"A popular Government, without popular information, or the means
of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or, perhaps both.
Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own
Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives." --James
Madison, letter to W.T. Barry, 1822
Feb. 23, 1945
Those depending upon a benevolent government will find the same benevolence a sheep may find among a pack of wolves.
The Media's Latest Phony Attack on Ben Carson
By David Limbaugh
How about the next time the mainstream media decide to fabricate a controversy against a conservative presidential candidate, they choose something less laughable?
The media's latest faux gasp concerns Dr. Ben Carson's comments about the Oregon school shooting. When I first watched news reports on it, I didn't immediately grasp the reason for the fuss, not having the artificial sensibilities of the MSM.
Asked what he would do in a similar situation as the victims, Carson said: "I would ask everybody to attack the gunman because he can only shoot one of us at a time. That way, we don't all wind up dead." Not only did he not answer the way the media wanted but also he chuckled upon concluding his answer.
No one in his right mind would interpret Carson's uncomfortable giggle as a statement that he was laughing at the victims or is indifferent to their fate. Do I have to mention that he dedicated four decades to saving children's lives? Yeah, I thought so.
At the suggestion that he appeared tone-deaf and seemed callous, Carson said, "I'm laughing at them and their silliness," meaning the reporters asking him questions.
It rankles the media when candidates don't immediately cower when accused of this or that sin. Carson is particularly annoying to them, not only because he refuses to back down but also because he has the audacity, in their view, to espouse conservative views despite being African-American. Surely, we can all understand their frustration when blacks stray from the left's prescribed way of thinking.
Carson was not judging the victims; that doesn't even make sense. Almost everyone seriously laments the tragedy, and Carson, as a strong Christian, doubtlessly admires those courageous victims who identified themselves as Christians while knowing it would seal their fate.
Rather, Carson said he wanted to "plant the seed in people's minds so that if this happens again, you know, they don't all get killed."
When pressed about his response, Carson used the opportunity once again to criticize our stifling politically correct culture. He said: "We live in a culture now where people decide that everything you say — 'we need to set up battle lines' and 'we need to get on this side of it or that side of it' rather than collectively trying to figure out how we solve the problem. It's sort of an immature attitude, but it seems to be something that's rampant in America today."
He is correct. In the first place, we wouldn't even be having this discussion if President Obama hadn't exploited the massacre to rail against guns, gun owners and those dastardly right-wingers who cling to the Second Amendment right to bear arms. If Obama and the left weren't so hellbent on confiscating the weapons of law-abiding Americans, we could spend more time grieving, offering our prayers and later — after the dust has settled — discussing these tragedies and possible solutions.
When interviewers showed an interest in Carson's ideas instead of trying to entrap him, it was obvious that he had given this serious thought, as he suggested that we need to study the lives of all the people who've carried out a mass shooting. He said we might empower psychiatrists and psychologists "to take the appropriate interventional steps." He would also seek a "mechanism" to keep weapons away from people whom mental health professionals have identified as dangerous, stressing, however, that "we cannot do anything that compromises the Second Amendment." Finally, he expressed his support for armed guards and armed teachers in schools, if appropriate.
Refreshingly, Carson again refuses to back down from the media's onslaught and even doubles down — saying his experience in extracting bullets from victims has reinforced his conviction in the wisdom of the Second Amendment.
There is no way reasonable people would conclude that Carson was impugning the shooting victims. It's clear he was offering his ideas, in hindsight, on how people might handle such situations in the future.
The same media that castigated Carson for offering constructive ideas on this problem gave President Obama a total pass for lurching to his lectern to rail against guns and gun control opponents. Never once did they criticize him for his insensitivity and callousness, and he wasn't even responding to a question. He planned — no, premeditated — his stunningly inappropriate remarks and all but ignored the nation's and community's grief, choosing instead to lash out in anger at people who won't surrender to his demands.
I can confidently say that people are increasingly disgusted with the media's warped and biased perspective and their double standard to destroy conservatives and shelter liberals. Just consider the absurdity of the media's trying to turn this remarkably fine man into an ogre. Ben Carson's popularity increases in direct proportion to his refusal to cower in the face of such attacks and his resolve to stand on principle. This is one of the many reasons so-called outsiders are doing so well in the polls and will continue to. People have had enough of this nonsense.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh100915.php3#9RZ3HpY3QQdouYfh.99
Facts Don't Work on Gun Control, so Obama Uses Emotion
By David Limbaugh
In his speech on the Umpqua Community
College shooting in Oregon last week, President Obama sounded more upset
about America's gun laws than about the horrific massacre.
We barely had the preliminary facts about the shooting, the shooter
and the victims, and he was already lecturing the nation again on gun
Instead of calling the nation to prayer, he said we would learn about
the victims in the coming days and then "wrap everyone who's grieving
with our prayers and our love." Those words out of the way, he
immediately pivoted to complaining that "our thoughts and prayers are
not enough. It's not enough. It does not capture the heartache and grief
and anger that we should feel (or) prevent this carnage from being
inflicted someplace else in America — next week or a couple of months
We didn't hear much "heartache and grief" in his speech, but his
anger was palpable. It wasn't anger at the shooter, and it wasn't
sympathy for the victims. It was outrage — or apparent outrage — at
America's Second Amendment advocates.
"We are the only advanced country on earth," said Obama, "that sees
these kinds of mass shootings every few months. ... The United States
... is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have
sufficient common-sense gun-safety laws — even in the face of repeated
mass killings." He said these events happen so often that they've
"become routine. ... We've become numb to this."
He may speak for himself, of course, but I don't know too many
people, especially gun rights advocates, who are numb to such savagery.
Many of us believe our society would be safer against gun violence if
there weren't so many "gun-free" zones and if we had more armed guards.
As he has so often done before the powder is dry after similar
incidents, he used his bully pulpit (emphasis on "bully") to misstate
statistics as if he were trying for a record number of Pinocchios from
He said: "We know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the
fewest gun deaths. So the notion that gun laws don't work — or just
will make it harder for law-abiding citizens, and criminals will still
get their guns — is not borne out by the evidence."
What he conveniently omitted is that Oregon had recently strengthened
its laws on gun sales and is above average among the states on gun
regulation. It is one of only 18 states that require universal
background checks before the sale of any firearm.
Being a proud Chicagoan, Obama is surely aware that his beloved
city, which has distinguished itself in recent years for epic gun
violence and death, is in a state that has some of the strictest gun
control laws in the nation. How, then, can he claim that gun laws work?
And how would implementing his idea of "common-sense gun-safety laws"
Though the United States has a high actual number of fatalities from
mass shootings given its larger population, Obama ignores that other
nations — such as Norway, Finland, Slovakia, Israel and Switzerland,
which all have restrictive gun laws — have higher ratios of such
shootings per capita.
The president also fails to acknowledge author John Lott's findings
as of 2010 that all the multiple-victim public shootings (where three or
more were killed) in Western Europe and in the United States occurred
where civilians were not allowed to carry guns.
Charles C.W. Cooke, in his "The Conservatarian Manifesto," urges that
we regularly debunk "the claim that America is in the midst of a
gun-violence 'epidemic'. ... Two reports, both released in May 2013,
revealed a striking drop in gun crime over the past twenty years." Cooke
writes that "during the very period that gun laws have been
dramatically liberalized across the whole country, gun crime has dropped
In his rant, Obama didn't just distort the evidence. He effectively
accused the Republican Congress of allowing these deaths by opposing gun
control laws for political reasons, proving that projection is still an
important weapon in his partisan arsenal. At a time when he should be
using his office and his influence to urge healing and unity, Obama uses
them for strident community organizing to advance his agenda.
It is instructive that Obama rages at conservatives and scapegoats
the weapons themselves rather than the criminals involved or the state
of the human condition that underlies their actions.
It is remarkable that he demands an unconstitutional and meaningless
change in the laws purportedly to save innocent lives but vigorously
opposes all laws that would protect innocent babies in the womb.
And it is disgraceful that he seeks to inflame our emotions to seduce
us into ignoring the facts and suspending our critical faculties long
enough to surrender our vital Second Amendment rights.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh100715.php3#IEpboV5Rjd1Jc33e.99
Impeach IRS director, John Koskinen!
By George Will
"Look," wrote Lois Lerner, echoing Horace Greeley, "my view is that Lincoln was our worst president not our best. He should [have] let the [S]outh go. We really do seem to have 2 totally different mindsets." Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, was referring to Southern secessionist states when he urged President-elect Lincoln to "let the erring sisters go in peace."
Greeley favored separating the nation from certain mind-sets; Lerner favors suppressing certain mind-sets. At the Internal Revenue Service, she participated in delaying for up to five years — effectively denying — tax-exempt status for, and hence restricting political activity by, groups with conservative mind-sets. She retired after refusing to testify to congressional committees, invoking Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination.
As the IRS coverup of its and her malfeasance continues, the Republicans' new House leaders should exercise this constitutional power: "The House . . . shall have the sole power of impeachment." The current IRS director, John Koskinen, has earned this attention.
The Constitution's framers, knowing that executive officers might not monitor themselves, provided the impeachment recourse to bolster the separation of powers. Federal officials can be impeached for dereliction of duty (as in Koskinen's failure to disclose the disappearance of e-mails germane to a congressional investigation); for failure to comply (as in Koskinen's noncompliance with a preservation order pertaining to an investigation); and for breach of trust (as in Koskinen's refusal to testify accurately and keep promises made to Congress).
Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, says the IRS has "lied to Congress " and "destroyed documents under subpoena." He accuses Koskinen of "lies, obfuscation and deceit": "He assured us he would comply with a congressional subpoena seeking Lois Lerner's emails. Not only did he fail to keep that promise, we later learned he did not look in earnest for the information."
After Koskinen complained about the high cost in time and money involved in the search, employees at a West Virginia data center told a Treasury Department official that no one asked for backup tapes of Lerner's e-mails. Subpoenaed documents, including 422 tapes potentially containing 24,000 Lerner e-mails, were destroyed. For four months, Koskinen kept from Congress information about Lerner's elusive e-mails. He testified under oath that he had "confirmed" that none of the tapes could be recovered.
Lerner conducted government business using private e-mail, and when she was told that the IRS's instant messaging system was not archived, she replied: "Perfect." Koskinen's obfuscating testimonies have impeded investigation of unsavory practices, including the IRS's sharing, potentially in violation of tax privacy laws, up to 1.25 million pages of confidential tax documents. Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch, which has forced the IRS to disgorge documents, says some "prove that the agency used donor lists to audit supporters of organizations engaged in First Amendment-protected lawful political speech."
In July testimony, Koskinen consistently mischaracterized the Government Accountability Office report on IRS practices pertaining to IRS audits of tax-exempt status to groups. He wrongly testified that the report found "no examples of anyone who was improperly selected for an audit." He mischaracterized the report's criticism of IRS procedures for selecting exempt organizations for audits.
Contrary to his testimony, the report did not find that "individuals" were "automatically" selected for audit. The report did not investigate audits of individual taxpayers; it reviewed selection practices for audits of exempt organizations. The report noted, and Koskinen neglected to mention, that the IRS tracks information about high-net-worth individuals. Congress should investigate whether that tracking includes contributions to political committees and issue groups and whether the IRS then initiates audits of donors.
Koskinen has testified that "there's no evidence that anybody outside the IRS had . . . any conversations with [Lerner] about [targeting conservative groups] or that she even had directives internally."
How could he assert the absence of evidence that he had not sought? He had testified that he had conducted no investigation of the targeting.
Even if, as Koskinen says, he did not intentionally mislead Congress, he did not subsequently do his legal duty to correct the record in a timely manner. Even if he has not committed a crime such as perjury, he has a duty higher than merely avoiding criminality.
If the House votes to impeach, the Senate trial will not produce a two-thirds majority needed for conviction: Democrats are not ingrates. Impeachment would, however, test the mainstream media's ability to continue ignoring this five-year-old scandal and would demonstrate to dissatisfied Republican voters that control of Congress can have gratifying consequences.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will100815.php3#gxjv112bAdtodY6w.99
Charlatans and Sheep: Part III
By Thomas Sowell
The prevailing social dogma of our time — that economic and other disparities among groups are strange, if not sinister — has set off bitter disputes between those who blame genetic differences and those who blame discrimination.
Both sides ignore the possibility that groups themselves may differ in their orientations, their priorities and in what they are prepared to sacrifice for the sake of other things.
Back in the early 19th century, an official of the Russian Empire reported that even the poorest Jews saw to it that their daughters could read, and their homes had at least ten books. This was at a time when the vast majority of the population of the Russian Empire were illiterate.
During that same era, Thomas Jefferson complained that there was not a single bookstore where he lived. In Frederick Law Olmsted's travels through the antebellum South, he noted that even plantation owners seldom had many books.
But in mid-18th century Scotland, even people of modest means had books, and those too poor to buy them could rent books from lending libraries, which were common throughout Scottish towns.
There is no economic determinism. People choose what to spend their money on, and what to spend their time on. Cultures differ.
On a personal note, as a child nearly nine years old, I was one of the many blacks who migrated from the South to Harlem in the 1930s.
Although New York had public libraries, elite public high schools and free colleges of high quality, I had no idea what a public library was, or what an elite high school was, and the thought of going to college never crossed my mind.
Jewish immigrants who arrived in New York, generations before me, seized upon the opportunities provided by public libraries and later their children flooded into the elite public high schools and free city colleges. This was consistent with the values of their centuries-old culture.
For most of the black kids of my generation, those things might as well not have existed, because nothing in their culture would have pointed them toward such things.
There was no reason to believe that I would have been any different from the rest, except for the fact that members of my family, who had very little education themselves, wanted me to get the education that they never had a chance to get.
They had no more idea of the role of public libraries and elite quality high schools and colleges than I did. But they knew a boy a little older than I was, who came from a better educated family, and they decided that he was somebody I should meet and who could serve as a guide to me on things they knew nothing about.
His name was Eddie Mapp, and I can still recall how he took me to a public library, and how patiently he tried to explain to me what a public library was, and why I should get a library card. He opened a door for me into a wider world. But most other black kids in Harlem at that time had no one to do that for them.
Nor did kids from various other ethnic groups in New York have someone to open doors to a wider world for them. It didn't matter how smart they were or whether opportunities were available for them, if they knew nothing about them.
An internationally renowned scholar of Irish American ancestry once said in a social gathering that, when he was a young man of college age, he had no plans to go to college, until someone else who recognized his ability urged him to do so. There was no reason to expect all groups to follow in the footsteps of the Jews.
In my later years, two middle-class couples I knew took it upon themselves to each take a young relative from the ghetto into their home and, at considerable cost in time and money, try to provide them with a good education.
One of these youngsters had an IQ two standard deviations above the mean. But both of them eventually returned to the ghetto life from which they came. It wasn't genetics and it wasn't discrimination.
The youngster with an IQ two standard deviations above the mean will probably never achieve what a Jewish or Asian youngster with an IQ only one standard deviation above the mean achieves.
Those who are celebrating the ghetto culture might consider what the cost is to those being raised in that culture. And they might reconsider what they are hearing from charlatans parading statistical disparities.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell100915.php3#cKFQXViYBqDsWvMw.99
Charlatans and Sheep: Part II
By Thomas Sowell
One of the secrets of successful magicians on stage is directing the audience's attention to something that is attractive or distracting, but irrelevant to what is actually being done. That is also the secret of successful political charlatans.
Consider the message directed at business owners by Senator Elizabeth Warren and President Barack Obama — "You didn't build that!"
Assuming for the sake of argument that a man who owns a business simply inherited it from his father, what follows? That politicians can use the inherited resources better than the heir? Such a sweeping assumption has neither logic nor evidence behind it — but rhetoric doesn't have to have logic or evidence to be politically effective.
The conclusion is insinuated, rather than spelled out, so it is less likely to be scrutinized. Moreover, attention is directed toward the undeserved good fortune of the heir, and away from the crucial question as to whether society will in fact be better off if politicians take over more of either the management or the earnings of the business.
The question of politicians' track record in managing economic activities vanishes into thin air, just as other things vanish into thin air by a magician's sleight of hand on stage.
Another of the magic feats of political rhetoric in our time is to blame "a legacy of slavery" for problems in the black community today. The repulsiveness of slavery immediately seizes our attention, just as effectively as the attractiveness of a magician's scantily clad female assistant or the distraction of a flash of light or a loud noise on stage.
Here again, rhetoric distracts attention from questions about logic or evidence. The "legacy of slavery" argument is not just a convenient excuse for bad behavior, it allows politicians to escape responsibility for the consequences of the government policies they imposed.
Although the left likes to argue as if there was a stagnant world to which they added the magic ingredient of "change" in the 1960s, in reality there were many positive trends in the 1950s, which reversed and became negative trends in the 1960s.
Not only was the poverty rate going down, so was the rate of dependence on government to stay out of poverty. Teenage pregnancy rates were falling, and so were rates of venereal diseases like syphilis and gonorrhea. Homicide rates among non-white males fell 22 percent in the 1950s.
In the wake of the massive expansion of the welfare state in the 1960s "war on poverty" program — with the repeatedly announced goal of enabling people to become self-supporting and end their dependence on government — in fact dependence on government increased and is today far higher than when the 1960s began.
The declining rates of teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases in the 1950s both reversed and rose sharply in the wake of the 1960s "sexual revolution" ideas, introduced into schools under the guise of "sex education," which claimed to be able to reduce teenage pregnancy and venereal diseases.
Black labor force participation rates, which had been higher than white labor force participation rates in every census from 1890 to 1960, fell below white labor force participation rates by 1972 and the gap has widened since then. Homicide rates among non-white males reversed their decline in the 1950s and soared by 75 percent during the 1960s.
None of this was a "legacy of slavery," which ended a century earlier. But slavery became the rhetorical distraction for the political magicians' trick of making their own responsibility for social degeneration vanish into thin air by sleight of hand.
Political charlatans are not the whole story of our social degeneracy on many fronts. "We the people" must accept our own share of the blame because we voted these charlatans into office, and went along with their ever-increasing power over our lives.
When it came to charlatans taking ever larger amounts of our own money to finance ever more big government programs, we stood still like sheep waiting to be sheared. We remained as meek as sheep when they turned schools into places to propagandize our children to grow up accepting more of the same.
All the while we had the power to vote them out. But we couldn't be bothered to look beyond their magic words. Even now, many are too absorbed in their electronic devices to know or care.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell100815.php3#ZoHPCR6luovmUdd6.99
Suppressing Free Speech
By Walter Williams
I receive loads of mail in response to my weekly nationally syndicated column. Some recent mail has been quite disturbing. Here's a sample: "Given your support of freedom on a great many issues, I wish to bring to your attention the following George Mason University staff who have formally called on the President to use RICO statutes to punish organizations and individuals who dispute the 'consensus' of the" Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The writer goes on to say, "I am appalled that anyone associated with George Mason would so misuse the power of the Federal government." The writer names 20 signatories, six of whom are GMU faculty members (http://tinyurl.com/nke4l5z).
This letter writer's problem, like that of many others, is a misperception of George Mason University, where I am an economics professor. We have a distinguished economics department that can boast of having had two homegrown Nobel Prize winners on our faculty. Plus, we have a worldwide reputation as a free market economics department. The university can also boast of a distinguished law school with professors who, in contrast with many other law schools, have respect for the United States Constitution and the rule of law. We can boast of the excellent Law & Economics Center, too.
With this kind of intellectual firepower at George Mason University, most people assume that it is like its namesake, a libertarian or free market university. Little could be further from the truth. My university, at which I've toiled for 35 years, has a political makeup like that of most other universities — middle of the road to liberal/progressive. What distinguishes my liberal/progressive colleagues is that they are courteous and civilized, unlike many of those at universities such as the University of Massachusetts and the University of California, Berkeley.
So I investigated this call for the use of RICO, or the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. It turns out that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., has called for the criminal investigation of people and organizations who are seen as global warming deniers. This would include lawsuits against the coal and oil industries, certain think tanks, and other organizations that question the global warming religion. By the way, so that Whitehouse and his gang don't appear silly, they've changed their concern from global warming to climate change. That's stupid in and of itself, for when has the climate not been changing, even before mankind arrived?
It turns out that George Mason University meteorologist Jagadish Shukla is the lead signatory of the letter sent to the president and attorney general asking them to use RICO laws to prosecute "corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change." This GMU professor calling for the prosecution of climate skeptics has been recently revealed as "climate profiteer." From 2012 to 2014, this leader of the RICO 20 climate scientists paid himself and his wife $1.5 million from government climate grants for part-time work (http://tinyurl.com/p2c8nx3).
The effort to suppress global warming dissidents is not new. Grist Magazine writer David Roberts said, "When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg." Professor Richard Parncutt has called for the execution of prominent "GW deniers." Climate Progress Editor Joe Romm called for deniers to be strangled in their beds. James Hansen, who has headed NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has likewise called for trials of global warming deniers.
The global warming agenda is a desperate effort to gain greater control over our lives. Political commentator Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956) explained that "the whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." That's the political goal of the global warmers.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams100715.php3#4TO7lVIdmBAMIm6u.99
Charlatans and Sheep Part I
By Thomas Sowell
One of the many painful signs of the mindlessness of our times was a recent section of the Wall Street Journal, built around the theme "What's Holding Women Back in the Workplace?"
Whenever some group is not equally represented in some institution or activity, the automatic response in some quarters is to assume that someone has prevented equality of outcomes.
This preconception of equal outcomes requires not one speck of evidence, and defies mountains of evidence to the contrary. Even in activities where individual performances are what determine outcomes, and those performances are easily measured objectively, there is seldom anything resembling equal representation.
For 12 consecutive years — from 2001 through 2012 — each home run leader in the American League had a Hispanic surname. When two American boys whose ancestors came from India tied for first place in the U.S. National Spelling Bee in 2014, it was the 7th consecutive year in which the U.S. National Spelling Bee was won by an Asian Indian.
We all know about the large over-representation of blacks among professional basketball players, and especially among the star players. The best-selling brands of beer in America were created by people of German ancestry, who also created China's famed Tsingtao beer. Of the 100 top-ranked Marathon runners in the world in 2012, 68 were Kenyans. The list could go on and on. Although blacks are over-represented among professional football players, even the most avid National Football League fan is unlikely to be able to recall seeing even one black player who kicked a punt or a point after touchdown.
Should there be an article titled: "What's Holding Black Kickers Back in the NFL?" Could it be that blacks are more interested in playing positions where there is more action and — not incidentally — more money?
Should there be an article titled: "What's Holding Back Whites in the National Basketball Association?" Or an article titled: "What's Holding Back Non-Asian Indian Kids from Winning the Spelling Bee?" Lawsuits claiming discrimination have been won on the basis of statistical disparities far smaller than these.
Among the many reasons for gross disparities in many fields, and at different income levels, is that human beings differ in what they want to do, quite aside from any differences in what they are capable of doing, or what others permit them to do. Observers cannot just grab a statistic and run with it, though that is what is done too often in the media — and even in courts of law.
Particular opportunities are seized by some groups and used to rise from poverty to prosperity. But, for other groups, those same opportunities might as well not exist, because other groups are oriented in different directions, and those opportunities might not even catch their attention.
As regards statistical disparities in the representation of women in various occupations or at different income levels, a number of outstanding female scholars, including Professor Claudia Goldin of Harvard, have shown many ways in which women's circumstances and priorities differ from those of men.
Men, for example, don't get pregnant. And where children are raised by a single parent, that parent is a mother far more often than a father. You cannot work the 60-hour weeks that are needed to reach the top in some fields when you have children to raise.
But we seldom hear about such facts, while we constantly hear charlatans loudly proclaiming numerical "gender gaps" in employment or pay, and suing for discrimination.
Charlatans are only half the story. The other half includes people who are gullible enough to be led around like sheep by those exploiting the prevailing political correctness dispensed in our schools, colleges and the media.
Moreover, the sheep in both high and low positions often also implicitly believe that the cause of statistical disparities must have originated wherever the statistics were collected, and therefore must be the fault of the employer — even though the factors behind those disparities may have originated far from the employer and long before the people involved reached the employer.
So long as there is widespread gullibility, there will be charlatans ready to exploit it for their own benefit, either politically or financially.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell100715.php3#LYMfWfmhoi3rIo6s.99
The human quest to find our place in the universe
By George Will
Twinkling stars are pretty but, for astronomers, problematic. Twinkles are caused by the interference of Earth's atmosphere with light radiating throughout the breathtakingly beautiful and unimaginably violent universe.
It has seen interesting things, including HD 189733b, a planet about 63 light-years (370 trillion miles) away, where winds exceed 4,000 mph and it rains molten glass. As Hubble nears the end of its life, its much more capable successor, the James Webb Space Telescope, named for a former NASA administrator, is being developed at Johns Hopkins University.
The campus has several history departments. Some study humanity's achievements during its existence, which has been barely a blink in cosmic time. Other historians — the scientists and engineers of the Space Telescope Science Institute — study the origins of everything in order to understand humanity's origins. In 2018, Webb will be situated 940,000 miles from Earth, orbiting the sun in tandem with Earth, to continue investigating our place in the universe.
Our wee solar system is an infinitesimally small smudge among uncountable billions of galaxies, each with uncountable billions of stars. Our Milky Way galaxy, where we live, probably has 40 billion planets approximately Earth's size. Looking at the sky through a drinking straw, the spot you see contains10,000 galaxies. Yet the cosmos is not crowded: If there were just three bees in America, the air would be more congested with bees than space is with stars. Matter, however, is not all that matters.
The United States' manned moon expeditions ended in 1972, but modern cosmology began with the 1965 discovery that the universe is permeated with background radiation. This, like everything else, is a residue of the Big Bang, which, in a hundredth of a billionth of a trillionth of a trillionth of a second, set stuff — some of it now congealed into galaxies — flying apart. The recipe for our biophilic (friendly to life) planet was cooked in the universe's first one-hundredth of a second, at a temperature of a hundred thousand million degrees Celcius
Einstein's theory that space is curved by gravity requires a nonstatic universe, expanding or contracting. With a light-gathering mirror six times larger than Hubble's, and operating in temperatures of minus-389 degrees Fahrenheit, Webb will gather extraordinarily faint light that has been traveling for billions of years since the Big Bang. With Webb looking back in time to a few hundred million years after the explosion, scientists will analyze light for clues concerning the earliest formation of stars, planets, galaxies and us.
Hubble, which is the size of a school bus, supplies data for more than one-fifth of all scholarly astronomy papers. Webb, which will be the size of a tennis court, will advance knowledge about this stupendous improbability: How did material complexity, then single-cell life, then animals and consciousness emerge from chaos?
Webb will not shed light on two interesting questions: How many universes are there? Is everything the result of a meaningless cosmic sneeze, or of an intentional First Cause? Webb will, however, express our species' dignity as curious creatures.
Since Copernicus's great impertinence — displacing Earth and its passengers from the center of the universe — we have learned that "center" is senseless in an expanding universe that has no edge and where space and time are warped. Our solar system is not even the center of our galaxy. We know neither the conditions when Earth became home for life, nor the processes that ignited life. But half of the 200 billion stars just in our Milky Way have planetary systems, so a basic question of religion — where did we come from? — leads to another: Are we — carbon- and water-based, oxygen-breathing creatures — alone?
Earth revolves around our expiring sun, which is scheduled to burn out in just 5 billion years. At about that time, our Milky Way will collide with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. This is not apt to end well. Meanwhile, however, the scientist-historians here will try to tickle from the cosmos information for its own sake.
Space exploration began from Cold War imperatives, producing rocketry, intelligence satellites and national prestige. Webb, which only the United States could make happen, does not contribute to the nation's defense, but, as its creators say with justifiable pride, it makes the nation all the more worth defending.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will100315.php3#qC1gp0ukMEzty3tz.99
Our Navy, our destiny
By George Will
The Navy's operations, on which the sun never sets, are the nation's nerve endings, connecting it with the turbulent world. Although the next president may be elected without addressing the Navy's proper size and configuration, for four years he or she will be acutely aware of where the carriers are. Today they are at the center of a debate about their continuing centrality, even viability, in the Navy's projection of force.
Far out into the South China Sea, China is manufacturing mini-islands out of reefs, many of which used to be underwater at high tide. China is asserting sovereignty above and around these militarized specks in the congested cauldron of this sea. Through it and adjoining straits pass half the world's seaborne tonnage; five of the United States' 15 most important trading partners are in this region. Until President Trump launches his many trade wars, those partners include China, which is America's third-largest export market and largest source of imports. The Obama administration has rejected challenging China's audacity by not sailing through its claimed territorial waters — within 12 miles — around the new reef-islands.
Henry J. Hendrix of the Center for a New American Security argues that, like the battleships that carriers were originally designed to support, carriers may now be too expensive and vulnerable. China has developed land-based anti-ship missiles to force carriers to operate so far from targets that manned aircraft might become less useful than unmanned combat aerial vehicles operating from smaller, less expensive carriers.
The newest carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, to be commissioned next year, costs $12.8 billion. Add the costs of the air wing, the support of five surface combat ships and one attack submarine, and 6,700 sailors. The bill for operating a carrier group: $2.5 million a day. China, says Hendrix, could build more than 1,200 of its premier anti-ship missiles for the cost of one Ford carrier, and one of the 1,200 could achieve "mission-kill," removing the carrier from the fight for months.
The bad news is that the U.S. entitlement state is devouring the federal budget. The good news might be this axiom: As money gets scarcer, people get smarter.
It might be smart to reduce spending on the astonishingly expensive and operationally dubious F-35 Joint Strike Fighter and redirect the money to unmanned combat aircraft that could extend, for a while, the carriers' viability.
For $3 billion the Navy could have 10 more nimble littoral combat ships providing increased day-to-day presence. Furthermore, of the 14 Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines that were built for 30-year lives, the youngest is 17 and all might be kept in service until they are 40. Buying conventional guided-missile variants of these stealthy arsenals would bring many precision-strike missiles close to land targets, obviating anti-surface-ship missiles.
The undersea component of the Navy is the most survivable, but it is not inexpensive: The first replacement of the Ohio-class submarines, due in 2021, will cost $9 billion, with subsequent ones costing about $5 billion in 2010 dollars.
War-fighting calculations are not, however, the only pertinent considerations. The Navy remains the primary manifestation of America's military presence in the world, and carriers are, beyond their versatility, an especially emphatic presence. The Navy believes it does not need more than 11 carriers (counting the Ford), but that it cannot perform its myriad missions, from preserving the free flow of world commerce to bringing airpower within range of the Islamic State, with fewer.
Day by day, hour by hour, there is no more complicated government job than that of the chief of naval operations (CNO). Beyond the management of moving pieces in every time zone, the CNO must attend to the maintenance of an industrial base capable of sustaining technological advantages with weapons systems that take decades moving from conception to deployment.
Adm. Jonathan Greenert, who stepped down as CNO last month, says Chinese carriers are "rudimentary" but their pace of improvement is "extraordinary." Also extraordinary, given the United States' current political climate, is the bipartisan agreement that the Navy must grow. The Obama administration's budget calls for the active-duty fleet, which today has 273 ships, to reach more than 300 by 2020.
The United States was blown into world affairs by the 1898 explosion — an accident mistakenly blamed on Spain — that sank the USS Maine in Havana Harbor. The Navy that America chooses to maintain always indicates the nation's current sense of its character and destiny. So, presidential aspirants — parsimonious Republicans and militarily ambivalent Democrats — should talk about the Navy they want to wield.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will100115.php3#iOEYpYvszjMQ6w3F.99
The Cult of Victims
By John Stossel
The world has enough real problems without declaring everyone a "victim."
Bill Clinton says Hillary is a victim of a right-wing conspiracy.
Lindsay Lohan, when jailed for driving drunk and breaking parole, says she's a victim of cruel and unusual punishment.
Michael Sam says his NFL career would have gone better had he not come out as gay.
A Philadelphia dentist caught groping his patients' breasts said he is a victim of frotteurism, a disease that compels you to fondle breasts. Really.
People benefit by playing the victim.
Activists look for people they can declare victims, to bring attention to their causes.
The New York Times once called the Super Bowl the "Abuse Bowl," claiming that during the game many more women are abused than usual because their men get crazed watching violence. CBS called Super Bowl Sunday a "day of dread." The Boston Globe claimed a study showed calls to anti-violence emergency lines go up 40 percent during the game.
Then Ken Ringle of the Washington Post tried to trace those claims.
The Globe reporter admitted she never saw the study in question but got the numbers from the left-wing group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting. FAIR said they got them from a psychiatrist on "Good Morning America." That psychiatrist referred callers to another psychiatrist, who said, "I haven't been any more successful than you in tracking down any of this."
The "Super Bowl victim" claim was bunk.
Sometimes I feel like a victim. I stutter. Had today's disability laws existed when I began work, would I have fought to overcome my stuttering? Maybe not. I might have sued my employer, demanding they "accommodate my disability" by giving me a non-speaking job. Maybe I would have just stopped working and collected a disability check.
I also felt like a victim the day I taped a TV report on how pro wrestling is fake, and a wrestler beat me up, hitting me on both ears.
Weeks afterward, loud noises hurt my ears. Someone then said that that the wrestler's boss, Vince McMahon, told him to hit me, so I sued McMahon.
As part of the lawsuit, McMahon's lawyers demanded I see a certain doctor, who told me, "Your ear pain is a jurosomatic illness."
"What's that?" I said.
He answered, "Jurosomatic ... like psychosomatic. You hold onto your ear pain because you're involved in a lawsuit."
I was furious . I screamed at him, "You haven't even examined me, and you make this accusation?"
But guess what? After the World Wrestling Federation settled the lawsuit and paid me, my ear pain slowly went away. Was I holding onto pain because litigation kept reminding me that I was a victim?
It makes me wonder about those well-intended government programs meant to help the disabled. Social Security disability money used to go to blind people, people in wheelchairs, people clearly disabled.
But now billions go to people who say they're disabled by things like headaches and back pain. Disability payments have increased so much that the program will soon go broke.
Medicine improved since 1990. People do less hard manual labor. There should be fewer disabled people. Why are there more ?
Perhaps it's jurosomatic pain? Or government-handout-omatic pain?
Some people are just inclined to complain, and the modern welfare state encourages that. Lawyers made it worse by encouraging people to sue, rather than strive . That changed America.
When you reward something, you get more of it.
We change people's character by teaching them that "victimhood" is a way to get attention and moral status.
Our ancestors never would have accomplished much if they'd labeled themselves victims. They crossed oceans and the prairie knowing that many people on the journey would die.
Some of them really did end up being victims. But they were proud of striving, not proud of being victimized. They accomplished far more because of it.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0915/stossel093015.php3#tGV5CQxujFjQISpq.99
Obama's Syria Debacle And A Powerless U.S.
By Charles Krauthammer
"Russia hits Assad's foes, angering U.S."
— Headline, Wall Street Journal, Oct. 1
If it had the wit, the Obama administration would be not angered, but appropriately humiliated. President Obama has, once again, been totally outmaneuvered by Vladimir Putin. Two days earlier at the United Nations, Obama had welcomed the return, in force, of the Russian military to the Middle East — for the first time in decades — in order to help fight the Islamic State.
