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Blog, conservative news and opinion

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

 

Iwo Jima
Feb. 23, 1945

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

Jim Mullen

D9C49A

9-1-14

Tuition Pays for This

By Walter Williams


According to College Board, average tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents. Many schools, such as Columbia University and George Washington University, charge yearly tuition and fees close to $50,000. Faced with the increasing costs of higher education, parents and taxpayers might like to know what they're getting for their money.

Campus Reform documents outrageous behavior at some colleges. Mark Landis, a former accounting professor at San Francisco State University, frequently entertained students at this home. He now faces 15 charges of invasion of privacy. Police say he was discovered with dozens of graphic videos he had made of students using his bathroom.

Mireille Miller-Young — professor of feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara — recently pleaded no contest to charges of theft of banners and assault on a pro-life protester last March.

Every so often, colleges get it right, as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign did when it withdrew its teaching offer to Steven G. Salaita. He had used his Twitter account to tell followers they are awful human beings if they support Israel, saying he supports the complete destruction of Israel, as well as calling for the decolonization of North America.

Then there are some strange college courses. At Georgetown University, there's a course called Philosophy and Star Trek, where professor Linda Wetzel explores questions such as "Can persons survive death?" and "Is time travel possible? Could we go back and kill our grandmothers?"

At Columbia College Chicago, there's a class called Zombies in Popular Media. The course description reads, "Daily assignments focus on reflection and commentary, while final projects foster thoughtful connections between student disciplines and the figure of the zombie."

West Coast colleges refuse to be left behind the times. University of California, Irvine physics professor Michael Dennin teaches The Science of Superheroes, in which he explores questions such as "Have you ever wondered if Superman could really bend steel bars?" and "Would a 'gamma ray' accident turn you into the Hulk?" and "What is a 'spidey-sense'?"

The average person would think that the major task of colleges is to educate and advance human knowledge. The best way to do that is to have competition in the marketplace of ideas. But Michael Yaki, head of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, disagrees. During a July 5 briefing on sexual harassment law in education, Yaki explained that college free speech restrictions are necessary because adolescent and young adult brains process information differently than adult brains.

Fortunately, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has waged a successful campaign against college restrictions on free speech. Some of its past victories include eliminating restrictions such as Bowdoin College's ban on jokes and stories "experienced by others as harassing"; Brown University's ban on "verbal behavior" that produced "feelings of impotence, anger or disenfranchisement," whether "unintentional or intentional"; the University of Connecticut's absurd ban of "inappropriately directed laughter"; and Colby College's ban on any speech that could lead to a loss of self-esteem. Some colleges sought to protect female students. Bryn Mawr College banned "suggestive looks," and "unwelcome flirtations" were not allowed at Haverford College.

Greg Lukianoff, president of FIRE and author of "Unlearning Liberty," argues that campus censorship is contributing to an atmosphere of stifled discourse. In 2010, an Association of American Colleges and Universities study found that only 17 percent of professors strongly agreed with the statement that it is "safe to hold unpopular positions on campus." Only 30 percent of college seniors strongly agreed with that statement. The First Amendment Center's annual survey found that a startling 47 percent of young people believe that the First Amendment "goes too far."

The bottom line is that many colleges have lost sight of their basic educational mission of teaching young people critical thinking skills, and they're failing at that mission at higher and higher costs to parents and taxpayers.

8-30-14

Obama's Staggering Blindness to Growing Terror Threat

By David Limbaugh


One does not need to be Sun Tzu or George Patton to know that a nation must recognize an enemy before it can develop a strategy to defeat it. But one apparently does have to be someone other than President Barack Obama.

Since he took office, Obama has spent considerable energy trying to convince us how peaceful and magnificent the religion of Islam is and how exceptional acts of terrorism springing from it are.

He has also been telling us in words and deeds that such terrorism can best be prevented by overtures of peace and good will toward Islam, understanding that the root cause of this violence is poverty, and developing an action plan to address it.

That means the United States must downsize its military, because our sheer strength and power constitutes a threat — a provocation to the rest of the world. It means that we must pursue "economic justice," a wretched euphemism for undermining our capitalist system and redistributing our wealth at home and abroad.

But even Obama's stalwart supporters in the liberal media now understand that this man doesn't have a clue about how to deal with threats to the United States. He is highly proficient at campaigning, community organizing, partisan agitating and ordering underlings to carry out his agenda, but he is psychologically incapable of attending to the details himself and appears to have no interest in actual governance beyond setting his statist goals and issuing his implementation orders.

Obama either can't focus on high-level problems he didn't anticipate in connection with his various utopian schemes or is so narcissistic that he rides around blindly in his golf cart like Mr. Magoo, wholly unaware of the damage he's done to his own reputation as a serious, engaged and thoughtful person.

I do mean "utopian." He mistakenly believed that his stimulus would work like a magic elixir to send the economy to new heights (or he knew better and it was a ruse to redistribute funds to his political cronies and funnel money to his pet projects). He believed that his beloved Obamacare was a panacea for improving the quality and affordability of health care (or he knew better and it was a Trojan horse for establishing governmental control over all aspects of our lives). He thought he could achieve world peace by withdrawing our forces from foreign entanglements — even without plans to preserve the order — making nice speeches about Islam, removing the term "terrorist" from our vocabulary (except for its application to tea partyers), instituting a "reset" with Russia, whatever that means, and downsizing our military and defense systems (and there's no indication at all that he knew better on this one).

But here we are, after his insistence that al-Qaida was on the run and that the Islamic State is the JV squad, watching an Islamic caliphate proliferate in front of our eyes in the Levant.

Even if hard reality is finally forcing Obama to grudgingly recognize the threat the Islamic State represents to the Middle East, he still refuses to believe or admit it represents a danger to the United States, especially with the porousness of the border he has made sure to effectuate.

It's not just his reckless naiveté but his compulsion to place his political self-interests above the national interests that inhibits him from publicly acknowledging the magnitude of the threats we are facing. In his mind, to make such an admission is tantamount to conceding that he was wrong and that his policies have exacerbated these threats — and that's a charitable assessment. That's why he reportedly dragged his feet for a month before approving a rescue attempt on American journalist James Foley. That, and he didn't want to risk a Jimmy Carter-type failure — again because he cares more about his political image than the problems he is duty-bound to address.

Even if Obama is willfully blind to the enormity of the threat, sentient Americans not similarly blinded by his ideology have to be disturbed by what we're witnessing in the world.

The Islamic State is massacring Christians, beheading American journalists, surging toward the borders of Turkey, marching across the Middle East with the swiftness of Alexander the Great and brazenly boasting that it is inside America, poised to attack. Islamist forces have taken control of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and seized an airport there. They have captured a key Syrian air base near the Iraqi border. The Pentagon is saying the Islamic State threat is "beyond anything we've seen."

Meanwhile, Obama has been riding around in his golf cart, which might as well sport a bumper sticker of Mad magazine's Alfred E. Neuman saying, "What, me worry?"

Honestly, I have been horrified by Obama's lawlessness, his destructive domestic policies leading to a permanently anemic economy and workforce, his staggering debt expansions, and his horrendous taxing, spending, regulatory and health care policies. But these foreign and domestic terror threats, along with the border invasion, may even be more troublesome.

I hate to be negative, and I refuse to be pessimistic, but anyone not alarmed by current events is in some physical, mental or emotional state I am powerless to comprehend.

8-29-14

The Media and the Mob

By Thomas Sowell


Those of us who admit that we were not there, and do not know what happened when Michael Brown was shot by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, seem to be in the minority.

We all know what has happened since then — and it has been a complete disgrace by politicians, the media and mobs of rioters and looters. Despite all the people who act as if they know exactly what happened, nevertheless when the full facts come out, that can change everything.

This is why we have courts of law, instead of relying on the media or mobs. But politics is undermining law.

On the eve of a grand jury being convened to go through the facts and decide whether there should be a prosecution of the policeman in this case, Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri has gone on television to say that there should be a "vigorous prosecution."

There was a time when elected officials avoided commenting on pending legal processes, so as not to bias those processes. But Governor Nixon apparently has no fear of poisoning the jury pool.

The only alternative explanation is that this is exactly what he intends to do. It is a disgrace either way.

Race is the wild card in all this. The idea that you can tell who is innocent and who is guilty by the color of their skin is a notion that was tried out for generations, back in the days of the Jim Crow South. I thought we had finally rejected that kind of legalized lynch law. But apparently it has only been put under new management.

Television people who show the home of the policeman involved, and give his name and address — knowing that he has already received death threats — are truly setting a new low. They seem to be trying to make themselves judge, jury and executioner.

Then there are the inevitable bullet counters asking, "Why did he shoot him six times?" This is the kind of thing people say when they are satisfied with talking points, and see no need to stop and think seriously about a life and death question. If you are not going to be serious about life and death, when will you be serious?

By what principle should someone decide how many shots should be fired? The bullet counters seldom, if ever, ask that question, much less try to answer it.

Since the only justifiable reason for shooting in the first place is self-protection, when should you stop shooting? Obviously when there is no more danger. But there is no magic number of shots that will tell you when you are out of danger.

Even if all your shots hit, that doesn't mean anything if the other guy keeps coming and is still a danger. You can be killed by a wounded man.

Different witnesses give conflicting accounts of exactly what happened in the shooting of Michael Brown. That is one of the reasons why grand juries collect facts. But, if Michael Brown — a 6 foot 4 inch, 300 pound man — was still charging at the policeman, as some allege, there is no mystery why the cop kept shooting.

But, if Michael Brown was surrendering, as others allege, then there was no reason to fire even one shot. But the number of shots tells us nothing.

None of this is rocket science. Why bullet counters cannot be bothered to stop and think is a continuing mystery.

Among the other unthinking phrases repeated endlessly is "he shot an unarmed man." When does anyone know that someone is unarmed? Unless you frisk him, you don't know — until, of course, after you have shot him.

The only time I ever pointed a firearm at a human being, I had no idea whether he was armed or unarmed. To this day I don't know whether he was armed or unarmed. Fortunately for both of us, he froze in his tracks.

Was I supposed to wait until I made sure he had a gun before I used a gun? Is this some kind of sporting contest?

Some critics object when someone with a gun shoots someone who only has a knife. Do those critics know that you are just as dead when you are killed with a knife as you are when you are killed by a gun?

If we can't be bothered to stop and think, instead of repeating pat phrases, don't expect to live under the rule of law. Do you prefer the rule of the media and/or the mob?

8-28-14

Asian-Bashing Dems and Doormat Minorities Who Enable Them

By Michelle Malkin


Harry Reid is a bigoted Beltway corruptocrat with an interminable case of diarrhea of the mouth. The feeble-minded coot stuck his foot in that mess of a mouth again last week at the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce. But as mortifying as the Senate Majority Leader is, there's an even worse spectacle: Asian-American liberals who keep giving top Democrats and their partisan operatives blanket passes.

Reid clumsily offered his assessment of the success and intelligence of business leaders of Asian descent at the gathering. "I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are," he babbled. You put those uppity Asians in their places, Hater Harry!

During a question-and-answer session, Reid followed up his jibe with a crude "joke" about Chinese surnames that would make Archie Bunker cringe: "One problem that I've had today is keeping my Wongs straight."

Good thing the pale-faced codger didn't let a "ching-chong" slip out, too. You know it was ringing around between his ears. Mocking Asian monikers is a hanging offense if you're a Republican pol or conservative talk-show host. But it's just a meaningless gaffe by "diversity's" best friend when you're Democratic Senate Majority Leader.

That's why Reid's hosts obliged with subdued tittering. National news anchors selectively averted their gazes. The Asian American Journalists Association, so quick to issue sanctimonious guidelines for avoiding ethnic stereotypes, maintained radio silence. And the usual left-wing speech police who read racism into every word uttered by conservatives from "angry" to "Chicago" to "Constitution" to "Obamacare" saw and said nothing.

One bizarre group, Asian Pacific American Advocates, was only offended because they resent public attention paid to successful Asian Americans. They vented that Reid "falsely assumes that our communities continue to perpetuate the model minority stereotype, when we have been actively working to highlight the vast socioeconomic disparities within our communities." These confused people have spent way too much time in social justice 101 classes.

Back in Washington, D.C., the usually garrulous Democratic chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Rep. Judy Chu, responded by ... not responding at all. CAPAC Executive Director Krystal Ka'ai did not return my email seeking reaction to the race-mocking Senate Majority Leader, who has now apologized for his "extremely poor taste."

Chu and her ethnic grievance caucus — which pledges to "denounce racial and religious discrimination affecting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders" — did find time over the past year to:

—attack a Seattle theater production of The Mikado for its use of "exaggerated Asian stereotypes."

—"denounce" comedian Jimmy Kimmel for a kids' table skit that poked fun at America's debts to China.

—-demand the firing of Fox News liberal chucklehead Bob Beckel for using "racial slurs" against Chinese people.

Here's another glaring omission by the Democrats' whitewashers: Neither CAPAC's press release archive nor its Twitter account has published a word about the ugly liberal racists in Kentucky who've repeatedly attacked former GOP Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.

Last year, left-wing super-PAC Progress Kentucky tweeted multiple China-bashing messages insinuating that Chao, the Taiwanese-American wife of GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell, was part of some conspiratorial plot to move jobs to Asia. The Progress Kentucky xenophobes denied engaging in race-baiting. But the dog whistle — dog trumpet — had been sounded, and the liberal racist hits keep on coming.

Earlier this month, Kathy Groob, a "progressive" supporter of McConnell's Democratic opponent, Alison Grimes, repeatedly insulted Chao on social media as his "Chinese wife." She's "not from KY, she is Asian," fumed Groob. You won't be surprised to learn that Groob had complained copiously about "sexism" and "racism" by the tea party.

When will doormat minorities grow spines and stop protecting the progressives of pallor who denigrate them? Collectivism is a hard, cowardly habit to break.

8-27-14

President Obama's zero-sum worldview

By Star Parker


Investopedia defines a "zero-sum game" as "a situation in which one person's gain is equivalent to another's loss, so the net change in wealth or benefit is zero."

If a political leader wielding power sees the world as a zero-sum game — gains to one must mean a loss to another — it is likely that this leader will promote policies that will limit growth, wealth creation and innovative problem solving.

What a zero-sum worldview will produce more of is political, class, and ethnic resentment and strife.

It so happens we have a leader today who has this worldview, and his name is President Obama. It is not surprising that today's world over which he presides, at home and abroad, increasingly shows these characteristics.

President Obama was very candid in a recent interview with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times in which he stated his zero-sum view of the world.

"Obama made clear," Friedman writes, "that he is only going to involve America more deeply in places like the Middle East to the extent that different communities there agree to an inclusive politics of no victor / no vanquished."

There you have it. No suggestion that there is right and wrong, or better answers that make everyone better off and worse answers that don't. No, in our president's take on the world, if there is a winner who winds up better off there must be a loser who winds up equally worse off.

The president then made clear that he views the world through this zero-sum lens at home as well as abroad.

According to him, notes Friedman, "we [America] will never realize our full potential unless our two parties adopt the same outlook we're asking of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds or Israelis and Palestinians: No victor, no vanquished and work together."

This "inclusive" world view, devoid of right and wrong, true and false, better and worse, stands starkly in contrast to what Abraham Lincoln had to say when confronting a nation torn apart by the question of whether it would tolerate slavery.

"A house divided against itself cannot stand," said Lincoln. "I believe this government cannot stand, permanently, half slave and half free. ... It will become all one thing or all the other."
The president's "no victor, no vanquished" take on the world is turning up the flames of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by legitimizing the falsehood that if Israelis are better off it means that Arabs will be worse off.

It perversely forces the Israelis to sit and negotiate with Hamas — an organization that even the United States officially designates as a terrorist organization.

Author George Gilder characterizes the Middle East conflict as "not between Arab and Jew but between admiration for achievement, along with a desire to replicate it, and envy accompanied by violent resentment."

Gilder describes how the inflow of Jewish settlers in the last century transformed Palestine for the benefit of all.

"Between 1921 and 1943," he writes, "Jews quadrupled the number of enterprises, multiplied the number of jobs by a factor of 10, and increased the level of capital investment a hundredfold."

"Far from displacing Arabs," continues Gilder, " they [Jews] provided the capital for a major expansion of Arab farms and enabled a sevenfold rise in Arab population by 1948."

Zero-sum politics plays out in similarly destructive ways in our own country. Instead of building a culture of achievement and responsibility, politicians of the Left stoke grievances of low-income Americans, inspire envy and resentment, and teach that the poor are poor because the rich are rich.

By stoking these politics of envy and victimhood, it's the politicians, at home and abroad, who grow powerful and wealthy. The disenfranchised languish as political pawns, never hearing the truth that life is about making correct personal choices in an imperfect world.
 

8-26-14

Please read my new article,
"What Michelle and Barack Obama knew that would doom the American Republic"


8-25-14

Battling barbarism: Stopping the worst people on Earth

By Charles Krauthammer


Baghdad called President Obama's bluff and he came through. He had refused to provide air support to Iraqi government forces until the Iraqis got rid of their divisive sectarian prime minister.

They did. He responded.

With the support of U.S. airstrikes, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have retaken the Mosul dam. Previous strikes had relieved the siege of Mount Sinjar and helped the Kurds retake two strategic towns that had opened the road to a possible Islamic State assault on Irbil, the capital of Kurdistan.

In following through, Obama demonstrated three things: the effectiveness of even limited U.S. power, the vulnerability of the Islamic State and, crucially, his own seriousness, however tentative.

The last of these is the most important. Obama had said that there is no American military solution to the conflict. This may be true, but there is alocal military solution. (There must be: There is no negotiating with Islamic State barbarism.) And that solution requires U.S. air support.

It can work. The Islamic State is overstretched. It's a thin force of perhaps 15,000 trying to control a territory four times the size of Israel. Its supply lines, operating in open country, are not just extended but exposed and highly vulnerable to air power.

Stopping the Islamic State's momentum creates a major shift in psychology. Guerrilla armies thrive on a sense of inevitability. The Islamic State has grown in size, demoralized its enemies and attracted recruits from all over the world because it seemed unstoppable, a real caliphate in the making.

People follow the strong horse over the weak horse, taught Osama bin Laden. These jihadis came out of nowhere and shocked the world by capturing Mosul, Tikrit and the approaches to Kurdistan, heretofore assumed to be impregnable.

Now that has begun to be reversed.
Obama was slow to bring American power to bear. And slower still to arm the Kurds. But he was right to wait until Baghdad had gotten rid of Nouri al-Maliki, lest the U.S. serve as a Shiite air force. We don't know how successful Haider al-Abadi will be in forming a more national government. But Obama has for now wisely taken advantage of the Abadi opening.

The problem is that the new policy has outgrown the rationale. Our reason for returning to Iraq, explained Obama, is twofold: preventing genocide and protecting U.S. personnel.

According to Obama's own assertions, however, the recent Kurdish/Iraqi advances have averted the threat of genocide. As for the threat to U.S. personnel at the consulate in Irbil, it, too, is reduced.

It was a flimsy rationale to begin with. To protect Americans in an outpost, you don't need an air war. A simple evacuation would do. Besides, what does the recapture of the Mosul dam, the most significant gain thus far, have to do with either rationale? There are no Christians or Yazidis sheltering there. Nor any American diplomats. So Obama tried this: If the dam is breached, the wall of water could swamp our embassy in Baghdad.

Quite a reach. An air war to prevent flooding at an embassy 200 miles downstream? Well, yes, but why not say the real reason? Everyone knows it: The dam is a priceless strategic asset, possession of which alters the balance of power in this war.

And why not state the real objective of the U.S. air campaign? Stopping, containing, degrading the Islamic State.

For now, Obama can get away with stretching the existing rationale, but not if he is to conduct a sustained campaign. For this you must make the larger case that we simply cannot abide a growing jihadist state in the heart of the Middle East, fueled by oil, advanced weaponry and a deranged fanaticism.

These are the worst people on earth. They openly, proudly crucify enemies,enslave women and murder men en masse. These are not the usual bad guys out for land, plunder or power. These are primitive cultists who celebrate slaughter, glory in bloodlust and slit the throats of innocents as a kind of sacrament.

We have now seen what air cover for Kurdish/Iraqi boots on the ground can achieve. But for a serious rollback campaign, Obama will need public support. He has to explain the stakes and the larger strategy. His weak andpassive rhetorical reaction to the beheading of American journalist James Foley was a discouragingly missed opportunity.

"People like this ultimately fail," Obama said of Foley's murderers. Perhaps. But "ultimately" can be a long way — and thousands of dead — away. The role of a great power, as Churchill and Roosevelt understood, is to bring that day closer.
 

8-24-14

Atheists forgetting the meaning of freedom

By Ben Carson

Many people in this country were shocked when the U.S. Navy recently announced the removal of all Bibles from military hotels under their control. This was in response to pressure from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a well-known atheist group.

The surprise is not the hypocritical stance of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but rather the fact that an established bulwark of American strength and patriotism caved to a self-serving group of religious fanatics. The previous sentence may seem out of place if you don't realize that atheism is actually a religion.

Like traditional religions, atheism requires strong conviction. In the case of atheists, it's the belief that there is no G0D and that all things can be proved by science. It is extremely hypocritical of the foundation to request the removal of Bibles from hotel rooms on the basis of their contention that the presence of Bibles indicates that the government is choosing one religion over another. If they really thought about it, they would realize that removal of religious materials imposes their religion on everyone else.

Some atheists argue that there should be a library or cachet of religious material at the check-in desk of a hotel from which any guest could order a Bible, Torah or Koran for their reading pleasure. No favoritism would be shown through such a system, and those who reject the idea of G0D would not have to be offended.

This is like saying there shouldn't be certain brands of bottled water in hotel rooms because there may be guests who prefer a different type of water or are offended by bottled water and think everybody should be drinking tap water. The logical answer to such absurdity would, of course, be that the offended individual could bring his own water or simply ignore the brand of water he does not care for.

As a nation, we must avoid the paralysis of hypersensitivity, which prevents us from getting anything done because virtually everything offends someone. We need to distribute "big boy" pants to help the whiners learn to focus their energy in a productive way. We must also go back and read the Constitution, including the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of religion. It says nothing about freedom from religion, and in fact, if you consider the context and the lives of those involved in the crafting of our founding documents, it is apparent that they believed in allowing their faith to guide their lives. This has nothing to do with imposing one's beliefs on someone else.
Those of us who do believe in G0D can hope and pray that at some point secular progressives will come to understand that they must abide by the same rules with which they attempt to control others. There is nothing wrong with the philosophy of "live and let live." America was designed to be a free country, where people could live as they pleased and pursue their dreams as long as they didn't infringe upon the rights of others.

By continually broadening the scope of an "infringement" on the rights of others, the purveyors of division will succeed in destroying our nation -- but only if we continue to cater to their divisive rhetoric.

Liberty and justice for all has worked extremely well for an extended period of time, and there is no reason to upset the equilibrium by endowing the hypersensitive complainers in our society with more power than everyone else. Thankfully, the Navy quickly realized its mistake and restored the Bible to its lodges. Maybe now we can deal with the real issues that threaten our safety.
 

8-23-14

The American Jihadi Serial Killer No One's Talking About

By Michelle Malkin


For two bloody months, an armed jihadist serial killer ran loose across the country. At least four innocent men died this spring and summer as acts of "vengeance" on behalf of aggrieved Muslims, the self-confessed murderer has now proclaimed. Have you heard about this horror? Probably not.

The usual suspects who decry hate crimes and gun violence haven't uttered a peep. Why? Like O.J.'s glove: If the narrative don't fit, you must acquit. The admitted killer will be cast as just another "lone wolf" whose familiar grievances and bloodthirsty Islamic invocations mean nothing.

I say: Enough with the whitewashing. Meet Ali Muhammad Brown. His homicidal Islamic terror spree took him from coast to coast. The 29-year-old career thug admitted to killing Leroy Henderson in Seattle in April; Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young in Seattle on June 1; and college student Brendan Tevlin, 19, in Essex County, New Jersey, on June 25. Tevlin was gunned down in his family Jeep on his way home from a friend's house. Ballistics and other evidence linked all the victims to Muhammad Brown. Police apprehended him last month hiding in an encampment near the Watchung Mountains of West Orange, New Jersey.

While he was on the run, he disguised himself in a Muslim keffiyeh. He carried a notebook with jihadist scribblings and advice on evading detection. I obtained the latest charging documents filed in Washington state, which detail the defiant domestic terrorist's motives.

Muhammad Brown told investigators that Tevlin's slaying was a "just kill." The devout Islamic adherent proclaimed: "My mission is vengeance. For the lives, millions of lives are lost every day." Echoing jihadist Fort Hood mass killer Nidal Hasan, Muhammad Brown cited Muslim deaths in "Iraq, Syria, (and) Afghanistan" as the catalysts for his one-man Islamic terror campaign. "All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life."

When a detective asked him to clarify whether all four murders were "done for vengeance for the actions of the United States in the Middle East," Muhammad Brown stated unequivocally: "Yes." He added that he was "just doing (his) small part."

Seattle's left-wing mayor, Ed Murray, rushed to issue a statement — which might as well have sported an insipid "Coexist" bumper sticker across the page — asserting that Muhammad Brown's seething, deadly hatred did "not reflect the values of Muslims." But the fact is Ali Muhammad Brown has plenty of company. Seattle alone has been a long-festering hotbed of anti-American, anti-Semitic jihadism.

In 2011, a Muslim terror ring led by Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh plotted "to kill officers and employees of the Department of Defense who worked at the (Military Entrance Processing Stations) located in the Federal Center South building in Seattle, Washington, and to kill other persons assisting such officers and employees in the performance of their duties" using "fully-automatic weapons pistols, and fragmentation grenades."

In 2007, Seattle jihadist James Ujaama pleaded guilty to terrorism charges related to his plan to establish a terror-training ground in Bly, Oregon. He had previously pleaded guilty to aiding the Taliban.

In 2006, Everett, Washington Islamic revenge-seeker Naveed Haq shot six innocent women and killed one at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building while spewing anti-Israel hatred and Muslim diatribes.

In 2002, James Ujaama's mosque leader, Abdul Raheem Al Arshad Ali of the radical Dar-us-Salaam mosque in Seattle's Central District, was first arrested on illegal weapons charges. He had provided arms to fellow Seattle-area Muslim cleric, Semi Osman. The ethnic Lebanese born in Sierra Leone had served in a naval reserve fueling unit based in Tacoma, Washington. Osman had access to fuel trucks similar to the type used by al-Qaida in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers, which killed 19 U.S. airmen and wounded nearly 400 other Americans. Osman later pleaded guilty to illegal weapons possession.

Another militant Seattle jihadist, Muslim convert Ruben Shumpert (aka Amir Abdul Muhaimin) was arrested after an FBI raid in 2004 for his role in a terror-financing scheme. He skipped out on his sentencing hearing and turned up in Somalia, where he was killed fighting the U.S. military. Terror group al Shabaab hailed Muhaimin as a martyr.

Which brings us back to Ali Muhammad Brown, who had been arrested 10 years ago as part of Muhaimin's suspected terror-financing ring. A decade later, despite being on the feds' radar screen, four innocent men are dead at Muhammad Brown's hand.

These homegrown Muslim haters don't want to coexist. They want to kill and help fund and train other Islamic killers. They are living and working among us, embedded in local mosques and inside our military. Where are our political leaders? Making Kumbaya excuses, sitting on the sidelines and golfing while homegrown and global jihad burn. 

8-22-14

Get Ready for Denials

By Walter Williams


Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera accused Matt Drudge's website of "the worst kind of jingoistic rhetoric ever" for carrying news stories about the dangers of illegal immigration. He said Drudge "is doing his best to stir up a civil war. I mean, shame on Matt Drudge." Republican Rep. Todd Rokita and his Indiana delegation have been criticized for suggesting the possibility that Latin American children pouring across our southern border are carrying deadly diseases. Some of them have already been discovered to be carrying lice and suffering from disease. We've yet to find out what kind of communicable diseases they could spread to American children when schools across the country are forced to admit them.

Unfortunately, many people approach our recent southern border problem as a "humanitarian crisis" and hint that congressmen who want to make securing our border our No. 1 priority are, as President Barack Obama says, "mean." Others who argue for border security run the risk of being dismissed as racists. The Democrats are hoping that painting the Republicans as mean racists will help them with the Latino vote in November.

Securing our border is not only an immigration issue but, more importantly, a national security issue. International terrorists know that our southern border is insecure. They can simply fly to a Latin American country and then sneak across the border with deadly germ or chemical warfare weapons and dirty bombs, which could be planted anywhere.

According to Breitbart, "a leaked intelligence analysis from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reveals the exact numbers of illegal immigrants entering and attempting to enter the U.S. from more than 75 different countries." It reports that 28 "individuals from Pakistan were caught attempting to sneak into the U.S. this year alone, with another 211 individuals either turning themselves in or being caught at official ports of entry." Texas Gov. Rick Perry says that the number of apprehended illegal aliens who come from countries with "substantial terrorist ties" is at a record high, countries such as Yemen, Somalia and Saudi Arabia. On top of this, individuals from nations currently suffering from the world's largest Ebola outbreak have been caught attempting to sneak into the U.S.

Deroy Murdock's article titled "The Southern Border: Our Welcome Mat for Terrorists," for National Review Online (April 25, 2013), reports that "Somalia's Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane told authorities in 2011 that he earned up to $75,000 per day smuggling East Africans into America. His clients included three al-Shabaab terrorists. As the House report states: 'Dhakane cautioned that each of these individuals is ready to die for their cause and would fight against the United States if the jihad moved from overseas to the U.S. mainland.'" Many Syrians and Iranians have been caught making illegal entry. Both Syria and Iran are supporters of Hezbollah, have chemical weapons and materials for dirty bombs, and hate "the Great Satan."

Murdock makes reference to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency study titled "A Line in the Sand: Countering Crime, Violence and Terror at the Southwest Border." It explained that between September 2001 and September 2012, there were 59 homegrown violent jihadi plots within the United States. The study said that the more violent threat to Americans is the ability of Islamist terrorist organizations, resulting from their growing presence in the Western Hemisphere, to exploit our porous southwestern border and enter the United States undetected.

Here are some questions that should be of concern to every American: Can the U.S. Customs and Border Protection assure Americans that it has arrested every terrorist attempting to make illegal entry to our country? Can it assure us that there are no terrorist cells operating in our country and awaiting word from our enemies to attack us? There's another question that's just as important: If there is a terrorist attack through our southern border, will Americans allow President Obama, congressional Democrats, the news media and progressives and liberals to deny that their weak border security policy was responsible?

8-21-14

Compromise With Obama? Surely, You Jest!'

By David Limbaugh


It's time to revisit the widely disseminated myth that compromise in politics and governance is the highest virtue.

Recently, I heard a television host whom I like and respect lament that Congress left town without taking action on our border crisis. Members of Congress, the argument goes, just need to get together, put aside their partisanship and get something done. After all, even couples going through an acrimonious divorce can sit down in the same room, close the doors and work out some agreement.

But getting something done isn't always preferable to doing nothing, especially if the proposed action would make things worse. Would this host, for example, say that granting instant amnesty to every one of the people who have crossed our border illegally in this latest surge would be preferable to not acting? I pray not.

I think part of the problem is that this host assumes that President Obama shares the host's good faith — that he wants to work with Republicans in Congress to enforce the border and properly deal with those who have entered illegally.

How do you compromise with someone who doesn't even share your goals and who has no intention of compromising with you, even if he pretends otherwise? President Obama arguably brought on this invasion himself by issuing his lawless executive order in 2012 declaring that he would stop deporting young illegal immigrants if they met certain requirements. He sent an unmistakable signal that children entering the nation illegally would receive amnesty — and we have concrete evidence that this was a driving factor in the current border invasion.

That aside, you don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to recognize that Obama's other behavior and actions, despite his rhetoric, make clear that he has little, if any, interest in enforcing the border. He has vigorously attacked border states, such as Arizona, that have tried to enforce their borders because Obama's federal government refuses to do its duty. He refuses to work with Congress to take action to enforce the border, always insisting that as a condition to doing so, Congress agree to his version of "comprehensive immigration reform." It's not just Obama. For decades, Democrats have been promising Republicans they will cooperate to enforce the border, but they've steadfastly obstructed all efforts to do so.

Truth be told, Democrats mainly want to accomplish two things with respect to immigration policy: 1) to grant amnesty to as many illegal immigrants as possible because they are confident they will ultimately be Democratic voters and 2) to use the issue to slander Republicans as anti-Hispanic. If you doubt this, do a Google search sometime using the search word "nativism" — barely a euphemism for racism.

If Democratic leaders don't actually want to protect the border, what room is there for compromise on this issue?

Most people who tout compromise and bipartisanship as wonderful goals in general are liberals, people who think like liberals or those not particularly on top of politics.

Democrats, under cover of liberal media distortion, routinely condemn the alleged partisanship of Republicans while exhibiting their own partisanship and uncompromising attitude. Obama demands that Republicans "stop just hatin' all the time" and work with him, all while mocking their proposals and fomenting public hatred against Republicans.

Obama casts Ronald Reagan conservatives as extremists, ridicules and taunts them, and then demands they work with him — to achieve his ends, not theirs.

On this very border issue, Obama berated Republicans for not working with him and in the next breath said that all they need to do is pass his $3.7 billion bill to deal with the problem. He did not say, "We can start with my proposal, listen to the Republicans' suggestions to modify it and agree on a compromise." His idea of compromise is that Republicans accept his proposal in full, no changes. This is the type of man we are dealing with. There is no compromising in him.

Obama and his party use demands for compromise as a weapon against Republicans to achieve their own political ends — without compromise. Just this week, Obama repeated that he doesn't want to issue executive orders on immigration but that he will be forced to if Republicans won't work with him. Has any other president advanced this absurd argument that Congress' refusal to bend to his dictates would justify his usurpation of Congress' Article 1 legislative authority? This is breathtaking in its transparent cynicism.

President Obama is anything but a bipartisan politician interested in compromise. He is an ideologue determined to accomplish his policy goals by whatever means it takes, including using compromise as a blunt propaganda tool to achieve his way — period, rather than as a process to meet his political opponents halfway.

Compromise, especially when dealing with an unbending ideologue and propagandist like Obama, is no virtue.

Republicans should pursue what is best for America and the American people, and that means working within the system and rule of law — though Obama refuses to — to defeat and thwart Obama's destructive agenda.

8-20-14
 
Lancet: a Home for Evil's Useful Idiots
Grotesque attack on Israel

By Dennis Prager



JewishWorldReview.com | Two weeks ago, the British medical journal, Lancet, considered to be one of the world's leading medical publications, published "An open letter for the people in Gaza." Signed by four European doctors on behalf of 20 others (17 from Italy and three from the United Kingdom), the letter had virtually nothing to do with medicine. Rather, it was a grotesque attack on Israel.

Some excerpts:

"We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression."

"Israel's behaviour has insulted our humanity, intelligence, and dignity as well as our professional ethics and efforts. We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre ... "

"Among other lies, it is stated that civilians in Gaza are hostages of Hamas ... "

"These attacks aim to terrorise, wound the soul and the body of the people, and make their life impossible in the future ... "

"We as scientists and doctors cannot keep silent while this crime against humanity continues."

The four signatories were Prof. Paola Manduca, University of Genoa, Italy; Sir Iain Chalmers of the U.K.; Derek Summerfield of the London Institute of Psychiatry, and Mads Frederick Gilbert, Professor at University Hospital of North Norway.

Nowhere in Lancet is it noted that each of them has devoted much of his or her life to delegitimizing Israel.

The first signatory, Paola Manduca, has, for years, gone around the world giving "expert" testimony against Israel and on behalf of those who would destroy the Jewish state. In 2006, for example, she wrote that Israel was using and experimenting with heretofore unknown weapons against Arabs:

"In the present offensive of Israeli forces against Lebanon and Gaza 'new weapons' are being used. New and strange symptoms are reported amongst the wounded and the dead. ... Many of these descriptions suggest the possibility that the new weapons used include 'direct energy' weapons, and chemical and/or biological agents, in a sort of macabre experiment of future warfare, where there is no respect for anything."

And in 2013, Manduca testified in Malaysia at a tribunal charging Israel with "Genocide and War Crimes."

Sir Iain Chalmers served for two years as chief UN Medical Officer in Gaza. On July 24, the British-Palestinian website, Middle East Monitor, correctly wrote that Iain Chalmers "is an old friend of Gaza."

Chalmers smears Israel around the world:

For example, in Ireland in 2007 at the Global Congress on Dental Education, Chalmers spoke at length about Israel's villainy. He described Israel as a country based on "racist nationalism," and recommended that attendees read "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine," a book by Ilan Pappe, a historian and former member of the Israel Communist Party, who devotes his life to delegitimizing Israel's existence. (In the New Republic, historian Benny Morris began his review of three Pappe books, including "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine," this way: "At best, Ilan Pappe must be one of the world's sloppiest historians; at worst, one of the most dishonest.")

In a 2010 interview in Croatia, Chalmers was asked about the Middle East conflict. He began by saying, "There is an oppressed people [Palestinians] and an oppressor people [Israelis]." He went on to say, "Basically you've got a situation of apartheid at the moment, enshrined in Israeli state law. ... We're talking about six million non-Jews — its' an awful lot of people to get rid of in what many Israelis see as their state from the river to the sea."

Note the number six million.

Derek Summerfield organized a worldwide academic medical boycott of Israel in the 1990s. An Honorary Fellow of the Egyptian Psychiatric Association, Summerfield has written, among many other lies against Israel, that "Israeli soldiers are routinely authorised to shoot to kill children."

Summerfield, who grew up in South Africa, goes beyond the libel of Israel being "an apartheid state." In his view, Israel is "far, far worse than South Africa."

Mads Gilbert is a member of Red, the Norwegian revolutionary socialist party. Three weeks after 9/11, he told the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, that the attacks on America were justifiable: "If the U.S. government has a legitimate right to bomb and kill civilians in Iraq, the oppressed has a moral right to attack the U.S. with the weapons they may create as well." When asked if he supported the 9/11 attack, he answered: "Terror is a poor weapon, but my answer is yes, within the context I have mentioned."

The headline in Dagbladet read: "Norwegian doctors ADVOCATE TERROR attack," and further reported, "I advocate the moral right of the people you call terrorists to attack the United States, as a legitimate response to 25 years of wars of aggression, mines, starvation and embargo, says surgeon Hans Husum, University Hospital of Tromsoe. He is supported by physician Mads Gilbert."

These are the people whose Israel-hating letter was featured by the Lancet, ostensibly a medical journal. Not one is identified as the lifelong defender of Israel's enemies and radical activist against Israel's existence that each one is.

Lancet has a history of poisoning medical reporting with its radical left-wing politics. It made worldwide headlines in 2006 by reporting what were ultimately deemed wild exaggerations, if not outright lies, about the number of Iraqis killed during the American war in Iraq.

Lancet perfectly embodies four observations about our world.

One is from the Prophet Isaiah: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil."

The second is from the legendary American screenwriter Ben Hecht, 1894-1964, a two-time Academy Award winner: "How sad that in the warmest hearts I knew lurked always a little cold spot for the Jew."

The third, if I may quote myself, is one of the earliest realizations of my life: "Those who don't fight evil hate those who do."

And the fourth is that, from the universities to the arts to religion, the left damages everything it touches. Lancet was once a great medical journal.

8-19-14

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

By Thomas Sowell


• I don't know why we are spending our hard-earned money paying taxes to support a criminal justice system, when issues of guilt and innocence are being determined on television — and even punishment is being meted out by CNN's showing the home and address of the policeman accused in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting.

• One of the big differences between Democrats and Republicans is that we at least know what the Democrats stand for, whether we agree with it or not. But, for Republicans, we have to guess.

• It is amazing how many otherwise sane people want Israel to become the first nation in history to respond to military attacks by restricting what they do, so that it is "proportionate" to the damage inflicted by the attacks.

• Amid all the things being said on all sides about the massive, illegal influx of children from countries in Central America, we have yet to hear some American parent saying, "I don't owe it to anybody to have my child exposed to diseases brought into this country, no matter what problems exist in other countries!"

• Two headlines in the August 10th New York Times speak volumes about Barack Obama. The top headline reads: "Iraq Strikes May Last Months, Obama Says." A secondary headline reads: "No Ground Force Will Be Sent, He Repeats." Time was when enemy spies had to risk their lives to acquire such information. Now all they have to do is read the headlines.

• It is amazing how many people think they are doing blacks a favor by exempting them from standards that others are expected to meet.

• If you want to know who was the greatest baseball player of all time, please check out the pitcher who led the American League with the lowest earned run average in 1916. He was the only ballplayer who could do it all, including stealing home.

• British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was a hawk compared to Barack Obama. At least Chamberlain was building up his country's military forces while trying to appease Hitler. Obama is cutting back on our military forces while our enemies around the world are expanding theirs.

• Medical authorities who are trying to reassure us that safeguards will prevent the spread of Ebola in the United States may be unconvincing to those of us who remember how they lied about whether AIDS could be transmitted by blood transfusions. They may be telling the truth this time, but credibility is one of those things that are far easier to maintain than to repair.

• Too many people in Washington are full of themselves, among other things that they are full of.

• However common it may be in politics to "split the difference" when making decisions, it is unconscionable to send American troops into a war zone in numbers too small to defend themselves. The smug and smirking contempt of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, when he began testifying before a Congressional committee in the IRS scandal investigation, told us all we needed to know, even if we never get the information that was supposedly "lost" when Lois Lerner's computer supposedly crashed.

• Ted Williams' great career was interrupted twice by military service — once during World War II and again when he returned to the Marine Corps during the Korean war. What sports star today would voluntarily interrupt a Hall of Fame career to go fight for America, after having already served in the military?

• Despite TV pundits who say that public opinion polls show Barack Obama is in trouble, the president is not in the slightest trouble. He is doing whatever he feels like doing, regardless of the Constitution and regardless of how many people don't like it, because he is virtually impeachment-proof. The country is in huge trouble and real danger because of his policies, but he is not.

• One of the most frustrating aspects of watching television news programs that feature debates is the guests who sidestep any question that gets to the heart of the issue at hand, and just go off on a tangent, repeating their standard talking points. That's usually a good time to change the channel or turn off the TV.

• If politics were like sports, we could ask Israel to trade us Benjamin Netanyahu for Barack Obama. Of course, we would have to throw in trillions of dollars to get Israel to agree to the deal, but it would be money well spent.
 

8-18-14

Obama's True Colors Finally Revealed

By Steven Emerson


When I first read the recent media reports, I thought they must certainly be satire: "Washington officials have told Egypt that the US will guarantee Israel's commitment to any agreement signed."

The US offering Hamas to "guarantee" Israeli commitments to any agreement signed? As if anyone needed proof of the Obama Administration's antipathy to Israel, here it is in black and white.

If anyone party needed a commitment to enforce its agreements in any deal, it would be Hamas, which has been known to break every commitment it ever made.

To pick just a few at random:

    Hamas recently violated 9 cease fire agreements, including two of its own

    Hamas illegally siphoned thousands of tons of cement and steel shipments it received from international donors and Israel that it had committed to use the build the civilian infrastructure in Gaza for hospitals, schools and apartment buildings; instead it spent upwards of $500 million of these humanitarian shipments to covertly build numerous tunnels buried deep underground into Israel in order to carry out murderous raids on Israeli civilian communities intended to kill tens of thousands of Israelis

    Hamas violated the 2012 Cease Fire negotiated by then State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton together with then Egyptian Muslim President Mohammed Morsi in which Hamas committed to stop smuggling weapons and missiles into Israel, of which nearly 4000 were recently launched into 80% of Israel's population centers

    Hamas violated the commitment to the Palestinian Authority that it would never launch a coup d'état against the PA after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. But in 2007, Hamas did exactly that in a bloody takeover of Gaza, kicking out and killing PA officials.

    Hamas violated a publicly solemn commitment to its own civilians that it would uphold the rule of law (yea, right) when it took over Gaza only to subsequently execute hundreds of dissident Gazans, torture and imprison thousands of political opponents, violently persecute the minority of Christians still living in Gaza and imprison and prosecute suspected gay Gazans.

    Violating a commitment it made in the Clinton negotiated 2012 truce that it would cease its missile attacks on Israel.

And at the same time, it should be noted that President Obama personally signed an official letter at the time of the 2012 negotiated cease fire to Prime Minister Netanyahu that the US would provide Israel with the technology to defeat and stop Hamas smuggling of weapons. But subsequent to that empty promise, Hamas soon received in massive quantities from Iran, Sudan, and North Korea. That promise was never carried out.

Israel on the other hand meticulously fulfilled its part of the bargain by severely relaxing the blockade on Gaza, allowing tons of previously restricted cement and steel into Gaza, increasing the number of daily truckloads of food, medical stuff and building equipment through the two Israeli checkpoints into Gaza by more than 250 truckloads a day ( a commitment is still upheld during the Hamas war against Israel, a fact mostly ignored by the mainstream media blindly committed to the Hamas narrative that Israel was the aggressor).

Remember when Obama spoke to the annual AIPAC conference a few years back and ceremoniously declared, "I got your back." This is the same President who, as the Wall Street Journal disclosed last week, personally held up the Israeli request for additional Hellfire missiles that it had depleted in its war with Hamas.

As far back as 1967, the United States had made a firm promise to Israel that it would never allow the Egyptians to blockade the Straits of Hormuz, considered the lifeline of Israel. But when the Egyptians blockaded the Straights of Hormuz in May 1967, what did the US do? Nothing.

And in the current round of negotiations being held in Cairo now, according to leaked details in Egyptian newspapers Israel agreed to make the following astonishing concessions:

    "Stop its attacks in Gaza --- in land, sea and air. No ground operations will be conducted."

    "Opening of crossings between Israel and Gaza [in which] Movement of people and merchandise will be allowed, to rebuild Gaza."

    "Eliminating the buffer zone in the North and East of Gaza and deployment of Palestinian military forces starting from January 1, 2015"

    "Freedom of fishing and action in the territorial waters of the Palestinians in Gaza to a range of 6 miles. The range will gradually be increased, to no less than 12 miles…"

    "Assist the Palestinian Authority to restore the foundations in Gaza, as well as help provide the necessary living needs for those who were forced to leave their homes due to the battles. Also, Israel will provide emergency medical attention to the wounded and will supply humanitarian assistance and food to Gaza as soon as possible."

It should be noted that even during the recent murderous war waged by Gaza, Israel had opened up its borders to treat wounded Gaza civilians in Israeli hospitals and continued to supply daily more than 500 tons daily of humanitarian assistance and food to Gaza even as the Hamas launched thousands of rockets and attempted mass murder of Israeli civilians by attempts, fortunately thwarted by Israel, to infiltrate dozens of fully armed Hamas terrorists into Israel via the tunnels dug by Hamas.

And what did the Hamas commit to?

    • "All Palestinian factions in Gaza will stop the attacks against Israel, in the land, the sea and the air; also, building tunnels from Gaza to Israeli territory will be stopped."

That was it. Virtually the same identical commitments it agreed to in December 2012. Quite interestingly, Hamas insisted—which Israel did not agree to—to the immediate opening of a Gaza seaport and airport. But the party that suggested to Hamas that they insist on these demands was none other than the Qataris, the country—which is the top financial patron in the world today to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and many of its terrorist offshoots—curiously selected personally by Obama to be the official diplomatic interlocutor in the Cairo talks. The role that Qatar was supposed to play was to convince the group to make concessions. But curiously the opposite happened. Qatar, the country to which that the US just sold $11 billion worth of military weapons, actually sabotaged the negotiations. So far, the President has been studiously silent on this betrayal.

In light of the fact that Hamas has manifestly never upheld any of the commitments it has ever made, the salient question that has to be asked is why Obama did feel compelled to assuage Hamas with an assurance that the US would "guarantee" that Israeli upheld its commitments? The word "guarantee" has a rather expansive and vague latitude for definition. The most recent demonstration of an American guarantee that Israel would halt its defensive war against Hamas was the suspension of critical military deliveries to Israel during the height of the conflagration instigated by Hamas.

Indeed, for all the public affirmations made last week—after the WSJ expose-- by the Obama Administration that the US was "totally committed to the security of Israel," Obama suddenly decides to make a promise to Hamas—whose covenant differs not one bit from the fascist radical Islamic doctrine adopted by ISIL—that it would enforce the commitments made by Israel, which in fact have historically been studiously upheld by Israel.

If Obama was truly sincere in his now obviously contrived promises to "watch [Israel's] back", he would have offered to guarantee Hamas commitments, a terrorist group that has repeatedly violated its commitments in previous agreements. But with his statement that he would "guarantee" Israeli commitments and not those made by Hamas, the President has revealed his true colors for everyone to see.

8-17-14

Obama's Incomprehensible Iraq Policy Not So Incomprehensible'

By David Limbaugh


I am constantly amazed at the tendency of some to use the perspective of hindsight to condemn decisions of those who did not possess the supernatural gift of predictive prophecy at the time they made their decisions.

So when a friend asked whether I believe that those who supported George W. Bush's decision to attack Iraq should feel remorse, considering the chaos and genocide occurring there now, I said "no," with some qualifications.

I believe that Bush and his team based their decision to invade Iraq on the best available intelligence (as to weapons of mass destruction) and a reasonable belief that Saddam Hussein fostered and supported terrorism — not to mention his serial violation of multiple U.N. resolutions — and thereby represented a threat to the national security interests of the United States and its allies.

Democrats, who initially supported the war for political reasons, later conveniently withdrew their support for political reasons and lied through their teeth about their former support and the facts leading to it. Through their relentless, vicious attacks on Bush, they systematically undermined the public's confidence in the war and our ability to optimally wage it.

Should the Bush team have better anticipated the strength and resilience of the insurgency after our toppling of Saddam? I suppose so, but in this age of terrorism and asymmetrical war, I'd contend that such events are less predictable than they might have been before.

Was team Bush Pollyannaish in its belief that democracy would survive in such an environment? I incline toward thinking so, but I am not sure we can make a firm assessment either way, seeing as the experiment was cut short because of our precipitous and total withdrawal from the country.

Interestingly, I remember hearing toward the end of his term that Bush's goal was to achieve a level of stability in Iraq that even a liberal president could not easily screw up. But in fairness, how could he have foreseen that the United States would elect an extreme leftist as his successor who would not only fail to understand the global scope of the war on terror but also be as wantonly irresponsible in negotiating our withdrawal from Iraq as Barack Obama was?

Nonetheless, in light of the massacre currently underway in Iraq, it's hard for us supporters of the Iraq invasion not to second-guess ourselves and wonder whether this kind of bedlam would have happened but for the vacuum made possible — albeit indirectly and several steps removed — by our deposing of Saddam.

But I don't think this power vacuum that gave rise to the Islamic State was inevitable, even if I am not fully on board with "the democracy project." I think a better case can be made that the chaos in Iraq has mostly resulted from Obama's reckless withdrawal and his refusal to lift a finger against the Islamic State when it would have mattered.

His decision to leave so quickly and irreversibly was in turn precipitated by his inability to clearly analyze world events because of his disturbingly skewed worldview, his resulting ignorance about the threat to our national security interests posed by global Islamofascism, and his disgraceful and unswerving practice of placing his personal and political interests above the national interests.

Obama insisted on intervening in Libya based on humanitarian reasons but appears unmoved in a far worse situation in Iraq. Plus, the Libyan situation couldn't conceivably have involved our national security interests to the extent that the mayhem in Iraq now does. Not only do we have a vested interest in Iraq's peace and stability with the lives and treasure expended there but also the Islamic State is well on the way to establishing a regional caliphate — a terrorist state that poses a dire threat to the region and, inevitably, to the entire world.

Can Obama not see these things? Almost everyone else can. Or is something even more cynical at work here?

I happen to believe that rank politics is at work, as well.

For the reality is that nothing led to the rise in power of the Democratic Party during the Bush years, including even the financial meltdown of 2008, more than the Democrats' and liberal media's calculated, methodical and unremitting assault on Bush's character as the most evil man in history over his decision to attack Iraq.

The moral "wrongness" of the war became an essential article of faith in the leftist religion. They constructed lie after lie to condemn team Bush as bloodthirsty liars who concocted fantastic tales to justify attacking Iraq to satisfy their bloodlust and their rapacious quest for its oil.

This narrative was so central to rallying the leftist base that no Democrat, especially Obama, is about to let go of it without a compelling reason, on steroids. Even the genocide of innocent Christians, even an obvious threat to the very security of the United States, is not sufficient to move Obama even to consider "boots on the ground" in Iraq. He must believe that if he goes back into Iraq in a significant way, he will somehow vindicate Bush by undermining the left's article of faith against intervening in Iraq. I'm not advocating boots on the ground now, but to summarily take options off the table and to telegraph that to the Islamic State is unwise.

How tragically ironic that Obama's blind obsession with extricating us from (and keeping us out of) Iraq to perpetuate the point that team Bush was evil may be the very thing that proves just the opposite. For in the end, Obama may just wind up vindicating Bush and incriminating himself.

8-16-14


The Patriotism of Prosperity

By Ben Carson

A few weeks ago, it was quite revealing -- but not surprising -- to hear Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew imply that corporate America should willingly pay the highest corporate-tax rates in the world as part of its "patriotic" duty. This kind of discourse demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of capitalism, which is an important component of American exceptionalism.

In our system, people do not go into business, in many cases risking everything they have and more, in order to support the government. They obviously take those kinds of risks to make money. Instead of chastising American businesses for making financially prudent overseas investments, a wise and understanding government would be creating a domestic environment that is conducive to investment, innovation and growth, reducing the appeal of foreign explorations. A fair tax structure and a reduction in unnecessary regulations would go a long way toward establishing this environment.

Recently, President Obama indicated displeasure with the large and very successful medical-device company Medtronic, which has made public plans to acquire the Dublin-based company Covidien. This would result in one of the largest tax-inversion deals in history. Medtronic would move its headquarters from Minnesota to Ireland, relinquishing some of its American identity but reaping massive tax benefits because they would be taxed at the Irish corporate rate rather than the American corporate rate.

In a recent West Coast speech, Obama said companies doing such things are "technically renouncing their U.S. citizenship." He added, referring to such companies, "You don't get to pick which tax rate you pay." The fact is, they do get to pick their rate, because they are mobile and not yet under the complete control of a tyrannical government.

The days of an insular business environment are long gone from America, and we must recognize that we are players on the global stage. This means successful businesses will take advantage of conditions anywhere in the world that will promote their growth and value to shareholders. Instead of patriotism being defined as unthinking devotion to governmental tax edicts, perhaps it is better described as using one's talents and resources to bring strength and prosperity to our land through the successful utilization of advantages found worldwide. Our tax and regulatory policies should be aimed at helping companies achieve this latter definition.
Many American companies have social-responsibility committees that are very popular with socially conscious directors. They commit time, effort and money to enhancing the quality of life in their local communities, as well as nationally and globally. By not punishing these companies with corporate-tax rates that no other country in the world sees as reasonable, we not only contribute to their financial well-being, but we also greatly enhance their ability to have a positive effect on social problems here in the United States.

There is absolutely no need for animosity between the government and business. When businesses are successful, the reservoirs from which taxes are paid are much larger, resulting in more money for the government even though tax rates would be lower. If we enact policies that allow American companies to bring back hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate profits to our country without punitive taxation, the upside would be considerably greater than any negative consequences. This is not complex economic theory; it's common sense.

As the president and Congress consider enacting regulations to limit or eliminate future inversion deals, I hope they take the time to talk to a wide spectrum of business leaders about ways to create a fertile and friendly atmosphere for innovation and growth. It will require more than just talk to persuade American companies to stay or return to our shores. Instead of just talking about fixing our taxation woes, we need to just do it. And I hope grateful companies will feel an obligation to do even more to contribute to the well-being of the citizens of our nation.
 

8-15-14

Attacking Achievement

By Thomas Sowell


New York's mayor, Bill de Blasio, like so many others who call themselves "progressive," is gung-ho to solve social problems. In fact, he is currently on a crusade to solve an educational problem that doesn't exist, even though there are plenty of other educational problems that definitely do exist.

The non-existent problem is the use of tests to determine who gets admitted to the city's three most outstanding public high schools — Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech. These admissions tests have been used for generations, and the students in these schools have had spectacular achievements for generations.

These achievements include many Westinghouse Science awards, Intel Science awards and — in later life — Pulitzer Prizes and multiple Nobel Prizes. Graduates of Bronx Science alone have gone on to win five Nobel Prizes in physics alone. There are Nobel Prize winners from Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Tech as well.

"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a motto that Mayor de Blasio and many other activist politicians pay no attention to. He is also out to curtail charter schools, which include schools that have achieved outstanding education results for poor minority students, who cannot get even adequate results in all too many of the other public schools.

What is wrong with charter schools and with elite high schools like Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech? Despite their educational achievements, they have political problems.

The biggest political problem is that the teachers' unions don't like them — and the teachers' unions are the 800-pound gorilla among the special interests in Bill de Blasio's Democratic Party.

The next biggest political problem is that people who don't pass the tests for the elite public high schools don't want to have to pass tests to get in.

Their politicians have been denouncing these admissions tests for decades, and so have various other ethnic community "leaders." These include spokesmen for "civil rights" organizations, who think their civil rights include getting into these elite schools, whether they qualify or not.

Finally, there are the intelligentsia, who all too often equate achievement with privilege. In times past, such people called Stuyvesant "a free prep school for Jews" and "a privileged little ivory tower."

That was clever, but cleverness is not wisdom. Back in those days, Jewish youngsters were over-represented among the students at all three elite public high schools. Today it is Asian students who are a majority at those same schools — more than twice as many Asians as whites in all three schools.

Black and Hispanic students are rare at all three elite public high schools, and becoming rarer.

Many among the intelligentsia and politicians express astonishment that the ethnic makeup of these schools is so different from the demographic makeup of the city.

But such differences between groups are common in countries around the world. But in each country there are people who say that it is strange — and demand a "solution" to this "problem."

In Malaysia, for example, before group quotas were established at the country's universities, students from the Chinese minority earned more than 400 engineering degrees in the 1960s, while students from the Malay majority earned just 4.

When a university was established in 19th century Romania, there were more German students than Romanian students, and most of the professors were German. The same was true for most of the 19th century when a university was established in Estonia.

In none of these cases did the group that was over-represented have any power to discriminate against groups that were under-represented.

If racism is the reason why there are so few blacks in Stuyvesant High School, why were blacks a far higher proportion in Stuyvesant in earlier times, as far back as 1938? Was there less racism in 1938? Was there less poverty among blacks in 1938?

We know that there were far fewer black children raised in single-parent homes back then and there was far less social degeneracy represented by things like gangsta rap. If Mayor de Blasio wants to solve real problems, let him take these on.

8-14-14

The K Street president

by Michelle Malkin


Wonder of wonders: The Washington press corps woke up.

Finally, mainstream journalists are onto Barack Obama’s game. Their breaking-news shocker? Turns out all that “hope and change” stuff was just hot air. A new report from the D.C.-based press shows that — gasp — the White House is infested with Beltway lobbyists.

Good morning, sleepyheads!

According to Politico’s analysis published on Monday, the “Obama administration has hired about 70 previously registered corporate, trade association and for-hire lobbyists. And many of these former lobbyists work at the highest levels of government.”

Wait, there’s more. The “most transparent administration ever” is playing disclosure-dodging renaming games to hide lobbyists’ grubby paw prints. By officially de-registering as corporate lobbyists and morphing into “consultants,” “counselors” or “advisers,” Obama’s K Street operators can maintain the fiction of upholding the Great Agent of Change’s grand ethics pledge.

Remember: Back in the day, candidate Obama assailed the K Street crowd with righteous (or rather, left-eous) zeal. “I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over,” he thundered in 2007. In one of his first executive actions, he declared that the White House had closed “the revolving door that allows government officials to move to and from private sector jobs in ways that give that sector undue influence over government.”

But the reform-peddling candidate soon found it impossible to practice what he so sanctimoniously preached. Now, Obama depends on their “strategic advice” and Beltway wisdom. Here’s the White House’s chortle-inducing rationalization for elevating Broderick Johnson (husband of friend of the Obamas and NPR anchor Michele Norris, and longtime Democratic lobbyist for Microsoft, Pearson, JPMorgan Chase, Comcast, Fannie Mae and FedEx) as a top aide:

“The pledge does not bar anyone with prior lobbying experience from serving in this administration,” an Obama spokesman told Politico.com. “Broderick has substantial experience working in the Clinton administration, on the Hill and in the private sector in a variety of capacities, as well as on the president’s campaign. We welcome that mix of experience.”

That “mix of experience” also includes veteran Beltway lobbyist Cecilia Munoz, formerly of the National Council of La Raza and consultant to the Mexican government, who is now assistant to the president and director of the Domestic Policy Council — along with revolving-door beneficiaries Melody Barnes, Marc Berejka, Bradley Gillen and Sean Kennedy, all lobbyists turned Obama bureaucrats turned lobbyists again.

When Republicans hire lobbyists, it’s a culture of corruption and influence peddling. When Obama hires lobbyists, it’s a celebration of experience diversity.

Of course, these double standards and this double talk were clear from the outset. As I pointed out in my book “Culture of Corruption” five years ago this summer, the business-as-usual writing was on the wall from Day One. As soon as he was elected, Obama threw open his doors to the nation’s leading lobbyists and professional D.C. back-scratchers:

Attorney General Eric Holder was registered as a lobbyist at Covington and Burling. Tim Vilsack, former Iowa governor and Obama’s first agriculture secretary, was a registered lobbyist for the National Education Association. Ron Klain, Vice President Joe Biden’s first chief of staff, was a lobbyist at O’Melveny and Myers. Leon Panetta was a lobbyist-lite who raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporations in “consulting fees.” Former Goldman Sachs lobbyist Mark Patterson served as chief of staff to former Treasury Secretary-turned-lobbyist Tim Geithner.

But now the K Street president is news?

Like the old saying goes: There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.

8-13-14

Readin', Writin' and Social Justice Agitatin'

By Michelle Malkin


It's back-to-school season across the country. But in an increasing number of districts, "back to school" doesn't mean back to learning. Under the reign of social justice indoctrinators, academics are secondary to political agitation. Activism trumps achievement.

In Massachusetts, the John J. Duggan Middle School will open on August 25 with a new name and mission. It is now a "social justice magnet school." As a hiring advertisement for teachers explained earlier this year, the emphasis will be on "helping students develop the necessary skills to analyze and synthesize information and to generate empathy by looking at multiple sides of important issues facing the world, be that hunger, water quality, racial barriers, child labor or imbalance of power."

Concise writing, as you can see, is not on the social justice pedagogues' agenda.

Oh, and forget about memorizing times tables or mastering the scientific method. The new principal says the school's primary job is teaching "fairness." Duggan Middle School's junior lobbying factory is "serious about creating 21st century global citizens, and it begins with understanding who we are as members of each of those communities."

The ultimate goal of these social justice prep schools: creating left-wing political advocates.

At the Crescent Heights Social Justice Magnet School in Los Angeles, children will work on "action projects" tied to the "United Nations Millennium Development Goals." Students will spend the academic year transforming into "agents of change." Yes, they will learn language arts. But basic reading and writing are only a focus of the magnet school, the founders explain, because "we want our students to recognize injustice in their world or the world at large and be able to fully express their outrage, their plan of attack, their progress in this endeavor."

In Chicago, Ground Zero for social justice brainwashing, the Social Justice High School (SOJO), follows a similar mission. Activist teachers openly foster identity politics and systematically undermine individualism. Their specialties: "struggle and sacrifice." SOJO's mission statement sounds like a pot-addled Oberlin College freshman's — er, freshperson's — Sociology 101 term paper:

"Through collective community power, we commit to a conscious effort to overcome the intended historical obstacles that have been designed to disempower and divide our communities."

At the Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School, also in Massachusetts, students won't learn math. They'll be taught "social justice math." (Freire was a Brazilian leftist who wrote a social justice teacher's Bible called "Pedagogy of the Oppressed.")

His acolytes explain the push for radicalization of math: "Math is an instrument for detailing social justice issues and developing critical consciousness." In the hands of progressive teachers, math "becomes an analytic tool to bring awareness to important world issues."

In other words: One plus one equals "That's unfair!"

New York City schools have been infested for years with city-funded math teachers who "train students in seeing social problems from a radical anticapitalist perspective," as City Journal's Sol Stern reported. As I've noted previously, the "Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers" guide rejects traditional white male patriarchal methods of teaching computation and statistics in favor of politically correct number-crunching.

Out: Algebraic equations, geometric proofs and advanced calculus.

In: "Racial profiling, unemployment rate calculation, the war in Iraq, environmental racism, globalization, wealth distribution and poverty, wheelchair ramps, urban density, HIV/AIDS, deconstructing Barbie, junk food advertising to children, and lotteries."

State education codes mandate value neutrality in the classroom. But in schools of "social justice," every academic subject is a means to a "progressive" (anti-American, pro-collectivist, redistributive) ideological end. The radical transformation of K-12 classrooms into leftist agitation labs is embedded in the mission of countless teachers colleges and universities, which require social justice training or offer special certification in its indoctrination techniques.

These teaching institutions are pumping out generations of educators who cast themselves as leaders against "social struggle" — instead of facilitators of intellectual inquiry. Passing the most rigorous student standards in the world won't amount to squat as long as the overseers of public education exploit government schools as community organizing vehicles for captive tots, tweens and teens.

8-12-14

Fact-Challenged and Extreme? Do You Really Want to Go There, Mr. President?'

By David Limbaugh


President Obama claims that the extremism and reality-challenged nature of his political opponents explain his limitless policy failures, which, of course, he also refuses to acknowledge. This is truly rich but nothing new.

Obama told New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, "What you've seen with our politics ... is increasingly politicians are rewarded for taking the most extreme, maximalist positions." He continued: "Sooner or later, that catches up with you. You end up not being able to move forward on things we need to move forward on. ... We need to rebuild our infrastructure. You go to the Singapore airport and then you come back to one of our airports and you say, 'Huh?' We're not acting like a superpower."

Obama said we need "to revamp our education system." "All these things are doable. Our fiscal position, actually, now is such — you know, the deficit's been cut by more than half — where we're in a position to make some smart investments that have huge payoffs, that historically have not been controversial, historically have garnered bipartisan support. But because of this maximalist ideological position, we've been blocked. ... That ideological extremism and maximalist position is much more prominent right now in the Republican Party than the Democrats."

How did he describe the Republican maximalist extremism? He noted that while "the Democratic consensus" is "pretty common-sense, mainstream" and generally "fact-based and reason-based," the Republican position is "a lot of wacky ideological nonsense. He said: "We're not denying science. We're not denying climate change. We're not pretending that somehow, having a whole bunch of uninsured people is the American way."

Can you say "delusional"? Republicans are extreme? Not fact- or reason-based?

