Military robots will replace soldiers, and self-driving cars will take away delivery people's jobs. Often politicians pass rules to stop this "job destruction."
But the more efficiently we can do things, the more human energy is free to be turned toward the unseen , tasks we haven't even thought of yet but which may be more pleasant to do, and these jobs will create new opportunities.
If we crushed every machine that did things humans used to do, we'd still be living in caves and hunting tigers with spears. Every time there's a new invention, some people lose jobs, and there's a period of adjustment.
But we come out ahead.
You don't believe employment recovers? Remember that 200 years ago, 90 percent of Americans worked on farms. Now fewer than 2 percent do. But that doesn't mean that 90 percent of the population has been left unemployed.
"We saw the car displacing horses, buggies and buggy whips, but we don't lament that passage, do we?" says Max Borders, author of "Superwealth."
"The blacksmiths of old had to figure out something else to do," observes Borders. "They all found jobs. The economy evolves. It's an evolving ecosystem."
Some don't want it to evolve. Cab drivers and their unions demand that government protect their jobs from competition by ride-hailing services such as Uber.
But if government stepped in to protect jobs, we'd be stuck with the jobs and industries of the past, millions of buggy-whip makers and all those extra farmers.
I think we're better off celebrating new ways of doing things — and the inventors and entrepreneurs who keep thinking them up. That gives us choices that are "better, faster, cheaper and cooler," says Borders.
But today, with America's ever-increasing regulation, it's often tougher to create new things. Uber offers obviously better and safer service, but to succeed it has to overcome protests and break government rules.
"It was legally questionable," says Borders, "but people did it anyway." Uber thrived only because it grew popular and rich before the politicians and regulators noticed. By then, Uber had millions of customers and billions of dollars, so they could bully politicians back.
In New York City, Uber defeated my anti-progress mayor by telling its customers: Waiting too long for a car? Blame the politicians.
We are better off because Uber won, but the battles continue. Some airports, to protect their taxi monopolies, recently banned Uber.
Uber is fortunate that its most important innovation is just an app on phones. It didn't need to first get government permission to create that.
More traditional innovators, however, ones who want to build big, visible things like a better nuclear plant or chemical plant or invent a lifesaving new drug, are often crushed by today's byzantine rules — crushed before they can make our lives better.
When that happens, we may never know what good things we miss. "The future is going to be full of surprises, full of awesome things that almost fall from the sky," says Borders. "We can't even imagine it today."
It's easier to imagine if government stays out of the way.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0316/stossel030216.php3#6mtoYrGSxjZtH0Zf.99
By David Limbaugh
Just what is the Trump movement all about? I've tried to get to the bottom of it by conversing with various Donald Trump supporters on Twitter.
I have found that most outside the movement are having great difficulty understanding it. It's like nothing we've seen -- at least on the Republican side of the political spectrum.
One perplexed person asked me, "Does it shock you that with all the detrimental information on Trump he is still leading in practically every poll?" My answer: "It doesn't shock me so much as disappoint me."
Let me explore the Trump phenomenon in the form of a dialogue between a hypothetical Trump supporter (TS) and myself. One or two of the responses are from actual Trump supporters, but most are my own words, and I hope they're not offensive to those supporters.
Me: "I'm troubled, because one would think that Republicans would abandon a presidential candidate who has conducted himself as Trump has during this campaign."
TS: "You aren't hearing us. We don't care about political correctness, his manners or your sensitivities. We only care that he will get things done. Wuss!"
Me: "But what about his questionable allegiance to conservatism?"
TS: "You're still not listening. We are not interested in your fancy ideological terms. It's all talk. We want action from an outsider with experience and accomplishments. Action, action, action."
Me: "But what about Ted Cruz? He's admittedly an elected official, but he is still an outsider at heart who's shown he'll fight the establishment. He's actually done it, not just talked about it. And Trump has financially propped up the very people you want to hire him to destroy. So why won't you trust Cruz more than Trump?"
TS: "We already told you. Cruz is a politician and they are all corrupt. In fact, we'd lose our integrity if we even considered supporting him. Even your so-called conservatives have betrayed us by rolling over for Obama's agenda."
Me: "But not Cruz. He fought the establishment and they hate him for it."
TS: "Phooey. He's an insider. Plus, immigration."
Me: "But wait, Cruz has been on the front lines fighting immigration, and, along with a mere handful of others, prevented the Gang of Eight bill from becoming law. He did not steal this idea from Trump. He was defending our sovereignty at the very time Trump was funding those undermining it."
TS: "Cruz is a Canadian. He and his wife are globalists. Goldman Sachs. NAFTA. GATT. CFR. Trilateralists."
Me: "Why would you assign more weight to conspiracy theories than one's actual track record of fighting illegal immigration?"
TS: "Cruz is an establishment liar."
Me: "Oh, boy. Well, I get that Trump supporters are furious at the establishment, but I wonder if a certain percentage of them are just angry in general and hopping aboard the movement because of their discontentment. There seems to be an element of undefined rage involved that accompanies the specific rage over immigration. Is this movement even cohesive?"
Actual Trump Supporter (ATS): "The movement isn't yet cohesive, but there is a powerful element of rage over the largest invasion in human history."
Me: "This brings us back to where we began. If this movement isn't yet cohesive why are its members so enamored with Trump? Why is it their man, right or wrong? Wait, before you answer, I think I've finally had an epiphany. This movement is not just a matter of a cultish following of Donald Trump as many suspect, is it? People were already outraged and Trump just came along, seized the moment and turned it into a wave."
ATS: "Trump isn't the leader. He's merely riding the tiger. If he plays us like the Republicans have for 30 years, he's toast."
Me: "Now we're really on to something. So is this why the supporters are not worried about his alleged dishonesty, his vagueness and vacillation on policy and even his stated willingness to work with insiders?"
TS: "That's right; Trump is very popular among us because he is fearless. He's always on offense, unlike the GOP wimps. But Trump is mainly our vehicle -- a darn good and effective vehicle to be sure, but a vehicle. He's not indispensable. He can always be replaced. This movement is bigger than him. It's about America. Trump, for now, is Captain America, but we the people are America. The sovereignty resides in us. Cruz is a liar. Amnesty Rubio sweats like a pig."
Me: "Speaking of sovereignty, nationalism is the driving force uniting your burgeoning movement, correct?"
TS: "Indeed. As you've suspected, we aren't that concerned, for now, about other issues or the claim that Trump will not satisfy us on those. In fact, we are not necessarily united on those anyway. It's about this nation. We are nationalists. America and Americans first. We must control our borders. That is the key to addressing a number of existential threats facing this nation, and we can worry about the rest of our problems, major and minor, later, once we've returned to the path of securing our borders and saving the nation. When we build the wall and deport millions, we will ensure that all of America doesn't turn into California; we'll better insulate ourselves against Islamist invaders; and we'll help protect our workers from cheap illegal immigrant labor. Another aspect of our sovereignty is that Trump, as the consummate negotiator, will undo the unbalanced trade deals harming our workers. And he'll rebuild the military to protect us against foreign threats. Don't forget. He's a businessman. And Rubio might just be a bigger liar than Cruz."
Me: "I think I understand your concerns, but I ask you again to take a second look at Ted Cruz, for he is not only a safer bet to secure our borders, and restore economic growth, which will enable us to rebuild our military; he is the one person who has shown that, notwithstanding the conspiracy theories, he cannot be bought and he can always be relied on to do those things he promises. There is no reason to take a risk on the volatile Trump, who, in the process of implementing your desired solutions, may expand federal power and implement leftist policies. He's been liberal more than conservative throughout his life, and we have no evidence of any dramatic conversion. As suspicious as you all are, you should be very suspicious here. You might think you'll be in charge, but that's not a realistic expectation. Finally, we must never omit liberty from the equation. Ted Cruz will do most of the things you want done, but he'll unquestionably honor the Constitution and rule of law, which Trump rarely mentions, reduce government and safeguard that which has always made America unique: her liberty. Please give it just a little more thought and consider this. I do believe Ted Cruz shares your concerns about the establishment and understands the condescension of the ruling class. He's dealt with it firsthand. He'll be your reliable advocate."
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh030116.php3#S9YCpHgSUS7e66YS.99
Barack Obama's hatred of America and a free society
By Jim Mullen
Our Republic has suffered from nearly every form of scallywag, thief, liar, and wannabe dictator serving or disserving in the Oval Office. On the other hand, we’ve had honest, dedicated, and patriotic men rise decidedly above what mortal men could reasonably be expected to achieve, who saved, protected, and healed our nation during periods of extreme peril and upheaval.
Since leaders come from the imperfect human race, not all of those rising to the top find themselves listed in the crème de la crème. Pond scum, likewise, rises to the top.
Barack Hussein Obama is a one-of-a-kind U.S. President. Never before has an American chief executive persecuted Americans for being uniquely American. At no time, has a President had such vitriol against, and been as dismissive of, American culture, religion, and the principles of economic free enterprise. No U.S. President in history toured the world apologizing for America’s sins, and absolving Islamic terrorists.
The majority little understood on that inauspicious day when Obama made his infamous promise to ‘fundamentally change America,’ that it would lead to an all-out war on the institutions and citizenry of our country. Few knew of the rage at the Western World instilled in him by his Muslim father. Even fewer questioned the influence that his Communist mentor or his radical, racist minister of twenty years, had on this community organizer from the corrupt underbelly of Chicago politics.
Each dawning day manifests more clearly the radical direction in which his promise takes us. Obama knows that liberty interferes with his designs for an ideal dictatorship; therefore, he abhors freedom. He’s dangerously ensnared in ideological “fairness, social justice, and equal results,” and his dogma doesn’t comprehend that the only fair society, is a free society.
Obama’s redistributionist, collectivist philosophy of unqualified politicians and bureaucrats running the economy is a Marxist scheme that invariably fails miserably. Additionally, taking money from the builders, the creators, the entrepreneurs, and the industrious, and then bestowing it to the takers, whiners, and ‘gimme crowd,’ always leads to further poverty and generations of dependency. In his collectivist, fantasy world, individualism is outmoded; truth ridiculed, and self-sufficiency scorned.
As long as parasites can leech blood from the producers of society, most think America is a grand country. They have a greedy, selfish, destructive, and choking love. Obama and all leftists cater and cling to this low-hanging fruit in that they have the power to vote. Freeloaders furnish the grist for his evil, Maoist mill.
When this U.S. President repeatedly gushes that, he is “working for the people,” one should remember; Chairman Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Castro, and dozens of other dictators echoed this identical self-aggrandizing rant. He’s effectively destroying the Constitution’s promise of limited government, liberty, and equal opportunity for all Americans.
Our community-organizer-in-chief determined at the jump to emulate the failed policies of the European Socialist States where Europe’s immigration, economic, and political correctness policies have them crashing and burning.
Obama liberals and radical Islamists have at least two traits in common; believing they tower above the law, and enacting policies to enforce their evil views upon America. Obama is committing crimes against liberty, the Constitution, and against the moral core of this illustrious land.
Lying is common political fare for presidents and a number of politicians; however, Obama turned blatant dishonesty into an art form. His boldfaced, brazen lies roll off his lips as easily as his ensuing breath. Truth is not in his vocabulary.
We might never find out if Obama, like his father, is a Muslim, however, one fact remains clear; he is a Muslim apologist and refuses to recognize, verbalize, or condemn the butchery many Muslims execute in the name of Allah. We might never ascertain if Obama, like his mentor, is a Communist, although we recognize he operates using the same deceit, lawlessness, and class divisions. We might never confirm whether Obama, like his long-time spiritual adviser, is a racist, other than knowing that he preaches the same racial hatred, division, and distrust.
He regards with criminal indifference, the United States Constitution, and considers the laws of the land as annoyances that he summarily and contemptuously disregards.
Rudi Giuliani’s criticism of Obama came down much too softly. Barack Obama created a wound in America that may never heal. His hatred for a country that elected the first black president is renowned and endless. That revulsion manifests itself in his words, actions, edicts, and trespasses..
The voices for liberty in America must rise to a fevered pitch to have any success at drowning out the loud, verbose, shrill voices of tyranny coming from this criminal administration, his bureaucrats, and the Main-Stream Media.
Barack Obama’s idea of America is not the idea of America’s heroes who left their blood and their lives in and on the beaches, jungles, countries, and oceans of the world. They sacrificed for OUR FREEDOM; shall we sit back and let their sacrifices be nothing more than ink stains in discarded, untaught, history books in Barack Obama’s America? Will we allow the worst-of-the-worst President of the U.S. to sully everything for which men have fought, bled and died?
Border Surge Solution: Send 'Em to Camp David!
By Michelle Malkin
Colorado dodged a bullet. After a stinging backlash from local leaders and Rocky Mountain politicians in both parties, the Obama White House retreated this weekend from plans to dump in our state 1,000 minors who immigrated here illegally.
Good riddance to the feckless feds, and don't come back, y'all.
Now, let this be a lesson for other communities facing the D.C.-engineered human flood. You can and should say no — and force Washington to put first things first.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services had unveiled a hastily drawn scheme just two months ago to convert a Denver Federal Center warehouse in preparation for another springtime surge of Central American migrants coming through Mexico. Look past the sob stories. The recent surges were cunningly engineered by drug cartels and human traffickers.
As Brandon Judd of the National Border Patrol Council testified on Capitol Hill recently: "The cartels understood that the unaccompanied minors would force the Border Patrol to deploy Agents to these crossing areas in order to take the minors into custody. I want to stress this point because it has been completely overlooked by the press," he told the House Judiciary Committee. The unaccompanied minors could have walked right up to the port of entry and requested asylum if they were truly escaping political persecution or violence. "Why did the cartels drive them to the middle of the desert and then have them cross over the Rio Grande only to surrender to the first Border Patrol Agent they came across?" Judd challenged.
"The reason is that it completely tied up our manpower and allowed the cartels to smuggle whatever they wanted across our border."
This is just another maddening example of Obama's warped priorities at work. Instead of building effective walls and enforcing our borders to prevent the coming illegal immigration waves manufactured by criminal racketeers, this administration rushes to build welcome center magnets that shelter the next generation of Democrat voters.