The ruse was transparent from the beginning. Russia is not in Syria to fight the Islamic State. The Kremlin was sending fighter planes, air-to-air missiles and SA-22 anti-aircraft batteries. Against an Islamic State that has no air force, no planes, no helicopters?
Russia then sent reconnaissance drones over Western Idlib and Hama, where there are no Islamic State fighters. Followed by bombing attacks on Homs and other opposition strongholds that had nothing to do with the Islamic State.
Indeed, some of these bombed fighters were U.S. trained and equipped. Asked if we didn't have an obligation to support our own allies on the ground, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter bumbled that Russia's actions exposed its policy as self-contradictory.
Carter made it sound as if the Russian offense was to have perpetrated an oxymoron, rather than a provocation — and a direct challenge to what's left of the U.S. policy of supporting a moderate opposition.
The whole point of Russian intervention is to maintain Assad in power. Putin has no interest in fighting the Islamic State. Indeed, the second round of Russian air attacks was on rival insurgents opposed to the Islamic State. The Islamic State is nothing but a pretense for Russian intervention. And Obama fell for it.
Just three weeks ago, Obama chided Russia for its military buildup, wagging his finger that it was "doomed to failure." Yet by Monday he was publicly welcoming Russia to join the fight against the Islamic State. He not only acquiesced to the Russian buildup, he held an ostentatious meeting with Putin on the subject, thereby marking the ignominious collapse of Obama's vaunted campaign to isolate Putin diplomatically over Crimea.
Putin then showed his utter contempt for Obama by launching his air campaign against our erstwhile anti-Assad allies not 48 hours after meeting Obama. Which the U.S. found out about when a Russian general knocked on the door of the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and delivered a brusque demarche announcing that the attack would begin within an hour and warning the U.S. to get out of the way.
In his subsequent news conference, Carter averred that he found such Russian behavior "unprofessional."
Good grief. Russia, with its inferior military and hemorrhaging economy, had just eaten Carter's lunch, seizing the initiative and exposing American powerlessness — and the secretary of defense deplores what? Russia's lack of professional etiquette.
Makes you want to weep.
Consider: When Obama became president, the surge in Iraq had succeeded and the United States had emerged as the dominant regional actor, able to project power throughout the region. Last Sunday, Iraq announced the establishment of a joint intelligence-gathering center with Iran, Syria and Russia, symbolizing the new "Shiite-crescent" alliance stretching from Iran across the northern Middle East to the Mediterranean, under the umbrella of Russia, the rising regional hegemon.
Russian planes roam free over Syria attacking Assad's opposition as we stand by helpless. Meanwhile, the U.S. secretary of state beseeches the Russians to negotiate "de-conflict" arrangements — so that we and they can each bomb our own targets safely. It has come to this.
Why is Putin moving so quickly and so brazenly? Because he's got only 16 more months to push on the open door that is Obama. He knows he'll never again see an American president such as this — one who once told the General Assembly that "no one nation can or should try to dominate another nation" and told it again Monday of "believing in my core that we, the nations of the world, cannot return to the old ways of conflict and coercion."
They cannot? Has he looked at the world around him — from Homs to Kunduz, from Sanaa to Donetsk — ablaze with conflict and coercion?
Wouldn't you take advantage of these last 16 months if you were Putin, facing a man living in a faculty-lounge fantasy world? Where was Obama when Putin began bombing Syria? Leading a U.N. meeting on countering violent extremism.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer100215.php3#buzgYDGWPViWTgHg.99
Women in Combat Equals Unnecessary Loss of Life
By Walter Williams
War is nasty, brutal and costly. In our latest wars, many of the casualties suffered by American troops are a direct result of their having to obey rules of engagement created by politicians who have never set foot on — or even seen — a battlefield. Today's battlefield commanders must be alert to the media and do-gooders who are all too ready to demonize troops involved in a battle that produces noncombatant deaths, so-called collateral damage.
According to a Western Journalism article by Leigh H Bravo, "Insanity: The Rules of Engagement" , our troops fighting in Afghanistan cannot do night or surprise searches. Also, villagers must be warned prior to searches. Troops may not fire at the enemy unless fired upon. U.S. forces cannot engage the enemy if civilians are present. And only women can search women. Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Thomas McInerney said: "We handcuffed our troops in combat needlessly. This was very harmful to our men and has never been done in U.S combat operations that I know of." Collateral damage and the unintentional killing of civilians are a consequence of war. But the question we should ask is: Are our troops' lives less important than the inevitable collateral damage?
The unnecessary loss of life and casualties that result from politically correct rules of engagement are about to be magnified in future conflicts by mindless efforts to put women in combat units. In 2013, then-Defense Secretary Leon Panetta officially lifted the ban on women serving in ground combat roles. On Jan. 1, 2016, all branches of the military must either open all positions to women or request exceptions. That boils down to having women serve in combat roles, because any commander requesting exceptions would risk having his career terminated in the wake of the screeching and accusations of sexism that would surely ensue.
The U.S. Army has announced that for the first time, two female officers graduated from the exceptionally tough three-phase Ranger course. Their "success" will serve as grist for the mills of those who argue for women in combat. Unlike most of their fellow soldiers, these two women had to recycle because they had failed certain phases of the course.
A recent Marine Corps force integration study concluded that combat teams were less effective when they included women. Overall, the report says, all-male teams and crews outperformed mixed-gender ones on 93 out of 134 tasks evaluated. All-male teams were universally faster "in each tactical movement." The report also says that female Marines had higher rates of injury throughout the experiment.
Should anyone be surprised by the findings of male combat superiority? Young men are overloaded with testosterone, which produces hostility, aggression and competitiveness. Such a physical characteristic produces sometimes-poor behavior in civilian society, occasionally leading to imprisonment, but the same characteristics are ideal for ground combat situations.
You may bet the rent money that the current effort to integrate combat jobs will not end with simply a few extraordinary women. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus told the Navy Times that once women start attending SEAL training, it would make sense to examine the standards. He said, "First we're going to make sure there are standards" and "they're gender-neutral." Only after that will the Navy make sure the standards "have something to do with the job." We've heard that before in matters of race. It's called disparate impact. That is, if the Navy SEALs cannot prove that staying up for 18 hours with no rest or sleep, sitting and shivering in the cold Pacific Ocean, running with a huge log on your shoulder, and being spoken to like a dog are necessary, then those parts of SEAL training will be eliminated so that women can pass.
The most disgusting, perhaps traitorous, aspect of all this is the overall timidity of military commanders, most of whom, despite knowing better, will only publicly criticize the idea of putting women in combat after they retire from service.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams093015.php3#zlULpRYXWjIXmqUK.99
The 'Affordable Housing' Fraud
By Thomas Sowell
Nowhere has there been so much hand-wringing over a lack of "affordable housing," as among politicians and others in coastal California. And nobody has done more to make housing unaffordable than those same politicians and their supporters.
A recent survey showed that the average monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco was just over $3,500. Some people are paying $1,800 a month just to rent a bunk bed in a San Francisco apartment.
It is not just in San Francisco that putting a roof over your head can take a big chunk out of your pay check. The whole Bay Area is like that. Thirty miles away, Palo Alto home prices are similarly unbelievable.
One house in Palo Alto, built more than 70 years ago, and just over one thousand square feet in size, was offered for sale at $1.5 million. And most asking prices are bid up further in such places.
Another city in the Bay Area with astronomical housing prices, San Mateo, recently held a public meeting and appointed a task force to look into the issue of "affordable housing."
Public meetings, task forces and political hand-wringing about a need for "affordable housing" occur all up and down the San Francisco peninsula, because this is supposed to be such a "complex" issue.
Someone once told President Ronald Reagan that a solution to some controversial issue was "complex." President Reagan replied that the issue was in fact simple, "but it is not easy."
Is the solution to unaffordable housing prices in parts of California simple? Yes. It is as simple as supply and demand. What gets complicated is evading the obvious, because it is politically painful.
One of the first things taught in an introductory economics course is supply and demand. When a growing population creates a growing demand for housing, and the government blocks housing from being built, the price of existing housing goes up.
This is not a breakthrough on the frontiers of knowledge. Economists have understood supply and demand for centuries — and so have many other people who never studied economics.
Housing prices in San Francisco, and in many other communities for miles around, were once no higher than in the rest of the United States. But, beginning in the 1970s, housing prices in these communities skyrocketed to three or four times the national average.
Why? Because local government laws and policies severely restricted, or banned outright, the building of anything on vast areas of land. This is called preserving "open space," and "open space" has become almost a cult obsession among self-righteous environmental activists, many of whom are sufficiently affluent that they don't have to worry about housing prices.
Some others have bought the argument that there is just very little land left in coastal California, on which to build homes. But anyone who drives down Highway 280 for thirty miles or so from San Francisco to Palo Alto, will see mile after mile of vast areas of land with not a building or a house in sight.
How "complex" is it to figure out that letting people build homes in some of that vast expanse of "open space" would keep housing from becoming "unaffordable"?
Was it just a big coincidence that housing prices in coastal California began skyrocketing in the 1970s, when building bans spread like wildfire under the banner of "open space," "saving farmland," or whatever other slogans would impress the gullible?
When more than half the land in San Mateo County is legally off-limits to building, how surprised should we be that housing prices in the city of San Mateo are now so high that politically appointed task forces have to be formed to solve the "complex" question of how things got to be the way they are and what to do about it?
However simple the answer, it will not be easy to go against the organized, self-righteous activists for whom "open space" is a sacred cause, automatically overriding the interests of everybody else.
Was it just a coincidence that some other parts of the country saw skyrocketing housing prices when similar severe restrictions on building went into effect? Or that similar policies in other countries have had the same effect? How "complex" is that?
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell100115.php3#rLAgJeoHD7mIoc2R.99
By Thomas Sowell
The impending departure of Speaker of the House John Boehner gives the House Republicans a real opportunity to accomplish something. But an opportunity is not a guarantee. It is a little like a football team being first down and goal at the ten-yard line.
You have a good chance of scoring a touchdown from there — if you can get your act together. But you could also find yourself having to settle for a field goal. Or for a missed field goal.
And of course you can also fumble the ball and have the other team grab it — and run it all the way back across the field to score a touchdown against you. With Republicans, it would be chancy to make a bet as to which of these scenarios is most likely.
Speaker Boehner had a tough hand to play, given the internal splits among House Republicans. But Boehner's biggest problem was Boehner. And it is a recurring Republican problem.
Nothing epitomized Boehner's wrong-headedness like an occasion when he emerged from the White House, after a conference with President Obama and others, to face a vast battery of microphones and television cameras.
Here was a golden opportunity for Speaker Boehner to make his case directly to the American people, unfiltered by the media. Instead, he just walked over to the microphones and cameras, briefly expressed his disgust with the conference he had just come from, and then walked on away.
Surely Boehner knew, going into this White House conference, that it could fail. And, surely, he knew that there would be an opportunity immediately afterwards to present his case to the public. But, like so many Republican leaders over the years, he seemed to have no sense of the importance of doing so — or for the time and efforts needed to prepare for such an opportunity beforehand.
Whoever the next Speaker of the House is, someone should have a plaque made up to put on his desk — a plaque reading: TALK, DAMMIT!
If the political situation in Washington is such that many of the expectations of Republican voters cannot be met, then at least take the time and trouble to spell that out in plain language to the public.
Maybe the smug consultants in Washington don't think the public can understand. But Ronald Reagan won two landslide elections by doing what subsequent Republican leaders disdained to do.
In between, he accomplished what was called "the Reagan revolution" without ever having a majority in both Houses of Congress. He could go over the heads of Congressional Democrats and explain to the public why certain legislation was needed — and once he won over the voters, Democrats in Congress were not about to jeopardize their reelection chances by going against them.
One of the secrets of Reagan's political success was a segment of the population that was called "Reagan Democrats." These were voters who traditionally voted for Democrats but who had been won over to Reagan's agenda.
Contrary to the thinking — or lack of thinking — among today's Republican leaders, Reagan did not go to these Democratic voters and pander to them by offering them a watered-down version of what the Democrats were offering. He took his case to them and talked — yes, TALKED — to let them know what his own agenda offered to them and to the country.
Today's Republicans who proclaim a need to "reach out" to a wider constituency almost invariably mean pandering to those groups' current beliefs, not showing them how your agenda and your principles — if you have any — apply to their situation and to the good of the country.
You won't swing a whole constituency of Democrats your way, and neither did Ronald Reagan. But he swung enough of them to win elections and to force Congressional Democrats to respect the "Reagan Democrats" he had won over.
There are issues on which Republicans can appeal to blacks — school choice being just one obvious and important issue. And it is unlikely that all Hispanic voters want open borders, through which criminals can come in and settle in their communities.
But unspoken words will never tap these sources of votes, nor perhaps even convince Congressional Republicans. And if the quarterback is unsure what to do, being first and goal on the ten-yard line may not mean much.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell093015.php3#UcyICiRYqGWYXM4U.99
Government: Here to Help!
By John Stossel
Government wants you to think it helps you at every turn. Every time you make a decision, a purchase, government wants to be there, looking essential.
But it's a trick. Most government "help" creates new problems.
Students once went to private banks to get college loans. Banks, since they had their own money on the line, tried to lend only to students who were likely to succeed and then pay them back. Politicians then said, "Banks don't lend enough, so we'll guarantee loans or make loans ourselves! After all, college is essential for success."
Colleges responded by raising tuition at seven times the rate of inflation. It's a spiral in which taxpayers are forced to give money to colleges — which then charge high tuition, so students graduate deep in debt, and then politicians demand that taxpayers forgive that debt.
President Obama said, sure, just pay back 10 percent or, after 20 years, nothing! Taxpayers will pay the rest, which goes to schools that employ professors who demand more government programs. It's a spiral that makes government bigger.
The same thing happened with housing. People once borrowed from private banks, which applied market discipline. If they thought you wanted to borrow more than you would likely repay, banks wouldn't lend you the money.
But now government — Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration — guarantee nearly every loan. That helped create the last housing bubble. After it burst, and taxpayers were charged nearly $2 billion to bail out the FHA, the politicians assured the public they would fix this to make sure it never happened again.
But they didn't. Today, once again, more than 90 percent of home loans are backed by taxpayers, and after briefly raising down-payment requirements, the FHA will again make loans to people who make down payments of as little as 3 percent.
A sensible solution would be to get government out of the home loan business, but even Republicans claim government support for homebuilding is needed. It isn't. Canada has no Fannie, Freddie or FHA, and no housing bubble. In Canada, lenders and homeowners risk their own money, yet just as many people are able to buy homes.
Finally, Obamacare makes the same arrogant assumption about healthcare: Without government, people can't afford health care and won't make good decisions. But healthcare is bureaucratic and costly because of government.
For decades, government encouraged us to pay for health care — even routine procedures — with insurance. But insurance is designed for large, rare expenditures, like your house catching fire or a heart attack.
When everything from head colds to backaches is paid for through insurance, neither the customer nor service provider pays much attention to what anything costs. I'm on Medicare now. I'm amazed that when I go to a doctor, no one even mentions price.
If we paid for everything that way — clothing, groceries, computers — everything would cost much more. No one would know when to shop around, when they were getting a great deal, or when to say: enough.
The more we enshrine the idea that "everyone must have health insurance," the more big insurance companies can raise prices without worrying about customers fleeing. Forced government insurance steers everyone into a few big plans instead of letting individuals make decisions that foster competition. Hospitals and insurance companies are the ones really being helped.
President Eisenhower addressed a similar problem when he complained about a "military-industrial complex." Today we have a broader "government-industrial complex."
It shouldn't surprise us when big companies start out opposing regulation but then announce that they wholeheartedly support government's latest "reform."
By the time legislation is passed, the major players in the industry have had a role in writing the laws, ensuring that they are guaranteed a profit.
I don't think government makes my life easier by being around me all the time. Instead, it makes it harder and harder to imagine life without government. Perhaps that was their goal.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0915/stossel092315.php3#fTIHFu8KmRjOo7Cl.99
The Pope-Exploiter in Chief
By David Limbaugh
Normally, the issue of the pope's infallibility wouldn't much concern me, but it does get my attention when opportunists attempt to leverage his heft to advance their political agenda.
As an evangelical Christian, I don't subscribe to the view that the pope is infallible, but I respect Catholics who do and have no desire to offend them in the slightest. So let's put aside the question of whether the pope is infallible and assume, for argument's sake, that he is.
The next question is on what range of issues is he deemed infallible? Without researching the matter too deeply, I think we can safely assume that it is only on doctrinal matters. But where do we draw that line? The question is interesting because theology often overlaps with politics and because everything in our society seems to be about politics these days.
I became interested in this when I saw a reference to an opinion piece by Ramesh Ponnuru, a respected conservative Catholic whom I understood to be saying that a stronger argument could be made for the pope's authority on the issue of abortion than on most economics issues — because the Roman Catholic Church has a much more specific official teaching on the former than it does on the latter. I made the mistake of tweeting about this — the mistake being that it's too complex a subject to address in Twitter's 140-character limit. I tweeted, "I'm not a Catholic, but I agree with those Catholics who've said (the pope's) statements on abortion/life are in his domain but economics are not." Ponnuru, in a later post, clarified that he acknowledges that a pope can weigh in on economic matters but said "that we should distinguish between the pope's off-the-cuff remarks and the Church's official teachings."
Interesting exchanges followed because some assumed that, like many others, I am willing to use the pope's influence when he says something that suits me (pro-life) but reject his opinion when it differs from mine (on global warming and socialism).
But as a non-Catholic, I'm really not interested in using his authority to bolster my positions; I just think the question of his range of authority is interesting to contemplate.
In response to my tweet, numerous liberals pointed out that Jesus repeatedly talked about the poor and so the pope definitely has credibility when talking about the poor and economic systems.
I conceded that Jesus was profoundly interested in the poor and charity, but I noted that capitalism is the best system to lift the poor out of poverty. Besides, I don't believe that the Bible anywhere suggests that Christians can satisfy their duty to be charitable by advocating forced transfers of other people's money. If anything, I think biblical principles encourage political and economic liberty.
But on further consideration, the issue really isn't the pope's infallibility or the scope of his infallibility, because infallible or not, the pope is the head of the Catholic Church and a global figure who carries serious weight on any matters he chooses to address. Realizing this, people all along the political spectrum were selectively citing the pope's positions to justify their own when it helped them and ignoring them otherwise.
Unsurprisingly, the greatest offender was President Obama, who apparently sees Pope Francis' perceived liberal views on certain issues and his timely visit to the United States as a perfect storm to reignite his singular mission to complete the fundamental transformation of the United States.
In his remarks at the arrival ceremony for the pope, Obama went into full preacher mode, from uncharacteristically beginning his speech with the Christian staple "what a beautiful day the Lord has made" to modulating his inflections to full televangelist mode to framing his entire political agenda in terms of spiritual imperatives. Obama's gross opportunism was more transparent than anything this "most transparent" of presidents has done in office.
Obama didn't skip a beat, praising the pope for calling on us "to put the 'least of these' at the center of our concerns" and for standing up for justice and inequality. Obama extolled the pope for supporting his new direction in Cuba and for reminding "us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet."
People will, of course, argue that Obama was innocuously praising the pope for his leadership, but Obama is driven not by spiritual concerns but by political ones. He deliberately chose his words to establish solidarity with the pope on his — Obama's — agenda. You'll note that Obama omitted the subject of abortion. He did invoke America's tradition of religious liberty, but he conspicuously ignored his own record in trampling on that liberty, including the conscience rights of Christian institutions.
That Obama used the pope as a political prop was further demonstrated by White House spokesman Josh Earnest's comparison of Obama with the pope — in citing their mutual dedication "to helping the less fortunate," their "commitment to social justice" and the common ground in their values.
It's remarkable that even a narcissist of Obama's caliber would allow — direct, probably — his spokesman to make the pope's visit about him.
The American people are onto Obama's mission to turn America away from its founding principles, so what a great opportunity to co-opt an outside voice to re-energize his quest. Obama is nothing if not relentless, and liberty lovers would do well to keep that at the forefront of their minds, lest they fall into complacency in the last year of his presidency, which could be the most damaging yet.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh092515.php3#Zsck6Kvyfx5jZ30W.99
Is a National Identity Necessary? Left-Right Differences, Part IX
By Dennis Prager
In 2011, after 899 issues and 73 years of publication, Superman, the most famous American comic book character, announced that he was renouncing his American citizenship.
"I intend to speak before the United Nations tomorrow and inform them that I am renouncing my U.S. citizenship," Superman announces. He then adds, in reference to his famous motto: "Truth, justice and the American way — it's not enough anymore."
After a national uproar, the comic publisher announced that this theme would not be revisited in any future edition of the comic. But an important point was made. To the liberal publishers of Superman, the hero's American identity just didn't feel right. Maybe that was what people wanted from 1938 to the late 20th century. But this national identity stuff has got to go. We should all be world citizens.
This example illustrates a primary difference between Left and Right: their respective views of nationalism and national identity.
The rejection of national identities began with the founder of Leftism, Karl Marx. He ends his major work, "Das Kapital," with the famous left-wing motto, "Proletariat of the world, unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains." Marx regarded national identities as backward and useless. In his view, the only identities that mattered were class identities — the working class and the ruling class. If a worker thought of himself first as a German or Englishman, rather than as a worker, Communism would never be achieved.
The rejection of nationalism in Europe became mainstream after World War I. Many Europeans, especially among the intellectuals, concluded that the unprecedented loss of life caused by the Great War was a result, first and foremost, of nationalism. They concluded that Europeans slaughtered each other for nothing more than a flag and a national identity. Therefore, the argument went, by abolishing nationalism, war could be abolished. That is the belief that led to the creation of the European Union: The more Europeans identified with Europe rather than with a particular country the less likely were the chances of war between European countries.
In the United States, however, a national American identity has always been a major part of what it means to be an American. The three pillars of Americanism, constituting what I have called the "American Trinity" — are found on every American coin and banknote: "Liberty," "In God We Trust" and "e pluribus unum." The latter is Latin for "out of many, one." Because America has always been a nation of immigrants, it has no ethnic identity. Therefore, unlike almost all other nations, America could not depend on an ethnic identity to keep its people together. In fact, if all Americans retained their ethnic identities, America would simply splinter. So a non-ethnic American national identity had to be forged and preserved.
To this day, foreigners in the United States are struck by how patriotic Americans are in comparison to whatever country they come from. They marvel, for example, at the fact that before almost every sporting event — from professional down to high school — the American National Anthem is played and/or sung.
Conservatives wish to conserve all these manifestations of American patriotism and nationalism because they believe a sense of national unity is essential to the political and social health of the country. On the other hand, the American Left, like the Left in Europe, is opposed to nationalism, and it generally finds patriotic expressions corny at best and dangerous at worst.
This is easily seen. Just visit conservative and liberal areas on July Fourth, America's Independence Day. You will see American flags displayed throughout conservative areas and virtually none displayed in liberal areas such as Manhattan, or Santa Monica or Berkeley, Calif.
Left-wing opposition to American nationalism is exemplified by the Left's embrace of "multiculturalism" — the cultivation of all ethnic and racial identities except American. It has even reached the point wherein some American colleges no longer display the American flag.
In lieu of an American national identity, the Left prefers an international identity. Thus, ideally, United Nations authority would supersede American authority, and the World Court would supersede American courts. To conservatives, such ideas are anathema because, in addition to subverting American sovereignty, the United Nations has not done nearly the amount of good in the world that the United States has.
That's why the liberals at DC comics had Superman renounce his American citizenship (at the United Nations, no less). In their view, Superman is now even more super. In conservatives' view, the renunciation is kryptonite.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0915/prager092215.php3#EqPJi8QSmqCFmXgI.99
Carly: The Pros And Cons
By Dick Morris
The sight of a woman like Carly Fiorina -- like that of an African-American like Dr. Ben Carson -- vying for the Republican nomination for president is enough to make all our pulses beat faster. It is, after all, only by breaking the Democrats' condominium over blacks, Latinos, single women, gays, and young voters that Republicans can at avoid ultimate extinction.
While Carson disappointed with his questioning of the use of force in Afghanistan after 9-11, Carly soared during the debate. As it turned out, none other than Trump fed her the best straight line when he questioned her appearance and then tried to spin his remarks. Her flat out statement that all women heard what he had said and should make their own judgment was an ace that could not be returned.
Carly Fiorina is a skilled advocate for the private sector, for limited government, against crazy regulations and for lower taxes. She is a Republican dream. In the debate, she showed how conversant she is with defense matters and her ability to summon passion and commitment in her answers triggered widespread admiration.
She has several key vulnerabilities that we have to take seriously. The worst is the way Democrats can successfully twist her business record to her own disadvantage. Haven't we just lived through the Romney catastrophe? Didn't we all hear Republican primary rivals like Newt Gingrich decrying Mitt's record at Bain Capital only to nominate him anyway and then watch Obama tear him to pieces using the same arguments? What is acceptable in business makes for a very bad record in politics.
Our thanks to Chris Cillizza, who writes "The Fix" blog for the Washington Post, for reminding us of just how vulnerable Carly's Hewlett Packard record left her. He reminds us that she was closing in on California Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer in their epic 2010 contest. A few weeks before Election Day, they were locked in a statistical tie. Then Boxer threw the HP punch.
Her ad noted that Fiorina had laid off 30,000 workers at HP. It played a film clip of Carly saying: "when you're talking about massive layoffs -- which we did -- perhaps the work needs to be done somewhere else?" Then the announcer says "Fiorina shipped jobs to China and while Californians lost their jobs, Carly Fiorina tripled her salary, bought a million dollar yacht and five corporate jets." The lethal ad ends by playing a clip of Carly saying "I'm proud of my record at Hewlett Packard."
This is just the kind of ad we don't want to see in October, likely this time replete with testimonials from workers who have lost their jobs.
In California, the damage to Fiorina was mortal. She fell apart the moment the ad started to run and lost by ten points.
With the current animus for high priced corporate executives who make millions while laying off workers and outsourcing jobs, there is no reason to make our hopes for the White House hinge on the ability of one such CEO to justify her actions. To Republicans, it doesn't matter. We get it that you often have to lay off workers and outsource to protect the remaining jobs still in the U.S. But if Romney taught us anything it is that voters don't get it.
Let's not make the same mistake twice.
Evidence is mounting... before Obama leaves office he will issue an executive order that will reshape our government and our economy.
He's putting in place changes that are unlike anything seen before in U.S. history. It's critical that Americans understand the consequences of what is happening now.
The changes will likely affect you, your family, your savings and even your investments.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0915/morris092315.php3#6BdULGEW6sFIFih6.99
Obama's Faith Isn't the Issue, But ...
By David Limbaugh
Once again the media are hyping an issue that has nothing to do with the problems confronting this nation. Shame on them for trying to manufacture a controversy — again — about President Obama's faith.
During a town hall event for Donald Trump in Rochester, New Hampshire, Thursday night, a questioner said that Obama is a Muslim and that "he's not even an American."
Democrats, the media and some Republicans pounced on Trump for not condemning the questioner. For all the media's obsession over it since, you'd think Trump himself called Obama the 12th imam. They are badgering every other candidate to repudiate Trump and affirm that Obama is a wonderful Christian.
This manufactured diversion is one reason Trump is so popular. The critics think they can finish Trump (and others who won't denounce him) with political correctness — his lack of which has helped catapult him to the top.
Why do the irreligious media believe they can credibly lecture anyone about faith? Why should they take umbrage at a lone questioner's calling Obama a Muslim? They act as though calling someone a Muslim is slander per se. By their lights, it ought to be a compliment.
If they believed that Obama is a Bible-believing Christian, they'd be hammering him themselves. And if his religion is so important to them, why didn't they probe it when it would have mattered — the 2008 campaign? Oh, that's right. They were too busy denying the spiritual bond with his pastor-mentor, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright.
I watched the video of the questioner, and I think Trump tried to just laugh off the man's comments without making a statement either way. He did seem to agree that we should look into the alleged jihadi training camps, but that's about it.
That wasn't enough for the media, which insist that Trump should have eviscerated the fellow. But let me ask you: If someone challenges Obama's faith, are we required to say we believe he is a Christian even if we doubt it? Can't we just politely ignore the matter and move on?
I see no point in raising Obama's Christianity anymore, but the media are forcing it. Forgive me for not falling all over myself to affirm Obama's Christianity. It's true we can't know for sure what's in a person's heart, but we can observe his statements and behavior. Obama's assertions mean little to me these days. He emphatically asserted not too long ago that he believed marriage should be between a man and a woman. He told us we could keep our doctors and insurance plans when he knew that wouldn't be true. This is not a man with a track record of authenticity. And he is not a person who has shown any allegiance to Christian values.
For 20 years, he attended Wright's church, where black liberation theology and anti-Americanism were preached with abandon. It shouldn't shock you — as I've said before — that Wright's church was more race- and Marxist-oriented than Christ-centered.
Additionally, throughout his presidency, Obama has gone out of his way to belittle Christianity. He demeaned "bitter" Midwesterners who "cling to guns or religion." He mocked Scripture by saying: "Which passages of Scripture should guide our public policy? Should we go with Leviticus, which suggests slavery is OK and that eating shellfish is an abomination? Or we could go with Deuteronomy, which suggests stoning your child if he strays from the faith." It's hard for me to believe that any G0D-fearing person would ridicule G0D's Word like this.
Obama likened the Christian Crusades to present-day Islamic terrorism. He trampled the conscience rights of Christians when he forced employers to provide abortion-inducing drugs under their Obamacare health plans. He invited a host of anti-traditional Catholics to the White House to meet Pope Francis. He paved the way for the Supreme Court's fiat legalizing same-sex marriage, knowing that it would lead to further assaults on Christians' religious liberty.
He has taken Christmas themes out of White House Christmas cards, has removed references to religion from his Thanksgiving speeches, has omitted "the Creator" when quoting from the Declaration of Independence, supports abortion on demand and protects the abortion factory Planned Parenthood. His administration has sought funding for all kinds of sexual education but not those reflecting traditional values.
Obama has also shown preferential treatment toward Islam, from apologies for the U.S. military's accidental burning of Qurans to blocking Middle Eastern Christians' access to the White House, effusively praising Islam and overstating its role in America's heritage, supporting the building of a mosque at ground zero, refusing to attribute terrorist attacks to radical Islam, rewriting government documents to remove terms potentially offensive to Muslims, such as "jihad" and "radical Islam," turning NASA into a Muslim outreach effort, labeling the Fort Hood shootings "workplace violence," and so much more.
If you want to see whether Obama embraces the precepts of the Christian faith, research the many curious statements he's made on the subject.
In the end, though, the question is not whether Obama is a Christian — he's perfectly free not to be one — but whether Trump or others should be forced to condemn those who question Obama's faith even if they, too, doubt it. I don't believe for a second that the media and Democrats are the slightest bit offended about allegations concerning Obama's faith. They don't care about his faith. They are just trying to make Trump look like a mean-spirited, racist kook — nothing more, nothing less. Thank goodness he didn't take the bait.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh092215.php3#gqY5ym3CfpeSrslZ.99
Yogi Berra, an American story
By George Will
The 18-year-old U.S. Navy enlistee,
thinking it sounded less boring than the dull training he was doing in
1944, volunteered for service on what he thought an officer had called
"rocket ships." Actually, they were small, slow, vulnerable boats used
as launching pads for rockets to give close-in support for troops
The service on those boats certainly was not boring. At dawn on June 6,
1944, that sailor was a few hundred yards off Omaha Beach. Lawrence
Peter Berra, who died Tuesday at 90, had a knack for being where the
Because he stood — when he stood; as a catcher, he spent a lot of time
crouching at baseball's most physically and mentally demanding position —
5 feet 7 inches, he confirmed the axiom that the beauty of baseball is
that a player does not need to be 7 feet tall or 7 feet wide. The
shortstop during Yogi's first Yankee years was an even smaller Italian
American, 150-pound Phil Rizzuto, listed at a generous 5 feet 6.
Yogi had, sportswriter Allen Barra says (in "Yogi Berra: Eternal
Yankee"), "the winningest career in the history of American sports." He
played on Yankee teams that went to the World Series 14 times in 17
years. He won 10 World Series rings; no other player has more than nine.
He won three MVP awards; only Barry Bonds has more, with seven, but
four of them probably tainted by performance-enhancing drugs. In seven
consecutive seasons (1950-1956), Yogi finished in the top four in MVP
voting. Only Bill Russell of the Boston Celtics (11 NBA championships,
five MVP awards) and Henri Richard (11 NHL championships) have records
of winning that exceed Yogi's.
He grew up in what he and others called the Dago Hill section of St.
Louis, when the Italian Americans who lived there did not take offense
at the name. They had bigger problems. Allen Barra notes that an 1895
advertisement seeking labor to build a New York reservoir said whites
would be paid $1.30 to $1.50 a day, "colored" workers $1.25 to $1.40 and
Italians $1.15 to $1.25. The term "wop" may have begun as an acronym
for "without papers," as many Italians were when they arrived at Ellis
American sports and ethnicity have been interestingly entangled. The
nickname "Fighting Irish" was originally a disparagement by opponents of
Notre Dame, which for many years had problems filling its football
schedule because of anti-Catholic bigotry. But sports also have been
solvents of a sense of apartness felt by ethnic groups.
In 1923, the Sporting News, which for many decades was described as "the
Bible of baseball" (except by baseball fans, who described the Bible as
"the Sporting News of religion"), called the national pastime the
essence of the nation: "In a democratic, catholic, real American game
like baseball, there has been no distinction raised except tacit
understanding that a player of Ethiopian descent is ineligible. . . .
The Mick, the Sheeny, the Wop, the Dutch and the Chink, the Cuban, the
Indian, the Jap or the so-called Anglo-Saxon — his 'nationality' is
never a matter of moment if he can pitch, hit or field."
Ah, diversity. In 1908, the Sporting News said this about a Giants rookie, Charley "Buck" Herzog:
"The long-nosed rooters are crazy whenever young Herzog does anything
noteworthy. Cries of 'Herzog! Herzog! Goot poy, Herzog!' go up
regularly, and there would be no let-up even if a million ham sandwiches
suddenly fell among these believers in percentages and bargains."
David Maraniss, in his biography of the Pirates' Roberto Clemente, the
first Puerto Rican superstar, notes that as late as 1971, Clemente's
17th season, one sportswriter still quoted him in phonetic English: "Eef
I have my good arm thee ball gets there a leetle quicker." In 1962,
Alvin Dark, manager of the San Francisco Giants, banned the speaking of
Spanish in the clubhouse. Today, with three of the most common surnames
in baseball being Martinez, Rodriguez and Gonzalez, some managers speak
Yogi's great contemporary, Dodgers catcher Roy Campanella (another
three-time MVP), was the son of an African American mother and Italian
American father. Today, with two Italian Americans on the Supreme Court,
it is difficult to imagine how delighted Italian Americans were with
their first national celebrity — the elegant centerfielder on baseball's
most glamorous team, Joe DiMaggio, the son of a San Francisco
DiMaggio was "Big Dago" to his teammates. Yogi was "Little Dago" and
became the nation's most beloved sports figure. As Yogi said when
Catholic Dublin elected a Jewish mayor, "Only in America."
