"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.
Real political extremism: Left senators tried hard to limit a key American right
By George Will
Since Barry Goldwater, in accepting the Republicans' 1964 presidential nomination, said, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice," Democrats have been decrying Republican "extremism." Actually, although there is abundant foolishness and unseemliness in U.S. politics, real extremism — measures or movements that menace the Constitution's architecture of ordered liberty — is rare. This week, however, extremism stained the Senate.
Forty-eight members of the Democratic caucus attempted to do something never previously done: Amend the Bill of Rights. They tried to radically shrink First Amendment protection of political speech. They evidently think extremism in defense of the political class's convenience is no vice.
The First Amendment, as the First Congress passed it and the states ratified it more than 200 years ago, says: "Congress shall make no law . . . abridging the freedom of speech." The 48 senators understand that this is incompatible — by its plain text, and in light of numerous Supreme Court rulings — with their desire to empower Congress and state legislatures to determine the permissible quantity, content and timing of political speech. Including, of course, speech by and about members of Congress and their challengers — as well as people seeking the presidency or state offices.
The 48 senators proposing to give legislators speech-regulating powers describe their amendment in anodyne language, as "relating to contributions and expenditures intended to affect elections."
But what affects elections is speech, and the vast majority of contributions and expenditures are made to disseminate speech. The Democrats' amendment says: "Congress and the states may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections," and may "prohibit" corporations — including nonprofit issue-advocacy corporations (such as the Sierra Club, NARAL Pro-Choice America and thousands of others across the political spectrum) from spending any money "to influence elections," which is what most of them exist to do.
Because all limits will be set by incumbent legislators, the limits deemed "reasonable" will surely serve incumbents' interests. The lower the limits, the more valuable will be the myriad (and unregulated) advantages of officeholders.
The point of this "improvement" of James Madison's First Amendment is to reverse the Supreme Court's 2010 Citizens United decision. It left in place the ban on corporate contributions to candidates. It said only that Americans do not forfeit their speech rights when they band together to express themselves on political issues through corporations, which they generally do through nonprofit advocacy corporations.
Floyd Abrams, among the First Amendment's most distinguished defenders, notes that the proposed amendment deals only with political money that funds speech. That it would leave political speech less protected than pornography, political protests at funerals, and Nazi parades. That, by aiming to equalize the political influence of people and groups, it would reverse the 1976 Buckley decision, joined by such champions of free expression as Justices William Brennan, Thurgood Marshall and Potter Stewart.
That one reason President Harry Truman vetoed the 1947 Taft-Hartley Act was that he considered its ban on corporations and unions making independent expenditures to affect federal elections a "dangerous intrusion on free speech." And that no Fortune 100 corporation "appears to have contributed even a cent to any of the 10 highest-grossing super PACs in either the 2010, 2012 or 2014 election cycles."
There are not the 67 Democratic senators and 290 Democratic representatives necessary to send this amendment to the states for ratification. The mere proposing of it, however, has usefully revealed the senators who are eager to regulate speech about themselves:
Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Mark Begich (Alaska), Michael Bennet (Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (Conn.), Cory Booker (N.J.), Barbara Boxer (Calif.), Sherrod Brown (Ohio), Maria Cantwell (Wash.), Benjamin Cardin (Md.), Thomas Carper (Del.), Robert Casey (Pa.), Christopher Coons (Del.), Richard Durbin (Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), Al Franken (Minn.), Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.), Kay Hagan (N.C.), Tom Harkin (Iowa), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tim Johnson (S.D.), Angus King (Maine), Amy Klobuchar (Minn.), Carl Levin (Mich.), Joe Manchin (W.Va.), Edward Markey (Mass.), Claire McCaskill (Mo.), Robert Menendez (N.J.), Jeff Merkley (Ore.), Barbara Mikulski (Md.), Christopher Murphy (Conn.), Patty Murray (Wash.), Bill Nelson (Fla.), Jack Reed (R.I.), Harry Reid (Nev.), John Rockefeller (W.Va.), Bernard Sanders (Vt.), Brian Schatz (Hawaii), Charles Schumer (N.Y.), Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.), Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), Jon Tester (Mont.), Mark Udall (Colo.), John Walsh (Mont.), Elizabeth Warren (Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (R.I.), Ron Wyden (Ore.).
The italicized names are of senators on the ballot this November. But all 48 Senate co-sponsors are American rarities — real extremists.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/will091114.php3#d8XxC6gHTuOKVVAw.99
By Thomas Sowell
Random thoughts on the passing scene:
• What a non-judgmental society amounts to is that common decency is optional — which means that decency is likely to become less common.
• The biggest issue in this fall's election is whether the Obama administration will end when Barack Obama leaves the White House or whether it will continue on, by appointing federal judges with lifetime appointments who share President Obama's contempt for the Constitution. Whether such judges will be confirmed by the Senate depends on whether the Senate continues to be controlled by Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid.
• Why in the world would any sane American go to North Korea and put themselves at the mercy of a crackpot dictator?
• Since Illinois enacted a law permitting more people to carry concealed firearms, more than 65,000 people got permits to do so. Rates of robbery, burglary and motor vehicle thefts have dropped significantly, and the murder rate has fallen to a level not seen in more than half a century. If only the gun control fanatics would pay some attention to facts, a lot of lives could be saved.
• If you took all the mumbo-jumbo out of our educational institutions, how much would be left? Students could finish their education years earlier and end up knowing a lot more than they know now.
• Why are Americans — and the Western world in general — falling all over ourselves stifling our own self-expression to appease people who chose to immigrate here, and are now demanding the suppression of anything they don't like, such as public expressions of Christianity or displays of the American flag?
• Someone should write a history of political rhetoric, if only to put us on our guard against being deceived into disasters. The First World War, for example, was said to be a war "to make the world safe for democracy." What it actually led to was the replacement of despotic dynasties by totalitarian dictatorships that were far worse, including far more murderous.
• Professor Sterling Brown remains as much a hero to me in my old age as he was when I was a freshman at Howard University. He wrote bitterly eloquent attacks on racism — and yet, when I was preparing to go off to Harvard, he said to me, "Don't come back here and tell me you didn't make it 'cause white folks were mean."
• The fatal weakness of most clever people is that they don't know when to stop being clever. The past cleverness of President Obama is finally starting to catch up with him.
• Why Republicans would bring up the subject of immigration during an election year is beyond me. Yet Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner seems drawn to the subject like a moth to a flame.
• Who says the Obama administration is not transparent? They are constantly telling our enemies overseas when it will pull out our troops and where we will not put boots on the ground.
• Heartening as it has been to see Derek Jeter get farewell honors during his last season, as with Mariano Rivera last season, it is also a melancholy thought that we may not see their like again — in their personal dignity and class, as well as their performance on the field. They are throwbacks to an earlier time, in a sports world of spoiled brat showoffs today.
• I must have heard the word "diversity" proclaimed in ringing tones as a great benefit to society at least a thousand times — and probably closer to a million — without even once hearing a speck of evidence provided, or even suggested as a way to test whether that is true or false.
• Attorney General Eric Holder has picked the perfect time to resign, in terms of his own self-interest. He will have two years in which to cash in with lucrative fees on the lecture circuit and to make a big-bucks book deal. If he waited until the end of the Obama administration, a former Attorney General would be eclipsed in both respects by a former President of the United States, thereby reducing the demand for Holder.
• With the momentous consequences of control of the Senate at stake in this fall's election, anyone who risks the outcome by running as a third party candidate should not only be voted against this year but remembered for such irresponsibility in future years.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell093014.php3#17Te0RrgzD4iX7zG.99
Here's how you can start down the path to executive respectability, Mr. Obama
By Michael Reagan
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan090414.php3#FerWylyZVwwi7sdP.99
Time's up, Mr. President.
Your on-the-job-training as the leader of the Free World has been over for several years.
I know it still comes as a shock to you that you're the president of the United States. A lot of us feel the same way.
But you really are the Prez. So take off the training wheels and golf cap and please start acting like one.
You only have about two years left to prevent your entire Oval Office career from being a total failure.
It's probably impossible. But you can start down the path to executive respectability by making the right military decision about ISIS.
(Yes, it's true - and very scary. As the Prez, you are the commander in chief of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines.)
I don't pretend to know what the right decision on ISIS and/or Syria should be. Probably no one does.
But you know more about what's really going on over there than Congress, the New York Times editorial page and even Bill O'Reilly.
So don't take any more polls. Don't survey Democrats in Congress. Don't ask Bill Clinton.
Don't worry about what the corrupt yahoos over at the United Nations will think.
And don't worry about your pals in Hollywood or on Wall Street falling out of love with you and cutting back on their campaign contributions.
You and your advisors still may not have that perfect ISIS strategy worked out yet. But it doesn't mean you should do nothing.
Just get all the facts you need from the CIA or the Free Syrian Army. Then do something that makes you look like a world leader, not a world ditherer.
You have to begin by acting presidential. Act like you know what the problem is and how to fix it.
Do what you - the commander in chief — think is right. Your advisors might tell you it's stupid, but take a lesson from the Ronald Reagan Leadership Guide.
My father had some great advisors. He trusted them. But he listened to their counsel and then made his own decision. It's called being an executive.
Remember Grenada? He called a meeting and he and his advisors voted 7 to 3 not to invade. My dad was one of the three.
After the invasion was underway, one of the seven no-voters called and asked him why we went to Grenada when the vote was 7 to 3 not to go.
My father said, "My vote counts more."
Ronald Reagan overruled his advisors and made his own decision other times and he proved to be right.
They didn't want him to call the Soviet Union "The Evil Empire."
They didn't want him to tell Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall.
They didn't want him to walk away from Gorbachev at the second nuclear arms summit in Iceland.
Mr. President, I know you'll never be as wise or as confident in your ability to do the right thing as my father was.
But you're our Prez. We're stuck with you until 2016.
Consider the intel on ISIS. Weigh the options. Measure the risks. Then do what you think is smart and right and in our country's interests.
Bomb the ISIS command and control centers in Syria. Exterminate the butchers of ISIS with drones. Send in more troops. Bring more troops home.
Form a coalition to fight ISIS — or don't. Announce we're so bloody sick and tired of trying to civilize religious madmen in pickup trucks that we're leaving that area for good.
Really, Mr. President. At this point I don't care what you do about ISIS or Syria or what's left of Iraq.
Just act like a president. Once. And earn our respect.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michael/reagan090414.php3#FerWylyZVwwi7sdP.99
Your 'to do' list to save America
By Ann Coulter
Buffett's demand that the rich be required to pay more taxes made him a hero to the president. In 2012, Obama repeatedly held up Buffett as a champion of economic justice. What does Obama say today about his 2012 class-war comrade in arms — now become, by Obama's own lights, an economic traitor?
The most important words printed in The New York Times since "REAGAN EASILY BEATS CARTER" were from a front-page article last Sunday about how, after six years of Obama, the federal judiciary is now dominated by Democratic appointees. Edward Whelan, head of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, responded to this by saying: "The best way for conservative voters to prevent further damage to the courts is to swing the Senate to Republican control in the elections this November."
He's absolutely right. Turn that into a mnemonic, sew it on needlepoint pillows, include it in your wedding vows, right-wingers. For the next six weeks, nothing matters more to the country than Republicans taking a majority in the Senate. When it comes to politics, conservatives need to learn one thing from liberals: All that matters is winning.
Here's a preliminary report on where the election stands and my assignments.
First, we need to hold all 45 seats currently in Republican hands. The ones Democrats have been salivating over because of primary challenges aren't looking like cakewalks for them anymore.
(Take a moment to notice something, Republicans: No incumbent Democrat had to deal with a primary challenger this year. That's one reason why Democrats win more elections than their insane ideas would seem to dictate. Liberals understand that you can't do anything if you don't win, so Democrats don't stage primary fights against other Democrats.)
Even the Times is admitting that Sen. Mitch McConnell is probably going to be re-elected in Kentucky now that the Ashley Judd juggernaut has been dispatched. McConnell has a history of winning come-from-behind victories -- and he's up in the polls right now.
Georgia seems to have decided it's going to be Republican, so I say David Perdue wins that open seat.
Sen. Pat Roberts is likely to win in Kansas as soon as the "Independent" candidate, Greg Orman, is forced to take a position on something -- anything -- and conservative Kansas voters realize he's the Democrat. Orman's been able to hide behind limpid nonpartisanship so far, but a candidate can't refuse to answer basic questions forever.
Will you vote to repeal Obamacare?
I don't know.
Are you going to caucus with the Democrats or Republicans?
That's a personal matter.
Assignment No. 1: Sen. Pat Roberts needs to spend every day from now until Nov. 4 campaigning in Kansas. Roberts is smart, personable and engaging -- he's always voted "funniest senator"! He's certainly no John McCain. (Rand Paul is John McCain.) I don't know why Roberts got a primary challenge at all. Please stop doing that, Republicans.
Even liberals admit that Republicans are likely to win seats currently held by Democrats in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia. Assuming we hold Kentucky, Georgia and Kansas, Republicans will be at 48.
That means Republicans need to flip three Democratic seats to take a majority in the Senate. Hopefully, the GOP will take more than three, and store them like chestnuts for a long, cold winter. These are the races that matter: New Hampshire, Iowa, North Carolina, Arkansas, Alaska, Louisiana, Colorado, Minnesota, Michigan.
Assignment No. 2: Everyone reading this column has got to donate to Scott Brown immediately. He's running in New Hampshire against a slick incumbent Democrat, Jean Shaheen, but he's a very strong candidate. Brown won the primary only last week, and he's already tied in the polls. He just needs to catch up to Shaheen's $11.2 million war chest.
Shaheen is talking about nothing but global warming because she can't very well talk about Obamacare. She was a major proponent of the bill that destroyed Americans' health care, which is no more popular in New Hampshire than it is anywhere else people need health care.
Not only was Brown "the 41st vote" against Obamacare -- forcing Nancy Pelosi to pull that sleazy, unconstitutional "deem and pass" move to push it through -- but more than any other Senate candidate this year, Brown is running against amnesty. Even with a tidal wave of new welfare cases pouring across our border, Brown is one of the few candidates smart enough to make immigration an issue.
Donate. Right now!
The biggest current danger for Republicans is that idiots will vote for Libertarian candidates in do-or-die Senate elections, including Kentucky, Kansas, North Carolina and Colorado. (That's in addition to the "Independent" in Kansas who's a Democrat.) Democratic candidates don't have to put up with this crap -- they're even trying to dump the official Democrat in Kansas to give the stealth Democrat a better shot.
When we're all dying from lack of health care across the United States of Mexico, we'll be deeply impressed with your integrity, libertarians.
Which brings me to my final assignment this week: If you are considering voting for the Libertarian candidate in any Senate election, please send me your name and address so I can track you down and drown you.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/coulter091814.php3#YLmRB1MapGsvr8hj.99
Republicans Shouldn't Pander to Hispanic Voters
By Star Parker
Our national debate on immigration policy centers on a paradox. We must become aware of it and deal with it.
The United States needs an immigration policy because a lot of people want to come here. If that weren't the case, we wouldn't need an immigration policy.
Why do they want to come? For freedom. And because there is freedom, there is opportunity.
The immigration issue is now a political football because of the political baggage it carries. Both parties want the votes of the Hispanic population, the most rapidly growing demographic in the country. And this is the same population most sensitive to the immigration issue because most of the illegals within our borders are from Latin American countries.
And here lies the paradox. The purported strategies for "winning" Hispanic votes are not about engaging this population on preserving American freedom and opportunity, which is what makes the United States so attractive to those who want to come. The strategies are about how to pander to this population to win its votes.
Realclearpolitics.com has just run a five day series of articles on the theme "Hispanic Voters: Trends and Opportunities."
One of the articles, under the headline "To Reach Latinos, GOP Must Alter Its Message, Tone," offers Republicans free advice on what they must do to get the votes of the increasingly powerful Hispanic demographic.
If Republicans are going to continue to "howl at the moon about the evils of "big government"," this column advises, they can kiss these Latino folks goodbye.
"In poll after poll, majorities of Latinos embrace the view that government has a positive role in creating more opportunities for citizens who were not born to privilege."
America was built by hundreds of millions of immigrants coming here to be free. Yet we are now told that this latest group of immigrants, Hispanics, must be offered more government, less freedom.
True, Barack Obama succeeded with Hispanic voters where John McCain and Mitt Romney did not.
But it is also true that over the last 6 years government and national debt has exploded and our economic growth is now larded and stunted.
Latest projections from the Congressional Budget Office predict growth rates of our economy to be two thirds of what it has averaged for the last half century.
Is this the opportunity that big government can create "for citizens not born to privilege?"
Let's recall that even the demographic category "Hispanic" is a purely political construction, devoid of any racial or ethnic reality, designed only for special interest lobbying.
Historian Paul Johnson, in his " A History of the American People," relates how this category was created in the 1960's through the lobbying efforts of "the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a powerful interest-group in alliance with the Democratic Party…"
Immigrants from over 20 countries fall under the heading "Hispanic." What exactly is it that people from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Spain, Cuba and Argentina have in common, other than the Spanish language?
It is the history of America that immigrants have come from around the world for the privilege of living free. All share a history of struggle, often discrimination at first for being different, but overcoming it all to become an American.
Native Americans and African Americans are the only groups that have different and unique histories. But those from Latin American countries are no different from all other American immigrants who came by choice for what this nation has to offer.
The best thing that Republicans can do for Hispanics, and for every American citizen, is to stand guard on America as a free country and land of opportunity.
The worse thing they can do is to pander to the welfare state left and put America's most precious commodity, freedom, on the auction block to bid for Hispanic votes.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0914/star092214.php3#KUxwE6fzUgrw62Ce.99
Do Statistical Disparities Mean Injustice?
By Walter Williams
And more such Benedict Arnolds are being minted every week. One of the reasons for the recent acceleration of inversions is that corporations want to move before Obama outlaws it, locking them into America's anti-competitive corporate tax rate.
How many times have we heard laments such as "women are 50 percent of the population but only 5 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs" and, as the Justice Department recently found, "blacks are 54 percent of the population in Newark, New Jersey, but 85 percent of pedestrian stops and 79 percent of arrests"? If one believes that people should be represented socio-economically according to their numbers in the population, then statistical disparities represent injustices that demand government remedies. Before we jump to conclusions about what disparities mean and whether they are indicators of injustice, we might examine some other disparities to see what we can make of them.
According to a recent study conducted by Bond University in Australia, sharks are nine times as likely to attack and kill men than they are women. If sinister motivation is attributed for this disparity, as is done in the cases of sex and racial disparities, we can only conclude that sharks are sexist. Another sex disparity is 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. I wonder what whoever is in charge of lightning has against men.
Another gross statistical disparity is 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, between 1901 and 2010, Jews were 35 percent of American and 22 percent of the world's Nobel Prize winners.
There are other disparities that we might acknowledge with an eye to corrective public policy. Asian-Americans routinely score the highest on the math portion of the SAT, whereas blacks score the lowest. The population statistics for South Dakota, Iowa, Maine, Montana and Vermont show that not even 1 percent of their populations is black. In states such as Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi, blacks are overrepresented in terms of their percentages in the general population. When this kind of "segregation" is found in schooling, the remedy is busing.
There are loads of international examples of ethnic disparities. During the 1960s, the Chinese minority in Malaysia, where Malays politically dominate, received more university degrees than the Malay majority — including 400 engineering degrees, compared with just four for the Malays. In Brazil's state of Sao Paulo, more than two-thirds of the potatoes and 90 percent of the tomatoes produced have been produced by people of Japanese ancestry.
Blacks are 13 percent of our population but 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 come nowhere close to "looking like America."
Even in terms of sports achievement, racial diversity is absent. In Major League Baseball, three out of the four hitters with the most career home runs are black. Since blacks entered the major leagues, of the eight times more than 100 bases have been stolen in a season, all were by blacks. In basketball, 50 of the 59 MVP awards have been won by black players.