Obama simply will not accept responsibility for his own actions or the failure of his own policies. His latest jaw dropper is his denial that he had anything to do with completely withdrawing our troops from Iraq, though he campaigned on a promise to do so and refused to become engaged enough in the Iraq problem in 2011 to even try to achieve a status of forces agreement. As if auditioning for the "Saturday Night Live" character who would play him, he said, "What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision." Wow.

In Obama's defense, he has no choice but to blame others for his failures, because he is serving a lifetime sentence in the prison of his narcissistic psyche.

Fact-based, Mr. President? You mean like:

    Your refusal to recognize the global threat of Islamic terrorism, believing the only culprit is al-Qaida? Or your fantasy that terrorists are born as a result of the failure of governments to give them a seat at the table of power, as opposed to their ideological fervor, and that they can be won over with a little tolerance?

    Acting as though we don't have a crisis on our southern border?

    Dismissing the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups and the convenient, mysterious destruction of agency hard drives as a phony scandal?

    Claiming Obamacare is improving our health care system, improving the quality of care, increasing choice and reducing costs to individuals and the government?

    Contending that you've cut the deficit in half when you are basing that calculation on an artificially high base line based on your predecessor's last year in office, which included extraordinary items from the 2008 financial meltdown?

    Alleging that a deficit that has finally been reduced — against your wishes, by the way — to a figure twice as high as President George W. Bush's average deficit constitutes fiscal progress when we have $17 trillion of debt and $100 trillion of unfunded liabilities? Do you actually expect us to believe that just because our deficits are lower than during Bush's last fiscal year and your first term, which featured record-setting spending, we are now swimming in money and have surplus resources to spend on infrastructure and education? That's like a bankrupt individual's saying he intends to build a mansion because he only increased his bankrupt-level indebtedness half as much this past year as he increased it the year before. Do you really not yet understand the difference between deficit and debt?

    Claiming that your nearly trillion-dollar stimulus package, your war on business and oil, your avalanche of new smothering regulations, and your onerous tax policies have resulted in an economic boom throughout your term?

    Pretending that one incidental quarter of growth — which fails to factor in that we have the lowest labor participation rate since 1978, anemic household income and record levels of people on government assistance — sustains your claim that we're witnessing an economic boom?

    Your belief that if we just throw more federal money at education, we'll start seeing some results?

If the polls are any indication, people may finally be realizing that it is not Republicans but Obama's extremism, his unswerving ideology and his refusal to accept facts and draw reasonable conclusions from them that are perpetuating America's rapid decline.

November should tell the tale.

8-11-14
 
Western Anti-Semitism

By Walter Williams


JewishWorldReview.com | Navi Pillay, U.N. high commissioner for human rights, has accused both Israel and Hamas militants of committing war crimes in the Gaza conflict. Her harshest criticism, as well as that of most nations, has been reserved for the Israeli government, charging that it has committed war crimes in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions. In the wake of the huge difference in casualties and property destruction, many in the West have accused the Israeli government of making a grossly disproportionate response to terrorist rocket attacks. A New York Times (July 23, 2014) article titled "As Much of the World Frowns on Israel, Americans Hold Out Support" says that a number of "world leaders and demonstrators pointed to the lopsided number of Palestinian casualties — more than 650, most of them civilians — versus 35 on the Israeli side, 32 of them soldiers." By now, those numbers have tripled, but let's think about some of the arguments being made.

First, let's take a historical look at proportionality in response to an attack. In February 1945, in Dresden, Germany, 25,000 lives were lost in one night and the city was reduced to rubble as a result of British and U.S. bombers firebombing. In March 1945, 300 U.S. B-29 planes dropped incendiary bombs on Tokyo, killing more than 100,000 people, with millions injured and made homeless. Later, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to even greater loss of life and property destruction. Who's willing to criticize the Allies for lack of proportionality in response to Germany's and Japan's attacks? Though the Allies brought about a horrible loss of life and massive destruction, one thing is very clear and indisputable: Neither country has attacked ever since.

Anti-Semitic attacks have skyrocketed in Europe in the wake of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It's not just a criticism of Israel's foreign policy; it's an attack on Jews. Synagogues have faced Molotov cocktails, bomb threats and vandalism. Several European cities have seen slogans such as "Dirty Jews," "Jews your end is near," "Out with Zionists," "Israel executioner" and "Save Gaza! Hitler, you were right!" According to RT, over the past month there has been a 50 percent increase in hate crimes against Jews in Britain.

The Western anti-Semitic and anti-Israel response is amazing and somewhat disconcerting. Israel is the only democratic nation in the Middle East. It has respect for relatively free markets, personal liberty and private property rights. Many Westerners give their moral support to Muslims who, as a matter of religion, practice brutal control of women that includes honor killings. Many Muslims consider homosexuality to be not only a sin but a crime under Islamic law punishable by death. What Westerners consider basic human rights are often outlawed in Islamic nations. The Quran is the religious guide of Islam, and Muslims believe it to be a revelation from God. It contains more than 100 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Westerners who condemn Israel and support the recent anti-Semitic attacks — or remain silent in the face of them — are by no means spared from Islamic condemnation as infidels.

It has to be heart-rending to any decent person to witness the suffering of the Palestinians, who're experiencing a major tragedy both in casualties and in property destruction. Though it is Hamas firing rockets into Israel, the ordinary Palestinian is not to be held blameless. Palestinians know that Hamas is storing rockets and building tunnels in civilian areas and that if Israel tries to take out these rockets and tunnels, civilian casualties will be part of the collateral damage. Their silence and acceptance implies support for the tactics of Hamas.

Gen. William T. Sherman told the 1879 graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy, "War is hell." There's no nice war, and that's why war should be a last alternative. Those Westerners who criticize Israel's response to close to 3,000 rocket attacks might tell us what Israel should do in response — just take the rockets, surrender or leave the Middle East?

8-10-14
 
The loophole is Obama

By Ann Coulter


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's been reported everywhere -- The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox News -- that the William Wilberforce Sex Trafficking Act requires that any non-Mexican children who show up on our border be admitted and given a hearing. (New York Times, July 7, 2014: "Immigrant Surge Rooted in Law to Curb Child Trafficking.")

The problem, we've been told, is that a loophole in the sex trafficking law mandates these hearings -- or "removal proceedings."

But there is no such loophole.

The fact that people on both sides of the aisle are telling the same lie about this law is worrisome. Are Republicans being tricked into thinking we need an emergency bill, so that, two weeks later, we'll see them emerging from a conference, saying:

We fixed the loophole! We didn't get everything we wanted, but you can hear about that later.

No, tell me now.

Well, remember amnesty? It's kind of in this bill. But the headline is: We closed the loophole! So no more worries about that loophole. But yeah, amnesty passed.

Why else would everyone be carrying on about a non-existent loophole? I know they're mistaken because I read the law.

The Wilberforce law states, in relevant part:

"Any unaccompanied alien child sought to be removed by the Department of Homeland Security, except for an unaccompanied alien child from a contiguous country (i.e. Mexico -- or Canada, so as not to sound discriminatory) ... shall be -- placed in removal proceedings ... eligible for relief ... at no cost to the child and provided access to counsel."

Obviously, that's the whole ball of wax. Once a kid is in, given La Raza attorneys and a hearing date, he's never going home. No immigration judge is going to listen to a lawyer-manufactured sob story and say, "No, I'm sorry, that didn't touch my heart. You have to go back to Huehuetenango."


But the law's definition of "unaccompanied alien child" limits the hearings to kids who have no relatives in the United States. If your relatives live here, the law assumes you're not being sex-trafficked -- you're trying to join them.

Here's the definition -- note subsection (C):

"(g) Definitions

"(2) the term 'unaccompanied alien child' means a child who --

(A) has no lawful immigration status in the United States;

(B) has not attained 18 years of age; and

(C) with respect to whom --

(i) there is no parent or legal guardian in the United States; or (ii) no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody."

The law is not -- as George Will suggested on "Fox News Sunday" -- a general humanitarian mandate allowing all 2 billion poor children of the world to show up at our border and be told, "Welcome to America!" It's a law to combat sex trafficking.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Vice President Joe Biden wrote the law -- and Feinstein isn't stupid. She's well aware of illegal immigration. That's why the law specifically excludes two huge categories of illegal aliens from getting hearings: (1) Mexicans; and (2) children who have relatives in the U.S.

Those cases look more like illegal immigration than sex trafficking. (Didn't anyone wonder why Mexican kids are excluded?)

Mexicans make up the lion's share of illegal immigrants in the U.S., and children with relatives already living in the U.S. are probably just trying to rejoin family -- not trying to escape a fiendish kidnapper about to sell them into sex slavery.

According to last Friday's New York Times, almost 90 percent of the 53,000 illegal alien kids given refugee status since October have already been transferred to parents or relatives living in the U.S. By the law's clear terms, those 47,000 kids should have been summarily turned away at the border -- just as Mexican children are.

(Democrats wailing about a "humanitarian" crisis -- after calculating the precise number of voters they need -- evidently don't care about the Mexican kids.)

No law needs to be fixed. The only thing that needs to be fixed is the president.

Obama has gone mad and is defying the law in order to "fundamentally transform America" -- as he pledged to do during the 2008 campaign -- into Latin America. (Luckily for George Will, he won't be around by the time Latin America gets to his neighborhood.)

Any Republicans pushing for an immigration bill to seal an imaginary loophole aren't fighting Obama; they're helping him.

Constitutionally, the remedy for a president defying the law so he can assist an alien invasion is impeachment. But the media won't let us impeach Obama -- and Republicans don't have the votes, anyway. The only way for Americans to fight back is to put large Republican majorities in the House and Senate this November.

8-9-14

The smoking gun of Obama's lawlessness

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In some respects, the recent admission by CIA Director John Brennan that his agents and his lawyers have been spying on the senators whose job it is to monitor the agency should come as no surprise. The agency's job is to steal and keep secrets, and implicit in those tasks, Brennan would no doubt argue, is lying.

Yet in another respect, this may very well be a smoking gun in the now substantial case against President Barack Obama that alleges that much of his official behavior has manifested lawlessness and incompetence. It is hard to believe that the president did not know about this but not hard to believe he would look the other way.

About four months ago, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, went to the Senate floor and accused the CIA of committing torture during the presidency of George W. Bush and of spying on the committee that she chairs as it was examining records of that torture. Brennan responded by denying both charges and leveling his own — that investigators for the Senate Intelligence Committee had exceeded their lawful access to CIA records and that that constituted spying on the CIA.

Brennan even got his predecessor, George Tenet, under whose watch Feinstein claimed the torture had occurred and the attacks of 9/11 took place, to deny vehemently that his agents had committed torture. With this mutual finger-pointing, both the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee reported each other to the Department of Justice, which promptly punted.

How did all this come about? Under federal law, the CIA gets to do what the president permits and authorizes only when it reports its deeds and misdeeds truthfully to two congressional committees, one of which is the Senate Intelligence Committee. (The other is the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.) None of this is constitutional, of course, seeing as the CIA fights secret wars; the Constitution mandates that only Congress can declare war, and Congress cannot delegate its constitutional authority to committees. This system of secret government is so secret that 90 percent of our elected congressional representatives are kept ignorant of it.

But last week, on a sleepy Friday afternoon in the middle of the summer, Obama admitted that the CIA had tortured people, and shortly thereafter, Brennan admitted that the CIA had spied on the Senate. Then the president said he still has confidence in Brennan.

This is approaching a serious constitutional confrontation between the president and Congress. Can the president's agents lawfully spy on Congress? Of course not. Can the CIA lie to Congress with impunity? Only if Congress and the Department of Justice let it do so.

Yet this administration thrives on lies. Brennan's boss, James Clapper, who is the director of national intelligence, lied to the same Senate Intelligence Committee when he denied that the National Security Agency is collecting massive amounts of personal data on hundreds of millions of Americans. And now we have the CIA director lying in secret to his congressional monitors, who were formerly his congressional protectors, and a Justice Department unwilling to do its legal duty by enforcing the law.

Do you remember former Yankee great Roger Clemens? He was indicted and tried twice for lying to a congressional committee about the contents of his urine. He was acquitted, yet this should tell you about the government's priorities. It is more interested in chastening a baseball player about a private matter than it is in being truthful to the American people about torture. It apparently thinks that government employment is a defense to lying.

So where does all this lead us? The president's agents have lied to Congress and have spied upon it. If Brennan did not know about this, he should be fired for incompetence and for failing to control his agents. If he did know about this, he should be indicted for lying to Congress, because he denied it at a time when he had a lawful obligation to be truthful, and he should be fired for his failure to communicate a violation of the Constitution to the president. If he did tell the president that his agents were about to spy on Congress and the president failed to stop it, the president has committed a serious violation of his oath to uphold the laws and violated the separation of powers by invading the privacy of a coequal branch of the government — and that is an impeachable offense.

So, what shall we do about this? House Speaker John Boehner will say, "Let's sue the president." That's a joke. How about subpoenaing the president to testify under oath and asking him what he knew and when he knew it? Now you're getting warmer. How about impeaching him and calling him as the first witness in his own impeachment trial? His Department of Justice has argued that the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination applies only in criminal cases. Now you're getting hot.

But wait. All this requires moral courage, righteous indignation and fidelity to the rule of law; and the Congress has none of those traits. In the post-9/11 world, Congress has become a potted plant, ready to give any president whatever he wants, lest it appear less than muscular in the face of whatever danger the president says is lurking in the dark. And presidents know that if the kitchen gets hot, all they need to do is foment a foreign crisis in the dark, and the country will unite behind them.

I am not so sure that unity behind the president will happen this time.



8-8-14
Impeachment bait: Obama hopes amnesty will save Dems

By Charles Krauthammer


President Obama is impatient. Congress won't act on immigration, he says, and therefore he will. The White House is coy as to exactly what the president will do. But the leaks point to an executive order essentially legalizing an enormous new class of illegal immigrants, perhaps up to 5 million people.

One doesn't usually respond to rumors. But this is an idea so bad and so persistently peddled by the White House that it has already been preemptively criticized by such unusual suspects as (liberal) constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley, concerned about yet another usurpation of legislative power by the "uber presidency," and The Post editorial page, which warned that such a move would "tear up the Constitution."

If this is just a trial balloon, the time to shoot it down is now. The administration claims such an executive order would simply be a corrective to GOP inaction onthe current immigration crisis — 57,000 unaccompanied minors, plus tens of thousands of families, crashing through and overwhelming the southern border.

This rationale is a fraud.

First, the charge that Republicans have done nothing is plainly false. Last week, the House passed legislation that deals reasonably with this immigrant wave. It changes a 2008 sex-trafficking law never intended for (and inadvertently inviting) mass migration — a change the president himself endorsed before caving to his left and flip-flopping. It also provides funds for emergency processing and assistance to the kids who are here.

Second, it's a total non sequitur. Suspending deportation for millions of long-resident illegal immigrants has nothing to do with the current wave of newly arrived minors. If anything, it would aggravate the problem by sending the message that if you manage to get here illegally, eventually you'll be legalized.

Third, and most fatal, it is deeply unconstitutional. Don't believe me. Listen to Obama. He's repeatedly made the case for years. As in:


    "I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books. ... Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the [immigration] laws on my own. ... That's not how our Constitution is written" (July 25, 2011).

    "This notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. ... There are laws on the books that I have to enforce" (Sept. 28, 2011).

    "If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we're also a nation of laws" (Nov. 25, 2013).

Laws created by Congress, not by executive fiat. That's what distinguishes a constitutional republic from the banana kind.

Moreover, Obama had control of both houses of Congress during his first two years in office — and did nothing about immigration. So why now?

Because he's facing a disastrous midterm election. An executive order so sweeping and egregiously lawless would be impeachment bait. It would undoubtedly provoke a constitutional crisis and stir impeachment talk — and perhaps even the beginning of proceedings — thus scrambling the electoral deck. As in 1998, it would likely backfire against the GOP and save Democrats from an otherwise certain sixth-year midterm shellacking.

Such a calculation — amnesty-by-fiat to deliberately court impeachment — is breathtakingly cynical. But clever. After all, there is no danger of impeachment succeeding. There will never be 67 votes in the Senate to convict. But talking it up is a political bonanza for Democrats, stirring up an otherwise listless and dispirited base. Last Monday alone the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised more than $1 million from anti-impeachment direct mail.

Apart from the money, impeachment talk energizes Democrats and deflects attention from the real-life issues that are dragging them down — the economy, Obamacare, the failures of Obama's foreign policy. Everything, in other words, that has sunk Obama to 40 percent approval, the lowest ebb of his presidency.

There's an awful irony here. Barack Obama entered our national consciousness with an electrifying 2004 speech calling for healing the nation's divisions and transcending narrow identities of race, region, religion, politics and ideology. Four years later, that promise made him president. Yet today he is prepared to inflict on the nation a destructive, divisive, calculated violation of the constitutional order and national comity — for the narrowest partisan advantage.

For this president in particular, who offered a politics of transcendence, this would constitute a betrayal of the highest order.

According to White House leaks, the executive order will be promulgated by summer's end. Time enough to reconsider. Don't do it, Mr. President.
 

8-7-14
 
Please Stop Helping Us

By Walter Williams


I thought about Will Rogers' Prohibition-era observation that "Oklahomans vote dry as long as they can stagger to the polls." Demonstrative of similar dedication, one member of Congress told Vanderbilt University political scientist Carol Swain that "one of the advantages and disadvantages of representing blacks is their shameless loyalty. ... You can almost get away with raping babies and be forgiven. You don't have any vigilance about your performance." In my opinion, there appear to be no standards of performance low enough for blacks to lose their loyalty to their black political representatives.

Riley says that between 1970 and 2001, the number of black elected officials skyrocketed from fewer than 1,500 to more than 9,000, but black poverty has remained roughly the same. Between 1940 and 1960, when black political power was virtually nonexistent, the black poverty rate fell from 87 percent to 47 percent. Riley points out that there has been significant achievement among the black middle class but that wide black-white gaps remain with respect to income, educational achievement, unemployment, labor force participation, incarceration rates and other measures. Despite political gains, there have been dramatic reversals in teen unemployment, crime, out-of-wedlock births and family stability. Political power is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for socio-economic progress.

Riley lays out the devastating deal black political leaders and civil rights leaders have made with labor unions, in his aptly named chapter "Mandating Unemployment." Black leaders of the past recognized that labor unions were hostile to the interests of ordinary blacks. Frederick Douglass, in his 1874 essay "The Folly, Tyranny, and Wickedness of Labor Unions," argued that unions were not friends of blacks. W.E.B. Du Bois called unions "the greatest enemy of the black working man." Booker T. Washington also opposed unions because of their adverse impact on blacks.

Today's black leaders have little reservation about giving their support to union policies that harm their constituents. They support minimum wage increases, which have had a devastating impact on black employment, particularly that of teenagers. Recently, black teen unemployment reached 44 percent, but few people realize that during the late 1940s, before rapid minimum wage escalation, it was less than 10 percent and lower than white teen unemployment. Black leaders also give their support to a super-minimum wage law known as the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931. The legislative history of Davis-Bacon makes clear that its union and congressional supporters sought to eliminate black employment in the construction trades.

Riley's "Educational Freedom" chapter details the sorry story of black education. Between 1970 and today, educational spending has tripled and the school workforce has doubled, far outpacing student enrollment. Despite these massive increases in resources, black academic achievement is a national disgrace. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the nation's report card, black 17-year-olds score at the same level as white 13-year-olds in reading and math. White 13-year-olds score higher than black 17-year-olds in science.

A number of studies show that black students who attend private and charter schools do far better than their peers in public schools. If there were greater parental choice, through educational vouchers, black achievement would be higher. However, teachers unions see school choice as a threat to their monopoly, and virtually every black politician, including the president, backs the teachers unions.

At an 1865 gathering of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Douglass said everybody had asked, "What should we do with the Negro?" Douglass said: "I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us." Later on, Washington explained, "It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercise of these privileges." It's the abandonment of these visions that accounts for the many problems of today that Riley's book does a masterful job of explaining.

8-6-14
 
Anti-Christian intolerance that fosters pogroms abroad is taking root in some U.S. communities

By Ben S. Carson

JewishWorldReview.com | The images projected across our television and computer screens throughout the day as we rest in the creature comforts of our offices and homes are very sobering. They should elicit the most basic instincts of both fear and compassion for hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of our fellow brothers and sisters. They are images not soon forgotten, though we have seen them before countless times. Each time we see them, the groans and pain evident on their faces grows more real for us and more difficult to ignore.

I’m referring to those around the world persecuted by a group of religious zealots whose behavior is difficult to comprehend. Their intolerance against Christianity is beyond horrible. People are being beheaded for their faith. Women and young girls are being sexually violated and whole families are being wantonly slaughtered in cold blood. Perhaps just as abhorrent is the profound silence of the American government as represented by the current administration. Even though President Obama has declared that we are not a Judeo-Christian nation, we are still compassionate people who should not ignore humanitarian atrocities, much less ones where the victims are only guilty of maintaining a belief in the principles espoused by Jesus Christ.

We have an obligation as Americans to denounce these acts of persecution. Even those who do not worship a higher deity should be concerned. For when we stand up to such intolerance, we are defending the root of freedom. We are defending choice — the ability to worship and call on the name of a heavenly being without fear of torture and abandonment.

The president, who very early in his tenure won the Nobel Peace Prize, now has an opportunity to truly be the broker of peace in a very troubled part of the world. He can be a champion of freedom of religion, which is a founding principle of our nation. As long as religious practices do not infringe upon the rights of others, he can make it clear that it is wrong to interfere with those practices.

In our own country, we must become more reasonable in the adjudication of disputes about religious symbols. For instance, if a Christmas tree or manger scene has been a long-standing tradition in a community, and one or two people come along and claim that it offends them and must be removed, should those few individuals have the power to interfere with the seasonal joy of thousands who rejoice in the viewing of those symbols of the holiday season? If someone is offended by a menorah in a Jewish community, would it not make more sense to give them some sensitivity training than to disturb the entire community by removing the symbol? I could go on for quite some time mentioning various symbols associated with a wide variety of religions, but I think the point is clear. When we reward unwarranted hypersensitivity surrounding religious ceremonies or beliefs, we add fuel to the hatred and intolerance that subsequently produces religious persecution.

I am certain that some will say religious persecution in other parts of the world does not concern us and that we cannot be the police for the planet. Certainly, there is some validity to the latter part of that statement, but if we continue to ignore or tolerate religious persecution elsewhere, it is just a matter of time before we will experience it to a much greater degree than we have already here at home.

As far as the Middle East is concerned, we are not helpless and can dispatch the State Department to do all it can to help those in this desperate time of need. Some conservatives and cynics might argue that such a move requires government dollars. Who’s to say? We don’t fully comprehend how besieged these people are, much less know what it would take to grant them relief.

Governments need to decry such persecution, and root it out wherever and whenever they can. The United States should lead in that effort — just as it has with combating sex trafficking and other problems the collective world can and has decried in the past. It is hard to find an issue that demands a sharper clarion call for leadership now.

8-5-14
 
Is Thinking Obsolete?

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | Some have said that we are living in a post-industrial era, while others have said that we are living in a post-racial era. But growing evidence suggests that we are living in a post-thinking era.

Many people in Europe and the Western Hemisphere are staging angry protests against Israel's military action in Gaza. One of the talking points against Israel is that far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli military attacks than the number of Israeli civilians killed by the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel that started this latest military conflict.

Are these protesters aware that vastly more German civilians were killed by American bombers attacking Nazi Germany during World War II than American civilians killed in the United States by Hitler's forces?

Talk show host Geraldo Rivera says that there is no way Israel is winning the battle for world opinion. But Israel is trying to win the battle for survival, while surrounded by enemies. Might that not be more important?

Has any other country, in any other war, been expected to keep the enemy's civilian casualties no higher than its own civilian casualties? The idea that Israel should do so did not originate among the masses but among the educated intelligentsia.

In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.

It is much the same story in our domestic controversies. We have gotten so intimidated by political correctness that our major media outlets dare not call people who immigrate to this country illegally "illegal immigrants."

Geraldo Rivera has denounced the Drudge Report for carrying news stories that show some of the negative consequences and dangers from allowing vast numbers of youngsters to enter the country illegally and be spread across the country by the Obama administration.

Some of these youngsters are already known to be carrying lice and suffering from disease. Since there have been no thorough medical examinations of most of them, we have no way of knowing whether, or how many, are carrying deadly diseases that will spread to American children when these unexamined young immigrants enter schools across the country.

The attack against Matt Drudge has been in the classic tradition of demagogues. It turns questions of fact into questions of motive. Geraldo accuses Drudge of trying to start a "civil war."

Back when masses of immigrants from Europe were entering this country, those with dangerous diseases were turned back from Ellis Island. Nobody thought they had a legal or a moral "right" to be in America or that it was mean or racist not to want our children to catch their diseases.

Even on the less contentious issue of minimum wage laws, there are the same unthinking reactions.

Although liberals are usually gung ho for increasing the minimum wage, there was a sympathetic front page story in the July 29th San Francisco Chronicle about the plight of a local non-profit organization that will not be able to serve as many low-income minority youths if it has to pay a higher minimum wage. They are seeking some kind of exemption.

Does it not occur to these people that the very same thing happens when a minimum wage increase applies to profit-based employers? They too tend to hire fewer inexperienced young people when there is a minimum wage law.

This is not breaking news. This is what has been happening for generations in the United States and in other countries around the world.

One of the few countries without a minimum wage law is Switzerland, where the unemployment rate has been consistently less than 4 percent for years. Back in 2003, The Economist magazine reported that "Switzerland's unemployment neared a five-year high of 3.9% in February." The most recent issue shows the Swiss unemployment rate back to a more normal 3.2 percent.

Does anyone think that having minimum wage laws and high youth unemployment is better? In fact, does anyone think at all these days?

8-4-14

The Environmental Corruption Agency

By Michelle Malkin


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The lofty motto of the Environmental Protection Agency is "protecting people and the environment." In practice, however, EPA bureaucrats faithfully protect their own people and preserve the government's cesspool of manipulation, cover-ups and cronyism.

Just last week, Mark Levin and his vigilant Landmark Legal Foundation went to court to ask federal district judge Royce Lamberth to sanction the EPA "for destroying or failing to preserve emails and text messages that may have helped document suspected agency efforts to influence the 2012 presidential election." The motion is part of a larger Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to force EPA to release emails and related records from former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and others "who may have delayed the release dates for hot-button environmental regulations until after the Nov. 6, 2012, presidential election."

Thanks to Levin and Landmark, Jackson and other EPA officials admitted in depositions that they used personal, nongovernmental email accounts to hide communications about official EPA business sent and received on their government-issued BlackBerries and smart phones. The agency has continued to drag its feet for two years in response to Landmark's FOIA requests.

Levin minced no words: "The EPA is a toxic waste dump for lawlessness and disdain for the Constitution." Not to mention disdain for the public's right to know. As Levin added: "When any federal agency receives a FOIA request, the statute says it must preserve every significant repository of records, both paper and electronic, that may contain materials that could be responsive to that request."

The agency is legally obliged to notify all involved in the suit to preserve everything in their possession that could be discoverable in the litigation. But the feds have bent over backward to delay and deny. "(T)he people at the EPA, from the administrator on down, think they're above the law, that no one has the right to question what or how they do their jobs," Levin blasted. "Well, they're wrong. The laws apply to everyone, even federal bureaucrats."

That's a bedrock principle the EPA has defied over and over again. As I first reported 13 corruption-stained years ago in 2001, former EPA head Carol Browner oversaw the destruction of her computer files on her last day in office under the Clinton administration — in clear violation of a judge's order requiring the agency to preserve its records. Browner ordered a computer technician: "I would like my files deleted. I want you to delete my files." In 2003, the agency was held in contempt and fined more than $300,000 in connection with another email destruction incident under Browner's watch.

It was Levin's Landmark Legal Foundation — upheld by Judge Lamberth — that held the corruptocrats accountable then, as they are now.

As President Obama's energy czar, Browner went on to bully auto execs "to put nothing in writing, ever" regarding secret negotiations she orchestrated on a deal to increase federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. She was also singled out by Obama's own independent oil-spill commission for repeatedly misrepresenting scientists' findings and doctoring data to justify the administration's draconian drilling moratorium.

Browner previously had been caught by a congressional subcommittee using taxpayer funds to create and send out illegal lobbying material to more than 100 left-wing environmental organizations. She abused her office to orchestrate a political campaign by liberal groups, who turned around and attacked Republican lawmakers for supporting regulatory reform.

The names may change, but the politicized rot stays the same. The GOP staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee issued a detailed report this week on the secretive "Billionaire's Club" behind EPA. The analysis exposed how a massive network of left-wing foundations, activists and wealthy donors exploits IRS-approved "charitable" status and tax-deductible donations to lobby illegally on behalf of the EPA and operate a "green revolving door" between government and far-left groups.

Among the key players: the Environmental Grantmakers Association, which coordinates green grants and refuses to divulge its membership list to Congress, and Democracy Alliance, the dark-money outfit led by Philip Gara LaMarche that does not disclose its members or donor-recipients.

"These entities propagate the false notion that they are independent citizen-funded groups working altruistically," according to the report. "In reality, they work in tandem with wealthy donors to maximize the value of the donors' tax-deductible donations and leverage their combined resources to influence elections and policy outcomes, with a focus on the EPA."

Saving the planet? Ha. The leftist-controlled Environmental Corruption Agency is only in business to serve its pals and subvert its political enemies, while endangering resource security and sabotaging the deliberative process. Real environmental protection starts with draining this fetid swamp.

8-3-14
 
Clueless in Gaza: Kerry has legitimized Hamas' criminality

By Charles Krauthammer


JewishWorldReview.com | John Kerry is upset by heavy criticism from Israelis — left, right and center— of his recent cease-fire diplomacy. But that's only half the story. More significant is the consternation of America's Arab partners, starting with the president of the Palestinian Authority. Mahmoud Abbas was stunned that Kerry would fly off to Paris to negotiate with Hamas allies Qatar and Turkey in talks that excluded the PA and Egypt.

The talks also undermined Egypt's cease-fire proposal, which Israel had accepted and Hamas rejected (and would have prevented the vast majority of the casualties on both sides). "Kerry tried through his latest plan to destroy the Egyptian bid," charged a senior Palestinian official quoted in the Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat — a peace plan that the PA itself had supported.

It gets worse. Kerry did not just trample an Egyptian initiative. It was backed by the entire Arab League and specifically praised by Saudi Arabia. With the exception of Qatar — more a bank than a country — the Arabs are unanimous in wanting to see Hamas weakened, if not overthrown. The cease-fire-in-place they backed would have denied Hamas any reward for starting this war, while what Kerry brought back from Paris granted practically all of its demands.

Which is what provoked the severe criticism Kerry received at home. When as respected and scrupulously independent a national security expert as David Ignatius calls Kerry's intervention a blunder, you know this is not partisan carping from the usual suspects. This is general amazement at Kerry's cluelessness.

Kerry seems oblivious to the strategic reality that Hamas launched its rockets in the hope not of defeating Israel but of ending its intra-Arab isolation (which it brilliantly achieves in the Qatar-Turkey peace proposal). Hamas's radicalism has alienated nearly all of its Arab neighbors.

    Egypt cut it off — indeed blockaded Gaza — because of Hamas's support for the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist attacks on Egyptian soldiers in Sinai.

    Fatah, the main element of the Palestinian Authority, is a bitter enemy, particularly since its Gaza members were terrorized, kneecapped, expelled and/or killed when Hamas seized Gaza in a 2007 coup.

    Hamas is non grata in Syria, where it had been previously headquartered, for supporting the anti-government rebels.

    Hamas is deeply opposed by Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, which see it, correctly, as yet another branch of the Islamist movement that threatens relatively moderate pro-Western Arab states.

Kerry seems not to understand that the Arab League backed the Egyptian cease-fire-in-place, which would have left Hamas weak and isolated, to ensure that Hamas didn't emerge from this war strengthened and enhanced.

Why didn't Kerry just stay home and declare unequivocal U.S. support for the Egyptian/Arab League plan? Instead, he flew off to Paris and sent Jerusalem a package of victories for Hamas: lifting the blockade from Egypt, opening the border with Israel, showering millions of foreign cash to pay the salaries of the 43,000 (!) government workers that the near-insolvent Hamas cannot.

Forget about Israeli interests. Forget about Arab interests. The American interest is to endorse and solidify this emerging axis of moderate pro-American partners (Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf states, and the Palestinian Authority) intent on seeing Islamist radicalism blunted and ultimately defanged.

Yet America's secretary of state doesn't see it. Speaking of Hamas-run Gaza, Kerry actually said in Paris: "The Palestinians can't have a cease-fire in which they think the status quo is going to stay." What must change? Gazans need "goods that can come in and out ... a life that is free from the current restraints."

But the only reason for those "restraints," why goods are unable to go in and out, is that for a decade Hamas has used this commerce to import and develop weapons for making war on Israel.

Remember the complaints that the heartless Israelis were not allowing enough imports of concrete for schools and hospitals? Well, now we know where the concrete went — into an astonishingly vast array of tunnels for infiltrating neighboring Israeli villages and killing civilians. (More than half a million tons, estimates the Israeli military.)

Lifting the blockade would mean a flood of arms, rockets, missile parts and other implements of terror for Hamas. What is an American secretary of state doing asserting that Hamas cannot cease fire unless it gets that?

Moreover, the fire from which Hamas will not cease consists of deliberate rocket attacks on Israeli cities — by definition, a war crime.

Whatever his intent, Kerry legitimized Hamas's war criminality. Which makes his advocacy of Hamas's terms not just a strategic blunder — enhancing a U.S.-designated terrorist group just when a wall-to-wall Arab front wants to see it gone — but a moral disgrace.
 

8-2-14
 
Dems, the Constitution and the Rule of Law

By David Limbaugh


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Have we arrived at the point in our nation that a Democratic president and powerful members of his administration can act as lawlessly as they choose without any significant objection or protest from the Democratic Party, the liberal media and Democratic voters?

Deny it as they might, liberals seem to have less fealty than conservatives to the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.

Stop right there, you say. Democrats are no different from Republicans. Both parties are equally guilty.

Well, as much as it pleases some to invoke moral equivalency excuses when caught in wrongdoing, it simply isn't true that Republicans and conservatives are anywhere close to being as culpable as Democrats and liberals in thwarting the Constitution and the rule of law to achieve their ends.

There is a simple reason for that: Liberals believe, as a matter of their ideology, that the ends justify the means. We see it in practice every day. Liberals routinely distort facts and manipulate language to achieve their ends. As part of that, they will say that Republicans are guilty of precisely what they are doing. Manufactured projection is one of their most effective tools.

I know, I know, many will say that as an ardent conservative, I have little credibility in making such charges. I am blinded by my partisanship.

I don't deny my bias or my strong, mostly unwavering conservative ideology. Nor do I apologize for them. If I thought I were doing something wrong in being conservative, I would consider apologizing for it, but I don't.

But let me ask you to consider this: As a conservative, I would oppose judicial activism (roughly defined as the courts rewriting or making laws rather than interpreting them) to achieve conservative political ends. I don't know many liberals — other than perhaps law professor Jonathan Turley — who can make a similar statement.

It's not a matter of my (and conservatives generally) being more moral than liberals. That's not the point at all. The point is that we believe that preserving the integrity of the Constitution, as written and originally intended, is itself an essential end.

We cherish liberty, and we understand the inextricable relationship between preserving the integrity of the Constitution and preserving our liberties. Anytime our constitutional system is undermined through egregious executive, legislative or judicial overreaches, our liberty is diminished.

When President Obama continues to act outside the scope of his executive authority and against the express will of Congress, he is, in effect, disenfranchising the people and thereby diminishing our liberties. When the courts rewrite laws to achieve their ideological or political ends, they assault the prerogative of the legislative branch and thereby further disenfranchise the people and popular sovereignty.

As a strong believer in the Constitution, the rule of law, the separation of powers, the doctrine of federalism and other essential limitations on government, I abhor judicial activism, executive overreaches and congressional usurpations, even if these abuses might be in furtherance of my political or ideological preferences. For to me, there are few more important principles than preserving the Constitution and the rule of law.

So I can honestly say — and pass a polygraph saying it — that in addition to opposing conservative judicial activism, I would oppose a Republican president's issuing executive orders to unilaterally change immigration laws that were duly passed by Congress, even in a way that would serve my policy preferences. I would vehemently oppose the Internal Revenue Service if, under a Republican administration, it targeted Democratic and liberal groups. I would be fit to be tied if the hard drives of a Republican-appointed IRS commissioner mysteriously disappeared, if she made outrageous statements against liberals in her emails or if she took the Fifth Amendment instead of answering simple questions about these scandals. I would be outraged if a Republican president granted arbitrary exemptions from a major law a Republican president and Congress had passed, as President Obama has done with Obamacare, if he did not have the authority under the law to grant those exemptions. I would not support a Republican president's initiating a major military intervention in a foreign conflict without consulting, much less obtaining the approval of, Congress. I would never support a congressional law or administrative regulation violating freedom of expression for my political opponents. Or the right to bear arms. There are endless examples.

But can you liberals and Democrats make the same statements with respect to Democratic overreaches? Could the liberal media?

On a podcast on Ricochet, I was asked why I thought the liberal media never lift a finger of protest when Obama repeatedly engages in lawless behavior. My answer was that it's not just that they agree with his substantive policy ends, which they do. It's because, like most liberals, they don't believe so strongly in our Constitution, as founded, or in preserving the liberty it guarantees — or they're oblivious to the interdependence between the Constitution and rule of law on the one hand and our liberties on the other.

As a result of this pitiable situation, we have an entire political party and liberal media that grossly underappreciate our unique constitutional system of government and are so blinded by their ideological goals that they have no problem virtually conspiring with this lawless president in trampling our Constitution and the rule of law to serve his and their ends.

Think about it, my Democratic and liberal friends. Far more is at stake than some of you — especially those of you not in the political or major-media class — may realize.

8-1-14
 
Want a Real Anti-Poverty Plan? Stop Amnesty!

By Michelle Malkin


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is now all the fashionable rage in Washington, D.C., to proclaim solidarity with America's working poor in front of the cameras — while stabbing them in the back behind closed doors.

Privileged Illinois Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and others have taken to Twitter, posting photos of themselves eating tuna sandwiches and buying Ramen noodles to show how much they empathize with minimum-wage workers. On the other side of the aisle, GOP Rep. Paul Ryan has wrapped himself in a cloak of compassion, putting a cheesy Taylor Swift hand heart around conservatism by proposing government "life coaches" for those in poverty.

Message: They care! Reality: They fake. The cognitive dissonance on Capitol Hill is so thick you need a V8-powered chainsaw to slice it.

While cynical politicians prattle on about protecting the American Dream, they're working together to destroy it. If these elected officials care so much about reducing poverty, why are they working so hard to import more of it from around the world? Leaders in both political parties have thrown struggling Americans under the bus to feed the cheap illegal alien labor machine.

The working poor are the biggest losers in D.C.'s amnesty game. U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow has been a lonely voice warning about the impact of mass illegal immigration and perpetual amnesty on low-income black Americans. "The country's economic woes have disproportionately harmed African-Americans, especially those with little education," he warned this spring. "The economy has a glut of low-skilled workers, not a shortage," which is driving wages down.

Stagnant wages and depressed economic growth affect working poor Americans of all colors, while illegal alien amnesty beneficiaries cash in. Steve Camarota and Karen Ziegler of the Center for Immigration Studies reported last month that "since 2000, all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal). This is remarkable given that native-born Americans accounted for two-thirds of the growth in the total working-age population. Though there has been some recovery from the Great Recession, there were still fewer working-age natives holding a job in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000, while the number of immigrants with a job was 5.7 million above the 2000 level."

President Obama has already granted administrative amnesty to an estimated two million illegal aliens and renewed "temporary" work permits for 520,000. The administration is planning an expansion that would grant amnesties to at least six million more lawbreakers.

Where is the opposition? Appeasement Republicans refuse to support Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz's on-target proposal to repeal Obama's "DREAM" magnet and Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions' clarion call to block any more executive amnesties as a precondition to border bill negotiations. According to my sources on the Hill, the staffs of Sens. McCain, Flake and Murkowski met privately and opposed any changes to Obama's DREAM passes for illegals — which makes them willing and suicidal accomplices in the perpetual Democratic voter recruitment drive. On the House side, GOP House Speaker John Boehner is also openly opposed to stopping the DREAM nightmare.

There are no longer two separate parties in Washington. There's just one big Amnesty Inc. conglomerate addicted to Big Business donations and Big Government grievance politics. The Obama White House needs to buy off Hispanic voters, keep immigration lawyers employed and secure a left-wing permanent ruling majority. Establishment Republicans need to pay off the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pander to minority lobbyists and curry favor with open-borders CEOS led by Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.

The real crisis is not at the border. It's being fomented inside our nation's capital. The "border crisis" is a bipartisan D.C. catastrophe of craven politicians abandoning their constitutional duties to defend our sovereignty and put American workers first.
 

7-31-14
 
The vacant presidency: Obama seems to believe in his strategy of passivity

By Charles Krauthammer


JewishWorldReview.com | The president's demeanor is worrying a lot of people. From the immigration crisis on the Mexican border to the Islamic State rising in Mesopotamia, Barack Obama seems totally detached from the world's convulsions. When he does interrupt his endless rounds of golf, fundraising and photo ops, it's for some affectless, mechanical, almost forced public statement.

Regarding Ukraine, his detachment — the rote, impassive voice — borders on dissociation. His U.N. ambassador, Samantha Power, delivers an impassioned denunciation of Russia. Obama cautions that we not "get out ahead of the facts," as if the facts of this case — Vladimir Putin's proxies shooting down a civilian airliner — are in doubt.

The preferred explanation for the president's detachment is psychological. He's checked out. Given up. Let down and disappointed by the world, he is in withdrawal.

Perhaps.

But I'd propose an alternate theory, less psychological than intellectual, that gives him more credit: Obama's passivity stems from an idea. When Obama says Putin has placed himself on the wrong side of history in Ukraine, he actually believes it . He disdains realpolitik because he believes that, in the end, such primitive 19th-century notions as conquest are self-defeating. History sees to their defeat.

"The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice,"said Obama in June 2009 (and many times since) regarding the Green Revolution in Iran.

Ultimately, injustice and aggression don't pay. The Soviets saw their 20th-century empire dissolve. More proximally, U.S. gains in Iraq and Afghanistan were, in time, liquidated. Ozymandias lies forever buried and forgotten in desert sands.

Remember when, at the beginning of the Ukraine crisis, Obama tried to construct for Putin "an offramp" from Crimea? Absurd as this idea was, I think Obama was sincere. He actually imagined that he'd be saving Putin from himself, that Crimea could only redound against Russia in the long run.

If you really believe this, then there is no need for forceful, potentially risky U.S. counteractions. Which explains everything since: Obama's pinprick sanctions; his failure to rally a craven Europe; his refusal to supply Ukrainewith the weapons it has been begging for.

The shooting down of a civilian airliner seemed to validate Obama's passivity. "Violence and conflict inevitably lead to unforeseen consequences," explained Obama. See. You play with fire, it will blow up in your face. Just as I warned. Now world opinion will turn against Putin.

To which I say: So what? World opinion, by itself, is useless: malleable, ephemeral and, unless mobilized by leadership, powerless. History doesn't act autonomously. It needs agency. Germany's Angela Merkel still doesn't want to jeopardize trade with Russia. France's François Hollande will proceed with delivery of a Mistral-class attack-helicopter carrier to Russia. And Obama speaks of future "costs" if Russia persists — a broken record since Crimea, carrying zero credibility.

Or did Obama think Putin — a KGB thug who rose to power by turning Chechnya to rubble — would be shamed into regret and restraint by the blood of 298 innocents? On the contrary. Putin's response has been brazen defiance: denying everything and unleashing a massive campaign of lies, fabrications and conspiracy theories blaming it all on Ukraine and the United States.

Putin doesn't give a damn about world opinion. He cares about domestic opinion, which has soared to more than 80 percent approval since Crimea. If anything, he's been emboldened. On Wednesday, his proxies shot down two more jets — a finger to the world and a declaration that his campaign continues.

A real U.S. president would give Kiev the weapons it needs, impose devastating sectoral sanctions on Moscow, reinstate our Central European missile-defense system and make a Reaganesque speech explaining why.

Obama has done none of these things. Why should he? He's on the right side of history.

Of course, in the long run nothing lasts. But history is lived in the here and now. The Soviets had only 70 years, Hitler a mere 12. Yet it was enough to murder millions and rain ruin on entire continents. Bashar al-Assad, too, will one day go. But not before having killed at least 100,000 people.

All domination must end. But after how much devastation? And if you leave it to the forces of history to repel aggression and redeem injustice, what's the point of politics, of leadership, in the first place?

The world is aflame and our leader is on the 14th green. The arc of history may indeed bend toward justice, Mr. President. But, as you say, the arc is long. The job of a leader is to shorten it, to intervene on behalf of "the fierce urgency of now." Otherwise, why do we need a president? And why did you seek to become ours?

 

7-30-14
 
Cease the Cease-Fires

By Thomas Sowell

   
JewishWorldReview.com | Many years ago, on my first trip around the world, I was struck by how the children in the Middle East -- Arab and Israeli alike -- were among the nicest looking little children I had seen anywhere.

It was painful to think that they were going to grow up killing each other. But that is exactly what happened.

It is understandable that today many people in many lands just want the fighting between the Israelis and the Palestinians to stop. Calls for a cease-fire are ringing out from the United Nations and from Washington, as well as from ordinary people in many places around the world.

According to the New York Times, Secretary of State John Kerry is hoping for a cease-fire to "open the door to Israeli and Palestinian negotiations for a long-term solution." President Obama has urged Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to have an "immediate, unconditional humanitarian cease-fire" -- again, with the idea of pursuing some long-lasting agreement.

If this was the first outbreak of violence between the Palestinians and the Israelis, such hopes might make sense. But where have the U.N., Kerry and Obama been during all these decades of endlessly repeated Middle East carnage?

The Middle East must lead the world in cease-fires. If cease-fires were the road to peace, the Middle East would easily be the most peaceful place on the planet.

"Cease-fire" and "negotiations" are magic words to "the international community." But just what do cease-fires actually accomplish?

In the short run, they save some lives. But in the long run they cost far more lives, by lowering the cost of aggression.

At one time, launching a military attack on another nation risked not only retaliation but annihilation. When Carthage attacked Rome, that was the end of Carthage.

But when Hamas or some other terrorist group launches an attack on Israel, they know in advance that whatever Israel does in response will be limited by calls for a cease-fire, backed by political and economic pressures from the United States.

It is not at all clear what Israel's critics can rationally expect the Israelis to do when they are attacked. Suffer in silence? Surrender? Flee the Middle East?

Or -- most unrealistic of al -- fight a "nice" war, with no civilian casualties? General William T. Sherman said it all, 150 years ago: "War is hell."

If you want to minimize civilian casualties, then minimize the dangers of war, by no longer coming to the rescue of those who start wars.

Israel was attacked, not only by vast numbers of rockets but was also invaded -- underground -- by mazes of tunnels.

There is something grotesque about people living thousands of miles away, in safety and comfort, loftily second-guessing and trying to micro-manage what the Israelis are doing in a matter of life and death.

Such self-indulgences are a danger, not simply to Israel, but to the whole Western world, for it betrays a lack of realism that shows in everything from the current disastrous consequences of our policies in Egypt, Libya and Iraq to future catastrophes from a nuclear-armed Iran.

Those who say that we can contain a nuclear Iran, as we contained a nuclear Soviet Union, are acting as if they are discussing abstract people in an abstract world. Whatever the Soviets were, they were not suicidal fanatics, ready to see their own cities destroyed in order to destroy ours.

As for the ever-elusive "solution" to the Arab-Israeli conflicts in the Middle East, there is nothing faintly resembling a solution anywhere on the horizon. Nor is it hard to see why.

Even if the Israelis were all saints -- and sainthood is not common in any branch of the human race -- the cold fact is that they are far more advanced than their neighbors, and groups that cannot tolerate even subordinate Christian minorities can hardly be expected to tolerate an independent, and more advanced, Jewish state that is a daily rebuke to their egos.
 

7-29-14

 Why the Left Doesn't Care about Bad Economic News

By Dennis Prager

JewishWorldReview.com | This perception is wrong. It is their goals that are irreconcilable. And until conservatives, independents and the Republican Party understand this, it will not be possible to defeat the left.

Take economic indicators. Most conservatives talk and act as if bad economic news disturbs the left as much as it disturbs them. It doesn't.

Almost everywhere the left is in control — in California, for example — the economic news is awful. But this has no effect on the ruling Democrats, the Los Angeles Times editorial page, New York Times economics columnist Paul Krugman or others on the left.

There is one overriding philosophical reason and one political reason for this. But before I identify them, permit me to note some of the economic facts of life in California.

Unless otherwise noted, the following data have been culled by Chapman University Professor Joel Kotkin, and published in the Wall Street Journal, the Orange County Register and elsewhere. (For the record, Kotkin is a self-described "Truman Democrat" who voted for the Democrat governor Jerry Brown of California.)

—In the last 20 years, about 4 million more people have left California than came in from other states. Most of those leaving are young families.

—In the last 15 years, one-third of California's industrial employment base has disappeared. That's 600,000 jobs that have disappeared.

—California has the 48th-worst business tax climate. (The Tax Foundation)

—California's electricity prices are 50 percent higher than the national average.

—Middle-class workers, those who earn more than $48,000, pay a top income tax rate of 9.3 percent. That's higher than what millionaires pay in 47 other states.

—California's unemployment rate is fourth highest in the nation.

—From 2010-13, California produced fewer than 8,000 jobs, while the country added 510,000.

California faces enormous underfunded public employee pension obligations. (Bloomberg)

—An estimated 25 billion barrels of oil are sitting untapped in the Monterey and Bakersfield shale deposits. California is therefore sending billions of dollars to Texas, Canada and elsewhere to buy natural gas and oil that it could have produced itself.

—Twitter, Adobe, eBay and Oracle, among other major California tech companies, have moved many operations to Salt Lake City.

—Hollywood is doing more and more of its filming in Louisiana, Canada and elsewhere to avoid California taxes.

—Toyota just announced that it is moving its U.S. headquarters from Los Angeles to Dallas. This will eliminate 3,000 or more generally high-wage jobs.

—Occidental Petroleum recently announced that it is moving its headquarters from Los Angeles to Houston.

—Until relatively recently, half of the country's top 10 energy firms — ARCO, Getty Oil, Union Oil, Occidental and Chevron — were based in California. Today, only Chevron remains, and it is gradually relocating in Houston. (Reuters)

—Houston has added nine million square feet of new office space. Los Angeles has added one million.

—Tesla will likely locate its proposed $5 billion battery factory, which would employ upward of 6,500 people, in Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico or Texas. According to greentechmedia.com, California "didn't make the short list because of the potential for regulatory and environmental delays."

—California's Monterey Shale offers a potential employment bonanza for workers needing access to entry-level jobs in the high-paying energy sector. But California's green lobby is striving to deny them that opportunity. (John Husing, chief economist of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, Los Angeles Daily News)

Now back to our riddle. Why do these state-crushing economic statistics — nearly every one of which is the result of left-wing policies — have no effect on California's Democrats, the Los Angeles Times editorial page, New York Times economics columnist Paul Krugman or almost anyone else on the left?

The answer is that they don't care. Yes, of course, as individuals with a heart, most people, right and left, care about people losing their jobs. But in terms of what matters to the left and the policies they pursue, they don't care. The left and the political party it controls do not care if their policies force to companies to leave the state (or the country). They don't care about the coming high inflation caused by Quantitative Easing (printing money) — Krugman calls it The Inflation Obsession — or the job-depressing effects of high taxes, or energy prices that hurt the middle class, or compelling businesses to leave.

They don't care because the left is not interested in prosperity; the left is interested in inequality and in the environment. Furthermore, the worse the economic situation, the more voters are likely to vote Democrat. The worse the economic situation, the greater the number of people receiving government assistance; the greater the number of people receiving government assistance, the greater the number of people who will vote Democrat.

Therefore, both philosophically and politically, the left has no reason to be troubled by bad economic news. And it isn't. It is troubled by inequality and carbon emissions.

7-28-14
 
 The mayor who exemplifies America's decline


By Dennis Prager


JewishWorldReview.com | Last week, during the official celebration of the Los Angeles Kings winning the Stanley Cup, the mayor of Los Angeles, Eric Garcetti, told a jammed Staples Center that "there are two long-standing rules for politicians . ... They say never, ever be pictured with a drink in your hand and never swear. But this is a big f——-g day," he said, holding up a bottle of Bud Light.

You read that right. In front of 18,000 people at Staples and hundreds of thousands of others watching on television — many of them, of course, children — the mayor of the second-largest city in America held up a beer bottle and used the F-word.

This was not a whisper overheard by reporters. This was not an accidental loss of self-control. This was a planned use of obscene language in a public forum.

The question is: Does it matter?

According to the Los Angeles Times report, to the vast majority of people who heard it, it didn't.

"The audience roared. Players stood up to applaud.

"Outside Staples Center and L.A. Live, the remarks were a hit. Lake Forest resident Jeff Ottinger, who attended Monday's rally, said ... 'I think a lot of times politicians are uppity and stuffy and for him to actually be a fan is cool.'"

"It makes me have much more respect for him," said Jason Werntz, 45, of Burbank.

Not only was the mayor not apologetic, he repeated his comment on Facebook and Twitter.

"Soon afterward," the Times reported, "Garcetti had similar, PG-rated messages on Facebook and his official Twitter feed. 'There are a few rules in politics, one is never swear, but this is a BFD. @ericgarcetti welcomes the #StanleyCup to LA."

There are those of us who believe that this is an example of a civilization in decline (or even in free fall). And there are those who think that this is either no "BFD" (as Garcetti and his admirers might say) or actually a good thing. Here are two typical comments on the Los Angeles Times website:

Bruuuce: "I love him even more!"

MarkRomero: "I thought the comment was very humorous!! I laughed out loud when I heard it. You no sense of humor haters will never get it. That's exactly why you are the way you are — humorless and republican, most likely. Go KINGS!"

(He is right about "Republican" — which tells you a lot about both the Republican and Democratic Parties.)

Nor was support confined to anonymous commenters and thousands of fans. Not one member of the Los Angeles City Council condemned the mayor. At least one, Councilman Mike Bonin, "said he agreed with the mayor's vivid description of the day."

Support for the mayor must have overwhelmed objection. As reported by the Times, "A day after using the F-word in televised remarks at an L.A. Kings victory party," Garcetti told those who found it offensive to "lighten up."

"'I think I was just being myself for a moment there,' Garcetti told reporters . ...

"'Look, I think people should be kind of light about this,' Garcetti said. 'It's something that plenty of people have heard in their lives for sure.'

"KNBC-TV reporter Conan Nolan asked the mayor if his cussing contributed to the coarsening of society.

"'We micro-analyze everything,' he added. 'We ought to let people be people. I was just being a person yesterday.'"

So, who are those who think this reflects serious social decay?

They probably fall into two categories: those over, let's say, 55 years of age and religious individuals of all ages.

Older Americans grew up in a religious America, and religions draw a strong distinction between the holy and the profane. That explains why even some non-religious older Americans will find this objectionable.

But the secular and left-wing tsunami of the last half century has all but extinguished the concept of the holy, and thereby extinguished the concept of the profane. If nothing is holy, nothing is profane.

Teachers tell us how common it has become for students to curse in class — including cursing teachers. Fifty years ago students were allowed to mention God in class prayer. But in 1962, Supreme Court justices considered it progressive to outlaw all school prayer. And school prayer was shortly thereafter replaced by school cursing.

To appreciate just how perverse our moral standards have become, imagine if Garcetti, instead of celebrating with a bottle of beer and the f-word, had lit up a cigar. He would have been excoriated by every liberal medium in the country. And many millions of Americans would have expressed horror at what a poor model he was for America's children.

A society that is horrified by a mayor publically smoking a cigar, and either apathetic or enthusiastic about that mayor publically holding up a beer bottle and cursing, is in deep trouble.

One is tempted to dismiss Eric Garcetti as either a fool or a bad guy. Based on what he did, and his continuing defense of it, he may well be the former. But he is not the latter. Above all, he is a man of the left, a Democrat, and a product of a secularized culture.
 

7-27-14
 
The Obamification of America

By Michael Reagan


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Who's that gray-haired old guy in the Oval Office?

What happened to the hopeful young man who promised all those great things in 2008?

What's happened to America under Barack Obama?

Our economy is still mired in a recession he still blames on George W. Bush.

We've got 100 million able-bodied countrymen and women who aren't working because they can't find a decent job or they'd rather live off taxpayers.

Our GDP went down nearly 3 percent in the first quarter of this year, supposedly because of the lousy weather.

More probably, it was because the high cost and confusion of ObamaCare has scared the pants off the small businesses of America.

Overseas, the entire Middle East is a disaster and getting worse by the day.

Iraq has taken a turn for the worse in large part because Obama couldn't figure out how to handle Malaki, so he basically decided to abandon ship.

Iraq is sinking into chaos and being colonized by insane religious terrorists. Syria, which has fallen off the nightly news and the front pages for some strange reason, is still hosting a bloody civil war.

Egypt and Libya are broken states. Afghanistan will revert to Taliban control three months after we leave.

Would anyone blame Israel for mounting a first strike against Iran or one of its other enemies? They know that as long as Obama is our gun-shy commander-in-chief, we'll not be doing anything to help them.

Poor Obama. The fire in his belly is clearly gone.

At home only his true believers still believe his wild promises and lofty big-government rhetoric. Overseas, he has no agenda or policy, so he's ignored or disrespected by everyone from Putin to Assad.


Obama's still got more than two years to go on his second term, but he's already acting like a caretaker.

He's lucky he still has the mainstream media by his side or he'd been looking at impeachment.

Imagine if the journalists at the New York Times, NBC or the New Yorker magazine were real watch-dogs, instead of the Obama White House lapdogs they still are.

Imagine if the IRS abuses or the botched launch of ObamaCare had happened under Bush II's watch.

Imagine if a third of Iraq had been overrun by ISIS terrorists in 2007. Or if our ambassador in Benghazi had been killed that year by terrorists.

The front pages of the Times and the Washington Post would have been slathered with new investigative stories and hour-by-hour reports every day.

The liberal media would have personally blamed Bush II and Dick Cheney for every slaughtered person and for every lost village or oil well.

At least today we have Fox News and conservative outlets like Newsmax and Daily Caller to cover the IRS scandal, which, though you wouldn't know it from reading the New York Times, dwarfs Watergate.

But America is stuck with Obama and his protectors in the media for two more years. Our only hope is for conservatives to take the Senate this fall and win the White House in 2016.

Exactly who we elect president in two years almost doesn't matter, as long as he or she knows how to be a cheerleader for America.

I'm so sick of what Obama has done to the spirit and reputation of this great country that I'll vote for the shoeshine boy at the airport if he can make me feel good again about America and her standing in the world.
 

7-26-14
 
Jose Antonio Vargas: The Face of the Entitled Illegal Alien

By Michelle Malkin


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | They've blown it again, big time. They just can't help themselves.

During the Bush years, the open-borders movement won over bleeding hearts in the White House but alienated the American public with radical displays of La Raza ("The Race") militancy, desecrated American flags and Che Guevara shirt-wearing, fist-thrusting marches across the country.

Left-wing public relations consultants taught the amnesty mob to tone it down, turn the flags right-side up and stop threatening Reconquista. But the phony red-white-and-blue dye job didn't last. The movement's true extremist, entitled roots can't be concealed for long.

On Monday, leading illegal-alien journalist turned activist Jose Antonio Vargas engaged in a foolish stunt that will backfire on him and his allies in the media and Hollywood and on Capitol Hill. An openly defiant law-breaker who proudly calls himself "the most privileged undocumented immigrant in the country," Vargas traveled to Texas with a film crew to commune with illegal aliens surging across the border.

But on his way out of the Rio Grande Valley, the former Washington Post reporter and Pulitzer Prize winner was detained at the McAllen, Texas, airport by Customs and Border Patrol. He was attempting to clear security and board a flight without legally required U.S. identification.

No surprise: Vargas initially made it past the buffoons at the TSA.

The media-savvy amnesty agitator telegraphed the stunt beforehand in a piece for Politico. He hyped sympathetic coverage from the liberal Huffington Post. He tweeted a photo of his Philippine passport and a pocket Constitution, which he audaciously presented to authorities in lieu of valid ID.

And then Vargas' publicity minions captured and tweeted the exact moment when he was handcuffed, looking shocked and aggrieved that federal law enforcement officers would actually — gasp! — enforce the law.

An illegal-alien Icarus, Vargas had been riding high after movie theaters and CNN aired his biographical, pro-illegal immigration documentary. His amnesty activism is backed by the progressive Tides Center, a project of George Soros and former ACORN chief organizer Drummond Pike. To his elite friends in the no-borders industry, he's a "hero."

Journalists, celebrities and politicians immediately swallowed the propaganda bait, rallying to their privileged pal's side. "#DontDeportJose," they all cried in an orchestrated Twitter campaign.

Meanwhile, hundreds of thousands of law-abiding people from around the world are waiting patiently for their backlogged visa and green card applications to be reviewed.

Vargas' outraged reporter friends don't have much sympathy for those would-be Americans. Or for the Americans who've dedicated their lives to protecting homeland security and upholding our laws. Vargas' enablers jumped to condemn the CBP employees in McAllen for doing their jobs and demanded that he be freed from "unfair" and "out of hand" detention, as one hysterical Roll Call reporter put it.

Unfair and out of hand?

As I've noted previously, Vargas came here from the Philippines as a child, but knowingly broke multiple laws as an adult in order to stay in the country. After being supplied with a fake passport with a fake name, a fake green card and a bogus Social Security number, he committed perjury repeatedly on federal I-9 employment eligibility forms. In 2002, while pursuing his journalism career goals, an immigration lawyer told him he needed to accept the consequences of his law-breaking and return to his native Philippines. He ignored the counsel and instead used a friend's address to obtain an Oregon driver's license under false pretenses. It gave him an eight-year golden ticket to travel by car, board trains and airplanes, work at prestigious newspapers, and even gain access to the White House — where crack Secret Service agents allowed him to attend a state dinner using his bogus Social Security number.

The Vargas stunt will backfire because it is a smug and emblematic middle finger to everyone outside the D.C.-Manhattan bubble who believes in following the rules. As legal immigrant Asoka Samarasinghe wrote to me on Monday, "Michelle, this guy is a slap to the face of all us legal immigrants and citizens."

As for "due process," celebrity illegal alien Vargas will undoubtedly get more bites at the immigration court and federal appeals apple than law-abiding citizens will ever enjoy (see Zeituni Onyango).

But the sob-story violins play on. Democratic New York Mayor Bill de Blasio sanctimoniously tweeted Monday afternoon: "I stand in solidarity with journalist and advocate (Vargas). He exemplifies what America is about."

Only if "America" means protecting leftist elitists from the consequences of their reckless, arrogant actions.

7-25-14
 
No, Mr. Holder, This Has Nothing to Do With Race

By David Limbaugh


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Attorney General Eric Holder once again played the race card — this time on national television, in an interview on ABC's "This Week," claiming that he and President Obama have been targets of "a racial animus" by some of the administration's political opponents.

"There's a certain level of vehemence, it seems to me, that's directed at me (and) directed at the president," said Holder. "You know, people talk about taking their country back. ... There's a certain racial component to this for some people. I don't think this is the thing that is a main driver, but for some, there's a racial animus." Reminded of his comments during Obama's first year as president that the U.S. is a "nation of cowards" on race, he refused to back down.

At this point, I don't know whether we're seeing the outworking of the gigantic racial chips on Holder's and Obama's shoulders or we're seeing just another despicable example of the two engaging in community organizing by branding their political opponents as racists.

These two have continually engaged in the politics of division, alienating Americans against one another on the basis of race, gender, age, religion, geography, income and every other conceivably exploitable category. By portraying themselves as victims and conservatives as bigots, they seek to intimidate conservatives from pursuing their agenda, divert attention from their own policy failures and keep the pot stirred on imaginary problems as cover to advance the remainder of their unpopular statist agenda.

Sorry, Mr. Holder, but it seems that we talk about race all the time and that you and President Obama just won't let it go. If there is cowardice on this issue, it's from those who refuse to let their actions speak for themselves and insist on injecting false allegations of racism into the mix to vilify opponents and avoid a discussion on serious issues.

These accusations are irresponsible and destructive to the national fabric. It is a great disservice to minorities, non-minorities and the national interest if we can't discuss the damaging effects of President Obama's policy agenda without fear of being accused of one of the most reputation-shattering offenses that exist.

When we talk about taking America back, we mean that quite literally. Though I can't formally speak for others, I can tell you that millions of people correctly believe (based on Obama's promises to fundamentally transform America, his partial fulfillment of that promise and his obsession with completing its fulfillment) that America is in a rapid, dangerous decline — a decline that must be reversed, lest America be forever changed into something the Founding Fathers never envisioned.

President Obama openly derides the notion of American exceptionalism. He has constantly apologized for America's alleged transgressions. He "writes us up" before the United Nations, complaining to Third World anti-American, civil-rights-abusing nations that we are the ones who have an egregious record on civil rights.

Under his administration, we are witnessing the deliberate decline of our military and defense capabilities at the precise time that his policies are empowering global terrorism and Middle Eastern unrest and making a stronger, not weaker, military more imperative.

He is undermining Israel, our main ally in the region, impairing Israel's essential effort to rally international support for its right to defend itself against unprovoked Islamic violence and aggression.

He is orchestrating the false narrative of a Republican war on women, which is based on a series of lies and distortions so preposterous that it would be dismissed outright if someone in his position were not fueling it. The only war being waged on this issue is by his administration, and it's a war against the religious freedom and conscience of Christians.

He is also waging war against the American dream, discouraging self-reliance and promoting government dependency and the metastatic expansion of the welfare state, which is deeply harming the people it purports to assist. No nation, even America, can remain great if people are encouraged to see themselves as victims, to shun industriousness and to blame others for their plight.

Under his rule, more people are out of work than ever before in our history, and his economic policies — because they are anti-business, anti-capitalism and punitive of success — are making matters worse.

His administration has unleashed administrative agencies, such as the Environmental Protection Agency, to further harass and harm businesses in the name of environmentalism, and he is destroying the greatest health care system in history.

The president lies to our faces with liberal media protection and impunity, on vitally important issues such as Obamacare, Benghazi, Fast and Furious, immigration, voter identification, Iraq, the Department of Veterans Affairs, guns, life, "contraception," the economy, the border invasion, the Internal Revenue Service scandal, and — yes — race.