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will092415.php3#cqiKHax8f1yreqLf.99
Liberal Reasoning: Idiotic or Dishonest?
By Walter Williams
Many people argue that liberals, socialists and progressives do not understand basic economics. I am not totally convinced about that.
Take the law of demand, for example, one of the fundamental principles of economics. It holds that the lower the cost of something the more people will take or do of it. Conversely, the higher the cost the less people will take or do something. By their actions, liberals fully understand the law of demand. Let's look at some proof.
The Seattle City Council voted unanimously to establish a tax on gun and ammunition sales. Hillary Clinton has called for a 25 percent tax on gun sales. In Chicago, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle proposed "violence taxes" on bullets to discourage criminals from buying guns. Let's ignore the merit of these measures. They do show that gun grabbers acknowledge the law of demand. They want fewer gun sales and thus propose raising the cost of guns.
NBCBLK contributor Danielle Moodie-Mills said, "We need to stop misgendering people in the media, and there needs to be some type of fine that's put into place for ... media outlets ... that decide that they're just not going to call people by their name." What Moodie-Mills wants is for us to be obliged, if a man says he's a woman, to address him as her and, if a woman says she's a man, to address her as him. The basic point here is that Moodie-Mills acknowledges the fundamental law of demand when she calls for FCC fines for media people who "misgender" folks. By the way, if I claimed to be the king of Siam, I wonder whether she would support my demand that I be addressed as "your majesty."
In the Ohio Legislature, Rep. Bill Patmon, a Democrat from Cleveland, introduced a bill to make it illegal to manufacture, sell or display toy guns. The ban would apply to any toy gun that a "reasonable person" could confuse with a real one. A $1,000 fine and up to 180 days in jail would be imposed for failure to obey the law. That's more evidence that liberals understand the law of demand. You want less of something? Just raise its cost.
Even San Francisco liberals and environmentalists understand the law of demand. They've proposed a ban that over the next four years would phase out the sale of plastic water bottles that hold 21 ounces or less in public places. Violators could face fines of up to $1,000.
Former U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu once said, "We have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe" in order to make Americans give up their "love affair with the automobile." If gas prices rise high enough, Chu knows that Americans will drive less.
There you have it — abundant evidence that liberals, socialists and progressives understand the law of demand. But wait a minute. What about raising the cost of hiring workers through increases in the minimum wage?
Aaron Pacitti, Siena College professor of economics, wrote that raising the minimum wage "would reduce income inequality and poverty while boosting growth, without increasing unemployment." The leftist Center for Economic and Policy Research has written a paper whose title tells it all: "Why Does the Minimum Wage Have No Discernible Effect on Employment?" The U.S. Department of Labor has a page on its website titled "Minimum Wage Mythbusters" (http://tinyurl.com/lt47co9), which relays a message from liberal economists: "Increases in the minimum wage have had little or no negative effect on the employment of minimum-wage workers."
What the liberals believe — and want us to believe — is that though an increase in the cost of anything will cause people to use less of it, labor is exempt from the law of demand. That's like accepting the idea that the law of gravity influences the falling behavior of everything except nice people. One would have to be a lunatic to believe either proposition.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams092315.php3#ToU30ER24RA9IGH8.99
Our Side Must Decide to Put the Sideshows Aside
By David Limbaugh
I wish the presidential debates could focus on what's wrong with the status quo and solutions rather than on what one candidate thinks about another's silly remarks.
I don't want to hear Jeb Bush cajoling Donald Trump to apologize to his wife in front of millions of people. I don't want moderators to force a food fight between Trump and other candidates about whether he should have his finger on the nuclear button. I don't want them provoking a conflict between Chris Christie and Ben Carson over politicians' expediency. And I sure don't want to hear a candidate commenting on his rivals' physical appearance. This stuff is embarrassing, is unproductive and trivializes vital issues facing the nation.
Such distractions may drive ratings or serve to diminish the conservative brand — to the delight of those stirring the pot — but they don't advance the vital national discussion about the problems we're facing. People serious enough to watch these debates want to hear the candidates' positions on the issues.
There were many valuable moments Wednesday night — candidate after candidate eloquently expounded conservative principles — but there would have been many more had the goal been a substantive debate.
The overarching question in every presidential election is America's future — which of the competing visions will prevail — but the stakes are higher today. With the advance of Obamaism — the fundamental transformation of America — we must decide whether we'll have the America President Obama envisions or the one grounded in the American idea. We are no longer witnessing the slow, incremental march of socialism; we're seeing statism piloting a jet plane.
The left is pushing its vision full-bore. But will the right respond with equal vigor? To do that, we will have to come to terms with our stark choices.
Do we want:
—A handful of blindfolded central planners flailing dizzily at 300 million pinatas or the market's omniscient invisible hand, which dispassionately picks winners and losers for the good of the whole?
—Utopians punishing achievers and forcing equality of outcomes or constitutionalists promoting equality of opportunity?
—Politicians creating endless classes of victims or statesmen who will forgo demagoguery and lift everyone up?
—A Balkanized America whose ruling class dehumanizes people through identity politics and soft bigotry or an America that aspires to color- and gender-blindness?
—To leave our borders unprotected and vulnerable to invasion or to control our immigration process and encourage assimilation?
—A nation where political correctness selectively smothers free speech and religion or one that fosters our essential civil liberties?
—An America crippled by false promises of cradle-to-grave security or one grounded in liberty for all — one paralyzed by taxes and regulations or one poised for robust growth, which only freedom can bring?
—Socialized medicine, with its soaring costs and plummeting quality and choices, or free market solutions to reverse these problems?
—To bankrupt our country or to take the difficult steps to ensure its solvency?
—To surrender our sovereignty to global entities that actively oppose the American idea or to preserve our independence and remain a unique force for good throughout the world?
—An America in perpetual decline and conducting from the caboose or one that maintains peace through strength for our allies and ourselves?
There is a breathtaking contrast between the two visions, and we must ultimately unite around a candidate who recognizes the gravity of our circumstances and the urgency of implementing corrective measures. You can be sure the left fully understands the chasm that separates these visions.
I once asked whether Obama would finally change the nation enough that he would begin to like it. Apparently, we're approaching that point.
After slamming America to everyone who would listen for seven years and using and abusing every tool at his disposal to radically remold it, he's now telling us how wonderful it is.
He said: "I'm here to say that there's nothing particularly patriotic or American about talking down America, especially when we stand as one of the few sources of economic strength in the world. ... America's winning right now. America's great right now."
But no matter how much destruction he's wrought, a leftist's work is never done. He is touting his progress, all right, but he also knows he's got more mischief to make. He admitted as much when he announced he will resume community organizing when he leaves office. In this new role, he could be more of a societal menace than Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton combined.
Our work is cut out for us. Just winning the election won't be enough. That's why we have to pay close attention and choose the person most capable and willing to fight for America's salvation. From now on, a serious discussion of the issues is nonnegotiable.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh091815.php3#VtEceTgphBqOpJ4z.99
Europe Is Making a Fatal Mistake
By Dennis Prager
Allowing millions of Syrians and others from the Muslim Middle East into Europe will end up a catastrophe for Europe, and therefore for the West.
This may be the most difficult sentence I have ever written. Little seems more obviously moral than to allow these benighted Syrians, Iraqis and others to flee from hell into heaven. Therefore, arguing against allowing large numbers of them into Europe (and the United States) seems to be advocating for something that is heartless and just morally wrong.
Also, as a Jew, I am particularly sensitive to any parallels to the Holocaust. And looking at photos and videos of families trying to escape Syria, where two monsters — the Assad regime and the Islamic State — are devouring each other and hundreds of thousands in their way, how can I not think back to a time when Jews sought to escape the Nazi monster devouring them?
It was precisely this thinking that led the distinguished former chief rabbi of the United Kingdom, Jonathan Sacks, to write a moving column for The Guardian, comparing the Syrian refugees to the Jews of Europe before and during the Holocaust:
"One of the dark moments in that history occurred in July 1938, when representatives of 32 countries gathered in the French spa town of Evian to discuss the humanitarian disaster that everyone knew was about to overtake the Jews of Europe wherever Hitler's Germany held sway. Jews were desperate to leave. ... Yet country after country shut its doors. Nation after nation in effect said it wasn't their problem."
How does an ethically motivated person — Jew or non-Jew — deal with the emotionally powerful Holocaust argument?
For one thing, the parallels are far from precise.
Every Jew in Nazi-occupied Europe — man, woman, child, baby — was targeted for death. The Syrian people are not targeted for death. The only such targets in the Middle East — aside from the Jews of Israel — are Christians and Yazidis, every one of whom should most definitely be allowed into Europe and the United States.
The parallel is also imprecise because the vast majority of the Jews of Germany and many other European countries were assimilated citizens of their respective countries, who thoroughly embraced Western culture and values. In contrast, most of the Muslims of the Middle East — and the largely Muslim population (from non-Arab countries) already in Europe — hold values that are not merely different from, but opposed to, those of Europe.
It is not as if Europe has no experience with large numbers of Muslim immigrants. And the experience has been largely negative. Most European countries are bad at assimilating people from other cultures, especially from Muslim cultures. And large numbers of people from Muslim cultures are bad at assimilating into non-Muslim cultures.
Many Muslim immigrants in the UK, France and Sweden live in Muslim ghettoes and have not assimilated. Moreover, and of particular importance, children of the immigrants — the ones born and raised in European countries — are usually the most radical and anti-Western. It is worth recalling that the 9/11 terror attack on America was planned by Muslim immigrants living in Germany. Muhammad Atta, the leader, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ziad Jarrah, Said Bahaji and Marwan al-Shehhi had lived in Germany for between five and eight years respectively. Bahaji was born in Germany.
So, then, why would any European leader assume that things will turn out better with a million or more new Muslim immigrants from the Middle East? Or assume that the number will stop at 800,000?
And on what moral basis can the EU object to bringing in the million and a half mostly non-Muslim Nigerians who have fled their homes due to Boko Haram terror and the Islamist government war in that country?
Europe means well in taking in a million refugees from the Middle East. But when good intentions trump experience and wisdom, you're asking for trouble — in this case, civilization-threatening trouble.
First, many of the children of these immigrants will not remember Assad or ISIS and will resent their likely inferior socioeconomic status and lack of full integration into European society. They will then cause havoc in Europe.
Second, the economic growth and unemployment rates of the EU countries — including Germany — are not robust enough to handle a vast number of newcomers. And as the British writer Janet Daly pointed out in The Telegraph, what about "the pressures on their hospitals and GPs' surgeries, and of shortages of housing and school places"?
Third, it is as certain as night follows day that Islamic State and other terror groups will place terrorists among the refugees coming into Europe.
Fourth, as a result of the three arguments above, some European countries will be threatened by far-right political movements that will arise in opposition to the threat to their national identity, values and economy.
None of this means Europe and America should do nothing. Indeed, it was precisely Europe and America doing nothing about Assad that helped to create this horror. The West should supply the good guys in the Muslim Middle East — the Kurds — with vast amounts of military hardware. And we should spend — and demand that rich Arab states spend — upward of a billion dollars to help feed and clothe Syrians who flee to neighboring countries. One day, after all, the Syrian civil war will end, and they can again be financially aided to return home. Then real good will be done. And Europe will be spared the choice of Islamization or civil war.
Finally, though some on the left will inevitably label this outlook racist, that is nothing more than a smear designed to avoid confronting the real issue: values, not race. If the Kurds, who are also Middle East Muslims, wished to move to Europe and America, we should welcome them with enthusiasm — because they share our values. That's what this is about.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0915/prager091615.php3#gyC8oW4ZgKefH2SF.99
The Establishment Birthed Trump
By David Limbaugh
Much of the establishment's criticism of Donald Trump comes from its failure to comprehend the reasons for his soaring popularity.
Establishment types seem untroubled by the problems facing America, so they can't understand the urgency that fathered Trump's rise. Minor adjustments to the Hindenburg's dining room menu just aren't going to get it.
Their overwrought analysis, their hand-wringing and their contemptuousness for Trump betray a disdain not only for Trump but for Americans who recognize the gravity of America's predicament — and who, in desperation, have turned to Trump for bold action.
It's hard to overstate Americans' concern for the state of the nation. Horrified by President Obama's Sherman-esque march through America, they are tired of hearing that nothing can be done. They are through with empty promises from establishment politicians.
People are tired of Obama's pitting blacks against whites, women against men, gays against heterosexuals, rich against poor, non-taxpayers against taxpayers, citizens against cops and non-Christians against Christians. They can no longer stomach Obama's apologizing for America and excusing terrorists while rushing to attack Christians at every turn.
People are sick of being called racists for things that happened in this country before they were born or before they could vote, for opposing Obama's destructive agenda, or for simply being Republicans. They abhor the war on cops orchestrated by racial hucksters and pandering politicians. They are incredulous that any president would deliberately engineer America's decline and degrade our military. They are tired of the nation's chief executive officer's flouting laws and thwarting the people's will.
Americans are sick of Obama's trashing America's founding, assaulting capitalism, and bellowing about man-made global warming as a pretense to impose more liberty-smothering regulations. They are nauseated by politicians who are more interested in bipartisanship with scofflaws than with saving the nation.
People are mortified by the nation's fiscal instability, its unbridled national debt, its spiraling entitlements and Washington's refusal to address them. They are sick of the fraudulent spending "cuts." They have had their fill of the lies, especially about Obamacare, whose costs dwarf Obama's promised projections and are getting worse. They've reached their limit with this administration's rewarding unemployment and punishing work, its honoring socialism and demonizing capitalism.
People are sick of politically correct bullies. They are exhausted by lectures about not paying their fair share when half the income earners don't pay income taxes. They are fed up with lies about decreasing unemployment rates when tens of millions have dropped out of the workforce.
Every other week, we face a new existential threat to the nation — threats perpetrated or enabled by Obama and the Washington establishment. But the establishment meets these perils with barely disguised indifference. Islamic terrorism is overrunning the Middle East and has reached our mainland, and Obama doesn't dare whisper its name. Obama refuses to enforce the borders; he orders his administration not to enforce immigration laws; he lawlessly grants amnesty to millions of immigrants who are here illegally; and he and his party set up sanctuary cities that harbor criminal immigrants.
Last year, we faced an invasion from Central America; now, in the name of compassion, we are inviting in Syrian refugees — some 72 percent of whom are curiously men. Are we afraid to wonder aloud whether those who sidestep the legal immigration process will embrace the American idea? Whether they will end up on the welfare rolls?
With Congress' help, Obama bypassed the Constitution's treaty clause and entered into a reckless, non-verifiable nuke deal with Iran and will give the Iranians a $150 billion signing bonus to fund terrorism and build ballistic missiles.
So where does that leave us?
People have heard one too many times that the Republican Party, if it regains control, will turn things around. Republicans have been so timid in opposing Obama's agenda that many have quit believing they'll reverse this madness if they acquire full control.
Along comes Trump, who gives voice to these legitimate grievances instead of calling people racist, selfish or hysterical. He emphasizes the urgency of these problems, and he denounces the status quo, the establishment, Washington inertia and political correctness without an ounce of apology. People are dehydrated, and he's their Gatorade.
Whether Trump could or would deliver on his promises is one thing, but the establishment's arrogant failure to acknowledge, let alone decry the horror of, the status quo is his lifeblood. If Trump is a monster, the establishment is Dr. Frankenstein, so please spare us the lectures.
I happen to prefer other candidates, and certain things about Trump make me nervous; but I appreciate that he is shaking things up, and I refuse to belittle Trump's supporters for believing he would be more effective than many of his establishment rivals. Our forefathers' precious gift of liberty to us is not self-sustaining, and if we don't quit kicking it to the curb, it will leave us, never to return.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh091515.php3#OL2ogJGfS3faXXx2.99
School Days, School Day
By Michael Reagan
When I first read that the San Francisco Board of Education voted unanimously to give 107 students high school diplomas, even though the students has not met the requirements for graduation, I naturally assumed it was a case of educrats bending the rules to boost graduation statistics.
But when I looked at the situation more closely, the board's action was fair and made sense.
The San Francisco board's vote was a response to the high—handed decision from the California Department of Education that suddenly canceled the required high school exit exam. Those 107 students from San Francisco International High arrived at the testing center only to find there was no test and no way to get their diploma, since state law requires passing the test before a diploma is issued.
High school students can try to pass the test beginning as early as their sophomore year and continue to attempt to pass for the rest of their high school career. The fact the vast majority of students taking the test fail it is a damning commentary of the state of education here.
KQED reports, "According to state data, last summer 4,847 math tests were given with 1,286 (26.5 percent) students passing and 5,826 English Language Arts tests were given with 1,248 (21.4 percent) students passing."
That's a quality control standard so bad it makes Chinese sheet rock manufacturers look like the picture of high standards.
Since students obviously can't pass the test, California educrats are presented with two choices: Improve education so students are learning and not simply warming a chair, or change the test. Naturally California decided to change the test, and I don't think the goal is to make it harder.
State bureaucrats decided to cancel "because the exam does not reflect the new state academic standards."
Then, after ruining thousand's of seniors attempt to graduate, the department went to the legislature to ask them to retroactively remove the testing requirement for three years so the monkeys at the state department of education can type up a new test.
In other words, in typical bureaucracy fashion, out—of—touch educrats happily put the cart before the horse and were shocked the ride was so dangerous.
No one bothered to think that suddenly changing the rules of the game in the 4th quarter might be controversial for the players.
When informed about the problem with students planning to go to college state Deputy Superintendent Keric Ashley breezily told the San Francisco Chronicle, "Our hope is that the few students who find themselves in this situation will only have to defer their dreams of attending the college of their choice for one semester. In the meantime, there are other options available to these students, including our California Community Colleges. I received excellent preparation at my local community college before attending university."
Which is the way elite bureaucrats dismiss the concerns of the little people whose lives they've disrupted.
So for at least once the San Francisco board has done the right thing. Congratulations. Try to make it a habit.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan090415.php3#6UmlQf0hg6K5Qo2V.99
Putin's gambit, Obama's puzzlement
By Charles Krauthammer
Once again, President Obama and his foreign policy team are stumped. Why is Vladimir Putin pouring troops and weaponry into Syria? After all, as Secretary of State John Kerry has thrice told his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, it is only making things worse.
But worse for whom? For the additional thousands of civilians who will die or flee as a result of the inevitably intensified fighting. True, and I'm sure Lavrov is as moved by their plight as by the 8,000 killed in Russia's splendid little Ukrainian adventure.
Kerry and Obama are serially surprised because they cannot fathom the hard men in the Kremlin. Yet Putin's objectives in Syria are blindingly obvious:
1. To assert Russia's influence in the Middle East and make it the dominant outside power. Putin's highest ambition is to avenge and reverse Russia's humiliating loss of superpower status a quarter-century ago. Understanding this does not come easily to an American president who for seven years has been assiduously curating America's decline abroad.
2. To sustain Russia's major and long-standing Arab ally. Ever since Anwar Sadat kicked the Soviets out of Egypt in 1972, Syria's Assads have been Russia's principal asset in the Middle East.
3. To expand the reach of Russia's own military. It has a naval base at Tartus, its only such outside of Russia. It has an airfield near Latakia, now being expanded with an infusion of battle tanks, armored personnel carriers, howitzers and housing for 1,500 — strongly suggesting ground forces to follow.
4. To push out the Americans. For Putin, geopolitics is a zero-sum game: Russia up, America down. He is demonstrating whom you can rely on in this very tough neighborhood. Obama has given short shrift to the Kurds, shafted U.S. allies with the Iran deal and abandoned the Anbar Sunnis who helped us win the surge. Meanwhile, Putin risks putting Russian boots on the ground to rescue his Syrian allies.
Obama says Bashar al-Assad has to go, draws a red line on chemical weapons — and does nothing. Russia acts on behalf of a desperate ally. Whom do you want in your corner?
5. To re-legitimize post-Crimea Russia by making it indispensable in Syria. It's a neat two-cushion shot. At the United Nations next week, Putin will offer Russia as a core member of a new anti-Islamic State coalition. Obama's Potemkin war — with its phantom local troops (our $500 million training program has yielded five fighters so far) and flaccid air campaign — is flailing badly. What Putin is proposing is that Russia, Iran and Hezbollah spearhead the anti-jihadist fight.
Putin's offer is clear: Stop fighting Assad, accept Russia as a major player and acquiesce to a Russia-Iran-Hezbollah regional hegemony — and we will lead the drive against the Islamic State from in front.
And there is a bonus. The cleverest part of the Putin gambit is its unstated cure for Europe's refugee crisis.
Wracked by guilt and fear, the Europeans have no idea what to do. Putin offers a way out: No war, no refugees. Stop the Syrian civil war and not only do they stop flooding into Europe, those already there go back home to Syria.
Putin says, settle the war with my client in place — the Assad regime joined by a few "healthy" opposition forces — and I solve your refugee nightmare.
You almost have to admire the cynicism. After all, what's driving the refugees is the war and what's driving the war is Iran and Russia. They provide the materiel, the funds and now, increasingly, the troops that fuel the fighting. The arsonist plays fireman.
After all, most of the refugees are not fleeing the Islamic State. Its depravity is more ostentatious, but it is mostly visited upon minorities, Christian and Yazidi — and they have already been largely ethnically cleansed from Islamic State territory. The European detention camps are overflowing with Syrians fleeing Assad's barbarism, especially his attacks on civilians, using artillery, chlorine gas and nail-filled barrel bombs.
Putin to the rescue. As with the chemical weapons debacle, he steps in to save the day. If we acquiesce, Russia becomes an indispensable partner. It begins military and diplomatic coordination with us. (We've just agreed to negotiations over Russia's Syrian buildup.) Its post-Ukraine isolation is lifted and, with Iran, it becomes the regional arbiter.
In the end, the Putin strategy may not work, but it's deadly serious and not at all obscure. The White House can stop scratching its collective head whenever another Condor transport unloads its tanks and marines at Latakia.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer091815.php3#BwhbzrcvSSOLj8TE.99
Attack on Teachers
By Walter Williams
As the new school year begins, you might like to be updated on some school happenings that will no doubt be repeated this academic year. After this update, I have some questions one might ask the black leadership.
The ongoing and escalating assault on primary- and secondary-school teachers is not a pretty sight. Holly Houston is a post-traumatic stress specialist. She counsels teachers in Chicago public schools and reported, "Of the teachers that I have counseled over the years who have been assaulted, 100 percent of them have satisfied diagnostic criteria for PTSD." It's not just big-city schoolteachers traumatized. Dr. Darlyne Nemeth, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, said last year, "I have treated many teachers with PTSD, and I am currently following a few of them."
A Philadelphia seventh-grade girl with a history of incidents against her teacher sprayed perfume in the teacher's face after telling her that she smelled "like old white pussy." After telling her classmates "I'm about to kick this bitch's white ass," she shoved the teacher, knocking her to the floor. In 2014, a Philadelphia 68-year-old substitute teacher was knocked out cold by a student (http://tinyurl.com/orldslb). Earlier that year, two other teachers in the same school were assaulted. By the way, Philadelphia schools employ close to 400 school police officers.
In a school district near St. Louis, teachers have had pepper spray and dog repellant sprayed in their faces. A Baltimore teacher had his jaw broken. In Baltimore, each school day in 2010, an average of four teachers and staff were assaulted. A 325-pound high-school student in Houston knocked out his 66-year-old female teacher (http://tinyurl.com/oqxmrfg). Nationally, an average of 1,175 teachers and staff were physically attacked each day of the 2011-12 school year.
School violence is going to get worse. Last year, the Obama administration sent all the school districts in the country a letter warning them to avoid racial bias when suspending or expelling students. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan claimed that racial discrimination in the administration of discipline is "a real problem today. It's not just an issue from 30 or 40 or 50 years ago." Last year, in Washington, D.C., an official of a teachers union tried to explain to a national gathering of black elected officials why white teachers are so problematic for black students, saying they just do not understand black culture. Excuses and calls for leniency will embolden school thugs.
What about student conduct in the 1930s, '40s and '50s? Don't take my word. Ask black congressional representatives, 46 percent of whom were born in the '20s, '30s or '40s. Start off with Reps. John Conyers (86), Charles Rangel (85), Eddie Bernice Johnson (79), Alcee Hastings (79) and Maxine Waters (77). Ask them whether their parents or kin would have tolerated their assaulting and cursing teachers or any other adult. Ask them what would have happened to them had they assaulted or cursed a teacher or adult. Ask whether their parents would have accepted the grossly disrespectful behavior seen among many black youngsters in public places — for example, using foul language and racial epithets. I'd bet the rent money that they won't tell you that their parents would have called for a "timeout." Instead, they will tell you that they would have felt pain in their hind parts. Then ask these leaders why today's blacks should accept behavior that previous generations would not.
The sorry and tragic state of black education and its attendant problems will not be turned around until there's a change in what's acceptable behavior and what's unacceptable behavior. That change must come from within the black community. By the way, it is an idiotic argument to suggest that white teachers are problematic for black students because they don't know the culture. I'm nearly 80 years old, and during my North Philadelphia school years, in schools that were predominantly black, at best there may have been three black teachers.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams091615.php3#LAW5kBMOkwFbLkWF.99
Opportunity Versus Outcomes
By Thomas Sowell
A hostile review of my new book — "Wealth, Poverty and Politics" —
(Buy it at a 45% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 48% discount by clicking here)
said, "there is apparently no level of inequality of income or opportunity that Thomas Sowell would consider unacceptable."
Ordinarily, reviewers who miss the whole point of a book they are reviewing can be ignored. But this particular confusion about what opportunity means is far too widespread, far beyond a particular reviewer of a particular book. That makes it a confusion worth clearing up, because it affects so many other discussions of very serious issues.
"Wealth, Poverty and Politics" does not accept inequality of opportunity. Instead, it reports such things as children raised in low-income families usually not being spoken to nearly as often as children raised in high-income families. The conclusion: "It is painful to contemplate what that means cumulatively over the years, as poor children are handicapped from their earliest childhood."
Even if all the doors of opportunity are wide open, children raised with great amounts of parental care and attention are far more likely to be able to walk through those doors than children who have received much less attention. Why else do conscientious parents invest so much time and effort in raising their children? This is so obvious that you would have to be an intellectual to able to misconstrue it. Yet many among the intelligentsia equate differences in outcomes with differences in opportunity. A personal example may help clarify the difference.
As a teenager, I tried briefly to play basketball. But I was lucky to hit the backboard, much less the basket. Yet I had just as much opportunity to play basketball as Michael Jordan had. But equal opportunity was not nearly enough to create equal outcomes.
Nevertheless, many studies today conclude that different groups do not have equal opportunity or equal "access" to credit, or admission to selective colleges, or to many other things, because some groups are not successful in achieving their goal as often as other groups are.
The very possibility that not all groups have the same skills or other qualifications is seldom even mentioned, much less examined. But when people with low credit scores are not approved for loans as often as people with high credit scores, is that a lack of opportunity or a failure to meet standards?
When twice as many Asian students as white students pass the tough tests to get into New York's three highly selective public high schools — Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech — does that mean that white students are denied equal opportunity?
As for inequality of incomes, these depend on so many things — including things that no government has control over — that the obsession with statistical "gaps" or "disparities" that some call "inequities" is a major distraction from the more fundamental, and more achievable, goals of promoting a rising standard of living in general and greater opportunity for all.
There was never any serious reason to expect equal economic, educational or other outcomes, either between nations or within nations. "Wealth, Poverty and Politics" examines numerous demographic, geographic, cultural and other differences that make equal outcomes for all a very remote possibility.
To take just one example, in the United States the average age of Japanese Americans is more than 20 years older than the average age of Puerto Ricans. Even if these two groups were absolutely identical in every other way, Japanese Americans would still have a higher average income, because older people in general have more work experience and higher incomes.
Enabling all Americans to prosper and have greater opportunities is a far more achievable goal than equal outcomes. Internationally, the geographic settings in which different nations evolved have been so different that there has been nothing like a level playing field among nations and peoples.
Comparing the standard of living of Americans at the beginning of the 20th century with that at the end shows incredible progress. Most of this economic progress took place without the kind of heady rhetoric, social polarization or violent upheavals that have too often accompanied heedless pursuits of unachievable goals like the elimination of "gaps," "disparities" or "inequities."
Such fashionable fetishes are not helping the poor.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell091615.php3#zrGUtDLQeKobBgcE.99
The Left Sees Only White Evil
By Dennis Prager
In the past week, two television reporters in Roanoke, Va. — Alison Parker and Adam Ward — were murdered by a black man who hated whites, and a white police officer in Houston — Darren Goforth — was murdered by a black man. Neither crime has been labeled a hate crime. And no mainstream media reporting of the murders attributes either to race-based hate.
For the mainstream media, the Roanoke murders were committed by "a disgruntled former employee," and regarding the Houston policeman, the media report that, in the words of The New York Times, "a motive for the shooting remained unclear."
The disregard of anti-white hatred as the motive for blacks who murder whites even when the murder is obviously racially motivated comes from the same people who denied that the Islamist Nidal Hasan's murder of 13 fellow soldiers at Fort Hood was religiously motivated. These people — all on the left — have an agenda: to deny black racism and Islamist-based violence whenever possible. Only white police and other white violence against non-whites is clearly racist — even when not.
Thus, President Barack Obama convened a "White House Summit on Countering Violent Extremism" rather than a "White House Summit on Countering Islamist Violence." Though the summit was convened the month following the Islamist massacre of the Charlie Hebdo staff in Paris, the words "Islam," "Muslim" and "Islamist" did not once appear in the White House's 1,668-word fact sheet on the summit. The Obama administration went so far as to label Hasan's murders of his fellow soldiers "workplace violence."
So, too, the mainstream media depicted the black murderer of eight white people at a Connecticut beer warehouse in 2010 as a man who had been angered by white racism, not as the white-hater he was. Under the headline "Troubles Preceded Connecticut Workplace Killing," a New York Times article reported: "He might also have had cause to be angry: He had complained to his girlfriend of being racially harassed at work, the woman's mother said, and lamented that his grievances had gone unaddressed."
And a Washington Post headline read: "Beer warehouse shooter long complained of racism."
The fact was that the man was fired for stealing beer from his workplace, and there was a video of him doing so.
The left denies black racism in another way. When a white racist murdered nine blacks in a Charleston, S.C., church this past June, the left and the media correctly stressed the murderer's racism. Indeed, whenever blacks are killed by whites — which, it is worth noting, is many times less likely than a white being murdered by a black — and especially by white police officers, the left attributes the killings to racism. But when blacks kill whites, the left attributes the killings to guns. This is all reinforced by the left's position that only whites can be racist, because only the powerful can be racist, and whites have all the power.
Parker's grieving and enraged parents provide an example of this thinking. They have entirely ignored the racism of their daughter's murderer and concentrated exclusively on the issue of gun control.
How tragic that the Parkers would not channel their grief and rage into a different campaign, one that actually addresses the reason for their daughter's murder and might prevent future murders: a campaign against the fomenting of anti-white hatred among black Americans.
After a lifetime of studying and writing about evil, I have come up with an equation that explains most of it. Coincidentally, the equation actually spells the word. The equation is Evil = Victimhood + Lies. Or E=V+L.
Either victimhood or lies is enough to produce great evil. Together, they constitute the components of ultimate evil.
The left has been supplying both victimhood and lies to black America. The lies are that America is a racist society — as the president of the United States himself has said, racism is "still part of (America's) DNA" — that the greatest problem facing young blacks is racism, and that white (and even black) police routinely kill blacks for no reason other than racism. One of the best examples of this lie is the left's use of the word "Ferguson" as an example of white police killing innocent young black men. The extensive investigation into what actually happened in Ferguson (by both local authorities and the U.S. Department of Justice led by then-Attorney General Eric Holder) revealed no such thing. Yet even Obama continues to use the term "Ferguson" as an exemplar of police racism.
Those lies in turn produce the anger-inducing victimhood that pervades too much of black life. Just this past weekend at the Minneapolis State Fair, a "Black Lives Matter" group chanted, "Pigs in a blanket, fry 'em like bacon."
Some blacks — as in Houston this past weekend and in Louisiana two weeks earlier when a black man murdered another white policeman — are taking this message literally and randomly murdering police officers. And some other blacks just want to kill whites, whether or not they are police. Such is the power of victimhood and lies.
There is a lot of blood on the left's hands. And there will be more.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0915/prager090115.php3#ulxqSLEkO49i4gQJ.99
Expect More Tyranny and Thus More Kim Davises
By David Limbaugh
Why do so many who castigate Kim Davis for flouting the law routinely cheer on President Obama for actions far more lawless and consequential?
Why are those demonizing the Rowan County, Kentucky, clerk so indifferent to the Supreme Court's rank abuse of power that created the atmosphere of conflict from which her actions arose?
Who died and made the Supreme Court god? Well, the Supreme Court made itself god in 1803, with the case of Marbury v. Madison, in which it asserted its power of judicial review — the right to declare acts of the legislative and executive branches unconstitutional.
The Constitution guarantees liberty by conferring powers and imposing restraints on the government. If one branch can, with impunity, inflate its powers by ignoring the plain language and original intent of the Framers, then how can the Constitution do its job?
From the beginning, people have debated the Supreme Court's propriety in establishing itself as the final arbiter of the Constitution, seeing as the Constitution does not expressly grant this power to the court. But the principle is now permanently enshrined.
Judicial review works best, if applied by honorable judges who respect our republican system and will honor the rule of law themselves. But sadly, the court has often rewritten laws instead of interpreting them, making itself an enemy — rather than a guardian — of liberty.
In Wickard v. Filburn (1942), for example, it grossly contorted the Constitution's interstate commerce clause and allowed Congress to regulate intrastate matters that had but the remotest connection to interstate commerce. Since then, there has been virtually no matter too local for Congress to regulate. The court also rewrote the plain language of the Constitution in the landmark abortion cases of Roe v. Wade and Doe v. Bolton in 1973 and thereby severely restricted the states' power to regulate abortion.
Examples of such judicial tyranny abound, as activist judges are innovative in reshaping the Constitution to serve their policy agenda. The court tied itself into linguistic knots to avoid overturning Obamacare. Chief Justice John Roberts would have done far less damage to his integrity had he just issued a summary decree rather than a convoluted opinion explaining that two plus two equals five. When he had a second bite of the apple, he disgracefully compounded his sin instead of opting for a noble path of redemption.
Surrealistically, he wrote a scathing dissent in the Obergefell v. Hodges case, lambasting the majority for adding two and two and getting five. He blasted the court for "stealing" the issue of same-sex marriage "from the people" by taking "the extraordinary step of ordering every State to license and recognize same-sex marriage." "But this Court is not a legislature," wrote Roberts. "Whether same-sex marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us. Under the Constitution, judges have power to say what the law is, not what it should be. The people who ratified the Constitution authorized courts to exercise 'neither force nor will but merely judgment.'"
Finally, Roberts got it right. There is not an iota of legitimacy in the court's lawless edict making same-sex marriage a constitutional right.