If America's diversity worshippers see underrepresentation as "probative" of racial discrimination, what do they propose be done about overrepresentation? After all, overrepresentation and underrepresentation are simply different sides of injustice. If those in one race are overrepresented, it might mean they're taking away what rightfully belongs to another race. For example, is it possible that Jews are doing things that sabotage the chances of a potential Indian, Alaska Native or Mexican Nobel Prize winner? What about the disgraceful lack of diversity in professional basketball and ice hockey? There's not even geographical diversity in professional ice hockey; not a single player can boast of having been born and raised in Hawaii, Louisiana or Mississippi.
Courts, bureaucrats and the intellectual elite have consistently concluded that "gross" disparities are probative of a pattern and practice of discrimination. Given all of the differences among people, such a position is pure nonsense.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams092414.php3#cADZpB9OmJQICdmD.99
1,400 English Girls Raped by Multiculturalism
By Dennis Prager
Last week, it was revealed that between 1997 and 2013, at least 1,400 girls — in just one relatively small English city (Rotherham, population 275,000) had been raped by gangs of men over the past decade.
As summarized in a British government inquiry:
"It is hard to describe the appalling nature of the abuse that child victims suffered. They were raped by multiple perpetrators, trafficked to other towns and cities in the north of England, abducted, beaten, and intimidated. There were examples of children who had been doused in petrol and threatened with being set alight, threatened with guns, made to witness brutally violent rapes and threatened they would be next if they told anyone. Girls as young as 11 were raped by large numbers of male perpetrators."
Why was nothing done for 16 years?
Police incompetence was a factor, but not the primary reason.
The primary reason was political correctness. It turns out that the perpetrators were all, or nearly all, of "Pakistani heritage" and the girls were all, or nearly all, white.
This explanation is not that of conservatives alone. Virtually everyone, including media and politicians on the British left, acknowledge that this is the reason. What neither they nor the American left have acknowledged is that political correctness was created and is sustained by the left.
It is a testament to the lack of self-awareness on the left that it experiences no cognitive dissonance. The New York Times and other left-wing media have thoroughly reported this story and the fact that political correctness is to blame for the ongoing atrocities against these girls. Yet they are oblivious to the fact that they are the very ones who created the moral monsters known as political correctness, multiculturalism and diversity — the doctrines that forbid judging non-whites, Muslims and others by the same moral standards as whites and Christians.
These left-wing doctrines made 16 years of gang rapes of English girls possible.
In 2002, a Labor Party MP from nearby Keighley, Ann Cryer, complained to the police about "young Asian lads" raping girls in her constituency. In her words, she "was shunned by elements of her party." And note, that as is demanded by the left in the U.K., she didn't even mention that the rapists were Pakistani, lest Muslims be blamed for this evil. They were "Asian lads."
And, for the record, her attempts to get local imams to intervene with the men failed; she was called a racist.
National Review editor Rich Lowry, whose column appears on JWR, reports that,
"In a BBC documentary, the author of a 2002 report to the Rotherham council on the scandal said her work was quashed. When she noted that the perpetrators were from the Pakistani community, a colleague told her 'you must never refer to that again — you must never refer to Asian men.' She was sent to diversity training and, by her account, nearly fired."
British Home Secretary Theresa May told Parliament that "institutionalized political correctness" was responsible for the lack of attention given to the mass rape.
In 2001, Jack Straw, then-MP from Brighton, and formerly U.K. home secretary, announced that "there is a specific problem which involves Pakistani heritage men ... who target vulnerable young white girls." Straw was dismissed by the left. For example, Keith Vaz, a Labour MP, told the BBC: "I disagree with Jack Straw ... I don't think you can stereotype an entire community."
The immediate case that prompted Straw's statement was the conviction of two Brits of Pakistani heritage on charges of rape. Multiculturalism and political correctness clearly infected the judge in that case. He "said he did not believe the crimes were 'racially aggravated,' adding that the race of the victims and their abusers was 'coincidental.'"
Lies are to political correctness, multiculturalism and diversity what water is to fish.
From the Guardian in 2001: "Retired detective chief superintendent Max McLean, who led a previous police investigation into sexual exploitation involving the grooming and trafficking of young girls in Leeds, questioned whether it was a cultural problem" (italics added).
Perhaps Detective Chief Superintendent is unaware of the following from his own country (as reported last week in the New York Times):
"The same [as in Rotherham] was true in recent prosecutions in Oxford, in southern England, and the northern towns of Oldham and Rochdale, where nine men of Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Afghan origin were given long prison sentences in 2012 for abusing up to 47 girls. Investigators in Scotland have reportedly uncovered a similar pattern of abuse."
So why did the judge "question whether it was a cultural problem"?
Because morally judging cultures (except Christian, Israeli and American cultures) is forbidden by the left. Indeed not judging non-Western cultures is the very definition of "multiculturalism."
And finally, from the same report: Mohammed Shafiq, chief executive of Muslim organization the Ramadhan Foundation, "to suggest that this is somehow ingrained in the community is deeply offensive."
"Offensive?" But what, Mr. Shafiq, if it's true?
The answer is clear and important. For the multicultural left and the victim-status groups it defends — and for the millions of young people the Left has indoctrinated at schools and universities — whether something is true is not what matters. What matters is whether it can be deemed offensive by the left.
Some 1,400 girls were raped by gangs of men — "[While one girl was being raped] the rest of the men, all in their 20s, stood over her, cheering and jeering, and blinding her with the flash of their cameras" — thanks to leftism's morality-denying doctrine of multiculturalism.
This is all but one more example of the most important moral rule since the beginning of the 20th century: Almost everything the left touches is either damaged or ruined.
In this case, it was the lives of 1,400 English girls.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/0914/prager090914.php3#lFYMZdgaXTdfQlyt.99
Who Wants War?
By Thomas Sowell
Some pundits are saying that President Obama has been floundering in his response to the ISIS crisis because public opinion polls show most Americans don't want another war.
In all my 84 years, I cannot recall a time when most Americans wanted war. That is something we should be proud of. But wars are not always optional.
Even World War II — which some have called "the good war" — was not something that most Americans wanted. But the Japanese took that decision out of our hands when they bombed Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. And Hitler removed any possible doubt when he declared war on us shortly afterward, making sure that we were in the war all over the world.
No one has promoted the dangerous notion that war is optional more than Barack Obama. He declared peace in Iraq when he pulled American troops out, and he declared victory over Al Qaeda because his administration had killed bin Laden (with an assist from the Navy SEALS). But all this make-believe has come back to haunt him, as make-believe often does.
Make no mistake about it, make-believe wins elections — and winning elections is Obama's thing. The big problem is that the things that win elections are not the things that win wars.
With an eye on the upcoming Congressional elections, Barack Obama has assured all and sundry that there will be no American "boots on the ground" in the fight against ISIS. But telling your enemy in advance what you will or will not do is not the way to win wars.
This is not rocket science, and Obama either already knows it or he has military advisers who will tell him, if he will listen. But the military have their priorities and Obama has his, even if his political priorities can end up costing far more American lives than hitting ISIS with everything we have got ASAP.
The longer the war drags on, through half-measures and tentative tactics, the longer ISIS has to recalibrate its strategies and to sneak its agents into the United States, to launch terrorist attacks inside the American homeland. We can either kill them over there now or have them kill Americans here later.
The longer our potential allies have to wonder whether President Obama is serious, the longer they will hold back from making full commitments, knowing how the Obama administration began by betraying existing American commitments to Poland and the Czech Republic, followed by undermining Israel's position in the Middle East and then throwing Ukraine to the wolves when push came to shove, by refusing to let them have weapons to defend themselves.
When Winston Churchill surveyed the staggering magnitude of worldwide carnage and destruction at the end of World War II, he said that there was never a war easier to prevent than the one which had just devastated so much of the world.
He said that the earlier we would have opposed Hitler, the lower the cost would have been. At one time, according to Churchill, a memorandum could have stopped Hitler, given the balance of military power against him early on.
When Hitler stationed troops in the Rhineland in 1936, in violation of major international treaties, the military commanders in charge of those troops had orders to retreat at the first sign of French military opposition, since France alone at that point could have overwhelmed the German army as it existed then.
Although France at that point was militarily capable of stopping Hitler in his tracks, and preventing World War II, politically the French government dared not move. The French people, with the horrors of the First World War still painfully vivid in their memories, wanted no part in military operations.
The net result was that Hitler grew stronger militarily over the years and then invaded France at a time of his choosing. The French then found themselves at war, whether they wanted to be or not. And they soon found themselves defeated and subjugated under Nazi rule.
Barack Obama has done more than anyone else to promote the dangerous illusion that we can choose whether to have a war or not. But our enemies have already made that choice.
Retired Marine Corps General James Mattis said: "No war is over until the enemy says it's over. We may think it's over, we may declare it over, but in fact, the enemy gets a vote."
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell092314.php3#ipfq56VpfhZr3vqU.99
Student Bullies Trump 1st Amendment
By David Limbaugh
The Wall Street Journal cited a Buffett confidant as saying he likely wouldn't have backed a deal like Burger King if it were purely for tax reasons. Indeed, there are other considerations that can always be invoked. Which makes some of the contemplated anti-inversion proposals even more absurd: They would outlaw only those mergers done for tax reasons. How do you prove motivation? Lie detectors?
Well, the wild and crazy 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals is at it again, this time ruling that in a conflict between bullies and the First Amendment, bullies win.
The court let stand a previous ruling by a three-judge panel of the court that school officials of Live Oak High School can prohibit American students from wearing to school clothing featuring the American flag because of threats made against the American students. You read that right: not threats made by the American students but threats directed at them by others.
Admittedly, it's hard to surprise sane people anymore with all the wrongheaded things going on in this country, but this just won't do. It's one thing to insist, for example, that English be the official language; it's one thing to forbid American students from heckling Mexican students for celebrating Cinco de Mayo, a Mexican holiday. But it's altogether another thing for the school administration — and then the courts — to prevent peaceful American students from wearing flag apparel because it might provoke some rowdy students who don't approve of American students demonstrating and displaying their patriotism.
What country are we living in again? It's sometimes hard to be sure. It's as if the politically correct American left is so disdainful of America that it won't even stand up for free speech when the speakers are American patriots.
I would warn readers that if these mind-frazzled leftists keep going, they're going to have a revolt on their hands by the silent majority, but if that were going to occur, wouldn't it have already happened? I do believe that patriots still constitute the majority, but I don't know how many of us have any fight left in us. After being treated to the left's browbeating for decades now, some seem to have lost their spirit and become resigned to the fate of an abused majority. It's very sad, actually.
During the 2009 Cinco de Mayo celebration at Live Oak, school officials ordered the students to turn their shirts inside out or go home, apparently because Latino students at the school couldn't be blamed if they became incensed at the flag shirts and resorted to violence to express their outrage.
The American students at one point hung an American flag and began chanting "USA," and that was simply too provocative for Latino students, who responded with profane language, accusing the American students of racism. "F—- them white boys. Let's f—- them up," one of them supposedly said.
A year later, during the 2010 Cinco de Mayo celebration, Mexican students confronted three American students wearing American flag shirts again. "Why are you wearing that? Do you not like Mexicans?" one asked.
Why didn't school officials go after the troublemakers instead of taking the easy and cowardly path of punishing the peaceful students? Why didn't they act like adults, let alone proud Americans, and threaten disciplinary action against the wrongdoers?
Instead, they rewarded their thuggish behavior and incentivized further acts of bullying. The court, by approving this horrendous school decision, has now set a precedent — short-lived, I hope — that if you want to shut down people's speech, the best way to do it is to act unlawfully yourself. Can you believe I'm writing these words? Can you believe you're reading them?
You know how the left is always warning that conservative speech can lead to violence? You know, if we say things they don't agree with or if conservative talk show hosts show a little passion in their voice, this could lead to violence? As preposterous as that is, this ruling is even worse. Here, that dreaded violence the left is willing to suppress speech for is actually being used to suppress speech. So if leftists don't like your speech, they'll suppress it to prevent violence. Or they'll use violence in other cases to suppress it. This thinking would be comical if it weren't so destructive to liberty in this country.
If free speech is this easily thwarted — especially what is arguably political speech, deserving of the highest protection — what can we expect in future rulings by crazy courts?
Who could possibly guess? What is undeniable, though, is that leftists are quite creative and imaginative when it comes to rationalizing excuses to shut down the voices of their political opponents. Will they next tell us that Christians can't cite particular scriptural passages in certain venues if those passages might offend others to the point of provoking them to violence? Don't you dare laugh, unless you can tell us how such a scenario differs, substantively, from the 9th Circuit case.
Will responsible liberals express their objection to this outrage, or will they simply nod their heads in tacit approval because the ends of shutting down conservatives justify any means?
I know we can count on a few intellectually honest liberals to join us in voicing our disgust at this, but probably just a few.
These liberals sure are lucky that conservatives, the people they are targeting, are the nonviolent ones and not like the people they jump to protect, even to the point of shredding the Constitution.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh092314.php3#Zljh5REckwKHwgmV.99
Multiculturalism Is a Failure
By Walter Williams
German Chancellor Angela Merkel declared that in Germany, multiculturalism has "utterly failed." Both Australia's ex-prime minister John Howard and Spain's ex-prime minister Jose Maria Aznar reached the same conclusion about multiculturalism in their countries. British Prime Minister David Cameron has warned that multiculturalism is fostering extremist ideology and directly contributing to homegrown Islamic terrorism. UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage said the United Kingdom's push for multiculturalism has not united Britons but pushed them apart. It has allowed for Islam to emerge despite Britain's Judeo-Christian culture. Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair said the roots of violent Islamism are not "superficial but deep" and can be found "in the extremist minority that now, in every European city, preach hatred of the West and our way of life."
The bottom line is that much of the Muslim world is at war with Western civilization. There's no question that the West has the military might to thwart radical Islam's agenda. The question up for grabs is whether we have the intelligence to recognize the attack and the will to defend ourselves from annihilation.
Multiculturalism is Islamists' foot in the door. At the heart of multiculturalism is an attack on Western and Christian values. Much of that attack has its roots on college campuses among the intellectual elite who see their mission as indoctrinating our youth. In past columns, I've documented professorial hate-America teaching, such as a UCLA economics professor's telling his class, "The United States of America, backed by facts, is the greediest and most selfish country in the world." A history professor told her class: "Capitalism isn't a lie on purpose. It's just a lie." She also said: "(Capitalists) are swine. ... They're bastard people." Students sit through lectures listening to professorial rants about topics such as globalism and Western exploitation of the Middle East and Third World peoples.
Some public school boards have banned songs and music containing references to Santa Claus, Jesus or other religious Christmas symbols. The New York City school system permits displays of Jewish menorahs and the Muslim star and crescent, but not the Christian Nativity scene. One school district banned a teacher from using excerpts from historical documents in his classroom because they contained references to God and Christianity. The historical documents in question were the Declaration of Independence and "The Rights of the Colonists," by Samuel Adams.
The U.S. is a nation of many races, ethnicities, religions and cultures. Since our inception, people from all over the world have immigrated here to become Americans. They have learned English and American history and celebrated American traditions and values. They have become Americans while also respecting and adapting some of the traditions of the countries they left behind. By contrast, many of today's immigrants demand that classes be taught — and official documents be printed — in their native language. Other immigrants demand the use of Shariah, practices that permit honor killing and female genital mutilation.
Multiculturalists argue that different cultural values are morally equivalent. That's nonsense. Western culture and values are superior. For those who'd accuse me of Eurocentrism, I'd ask: Is forcible female genital mutilation, as practiced in nearly 30 sub-Saharan African and Middle Eastern countries, a morally equivalent cultural value? Slavery is practiced in Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Chad and Sudan; is it morally equivalent? In most of the Middle East, there are numerous limits placed on women, such as prohibitions on driving, employment and education. Under Islamic law, in some countries, female adulterers face death by stoning, and thieves face the punishment of having their hand severed. In some countries, homosexuality is a crime punishable by death. Are these cultural values morally equivalent, superior or inferior to Western values?
Multiculturalism has not yet done the damage in the U.S. that it has in western European countries — such as England, France and Germany — but it's on its way. By the way, one need not be a Westerner to hold Western values. Mainly, you just have to accept the supremacy of the individual above all else.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams091714.php3#EoJQYDo4QleAfbOb.99
By Mona Charen
NBC's Chuck Todd got a good deal of attention for warning that "(Obama's) on the precipice of doing Jimmy Carter-like damage to the Democratic brand on foreign policy."
As distasteful as it is to defend Jimmy Carter, this isn't fair to him. Carter, it's true, earned a reputation for weakness, but he wasn't blind to reality. Carter entered office urging the nation to get over its "inordinate fear of communism," and he did his best to alienate friends and coddle enemies. But when the Soviet Union's tanks rumbled into Kabul in 1979, he said, "The action of the Soviets made a more dramatic change in my opinion of what the Soviets' ultimate goals are than anything they've done in the previous time I've been in office."
A slow learner? Definitely, but not an utterly intractable ideologue (which he has since become). He ramped up military spending, delayed consideration of SALT II, announced that the U.S. would boycott the Olympics in the USSR, and took other steps to reflect his new understanding.
It wasn't personal weakness that made Carter such a disastrous commander in chief. It was mistaken beliefs. By the time the scales fell from his eyes, a great deal of damage had been done, millions of people, from Iran to Nicaragua to Afghanistan, had fallen to despotic regimes, and the U.S. was less safe.
Obama is now spoken of as Carteresque in his weakness. But again, it isn't so much a matter of character as it is a reflection of mistaken ideas. Obama is particularly rigid in his adherence to leftist beliefs, but he is hardly an outlier in the Democratic Party. Democrats tend to believe that the natural state of the world is peace, and that if the U.S. is modest and unthreatening, it will be rewarded with happy allies and docile adversaries. Obama's conviction that the U.S. should act only in support of allies in very limited circumstances, and seek accommodation with adversaries like Russia and Iran, is widely shared in the Democratic Party.
Even the appearance of ISIS couldn't shake Obama's belief that wars are "optional" and that, as he said in 2013, "This war, like all wars, must end." As if the enemy doesn't get a vote. Asked in January whether the specter of ISIS didn't cast doubt on the wisdom of pulling every last U.S. soldier out of Iraq, Obama waved it off by calling them the "JV" team.
With the exception of the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the foreign policy decisions this president has made have ranged from harmful to disastrous. The failure to speak up for the millions of Iranians who protested the stolen election of 2009, the drastic cuts in military spending, the failure to provide support for Ukraine in its war with Russia, the hostile pressure on Israel, the blind pursuit of a grand bargain with Iran, the Benghazi debacle, the betrayal of Poland and the Czech Republic on missile defense, the "surge" in Afghanistan undermined by announcing a hard withdrawal date, and the total disaster in Iraq and Syria.
All were supported by Democrats, until the beheadings. Now, with public opinion scaring Democratic candidates, the president finally agreed to deliver some tough talk and air strikes. But as with Carter, it's too late. By dithering about Syria, drawing red lines and then backing away, the president has inflicted deep damage not just on the region, but also on American credibility.
It required breathtaking gall for the president to list "removing and destroying" Syria's "declared" chemical weapons as one of his triumphs. Is that a joke? The New York Times reports that Syria has used chlorine as recently as April. Regarding the supposed elimination of chemical weapons, "Western governments continue to express concern that Syria did not declare its whole stockpile."
The president who disdained the war in Iraq for violating "our values" now proposes to make war only by air power — as if that sanitizes it. In fact, it will cause more deaths of innocents than using ground troops would. (Ask Israel, which could have saved many IDF soldiers by simply bombing Hamas.) Worse, it almost certainly will fail, because the president adamantly refuses to match means with ends.
Obama vowed to "end wars." Critics pointed out that the quickest way to end wars is to lose them. Obama's grudging decision to use force against ISIS will just prolong the losing.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/charen091214.php3#9FxJ0kh1TlYGOjUC.99
You Have To See a Threat Before You Can Have a Strategy
By David Limbaugh
Do you remember the left's chants about President George W. Bush: "Have you had enough yet?" Well, I could easily ask that about President Obama, but instead I'll ask: "Do you believe us now?"
