Welcome To Freedom for US Now!


 

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


3-26-14

How income inequality benefits everybody

By George Will

Every day the Chinese go to work, Americans get a raise: Chinese workers, many earning each day about what Americans spend on a Starbucks latte, produce apparel, appliances and other stuff cheaply, thereby enlarging Americans' disposable income. Americans similarly get a raise when they shop at the stores that made Sam Walton a billionaire.

The ranks of billionaires are constantly churned. Most of the people on the original Forbes 400 list of richest Americans in 1982 were off the list in 2013. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, was not born until 1984. America needs more billionaires like him, Michael Dell, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos and Steve Jobs. With the iPod, iPhone and iPad, unique products when introduced, Jobs's Apple created monopolies.

But instead of raising their prices, Apple has cut them because "profits attract imitators and innovators." Which is one reason why monopolies come and go. When John D. Rockefeller began selling kerosene in 1870, he had approximately 4 percent of the market. By 1890, he had 85 percent. Did he use this market dominance to gouge consumers? Kerosene prices fell from 30 cents a gallon in 1869 to 6 cents in 1897.

And in the process of being branded a menacing monopoly, Rockefeller's Standard Oil made gasoline so cheap that Ford found a mass market for Model T's.

image: http://trk.vidible.tv/trk/impression.gif?pid=54f5f1b7e4b04d42962c4d11&bcid=5176c647e4b09e5e67af5b27&m.url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jewishworldreview.com%2Fcols%2Fwill032615.php3&m.cb=1427373970&m.site_id=1113824&m.pub_id=529495&m.syndication_id=4502560_7452043_26266805&m.seller_id=2654&m.Placement_id=4502560&m.Placement&URL=4502560_http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jewishworldreview.com%2Fcols%2Fwill032615.php3

image: https://secure.adnxs.com/seg?add=2625402&t=2

image: http://trk.vidible.tv/trk/impression.gif?pid=54f5f1b7e4b04d42962c4d11&bcid=5176c647e4b09e5e67af5b27&m.url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jewishworldreview.com%2Fcols%2Fwill032615.php3&m.cb=1427373972&m.site_id=1113824&m.pub_id=529495&m.syndication_id=4502560_7452043_26266805&m.seller_id=2654&m.Placement_id=4502560&m.Placement&URL=4502560_http%3A%2F%2Fwww.jewishworldreview.com%2Fcols%2Fwill032615.php3

image: https://secure.adnxs.com/seg?add=2625402&t=2

Monopoly profits are social blessings when they "signal to the ambitious the wealth they can earn by entering previously unknown markets." So "when the wealth gap widens, the lifestyle gap shrinks ." Hence, "income inequality in a capitalist system is truly beautiful" because "it provides the incentive for creative people to gamble on new ideas, and it turns luxuries into common goods." Since 2000, the price of a 50-inch plasma TV has fallen from $20,000 to $550.

Henry Ford doubled his employees' basic wage in 1914, supposedly to enable them to buy Fords. Actually, he did it because in 1913 annual worker turnover was 370 percent. He lowered labor costs by reducing turnover and the expense of constantly training new hires.

All these thoughts are from John Tamny, a one-man antidote to economic obfuscation and mystification. Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881), who called economics "the dismal science," never read Tamny, a Forbes editor, editor of Real Clear Markets and now author of the cheerful, mind-opening book, "Popular Economics: What the Rolling Stones, Downton Abbey, and LeBron James Can Teach You About Economics."

In the early 1970s, when the Rolling Stones were coining money and Britain's top tax rate was 83 percent, Keith Richards, guitarist and social philosopher, said: "That's the same as being told to leave the country." The Stones decamped to France, leaving Britain, Tamny notes, to collect 83 percent of nothing.

Americans execrate "outsourcing," which supposedly involves sending "American jobs" overseas. Well. Nike employs 40 times more manufacturing workers in Vietnam than in the United States, but it could not afford as many American workers as it has without the efficiencies of outsourcing. Tamny cites Enrico Moretti, an economist at the University of California at Berkeley, who says that when Americans buy an iPhone online, it is shipped from China and the only American who touches it is the UPS delivery person. Is it regrettable that Americans are not doing the assembly jobs for which Chinese are paid the "latte wage"?

Actually, Americans incessantly "outsource" here at home by, for example, having Iowans grow their corn and dentists take care of their teeth, jobs at which Iowans and dentists excel and the rest of us do not. LeBron James could be an adequate NFL tight end, but why subtract time from being a superb basketball player? The lesson, says Tamny, is that individuals — and nations — should do what they do better than others and let others do other things.

Millions of jobs, he says, would be created if we banned computers, ATMs and tractors. The mechanization of agriculture destroyed millions of jobs performed with hoes and scythes. Was Cyrus McCormick — founder of what would later become the International Harvester Co. — a curse?

The best way to (in Barack Obama's 2008 words to Joe the Plumber) "spread the wealth around," is, Tamny argues, "to leave it in the hands of the wealthy." Personal consumption absorbs a small portion of their money and the remainder is not idle. It is invested by them, using the skill that earned it. Will it be more beneficially employed by the political class of a confiscatory government?

"Nothing," Tamny demonstrates, "is easier to understand than economics. It is everywhere you look." Readers of his book will subsequently look at things differently.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will032615.php3#w6KqUheBmP4DSWAk.99

3-25-14

A Simple Question about Hillary

By Thomas Sowell

It is amazing how a simple question can cause a complex lie to collapse like a house of cards. The simple question was asked by Bill O'Reilly of the Fox News Channel, and it was addressed to two Democrats. He asked what has Hillary Clinton ever accomplished.

The two Democrats immediately sidestepped the question and started reciting their talking points in favor of Hillary. But O'Reilly kept coming back to the fact that nothing they were talking about was an accomplishment.

For someone who has spent her entire adult life in politics, including being a Senator and then a Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has nothing to show for all those years — no significant legislation of hers that she got passed in the Senate, and only an unbroken series of international setbacks for the United States during her time as Secretary of State.

Before Barack Obama entered the White House and appointed Mrs. Clinton Secretary of State, Al Qaeda operatives in Iraq had notified their higher ups, stationed in Pakistan, that their cause was lost in Iraq and that there was no point sending more men there.

Hosni Mubarak was in charge in Egypt. He posed no threat to American or Western interests in the Middle East or to Christians within Egypt or to Israel. But the Obama administration threw its weight behind the Muslim Brotherhood, which took over and began terrorizing Christians in Egypt and promoting hostility to Israel.

In Libya next door, the Qaddafi regime had already given up its weapons of mass destruction, after they saw what happened to Saddam Hussein in Iraq. But President Obama's foreign policy, carried out by Secretary of State Clinton, got Qaddafi removed, after which Libya became a terrorist haven where an American ambassador was killed, for the first time in decades.

image: http://trk.vidible.tv/trk/impression.gif?pid=54f5f19fe4b0f93b934cbabb&bcid=5176c647e4b09e5e67af5b27&m.url=http%3A%2F%2Fjewishworldreview.com%2Fcols%2Fsowell032415.php3&m.cb=1427287676&m.site_id=1113824&m.pub_id=529495&m.syndication_id=4502560_7451021_26266691&m.seller_id=2654&m.Placement_id=4502560&m.Placement&URL=4502560_http%3A%2F%2Fjewishworldreview.com%2Fcols%2Fsowell032415.php3

image: https://secure.adnxs.com/seg?add=2625402&t=2

image: http://trk.vidible.tv/trk/impression.gif?pid=54f5f19fe4b0f93b934cbabb&bcid=5176c647e4b09e5e67af5b27&m.url=http%3A%2F%2Fjewishworldreview.com%2Fcols%2Fsowell032415.php3&m.cb=1427287677&m.site_id=1113824&m.pub_id=529495&m.syndication_id=4502560_7451021_26266691&m.seller_id=2654&m.Placement_id=4502560&m.Placement&URL=4502560_http%3A%2F%2Fjewishworldreview.com%2Fcols%2Fsowell032415.php3

image: https://secure.adnxs.com/seg?add=2625402&t=2

The rationale for getting rid of Middle East leaders who posed no threat to American interests was that they were undemocratic and their people were restless. But there are no democracies in the Middle East, except for Israel. Moreover, the people were restless in Iran and Syria, and the Obama-Clinton foreign policy did nothing to support those who were trying to overthrow these regimes.

It would be only fair to balance this picture with foreign policy triumphs of the Obama-Clinton team. But there are none. Not in the Middle East, not in Europe, where the Russians have invaded the Crimea, and not in Asia, where both China and North Korea are building up threatening military forces, while the Obama administration has been cutting back on American military forces.

Hillary Clinton became an iconic figure by feeding the media and the left the kind of rhetoric they love. Barack Obama did the same and became president. Neither had any concrete accomplishments besides rhetoric beforehand, and both have had the opposite of accomplishments after taking office.

They have something else in common. They attract the votes of those people who vote for demographic symbolism — "the first black president" to be followed by "the first woman president" — and neither to be criticized, lest you be denounced for racism or sexism.

It is staggering that there are sane adults who can vote for someone to be President of the United States as if they are in school, just voting for "most popular boy" or "most popular girl" — or, worse yet, voting for someone who will give them free stuff.

Whoever holds that office makes decisions involving the life and death of Americans and — especially if Iran gets a nuclear arsenal — the life and death of this nation. It took just two nuclear bombs — neither of them as powerful as those available today — to get a very tough nation like Japan to surrender.

Anyone familiar with World War II battles in the Pacific knows that it was not unusual for 90 percent of the Japanese troops defending Iwo Jima or other islands to fight to the death, even after it was clear that American troops had them beaten.

When people like that surrender after two nuclear bombs, do not imagine that today's soft Americans — led by the likes of Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton — will fight on after New York and Chicago have been reduced to radioactive ashes.

Meanwhile, ISIS and other terrorists are giving us a free demonstration of what surrender would mean. But perhaps we can kick the can down the road, and leave that as a legacy to our children and grandchildren, along with the national debt.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell032415.php3#2sGHMCq8b5mhQiDI.99

3-24-15

What's 'Fair'?

By John Stossel

Donald Trump's kids and Paris Hilton's siblings were born rich. That gave them a big advantage in life. Unfair!

Inequality in wealth has grown. Today the richest 1 percent of Americans own a third of the assets. That's not fair!

But wherever people are free, that's what happens.

Some people are luckier, smarter or just better at making money. Often they marry other wealthy, well-connected people. Over time, these advantages compound. Globalization increases the effect. This month's issue of Forbes says the world now has 1,826 billionaires, and some struggle to find enough parking places for their jets.

President Obama calls inequality "the defining issue of our time." Really? Not our unsustainable debt? Not ISIS? The president also said, "No challenge? poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change!"

Politicians constantly find crises they will solve by increasing government power. But why is inequality a crisis?

Alexis Goldstein, of a group called The Other 98 percent, complains that corporations got richer but workers' wages "are lower than they've been in 65 years."

That's a common refrain, but it's wrong. Over the past 30 years, CBO data shows that the average income of the poorest fifth of Americans is up by 49 percent. That doesn't include all the innovations that have dramatically improved everyone's life. Today even the poorest Americans have comforts and lifespans that kings didn't have a century ago.

George Mason University economist Garett Jones says, "If I was going to be in the bottom fifth in the America of today versus the bottom fifth of America in 1970 or 1960, it's hard to imagine that anybody would take that time machine into the past."

And despite America's lousy government schools and regulations that make it tough to start a business, there is still economic mobility . Poor people don't have to stay poor. Sixty-four percent of those born in the poorest fifth of the U.S. population move out of that quintile. Eleven percent of them rise all the way to the top, according to economists at Harvard and Berkeley. Most of the billionaires atop the Forbes richest list weren't born rich. They got rich by innovating.

Rich people aren't guaranteed their place at the top, either. Sixty-six percent fell from the top quintile, and eight percent fell all the way to the bottom.

That mobility is a reason most of us are better off than we would have been in a more rigid society, controlled by central economic planners.

Life will always be unfair. I want to play pro basketball. It's unfair that LeBron James is bigger and more talented! It's also unfair that George Clooney is better looking! It's unfair that my brother is smarter than me.

Jones points out, "I was born with an advantage, too. Being born in the United States ... totally unfair." He also has two married parents -- another huge advantage.

The question is not whether people start out life in homogeneous circumstances, he adds. "The question is whether government policies that try to fix this actually make things better or worse."

Worse, in most cases. Government "help" encourages poor people to be dependent and passive. Dependent, people stay poor. Also, most government handouts don't even go to the poor. They go to the middle class (college loans, big mortgage tax deductions, Medicare) and the rich (corporate welfare, bailouts to banks "too big to fail").

 

image: https://secure.adnxs.com/seg?add=2625402&t=2

image: https://secure.adnxs.com/seg?add=2625402&t=2

Instead of making government more powerful, let's get rid of those handouts. Left and right ought to agree on that.

America has prosperity and innovation because we have relatively free markets.

Progressives say, "Keep the innovation but have government make us more equal." But that doesn't work. It's been tried. Government-enforced equality -- socialism -- leaves everybody poor.

Equality is less important than opportunity . Opportunity requires allowing people to spend their own money and take their own risks.

Instead of talking about "fairness," it would be better to talk about justice: respecting other people, respecting their freedom and their property rights.

Real fairness requires limiting government power.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0315/stossel031115.php3#lifsrJ8IYJljliVH.99

3-23-15

Invoking 'the children' is pure political BS --- except when it's not

By Michael Reagan

"What about the children?"

Politicians of both parties often stoop to using our children as props whenever they're fighting for a new law or pet government program.

They argue we need to cut the $18 trillion debt, regulate the Internet or pay teachers more "for our children."

"Think of the children" is almost always an emotional and irrational appeal made in desperation by those who don't have a reasonable or legitimate argument.

Invoking "the children" is pure BS. It's obvious political BS. But it's BS that's been used for a long time by Democrats and Republicans.

It became so common that it was satirized way back in the early 1990s in the "The Simpsons," when the character Helen Lovejoy constantly shrieked "Think of the children" during town debates over everything from lowering taxes to what to do about too many bears roaming the streets.

Despite becoming a cultural joke, using "the children" as emotional weapons in political warfare still goes on all the time.

Every other lousy politician in Washington who wants to tax, subsidize or regulate something still claims he's doing it "for the children" -- whether it's saving the planet from climate change, giving amnesty to illegal immigrants or intervening in Syria.

But when it comes to passing a piece of legislation that will actually do something to help hundreds of thousands of real children, it's another story.


As part of the latest parliamentary maneuvering and cat-fighting between Democrats and Republicans, the passage of the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015 has been delayed in the Senate.

Passed by the House, and having broad bipartisan support, the act would strike an important blow in the fight against human sex trafficking.

The act would create a fund to help authorities in the USA deter and combat sex trafficking, prosecute traffickers when they are caught and provide assistance to private groups that work to rescue and restore the lives of trafficking victims - most of whom are children.

We hear little about it, but human trafficking is a serious problem in the United States and around the globe. The U.S. State Department estimates there are 27 million victims of trafficking worldwide.

Human trafficking is a $32 billion industry involving more than 125 countries. The majority of victims are women and girls who are forcibly trafficked from one place to another to do work or provide sex, usually under horribly unsafe and unhygienic conditions.

The United States is not untouched by this crime against children. Experts say 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year and about 300,000 American children, particularly children in foster care, are continually at risk of being pulled into the hell of human trafficking.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the typical sex-trafficked child in the United States is 13 or 14 years old. The average pimp makes upwards of $200,000 a year from one of his four to eight children, who are forced to have sex 20 to 48 times a day.

Private organizations like the Polaris Project and Arrow Child and Family Ministries in Texas, which I'm affiliated with, are working hard to educate the public about the horrors of sex-trafficking and rescue as many young victims as they can.

But it's a huge job and the public and private resources to do it are spread thin and hard to acquire.

With the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, Republicans and Democrats are in a great position to actually do something "for the children" instead of just talking about it.

For now the act has become another bargaining chip in Washington's never-ending private poker game.

It will pass eventually. Even Congress gets it right once in a while. But it's time for politicians to quit playing politics with the lives of our children.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan032015.php3#ombMZZaFodjUYv1v.99

3-22-15

We need answers to these unasked Hillary questions

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

What if Hillary Clinton's emails were hacked by foreign agents when she was the secretary of state? What if persons claiming to have done so are boasting about their alleged feats on Internet websites and in chat rooms traditionally associated with illegal or undercover activities? What if this is the sore underbelly of an arrogant and lawless secretary of state who used her power to exempt herself from laws that govern executive branch employees and didn't care about national security?

What if the law required Mrs. Clinton to swear under oath on her first day as secretary of state that she would comply with all laws governing the use of federal records? What if the principal governing law — the Federal Records Act of 1950 — makes it clear that when you work for the feds all the records you receive and generate belong to the government and you cannot lawfully conceal them from the government?

What if she refused to sign such a promise because she knew she'd be violating that law?

What if the State Department has an inspector general whose job it is to assure the public and the attorney general that the secretary of state is complying with federal law? What if agents of the inspector general signed documents swearing that Mrs. Clinton told them she agreed to abide by the law, and so they permitted her to have access to federal records? What if they did this because Mrs. Clinton refused to sign an oath herself since she had no intention of complying with it, and because she ordered them to sign in her place?

What if the law required Mrs. Clinton to swear an oath at the time she left office that she had no federal records in her possession or control? What if she signed that oath knowing that nearly all of her records were in her possession and not the government's? What if she refused to sign that oath because she knew she possessed federal records contrary to law? What if she blamed her failure to sign that oath on her own inspector general? What if the law requires the inspector general to report her refusal to sign this oath to the attorney general? What if that report was made and the attorney general looked the other way?

What if the president has known since 2009 that Mrs. Clinton has concealed government records from the government? What if his assertion that "Hillary has given her emails back" to the State Department is a trick based on the slippery use of words? What if the emails of the secretary of state do not and never did belong to her, but rather to the federal government? What if her diversion of government records away from the government and onto her husband's computer server is a criminal act? What if Mrs. Clinton is a lawyer who knows the law and knows when she is breaking it?

What if the whole premise of the law governing the records of federal employees is that the government owns and possesses all emails and documents used by the employee, and if the employee, upon leaving the government, wants any of her records, she must ask for them, and the government then reviews her records and decides which are personal?

What if Mrs. Clinton turned that law on its head by keeping all of the government's records and having her own representatives review them? What if after that review she decided which records to return to the government and which ones to destroy? What if this amounted to the destruction of government property? What if we are not talking about destroying meaningless scraps of paper, but rather 33,000 emails over the course of four years in office?

What if Mrs. Clinton seriously exposed classified secrets that could affect national security by discussing them on an email system owned by her husband and not secured by a mature Internet service provider or by the government? What if she did this because she didn't want anyone in the government or the public to see her records? What if the real reason for her theft of records was not personal convenience, as she has claimed, but fear of exposure of her true thoughts and unguarded behavior? What if she feared she could not publicly account for her concealed behavior, and so she kept it from the government?

What if when she claimed her husband's email server had never been hacked she didn't know what she was talking about? What if victims can't always tell when they've been hacked? What if the persons with whom she has been emailing have been hacked? What if one of her former aides — with the lurid nickname of the "Prince of Darkness" (real name: Sid Blumenthal) — was hacked? What if among the hacked emails of the Prince of Darkness were some to and from Mrs. Clinton strategizing about the way to portray her role at the time of the assassination in Benghazi of the American ambassador to Libya?

What if all this lawlessness and secrecy was orchestrated by Mrs. Clinton herself — a person devoid of a moral compass, disdainful of compliance with law and a habitual stranger to the truth? What if she is presently the leading candidate for the Democratic nomination for president? What if the Democrats don't care?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0315/napolitano031915.php3#6bA2bBaP9rco87Yw.99

3-21-15

Are there special standards of behavior for Hillary?

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former first lady, U.S. senator from New York and secretary of state, used a private email server for all of her emails when she was President Obama's secretary of state from 2009 to 2013.

During that time, she enjoyed a security clearance identical to that of the president, the secretary of defense, the director of the CIA and others. It is the highest level of clearance the government makes available.

She had that classified clearance so that she could do her job, which involved knowing and working with military, diplomatic and sensitive national security secrets. The government guards those secrets by requiring high-ranking government officials to keep the documents and emails that reflect them in a secure government-approved venue and to return any retained records when leaving office.

I have not seen Mrs. Clinton's signature on any documents, but standard government procedure is for her to have signed an agreement under oath when she began her work at the State Department requiring her to safeguard classified records, and another agreement under oath when she ended her work that she had returned all records to the government.

She violated both agreements, and she violated numerous federal laws.

By using her personal email address — @clintonemail.com — she kept her work documents from the government. Concealing government documents from the government when you work for it is a felony, punishable by up to three years in prison and permanent disqualification from holding public office.

Failing to secure classified secrets in a government-approved facility or moving them to a non-secure facility outside the government's control is a misdemeanor, punishable by a hefty fine and a year in jail. Using a false email address that gives the clear impression that the user is not using a government server when she is, or one that creates the false impression that the emailer is using a government server when she is not, is also a felony.

The legal issues in Mrs. Clinton's case are all the more curious when one hears Mr. Obama's tepid reaction to this latest scandal. Asked by Bill Plante of CBS News last weekend when he first learned of Mrs. Clinton's use of a personal email server instead of the government's, the president told Mr. Plante he learned of it from the media, last week, when the rest of us did. He later had his press secretary state that he did recognize her use of a nongovernmental email address, but did not know it was unlawful or unsecured until last week.

Does the White House not know where the president's emails are coming from and where they are going?

I wish Mr. Plante had followed up with that question and more: Mr. President, are you not troubled that your secretary of state had a non-secure email account and used it for all of her work? Are you not troubled that she might have kept classified secrets on a server in her barn on her estate in Chappaqua, New York, that the Secret Service might or might not have known about, or at a computer company in Texas that the Secret Service was unable to protect?

Does it not trouble you, Mr. President, that foreign intelligence services likely would have had a far easier time hacking into the emails of your secretary of state because of all this? Mr. President, will your Department of Justice prosecute Mrs. Clinton for retaining 48 months of classified records on her personal server after she left office, as it did Gen. David Petraeus, who kept 15 months of classified records in a desk drawer in his home after he left office?

Mr. President, the premise of the law regulating government records is that the government owns them all, and when a high-ranking government official leaves office, the ex-official may ask the government for copies of her personal emails, and the government decides which ones it will give her. Mr. President, don't you realize that Mrs. Clinton turned the law on its head by keeping all of her emails from the government?

Thus, rather than the government deciding which emails were personal, Mrs. Clinton decided which emails were governmental, and she turned those over to the government. How does the government know what is contained in the emails she kept? Mr. President, this is a privilege that even you don't have, and it is the very behavior that the laws you have sworn to uphold were written to prevent.

Mr. President, did you cut a deal with Mrs. Clinton's husband that permits her to get away with this type of behavior? Mr. President, is it true that there are standards of behavior for Bill and Hillary Clinton and their friends and other standards for the rest of us?

Mr. President, do you remember that crackpot Sandy Berger, who was Bill Clinton's national security adviser from 1997 to 2001, and Mrs. Clinton's foreign policy adviser when she ran against you in 2008, and who stole documents from the National Archives in 2003 by hiding them under an on-site construction trailer? Do you know that Bill got Sandy a no-jail-time deal, including the return of his security clearance, and he got Sandy's prosecutor a federal judgeship?

Mr. President, when you ran against Hillary Clinton, you promised the most transparent government in history. Do you honestly think you have given us that?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0315/napolitano031215.php3#jRvwhC3B0Ztp8wh3.99

3-20-15

Obama Takes His Rage to World Stage

By David Limbaugh

Why is The New York Times lamenting the souring of the personal relationship between President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu instead of assuming Obama will subordinate his personal feelings to America's national interest?

Well, probably because they know he won't. He's a man scorned — and he's getting more and more dangerous. Scorned? Yes, because when you don't bow to the wishes of a man with his personality, he apparently takes it as a personal affront.

That's why we read in Politico, "In the wake of Netanyahu's decisive reelection, the Obama administration is revisiting longtime assumptions about America's role as a shield for Israel against international pressure."

You want to know why? Well, let's let the article speak for itself. It continues, "Angered by Netanyahu's hardline platform toward the Palestinians, top Obama officials would not rule out the possibility of a change in American posture at the United Nations, where the U.S. has historically fended off resolutions hostile to Israel."

What, exactly, is this hardline approach that enrages Obama so much that he's willing to punish America's best ally in the region?

It is simply that Netanyahu took a strong stance against the establishment of a Palestinian state. Why would he do that?

Well, how about because Palestinians want to extinguish the state of Israel? How about because it would endanger Israel's national security and very survival? How about because of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas's formation of a unity government with Hamas in June and his efforts, in December, to have the Palestinian Authority become part of the criminal court? Are these reasons enough?

Why should Obama presume to judge Netanyahu on that? Moreover, how could he possibly take this personally? Because that's the prism through which he views the world. It's all about him.

That's why Obama was outraged when Netanyahu chose to speak to Congress about the Iranian nuclear threat, which Obama continues to ignore — or, arguably, enable. That's why he refused to meet with Netanyahu when he was in Washington for that speech — again, putting his petty feelings above our national interests. And that's also why he has yet to pick up the telephone to call Netanyahu to congratulate him for his electoral victory this week. Incidentally, I believe that's also why he sent the Churchill bust back to the Brits. It's about him and his feelings, our relationship with ally Britain be damned.

Be fair. No other president has behaved like this. So don't defend it.

Obama had the audacity to accuse Netanyahu of partisanship for accepting the invitation to speak to Congress. It was Obama who overtly injected partisanship into that visit, by smearing Netanyahu with false charges of partisanship and attempting — outrageously — to defeat him in his reelection efforts by dispatching his political operatives to Israel.

Do I have proof that Obama dispatched those operatives? Not direct proof. Do I have proof that they had his blessing? He didn't lift a finger to stop them when he could have, did he?

There is also the fact that Obama is conspicuously taking Netanyahu's victory as his own personal defeat. Beyond dissing him with no congratulatory call, he is issuing stern, hostile statements.

One administration official said, "The positions taken by the prime minister in the last days of the campaign have raised very significant substantive questions that go far beyond just optics." The official would not rule out America withdrawing its traditional support of Israel in issues before the United Nations.

image: http://d13.zedo.com/OzoDB/v/q/2224533/V1/300x250_wzo_azm_final.jpg
Click Here!

Jeremy Ben-Ami, described by Politico as "president of the left-leaning pro-Israel group J Street," said, "I do think the administration is going to look very closely at the possibility of either joining, or at least not blocking an internationally backed move at the U.N. to restate the parameters for ending the conflict. Netanyahu's campaign statements (opposing a Palestinian state), added Ben-Ami, "make it a lot easier for the administration to justify going down a more international route."

Are you getting this? Obama is considering punitive action against Israel because its prime minister, looking out for his nation's security, would not cow to his demands. This, despite the fact that the Israeli people overwhelmingly agreed with Netanyahu, as they delivered him and his party a landslide victory.

Capping it all off, White House press secretary Josh Earnest unleashed on Netanyahu for allegedly damaging Israel's democracy and undermining America's relationship with Israel. Pot/kettle?

It gets worse. Earnest said the "administration is deeply concerned by the divisive rhetoric that seeks to marginalize Arab-Israeli citizens." Obama is wagging his finger at others for divisive rhetoric — in the very process, no less, of issuing his own.

Still more outrageous, Earnest has said of the U.S. and Israel that "one of the things that binds our countries together so closely is our shared values," but "these kinds of cynical, divisive Election Day tactics stand in direct conflict to those values." What pumpkin truck do these people think we fell off of? Please tell me what "shared values" this administration has with Israel.

Is there any question whose side Obama is on anymore? Has he ever rebuked the Palestinians or any enemies of Israel for wishing or acting on its destruction?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh032015.php3#OCqzThdRPEIdoIsR.99

3-19-15

Ruinous 'Compassion'

By Thomas Sowell

It is fascinating to see brilliant people belatedly discover the obvious — and to see an even larger number of brilliant people never discover the obvious.

A recent story in a San Francisco newspaper says that some restaurants and grocery stores in Oakland's Chinatown have closed after the city's minimum wage was raised. Other small businesses there are not sure they are going to survive, since many depend on a thin profit margin and a high volume of sales.

At an angry meeting between local small business owners and city officials, the local organization that had campaigned for the higher minimum wage was absent. They were probably some place congratulating themselves on having passed a humane "living wage" law. The group most affected was also absent — inexperienced and unskilled young people, who need a job to get some experience, even more than they need the money.

It is not a breakthrough on the frontiers of knowledge that minimum wage laws reduce employment opportunities for the young and the unskilled of any age. It has been happening around the world, for generation after generation, and in the most diverse countries.

It is not just the young who are affected when minimum wage rates are set according to the fashionable notions of third parties, with little or no regard for whether everyone is productive enough to be worth paying the minimum wage they set.

You can check this out for yourself. Go to your local public library and pick up a copy of the distinguished British magazine "The Economist."

Whether it is the current issue or a back issue doesn't matter. Spain, Greece and South Africa will be easy to locate in the table near the back, which lists data for various countries. Just look down the unemployment column for countries with unemployment rates around 25 percent. Spain, Greece and South Africa are always there, whether or not there is a recession. Why? Because they have very generous minimum wage laws.

While you are there, you can look up the unemployment rate for Switzerland, which has no minimum wage law at all. Over the years, I have never seen the unemployment rate in Switzerland reach as high as 4 percent. Back in 2003, "The Economist" magazine reported: "Switzerland's unemployment neared a five-year high of 3.9% in February."

In the United States, back in what liberals think of as the bad old days before there was a federal minimum wage law, the annual unemployment rate during Calvin Coolidge's last four years as president ranged from a high of 4.2 percent to a low of 1.8 percent.

Low-income minorities are often hardest hit by the unemployment that follows in the wake of minimum wage laws. The last year when the black unemployment rate was lower than the white unemployment rate was 1930, the last year before there was a federal minimum wage law.

The following year, the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 was passed, requiring minimum wages in the construction industry. This was in response to complaints that construction companies with non-union black construction workers were able to underbid construction companies with unionized white workers (whose unions would not admit blacks).

Looking back over my own life, I realize now how lucky I was when I left home in 1948, at the age of 17, to become self-supporting. The unemployment rate for 16- and 17-year-old blacks at that time was under 10 percent. Inflation had made the minimum wage law, passed ten years earlier, irrelevant.

But it was only a matter of time before liberal compassion led to repeated increases in the minimum wage, to keep up with inflation. The annual unemployment rate for black teenagers has never been less than 20 percent in the past 50 years, and has ranged as high as over 50 percent.

You can check these numbers in a table of official government statistics on page 42 of Professor Walter Williams' book "Race and Economics."

Incidentally, the black-white gap in unemployment rates for 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds was virtually non-existent back in 1948. But the black teenage unemployment rate has been more than double that for white teenagers for every year since 1971.

This is just one of many policies that allow liberals to go around feeling good about themselves, while leaving havoc in their wake.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell031815.php3#ty7ByoS17IJQ7i8f.99

3-18-15

Early Onset Clinton Fatigue

By Charles Krauthammer

She burned the tapes.

Had Richard Nixon burned his tapes, he would have survived Watergate. Sure, there would have been a major firestorm, but no smoking gun. Hillary Rodham was a young staffer on the House Judiciary Committee investigating Nixon. She saw. She learned.

Today you don't burn tapes. You delete e-mails. Hillary Clinton deleted 30,000, dismissing their destruction with the brilliantly casual: "I didn't see any reason to keep them." After all, they were private and personal, she assured everyone.

How do we know that? She says so. Were, say, Clinton Foundation contributions considered personal? No one asked. It's unlikely we'll ever know. We have to trust her.

That's not easy. Not just because of her history — William Safire wrote in 1996 that "Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our first lady . . . is a congenital liar" — but because of what she said in her emergency news conference on Tuesday. Among the things she listed as private were "personal communications from my husband and me." Except that, as the Wall Street Journal reported the very same day, Bill Clinton's spokesman said the former president has sent exactly two e-mails in his life, one to John Glenn, the other to U.S. troops in the Adriatic.

Mrs. Clinton's other major declaration was that the server containing the e-mails — owned, controlled and housed by her — "will remain private." Meaning: No one will get near them.

This she learned not from Watergate but from Whitewater. Her husband acquiesced to the appointment of a Whitewater special prosecutor. Hillary objected strenuously. Her fear was that once someone is empowered to search, the searcher can roam freely. In the Clintons' case, it led to impeachment because when the Lewinsky scandal broke, the special prosecutor added that to his portfolio.

Hillary was determined never to permit another open-ended investigation. Which is why she decided even before being confirmed as secretary of state that only she would control her e-mail.

Her pretense for keeping just a single private e-mail account was "convenience." She doesn't like to carry around two devices.

But two weeks ago she said she now carries two phones and a total of four devices. Moreover, it takes about a minute to create two accounts on one device. Ray LaHood, while transportation secretary, did exactly that.

Her answers are farcical. Everyone knows she kept the e-mail private for purposes of concealment and, above all, control. For other State Department employees, their e-mails belong to the government. The records officers decide to return to you what's personal. For Hillary Clinton, she decides.

The point of regulations is to ensure government transparency. The point of owning the server is to ensure opacity. Because she holds the e-mails, all document requests by Congress, by subpoena, by Freedom of Information Act inquiries have ultimately to go through her lawyers, who will stonewall until the end of time — or Election Day 2016, whichever comes first.

It's a smart political calculation. Taking a few weeks of heat now — it's only March 2015 — is far less risky than being blown up by some future e-mail discovery. Moreover, around April 1, the Clinton apologists will begin dismissing the whole story as "old news."

But even if nothing further is found, the damage is done. After all, what is Hillary running on? Her experience and record, say her supporters.

What record? She's had three major jobs. Secretary of state: Can you name a single achievement in four years? U.S. senator: Can you name a single achievement in eight years? First lady: her one achievement in eight years? Hillarycare, a shipwreck.

In reality, Hillary Clinton is running on two things: gender and name. Gender is not to be underestimated. It will make her the Democratic nominee. The name is equally valuable. It evokes the warm memory of the golden 1990s, a decade of peace and prosperity during our holiday from history.

Now breaking through, however, is a stark reminder of the underside of that Clinton decade: the chicanery, the sleaze, the dodging, the parsing, the wordplay. It's a dual legacy that Hillary Clinton cannot escape and that will be a permanent drag on her candidacy.

You can feel it. It's a recurrence of an old ailment. It was bound to set in, but not this soon. What you're feeling now is Early Onset Clinton Fatigue. The CDC is recommending elaborate precautions. Forget it. The only known cure is Elizabeth Warren.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer031315.php3#C7OxHWFs0ERP4mqV.99

3-17-15

Two Warnings

By Thomas Sowell

When Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress on March 3rd, it was the third time he had done so. The only other person to address a joint session of Congress three times was the legendary British prime minister Winston Churchill.

The parallels between the two leaders do not end there. Both warned the world of mortal dangers that others ignored, in hopes that those dangers would go away. In the years leading up to World War II, Churchill tried to warn the British, and the democratic nations in general, of what a monstrous threat Hitler was.

Despite Churchill's legendary status today, he was not merely ignored but ridiculed at the time, when he was repeatedly warning in vain. Knowing that his warnings provoked only mocking laughter in some quarters, even among some members of his own party, he said on March 14, 1938 in the House of Commons, "Laugh but listen."

Just two years later, with Hitler's planes bombing London, night after night, the laughter was gone. Many at the time thought that Britain itself would soon be gone as well, like other European nations that succumbed to the Nazi blitzkrieg in weeks (like France) or days (like Holland).

How did things get to such a desperate situation, with Britain alone continuing the fight, and struggling to survive, against the massive Nazi war machine that now controlled much of the material resources on the continent of Europe?

Things got that desperate by following policies strikingly similar to the policies being followed by the Western democracies today, including some of the very same notions and catchwords being used today.

Just recently, a State Department official in the Obama administration said that Americans have remained safe in a nuclear age, not because of our own nuclear arsenal but because "we created an intricate and essential system of treaties, laws and agreements."

If "treaties, laws and agreements" produced peace, there would never have been a Second World War. The years leading up to that monumental catastrophe were filled with international treaties and arms control agreements.

The Treaty of Versailles, which ended the First World War, imposed strong restrictions on Germany's military forces — on paper. The Washington Naval Agreements of 1922 imposed restrictions on all the major naval powers of the world — on paper. The Kellogg-Briand pact of 1928 created an international renunciation of war — on paper.

The Munich agreement of 1938 produced a paper with Hitler's signature on it that British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain waved to the cheering crowds when he returned to England, and said that it meant "Peace for our time." Less than a year later, World War II began.

Winston Churchill never bought any of this. He understood that military deterrence was what preserved peace. With England playing a leadership role in Europe, "England's hour of weakness is Europe's hour of danger," he said in the House of Commons in 1931.

Today, with the Obama administration "leading from behind" — in practice, not leading at all — we see in Ukraine and the Middle East what that produces.

As for disarmament, Churchill said in 1932, "Alone among the nations we have disarmed while others have rearmed."

Today, the United States has that dubious and reckless distinction. Our pacifists, like those in England during the 1930s, argue that we should disarm to "induce parallel" behavior by others. In England between the two World Wars, the rhetoric was that they should disarm "as an example to others."

Whether others would follow that example was just as dubious then as it is today. While Russia and China increased the share of their national output that went to military spending in 2014, the United States reduced its share. Churchill deplored the "inexhaustible gullibility" of disarmament advocates in 1932. That gullibility is still not exhausted in 2015.

"Not one of the lessons of the past has been learned, not one of them has been applied, and the situation is incomparably more dangerous," Churchill said in 1934. And every one of those words is more urgently true today, in a nuclear age.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell031715.php3#L2WZQipwX5J3hPAE.99

3-16-15

America-phobic Bullies Target Old Glory

By David Limbaugh

Some wonder why conservatives get the impression that many leftists are not patriotic. Well, how about their belief that the ideas of nationalism and patriotism are noxious? We told you!

As you've probably heard by now, Associated Students of the University of California, Irvine voted to ban the American flag from an "inclusive" space on campus. Don't you just love loaded liberal words, such as "inclusive," which mean the opposite of what they imply? Is the American flag includable there?

The language of the bill, passed by a vote of 6-4, with two abstentions (some real courage there), asserts that flags "construct cultural mythologies and narratives that in turn charge nationalistic sentiments" and that "flags construct paradigms of conformity and sets (sic) homogenized standards for others to obtain which in this country typically are idolized as freedom, equality, and democracy."

Before proceeding, let me pause briefly to thank my parents for raising me to recognize such psychobabble for what it is and God for the discernment to filter it. This kind of thinking is amazing but is the logical extension of modern leftism.

To quote the old Ginsu knife ad, "But wait; there's more." The bill also claims that the American flag "has been flown in instances of colonialism and imperialism" and that "symbolism has negative and positive aspects that are interpreted differently by individuals." Well, what do you know? People have different interpretations? What could be more dangerous?

Now for the zinger — and where this line of thinking often ends up: "Freedom of speech, in a space that aims to be as inclusive as possible can be interpreted as hate speech."

Following the disturbing preamble, the bill includes these resolutions: "Let it be resolved that ASUCI make every effort to make the Associated Students main lobby space as inclusive as possible ... that no flag, of any nation, may be hanged on the walls of the Associate Student (sic) main lobby space ... (and) that if a decorative item is in the Associate student (sic) lobby space and issues arise, the solution will be to remove the item if there is considerable request to do so."

These are your tax dollars at work, training students to be ready for a job upon graduation — at community organizing.

After news reports of this insanity, Breitbart News spoke to a UCI student who said she had heard a member of the ASUCI discussing "the (American) flag and how it triggered people." "Trigger," she said, was the word the person used, as in "the flag triggers me." Oh, boy. She speculated that one motivation for the student bill was to prevent "illegal citizens" from feeling bad.

To their credit, UCI administrators stated that they did not endorse the bill, calling its passage a "misguided decision," and the student body's executive cabinet vetoed the bill.

But the controversy and angst over the matter continue as a group of university professors signed a letter supporting the students who attempted to ban the flag. Their rationale? They wrote, "U.S. nationalism often contributes to racism and xenophobia, and ... the paraphernalia of nationalism is in fact often used to intimidate." And: "We admire the courage of the resolution's supports amid this environment of political immaturity and threat, and support them unequivocally."

I am not sure what these pointy-heads are referring to with "political immaturity and threat," but it's obvious that — typical of leftists — they are projecting. You will notice that the intolerance, immaturity "hate" and agitation involved in this brouhaha are coming from those denouncing Old Glory, not those displaying it proudly. These malcontents said not just "nationalism" but "U.S. nationalism," and they didn't show a smidgen of concern for the free expression rights of those displaying the flag.

This is the very mentality that leads people such as President Obama to mock the notion of American exceptionalism. They have a desire to defer important national matters to international bodies, have a gross underappreciation for the U.S. Constitution and advocate open borders. They see themselves as citizens of the world, perhaps more than of the United States.

Why would you care about people flooding illegally across our borders if you are not keen on protecting America's unique system of liberty? Why would you want immigrants to be required to go through a naturalization process whereby they learn the basics of American civics in order to attain citizenship if you don't believe our system is special?

I'll tell you what is offensive and unacceptable, and that is the ongoing distortion of the language employed by these bullies to suggest that positive pride in our nation equates to fear and hatred of foreigners and racism. This is outrageously false, and only those who think that way are capable of accusing others of such warped thinking.

If you believe that the American flag is offensive and emblematic of racism and xenophobia, what's next? Are you going to suggest that we fundamentally transform the United States of America?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh031315.php3#4zf62J35zOC6Gcc7.99

3-15-15

A president gone rogue

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

Can the president rewrite federal laws? Can he alter their meaning? Can he change their effect? These are legitimate questions in an era in which we have an unpopular progressive Democratic president who has boasted that he can govern without Congress by using his phone and his pen, and a mostly newly elected largely conservative Republican Congress with its own ideas about big government.

These are not hypothetical questions. In 2012, President Obama signed executive orders that essentially said to about 1.7 million unlawfully present immigrants who arrived in the U.S. before their 16th birthdays and who are not yet 31 years of age that if they complied with certain conditions that he made up out of thin air they will not be deported.

In 2014, the president signed additional executive orders that essentially made the same offer to about 4.7 million unlawfully present immigrants, without the age limits that he had made up out of thin air. A federal court enjoined enforcement of the 2014 orders last month.

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission — the bureaucrats appointed by the president who regulate broadcast radio and television — decreed that it has the authority to regulate the Internet, even though federal courts have twice ruled that it does not.

Also last week, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, whose director is appointed by the president, proposed regulations that would outlaw the only mass-produced bullets that can be fired from an AR-15 rifle. This rifle has been the target of the left for many years because it looks like a military weapon; yet it is a lawful and safe civilian rifle commonly owned by many Americans.

This week, the president's press secretary told reporters that the president is seriously thinking of signing executive orders intended to raise taxes on corporations by directing the IRS to redefine tax terminology so as to increase corporate tax burdens. He must have forgotten that those additional taxes would be paid by either the shareholders or the customers of those corporations, and those shareholders and customers elected a Congress they had every right to expect would be writing the tax laws. He has eviscerated that right.

What's going on here?

What's going on is the exercise of authoritarian impulses by a desperate president terrified of powerlessness and irrelevance, the Constitution be damned. I say "damned" because when the president writes laws, whether under the guise of administrative regulations or executive orders, he is effectively damning the Constitution by usurping the powers of Congress.

The Constitution could not be clearer. Article I, section 1 begins, "All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States." Obama actually asked Congress to write the laws he is now purporting to write, and Congress declined, and so he does so at his peril.

In 1952, President Truman seized America's closed steel mills because steel workers went on strike and the military needed hardware to fight the Korean War. He initially asked Congress for authorization to do this, and Congress declined to give it to him; so he seized the mills anyway. His seizure was challenged by Youngstown Sheet & Tube Co., then a huge operator of steel mills. In a famous Supreme Court decision, the court enjoined the president from operating the mills.

Youngstown is not a novel or arcane case. The concurring opinion by Justice Robert Jackson articulating the truism that when the president acts in defiance of Congress he operates at his lowest ebb of constitutional power and can be enjoined by the courts unless he is in an area uniquely immune from congressional authority is among the most highly regarded and frequently cited concurring opinions in modern court history. It reminds the president and the lawyers who advise him that the Constitution imposes limits on executive power.

The president's oath of office underscores those limits. It requires that he enforce the laws faithfully. The reason James Madison insisted on using the word "faithfully" in the presidential oath and putting the oath itself into the Constitution was to instill in presidents the realization that they may need to enforce laws with which they disagree — even laws they hate.

But Obama rejects the Youngstown decision and the Madisonian logic. Here is a president who claims he can kill Americans without due process, spy on Americans without individualized probable cause, start wars on his own, borrow money on his own, regulate the Internet, ban lawful guns, tell illegal immigrants how to avoid the consequences of federal law, and now raise taxes on his own.

One of the safeguards built into the Constitution is the separation of powers: Congress writes the laws, the president enforces the laws, and the courts interpret them. The purpose of this separation is to prevent the accumulation of too much power in the hands of too few — a valid fear when the Constitution was written and a valid fear today.

When the president effectively writes the laws, Congress is effectively neutered. Yet, the reason we have the separation of powers is not to protect Congress, but to protect all individuals from the loss of personal liberty. Under Obama, that loss has been vast. Will Congress and the courts do anything about it?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0315/napolitano030515.php3#v2v57I6gcvDjb2Vd.99

3-14-15

Early Onset Clinton Fatigue

By Charles Krauthammer

She burned the tapes.

Had Richard Nixon burned his tapes, he would have survived Watergate. Sure, there would have been a major firestorm, but no smoking gun. Hillary Rodham was a young staffer on the House Judiciary Committee investigating Nixon. She saw. She learned.

Today you don't burn tapes. You delete e-mails. Hillary Clinton deleted 30,000, dismissing their destruction with the brilliantly casual: "I didn't see any reason to keep them." After all, they were private and personal, she assured everyone.

How do we know that? She says so. Were, say, Clinton Foundation contributions considered personal? No one asked. It's unlikely we'll ever know. We have to trust her.

That's not easy. Not just because of her history — William Safire wrote in 1996 that "Americans of all political persuasions are coming to the sad realization that our first lady . . . is a congenital liar" — but because of what she said in her emergency news conference on Tuesday. Among the things she listed as private were "personal communications from my husband and me." Except that, as the Wall Street Journal reported the very same day, Bill Clinton's spokesman said the former president has sent exactly two e-mails in his life, one to John Glenn, the other to U.S. troops in the Adriatic.

Mrs. Clinton's other major declaration was that the server containing the e-mails — owned, controlled and housed by her — "will remain private." Meaning: No one will get near them.

This she learned not from Watergate but from Whitewater. Her husband acquiesced to the appointment of a Whitewater special prosecutor. Hillary objected strenuously. Her fear was that once someone is empowered to search, the searcher can roam freely. In the Clintons' case, it led to impeachment because when the Lewinsky scandal broke, the special prosecutor added that to his portfolio.

Hillary was determined never to permit another open-ended investigation. Which is why she decided even before being confirmed as secretary of state that only she would control her e-mail.

Her pretense for keeping just a single private e-mail account was "convenience." She doesn't like to carry around two devices.

But two weeks ago she said she now carries two phones and a total of four devices. Moreover, it takes about a minute to create two accounts on one device. Ray LaHood, while transportation secretary, did exactly that.

Her answers are farcical. Everyone knows she kept the e-mail private for purposes of concealment and, above all, control. For other State Department employees, their e-mails belong to the government. The records officers decide to return to you what's personal. For Hillary Clinton, she decides.

The point of regulations is to ensure government transparency. The point of owning the server is to ensure opacity. Because she holds the e-mails, all document requests by Congress, by subpoena, by Freedom of Information Act inquiries have ultimately to go through her lawyers, who will stonewall until the end of time — or Election Day 2016, whichever comes first.

It's a smart political calculation. Taking a few weeks of heat now — it's only March 2015 — is far less risky than being blown up by some future e-mail discovery. Moreover, around April 1, the Clinton apologists will begin dismissing the whole story as "old news."

But even if nothing further is found, the damage is done. After all, what is Hillary running on? Her experience and record, say her supporters.

What record? She's had three major jobs. Secretary of state: Can you name a single achievement in four years? U.S. senator: Can you name a single achievement in eight years? First lady: her one achievement in eight years? Hillarycare, a shipwreck.

In reality, Hillary Clinton is running on two things: gender and name. Gender is not to be underestimated. It will make her the Democratic nominee. The name is equally valuable. It evokes the warm memory of the golden 1990s, a decade of peace and prosperity during our holiday from history.

Now breaking through, however, is a stark reminder of the underside of that Clinton decade: the chicanery, the sleaze, the dodging, the parsing, the wordplay. It's a dual legacy that Hillary Clinton cannot escape and that will be a permanent drag on her candidacy.

You can feel it. It's a recurrence of an old ailment. It was bound to set in, but not this soon. What you're feeling now is Early Onset Clinton Fatigue. The CDC is recommending elaborate precautions. Forget it. The only known cure is Elizabeth Warren.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer031315.php3#Wgg8TOUBUF7II0mT.99

3-13-15

Global Warming

By Walter Williams

"But the debate is settled. Climate change is a fact," said President Barack Obama in his 2014 State of the Union address. Saying the debate is settled is nonsense, but the president is right about climate change. GlobalChange.gov gives the definition of climate change: "Changes in average weather conditions that persist over multiple decades or longer. Climate change encompasses both increases and decreases in temperature, as well as shifts in precipitation, changing risk of certain types of severe weather events, and changes to other features of the climate system." That definition covers all weather phenomena throughout all 4.54 billion years of Earth's existence.

You say, "Williams, that's not what the warmers are talking about. It's the high CO2 levels caused by mankind's industrial activities that are causing the climate change!" There's a problem with that reasoning. Today CO2 concentrations worldwide average about 380 parts per million. This level of CO2 concentration is trivial compared with the concentrations during earlier geologic periods. For example, 460 million years ago, during the Ordovician Period, CO2 concentrations were 4,400 ppm, and temperatures then were about the same as they are today. With such high levels of CO2, at least according to the warmers, the Earth should have been boiling.