Hardly with clairvoyance, critics predicted that this fiat was on a collision course with religious liberty, but scoffers scoffed. Please don't tell us that Kim Davis was spoiling for a fight. She was democratically elected to issue marriage licenses in a state that did not recognize same-sex marriage. As a recently converted Christian, she refused to issue or allow her deputy to issue licenses for same-sex marriage under her name, and she instantly became Lizzie Borden.
Despite what propagandists say, Christians aren't haters, and they are not the aggressors in this dispute. They are not the ones spewing hatred or lawlessly shoving their views down their opponents' throats.
I am a rule-of-law guy, and my natural instinct is to side against a person who ignores or disobeys laws, even if I, too, believe they are wrong. As much as I agreed with Roy Moore's position on the Ten Commandments, I parted ways with him in defying the order of the court.
But there is so much wrong with this case that I am somewhat conflicted. The Supreme Court assaulted the Constitution and the democratic process in Obergefell. If it can say the 14th Amendment guarantees same-sex marriage, it can pretty much say any clause says anything. Its reasoning isn't a harmless fiction; it's Orwellian totalitarianism.
Then there's the matter of the left's hypocrisy and the right's complacency. State officials in California have defied laws on marriage and sanctuary cities with barely a whimper. Obama has flouted the Constitution repeatedly with impunity.
Authorities could have easily accommodated Davis and issued these licenses without affixing her signature and violating her conscience. But that wouldn't be enough because the left rejects the conscience rights of its opponents, under the Orwellian principle that some are more equal than others.
Just as with the case of the Lakewood, Colorado, bakery that refused to cater a same-sex wedding, the left isn't just seeking freedoms. It wants to force its opponents into submission. No, it demands the full-throated endorsement of its ideas.
It is very sad to say, but we're going to see more Kim Davises until we see less tyranny.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh091115.php3#6tTjVDvliWK2OKYz.99
Cutting Red Tape
By John Stossel
I'm upset that the presidential candidates, all of them, rarely mention a huge problem: the quiet cancer that kills opportunity — regulation. The accumulated burden of it is the reason that America is stuck in the slowest economic recovery since the Depression.
I understand why candidates don't talk about it: Regulation is boring. But it's important.
The founders of this republic were willing to die rather than be subject to other people's rules. Today we are so accustomed to bureaucracy that we've forgotten what it means to be free.
We now have a million rules — many so complex that even legal specialists can't understand them. Yet bureaucrats keep writing more. And 22 million people work for government!
Okay, that wasn't fair. Many of those 22 million deliver mail, build roads and do things we consider useful. But at least a million are bureaucrats. And if you are a rule-maker and you don't create new rules, you think you're not doing your job.
On his "Grumpy Economist" blog, the Hoover Institution's John Cochrane points out that most of these rule-makers were never even elected, and legislatures rarely vote on their new rules. Yet "Regulators can ruin your life, and your business, very quickly, and you have very little recourse."
Regulators have vast power to oppress.
Their power not only hurts the economy, it threatens our political freedom, says Cochran. "What banker dares to speak out against the Fed? ... What hospital or health insurer dares to speak out against HHS or ObamaCare? ... What real estate developer needing zoning approval dares to speak out against the local zoning board? The agencies demand political support for themselves first of all."
Speaking up will bring unwanted attention to your project, extra delays, maybe retaliation. It's safer to keep your mouth shut. We learn to be passive and put up with more layers of red tape.
Fortunately, a few Americans resist. At Boston's Children's Hospital, head cardiologist Dr. Robert Gross dismissed Dr. Helen Taussig's new idea for a surgical cure for "blue-baby syndrome." He wanted to do things by the book. So she took the technique to Johns Hopkins Hospital instead. It worked. You don't hear much about blue-baby syndrome anymore. The embarrassed Gross went on to tell the story many times to teach medical students to listen to new ideas. Breaking the rules saved lives.
But that happened years ago. Few doctors break the rules today. The consequences are too severe.
American entrepreneurs took advantage of a "permissionless economy" to create Google, Facebook, Amazon, etc., but they could accomplish that only because Washington's bureaucrats didn't know enough about what they were doing to slow them down.
Now regulators have their claws in every cranny of the Internet. Innovation will be much more difficult.
Today's regulations are often vague. A typical edict: "The firm shall not engage in abusive practices." That sounds reasonable, but what is "abusive"? The regulator decides. Compliance is your problem.
If you have the misfortune to be noticed by the bureaucracy, or maybe a business rival complains about you, your idea dies and you go broke paying lawyers.
European regulators have adopted something even worse, called "the Precautionary Principle." It states that you may not sell something until it has been "proven safe." That too sounds reasonable, unless you realize that it also means: "Don't try anything for the first time."
Since we don't know all the rules, we're never quite sure if we're breaking any. Better to keep your head down.
And sometimes the rule-makers really are out to get you. Nixon used the IRS against political enemies. So did Obama IRS appointee Lois Lerner.
It's time for Americans to fight back. As Gen. Douglas MacArthur said, "You are remembered by the rules you break."
America became the most innovative and prosperous nation in history because many Americans were adventurous, individualistic people willing to take big risks to discover things that might make life better.
Every day, bureaucrats do more to kill those opportunities. We'll never know what good things we might have today had some bureaucrat not said "no."
Presidential candidates ought to scream about that.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0915/stossel090915.php3#hiCJ4WiRyoOWkOxp.99
Why the Left Loves 'Change' Left-Right Differences: Part VIII
By Dennis Prager
"We are the change that we seek"
"Hope and Change"
These statements and campaign slogans of candidate Barack Obama in 2008 exemplified a basic difference between the Left and Right. The further left one goes the greater the belief in change. Conservatives, on the other hand, as their name implies, wish to conserve unless there is a pressing need to change, and as certainly happens on occasion.
The problem therefore, is not change; it is change for the sake of change and changing what has been proven to work well — artistically, economically, morally and in every other non-scientific (medical, technological, etc.) area of life.
The arts provide a clear example. Virtually all the criteria of excellence in the arts have been abandoned by the Left's love of change. For well over a century, the leftist ideal in the arts has been change — "innovation" as it is often called. The artistic criteria of the ages were abandoned. What came to matter most was "new," "different," and "pushing the envelope."
Sure, Bach, Beethoven, and Mozart were great in their time. But that's old stuff. We need a new way of composing music. So all the bases of classical music — melody, harmony, rhythm, and even a tonal key — were abandoned.
All those old rules were too constricting.
By abandoning tonality, melody, and harmony a vast amount of meaningless sounds, though still called music, was written. John Cage, a leading American composer of the "avant-garde," actually "composed" a work — "4'33" — in which the "performer," usually at a piano, sits for 4 minutes and 33 seconds doing nothing. Not a note is played. There is only silence.
In a serious TED talk, a professor at the University of Manchester explained Cage's intent: Cage is "a bit sick and tired of the same old thing: going to concerts, listening to performances of works that are very familiar to us."
Perfectly put. The progressive, the avant-garde, and the innovators — they are sick and tired of the same old thing. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art features a "sculpture" called "Levitated Mass," which is nothing more than a 340-ton rock held up by the two sidewalls of a concrete trench. A few miles away, the Orange County Museum of Art features "Bad Dog," a 28-foot sculpture of a dog with its leg raised peeing yellow paint.
These works of "art" are not "the same old thing." They exemplify change. And that's what matters.
In education, the Left constantly seeks change — new ways to teach, no matter how successful previous methods have been. Generations of Americans learned to read by using the phonics method: A child looks at each letter in a word, pronounces the sound associated with that letter, and then puts the sounds together to pronounce the word. Generations of students thereby learned to read quickly and fluently. Beginning in the 1980s, the new educators, "reformers" of the Left, dropped phonics in favor of the "whole language" method that attempts to teach children to recognize whole words. The Left thus did to reading — and to education generally — what the Left did to classical music: ruined it. The average college freshman in America now reads at level of a seventh grader.
In economics, the Left similarly seeks to change the only economic system that has ever lifted large populations out of poverty — the free enterprise system and democratic capitalism. We need change, the Left tells us, meaning less free enterprise and more government control. Note that for the Left economic change never means less government control, only more — despite the fact that government-run economies fail.
This love of change and pushing the envelope extends, of course, to sex. Age-old notions that it's best to wait until marriage to have sexual intercourse, and that men and women should be married before having children are held in contempt by the Left. The results of this "new and improved" attitude have been disastrous for men, for women, and for children. The new notions have only increased human suffering and sadness.
Now, then, given that they live in the country with the greatest amount of freedom and prosperity for the greatest number of people, why are so many Americans so attracted to "change"? If one lives in a terrible country — a Communist, Fascist, Islamist, or a war-torn one — it is perfectly understandable that people will yearn for change. But how to explain the yearning for constant change in one of the best countries that has ever existed? How does one explain, for example, the wild applause given by thousands of people to candidate Barack Obama in 2008 when he announced, "We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America"?
To "fundamentally transform," after all, is to engage in radical change. Were these people living in Iran under a theocratic tyranny? In a fascist dictatorship? No, they were middle class and upper middle class people with among the highest standards of living and most personal liberty on earth.
So why this love of change?
Here are three reasons:
1. Anyone can now be an artist, poet, and writer. Without traditional standards, all you have to do is push the envelope.
2. The "new" is inherently exciting. And many people, especially the young, live for excitement.
3. According to just about every poll, people on the Left are less happy than conservatives. And instead of looking within for the source of their unhappiness, they assume the source is outside of themselves. If only things would "change," they convince themselves, they would finally be happy.
There are times when change is absolutely necessary. But the truth is that outside of technology, "new" rarely means better. The day one understands this, one becomes wiser — and, by definition, conservative.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0915/prager090815.php3#DijfZjkl5XZPZqBy.99
The Iran charade on Capitol Hill
By Charles Krauthammer
Congress is finally having its say on the Iran deal. It will be an elaborate charade, however, because, having first gone to the United Nations, President Obama has largely drained congressional action of relevance. At the Security Council, he pushed through a resolution ratifying the deal, thus officially committing the United States as a nation to its implementation — in advance of any congressional action.
The resolution abolishes the entire legal framework, built over a decade, underlying the international sanctions against Iran. A few months from now, they will be gone.
The script is already written: The International Atomic Energy Agency, relying on Iran's self-inspection (!) of its most sensitive nuclear facility, will declare Iran in compliance. The agreement then goes into effect and Iran's nuclear program is officially deemed peaceful.
Sanctions are lifted. The mullahs receive $100 billion of frozen assets as a signing bonus. Iran begins reaping the economic bonanza, tripling its oil exports and welcoming a stampede of foreign companies back into the country.
It is all precooked. Last month, Britain's foreign secretary traveled to Tehran with an impressive delegation of British companies ready to deal. He was late, however. The Italian and French foreign ministers had already been there, accompanied by their own hungry businessmen and oil companies. Iran is back in business.
As a matter of constitutional decency, the president should have submitted the deal to Congress first. And submitted it as a treaty. Which it obviously is. No international agreement in a generation matches this one in strategic significance and geopolitical gravity.
Obama did not submit it as a treaty because he knew he could never get the constitutionally required votes for ratification. He's not close to getting two-thirds of the Senate. He's not close to getting a simple majority. No wonder: In the latest Pew Research Center poll, the American people oppose the deal by a staggering 28-point margin.
To get around the Constitution, Obama negotiated a swindle that requires him to garner a mere one-third of one house of Congress. Indeed, on Thursday, with just 42 Senate supporters — remember, a treaty requires 67 — the Democrats filibustered and prevented, at least for now, the Senate from voting on the deal at all.
But Obama two months ago enshrined the deal as international law at the U.N. Why should we care about the congressional vote? In order to highlight the illegitimacy of Obama's constitutional runaround and thus make it easier for a future president to overturn the deal, especially if Iran is found to be cheating.
As of now, however, it is done. Iran will be both unleashed — sanctions lifted, economy booming, with no treaty provisions regarding its growing regional aggression and support for terrorists — and welcomed as a good international citizen possessing a peaceful nuclear program. An astonishing trick.
Iran's legitimation will not have to wait a decade, after which, as the Iranian foreign minister boasts, the U.N. file on the Iranian nuclear program will be closed, all restrictions will be dropped and, as Obama himself has admitted, the breakout time to an Iranian bomb will become essentially zero. On the contrary. The legitimation happens now. Early next year, Iran will be officially recognized as a peaceful nuclear nation.
This is a revolution in Iran's international standing, yet its consequences have been largely overlooked. The deal goes beyond merely leaving Iran's nuclear infrastructure intact. Because the deal legitimizes that nuclear program as peaceful (unless proven otherwise — don't hold your breath), it is entitled to international assistance. Hence the astonishing provision buried in Annex III, Section 10, committing Western experts to offering the Iranian program our nuclear expertise.
Specifically "training courses and workshops." On what? Among other things, on how to protect against "sabotage."
Imagine: We are now to protect Iran against, say, the very Stuxnet virus, developed by the NSA and Israel's Unit 8200, that for years disrupted and delayed an Iranian bomb.
Secretary of State John Kerry has darkly warned Israel to not even think about a military strike on the nuclear facilities of a regime whose leader said just Wednesday that Israel will be wiped out within 25 years. The Israelis are now being told additionally — Annex III, Section 10 — that if they attempt just a defensive, nonmilitary cyberattack (a Stuxnet II), the West will help Iran foil it.
Ask those 42 senators if they even know about this provision. And how they can sign on to such a deal without shame and revulsion.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer091115.php3#4hUzSffvVhFv6ipR.99
More Campus Fascism
By David Limbaugh
Is there something in the water in the Washington State University faculty lounge, or are its professors conspiring against common sense?
Three faculty members, showing their contempt for free speech, threatened to punish students who disobeyed them on race, gender or immigration terminology.
The Daily Caller reports that in his "Introduction to Multicultural Literature" syllabus, professor John Streamas warned white students that "to do well in this class," they must "reflect" their "grasp of history and social relations" by "deferring to the experiences of people of color." This professor once berated a student who advocated limits on illegal immigration as "just a white s—-bag."
He continued in his syllabus: "Conservative skeptics wonder why we need to study 'multicultural' texts, suggesting that the only criterion for selecting books should be literary excellence. ... The conservative notion is flawed by the very fact that it is advanced by white people who just happen to think that the very best books and ideas come from white people — they have an investment in proving themselves superior."
There was also this gem: "Finally, understand and consider the rage of people who are victims of systematic injustice. James Baldwin wrote that people of color have an obligation to feel rage over this nation's history of racism. If injustice does not fill you with rage, then perhaps you should ask yourself why."
Professor Selena Lester Breikss told students of her "Women & Popular Culture" class that they would risk "failure for the semester" if they used the terms "males" or "females," because they are "gross generalizations" and "derogatory/oppressive language."
American studies professor Rebecca Fowler advised students they would "suffer a deduction of one point" each time they said "illegal alien."
It would be alarming enough if these mini-despots occasionally sneaked such bizarre ideas into their lectures. It would be worse if they intentionally indoctrinated their students with this poison. But they went further and penalized students who wouldn't echo their views.
To its credit, the school nixed this censorship, forbidding professors to dock students for "using terms that may be deemed offensive to some," saying the practice is "not consistent with the values upon which this university is founded."
I began by asking whether a faculty conspiracy is driving this insanity. I can see one angry kook on any college faculty, but what are the odds of three?
If a conspiracy's afoot, it's clear the university is not on board, thank heavens. But I suspect that something more disturbing than a coordinated effort among professors is at play. It's likelier that leftist groupthink is simply the norm in academia. Leftist dogma, after all, leads to intolerance and oftentimes censorship. It's happening on campuses throughout the country.
A case in point: Bucks County Community College in Pennsylvania fired astronomy professor Dwight Anderson for mentioning God in a farewell letter to his students. He wrote, "If each of us, little by little with God's help, can incorporate these foundation stones of goodness into our lives, we will find an anchor for our lives, which will result in deep and lasting satisfaction through life, and allow us to influence the world for good as we live out our lives."
How far have we fallen when innocent references to God offend us? But that wasn't the professor's first "offense." At the end of an earlier semester, he offered his students Pastor Andy Stanley's book "Since Nobody's Perfect ... How Good Is Good Enough?" Placing one on each of their desks, Anderson said they could accept or reject it without consequence.
One student threatened to tell the administration about the book if Anderson didn't raise his grade. When he refused, the little malcontent blew the whistle, and college officials warned the professor not to do anything "overtly Christian" in the future.
It appears Anderson's letter was the final straw in his evil pattern of events. A disgruntled student reported his "sad" and "disturbing" words to the dean, who promptly terminated him.
What are the chances that this dean would reprimand, much less fire, a professor for sending a letter to his students praising earth goddess Gaia, urging tolerance for Islam or exalting life apart from God?
Would any school rebuke a professor for offering students Richard Dawkins' "The God Delusion," which asserts that belief in God is irrational and that religion has inflicted grievous harm on society?
We all know the answers. Regardless, I am encouraged that many, like Anderson, are starting to fight back against progressivism's excesses — and not just on university campuses. The tyrannical left, with shocking impunity, has overplayed its hand so extensively that people are at the breaking point. Happily, we are seeing this frustration bubble up in the political world, as well.
I predict that one day these arrogant bullies will regret that they finally pushed too far and unleashed an overdue reaction from the long-suffering majority. I can already smell it.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh090415.php3#lEkLVZtqcdWt7SE5.99
Wasn't Always This Way
By Walter Williams
Academics and public intellectuals, who should know better, attempt to explain the highly visible and publicized pathology witnessed in cities such as Baltimore, Detroit, Chicago, Ferguson and others as a legacy of slavery. The argument is made that the problems encountered by many black Americans are rooted in white racism, greed and income inequality. They are able to get away with these untruths because most people believe that what is seen today has always been. A bit of history would belie such a vision.
It would be foolhardy to argue that slavery has had no effect or that racial discrimination, greed and income inequality are nonexistent. The relevant question is: How much of what we see today can be explained by slavery, discrimination, greed and income inequality? The answer to this question is vital for public policy and resource allocation, a matter that I shall return to later.
Let's examine a few of the most crippling problems in the black community. Chief among them is the breakdown of the black family. Actually, "breakdown" is the wrong word; the black family doesn't form in the first place. As late as 1950, female-headed households were only 18 percent of the black population. Today it's close to 70 percent. In the late 1800s, there were only slight differences between the black family structure and those of other ethnic groups. In New York City in 1925, 85 percent of kin-related black households were two-parent households. In 1938, 11 percent of black children were born to single mothers; today it is close to 75 percent. In some cities and neighborhoods, the percentage of out-of-wedlock births is over 80.
Faced with the evidence that black families were healthier at a time when blacks were just a generation or two out of slavery, at a time when there was far greater racial discrimination and there were far fewer opportunities, how much credence can be given to the legacy-of-slavery argument to explain today's weak family structure? Does the effect of a legacy of slavery somehow skip five generations?
Female-headed households, whether black or white, are a ticket for dependency and all of its associated problems. One of the best-kept secrets is the fact that the poverty rate among black married couples has been in single digits since 1994.
Another devastating problem for blacks is the high unemployment rate in general, but particularly among black youth. Nationally, black youth unemployment is nearly 40 percent. In some cities, it is over 60 percent. But high black youth unemployment is entirely new. In 1948, the unemployment rate for black teens was slightly less than that of their white counterparts — 9.4 percent compared with 10.2. During that same period, black youths were either just as active in the labor force or more so than white youths. Today black teen labor force participation is a fraction of that of whites. Even during the early 1900s, black males were either just as active in the labor market as whites or more so.
So what explains the employment statistics of yesteryear compared with those of today? Would one argue that the reason that black teens had a lower unemployment rate and higher labor force participation rate than whites was that there was less racial discrimination in the 1940s than there is today? Would one argue that blacks had greater skills than whites in earlier periods? Whatever explains the differences, racial discrimination is not part of the answer.
I have only addressed three major problems confronting a large segment of the black community — family structure, illegitimacy and unemployment. Which one of them can be tackled by expending resources on what white people are doing or not doing? The weak family structure and illegitimacy are devastating problems, but they are not civil rights problems and have nothing to do with racial discrimination. The black unemployment problem is different. Much of it is the result of the labor market's having been rigged by powerful vested interests aided, perhaps unwittingly, by much of the black political structure.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams090915.php3#0rxjgfrSQmbQJ1Dv.99
The Past and Future of the Refugee Crisis
By Thomas Sowell
The refugee crisis in Europe is one of those human tragedies for which there are no real solutions, despite how many shrill voices in the media may denounce those who fail to come up with a solution.
Some options may be better than others, but there is nothing that can honestly be called a solution. Nevertheless many countries, including the United States, could do a lot better.
The immediate problems are the masses of desperate men, women and children, fleeing from the wars and terrorism of the Middle East, who are flooding into Europe. But the present crisis cannot be dealt with as if it had no past and no future.
The future is in fact one of the biggest constraints on what can be done in the present. Anyone with a sense of decency and humanity would want to help those who have been through harrowing experiences and have arrived, exhausted and desperate, on the shores of Europe. But the story will not end there, if they do.
With refugees, as with all other human beings, the current generation will pass from the scene. Those who may be grateful to have found a refuge from the horrors of the Middle East will have a new generation of children in Europe, or in any other place of refuge, who will have no memory of the Middle East.
All the new generation will know is that they are not doing as well as other people in the country where they live. They will also know that the values of their culture clash with the values of the Western culture around them. And there will be no lack of "leaders" to tell them that they have been wronged, including some who will urge them to jihad.
Europeans have already seen this scenario play out in their midst, creating strife and even terrorism. Most of the Muslims may be peaceful people who are willing to live and let live. But it takes only a fraction who are not to create havoc.
No nation has an unlimited capacity to absorb immigrants of any sort, and especially immigrants whose cultures are not simply different, but antagonistic, to the values of the society in which they settle.
The inescapable reality is that it is an irreversible decision to admit a foreign population of any sort — but especially a foreign population that has a track record of remaining foreign.
The past, as well as the future, casts its shadow over the current refugee crisis. It may be no accident that President Obama is up in Alaska, talking about changing the name of Mount McKinley, while this massive human tragedy is unfolding in the Middle East and in Europe.
Barack Obama's decision to pull American troops out of Iraq, with happy talk about how he was ending a war, turned out to be a bitter mockery when the policy in fact opened the doors to new wars with unspeakable horrors in the present and incalculable consequences for the future.
The glib rhetoric that accompanied the pullout of American troops from Iraq was displayed once again when the rise of ISIS was dismissed as just a junior varsity team trying to look like a serious threat. But now that ISIS controls a big chunk of Iraq and a big chunk of Syria, it is the Obama foreign policy that looks like the work of a junior varsity team.
Undermining stable governments in Egypt and Libya that posed no threat to Western interests in the Middle East was another rhetoric-laden catastrophe of the Obama administration. No wonder President Obama does not want to get involved in the refugee crisis that his own policies did so much to create. Talking about renaming Mount McKinley seems far safer politically.
Middle Eastern countries might have been expected to take in more refugees who are their Muslim brothers — especially oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia. But the West, including the United States, could at least send more financial aid to Middle Eastern countries like Jordan and Egypt, to ease the burden of the refugees they have already taken in.
Sending money to Middle Eastern countries that are taking in Muslim refugees makes a lot more sense for the West than taking in more refugees themselves. It may even encounter far less political opposition at home. But a real attempt to deal with the underlying causes of this human tragedy will probably have to wait until Barack Obama is gone from the White House.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell090815.php3#Uw5uEkCKh8xP0k3W.99
There are so many things to be offended by, and so little time to agonize about each
By George Will
Autumn, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness, also is the time for sensitivity auditors to get back on — if they will pardon the expression — the warpath against the name of the Washington Redskins. The niceness police at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have won court approval of their decision that the team's name "may disparage" Native Americans. We have a new national passion for moral and historical hygiene, a determination to scrub away remembrances of unpleasant things, such as the name Oklahoma, which is a compound of two Choctaw words meaning "red" and "people."
Connecticut's state Democratic Party has leapt into the vanguard of this movement, vowing to sin no more: Never again will it have a Jefferson-Jackson Day dinner. Connecticut Democrats shall still dine to celebrate their party's pedigree but shall not sully the occasions by mentioning the names of two slave owners. Because Jefferson-Jackson Day dinners have long been liturgical events for Democrats nationwide, now begins an entertaining scramble by states' parties — Georgia's, Missouri's, Iowa's, New Hampshire's, and Maine's already have taken penitential actions — to escape guilt by association with the third and seventh presidents.
The Washington Post should join this campaign for sanitized names, thus purging the present of disquieting references to the past. The newspaper bears the name of the nation's capital, which is named for a slave owner who also was — trigger warning — a tobacco farmer. Washington, D.C., needs a new name. Perhaps Eleanor Roosevelt, D.C. She had nothing to do with her husband's World War II internment of 117,000 persons of Japanese descent, two-thirds of whom were native-born American citizens.
Hundreds of towns, counties, parks, schools, etc., are named for Washington. The name of Washington and Lee University is no mere micro-aggression, it is compounded hate speech: Robert E. Lee probably saluted the Confederate flag. Speaking of which: During the Senate debate on the 1964 Civil Rights Act, when Virginia's Willis Robertson waved a small Confederate flag on the Senate floor, Minnesota's Hubert Humphrey, liberal hero and architect of the legislation, called this flaga symbol of "bravery and courage and conviction." So, the University of Minnesota should seek a less tainted name for its Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Princeton University can make amends for its Woodrow Wilson School, named after the native Virginian who aggressively resegregated the federal workforce.
Jacksonville, Florida — a state where Andrew Jackson honed his skill at tormenting Native Americans — Jefferson City, Missouri, Madison, Wisconsin, and other places must be renamed for people more saintly. And speaking of saints:
Even secularists have feelings. And the Supreme Court says the First Amendment's proscription of the "establishment of religion" forbids nondenominational prayers at high school graduations. What, then, of the names of St. Louis, San Diego, San Antonio and numerous other places named for religious figures. Including San Francisco, the Vatican, so to speak, of American liberalism. Let the renaming begin, perhaps for liberal saints: Gore City, Sharpton City. Tony Bennett can sing, "I left my heart in Pelosi City."
Conservatives do not have feelings, but they are truculent, so perhaps a better idea comes from Joseph Knippenberg, who is an American rarity — a professor with good sense and a sense of humor. He suggests that, in order to spare everyone discomfort, cities, buildings and other things should be given names that are inoffensive because they have no meaning whatsoever. Give things perfectly vacuous names like those given to car models — Acura, Elantra and Sentra.
Unfortunately, Knippenberg teaches at Atlanta's Oglethorpe University, which is named for James Oglethorpe, who founded the colony that became the slave state of Georgia. So, let us move on.
To Massachusetts and Minnesota, which should furl their flags. Massachusetts' flag shows a Native American holding a bow and arrow, a weapon that reinforces a hurtful stereotype of Native Americans as less than perfectly peaceful. A gimlet-eyed professor in Wisconsin has noticed that Minnesota's flag includes the state seal, which depicts two figures, a pioneer tilling a field, and a Native American riding away — and carrying a spear. A weapon. Yikes. The farmer is white and industrious; the Native America is nomadic. So, Minnesota's seal communicates a subliminal slander, a coded message of white superiority. Who knew that Minnesotans, who have voted Democratic in 10 consecutive presidential elections since 1972, are so insensitive?
This is liberalism's dilemma: There are so many things to be offended by, and so little time to agonize about each.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will090515.php3#lGYSqpWxAoZ14kD4.99
Joe Biden's Yuck Factor
By Michelle Malkin
Next week, as rumors swirl of his possible entry into the 2016 presidential race, Vice President Joe Biden will appear on liberal comedian Stephen Colbert's new late-night CBS show. The host is a professional clown. The VIP guest is a political clown with more baggage than the Kardashians during Paris fashion week.
Setting aside the past plagiarism, fabulism, K Street cronyism, chronic gaffes and the stagnant aroma of 4-decades-old Beltway entrenchment, though, Biden's two biggest cultural liabilities currently on the table (and everywhere else) are his grabby paws: Groper One and Groper Two.
Seriously, those two troublesome tentacles need to be wrapped in yellow caution tape and stamped with a trigger warning. Joe's yuck factor is no joke.
Political observers of all stripes balked earlier this year at photos of the creep veep wrapping himself around the wife of Defense Secretary Ashton Carter — and nearly nibbling off her ear while he deep-massaged her shoulders. Poor Mrs. Carter, helpless in front of the cameras as her husband spoke just inches away, exhibited the body language of a shell-shocked hostage.
She's not alone. YouTube, Tumblr and blogs spanning the political spectrum have documented the serial space invader's public displays of overzealous affection. The Internet meme magic that helped propel Barack Obama to millennial icon status threatens to sabotage his sidling sidekick.
I can report on Biden's cozy relations with trial lawyers, bankers and lobbyists 'til I'm blue in the face. But none of that sticks in the minds of average voters as much as the indelible impression of instability and ickiness he has left across social media:
"9 Times Joe Biden Whispered in Women's Ears."
"Joe Biden's Top 10 Creepiest Moments."
"17 times Joe Biden acted like a total creep."
"The Audacity of Grope."
"Joe Biden's woman-touching habit."
"VP Joe Biden goes #FiftyShadesofGrey during last night's awkward Top Ten List."
"Veep Creep? Biden's Odd Move at Carter Ceremony"
Margaret Coons, the 13-year-old daughter of Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., grimaced when the coarse whisperer nuzzled up to her at her dad's swearing-in ceremony.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's elementary school-age granddaughter pursed her lips unhappily as Biden clamped himself around her face while he planted an uninvited smooch on her head.
Reporter Amie Parnes tried to block off Biden's pincers as they crept too close for comfort from behind and climbed up her torso during a Christmas party photo.
If liberals are looking for an alternative to the sordid grotesqueries of the Clinton years, they'll need to look harder. Biden may have authored the Violence Against Women Act in the 1990s, but it's not enough to mitigate his ongoing invasive image problem. On college campuses, militant feminists partition off "safe spaces" to protect women from male menaces. But when close stalker Joe is on the campaign trail, there will be nowhere for unsuspecting victims of all ages to hide.
The creep veep's apologists excuse his behavior as harmless good fun. Affectionate Uncle Joe's just, you know, "old school." But after an entire campaign season spent tarring Republicans as sleazy misogynists waging a "war on women," Democrats can hardly afford their own cringetastic standard-bearer whom women, teens and young girls cannot bear to be around.
With Biden in command, America will have a hands-on president. That is not a good thing.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin090415.php3#rBhdhm2RIgE4gLhK.99
Fox News anchored in stupidity on 14th Amendment
By Ann Coulter
Based on the hysterical flailing at Donald Trump -- He's a buffoon! He's a clown! He calls people names! He's too conservative! He's not conservative enough! He won't give details! His details won't work! -- I gather certain Republicans are determined to drive him from the race.
These same Republicans never object to other candidates who lack traditional presidential resumes -- Carly Fiorina, Ben Carson, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain, to name a few. I'm beginning to suspect it's all about Trump's opposition to mass immigration from the Third World.
Amid the hysteria, Trump is the only one speaking clearly and logically, while his detractors keep making utter asses of themselves.
By my count -- so far -- Fiorina, Chris Christie, Rick Perry and the entire Fox News commentariat are unfamiliar with a period of the nation's history known as "the Civil War." They seem to believe that the post-Civil War amendments were designed to ensure that the children of illegal aliens would be citizens, "anchor babies," who can then bring in the whole family. (You wouldn't want to break up families, would you?)
As FNC's Bill O'Reilly authoritatively informed Donald Trump on Tuesday night: "The 14th Amendment says if you're born here, you're an American!"
I cover anchor babies in about five pages of my book "Adios, America."
Still, how could anyone -- even a not-very-bright person -- imagine that granting citizenship to the children of illegal aliens is actually in our Constitution? I know the country was exuberant after the war, but I really don't think our plate was so clear that Americans were consumed with passing a constitutional amendment to make illegal aliens' kids citizens.
Put differently: Give me a scenario -- just one scenario -- where guaranteeing the citizenship of children born to illegals would be important to Americans in 1868. You can make it up. It doesn't have to be a true scenario. Any scenario!
You know what's really bothering me? If someone comes into the country illegally and has a kid, that kid should be an American citizen!
Damn straight they should!
We've got to codify that.
YOU MEAN IT'S NOT ALREADY IN THE CONSTITUTION?
No, it isn't, but that amendment will pass like wildfire!
It's like being accused of robbing a homeless person. (1) I didn't; (2) WHY WOULD I DO THAT?
"Luckily," as FNC's Shannon Bream put it Monday night, Fox had an "expert" to explain the details: Judge Andrew Napolitano, Fox's senior judicial analyst.
Napolitano at least got the century right. He mentioned the Civil War -- and then went on to inform Bream that the purpose of the 14th Amendment was to -- I quote -- "make certain that the former slaves and the native Americans would be recognized as American citizens no matter what kind of prejudice there might be against them."
Huh. In 1884, 16 years after the 14th Amendment was ratified, John Elk, who -- as you may have surmised by his name -- was an Indian, had to go to the Supreme Court to argue that he was an American citizen because he was born in the United States.
He lost. In Elk v. Wilkins, 112 U.S. 94, the Supreme Court ruled that the 14th Amendment did not grant Indians citizenship.
The "main object of the opening sentence of the Fourteenth Amendment," the court explained -- and not for the first or last time -- "was to settle the question, upon which there had been a difference of opinion throughout the country and in this court, as to the citizenship of free negroes and to put it beyond doubt that all persons, white or black ... should be citizens of the United States and of the state in which they reside."
American Indians were not made citizens until 1924. Lo those 56 years after the ratification of the 14th Amendment, Indians were not American citizens, despite the considered opinion of Judge Napolitano.
Of course it's easy for legal experts to miss the welter of rulings on Indian citizenship inasmuch as they obtained citizenship in a law perplexingly titled: "THE INDIAN CITIZENSHIP ACT OF 1924."
Yeah, Trump's the idiot. Or as Bream said to Napolitano after his completely insane analysis, "I feel smarter just having been in your presence."
The only reason the 14th Amendment doesn't just come out and say "black people" is that -- despite our Constitution being the product of vicious racists, who were dedicated to promoting white privilege and keeping down the black man (Hat tip: Ta-Nehisi Coates) -- the Constitution never, ever mentions race.
Nonetheless, until Fox News' scholars weighed in, there was little confusion about the purpose of the 14th Amendment. It was to "correct" -- as Jack Nicholson said in "The Shining" -- the Democrats, who refused to acknowledge that they lost the Civil War and had to start treating black people like citizens.
On one hand, we have noted legal expert Bill O'Reilly haranguing Donald Trump: "YOU WANT ME TO QUOTE YOU THE AMENDMENT??? IF YOU'RE BORN HERE YOU'RE AN AMERICAN. PERIOD! PERIOD!" (No, Bill -- there's no period. More like: "comma," to parents born “subject to the jurisdiction” of the United States “and of the state wherein they reside.”)
But on the other hand, we have Justice John Marshall Harlan II, who despite not being a Fox News legal expert, was no slouch. He wrote in the 1967 case, Afroyim v. Rusk, that the sponsors of the 14th Amendment feared that:
"Unless citizenship were defined, freedmen might, under the reasoning of the Dred Scott decision, be excluded by the courts from the scope of the amendment. It was agreed that, since the 'courts have stumbled on the subject,' it would be prudent to remove the 'doubt thrown over' it. The clause would essentially overrule Dred Scott and place beyond question the freedmen's right of citizenship because of birth."