Some of us have been saying from the beginning that something just isn't right about Obama. Something is very different about this man — something that distinguishes him from every U.S. president in my lifetime.
All the talk about his birth certificate aside, I have long believed he really doesn't think like an American. Before you jump on me for suggesting there is an American way of thinking, let me assure you I'm not referring to race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or any of the other identifiers liberals routinely use to bludgeon conservatives into psychological submission. Oh, sorry, I shouldn't have used a metaphor involving violence, as the left also turns those around on us, disingenuously implying we mean them literally.
It's been obvious from the start that Obama doesn't think like an American, by which I mean he doesn't embrace the American idea. You are free to disagree with that, but I doubt you'll ever explain to our satisfaction his desire to fundamentally transform a nation whose ideas he endorses.
Not only does Obama have major issues with America, as founded, but he also appears to have a remarkable naivete concerning evil in the world. As low as his boiling point is concerning conservative opposition to his agenda, he seems not to have one for Islamic terrorism. From designating the Ft. Hood terrorist shootings as workplace violence, to insisting on closing Gitmo, to treating enemy combatants as innocent-until-proved-guilty criminal defendants, to calling the war on terror an "overseas contingency operation," to deliberately omitting the terms "Islam" and "Muslim" from any description of Islamic jihad, to behaving as though Muslim terrorists can be pacified through rational negotiations, he clearly does not get it.
People are up in arms about Obama acknowledging and then later retracting his admission that he doesn't have an overall strategy to deal with ISIS. But, to borrow a phrase recently used by Obama, aren't his critics "putting the cart before the horse"?
How can Obama possibly have a strategy to deal with ISIS when, in his heart of hearts, he doesn't fully appreciate the threat it represents? When Obama went off his teleprompter, he revealed that he is just not in this fight. He is still clinging to his dangerous belief that he can work magic with Muslim terrorists by celebrating Islam, or that no magic is needed because the threat, if it exists at all, is not that serious, is narrow, and it certainly doesn't significantly threaten the U.S. homeland.
I'm not a psychiatrist, but I can't help but wonder whether Obama's entire outlook on Islamic terrorism isn't greatly influenced by the warm feelings he has toward Islam itself, as revealed by his remark in his book that the Muslim call to prayer was the sweetest sound he'd ever heard. I'm not saying he's a closet Muslim; I'm just wondering whether his childhood experiences distort his vision as to the radicalism that often grows out of that religion.
Does he really think terrorists can be rehabilitated or mollified? He certainly behaves as though he does. It's hard to believe we have a president in office who can't or won't face the fact that we and the entire West are in an existential war with Islamic terrorists, whether or not we choose to fight back.
He ignored ISIS for several years, though fully briefed on this great and growing threat. He refused to act when they were marching across the Middle East, holding fast to his leftist commitment to prevent any further American military action in or around Iraq — the venue of "Bush's war." And when he did act, it was way too little and even more too late.
He tells us he wants to degrade and destroy this "JV squad." Then he tells us, a few minutes later, in an unscripted answer to a question, that he wants to "shrink ISIL's influence ... to the point where it is a manageable problem." Which is it?
Even if his combined statements weren't inscrutably ambiguous, he added further confusion with his suggestion that his willingness to act is contingent on getting the consent of the international community. I'm all for trying to build a coalition, but not for granting other nations an effective veto over decisions affecting our national security. If this imagined coalition refuses to join us in fighting ISIS, we will have no choice but to fight them on our own. That Obama doesn't recognize or embrace that is disturbing.
It's past time to pray for this nation and for the peacemakers, by which I mean those who recognize that peace sometimes can only be achieved by the just use of force.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/david/limbaugh090514.php3#bwTTTFuz3QQ00vZw.99
Interpreting Islamic State's jihadi logic
By Charles Krauthammer
What was the Islamic State thinking? We know it is sophisticated in its use of modern media. But what was the logic of propagating to the world videos of its beheadings of two Americans (and subsequently a Briton) — sure to inflame public opinion?
There are two possible explanations. One is that these terrorists are more depraved and less savvy than we think. They so glory in blood that they could not resist making an international spectacle of their savagery — after all, they proudly broadcast their massacre of Shiite prisoners — and did not quite fathom how such a brazen, contemptuous slaughter of Americans would radically alter public opinion and risk bringing down upon them the furies of the U.S. Air Force.
The second theory is that they were fully aware of the inevitable consequence of their broadcast beheadings — and they intended the outcome. It was an easily sprung trap to provoke America into entering the Mesopotamian war.
Because they're sure we will lose. Not immediately and not militarily. They know we always win the battles but they are convinced that, as war drags on, we lose heart and go home.
They count on Barack Obama quitting the Iraq/Syria campaign just as he quit Iraq and Libya in 2011 and is in the process of leaving Afghanistan now. And this goes beyond Obama. They see a post-9/11 pattern: America experiences shock and outrage and demands action. Then, seeing no quick resolution, it tires and seeks out leaders who will order the retreat. In Obama, they found the quintessential such leader.
As for the short run, the Islamic State knows it will be pounded from the air. But it deems that price worth paying, given its gains in propaganda and prestige — translated into renown and recruiting — from these public executions.
Understanding this requires an adjustment to our thinking. A common mantra is that American cruelty — Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, "torture," the Iraq war itself — is the great jihadist recruiting tool. But leaving Iraq, closing Abu Ghraib and prohibiting "enhanced interrogation" had zero effect on recruiting. In fact, jihadi cadres from Mali to Mosul have only swelled during Obama's outstretched-hand presidency.
Turns out the Islamic State's best recruiting tool is indeed savagery — its own. Deliberate, defiant, triumphant. The beheadings are not just a magnet for psychopaths around the world. They are choreographed demonstrations of its unbounded determination and of American helplessness. In Osama bin Laden's famous formulation, who is the "strong horse" now?
We tend to forget that at this stage in its career, the Islamic State's principal fight is intramural. It seeks to supersede and supplant its jihadi rivals — from al-Qaeda in Pakistan, to Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria, to the various franchises throughout North Africa — to emerge as champion of the one true jihad.
The strategy is simple: Draw in the world's great superpower, create the ultimate foil and thus instantly achieve supreme stature in radical Islam as America's nemesis.
It worked. A year ago, the world had never heard of this group, then named ISIS (the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria). Now it is the subject ofpresidential addresses, parliamentary debates and international conferences. It is the new al-Qaeda, which itself has been demoted to JV.
Indeed, so eclipsed and upstaged is al-Qaeda that its leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, scrambled to reveal the creation of a new India/South Asia branch. It announced itself this month with its first operation — a comically botched attack on a Pakistani frigate that left 10 al-Qaeda fighters dead and the ship intact.
While al-Qaeda was being humiliated, a huge Paris conference devoted entirely to the Islamic State was convened by Secretary of State John Kerry. Like his other conferences, it failed. Obama's "broad coalition" remains a fantasy.
It's more a coalition of the unwilling. Turkey denied us the use of its air bases. The Sunni Arab states are reluctant to do anything militarily significant. And not a single country has volunteered combat troops. Hardly a surprise, given that Obama has repeatedly ruled that out for the U.S. itself.
Testifying on Wednesday to the Senate, Kerry declared that the Islamic State "must be defeated. Period. End of story." Not the most wisely crafted of declarations: The punctuational emphasis carries unfortunate echoes of Obama's promise about health care plans and the word "must" carries similar echoes of Obama's assertions that Bashar al-Assad had to go.
Nonetheless, Kerry's statement remains true for strategic and even moral reasons. But especially because when the enemy deliberately draws you into combat, it is all the more imperative to show the world that he made a big mistake.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/krauthammer091914.php3#tEsR5PK2O2P8LjyM.99
Success or Failure?
By Thomas Sowell
But for that you need a president.
Those people who say that President Obama has no clear vision and no clear strategy for dealing with the ISIS terrorists in the Middle East may be mistaken. It seems to me that he has a very clear and very consistent strategy. And a vision behind that strategy.
First the strategy — which is to get each crisis off the front pages and off television news programs as quickly as he can, in whatever way he can, at the lowest political cost. Calling ISIS a junior varsity months ago accomplished that goal.
Saying before the 2012 elections that "bin Laden is dead" and that terrorism was defeated accomplished the goal of getting reelected.
Ineffective sanctions against Iran and Russia likewise serve a clear purpose. They serve to give the illusion that Obama is doing something that will stop Iran from getting nuclear bombs and stop Russia from invading Ukraine.
This forestalls the massive and enraged outcries there would be if the public were fully aware that he was doing nothing serious enough to prevent either of these things from happening. Generations of Americans yet unborn may curse us all for leaving them hostage to a nuclear terrorist Iran. But generations yet unborn do not vote, so they carry no weight with Barack Obama.
No one has a perfect batting average in any field, so Obama has been caught in some dicey situations, such as the sudden eruption of ISIS on the world stage, with their videotaped beheadings that make it hard to get them off the front pages and off the TV newscasts.
Caught off guard, the president has played for time — time for Iraq to get its internal politics fixed, time for our allies to come together, time for the military to create a strategy. Ideally, from his standpoint, time for the whole ISIS crisis to blow over.
There is always someone else to blame for whatever goes wrong in the Obama administration. Supposedly the intelligence services had not kept him informed about how imminent the ISIS threat was. But others who received top-secret briefings by the intelligence services say otherwise.
Some people are wondering how someone of obvious intelligence like Barack Obama could be so mistaken about so many things, especially in deadly foreign policy issues. But there is no way of knowing whether anyone is succeeding or failing without first knowing what they are trying to do.
If you assume that Barack Obama is trying to protect the safety and interests of the United States and its allies, then clearly he has been a monumental failure. It is hard to think of any part of the world where things have gotten better for us since the Obama administration began.
Certainly not in Iraq. Or Iran. Or Libya. Or China. Things went from bad to worse after Obama intervened in Egypt and helped put the murderous Muslim Brotherhood in power. Fortunately for Egypt — and for the whole Middle East — the Egyptian military took the Muslim Brotherhood out of power, in defiance of Obama.
If you start from the assumption that Barack Obama wanted to advance America's interests, this is truly an unbelievable record of failure. But what is there in Obama's background that would justify the assumption that America's best interests are his goal?
He has, from childhood on, been mentored by, or allied with, people hostile to the United States and to American values. His mentors and allies have all been very much like the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, even if they were not as flamboyant.
Barack Obama has succeeded in reducing America's military strength while our adversaries are increasing theirs, and reducing our credibility and influence with our allies. That is completely consistent with his vision of how the world ought to be, with the West taken down a peg and humbled.
We are currently at a point where we can either kill as many of the ISIS terrorists as possible over there — where they are bunched together and visible against a desert background — or else leave the job half done and have them come over here, where they will be hard to find, and can start beheading Americans in America.
Everything in Barack Obama's history suggests that he is going to leave the job half done, so long as that gets the issue off the front pages and off the TV newscasts.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell091114.php3#Rz6sjLIKXrYLXAuE.99
By Thomas Sowell
The recent bribery convictions of former Virginia governor Bob McDonnell and his wife are only the latest in a seemingly never-ending series of convictions of government officials.
A little item on the Internet featured government officials in prison, either currently or in recent times. Among them were a mayor of New Orleans, a mayor of Detroit and a mayor of Washington; a governor of Connecticut, a governor of Louisiana, two governors of Illinois and four members of Congress.
However much these and other government officials may have richly deserved being behind bars, the country does not deserve to have its confidence in government repeatedly undermined. A country with 100 percent cynicism about its government cannot be governed. And nobody wants anarchy.
In short, the damage done by government officials who betray the public's trust goes far beyond the money stolen or misused, or whatever particular abuse of power landed them behind bars.
The difference between a government united behind its leaders and a government where no leader can take decisive action with an assurance of public support is a difference between a country that can, and a country that cannot, deal effectively with the challenges it will inevitably face, whether at home or abroad.
When President John F. Kennedy took the United States to the brink of nuclear war in 1962 — justifiably, I believe — he did so with more public support than any president could muster today, even though Kennedy had been elected with the thinnest of margins.
His immediate successors — Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon — were both big-time liars who lost the implicit trust that previous presidents had enjoyed, and that none has enjoyed since, even when these later presidents were truthful.
Like many other things, public confidence is much easier to maintain than it is to repair. The main beneficiaries are the public themselves, when they have governments that keep faith with them and can better serve them while relying on their support.
Most of the things that have landed government officials behind bars have involved money.
Without making excuses for those individuals, who were all old enough to know better, the rest of us need to face up to the fact that we are being incredibly penny wise and pound foolish with the salaries we pay for those who control millions of dollars at the municipal level, billions of dollars at the state level and trillions of dollars at the federal level.
A successful economist, engineer or surgeon who leaves the private sector to become a member of Congress would take a serious pay cut. A Corporate CEO would have to take an even bigger pay cut to become President of the United States.
If the current mess in Washington doesn't convince us that we need better people in public office, it is hard to know what could.
What do we do when we want a more upscale product — a better house or car for example? We pay more to get it!
If we want better people in government, we are going to have to start paying them enough that people would not be sacrificing their families' well-being by going to Washington or a state capitol, or serving as a judge.
It is not a question of whether the people currently serving in Congress, the courts or as chief executives at the municipal, state or national level deserve a raise. Most of them don't. It is a question of whether we need far better replacements for them.
That means drawing from a wider pool, including people with real knowledge and expertise in the private sector, who currently make a lot more money than we are paying government officials. Cheap politicians turn out to be very expensive politicians, in the way they waste money, even if they are not stealing it.
We could pay every member of Congress a million dollars a year — for a whole century — for less than it costs to run the Department of Agriculture for one year.
The least we can do is make it harder to bribe them. Trying to bribe a millionaire would at least be harder than bribing some government official with a modest salary and a couple of kids going to expensive colleges.
The biggest obstacle to doing so is envy, especially under its more lofty name, "social justice."
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell091014.php3#HRdrikwslgUBu0Zc.99
Mob Rule Economics
By Thomas Sowell
While we talk about democracy and equal rights, we seem increasingly to let both private and government decisions be determined by mob rule. There is nothing democratic about mob rule. It means that some people's votes are to be overruled by other people's disruptions, harassments and threats.
The latest examples are the mobs in the streets in cities across the country, demanding that employers pay a minimum wage of $15 an hour, or else that the government makes them do so by law. Some of the more gullible observers think the issue is whether what some people are making now is "a living wage." This misconstrues the whole point of hiring someone to do work. Those who are being hired are paid for the value of the work they do.
If their work is really worth more than what their employer is paying them, all they have to do is quit and go work for some other employer, who will pay them what their work is really worth. If they can't find any other employer who will pay them more, then what makes them think their work is worth more?
As for a "living wage," the employer is not hiring people in order to acquire dependents and become their meal ticket. He is hiring them for what they produce.
Are some people not able to produce much? Absolutely! I know because I was once one of those people.
After leaving home as a teenager, I discovered that what I could earn would only enable me to rent a furnished room about 6 by 9 feet. Instead of a closet, it had a nail on the back of the door — which was completely adequate for my wardrobe at the time.
It became painfully clear that there was no great demand for a high school dropout with no skills and no experience.
My choices were to get angry at my employer or to acquire some skills and experience — and try to pick up some more education, while I was at it. Even to a teenage dropout, that choice was a no-brainer.
There was no one around to confuse the issue by telling me that I was somehow "entitled" to what other people had produced, whether at the expense of the taxpayers or the employer.
There was a minimum wage law, even back in those days. But it had been passed ten years earlier, and inflation had raised both prices and wages to the point where it was the same as if there were no minimum wage law.
Thank heaven! The unemployment rate among black teenagers back then was a fraction of what it would become in later years, after "compassionate" politicians repeatedly raised the minimum wage rate to keep up with inflation.
In 1948, the year I left home, the unemployment rate among black 16-year-olds and 17-year-olds was 9.4 percent, slightly lower than that for white kids the same ages, which was 10.2 percent.
Over the decades since then, we have gotten used to unemployment rates among black teenagers being over 30 percent, 40 percent or in some years even 50 percent. Such is the price of political "compassion."
Whatever the good intentions behind minimum wage laws, what matters are the actual consequences. Many people have ideological, financial or political incentives to obfuscate the consequences.
Labor unions are the biggest force behind attempts to raise the minimum wage, not only in the United States but in other countries around the world. That may seem strange, since most union members already earn more than the minimum wage. But the unions know what they are doing, even if too many gullible observers do not.
Low-skill workers with correspondingly low wages compete in the labor market with higher skilled union members with correspondingly higher wages. Many kinds of work can be done by various mixtures of low-skilled workers and high-skilled workers.
Minimum wage rates that are higher than what most low-skilled and inexperienced workers are worth simply price those workers out of the job markets, leaving more work for union members. All the unions have to do is camouflage what is happening by using rhetoric about "a living wage," or "social justice" or whatever else will impress the gullible.
Life was tough when all I could get were low-paying jobs. But it would have been a lot tougher if I couldn't get any job at all. And a tough life made me go get some skills and knowledge.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell090914.php3#ZM6ku2HGJDxd6ibf.99
By Thomas Sowell
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell090214.php3#A68hu5DAtoTgdmTP.99
The latest Gallup poll indicates that 14 percent of the people "moderately disapprove" of Barack Obama's performance as president and 39 percent "strongly disapprove."
Since Obama won two presidential elections, chances are that some of those who now "strongly disapprove" of what he has done voted to put him in office. We all make mistakes, but the real question is whether we learn from them.
With many people now acting as if it is time for "a woman" to become president, apparently they have learned absolutely nothing from the disastrous results of the irresponsible self-indulgence of choosing a President of the United States on the basis of demographic characteristics, instead of individual qualifications.
It would not matter to me if the next five presidents in a row were all women, if these happened to be the best individuals available at the time. But to say that we should now elect "a woman" president in 2016 is to say that we are willfully blind to the dangers of putting life and death decisions in the hands of someone chosen for symbolic reasons.
If we were to choose just "a woman" as our next president, would that mean that any criticism of that president would be considered to be a sign of being against women?
No public official should be considered to be above criticism — and the higher up that official is, the more important it is to hold his or her feet to the fire when it comes to carrying out duties involving the life and death of individuals and the fate of the nation.
We have not yet had a Jewish president. If and when we do, does that mean that any criticism of that individual should be stigmatized and dismissed as anti-Semitism? What of our first Italian American president, our first Asian American president?
Human beings of every background are imperfect creatures. When they are in a position high enough for their imperfections to bring disasters to more than 300 million Americans, the last thing we need is to stifle criticism of what they do.
It is by no means guaranteed that this country will survive the long-run consequences of the disastrous decisions already made by Barack Obama, especially his pretense of stopping Iran's becoming a nuclear power. Obama may no longer be in office when those chickens come home to roost.
If we wake up some morning and find some American city in radioactive ruins, will we connect the dots and see this as a consequence of voting to elect an unknown and untried man, for the sake of racial symbolism?
Among those who look around for someone to blame, how many will look in the mirror?
Presidents already have too much insulation from criticism — and from reality.
When President Calvin Coolidge caught everyone by surprise in 1928, by announcing that he would not run for reelection, despite a prosperous economy and his own personal popularity, he simply said, "I do not choose to run." Coolidge was a man of very few words, despite his knowledge of multiple languages. Someone once said that Coolidge could be silent in five different languages.
But, when he later wrote a small autobiography, Coolidge explained the inherent dangers in the office of President of the United States, especially when one person remains in the White House too long.
"It is difficult for men in high office to avoid the malady of self-delusion. They are always surrounded by worshippers. They are constantly, and for the most part sincerely, assured of their greatness.
"They live in an artificial atmosphere of adulation and exaltation which sooner or later impairs their judgment. They are in grave danger of becoming careless and arrogant."