With an estimated 125,000 Central American unaccompanied minors apprehended by the besieged Border Patrol at the southern border since 2012, HHS now oversees more than 100 child migrant centers in a dozen states.
But not in Colorado — for now.
Obama's fantastical construction proposal in the Denver suburb of Lakewood came on the heels of the feds' black-hole fiasco at the nearby Aurora Veteran Administration hospital. That project broke ground in 2010, is $1 billion over budget and over five times its original estimate, is at least two years behind schedule, and has been riddled with contract corruption and fraud.
Pressed for details by wary Coloradans in the wake of that scandal, HHS bureaucrats admitted the planned migrant center renovations would cost up to $40 million and take at least a year to complete. At least.
The White House is preparing to ship border surgers to temporary facilities in Texas, Florida and Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico. Mum's the word on other potential illegal immigrant extended stay suites. But every community with a military base should be on high alert.
In 2014, San Antonio's Lackland Air Force Base, Port Hueneme Naval Base in Ventura County, California, and Lawton, Oklahoma's Fort Sill Army post were all used as border surge dumping grounds. As I reported after a whistleblower alerted me that spring, the Obama administration also surreptitiously sent two plane loads of nearly 200 border-crossers to Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford, Massachusetts and Boston's Logan Airport. DHS crapweasels initially denied my reports, but admitted the secret redistribution program a month later.
The issue isn't whether local American communities have "compassion" for border trespassers. The issue is whether the federal government is doing its fundamental job "providing for the common defense" and putting the "general welfare" of "ourselves and our posterity."
Try this, Washington: Build the long-delayed facilities our veterans need. Root out all the deadly corruption in the VA system. Restore the cuts in border surveillance. Stop undermining Border Patrol and tying the hands of interior enforcement agents. Cease and desist executive amnesty orders. Finish constructing the long-sabotaged electronic entry-exit system. Now. Period.
Until then, if President Obama insists on allowing thousands of exploited Central American minors to enter the country illegally, I propose they be housed at the presidential retreat of Camp David — and that amnesty advocate Mark Zuckerberg and all the Gang of Eight lobbyists and corporate sponsors on the left and right foot the bill. The commander in chief's vacation spot in the Catoctin Mountain Park is secure. It contains 200 acres of land on which to build temporary Obamaville shelters for all the surgers. And any overflow should be handled by pitching tents on the White House lawn.
The most powerful way to make D.C. listen is to make D.C. suffer the consequences of its own detrimental actions. Not in our backyards, Mr. President, until you use yours first.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin021716.php3#qK0CVlH0w3pzlx2r.99
Joy and Bad Law
By John Stossel
According to Betfair.com, Jennifer Lawrence probably won't win best actress at the Oscars Sunday. I'm rooting for her, though — not because of her acting, but because the movie she stars in, "Joy," celebrates the difficulty of entrepreneurship.
Lawrence's character is based on real-life entrepreneur Joy Mangano, who invented the self-wringing Miracle Mop and other "Ingenious Designs," as her company is known. Now she hawks them and other products on the Home Shopping Network.
The film accurately depicts struggles businesses face. Joy goes deep into debt to finance her idea, overcomes manufacturing problems, persuades skeptical marketers and deals with such menaces as patent trolls.
Patent trolls are usually lawyers/parasites who don't even come up with working prototypes for inventions they later claim as their own. They just grab someone else's idea, or buy a bunch of them, register patents with the government and wait. When someone with real technological and business skill creates something useful that's similar, the troll threatens to sue.
Often the inventor pays just to keep the business alive. It's extortion. But when lawyers do it, it's legal extortion.
In Joy's case, a lazy rival claims to have come up with her idea first; Joy risks a physical confrontation to defend her invention. I won't spoil the details of the movie — but since the real Joy Mangano went on to make millions, you can guess that it has a happy ending.
Writer/director David O. Russell, like many in Hollywood, has made movies critical of capitalism and businesspeople, so I'm glad he saw a spark in Joy Mangano, the driven businesswoman.
Hollywood may not understand economics or government regulation, but there are things Hollywood often gets right. Hollywood celebrates heroic individuals who fight injustice and corrupt establishments. Hollywood also has a healthy suspicion of the power of covert government activities.
Sure, the "Mission Impossible" crew and plenty of other Hollywood heroes are secret agents — and Hollywood consults with real cops, secret agents and military advisers to capture details more accurately. That helps the government shape messages to its liking. But plenty of Hollywood government agents end up being villains anyway.
The film "Sicario," nominated for three Oscars, shows an ordinary cop, played by Emily Blunt, lured into the dark world of the CIA's cross-border drug war. She thought she was just going to be stopping bad guys a little farther from home but discovers that she might be part of an elaborate assassination plot.
I'm biased in favor of Emily Blunt movies because we both are stutterers, but I'd appreciate "Sicario" without that connection, too.
"Sicario" is informative because throughout the movie, even the cops aren't sure who the good guys are, and almost no one has any idea what the rest of the government is up to. It makes it clear that average citizens don't stand a chance of finding out. This is a realistic picture of the drug war.
Corruption and lack of transparency are inevitable when government takes on a mission as hopeless as a war on a substance that lots of people want. When there's demand, customers tend to get what they want, even if other people don't approve.
Hollywood writers and producers, who have also made plenty of movies about our failed attempt at alcohol Prohibition and the gangsters who rose to power in that period, sometimes understand that the drug war is unwinnable, too.
The U.S. can send helicopters to destroy coca plants in Colombia — or even build a wall between Mexico and America — but that just increases profit margins, so drug-sellers take even greater risks to get their product to customers.
The climax of "Sicario" involves underground tunnels used by Mexican cartels to move drugs (and illegal immigrants) across the border. None of the characters even consider the possibility of shutting down all the tunnels. They know they'd never find them all, and that if they did, the cartels would just build more. Even if they closed all the tunnels, the smugglers would use boats. And planes.
Things don't work out as well for the characters in "Sicario" as they did for Joy Mangano. In real life, government efforts don't bring as much joy as entrepreneurship.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0216/stossel022416.php3#VyZvoYrmZtpLfvBx.99
While Obama fiddles ...
By Charles Krauthammer
State of the world, Year Eight of Barack Obama:
1. In the South China Sea, on a speck of land of disputed sovereignty far from its borders, China has just installed antiaircraft batteries and stationed fighter jets. This after China landed planes on an artificial island it created on another disputed island chain (the Spratlys, claimed by the Philippines, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam). These facilities now function as forward bases for Beijing to challenge seven decades of American naval dominance of the Pacific Rim.
"China is clearly militarizing the South China Sea," the commander of the U.S. Pacific Command told Congress on Tuesday. Its goal? "Hegemony in East Asia."
2. Syria. Russian intervention has turned the tide of war. Having rescued the Bashar al-Assad regime from collapse, relentless Russian bombing is destroying the rebel stronghold of Aleppo, Syria's largest city, creating a massive new wave of refugees and demonstrating to the entire Middle East what a Great Power can achieve when it acts seriously.
The U.S. response? Repeated pathetic attempts by Secretary of State John Kerry to propitiate Russia (and its ally, Iran) in one collapsed peace conference after another. On Sunday, he stepped out to announce yet another"provisional agreement in principle" on "a cessation of hostilities" that the CIA director, the defense secretary and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff deem little more than a ruse.
3. Ukraine. Having swallowed Crimea so thoroughly that no one even talks about it anymore, Russia continues to trample with impunity on the Minsk cease-fire agreements. Vladimir Putin is now again stirring the pot, intensifying the fighting, advancing his remorseless campaign to fracture and subordinate the Ukrainian state. Meanwhile, Obama still refuses to send the Ukrainians even defensive weapons.
4. Iran. Last Thursday, Iran received its first shipment of S-300 antiaircraft batteries from Russia, a major advance in developing immunity to any attack on its nuclear facilities. And it is negotiating an $8 billion arms deal with Russia that includes sophisticated combat aircraft. Like its ballistic missile tests, this conventional weapons shopping spree is a blatant violation of U.N. Security Council prohibitions. It was also a predictable — and predicted — consequence of the Iran nuclear deal that granted Iran $100 billion and normalized its relations with the world.
The U.S. response? Words.
Unlike gravitational waves, today's strategic situation is not hard to discern. Three major have-not powers are seeking to overturn the post-Cold War status quo: Russia in Eastern Europe, China in East Asia, Iran in the Middle East. All are on the march.
To say nothing of the Islamic State, now extending its reach from Afghanistan to West Africa. The international order built over decades by the United States is crumbling.
In the face of which, what does Obama do? Go to Cuba.
Yes, Cuba. A supreme strategic irrelevance so dear to Obama's anti-anti-communist heart.
Is he at least going to celebrate progress in human rights and democracy — which Obama established last year as a precondition for any presidential visit? Of course not. When has Obama ever held to a red line? Indeed, since Obama began his "historic" normalization with Cuba, the repression has gotten worse. Last month, the regime arrested 1,414 political dissidents, the second-most ever recorded.
No matter. Amid global disarray and American decline, Obama sticks to his cherished concerns: Cuba, Guantanamo (about which he gave a rare televised address this week) and, of course, climate change.
Obama could not bestir himself to go to Paris in response to the various jihadi atrocities — sending Kerry instead "to share a big hug with Paris" (as Kerry explained) with James Taylor singing "You've Got a Friend" — but he did make an ostentatious three-day visit there for climate change.
So why not go to Havana? Sure, the barbarians are at the gates and pushing hard knowing they will enjoy but 11?more months of minimal American resistance. But our passive president genuinely believes that such advances don't really matter — that these disruptors are so on the wrong side of history, that their reaches for territory, power, victory are so 20th century.
Of course, it mattered greatly to the quarter-million slaughtered in Syria and the millions more exiled. It feels all quite real to a dissolving Europe, an expanding China, a rising Iran, a metastasizing jihadism.
Not to the visionary Obama, however. He sees far beyond such ephemera. He knows what really matters: climate change, Gitmo and Cuba.
With time running out, he wants these to be his legacy. Indeed, they will be.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer022616.php3#pXJGoLjwPYgFyOPh.99
Apple's Involuntary Servitude
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
"There is nothing new in the realization that the Constitution sometimes insulates the criminality of a few in order to protect the privacy of us all." — Justice Antonin Scalia (1936-2016)
After the San Bernardino massacre on Dec. 2, 2015, the FBI lawfully acquired the cellphone of one of the killers and persuaded a federal judge to authorize its agents to access the contents of the phone. Some of what it found revealed that the killer used the phone to communicate with victims and perhaps confederates and even innocents who unwittingly provided material assistance.
Then the FBI hit a wall. It appears that the killer took advantage of the phone's encryption features to protect some of his data from prying eyes unarmed with his password.
The cellphone was an iPhone, designed and manufactured by Apple, the wealthiest publicly traded corporation on the planet. Apple built the iPhone so that its users can store sensitive, private, personal data on the phone without fear of being hacked by friend or foe.
After the FBI determined it could not replicate the killer's password without jeopardizing the phone's content, it approached Apple, and representatives of each negotiated for weeks trying to find a way for Apple to help the FBI without compromising the security of the Internet itself. They failed.
Apple has argued that the government has no legal right to compel it to assist in a government investigation, or to compel it to alter or destroy its business model of guaranteeing the safety and privacy of its customers' data. Apple knows that any "key" it creates for the FBI, once used on the Internet, is itself vulnerable to hacking, thereby jeopardizing all Apple products and negating the privacy of tens of millions, and even exposing the government to foreign hackers.
The Department of Justice has argued that Apple has a legal duty to help solve the mystery of who knew about the San Bernardino attacks so that the guilty can be prosecuted and the rest of us protected from future harm. Its lawyers asserted that the government would keep secure whatever key Apple created.
After the DoJ/Apple talks broke down, the DoJ made a secret application on Feb. 16, 2016, two and a half months after the massacre, to a federal judge for a search warrant for this key to access the killer's iPhone.
The warrant was improperly granted because Apple was not given notice of the DoJ application. So, the judge who issued the order denied Apple due process — its day in court. That alone is sufficient to invalidate the order. Were Apple a defendant in a criminal case or were Apple to possess hard evidence that could exonerate or help to convict, the secret application would have been justified.
But that is not the case here.
Instead, the DoJ has obtained the most unique search warrant I have ever seen in 40 years of examining them. Here, the DoJ has persuaded a judge to issue a search warrant for A THING THAT DOES NOT EXIST, by forcing Apple to create a key that the FBI is incapable of creating.
There is no authority for the government to compel a nonparty to its case to do its work, against the nonparty's will, and against profound constitutional values. Essentially, the DoJ wants Apple to hack into its own computer product, thereby telling anyone who can access the key how to do the same.
If the courts conscripted Apple to work for the government and thereby destroy or diminish its own product, the decision would constitute a form of slavery, which is prohibited by our values and by the Thirteenth Amendment.
Yet, somewhere, the government has the data it seeks but will not admit to it, lest a myth it has foisted upon us all be burst. Since at least 2009, the government's domestic spies have captured the metadata — the time, place, telephone numbers and duration of all telephone calls — as well as the content of telephone calls made in America under a perverse interpretation of the FISA statute and the Patriot Act, which a federal appeals court has since invalidated.
The DoJ knows where this data on this killer's cellphone can be found, but if it subpoenas the NSA, and the NSA complies with that subpoena, and all this becomes public, that will put the lie to the government's incredible denials that it spies upon all of us all the time. Surely it was spying on the San Bernardino killers.
There is more at stake here than the privacy of Apple's millions of customers and the security of power grids and all that the Internet serves. Personal liberty in a free society is at stake. A government that stays within the confines of the Constitution is at stake.
The late great Justice Antonin Scalia recognized that liberty and safety are not in equipoise when he wrote that there is nothing novel about liberty trumping safety under the Constitution. The primacy of liberty and a government subject to the rule of law is the core constitutional principle that, while honored, will keep tyranny at bay. And when dishonored, will let tyranny thrive.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0216/napolitano022516.php3#OHvKu0opjmmdATuo.99
Politicians Taking Advantage of Gullible Americans
By Walter Williams
Jonathan Swift (1667-1745), satirist, essayist and political pamphleteer, is a favorite of mine. He wrote "Gulliver's Travels." One of Gulliver's voyages was to Laputa, where he visited the grand academy of Lagado, whose scientists have visions not unlike today's politicians who exploit mankind's gullibility.