It is true that in a divided 1898 case, U.S. v. Wong Kim Ark, the Supreme Court granted citizenship to the children born to legal immigrants, with certain exceptions, such as for diplomats. But that decision was so obviously wrong, even the Yale Law Journal ridiculed it.
The majority opinion relied on feudal law regarding citizenship in a monarchy, rather than the Roman law pertaining to a republic -- the illogic of which should be immediately apparent to American history buffs, who will recall an incident in our nation's history known as "the American Revolution."
Citizenship in a monarchy was all about geography -- as it is in countries bristling with lords and vassals, which should not be confused with this country. Thus, under the majority's logic in Wong Kim Ark, children born to American parents traveling in England would not be American citizens, but British subjects.
As ridiculous as it was to grant citizenship to the children born to legal immigrants under the 14th Amendment (which was about what again? That's right: slaves freed by the Civil War), that's a whole order of business different from allowing illegal aliens to sneak across the border, drop a baby and say, Ha-ha! You didn't catch me! My kid's a citizen
-- while Americans curse impotently under their breath.
As the Supreme Court said in Elk: "[N]o one can become a citizen of a nation without its consent."
The anchor baby scam was invented 30 years ago by a liberal zealot, Justice William Brennan, who slipped a footnote into a 1982 Supreme Court opinion announcing that the kids born to illegals on U.S. soil are citizens. Fox News is treating Brennan's crayon scratchings on the Constitution as part of our precious national inheritance.
Judge Richard Posner of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals is America's most-cited federal judge -- and, by the way, no friend to conservatives. In 2003, he wrote a concurrence simply in order to demand that Congress pass a law to stop "awarding citizenship to everyone born in the United States."
The purpose of the 14th Amendment, he said, was "to grant citizenship to the recently freed slaves," adding that "Congress would not be flouting the Constitution" if it passed a law "to put an end to the nonsense."
In a statement so sane that Posner is NEVER going to be invited on Fox News, he wrote: "We should not be encouraging foreigners to come to the United States solely to enable them to confer U.S. citizenship on their future children. But the way to stop that abuse of hospitality is to remove the incentive by changing the rule on citizenship."
Forget the intricate jurisprudential dispute between Fox News blowhards and the most-cited federal judge. How about basic common sense? Citizenship in our nation is not a game of Red Rover with the Border Patrol! The Constitution does not say otherwise.
Our history and our Constitution are being perverted for the sole purpose of dumping immigrants on the country to take American jobs. So far, only Donald Trump is defending black history on the issue of the 14th Amendment. Fox News is using black people as a false flag to keep cheap Third World labor flowing.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/coulter082015.php3#UAqtAjpEE21uRc6m.99
One scenario could stop the Hillary juggernaut
By Charles Krauthammer
Unless she's indicted, Hillary Clinton will win the Democratic nomination.
That kind of sentence is rarely written about a major presidential candidate. But I don't see a realistic third alternative (except for one long-shot, below).
Clinton is now hostage to the various investigations — the FBI, Congress, the courts — of her e-mails. The issue has already damaged her seriously by highlighting once again her congenital inability to speak truthfully. When the scandal broke in March, she said unequivocally that she "did not e-mail any classified material to anyone." That's now been shown to be unequivocally false. After all, the inspector general of the intelligence community referred her e-mails to the Justice Department precisely because they contain classified material.
The fallback — every Clinton defense has a fallback — is that she did not mishandle any material "marked" classified. But that's absurd. Who could even have been in a position to mark classified something she composed and sent on her own private e-mail system?
Moreover, what's prohibited is mishandling classified information , not just documents . For example, any information learned from confidential conversations with foreign leaders is automatically classified. Everyone in national security knows that. Reuters has already found 17 e-mails sent by Clinton containing such "born classified" information. And the State Department has already identified 188 e-mails on her server that contain classified information.
The truth-shaving never stops. Take a minor matter: her communications with Sidney Blumenthal. She originally insisted that these were just "unsolicited" e-mails from an old friend. Monday's document release showed that they were very much solicited ("Keep 'em coming when you can") and in large volume — 306 e-mails, according to the New York Times' Peter Baker, more than with any other person, apparently, outside the State Department.
The parallel scandal looming over Clinton is possible corruption involving contributions to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of state. There are relatively few references to the foundation in the e-mails she has released. Remember, she erased 32,000 e-mails she deemed not "work-related." Clinton needs to be asked a straightforward question: "In sorting your private from public e-mails, were those related to the Clinton Foundation considered work-related or were they considered private and thus deleted?"
We are unlikely to get a straight answer from Clinton. In fact, we may never get the real answer. So Clinton marches on regardless. Who is to stop her?
Yes, Bernie Sanders has risen impressively. But it is inconceivable that he would be nominated. For one thing, he'd be the oldest president by far — on Inauguration Day older than Ronald Reagan, our oldest president, was at his second inaugural.
And there is the matter of Sanders being a self-proclaimed socialist in a country more allergic to socialism than any in the Western world. Which is why the party is turning its lonely eyes to joltin' Joe Biden.
Biden, who at 72 shares the Democrats' gerontocracy problem, is riding a wave of deserved sympathy. But that melts away quickly when a campaign starts. Even now, his support stands at only 18 percent in the latest Quinnipiac poll. For him to win, one has to assume that Sanders disappears and Biden automatically inherits Sanders' constituency.
That's a fantasy, modeled on 1968 when Bobby Kennedy picked up Eugene McCarthy's anti-Lyndon Johnson constituency. But Joe Biden is no Bobby Kennedy. And in a recent Iowa poll, Biden's support comes roughly equally from Clinton and Sanders. Rather than inheriting the anti-Clintonite constituency, he could instead be splitting it.
There is one long-shot possibility that might upend Clinton: Biden pledges to serve one term only and chooses Elizabeth Warren as his running mate — now. One-term pledges address the age problem but they are political poison, giving the impression of impermanence and mere transition. Warren cures that, offering the Democratic base — and the Sanders constituency — the vision of a 12-year liberal ascendancy.
When asked on Wednesday whether she had discussed such a ticket with Biden, Warren answered "it was a long conversation," a knowing wink in the form of a provocative nondenial.
I doubt a Biden-Warren ticket will happen, but it remains the only threat to Clinton outside of some Justice Department prosecutor showing the same zeal in going after Hillary Clinton as the administration did in going after David Petraeus.
Otherwise the Democrats remain lashed to Clinton. Their only hope is that the Republicans self-destruct in a blaze of intraparty warfare. Something for which they are showing an impressive talent.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer090415.php3#j5gTDHo1jcHIybqv.99
Let's See More of Hillary Now, to See Less of Her Later
By David Limbaugh
Hillary Clinton shows signs of anger and desperation and pops out of her shell with shrill and extreme rhetoric. She should be nervous, with both the feds and rivals breathing down her neck.
But she's no more effective at scaring her attackers than any other turtle under siege. She should retreat back inside, where at least her handlers can pretend she's presidential — and inevitable. Her bunker mentality leads to unforced errors, such as irately exclaiming to Congress regarding Benghazi, "What difference, at this point, does it make?" But the more rattled she is the more she'll emerge.
A few weeks ago, she lashed out against Republicans again for grilling her on the Obama administration's response to the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya. "They'll try to tell you this is about Benghazi, but it's not. ... It's not about Benghazi. ... It's not about emails or servers, either. ... I won't get down in the mud with them. I won't play politics with national security."
Oh, then why did she pretend that an anti-Islam video triggered the terrorist attack on our consulate in Benghazi? Evidence has shown — as we realized all along — that she knew then it was a planned terrorist attack and not a spontaneous eruption over an obscure video.
She says she won't get down in the mud with Republicans, yet the entire purpose of her little rant was to sling mud. After all, she learned from the master — her husband, Bill — that to deflect charges, you hit back harder.
Let's remember that Hillary was a disciple of Saul Alinsky's before Barack Obama was. She knows his "rules for radicals" by heart, but she can't pull them off like Bill or Obama because she lacks the finesse and charm, which just makes her angrier.
Last week in Ohio, she took it up a notch and railed against Republicans for their "extreme views about women." She said: "We expect that from some of the terrorist groups. We expect that from people who don't want to live in the modern world. But it's a little hard to take coming from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States. Yet they espouse out-of-date and out-of-touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st-century America."
So it's extreme and sexist to oppose the killing of unborn female and male children and mainstream to support late-term and partial-birth abortions? It's progressive to support federal funding of a craven abortion factory whose founder was a racist monster who advocated eugenics? To sever funding for this corrupt organization would not deny access to women's health services, which are available elsewhere.
Ironically, there may be a slight upside for Clinton in all these scandals, as they divert attention from her other profound weaknesses. She's almost cartoonish; she'll say anything to curry favor with her base, change positions on a dime and grossly modify her accent to pander to her audience's ethnicity or location.
Besides, many believe that unless she's indicted, neither the scandals nor her Democratic challengers will defeat her. Perhaps they won't destroy her directly, but they could do so indirectly if they continue to force her out of hiding, because the more visible she is the poorer her chances. She is no longer an impressive figure, assuming she ever was, and she is strikingly unlikable and untrustworthy — facts borne out by polling data.
That a card-carrying socialist such as Bernie Sanders is above single digits anywhere, let alone leading in New Hampshire and surging in Iowa, speaks volumes about Clinton. It's no wonder she tried to hide from the media as long as she could. Maybe it wasn't as much about arrogance as it was her handlers trying to conceal her.
Things will just get worse for Clinton, because she'll have to surface more frequently. Even if she isn't fending off charges, she won't be able to explain why she should be president because she has no reasons, other than her raw personal ambition, her sense of entitlement and her desire to be the first female president.
She can't even define her candidacy at a basic level. Does she want to build on Obama's legacy, God forbid? So far, she's conflicted about this. On the one hand, she promises to double down on some of his worst policies and practices, such as immigration and the cavalier issuance of lawless executive orders, and on the other, she wants to divorce herself from those policies, as almost 6 in 10 Americans want the next president to change most of them.
As the establishment's pick, Clinton has plenty of money and organization, but she is a horrible candidate. I hope we see more and more of Clinton, because her chances of becoming president will decrease in proportion.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh090115.php3#EgQiCGtx1KOWojcZ.99
Why Home Schooling?
By Walter Williams
Many public primary and secondary schools are dangerous places. The Justice Department's Bureau of Justice Statistics and the Department of Education's National Center for Education Statistics show that in 2012, there were about 749,200 violent assaults on students. In the 2011-12 academic year, there were a record 209,800 primary- and secondary-school teachers who reported being physically attacked by a student. Nationally, an average of 1,175 teachers and staff were physically attacked, including being knocked out, each day of that school year. In Baltimore, each school day in 2010, an average of four teachers and staff were assaulted. Each year, roughly 10 percent of primary- and secondary-school teachers are threatened with bodily harm.
Many public schools not only are dangerous but produce poor educational results. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress for 2013, sometimes called the Nation's Report Card (http://tinyurl.com/mn6snpf), only 33 percent of white 12th-graders tested proficient in math, and 47 percent tested proficient in reading. For black 12th-graders, it was a true tragedy, with only 7 percent testing proficient in math and 16 percent in reading. These grossly disappointing educational results exist despite massive increases in public education spending.
Many parents want a better education and safer schools for their children. The best way to deliver on that desire is to offer parents alternatives to poorly performing and unsafe public schools. Expansion of charter schools is one way to provide choice. The problem is that charter school waiting lists number in the tens of thousands. Another way is giving educational vouchers or tuition tax credits for better-performing and safer schools. But the education establishment fights tooth and nail against any form of school choice.
Another viable alternative increasingly chosen is home schooling. In 1970, there were only 10,000 home-schooled children. In 2012, according to recently released data from the National Center for Education Statistics, there were about 1.77 million children who were being home-schooled (http://tinyurl.com/ooodba7). Parents give a number of reasons for home schooling. Many want a safer environment for their children — away from violence, alcohol and other drugs, psychological abuse, and improper and unhealthy sexual indoctrination found in public schools. Some want to teach and impart a particular set of values and beliefs to their children.
In terms of academic achievement, home-schoolers beat out their public school counterparts. In reading, language, math, science and social studies, the average home-schooler scores somewhere near the 80th percentile. The average public school student taking these standardized tests scores at the 50th percentile in each subject area. Home-schoolers also tend to score higher than their public school counterparts on college admittance tests, such as the ACT and SAT.
Home schooling is not without its critics. Some of it is ludicrous, as shown in an excellent article in City Journal titled "Homeschooling in the City," by Matthew Hennessey. Stanford University political scientist Rob Reich has called for tighter regulation of home schooling to ensure that "children are exposed to and engaged with ideas, values, and beliefs that are different from those of the parents." My question to Reich is: Whose ideas and values should children be exposed to? Georgetown University law professor Robin L. West worries that home-schooled children grow up to become right-wing political "soldiers" eager to "undermine, limit, or destroy state functions." West would like to see home schooling more highly regulated and home-schoolers subjected to mandatory testing and periodic home visits in order "to give the state a window into the quality of home life, and a way to monitor signs of abuse."
Home-schoolers have a defense against this sort of meddling. The Home School Legal Defense Association is a nonprofit organization established to defend and advance the constitutional right of parents to direct the education of their children. The National Home Education Research Institute provides educational resources and research for home-schooling parents. Its founder, Dr. Brian D. Ray, recently published "African American Homeschool Parents' Motivations for Homeschooling and Their Black Children's Academic Achievement." His findings are proof that home schooling is effective for not only white youngsters but black youngsters, as well.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams090215.php3#BQkPob0EKPILa4OO.99
A Revealing Clue
By Thomas Sowell
Even those of us who are not supporters of either Donald Trump or Jeb Bush can learn something by comparing how each of these men handled people who tried to disrupt their question-and-answer period after a speech.
After Bush's speech, hecklers from a group called "Black Lives Matter" caused Bush to simply leave the scene. When Trump opened his question-and-answer period by pointing to someone in the audience who had a question, a Hispanic immigration activist who had not been called on simply stood up and started haranguing.
Trump told the activist to sit down because someone else had been called on. But the harangue continued, until a security guard escorted the disrupter out of the room. And Jeb Bush later criticized Trump for having the disrupter removed!
What kind of president would someone make who caves in to those who act as if what they want automatically overrides other people's rights — that the rules don't apply to them?
Trump later allowed the disrupter back in, and answered his questions. Whether Trump's answers were good, bad or indifferent is irrelevant to the larger issue of rules that apply to everyone. That was not enough to make "The Donald" a good candidate to become President of the United States. He is not. But these revealing incidents raise painful questions about electing Jeb Bush to be leader of the free world. The Republican establishment needs to understand why someone with all Trump's faults could attract so many people who are sick of the approach that Jeb Bush represents.
No small part of the internal degeneration of American society has been a result of supposedly responsible officials caving in to whatever group is currently in vogue, and allowing them to trample on everyone else's rights.
Some officials allow "the homeless" to urinate and defecate in public, right on the streets, or let organized hooligans who claim to represent "the 99 percent against the one percent" block traffic and keep neighborhoods awake with their noise through the night. Politicians who exempt from the law certain groups who have been chosen as mascots undermine the basis for a decent society — which everybody, from every group, deserves.
Even those who happen to be in vogue for the moment can lose big time when the vogue changes, as vogues do.
Back in the 1920s, when there was international outrage on the political left over the trial of anarchists Sacco and Vanzetti, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes wrote to British leftist Harold Laski, pointing out that the trials of black defendants were far worse, but nobody seemed to care about that.
"I cannot but ask myself why this so much greater interest in red than black," he said.
The vogue has changed since then — and it can change again, when some other group comes along that catches the fancy of the trend-setters, and sways politicians who go along to get along.
The goal of "the rule of law and not of men" has increasingly been abandoned in favor of government picking winners and losers. Too many in the media and in academia do the same.
Time and again, we have seen false charges of rape set off instant lynch mob reactions in the media and academia, regardless of how many previous false charges of rape have later been exposed as hoaxes.
The problem is not with the particular choices made as to whose interests are to override other people's interests, but that picking winners and losers, in defiance of facts, is choosing a path that demoralizes a society, and leads to either a war of each against all or to a backlash of repression and revenge.
The recent televised murder of two media people by a black man who said that he wanted a "race war" was one sign of the madness of our times. Nobody who knows anything about the history of race wars, anywhere in the world, can expect anything good to come out of it. Unspeakable horrors have been the norm.
It is a long way from a couple of disruptive incidents on the political campaign trail to a race war. But these small incidents are just symptoms of larger and worse things that have already happened in America, when the rules have been routinely waived for some.
We do not need to risk still worse consequences if we get yet another President of the United States who acts as if it is just a question of whose ox is gored.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell090115.php3#qGAUSxCCSdyE0oIT.99
Dying by choice
By George Will
Brittany Maynard was soon to die. The question was whether she could do so on her own terms, as a last act of autonomy. Dr. Lynette Cederquist, who regrets that Maynard had to move to Oregon in order to do so, is working with others to change California law to allow physician assistance in dying.
Maynard, a 29-year-old newlywed, knew that her brain cancer would fill her final months with excruciating headaches, seizures, paralysis, loss of eyesight and the ability to speak. Radiation and chemotherapy would have purchased mere months. "I'm not killing myself," she said. "Cancer is killing me." She would not put her loved ones through her cancer's depredations.
Advances in public health and medical capabilities for prolonging life — and dying — intensify interest in end-of-life issues. Reductions in heart disease and stroke have increased the number of people living to experience decrepitude's encroachments, including dementia.
"Dementia," Cederquist says, "is a whole different dilemma." Assisted suicide perhaps should be allowed only when survival is estimated at six months or less, but at that time persons suffering dementia have lost decisional capacity.
Physician-assisted dying has been done surreptitiously "as long as we have been practicing medicine," says Cederquist, professor of internal medicine at the University of California at San Diego. Today, even in the 46 states withoutphysician-assisted dying, doctors may legally offer "terminal sedation" — say, a life-shortening dose of morphine — when intense physical suffering cannot otherwise be satisfactorily alleviated. Some Catholic and other ethicists endorse a "double effect" standard: If the intent is to alleviate suffering but a consequence is death, the intent justifies the act.
Cederquist says the most common reason for requesting assistance in dying is not "intolerable physical suffering." Rather, it is "existential suffering," including "loss of meaning," as from the ability to relate to others. The prospect of being "unable to interact" can be as intolerable as physical suffering and cannot be alleviated by hospice or other palliative care.
In some countries, doctors actively administer lethal injections. No U.S. jurisdiction allows doctors to go beyond writing prescriptions for life-ending drugs to be self-administered orally by persons retaining decisional capacity. Almost 30 percent of Medicare expenditures are for patients in the last six months of life and about 16 percent of patients die in, or soon after leaving, intensive care units. Financial reasons should not be decisive in setting end-of-life policy, but Cederquist notes that reducing "expensive and inappropriate care" — costly and agonizing resistance to imminent death — "is the lowest-tech thing we can do in medicine." Hence the importance of "slow medicine geriatrics," avoiding a "rush to those interventions that build on each other" and thereby enmesh doctors and patients in ethical conundrums.
The American Medical Association remains opposed to physician assistance in dying; the California Medical Association has moved from opposition to neutrality. Litigation has been unsuccessful in seeking judicial affirmation of a right that California's legislature should establish. Legislation to do this has been authored by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, chair of the Democratic caucus.
There are reasons for wariness. An illness's six-month trajectory can be uncertain. A right to die can become a felt obligation, particularly among bewildered persons tangled in the toils of medical technologies, or persons with meager family resources. And as a reason for ending life, mental suffering itself calls into question the existence of the requisite decisional competence.
Today's culture of casual death (see the Planned Parenthood videos) should deepen worries about a slippery slope from physician-assisted dying to a further diminution of life's sanctity. Life, however, is inevitably lived on multiple slippery slopes: Taxation could become confiscation, police could become instruments of oppression, public education could become indoctrination, etc. Everywhere and always, civilization depends on the drawing of intelligent distinctions.
Jennifer Glass, a Californian who died Aug. 11, drew one. She said to her state legislators, "I'm doing everything I can to extend my life. No one should have the right to prolong my death."
The Economist reports that in the 17 years under Oregon's pioneering 1997 law, just 1,327 people have received prescriptions for lethal medications — about 74 a year — and one-third of those did not use them. Possessing the option was sufficient reassurance.
There is nobility in suffering bravely borne, but also in affirming at the end the distinctive human dignity of autonomous choice. Brittany Maynard, who chose to be with loved ones when she self-administered her lethal medications, was asleep in five minutes and soon dead.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will082915.php3#ZvwYoEXFHw1m5tfQ.99
What six years of 'reset' have wrought
By Charles Krauthammer
On September 5, 2014, two days after President Obama visited Estonia to symbolize America's commitment to its security, Russian agents crossed into Estonia and kidnapped an Estonian security official. Last week, after a closed trial, Russia sentenced him to 15 years.
The reaction? The State Department issued a statement. The NATO secretary-general issued a tweet. Neither did anything. The European Union (reports the Wall Street Journal) said it was too early to discuss any possible action.
The timing of this brazen violation of NATO territory — immediately after Obama's visit — is testimony to Vladimir Putin's contempt for the American president. He knows Obama would do nothing. Why should he think otherwise?
• Putin breaks the arms embargo to Iran by lifting the hold on selling it S-300 missiles. Obama responds by excusing him, saying it wasn't technically illegal and adding, with a tip of the hat to Putin's patience: "I'm frankly surprised that it held this long."
• Russia mousetraps Obama at the eleventh hour of the Iran negotiations, joining Iran in demanding that the conventional-weapons and ballistic-missile embargoes be dropped. Obama caves.
• Putin invades Ukraine, annexes Crimea, breaks two Minsk cease-fire agreements and erases the Russia-Ukraine border — effectively tearing up the post-Cold War settlement of 1994. Obama's response? Pinprick sanctions, empty threats and a continuing refusal to supply Ukraine with defensive weaponry, lest he provoke Putin.
The East Europeans have noticed. In February, Lithuania decided to reinstate conscription, a move strategically insignificant — the Lithuanians couldn't hold off the Russian army for a day — but highly symbolic. Eastern Europe has been begging NATO to station permanent bases on its territory as a tripwire guaranteeing a powerful NATO/U.S. response to any Russian aggression.
NATO has refused. Instead, Obama offered more military exercises in the Baltic States and Poland. And threw in an additional 250 tanks and armored vehicles, spread among seven allies.
It is true that Putin's resentment over Russia's lost empire long predates Obama. But for resentment to turn into revanchism — an active policy of reconquest — requires opportunity. Which is exactly what Obama's "reset" policy has offered over the past six and a half years.
Since the end of World War II, Russia has known that what stands in the way of westward expansion was not Europe, living happily in decadent repose, but the United States as guarantor of Western security. Obama's naivete and ambivalence have put those guarantees in question.
It began with the reset button, ostentatiously offered less than two months after Obama's swearing-in. Followed six months later by the unilateral American cancellation of the missile shield the Poles and the Czechs had agreed to install on their territory. Again, lest Putin be upset.
By 2012, a still clueless Obama mocked Mitt Romney for saying that Russia is "without question our No. 1 geopolitical foe," quipping oh so cleverly: "The 1980s are now calling to ask for their foreign policy back." After all, he explained, "the Cold War's been over for 20 years."
Turned out it was 2015 calling. Obama's own top officials have been retroactively vindicating Romney. Last month, Obama's choice for chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff declared that "Russia presents the greatest threat to our national security." Two weeks ago, the retiring Army chief of staff, Raymond Odierno, called Russia our "most dangerous" military threat. Obama's own secretary of defense has gone one better: "Russia poses an existential threat to the United States."
Turns out the Cold War is not over either. Putin is intent on reviving it. Helped immensely by Obama's epic misjudgment of Russian intentions, the balance of power has shifted — and America's allies feel it.
And not just the East Europeans. The president of Egypt, a country estranged from Russia for 40 years and our mainstay Arab ally in the Middle East, has twice visited Moscow within the last four months.
The Saudis, congenitally wary of Russia but shell-shocked by Obama's grand nuclear capitulation to Iran that will make it the regional hegemon, are searching for alternatives, too. At a recent economic conference in St. Petersburg, the Saudis invited Putin to Riyadh and the Russians reciprocated by inviting the new King Salman to visit Czar Vladimir in Moscow.
Even Pakistan, a traditional Chinese ally and Russian adversary, is buying Mi-35 helicopters from Russia, which is building a natural gas pipeline between Karachi and Lahore.
As John Kerry awaits his upcoming Nobel and Obama plans his presidential library (my suggestion: Havana), Putin is deciding how to best exploit the final 17 months of his Obama bonanza.
The world sees it. Obama doesn't.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer082815.php3#go22JaqbAAxYzb3O.99
What If Hillary Clinton Doesn't Care?
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
What if former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been pulling the wool over our eyes for years?
What if, while she was secretary of state, she ran two secret wars, one in Libya and one in Syria? What if there already were wars in each of those countries, so she used those wars as covers for her own?
What if President Obama gave permission for her to do this? What if the president lacks the legal authority to authorize anyone to fight secret wars? What if she obtained the consent of a dozen members of Congress from both houses and from both political parties? What if those few members of Congress who approved of her wars lacked the legal authority to authorize them?
What if her goal was to overthrow two dictators, one friendly to the U.S. and one not? What if the instruments of her war did not consist of American military troops, but rather State Department intelligence assets and American-made military-grade heavy weapons?
What if under federal law the secretary of state and the secretary of the Treasury are permitted on their own to issue licenses to American arms dealers to sell arms to the governments of foreign countries? What if Clinton secretly authorized the sale of American-made military-grade weapons to the government of Qatar? What if Qatar is a small Middle Eastern country, the government of which is beholden to and largely controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood?
What if the Muslim Brotherhood is a recognized terrorist organization? What if the U.S. has no lawful or military purpose for putting military hardware into the hands of a government that supports or is controlled by a terrorist organization?
What if the real purpose of sending military hardware to Qatar was for it to end up in the hands of rebels in Syria and Libya? What if it got there? What if some of those rebels are known al-Qaida operatives? What if some of those operatives who received the American military hardware used it to assault Americans and American interests?
What if among those assaulted was the U.S. ambassador to Libya? What if Ambassador Christopher Stevens was assassinated in Benghazi, Libya, by al-Qaida operatives who were using American-made military-grade hardware that Clinton knowingly sent to them?
What if the U.S. had no strategic interest in deposing the government of Libya? What if Congress never declared war on Libya? What if Col. Gadhafi, the then-dictator of Libya who was reprehensible, was nevertheless an American ally whose fights against known terrorist organizations had garnered him praise from President George W. Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair?
What if the U.S. had no strategic interest in deposing the dictator of Syria, President Assad? What if Congress never declared war on Syria? What if the government of Syria, though reprehensible, has been fighting a war against groups and militias, some of whom have been designated as terrorist organizations by the secretary of state? What if that secretary of state was Hillary Clinton?
What if Clinton had a political interest in deposing the governments of Libya and Syria? What if her goal in fighting these secret wars was to claim triumph for herself over Middle Eastern despots? What if it is a federal crime to fight a private war against a foreign government? What if it is a federal crime to provide material assistance to terrorist organizations? What if these are crimes no matter who consents or approves?
What if, when asked about this while testifying to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Clinton professed ignorance? What if it is a federal crime for a witness to lie to or mislead Congress?
What if the outcome of Clinton's war in Libya has been the destruction of the Gadhafi government and ensuing chaos? What if that chaos has brought terror and death to many thousands of innocents in Libya? What if Clinton has failed to achieve any noticeable result with her secret war in Syria?
What if she managed these wars on an email system that was not secured in a government venue? What if she did that to keep her thoughts and actions secret from the president and from the State Department in case she failed to win the wars? What if she used a BlackBerry she bought at Walmart instead of a secure and encrypted government-issued phone?
What if her management of these wars on the private email system exposed national security secrets to anyone who could hack into her server or her router? What if the server or the router had been kept in the bathroom of an apartment of an employee of a computer company in Denver, Colo., and not under lock and key and armed guard in her home in New York as she has represented?
What if Clinton just doesn't care whether she has broken any federal laws, illegally caused the deaths of thousands of innocents, and profoundly jeopardized and misled the American people?
What if the American people do care about all this? What will they do about it?
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0815/napolitano082715.php3#dYsktj1dMWOsgs3k.99
It Depends on What the Meaning of 'Crazies' Is
By David Limbaugh
Yeah, I get President Obama's point. He wants to disarm law-abiding Americans but entrust the Iranian Islamist theocracy to police itself on nuclear arms and subsidize its funding of global terrorism. But we're the "crazies."
Recently, Obama dissed opponents of his Iran nuclear deal for "making common cause" with Iranian hard-liners who chant "death to America," and now he's calling us crazy. But he's the one playing footsie with those America haters. Projection is a beautiful thing.
It gets old pointing out that Obama uses Saul Alinsky tactics to demonize conservatives and avoid defending his positions, but it's true.
Instead of explaining why we're wrong, he calls us nuts. So most U.S. representatives, Sen. Chuck Schumer — a stalwart Obama supporter — and roughly half of Americans are all whack jobs? Are the 69 percent of Israelis against the deal lunatics, the 21 percent undecided flirting with lunacy and only the 10 percent in favor rational?
Instead of accusing us of being crazy and making common cause with the hard-liners, perhaps Obama should explain why he is doing their bidding.
The administration originally assured us that the United States would be able to have "anywhere, anytime inspections" of Iran's nuclear facilities, but then we learned that "anywhere" meant limited locations, that "anytime" meant giving Iran 24 days' lead time to hide its weapons and that the "United States" meant entities other than the United States. He is essentially leaving compliance up to the Iranians and their international sympathizers, because we won't be allowed to participate in the site inspections.
This means we are relying on their good faith. Folks, this is a regime that has a long history of nuclear violations, that remains openly committed to the destruction of Israel and America, and that sponsors proxy wars throughout the Middle East. Our "sane" president offered these murderers a $150 billion signing bonus for a deal that is great for them and terrible for us. The hyper-rational Obama didn't require the mullahs to come clean on their past illegal nuclear activities prior to the deal's going into effect. And he didn't try to get our four hostages released, saying it would muddy the deal, even though he released a top Iranian scientist in the process.
Every day, we discover more reasons to oppose the deal. The White House guaranteed that if Iran violates the agreement, the sanctions will snap back into place, but it concealed a major loophole in that provision: The deal grants Iran a basis to exclude from snapback sanctions long-term sales of Iranian oil and gas and almost all nonnuclear items. According to The Weekly Standard, once the deal is in place and the sanctions are lifted, Iran "could launch long-term (say 20 year) contracts to sell to 'any party' — including Chinese, Russian, Lebanese or other parties friendly to Iran — all the oil or gas, for example, that Iran chooses in the future to sell."
Do you realize that this deal that only crazies oppose allows the hard-liners to produce intercontinental ballistic missiles to their darkened hearts' content? That it permits them to keep their vast nuclear infrastructure? That it will most likely lead to a nuclear arms race in the Middle East that could include Turkey, Egypt and Saudi Arabia?
Though Obama acts as if he can alter reality by making declarations at odds with it, our failure to approve this deal would not mean war. Rather, the deal itself increases the risk of conflict and war.
Robert Joseph, former undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, poses five questions to gauge whether this is a wise deal for the U.S.: 1) Does it deny Iran a nuclear weapons capability — the long-standing declared goal of the U.S. and the international community? 2) Does it, after the constraints expire, prevent Iran from building a nuclear weapon in a short period of time? 3) Does it meaningfully extend the breakout time? 4) Is it effectively verifiable? 5) Is there a meaningful phased relief of sanctions, and are there guaranteed snapback provisions? The answer to each of those questions, says Joseph, is no.
Have you ever heard the phrase "shifting the goal posts" to describe the dishonorable negotiating tactic of changing one's demands midstream? Well, at least you can understand the logic in the other side's doing so to get a better deal. But the opposite is occurring here. Inexplicably, Obama keeps changing the terms to get a worse deal for the United States. Indeed, former senior officials who helped frame the administration's policy on Iran's nuclear capacity issued a public statement warning that the deal "may fall short of meeting the administration's own standard of a 'good' agreement."
Isn't that great? Obama moved the goal posts, all right, but he moved them toward the Iranian regime. Now if that isn't crazy and lurching toward common cause with the bad guys, I'm not a bitter clinger.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh082815.php3#osKh2HmFY3eElHZR.99
The Struggle for Economic Liberty
By Walter Williams
Here's my taxi question. If a person is law-abiding, has a driver's license, has a car or van that has passed safety inspection, and has adequate liability insurance, is there any consumer-oriented reason he should not be able to become a taxicab owner/operator? Put another way: If you wish to hire the services of such a person, what right does a third party have to prevent that exchange?
Many cities have granted monopoly power to taxi companies — the right to prevent entry by others. Sometimes this monopoly takes the form of exclusive government-granted rights to particular individuals to provide taxi services. In other cases, the number of licenses is fixed, and a prospective taxi owner must purchase a license from an existing owner. In New York City, such a license is called a taxi medallion. Individual medallions have sold for as high as $700,000 and corporate medallions as high as $1 million. In other cities — such as Miami, Philadelphia, Chicago and Boston — taxi licenses have sold for anywhere between $300,000 and $700,000. These are prices for a license to own and operate a single vehicle as a taxi.
Where public utility commissions decide who will have the right to go into the taxi business, a prospective entrant must apply for a "certificate of public convenience and necessity." Lawyers for the incumbent taxi owners, most often corporate owners or owner associations, appear at the hearing to argue that there is no necessity or public convenience that would be served by permitting a new entrant. Where medallions are sold, the person must have cash or the credit standing to be able to get a loan from a lender, such as the Medallion Financial Corp., that specializes in taxi medallion purchases. Medallion Financial Corp. has held as much as $520 million in loans for taxi medallions.
So what are the effects of taxi regulation? When a person must make the case for his entry before a public utility commission, who is likelier to win, a single individual with limited resources or incumbent taxi companies with corporate lawyers representing them? I'd put my money on the incumbent taxi companies being able to use the public utility commission to keep the wannabes out. Who is handicapped in the cases in which one has to purchase a $700,000 medallion in order to own and operate a taxi? If you answered "a person who doesn't have $700,000 lying around or doesn't have the credit to get a loan for $700,000," go to the head of the class.
A natural question is: Who are the people least likely to be able to compete with corporate lawyers or have $700,000 lying around or have good enough credit to get such a loan? They are low- and moderate-income people and minorities. Many own cars and have the means to get into the taxi business and earn between $40,000 and $50,000 annually, but they can't overcome the regulatory hurdle.
Enter Uber and Lyft, two ride-hailing services. Both companies use freelance contractors who provide rides with their own cars. The companies operate mobile applications that allow customers with smartphones to submit trip requests, which are then routed to Uber or Lyft drivers, who provide taxi-like services with their own cars. The legality of these companies has been challenged by taxi companies and politicians who do the bidding of established taxi companies. They allege that the use of drivers who are not licensed to drive taxicabs is unsafe and illegal.