Then there are warmer predictions. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, warmers, such as the Union of Concerned Scientists, made all manner of doomsday predictions about global warming and the increased frequency of hurricanes. According to the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow, "no Category 3-5 hurricane has struck the United States for a record nine years, and Earth's temperature has not budged for 18 years."

Climate change predictions have been wrong for decades. Let's look at some. At the first Earth Day celebration, in 1969, environmentalist Nigel Calder warned, "The threat of a new ice age must now stand alongside nuclear war as a likely source of wholesale death and misery for mankind." C.C. Wallen of the World Meteorological Organization said, "The cooling since 1940 has been large enough and consistent enough that it will not soon be reversed." In 1968, Professor Paul Ehrlich predicted that there would be a major food shortage in the U.S. and that "in the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people (would) starve to death." Ehrlich forecasted that 65 million Americans would die of starvation between 1980 and 1989 and that by 1999, the U.S. population would have declined to 22.6 million. Ehrlich's predictions about England were gloomier. He said, "If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000."

In 1970, Harvard University biologist George Wald predicted, "Civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind." Sen. Gaylord Nelson, in Look magazine in April 1970, said that by 1995, "somewhere between 75 and 85 percent of all the species of living animals (would) be extinct."

Climate change propaganda is simply a ruse for a socialist agenda. Consider the statements of some environmentalist leaders. Christiana Figueres, the U.N.'s chief climate change official, said that her unelected bureaucrats are undertaking "probably the most difficult task" they have ever given themselves, "which is to intentionally transform the (global) economic development model." In 2010, German economist and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change official Ottmar Edenhofer said, "One must say clearly that we redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy." The article in which that interview appeared summarized Edenhofer's views this way: "Climate policy has almost nothing to do anymore with environmental protection. ... The next world climate summit in Cancun is actually an economy summit during which the distribution of the world's resources will be negotiated."

The most disgusting aspect of the climate change debate is the statements by many that it's settled science. There is nothing more anti-scientific than the idea that any science is settled. Very often we find that the half-life of many scientific ideas is about 50 years. For academics to not criticize their colleagues and politicians for suggesting that scientific ideas are not subject to challenge is the height of academic dishonesty.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams031115.php3#p7dijQeEHElZ4TEp.99

3-12-15

What if the Government Fears Freedom?

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

What if the current massive spying on Americans began with an innocent secret executive order signed by President Reagan in 1986? What if Reagan contemplated that he was only authorizing American spies to spy on foreign spies unlawfully present in the U.S.?

What if Reagan knew and respected the history of the Fourth Amendment? What if the essence of that history is the colonial revulsion at the British use of general warrants? What if general warrants were issued by a secret court in London and authorized British agents in America to search wherever they wished and to seize whatever they found? What if the revulsion at this British government practice was so overwhelming that it led to the Revolutionary War against the king?

What if the whole purpose of the Fourth Amendment was to outlaw general warrants? What if the Fourth Amendment specifically guarantees the right to privacy to all in America in their persons, houses, papers and effects?

What if, in order to emphasize its condemnation of general warrants, the Fourth Amendment requires the government to obtain a warrant from a judge before invading the persons, houses, papers or effects of anyone and lays down the preconditions for the issuance of such warrants? What if those preconditions are individualized suspicion and articulated evidence of crime — called probable cause — about the specific person whose privacy the government seeks to invade?

What if these principles of constitutional fidelity, privacy and probable cause and the unlawfulness of general warrants have been regarded universally and publicly as quintessentially American values, values that set this nation apart from all others?

What if the administration of President George W. Bush was so embarrassed that 9/11 happened on its watch that it fought a useless public war in Iraq — which had nothing to do with 9/11 — and a pernicious private war against American values by unleashing American spies on innocent Americans as to whom there was no individualized probable cause so that it could create the impression it was doing something to keep America safe from another 9/11-like attack?

What if the Bush folks took Reagan's idea of spying on foreign spies and twisted it so that they could spy on not just foreign spies, but also on foreign persons? What if they took that and leapt to spying on Americans who communicated with foreign persons?

What if they then concluded that it was easier to spy on all Americans rather than just those who communicated with foreign persons? What if they claimed in secret that all this was authorized by Reagan's executive order and two federal statutes, their unique interpretations of which they refused to discuss in public? What if the Reagan order and the statutes authorized no such thing?

What if The New York Times caught the Bush administration in its massive violation of the Fourth Amendment, whereby it was spying on all Americans all the time without any warrants? What if the Times sat on that knowledge during, throughout and beyond the presidential election campaign of 2004? What if, when the Times revealed all this, the Bush administration agreed to stop spying? What if it didn't stop?

What if President Obama came up with a scheme to make the spying appear legal? What if that scheme involved using secret judges in secret courts to issue general warrants? What if the Obama administration swore those judges to secrecy? What if it swore to secrecy all in the government who are involved in undermining basic American values? What if it forgot that everyone in government also swears an oath to uphold the Constitution? What if Edward Snowden violated his oath to secrecy in order to uphold his oath to the Constitution, which includes the Fourth Amendment, and spilled the beans on the government?

What if all this spying by the feds has spawned spying by the locals? What if more than 50 local police departments now have received false cell towers from the FBI, but have sworn not to tell anyone about them? What if these towers trick cellphone signals into exposing the content of cellphone conversations to the police? What if the police have done this without the knowledge of the elected representatives who are their bosses? What if they do this without any warrants? What if the Supreme Court last year outlawed police invading cellphones without warrants?

What if both Bush and Obama have argued that their first job is to keep America safe, and they will twist, torture the plain meaning of and even break laws in order to accomplish that job? What if the presidential oath is to enforce all laws faithfully, including ones the president may hate?

What if Bush and Obama have been wrong about the priority of their constitutional duties as president? What if the president's first job is to preserve the Constitution? What if that includes the Fourth Amendment? What if the president keeps us safe but unfree?

What if invading our freedoms keeps us less safe? What if the president has failed to keep our freedoms safe? What if the government doesn't like freedoms? What if the government is afraid we will exercise them?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0215/napolitano022615.php3#FElXSFie0u7RaDh0.99

3-11-15

The 'Disparate Impact' Racket

By Thomas Sowell

The U.S. Department of Justice issued two reports last week, both growing out of the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of Michael Brown. The first report, about "the shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson" ought to be read by every American.

It says in plain English what facts have been established by an autopsy on Michael Brown's body — by three different pathologists, including one representing the family of Michael Brown — by DNA examination of officer Darren Wilson's gun and police vehicle, by examination of the pattern of blood stains on the street where Brown died and by a medical report on officer Wilson, from the hospital where he went for treatment.

The bottom line is that all this hard evidence, and more, show what a complete lie was behind all the stories of Michael Brown being shot in the back or being shot while raising his hands in surrender. Yet that lie was repeated, and dramatized in demonstrations and riots from coast to coast, as well as in the media and even in the halls of Congress.

The other Justice Department report, issued the same day — "Investigation of the Ferguson Police Department" — was a complete contrast. Sweeping assumptions take the place of facts, and misleading statistics are thrown around recklessly. This second report is worth reading, just to get a sense of the contrast with the first.

According to the second report, law enforcement in Ferguson has a "disparate impact" on blacks and is "motivated" by "discriminatory intent."

"Disparate impact" statistics have for decades been used, in many different contexts, to claim that discrimination was the reason why different groups are not equally represented as employees or in desirable positions or — as in this case — in undesirable positions as people arrested or fined.

Like many other uses of "disparate impact" statistics, the Justice Department's evidence against the Ferguson police department consists of numbers showing that the percentage of people stopped by police or fined in court is larger than the percentage of blacks in the local population.

The implicit assumption is that such statistics about particular outcomes would normally reflect the percentage of people in the population. But, no matter how plausible this might seem on the surface, it is seldom found in real life, and those who use that standard are seldom, if ever, asked to produce hard evidence that it is factually correct, as distinct from politically correct.

Blacks are far more statistically "over-represented" among basketball stars in the NBA than among people stopped by police in Ferguson. Hispanics are similarly far more "over-represented" among baseball stars than in the general population. Asian Americans are likewise far more "over-represented" among students at leading engineering schools like M.I.T. and Cal Tech than in the population as a whole.

None of this is peculiar to the United States. You can find innumerable examples of such group disparities in countries around the world and throughout recorded history.

In 1802, for example, czarist Russia established a university in Estonia. For most of the 19th century, members of one ethnic group provided more of the students — and a majority of the professors — than any other. This was neither the local majority (Estonians) nor the national majority (Russians), but Germans.

An international study of the ethnic makeup of military forces around the world found that "militaries fall far short of mirroring, even roughly, the multi-ethnic societies" from which they come.

Even with things whose outcomes are not in human hands, "disparate impact" is common. Men are struck by lightning several times as often as women. Most of the tornadoes in the entire world occur in the middle of the United States.

Since the population of Ferguson is 67 percent black, the greatest possible "over-representation" of blacks among those stopped by police or fined by courts is 50 percent. That would not make the top 100 disparities in the United States or the top 1,000 in the world.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell031015.php3#1zjQhilJO9uigq2A.99

3-10-15

A Churchillian warning: Netanyahu offered a real alternative on Iran

By Charles Krauthammer

Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress was notable in two respects. Queen Esther got her first standing O in 2,500 years. And President Obama came up empty in his campaign to preemptively undermine Netanyahu before the Israeli prime minister could present his case on the Iran negotiations.

On the contrary. The steady stream of slights and insults turned an irritant into an international event and vastly increased the speech's audience and reach. Instead of dramatically unveiling an Iranian nuclear deal as a fait accompli, Obama must now first defend his Iranian diplomacy.

In particular, argues The Washington Post, he must defend its fundamental premise. It had been the policy of every president since 1979 that Islamist Iran must be sanctioned and contained. Obama, however, is betting instead on detente to tame Iran's aggressive behavior and nuclear ambitions.

For six years, Obama has offered the mullahs an extended hand. He has imagined that with Kissingerian brilliance he would turn the Khamenei regime into a de facto U.S. ally in pacifying the Middle East. For his pains, Obama has been rewarded with an Iran that has ramped up its aggressiveness in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Gaza and Yemen, and brazenly defied the world on uranium enrichment.

He did the same with Russia. He offered Vladimir Putin a new detente. "Reset," he called it. Putin responded by decimating his domestic opposition, unleashing a vicious anti-American propaganda campaign, ravaging Ukraine and shaking the post-Cold War European order to its foundations.

Like the Bourbons, however, Obama learns nothing. He persists in believing that Iran's radical Islamist regime can be turned by sweet reason and fine parchment into a force for stability. It's akin to his refusal to face the true nature of the Islamic State, Iran's Sunni counterpart. He simply can't believe that such people actually believe what they say.

That's what made Netanyahu's critique of the U.S.-Iran deal so powerful. Especially his dissection of the sunset clause. In about 10 years, the deal expires. Sanctions are lifted and Iran is permitted unlimited uranium enrichment with an unlimited number of centrifuges of unlimited sophistication. As the Wall Street Journal's Bret Stephens points out, we don't even allow that for democratic South Korea.

The prime minister offered a concrete alternative. Sunset? Yes, but only after Iran changes its behavior, giving up its regional aggression and worldwide support for terror.

Netanyahu's veiled suggestion was that such a modification — plus a significant reduction in Iran's current nuclear infrastructure, which the Obama deal leaves intact — could produce a deal that "Israel and its [Arab] neighbors may not like, but with which we could live, literally."

Obama's petulant response was: "The prime minister didn't offer any viable alternatives." But he just did: conditional sunset, smaller infrastructure. And if the Iranians walk away, then you ratchet up sanctions, as Congress is urging, which, with collapsed oil prices, would render the regime extremely vulnerable.

And if that doesn't work? Hence Netanyahu's final point: Israel is prepared to stand alone, a declaration that was met with enthusiastic applause reflecting widespread popular support.

It was an important moment, especially because of the libel being perpetrated by some that Netanyahu is trying to get America to go to war with Iran. This is as malicious a calumny as Charles Lindbergh's charge on Sept. 11, 1941, that "the three most important groups who have been pressing this country toward war are the British, the Jewish and the Roosevelt administration."

In its near-70 year history, Israel has never once asked America to fight for it. Not in 1948 when 650,000 Jews faced 40 million Arabs. Not in 1967 when Israel was being encircled and strangled by three Arab armies. Not in 1973 when Israel was on the brink of destruction. Not in the three Gaza wars or the two Lebanon wars.

Compare that to a very partial list of nations for which America has fought and for which so many Americans have fallen: Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Vietnam, Korea, and every West European country beginning with France (twice).

Change the deal, strengthen the sanctions, give Israel a free hand. Netanyahu offered a different path in his clear, bold and often moving address, Churchillian in its appeal to resist appeasement. This was not Churchill of the 1940s, but Churchill of the 1930s, the wilderness prophet. Which is why for all its sonorous strength, Netanyahu's speech had a terrible poignancy.

After all, Churchill was ignored.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer030615.php3#qmyiELIdx8e3KgmO.99

3-9-15

College Campus Update

By Walter Williams

President Barack Obama wants Americans to dig deeper into our pockets to expand college education. Let's update college indoctrination done in the name of education.

Cornell University assistant professor Russell Rickford, in a lecture titled "Ferguson: The Next Steps," told a packed auditorium: "Let's be very clear about what's going on. It's one every 28 hours. Dead black bodies in the street is a sacrifice America makes to the gods of white supremacy." He added: "The propertied classes leverage state violence to discipline, repress and contain them. America fears and despises all poor people."

Blake Armstrong, a South Texas College psychology professor, equating the tea party to Nazis, told his class: "In 1931, which was really interesting, the Nazis — people are kind of tired of them. They've been around since 1920, 11 years now. They've won seats. They're like the tea party! That's such a good example." Armstrong continued, "Don't tell anybody I said that, though."

William Claggett, a professor at Florida State University, told his class, "I don't read The Wall Street Journal — again, a rag of lies — unless I'm interested in who's the CEO of some particular company." As for news, he said, "So you know, when I'm at home clicking through the stations, oh, here comes Fox News, the Fox News Channel. Oh, I don't stop there. I know they're simply lying, and I keep on going."

Students learn from their professors. The University of California Student Association recently voted to divest financially of the United States government and companies that do business with Israel. Both resolutions passed overwhelmingly. Reasons given for divestiture included U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, as well as disproportionate imprisonment of racial minorities. It's early yet, but I'm wondering whether university trustees will instruct their fund managers to replace their U.S. equity holdings with those from the Middle East or Africa.

The University of Michigan spent $16,000 to launch a new "Inclusive Language Campaign" so as to not say hurtful things. Terms deemed unacceptable include crazy, insane, retarded, gay, tranny, gypped, illegal alien, fag, ghetto and raghead. Also banned are sentences such as "I want to die" and "That test raped me" because they diminish the experience of people who've attempted suicide or experienced sexual assault.

One wonders what advice University of Michigan students would give their brethren attending the University of Wisconsin. When College Republicans urged fellow students to keep an open mind about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's planned cuts to the university's budget, the College Republicans received responses such as, "You must have a big hairy pair of brass balls and a marginally functional brain to be recruiting for Republicans on the UW campus right now." "F—- Scott Walker." "Listen you c—-s, Don't email me this political bull——."

Last month, Megan Andelloux, aka "The Sex Ed Warrior Queen," encouraged Vanderbilt University students to put their cellphones on vibrate so as to masturbate in their seats as she spoke during an interactive sex workshop. (http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/21124). I'm wondering whether Vanderbilt University recruiters inform parents of high-school seniors about such a "learning opportunity."

Then there's Bryn Mawr College, founded in 1885, a private women's liberal arts college located in Philadelphia's wealthy Main Line suburbs. This year, Bryn Mawr will accept men, but it will remain a women's college. You might say, "Williams, that's impossible!" You'd be wrong. Bryn Mawr College will accept applications from men who identify as women. It will challenge what's become known as gender binarism as it transitions from a single-sex to a "single-gendered" college. Classification of sex into two distinct, opposite and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine is oppressive. I wonder whether Bryn Mawr biology professors will continue to teach the chromosomal distinction that males are 46,XY and females 46,XX. Could there be something in between?

There's another issue: What will Bryn Mawr's administrators do when brawny XY people dominate their sports teams? Maybe they will set quotas for XY and XX people.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams030415.php3#DyoJbYByTRoG5ICK.99

3-8-15

Obama's Ongoing Assault on the Constitution

By David Limbaugh

One of the many reasons constitutional conservatives consider President Obama a threat to the Constitution is his disdain for the separation of powers, illustrated most recently in his plan to bypass the Senate in making an arms deal with Iran.

The Framers understood that throughout history, the real threat to G0D-given liberty had been centralized, unchecked governmental power. As such, they crafted our system in a way to limit the consolidation of that power, especially in the federal government.

They did this in a number of ways, including establishing a system of federalism, which divided powers between the federal and state governments. They also specifically enumerated powers granted to the federal Congress and added the Bill of Rights, which expressly restricted Congress' encroachment on a panoply of individual liberties and also included the ninth and 10th amendments, which reserve powers to the states and the people.

As to the power granted to the federal government, the Framers took further steps to deter its centralization by distributing the functions of government into three coequal branches, the legislative, executive and judicial — known as the separation of powers. They also provided for an intricate scheme of checks and balances among the three branches to guard against expansions of their power.

Throughout his tenure in office, Obama has been exercising powers outside the scope of his constitutionally prescribed executive authority. Democrats have cynically denied his usurpations, saying that he's just doing what other presidents have done, but his abuses have been different in kind.

He has abused his power with premeditation, announcing early on, through his former chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, that he would govern through "executive orders and directives to get the job done across a front of issues." More recently, he has boasted that he has a pen and a phone — tools that will enable him to circumvent legislative authority.

He not only granted virtual amnesty to millions in contravention of Congress' authority but also created new, substantive rights for the immigrants, from Social Security numbers to driver's licenses. These rights could have far-reaching and material consequences, such as giving tax credits to millions who have lived here illegally. If that doesn't outrage you, you don't have a pulse, or you think the Constitution should have no greater weight than the sheets of paper it can be printed on.

In implementing Obamacare, he granted exemptions and suspended deadlines at his sole whim and even granted federal subsidies to people in states that had not set up an exchange, in direct violation of the law, as his advisers have admitted.

People have probably forgotten by now Obama's radical czars, whom he appointed to serve with all the power of Cabinet officers but without being confirmed by the Senate. Then there was Obama's planned defiance of the Senate in moving Guantanamo Bay detainees to U.S. soil — in Illinois — despite the Senate's having voted 90-6 against such a move. Also, don't forget his unilateral reversal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gay service members, his Environmental Protection Agency's regulatory end run around Congress to regulate carbon because Congress had refused to pass a cap-and-trade bill, his lawless subordination of secured creditors in favor of his union allies in the Chrysler restructuring scandal, and his defiance of a federal judge's order invalidating his imperious ban on deep-water drilling. There are many more examples.

Most recently, and quite disturbingly, Obama has signaled his intention to consummate a nuclear arms deal with Iran without so much as conferring with the Senate — much less getting its approval, as required by the Constitution's treaty clause in Article 2, Section 2.

When asked about this, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said, "Ultimately, we can't put in place an additional hurdle for that agreement to overcome here at the eleventh hour."

So now the Constitution is merely "an additional hurdle" to these dangerous people? This should alarm everyone in this nation — not just Republicans, not just conservatives.

Obama will argue that he is allowed to do this because presidents have traditionally entered into agreements with other countries without the advice and consent of the Senate, known as "executive agreements." But he knows — there is zero chance he doesn't know — that executive agreements have never been used for something so monumentally important as establishing an (as opposed to terminating an existing) arms treaty with another nation — nuclear arms, no less.

Obama full well understands — constitutional scholar that he claims to be — that executive agreements are used to cover matters solely within his executive power or those made pursuant to a treaty or an act of Congress. The Framers were so adamant about presidents obtaining approval in important matters that they imposed a requirement of a supermajority of the Senate for ratification of treaties.

An arms deal with Iran could result in this militant theocracy's acquisition of nuclear weapons, which would be a dire threat to our national security and that of our allies, especially Israel. No one could pass a polygraph claiming that a matter of such grave importance should simply be written off as minor enough to be handled by executive agreement.

If Obama successfully formalizes such a deal, will there by anything left of this Constitution we all claim to so revere?

If your answer is that "it prevents him from raising taxes," you may want to think again. Word is that his IRS is preparing to raise taxes on corporations; they call it "closing loopholes." Please be bold, Congress.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh030615.php3#bGrLgmCdd9LgBbAL.99

3-7-15

College Campus Update

By Walter Williams

President Barack Obama wants Americans to dig deeper into our pockets to expand college education. Let's update college indoctrination done in the name of education.

Cornell University assistant professor Russell Rickford, in a lecture titled "Ferguson: The Next Steps," told a packed auditorium: "Let's be very clear about what's going on. It's one every 28 hours. Dead black bodies in the street is a sacrifice America makes to the gods of white supremacy." He added: "The propertied classes leverage state violence to discipline, repress and contain them. America fears and despises all poor people."

Blake Armstrong, a South Texas College psychology professor, equating the tea party to Nazis, told his class: "In 1931, which was really interesting, the Nazis — people are kind of tired of them. They've been around since 1920, 11 years now. They've won seats. They're like the tea party! That's such a good example." Armstrong continued, "Don't tell anybody I said that, though."

William Claggett, a professor at Florida State University, told his class, "I don't read The Wall Street Journal — again, a rag of lies — unless I'm interested in who's the CEO of some particular company." As for news, he said, "So you know, when I'm at home clicking through the stations, oh, here comes Fox News, the Fox News Channel. Oh, I don't stop there. I know they're simply lying, and I keep on going."

Students learn from their professors. The University of California Student Association recently voted to divest financially of the United States government and companies that do business with Israel. Both resolutions passed overwhelmingly. Reasons given for divestiture included U.S. drone strikes in Pakistan and Yemen, as well as disproportionate imprisonment of racial minorities. It's early yet, but I'm wondering whether university trustees will instruct their fund managers to replace their U.S. equity holdings with those from the Middle East or Africa.

The University of Michigan spent $16,000 to launch a new "Inclusive Language Campaign" so as to not say hurtful things. Terms deemed unacceptable include crazy, insane, retarded, gay, tranny, gypped, illegal alien, fag, ghetto and raghead. Also banned are sentences such as "I want to die" and "That test raped me" because they diminish the experience of people who've attempted suicide or experienced sexual assault.

One wonders what advice University of Michigan students would give their brethren attending the University of Wisconsin. When College Republicans urged fellow students to keep an open mind about Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker's planned cuts to the university's budget, the College Republicans received responses such as, "You must have a big hairy pair of brass balls and a marginally functional brain to be recruiting for Republicans on the UW campus right now." "F—- Scott Walker." "Listen you c—-s, Don't email me this political bull——."

Last month, Megan Andelloux, aka "The Sex Ed Warrior Queen," encouraged Vanderbilt University students to put their cellphones on vibrate so as to masturbate in their seats as she spoke during an interactive sex workshop. (http://www.thecollegefix.com/post/21124). I'm wondering whether Vanderbilt University recruiters inform parents of high-school seniors about such a "learning opportunity."

Then there's Bryn Mawr College, founded in 1885, a private women's liberal arts college located in Philadelphia's wealthy Main Line suburbs. This year, Bryn Mawr will accept men, but it will remain a women's college. You might say, "Williams, that's impossible!" You'd be wrong. Bryn Mawr College will accept applications from men who identify as women. It will challenge what's become known as gender binarism as it transitions from a single-sex to a "single-gendered" college. Classification of sex into two distinct, opposite and disconnected forms of masculine and feminine is oppressive. I wonder whether Bryn Mawr biology professors will continue to teach the chromosomal distinction that males are 46,XY and females 46,XX. Could there be something in between?

There's another issue: What will Bryn Mawr's administrators do when brawny XY people dominate their sports teams? Maybe they will set quotas for XY and XX people.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams030415.php3#mC4SW6U4adjDrdT5.99

3-6-15

The IRS' pattern of corruption

By George Will

Rep. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) is now chairman of the Ways and Means subcommittee whose jurisdiction includes oversight of the Internal Revenue Service, and hence of Lois G. Lerner's legacy. He knows how interesting her career was before she, as head of the IRS tax-exempt organizations division, directed the suppression of conservative advocacy groups by delaying and denying them the exempt status that was swiftly given to comparable liberal groups.

In 2013, Roskam, in a televised committee hearing, told the story of Al Salvi, who in 1996 was the Republican Senate candidate against the then-congressman, now senator, Dick Durbin. Democrats filed charges with the Federal Election Commission against Salvi's campaign, charges that threatened to dominate the campaign's final weeks. Salvi telephoned the head of the FEC's Enforcement Division, who he says told him: "Promise me you will never run for office again, and we'll drop this case." That official was Lois Lerner. After Salvi lost, FBI agents visited his elderly mother, demanding to know, concerning her $2,000 contribution to her son's campaign, where she got "that kind of money." When a federal court held that the charges against Salvi were spurious, the FEC's losing lawyer was Lois Lerner.

Roskam's telling of Salvi's story elicited no denial from Lerner. Neither did the retelling of it in a column [June 13, 2013]. No wonder: The story had not been deemed newsworthy by the three broadcast networks' evening news programs, by the New York Times or by The Post. With most of the media uninterested in the use of government institutions to handicap conservatives, stonewalling would work.

It still is working through dilatory and incomplete responses to subpoenas, and unresponsive answers to congressional questions. Lerner's name now has an indelible Nixonian stain, but there probably will be no prosecution. If the administration's stonewalling continues as the statute of limitations clock ticks, Roskam says, "She will get away with it."

Now in his fifth House term, Roskam, 53, says, "The advantage in this town is always with the entity that doesn't want to do anything." Many thousands of Lerner's e-mails that supposedly were irretrievably lost have been found, but not released. The Justice Department's investigation, which was entrusted to a political appointee who was a generous contributor to Barack Obama's campaign, is a stone in the stone wall.

Roskam says the task now is "to see that Lois Lerner 2.0 is impossible." One place to begin is with the evidence — anecdotal but, in the context of proven IRS corruption, convincing — of other possibly punitive IRS behavior toward Republican contributors and other conservative activists. This justifies examining the IRS's audit selection process. This would produce interesting hearings for most of the media to ignore.

Next, there should be hearings into the illegal disclosure of taxpayer information about conservative individuals and groups to the media and to liberal officials and groups. Cleta Mitchell, a lawyer for some groups abused by the IRS (and for this columnist on different matters), also suggests prohibiting IRS employees from joining a union.

"The National Treasury Employees Union," she says, "provides no protection to IRS employees that federal statutes and the civil service system do not already provide. It already takes an act of God to hold an IRS employee accountable for his or her actions. But it is worse than merely redundant for IRS employees to belong to the NTEU. Because it adds nothing to its members' protections, it is a purely political organization. In 2014, fully 95 percent of its contributions went to Democrats, including 11 Democratic members of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. So, the IRS employees' union dues finance the election of people who are supposed to scrutinize IRS behavior."

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments about whether the IRS's lawlessness has extended to its role in implementing the Affordable Care Act. The act says that federal subsidies shall be distributed by the IRS to persons who buy insurance through exchanges "established by the State." The act's logic and legislative history, as well as a forceful statement by one of its architects, professor Jonathan Gruber of MIT, demonstrate that this clear language was written to "squeeze" — Gruber's word — the states into establishing exchanges. But when 34 states did not establish them, the IRS began disbursing billions of dollars through federal exchanges.

The court probably will rule that the IRS acted contrary to law. If so, the IRS certainly will not have acted contrary to its pattern of corruption in the service of the current administration.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will030515.php3#sOcS7LEZjADEVdfP.99

3-5-15

Random Thoughts

By Thomas Sowell

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

• When President Obama keeps talking about "violent extremists" in the abstract, you might wonder whether Presbyterians are running amok.

• The mainstream media seem desperate to try to find something to undermine Republican governor Scott Walker's rise in the polls. The worst they have come up with is that he didn't finish college. Neither did Bill Gates or Michael Dell. The Wright brothers didn't finish high school. Neither did Abraham Lincoln or George Washington.

• Have you noticed that there seem to be an ever growing number of things that we are not supposed to say in public?

• Given the Obama administration's repeatedly failed policies in the Middle East and the lost credibility of the president's glib pronouncements, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to Congress may be many Americans' first chance to get a realistic assessment of the Middle East situation and its potential for international catastrophe.

• Attempts to bring order out of the chaos in the paper jungle of my office usually get nowhere until I finally break everything down into just two categories: (1) urgently needed and (2) trash to be thrown out.

• It is going to take time to secure the border, and it ought to take time for Congress to explore the facts about immigrants from different countries before voting on new immigration legislation. Both processes can be going on at the same time. But those who want border security laws and immigration laws passed together — "comprehensive immigration reform" — are for denying us that time. Why?

• State Department official Marie Harf said, "We cannot win this war by killing them" but instead we need to get to the "root causes" of jihads by providing "job opportunities." We tried getting at the "root causes" of crime back in the 1960s — and crime rates skyrocketed. But we stopped the Nazis in World War II by killing them, instead of setting up a jobs program in Germany.

• The old advertising slogan, "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" may or may not have been true. But surely the West should know by now that what happens in the Middle East does not stay in the Middle East. Throwing Israel to the wolves and signing agreements with Iran will not buy "peace in our time" and allow us to further shrink the military and expand the welfare state.

• Academics often defend tenure, despite its many negative consequences, on grounds that it allows academic freedom for independent minds. Yet there are few places in America with more taboos and intellectual intolerance than academic campuses. The young are indoctrinated with demographic "diversity" that contrasts with a squelching of diversity of ideas on social issues.

• It is remarkable how the Internal Revenue Service has been "losing" e-mails that Congressional investigators want to see and how "global warming" researchers have been "losing" the raw data on which their dire predictions have been based. In the social sciences, people just frankly refuse to allow their raw data to be seen by critics of such sacred cow policies as affirmative action.

• The radical feminist movement, so ready to go ballistic at any little remark that can be twisted to mean something offensive to women, has been strangely silent while ISIS has been raping women and even little girls wholesale, and selling them as sex slaves. Is the silence of the radical feminists just political expediency or moral bankruptcy? Or both?

• Secretary of State John Kerry says that there is less violence than usual in the world right now. Meanwhile the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, says the opposite, that terrorism is more violent and dangerous than ever. Since Clapper is Director of National Intelligence, maybe Kerry should have the title Director of National Stupidity.

• We should never again put a first-term Senator in the White House. But, of the three Republican first-term Senators who are prospective candidates for the 2016 nomination for president, Marco Rubio is one of the very few politicians of either party to publicly admit that he was wrong on a major issue — immigration. He may well be ready for the White House in 2020.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell030415.php3#scYPLi7Xh9R5rqO5.99

3-4-15

The Honesty Gap

By Thomas Sowell

There may be some poetic justice in the recent revelation that Hillary Clinton, who has made big noises about a "pay gap" between women and men, paid the women on her Senate staff just 72 percent of what she paid the men. The Obama White House staff likewise has a pay gap between women and men, as of course does the economy as a whole.

Does this mean that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama both discriminate against women, that they are themselves part of the nefarious "war on women" that so many on the left loudly denounce? The poetic justice in the recent "pay gap" revelations is that the fundamental fraud in the statistics that are thrown around comes back to bite those who are promoting that fraud for political purposes.

What makes such statistics fraudulent is that they are comparing apples and oranges.

Innumerable studies, going back for decades, have shown that women do not average as many hours of work per year as men, do not have as many consecutive years of full-time employment as men, do not work in the same mix of occupations as men and do not specialize in the same mix of subjects in college as men.

Back in 1996, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed that young male physicians earned 41 percent higher incomes than young female physicians. But the same study showed that young male physicians worked over 500 hours a year more than young female physicians.

When the study took into account differences in hours of work, in the fields in which male and female doctors specialized and other differences in their job characteristics, "no earnings difference was evident." In other words, when you compare apples to apples, you don't get the "gender gap" in pay that you get when you compare apples to oranges.

This is not peculiar to the medical profession. Nor was this a new revelation, even back in 1996. Many studies done by many scholars over the years — including female scholars — show the same thing, again and again.

A breakdown of statistics in an old monograph of mine — "Affirmative Action in Academia" — showed the pay differential between women and men evaporating, or even reversing, as you compared individuals with truly comparable characteristics. This was back in 1975, forty years ago!

There might have been some excuse for believing that income differences between women and men were proof of discrimination back in the 1960s. But there is no excuse for continuing to use misleading statistics in the 21st century, when their flaws have been exposed repeatedly and long ago.

Many kinds of high-level and high-pressure careers require working 50 or 60 hours a week regularly, and women with children — or expecting to have children — seldom choose those kinds of careers.

Nor is there any reason why they should, if they don't want to. Raising a child is not an incidental activity that you can do in your spare time, like collecting stamps or bowling.

If you trace the actual history of women in high-level careers, you will find that it bears no resemblance to the radical feminist fable, in which advances began with the "women's liberation" movement in the 1960s and new anti-discrimination laws.

In reality, women were far better represented in professional occupations in the first three decades of the 20th century than in the middle of that century. Women received a larger share of the postgraduate degrees necessary for such careers in the earlier era than in the 1950s and 1960s.

The proportion of women among the high achievers listed in "Who's Who in America" in 1902 was more than double the proportion listed in 1958. The decline of women in high-level careers occurred when women's age of marriage and child-bearing declined during the mid-century "baby boom" years.

The later rise of women began when the age of marriage and child-bearing rose again. In 1972 women again received as high a proportion of doctoral degrees as they had back in 1932.

The truth is not nearly as politically useful as scare statistics. The "gender gap" is not nearly as big as the honesty gap.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell030315.php3#ZxyU8YyVIbHQ8SHy.99

3-3-15

Applauding an Elegant Conservative

By Ben Carson

Recently, I was temporarily placed on the Southern Poverty Law Center's watch list for extremism simply because I vocally support traditional marriage. I remember thinking: When did advocating for lifelong love between one man and one woman become a hate crime? Fortunately, the group saw the folly of its ways and apologized, removing me from the list.

It was a small battle, a blip in the daily life of someone who has entered the political arena. And I enjoyed the support of many who rallied in the conservative media to my cause to help reverse such a silly distinction. But it wasn't that long ago when liberal extremism tried to suffocate traditional values, and there were few media voices to come to the rescue.

There was one, though, so powerful and elegant, persistent yet graceful. Her name is Phyllis Schlafly. And for the past 90 years she has been a tireless advocate for the nuclear family, for traditional marriage and for common-sense conservatism that resists injecting government into every aspect of our lives. On Wednesday night, she will be honored at the Paul Weyrich Awards dinner that precedes the start of the annual Conservative Political Action Conference.

Schlafly fought battles most lacked the courage to fight, and time and again she won. She has been credited for single-handedly stopping the Equal Rights Amendment, which in the 1970s was racing on a media freight train toward ratification. Schlafly stopped it dead in its tracks. It was not because she didn't believe women deserve rights, but rather because she rightfully recognized the ERA was skewed toward favoring young professional women, and that it would punish middle-aged and older women who chose to stay at home and raise their families by taking away "dependent wife" benefits under Social Security and alimony.

Through good and bad economic times, and the ebb and flow of conservative activism, Phyllis Schlafly has remained a steady voice for common sense and traditional values. Her speeches, books, TV appearances and radio commentaries blazed the way for modern conservatism while also protecting the rights of traditional families from the onslaught of Hollywood's culture wars.

Her voice is as relevant and strong today as it was more than a half-century ago when she made the famous case for Barry Goldwater's conservatism in her great book "A Choice, Not An Echo." In her 2014 book "Who Killed the American Family?" she eloquently touched my heart with her keen insights on how President Obama's agenda and decades of prior liberal tax-code changes and court interference have substituted government intervention for parenting and federal dependency for self-reliance.

Like she has for most of 90 years on this planet, Schlafly cut right to the chase in diagnosing the problem with America today. In plain, simple and compelling language, she rightfully declared that "the government is making ordinary decisions about what the kid does that ought to be made by the mothers and fathers." So simple a declaration, and yet so true.

For those who believe this battle is already lost or isn't worth fighting anymore because the cards are stacked against conservatives, I implore you to step back and examine the extraordinary life of Phyllis Schlafly. She has proved that what seemed impossible can be achieved. She has lived a life of virtue and has never been tempted to compromise. And she has made the most compelling case that the family unit must be preserved in order for America's greatness to extend into future generations. For that extraordinary contribution, I salute her on this special day.


Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0215/carson022515.php3#30ExkkTGiY15diK2.99

3-2-15

The Cancer of Multiculturalism

By Walter Williams

President Barack Obama surprised many at the National Prayer Breakfast when he lectured us, "Lest we get on our high horse and think this (barbarity) is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ." Obama went on to explain, "In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often (were) justified in the name of Christ." In Obama's mind, Western outrage at Islamic barbarism should be tempered by the remembrance of what Christians did a thousand years ago in the name of Christ. Plus, that outrage should be chastened by our own history of slavery and Jim Crow.

President Obama's vision is that of a man brainwashed through an academic vision of multiculturalism, in which American exceptionalism has no place. It's a vision that has been shaped by a longtime association with people who hate our country, people such as the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Weather Underground leader and Pentagon bomber William Ayers and Ayers' onetime fugitive wife, Bernardine Dohrn. A vision that sees a moral equivalency between what Christians did centuries ago and today's Islamic savagery is quite prevalent in academia. It's part of what's worshipped on most college campuses as diversity and multiculturalism.

College campus idiots — and that includes faculty members and administrators — call for the celebration of and respect for all cultures. In their eyes, it's racist Eurocentrism to think that Western values and culture are superior to others. But that's the height of stupidity. Ask your campus multiculturalist who believes in cultural equivalency: Is forcible female genital mutilation, as practiced in nearly 30 sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern countries, a morally equivalent cultural value? Slavery is practiced in Sudan and Niger; is that a cultural equivalent? In most of the Middle East, there are numerous limits on women — such as prohibitions on driving, employment, voting and education. Under Islamic law, in some countries, female adulterers face death by stoning, and thieves face the punishment of having their hand severed. Some multiculturalists are members of campus LGBT groups. Ask them to what extent the Muslim culture would tolerate their lifestyle.

At the very heart of multiculturalism is an attack on Christianity. Much of that attack has its roots among hypocrites in the intellectual elite. For example, Duke University sponsored Muslim calls to prayer in the name of promoting "religious pluralism," until external pressures forced it to cancel the practice. Earlier, Duke administrators removed Chick-fil-A as a campus vendor because of CEO Dan Cathy's comments regarding his religious opposition to homosexual marriage. So much for religious pluralism, tolerance and free speech.

Some public school boards have attempted to ban songs containing references to Santa Claus, Jesus or religious Christmas symbols. One school district banned a teacher from using excerpts from historical documents in his classroom because they contained references to God and Christianity. The documents in question were the Declaration of Independence and "The Rights of the Colonists," by Samuel Adams.

Western values are by no means secure. They're under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. These people want to replace personal liberty with government control; they want to replace equality with entitlement; they want to halt progress in order to worship Mother Earth. As such, they pose a far greater threat to our way of life than any Islamic terrorist or group. Visions of multiculturalism and diversity are a cancer on our society. We stupidly fund them with our tax dollars and generous charitable donations.

Islamists and leftists attack not only Christianity but also free market capitalism. They do so because Christian nations, which have a great measure of economic liberty, have been at the forefront of the struggle for personal liberty and private property rights for centuries. Personal liberty and private property are anathemas to people who want to control our lives. That is part and parcel of the multicultural and diversity movements infecting the Western world.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams022515.php3#FFyWT6utTUFDlZgw.99

3-1-15

A fatal flaw: America's looming capitulation to Iran

By Charles Krauthammer

A sunset clause?

The news from the nuclear talks with Iran was already troubling. Iran was being granted the "right to enrich." It would be allowed to retain and spin thousands of centrifuges. It could continue construction of the Arak plutonium reactor. Yet so thoroughly was Iran stonewalling International Atomic Energy Agency inspectors that just last Thursday the IAEA reportedits concern "about the possible existence in Iran of undisclosed . . .development of a nuclear payload for a missile."

Bad enough. Then it got worse: News leaked Monday of the elements of a "sunset clause." President Obama had accepted the Iranian demand that any restrictions on its program be time-limited. After which, the mullahs can crank up their nuclear program at will and produce as much enriched uranium as they want.

Sanctions lifted. Restrictions gone. Nuclear development legitimized. Iran would reenter the international community, as Obama suggested in an interview in December, as "a very successful regional power." A few years — probably around 10 — of good behavior and Iran would be home free.

The agreement thus would provide a predictable path to an Iranian bomb. Indeed, a flourishing path, with trade resumed, oil pumping and foreign investment pouring into a restored economy.

Meanwhile, Iran's intercontinental ballistic missile program is subject to no restrictions at all. It's not even part of these negotiations.

Why is Iran building them? You don't build ICBMs in order to deliver sticks of dynamite. Their only purpose is to carry nuclear warheads. Nor does Iran need an ICBM to hit Riyadh or Tel Aviv. Intercontinental missiles are for reaching, well, other continents. North America, for example.

Such an agreement also means the end of nonproliferation. When a rogue state defies the world, continues illegal enrichment and then gets the world to bless an eventual unrestricted industrial-level enrichment program, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is dead. And regional hyperproliferation becomes inevitable as Egypt, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and others seek shelter in going nuclear themselves.

Wasn't Obama's great international cause a nuclear-free world? Within months of his swearing-in, he went to Prague to so declare. He then led a 50-party Nuclear Security Summit, one of whose proclaimed achievements was having Canada give up some enriched uranium.

Having disarmed the Canadian threat, Obama turned to Iran. The deal now on offer to the ayatollah would confer legitimacy on the nuclearization of the most rogue of rogue regimes: radically anti-American, deeply jihadist,purveyor of terrorism from Argentina to Bulgaria, puppeteer of a Syrian regime that specializes in dropping barrel bombs on civilians. In fact, the Iranian regime just this week, at the apex of these nuclear talks, staged a spectacular attack on a replica U.S. carrier near the Strait of Hormuz.

Well, say the administration apologists, what's your alternative? Do you want war?

It's Obama's usual, subtle false-choice maneuver: It's either appeasement or war.

It's not. True, there are no good choices, but Obama's prospective deal is the worst possible. Not only does Iran get a clear path to the bomb but it gets sanctions lifted, all pressure removed and international legitimacy.

There is a third choice. If you are not stopping Iran's program, don't give away the store. Keep the pressure, keep the sanctions. Indeed, increase them. After all, previous sanctions brought Iran to its knees and to the negotiating table in the first place. And that was before the collapse of oil prices, which would now vastly magnify the economic effect of heightened sanctions.

Congress is proposing precisely that. Combined with cheap oil, it could so destabilize the Iranian economy as to threaten the clerical regime. That's the opening. Then offer to renew negotiations for sanctions relief but from a very different starting point — no enrichment. Or, if you like, with a few token centrifuges for face-saving purposes.

And no sunset.

That's the carrot. As for the stick, make it quietly known that the United States will not stand in the way of any threatened nation that takes things into its own hands. We leave the regional threat to the regional powers, say, Israeli bombers overflying Saudi Arabia.

Consider where we began: six U.N. Security Council resolutions demanding an end to Iranian enrichment. Consider what we are now offering: an interim arrangement ending with a sunset clause that allows the mullahs a robust, industrial-strength, internationally sanctioned nuclear program.

Such a deal makes the Cuba normalization look good and the Ukrainian cease-fires positively brilliant. We are on the cusp of an epic capitulation. History will not be kind.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer022715.php3#FShuZZT0Qdz7CVLQ.99

2-28-15

Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest

By Michael Reagan

Where does the Obama Administration find these people?

How did Marie Harf — the deputy spokesperson for the State Department's Bureau of Public Affairs — get her job?

On Monday she provided the latest proof that Barack Obama and the people he's surrounded himself with are not just dangerously incompetent, they're idiots.

Appearing on MSNBC's "Hardball with Chris Matthews," Harf said the best way to fight Islamic terrorism is not with guns and bombs but with job programs.

That's right.

After watching barbaric ISIS armies sweeping across the deserts of the Middle East and slaughtering innocents by the thousands for purely religious reasons, the Obama administration apparently thinks one of the root causes that lead people to join terrorist groups is a lack of good job opportunities.

Harf was being dumb, but she was completely serious.

"We cannot kill our way of this war" against terror, she said, adding that "there is no easy solution in the long term to preventing and combating Islamic extremism."

Harf says the Obama administration thinks that while America and its allies deal with the terrorists militarily we should be building up the broken economies of Iraq, Syria, Libya, etc., etc.

That way, according to Obama Foreign Policy Logic, the religious fanatics who sign up to kill and die for ISIS and other Islamic terrorist groups would be given more civilized career choices.

Instead of beheading or incinerating innocent people merely for being Jewish or Christian, they could flip burgers at the Baghdad McDonalds, work on an Exxon oil rig or become a community organizer in Mosul.

Harf's naive comments betray the third-rate quality of Obama's "Dumb and Dumber" White House staff, who prove the legitimacy of the Peter Principle every day.

America has become the laughing stock of the world because of statements like Harf's.

But at least she used the correct term "Islamic extremism" to describe what ISIS and its terrorist soldiers are practicing and what we are fighting against.

Obama's stubborn refusal to acknowledge that reality is perverse.


It makes you want to grab him by the scruff of his neck, look him in the eye and tell him, "Repeat after me: 21 Coptic Christians — not '21 Egyptian citizens' -- were beheaded in Libya by radical Islamist terrorists for religious reasons."

When he gets that right, I'd tell him to repeat after me:

"Those four Jews murdered in a kosher deli in Paris were not just 'a bunch of folks' who were 'randomly' shot," as you put it before you were forced to describe it more accurately. "They were targeted by a Islamic terrorist because they were Jews."

Attorney General Eric Holder thinks it doesn't matter whether his boss calls terrorists "vicious, violent zealots," which Obama has said, or "radical Islamist terrorists," which he won't say.

Holder knocked Fox News Tuesday for its crusade to get Obama to use the accurate term, saying that the president's military deeds speak louder — and are more important -- than his words.

Yeah, Eric, that sure makes sense. It'd be kinda like FDR constantly referring to the Nazi Party as "an overly aggressive political club" while we bombed Germany in 1944.

The crazy thing is, this administration actually uses tougher language on Fox News than it does on radical Islam.

Fox News and conservatives are not the only one criticizing Obama for refusing to link the terrorism war with its religious roots, however.

Democrat Leon Panetta, his former Secretary of Defense, and sensible world leaders have called for more truthful talk from President Obama.

OK, Mr. President. I'll give you this: We're not in a war against the religion of Islam.

But repeat after me:

"We're in a Holy War being waged by radical Islamic terrorists who want to form their own oppressive Caliphate across the Middle East.

"They are out to murder Christians, Jews and anyone else who doesn't believe in their evil, fundamental strain of Islam."

Please figure this out quickly, Mr. President. We may not have another two years.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan021915.php3#BfS1vTizOeOlzRG5.99

2-27-15

Giuliani Versus Obama

By Thomas Sowell

The firestorm of denunciation of former New York mayor Rudolph Giuliani, for having said that he did not think Barack Obama loved America, is in one sense out of all proportion to that remark — especially at a time when there are much bigger issues, including wars raging, terrorist atrocities and a nuclear Iran on the horizon.

Against that background of strife and dangers on the world stage, it may seem as if Barack Obama's feelings, or Rudolph Giuliani's opinion about those feelings, should not matter so much, especially when it is hard to know with certainty how anyone feels. Yet when someone is the leader of a great nation at a historic juncture, it is more than idle curiosity to know what drives him.

It is not clear what the basis was for so much outrage at Mayor Giuliani's opinion about President Obama. Was it that what Giuliani said was demonstrably false? Was it that Barack Obama is supposed to be considered innocent until proven guilty?

Anyone who simply looks at the factual evidence as to whether Obama loves America, or does not, will find remarkably little to suggest love and a large amount of evidence, over a long period of years, showing his constant close association with people fiercely hostile to this country. Jeremiah Wright was just one in a long series of such people.

Barack Obama's campaign promise to "fundamentally change the United States of America" hardly suggests love. Nor did his international speaking tour in 2009, telling foreign audiences that America was to blame for problems on the world stage.

President Obama's record in the White House has been more of the same. Among his earliest acts were offending our oldest and closest allies, Britain and Israel, and betraying the country's previous commitments to provide anti-missile defenses to Poland and the Czech Republic.

Obama's refusal to let Ukraine have weapons with which to defend itself from Russian invasion was consistent with this pattern, and consistent with his whispered statement — picked up by a microphone that was still on — to tell "Vladimir" that, after the 2012 election was over, he would be able to "have more 'flexibility.'"


Conceivably, these might all have been simply blunders. But such a string of blunders would require someone very stupid, and Barack Obama is by no means stupid. The net effect is that in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, America's allies and America's interests face far more setbacks and dangers today than when Obama took office.

His policies have been publicly criticized by two of his own former Secretaries of Defense, by two retired four-star generals who served during his administration, and a retired four-star admiral who also served in the Middle East during the Obama administration has called his policies "anti-American."

Some people who are denouncing former mayor Rudolph Giuliani seem to be saying that it is just not right to accuse a President of the United States of being unpatriotic. But when Barack Obama was a Senator, that is precisely what he said about President George W. Bush. Where was the outrage then?

If all else fails, critics of Mayor Giuliani can say that a man is entitled to be considered "innocent until proven guilty." But that principle applies in a court of law. Outside a court of law, there is no reason to presume anyone innocent until proven guilty. It is especially dangerous to presume a President of the United States — any president — innocent until proven guilty.

Whoever is president has the lives of hundreds of millions of Americans, and the fate of a nation, in his hands. It is those millions of people and that nation who deserve the benefit of the doubt. We need to err on the side of safety for the people and the country. Squeamish politeness to an individual cannot outweigh that.