Before getting around to our politicians, how about a quick synopsis of Gulliver's visit to the grand academy of Lagado, where scientists were trying to solve important problems? To wage war against famine, one scientist was trying to convert excrement back into food. For eight years, another scientist was engaged in a project to extract sunbeams from cucumbers. An architect was trying to find a way to build houses starting from the roof down so as to provide shelter for construction workers as they completed their work during inclement weather. Then there was sheer lunacy in the case of a professor who claimed that conspiracies against government could be discovered by studying the excrement of subjects. All of these projects of the grand academy of Lagado scientists were doomed to failure primarily because of the immutable prohibitions of the first and second laws of thermodynamics.
How, you might ask, do these laws apply to politicians and gullible Americans? The first law of thermodynamics, translated into plain English, states that "there is no such thing as a free lunch." Conservation of energy is a basic law of physics that cannot be violated. My question to Sen. Bernie Sanders and his supporters, with his promise of free college tuition, is: Has he discovered a way around the laws of physics? Or is he lying about getting something for nothing and really means that he plans to take the earnings of one American in order to provide "free" college tuition? Of course, he might have a more horrible method in mind as a way to provide free tuition, namely the enslavement of professors. One wonders whether Sanders would receive as much cheer from his youthful supporters if he were honest with them and told them he was going to provide for their "free" education by taking the earnings of another or by enslaving professors.
Presidential candidate Donald Trump promised, "I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created." To assist in accomplishing that goal he has vowed to impose a 35 percent tariff on imported Ford vehicles from Mexico. More recently, he threatened to impose tariffs on Carrier air conditioners because its parent company, United Technologies Corp., announced plans to move to Mexico.
Trump's battle is not against Mexico, Ford or United Technologies. Instead, his real battle is against American people who would buy goods made abroad. This is readily seen by asking the question: Would Trump and other anti-free traders be concerned if Americans voluntarily refused to purchase foreign goods? Donald Trump and business and labor groups, who are against Americans purchasing goods made in other countries, can simply ask the American people not to purchase from abroad. Tyrants would never buy that strategy. Tyrants do not trust free markets and what they imply, voluntary exchange, because people acting voluntarily might not do what the tyrant thinks they should do. That is why they favor compulsion in the forms of tariffs and quotas to stifle peaceable, voluntary exchange with foreigners.
By the way, some of the political obfuscation about foreign trade is lifted when we recognize that it is not really nations trading with one another. In other words, the U.S. Congress does not trade with the federal government of Mexico, England's or France's parliaments or Japan's Diet. It's individual Americans who, through private intermediaries, trade with: Mexican Ford manufacturers, English clothing manufacturers, French wine producers and Japanese automakers.
Too many Americans believe in the possibility of a free lunch. Politicians exploit that gullibility. The unpleasant task of a good economist is to teach that fundamental principle: One cannot get something for nothing.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams022416.php3#oZ5JizbtSe6tPott.99
By Thomas Sowell
Amid all the media analyses of the prospects of each of the candidates in both political parties, there is remarkably little discussion of the validity — or lack of validity — of the arguments these candidates are using.
It is as if what matters this election year is the fate of a relative handful of people— currently seven — running for their respective parties' nominations. Meanwhile, the fate of the 320 million Americans who are going to be affected by the outcome of this year's election fades into the background.
The fact that Hillary Clinton's election prospects, for example, depend on her ability to get the black vote has been talked about in the media numerous times. But what about the fate of millions of black people, and how that will be affected by the way Hillary Clinton is trying to get their votes?
Her basic pitch to black voters is that they have all sorts of enemies, and that blacks need her to protect them, which she is ready to do if they vote for her. In short, Hillary's political fate depends on spreading fear and, if possible, paranoia.
Similar attempts to get the votes of women are based on conjuring up enemies who are waging a "war on women," with Hillary again cast in the role of someone ready to come to their rescue, if they will give her their votes.
In both cases, rhetoric and repetition take the place of hard evidence. The closest thing to evidence being offered is that the average income of blacks is not the same as the average income of whites, and the average income of women is not the same as the average income of men.
But the average incomes of people in their twenties is usually lower than the average income of people in their forties — and by a greater amount than the income difference between women and men, or the income difference between blacks and whites. Does that mean that middle-aged people are enemies of young adults?
In countries around the world, and for centuries of recorded history, people living up in the mountains have usually been poorer than people living on the land below. Does this mean that people in the lowlands have somehow been robbing mountain people? Or does it mean that the circumstances of people living in mountains have usually been less promising than the circumstances of others?
If poverty among blacks is due to whites, why has the poverty rate among black married couples been in single digits every year since 1994, despite far higher poverty rates among other blacks? Do most white employers even know — or care — which blacks are married?
When the imprisonment rate of blacks with a college education is a fraction of the imprisonment rate of other blacks, does that mean that white cops check out the education of blacks before they decide to arrest them?
Or does it mean that blacks who have chosen one way of life have very different prospects than those who have chosen a very different way of life — as is true among whites, Asians, Hispanics and others?
Economic differences between women and men are not wholly due to personal choices, since only women have babies, and it is usually mothers who take time out from the job market to raise them.
When women work fewer hours per year than men, and do not work continuously for as many years as men, how surprised should we be that the sexes have different incomes on average?
Anyone who is being serious — as distinguished from being political — would have to take many factors into account before saying that male-female income differences, or black-white differences, are due to people with identical qualifications and experience being paid differently.
Any number of studies, including studies by female scholars, have shot down the oft-repeated claim that women are paid less than men with identical work qualifications. But that will not stop that same bogus claim from being made repeatedly this election year.
What about blacks, women or others who believe the political hype? Will that help them improve their lives, or will it be anther counterproductive distraction for them and another polarization of society that helps nobody, except those who seeking votes? As for the media, they are covering the political contests, not the effects of the lies generated in these contests.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell022316.php3#2zJTH8KYtRL6WxFm.99
Clinton and Sanders and Progressivism
By Walter Williams
Presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders seek to claim the "progressive" mantle. Both claim the other is not a true progressive. Clinton teased Sanders as being the "self-proclaimed gatekeeper for progressivism." Bernie Sanders said that Hillary Clinton can't be both a moderate and a progressive and that most progressives don't take millions from Wall Street. But let's talk about the origins of progressivism. It's only historical ignorance that could explain black affinity for progressivism.
The Progressive Era is generally seen as the period from 1890 to 1920. President Woodrow Wilson, a leading progressive, had a deep contempt for the founding principles of our nation. Progress for Wilson was to get "beyond the Declaration of Independence," because "it is of no consequence to us." President Wilson implored that "all that progressives ask or desire is permission — in an era when 'development,' 'evolution,' is the scientific word — to interpret the Constitution according to the Darwinian principle; all they ask is recognition of the fact that a nation is a living thing and not a machine."
President Woodrow Wilson was a believer in notions of racial superiority and inferiority. He was so enthralled with D.W. Griffith's "Birth of a Nation" movie, which glorified the Ku Klux Klan, that he invited various dignitaries to the White House to view it with him. During one private screening, President Wilson exclaimed: "It's like writing history with lightning. And my only regret is that it is all so terribly true." When President Wilson introduced racial segregation to the civil service, the NAACP and the National Independent Political League protested. Wilson vigorously defended it, arguing that segregation was in the interest of Negroes. Booker T. Washington wrote during Wilson's first term, "I have never seen the colored people so discouraged and bitter as they are at the present time."
President Woodrow Wilson's predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, was another progressive captivated by the notions of racial inferiority. He opposed voting rights for black Americans, which were guaranteed by the 15th Amendment, on the grounds that the black race was still in its adolescence. Theodore Roosevelt said that "race suicide," a term coined by sociologist and eugenicist Edward Ross, was the "greatest problem of civilization." "The theory that races are virtually equal in capacity," wrote Ross in the journal of the American Sociological Society, "leads to such monumental follies as lining the valleys of the South with the bones of half a million picked whites in order to improve the conditions of four million unpicked blacks."
The Progressive era gave birth to the "separate but equal" doctrine that emerged from the Supreme Court's notorious 1896 decision in Plessy v. Ferguson, a case that symbolized Jim Crow racism. Progressives were also people who attacked free-market economics. Along with muckraking journalists they attacked capitalistic barons. They were advocates of what might be called "scientific racism" that drew from anthropology, biology, psychology, sociology, eugenics and medical science. Popular books during the Progressive era included Charles Carroll's "The Negro a Beast" and R.W. Shufeldt's "The Negro, a Menace to American Civilization." A best-seller was Madison Grant's "The Passing of the Great Race," where he argued that inferior races were out-breeding their betters, leading to race suicide. Economist John R. Commons regarded blacks as immutably inferior therefore justifying slavery.
Legal scholar Richard Epstein concludes that progressivism sought to grant the state vast new authority to manage all walks of American life while at the same time weakening traditional checks on government power, including private property rights and liberty of contract, two principles that progressives hold in contempt. Epstein notes, "The sad but simple truth is that the Jim Crow resegregation of America depended on a conception of constitutional law that gave property rights short shrift, and showed broad deference to state action under the police power."
It is clear that today's progressives have the same constitutional contempt as their predecessors. I hope they do not share the racial vision. Black voters ought to demand, at a minimum, that progressives disavow their ugly racist past. They should re-label themselves to something other than progressives, maybe compassionate totalitarians.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams021716.php3#LLVTGVAX73QQFUzA.99
Justice Scalia and Constitutional Fidelity
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
When the sad news came of the sudden death this past weekend of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, I wept for my friend.
We had developed a happy friendship during the past 15 years, one which I had selfishly hoped would endure. He permitted his friends to see all of him. We knew him to be in private just as he appeared in public — happy, loud, brash, warm, engaging, challenging, witty, brilliant, courageous, Catholic, traditionalist. He also let us know that he understood the significant role history gave him. Knowing him personally and spending private time with him was one of the great gifts of my adult life. In my heart, there is a great sense of loss.
Regrettably, in the nation there is a sense of loss for the Constitution as well.
Justice Scalia was the most aggressive and consistent defender on the Supreme Court of the primacy of the text of the Constitution in the post-World War II era. He was the modern-day progenitor of the idea — and eventually the jurisprudence — of interpreting the Constitution faithful to the plain meaning of its words. He was utterly and unambiguously faithful to this concept. This theory of constitutional interpretation has two names — textualism and originalism.
Justice Scalia argued that the Constitution means what it says; its says it is the supreme law of the land; and all American judges have taken an solemn oath to be subject to what it says. It is superior to the jurists who interpret it. It is what is says, not as they might wish it say. Thus, all judges are bound by the text. Hence the word "textualism."
So "no law" means no law. "Due process" guarantees fair process, not substance. A constitutional guarantee is a real guarantee. The exercise of rights articulated in the Constitution cannot be subject to popularity contests.
If the text of the Constitution is ambiguous, it then becomes the duty of the jurist to ascertain the original public meaning of the words that form the ambiguity. Hence the word "originalism." Ascertaining original public meaning often requires the skills of a historian; yet, thanks to James Madison, the historical record is ample.
The rejection of this line of thinking permits jurists to interpret the Constitution in novel and creative or even destructive ways, according to their own ideologies. It permits them to adapt a meaning in the text that they wish had been there to fortify contemporary societal attitudes. Justice Scalia argued that that is not the job of jurists.
Federal judges have life tenure because they represent the anti-democratic part of the federal government. Their job is to preserve constitutional norms and structures and guarantees from interference by the popular branches of the federal government or the States, even when those branches or the States command popular support.
The job of the jurist, he argued, is not to adapt the text of the Constitution to public trends or cultural changes. That is the job of the Congress and the States through legislation.
His textualism/originalism arguments provoked a firestorm of opposition on the Court and in the legal academy. The opposition reacted and coalesced around a concept called the "living Constitution." Its tenets are that modern-day jurists can adapt the Constitution to modern-day societal preferences and governmental needs.
Justice Scalia argued that that itself violates the judicial oath, which is to uphold the Constitution as it was written, not as some jurists may wish it to be. Only three quarters of the States, he maintained, can change the Constitution — by amendment — and they have done so only 27 times in the past 225 years.
Some justices throughout history have been compromisers and conciliators. Not Justice Scalia. He was a lion of textual orthodoxy. He was a rock of original meaning. Law students jokingly called him the pope of originalism, a phrase he loved.
This steadfast attitude about the proper judicial role on the Court led him to author staunch defenses of the right to life even in the womb, free speech even when hateful, private property even when it is in the government's way, the right to confront one's accusers at trial even when unpleasant, the right to keep and bear arms in the home even if locally prohibited, and the right to privacy in "persons, houses, papers, and effects."
He famously voted to limit privacy to those four areas because of his fidelity to the text of the Constitution, which articulates persons, houses, papers and effects as the areas immune from government intrusion without a proper search warrant. He believed that if those areas are to be expanded, it is for the States to expand them by amendment, not for the Court to do so based on a wish list.
In the early days of our friendship, I was a bit awed by him. I once asked him if he felt he belonged to the Court. His reply was short and blunt. He told me he belonged to the Roman Catholic Church, he belonged to his family, and he belonged to the Constitution. The Court, he said, was just one creature intended to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution. The Constitution is the Court's creator. No creature can be greater than its creator. He liked the Court. He loved the Constitution.
Now he is with the Creator of us all. Now he belongs to the ages.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0216/napolitano021816.php3#4l5TMdHgpQo9l3kR.99
By John Stossel
The Tesla S is the closest thing to a totally driverless car available now. I had to leave my state to test-drive it. New York's archaic laws forbid taking both hands off the wheel.
Once outside New York, the Tesla representative in the passenger seat had me turn on the autopilot.
Suddenly, I was doing nothing. The car drove itself.
Actually, I didn't do nothing . I hyperventilated. It's not natural to sit passively while "driving" at 65 mph.
Then came my accident! In a narrow tunnel, the car drifted left, and a tire banged against the side of the tunnel. If I hadn't quickly grabbed the steering wheel, we would have crashed.