Of presidents who served eight years in office, he said, "in almost every instance" the last years of their terms show little "constructive accomplishments" and those years are often "clouded with grave disappointments."
Another president chosen for demographic representation (whether by race, sex or whatever), and further insulated from criticism and from reality, is the last thing we need.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell090214.php3#A68hu5DAtoTgdmTP.99
Get angry now
By Ann Coulter
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/coulter091114.php3#k7A3je9ue5ZUbH6d.99
President Obama now says he will wait until after the November elections to implement an "executive amnesty" for 11 million illegal aliens, so as not to hurt Democrats' chances this year.
Instead of waiting to be enraged in December, voters, could you please be enraged now? Once the holiday season kicks off, you'll be too busy going to parties and Christmas shopping to notice that you're suddenly living in Mexico.
Getting Obama to postpone a rancid idea isn't something to celebrate. Yay! We did it! We forced him to delay doing something the country doesn't want for SIX WEEKS! Every Republican candidate better be jamming Obama's threat down the throats of their Democratic opponents.
Obama is claiming to have the powers of a dictator. Amnesty was considered by Congress, but -- here's the important thing: It didn't pass. It only passed the Senate, with the votes of all Democrats and 14 not-bright Republicans. After that, widespread public revulsion prevented Marco Rubio's amnesty bill from even being considered in the House.
But according to Obama, the only reason illegals haven't already been given amnesty is that Congress is not "doing its job."
What does Obama imagine Congress' "job" is? Being his errand boys? Their job is to represent their districts. I promise you, House members are doing a better job representing their districts than at least a dozen senators are at representing their states -- or than Obama is doing representing the country. It's called the "People's House" for a reason.
Noticeably, every Republican senator running for re-election this year claims to oppose amnesty -- even the ones who voted for it. (Let's hope they remember how unpopular mass immigration is when it's time to vote, not just when they're running.)
Obama's base isn't even looking for representation. We could have a 1929-level stock market crash, Obama could commit a murder on the White House lawn -- and they would still support the first minority president!
But Obama says he can do whatever he wants on immigration because it's "a serious issue and Congress chooses to do nothing."
If bills became law provided only the Senate and president agreed, the Nicaraguan Contras would have been funded out of the U.S. Treasury, Reagan would have gotten his MX missiles in 1982 and the Soviet Union would have fallen five years sooner, school busing would have been eliminated without waiting for the courts to act a decade later, and most of George W. Bush's tax cuts would have been made permanent. In all those cases, a president wanted to do something -- and the Senate agreed! But the House said no, so it never happened.
Obama can't ignore the House and make amnesty happen either. That's why he's talking about an "executive amnesty," which sounds like the top-tier donation category at one of the 4 million fundraisers Obama has held since becoming president, where the dinner starts at $25,000 per couple and you might bump into Jay-Z in the men's room. Actually, it just means Obama publicly, openly, officially stops enforcing immigration law.
Except in his own mind, Obama can't make illegals legal. But he can direct the entire immigration apparatus of the federal government to act as if amnesty has passed. The theory is that once they've been treated as if they're legal for a few years, it's a fait accompli, and no future president will resume enforcement of the law.
Although consistent with historical practice, it's not where the country is at all. This election is our first referendum on amnesty.
Not only do we have Obama's promise that he'll refuse to execute the law -- it's not as if he took some kind of oath, after all -- but there's good reason to believe him: After this election, he's got nothing to lose. Democrats will have two years to sign up 30 million illegal immigrants for Social Security benefits, food stamps and voting cards.
There is no more important political issue than this: Republicans must take the Senate this year.
You know how much you've been enjoying the courts overturning state referendums prohibiting gay marriage? Get ready for a lot more of your hard-won political victories to be nullified by the courts if Republicans don't take a Senate majority.
Remember how the Supreme Court upheld Obamacare on a 5-4 vote? Obama could have a shot at replacing another Supreme Court justice in the next two years. As a senator, he voted against both of Bush's nominees, so he can't very well complain if Republicans reject his loony-bird nominees.
Have you heard about the federal judge conspiring with Attorney General Eric Holder and the ACLU to bring deported illegal aliens back from Mexico? Yes, he's bringing them back. That judge, John A. Kronstadt, can't be impeached unless Republicans take the Senate.
With Republican majorities in both the House and Senate, Congress should just keep passing bills and sending them to the White House -- or whatever golf course Obama's on, busily not executing the law. If Obama vetoes their bills, Republicans can denounce him as a "do-nothing" president.
And keep in mind, this election will determine whether President Ted Cruz or President Mitt Romney will have a Republican Congress in 2017. They won't -- unless Republicans win every possible Senate race this year. The Senate seats up for election two years from now are not nearly as favorable to Republicans as the Senate seats up this year.
Unforced Republican errors in Delaware, Indiana, Missouri, Connecticut and West Virginia in the last few election cycles have already cost Republicans five Senate seats. (See my last book for the heart-breaking details.)
Five! Think of that! Republicans would have 50 seats in the Senate right now -- maybe 51, if they could flip Sen. Joe Manchin in West Virginia -- but for Republican stupidity, arrogance and narcissism. Instead of desperately hoping to win a bare majority, we would be one "wave election" away from a veto-proof majority.
Surveying the wreckage of a mere two years of a Democratic president with a Democratic Congress, all Americans should be focused like a laser beam on putting the Senate in Republican hands.
Won't you be angry if our power-mad president grants millions of illegal immigrants "executive amnesty" on the basis of his nonexistent constitutional authority to ignore the law? The surge of needy foreigners across our Southern border, so far, will be nothing compared to what's coming if Obama does this.
He says he will. He thinks voters are too stupid to notice.
Prove him wrong.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/coulter091114.php3#k7A3je9ue5ZUbH6d.99
Post-9/11: Protect the Freedom To Warn
By Michelle Malkin
"If you see something, say something." That's what our homeland security apparatchiks incessantly preach. But 13 years after the 9/11 attacks, the freedom to warn is in danger and vigilant whistleblowers are under fire.
Listen to Robert MacLean. He's a former Air Force nuclear weapons specialist and Border Patrol agent recruited by the government to serve as one of the first federal air marshals after 9/11.
In 2003, MacLean underwent emergency training to prepare for a new round of al-Qaida hijacking threats. Jihadists exploiting visa and screening loopholes had planned to target East Coast airliners, according to intelligence analysts. For unknown reasons, however, the Transportation Security Administration abruptly called off air marshals from duty on nonstop, long-distance flights — just two days before the anticipated hijacking.
How did they notify the air marshals? Cue the Keystone Cops. "TSA chose to send the unlabeled text message to our unsecured Nokia 3310 cellular phones instead of our $22 million encrypted smart phone system. There were no markings or secrecy restrictions on the message," MacLean recounted to Congress this week. "We all thought it was a joke given the special training we had just received and the post-9/11 law that nonstop long-distance flights were a priority."
A supervisor told MacLean the agency was broke and there was nothing he could do. Appalled at both the dangerous pullback and the reckless way in which the feds notified the air marshals, MacLean then contacted his department's inspector general hotline and was warned he would be "cutting (his) career short if (he) pursued the issue further." Instead, he went to the press and made his homeland security concerns public. In 2006, MacLean was fired.
More than a decade later, the dedicated security expert has battled the feds who retaliated against him. He was forced into bankruptcy and shut out of law enforcement jobs. His legal case heads to the Supreme Court this fall. G0D bless him. Despite the consequences, MacLean would do it all again in a heartbeat.
"I blew the whistle because I had to," he testified this week. "I could not live with the tragedy risked if I had been the cynical silent observer."
MacLean is not alone. Do you remember 10 years ago when then-Federal Air Marshal Service Director Thomas Quinn refused to allow his employees to dress undercover? Quinn, a former Secret Service agent, insisted that air marshals abide by military-style grooming standards and a rigid business dress policy regardless of weather, time of year or seating arrangement. Yes, really. Marshals were ordered to dress like characters straight out of "Men in Black" — leaving them vulnerable to terrorist identification.
Critics of the code dubbed Quinn the Captain Queeg of homeland security. He even assigned fashion police to enforce the rules his own spokesman denied existed. Homeland security bureaucrats in Washington back then downplayed the marshals' complaints about the dress policy and other directives and leaks that undermined the marshals' anonymity.
Officials at headquarters smeared the messengers inside and outside the agency and denied any wrongdoing. One top special agent in charge of the marshals' Atlanta office, Don Strange, was fired after criticizing the dress code and boarding procedures that made the marshals' identities obvious. Another agent, Frank Terreri, faced retaliation for whistleblowing and was forced to sue to protect his job.
Today, the Federal Air Marshal program remains riddled with mismanagement, corruption and neglect. In April, FAM Director Robert Bray resigned amid an embarrassing gun scheme probe. And earlier this year, six of 24 air marshal offices closed, and hiring was frozen in Las Vegas, Seattle and Denver. Yet, according to one of my sources, "the last class of air marshals graduated from the academy in 2012. The service has not hired any mission-flying FAMs since. In that same time frame, they have promoted or hired over 300 people, and continue to do so, for supervisory and administrative duties. Almost every supervisory position includes a paid move and a yearly salary of $100,000."
Every 9/11, pundits talk about how "everything changed" after the attacks. But the homeland security bureaucracy is as petty, vindictive, wasteful and stupid as ever.
Read more at http://www.jewishworldreview.com/michelle/malkin091214.php3#dg203DeLYbiAAIKI.99
Resisting the Islamic State's demand for submission
By Ben Carson
The Islamic State and the other advocates of Shariah law are growing rapidly, along with their zeal to eradicate or convert all "infidels." For those who are asleep at the wheel, in the opinion of these fanatics, most of Western civilization -- including America -- fits into the infidel category.
I normally encourage conversation and compromise where possible, but how does one negotiate or compromise with someone who desires your elimination? Maybe if you meet some of their demands, they will only dismember you or kill you more slowly.
Obviously, the expansion of groups like the Islamic State represents an existential threat to our own nation and our way of life. If ever there was a time to work together for self-preservation, it is now. There really is no time to squabble about who was right and who was wrong regarding our activities in the Middle East. Our enemies will use every opportunity to divide us and distract us, which will make their job of destroying us much easier.
In order to prevail in the war on terror, we must have an overall strategy, the goal of which is annihilation of the terrorists, as opposed to simply winning battles with them here and there. This means paying much more attention to military preparedness, both offensive and defensive. That means significantly increasing our covert operations, without blabbing to the world about what we will or will not do. It means cultivating strong and trusting relationships with our allies and never leaving them to worry about abandonment for political reasons. It means helping other countries in the region to realize that they, too, will soon be targets of the Islamic State, which will radically alter their comfortable lives.
When it comes to the elimination of those trying to destroy us, we have to be smart enough to realize that we must have airtight borders to prevent easy access for terrorists. Some say this is too difficult. I guarantee that it is easier than trying to rebuild a nation that has been destroyed because we thought logical defense was too hard. There is no question that unpleasantries brought about by our own forces will be necessary to accomplish our goals and defeat terrorism, but you cannot win a politically correct war.
Our enemies' desire to establish a caliphate is no joke. Their convert-or-die doctrine parallels some of the social philosophies enforced by the political-correctness police in this country. Either you accept their interpretation of what is moral and correct, or the name calling starts, and they attempt to destroy your business or reputation.
We despise the Islamic State, but do not see the same ugliness in our own tactics. The truth hurts, and it is much easier to ignore it or try to demonize its bearer. Unless integrity, courage and common sense result in the ability to honestly examine our own hypocrisy, we will lose the war of ideas and identity, and the land of the free will become a distant memory.
I've been privileged to get to know some incredibly smart and talented military leaders, as well as covert operators and innovative engineers. I am confident that with our talent and faith, not only can we win this war, but we can show the world a better way.
Favors and Loot for Sale
By Walter Williams
At a July fundraising event in Chicago, Mrs. Michelle Obama remarked, "So, yeah, there's too much money in politics. There's (sic) special interests that have too much influence." Sen. John McCain has been complaining for years that "there is too much money washing around political campaigns today." According to a 2012 Reuters poll, "Seventy-five percent of Americans feel there is too much money in politics." Let's think about money in politics, but first a few facts.
During the 2012 presidential campaign, Barack Obama raised a little over $1 billion, while Mitt Romney raised a little under $1 billion. Congressional candidates raised over $3.5 billion. In 2013, there were 12,341 registered lobbyists and $3.2 billion was spent on lobbying. During the years the Clintons have been in national politics, they've received at least $1.4 billion in contributions, according to Time magazine and the Center for Responsive Politics, making them "The First Family of Fundraising."
Here are my questions to you: Why do people and organizations cough up billions of dollars to line political coffers? One might answer that these groups and individuals are simply extraordinarily civic-minded Americans who have a deep and abiding interest in encouraging elected officials to live up to their oath of office to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution. Another possible answer is that the people who spend these billions of dollars on politicians just love participating in the political process. If you believe either of these explanations for coughing up billions for politicians, you're probably a candidate for psychiatric attention, a straitjacket and a padded cell.
A far better explanation for the billions going to the campaign coffers of Washington politicians and lobbyists lies in the awesome government power and control over business, property, employment and other areas of our lives. Having such power, Washington politicians are in the position to grant special privileges, extend favors, change laws and do other things that if done by a private person would land him in jail. The major component of congressional power is the use of the IRS to take the earnings of one American to give to another.
The Dow Chemical Co. posted record lobbying expenditures last year, spending over $12 million. Joined by Alcoa, who spent $3.5 million, Dow supports the campaigns of congressmen who support natural gas export restrictions. Natural gas is a raw material for both companies. They fear natural gas prices would rise if export restrictions were lifted. Dow and other big users of natural gas make charitable contributions to environmentalists who seek to limit natural gas exploration. Natural gas export restrictions empower Russia's Vladimir Putin by making Europeans more dependent on Russian natural gas.
General Electric spends tens of millions of dollars lobbying. Part of their agenda was to help get Congress to outlaw incandescent light bulbs so that they could sell their more expensive compact fluorescent bulbs. It should come as no surprise that General Electric is a contributor to global warmers who helped convince Congress that incandescent bulbs were destroying the planet.
These are just two examples, among thousands, of the role of money in politics. Most concerns about money in politics tend to focus on relatively trivial matters such as the costs of running for office and interest-group influence on Congress and the White House. The bedrock problem is the awesome power of Congress. We Americans have asked, demanded and allowed congressmen to ignore their oaths of office and ignore the constitutional limitations imposed on them. The greater the congressional power to give handouts and grant favors and make special privileges the greater the value of being able to influence congressional decision-making. There's no better influence than money.
You say, "Williams, you've explained the problem. What's your solution?" Maybe we should think about enacting a law mandating that Congress cannot do for one American what it does not do for all Americans. For example, if Congress creates a monopoly for one American, it should create a monopoly for all Americans. Of course, a better solution is for Congress to obey our Constitution.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williamns091014.php3#vtRz71YCEs2l6iep.99
Things I Don't Understand
By Walter Williams
There are things that really puzzle me. Some life insurance companies charge lower premiums if you haven't made a life-shortening lifestyle choice. Being a nonsmoker is one of them. Actuarially, that makes sense because the life expectancy for smokers is at least 10 years shorter than for nonsmokers.
Insurance company policies charge higher premiums to those who are obese. The National Institutes of Health reports that those with a body mass index greater than 40 have a six- to 14-year lower life expectancy. Again, actuarially, that makes sense. Indeed, there's a strong advocacy for higher life insurance, as well as health insurance, premiums for those whose lifestyle choices impose a greater financial burden on society, which obesity does. But there's one important exception.
According to the International Journal of Epidemiology, life expectancy at age 20 for homosexual and bisexual men is eight to 20 years less than for all men. That's a lifestyle shortening of life expectancy greater than obesity and tobacco use. Yet one never hears of insurance companies advertising lower premiums for heterosexual men. You say, "That would be discrimination." You're right, but why is it acceptable for insurance companies to discriminate against smokers and the obese but not homosexuals? After all, they are all Americans and protected by the Constitution. It's really a matter of politics, as seen by the journal's publication of an article titled "Gay life expectancy revisited" (http://tinyurl.com/25ejq2d). The publication had to soft-pedal its study results because of complaints that pointing out life expectancy differences between heterosexuals and homosexuals had become fuel for homophobia. The bottom line is that homosexuals have far greater political power and sympathy than smokers and the obese.
Sticking with medical issues, Dr. Tom Frieden, head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said, "Ebola poses little risk to the U.S. general population." If one cannot contract Ebola, as the CDC claims, except through exchange of bodily fluids, then why were millions of dollars spent transporting Ebola patients Dr. Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol from Liberia to a U.S. hospital under extreme isolation procedures? The CDC's Ebola claim strikes me as fishy. To use a line spoken by Marcellus in William Shakespeare's "Hamlet," "something is rotten in the state of Denmark."
There are warning labels that puzzle me, engendering considerable disrespect for my fellow Americans' intellect. How about the warning, "Do not hold the wrong end of a chain saw." On packaging for a clothes iron is the warning, "Do not iron clothes on body." A Superman costume contained the warning, "Wearing of this garment does not enable you to fly."
Then there are the "do not take internally" warnings. Most often, the product containing this warning isn't something one reasonably takes internally, such as butter, soda or cough syrup. The warnings are on products such as paint, bleach and other cleaning fluids. I'm wondering how many grown Americans actually took a swig of something like Minwax, bleach or paint thinner. Then there's a warning label that appears on some automobile windshield sun screens, which people purchase to keep their cars cool: "Do Not Drive With Screen In Place."
Here's my take. The warning labels are all a waste. A person dumb enough to drink Minwax, bleach or paint thinner or drive with a sun screen in place is probably also too dumb to read. Speaking of warning labels, there's a debate about whether mother's milk is good or bad for infants — a preposterous debate, considering the historical success of nursing manifested by a world population of 7 billion. If government authorities, such as the Food and Drug Administration, conclude that mother's milk is hazardous, I'm wondering where they're going to put the warning label.
Read more at http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/williamns090314.php3#7QF6OGoPvdbvcZ0L.99
We already know that Lois Lerner and Rep. Elijah Cummings seemed to have a very friendly working relationship when it came to coordinating scrutiny of conservative groups.
According to a phone call Darrell Issa says was accidentally placed to his office, we might be able to add the Department of Justice to the mix:
The administration official calling House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa’s (R-Calif.) office last week had an odd request.
Could the Justice Department get some help leaking information about the IRS’s scrutiny of conservative groups? asked Brian Fallon, a top spokesman for Attorney General Eric Holder.
Apparently thinking he had reached the office of Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings (Md.), Fallon said the department wanted congressional staffers to get documents to selected reporters so that officials could comment on them “before the majority” did.
After Issa spokesman Frederick Hill replied that Oversight Committee staffers would have to examine those documents first, the line went silent, and Fallon placed the call on hold for three minutes.
When he returned to the line, Fallon was “audibly shaken,” according to an account of the conversation that Issa recounts in a letter sent to Holder.
Issa’s letter does not name the administration official or the three members of his own staff that were on the call on Friday. But Fallon acknowledged Tuesday that he spoke last week with Hill, a longtime Issa aide — an account also confirmed by a congressional aide.
Cummings is one of the biggest defenders of the IRS, so it’s nice to know the DOJ might also be working with the Maryland congressman to help keep the helpless little agency from getting any “smidgen of corruption” on it:
Will the Justice Department’s thorough investigation of the IRS mess be able to determine if the Justice Department is improperly involved with the Democrats’ effort to sweep the scandal under the rug? Confidence remains low.
Blacks Must Confront Reality
By Walter Williams
Though racial discrimination exists, it is nowhere near the barrier it once was. The relevant question is: How much of what we see today can be explained by racial discrimination? This is an important question because if we conclude that racial discrimination is the major cause of black problems when it isn't, then effective solutions will be elusive forever. To begin to get a handle on the answer, let's pull up a few historical facts about black Americans.