Obama is presiding over the least transparent administration ever, grossly usurping legislative authority and driving this nation into guaranteed bankruptcy; it's only a matter of time.

Yes, we must take the country back before it's irretrievably lost. But what worries me more than Obama, Holder and the rest of this administration is that Americans re-elected him and far too few fully realize the danger his policies pose to our prosperity and our liberty.

No, Mr. Holder, we conservatives do not talk in code. This isn't about race; it's about restoring the American dream. We genuinely pray that we can take our country back and begin the long road to healing and reigniting America's most exceptional greatness.

7-24-14
 
Eyes on the prize

By Ann Coulter


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Every powerful group in America is pushing for amnesty: President Obama, Sen. Schumer, Schumer's new friends Sen. When a U.S. president is using the IRS to terrify his political enemies, destroying American health care and opening our southern border to millions of future welfare-collecting, Democratic voters from the Third World, why is a dime's worth of money being wasted on trying to replace the Republican senator from Mississippi with a slightly different Republican?

Honestly, I think these deck chairs look just fine. Maybe we should check on the Titanic's hull, captain.

If Chris McDaniel's supporters want to show what bad-ass studs they are, how about walking across the Mississippi River and getting Tom Cotton elected in Arkansas? He's running against a Democrat, fellas! Or how about walking a little farther down the river, to Louisiana, and helping Bill Cassidy take out another Democrat?

Those two Democrats, Sens. Mark Pryor and Mary Landrieu, could well win re-election in red states -- despite voting for Obamacare and amnesty. And tea partiers are still focused like a laser beam on making Republican senators more perfect, rather than beating Democrats.

Yes, it's annoying to see a Republican appeal to Democratic voters to save his seat. But Thad Cochran is hardly Arlen Specter, who was a thorn in Republicans' side forever.

At least McDaniel's allies have a good plan. They're going to invent a time machine and travel back to June 24 to undo the runoff election. Wait -- they don't have a time machine?

It also doesn't look great having alleged Republican activists claiming that any votes from blacks in a GOP primary were fraudulent. It so happens that Cochran has always won a fair portion of the black vote -- and the Democrat vote.

In Cochran's last election without Barack Obama on the ticket, he won 85 percent of the vote -- and Mississippi is half-Democrat and nearly 40 percent black. Even in his most recent election in 2008, when Obama was on the ticket, Cochran won 40,000 more votes than John McCain -- a pretty good estimate of how many blacks voted for Cochran.

Magnolia state Democrats were such rabid segregation

But it's really fantastic to have McDaniel supporters out there denouncing Cochran for getting blacks to vote for him.

It's true that most black people don't usually vote in Republican primaries. But they do vote in general elections. And evidently a lot of them vote for Cochran.

When Cochran entered politics as a Republican, he was joining the party that was fighting Democrats to redeem blacks' civil rights.

Cochran was alive when Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt put a Ku Klux Klanner on the Supreme Court (Hugo Black).

He was a law student at the University of Mississippi when the Democratic governor prevented James Meredith from entering -- until court orders and federal marshals changed the governor's mind. Meredith, of course, is a lifelong Republican who went on to work for Jesse Helms.
ists, they even segregated their own party! In 1964, national Democrats refused to seat Mississippi's black delegates from the "Freedom Democratic Party" at the party convention.

Republican Charles Pickering risked his life to prosecute the Klan in Mississippi, and Republican Thad Cochran replaced a segregationist Democratic senator from Mississippi. (Ironically, Cochran's GOP primary challenger to replace the segregationist Democrat was Pickering, for whom McDaniel later clerked.)

In Cochran's first political campaign, he won a House seat from a district that was heavily black and majority Democratic.

So campaigning at historically black colleges isn't something new for Thad Cochran -- he's been doing that since the 1970s. This wouldn't come as a surprise to Republicans who knew their party's proud history on civil rights.

Why shouldn't Cochran ask black people for their votes in a primary? The Republican Party was once, and for some still is, the natural political home for black Mississippians.

7-23-14
 
Do Blacks Need Favors?

By Walter Williams


JewishWorldReview.com | Earlier this month, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act was celebrated. During the act's legislative debate, then-Sen. Hubert Humphrey, responding to predictions, promised, "I'll eat my hat if this leads to racial quotas." I don't know whether Humphrey got around to keeping his promise, but here's my question: Is it within the capacity of black Americans to make it in this society without the special favors variously called racial preferences, quotas, affirmative action and race-sensitive policies? What might a "yes" answer to that question assume and imply about blacks? Likewise, what would a "no" answer assume and imply? Let's look at it.

There are some areas of black life in which excellence can be found without the slightest hint of racial preferences. Young blacks dominate basketball, football and some track-and-field events despite the fact that there has been a history of gross racial discrimination in those activities. Blacks are also prominent in several areas of the entertainment industry. Those observations mean that racial discrimination alone is not an insurmountable barrier to success. By the way, I can't think of any two fields with more ruthless competition.

You say, "OK, Williams, everyone knows about the success of blacks in sports and entertainment, but what about the intellectual arena?" A few inner-city junior high and high schools have produced black champion chess players, schools such as Philadelphia's Roberts Vaux High School and New York's Edward R. Murrow High School. Last year, two black teens — from Intermediate School 318 Eugenio Maria de Hostos in Brooklyn, New York — won the national high-school chess championship. All of this is in addition to quite a few black international masters and grandmasters in chess. Moreover, there's a long list of former and current black inventors and scientists. So there's no question that black people have the capacity to compete intellectually.

Civil rights organizations and their progressive allies, who all but suggest that blacks cannot achieve unless they are given special privileges, grossly insult and demean black people. But worse than that, when civil rights organizations and their progressive allies pursue special privileges for blacks in college admissions and when they attack academic performance standards as racially discriminatory, they are aiding and abetting an education establishment that delivers fraudulent education. They let educators off the hook, thereby enabling them to continue to produce educational fraud.

You say, "What do you mean by educational fraud, Williams?" There are many inputs to education that are beyond the control of educators, such as poor home environment, derelict parental oversight and students with minds alien and hostile to the education process. But there's one thing entirely within the control of the education establishment. That is the conferral of a high-school diploma. When a school confers a diploma upon a student, it attests that the student has mastered the 12th-grade levels of reading, writing and arithmetic. If, in fact, the student cannot perform at the seventh- or eighth-grade levels, the school has committed gross fraud. Even worse is the fact that black people, including those holding fraudulent diplomas, are completely unaware. It has absolutely nothing to do with racial discrimination. In fact, black education is the worst in cities where blacks have been the mayor, chief of police and superintendent of schools and where most of the teachers and principals are black.

Racial preferences in college admissions give elementary schools, middle schools and high schools a free hand to continue their destructive educational policy. If colleges did not have special admissions practices for black students, there would be far fewer blacks in colleges, and the fraud would be more apparent to parents. They might begin to ask why so many blacks with high-school diplomas could not get into college.

If the civil rights establishment and the progressives have their way, blacks will have to rely on special privileges in perpetuity.

7-22-14
 
Bordering on Madness

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | In a recent confrontation between protesters against the illegal flood of unaccompanied children into the United States and counter-protests by some Hispanic group, one man from the latter group said angrily, "We are as good as you are!"

One of the things that make the history of clashes over race or ethnicity such a history of tragedies around the world is that — regardless of whatever particular issue sets off these clashes — many people see the ultimate stakes as their worth as human beings. On that, there is no room for compromise, but only polarization. That is why playing "the race card" is such an irresponsible and dangerous political game.

The real issue when it comes to immigration is not simply what particular immigration policy America should have, but whether America can have any immigration policy at all.

A country that does not control its own borders does not have any immigration policy. There may be laws on the books, but such laws are just meaningless words if people from other countries can cross the borders whenever they choose.

One of the reasons why many Americans are reluctant to keep out illegal immigrants — or even to call them "illegal immigrants," instead of using the mealy-mouthed word "undocumented" — is that most Hispanics they encounter seem to be decent, hard-working people.

This column has pointed out, more than once, that I have never seen Mexicans standing on a street corner begging, though I have seen both whites and blacks doing so.

But such impressions are no basis for deciding serious issues about immigration and citizenship. When we do not control our own borders, we have no way of knowing how many of those coming across those borders are criminals or even terrorists.

We have no way of knowing how many of those children are carrying what diseases that will spread to our children. And we already know, from studies of American children, that those who are raised without fathers in the home have a high probability of becoming huge, expensive problems for taxpayers in the years ahead, and a mortal danger to others.

A hundred years ago, when there was a huge influx of immigrants from Europe, there were extensive government studies of what those immigrants did in the United States. There were data on how many, from what countries, ended up in jail, diseased or on the dole. There were data on how well their children did in school.

As with most things, some immigrant groups did very well and others did not do nearly as well. But today, even to ask such questions is to be considered mean-spirited.

Such information as we have today shows that immigrants from some countries have far more education than immigrants from some other countries, and do not end up being supported by the taxpayers nearly as often as immigrants from other countries. But such information is seldom mentioned in discussions of immigrants, as if they were abstract people in an abstract world.

Questions about immigration and citizenship are questions about irreversible decisions that can permanently change the composition of the American population and the very culture of the country — perhaps in the direction of the cultures of the countries from which illegal immigrants have fled.

During the era of epidemics that swept across Europe in centuries past, people fleeing from those epidemics often spread the diseases to the places to which they fled. Counterproductive and dangerous cultures can be spread to America the same way.

Willful ignorance is not the way to make immigration decisions or any other decisions. Yet the Obama administration is keeping secret even where they are dumping illegal immigrants by the thousands, in communities far from the border states.

Looking before we leap is not racism — except in the sense that anything the Obama administration doesn't like is subject to being called racist.

Americans who gather to protest the high-handed way this administration has sneaked illegal immigrants into their communities can expect the race card to be played against them. The time is long overdue to stop being intimidated by such cheap — and dangerous — political tactics.

7-21-14
 
Better Than Obamacare: Health Savings Accounts Would Be Free From Government Control

By Ben S. Carson

JewishWorldReview.com | It's fortunate the Supreme Court of the United States saw it fit last week to rule that corporations could not be coerced into covering religiously objectionable forms of birth control for their employees.

This was a critical ruling, because it indicates that the majority of the Court still thinks religious beliefs and personal choice have a valid place in American society. The margin of the split decision, however, is alarming, because it reminds us of how close we are to having a government that will subject moral convictions to its bureaucratically directed control.

People have legitimate differences of opinion about the appropriateness of various forms of birth control, which is something most reasonable people on both sides of the political ledger understand. However, legally requiring the side opposed to a form of birth control to be financially responsible for its distribution to any employee who wants it is distinctly un-American and abusive to the concept of freedom of religion.

A major problem is that many people in our entitlement society see nothing wrong with forcing others to provide for their desires. In a free and open society, anyone should be able to purchase anything he or she wants that is legal. It really should be no one else's business. Common sense dictates, however, that it immediately becomes my business if I'm being forced to pay for it.

Wouldn't it be fairer and make more sense for people wanting some form of birth control to pay for it themselves? This is exactly what would happen if everyone had access to his or her own health savings account. A woman and her health care provider would decide on a birth control method, and the cost would be deducted from her account with no involvement of anyone else in any way. It's so simple and upholds privacy and freedom.

Health savings accounts can be funded in a variety of different ways and give people total control of where, how and with whom they wish to spend their health care dollars. Most people will want to get the biggest bang for the buck and will independently seek out both value and quality. That, in turn, will bring all aspects of medicine into the free-market economic model, thus automatically having an ameliorating effect on pricing transparency and quality of outcomes.

Many corporations and communities already have very positive experiences with health savings accounts. Those experiences could be further enhanced by allowing family members to shift the money in their accounts among themselves. For instance, if a family member was $500 short for a procedure or test, another family member could provide the money by authorizing its deduction from his account. This provides a whole other level of flexibility to the concept of health savings. The overwhelming majority of encounters with the medical world could be handled through this type of system, eliminating bureaucratic delays and frustration.

Under the multitudinous rules of Obamacare, the amount of money allowed to be managed through health savings accounts is severely restricted. Perhaps that is because the crafters of this gigantic, bureaucratic monstrosity realized that a well-functioning savings system would be easy to understand, much less expensive and give people control of their own health care. It would also eliminate two-tiered systems of health care, making every patient equally desirable from a business perspective. There should be no limit to the amount of money that can be contributed to and managed in an account. Money unspent at the end of the year should simply continue to accumulate without penalty.

If accounts are established at the time of birth, they will be even more potent, because the vast majority of people will not experience catastrophic or major medical events until well into adulthood. By that time, a great deal of money will have accumulated. Since bridge or catastrophic insurance will not be drawn upon for routine medical expenses, its costs will plummet, very much like homeowners insurance, which costs vastly less when there is a high deductible.

Somehow over the past few decades, we as a society have wandered away from the concept of using health insurance only for major medical issues and paying for routine services ourselves. This is largely responsible for the tremendous spike in medical costs. By using the health savings account system, we can return to a semblance of rational thinking.

The 5 percent of patients with complex pre-existing or acquired maladies would need to be taken care of through a different system, similar to Medicare and Medicaid but informed by the many mistakes in those programs from which we can learn. Even this kind of system should have elements of personal responsibility woven into it.

The bottom line: Health care for all of our citizens is the responsibility of a compassionate society and is well within our grasp, if we don't make it into a political football. The majority of Americans are unhappy with Obamacare and would prefer something that is simple, effective and under their own control. We do not have to settle for something imposed upon us for reasons other than good health care.

7-20-14
 
Our Unwillingness to Defend Ourselves

By Walter Williams


JewishWorldReview.com | The U.S. Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics reports that 2012 losses because of personal identity theft totaled $24.7 billion (http://tinyurl.com/mdncmmw). The money losses from identity theft pale in comparison with the costs of paperwork, time and inconvenience imposed on the larger society in an effort to protect ourselves. According to LifeLock, while the laws against identity theft have gotten tougher, identity theft criminal prosecution is relatively rare. Unless we develop a low tolerance and a willingness to impose harsh sentences, identity thieves will continue to impose billions of dollars of costs on society.

Today's Americans tolerate what would have been unthinkable years ago. According to the National Center for Education Statistics and the BJS, 209,800 primary- and secondary-school teachers reported being physically attacked by a student during the 2011-12 academic year (http://tinyurl.com/nltrzaz). Hundreds of thousands more are threatened with injury. On average, 1,175 teachers are physically attacked each day of the school year. These facts demonstrate an unwillingness to defend ourselves against these young barbarians, who often will grow into big barbarians.

During the 1940s and early '50s, when I was in school, assaulting or threatening teachers was unthinkable. Corporal punishment in school and/or at home would have been the result of an assault or threat against a teacher. Starting in the '50s, following Dr. Benjamin Spock's advice, what worked for centuries was exchanged with what sounded good. In 1970, Thomas Gordon, best-selling author of "Parent Effectiveness Training," told parents to stop punishing their children and to start treating them "much as we treat friends or a spouse." Corporal punishment has been criminalized. Other forms of punishment have been replaced with "timeout" and other such nonsense.

When young barbarians grow up to become big barbarians, often there's still an unwillingness to defend ourselves. In many poor neighborhoods, the police know who the criminals are, but their hands are tied by the courts. These criminals are permitted to prey on the overwhelmingly law-abiding members of the community, who, because of ineffective police protection, are huddled behind bars in their homes. Sometimes these criminals go downtown to single out white people, whom they sometimes refer to as "polar bears," to play the "knockout" game. What's worse is that sometimes, as in the case of Rochester, New York, the police characterize these brazen attacks as harassment rather than assaults. Though most of these attacks are against white people, the news media and police are reluctant to call them racist hate crimes.

It's in the international arena where we face the greatest threat from our unwillingness to protect ourselves. Most of the international community sees Iran as a sponsor and exporter of terrorism. There's no question that if Iran develops nuclear weapons, it doesn't bode well for the world. But what does the world do, led by the U.S.? It allows Iran to go full speed ahead in the name of what the Iranian press calls "the Iranian nation's nuclear rights." The U.S. alone has the power to tell Iran to permit unimpeded inspection of the country's nuclear facilities, with the threat of bombing if it doesn't comply.

The West, led by our country, is doing exactly what it did in the run-up to World War II. It knowingly allowed Adolf Hitler to rearm — in violation of treaties — which led to a war that cost 60 million lives. In 1936, France alone could have stopped Hitler.

We have a similar lack of willingness to effectively deal with terrorists. Our intelligence community knows the national origin of those who attack Americans. At least one part of our strategy should be to inform nations that we will exact a heavy price from them if they become a staging ground for terrorists.

Unfortunately, for the future of our nation and the world, we are too focused on government handouts rather than the most basic function of government: defending us from barbarians.

7-19-14
 
Spending and Morality

By Walter Williams


JewishWorldReview.com | During last year's budget negotiation meetings, President Barack Obama told House Speaker John Boehner, "We don't have a spending problem." When Boehner responded with "But, Mr. President, we have a very serious spending problem," Obama replied, "I'm getting tired of hearing you say that." In one sense, the president is right. What's being called a spending problem is really a symptom of an unappreciated deep-seated national moral rot. Let's examine it with a few questions.

Is it moral for Congress to forcibly use one person to serve the purposes of another? I believe that most Americans would pretend that to do so is offensive. Think about it this way. Suppose I saw a homeless, hungry elderly woman huddled on a heating grate in the dead of winter. To help the woman, I ask somebody for a $200 donation to help her out. If the person refuses, I then use intimidation, threats and coercion to take the person's money. I then purchase food and shelter for the needy woman. My question to you: Have I committed a crime? I hope that most people would answer yes. It's theft to take the property of one person to give to another.

Now comes the hard part. Would it be theft if I managed to get three people to agree that I should take the person's money to help the woman? What if I got 100, 1 million or 300 million people to agree to take the person's $200? Would it be theft then? What if instead of personally taking the person's $200, I got together with other Americans and asked Congress to use Internal Revenue Service agents to take the person's $200? The bottom-line question is: Does an act that's clearly immoral when done privately become moral when it is done collectively and under the color of law? Put another way, does legality establish morality?

For most of our history, Congress did a far better job of limiting its activities to what was both moral and constitutional. As a result, federal spending was only 3 to 5 percent of the gross domestic product from our founding until the 1920s, in contrast with today's 25 percent. Close to three-quarters of today's federal spending can be described as Congress taking the earnings of one American to give to another through thousands of handout programs, such as farm subsidies, business bailouts and welfare.

During earlier times, such spending was deemed unconstitutional and immoral. James Madison, the acknowledged father of our Constitution, said, "Charity is no part of the legislative duty of the government." In 1794, when Congress appropriated $15,000 to assist some French refugees, Madison stood on the floor of the House of Representatives to object, saying, "I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents." Today's Americans would crucify a politician expressing similar statements.

There may be nitwits out there who'd assert, "That James Madison guy forgot about the Constitution's general welfare clause." Madison had that covered, explaining in a letter, "If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the general welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one." Thomas Jefferson agreed, writing: Members of Congress "are not to do anything they please to provide for the general welfare. ... It would reduce the (Constitution) to a single phrase, that of instituting a Congress with power to do whatever would be for the good of the United States; and, as they would be the sole judges of the good or evil, it would be also a power to do whatever evil they please."

The bottom line is that spending is not our basic problem. We've become an immoral people demanding that Congress forcibly use one American to serve the purposes of another. Deficits and runaway national debt are merely symptoms of that larger problem.

7-18-14

Balkanization Beckons


Pat Buchanan


Speaking to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in Albuquerque in 2001, George W. Bush declared that, as Mexico was a friend and neighbor, "It's so important for us to tear down our barriers and walls that might separate Mexico from the United States."

Bush succeeded. And during his tenure, millions from Mexico exploited his magnanimity to violate our laws, trample upon our sovereignty, walk into our country, and remain here.

In 2007, backed by John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Teddy Kennedy and Barack Obama, Bush backed amnesty for the 12 million people who had entered America illegally.

The nation thundered no. And Congress sustained the nation.

The latest mass border crossing by scores of thousands of tots, teenagers and toughs from Central America has killed amnesty in 2014, and probably for the duration of the Obama presidency.

Indeed, with the massive media coverage of the crisis on the border, immigration, legal and illegal, and what it portends for our future, could become the decisive issue of 2014 and 2016.

But it needs to be put in a larger context. For this issue is about more than whether the Chamber of Commerce gets amnesty for its members who have been exploiting cheap illegal labor.

The real issue: Will America remain one nation, or are we are on the road to Balkanization and the breakup of America into ethnic enclaves? For, as Ronald Reagan said, a nation that cannot control its borders isn't really a nation anymore.

In Federalist No. 2, John Jay wrote,

"Providence has been pleased to give this one connected country to one united people -- a people descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion, attached to the same principles of government, very similar in their manners and customs ... "

He called Americans a "band of brethren, united to each other by the strongest ties." The republic of the founders for whom Jay spoke did not give a fig for diversity. They cherished our unity, commonality, and sameness of ancestry, culture, faith and traditions.

We were not a nation of immigrants in 1789.

They came later. From 1845-1849, the Irish fleeing the famine. From 1890-1920, the Germans. Then the Italians, Poles, Jews and other Eastern Europeans. Then, immigration was suspended in 1924.

From 1925 to 1965, the children and grandchildren of those immigrants were assimilated, Americanized. In strong public schools, they were taught our language, literature and history, and celebrated our holidays and heroes. We endured together through the Depression and sacrificed together in World War II and the Cold War.

By 1960, we had become truly one nation and one people.

America was not perfect. No country is. But no country ever rivaled what America had become. She was proud, united, free, the first nation on earth. And though the civil rights movement had just begun, nowhere did black peoples enjoy the freedom and prosperity of African-Americans.

Attorney General Eric Holder said Sunday that America is today in "a fundamentally better place than we were 50 years ago."

In some ways that is so. Equality of rights has been realized. Miraculous cures in medicine have kept alive many of us who would not have survived the same maladies half a century ago.

But we are no longer that "band of brethren." We are no longer one unique people "descended from the same ancestors, speaking the same language, professing the same religion."

We are from every continent and country. Nearly 4 in 10 Americans trace their ancestry to Asia, Africa and Latin America. We are a multiracial, multilingual, multicultural society in a world where countless countries are being torn apart over race, religion and roots.

We no longer speak the same language, worship the same God, honor the same heroes or share the same holidays. Christmas and Easter have been privatized. Columbus is reviled. Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee are out of the pantheon. Cesar Chavez is in.

Our politics have become poisonous. Our political parties are at each other's throats.

Christianity is in decline. Traditional churches are sundering over moral issues like abortion and same-sex marriage. Islam is surging.

Our society seems to be disintegrating. Over 40 percent of all births now are illegitimate. Among Hispanics, the figure is 52 percent. Among African-Americans, 73 percent.

And among children born to single moms, the drug use rate and the dropout rate, the crime rate and the incarceration rate, are many times higher than among children born to married parents.

If a country is a land of defined and defended borders, within which resides a people of a common ancestry, history, language, faith, culture and traditions, in what sense are we Americans one nation and one people today?

Neocons say we are a new kind of nation, an ideological nation erected upon a written Constitution and Bill of Rights.

But equality, democracy and diversity are not mentioned in the Constitution. As for what our founding documents mean, even the Supreme Court does not agree.

More and more, 21st-century America seems to meet rather well Metternich's depiction of Italy -- "a geographic expression."
 

7-17-14
 
Lawsuits and Impeachment

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | Whenever Democrats are in real trouble politically, the Republicans seem to come up with something new that distracts the public's attention from the Democrats' problems. Who says Republicans are not compassionate?

With public opinion polls showing President Obama's sinking approval rate, in the wake of his administration's multiple fiascoes and scandals — the disgraceful treatment of veterans who need medical care, the Internal Revenue Service coverups, the tens of thousands of children flooding across our open border — Republicans have created two new distractions that may yet draw attention away from the Democrats' troubles.

From the Republican establishment, Speaker of the House John Boehner has announced plans to sue Barack Obama for exceeding his authority. And from the Tea Party wing of the Republicans, former Governor Sarah Palin has called for impeachment of the president.

Does President Obama deserve to be sued or impeached? Yes! Is there a snowball's chance in hell that either the lawsuit or an impeachment will succeed? No!

Barack Obama's repeated disregard of the laws that he is supposed to follow, and his blatantly changing these laws passed by Congress, are a threat to the whole Constitutional form of government, on which all our freedoms depend.

Once a president — any president — can create his own laws unilaterally, we are on our way to becoming a banana republic, where arbitrary rule from the top replaces representative government by "we the people."

Why not sue Barack Obama then, or impeach him?

For the simplest of all reasons: Neither of these actions is going to do anything to stop Obama, or even discredit him — and both can create a distraction that draws attention away from the Democrats' disasters during an election year.

Either the lawsuit or an impeachment — or both — can hurt the Republicans, by making it look like they are playing Mickey Mouse politics during an election year. President Obama is already making a joke out of Speaker Boehner's threatened lawsuit by saying, "So sue me!"

Courts don't like to get involved in cases where one branch of government is suing another — and the Supreme Court does not have to take any case that it does not want to take. Even a lower court can throw out Boehner's lawsuit as a political issue that does not belong in court. Then it will be the Republicans who will have egg on their faces.

As for impeachment, the House of Representatives can impeach any president they want to. But an impeachment is essentially just an indictment that leaves it up to the Senate to decide whether to vote to remove the president from office.

So long as the Democrats control the Senate, impeachment of Barack Obama is guaranteed to lose. And this too would leave the Republicans with egg on their faces during an election year.

The political fate of the Republican Party is not something that those of us who are not Republicans need to worry about. If they want to shoot themselves in the foot again, so be it.

But all Americans have to worry — and worry big time — about the fate of this country if Republicans blow their chances of taking control of the Senate.

If Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid continues his iron control, President Obama can nominate whatever kinds of federal judges he wants to, knowing that they will be confirmed by the Senate.

Since federal judges have lifetime tenure, this would in effect extend the Obama administration long past the point when Barack Obama leaves the White House. All he needs to do is pack the federal courts with judges who share his contempt for the Constitution and his zeal to impose a far-left agenda at all costs.

This year's elections — especially the Senate elections — can decide the fate of this country for a long time to come. That is why Republicans' launching of foredoomed symbolic actions like lawsuits and impeachment is such an irresponsible self-indulgence.

When the country is at a historic crossroads is not the time for futile gestures like this, which can create bigger disasters than we already have.

7-16-14
 
The immigration no-brainer

By Charles Krauthammer


JewishWorldReview.com | As is his wont, President Obama is treating the border crisis - more than 50,000 unaccompanied children crossing illegally - as a public relations problem. Where to photo op and where not. He still hasn't enunciated a policy. He may not even have one.

Will these immigrants be allowed to stay? Seven times was Obama's homeland security secretary asked this on "Meet the Press." Seven times he danced around the question.

Presidential press secretary Josh Earnest was ostensibly more forthcoming: "It's unlikely that most of those kids will qualify for humanitarian relief. .?.?. They will be sent back." This was characterized in the media as a harder line. Not at all. Yes, those kids who go through the process will likely have no grounds to stay. But most will never go through the process.

These kids are being flown or bused to family members around the country and told to then show up for deportation hearings. Why show up? Why not just stay where they'll get superior schooling, superior health care, superior everything? As a result, only 3 percent are being repatriated, to cite an internal Border Patrol memo.

Repatriate them? How stone-hearted, you say. After what they've been through? To those dismal conditions back home?

By that standard, with a sea of endemic suffering on every continent, we should have no immigration laws. Deny entry to no needy person.

But we do. We must. We choose. And immediate deportation is exactly what happens to illegal immigrants, children or otherwise, from Mexico and Canada. By what moral logic should there be a Central American exception?

There is no logic. Just a quirk of the law - a 2008 law intended to deter sex trafficking. It mandates that Central American kids receive temporary relocation, extensive assistance and elaborate immigration/deportation proceedings, which many simply evade.

This leniency was designed for a small number of sex-trafficked youth. It was never intended for today's mass migration aimed at establishing a family foothold in America under an administration correctly perceived as at best ambivalent about illegal immigration.

Stopping this wave is not complicated. A serious president would go to Congress tomorrow proposing a change in the law, simply mandating that Central American kids get the same treatment as Mexican kids, i.e., be subject to immediate repatriation.

Then do so under the most humane conditions. Buses with every amenity. Kids accompanied by nurses and social workers and interpreters and everything they need on board. But going home.

One thing is certain. When the first convoys begin rolling from town to town across Central America, the influx will stop.

When he began taking heat for his laxness and indecisiveness, Obama said he would seek statutory authority for eliminating the Central American loophole. Yet when he presented his $3.7 billion emergency package on Tuesday, it included no such proposal.

Without that, tens of thousands of kids will stay. Tens of thousands more will come.

Why do they come? The administration pretends it's because of violence and poverty.

Nonsense. When has there not been violence and poverty in Central America? Yet this wave of children has doubled in size in the past two years and is projected to double again by October. The new variable is Obama's unilateral (and lawless) June 2012 order essentially legalizing hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came here as children.

Message received in Central America. True, this executive order doesn't apply to those who came after June 15, 2007. But the fact remains that children coming across now are overwhelmingly likely to stay.

Alternatively, Obama blames the crisis on Republicans for failing to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

More nonsense. It's a total non sequitur. Comprehensive reform would not have prevented the current influx. Indeed, any reform that amnesties 11?million illegal immigrants simply reinforces the message that if you come here illegally, eventually you will be allowed to stay.

It happens that I support immigration reform. I support amnesty. I have since 2006. But only after we secure the border.

Which begins with completing the fencing along the Mexican frontier. Using 2009 Government Accountability Office estimates, that would have cost up to $6.6 billion. Obama will now spend more than half that sum to accommodate a mass migration that would have been prevented by just such a barrier.

But a fence is for the long term. For the immediate crisis, the answer is equally, blindingly clear: Eliminate the Central American exception and enforce the law.

It must happen. The nightmare will continue until it does. The only question is: How long until Obama is forced to do the obvious?

7-15-14
 
Obama the Problem Creator

By David Limbaugh


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Only if we understand that Wednesday was "Opposite Day" can we comprehend President Obama's bizarre remarks in Texas concerning our border crisis.

He said he had asked Gov. Rick Perry, "Are (members of Congress) more interested in politics, or are they more interested in solving the problem? ... If the preference is for politics, then it won't be solved."

Everything Obama does is about politics. If he weren't endlessly raising money for his hyper-partisan Democratic Party, he wouldn't have even bothered to fly to Texas in the first place. His entire approach to the immigration issue is to fast-track as many illegals as he can, with the long-term goal of turning the country permanently blue, which happens to be a political, not humanitarian, motivation. Obama is so thoroughly political that commentators can't even discuss Obama without focusing on the "optics." Would it be that hard for them to assess, just once, whether he's doing the right thing?

Obama said: "This isn't theater. This is a problem. I'm not interested in photo ops; I'm interested in solving a problem."

Oh? In 2004, as senator-elect, he said, "I'm so overexposed I'm making Paris Hilton look like a recluse." His name or face appeared on half of Time magazine covers in 2008. As of the August 2009 edition, he had appeared on seven Time covers since his election in November 2008. Newsweek featured Obama on 12 of its 2008 issues. Obama marked his first 100 days in office with 300 photos — all of him. On Nov. 25, 2009, Drudge Report had a photo of him leaving the White House holding an issue of GQ magazine with his own picture on the cover. He appeared on "America's Most Wanted" to commemorate its 1,000th episode. He's appeared on ESPN, Leno, Letterman, "60 Minutes," Conan, Oprah and on and on.

How about his claim that he just wants to solve a problem? As exhibits A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, L and M, I offer Fast and Furious, Benghazi, the Internal Revenue Service scandal (the FBI hasn't even interviewed the IRS employees involved), the border invasion, the Department of Veterans Affairs scandal, Obamacare, Iraq, our Marine in Mexico, the deficit, the debt, entitlements, jobs and education. I could go on. This man is not about solving problems but about creating them — unless you believe that America, as founded, is a problem.

Obama implied that if Congress had passed comprehensive immigration reform legislation, we wouldn't have a border problem.

Well, he's the one who unilaterally issued a lawless executive order in 2012 to end deportations of young illegal immigrants who entered the United States as children if they meet certain requirements. By taking this action, Obama sent a clear signal to would-be young illegal immigrants that if they come, he'll see to it that they eventually will receive amnesty. It is inconceivable that it's merely a coincidence that just a few years later, we are seeing an explosion of children storming over our border.

Moreover, why would sane Republicans sign on to Obama's comprehensive immigration reform proposal when it's anything but comprehensive? For decades, Democrats have promised they would take action to enforce the border if only Republicans would agree to amnesty for illegals already here, just as they've promised to impose spending cuts in exchange for tax hikes. And they've consistently reneged on all these promises.

If Democrats respect this nation's sovereignty, why do Republicans need to use bargaining chips to get them to take action to enforce the border? Isn't that a no-brainer that all Americans should agree on?

Obama said, "One of the suggestions I had for Gov. Perry was that it would be useful for my Republican friends to rediscover the concept of negotiation and compromise." Practically in the same breath, he said that all the Republicans have to do to solve this problem is sign his proposed supplemental legislation — precisely as he presented it. Astonishing.

Obama is not about negotiation and compromise. It's his way or the highway. Remember his refusal to compromise with Republicans on health care, when he said, "I'm the president," meaning, "I am king, and the legislature must bow to my dictates"? It has become a standard practice for him to castigate Republicans for not compromising and to simultaneously demand that they accept his proposals in toto.

It's happened on Obamacare, the budget battles, the stimulus, education, environmental policy, foreign policy, financial reform, taxes and other issues. And this is exactly what happened with this border issue. He said over and over that Republicans could solve this problem right now if they would just agree to his supplemental bill in its totality. That's negotiation? Compromise? He has recently said on a host of other issues, "If Republicans won't do as I say, I'll do it myself by executive order."

How can a man who doesn't even pretend to respect the clear constitutional restraints on his own power lecture anyone about negotiation and compromise? No one in his right mind could believe that this inflexible ideologue has an ounce of sincerity in his bones when he pretends he is about compromise. And no one with an ounce of discernment can help but wonder whether Obama has any desire to solve the border crisis — or many of the other nearly catastrophic issues plaguing the nation today under his watch — as he hopscotches the country raising political money, plays golf and billiards, and willfully obstructs any and all truth-seeking investigations.

7-14-14
 
America --- Imagine the World Without Her

By David Limbaugh


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Do we conservatives really mean it when we say that we need to promote our ideas in the popular culture through books, movies and other media? If so, we need to support people like Dinesh D'Souza and his latest movie and book, "America: Imagine the World Without Her." I saw the movie, and I loved it.

Dinesh is a passionate patriot who "chose this country" and loves it with every fiber of his being. Like many of the rest of us, he recognizes that America is under assault, and he is doing all he can to save it.

In the movie, Dinesh describes how the political left has infiltrated our culture and educational institutions and presented a damning moral indictment of this nation and free market capitalism.

In the eyes of the left, America is intrinsically evil — a predatory colonial power that acquired its wealth by conquest. Avowed leftist Howard Zinn advanced these noxious themes in "A People's History of the United States," which has been a staple American history book in our universities and high schools.

According to the leftist "shame narrative," which is driven more by ideology than a commitment to historical accuracy, America conquered, exploited, enslaved and stole its way to wealth and power. Our forefathers committed genocide against the Native Americans while stealing their land; we gobbled up the southwestern part of the country from Mexico as warmongering imperialists; we built our businesses and industries on the backs of African-American slaves; and through our system of free market capitalism and foreign policy imperialism, we have stolen the lion's share of the world's wealth. Also, under our system, the "haves" in the United States continue to extort resources from the "have-nots," robbing the common man of his fair share.

Dinesh answers this bill of particulars against the United States, admitting our transgressions, when warranted, and setting the record straight with the other side of history, which has been purposely hidden from us.

Don't assume that you are fully aware of the other side. Dinesh presents evidence that you probably haven't heard or read before — but it's vitally important evidence that tells an entirely different story from what recent generations of Americans have been led (and brainwashed) to believe. The institution of slavery, for example, has been present in almost every culture in world history; America is the only nation that endured a bloody civil war to eradicate the inhuman practice.

As a political commentator and American patriot, I am troubled constantly by our cultural amnesia about what is so great about America. I find too many people, including on the conservative side, forever apologizing for their beliefs and defensive about traditional values, capitalism and even the American idea. It's as if the leftist "shame narrative" has done a number on us — as if much of our side is now comfortable with a gargantuan welfare state and doesn't dare promote capitalism from a moral perspective.

What has always attracted me most to Dinesh's approach is his unapologetic championing of America — its founding principles and its historical record. He takes a back seat to no one in proclaiming America's foundational and historical greatness. America has been a force for good like no other in the history of mankind.

In fact, America didn't steal its wealth; it created it, because its free market system, undergirded by Christian values, gave rise to an explosion of entrepreneurship, growth and unprecedented prosperity. Moreover, but for America, world history would remain a story of wealth by conquest.

Dinesh rightly points out, however, that the leftist narrative continues virtually unabated: America stole its resources, so it must pay for this monumental injustice. It is our duty to return these "stolen goods" to the rest of the world, those it exploited historically and the "have-nots" in our society.

The left has trained generations of Americans, in our schools and in our media, that we need to atone for our alleged sins. Barack Obama is a product of this training — as is Hillary Clinton. Yesterday's radicals are today's leading government officials, and they are doing their very best to fundamentally change America from the inside. At this point, they're succeeding. "We are witnessing economic redistribution at a level never before imagined," Dinesh says.

Dinesh also points out that Obama did not create the radical left's comprehensive assault on America; it created him, but he has accelerated the pace of our decline to an alarming degree.

You would have to be blind or oblivious not to recognize that America is at a crossroads. A dire challenge confronts us. The clock is ticking, and those hellbent on permanently transforming this nation into a utopian paradise (read: atheist, socialist state) are working overtime and relentlessly.

We may not have a Washington, Lincoln or Reagan right now, cautions Dinesh, but we have ourselves.

Will we stand up to this challenge? Will we rise up to save America and preserve its unique greatness? Or will we abandon its future and that of our children to the designs of those who are presently transforming it into something unrecognizable, a place where robust political freedom is but a distant memory?

7-13-14
 
Spying on Innocents

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In what appears to be one of Edward Snowden's final revelations, the former CIA and NSA agent has demonstrated conclusively that the National Security Agency has collected and analyzed the contents of emails, text messages, and mobile and landline telephone calls from nine non-targeted U.S. residents for every one U.S. resident it has targeted.

This puts the lie to the government's claims that it has only collected metadata — identifying markers such as phone numbers and email addresses — and not content from unsuspecting and unsuspected Americans. It puts the lie to the government's claims that it has studiously avoided prying into the private lives of Americans, in whom it has no intelligence-related or lawful interest. And this puts the lie to the government's contentions and the opinions of judges of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court that the NSA's spying is somehow lawful, constitutional and helpful.

We now know that the government has failed effectively to refute the Snowden claims that it has collected and maintained for future access massive amounts of personal materials about nearly all people in America since 2009. This includes the metadata and content of nearly every telephone call, email and text message made, sent or received in the U.S., as well as nearly every credit card bill, utility bill and monthly bank statement of nearly every person in the U.S.

This was accomplished through the issuance of general warrants by FISA court judges. General warrants do not particularly describe the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized as the Constitution requires. General warrants authorize the bearer to use the power of government to search wherever he wishes. The use by British troops of general warrants was a principal motivation for the American Revolution, and the very purpose and literal wording of the Fourth Amendment was to outlaw and prohibit them.

Nevertheless, in their lust to appear muscular in our constitutionally sad post-9/11 era, politicians from both major political parties have defied the plain meaning and universally accepted history of the right to privacy and reverted to these odious instruments so condemned by the nation's founders and the Constitution's framers.

The recent Snowden revelations showed that about 900,000 innocent U.S. residents — including President Barack Obama himself — were subjected to heavy NSA scrutiny. This was done by NSA agents who knew that the subjects of their scrutiny were not the targets of their investigation.

How could that happen? It happened because the FISA court meets in secret, where the NSA has no opposition and the court has no transparency. This volatile mix has resulted in that court's granting well over 99 percent of NSA applications, including the "hop" rule implicated in the scrutiny of innocent Americans. In NSA-speak, a hop is a jump from one telephone conversation to another using a common phone.

In the sterile, isolated and secret environment of the FISA court — where even the judges cannot keep records of their own decisions — NSA agents and lawyers have persuaded judges to permit spying on people who are six hops from a target. Thus, by way of illustration, if A is a target and speaks with B, the NSA can listen to all of B's conversations, even those not with A. The leap from A to B is one hop, and the NSA gets six, so it can listen to any C who has spoken to B, any D who has spoken to any C, any E who has spoken to any D, any F who has spoken to any E and any G who has spoken to any F.

The 900,000 innocent U.S. residents whose private and personal lives have been subjected to NSA scrutiny — including the examination of their photographs, intimate personal behavior, medical and financial needs — consist of those who are within six hops from a target; in the illustration above, that would be every B, C, D, E, F and G whom the NSA can find. According to Snowden, there is no effort made by the NSA to minimize the scrutiny of those who are in the B-G category — even though the chances that any of them are in cahoots with A are extremely remote, particularly once the NSA gets beyond B.

But remoteness does not trouble the NSA, and neither does the Constitution. Remoteness is a serious constitutional and practical problem. It violates the rights of known innocents, as the NSA has no constitutional or lawful authority to spy on any non-targets and FISA court judges have no power to authorize that spying. It also consumes the time and resources of NSA agents, whose job it is to find terror plots.

Is it any wonder that the Boston Marathon bombers discussed their plans with friends using their cellphones and the NSA missed it? Is it any wonder that when Gen. Keith Alexander, who ran the NSA for five years, was asked under oath how many plots his agents had uncovered with their spying on all Americans, he replied 57 and then the next day changed that reply to three and then was unable or unwilling to identify the supposed three? Is it any wonder that the two non-FISA court federal judges who scrutinized all this both found that it has uncovered no plots?

When the government sees or hears all, it knows all. And when the people tolerate a government that knows all, they will be afraid to be themselves. And the joy of being and expressing oneself is the very reason we have a Constitution designed to restrain government.

James Madison warned that the loss of liberty rarely happens in one great event but rather happens gradually, over time, resulting from the actions of government officials who claim to be fortifying security. He practically predicted today's events. The violations of our rights are obvious, undenied and undeniable. Yet what Madison probably feared most, he did not articulate: Once lost, liberty is lost forever.

7-12-14
 
From an inherited tyrant to an elected one

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

  
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | After a brief holiday last week, I returned to some heavy reading courtesy of the federal government. Some of the materials that I read were gratifying, and one was terrifying.

In one week, the Supreme Court told the police that if they want to examine the contents of our cellphones, whether at traffic stops or serious crime scenes, they need to get a warrant. The court told small-business owners that they needn't pay for government-mandated insurance policies that provide for abortions for their employees, because the government is without authority to command them to do so. It told the president that he cannot wait until Saturday morning, when the Senate is not in session, to appoint high-level officials whose jobs require Senate confirmation, and then claim that they do not require Senate confirmation because the Senate was in recess. And it told selfless parents who stay home to care for their disabled children that the government may not force them to join health-care labor unions and pay union dues against their will.

Buried in these opinions was a legal memorandum sent to the president on July 16, 2010, nearly four years ago, and released last week, after two years of litigation aimed at obtaining it.

The Obama administration had successfully resisted the efforts of The New York Times and others to induce a judge to order the release of the memo by claiming that it contained state secrets. The judge who reviewed the memo concluded that it was merely a legal opinion, and yet she referred to herself as being in "Alice in Wonderland": The laws are public, and the judicial opinions interpreting them are public, so how could a legal opinion be secret? Notwithstanding her dilemma, she accepted the government's absurd claims, and the Times appealed.

Then the government shot itself in the foot when it surreptitiously released a portion of its secret memo to NBC News. This infuriated the panel of federal appellate judges hearing the Times' appeal, and they ordered the entire memo released. Either it is secret or it is not, the court thundered — and the government, which is bound by the transparency commanded by the First Amendment, cannot pick and choose which parts of its work to reveal to its favorite reporters and which to conceal from the rest of us.

Last week, the administration released the memo. It consists of 40 highly blacked-out pages, the conclusion of which is that the president can order the CIA to kill Americans who are present in foreign countries and who, in the opinion of high-level government officials, pose a threat to Americans and may be difficult to arrest.

The memorandum acknowledges that it is unprecedented in its scope and novel in its conclusion, and requires predicting what courts will do if they review it. Lawyers often predict for their clients what courts will do, and thus from their predictions, extrapolate advice for their clients. But history has recorded no memo before this one that has advised a president in writing that he is free to kill an American who is not engaging in violence. The logic of the memorandum states that Americans overseas who join organizations that promote acts of terror are the equivalent of enemy soldiers in uniform in wartime. It follows, the memo argues, that because Congress has authorized the president to kill foreign terrorists when they are in foreign lands, he can kill Americans there, as well.

Conveniently, the memorandum never mentions the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution, which famously commands that if the government wants the life, liberty or property of any person, it can only do so via due process. Due process requires a jury trial with its attendant constitutional protections. The only recognized exceptions to this requirement are the individual and collective right to immediate self-defense. Since natural rights trump all positive law, a cop can kill a bank robber who is shooting at him, and soldiers can kill enemy soldiers who are about to shoot at them. At the root of the recognized exceptions to the requirement of due process is the active violence of the perpetrator, such that due process is impossible and such that the threat to life is clear, present and immediate.

The persons killed pursuant to this secret memo were all Americans. One, Anwar al-Awlaki, the stated target of the memo, was not engaged in combat or armed or on a battlefield when he was killed; he did not wear the uniform of an enemy army, and he was not engaged in active violence at the time of his murder. He was in a car in the desert in Yemen driving to meet his 16-year-old American son. He had been under continuous surveillance by 12 American and four Yemeni intelligence agents for the 48 hours preceding his murder by a CIA drone. The drone that killed him was soon followed by drones that killed his son and two other Americans.

This week marks the anniversary of America's birth as a free nation, when we fought a war against a tyrant and seceded from his kingdom. We thought we had banished tyranny from our shores. We thought we had ratified a Constitution that would compel the government to respect our natural rights. We thought we had established a society based upon the rule of law.

We were wrong. We have gone from an inherited tyrant to an elected one. I have never heard President Obama say this, but it seems logical that if he thinks he can lawfully kill Americans abroad, he also thinks he can kill us here.

7-11-14
 
A Primer on Race

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | Back in the heyday of the British Empire, a man from one of the colonies addressed a London audience.

"Please do not do any more good in my country," he said. "We have suffered too much already from all the good that you have done."

That is essentially the message of an outstanding new book by Jason Riley about blacks in America. Its title is "Please Stop Helping Us."


The book's theme is that many policies designed to help blacks are in fact harmful, sometimes devastatingly so. These counterproductive policies range from minimum wage laws to "affirmative action" quotas.

This book untangles the controversies, the confusions, and the irresponsible rhetoric in which issues involving minimum wage laws are usually discussed. As someone who has followed minimum wage controversies for decades, I must say that I have never seen the subject explained more clearly or more convincingly.

Black teenage unemployment rates ranging from 20 to 50 percent have been so common over the past 60 years that many people are unaware that this was not true before there were minimum wage laws, or even during years when inflation rendered minimum wage laws ineffective, as in the late 1940s.

Pricing young people out of work deprives them not only of income but also of work experience, which can be even more valuable. Pricing young people out of legal work, when illegal work is always available, is just asking for trouble. So is having large numbers of idle young males hanging out together on the streets.

When it comes to affirmative action, Jason Riley asks the key question: "Do racial preferences work? What is the track record?" Like many other well-meaning and nice-sounding policies, affirmative action cannot survive factual scrutiny.

Some individuals may get jobs they would not get otherwise but many black students who are quite capable of getting a good college education are admitted, under racial quotas, to institutions whose pace alone is enough to make it unlikely that they will graduate.

Studies that show how many artificial failures are created by affirmative action admissions policies are summarized in "Please Stop Helping Us," in language much easier to understand than in the original studies.

There are many ponderous academic studies of blacks, if you have a few months in which to read them, but there is nothing to match Jason Riley's book as a primer that will quickly bring you up to speed on the complicated subject of race in a week, or perhaps over a weekend.

As an experienced journalist, rather than an academic, Riley knows how to use plain English to get to the point. He also has the integrity to give it to you straight, instead of in the jargon and euphemisms too often found in discussions of race. The result is a book that provides more knowledge and insight in a couple of hundred pages than are usually found in books twice that length.

Unlike academics who just tell facts, Riley knows which facts are telling.

For example, in response to claims that blacks don't do well academically because the schools use an approach geared to white students, he points out that blacks from foreign, non-English-speaking countries do better in American schools than black, English-speaking American students.

Asian students do better than whites in schools supposedly geared to whites. In New York City's three academically elite public high schools — Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech — there are more than twice as many Asian students as white students in all three institutions.

So much for the theory that non-whites can't do well in schools supposedly geared to whites.

On issue after issue, "Please Stop Helping Us" cites facts to destroy propaganda and puncture inflated rhetoric. It is impossible to do justice to the wide range of racial issues — from crime to family disintegration — explored in this book. Pick up a copy and open pages at random to see how the author annihilates nonsense.

His brief comments pack a lot of punch. For example, "having a black man in the Oval Office is less important than having one in the home."

7-10-14
 
Tea party: Learn from Al Gore

By Ann Coulter


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Chris McDaniel, candidate for the U.S. Senate from Mississippi, lost the Republican runoff to incumbent Sen. Thad Cochran last month, and now he is being led down a primrose path to political oblivion. McDaniel's passionate supporters think that a moment of crisis for the country is a good time to treat control of the Senate as if it's a prom queen election.

Hoping for yet a third primary vote, McDaniel's crew is going to prevent him from having any political career, ever again.

Observe that no one is asking Al Gore to run again, except maybe his cardiologist. Even in cases of actual vote fraud, history shows that the contesting politicians get branded as sore losers and destroy their political careers. Better to be magnanimous and live to fight another day.

Here are a few examples:

    Richard Nixon had the 1960 presidential election stolen from him, when Chicago Mayor Richard Daley produced enough votes in Cook County to give Kennedy an 8,858-vote margin out of 4.7 million votes cast statewide. Nixon was publicly gracious, and eight years later he was elected president.

    California Republican Bob Dornan had his 1996 congressional re-election stolen from him. The Los Angeles Times, the Fair Elections Group and the House of Representatives all found massive evidence of voter fraud involving illegal aliens and other ineligible voters. Dornan contested the election -- and it ended his career. In a matchup two years later against the vote fraud-beneficiary, Loretta Sanchez, Dornan lost.

    In 2002, Republican John Thune had a U.S. Senate election in South Dakota openly stolen from him in his race against the Democratic incumbent, Tim Johnson.

Thune was ahead in the polls throughout election night and well into the morning. But, strangely, one county's votes had still not been reported as of 6 a.m. the following morning: Shannon County -- Indian country.

When these votes came in, Johnson leapfrogged to victory, with a miraculous (almost suspicious!) 92 percent of the vote in this one county. Just four years earlier, the other Democratic senator from South Dakota, Tom Daschle, had won "only" 80 percent of the vote there. In 2002, voter turnout across the state was up by 27 percent. In Shannon County, it was up by 89 percent.

It was perfectly obvious that Shannon County's votes had been held until Democrats knew exactly how many votes they needed to manufacture. Shannon County vote-counter speak with forked tongue, Kemosabe.

Nonetheless, Thune graciously conceded. Two years later, he beat Daschle, in a historic takedown of a Senate minority leader. He remains a U.S. senator to this day.

McDaniel's Sore Loser Brigade doesn't have half as strong a case as these guys did. In Dornan's case, it was worth the fight, inasmuch as he was running against a communist lunatic. In Mississippi, they're attempting to destroy a good Republican.

Cochran won the runoff by 7,667 votes, according to the certified vote count announced this week. McDaniel's partisans don't just have to prove that more than seven-thousand ineligible voters went to the polls, but also that they all voted for Cochran, not McDaniel. Good luck with that.

There's no reason to think that a majority of Mississippi Republicans didn't want Cochran as their nominee. A lot of them might not have bothered to vote in the first primary, on the assumption that the long-serving, popular incumbent was not at risk.

Moreover, it may not be his fault, but a lot of McDaniel's supporters looked like clowns and nuts -- such as on the night of the first primary, when some of his staff got themselves locked in the courthouse, where they had gone, in a paranoid frenzy, to "check the ballots."

Most appallingly, a McDaniel supporter, with the help of three others, was caught sneaking into Cochran's wife's nursing home to take photographs of the poor Alzheimer's-ridden woman. The ringleader of this cruelty-to-dementia-patients campaign has now committed suicide.

McDaniel's team complains about what Cochran's supporters said about its guy? Nothing compares to that ugly nursing home stunt.

But some McDaniel supporters can't think about anything but winning this one primary. They don't care that they're gambling with a Republican majority in the Senate -- or destroying McDaniel's future prospects. (Which could come soon -- Cochran isn't getting any younger.) As the nation goes up in smoke, they act as if the future of the country is nothing compared to their color war at summer camp.

7-9-14
 
The Wisdom of Divided Government

By Ben S. Carson


JewishWorldReview.com | House Speaker John Boehner recently shocked many of us when he announced that he is planning a lawsuit against the president for abuse of power. Many Americans feel that a harmonious working relationship between the branches of government has been seriously compromised in recent years. But when Alexis de Tocqueville visited America in 1831 to perform an in-depth analysis of the American phenomenon, he was impressed with our well-structured divided government and its separation of powers.

The writings of the founders of this nation certainly referenced the Bible frequently, but they also paid homage to the writings of Charles de Secondat, Baron de Montesquieu, who wrote prolifically about political theories. One of his most well-known works is "The Spirit of the Laws." In this book, he eloquently argues for the concept of separation of powers.

That argument seems to emanate from the Bible's book of Isaiah, 33:22, which states, "The Lord is our judge (judicial branch), the Lord is our lawgiver (legislative branch), the Lord is our King (executive branch)." Certainly this system of government has worked well for us in the past, helping to establish the United States of America as the most powerful nation the world has ever known within a relatively short period of time.

In order for a divided government to work, each branch must respect the other two branches. There always have been and always will be squabbles between the branches, but the big problem now is that the executive branch has decided to ignore anyone with whom it disagrees, including Congress.

Nowhere was this blatant disregard of Congress more clearly manifested than in President Obama's inappropriate "recess" appointments of three people to the National Labor Relations Board. He redefined the word "recess" in order to appoint individuals who might have a difficult time obtaining congressional approval.

This administration seems to have a penchant for redefining words to make them conform to its ideology. Obviously, if an individual can redefine anything anytime he wants to, he can manipulate virtually any situation into a favorable position for himself. If he is clever and no one notices, he can fundamentally change the foundational fabric of a society.

Passing a law in the usual legitimate fashion and then unilaterally changing that law is another thing this administration seems to cherish. Obamacare is a prime example of this tactic. For example, it would be like a ruler and his council passing a law against the growing of Brussels sprouts, much to the pleasure of his constituents. He then discovers that his favorite brother, who lives in Province A, is the largest farmer of Brussels sprouts in the region and is also his biggest financial supporter. He then unilaterally amends the law to exclude Province A, much to the displeasure of the populace, about whom he cares nothing. The point is that it is inconsistent with fairness to establish rules and then change them in the middle of the game without the consent of the other participants.

This article and many others could be spent detailing all of the instances that support the argument for executive branch overreach, but the truly important thing is to begin asking ourselves how we can reestablish a truly cooperative and harmonious balance of power aimed not at the enhancement of one political party or the other, but rather at providing life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for the people. This is clearly what the people want, as indicated by their voting to put a liberal president in the White House and a conservative majority in the House of Representatives. The people of this country are not comfortable with runaway government in either direction.

Some will say that previous presidents issued even more executive orders than Obama. In some cases, this is true, but it is not the number of executive orders that is important. Rather, it is the effect of those orders, how they impact society and what precedents they set. When something is clearly wrong, citing a previous misdeed by someone else does not serve as adequate justification. This is like the kid who gets in trouble for hitting someone and says, "He hit me first." Because there is so much childish behavior in Washington, perhaps government officials need the same explanation as the children who fight: No one should be hitting anyone, and we should divert that energy to understanding the nature of the conflict and resolving it.

Civil conversations obviously would go a long way toward helping us as a nation to solve our problems. However, as Saul Alinsky said, "Never have a conversation with your adversary, because that humanizes him, and your job is to demonize him." This is why we see so much name-calling and finger-pointing these days, which is antithetical to our success as a nation.

When the pendulum swings once again to the right, it is vitally important that people with common sense govern according to the Constitution and in a way that respects the separation of powers. There can be no picking and choosing of laws to enforce, and no favoritism. The only special-interest group that should be considered is the American people.
 

7-8-14

Exclusive: Inside the VA's Spin-'N-Stonewall Machine

By Michelle Malkin


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Public and Intergovernmental Affairs Office of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is very concerned.

No, the communications specialists in the agency are not concerned with veterans in need. They're not concerned with citizens and public officials requesting public information. They're not concerned with journalists seeking the truth.

What these entrenched government employees care most about, above all else, is the business of spin and stonewalling.

The VA mouthpieces are preoccupied with covering their ample bureaucratic backsides, withholding data, monitoring critics, fending off watchdogs and running constant interference for their corrupt, negligent agency.

In a string of internal email documents I obtained from last fall, several VA press staffers spent seven months dragging their feet on a Freedom of Information Act request filed in March 2013 by disabled vet and attorney Benjamin Krause. He and other vets wanted to know how exactly the VA's communications budget was being spent on public relations campaigns, advertisements, online publications and contracts.

VA spokesman Mark Ballesteros warned his colleagues in an October 2013 email that he had read Krause's veterans advocacy website, DisabledVeterans.org. As I reported last week, Krause's investigative site exposed and explained the VA's red-flag system for dissatisfied veterans and also blew the whistle on Federal Protective Service officers harassing sick veterans protesting shoddy care in San Diego.

Ballesteros wrote that Krause's website "appears to have a distinct anti-VA tone." He advised the VA's taxpayer-funded public affairs specialists: "We should proceed cautiously with this one."

What exactly did that mean? Ultimately, the office supplied data in response to Krause's request — but not before Ballesteros imposed what appears to be a selective, pre-FOIA release policy based on viewpoint discrimination. "Let's ensure the material is socialized before we provide it to the organization," Ballesteros told his colleagues.

As Krause explained it to me, the VA "is using systems that allow it to track the influence of Congress and negative reporting" across traditional and social media. Color-coded weekly and monthly "media analysis briefs" cheer on the VA's spin-control penetration on Twitter and Facebook. Bar charts, maps and ratings track congressional critics and activists. Last fall, the office kept paranoid tallies of pro and con statements on the ever-growing backlog of VA cases. Last fall's media analysis reports obsessed over "mitigating" widespread criticism — from social media to "Fox and Friends" to "The Daily Show" — of VA bonuses and shoddy care.

It was in the course of probing those monitoring efforts that Krause discovered that "the VA Public Affairs thinks my website is 'anti-VA' instead of 'pro-Veteran' and is using viewpoint-centric censoring within its FOIA office," he told me.

It certainly may not be the first time.

House Committee on Veterans' Affairs Chairman Rep. Jeff Miller, whose statements are tracked by the VA propaganda machine, also has run into the stone wall. As of last week, the VA was sitting on nearly 100 separate requests for information from the House panel. Sixty-eight of those requests have been pending for more than 60 days. There are three outstanding requests from 2012.

When I called attention to the internal VA documents involving Krause's FOIA request, Miller told me in a statement:

"These emails are troubling, but they are not at all surprising. Stonewalling Congress, the press and the public has become a way of life at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where entrenched bureaucrats play semantic games in an attempt to mislead. Examples of this strategy are everywhere, whether it's VA's habit of pointing to non-disciplinary actions such as employee retirements and transfers, or bureaucratic slaps on the wrist such as temporary written warnings in a disingenuous attempt to create the illusion of accountability, or the department's repeated refusals to answer questions from Congress and the press, as documented on our committee's Trials in Transparency and VA Honesty Project web pages."

Miller added: "As VA's despicable delays in care crisis made painfully clear, the department's extreme secrecy has resulted in deadly consequences. And it's well past time for department leaders at all levels to understand that taxpayer-funded organizations such as VA have a responsibility to provide information to Congress and the public rather than stonewalling them."

Whether ordinary taxpayer or congressional investigator, truth-seekers are apparently treated the same by the VA spin patrol: as nuisances and threats to their power and comfort.

7-7-14
 
The Supreme Court reins in government bullies

By George Will

  
JewishWorldReview.com | Two 5 to 4 decisions this week, on the final decision day of the Supreme Court's term, dealt with issues that illustrate the legal consequences of political tactics by today's progressives. One case demonstrated how progressivism's achievement, the regulatory state, manufactures social strife and can do so in ways politically useful to progressives. The other case arose from government coercion used to conscript unwilling citizens into funding the progressives' party.

Under the 1993 Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), any government action that substantially burdens religious practices will be subject to strict judicial scrutiny to determine if it, rather than some less intrusive measure, is necessary to achieve a compelling government interest. The Affordable Care Act, as supplemented by regulations, requires for-profit employers to provide health-care coverage that includes all 20 Food and Drug Administration-approved birth control methods.

These include four that prevent a fertilized egg from being implanted in the uterus. Some persons consider this tantamount to abortion and oppose these abortifacients for religious reasons. Why did Congress, having enacted RFRA, write this clearly incompatible birth control mandate? Congress didn't.

In the ACA, Congress simply required health plans to provide "preventive care" for women. An executive branch agency decided this meant the full menu of 20 technologies. So, during oral argument in March, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy asked: "What kind of constitutional structure do we have if the Congress can give an agency the power to grant or not grant a religious exemption based on what the agency determined?"

The answer is: The constitutional structure we have is the kind progressives prefer, wherein more and more decisions are made by unelected and unaccountable executive-branch "experts" exercising vast discretion. In this instance, the experts were, to say no more, willing to provoke a predictable controversy that would be convenient for the Democratic Party's "war on women" trope. Today, this war consists of subsidizing only 16 of 20 birth control methods. The court has held that some "closely held" businesses — often family-owned and adhering to religious practices — have a right under RFRA to wage this war.

The court's other end-of-term case arose from overreaching by government employees unions and their Democratic allies. At issue were the First Amendment rights of people herded into unions after being made into government employees by government's semantic fiat.

In the 1950s, about 35 percent of the private-sector workforce was unionized; today just 6.7 percent is. The labor movement and the Democratic Party's funding depend on government employees, 35.3 percent of whom are unionized. So, in Illinois, two Democratic governors manufactured government employees out of home health-care workers, a growing cohort — and a tempting target for dues-hungry unions — in a nation with an aging population and many infirm elderly.

In 2003, an executive order from Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich, of fragrant memory, decreed that thousands of home health-care workers are government employees, which resulted in the Service Employees International Union being recognized as their representative. In 2009, an executive order from the current Democratic governor, Pat Quinn, designated even more home-care providers, who essentially are independent contractors, as government employees. The tenuous theory was that they are government workers because their pay comes indirectly from government — from the Medicaid funds received by the people who hire them.

Under a 1977 Supreme Court decision, which 26 states take advantage of, government employees can be forced to pay certain fees to unions even if the employees do not wish to be in the union and disagree with its positions. In last week's case, the court carved out an exemption for people such as the home-care providers who are not "full-fledged" government employees.

This certainly seems sensible as applied to the lead plaintiff, a woman caring for her severely disabled son. Because the court has now recognized her First Amendment freedom of association — which includes the freedom not to associate — and freedom from compelled speech, she no longer will be required to pay fees to a union she refuses to join. SEIU will have to look elsewhere for the approximately $10 million in fees it has siphoned annually from people like her. This is real campaign finance reform.

Today's court — nine fine minds producing written explanations of their reasoning about important principles — has its own discord. It is, nevertheless, a lagoon of logic in the forest primeval of today's overheated politics and overbearing government. Twice this week the court played its indispensable role as constable, policing portions of this forest where progressivism has produced government guilty of gratuitous bullying.
 

7-6-14
 
Economic Freedom

By Walter Williams


JewishWorldReview.com | A couple of years ago, President Barack Obama, speaking on the economy, told an audience in Osawatomie, Kansas: "'The market will take care of everything,' they tell us. ... But here's the problem: It doesn't work. It has never worked. ... I mean, understand, it's not as if we haven't tried this theory." To believe what the president and many others say about the market's not working requires that one be grossly uninformed or dishonest.

The key features of a free market system are private property rights and private ownership of the means of production. In addition, there's a large measure of peaceable voluntary exchange. By contrast, communist systems feature severely limited private property rights and government ownership or control of the means of production. There has never been a purely free market economic system, just as there has never been a purely communist system. However, we can rank economies and see whether ones that are closer to the free market end of the economic spectrum are better or worse than ones that are closer to the communist end. Let's try it.

First, list countries according to whether they are closer to the free market or the communist end of the economic spectrum. Then rank countries according to per capita gross domestic product. Finally, rank countries according to Freedom House's "Freedom in the World" report. People who live in countries closer to the free market end of the economic spectrum not only have far greater income than people who live in countries toward the communist end but also enjoy far greater human rights protections.

According to the 2012 "Economic Freedom of the World" report — by James Gwartney, Robert Lawson and Joshua Hall — nations ranking in the top quartile with regard to economic freedom had an average per capita GDP of $37,691 in 2010, compared with $5,188 for those in the bottom quartile. In the freest nations, the average income of the poorest 10 percent of their populations was $11,382. In the least free nations, it was $1,209. Remarkably, the average income of the poorest 10 percent in the economically freer nations is more than twice the average income of those in the least free nations.

Free market benefits aren't only measured in dollars and cents. Life expectancy is 79.5 years in the freest nations and 61.6 years in the least free. Political and civil liberties are considerably greater in the economically free nations than in un-free nations.

Leftists might argue that the free market doesn't help the poor. That argument can't even pass the smell test. Imagine that you are an unborn spirit and God condemned you to a life of poverty but gave you a choice of the country in which to be poor. Which country would you choose? To help with your choice, here are facts provided by Robert Rector and Rachel Sheffield in their report "Understanding Poverty in the United States: Surprising Facts About America's Poor" (9/13/2011, http://tinyurl.com/448flj8). Eighty percent of American poor households have air conditioning. Nearly three-fourths have a car or truck, and 31 percent have two or more. Almost two-thirds have cable or satellite TV. Half have one or more computers. Forty-two percent own their homes. The average poor American has more living space than the typical non-poor person in Sweden, France and the U.K. Ninety-six percent of poor parents stated that their children were never hungry because they could not afford food. The bottom line is that there is little or no material poverty in the U.S.