Was the computer-guided car unable to handle a narrow tunnel? No, it turned out the mistake, as usual, was human error — my error. I had nervously touched the steering wheel when we entered the tunnel, and that disengaged the autopilot. The Tesla guy didn't warn me. Or maybe he did, but I forgot.
Once I learned how the car works, I found the driverless car pretty wonderful, although weird. It's counterintuitive to trust a computer to handle a car's sharp turns or stop-and-go traffic.
But it does work. That's the big point — driverless cars are safer than we drivers are. Ninety-four percent of people killed in car crashes are killed because of human error.
The car's sensors see when I'm approaching another car. They see better than we do. They are our future, says economist James Miller.
I asked him why drivers should trust the computer. After all, computers crash!
"People know that machines are better than people at a lot of tasks," was his smart answer. "Our brains are basically machines — but not machines optimized for going 65 miles an hour." As for "crashing," he points out that computer buyers aren't willing to spend extra money for a backup system, but drivers definitely will.
Robot cars may soon save 30,000 lives a year, if bureaucrats let them. It will be a battle. The technology is way ahead of our laws.
Soon after my car was driving itself, I got bored. So I picked up a newspaper.
"Not a good idea, John!" scolded my Tesla copilot. He reminded me that state laws say a human driver must always be "in control."
It would also be against the law if I had gone to sleep. But someday, that will be an option. Commuting will be much less stressful.
Because robot cars are safer, insurance rates will drop. Some people will still want to drive themselves, and those people will pay a little more. That's fine, but then our authoritarian government will probably switch gears and ban "dangerous human driving."
Maybe that will be the libertarian controversy in 2021.
Freedom doesn't mean doing anything you want. It means, in part, deciding when to give up control and when to retain it. It also means doing nothing that directly harms others. Giving up some control to machines has been a benefit for centuries.
Robot cars will take away jobs from some taxi drivers, truck drivers, delivery men, etc. Unions, The New York Times and maybe Donald Trump will demand laws to "protect" those jobs. But that's a mistake.
"Experts" always say automation will create unemployment. In 1930, a New York Times headline said: "Economists predict number of men employed will decline." But the opposite has happened. Forty-six million Americans had jobs when that headline ran; now 150 million do.
Technology did destroy some jobs. Ninety percent of Americans once worked on farms. Now just 2 percent do. Somehow, today those 2 percent grow more food for less money. A hundred million Americans found other jobs.
This is a great thing.
Farm work was grueling, dangerous and time-consuming. Better agricultural technology frees people up to do safer, more interesting jobs. It also allows people more leisure. Think how many things we're free to do now that we grow food with the help of tractors.
Maybe someday we will look at driving cars the way we now look at farming with a mule.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0216/stossel021716.php3#LCziZA6bRgCSMmyD.99
Conservatives Must Not Squander This Opportunity
By David Limbaugh
As a supporter of Ted Cruz I have had many supporters of other candidates tell me that he would not be electable in the general election. I disagree.
Yes, Cruz is caricatured in social media and elsewhere as unlikable and as one who doesn't play well with others. He's too extreme and we need someone who can draw independents to win, and, once elected, unite us in bipartisan action. He just isn't as handsome as Rubio, they say.
Yet I have seen polls showing that Cruz is the most well-liked candidate among Republican voters, so you can't always rely on anecdotal evidence — or expert commentary. The reason is that we all have a tendency to project our own feelings on to the general population.
How could Cruz get legislation through Congress if so many of his Senate colleagues don't like him now, ask the critics. We can't afford any more gridlock.
Well, one reason Cruz is unpopular among many of his colleagues is that he honored his campaign promises to stand up to President Obama and resist his wasteful, unreasonable budgets. Establishment members of Congress and pundits have preemptively declared defeat before each budget discussion. Their cookie-cutter analysis concluded that no matter how outrageous Obama's demands, Republicans would lose the PR battle because they are perceived as the party of less government.
Plus, critics maintained, the Republicans never had enough votes to filibuster or override a veto, so any strong resistance was foolish and would just make them look worse to the people and cause them to lose the next election. "Just wait until we regain power; then we'll be tough."
When Cruz, among very few others, listened to his constituents instead of the defeatists in his own party and proceeded to fight, he was castigated as a grandstander and manipulator who was placing himself above the party and the nation. I remember arguing with many of these people at the time that it is very important that Republicans take strong stands against Obama.
You see, I didn't believe Cruz was quixotic. I didn't view these budget battles solely in the short term. Rather, I had the long view in mind. I think there is some chance we even could have prevailed if Republicans had unanimously united in opposition to Obama's reckless budget submissions, but I was certain that if we didn't fiercely resist him and publicly make our case in the process, we would face serious consequences with the electorate that had twice resoundingly rejected Obama's agenda in the off-year congressional elections.
I have said before that the establishment gave birth to Donald Trump by surrendering to Obama too quickly and not vigorously opposing him. Indeed, I believe the Republicans' failure to join Cruz in these budget battles was a contributing factor. Their calculus about that always-looming next election should now be seen as folly. The grass roots simply didn't believe the GOP was fighting for them, and now we are all paying for it.
The grass roots believed that even conservative Republicans were too feckless or ineffective to oppose Obama's agenda, and many are overreacting and choosing Trump. They don't seem too concerned about whether he is a reliably consistent conservative, or about his record of supporting many liberal causes.
How ironic that Ted Cruz is being punished by people because few of his colleagues would stand with him against the establishment. He has, with his actions, demonstrated himself to be a far sharper thorn in the establishment's side than Trump and his rhetoric. Cruz is the guy that stood up to the establishment from the inside and proved he could not be pressured by his peers to go along to get along. Isn't that what the grass roots have been craving all these years?
It's also ironic that Trump is reputed to be the person who stands up to the establishment and get things done. But he is the one who has boasted in this campaign about his willingness to work with the establishment.
Ted Cruz is remarkably brilliant and has proved more than any politician in modern times that he will do in office precisely what he promises to do in the campaign. This isn't expedient rhetoric; it's his proven track record.
Concerning electability, Cruz, in a general election campaign, would articulate conservatism with a flair we haven't seen in a presidential campaign since Ronald Reagan. I have always believed that if conservative ideas are clearly and unapologetically communicated they will energize the base and attract millions of others. These are positive, optimistic, and contagious ideas that for decades haven't been presented clearly, without dilution, and with utterly authentic conviction.
Ted Cruz believes he can reignite the old Reagan coalition and lead us to victory. I firmly believe it too. And if he wins with such an unambiguous message, he will have the clearest of mandates to pursue his agenda with a Congress elected along with him.
Republicans and conservatives must not overreact and throw the hay out with the pitchforks, when we can have the real deal with Ted Cruz, who will steer America back on the right course, first reversing Obama's destructive agenda and then implementing conservative principles to restore America's glory.
This really isn't that complicated. Cruz is the conservative candidate conservatives have longed for, and it would be tragic if we squander what could be our last opportunity.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh021916.php3#HJ0GUgIsWMM0Cgbd.99
The Lure of Socialism
By Thomas Sowell
Many people of mature years are amazed at how many young people have voted for Senator Bernie Sanders, and are enthusiastic about the socialism he preaches.
Many of those older people have lived long enough to have seen socialism fail, time and again, in countries around the world. Venezuela, with all its rich oil resources, is currently on the verge of economic collapse, after its heady fling with socialism.
But, most of the young have missed all that, and their dumbed-down education is far more likely to present the inspiring rhetoric of socialism than to present its dismal track record.
Socialism is in fact a wonderful vision — a world of the imagination far better than any place anywhere in the real world, at any time over the thousands of years of recorded history. Even many conservatives would probably prefer to live in such a world, if they thought it was possible.
Who would not want to live in a world where college was free, along with many other things, and where government protected us from the shocks of life and guaranteed our happiness? It would be Disneyland for adults!
Free college of course has an appeal to the young, especially those who have never studied economics. But college cannot possibly be free. It would not be free even if there was no such thing as money.
Consider the costs of just one professor teaching just one course. He or she has probably spent more than 20 years being educated, from kindergarten to the Ph.D., before ending up standing in front of a class and trying to convey some of the knowledge picked up in all those years. That means being fed, clothed and housed all those years, along with other expenses.
All the people who grew the food, manufactured the clothing and built the housing used by this one professor, for at least two decades, had to be compensated for their efforts, or those efforts would not continue. And of course someone has to produce food, clothing and shelter for all the students in this one course, as well as books, computers and other requirements or amenities.
Add up all these costs — and multiply by a hundred or so — and you have a rough idea of what going to college costs. Whether these costs are paid by using money in a capitalist economy or by some other mechanism in a feudal economy, a socialist economy, or whatever, there are heavy costs to pay.
Moreover, under any economic system, those costs are either going to be paid or there are not going to be any colleges. Money is just an artificial device for getting real things done.
Those young people who understand this, whether clearly or vaguely, are not likely to be deterred from wanting socialism. Because what they really want is for somebody else to pay for their decision to go to college.
A market economy is one in which whoever makes a decision is the one who pays for that decision. It forces people to be sure that what they want to do is really worth what it is going to cost.
Even the existing subsidies of college have led many people to go to college who have very little interest in, or benefit from, going to college, except for enjoying the social scene while postponing adult responsibilities for a few years.
Whether judging by test results, by number of hours per week devoted to studying or by on-campus interviews, it is clear that today's college students learn a lot less than college students once did. If college becomes "free," even more people can attend college without bothering to become educated and without acquiring re any economically meaningful skills.
More fundamentally, making all sorts of other things "free" means more of those things being wasted as well. Even worse, it means putting more and more of the decisions that shape our lives into the hands of politicians and bureaucrats who control the purse strings.
Obamacare has given us a foretaste of what that means in reality, despite how wonderful it may sound in political rhetoric.
Worst of all, government giveaways polarize society into segments, each trying to get what it wants at somebody else's expense, creating mutual bitterness that can tear a society apart. Some seem to blithely assume that "the rich" can be taxed to pay for what they want — as if "the rich" don't see what is coming and take their wealth elsewhere.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell021716.php3#sRf6TYs7r3yucbyd.99
Why 'White Privilege' is not only bogus --- it actually does great harm to blacks
By Dennis Prager
A pillar of contemporary leftism is the notion of "white privilege." Given that a generation of high school and college students are being taught that a great number of "unearned privileges" accrue to white Americans — the charge of white privilege demands rational inquiry.
The assertion turns out to be largely meaningless. And more significantly, it does great harm to blacks.
First, no reasonable person can argue that white privilege applies to the great majority of whites, let alone to all whites. There are simply too many variables other than race that determine individual success in America.
And if it were true, why would whites commit suicide at twice the rate of blacks (and at a higher rate than any other race in America except American Indians)? According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, white men, whom the left argue are the most privileged group of all in America, commit 7 of every 10 suicides in America — even though only 3 of 10 Americans are white males.
Whatever reason one gives for the white suicide rate, it is indisputable that, at the very least, considerably more whites than blacks consider life not worth living. To argue that all these whites were oblivious to all the unique privileges they had is to stretch the definition of "privilege" beyond credulity.
Second, there are a host of privileges that dwarf "white privilege."
A huge one is "two-parent privilege." If you are raised by a father and mother, you enter adulthood with more privileges than anyone else in American society, irrespective of race, ethnicity or sex. That's why the poverty rate among two-parent black families is only 7 percent. Compare that to a 22 percent poverty rate among whites in single-parent homes. Obviously, the two-parent home is the decisive privilege.
Another "privilege," if one wants to use that term, that dwarfs "white privilege" is "Asian privilege." Asian-Americans do better than white Americans in school, on IQ tests, on credit scores and on other positive parameters. In fact, according to recent data from the Federal Reserve, Asians are about to surpass whites as the wealthiest group of Americans. Will the left soon complain about Asian privilege?
And how about "gentile privilege?" For most of American history it was a lot easier being a Christian than being a Jew in America. Yet, I do not know a Jew — myself included — who doesn't believe that to be a Jew in America has always been an unbelievable stroke of good fortune. It is not surprising that an American Jew, Irving Berlin, wrote "God Bless America."
There are even times when there is "minority privilege" in America today. Every high school student knows that given similar scholastic and extracurricular records, one's chances of being accepted into a prestigious college are considerably greater if one is a member of a minority, most especially the black minority.
And the biggest privilege of all is "American privilege." Unless you or your family make some big mistakes, the greatest privilege of all is to be an American. That's why much of the world wants to live in America.
So, then why all this left-wing talk about white privilege?
The major reason is in order to portray blacks as victims. This achieves two huge goals for the left, one political, the other philosophical.
The political goal is to ensure that blacks continue to view America as racist. The left knows that the only way to retain political power in America is to perpetuate the belief among black Americans that their primary problem is white racism. Only then will blacks continue to regard the left and the Democrats as indispensable.
The philosophical reason is that the left denies — as it has since Marx — the primacy of moral and cultural values in determining the fate of the individual and of society. In the left's view, it is not poor values or a lack of moral self-control that causes crime, but poverty and, in the case of black criminals, racism. Therefore, the disproportionate amount of violent crime committed by black males is not attributable to the moral failure of the black criminal or to the likelihood of his not having been raised by a father but to an external factor over which he has little or no power — white racism.
White privilege is another left-wing attempt, and a successful one, to keep America from focusing on that which will truly help black America — a resurrection of the black family, for example — and instead to focus on an external problem: white privilege.
In doing so, the left has become the only real enemy the black has in America today.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0216/prager021616.php3#jhCVCyDKxYrQ9kE6.99
Tragedy and Choices
By Thomas Sowell
Amid the petty bickering, loud rhetoric and sordid attack ads in this year's primary election campaigns, the death of a giant — Justice Antonin Scalia — suddenly overshadows all of that.
The vacancy created on the Supreme Court makes painfully clear the huge stakes involved when we choose a President of the United States, just one of whose many powers is the power to nominate justices of the Supreme Court.
Justice Scalia's passing would be a great loss at any time. But at this crucial juncture in the history of the nation — with 5-to-4 Supreme Court decisions determining what kind of country America will be — Scalia's death can be catastrophic in its consequences, depending on who is chosen to be his successor.
Given the advanced ages of other justices, the next president is likely to have enough vacancies to fill to be able to shape the future of the court that helps shape the future of America.