We need to keep that in mind for the next president, and for all future presidents. We might have been better off if the question of Obama's patriotism had been raised before he was first elected. Never should we ignore so many red flag warnings again.

There is little that can be done about President Obama now, no matter what he does. Impeachment, even if it succeeded, would mean Joe Biden as president and riots across the country. It is hard to know which would be worse.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell022415.php3#pybUbzEfOzI3FBld.99

2-26-15

Please read my new article, "Barack Obama's hatred for America and and a free society

2-25-15

The President and 'Violent Extremism'

By Dennis Prager

Regarding Islamic violence — the greatest world evil since Nazism and Communism — the president of the United States, his administration, and the left generally live in a make-believe world, a world of denial. In their world, Islam is today, and has always been, a religion of peace; Muslims are threatened by Islamophobia; Christians are wiped out by "violent extremists;" European cartoonists incite radical Muslims to murder them; fundamentalists of all religions are equally problematic; the hundreds of millions of Muslims who support violent Islamists have nothing to do with Islam, but the Inquisition was conducted by normative Christians; and slavery was defended in the name of Christ, but no mention is made of the far more ubiquitous (and ongoing) slavery in the name of Allah or of the fact that the movement to abolish slavery in the West was due entirely to Christians.

Nothing better reflects those Orwellian beliefs than President Barack Obama's speech last week at the conclusion of the absurdly named Summit on Countering Violent Extremism.

President Obama: "With the brutal murders in Chapel Hill of three young Muslim Americans, many Muslim Americans are worried and afraid."

The president made this comment — at the beginning of his address — despite the fact that there is not a shred of evidence that the three young Muslims were killed because they were Muslim. They were murdered by a man angry at them about an ongoing parking place dispute. It was the height of irresponsibility to cite these terrible murders as an example of religious hate.

Obama: "Around the world, and here in the United States, inexcusable acts of violence have been committed against people of different faiths, by people of different faiths — which is, of course, a betrayal of all our faiths. It's not unique to one group, or to one geography, or one period of time."

What is he talking about? In America are Christians killing Jews? Jews killing Muslims? Buddhists killing Mormons? Mormons killing Hindus? "Not unique to one group?" Other than Muslims murdering Christians, Jews, Yazidis and other Muslims, who in the world today is murdering in the name of their religion?

Obama: "We are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam."

Normative Islam demands theocracy. Does the president not know that? Does he not know that 91 percent of Iraqis and 89 percent of Palestinians believe that Sharia should be the law of the country? That 29 percent of Egyptians believe that suicide bombings are justified? That the majority of Muslim-majority countries have blasphemy and/or apostasy laws? And if he did, would he say they are all perverting Islam?

Obama: "The terrorists ... no more represent Islam than any madman who kills innocents in the name of G0D represents Christianity or Judaism or Buddhism or Hinduism."

More make-believe moral equivalence. What Christians, Jews, Buddhists or Hindus are "killing innocents in the name of G0D?"

And what religion other than Islam has scriptures that exhort its followers to slay unbelievers?

Obama: "No religion is responsible for terrorism; people are responsible for violence and terrorism."

I wish he would say that about criminal gun-use. "No guns are responsible for violence; people are responsible for violence."

Obama: "We also need to lift up the voices of those who know the hypocrisy of groups like ISIS firsthand, including former extremists. Their words speak to us today. ... 'This isn't what we came for, to kill other Muslims.'"

image: https://s1.2mdn.net/viewad/4369276/vv_300x250_sp2_kids.jpg
Advertisement

image: http://ums.adtech.de/mapuser?providerid=1034;getuser=http://pr.ybp.yahoo.com/sync/adtech/$UID

image: http://d5p.de17a.com/getuid/adtech

image: http://x.bidswitch.net/sync?ssp=aol

image: http://d.chango.com/m/aol

image: http://soundwave.bnmla.com/usersync?sspid=15&r=http://ums.adtech.de/mapuser?providerid=1029;userid=$UID

Whoever made this comment obviously thought that he was joining Islamic State in order to murder, rape, burn and behead non-Muslims. And this is a voice the president wants to lift up?

Obama: "If we're going to prevent people from being susceptible to the false promises of extremism ... countries have to truly invest in the education and skills and job training that our extraordinary young people need."

Spoken like a true leftist: The answer to evil is material, not moral. If only people had more money in their pockets, there would be fewer violent Islamists.

The reason Muslims gravitate toward violence is a broken moral compass, not a lack of education or jobs.

Obama: "The essential ingredient to real and lasting stability and progress is not less democracy; it's more democracy."

The Muslim Brotherhood was democratically elected in Egypt. Hamas was democratically elected in Gaza. Democracy is only as good as the values of its voters.

Obama: Here in America, Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding. ... The first Islamic center in New York City was founded in the 1890s."

Given that America was founded in 1776, doesn't the second sentence belie the first?

Never before in American history has an American president denied the existence of the greatest evil of his day. That should make everyone — except the Islamist terrorists he won't name — very uneasy.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0215/prager022415.php3#d3mxHRut1FJesTXs.99

2-24-15

The Media's Slimy Assault on Gov. Walker

By David Limbaugh

I'm not sure which is more absurd, for the media to be up in arms about former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani's statement that he doesn't believe that President Obama loves America or for them to mug Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker for declining to weigh in on the subject.

Many of us have been speculating for years about Obama's affinity for this country as founded. He promised to fundamentally transform this nation — something he wouldn't have done if he embraced the American idea.

There is so much evidence that Obama has a different feeling about America than all of our past presidents that it borders on disingenuous to pretend otherwise. What other president has ever denigrated the Founding Fathers as "men of property and wealth"? What POTUS has repeatedly apologized for the United States and its record? Obama has done so, often on foreign soil, complaining to Europe about America's arrogance, admitting to the Americas that we have sometimes dictated our terms, telling the Turkish Parliament that we have "our own darker periods in our history," sending a letter to the Afghan president apologizing for coalition forces inadvertently burning copies of the Quran but failing to object to the killing of U.S. troops in return, apologizing to Japan for our nuclear bombing of its cities, criticizing Americans for distrusting Islam, and even going so far as to blame America for the rampant gun violence in Mexico. What other president has belonged to a church whose pastor was openly racist and anti-American? What other president has scoffed at the idea of American exceptionalism?

What other president has bad-mouthed his own country's record on civil rights to the United Nations Human Rights Council and submitted U.S. laws and policies to that council for review? Has another POTUS married someone who admitted to never being proud of America in her adult life before her husband was elected president?

Even venerated conservative commentator Thomas Sowell has said, "I think this is a man who has enormous resentments toward this country, especially towards those people who have flourished and prospered here." Giuliani's statement was neither outrageous nor unique. Some of the rest of us have been talking and writing about it for years now.

What about the media's hysteria over Walker's refusal to contradict Giuliani, saying that Giuliani was free to speak for himself and that he was not going to comment on whether Obama loves America.

What is wrong with that answer? Why should the media ask Walker about it? He didn't make the statement. The Washington Post's Dana Milbank skewered Walker for "avoiding anything that might resemble leadership," because Walker wouldn't condemn Giuliani and because he hadn't fallen for the media's loaded question on whether he believes in evolution.

How would either of those questions inform voters about Walker's presidential qualifications? His refusal to jump through their hoops, however, shows he is a strong and confident enough individual not to be manipulated by press vultures whose goal is not to inform the public but to discredit their ideological opponents by, for example, cornering them into revealing they are essentially Neanderthals for not believing we came from Neanderthals.

If mainstream reporters are so interested in such questions, why don't they ever ask Democratic candidates and public officials similarly uncomfortable questions?

Why don't they ask professed Catholics such as Vice President Joe Biden how they can square their pro-abortion rights stance with their faith? Why don't they ask Democratic presidential aspirants whether they believe that transgender "women" should be allowed to use public restrooms set apart for females? That the universe exploded out of nothing apart from supernatural causes? That the United States faces a serious threat of terrorism from any group other than Islamists? That President Obama was correct in depicting the 2009 Fort Hood, Texas, shootings as "workplace violence"? That Islam has really been woven into America's national fabric? That we can defang the Islamic State group by finding jobs for its members? That Obama was justified in deceiving the country on Obamacare, as revealed by his adviser Jonathan Gruber, or in lying about his position on same-sex marriage, as admitted by his adviser David Axelrod? That it was OK for Obama to issue executive orders relaxing immigration enforcement mere weeks after he admitted he had no constitutional authority to do so? That Obama actually sat in the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's church for 17 years and didn't ever hear him slamming America and white people? That Republicans are waging a war on women because they oppose government subsidies of contraceptives? That it's wise for Obama to telegraph that he will not, under any circumstances, "put boots on the ground" to fight the Islamic State? That it's in America's interests for Obama to release terrorists from Guantanamo Bay back into the battlefield against us? That it's OK for environmental activists to fly their private jets around the world and increase their "carbon footprint"?

Why don't the media ask likely Democratic presidential aspirant Hillary Clinton whether she truly quarterbacked the squelching of husband Bill's "bimbo eruptions" and how she can reconcile that with her advocacy for women's rights and dignity? Was it OK for Bill's handlers to degrade Bill's paramours as "trailer trash"?

Or if the media really want to be relevant, why don't they ask Democrats what they plan to do about entitlement reform — seeing as in a matter of a few decades, our entitlement outlays will exceed all of our tax revenues.

The mainstream media won't ask any of those questions, because they are not interested in fair play or in bringing out relevant facts about the candidates' positions. They are shameless advocates for President Obama and the Democratic Party. Period.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh022415.php3#bSykcyryqxewSwUV.99

2-23-15

Parasites

By John Stossel

Politicians and lawyers pretend that they are important people doing important work. But often they're important because they are parasites. They feed off others, while creating no wealth of their own.

We all complain about businesses we don't like, but because business is voluntary, every merchant must offer us something we want in order to get our money.

But that's not true for politicians and their businessman cronies. They get to use government force to grab our money.

Those people who take instead of producing things make up "the parasite economy," says Cato Institute Vice President David Boaz. It's my favorite chapter in his new book, "The Libertarian Mind."

(Buy it at a 32% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 46% discount by clicking here)

The parasite economy, says Boaz, thrives wherever "you use the law to get something you couldn't get voluntarily in the marketplace."

That includes much of the military-industrial complex, "green" businesses that prosper only because politicians award them subsidies, banks that can borrow cheaply because they're labeled "too big to fail" and — unfortunately — me.

All of us are parasites if government granted us special deals. Some parasites (not me) lobbied for their deal. "You might use a tariff to prevent people from buying from your foreign competitors or get the government to give you a subsidy," says Boaz. "You might get the government to pass a law that makes it difficult for your competitors to compete with you."

This quickly creates a culture where businesses conclude that the best way to prosper is not by producing superior goods, but by lobbying. Politicians then tend to view those businesses the way gangsters used to view neighborhood stores, as targets to shake down.

Says Boaz, "You have politicians and bureaucrats and lobbyists coming around to these companies and saying, hey, nice little company you've got there, too bad if something happened to it. ... They start suggesting that maybe you need to make some campaign contributions, maybe hire some lobbyists, and maybe we'll run an anti-trust investigation, and maybe we'll limit your supply of overseas engineers. And all of these things then drag these companies into Washington's lobbying culture."

And as I mentioned, it's not just companies that get dragged in.

I built a house on the edge of the ocean. People weigh the costs and benefits of building in risky places like that. Without government's encouragement, I would have just built someplace else. But because politicians decided that government should be in the flood insurance business, and then other politicians decided that government's insurance business should offer cheap rates, I did build on the beach.

Even though my property was obviously a high flood risk, my insurance premiums never exceeded $400 a year. Ten years later, my house washed away, and government's insurance plan reimbursed my costs. Today, the federal flood insurance program is $40 billion in the red.

In other words, you helped pay for my beach house. Thanks! I never invited you there, but you paid anyway. I actually felt entitled to the money. It had been promised by a government program!

But it was wrong, and I won't collect again. I don't want to be a parasite.

But it's tough, because government keeps making offers. Government handouts make parasites out of many of us.

Compare politicians and politicians' cronies to tapeworms and ticks. Like parasites in nature, the ticks on the body politic don't want to kill the host organism — meaning us. It's in politicians' and regulators' interest to keep the host alive so they can keep eating our food and sucking our blood.

After watching members of Congress applaud President Obama during his last State of the Union address, I came to think that politicians were worse than tapeworms and ticks. The president bragged about American energy production being up. Domestic energy is up, but it's up because of private sector innovation, not government. In fact, it's up in spite of administration rules that make it harder to extract oil from public lands. Yet many in Congress applauded the president's misleading claim.

At least tapeworms and ticks don't expect us to clap.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0215/stossel020415.php3#Q6d0ZkExtVdZk0RM.99

2-22-15

The face of evil: We have met the enemy, and he is not us

By Ben Carson

The graphic pictures of a Jordanian pilot being burned alive by militants from the Islamic State, or ISIS, were chilling and raised doubts about the humanity of the Islamic terrorists capable of such barbarism. This coupled with beheadings and crucifixions gives us a better understanding of the evil we, along with the rest of the world, are facing.

These terrorists have stated their intention to annihilate Israel and to destroy the American way of life, which they consider extremely corrupt and evil. Undoubtedly, we in America have our faults like every other country inhabited by human beings, but it requires the suspension of knowledge of accurate American history to believe, as some do, that we are the source of much of the trouble in the world. Conditions in the world have improved more dramatically since the advent of the United States than at any other time in human history. Our innovation and compassion have provided one of the highest standards of living in the world while lifting conditions in many other nations.

Understanding that we are not evil makes it easier to identify evil elsewhere and to combat it effectively. When we accept the falsehood that everyone is equally bad and, therefore, we have no right or obligation to interfere with atrocities occurring elsewhere in the world, we facilitate the development and growth of groups such as ISIS, which are not dissimilar to the adherents of Adolf Hitler, who also aspired to world domination. An objective analysis of American history will demonstrate that we were late in joining the efforts of others to combat evil during both World War I and World War II. Hopefully, we have learned from these mistakes that it is better to fight enemies while they are in their adolescent stages than to wait until they have fully matured and pose a much greater threat.

I certainly do not believe that we need to involve ourselves in every conflict on the planet, and I believe we involved ourselves in the Vietnamese conflict without clear goals or strategies. Hopefully, we learned from that experience that it is neither wise nor correct to try to impose our way of life on others. I also believe that there were better ways to handle Saddam Hussein than a full-fledged military confrontation. The better ways would have needed to involve a plan for Iraqi leadership over the long term. These unfortunate experiences have made some gun-shy to the point that they would probably rather be invaded than adopt an offensive war posture.

This is a critical time in the history of the world, and we must clear our heads and think logically about the consequences of underestimating the threat posed by a host of Islamic terrorist groups. It is very clear that they have a plan that they believe will yield a victory in their quest for world domination. Some in our country are arrogant enough to believe that such a goal is preposterous. Others believe that our time has come and gone and that resistance is useless.

Both of these beliefs are absolutely wrong and do not take into account the strength and resolve inherent in the American character. The battle we are entering will be difficult and will be fraught with surprises, but as Winston Churchill said, "You ask, what is our aim? I can answer in one word. It is victory. Victory at all costs. Victory in spite of all terrors. Victory, however long and hard the road may be, for without victory there is no survival."

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0215/carson021815.php3#ebMDyRgugPTMb1Xf.99

2-21-15

Obama the Unwitting Recruiter

By David Limbaugh

President Obama seems more interested in defending the religion of Islam than in defending the United States against the threat of Islamic jihad, but Islam isn't under attack; we are.

Obama has created a straw man — or fattened one up that others created. The United States isn't at war with Islam — or even radical Islamists, for that matter. By incessantly and wrongly suggesting we are hostile to Islam proper, Obama is giving credence to that charge and planting a seed in the minds of Muslims, thereby aggravating the problem he claims he wants to diminish.

Nor do we target Muslims as Obama recklessly suggests. Last time I checked, our authorities don't profile Muslims in any way, at any time, in any capacity. Have you ever seen the Transportation Security Administration, for example, singling out Muslims for special scrutiny at the airport? If anything, this administration is so paranoid about creating that impression that it has a policy of erring on the side of coddling jihadis — as opposed to protecting national security — such as when it declined to pursue leads concerning U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan's ties to radical clerics that might have prevented his fatal shootings at Fort Hood in 2009.

Obama can convene unserious summits instead of traveling to France to join hands with world leaders against jihad; he can play semantic games with unnamed "violent extremism"; he can cite irrelevant examples from a thousand years ago of excessive violence at the hands of Christians; he can point out how many Muslims have been killed by other Muslims; and he can laud Muslim individuals for acts of heroism against jihadis. But he can't change what we all observe.

The stubborn reality is that acts of terrorism in the world today are overwhelmingly committed not by Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus or Zoroastrians but by those claiming to be Muslims, no matter how much Obama strains to advance his fraudulent claims of moral equivalency.

No one is fooled by Obama's willful confusion, and the cause of world peace is not furthered by it. Yes, some people love to hear his slander of Jews and Christians, but that's not because they are silly enough to believe that these groups are engaging in terrorism but because they are not particularly fond of Judaism or Christianity and perk up every time they are vilified.

Obama protests that he just wants to make clear to the Muslim world that we are not against the religion of Islam. He says the Islamic State group and other jihadis are not truly Islamic but attempting to hijack the religion. If he is sincere about that, then why does he want to let the worst of that bunch out of Guantanamo Bay and shower them with civil rights? If he is determined to convince peaceful Muslims that we recognize they are not like the terrorists, why does he insult them by coddling the ones he claims are aberrant?

If Obama believes that the violent ones are not representative of the religion, why does he insist on treating them like the peaceful ones or assume the peaceful ones would want the radicals treated delicately?

image: http://d13.zedo.com/OzoDB/n/g/2193061/V2/jdam15_banner02_300x250.gif
Click Here!

After all, if peaceful Muslims don't identify with the radicals, how would treating those radicals as enemies and enemy combatants alienate the peaceful ones? And if he believes that the billion-plus Muslims he talks about are so peaceful, why does he act as if they are on a hair trigger to become terrorists, to the point that we can't even call out the radicals among them without fear of every Muslim's turning into one?

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf says we need to understand the root causes of terrorism and help potential terrorists to find jobs. Those who disagree are just not nuanced enough to understand the complexity of the problem.

Obama agrees, saying the radicals would have greater difficulty recruiting people to their cause if we would quit smearing the religion he holds so dear and try harder to understand and address their "grievances," including their poverty and certain unspecified democratic complaints about a civil society, both of which are so self-evidently and embarrassingly preposterous as to warrant no rebuttal.

Sorry, but it is Obama and Harf who lack nuance. They seem to view everything through their distorted lenses of community organizing and economic determinism, exhibiting a tunnel vision reminiscent of a manifestly failed Marxist ideology.

What Obama and his mouthpieces need to understand is that Islamic terrorists are not driven by grievances, unless you define grievances as opposition to their determination to create a global caliphate. They are motivated by deeply held religious and ideological convictions that are not going to be mollified by liberal domestic policy overtures. This is a spiritual matter.

Obama is doing more to fuel Islamic State recruitment by showing its potential recruits how weak we are and that Islamic State aspirations for a global caliphate are not such a fantasy if the world is rolling over for them rather than fighting them with equal and superior force.

Even if Obama is correct, recruitment is not the main issue. There are enough jihadis now to keep the world busy for more than a generation, and the more victories they win the more they'll attract to their cause.

Could we please return to reality before it is too late?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh022015.php3#XizzIVtV5bLGr8Hg.99

2-20-15

The GOP must finish what Dems started

By Charles Krauthammer

I've been radicalized. By Harry Reid and Barack Obama. Goodbye moderation and sweet reason. No more clinging to constitutional and procedural restraint. It's time to go nuclear.

In the fourth quarter of his presidency, Obama unbound is abusing presidential authority at will to secure a legacy on everything from environmental regulation to immigration, the laws of which he would unilaterally suspend.

Republicans find themselves on the sidelines bleating plaintively about violations of the separation of powers. They thought they found an instrument of resistance in funding for the Department of Homeland Security. The House has funded the whole department except for the immigration service, which was denied the money to implement Obama's executive amnesty.

But Democrats have filibustered the bill in the Senate, where it will die. And as the night follows day, Republicans, not the filibustering Democrats, will be blamed for shutting down DHS and jeopardizing the nation's safety at a time of heightened international terrorism.

A nice cul-de-sac. But there is a way out for the GOP. Go bold. Go nuclear. Abolish the filibuster. Pass the bill and send it to the president.

I know that breaks a lot of china. But Congress is already knee-deep in fractured porcelain. On policy, Obama has repeatedly usurped congressional power, most egregiously with an executive amnesty for illegal immigrants that for four years he himself had insisted was unlawful (a view given significant support this week in a federal district court).

As for procedure, then-majority leader Reid (D-Nev.) went nuclear in November 2013 when he abolished the filibuster for presidential appointees and judicial nominees (below the Supreme Court). He did it to pack the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals with liberals. The nation's liberal chorus cheered. "Elections are supposed to have consequences," read one typical commentary. "It was time to push the button." Boom.

My beef with Reid was not what he did but how he did it. The filibuster has grown in use and power over the decades to the point of dysfunction. Everything needed 60 votes. This is relatively new and nowhere to be found in the Constitution.

My problem was the egregious way Reid changed the rule: by a simple majority, 52-48, with zero Republicans onboard (and three Democrats defecting). As I wrote at the time, "If a bare majority can change the fundamental rules that govern an institution, then there are no rules."

I was not the only one to warn that Democrats would rue the day. Once you go nuclear, so can the other guy.

Reid went first. Time for Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to finish the job. Push the button. Abolish the filibuster.

Then immediately pass the House homeland security bill and send it to the president. He is likely to veto it, but the politics will have been radically changed. The current story line is: Republican Congress won't fund DHS, threatening to shut it down. New story line: Obama vetoes funding for DHS, threatening to shut it down.

The latter narrative is more accurate: Democrats are stopping the funding. Moreover, a presidential veto would lead to a more fair allocation of blame. And it's blame allocation that determines which side blinks first. The president will have a major incentive to find some face-saving finesse.

But filibuster abolition is more than a one-shot proposition. It would radically change the next two years. It would give Republicans full control of the Congress and allow swift passage of a GOP agenda.

It would also clarify the antagonists: a lawless president vs. a willful Congress. The GOP could be sending bill after bill to the president's desk — on tax reform, trade, Obamacare and, if it has the guts, immigration.

Obama's choice? Sign, veto or negotiate a compromise. If he vetoes, then Republicans take that issue to the country in 2016.

What's the downside? Democrats showed in 2013 their willingness to trash Senate procedure for a mess of pottage — three judges on one court. If Republicans stand pat now, what's to stop Democrats from abolishing the filibuster altogether when it suits them in the future?

And think of the upside. A GOP resort to the nuclear option might make Democrats come to their senses and negotiate a new understanding that any fundamental change in Senate rules — e.g., altering the filibuster — will henceforth require some agreed-to supermajority. No more bare-majority party-line coups.

This would be ideal. But that's for later. For now, go for the doable. Abolish the filibuster and challenge the president. And when asked, "How can you do such a thing?" tell them to ask Harry Reid.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer022015.php3#xupPoWekr2iXZcC1.99

2-19-15

Glib 'Happy Talk'

By Thomas Sowell

When Alfred E. Neuman said "What me worry?" on the cover of Mad magazine, it was funny. But this message was not nearly as funny coming from President Barack Obama and his National Security Advisor, Susan Rice.

In a musical comedy, it would be hilarious to have the president send out his "happy talk" message by someone whose credibility was already thoroughly discredited by her serial lies on television about the Benghazi terrorist attack in 2012.

Unfortunately — indeed, tragically — the world today is about as far from a musical comedy as you can get, with terrorists rampaging across the Middle East, leaving a trail of unspeakable atrocities in their wake, and with Iran moving closer to producing a nuclear bomb, with an intercontinental missile on the horizon.

We will be lucky to get through the remainder of President Obama's term in office without a major catastrophe, from which we may or may not recover.

Iran has announced repeatedly that it plans to wipe Israel off the face of the earth. But you don't need an intercontinental missile to reach Israel from Iran. Teheran is less than a thousand miles from Jerusalem. As was said long ago, "Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee."

It was painfully ironic to hear Ms. Rice tell us that the danger we face today is not as serious as the dangers we faced in World War II.

Anyone who has actually studied the period that led up to World War II knows that the Western democracies followed feckless policies remarkably similar to those that we are following today. And anyone who studies that war itself knows that the West came dangerously close to losing it before finally getting their act together and turning things around.

In a nuclear age, we may not have time to let reality finally sink in on our leaders and wake up the public to the dangers.

There was lots of "happy talk" in the West while Hitler was building up his Nazi war machine during the 1930s, as the Western intelligentsia were urging the democracies to disarm.

The dangers of Hitler's sudden rise to power in Germany during the early 1930s were played down, and even ridiculed, by politicians, journalists and the intelligentsia in both Britain and France.

A temporary political setback for the Nazis in 1933 was hailed by a French newspaper as "the piteous end of Hitlerism" and a British newspaper said even earlier that Hitler was "done for." Prominent British intellectual Harold Laski opined that Hitler was "a cheap conspirator rather than an inspired revolutionary, the creature of circumstances rather than the maker of destiny."

In other words, Hitler and the Nazis were the "junior varsity" of their day, in the eyes of the know-it-alls.

Even after Hitler consolidated his political power in Germany, imposed a dictatorship and began building up a massive war machine, the Western democracies continued to believe that they could reach a peaceful understanding with him.

There was euphoria in the West when British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from a conference in Munich, waving an agreement signed by Hitler, and declaring that it meant "peace for our time." Our time turned out to be less than one year before the biggest and most ghastly war in history broke out in 1939.

Today, when people can graduate from even our most prestigious colleges and universities utterly ignorant of history, many people — even in high places — have no idea how close the Western democracies came to losing World War II.

For the first three years of that war, the West lost battle after battle in both Europe and Asia. France collapsed and surrendered after just six weeks of fighting, and few expected the British to survive the blitzkrieg Hitler unleashed on them from the air. Americans were defeated by the Japanese in the Philippines and, as prisoners of war, faced the horrors of the infamous Bataan death march.

When the British finally won the battle of El Alamein in North Africa in November 1942, this was their first victory, more than three years after Britain entered the war.

A nuclear war is not likely to last three years, so there is unlikely to be time enough to recover from years of glib, foolish words and catastrophic decisions.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell021815.php3#9XB1EjRRWY35BDws.99

2-18-15

Shame

By Walter Williams

Today's liberals are not racists, but they often behave that way. They would benefit immensely from considering some of the arguments in award-winning scholar Dr. Shelby Steele's forthcoming book, "Shame: How America's Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country."

(Buy it at a 21% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 49% discount by clicking here)

Steele, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, explains that in matters of race, there is an ideological vision that completely ignores truth — a vision he calls "poetic truth." In literature, poetic license takes liberties with grammatical rules, as well as realities, in order to create a more beautiful or powerful effect than would be otherwise possible. Liberals have a poetic commitment to black victimization as the explanation for the many problems affecting a large segment of the black community. The truth that blacks have now achieved a level of freedom comparable to that of others has to be seen as a lie. People who accept the truth about that freedom are seen as aligning themselves with America's terrible history of racism. Accepting that racism is still the greatest barrier to black achievement is the only way liberals can prove themselves innocent of racism. Thus, "modern liberalism is grounded in a paradox: it tries to be 'progressive' and forward looking by fixing its gaze backward. It insists that America's shameful past is the best explanation of its current social problems. It looks at the present, but it sees only the past."

Liberals believe that black people's fate is determined by the beneficence of white people and government programs. Steele points out that despite the handicaps of past racism and segregation, our fate was left in our own hands. In the face of more government opposition than assistance, black Americans created the most articulate and effective movement for human freedom that the world has ever seen — the civil rights movement. This was done without any government grants and in a society that ran the gamut from a cool indifference toward blacks to murderous terrorism.

Though not politically correct to acknowledge, there are cultural patterns within the black community that keep blacks from achieving true parity with whites. Sociologist Daniel Patrick Moynihan identified these patterns in his 1965 report, titled "The Negro Family: The Case for National Action." Moynihan, who later became a Democratic senator, was condemned as a racist by much of America's academic establishment for "blaming the victim." Worse than that, Moynihan's experience became an object lesson for other social scientists that any research that implies black responsibility for black problems is forbidden.

Moynihan's conclusions were no less than prophetic. Steele says that family breakdown is the single worst problem black America faces. It spawned countless other problems in black America, including gang violence, drug abuse, low academic achievement, high dropout and unemployment rates, and high crime and incarceration rates.

image: http://ums.adtech.de/mapuser?providerid=1034;getuser=http://pr.ybp.yahoo.com/sync/adtech/$UID

image: http://d5p.de17a.com/getuid/adtech

image: http://x.bidswitch.net/sync?ssp=aol

image: http://d.chango.com/m/aol

image: http://soundwave.bnmla.com/usersync?sspid=15&r=http://ums.adtech.de/mapuser?providerid=1029;userid=$UID

Liberalism is a moral manipulation that exaggerates inequity and unfairness in American life in order to justify overreaching public policies and programs. Liberalism undermines the spirit of self-help and individual responsibility. For liberals in academia, the fact that black college students earn lower grades and have a higher dropout rate than any group besides reservation Indians means that blacks remain stymied and victimized by white racism. Thus, their push for affirmative action and other race-based programs is to assuage their guilt and shame for America's past by having people around with black skin color. The heck with the human being inside that skin.

Shelby Steele argues that the civil rights movement's goal was a free society — one not necessarily free of all bigotry but free of illegal discrimination. After that, we minorities should be simply left alone, as opposed to being smothered by the paternalism, inspired by white guilt, that has emerged since the 1960s. On that note, I just cannot resist the temptation to refer readers to my Proclamation of Amnesty and Pardon (http://tinyurl.com/opd8vgd), which grants Americans of European ancestry amnesty and pardon for their own grievances and those of their forebears against my people so that they stop feeling guilty and stop acting like fools in their relationship with Americans of African ancestry.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams021815.php3#cAuUKVCPyar1FHwG.99

2-17-15

Damaging Admissions

By Thomas Sowell

Opponents of charter schools have claimed that these schools are "cherry-picking" the students they admit, and that this explains why many charter schools get better educational results with less money than public schools do.

Many controversies about how students should be admitted to educational institutions, especially those supported by the taxpayers, betray a fundamental confusion about what these institutions are there for. This applies to both schools and colleges.

Admitting students strictly on the basis of their academic qualifications, which might seem to be common sense, is rejected by many college admissions committees.

A dean of admissions at Harvard, years ago, said, "the question we ask is: how well has this person used the opportunities available to him or her?" In other words, the issue is seen as which of the competing applicants are more deserving. Since some people have had far better educational opportunities than others, that is supposed to be taken into account in deciding whom to admit.

This myopic view of admissions decisions, as a question of choosing between applicant A versus applicant B, totally ignores the reason for the existence of educational institutions in the first place. These institutions were not created in order to dispense favors to particular individuals, but to confer benefits on society at large, by supplying graduates with skills valuable to the other members of society.

When Jonas Salk applied to selective Townsend Harris High School in New York, and later to the then-selective City College of New York (CCNY), there might well have been some other student, not quite as academically qualified, who could have been admitted instead, on the basis of having overcome greater handicaps than Jonas Salk had.

But the relevant question is: Would that other student have been equally likely to create a vaccine that would banish the scourge of polio?



This is not a question of elitism versus egalitarianism. The vanquishing of polio was a boon to millions of people, rich and poor alike, to people of every race, color and creed, in countries around the world. Thank heaven Salk was not kept out of selective educational institutions for the sake of "social justice" to one other individual who could have been admitted in his place.

The track record of New York's selective public high schools — especially the most selective, Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech — includes graduates whose contributions have created social benefits that have led to all sorts of awards and prizes, up to and including Nobel Prizes, seven Nobel Prizes in physics alone for graduates of the Bronx High School of Science alone.

Attacks on selective educational institutions, including attacks on academic qualifications as prime criteria, have been made across the country, for years on end. In New York, the attack on strict academic admissions standards at CCNY succeeded decades ago, while attacks on the selective public high schools have not yet succeeded.

Those who attacked the strict admissions standards at CCNY demanded "open admissions" — which was an impossible demand from the outset. If just anybody could get into CCNY, then it would no longer be CCNY in any meaningful sense, so what would those admitted accomplish by getting in? They could get into the buildings but there was no longer the same education there.

Turning what had once been known as "the poor man's Harvard" into just another failing institution was apparently an object lesson. "Open admissions" was dropped.

Today teachers' unions are attacking charter schools for supposedly "cherry-picking" which students to admit. In reality, the students are usually chosen by lottery, but there is selectivity in the sense that the most concerned parents are more likely to put their children's names in the lottery, and the most successful children are the ones most likely to stay on to graduate.

Any hope of successfully educating poor minority children depends on separating them from the hoodlums who make education impossible in so many ghetto schools. If charter schools do that, more power to them.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell021715.php3#hwm1Wc22G5wj4hc4.99

2-16-15

Obama's Narcissistic Dissing of Israel

By David Limbaugh

It is just like the Obama administration to twist its own mistreatment of Israel into an opportunity to slander Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Ambassador to the United States Ron Dermer.

Like petulant children, Obama and his crew treat any resistance to their agenda as unprovoked hostility, personally directed at Obama, and lash out personally at those who would resist their dubious and aggressive behavior.

Despite Obama's persistent slighting of Israel, he simply will not let pass Netanyahu's acceptance of House Speaker John Boehner's invitation to speak before a joint session of Congress. It doesn't matter that he refused to meet with Netanyahu, disingenuously citing concerns over interfering with the upcoming Israeli elections. Truth be told, he'd like nothing more than to interfere with those elections in an effort to unseat Netanyahu. In fact, unconfirmed news reports have circulated that an Obama political team is in Israel working on that very goal.

The Drudge Report led its page Thursday morning with the headline "Outrage at Israel," over a photo of Obama scowling at Netanyahu. The link is to a New York Times article, which confirms that Matt Drudge was hardly guilty of hyperbole here.

The Obama administration admits how "angry" it is that Netanyahu accepted Boehner's speaking invitation without consulting the White House. By no means must anyone, including the leader of one of our allies, ever do anything that could be interpreted as being disrespectful to this president — irrespective of whether this president drew first blood with his own pattern of disrespect toward that leader. What's good for the goose, in this case, is not good for the gander, because the gander is our imperial president, Barack Obama, whose preferences and ego must take priority over the interests of the United States.

Putting presidential pettiness aside, what should responsible world leaders and congressional leaders in the United States do in response to an aggressive Iran hellbent on acquiring nuclear strike capability and an administration hellbent on blocking realistic efforts to thwart Iran? Are they to sit around in joint paralysis because they would rather betray the interests of their nations, world peace and sanity than offend the narcissist in the Oval Office who has turned an intentionally blind eye to Islamic terrorism and the threat Iran represents?

Moreover, don't you think it's objectively untoward for the Obama administration to fan the flames of a public feud with Israel? It has broken decades of precedent by publicly criticizing Israel and Israel's leaders throughout Obama's time in office, and it is castigating Israel for poisoning the relationship between our countries? It's the type of behavior you get with an administration more engaged in navel-gazing than governing on behalf of the nation under its charge.

While the administration is classlessly attacking the Israeli ambassador, he is showing restraint in return, declining to return personal insult for personal insult and responding, "I have no regrets whatsoever that I have acted in a way to advance my country's interests." Dermer said that he didn't think it was his place to inform the administration and that it was Boehner's prerogative to notify the White House of the Netanyahu congressional address. Sounds reasonable to me.

It is so typical of our media to focus on the party in conflict with the Obama administration. With this event, the spotlight is on Dermer instead of the administration's reckless passivity regarding Iran's nuclear ambitions and its snubbing of Israel and Netanyahu.

Obama has repeatedly assured us that his administration is monitoring Iran, while Iran has pressed forward and the administration has virtually allowed it to continue through its phony promises and deferred negotiations.

In between veto threats in his State of the Union address, Obama lectured us on the imperative of "combining military power with strong diplomacy" and leveraging "our power with coalition building. ... We're upholding the principle that bigger nations can't bully the small."

Well, tell that to Netanyahu and Israel. Tell them you and Secretary of State John Kerry haven't been bullying them into swallowing your agenda for them — including halting settlements in their own West Bank and accepting the 1967 borders. Tell them you haven't publicly sympathized with anti-Israeli positions by referring to the lands Israel acquired from enemies who unsuccessfully waged war against it as "occupied lands" and by effectively declaring moral equivalence between Israel and Gaza in Gaza's war of aggression against Israel in 2014.

Then please explain to the rest of us how your diplomacy has been working out with Iran — not to mention Russia and the rest of the world.

President Obama is doing a fine job of appeasing terrorists, especially in releasing the most dangerous terrorists back into the world, where they can resume their jihad right where they left off, and in eliminating from the administration's lexicon words that properly identify the terrorism we face with Islamic extremism.

This administration is so wrong about so many things, but sharing space at the top of that list are its willful ignorance in recognizing our enemies and its intentional mistreatment of our ally Israel.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh013015.php3#dGGOeZLM8KD2yTGS.99

2-15-15

Living in Obama World

By Michael Reagan

Barack Obama is living in his own dream world.

To hear him tell it, thanks to six glorious years of his leadership, America is in great shape again at home and overseas.

According to his boasts, which the mainstream media rarely challenge, the economy has rebounded from the Great Recession and federal budget deficits have been sliced in half under his watch.

Never mind that we're in the slowest economic recovery since FDR's awful policies prolonged the Great Depression.

Never mind that the "official" unemployment rate of 5.7 percent is a statistical fraud because it doesn't count the millions who've dropped out of the job market.

Never mind that the federal government still spends $486 billion more every year than it takes in and future deficits are projected to be a trillion bucks a year.

And never mind that ObamaCare is a fiscal time bomb that's already driven up the cost of health insurance for millions of individuals and small business owners.

Pay no attention to all those grim realities at home, says our strange man in the Oval Office. All is well on Obama World.

And don't worry about those bloody wars going on in Syria and what's left of Iraq. Don't worry about the future of Afghanistan or the recent terrorist takeover in Yemen, either.

image: http://d13.zedo.com/OzoDB/n/g/2193061/V2/jdam15_banner02_300x250.gif
Click Here!

We have ISIS terrorists on the run, President Obama says. We've outfoxed Putin in Ukraine. Soon we'll sign a deal with Iran's mullahs about ending their nuclear weapons program.

Dream on, Mr. President. Time's running out.

After six years of President Obama, it's frightening to see what an alien, almost un-American worldview he has and how he puts it into practice daily.

When it comes to religion, everyone knows the president lives on another planet.

He's clearly more interested in sticking up for Islam than for Christianity. And, I swear, he's more comfortable quoting from the Koran than from the Bible.

He outdid himself at a recent prayer breakfast when he tried to equate the atrocities committed by modern Islamic terrorists with what Christians did during the Crusades a thousand years ago.

But President Obama is most dangerous to the country when he delves into foreign policy.

When he goes overseas to visit our allies, he's more likely to start off by apologizing for America's history of slavery or blaming America for something like climate change.

His recent move to unilaterally ease our 54-year-old economic embargo with communist Cuba is a perfect example of how badly Obama negotiates and what he thinks is important.

The Castro Brothers are still high-fiving each other. But the United States - and the imprisoned and impoverished Cuban people -- got little in return for making it much easier for trade and travel activities to take place between our countries.

Compare Obama's blase attitude toward communism and its victims with Ronald Reagan's. In 1987 my father went to Berlin and challenged the USSR to allow more political and economic freedom for its captive countries.

At the Brandenburg Gate he called for Mr. Gorbachev to prove he was serious about liberalization by tearing down the Wall.

When the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall came along in 2009, Obama showed how little he cared by skipping the ceremony and sending a video message.

The good news is that in two years President Obama and his world will be gone.

We'll be back to reality and someone much more competent -- President Hillary or Jeb or Scott or Rand or whoever - will have to clean up all of his messes.

Whoever our next president is, we'll be better off. There's no way in heck he or she could be as strange or as harmful to the country as Barack Obama.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan021215.php3#miE0HXQFs0vvvSyi.99

2-14-15

President Compares Islam to Christianity

By Dennis Prager

In his National Prayer Breakfast speech last week, President Barack Obama said:

"And lest we get on our high horse and think that this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ. ... So this is not unique to one group or one religion."

It is important to analyze these words — because the president of the United States spoke them in a major forum, and because what he said is said by all those who defend Islam against any criticism.

Referring to Islamic violence, the president accuses anyone who implies that such religious violence "is unique to some other place" — meaning outside the Christian West — as getting on a "high horse."

Is this true? Of course, not. In our time, major religious violence is in fact "unique to some other place," namely the Islamic world. What other religious group is engaged in mass murder, systematic rape, slavery, beheading innocents, bombing public events, shooting up school children, wiping out whole religious communities and other such atrocities?

The answer is, of course, no other religious group. Therefore massive violence in the name of one's religion today is indeed "unique to some other place." To state this is not to "get on a high horse." It is to tell the most important truth about the world in our time.

Would the president have used the "high horse" argument 30 years ago regarding Western condemnation of South African apartheid?

Of course not. Because contempt for Western evils is noble, while contempt for non-Western, especially Islamic, evils is "to get on a high horse."

The president then defends his statement that religious violence is not "unique to some other place" by providing Christian examples: first the Crusades and the Inquisition and then slavery and Jim Crow.

Before addressing the specific examples, a word about the timing. The Crusades took place a thousand years ago and the Inquisition five hundred years ago. Is it not telling that — even if the examples are valid (which they aren't) — the president had to go back 500 and 1,000 years to find his primary Christian examples?

Doesn't going back so far in the past render the argument a bit absurd? Imagine if the president had said, "When the Jews conquered Canaan in 1,000 Before the Common Era, they committed terrible deeds in the name of Judaism." Anyone hearing that argument would have thought that the president had lost his mind. Yet he and almost everyone else who wishes to defend Islam raise the Crusades and the Inquisition. The president also mentioned slavery and Jim Crow, but it's the Crusades and the Inquisition that are almost always used to equate Muslim and Christian evildoing.

image: http://d13.zedo.com/OzoDB/3/3/2182241/V2/Beit-Midrash-4-300x250-GIF.gif
Click Here!

Furthermore, it is difficult to see why comparing Muslim behavior today to Christian behavior a thousand or five hundred years ago provides a defense of Islam. On the contrary, isn't the allegation that Islamic evil at the present time is morally equivalent to Christian evil a thousand years ago a damning indictment of the present state of much of Islam?

And as regards the substance of the charge, this widespread use of the Crusades and the Inquisition is ignorant of the realities of both. The Crusades were Christian wars to retake territories in the Holy Land that Muslims had forcefully taken from Christians. Unless the question of "who started it?" is morally irrelevant, and therefore all wars are immoral, the Crusaders' war on Muslims in the Holy Land is a poor example of evil in the name of Christ.

Now, as it happens, there was terrible evil in the name of Christ during the Crusades — the wholesale massacre of Jews in Germany by various Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land. For the record, however, in no instance did the Church order these killings and in almost every case Jews sought and received aid and support from local bishops.

In any event, other than Jews, few people know of these massacres. Almost everyone who cites the Crusades as an example of Christian evil is referring to the Crusaders' wars against Muslims.

As for the Inquisition, suffice it to say that it is now acknowledged among scholars that in its worst years — 1480 to 1530 — the Inquisition killed an average of 40 people a year. Each was unspeakably tragic and evil, but the Inquisition was benign compared to Boko Haram, al-Qaida, Islamic State, the Taliban, Hamas and the other Islamic terror organizations.

We live in an age of moral idiocy. Moral equivalence is the left's way of resisting fighting evil. It did it during the Cold War when the U.S. and the Soviet Union were morally equated, and it is doing it now when it morally equates all religions and societies. Take, for example, this imbecilic equation by writer Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic, defending the president's comments on Islam and Christianity by invoking slavery: "Americans have done, on their own soil, in the name of their own God, something similar to what ISIS is doing now."

There is a major moral crisis in one religion on earth today — Islam. To say so is not to get on a high horse. It is to identify violent Islam as the greatest evil in the world since Nazism and Communism.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0215/prager021015.php3#jBZQJwExUUBdU9sp.99

2-13-15

Fairness and Justice

By Walter Williams

Oxfam reports that the richest 1 percent of people in the world own 48 percent of the world's wealth. Many claim that we should be alarmed by income inequality because it hampers upward mobility. Others argue that because income is distributed so unevenly, justice and fairness require income redistribution. Let's look at fairness and justice.

What constitutes fairness and justice has been debated for centuries. Widespread agreement has proved to be elusive at best. However, I think that an important part of an intelligent discussion about fairness and justice is the recognition that knowing results of a process cannot establish whether there is fairness or justice.

Take a simple example. Suppose Tom, Dick and Harry play a weekly game of poker. The game's result is that Tom wins 75 percent of the time. Dick and Harry, respectively, win 15 percent and 10 percent of the time. Knowing the results of the game permits us to say absolutely nothing about whether there has been poker fairness or justice. Tom's disproportionate winnings may be a result of his being an astute player or a clever cheater.

To determine whether there has been poker justice, we must ask process questions. Was there obedience to neutral game rules, such as those of Hoyle's? Were the cards unmarked and dealt from the top of the deck? Did the players play voluntarily? If the answers to these questions are affirmative, there was poker justice, regardless of the outcome, including Tom's winning 75 percent of the time.

Similarly, a person's income is a result of something. Knowing that one person's yearly income is $500,000 and another's is $12,000 tells us nothing about economic justice or fairness. To determine whether there has been economic justice, one has to ask process questions. Most people — including economists, much to their shame — who discuss income inequality fail to acknowledge or make explicit that income is a result of something. As such, a result cannot be used to determine fairness or justice. To determine whether there has been economic justice or fairness, we must go beyond results and examine processes.

Let's look at a couple of examples, among hundreds, of processes that cause economic unfairness. Taxi owner-operators can earn an annual income of $70,000 or more. Many people can manage to buy a car and the necessary items to become an owner-operator for less than $30,000. Here's the unfairness: In order for someone to operate a taxi legally, many cities require the owner to purchase a license, or medallion. In Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston and New York, medallions cost between $350,000 and $700,000. The effect of these licensing requirements is to close the market to most prospective entrants and thereby create economic injustice.

There have been instances in which managers of Housing and Urban Development low-income housing projects have wanted to repair dilapidated units by employing residents to perform some of the unskilled work, such as pulling out unsalvageable parts of the building and assisting skilled craftsmen. However, the Davis-Bacon Act, which covers federally financed or assisted construction, requires that the workers be paid union wages. If high union wages must be paid, the manager is forced to hire only skilled laborers, very few of whom are residents of the project. That means these workers earn less. It is economic injustice to deny a person who is ready, willing and able to work the opportunity to do so.

There are hundreds, possibly thousands, of examples in which the economic game is rigged. Instead of focusing on what's claimed to be an unfair income distribution, we need to examine whether there is injustice in the rules of the economic game. But that's whistlin' "Dixie." Politicians receive large financial contributions from vested interests to write laws that rig the economic game.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams021115.php3#bSItbR2Sx8ZO7feh.99

2-12-15

A worthless piece of paper

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

President George W. Bush was fond of saying that "9/11 changed everything." He used that one-liner often as a purported moral basis to justify the radical restructuring of federal law and the federal assault on personal liberties over which he presided. He cast aside his oath to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution; he rejected his oath to enforce all federal laws faithfully; and he moved the government decidedly in the direction of secret laws, secret procedures and secret courts.

During his presidency, Congress enacted the Patriot Act. This legislation permits federal agents to write their own search warrants when those warrants are served on custodians of records — like doctors, lawyers, telecoms, computer servers, banks and even the U.S. Postal Service.

Such purported statutory authority directly violates the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which guarantees the right to privacy in our "persons, houses, papers and effects." That includes just about everything held by the custodians of our records. Privacy is not only a constitutional right protected by the document; it is also a natural right. We possess the right to privacy by virtue of our humanity. Our rights come from within us — whether you believe we are the highest progression of biological forces or the intended creations of an Almighty God — they do not come from the government.

This is not an academic argument. If our rights come from within us, the government cannot take them away, whether by executive fiat, popular legislation or judicial ruling, unless we individually have waived them. If our rights come from the government, then they are not rights, but permission slips.

The terms of the Patriot Act were made public, and those of us who follow the government's misdeeds could report on them. After all, this is America. We are a democracy. The government is supposed to work for us. We have the right to know what it is doing in our names as it is doing it, and we have the right to reveal what the government does. Yet, under this law, the feds punished many efforts at revelation. That's because the Patriot Act prohibits those who receive these agent-written search warrants from telling anyone about them. This violates our constitutionally protected and natural right to free speech. All of this has been publicly known since 2001.

Then, in June 2013, Edward Snowden, the uber-courageous former CIA and National Security Agency official, dropped a still-smoldering bombshell of truth upon us when he revealed that the Bush administration had dispatched the NSA to spy on all Americans all the time and the Obama administration had attempted to make the spying appear legal by asking judges to authorize it.

Mr. Snowden went on to reveal that the NSA, pursuant to President Obama's orders and the authorization of these judges meeting in secret (so secret that the judges themselves are not permitted to keep records of their own rulings), was actually capturing and storing the content of all emails, text messages, telephone calls, utility and credit card bills, and bank statements of everyone in America. They did this without a search warrant based on probable cause — a very high level of individualized suspicion — as required by the Constitution.

Mr. Snowden revealed that Mr. Obama's lawyers had persuaded these secret judges, without any opposition from lawyers representing the victims of this surveillance, that somehow Congress had authorized this, and somehow it was constitutional, and somehow it was not un-American to spy on all of us all the time. These judges actually did the unthinkable: They issued what are known as general warrants. General warrants were used against the colonists by the British and are expressly prohibited by the Fourth Amendment. They permit the bearer to search wherever he wishes and seize whatever he finds. That's what the NSA does to all of us today.