In 1950, female-headed households were 18 percent of the black population. Today it's close to 70 percent. One study of 19th-century slave families found that in up to three-fourths of the families, all the children lived with the biological mother and father. In 1925 New York City, 85 percent of black households were two-parent households. Herbert Gutman, author of "The Black Family in Slavery and Freedom, 1750-1925," reports, "Five in six children under the age of six lived with both parents." Also, both during slavery and as late as 1920, a teenage girl raising a child without a man present was rare among blacks.
A study of 1880 family structure in Philadelphia found that three-quarters of black families were nuclear families (composed of two parents and children). What is significant, given today's arguments that slavery and discrimination decimated the black family structure, is the fact that years ago, there were only slight differences in family structure among racial groups.
Coupled with the dramatic breakdown in the black family structure has been an astonishing growth in the rate of illegitimacy. The black illegitimacy rate in 1940 was about 14 percent; black illegitimacy today is over 70 percent, and in some cities, it is over 80 percent.
The point of bringing up these historical facts is to ask this question, with a bit of sarcasm: Is the reason the black family was far healthier in the late 1800s and 1900s that back then there was far less racial discrimination and there were greater opportunities? Or did what experts call the "legacy of slavery" wait several generations to victimize today's blacks?
The Census Bureau pegs the poverty rate among blacks at 28.1 percent. A statistic that one never hears about is that the poverty rate among intact married black families has been in the single digits for more than two decades, currently at 8.4 percent. Weak family structures not only spell poverty and dependency but also contribute to the social pathology seen in many black communities — for example, violence and predatory sex. Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person. Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation's population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. Nationally, the black homicide victimization rate is six times that of whites, and in some cities, it's 22 times that of whites. According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims. Coupled with being most of the nation's homicide victims, blacks are also major victims of violent personal crimes, such as assault, rape and robbery.
To put this violence in perspective, black fatalities during the Korean War (3,075), Vietnam War (7,243) and all wars since 1980 (about 8,200) come to about 18,500, a number that pales in comparison with black loss of life at home. Young black males had a greater chance of reaching maturity on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan than on the streets of Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, Newark and other cities.
The black academic achievement gap is a disaster. Often, black 12th-graders can read, write and deal with scientific and math problems at only the level of white sixth-graders. This doesn't bode well for success in college or passing civil service exams.
If it is assumed that problems that have a devastating impact on black well-being are a result of racial discrimination and a "legacy of slavery" when they are not, resources spent pursuing a civil rights strategy will yield disappointing results.
Winooski, Vermont and the Dismantling of America's Values
By Dennis Prager
It is hard to read about and discuss the progressives who dominate American media and academia who morally equate Israel and Hamas; who describe America — the most tolerant multi-ethnic country in the world — as racist; and who characterize American universities as a "rape culture."
But there was a barely reported story that came out of a small city in Vermont last week that, for reasons to be explained, really got to me. The story isn't comparable to the beheading of innocent people or as dramatic as the rioting in Ferguson, Missouri. But if it typifies what is happening in America, it is difficult not to be pessimistic about America's future.
The facts of the story are not in dispute.
As reported in the Burlington Free Press, a restaurant in the town of Winooski, Vermont, population 7,000, "removed a sign reading 'Yield for Sneakers Bacon' from a garden at the Winooski Rotary."
Why did the Sneakers Bistro and Cafe remove the sign?
Because "a woman who described herself as 'a vegan and a member of a Muslim household' called the sign offensive in a post" on a local Internet forum.
"Given the large number of Muslim families in Winooski, as well as many others who do not eat pork for a variety of reasons," the woman wrote, "it seems unnecessary for this insensitive business sign to be at the city's main crosswalk."
The Free Press reported that "Sneakers owner Marc Dysinger replied that the sign was meant to be fun and to show that the restaurant cares about Winooski. ... He apologized for the controversy."
After "a swarm of Internet comments followed the decision," Dysinger wrote on Facebook:
"We are here to serve people BREAKFAST, not politics. We removed the sign that was located on public property as a gesture of respect for our diverse community. ... Removing it was not a difficult decision. We still love bacon. We still love eggs. Please have the political conversation elsewhere."
Everything about this story is depressing.
First, the complaint.
The woman who wrote this totalitarian drivel is the worst combination of fake victimhood, political correctness (which itself is a PC euphemism for "that which offends the left"), and Muslims who seek to impose sharia law on non-Muslims. It is also highly likely this woman graduated college, probably with a major in the liberal arts. Our universities teach non-white, non-Christian, and female students to find offense everywhere. American students get degrees in Finding Offense.
As a Jew who refrains from eating bacon or any pork product, it would never occur to me or to Jews far more observant than I to tell a non-Jewish restaurant to take down a sign advertising bacon. Nor would it occur to any Jew to find such an ad "offensive."
The woman possesses yet another vile trait — one of the ugliest in the human pantheon: ingratitude. There is a Somali refugee community in Winooski. These people were saved from the murderous horrors of Somalia; yet this woman, whether or not she is a member of that specific community, has the gall to tell the city that saved this Muslim community's life that it dare not advertise a food she doesn't eat. Such ingratitude doesn't come naturally. It has to be learned.
Second, the restaurant owner's reaction.
This woman should have been ignored or told in the same social media in which her complaint appeared to seek psychotherapy and/or be reminded that she's free to move to a society that bans bacon, and that this society is free and wishes to remain so.
Instead the restaurant owner immediately gave in to this woman.
This man typifies the moral weakening of America taking place over the last generation. Throughout our history we prided ourselves in being the "Home of the Brave." The restaurant owner's reaction exemplifies the opposite of bravery. He actually "apologized for the controversy." In a morally ordered universe, one apologizes for a wrong done. Yet he did nothing wrong. She did.
Why did he apologize even though he was the wronged party? Because he has imbibed the left's poisonous doctrine of "diversity," one of the left's fig leaves behind which it dismantles American values and unifying identity.
Third, the city manager.
A feature of Political Correctness is lying on its behalf. This was exemplified by Winooski's city manager, Katherine Decarreau, who wrote, 'As I read her post, her request came as a vegan, not as a Muslim.'"
This comment is breathtaking in its mendacity. The complaining woman described herself as "a member of a Muslim household" and wrote that the sign is offensive to Muslims. Yet the city manager publicly denies that the complaint emanated from the woman's being a Muslim.
No one has called her out on this lie, let alone called for her resignation. Because in the Brave New World in which we live, truth doesn't have an objective existence. Everything, even truth, is relative.
When leftism (aka political correctness) corrupts as small and Middle American a town as Winooski, Vermont, it is time to be very concerned.
And to fight back.
This means, among other things, getting Muslim organizations to disassociate themselves from the original message. I could not find one that has, including the Winooski Islamic Community Center.
And it means explaining to the restaurant owner why his apology was morally wrong, undermined American values, and was not "a gesture of respect for our diverse community." It was gesture of disrespect to the vast majority of the citizens of Winooski who enjoy bacon and to the vast majority of Americans outside of Winnoski, whether or not we eat bacon.
An Unhappy Summer for Liberty
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
At the root of the chaos in the Middle East and here at home are governments that respect no limits on their exercise of power. Public officials — who are supposed to be our public servants — routinely behave as if they are our masters. They reject the confines of the Constitution, they don't believe that our rights are inalienable, and they fail to see the dangerous path down which they are leading us.
It is a path to an authoritarian America, predicted by the British writer George Orwell in his dark and terrifying novel "1984," in which governmental power was fortified by fear at home and war abroad.
President Obama has dispatched 60,000 NSA spies to monitor the cellphone and landline calls, as well as the emails, texts, bank statements and utility bills, of nearly all Americans, in utter disregard for the constitutional standard required for doing so: probable cause of criminal acts by the persons spied upon. Yet his spies somehow missed the Boston marathon bombing, Russia's invasion of Ukraine and theft of Crimea, the downing of the Malaysian civilian airliner and the growth of ISIS in the Middle East.
ISIS was fomented by the tragic, immoral and illegal American invasion of Iraq. That invasion was carried out under the false pretenses that the United States needed to find the weapons of mass destruction we had sold to Saddam Hussein. The Iraq war cost the lives of 650,000 Iraqis and 4,500 Americans. It displaced more than 2,000,000 Iraqis and, because it was paid for by borrowed funds, added $2 trillion to the U.S. government's debt.
The consequence of American Middle Eastern imperialism has become the virulently anti-American and viciously efficient fighting force called ISIS. President Bush and his generals and Obama and his spies knew or ought to have known about it. This disciplined group of fanatics is the latest American bogeyman at whom the warmongers are aiming their cries for more American military action and thus more American blood.
Bush was reckless to have fought an unjust war, and Obama is reckless to have misguided our intelligence resources toward Americans and then feign surprise at the growth of this foreign disease right under his nose._ But this is a disease that he and the military-industrial complex will use to terrify us into another useless war. By their standards, any group or government — except for the U.S. and our allies — that uses violence to get its way should be eliminated by more violence. That will literally bring war without end.
Congress is a potted plant. It has permitted Obama — in defiance of the Constitution — to destroy Libya, bomb innocents in Pakistan and kill Americans in Yemen. There is a reason only Congress can declare war: to ensure debate about war, to discover whether there is a legal basis for it, to explore all options to it, and to prepare for its human, geopolitical and financial consequences.
The next domestic political battle will be a fight between the Senate and the CIA, as the Senate Intelligence Committee releases its report on CIA torture. Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., the committee chair, has accused the CIA of spying on her and her staff, and just as Congress began its summer break, CIA Director John Brennan admitted the spying. That spying is a felony, and Brennan's job and his personal freedom are at stake, even as he and Feinstein argue about how much of the report should be released.
Why is this report important? According to those who have seen it, it will demonstrate not only that the U.S. government tortured victims all over the world, but that its techniques were not those revealed and approved by congressional regulators, that the CIA repeatedly lied to its own congressional supporters and, most importantly, that the torture did not produce any material actionable intelligence, including the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden.
The report is also important because in a democracy, all persons have a fundamental right to know what the government is doing. Transparency is a disinfectant for political corruption, and a people cannot be free when the government gets away with law breaking and lying about it.
The other coming domestic issue is the militarization of the police. We learned this summer that in New York City, you can be choked to death by cops while selling untaxed cigarettes, and in Ferguson, Mo., you can be shot in the head by a cop while unarmed — and none of the killers has yet been arrested, charged or prosecuted. This is the result of recent Supreme Court opinions that give the police qualified immunity. That doctrine makes it nearly impossible to sue or prosecute cops who kill innocents so long as they can claim that a reasonable cop would have done as they did. That is no protection from thugs in uniform; it is a license to kill.
And speaking of killing, why do the police in America now have grenade throwers, a weapon that kills indiscriminately and is banned from use against the civilian population by international law? They have them because of a lack of transparency. The Department of Defense in secret gave or sold these weapons of mass destruction to American police departments in secret and thus without the consent of the public, whom the police are supposed to protect.
Locally and nationally, we live under governments that prefer to rule rather than to serve, that choose not to tell us the truth but to keep it from us, and that have enacted laws that purport to make their behavior legal.
In 1949, when he wrote "1984," Orwell predicted all this, including the secret torture, the perpetual warfare, the continuous spying and the fear of the government. His predictions were right on the mark — he was only mistaken by 30 years.
Facts vs. Visions
By Thomas Sowell
The political left has been campaigning against the use of force since at least the 18th century. So it is not surprising that they are now arguing that heavily armed or aggressive police forces only inflame protesters and thus provoke violence.
Statisticians have long warned that correlation is not causation, but they have apparently warned in vain.
There is no reason to doubt that heavily armed police in riot gear may be more likely to show up where outbreaks of violence are expected. But when violence then breaks out, does that prove that it was the appearance of the police that caused it?
I strongly suspect that people who travel with armed guards are more likely to be murdered than people who do not travel with armed guards. After all, they are not paying to have armed guards for no reason.
If so, should we conclude from a higher murder rate among people with armed guards that having armed guards increases your chances of getting murdered? Shall we also conclude from this that we the taxpayers should no longer pay to have Secret Service agents guarding our presidents?
Actually, the history of assassinations of American presidents could be cited as evidence that armed guards are correlated with higher murder rates, if we proceed to "reason" the same way the advocates of weaker police presence seem to be reasoning.
There have been 43 Presidents of the United States, of whom four — Lincoln, Garfield, McKinley and Kennedy — have been murdered. That is a murder rate of 9 percent.
If the murder rate in the general population — most of whom do not have armed guards — were 9 percent, that would mean more than 27 million Americans murdered today. We haven't quite gotten up to a murder rate that high, even in Chicago.
Does anyone seriously believe that leaving presidents unguarded would reduce assassinations? Probably not. But this is the golden age of talking points, as distinguished from serious thinking about serious issues.
These talking points are often based on a prevailing social vision, rather than on hard facts. According to the prevailing vision, ghetto riots are due to racial injustices — and the way to deal with them is to make concessions in words and deeds, while severely restricting the use of force by the police.
Factual evidence cannot make a dent in that vision.
But, for those who are still so old-fashioned as to rely on facts, here are a few: Back in the 1960s when ghetto riots broke out in cities across the country, the region with the fewest riots was the South, where racial discrimination was greatest and police forces least likely to show restraint.
In Detroit, with a liberal mayor in the city and a liberal governor in the state, where the police were warned against shooting during the 1967 riots, there was the largest death toll of any city during any riot during that whole decade — 43 people dead, 33 of them black.
Both the New York Times and the Washington Post expressed astonishment that such a riot could occur in a city with such liberal policies. But neither of them changed its vision in response to facts which contradicted that vision.
In Chicago, there were three nights of rioting on the westside in 1966. These riots were brought to a halt with what a Chicago correspondent for the Los Angeles Times called an almost "miraculous" low death rate of two. Yet that same reporter called the use of both troops and police a "serious over-reaction."
Any force sufficient to prevent riots from getting out of hand is almost certain to be characterized as "excessive force" or "over-reaction" by people with zero experience trying to stop riots.
During a later and larger riot in Chicago, Mayor Richard J. Daley went on television to inform all and sundry that he had given orders to his police to "shoot to kill" arsonists — provoking outraged denunciations across the country.
The number of people actually killed during that riot was less than a third of the number killed in kinder and gentler Detroit the following year, even though Chicago had a larger population.
Do you prefer that fewer people get killed or that kinder and gentler rhetoric and tactics be used?
Build Better Teachers
By Mona Charen
For the past half-century, and particularly since the 1983 "Nation at Risk" report, Americans have been heaving great sacks of money at schools. Federal spending alone has tripled since the 1970s. The New York Times calculates that the federal government now spends $107.6 billion on education yearly, which is layered over an estimated $524.7 billion spent by states and localities (source: National Center for Education Statistics).
Reformers have urged — depending upon where they stand ideologically — smaller class sizes, more accountability, merit pay for teachers and educational choice. Each year seems to bring a new fad: child-centered learning, new math, cooperative learning and so forth. The No Child Left Behind reform focused on testing. There have been proposals to repeal teacher tenure and to provide every child with a laptop. And always there are fights over curriculum — the Common Core being the controversy du jour.
But perhaps the most promising thinking about education arises from the discovery from economist Eric Hanushek that the most important factor in student performance is the quality of the teacher. Not class size. Not spending per pupil. Not even curriculum.
Our system produces some great teachers, but only by luck. Each year, 400,000 new teachers enter American classrooms, many knowing little about the nuts and bolts of teaching. As Elizabeth Green argues in her new book, "Building a Better Teacher: How Teaching Works (and How to Teach it to Everyone)," our education schools do not teach the mechanics of teaching: how to control a classroom, how to engage students' imaginations, how to check for understanding. They've been sidetracked by educational psychology and fads at the expense of teaching how to teach.
(Buy it at a 37% discount by clicking here or order in KINDLE edition at a 49% discount by clicking here)
Green cites "education entrepreneurs" including Doug Lemov, author of "Teach Like a Champion," and Deborah Loewenberg Ball, now dean of the University of Michigan's school of education, who focus on helping ordinary teachers to become great.
Lemov, an education reformer and consultant, was struck by something he found by poring over statistics from the state of New York. While the correlation between zip codes and educational success was notable, there were always outliers: schools or classrooms in which even kids from impoverished backgrounds were doing well. Lemov zeroed in on those schools and those particular teachers.
The result is found in the subtitle of "Teach Like a Champion": "49 Techniques That Put Students on the Path to College." Some of the techniques are inspired; others are quotidian but still important (like how not to waste time pleading for responses). The point is that teaching is a performance every day, which is not easy. Teachers must engage the interest and attention of their students (who bring all kinds of troubles from home), encourage the weak ones along with the strong, maintain discipline, and build a sense of team spirit. Lemov doesn't believe that anyone can be a great teacher, but he does think that with coaching and mentoring, good teachers can become great.
Some of Lemov's proven techniques will not surprise educational traditionalists. He believes in drill, though he calls it "muscle memory." A great teacher will drill arithmetic skills, for example, until they are second nature, so that students needn't stumble over the easy stuff when they get to algebra and geometry. (Education schools had disdained this as "drill and kill.") Another technique Lemov suggests is "cold calls" — that is, having the teacher choose students randomly rather than just those who raise their hands. Each child, knowing he might be called upon, must be ready. (It works in law schools). A companion technique is "no opt out." If the child says he doesn't know, the teacher asks a related question to another student to narrow down the possible right answer and returns to the first child for a second chance.
There are broad suggestions about classroom management and more subtle and difficult challenges like maintaining "emotional constancy," that is refraining from showing anger when a child gets the wrong answer. Anger will teach a child to try to hide his ignorance rather than accept it as a normal part of the learning enterprise.
Teaching is a craft. It may be among the hardest to master. Renewed attention to teaching teaching seems long overdue.
Obama should lead on tax code reform. Now
By Charles Krauthammer
The Obama administration is highly exercised about "inversion," the practice by which an American corporation acquires a foreign company and moves its headquarters out of the United States to benefit from lower tax rates abroad.
Not fair, says Barack Obama. It's taking advantage of an "unpatriotic tax loophole" that hardworking American families have to make up for by the sweat of their brow. His treasury secretary calls such behavior a violation of "economic patriotism."
Nice touch. Democrats used to wax indignant about having one's patriotism questioned. Now they throw around the charge with abandon, tossing it at corporations that refuse to do the economically patriotic thing of paying the highest corporate tax rate in the industrialized world.
Odder still because Democrats routinely ridicule the very notion of corporations as persons. When Mitt Romney suggested that corporations were people in 2011, Democrats mocked him right through Election Day. In the Hobby Lobby case, they challenged the very idea that corporations can have religious convictions. Now, however, Democrats are demanding that corporations exercise a patriotic conscience. Which is it?
Moreover, corporations have an indisputable fiduciary responsibility to protect their shareholders' interest. Surely Walgreens betrayed this responsibility when it caved to administration pressure and canceled its plans to move its headquarters to Switzerland. The inversion would've saved it billions of dollars. Its cancellation caused an instant 14 percent drop in Walgreens shares.
But the Democrats' problem is deeper. Everyone knows why inversions are happening. America's 35 percent corporate tax rate is absurdly uncompetitive. Companies are doing what they always do: try to legally lower their tax liabilities.
What is maddening is that the problem is so easily solved: tax reform that lowers the accursed corporate rate. Democrats and Republicans agree on this. After the announcement of the latest inversion, Burger King buying Tim Hortons and then moving to Canada, the president himself issued a statement conceding that corporate tax reform — lower the rates, eliminate loopholes — is the best solution to the inversion problem.
It's also politically doable. Tax reform has unique bipartisan appeal. Conservatives like it because lowering rates stimulates the economy and eliminating loopholes curbs tax-driven economic decisions that grossly misallocate capital.
The appeal to liberals is economic fairness. By eliminating loopholes, tax reform levels the playing field. Today, the more powerful companies can afford the expensive lobbyists who create the loopholes and the expensive lawyers who exploit them. Which is why the nominal corporate tax rate is 35 percent but the effective rate for some of the largest corporations is about 13 percent.