Already many people are complaining that the America they grew up in, and loved, is being changed into something they can barely recognize. Record numbers are renouncing their American citizenship.
Meanwhile, people with high level experience in the military and in the intelligence services are warning us against extreme dangers in a world where our adversaries' military power and aggressiveness are increasing, while our military forces are being cut back.
Against this background, the frivolous rhetoric and childish antics in the televised political "debates" are painful to watch. If ever there was a time to choose a president with depth, rather than glitter or glibness, this is it.
Whatever the achievements of anyone in some other field, we cannot afford a novice in the complex world of politics and government at a time of grave dangers at home and internationally.
Some seem to think that Donald Trump's lead in the polls and in the New Hampshire primary make him the most electable candidate, even if he often acts like an overgrown spoiled brat.
But the fact that Trump leads in the polls does not mean that he is electable in the general election this fall. He is ahead only because the majority vote among Republicans has been split among so many other candidates.
Although Hillary Clinton is said to have been beaten badly in the Democrat's primary vote in New Hampshire, she still had a higher percentage of the Democrats' vote than Trump had of the Republicans' votes.
Unfortunately, the way the Republican primaries are set up, Trump can win all the delegates from some states without having to get a majority of the votes in any state. But in the general election in November, a candidate usually has to win a majority in a state, in order to win that state's votes in the Electoral College.
The Republicans can end up with a candidate who cannot even get a majority of Republicans' votes, much less a majority of the votes in the general population.
If, by some miracle, Trump became president, what kind of president would he be? Do we need another self-centered know-it-all in the White House to replace the one we have now?
Among the other Republican candidates, Dr. Ben Carson is a monumental figure in his field, and he is clearly revered even by people who would not vote for him. But votes are how elections are decided.
The governors among the Republican candidates can at least be judged by how their track record stands up in running a governmental organization. So can Senator Ted Cruz, who was attorney general in Texas. But Senator Marco Rubio has no comparable experience — and his inexperience has shown up in his abortive attempt to join Democrats in promoting amnesty.
If the Republicans are to avoid having Donald Trump lead them — and the country — to disaster, they are going to have to have the majority of non-Trump supporters get behind some given candidate.
Senator Ted Cruz has been criticized in this column before, and will undoubtedly be criticized here again. But we can only make our choices among those actually available, and Senator Cruz is the one who comes to mind when depth and steadfastness come to mind.
As someone who once clerked for a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, he will know how important choosing Justice Scalia's replacement will be. And he has the intellect to understand much more.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell021616.php3#UjWfEESafoqX2EQA.99
Progressives' anti-free speech itch
By George Will
Bernie Sanders, greedy for power to punish people he considers greedy, has occasioned 2016's best joke (reported in Bloomberg Businessweek): "In the Bernie Sanders drinking game, every time he mentions a free government program, you drink someone else's beer." But neither Sanders's nor Hillary Clinton's hostility to the First Amendment is amusing.
Both have voted to do something never done before — make the Bill of Rights less protective. They favor amending the First Amendment to permit government regulation of political campaign speech. Hence they embrace progressivism's logic, as it has been explained separately, and disapprovingly, by two eminent economists, Ronald Coase and Aaron Director:
There is no reason the regulatory, redistributive state should distinguish among various markets. So, government that is competent and duty-bound to regulate markets for goods and services to promote social justice is competent and duty-bound to regulate the marketplace of ideas for the same purpose.
Sanders and Clinton detest the Supreme Court's 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission , which they say their court nominees would reverse. It held that unions and corporations — especially incorporated advocacy groups, from the National Rifle Association to the Sierra Club — can engage in unregulated spending on political advocacy that is not coordinated with candidates or campaigns. The decision simply recognized that Americans do not forfeit their First Amendment rights when they come together in incorporated entities to magnify their voices by speaking collectively.
Opposition to Citizens United is frequently distilled into the slogan that "corporations are not people," to which Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) adds this example of progressive insight: "People have hearts. They have kids. They get jobs. They get sick. They cry. They dance. They live. They love. And they die." And a few teach at Harvard Law School, as Warren was able to do only because Harvard did not die: It is descended from the first corporation chartered in Colonial America.
Surely she learned in law school something she can relearn by reading "Are Corporations People?" in National Affairs by Carson Holloway of the University of Nebraska at Omaha. The concept of corporate personhood, he says, is not an invention of today's conservatives. It derives from English common law and is "deeply rooted in our legal and constitutional tradition."
William Blackstone, the English jurist who richly influenced the United States' Founders, said that corporations are "artificial persons" created to encourage socially useful cooperation among individuals and are accorded certain rights so that they can hold property and have lives, identities and missions that span multiple generations. Early in U.S. history, many for-profit corporations were less important than the nonprofit educational and religious corporations that still produce the nation's robust civil society of freely cooperating citizens.
If corporations had no rights of personhood, they would have no constitutional protections against, for example, the arbitrary search and seizure by government of their property without just compensation. And there would be no principled reason for denying the right of free speech (the First Amendment does not use the word "person" in guaranteeing it) to for-profit (e.g., the New York Times) or nonprofit (e.g., the NAACP) corporations.
In his attack on the Bill of Rights, Sanders voted to exempt for-profit media corporations from government regulation of corporate speech. Why? Because such corporations, alone among for-profit and nonprofit corporations, are uniquely altruistic and disinterested? Please.
In 2007, in a Cato Institute lecture, Judge Janice Rogers Brown of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit warned us: People who are eager to weaken protection of private property in order to enable government to redistribute wealth will also want to weaken constitutional protections of free speech in order to empower government to redistribute ideas.
Since then, college campuses have been responsive to people eager to regulate what others say, hear and see. Now, in the name of campaign finance reform, progressives such as Sanders and Clinton want to expand government's regulatory reach to political speech.
Both are ardent for equality and, as Brown foresaw, the argument for economic equality easily becomes an argument for equalizing political influence. The argument is: Government regulates or seizes property in the name of equity, so why not also, for the same reason, regulate the quantity, content and timing of speech intended to "influence elections"?
Progressives, with their collectivist itch, are ever eager to break private institutions to the saddle of the state, and to fill private spaces with regulations. Do they consider government uniquely altruistic and disinterested? Please.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will021316.php3#dMociyOMbBcMfxHP.99
For Valentine's day; 19 habits of adorable elderly couples
By Melinda Fox
Who hasn't seen older couples (or even the movie "Up!" for that matter) and yearned to have a relationship that gets sweeter with age?
Here are 19 things that cute, older couples do that you can begin to cultivate in your relationship, so that someday you can cuddle on a porch swing with your sweetheart.
1. They tell each other
Older couples don't wonder if the other loves them, they are confident in their relationship. This comes from years of assuring each other of their affection. Make sure your partner knows how lucky you are to have them in your life.
2. They don't make excuses
Work, kids, or a busy schedule are not excuses for not spending time together. And being someone who doesn't like talking about her feelings is not an excuse for not communicating. Couples who grow old together look for solutions to problems rather than finding reasons not to solve them.
3. They go on dates
If you want your relationship to last, you need to keep building your relationship. Go on dates regularly. Sometimes try activities that your spouse wants to do, even if you don't like them initially, you may find that you actually do like them.
4. They try new things
Learning things together is a great way to keep your bond strong. Let your spouse teach you something that they care about, or learn how to do something that neither of you have done before.
5. They never grow old together
Keep each other young by embracing your younger side.
6. They make inevitable challenges fun
No matter what challenges life sends their way (like limited walking ability), older couples have learned to turn these set-backs into fun. Creativity is key.
7. They serve each other
Every day give them a massage, wash the dishes, or pay them a compliment. If you want to have a relationship that lasts into your older years, make serving your spouse a daily priority.
8. They keep traditions
Have daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly traditions.
9. They take care of each other
One of the great things about marriage is that you have a partner in everything. Every individual has unique needs. Couples who stay together find ways to meet those needs. Sometimes you need to get creative but in marriage, it's always worth it.
10. They call each other out
Old couples have learned to call each other out on their crud. You need to learn to communicate openly (but kindly) to help the other be the best version of themselves.
11. They say "sorry"
You make mistakes; your partner makes mistakes. It's okay. Admit when you're in the wrong and say you're sorry.
12. They focus on details
At the end of the day, it's the little things that will make a big difference.
13. They get physical
Elderly couples are so cute because they still hold hands even though the "honeymoon phase" is well in the past. Don't stop holding hands, kissing each other, and getting intimate.
14. They don't take things too seriously
While there are times to be serious, you also need to let loose and be a goofball.
15. They share
What's mine is yours, right? Being in a relationship is key to becoming unselfish. Share everything from your secrets to your ice cream cone.
16. They make small moments matter
It's easy to just plug through life and forget to make it mean something. Couples who stay together make the most of small moments like doing the dishes together or running errands.
17. They indulge each other
Sometimes you need to give in and let your partner have their way.
18. They match
Everything about you doesn't have to be the same. If you two were the same person, there'd be no point in being in a relationship. Even though your differences are important, find your commonalities and hold on to them.
19. They stick together in sickness and health
Life is going to be hard whether you're together or apart. Couples who last until their elder years are the couples who make a commitment to stay together even when life (or the relationship) is challenging.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0216/adorable_elderly_couples.php3#JguDKLDggXkUmXuE.99
Fear Not, My Secular Friends
By David Limbaugh
It amuses me that certain people are convinced that Christians are angry scolds but totally miss the humorlessness and angst of certain Christophobic secularists.
When I wrote the book "Persecution: How Liberals Are Waging War Against Christianity," secularists panned the notion that Christians, being in the majority, could be the subjects of systematic discrimination. I found that an odd argument, especially from people who routinely argued that women are victims of gender discrimination.
Their argument may have a superficial attraction, but it does not square with the evidence. I marshaled 400 pages of proof to substantiate my case. Since the time the book was published in 2005 this pattern of discrimination and mistreatment of Christians has continued unabated. I could write an update with twice as many pages.
Our universities are teeming with atheist professors, many of whom express their antipathy toward Christianity as anti-science, superstitious, bigoted,and Neanderthal. The same message permeates our culture, from Hollywood to popular music to the mainstream liberal media.
President Barack Obama himself, while touting his authentic Christianity, doesn't miss an opportunity to ridicule Christians as Bible-toting bitter-clingers whose Scripture contains many horrific divine commands and whose ancestors during the Crusades were every bit as evil as modern Islamic jihadists. He has also gone out of his way to promote the very secular cause of abortion-on-demand and to trample the conscience rights of faith-based institutions.
Yet with all this "progress," the appetite of militant secularists cannot be satiated. The most recent example is an editorial by Susan Jacoby in The New York Times, "Sick and Tired of 'God Bless America.'" Contrary to the liberal criticism of my book, Jacoby argues "the population of nonreligious Americans — including atheists, agnostics and those who call themselves 'nothing in particular' — stands at an all-time high this election year." She cites a Pew poll showing that the numbers of nonreligious Americans have exploded since 2008. It's hard to deny that the secular culture's bombardment of Christianity is having an effect.
Jacoby is particularly annoyed that despite the supposed cultural shift away from Christianity, presidential candidates still campaign "as if all potential voters were among the faithful." Even Democrats, she says, "are only a trifle more secular in their appeals." Well, if you say so.
Jacoby doesn't criticize nonreligious Americans who vote for these candidates, because no candidate "who full-throatedly endorses nonreligious humanism" is on the ballot. But she's not happy that the "candidates themselves ignore the growing group of secular voters."
She admits — shockingly — that "America is still predominantly a Christian nation," but that's not, in her view, why Christians are more powerful. Christians, she argues, are no more homogenous or monolithic in their views than secularists. Indeed, only evangelicals, as a group, are larger than those Americans "who don't belong to any church." The "unchurched," she says, at 22.8 percent, "make up a larger group than Catholics, any single Protestant denomination and small minorities of Jews, Muslims, and Hindus."
Instead, she thinks secularists are politically weak partly because they are not "joiners" and they reject labels. Many of the religiously unaffiliated would rather not identify with any group than label themselves as atheists or agnostics. Without joiners, she says, you can't create a lobby.
This is all rather bizarre, though, when you consider the inroads secularists have made in our society. In the first place, let's not forget that the Democratic Party booed God at its last convention. And though its presidential candidates may be unwilling to overtly appeal to secularists, they clearly pay homage to goddess Gaia in their quasi-pious adherence to the catechism of climate change. They bow to abortion rights as if abortion were a sacred ritual mandated by a pagan god of child sacrifice.
More important, secular values are in the ascendancy in this nation, not just in our university and culture, but also in the outworking of our laws. Almost overnight, militant secularists have imposed same-sex marriage on society through the super-legislature formally known as the United States Supreme Court. Tyrannical liberal policy makers and judges have forced the federal funding of abortifacients. Formerly free private bakers can't refuse to sell their product for a ceremony that violates their religious beliefs. Secularists own the curriculum in our public schools and universities. They expel prayer and symbols of Christianity from the public square, our schools and our military institutions. Don't dare be caught voluntarily praying to the God of the Bible in your private time in school, but the school will teach you how to practice the Five Pillars of Islam. Secularists are infringing, selectively, on the freedom of association of Christian groups on campuses. And much more.
Don't misunderstand. I do not seek to portray Christians as victims, but for all her concern, Jacoby has nothing to fear from Christians, who would not suppress secularists' liberties. On the other hand, it is undeniable that militant secularists command that society extend tolerance toward everyone except Christians. As hard-nosed secularists have been caught admitting, they simply refuse to tolerate ideas they find intolerable. They have no interest in applying their adage "live and let live" to those odious Christians.
Jacoby is sick of hearing "God bless America" at the end of every major political speech, and longs to hear Thomas Paine's observation that "the most formidable weapon against errors of every kind is Reason."
With all respect to Thomas Paine, I'm not as worried about errors as encroachments on our liberties. And I'd far rather trust one's commitment to the Constitution and rule of law than abstract reason. Christians embrace reason as much as secularists, but as jealous adherents to constitutional liberties, we are much better guardians of liberty for all.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh020916.php3#h4v5jsr7zwilWH1a.99
Obama; integrity? Lie of the century! David Brooks and Obama's Ongoing Pant Crease
By David Limbaugh
If you read The New York Times "conservative" columnist David Brooks, you might better grasp the chasm between true and phony conservatives, between Reagan conservatives and establishment Republicans.