Uber and Lyft drivers like the idea of working when they want to. Some have full-time jobs. Picking up passengers is an easy way to earn extra money. Everyone is happy about the arrangement except existing taxi companies and government officials who do their bidding. Taxi companies retain much of their monopoly because Uber and Lyft are prohibited from cruising. They are also prohibited from picking up passengers at most train stations and airports. But that monopoly may not last much longer. Let's hope not.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams082615.php3#wUHL8XqdoCLWSZGS.99
Sorting the Candidates
By Thomas Sowell
Despite a nuclear Iran looming on the horizon, the media seem to be putting most of their attention on two candidates for their respective parties' presidential nominations next year. Moreover, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each make their own party nervous.
If next year's election comes down to Clinton versus Trump, a lot of people may simply stay home in disgust.
When we are this far away from the official start of the primary election season, we can usually just say, "It's still early days." Many a front runner this early in the process ended up out of the running by the time the party conventions were held, and totally forgotten by election day.
That is the way it usually is. But that is not likely to be the way it will be this time.
This is Hillary Clinton's last hurrah. It is now or never for her. And the Democrats have nobody comparable as a vote-getter to put in her place.
Even if an investigation finds Mrs. Clinton found guilty of violating the law in the way she handled e-mails when she was Secretary of State, the Obama administration is not likely to prosecute her. And President Obama can always pardon her, so that the next administration cannot prosecute her either. So Hillary doesn't even have to take a plea bargain.
Someone with a sense of shame might well withdraw from the contest for the Democratic Party's nomination, now that public opinion polls show that most people distrust her. But since when have the Clintons ever had a sense of shame?
On the Republican side, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich has pointed out that if Donald Trump can continue to get 20 or 25 percent of the Republican voters on his side, he can build up a formidable lead of delegates in winner-take-all primaries.
It will not matter if 60 percent of the Republican voters turn against him, if that 60 percent is split up among all the other Republican candidates, with none of those candidates getting more votes than Trump.
Sometimes financial backers can withdraw their support and force a stubborn candidate to drop out of the race. But Trump has enough money of his own to stay in the race as long as he wants to, even if that ruins the Republicans' chances of winning the 2016 elections.
Ironically, the Republicans have a much stronger set of presidential candidates than usual to choose from this year. But the media obsession with Trump means that even the best of these candidates are not likely to get enough exposure for most voters to get to know much about them.
Governors with superb records — such as Bobby Jindal in Louisiana and Scott Walker in Wisconsin — may not have much name recognition on the national scene. And certainly the little sound bites in the so-called "debates" are not likely to tell the voters much.
This is not just the candidates' problem. With this country facing historic dangers, both internally and internationally, we urgently need to find someone with depth, insight and courage as the next President of the United States.
But, with the media obsessed with Donald Trump's show biz talents and persona — and covering everything he says, does or might do, 24/7 — how are the voters to sort through the large number of Republican candidates to find a couple that are worth getting to know more thoroughly?
It will be like trying to find a needle in a haystack. And never was finding that needle, the right leader, more important for the nation.
Internally, we are so polarized over immigration that our current "leaders" have left our borders wide open to terrorists from around the world, rather than take the political risks of offending voters on one side of this issue or offending voters on the opposite side. Instead, they risk American lives by their inaction.
Internationally, our "leaders" have written a blank check for our most dangerous and fanatical enemy — Iran — to get both nuclear bombs and the missiles to deliver them. And the Obama administration, with a track record of huge shameless lies, offers us its reassurances.
We had better find that needle in a haystack, someone who can salvage a desperate situation. Flamboyant rhetoric is not enough.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell082515.php3#AZZWLOZWIUYo68PC.99
Why Do Too Many Jews Support the Iran Deal?
By Dennis Prager
The more one knows about the Iran deal, the more obvious it becomes that it is not a deal so much as it is a fraud. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the definition of a fraud is "something that is meant to look like the real thing in order to trick people." That precisely describes the Iran deal. Virtually every claim made for it is either not true or insignificant.
There are no "anytime, anywhere" inspections, as Americans were promised during the negotiations.
No American or Canadian inspectors will be allowed into Iran.
The agreement obligates all the parties, including the United States, to help Iran protect its nuclear facilities against an attack, whether physical or cyber.
Any area of Iran that the Iranian regime designates "military" cannot be inspected.
Iran can object to any inspection and delay it at least 24 days and, according to the Wall Street Journal, up to three months.
The deal will free a hundred billion dollars and eventually much more for the Iranian regime to use to bolster Iran's economy and to supply terror groups around the world.
In light of these weaknesses, any one of which renders the deal fraudulent, how could anyone who cares about America, not to mention Israel, support it?
And it gets worse: There are two secret side deals to the agreement made between Iran and the U.N.'s International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). They are not just kept secret from you and me. They are kept secret from the president, the secretary of state (who admitted to Congress that he has not seen them) and the Congress of the United States.
How then could any member of Congress vote to affirm an agreement with Iran, crucial parts of which they cannot even know about? Why do those secrets between Iran and the United Nations simply not invalidate this agreement?
But I wish to focus on American Jews. How is it, in light of the above and in light of Iran's stated aim of annihilating Israel, that so many American Jews — despite the opposition of so many national Jewish groups and even of the Jewish federations of liberal cities such as Boston and Los Angeles — support this deal?
The question is legitimate for four reasons:
First, and most obvious, Israel is the one Jewish state, and one would assume that American Jews have a moral and emotional commitment to Israel's welfare, not to mention survival.
Second, according to various polls, American Jews may be the ethnic or religious group most supportive of the deal. How is that possible?
Third, the vast majority of Israeli Jews oppose the deal. According to Israel's major left-wing newspaper, Haaretz, only one in 10 Israelis supports the deal. Yet, at least 50 percent of American Jews support it. Why the five-to-one discrepancy?
Fourth, even most left-wing Israelis oppose the deal. As Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic reported: "The Iran deal represents one of those rare issues that has unified Israelis of most political parties. And that includes the opposition leader, the head of the Labor Party, Isaac Herzog: 'Iran,' Herzog told me, has Israelis — of the 'left, center and right,' he said — 'frightened.'"
So then, in light of the deal's terrible defects, in light of the specific concerns of Jews and in light of the nearly universal opposition to the deal among Israeli Jews, why do half of America's Jews support it?
One answer, given by many American Jewish supporters of the deal, is that they back the deal precisely because they do care about Israel. And when American Jews with a record of strong support of Israel say this, I believe them.
But I do have a question: If the deal is good for Israel, why do only one in 10 Israelis support it? How can Jews living in Los Angeles or New York tell 90 percent of Israelis that they know better what's good for Israel? That's what Jews call chutzpah.
As for American Jews who don't have a strong record of support of Israel, I do not believe them when they say they believe the deal is good for Israel.
Here's why: If a Republican president had negotiated this deal, Democrats would now be strongly opposing it — along with most Republicans. But a Republican president never would have negotiated a deal that so weakens America's position in the Middle East and puts Israel in such peril. Also, both Republicans and Democrats would have — correctly — opposed a president of the United States negotiating what is in fact a treaty without Congress' approval.
So why do so many American Jews support the deal? Because they 1) are loyal to President Obama, 2) have an intense dislike of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and 3) have an intense dislike of Republicans.
In addition, both Jews and non-Jews often forget that Israel is no longer important to an increasing number of American Jews. Jews are the most left-wing ethnic and religious group in America — in part because Jews are more secular than others and attend college in greater numbers — and the more people embrace a left-wing view of the world the more hostile to Israel they are likely to become.
There are, therefore, quite a number of American Jews who support the Iran deal for reasons having nothing to do with Israel. They only care about America, they say, and the deal is good for America. One presumes that most of these people also believe that pulling all our troops out of Iraq was good for America. It wasn't. These Jews and non-Jews believe that the answer to evil is negotiation, not confrontation. That there is no historical basis for that belief does not disturb them. These people are still singing "Give Peace a Chance."
So why do many American Jews — including some supporters of Israel — back the Iran deal? For the same reason the minority of American non-Jews who support the deal do: Their outlook on life has been shaped by the Left.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0815/prager082515.php3#j4WP9GgbF2GmMgJw.99
Lib Double Standards and Planned Parenthood
By David Limbaugh
Liberals are famous for shaming conservatives for their past associations with questionable characters, while they exempt themselves from the same standards. What a shocker!
Every other week, a liberal Twitter troll cites a Republican politician's innocent appearance at some long-forgotten political event with the likes of a Ku Klux Klan member, hoping to besmirch his reputation. Better yet, sometimes one of them will post a black-and-white photo of such an appearance, as if it's a smoking gun that will end the hapless Republican's career.
It shouldn't surprise you that liberals had no problem with Sen. Robert Byrd's despicable association with the KKK. A typical liberal defender would say: "Oh, my gosh! This man was a pillar of progressivism. He cared deeply for people. He was the conscience of the Senate."
How about Sen. Ted Kennedy? Liberals couldn't have cared less that any other person would have been charged with manslaughter for his role in the death of Mary Jo Kopechne at Chappaquiddick. Their attitude was: "Why, he is the 'Lion of the Senate.' No one cares more about the poor than he does."
President Bill Clinton? As the most powerful man on the planet, he sexually harassed a young female intern in the White House, directly lied about it to the American people and committed felony perjury, for starters. Yet liberals still regard him as a man of unsurpassed class and virtue.
The Rev. Al Sharpton? The examples are endless.
Why do you suppose that is?
The reason is that for liberals, the acid test for one's moral character is his ideology. Does the person support progressive causes? If so, it doesn't much matter what he did in the past.
That's not the case for Republicans. Even an accidental brush with a bad person or cause is fair game because conservatives, on balance, can't be good people — even those with an unblemished record of selfless service.
Take Ken Starr, who served as independent counsel to investigate the Clintons. He was as pure as Snow White. But you don't mess with Bill. Despite his stellar professional and personal record, the Clinton war room and the liberal media savaged him as a devious pervert.
Today we are witnessing another glaring example of this double standard. Planned Parenthood has been all over the news with the release of a series of horrifying videos showing it harvested and sold the organs of aborted babies.
Every decent American would condemn Planned Parenthood for this practice, right? Wrong. According to many progressives, conservative filmmakers selectively edited the videos to defame this noble organization, which provides "essential services for women."
Liberals protect progressive organizations, but none more than those that perform abortions, for abortion is the foremost sacrament of the religion of liberalism. Liberals will protect Planned Parenthood at all costs because it is darn near a holy shrine.
Planned Parenthood's sacred stature is also seen in the recent brouhaha over the Smithsonian Institution's display of a sculpture of Planned Parenthood's founder, Margaret Sanger, in its "Struggle for Justice" exhibit.
A group of black pastors from nine states demanded the removal of the statue because of Sanger's ties to the eugenics movement. "Sanger may have been a lot of things," the pastors wrote in a letter to the Smithsonian, "but a 'champion of justice' she definitely was not. Perhaps the Gallery is unaware that Ms. Sanger supported black eugenics, a racist attitude toward black and other minority babies; an elitist attitude toward those she regarded as 'the feeble minded;' speaking at rallies of Ku Klux Klan women; and communications with Hitler sympathizers. Also, the notorious 'Negro Project,' which sought to limit, if not eliminate black births, was her brainchild. Despite these well-documented facts of history, her bust sits proudly in your gallery as a hero of justice. The obvious incongruity is staggering!"
The Smithsonian callously denied the request, saying that the bust serves its goal to "see the past clearly and objectively" and that though some of Sanger's beliefs "are now controversial," her inclusion represents the "full spectrum of the American experience."
Translation: Liberals value abortion more than they do African-Americans. There is no way anyone can say "objectively" that Sanger was a champion of justice for African-Americans or that her horrific views were merely "controversial."
This is stunning when you consider the lengths liberals go to pander for the black vote. They must figure that the objections are mostly coming from black pastors whose theology is light-years from that of such progressive blacks as Sharpton and Jesse Jackson.
It would be interesting to see how the Smithsonian would react if Sharpton and Jackson joined these pastors.
So while liberals are trying to purge America of symbols of its history of slavery, they are protecting the patron saint of abortion, whose attitude toward blacks was more despicable than that of a slaveholder. She believed that reducing the black population, even if it meant killing the unborn, would purify the human race.
If enough attention were called to these types of things and a sufficient number of blacks began to realize that liberals have been using them for their votes, we might see a sea change in American politics.
For now, we must just marvel at liberals' cynicism, double standards and hypocrisy. But one of these days, their conflicting "values" are going to come home to roost.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh082115.php3#yXl4k4JqzQMGVWZM.99
The Deceptions of Hillary Clinton
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
While the scandal surrounding the emails sent and received by Hillary Clinton during her time as U.S. secretary of state continues to grow, Clinton has resorted to laughing it off. This past weekend she told an audience of Iowa Democrats that she loves her Snapchat account because the messages automatically disappear. No one in the audience laughed.
Clinton admits deleting 30,000 government emails from her time in office. She claims they were personal, and that because they were also on a personal server, she was free to destroy them. Yet, federal law defines emails used during the course of one's work for the federal government as the property of the federal government.
She could have designated which of the government's emails were personal and then asked the government to send them to her and delete them from government servers. Instead she did the reverse. She decided which of her emails were governmental and sent them on to the State Department. Under federal law, that is not a determination she may lawfully make.
Yet, the 55,000 emails she sent to the feds were printed emails. By doing so, she stole from the government the metadata it owns, which accompanies all digital emails but is missing on the paper copies, and she denied the government the opportunity to trace those emails.
When asked why she chose to divert government emails through her own server, Clinton stated she believed it would enable her to carry just one mobile device for both personal and governmental emails. She later admitted she carried four such devices.
Then the scandal got more serious, as Clinton's lawyers revealed that after she deleted the 30,000 emails, and printed the 55,000 she surrendered to the feds, she had the server that carried and stored them professionally wiped clean.
She had already denied routing classified materials through her server: "I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. ... (I) did not send classified material ."
Then, the inspector general of the State Department and the inspector general of the intelligence community, each independent of the other, found four classified emails from among a random sample of 40.
Then the State Department inspector general concluded that one of the four was in fact top secret. Since it discussed satellite imagery of a foreign country and since it revealed intercepts of communications among foreign agents, it received additional legal protections that were intended to assure that it was only discussed in a secure location and never shared with a foreign government, not even an ally.
When Clinton was confronted with these facts, she changed her explanation from "I did not send classified material" to "I never sent or never received any email marked classified ." Not only is she continually changing her story, but she is being deceptive again. Emails are not "marked classified." They are marked "top secret" or "secret" or "confidential." Her explanations remind one of her husband's word-splitting playbook.
Last weekend the State Department located 305 of her undeleted emails that likely are in the top secret or secret or classified categories.
What should be the consequence of her behavior with the nation's most sensitive secrets?
If Clinton is indicted for failure to secure classified information, she will no doubt argue that if one of the above markings was not on the email, she did not know it was top secret. If she does make that incredible argument — how could satellite photos of a foreign country together with communications intercepts of foreign agents possibly not be top secret? — she will be confronted with a judicial instruction to the jury trying her.
The judge will tell the jury that the secretary of state is presumed to know what is top secret and what is not. The only way she could rebut that presumption is to take the witness stand in her own defense and attempt to persuade the jury that she was so busy, she didn't notice the nature of the secrets with which she was dealing.
Not only would such an argument be incredible coming from a person of her intellect and government experience, but it begs the question. That's because by using only her own server, she knowingly diverted all classified emails sent to her away from the government's secure venue. That's the crime.
Will she be indicted?
Consider this. In the past month, the Department of Justice indicted a young sailor who took a selfie in front of a sonar screen on a nuclear submarine and emailed the selfie to his girlfriend. It also indicted a Marine who sent an urgent warning to his superiors on his Gmail account about a dangerous Afghani spy who eventually killed three fellow Marines inside an American encampment. The emailing Marine was indicted for failure to secure classified materials. Gen. David Petraeus stored top-secret materials in an unlocked desk drawer in the study of his secured and guarded Virginia home and was indicted for the same crimes. And a former CIA agent was just sentenced to three years in prison for destroying one top-secret email.
What will happen if the FBI recommends that Clinton be indicted and the White House stonewalls? Will FBI Director Jim Comey threaten to resign as he threatened to do when President George W. Bush wanted him to deviate from accepted professional standards? Will Clinton get a pass? Will the public accept that?
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0815/napolitano082015.php3#C36Z1SQU12E0ItRC.99
How Do You Know What's Right and Wrong? Left-Right Differences, Part VII
By Dennis Prager
How can we determine what is morally right? The answer to this question — the most important question human beings need to answer — is a major difference between Left and Right.
For conservatives, the answer is, and has always been, that there are moral truths — objective moral standards — to which every person is accountable. In America, this has meant accountability to the Creator, the G0D of the Bible, and to Judeo-Christian values.
For the Left, the answer has always been — meaning since Karl Marx, the father of Leftism — that there is no transcendent source of morality. On the contrary, as Marx wrote, "Man is G0D," and therefore each human being is the author of his or her own moral standards.
There are, of course, both religious leftists and secular conservatives, but the secular-religious difference explains many of the fundamental differences between Right and Left.
As a rule, leftists fear and have contempt for people who base their values on a transcendent source such as religion and the Bible. Such people, in the Left's view, "can't think for themselves — they need a G0D and a religion to tell them what's right and wrong." Leftists contrast these conservatives with themselves, people who think issues through and do not need G0D or religion.
This ideal of thinking everything through for oneself sounds admirable. And to a certain extent it is. People should think things through. And too often, religious people can sound like they haven't done so.
But if there is no G0D and religion, there are no moral truths, only moral opinions. Without G0D and religion, good and evil, right and wrong, don't objectively exist. They are subjective terms that just mean "I like" or "I don't like."
Therefore, no matter how much one thinks things through, without G0D and religion — specifically, the G0D of and the religions based on the Bible — the individual's conclusions about what is right or wrong can only be opinions about what is right or wrong. Without G0D and religion, morally speaking, there is no fixed North or fixed South. The needle points wherever the owner of the compass thinks it ought to point.
You don't have to take my word for it. Recently, in The New York Times, a professor of philosophy wrote about this complete absence of moral truth among younger Americans:
"What would you say if you found out that our public schools were teaching children that it is not true that it's wrong to kill people for fun or cheat on tests? Would you be surprised? I was.
"The overwhelming majority of college freshmen in their classrooms view moral claims as mere opinions that are not true or are true only relative to a culture.
"Our public schools teach ... there are no moral facts. And if there are no moral facts, then there are no moral truths.
"It should not be a surprise that there is rampant cheating on college campuses: If we've taught our students for 12 years that there is no fact of the matter as to whether cheating is wrong, we can't very well blame them for doing so later on."
So, then, if there is no moral truth, how do most secular people arrive at moral decisions?
According to how they feel. On the Left, personal feelings usually supplant objective standards.
Many liberal parents and teachers do not tell their children what is right and wrong. Rather, they ask their children and students, "How do you feel about it?"
In fact, feelings often supplant reason, not just moral truths. On the Left, feelings for the poor, for selected minorities, for the downtrodden, gays, women, Muslims and others are frequently all that is necessary to formulate policy.
For the conservative, as important as feelings may be, feelings are just not as important as standards in making social policy. But for the contemporary liberal, feeling — or "compassion," as the Left puts it — is determinative.
As much as one may — and should — feel about historic injustices committed against black Americans, the conservative will not eliminate standards. Therefore, conservatives oppose lowering admissions standards at academic institutions for black students; liberal compassion is for it.
Conservatives generally oppose changing the marital standard of one man-one woman; liberals' compassion for gays supports it. Indeed, given the supplanting of standards with feelings, liberals will find it difficult to oppose polygamy. If love between people is the criterion for marriage, two people who love a third person should not be denied the right to marry that person.
Conservatives oppose abolishing the biological standard of gender identity and therefore oppose allowing men who identify as women to play on women's sports teams; liberals have compassion for the transgendered and therefore drop the athletic standard.
Conservatives' commitment to a standard of true and false means identifying terrorists as Islamic; liberals feel for the many good Muslims in the world and therefore often refuse to identify Islamic terror by name.
In his Farewell Address, President George Washington's most famous speech, the first president perfectly expressed the conservative view on the need for G0D and religion for moral standards and for societal standards generally:
"Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports ... these firmest props of the duties of Man and citizens."
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0815/prager081815.php3#q4MYS7icFK4czR0v.99
Has the Unrepresented Majority Finally Reached Its Boiling Point?
By David Limbaugh
We can acknowledge that Donald Trump's popularity is partially related to his unapologetic defense of himself and his policies, but let's examine why that is particularly appealing to his supporters and others. How did we get to this point?
Grass-roots conservatives believe that their policies can make America great again, that they can make Americans more secure and prosperous. Many of them still believe in traditional values, which are now in disrepute.
They are appalled at the systematic assault on their ideas in our public schools, our universities, the media and Hollywood. They are horrified by the attacks on their liberties. But they have not surrendered.
They see America disintegrating rapidly and little being done to stop it. They detect no sense of urgency from their elected representatives, and they wonder whether they are living in an alternate universe.
It's true that the Republicans don't control the executive branch, but that's no excuse for always caving and giving sissified overtures of bipartisanship to an implacable bully president.
President Obama is a lawless renegade, flouting the Constitution and the rule of law and mocking his opponents as if they were the ones overreaching. But too often, Republicans sit on their hands, refusing to exercise their powers to stop him. Some even join in Obama's condemnation of those few brave souls on our side who try to stop him.
It's not just that they're impotent to stop Obama. They routinely downplay his usurpations as if they're just another day at the office. They forfeit their bully pulpit, forcing the grass roots to publicly oppose these outrages. You might call this a case of the tail wagging the dog, except that the dog, for all intents and purposes, is dead — by suicide.
Liberal Democrats have relentlessly pressed their case, placing their propaganda mouthpieces in our educational system and dominating Hollywood and the media with a monolithically radical message. Their ideas and values are so culturally dominant that those who disagree are too afraid of the PC thought police to voice their dissent publicly. Conservatives might still hold on to a slight majority, but we are no longer just a voluntarily silent one; we're a self-muzzled one.
Why are so many good people afraid of their own shadow? Maybe the simplest explanation is that liberal propaganda has slowly succeeded in making conservatives look uncompassionate, racist, sexist and homophobic. It has even made Christians seem mean-spirited.
Liberals trade almost exclusively on identity politics, painting all Republicans and conservatives — except those who pander to them — as haters. Many are afraid to speak up because they know that no one would have their back. If they violated the guidelines of political correctness, they'd be excommunicated from polite society as knuckle-dragging ogres.
The irony is that liberal policies harm the people they purport to help. The welfare state has devastated the nuclear family, and black families have been hit the hardest. Their economic policies have devastated the workforce. Blacks have been hit the hardest. Their top-down education mandates serve the teachers unions but trap minority children in vastly inferior and dangerous inner-city schools. Their campaign against law enforcement and cops has turned our cities into war zones. Black youths are being hit the hardest. Their abandonment of border security and illegal grants of amnesty are putting us all at risk. Their blocking of entitlement reform is bankrupting America. Their onerous taxes and regulations are impoverishing America and destroying businesses and jobs. Blacks have been hit the hardest. Their gutting of the military and refusal to fight in the war on terror are destroying our national security. Their savage support for abortion on demand is killing millions of babies and has devalued life across the board. Black babies are hardest hit.
Conservatives know that their policies lead to greater prosperity. They believe their values are grounded in moral absolutes, are tried and tested, and are overwhelmingly beneficial to society. They believe their policies demonstrate real compassion because they are based on results, not empty rhetoric and false promises.
They are tired of being vilified. They long for government leaders who will fight back without apology. They want a president who will not just campaign as a conservative but also implement conservative policies when elected.
This means that they don't want phony pledges to close the border in the future buried in some "comprehensive" reform plan, a partial repeal of Obamacare, half-measures reversing the Environmental Protection Agency's punitive regulations on the energy industry or meaningless tweaks to the tax code and entitlements. They want America to be strong again and self-aware of its positive impact on the world.
The grass roots have seen very little of these things from the ruling class. That's why they're rejecting most insiders and supporting outsiders and those inside who are genuinely trying to change the status quo.
I hope we can look back in a few years and say that Obama miscalculated — that he pushed too far too fast instead of allowing liberalism to continue to grow incrementally. I pray that his arrogance in impatiently accelerating statism is what will finally bring the unrepresented majority to a boil, leading to a dramatic reversal of his fundamental transformation.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh081815.php3#Zfzmagtp20SE2dBC.99
By Thomas Sowell
One of the most lame excuses for doing nothing is that we can't do everything. Such excuses have been repeated endlessly, even by some conservatives, when it comes to illegal immigration.
We can't deport millions of illegal immigrants already living in the country, some say, so the wise thing is to just learn to live with them, according to the supposedly sophisticated crowd.
This completely sidesteps the plain, obvious and galling fact that we are not deporting those illegal immigrants who are arrested by the police for violating other laws — and are then turned loose back into American society. In so-called "sanctuary cities" across the country, local police are under orders not to report illegal immigrants to the federal authorities.
Nobody has a right to obstruct justice when it comes to federal laws — not even the President of the United States, as Richard Nixon discovered when he had to resign after Democrats threatened him with impeachment and Republican Senators told him that they would not defend him.
Today, any mayor of any city of any size across the country can publicly announce that he is going to obstruct federal laws against illegal immigrants — and then bask in a glow of self-satisfaction and the prospect of winning votes.
Even people who are gung-ho to punish employers who do not take on the role of immigration police, for which they have neither training nor authority, are often ready to overlook elected officials who do have both the duty and the authority to uphold the laws, but openly refuse to do so.
The federal government itself, under the Obama administration, has refused to enforce immigration laws, and has ordered its own agents to back off when it comes to enforcing some laws that President Obama happens not to like.
Then there is also what might be called the pretense of enforcement — when people who have been caught illegally entering the country are turned loose inside the country and told to report back to a court later on. How surprised should we be when they don't?
One of the most widely known abuses of the immigration laws is the creation of "anchor babies" to get automatic citizenship when a pregnant woman simply crosses the U.S. border to have her child born on American soil. This is not limited to people who cross the Mexican border. Some are flown in from Asia to waiting posh facilities.
Not only do their children get automatic American citizenship without having to meet any requirements, this also increases the opportunities for other family members to gain admission later on, in the name of "family reunification."
This is such an obvious racket, and so widely known, for so long, that you might think our "responsible" leaders would agree that it should be stopped. But, here again, there are excuses rather than action. One distinguished conservative commentator even said recently that this is such a small problem that it is not worth bothering with.
The anger of Americans who feel betrayed by their own elected officials is not a small thing. It goes to the heart of what self-government by "we the people" is supposed to mean.
To say that it is a small thing is even worse than saying that we can't do anything about it. We certainly can't do anything about it if we won't lift a finger to try.
Some legal authorities say that the 14th Amendment confers automatic citizenship on anyone born on American soil. But the very authors of that Amendment said otherwise. And some distinguished legal scholars today, including Professor Lino Graglia of the University of Texas Law School, say otherwise.
Even if it were necessary to revise the 14th Amendment, it is sheer Progressive era dogma that Constitutional Amendments are nearly impossible to revise, repeal or create. There were four new Constitutional Amendments added in just eight years, during the height of the Progressive era in the early 20th century.
But it is indeed impossible if you are just looking for excuses for not trying. Republicans who are worried about Donald Trump should be. But their own repeated betrayals of their supporters set the stage for his emergence. This goes all the way back to "Read my lips, no new taxes."
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell082015.php3#oXoDXohw8gDeSVXB.99
Academic Fascism II
By Walter Williams
Last week's column highlighted college campus absurdities and the ongoing attack on free speech and plain common sense. As parents gear up to fork over $20,000 to $60,000 for college tuition, they might benefit from knowing what greets their youngsters. Deceitful college officials, who visit high schools to recruit students and talk to parents, conceal the worst of their campus practices. Let's expose some of it.
Christina Hoff Sommers is an avowed feminist and a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. She's spent a lifetime visiting college campuses. Recently, upon her arrival at Oberlin College, Georgetown University and other campuses, trigger warnings were issued asserting, in her words, that her "very presence on campus" was "a form of violence" and that she was threatening students' mental health. At Oberlin, 30 students and the campus therapy dog retired to a "safe room" with soft music, crayons and coloring books to escape any uncomfortable facts raised by Sommers.
The problem for students and some professors is that Sommers challenges the narrative, with credible statistical facts, that women are living in a violent, paternalistic rape culture. As a result, she has been "excommunicated from the church of campus feminism" in order to protect women from her uncomfortable facts. This prompted Sommers to say, "There's a move to get young women in combat, and yet on our campuses, they are so fragile they can't handle a speaker with dissenting views." I wonder whether there will be demands for the military to have therapy dogs and safe rooms in combat situations.
The University of New Hampshire published a "Bias-Free Language Guide," which "is meant to invite inclusive excellence in (the) campus community." Terms such as "American," "homosexual," "illegal alien," "Caucasian," "mothering," "fathering" and "foreigners" are deemed "problematic." Other problematic terms include "elders," "senior citizen," "overweight," "speech impediment," "dumb," "sexual preference," "manpower," "freshmen," "mailman" and "chairman." For now, these terms are seen as problematic. If the political correctness police were permitted to get away with it, later they would bring disciplinary action against a student or faculty member who used the terms. The offender would be required to attend diversity training, the leftist equivalent of communist re-education camps. In a rare instance of administrative guts, UNH President Mark Huddleston said he is offended by many things in the guide and declared that it is not university policy.
Florida State University has an "Equal Opportunity and Non-Discrimination Statement," which says, "Behavior that may be considered offensive, demeaning, or degrading to persons or groups will not be tolerated." That's both broad and troublesome. Say that you're a Muslim student and offended by homosexuality. Can you demand termination of campus activities that support homosexual activities?
A 2014 report by the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (http://tinyurl.com/mjvn4kl) found that 59 percent of the 427 higher-education institutions it analyzed have policies that infringe on First Amendment rights. FIRE found that the University of Connecticut prohibits "actions that intimidate, humiliate, or demean persons or groups, or that undermine their security or self-esteem." The University of South Carolina prohibits "teasing," "ridiculing" and "insulting."
In 2012, FIRE listed the "12 Worst Colleges for Free Speech" (http://tinyurl.com/o94rour). In no particular order, they are the University of Cincinnati, Syracuse University, Widener University, Harvard University, Yale University, Saint Augustine's College, Michigan State University, Colorado College, Johns Hopkins University, Tufts University, Bucknell University and Brandeis University.
University presidents, other academic administrators and faculty members all too often find the well-worn path of least resistance most attractive. They give support to claims of oppression and victimhood. These close-minded people are simply the "grown-up" leftist hippie generation of the 1960s and '70s.
You might ask: What's Walter Williams' solution to these problems? For starters, benefactors should stop giving money to universities that endorse anti-free speech and racist diversity policy. Simply go to a university's website. If you find an office of diversity, close your pocketbook. There's nothing like the sound of pocketbooks snapping shut to open the closed minds of administrators.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams081915.php3#oDljuL56tPzk6Wvr.99
By Thomas Sowell
Random thoughts on the passing scene:
• Stupid people can cause problems, but it usually takes brilliant people to create a real catastrophe.
• President Obama's "agreement" with Iran looks very much like "the emperor's new clothes." We are supposed to pretend that there is something there, when there is nothing there that will stop, or even slow down, Iran's development of a nuclear bomb.
• The endlessly repeated argument that most Americans are the descendants of immigrants ignores the fact that most Americans are NOT the descendants of ILLEGAL immigrants. Millions of immigrants from Europe had to stop at Ellis Island, and had to meet medical and other criteria before being allowed to go any further.
• Governor Bobby Jindal: "I realize that the best way to make news is to mention Donald Trump. ... So, I've decided to randomly put his name into my remarks at various points, thereby ensuring that the news media will cover what I have to say." Governor Jindal's outstanding record in Louisiana should have gotten him far more attention from the media than Trump's bombast.
• In her latest book, "Adios, America!" Ann Coulter says, "if Romney had won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, instead of 27 percent, he still would have lost. On the other hand, had he won just 4 percent more of the white vote, he would have won."
• Despite an old saying that taxes are the price we pay for civilization, an absolute majority of the record-breaking tax money collected by the federal government today is simply transferred by politicians from people who are not likely to vote for them to people who are more likely to vote for them.
• Do the people who are always demanding that there be more "training" for police ever say that the hoodlums that the police have to deal with should have had more training by their parents, instead of being allowed to grow wild, like weeds?
• Europe is belatedly discovering how unbelievably stupid it was to import millions of people from cultures that despise Western values and which often promote hatred toward the people who have let them in.
• There are so many conservative Republican candidates for the party's presidential nomination that they may once again split the conservative vote so many ways as to guarantee that the nomination will go to some mushy moderate.
• Barack Obama wrote a book titled "The Audacity of Hope." His own career, however, might more accurately be titled "The Mendacity of Hype."
• With all its staggering horrors and insanities, World War II may yet turn out to have been just a dress rehearsal for the ultimate catastrophe of a nuclear-armed terrorist nation like Iran. We seem oblivious to the possibility that we may be leaving our children and grandchildren at the mercy of people who have demonstrated repeatedly that they have no mercy.
• No matter how many federal felony laws Hillary Clinton may have violated by using her own personal email account to do her work as Secretary of State, she is unlikely to face any legal consequences. President Obama can pardon her, as he can pardon Lois Lerner or the head of the Internal Revenue Service or others who may have violated federal laws during his administration.
• When Jeb Bush allowed hecklers shouting "Black lives matter" to drive him off the stage in Las Vegas, he may have given us a clue as to what kind of president he would be. We ignored too many clues about Barack Obama before putting him in the White House. There is no excuse for ignoring clues about another candidate now. Can you imagine Ronald Reagan letting hecklers drive him off the stage?
• Donald Trump has credited his political donations with getting Hillary Clinton to come to his wedding. What kind of man would want Hillary Clinton at his wedding, much less boast of having her there?
• A salute to Bill O'Reilly for being one of the very few people in the media to talk plain common sense about the disintegration of the black family, and the resulting social problems that followed.
• Ronald Reagan won two landslide victories with the help of "Reagan Democrats." These were voters who usually voted for Democrats but were now voting for Reagan. He got these voters by winning them over to his policy agenda — not by adjusting his policy agenda to them, as the Republican establishment today seems to think is the way to expand their constituency.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell081815.php3#YiIK4E0aqbkyBAQ1.99
Trump is still right about Mexican rapists
By Ann Coulter
There's a cultural acceptance of child rape in Latino culture that doesn't exist in even the most dysfunctional American ghettoes. When it comes to child rape, the whole family gets involved. (They are family-oriented!)
In a 2011 GQ magazine story about a statutory rape case in Texas, the victim's illegal alien mother, Maria, described her own sexual abuse back in Mexico.