At the time of our nation's birth, we were poor, but we established an institutional structure of free markets and limited government and became rich. Those riches were achieved long before today's unwieldy government. Our having a free market and limited government more than anything else explains our wealth. Most of our major problems are a result of government. We Americans should recognize that unfettered government and crony capitalism, not unfettered markets, are the cause of our current economic problems and why the U.S. has sunk to the rank of 17th in the 2013 "Economic Freedom of the World" report.

7-5-14
 
As Obamacare Goes, So Goes Obama

By David Limbaugh


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's no accident that Obamacare has become emblematic of the Obama administration overall, because it exemplifies so thoroughly what Obama represents ideologically and functionally.

Obamacare symbolizes government largesse, incompetence, inefficiency, arrogance and heartlessness, a government that knows better than you what is good for you. It epitomizes staggering spending, waste and debt. It typifies a government that is too big for its britches, which is crushing your liberties while telling you that it has your best interests at heart and that you can't live without it. It stands for wholesale dishonesty — something that is entirely different from what it pretends to be and what we were told it would be.

President Obama has come to personify these very traits, so it is only fitting that Obamacare has fixed itself to him as he fixed himself to it. He personally represents government largesse, incompetence (except for his consummate skill at advancing statism), arrogance, someone who knows better than you do what is good for you, someone who recklessly spends the nation's resources with no apparent concern for citizens' will or their financial well-being, a man who is subordinating (and thus destroying) our freedoms to his ideology, and someone who is fundamentally dishonest with the American people. Through his arbitrary and capricious implementation of Obamacare, among other things, President Obama is also showing us his singular propensity for lawlessness.

As Obamacare goes, so goes Obama, and lately the verdicts on Obamacare have been horrendous. It's no accident that Obama's approval ratings are in the toilet right along with his "signature achievement."

Fifty-seven percent of Americans, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll, say Obamacare isn't working as planned. Americans are also finally waking up to the fact that Obama isn't working out as they planned, either, as his approval ratings are lower than ever and he is seen as the worst president since World War II, which is generous.

A new chapter in the Obamacare debacle could be written every week without any fear of redundancy. According to Breitbart, the Department of Health and Human Services is reporting that the Obama administration has yet to determine whether 1,295,571 of the 8 million Obamacare enrollees are lawfully in this country. Further, we are now learning that federal officials are unable to resolve 85 percent of the 2.9 million "inconsistencies" on the Obamacare applications despite nine months of trying. It's as if a demon has burrowed its way into every fiber of the law to undermine it; others might prefer to think of it as an angel of mercy coming to our rescue by showcasing just some of the insoluble issues associated with this nightmare legislation. Only 425,000 of the 2.9 million problematic applications have been resolved, according to reports from states and the federal exchange. In some 77 percent of the applications being examined, federal records differ from what applicants submitted on their qualifications.

These aren't just inconsequential glitches. This week, a Las Vegas cancer patient, Linda Rolain, an Obamacare enrollee, passed away at her home because of problems and delays with her application. As Steven Ertelt of LifeNews.com observed, "this is one of the forms rationing takes — when government bureaucracy fails to get it right and provide the lifesaving medical care and treatment patients need."

As we are now seeing with the Department of Veterans Affairs, this situation will only get worse as Obamacare gets in full operational swing and crowds out the private insurance market and the government assumes greater control.

We tried to tell you Obama was serious when he said that his ultimate aim was single-payer, socialized medicine and that the left would just have to be patient for it to arrive incrementally. Those of you who insist that Obama not be held accountable for his own words will eventually have to eat yours, as we are seeing more proof with each passing day that this is precisely the direction we are headed.

Ezekiel Emanuel, a key former adviser behind Obamacare, predicted that the traditional role of health insurers would be "dead" by 2025. This isn't just the grandiose prediction of a gloating Obama statist. An S&P Capital IQ report predicts that 90 percent of Americans who now have employer-sponsored coverage will lose it by 2020 and will have to turn to government exchanges for policies.

In the meantime, Obamacare is costing the government way more than projected, and insurers are continuing to raise their premiums. In New York's Obamacare exchange alone, insurers are seeking an average 12 percent rate hike for individual plans.

In addition, Obamacare is fueling the left's war on religious liberty, and the Supreme Court's narrowly tailored rejection of its mandate for employers to subsidize abortifacients in the Hobby Lobby case is now fueling the left's malicious and fraudulent claims that Republicans are conducting a war on women.

Nothing good is coming from this miserable law, except perhaps that it is accelerating people's learning curve about Obama's true intentions and his underlying character.

7-4-14
 
America's Birthday

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | Birthdays are supposed to be times for celebration and gift-giving. But America's upcoming birthday on the Fourth of July is a time when the gift most needed is an urgent warning about the dangers of losing the things that have made this country America — and have long made "America" a ringing word of freedom, not only in this country but to people around the world.

All is not lost. But all could be lost — especially if too many of us take freedom for granted and focus our attention on other things, like electronic gadgets and the antics of celebrities, while ignoring such dangers as nuclear weapons in the hands of suicidal fanatics, with a track record of savagery, whom we are too squeamish to call anything stronger than "militants."

Nor are all the dangers abroad. Within our own country there are all too many signs of people blithely ready to sacrifice the interests or freedom of Americans for the sake of symbolism or passing fashions.

When a former Speaker of the House of Representatives announces that she is going down to our border to greet and welcome masses of people crossing that border illegally, you know that something is fundamentally wrong.

No one knows, or apparently cares, what diseases these floods of illegals are bringing into the country, including diseases that have been largely stamped out in the United States, and which American doctors have seldom seen enough to know how to spot them or treat them.

No one knows, or apparently cares, how many of these "children" include teenage criminal gangs to whom murder is no big deal. Worst of all, no one knows, or apparently cares, that the elected representatives of the American people were cut out of the loop when it came to making these decisions.

All that matters to people like Nancy Pelosi is the symbolism of welcoming the oppressed, especially if they represent more votes for Democrats, who will shower the taxpayers' money on them.

As if to make clear the elite's contempt for ordinary Americans' intelligence, President Obama tells us that the people crossing the border "love" America. How could he possibly know that, any more than he could know how to "invest" the taxpayers' money in "the industries of the future," which have in fact gone bankrupt?

What is involved are not just bad policy choices. What is involved are policies imposed unilaterally by the president, in defiance of Congress' authority to legislate and in contempt of the Constitution's separation of powers — on which all our freedoms ultimately depend.

The people who wrote the Constitution of the United States understood what dangers there are to the freedom of the people — and that freedom can be quietly eroded by degrees, rather than taken all at once.

Too many people today seem oblivious to such dangers. So what if the government used the muscle of the Internal Revenue Service to keep groups opposed to the Obama administration tied up in red tape or litigation in an election year? Enough games like that can make our elections meaningless.

This arrogant abuse of power does not end with the federal government. In Massachusetts, teenager Justina Pelletier was taken from her parents' custody and held virtually incommunicado for over a year, because her parents preferred to continue to have her treated as the physicians at a medical facility associated with Tufts University had treated her, even though shrinks at Children's Hospital in Boston said her problems were in her head, and took her off some of her medications.

This difference of opinion as to the best medical treatment for Justina Pelletier was enough to get a judge to side with headstrong bureaucrats and override her parents' rights. So a girl who was ice skating before ended up in a wheelchair under the "care" of shrinks.

Fortunately, enough media attention, especially by former governor Mike Huckabee on Fox News Channel, finally got this child freed. Perhaps we can hope that all is not lost — yet. But if this case is a symbol of Americans fighting back, it is also a symbol of why it is desperately important to fight back.

That spirit is the best birthday present for America.

7-3-14
 
How Can Anyone Trust Obama?

By David Limbaugh

   
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Do you remember what President Obama initially said about the Internal Revenue Service scandal? Do you recall his professed outrage?

Obama wanted us to know how furious he was. He said, "The misconduct that (the inspector general's report) uncovered is inexcusable." "It's inexcusable," he repeated, "and Americans are right to be angry about it, and I am angry about it. I will not tolerate this kind of behavior in any agency — but especially in the IRS, given the power that it has and the reach that it has into all of our lives."

He declared that the "responsible parties" would be held "accountable." He reported that Treasury Secretary Jack Lew "took the first step by requesting — and accepting — the resignation of the acting commissioner of the IRS (Steven Miller) because given the controversy surrounding this audit, it's important to institute new leadership that can help restore confidence going forward." He said he had directed the agency to implement recommendations from the inspector general to ensure that this outrageous conduct would not be repeated.

Please don't snicker at this, but Obama also promised that his administration would work "hand in hand with Congress to get this thing fixed."

Be advised that he was reading from a prepared statement, which means he wasn't shooting from the hip and said precisely what he intended to say.

What has he done since? Let's just look at a few developments.

Former IRS official Lois Lerner has twice invoked her Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination to avoid answering congressional questions. Just recently, her lawyer said she did so to avoid congressional bullying. I guess I was not in class the day my law school professor informed us that "fear of congressional bullying" is a legitimate basis on which to assert the privilege.

In January, we learned that the Justice Department selected Barbara Kay Bosserman, a strong political supporter of Obama's and contributor to him, to lead the criminal probe into the scandal. House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa and Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs Chairman Jim Jordan sent a letter complaining, "The Department has created a startling conflict of interest."

In March, Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Obama had reneged on his promise to have his aides cooperate with the investigation, forcing the committee to conduct a dragnet for emails and documents needed to uncover the truth. He said federal agents conducting the investigation hadn't talked to a single target of the IRS at that point.

The IRS promised to turn over all its emails and then, more than a year after it discovered they were missing, said it had lost emails because of crashed hard drives. There was not just one crashed hard drive; there were six or seven. And the lost emails "coincidentally" covered the very period the targeting went on. During this same period, the IRS reconfigured its backup system and deleted its backups of the pertinent emails. Hardly anyone outside of Obama's and Harry Reid's families is buying this complex fable. Polls show that 76 percent of Americans believe that the emails were deliberately deleted.

All of this makes me wonder what could be so incriminating on these emails that Lerner and her cronies would prefer having three-fourths of the country believe they deliberately destroyed the evidence over disclosing what was on the emails.

Just as troubling are Obama's subsequent statements about the scandal. Far from still being "angry" (as if he ever was), he told Fox News' Bill O'Reilly that there was "not even a smidgen of corruption" in the IRS affair. He even denied that the IRS had targeted conservative groups for political purposes. "That's not what happened," he said. Instead, IRS officials were confused about how to implement the law governing tax-exempt groups. "There were some boneheaded decisions."

One of the most damning revelations surfaced just last week, and it's surprising more isn't being made of it. We discovered that Lerner had received an invitation addressed to Sen. Chuck Grassley and personally ordered an audit based on it. This is an abuse of power on a scale we've rarely seen.

There is much more, but this is enough to make what I'm going to tell you next an unmitigated outrage.

What's that? It's that Obama, just last week, pranced to the microphone to accuse Congress of making all this up for political reasons. He said these allegations involved only "Washington fights" and "fabricated issues. They're phony scandals that are generated. It's all geared towards the next election or ginning up a base; it's not on the level."

Opportunistically pivoting from "outrage" to "phony scandals" would have been bad enough if no additional incriminating facts had been uncovered between his polar-opposite statements, but almost everything we learned in the interim points to far worse corruption, not less.

How does anyone believe anything Obama says anymore, except when he boasts that he's going to advance his liberal agenda lawlessly, without Congress, which he did again last week?

Obama once quipped to French President Francois Hollande, "That's the good thing about being president; I can do whatever I want."

People thought he was joking.

7-2-14
 
Beware a Beneficent Government

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The president is an ardent progressive. This dastardly philosophy of government was brought into the American mainstream 100 years ago by a Republican, Theodore Roosevelt, and a Democrat, Woodrow Wilson. Its guiding principle is the belief that government — not individuals — is the chief engine of human progress. If that means government tearing down rich persons to help poor persons, if that means the massive redistribution of wealth, if it means federal regulation of every conceivable occupation or productive endeavor, if it means fighting an unjust war, progressives are for it.

Before the progressives, the dominant political thinkers in America were Madisonians. James Madison, who kept the notes at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787 — notes that eventually formed much of the language of the Constitution — made clear what the purposes of the Constitution were: to prescribe discrete areas of human endeavor in which the new federal government could legislate; to set forth open-ended areas of human behavior in which no government could legislate; and to leave the remaining areas of governmental endeavor in the hands of the states. The areas delegated to the federal government are only 17 in number and generally are referred to as federal powers. The areas in which no government may regulate are infinite and generally are referred to as natural rights.

The progressives have turned this philosophy on its head. TR and Wilson believed that the federal government could regulate any behavior, right any wrong, tax any event and curtail any freedom, subject only to the express prohibitions in the Constitution itself. This view of American government not only contradicts Madison, but it also contradicts the language of the Constitution itself, particularly the Ninth and Tenth Amendments, which state in writing what Madison said many times throughout his life.

President Obama, most congressional Democrats and many congressional Republicans are ardent progressives. They view Congress as a general legislature with no limits to its powers — and they mean no limits. For example, in an area clearly beyond congressional reach, such as in-state highway speed limits, the progressives found a way to extend their reach. They offered money to the states to repave their highways, with the condition that the states adhere to federally prescribed speed limits (only South Dakota declined). Once the courts gave their imprimatur to this assault on the Constitution, the feds realized that by spending taxpayer dollars — by bribing the states — they could extend their regulatory tentacles to any extra-constitutional area they chose.

Progressivism's adherents finance the government by borrowing or by heavily taxing only the rich, both of which are sold as being painless to most voters. Yet, the former merely delays the due date of bills until tomorrow for goodies consumed today; the latter takes cash out of the free market today, where it could contribute to growth and jobs tomorrow, and puts it into the hands of the mindset that runs the Post Office and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Progressives hate the states because they can be laboratories of less government. They love central government and all of its creations, such as the cash-printing Federal Reserve, the wealth-stealing progressive income tax, and the concept of a federal safety net for all persons. None of this, except the income tax (which Wilson promised would not exceed 3 percent of adjusted gross income), is authorized by the Constitution.

Yet today, we are witnessing a government that is beyond ideologically progressive. Does Obama understand that progressive ideas have consequences and that governmental behavior often has unintended consequences? It would appear not, as his long train of incompetence and indifference, grounded in progressive thought, keeps picking up speed. It is crushing human freedom, destroying human wealth and even taking human lives.

Under his presidency, the government saddled us all with a three-sizes-fits-all version of compulsory health care (which caused more than five million persons to lose their coverage and their doctors); it has been spying on all Americans all the time (and we sleepily permit it to do so); it allowed our ambassador in Libya to be murdered (after it destroyed the lawful government there); it told illegal aliens they need not worry about deportation (and thus encouraged the immigration of hundreds of thousands more — even unaccompanied children — to our shores); it neglected veterans to the point of death in government hospitals (demonstrating conclusively that the feds cannot deliver health care); it released assets material to terrorist organizations into the theater of war in the Middle East (ostensibly in a prisoner swap to save a weird military bird who once embraced his captors); it has claimed the power to kill Americans it views as a threat to others and yet too troublesome to arrest and bring to trial (all the while claiming it has a secret reading of the Constitution and American law that somehow justifies this); and it has added $6 trillion to government debt (with no plans to repay it).

What's going on? The modern presidency is blinded by a conceit that says it can do no wrong. This is partially the result of the passage of power from the states to the feds and from Congress to the president and partially the fault of a president who relishes telling us all how to live. In Obama's hands, all this power produces the vast unhappiness and government recklessness we now see every day.

The same Madison whom Obama rejects warned 200 years ago against the Obama mindset: "Experience should teach us to be most on our guard to protect liberty when the Government's purposes are beneficent. Men born to freedom are naturally alert to repel invasion of their liberty by evil-minded rulers. The greatest dangers to liberty lurk in insidious encroachment by men of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding."

7-1-14
 
Playing a Name Game with the Redskins

By Ben S. Carson


JewishWorldReview.com | The audacity of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in canceling the trademark of the Washington Redskins is frightening. When the government is in charge of deciding what is offensive and what is not, and has the power to punish the "offenders," we move further away from a free society and closer to a tyrannical nanny state.

We are not talking about a political issue that should have Democrats and Republicans coming down on different sides, but rather the fundamental freedom to express oneself, which is a part of the fabric of America. In the case of Dan Snyder, who owns the Redskins, he is being demonized for standing up for basic American principles. The team bore the same name when he purchased it in good faith. There was no indication at the time that subsequent demands for a name change would emerge, costing him millions of dollars in related expenses, not to mention lawsuits he might encounter by other businesses that could be injured by such a move.

There is no indication that many in the Native American community are upset after decades of the team's prominent and proud display of its mascot and name. This appears to be yet another case of purposefully induced hypersensitivity, providing yet another opportunity for unnecessary heavy-handed government tactics to infringe upon the peaceful existence of Americans.

I have had the pleasure of meeting Snyder, who is far from the demonic characterization seen in the gullible press, which allows itself to be manipulated by those wishing to bring about fundamental change in America. I do not doubt for one minute that the Redskins organization would change the name tomorrow if it thought it was truly offensive to most Native Americans.

Also, the majority of American citizens are still decent people who would not only demand a name change, but would vote with their feet and purses in a way that would send a loud and convincing message -- if they thought the name was offensive.

Carson's and many, many more. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.

It appears that many have forgotten the power of free-market economic forces and instead have placed their trust in flawed government forces. Historically, individual freedoms vanish as government interventions increase.

Traditionally, sports teams choose mascots and names that bring them pride, rather than shame. There are numerous sports teams throughout the nation with colorful names and symbols, and they are not out to offend anyone. In a large, diverse society, it is likely that almost anything is offensive to someone. I suspect there are those who are offended by the fact that the Duke University basketball team is called the Blue Devils. Some would ridiculously opine that this nomenclature pays homage to the forces of evil. Should we cater to such foolishness, or should we grow up and focus on real issues, such as unacceptable rates of unemployment, terrorism, energy development, education, poverty, a stagnant economy, massive corruption, illegal immigration, growing national debt and many other things of greater importance?

We, the American people, must cease being distracted by peripheral issues and demand that our government officials focus their attention on the myriad problems that threaten to destroy our way of life. Like the ancient Romans, we are in danger of being distracted by relatively unimportant issues while our society crumbles beneath us. I challenge those who say I am exaggerating to a debate on this issue.

Many people equate political correctness with kind and compassionate speech. The two things are vastly different with very different purposes. Political correctness is meant to control thought patterns and speech content, creating unanimity and societal conformity, while kind and compassionate speech is meant to take into consideration the feelings and circumstances of others without compromising the truth. It is a much better alternative.

We need to be wary of those who attempt to convince groups of people that they should be offended by a word, phrase or symbol instead of concentrating on the real message being conveyed. These people remind me of the troublemakers in grade school who enjoyed watching the fallout from their devious ploys.

In today's politically correct society, we are in danger of extinguishing interpersonal communications altogether for fear of offending someone. All of this would be comically absurd if it were not so tragic and such an immense departure from the vision of a free and prosperous society that was envisioned by our Founders.

Rather than concentrating on unanimity of thought and speech, we must concentrate on extracting the meaning of verbal communications. Examining every word or phrase for possible offense is beyond stupid. More importantly, it is divisive and destructive. We must outright reject those who try to manipulate emotions for their own political advantage. The Founders of our nation were concerned about what would happen if the populace became uninformed and refused to think for themselves. They feared the day when Americans could be easily led and manipulated, which would lead to a drastic alteration of our nation.

The power to stop the erosion of our values and to restore common sense and prosperity to our nation is in our own hands. We must shake off the passivity and vigilantly guard against manipulation.
 

6-30-14
 
Are you offended?

By George Will


JewishWorldReview.com | Amanda Blackhorse, a Navajo who successfully moved a federal agency to withdraw trademark protections from the Washington Redskins because it considers the team's name derogatory, lives on a reservation where Navajos root for the Red Mesa High School Redskins. She opposes this name; the Native Americans who picked and retain it evidently do not.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office acted on a 1946 law banning trademarks that "may disparage" persons. "May" gives the agency latitude to disregard evidence regarding how many people actually feel disparaged or feel that others should feel disparaged. Blackhorse speaks of "the majority of Native American people who have spoken out on this." This would seem implausible even if a 2004 poll had not found that 90 percent of Native Americans were not offended by the Redskins' name. A 2013 AP-GfK poll showed that 79 percent of Americans of all ethnicities opposed changing it, and just 18 percent of "nonwhite football fans" favored changing it.

The federal agency acted in the absence of general or Native American revulsion about "Redskins," and probably because of this absence. Are the Americans who are paying attention to this controversy comfortable with government saying, in effect, that if people are not offended, they should be, so government must decide what uses of language should be punished?

In today's regulatory state, agencies often do pretty much as they please, exercising discretion unconstrained by law.

Although the death penalty clearly was not considered a "cruel and unusual" punishment when the Eighth Amendment proscription of such punishments was adopted, perhaps society's "evolving standards of decency" have brought this punishment under the proscription. Standards of decency do evolve: No sports team launched today would select the name "Redskins." Although Thomas Sowell is correct that "some people are in the business of being offended, just as Campbell is in the business of making soup," the fact that some people are professionally indignant does not mean offense may be given promiscuously to others.

The name "Redskins" is more problematic than, say, that of the Chicago Blackhawks or Cleveland Indians presumably because "Redskins" refers to skin pigmentation. People offended by this might be similarly distressed if they knew that "Oklahoma" is a compound of two Choctaw words meaning "red" and "people." Blackhorse, however, has two larger objections.

She says "someone" once told her that teams' mascots "are meant to be ridiculed," "to be toyed with," "to be pushed around and disrespected" and "have stuff thrown at them." She should supplement the opinion of that someone with information from persons more knowledgeable. But she considers "any team name that references Native Americans" an injurious "appropriation of our culture." Has an "appropriation" been committed by the University of Utah and Florida State University even though they have the approval of the respective tribes for their teams' nicknames, the Utes and Seminoles?

William Voegeli, a senior editor of the Claremont Review of Books, writes that the kerfuffle over an NFL team's name involves serious matters. They include comity in a diverse nation, civil discourse, and "not only how we make decisions, but how we decide what needs to be decided, and who will do the deciding."

Time was, Voegeli writes, a tolerant society was one with "a mutual non-aggression pact": If your beliefs and practices offend but do not otherwise affect me, I will not interfere with them if you will reciprocate regarding my beliefs and practices. Now, however, tolerance supposedly requires compulsory acknowledgment that certain people's beliefs and practices deserve, Voegeli says, "to be honored, respected, affirmed and validated" lest they suffer irreparable injury to their sense of worth. And it requires compelling conformity for the good of the compelled.

When two Oregon bakers chose, for religious reasons, not to provide a cake for a same-sex wedding, an Oregon government official explained why tolerance meant coercing the bakers: "The goal is to rehabilitate." Tolerance required declaring the bakers' beliefs and practices intolerable. We are going to discover whether a society can be congenial while its government is being coercive regarding wedding cakes and team names.
 

6-29-14


 A Bitter After-taste

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | The news from Iraq that Islamic terrorists have now taken over cities that American troops liberated during the Iraq war must have left an especially bitter after-taste to Americans who lost a loved one who died taking one of those cities, or to a survivor who came back without an arm or leg, or with other traumas to body or mind.

Surely we need to learn something from a tragedy of this magnitude.

Some say that we should never have gone into Iraq in the first place. Others say we should never have pulled our troops out when we did, leaving behind a weak and irresponsible government in charge.

At a minimum, Iraq should put an end to the notion of "nation-building," especially nation-building on the cheap, and to the glib and heady talk of "national greatness" interventionists who were prepared to put other people's lives on the line from the safety of their editorial offices.

Those who are ready to blame President George W. Bush for everything bad that has happened since he left office should at least acknowledge that he was a patriotic American president who did what he did for the good of the country — an assumption that we can no longer safely make about the current occupant of the White House.

If President Bush's gamble that we could create a thriving democracy in the Middle East — one of the least likely places for a democracy to thrive — had paid off, it could have been the beginning of a world-changing benefit to this generation and to generations yet unborn.

A thriving free society in the Muslim world, and the values and example that such a society could represent, might undermine the whole hate-filled world terrorist movement that is seeking to turn back civilization to a darker world of centuries past.

But creating such a society, if it is possible at all, cannot be done on the cheap, with politicians constantly calling for us to announce to the world — including our enemies — when we are going to leave. The very idea is silly, but everything silly in not funny.

We haven't yet announced when we are going to pull our troops out of Germany or Japan, and World War II was over more than 60 years ago. Turning those militaristic countries around was one of the great achievements in human history. Their neighboring countries have been able to enjoy a peace and security that they had not known for generations.

Perhaps what was achieved in Germany and Japan made it seem that we might achieve something similar in Iraq. But "the greatest generation" that had fought and survived the horrors of war around the world was under no illusion that trying to turn our defeated enemies around would be easy, quick and cheap.

Creating democracy in Germany and Japan was a goal, but not a fetish. Creating a stable and viable government amid the ruins and rubble of war was the first priority and a major responsibility. You cannot create instant democracy like you are making instant coffee.

There are prerequisites for a free society, and the foundations of democracy cannot be built on chaotic conditions with widespread uncertainty and fear. To hold elections for the sake of holding elections is to abdicate responsibility for the sake of appearances.

The biggest danger is that you will create a government that will work at cross purposes to everything you are trying to achieve — a government you cannot rein in, much less repudiate, without destroying your own credibility as representatives of democracy. That has happened in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

By contrast, in both Germany and Japan power was turned over to elected officials at such times and in such degree as conditions seemed to indicate. Eventually, both countries resumed their roles as sovereign nations. But we didn't publish a timetable.

Today, with terrorists threatening to at least fragment Iraq, if not take it over, it is a sobering thought that Barack Obama and his key advisers have a track record of having been wrong about Iraq and other foreign policy issues for years, going back before they took office — and no track record of learning from their mistakes.



Embedded image permalink 6-28-14


 
Exposed: How the VA Red-Flags 'Disruptive' Vets

By Michelle Malkin


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Imagine how much better off America's veterans would be if the federal government spent more time delivering actual care and less time compiling tyrannical lists. The death-inducing secret waiting lists for patients are just the tip of the iceberg.

Did you know, for example, that the VA keeps a database on "disgruntled" and "disruptive" vets that results in arbitrarily restricted care?

Disabled Air Force veteran and veterans advocate/attorney Benjamin Krause has been raising questions about the system for months and warning his peers. Under the VA policy on "patient record flags" (PRFs), federal bureaucrats can classify vets as "threats" based on assessments of their "difficult," "annoying" and "non-compliant" behavior.

The VA manual says the flags "are used to alert Veterans Health Administration medical staff and employees of patients whose behavior and characteristics may pose a threat either to their safety, the safety of other patients, or compromise the delivery of quality health care."

That last phrase is priceless. Untold numbers of vets are dead, and legions more have languished because of the VA's failure to deliver "quality health care." The Office of Special Counsel just confirmed to President Obama this week that vets across the country were exposed to contaminated drinking water, dirty surgical tools, untrained doctors and neglectful nurses — and that whistleblowers were retaliated against or ignored.

Yet, the VA's soulless paper-pushers seem more preoccupied with flagging and punishing "disruptive" vets who have dared to complain about their disgraceful treatment and abuse.

Get this: Among examples of patients' behavior referred to the VA's "Disruptive Behavior Committees" (yes, that's what they're called): venting "frustration about VA services and/or wait times, threatening lawsuits or to have people fired, and frequent unwarranted visits to the emergency department or telephone calls to facility staff."

As Krause explains, the Disruptive Behavior Committees are secret panels "that decide whether or not to flag veterans without providing due process first. The veteran then has his or her right of access to care restricted without prior notice."

Veterans need look no further than the IRS witch hunts for reason to fear abuse of this monitoring system. The definition of "disruptive" is completely arbitrary. That's not just my opinion. The VA inspector general concluded last spring that the bureaucracy "does not have a comprehensive definition of what constitutes disruptive behavior."

Krause writes: "While I am sure some veterans need some form of a flag, I am also aware of numerous veterans who were unfairly targeted for a variety of unreasonable reasons." Krause told me this week that "the bean-counters" may have flagged at least one veteran for being "too expensive." And "trouble-makers" who are educated and know their rights are especially vulnerable. It's absolutely chilling.

"This discussion of patient record flags has me fired up," Krause explained, "because of the clear unconstitutional nature of the program. It reminds me of the old Communist techniques used to keep Soviet citizens in check, since I am aware of more than a few veterans who are flagged merely because of their threat to sue VA."

As one disabled veteran, Lawrence Kelley, told me after he learned of a flag on his record after he became vocal about his veterans rights advocacy: "Once you complain, you are on their hit list forever." VA officials refused to treat him and physically evicted him from a facility. He's now challenging the flag.

This is an "intimidation tactic," pure and simple, Krause warns. And Obama's Department of Homeland Security Federal Protective Service is now providing muscle to deter sick vets from protesting in front of VA hospitals.

More of your tax-subsidized thugocracy at work.

6-27-14
 
Government by fiat: Obama's aggressions must be challenged

By Charles Krauthammer


JewishWorldReview.com | The Supreme Court this week admonished the Environmental Protection Agency for overreaching in regulating greenhouse gases. The Clean Air Act covers polluters that emit 250 tons per year (or in some cases, 100?tons). This standard makes no sense if applied to greenhouse gases. Thousands of establishments from elementary schools to grocery stores would be, absurdly, covered. So the EPA arbitrarily chose 100,000 tons as the carbon dioxide threshold.

That's not "tailoring," ruled the Supreme Court. That's rewriting. Under our Constitution, "an agency has no power to 'tailor' legislation to bureaucratic policy goals by rewriting unambiguous statutory terms."

It was a welcome constitutional lesson in restraint, noted the Wall Street Journal. One would think — hope — that an administration so chastened might reconsider its determination to shift regulation of the nation's power generation to Washington through new carbon dioxide rules under the Clean Air Act.

Fat chance.

This administration does not learn constitutional lessons. It continues marching until it meets resistance. And it hasn't met nearly enough.

The root problem is that the Clean Air Act, passed in 1970, was never intended for greenhouse gases. You can see it in its regulatory thresholds which, if applied to carbon dioxide, are ridiculously low. Moreover, when the law was written, we hadn't yet even had the global cooling agitation of the 1970s, let alone the global warming panic of today.

But with only two of nine justices prepared to overturn the court's 2007 ruling that shoehorns greenhouse gases into the Clean Air Act, the remedy falls to Congress. It could easily put an end to all this judicial parsing and bureaucratic mischief with a one-line statute saying that the Clean Air Act does not apply to carbon dioxide emissions.

Congress can then set about regulating greenhouse gases as it wishes, rather than leaving it to the tender arbitrary mercies of judges and bureaucrats. Otherwise, we will soon have the EPA unilaterally creating a cap-and-trade regime that will make its administrator czar of all power regulation in every state.

Of course, a similar scheme failed to pass a Democratic Congress in 2010. Our president doesn't let such niceties stand in his way, however. He has an agenda to enact, boldly enunciated in his Feb. 24, 2009, address to Congress promising to transform America in three areas: health care, education and energy. Education lags, but he's now on the verge of centralizing energy regulation in Washington through naked executive action, having already succeeded in centralizing health care in Washington through the Affordable Care Act.

With energy, he'll do it by executive order after failing to pass the desired legislation. With health care, he does it with a law that he then amends so wantonly after it passed that the ACA itself becomes a blank slate on which the administration unilaterally remakes American medicine.

Employer mandate? The ACA says it was to go into effect Jan. 1, 2014. It didn't. The administration decreed that there should be several classes of employers, each with different starting dates, contradicting its own law.

Private insurance? The law says that plans not conforming to ACA coverage mandates must be canceled. Responding to the outcry that ensued, Obama urged the states and insurers to reinstate the plans — which would violate the explicit mandate of his own law.

One bit of ACA lawlessness, however, may prove a bridge too far. The administration has been giving subsidies to those who sign up through the federal exchange. The ACA limits subsidies to plans on the state exchanges.

This case will reach the Supreme Court. It is hard to see how the court could do anything other than overturn the federal-exchange subsidies. The court might even have a word to say about the administration's 22 (or is it 37?) other acts of post-facto rewriting of the ACA.

Perhaps. But until then, the imperial president rules.

Having been supine for years in the face of these encroachments, Congress is stirring. The Republican House is preparing a novel approach to acquiring legal standing before the courts to challenge these gross executive usurpations. Nancy Pelosi, reflecting the narrowness of both her partisanship and her vision, dismisses this as a "subterfuge."

She won't be saying that on the day Democrats lose the White House. Then, cheered on by a suddenly inflamed media, the Democrats will no doubt express horror at such constitutional overreach.

At which point, the temptation to stick it to the Democrats will be overwhelming.

At which point, Lord give us strength.

6-26-14
 
The Education Establishment's Success

By Walter Williams

   
JewishWorldReview.com | Many view America's education as a failure, but in at least one important way, it's been a success — a success in dumbing down the nation so that we fall easy prey to charlatans, hustlers and quacks. You say, "Williams, that's insulting! Explain yourself." OK, let's start with a question or two.

Are you for or against global warming, later renamed climate change and more recently renamed climate disruption? Environmentalists have renamed it because they don't want to look silly in the face of cooling temperatures. About 650 million years ago, the Earth was frozen from pole to pole, a period scientists call Snowball Earth. The Earth is no longer frozen from pole to pole. There must have been global warming, and it cannot be blamed on humans. Throughout the Earth's history, we've had both ice ages and higher temperatures when CO2 emissions were 10 times higher than they are today. There's one immutable fact about climate. It changes, and mankind can't do anything about it. Only idiocy would conclude that mankind's capacity to change the climate is more powerful than the forces of nature.

During Barack Obama's 2008 presidential campaign, his slogans were about hope and change. At the time, I asked people whether they were for or against change. Most often, I received a blank stare, whereupon I reminded them that change is a fact of life. Nonetheless, when candidate Obama uttered "hope and change," it was received with thunderous applause. There was also thunderous applause when Obama promised, "This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal." Only a deranged environmental wacko and duped people could believe that a non-god can change ocean depths.

Americans fall easy prey to charlatans of all stripes because of the education establishment's success in dumbing down the nation. Nowhere has this dumbing down been more successful than it has in creating a historical amnesia. Historian Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. wrote in "The Disuniting of America": "History is to the nation ... as memory is to the individual. As an individual deprived of memory becomes disoriented and lost, not knowing where he has been or where he is going, so a nation denied a conception of its past will be disabled in dealing with its present and its future."

The National Assessment of Educational Progress tests students in grades four, eight and 12 on several broad subject areas every few years. Just 20 percent of fourth-graders, 17 percent of eighth-graders and 12 percent of 12th-graders were at grade-level proficiency in American history in the 2010 exams. Because students don't learn American history, they learn little about our founding principles and they fail to learn why America is an exceptional nation. But that's a part of the progressive/liberal agenda. If Americans knew and understood our founding principles and values, special interest groups and politicians couldn't run roughshod over our liberties.

But it's not just K-12 students who are ignorant of our history. In a 1990 survey — and there's been no improvement since — almost half of college seniors couldn't locate the Civil War within the correct half-century. More recently, 60 percent of American adults couldn't name the president who ordered the dropping of the first atomic bomb, and over 20 percent didn't know where — or even whether — the atomic bomb had been used. The same people didn't know who America's enemies were during World War II (Germany, Japan and Italy). In a civics survey, more American teenagers were able to name The Three Stooges (Larry, Moe and Curly) than the three branches of the federal government (executive, legislative and judicial). A third of the people who were asked the origin of the statement "From each according to his ability, to each according to his need" responded by saying it's from our Bill of Rights, when it's actually from "The Communist Manifesto."

I'd say that the education establishment has been successful beyond its wildest dreams in reducing Americans' ability to think and therefore causing them to have little knowledge of or love for our founding principles.

6-25-14
 
A Lame Duck Country?

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | Pundits are pointing to President Barack Obama's recent decline in public opinion polls, and saying that he may now become another "lame duck" president, unable to accomplish much during his final term in office.

That has happened to other presidents. But it is extremely unlikely to happen to this president. There are reasons why other presidents have become impotent during their last years in office. But those reasons do not apply to Barack Obama.

The Constitution of the United States does not give presidents the power to carry out major policy changes without the cooperation of other branches of government. Once the country becomes disenchanted with a president during his second term, Congress has little incentive to cooperate with him — and, once Congress becomes uncooperative, there is little that a president can do on his own.

That is, if he respects the Constitution.

President Obama has demonstrated, time and again, that he has no respect for the Constitution's limitations on his power. Despite his oath of office, to see that the laws are faithfully executed, Barack Obama has unilaterally changed welfare reform laws, by eliminating the work requirement passed by Congress during the Clinton administration.

He has repeatedly and unilaterally changed or waived provisions of the ObamaCare law passed by Congress during his own administration.

President Obama has ordered Border Patrol agents not to carry out provisions of the immigration laws that he does not like. We see the results today in the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants entering the country unimpeded.

President Obama's oath of office obviously means no more to him than his oft-repeated promise that "you can keep your own doctor" under ObamaCare.

Why do we have a Constitution of the United States if a president can ignore it without any consequences?

The Constitution cannot protect our rights if we do not protect the Constitution. Freedom is not free, and the Constitution is just some words on paper if we do not do anything to those who violate it.

What can ordinary citizens do?

Everything! Theirs is the ultimate power of the ballot that can bring down even the most powerful elected official.

The most important thing the voters can do is vote against anyone who violates the Constitution. When someone who has violated the Constitution repeatedly gets re-elected, then the voters are accomplices in the erosion of protection for their own freedom.

Laws without penalties are just suggestions — and suggestions are a pitiful defense against power.

After voters have failed to protect the Constitution, the last-ditch remedy is impeachment. But Barack Obama knows that he is not going to be impeached.

Who wants to provoke a Constitutional crisis and riots in the streets? And, worst of all, end up with Joe Biden as President of the United States? Some cynics long ago referred to Barack Obama's choice of mental lightweight Biden to be his vice president as "impeachment insurance."

With neither the Constitution, nor the voters, nor the threat of impeachment to stop him, Barack Obama has clear sailing to use his powers however he chooses.

Far from seeing his power diminish in his last years, President Obama can extend his power even beyond the end of his administration by appointing federal judges who share his disregard of the Constitution and can enact his far-left agenda into law from the bench, when it cannot be enacted into law by the Congress.

Federal judges with lifetime tenure can make irreversible decisions binding future presidents and future Congresses. If Republicans do not win control of the Senate in this fall's elections, a Senate controlled by Majority Leader Harry Reid can confirm judges who will have the power to extend Barack Obama's agenda and complete the dismantling of Constitutional government.

Barack Obama can, as he said before taking office, fundamentally "change the United States of America." Far from being a lame duck president, Obama can make this a lame duck democracy.

6-24-14
 
As Long as U.S. Leaders Game the System, So Will Illegals

By Ben S. Carson

JewishWorldReview.com | In 2012, the current administration made it clear that certain unaccompanied illegal minors would not be deported if caught. This helped create an atmosphere of tolerance that would be conducive to the current rash of illegal dumping of thousands of children from south of the border into the United States. Now we have a humanitarian crisis that appears to have been manufactured for political reasons.

One would not have to be incredibly bright to predict that families in South and Central America, as well as in Mexico, would recognize a veiled invitation to get their children into the United States with little chance of deportation. Of course, the media are asking opponents of the administration for solutions to this crisis. Almost anything these opponents suggest will be either harsh, making them appear cruel and callous, or weak, making them appear to be amnesty supporters. Either way, they will take a political hit.

Meanwhile, the administration can stay above the fray and receive the political benefit of gratitude from many legal and illegal immigrants. It's a clever and effective ploy with the added benefit of redistributing even more American wealth. It remains to be seen how many people will be hoodwinked.

We all have heard it said many times that America is a land of immigrants, some voluntary and some involuntary. We have plenty of space in our country, but insufficient jobs and insufficient resources to support everyone who wants to come here. When we see innocent children used as political pawns, it still tugs at our heartstrings, which is the intent. The real question is: What are we going to do about it?

The combination of immigration reform being a tough issue and a political football has led to governmental stalemates and no useful solutions for decades. To begin to solve this problem, we must have some understanding of why it exists.

Despite all of its problems, America is still the place of dreams. As such, it is small wonder that so many from other nations would like to live here. The benefits of an American domicile are so great that they currently outweigh issues of legality.

Immigrating is relatively easy for those in proximity to the United States -- we have porous borders, and it is easy for illegals to hide and obtain fraudulent identification after they have penetrated the border. Although there is some fear of deportation, unenthusiastic and inconsistent enforcement of immigration laws is the expectation. Further incentives for illegal immigration are easy enrollment in public schools, easy employment for those willing to take jobs others don't want, easy access to health care and easy acquisition of public support through welfare programs. These and other inducements produce an osmotic effect that attracts ever more people to our land.

Any discussion of immigration reform should include bipartisan solutions to these inducements. If these issues are not addressed, solutions will fall short. On the other hand, if all of these issues are addressed firmly and consistently, the osmotic effect will be reversed. Just as people found a way to get here, they would find a way to leave on their own, and others would be less tempted to attempt illegal entry.

Detractors will say that if it were that simple, it already would have been done and we wouldn't be having this discussion. What they fail to account for is the fact that the issues have not been addressed.

A national guest-worker program makes sense and seems to work well in Canada. Noncitizens would have to apply for a guest-worker permit and have a guaranteed job awaiting them. Taxes would be paid at a rate commensurate with other U.S. workers, and special visas would allow for easy entry and egress across borders. Guest-worker status would be granted to individuals and not to groups.

People already here illegally could apply for guest-worker status from outside of the country, meaning they would have to leave first. They should in no way be rewarded for having broken our laws, but if they are wise, they would arrange with their employer before they leave to immediately offer them a legal job as soon as their application is received. When they return, they still would not be U.S. citizens, but they would be legal, and they would be paying taxes. Only jobs that are vacant as a result of a lack of interest by American citizens should be eligible for the guest-worker program.

It is essential that employers bear some responsibility for making sure that no illegal immigrants are hired. Employers who break the rules should receive swift, severe and consistent punishment that constitutes a real deterrent and not a mere inconvenience. A second infraction should be a criminal offense and treated as such.

All of this is irrelevant unless we have secure borders. There is much that can be learned from security personnel in prisons and other secured facilities, and there is a great deal of smart technology that could be employed to achieve secure borders. It is a matter of will rather than ability.

As long as we reward people who break laws, they will continue to break laws. We do need a continual flow of immigrants, but choosers need not be beggars. We make decisions based on our needs. People who refuse to comply with the rules must forfeit chances of legalization in the future. Anyone caught involved in voter fraud should be immediately deported and have his citizenship revoked.

The point is this: We must create a system that disincentivizes illegal immigration and upholds the rule of law while providing us with a steady stream of immigrants from other nations who will strengthen our society. Let's solve the problem and stop playing political football.
 

6-23-14
 
Obama Ramps Up America's Destruction

By David Limbaugh


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | If people aren't extremely concerned about what's going on in this country now, you might want to check them for a pulse. Frankly, I am having a hard time getting my mind around the rapidity of the nation's decline.

I have written two books chronicling President Obama's nightmarish path of destruction, but since the second one was published, events have been happening at an even more explosive pace. Who would have ever imagined that Ronald Reagan's famous statement that "freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction" would turn out to be a gross understatement?

In the past several weeks alone, alarming events have transpired that are enormously disturbing by themselves. Taken together, they are borderline horrifying, yet Obama proceeds, undeterred.

Remember in the seemingly distant past when the Veterans Affairs scandal occupied the front pages of our newspapers and Web reports? You may faintly recall that an interim independent report by the VA's inspector general found that officials had falsified records at a Phoenix medical center to conceal the amount of time veterans had to wait for appointments. Some 1,700 veterans were allegedly kept on these waiting lists, and they waited an average of 115 days for an initial primary care appointment. An audit by the Department of Veteran Affairs revealed that VA medical centers nationwide have misrepresented or sidetracked patient scheduling for more than 57,000 former military personnel, and some 64,000 were not even on the electronic waiting list.

Many suspect that the administration deliberately covered up this disaster because President Obama had conspicuously promised to clean up the VA in 2008. More importantly, he realizes the VA could be seen as a microcosm of Obamacare and expose the horrors of government-controlled health care. Though few seem to be noticing because of everything else going on, the FBI office in Phoenix has opened a criminal investigation into the VA scandal.

Just as that scandal was blossoming into a toxic flower, Obama unconscionably released five top Taliban leaders from Gitmo, allegedly in exchange for a U.S. soldier who, the administration said, served with "honor and distinction." I say "allegedly" in exchange because I'm not convinced that Bowe Bergdahl had anything to do with it, other than serving as Obama's cover to release five of the worst conceivable U.S.-hating terrorists as part of his sinister ploy to close the detention facility and further appease Muslims worldwide. I qualified the "served with 'honor and distinction'" description because the only people making that claim are administration officials and Democratic shills. Those closest to Bergdahl, the soldiers with whom he served, say he virtually deserted.

In my view, too many people are focusing on the wrong things concerning this scandal. This is not primarily about Bergdahl, and it is not primarily about Obama's not informing Congress, as troubling as both of these aspects are. Instead of obsessing over Bergdahl, we need to be looking instead at the abject dangerousness of these terrorists, the harm they can inflict on our soldiers and the incentive this negotiated release gives all terrorists to capture American soldiers and civilians in the future.

Instead of mainly fretting over Obama's serial lawlessness, which always demands our scrutiny, we need to emphasize the substance of this "deal." It will not do for Republican congressmen to lightly dismiss this as merely an affront to their own authority to preapprove this action. This is not about them. It's ultimately about the safety of Americans and American allies. You just don't release these dangerous people when everyone knows they are still a threat to our people. For Hillary Clinton, John Kerry and others to suggest they don't represent a danger to Americans is offensively ludicrous. Osama bin Laden was not present in the United States when he planned 9/11 or when it was implemented, as far as we know.

Also, Obama's Environmental Protection Agency recently imposed, unilaterally, oppressive new emission standards for coal plants that will be an enormous burden on the industry, harm energy consumers and make America less energy-independent.

And just this week, we saw the stunning invasion of our borders by Central American immigrants, including innocent children, who have been shipped to the United States because Obama lawlessly granted amnesty to children and because he refuses to enforce the border. It's as if he's inviting illegals in.

Then there's Iraq, where an al-Qaida-connected group has captured major cities and seized banks and American arms and equipment in its mission to retake the country and establish an Islamic caliphate from which to coordinate its global jihad. This, too, was predictable and predicted and is a result of Obama's deliberately reckless withdrawal from Iraq, for whose freedom thousands of American service members sacrificed. We've also learned that the administration is refusing the Iraqi government's urgent request for air support against these insurgents.

We can only imagine what will be in tomorrow's papers.

6-22-14
 
Slavery Reparations

By Walter Williams

JewishWorldReview.com | Calls for slavery reparations have returned with the publication of Ta-Nehisi Coates' "The Case for Reparations" in The Atlantic magazine (May 21, 2014). In making his argument, Coates goes through the horrors of slavery, Reconstruction, Jim Crow and gross racial discrimination.

First off, let me say that I agree with reparations advocates that slavery was a horrible, despicable violation of basic human rights. The gross discrimination that followed emancipation made a mockery of the guarantees of the U.S. Constitution. I also agree that slave owners and slave traders should make reparations to those whom they enslaved. The problem, of course, is that slaves, slave owners and slave traders are all dead. Thus, punishing perpetrators and compensating victims is out of the hands of the living.

Punishing perpetrators and compensating victims is not what reparations advocates want. They want government to compensate today's blacks for the bondage suffered by our ancestors. But there's a problem. Government has no resources of its very own. The only way for government to give one American a dollar is to first — through intimidation, threats and coercion — confiscate that dollar from some other American. Therefore, if anybody cares, a moral question arises. What moral principle justifies punishing a white of today to compensate a black of today for what a white of yesterday did to a black of yesterday?

There's another moral or fairness issue. A large percentage, if not most, of today's Americans — be they of European, Asian, African or Latin ancestry — don't even go back three or four generations as American citizens. Their ancestors arrived on our shores long after slavery. What standard of justice justifies their being taxed to compensate blacks for slavery? For example, in 1956, thousands of Hungarians fled the brutality of the USSR to settle in the U.S. What do Hungarians owe blacks for slavery?

There's another thorny issue. During slavery, some free blacks purchased other blacks as a means to free family members. But other blacks owned slaves for the same reason whites owned slaves — to work farms or plantations. Are descendants of these slaveholding blacks eligible for and deserving of reparations?

When African slavery began, there was no way Europeans could have enslaved millions of Africans. They had no immunity from diseases that flourished in tropical Africa. Capturing Africans to sell into slavery was done by Arabs and black Africans. Would reparations advocates demand that citizens of Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria, Kenya and several Muslim states tax themselves to make reparation payments to progeny of people whom their ancestors helped to enslave?

Reparations advocates make the foolish unchallenged argument that the United States became rich on the backs of free black labor. That's nonsense that cannot be supported by fact. Slavery doesn't have a very good record of producing wealth. Slavery was all over the South, and it was outlawed in most of the North. Buying into the reparations argument about the riches of slavery, one would conclude that the antebellum South was rich and the slave-starved North was poor. The truth of the matter is just the opposite. In fact, the poorest states and regions of our nation were places where slavery flourished — Mississippi, Alabama and Georgia — while the richest states and regions were those where slavery was absent: Pennsylvania, New York and Massachusetts.

One of the most ignored facts about slavery's tragic history — and it's virtually a secret today — is that slavery was a worldwide institution for thousands of years. It did not become a moral issue until the 18th century. Plus, the moral crusade against slavery started in the West, most notably England.

I think the call for slavery reparations is simply another hustle. Advocates are not demanding that government send checks to individual black people. They want taxpayer money to be put into some kind of reparations fund from which black leaders decide who receives how much and for what purpose.

6-21-14
 
NY-22: Laughable Lies of Liberal Republicans

By Michelle Malkin


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | How do you spell "sidesplitting chutzpah"? In New York's 22nd congressional district, it's spelled: R-I-C-H-A-R-D H-A-N-N-A. He's the liberal GOP incumbent trying to cling to public office by smearing the Marine mom, small-business owner, lawyer and conservative state assemblywoman poised to take his seat next week.

Claudia Tenney is as rock-solid of a Republican as they come: pro-life, pro-limited government, pro-Second Amendment, pro-entrepreneur, pro-American worker. As one of New York's top conservative legislators, Tenney has been unafraid to challenge the powers that be in both political parties. As an attorney, she has fought valiantly against cronyism and corruption. She has opposed the New York Democratic machine on everything from in-state tuition discounts for illegal aliens to taxpayer slush funds to dirty casino-government deals.

Tenney is the insurgent challenger in the June 24 primary to unseat Hanna, who is the third most liberal GOP member of the House. Hanna is also a member of the left-wing "Republican Main Street Partnership" — the pro-bailout, pro-debt, pro-amnesty, anti-drilling group infested with lobbyists and fronted by Beltway barnacle turned Tea Party-bashing lobbyist Steve LaTourette.

Because no Democrat is running for the seat, the NY-22 primary is effectively a general race. It's a ripe electoral opportunity for the right. Tenney has grassroots support from New York tea party activists, the New York State Conservative Party, the New York State Right-to-Life Committee, former GOP Lt. Gov. Betsy McCaughey, as well as the New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms PAC and the conservative women's political action committee ShePAC.

Hanna, by contrast, has the backing of deep-pocketed D.C. special interests that have thrown nearly $1.5 million into the race. The "American Unity" super PAC, funded by billionaire gay marriage supporter Paul Singer, has kicked in more than a half-million dollars on gay marriage crusader Hanna's behalf. The group also has shoveled $125,000 to Karl Rove's American Crossroads, whose operatives are waging war against conservative tea party primary challengers across the country. The "American Unity" super PAC's ads absurdly slam Tenney as "not a conservative" and fudge the facts to falsely accuse her of supporting tax hikes.

Another blatant lie: tying Tenney to Democratic corruptocrat Sheldon Silver, whom Tenney was the first state legislator to call on to resign after his tax-subsidized payoffs to cover up sexual harassment claims were exposed.

A similar attack campaign by something called the "Patriot Prosperity PAC" parroted the patently false claims that Tenney supports tax hikes and called her "out of touch."

But it's liberal incumbent Hanna and his D.C. backers who are the elitists out of touch not only with GOP voters, but also with mainstream Americans. Hanna is a soft-on-borders, U.S. Chamber of Commerce-supported pol pushing amnesty and massive increases in foreign tech visas.

Tenney, by contrast, opposes amnesty, expansions of illegal alien benefits, and the cheap-labor tech visa racket. "Millions of Americans are out of work, and politicians in Washington, like my opponent, want to bring in millions more to take high-paying, high-tech jobs we desperately need here and for our American citizens," Tenney says. "We can and will reform our system without rewarding law-breaking, encouraging more illegal immigration, or displacing hardworking Americans from jobs."

Tenney has a proven record of defying special interests on both sides of the aisle. Among her most bitter opponents: gaming operative Ray Halbritter, most notorious nationally for his political grandstanding against the Washington Redskins over their name.

Tenney has called out Halbritter's dubious claims of being an Oneida Indian and repeatedly blasted his sweetheart casino deal with the Cuomo dynasty. The deal is a federally approved land-trust swap that leaves local and state taxpayers out of $800 million in back taxes owed by the Oneida Indian Nation. Tenney has provided pro bono representation to an Oneida Indian challenging the land grab. The tribal leadership (read: Halbritter) endorsed Hanna and has pitched in $100,000 to fund the "Patriot Prosperity" PAC attack ads against Tenney. Fun fact: Halbritter's former chief of staff and top lobbyist crony Niels Holch was also Mitch McConnell's former chief of staff.

"I've taken risks, and I'm taking the hits," she told me in a phone interview on Thursday. "The dirty money is everywhere." Steel-spined and strong-willed, Claudia Tenney sticks to her guns and her principles. She doesn't back away from a fight. She's exactly what Washington needs more of — and why Washington's Big Money bosses are so desperate to stop her.

6-20-14
 
Abdication has a price

By Charles Krauthammer

JewishWorldReview.com | Yes, it is true that there was no al-Qaeda in Iraq when George W. Bush took office. But it is equally true that there was essentially no al-Qaeda in Iraq remaining when Barack Obama took office.

Which makes Bush responsible for the terrible costs incurred to defeat the 2003-09 jihadist war engendered by his invasion. We can debate forever whether those costs were worth it, but what is not debatable is Obama's responsibility for the return of the Islamist insurgency that had been routed by the time he became president.

By 2009, al-Qaeda in Iraq had not just been decimated but humiliated by the U.S. surge and the Anbar Awakening. Here were aggrieved Sunnis, having ferociously fought the Americans who had overthrown 80?years of Sunni hegemony, now reversing allegiance and joining the infidel invader in crushing, indeed extirpating from Iraq, their fellow Sunnis of al-Qaeda.

At the same time, Shiite Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki turned the Iraqi army against radical Shiite militias from Basra all the way north to Baghdad.

The result? "A sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq." That's not Bush congratulating himself. That's Obama in December 2011 describing the Iraq we were leaving behind. He called it "an extraordinary achievement."

Which Obama proceeded to throw away. David Petraeus had won the war. Obama's one task was to conclude a status-of-forces agreement (SOFA) to solidify the gains. By Obama's own admission - in the case he's now making for a status-of-forces agreement with Afghanistan - such agreements are necessary "because after all the sacrifices we've made, we want to preserve the gains" achieved by war.

Which is what made his failure to do so in Iraq so disastrous. His excuse was his inability to get immunity for U.S. soldiers. Nonsense. Bush had worked out a compromise in his 2008 SOFA, as we have done with allies everywhere. The real problem was Obama's determination to "end the war." He had three years to negotiate a deal and didn't even begin talks until a few months before the deadline period.

He offered to leave about 3,000 to 5,000 troops, a ridiculous number. U.S. commanders said they needed nearly 20,000. (We have 28,500 in South Korea and 38,000 in Japan to this day.) Such a minuscule contingent would spend all its time just protecting itself. Iraqis know a nonserious offer when they see one. Why bear the domestic political liability of a continued U.S. presence for a mere token?

Moreover, as historian Max Boot has pointed out, Obama insisted on parliamentary ratification, which the Iraqis explained was not just impossible but unnecessary. So Obama ordered a full withdrawal. And with it disappeared U.S. influence in curbing sectarianism, mediating among factions and providing both intelligence and tactical advice to Iraqi forces now operating on their own.

The result was predictable. And predicted. Overnight, Iran and its promotion of Shiite supremacy became the dominant influence in Iraq. The day after the U.S. departure, Maliki ordered the arrest of the Sunni vice president. He cut off funding for the Sons of Iraq, the Sunnis who had fought with us against al-Qaeda. And subsequently so persecuted and alienated Sunnis that they were ready to welcome back al-Qaeda in Iraq - rebranded in its Syrian refuge as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria - as the lesser of two evils. Hence the stunningly swift ISIS capture of Mosul, Tikrit and so much of Sunni Iraq.

But the jihadist revival is the result of a double Obama abdication: creating a vacuum not just in Iraq but in Syria. Obama dithered and speechified during the early days of the Syrian revolution, before the jihadists had arrived, when the secular revolt was systematically advancing on the Damascus regime.

Hezbollah, Iran and Russia helped the regime survive. Meanwhile, a jihadist enclave (including remnants of the once-routed al-Qaeda in Iraq) developed in large swaths of northern and eastern Syria. They thrived on massive outside support while the secular revolutionaries foundered waiting vainly for U.S. help.

Faced with a de facto jihadi state spanning both countries, a surprised Obama now has little choice but to try to re-create overnight, from scratch and in miniature, the kind of U.S. presence - providing intelligence, tactical advice and perhaps even air support - he abjured three years ago

His announcement Thursday that he is sending 300 military advisers is the beginning of that re-creation - a pale substitute for what we long should have had in place but the only option Obama has left himself. The leverage and influence he forfeited with his total withdrawal will be hard to reclaim. But it's our only chance to keep Iraq out of the hands of the Sunni jihadists of ISIS and the Shiite jihadists of Tehran.

6-19-14
 
A Bitter After-taste

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | The news from Iraq that Islamic terrorists have now taken over cities that American troops liberated during the Iraq war must have left an especially bitter after-taste to Americans who lost a loved one who died taking one of those cities, or to a survivor who came back without an arm or leg, or with other traumas to body or mind.

Surely we need to learn something from a tragedy of this magnitude.

Some say that we should never have gone into Iraq in the first place. Others say we should never have pulled our troops out when we did, leaving behind a weak and irresponsible government in charge.

At a minimum, Iraq should put an end to the notion of "nation-building," especially nation-building on the cheap, and to the glib and heady talk of "national greatness" interventionists who were prepared to put other people's lives on the line from the safety of their editorial offices.

Those who are ready to blame President George W. Bush for everything bad that has happened since he left office should at least acknowledge that he was a patriotic American president who did what he did for the good of the country — an assumption that we can no longer safely make about the current occupant of the White House.

If President Bush's gamble that we could create a thriving democracy in the Middle East — one of the least likely places for a democracy to thrive — had paid off, it could have been the beginning of a world-changing benefit to this generation and to generations yet unborn.

A thriving free society in the Muslim world, and the values and example that such a society could represent, might undermine the whole hate-filled world terrorist movement that is seeking to turn back civilization to a darker world of centuries past.

But creating such a society, if it is possible at all, cannot be done on the cheap, with politicians constantly calling for us to announce to the world — including our enemies — when we are going to leave. The very idea is silly, but everything silly in not funny.

We haven't yet announced when we are going to pull our troops out of Germany or Japan, and World War II was over more than 60 years ago. Turning those militaristic countries around was one of the great achievements in human history. Their neighboring countries have been able to enjoy a peace and security that they had not known for generations.

Perhaps what was achieved in Germany and Japan made it seem that we might achieve something similar in Iraq. But "the greatest generation" that had fought and survived the horrors of war around the world was under no illusion that trying to turn our defeated enemies around would be easy, quick and cheap.

Creating democracy in Germany and Japan was a goal, but not a fetish. Creating a stable and viable government amid the ruins and rubble of war was the first priority and a major responsibility. You cannot create instant democracy like you are making instant coffee.

There are prerequisites for a free society, and the foundations of democracy cannot be built on chaotic conditions with widespread uncertainty and fear. To hold elections for the sake of holding elections is to abdicate responsibility for the sake of appearances.

The biggest danger is that you will create a government that will work at cross purposes to everything you are trying to achieve — a government you cannot rein in, much less repudiate, without destroying your own credibility as representatives of democracy. That has happened in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

By contrast, in both Germany and Japan power was turned over to elected officials at such times and in such degree as conditions seemed to indicate. Eventually, both countries resumed their roles as sovereign nations. But we didn't publish a timetable.

Today, with terrorists threatening to at least fragment Iraq, if not take it over, it is a sobering thought that Barack Obama and his key advisers have a track record of having been wrong about Iraq and other foreign policy issues for years, going back before they took office — and no track record of learning from their mistakes.

6-18-14
 
The Data-Mining Body Monitors in Our Schools

By Michelle Malkin

 
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Like millions of other American parents, my husband and I received a warning letter from the BMI police last week. Our active, healthy 8th-grade daughter is "very lean," according to her school-administered "Fitnessgram." The national student body monitors think this is a public health problem.

The obesity report card lectured that because our daughter's body-mass index is "very low," we "should make certain" that she "is eating a healthy diet that includes the appropriate number of calories." Thanks, geniuses. We had no idea such measurements were taking place, and we wondered whether we were alone in objecting to this unsolicited Nanny State dispatch. We're not.

In New York, mom Laura Williams blew the whistle on how her perfectly healthy daughter Gwendolyn was branded "overweight" by her Fitnessgram. City schools sent the reports home to nearly 900,000 students in their backpacks. Gwendolyn showed the assessment to the New York Post last week, exclaiming: "I'm 4-foot-1, and 66 pounds, and I'm like, what?!"

Thanks to the Williams family's whistleblowing and a huge public backlash, Big Apple schools will now change the way the fitness reports are distributed to families. But changing the delivery route doesn't address the expansive government encroachment on our children's health based on dubious science.

Gwendolyn's absurd classification exposes the unreliability of BMI ratings, which many public health scientists admit are inadequate health predictors. The Centers for Disease Control itself says that "the accuracy of BMI varies substantially according to the individual child's degree of body fatness" and doesn't distinguish between "excess fat, muscle or bone mass, nor does it provide any indication of the distribution of fat among individuals."

Yet some school districts have pushed to incorporate BMI results in physical fitness grades, and dozens of states have adopted the BMI-snitching Fitnessgrams, which are marketed by an outfit called the Cooper Institute. The group contracts with New York, Texas, California and a total of nearly 70,000 schools across the country to provide training, administration, data collection and dissemination of its reports. Big Brother is big business.

One of the Cooper Institute's most prominent members of its board of directors: Big Government Republican Mike Huckabee, who spearheaded mandatory student BMI reports in 2003 while he was governor of Arkansas. Huckabee has sided with first lady Michelle Obama's meddling initiatives on childhood obesity — which he calls an "issue of national security." Public health bureaucrats use exactly such hyperbolic rhetoric to justify increasing their powers, budgets and control.

Riding the manufactured obesity-crisis wave, BMI report card promoters are pushing for far more radical data-mining intrusion. A little-noticed study published in the journal Health Affairs a few years ago on "state surveillance of childhood obesity" proposes getting around federal family privacy protections by declaring obesity a "public health threat" at every state level. This would allow agencies to invoke "public health protection powers" to allow unfettered sharing of student BMI data.

These obesity police also advocate circumventing legislative debate by "simply adding a new function to state-run registries and databases" and slipping height and weight monitoring into immunization information-gathering systems.

Exploiting the captive student population for childhood obesity health research, grants, contracts and new tech boondoggles is yet another method of fattening Fed Ed's overstuffed coffers. It's time for parents to opt out and put these government data gluttons on a diet. Hands off. Butt out.

6-17-14
 
How America Treats Illegal Aliens vs. Veterans

By Michelle Malkin


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | A government that fails to secure its borders is guilty of dereliction of duty. A government that fails to care for our men and women on the frontlines is guilty of malpractice. A government that puts the needs of illegal aliens above U.S. veterans for political gain should be prosecuted for criminal neglect bordering on treason.

Compare, contrast and weep:

In Sacramento, Calif., lawmakers are moving forward with a budget-busting plan to extend government-funded health insurance to at least 1.5 million illegal aliens.

In Los Angeles, federal bureaucrats callously canceled an estimated 40,000 diagnostic tests and treatments for American veterans with cancer and other illnesses to cover up a decade-long backlog.

In New York, doctors report that nearly 40 percent of their patients receiving kidney dialysis are illegal aliens. A survey of nephrologists in 44 states revealed that 65 percent of them treat illegal aliens with kidney disease.

In Memphis, a VA whistleblower reported that his hospital was using contaminated kidney dialysis machines to treat America's warriors. The same hospital previously had been investigated for chronic overcrowding at its emergency room, leading to six-hour waits or longer. Another watchdog probe found unconscionable delays in processing lab tests at the center. In addition, three patients died under negligent circumstances, and the hospital failed to enforce accountability measures.

In Arizona, illegal aliens incurred health care costs totaling an estimated $700 million in 2009.

In Phoenix, at least 40 veterans died waiting for VA hospitals and clinics to treat them, while government officials created secret waiting lists to cook the books and deceive the public about deadly treatment delays.

At the University of California at Berkeley, UC President Janet Napolitano (former secretary of the Department of Homeland Security) has offered $5 million in financial aid to illegal alien students. Across the country, 16 states offer in-state tuition discounts for illegal aliens: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington. In addition, the Rhode Island Board of Governors for Higher Education, the University of Hawaii Board of Regents and the University of Michigan Board of Regents all approved their own illegal alien tuition benefits.

In 2013, the nation's most selective colleges and universities had enrolled just 168 American veterans, down from 232 in 2011. Anti-war activists have waged war on military recruitment offices at elite campuses for years. The huge influx of illegal aliens in state universities is shrinking the number of state-subsidized slots for vets.

In 2013, the Obama Department of Homeland Security released 36,007 known, convicted criminal illegal aliens, according to the Center for Immigration Studies. The catch-and-release beneficiaries include thugs convicted of homicide, sexual assault, kidnapping, and thousands of drunk or drugged driving crimes.

The same Department of Homeland Security issued a report in 2009 that identified returning combat veterans as worrisome terrorist and criminal threats to America.

In Washington, Big Business and open-borders lobbyists are redoubling efforts to pass another massive illegal alien amnesty to flood the U.S. job market with low-wage labor.

Across the country, men and women in uniform returning home from Iraq and Afghanistan have higher jobless rates than the civilian population. The unemployment rate for new veterans has spiked to its worst levels, nearing 15 percent. For veterans ages 24 and under, the jobless rate is a whopping 29.1 percent, compared to 17.6 percent nationally for the age group.