So why not attack the inversion problem with its obvious solution: tax reform?
Time is short, says Obama. He can't wait. Instead, he wants legislation to outlaw inversion.
No time? Where has he been? He does nothing about tax reform for six years (during two of which Democrats fully controlled Congress), then claims now to be too impatient to attempt the real solution. Instead he wants to hurry through a punitive anti-inversion law to counterbalance the effects of our already punitive tax rates.
Cultivating a Curious Mind
By Ben S. Carson
JewishWorldReview.com | I recently returned home after two weeks of engagements in New Zealand and Australia focusing on empowerment through reading. The Kiwis and Aussies are not very different from Americans, even though they inhabit the opposite side of the globe.
I was struck by the way many people perceived the political atmosphere in the United States. Although the well-educated individuals who have access to all of the American cable channels tend to be well informed on the issues, most people had only heard that America has finally repaired its broken medical system with the advent of Obamacare and now everyone, including the indigent, has excellent health care. They were under the impression that most Americans are very happy with Obamacare and with their wonderful president, who had ushered in a great new day in America with his brilliance in many areas.
Many people were shocked when I relayed the facts about the deleterious effects of Obamacare on employment, skyrocketing insurance premiums and the displacement of health care providers. Furthermore, they had little knowledge about Benghazi, the Internal Revenue Service scandal, the Veterans Affairs debacle or the depth of our financial woes. In other words, they were just like a multitude of Americans who pay little attention to their news sources and are not curious enough to seek multiple sources and arm themselves with enough historical knowledge to be able to decipher truth from fiction.
Fortunately, I found that most of the people Down Under are not nearly as dogmatic in their beliefs as Americans have become. Our people on either side of the political spectrum tend to be more close-minded, partaking only of news sources that align with their ideological beliefs and in many cases engaging in the demonization of other information sources. This, of course, leads to intolerance and ignorance, which are associated with a whole cadre of societal problems. Frequently, that narrow-mindedness is encouraged by hyper-partisan individuals who actually call out news outlets such as the Fox News Channel for ridicule.
Such people might do well to ask themselves what would become of our country if people only heard what the government wanted them to hear. If they could be honest with themselves, I think they would have to admit that they would be uncomfortable in that setting. The mainstream media could provide a great service to the American people, as well as people around the world, by embracing their duty to be objective investigators and reporters of the news. I realize the likelihood of that occurring is small, but hope springs eternal.
I was delighted with the enthusiasm for reading Down Under, and with the understanding that virtually any young person, regardless of their economic background, can empower himself with the knowledge that comes from reading. This acquisition of knowledge is the antidote to the herd mentality induced by an agenda-driven media.
Reading was emphasized so strongly among the early settlers of America that anyone who finished the second or third grade was completely literate, as is borne out in the beautiful prose that characterized the writing style and letters of the Western frontiers of America in the early 19th century. Many Southern aristocrats also exhibited impressive writing skills and understanding of the English language.
Interestingly, the same highly educated rulers forbade under enormous penalty the teaching of slaves to read. They fully understood how empowering education and knowledge are. It is likely that Frederick Douglass fled the plantation to escape the wrath of his master, who was displeased that his slave was learning to read. Slaves were supposed to be obedient and grateful for the magnanimous protection and provisions afforded them by their "wonderful" masters.
Today many people in America slavishly devote themselves to a political party without engaging in critical analysis of whether the philosophies of that party are really in sync with their true values and with the betterment of their position in society. If decades of such devotion leads to more broken families, more out-of-wedlock births, more involvement with the criminal justice system, more poverty and more dependency on government, maybe it is time to ask whether such devotion is warranted.
I was honored to be able to encourage many of the disadvantaged young people of Australia and New Zealand to take control of their own destinies through education and reading. I was thrilled by the trip sponsors' generous financial contributions to the Carson Scholars Fund, enabling us to reach more American students and emphasize the acquisition of knowledge and the development of humanitarian qualities.
I am convinced that the dream of our Founding Fathers of a free nation filled with knowledgeable and caring people who trust in God and accept personal responsibility is still possible. Each of us has a role to play in the realization of that dream. A big part of that role is self-education. We need to read all kinds of books and articles and experience a variety of electronic media. We should not engage in self-censorship, which creates a proclivity for indoctrination.
I am convinced that a well-informed American populace will not be manipulated into relinquishing a beautiful American dream for all.
Tuition Pays for This
By Walter Williams
According to College Board, average tuition and fees for the 2013-14 school year totaled $30,094 at private colleges, $8,893 for in-state residents at public colleges and $22,203 for out-of-state residents. Many schools, such as Columbia University and George Washington University, charge yearly tuition and fees close to $50,000. Faced with the increasing costs of higher education, parents and taxpayers might like to know what they're getting for their money.
Campus Reform documents outrageous behavior at some colleges. Mark Landis, a former accounting professor at San Francisco State University, frequently entertained students at this home. He now faces 15 charges of invasion of privacy. Police say he was discovered with dozens of graphic videos he had made of students using his bathroom.
Mireille Miller-Young — professor of feminist studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara — recently pleaded no contest to charges of theft of banners and assault on a pro-life protester last March.
Every so often, colleges get it right, as the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign did when it withdrew its teaching offer to Steven G. Salaita. He had used his Twitter account to tell followers they are awful human beings if they support Israel, saying he supports the complete destruction of Israel, as well as calling for the decolonization of North America.
Then there are some strange college courses. At Georgetown University, there's a course called Philosophy and Star Trek, where professor Linda Wetzel explores questions such as "Can persons survive death?" and "Is time travel possible? Could we go back and kill our grandmothers?"
At Columbia College Chicago, there's a class called Zombies in Popular Media. The course description reads, "Daily assignments focus on reflection and commentary, while final projects foster thoughtful connections between student disciplines and the figure of the zombie."
West Coast colleges refuse to be left behind the times. University of California, Irvine physics professor Michael Dennin teaches The Science of Superheroes, in which he explores questions such as "Have you ever wondered if Superman could really bend steel bars?" and "Would a 'gamma ray' accident turn you into the Hulk?" and "What is a 'spidey-sense'?"
The average person would think that the major task of colleges is to educate and advance human knowledge. The best way to do that is to have competition in the marketplace of ideas. But Michael Yaki, head of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, disagrees. During a July 5 briefing on sexual harassment law in education, Yaki explained that college free speech restrictions are necessary because adolescent and young adult brains process information differently than adult brains.
Fortunately, the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education has waged a successful campaign against college restrictions on free speech. Some of its past victories include eliminating restrictions such as Bowdoin College's ban on jokes and stories "experienced by others as harassing"; Brown University's ban on "verbal behavior" that produced "feelings of impotence, anger or disenfranchisement," whether "unintentional or intentional"; the University of Connecticut's absurd ban of "inappropriately directed laughter"; and Colby College's ban on any speech that could lead to a loss of self-esteem. Some colleges sought to protect female students. Bryn Mawr College banned "suggestive looks," and "unwelcome flirtations" were not allowed at Haverford College.
Greg Lukianoff, president of FIRE and author of "Unlearning Liberty," argues that campus censorship is contributing to an atmosphere of stifled discourse. In 2010, an Association of American Colleges and Universities study found that only 17 percent of professors strongly agreed with the statement that it is "safe to hold unpopular positions on campus." Only 30 percent of college seniors strongly agreed with that statement. The First Amendment Center's annual survey found that a startling 47 percent of young people believe that the First Amendment "goes too far."
The bottom line is that many colleges have lost sight of their basic educational mission of teaching young people critical thinking skills, and they're failing at that mission at higher and higher costs to parents and taxpayers.
Obama's Staggering Blindness to Growing Terror Threat
By David Limbaugh
One does not need to be Sun Tzu or George Patton to know that a nation must recognize an enemy before it can develop a strategy to defeat it. But one apparently does have to be someone other than President Barack Obama.
Since he took office, Obama has spent considerable energy trying to convince us how peaceful and magnificent the religion of Islam is and how exceptional acts of terrorism springing from it are.
He has also been telling us in words and deeds that such terrorism can best be prevented by overtures of peace and good will toward Islam, understanding that the root cause of this violence is poverty, and developing an action plan to address it.
That means the United States must downsize its military, because our sheer strength and power constitutes a threat — a provocation to the rest of the world. It means that we must pursue "economic justice," a wretched euphemism for undermining our capitalist system and redistributing our wealth at home and abroad.
But even Obama's stalwart supporters in the liberal media now understand that this man doesn't have a clue about how to deal with threats to the United States. He is highly proficient at campaigning, community organizing, partisan agitating and ordering underlings to carry out his agenda, but he is psychologically incapable of attending to the details himself and appears to have no interest in actual governance beyond setting his statist goals and issuing his implementation orders.
Obama either can't focus on high-level problems he didn't anticipate in connection with his various utopian schemes or is so narcissistic that he rides around blindly in his golf cart like Mr. Magoo, wholly unaware of the damage he's done to his own reputation as a serious, engaged and thoughtful person.
I do mean "utopian." He mistakenly believed that his stimulus would work like a magic elixir to send the economy to new heights (or he knew better and it was a ruse to redistribute funds to his political cronies and funnel money to his pet projects). He believed that his beloved Obamacare was a panacea for improving the quality and affordability of health care (or he knew better and it was a Trojan horse for establishing governmental control over all aspects of our lives). He thought he could achieve world peace by withdrawing our forces from foreign entanglements — even without plans to preserve the order — making nice speeches about Islam, removing the term "terrorist" from our vocabulary (except for its application to tea partyers), instituting a "reset" with Russia, whatever that means, and downsizing our military and defense systems (and there's no indication at all that he knew better on this one).
But here we are, after his insistence that al-Qaida was on the run and that the Islamic State is the JV squad, watching an Islamic caliphate proliferate in front of our eyes in the Levant.
Even if hard reality is finally forcing Obama to grudgingly recognize the threat the Islamic State represents to the Middle East, he still refuses to believe or admit it represents a danger to the United States, especially with the porousness of the border he has made sure to effectuate.
It's not just his reckless naiveté but his compulsion to place his political self-interests above the national interests that inhibits him from publicly acknowledging the magnitude of the threats we are facing. In his mind, to make such an admission is tantamount to conceding that he was wrong and that his policies have exacerbated these threats — and that's a charitable assessment. That's why he reportedly dragged his feet for a month before approving a rescue attempt on American journalist James Foley. That, and he didn't want to risk a Jimmy Carter-type failure — again because he cares more about his political image than the problems he is duty-bound to address.
Even if Obama is willfully blind to the enormity of the threat, sentient Americans not similarly blinded by his ideology have to be disturbed by what we're witnessing in the world.
The Islamic State is massacring Christians, beheading American journalists, surging toward the borders of Turkey, marching across the Middle East with the swiftness of Alexander the Great and brazenly boasting that it is inside America, poised to attack. Islamist forces have taken control of the Libyan capital, Tripoli, and seized an airport there. They have captured a key Syrian air base near the Iraqi border. The Pentagon is saying the Islamic State threat is "beyond anything we've seen."
Meanwhile, Obama has been riding around in his golf cart, which might as well sport a bumper sticker of Mad magazine's Alfred E. Neuman saying, "What, me worry?"
Honestly, I have been horrified by Obama's lawlessness, his destructive domestic policies leading to a permanently anemic economy and workforce, his staggering debt expansions, and his horrendous taxing, spending, regulatory and health care policies. But these foreign and domestic terror threats, along with the border invasion, may even be more troublesome.
I hate to be negative, and I refuse to be pessimistic, but anyone not alarmed by current events is in some physical, mental or emotional state I am powerless to comprehend.
The Media and the Mob
By Thomas Sowell
Those of us who admit that we were not there, and do not know what happened when Michael Brown was shot by a policeman in Ferguson, Missouri, seem to be in the minority.
We all know what has happened since then — and it has been a complete disgrace by politicians, the media and mobs of rioters and looters. Despite all the people who act as if they know exactly what happened, nevertheless when the full facts come out, that can change everything.
This is why we have courts of law, instead of relying on the media or mobs. But politics is undermining law.
On the eve of a grand jury being convened to go through the facts and decide whether there should be a prosecution of the policeman in this case, Governor Jay Nixon of Missouri has gone on television to say that there should be a "vigorous prosecution."
There was a time when elected officials avoided commenting on pending legal processes, so as not to bias those processes. But Governor Nixon apparently has no fear of poisoning the jury pool.
The only alternative explanation is that this is exactly what he intends to do. It is a disgrace either way.
Race is the wild card in all this. The idea that you can tell who is innocent and who is guilty by the color of their skin is a notion that was tried out for generations, back in the days of the Jim Crow South. I thought we had finally rejected that kind of legalized lynch law. But apparently it has only been put under new management.
Television people who show the home of the policeman involved, and give his name and address — knowing that he has already received death threats — are truly setting a new low. They seem to be trying to make themselves judge, jury and executioner.
Then there are the inevitable bullet counters asking, "Why did he shoot him six times?" This is the kind of thing people say when they are satisfied with talking points, and see no need to stop and think seriously about a life and death question. If you are not going to be serious about life and death, when will you be serious?
By what principle should someone decide how many shots should be fired? The bullet counters seldom, if ever, ask that question, much less try to answer it.
Since the only justifiable reason for shooting in the first place is self-protection, when should you stop shooting? Obviously when there is no more danger. But there is no magic number of shots that will tell you when you are out of danger.
Even if all your shots hit, that doesn't mean anything if the other guy keeps coming and is still a danger. You can be killed by a wounded man.
Different witnesses give conflicting accounts of exactly what happened in the shooting of Michael Brown. That is one of the reasons why grand juries collect facts. But, if Michael Brown — a 6 foot 4 inch, 300 pound man — was still charging at the policeman, as some allege, there is no mystery why the cop kept shooting.
But, if Michael Brown was surrendering, as others allege, then there was no reason to fire even one shot. But the number of shots tells us nothing.
None of this is rocket science. Why bullet counters cannot be bothered to stop and think is a continuing mystery.
Among the other unthinking phrases repeated endlessly is "he shot an unarmed man." When does anyone know that someone is unarmed? Unless you frisk him, you don't know — until, of course, after you have shot him.
The only time I ever pointed a firearm at a human being, I had no idea whether he was armed or unarmed. To this day I don't know whether he was armed or unarmed. Fortunately for both of us, he froze in his tracks.
Was I supposed to wait until I made sure he had a gun before I used a gun? Is this some kind of sporting contest?
Some critics object when someone with a gun shoots someone who only has a knife. Do those critics know that you are just as dead when you are killed with a knife as you are when you are killed by a gun?
If we can't be bothered to stop and think, instead of repeating pat phrases, don't expect to live under the rule of law. Do you prefer the rule of the media and/or the mob?
Asian-Bashing Dems and Doormat Minorities Who Enable Them
By Michelle Malkin
Harry Reid is a bigoted Beltway corruptocrat with an interminable case of diarrhea of the mouth. The feeble-minded coot stuck his foot in that mess of a mouth again last week at the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce. But as mortifying as the Senate Majority Leader is, there's an even worse spectacle: Asian-American liberals who keep giving top Democrats and their partisan operatives blanket passes.
Reid clumsily offered his assessment of the success and intelligence of business leaders of Asian descent at the gathering. "I don't think you're smarter than anybody else, but you've convinced a lot of us you are," he babbled. You put those uppity Asians in their places, Hater Harry!
During a question-and-answer session, Reid followed up his jibe with a crude "joke" about Chinese surnames that would make Archie Bunker cringe: "One problem that I've had today is keeping my Wongs straight."
Good thing the pale-faced codger didn't let a "ching-chong" slip out, too. You know it was ringing around between his ears. Mocking Asian monikers is a hanging offense if you're a Republican pol or conservative talk-show host. But it's just a meaningless gaffe by "diversity's" best friend when you're Democratic Senate Majority Leader.
That's why Reid's hosts obliged with subdued tittering. National news anchors selectively averted their gazes. The Asian American Journalists Association, so quick to issue sanctimonious guidelines for avoiding ethnic stereotypes, maintained radio silence. And the usual left-wing speech police who read racism into every word uttered by conservatives from "angry" to "Chicago" to "Constitution" to "Obamacare" saw and said nothing.
One bizarre group, Asian Pacific American Advocates, was only offended because they resent public attention paid to successful Asian Americans. They vented that Reid "falsely assumes that our communities continue to perpetuate the model minority stereotype, when we have been actively working to highlight the vast socioeconomic disparities within our communities." These confused people have spent way too much time in social justice 101 classes.
Back in Washington, D.C., the usually garrulous Democratic chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Rep. Judy Chu, responded by ... not responding at all. CAPAC Executive Director Krystal Ka'ai did not return my email seeking reaction to the race-mocking Senate Majority Leader, who has now apologized for his "extremely poor taste."
Chu and her ethnic grievance caucus — which pledges to "denounce racial and religious discrimination affecting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders" — did find time over the past year to:
—attack a Seattle theater production of The Mikado for its use of "exaggerated Asian stereotypes."
—"denounce" comedian Jimmy Kimmel for a kids' table skit that poked fun at America's debts to China.
—-demand the firing of Fox News liberal chucklehead Bob Beckel for using "racial slurs" against Chinese people.
Here's another glaring omission by the Democrats' whitewashers: Neither CAPAC's press release archive nor its Twitter account has published a word about the ugly liberal racists in Kentucky who've repeatedly attacked former GOP Labor Secretary Elaine Chao.
Last year, left-wing super-PAC Progress Kentucky tweeted multiple China-bashing messages insinuating that Chao, the Taiwanese-American wife of GOP Sen. Mitch McConnell, was part of some conspiratorial plot to move jobs to Asia. The Progress Kentucky xenophobes denied engaging in race-baiting. But the dog whistle — dog trumpet — had been sounded, and the liberal racist hits keep on coming.
Earlier this month, Kathy Groob, a "progressive" supporter of McConnell's Democratic opponent, Alison Grimes, repeatedly insulted Chao on social media as his "Chinese wife." She's "not from KY, she is Asian," fumed Groob. You won't be surprised to learn that Groob had complained copiously about "sexism" and "racism" by the tea party.
When will doormat minorities grow spines and stop protecting the progressives of pallor who denigrate them? Collectivism is a hard, cowardly habit to break.
President Obama's zero-sum worldview
By Star Parker
Investopedia defines a "zero-sum game" as "a situation in which one person's gain is equivalent to another's loss, so the net change in wealth or benefit is zero."
If a political leader wielding power sees the world as a zero-sum game — gains to one must mean a loss to another — it is likely that this leader will promote policies that will limit growth, wealth creation and innovative problem solving.
What a zero-sum worldview will produce more of is political, class, and ethnic resentment and strife.
It so happens we have a leader today who has this worldview, and his name is President Obama. It is not surprising that today's world over which he presides, at home and abroad, increasingly shows these characteristics.
President Obama was very candid in a recent interview with Thomas Friedman of the New York Times in which he stated his zero-sum view of the world.
"Obama made clear," Friedman writes, "that he is only going to involve America more deeply in places like the Middle East to the extent that different communities there agree to an inclusive politics of no victor / no vanquished."
There you have it. No suggestion that there is right and wrong, or better answers that make everyone better off and worse answers that don't. No, in our president's take on the world, if there is a winner who winds up better off there must be a loser who winds up equally worse off.
The president then made clear that he views the world through this zero-sum lens at home as well as abroad.
According to him, notes Friedman, "we [America] will never realize our full potential unless our two parties adopt the same outlook we're asking of Shiites, Sunnis and Kurds or Israelis and Palestinians: No victor, no vanquished and work together."
This "inclusive" world view, devoid of right and wrong, true and false, better and worse, stands starkly in contrast to what Abraham Lincoln had to say when confronting a nation torn apart by the question of whether it would tolerate slavery.
"A house divided against itself cannot stand," said Lincoln. "I believe this government cannot stand, permanently, half slave and half free. ... It will become all one thing or all the other."