Last week, we learned how deep the disrespect for the Constitution runs in the government and how tortured is the logic that underlies it. In a little-noted speech at Washington and Lee School of Law, Gen. Michael Hayden, the former director of both the CIA and the NSA, told us. In a remarkable public confession, he revealed that somehow he received from some source he did not name the authority to reinterpret the Fourth Amendment's protection of privacy so as to obliterate it. He argued that the line between privacy and unbridled government surveillance is a flexible and movable one, and that he — as the head of the NSA — could move it.

This is an astounding audacity by a former high-ranking government official who swore numerous times to uphold the Constitution. He has claimed powers for himself that are nowhere in the Constitution or federal statutes, powers that no president or Congress has claimed, powers that no Supreme Court decision has articulated, powers that are antithetical to the plain meaning and supremacy of the Constitution, powers that any nonsecret judge anywhere would deny him.

If the terms and meaning of the Constitution could be changed by the secret whims of those in the executive branch into whose hands they have been reposed for safekeeping, of what value are they? No value. In such a world, our Constitution has become a worthless piece of paper.

2-11-15

The payoff of a good education

By Ben Carson

Televised "man on the street" interviews, which are often the source of much laughter, are also frequently quite disturbing. Basic questions are asked about significant or historical events, and it becomes rapidly apparent that many of our fellow citizens have not applied themselves to the acquisition of knowledge and basic information.

The founders of our nation were extraordinarily well educated and emphasized the fact that our system of governance requires an informed populace. Obviously, people who are well informed are likely to be contributors to society and are more likely to hold their representatives responsible for what they do in Washington.

It is also true that there is a strong correlation between educational attainment and lifestyle. According to a 2011 study by the College Board, high school dropouts have an annual median salary of $25,100. Those with a high school diploma average $35,400. Those with an associate degree average $44,800, while those with a bachelor's degree average $56,500. Those with master's degrees average $70,000, while those with doctoral level degrees average $91,000, and those with professional degrees average $102,200 per year. It should also be noted that skilled laborers fit solidly into the middle class with salaries averaging in the mid-five-figure to low-six-figure range. These are averages and, of course, some people make considerably more.

One obvious question is how can we increase the number of people graduating from high school and seeking higher education. This is particularly important in our inner cities were public high school graduation rates are often less than 70 percent. The graduation rates from private and charter schools tend to be significantly higher and the home-schoolers are almost universally achieving at a very high level. In most cases, home-schoolers have very dedicated parents who have the ability and resources to provide such an enriched educational environment. This simply is not an option for the vast majority of students. However, charter schools and private schools can be made available through vouchers or the involvement of the private-sector, church and charitable organizations. As a society, we must be willing to recognize what is working and what is not working, and to appropriately place our resources to get the biggest bang for the buck.

There has been much talk recently about providing free community college education. First of all, it is only free if no one has to pay for it. It is not free if we rob Peter to pay Paul. Secondly, Pell grants already exist to pay for community college expenses for needy students. For those who are not needy, there is an old-fashioned remedy that is very effective called work. In fact work might even be beneficial for those who are needy. It certainly provided some very valuable experiences for me.

It is time for us to begin to emphasize to students that the person who has the most to do with what happens to him in life is himself. The average person lives to be about 80 years of age and the first 20 to 25 years are spent either preparing or not preparing for the future. If you prepare well, you have 55 to 60 years to reap the benefits. If you prepare poorly, you have 55 to 60 years to suffer the consequences. It will not hurt our young people to hear these kinds of words. When we reinject personal responsibility into life lessons, we will strengthen our society.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0215/carson020415.php3#5ASVRJ0Rp1KpIjbJ.99

2-10-15

Does the barbarism have a logic?

By Charles Krauthammer

Why did they do it? What did the Islamic State think it could possibly gain by burning alive a captured Jordanian pilot?

I wouldn't underestimate the absence of logic, the sheer depraved thrill of a triumphant cult reveling in its barbarism. But I wouldn't overestimate it either. You don't overrun much of Syria and Iraq without having deployed keen tactical and strategic reasoning.

So what's the objective? To destabilize Jordan by drawing it deeply into the conflict.

At first glance, this seems to make no sense. The savage execution has mobilized Jordan against the Islamic State and given it solidarity and unity of purpose.

Yes, for now. But what about six months hence? Solidarity and purpose fade quickly. Think about how post-9/11 American fervor dissipated over the years of inconclusive conflict, yielding the war fatigue of today. Or how the beheading of U.S. journalists galvanized the country against the Islamic State, yet less than five months later, the frustrating nature of that fight is creating divisions at home.

Jordan is a more vulnerable target because, unlike the U.S., it can be destabilized. For nearly a century Jordan has been a miracle of stability — an artificial geographic creation led by a British-imposed monarchy, it has enjoyed relative domestic peace and successful political transitions with just four rulers over four generations.

Compared to Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, similarly created, Jordan is a wonder. But a fragile one. Its front-line troops and special forces are largely Bedouin. The Bedouin are the backbone of the Hashemite monarchy, but they are a minority. Most of the population is non-indigenous Palestinians, to which have now been added 1.3 million Syrian refugees, creating major social and economic strains.

Most consequential, however, is the Muslim Brotherhood with its strong Jordanian contingent — as well as more radical jihadist elements, some sympathetic to the Islamic State. An estimated 1,500 Jordanians have already joined the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Others remain home, ready to rise when the time is right.

The time is not right today. Jordanian anger is white hot. But the danger is that as the Jordanians attack — today by air, tomorrow perhaps on the ground — they risk a drawn-out engagement that could drain and debilitate the regime, one of the major bulwarks against radicalism in the entire region.

We should be careful what we wish for. Americans worship at the shrine of multilateralism. President Obama's Islamic State strategy is to create a vast coalition with an Arab/Kurdish vanguard and America leading from behind with air power.

The coalition is allegedly 60 strong. (And doing what?) Despite administration boasts, the involvement of the Arab front line — Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates — has been minimal and symbolic. In fact, we've just now learned that the UAE stopped flying late last year.

The Obama policy has not fared terribly well. Since the policy was launched, the Islamic State has nearly doubled its Syrian domain. It's hard to see a Jordanian-Saudi force succeeding where Iraq's Shiite militias, the Iraqi military, the Kurds and U.S. airpower have thus far failed.

What's missing, of course, are serious boots on the ground, such as Syria's once-ascendant non-jihadist rebels, which Obama contemptuously dismissed and allowed to wither. And the Kurds, who are willing and able to fight, yet remain scandalously undersupplied by this administration.

Missing most of all is Turkey. It alone has the size and power to take on the Islamic State. But doing so would strengthen, indeed rescue, Turkey's primary nemesis, the Iranian-backed Bashar al-Assad regime in Damascus.

Turkey's price for entry was an American commitment to help bring down Assad. Obama refused. So Turkey sits it out.

Why doesn't Obama agree? Didn't he say that Assad must go? The reason is that Obama dares not upset Assad's patrons, the Iranian mullahs, with whom Obama dreams of concluding a grand rapprochement.

For Obama, this is his ticket to Mt. Rushmore. So in pursuit of his Nixon-to-China Iran fantasy, Obama eschews Turkey, our most formidable potential ally against both the Islamic State and Assad.

What's Obama left with? Fragile front-line Arab states, like Jordan.

But even they are mortified by Obama's blind pursuit of detente with Tehran, which would make the mullahs hegemonic over the Arab Middle East. Hence the Arabs, the Saudis especially, hold back from any major military commitment to us. Jordan, its hand now forced by its pilot's murder, may now bravely sally forth on its own. But at great risk and with little chance of ultimate success.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer020615.php3#cuxIruLVW4jdtzJd.99
2-9-15

The State of the Bubble Address

By Michael Reagan

I didn't watch the State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Instead I sat with my lovely wife, had a glass of wine and played with the dogs.

But let me guess how it went.

President Obama stood in front of Congress and declared the state of the union is strong — except for a whole bunch of new government freebies and new federal laws he wants to see enacted to make it even stronger.

To pander to his liberal Democrat base, he promised his usual wish list of unrealistic ideas that not three Republicans in the House and Senate will support.

He called for Congress to mandate paid sick leave for workers.

He promised to close the gender gap on wages.

He called for a hike in the national minimum wage.

He didn't promise to make everyone in the middle class a millionaire. But he said he was going to ask Congress to pass this year's special treat -- "a bold new plan" for Congress to make community college free for anyone who wants it.

The president is supposed to be so brilliant. So why does he continue to believe that community college — or ObamaCare, or food stamps, or subsidized loans, or quality day care, or anything else the federal government gives us — is free?

It's cynical politics, pure and simple. He knows nothing is free. He knows someone is paying for those federal goodies — and that someone is the hardworking American taxpayer.

I'm sure the State of Union was same bad TV show I saw last year and the four years before that.

It was all about class warfare, about the rich taking from the poor, about $320 billion in more taxes.

I'm really, really tired of hearing the same stuff all the time.

I understand he didn't even mention the words "al-Qaeda." Guess what's going on in Yemen right now didn't come up on his radar screen.

I'm so tired of this president. He is so overdone. He's so partisan.

He's so cocksure that he has saved the economy with his gigantic deficits and he'll save the middle class with his latest giveaways.

He's the president but he still runs around the country like he's still campaigning for something. On Wednesday he flew into Idaho, one of the reddest of the red states, to push his awful State of the Union themes.

Does he ever stop talking?

image: http://soundwave.bnmla.com/usersync?sspid=15&r=http://ums.adtech.de/mapuser?providerid=1029;userid=$UID

image: http://d.chango.com/m/aol

image: http://x.bidswitch.net/sync?ssp=aol

image: http://d5p.de17a.com/getuid/adtech

image: http://ums.adtech.de/mapuser?providerid=1034;getuser=http://pr.ybp.yahoo.com/sync/adtech/$UID

Every time you turn on the TV, he's talking, talking, talking.

It's like, "O my G0D, will you please just shut up. Please. Shut up. For two days."

Mr. President, I'll be so glad when your next two years are over.

I'm really tired of seeing your face, hearing your voice and being bombarded by your "progressive" New Deal ideas — which always give more money and power to Washington when what we need is less.

Mr. President, when will you ever stop thinking up new laws that Congress will not pass? We need fewer laws, not more.

I'm for passing just one new law in 2015 — a law setting up a part-time Congress.

They spend too much time in DC. They think because they're there everyday they have to keep passing more laws.

And every time they pass one, it hurts everyone's personal economy, the national economy and the world economy.

Mr. President, you say the state of union is looking good. But that's because you and your media friends are living in a bubble of fantasy.

The reality, according to a recent NBC poll, is that nearly 60 percent of the country believes were on the wrong track.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan012315.php3#ILi4CAu28mwHT8FP.99

2-8-15

Fixing America's failing approach to schools

By George Will

In 1981, Tennessee's 41-year-old governor proposed to President Ronald Reagan a swap: Washington would fully fund Medicaid, and the states would have complete responsibility for primary and secondary education. Reagan, a former governor, was receptive. But Democrats, who controlled the House and were beginning to be controlled by teachers unions (the largest, the National Education Association, had bartered its first presidential endorsement, of Jimmy Carter, for creation of the Education Department) balked.

In 1992, the former Tennessee governor was President George H.W. Bush's education secretary. He urged Bush to veto proposed legislation to expand federal involvement in K-12 education. He said it would create "at least the beginnings of a national school board that could make day-to-day school decisions on curriculum, discipline, teacher training, textbooks and classroom materials." The veto threat derailed the legislation.

Today this former governor and former secretary (and former president of the University of Tennessee), Sen. Lamar Alexander, is chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. He is seeking 60 Senate votes to, he says, "reverse the trend toward a national school board," which the Education Department has become.

Time was, before Congress acted on any subject, it asked: Is this a legitimate concern of the federal government? The "legitimacy barrier" (a phrase coined by James Q. Wilson) collapsed 50 years ago, particularly with passage of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, of which No Child Left Behind (2002) was the 12th major reauthorization.

NCLB mandated that by 2014, every school would have 100 percent proficiency in reading and math. So, Alexander says, "almost every one" of America's approximately 100,000 public schools are officially failures. This, he says, exacerbates "the irresistible temptation of well-meaning Washington officials" to assert a duty for Washington to approve schools' academic standards (hence the Common Core State Standards), define success, determine how to evaluate teachers and stipulate what to do about failing schools.

NCLB is more than seven years overdue for the reauthorization/revision that will impact 50 million children and 3.1 million teachers. Hence a recent hearing of Alexander's committee attracted a crowd, with hundreds overflowing into the hall. Alexander hopes to have a bill on the Senate floor by late February and to get 60 votes with the help of some of the six Democratic senators who are former governors.

And perhaps some others. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), the purity of whose liberalism is wondrous, says education today consists of two worlds. One is "of contractors and consultants, and academics and experts, and plenty of officials at the federal, state and local level." The other is of those who teach, and "the footprint of that first world has become way too big in their lives."

Existing law forbids federal officials from exercising "any direction, supervision, or control over the curriculum, program of instruction, administration, or personnel of any educational institution." Existing practices ignore the law, especially by using $4.35 billion in Race to the Top funds to bribe states to accept the Common Core standards (to which tests and hence texts are "aligned"). Alexander understands the futility of trying to lasso the federal locomotive with a cobweb of words. His solution is a portion of his 1981 proposal: Devolve to states all responsibility for evaluating schools, students and teachers.

If Alexander succeeds, this will have an effect on the Republican presidential race. Jeb Bush, who supports Common Core, can say to the Republican base, which loathes it: Never mind, imposing Common Core has been outlawed.

Teachers unions hostile to teacher evaluations have part of a point: Schools are supposed to do what parents cannot do as well, such as teach algebra. They cannot, however, supplant families as transmitters of the social capital — habits, manners, mores — necessary for thriving. So, how do you evaluate teachers whose 7-year-old pupils come to school not knowing numbers, shapes or colors because they come from a cacophonous home culture of silence, where no one, while making dinner, says, "Here are 10 round green peas"? Let 50 governors find 50 metrics for K-12 progress.

Although liberal academia deserves its government-inflicted miseries, Alexander's next project will be the deregulation of higher education. The need for which he demonstrates by unfurling the taped-together 10 pages — more than nine feet — of forms containing more than 100 questions students must answer when applying for federal aid.

Alexander suggests replacing it with a 5-by-7-inch card containing two questions: Family size? Family income? While achieving his impressive curriculum vitae, Alexander has learned to appreciate simplicity.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will020715.php3#5SiYUcLoIbFQvZAx.99

2-7-15

Obama Versus America

By Thomas Sowell

In his recent trip to India, President Obama repeated a long-standing pattern of his — denigrating the United States to foreign audiences. He said that he had been discriminated against because of his skin color in America, a country in which there is, even now, "terrible poverty."

Make no mistake about it, there is no society of human beings in which there are no rotten people. But for a President of the United States to be smearing America in a foreign country, whose track record is far worse, is both irresponsible and immature.

Years after the last lynching of blacks took place in the Jim Crow South, India's own government was still publishing annual statistics on atrocities against the untouchables, including fatal atrocities. The June 2003 issue of "National Geographic" magazine had a chilling article on the continuing atrocities against untouchables in India in the 21st century.

Nothing that happened to Barack Obama when he was attending a posh private school in Hawaii, or elite academic institutions on the mainland, was in the same league with the appalling treatment of untouchables in India. And what Obama called "terrible poverty" in America would be called prosperity in India.

The history of the human race has not always been a pretty picture, regardless of what part of the world you look at, and regardless of whatever color of the rainbow the people have been.

If you want to spend your life nursing grievances, you will never run out of grievances to nurse, regardless of what color your skin is. If some people cannot be rotten to you because of your race, they will find some other reason to be rotten to you.



The question is whether you want to deal with such episodes at the time when they occur or whether you want to nurse your grievances for years, and look for opportunities for "payback" against other people for what somebody else did. Much that has been said and done by both President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder suggests that they are in payback mode.

Both have repeatedly jumped into local law enforcement issues, far from Washington, and turned them into racial issues, long before the facts came out. These two men — neither of whom grew up in a ghetto — have been quick to play the role of defenders of the ghetto, even when that meant defending the kinds of hoodlums who can make life a living hell for decent people in black ghettos.

Far from benefitting ghetto blacks, the vision presented by the Obama administration, and the policies growing out of that vision, have a track record of counterproductive results on both sides of the Atlantic — that is, among low-income whites in England as well as low-income blacks in the United States.

In both countries, children from low-income immigrant families do far better in schools than the native-born, low-income children. Moreover, low-income immigrant groups rise out of poverty far more readily than low-income natives.

The January 31st issue of the distinguished British magazine "The Economist" reports that the children of African refugees from Somalia do far better in school than low-income British children in general. "Somali immigrants," it reports, "insist that their children turn up for extra lessons at weekends." These are "well-ordered children" and their parents understand that education "is their ticket out of poverty."

Contrast that with the Obama administration's threatening schools with federal action if they do not reduce their disciplining of black males for misbehavior.

Despite whatever political benefit or personal satisfaction that may give Barack Obama and Eric Holder, reducing the sanctions against misbehavior in school virtually guarantees that classroom disorder will make the teaching of other black students far less effective, if not impossible.

For black children whose best ticket out of poverty is education, that is a lifelong tragedy, even if it is a political bonanza to politicians who claim to be their friends and defenders.

The biggest advantage that the children of low-income immigrants have over the children of native-born, low-income families is that low-income immigrants have not been saturated for generations with the rhetoric of victimhood and hopelessness, spread by people like Obama, Holder and their counterparts overseas.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell020415.php3#E2V6LayZ0YqYwCfT.99

2-6-15

Stormy Weather and Politics

By Thomas Sowell

It was refreshing to see meteorologists apologize for their dire — and wrong — predictions of an unprecedented snow storm that they had said would devastate the northeast. It was a big storm, but the northeast has seen lots of big snow storms before and will probably see lots of big snow storms again. That's called winter.

Unfortunately, we are not likely to hear any similar apologies from those who have been promoting "global warming" hysteria for years, in defiance of data that fail to fit their climate models. What is at issue is not whether there is "climate change" — which nobody has ever denied — but whether the specific predictions of the "global warming" crowd as to the direction and magnitude of worldwide temperature changes are holding up over the years.

The ultimate test of any theoretical model is not how loudly it is proclaimed but how well it fits the facts. Climate models that have an unimpressive record of fitting the facts of the past or the present are hardly a reason for us to rely on them for the future.

Putting together a successful model — of anything — is a lot more complicated than identifying which factors affect which outcomes. When many factors are involved, which is common, the challenge is to determine precisely how those factors interact with each other. That is a lot easier said than done when it comes to climate.

Everyone can agree, for example, that the heat of the sunlight is greater in the tropics than in the temperate zones or near the poles. But, the highest temperatures ever recorded in Asia, Africa, North America or South America were all recorded outside — repeat, OUTSIDE — the tropics.

No part of Europe is in the tropics, but record temperatures in European cities like Athens and Seville have been higher than the highest temperatures ever recorded in cities virtually right on the equator, such as Singapore in Asia or Nairobi in Africa.

None of this disproves the scientific fact that sunlight is hotter in the tropics. But it does indicate that there are other factors which go into temperatures on earth.

It is not only the heat of the sunlight, but its duration, that determines how much heat builds up. The sun shines on the equator about 12 hours a day all year long. But, in the temperate zones, the sun shines more hours during the summer — almost 15 hours a day at the latitude of Seville or Athens.

It is also not just a question of how much sunlight there is falling on the planet but also a question of how much of that sunlight is blocked by clouds and reflected back out into space. At any given time, about half the earth is shielded by clouds, but cloudiness varies greatly from place to place and from time to time.

The Mediterranean region is famous for its cloudless summer days. The annual hours of sunlight in Athens is nearly double that in London — and in Alexandria, Egypt, there are more than twice as many annual hours of sunlight as in London.

How surprised should we be that cities around the Mediterranean — Alexandria, Seville, and Tripoli — have had temperatures of 110 degrees or more, while many tropical cities have not? Clouds and rain are common in the tropics.

American cities like Phoenix and Las Vegas often hit summer temperatures of 110 degrees or more, because they are located where there are not nearly as many clouds during the summer as are common in most other places, including most places in the tropics. The highest temperatures on earth have been reached in Death Valley, California, for the same reason, even though it is not in the tropics.

Putting clouds into climate models is not simple, because the more the temperature rises, the more water evaporates, creating more clouds that reflect more sunlight back out into space. Such facts are well known, but reducing them to a specific and reliable formula that will predict global temperatures is something else.

Meteorology has many facts and many scientific principles but, at this stage of its development, weather forecasts just a week ahead are still iffy. Why then should we let ourselves be stampeded into crippling the American economy with unending restrictions created by bureaucrats who pay no price for being wrong?

Certainly neither China nor India will do that, and the amount of greenhouse gasses they put into the air will overwhelm any reductions we might achieve, even with draconian restrictions at astronomical costs.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell020315.php3#D9WgRgSYgV1dmP4m.99

2-5-15

Tragic School Stories

By Walter Williams

New York's schools are the most segregated in the nation, and the state needs remedies right away. That was Chancellor Merryl H. Tisch's message to New York's governor and Legislature. She said that minority children are disproportionately trapped in schools that lack teaching talent, course offerings and resources needed to prepare them for college and success.

Simply calling for more school resources will produce disappointing results. There are several minimum requirements that must be met for any child to do well in school. Someone must make the youngster do his homework, ensure that he gets eight to nine hours of sleep, feed him breakfast and make sure that he behaves in school and respects the teachers. None of these requirements can be satisfied by larger education budgets. They must be accomplished by families, or all else is for naught.

Linda Ball, a public high-school history and government teacher in Cincinnati, has written an engaging book about her experiences, titled "185 Days: School Stories." Let's look at a few of her days.

On Day 167, Mrs. Ball ordered a student to the in-school discipline room for disruption and being in her class without permission. When the student finally decided to leave the room, he told her, "F—- you," and then he swatted her on the head with some papers. In her Day 10 section, there's a brief story about how respect is earned. Wesley, a student with an IQ of 140, did an outstanding job on a paper about the Enlightenment but completed only half his assignment and earned an F. Jake, a student repeating her class, told Wesley, "I have newfound respect for you today." Failure earns respect.

Here's one result of Mrs. Ball's assignment to propose a 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, written by a high-school senior: "I think the 28th Amendment should be about a choice weather (sic) to join school or not. I think it should be a choice not something you have to do. Because school just ain't for someone like me. For example school just ain't for me."

Then there's "Day 44: The Graduate." David, a senior, hasn't learned much since the third grade, but he has been passed along and is about to graduate. Mrs. Ball says that not everyone needs to be able to analyze a literary character's motives or whether the U.S. motives in the Spanish-American War were justified. David should have been spared the torture and given suitable activities. He could surely wash cafeteria tables, run errands and change oil and tires. She asks why educators try to force square pegs into round holes year after year, kid after kid.

The grossly poor education that so many blacks receive exacerbates racial problems. During last year's disturbances in Ferguson, Missouri, some people complained that of the city's 53 police officers, only four were black. Such an observation typically leads to suggestions of racial discrimination but never leads to a question about the ability of black high-school graduates to pass a civil service exam. It's natural for a black man with a high-school diploma to see himself as equal to a white man with a high-school diploma. In his eyes, differences in employer treatment are ascribed to racial discrimination. It dawns on few that the average black high-school graduate has the level of academic achievement of a white seventh- or eighth-grader or lower. The black high-school graduates who have unearned diplomas have no knowledge of their being fraudulent. If black politicians and civil rights leaders know it, they refuse to publicly acknowledge it.

The bottom line is that if nothing is done to affect the home life and cultural values that produce the non-learning attitudes and climate that are the subject of Linda Ball's "185 Days: School Stories," there's little that can be done to improve black education. The best that politicians can do is to give parents and children who are serious about education a mechanism to opt out of rotten schools. That option is something the education establishment fights tooth and nail against.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams020415.php3#AoR6Zsjt1MuJTVkb.99

2-4-15

Obama's Mad Dash to the Finish Line

By David Limbaugh

President Obama has no intention of heeding the call of American voters to curb his statist agenda. That's not what extreme ideologues do, and that's not what he did after his party's shellacking in the 2010 congressional elections.

In fact, despite what conciliatory bones he may have thrown the Republicans after those elections, he doubled down on his agenda. Having done that, he still won re-election in 2012.

Even if the 2014 elections were a referendum on his policies, as he said they would be and I believe they were, he doesn't have to worry about another election for himself. So as far as he's concerned, there's no reason to put on the brakes now.

This isn't speculation, for Obama has already reaffirmed his commitment to accelerate his quest to fundamentally change America by expanding the power and scope of the federal government more than he already has.

He indicated as much with his defiant tone and in the string of policy proposals in the State of the Union address. Before the speech, he promised to go on a tour of the country, trying to sell his postelection agenda to the American people. Why not? There's nothing he'd rather do than campaign, because he is most comfortable in the spotlight propagandizing, not governing.

Last week in Philadelphia, he began to fulfill his promise to stump for socialism. He spoke to the House Democratic Caucus, and he pulled no punches in laying down the markers for the next two years. He didn't call on his colleagues to join him in working with the newly elected Republican congressional majority. He didn't acknowledge they had gone too far left and pledge to rein in his transformational ambitions.

To the contrary, he "delivered a campaign-like rallying cry," reports National Journal. He "implored his Hill allies to defend their values, reminding them of their accomplishments and jabbing Republicans in the process."

We need to pay special attention to his words when he is with like-minded people, around whom he is comfortable to say things that wouldn't resonate with the majority of Americans. We must focus on the use of the term "accomplishments." To Obama, accomplishments are executive or legislative actions that move the nation's laws and culture further toward the goal line of socialist control.

It doesn't matter if these actions damage the economy, reduce our liberties, make Americans less safe and hurt more people than they help. The goal is to transform America; the people aren't even important beyond being convenient propaganda props. In the leftist mind, the impersonal collective is paramount.

That's why, for example, Obama and his fellow travelers aren't bothered by the failure of his promises on Obamacare. He wasn't sincere when he said people could keep their plans and their doctors — period. He was deceiving people when he promised that they would save substantial money personally and that the government would also cut its health care outlays under his plan. The point was never to improve health care, reduce costs or preserve our health care choices. It was to expand nominal health insurance coverage at any cost — and many of his fellow leftists have as much as admitted this. To them, the end justifies the means — even when those means are lying through their teeth repeatedly. They know what's best for us.

It's also why Obama doesn't care about the ever-exploding national debt and why he's deceiving us here, as well. He pretends he has cut the deficit, as this year the deficit has gone down slightly, in relative terms. But it is still substantially higher than President George W. Bush's average annual deficit, and more importantly, it is projected to skyrocket during the next decade — as he well knows.

He also knows that even if our annual discretionary budget were not out of control, our entitlements will swallow our entire budget within 15 years, but he obstructs any action on them. One can only infer that he doesn't fear the virtual bankruptcy of the United States, and he could only lack that fear if he imagines it as useful in his grandiose plan to transform America.

Obama is doing his best to drive this country over a cliff — at the bottom of which most people would find an America that we barely recognize and that is contrary to everything the Founding Fathers envisioned. Obama and his ilk, on the other hand, see that bottomland as utopian — definitely contrary to the founders' vision but in line with what they believe the founders should have designed as the ideal society.

Obama was also mocking Republicans in the speech, exhorting Democrats to "stand up and go on offense and not be defensive about what" they believe in. "That's why we're Democrats!" he said. Yes, that's Obama's nature, but from a pragmatic standpoint, he believes he is likelier to achieve his goals (and more quickly) if he continues to belittle and demonize his political opponents.

I just hope people are listening to this guy and comprehend what his aims are for his final two years. He has no intention of letting little things like checks and balances and the Constitution get in his way. You had better believe it.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh020315.php3#PM1CcuReskWUiGsc.99

2-3-15

An entitlement epidemic

By George Will

America's national character will have to be changed if progressives are going to implement their agenda. So, changing social norms is the progressive agenda. To understand how far this has advanced, and how difficult it will be to reverse the inculcation of dependency, consider the data Nicholas Eberstadt deploys in National Affairs quarterly:

America's welfare state transfers more than 14 percent of gross domestic product to recipients, with more than a third of Americans taking "need-based" payments. In our wealthy society, the government officially treats an unprecedented portion of the population as "needy."

Transfers of benefits to individuals through social welfare programs have increased from less than 1 federal dollar in 4 (24 percent) in 1963 to almost 3 out of 5 (59 percent) in 2013. In that half-century, entitlement payments were, Eberstadt says, America's "fastest growing source of personal income," growing twice as fast as all other real per capita personal income. It is probable that this year a majority of Americans will seek and receive payments.

This is not primarily because of Social Security and Medicare transfers to an aging population. Rather, the growth is overwhelmingly in means-tested entitlements. More than twice as many households receive "anti-poverty" benefits than receive Social Security or Medicare. Between 1983 and 2012, the population increased by almost 83 million — and people accepting means-tested benefits increased by 67 million. So, for every 100-person increase in the population there was an 80-person increase in the recipients of means-tested payments. Food stamp recipients increased from 19 million to 51 million — more than the combined populations of 24 states.

What has changed? Not the portion of the estimated population below the poverty line (15.2 percent in 1983; 15 percent in 2012). Rather, poverty programs have become untethered from the official designation of poverty: In 2012, more than half the recipients were not classified as poor but accepted being treated as needy. Expanding dependency requires erasing Americans' traditional distinction between the deserving and the undeserving poor. This distinction was rooted in this nation's exceptional sense that poverty is not the unalterable accident of birth and is related to traditions of generosity arising from immigrant and settler experiences.

Eberstadt's essay, "American Exceptionalism and the Entitlement State," argues that this state is extinguishing the former. America "arrived late to the 20th century's entitlement party." The welfare state's European pedigree traces from post-1945 Britain, back through Sweden's interwar "social democracy," to Bismarck's late-19th-century social insurance. European welfare states reflected European beliefs about poverty: Rigid class structures rooted in a feudal past meant meager opportunities for upward mobility based on merit. People were thought to be stuck in neediness through no fault of their own, and welfare states would reconcile people to intractable social structures.

Eberstadt notes that the structure of U.S. government spending "has been completely overturned within living memory," resulting in the "remolding of daily life for ordinary Americans under the shadow of the entitlement state." In two generations, the American family budget has been recast: In 1963, entitlement transfers were less than $1 out of every $15; by 2012, they were more than $1 out of every $6.

Causation works both ways between the rapid increase in family disintegration (from 1964 to 2012, the percentage of children born to unmarried women increased from 7 to 41) and the fact that, Eberstadt says, for many women, children and even working-age men, "the entitlement state is now the breadwinner of the household." In the past 50 years, the fraction of civilian men ages 25 to 34 who were neither working nor looking for work approximately quadrupled.

Eberstadt believes that the entitlement state poses "character challenges" because it powerfully promotes certain habits, including habits of mind. These include corruption. Since 1970, Americans have become healthier, work has become less physically stressful, the workplace has become safer — and claims from Social Security Disability Insurance have increased almost sixfold. Such claims (including fraudulent ones) are gateways to a plethora of other payments.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a lifelong New Deal liberal and accomplished social scientist, warned that "the issue of welfare is not what it costs those who provide it but what it costs those who receive it." As a growing portion of the population succumbs to the entitlement state's ever-expanding menu of temptations, the costs, Eberstadt concludes, include a transformation of the nation's "political culture, sensibilities, and tradition," the weakening of America's distinctive "conceptions of self-reliance, personal responsibility, and self-advancement," and perhaps a "rending of the national fabric." As a result, "America today does not look exceptional at all."

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will012215.php3#irKaXQ7H7zEOO0im.99

2-2-15

Defense Against Demagogues

By Walter Williams

When gasoline sold at record prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., said, "I think it's time to say to these people, 'Stop ripping off the American people.'" When the average price of regular gas was close to $4 a gallon, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., called for Congress to look into breaking up giant oil companies. The claim was that "Wall Street greed (was) fueling high gas prices."

Today in some places, gasoline is selling for less than $2 a gallon, less than half of its peak price in 2008. The idiotic explanation that attributed high oil prices to greed might now be adjusted to argue that big oil executives have been morally rejuvenated. They are no longer greedy and no longer want to rip off the American people. My guess is that everyone in the oil business would like to charge higher prices. Plus, there's no legal prohibition against big and powerful Exxon Mobil's selling its regular gas today for $4 a gallon. Exxon stations don't do so because the market wouldn't bear that price.

The attempt to explain human behavior by greed is foolhardy. If we define greed as people wanting much more than what they have, then everyone is greedy. Show me someone who doesn't want more of something, be it cars, houses, clothing, food, peace, admiration, love or war. The fact that people want more is responsible for most of the good things that get done. You'll see Texas cattle ranchers this winter making the personal sacrifice of going out in blizzards to care for their herds. As a result of their sacrifice, New Yorkers will have beef on their grocery shelves. Which do you think best explains cattlemen's behavior, concern about New Yorkers or their wanting more for themselves?

This year's congressional efforts to reduce corporate income tax will create great opportunities for demagogues. The United States has the highest corporate income tax rate among the 34 industrialized nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The effect of high corporate taxes gives corporations incentives to lower their effective tax rates by engaging in activities that lower their competitiveness and to shift profits to foreign subsidiaries.

Demagogues will claim that corporations should pay their fair share of taxes. The fact of the matter, which even MIT economists understand but might not publicly admit, is corporations do not pay taxes. An important subject area in economics, called tax incidence, says the entity upon whom a tax is levied does not necessarily bear the full burden of the tax. Some of the tax burden is shifted to another party. If a tax is levied on a corporation — and if the corporation is to survive — it will have one of three responses or some combination thereof. It will raise the price of its product, lower dividends or lay off workers. The important point is that only people, not some legal fiction called a corporation, bear the burden of any tax. Corporations are merely government tax collectors.

Here's a tax-related question: Which worker receives the higher pay, a worker on a road construction project moving dirt with a shovel or a worker moving dirt atop a giant earthmover? If you said the guy on the earthmover, go to the head of the class. But why? It's not because he's unionized or that employers just love earthmover operators. It's because he is more productive; he has more physical capital with which to work.

It's not rocket science to conclude that whatever lowers the cost of capital formation will enable companies to buy more capital, such as earthmovers. The result is that workers will be more productive and earn higher wages. Policies that raise the cost of capital formation — such as capital gains taxes, low depreciation allowances and high corporate income taxes — reduce capital formation and do not serve the interests of workers, investors or consumers.

The greatest tool in the arsenal of demagogues is economic ignorance, which my colleagues in George Mason University's economics department battle against tooth and nail.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams012815.php3#BcCcrBe6H13R5kXz.99

2-1-15

Israel has begun to take action against Iran, Obama be damned

By Caroline B. Glick

Israel’s reported strike January 18 on a joint Iranian-Hezbollah convoy driving on the Syrian Golan Heights was one of the most strategically significant events to have occurred in Israel’s neighborhood in recent months. Its significance lies both in what it accomplished operationally and what it exposed.

From what been published to date about the identities of those killed in the strike, it is clear that in one fell swoop the air force decapitated the Iranian and Hezbollah operational command in Syria.

The head of Hezbollah’s operations in Syria, the head of its liaison with Iran, and Jihad Mughniyeh, the son of Hezbollah’s longtime operational commander Imad Mughniyeh who was killed by Israel in Damascus in 2008, were killed. The younger Mughniyeh reportedly served as commander of Hezbollah forces along the Syrian-Israeli border.

According to a report by Brig.-Gen. (res.) Shimon Shapira, a Hezbollah expert from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Iranian losses included three generals. Brig.- Gen. Mohammed Alladadi was the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps liaison officer to Hezbollah and to Syrian intelligence. He was also in charge of weapons shipments from Iran to Hezbollah. Gen. Ali Tabatabai was the IRGC commander in the Golan Heights and, according to Shapira, an additional general, known only as Assadi, “was, in all likelihood, the commander of Iranian expeditionary forces in Lebanon.”

The fact that the men were willing to risk exposure by traveling together along the border with Israel indicates how critical the front is for the regime in Tehran. It also indicates that in all likelihood, they were planning an imminent attack against Israel.

According to Ehud Yaari, Channel 2’s Arab Affairs commentator, Iran and Hezbollah seek to widen Hezbollah’s front against Israel from Lebanon to Syria. They wish to establish missile bases on the northern Hermon, and are expanding Hezbollah’s strategic depth from Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley to the outskirts of Damascus.

On Wednesday night, Yaari reported that the Syrian military has ceased to function south of Damascus. In areas not held by the al-Qaida-aligned Nusra Front and other regime opponents, the IRGC and Hezbollah have taken control, using the Syrian militia they have trained since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

The effectiveness of Hezbollah’s control of its expanded front was on display on Wednesday morning. Almost at the same time that Hezbollah forces shot at least five advanced Kornet antitank missiles at an IDF convoy along Mount Dov, killing two soldiers and wounding seven, Hezbollah forces on the Golan shot off mortars at the Hermon area.

While these forces are effective, they are also vulnerable. Yaari noted that today, three-quarters of Hezbollah’s total forces are fighting in Syria. Their twofold task is to defend the Assad regime and to build the Iranian-controlled front against Israel along the Golan Heights. Most of the forces are in known, unfortified, above ground positions, vulnerable to Israeli air strikes.

THE IDENTITIES of the Iranian and Lebanese personnel killed in the Israeli strike indicate the high value Iran and Hezbollah place on developing a new front against Israel in Syria.


The fact that they are in control over large swathes of the border area and are willing to risk exposure in order to ready the front for operations exposes Iran’s strategic goal of encircling Israel on the ground and the risks it is willing to take to achieve that goal.

But Iran’s willingness to expose its forces and Hezbollah forces also indicates something else. It indicates that they believe that there is a force deterring Israel from attacking them.

And this brings us to another strategic revelation exposed by the January 18 operation.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister Hossein Amirabdolahian told Iran’s IRNA news agency that the regime had told its American interlocutors to tell Israel that it intended to strike Israel in retribution for the attack. The State Department did not deny that Iran had communicated the message, although it claims that it never relayed the message.

While the Obama administration did perhaps refuse to serve as Iran’s messenger, it has worked to deter Israel from striking Hezbollah and Iranian targets in Syria. Whereas Israel has a policy of never acknowledging responsibility for its military operations in Syria, in order to give President Bashar Assad an excuse to not retaliate, the US administration has repeatedly informed the media of Israeli attacks and so increased the risk that such Israeli operations will lead to counterattacks against Israel.

The US has also refused to acknowledge Iran’s control over the Syrian regime, and so denied the basic fact that through its proxies, Iran is developing a conventional threat against Israel. For instance, earlier this month, Der Spiegel reported that Iran has been building a secret nuclear facility in Syria. When questioned about the report, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf sought to downplay its significance. When a reporter asked if the administration would raise the report in its nuclear negotiations with Iran, Harf replied, “No, the upcoming talks are about the Iranian nuclear program.”

Until this month, the White House continued to pay lip service to the strategic goal of removing Assad – and by inference Iran, which controls and protects him – from power in Syria. Lip service aside, it has been clear at least since September 2013, when President Barack Obama refused to enforce his own redline and take action against the Assad regime after it used chemical weapons against its opponents, that he had no intention of forcing Assad from power. But this month the administration crossed a new Rubicon when Secretary of State John Kerry failed to call for Assad to be removed to power in talks with the UN envoy in Syria Staffan de Mistura. Right before he met with his Iranian counterpart, Mohammad Javad Zarif, Kerry told Mistura, “It is time for President Assad, the Assad regime, to put their people first and to think about the consequences of their actions, which are attracting more and more terrorists to Syria, basically because of their efforts to remove Assad.”

IRAN’S PRESENCE on the Golan Heights is of course just one of the many strategic advances it has made in expanding its territorial reach. Over the past two weeks, Iranian-controlled Houthi militias have consolidated their control over Yemen, with their overthrow of the US-allied government of President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi.

Rather than defend the elected government that has fought side-by-side with US special forces in their Yemen-based operations against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, the administration is pretending that little has changed. It pretends it will still be able to gather the intelligence necessary to carry out drone strikes against al-Qaida terrorists even though its allies have now lost power.

The post-Houthi-conquest goal of the administration’s policy in Yemen is to seek a national dialogue that will include everyone from Iran’s proxy government to al-Qaida.

The idea is that everyone will work together to write a new constitution. It is impossible to understate the delusion at the heart of this plan.

With the conquest of Yemen, Iran now controls the Gulf of Aden. Together with the Straits of Hormuz, Iran now controls the region’s two maritime outlets to the open sea.

Far beyond the region, Iran expands its capacity to destabilize foreign countries and so advance its interests. Last week, Lee Smith raised the reasonable prospect that it was Iran that assassinated Argentinean prosecutor Alberto Nisman two weeks ago. Nisman was murdered the night before he was scheduled to make public the findings of his 10-year investigation into the 1994 bombing of the AMIA Jewish Center and the 1992 bombing of the Israeli Embassy in Buenos Aires. According to Smith, Nisman had proof that Iran had carried out the terrorist attacks to retaliate against Argentina for abrogating its nuclear cooperation with Tehran.

From the Golan Heights to Gaza, from Yemen and Iraq to Latin America to Nantanz and Arak, Iran is boldly advancing its nuclear and imperialist agenda. As Charles Krauthammer noted last Friday, the nations of the Middle East allied with the US are sounding the alarm.

Earlier this week, during Obama’s visit with the new Saudi King Salman, he got an earful from the monarch regarding the need to prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons.

US hope that Iran and Saudi Arabia will be able to kiss and make up and bury a thousand- year rivalry between Sunni and Shi’ite Islam because they both oppose the Islamic State is utter fantasy.

Israel’s January 18 strike on Iranian and Hezbollah commanders in Syria showed Israel’s strategy wisdom and independent capacity.

Israel can and will take measures to defend its critical security interests. It has the intelligence gathering capacity to identify and strike at targets in real time.

But it also showed the constraints Israel is forced to operate under in its increasingly complex and dangerous strategic environment.

Due to the US administration’s commitment to turning a blind eye to Iran’s advances and the destabilizing role it plays everywhere it gains power, Israel can do little more than carry out precision attacks against high value targets. The flipside of the administration’s refusal to see the dangers, and so enable Iran’s territorial expansion and its nuclear progress, is its determination to ensure that Israel does nothing to prevent those dangers from growing – whether along its borders or at Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0115/glick013015.php3#ts51Yx3y4oFVX844.99

1-31-15

Who will keep our freedoms safe? Rather than preserving liberty,here's how the feds are still pilfering it

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

While the Western world was watching and grieving over the slaughter in Paris last week, and my colleagues in the media were fomenting a meaningless debate about whether President Obama should have gone to Paris to participate in a televised parade, the feds took advantage of that diversion to reveal even more incursions into our liberties than we had known about.

We already knew that the National Security Agency, with 60,000 domestic spies, has captured and retained the contents of nearly all emails, text messages, telephone calls, bank statements, utility bills and credit card bills of all Americans since 2009. We already knew that Mr. Obama has used CIA drones to kill Americans overseas and claims that he somehow can do so legally and secretly, notwithstanding the express prohibitions in the Constitution.

We already knew that President George W. Bush authorized the illegal torture of a more than 100 people, about 20 percent by "mistake," and now we know that because he refuses to prosecute the torturers, Mr. Obama is as culpable for the torture as Mr. Bush is.

Last week, however, the Department of Justice revealed that since the 1990s, the Drug Enforcement Administration, whose job is to interdict controlled, dangerous substances before they enter our borders and to do so consistent with the Constitution, has been monitoring the phone calls of selected Americans. Prior to 2001, the DEA intimidated, coerced and bribed telecom providers into making their telephone lines available to its agents. Since 2001, it has no doubt taken advantage of the provisions of the so-called Patriot Act that permit federal agents to write their own search warrants to custodians of records, in direct contravention of the Constitution, which requires warrants from judges.

Last week, the Government Communications Headquarters, the British equivalent of the NSA, known as GCHQ, acknowledged that it has been reading the domestic emails of U.S. journalists since 2008. This can only be done by stealth illegally, or if the NSA has given this data illegally to the GCHQ, or on the odd chance that an American domestic email or cellphone call has been routed through Canada or Britain. The GCHQ boasted of its ability to download 70,000 American emails in 10 minutes. Did you hear Mr. Obama condemn this?

As if all this were not enough to make one ask what is going on with our privacy, also last week, former federal agents revealed that more than 50 American law enforcement agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service, possess a new hand-held radar device that sends sound waves through walls and receives back images on a screen of persons on the other side of the walls.

This permits cops on the street to view an image of you in the privacy of your home without your knowledge or consent and without a search warrant. For the past 13 years, the Supreme Court has refused to permit evidence from similar heat-seeking devices to be used in criminal prosecutions, and the cops have reacted by using a more high-tech version, ostensibly to see whether "anyone is home."

None of these flagrant violations of privacy, dignity and basic American constitutional values was enacted by a majority vote of any representative body of lawmakers — and yet none has been stopped by those lawmakers. That's because we have a deep state system in American government, whereby certain law enforcement, military, intelligence and diplomatic personnel can do as they wish, no matter which party controls the legislative and executive branches, and in hair-splitting defiance of the courts.

That hair-splitting defiance argues that the Fourth Amendment's guarantee of privacy in the "persons, houses, papers and effects" of all in America only pertains to criminal prosecutions. Thus, the government, this argument goes, can invade all the privacy it wants so long as it is for some other — non-criminal — purpose. Supreme Court decisions recognizing privacy as a personal natural right, as well as American constitutional history (the Fourth Amendment was written largely in reaction to British soldiers invading privacy by looking for items in the colonists' homes to tax), profoundly reject that argument.

How does the government get away with this? If you peered into your neighbor's bedroom with a high-tech device, you'd be prosecuted or sued. Yet when the government does this, most folks are supine enough to be grateful for the safety it produces. That's what Big Brother wants you to believe. What safety? Who will keep us safe from the government? Who will keep our personal liberties safe? What representative government splits hairs in order to defy the Constitution, rather than complying with its oath to protect it?

In effect, the government argues that it cannot keep us safe unless it violates the rights of the known innocent. If you buy that argument and surrender your own privacy, good luck — but don't try to surrender anyone else's. Freedom is natural and personal, and cannot be surrendered by others. If you think the present federal government will keep you safe because you let it take your freedoms, what will protect you from a future federal government when all your freedoms have been surrendered?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0115/napolitano012215.php3#pBRzukCgqAkr6Ugm.99

1-30-15

'Never Again', again?

By Charles Krauthammer

Amid the ritual expressions of regret and the pledges of "never again" on Tuesday's 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a bitter irony was noted: Anti-Semitism has returned to Europe. With a vengeance.

It has become routine. If the kosher-grocery massacre in Paris hadn't happened in conjunction with Charlie Hebdo, how much worldwide notice would it have received? As little as did the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse. As little as did the terror attack that killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.

The rise of European anti-Semitism is, in reality, just a return to the norm. For a millennium, virulent Jew-hatred — persecution, expulsions, massacres — was the norm in Europe until the shame of the Holocaust created a temporary anomaly wherein anti-Semitism became socially unacceptable.

The hiatus is over. Jew-hatred is back, recapitulating the past with impressive zeal. Italians protesting Gaza handed out leaflets calling for a boycott of Jewish merchants. As in the 1930s. A widely popular French comedian has introduced a variant of the Nazi salute. In Berlin, Gaza brought out a mob chanting, "Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone!" Berlin, mind you.

European anti-Semitism is not a Jewish problem, however. It's a European problem, a stain, a disease of which Europe is congenitally unable to rid itself.

From the Jewish point of view, European anti-Semitism is a sideshow. The story of European Jewry is over. It died at Auschwitz. Europe's place as the center and fulcrum of the Jewish world has been inherited by Israel. Not only is it the first independent Jewish commonwealth in 2,000 years. It is, also for the first time in 2,000 years, the largest Jewish community on the planet.

The threat to the Jewish future lies not in Europe but in the Muslim Middle East, today the heart of global anti-Semitism, a veritable factory of anti-Jewish literature, films, blood libels and calls for violence, indeed for another genocide.

The founding charter of Hamas calls not just for the eradication of Israel but for the killing of Jews everywhere. Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah welcomes Jewish emigration to Israel — because it makes the killing easier: "If Jews all gather in Israel, it will save us the trouble of going after them worldwide.'' And, of course, Iran openly declares as its sacred mission the annihilation of Israel.

For America, Europe and the moderate Arabs, there are powerful reasons having nothing to do with Israel for trying to prevent an apocalyptic, fanatically anti-Western clerical regime in Tehran from getting the bomb: Iranian hegemony, nuclear proliferation (including to terror groups) and elemental national security.

For Israel, however, the threat is of a different order. Direct, immediate and mortal.

The sophisticates cozily assure us not to worry. Deterrence will work. Didn't it work against the Soviets? Well, just 17 years into the atomic age, we came harrowingly close to deterrence failure and all-out nuclear war. Moreover, godless communists anticipate no reward in heaven. Atheists calculate differently from jihadists with their cult of death. Name one Soviet suicide bomber.

Former Iranian president Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, known as a moderate, once characterized tiny Israel as a one-bomb country. He acknowledged Israel's deterrent capacity but noted the asymmetry: "Application of an atomic bomb would not leave anything in Israel, but the same thing would just produce damages in the Muslim world." Result? Israel eradicated, Islam vindicated. So much for deterrence.

And even if deterrence worked with Tehran, that's not where the story ends. Iran's very acquisition of nukes would set off a nuclear arms race with half a dozen Muslim countries from Turkey to Egypt to the Gulf states — in the most unstable part of the world. A place where you wake up in the morning to find a pro-American Yemeni government overthrown by rebels whose slogan is "God is Great. Death to America. Death to Israel. Damn the Jews. Power to Islam."

The idea that some kind of six-sided deterrence would work in this roiling cauldron of instability the way it did in the frozen bipolarity of the Cold War is simply ridiculous.

The Iranian bomb is a national security issue, an alliance issue and a regional Middle East issue. But it is also a uniquely Jewish issue because of Israel's situation as the only state on earth overtly threatened with extinction, facing a potential nuclear power overtly threatening that extinction.