A Forbes columnist reported last year that an Air Force veteran was told: "We don't hire your kind."

And last December, Democrats led the charge to reduce cost-of-living increases in military pensions — while blocking GOP Alabama Sen. Jeff Sessions' efforts to close a $4.2 billion loophole that allows illegal aliens to collect child tax credits from the IRS, even if they pay no taxes. The fraudulent payments to illegal aliens would have offset the cuts to veterans' benefits.

America: medical and welfare welcome mat to the rest of the world, while leavings its best and bravest veterans to languish in hospital lounges, die waiting for appointments, and compete for jobs and educational opportunities against illegal border-crossers, document fakers, visa violators and deportation evaders. Shame on us.

6-16-14
 
No Place To Hide

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | With heart-pounding suspense, John le Carre-like intrigue and Jeffersonian fidelity to the principles of human freedom, Glenn Greenwald has just published "No Place to Hide." The book, which reads like a thriller, is Greenwald's story of his nonstop two weeks of work in May and June of 2013 in Hong Kong with former CIA agent and NSA contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden. Greenwald was the point person who coordinated the public release of the 1.7 million pages of NSA documents that Snowden took with him in order to prove definitively that the federal government is spying on all of us all the time.

The revelations constituted for Greenwald the scoop of the century; for Snowden, the exposure of massive government violations of basic constitutional principles by his former bosses; for the NSA and the Bush and Obama administrations, the revelation of criminal wrongdoing orchestrated by two presidents themselves; and for the American public, a painful realization that the Constitution is only as valuable a restraint on the government as is the fidelity to uphold it of those in whose hands we have reposed it for safekeeping. As Greenwald makes clear, it is not in good hands.

"No Place to Hide" not only tells of Snowden's initially frustrating and anonymous efforts to reach out to Greenwald and the others; it not only carefully explains the insatiable appetite of the NSA to learn everything about everyone ("Collect it all" was a continuously posted NSA motto); it is also a morality tale about the personal courage required of Snowden and Greenwald and his colleagues to expose government wrongdoing and the risk to their lives, liberties and properties in doing so.

In the midst of one of their endless Hong Kong hotel meetings, Snowden told the journalists that the local CIA station employed agents trained to kill; and it was just a few blocks away. Then The Guardian's lawyers informed Greenwald that the Bush and Obama administrations had not hesitated to use the Espionage Act of 1917 — a World War I-era relic, still on the books, employed to chill, stifle, suppress and ultimately punish free speech — to attempt to lock up journalists even when they revealed the truth. At this point in my reading the book on Memorial Day, I noticed that my pulse was racing, even though I obviously knew the outcome.

The road to the outcome began about a year ago when Greenwald received email messages from an anonymous yet persistent and intellectually intriguing source. The source demonstrated such a superb command of the Internet, such a patient understanding of Greenwald's need for a basic education in the craft of digital spying, such a Jeffersonian understanding of the constitutional role of government in our lives, and so enticed Greenwald and his editors at The Guardian that, sight unseen, they traveled to Hong Kong to see whether the source possessed the documentary evidence he claimed to have of the most massive and sophisticated American government spying upon innocents in our history. He did.

Greenwald skillfully uses NSA documents to demonstrate that the highest government officials to discuss this spying in public — President Bush, President Obama, Bush Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, former NSA boss Gen. Keith Alexander — all lied to the American public, (in the case of Clapper and Alexander, they probably did so criminally, as they were testifying to Congress), and they engaged in a conspiracy to violate the constitutionally protected rights to privacy of every American. After initially denying all this, then disparaging Snowden, then questioning his loyalty, then questioning his sanity, the government reluctantly admitted to all that Snowden revealed. How could it not? Snowden's revelations consist entirely of the NSA's own documents, many of which are reproduced in Greenwald's book.

The government has argued that when it engages in all this spying, it is looking for a needle in a haystack. It claims it can only keep us safe if it knows all and sees all. Yet, such an argument cannot be made with intellectual honesty by anyone who has sworn to uphold the Constitution.

The Constitution was written to keep the government off of the people's backs. The Constitution protects the right to be left alone and the right to be different. The Constitution presupposes the existence of natural rights and areas of human endeavor that are insulated from government knowledge and immune to government regulation, except in the most carefully prescribed circumstances. Those circumstances require that probable cause of crime be possessed by the government about identifiable persons and demonstrated to a neutral judge before the government may engage in any surveillance of that person — and all those NSA conspirators and all their judicial facilitators know this.

And what has Congress done in response to all this indiscriminate spying — spying that we now know is done upon members of Congress themselves? The Senate has done nothing, yet. The House passed legislation last week called the USA Freedom Act. This deceptively entitled nonsense so muddies the legal waters with ambiguous language that if enacted into law, the bill actually would strengthen the ability of the NSA to spy on all of us all the time. Is it any surprise that Obama and the NSA leadership support these so-called reforms?

The duty of government is to keep us free and to keep our freedoms safe. If it fails to protect freedom, it should be replaced. If it continues to spy on all of us all the time, then Greenwald's title — taken from a warning issued by the late Sen. Frank Church in the pre-Internet era — will have come to pass. We will have no place to hide and no freedoms left to exercise without the government's approval.

6-15-14
 
Revenge, American-style

By Charles Krauthammer


JewishWorldReview.com | Vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord. And although retribution shall surely come in the fullness of time, a ballplayer can only wait so long.

Accordingly, when Boston slugger David Ortiz came to bat against Tampa Bay's David Price at the end of May - for the first time this season - Price fired the very first pitch, a 94-mile-an-hour fastball, square into Ortiz's back.

Ortiz was not amused. Hesitation, angry smile, umpire's warning. Managers screaming, tempers flaring. Everyone knew this was no accident.

On Oct. 5, 2013, Ortiz had hit two home runs off Price. Unusual, but not unknown. Except that after swatting the second, Ortiz stood at home plate seeming to admire his handiwork, watching the ball's majestic arc into the far right field stands - and only then began his slow, very slow, trot around the bases.

This did not sit well with Price. Cy Young winners don't take kindly to being shown up in public. He yelled angrily at Ortiz to stop showboating and start running.

But yelling does not quite soothe the savage breast. So, through the fall and long winter, through spring training and one-third of the new season, Price nursed the hurt. Then, as in a gentleman's pistol duel, at first dawn he redeemed his honor.

Except that the other guy had no pistol.

Which made for complications: further payback (Tampa Bay star Evan Longoria received a close retaliatory shave and two other players were hit before the game was done); major mayhem in the form of the always pleasing, faintly ridiculous, invariably harmless bench-clearing brawl; and all-around general ill feeling. After the game, Ortiz declared himself at war with Price, advising the louse to prepare for battle at their next encounter.

Price feigned innocence. As did his Yoda-like manager, Joe Maddon, who dryly observed that a slugger like Ortiz simply has to be pitched inside, then added with a twinkle, "Of course, that was a little bit too far inside."

Yeah, like two feet.

What is so delightful about this classic act of revenge is both the length of the fuse - eight months! - and the swiftness of the execution: one pitch, one plunk, one message delivered. Revenge as it was meant to be: cathartic, therapeutic, clean, served cold. No talking it through. No sublimation by deep breathing, reason or anything in between. No arbitration, no mediation. "Direct action," as the left might put it.

Think of it, compact and theatrical, as a highly abridged "Count of Monte Cristo," still the most satisfying revenge novel of all time. There the fuse is deliciously long - the 14 years our betrayed hero suffers and broods on an island prison before escaping - and the execution is spectacularly elaborate: the decade developing a new identity with which to entrap his betrayers and bring each to a tortured demise.

I suspect what makes revenge so satisfying in both literature and sport is that, while the real thing can turn rather ugly, revenge thusly mediated can be experienced not just vicariously but schematically.

After all, there is nothing satisfying about watching a well-armed real-world thug like Vladimir Putin chew up neighboring countries to avenge the Soviet collapse of 1991. Or the Crimean giveaway of 1954. Or was it Czar Nicholas' misadventure of 1917-18?

Even benign dreams of restoration can be a bit unsettling. Ever seen a Quebec license plate? "Je me souviens." In English, "I remember." What? The Battle of the Plains of Abraham, marking the fall of Quebec to Britain - in 1759.

The response became known centuries later as "la revanche des berceaux." Revenge of the cradles. They multiplied. Quietly. Determinedly. A serious exercise in making love, not war.

But the amorous Quebecois are the exception. More common are the savage retributive habits of the more tribal elements of the human family. The Serbs, for example, waging late 20th-century war suffused with fury at the Turkish conquest of Kosovoin 1389. Or Ayman al-Zawahiri calling for infidel blood with an invocation of Andalusia, lost to Islam in 1492.

We Americans, children of so young a country, can barely fathom such ineradicable grievances. We did give the world Tonya Harding and the Godfather's horse's head in the bed, but the best we can do outside sport and fiction is "Remember the Alamo." Wonderful sentiment, but with Mexico now a best buddy, hardly a battle cry.

No. We'll do our vengeance on the playing field, thank you, where unwritten rules apply and the frisson can be enjoyed with Bud in hand. So mark your calendar. Next Sox-Rays encounter: July 25. Here's hoping Price is pitching.

6-14-14
 
Death penalty opponents, have I got a deal for you!

By Ann Coulter


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | As described in last week's column, The New York Times and other sanctimonious news outlets censored details about the crime that put Clayton Lockett on death row, the better to generate revulsion at his deserved execution. You might say they buried the facts alive.


For example, the Times neglected to mention anything about the raping that preceded the murdering, which seems odd for a newspaper so consumed with the "War on Women." (At least Lockett never refused to pay for a woman's birth control pills!)


The Times also dropped the part about Lockett's dangerous behavior while incarcerated, such as ordering hits on the witnesses against him, his threats to kill prison guards, and the bounty of homemade weapons seized from him in prison -- saw blades, sharpened wires, shivs and shanks. (Old Times motto: "All the News That's Fit to Print." New Times motto: "Nobody Likes a Rat.")


The newspaper also failed to report that Lockett had ended up in an adult prison by the age of 16 and then was convicted of four more felonies before committing the torture-murder of Stephanie Neiman that sent him to death row.


No, that information might distract from the Times' florid descriptions of Lockett's execution.


Bless their hearts, they gave it their all, but even the Times could not make Lockett's "botched" execution sound particularly grisly. Here is the paper's full, terrifying description:


"According to an eyewitness account by a reporter for The Tulsa World, Mr. Lockett tried to raise himself up, mumbled the word 'man,' and was in obvious pain. Officials hastily closed the blinds on the chamber and told reporters that the execution had been stopped because of a 'vein failure.' But at 7:06, the inmate was pronounced dead of a heart attack."


HE RAISED HIMSELF UP? WHAT KIND OF COUNTRY ARE WE???


Actually, I'm not that horrified. It sounds as if he suffered a bit, which is nice, and he's dead, which was the objective of the whole enterprise.



You want horrifying? Imagine a 2-inch baby being chopped up with scissors. That can't feel great.


Maybe they -- and MSNBC's similarly high-minded Rachel Maddow -- should comfort themselves by thinking of Lockett's execution as a very, very, very late-term abortion. You know, the kind that liberal darling Wendy Davis filibustered for 11 hours to keep legal.


Since Rachel and the Times are such big fans of partial-birth abortion, would they mind if we took a gigantic pair of scissors, jammed them in the back of Clayton Lockett's head and let his brain slide out? Let's get Kermit Gosnell working again!


Or how about giving the citizens of Oklahoma the right to choose an acid bath for condemned murderers? We'll submerge people like Lockett in a tub filled with burning fluid until he's mostly disintegrated and can be flushed down the toilet. (If it's low-flow, flush twice.)


Or maybe an industrial vacuum designed to tear Lockett's body apart.


Which reminds me: Would the Times ever give as detailed a description of an abortion as it does for the execution of a remorseless killer? The odds are pretty high that the baby isn't even a rapist/murderer.


Opposition to the death penalty has nothing to do with compassion. Liberals weeping for murderers have zero compassion for an innocent baby trying to escape an abortionist's cranioclast. Their dead earnestness about monsters like Clayton Lockett is solely designed to demonstrate how virtuous they are.


It will come as a surprise to the sort of person who works at the Times, but there are lots of people who don't go through life trying to prove they're better than everyone else. They don't think to themselves: Listen to NPR? Check. Got the kids into a fancy preschool? Check. Now, what's that little extra for experts? ... Defend depraved murderers! Check!



Manifestly, these death penalty hysterics do not care about the victims of crime. But they don't really care about the killers, either. Their only objective is to increase their self-esteem.


This is why liberal arguments against the death penalty are always circular. It's not about logic; it's about their conception of themselves.


U.S. pharmaceutical companies won't sell lethal injection drugs to the states because they don't want to be sued and harassed by anti-death penalty activists. European pharmaceutical companies refuse to sell the drugs to the U.S. because they're so deeply committed to human rights -- as we saw around the middle of the last century.


Then they all turn around and complain when crummy substitutes fail to produce nice, peaceful exits for heinous murderers. (You know -- like they gave their victims.)


It's exactly like the left's complaint that the death penalty "costs too much."


Q: Why is it so expensive?


A: Because we sue, drag the cases out forever with endless appeals and require states to spend millions of dollars on legal costs.


How about we cut the Euros and lefty activists out of the execution process altogether with a voluntary firing squad? It's quick, it's effective and the whole community gets to participate!


The state could run ads in newspapers giving detailed accounts of the condemned man's crime -- all that stuff The New York Times frantically hides from its readers -- and then ask: "Would you be interested in being assigned to his firing squad?"


The Supreme Court has defined "cruel and unusual punishment" as something that offends society's "evolving sense of decency." When we see how many people volunteer for the firing squad, we'll at least have a back-of-the-envelope estimate on whether society's "evolving sense of decency" is more offended by the death of Clayton Lockett or that of Stephanie Neiman.


I know I'd volunteer. Having read the truth about what psychopaths like Clayton Lockett have done, I'd pay for the opportunity, especially if they promise my gun won't have a blank.
 

6-13-14
 
Amnesty Lite Is Still Amnesty

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | Not since a 42-to-1 underdog named Buster Douglas knocked out undefeated heavyweight champion Mike Tyson in 1990 has there been an upset like economics professor Dave Brat defeating House Majority Leader Eric Cantor in the Republican primary in Virginia.

You couldn't write a script like this for a movie and have it be believable. Congressman Eric Cantor, with all kinds of name recognition, and outspending his opponent by 5 million dollars to $100,000, lost 55 percent to 45 percent against somebody that virtually nobody ever heard of before. Polls, incidentally, had predicted that Cantor would defeat Brat 62 percent to 28 percent.

To add a touch of absolute fantasy to the story, Dave Brat's Democratic opponent this fall is another professor at the same Randolph-Macon College where Professor Brat teaches.

Who would believe that in a movie?

In the end, all of this will be just a curious footnote to what this election means to the Republican Party and — more important — to the country at large.

To those in the media who see everything as just a contest — a "horse race," as they say — between different individuals and factions, this is being reported as a victory of the Tea Party over the Republican establishment.

One of the encouraging things about Professor Brat is that he apparently does not see it that way. He says that he is for the same principles as other Republicans, but that he believes in putting those principles into practice.

Unlike those Republicans on either the establishment side or the Tea Party side who are preoccupied with their internal party battles, Dave Brat is focused on the issues confronting this country at a crucial juncture in history and with the immediate task of defeating the Democrats in this fall's election.

If this primary election defeat puts an end to cocky talk by Republican establishment leaders about crushing their Tea Party rivals, there may be some hope that they can spare some time to deal with the serious issues facing this country, rather than their own ego indulgences.

A key issue in this campaign was amnesty for illegal immigrants. Apparently the Republican leadership in the House of Representatives — which is to say, House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor — thinks that amnesty is not amnesty if you call it "immigration reform" and toss in some fig-leaf requirements before the amnesty kicks in.

Immigration laws are the only laws that are discussed almost entirely in terms of what can be done to help those who have broken the law. Some want to help a little and some want to help a lot. But amnesty lite is still amnesty.

Some people seem to think that amnesty is not amnesty if you throw in requirements for citizenship. Amnesty is not some esoteric concept. It means that you are not going to be punished for breaking the law — and that simply brings laws into contempt. Denying citizenship is not a punishment because crossing the border illegally does not entitle you to citizenship. Providing a legal status short of citizenship is not punishment either.

There is no requirement for either amnesty or for citizenship that President Obama cannot ignore or dilute unilaterally, as he has ignored or diluted existing immigration laws, as well as other laws. Barack Obama is the biggest reason to pass no immigration "reform" laws until after he is gone.

It doesn't matter what immigration policies you believe in if you don't control your borders — and the vast numbers of minors flooding across our borders today show that the Obama administration has no intention of controlling the borders. They are more concerned with controlling the border guards and ordering them not to take pictures that show the public what is happening.

If you are serious about controlling the borders, then you pass laws to control the borders first. Some years later, after you can see whether the border has been controlled or not — you can start discussing what our national immigration laws should be.

Otherwise, "comprehensive" immigration reform means granting some form of amnesty up front and promising to control the border later. How many more times are we going to fall for that bait and switch fraud?

6-12-14
 
The Continuing Obamacare Nightmare

By David Limbaugh


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | While President Obama diverts the nation's attention with his other myriad scandals, the Obamacare Express continues to careen off the rails, leaving a wide path of destruction and rendering its supporters defenseless.

The latest outrage, in a yearslong string, is that at least 4 million of the 8 million total Obamacare sign-ups contain flawed applications, according to a report by House Republicans.

But this isn't some arbitrarily divined number chosen by Republicans for political purposes. It is based on a chart prepared by federal Obamacare contractor Serco that shows more than 4 million application discrepancies as of May 27. These include inconsistencies regarding income, citizenship and immigration, residency, incarceration, Indian status, Social Security numbers, and eligibility for another federal health program.

According to The Daily Caller, more than 1.6 million annual and current income inconsistencies were identified, but none of them had been resolved by May 27, and only 62,000 of the 1.4 million anomalies involving citizenship and immigration problems had been resolved. A total of only 97,000 of the 4.1 million discrepancies had been addressed by the end of May.

Is this any way to run even a woefully bloated, incompetent and bureaucrat-infested government?

It's not as if this just happened serendipitously. The Obama White House knew, in its rush to pile up applications no matter how flawed in order to meet its self-imposed deadline, that it was cutting significant corners. This arrogant administration failed to create an income verification system in 2013 before it launched the notorious Obamacare website, HealthCare.gov, and opted to approve Obamacare applications without any verification of the customers' representations of their income.

Can you imagine any business running itself this recklessly? A bank? It's not conceivable. And it won't do for people to excuse this as merely the way government works. If they make that excuse, they are admitting that the government should never be entrusted with one-seventh of the economy, which it shouldn't. This wasn't a case of mere bureaucratic ineptitude; it was a conscious decision at the highest executive level to cut corners for political purposes, and it screams out for accountability.

Of the latest Obamacare nightmare revelations, these application inconsistencies are only the tip of the iceberg. Consider:

—At least 2.9 million Americans who signed up for Medicaid coverage pursuant to Obamacare changes have not had their applications processed, meaning some low-income people will be prevented from accessing benefits they are legally entitled to receive.

—According to the Congressional Budget Office, only a small fraction of the uninsured will end up paying the Obamacare mandate penalty, as 87 percent will claim an exemption. Not only does this make a mockery of the ill-conceived penalty but also it increases the odds of an insurance industry "death spiral" and puts Obamacare even further out of budgetary balance. These consequences will be perfectly copasetic with Obama, who abhors the insurance industry, desires complete government control of health care and relishes further subsidizing of those not paying their own way as another proud notch in his redistribution belt. What a great day for Obama! Everything he promises turns to mush, but that mush just happens to be perfectly consistent with the deplorable direction in which he wants to take the country. Though the overwhelming majority of the uninsured will sidestep the mandated penalty, absent court intervention, there will be no such leniency for families and businesses who seek to avoid the mandate on moral grounds because it forces them to provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs and devices.

—The Congressional Budget Office said Obamacare would reduce the deficit by more than $120 billion in a decade, but in April, the CBO quietly conceded that the projection wasn't reliable. Shocker.

—The Washington Times reports that as a direct result of the Obamacare scheme to make health care more affordable, insurance premiums will be increasing in Colorado, Vermont (from 9.8 percent to 18.3 percent), Kentucky (up to a 17 percent increase by 2015) and Virginia (as much as 22 percent). This is an inevitable trend we're seeing all over the country, as everyone who understands socialism anticipated.

—Stephen Parente, a professor of health economics at the University of Minnesota, and Michael Ramlet of American Action Forum project nationwide increases for the Obamacare silver plan of some 25 percent for individuals and families within five years, as well as an increase in the uninsured. Similarly bad results are projected for other categories of plans. This means that despite government spending increases, health care costs will still be higher, which is to say nothing of the reduced health care choices and deteriorating quality of treatment.

—Though Obamacare promised to reduce pressure on emergency room treatment by giving people greater access to primary care, we're witnessing just the opposite result in many hospitals in Kentucky and across the nation, which are experiencing a surge of newly insured Medicaid patients going to emergency rooms.

—A headline reads, "NC Small Business Will Be 'Hit Especially Hard' By ObamaCare, May Drop Insurance For Workers." Another reads, "Obamacare Hits Academia, Hard."

I'm just part way through the list; shall I continue? Sorry. Out of space. But I trust you're getting my drift.

6-11-14
 
Who Owns You?

By Walter Williams


JewishWorldReview.com | Darcy Olsen, president of the Arizona-based Goldwater Institute, and Richard Garr, president of Neuralstem, a biotech company, wrote "Right to Try experimental drugs" in USA Today (5/28/2014). They pointed out that "this year, more than 5,000 Americans will lose their battle with ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's disease." Up until recently, there was no medicine on the market that significantly improved the lives of ALS patients. But now there is one in clinical trials that holds considerable promise, but it has not been granted Food and Drug Administration approval. The average amount of time it takes to get a drug through the FDA approval process is 10 years. That's time that terminal patients don't have.

Legislators in Colorado, Louisiana and Missouri recently approved "Right to Try" legislation, and Arizona voters will vote on the measure this November. "Right to Try" is an initiative designed by the Goldwater Institute. It would give terminal patients access to investigational drugs that have completed basic safety testing. Under a doctor's supervision, people would be given the chance to try promising experimental drugs before they're given final FDA approval.

There's no denying that there's risk in taking a drug or medical procedure that hasn't completed clinical trials. The question is: Who has the right to decide how much risk a person will take — he or some faceless Washington bureaucrat? In my opinion, the answer depends upon the answer to the question: Who owns you? If one owns himself, then it is he who decides how much risk he takes. If government owns you, then you don't have the right to unilaterally decide how much risk you'll take.

The FDA's mission is to ensure the safety and effectiveness of pharmaceuticals. In doing so, FDA officials can make two types of errors. They can approve a drug that has unanticipated dangerous side effects, or they can disapprove or delay a drug that is both safe and effective. FDA officials have unequal incentives to avoid these two types of errors. If the FDA official errs on the side of under-caution — approving a dangerous drug — the victims are visible, and he is held directly accountable. If he errs on the side of over-caution — holding up approval of a safe and effective drug — who's to know? The cost and the victims are invisible. Politicians and bureaucrats prefer invisible victims.

Here are a couple of notable examples. Clozapine was approved and used in 1972 in Europe. Clozapine's ability to treat schizophrenics who did not respond to other medicines became well-known by 1979. Yet the drug was not approved in the United States until 1989 because companies believed that the FDA would reject it on the grounds that 1 percent of patients who took the drug contracted a blood disease. As an article in The New England Journal of Medicine stated, "what is remarkable is that clozapine has a beneficial effect in a substantial proportion (30 to 50 percent) of patients who have an inadequate response to other ... drugs." Nearly 250,000 people with schizophrenia suffered needlessly, when relief was at hand.

According to Robert M. Goldberg, writing for the journal Regulation, "Mevacor is a cholesterol-lowering drug that has been linked to reduction in death due to heart attacks. It was available in Europe in 1989 but did not become available in the United States until 1992. Studies confirm what doctors saw to be the case: taking the drug reduces death due to heart disease by about 55 percent. During that three-year period as many as a thousand people a year died from heart disease because of the FDA delay."

There is self-correction when a drug that has unanticipated dangerous side effects has been marketed. The drug is removed. But there's no self-correction when a safe, effective lifesaving drug is not approved or is delayed. Those 5,000 ALS patients who will die of their disease this year are invisible, and FDA officials are unaccountable. "Right to Try" legislation is a step in the right direction to remedy that.

6-10-14
 
Colleges become the victims of progressivism

By George Will


JewishWorldReview.com | Colleges and universities are being educated by Washington and are finding the experience excruciating. They are learning that when they say campus victimizations are ubiquitous (“micro-aggressions,” often not discernible to the untutored eye, are everywhere), and that when they make victimhood a coveted status that confers privileges, victims proliferate. And academia’s progressivism has rendered it intellectually defenseless now that progressivism’s achievement, the regulatory state, has decided it is academia’s turn to be broken to government’s saddle.

Consider the supposed campus epidemic of rape, a.k.a. “sexual assault.” Herewith, a Philadelphia magazine report about Swarthmore College, where in 2013 a student “was in her room with a guy with whom she’d been hooking up for three months”:

“They’d now decided — mutually, she thought — just to be friends. When he ended up falling asleep on her bed, she changed into pajamas and climbed in next to him. Soon, he was putting his arm around her and taking off her clothes. ‘I basically said, “No, I don’t want to have sex with you.” And then he said, “OK, that’s fine” and stopped. . . . And then he started again a few minutes later, taking off my panties, taking off his boxers. I just kind of laid there and didn’t do anything — I had already said no. I was just tired and wanted to go to bed. I let him finish. I pulled my panties back on and went to sleep.’”

Six weeks later, the woman reported that she had been raped. Now the Obama administration is riding to the rescue of “sexual assault” victims. It vows to excavate equities from the ambiguities of the hookup culture, this cocktail of hormones, alcohol and the faux sophistication of today’s prolonged adolescence of especially privileged young adults.

The administration’s crucial and contradictory statistics are validated the usual way, by official repetition; Joe Biden has been heard from. The statistics are: One in five women is sexually assaulted while in college, and only 12 percent of assaults are reported. Simple arithmetic demonstrates that if the 12 percent reporting rate is correct, the 20 percent assault rate is preposterous. Mark Perry of the American Enterprise Institute notes, for example, that in the four years 2009 to 2012 there were 98 reported sexual assaults at Ohio State. That would be 12 percent of 817 total out of a female student population of approximately 28,000, for a sexual assault rate of approximately 2.9 percent — too high but nowhere near 20 percent.

Education Department lawyers disregard pesky arithmetic and elementary due process. Threatening to withdraw federal funding, the department mandates adoption of a minimal “preponderance of the evidence” standard when adjudicating sexual assault charges between males and the female “survivors” — note the language of prejudgment. Combine this with capacious definitions of sexual assault that can include not only forcible sexual penetration but also nonconsensual touching. Then add the doctrine that the consent of a female who has been drinking might not protect a male from being found guilty of rape. Then comes costly litigation against institutions that have denied due process to males they accuse of what society considers serious felonies.

Now academia is unhappy about the Education Department’s plan for government to rate every institution’s educational product. But the professors need not worry. A department official says this assessment will be easy: “It’s like rating a blender.” Education, gadgets — what’s the difference?

Meanwhile, the newest campus idea for preventing victimizations — an idea certain to multiply claims of them — is “trigger warnings.” They would be placed on assigned readings or announced before lectures. Otherwise, traumas could be triggered in students whose tender sensibilities would be lacerated by unexpected encounters with racism, sexism, violence (dammit, Hamlet, put down that sword!) or any other facet of reality that might violate a student’s entitlement to serenity. This entitlement has already bred campus speech codes that punish unpopular speech. Now the codes are begetting the soft censorship of trigger warnings to swaddle students in a “safe,” “supportive,” “unthreatening” environment, intellectual comfort for the intellectually dormant.

It is salutary that academia, with its adversarial stance toward limited government and cultural common sense, is making itself ludicrous. Academia is learning that its attempts to create victim-free campuses — by making everyone hypersensitive, even delusional, about victimizations — brings increasing supervision by the regulatory state that progressivism celebrates.

What government is inflicting on colleges and universities, and what they are inflicting on themselves, diminishes their autonomy, resources, prestige and comity. Which serves them right. They have asked for this by asking for progressivism.
 

6-9-14
 
Petty Annoyances

By Walter Williams

 
JewishWorldReview.com | Most who read my columns think that I'm only annoyed by politicians, growing government and Americans who have little respect or love for liberty and our Constitution. There are other things that annoy me.

One annoyance is people's seeming inability or unwillingness to differentiate between the number zero and the letter "o." I've had conversations with telephone operators who have told me that I can reach my party by dialing, for example, 31o-3o55. Sometimes I've asked, "If I follow your instructions, by dialing the letter 'o' instead of the number zero, will I reach my party?" They always answer no and that I must dial the zero. Then I ask, "Why did you tell me 'o' when you meant zero?" Our chitchat usually degrades after that. It's not only telephone operators. How many times have you heard a student or teacher say, "He has a 4 point o GPA"?

I wonder whether the confusion stems from the fact that both o's and zeroes are round. Here's a definition that distinguishes them: "O" is a vowel and the 15th letter of the alphabet. Zero is defined as any number that when added to or subtracted from another number does not change the value of that number.

I recently made Microsoft Outlook my default email client, but I'm having a bit of a problem with it. When it's initially turned on, there's a message that reads, "Trying to connect." Similarly, on a cloudy morning, I hear weathermen say that the sun will try to come out later. So if Microsoft Outlook didn't connect or the afternoon didn't turn out to be sunny, could we say it was because Microsoft Outlook or the sun didn't try hard enough? But it's not just computer software technicians and weathermen who use teleological explanations that ascribe purposeful behavior to inanimate objects. Recently, I listened to brilliant lectures on particle physics by a distinguished physics professor, who said that strange quarks want to decay. In a cellular respiration lecture, another professor said that one mole of glucose wants to become 38 units of adenosine triphosphate. I'm wondering how these professors know what strange quarks and glucose moles want to do; have they spoken to them?

You say, "Williams, you're being too picky! What's the harm?" There's a great potential for harm when people come to believe that inanimate objects are capable of purposeful behavior. That's the implied thinking behind the pressure for gun control. People behave as if a gun could engage in purposeful behavior such as committing crime; thereby, our focus is directed more toward controlling inanimate objects than it is toward controlling evil people.

How many times have you heard a statement such as "Harold and myself were studying"? When one of my students makes such a statement, I sometimes ask, "What if Harold were not studying with you? Would you say, 'Myself was studying'?" That'd be silly. Words such as "myself" and "himself" are reflexive pronouns. Their proper use requires reference to the subject of the sentence. For example, "Harold injured himself." A reflexive pronoun can also be used intensively for emphasis, for example, "Harold himself was injured."

I have another grammar annoyance. How about when people make a statement such as "He is taller than me"? Whenever I hear such an error, I visualize Dr. Martin Rosenberg, my high-school English teacher during the early '50s, putting both hands on his waist and sarcastically asking the student, "Do you mean 'He is taller than me am'?" "Am" is the elliptical, or understood or left out, verb at the end of the sentence. The subject of a verb must be in the nominative case. To be grammatically correct, the sentence should be, "He is taller than I."

Considerable evidence demonstrates that most people are not bothered by my petty annoyances. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. It may be that it's I who is getting old and out of touch, having been educated during ancient times when nonsense was less acceptable.

6-8-14
 
Random Thoughts

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | Random thoughts on the passing scene:

• Will the Veterans Administration scandal wake up those people who have been blithely saying that what we need is a "single payer" system for medical care? Delays in getting to see a doctor have been a common denominator in government-run medical systems in England, Canada and Australia, among other places.

• Class warfare rhetoric would have us resenting "the top ten percent" in income. But that would be a farce, because most of us would be resenting ourselves, since more than half of all Americans — 54 percent — are in the top ten percent at some stage of their lives.

• Some people act as if the answer to every problem is to put more money and power in the hands of politicians.

• Freedom means nothing if it does not mean the freedom to do what other people don't like. Everyone was free to be a Communist under the Stalin dictatorship, and everyone is free to be a Muslim in Saudi Arabia. Yet whole generations are coming out of our colleges where only those who are politically correct are free to speak their minds. What kind of America will they create?

• In Thomas Piketty's highly-praised new book, "Capital in the Twenty-First Century" he asserts that the top tax rate under President Herbert Hoover was 25 percent. But Internal Revenue Service records show that it was 63 percent in 1932. If Piketty can't even get his facts straight, why should his grandiose plans for confiscatory global taxation be taken seriously?

• Sometimes I think that this is an era when sanity has become controversial.

• Republicans in Congress seem to be drawn toward the immigration issue like a moth toward a flame. How turning illegal immigrants into Democratic voters, while demoralizing the Republican base, will help either the country or the Republicans is a mystery. If ever there was a high-risk, low-yield investment, this is it.

• President Theodore Roosevelt said that his foreign policy was to "speak softly and carry a big stick." President Barack Obama's foreign policy is to speak loudly and carry a little stick. They say talk is cheap, but loose talk by a President of the United States can be very expensive in both blood and treasure.

• One of the scariest aspects of our times is how seldom either people or policies are judged by their track record.

• Why in the world are the Baltic states in NATO? The Russian army could overrun them before NATO could get a meeting together to decide what to do.

• If the Democrats retain control of the Senate after this year's election, Barack Obama can load the federal courts from top to bottom with judges who will ignore the Constitution, as he does, and promote his far-left political agenda instead, long after he is gone.

• I get nervous every time I see Mitt Romney showing up in the media. He seems to be maintaining his visibility, in hopes of another run for the White House in 2016. He might well get a second chance to fail. Romney is the Republican establishment's idea of the perfect candidate for president — no matter how many times such candidates lose, even under promising conditions.

• Anti-Semitism may have the dubious distinction of being the oldest of the group hatreds. You might think that the world would have gotten over anti-Semitism by now, but Jews have been singled out for separate treatment by the Russian insurgents in Ukraine.

• "We cannot insure to the vicious the fruits of a virtuous life; we would not invade the home of the provident in order to supply the wants of the spendthrift; we do not propose to transfer the rewards of industry to the lap of indolence." Democratic presidential nominee William Jennings Bryan said that in 1896. Today's Democrats do all those things that Bryan rejected.

• Any fool can say the word "racism." In fact, quite a few fools do say it. But clever people can also say "racism," in order to get fools to vote their way.

• Those people who want Hillary Clinton elected president, so that we could have our first woman president, seem to have learned absolutely nothing from the current disaster of choosing a president on the basis of demographics and symbolism.

• The old saying that taxes are the price we pay for civilization has long since become obsolete. The amount that the government spends to defend us from foreign attack, or to maintain law and order at home, has been overtaken by the money it spends just to transfer some people's money to other people who are more likely to vote for the reelection of incumbents.

• Government policies to "bring down the cost of medical care" almost never bring down those costs, and often increase the costs. These policies simply refuse to pay the full costs of medical care. Any one of us can do that, but we know there will be consequences. There will also be consequences when the government refuses to pay the costs, but these consequences will be concealed and/or denied.

• The old saying that "politics is the art of the possible" is dead wrong. Politics is the art of making the impossible seem possible, and even plausible and desirable. That is how ObamaCare got passed.

• To let the world's leading terrorism-exporting nation get nuclear weapons can prove to be the most irresponsible and catastrophic decision in the history of the human race. It was also an irresponsible and catastrophic decision of the American voters to elect as president someone who would let that happen, basing their votes on rhetoric and racial symbolism.

6-7-14
 
When a president goes rogue

By George Will


JewishWorldReview.com | What Winston Churchill said of Secretary of State John Foster Dulles — that he was a bull who carried his own china shop around with him — is true of Susan Rice, who is, to be polite, accident-prone . When in September 2012 she was deputed to sell to the public the fable that the Benghazi attack was just an unfortunately vigorous movie review — a response to an Internet video — it could have been that she, rather than Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was given this degrading duty because Rice was merely U.N. ambassador, an ornamental position at an inconsequential institution. Today, however, Rice is Barack Obama’s national security adviser, so two conclusions must be drawn.

Perhaps she did not know, in advance of the swap of five terrorists for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl, the, shall we say, ambiguities about Bergdahl’s departure from his platoon in Afghanistan and the reportedly deadly consequences of his behavior. If so, then she has pioneered a degree of incompetence exotic even for this 10-thumbed administration. If, however, she did know and still allowed Obama to present this as a mellow moment of national satisfaction, she is condign punishment for his choice of such hirelings.

Perhaps this exchange really is, as Obama said in defending it, an excellent thing “regardless of the circumstances, whatever those circumstances may turn out to be.” His confidence in its excellence is striking, considering that he acknowledges that we do not know the facts about what would seem to be important “circumstances.”

Such as the note Bergdahl reportedly left before disappearing, in which he supposedly said he did not approve of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan. And the notably strong and numerous expressions of anger by members of Bergdahl’s battalion concerning his comportment and its costs.

Obama did not comply with the law requiring presidents to notify Congress 30 days before such exchanges of prisoners at Guantanamo. Politico can be cited about this not because among the media it is exceptionally, well, understanding of Obama’s exuberant notion of executive latitude but because it is not. Politico headlined a story on his noncompliance with the law “Obama May Finally Be Going Rogue on Gitmo.”It said Obama’s “assertive” act “defied Congress” — Congress, not the rule of law — in order “to get that process [of closing the prison at Guantanamo] moving.” It sent “a clear message” that “Obama is now willing to wield his executive powers to get the job done.” Or, as used to be said in extenuation of strong leaders, “to make the trains run on time.”

The 44th president, channeling — not for the first time — the 37th (in his post-impeachment conversation with David Frost), may say: “When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.” Already the administration says events dictated a speed that precluded complying with the law.

This explanation should be accorded open-minded, but not empty-minded, consideration. It should be considered in light of the fact that as the Veterans Affairs debacle continued, Obama went to Afghanistan to hug some troops, then completed the terrorists-for-Bergdahl transaction. And in light of the fact that Obama waged a seven-month military intervention in Libya’s civil war without complying with the law (the War Powers Resolution) that requires presidents to terminate within 60 to 90 days a military action not authorized or subsequently approved by Congress.

Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-Ga.), vice chairman of the intelligence committee, says the administration told him he would be notified about negotiations for the release of terrorists. He now says he cannot “believe a thing this president says.”

Obama says his agents “consulted with Congress for quite some time” about prisoner exchanges with the Taliban. Mike Rogers (R-Mich.), chairman of the House intelligence committee, says there have been no consultations since 2011. Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) says “I don’t like it when the White House says the intelligence committees were briefed. Because we weren’t.” He says Obama is “referring to . . . 2011-2012, when I was still in grade school.”

Now, now. “Assertive” presidents can’t be expected to “go rogue” without ruffling feathers. And omelets cannot be made without breaking eggs. Etc.

This episode will be examined by congressional committees, if they can pierce the administration’s coming cover-up, which has been foreshadowed by the response to congressional attempts to scrutinize the politicization of the Internal Revenue Service. If the military stalls on turning over files to Congress pertaining to the five years of Bergdahl’s absence, we will at least know that there is no national institution remaining to be corrupted.

6-6-14

D-Day June, 6 1944. Freedomforusnow remembers & thanks all WW II Veterans & heroes for their service & sacrifices for America.

Does anyone think we would have won this war with the "leadership" currently in the White House and Congress? Follow this link to see great men in action.

 

6-5-14
 
Obama Sprinting to Finish Line to 'Transform' America

By David Limbaugh


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It obviously doesn't bother President Obama a whit to usurp congressional power to impose more draconian environmental regulations — and probably not much more to do so in an election year, even when his action will hurt Democrats.

What's he going to do now, you ask?

Well, his Environmental Protection Agency, in deference to and collusion with Obama's war on domestic energy producers, has unveiled a proposed rule to mandate power plants to cut U.S. carbon dioxide emissions 30 percent by 2030 from levels 25 years earlier.

According to The Wall Street Journal, the rule would affect hundreds of fossil-fuel power plants and hit America's 600 coal-fired power plants the hardest. The rule, says the Journal, "is a major element of (Obama's) attempt to secure a second-term legacy."

Someone please deliver Obama the memo: He has already secured his second-term, first-term and entire-term legacy by doing more harm to this nation across the board than not only any former president but any other human being in our history. Why can't he just be satisfied with the damage he's already caused?

Obama demagogued the announcement by joining a conference call with the American Lung Association, depicting the imposition of the rule as vital for public health and — by all means — "to reduce the carbon emissions that scientists say contribute to climate change."

Is climate change that bizarre phenomenon I've experienced all my life in which one season it's hot, the next it's in between and the next it's cold? Or is it when it's blazing hot on a July afternoon before a summer shower cools things off?

Nope. Climate change is the elaborate cover that enables environmentalist extremists to get away with having issued apocalyptic warnings decades ago about "global cooling" and then shamelessly and seamlessly shifting their hysteria to anticipated "global warming" and now remorselessly settling today for just plain old "climate change."

One of the most insidious techniques Obama has employed to wreak havoc on America and its institutions has been the imposition of laws and rules with delayed effective dates so that the public will not immediately realize the enormity of the hardships and destruction being caused.

Look at the delays he built in to Obamacare, including the thousands of preferential exemptions from the law he extended to buy off opposition and ward off political challenges during the various election years. Look at the trillions of dollars he is spending now to create the illusion that the economy is stronger than it is, with willful disregard for its bankrupting effect on future generations of Americans. The same is true with his refusal to reform entitlement programs, whose $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities is a ticking time bomb for America's financial stability. The Dodd-Frank financial reform bill was sold as a measure to prevent further consolidation of banking power, and we are already seeing that it is doing just the opposite. But why should Obama care? He got his law passed, and it's having his desired — as opposed to promised — effect.

The same is true of this new EPA emissions rule. The rule would give states and companies as much as 15 years to comply and thus presumably reduce both their opposition and the public's.

Not surprisingly, the White House is deceitfully promising — as it did with Obamacare when no one could prove otherwise in advance — that this rule would lower costs and create jobs. Are you kidding me? No intellectually honest person could believe that. Obama doesn't even want the rule to lower costs and create jobs. This is all part of his pre-announced plan to bankrupt conventional energy producers.

Obama will doubtlessly line up the usual corporate suspects to announce their support for his bill — those he will have bought off through crony capitalism by ensuring the rule somehow would benefit them. Just as he lined up the white-coated physicians and insurance executives to stand with him in passing Obamacare, he'll hail this support as proof that it's in the best interests of American businesses and America itself.

But The Washington Examiner's Timothy Carney notes that corporate lobbyists are divided on Obama's current climate measure because it would benefit some companies and hurt others. He will garner the vocal support of those businesses that would profit from the regulations, a technique used by politicians to advance previous environmental regulations.

It is disturbing to contemplate the sheer power of this federal government, especially its unchecked and constitutionally unauthorized administrative branch, to whimsically issue such far-reaching decrees that negatively impact so many businesses and industries and so many lives — all in the name of helping them. The Competitive Enterprise Institute calculates that the federal regulatory leviathan currently costs the U.S. economy some $1.86 trillion annually, which amounts to a hidden tax of nearly $15,000 per household.

Obama is proceeding apace to consummate his wholesale destruction, er, fundamental transformation of America, and adding insult to injury, he's doing it outside the scope of his constitutional authority.

He will not be denied. But he's making sure America will be.

6-4-14
 
Emptiness at West Point: One can only marvel at the smallness of it all

By Charles Krauthammer


JewishWorldReview.com | It is fitting that on the day before President Obama was to give his grand West Point address defending the wisdom and prudence of his foreign policy, his government should be urging Americans to evacuate Libya.

Libya, of course, was once the model Obama intervention — the exquisitely calibrated military engagement wrapped in the rhetorical extravagance of a nationally televised address proclaiming his newest foreign policy doctrine (they change to fit the latest ad hoc decision): the responsibility to protect.

You don’t hear R2P bandied about much anymore. Not with more than 50,000 civilians having been slaughtered in Syria’s civil war, unprotected in any way by the United States. Nor for that matter do you hear much about Libya, now so dangerously chaotic and jihadi-infested that the State Department is telling Americans to get out.

And you didn’t hear much of anything in the West Point speech. It was a somber parade of straw men, as the president applauded himself for steering the nation on a nervy middle course between extreme isolationism and madcap interventionism. It was the rhetorical equivalent of that classic national security joke in which the presidential aide, devoted to policy option X, submits the following decision memo:

Option 1. All-out nuclear war.

Option 2. Unilateral surrender.

Option 3. Policy X.

The isolationism of Obama’s telling is a species not to be found anywhere. Not even Rand Paul would withdraw from everywhere. And even members of Congress’s dovish left have called for sending drones to Nigeria, for God’s sake.

As for Obama’s interventionists, they are grotesquely described as people “who think military intervention is the only way for America to avoid looking weak” while Obama courageously refuses to believe that “every problem has a military solution.”

Name one person who does.

“Why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force?” Obama recently and plaintively asked about Ukraine. In reality, nobody is. What actual earthlings are eager for is sending military assistance to Ukraine’s woefully equipped forces.

That’s what the interim prime minister asked for when he visited here in March — and was denied. (He was even denied night-vision goggles and protective armor.) Two months later, military assistance was the first thing Petro Poroshenko, Ukraine’s newly elected president, said he wanted from the United States. Note: not boots on the ground.

Same for Syria. It was Obama, not his critics, who went to the brink of a military strike over the use of chemical weapons. From which he then flinched. Critics have been begging Obama to help train and equip the outmanned and outgunned rebels — a policy to which he now intimates he might finally be coming around.

Three years late. Qusair, Homs and major suburbs of Damascus have already been retaken by the government. The battle has by now so decisively tilted toward Assad — backed by Russia, Iran and Hezbollah, while Obama dithered — that Assad is holding triumphal presidential elections next week.

Amid all this, Obama seems unaware of how far his country has fallen. He attributes claims of American decline to either misreading history or partisan politics. Problem is: Most of the complaints are coming from abroad, from U.S. allies with no stake whatsoever in U.S. partisan politics. Their concern is their own security as they watch this president undertake multiple abdications from Warsaw to Kabul.

What is the world to think when Obama makes the case for a residual force in Afghanistan — “after all the sacrifices we’ve made, we want to preserve the gains that you have helped to win” — and then announce a drawdown of American forces to 10,000, followed by total liquidation within two years on a fixed timetable regardless of circumstances?

The policy contradicts the premise. If you want not to forfeit our terribly hard-earned gains — as we forfeited all our gains in Iraq with the 2011 withdrawal — why not let conditions dictate the post-2014 drawdowns? Why go to zero — precisely by 2016?

For the same reason, perhaps, that the Afghan surge was ended precisely in 2012, in the middle of the fighting season — but before the November election. A 2016 Afghan end date might help Democrats electorally and, occurring with Obama still in office, provide a shiny new line to his résumé.

Is this how a great nation decides matters of war and peace — to help one party and polish the reputation of one man? As with the West Point speech itself, as with the president’s entire foreign policy of retreat, one can only marvel at the smallness of it all.

6-3-14
 
Obamanomics

By George Will


JewishWorldReview.com | It is said that the problem with the younger generation — any younger generation — is that it has not read the minutes of the last meeting. Barack Obama, forever young, has convenient memory loss: It serves his ideology. His amnesia concerning the policies that produced the robust recovery from the more severe (measured by its 10.8 percent unemployment rate) recession of 1981-82 has produced policies that have resulted in 0.1 percent economic growth in 2014’s first quarter — the 56th, 57th and 58th months of the recovery from the recession that began in December 2007.

June begins the sixth year of the anemic recovery from the 18-month recession. Even if what Obama’s administration calls “historically severe” weather — a.k.a., winter — reduced GDP growth by up to 1.4 percentage points, growth of 1.5 percent would still be grotesque.

America has a continental market, a reasonably educated and remarkably — considering the incentives for not working — industrious population, an increasingly (because of declining ­private-sector unionization) flexible labor market, an efficient financial system, extraordinary research universities to fuel innovation and astonishing energy abundance. Yet the recovery’s two best growth years (2.5 percent in 2010 and 2.8 percent in 2012) are satisfactory only when compared with 2011 and 2013 (1.8 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively).

The reason unemployment fell by four-tenths of a point (to 6.3 percent) in April while growth stalled is that 806,000 people left the labor force. The labor force participation rate fell four-tenths of a point to a level reached in 1978, which was during the Carter-era stagflation and early in the surge of women into the workforce. There are about 14.5 million more Americans than before the recession but nearly 300,000 fewer jobs, and household income remains below the pre-recession peak.

Paul Volcker, whose nomination to be chairman of the Federal Reserve Board was Jimmy Carter’s best presidential decision, raised interest rates to put the nation through a recession to extinguish the inflation that, combined with stagnant growth, ruined Carter’s presidency. Then came the 1983-88 expansion, when growth averaged 4.6 percent, including five quarters above 7 percent.

Ronald Reagan lightened the weight of government as measured by taxation and regulation. Obama has done the opposite. According to the annual “snapshot of the federal regulatory state” compiled by Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, four of the five largest yearly totals of pages in the Federal Register — the record of regulations — have occurred during the Obama administration. The CEI’s delightfully cheeky “unconstitutionality index,” measuring Congress’s excessive delegation of its lawmaking policy, was 51 in 2013. This means Congress passed 72 laws but unelected bureaucrats issued 3,659 regulations.

The more than $1.1 trillion of student loan debt — the fastest-growing debt category, larger than credit card or auto loan debt — is restraining consumption, as is the retirement of baby boomers. In 2012, more than 70 percent of college graduates had student loan debts averaging about $30,000. This commencement season’s diploma recipients are entering an economy where more than 40 percent of recent college graduates are either unemployed or in jobs that do not require a college degree. This is understandable, given that 44 percent of the job growth since the recession ended has been in food services, retail clerking or other low-wage jobs.

In April, the number of people younger than 25 in the workforce declined by 484,000. Unsurprisingly, almost one in three (31 percent) people age 18 to 34 are living with their parents, including 25 percent who have jobs.

So the rate of household formation has, Neil Irwin reports in the New York Times, slowed from a yearly average of 1.35 million in 2001-06 to 569,000 in 2007-13. And investment in residential property is at the lowest level (as a share of the economy) since World War II. “If,” Irwin writes, “building activity returned merely to its postwar average proportion of the economy, growth would jump this year to a booming, 1990s-like level of 4 percent.”

However, a Wall Street Journal headline announces that Washington has a plan: “U.S. Backs Off Tight Mortgage Rules.” It really is true: Life is not one damn thing after another, it is the same damn thing over and over.

There is, however, something new under the sun. The Pew Research Center reports that Americans age 25 to 32 — “millennials” — constitute the first age cohort since World War II with higher unemployment or a greater portion living in poverty than their parents at this age. But today’s millennials have the consolation of having the president they wanted.
 

6-2-14
 
Activism by Twitter? It can be a dereliction of duty for those in charge

By Charles Krauthammer


JewishWorldReview.com | Mass schoolgirl kidnapping in Nigeria — to tweet or not to tweet? Is hashtagging one’s indignation about some outrage abroad an exercise in moral narcissism or a worthy new way of standing up to bad guys?

The answer seems rather simple. It depends on whether you have the power to do something about the outrage in question. If you do, as in the case of the Obama administration watching Russia’s slow-motion dismemberment of Ukraine, it’s simply embarrassing when the State Department spokeswoman tweets the hashtag #UnitedForUkraine.

That is nothing but preening, a visual recapitulation of her boss’s rhetorical fatuousness when he sternly warns that if the rape of this U.S. friend continues, we are prepared to consider standing together with the “international community” to decry such indecorous behavior — or some such.

When a superpower, with multiple means at its disposal, reverts to rhetorical emptiness and hashtag activism, it has betrayed both its impotence and indifference. But if you’re an individual citizen without power, if you lack access to media, drones or special forces, then hashtagging your solidarity with the aggrieved is a fine gesture and perhaps even more.

The mass tweet is, after all, just the cyber equivalent of the mass petition. And people don’t sneer at petitions. Historically, they’ve been a way for individuals, famous or anonymous, to make their views known and, by weight of number, influence authorities who, in democratic societies, might respond to such expressions of popular sentiment.

The hashtag campaign for the Nigerian girls — originated in Nigeria by Nigerians — was meant to do exactly that: pressure the Nigerian government to respond more seriously to the kidnapping. It has already had this effect. And attention from abroad has helped magnify the pressure.

As always, however, we tend to romanticize the power of the tweet. For a while, Twitter (and other social media) was seen as a game-changer that would empower the masses and invert the age-old relationship between the ruler and ruled.

This is mostly rubbish. Yes, the tweet improves upon the mass petition because tweets contain an instant return address that allows for mass mobilization. People can be summoned to gather together somewhere — Tahrir Square, for example.

At which point, alas, the age-old dynamics of power take hold. If the tyrant, brandishing guns and tanks, is cruel and determined enough, your tweets will mean nothing. Try it at Tahrir or Tiananmen, in Damascus or Tehran. They will shoot and torture you, then maybe even let you keep your precious smartphone.

Michelle Obama’s tweeting #BringBackOurGirls for the nearly 300 schoolgirls kidnapped by Boko Haram terrorists poses an interesting case of the semi-official tweet. This was no exercise in vanity. She does advise the man who does deploy the forces and who in this case provided serious concrete support — intelligence, reconnaissance, on-the-ground advisers — to help fight the evil.

What was peculiar about her tweet, however, was its uniqueness: It’s the first time she’s expressed herself so personally and publicly about a foreign crisis. And she was nicely candid about the reason: “In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters.”

The identity of the victims here — young, black and female — undoubtedly helps explain the worldwide reaction. Two months earlier, Boko Haram had raided a Christian school and, after segregating the boys, brutally murdered 59 of them. That elicited no hashtag campaign against Boko Haram. Nor was there any through the previous years of Boko Haram depredations — razing Christian churches, burning schools, killing infidels of all ages.

Nonetheless, selective outrage is not necessarily hypocrisy. There are a million good causes in the world, and one cannot be devoted to all of them. People naturally gravitate to those closest to their heart. Thus last week’s unlikely sight: a group of congresswomen holding a news conference demanding immediate U.S. action — including the possible use of drones — against Boko Haram.

These were members, like Sheila Jackson Lee, not heretofore known for hawkish anti-jihadist sentiments. No matter. People find their own causes. Their sincerity is to be credited and their commitment welcomed.

The American post-9/11 response to murderous jihadism has often been characterized, not least by our own president, as both excessive and morally suspect. There is a palpable weariness with the entire enterprise. Good, therefore, that new constituencies for whom jihadism and imposed Shariah law ranked low among their urgent concerns should now be awakening to the principal barbarism of our time.

Trending now (once again): anti-jihadism, a.k.a. the War on Terror.

6-1-14
 
White Privilege

By Walter Williams


JewishWorldReview.com | What would you think if your 8-year-old came home and told you that "white privilege is something that white people have, meaning they have an advantage in a lot of things and they can get a job more easily"? You would have heard that at the recent 15th annual White Privilege Conference in Madison, Wisconsin, attended by 2,500 public-school teachers, administrators and students from across the nation (http://tinyurl.com/lkoqj9b).

The average parent has no idea of the devious indoctrination going on in classrooms in many public schools. What follows are some of the lessons of the conference.

In one of the workshops, "Examining White Privilege and Building Foundations for Social Justice Thinking in the Elementary Classroom," educators Rosemary Colt and Diana Reeves told how teachers can "insert social justice, anti-racist information" into their lessons that "even little kids" can understand.

Kim Radersma, a former high-school English teacher, hosted a session titled "Stories from the front lines of education: Confessions of a white, high school English teacher." She said that teaching is a purely political act and that neutral people should "get the f—- out of education." (http://tinyurl.com/q5adt2d). She also explained: "Being a white person who does anti-racist work is like being an alcoholic. I will never be recovered by my alcoholism, to use the metaphor. I have to every day wake up and acknowledge that I am so deeply embedded with racist thoughts and notions and actions in my body that I have to choose every day to do anti-racist work and think in an anti-racist way" (http://tinyurl.com/q4z969q).

But the propaganda and lunacy go even deeper. Jacqueline Battalora, professor of sociology and criminal justice at Saint Xavier University, informed conference participants that "white people did not exist before 1681. Again, white people did not exist on planet earth until 1681" (http://tinyurl.com/lkoqj9b). That's truly incredible. If Professor Battalora is correct, how are we to identify William Shakespeare (1564), Sir Isaac Newton (1642), John Locke (1632), Leonardo da Vinci (1452) and especially dear Plato? Were these men people of color, or did they not exist?

John A. Powell, a University of California, Berkeley law professor, told his audience, "And right now, I'm going to suggest to you that race is driving almost everything that's happening in the country." He explained the Hurricane Katrina disaster in New Orleans by saying, "They took money away from protecting the levees because the levees were protecting black people."

Stephanie Baran's message to conference participants was that capitalism is the cause of racism in the world today. This adjunct professor at Kankakee Community College, who calls herself a vulgar Marxist, added that racism was invented in Colonial America by white capitalists as a tool to divide labor and keep the working class in their place.

Educator Paul Kivel explained what he sees as Christian hegemony, saying, "Very simply, I define it as the everyday pervasive, deep-seated and institutionalized dominance of Christian values, Christian institutions, leaders and Christians as a group, primarily for the benefit of Christian ruling elites."

Speaker Leonard Zeskind — according to the MacIver Institute, which covered the event — explained that "the longer you are in the tea party the more racist you become." He added, "Parents put their kids in private schools because they're racist."

University of Iowa Professor Adrien Wing gave some of her observations about white privilege, asking, "Does having a black president change that? Has it changed that? Unfortunately, it hasn't. ... (President Obama) ends up being the front man for the system. ... He works for the master of the system of white privilege."

I can't imagine people being stupid enough to believe all that was said at the White Privilege Conference. There's something else at work. I think it's white guilt. That's why, for almost three decades, there has appeared on my website a certificate of amnesty and pardon that I've granted to Americans of European ancestry in the hope that they stop feeling guilty and stop acting like fools (http://tinyurl.com/opd8vgd).

5-31-14

Please read my new article,

Dollars and cents, common sense, and no sense-at-all liberals

5-30-14
 
America's Budding Tyrants

By Walter Williams


JewishWorldReview.com | From the Nazis to the Stalinists, tyrants have always started out supporting free speech, and why is easy to understand. Speech is vital for the realization of their goals of command, control and confiscation. Basic to their agenda are the tools of indoctrination, propagandizing, proselytization. Once they gain power, as leftists have at many universities, free speech becomes a liability and must be suppressed. This is increasingly the case on university campuses.

Back in 1964, it was Mario Savio, a campus leftist, who led the free speech movement at the Berkeley campus of the University of California, a movement that played a vital role in placing American universities center stage in the flow of political ideas, no matter how controversial, unpatriotic and vulgar. The free speech movement gave birth to the hippie movement of the '60s and '70s. The longhair, unkempt hippies of that era have grown up and now often find themselves being college professors, deans, provosts and presidents. Their intolerance of free speech and other ideas has become policy and practice on many college campuses.

Daniel Henninger, deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, updates us on the campus attack on free speech and different ideas in his article titled "Obama Unleashes the Left: How the government created a federal hunting license for the far left" (http://tinyurl.com/mp5x428).

Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, one of the nation's most accomplished women, graciously withdrew as Rutgers University's commencement speaker after two months of campus protests about her role in the Iraq War. Some students and professors said, "War criminals shouldn't be honored." One wonders whether these students would similarly protest Hillary Clinton, who, as senator, voted for the invasion of Iraq.

Brandeis University officials were intimidated into rescinding their invitation to Somali writer and American Enterprise Institute scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose criticisms of radical Islam were said to have violated the school's "core values." Brandeis decided that allowing her to speak would be hurtful to Muslim students. I take it that Brandeis students and officials would see criticism of deadly Islamist terrorist gang Boko Haram's kidnapping of nearly 300 Nigerian girls, some of whom have been sold off as brides, as unacceptable and violative of the university's core values.

Azusa Pacific University, a private Christian university, canceled a planned address by distinguished libertarian scholar Charles Murray out of fear that his lecture might upset "faculty and students of color." In response to the cancellation, Murray wrote an open letter to the students, which in part read: "The task of the scholar is to present a case for his or her position based on evidence and logic. Another task of the scholar is to do so in a way that invites everybody into the discussion rather than demonize those who disagree. Try to find anything under my name that is not written in that spirit. Try to find even a paragraph that is written in anger, takes a cheap shot, or attacks women, African Americans, Latinos, Asians, or anyone else." Unfortunately, such a scholarly vision is greeted with hostility at some universities.

Earlier this year, faculty and students held a meeting at Vassar College to discuss a particularly bitter internal battle over the school's movement to boycott Israel. Before the meeting, an English professor announced the dialogue would "not be guided by cardboard notions of civility." That professor might share the vision of Adolf Hitler's brown-shirted thugs of the paramilitary wing of the Nazi party in their effort to crush dissent.

Western values of liberty are under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. These people want to replace personal liberty with government control; they want to replace equality with entitlement. As such, they pose a far greater threat to our way of life than any terrorist organization or rogue nation. Multiculturalism and diversity are a cancer on our society. Ironically, we not only are timid in response but feed those ideas with our tax dollars and charitable donations.

5-29-14

Don’t stigmatize murderers!

By: Ann Coulter    

Mass murder at a sunny college campus in a beach town would normally be considered “newsy,” but Elliot Rodger’s massacre at the University of California-Santa Barbara last Friday is getting surprisingly little press.

This is not a good case for liberals: The killer was an immigrant, a person of color, and the majority of his casualties resulted from attacks with a car or knife. It makes as much sense to rant about the NRA as to blame the Auto Club of America or the National Knife Collectors Association.

Rather, what we have is yet another mass murder committed by a schizophrenic — just like those of Seung-Hui Cho, Jared Loughner, James Holmes, and Adam Lanza.

Yes, they all used guns. Also, they were all males. They were all college-aged. They all had hair. Those are not distinctive characteristics.

When the last five mass murderers share something that only 1 percent of the population has, I think we’ve found the relevant common denominator.

Rodger had been seeing therapists since he was 8 years old. Just last year, his psychiatrist, Dr. Charles Sophy, prescribed him Risperidone, an anti-psychotic. But after looking up what Risperidone was for — schizophrenia — Rodger decided “it was the absolute wrong thing for me to take” and never did.

See, that’s the thing about schizophrenics — they don’t think they’re sick. They think the lava lamp that’s talking to them is sick.

Rodger’s “manifesto” reads like Nikolai Gogol’s “Diary of a Madman” — generally recognized as the first description of schizophrenia, except it’s a little repetitive and not well-written, no matter what that “tech guru” says.

I’m one of the few who have read all 141 pages. It is a tale of increasing delusions, paranoia, hallucinations, and wild, grandiose self-assessments. In other words, it is a slightly less whiny version of Obama’s first inaugural address. (How many pages does your manifesto have to be before we can force you to take your medication?)

Rodger says of himself:

– “I saw myself as a highly intelligent and magnificent person who is meant for great things.”

– “Becoming a multimillionaire at a young age is what I am meant for.”

– “I am like a god.”

– “This was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal.”

(No — wait … Last one was Obama.)

Rodger saw every female as a “tall, hot blonde” — and, this being California, that’s at a campus that’s only 50 percent white. He viewed all couples as his sworn enemies causing his suffering.

Although Rodger loved driving his car, he “soon learned the hard way” not to drive on Friday and Saturday nights, where he “frequently saw bands of teenagers roaming the streets.” They “had pretty girls beside them,” probably on their way to “get drunk and have sex and do all sorts of fun pleasurable things that I’ve never had the chance to do. Damn them all!”

At Santa Barbara City College, he dropped his sociology class on the first day of school “because there was this extremely hot blonde girl in the class with her brute of a boyfriend.” Rodger couldn’t even sit through the whole first class with them, merely for being a couple.

Santa Monica Pier was out for him, too: “I saw young couples everywhere. … Life was too unfair to me.” On a trip to England, he refused to leave his hotel room so he wouldn’t have to see men walking with their girlfriends.

The “cruelty” of women apparently consisted of the failure of any “tall, hot blondes” to approach Rodger and ask for sex. He would walk around for hours “in the desperate hope that I might possibly cross paths with some pretty girl who would be attracted to me.”

But only once, in the entire 141-page manifesto, does Rodger attempt to speak to a girl himself. She’s a total stranger walking past him on a bridge, and he musters up the courage to say “hi.” He claims she “kept on walking” and said nothing. She probably didn’t hear him. But he called her a “foul bitch” and went to a bathroom to cry for an hour.

Although Rodger repeatedly denounces the world and everyone in it for “cruelty and injustice,” he was the bully more often than the bullied, especially as time went on, and his rage increased.

He sees an Asian guy talking to a white girl at a party, decides he’d been “insulted enough,” and roughly bumped the Asian aside. “How could an ugly Asian attract the attention of a white girl, while a beautiful Eurasian like myself never had any attention from them? I thought with rage.”

Even after this unprovoked assault, the couple was nice to him, telling him he was drunk and should have some water. He stormed out of the party, but returned to “spitefully insult” the Asian.

Then he climbed up on a balcony at the party, and when some college kids joined him, he began insulting them and tried to push the girls off a 10-foot ledge.

He hectors his mother to marry “any wealthy man” because it would “be a way out of my miserable and insignificant life.” He tells her “she should sacrifice her well-being for the sake of my happiness.”

When flying first class, he says, “I took great satisfaction as I passed by all of the other people who flew economy, giving all of the younger passengers a cocky little smirk whenever they looked at me.”

Meanwhile, in 141 pages, the worst thing anyone ever did to him was not say “hi” back.

His claim that couples all over were “making out” or “passionately kissing” are probably hallucinatory. In the Starbucks line? At family dinners? They were probably holding hands and Rodger hallucinated something resembling a live sex act.

Thus, he claims a couple in a Starbucks line were “kissing passionately … rubbing their bodies together and tongue kissing in front of everyone.” Livid, Rodger followed them to their car and threw his hot coffee on them. Utterly self-pitying, he says: “I cursed the world for condemning me to such suffering.” Then he spent five days alone in his room.

Another couple Rodger claims were kissing “passionately” in the food court outside Domino’s pizza enraged him so much he followed them in his car and “splashed my iced tea all over them” — to fight “against the injustice.”

But the story that sounds the most like Gogol’s Poprishchin hearing two dogs talking in Russian is Rodger’s claim that his stepmother bragged to him that his stepbrother, Jazz — her own 6-year-old son! — “would be a success with girls and probably lose his virginity early.”

I know Moroccan cultural mores are different, but I’m calling “auditory hallucination” on that one.