In his piece "I Miss Barack Obama," Brooks unwittingly humiliates himself in his latest paean to the president, just as when he revealed his perverse attraction to Obama's "perfectly creased pant."
Let me just share Brooks' words rather than trying to characterize them, for he does much more damage to his own credibility than I could. He writes, "As this primary season has gone along, a strange sensation has come over me: I miss Barack Obama. Now, obviously I disagree with a lot of Obama's policy decisions. ... But over the course of this campaign it feels as if there's been a decline in behavioral standards across the board. Many of the traits of character and leadership that Obama possesses ... have suddenly gone missing or are in short supply. The first and most important of these is basic integrity. The Obama administration has been remarkably scandal-free."
I could include every single surreal word of this column, but let me just add a few more sentences, because they illustrate what we're up against with Brooksian pseudo-conservatives.
Brooks swoons over Obama's "resilient sense of optimism. To hear Sanders or Trump, Cruz and Ben Carson campaign is to wallow in the pornography of pessimism, to conclude that this country is on the verge of complete collapse. That's simply not true. We have problems, but they are less serious than those faced by just about any other nation on earth."
I have repeatedly observed that one thing distinguishing Reagan conservatives from establishment Republicans is the latter's blindness to the reality and gravity of Obama's destruction to this nation and their lack of any sense of urgency as to the multiple existential threats looming over America.
We face an immigration problem that could wholly destroy the United States, not because people of different ethnicities are entering but because we are losing our national identity, terrorists and terrorist-sympathizers are among those entering, there are disruptions to the economy and harm to American laborers and it causes further strain on our colossally bloated welfare state.
If we don't begin to control our borders like any self-preserving sovereign nation must, it will eventually be the end of America as we know it. Demagogues and race-baiters despicably twist these arguments as grounded in nativism. But for America to survive as unique among nations, its citizenry must remain committed to the American idea.
The open-borders lobby is devoted instead to flooding the nation with new Democratic voters who will reject our founding ideals. You better believe this is an existential threat and, in turn, our struggle against the open-borders nation-destroyers is an existential struggle. It is precisely because they have no rebuttal to these arguments that they resort to categorical smears of racism. But it says a lot about these slanderers that they portray allegiance to America's founding principles as bigotry, when everyone acknowledges and celebrates that America is a melting pot of all ethnicities.
We face another existential threat from radical Islam. I would say it's incredible that anyone could deny this, except we've endured similar scoffers before, including liberals who denied Communism constituted such a threat. Maddeningly, they cite the Soviet Union's collapse as their vindication, though the reason it ultimately collapsed is that conservatives such as Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher treated it as a threat. ISIS is not contained and radical Islam is not limited to ISIS. Legions of people already in America are ripe for joining this cause and our president has tied our hands instead of empowering law enforcement, intelligence and security forces to optimally prepare against it.
Further, our panoply of entitlements objectively constitutes an existential threat, yet Obama and his party both deny it, and they obstruct all reform measures.
But David Brooks isn't just in denial over these and other perils. He also views the most divisive, polarizing, partisan, condescending and narcissistic president in American history as a model of bipartisan civility. Obama has bullied and lied about his opponents and has grossly exceeded his constitutional authority to impose an agenda that the American people oppose.
Brooks has no stomach for a spirited campaign among GOP rivals who seek to reverse Obama's transformation, but he is arrogantly indifferent to the devastation it has caused. It is instructive that he is more repulsed by intramural spitballs among political adversaries than by the character and behavior of Obama and his war on the republic.
Brooks closes with a surreal lament. "Obama radiates an ethos of integrity, humanity, good manners and elegance that I'm beginning to miss, and that I suspect we will all miss a bit, regardless of who replaces him."
Let us just say, politely and elegantly: Mr. Brooks, this depends on how you define "we." Everyone in your "ethos" bubble perhaps, those who don't mind wallowing in the pornography of unpatriotic perdition, but very few in my world.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh021616.php3#sSwX71cjxQG51XI7.99
Many candidates, but no choices: What if all the hopefuls reject the concept of limited government?
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
What if all the remaining presidential candidates really want the same things? What if they all offer essentially the same ideas couched in different words? What if these primary races have become beauty pageants largely based on personality and advertising?
What if our system of governance is so deep into the fabric of big government in the second decade of the 21st century that all the presidential candidates really believe that most voters actually want the government to care for them?
What if all major candidates in both major political parties promise a federal government that can right any wrong, regulate any behavior, tax any event, solve any problem and borrow unlimited amounts of money?
What if the federal government is broke? What if it is politically committed to spending more money than it collects in revenue? What if all the candidates believe in borrowing money today and again borrowing money next year to pay off today's debts? What if rolling over federal debt never pays off or even pays down the principal?
What if none of the candidates cares about increasing the inflationary pressures and tax burdens on generations of Americans as yet unborn? What if they all want to spend hundreds of billions of dollars a year more than is collected in revenue? What if they all refuse to address the issue of how to pay back responsibly all the borrowed money from the past 100 years?
What if today we are the victims of this borrowing and spending mentality begun by President Woodrow Wilson and followed by nearly all of his successors up to President Obama? What if all the candidates in the presidential primaries plan to continue this self-destructive process?
What if the modern federal government has never paid back a loan in full without using borrowed money, and none of the candidates running for president cares about that, and all have indicated that they would continue to do the same? What if, as of today, nearly 20 cents of every dollar collected in revenue must legally be paid to lenders to the federal government as interest on their loans? What if American military leaders have argued that the government's debt is a greater threat to national security than is ISIS?
What if, when these candidates talk about curing cancer, eradicating the heroin epidemic or providing clean water, they are doing so to tug at your heartstrings? What if they are all mimicking Mr. Obama's politically successful demonstrations of empathy? What if these issues — genuine problems in contemporary America — are not federal problems because they do not spring from areas of governance delegated by the Constitution to the federal government? What if health, safety, welfare and morality are the core of the states' responsibilities and not the federal government's?
What if all these candidates don't care about the Constitution and its guarantees of personal freedom, its checks and balances, and its division of governmental powers, even though, before entering office, they will be required to take a solemn oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution?
What if the candidates all want to rearrange borders of countries in the Middle East using the American military? What if they all think they can use the blood of young Americans to force democratic governmental structures upon foreign peoples whose cultures have rejected repeatedly the concepts of majority rule, due process and natural rights over the course of a thousand years of religious civil wars? What if the candidates all fail to see that the more innocents we kill abroad, the more we use force to tell others how to live, the more harm comes to us — to our people, to our culture and to our freedoms?
What if all the candidates for president favor the government using torture, detaining persons without trial, continuous surveillance of all the telephone calls, emails and text messages of all persons in America — even though these behaviors are profoundly unconstitutional, morally un-American, uniquely destructive of personal liberty in a free society and fail to enhance public safety?
What if all these candidates — in differing degrees — reject the concept of limited government? What if they all want to bribe the rich with bailouts and the middle class with tax breaks and the poor with welfare? What if these candidates, their supporters and their attitudes about the role of government in our lives have reduced government at this sad time in our history to a game whereby everyone tries to live at someone else's expense?
What if none of the candidates recognizes that government is an artificial creation based on force and ought to be exercised minimally? What if none of them understands that prosperity comes from the free choices of investors, workers and consumers, and not from the decisions of the federal government's central planners?
What if none of these current candidates acknowledges that individuals are sovereign, our rights are inalienable, our property belongs to us, our souls are immortal, and that the government works for us — not the other way around?
What ever happened to the right to be left alone? Where is a candidate who will defend it? What are lovers of liberty to do?
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0216/napolitano021116.php3#5jeb6kjcJr3EiCw1.99
Sloppy Language and Thinking
By Walter Williams
George Orwell said, "But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought." Gore Vidal elaborated on that insight, saying, "As societies grow decadent, the language grows decadent, too. Words are used to disguise, not to illuminate." And John Milton predicted, "When language in common use in any country becomes irregular and depraved, it is followed by their ruin and degradation." These observations bear heeding about how sloppy language is corrupting our society.
The Atlantic magazine reported that public schools are nearly as segregated in 2012 as they were in the late 1960s. An Education Next series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Coleman Report includes an article by Steven Rivkin, "Desegregation Since the Coleman Report," that holds that American schools are still segregated. In 2001, Harvard University's Civil Rights Project press release stated, "Almost half a century after the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that Southern school segregation was unconstitutional and 'inherently unequal' ... racial and ethnic segregation continued to intensify throughout the 1990s."
Let's examine the term "racial segregation." Blacks are about 50 percent of the Washington, D.C., population. Reagan National Airport serves the Washington, D.C., area and, like every airport, it has water fountains. At no time is there anything close to blacks being 50 percent of water fountain users. Suppose it turns out that only 15 percent of the water fountain users are black. Would the scholars, whose studies say that schools are segregated because of racial differences in attendance, condemn Reagan National Airport water fountains as being segregated? Would they propose bussing blacks in from water fountains in southeast D.C. in order to integrate the Reagan National Airport water fountains?
What about ice hockey games? Shall we call them "segregated"? I have never seen a proportional representation of black fans in the audience; in fact, most times I did not see any. Based upon racial disparities, might we conclude that opera performances, dressage and wine tastings are also segregated? If you want to see more "segregation," visit South Dakota, Iowa, Maine, Montana and Vermont. Not even 1 percent of their populations is black. What might our segregation scholars propose? Would they suggest rounding up blacks in the states where they are over-represented, such as in Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama, and bussing them to America's "segregated" states? Might they suggest drafting blacks to attend operas, dressage and wine tastings?
They would not propose such nonsense, because they would recognize in these instances that racial homogeneity does not mean racial segregation. The test they would use is: If a black wants to use a water fountain, attend an opera or live in Montana, can he? That ought to be the same test for schools: If a black lives in a school district, is he free to attend? If the answer is yes then the school is not segregated, even if no blacks attend.
Terms related to segregation are "disparities," "gaps" and "disproportionality," all of which are taken as signs of injustice that must be corrected. The median income of women is less than that of men. Black and Hispanic students are suspended and expelled at higher rates than white students. There are race and sex disparities and gaps all over the place. For example, blacks are 13 percent of the population but 80 percent of professional basketball players and 66 percent of professional football players, and on top of that some of the most highly paid players. Those numbers do not mean that everything is hunky-dory for blacks. How many times have you seen a black player kick an extra point in professional football? What should be done about all of these glaring disparities? We might also ask what can be done to make basketball, football, dressage and ice hockey look more like America: in a word, using that beloved term, diverse.
Before we invest resources into worrying about such matters, we might focus on language corruption, because it is polluting our thinking, resulting in inept and dangerous social policies.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams021016.php3#rBSJRDSdJoJWbGZL.99
By Thomas Sowell
During this election year, we are destined to hear many words that are toxic in the way they misrepresent reality and substitute fantasies that can win votes.
One of these words is "entitlement." To hear some politicians tell it, we are all entitled to all sorts of things, ranging from "affordable housing" to "a living wage."
But the reality is that the human race is not entitled to anything, not even the food we need to stay alive. If we don't produce food, we are just going to starve. If we don't build housing, then we are not going to have housing, "affordable" or otherwise.
Particular individuals or groups can be given many things, to which politicians say they are "entitled," only if other people are forced by the government to provide those things to people who don't need to lift a finger to earn them. All the fancy talk about "entitlement" means simply forcing some people to work to produce things for other people, who have no obligation to work.
It gets worse. If we are all "entitled" to things, irrespective of whether we produce anything ourselves, then the question becomes: Why are some people getting so much more than others?
People who are producing nothing can feel a sense of grievance against those who are producing much, and being rewarded for it, if our basis for receiving economic benefits is supposed to be what we are all "entitled" to, rather than what we have worked to earn.
One of the most misleading uses of the notion of entitlement is to say that people who paid into Social Security for years are now entitled to the pensions they receive.
Really? It so happens that I have put money into the same bank account for more than 20 years. But if I were to write a check for a million dollars today, it would bounce! The question is not how long you have been putting money in, but how much money you put in.
If what you have been putting into Social Security over the years is enough to pay you a $1,500 a month pension, but you were promised a $3,000 a month pension, how much are you entitled to? On what basis?
Social Security was created back in the 1930s, during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, one of the shrewdest politicians who ever sat in the White House.
President Roosevelt understood that, if you could convince people that they were entitled to a pension under Social Security, it could become politically impossible to ever put an end to that system.
The pensions promised exceeded what could actually be paid from the money that was put in by the recipients. But the first generation to enter Social Security would have their pensions paid by money received from the second generation, as well as its own money. The second generation would be paid with money that included what was paid in by the third generation, and so on.
This is the principle behind a "pyramid" scheme, in which the first investors can get a big return on their money by simply paying them money received from subsequent investors. But it is only a matter of time before reality catches up with us, since the pyramid scheme is not actually investing any money or saving any money.
That is why a private insurance company that sold annuities based on a pyramid scheme would be prosecuted for fraud, and its officials put in prison. But you can't put Congress in prison, even when that is what it deserves.
With the money running out in the so-called trust fund for Social Security, reality is beginning to break through the fantasies, and is closing in on us.
No one wants to pull the rug out from under people already retired and dependent on Social Security, or on people nearing retirement age, and expecting a pension that is just not going to be there.
We can be both realistic enough, and decent enough, to rescue older people who have been victimized by political fantasies. We can pay higher taxes temporarily to rescue them. But, there is no reason to bankrupt the country by keeping the fraud going forever.
Younger people can be allowed to opt out and arrange their own pension plans in the private sector, where the kind of irresponsible pyramid schemes that politicians set up are illegal.
But we don't need to ruin the whole economy, in order to preserve the illusions created by toxic words like "entitlement."
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell020916.php3#3D2Va4JRlLbjIeh8.99
Collapse of our Industrial/manufacturing base, and cyber security
By Jim Mullen
are trapped in a time of our nation's history when misfortunes,
mismanagement, corruption, and leftwing ideology come together in a
powerful concurrence of circumstances that leave our once dynamic nation
at risk for disaster.