On the 70th anniversary of Auschwitz, mourning dead Jews is easy. And, forgive me, cheap. Want to truly honor the dead? Show solidarity with the living — Israel and its 6 million Jews. Make "never again" more than an empty phrase. It took Nazi Germany seven years to kill 6 million Jews. It would take a nuclear Iran one day.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer013015.php3#dzeEfUveFL2UYBrV.99

1-29-15

Kudos to Congress and Netanyahu

By David Limbaugh

Kudos to Congress for inviting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak at a joint session on the issue of imposing tough sanctions on Iran and to Netanyahu for accepting.

President Obama has continually snubbed Israel and Netanyahu — whom he refuses to meet with in March, allegedly because he doesn't want to interfere with the upcoming elections in Israel. Obama has been alarmingly lax in his dealings with Iran in its ambitions to acquire nuclear weapons and delivery systems.

Some Obama defenders are chastising Congress for breaching protocol in inviting Netanyahu, saying, "There appear to be no rules anymore." This, from the same people who routinely pooh-pooh President Obama's habitual lawlessness. Even some conservatives are cautioning against Netanyahu's addressing Congress, saying that if it proceeds as planned, it will play into Obama's hands and undermine its goal of strengthening sanctions against Iran because it will shift the focus away from Obama's indefensible position and toward Netanyahu's "chutzpah."

I wholeheartedly disagree. Netanyahu's speech will put the spotlight on the substance of his arguments. Netanyahu will have the world stage, and he'll make a powerful case that Iran is going full-bore and that at stake is not just Israel's security but also that of the United States. In the past few days, Israeli media have claimed that satellite images show new long-range ballistic missile launch sites near Tehran.

We must reject the premise that Netanyahu's speaking before Congress, which has every constitutional right to invite him, is about Benjamin Netanyahu. It is about a matter of the gravest importance to Israel's and our national security. It is simply wrongheaded to yield to the idea that Netanyahu and Congress should tread lightly for fear that some will attempt to depict it as an egotistical move on Netanyahu's part or a power play on the part of the Republican Congress to embarrass President Obama.

Why aren't these same critics panning Obama for his egregious behavior in failing to properly prioritize this matter as one not about Israel's elections but about a matter of national security? Why aren't they pointing out that it is Obama who should be criticized for conducting meetings with YouTube pop culture figures who eat Froot Loops out of a bathtub instead of with the leader of one of our best and most important allies? Why are they not taking Obama to task for his arguably anti-Semitic slur when he suggested that senators are only opposing his position to appease donors — a lamely veiled reference mostly to Jewish groups? Does Obama just get to say anything he wants to, no matter how offensive?

Enough of the guarded behavior from our side. Obama has been on a lawless tear for most of his time in office, usurping Congress' constitutional role and thumbing his nose at it and its authority and daring it to do anything to stop him.

Must our response always be like that of the fraternity pledge played by Kevin Bacon in the movie "Animal House" upon being paddled by the fraternity actives? "Thank you, sir. May I have another?" So what if, as the feckless fear, future House speakers will engage in the same behavior as House Speaker John Boehner is in inviting Netanyahu? Are you kidding me? Do you actually think those in this modern Democratic Party — currently led by Obama and Harry Reid (who has unilaterally modified Senate rules for partisan advantage) — are ever concerned at all about their violating protocol? They don't care about the Constitution; why would they care about protocol? This incident doesn't change anything.

And why should the current Congress be shy about breaching some technical protocol by inviting Netanyahu to speak, when Obama is brazen about stepping all over its authority at will? Even if Obama hadn't been trampling on the Constitution for years, the overwhelming gravity of the issue on which Netanyahu will be speaking justifies a so-called breach of protocol here.

But in fact, Boehner has the authority to ask Netanyahu to speak, and it is his prerogative to invite whomever he chooses. He is neither usurping nor abusing his authority in inviting Netanyahu.

We are living in very perilous times, and President Obama obviously doesn't view many of the objectively dangerous threats we face — from members of al-Qaida to other Islamic terrorists to Iran — as even serious problems. Instead of fretting over how Congress is going to be viewed for doing the right thing and placing the issue of Iranian nukes front and center before Congress — and the world — we must vigorously support Congress' actions and do what we can to help focus attention on this critical issue.

It also doesn't hurt for Congress to be sending a loud message, within its own constitutional authority, that there are many in the United States — probably the majority of Americans — who take these matters seriously and intend to take action to defend the security interests of the United States and its allies.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh012715.php3#yUpFJxvrqvZRSR6U.99

1-28-15

Random Thoughts

By Thomas Sowell

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

• Who says President Obama doesn't promote bipartisanship? His complicity in Iran's moving toward nuclear bombs has alarmed some top Senate Democrats enough to get them to join Republicans in opposition to the Obama administration's potentially suicidal foreign policy.

• Before the current measles outbreak, measles was once almost wiped out in the United States. But an article in a medical journal more than a decade ago had many parents afraid to have their children vaccinated, for fear that the vaccine causes autism. After scientific studies refuted that claim, the medical journal repudiated the article, and the doctor who wrote it had his license revoked.

• If not a single policeman killed a single black individual anywhere in the United States for this entire year, that would not reduce the number of black homicide victims by one percent. When the mobs of protesters declare "Black lives matter," does that mean ALL black lives matter — or only the less than one percent of black lives lost in conflicts with police?

• In politics, never assume that because something is insane, it will not be done. The Holocaust was as insane as it was a moral horror. But it was done. Even after the tide of war turned against Germany and it faced invasion and devastation, Hitler continued to pour scarce resources into the mass killing of people who were no threat.

• When someone tries to lay a guilt trip on you for being successful, remember that your guilt is some politician's license to take what you worked for and give it to someone else who is more likely to vote for the politician who plays Santa Claus with your money.

• So long as public schools are treated as places that exist to provide guaranteed jobs to members of the teachers' unions, do not be surprised to see American students continuing to score lower on international tests than students in countries that spend a lot less per pupil than we do.

• Would you go to a funeral if you knew that your presence would be unwelcome and would just add to the pain of the mourners? Probably not. But New York's mayor Bill de Blasio went to both funerals for the two New York City policemen recently murdered — and gave speeches. That epitomized what a truly despicable human being he is, even by the low standards of politicians.

• Demographic "diversity" is a notion often defended with fervor but seldom with facts.

• Few things are more irritating, or more phony, than statements from various organizations about their "privacy policy." What that really means is their invasion of privacy policies — how much information about you that your bank, hospital or Internet service is going to pass on to other people without your permission.

• Somewhere Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes says that the purpose of an education should be to produce a mind that cannot be humbugged. But today our educational system, from kindergarten to the universities, is engaged in the mass production of fashionable humbug — propaganda rather than education.

• Some people see discrimination when schools punish black students more often than white students. But schools punish white students more often than Asian students. Lenders turn down black applicants for loans more often than white applicants — but they turn down whites more often than Asians. Most statistics on such things omit Asians, rather than spoil a politically correct story.

• President Obama may have gained something politically or ideologically by recognizing Cuba, but just what did the United States gain? Like so much that has been done by this administration, the diplomatic recognition of Cuba demonstrates how safe it is to be our enemy, while our policies toward Ukraine and Israel demonstrate how risky it is to be our ally.

• Despite radical feminist organizations' frequent bursts of outrage, these same radical feminists' response to the mass capture of school girls by Islamic terrorists in Nigeria, and turning those girls into sex slaves, has been strangely muted. Is this because there is no political mileage or lawsuit settlements to be achieved by expressing outrage at such unconscionable raw savagery in Nigeria?

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell012715.php3#ot7tz4jvqw2fpG6h.99

1-27-15

If the President Couldn't Tell a Lie

By Dennis Prager

In the famous 1997 movie comedy "Liar Liar," actor Jim Carrey plays a lawyer who, as a result of his young son's birthday wish being magically fulfilled, cannot tell a lie — he can only tell the truth — for 24 hours. Let's imagine that such a wish forced President Obama to do the same, not for 24 hours, but only during his State of the Union address.

Here is what he said followed by what he would have said if he could only tell the truth.

President Obama (PO): "Six years ago, nearly 180,000 American troops served in Iraq and Afghanistan. Today, fewer than 15,000 remain. And we salute the courage and sacrifice of every man and woman in this 9/11 Generation who has served to keep us safe."

Honest President Obama (HPO): "While I salute the courage of all the Americans who served there, my withdrawal has rendered their sacrifices meaningless. I made it possible for the Islamic State to rise, to control Mosul and other areas of Iraq, and enabled Iran, the most dangerous country in the world, to fill the void we left."

PO: "The shadow of crisis has passed, and the State of the Union is strong."

HPO: "The shadow of my crisis has passed. I was re-elected, my approval ratings are stable, and the 2014 elections that held me back from doing whatever I want to do are done with. As regards America and the world, however, the shadow of crisis is probably darker than at any time since World War II. And what I really meant when I said the State of the Union is strong is that the State of the Government is strong. The government controls more of Americans' lives than ever before."

PO: "Will we accept an economy where only a few of us do spectacularly well?"

HPO: "I know that in every country in the world only a few do spectacularly well. And as long as some human beings have more ability, work harder, and/or have more luck than others that will always be the case. So why did I ask this pointless question? Because it foments class anger."

PO: "Will we allow ourselves to be sorted into factions and turned against one another?"

HPO: "In my six years as president it is we Democrats who have sorted Americans into factions — blacks against whites, women against men, and the poor and middle class against those who are richer — more than at any time in American history. How else can a Democrat win an election? If blacks don't resent whites, women don't think they are being suppressed by male sexism, and the 99 percent don't resent the one percent, Democrats will never win an election."

PO: "In two weeks, I will send this Congress a budget filled with ideas that are practical, not partisan."

HPO: "Only Republicans' ideas are partisan, not Democrats'."

PO: "So tonight, I want to focus less on a checklist of proposals, and focus more on the values at stake in the choices before us."

HPO: "Actually almost my entire speech is a checklist of proposals."

PO: "America is number one in oil and gas. [...] And thanks to lower gas prices and higher fuel standards, the typical family this year should save about $750 at the pump."

HPO: "Fracking — which my administration has tirelessly worked against — has made all this possible."

PO: "These policies will continue to work as long as politics don't get in the way. [...] And if a bill comes to my desk that tries to do any of these things, I will veto it. It will have earned my veto."

HPO: "When a Republicans pass bills, I call it 'politics.' But when I veto those bills, that's not politics. Once again, thank you, mainstream media!"

PO: "We gave our citizens schools and colleges, infrastructure and the Internet."

HPO: "That's what we on the left believe: Whatever you have the government gave you."

PO: "Too many bright, striving Americans are priced out of the education they need."

HPO: "Of course, the real problem is the extortionist tuition rates charged by four-year colleges — that we make possible through government-backed student loans."

PO: "Our diplomacy is at work with respect to Iran, where, for the first time in a decade, we've halted the progress of its nuclear program. [...] I will veto any new sanctions bill that threatens to undo this progress."

HPO: "Everyone knows that Iran intends to build a nuclear weapon. Nevertheless, I will do everything I can to postpone confronting Iran and to postpone an Israeli attack on Iran. Then my successor can deal with it."

PO: "No challenge — no challenge — poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change."

HPO: "In this case, I actually said something I believe. I really am more preoccupied with what computer models tell us might happen to ocean levels in 50 years than I am with the Islamist threat to the world today."

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0115/prager012715.php3#eOXUIsbbWo9tkp83.99

1-26-15

Will the West Defend Itself?

By Walter Williams

Leftists and progressives believe that the U.S. should become more like Europe. They praise Europe's massive welfare state, socialized medicine and stifling economic regulation and accept its unwillingness to defend itself against barbarism. I wonder whether America's leftists and progressives want to import some of Europe's barbaric extremism associated with its Muslim population.

Several European countries have what are called "no-go zones." No-go zones function as microstates governed by Shariah. The host countries' authorities have lost control over these areas. In some cases, they are unable to provide even police, firefighting and ambulance services.

In France, no-go zones are officially called Zones Urbaines Sensibles, or Sensitive Urban Zones. According to some reports, there is hardly a city in France that does not have at least one ZUS. There are estimated to be more than 750 such zones in France. According to The Washington Times, "France has Europe's largest population of Muslims, some of whom talk openly of ruling the country one day and casting aside Western legal systems for harsh, Islam-based Shariah law."

France is by no means by itself. Sweden has some of the most liberal immigration laws in Europe. Malmo is Sweden's third-largest city, with a population over 300,000, of which 25 percent is Muslims who have created large no-go zones for non-Muslims. Fire and emergency workers refuse to enter Malmo's mostly Muslim Rosengaard district without police escort. Gothenburg is Sweden's second-largest city. In Angered, one of the city's districts, Muslim youths pelt police cars with Molotov cocktails and have already destroyed more than 15 police cars. They use green lasers to temporarily blind police officers by pointing them at their eyes.

The Gatestone Institute reports that an Islamist group called Muslims Against Crusades has launched an ambitious campaign to turn 12 British cities into independent Islamic states, including Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester and what the group calls "Londonistan." The so-called Islamic Emirates would function as autonomous enclaves ruled by Shariah and operate entirely outside British jurisprudence. Several years ago, The Telegraph reported: "Islamic extremists have created 'no-go' areas across Britain where it is too dangerous for non-Muslims to enter. ... People of a different race or faith face physical attack if they live or work in communities dominated by a strict Muslim ideology."

No-go zones have also emerged in Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Italy. The basic question is: Does the Western world have the power to control its countries? In terms of capacity, as opposed to will, the answer is a clear yes. Western lack of will is a result of our having been paralyzed by the doctrine of multiculturalism. Diversity worship and multiculturalism have currency and are cause for celebration among our elite. Multiculturalists teach that cultural values are morally equivalent, such as those of Islam and the West. To suggest that Western values are superior to others would win one opprobrium by the know-it-all elite. Western values are indeed superior to all others because they hold the individual as supreme. Though Western values are superior to all others, one need not be a Westerner to hold Western values.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has declared that in Germany, multiculturalism has "utterly failed." Both Australia's ex-prime minister John Howard and Spain's ex-prime minister Jose Maria Aznar reached the same conclusion about multiculturalism in their countries. British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that multiculturalism is fostering extremist ideology and directly contributing to homegrown Islamic terrorism. UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said the United Kingdom's push for multiculturalism has not united Britons but pushed them apart. It has allowed for Islam to emerge despite Britain's Judeo-Christian culture. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the roots of violent Islamism are not "superficial but deep" and can be found "in the extremist minority that now, in every European city, preach hatred of the West and our way of life." I wonder whether America's leftists and progressives see multiculturalism as a success or failure.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams012115.php3#D7k9y5q0YP34Adsf.99

1-25-15

What freedom of speech? Where the government decides which utterances are allowed

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

The photos of 40 of the world's government leaders marching arm-in-arm along a Paris boulevard on Sunday with the president of the United States not among them was a provocative image that has fomented much debate. The march was, of course, in direct response to the murderous attacks on workers at the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo by a pair of brothers named Kouachi, and on shoppers at a Paris kosher supermarket by one of the brothers' comrades.

The debate has been about whether President Obama should have been at the march. The march was billed as a defense of freedom of speech in the West, yet it hardly could have been held in a less free-speech-friendly Western environment, and the debate over Mr. Obama's absence misses the point.

In the post-World War II era, French governments have adopted a policy advanced upon them nearly 100 years ago by Woodrow Wilson. He pioneered the modern idea that countries' constitutions don't limit governments; they unleash them. Thus, even though the French Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, French governments treat speech as a gift from the government, not as a natural right of all persons, as our Constitution does.

The French government has prohibited speech it considers to be hateful and even made it criminal. When the predecessor magazine to Charlie Hebdo once mocked the death of Charles de Gaulle, the French government shut it down — permanently.

The theory of anti-hate speech laws is that hate speech often leads to violence, and violence demands police deployment and thus, the expenditure of public resources. So the government can make it illegal to spout hatred in order to conserve its resources. This attitude presumes, as Wilson did when he prosecuted folks for publicly singing German songs during World War I, that the government is the origin of free speech and can lawfully limit the speech it hates and fears. It also presumes that all ideas are equal, and none is worthy of hatred.

When the massacres occurred last week in Paris, all three of the murderers knew that the police would be unarmed and so would be their victims. It was as if they were shooting fish in a barrel. Why is that? The answer lies in the same mentality that believes it can eradicate hate by regulating speech. That mentality demands that government have a monopoly on violence, even violence against evil.

So, to those who embrace this dreadful theory, the great loss in Paris last week was not human life, which is a gift from G0D; it was free speech, which is a gift from the state. Hence the French government, which seems not to care about innocent life, instead of addressing these massacres as crimes against innocent people, proclaimed the massacres crimes against the freedom of speech. Would the French government have reacted similarly if the murderers had killed workers at an ammunition factory, instead of at a satirical magazine?

How hypocritical was it of the French government to claim it defends free speech. In France, you can go to jail if you publicly express hatred for a group whose members may be defined generally by characteristics of birth, such as gender, age, race, place of origin or religion.

You can also go to jail for using speech to defy the government. This past weekend, millions of folks in France wore buttons and headbands that proclaimed in French: "I am Charlie Hebdo." Those whose buttons proclaimed "I am not Charlie Hebdo" were asked by the police to remove them. Those who wore buttons that proclaimed, either satirically or hatefully, "I am Kouachi" were arrested. Arrested for speech at a march in support of free speech? Yes.

What's going on here? What's going on in France, and what might be the future in America, is the government defending the speech with which it agrees and punishing the speech with which it disagrees. What's going on is the assault by some in radical Islam not on speech, but on vulnerable innocents in their everyday lives in order to intimidate their governments. What's going on is the deployment of 90,000 French troops to catch and kill three murderers because the government does not trust the local police to use guns to keep the streets safe or private persons to use guns to defend their own lives.

Why do some in radical Islam kill innocents in the West in order to affect the policies of Western governments? Might it be because the fruitless Western invasion of Iraq killed 650,000 persons, most of whom were innocent civilians? Might it be because that invasion brought al Qaeda to the region and spawned the Islamic State? Might it be because Mr. Obama has killed more innocent civilians in the Middle East with his drones than were killed by the planes in the United States on Sept. 11, 2001? Might it be because our spies are listening to us, rather than to those who pose real dangers?

What does all this have to do with freedom of speech? Nothing — unless you believe the French government.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0115/napolitano011515.php3#V7jQgv3mBxKAouyS.99

1-24-15

Iran's emerging empire

By Charles Krauthammer

While Iran's march toward a nuclear bomb has provoked a major clash between the White House and Congress, Iran's march toward conventional domination of the Arab world has been largely overlooked. In Washington, that is. The Arabs have noticed. And the pro-American ones, the Gulf Arabs in particular, are deeply worried.

This week, Iranian-backed Houthi rebels seized control of the Yemeni government, heretofore pro-American. In September, they overran Sanaa, the capital. On Tuesday, they seized the presidential palace. On Thursday, they forced the president to resign.

The Houthis have local religious grievances, being Shiites in a majority Sunni land. But they are also agents of Shiite Iran, which arms, trains and advises them. Their slogan — "God is great. Death to America. Death to Israel" — could have been written in Persian.

Why should we care about the coup? First, because we depend on Yemen's government to support our drone war against another local menace, al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). It's not clear if we can even maintain our embassy in Yemen, let alone conduct operations against AQAP. And second, because growing Iranian hegemony is a mortal threat to our allies and interests in the entire Middle East.

In Syria, Iran's power is similarly rising. The mullahs rescued the reeling regime of Bashar al-Assad by sending in weapons, money and Iranian revolutionary guards, as well as by ordering their Lebanese proxy, Hezbollah, to join the fight. They succeeded. The moderate rebels are in disarray, even as Assad lives in de facto coexistence with the Islamic State, which controls a large part of his country.

Iran's domination of Syria was further illustrated by a strange occurrence last Sunday in the Golan Heights. An Israeli helicopter attacked a convoy on the Syrian side of the armistice line. Those killed were not Syrian, however, but five Hezbollah fighters from Lebanon and several Iranian officials, including a brigadier general.

What were they doing in the Syrian Golan Heights? Giving "crucial advice," announced the Iranian government. On what? Well, three days earlier, Hezbollah's leader had threatened an attack on Israel's Galilee. Tehran appears to be using its control of Syria and Hezbollah to create its very own front against Israel.

The Israelis can defeat any conventional attack. Not so the very rich, very weak Gulf Arabs. To the north and west, they see Iran creating a satellite "Shiite Crescent" stretching to the Mediterranean and consisting of Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. To their south and west, they see Iran gaining proxy control of Yemen. And they are caught in the pincer.

The Saudis are fighting back the only way they can — with massive production of oil at a time of oversupply and collapsing prices, placing enormous economic pressure on Iran. It needs $136 oil to maintain its budget. The price today is below $50.

Yet the Obama administration appears to be ready to acquiesce to the new reality of Iranian domination of Syria. It has told the New York Times that it is essentially abandoning its proclaimed goal of removing Assad.

For the Saudis and the other Gulf Arabs, this is a nightmare. They're engaged in a titanic regional struggle with Iran. And they are losing — losing Yemen, losing Lebanon, losing Syria and watching post-U.S.-withdrawal Iraq come under increasing Iranian domination.

The nightmare would be hugely compounded by Iran going nuclear. The Saudis were already stupefied that Washington conducted secret negotiations with Tehran behind their backs. And they can see where the current talks are headed — legitimizing Iran as a threshold nuclear state.

Which makes all the more incomprehensible President Obama's fierce opposition to Congress' offer to strengthen the American negotiating hand by passing sanctions to be triggered if Iran fails to agree to give up its nuclear program. After all, that was the understanding Obama gave Congress when he began these last-ditch negotiations in the first place.

Why are you parroting Tehran's talking points, Mr. President? asks Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez. Indeed, why are we endorsing Iran's claim that sanctions relief is the new norm? Obama assured the nation that sanctions relief was but a temporary concession to give last-minute, time-limited negotiations a chance.

Twice the deadline has come. Twice no new sanctions, just unconditional negotiating extensions.

Our regional allies — Saudi Arabia, the other five Gulf states, Jordan, Egypt and Israel — are deeply worried. Tehran is visibly on the march on the ground and openly on the march to nuclear status. And their one great ally, their strategic anchor for two generations, is acquiescing to both.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer012315.php3#Tq72OiGpB1z6LRhC.99

1-23-15

Obama's Doubly Deceitful SOTU

By David Limbaugh

It was an otherworldly experience to watch President Obama delivering his State of the Union speech. Even after watching him for seven years, I can't decide who the primary victim of his deceit is, him or us.

Is it even possible for this guy to extricate himself from campaign mode? Is there ever a time when he's not puffing his product? His incessant salesmanship would be bad enough if he truly had a stellar record.

If we give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he is just self-deceived, then the culprits are probably his blinding ideology and his narcissism.

His ideology compels him to believe that his policies are working even when they're not, because even objective evidence demonstrating otherwise doesn't seem to register with him. And narcissism surely accounts for his navel-gazing tunnel vision that fools him into believing he's a bipartisan conciliator.

For him to hold himself out as a uniter and effusively praise himself for his economic and foreign policy record is surreal.

For years, we have heard his bipartisan rhetoric in one breath and, in the next, his threat that it will be his way or the highway. What honest and self-aware person could say he is ready to work with Republicans while blasting them as paid partisan hacks and threatening to veto anything they send to him that doesn't fully embrace his own imperial demands?

It's far easier for me to understand his dogmatism than to get my mind around his holding himself out as a uniter in the midst of it. It's either the highest form of sophisticated deceit (involving the lowest form of cynicism) or an alarming case of his residing in an impenetrable bubble where he hears only himself and those who agree with him.

If we don't give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he really knows his record doesn't square with his claims, I think we can still attribute his other-directed deceit to a combination of his ideology and his narcissism. He is so convinced that his primary goal of fundamentally changing the United States is imperative that he's willing to lie through his teeth to further that goal. And in his case, his narcissism insulates him from feeling any guilt at all about it.

Regardless of whether Obama is lying to himself, to us or both — and it's probably a great deal of both — his report card does not correspond to the objective facts, in a frightening number of ways.

Let's look at a few examples in this short space.

He briefly mentioned Obamacare — to brag about more people being covered by insurance. What he didn't tell us is that most of these gains were caused by an expansion of Medicaid, which historically delivers lower-quality care and reduced access to it — defeating the ostensible purposes of Obamacare. More importantly, most of Obamacare's nominal coverage expansion has been nullified by reductions in coverage for people with employer-based insurance.

He shamelessly took credit for an energy boom and lowering gas prices. These have occurred not because of his policies but in spite of them. Increases in production are because of more drilling on private and state land, not federal land. Energy produced from private-sector fracking — a practice he opposes — is also responsible for much of the increased productivity and lower prices.

Obama beamed about reducing the deficit, but as The Heritage Foundation reports, this is about the only time he'll be able to make that claim. That's because most of his prior deficits were horrendous and annual deficits over the next decade are projected to average almost $1 trillion. More disturbing, however, is that entitlements consume about half of our tax revenues and are projected to swallow 100 percent of revenues within 15 years. Yet Obama steadfastly obstructs entitlement reform.

Obama takes credit for a growing economy, but if the economy is finally growing — and the evidence is mixed — it's been a long time coming. His vaunted middle-class policies are not helping the middle class, which has suffered under his presidency. He has presided over the slowest recovery in 50 years. Plus, workers at the lower end of the pay scale have seen their average weekly hours dropping significantly — as opposed to higher-paid workers. Though he cites decreasing unemployment, he omits that most of the job gains are among part-time workers and that the unemployment numbers are further misleading because they ignore the enormous number of people who have quit the workforce altogether. The labor participation rate is at its lowest point in decades, and only a quarter of this can be attributed to a change in demographics.

Among his numerous misstatements on foreign policy, Obama would have us believe that Islamic jihad and al-Qaida are not significant enough problems even to warrant a mention. We have "turned the page." How can a president be so out of touch as to take this position when the Islamist terrorist threat is expanding and becoming deadlier?

By one metric, though, Obama has been the most successful president in our history: He is well on his way to fundamentally transforming this nation — for the worse.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh012315.php3#EVKd3IdZ0h2SLV80.99

1-22-15

An entitlement epidemic

By George Will

America's national character will have to be changed if progressives are going to implement their agenda. So, changing social norms is the progressive agenda. To understand how far this has advanced, and how difficult it will be to reverse the inculcation of dependency, consider the data Nicholas Eberstadt deploys in National Affairs quarterly:

America's welfare state transfers more than 14 percent of gross domestic product to recipients, with more than a third of Americans taking "need-based" payments. In our wealthy society, the government officially treats an unprecedented portion of the population as "needy."

Transfers of benefits to individuals through social welfare programs have increased from less than 1 federal dollar in 4 (24 percent) in 1963 to almost 3 out of 5 (59 percent) in 2013. In that half-century, entitlement payments were, Eberstadt says, America's "fastest growing source of personal income," growing twice as fast as all other real per capita personal income. It is probable that this year a majority of Americans will seek and receive payments.

This is not primarily because of Social Security and Medicare transfers to an aging population. Rather, the growth is overwhelmingly in means-tested entitlements. More than twice as many households receive "anti-poverty" benefits than receive Social Security or Medicare. Between 1983 and 2012, the population increased by almost 83 million — and people accepting means-tested benefits increased by 67 million. So, for every 100-person increase in the population there was an 80-person increase in the recipients of means-tested payments. Food stamp recipients increased from 19 million to 51 million — more than the combined populations of 24 states.

What has changed? Not the portion of the estimated population below the poverty line (15.2 percent in 1983; 15 percent in 2012). Rather, poverty programs have become untethered from the official designation of poverty: In 2012, more than half the recipients were not classified as poor but accepted being treated as needy. Expanding dependency requires erasing Americans' traditional distinction between the deserving and the undeserving poor. This distinction was rooted in this nation's exceptional sense that poverty is not the unalterable accident of birth and is related to traditions of generosity arising from immigrant and settler experiences.

Eberstadt's essay, "American Exceptionalism and the Entitlement State," argues that this state is extinguishing the former. America "arrived late to the 20th century's entitlement party." The welfare state's European pedigree traces from post-1945 Britain, back through Sweden's interwar "social democracy," to Bismarck's late-19th-century social insurance. European welfare states reflected European beliefs about poverty: Rigid class structures rooted in a feudal past meant meager opportunities for upward mobility based on merit. People were thought to be stuck in neediness through no fault of their own, and welfare states would reconcile people to intractable social structures.

Eberstadt notes that the structure of U.S. government spending "has been completely overturned within living memory," resulting in the "remolding of daily life for ordinary Americans under the shadow of the entitlement state." In two generations, the American family budget has been recast: In 1963, entitlement transfers were less than $1 out of every $15; by 2012, they were more than $1 out of every $6.

Causation works both ways between the rapid increase in family disintegration (from 1964 to 2012, the percentage of children born to unmarried women increased from 7 to 41) and the fact that, Eberstadt says, for many women, children and even working-age men, "the entitlement state is now the breadwinner of the household." In the past 50 years, the fraction of civilian men ages 25 to 34 who were neither working nor looking for work approximately quadrupled.

Eberstadt believes that the entitlement state poses "character challenges" because it powerfully promotes certain habits, including habits of mind. These include corruption. Since 1970, Americans have become healthier, work has become less physically stressful, the workplace has become safer — and claims from Social Security Disability Insurance have increased almost sixfold. Such claims (including fraudulent ones) are gateways to a plethora of other payments.

Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a lifelong New Deal liberal and accomplished social scientist, warned that "the issue of welfare is not what it costs those who provide it but what it costs those who receive it." As a growing portion of the population succumbs to the entitlement state's ever-expanding menu of temptations, the costs, Eberstadt concludes, include a transformation of the nation's "political culture, sensibilities, and tradition," the weakening of America's distinctive "conceptions of self-reliance, personal responsibility, and self-advancement," and perhaps a "rending of the national fabric." As a result, "America today does not look exceptional at all."

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will012215.php3#pOTs1fjauJr7sZDS.99

1-21-15

Republicans Must Unify on Major Issues

By David Limbaugh

If we can't have a wholly unified Republican Party, can the GOP at least agree on some major issues that are essential to the Republican brand and, more importantly, help to get this country back on the right track?

If we can't come together on some of the basic issues that have always defined us, how do we effectively oppose President Obama's ongoing destructive agenda? How do we sell ourselves in 2016 as not just a plausible but an imperative alternative?

Part of our problem, especially in presidential races, is that too many among us are fearful that if they advocate truly conservative solutions, we'll be scorned by the media, the PC culture, the finger-wagging Democratic Party and the liberal establishment and lose elections. They simply don't believe in the power of our ideas anymore.

As President Obama is set to deliver his latest demagogic State of the Union address, which will launch the next year's worth of partisan warfare, we need to make a decision. Are we going to oppose him — really oppose his lawlessness and his anti-growth and anti-defense policies? Can't we all agree that Obamacare must be repealed? Are we going to put forth our positive ideas as if we really mean them?

Obama's perverse vision for fundamentally transforming America extends to all policy and cultural platforms — from foreign policy to domestic policy, including social issues, on which he works with community-organizing groups in the private sector, as well as issuing unconstitutional edicts from his public perch, to advance his "progressive" social vision for America.

Elsewhere on the domestic side, his plot for transformation is also multifaceted and complex. Though he has sometimes paid disingenuous lip service to believing in the free market, his actions betray his words. He offers nothing that evinces any belief in the power of the people to produce absent government superintendence or in rudimentary economic truths such as the fact that people respond positively to incentives and negatively to disincentives.

He views the economy as a fixed pie, with the only variable being how its pieces are distributed. The more he can gouge the "rich" and "upper middle class" and siphon off their wealth to "the middle class" and poor the better he has performed. When he says he wants to improve the lot of the middle class, he doesn't mean that he wants to implement policies that will lead to growth whereby the middle class will thrive; he wants to transfer payments from the wealthier, which he mistakenly claims would improve the relative lot of the less wealthy.

He is imposing his redistribution mania across the board, from his misnamed stimulus bill to health care to extending unemployment benefits and paid pregnancy leave to removing the work requirement from welfare reform to moving more and more people onto government programs, including food stamps. Some of his "innocuous" ideas are completely under the radar, such as his program for the government to subsidize students' after-school snacks and evening dinner, which reportedly feeds some 1 million children now. Where does this money come from?

In the meantime, he is planning ostensibly free community college for all Americans and, in his State of the Union speech, is going to propose another grandiose scheme to hike taxes on the "wealthy," to the tune of $320 billion, by increasing yet again their capital gains tax rates and closing their so-called tax loopholes. With Obama, you get this unmistakable sense that he is not just transferring resources in a misguided sense of compassion for the transferees but relishing in punishing the involuntary transferors.

What's tragically ironic about all this is that despite all Obama's professed concern about the middle class, most of his programs are killing the middle class, and his planned programs would make things even worse. Just this past weekend, Reuters published a sobering piece lamenting that "Obama enters the final two years of his presidency with a blemish on his legacy that looks impossible to erase: the decline of the middle class he has promised to rescue." Though Obama and his fellow liberals supposedly have good intentions, their policies often produce the exact opposite effect of what they promise. How can he possibly think he is enabling economic growth when he is demonizing the work ethic and glorifying idleness?

Obama simply can't escape from his zero-sum mindset to understand that we have a dynamic economy and that a lowering tide — caused by a war against the rich, productive, business, entrepreneurship and industry — sinks more boats and a rising tide lifts all boats.

Republicans, in unison, need to press for a full repeal of Obamacare and otherwise recapture and communicate their belief in the power of an unleashed free market to produce robust economic growth rather than compete with liberals in the phony-compassion department, which is futile. They need to make their compelling case for defending America. And above all, they need to graduate from their apparent fear that articulating conservative ideas would hurt them in the 2016 elections.

We can have vigorous internal debates over the other very important issues, as well, including immigration, but let's prove to the American people we represent a stark contrast from the status quo — that we are bullish on America and firmly believe that the American people have the resilience and readiness to resurrect themselves from this nightmare.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh012015.php3#rsvXDsZrDVDPEMsq.99

1-20-15

'Diversity' in Action

By Thomas Sowell

Islamic terrorist attacks in Europe, and European governments' counter-attacks are more than just a passing news story.

Europe is currently in the process of paying the price for years of importing millions of people from a culture hostile to the fundamental values of Western culture. And this is by no means the last of the installments of that price, to be paid in blood and lives, for smug elites' Utopian self-indulgences in moral preening and gushing with the magic word "diversity."

Generations yet unborn will still be paying the price, whether in large or small installments, depending on how long it takes for the West to jettison Utopianism and come to grips with reality.

Meanwhile, in the United States, no one seems to be drawing any lessons about the dangers of importing millions of people from fundamentally different cultures across our open border. In America, "diversity" has still not yet lost its magical ability to stop thought in its tracks and banish facts into the outer darkness.

Perhaps here, as in Europe, that verbal magic can only be washed away in the blood of innocent victims, many of them yet unborn.

To cross our open border with Mexico, you don't have to be Mexican or even from Central America. You can be from Iran, Syria or other hotbeds of Middle Eastern terrorism.

It is one of the monumental examples of political irresponsibility that the southern border has not been secured during administrations of either party, despite promises and posturing.

Many fine people have come here from Mexico. But, as with any other group, some are just the opposite. With open borders, however, we don't even know how many people who cross that border are Mexican, much less anything more relevant, like their education, diseases, criminal records or terrorist ties.

There are some politicians — both Democrats and Republicans — who just want to get the issue behind them, and are prepared to leave the consequences for others to deal with in the future, just as they are leaving a staggering national debt for others to deal with in the future.

These consequences include irreversible changes in the American population. Ethnic "leaders" and welfare state goodies guarantee the fragmentation of the population, with never-ending strife among the fragments. People who enter the country illegally will get, not only equal benefits with the American people who created those benefits, they will get more than many American citizens, thanks to affirmative action.

We cannot simply let in everyone who wants to come to America, or there will be no America to come to. Cultures matter — and not all cultures are mutually compatible, as Europeans are belatedly learning, the hard way. And "assimilation" is a dirty word to multiculturalists.

State and local officials who blithely violate their oath to uphold the law, and indulge themselves in the moral posturing of declaring their domains to be "sanctuaries" for people who entered the country illegally, are unlikely to reconsider until disastrous consequences become far too big to ignore — which is to say, until it is too late.

Meanwhile, harsh punishments are reserved for people in business who fail to carry out the law-enforcement duties that elected officials openly declare they are not going to carry out.

To many in the media, the only question seems to be whether we are going to be "mean-spirited" toward people who want to come here — especially children who were brought here, or sent here, "through no fault of their own."

It is as if those children had some pre-existing right to be in the United States, which they could lose only if they did something bad themselves. But those children had no more right to be here than children in India, Africa or other places with millions of children living in poverty.

Surely we can think ahead enough to realize that children living in this country illegally are going to grow up and have children of their own, with cultures and values of their own — and ethnic "leaders" to promote discontent and hostility if they don't get as good results as people who have the prevailing American culture, beginning with the English language.

You can't wish that away by saying the magic word "diversity" — not after we have seen what "diversity" has led to in Europe.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell012115.php3#Ky4FBFsBmiurByAB.99

1-19-15

Obama to Further Tighten the Noose on 'Big Awl'

By David Limbaugh


I am guessing you don't know one of the major things President Obama was doing while snubbing France and world leaders who convened in Paris to express solidarity in the civilized world's war against radical Islamic terrorism.
I assure you it was something close to his heart — as opposed to fighting Islamic jihad. It was something that will thrill the anti-business, anti-energy extreme environmentalists but will not warm the hearts of American businesses and energy producers, and it is not good news for America's currently overhyped economy.
Yes, you heard me right; despite all the faux euphoria projected by the administration and the media, this economy is not bouncing back. According to Gallup CEO Jim Clifton, for the first time in 35 years, the United States is no longer first but 12th (12th!) among developed nations in business startup activity. More businesses are closing than opening. Four hundred thousand businesses are being born each year in America, but some 470,000 are closing. That's because America, under this president, is a business-hostile zone.

What is President Obama planning on doing about this disturbing problem? Two things. First, he will deny the problem even exists as he continues to fraudulently proclaim that America's businesses are smoking-hot. Second, he will exacerbate the problem with yet new business-killing, energy-killing lawless executive regulations honoring earth goddess Gaia with an involuntary sacrificial offering from the American energy industry. His regulations will dramatically cut methane emissions over the next decade.

Based on his record in office and his continuing with these new regulations, it's hard to tell whether he's more motivated by his allegiance to environmental cultism or a visceral aversion to business. Or perhaps those interests are so interlocked that we needn't quibble over which is dominant on Obama's priority list.

Obama's fellow pseudo-scientists, convinced that methane — the primary component of natural gas — traps heat in the atmosphere even more than carbon dioxide, are determined to target it to prevent global warming, I mean climate change. The regulations will require the oil and gas industry (which leftist enviro-wackos regard as double evil because they are both "big awl" and "big bidness") to cut methane emissions by between 40 and 45 percent by 2025.

But not to worry; the implementation and monitoring of these draconian regulations will be quarterbacked by the power-mad, self-righteous and unaccountable Environmental Protection Agency. What could go wrong?

What the administration isn't telling us is that regardless of how efficient methane is at trapping heat in the atmosphere, there is far less of it in the atmosphere than the evil, dreaded carbon dioxide. What the administration also forgets to emphasize, though it is on record acknowledging it, is that methane admissions have already been reduced by more than 16 percent since 1990, even though natural gas production has risen by 37 percent during that time period. One might think that a priorities-balanced administration would be a bit more concerned with the current rise of Islamic jihad than with the significant and demonstrable decline of methane emissions, but here I go digressing again.

Thomas Pyle, president of the Institute for Energy Research, said: "EPA's proposed methane regulation is redundant, costly and unnecessary. Energy producers are already reducing methane emissions because methane is a valuable commodity. It would be like issuing regulations forcing ice cream makers to spill less ice cream."

Rep. Fred Upton, R-Mich., chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Ed Whitfield, R-Ky., chairman of the Subcommittee on Energy and Power, were more pointed in their criticism. "Studies show that while our energy production has significantly increased, methane emissions have continued to decline," they said in a statement. "This is something that should be celebrated, not bound by new red tape. Our success has been — and should continue to be — rooted in new efficiencies created through technology and innovation, a commitment to continued safety enhancements, and greater permitting certainty."

American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard noted that these new regulations threaten to shut down energy development by raising costs on producers.

You would think that a president who is always urging others to compromise and work together might at least pretend to be conciliatory on these energy issues, especially after he has been so duplicitously destructive in opposing the Keystone XL oil pipeline. But you would be wrong. It's as if Obama rejoices in provoking the newly elected Republican congressional majority.

Instead of trying to justify why these new regulations are even needed — and in any event how they could be needed urgently enough to justify the damage they will do to the energy industry and the economy — the White House simply expects us to accept its "Twilight Zone" version of reality. Actually, according to the administration, these new regulations will benefit the economy.

Isn't it wonderful to have a pro-business president who is staying so focused on the rising global threat of radical jihad?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh011615.php3#PJFYPmqwmLbbW8wZ.99


1-18-15

As long as Obama brought up the cost of college ...

By Ann Coulter

I gather from Obama's "free" community college proposal that his plan for dealing with the Republican Congress over the next two years is to throw out ridiculously expensive ideas no one has ever heard of before, and then denounce Republicans for being naysayers.

Community college is already incredibly inexpensive. The only thing that will jack up the price is making it "free." How about a big federal program to provide every American with free toilet paper? Coincidentally, that's about all most college degrees are good for these days.

Obama's moronic proposal has presented the GOP with a fantastic opportunity. Since he brought it up, how about Republicans get to the bottom of why college is so expensive?

The cost of a college education has increased by more than 1,000 percent only since 1978. Nothing else has gone up that much -- not health care, consumer goods or home prices. The explosion in college tuition bears no relation to anything happening in the economy.

Would anyone argue that colleges are providing a better education today than in 1978? I promise you: People coming out of college in the '50s knew more than any recent Yale graduate -- unless we're only counting knowledge of sexual practices once considered verboten.

They're teaching gender studies, ethnic studies, moral equivalence and hatred of America. Did the Japanese Really Start World War II or Did We? It's worse than not reading Shakespeare. They're reading Shakespeare for homosexual imagery. As Yale professor Daniel Gelernter says, colleges are "threatening to become an elaborate, extremely expensive practical joke."

The fact that 80 percent of Weathermen -- the violent '60s radicals -- are full college professors tells you all you need to know about the state of higher education today.

The cost of college spirals continuously upward not because the product has gotten better -- it's gotten much, much worse -- but because college loans are backed by the taxpayer.

The government is chasing its tail every time it increases student financial aid. If the government hiked college loans and subsidies by $1 million per student, colleges would promptly raise tuition to: [current tuition] plus $1 million.

Americans are being bamboozled into paying any price for a college degree because they are relentlessly told that if they don't go to college, their lives will be hell. And they're told this not only by the colleges, but by the government.

The sales pitch is manifestly false. According to an article by Adam Davidson in The New York Times magazine last June,
"(m)ore than half of recent college graduates are unemployed or underemployed, meaning they make substandard wages in jobs that don't require a college degree." Evidently, most jobs don't depend on a degree in women's studies.

More than a third of college graduates, Davidson says, will never make enough money to repay their student loans.

If any other business made such false claims about a product, there would be massive congressional hearings, media denunciations and prison sentences for the CEOs. A college degree is the most expensive purchase most families will ever make, other than their home.

Right before our eyes, Democrats are colluding with colleges to create a market bubble for an increasingly worthless product, and they're doing it by making the exact same promise that banks made about home mortgages before the housing market crash: Sure it's a lot, but it's an investment in your future!

Instead of hauling college administrators to court, Democrats are active participants in the fraud, acting as Big Education's carnival barkers. It's as if the government is telling people: "If you don't smoke, you'll never be cool."

Why is the left not willing to admit that education is an industry, just like Lockheed Martin, Enron or Philip Morris? Democrats love to rail about the high costs of everything else -- pharmaceuticals, health care, mortgages, missile systems, contraception and so on. College is a business, too -- a cartel that fixes prices, preys on teenagers and lies to consumers.

But liberals won't make a peep about the College Industrial Complex because college professors are brainwashing students into leftist politics. Every year, another 10 million graduates emerge, hating God, their parents, America and Republicans. For this, parents are spending $50,000 a year.

The education industry is how leftists make capitalists pay for socialism. It was a smart move for cultural Marxists to capture the country's education establishment. GOOD THINKING, CULTURAL MARXISTS!

It's not the fault of the students that they're getting a crappy product at inflated prices. They've been lied to by shady education peddlers, including the Democratic Party.

Let's see if the middle class is more interested in the cost of college tuition or the Democrats' endless global warming initiatives.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/coulter011515.php3#GSjOZQqtyTgouL6t.9

1-17-15

The Better Option

By John Stossel

It's easy to "fire" a business that rips you off. Just go to a different one. It's a lot easier to patronize another business than to get government to fix the problem.

But bad businesses and the politicians they own, I mean influence, often don't want you to have that choice.

I've written about how taxi companies don't like competition from ride-sharing services like Uber. Taxi companies, rightly, say it's unfair that they have to obey all kinds of rules and get complicated licenses that Uber drivers don't get.

Rather than getting rid of the excessive regulations, many local politicians just say that new competition is "unfair" and ban ride-hailing services. They've banned Uber in places like Thailand, Spain, Nevada and Massachusetts.

But customers like ride-hailing services. Uber is a multi-billion dollar business -- despite being banned and despite Uber executives doing some sleazy things.

Government claims we need all its regulations to keep us from being ripped off. But their endless rules don't stop rip-offs. For years, Las Vegas tourists have complained that cabbies cheat them by taking them to the strip via a roundabout route. Undercover cops ran tests and found that one in three Vegas taxis break the rules.

Firefox founder Blake Ross blogged about this after a cabby ripped him off.

Government responded to this problem as governments usually do. It issued complex rules and warnings. Ross calls it a five-part plan:

• Plan A: people with guns. "Uniformed cops stopped occupied cabs at random and offered to prosecute drivers who were taking inefficient routes ... slowing you down to make sure your driver isn't slowing you down."

But that didn't work. The authorities' chief investigator said only three passengers pressed complaints: "They just wanted to get to their hotels." Duh. Tourists didn't want to spend their vacation in court over a $10 rip-off.

• Plan B: big signs.

"Each sign," writes Ross, "enumerates the proper taxi fares for every conceivable trip ... using approximately twice as many words as it took Ronald Reagan to tear down the Berlin Wall."

And more time. It took the taxicab authority two years to put up the signs. "All things take time in government," said the administrator. The signs didn't stop the cheating.

• So government implemented Plan C: a big online spreadsheet listing bad drivers. That didn't work either.

• On to Plan D: a PDF. Bureaucrats love PDF's. Las Vegas asks you to print out a witness statement for people who have been taken on an overly long route and "complete the sworn affidavit in view of a public notary."

I like how Ross sums up plan D. Just carry "a desktop computer, a printer, envelopes, stamps, a fax machine [and] notary ... note the driver's full name, permit number and physical appearance. If you don't have this information memorized for some reason, just ask the driver while you're locked in the car with him ... explain that you're trying to have him fired."

Ross actually bothered to try out the government's complaint system when he was ripped off, but he never heard back from any Vegas official. That's how government consumer protection typically operates.

• Finally, Plan E: The Nevada Taxicab Authority "convened a committee." The committee, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, will "draw up guidelines ... for a software ... package designed to let the authority track cab movements."

Nevada estimates that this will cost about $6 million per year, writes Ross, "and you'll pay for this through an increase in your taxi fares, which are already about double the price of an UberX ride. "

But Uber already has a solution if drivers cheat: On the Uber app, customers give that driver just one star. Within hours, Uber adjusts your fare. If the driver scams people again, he's fired.

Simple. Better. That's the free market.

But Vegas officials kicked the company out of town.

Government is force. Government can always win, even when it's wrong.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0115/stossel011415.php3#bcodgPwLDt026FcQ.99

1-16-15

Notice when otherwise outspoken Obama suddenly becomes muted, mealy-mouthed?

By Charles Krauthammer

On Sunday, at the great Paris rally, the whole world was Charlie. By Tuesday, the veneer of solidarity was exposed as tissue thin. It began dissolving as soon as the real, remaining Charlie Hebdo put out its post-massacre issue featuring a Muhammad cover that, as the New York Times put it, "reignited the debate pitting free speech against religious sensitivities."

Again? Already? Had not 4 million marchers and 44 foreign leaders just turned out on the streets of France to declare "No" to intimidation, and pledging solidarity, indeed identification ("Je suis Charlie") with a satirical weekly specializing in the most outrageous and often tasteless portrayals of Muhammad? And yet, within 48 hours, the new Charlie Hebdo issue featuring the image of Muhammad — albeit a sorrowful, indeed sympathetic Muhammad — sparked new protests, denunciations and threats of violence, which in turn evinced another round of doubt and self-flagellation in the West about the propriety and limits of free expression. Hopeless.

As for President Obama, he never was Charlie, not even for those 48 hours. From the day of the massacre, he has been practically invisible. At the interstices of various political rallies, he issued bits of muted, mealy-mouthed boilerplate. Followed by the now-famous absence of any high-ranking U.S. official at the Paris rally, an abdication of moral and political leadership for which the White House has already admitted error.

But this was no mere error of judgment or optics or, most absurdly, of communications in which we are supposed to believe that the president was not informed by staff about the magnitude, both actual and symbolic, of the demonstration he ignored. (He needed to be told?)

On the contrary, the no-show, following the near silence, precisely reflected the president's profound ambivalence about the very idea of the war on terror. Obama began his administration by purging the phrase from the lexicon of official Washington. He has ever since shuttled between saying that (a) the war must end because of the damage "keeping America on a perpetual wartime footing" was doing to us, and (b) the war has already ended, as he suggested repeatedly during the 2012 campaign, with bin Laden dead and al-Qaeda "on the run."