A family friend, Simon Astaire, described Rodger’s flat affect, common to schizophrenics, saying he “couldn’t look at you straight in the eye and looked at your feet. It was unbearable.”
It’s hard to feel sorry for a mass murderer, but it was cruel to Elliot Rodger to allow him to refuse medication and turn himself into a monster. It was beyond cruel to his innocent victims — as well as the other victims of psychopathic killers. But liberals are more worried about “stigmatizing” the mentally ill, than the occasional mass murder.

5-28-14
 
The 2016 candidate the nation really needs

By George Will


JewishWorldReview.com | All modern presidents of both parties have been too much with us. Talking incessantly, they have put politics unhealthily at the center of America’s consciousness. Promising promiscuously, they have exaggerated government’s proper scope and actual competence, making the public perpetually disappointed and surly. Inflating executive power, they have severed it from constitutional constraints. So, sensible voters might embrace someone who announced his 2016 candidacy this way:

“I am ambling — running suggests unseemly ardor — for president. It is axiomatic that anyone who nowadays will do what is necessary in order to become president thereby reveals character traits, including delusions of adequacy and obsessive compulsive disorder, that should disqualify him or her from proximity to powers concentrated in the executive branch. Therefore, my campaign will initially consist of driving around the Obnoxiously Entitled Four — Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada — trying to interest their 3.8 percent of America’s population in a minimalist president.

“Candidates are constantly asked, ‘Where will you take the country?’ My answer is: ‘Nowhere.’ The country is not a parcel to be ‘taken’ anywhere. It is the spontaneous order of 316 million people making billions of daily decisions, cooperatively contracting together, moving the country in gloriously unplanned directions.

“To another inane question, ‘How will you create jobs?,’ my answer will be: ‘I won’t.’ Other than by doing whatever the chief executive can to reduce the regulatory state’s impediments to industriousness. I will administer no major economic regulations — those with $100 million economic impacts — that Congress has not voted on. Legislators should be explicitly complicit in burdens they mandate.

“Congress, defined by the Constitution’s Article I, is properly the first, the initiating branch of government. So, I will veto no bill merely because I disagree with the policy it implements. I will wield the veto power only on constitutional grounds — when Congress legislates beyond its constitutionally enumerated powers, correctly construed, as they have not been since the New Deal. So I expect to cast more vetoes than the 2,564 cast by all previous presidents.

“My judicial nominees will seek to narrow Congress’s use of its power to regulate commerce as an excuse for minutely regulating Americans’ lives. My nominees will broaden the judicial recognition of Americans’ ‘privileges or immunities,’ the rights of national citizenship mentioned in the 14th Amendment and the unenumerated rights referred to by the Ninth.

“In a radio address to the nation, President Franklin Roosevelt urged Americans to tell him their troubles. Please do not tell me yours. Tell them to your spouse, friends, clergy — not to a politician who is far away, who doesn’t know you and whose job description does not include Empathizer in Chief. ‘I feel your pain,’ Bill Clinton vowed. I won’t insult your intelligence by similarly pretending to feel yours.

“A congenial society is one in which most people most of the time, and all politicians almost all of the time, say, when asked about almost everything: ‘This is none of my business.’ If as president I am asked what I think about the death of a rock star, or the imbecilic opinions of rich blowhards who own professional sports teams, I will say: ‘Americans should have no interest in my thoughts about such things, if I had any.’ I will try not to come to the attention of any television camera more than once a week, and only that often if I am convinced that I can speak without violating what will be my administration’s motto: ‘Don’t speak unless you can improve the silence.’

“I will not ruin any more American evenings with televised State of the Union addresses. I will mail my thoughts on that subject to Congress ‘from time to time,’ as the Constitution directs. This was good enough for Jefferson and every subsequent president until Woodrow Wilson, the first president who believed, as progressives do, that the nation cannot function without constant presidential tutoring and hectoring.

“This country has waged many wars since it last actually declared war, on June 5, 1942, against Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary. If it is necessary to use military force, I shall, if exigencies permit, give Congress the pleasure of collaboration.

“Finally, there have been 44 presidencies before the one I moderately aspire to administer, and there will be many more than 44 after it. Mine will be a success if, a century hence, Americans remember me as dimly as they remember Grover Cleveland, the last Democratic president with proper understanding of this office’s place in our constitutional order.”

5-27-14
 
The Height of Utopianism

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | A political battle that is shaping up in San Francisco has implications for other communities across the country.

The issue that will be on the June ballot is whether voter approval shall be required to change the height restrictions on buildings along the San Francisco waterfront. Like so many other political issues, this one is being debated in runaway rhetoric bearing no resemblance to reality.

Former San Francisco City Attorney Louise Renne, for example, says that "the people" own the waterfront and therefore should be "consulted." Really? Can one of "the people," who supposedly own the waterfront, decide that he wants to sell his share of it and pocket the money?

As for being "consulted," how many of "the people" — who have lives to lead, careers to pursue and families to take care of — are going to study the economic and other complexities created by height restrictions?

What we are really talking about are little coteries of self-righteous busybodies, who have been elected by nobody, wrapping themselves in the mantle of "the people," in order to oppose elected officials, who have been elected precisely in order to give such issues the professional attention they deserve, in a system of representative government.

Height restrictions have serious economic implications that are not immediately obvious to those who do not look beyond rhetoric about "saving" this or "preserving" that.

In a place with very high land prices, such as San Francisco, the difference between building a ten-story apartment building and being restricted to building a five-story apartment building can be a big difference in what rent will have to be charged, when there are only half as many renters to cover the costs of the land.

When a city cannot expand upward, its growing population must expand outward. That means far more commuter traffic, from ever greater distances, to get to work in the city.

Anyone who has seen the huge amount of traffic clogging the bridges into San Francisco, as early as 6 o'clock in the morning, will understand that such repercussions exact a price that goes beyond money to time lost in traffic and lives lost in traffic.

None of these hidden costs of height restrictions is likely to be noticed, much less weighed, by those who speak or hear self-indulgent rhetoric about how the waterfront is a "treasure" that needs "careful and attentive stewardship" by the voters, as a San Francisco Examiner editorial put it.

And just how many of those voters — "the people" with jobs, homes and families to look after — are going to have time to carry out this "careful and attentive stewardship"? Does anyone seriously believe that most people have time to be poring over maps, reports and statistics about the San Francisco waterfront?

Is not the whole point of representative government that you cannot run a city, much less a state or a nation, as if you were having "town meeting democracy" in some little New England village, where virtually everybody knows everything that is important to that village?

5-26-14

Celebrate Memorial Day
by honoring American Patriots


5-25-14
 
Kangaroo Courts on Campus?

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | There seems to be a full-court press on to get colleges to "do something" about rape on campus.

But there seems to be remarkably little attention paid to two crucial facts: (1) rape is a crime and (2) colleges are not qualified to be law-enforcement institutions.

Why are rapists not reported to the police and prosecuted in a court of law?

Apparently this is because of some college women who say that they were raped and are dissatisfied with a legal system that does not automatically take their word for it against the word of someone who has been accused and denies the charge.

There seem to be a dangerously large number of people who think that the law exists to give them whatever they want — even when that means denying other people the same rights that they claim for themselves.

Nowhere is this self-centered attitude more common than on college campuses. And nowhere are such attitudes more encouraged than by the Obama administration's Justice Department, which is threatening colleges that don't handle rape issues the politically correct way — that is, by presuming the accused to be guilty and not letting Constitutional safeguards get in the way.

Anything that fits the "war on women" theme is seen as smart politics in an election year. The last thing Attorney General Eric Holder's Justice Department is interested in is justice.

The track record of academics in other kinds of cases is not the least bit encouraging as regards the likelihood of impartial justice. Even on many of our most prestigious college campuses, who gets punished for saying the wrong thing and who gets away with mob actions depends on which groups are in vogue and which are not.

This is carried to the point where some colleges have established what they call "free speech zones" — as if they are granting a special favor by not imposing their vague and arbitrary "speech codes" everywhere on campus.

The irony in this is that the Constitution already established a free speech zone. It covers the entire United States.

Have we already forgotten the lynch mob atmosphere on the Duke University campus a few years ago, when three young men were accused of raping a stripper?

Thank heaven that case was handled by the criminal justice system, where all the evidence showed that the charge was bogus, leading to the district attorney's being removed and disbarred.

If all the current crusades to institutionalize lynch law on campuses across the country were motivated by a zeal to protect young women, that might at least be understandable, however unjustified.

But those who are whipping up the lynch mob mentality have shown far less interest in stopping rape than in politicizing it. Many of the politically correct crusaders are the same people who have pushed for unisex living arrangements on campus, including unisex bathrooms, and who have put condom machines in dormitories and turned freshman orientation programs into a venue for sexual "liberation" propaganda.

They laughed at old-fashioned restrictions designed to reduce sexual dangers among young people on campus. Now that real life experience has shown that these are not laughing matters, the politically correct still want their sexual Utopia, and want scapegoats when they don't get it.

There is a price to pay for allowing unsubstantiated accusations to prevail, and that price extends beyond particular young men whose lives can be ruined by false charges. The whole atmosphere of learning is compromised when male faculty have to protect themselves from accusations by female students.

People today are amazed when I tell them about a young African woman who had just arrived in America back in 1963, and who was so overwhelmed by everything that she fell far behind in my economics class. I met with her each evening for an hour of tutoring until she caught up with the rest of the class.

There is no way that I would do that today, and there is no way that she would have passed that class otherwise. Instead, she would have returned to Africa a failure. There are many unintended consequences of lynch law policies that poison the atmosphere on campus and diminish American life in general.

5-24-14

State laws in trouble: Campaign finance laws are going extinct

By George Will

   
JewishWorldReview.com | MINNEAPOLIS— Minnesota says it has 10,000 lakes. The state also has, according to Anthony Sanders, “10,000 campaign finance laws.” He exaggerates, but understandably. As an attorney for Minnesota’s chapter of the Institute for Justice, a libertarian public-interest law firm, Sanders represents several Minnesotans whose First Amendment rights of free speech and association are burdened by an obviously arbitrary, notably complex and certainly unconstitutional restriction.

Linda Runbeck is a Republican state legislator who is allowed to spend in her campaign — most spending finances dissemination of speech — only $62,600. She is not challenging this speech limit, although it is so low it prevents her from advertising on this city’s television stations, whose broadcasts reach many of the state’s voters. Rather, she is challenging the “special sources” provision that makes even more onerous the $1,000 limit on what any person can give her.

Once she has received $12,500 in contributions of between $500 and $1,000, the $1,000 contribution limit is cut in half: All subsequent contributors can give a maximum of $500. When a contributor gives more, Runbeck must return the money or contact the giver and ask if it can be divided as two contributions coming from the giver and his or her spouse.

Van Carlson is one of Runbeck’s constituents. He is only moderately affluent, but he wants to be able to give at least the permissible $1,000 to legislative candidates. If, however, 12 others have already given $1,000 to one of them, he can give only $500 to that candidate. As IJ’s Sanders says, “No other state restricts what ordinary people can give to candidates because of what other ordinary people have already given.”

The “special sources” restriction was vulnerable to a constitutional challenge even before April, when the Supreme Court decided the McCutcheon case. In it, the court invalidated the $48,600 “aggregate limit” on contributions to candidates for federal offices. The unreasonableness of this was obvious: If a person could give the $2,600 maximum to 18 candidates without a danger of corruption or the appearance thereof, why would giving $2,600 to a 19th candidate pose this danger?

The court has repeatedly held that prevention of quid pro quo corruption (contributions purchasing specific favors) or the appearance of it is the only permissible reason for contribution limits. And the court has repeatedly stressed that “leveling the playing field” — equalizing candidates’ quantities of permissible political speech — is an impermissible reason for limiting contributions: “The concept that government may restrict the speech of some elements of our society in order to enhance the relative voice of others is wholly foreign to the First Amendment.”

That, however, was among the Minnesota Legislature’s rationales for the “special sources” limit. Conceivably, the legislature was not entirely altruistic with rules that handicap challengers more than officials who enjoy the many advantages of incumbency.

Eugene McCarthy, a Democrat who represented Minnesota in the Senate from 1959 to 1971, said that in Washington anything said three times is deemed a fact. It is constantly said that today’s campaign regulations are “post-Watergate” reforms. Many were indeed written after the Nixon-era scandals. But the push for more government regulation of political speech began because Democrats were dismayed by what McCarthy accomplished in 1968.

His challenge to President Lyndon Johnson for that year’s Democratic presidential nomination was potent only because five wealthy liberals who shared McCarthy’s opposition to the Vietnam War gave him substantial sums. Stewart Mott’s $210,000 would be $1.4 million in today’s dollars. The five donors’ seed money enabled McCarthy to raise $11 million ($75 million today). Today, the most a wealthy quintet could give to help an insurgent against an incumbent would be $13,000 (five times the individual limit of $2,600).

But of course. Class solidarity unites incumbent politicians of all stripes, and all the laws that ever have regulated campaigns, or ever will regulate them, have had or will have one thing in common: They have been, or will be, written by incumbent legislators. This is why such laws are presumptively disreputable and usually unconstitutional.

Which Minnesota’s “special sources” regulation is in saying that, while it is fine for 12 people to give Runbeck $1,000, Minnesota would somehow be injured if Van Carlson then gave her $1,000. On Monday, a federal judge enjoined enforcement of this limit . The Supreme Court’s rulings against federal restrictions of political speech are now scythes for mowing down states’ restrictions.
 

5-23-14
 
Great Society's decline: The high cost of Lyndon Johnson's grand project

By George Will

JewishWorldReview.com | Standing on his presidential limousine, Lyndon Johnson, campaigning in Providence, R.I., in September 1964, bellowed through a bullhorn: “We’re in favor of a lot of things and we’re against mighty few.” This was a synopsis of what he had said four months earlier.

Fifty years ago this Thursday, at the University of Michigan, Johnson had proposed legislating into existence a Great Society. It would end poverty and racial injustice, “but that is just the beginning.” It would “rebuild the entire urban United States” while fending off “boredom and restlessness,” slaking “the hunger for community” and enhancing “the meaning of our lives” — all by assembling “the best thought and the broadest knowledge.”

In 1964, 76 percent of Americans trusted government to do the right thing “just about always or most of the time”; today, 19 percent do. The former number is one reason Johnson did so much; the latter is one consequence of his doing so.

Barry Goldwater, Johnson’s 1964 opponent who assumed that Americans would vote to have a third president in 14 months, suffered a landslide defeat. After voters rebuked FDR in 1938 for attempting to “pack” the Supreme Court, Republicans and Southern Democrats prevented any liberal legislating majority in Congress until 1965. That year, however, when 68 senators and 295 representatives were Democrats, Johnson was unfettered.

He remains, regarding government’s role, much the most consequential 20th-century president. Indeed, the American Enterprise Institute’s Nicholas Eberstadt, in his measured new booklet “The Great Society at Fifty: The Triumph and the Tragedy,” says LBJ, more than FDR, “profoundly recast the common understanding of the ends of governance.”

When Johnson became president in 1963, Social Security was America’s only nationwide social program. His programs and those they subsequently legitimated put the nation on the path to the present, in which changed social norms — dependency on government has been destigmatized — have changed America’s national character.

Between 1959 and 1966 — before the War on Poverty was implemented — the percentage of Americans living in poverty plunged by about one-third, from 22.4 to 14.7, slightly lower than in 2012. But, Eberstadt cautions, the poverty rate is “incorrigibly misleading” because government transfer payments have made income levels and consumption levels significantly different. Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, disability payments, heating assistance and other entitlements have, Eberstadt says, made income “a poor predictor of spending power for lower-income groups.” Stark material deprivation is now rare:

“By 2011 . . . average per capita housing space for people in poverty was higher than the U.S. average for 1980. . . . [Many] appliances were more common in officially impoverished homes in 2011 than in the typical American home of 1980. . . . DVD players, personal computers, and home Internet access are now typical in them — amenities not even the richest U.S. households could avail themselves of at the start of the War on Poverty.”

But the institutionalization of anti-poverty policy has been, Eberstadt says carefully, “attended” by the dramatic spread of a “tangle of pathologies.” Daniel Patrick Moynihan coined that phrase in his 1965 report calling attention to family disintegration among African Americans. The tangle, which now ensnares all races and ethnicities, includes welfare dependency and “flight from work.”

Twenty-nine percent of Americans — about 47 percent of blacks and 48 percent of Hispanics — live in households receiving means-tested benefits. And “the proportion of men 20 and older who are employed has dramatically and almost steadily dropped since the start of the War on Poverty, falling from 80.6 percent in January 1964 to 67.6 percent 50 years later.” Because work — independence, self-reliance — is essential to the culture of freedom, ominous developments have coincided with Great Society policies:

For every adult man ages 20 to 64 who is between jobs and looking for work, more than three are neither working nor seeking work, a trend that began with the Great Society. And what Eberstadt calls “the earthquake that shook family structure in the era of expansive anti-poverty policies” has seen out-of-wedlock births increase from 7.7 percent in 1965 to more than 40 percent in 2012, including 72 percent of black babies.

LBJ’s starkly bifurcated legacy includes the triumphant Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965 — and the tragic aftermath of much of his other works. Eberstadt asks: Is it “simply a coincidence” that male flight from work and family breakdown have coincided with Great Society policies, and that dependence on government is more widespread and perhaps more habitual than ever? Goldwater’s insistent 1964 question is increasingly pertinent: “What’s happening to this country of ours?”

5-22-14
 
Where the voters are left without a choice

By George Will


JewishWorldReview.com | CHICAGO — Democracy can be cruel because elections deprive the demos of the delight of alibis and the comfort of complaining.

Illinois voters have used many elections to make theirs the worst-governed state, with about $100 billion in unfunded public pension promises, and $6.7 billion in unpaid bills.

The state is a stark illustration of prolonged one-party rule conducted by politicians subservient to government employees unions.

A new Gallup poll shows that Illinois has the highest percentage — 50% — of residents who want to leave their state. If Illinois voters re-elect Gov. Pat Quinn, 65, they will reject Bruce Rauner, 58, who vows to change the state's fundamental affliction — its political culture.

The state's strongest civic tradition is of governors going to jail. Four of the last nine have done so.

Lt. Gov. Quinn ascended to the governorship in 2009, because Gov. Rod Blagojevich, of fragrant memory, tried to sell the Senate seat Barack Obama vacated. In 2010, Quinn defeated a downstate social conservative by 32,000 votes out of 3.7 million cast. His job approval today is about 35%.

Rauner, born a few blocks from Wrigley Field, grew up in a Chicago suburb — his father was an electrical engineer at Motorola, his mother was a nurse. He attended Dartmouth, earned a Harvard MBA and joined the private-equity firm GTCR, where he made enough money to buy his nine homes.

When asked by a reporter if he is among the 1%, he cheerfully replied, "Oh, I'm probably .01%," an answer that was better arithmetic than politics.

Rauner spent $6.5 million of his own in winning the Republican primary, partly because Democratic-aligned unions spent millions trying to pick Quinn's opponent — attacking Rauner and supporting one of his GOP rivals.

Quinn is, as Winston Churchill reportedly said of an adversary, a modest man with much to be modest about.

Hence Quinn's campaign theme: Don't compare me to the Almighty, compare me to the alternative.

Concerning social issues, which energize much of the Republican base but repel many suburban voters in the "collar counties" around Chicago, Rauner is impeccably prudent, meaning disengaged. Abortion, he says, is "a tragedy" best left to women, not government. Gay marriage? Let each state decide by referendum "that particular contract between adults."

Quinn, unable to work the "war on women" trope, must rely on contemporary liberalism's only other idea, rage against the rich. But this becomes awkward.

Rauner's support for more charter schools and school choice vouchers is one reason why he has been endorsed by the Rev. James Meeks, pastor for 15,000 members of the South Side's Salem Baptist Church, Illinois' largest black church. And it's one reason the teachers unions oppose him with ferocious disparagement of his wealth.

Which is amusing. Since 2000, the Teachers' Retirement System, Illinois' largest pension program, has invested $120 million with GTCR and reaped an average annual return of 25%, much better than TRS' other private-equity investments.

For Karen Lewis, head of the Chicago Teachers Union, it suffices to say that Rauner is a "millionaire capitalist." He replies, "Teachers hired me for years." Public pension funds are by far the largest funders of private equity firms.

Illinois' population growth rate is the sixth-lowest among the states, and its 8.4% unemployment rate is exceeded only by Rhode Island's, another Democratic-dominated state, and Nevada's. Michigan's unemployment rate, the Midwest's second highest, is nearly a full point lower than Illinois'.

Bewildered liberals will say the state's stagnation is "despite" Democrats having raised the corporate tax rate to 9.5% from 7.3%, and imposed a "temporary" income-tax rate increase to 5% from 3%. Now, unsurprisingly, Quinn proposes making the temporary increase permanent. Two contiguous states with Republican governors — Michigan and Indiana — have cut corporate taxation.

"Cleanliness," says Rauner, quoting former Illinois Gov. Adlai Stevenson, "is next to godliness, except in the Illinois legislature where it is next to impossible." Governors come and go in Springfield but state legislators linger and real power resides in the speaker of the House, Michael Madigan, who has been a legislator since Richard Nixon was president (1971).

Rauner helped to finance the gathering of signatures to get term limits for state legislators on the November ballot, thereby energizing the huge majority that favors limits. Illinois voters can choose Rauner and term limits, or the acceleration of stagnation and the end of the pleasure of complaining.

5-21-14
 
Obama's foreign policy of self-delusion

By Charles Krauthammer


JewishWorldReview.com | Barack Obama’s 949-word response Monday to a question about foreign policy weakness showed the president at his worst: defensive, irritable, contradictory and at times detached from reality. It began with a complaint about negative coverage on Fox News, when, in fact, it was the New York Times’ front page that featured Obama’s foreign policy failures, most recently the inability to conclude a trade agreement with Japan and the collapse of Secretary of State John Kerry’s Middle East negotiations.

Add to this the collapse of not one but two Geneva conferences on Syria, American helplessness in the face of Russian aggression against Ukraine and the Saudi king’s humiliating dismissal of Obama within two hours of talks — no dinner — after Obama made a special 2,300-mile diversion from Europe to see him, and you have an impressive litany of serial embarrassments.

Obama’s first rhetorical defense, as usual, was to attack a straw man: “Why is it that everybody is so eager to use military force?”

Everybody? Wasn’t it you, Mr. President, who decided to attack Libya under the grand Obama doctrine of “responsibility to protect” helpless civilians — every syllable of which you totally contradicted as 150,000 were being slaughtered in Syria?

And wasn’t attacking Syria for having crossed your own chemical-weapons “red line” also your idea? Before, of course, you retreated abjectly, thereby marginalizing yourself and exposing the United States to general ridicule.

Everybody eager to use military force? Name a single Republican (or Democratic) leader who has called for sending troops into Ukraine.

The critique by John McCain and others is that when the Ukrainians last month came asking for weapons to defend themselves, Obama turned them down. The Pentagon offered instead MREs, ready-to-eat burgers to defend against 40,000 well-armed Russians. Obama even denied Ukraine such defensive gear as night-vision goggles and body armor.

Obama retorted testily: Does anyone think Ukrainian weaponry would deter Russia, as opposed to Obama’s diplomatic and economic pressure? Why, averred Obama, “in Ukraine, what we’ve done is mobilize the international community. . . . Russia is having to engage in activities that have been rejected uniformly around the world.”

That’s a deterrent? Fear of criticism? Empty words?

To think this will stop Putin, liberator of Crimea, champion of “New Russia,” is delusional. In fact, Putin’s popularity at home has spiked 10 points since the start of his war on Ukraine. It’s now double Obama’s.

As for the allegedly mobilized international community, it has done nothing. Demonstrably nothing to deter Putin from swallowing Crimea. Demonstrably nothing to deter his systematic campaign of destabilization, anonymous seizures and selective violence in the proxy-proclaimed People’s Republic of Donetsk, where Putin’s “maskirovka” (disguised warfare) has turned Eastern Ukraine into a no-man’s land where Kiev hardly dares tread.

As for Obama’s vaunted economic sanctions, when he finally got around to applying Round 2 on Monday, the markets were so impressed by their weakness that the ruble rose 1 percent and the Moscow stock exchange 2 percent.

Behind all this U.S. action, explained the New York Times in a recent leak calculated to counteract the impression of a foreign policy of clueless ad hocism, is a major strategic idea: containment.

A rather odd claim when a brazenly uncontained Russia swallows a major neighbor one piece at a time — as America stands by. After all, how did real containment begin? In March 1947, with Greece in danger of collapse from a Soviet-backed insurgency and Turkey under direct Russian pressure, President Truman went to Congress for major and immediate economic and military aid to both countries.

That means weaponry, Mr. President. It was the beginning of the Truman Doctrine. No one is claiming that arming Ukraine would have definitively deterred Putin’s current actions. But the possibility of a bloody and prolonged Ukrainian resistance to infiltration or invasion would surely alter Putin’s calculus more than Obama’s toothless sanctions or empty diplomatic gestures, like the preposterous Geneva agreement that wasn’t worth the paper it was written on.

Or does Obama really believe that Putin’s thinking would be altered less by antitank and antiaircraft weapons in Ukrainian hands than by the State Department’s comical #UnitedforUkraine Twitter campaign?

Obama appears to think so. Which is the source of so much allied anxiety: Obama really seems to believe that his foreign policy is succeeding.

Ukraine has already been written off. But Eastern Europe need not worry. Obama understands containment. He recently dispatched 150 American ground troops to Poland and each of the Baltic states. You read correctly: 150. Each.

5-20-14
 
Ruling by intimidation

By George Will

JewishWorldReview.com | U.S. District Judge Rudolph T. Randa, revolted by the police-state arrogance of some elected prosecutors, has stopped a partisan abuse of law enforcement that was masquerading as political hygiene. Last Tuesday, Randa halted the corruption being committed by people pretending to administer campaign regulations — regulations ostensibly enacted to prevent corruption or the appearance thereof. The prosecutors’ cynical manipulation of Wisconsin’s campaign laws is more than the mere appearance of corruption.

Eric O’Keefe’s refusal to be intimidated by lawless law enforcement officials produced Randa’s remarkably emphatic ruling against an especially egregious example of Democrats using government power to suppress conservatives’ political speech.

Wisconsin’s sordid episode began, appropriately, with a sound of tyranny — fists pounding on the doors of private citizens in pre-dawn raids. While sheriff’s deputies used floodlights to illuminate the citizens’ homes, armed raiders seized documents, computers, cellphones and other devices.

As a director of Wisconsin Club for Growth, which advocates limited government, O’Keefe had participated in his state’s 2012 debate surrounding attempts by Democrats and state and national government-employee unions to recall Gov. Scott Walker (R) and some state senators. The recalls were intended as punishment for legislation limiting the unions’ collective bargaining rights.

Walker prevailed. The Democratic prosecutors, however, seeking to cripple his 2014 reelection campaign and to damage him as a potential 2016 presidential aspirant, have resorted to a sinister Wisconsin process called a “John Doe investigation.” It has focused on the activities of O’Keefe and 28 other conservative individuals or organizations .

In such investigations, prosecutors can promiscuously issue subpoenas and conduct searches. The identities of the targets are kept secret, and the targets are silenced by gag orders, thereby preventing public discussion of the process. Thus John Doe investigations are effective government instruments of disruption and intimidation.

Randa correctly concluded that the John Doe investigation had no reasonable expectation of obtaining a conviction. But its aim, which had been achieved until Randa’s ruling, was utterly unrelated to law. It was abetted by selective leaks by the prosecutors and by subpoenas sent to conservative donors and organizations nationwide. The purpose of all this was to suppress conservative political advocacy by consuming the time and other resources of conservative leaders, and by making people wary of collaborating with those targeted by a secretive criminal investigation.

O’Keefe and the other harassed conservatives had engaged only in issue advocacy, not express advocacy. That is, they had not urged the election of specific candidates. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that government regulation of political speech is permissible only to prevent quid pro quo corruption — money purchasing political favors — resulting from express advocacy . Hence there is no justification for the prosecutors’ punitive investigation of O’Keefe’s and others’ issue advocacy. As Randa said, this has no “taint of quid pro quo corruption” and thus “is not subject to regulation.”

The Democratic prosecutors must know this. Again, they ignore it because their aim is mayhem, not law enforcement. Their activity is entirely about suffocating conservative activity. Because the prosecutors know Wisconsin law, they are patently disingenuous in arguing that O’Keefe and others illegally “coordinated” their advocacy with Walker and other candidates or campaigns. Randa said “the record seems to validate” the denials of coordination.

Besides, and even more importantly, Randa said his court “need not make that type of factual finding.” Wisconsin law forbids coordination between third-party groups, such as O’Keefe’s, and candidates only for express advocacy , and Randa said “it is undisputed” that O’Keefe and his group engaged only in issue advocacy. The prosecutors’ indifference to this is their corruption.

Liberals inveighing against “dark money” in politics mean money contributed anonymously to finance political advocacy. Donors’ anonymity thwarts liberals’ efforts to injure the livelihoods of identifiable conservatives by punishing them for their political participation and thereby deterring others from participating.

O’Keefe’s persecution illustrates the problem his lawyer David Rivkin calls “dark power” — government power wielded secretively for vengeance and intimidation. Judge Randa quoted the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision: The First Amendment is “premised on mistrust of governmental power.” And he noted that “the danger always exists that the high purpose of campaign regulation and its enforcement may conceal self-interest.”

Randa is insufficiently mistrustful. Campaign regulation, although invariably swathed in lofty rhetoric, is designed to disguise regulation’s low purpose, which is to handicap political rivals. If Wisconsin is serious about eliminating political corruption, it can begin by eliminating corrupt prosecutors and processes, and the speech regulations that encourage both.
 

5-19-14
 
Thin skins and prayer: Irritable Americans show their intolerance

By George Will

   
JewishWorldReview.com | After the marshal on Monday spoke the traditional “God save the United States and this honorable court,” the Supreme Court ruled that the Upstate New York town of Greece does not violate the First Amendment’s prohibition of “establishment of religion” by opening its board of supervisors’ meetings with a prayer. This ruling would not have scandalized James Madison and other members of the First Congress, which drafted and sent to the states for ratification the First Amendment and the rest of the Bill of Rights. The Congress did this after hiring a chaplain.

Three decades have passed since the court last ruled on the matter of prayers during government meetings. In 1983, the court held:

“The opening of sessions of legislative and other deliberative public bodies with prayer is deeply embedded in the history and tradition of this country. From colonial times through the founding of the Republic and ever since, the practice of legislative prayer has coexisted with the principles of disestablishment and religious freedom.”

Since then, however, many Americans have become more irritable and litigious and less neighborly. Also, there are many more nonbelievers. And the court has made establishment-clause jurisprudence more labyrinthine with nuances such as the “endorsement test”: What government behavior touching religion would a reasonable observer see as endorsing — or disapproving — a particular religion or religiosity generally?

Until 1999, Greece’s board usually opened its meetings with a moment of silence. Since then, it has invited local clergy, most of whom are Christians, to deliver prayers, most of which have had Christian content. The court has never held that legislative prayer must be nonsectarian. But the two plaintiffs against Greece argued that the predominance of Christian voices (there were others — Jewish, Baha’i and a Wiccan priestess who prayed to Athena and Apollo, rather fitting for a town named Greece) constituted establishment of Christianity as the town’s religion. A lower court agreed.

On Monday, the Supreme Court split 5 to 4 in reversing that court. The majority held that ceremonial prayer — an encouragement to gravity and sobriety — is not harmful to the plaintiffs, who felt somehow coerced when present at public prayers, and who said such prayers are necessarily divisive. The court should have told them: If you feel coerced, you are flimsy people, and it is a choice — an unattractive one — to feel divided from your neighbors by their affection for brief and mild occasional expressions of religiosity.

The court prudently avoided the potentially endless task of adumbrating criteria by which local governments, acting as piety police, could finely calibrate a constitutionally acceptable quantity of devoutness in public prayers, or could draw a bright line between acknowledging and worshiping a divinity. So, the court can expect to hear again from militantly aggravated secularists.

Taking offense has become America’s national pastime; being theatrically offended supposedly signifies the exquisitely refined moral delicacy of people who feel entitled to pass through life without encountering ideas or practices that annoy them. As the number of nonbelievers grows — about 20 percent of Americans are religiously unaffiliated, as are one-third of adults under the age of 30 — so does the itch to litigate believers into submission to secular sensibilities.

The United States would be a more congenial place if it had more amiable atheists who say, as one such did, that “it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.” Some will say Thomas Jefferson was a deist, not an atheist. Atheism, however, simply involves having no theism, and deism — belief that a celestial Clockmaker wound up the universe and set it ticking — is too watery a theism to count. Any religion worthy of the name explains, enjoins and consoles; undemanding deism merely explains, and does this minimally. Deism purports to explain the universe; so does the big bang theory, which is not a religion.

Still, Jefferson made statesmanlike accommodations of the public’s strong preference for religious observances. As president, he attended Christian services conducted in the House of Representatives. They also were conducted in the Supreme Court chamber and the Treasury building. Jefferson attended a service in the House two days after praising (in an 1802 letter) “a wall of separation between church and state.”

Jefferson was no slouch when it came to asserting rights. But Greece’s prickly plaintiffs, having taken their town to court, might now ponder his example of relaxed, friendly respect for practices cherished by others and harmless to him.
 

5-18-14
 
A Lesson on Racial Discrimination

By Walter Williams


JewishWorldReview.com | Donald Sterling, Los Angeles Clippers owner, was recorded by his mistress making some crude racist remarks. Since then, Sterling's racist comments have dominated the news, from talk radio to late-night shows. A few politicians have weighed in, with President Barack Obama congratulating the NBA for its sanctions against Sterling. There's little defense for Sterling, save his constitutional right to make racist remarks. But in a sea of self-righteous indignation, I think we're missing the most valuable lesson that we can learn from this affair -- a lesson that's particularly important for black Americans.

Though Sterling might be a racist, there's an important "so what?" Does he act in ways commonly attributed to racists? Let's look at his employment policy. This season, Sterling paid his top three players salaries totaling over $46 million. His 20-person roster payroll totaled over $73 million. Here are a couple of questions for you: What race are the players whom racist Sterling paid the highest salaries? What race dominated the 20-man roster? The fact of business is that Sterling's highest-paid players are black, and 85 percent of Clippers players are black. Down through the years, hundreds of U.S. corporations have faced charges of racism, and many have been subjects of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigations, but none of them had such a favorable employment and wage policy as Sterling. How does one explain this? People with limited thinking ability might conclude that Sterling is a racist in his private life but a nice card-carrying liberal in his public life, manifested by his hiring so many blacks, not to mention paying Doc Rivers, the Clippers' black head coach, a healthy $7 million a year. The likelier explanation is given no attention at all.

Let's use a bit of simple economics to analyze the contrast in Sterling's private and public behavior. First, professional basketball is featured by considerable market competition. There's an open opportunity in the acquisition of basketball playing skills. Youngsters just buy a basketball and shoot hoops. There's open competition in joining both high-school and college teams. You just sign up for tryouts in high school and get noticed by college scouts. Then there's considerable competition among the NBA teams in the acquisition of the best college players. Minorities and less preferred people always do better when there are open markets instead of regulated markets.

Recently deceased Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker pointed this phenomenon out some years ago in his path-breaking study "The Economics of Discrimination." Many people think that it takes government to eliminate racial discrimination, but economic theory predicts the opposite. Market competition imposes inescapable profit penalties on for-profit enterprises when they make employment decisions on any basis other than worker productivity. Professor Becker's study of racial discrimination upended the view that discriminatory bias benefits those who discriminate. He demonstrated that racial discrimination is less likely in the most competitive industries, which need to hire the best workers.

According to Forbes magazine, the Los Angeles Clippers would sell for $575 million. Ask yourself what the Clippers would sell for if Sterling were a racist in his public life and hired only white players. All the evidence suggests that would be a grossly losing proposition on at least two counts. Percentagewise, blacks more so than whites excel in basketball. That's not to say that it is impossible to recruit a team of first-rate, excellent white players. However, because there is a smaller number of top-tier white players relative to black players, the recruitment costs would be prohibitive. In other words, a team of excellent white players would be far costlier to field than a team of excellent black players. It's simply a matter of supply and demand.

The takeaway from the Sterling affair is that we should mount not a moral crusade but an economic liberty crusade. In other words, eliminate union restrictions, wage controls, occupational and business licensure, and other anti-free market restrictions. Make opportunity depend on one's productivity.
 

5-17-14
 
Coming End to Racial Preferences

By Walter Williams

JewishWorldReview.com | Last week's U.S. Supreme Court 6-2 ruling in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action et al. upheld Michigan's constitutional amendment that bans racial preferences in admission to its public universities. Justice Sonia Sotomayor lashed out at her colleagues in a bitter dissent, calling them "out of touch with reality." She went on to make the incredible argument that the amendment, which explicitly forbids racial discrimination, itself amounts to racial discrimination. Her argument was that permissible "race-sensitive admissions policies," the new name for racial preferences, both serve the compelling interest of obtaining the educational benefits that flow from a diverse student body and inure people to the benefit of racial minorities. By the way, no one has come up with hard evidence of the supposed "educational benefits" that come from a racially mixed student body, and there's mounting evidence of harm done to minorities through academic mismatching.

Far more important than the legal battles over racial preferences in college admissions is the question of why they are being called for in the first place. The SAT's purpose is to predict how well a student will perform in college classes. Blacks score at least 100 points lower than whites in each of the assessment areas — critical reading, math and writing. Asians score higher than whites in math and writing. SAT scores are also reported for Mexican-Americans, Puerto Ricans, Indians and others. Blacks score lower than these minorities, who themselves score lower than whites and Asians.

If we reject the racist notion of mental inferiority of blacks, holding that blacks can never compete academically and that "racially sensitive" college admissions are needed in perpetuity, we must seek an explanation for their relatively poor academic performance. My longtime colleague and friend Dr. Thomas Sowell offers some evidence in a recent column, "Will Dunbar Rise Again?". Paul Laurence Dunbar High School was founded in 1870 as the first public high school in the nation for black students. As far back as 1899, when tests were given in Washington's four academic high schools, Dunbar students scored higher than students in two of the three white high schools. Over the first several decades of the 20th century, about 80 percent of Dunbar graduates went on to college, a percentage far greater than that of high-school graduates of any race in the country at large at the time. Most blacks went to inexpensive local colleges, but among those who went on to Ivy League and other elite colleges, a significant number graduated Phi Beta Kappa. At one time, Dunbar graduates were admitted to Dartmouth or Harvard without having to take an entrance exam. One would have to be a lunatic to chalk up this academic success, in the early to mid-1900s, to Sotomayor's "race-sensitive admissions policies."

The shame of the nation is that poor black children are trapped in terrible schools. But worse than that is that white liberals, black politicians and civil rights leaders, perhaps unwittingly, have taken steps to ensure that black children remain trapped. Sowell says, "Of all the cynical frauds of the Obama administration, few are so despicable as sacrificing the education of poor and minority children to the interests of the teachers' unions." Attorney General Eric Holder's hostility, along with that of the teachers unions, toward the spread of charter schools is just one of the signs of that cynicism. Holder's threats against schools that discipline more black students than he thinks they should add official support to a hostile learning environment.

The weakening of racial preferences in college admissions can be beneficial if it can focus our attention on the causes of the huge gap in academic achievement between blacks and whites and Asians. Worrying about what happens when blacks are trying to get in to college is too late — as a matter of fact 12 years late.

5-16-14
 
Wage Discrimination

By Walter Williams

JewishWorldReview.com | "President Obama Vows Zero Tolerance on Gender Wage Gap," read one headline. Another read, "Women Still Earned 77 Cents On Men's Dollar In 2012." It's presumed that big, greedy corporations are responsible for what is seen as wage injustice. Before discussing the "unjust" wage differences between men and women, let's acknowledge an even greater injustice — which no one seems to care about — age injustice.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, workers ages 16 to 24 earn only 54 cents on every dollar earned by workers 25 or older (http://tinyurl.com/n6puf6j). This wage gap is 43 percent greater than the male/female gap. Our president, progressives, do-gooders, academics and union leaders show little interest in big, greedy corporations ripping off the nation's youth. You might say, "Whoa, Williams! There's a reason younger people earn less than older people. They don't have the skills or experience." My response would be — if I shared the vision of the president, media elite and do-gooders: Just as there can be no justification for big, greedy corporations paying women less than they pay men, there's no justification for them to exploit the nation's youth.

The 77 percent median income statistic, used in discussions about male/female differences in earnings, tells us nothing about differences that might explain the differences in income, and it leads to stupid discussions. Let's use some common sense and look at some differences between men and women that may have a bearing on earnings.

Kay S. Hymowitz's article "Why the Gender Gap Won't Go Away. Ever," in City Journal (summer 2011), shows that female doctors earn only 64 percent of what male doctors earn. But it turns out that only 16 percent of surgeons are women, whereas 50 percent of pediatricians are women. Even though surgeons have put in many more years of education and training than pediatricians and earn higher pay, should Obama and Congress equalize their salaries? Alternatively, they might force female pediatricians to become surgeons.

There are inequalities everywhere. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Asian men and women have median earnings higher than white men and women. Female cafeteria attendants earn more than their male counterparts. Females who are younger than 30 and have never been married earn salaries 8 percent higher than males of the same description. Among women who graduated from college during 1992-93, by 2003 more than one-fifth were no longer in the workforce, and another 17 percent were working part time. That's to be compared with only 2 percent of men in either category. Hymowitz cites several studies showing significant career choice and lifestyle differences between men and women that result in differences in income.

According to 2010 BLS data, the following jobs contain 1 percent or less female workers: boilermakers, brick masonry, stonemasonry, septic tank servicing, sewer pipe cleaners and trash collectors. By contrast, women are 97 percent of preschool and kindergarten teachers, 80 percent of social workers, 82 percent of librarians and 92 percent of dietitians and nutritionists and registered nurses.

For people having limited thinking skills, differences in earnings cannot be explained away. For them, Congress has permitted — and even fostered — a misallocation of people by race, sex and ethnicity. They'll argue that courts have consistently concluded that "gross" disparities are probative of a pattern and practice of discrimination. So what to do? Maybe President Obama and Congress should require women, who are overrepresented in preschool and kindergarten teaching, to become boilermakers, garbage collectors and brick masons and mandate that male boilermakers, trash collectors and brick masons become preschool and kindergarten teachers until both of their percentages are equal to their percentages in the population. You say, "Williams, to do that would be totalitarianism!" I say that if Americans accept that Congress can force us to buy health insurance, how much more totalitarian would it be for Congress to force people to take jobs they don't want?

5-15-14
 
Equality in Discipline

By Walter Williams

JewishWorldReview.com | George Leef, director of research for the North Carolina-based John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy, authored a Forbes op-ed article titled "Obama Administration Takes Groupthink To Absurd Lengths." The subtitle is "School Discipline Rates Must Be 'Proportionate.'" (http://tinyurl.com/mxnlg9h). Let's examine some of the absurdity of the Obama administration's take on student discipline.

Last January, the departments of Justice and Education published a "guidance" letter describing how schools can meet their obligations under federal law to administer student discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color or national origin. Its underlying threat is that if federal bureaucrats learn of racial disproportionality in the punishments meted out for misbehavior, they will descend upon a school's administrators. If schools cannot justify differentials in rates of punishment by race or ethnic group, they will face the loss of federal funds and be forced to undertake costly diversity training.

The nation's educators can avoid sanctions by adopting a racial quota system for student discipline. So as Roger Clegg, president and general counsel of the Center for Equal Opportunity, predicts, "school officials will either start disciplining students who shouldn't be, or, more likely, will not discipline some students who ought to be." I can imagine school administrators reasoning this way: "Blacks are 20 percent of our student body, and 20 percent of suspensions this year have been of black students. In order to discipline another black student while maintaining our suspension quota, we will have to suspend some white students, whether they're guilty or not." Some administrators might see some injustice in that approach and simply ignore the misbehavior of black students.

Leef cites Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald, who wrote in City Journal (http://tinyurl.com/9k648fj) that "the Departments of Education and Justice have launched a campaign against disproportionate minority discipline rates, which show up in virtually every school district with significant numbers of black and Hispanic students. The possibility that students' behavior, not educators' racism, drives those rates lies outside the Obama administration's conceptual universe." She quoted Aaron Benner, a black teacher in a St. Paul, Minn., school who abhors the idea that school officials should go easy on black students who act up because (as a "facilitator" said) that's what black culture is. "They're trying to pull one over on us. Black folks are drinking the Kool-Aid; this 'let-them-clown' philosophy could have been devised by the KKK." Benner is right. I can't think of a more racist argument than one that holds that disruptive, rude behavior and foul language are a part of black culture.

If Barack Obama's Department of Justice thinks that disproportionality in school punishments is probative of racial discrimination, what about our criminal justice system, in which a disproportionate number of blacks are imprisoned, on parole or probation, and executed? According to the NAACP's criminal justice fact sheet, blacks now constitute nearly 1 million of the total 2.3 million people who are incarcerated. Blacks are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of whites. The NAACP goes on to report that if blacks and Hispanics were incarcerated at the same rate as whites, today's prison and jail populations would decline by approximately 50 percent (http://tinyurl.com/7g2b32h).

So what to do? For example, blacks are 13 percent of the population but over 50 percent of homicide victims and about 46 percent of convicted murderers. Seeing as the Obama administration is concerned about punishment disproportionality, should black convicts be released so that only 13 percent of incarcerated murderers are black? Or should the Department of Justice order the conviction of whites, whether they're guilty or not, so that the number of people convicted of murder by race is equal to their number in the general population? You say, "Williams, that not only is a stupid suggestion but violates all concepts of justice!" You're absolutely right, but isn't it just as stupid and unjust for the Obama administration to seek punishment equality in schools?

5-14-14
 
Moral Bankruptcy

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | If you want to get some idea of the moral bankruptcy of our educational system, read an article in the May 4th issue of the New York Times Magazine titled, "The Tale of Two Schools."

The article is not about moral bankruptcy. But it is itself an example of the moral bankruptcy behind the many failures of American education today.

Someone had the bright idea of pairing public high school kids from a low-income neighborhood in the Bronx with kids from a private high school that charges $43,000 a year.

When the low-income youngsters visited the posh private school, "they were just overwhelmed" by it, according to the New York Times. "One kid ran crying off campus." Apparently others felt "so disheartened about their own circumstances."

What earthly good did that do for these young people? Thank heaven no one was calloused enough to take me on a tour of a posh private school when I was growing up in Harlem.

No doubt those adults who believe in envy and resentment get their jollies from doing things like this — and from feeling that they are creating future envy and resentment voters to forward the ideological agenda of the big government left.

But at the expense of kids?

There was a time when common sense and common decency counted for something. Educators felt a responsibility to equip students with solid skills that could take them anywhere they wanted to go in later life — enable them to become doctors, engineers or whatever they wanted to be.

Too many of today's "educators" see students as a captive audience for them to manipulate and propagandize.

These young people do not yet have enough experience to know that posh surroundings are neither necessary nor sufficient for a good education. Is anyone foolish enough to think that making poor kids feel disheartened is doing them a favor?

This school visit was not just an isolated event. It was part of a whole program of pairing individual youngsters from a poverty-stricken neighborhood with youngsters from families that can pay 43 grand a year for their schooling.

What do these kids do? They tell each other stories based on their young lives' unripened judgment. They go to a big park in the Bronx together and take part in a garden project there. They talk about issues like gun violence and race relations.

They have a whole lifetime ahead of them to talk about such issues. But poor kids, especially, have just one time, during their school years, to equip their minds with math, science and other solid skills that will give them a shot at a better life.

To squander their time on rap sessions and navel-gazing is unconscionable.

This is just one of many programs dreamed up by "educators" who seem determined to do anything except educate. They see school children as guinea pigs for their pet notions.

The New York Times is doing these youngsters no favor by publishing page after page of their photographs and snippets of things they said. More than two centuries ago, Edmund Burke lamented "everything which takes a man from his house and sets him on a stage."

Setting adolescents on a stage is even more ill-advised, at a time of life when they do not yet have the experience to see what an inconsequential distraction such activities and such publicity are.

At a time when American youngsters are consistently outperformed on international tests by youngsters in other countries, do we have the luxury of spending our children's time on things that will do absolutely nothing for them in the years ahead? Are children just playthings for adults?

Maybe the affluent kids can afford to waste their time this way, because they will be taken care of, one way or another, in later life.

But to squander the time of poor kids, for whom education is often their only hope of escaping poverty, is truly an irresponsible self-indulgence by adults who should know better, and it is one more sign of the moral bankruptcy of too many people in our schools.

5-13-14
 
My unuttered apology

By Thomas Sowell

 
JewishWorldReview.com | Nobel Prize-winning economist Gary Becker was internationally renowned within the economics profession, but was not nearly as well known among the general public as he deserved to be. More important, his path-breaking ideas, including his analysis of the economics of racial discrimination, deserved to be much more a part of the many discussions of that subject.

More than half a century after Professor Becker's landmark work on the economics of discrimination, most controversies on that subject, both in the media and in politics, go on in utter ignorance of his penetrating insights. So do laws and policies that make discrimination worse.

As someone who has written about racial discrimination within the framework of analysis that Becker created, I am especially indebted to him, and wish only that more people were aware of that framework, which could spare us much rhetoric and offer some useful understanding instead.

At a time when there are so many occasions to lament that Milton Friedman is no longer with us, when his knowledge and wisdom are needed more than ever, now we must also lament that the same is true of Gary Becker.

While Becker was an economist's economist, he also transcended the traditional boundaries of economics. He applied the kind of analysis that economists use to subjects that most economists do not usually deal with.

Racial discrimination was just one of those subjects — at least before Becker came along. He also analyzed family decisions within an intellectual framework ordinarily used for analyzing economic issues, though that did not mean that he thought families were all about money.

The title of a book that he co-authored with his wife, Guity Nashat, indicated something of the scope of the subjects Becker's analysis covered: "The Economics of Life: From Baseball to Affirmative Action to Immigration, How Real-World Issues Affect Our Everyday Life."

This book was also a sign of Professor Becker's interest in addressing an audience outside of academic economics. He also wrote a column in BusinessWeek magazine.

Despite the contempt that some economists have expressed toward sociology, Gary Becker went from being a professor of economics at Columbia University to being a professor of economics and sociology at the University of Chicago. No doubt sociology was improved by Becker's contributions.

On a personal note, my path and his crossed a few times at different places. The first time was inauspicious. I was a first-year graduate student at Columbia University and took his year-long course in labor economics.

It was like no other labor economics course I knew about or had heard about — and there was a reason. He was introducing his own analytical framework that was destined to change the way many issues would be seen by the economics profession in the years ahead.

The unfamiliarity of what he was saying made me skeptical. So I went to the department chairman to get permission to drop the second semester of this year-long course.

He asked my reason and, never known for diplomatic skills, I said, "I am not learning anything." That was true in itself but for reasons the opposite of what I thought at the time. Becker was teaching, and teaching something important, but I just wasn't on the same wavelength.

That became a continuing source of embarrassment to me over the years, after I belatedly grasped what he was trying to get across. This has been filed with a considerable list of decisions I later regretted in the course of a long life.

The next time I encountered Gary Becker was a decade later, during the defense of my doctoral dissertation at the University of Chicago. He was not on the dissertation committee, but sat in on the discussion and could not have been more gracious.

Later Becker became a part-time Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, where I was also a Senior Fellow. I could never find the right time or the right way to apologize for my youthful mistake. Now that opportunity is gone. If you owe someone an apology, it is better to do it sooner rather than later.

5-12-14
 
Politics Versus Education

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | Of all the cynical frauds of the Obama administration, few are so despicable as sacrificing the education of poor and minority children to the interests of the teachers' unions.

Attorney General Eric Holder's attempt to suppress the spread of charter schools in Louisiana was just one of the signs of that cynicism. His nationwide threats of legal action against schools that discipline more black students than he thinks they should are at least as damaging.

Charter schools are hated by teachers' unions and by much of the educational establishment in general. They seem to be especially hated when they succeed in educating minority children whom the educational establishment says cannot be educated.

Apparently it can be done when you don't have to hire unionized teachers with iron-clad tenure, and when you don't have to follow the dogmas in vogue in the educational establishment.

Last year, there was an attempt to shut down the American Indian Model Schools in Oakland, California — schools that had been ranked among the top schools in the nation, schools with the top test scores in their district and the fourth highest scores in the entire state of California.

The reason given was that the former — repeat, FORMER — head of these schools was accused of financial irregularities. Since there are courts of law to determine the guilt or innocence of individuals, why should school children be punished by having their schools shut down, immediately and permanently, before any court even held a trial?

Fortunately, a court order prevented this planned vindictive closing of this highly successful charter school with minority students. But the attempt shows the animus and the cynical disregard of the education of children who have few other places to get a comparable education.

Attorney General Holder's threats of legal action against schools where minority students are disciplined more often than he wants are a much more sweeping and damaging blow to the education of poor and minority students across the country.

Among the biggest obstacles to educating children in many ghetto schools are disruptive students whose antics, threats and violence can make education virtually impossible. If only 10 percent of the students are this way, that sacrifices the education of the other 90 percent.

The idea that Eric Holder, or anybody else, can sit in Washington and determine how many disciplinary actions against individual students are warranted or unwarranted in schools across the length and breadth of this country would be laughable if it were not so tragic.

Relying on racial statistics tells you nothing, unless you believe that black male students cannot possibly be more disruptive than Asian female students, or that students in crime-ridden neighborhoods cannot possibly require disciplinary actions more often than children in the most staid, middle-class neighborhoods.

Attorney General Holder is not fool enough to believe either of those things. Why then is he pursuing this numbers game?

The most obvious answer is politics. Anything that promotes a sense of grievance from charges of racial discrimination offers hope of energizing the black vote to turn out to vote for Democrats, which is especially needed when support from other voters is weakening in the wake of Obama administration scandals and fiascoes.

Eric Holder's other big racial crusade, against requiring identification for voting, is the same political game. And it is carried out with the same cynical promotion of fears, with orchestrated hysteria from other Democrats — as if having to show identification to vote is like a revival of the Ku Klux Klan.

Blacks, whites and everybody else can be asked for identification these days, whether cashing a check or using a credit card at a local store or going to an airport — or even getting into some political meetings called to protest voter ID laws.

But to sacrifice the education of children, especially children for whom education may be their only ticket out of poverty, is truly a new low. As someone once said to Senator Joe McCarthy, "Have you no sense of decency, sir?"

5-11-14

Happy Mother's Day!
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 Good Riddance: Common Core Backlash Claims New Political Casualties

By Michelle Malkin


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | All politics is local. So Republican politicians with national ambitions better pay attention to what grassroots parents are saying and doing about the federal education racket known as Common Core. In bellwether Indiana this week, anti-Common Core activists won a pair of pivotal electoral victories against GOP Gov. Mike Pence.

Pence's attempt to mollify critics by rebranding and repackaging shoddy Common Core standards is fooling no one.

Tuesday's Republican primary elections in the Hoosier state resulted in the landslide defeat of two establishment incumbents running for statewide re-election. Pence had endorsed GOP State Rep. Kathy Heuer over challenger Christopher Judy. Pence's Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann had endorsed GOP State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki over challenger Curt Nisly. The incumbents enjoyed the support of the Common Core-promoting U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

These same Big Business elites backed Pence's ploy to stave off grassroots parental opposition by "withdrawing" from Common Core — and then immediately adopting "new" standards that recycle the same old rotten ones. (See my April 30 column, "Big Government GOP's Common Core Rebrand Hustle.") As Hoosier mom Erin Tuttle put it, Pence's stunt "gave the appearance of voiding the Common Core, while the Indiana Department of Education and the Center for Education and Career Innovation walked it through the backdoor."

Challengers Judy and Nisly made their opponents' refusal to help end Common Core in the state a central issue. Hoosiers Against Common Core, led by moms Tuttle and Heather Crossin, endorsed the dark-horse challengers. With little money and scant press attention, they beat Pence's machine by astonishingly wide margins: Judy ousted Heuer 57-43; Nisly defeated Kubacki 65-35.

Well before the horrors of Common Core had penetrated cable TV and late-night comedy shows, Indiana parents led the lonely charge. They were at the vanguard of challenging the constitutionality, costs, substandard academic quality, privacy invasions and special interest lobbyists fueling Fed Ed. In 2012, Hoosiers Against Common Core spearheaded the stunning ouster of Tony Bennett — the Indiana GOP's scandal-plagued former state education secretary who fled to Common Core-peddling former Gov. Jeb Bush's Florida for another educrat job. (See my August 2, 2013, column, "Rotten to the Core: Jeb Bush's Crony Republicans Against Higher Standards.")

The way Pence is going, his 2016 ambitions may soon face the same fate. Pence's hero Ronald Reagan advocated for abolishing the federal Department of Education. Yet, Pence is busy emulating the bureaucratic behemoth. In addition to embracing the expedient "cut and paste" rewrite of Indiana's academic standards overseen by D.C. Common Core operatives, Pence is now pursuing the construction of a statewide student database. It looks and sounds a lot like the federal data-tracking warehouse championed by Common Core advocates.

You'll remember that one of those national information collection schemes is inBloom. The idea was originally funded with Obama stimulus money and grants from the liberal Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. A division of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. built the database infrastructure. The nonprofit startup "inBloom Inc." evolved out of this strange alliance to operate the invasive database. The entity planned to compile everything from student and family health-care histories to income information, religious affiliations, voting status, blood types and homework completion.

Once again, grassroots parents revolted. Moms and dads on both sides of the political aisle rose up across the country to reject the latest tech boondoggle peddled by educrat nosybodies. Last fall, voters kicked out three school board members in Jefferson County, Colo., over their support of inBloom. Challengers Julie Williams, John Newkirk and Ken Witt won decisively over their incumbent opponents.

The new board cut ties with inBloom; the superintendent, Gates Foundation-supported Cindy Stevenson, was forced to resign. And a few weeks ago, inBloom announced it was dissolving. It undoubtedly will morph into a newly renamed and repackaged entity, just like the Common Core standards in Indiana.

In their new book, "Conform," on what ails education in America, Glenn Beck and Kyle Olson expose the "open contempt" educrats have for parents. It's a classic Saul Alinksy tactic: Demonize your political targets. True to form, the professional character assassins of the Southern Poverty Law Center are now attacking anti-Common Core activists as "extreme" and "far right."

That's nonsense. The principles that unite parents of all ideologies against Fed Ed are bedrock tenets of our constitutional republic: local control, parental sovereignty, privacy protections and fundamental skepticism about the actual educational benefits of massive government expenditures in the name of "reform." The Davids of the Stop Common Core movement are exercising their freedoms of speech and association to beat back the deep-pocketed Goliaths at their schoolhouse doors.

As always, sunlight is the best disinfectant. The ballot box is the ultimate sanitizer. Ideas have consequences. And Indiana is a harbinger. If the Common Core cheerleaders and rebranders in both parties think their bad ideas won't ever come back to haunt them at the polls, they are in for a very rude awakening.


5-10-14
 
The High Cost of Liberalism: Part III

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | Income inequality has long been one of the liberals' favorite issues. So there is nothing surprising about its being pushed hard this election year.

If nothing else, it is a much-needed distraction from the disasters of ObamaCare and the various IRS, Benghazi and other Obama administration scandals.

Like so many other favorite liberal issues, income inequality is seldom discussed in terms of the actual consequences of liberal policies. When you turn from eloquent rhetoric to hard facts, the hardest of those facts is that income inequality has actually increased during five years of Barack Obama's leftist policies.

This is not as surprising as some might think. When you make it unnecessary for many people to work, fewer people work. Unprecedented numbers of Americans are on the food stamp program. Unprecedented numbers are also living off government "disability" payments.

There is a sweeping array of other government subsidies, whether in money or in kind, which together allow many people to receive greater benefits than they could earn by working at low-skilled jobs. Is it surprising that the labor force participation rate is lower than it has been in decades?

In short, when people don't have to earn incomes, they are less likely to earn incomes — or, at least, to earn incomes in legal and visible ways that could threaten their government benefits.

Most of the households in the bottom 20 percent of income earners have nobody working. There are more heads of household working full-time and year-round in the top 5 percent than in the bottom 20 percent.

What this means statistically is that liberals can throw around numbers on how many people are living in "poverty" — defined in terms of income received, not in terms of goods and services provided by the government.

Most Americans living in "poverty" have air conditioning, a motor vehicle and other amenities, including more living space than the average person in Europe — not the average poor person in Europe, the average person.

"Poverty" is in the eye of the statisticians — more specifically, the government statisticians who define what constitutes "poverty," and who are unlikely to define it in ways that might jeopardize the massive welfare state that they are part of.

In terms of income statistics that produce liberal outcries about "disparities" and "inequities," millions of people who don't have to earn incomes typically don't.

The more people who are in a non-income-earning mode, the greater the disparities with the incomes of those of us who have to work for a living, and who have to earn more to offset high tax rates. Yet liberals often act as if this is an injustice to those who don't work, rather than an injustice to those who do work, and whose taxes support those who don't.

Actually, the liberal welfare state is an injustice to both, though in different ways.

Despite whatever good intentions some liberals may have had in creating the ever-growing welfare state, practical politicians know that more dependency means more votes for supporters of bigger government.

There are no incentives for either politicians or the bureaucrats who run the welfare state agencies to get people off their dependency on government programs. Moreover, the eligibility rules create a very high cost to individuals who try to rise by getting a job and earning their own money.

It is not uncommon for someone who is receiving multiple government-provided benefits — housing subsidies, food subsidies, etc. — to lose more in benefits than they gain in income, if they decide to take a legitimate and visible job.

If increasing your income by $10,000 a year would cause you to lose $15,000 worth of government benefits, would you do it? That is more than the equivalent of a 100 percent tax rate on income. Even millionaires and billionaires don't pay that high a tax rate.

Liberals don't talk — or perhaps even think — in terms of the actual consequences of their policies, when it is so much more pleasant to think in terms of wonderful goals and lofty rhetoric.

5-9-14
 
The High Cost of Liberalism: Part II

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | Liberals can be disarming. In fact, they are for disarming anybody who can be disarmed, whether domestically or internationally.

Unfortunately, the people who are the easiest to disarm are the ones who are the most peaceful — and disarming them makes them vulnerable to those who are the least peaceful.

We are currently getting a painful demonstration of that in Ukraine. When Ukraine became an independent nation, it gave up all the nuclear missiles that were on its territory from the days when it had been part of the Soviet Union.

At that time, Ukraine had the third largest arsenal of nuclear weapons in the world. Do you think Putin would have attacked Ukraine if it still had those nuclear weapons? Or do you think it is just a coincidence that nations with nuclear weapons don't get invaded?

Among those who urged Ukraine to reduce even its conventional, non-nuclear weapons as well, was a new United States Senator named Barack Obama. He was all for disarmament then, and apparently even now as President of the United States. He has refused Ukraine's request for weapons with which to defend itself.

As with so many things that liberals do, the disarmament crusade is judged by its good intentions, not by its actual consequences.

Indeed, many liberals seem unaware that the consequences could be anything other than what they hope for. That is why disarmament advocates are called "the peace movement."

Whether disarmament has in fact led to peace, more often than military deterrence has, is something that could be argued on the basis of the facts of history — but it seldom is.

Liberals almost never talk about disarmament in terms of evidence of its consequences, whether they are discussing gun control at home or international disarmament agreements.

International disarmament agreements flourished between the two World Wars. Just a few years after the end of the First World War there were the Washington Naval Agreements of 1921-1922 that led to the United States actually sinking some of its own warships. Then there was the celebrated Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928, in which nations renounced war, with France's Foreign Minister Aristide Briand declaring, "Away with rifles, machine guns, and cannon!" The "international community" loved it.

In Britain, the Labour Party repeatedly voted against military armaments during most of the decade of the 1930s. A popular argument of the time was that Britain should disarm "as an example to others."

Unfortunately, Hitler did not follow that example. He was busy building the most powerful military machine on the continent of Europe.

Nor did Germany or Japan allow the Washington Naval Agreements to cramp their style. The fact that Britain and America limited the size of their battleships simply meant that Germany and Japan had larger battleships when World War II began.

What is happening in Ukraine today is just a continuation of the old story about nations that disarm increasing the chances of being attacked by nations that do not disarm.

Any number of empirical studies about domestic gun control laws tell much the same story. Gun control advocates seldom, if ever, present hard evidence that gun crimes in general, or murder rates in particular, go down after gun control laws are passed or tightened.

That is the crucial question about gun control laws. But liberals settle that question by assumption. Then they can turn their attention to denouncing the National Rifle Association.

But neither the National Rifle Association nor the Second Amendment is the crucial issue. If the hard facts show that gun control laws actually reduce the murder rate, we can repeal the Second Amendment, as other Amendments have been repealed.

If in fact tighter gun control laws reduced the murder rate, that would be the liberals' ace of trumps. Why then do the liberals not play their ace of trumps, by showing us such hard facts? Because they don't have any such hard facts. So they give us lofty rhetoric and outraged indignation instead.

5-8-14
 
The High Cost of Liberalism

By Thomas Sowell

 
JewishWorldReview.com | Liberals advocate many wonderful things. In fact, I suspect that most conservatives would prefer to live in the kind of world envisioned by liberals, rather than in the kind of world envisioned by conservatives.

Unfortunately, the only kind of world that any of us can live in is the world that actually exists. Trying to live in the kind of world that liberals envision has costs that will not go away just because these costs are often ignored by liberals.

One of those costs appeared in an announcement of a house for sale in Palo Alto, the community adjacent to Stanford University, an institution that is as politically correct as they come.

The house is for sale at $1,498,000. It is a 1,010 square foot bungalow with two bedrooms, one bath and a garage. Although the announcement does not mention it, this bungalow is located near a commuter railroad line, with trains passing regularly throughout the day.

Lest you think this house must be some kind of designer's dream, loaded with high-tech stuff, it was built in 1942 and, even if it was larger, no one would mistake it for the Taj Mahal or San Simeon.

This house is not an aberration, and its price is not out of line with other housing prices in Palo Alto. One couple who had lived in their 1,200 square foot home in Palo Alto for 20 years decided to sell it, and posted an asking price just under $1.3 million.

Competition for that house forced the selling price up to $1.7 million.

Another Palo Alto house, this one with 1,292 square feet of space, is on the market for $2,285,000. It was built in 1895.

Even a vacant lot in Palo Alto costs more than a spacious middle-class home costs in most of the rest of the country.

How does this tie in with liberalism?

In this part of California, liberalism reigns supreme and "open space" is virtually a religion. What that lovely phrase means is that there are vast amounts of empty land where the law forbids anybody from building anything.

Anyone who has taken Economics 1 knows that preventing the supply from rising to meet the demand means that prices are going to rise. Housing is no exception.