Americans are a people dependent upon a
meddling, incompetent government with its foot on the necks of its
citizens. As incredible as it seems, our representatives allowed
dictators and corrupt regimes around the world to control nearly
everything we need for survival. Moreover, this administration is weak
and incapacitated on the world stage, making us dependent upon the very
people who wish to annihilate us.
Dozens of pressing problems challenge
America today. Unquestionably, however, the two most urgent problems
facing us are the loss of our Industrial complex/manufacturing base, and
a crucial lack of cyber security.
Power grids, water supplies, and other
utilities are the lifelines sustaining our nation, and experts have
warned for decades of onrushing disasters. Computer hacking or other
sabotage could leave our entire nation a rudderless, powerless ship
drifting defenselessly in a violent and hostile world.
In an age when computers run our military,
infrastructure, governmental agencies, financial networks, and nearly
everything upon which Americans depend for comfort and survival, we
stand defenseless. Countries attack, probe, and steal information with
brazen impunity knowing Obama has no stomach for confrontation or
retaliation with other countries.
There was a time when America rightfully
boasted the greatest and most envied industrial complex and
manufacturing base in the history of mankind. However, that was before
politicians decided to over regulate, overtax, and enact never-ending
destructive legislation motivating business and manufacturing to
surrender and move to foreign countries offering more welcoming laws.
Further, national politicians signed unwise
trade agreements with countries which placed the United States in a
subservient position on trade. Mega-international corporation lobbyists
became the driving force for trade policy, and national security
steadily suffered. Fair trade became a victim of an ill-conceived
national scheme and withered in the heat of backroom deals between money
brokers and politicians. The false narrative of free trade left our
nation impotent in a world offering depressed wages, fewer benefits,
insignificant regulations, and lower taxes.Obviously, good-paying jobs with benefits vanished as we became less competitive.
International trade is an absolute necessity
to a healthy U. S. economy. Unfortunately, big-time money speaks louder
and more forcefully than common sense and fair economic practice.
Democrats and Republicans joined at the wallet with special interests,
tragically left our national security rusting away in hundreds of
silent, inactive, and useless factories from coast to coast.
History reminds us when one door closes
because of trade, others open when an economy is freewheeling and
operating as intended in a free enterprise, capitalistic system.
However, we have a Marxist President who believes business and business
decisions must be filtered through an all-powerful government. This
stifling of the once powerful engine of industry, leaves us even more
Jobs created in Obama’s collectivist economy
are low wage, service oriented positions gobbled up by illegal and
legal aliens. Economic growth is consistently slower than at any time in
the last several decades, and a crushing national debt threatens all
future growth when interest rates return to sustainable numbers.
If war visits our shores the glaring,
unmistakable truth will expose a nation suffering from neglect and
decline, caused largely by political chicanery and malfeasance at the
highest levels of government.
Circumstances will uncover a corrupt and
incompetent educational system, and an Ill-educated populace
indoctrinated into an ideology of dependence on the government.
Unfortunately, most of the country’s engineers come from other
countries, and we rest in a state of denial and lethargy, at the mercy
of the world’s despots. Worse yet, our political leaders have us tightly
bound by contrived measures to our mortal enemies, China and Russia.
Yes, they’ve placed our manufacturing, jobs, national security, economy,
and a massive national debt in the hands of foreign dictators.
Once upon a time, this nation stood tall
flexing a mighty industrial complex, manufacturing base, and skilled
labor force. Coincidently, it all remained largely unfettered by
government. Undoubtedly, the next war will find a nation rife with the
greatest fast-food workers in the world.
Our industrial complex is as valuable as the
Army, Navy, Marines, ships, aircraft, missiles, and bombs. Our national
Political leaders destroyed our once awe-inspiring manufacturing and
industrial complex and at the same time Obama reduced our military. We
remain at risk until these greedy, shortsighted men get their hands out
of big-money pockets and introduce policies bringing back to our shores
the manufacturing once so coveted by the world.
In 1921, we initiated the Washington
Disarmament Conference in which we cosigned with several countries, two
treaties. The first was to reduce the size of the US Navy fleet; along
with the British, French, Japanese, and Italian fleets. The other was a
treaty to guarantee China’s integrity. Japan was one of the signees!
In 1929, we naively signed a treaty that was
supposed to abolish war to resolve International disputes. Forty seven
nations signed the treaty, including Germany and Japan.
We scrapped more than 60% of our Navy, and the army was reduced to a
total force of 136,000 men. That was less than the army of Romania at
that time! While the United States and most of the world
disarmed, the Axis powers audaciously prepared for war. If the world did
not learn a powerful, painful lesson from the causes of WWII, then we
are doomed to repeat another agonizing war.
Then, Neville Chamberlain, who said peace at
any cost even if it meant surrendering, helped throw Europe into
full-out war. Today Barack Obama says peace at any cost, even if it
means surrendering or arming with nuclear weapons a country sworn to our
annihilation. While he makes the world unsafe for all people, he
drastically reduces our military, appeases our enemies, and weakens the
economy.We are in similar circumstances as was the world and our nation in the 1930s.
The difference being, Roosevelt and Congress
did not disassemble our industrial might and send our manufacturing
jobs to our enemies. In fact, they fired up our manufacturing to assist
Europe and Asia to such a peak, that when we entered the war, much of
our country’s economy was quickly changed to support a full war effort
for us and our allies.
While the federal government, media,
Hollywood, and the lunatic-left keep the country’s attention on
fabricated crises and political correctness, the country sinks under the
weight of its own negligence and inattention. America’s greatest
tragedy 9-11, could have easily been prevented by simply placing locks
on cockpit doors, enforcing our Visa laws, and not allowing foreigners
access to flight training of commercial aircraft. Repeated warnings of
the dire consequences of these laxities went unheeded and disaster
A weak nation is a vulnerable nation, and we
have never been more vulnerable. Government is reactive and overactive
but seldom proactive. Barack Obama, his leftwing comrades, and Congress
have us teetering on a precipice of disaster. From where will the next
Lincolnesque commander-in-chief or never-give-up, Churchillian pitbull
come? Let us hope we don’t have another war to find out!
The Main-Stream Media in general, and the Associated Press, particularly, slant their news coverage toward the liberal-progressive side of the political spectrum. The recent AP article in the Parkersburg News and Sentinel on the possible loss of food stamps in 21 states was obviously written to elicit sympathy. This compassion for a certain segment of society that fails the pity test is, at best, curious.
Apparently, the “work-for-food requirements” enacted by a Republican Congress and Democratic President, Bill Clinton educes crocodile tears from this so-called reporter. He/she blubbers “More than 1 million low-income residents in 21 states could soon lose their government food stamps if they fail to meet work requirements that began kicking in this month.” Barack Obama, in the early stages of transforming America, rescinded enforcement of this law in his effort to maximize government dependency.
Keep in mind, the provision applies to able-bodied adults ages 18 through 49 who have no children or other dependents in their home. Nationwide, some 4.7 million recipients fall under these criteria.
Now for the kicker, this work requirement isn’t a work requirement at all. It requires them to work, volunteer or attend education or job-training courses at least 80 hours a month. According to my old-fashioned arithmetic (not Common Core Math), that is 18.5 hours a week these people must get out of bed, get dressed, and struggle their way to a productive life. How awful!
Is it any wonder that under Obama’s economy, 94 million Americans are out of the workforce, but only 5 percent are looking for jobs?
Liberal politicians created an America where a large segment long ago lost pride in themselves, respect for their families, and tragically lost the ability to manage their own lives in a free civilization. Most of these people have never been taught the rudiments of success or self-discipline. To the contrary, the leftist politicians and their corrupt educational system indoctrinated them into the idea that government is there for them, and dependency is perfectly acceptable.
Build pride, not dependencyWe’ve “advanced” to the point where a hand-up is now defined as an indefinite free ride on the backs of taxpayers. Obama has exacerbated an already destructive and vicious cycle of dependency with his Marxist policies. It’s long past time for offering real help to these people by restoring or instilling pride and a sense of purpose to lives heretofore built around a mere existence at the feet of government.
The failure of multiculturalism
By Cal Thomas
Just as radar warns of approaching storms, so does the flood of migrants entering Europe warn us of a deluge yet to come, not only for Europeans, if they continue to allow unrestricted immigration, but for the United States.
Reports that women in Cologne, Germany, have been groped and robbed by men described by authorities as having "a North African or Arabic" appearance should be warning enough, but there are other and more ominous warnings that suggest worse lies ahead, unless the problem receives immediate attention and action. And it's not just Cologne.
The Gatestone Institute, a nonpartisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank, is in possession of what it describes as a "leaked German intelligence document," which says, "We are importing Islamic extremism, Arab anti-Semitism, national and ethnic conflicts of other peoples, as well as a different understanding of society and law."
Last October, reports Gatestone, Andrew Parker, the director general of Britain's Security Service, said that "'the scale and tempo' of the danger to the UK is now at a level he has not seen in his 32-year career. British police are monitoring over 3,000 homegrown Islamist extremists willing to carry out attacks on the UK."
On Wednesday, President Obama visited a Baltimore mosque. According to The Daily Caller, the mosque "has deep ties to extremist elements, including the Muslim Brotherhood." That mosque is not alone, as a map on the paper's website reveals.
Explaining the president's visit, White House spokesman Keith Maley said, "The president believes that one of our nation's greatest strengths is our rich diversity."
I doubt terrorists believe that. I don't believe that diversity, as practiced in America, exists in any country with a Muslim majority.
Benedicte Bjornland, head of the Norwegian Police Security Service, recently warned against further Muslim immigration. When U.S. politicians suggest a similar approach, they are denounced as "bigots" and "Islamophobes," but in Norway and Sweden, two of the most liberal nations in Europe that have welcomed Muslim immigrants, that charge will be difficult to make stick.
What we are witnessing is the complete breakdown and failure of multiculturalism. Dictionary.com defines multiculturalism as "the preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within a unified society, as a state or nation."
That definition contains a glaring contradiction. A society cannot be unified if it preserves different cultures and cultural identities within itself. That's why our national motto is translated "out of many, one." To the multiculturalist it appears to be, "Out of one, many."
History demonstrates that no nation can long survive if it forgets why it exists. Our failure to inculcate American traditions, beliefs and history, even in the native born, not to mention immigrants, is rapidly destroying the country bequeathed to us by our forebears.
Leftists in Europe and the U.S. have promoted multiculturalism, believing that once Muslims experience our freedoms and dedication to equality they will want to be like us. It doesn't appear to be working and anyone familiar with the Koran and its "kingdom of this world" instructions knows it likely won't.
European leaders, from Germany's Angela Merkel, to Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven, have deliberately closed their eyes to what they see unfolding in their countries, and in others.
President Obama is doing the same thing with his trip to the Baltimore mosque. Our enemies see our weakness and failure to understand their objectives, which include destroying the West and establishing a worldwide caliphate. This is not top secret information. Not all Muslims are terrorists, to be sure, but large numbers of radical Islamists profess allegiance to the faith and they are more than willing to wreak havoc in pursuit of their goals.
An ancient proverb reminds us: "There are none so blind as those who will not see."
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/thomas020416.php3#dTcsEkYhyTC4JBoQ.99
Can Bernie Sanders change dynamics of Democratic race?
By Byron York
It's pretty clear things have changed in the Democratic presidential race when Hillary Clinton does a sky-is-falling routine for donors.
"There are not one, but two new public polls out this week that have us down in Iowa," Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook wrote in an email to small contributors Thursday. "Now, you should always take public polling with a grain of salt. But if you thought this race wasn't going to be close, well, it is. This isn't me claiming the sky is falling -- these are just the facts."
Of the six polls taken most recently here in Iowa, Sanders leads in the two Mook mentioned -- by Quinnipiac and ARG -- while Clinton has progressively smaller leads in the others. Back in December, Clinton's margins over challenger Bernie Sanders in the polls were 18 points, or 14 points, or 22 points. Today, they're two or three points.
The bottom line is that in Iowa, Clinton's lead over Sanders is within the margin of error, and in New Hampshire, she trails Sanders by several points. Which leads to a question: Could Clinton's entire theory of the race be wrong?
The theory is this: Of course Clinton wants to win Iowa and New Hampshire, but if she doesn't, she will still win the nomination because the race will move on to South Carolina and other states with a significant black population. African-Americans are a critical part of the Democratic coalition, and Clinton is undeniably strong with them. So in the long run, she will win.
It's a persuasive theory; Sanders has tried and failed to make any real inroads into Clinton's black support. But now there's the question: If Sanders were to vanquish Clinton in the first two contests of the campaign, would that change the dynamics of the race?
"It does change the dynamics of the race," Sanders spokesman Michael Briggs told me by phone from a campaign event at Dartmouth College. "If you do well in Iowa and notch a victory in New Hampshire, you're going to see more and more people take Bernie's campaign seriously, and that will change the dynamics."
But how specifically? The theory -- the hope -- is that the work Sanders has done trying to connect with black Democrats will start to pay off if Sanders comes out of the early states a winner. (Notice Briggs said "do well" in Iowa, not "win.") Sanders has always conceded that as a senator from a nearly all-white state, he doesn't have deep roots in African-American politics. But he's tried hard to reach out, stressing not just his record but civil rights work that goes back to student days.
I suggested to Briggs that all that reaching out hasn't paid off, since black Democrats still seem strongly behind Clinton. "It's not that it hasn't worked," Briggs answered. "People didn't know about it." If Sanders wins early contests, the theory goes, later-state Democratic voters, black and white, will take a look at him. And that's where, again theoretically, the dynamic changes.
Truth be told, that still seems unlikely to happen. But it seems less unlikely than it did a few weeks ago, which explains Clinton's increasing attacks on Sanders. It also explains the emergence of Chelsea Clinton, who is pretty much universally admired by Democrats, as one of the attackers. Chelsea's hit on Sanders' health proposal -- that it would somehow enable Republicans' efforts to repeal Obamacare -- struck a lot of Democrats as not just out of character, but flat wrong, as well.
Still, as a sign of Clinton anxiety, it was pretty accurate. "I think they're panicking," Briggs said of the Clinton campaign.