Hence his call in a major address at the National Defense University to "refine and ultimately repeal" Congress' 2001 Authorization for Use of Military Force, the very legal basis for the war on terror. Hence hisaccelerating release of Gitmo inmates — five more announced Wednesday — fully knowing that up to 30 percent have returned to the battlefield (17 percent confirmed, up to 12 percent suspected but not verified). Which is why, since about the Neolithic era, POWs tend to be released after a war is over.

Paris shows that this war is not. On the contrary. As it rages, it is entering an ominous third phase.

The first, circa 9/11, involved sending Middle Eastern terrorists abroad to attack the infidel West.

Then came the lone wolf — local individuals inspired by foreign jihadists launching one-off attacks, as seen most recently in Quebec, Ottawa and Sydney.

Paris marks Phase 3: coordinated commando strikes by homegrown native-speaking Islamists activated and instructed from abroad. (Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has claimed responsibility for the Charlie Hebdo killings, while the kosher-grocery shooter proclaimed allegiance to the Islamic State.) They develop and flourish in Europe's no-go zones where sharia reigns and legitimate state authorities dare not tread.

To call them lone wolves, as did our hapless attorney general, is to define jihadism down. It makes them the equivalent of the pitiable, mentally unstable Sydney hostage taker.

The Paris killers were well-trained, thoroughly radicalized, clear-eyed jihadist warriors. They cannot be dismissed as lone loons. Worse, they represent a growing generation of alienated European Muslims whose sheer number is approaching critical mass.

The war on terror 2015 is at a new phase with a new geography. At the core are parallel would-be caliphates: in Syria and Iraq, the Islamic State; in Sub-Saharan Africa, now spilling out of Nigeria into Cameroon, a near-sovereign Boko Haram; in the badlands of Yemen, AQAP, the most dangerous of all al-Qaeda affiliates. And beyond lie not just a cast of mini-caliphates embedded in the most ungovernable parts of the Third World from Libya to Somalia to the borderlands of Pakistan, but an archipelago of no-go Islamist islands embedded in the heart of Europe.

This is serious. In both size and reach it is growing. Our president will not say it. Fine. But does he even see it?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer011615.php3#o9UsLBTUr2S6qXzl.99

1-15-15

Basic Economics

By Walter Williams

"Whether one is a conservative or a radical, a protectionist or a free trader, a cosmopolitan or a nationalist, a churchman or a heathen, it is useful to know the causes and consequences of economic phenomena." That quotation, from Nobel laureate George J. Stigler, is how Dr. Thomas Sowell begins the fifth edition of "Basic Economics." It's a book that explains complex economic phenomena in a way that many economists cannot. And, I might add, it provides an understanding of some economic phenomena that might prove elusive to a Ph.D. economist.
(Buy it at 34% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition for 43% discount by clicking here)

"Basic Economics" is a 653-page book, not including the index. One doesn't have to start reading it at the beginning. Near the book's end, there's a section titled "Questions," and it points the reader to answers. How about this question: How can the prices of baseball bats be affected by the demand for paper or the prices of catcher's mitts be affected by the demand for cheese? Another question easily answered is: Why would luxury hotels be charging lower rates than economy hotels in the same city? Then there's: Can government-imposed prices for medical care reduce the cost of that care? I'm not going to give the answers away; you'll have to read the book. The bottom line is that an understanding of material contained in "Basic Economics" would prevent us from falling easy prey to charlatans, hustlers and quacks.

Sowell points out that the most basic thing that can be said about economics is that we live in a world of scarcity. That means — whether our policies, practices and institutions are wise or unwise, noble or ignoble — there is never enough of anything to satisfy all of our desires. What are sometimes called "unmet needs" are inherent to any society, whether it's capitalist, socialist, feudal or any other kind of society.

Economics is not just about goods and services that we enjoy as consumers. It's more fundamentally about productivity — that is, how the use of land, labor, capital and other inputs that go into producing the volume of output determines a nation's wealth. Decisions about how to use those inputs may be more important than the resources themselves. There are countries, such as Japan and Switzerland, that have far greater wealth than countries — for example, Uruguay and Venezuela — that are far richer in natural resources.

I would add as an aside to Sowell's discussion that the human mind is the ultimate resource. I've asked students why it was that George Washington didn't have guided missiles with which to pummel the British or a cellphone to communicate with his troops. After all, the physical resources that are necessary to make missiles and cellphones were around at the time. In fact, the physical resources were also around at the time of the caveman. What wasn't around was the ingenuity from the human mind to make missiles and cellphones.

One part of Sowell's introductory chapter deals with the role of economics. A popular misconception is that economics is about opinions, running a business or the ups and downs of stock markets. Economics is a systematic study of cause and effect, showing what happens when you do specific things in specific ways. The path to understanding outcomes is to examine consequences of decisions in terms of incentives they create rather than goals they pursue.

Paying attention to goals rather than incentives has been responsible for disastrous public policy. The minimum wage law is one example. Its goal is to provide "living wages." It creates incentives for employers to reduce and seek substitutes for labor and thereby causes unemployment for some workers. Rent control laws are enacted to provide "affordable housing." They provide incentives for landlords to convert apartments to condominiums, create black markets and reduce housing construction in rent-controlled areas.

The fact that Sowell's "Basic Economics" has been translated into seven different languages speaks well of its usefulness in transmitting fundamental economic understanding. Reading it can benefit ordinary people, as well as Ph.D. economists.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams011415.php3#DbBxyJ6TxMJek2Ek.99

1-14-15

New Year's Irresolution

By Thomas Sowell

President Barack Obama's absence from the great gathering in Paris of national leaders from other countries, to show their solidarity with France in its opposition to Islamic terrorists, was another sign of the Obama administration's continuing irresolution in the face of terror.

Even the recent courageous message of Egypt's president, Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, calling on his fellow Muslims around the world to "revolutionize" the interpretation of Islam, to make it more compatible with peaceful relations with other peoples, put no steel in the spine of Barack Obama.

From his earliest days in the White House, our president has downplayed the terrorist threat from Islamic extremists. He declared victory as he pulled American troops out of Iraq, setting the stage for a huge defeat when ISIS moved in to create their own new government, on both Iraqi and Syrian soil — while committing atrocities against men, women and children not seen since the days of the Nazis.

Undaunted, President Obama has since reaffirmed his determination to similarly pull American troops out of Afghanistan, with a similar declaration that they are no longer needed. He proceeds as if he can declare a war over when it suits the political convenience of his administration.

But a war is not over until the enemy stops fighting. The terrorist enemies of Iraq and Afghanistan are enemies of the United States as well. ISIS has left no doubt of that by beheading Americans and spreading the videotapes of these beheadings for the enjoyment of like-minded people in the Middle East and beyond.

Not even the movement of the world's biggest sponsor of terrorism — Iran — toward building a nuclear bomb has caused the Obama administration to change its vision of the world. For Obama, the question has never been how to stop Iran from going nuclear, but how to stop Israel from stopping Iran from going nuclear.

He has accomplished that by public declarations of support for Israel, while engaging in protracted negotiations with Iran that serve only to allow Iran to fortify and proliferate the sites of its nuclear facilities, to the point where Israel's bombers may no longer be able to destroy those facilities.

image: http://d13.zedo.com/OzoDB/6/h/2160716/V1/300x250-1.jpg
Click Here!

At one time, information was leaked that Israel had a secret arrangement with Azerbaijan for Israeli bombers to land there and refuel on their way back from bombing Iran's nuclear facilities.

It is doubtful if anyone in the Obama administration would have dared to leak Israel's military secrets without knowing that it was all right with the president. Since it is unlikely that very many people in the White House had this information, the leaker's identity could hardly have remained secret from the president.

Barack Obama cannot be unaware of the consequences of these and other foreign policy decisions that undermine the security of America and America's allies. He is not stupid, nor is there any reason to believe that he is cowardly.

Instead, there is a remarkable consistency between Obama's domestic policies and his foreign policies on both economic and military matters. It was a sign of this consistency that he was proposing to have the taxpayers pay for free community college education while everyone else was focused on the terror attacks in Paris.

Barack Obama's vision of the world, both at home and abroad, is one in which some people and nations are undeservedly far better off than others in many ways.

In the Obama view of the world, those who are undeservedly thriving ("You didn't build that!") are to be forced to pay for benefits to those who are not thriving, whether the latter are people on welfare, community college students or immigrants from poorer nations, who are to be let into the United States to take a share of Americans' prosperity.

On the international stage, it is the same principle, where the problem is seen as Western nations being undeservedly better off than other nations, both economically and in terms of greater military power. Here too, Obama is for redistribution, even at the expense of his own country — if someone with such a "citizen of the world" viewpoint really thinks of America as his country, rather than a staging area for his world-changing, ideologically-driven crusades.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell011315.php3#zrCocTRSmQR7sKU6.99

1-13-15

Obama Handcuffs America in War on Terrorism

By David Limbaugh

In the wake of President Obama's pathetic disengagement over the Islamic jihadist attacks on Paris, people are once again decrying his lack of leadership, but the problem is something more fundamental than leadership.

Even if Obama were a gifted leader, when it comes to many issues, especially confronting radical Islam, he wouldn't know where to lead us. If you misapprehend a problem, you can't possibly navigate, much less lead, toward a solution.

From the beginning of his term in office, Obama has evidenced a deep moral confusion, a distorted worldview perhaps based on a bizarre upbringing. It's not that he doesn't distinguish between good and evil; it's that he often doesn't clearly recognize which is which.

He professes to be a Christian, yet his behavior screams otherwise. Even if he actually is a Christian, he undeniably has a nostalgic attraction and sympathy for Islam, which, among other things, obscures his grasp of the enormity of the threat the world faces from Islamists.

His approach to combating Islamic terrorism is first to downplay its existence and pervasiveness. Beyond that, it is obvious he rejects the idea that there is anything inherent to Islam that leads to radicalism and violence.

Like many of his fellow leftists, he believes Islamic radicalism is a result of historical abuses of Muslims, poverty caused by an inequitable distribution of the world's resources, and some kind of mutual irrational distrust between Islam and the Western world.

From the very beginning of his term, with his speech in Cairo and otherwise, he has shown he believes that Westerners are perhaps the main problem. He has lectured us for what he thinks is our distorted perception of Islam and has labored to rehabilitate the image of this religion. Do you remember him doing likewise for the Christian religion or for Christians? Or instead, do you remember his bitter-clingers slander?

He has carried his attitude on this well beyond rhetoric and into governance. At the highest levels of his executive infrastructure, he has directed that we change the way we think and speak about jihad, radical Islam and Islamic terrorism. He has encouraged the federal vernacular to be changed to sanitize references to Islam from our description of acts of terrorism — even those that are unquestionably committed by Islamic terrorists.

This political-correctness lunacy has had real consequences, such as handcuffing the federal government and preventing it from thoroughly investigating and monitoring the suspicious contacts and actions of Nidal Hasan, a U.S. army major and psychiatrist who fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others in the Fort Hood shootings of 2009.

This attitude has continued right into the present, as Attorney General Eric Holder — curiously designated to be Obama's representative on the Paris attacks — stubbornly refuses to call out these attackers for who they are and what they represent.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls pulled no punches in identifying the culprits and declaring, unambiguously, that France is at war against radical Islam. "It is a war against terrorism, against jihadism, against radical Islam, against everything that is aimed at breaking fraternity, freedom, solidarity," said Valls. "Our indignation must be clear, total and last longer than three days. It must be permanent."

When pressed by NBC's Chuck Todd and ABC's George Stephanopoulos to embrace Valls' declaration, Holder conspicuously, fecklessly and disgracefully demurred. Holder said: "I would say that we are at war with terrorists who commit these heinous acts and who use Islam. They use a corrupted version of Islam to justify their actions." But he wouldn't say we are at war with radical Islam. He and Obama prefer to call radical jihadis "extremists," wholly omitting any reference to Islam or Islamism. Obama, as distinguished from every other Western leader, will not say Islamic terrorists made these attacks.

Even Democratic commentator Doug Schoen has had enough. He wrote: "To speak about the most serious terrorist attack on Western soil since 9/11, London and Madrid, in between speeches about his free community college plan demonstrates a fundamental lack of understanding for the gravity of the situation in Paris and, indeed, the world. ... (Obama's) words ... came off as inauthentic at best and offensive at worst. ... We are at war with radical Islam. And President Obama needs to say it."

Lest you think this is merely a semantic quibble, please explain why President Obama refused to attend the Sunday march of world leaders in Paris, in which more than 40 European leaders and almost every French official joined in solidarity for a massive unity rally against the attacks and against radical Islam. Explain why he didn't at least send in his place Vice President Joe Biden or Secretary of State John Kerry. Moreover, explain why Holder was an outright no-show for the event.

Obama spends more time downplaying and denying Islamic terrorism and releasing dangerous terrorists from Guantanamo Bay than he does leading this nation in a war against it. That's because he is not committed to a war against it — and for another two years, he will be our commander in chief. God help us all.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh011315.php3#yQAOSRHf2FHdmuHk.99

1-12-15

Lamenting Liberty Lost: What an outsider grasps

By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano

A British author, residing in the United States for the past 30 years, created a small firestorm earlier this week with his candid observations that modern-day Americans have been duped by the government into accepting a European-style march toward socialism because we fail to appreciate the rich legacy of personal liberty that is everyone's birthright and is expressly articulated in the Declaration of Independence and guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Os Guinness, the author of more than a dozen books defending traditional Judeo-Christian values and Jeffersonian personal liberty, argued that we should embrace individual liberty and personal dignity and reject the "no givens, no rules, no limits" government we now have. He went on to opine that the government today is not the constitutionally restrained protector of personal freedoms the Framers left us, but rather has become the wealth-distributing protector of collective interests the Founding Fathers never could have imagined.

Yet the problem is a deep one. The Framers believed in the presumption of liberty, which declares that we are free to make personal choices, and the government cannot interfere with our liberties unless we violate the rights of others. Stated differently, the federal government cannot interfere with our personal choices by writing any law it wants; it can only regulate behavior or spend money when the Constitution authorizes it to do so.

However, for the past 100 years, the federal government has rejected the Madisonian concept that it is limited to the 16 discrete powers the Constitution delegates to it, and has claimed its powers are unlimited, subject only to the express prohibitions in the Constitution. Even those prohibitions can be circumvented since government lawyers have persuaded federal courts to rule that Congress can spend tax dollars or borrowed money on any projects it wishes, whether authorized by the Constitution or not. The courts have even authorized Congress to use federal tax dollars to bribe the states into enacting laws that Congress is powerless to enact, and Congress has done so.

The Declaration of Independence defines our personal liberties as inalienable aspects of our humanity, and the Constitution prohibits the government from interfering with those liberties — such as thought, speech, press, association, worship, self-defense, travel, privacy, due process, use of money and private property, to name a few.

Click Here!

The teaching of these founding documents is that our liberties are natural — their source is not the government — and they are personal, not collective. We don't need a government permission slip to exercise them; we don't need to belong to a group to enjoy them; they cannot be taken away by a congressional vote or a presidential signature.

Even though everyone who works for the government takes an oath to uphold the Declaration and the Constitution, very few are consistent with what they have sworn to do. We know that because on the transcendental issues of our day — life, liberty, war and debt — the leadership of both political parties and the behavior of all modern presidents have revealed a steadfast willingness to write any law and regulate any behavior or permit any evil, whether authorized by the Constitution or not.

Take life. Abortion is the most deadly force in America today. Abortions lawfully kill a baby every minute — that's 1.1 million babies a year and 45 million killed since the Supreme Court issued its Roe v. Wade decision in 1973. A simple one-line statute — "The fetus in the womb is a legal person" — could have been enacted by a simple majority vote in Congress and signed into law by any of our so-called pro-life presidents, thus stopping the slaughter. It never happened.

Take liberty. Both parties support the Patriot Act and the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act apparatus, which together invade privacy, infringe upon free speech, permit federal agents to write their own search warrants and allow domestic spying on all of us all the time. This demonstrates that our political leaders do not believe that our rights are inalienable, but can be interfered with and regulated by them. They have written laws that literally permit federal agents to undertake the very acts the Constitution was written to prohibit.

Take the lethal combination of war and debt. Both parties support perpetual war and perpetual debt. The leadership of both parties has permitted every modern president to kill whomever he pleases in foreign countries without lawful declarations of war and to do so by going into a $17 trillion hole of debt, with no end in sight. Today, 20 cents of every tax dollar collected goes to interest on pre-existing government debt. Today's taxpayers are still paying interest on the $30 billion Woodrow Wilson borrowed to finance World War I in 1917.

The British author is correct. Unless we have a radical change in the direction of government — its size, cost, focus, intrusiveness and rejection of first principles — and unless we elect people to the government who truly believe the Declaration and the Constitution mean what they say, we will continue our march toward the federal destruction of the presumption of liberty.

It is a slow march, but a steady one.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0115/napolitano010815.php3#2hBC8Z1GXS0RtVxr.99

1-11-15

Jeb Bush: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Waterboy

By Michelle Malkin

Allow me to unite America's left, right and center in just three words: No, Jeb, No.

Former GOP Florida governor Jeb Bush made the obvious official this week when he announced on Facebook that he's "actively exploring" a 2016 White House run. Of course, he's running. That's what inveterate politicians do.

Well, I hate to break it to Jeb Inc. There's no popular groundswell for Bush Part III. None, zip, nada. Independents, progressives and conservatives are all weary of the entrenched bipartisan dynasties that rule Washington and ruin America. Only in the hallowed bubble of D.C. and New York City elites does a Jeb Bush presidential bid make any sense.

Jeb's indulgent (and ultimately doomed) enterprise has three privileged constituencies: Big Business, Big Government and Big Media. This iron triumvirate explains how the failed campaigns of so-called "pragmatic," "thoughtful" and "moooooderate" liberal Republican candidates such as John McCain, Jon Huntsman and Bob Dole ever got off the ground. The "Reasonable Republican," anointed and enabled by the statist Big Three, serves as a useful tool for bashing conservatives and marginalizing conservatism.

For Republicans who argue that Jeb is the most "electable" choice, I ask: What planet are you on? After two disastrous terms of Barack Obama's Hope and Change Theater, the last thing the Republican Party needs is an establishment poster child for Washington business as usual. I mean, really? A third Bush who's been working for his dad, his dad's friends or the government since 1980?

A Beltway-ensconced scion so chummy with the Clinton family that he awarded close family friend — and potential 2016 nemesis — Hillary a "Liberty Medal" last year as chairman of the National Constitution Center?

That's the GOP donor bigwigs' "fresh idea" for "American Renewal?"

To blunt criticism from the grassroots base on the right, Jeb's cheerleaders at the Wall Street Journal cite his "conservative" gubernatorial record of cutting taxes and privatizing jobs. So we're supposed to swoon when a GOP governor acts like he's supposed to act on standard, bread-and-butter GOP issues? Whoop-de-doo.

One thing Jeb's promoters won't be emphasizing: Over the course of his eight years in the Florida governor's mansion, government spending skyrocketed. The libertarian Cato Institute notes that Florida general fund spending "increased from $18.0 billion to $28.2 billion during those eight years, or 57 percent" and that "(t)otal state spending increased from $45.6 billion to $66.1 billion, or 45 percent."

Like big-spending father, like big-spending big brother, like big-spending second son and lil' brother.

I have another interpretation of Bush's "conservative" Florida years: It's called biding his time. Yes, Jeb put in his obligatorily GOP service on taxes and the Second Amendment. Not because he was wedded to deep-rooted principles, mind you. But because the "conservative" facade will come in handy during the primaries when he has to defend radical, divisive positions on his two defining national policy issues: Education and immigration.

Jeb Bush's agenda is neither left nor right. His agenda is the agenda of the D.C. headquarters of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Remember: The chamber is a politically entrenched synod of bipartisan special interests. As I've said before, these fat cats do not represent the best interests of American entrepreneurs, American workers, American parents and students or Americans of any race, class or age who believe in low taxes and limited government.

The chamber's business is the big business of the Beltway, not the business of mainstream America. And so is Jeb Bush's.

The Chamber supports mass amnesty for cheap, illegal alien workers. Jeb Bush supports mass legalization of cheap, illegal alien workers and accuses those of us who oppose it on constitutional, sovereignty, security and fairness grounds of lacking "compassion."

The Chamber supports the top-down, privacy-undermining, local autonomy-sabotaging Common Core racket. Jeb Bush spearheaded and profited from Common Core — and accuses those of us who oppose it of opposing academic excellence for our own children. Jeb's problem isn't just Common Core. It's that he has no core. Instead of retreating from the costly federalized scheme that has alienated teachers, administrators and parents of all backgrounds, Bush has doubled down with his Fed Ed control freak allies and corporate donors.

The reign of Obama ushered in massive cronyism, corporate favoritism and Boomtown boondoggles galore. We've lived too long already under the boot of arrogant D.C. bureaucrats who've exploited their power to serve their friends.

No more business as usual: Stop Jeb Bush.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin121714.php3#DTuwYMVBXEKQwFJY.99

1-10-15

The US Constitution and Religious Liberty

By David Limbaugh

The Wall Street Journal recently ran a fascinating op-ed by William A. Galston, "The Christian Heart of American Exceptionalism," much of which I agree with but some of which I don't.

Galston argues that the idea of American exceptionalism should not be discounted and that its primary source is the "durability of American religious belief" — mostly Christianity. Bravo.

This will doubtlessly come as a shock to zealots for the blurry concept of multiculturalism, which on its face dictates that all cultures are equal and that all who disagree with the notion are more or less bigoted. At a deeper level, the concept is actually rooted in resentment toward Western and American culture.

But Galston's piece essentially argues that all cultures aren't equal and that those grounded in the Christian faith produce the healthiest and most prosperous societies. He doesn't say that exactly, but I think it's a reasonable inference from his words. He does say, "The durability of American religious belief refutes the once-canonical thesis that modernization and secularization necessarily go hand in hand."

I believe this is demonstrably true and very important, but I want to focus on a separate, though related, point Galston goes on to make.

He writes that the durability of American religious belief "is all the more remarkable because our Founders drafted a deliberately secular constitution," though he admits that the majority of the states had established religions at the time (1789) and that the American people were pervasively Christian.

I don't want to get hung up on semantics here, but I think the term "deliberately secular constitution" is unintentionally misleading. It is true that the Constitution prohibits religious tests for public office, which Galston points out, but let's not stop there.

The freedom of religion and the freedom of religious worship were of such paramount importance to the Framers that they guaranteed them in the very first two clauses of the very first amendment to the Constitution, the establishment clause and the free exercise clause.

Because activist courts throughout our history have distorted the original understanding of the establishment clause, it must be emphasized that it does not mandate a strict separation of church and state; it does not prohibit all federal support of religion; it does not apply to the states at all; and the driving force behind it was a consensual dedication to the idea that the federal government should not establish a national church — because to do so would diminish religious liberty. The free exercise clause, by its very terms, expressly guarantees the freedom of worship.

So though the Constitution prohibits the formal establishment of one predominant national church or religion, it is not proactively secular and is aggressively protective of religious liberty, an idea that is inherent in the document.

There's much more. Though historians disagree on the point, I believe that the overwhelming majority of the Framers and the larger group of the Founding Fathers were Christian, with notable exceptions. I believe that their Christian worldview led to much of the uniqueness of the Constitution, especially those provisions most critical to safeguarding our political and religious liberties.

The idea of unalienable rights flows from the Judeo-Christian precept that an all-loving God created man in his image, entitling him to dignity, freedom and rights that cannot be divested by the state. Yes, this idea was expressed in the Declaration of Independence, but it certainly flowed through to the drafting of the Constitution, which established a system of limited government for the purpose of protecting our individual liberties.

Further evidence that the Framers subscribed to the Christian worldview can be seen in their structure of government. Believing in the Fall of Man (and mankind's depravity), as well as man's creation in God's image, they devised a governmental scheme to guard against man's intrinsic and historical tendency toward absolutism. They divided and diffused governmental power by creating three coequal branches of the federal government, with an intricate system of checks and balances so that each branch would serve as a check against the others becoming too powerful. They created a bicameral legislature, divided power between the state and federal governments, and included the Bill of Rights for the same reason.

I am not so sanguine as Galston appears to be elsewhere in his piece about the continuing dominant influence of Christianity among Americans, irrespective of the findings of the Pew Research Center Galston cites.

That is indeed encouraging as far as it goes, but the reality on the ground and in practice is that militant secular forces are currently winning the "culture war" in this country and are succeeding, by political and cultural bullying, in diminishing our religious liberties.

It is wonderful that Pew confirms that so many Americans still believe in much of the historicity of Christianity, but it would be much more reassuring if more would recognize the threats their freedoms are facing, because at the core of all of our liberties is our religious liberty. If it falls, the remainder of our liberties will tumble like dominoes. And without it, the rest are far less important anyway.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh010915.php3#RVq2W2bYruOkTCv4.99

1-9-15

Quarterbacking Congress

By Michael Reagan

I'm not a huge fan of John Boehner.

But now that he has both houses of Congress to work with, let's give him a chance to move the Republican offense down the field to the end zone.

After fighting off a challenge to his speakership this week, Boehner has held on to his job as the starting QB of the GOP's legislative team in Washington.

Boehner and his Boys of Winter have a lot of hard work to do for the next two years, on and off the field.

But thanks to six years of fumbles by Obama at home and away, and Republican victories in the midterm elections last fall, the GOP is looking like the team to beat in 2016.

The Republican position in Congress is stronger than it's been in decades.

Boehner has the largest majority - 246 to 188 - in the House since Truman was president. And the Senate is solidly in Republican hands with a 54-seat majority.

It's now or pretty much never if Republicans hope to retake the Oval Office and reverse the damage done to America by Team Obama.

But before QB Boehner even thinks about which legislative play to call first - "Keystone -- 686 Pump F-Stop, on two"? - he and his party need to do some cheerleading for their own team.

Boehner has been badly roughed up by everyone since 2011. The liberal media mock him.

The conservative media have booed him unmercifully and he was almost sacked by some of his own teammates for being a wimpy conservative or a stooge of Obama.

But Boehner and the Republican House he has presided over deserve credit for a miraculous accomplishment that few people, even Republicans, know about.

Thanks mostly to the House, Congress has actually reduced federal spending for the last two years.

The cuts are nowhere near what they should be -- $3.60 trillion in 2011 to $3.54 trillion in 2012 to $3.45 trillion in 2013.

But it's an important turnaround. It's the first two consecutive years of federal spending cuts since 1953. Republicans should be tooting their own horn about that spending drop from coast to coast, because the liberal media sure aren't going to do it.

Meanwhile, Boehner's game plan for the next two years is nothing new or complicated. The people of America want the Congress to work - and get to work.

They want it to pass legislation that will create jobs and opportunity for Americans.

It's up to Congress - and QB Boehner -- to make that happen by pushing through laws to kill ObamaCare, cut taxes, cut spending budgets, slash regulations and repeal legislation (like ObamaCare) that harms the economy.

If President Obama wants to veto everything a Republican Congress passes, fine.

Let him become known as the obstructer in chief. Let Americans see that he's the one whose policies need to be rejected in 2016.

Boehner and his conservative Congress have to be careful, however. They need to approach the Washington political "game" the way Ronald Reagan did.

My father looked at the legislative process in Washington like it was a football field.

He knew that if you move the ball 10 yards at a time, you'll eventually get to the end zone and you'll accomplish something.

He knew politics is always a work in progress. It's the art of negotiation.

Boehner and the Republican Congress don't need to do everything this week or all at once.

The worst thing QB Boehner could do is to start throwing a bunch of Hail Mary passes into the end zone. He should move the ball 10 yards at a time.

If he plays it right, Republicans will score their TD and win the Super Bowl - the presidency of the United States in 2016.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan010815.php3#zE4viBrR2D8Z7T3a.99

1-8-15

The 'Equality' Racket

By Thomas Sowell

Some time ago, burglars in England scrawled a message on the wall of a home they had looted: "RICH BASTARDS."

Those two words captured the spirit of the politicized vision of equality — that it was a grievance when someone was better off than themselves.

That, of course, is not the only meaning of equality, but it is the predominant political meaning in practice, where economic "disparities" and "gaps" are automatically treated as "inequities." If one racial or ethnic group has a lower income than another, that is automatically called "discrimination" by many people in politics, the media and academia.

It doesn't matter how much evidence there is that some groups work harder in school, perform better and spend more postgraduate years studying to acquire valuable skills in medicine, science or engineering. If the economic end results are unequal, that is treated as a grievance against those with better outcomes, and a sign of an "unfair" society.

The rhetoric of clever people often confuses the undeniable fact that life is unfair with the claim that a given institution or society is unfair.

Children born into families that raise them with love and with care to see that they acquire knowledge, values and discipline that will make them valuable members of society have far more chances of economic and other success in adulthood than children raised in families that lack these qualities.

Studies show that children whose parents have professional careers speak nearly twice as many words per hour to them as children with working class parents — and several times as many words per hour as children in families on welfare. There is no way that children from these different backgrounds are going to have equal chances of economic or other success in adulthood.

The fatal fallacy, however, is in collecting statistics on employees at a particular business or other institution, and treating differences in the hiring, pay or promotion of people from different groups as showing that their employer has been discriminating.

Too many gullible people buy the implicit assumption that the unfairness originated where the statistics were collected, which would be an incredible coincidence if it were true.

Worse yet, some people buy the idea that politicians can correct the unfairness of life by cracking down on employers. But, by the time children raised in very different ways reach an employer, the damage has already been done.

What is a problem for children raised in families and communities that do not prepare them for productive lives can be a bonanza for politicians, lawyers and assorted social messiahs who are ready to lead fierce crusades, if the price is right.

Many in the media and among the intelligentsia are all too ready to go along, in the name of seeking equality. But equality of what?

Equality before the law is a fundamental value in a decent society. But equality of treatment in no way guarantees equality of outcomes.

On the contrary, equality of treatment makes equality of outcomes unlikely, since virtually nobody is equal to somebody else in the whole range of skills and capabilities required in real life. When it comes to performance, the same man may not even be equal to himself on different days, much less at different periods of his life.

What may be a spontaneous confusion among the public at large about the very different meanings of the word "equality" can be a carefully cultivated confusion by politicians, lawyers and others skilled in rhetoric, who can exploit that confusion for their own benefit.

Regardless of the actual causes of different capabilities and rewards in different individuals and groups, political crusades require a villain to attack — a villain far removed from the voter or the voter's family or community. Lawyers must likewise have a villain to sue. The media and the intelligentsia are also attracted to crusades against the forces of evil.

But whether as a crusade or a racket, a confused conception of equality is a formula for never-ending strife that can tear a whole society apart — and has already done so in many countries.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell010615.php3#Ic3hRyTBRSTDq1T8.99

1-7-15

Liberals' Use of Black People, Part II

By Walter Williams

Last week's column focused on the ways liberals use blacks in pursuit of their leftist agenda, plus their demeaning attitudes toward black people. Most demeaning are their double standards. It was recently reported that Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the House majority whip, spoke at a 2002 gathering hosted by white supremacist leaders when he was a Louisiana state representative. Some are calling on Scalise to step down or for House Speaker John Boehner to fire him. There's no claim that Scalise made racist statements.

Hardly anyone blinks an eye at the Rev. Al Sharpton's racist statements, such as: "White folks was in the caves while we (blacks) was building empires. ... We built pyramids before Donald Trump ever knew what architecture was. ... We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it."

Sharpton again: "So (if) some cracker come and tell you 'Well, my mother and father blood go back to the Mayflower,' you better hold your pocket. That ain't nothing to be proud of. That means their forefathers was crooks." Sharpton also offered, "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house."

Despite such racism, President Barack Obama has made Sharpton his go-to guy on matters of race. But not to worry. Obama himself spent 20 years listening to the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's anti-Semitic and racist sermons. The news media and intellectual elite don't condemn Sharpton or Obama, because they have two standards of behavior: one for whites and a lower one for blacks.

The news media's narrative about the police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, is that a white cop shot and killed an unarmed black man who was holding his hands up. Their New York City narrative is that a white cop used a chokehold that killed a black man. The news media people and their liberal allies know the facts, but they need to promote the appearance of injustice to keep black people in a state of grievance.

During grand jury testimony about the Ferguson incident, seven black witnesses testified that Michael Brown was charging the policeman when he was shot. The autopsies, performed by three sets of forensic experts, including one representing Brown's family, confirmed Officer Darren Wilson's version of the event. The news media's narrative of Eric Garner's death in New York is that he died because a chokehold had stopped his breathing. He actually died later, in an ambulance, where his heart stopped while being taken to a hospital. The chokehold was instrumental in triggering Garner's pre-existing health problems of acute and chronic bronchial asthma, obesity and heart disease, but he was not choked to death as claimed by the media. Both Brown and Garner would be alive today if they had not resisted arrest. But pointing that out would not serve the purpose of keeping blacks in a perpetual state of grievance.

I'm old enough to remember the racist lynching mentality of yesteryear. Regardless of the evidence, if a white woman merely accused a black man of raping her, the man was all but dead. Emmett Till, a Chicago teenager visiting relatives in Money, Mississippi, during the summer of 1955, was accused of flirting with a white woman. Klansmen took him to a barn. They beat him and gouged out one of his eyes. Then they shot him in the head and tossed his body in the Tallahatchie River.

The New York Times published the street name on which Officer Wilson lived. Had the frenzied mob caught up with him, regardless of evidence, he might have suffered the same fate as Till.

Multiethnic societies are inherently unstable, and how we handle matters of race is contributing to that instability. Decent Americans should see the dangers posed by America's race hustlers, who are stacking up piles of combustible racial kindling, ready for a racial arsonist to set it ablaze.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams010715.php3#LsOIPiLp4lRyMHmU.99

1-6-15

Correcting the Revisionists on the Reagan Record

By David Limbaugh

My daughter asked me my opinion on an article she read in Vanity Fair attempting to debunk the presidential record of Ronald Reagan. I happily responded.

The writer of the piece is veteran liberal commentator Michael Kinsley, who used to be a regular on William F. Buckley Jr.'s "Firing Line" and CNN's "Crossfire." It's not as though he appeared out of nowhere, studied the evidence anew and shared a novel theory. He's been dissing Reaganomics for decades along with other Democrats and liberals, whose only recourse is to distort the Gipper's phenomenal record.

Why is this even relevant, you ask? Well, according to Kinsley, "every serious G.O.P. presidential aspirant invokes the glorious era of Ronald Reagan, to which the country must return. Ignore the fact that, for the likes of Paul Ryan and Rand Paul, Reagan's actual record — from increased bureaucracy to higher deficits — should be seen as a complete failure."

Ever since Reagan's two terms in office, Democrats have been trying to recast those years of remarkable peacetime growth without inflation as a time of abject greed, when the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. But the facts have never corroborated their propaganda.

To really understand Reagan's record — and thus mainstream conservatism still today — you must remember just how bleak things were during the Carter years. At the end of Jimmy Carter's term, unemployment was 7.4 percent and galloping toward double figures; inflation was already in double digits; and interest rates were a staggering 21.5 percent. There was no end in sight.

Indeed, I remember the general malaise that gripped the nation at that time — the attitude of despair, fatalism and resignation. America's best years, according to Carter's apologists, were behind her, and it wasn't his fault that things were so abysmally bleak.

Reagan, against all naysayers, promised that the proper policies could unleash the sleeping economic giant again and that we could return to sustained, robust growth and prosperity. Once elected, despite strong opposition from Democrats in Congress, he fulfilled his promise.

Reagan inherited a steep recession but, unlike President Obama today, did not keep using it as an excuse well into his presidency. Reagan didn't need excuses, because his policies began to produce results very quickly.

Reagan had pushed for a 30 percent across-the-board cut in marginal income tax rates, but Democrats in Congress forced a reduction to 25 percent and delayed its implementation. But once the bill passed and kicked in, the results were dramatic.

Along with Reagan's policy of deregulation, his tax cuts produced an economic boom that continued for almost eight full years — from November 1982 to July 1990 — with not a scintilla of a recession.

Reagan's policies led to the largest period of economic growth to date in the history of the nation. The economy was nearly a third larger at the conclusion of the Reagan years than at the beginning, and real median family income grew by $4,000, as opposed to almost no growth during the Ford-Carter years.

Like President John F. Kennedy, Reagan demonstrated that reducing marginal income tax rates could increase revenues. Revenues almost doubled during the Reagan years, and even after adjusting for inflation, they increased by some 28 percent. Reaganomics also shattered the long-established economic textbook axiom that there is a trade-off between unemployment and inflation. Despite nearly 20 million new jobs, there was barely any upward pressure on prices.

Though Democrats preached that under Reagan, the rich got richer and the poor got poorer, in fact the plight of all income groups improved. Not only that but upward mobility, which received its last rites under Carter, made a dramatic comeback, as a Treasury Department study revealed that 86 percent of the people in the lowest 20 percent of income in 1979 graduated into higher categories during the '80s. More people in every income group moved up than down except — ironically — the top 1 percent of earners.

Moreover, the real Reagan record puts the lie to the liberal manta that the rich didn't pay their "fair share." In the first place, average effective income tax rates were cut more for lower-income groups than for higher-income groups. In 1991, after the Reagan cuts had been in place for almost a decade, the top 1 percent of income earners paid 25 percent of income taxes; the top 5 percent paid 43 percent; and the bottom half paid only 5 percent. How is that for fairness?

Unfortunately, Reagan didn't achieve the spending reductions he'd envisioned, though some misinformation exists here, too. Military spending constituted much of the increase — by design and by necessity after Carter's gutting of our vital defenses. But the rate of domestic spending grew more slowly under Reagan than under his immediate predecessors and would have been reduced far more but for recalcitrant big-spending Democratic congressmen.

The military spending, coupled with Reagan's coherent peace-through-strength foreign policy, yielded immeasurable dividends, as the Soviet Union soon disintegrated. And no, my revisionist liberal friends, this was not because of a willing, enlightened Mikhail Gorbachev.

President Reagan is still the model for conservative presidential aspirants — and for very good reasons that will not be erased, no matter how earnestly liberals try.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh010615.php3#JEXwyXRbTvPFyprO.99

1-5-15

A Year of Anniversaries

By Thomas Sowell

2014 has been a year of anniversaries. It was the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the First World War — a war which many at the time saw as madness, and predicted that it would be the harbinger of a Second World War a generation later.

2014 was also the 70th anniversary of the fateful landing at Normandy that marked the beginning of the end of World War II.

2014 was likewise the 60th anniversary of the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision that marked the beginning of the end of racial segregation, the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and of the beginning of President Lyndon Johnson's "war on poverty" programs.

Anniversaries are opportunities to look back at historic turning points, compare the rhetoric of the time with the reality that we now know unfolded — and to learn hard lessons about the difference between rhetoric and reality for our own time.

A hundred years ago, the President of the United States was Woodrow Wilson — the first president to openly claim that the Constitution of the United States was outdated, and that courts should erode the limits that the Constitution placed on the federal government.

Today, after a hundred years of courts' eroding the Constitution's protections of personal freedom, we now have a president who has taken us dangerously close to one-man rule, unilaterally changing laws passed by Congress and refusing to enforce other laws — on immigration especially.

Like Woodrow Wilson, our current president is charismatic, vain, narrow and headstrong. Someone said of Woodrow Wilson that he had no friends, only devoted slaves and enemies. That description comes all too close to describing Barack Obama, with his devoted political palace guard in the White House that he listens to, in contrast to the generals he ignores on military issues and the doctors he ignores on medical issues.

Both Wilson and Obama have been great phrase makers and crowd pleasers. We are still trying to cope with the havoc left in the wake of Woodrow Wilson's ringing phrase about "the self-determination of peoples."

First of all, it was never "self-determination." It was the arbitrary determination of the fate of millions of people in nations carved out of empires dismembered by the victors after the First World War. Neither the Irish in Britain nor the Germans in Bohemia were allowed to determine who would rule them. Nor was anybody in Africa.

The consequence of fragmenting large nations was the creation of small and vulnerable nations that Hitler was able to pick off, one by one, during the 1930s.

Minorities who protested that they were being oppressed under the Austro-Hungarian Empire got their own nations, where their own oppression of other minorities was often worse than they had experienced in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

We are still trying to sort out the chaos in the Middle East growing out of the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. How long it will take to sort out the havoc left behind by Barack Obama's foreign policies only the future will tell.

It should be noted that, after the charismatic Woodrow Wilson, none of the next three presidents was the least bit charismatic. Let us hope that the voters today have also learned how dangerous charisma and glib rhetoric can be — and what a childish self-indulgence it is to choose a president on the basis of symbolism. Woodrow Wilson was the first Southerner to be elected president since the Civil War, as Obama was to become the first black president. But neither fact qualified them to wield the enormous powers of the presidency. Nor will being the first woman president, the first Hispanic president or other such firsts.

Since 2014 has been the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's "war on poverty," we should note that this was another war that the Johnson administration lost. Both President Johnson and President John F. Kennedy before him said that the purpose of the "war on poverty" was to help people become self-supporting, to end dependency on government programs. But 50 years and trillions of dollars later, there is more dependency than ever.

Let's hope we have learned something from past debacles.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell010215.php3#QHBwvbEhfG1Vx0Ek.99

1-4-15

Are Facts Obsolete?

By Thomas Sowell

Some of us, who are old enough to remember the old television police series "Dragnet," may remember Sgt. Joe Friday saying, "Just the facts, ma'am." But that would be completely out of place today. Facts are becoming obsolete, as recent events have demonstrated.

What matters today is how well you can concoct a story that fits people's preconceptions and arouses their emotions. Politicians like New York mayor Bill de Blasio, professional demagogues like Al Sharpton and innumerable irresponsible people in the media have shown that they have great talent in promoting a lynch mob atmosphere toward the police.

Grand juries that examine hard facts live in a different world from mobs who listen to rhetoric and politicians who cater to the mobs.

During the controversy over the death of Trayvon Martin, for example, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus said that George Zimmerman had tracked Trayvon Martin down and shot him like a dog. The fact is that Zimmerman did not have to track down Trayvon Martin, who was sitting right on top of him, punching him till his face was bloody.

After the death of Michael Brown, members of the Congressional Black Caucus stood up in Congress, with their hands held up, saying "don't shoot." Although there were some who claimed that this is what Michael Brown said and did, there were other witnesses — all black, by the way — who said that Brown was charging toward the policeman when he was shot.

What was decisive was not what either set of witnesses said, but what the autopsy revealed, an autopsy involving three sets of forensic experts, including one representing Michael Brown's family. Witnesses can lie but the physical facts don't lie, even if politicians, mobs and the media prefer to take lies seriously.

The death of Eric Garner has likewise spawned stories having little relationship to facts. The story is that Garner died because a chokehold stopped his breathing. But Garner did not die with a policeman choking him.

He died later, in an ambulance where his heart stopped. He had a long medical history of various diseases, as well as a long criminal history. No doubt the stress of his capture did not do him any good, and he might well still be alive if he had not resisted arrest. But that was his choice.

Despite people who say blithely that the police need more "training," there is no "kinder and gentler" way to capture a 350-pound man, who is capable of inflicting grievous harm, and perhaps even death, on any of his would-be captors. The magic word "unarmed" means nothing in practice, however much the word may hype emotions.

If you are killed by an unarmed man, you are just as dead as if you had been annihilated by a nuclear bomb. But you don't even know who is armed or unarmed until after it is all over, and you can search him.

Incidentally, did you know that, during this same period when riots, looting and arson have been raging, a black policeman in Alabama shot and killed an unarmed white teenager — and was cleared by a grand jury? Probably not, if you depend on the mainstream media for your news.

The media do not merely ignore facts, they suppress facts. Millions of people saw the videotape of the beating of Rodney King. But they saw only a fraction of that tape because the media left out the rest, which showed Rodney King — another huge man — resisting arrest and refusing to be handcuffed, so that he could be searched.

Television viewers did not get to see the other black men in the same vehicle that Rodney King was driving recklessly. Those other black men were not beaten. And the grand jury got to see the whole video, after which they acquitted the police — and the media then published the jurors' home addresses.

Such media retribution against people they don't like is part of a growing lynch mob mentality. The black witnesses in Missouri, whose testimony confirmed what the police officer said, expressed fears for their own safety for telling what the physical evidence showed was the truth.

Is this what we want? Grand juries responding to mobs and the media, instead of to the facts?

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell123114.php3#qFG80sl1czJrM2Ir.99


1-3-15

Random Thoughts

By Thomas Sowell

Random thoughts on the passing scene:

• Now that Barack Obama is ruling by decree, he seems more like a king than a president. Maybe it is time we change the way we address him. "Your Majesty" may be a little too much, but perhaps "Your Royal Glibness" might be appropriate.

• It tells us a lot about academia that the president of Smith College quickly apologized for saying, "All lives matter," after being criticized by those who are pushing the slogan, "Black lives matter." If science could cross breed a jellyfish with a parrot, it could create academic administrators.

• Mitt Romney seems to be ready to try again to run for president in 2016. But most defeated presidential candidates who ran again lost again. There are much stronger Republican candidates available now than there were in 2012, including governors Scott Walker of Wisconsin and Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. At this crucial juncture in the nation's history, why run a retreaded candidate?

• Explaining differences in achievements between groups often pits those who attribute these differences to ability against those who attribute differences to barriers. Neither seems to pay much attention to differences in what people want to do. Few guys from my old neighborhood were likely to end up as violinists or ballet dancers, simply because that was not what they were interested in.

• When Professor Jonathan Gruber of M.I.T. boasted of fooling the "stupid" American public, that was not just a personal quirk of his. It epitomized a smug and arrogant attitude that is widespread among academics at elite institutions. There should be an annual "Jonathan Gruber award" for the most smug and arrogant statement by an academic. There would be thousands eligible every year.

• Every society has some people who don't respect the law. But, when it is the people in charge of the law — like the President of the United States and his Attorney General — who don't respect it, that is when we are in big trouble.

• Has anyone asked the question, "How could so many people across the country spend so much time at night marching, rioting and looting, if they had to get up and go to work the next morning?"

• Hillary Clinton's idea that we have to see the world from our adversaries' point of view — and even "empathize" with it — is not new. Back in 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain said, "I have realized vividly how Herr Hitler feels." Ronald Reagan, however, made sure our adversaries understood how we felt. Reagan's approach turned out a lot better than Chamberlain's.

• Our schools and colleges are laying a guilt trip on those young people whose parents are productive, and who are raising them to become productive. What is amazing is how easily this has been done, largely just by replacing the word "achievement" with the word "privilege."

• There are few modest talents so richly rewarded — especially in politics and the media — as the ability to portray parasites as victims, and portray demands for preferential treatment as struggles for equal rights.

• Republicans complain when Democrats call them racists. But when have you ever heard a Republican counterattack? You don't win by protesting your innocence or whining about the unfairness of the charge. Yet when have you heard a Republican reply by saying, "You're a lying demagogue without a speck of evidence. Put up or shut up!"

• President Obama's establishing diplomatic relations with Cuba was not due to what the American public wanted or even what his own party wanted. It was a decision in defiance of both, just as his decisions about military matters ignore what generals say and his decisions about medical matters ignore what doctors have said. Yet pundits continue to depict him as a helpless lame duck president.

• When the political left wants to help the black community, they usually want to help the worst elements in that community — thugs they portray as martyrs, for example — without the slightest regard for the negative effect this can have on the lives of the majority of decent black people.

• If anyone in the mainstream media is at a loss for what New Year's resolution to make, try this: Stop "spinning" or censoring stories about race, and try telling the plain truth, if only for the novelty of it.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell123014.php3#BiaJXCfVFzGhlFgm.99

1-2-15

Libs' Use of Black People as stalking horses

By Walter Williams

Back in the day, when hunting was the major source of food, hunters often used stalking horses as a means of sneaking up on their quarry. They would walk on the opposite side of the horse until they were close enough to place a good shot on whatever they were hunting. A stalking horse not only concealed them but also, if their target was an armed man and they were discovered, would take the first shot. That's what blacks are to liberals and progressives in their efforts to transform America — stalking horses.

Let's look at some of the ways white liberals use black people. One of the more obvious ways is for liberals to equate any kind of injustices suffered by homosexuals and women to the black struggle for civil rights. But it is just plain nonsense to suggest any kind of equivalency between the problems of homosexuals and women and the centuries of slavery followed by Jim Crow, lynching, systematic racial discrimination and the blood, sweat and tears of the black civil rights movement.

The largest and most powerful labor union in the country is the National Education Association, with well over 3 million members. Teachers benefit enormously from their education monopoly. It yields higher pay and lower accountability. It's a different story for a large percentage of black people who receive fraudulent education. The NEA's white liberals — aided by black teachers, politicians and so-called black leaders — cooperate to ensure that black parents who want their children to have a better education have few viable choices.

Whenever there has been a serious push for school choice, educational vouchers, tuition tax credits or even charter schools, the NEA has fought against it. One of the more callous examples of that disregard for black education was New York Mayor Bill de Blasio's cutback on funding for charter schools where black youngsters were succeeding in getting a better education. That was de Blasio's way of paying back New York's teachers union for the political support it gave him in his quest for the mayor's office.

White liberals in the media and academia, along with many blacks, have been major supporters of the recent marches protesting police conduct. A man from Mars, knowing nothing about homicide facts, would conclude that the major problem black Americans have with murder and brutality results from the behavior of racist policemen. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, there are about 200 police arrest-related deaths of blacks each year (between 300 and 400 for whites). That number pales in comparison with the roughly 7,000 annual murders of blacks, 94 percent of which are committed by blacks. The number of blacks being murdered by other blacks is of little concern to liberals. Their agenda is to use arrest-related deaths of blacks to undermine established authority.

Liberals often have demeaning attitudes toward blacks. When Secretary of State John Kerry was a U.S. senator, in a statement about so many blacks being in prison, he said, "That's unacceptable, but it's not their fault." Would Kerry also say that white prison inmates are also faultless? Johns Hopkins University sociologist Andrew Cherlin told us: "It has yet to be shown that the absence of a father was directly responsible for any of the supposed deficiencies of broken homes. ... (The problem) is not the lack of male presence but the lack of male income." The liberal vision is that fathers and husbands can be replaced by a welfare check.