"She was 5, she says, when her stepfather started telling her to touch him. Hand here, mouth there. The abuse went on and on, became her childhood, really. At 12, when she finally worked up the desperate courage to report the abuse and was placed in foster care, she says her mother begged her to recant -- the family needed the stepdad's paycheck. So Maria complied. She was returned home, where her stepdad continued to molest her. When she talks about it, tears stream down her face."
Far from "I am woman, hear me roar," these are cultures where women help the men rape kids.
Maria dismissed the firestorm of publicity surrounding the sexual precocity of her own daughter, laughingly referring to the 11-year-old rape victim as "my wild child." She even criticized the girl's older sisters for complaining about the young girl's promiscuous clothing choices, saying -- of an 11-year-old: "Well, she's got the body, so leave her alone."
In 2013, illegal immigrant Bertha Leticia Rayo was arrested for allowing her former husband, an illegal immigrant from Guatemala, to rape her 4-year-old daughter, then assisting his unsuccessful escape from the police. The rapist, Aroldo Guerra-Garcia, was also aided in his escape attempt by another woman, Krystal Galindo. (Kind of a ladies man, was Aroldo.)
That same year, the government busted up a child pornography operation in Illinois being run out of the home of three illegal aliens from Mexico, including a woman. At least one of them, Jorge Muhedano-Hernandez, had already been deported once. (Peoria Journal Star headline: "Bloomington men plead guilty to false documents.")
The Baby Hope case in New York City began when a Mexican illegal alien, Conrado Juarez, raped and murdered his 4-year-old cousin, Anjelica Castillo. His sister helped him dispose of the body. Police found the little girl's corpse in a cooler off the Henry Hudson Parkway, but the case went unsolved for two decades, because none of the murdered girl's extended illegal alien family ever reported her missing. Anjelica's mother later told the police she always suspected the tiny corpse in the cooler was her daughter's, but never told anyone.
In 2014, Isidro Garcia was arrested in Bell Gardens, California, accused of drugging and kidnapping the 15-year-old daughter of his girlfriend, then forcing the girl to marry him and bear his child. The mother had suspected Garcia, then 31 years old, had been raping her teenage daughter, but did nothing. All three were illegal aliens from Mexico, making this another case for the "Not Our Problem" file.
In 2007, Mexican illegal immigrant Luis Casarez was convicted in New Mexico for repeatedly raping a 3-year-old and an 8-year-old. During his sentencing, Casarez borrowed Marco Rubio's talking points about hardworking illegal immigrants with roots in America. "I have been here for many years," Casarez told the judge -- incongruously, through a translator. "That's why," he added, "I've been working instead of getting involved with problems." Other than that one thing.
Two weeks after Luis Casarez was indicted for child rape, his son, Luis Casarez Jr., was indicted in a separate case of child rape.
When the crime is this bizarre, it's not "anecdotal." "Child rape perpetrated by more than one family member" isn't your run-of-the-mill crime. It's rather like discovering dozens of cannibalism cases in specific neighborhoods.
How many fourth-generation American father-son child-rape duos do we have? How many American brother-sister teams are conspiring in child rape and murder? How many mothers are helping their boyfriends and husbands get away with raping their own children?
And how many 12-year-old American girls are giving birth -- to the delight of their parents?
In some immigrant enclaves, the police have simply given up on pursuing statutory rape cases with Hispanic victims. They say that after being notified by hospital administrators that a 12-year-old has given birth and the father is in his 30s, they'll show up at the girl's house -- and be greeted by her parents calling the pregnancy a "blessing."
This happens all the time, they say.
And yet, in the entire American media, there have been more stories about a rape by Duke lacrosse players that didn't happen than about the slew of child rapes by Hispanics that did because Democrats want the votes and businesses want the cheap labor . No wonder they hate Trump.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/coulter080615.php3#aqrXDEHzp0XY24h4.99
How to milk moolah from majorities
By George Will
You probably never knew of the federal funding of museums commemorating America's long-gone whaling industry. The funding existed for nearly nine years, until fiscal 2011, because almost no one knew about it. A mohair subsidy continues six decades after it was deemed a military necessity in the context of the Cold War. The subsidy survives because its beneficiaries are too clever to call attention to it by proclaiming it necessary, which of course it isn't.
To understand these two matters is to understand how American government functions. And why James Madison, whose flinty realism is often called pessimism, was too optimistic.
Federal funding went to whaling museums in three states from which whalers went to sea (Massachusetts, Alaska and Hawaii) and in Mississippi, which was not a home of whalers but is the home of Sen. Thad Cochran(R), an Appropriations Committee titan. The whaling program, which cost about $9 million in its last year, was administered by the Education Department. It objected to doing this, which is one reason the funding ended: Government changed because part of it was annoyed. Also, a congressman publicized the subsidy.
The $9 million was a piddling smidgen of a fraction of the federal budget, as is the $5 million wool and mohair subsidy. It was smuggled into the 1954 National Wool Act, which was supposed to stimulate wool production, lest we run short when next we need 12 million uniforms for a two-front world war. Mohair had nothing to do with this supposed military necessity, but mohair producers wanted a seat on the gravy train.
Their subsidy became briefly notorious and briefly died (it was resuscitated when no one was any longer paying attention) after Jonathan Rauch called attention to it in his 1994 book "Demosclerosis." Rauch's neologism describes government that is resistant to change because it is solicitous toward many minor but attentive factions.
These clients thrive in obscurity because of the law that governs much of government, the law of dispersed costs and concentrated benefits. Taxpayers do not notice, unless someone like Rauch tells them, the costs of subsidizing whaling museums or mohair, but the subsidies mean much to those who run the museums or produce the mohair. Similarly, consumers do not notice the cost of sugar import quotas added to the sugar they consume, quotas that substantially enrich sugar producers. And so on and on.
This is why minorities constantly manage to milk money from majorities, which is not how Madison thought things would work. Greg Weiner, an Assumption College political scientist, notes that in Federalist Paper 10, Madison confidently says minority factions will be defeated by "the republican principle," which enables the majority to trounce the minority "by regular vote."
But what if, as usually happens, there is in no meaningful sense a "regular vote" on minority appetites? The whaling-program subsidy was born as a barnacle on the 2001 No Child Left Behind education bill. There was no majority-minority conflict about it because only the wee minority of whaling enthusiasts and a few solicitous legislators were paying attention.
Madison counted on conflict, but gargantuan government is, because of its jungle-like sprawl, mostly opaque. So there is what Weiner calls "dissipation of conflict." And Weiner suggests that this, which enables minorities to feed off the inattentive majority, is the result of what Madison thought would inhibit abusive majorities — the size of what Madison called an "extensive" republic.
His revolution in democratic theory was this: Hitherto, it had been thought that if democracy were at all feasible, it would be so only in small polities. Factions were considered inimical to healthy democracies, and small, homogenous societies would have fewer factions. So, Madison favored an extensive republic because it would have a saving multiplicity of factions. They would save us from tyrannical majorities because all majorities would be impermanent coalitions of minorities.
For a century now, Weiner writes, the national government has been hyperactive in distributing economic advantages to attentive but inconspicuous factions. This will not stop. Why?
James Joyce said his readers should devote their entire lives to understanding his fiction (not that a lifetime is long enough to fathom "Finnegans Wake"). If Americans devoted their lives to mastering the federal budget's minutiae, gargantuan government might behave better. But what economists call the "information costs" of such mastery would be much higher than the costs of just paying the hundreds of billions that the subsidies cost. There is a name for what this fact produces: demosclerosis.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will081515.php3#dRikMfHw5QALTwkz.99
Chris Christie vs. Rand Paul
By Judge Andrw P. Napolitano
The dust-up between New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul over presidential fidelity to the Constitution — particularly the Fourth Amendment — was the most illuminating two minutes of the Republican debate last week.
It is a well-regarded historical truism that the Fourth Amendment was written by victims of government snooping, the 1770s version. The Framers wrote it to assure that the new federal government could never do to Americans what the king had done to the colonists.
What did the king do? He dispatched British agents and soldiers into the colonists' homes and businesses ostensibly looking for proof of payment of the king's taxes and armed with general warrants issued by a secret court in London.
A general warrant did not name the person or place that was the target of the warrant, nor did it require the government to show any suspicion or evidence in order to obtain it. The government merely told the secret court it needed the warrant — the standard was "governmental need" — and the court issued it. General warrants authorized the bearer to search wherever he wished and to seize whatever he found.
The Fourth Amendment requires the government to present to a judge evidence of wrongdoing on the part of a specific target of the warrant, and it requires that the warrant specifically describe the place to be searched or the person or thing to be seized. The whole purpose of the Fourth Amendment is to protect the right to be left alone — privacy — by preventing general warrants.
The evidence of wrongdoing that the government must present in order to persuade a judge to sign a warrant must constitute probable cause. Probable cause is a level of evidence sufficient to induce a neutral judge to conclude that it is more likely than not that the government will find what it is looking for in the place it wants to search, and that what it is looking for will be evidence of criminal behavior.
But the government has given itself the power to cut constitutional corners. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the Patriot Act and the Freedom Act totally disregard the Fourth Amendment by dispensing with the probable cause requirement and substituting instead — incredibly — the old British governmental need standard.
Hence, under any of the above federal laws, none of which is constitutional, the NSA can read whatever emails, listen to whatever phone calls in real time, and capture whatever text messages, monthly bank statements, credit card bills, legal or medical records it wishes merely by telling a secret court in Washington, D.C., that it needs them.
And the government gets this data by area codes or zip codes, or by telecom or computer server customer lists, not by naming a person or place about whom or which it is suspicious.
These federal acts not only violate the Fourth Amendment, they not only bring back a system the Founders and the Framers hated, rejected and fought a war to be rid of, they not only are contrary to the letter and spirit of the Constitution, but they produce information overload by getting all the data they can about everyone. Stated differently, under the present search-them-all regime, the bad guys can get through because the feds have more data than they can analyze, thus diluting their ability to focus on the bad guys.
Among the current presidential candidates, only Paul has expressed an understanding of this and has advocated for fidelity to the Constitution. He wants the government to follow the Fourth Amendment it has sworn to uphold. He is not against all spying, just against spying on all of us. He wants the feds to get a warrant based on probable cause before spying on anyone, because that's what the Constitution requires. The remaining presidential candidates — the Republicans and Hillary Clinton — prefer the unconstitutional governmental need standard, as does President Obama.
But Christie advocated an approach more radical than the president's when he argued with Paul during the debate last week. He actually said that in order to acquire probable cause, the feds need to listen to everyone's phone calls and read everyone's emails first. He effectively argued that the feds need to break into a house first to see what evidence they can find there so as to present that evidence to a judge and get a search warrant to enter the house.
Such a circuitous argument would have made Joe Stalin happy, but it flunks American Criminal Procedure 101. It is the job of law enforcement to acquire probable cause without violating the Fourth Amendment. The whole purpose of the probable cause standard is to force the government to focus on people it suspects of wrongdoing and leave the rest of us alone. Christie wants the feds to use a fish net. Paul argues that the Constitution requires the feds to use a fish hook.
Christie rejects the plain meaning of the Constitution, as well as the arguments of the Framers, and he ignores the lessons of history. The idea that the government must break the law in order to enforce it or violate the Constitution in order to preserve it is the stuff of tyrannies, not free people.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0815/napolitano081315.php3#Uo2Ct50DmwgVFIwd.99
By John Stossel
My town, New York City, enforces rigid gun laws. Police refused to assign me a gun permit. The law doesn't even let me hold a fake gun on TV to demonstrate something.
But New York politicians are so eager to vilify gun ownership that they granted an exception to the anti-gun group States United to Prevent Gun Violence. New York allowed States United to set up a fake gun store, where cameras filmed potential gun customers being spoofed by an actor pretending to be a gun-seller.
"This a nine-millimeter semi-automatic. It's a very handy gun. It's easy to use," he says. "You can carry it in a purse like that gal from Wal-Mart. Her two-year-old son reaches into her pocketbook, pulls it out, shoots her. Dead, gone, no Mom!"
States United then made that footage into an anti-gun public service announcement. "Over 60 percent of Americans think owning a gun will make them safer. In fact, owning a gun increases the risk of homicide, suicide and unintentional death," says the video.
It's a powerful message. But it's a lie, says John Lott of the Crime Prevention Research Center. He says that gun control advocates lie all the time.
Lott acknowledges the tragedies. Sometimes a gun in the home is used in a homicide or suicide, or leads to accidental death, but he adds, "It also makes it easier for people to defend themselves — women and the elderly in particular."
Lott says, "Every place in the world that's tried to ban guns ... has seen big increases in murder rates. You'd think at least one time, some place, when they banned guns, murder rates would go down. But that hasn't been the case."
I pushed back: what about people harming themselves?
"There are lots of different ways for people to commit suicide," Lott said, and researchers have looked at how those tragedies are affected by access to guns. "We find that people commit suicide in other ways if they don't have guns."
What about accidents? Lott replies that accidental shooting deaths are relatively rare: "about 500 a year." That sounds bad, but about 400 Americans are killed by overdosing on acetaminophen each year (most of them suicides), and almost as many Americans drown in swimming pools.
"It would be nice if it was zero (but) consider that 120 million Americans own guns," Lott says.
Often those guns are used to prevent crime. The homeowner pulls out the gun and the attacker flees. No one knows how often this happens because these prevented crimes don't become news and don't get reported to the government, but an estimate from the Violence Policy Center suggests crimes may be prevented by guns tens of thousands of times per year.
Add politics to the mix and the anti-gun statistics get even more misleading. Gang members in their late teens or early adulthood killing each other get called "children." Fights between gangs near schools get called school "mass shootings."
The number of mass shootings in America has been roughly level over the past 40 years, but the New York Times still runs headlines like, "FBI Confirms a Sharp Rise in Mass Shootings Since 2000." That headline is absolutely true, but only because they deceitfully picked the year 2000 as their start point, and that was a year with unusually few mass shootings. It's as if the paper wants to make it seem as if mass shootings are always on the rise, even as crime keeps going down.
It all helps stoke paranoia about guns. Some people respond by calling for more controls. Others, fearing the government may ban gun sales, respond by buying more weapons. The number of people holding permits to carry concealed weapons has skyrocketed to 12.8 million, up from 4.6 million just before President Obama took office. Since 40 percent of American households now own guns, anyone who wants to take them away will have a fight on his hands.
Has the increased gun ownership and carrying of guns led to more violence? Not at all. "Violent crime across the board has plummeted," says Lott. "In 1991, the murder rate was about 9.8 (people) per 100,000. (Now) it's down to about 4.2."
I can't convince my friends in New York City, but it's just a fact: More guns — less crime.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0815/stossel080515.php3#eFdEAL37kueaTqPC.99
Responses to the President's Arguments for the Nuclear Deal
By Dennis Prager
At American University last week, President Barack Obama gave a vigorous defense of the Iran nuclear agreement. In the belief that every student who was present — indeed, all Americans — should hear the other side, here are responses to claims the president made. (For the information of my readers, I made a Prager University video on the agreement released last week that has about five million views on YouTube and Facebook — found at www.prageruniversity.com. Americans obviously want clarity on this issue.)
—President Obama: "With all of the threats that we face today, it is hard to appreciate how much more dangerous the world was at that time (when John F. Kennedy gave his peace speech at American University during the Cold War)."
I lived through the Cold War and studied the Russian language and the communist world at the Russian Institute of Columbia University's School of International Affairs. I do not believe the world was "much more dangerous at that time."
First, in the 1960s, when JFK gave his speech, the Soviet Union was headed by people who valued their own lives and even those of their fellow countrymen incomparably more than the Islamic leaders of Iran do. They therefore had no interest in nuclear war, which is why the doctrine known as mutually assured destruction (MAD) worked. Regarding Iran's Islamist regime, however, MAD does not necessarily work. The Islamist fanatics who rule Iran might actually welcome a nuclear exchange with Israel. Iran has almost 10 times Israel's population and nearly eight times its landmass.
Second, the Soviet Union never seriously or repeatedly called for the extermination of another country, as the Islamic Republic of Iran does with regard to Israel. It is preposterous to compare Nikita Khrushchev's promise, "We will bury you," to the ayatollah's aim to "annihilate" Israel. It was simply a rhetorical flourish about communism's eventual triumph over democratic capitalism.
Third, almost no one in any communist country believed in communism. The biggest believers in communism tended to be Western intellectuals. And communists in the West weren't beheading people or plotting mass murder. On the other hand, at least a hundred million Muslims believe in imposing — by force, if necessary — sharia on other people. And while communists in Western European countries posed an electoral threat to democratic capitalism, more than a few Muslims in European countries pose life-and-death threats to Europeans.
Obama: "In light of these mounting threats, a number of strategists here in the United States argued we had to take military action against the Soviets, to hasten what they saw as inevitable confrontation. But the young president offered a different vision."
If there really were "a number of strategists" who called for "military action" against the Soviet Union during Kennedy's presidency, that number was so tiny and so irrelevant that the president's statement is essentially a straw man.
—Obama: "After two years of negotiations, we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon."
This might be the whopper of the speech. Only an academic audience could find this statement persuasive.
To begin with, Iran has been "permanently prohibited" from obtaining nuclear weapons since 1970, the year Iran signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. So this arms deal prohibits nothing that wasn't already prohibited more than 45 years ago.
Even more important, the statement is utterly meaningless. It is like saying, "The United States has permanently prohibited murder." It's true, but so what? Iran's behavior clearly indicates that it wants to develop nuclear weapons, and being "prohibited" from doing so did not and will not stop it. Again, it would be like saying, "Nazi Germany was prohibited from attacking Poland."
—Obama: "It cuts off all of Iran's pathways to a bomb."
The only question is whether Obama believes this.
There are two types of lies: those one knows to be falsehoods and those the person believes. The former is more immoral. The latter, though not literally a lie, is more dangerous.
Even if one believes the agreement to be effective, it does little or nothing to prevent Iran from making nuclear weapons in 10 years.
Furthermore, the agreement enables Iran to cheat the whole time. There is no inspection "anytime, anywhere" — which is the only type of inspection that matters.
a) If the IAEA suspects cheating, it gives Iran up to a 24-day notice. If Iran objects, the issue goes before the P5+1 nations, which, of course, include Russia and China. Charles Krauthammer quoted comedian Jackie Mason as observing that New York City restaurants get more intrusive inspections than the Iranian nuclear program.
b) The United States is prohibited from ever sending in its own inspectors.
c) No military sites can ever be inspected. Iran can therefore establish or move nuclear facilities to whatever area it wishes and label those areas "military."
d) How are Congress and the American people supposed to trust the president's claim given the existence of two secret appendices to the agreement?
—Obama: "It contains the most comprehensive inspection and verification regime ever negotiated to monitor a nuclear program."
In light of all of the agreement's fatal weaknesses in preventing Iran from cheating, "most comprehensive ever negotiated" means nothing.
—Obama: "Congress decides whether to support this historic diplomatic breakthrough, or instead blocks it over the objection of the vast majority of the world."
Since when does "vast majority of the world" matter to making America — and, for that matter, the world — secure? President Ronald Reagan put Pershing missiles in Europe "over the objection of the vast majority of the world." Good thing Reagan did. Israel knocked out Saddam Hussein's Iraqi nuclear reactor "over the objection of the vast majority of the world." Good thing Israel did.
—Obama: "Between now and the congressional vote in September, you are going to hear a lot of arguments against this deal, backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising."
There can be only one reason the president mentioned "backed by tens of millions of dollars in advertising": to imply that there is something nefarious about such ads. The president and the rest of the American left are beside themselves over the fact that their views are not the only ones Americans get to hear. In Europe, this is not a problem for the left. There are essentially no paid ads for alternate political views, no talk radio, no Fox News, no Wall Street Journal Opinion Page (or at least none with anywhere near the clout of the American edition), no huge non-left intellectual and activist presence on the Internet, etc.
The left has the presidency and dominates education from pre-K through post-grad as well as mainstream print and electronic news and entertainment media. But that's not enough. Paid ads that differ with the left must be delegitimized. Of course, there are also millions of dollars in advertising for the agreement — but somehow that's legitimate.
But there is an even more sinister aspect to the president's comment.
He doesn't say it outright, but the left does. Those "tens of millions of dollars" are assumed to be Jewish dollars. This is now a major theme on the left: that the "Jewish lobby" and its money are the primary reasons for the opposition to Obama's Iran agreement.
A good example is a piece published this past weekend in the Huffington Post by a left-wing Yale University professor of English, David Bromwich. He labels as "treason" an address given by the Israeli prime minister to the annual meeting of the Jewish Federations of North America on reasons to oppose the Iran nuclear agreement. That's the oldest of antisemitic libels: that Jews are disloyal to the countries in which they live.
And the title of Bromwich's article — "Netanyahu and His Marionettes" — exemplifies another age-old antisemitic libel: of Jews pulling the strings of the world's major nations.
The president's reference to "tens of millions of dollars" has only helped reinforce those libels.
—Obama: "Many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal."
Many of the same people — such as John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden — who voted for the war in Iraq are now making the case for the Iran nuclear deal. So the point is just an ad hominem attack on the deal's critics.
Moreover, whatever one thinks of the war in Iraq, the reason the Islamic State has taken over large parts of Iraq is not the war in Iraq. It's that Obama, against the advice of his military advisers, removed all of America's troops from a pacified Iraq, creating the vacuum the Islamic State now fills.
—Obama: "There will be 24/7 monitoring of Iran's key nuclear facilities."
This is a sleight of hand. There is no 24/7 monitoring of anything Iran doesn't want monitored 24/7 and no monitoring at all of any facility Iran labels "military."
—Obama: "If Iran violates the agreement over the next decade, all of the sanctions can snap back into place."
"Can" is the operative word here — as in "a third-party candidate can be elected president." It theoretically can happen, but it won't. Does the president believe that Chinese and Russian sanctions will "snap back" if Iran cheats? If he does, he is frighteningly out of touch with reality. Nor will European sanctions likely snap back. French and German companies are already negotiating deals with the Iranian regime.
—Obama: "Unfortunately, we're living through a time in American politics where every foreign policy decision is viewed through a partisan prism... Before the ink was even dry on this deal, before Congress even read it, a majority of Republicans declared their virulent opposition."
As usual with Obama, opposition to his policies is "partisan." But support for his policies is nonpartisan.
—Obama: "The bottom line is, if Iran cheats, we can catch them, and we will."
That is not the bottom line. The bottom line is that Iran will cheat, we won't always catch them, and the Obama administration will likely have little inclination to call Iran out on it. In fact, the Iranians are already cheating. As Bloomberg reported last week: "The U.S. intelligence community has informed Congress of evidence that Iran was sanitizing its suspected nuclear military site at Parchin, in broad daylight, days after agreeing to a nuclear deal with world powers."
There are so many loopholes that we will awaken one day to find out that Iran is testing nuclear weapons just as North Korea did after signing its nuclear agreement with the United States.
—Obama: "Third, a number of critics say the deal isn't worth it, because Iran will get billions of dollars in sanctions relief. Now, let's be clear. The international sanctions were put in place precisely to get Iran to agree to constraints on its program. That's the point of sanctions. Any negotiated agreement with Iran would involve sanctions relief."
If America had held firm for anytime/anywhere inspections, Iran either would have agreed to such inspections or, if not, sanctions might well have remained in place. Our European allies were on board. As recently as June, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius was warning that "a possible nuclear deal with Iran risks sparking a nuclear arms race in the Middle East unless the agreement grants international inspectors access to Iranian military sites and other secret facilities. ... The best agreement, if you cannot verify it, it's useless."
But America is led by a president who wanted any agreement, even a useless one.
—Obama: "Our best analysts expect the bulk of this revenue to go into spending that improves the economy and benefits the lives of the Iranian people."
Even if that is what happens, this money massively strengthens the Iranian regime. But everyone knows that much of the $40 billion to $140 billion to be released will go to Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis in Yemen and other pro-Iranian terror groups.
—Obama: "Contrary to the alarmists who claim Iran is on the brink of taking over the Middle East, or even the world, Iran will remain a regional power with its own set of challenges."
Every country — whether free or a police state — has "its own set of challenges." That point is meaningless. But it is hardly "alarmist" to fear Iran seeking to dominate the Middle East and helping to prop up anti-American regimes around the world. It is already doing so in Latin America.
—Obama: "We will continue to insist upon the release of Americans detained unjustly."
Well, that's reassuring. If the U.S. president and secretary of state couldn't even get Iran to release four illegally imprisoned American citizens in exchange for the ending of sanctions and a porous nuclear agreement, how will he get them released now?
—Obama: "Just because Iranian hardliners chant "death to America" does not mean that that's what all Iranians believe."
This comment is noteworthy — for its foolishness. Of course not all Iranians believe in death to America. But the Iranians who don't believe in it are irrelevant in Iran, just as good Germans were irrelevant in Nazi Germany and good Russians were irrelevant in the Soviet Union. All that matters in a police state is what the regime believes.
—Obama: "It's those hardliners chanting "death to America" who have been most opposed to the deal. They're making common cause with the Republican caucus."
Likening Iranians who chant "death to America" to Republicans may be a new low in American presidential rhetoric.
And it's not just mean-spirited. It's factually wrong. If anyone is "making common cause" with the Iranian hardliners, it is Obama and his supporters. The hardliners in Iran want sanctions dropped and to be able to continue their pursuit of nuclear weapons. Now they can.
—Obama: "As members of Congress reflect on their pending decision, I urge them to set aside political concerns."
So do those of us who oppose the Iran nuclear agreement. But it's the Democrats who cannot set aside political concerns. Let's be real: If a Republican president had negotiated this deal, the vast majority of Democrats would oppose it — and so would the vast majority of Republicans.
—Obama: "My fellow Americans, contact your representatives in Congress, remind them of who we are, remind them of what is best in us and what we stand for so that we can leave behind a world that is more secure and more peaceful for our children."
On that, we agree.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0815/prager081115.php3#dZv2jfqD1yiSH1TH.99
By Walter Williams
George Orwell said, "There are some ideas so absurd that only an intellectual could believe them." If one wants to discover the truth of Orwell's statement, he need only step upon most college campuses.
Faculty leaders of the University of California consider certain statements racism and feel they should not be used in class. They call it micro-aggression. To them, micro-aggressive racist statements are: "America is the land of opportunity." That is seen as perpetuating the myth of meritocracy. "There is only one race, the human race." Such a statement is seen as denying the individual as a racial/cultural being. "I believe the most qualified person should get the job." That's "racist" because it gives the impression that "people of color are given extra unfair benefits because of their race."
These expressions don't exhaust the list of micro-aggressions. Other seemingly innocuous statements deemed unacceptable are: "Everyone can succeed in this society, if they work hard enough," "When I look at you, I don't see color," or "Affirmative action is racist." Perhaps worst of all is, "Where are you from or where were you born?" For more of this, see a document released by The College Fix (http://tinyurl.com/ne8ckqn) titled "Diversity in the Classroom," UCLA Diversity and Faculty Development.
This micro-aggression nonsense, called micro-totalitarianism by my colleague Dr. Thomas Sowell, is nothing less than an attack on free speech. From the Nazis to the Stalinists, tyrants have always started out supporting free speech, and why is easy to understand. Speech is vital for the realization of their goals of command, control and confiscation. Free speech is a basic tool for indoctrination, propagandizing, proselytization. Once the leftists gain control, as they have at many universities, free speech becomes a liability and must be suppressed. This is increasingly the case on university campuses.
Daniel Henninger, deputy editor of The Wall Street Journal's editorial page, writes about the campus attack on free speech and different ideas in his article titled "Obama Unleashes the Left: How the government created a federal hunting license for the far left" (http://tinyurl.com/mp5x428). He says that in the Harvard Crimson, an undergraduate columnist wrote: "Let's give up on academic freedom in favor of justice. When an academic community observes research promoting or justifying oppression, it should ensure that this research does not continue." The student was calling for the suppression of the research of conservative Harvard government professor Harvey Mansfield.
Oberlin College proposed that its teachers be aware of politically controversial topics such as "racism, classism, sexism, heterosexism, cissexism, ableism, capitalism and other issues of privilege and oppression." The presumption that students must be protected rather than challenged in a classroom is at once infantilizing and anti-intellectual.
Last year Vassar College faculty and students held a meeting to discuss the school's movement to boycott Israel. Before the meeting, an English professor announced the dialogue would "not be guided by cardboard notions of civility." That professor's vision differs little from Adolf Hitler's brown-shirted thugs of the paramilitary wing of the Nazi Party in their effort to crush dissent.
Azusa Pacific University "postponed" a speech by political scientist Charles Murray to avoid "hurting our faculty and students of color." Brandeis University officials rescinded their invitation to Somali writer and American Enterprise Institute scholar Ayaan Hirsi Ali, whose criticisms of radical Islam were said to have violated the school's "core values." Brandeis officials claimed that allowing her to speak would be hurtful to Muslim students.
Western values of liberty are under ruthless attack by the academic elite on college campuses across America. These people want to replace personal liberty with government control; they want to replace equality before the law with entitlement. As such, they pose a far greater threat to our way of life than any terrorist organization or rogue nation. Leftist ideas are a cancer on our society. Ironically, we not only are timid in response, but also nourish those ideas with our tax dollars and charitable donations.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams081215.php3#TDTX0cYJoTPWfZye.99
A Debatable 'Debate'
By Thomas Sowell
The so-called "debates," among too many Republicans to have a debate, are yet another painful sign of how much words and ideas have degenerated in our times.
No one expects these televised sound bites and "gotcha" questions to be anything like the historic Lincoln-Douglas debates on the momentous national issue of slavery.
But the mob scene of candidates on stage that began with the 2012 campaign, and is now being repeated, is a big step down from the modern one-on-one debates between presidential candidates that began with John F. Kennedy versus Richard Nixon in 1960.
We still have momentous national issues. In fact, the threat of a nuclear Iran with intercontinental missiles is a threat to the survival of America and of Western civilization. The issue could not be bigger.
But this issue did not get even half the attention as was lavished on Donald Trump. Even in the earlier "debate" among the second-tier candidates, where Trump was not present, the first question asked was about Donald Trump.
Nothing could more plainly, or more painfully, show what is wrong with the priorities of the media.
A poll taken after the "debates" showed that, of the 17 participants, the top 5 were all people who had never run a state government or a federal agency. In other words, those who came out on top in this battle of sound bites were people whose great strength was in rhetoric.
After more than six years of Barack Obama in the White House, have we learned nothing about the dangers of choosing a President of the United States on the basis of sound bites, with no track record to check against his rhetoric?
Remember his promise of creating "the most transparent administration" in history? Remember his talk about "investing in the industries of the future" — and how that led to the bankruptcy of Solyndra? Remember "If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor"?
These were all great exercises in rhetoric. But before there was a track record to check against that rhetoric, voting to put Obama in the White House was like flying a plane through mountains at night. If we manage to get through the next year and a half without crashing, should we try that gamble again?
It so happens that there are some governors with outstanding track records among the 17 Republican candidates. But not one of them made the top 5 in the first poll after the "debates."
This is not to say that no one who has never been a governor should be considered. But to pick the top 5 exclusively from people with no governing experience shows how little we have learned about such gambles with the destiny of this nation.
Part of this is due to the format of these media "debates" among numerous candidates, which reduces their statements to little sound bites — and sound bites are seldom very sound.
Part of this is due to the kinds of questions asked by the media moderators. These first two "debates" were run by people from the Fox News Channel and, by media criteria, they were even praised by their competitors at CNN. But that just shows what is wrong with media criteria.
In the 2012 "debates," moderator John King asked Newt Gingrich about his marital problems — and Gingrich drew a standing ovation from the audience when he pointed out that the millions of people who were watching on television had not tuned in to find out about his personal life. But then as well, others in the media sprang to John King's defense, saying that any other media journalist would have asked that same question.
They might well be right. But that just shows what is wrong with the media. This year's Fox News Channel moderators included people who are fine in their own programs. But cast in this new role as moderators, their reliance on the usual media practices was a great disservice to the country at a time when there are very serious — and potentially catastrophic — issues in the balance.
Is this country's fate not as important as Donald Trump's antics? Then why would the first of these "debates" open with a question about Donald Trump, who was not even present?
There is plenty of blame to go around, and neither the media, the candidates, nor the public should be exempted from their share.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell081115.php3#MtdarxphiTYgX9Rv.99
The man who helped kill the Soviet Union with information
By George Will
History books can be historic events, making history by ending important arguments. They can make it impossible for any intellectually honest person to assert certain propositions that once enjoyed considerable currency among people purporting to care about evidence.
The author of one such book, Robert Conquest, an Englishman who spent many years at Stanford's Hoover Institution, has died at 98, having outlived the Soviet Union that he helped to kill with information. Historian, poet, journalist and indefatigable controversialist, Conquest was born when Soviet Russia was, in 1917, and in early adulthood he was a communist. Then, combining a convert's zeal and a scholar's meticulousness, he demolished the doctrine that the Soviet regime was a recognizable variant of the European experience and destined to "convergence" toward Western norms.
Books do not win wars, hot or cold, but they can help to sustain the will to win protracted conflict, producing clarity about the nature of an evil adversary. In 1968, five years before the first volume of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn's "The Gulag Archipelago" was published in the West, Conquest published "The Great Terror," a history of Joseph Stalin's purges during the 1930s. In one episode, which could have come from Arthur Koestler's classic 1941 novel "Darkness at Noon," Conquest recounted a conversation between Stalin and an aide named Mironov, who was failing to extract a confession — to a political crime — from a prisoner named Kamenev:
" 'Do you know how much our state weighs, with all the factories, machines, the army, with all the armaments and the navy?'
"Mironov and all those present looked at Stalin with surprise.
" 'Think it over and tell me,' demanded Stalin. Mironov smiled, believing that Stalin was getting ready to crack a joke. But Stalin did not intend to jest. . . .'I'm asking you, how much does all that weigh?' he insisted.
"Mironov was confused. He waited, still hoping Stalin would turn everything into a joke. . . . Mironov . . . said in an irresolute voice, 'Nobody can know that.. . . It is in the realm of astronomical figures.'
"'Well, and can one man withstand the pressure of that astronomical weight?' asked Stalin sternly.
" 'No,' answered Mironov.
" 'Now then, don't tell me any more that Kamenev, or this or that prisoner, is able to withstand that pressure. Don't come to report to me,' said Stalin to Mironov, 'until you have in this briefcase the confession of Kamenev!'"
In 1968, Conquest's mountain of evidence of the diabolical dynamics of the Soviet regime disquieted those, and they were legion, who suggested a moral equivalence between the main adversaries in the Cold War, which, they argued, had been precipitated by U.S. actions.
In 1986, Conquest published "The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet Collectivization and the Terror-Famine," his unsparing account of the deliberate starvation of Ukraine in 1932 and 1933, which killed, at a minimum, 7 million people, more than half of them children. At one point, more Ukrainians were dying each day than Jews were to be murdered at Auschwitz at the peak of extermination in the spring of 1944.
Conquest's work is pertinent to understanding Vladimir Putin's Russia. Conquest's thesis was not that Soviet leaders studied Lenin's turgid writings but that they were thoroughly marinated in the morals of the regime Lenin founded and that produced the repression machinery that produced Putin.