Yet when my wife wrote in a local Palo Alto newspaper, many years ago, that preventing the building of housing would cause existing housing to become far too expensive for most people to afford it, she was deluged with more outraged letters than I get from readers of a nationally syndicated column.

What she said was treated as blasphemy against the religion of "open space" — and open space is just one of the wonderful things about the world envisioned by liberals that is ruinously expensive in the mundane world where the rest of us live.

Much as many liberals like to put guilt trips on other people, they seldom seek out, much less acknowledge and take responsibility for, the bad consequences of their own actions.

There are people who claim that astronomical housing prices in places like Palo Alto and San Francisco are due to a scarcity of land. But there is enough vacant land ("open space") on the other side of the 280 Freeway that goes past Palo Alto to build another Palo Alto or two — except for laws and policies that make that impossible.

As in San Francisco and other parts of the country where housing prices skyrocketed after building homes was prohibited or severely restricted, this began in Palo Alto in the 1970s.

Housing prices in Palo Alto nearly quadrupled during that decade. This was not due to expensive new houses being built, because not a single new house was built in Palo Alto in the 1970s. The same old houses simply shot up in price.

It was very much the same story in San Francisco, which was a bastion of liberalism then as now. There too, incredibly high prices are charged for small houses, often jammed close together. A local newspaper described a graduate student looking for a place to rent who was "visiting one exorbitantly priced hovel after another."

That is part of the unacknowledged cost of "open space," and just part of the high cost of liberalism.

5-7-14

 Tangled by euphemisms: Affirmative action, by any name, is shameful

By George Will


JewishWorldReview.com | Anodyne euphemisms often indicate an uneasy conscience or a political anxiety. Or both, as when the 1976 Democratic platform chose “compensatory opportunity” as a way of blurring the fact that the party favored racial discrimination in the form of preferences and quotas for certain government-favored minorities in such matters as government hiring, contracting and college admissions.

Since then, “affirmative action” has become the ubiquitous semantic evasion. Last Tuesday, however, in her 58-page dissent that she summarized from the bench to emphasize her strenuous disapproval of the court’s ruling in a case from Michigan, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, joined by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, entered the euphemism sweepstakes. She suggested adopting the phrase “race-sensitive admissions policies.” Not that Michiganders are apt to be mollified by such semantic ether designed to tranquilize them regarding practices they correctly consider discordant with American values.

In 2003, the Supreme Court upheld the use of race as one factor in evaluating applicants for admission to the University of Michigan’s law school. In response, three years later 58 percent of Michigan voters amended their state’s Constitution to forbid discriminating against or giving “preferential treatment to any individual or group on the basis of race, sex, color, ethnicity or national origin.” Michigan, like the seven other states (New Hampshire, Florida, Nebraska, Oklahoma, California, Arizona and Washington) that have similar bans on one remedy for supposedly inadequate diversity in enrollments, can continue to use other ways to rectify this.

Although the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment says “No state shall . . . deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws,” the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals divided 8 to 7 in ruling that Michigan’s constitutional amendment mandating equal treatment violates the U.S. Constitution’s guarantee of equal protection. It reached this, shall we say, counterintuitive conclusion by reasoning as follows:

The amended state Constitution “restructures” the political process in a way that complicates the task of Michiganders who favor racial preferences. Rather than just persuade the administrators of Michigan’s institutions of post-secondary education to adopt racial preferences, they first must mount a statewide campaign to amend Michigan’s Constitution. If this reasoning is correct, the U.S. Constitution requires that states make it as easy as possible for their governments to do what the 14th Amendment, if its plain language is properly construed, forbids.

Well, then: Does the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment commit a similar sin by proscribing “establishment of religion,” thereby restructuring the political process to the discriminatory detriment of those who favor such establishment and cannot advance their preference without amending the Constitution?

In the controlling opinion, Justice Anthony Kennedy, joined by only Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito, stressed that this ruling did not concern the merits of racial preferences, which are permitted within certain judicially enunciated parameters. Rather, it concerned who should decide the merits. Last Tuesday, the court held that this decision must not be placed beyond the reach of electoral majorities.

Which is why Justice Stephen Breyer, who usually is a member of the liberal bloc, concurred in the court’s judgment. He was hoist by his own progressivism. Because Breyer believes that democracy — the right of majorities to have their way — trumps most competing values most of the time, he is generally deferential to the preferences of legislatures, and, in this instance, deferred to the results of a popular referendum. Doing so, he remained consistent with a stance that generally serves the progressive agenda of reducing constitutional impediments to expansive government.

The moral of the story from Michigan is: What a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive ourselves into thinking we can gracefully ignore the great principle resoundingly affirmed in 1896 by Justice John Marshall Harlan’s dissent in the Plessy v. Ferguson decision. In this, the court held that government actions can take cognizance of race if the resulting treatment of racial groups is “separate but equal.” Justice Antonin Scalia, joined by Justice Clarence Thomas, concluded his concurrence in the court’s judgment about Michigan this way:

“As Justice Harlan observed over a century ago, ‘Our Constitution is colorblind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens.’ The people of Michigan wish the same for their governing charter. It would be shameful for us to stand in their way.”

The court’s continuing fissures regarding “race-sensitive” policies — six justices used four opinions to reach the result — indicate that Harlan’s principle remains too clear for the comfort of a court still too fond of euphemisms. That is shameful.

 

5-6-14
 
Obamacare's doom

By George Will

JewishWorldReview.com | If the president wants to witness a refutation of his assertion that the survival of the Affordable Care Act is assured, come Thursday he should stroll the 13 blocks from his office to the nation’s second-most important court, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals. There he can hear an argument involving yet another constitutional provision that evidently has escaped his notice. It is the origination clause, which says: “All bills for raising reveornue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills.”

The ACA passed the Senate on a party-line vote, and without a Democratic vote to spare, after a series of unsavory transactions that purchased the assent of several shrewdly extortionate Democrats. What will be argued on Thursday is that what was voted on — the ACA — was indisputably a revenue measure and unquestionably did not originate in the House, which later passed the ACA on another party-line vote.

This case comes from Matt Sissel, an Iowa artist and small-business owner who is represented by the Pacific Legal Foundation, which litigates for limited government. Sissel neither has nor wants health insurance, preferring to invest his limited resources in his business. Hence he objects to the ACA’s mandate that requires him to purchase it or pay the penalty that the ACA daintily calls the “shared responsibility payment.”

In June 2012, a Supreme Court majority accepted a, shall we say, creative reading of the ACA by Chief Justice John Roberts. The court held that the penalty, which the ACA repeatedly calls a penalty, is really just a tax on the activity — actually, the nonactivity — of not purchasing insurance. The individual mandate is not, the court held, a command but merely the definition of a condition that can be taxed. The tax is mild enough to be semi-voluntary; individuals are free to choose whether or not to commit the inactivity that triggers the tax.

The “exaction” — Roberts’s word — “looks,” he laconically said, “like a tax in many respects.” It is collected by the IRS, and the proceeds go to the Treasury for the general operations of the federal government, not to fund a particular program. This surely makes the ACA a revenue measure.

Did it, however, originate in the House? Of course not.

In October 2009, the House passed a bill that would have modified a tax credit for members of the armed forces and some other federal employees who were first-time home buyers — a bill that had nothing to do with health care. Two months later the Senate “amended” this bill by obliterating it. The Senate renamed it and completely erased its contents, replacing them with the ACA’s contents.

Case law establishes that for a Senate action to qualify as a genuine “amendment” to a House-passed revenue bill, it must be “germane to the subject matter of the [House] bill.” The Senate’s shell game — gutting and replacing the House bill — created the ACA from scratch. The ACA obviously flunks the germaneness test, without which the House’s constitutional power of originating revenue bills would be nullified.

Case law establishes that the origination clause does not apply to two kinds of bills. One creates “a particular governmental program and . . . raises revenue to support only that program.” The second creates taxes that are “analogous to fines” in that they are designed to enforce compliance with a statute passed under one of the Constitution’s enumerated powers of Congress other than the taxing power. The ACA’s tax, which the Supreme Court repeatedly said is not an enforcement penalty, and hence is not analogous to a fine, fits neither exception to the origination clause.

The ACA’s defenders say its tax is somehow not quite a tax because it is not primarily for raising revenue but for encouraging certain behavior (buying insurance). But the origination clause, a judicially enforceable limit on the taxing power, would be effectively erased from the Constitution if any tax with any regulatory — behavior-changing — purpose or effect were exempt from the clause.

The Court of Appeals sits six blocks from the Senate, which committed the legislative legerdemain of pretending to merely amend a House bill while originating a new one. Across the street from the Senate sits the Supreme Court, where this case may be headed.

Two years ago, the Supreme Court saved the ACA by declaring its penalty to be a tax. It thereby doomed the ACA as an unconstitutional violation of the origination clause.
 

5-5-14
 
Enough White House Lies on Benghazi

By David Limbaugh

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Obama administration has no shred of integrity left concerning the Benghazi scandal. Caught in the act with the "loaded gun," those in the administration are telling us it is a toy pistol, but no honest observer can possibly believe them anymore.

It took a lawsuit to force the White House to release emails that reveal just how deliberate and fraudulent the plan was to deceive the press and the American public about the cause of the attack on our consulate in Libya.

The incident and a nearby attack a few hours later, in which four Americans were killed, occurred in September 2012, just a few short months before the November presidential election. Obama's foreign policy credibility was on the line, for he had long boasted that he had al-Qaida on the run, despite his efforts to relax our war on terror into a law enforcement matter (except for his precious drones, of course).

Reports emerged that there had been previous attempted attacks on the consulate and that our people there had asked for heightened security, which the administration callously rejected. Was this sheer indifference or a result of Obama's concern that enhancing security would signal a failure in his magical policy of appeasing terrorists? Either way, it was disgraceful.

It was obvious at the time but is now undeniable that with cold premeditation, the administration hatched a sinister ploy to blame the attacks on an anti-Islam video that had surfaced on the Internet. There was no evidence that this video had incited the Benghazi attacks or that the attacks were spontaneous but much evidence that they were preplanned by al-Qaida terrorists. But the entire White House spin machine immediately went into overdrive constructing and disseminating this false narrative, even to the point of having federal authorities arrest the hapless creator of the video, whom they nabbed on other charges. This was a horrifying abuse of government power starting at the very top, and it is not the America any of us should love.

Finally, after a year of withholding internal emails, the White House, under legal compulsion, turned them over to Judicial Watch. Included was an email from Ben Rhodes, an assistant to the president and deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, dated Sept. 14, 2012. Its subject heading was "RE: PREP CALL with Susan: Saturday at 4:00 pm ET," and the email was sent to about a dozen members of Obama's inner circle, including press secretary Jay Carney.

The thrust of the message was clear: Protect Obama's image (and re-election efforts) at all costs; American interests and the American public's right to know be damned. It contained four bullet points:

—"To convey that the United States is doing everything that we can to protect our people and facilities abroad;

—"To underscore that these protests are rooted in an Internet video, and not a broader failure of policy;

—"To show that we will be resolute in bringing people who harm Americans to justice, and standing steadfast through these protests;

—"To reinforce the President and Administration's strength and steadiness in dealing with difficult challenges."

It was patently clear that the administration was not doing everything it could to protect its people and facilities in Benghazi. It had flat-out ignored or rejected their multiple requests for enhanced security and their expressed concerns about possible future attacks. The protests were not "rooted in an Internet video," as the CIA has made abundantly clear. In his congressional testimony, former CIA Deputy Director Michael Morell said that then-U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice is the one who linked the video to the Benghazi attacks but that the video was not part of the CIA analysis. In other words, the administration made it up out of whole cloth to deflect blame for its policy failures in relaxing the war on terror, intervening in Libya to seek regime change with reckless disregard for whether more radical forces would emerge stronger as a result, and abandoning our people and facilities in Benghazi. Also, the administration has been anything but resolute in bringing the people and forces responsible for these attacks to justice.

An email on Sept. 12, 2012, to Rice from Payton Knopf, deputy spokesman at the U.S. Mission to the United Nations, confirmed the attacks were "planned in advance" and "complex," not spontaneous in reaction to a video.

When reporters grilled Carney about the email from Rhodes, Carney disgraced himself by stating that the email was referring to the video's effect on all the protests in the Middle East, not just in Benghazi. Everyone knows that was a flat-out lie. The prepping of Rice concerned only Benghazi, and Rice's Sunday show lie-fest concerned only Benghazi because that was the only issue that might affect Obama's re-election.

These emails confirm what we already knew: that the White House wholly concocted this idea to scapegoat the video to save Obama's skin and that everyone who mattered in the White House, including Obama, knew about it. It is inconceivable that he didn't.

As the administration still won't come clean even in the face of these smoldering guns, it's time to convene a congressional select committee. No more games.

Americans died. Justice languishes.

5-4-14
 
GOP, Rediscover Your Backbone

By David Limbaugh


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Please explain this: Obama is incredibly unpopular, and Obamacare is one of the main reasons, yet some Republicans are now saying it's here to stay. That is flat-out unacceptable. GOP — heal thyself.

You don't have to be a radical to understand that the GOP is afraid of its own shadow half the time, that it is suffering from an identity crisis and that it often lacks the courage of its convictions.

We've learned that it's not enough for Obama to be the worst president in the past billion years. Republicans have to give the voters a reason to vote for them and not just against his party.

Don't assume I'm being inconsistent because I have previously rejected the claim that Republicans don't have any plans to offer on health care, the economy and the rest. They definitely do, and they have offered numerous concrete ideas to reform health care, restructure entitlements, reverse our reckless course on taxing and spending, deregulate our administrative leviathan, and rebuild our national defenses.

What I'm saying — and I've said this before — is that they have to start acting as if they passionately believe in their ideas and they believe they must be adopted soon. They must make clear their urgency about our dire national situation and quit downplaying it because they're afraid of looking extreme or afraid of receiving an electoral spanking from a growing percentage of voters who are dependent on government.

Let's have more faith in the electorate. Let's have more faith in Americans. Let's not write everyone off because the Obama economy has placed so many in desperate economic straits and on some kind of government assistance.

Republicans have a duty to sell their ideas and to quit running from them. Those who want to grovel to the voters as a lesser version of the Democratic Party ought to be kicked to the curb. This country will not be saved by liberal lite. We must have a 180-degree reversal of our present course.

It has taken a while, but finally the public is waking up to Obama's destructive effect on this country. Even with a conspiratorially dishonest liberal media downplaying every negative bit of news concerning Obama and his policies, the public is still catching on. Many of Obama's formerly die-hard supporters are obviously grasping that he can no longer credibly blame his predecessor for his litany of policy disasters.

The latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor poll shows Obama's approval at 41 percent, "near the lowest level ever recorded in the 20 Heartland Monitor Polls since April 2009." Also: "Only one in four adults say his actions are increasing economic opportunity for people like them, also among his worst showings in the polls." Obama's numbers are particularly bad "in the seven red-leaning states" where Democrats are trying to defend their Senate seats in November.

Democrats can derive no comfort from polls showing that Congress is even less popular. These generic congressional polls always show Congress in disfavor with the public, but they have little correlation to congressional elections, especially compared with presidential approval ratings.

As I've recently written, Obama is pushing his income inequality meme as the latest iteration of his divide-and-conquer electoral strategy, but this poll suggests it's falling flat. Voters are wising to the disconnect between Obama's rhetoric and his results. They know you don't expand opportunity by beating up the rich. Even if they don't know that, they know that his policies are not remedying the problems of which he constantly complains. This poll shows that Obama's no longer escaping blame for the state of the economy.

Further, the poll reveals that only 27 percent said they believe the country is moving in the right direction, and a whopping 62 percent said it is on the wrong track. Think about that for a moment. Finally, people are awakening to the reality that Obama — not George W. Bush — "built this" economy. It's on him.

As such, it's time for Republican members of Congress such as Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers to dispense with this talk about Obamacare's being here to stay. There is no room for fatalism in a party that needs to recapture the imagination and support of the American people.

Obamacare is not here to stay. Thoughts to the contrary are noxious to the republic. Do not let this president succeed in completing his destruction of the best health care system in the history of the world just because it might be difficult to disentangle ourselves from Obamacare's poisonous tentacles.

Republicans, quit looking over your shoulders; believe in yourselves. Rediscover your backbone. Full repeal. Full reversal of Obamanomics. Pro-growth policies. Reinvigoration of the free market. Full restoration of America's strength and greatness.

5-3-14
  
Obama's Income Inequality Scam

By David Limbaugh


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | One of the many ironies surrounding President Obama is that for all his harping on income inequality — his most recent obsession designed to stir Americans against one another — his policies have exacerbated it.

Obama, the self-professed bipartisan uniter, is never content to seek remedies to improve opportunity for all Americans. He has to have villains. His community organizing training and his disposition compel him to pit us against one another.

No matter what the stated reason for his latest policy craze, almost everything he does is in service to his quest to fundamentally transform America from a society of freedom, opportunity and industriousness to one of government-mandated outcomes and dependency.

Obama's usual pattern for advancing his policy agenda is to agitate us through rhetoric by portraying a certain "innocent" group as victimized by an exploitive group and then demanding a policy fix for the "injustice."

He has slandered the oil and coal industries as villainous in his push for green energy alternatives. He mercilessly demonized big banks as a prelude to passing the financial overhaul bill known as Dodd-Frank — and also as a predicate to shaking down banks on behalf of upside-down homeowners. He bludgeoned insurance companies to soften their opposition to Obamacare and to make the public believe that it was a necessary reform.

Obama has trashed those with traditional values in his urgent push to promote same-sex marriage. He is forever defaming Second Amendment defenders as selfish extremists unconcerned with gun violence. He has depicted Republicans, the tea party and conservative radio hosts as enemies of the middle class, the poor, the unemployed, welfare recipients, blacks, Hispanics, homosexuals and women to grease the skids for all aspects of his statist agenda.

Perhaps the most recurring theme we've witnessed from Obama is his smearing of the rich. He used it to pass his stimulus bill, to justify much of his wasteful spending and during his endless proposals for higher taxes on the "wealthy," his crusade to expand the welfare rolls, his campaign for Obamacare and his obstruction of entitlement reform. Most recently, he's adopted his destructive class-warfare rhetoric to tout his war against "income inequality."

Though he has railed against income inequality incessantly for some time now, one might wonder why he hasn't done more to correct the imbalances he sees. He has been in office for a painful five years and has largely had his way with his stimulus package, taxes, spending, entitlements and Obamacare, and he's not satisfied with his results. Well, neither are we. But it would be nice if he quit blaming everyone but himself for the economic malaise he is causing.

Obama can't stand that capitalism and freedom result in some people prospering more than others economically, even though far more people prosper overall and the poor and middle classes do better than under any other system.

America was built on the ideas of freedom and equal opportunity for all. Every day, Obama is taking a sledgehammer to those principles and, in the process, is hurting the middle class and the poor. Should leaders of a supposedly free society be focusing on how much each person has relative to the next person or on policies designed to give everyone a better chance at prosperity, as only capitalism and free markets do?

Instead of inciting everyone to envy, covetousness and resentment over whether the next guy has more, Obama ought to be trying to inspire all people to prosper. His policies have not only swallowed our individual liberties but also harmed people he pretends to help. In the long run, it hurts people to be wards of the state. Policies that discourage work and incentivize welfare impoverish society as a whole and impede growth.

But for all Obama's hype against income inequality in this country, people move in and out of income groups with surprising frequency. National Review's Kevin Williamson observes that more than half of adult Americans will be at or near the poverty line sometime in their lives. Seventy-three percent of the people will at some point be in the top 20 percent; 39 percent will achieve the top 5 percent for at least a year; and 12 percent will make the top 1 percent for at least a year.

Are you grasping all this? The upshot is that Obama is shooting at a moving target. These income groups are not fixed; the middle class and poor are not forever consigned to their respective income levels.

The next time Obama rails against income inequality, just remember that he's misleading us in an effort to keep us at one another's throats to facilitate passage of the next agenda item on his mission to fundamentally change America from a land of freedom and opportunity to a socialist state.

If Obama would just quit officiously intermeddling with our free market, we would see not only vastly more economic growth but also less poverty and greater upward mobility. Isn't that what we should aspire to rather than a government that controls all economic results and, in the process, spreads economic misery?

5-2-14
 
Heavy hand of the IRS seizes innocent Americans' assets

By George Will


JewishWorldReview.com | Flint, Mich.---Earnest moralists lament Americans’ distrust of government. What really is regrettable is that government does much to earn distrust, as Terry Dehko, 70, and his daughter Sandy Thomas, 41, understand.

Terry, who came to Michigan from Iraq in 1970, soon did what immigrants often do: He went into business, buying Schott’s Supermarket in Fraser, Mich., where he still works six days a week. The Internal Revenue Service, a tentacle of a government that spent $3.5 trillion in 2013, tried to steal more than $35,000 from Terry and Sandy that year.

Sandy, a mother of four, has a master’s degree in urban planning but has worked in the store off and on since she was 12. She remembers, “They just walked into the store” and announced that they had emptied the store’s bank account. The IRS agents believed, or pretended to believe, that Terry and Sandy were or conceivably could be — which is sufficient for the IRS — conducting a criminal enterprise when not selling groceries.

What pattern of behavior supposedly aroused the suspicions of a federal government that is ignorant of how small businesses function? Terry and Sandy regularly make deposits of less than $10,000 in the bank across the street. Federal law, aimed primarily at money laundering by drug dealers, requires banks to report cash deposits of more than $10,000. It also makes it illegal to “structure” deposits to evade such reporting.

Because 35 percent of Schott’s Supermarket’s receipts are in cash, Terry and Sandy make frequent trips to the bank to avoid tempting actual criminals by having large sums at the store. Besides, their insurance policy covers no cash loss in excess of $10,000.

In 2010 and 2012, IRS agents visited the store and examined Terry’s and Sandy’s conduct. In 2012, the IRS notified them that it identified “no violations” of banking laws. But on Jan. 22, 2013, Terry and Sandy discovered that the IRS had obtained a secret warrant and emptied the store’s bank account. Sandy says that if the IRS had acted “the day before, there would have been only about $2,000 in the account.” Should we trust that today’s IRS was just lucky in its timing?

The IRS used “civil forfeiture,” the power to seize property suspected of being produced by, or involved with, crime. The IRS could have dispelled its suspicions of Terry and Sandy, if it actually had any, by simply asking them about the reasons — prudence, and the insurance limit — for their banking practices. It had, however, a reason not to ask obvious questions before proceeding.

The civil forfeiture law — if something so devoid of due process can be dignified as law — is an incentive for perverse behavior: Predatory government agencies get to pocket the proceeds from property they seize from Americans without even charging them with, let alone convicting them of, crimes. Criminals are treated better than this because they lose the fruits of their criminality only after being convicted.

Sandy remembers her father exclaiming, “Aren’t we in the United States? We did nothing wrong.” They did something right in discovering the Institute for Justice’s activities against civil forfeiture abuse. IJ, a libertarian defender of property rights and other American premises, says that what was done to Terry is done routinely across the nation — indeed, it was done almost simultaneously to the owner of a gas station near Schott’s Supermarket who deposited his cash receipts whenever he could get to the bank, typically every few days.

Civil forfeiture proceeds on the guilty-until-proven-innocent principle, forcing property owners of limited means to hire lawyers and engage in protracted proceedings against a government with limitless resources just to prove their innocence. Says IJ:

“To make matters worse, forfeiture law treats property owners like random bystanders and requires them to intervene in the lawsuit filed by the government against their property just to get it back. That is why civil forfeiture cases have such unusual names, such as United States v. $35,651.11 in U.S. Currency — the case involving Terry and Sandy.”

In what it probably considered an act of unmerited mercy, the IRS offered to return 20 percent of Terry’s money. Such extortion — pocketing others people’s money — often succeeds when the IRS bullies bewildered people not represented by IJ, which forced the government to return all of Terry’s and the gas station owner’s money.

IJ’s countersuit seeks an injunction to prevent such IRS thefts and extortions. Meanwhile, earnest moralists might consider the possibility that Americans’ distrust of government is insufficient.

5-1-14
 
Thought police on patrol: Is the Left's intolerance totalitarianism?

By Charles Krauthammer

JewishWorldReview.com | Two months ago, a petition bearing more than 110,000 signatures was delivered to The Washington Post demanding a ban on any article questioning global warming. The petition arrived the day before publication of my column, which consisted of precisely that heresy.

The column ran as usual. But I was gratified by the show of intolerance because it perfectly illustrated my argument that the left is entering a new phase of ideological agitation — no longer trying to win the debate but stopping debate altogether, banishing from public discourse any and all opposition.

The proper word for that attitude is totalitarian. It declares certain controversies over and visits serious consequences — from social ostracism to vocational defenestration — upon those who refuse to be silenced.

Sometimes the word comes from on high, as when the president of the United States declares the science of global warming to be "settled." Anyone who disagrees is then branded "anti-science" and, better still, a "denier" — a brilliantly chosen calumny meant to impute to the climate skeptic the opprobrium normally reserved for the hatemongers and crackpots who deny the Holocaust.

Then last week, another outbreak. The newest closing of the leftist mind is on gay marriage.

Just as the science of global warming is settled, so, it seems, are the moral and philosophical merits of gay marriage.

To oppose it is nothing but bigotry akin to racism. Opponents are to be similarly marginalized and shunned, destroyed personally and professionally.

Like the CEO of Mozilla who resigned under pressure just 10 days into his job when it was disclosed that six years earlier he had donated to California's Proposition 8, which defined marriage as between a man and a woman.

But why stop with Brendan Eich, the victim of this high-tech lynching? Prop 8 passed by half a million votes. Six million Californians joined Eich in the crime of "privileging" traditional marriage. So did Barack Obama.

In that same year, he declared that his Christian beliefs made him oppose gay marriage.

Yet under the new dispensation, this is outright bigotry. By that logic, the man whom the left so ecstatically carried to the White House in 2008 was equally a bigot.

The whole thing is so stupid as to be unworthy of exegesis. There is no logic. What's at play is sheer ideological prejudice — and the enforcement of the new totalitarian norm that declares, unilaterally, certain issues to be closed.

To this magic circle of forced conformity, the left would like to add certain other policies, resistance to which is deemed a "war on women." It's a colorful synonym for sexism. Leveling the charge is a crude way to cut off debate.

Thus, to oppose late-term abortion is to make war on women's "reproductive health," as is questioning Obamacare's mandate of free contraception for all.

Some oppose the regulation because of its impingement on the free exercise of religion, others on the simpler (non-theological) grounds of a skewed hierarchy of values.

Under the new law, everything is covered, but a few choice things are given away free. To what does contraception owe its exalted status? Why should it rank above, say, antibiotics for a sick child, for which that same mother must co-pay?

Say that, however, and you are accused of denying women "access to contraception."

Or try objecting to the new so-called Paycheck Fairness Act for women, which is little more than a full-employment act for trial lawyers. Sex discrimination is already illegal.

What these new laws do is relieve the plaintiffs of proving intentional discrimination. To bring suit, they need only to show that women make less in that workplace.

Like the White House, where women make 88 cents to the men's dollar?

That's called "disparate impact." Does anyone really think Obama consciously discriminates against female employees, rather than the disparity being a reflection of experience, work history, etc.?

But just to raise such questions is to betray heretical tendencies.

The good news is that the "war on women" charge is mostly cynicism, fodder for campaign-year demagoguery. But the trend is growing.

Oppose the current consensus and you're a denier, a bigot, a homophobe, a sexist, an enemy of the people.

Long a staple of academia, the totalitarian impulse is spreading. What to do? Defend the dissenters, even if — perhaps, especially if — you disagree with their policy. It is — it was? — the American way.

4-30-14

 This High Court Case has it all: Abortion, ObamaCare and empowering the free speech police to fine or imprison

By George Will

JewishWorldReview.com | Occasionally, the Supreme Court considers questions that are answered merely by asking them. On Tuesday, the court will hear arguments about this: Should a government agency, whose members are chosen by elected officials, be empowered to fine or imprison any candidate or other participant in the political process who during a campaign makes what the agency considers “false statements” about a member of the political class or a ballot initiative?

An Ohio statute, which resembles laws in at least 15 other states, says, among many other stern things, that: “No person, during the course of any campaign . . . shall . . . make a false statement concerning the voting record of a candidate or public official.” Former U.S. representative Steve Driehaus, a Cincinnati Democrat who considers himself antiabortion, says he lost his 2010 reelection bid because the antiabortion Susan B. Anthony List violated Ohio’s law with ads saying that when he voted for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), he voted for taxpayer funding of abortion.

When he learned that the SBA List planned to erect billboards proclaiming “Shame on Steve Driehaus! Driehaus voted FOR taxpayer-funded abortion,” he filed a complaint with the Ohio Elections Commission, the truth arbiter and speech regulator. So the billboard company refused the SBA List’s business. The SBA List did air its message on radio.

One can credit Driehaus’s pro-life sincerity, given that the ACA’s passage was greased by many more deceptions and dissimulations than the president’s gross falsehood that “if you like your health-care plan, you can keep it.” Driehaus says the ACA does not specifically appropriate money for abortions. The SBA List counters that the ACA can subsidize abortion-inclusive insurance coverage.

Driehaus says insurance companies must collect a “separate payment” from enrollees and segregate this money from federal funds. The SBA List says money is fungible, so this accounting sleight of hand changes nothing.

Driehaus says an executive order issued after passage of the ACA, which was promised to get him and a few other pro-life Democrats to vote for the act, prohibits ACA funds from being used for abortions. The SBA List says the executive order proved that the ACA itself allowed taxpayer-funded abortions. The president of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, seemed to agree, complacently dismissing the executive order as a “symbolic gesture.”

Ohio’s law, which obviously is designed to encourage self-censorship, certainly chilled the SBA List’s political speech. Yet a lower court upheld the infliction of the intentionally speech-suppressive law on the SBA List because those challenging it supposedly must prove something impossible — that if they persisted in their speech, they would be certainly, imminently and successfully prosecuted. Under this standard, politically motivated people can, at little cost to themselves, make accusations that entangle adversaries in expensive speech-halting proceedings during a campaign.

The SBA List’s brief to the Supreme Court notes that “a law requiring citizens to pay $1 before they could publicly comment on electoral issues or candidates for office would be immediately justiciable (and promptly invalidated).” Yet Ohio’s law makes it easy for literally millions of Ohioans to subject participants in the political process to much more expensive costs — not to mention the threat of incarceration.

The Ohio Elections Commission has pondered the truth or falsity of saying that a school board “turned control of the district over to the union” and that a city councilor had “a habit of telling voters one thing, then doing another.” Fortunately, the Supreme Court, citing George Orwell’s “1984,” has held that even false statements receive First Amendment protection: “Our constitutional tradition stands against the idea that we need Oceania’s Ministry of Truth.”

This case, which comes from Cincinnati, where the regional IRS office was especially active in suppressing the political speech of conservative groups, involves the intersection of two ominous developments. One is the inevitable, and inevitably abrasive, government intrusions into sensitive moral issues that come with government’s comprehensive and minute regulation of health care with taxes, mandates and other coercions. The Supreme Court will soon rule on one such controversy, the ACA requirement that employer-provided health-care plans must cover the cost of abortifacients. The other development is government’s growing attempts to regulate political speech, as illustrated by the Obama administration’s unapologetic politicization of the IRS to target conservative groups.

These developments are not coincidental. Government’s increasing reach and pretensions necessarily become increasingly indiscriminate.

4-29-14
 
When Government Looks More Like Foe than Friend

By Ben S. Carson


JewishWorldReview.com | The Cliven Bundy case in Nevada provides many insights into the state of our nation with respect to the relationship between the people and the government.

The Bundys appear to be honorable American citizens without adequate legal counsel to help resolve a federal land issue about which they disagree with the Bureau of Land Management. Without question, they violated some of the innumerable laws and regulations that continue to entangle every aspect of American life.

Their violations certainly could have been handled through a multitude of less brutal means than those employed by our federal government, which through the mouthpiece of Sen. Harry Reid emphasizes how important it is for the government to enforce its laws.

It is quite interesting to see, though, that those same bureaucrats refuse to enforce some of our federal border-protection laws and other domestic policies with which they disagree. Perhaps Reid's time could be better spent explaining why it is acceptable for the federal government to pick and choose which laws it wishes to enforce.

The senator readily referred to the Bundys and their supporters as "domestic terrorists," but the current administration is reticent about applying the same term to Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who admitted slaughtering more than a dozen people in 2009 at Fort Hood in Texas. What does this tell us about our government and its perceptions and alignments?

The massive show of federal force in the Bundy case is frightening because it gives us a brief glimpse of the totalitarian regime that awaits a sleeping populace that does not take seriously its voting responsibilities and places in public office (and returns to public office) people who do not represent traditional American values.

The fact that the ranchers were well armed and willing to literally fight for their rights probably tempered the enthusiasm of the federal forces to engage in further aggression. It was clear from the body language and from some of the reported verbal responses of the government forces that they were not prepared to engage in lethal combat with fellow Americans.

Those Americans who are concerned about the possible future imposition of martial law after a financial collapse or some other event should take solace in knowing that many military and law enforcement personnel would likely refuse to obey commands inconsistent with freedom and American values. Such commands could emanate from any political party in the future, but it is likely that such a party would be one controlling an administration that selectively enforces laws and ignores or excuses corruption.

Another important lesson from this incident is the value of a well-armed citizenry. The Second Amendment was crafted by wise citizens who recognized how quickly an enemy invasion could occur and how our own government could be deceived into thinking it had the right to dominate the people.

Such domination is considerably more difficult when people have arms and can put up significant resistance. This is the reason that brutal dictators like Fidel Castro, Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong, Adolf Hitler and Idi Amin tried to disarm the populace before imposing governmental control. Such domination could occur in America in the not too distant future if we are not vigilant.

We must be reasonable and willing to engage in conversation about how to limit the availability of dangerous weapons to criminals and violent or insane people. In light of past worldwide atrocities committed by tyrants, though, to threaten the Second Amendment rights of ordinary American citizens is itself insanity. Those wishing to ban assault weapons fail to understand the original intent of the Second Amendment.

Just as insidious as the attempt to limit weapons and ammunition to law-abiding citizens is the incessant invasion of privacy by the government. Unless there is reasonable cause for suspicion as determined by a court of law, there is no need for the government to know all of the intimate details of our lives, including whom we talk to, where we spend our time and money, or which weapons we own, provided we're not purchasing tanks or fighter planes.

For our nation to once again be a thriving metropolis of freedom and innovation, the people and the government must peacefully coexist in an atmosphere of trust and mutual respect. This can occur only when laws are equally enforced and political favors are a thing of the past. When obvious governmental corruption is discovered, it must be swiftly and openly dealt with, and the perpetrators must face easily verifiable punishment.

This is just the opening salvo of what a trustworthy and honorable government should strive for. If we had such a government, border enforcement would be a given, the rights of the people would be respected, and events like the incident between the Bundys and the Bureau of Land Management would not occur.

We the people of the United States are the only ones capable of preventing uncontrolled government expansion and abuse. Like the ranchers in Nevada, Americans must find the courage and determination to maintain a free and vibrant nation. Government should be our friend and ally. When it is, we should support it wholeheartedly.
 

4-28-14
 
An affirmative decision: The Supreme Court gets it right

By Charles Krauthammer


JewishWorldReview.com | Every once in a while a great, conflicted country gets an insoluble problem exactly right. Such is the Supreme Court’s ruling this week on affirmative action. It upheld a Michigan referendum prohibiting the state from discriminating either for or against any citizen on the basis of race.

The Schuette ruling is highly significant for two reasons: its lopsided majority of 6 to 2, including a crucial concurrence from liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, and, even more important, Breyer’s rationale. It couldn’t be simpler. “The Constitution foresees the ballot box, not the courts, as the normal instrument for resolving differences and debates about the merits of these programs.”

Finally. After 36 years since the Bakke case, years of endless pettifoggery — parsing exactly how many spoonfuls of racial discrimination are permitted in exactly which circumstance — the court has its epiphany: Let the people decide. Not our business. We will not ban affirmative action. But we will not impose it, as the Schuette plaintiffs would have us do by ruling that no state is permitted to ban affirmative action.

The path to this happy place has been characteristically crooked. Eleven years ago, the court rejected an attempt to strike down affirmative action at the University of Michigan law school. The 2003 Grutter decision, as I wrote at the time, was “incoherent, disingenuous, intellectually muddled and morally confused” — and exactly what the country needed.

The reasoning was a mess because, given the very wording of the equal-protection clause (and of the Civil Rights Act), justifying any kind of racial preference requires absurd, often comical linguistic contortions. As Justice Antonin Scalia put it in his Schuette concurrence, even the question is absurd: “Does the Equal Protection Clause . . . forbid what its text plainly requires?” (i.e., colorblindness).

Indeed, over these four decades, how was “equal protection” transformed into a mandate for race discrimination? By morphing affirmative action into diversity and declaring diversity a state purpose important enough to justify racial preferences.

This is pretty weak gruel when compared with the social harm inherent in discriminating by race: exacerbating group antagonisms, stigmatizing minority achievement and, as documented by Thomas Sowell, Stuart Taylor and many others, needlessly and tragically damaging promising minority students by turning them disproportionately into failures at institutions for which they are unprepared.

So why did I celebrate the hopelessly muddled Grutter decision, which left affirmative action standing?

Because much as I believe the harm of affirmative action outweighs the good, the courts are not the place to decide the question. At its core, affirmative action is an attempt — noble but terribly flawed, in my view — at racial restitution. The issue is too neuralgic, the history too troubled, the ramifications too deep to be decided on high by nine robes. As with all great national questions, the only path to an enduring, legitimate resolution is by the democratic process.

That was the lesson of Roe v. Wade. It created a great societal rupture because, as Ruth Bader Ginsburg once explained, it “halted a political process that was moving in a reform direction and thereby, I believe, prolonged divisiveness and deferred stable settlement of the [abortion] issue.” It is never a good idea to take these profound political questions out of the political arena. (Regrettably, Ginsberg supported the dissent in Schuette, which would have done exactly that to affirmative action, recapitulating Roe.)

Which is why the 2003 Grutter decision was right. Asked to abolish affirmative action — and thus remove it from the democratic process — the court said no.

The implication? The people should decide.

The people responded accordingly. Three years later, they crafted a referendum to abolish race consciousness in government action. It passed overwhelmingly, 58 percent to 42 percent.

Schuette completes the circle by respecting the constitutionality of that democratic decision. As Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in the controlling opinion: “This case is not about how the debate about racial preferences should be resolved. It is about who may resolve it.”

And as Breyer wrote: “The Constitution permits, though it does not require . . . race-conscious programs.” Liberal as he is, Breyer could not accept the radical proposition of the Schuette plaintiffs that the Constitution demands — and cannot countenance a democratically voted abolition of — racial preferences.

This gives us, finally, the basis for a new national consensus. Two-thirds of the court has just said to the nation: For those of you who wish to continue to judge by race, we’ll keep making jesuitical distinctions to keep the discrimination from getting too obvious or outrageous. If, however, you wish to be rid of this baleful legacy and banish race preferences once and for all, do what Michigan did. You have our blessing.

4-27-14
 
NBC's Cognitive Dissonant Hack Syndrome

By Michelle Malkin


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | I've always thought entrenched left-wing journalists in Washington needed their heads examined. Much to my satisfaction, it appears the corporate media bosses of at least one Beltway anchor now agree.

According to The Washington Post this week, NBC News hired a "psychological consultant" to examine why flailing "Meet the Press" moderator David Gregory has been bombing in the ratings. The overpriced shrinks (NBC prefers the euphemism "brand consultants") came from the New York-based brand fixer-upper Elastic Strategy.

They interviewed Gregory's wife. They interrogated his friends. They crunched their numbers. They compiled their reports. And after all that, the "experts" are still scratching their noggins:

What's the matter with David Gregory? And why don't people like to watch him?

I could have saved the honchos at NBC News a lot of time and trouble. The first answer is: David Gregory is a phony. The second answer is: He's a jerk.

And no amount of brand therapy and rehabilitation consulting can fix him.

Gregory's predecessor, Tim Russert, was highly respected on both sides of the political aisle. The former chief of staff for iconoclastic U.S. Sen. Daniel Moynihan turned "Meet the Press" into mandatory viewing for any American serious about politics and policy. Yes, he was liberal. But he never pretended to be anything he wasn't. He did his homework. He didn't pull punches. He helped enlighten the nation about our entitlement crisis. He conducted interviews, not one-sided partisan lectures.

Russert was also a decent man, as so many warm eulogies across the ideological divide attested. I had a chance to meet him a few times as an intern in the videotape library of the Washington political unit at NBC News in 1992. He was always friendly and engaging. (Andrea Mitchell was a whole 'nother story. Gah.) Before I left to work for the Los Angeles Daily News, I drafted a little memo on suggestions to improve data collection and entry. I never expected acknowledgment. But Russert took the time to respond and thank me. A lowly intern. I never forgot that.

Gregory is the anti-Russert. His boorish behavior around D.C. is legendary — from his juvenile tantrums with the Bush press staff to his drunken radio appearances to his diva snit fits with innocent bystanders while filming news segments. One of the most telling and notorious anecdotes involves Russert himself, who reportedly reprimanded Gregory in 2008 for going ballistic on a poor waitress while the two TV stars dined at a D.C. restaurant. But "Gregory still treats most of ... the newsroom like s**t," an insider told the website Jossip. "Amazing how NBC cares more about food servers than about the people who have to deal with Gregory's arrogance every day."

Since Gregory doesn't have the intellectual heft to carry in-depth interview segments the way Russert did, "Meet the Press" producers have reduced substantive exchanges to a few minutes and larded the rest of the show with fluff and stunts.

That means: If it's Sunday, it's "Meet the Jerk."

Last fall, Gregory the gun-control activist masquerading as a Sunday talk-show journalist made headlines with his brazen hectoring of NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre — while illegally brandishing a 30-round ammunition magazine on national television. He has used the show to fawn over vulgar, misogynistic "comedian" Bill Maher and to repeatedly browbeat Timothy Dolan, the archbishop of New York, over gay marriage.

As I've noted many times over 20-plus years in this business, the problem isn't bias. It's the pretense of non-bias. Gregory and his peers suffer from cognitive dissonant hack syndrome, a common affliction among incurable left-wing journalists who sanctimoniously pay lip service every day to neutrality and objectivity, while brazenly using their platforms to promote partisan political narratives.

Desperate NBC suits in denial tried to get Gregory to immerse himself more in social media to appeal to "younger viewers." But he detests the hoi polloi and refuses to respond to critics. You don't have to be a high-priced brand guru to know that for social media engagement to work, it requires an engaging personality to actually, you know, engage.

Another NBC muckety-muck gave his expert analysis on the network's David Gregory Problem: "You need to be who you are. We're trying to look at who David is."

Well, there's the rub, isn't it? Gregory, like many of his ilk, is a thin-skinned elite who lives in the Beltway bubble and can barely contain his contempt for his audience. With rare exceptions, the supposed watchdogs of Washington journalism are lapdogs for the establishment with "Don't You Know Who I Am?" egos as big as the politicians they sidle up to every weekend.

To the chagrin of NBC and its brand EMTs, Americans have discovered an effective cure: the "off" button on their remotes.

4-26-14
 
The Meltdown of the Obama Genderhawks

By Michelle Malkin

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | >I have created a new species designation for the female Democrats who play hypocritical gender politics on behalf of Barack Obama. They're genderhawks.

You remember the term "chickenhawk," don't you? During the Bush years, anti-war activists and journalists hurled the ad hominem epithet at anyone who supported military action against our enemies but hadn't personally served.

I say let's give 'em a dose of their own tactical medicine.

Genderhawks are feminist chickenhawks. They demand "equal pay" for women, practice militant identity politics based on chromosomes and purport to wage an all-out government war on gender inequity. Yet, they personally refuse to hold themselves and their lousy male bosses accountable for their own gender-based failures and delinquencies.

Meet genderhawk Jennifer Palmieri. The Clinton administration veteran faithfully defended a lecherous philanderer-in-chief against what his sexist operatives called "bimbo eruptions." Then she served as spokeswoman for adulterous crapweasel John Edwards. Now, she is Obama's communications flack and chief social media gender warrior. On Tuesday, which Team Obama and its feminist pals dubbed "Equal Pay Day," Palmieri took to Twitter to call out the sexist White House press corps:

"Love all these guys, but note that 6 of 7 news orgs in front row sent men to ask @presssec abt the problem of gender pay inequity," Palmieri tweeted.

Oooh. Get it? Palmieri was womansplaining, gender-shaming and upside-the-head-smacking the mainstream media for sending tone-deaf men to ask about women's issues. She really zapped and zinged 'em, didn't she?!

Well, only in her Beltway bubble-wrapped head.

Palmieri humiliated just one person: herself. In her faux-minist fog, she forgot that her own boss, the president, is a man . His vice president is a man . Their labor secretary is a man . In fact, 12 of 15 Obama cabinent members are dastardly men. And White House press secretary Jay Carney, sent by her male managers to answer questions about gender equity from the men Palmieri deemed insufficiently sensitive to women's issues, is a man .

Thankfully, sane journalists of both genders pushed back against Palmieri's identity politics run amok. Fox News reporter Ed Henry fired back: "WH sent man to podium, right?" Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reporter Salena Zito retorted: "In your line of (thought) Jennifer, a woman should have taken the question for the White House not a man." National Review's Charles W. Cooke quizzed: "Would the answers have been different if the questions had been asked by women?"

Forced to respond, Palmieri grudgingly acknowledged that the press secretary carries XY chromosomes, but she rationalized that he's a man "who advocates for policies to reduce gender pay inequality and appreciates seriousness of problem." See, gals? Jay Carney feels your pain — unlike those chauvinist pigs in the press corps asking pesky questions about bogus White House wage inequity stats! See, guys? If you pay lip service to caring, you can be honorary genderhawks, too.

Obama and his femme-a-gogue flock aren't fooling anyone. It's not just evil men and right-wingers raising questions about the Democrats' Equal Pay Day theater. Reporters bombarded Carney about a new American Enterprise Institute study that found that the salary for the median female White House staffer is 12 percent lower than for a male staffer. Carney meekly replied that at least the White House pay gap is not as bad as the national average.

Both the left-wing Daily Beast and the free-market Wall Street Journal opinion pages debunked the "77 cents on a dollar" myth, which inflates the gender gap by failing to account for education, occupation and marital status. When challenged on the White House promotion of junk science, Carney sneered at a Reuters reporter that he "would expect something a little more precise."

While Palmieri runs interference for Carney and Obama, the cloud of sexism charges hanging over the White House hasn't gone away. It's liberal media outlets including The New York Times and Time magazine that have noted the "boys' club" climate at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, epitomized by the glaring absence of women in featured Oval Office photos of Obama's meetings with senior advisers. (Well, except for that one photo that showed a sliver of Valerie Jarrett's leg.)

And it was a top female aide, Anita Dunn, who very precisely told author Ron Suskind on tape that the Obama White House "actually fit all of the classic legal requirements for a genuinely hostile workplace to women."

Meanwhile, Obama genderhawk Jennifer Palmieri thinks squawking about male reporters is the way to achieve feminist social justice. Whatever we're paying this unhinged, selective man-hating lady is way too much.

4-25-14
 
Obama's Dirty Watchdogs

By Michelle Malkin


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The Obama administration doesn't have watchdogs. It has whitewash puppies.

The president's Chicago bullies have defanged true advocates for integrity in government in D.C. from day one. So the latest report by the Senate Homeland Security and Government Operations Committee on corruptocrat Charles K. Edwards, the former Department of Homeland Security inspector general, isn't a revelation. It's confirmation.

Investigators found that Edwards compromised the independence of his office by socializing and sucking up to senior DHS officials. "There are many blessings to be thankful for this year," the sycophantic Edwards wrote to the DHS acting counsel on Thanksgiving 2011, "but one of the best is having a friend like you." Geez, get them a room.

Whistleblowers outlined how Edwards cozied up to multiple DHS execs and legal staffers, who directed him to alter reports on immigration enforcement, TSA screening and the Secret Service's dalliances with prostitutes in Argentina. Edwards failed to obtain independent legal analysis of ethics issues. The IG counsel was cut out of the loop. Edwards ordered reports to be doctored or delayed. He failed to recuse himself from audits and inspections that had conflicts of interest related to his wife's employment.

The probe among DHS employees also discovered that Edwards' apparent retaliatory actions against staff dissenters "contributed to an office environment characterized by low morale, fear and general dissatisfaction with Mr. Edwards' leadership."

The Obama White House was quite happy, however. The administration installed this 20-year career bureaucrat as acting DOJ senior watchdog despite the fact that he had zero experience conducting audits, investigations and inspections — the three fundamental duties of an inspector general. They got exactly what they needed: A do-nothing, know-nothing, toothless lackey.

Edwards' main non-accomplishment was carrying water for the Obama corruptocracy as he dithered on the internal investigation of Alejandro Mayorkas, who was confirmed late last year as the No. 2 official at Homeland Security. As I've previously reported, veteran internal whistleblowers told Capitol Hill about fraud, reckless rubber-stamping and lax enforcement under Mayorkas' tenure as head of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Put on your shocked faces: The DOJ's IG probe into Mayorkas' role on fast-tracking visas for wealthy Chinese investors on behalf of GreenTech — the crony company with ties to Democratic Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe and Hillary Clinton's other brother, Anthony — has yet to be completed after more than a year.

Former DHS crook-in-chief Janet Napolitano continues to deny any wrongdoing. Conveniently, Napolitano's longtime aide and crony pal Suzanne Barr, former chief of staff to former DHS Immigration and Customs Enforcement head John Morton, left office just after whistleblower allegations about Barr's lewd conduct and sexual harassment of underlings surfaced. Guess who was "in charge" as the scandal broke open? Whitewash puppy Charles K. Edwards.

As always, the fish rots from the head down. Remember: Team Hope and Change sacked former Amtrak Inspector General Fred Weiderhold and former Americorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin for exposing financial improprieties and calling out Obama officials' interference with their probes.

And the current kennel of Obama cover-up enablers masquerading as watchdogs includes Interior Department acting IG Mary Kendall. She remains under investigation for allegations that she potentially helped White House officials cover up their doctoring of scientific documents that led to the fraudulent, job-killing drilling moratorium of 2010.

Then there was former DOJ acting inspector Cynthia Schnedar, a longtime employee and colleague of now-Attorney General Eric Holder, who recklessly released secret Operation Fast and Furious audiotapes to the U.S. Attorney's Office in Phoenix before reviewing them. She resigned in 2012 to avoid the heat.

When the Senate panel called Charles K. Edwards to testify last December about his own hot ethics mess, the White House promptly whisked Edwards out of the job and transferred him to the "science and technology" division of DOJ.

Funny how the "most transparent administration in American history" loves to play hide and seek with its dirty watchdogs. Heels, the whole lot of them.

4-24-14
 
Declaring the Obamacare Debate Over Won't Save Dems

By David Limbaugh

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Apart from gutting America's military, our standing in the world, our fiscal stability, the economy, the office of the presidency, conventional energy sources, the free market and religious liberty, Obama has little to boast about other than Obamacare, so let him go for it.

Yes, let him gloat, because the more he bloviates in defense of the indefensible — the more he spins the unspinnable — the more damage he'll do to the cause he's trying to promote: the election of Democratic congressmen in November.

Obama wasn't content with having just one news conference to tout the "success" of his Obamacare sign-up efforts, the one in which he fraudulently claimed he had met his goal of enrolling 7 million new people to fund this monster. As I've previously written, that number was staggeringly misleading for a variety of reasons, including that millions of new enrollees already had other coverage, far too few were in the necessary "young and healthy" category, 15 to 20 percent of the enrollees hadn't secured coverage because they hadn't paid their premiums, and an estimated 1 million more people lost their insurance and couldn't afford to replace it because Obamacare's mandated coverage provisions caused premiums to increase. (Also, how hard is it to add enrollees when uninsured Americans have a gun to their heads to force them to acquire insurance? Isn't this kind of like a bank robber's bragging about his "earnings?")

Obama conducted another self-congratulatory news conference just a few days ago to celebrate that 8 million people have now signed up, and this time, he was even more baselessly triumphant. As you may have heard, he declared — he is the president, after all — that the debate is now over and instructed his subjects — i.e., Republicans — that "it's well past time to move on."

Oh, maybe that's why he wouldn't respond to questions during the first news conference. Why should he have to provide information when there's nothing left to discuss? Silly us.

I'm not quite sure, though, that this "debate is over" edict is going to work too well, as a recent Fox News poll reports that 61 percent of Americans believe that Obama "lies" about important public issues either "most of the time" or "some of the time." As The Washington Examiner's editors aptly noted, "no other president in living memory has conducted himself in a manner that warranted even asking if such a description was appropriate."

There is just no getting around Obama's Obamacare lies: "If you like your doctor or health care provider, you can keep them," and health care insurance premiums for an average family of four will go down by some $2,500.

As painfully narcissistic as Obama is, the immediate reason he is so often sprinting to the presidential podium now — when he otherwise studiously avoids it — is not to defend Obamacare because it's his "baby," though that is a close second. It is to change the narrative on Obamacare in a desperate attempt to prevent an electoral bloodbath for Democrats in November.

Unhappily for Obama, one of his biggest Obamacare lies — the one that served as the main premise underlying our allegedly urgent need for Obamacare in the first place — has yet to be fully realized by the American public he continues to victimize with this law.

The primary impetus for Obamacare was that 46 million Americans were uninsured and Obamacare would correct that. Forget the unconscionable fraud in that number, and put aside the fact that Obamacare is not getting appreciably more people insured. Even if it ends up doing better, don't forget that the Congressional Budget Office estimated that after the law is fully implemented, some 30 million will remain uninsured.

The main fraud in Obama's sales pitch about the millions of uninsured is its implication that insurance coverage equals access to care. No matter how many net millions more, if any, end up with coverage, what about their access to care, the quality of care they will receive, their ability to choose their doctors and type of care, and the cost of it all — to individuals and to the government?

People are discovering the inevitable with Obamacare — that with their newly acquired insurance, many doctors will not accept them for treatment. This is forcing people to drive long distances to get physician and hospital care. People are being forced to switch doctors they like. Their premiums are being jacked up.

On top of all this, Obama's economy continues to tank, and he is demonstrating himself to be a foreign policy buffoon, dragging down America's image after promising to rebuild it.

Obama can declare the debate over all he wants to, but if the debate is now over, Republicans will win in November — big-time — which means, with a little hope and prayer, that we're moving that much closer to repealing his "signature achievement," restoring America's military, addressing the debt, reinvigorating the market and reinstituting policies of economic growth.

4-23-14
 
The zealots win again

By Charles Krauthammer


JewishWorldReview.com | The debate over campaign contributions is never-ending for a simple reason: Both sides of the argument have merit.

On the one hand, of course money is speech. For most citizens, contributing to politicians or causes is the most effective way to augment and amplify speech with which they agree. The most disdainful dismissers of this argument are editorialists and incumbent politicians who — surprise! — already enjoy access to vast audiences and don’t particularly like their monopoly being invaded by the unwashed masses or the self-made plutocrat.

On the other hand, of course money is corrupting. The nation’s jails are well stocked with mayors, legislators, judges and the occasional governor who have exchanged favors for cash. However, there are lesser — and legal — forms of influence-peddling short of the outright quid pro quo. Campaign contributions are carefully calibrated to approach that line without crossing it. But money distorts. There is no denying the unfairness of big contributors buying access unavailable to the everyday citizen.

Hence the endless law-writing to restrict political contributions, invariably followed by multiple fixes to correct the inevitable loopholes. The result is a baffling mass of legislation administered by one cadre of experts and dodged by another.

For a long time, a simple finesse offered a rather elegant solution: no limits on giving — but with full disclosure.

Open the floodgates, and let the monies, big and small, check and balance each other. And let transparency be the safeguard against corruption. As long as you know who is giving what to whom, you can look for, find and, if necessary, prosecute corrupt connections between donor and receiver.

This used to be my position. No longer. I had not foreseen how donor lists would be used not to ferret out corruption but to pursue and persecute citizens with contrary views. Which corrupts the very idea of full disclosure.

It is now an invitation to the creation of enemies lists. Containing, for example, Brendan Eich, forced to resign as Mozilla CEO when it was disclosed that six years earlier he’d given $1,000 to support a referendum banning gay marriage. He was hardly the first. Activists compiled blacklists of donors to Proposition 8 and went after them. Indeed, shortly after the referendum passed, both the artistic director of the California Musical Theatre in Sacramento and the president of the Los Angeles Film Festival were hounded out of office.

Referendums produce the purest example of transparency misused because corrupt favoritism is not an issue. There’s no one to corrupt. Supporting a referendum is a pure expression of one’s beliefs. Full disclosure in that context becomes a cudgel, an invitation to harassment.

Sometimes the state itself does the harassing. The IRS scandal left many members of political groups exposed to abuse, such as the unlawful release of confidential data. In another case, the Obama campaign Web site in 2012 published the names of eight big Romney donors, alleging them to have “less-than-reputable records.” A glow-in-the-dark target having been painted on his back, Idaho businessman Frank VanderSloot (reported the Wall Street Journal’s Kimberley Strassel) suddenly found himself subject to multiple audits, including two by the IRS.

In his lone dissent to the disclosure requirement in Citizens United, Justice Clarence Thomas argued that American citizens should not be subject “to death threats, ruined careers, damaged or defaced property, or pre-emptive and threatening warning letters as the price for engaging in core political speech, the primary object of First Amendment protection.” (Internal quote marks omitted.)

In fact, wariness of full disclosure goes back to 1958 when the Supreme Court ruled that the NAACP did not have to release its membership list to the state, understanding that such disclosure would surely subject its members to persecution. “This court has recognized the vital relationship between freedom to associate and privacy in one’s associations . . . particularly where a group espouses dissident beliefs.”

A different era, a different set of dissidents. But the naming of names, the listing of lists, goes on. The enforcers are at it again, this time armed with sortable Internet donor lists.

The ultimate victim here is full disclosure itself. If revealing your views opens you to the politics of personal destruction, then transparency, however valuable, must give way to the ultimate core political good, free expression.

Our collective loss. Coupling unlimited donations and full disclosure was a reasonable way to reconcile the irreconcilables of campaign finance. Like so much else in our politics, however, it has been ruined by zealots. What a pity.

4-22-14
 
Statistical Frauds

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | The "war on women" political slogan is in fact a war against common sense.

It is a statistical fraud when Barack Obama and other politicians say that women earn only 77 percent of what men earn — and that this is because of discrimination.

It would certainly be discrimination if women were doing the same work as men, for the same number of hours, with the same amount of training and experience, as well as other things being the same. But study after study, over the past several decades, has shown repeatedly that those things are not the same.

Constantly repeating the "77 percent" statistic does not make them the same. It simply takes advantage of many people's ignorance — something that Barack Obama has been very good at doing on many other issues.

What if you compare women and men who are the same on all the relevant characteristics?

First of all, you can seldom do that, because the statistics you would need are not always available for the whole range of occupations and the whole range of differences between women's patterns and men's patterns in the labor market.

Even where relevant statistics are available, careful judgment is required to pick samples of women and men who are truly comparable.

For example, some women are mothers and some men are fathers. But does the fact that they are both parents make them comparable in the labor market? Actually the biggest disparity in incomes is between fathers and mothers. Nor is there anything mysterious about this, when you stop and think about it.

How surprising is it that women with children do not earn as much as women who do not have children? If you don't think children take up a mother's time, you just haven't raised any children.

How surprising is it that men with children earn more than men without children, just the opposite of the situation with women? Is it surprising that a man who has more mouths to feed is more likely to work longer hours? Or take on harder or more dangerous jobs, in order to earn more money?

More than 90 percent of the people who are killed on the job are men. There is no point pretending that there are no differences between what women do and what men do in the workplace, or that these differences don't affect income.

During my research on male-female differences for my book "Economic Facts and Fallacies," I was amazed to learn that young male doctors earned much higher incomes than young female doctors. But it wasn't so amazing after I discovered that young male doctors worked over 500 hours more per year than young female doctors.

Even when women and men work at jobs that have the same title — whether doctors, lawyers, economists or whatever — people do not get paid for what their job title is, but for what they actually do.

Women lawyers who are pregnant, or who have young children, may have good reasons to prefer a 9 to 5 job in a government agency to working 60 hours a week in a high-powered law firm. But there is no point comparing male lawyers as a group with female lawyers as a group, if you don't look any deeper than job titles.

Unless, of course, you are not looking for the truth, but for political talking points to excite the gullible.

Even when you compare women and men with the "same" education, as measured by college or university degrees, the women usually specialize in a very different mix of subjects, with very different income-earning potential.

Although comparing women and men who are in fact comparable is not easy to do, when you look at women and men who are similar on multiple factors, the sex differential in pay shrinks drastically and gets close to the vanishing point. In some categories, women earn more than men with the same range of characteristics.

If the 77 percent statistic was for real, employers would be paying 30 percent more than they had to, every time they hired a man to do a job that a woman could do just as well. Would employers be such fools with their own money? If you think employers don't care about paying 30 percent more than they have to, just go ask your boss for a 30 percent raise!

4-21-14
 
It can be done: Passionate about race issues but no race hustler was he

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | Black journalist Chuck Stone was one of those people whose passing makes us think, "We shall not see his like again."

He was passionately interested in racial issues but he was never a race hustler. He followed nobody's party line but called the issues as he saw them.

Chuck Stone was a three-dimensional man, not like the cardboard cutouts with standard-issue liberal talking points that we see too often in the media today.

He was with the liberals on many issues, but he did not hesitate to advocate the death penalty, and he said: "We have got to stop apologizing for the self-destructive little savages in our communities." He called the defense of such people "committing genocide against ourselves."

Journalism was just one of his careers. At various times and places, Stone was a navigator for the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II, and later an official of CARE, distributing food to the hungry in India. With a Master's degree from the University of Chicago, he sometimes taught at colleges.

Newsweek called Chuck Stone "an unpredictable political pundit and modern-day Renaissance man."

Stone picked up many honors and awards along the way, but perhaps the greatest honor was that accorded him by a foundation president who said simply, "people trust Chuck."

Armed and dangerous criminals surrendered to him, rather than to the police, trusting that he would try to get them a fair trial, or at least spare them a beating by the police.

By the same token, Stone was so respected by the governor of Pennsylvania that he was asked by the governor to go into a prison where armed inmates were holding hostages, in order to try to negotiate a peaceful end of the crisis.

Though widely praised later for his courage in going into this deadly situation, Stone said: "I was so scared I thought I was going to cry."

But courage does not consist in a lack of fear. Only a fool has no fear. Courage is the ability to get the job done in spite of fear. He got the job done.

When Chuck Stone was editor of The Chicago Defender, a black newspaper, his editorials attacking the Daley machine caused him to be fired. The powers that be at the newspaper apparently feared that these attacks could cause them to lose the advertising money they received from Mayor Daley's election campaign.

After he was fired by The Chicago Defender, Stone received a phone call from legendary Harlem Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, who knew him from his days as a reporter in New York. Powell offered him a job as his special assistant, saying: "Come on home to Big Daddy."

Chuck Stone's favorite career may have been serving as legislative aide to Congressman Powell, whom he admired but never canonized. He enjoyed being at the center of the political action, especially when Powell was at the peak of his political power and influence, and was considered to be "Mr. Civil Rights."

Among Stone's tasks was issuing "clarifying" statements after some off-hand remark by Powell had set off a furor. Stone later wrote a novel titled "King Strut," about a character much like the flamboyant Congressman.

What I most remember from my own brief contacts with Chuck Stone, years ago, was his comment after we exchanged views on racial issues.

"You are a black nationalist," he said. This was one of the few names I had never been called before.

"Come on, Chuck," I said. "I don't even own a dashiki."

"You are still a black nationalist," he insisted.

The term would certainly apply to Chuck Stone himself. He advocated self-help.

"Before there were food stamps," he said, "people fed their families. Before there was federal aid to education, black kids went to college." As for "black English," he called it a "cop out" from rigorous standards.

4-20-14

Happy Easter!

4-19-14
 
Pushing Back Against PARCC/Achieve Inc. Lobbyists

By Michelle Malkin

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Attention, class: A Common Core mouthpiece wants to rap my knuckles with his Gates Foundation-funded ruler. In response to my column two weeks ago about the marketing overlords pushing the Fed Ed racket, Chad Colby of Achieve Inc. demanded corrections. Let's go to school.

"I wanted to take a moment to highlight two points that were incorrect regarding Achieve," Colby complained. "Contrary to Ms. Malkin's assertion, Achieve employs no lobbyists and we never have."

No? Never? Someone didn't do his homework. Mr. Colby, meet Patricia Sullivan. She's the founding executive director of Achieve and a career lobbyist who has bounced around D.C. for the past quarter-century in influence-peddling positions for the Gates Foundation-funded National Governors Association, Council for Chief State School Officers and Center on Education Policy. She has "advocated" for trade groups, a teachers union and her own "consulting firm." That's Washington-speak for "lobbying."

And let me introduce Mr. Colby to Ronn Robinson, a founding senior vice president of Achieve and veteran Democratic and corporate education lobbyist for former Washington Gov. Booth Gardner and Boeing. According to The Hill newspaper's column titled, ahem, "Lobbying World," Not-a-Lobbyist Robinson left Achieve several years ago to lobby for the D.C.-based National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE).

NCEE is the multimillion-dollar Gates Foundation-funded advocacy (read: "lobbying") group founded by Marc Tucker, the godfather of Common Core-style schemes and top-down control masquerading as "reform." He has dominated the D.C. education-lobbying scene since before Bill Clinton was in office. Like Achieve, Tucker's NCEE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that crusades for ever-increasing federal involvement in every aspect of education while denying its brazen lobbying activities.

In the early 1990s, NCEE (established with $5 million in New York taxpayer-funded seed grants) paid Hillary Clinton more than $100,000 to direct the group's "Workforce Skills Program" while she worked at the Rose Law Firm in Arkansas. After the Clintons moved into the White House, Tucker sent a now-infamous letter to Mrs. Clinton outlining a radical progressive plan "to remold the entire American system" through a centralized national-standards Trojan Horse.

Tucker's proposal represented "a new approach to government" by elitist bureaucrats to "create a seamless web" that "literally extends from cradle to grave." The Clinton White House soon after delivered federal Goals 2000 and School-to-Work laws. Tucker has explicitly advocated that the United States "largely abandon the beloved emblem of American education: local control." Today, his acolytes hail the creation of a "P20W" system to groom students from "prenatal" ("P") through graduate school ("20") and into the workplace (W").

Tucker's close ally, Mike Cohen, was one of the cadre of education radicals called on to shape his plan and was name-checked in his letter to Hillary. Cohen served as a top education adviser to Bill Clinton and his Education Secretary Richard Riley, and as a Don't-Call-Me-A-Lobbyist lobbyist for the NGA before becoming president of Achieve Inc. in 2003.