The president's "no victor, no vanquished" take on the world is turning up the flames of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict by legitimizing the falsehood that if Israelis are better off it means that Arabs will be worse off.
It perversely forces the Israelis to sit and negotiate with Hamas — an organization that even the United States officially designates as a terrorist organization.
Author George Gilder characterizes the Middle East conflict as "not between Arab and Jew but between admiration for achievement, along with a desire to replicate it, and envy accompanied by violent resentment."
Gilder describes how the inflow of Jewish settlers in the last century transformed Palestine for the benefit of all.
"Between 1921 and 1943," he writes, "Jews quadrupled the number of enterprises, multiplied the number of jobs by a factor of 10, and increased the level of capital investment a hundredfold."
"Far from displacing Arabs," continues Gilder, " they [Jews] provided the capital for a major expansion of Arab farms and enabled a sevenfold rise in Arab population by 1948."
Zero-sum politics plays out in similarly destructive ways in our own country. Instead of building a culture of achievement and responsibility, politicians of the Left stoke grievances of low-income Americans, inspire envy and resentment, and teach that the poor are poor because the rich are rich.
By stoking these politics of envy and victimhood, it's the politicians, at home and abroad, who grow powerful and wealthy. The disenfranchised languish as political pawns, never hearing the truth that life is about making correct personal choices in an imperfect world.
Battling barbarism: Stopping the worst people on Earth
By Charles Krauthammer
Baghdad called President Obama's bluff and he came through. He had refused to provide air support to Iraqi government forces until the Iraqis got rid of their divisive sectarian prime minister.
They did. He responded.
With the support of U.S. airstrikes, Iraqi and Kurdish forces have retaken the Mosul dam. Previous strikes had relieved the siege of Mount Sinjar and helped the Kurds retake two strategic towns that had opened the road to a possible Islamic State assault on Irbil, the capital of Kurdistan.
In following through, Obama demonstrated three things: the effectiveness of even limited U.S. power, the vulnerability of the Islamic State and, crucially, his own seriousness, however tentative.
The last of these is the most important. Obama had said that there is no American military solution to the conflict. This may be true, but there is alocal military solution. (There must be: There is no negotiating with Islamic State barbarism.) And that solution requires U.S. air support.
It can work. The Islamic State is overstretched. It's a thin force of perhaps 15,000 trying to control a territory four times the size of Israel. Its supply lines, operating in open country, are not just extended but exposed and highly vulnerable to air power.
Stopping the Islamic State's momentum creates a major shift in psychology. Guerrilla armies thrive on a sense of inevitability. The Islamic State has grown in size, demoralized its enemies and attracted recruits from all over the world because it seemed unstoppable, a real caliphate in the making.
People follow the strong horse over the weak horse, taught Osama bin Laden. These jihadis came out of nowhere and shocked the world by capturing Mosul, Tikrit and the approaches to Kurdistan, heretofore assumed to be impregnable.
Now that has begun to be reversed.
Obama was slow to bring American power to bear. And slower still to arm the Kurds. But he was right to wait until Baghdad had gotten rid of Nouri al-Maliki, lest the U.S. serve as a Shiite air force. We don't know how successful Haider al-Abadi will be in forming a more national government. But Obama has for now wisely taken advantage of the Abadi opening.
The problem is that the new policy has outgrown the rationale. Our reason for returning to Iraq, explained Obama, is twofold: preventing genocide and protecting U.S. personnel.
According to Obama's own assertions, however, the recent Kurdish/Iraqi advances have averted the threat of genocide. As for the threat to U.S. personnel at the consulate in Irbil, it, too, is reduced.
It was a flimsy rationale to begin with. To protect Americans in an outpost, you don't need an air war. A simple evacuation would do. Besides, what does the recapture of the Mosul dam, the most significant gain thus far, have to do with either rationale? There are no Christians or Yazidis sheltering there. Nor any American diplomats. So Obama tried this: If the dam is breached, the wall of water could swamp our embassy in Baghdad.
Quite a reach. An air war to prevent flooding at an embassy 200 miles downstream? Well, yes, but why not say the real reason? Everyone knows it: The dam is a priceless strategic asset, possession of which alters the balance of power in this war.
And why not state the real objective of the U.S. air campaign? Stopping, containing, degrading the Islamic State.
For now, Obama can get away with stretching the existing rationale, but not if he is to conduct a sustained campaign. For this you must make the larger case that we simply cannot abide a growing jihadist state in the heart of the Middle East, fueled by oil, advanced weaponry and a deranged fanaticism.
These are the worst people on earth. They openly, proudly crucify enemies,enslave women and murder men en masse. These are not the usual bad guys out for land, plunder or power. These are primitive cultists who celebrate slaughter, glory in bloodlust and slit the throats of innocents as a kind of sacrament.
We have now seen what air cover for Kurdish/Iraqi boots on the ground can achieve. But for a serious rollback campaign, Obama will need public support. He has to explain the stakes and the larger strategy. His weak andpassive rhetorical reaction to the beheading of American journalist James Foley was a discouragingly missed opportunity.
"People like this ultimately fail," Obama said of Foley's murderers. Perhaps. But "ultimately" can be a long way — and thousands of dead — away. The role of a great power, as Churchill and Roosevelt understood, is to bring that day closer.
Atheists forgetting the meaning of freedom
By Ben Carson
Many people in this country were shocked when the U.S. Navy recently announced the removal of all Bibles from military hotels under their control. This was in response to pressure from the Freedom From Religion Foundation, a well-known atheist group.
The surprise is not the hypocritical stance of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, but rather the fact that an established bulwark of American strength and patriotism caved to a self-serving group of religious fanatics. The previous sentence may seem out of place if you don't realize that atheism is actually a religion.
Like traditional religions, atheism requires strong conviction. In the case of atheists, it's the belief that there is no G0D and that all things can be proved by science. It is extremely hypocritical of the foundation to request the removal of Bibles from hotel rooms on the basis of their contention that the presence of Bibles indicates that the government is choosing one religion over another. If they really thought about it, they would realize that removal of religious materials imposes their religion on everyone else.
Some atheists argue that there should be a library or cachet of religious material at the check-in desk of a hotel from which any guest could order a Bible, Torah or Koran for their reading pleasure. No favoritism would be shown through such a system, and those who reject the idea of G0D would not have to be offended.
This is like saying there shouldn't be certain brands of bottled water in hotel rooms because there may be guests who prefer a different type of water or are offended by bottled water and think everybody should be drinking tap water. The logical answer to such absurdity would, of course, be that the offended individual could bring his own water or simply ignore the brand of water he does not care for.
As a nation, we must avoid the paralysis of hypersensitivity, which prevents us from getting anything done because virtually everything offends someone. We need to distribute "big boy" pants to help the whiners learn to focus their energy in a productive way. We must also go back and read the Constitution, including the First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of religion. It says nothing about freedom from religion, and in fact, if you consider the context and the lives of those involved in the crafting of our founding documents, it is apparent that they believed in allowing their faith to guide their lives. This has nothing to do with imposing one's beliefs on someone else.
Those of us who do believe in G0D can hope and pray that at some point secular progressives will come to understand that they must abide by the same rules with which they attempt to control others. There is nothing wrong with the philosophy of "live and let live." America was designed to be a free country, where people could live as they pleased and pursue their dreams as long as they didn't infringe upon the rights of others.
By continually broadening the scope of an "infringement" on the rights of others, the purveyors of division will succeed in destroying our nation -- but only if we continue to cater to their divisive rhetoric.
Liberty and justice for all has worked extremely well for an extended period of time, and there is no reason to upset the equilibrium by endowing the hypersensitive complainers in our society with more power than everyone else. Thankfully, the Navy quickly realized its mistake and restored the Bible to its lodges. Maybe now we can deal with the real issues that threaten our safety.
The American Jihadi Serial Killer No One's Talking About
By Michelle Malkin
For two bloody months, an armed jihadist serial killer ran loose across the country. At least four innocent men died this spring and summer as acts of "vengeance" on behalf of aggrieved Muslims, the self-confessed murderer has now proclaimed. Have you heard about this horror? Probably not.
The usual suspects who decry hate crimes and gun violence haven't uttered a peep. Why? Like O.J.'s glove: If the narrative don't fit, you must acquit. The admitted killer will be cast as just another "lone wolf" whose familiar grievances and bloodthirsty Islamic invocations mean nothing.
I say: Enough with the whitewashing. Meet Ali Muhammad Brown. His homicidal Islamic terror spree took him from coast to coast. The 29-year-old career thug admitted to killing Leroy Henderson in Seattle in April; Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young in Seattle on June 1; and college student Brendan Tevlin, 19, in Essex County, New Jersey, on June 25. Tevlin was gunned down in his family Jeep on his way home from a friend's house. Ballistics and other evidence linked all the victims to Muhammad Brown. Police apprehended him last month hiding in an encampment near the Watchung Mountains of West Orange, New Jersey.
While he was on the run, he disguised himself in a Muslim keffiyeh. He carried a notebook with jihadist scribblings and advice on evading detection. I obtained the latest charging documents filed in Washington state, which detail the defiant domestic terrorist's motives.
Muhammad Brown told investigators that Tevlin's slaying was a "just kill." The devout Islamic adherent proclaimed: "My mission is vengeance. For the lives, millions of lives are lost every day." Echoing jihadist Fort Hood mass killer Nidal Hasan, Muhammad Brown cited Muslim deaths in "Iraq, Syria, (and) Afghanistan" as the catalysts for his one-man Islamic terror campaign. "All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life."
When a detective asked him to clarify whether all four murders were "done for vengeance for the actions of the United States in the Middle East," Muhammad Brown stated unequivocally: "Yes." He added that he was "just doing (his) small part."
Seattle's left-wing mayor, Ed Murray, rushed to issue a statement — which might as well have sported an insipid "Coexist" bumper sticker across the page — asserting that Muhammad Brown's seething, deadly hatred did "not reflect the values of Muslims." But the fact is Ali Muhammad Brown has plenty of company. Seattle alone has been a long-festering hotbed of anti-American, anti-Semitic jihadism.
In 2011, a Muslim terror ring led by Abu Khalid Abdul-Latif and Walli Mujahidh plotted "to kill officers and employees of the Department of Defense who worked at the (Military Entrance Processing Stations) located in the Federal Center South building in Seattle, Washington, and to kill other persons assisting such officers and employees in the performance of their duties" using "fully-automatic weapons pistols, and fragmentation grenades."
In 2007, Seattle jihadist James Ujaama pleaded guilty to terrorism charges related to his plan to establish a terror-training ground in Bly, Oregon. He had previously pleaded guilty to aiding the Taliban.
In 2006, Everett, Washington Islamic revenge-seeker Naveed Haq shot six innocent women and killed one at the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle building while spewing anti-Israel hatred and Muslim diatribes.
In 2002, James Ujaama's mosque leader, Abdul Raheem Al Arshad Ali of the radical Dar-us-Salaam mosque in Seattle's Central District, was first arrested on illegal weapons charges. He had provided arms to fellow Seattle-area Muslim cleric, Semi Osman. The ethnic Lebanese born in Sierra Leone had served in a naval reserve fueling unit based in Tacoma, Washington. Osman had access to fuel trucks similar to the type used by al-Qaida in the 1996 bombing of the Khobar Towers, which killed 19 U.S. airmen and wounded nearly 400 other Americans. Osman later pleaded guilty to illegal weapons possession.
Another militant Seattle jihadist, Muslim convert Ruben Shumpert (aka Amir Abdul Muhaimin) was arrested after an FBI raid in 2004 for his role in a terror-financing scheme. He skipped out on his sentencing hearing and turned up in Somalia, where he was killed fighting the U.S. military. Terror group al Shabaab hailed Muhaimin as a martyr.
Which brings us back to Ali Muhammad Brown, who had been arrested 10 years ago as part of Muhaimin's suspected terror-financing ring. A decade later, despite being on the feds' radar screen, four innocent men are dead at Muhammad Brown's hand.
These homegrown Muslim haters don't want to coexist. They want to kill and help fund and train other Islamic killers. They are living and working among us, embedded in local mosques and inside our military. Where are our political leaders? Making Kumbaya excuses, sitting on the sidelines and golfing while homegrown and global jihad burn.
Get Ready for Denials
By Walter Williams
Fox News correspondent Geraldo Rivera accused Matt Drudge's website of "the worst kind of jingoistic rhetoric ever" for carrying news stories about the dangers of illegal immigration. He said Drudge "is doing his best to stir up a civil war. I mean, shame on Matt Drudge." Republican Rep. Todd Rokita and his Indiana delegation have been criticized for suggesting the possibility that Latin American children pouring across our southern border are carrying deadly diseases. Some of them have already been discovered to be carrying lice and suffering from disease. We've yet to find out what kind of communicable diseases they could spread to American children when schools across the country are forced to admit them.
Unfortunately, many people approach our recent southern border problem as a "humanitarian crisis" and hint that congressmen who want to make securing our border our No. 1 priority are, as President Barack Obama says, "mean." Others who argue for border security run the risk of being dismissed as racists. The Democrats are hoping that painting the Republicans as mean racists will help them with the Latino vote in November.
Securing our border is not only an immigration issue but, more importantly, a national security issue. International terrorists know that our southern border is insecure. They can simply fly to a Latin American country and then sneak across the border with deadly germ or chemical warfare weapons and dirty bombs, which could be planted anywhere.
According to Breitbart, "a leaked intelligence analysis from the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reveals the exact numbers of illegal immigrants entering and attempting to enter the U.S. from more than 75 different countries." It reports that 28 "individuals from Pakistan were caught attempting to sneak into the U.S. this year alone, with another 211 individuals either turning themselves in or being caught at official ports of entry." Texas Gov. Rick Perry says that the number of apprehended illegal aliens who come from countries with "substantial terrorist ties" is at a record high, countries such as Yemen, Somalia and Saudi Arabia. On top of this, individuals from nations currently suffering from the world's largest Ebola outbreak have been caught attempting to sneak into the U.S.
Deroy Murdock's article titled "The Southern Border: Our Welcome Mat for Terrorists," for National Review Online (April 25, 2013), reports that "Somalia's Ahmed Muhammed Dhakane told authorities in 2011 that he earned up to $75,000 per day smuggling East Africans into America. His clients included three al-Shabaab terrorists. As the House report states: 'Dhakane cautioned that each of these individuals is ready to die for their cause and would fight against the United States if the jihad moved from overseas to the U.S. mainland.'" Many Syrians and Iranians have been caught making illegal entry. Both Syria and Iran are supporters of Hezbollah, have chemical weapons and materials for dirty bombs, and hate "the Great Satan."
Murdock makes reference to the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Oversight and Management Efficiency study titled "A Line in the Sand: Countering Crime, Violence and Terror at the Southwest Border." It explained that between September 2001 and September 2012, there were 59 homegrown violent jihadi plots within the United States. The study said that the more violent threat to Americans is the ability of Islamist terrorist organizations, resulting from their growing presence in the Western Hemisphere, to exploit our porous southwestern border and enter the United States undetected.
Here are some questions that should be of concern to every American: Can the U.S. Customs and Border Protection assure Americans that it has arrested every terrorist attempting to make illegal entry to our country? Can it assure us that there are no terrorist cells operating in our country and awaiting word from our enemies to attack us? There's another question that's just as important: If there is a terrorist attack through our southern border, will Americans allow President Obama, congressional Democrats, the news media and progressives and liberals to deny that their weak border security policy was responsible?
Compromise With Obama? Surely, You Jest!'
By David Limbaugh
It's time to revisit the widely disseminated myth that compromise in politics and governance is the highest virtue.
Recently, I heard a television host whom I like and respect lament that Congress left town without taking action on our border crisis. Members of Congress, the argument goes, just need to get together, put aside their partisanship and get something done. After all, even couples going through an acrimonious divorce can sit down in the same room, close the doors and work out some agreement.
But getting something done isn't always preferable to doing nothing, especially if the proposed action would make things worse. Would this host, for example, say that granting instant amnesty to every one of the people who have crossed our border illegally in this latest surge would be preferable to not acting? I pray not.
I think part of the problem is that this host assumes that President Obama shares the host's good faith — that he wants to work with Republicans in Congress to enforce the border and properly deal with those who have entered illegally.
How do you compromise with someone who doesn't even share your goals and who has no intention of compromising with you, even if he pretends otherwise? President Obama arguably brought on this invasion himself by issuing his lawless executive order in 2012 declaring that he would stop deporting young illegal immigrants if they met certain requirements. He sent an unmistakable signal that children entering the nation illegally would receive amnesty — and we have concrete evidence that this was a driving factor in the current border invasion.
That aside, you don't have to be a conspiracy theorist to recognize that Obama's other behavior and actions, despite his rhetoric, make clear that he has little, if any, interest in enforcing the border. He has vigorously attacked border states, such as Arizona, that have tried to enforce their borders because Obama's federal government refuses to do its duty. He refuses to work with Congress to take action to enforce the border, always insisting that as a condition to doing so, Congress agree to his version of "comprehensive immigration reform." It's not just Obama. For decades, Democrats have been promising Republicans they will cooperate to enforce the border, but they've steadfastly obstructed all efforts to do so.
Truth be told, Democrats mainly want to accomplish two things with respect to immigration policy: 1) to grant amnesty to as many illegal immigrants as possible because they are confident they will ultimately be Democratic voters and 2) to use the issue to slander Republicans as anti-Hispanic. If you doubt this, do a Google search sometime using the search word "nativism" — barely a euphemism for racism.
If Democratic leaders don't actually want to protect the border, what room is there for compromise on this issue?
Most people who tout compromise and bipartisanship as wonderful goals in general are liberals, people who think like liberals or those not particularly on top of politics.
Democrats, under cover of liberal media distortion, routinely condemn the alleged partisanship of Republicans while exhibiting their own partisanship and uncompromising attitude. Obama demands that Republicans "stop just hatin' all the time" and work with him, all while mocking their proposals and fomenting public hatred against Republicans.
Obama casts Ronald Reagan conservatives as extremists, ridicules and taunts them, and then demands they work with him — to achieve his ends, not theirs.
On this very border issue, Obama berated Republicans for not working with him and in the next breath said that all they need to do is pass his $3.7 billion bill to deal with the problem. He did not say, "We can start with my proposal, listen to the Republicans' suggestions to modify it and agree on a compromise." His idea of compromise is that Republicans accept his proposal in full, no changes. This is the type of man we are dealing with. There is no compromising in him.
Obama and his party use demands for compromise as a weapon against Republicans to achieve their own political ends — without compromise. Just this week, Obama repeated that he doesn't want to issue executive orders on immigration but that he will be forced to if Republicans won't work with him. Has any other president advanced this absurd argument that Congress' refusal to bend to his dictates would justify his usurpation of Congress' Article 1 legislative authority? This is breathtaking in its transparent cynicism.
President Obama is anything but a bipartisan politician interested in compromise. He is an ideologue determined to accomplish his policy goals by whatever means it takes, including using compromise as a blunt propaganda tool to achieve his way — period, rather than as a process to meet his political opponents halfway.
Compromise, especially when dealing with an unbending ideologue and propagandist like Obama, is no virtue.
Republicans should pursue what is best for America and the American people, and that means working within the system and rule of law — though Obama refuses to — to defeat and thwart Obama's destructive agenda.
Lancet: a Home for Evil's Useful Idiots
Grotesque attack on Israel
By Dennis Prager
JewishWorldReview.com | Two weeks ago, the British medical journal, Lancet, considered to be one of the world's leading medical publications, published "An open letter for the people in Gaza." Signed by four European doctors on behalf of 20 others (17 from Italy and three from the United Kingdom), the letter had virtually nothing to do with medicine. Rather, it was a grotesque attack on Israel.
"We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression."
"Israel's behaviour has insulted our humanity, intelligence, and dignity as well as our professional ethics and efforts. We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre ... "
"Among other lies, it is stated that civilians in Gaza are hostages of Hamas ... "
"These attacks aim to terrorise, wound the soul and the body of the people, and make their life impossible in the future ... "
"We as scientists and doctors cannot keep silent while this crime against humanity continues."