Things are moving fast; Iowa Democrats are choosing quickly. In The Des Moines Register poll, 70 percent of Hillary supporters, and 69 percent of Sanders supporters, say they've made up their minds. Just a month ago, those numbers were quite a bit smaller. More minds will be made up each day.
"Voters will caucus in Iowa in 18 days, and the Sanders campaign is outspending us on TV," Mook wrote in that alarmed email to small donors. "Hillary's been fighting for families for decades -- if you're with her, this is the time to show it." Mook then asked the recipient to "Chip in $1 now."
It's not surprising to see a campaign send out a poor-little-old-me appeal, asking for donations to fight a big, bad opponent. But for Hillary Clinton, the unstoppable, inevitable, Democratic nominee-in-waiting, to say that about Bernie Sanders? Now, that's a change.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0116/york012016.php3#eeqECgbUzedWX1kQ.99
Sources, Methods and Lives: How Hillary's mishandling of email could cost lives
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
This has not been a good week for Hillary Clinton. She prevailed over Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Iowa Democratic presidential caucuses by less than four tenths of one percent of all votes cast, after having led him in polls in Iowa at one time by 40 percentage points. In her statement to supporters, standing in front of her gaunt and listless looking husband, she was not able to mouth the word "victory" or any of its standard variants. She could barely hide her contempt for the Iowa Democrats who deserted her.
Sanders isn't even a Democrat. According to official Senate records, he is an "Independent Socialist" who votes to organize the Senate with the Democrats, and sits on the Senate floor with them. Clinton, of course, is the heiress to the mightiest Democratic political apparatus in the land. Hence the question: What do the Iowa Democrats know that caused thousands of them to flee from her?
They know she is a crook.
On the Friday before Monday's caucuses, the State Department, which Clinton headed in President Obama's first term, revealed that it discovered 22 top-secret emails on the private computer server to which Clinton diverted all her governmental email traffic. This acknowledgement marks a radical departure from previous State Department pronouncements and is a direct repudiation of Clinton's repeated assertions.
She has repeatedly asserted that she neither sent nor received anything "marked classified" using her private email server. The State Department, until last Friday, has backed that up by claiming that while the substance of at least 1,300 of her emails was confidential, secret or top secret, they were not "marked" as such when she dealt with them.
These are word games. First, under the law, nothing is "marked classified." The markings are "confidential" or "secret" or "top secret," and Clinton knows this. Second, under the law, it is not the markings on the email headers that make the contents state secrets; it is the vulnerability of the contents of the emails to impair the government's national security mission that rationally characterizes them as secrets.
Clinton knows this because she signed an oath on Jan. 22, 2009 recognizing that state secrets retain their secrecy status whether "marked or unmarked" by any of the secrecy designations. She knows as well that, under the law, the secretary of state is charged with knowing state secrets when she comes upon them.
Yet, in order to further Clinton's deceptive narrative, the State Department has consistently claimed that it retroactively marked at least 1,300 emails as state secrets. It did this until last Friday.
Last Friday, the State Department revealed that 22 emails it found on Clinton's private server were in fact top secret, and were in fact marked top secret, and were in fact sent to or received from President Obama. This is a revelation that substantially undermines Clinton's political arguments and is catastrophic to her legal position.
Politically, Clinton has lost the final argument in her public arsenal — that she did not recognize top-secret data unless it was marked as top secret. She has also lost the ability to claim, as she has repeatedly, that she neither sent nor received anything marked classified, as meaningless as that phrase is.
Legally, the ground under Clinton continues to crumble. The more she denies, the more she admits. How can that be? That is so because her denials are essentially an admission of ignorance, forgetfulness or negligence, and, under the law, these are not defenses to the failure to safeguard state secrets entrusted to the secretary of state. They are, instead, recognition of that failure.
Late Monday afternoon, before the Iowa caucuses convened and after Clinton's political folks had lobbied their former colleagues at the State Department to re-characterize what they found and revealed late last week, the State Department reversed itself and claimed that the 22 emails were not "marked" top secret. It was too little and too late. The cat was out of the bag and Iowa Democrats knew it. Few really believed that the State Department would state publicly that the 22 emails were top secret and then state publicly that they were not, without a political motivation and irrespective of the truth. All this is infuriating to the FBI, which perceives these word games as mocking its fidelity to the rule of law.
Sanders' presence in the Democratic primaries will continue to give Democrats who mistrust Clinton a safe political haven. But he is not Clinton's real worry. Her real worry is an FBI committed to the rule of law and determined to fortify national security by gathering the evidence of her mishandling state secrets.
Let's be as blunt about this as the FBI will be: Causing state secrets to reside in a nonsecure, nongovernmental venue, whether done intentionally or negligently, constitutes the crime of espionage.
And there is more. When asked about the consequences of Clinton's brazen exposure of state secrets to anyone who knows how to hack into a nonsecure computer, an intelligence operative winced as if in pain when he remarked that the nation's then chief diplomat surely compromised the "sources, methods, and lives" of her colleagues.
Even Democrats who see Clinton as a symbol of their long-time wish for a progressive female in the Oval Office are beginning to recognize that anyone who has jeopardized American lives for political gain is unworthy of their votes, unworthy of their trust and unworthy of public office.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0216/napolitano020416.php3#ggDgoWydht6DboYu.99
Isn't It Strange? (Liberals Lack of Common Sense)
By Walter Williams
There is a letter titled "Isn't It Strange?" making the rounds in email boxes. It asks questions to which our fellow Americans should know the answers, save for those caught up in modernity.
It starts off asking, "Isn't it strange that after a bombing, everyone blames the bomber, his upbringing, his environment, his culture but ... after a shooting, the problem is the gun?" In other words, after a shooting, it is the gun, an inanimate object, that is the culprit, but after a bombing, it is not the bomb that receives the blame but the evil individual. In both cases it is the evil individual who is to blame.
Ronald Reagan had it right when he said, "We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions."
Speaking of guns, the letter has a 1950s photo of high school girls at an indoor shooting range. The photo caption states: "Back in the 1950s and even later, many high schools had shooting ranges. Students even brought their own rifles to school." It asks, "What changed in society that we could trust such activities then, but not now?"
Youth involvement with guns has a long history. The 1911 second edition of the Boy Scout Handbook made qualification in NRA's junior marksmanship program a prerequisite for obtaining a BSA merit badge in marksmanship. In 1918, the Winchester Repeating Arms Co. established its own Winchester Junior Rifle Corps. The program grew to 135,000 members by 1925. In New York City, high school gun clubs were started at Boys, Curtis, Commercial, Manual Training and Stuyvesant high schools. I would like to ask America's anti-gun fanatics what accounts for today's mayhem: Have guns become more evil or have people become more evil?
The letter contains several photos under the caption, "These men support your right to bear arms." The photos are of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton. Below it is the caption, "These men oppose it," with photos of Adolf Hitler, Fidel Castro, Josef Stalin, Idi Amin, Vladimir Lenin and Barack Obama. Then it asks, "Who do you trust?"
Later on in the letter, there is a statement asking us to rename government programs, saying, "Get it straight: Welfare, Food Stamps, WIC ... are not entitlements. They are taxpayer-funded handouts, and shouldn't be called entitlements. Social Security and Veterans Benefits are 'Entitlements' because the people receiving them are entitled to them. They were earned and paid for by the recipients."
Then there is a warning: "No society ever thrived because it had a large and growing class of parasites living off those who produced." If one listens to the current debate and rhetoric of most politicians, both Democrats or Republicans, it is about expanding the class of Americans who live at the expense of other Americans, whether they are promising "free" education and medical care or forcing Americans to purchase products such as ethanol in order to enrich others.
John Wayne put it best, particularly for my colleagues in academia. "I'd like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living."
Toward the letter's end there is a statement that rings so true and beyond debate: "I vote Democratic, because I'm pro-choice ... except on schools, guns, trade, health care, energy, smoking, union membership, light bulbs, plastic bags, Walmart, what kinds of food you can eat. ..."
Finally, there is a most important message from our 34th president, Dwight D. Eisenhower: "If all that Americans want is security, they can go to prison. They'll have enough to eat, a bed and a roof over their heads. But if an American wants to preserve his dignity and his equality as a human being, he must not bow his neck to any dictatorial government."
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams020316.php3#c2ArgyXhA05hWBm3.99
By Thomas Sowell
Random thoughts on the passing scene:
• Will this November's presidential election come down to a choice between a felon and a pied piper?
• People who call Barack Obama a lame duck president seem not to have noticed that he is exercising more power than ever, and has turned the Republican Congress into a lame duck branch of government.
• The best New Year's Resolution I ever made was to stop trying to reason with unreasonable people. That may be especially valuable during an election year.
• With 4 of the 9 Supreme Court justices being more than 75 years old, the next president will probably be appointing replacements who can help determine the direction of American law well into the next generation. This is just one of the many very serious things that we can only hope the voters keep in mind, instead of voting on the basis of just one issue or on emotions.
• Among the common phrases of the past that we seldom hear today is "None of your business." Apparently everything is other people's business these days, including the media's business and the government's business.
• In this scientific age, it is amazing how many people act as if magic words can make realities vanish. For example, they talk as if behavioral differences between groups can be made to disappear by saying the magic word, "stereotypes." This fallacy affects everything from statistical claims of discrimination to admitting refugees with cultures hostile to our own.
• After a famous naval victory in the War of 1812, Commodore O.H. Perry reported: "We have met the enemy and they are ours." After the Republican Congressional majority's repeated capitulations to the Democrats' minority, Congressional Republicans could say, "We have met the enemy and we are theirs."
• The central non sequitur of the political left is that, because America has never lived up to its ideals, it is to be condemned and repudiated. But what society of human beings has ever lived up to all its ideals? Despite all its achievements, America is condemned by the left because it is not exempt from all the sins and failings found in societies around the world.
• One of the apparently immortal fallacies is the belief that disarming peaceful people reduces violence. That fallacy underlies both national disarmament and gun control within nations.
• In trying to come up with alternatives to the welfare state, even some staunch conservatives have created plans that exempt low-income people from paying taxes, or plans that provide some basic income to all, making it unnecessary to work. But exempting anyone from responsibility and reciprocity as members of society risks disaster for those individuals and for society.
• Egalitarians never seem to understand that promoting economic equality in theory means promoting resentments and polarization in practice, making everyone worse off.
• It is corruption if an elected official uses his office to get money for himself or for someone else. But judges can fine someone to pay a donation to some organization that the judge favors. Typically these are organizations on the left. But I am sure the left would see the problem if a conservative judge forced people to donate money to the National Rifle Association.
• Someone is always parading statistics showing that some small number of people at the top of the income scale have more than some larger number of people at the bottom. But would we be better off if people like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs had never created things that widened our access to opportunities and enriched our lives, just because it also enriched theirs?
• Some people are surprised at how many young people look favorably on socialism. But socialism is a wonderful-sounding idea. Those who have lived through the era of its disasters in the 20th century, or learned about them from history, are likely to see through the appearances to the reality. A young age prevents the former and our dumbed-down education prevents the latter.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell020216.php3#WeILAujLSo4vT4qQ.99
With Iran it's strictly business
By Cal Thomas
For anyone whose knowledge of history extends beyond the current season of "Keeping Up with the Kardashians" or the latest instant replay of an NFL game, the four days of meetings involving Iran's president Hassan Rouhani, European leaders and businesses should remind people we have seen this show before.
Rouhani's state visit, the first by an Iranian president in nearly 20 years, follows the lifting of economic sanctions against Iran, the world's leading supporter of terrorism. Corporate giants and politicians are salivating at the prospect of doing business with a regime led by a man who has referred to Israel as "an old wound" that "should be removed."
There is plenty of money to be made in deals with the devil, but at what cost? In the 1930s when European and American businesses traded with the Nazis, the rationale seemed to be, "If we don't sell to them, someone else will." That amoral view, no doubt, contributed to the slaughter of an estimated 11 million people. Six million of these were Jews.
Re-visiting this hall of shame ought to at least give corporate and political bodies pause when dealing with a regime that seems perfectly willing to finish the job Hitler and his brownshirts started. Have they learned so little from history that they are willing to repeat it?
Writing on Investopedia.com, Greg McFarlane offers a caveat to some of the businesses that purposely, or unknowingly, supported the Nazis: "By virtue of Hitler taking complete control of the most powerful country on the European continent, practically every existing business entity in Germany meant supporting Hitler, so it's not fair to frame all these businesses as enthusiastic Nazi collaborators."
Perhaps not, but like the majority of the German people, it is safe to say that quite a number of corporations ignored what the Nazis were doing so long as they could continue to do business and make a profit.
One of those companies was Siemens, the largest engineering company in Europe. About Siemens McFarlane writes: "The company forced slaves to manufacture components for the rockets that ended up raining down on London and Antwerp, Belgium, in short order. In the early 21st century, Siemens began to pay reparations to the workers it had paid nary a pfennig to 55 years earlier."
Will companies signing up to do business with Iran be shamed and perhaps forced by law at a future date to pay reparations to the families of those killed by Islamic terrorists funded by the Iranian regime?
IG Farben was another company that dealt with Nazi Germany. The company licensed to various companies the pesticide Zyklon B, which was used to suffocate millions in the death camps. "In 1951," notes McFarlane, "when the victors partitioned Germany, the Western Allies restored IG Farben into its original components," which included BASF, maker of cassette tapes. "Today, BASF continues to trade as one of the featured securities on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, with a market capitalization of $60 billion."
A line from "The Godfather" seems an appropriate analogy. Just before someone is assassinated he is told, "Nothing personal, it's strictly business."
In a twist on this theme, Deutsche Bank in 1998 accepted "moral responsibility" for its dealings with the Nazis. These dealings included knowingly buying gold taken from people murdered in the camps.
What would be the morally responsible approach to Iran? Because the regime is complicit in the use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), which have led to the deaths of American servicemen and women, the morally responsible thing to do is not to conduct business with Iran.
Given the depths to which human nature appears to have sunk, however, that is unlikely to happen. After all, it's strictly business, right?
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/thomas012816.php3#OXLdVyMqjoUbexUB.99
Without the power to tax, politicians lose their power over the people... higher taxes...
Keep it Ringing!
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