Conquest's death follows that in June of another servant of intellectual integrity, Allen Weinstein. In 1978, the 30-year war against the truth waged by Alger Hiss, the U.S. diplomat and traitor, was ended when Weinstein published "Perjury: The Hiss-Chambers Case." This definitively dismantled the edifice of mendacity that Hiss and his supporters had erected to assert the injustice of his imprisonment for perjury — for lying about his espionage for the Soviets. Hiss still has a ragtag remnant of defenders, historical illiterates who are disproportionately academics. They often are the last to learn things because they have gone to earth in the groves of academe in order to live in an alternative reality.
Conquest lived to see a current U.S. presidential candidate, a senator, who had chosen, surely as an ideological gesture, to spend his honeymoon in the Soviet Union in 1988. Gulags still functioned, probably including some of the "cold Auschwitzes" in Siberia, described in Conquest's "Kolyma." The honeymooner did not mind that in 1988 political prisoners were — as may still be the case — being tortured in psychiatric "hospitals." Thanks to the unblinking honesty of people like Conquest, the Soviet Union now is such a receding memory that Bernie Sanders's moral obtuseness — the obverse of Conquest's character — is considered an amusing eccentricity.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will080815.php3#xXflrDJjJdHcfppy.99
1938 and 2015: Only the Names Are Different
By Dennis Prager
We say that evil is dark. But this metaphor is imprecise. Evil is actually intensely bright, so painfully bright that people look away from it. Many even deny its existence.
Why? Because once people acknowledge evil's existence, they know they have to confront it. And most people prefer not to confront evil.
That is what led to World War II. Many in the West denied the darkness of Nazism. They looked the other way when that evil could have been stopped and then appeased it as it became stronger.
We are reliving 1938. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain went to Munich to negotiate with Adolf Hitler. He left believing Hitler's promises of peace in exchange for Germany being allowed to annex large parts of Czechoslovakia. Upon returning to England, Chamberlain announced, "Peace for our time."
The American and European negotiations with Iran have so precisely mirrored 1938 that you have to wonder how anyone could not see it.
The Nazi regime's great hatred was Jews. Iran's great hatred is the Jewish state. The Nazis' greatest aim was to exterminate the Jews of Europe. Iran's greatest aim is to exterminate the Jewish state. Nazi Germany hated the West and its freedoms. The Islamic Republic of Iran hates the West and its freedoms. Germany sought to dominate Europe. Iran seeks to dominate the Middle East and the Muslim world.
And exactly as Britain and France appeased Nazi Germany, the same two countries along with the United States have chosen to appease Iran.
Today, people mock Chamberlain. But just change the names, and you realize that we are living through a repetition of Munich. Substitute the Islamic Republic of Iran for Nazi Germany, the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for Hitler, Barack Obama and John Kerry for Chamberlain, Israel for Czechoslovakia and for Europe's Jews, and the increasingly unsafe world of 2015 for the increasingly unsafe world of 1938.
In fact, there is considerably less defense for the Iran agreement — which awards Iran $150 billion in currently frozen assets and the right to keep its nuclear program — than there was for the Munich agreement. Prior to 1938, Hitler had not publicly proclaimed his aim to annihilate Europe's Jews. Yet, Iran has been proclaiming its intention to annihilate the Jewish state for decades. There were no massive "Death to America" demonstrations in Germany as there regularly are in Iran. In 1938, Germany had not been responsible for terror around the world as Iran is now. Nor was Germany responsible for the death of more than a thousand Americans as Iran has been.
Iran has been responsible for more American deaths in the past quarter-century than any other group or country. Col. Richard Kemp, the former commander of British troops in Afghanistan, and Major Chris Driver-Williams of British special forces, summarized it this way: "Iranian military action, often working through proxies using terrorist tactics, has led to the deaths of well over a thousand American soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan over the last decade and a half."
The Neville Chamberlains of 2015 defend the agreement with Iran on two grounds: that the only alternative is war, and that this agreement has the capacity to bring Iran into "the community of nations."
The first is a falsehood for three reasons.
First, the alternative to this agreement was continuing and tightening the sanctions that were weakening the Iranian regime and greatly diminishing its ability to fund terror groups around the world. Second, because the agreement so strengthens Iran, it makes war far more likely. When evil, expansionist regimes get richer, they don't spend their wealth on building new hospitals. Third, we have been at war with Iran for decades — but only one side has been fighting.
And whoever believes that the agreement will bring Iran into "the community of nations" betrays a breathtaking ignorance about the Iranian regime.
The Iranian regime is composed of religious fanatics who are morally indistinguishable from ISIS, al-Qaida, Boko Haram and all the other mass-murdering Islamist movements.
The Iranian regime has executed more people than any country except China (and probably North Korea, for which data are unavailable).
The Iranian regime has killed more than 6,000 gays for being homosexual.
No woman in Iran is allowed to leave the country or even to work outside her home without the permission of her husband. As Zahra Eshraghi, a granddaughter of the founder of the Islamic Republic, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, has testified: "As a woman, if I want to get a passport to leave the country, have surgery, even to breathe almost, I must have permission from my husband."
The Iranian regime repeatedly calls for the extermination of Israel. No other country in the world is committed to annihilating another country.
Iran is the world's greatest funder of terror organizations.
The late Argentine prosecutor Alberto Nisman indicted Iran for establishing terrorist networks throughout Latin America, including Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Chile and Colombia, among other countries.
Iran funds and directs the Lebanese terror organization Hezbollah, the most powerful military organization in Lebanon.
Iran is the major funder of Hamas.
Iran has been responsible for terror bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.
According to the 9/11 Commission Report, eight to 10 of the 9/11 hijackers passed through Iran, and an American judge ruled that Iran bears legal responsibility for providing "material support" to the 9/11 hijackers.
Members of Congress who vote to uphold this agreement will be viewed as Chamberlain is viewed. The Left likes to talk about being on "the right side" of history. Enabling Iran to keep its nuclear facilities while gaining access to hundreds of billions of dollars is to be on the wrong side of history.
Question: Would any member of Congress vote for this agreement if Iran were situated at the American border?
Very few people have a chance to do something about the greatest evil of their time. Members of the U.S. Congress have that chance. That should trump loyalty to Obama and his appeasement of the greatest evil of our time.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0715/prager072115.php3#4LeArzvXtTb7zJZ1.99
The gruesome hits keep coming for the baby butchers of Planned Parenthood. President Obama and his top health officials have one last-ditch response left:__ Quick, hide behind the imaginary mammogram machine!
As more graphic, money-grubbing undercover videos of Planned Parenthood's for-profit aborted baby parts racket emerge thanks to the investigative work of the Center for Medical Progress, desperate Democrats are in full deflection mode. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Sylvia Mathews Burwell defended federal funding for Planned Parenthood this week by invoking the women's health shield.
"What I think is important is that our HHS funding is focused on issues of preventative care for women, things like mammograms," Burwell told the House Education and Workforce Committee.
_Just one teeny, tiny problem with this defense: It's a completely calculated fabrication.
The breast-cancer screening charade casts Planned Parenthood as a life-saving provider of vital health services unavailable anywhere else. You may recall that during the 2012 presidential cycle, Obama himself falsely claimed during a debate that the abortion provider administers mammograms to "millions" of women — and liberal CNN moderator Candy Crowley let him get away with it.
On cue, Hollywood activists Scarlett Johansson, Eva Longoria and Kerry Washington all attacked the GOP ticket for wanting to "end" funding for "cancer screenings" by cutting off government subsidies for Planned Parenthood's bloody billion-dollar abortion business.
The celebrities in the White House and Tinseltown took their script straight from Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood's senior director of medical services, who purported to speak for countless women for whom Planned Parenthood is "the only way" they can gain access to mammograms.
(If the name sounds familiar, Nucatola is the same wine-swishing Josephine Mengele who was exposed on tape by the Center for Medical Progress two weeks ago lolling through a business lunch negotiating payments for aborted baby parts.)
Once again, it was undercover pro-life journalists who unmasked the truth.
An investigation of 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 different states, conducted by pro-life group Live Action, confirmed that the abortion provider does not perform breast-cancer screenings.
"We don't provide those services whatsoever," a staffer at Planned Parenthood of Arizona confessed on tape.
Planned Parenthood's Comprehensive Health Center clinic in Overland Park, Kan., admitted: "We actually don't have a, um, mammogram machine at our clinics."
Even the liberal Washington Post doled out a three (out of four) Pinocchio rating for the White House's mammogram lies. "The problem here is that Planned Parenthood does not perform mammograms or even possess the necessary equipment to do so," the paper's resident fact-checker reported. "As such, the organization certainly does not 'provide' mammograms in the strict sense. Instead, its clinics provide referrals and direct low-income women toward resources to help pay for the procedure. These services are by no means unique to Planned Parenthood. In fact, the Susan G. Komen Foundation and the American Cancer Society provide them, as well."
As I've pointed out previously, Planned Parenthood's purported "referral services" to outside mammogram facilities are negligible — especially given the widespread availability of these and other free and low-cost breast and cervical cancer screening services across the country supported by both private and public grants.
Reluctant to do its job and just call out the president as an outright liar, The Washington Post fell short of giving Obama the full four-Pinocchio treatment for his Planned Parenthood mammogram propagandizing, but acknowledged that he has repeated the lies "too many times in one form or another for this to be considered just playing with words to generate a misleading impression."
The Obama HHS apparently needs to be reminded of its own review exposing the mammography deception. In June 2012, the agency responded to a request for information about how many Planned Parenthood clinics were certified to operate mammogram facilities. "Our search did not find any documents pertinent to your request," HHS told the Alliance Defense Fund.
Zip. Zilch. None. Nada.
Pro-life investigative journalist Lila Rose of Live Action has it right: "It is an alarming dereliction of duty that the Secretary of Health and Human Services refuses to view investigative reports that clearly demonstrate that Planned Parenthood, who receives close to half a million taxpayer dollars a year from the federal government, is engaged in the selling and trafficking of aborted baby body parts for profit," she said this week. "Ms. Burwell should be investigating Planned Parenthood, not covering for them."
Ladies, open your eyes and hearts. Watch the videos for yourselves. Get the facts. Unmask the lies. The cackling profiteers of Planned Parenthood don't care about your breasts. They're too busy putting price tags on the baby hearts, livers, lungs and limbs swirling around in bloody pie plates, stacked in their "research" labs, subsidized with your tax dollars and sold to the highest bidders.
For "preventative care," of course.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin073115.php3#HW4WA1IEyr83dq8R.99
Lies the Government Is Telling You
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
Last week, Republicans and Democrats in Congress joined President Barack Obama in congratulating themselves for taming the National Security Agency's voracious appetite for spying. By permitting one section of the Patriot Act to expire and by replacing it with the USA Freedom Act, the federal government is taking credit for taming beasts of its own creation.
In reality, nothing substantial has changed.
Under the Patriot Act, the NSA had access to and possessed digital versions of the content of all telephone conversations, emails and text messages sent between and among all people in America since 2009. Under the USA Freedom Act, it has the same. The USA Freedom Act changes slightly the mechanisms for acquiring this bulk data, but it does not change the amount or nature of the data the NSA acquires.
Under the Patriot Act, the NSA installed its computers in every main switching station of every telecom carrier and Internet service provider in the U.S. It did this by getting Congress to immunize the carriers and providers from liability for permitting the feds to snoop on their customers and by getting the Department of Justice to prosecute the only CEO of a carrier who had the courage to send the feds packing.
In order to operate its computers at these facilities, the NSA placed its own computer analysts physically at those computers 24/7. It then went to the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court and asked for search warrants directing the telecoms and Internet service providers to make available to it all the identifying metadata — the times, locations, durations, email addresses used and telephone numbers used — for all callers and email users in a given ZIP code or area code or on a customer list.
The first document revealed by Edward Snowden two years ago was a FISA court search warrant directed to Verizon ordering it to make available to NSA agents the metadata of all its customers — more than 113 million at the time. Once the court granted that search warrant and others like it, the NSA computers simply downloaded all that metadata and the digital recordings of content. Because the FISA court renewed every order it issued, this arrangement became permanent.
Under the USA Freedom Act, the NSA computers remain at the carriers' and service providers' switching offices, but the NSA computer analysts return to theirs; and from there they operate remotely the same computers they were operating directly in the Patriot Act days. The NSA will continue to ask the FISA court for search warrants permitting the download of metadata, and that court will still grant those search warrants permitting the downloading. And the NSA will continue to take both metadata and content.
The Supreme Court has ruled consistently that the government must obtain a search warrant in order to intercept any nonpublic communication. The Constitution requires probable cause as a precondition for a judge to issue a search warrant for any purpose, and the warrant must "particularly (describe) the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Because this is expressly set forth in the Constitution itself, Congress and the president are bound by it. They cannot change it. They cannot avoid or evade it.
Probable cause is evidence about a person or place sufficient to permit a judge to conclude that evidence of a crime will probably be found. Both the Patriot Act and the USA Freedom Act disregard the "probable cause" standard and substitute instead a "government need" standard. This is, of course, no standard at all, as the NSA has claimed under the Patriot Act — and the FISA court bought the argument — that it needs all telephone calls, all emails and all text messages of all people in America. Today it may legally obtain them by making the same claim under the USA Freedom Act.
When politicians tell you that the NSA needs a court order in order to listen to your phone calls or read your emails, they are talking about a FISA court order that is based on government need — not a constitutional court order, which can only be based on probable cause. This is an insidious and unconstitutional bait and switch.
All this may start with the NSA, but it does not end there. Last week, we learned that the FBI is operating low-flying planes over 100 American cities to monitor folks on the streets and intercept their cellphone use — without any search warrants. Earlier this week, we learned that the Drug Enforcement Administration has intercepted the telephone calls of more than 11,000 people in three years — without any search warrants. We already know that local police have been using government surplus cell towers to intercept the cellphone signals of innocent automobile drivers for about a year — without search warrants.
How dangerous this is. The Constitution is the supreme law of the land. It applies in good times and in bad, in war and in peace. It regulates the governed and the governors. Yet if the government that it regulates can change it by ordinary legislation, then it is not a constitution but a charade.
Suppose the Congress wants to redefine the freedom of speech or the free exercise of religion or the right to keep and bear arms, just as it did the standards for issuing search warrants. What is the value of a constitutional guarantee if the people into whose hands we repose the Constitution for safe keeping can change it as they see fit and negate the guarantee?
What do you call a negated constitutional guarantee? Government need.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0615/napolitano061115.php3#7MyuqaA4grkUfTrU.99
Legal and Academic Equality Nonsense
By Walter Williams
A particular act or policy might not
have a discriminatory intent, but that doesn't let you off the hook. If
it has a disproportionately negative impact on so-called protected
classes, it is said to have a disparate impact and risks being
prohibited by law. The uninformed assumption made by judges, lawyers and
academics is that but for the fact of racial and sex discrimination, we
all would be distributed across occupations, educational backgrounds
and other socio-economic characteristics according to our percentages in
the population. Such a vision is absolute nonsense. There is no
evidence, anywhere, at any time, that but for the fact of
discrimination, there would be proportional representation among various
socio-economic characteristics. Let's look at some
disproportionalities, with an eye toward discovering the causes and then
deciding what to do about them.
If one were to list the world's top 30 violinists of the 20th
century, at least 25 of them would be of Jewish ancestry. Another
disparity is that despite the fact that Jews are less than 3 percent of
the U.S. population and a mere 0.2 percent of the world's population,
during the 20th century, Jews were 35 percent of American and 22 percent
of the world's Nobel Prize winners. Are Jews taking violin excellence
and Nobel Prizes that belong to other ethnicities? If America's
diversity worshippers see underrepresentation as probative of racial
discrimination, what do they propose be done about overrepresentation?
Overrepresentation may be seen as denial of opportunity. For example,
blacks are 13 percent of our population but about 80 percent of
professional basketball players and 65 percent of professional football
players and among the highest-paid players in both sports. By stark
contrast, blacks are only 2 percent of the NHL's professional ice hockey
players. Basketball, football and ice hockey represent gross racial
disparities and as such come nowhere close to "looking like America." Do
these statistics mean that the owners of multibillion-dollar basketball
and football operations are nice guys and ice hockey owners are
racists? By the way, just because blacks are 65 percent of professional
football players, let's not lull ourselves into complacency. When's the
last time you saw a black NFL kicker or punter?
There are even geographical disparities. Not a single player in
the NHL's history can boast of having been born and raised in Hawaii,
Louisiana or Mississippi. Geographical disparities are not only limited
to ice hockey. The population statistics for North and South Dakota,
Iowa, Maine, Montana and Vermont show that not even 1 percent of their
population is black. In states such as Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi,
blacks are overrepresented. When such racial disparities were found in
schooling, the remedy was busing. I'll tell you one thing; I'm not
moving to Montana. It's too cold.
Geographical disparities don't only apply to the U.S. Historically,
none of the world's greatest seamen has been born and raised in a
Himalayan nation, such as Nepal and Bhutan, or a sub-Saharan nation of
Africa. They mostly have been from Scandinavia, other parts of Europe,
East Asia or the South Pacific.
Being a man, I find another disproportionality particularly
disturbing. According to a recent study conducted by Bond University in
Australia, sharks are nine times likelier to attack and kill men than
they are women. Such a disproportionality leads to only one conclusion:
Sharks are sexist. Another disturbing sex disparity is that despite the
fact that men are 50 percent of the population and so are women, men are
struck by lightning six times as often as women. Of those killed by
lightning, 82 percent are men. I wonder what whoever is in charge of
lightning has against men.
Differences are seen by many as signs of inequality. Nobel laureate
Milton Friedman put it best: "A society that puts equality before
freedom will get neither. A society that puts freedom before equality
will get a high degree of both." Equality in conjunction with the
general rules of law is the only kind of equality conducive to liberty
that can be secured without destroying liberty.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams080515.php3#cvTxvT6sRs3KPsp7.99
Iran Deal Is Obama's Foreign Policy Obamacare
By David Limbaugh
President Obama's sordid Iran nuke deal is looking more and more like the foreign policy version of Obamacare. It's duplicitous, secretive, destructive and legacy-driven, and he's going to have to go full community organizer to get it passed.
This deal was born in hell. It is the culmination of Obama's dangerously flawed philosophy that you enhance national security through appeasement. If we can secure a deal with Satan's stepchild, after all, we can remake the globe into the peaceful utopia progressives romantically envision.
Never mind that this terrorist theocracy, by its own admission, is immune to rehabilitation. "Death to America, death to Israel." Even in the midst of negotiations with the Obama regime, the mullahs didn't bother to pretend they had goodwill toward us.
It was as though Iran's leaders were trying to validate the deal's opponents, demonstrating their contempt for America and Israel, showing their intention to continue sponsoring global terrorism, and signaling their unwillingness to submit to legitimate inspections.
Throughout, the Obama regime's denial of Iran's malevolence grew in direct proportion to Iran's confessions. Obama's essential message to us was: "Don't listen to the Iranians; they will comply with the terms of the agreement despite insisting they won't. We must close this deal and make it easier for them to get nukes because they will respond favorably to our magnanimity."
Obama's problem is that you can only fool part of the people part of the time. His propaganda machine doesn't always succeed, as some facts are too stubborn to ignore. Whether there are limits to the Democratic Party's loyalty to party over country, on the other hand, is another matter. It may approve this deal despite its undeniable flaws and the public's opposition.
Yes, polls show that just as with Obamacare, Obama has been unable to fool the majority of Americans into believing that this deal is good for America. A Quinnipiac University poll shows that 57 percent of Americans oppose it, whereas only 28 percent support it. By similar majorities, Americans disapprove of the way Obama is handling the situation in Iran and believe that the deal makes the world less safe.
Don't assume this gives Obama a second's pause; it simply inspires him to push harder. But he is growing desperate. Bloomberg reports that "administration officials are increasingly finding themselves on the defensive against criticism from Republicans and some Democrats, as well as vehement opposition from Israel, according to three officials, who all spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal political deliberations."
So Obama has launched an intense lobbying effort of congressional Democrats. As with the 2012 presidential election, he knows he can't win GOP support, so he has shucked any pretense of bipartisanship and turned to the far left for support. And like a seasoned community organizer, he is isolating and demonizing his opponents and distorting facts that damage his cause.
As such, Obama is arguing that opposition to his deal is coming from the same groups that led us to war in Iraq, by which he is not so subtly implying Jewish groups. It's not enough for him to slander Israel's leaders; he must target Jewish supporters in America, as well, playing to the worst of the old stereotypes.
Meanwhile, Nobel Prize seeker John Kerry is telling us that Iran's supreme leader wasn't serious when he called for "death to America." Secretary of State Kerry assured the House Foreign Affairs Committee that he has "no specific knowledge of a plan by Iran to actually destroy us." Swell.
The Obama administration wants us to believe it instead of Iran concerning Iran's intentions. Not to worry, because Obama claims he's tougher than Ronald Reagan. He's pursuing a "don't trust but verify" strategy with Iran. Yet the specifics of the deal scream otherwise. Not only are "anytime, anywhere" site inspections absent from the deal but also the United States has a subordinate role in the inspections process.
The deal results in the likely acceleration of Iran's acquisition of nuclear weapons, and it frees up billions to Iran, which can and will use the funds to sponsor global terrorism.
Just as with Obamacare, everything about this deal is wrong and the American people oppose it, which is why Obama will become more militant and deceitful in trying to cram it down our throats.
Have we learned nothing from the Obamacare nightmare, especially about Obama's character and designs?
Now is not the time to mince words about the evils we face; now is not the time to pull our punches in deference to the false gods of bipartisanship and compromise — which only one party (the GOP) honors, in any event.
Some reasons for optimism exist. For example, Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is said to be wavering.
Perhaps our side can take a page from Obama's playbook and pull out all the stops in opposing this deal. The stakes are too high to sit this one out.
Just as with Obamacare, we can't rely on America's waning rule of law to save us from this unconstitutional and reckless monstrosity.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh080415.php3#PVZwItjEQiY2iADM.99
By David Limbaugh
Can we simultaneously love our children and betray their generation and generations unborn?
Do I have your attention? I hope so, but I can't take credit for that lead. I stole it from Page 1 of Mark Levin's new book, "Plunder and Deceit: Big Government's Exploitation of Young People and the Future."
(Buy it at a 40% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 52% discount by clicking here)
Conservatives have long decried the left's feigned concern "for the children" while it pursues an agenda that is wrecking their future, from Social Security and other budget-busting entitlements to the undermining of our national security. But no one has devoted a book to turning this meme on its head and cogently proving the statists guilty of that which they falsely accuse others.
There's a big difference between the left's invoking "the children" and Levin's doing so, for leftists only do it to obscure policy issues they can't argue on the merits. Levin mentions the children not to divert you from logical thinking but to coax you into it.
Universally, parents strive to give their children better opportunities than they had. Today, however, the situation is — shockingly — reversed. The current generation, at the behest of the statist political class and its enablers, is living on the backs of its children in the cynical name of safeguarding their interests. Those in this generation are mortgaging their children's future to make their own lives more comfortable.
Statist defenders of the status quo will protest that these are outrageous charges and that they are trying to improve everyone's life, including those in the rising generation. But the stubborn facts belie their claims. When anyone brings up these subjects, they either change the channel or start their familiar fearmongering and scapegoating — anything to avoid a fair examination of the issues.
Levin's book is precisely what the nation needs to force a public discussion of these issues and to keep statists' hands off the remote. Levin is uniquely suited to call our attention to the horrifying facts because 1) he makes the complex understandable; 2) people read his books; 3) he meticulously documents every position he takes; 4) he understands statists' motivations; 5) he has the credibility to sound another national warning; 6) no matter how dire our circumstances appear, he refuses to accept defeat; and 7) unlike so many other critics, he offers concrete, practical and realistic solutions.
Anyone remotely attuned to current events knows that the United States is racing toward Greek-level insolvency. He knows our national debt exceeds $18 trillion. But does he know this figure is vastly understated, as Levin demonstrates? Does he realize that our government's unfunded liabilities are about $100 trillion and that if we don't make structural adjustments to our smorgasbord of "entitlement" programs, they will consume 100 percent of tax revenues by 2039 — conservatively estimated?
Everyone should know these things, yet people seem to assume there's no need for panic because our ruling class isn't concerned. Every time any conservative warns of this inevitable fiscal Armageddon, the statists and their media henchmen set out to destroy him as an evil Scrooge hellbent on hoarding all the wealth for "the rich."
Imagine if the political left in this country expended one-fourth the energy calling the public's attention to the looming fiscal crisis, which actually threatens our kids' future, as it does in hyping "global warming," which doesn't. We could turn things around within a generation — provided we were willing to make modest sacrifices, which truly would be for the children.
Dream on. Leftists are not about to join us and will continue to slander everyone who sounds the alarm. That's why Levin's book is so necessary and so timely.
I have long understood that Social Security and Medicare are upside-down, but after reading Levin's book, I know exactly why. I now have all the facts and figures at my fingertips, unpleasant as they are. Levin deals with one devastating issue per chapter: the debt, Social Security, education, immigration, the environment, the minimum wage, national security and the Constitution. He documents how the statists are destroying this nation — and our children's future — in all these categories.
I admit that Mark Levin is my good friend, but it honestly amazes me how, in a relatively short book, he can present power-packed information on all these critical issues as thoroughly as the densest textbook yet in a style as readable and riveting as any best-selling novel.
This book is a one-stop shop on the vital issues that our generation must address. As Levin points out, ultimately these are more than economic and national security issues. They are moral issues. We have a moral obligation to place these matters on the front burner, no matter how deceptively distant they may seem to us now and regardless of what kind of heat we take.
Don't give the statists the benefit of the doubt, for they have to know what they are doing. The numbers do not lie, and Levin provides all the numbers in this book. This is purely a matter of plunder by deceit.
Despite how ominous all this sounds, we can make the necessary changes to turn this ship around. G0D bless Mark Levin for once again warning the nation and providing us a way out of this nightmare.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh073115.php3#MbhFC6qHS8tppQFm.99
Voters to G.O.P.: We're just not that into illegal aliens
By Ann Coulter
For years, Republican candidates have been assured by their political consultants that amnesty is a runaway hit with the public. Then they always come in for a zinger of a surprise when the American people are finally able to express themselves on the subject. (Sometimes it seems as if political consultants are in the game only to make money.)
Washington has tried to sneak through three amnesties in the last decade -- in 2006, 2007 and 2013. Each time, amnesty had the full support of the media, the White House, leaders of both political parties, big campaign donors and lobbyists.
And every time, as soon as the public got wind of what was happening, the politicians scattered like roaches and the loudest amnesty proponent in the room would suddenly be demanding "border security first!"
Couldn't Republicans spare themselves the embarrassment of having to say they "learned their lesson" by learning the same lesson of the last 17 guys to push amnesty?
The McCain-Kennedy amnesty passed the Senate in 2006, instantly inspiring an outpouring of voter anger so virulent that it shut down the congressional switchboards. Despite enormous opposition from voters, lame-duck President Bush cockily told reporters, "I'll see you at the bill signing" -- the first step to ushering in a Democratic Congress in the upcoming midterm elections.
By contrast, House Majority Leader John Boehner told a group of Republicans that he had "promised the president today that I wouldn't say anything bad about this piece of s--- bill."
Weeks later, the chief sponsor of the POS bill, Sen. John McCain, voted for a fence with no hint of amnesty.
A year later, when he was running for president, immigration was the issue dominating the primaries. McCain told voters, "My friends, I learned a lesson." What he had allegedly learned was: "We must secure the border first. We need to do these other things, but the American people want something done about the border."
McCain even cut macho campaign commercials of him walking by the southern border, saying, "Build the dang fence!"
Too little, too late. McCain lost the dang election.
Bush's loss was equally monumental: He lost Congress by pushing amnesty.
Contrary to liberals' claim that they had finally won the hearts and minds of the people in opposing the Iraq War, leading to the Democrats' 2006 sweep of Congress, a Washington Post/ABC News poll taken about a month into Bush's incessant yammering about amnesty showed that more Americans approved of Bush's handling of the Iraq War than approved of his handling of immigration.
In nearly every poll on Bush's handling of immigration that year, about 60 percent of the public disapproved and only 25 percent approved.
After Bush's party was wiped out in the midterm elections, the Democratic-controlled Congress seemed certain to pass amnesty. Bush still wanted it. So did the Democrats. So did the media. So did the donors.
But there was one teensy problem: The public still hated the idea.
You know how people always say "you can't beat something with nothing." When it comes to amnesty, "nothing" outpolls "something" every time.
In early June of 2007, a Rasmussen poll found that support for "no bill" beat support for the Senate immigration bill by 5-to-3. By the end of the week, "no bill" was winning 2-to-1, with 53 percent against amnesty and only 26 percent for it.
Public opposition was so vociferous, the Senate didn't even vote on the 2007 amnesty.
Then, a few years later, erstwhile tea party darling Sen. Marco Rubio burst on the scene deciding he was going to be the one to enact amnesty! Teaming up with everybody's favorite senator, Chuck Schumer, Rubio spent a full year zealously pushing amnesty, which entailed his telling huge, whopping lies about it.
He blanketed the airwaves, convinced Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin to support the bill, toured all the Sunday morning talk shows. It worked! The Senate passed Rubio's amnesty bill. It was Rubio's only accomplishment in Washington.
But then, unfortunately for him, the public found out about it and, once again, an amnesty bill died. (When will these so-called "voters" stop with their infernal meddling?)
The next thing we knew, Rubio was swearing to attendees at the March 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference that what "I've learned is you can't even have a conversation" about "immigration reform" until "future illegal immigration will be controlled," calling it "the single biggest lesson of the last two years."
A few months later, he told The Wall Street Journal that he wouldn't vote for his own bill if it came up again.
One-time GOP star, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, was suckered into supporting the Schumer-Rubio amnesty by a mere 20-minute conversation with Schumer. Not content to support the intensely hated amnesty bill, Christie also signed a bill granting illegal aliens in-state tuition.
But just before announcing his run for the presidency this year, Christie claimed that he, too, had "learned" more about the issue. He now claims he considers a path to citizenship "extreme" and accused Hillary Clinton of "pandering" by supporting a path to citizenship.
I'd say Christie had to eat his own words on immigration, but that would be a cheap shot.
As governor of Arkansas, Mike Huckabee denounced a bill to require verification of citizenship before registering to vote or applying for public benefits, saying it "inflames those who are racist and bigots." (Voters LOVE being called bigots!)
He made the weird claim that companies like Toyota or Nestle might refuse to invest in Arkansas if the bill became law, by sending the message that, "If you don't look like us, talk like us and speak like us, we don't want you." It might also send the message that we don't want foreigners voting in our elections or collecting public services meant for Americans.
But whenever he runs for president, Huckabee becomes a born-again Minuteman! His current presidential website denounces "the Washington establishment" for trying to "reward illegal immigrants with amnesty and citizenship," adding, "Without a secure border, nothing matters."
Instead of having to keep apologizing for their positions on immigration, maybe Republicans should stop listening to political consultants who are paid by business lobbyists to dump millions of poverty-stricken, low-wage workers on the country.
Out of nowhere, non-politician Donald Trump has shot to the top of the polls by denouncing America's widely unpopular immigration policies. All those high-priced campaign consultants are standing around scratching their heads.
Americans can see they're being forced to subsidize people who are being brought in only to outvote them, provide cheap labor and change our culture. All the donor money in the world isn't going to help you, Republicans, if the voters hate you.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/coulter073015.php3#PQEjjLMKsBfiWhhx.99
Whitewashing the Democratic Party's History
By Mona Charen
Here's what the former president of the United States had to say when he eulogized his mentor, an Arkansas senator:
"We come to celebrate and give thanks for the remarkable life of J. William Fulbright, a life that changed our country and our world forever and for the better. ... In the work he did, the words he spoke and the life he lived, Bill Fulbright stood against the 20th century's most destructive forces and fought to advance its brightest hopes."
So spoke President William J. Clinton in 1995 of a man who was among the 99 Democrats in Congress to sign the "Southern Manifesto" in 1956. (Two Republicans also signed it.) The Southern Manifesto declared the signatories' opposition to the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education and their commitment to segregation forever. Fulbright was also among those who filibustered the Civil Rights Act of 1964. That filibuster continued for 83 days.
Speaking of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, let's review (since they don't teach this in schools): The percentage of House Democrats who supported the legislation? 61 percent. House Republicans? 80 percent. In the Senate, 69 percent of Democrats voted yes, compared with 82 percent of Republicans. (Barry Goldwater, a supporter of the NAACP, voted no because he thought it was unconstitutional.)
When he was running for president in 2000, former Vice President Al Gore told the NAACP that his father, Sen. Al Gore Sr., had lost his Senate seat because he voted for the Civil Rights Act. Uplifting story — except it's false. Gore Sr. voted against the Civil Rights Act. He lost in 1970 in a race that focused on prayer in public schools, the Vietnam War and the Supreme Court.
Gore Jr.'s reframing of the relevant history is the story of the Democratic Party in microcosm. The party's history is pockmarked with racism and terror. The Democrats were the party of slavery, black codes, Jim Crow, and that miserable terrorist excrescence the Ku Klux Klan. Republicans were the party of Lincoln, of Reconstruction, of anti-lynching laws, of the civil rights acts of 1875, 1957, 1960 and 1964. Were all Republicans models of rectitude on racial matters? Hardly. Were they a heck of a lot better than the Democrats? Without question.
As recently as 2010, the Senate president pro tempore was former Exalted Cyclops Robert Byrd, D-W.V. Rather than acknowledge their sorry history, modern Democrats have rewritten it.
You may recall that when MSNBC was commemorating the 50th anniversary of segregationist George Wallace's "Stand in the Schoolhouse Door" stunt to prevent the integration of the University of Alabama, the network identified Wallace as "R-Ala."
The Democrats have been sedulously rewriting history for decades. Their preferred version pretends that all of the Democratic racists and segregationists left their party and became Republicans starting in the 1960s. How convenient. If it were true that the South began to turn Republican due to Lyndon Johnson's passage of the Civil Rights Act, you would expect that the Deep South, the states most associated with racism, would have been the first to move. That's not what happened. The first southern states to trend Republican were on the periphery: North Carolina, Virginia, Texas, Tennessee and Florida. (George Wallace lost these voters in his 1968 bid.) The voters who first migrated to the Republican Party were suburban, prosperous "New South" types. The more Republican the South has become the less racist.
Is it unforgivable that Clinton praised a former segregationist? No. Fulbright renounced his racist past, as did Byrd and Gore Sr. It would be immoral and unjust to misrepresent the history.
What is unforgivable is the way Democrats are still using race to foment hatred. Remember what happened to Trent Lott when he uttered a few dumb words about former segregationist Strom Thurmond? He didn't get the kind of pass Bill Clinton did when praising Fulbright. Earlier this month, Hillary Clinton told a mostly black audience, "What is happening is a sweeping effort to disempower and disenfranchise people of color, poor people and young people from one end of our country to another. ... Today Republicans are systematically and deliberately trying to stop millions of American citizens from voting." She was presumably referring to voter ID laws, which, by the way, 51 percent of black Americans support.
Racism has an ugly past in the Democratic Party. The accusation of racism has an ugly present.
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any 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.
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Without the power to tax, politicians lose their power over the people... higher taxes...
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