Liberals desperately need blacks. If the Democratic Party lost just 30 percent of the black vote, it would mean the end of the liberal agenda. That means blacks must be kept in a perpetual state of grievance in order to keep them as a one-party people in a two-party system. When black Americans finally realize how much liberals have used them, I'm betting they will be the nation's most conservative people. Who else has been harmed as much by liberalism's vision and agenda?

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams123114.php3#wRlr0x4pJyA7Cuo4.99

1-1-15

Please read my new article,
Democrats cry over cost of their ticket to tyranny


12-31-14

Who's Responsible?

By Thomas Sowell

The cold-blooded murder of two New York City policemen as they sat in their car is not only an outrage but also a wake-up call. It shows, in the most painful way, the high cost of having demagogues, politicians, mobs and the media constantly taking cheap shots at the police.

Those cheap shots are in fact very expensive shots, not only to the police themselves but to the whole society. Someone once said that civilization is a thin crust over a volcano. The police are part of that thin crust. We have seen before our own eyes, first in Ferguson, Missouri and then in other communities, what happens when there is just a small crack in that crust, and barbarism and arson burst out.

That can happen anywhere. So can what happened in New York. "Send not to know for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee."

It is a painful irony that, on the eve of the murders of these two police officers in New York, some of the city's police were already saying that, in the event of their deaths, they did not want Mayor Bill de Blasio to attend their funerals.

We can only hope that Mayor de Blasio has some residual decency, so that he will not defile these two officers' memorial services with his presence. No politician in the country has done more to play the race card against the police and spread the notion that cops are the big problem in minority communities.

It so happens that the police officers killed were both members of minority groups — Officer Rafael Ramos, Hispanic, and Officer Wenjian Liu, Asian. It so happens that a substantial part of the New York City police force are members of minority groups.

But you might never know that from the story told by demagogues who depict the black community as a "colonial" society being "occupied" by white policemen who target young blacks. Mayor de Blasio joined the chorus of those saying that they have to warn their black sons how to cope with this situation.

"What can we say to our sons?" some demagogues ask. They can say, "Don't go around punching strangers, because it is only a matter of time before you punch the wrong stranger."

Mayor de Blasio has made anti-police comments with Al Sharpton seated at his side. This is the same Al Sharpton with a trail of slime going back more than a quarter of a century, during which he has whipped up mobs and fomented race hatred from the days of the Tawana Brawley "rape" hoax of 1987 to the Duke University "rape" hoax of 2006 and the Ferguson riots of 2014.

Make no mistake about it. There is political mileage to be made siding with demagogues like Al Sharpton who, as demagogue-in-chief, has been invited to the White House dozens of times by its commander-in-chief.

Many in the media and among the intelligentsia cherish the romantic tale of an "us" against "them" struggle of beleaguered ghetto blacks defending themselves against the aggression of white policemen. The gullible include both whites who don't know what they are talking about and blacks who don't know what they are talking about either, because they never grew up in a ghetto. Among the latter are the President of the United States and his Attorney General.

Such people readily buy the story that ghetto social problems today — from children being raised without a father to runaway rates of murder — are "a legacy of slavery," even though such social problems were nowhere near as severe in the first half of the 20th century as they became in the second half.

You would be hard pressed to name just five examples from the first half of the 20th century of the kinds of ghetto riots that have raged in more than a hundred cities during the second half. Such riots are a legacy of the social degeneracy of our times.

Calling this social degeneracy "a legacy of slavery" is not just an excuse for those who engage in it, it is an excuse for the ideology of the intelligentsia behind the social policies that promoted this degeneracy.

Let those who have laid a guilt trip on people in our times, for evils done by other people in past centuries, at least face their own responsibility for the evil consequences of their own notions and policies. If they won't do it, then the rest of us need to stop listening gullibly to what they are saying.

The race card is nothing to play with. It can ruin us all.


Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell122314.php3#tYuHwteK7qq8mLzb.99

12-30-14

A license to debate: State takes aim at the First Amendment

By George Will

The Battle of Palmito Ranch near Brownsville, Tex., on May 13, 1865, is called the last battle of the Civil War, but the Texas Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) might consider that judgment premature, given its conflict with the state's Department of Transportation and Department of Motor Vehicles. This skirmish is of national interest because it implicates a burgeoning new entitlement: the right to pass through life without encountering any disagreeable thought.

Under Texas's specialty license plate system, plates can be created by the legislature by specific enactments, or they can, for a fee, be designed by individuals, nonprofits or businesses. In the private instances, Texas is selling space for advertising. The specialty plates exhort (Be a Blood Donor), emote (I'd Rather Be Golfing), celebrate (NASCAR, many universities) and commemorate (Buffalo Soldiers, Korea Veteran).

The Texas SCV's design caused a commotion because the organization's logo includes the Confederate battle flag. The Texas committee that approves specialty plates approved the SCV plate before it disapproved it because an official considered the plate "controversial." The Texas Transportation Code says that the state may refuse to create a plate "if the design might be offensive to any member of the public." Yes, any.

A district court rejected the SCV's contention that this decision was unconstitutional, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit held that specialty plates are private speech, so the state had violated the First Amendment by engaging in viewpoint discrimination against the SCV.

Texas is appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court, probably in vain. The SCV's brief notes that "every circuit to address a specialty plate program enabling private parties to submit their own specialty plate designs has held that the plates constitute private speech, the First Amendment applies, and regulation has to be viewpoint neutral."

But there is, believe it or not, a body of license plate law. In 1977, the Supreme Court upheld the right of a Jehovah's Witness in New Hampshire to edit out, with tape or metal shears or otherwise, that state's license plate slogan "Live Free or Die." The plaintiff held that "life is more precious than freedom" and that the state could not compel him to "foster" religious or political "concepts" with which he disagreed.

Some language that is put on plates by legislative action — e.g., Idaho's "Famous Potatoes" — is government speaking its mind and need not be neutral. In Illinois, where specialty plates require a specific legislative enactment, when a pro-life group sought a "Choose Life" plate, the state decided to exclude the subject of abortion, pro and con, so the denial was viewpoint-neutral.

Texas, however, denied the SCV plate explicitly because it, with its flag, was "offensive," which is an impermissible reason for denying speech. The hearing that forbade the SCV plate approved a Buffalo Soldiers plate even though some Native Americans had said they were offended by this reference to the 19th-century African American military units that participated in battles against Native Americans. In 2011, however, the Supreme Court held:

"The Constitution does not permit the government to decide which types of otherwise protected speech are sufficiently offensive to require protection for the unwilling listener or viewer. Rather . . . the burden normally falls upon the viewer to avoid further bombardment of [his] sensibilities simply by averting [his] eyes."

The new entitlement aims to spare the people this burden. At many American colleges and universities, where thinking goes to hibernate, freedom of expression is restricted for the purpose of sparing the delicate sensibilities of the most exquisitely sensitive people on the campuses. The First Amendment is construed to stipulate that there shall be no abridgement of free speech — unless the speech annoys, saddens, angers, dismays or otherwise discombobulates the emotional equilibrium or intellectual serenity of any listener.

Inevitably, this entitlement is expanded to include the right to assume a fetal position and be absolved of burdens if news of some event in the wider world distresses some students. So, Columbia University Law School recently allowed students to postpone final exams if these frail flowers felt that their performance would be "impaired" because they had been traumatized by the fact that grand juries in Ferguson, Mo., and New York did not indict police officers in cases involving Michael Brown and Eric Garner.

Columbia evidently is training lawyers for a United States so tranquil it will not need any lawyers. Tranquil because silent.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will121814.php3#pqx5v7eL3UR7J4Ld.99

12-29-14

Black Progression and Retrogression

By Walter Williams

There is no question, though it's not acknowledged enough, that black Americans have made greater gains, over some of the highest hurdles and in a very short span of time, than any other racial group in mankind's history. What's the evidence? If black Americans were thought of as a nation with their own gross domestic product, they'd rank among the 20 wealthiest nations. It was a black American, Gen. Colin Powell, who headed the mightiest military in mankind's history. A few black Americans are among the world's wealthiest. Many black Americans are among the world's most famous personalities.

The significance of all this is that in 1865, neither an ex-slave nor an ex-slave owner would have believed that such progress would be possible in less than a century and a half. As such, it speaks to the intestinal fortitude of a people. Just as importantly, it speaks to the greatness of a nation within which such progress was possible. That progress would have been impossible anywhere except in the United States of America. The challenge that lies before us is how those gains can be extended to a large percentage of black people for whom they appear elusive.

A good start to meeting that challenge is to recognize that much of the pathology seen in many black communities is entirely new in black history. Let's look at some of that history. In the late 1800s, depending on the city, 70 to 80 percent of black households were two-parent. In 1925 New York City, 85 percent of black households were two-parent. As late as 1950, only 18 percent of black households were single-parent. From 1890 to 1940, a slightly higher percentage of black adults had married than white adults. In 1940, black illegitimacy was about 14 percent.

Today it's an entirely different story. Black illegitimacy is 75 percent. Close to 50 percent of marriage-age blacks never marry. Close to 70 percent of black households are female-headed. If one thinks family structure doesn't matter, consider that the poverty rate among black female-headed families is about 47 percent but among married families it has been in the single digits for more than two decades. It's not just poverty. Children raised by single parents are likelier to be physically abused; use drugs; engage in violent, delinquent and criminal behavior; have emotional and behavioral problems; and drop out of school.

What about employment? Every census from 1890 to 1950 showed that black labor force participation rates were higher than those of whites. Today it's a mere fraction. Prior to the mid-'50s, the unemployment rate for black 16- and 17-year-olds was under 10 percent and less than that of whites. Who would argue that this more favorable employment picture was because there was less racial discrimination in the job market in earlier times? Labor laws such as the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931 — a federal minimum wage law for construction workers — and the 1938 federal minimum wage law for all workers reduced work opportunities for blacks.

Then there's the high crime rate. Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person. Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation's population, they are more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it's 22 times that of whites. Along with being most of the nation's homicide victims, blacks are most of the victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault and robbery.

Older black people, who were raised in an era when there was far greater discrimination and who faced far fewer opportunities, need to speak out against behavior and excuses that their parents would have never accepted. Otherwise, the race hustlers, poverty pimps and white liberals will continue with the narrative that black problems are a result of racism and racist cops and condemn future generations of blacks to a lifetime of mediocrity.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams122414.php3#l4BzJqIykEYd4gkK.99

12-28-14

A legal warrior lighting fuses

By George Will

OKLAHOMA CITY

Scott Pruitt enjoyed owning a Class AAA baseball team here, but he is having as much fun as Oklahoma's attorney general — and as one of the Obama administration's most tenacious tormentors. The second existential challenge to the Affordable Care Act began here.

In the first, decided in June 2012, the Supreme Court saved the ACA by reading it imaginatively. The court held that although Congress could not, in the name of regulating commerce, penalize people for not engaging in commerce (buying insurance), the penalty linked to the individual mandate actually could be considered — although Congress did not so consider it — an exercise of Congress's enumerated power to tax.

That same year, Pruitt lit another fuse, this one involving statutory rather than constitutional construction. He filed a suit that in June may contribute to the most seismic domestic development of 2015.

The suit asks the court to read the ACA unimaginatively, as meaning what it plainly says: Subsidies, in the form of tax credits, are available only to people who purchase insurance through exchanges "established by the state." Thirty-seven states have refused or failed to establish their own exchanges. The justices may be disinclined to use the ACA's legislative history, or the candor of loquacious MIT professor Jonathan Gruber, to inform their deliberations. If, however, the justices do, they will see that Gruber, an ACA architect, says it was written to "squeeze the states" into establishing exchanges: "If you're a state and you don't set up an exchange, that means your citizens don't get their tax credits."

If the court holds that the ACA means what it plainly and purposively says, then billions of dollars have been disbursed through federal exchanges contrary to the law. The ACA will be crippled until Barack Obama negotiates help from a Republican-controlled Congress.

The Founders' bargain, Pruitt says, was that the states would surrender some sovereignty in exchange for representation in the federal government. But the growth of federal power has tended to reduce states to administrative extensions of the federal government, leaving them with "preemption without representation." So Pruitt has established within his office a "federalism unit" aimed at revitalizing federalism as a system of "vertical checks and balances."

Oklahoma is among 24 states in a suit initiated by Texas Attorney General (and Gov.-elect) Greg Abbott charging that Obama's unilateral changes in immigration policies are unconstitutional. The complaint is that Obama has injured these states by usurping the legislative power of Congress, in which the states' interests are represented, and by creating, through executive fiat, policies that will impose substantial costs on the states.

Another target in Pruitt's sights is the Environmental Protection Agency, which claims to have discovered in the Clean Air Act of 1970 a hitherto unnoticed authority perhaps sufficient to eliminate existing coal-fired power plants. Joined by 16 other state attorneys general, Pruitt argues that the federal government has the power to institute a national energy policy, which implicates the entire economy. But it cannot do so, preempting various of the states' powers, simply by locating authority in the creative reading of a 44-year-old statute.

And then there is the matter of puddles. Pruitt and other attorneys general are resisting the EPA's and the Army Corps of Engineers' contention that the 42-year-old Clean Water Act has a hitherto unsuspected capaciousness. The act, which allows regulation of "navigable waters," was passed under Congress's power to regulate interstate commerce, so "navigable waters" have been understood to be those suitable for transporting people and products between the states.

But M. Reed Hopper and Todd F. Gaziano of the Pacific Legal Foundation, writing in the Wall Street Journal, say the EPA now wants to control not just wetlands and other non-navigable waters but any water or normally dry land with a "hydrological connection" to actual navigable waters. These include, Hopper and Gaziano say, "arroyos in the desert as well as ditches and culverts hundreds of miles from" actual navigable waters. Pruitt and other attorneys general are contesting this bureaucratic imperialism whereby the EPA, by aggregating almost all of the nation's water and much of its land into EPA-designated "ecoregions," could regulate — and stifle — much of the nation's economic activity.

The good news about the ACA, immigration and the EPA is that federalism remains a fact. Come next month, federalism's vitality will be an increasingly inconvenient truth for Obama. Twenty-seven states will have Republican attorneys general who can try to restrain the federal Leviathan much as the Lilliputians restrained Gulliver.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will122014.php3#w2TGKdeHDZ4LsD1q.99

12-27-14

Tortured Reasoning

By Thomas Sowell

Critics and defenders of the harsh interrogation methods applied to captured terrorists can argue forever over whether those methods were "torture." But any serious discussion of a serious issue — and surely terrorism qualifies as serious — has to move beyond semantics and confront the ultimate question: "Compared to what alternative?"

If you knew that there was a hidden nuclear time bomb planted somewhere in New York City — set to go off today — and you had a captured terrorist who knew where and when, would you not do anything whatever to make him tell you where and when? Would you pause to look up the definition of "torture"? Would you even care what the definition of "torture" was, when the alternative was seeing millions of innocent people murdered?

Senator Dianne Feinstein's recent release of a massive report on the CIA's severe interrogation methods, used against captured Islamic terrorists, has set off a firestorm of controversy. It is hard to see what benefit the United States of America gains from releasing that report. But it is painfully obvious what lasting damage has been done to the security of Americans.

One of the most obscene acts of the Obama administration, when it first took office, was to launch a criminal investigation of CIA agents who had used harsh interrogation methods against captured terrorists in the wake of the devastating September 11, 2001 aerial attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Right after those terrorist attacks, when there were desperate fears of what might be coming next, these CIA agents were trying to spare fellow Americans another attack that could take thousands more lives, or perhaps millions more. To turn on these agents, years later, after they did what they were urged to do, as a patriotic duty in a time of crisis, is both a betrayal of those who acted in the past and a disincentive to those in the future who are charged with safeguarding the nation.

Other nations, whose cooperation we need, in order to disrupt international terrorist networks, see how their involvement has now been revealed to the whole world — including terrorists — because supposedly responsible American officials, in the Congress of the United States, cannot keep their mouths shut.

The public's "right to know" has often been invoked to justify publicizing confidential information. But is there any evidence that the American public was clamoring to learn state secrets, which every government has? I don't know where our nuclear weapons are located and I don't want to know, certainly not at the cost of letting our enemies know.

The ease with which politicians are willing to pull the rug out from under people whose job is to safeguard our lives — whether they are CIA agents, the police or the military — is not only a betrayal of those people but a danger to us all.

People who are constantly denouncing the police, including with demonstrable lies, may think they are showing solidarity with people in the ghettos. But, when police hesitate to go beyond "kinder and gentler" policing, that leaves decent people in black communities at the mercy of hoodlums and thugs who have no mercy.

When conscientious young people, of any race, who would like to help maintain peace and order see that being a policeman means having race hustlers constantly whipping up mob hostility against you — and having opportunistic politicians and the media joining the race hustlers — those young people may well decide that some other line of work would be better for them.

High crime areas need not only the most, but the best, police they can get. Taking cheap shots at cops is not the way to get the people who are needed.

When people who volunteer to put their lives on the line in the military to defend this country, at home and abroad, see their buddies killed on the battlefield, and sometimes themselves come back minus an arm or a leg, or with severe physical and mental damage that they may never get over — and then see some headstrong politician in the White House throw away everything they fought for, and see enemy forces take back places for which Americans shed their blood, that can be galling to them and a deterrent to others who might otherwise take their place in the future.

If we cannot see beyond the moment today, we will pay dearly tomorrow and in many more tomorrows.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell121614.php3#zyplIO2xPd4HUHRK.99

12-26-14

Stinking Border Politics

By Michael Reagan

Here's a modest proposal for solving the "Children's Invasion" on our southwestern borders.

Next time a planeload of "unaccompanied alien children" from Honduras or Guatemala is being dispersed to their relatives in the U.S., the pilot should divert the flight and land at Ronald Reagan National Airport in downtown Washington.

If the politicians in DC were forced to deal with the effects of the immigration mess they've made for a few days, they might be more interested in fixing it.

Instead of dispersing 52,000 illegal Latino kids around the country, or hiding them from sight on military bases, maybe the politicians in DC could house a few thousand Latino kids in tents on the east lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building. They could call it "Obamaville."

OK, I'm dreaming...

But once again we can thank Washington for creating a problem for the rest of us that it can't or won't fix.

Emperor Obama is the culprit in chief.

He's been playing pool and reading Teleprompters at fundraisers while people in the border towns of Texas, Arizona and California are being burned.

It's the innocent citizens of the Southwest who've been forced to bear the costs of "welcoming" the Central American children who've risked their lives to hoof it to the U.S.A.

The big winners in this cynical political game will be the president and Democrats in Congress. The big losers will be the rest of the country.

Everyone knows what's going to happen when you disperse the Latino kids to their relatives and give them an order to appear at a court hearing. Mostly nothing. If 10 percent appear, it'll be a miracle.

Doesn't anyone in DC know that most of the illegal immigrants in the country are here not because they waded across the Rio Grande but because they overstayed their visas?

When you have a country with no immigration policy and a flock of political chickens in DC, this is the kind of border crisis you get.

The Republicans are afraid to even touch immigration policy. And the President and Democrats in Congress won't try to solve the current crisis because for them it's a great political opportunity to be exploited.

With congressional elections coming in the fall, and with their party facing certain disaster, Democrats know immigration is one of the few issues that can win them a few points at the polls.

Every Democrat in office wants every Hispanic voter on the planet to see that he is a lovable, bleeding-heart humanitarian. And that every Republican is a coldhearted meanie who just wants to send child immigrants back to where they came from.

If Republicans in Washington are forced to OK the $3.7 billion in emergency appropriations the president says is needed to address the border mess, they at least need to try to put some teeth in it.



They need to insist that the Border Patrol begin stopping the children's invasion at the U.S.-Mexican border, not after the border has been crossed. And they need to get President Obama to hold Mexico accountable for not stopping the invasion on its side of the border.

Mexico won't do any such thing, of course, because every single one of its border federales is being paid off by the Mexican drug cartels.

This border disaster was made in Washington by gutless politicians who are unable or unwilling to do anything on immigration but play stupid politics with everyone.

I'm tired of politics. We need to wake up and smell the stink coming from DC. If this border crisis doesn't do it, nothing will.

12-25

Merry Christmas!!

12-24-14

How to fight the lone wolf

By Charles Krauthammer


The lone wolf is the new nightmare, dramatized and amplified this week by the hostage-taking attack in Sydney. But there are two kinds of lone wolves — the crazy and the evil — and the distinction is important.

The real terrorists are rational. Maj. Nidal Hasan, the Fort Hood shooter, had been functioning as an Army doctor for years. Psychotics cannot carry that off. Hasan even had a business card listing his occupation as SoA (Soldier of Allah). He then went out and, shouting "Allahu Akbar," shot dead 13 people, 12 of them fellow soldiers. To this day, Hasan speaks coherently and proudly of the massacre. That's terrorism.

Sydney's Man Haron Monis, on the other hand, was a marginal, alienated Iranian immigrant with a cauldron of psychopathologies. Described by his own former lawyer as "unhinged," Monis was increasingly paranoid. He'd been charged as accessory to the murder of his ex-wife and convicted of sending threatening letters to the families of dead Australian soldiers.

His religiosity was both fanatical and confused. A Shiite recently converted to Sunni Islam, his Internet postings showed not just the zeal of the convert but a remarkable ignorance of Islam and Islamism. He even brought the wrong Islamic banner to the attack. He had to ask the authorities to provide him with an Islamic State flag.

Which led to a frantic search to find an Islamic State connection or conspiracy. But for the disturbed like Monis, the terror group does not provide instructions, it provides a script. It offers the disoriented and deranged a context, a purpose, a chance even at heroism.

I suspect this is the case with most of the recent cluster of lone-wolf terrorist incidents, from the beheading of a co-worker in Oklahoma to theQueens ax attack on New York City police. We fear these attackers because the psychopathological raw material is everywhere, in the interstices of every society. Normally in and out of mental hospitals, in and out of homelessness, some are now redirected to find a twisted redemption in terror.

Nonetheless, in the scheme of things, the crazies are limited in what they can carry out. They are too disorganized to do more than localized, small-scale damage. The larger danger is the Maj. Hasan with his mental faculties intact and his purpose unwavering.

The still greater threat is organized terror, as we were reminded just hours after Sydney by the Taliban attack on a school in Peshawar that killed at least 148, mostly children.


This is evil in its purest form. Consider that many of the children were killed not by explosive device or sprayed gunfire but by a single bullet to the head, the point-blank execution of an innocent, rivaling in sheer barbarism the mass murders of the Islamic State and its proud videotaped beheadings of hostages.

The purity of such evil is clarifying. It banishes thoughts of negotiation or compromise. Indeed, in response to the Peshawar atrocity, the Pakistani prime minister suspended his country's prohibition of the death penalty.

In the face of similar savagery, Barack Obama committed the United Statesto a military campaign against the Islamic State. Which, if successful, would not just affect the region. Reversing the fortunes of the terror masters abroad is the key to diminishing the lone-wolf threat at home.

These groups inspire and influence because of their prestige, which, as for most messianic movements, depends on their successes — measured in growing power, territorial conquest and persuasive propaganda.

You don't find many local terrorists invoking al-Qaeda nowadays. They fly the flag of the Islamic State. It is the strong horse, on the rise.

The first line of defense against lone wolves is, of course, protective measures: identification, tracking and preemption. But given the sheer number of the disturbed, unstable and potentially impressionable among us, and given the strictures that civil liberties have placed on prior restraint, that defensive posture can take us only so far.

The Islamic State has discovered that the projection of terror does not depend, al-Qaeda-style, on sending expeditionary cells to kill infidels abroad. It can do so long distance by inspiration, by wire, as it were. Which is why the ultimate line of defense against lone wolves is to turn the fortunes of the warrior tribes themselves, the script writers of jihad.

The great new specter is the homegrown terrorist. But he is less homegrown than we imagine. He is fed from abroad. Which is where, as ever since 9/11, the battle must be fought.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer122214.php3#oEAwXCFIU505IJfO.99

12-23-14

More 'Tolerance' From Stalinist Universities

By David Limbaugh

Honestly, sometimes leftist thought police surprise even me, not so much with their unreasonableness, extremism and tyrannical tactics but with their brazenness in openly showing who they are. Each new day's headlines trump yesterday's.

A few weeks ago, Fox News' Todd Starnes reported on a Marquette University student's encounter with his ethics instructor. The professor, Cheryl Abbate, was leading her "Theory of Ethics" class in a discussion about the application of philosophical theories to controversial political issues.

Among the issues listed on the blackboard were gay rights, gun rights and the death penalty. Professor Abbate removed gay rights from the list before the discussion began, with the summary explanation, "We all agree on this."

This puzzled the student, as he certainly did not agree with his instructor's view on the issue and believed it should have been open for discussion along with the other issues. He approached Abbate after class and expressed his opinion that the class should have been allowed to discuss gay rights.

The student recorded his conversation with Abbate without her permission or knowledge. Questions concerning the impropriety of that secret recording aside, the substance of the recorded exchange is illuminating.

The student asked, "Are you saying if I don't agree with gays not being allowed to get married that I'm homophobic?"

The teacher said, "I'm saying it would come off as a homophobic comment in this class."

After further discussion, Abbate said, "You don't have a right in this class (an ethics class) especially to make homophobic comments."

When the student persisted that he is not homophobic and that the professor was restricting his rights and individual liberties, Abbate shot back: "You can have whatever opinions you want, but I will tell you right now, in this class homophobic comments, racist comments, sexist comments will not be tolerated. If you don't like it, you are more than free to drop this class."

The student took her up on the offer and dropped the class. His complaint with university officials went nowhere.

As totalitarian and censorial as Abbate's behavior was, what followed was arguably worse.

Marquette professor John McAdams learned about the incident and expressed his strong disapproval on his blog, Marquette Warrior. McAdams wrote: "Like the rest of academia, Marquette is less and less a real university. And when gay marriage cannot be discussed, certainly not a Catholic university."

Boy, did McAdams step in it. It's not just university students whose speech is suppressed there. On Dec. 16, McAdams received a letter from the dean relieving him of his teaching duties, saying he was under investigation and banned from campus.

To get a flavor of the terse three-paragraph letter, take a look at the first sentence of the final paragraph from Dean Richard C. Holz: "You are to remain off campus during this time, and should you need to come to campus, you are to contact me in writing beforehand to explain the purpose of your visit, to obtain my consent and to make appropriate arrangements for that visit."

In its letter to McAdams, the university did not specify the charges against him, but President Michael R. Lovell wrote a letter to the campus community and said: "This is a matter of official policy, but it's also a matter of our values. Respect is at the heart of our commitment to the Jesuit tradition and Catholic social teaching. ... The university will not tolerate personal attacks or harassment of or by students, faculty and staff. ... We deplore hatred and abuse directed at a member of our community in any format."

There you have it. We have a professor at a university (a Catholic one, no less) — an institution ostensibly dedicated to intellectual and academic inquiry and the free flow of ideas and expression — prohibiting certain relevant views from even being discussed in the classroom, encouraging a dissenting student to drop the class if he doesn't approve of the Stalinist tactics, and casting opposing views as "hatred."

Then we have another professor who expresses his strong dissent of such Stalinist practices and is consequently subjected to worse Stalinist practices in the form of being summarily suspended from his duties and banned from the campus as if he were a serial felon or known terrorist.

Do leftists even pretend to be intellectually open and behaviorally tolerant anymore? If they do, will anyone take them seriously?

Defenders of these abominably indefensible actions will tell you, indignantly, that they give no quarter to those who are intolerant. But what they mean is that they are militantly intolerant of people who express views different from their own, even if the people expressing those views are highly respectful of everyone concerned.

What scares me more than the left's deliberate muzzling of people's expression is that it's doing so with an air of moral superiority, coupled with a perfect blindness to the perniciousness of its actions, its overt hypocrisy and its moral bankruptcy.

The enemies of liberty and tolerance continue their scorched-earth oppression of their political opponents under the fraudulent banners of tolerance and liberty — and it is truly sickening and highly disturbing.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh122214.php3#MHqlvGPAEjBk62Ao.99

12-22-14

Control Freaks

By John Stossel

Control freaks want to run your life. They call themselves "public servants."

But whether student council president, environmental bureaucrat or member of Congress, most believe they know how to run your life better than you do.

I admit I was once guilty of this kind of thinking. As a young consumer reporter, I researched what doctors said was bad for us and what products might harm us. Then I demanded that the state pass rules to protect us from those things.

The concept of individual freedom was not yet on my radar screen. I apologize. I was ignorant and arrogant.

But at least I had no real power. I couldn't force consumers to avoid unhealthy things or pay for certain kinds of health care. I couldn't force any business to stop selling something. Only government can do that. Only government can use force.

Sadly, government is filled with people just as ignorant and arrogant as I was.

Economist Matthew Mitchell of the Mercatus Center likes to point out that governments impose regulations without acknowledging that the new rules will have unintended consequences.

Bans on smoking in restaurants and bars is one of the control freaks' favorite campaigns. "A recent Cornell study," Mitchell says on my show this week, "found that in those areas where they introduced bans on smoking, you saw an increase in accidents related to alcohol. The theory is that people drive longer distances in order to find bars that either have outside seating or are outside the jurisdiction."

I selfishly like smoking bans. I don't like breathing others' smoke. But the majority of us shouldn't force our preferences on the minority, even if they do things that are dangerous. Smokers ought to be allowed to smoke in some bars, if the bar owners allow it. But today in about half the states, no one may smoke in any bar.

It's totalitarianism from the health police. If secondhand smoke were dangerous enough to threaten non-smokers, the control freaks would have a point, but it isn't. It barely has any detectable health effect at all.

Rule-makers always want more . At first, they just asked for bans on TV's cigarette ads. Then they demanded no-smoking sections in restaurants. Then bans in airplanes, schools, workplaces, entire restaurants. Then bars, too. Now sometimes even apartments and outdoor spaces.

Can't smokers have some places?

So far, smokers just ... take it. But maybe that's changing. The town of Westminster, Massachusetts, recently held hearings on whether to ban the sale of tobacco products altogether, and 500 angry people showed up.

One said, "I find smoking one of the most disgusting habits anybody could possibly do. On top of that, I find this proposal to be even more of a disgusting thing." Good for him.

Mitchell warns that "we are accustomed to thinking about the federal government and federal overreach. But a lot of the most intrusive regulations happen at the local level," as in Westminster.

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, police charged two pastors and a 90-year-old volunteer with giving food to poor people in public. Florida law declares it illegal to give away food in an outdoor location without providing public toilets. The restrictions were instated in the name of "public health and safety."

In New Jersey, churches were forced to stop offering Thanksgiving dinners to poor people because they didn't have "properly licensed commercial kitchens."

A court threw out a soft drink ban imposed on my city, New York, by then-mayor Bloomberg, but my new control-freak mayor, Bill de Blasio, plans to reinstate the ban.

The rules keep coming. Another New York regulation, banning trans fats in restaurants, led to stringent bans on which foods people were allowed to donate to the hungry. I'd think the poor have bigger problems than trans fats.

Their biggest problem is the same one we all have: too much government.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1114/stossel111914.php3#k3v22AkXexBJo13o.99

12-21-14

'Heartless' Americans, don't let Obama manipulate you

By Ben Carson

Like millions of other Americans, I appreciate the plight of billions of people throughout the world who would like nothing more than to find themselves in the United States, where they could enjoy a much higher standard of living and wonderful opportunities for advancement.

It certainly seems like a compassionate thing to offer them legal status in America and the opportunity to pursue their dreams. It should first be considered, however, that we have millions of people already mired in dire poverty in our inner cities, rural townships and places such as Appalachia who would certainly appreciate a helping hand before we extend one to foreigners. The same principle is seen when you board an airplane and hear the announcement, "In case of an emergency, oxygen masks will drop from the ceiling. Put yours on first, and then administer help to those around you." There are many around us already in need of help.

According to President Obama, only those five million or so illegals who have been in America for five years or more will benefit from his largesse. He indicates that they will not be eligible for health care and other benefits. Obviously, this fits right into the same category as his promise: "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."

Once illegals have legal status, it will be difficult to deny them any of the multitudinous entitlements that are freely distributed throughout our society. Also, we must remember that illegals who have been here for less than five years only have to claim that they have been here longer than that in order to collect goodies. In effect, instead of helping five million people, we probably will be aiding at least twice that many.

Even this would not be a problem if we had plenty of money. The sad fact is our national debt is approaching $18 trillion. If you paid that back at a rate of $1 billion per day, it would take nearly 50 years. Many powerful nations before us have met their fate through fiscal irresponsibility. What makes our leaders think we are immune from the destructive forces of a shaky financial foundation?

The founders of our nation feared that the time would arise when an individual or group of individuals in our government would become intoxicated with their power and attempt to impose their will upon the entire society through dictatorial decrees rather than through the legal process established by our Constitution. For this reason, they established three separate but equal branches of government, dividing the powers. This ingenious method of power division worked beautifully until recently, but hopefully, we are about to experience a demonstration of how the separation of powers preserves the integrity of our system. It will require that the legislative and judicial branches of government manifest the necessary courage to stand up for the people they represent.

The American people should not be manipulated into believing that they are heartless simply because they want to preserve the rule of law in our nation and look after their own before they take in others. We also have to consider the millions of people who have immigrated here legally, as well as those who are in the queue. It is incredibly unfair to them to grant amnesty to those who have jumped ahead of them in line illegally. I hope all of our government officials will recall the words of the Pledge of Allegiance, with particular emphasis on the part that says: "with liberty and justice for all."

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1114/carson112614.php3#zox4Ezji4kuwIyyx.99

12-20-14

A Time for Torture

By Michael Reagan

A poll released this week found 51 percent of Americans approve of the harsh interrogation tactics the CIA used immediately after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Imagine what those numbers would have been on Sept. 12, 2001.

The NBC/Wall Street Journal survey is in synch with the results of similar opinion polls that show a majority of Americans are not naive about what "torture" is or isn't or when it should be used.

About half of those polled called the CIA's use of water boarding, sleep deprivation and other tough interview methods "torture," but a majority still approved of it.

About 30 percent of Americans — most of them Democrats — told NBC they think the CIA went too far in the early days of the Bush administration. About 80 percent of Republicans approved the CIA's tactics.

Dick Cheney got beat up this week by the liberal media, Senate Democrats and the holier-than-thou crowd for refusing to use the word "torture" to describe the CIA's methods of extracting information from evil people who wanted to kill us or who knew where Osama Bin Laden's home address was.

As for the future, 45 percent of those polled say the CIA should continue to use the same interrogation tactics while 28 percent said they should not.

Interrogating our enemies during war is a dirty business.

It's not anything like that classy old 1950s quiz show "What's My Line," where a panel of well-dressed celebrities like Steve Allen had 10 questions to figure out the occupations of the mystery contestants.

"Mr. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, did you ever mastermind a plan to blow up the World Trade Center?"

"No."

"OK, panel. Eight down and two to go."

I have a little story for anyone who thinks America's rough interrogation tactics really deserve to be called "torture."

During the mid-1980s, when I was on a vacation in Italy, my wife and I were being protected by the U.S. Secret Service and its Italian equivalent.

A few years earlier, the leftist Red Brigade had been terrorizing Italy, assassinating people, kidnapping business executives, setting off bombs, robbing banks and blowing off people's kneecaps as they walked down the sidewalks.

In 1981, after the Red Brigade kidnapped U.S. General James Dozier, it took Italy's counter-terrorism agency 42 days to rescue him -- without firing a shot.

I asked one of the unshaven, rugged, glass-eating Italian secret servicemen working in our motorcade detail how they finally found out where General Dozier was being held.

He told me that after his colleagues caught a few members of the Red Brigade they were taken to the basement and interrogated.


The terrorists became very talkative after their genitals were placed in a vise.

The agents who used this persuasive technique — which also led to the capture of hundreds of Red Brigade members and put the deadly terrorist group out of business — were disciplined by their superiors.

They were suspended for five days and went to the beach.

As the Italians proved, sometimes in war you have to use "enhanced" interrogation methods to get the successful ending you want.

In 2001 we found ourselves in a bloody war against terrorists. The White House knew it. The CIA knew it. Even the media and Democrats in Congress knew it. The American people figured it out too.

What the CIA did to extract information from the Islamist terrorists was not nice, but it was not really torture.

We shouldn't be second-guessing and beating up on the CIA, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and all the other men and women who've helped to keep us safe for the last 14 years.

We should be thanking them.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan121814.php3#c1hLB8Zw4wV2SJQl.99

12-19-14

Should Profiling Be Banned?

By Walter Williams

Last week, the Obama administration announced new curbs on racial profiling by federal law enforcement. Before deciding whether this is good or bad policy, we might try to develop a description/definition of racial profiling or any other kind of profiling.

A good definition of profiling in general is the use of an easily observed physical characteristic as a guess for some other, difficult-to-observe characteristic. The reason people profile is that information is costly and they seek methods to economize on information costs. One way to do that is through profiling.

Imagine a chief of police in a city where there has been a rash of automobile hubcap thefts and he's trying to capture the culprits. Should he have his officers stake out and investigate residents of senior citizen homes? What about spending resources investigating men and women 40 or older? I would imagine that he would have greater success in capturing the culprits by focusing most of his resources on younger people — and particularly on young men. Doing so would more likely lead to the capture of the culprits because hubcap theft is a young man's game. My question to you is whether you'd bring charges against the police chief because he used age and sex profiling — and didn't investigate seniors and middle-aged adults.

Some years ago, a Washington, D.C., taxicab commissioner, who is black, issued a safety advisory urging D.C.'s 6,800 predominantly black cabbies to refuse to pick up "dangerous looking" passengers. Cabbies in D.C. and other cities often bypass black males for fear of robbery or of being taken to an unsafe neighborhood. We seriously misunderstand the motives of a taxi driver who racially profiles and passes up a black customer if we use racism as the sole explanation for his behavior.

The reality is that race and other behavioral characteristics are correlated, including criminal behavior. That fact does not dispel the insult, embarrassment, anger and hurt a law-abiding black person might feel when being stopped by police, being watched in stores, being passed up by taxi drivers, standing at traffic lights and hearing car door locks activated, or being refused delivery by merchants who fear for their safety in his neighborhood. It is easy to direct one's anger at the taxi driver or the merchant. However, the behavior of taxi drivers and owners of pizza restaurants cannot be explained by a dislike of dollars from black hands. A better explanation is they might fear for their lives. The true villains, to whom anger should be directed, are the tiny percentage of people in the black community who prey on both blacks and whites and have made black synonymous with crime.

There's little-noticed racial profiling in medicine. Some racial and ethnic groups have a higher incidence of mortality from various diseases than the national average. Mortality rates for cardiovascular diseases are approximately 30 percent higher among black adults than among white adults. Cervical cancer rates are almost five times higher among Vietnamese women in the U.S. than among white women. The Pima Indians of Arizona have the highest known diabetes rate in the world. Prostate cancer is nearly twice as common among black men as it is among white men. Would one condemn a medical practitioner for advising greater screening and monitoring of black men for cardiovascular disease and prostate cancer or greater screening and monitoring for cervical cancer among Vietnamese-American women or the same for diabetes among Pima Indians? It surely would be racial profiling — using race as an indicator of a higher probability of some other characteristic.

God would never do profiling of any sort, because God is omniscient. We humans lack that quality and must depend upon sometimes-crude substitutes for finding out things. By the way, my attempting to explain profiling doesn't require one to take a position for or against it any more than the attempt to explain gravity requires one to be for or against gravity.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams121714.php3#hxRA2o531VtGSzW4.99

12-18-14

A license to debate: State takes aim at the First Amendment

By George Will

When the government is waving at us with its right hand, so to speak, it is the government's left hand that we should be watching. Just as a magician draws your attention to what he wants you to see so you will not observe how his trick is performed, last week presented a textbook example of public disputes masking hidden deceptions. Here is what happened.

Last week was dominated by two huge news stories. One was the revelation by the Senate Intelligence Committee of torture committed by CIA agents and contractors on 119 detainees in the post-9/11 era — 26 of whom were tortured for months by mistake. In that revelation of anguish and error were the conclusions by CIA agents themselves that their torture had not produced helpful information. President Barack Obama acknowledged that the CIA had tortured, yet he directed the Department of Justice not to prosecute those who tortured and those who authorized it.

The other substantial news story was the compromise achieved by Congress and the White House to fund the government through the end of September 2015. That legislation, which is 2,000 pages in length, was not read by anyone who voted for it. It spends a few hundred billion dollars more than the government will collect in tax revenue. The compromise was achieved through bribery; members of Congress bought and sold votes by adding goodies (in the form of local expenditures of money borrowed by the federal government) to the bill that were never debated or independently voted upon and were added solely to achieve the votes needed for passage. This is how the federal government operates today. Both parties participate in it. They have turned the public treasury into a public trough.

Hidden in the law that authorized the government to spend more than it will collect was a part about funding for the 16 federal civilian intelligence agencies. And hidden in that was a clause, inserted by the same Senate Intelligence Committee that revealed the CIA torture, authorizing the National Security Agency to gather and retain nonpublic data for five years and to share it with law enforcement and with foreign governments. "Nonpublic data" is the government's language referring to the content of the emails, text messages, telephone calls, bank statements, utility bills and credit card bills of nearly every innocent person in America — including members of Congress, federal judges, public officials and law enforcement officials. I say "innocent" because the language of this legislation — which purports to make lawful the NSA spying we now all know about — makes clear that those who spy upon us needn't have any articulable suspicion or probable cause for spying.

The need for articulable suspicion and probable cause has its origins in the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution, which was written to prohibit what Congress just authorized. That amendment was a reaction to the brutish British practice of rummaging through the homes of American colonists, looking for anything that might be illegal. It is also a codification of our natural right to privacy. It requires that if the government wants nonpublic data from our persons, houses, papers or effects, it must first present evidence of probable cause to a judge and then ask the judge for a search warrant.

Probable cause is a level of evidence that is sufficient to induce a judge into concluding that it is more likely than not that the place to be examined contains evidence of crimes. In order to seek probable cause, the government must first have an articulable suspicion about the person or place it has targeted. Were this not in the law, then nothing would stop the government from fishing expeditions in pursuit of anyone it wants to pursue. And fishing expeditions turn the presumption of liberty on its head. The presumption of liberty is based on the belief that our rights are natural to us and that we may exercise them without a permission slip from the government and without its surveillance.

Until last week, that is. Last week, Congress, by authorizing the massive NSA spying to continue and by authorizing the spies to share what they have seized with law enforcement, basically permitted the fishing expeditions that the Fourth Amendment was written to prevent.

How can the president and Congress defy the Constitution, you might ask? Hasn't every member of the government taken an oath to uphold the Constitution? Doesn't the Constitution create the presidency and the Congress? How can politicians purport to change it?

The answers to these questions are obvious, as is the belief of most of those in government that they can write any law and regulate any behavior and ignore the Constitution they have sworn to uphold whenever they want, so long as they can get away with it.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/1214/napolitano121814.php3#hZosVkexyrbKS4JT.9912-18-14


12-17-14

A travesty of a report: The authors have forgotten our history

By Charles Krauthammer

The report by Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee regarding CIA interrogation essentially accuses the agency under George W. Bush of war criminality. Committee Chair Dianne Feinstein appears to offer some extenuation when she reminds us in the report's preamble of the shock and "pervasive fear" felt after 9/11.

It's a common theme (often echoed by President Obama): Amid panic and disorientation, we lost our moral compass and made awful judgments. The results are documented in the committee report. They must never happen again.

It's a kind of temporary-insanity defense for the Bush administration. And it is not just unctuous condescension but hypocritical nonsense. In the aftermath of 9/11, there was nothing irrational about believing that a second attack was a serious possibility and therefore everything should be done to prevent it. Indeed, this was the considered opinion of the CIA, the administration, the congressional leadership and the American people.

Al-Qaeda had successfully mounted four major attacks on American targetsin the previous three years. The pace was accelerating and the scale vastly increasing. The country then suffered a deadly anthrax attack of unknown origin. Al-Qaeda was known to be seeking weapons of mass destruction.

We were so blindsided that we established a 9/11 commission to find out why. And we knew next to nothing about the enemy: its methods, structure, intentions, plans. There was nothing morally deranged about deciding as a nation to do everything necessary to find out what we needed to prevent a repetition, or worse. As Feinstein said at the time, "We have to do some things that historically we have not wanted to do to protect ourselves."

Nancy Pelosi, then ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, was briefed about the interrogation program, including the so-called torture techniques. As were the other intelligence committee leaders. "We understood what the CIA was doing," wrote Porter Goss, Pelosi's chairman on the House committee. "We gave the CIA our bipartisan support; we gave the CIA funding to carry out its activities."

Democrat Jay Rockefeller, while the vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, was asked in 2003 about turning over Khalid Sheik Mohammed to countries known to torture. He replied: "I wouldn't take anything off the table where he is concerned."


There was no uproar about this open countenancing of torture-by-proxy. Which demonstrates not just the shamelessness of Democrats today denouncing practices to which, at the time and at the very least, they made no objection. It demonstrates also how near-consensual was the idea that our national emergency might require extraordinary measures.

This is not to say that in carrying out the program there weren't abuses, excesses, mismanagement and appalling mistakes (such as the death in custody — unintended but still unforgivable — of two detainees). It is to say that the root-and-branch denunciation of the program as, in principle, unconscionable is not just hypocritical but ahistorical.

To make that case, to produce a prosecutorial brief so entirely and relentlessly one-sided, the committee report (written solely by Democrats) excluded any testimony from the people involved and variously accused. None. No interviews, no hearings, no statements.

The excuse offered by the committee is that a parallel Justice Department inquiry precluded committee interviews. Rubbish. That inquiry ended in 2012. It's December 2014. Why didn't they take testimony in the interval? Moreover, even during the Justice Department investigation, the three CIA directors and many other officials were exempt from any restrictions. Why weren't they interviewed?

Answer: So that committee Democrats could make their indictment without contradiction. So they could declare, for example, the whole program to be a failure that yielded no important information — a conclusion denied by practically every major figure involved, including Democrat and former CIA director Leon Panetta; Obama's current CIA director, John Brennan; and three other CIA directors (including a Clinton appointee).

Perhaps, say the critics, but we'll never know whether less harsh interrogation would have sufficed.

So what was the Bush administration to do? Amid the smoking ruins of Ground Zero, conduct a controlled experiment in gentle interrogation and wait to see if we'd be hit again?

A nation attacked is not a laboratory for exquisite moral experiments. It's a trust to be protected, by whatever means meet and fit the threat.

Accordingly, under the direction of the Bush administration and with the acquiescence of congressional leadership, the CIA conducted an uncontrolled experiment. It did everything it could, sometimes clumsily, sometimes cruelly, indeed, sometimes wrongly.

But successfully. It kept us safe.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer121214.php3#EMobBFMFHq8H7z3D.99

12-16-14

Tax reform optimism

By George Will

"Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery."

— Mr. Micawber in "David Copperfield"

If America's long-term economic growth were 3.5 percent, the result would be the restoration of cheerfulness. If long-term growth is closer to 2 percent, the result will be continuing social disappointment and political crankiness.

Rep. Dave Camp (R-Mich.), as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, did his considerable best to deliver the indispensable igniter of sustained growth — tax reform. As he leaves Congress after 12 terms, passing the gavel to an equally able reformer, Paul Ryan, Camp remains confident that it can be done. Such serenity is strange in today's Washington, where even events that cause cheerfulness are for that reason depressing.

The euphoria occasioned by the economy adding 321,000 jobs in November indicates that we have defined success down. In the 1960s, there were nine months in which more than 300,000 jobs were added, the last being June 1969, when there were about 117 million fewer Americans than there are now . In the 1980s, job growth exceeded 300,000 in 23 months, the last being November 1988, when there were about 75 million fewer Americans than today .

To demonstrate how young people "are not getting the kind of start others got," Camp offers a graph charting the "fraction of young adults living with older family members." Beginning in the middle of the last decade, the line goes almost straight up, to almost 46 percent. For those 25 to 34, median household income plunged 8.9 percent between June 2009 and June 2012,the first three years of the recovery .

Surely it is time to give earners on the lower rungs of the ladder of upward mobility a boost by cutting their payroll taxes. This can be paid for by ending the nonsense of taxing at the low capital gains rate the income that fabulously wealthy hedge fund managers call "carried interest."

There is consensus about the broad contours of tax reform: Lowering rates and recouping lost revenue by closing loopholes, and by improved economic growth, justify "dynamic scoring." This means estimating the revenue and growth effects of tax changes that improve incentives to work, invest and consume. And save: The median savings of households 10 years from retirement is a paltry $12,000; nearly one-third of those 55 to 64 have no savings.

Consensus abruptly ends when dealing with details begins. Suppose the deductibility of mortgage interest were capped at a $500,000 mortgage level (involving less than 5 percent of houses on the market). But all 435 congressional districts have this in common: They all have real estate interests (bankers, brokers, builders) who will object. But, says Camp, if tax reform delivers faster growth, housing prices will rise because more people will be working and in the housing market.

Charitable giving, too, is highly correlated with economic growth. Were the deductibility of charitable contributions limited in a context of improved economic growth, charitable giving would increase: People give more when they are prospering. Such giving surged after Ronald Reagan reduced the top tax rate from 50 percent to 28 percent in 1986. Although this rate reduction also lowered the value of the charitable deduction, it ignited growth, hence cheerfulness, hence largess.

Camp would prefer to have just two tax brackets (10 percent and 25 percent) but thinks that, for political reasons, a third is necessary "because of the Derek Jeters of the world." There are so many high-earning athletes and entertainers, and corporate chief executives are earning so much more than in the 1980s, that a 35 percent bracket for income over $400,000 (less than 1 percent of taxpayers) is needed to serve the optics of equity.

One prerequisite for tax reform, Camp says, is presidential engagement. Of today's president, Camp says: "I haven't really seen why he is there."

Because comprehensive tax reform inevitably would leave no faction unscathed, Camp's optimism might seem misplaced. But optimism comes easily to a man two years into remission from lymphoma, the treatment for which cost him much of his hair. Said his son, with the savoir-faire for which the young are known: "Don't worry, Dad. It was going anyway." Camp is going from Congress with the knowledge that he advanced the cause of reform, and hence of American revival, and that, as Jefferson said, "The ground of liberty is to be gained by inches."