And that brings us back to Mr. Chad Colby and Achieve Inc.'s second complaint. As I reported in my column, the incestuous relationships among these lobbying groups and their Common Core boondoggle partners are deep and wide. I noted that in addition to staffing the Common Core standards writing committee and leading the public relations campaign, Achieve Inc. "is the 'project management partner' of the Common Core-aligned, tax-subsidized PARCC testing conglomerate."

Colby protested that "Achieve is no longer affiliated with the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC)" and that its "contract ended with them in December of last year." Clean break? Hah. Achieve and PARCC are inextricably intertwined.

Don't take my word for it. Take PARCC's. Though the contract with Achieve "ended" last year, a PARCC letter to Arizona education officials explains that no one's really going anywhere:

"The Achieve staff members that have conducted the work of PARCC over the last several years are transitioning to PARCC, Inc. so that they can continue to maintain the leadership and programmatic expertise that will see the project through the end of the development period, as well as the sustainment of the assessment moving beyond the grant. Many of them have been involved in work surrounding student assessment and academic standards for 15 or more years..."

Moreover, PARCC makes crystal clear that "the Achieve staff members that will make up PARCC, Inc. ... have been intimately involved in the development of each of PARCC's procurements, subsequent contracts and contract management."

Despite spending tens of millions of dollars on advocacy along with millions more in federal and state taxpayer grants and subsidies, the Beltway educrats' propaganda machine is crumbling. Tens of thousands of parents and students are now boycotting the racket's PARCC/Achieve field tests. States are withdrawing from standards, technology and data-collection plans in droves.

Looks like it's time to ask the Gates Foundation to pour more money down the Common Core/Fed Ed Not Lobbying vortex, Mr. Colby. Class dismissed.

4-18-14
 
Progressives don't grasp the Constitution

By George Will


JewishWorldReview.com | In a 2006 interview, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said the Constitution is “basically about” one word — “democracy” — that appears in neither that document nor the Declaration of Independence. Democracy is America’s way of allocating political power. The Constitution, however, was adopted to confine that power in order to “secure the blessings of” that which simultaneously justifies and limits democratic government — natural liberty.

The fundamental division in U.S. politics is between those who take their bearings from the individual’s right to a capacious, indeed indefinite, realm of freedom, and those whose fundamental value is the right of the majority to have its way in making rules about which specified liberties shall be respected.

Now the nation no longer lacks what it has long needed, a slender book that lucidly explains the intensity of conservatism’s disagreements with progressivism. For the many Americans who are puzzled and dismayed by the heatedness of political argument today, the message of Timothy Sandefur’s “The Conscience of the Constitution: The Declaration of Independence and the Right to Liberty” is this: The temperature of today’s politics is commensurate to the stakes of today’s argument.

The argument is between conservatives who say U.S. politics is basically about a condition, liberty, and progressives who say it is about a process, democracy. Progressives, who consider democracy the source of liberty, reverse the Founders’ premise, which was: Liberty preexists governments, which, the Declaration says, are legitimate when “instituted” to “secure” natural rights.

Progressives consider, for example, the rights to property and free speech as, in Sandefur’s formulation, “spaces of privacy” that government chooses “to carve out and protect” to the extent that these rights serve democracy. Conservatives believe that liberty, understood as a general absence of interference, and individual rights, which cannot be exhaustively listed, are natural and that governmental restrictions on them must be as few as possible and rigorously justified. Merely invoking the right of a majority to have its way is an insufficient justification.

With the Declaration, Americans ceased claiming the rights of aggrieved Englishmen and began asserting rights that are universal because they are natural, meaning necessary for the flourishing of human nature. “In Europe,” wrote James Madison, “charters of liberty have been granted by power,” but America has “charters of power granted by liberty.”

Sandefur, principal attorney at the Pacific Legal Foundation, notes that since the 1864 admission of Nevada to statehood, every state’s admission has been conditioned on adoption of a constitution consistent with the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration . The Constitution is the nation’s fundamental law but is not the first law. The Declaration is, appearing on Page 1 of Volume 1 of the U.S. Statutes at Large, and the Congress has placed it at the head of the United States Code, under the caption, “The Organic Laws of the United States of America.” Hence the Declaration “sets the framework” for reading the Constitution not as “basically about” democratic government — majorities — granting rights but about natural rights defining the limits of even democratic government.

The perennial conflict in American politics, Sandefur says, concerns “which takes precedence: the individual’s right to freedom, or the power of the majority to govern.” The purpose of the post-Civil War’s 14th Amendment protection of Americans’ “privileges or immunities” — protections vitiated by an absurdly narrow Supreme Court reading of that clause in 1873 — was to assert, on behalf of emancipated blacks, national rights of citizens. National citizenship grounded on natural rights would thwart Southern states then asserting their power to acknowledge only such rights as they chose to dispense.

Government, the framers said, is instituted to improve upon the state of nature, in which the individual is at the mercy of the strong. But when democracy, meaning the process of majority rule, is the supreme value — when it is elevated to the status of what the Constitution is “basically about” — the individual is again at the mercy of the strong, the strength of mere numbers.

Sandefur says progressivism “inverts America’s constitutional foundations” by holding that the Constitution is “about” democracy, which rejects the framers’ premise that majority rule is legitimate “only within the boundaries” of the individual’s natural rights. These include — indeed, are mostly — unenumerated rights whose existence and importance are affirmed by the Ninth Amendment.

Many conservatives should be discomfited by Sandefur’s analysis, which entails this conclusion: Their indiscriminate denunciations of “judicial activism” inadvertently serve progressivism. The protection of rights, those constitutionally enumerated and others, requires a judiciary actively engaged in enforcing what the Constitution is “basically about,” which is making majority power respect individuals’ rights.

4-17-14
 
The counter to a 'war on women'

By George Will


JewishWorldReview.com | DETROIT--- Robert Griffin, now 90, who rose to be second in the Republican U.S. Senate leadership, was defeated in 1978. Since then, only one Michigan Republican, Spencer Abraham in 1994, has been elected to the Senate and for only one term. Evidence that former Michigan secretary of state Terri Lynn Land might end this GOP drought is that Democrats are attacking her for opposing “preventive health care.”

This is a phrase Democrats use to include abortion as they try to reprise their 2012 alarms about Republicans’ “war on women,” which began with the martyrdom of Sandra Fluke. She was the Georgetown University law student aggrieved because the Catholic university she chose to attend was not paying for her contraception. The median starting annual salary of Georgetown law graduates entering the private sector is $160,000. Wal-Mart sells a month’s worth of birth control pills for $9.

In the almost half-century since Lyndon Johnson’s flood of Great Society legislation, Democrats have had one significant new idea, Obamacare, which many Democrats consider one too many. Hence their reliance on the specter of Republican hostility to people with two X chromosomes.

Land is delighted to have Democrats raising the subject of “preventive” or other health care. It is one topic of about $5 million of Michigan ads by the conservative advocacy group Americans for Prosperity. In one, a woman addresses Land’s opponent, Democratic Rep. Gary Peters:

“My name is Julie Boonstra and five years ago I was diagnosed with leukemia. I found out that I only have a 20 percent chance of surviving. I found this wonderful doctor and a great health-care plan. I was doing fairly well fighting the cancer, fighting the leukemia, and then I received the letter. My insurance was canceled because of Obamacare.”

Another ad features a woman who believes Obamacare is waging a war on her: “We have five kids. . . . Our health insurance plan was canceled because of Obamacare. . . . This new plan is not affordable at all. My husband is working a lot more hours just to pay for these new increases. I’m frustrated that government has caused this huge problem for our family.”

“We,” says Land, her Michigan chauvinism undiminished by this city’s collapse, “are the state that created the middle class.” High wages for autoworkers — higher than the companies could sustain — and employee discounts for cars enabled people to buy homes, then cottages and boats at nearby lakes. Now Obamacare — many Michiganders have had health plans canceled — is fueling middle-class insecurity.

Peters opposes the Keystone XL pipeline and favors cap-and-trade climate legislation that Land says jeopardizes the revival of Michigan’s manufacturing economy. Peters, a former state senator, has won three congressional elections. Land, having won statewide twice, is better known, and as secretary of state she concentrated on improving an experience most Americans dread — interacting with the department of motor vehicles.

In some recent polls she has a small lead in what may remain a close race. She has less to fear than Republicans used to have from Detroit’s Democratic vote. The city’s population has plunged from 1.8 million to 700,000, and today’s Democratic mayor wields a much diminished political machine while an emergency manager is in place. Only 3 percent of Michiganders live in the Upper Peninsula, but in a close race they could provide the margin of victory for Land. The UP’s conservatism can be distilled in six words: “I’m up here. Don’t bother me.”

Land represents Republicans’ most effective response to Democrats’ ­hyperventilating about the “war on women” — female candidates. It will be amusing to see such rhetoric tried in Iowa, where Joni Ernst, a lieutenant colonel in the Iowa Army National Guard who served in Iraq, is seeking the Republican Senate nomination. She says in an ad: “I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm. So when I get to Washington, I’ll know how to cut pork.” She rides a Harley and in a recent Des Moines Register column she said, “Those who know me well know that I carry a black purse everywhere I go. What many people don’t know is what’s inside: a Smith and Wesson 9 mm and my concealed carry permit.”

Many Democrats seem to prefer the sensibility of Fluke, a professional victim and virtuoso whiner. Michigan’s electorate, which has produced today’s Republican governor and legislature, may be ready, by electing a Republican senator for the third time in 42 years, to show what they think of “war on women” hysterics as a substitute for thought.
 

4-16-14

Please read my new article,
"Obama's pen and phone tyranny"

4-15-14

Taxing Life Away

By John Stossel


JewishWorldReview.com | It's tax time. I'm too scared to do my taxes. I'm sure I'll get something wrong and my enemies in government will persecute — no, I mean prosecute — me. So I hired Bob.

Bob's my accountant. I like Bob, but I don't like that I have to have an accountant. I don't want to spend time keeping records and talking to Bob about boring things I don't understand, and I really don't want to pay Bob. But I have to.

What a waste. Once, I calculated what I could do with the money I give Bob. I could have a fancy dinner out 200 times. I could buy a motorcycle. I could take a cruise ship all the way from New York to Venice, Italy, and back.

Better yet, I could do some good for the world. For the same money I waste on Bob, I could pay four kids' tuition at a Catholic high school.

The tax code is now complex enough that most Americans now hire Bob, or his equivalent. Instead of inventing things, doing charity work or just having fun, we waste weeks (and billions of dollars) on tax preparation.

And we change our lives to suit the wishes of politicians.

"What the tax code is doing is trying to choose our values for us," complains Yaron Brook from the Ayn Rand Institute. I think I choose my own values, but it's true that politicians use taxes to manipulate us. Million-dollar mortgage deductions steer us to buy bigger houses, and solar tax credits persuaded me to put solar panels on my roof. Brook objects to every manipulation in the code: "It's telling us charity is good!"

On my TV show, I respond: But charity is good! Brook retorts, "If you want to give to charity, great, (but) I might invest in a business that's more important."

That's possible, but since a charity will probably spend the money better than government will, isn't it good that the code encourages people to give? Steve Forbes argues that if taxes were flat and simple, Americans would give more . "Americans don't need to be bribed to give ... In the 1980s, when the top rate got cut from 70 down to 28 percent ... charitable giving went up . When people have more, they give more."

While freedom lovers complain about the byzantine complexity of the tax code, the politically connected tout their special breaks. The National Association of Realtors runs TV ads showing Uncle Sam offering first-time homebuyers an $8,000 tax break, while sleazily winking at the viewer.

The tax code oddity that may have the most destructive influence on America might be the fact that if you buy private health insurance, you pay more tax than if your employer buys you a plan.

It's why we ended up with a sluggish health care market unresponsive to individual desires — leading to the insistence that we need a government-managed alternative like Obamacare.

The code is incomprehensible. You can get a deduction for feeding feral cats but not for having a watchdog, for clarinet lessons if your orthodontist thinks it'll cure your overbite but not for piano lessons a psychotherapist prescribes for relaxation. It seems so arbitrary.

In the marketplace, individuals shop around for the most efficient, low-cost way of getting services they really want. Every time tax rules nudge us in a chosen direction, they preempt the market's signals.

Government gets moralistic about it, too, placing "sin taxes" on items like cigarettes and fat, plus luxury items like yachts that some find decadent. It's gone on for centuries. American colonists seem libertarian by today's standards, but they put extra taxes on snuff and "conspicuous displays of clothing."

That's one thing the Founders did that we shouldn't copy — but their otherwise rebellious attitude toward taxation is one that we should emulate. America suffers when government turns taxes into a manipulative maze.
 

4-14-14
 
Obama's Politicized, Lawless Executive Branch

By David Limbaugh

http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Under the administration of President Barack Obama, as never before in my lifetime, there is reason to be a bit afraid of the federal government.

I have written two books documenting Obama's abuses of power, his assaults on the Constitution, his wars against business and energy, his abominably reckless spending, his divisiveness, his renegade Justice Department, his regulatory expansion, his executive orders, his overall lawlessness, and more.

Obama's conduct concerning Obamacare alone would be enough to get the impeachment wheels rolling for any other president. His flagrant, deliberate lies regarding almost every aspect of that horrible law and his defiant refusal to accept any accountability for it seem unprecedented to me. Yes, Bill Clinton looked us in the face and denied his adulterous tryst with Monica Lewinsky, but Obama's lies involve the nation's health care system and affect virtually every American.

Without any basis in the Affordable Care Act — or in any other law or constitutional provision — he has unilaterally handed out exemptions from that "law of the land" like candy and has suspended its operation at his absolute whim.

Obama's dismissiveness over the Benghazi, Libya, scandal and his overt conspiracy to deceive the public into believing that a video was responsible for the consulate attack are mind-blowingly callous and arrogant.

His collusive protection of Attorney General Eric Holder concerning the Fast and Furious scandal and his staggering disinterest in getting to the bottom of it are beyond comprehension.

His lack of contrition for the taxpayer waste he has personally generated in Solyndra-type ventures and in the non-job-producing stimulus is unconscionable, and his brazenness in pretending he is not blocking domestic oil production rises to the level of mocking Americans who disagree with him politically.

Has any president of this nation ever behaved and spoken as though he felt that being the president gave him royal powers — that he could just snub his executive nose at the other two coequal branches of the federal government and treat the states that didn't cow to his dictates as if they were bastard stepchildren? Has anyone in that office ever acted so entitled?

I have barely scratched the surface here, but now we have potentially explosive evidence implicating the administration and at least one Democratic congressman in a truly heinous scandal involving the Internal Revenue Service, which has used its enormous power unlawfully against certain citizens and groups based on their political views and affiliations.

As you've surely learned by now, emails just released by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee reveal that there was improper communication between staff working for Democratic ranking member Elijah Cummings and the IRS during 2012 and 2013.

Cummings' staff allegedly made inquiries to the IRS about True the Vote, a conservative group dedicated to voter fraud prevention. The IRS has hassled and impeded the group in its effort to obtain tax-exempt status for two years. It appears that the IRS and Cummings asked True the Vote for almost identical information, raising the possibility there was collusion between them.

It wasn't as though this communication was innocuous. Emails show that Lois Lerner, who was the head of tax-exempt groups at the IRS at the time, apparently tried to get information to Cummings' staff about True the Vote. If no foul play was involved, why did Rep. Cummings adamantly deny that his staff had ever contacted the IRS regarding True the Vote? Why didn't Cummings disclose his contact with the IRS to the majority staff of the committee? What innocent explanation is there for the fact that the IRS and Cummings' staff were seeking identical information? And what possible purpose would they have in discussing this conservative group in the first place? This is blood-boilingly outrageous.

How can this administration get away with turning the executive branch into its own partisan instrument? We have learned that Lerner discussed the possibility of getting a job with Organizing for Action, an Obama campaign arm. In addition, reports are just emerging that a government watchdog is pursuing cases against three other IRS employees and offices who are suspected of illegal political activity in support of President Obama.

The Office of Special Counsel said it was commonplace for employees in a Dallas IRS office to have pro-Obama screensavers on their computers and to have campaign-style buttons and stickers at their offices. In another case, according to the Office of Special Counsel, an employee working with the IRS' customer help line urged taxpayers "to re-elect President Obama in 2012 by repeatedly reciting a chant based on the spelling of his last name." Finally, an IRS employee in Kentucky has reportedly been suspended for 14 days for blasting Republicans in a conversation with a taxpayer.

Information has just begun to trickle out concerning all this misconduct, but there is no denying that this president has created a climate in the executive branch of the federal government that is openly partisan and decidedly hostile to political opponents.

With all the destruction and lawlessness from this administration, many people feel our situation is hopeless, but I am confident that there will be, in the not-too-distant future, both a political day of reckoning and a radical reversal in the direction this nation is heading. I have to believe it.

4-13-14
 
Leftist Thought-Gangsters Strike Again

By David Limbaugh


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Let me see whether I have this right. Brendan Eich was forced to step down as CEO of Mozilla because it became public that he opposed same-sex marriage, the same position that President Barack Obama, darling of the LGBT community, held prior to his phony conversion.

Why didn't the left demand that President Obama resign as president of the United States prior to the consummation of his "evolution" on the issue in favor of same-sex marriage? Was it because liberals knew he was never actually opposed to same-sex marriage and that his stated opposition was an opportunistic ruse to make him electable?

It wasn't that long ago when support of traditional marriage was the majority position in this country. I imagine that it still is in reality, though fewer and fewer people have the courage to stand up for their convictions these days, even to the extent of admitting their honest feelings in response to polling surveys.

This politically correct thought control is getting out of hand. For a disturbing percentage of people on the left, freedom doesn't matter, nor do tolerance, inclusiveness and compassion. If you don't have the correct views — e.g., if you believe that marriage should still be defined as being between one man and one woman — you are not entitled to respect or even to the same rights and freedoms as others. The rationale is that because of your "intolerance" and "hate," you are of a different class, a subspecies — vermin — and you forfeit the privilege of being tolerated and deserve to be treated with hate yourself.

But not all these Stalinists on the left are so open about their own bigotry. To be sure, they support the mistreatment of people like Brendan Eich, who committed the unpardonable sin of voting for California's Proposition 8, but they "nuance" their arguments to depict themselves as less tyrannical.

For example, a New York Times writer opined that it's a mistake to draw the conclusion that the forced resignation of Eich was "an instance of political correctness run amok" or that it is "a sign that Silicon Valley has become militantly (in)tolerant, unwilling to let executives express their personal viewpoints on issues unrelated to their jobs."

Why? Because "Mozilla is not a normal company. It is an activist organization" whose "primary mission isn't to make money but to spread open-source code across the globe in the eventual hope of promoting 'the development of the Internet as a public resource.'" According to the writer, many people at Mozilla didn't consider Eich's views on gay marriage completely irrelevant to his role as chief executive. Some thought he was too "divisive" to be an effective leader.

How is this not bigotry, you ask? Well, because Mozilla is not an evil capitalistic company primarily out to make money but one involved in "a mission." "If his job was to motivate people, and he was instead causing people to question the community's ethic — well, at the least, you can say he wasn't doing a good job." Wow.

It's amazing how leftists can shape-shift arguments to rationalize their own intolerance. But the arguments of Matthew Riley MacPherson, a developer for Mozilla, are even worse.

According to MacPherson, Eich's fatal mistake wasn't his support of Proposition 8 several years ago. "Being on the losing side of history this one time is okay, because I've seen Eich be right about many things during just my tenure at Mozilla," wrote MacPherson. What made MacPherson realize Eich "was not ready to lead Mozilla — or any company — was his damage control (interview) on CNET."

In this interview, Eich did not cower, recant or acknowledge that he is the worst person in the world other than the Koch brothers. "Eich," wrote MacPherson, "was given the clear chance to publicly apologize on behalf of himself and Mozilla — something called for by many, including myself. When asked if he could do it all over and do it differently: the correct answer was 'yes'. But he didn't say he would do it differently. It was at that exact point in time that he failed as CEO. ... He failed to execute."

So these thought-gangsters would rather have as their CEO a mealy-mouthed coward who would disingenuously recant his position to conform to their demands than they would a leader who stands up for what he believes at the risk of incurring the left's unmitigated wrath and losing his job?

I don't know which are worse, the leftists who come right out and admit they won't tolerate an opposing viewpoint or those who delude themselves into believing that their own abysmal intolerance is actually just their sophisticated business judgment.

Both are outrageous and unacceptable.

The overarching issue in this sordid matter is not the propriety or advisability of same-sex marriage. It is freedom, the selective contempt many on the left have for it and their willingness to twist themselves into pretzels justifying the unjustifiable. Everyone should be alarmed about this.

4-12-14
 
Competition for thee, but not for me

By Ann Coulter


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Between having Republican presidential candidates fly to Las Vegas to kiss his ring, billionaire Sheldon Adelson has managed to fit in time to talk Sen. Lindsey Graham into sponsoring a bill banning Internet gambling.

As you may know, Sheldon Adelson is a CASINO OWNER. Internet gambling would compete with his casino business.

On the other hand, when it comes to the services Adelson isn't selling, but buying -- low-skilled workers -- he's for unbridled competition, preferring not to limit the supply even to people who are legally in the United States. (Weirdly, so is Lindsey Graham!)

Adelson is a big backer of amnesty, telling The Wall Street Journal: "It would be inhumane to send those people back, to send 12 million people out of this country. ... So we've got to find a way, find a route for those people to get legal citizenship."

As Milton Friedman said, "With some notable exceptions, businessmen favor free enterprise in general but are opposed to it when it comes to themselves."

Adelson is an especially telling example of the self-interest of businessmen on immigration. His newspaper, Israel Today, the largest newspaper in Israel, is wildly patriotic on immigration (and everything else).

Israel Today has trumpeted the success of the 15-foot razor-wire fence along Israel's 140-mile border with Egypt, triumphantly noting last August that, for the first time, "no infiltrations were recorded from the Egyptian border, compared to 193 from the same month last year."

Adelson himself had suggested just such a policy to the Los Angeles Times last year, saying he wanted to "Put a big fence around our country."

By "our country," he, of course, meant Israel. In America, he wants illegal immigrants pouring across the border to provide him with an endless supply of cheap labor.

Recently, Israel has been "rounding up" African refugees, giving them $3,500 and plane tickets to Uganda, to encourage them to "self-deport." Welcome to El Al Airlines. We're about to begin pre-boarding for Flight 259, offering non-stop, one-way service to Kampala, Uganda. At this time we'd like to invite our premium-plus illegal immigrants to board.

Wait! I thought we couldn't "round up" any illegal immigrants! I thought "self-deportation" was a laughable idea! Say, could Adelson buy The New York Times and start pushing those policies here?

For years, the cheap-labor lobby has told us: Immigrants are doing the work Americans simply will not do! We're tired of people who know nothing about our business telling us to pay our workers more. Where are they when beds are unmade? Where are they when crops are rotting in the field? It's not about how much we pay them per hour! Americans don't want these jobs.

But in last week's New York Times story about multimillionaire farmers who need taxpayer-subsidized cheap labor, the Times lost focus and forgot to lie. In one blockbuster sentence, the paper admitted that, last year, "the diminished supply of workers led average farm wages in the region to increase by roughly $1 an hour."

I believe we have an Earth-shattering revelation there! In other words, people were willing to do the work -- as soon as wages were raised. So, apparently, employers were not exploring every option to get workers, such as, for example, paying their employees ONE DOLLAR MORE.

In a catastrophic blunder of epic proportions, The New York Times had inadvertently stumbled across the laws of supply and demand.

Adelson might want to hang onto that Israeli citizenship, in case his preferred policy of amnesty ever does go through: His low-wage workers don't have especially enlightened views of the Jewish people.

The Anti-Defamation League has been taking polls on anti-Semitism in America for decades. In 2013, the ADL reported that -- "once again" -- foreign-born Hispanics had the highest rates of anti-Semitic views: 36 percent compared with 14 percent of all Americans and 20 percent of African-Americans. This was an improvement over 2011, when 42 percent of foreign-born Hispanics were found to have anti-Semitic views.

How might America's support for Israel be affected by having a populace that's 30 or 40 percent Hispanic?

The importation of more than a million poor people to America every year also has the effect of admitting a fair number of terrorists. Among them: Rasmieh Yousef Odeh, Mohammad Hassan Hamdan, Nidal Hasan, Dzhokhar and Tamerlan Tsarnaev, Najibullah Zazi, Sulejman Talovic, Peter Odighizuwa, Ali Hassan Abu Kamal, dozens of Somali terrorists living in Minnesota, Omar Abdel-Rahman and the 9/11 terrorists.

I would think that this country's open-door policy toward terrorists would be of some concern to the owner of any Las Vegas casino -- a well-known terrorist target.

They won't be coming to kiss Adelson's ring.

4-11-14
 
How to Assist Evil

By Walter Williams

 
JewishWorldReview.com | "Engineering Evil" is a documentary recently shown on the Military History channel. It's a story of Nazi Germany's murder campaign before and during World War II. According to some estimates, 16 million Jews and other people died at the hands of Nazis (http://tinyurl.com/6duny9).

Though the Holocaust ranks high among the great human tragedies, most people never consider the most important question: How did Adolf Hitler and the Nazis gain the power that they needed to commit such horror? Focusing solely on the evil of the Holocaust won't get us very far toward the goal of the Jewish slogan "Never Again."

When Hitler came to power, he inherited decades of political consolidation by Otto von Bismarck and later the Weimar Republic that had weakened the political power of local jurisdictions. Through the Enabling Act (1933), whose formal name was "A Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich," Hitler gained the power to enact laws with neither the involvement nor the approval of the Reichstag, Germany's parliament. The Enabling Act destroyed any remaining local autonomy. The bottom line is that it was decent Germans who made Hitler's terror possible — Germans who would have never supported his territorial designs and atrocities.

The 20th century turned out to be mankind's most barbaric. Roughly 50 million to 60 million people died in international and civil wars. As tragic as that number is, it pales in comparison with the number of people who were killed at the hands of their own government. Recently deceased Rudolph J. Rummel, professor of political science at the University of Hawaii and author of "Death by Government," estimated that since the beginning of the 20th century, governments have killed 170 million of their own citizens. Top government killers were the Soviet Union, which, between 1917 and 1987, killed 62 million of its own citizens, and the People's Republic of China, which, between 1949 and 1987, was responsible for the deaths of 35 million to 40 million of its citizens. In a distant third place were the Nazis, who murdered about 16 million Jews, Slavs, Serbs, Czechs, Poles, Ukrainians and others deemed misfits, such as homosexuals and the mentally ill.

We might ask why the 20th century was so barbaric. Surely, there were barbarians during earlier ages. Part of the answer is that during earlier times, there wasn't the kind of concentration of power that emerged during the 20th century. Had Josef Stalin, Mao Zedong and Hitler been around in earlier times, they could not have engineered the slaughter of tens of millions of people. They wouldn't have had the authority. There was considerable dispersion of jealously guarded political power in the forms of heads of provincial governments and principalities and nobility and church leaders whose political power within their spheres was often just as strong as the monarch's.

Professor Rummel explained in the very first sentence of "Death by Government" that "Power kills; absolute Power kills absolutely. ... The more power a government has, the more it can act arbitrarily according to the whims and desires of the elite, and the more it will make war on others and murder its foreign and domestic subjects." That's the long, tragic, ugly story of government: the elite's use of government to dupe and forcibly impose its will on the masses. The masses are always duped by well-intentioned phrases. After all, what German could have been against "A Law to Remedy the Distress of People and Reich"? It's not just Germans who have fallen prey to well-intentioned phrases. After all, who can be against the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act"?

We Americans ought to keep the fact in mind that Hitler, Stalin and Mao would have had more success in their reign of terror if they had the kind of control and information about their citizens that agencies such as the NSA, the IRS and the ATF have about us. You might ask, "What are you saying, Williams?" Just put it this way: No German who died before 1930 would have believed the Holocaust possible.

4-10-14
 
Gender and Race Equality

By Walter Williams


JewishWorldReview.com | There are several race and sex issues that need addressing. Let's look at a few of them with an ear to these questions: Should we insist upon equal treatment of people by race and sex or tolerate differences in treatment? And just how equal are people by race and sex in the first place?

According to the National Institutes of Health, male infants 1 to 3 months old should be fed 472 to 572 calories per day, whereas their female counterparts should receive 438 to 521 calories per day (http://tinyurl.com/nj35qvh). That's an official sex-based caloric 10 percent rip-off of baby females. In addition to this government-sanctioned war on women, one wonders whether the NIH has a race-based caloric rip-off where they recommend that black newborns receive fewer calories than white newborns.

Anyone who watches "Lockdown" on television will see gross racial segregation in California prisons — such as Pelican Bay, Corcoran and San Quentin — where prisoners are housed by race. Colored signs have hung above living quarters — for example, blue for black inmates, white for white, red, green or pink for Hispanic, and yellow for others (http://tinyurl.com/m7n4df8). Sometimes inmate yard times are racially segregated. Being 78 years old and having lived through an era in which I saw signs for white and colored water fountains, waiting rooms and toilets, I find California's racial segregation practices offensive. Prison Law Office, a public interest law firm that seeks justice for prisoners, criticizes such flagrant racial segregation policy, but I question its sincerity. Criticizing racial segregation while not uttering one word about flagrant prison sex segregation is at the minimum, two-faced. In my book, if the all-male military bastion is being eliminated, it stands to reason that prison segregation by sex should be eliminated. No decent American would accept the idea of a prison for blacks and another one for whites. If we value equality, we shouldn't accept one prison for men and another for women. There should be integration.

Speaking of sex segregation, there have been recent calls to end the ban on women in combat units, but there's no mention of the Army's sexist physical fitness test. For a male 17-21 years of age to pass, he must do 35 pushups, do 47 situps and run 2 miles in 16 minutes, 36 seconds. His female counterpart, who receives the same pay, can pass the fitness test by doing a mere 13 pushups, doing 47 situps and running 2 miles in 19 minutes, 42 seconds (http://tinyurl.com/yaphmzl). How can anyone who values equality and self-respect tolerate this gross discrimination? You say, "Williams, what's your solution?" I say we should either force women to come up to the physical fitness standards for men or pass men who meet the female standards of fitness. Maybe we should ask our adversaries which is better — raising female fitness standards or lowering those of males.

There are a couple of other inequalities that cannot be justified, much less tolerated, in a society that values equality. Jews are only 3 percent of the U.S. population, but they take 39 percent of U.S. Nobel laureates. That's a gross disparity, for which there is no moral justification. Ask any academic, intellectual, or civil rights leader and he'll tell you that equality and diversity means that people are to be represented across socioeconomic lines according to their numerical representation in the population. The fact that Jews are 39 percent of U.S. Nobel laureates can mean only one thing — they are taking the rightful Nobel laureates of other racial groups.

Jews are not the only people taking more than their fair share of things. Blacks are 13 percent of the population but have taken nearly 80 percent of the player jobs in the National Basketball Association. Compounding that injustice, they are highest-paid NBA players. Blacks are also guilty of taking 66 percent, an unfair share, of professional football jobs.

Any American sharing the value of race and sex equality and diversity should find these and other differences offensive and demand that the liberal and progressive elements in society eliminate them.

4-9-14
 
Bizarre Arguments and Behavior

By Walter Williams

JewishWorldReview.com | Some statements and arguments are so asinine that you'd have to be an academic or a leftist to take them seriously. Take the accusation that Republicans and conservatives are conducting a war on women. Does that mean they're waging war on their daughters, wives, mothers and other female members of their families? If so, do they abide by the Geneva Conventions' bans on torture, or do they engage in enhanced interrogation and intimidation methods, such as waterboarding, with female family members? You might say that leftists don't mean actual war. Then why do they say it?

What would you think of a white conservative mayor's trying to defund charter schools where blacks are succeeding? While most of New York's black students could not pass a citywide math proficiency exam, there was a charter school where 82 percent of its students passed. New York's left-wing mayor, Bill de Blasio, is trying to shut it down, and so far, I've heard not one peep from the Big Apple's civil rights hustlers, including Al Sharpton and Charles Rangel. According to columnist Thomas Sowell, the attack on successful charter schools is happening in other cities, too (http://tinyurl.com/nxulxc).

U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder recently stated that we must revisit the laws that ban convicted felons from voting. Why? According to a recent study by two professors, Marc Meredith of the University of Pennsylvania and Michael Morse of Stanford, published in The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science (http://tinyurl.com/pgolu8x), three-fourths of America's convicted murderers, rapists and thieves are Democrats. Many states restrict felons from voting; however, there's a movement afoot to eliminate any restriction on their voting. If successful, we might see Democratic candidates campaigning in prisons, seeking the support of some of America's worst people.

Decades ago, I warned my fellow Americans that the tobacco zealots' agenda was not about the supposed health hazards of secondhand smoke. It was really about control. The fact that tobacco smoke is unpleasant gained them the support of most Americans. By the way, to reach its secondhand smoke conclusions, the Environmental Protection Agency employed statistical techniques that were grossly dishonest. Some years ago, I had the opportunity to ask a Food and Drug Administration official whether his agency would accept pharmaceutical companies using similar statistical techniques in their drug approval procedures. He just looked at me.

Seeing as Americans are timid and compliant, why not dictate other aspects of our lives — such as the size of soda we may buy, as former Mayor Michael Bloomberg tried in New York? Former U.S. Department of Agriculture spokesman John Webster said: "Right now, this anti-obesity campaign is in its infancy. ... We want to turn people around and give them assistance in eating nutritious foods." The city of Calabasas, Calif., adopted an ordinance that bans smoking in virtually all outdoor areas. The stated justification is not the desire to fight against secondhand smoke but the desire to protect children from bad influences — seeing adults smoking. Most Americans don't know that years ago, if someone tried to stop a person from smoking on a beach or sidewalk or buying a 16-ounce cup of soda or tried to throw away his kid's homemade lunch, it might have led to a severe beating. On a very famous radio talk show, I suggested to an anti-obesity busybody who was calling for laws to restrict restaurants' serving sizes that he not be a coward and rely on government. He should just come up, I told him, and take the food he thought I shouldn't have from my plate.

The late H.L. Mencken's description of health care professionals in his day is just as appropriate today: "A certain section of medical opinion, in late years, has succumbed to the messianic delusion. Its spokesmen are not content to deal with the patients who come to them for advice; they conceive it to be their duty to force their advice upon everyone, including especially those who don't want it. That duty is purely imaginary. It is born of vanity, not of public spirit. The impulse behind it is not altruism, but a mere yearning to run things."

4-8-14
 
A Halo for Selfishness

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | The recent Supreme Court decision over-ruling some Federal Election Commission restrictions on political campaign contributions has provoked angry reactions on the left. That is what often happens whenever the High Court rules that the First Amendment means what it says — free speech for everybody.

When the Supreme Court declared in 2010 that both unions and corporations had a right to buy political ads, that was considered outrageous by the left. President Obama called the decision "devastating" and said it "will open the floodgates for special interests."

Those unfamiliar with political rhetoric may not know that "special interests" mean people who support your opponents. One's own organized supporters — such as labor unions supporting President Obama — are never called "special interests."

All politicians are against "special interests," by definition. They all want their own supporters to have the right to free speech, but not those individuals and groups so benighted as to support their opponents.

Even in an age of polarization and gridlock, the one area in which it is easy to get bipartisan support in Congress is in passing campaign finance laws, restricting how much money can be spent publicizing political candidates. What Congressional Democrats and Republicans have in common is that they are all incumbents, and they all want to keep their jobs.

Publicity is necessary to win elections, and incumbents get millions of dollars' worth of free publicity from the media. Incumbents can all pontificate in Congress and be covered by C-SPAN. They can get interviewed on network television, have their pictures in the newspapers, and send out mail to their constituents back home — and none of this costs them a dime.

Congressional staffs, paid by the taxpayers, are supposed to help members of Congress with the burdens of their office, but a major part of their staff's work is to help get them re-elected.

That's not just during campaign years. Everything members of Congress do is done with an eye toward re-election.

Any outsider who wants to challenge an incumbent at the next Congressional election has to pay hard cash to buy ads and arrange other forms of publicity, in order just to get some comparable amount of name-recognition, so as to have any serious chance of winning an election against an incumbent.

Few people have the kind of money it takes for such a campaign, so they have to raise money — in the millions of dollars — to pay for what incumbents get free of charge.

Campaign finance laws that restrict who can contribute how much money, who can run political ads, etc., are all restrictions on political challengers who have to buy their own publicity.

If truth-in-packaging laws applied to Congress, a campaign finance law would have to be labeled an "Incumbents Protection Act."

The very high rate of incumbent re-elections, even while polls show the public disgusted with Congress in general, shows how well incumbents are protected.

The media are accessories to this scam. So long as the information and opinions that reach the public are selected by mainstream media people, whom polls show to be overwhelmingly on the left, the left's view of the world prevails.

Hence the great alarm in the media, and in equally one-sided academia, over the emergence of conservative talk radio programs and the Fox News Channel on television.

No longer can the three big broadcast television networks determine what the public will and will not see, nor two or three leading newspapers determine what is and is not news. Nobody wants to give up that kind of power.

When businesses that are demonized in the mainstream media, and in academia, can buy ads to present their side of the story, that is regarded in both the media and academia as distortion. At the very least, it can cost the left their self-awarded halo.

It is fascinating to see how some people — in both politics and the media — can depict their own narrow self-interest as a holy crusade for the greater good of society. The ability of the human mind to rationalize is one of the wonders of the world.

4-7-14
 
How Foreign Is Our Policy?: Part II

By Thomas Sowell

 
JewishWorldReview.com | Japan recently turned over to the United States enough weapons-grade nuclear material to make dozens of nuclear bombs. This was one of President Barack Obama's few foreign policy "successes," as part of his nuclear disarmament initiative. But his foreign policy successes may be more dangerous than his "failures." Back in 2005, Senator Barack Obama urged the Ukrainians to drastically reduce their conventional weapons, including anti-aircraft missiles and tons of ammunition. Ukraine had already rid itself of nuclear missiles, left over from the days when it had been part of the Soviet Union.

Would Vladimir Putin have sent Russian troops so boldly into Ukraine if the Ukrainians still had nuclear missiles? The nuclear disarming of Japan and Ukraine shows how easy it is to disarm peaceful nations — making them more vulnerable to those who are not peaceful.

Ukraine's recent appeal to the United States for military supplies, with which to defend itself as more Russian troops mass on its borders, was denied by President Obama. He is sending food supplies instead. He might as well send them white flags, to facilitate surrender.

Critics who say that President Obama is naive and inexperienced in foreign policy, and blame that for the many setbacks to American interests during this administration may be right. But it is by no means certain that they are.

Another and more disturbing possibility is that Barack Obama, in his citizen-of-the-world conception of himself, thinks that the United States already has too much power and needs to be deflated. Rush Limbaugh, Dinesh D'Souza and some other critics have seen Obama's repeated sacrifices of American national interests as deliberate.

Monstrous as that possibility might seem, it is consistent not only with many otherwise hard to explain foreign policy setbacks, but also consistent with Obama's having been raised, literally from childhood, with anti-American mentors, beginning with his mother. He continued to seek out such people as an adult.

The ranting Reverend Jeremiah Wright was just one of these anti-American mentors.

President Obama's undermining of stable and unthreatening governments in Egypt and Libya, opening both to Islamic extremists, while doing nothing that was likely to keep Iran from going nuclear, seems more consistent with the views of Rush Limbaugh, Dinesh D'Souza, et al., than with the views of most other critics.

What is also more consistent with the Limbaugh and D'Souza thesis are such personal quirks as Obama's gross rudeness to Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the White House and his otherwise inexplicable public debasement of himself and the United States by bowing low to other foreign leaders.

There was nothing to be gained politically by such actions. Nor by such things as his whispered statement to Russian president Dmitry Medvedev that he should tell "Vladimir" that he — Obama — could follow a more "flexible" foreign policy after his last election was behind him.

What could be more "flexible" than denying Ukraine the military supplies needed to deter further Russian aggression? Or leaving Japan without material needed to create a nuclear deterrent quickly, while an aggressive China is expanding its military forces and its territorial demands in the region?

Domestically, the unbroken string of Barack Obama's grievance-mongering mentors included Professor Derrick Bell at the Harvard Law School, author of rantings on paper similar to Jeremiah Wright's rantings in his church.

Professor Bell was a man cast in the role of a scholar at top tier universities, who chose instead to take on the pathetic role of someone whose goal was — in his own words — to "annoy white people."

Derrick Bell was not a stupid man. He was a man placed where he should never have been placed, where there was no self-respecting role for him to play, without going off on some strange tangent. That Barack Obama literally embraced Professor Bell publicly in law school, and urged others to listen to him, says much about Obama.

It says much about those who voted for Obama that they paid so little attention to his life and so much attention to his rhetoric.

4-6-14
 
A Whole Lotta Democratic Corruption Going On

By Michelle Malkin


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Has Nancy Pelosi seen a newspaper lately? (Pro tip, hon: Like the Obamacare monstrosity, you have to read it to find out what's in it.) I'd love to see her face in the wake of the veritable epidemic of Democratic corruption now sweeping the country. Pelosi's blink count must be off the charts.

I'm going to make it easy on Pelosi and put all of the latest cases in one handy rogue's gallery reference list. But let's not be naive. It's clear to me that the Barack Obama/Eric Holder DOJ is clearing the decks before the midterms. Prediction: The FBI's GOP corruption shoe will drop right before the elections for maximum distraction and damage. For now, let's take stock of the jackassery:

—The Dirty Democratic Mayors' Club: Charlotte, N.C., Mayor Patrick Cannon, who bragged about partying with the Obamas to help grease the wheels for city projects, was arrested this week on federal corruption and influence-peddling charges. He's accused of accepting gobs of cash payoffs and Las Vegas trips.

The bust follows former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's conviction in January on corruption charges; former Trenton Mayor Tony Mack's February conviction on cash bribes for a downtown parking garage; and former San Diego mayor and serial groper Bob Filner's disgraceful resignation after conviction on sexual harassment-related charges; former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick's conviction on extortion, bribery and conspiracy charges; and former Birmingham, Ala., Mayor Larry Langford's corruption and bribery conviction.

—California state Democratic Sen. Leland Yee, gun grabber by day, alleged arms-trafficking gangsta by night: Yee made a decades-long career out of sanctimoniously demonizing gun owners and railing against the Second Amendment. He was arrested this week on corruption charges after an FBI sting found probable cause to believe Yee had conducted wire fraud and engaged in a conspiracy to deal firearms without a license and illegally import firearms. The Chinatown pol went so far as to discuss "details of the specific types of weapons" with a prospective donor. Yee is currently a candidate for California's secretary of state office.

—Pennsylvania state Democratic Sen. LeAnna Washington, party animal: This week, a judge ruled that the Keystone State could proceed with a trial against Washington, who reportedly forced her legislative staff for eight years to use taxpayer time and money for an annual birthday party whose proceeds were diverted to her campaign account. She is charged with felony theft of services and felony conflict of interest. More than a half-dozen former employees blew the whistle. "I am the f—-ing senator," she screamed at one staffer who objected. "I do what the f—- I want, and ain't nobody going to change me."

—Rhode Island state Democratic House Speaker Gordon Fox, multiple-raid target: The powerful Democrat, beloved by the left for his gay-marriage activism, announced last weekend that he is stepping down from office after FBI raids on his home and work office. Fox is the target of several criminal investigations by the U.S. attorney's office, FBI, IRS and state police. Mum's the word so far on the nature of the alleged criminal activity involved.

—California state Democratic Sen. Ronald Calderon, all in the corrupted family: Calderon is on a paid leave of absence after being hit with a 24-count federal indictment for bribery and corruption. His brother also was charged with multiple counts of money laundering and influence peddling. Prosecutors allege the legislator accepted nearly $100,000 in bribes, plane trips, gourmet meals and golf games in exchange for political favors. He also is accused of paying his daughter $39,000 for a phony office job and paying $40,000 in "consulting" fees for a campaign website that didn't exist.

—California state Democratic Sen. Roderick Wright, lying liar: Also on paid leave, the entrenched Los Angeles-area politician is now fighting his January conviction on felony perjury, false declaration of candidacy and fraudulent voting charges. Wright claimed to live in a rented room in an Inglewood home within his district, but the jury found his true residence was outside the district in upscale Baldwin Hills. The jury found he lied on candidacy declarations and voter registration documents and fraudulently voted in five elections.

—New York state Democratic Assemblyman Bill Scarborough, shady jet-setter: The FBI and state authorities raided his home and offices as part of a probe into his travel voucher practices. He blamed a "tabloid hit job" by the New York Post over questionable per diem claims totaling $60,000.

—Illinois state Democratic House Rep. Keith Farnham, child porn probe suspect: After sponsoring two bills to increase penalties for child porn possession, Farnham was the subject of state and federal raids last week on his home ... for possession of child porn. Over the weekend, he resigned his seat citing "serious health issues." There's a euphemism.

Remember: Nancy Pelosi famously promised to "drain the moral swamp" and end the "culture of corruption." She cast herself and her minions as America's political clean-up crew. But once again, the culture of corruption boomerang has swung back around to smack Democrats in their smug mugs. The cynical Swamp Drainers just hope you forget it all by election time. Don't.

4-5-14
 
Dear Mr. Colbert: Me so stupid. You so funny!

By Michelle Malkin



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Question: Who are the most prominent public purveyors of Asian stereotypes and ethnic language-mocking in America?

The right answer is liberal Hollywood and Democrats.

The wrong and slanderous answer is conservatives, which is what liberal performance artist/illegal-alien-amnesty lobbyist Stephen Colbert wants Americans to believe. Last week on his Comedy Central show, Colbert resurrected his "satirical" 2005 "Ching-Chong Ding-Dong" skit, in which he speaks in pidgin English with a grossly exaggerated accent. He used it in a boneheaded attempt to ridicule Republican football team owner Dan Snyder and others who defend the Washington Redskins' name.

"Oh, I ruv tea. It's so good for you. You so pretty, American girl," Colbert, in his conservative talk-show host persona, jibber-jabbers in the 2005 segment. "You come here. You kiss my tea make her sweet. I need no sugar when you around. Come on my rickshaw, I give you a ride to Bangkok." Forward to 2014: To mock Snyder's recent creation of a foundation to benefit Native Americans, Colbert replayed the skit and jeered in character that he was "willing to show the Asian community that I care by introducing the Ching-Chong Ding-Dong Foundation for Sensitivity to Orientals or Whatever."

Last week, a group of diehard liberals, led by young Korean-American writer Suey Park, gave Colbert a hard time about his cringe-worthy act, which was accompanied by an awkward laugh track and left the distinct impression that the real Colbert enjoys crude ethnic-language mockery just a little too much.

Park and her liberal Twitter followers tenaciously questioned Colbert's use of "satire" that ends up stoking the racism it purports to mock and abhor. They obviously picked the incendiary #CancelColbert hashtag to force attention to their complaints. My view is and always has been that the answer to speech you disagree with is more and better speech. For me, #CancelColbert wasn't about censoring his show. It was about exposing his hypocrisy and don't-you-understand-satire double standards.

Park complained that Colbert and his defenders are race-baiting liberals who hide behind their self-professed progressivism. Absolutely. Progressives of pallor — hipster racists — have said and done some of the most bigoted things I've ever witnessed in my life and gotten away with it. And as one viewer noted, Colbert "obviously didn't use satire very effectively, because most people aren't talking about the Redskins issue or Dan Snyder." Indeed, many of his fans were too busy tweeting non-satirical anti-Asian bigotry, misogyny and ugly death threats.

I'm not surprised at many on the right who tripped over themselves to side with the entertainment industry Cool People — or "coolists," as Greg Gutfeld brilliantly captures them in his new book, "Not Cool." In elite circles, it is uncool to say you think Stephen Colbert is unfunny. The suck-ups go along with Colbert's painfully inane Ching-Chong Ding-Dong schtick because they want to show they "get" Cool Colbert's "satire."

Wake up. These smug liberal elites are not your allies in the fight against political correctness run amok. Colbert and company marginalize conservatism while laughing all the way to the bank. Why would conservatives enable them? Gutfeld explains: "Pick a political, cultural or moral universe, and in each one it's the cool who seek to punish, mock or thwart the uncool. They do this freely and without much resistance, for exacting cool revenge is so common that the uncool let it happen without a fight — a sort of cultural Stockholm syndrome."

Asians are also convenient, "uncool" punching bags. Unlike offended Muslim fanatics (see "The Mohammed Cartoons"), they're not going to issue fatwas, threaten beheadings or blow themselves up. Coward Colbert and his cable news persona would never dare offend the jihad-friendly brigade at CAIR; the only jabs he takes are at "Islamophobe" conservatives who worry about the poisonous spread of sharia law.

Colbert defenders "circled the wagons," as Rush Limbaugh pointed out on Monday, by griping instead about Limbaugh's 18-second imitation on radio of a Chinese government translator in 2011. "Notice how to get this guy out of the mess that he's in — apparently they have to link him to me. Why? I don't know."

Colbert needs partisan sycophants to go along with his selective clown-nose act, every step of the way, to provide him total immunity as he scrapes the bottom of the "comedy" barrel to portray the right as racist. Blaming Rush (or lazily mocking my 2004 book on internment, profiling and national security, as Colbert did on his show Monday night) deflects from the genuine offense taken by Park and other liberals at Colbert's widespread dissemination of yellowface caricatures.

The Comedy Central political operatives need to make conservatives the demons so his audience forgets that liberal actress Rosie O'Donnell gratuitously mocked "ching-chong" accents on the mainstream ABC network show "The View" while her liberal co-hosts and audience laughed it up.

Or that Vice President Joe Biden mocked Indian accents in a 2012 jobs speech in New Hampshire and complained in 2008 on the campaign trail that "you cannot go to a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking."

Or that former Secretary of State and leading 2016 Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton repeatedly has employed a degrading Southern accent to pander to black voters. (Google "I ain't noways tired.")

Or that Democrat Bob Beckel made fun of Louisiana GOP Gov. Bobby Jindal's State of the Union response address by likening it to a "call center ad in Mumbai."

Or that mainstream Hollywood productions from "Breakfast at Tiffany's" (Mickey Rooney's I.Y. Yunioshi) to "Sixteen Candles" (Long Duk Dong) to the sitcoms "How I Met Your Mother" (an entire show in yellowface) and "2 Broke Girls" (Han Lee) have done more to disseminate and profit off of cheap, vulgar, bucktoothed Asian stereotypes than Rush Limbaugh ever did.

It's not the outrage that's manufactured, but Colbert's sanctimonious myth of left-wing purity and his phony indictment of conservatives as the predominant forces of intolerance in America.

But what do I know, Mr. Colbert? Me so stupid. You so funny.

4-4-14
 
Black community should abandon self-appointed leaders; must reject purveyors of dependency, victimhood

By Ben S. Carson


JewishWorldReview.com | Divide and conquer is an age-old strategy, effectively used by many in positions of power to ensure that they retain their wealth and authority.

During the dark days of slavery in America, there were many geographic areas where the number of slaves significantly surpassed the number of whites and slave owners.

This occasioned appropriate anxiety for the owners, who cleverly sowed seeds of discord among the different groups of slaves in an attempt to effectively destroy unity. For example, field slaves were told that the house slaves thought of themselves as superior.

This worked in most cases, although there were notable instances of secret cooperation between the slaves to accomplish various goals. It required real wisdom and insight to avoid easy manipulation by the slave owners, who usually used slaves loyal to them to accomplish their nefarious objectives.

In today's culture, there are political forces that see the descendents of slaves as useful objects for maintaining their positions of wealth and power. By promising to care for their every need, they create dependency.

Frightening those dependents into thinking that they will be abandoned if others are in control, they create loyalty that is undeserved but fierce — loyalty that translates into the real goal: votes. Anything or anyone that threatens this paradigm of victim and protector must be destroyed, lest the victims recognize the deceitfulness of their manipulators and revolt.

The most dangerous people to the modern manipulators are people who have freed themselves from the plantation mentality. They eschew the propaganda of victimhood and advocate for personal responsibility. They see the value found in the true compassion of a hand up rather than a handout.

The tragedy is that many "leaders" of the black community succumb to the mesmerizing poison of the controlling elites, who make them feel "cool" and important. I'm sure that some actually realize what is happening, but — like the kids you remember in high school — don't want to risk being ostracized and expelled from the "in crowd," and, therefore, remain silent.

It is so important for the black community to realize that there is tremendous strength in unity and that a disagreement on some issues does not have to create animosity. In fact, by engaging in open discussions rather than demonization, a great deal can be learned by all parties.

I am a registered independent, but I have many friends who are Democrats and many who are Republicans. One friend who identifies himself as a Democrat left Alabama at age 16 heading to Boston in search of employment. He accidentally ended up in Hartford, Conn., and worked in a lowly position as a construction aide for a hotel that was being built. This young black man from Birmingham had a strong work ethic and was gifted with common sense.

Today, he not only owns that hotel, but owns many other businesses and is a philanthropist. We do not disagree about most important things, but have some political disagreements, which have no negative impact on our friendship or our ability to work together on joint projects. If someone tried to exploit our differences, we would have a hearty laugh at their expense.

Those who spew venom at black conservatives would do well to read about the lives and philosophies of such luminaries as Booker T. Washington, George Washington Carver, Frederick Douglass, Harriet Tubman and many others, who refused to subscribe to the victim mentality.

They should make an attempt to understand what it takes to ascend from the lifestyle of Southern sharecroppers to the office of secretary of state of the United States of America.

Perhaps then, they would rally to the side of Condoleezza Rice, who achieved this and much more, including concert pianist. When the black community tolerates a group of liberal Rutgers professors who succeeded in disinviting her to their commencement because she is a black conservative, they embolden the controlling elites and dramatically minimize accomplishments that any ethnic group should be proud of.

We must fight for the precious hearts and souls of all of our young people. We have to give them the "can-do" attitude that characterized the rapid ascension of America. We must defang the dividers by ignoring them and thinking for ourselves.

I wish that those who are the haters and manipulators will take a moment to examine their hearts and motives. I hope they will think about using their intellectual talents for good.

They would be wise to ask themselves this question: How much good did being one of the cool guys in high school do in the long run? Let us all give honor to the concepts of hard work, integrity, kindness, compassion, personal responsibility, family values, and faith in and obedience to God.

Many people from all backgrounds gave up their freedom, their blood and even their lives to provide a life of liberty and dignity for those trapped by the chains of legal discrimination and hatred.

We must not allow their sacrifice to become meaningless by allowing "do-gooders" to substitute the chains of overt racism for the chains of dependency, low expectations, victimhood and misdirected anger.

Let's use our God-given wisdom to outwit the purveyors of division and deceit. Let's be loyal to the correct values and principles, regardless of the short-term personal cost. The long-term benefits will be well worth it.
 

4-3-14
 
Obama Tackled in the End Zone

By David Limbaugh

 
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's one thing to spike the football when you actually score a touchdown, but why is Obama celebrating in the end zone when he just got tackled for a safety?

What on earth is this man boasting about? Boasting is obnoxious enough when the braggart in question has accomplished something, but how many people do you know who brag when they've hurt millions?

Under the goal posts in the Rose Garden, Obama said: Obamacare "is doing what it's supposed to do; it's working. ... The debate over repealing this law is over; the Affordable Care Act is here to stay. ... I've got to admit, I don't get it. Why are folks working so hard for people not to have health insurance? Why are they so mad about the idea of folks having health insurance?"

This is outrageous, even for him.

If Obamacare is doing what it's supposed to do, then it was supposed to create chaos in the health care industry, increase our premiums, cause people to lose their doctors, reduce the quality of care and cost the government unconscionable sums of money.

Is that what Obama means by "it's working"? Is this what he envisioned that Obamacare would do?

If not, then why is he all puffed up? Why aren't Democrats sharing in his triumphant bliss? Why is he attacking those who are rightly criticizing this policy?

Obama looked us in the eye and said 7.1 million people have signed up for Obamacare, which is apparently close to the projected number of enrollees necessary to fund this boondoggle. But for that number to work — even if you assume it is legitimate — it has to be a net number.

What Obama didn't tell us is that this figure, in the abstract, means nothing. By throwing out 7.1 million as if it means the administration has met its goal, he is deliberately and brazenly deceiving the American people, because he knows it has not come close. The fact that he would take no questions on this matter is proof that he has something to hide.

It's as if Obama and his advisers were sitting around the table — or the putting green — and he told them, "Hey, we've almost reached the magic number of sign-ups." One of his advisers might have said, "Yes, but we're miles away from our goal." And Obama might have said: "Who cares? This is enough for a sound bite. This is enough for a press conference. This is enough to dupe the American people. Don't question me. Schedule that press conference. I'm the president."

In order for Obamacare to work, it needed some 7 million net new enrollees, at least 38 percent of whom would be young and healthy enough to subsidize the others, according to liberal projections.

But what did he get?

Well, he allegedly got 7.1 million enrollees on paper, but let's look at the myriad ways that number is reduced.

National Journal reports that an estimated 15 to 20 percent of these enrollees haven't paid their premiums, which means they won't be covered. So right off the bat, you have to reduce the number to between 5.7 million and 6 million, which means the figures already won't work.

Instead of 38 percent of these enrollees being in the young and healthy category, Michael Tanner of the Cato Institute reports that less than 30 percent of enrollees are younger than 35.

Also, RAND Corp. estimates that only about one-third of the new enrollees were previously uninsured, which means that two-thirds of the 5.7 million or 6 million cannot properly be counted in these figures. So we have fewer than 2 million net new enrollees. But we're still not finished.

In addition to this, RAND estimates that nearly a million more people lost their plan because of Obamacare and couldn't afford to replace it because Obamacare mandates coverage of additional risks and causes premiums to increase.

Does that mean we are actually down to about 1 million net new enrollees?

Not to destroy your day further, but on top of all this, Obamacare is projected to cost the government — meaning taxpayers — $2 trillion over the next decade, which isn't even being factored in here. And how many believe that number isn't grossly underestimated? Also, Obamacare is going to cause cuts to Medicare Advantage, which will reduce benefits or increase premiums for people by an estimated $35 to $75 per month.

As you can see, Obama is giving you only a fraction of the information you need to understand this picture and imparting the false impression that Obamacare is working now, and when premiums skyrocket next year, he can scapegoat the insurance companies and proceed to his beloved single-payer, full-blown statist scenario.

Obama must be still counting on the fact that he can fool enough of the people enough of the time — Election Day every two years — to continue his sinister plan to fundamentally transform this nation.

The polls are screaming that he's finally run out of juice. Pray it is so.

4-2-14

Probable Cause

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano


http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Except for the definition and mechanism of proving treason, no area of the Constitution addressing the rights of all persons when the government is pursuing them is more specific than the Fourth Amendment. The linchpin of that specificity is the requirement that the government demonstrate probable cause to a judge as a precondition to the judge issuing a search warrant. The other specific requirement is identity: The government must identify whose property it wishes to search or whose behavior it wishes to monitor, because the Fourth Amendment requires that all warrants specifically describe the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized.

The principal reason for these requirements is the colonial revulsion over general warrants. A general warrant does not specifically describe the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized, and it is not based on the probable cause of criminal behavior of the person targeted by the government.

With a general warrant, the government simply gets authority from a judge to search a haystack looking for a needle, and in the process, it may disturb and move all the straw it wants. Stated differently, a general warrant permits the government to intrude upon the privacy of persons as to whom it has no probable cause of criminal behavior and without stating what it is looking for.

The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) court has been issuing general warrants to the National Security Agency (NSA) since 1978, but it was not until last June that we learned that these general warrants have been executed upon the telephone calls, text messages, emails, bank records, utility bills and credit card bills of all persons in America since 2009.

The constitutional requirement of probable cause is not political fancy; rather, it saves us from tyranny. Probable cause is a quantum of evidence that is sufficient to lead a neutral judge to conclude that the person about whom the evidence has been presented is more likely than not to possess further evidence of criminal behavior, or has more likely than not engaged in criminal behavior that is worthy of the government's use of its investigatory tools such that the government may lawfully and morally invade that person's natural right to privacy.

Last week, Robert S. Litt, general counsel for the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, which runs the NSA, engaged in a curious colloquy with members of the president's Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board. Litt complained that presenting probable cause about individuals to judges and then seeking search warrants from those judges to engage in surveillance of each of those individuals is too difficult.

This is a remarkable admission from the chief lawyer for the nation's spies. He and the 60,000 NSA employees and vendors who have been spying on us have taken oaths to uphold the Constitution. There are no loopholes in their oaths. Each person's oath is to the entire Constitution — whether compliance is easy or difficult. Yet the "too difficult" admission has far-reaching implications.

This must mean that the NSA itself acknowledges that it is seeking and executing general warrants because the warrants the Constitution requires are too difficult to obtain. Stated differently, the NSA knows it is violating the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, because that amendment expressly forbids general warrants.

In my career as a lawyer, judge, law professor, author and television commentator, I have heard many excuses for violating the Constitution. I reject all of them when they come from one who has sworn to uphold the Constitution, yet I understand the intellectually honest excuses — like exigent circumstances — when they are based on duty. The NSA's excuses are not intellectually honest, and they are not based on duty. They are based on laziness.

But there was more than met the eye in Litt's testimony last week. Two days after Litt admitted to the use of general warrants, and while the president was in Europe, the White House leaked to the press its plans to curtail the massive NSA spying. Those plans, which would change only the appearance of what the NSA does but not its substance, have three parts.

The first change relieves the NSA of the need for general warrants to require delivery of massive amounts of data about innocent Americans as to which the NSA has no probable cause, because the second change requires the computer servers and telecoms to preserve their records — instead of the NSA preserving them — and make them "immediately" available to the NSA when it comes calling. And the third is the requirement of a warrant from a FISA judge before the NSA may access that stored data. But because that warrant is not based on probable cause but rather on NSA whim, it is a foregone conclusion that the general warrants for examination, as opposed to delivery, will be granted. The FISA court has granted well in excess of 99 percent of the general warrants the NSA has sought.

Litt must have known what the White House planned to leak when he made his "too difficult" complaint, as it fits nicely with this new scheme. Yet the scheme itself, because it lacks the requirement of probable cause that the Constitution requires, is equally as unconstitutional and morally repugnant as what the NSA has been doing for five years. Moreover, the NSA will not exactly go hat in hand to the computer servers and telecoms once it wishes to hear telephone calls or read emails or credit card bills. Its agents will simply press a few buttons on their computers when they wish, and the data they seek will be made available to them.

These so-called changes should be rejected by Congress, which should overhaul the NSA instead. Hasn't Congress seen enough? The NSA and the CIA spy on the courts, Congress, the military, the police and everyone in America. This keeps none of us safer. But it does lessen our freedom when those in whose hands we repose the Constitution for safekeeping look the other way. What other freedoms are slipping because Congress, too, thinks upholding the Constitution is too difficult?

4-1-14
 
How Foreign Is Our Policy?

By Thomas Sowell


JewishWorldReview.com | Many people are lamenting the bad consequences of Barack Obama's foreign policy, and some are questioning his competence.

There is much to lament, and much to fear. Multiple setbacks to American interests have been brought on by Obama's policies in Libya, Egypt, Syria, Crimea and — above all — in what seems almost certain to become a nuclear Iran in the very near future.

The president's public warning to Syria of dire consequences if the Assad regime there crossed a "red line" he had drawn seemed to epitomize an amateurish bluff that was exposed as a bluff when Syria crossed that red line without suffering any consequences. Drawing red lines in disappearing ink makes an international mockery of not only this president's credibility, but also the credibility of future American presidents' commitments.

When some future President of the United States issues a solemn warning internationally, and means it, there may be less likelihood that the warning will be taken seriously. That invites the kind of miscalculation that has led to wars.

Many who are disappointed with what seem to be multiple fiascoes in President Obama's foreign policy question his competence and blame his inexperience. Such critics may be right, but it is by no means certain that they are.

Like those who are disappointed with Barack Obama's domestic policies, critics of his foreign policy may be ignoring the fact that you cannot know whether someone is failing or succeeding without knowing what he is trying to do.

Whether ObamaCare, for example, is a success or a failure, depends on whether you think the president's goal is to improve the medical treatment of Americans or to leave as his permanent legacy a system of income redistribution, through ObamaCare, and tight government control of the medical profession.

Much, if not most, of the disappointment with Barack Obama comes from expectations based on his words, rather than on an examination of what he has done over his lifetime before reaching the White House.

His words were glowing. He is a master of rhetoric, image and postures. He was so convincing that many failed to connect the dots of his past life that pointed in the opposite direction from his words. "Community organizers," for example, are not uniters but dividers — and former community organizer Obama has polarized this country, despite his rhetoric about uniting us.

Many were so mesmerized by both the man himself and the euphoria surrounding the idea of "the first black president" that they failed to notice that there were any dots, much less any need to connect them.

One dot alone — the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, whose church the Obamas attended for 20 years — would have been enough to sink any other presidential bid by anyone who was not in line to become "the first black president."

The painful irony is that Jeremiah Wright was just one in a series of Obama's mentors hostile to America, resentful of successful Americans, and convinced that America had too much power internationally, and needed to be brought down a peg.

Anti-Americanism was the rule, not the exception, among Obama's mentors over the years, beginning in his childhood. When the young Obama and his mother lived in Indonesia, her Indonesian husband wanted her to accompany him to social gatherings with American businessmen — and was puzzled when she refused.

He reminded her that these were her own people. According to Barack Obama's own eyewitness account, her voice rose "almost to a shout" when she replied:

"They are not my people."

Most of Barack Obama's foreign policy decisions since becoming president are consistent with this mindset. He has acted repeatedly as a citizen of the world, even though he was elected to be President of the United States.

Virtually every major move of the Obama administration has reduced the power, security and influence of America and its allies. Cutbacks in military spending, while our adversaries have increased their military buildups, ensure that these changes to our detriment will continue, even after Barack Obama has left the White House.

Is that failure or success?

First, it's not an insurance program. More importantly, the word "contribution" implies something voluntary. Its synonyms are alms, benefaction, beneficence, charity, donation and philanthropy. Which one of those synonyms comes close to describing how Congress gets Social Security and Medicare money from us?

There's more deceit and dishonesty. In 1950, I was 14 years old and applied for a work permit for an after-school job. One of the requirements was to obtain a Social Security card. In bold letters on my Social Security card, which I still possess, are the words "For Social Security Purposes — Not For Identification." That's because earlier Americans feared that their Social Security number would become an identity number. According to the Social Security Administration website, "this legend was removed as part of the design changes for the 18th version of the card, issued beginning in 1972." That statement assumes we're idiots. We're asked to believe that the sole purpose of the removal was for design purposes. Apparently, the fact that our Social Security number had become a major identification tool, to be used in every aspect of our lives, had nothing to do with the SSA's getting rid of the legend saying "For Social Security Purposes — Not For Identification."



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