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will121314.php3#xODEZDehiXMJkcGC.99

12-15-14

What's Rule of Law?

By Walter Williams


Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams121014.php3#6OP76mAP75V5IRJb.99




President Barack Obama said just before the recent Ferguson, Missouri, riots, "First and foremost, we are a nation built on the rule of law." Most Americans have little or no inkling of what "rule of law" means. Many think it means obedience to whatever laws legislatures enact. That's a vision that has led to human tragedy down through the ages. Historically, it sanctioned the divine right of kings, whereby a monarch was subject to no earthly authority, deriving his right to rule directly from the will of God. More recently, it's a vision that included the Nuremberg laws, which led to the genocide of European Jews, and the brutal laws of the regimes of Josef Stalin and Mao Zedong, which led to tens of millions of murders.

Let's ask ourselves what the characteristics of laws in a free society should be. Let's think about baseball rules (laws) as a way to approach this. Some players, through no fault of their own, hit fewer home runs than others. In order to create baseball justice, or what's sometimes called a level playing field, how about a rule requiring pitchers to throw easier pitches to poorer home run hitters? Alternatively, we could make a rule that what would be a double for a power hitter is a home run for someone who doesn't hit many homers.

Some pitchers aren't so good as others. How about allowing those pitchers to stand closer to home plate? Better yet, we could rule their first two pitches as strikes, regardless of whether they are or not. In the interest of baseball justice, we might make special rules for some players and not for others. That would level the playing field between old players and young players, black players and white players and fast runners and slow runners. Umpires would become arbiters of baseball justice.

You say, "Williams, you can't be serious! Can you imagine all the chaos that would ensue: players lobbying umpires, umpires deciding who gets what favor, and lawsuits — not to mention violence?" You're absolutely right. The reason baseball games end peaceably — with players and team owners satisfied with the process, whether they win or lose — is that baseball rules (law) are applied equally to all players. They're fixed, and umpires don't make up rules as they go along. In other words, baseball rules meet the test of "abstractness." They envision no particular game outcome in terms of winners and losers. The rules that govern baseball simply create a framework in which the game is played.

Laws or rules in a free society should have similar characteristics; there should be "rule of law." Rule of law means that laws are certain and known in advance. Laws envision no particular outcome except that of allowing people to peaceably pursue their own objectives. Finally, and most importantly, laws are equally applied to everyone, including government officials.

Sir Henry Sumner Maine, probably the greatest legal historian ever, wrote, "The movement of the progressive societies has hitherto been a movement from Status to Contract." In non-progressive societies, rule of law is absent. Laws are not general. They're applied according to a person's status or group membership. There's rule not by legis, the Latin word for law, but by privilegium, the Latin term for private law.

Let's look at our country and ask whether we live under rule of law. Just about every law that Congress enacts violates the requirements for rule of law. How do we determine violations of rule of law? It's easy. See whether the law applies to particular Americans, as opposed to all Americans. See whether the law exempts public officials from its application. See whether the law is known in advance. See whether the law takes action against a person who has taken no aggressive action against another. If one conducts such a test, he will conclude that it is virtually impossible to find a single act of Congress that adheres to the principles of the rule of law. The supreme tragedy is Americans do not want rule of law.


Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams121014.php3#6OP76mAP75V5IRJb.99

12-14-14

I Don't Care if Obama Thinks We're Stupid; Just Repeal Obamacare

By David Limbaugh

Instead of using this space to pretend the newly released CIA "torture" report confirms that the United States is the most evil nation in the history of the universe, I'm going to address Jonathan Gruber's confirmation that he believes we're all stupid.

Assuming you are not under any rocks or haven't been in an underground bunker without access to media, you will have heard that Gruber, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the principal architect of Obamacare, made some unflattering comments about his fellow Americans.

At a panel event last year, discussing how the administration was able to secure passage of the Affordable Care Act, Gruber openly admitted that the administration deceived the American people in numerous important respects about the legislation, bragged about the administration's lack of transparency in the process and outright called the American people "stupid," which I think is arguably the least of these three sins, though it's the one getting the most airplay.

Read Gruber's own words: "You can't do it politically. You just literally cannot do it. OK? Transparent financing and also transparent spending. I mean, this bill was written in a tortured way to make sure (the Congressional Budget Office) did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies. OK? So it's written to do that. In terms of risk-rated subsidies, if you had a law which said healthy people are going to pay in — you made explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money — it would not have passed. ... Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically, that was really, really critical to getting the thing to pass. ... Look, I wish (health economist) Mark (Pauly) was right (that) we could make it all transparent, but I'd rather have this law than not."

This week, Gruber, tail between his legs, desperately backpedaled before Congress, pretending that he didn't mean a thing he said, that he had only acted arrogantly in an effort to portray himself as a very smart cookie.

He told Congress: "I'm not an elected official, nor am I a political adviser. ... I behaved badly, and I will have to live with that, but my own inexcusable arrogance is not a flaw in the Affordable Care Act. The ACA is a milestone accomplishment for our nation that has already provided millions of Americans with health insurance. ... It's never appropriate to make oneself seem more important or smarter by demeaning others. I knew better. I know better. I'm embarrassed, and I'm sorry."

This is truly insulting, for now he's also treating us as stupid, not just his fellow Obama voters. When he attributed the passage of the bill to the "stupidity" of the American voters, he was necessarily talking about Obama voters, because the rest of us weren't going to be persuaded to go along with this socialist scheme no matter how ornately he dressed it up with deceit.

But by telling Congress that he didn't really mean any of what he said, he and those in the administration he colluded with on this, including Obama, are playing us non-Obama voters for fools, as well. Reread his comments to the panel. There's no escaping his clear meaning.

He revealed that the administration was very calculating in getting the bill passed. His comments on the panel weren't throwaway remarks. They show that the administration deliberately and premeditatedly mischaracterized the nature of the mandate to the CBO (as a penalty and not as a tax); otherwise, by Gruber's admission, the bill would have died.

We non-Kool-Aid drinkers knew this at the time, so this is not news to us. Gruber also doubly reaffirmed the administration's intention to deceive when he said that he wishes it could have passed the bill by being open and honest about it (transparent) but that the bill would never have passed had the administration been honest. It's right there in his words, spoken before he got in trouble, not after. Obama and company made a conscious decision to lie because they'd "rather have this law than not."

So while people are making a big fuss over Gruber's calling Americans stupid, they ought to be far more outraged that he admitted the administration purposefully lied to us. This is the real story, and it reveals, once again, the character and mentality of this entire administration, for Gruber was speaking not merely for himself but about the entire administration, beginning with Obama.

No one wanted this socialist law more than Obama, and he has shown in every way imaginable that he went to extreme lengths to get it enacted — and he has done the same to keep it in force. We always knew that Obama's end-justifies-the-means mindset and dogmatic ideological fervor led to his corruption and lawlessness, but now we have his principal Obamacare architect admitting it — and then lamely lying to Congress after the fact in an embarrassingly failed effort to deny he meant it.

This is all disgraceful and underscores how imperative it is that Obamacare be fully repealed and that the newly elected GOP Congress get a backbone and stand up to this cadre of scofflaws.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh121214.php3#YMdYWKG7ora7BQWQ.99

12-13-14

Is Law Optional?

By Thomas Sowell

The fiasco of "Rolling Stone" magazine's apology for an unsubstantiated claim of gang rape at a University of Virginia fraternity house — and the instant rush to judgment of the university administration in shutting down all fraternities, when those charges were made — should warn us about the dangers of having serious legal issues dealt with by institutions with no qualifications for that role.

Rape is a crime. It belongs in a criminal justice courtroom. And those found guilty belong behind bars for a long time.

What could possibly have led anyone to believe that college professors or campus administrators should be the ones making decisions about charges of criminal acts that can ruin the lives of the accuser or the accused?

Many years ago, the late William F. Buckley said that he would rather be ruled by people with the first hundred names in the Boston phone book than by a hundred Harvard professors. Having spent more than half a century on academic campuses across the country, I would likewise rather have my fate decided by a hundred Americans chosen at random than by a hundred academics.

Have we forgotten the charges of gang rape against members of the Duke lacrosse team in 2006 — and how quickly the lynch mob mentality swept across the campus, before there was a speck of evidence to indicate whether the young men were either guilty or innocent?

Do we want people punished, based on other people's preconceptions, rather than on the facts of the individual case? Apparently there are ranting mobs who do, and many in the media who give them a platform for spouting off, in exchange for the mobs' providing them with footage that can attract an audience.

The law is not the place for amateurs. We do not need legal issues to be determined by academics, the media or mobs in the streets.

Every society has orders and rules, but not every society has the rule of law — "a government of laws and not of men." Nor was it easy to achieve even an approximation of the rule of law. It took centuries of struggle — and lives risked and sacrificed — to achieve it in those countries which have some approximation of it today.

To just throw all of that overboard because of mobs, the media or racial demagoguery is staggering.

A generation that jumps to conclusions on the basis of its own emotions, or succumbs to the passions or rhetoric of others, deserves to lose the freedom that depends on the rule of law. Unfortunately, what they say and what they do can lose everyone's freedom, including the freedom of generations yet unborn.

If grand juries are supposed to vote on the basis of what mobs want, instead of on the basis of the evidence that they see — and which the mob doesn't even want to see — then we forfeit the rule of law and our freedom that depends on it.

If people who are told that they are under arrest, and who refuse to come with the police, cannot be forcibly taken into custody, then we do not have the rule of law, when the law itself is downgraded to suggestions that no one has the power to enforce.

For people who have never tried to take into custody someone resisting arrest, to sit back in the safety and comfort of their homes or offices and second-guess people who face the dangers inherent in that process — dangers for both the police and the person under arrest — is yet another example of the irresponsible self-indulgences of our time.

Force cannot be measured out by the teaspoon, and there are going to be incalculable risks every time force is resorted to, because no one can predict what is going to happen in the next moment. Anyone involved can end up in the hospital or the morgue. Let the responsibility lie with whoever forces a resort to force.

When it comes to dealing with mobs, the idea that the police should not show up in riot gear, or with anti-riot equipment that looks menacing or "military" — lest this "inflame" the mob — is an idea that might have seemed plausible to some in 1960. But we have had more than half a century of experience to the contrary since then.

The "kinder and gentler" approach was used in Detroit during its 1967 ghetto riots. More people died in those riots than in any other 1960s riots, the great majority of the dead being black.


Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell120914.php3#MvegzmdSwrgFml51.99

12-12-14

The real civil war: Dems struggle for footing --- and purpose

By Charles Krauthammer

Old habits die hard. The media are so enamored of the continuing (and largely contrived) story about the great Republican civil war that they fail to appreciate that the real internecine fight is being waged on the other side of the aisle.

I grant that there's a lot of shouting today among Republicans. But it's aritual skirmish over whether a government shutdown would force the president to withdraw a signature measure — last time, Obamacare; this time, executive amnesty.

And it will likely be resolved with the obvious expedient of funding the government through next year, except for a more short-term extension for homeland security. That way, defunding the executive order could be targeted to just the issue at hand, namely immigration, and would occur when the GOP holds the high ground — control of both houses of Congress.

It's a tempest in a teapot, and tactical at that. Meanwhile, on the other side, cannons are firing in every direction as the Democratic Party, dazed and disoriented, begins digging itself out of the shambles of six years of Barack Obama.

The fireworks began even before Election Day with preemptive back-stabbing of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, by fellow Democrats. This was followed after the electoral debacle by bitter sniping between Obama and Harry Reid when Reid's chief of staff immediately — and on the record — blamed the results on Obama. In turn, Obama got his revenge last week by sabotaging a $450 billion "tax extender" deal that Reid had painstakingly negotiated.

But the Democrats' civil war goes far beyond the petty and the personal. It's about fundamental strategy and ideology. The opening salvo was Sen. Chuck Schumer's National Press Club speech, an anti-Obama manifesto delivered three weeks after Election Day openly denouncing Obamaism, its policies and priorities. In essence: Elected with a mandate to restore the economy and address the anxieties of a stagnating and squeezed middle class, Obama instead attacked, restructured, reorganized and destabilized a health-care system that was serving the middle class relatively well.

Eighty-five percent of Americans already had health insurance, argued Schumer. Yet millions have suffered dislocations for the sake of a minority constituency — the uninsured — barely 13 percent of whom vote.

This has alienated the Democrats' traditional middle-class constituency. Indeed, in a 2013 poll cited by the New York Times' Thomas Edsall, by a margin of 25 percent, people said Obamacare makes things better for the poor. But when the question was, does it make things better "for people like you," Obamacare came out 16 points underwater. Moreover, for whites, whose support for Democrats hemorrhaged in 2014, 63 percent thought Obamacare made things worse for the middle class.

That's how you lose elections, Schumer argued . And forfeit large chunks of the traditional Democratic coalition. Health care was not a crisis in 2009 (nor in 1993 when Hillarycare led to another Democratic electoral disaster); it was an ideological imperative for Barack Obama and the liberal elites in charge of Congress — their legacy contribution to the welfare state.

As are Obama's current cherished causes — climate change and amnesty for illegal immigrants. These are hardly the top priorities of a working and middle class whose median income declined as much during the Obama recovery as during the Great Recession.

The underlying Schumer challenge is that catering to coastal elites and select minorities is how you end up losing 64 percent of the white working class — which, though shrinking, is almost 50 percent larger in size than the black and Hispanic electorates combined.

While Schumer lobbed artillery at Obama's faculty-room liberalism, the left — through Elizabeth Warren's progressive populism — kept up its fire on the party center. Warren is looking beyond Obama to Hillary Clinton, cozy as Clinton is (Schumer, too) with Wall Street, the bête noire of the party base. Which is why Clinton actually said: "Don't let anybody tell you that, you know, it's corporations and businesses that create jobs" — a stupendously clumsy attempt to parry Warren by parroting her.

From opposite sides of the (Democratic) spectrum, Schumer and Warren are trying to remake and reorient the Democratic Party post-Obama. So while Republicans are debating the tactics of stopping presidential lawlessness — an inherently difficult congressional undertaking, particularly if you still control only a single house — Democrats are trying to figure out what they believe and whom they represent.

Which do you think is the more serious problem?

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer120514.php3#T3tqpOpZ36Is1AbJ.99

12-11-14

Blacks the media hate (and Rand Paul isn't wild about)

By Ann Coulter

Now that the Ferguson grand jury documents have been made public, even MSNBC has had to quietly drop its fantasy of Michael Brown being gunned down like a dog in the street by Officer Darren Wilson. Instead, MSNBC is defending the looters.

On Monday night, MSNBC's Chris Hayes objected to anyone referring to the people who "set fires or looted as 'thugs.'"

His guest, former Seattle chief of police Norm Stamper, said, "I could not agree more." (Stamper did such a bang-up job dealing with the World Trade Organization riots in 1999 that he was forced to resign -- which may explain why he is the left's favorite police chief.)

Hardworking black people in Ferguson poured their lives into their stores, depended on them to support their families and shopped at them to improve their quality of life. I wonder if they appreciated Hayes' principled opposition to calling the arsonists "thugs."

Instead of exquisite sensitivity to the feelings of black thugs, how about considering the feelings of black citizens who want to live in safe neighborhoods?

There's a reason so many black people supported Officer Wilson's account and that a black woman walked into a burning convenience store in the middle of the riot to extinguish the fire with gallons of milk.

In "Mugged: Racial Demagoguery from the Seventies to Obama," I told the true stories of dozens of allegedly racist crimes sensationalized by the media. In almost all of them, there were unheralded black heroes who stood up for law and order against "the community."

When Exeter student Edmund Perry got himself killed by mugging a cop, at least a half-dozen black witnesses supported the cop's version. While The New York Times was droning on about Perry as "a prized symbol of hope," Perry's black neighbors were testifying to the grand jury that his brother admitted they had mugged a cop.

At least three black friends of the Central Park rapists told the police that the defendants had confessed to attacking the jogger. (In what must have been an oversight, those witnesses didn't make it into Ken Burns' movie.)


A young black woman, who was in Bernie Goetz's subway car with her husband and child when Goetz shot four black muggers, told the jury, "Those punks got what they deserved."

Goetz's lawyer Barry Slotnick made no effort to keep blacks off the jury. His faith was rewarded: Goetz's biggest defender on the jury was a black bus driver from Harlem. It is well known by prosecutors that working and married blacks make great jurors.

But we never hear about those black people. Why, that would spoil everything!

There are loads of movies about black criminals -- rewritten the way the media were hoping the story would come out, but didn't. (Movie: "Murder Without Motive: The Edmund Perry Story." Spoiler alert! The tale of a racist white cop who shot an innocent black honor student for no discernible reason.)

How about a movie paying tribute to the African-American eyewitnesses in Ferguson who told the truth to the grand jury?

Who speaks for them?

It's sure not Sen. Rand Paul.

We need video footage of blacks burning other blacks' stores down juxtaposed with clips of Sen. Paul saying that the reason "three out of four people in prison are black or brown" may be "because of the color of their skin or their economic status." Another possibility -- I'm just throwing it out there -- is that the reason black, brown or white people are in prison is because they've committed crimes.

Improving their "economic status" doesn't seem to help. The two men arrested for trying to buy bombs in Ferguson in order to blow up the Gateway Arch and kill the prosecutor and chief of police were prevented from buying as many bombs as they had hoped because they needed to wait for more money to be transferred onto a girlfriend's EBT card (Electronic Benefits Card -- food stamps).

For claiming the drug laws are racist, Sen. Paul seems to imagine his portrait is being hung in black homes across America, between pictures of Martin Luther King and John F. Kennedy. "White people do drugs too," Paul tells admiring white liberals in the media, "but either they don't get caught or they have better attorneys or they don't live in poverty."

If Rand Paul thinks black people are rooting for black crack dealers to go free, he's even crazier than his old man.

It was African-Americans, exploding in rage at the devastation crack was inflicting on their neighborhoods in the 1980s, who demanded severe penalties for crack cocaine. In a typical news story from 1986, Julius Lee, the black city commissioner in Fort Pierce, Florida, said, "Drugs are terrible things, but these cocaine rocks are the terriblest of the terrible." Black grocer Eugene Gibson sadly remarked, while sweeping the sidewalk in front of his store, "We're in a world of trouble here. ... It's these cocaine rocks."

A few years later, in 1989, black columnist Dorothy Gaiter perfectly expressed the feelings of the (non-crack dealing) black community in The Miami Herald: "Crack sellers should be locked up and their bounty taken away from them. The jails are crowded with murderers and others who deserve to be there, but the crack seller is a murderer too. He's a lethal seducer of our young, a destroyer of our neighborhoods. Being poor is no crime and should not result in a sentence to live among the lawless."

But now Sen. Paul is pushing the idea that the drug laws black people begged for were actually part of a racist plot to lock up African-Americans. It's like something out of Maxine Waters' dream journal.

The only people impressed with Rand Paul's defense of black criminals are the ones who will never be victimized by them.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/coulter120414.php3#CQJ8Xwx5R5AbE5tq.99

12-10-14

Congress Must Fight Back Against Obama's Lawlessness

By David Limbaugh

The word is that Republican leaders in Congress are relaxing their resistance.

Isn't it axiomatic that if you reward bad behavior you'll get more of it and that if you punish it you'll deter it? Then why would certain Republicans choose to reward behavior they are on record condemning?

I'm talking about not the president's making policy choices we disagree with but which he has constitutional authority to implement. Increasingly, he has become a law unto himself, rewriting substantive provisions of laws Congress not only opposes but has expressly rejected.

His recent executive actions on immigration and health care are breathtaking in their scope and unprecedented in their overt illegality.

Why would Obama stop? He certainly has no respect for the United States Constitution, so there is no chance he will rein himself in. Nor will he listen to dissenting voices. As the public's disapproval of his policies and behavior increases, his self-imposed isolation bubble hardens. One wonders whether he listens to anyone outside of his own narcissistic voice, White House consigliore Valerie Jarrett and first lady Michelle Obama.

Even The Washington Post's editorial board has come down squarely against Obama's action on immigration, in its editorial titled "President Obama's unilateral action on immigration has no precedent."

The writers dispute the White House's claim that Obama's unilateral action to legalize the presence of millions of immigrants is consistent with actions of previous presidents, saying, "In fact, it is increasingly clear that the sweeping magnitude of Mr. Obama's order is unprecedented."

In the first place, there is no small deception in the White House's comparing of Obama's order to that of President George H.W. Bush's 1990 order because it affected about the same percentage of immigrants (1.5 million of the 3.5 million immigrants at the time). The Post says, "The actual number affected by the 1990 order was clearly a fraction — perhaps a couple of hundred thousand people, at most — of the 1.5 million that Obama administration officials have cited."

In addition, Bush's action was consistent with legislation recently and subsequently enacted by Congress, whereas "Obama's move flies in the face of congressional intent — no matter how indefensible that intent looks."

The Post wrongly castigates Republicans for failing to pass an immigration reform bill but admits, "Republicans' failure to address immigration ... does not justify Mr. Obama's massive unilateral act."

The Post doesn't mention certain other hugely damning facts. President Obama's order isn't just an exercise of "prosecutorial discretion." His order won't just stop deportations; it will grant tentative status and work permits to illegal immigrants, as if he has the power to pass positive law without congressional approval and in defiance of Congress' express wishes.

If a mere discretionary act were all that is involved, why would Obama be planning for an amnesty processing facility with 1,000 new immigration agents in northern Virginia, as incoming Senate Budget Committee Chairman Jeff Sessions just discovered and reported?

Sessions said in a statement that this facility will "quickly approve applications for the President's illegal amnesty, which will provide work permits, photo IDs, Social Security, and Medicare to illegal immigrants — all benefits rejected by Congress. This action will mean that American workers, their sons, their daughters, their parents, will now have to compete directly for jobs, wages, and benefits with millions of illegal immigrants."

In the meantime, health care policy expert Betsy McCaughey reports that among the 3,415 federal regulations the Obama administration quietly imposed immediately before Thanksgiving, Obama has unilaterally made significant changes to the Affordable Care Act again. He is redefining what health plans will be deemed "adequate" for large employers under the law, and he's "asking" insurers to subsidize new benefits and warning that if they were to refuse, they might be forced to do so.

President Obama acts lawlessly so often and so egregiously that it seems some have grown numb to it. Sen. Sessions, to his great credit, is strongly recommending that Congress block federal dollars to implement his executive amnesty action. We need similar resistance on his many Obamacare overreaches.

Yet we hear the Republican leadership isn't on board with plans to actively challenge Obama. The Daily Caller is reporting, "House Speaker John Boehner will ask Rep. Nancy Pelosi to help him overcome 'snowballing' GOP opposition to the GOP leadership's draft 2015 government budget bill." Also, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer has indicated that Boehner's aides have asked him to deliver Democratic votes to ensure passage of the amnesty-funding bill.

I don't know yet whether or to what extent these reports are true, but if there is a smidgen of truth to them, people must rise up in one voice against these ongoing outrages. Obama's lawlessness has to be stopped, and we won't stop it if the opposition party refuses to fight back and its leaders get in bed with Obama's Democratic enablers.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh120514.php3#mdhBXPkdiiSkI7Pb.99

12-9-14

Can Racial Discrimination Explain Much?

By Walter Williams

In the medical profession, there is the admonition primum non nocere, the Latin expression for "first, do no harm." In order not to do harm, at the minimum, requires accurate diagnostics. Suppose a patient presents with abdominal pains, and the physician diagnoses it as caused by the patient's ingrown toenails. If that isn't the cause, the physician can spend all the resources he wants treating the patient's ingrown toenails and not remedy the patient's abdominal pains.

The decency of accurate diagnosis should be given to analyzing the problems of a large segment of the black community. Very often, major problems are erroneously seen as being caused by racial discrimination. No one argues that racial discrimination does not exist or does not have effects. The question that's relevant to policy, as well as resource allocation, is: How much of what we see is caused by discrimination?

Let's apply this question to the tragic state of black education. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, sometimes called the nation's report card, the average black 12th-grader has the academic achievement level of the average white seventh- or eighth-grader. In some cities, there's even a larger achievement gap. If, as some people assert, this is the result of racially discriminatory education funding, then demonstrations, legal suits and other measures might be taken to promote funding equity. Also, resources could be spent to politically organize and elect black people as mayors, city councilors and school superintendents.

If the cause of the black/white achievement gap has little to do with racial discrimination, then focusing on discrimination will lead us to ignore or downplay factors that do affect black education. In some school districts, 700 teachers are annually assaulted and threatened. At one time, Philadelphia employed 500 school police officers. Similar stories of school violence can be told in other cities with large black populations, such as Chicago, Baltimore, Detroit, Cleveland, Oakland, California, and Newark, New Jersey. How useful is it to spend resources on discrimination while allowing unsafe and chaotic educational environments to exist?

Whether a student is black, white, orange or polka-dot and whether he's poor or rich, there are some minimum requirements that must be met in order for him to do well in school. Someone must make the student do his homework. Someone must see to it that he gets eight to nine hours of sleep. Someone has to fix him a wholesome breakfast and ensure that he gets to school on time and respects and obeys teachers. Here's my question: Which one of those basic requirements can be accomplished through a presidential executive order, a congressional mandate or the edict of a mayor, a superintendent of schools or a teacher? If those basic requirements aren't met, whatever else that is done in the name of education is for naught.

Spending more money on education is not a substitute. If it were, black academic achievement wouldn't be a problem. For example, in 2012, Washington, D.C., public schools led the nation in spending per pupil, at $29,409 (http://tinyurl.com/mpc82dq). In terms of academic performance, "the nation's report card" shows that over 80 percent of D.C.'s predominantly black eighth-graders scored either "basic" or "below basic" in reading and math. "Basic" indicates only partial mastery of the knowledge and skills fundamental for proficient work at grade level, and "below basic" means that the student doesn't even have partial mastery.

Other devastating problems that are faced by many blacks and cannot be attributed to racial discrimination are a high crime rate — featured by a homicide victimization rate of 51 percent — over 70 percent of blacks being born to single females and only slightly more than 30 percent of black children being raised in two-parent households.

Solutions to these truly challenging problems will not be found in the political arena or in government programs. For black politicians, civil rights leaders, the intellectual elite and others to blame racial discrimination for the problems of today is dereliction. If a medical practitioner made the same kind of incorrect diagnosis, we'd indict him for malpractice.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams120414.php3#z51ZTuKcg6ERU82l.99

12-8-14

Libs willing to fight to the last drop of black blood

By Ann Coulter

The riot in Ferguson reminds me, I hate criminals, but I hate liberals more. They planned this riot. They stoked the fire, lied about the evidence and produced a made-to-order riot.

Every other riot I've ever heard of was touched off by some spontaneous event that exploded into mob violence long before any media trucks arrived. This time, the networks gave us a countdown to the riot, as if it were a Super Bowl kickoff.

From the beginning, Officer Darren Wilson's shooting of Michael Brown wasn't reported like news. It was reported like a cause.

The media are in a huff about the prosecutor being "biased" because his father was a cop, who was shot and killed by an African-American. What an assh@le!

Evidently, the sum-total of what every idiot on TV knows about the law is Judge Sol Wachtler's 20-year-old joke that a prosecutor could "indict a ham sandwich." We're supposed to be outraged that this prosecutor didn't indict the ham sandwich of Darren Wilson.

Liberals seem not to understand that they don't have a divine right to ruin someone's life and bankrupt him with a criminal trial, just so they're satisfied.

The reason most grand jury investigations result in an indictment is that most grand juries aren't convened solely to patronize racial mobs. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon was basically demanding an indictment of Wilson before Big Mike's body was cold. It was only because of racial politics that this shooting wasn't dismissed without a grand jury, at all.

Obama says anger is an "understandable reaction" to the grand jury's finding. Why? And why -- as almost everyone is saying -- are we supposed to praise the "peaceful protests"?

There's nothing to protest! A cop shot a thug who was trying to kill him. The grand jury documents make perfectly clear that Big Mike was entirely responsible for his own death. Can't the peaceful protesters read?

The night of the riot, Obama said the law "often feels as if it is being applied in discriminatory fashion." Maybe, but not in this case -- except toward Officer Wilson.

I know liberals were hoping they had finally found the great white whale of racism, but they're just going to have to keep plugging away. They might want to come up with a more productive way to spend their time, inasmuch as they're about 0:100 on white racism sightings.

Anyone following this case has seen the video of Big Mike robbing a store and roughing up an innocent Pakistani clerk about 10 minutes before being shot by Officer Wilson. They've seen him flashing Bloods gang signs in photos.

They know Brown's mother was recently arrested for clubbing grandma with a pipe over T-shirt proceeds. They've seen the video of Brown's ex-con stepfather shouting at a crowd of protesters after the grand jury's decision: "Burn this bitch down!"

Liberals will say none of that is relevant in court, but apparently they don't think actual evidence is relevant either. It's certainly relevant in the court of public opinion that the alleged victims are a cartoonishly lower-class, periodically criminal black family.

TV hosts narrated the riot by saying it showed "the community" feels it's not being listened to. Only liberals look at blacks looting and say, See what white Americans made them do?

That's their proof of injustice -- look at how blacks are reacting! (While I don't approve of the looting part, I do approve of the whole throwing-bottles-at-CNN part.)

The looters aren't the community!

The community doesn't want black thugs robbing stores and sauntering down the middle of its streets. The community doesn't want to be assaulted by Big Mike. The community didn't want its stores burned down.

That community testified in support of Officer Darren Wilson. About a half-dozen black witnesses supported Officer Wilson's version of what happened. One was a black woman, who saw the shooting from the Canfield Green apartments. Crying on the stand, she said, "I have a child and that could have been my son."

And yet, she confirmed all crucial parts of Wilson's account. She said "the child" (292-pound Big Mike) never had his hands up and the cop only fired when "the baby" was coming at him. "Why won't that boy stop?" she asked her husband.

I always want to know more about the heroic black witnesses. They are put in a position no white person will ever be in and do the right thing by telling the truth -- then go into hiding from "the community" being championed by goo-goo liberals.

White people don't feel any obligation to defend some thug just because he's white. Only blacks are expected to lie on behalf of criminals of their own race.

But real heroism doesn't interest liberals. They only ooh-and-ahh over blacks with rap sheets. The only meaningful white racism anymore is the liberal infantilization of black people

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/coulter112714.php3#0PymPMCUACm4qQdb.99

12-7-14

Remember Pearl Harbor
Dec. 7, 1941

http://www.history.com/topics/world-war-ii/pearl-harbor

12-6-14

Opinions Versus Facts

By Thomas Sowell

Everyone seems to have an opinion about the tragic events in Ferguson, Missouri. But, as Daniel Patrick Moynihan used to say, "You're entitled to your own opinion but you're not entitled to your own facts."

Soon after the shooting death of Michael Brown, this 285-pound young man was depicted as a "gentle giant." But, after a video was leaked, showing him bullying the owner of a store from which he had stolen some merchandise, Attorney General Eric Holder expressed displeasure that the video was leaked. In other words, to Holder the truth was offensive, but the lie it exposed was not.

Many people who claimed to have been eyewitnesses to the fatal shooting gave opposite accounts of what happened. Some even gave accounts that contradicted what they themselves had said earlier.

Fortunately, the grand jury did not have to rely on such statements, though some in the media seemed to. What the grand jury had, that the rest of us did not have until the grand jury's decision was announced, was a set of physical facts that told a story that was independent of what anybody said.

Three different medical forensic experts — one representing Michael Brown's parents — examined the physical facts. These facts included the autopsy results, Michael Brown's DNA on the door of the police car and on the policeman's gun, photographs of the bruised and swollen face of policeman Darren Wilson and the pattern of blood stains on the street where Brown was shot.

This physical evidence was hard to square with the loudly proclaimed assertions that Brown was shot in the back, or was shot with his hands up, while trying to surrender. But it was consistent with the policeman's testimony.

Moreover, the physical facts were consistent with what a number of black witnesses said under oath, despite expressing fears for their own safety for contradicting what those in the rampaging mobs were saying.

The riots, looting and setting things on fire that some in the media are treating as reactions to the grand jury's decision not to indict the policeman, actually began long before the grand jury had begun its investigation, much less announced any decision.

Why some people insist on believing whatever they want to believe is a question that is hard to answer. But a more important question is: What are the consequences to be expected from an orgy of anarchy that started in Ferguson, Missouri and has spread around the country?

The first victims of the mob rampages in Ferguson have been people who had nothing to do with Michael Brown or the police. These include people — many of them black or members of other minorities — who have seen the businesses they worked to build destroyed, perhaps never to be revived.

But these are only the first victims. If the history of other communities ravaged by riots in years past is any indication, there are blacks yet unborn who will be paying the price of these riots for years to come.

Sometimes it is a particular neighborhood that never recovers, and sometimes it is a whole city. Detroit is a classic example. It had the worst riot of the 1960s, with 43 deaths — 33 of them black people. Businesses left Detroit, taking with them jobs and taxes that were very much needed to keep the city viable. Middle class people — both black and white — also fled.

Harlem was one of many ghettos across the country that have still not recovered from the riots of the 1960s. In later years, a niece of mine, who had grown up in the same Harlem tenement where I grew up years earlier, bitterly complained about how few stores and other businesses there were in the neighborhood.

There were plenty of stores in that same neighborhood when I was growing up, as well as a dentist, a pharmacist and an optician, all less than a block away. But that was before the neighborhood was swept by riots.

Who benefits from the Ferguson riots? The biggest beneficiaries are politicians and racial demagogues. In Detroit, Mayor Coleman Young was one of many political demagogues who were able to ensure their own reelection, using rhetoric and policies that drove away people who provided jobs and taxes, but who were likely to vote against him if they stayed. Such demagogues thrived as Detroit became a wasteland.


Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell120214.php3#pqj5cgphQJAhtwpq.99

12-5-14

Beware of Our Betters

By Thomas Sowell

Jonathan Gruber's several videotaped remarks about the gross deceptions that got ObamaCare passed in Congress should tell us a lot about the Obama administration. And the way that the mainstream media hesitated for days to even mention what Professor Gruber said, while they obsessed over unsubstantiated charges against Bill Cosby, should tell us a lot about the media.

Whatever did or did not happen between Bill Cosby and various women is not likely to affect the lives of 300 million Americans. But ObamaCare does.

For both the politicians and the media, this was not just an isolated incident. Gruber's videotaped discussions of the complicated deceptions built into ObamaCare with his help, designed to take advantage of what he called the "stupidity" of the public, are all too typical of the role played by the political left.

Neither the politicians nor the intelligentsia — including the media — want that role exposed for what it is.

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi acted as if she had never heard of Jonathan Gruber, and had no idea who he was. But she too had been caught on tape, a few years ago, citing him as someone whose support of ObamaCare was supposed to show that the "experts" knew how good it was.

President Obama gave a somewhat more sophisticated version of the same act. He pointed out that Professor Gruber was not part of his staff. But he did not mention that Gruber had been to the White House 19 times, and the Obama administration had paid Gruber about $400,000 of the taxpayers' money for his supposedly unbiased expert opinion.

Gruber's own statements seem to indicate that his mathematical models were enough to baffle the Congressional Budget Office in its efforts to figure out how ObamaCare works. That kind of expertise apparently does not come cheap. Moreover, the 400 grand is chump change compared to the millions that Jonathan Gruber has reportedly raked in from state governments for his expertise.

Barack Obama is currently playing the same political game of parading experts by citing a list of prominent law professors who say that he is not exceeding his Constitutional power by granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants.

Someone at the Fox News Channel has checked out these professors and found that every one of them whose political registration could be traced is a Democrat. But the names of these profs are still being paraded as if they were simply eminent scholars seeking the truth. Maybe. But maybe not.

Whether the issue is ObamaCare, amnesty for illegal immigrants or "global warming," when you hear that "all the experts agree," that may mean nothing more than that the fix is in. And "all" may mean considerably less than 100 percent — or even 50 percent.

No one can know for sure what motivated Professor Gruber to do what he did, or what motivated the media to stonewall as if he had never spilled the beans, or the liberal law professors to give Obama cover while he violated the Constitution.

But running through all of their actions seems to be a vision of the world, and a vision of themselves, that is a continuing danger to the fundamental basis of this country, whatever the specific issue might be.

Probably few people on the political left are opposed to the Constitution of the United States, much less actively plotting to undermine it. But, on issue after issue, what they want to do requires them to circumvent the three words with which the Constitution begins: "We, the people..."

Many on the left may want to help "the people." But once you start from the premise that you know what is best for the people, better than they know themselves, you have to figure ways around a Constitution based on the idea that the people not only have a right to choose their government and control government policy with their votes, but also that there are vast areas of the people's lives that are none of the government's business.

Jonathan Gruber's notion that the people are "stupid" is not fundamentally different from what Barack Obama said to his fellow elite leftists in San Francisco, when he derided ordinary Americans as petty people who want to cling to their guns and their religion. We need to see through such arrogant elitists if we want to cling to our freedom.


Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell112514.php3#Kdp5wOgkcqYfRKDO.99

12-4-14

Racial Quota Punishment

By Thomas Sowell

If anyone still has any doubt about the utter cynicism of the Obama administration, a recent agreement between the federal government and the Minneapolis Public Schools should open their eyes.

Under the Obama administration, both the Department of Education and the Department of Justice have been leaning on public schools around the country to reduce what they call the "disproportionate" numbers of black male students who are punished for various offenses in schools.

Under an implicit threat of losing their federal subsidies, the Minneapolis Public Schools have agreed to reduce the disparity in punishment of black students by 25 percent by the end of this school year, and then by 50 percent, 75 percent and finally 100 percent in each of the following years. In other words, there are now racial quota limits for punishment in the Minneapolis schools.

If we stop and think — as old-fashioned as that may seem — there is not the slightest reason to expect black males to commit the same number of offenses as Asian females or any other set of students.

When different groups of human beings have behaved differently in all sorts of ways, in countries around the world, for thousands of years of recorded history, why would we accept as dogma that the only reason one set of students gets punished more than others is because the people who are doing the punishing are picking on them?

Politically — which is the way the Obama administration looks at everything — any time they can depict blacks as victims, and depict themselves as their rescuers, that means an opportunity to get out the black vote for Democrats.

On the surface, this may look like a favor to blacks. But only on the surface.

Anyone with common sense knows that letting a kid get away with bad behavior is an open invitation to worse behavior in the future. Punishing a kid for misbehavior in school when he is 10 years old may reduce the chances that he will have to be sent to prison when he is 20 years old.

Other schools in other cities, which have also caved under pressure from the federal government, and agreed to lighten up on black kids who misbehave, have reported an increase in misbehavior, including violence. Who would have thought otherwise?

Letting kids who are behavior problems in schools grow up to become hoodlums and then criminals is no favor to them or to the black community. Moreover, it takes no more than a small fraction of troublemakers in a class to make it impossible to give that class a decent education. And for many poor people, whether black or white, education is their one big chance to escape poverty.

The people in the Obama administration who are pushing this counterproductive policy are not stupid. They are political, which is worse. They know what they are doing and they are willing to sacrifice young blacks to do it.

This punishment issue made me think back to the 8th grade, when I was punished by being kept after school, more often than any other kid in the class — black, white, Hispanic or whatever. I was bored in school and did various pranks to liven things up.

One day, after school, as I sat alone among the empty chairs in the classroom, the teacher said, sarcastically: "Well, here we are again, Sowell, just the two of us!"

"Good grief, Miss Sharoff," I said. "If we keep staying in after school together all the time, people will begin to talk."

"We will just have to live with the scandal," she said, without even looking up from the papers she was correcting.

Thank heaven there was no Obama administration to exempt me from punishment. Who knows how I might have ended up?

Years ago, there was a study of a working class community where there were black, Hispanic and Italian kids, and where many of the cops were Italian. When a black or Hispanic kid broke the law, the police took him down to the station and booked him. But, if an Italian kid did the same thing, they reacted differently.

The Italian cop would take the Italian kid out into an alley and rough him up. Then he would take him home to his family, tell them what had happened and leave him there — where the kid could expect another beating, instead of the wrist-slap punishment of the law. Those cops understood the realities of life that politicians ignore. And they were doing a favor to their own.

Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell111914.php3#WvSfoLT726vmDuhq.99

12-3-14

Administration Exploits Ferguson to Undermine Race Relations and Rule of Law

By David Limbaugh

I wish there were a way to address the Ferguson controversy without generating further controversy. But that's not an easy task.

I have believed for some time that the Obama administration has fanned the flames of racial tension in this country rather than attempt to extinguish them, despite its claims to the contrary. President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, in my view, have been the main culprits, which is exceedingly unfortunate, considering the opportunity their historic roles present for making great strides toward racial harmony.

The question is: Do these gentlemen truly want to promote racial harmony?

If President Obama were trying to alleviate racial tensions, would he have accused the police department in Cambridge, Massachusetts, of "acting stupidly" in arresting a friend of his, Harvard professor Henry Gates? The statement was stunningly inappropriate because he took sides reflexively without benefit of all the facts and because presidents have no business weighing in on such local matters. Does anyone doubt that race was at the forefront of Obama's mind?

But if there was any doubt, Obama removed it when "the main message" he chose to impart from the Trayvon Martin matter was implied in this bizarre statement: "My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon."

Fast-forward to the present and we learn that just days after the grand jury decided not to indict police officer Darren Wilson based on his shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, the White House tweeted its endorsement of an article by Christopher Emdin, Ph.D., a professor at Teachers College, Columbia University. The piece, "5 Ways to Teach About Michael Brown and Ferguson in the New School Year," appeared on The Huffington Post less than two weeks after the shooting incident and before all the facts were in and the grand jury was impaneled. In his introductory paragraphs, Emdin advises teachers and parents not to ignore these types of events: "Bringing the events in Ferguson to the classroom is not only best teaching practice but a way to establish powerful expectations for the academic year."

Parts of the article appear innocuous, such as the suggestion that teachers ask students what they have heard or know about Brown in order to "spark a powerful discussion that sets the tone for the school year." The teachers can use information gathered by the class to help "students unearth the facts, fiction, and mistruths in media coverage of the events in Ferguson."

But given the diametrically opposed views concerning the evidence, how would this professor propose to help students separate fact and fiction? Even after the grand jury decision, which was based on facts and evidence, people continue to have radically different views of what occurred.

Other parts of Emdin's article, unfortunately, are not so harmless. He tells teachers that students can "create a memorial to Michael Brown on a classroom bulletin board. This activity involves having students use whatever they feel skilled in to create something that would honor Michael Brown and other people who have been victims of police and other violence." Also, "students can use this opportunity to create a counternarrative to negative stories and images about Ferguson and Michael Brown."

Professor Emdin can advocate whatever he wants, but the president of the United States is endorsing his suggestions. This means that the chief executive officer of this nation is inspiring teachers to view Brown as a victim of police violence and to honor him as such.

Irrespective of whether young black men are disproportionately mistreated by law enforcement in this nation, that doesn't seem to be what occurred in the Ferguson case.

Isn't President Obama, by depicting Brown as a victim, undermining the grand jury in this case specifically and law enforcement and the justice system in general? Isn't he fomenting further distrust between the black community and law enforcement when it isn't warranted in this case? By taking this position, isn't he exacerbating racial tensions rather than helping to heal them?

Attorney General Holder, by refusing to honor the grand jury's findings and close the Department of Justice's investigation, similarly is creating the very kind of distrust that ostensibly ignited the senseless, abhorrent rioting and violence that have occurred in Ferguson. This assumes the riots were not orchestrated in advance by nihilists who used the grand jury's decision as an excuse.

If Obama and Holder want to raise public awareness about the mistreatment of blacks in the system, aren't they damaging their own cause by using a case in which the facts don't support that narrative? Why would they trivialize their cause?

This president promised to build on the racial harmony that was evidenced by his election to office, but he continues to breach that promise, which is resulting in increased racial tensions and a disintegration of the rule of law and that which it makes possible — ordered liberty.

President Obama and Eric Holder should use this occasion to rise above their own biases and unambiguously condemn the anarchy that has occurred in Ferguson over the past week and discontinue using this case as evidence of something that it is not. Americans deserve better.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh120214.php3#w2TfZLp1Vwv1zTpj.99

12-2-14

The climate pact swindle

By Charles Krauthammer

Historic. Such is the ubiquitous description of the climate agreement recently announced in Beijing between Barack Obama and Xi Jinping in which China promised for the first time to cap carbon emissions.

If this were a real breakthrough, I'd be an enthusiastic supporter. I have long advocated for a tangible global agreement to curb carbon. I do remain skeptical about the arrogant, ignorant claim that climate science is "settled," that it can predict with accuracy future "global warming" effects and that therefore we must cut emissions radically, immediately and unilaterally if necessary, even at potentially ruinous economic and social cost.

I nonetheless believe (and have written since 1988) that pumping increasing amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere cannot be a good thing. We don't know nearly enough about the planet's homeostatic mechanisms for dealing with it, but prudence would dictate reducing CO2 emissions when and where we can.

However, anything beyond that, especially the radical unilateralism advocated by climate alarmists, would be not just economic suicide but economic suicide without purpose. It would do nothing to reduce atmospheric CO2 as long as China, India and the other developing nations more than make up for our cuts with their huge and increasing carbon emissions.

China alone is firing up a new coal plant every eight to 10 days. We could close every coal mine in Kentucky and West Virginia and achieve absolutely nothing except devastating Appalachia and, in effect, shipping its economic lifeblood to China.

The only way forward on greenhouse gases is global reduction by global agreement. A pact with China would be a good start.

Unfortunately, the Obama-Xi agreement is nothing of the sort. It is a fraud of Gruberian (as in Jonathan) proportions. Its main plank commits China to begin cutting carbon emissions 16 years from now. On the other hand, the United States, having already cut more carbon emissions than any nation on earth since 2005, must now double its current rate of carbon cutting to meet a new, more restrictive goal by 2025. In return for which, China will keep increasing its carbon emissions year after year throughout that period — and for five years beyond.

If this sounds like the most one-sided deal since Manhattan sold for $24 in 1626, you heard right. It becomes even more absurd when you realize that, according to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, China was on track to plateau its carbon emissions around 2030 anyway because of a projected slowdown in urbanization, population growth and heavy industry production. We cut, they coast.

The carbon-emission graph is stark. China's line is nearly vertical; America's is already inflected and headed downward. The Obama-Xi agreement simply ratifies U.S. unilateralism — the U.S. line declines even more steeply, while China's continues rocketing upward unmolested.

Proponents of the Obama-Xi deal will then point to a second provision: China's promise to produce 20 percent of its energy from non-carbon sources by 2030. But China had already been planning to begin substituting for its immense use of fossil fuels (mainly by using nuclear power) because Chinese cities are being choked to death by their traditional pollutants — sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, mercury compounds, particulates, etc.

These are serious health hazards. CO2 is not. Whatever its atmospheric effects, CO2 does not poison the air. So in return for yet another Chinese transition that has nothing to do with CO2, Obama has committed the United States to drastic CO2 cuts.

Moreover, beyond substance, there is process. Or more accurately, its absence. What's the structure to sustain and verify the agreement? Where are the benchmarks? What are the enforcement mechanisms? This is just a verbal promise. Nothing more. Sixteen years from now, China is supposed to remind the world of its commitments and begin cutting?

I repeat: I would unequivocally support a real agreement with the Chinese where they cut contemporaneously and commensurately with the United States and where there is built-in reporting and independent verification. Such a bilateral agreement would need to be internationalized by bringing in such rising powers as India, Brazil, Indonesia, etc. This would be a breakthrough.

Climate enthusiasts will say that I refuse to take yes for an answer. Of course I would take yes for an answer. But the Obama-Xi agreement is not yes. It is "check back with me in 16 years." Aren't the people advocating this deal the same garment-rending climate apocalypticists who've been warning of irreversible planetary changes beginning now, and the supreme imperative of acting immediately?

Except, you see, for China, the world's No. 1 carbon polluter. It gets a 16-year pass.

Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer112114.php3#aTvLqZE5raIrw4gp.99

12-1-14

Elite Contempt for Ordinary Americans

By Walter Williams

Jonathan Gruber, MIT economist and paid architect of Obamacare, has shocked and disgusted many Americans. In 2013, he explained to a University of Pennsylvania audience: "This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure (the Congressional Budget Office) did not score the mandate as taxes. If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies." He added that the "lack of transparency is a huge political advantage." Most insulting were his previous statements that "the American voter is too stupid to understand" and his boast of Obamacare's "exploitation of the lack of economic understanding of the American voter."

We recall that back in 2010, then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi infamously said, "We have to pass the bill so that you can find out what is in it." That comment was just as insightful as her response to a CNSNews.com reporter who asked, "Madam Speaker, where specifically does the Constitution grant Congress the authority to enact an individual health insurance mandate?" Unable to respond intelligently, Speaker Pelosi gave her best political response: "Are you serious? Are you serious?" When asked recently about Gruber, Pelosi said: "I don't know who he is. He didn't help write our bill." She was quickly caught in a lie because during the 2009 health care debate, she mentioned Gruber's analysis at a news conference.

One little-noticed feature of Gruber's speeches was the type of place where he felt comfortable talking about the use of deception and mocking American intelligence. His speeches took place at the University of Pennsylvania, Washington University in St. Louis and the University of Rhode Island. Universities are home to the academic elite — people who believe they have more intelligence than and superior wisdom to the masses. They believe they have been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. Gruber and his fellow academic elite have what they consider to be good reasons for restricting the freedom of others. But every tyrant who has ever lived has had what he considered good reasons.

America's elite found on university campuses, in news media and in political office are chief supporters of reduced private property rights and reduced rights to profits, and they are anti-competition and pro-monopoly. They are pro-control and coercion by the state. Their plan requires the elimination or attenuation of the free market and what is implied by it — voluntary exchange. Their reasoning is simple. Tyrants do not trust that people acting voluntarily will do what the tyrants think they should do. Therefore, tyrants want to replace the market and voluntary exchange with economic planning. Economic planning is nothing more than the forcible superseding of other people's plans by the powerful elite backed up by the brute force of government.
 

Without  the power to tax, politicians lose their power over the people... higher taxes...
  more control.

Keep it Ringing!

 
Website Builder