The four signatories were Prof. Paola Manduca, University of Genoa, Italy; Sir Iain Chalmers of the U.K.; Derek Summerfield of the London Institute of Psychiatry, and Mads Frederick Gilbert, Professor at University Hospital of North Norway.
Nowhere in Lancet is it noted that each of them has devoted much of his or her life to delegitimizing Israel.
The first signatory, Paola Manduca, has, for years, gone around the world giving "expert" testimony against Israel and on behalf of those who would destroy the Jewish state. In 2006, for example, she wrote that Israel was using and experimenting with heretofore unknown weapons against Arabs:
"In the present offensive of Israeli forces against Lebanon and Gaza 'new weapons' are being used. New and strange symptoms are reported amongst the wounded and the dead. ... Many of these descriptions suggest the possibility that the new weapons used include 'direct energy' weapons, and chemical and/or biological agents, in a sort of macabre experiment of future warfare, where there is no respect for anything."
And in 2013, Manduca testified in Malaysia at a tribunal charging Israel with "Genocide and War Crimes."
Sir Iain Chalmers served for two years as chief UN Medical Officer in Gaza. On July 24, the British-Palestinian website, Middle East Monitor, correctly wrote that Iain Chalmers "is an old friend of Gaza."
Chalmers smears Israel around the world:
For example, in Ireland in 2007 at the Global Congress on Dental Education, Chalmers spoke at length about Israel's villainy. He described Israel as a country based on "racist nationalism," and recommended that attendees read "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine," a book by Ilan Pappe, a historian and former member of the Israel Communist Party, who devotes his life to delegitimizing Israel's existence. (In the New Republic, historian Benny Morris began his review of three Pappe books, including "The Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine," this way: "At best, Ilan Pappe must be one of the world's sloppiest historians; at worst, one of the most dishonest.")
In a 2010 interview in Croatia, Chalmers was asked about the Middle East conflict. He began by saying, "There is an oppressed people [Palestinians] and an oppressor people [Israelis]." He went on to say, "Basically you've got a situation of apartheid at the moment, enshrined in Israeli state law. ... We're talking about six million non-Jews — its' an awful lot of people to get rid of in what many Israelis see as their state from the river to the sea."
Note the number six million.
Derek Summerfield organized a worldwide academic medical boycott of Israel in the 1990s. An Honorary Fellow of the Egyptian Psychiatric Association, Summerfield has written, among many other lies against Israel, that "Israeli soldiers are routinely authorised to shoot to kill children."
Summerfield, who grew up in South Africa, goes beyond the libel of Israel being "an apartheid state." In his view, Israel is "far, far worse than South Africa."
Mads Gilbert is a member of Red, the Norwegian revolutionary socialist party. Three weeks after 9/11, he told the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet, that the attacks on America were justifiable: "If the U.S. government has a legitimate right to bomb and kill civilians in Iraq, the oppressed has a moral right to attack the U.S. with the weapons they may create as well." When asked if he supported the 9/11 attack, he answered: "Terror is a poor weapon, but my answer is yes, within the context I have mentioned."
The headline in Dagbladet read: "Norwegian doctors ADVOCATE TERROR attack," and further reported, "I advocate the moral right of the people you call terrorists to attack the United States, as a legitimate response to 25 years of wars of aggression, mines, starvation and embargo, says surgeon Hans Husum, University Hospital of Tromsoe. He is supported by physician Mads Gilbert."
These are the people whose Israel-hating letter was featured by the Lancet, ostensibly a medical journal. Not one is identified as the lifelong defender of Israel's enemies and radical activist against Israel's existence that each one is.
Lancet has a history of poisoning medical reporting with its radical left-wing politics. It made worldwide headlines in 2006 by reporting what were ultimately deemed wild exaggerations, if not outright lies, about the number of Iraqis killed during the American war in Iraq.
Lancet perfectly embodies four observations about our world.
One is from the Prophet Isaiah: "Woe to those who call evil good and good evil."
The second is from the legendary American screenwriter Ben Hecht, 1894-1964, a two-time Academy Award winner: "How sad that in the warmest hearts I knew lurked always a little cold spot for the Jew."
The third, if I may quote myself, is one of the earliest realizations of my life: "Those who don't fight evil hate those who do."
And the fourth is that, from the universities to the arts to religion, the left damages everything it touches. Lancet was once a great medical journal.
Random thoughts on the passing scene:
By Thomas Sowell
• I don't know why we are spending our hard-earned money paying taxes to support a criminal justice system, when issues of guilt and innocence are being determined on television — and even punishment is being meted out by CNN's showing the home and address of the policeman accused in the Ferguson, Missouri shooting.
• One of the big differences between Democrats and Republicans is that we at least know what the Democrats stand for, whether we agree with it or not. But, for Republicans, we have to guess.
• It is amazing how many otherwise sane people want Israel to become the first nation in history to respond to military attacks by restricting what they do, so that it is "proportionate" to the damage inflicted by the attacks.
• Amid all the things being said on all sides about the massive, illegal influx of children from countries in Central America, we have yet to hear some American parent saying, "I don't owe it to anybody to have my child exposed to diseases brought into this country, no matter what problems exist in other countries!"
• Two headlines in the August 10th New York Times speak volumes about Barack Obama. The top headline reads: "Iraq Strikes May Last Months, Obama Says." A secondary headline reads: "No Ground Force Will Be Sent, He Repeats." Time was when enemy spies had to risk their lives to acquire such information. Now all they have to do is read the headlines.
• It is amazing how many people think they are doing blacks a favor by exempting them from standards that others are expected to meet.
• If you want to know who was the greatest baseball player of all time, please check out the pitcher who led the American League with the lowest earned run average in 1916. He was the only ballplayer who could do it all, including stealing home.
• British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain was a hawk compared to Barack Obama. At least Chamberlain was building up his country's military forces while trying to appease Hitler. Obama is cutting back on our military forces while our enemies around the world are expanding theirs.
• Medical authorities who are trying to reassure us that safeguards will prevent the spread of Ebola in the United States may be unconvincing to those of us who remember how they lied about whether AIDS could be transmitted by blood transfusions. They may be telling the truth this time, but credibility is one of those things that are far easier to maintain than to repair.
• Too many people in Washington are full of themselves, among other things that they are full of.
• However common it may be in politics to "split the difference" when making decisions, it is unconscionable to send American troops into a war zone in numbers too small to defend themselves. The smug and smirking contempt of IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, when he began testifying before a Congressional committee in the IRS scandal investigation, told us all we needed to know, even if we never get the information that was supposedly "lost" when Lois Lerner's computer supposedly crashed.
• Ted Williams' great career was interrupted twice by military service — once during World War II and again when he returned to the Marine Corps during the Korean war. What sports star today would voluntarily interrupt a Hall of Fame career to go fight for America, after having already served in the military?
• Despite TV pundits who say that public opinion polls show Barack Obama is in trouble, the president is not in the slightest trouble. He is doing whatever he feels like doing, regardless of the Constitution and regardless of how many people don't like it, because he is virtually impeachment-proof. The country is in huge trouble and real danger because of his policies, but he is not.
• One of the most frustrating aspects of watching television news programs that feature debates is the guests who sidestep any question that gets to the heart of the issue at hand, and just go off on a tangent, repeating their standard talking points. That's usually a good time to change the channel or turn off the TV.
• If politics were like sports, we could ask Israel to trade us Benjamin Netanyahu for Barack Obama. Of course, we would have to throw in trillions of dollars to get Israel to agree to the deal, but it would be money well spent.
Obama's True Colors Finally Revealed
By Steven Emerson
When I first read the recent media reports, I thought they must certainly be satire: "Washington officials have told Egypt that the US will guarantee Israel's commitment to any agreement signed."
The US offering Hamas to "guarantee" Israeli commitments to any agreement signed? As if anyone needed proof of the Obama Administration's antipathy to Israel, here it is in black and white.
If anyone party needed a commitment to enforce its agreements in any deal, it would be Hamas, which has been known to break every commitment it ever made.
To pick just a few at random:
Hamas recently violated 9 cease fire agreements, including two of its own
Hamas illegally siphoned thousands of tons of cement and steel shipments it received from international donors and Israel that it had committed to use the build the civilian infrastructure in Gaza for hospitals, schools and apartment buildings; instead it spent upwards of $500 million of these humanitarian shipments to covertly build numerous tunnels buried deep underground into Israel in order to carry out murderous raids on Israeli civilian communities intended to kill tens of thousands of Israelis
Hamas violated the 2012 Cease Fire negotiated by then State Department Secretary Hillary Clinton together with then Egyptian Muslim President Mohammed Morsi in which Hamas committed to stop smuggling weapons and missiles into Israel, of which nearly 4000 were recently launched into 80% of Israel's population centers
Hamas violated the commitment to the Palestinian Authority that it would never launch a coup d'état against the PA after Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. But in 2007, Hamas did exactly that in a bloody takeover of Gaza, kicking out and killing PA officials.
Hamas violated a publicly solemn commitment to its own civilians that it would uphold the rule of law (yea, right) when it took over Gaza only to subsequently execute hundreds of dissident Gazans, torture and imprison thousands of political opponents, violently persecute the minority of Christians still living in Gaza and imprison and prosecute suspected gay Gazans.
Violating a commitment it made in the Clinton negotiated 2012 truce that it would cease its missile attacks on Israel.
And at the same time, it should be noted that President Obama personally signed an official letter at the time of the 2012 negotiated cease fire to Prime Minister Netanyahu that the US would provide Israel with the technology to defeat and stop Hamas smuggling of weapons. But subsequent to that empty promise, Hamas soon received in massive quantities from Iran, Sudan, and North Korea. That promise was never carried out.
Israel on the other hand meticulously fulfilled its part of the bargain by severely relaxing the blockade on Gaza, allowing tons of previously restricted cement and steel into Gaza, increasing the number of daily truckloads of food, medical stuff and building equipment through the two Israeli checkpoints into Gaza by more than 250 truckloads a day ( a commitment is still upheld during the Hamas war against Israel, a fact mostly ignored by the mainstream media blindly committed to the Hamas narrative that Israel was the aggressor).
Remember when Obama spoke to the annual AIPAC conference a few years back and ceremoniously declared, "I got your back." This is the same President who, as the Wall Street Journal disclosed last week, personally held up the Israeli request for additional Hellfire missiles that it had depleted in its war with Hamas.
As far back as 1967, the United States had made a firm promise to Israel that it would never allow the Egyptians to blockade the Straits of Hormuz, considered the lifeline of Israel. But when the Egyptians blockaded the Straights of Hormuz in May 1967, what did the US do? Nothing.
And in the current round of negotiations being held in Cairo now, according to leaked details in Egyptian newspapers Israel agreed to make the following astonishing concessions:
"Stop its attacks in Gaza --- in land, sea and air. No ground operations will be conducted."
"Opening of crossings between Israel and Gaza [in which] Movement of people and merchandise will be allowed, to rebuild Gaza."
"Eliminating the buffer zone in the North and East of Gaza and deployment of Palestinian military forces starting from January 1, 2015"
"Freedom of fishing and action in the territorial waters of the Palestinians in Gaza to a range of 6 miles. The range will gradually be increased, to no less than 12 miles…"
"Assist the Palestinian Authority to restore the foundations in Gaza, as well as help provide the necessary living needs for those who were forced to leave their homes due to the battles. Also, Israel will provide emergency medical attention to the wounded and will supply humanitarian assistance and food to Gaza as soon as possible."
It should be noted that even during the recent murderous war waged by Gaza, Israel had opened up its borders to treat wounded Gaza civilians in Israeli hospitals and continued to supply daily more than 500 tons daily of humanitarian assistance and food to Gaza even as the Hamas launched thousands of rockets and attempted mass murder of Israeli civilians by attempts, fortunately thwarted by Israel, to infiltrate dozens of fully armed Hamas terrorists into Israel via the tunnels dug by Hamas.
And what did the Hamas commit to?
• "All Palestinian factions in Gaza will stop the attacks against Israel, in the land, the sea and the air; also, building tunnels from Gaza to Israeli territory will be stopped."
That was it. Virtually the same identical commitments it agreed to in December 2012. Quite interestingly, Hamas insisted—which Israel did not agree to—to the immediate opening of a Gaza seaport and airport. But the party that suggested to Hamas that they insist on these demands was none other than the Qataris, the country—which is the top financial patron in the world today to Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and many of its terrorist offshoots—curiously selected personally by Obama to be the official diplomatic interlocutor in the Cairo talks. The role that Qatar was supposed to play was to convince the group to make concessions. But curiously the opposite happened. Qatar, the country to which that the US just sold $11 billion worth of military weapons, actually sabotaged the negotiations. So far, the President has been studiously silent on this betrayal.
In light of the fact that Hamas has manifestly never upheld any of the commitments it has ever made, the salient question that has to be asked is why Obama did feel compelled to assuage Hamas with an assurance that the US would "guarantee" that Israeli upheld its commitments? The word "guarantee" has a rather expansive and vague latitude for definition. The most recent demonstration of an American guarantee that Israel would halt its defensive war against Hamas was the suspension of critical military deliveries to Israel during the height of the conflagration instigated by Hamas.
Indeed, for all the public affirmations made last week—after the WSJ expose-- by the Obama Administration that the US was "totally committed to the security of Israel," Obama suddenly decides to make a promise to Hamas—whose covenant differs not one bit from the fascist radical Islamic doctrine adopted by ISIL—that it would enforce the commitments made by Israel, which in fact have historically been studiously upheld by Israel.
If Obama was truly sincere in his now obviously contrived promises to "watch [Israel's] back", he would have offered to guarantee Hamas commitments, a terrorist group that has repeatedly violated its commitments in previous agreements. But with his statement that he would "guarantee" Israeli commitments and not those made by Hamas, the President has revealed his true colors for everyone to see.
Obama's Incomprehensible Iraq Policy Not So Incomprehensible'
By David Limbaugh
I am constantly amazed at the tendency of some to use the perspective of hindsight to condemn decisions of those who did not possess the supernatural gift of predictive prophecy at the time they made their decisions.
So when a friend asked whether I believe that those who supported George W. Bush's decision to attack Iraq should feel remorse, considering the chaos and genocide occurring there now, I said "no," with some qualifications.
I believe that Bush and his team based their decision to invade Iraq on the best available intelligence (as to weapons of mass destruction) and a reasonable belief that Saddam Hussein fostered and supported terrorism — not to mention his serial violation of multiple U.N. resolutions — and thereby represented a threat to the national security interests of the United States and its allies.
Democrats, who initially supported the war for political reasons, later conveniently withdrew their support for political reasons and lied through their teeth about their former support and the facts leading to it. Through their relentless, vicious attacks on Bush, they systematically undermined the public's confidence in the war and our ability to optimally wage it.
Should the Bush team have better anticipated the strength and resilience of the insurgency after our toppling of Saddam? I suppose so, but in this age of terrorism and asymmetrical war, I'd contend that such events are less predictable than they might have been before.
Was team Bush Pollyannaish in its belief that democracy would survive in such an environment? I incline toward thinking so, but I am not sure we can make a firm assessment either way, seeing as the experiment was cut short because of our precipitous and total withdrawal from the country.
Interestingly, I remember hearing toward the end of his term that Bush's goal was to achieve a level of stability in Iraq that even a liberal president could not easily screw up. But in fairness, how could he have foreseen that the United States would elect an extreme leftist as his successor who would not only fail to understand the global scope of the war on terror but also be as wantonly irresponsible in negotiating our withdrawal from Iraq as Barack Obama was?
Nonetheless, in light of the massacre currently underway in Iraq, it's hard for us supporters of the Iraq invasion not to second-guess ourselves and wonder whether this kind of bedlam would have happened but for the vacuum made possible — albeit indirectly and several steps removed — by our deposing of Saddam.
But I don't think this power vacuum that gave rise to the Islamic State was inevitable, even if I am not fully on board with "the democracy project." I think a better case can be made that the chaos in Iraq has mostly resulted from Obama's reckless withdrawal and his refusal to lift a finger against the Islamic State when it would have mattered.
His decision to leave so quickly and irreversibly was in turn precipitated by his inability to clearly analyze world events because of his disturbingly skewed worldview, his resulting ignorance about the threat to our national security interests posed by global Islamofascism, and his disgraceful and unswerving practice of placing his personal and political interests above the national interests.
Obama insisted on intervening in Libya based on humanitarian reasons but appears unmoved in a far worse situation in Iraq. Plus, the Libyan situation couldn't conceivably have involved our national security interests to the extent that the mayhem in Iraq now does. Not only do we have a vested interest in Iraq's peace and stability with the lives and treasure expended there but also the Islamic State is well on the way to establishing a regional caliphate — a terrorist state that poses a dire threat to the region and, inevitably, to the entire world.
Can Obama not see these things? Almost everyone else can. Or is something even more cynical at work here?
I happen to believe that rank politics is at work, as well.
For the reality is that nothing led to the rise in power of the Democratic Party during the Bush years, including even the financial meltdown of 2008, more than the Democrats' and liberal media's calculated, methodical and unremitting assault on Bush's character as the most evil man in history over his decision to attack Iraq.
The moral "wrongness" of the war became an essential article of faith in the leftist religion. They constructed lie after lie to condemn team Bush as bloodthirsty liars who concocted fantastic tales to justify attacking Iraq to satisfy their bloodlust and their rapacious quest for its oil.
This narrative was so central to rallying the leftist base that no Democrat, especially Obama, is about to let go of it without a compelling reason, on steroids. Even the genocide of innocent Christians, even an obvious threat to the very security of the United States, is not sufficient to move Obama even to consider "boots on the ground" in Iraq. He must believe that if he goes back into Iraq in a significant way, he will somehow vindicate Bush by undermining the left's article of faith against intervening in Iraq. I'm not advocating boots on the ground now, but to summarily take options off the table and to telegraph that to the Islamic State is unwise.
How tragically ironic that Obama's blind obsession with extricating us from (and keeping us out of) Iraq to perpetuate the point that team Bush was evil may be the very thing that proves just the opposite. For in the end, Obama may just wind up vindicating Bush and incriminating himself.
The Patriotism of Prosperity
By Ben Carson
A few weeks ago, it was quite revealing -- but not surprising -- to hear Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew imply that corporate America should willingly pay the highest corporate-tax rates in the world as part of its "patriotic" duty. This kind of discourse demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of capitalism, which is an important component of American exceptionalism.
In our system, people do not go into business, in many cases risking everything they have and more, in order to support the government. They obviously take those kinds of risks to make money. Instead of chastising American businesses for making financially prudent overseas investments, a wise and understanding government would be creating a domestic environment that is conducive to investment, innovation and growth, reducing the appeal of foreign explorations. A fair tax structure and a reduction in unnecessary regulations would go a long way toward establishing this environment.
Recently, President Obama indicated displeasure with the large and very successful medical-device company Medtronic, which has made public plans to acquire the Dublin-based company Covidien. This would result in one of the largest tax-inversion deals in history. Medtronic would move its headquarters from Minnesota to Ireland, relinquishing some of its American identity but reaping massive tax benefits because they would be taxed at the Irish corporate rate rather than the American corporate rate.
In a recent West Coast speech, Obama said companies doing such things are "technically renouncing their U.S. citizenship." He added, referring to such companies, "You don't get to pick which tax rate you pay." The fact is, they do get to pick their rate, because they are mobile and not yet under the complete control of a tyrannical government.
The days of an insular business environment are long gone from America, and we must recognize that we are players on the global stage. This means successful businesses will take advantage of conditions anywhere in the world that will promote their growth and value to shareholders. Instead of patriotism being defined as unthinking devotion to governmental tax edicts, perhaps it is better described as using one's talents and resources to bring strength and prosperity to our land through the successful utilization of advantages found worldwide. Our tax and regulatory policies should be aimed at helping companies achieve this latter definition.
Many American companies have social-responsibility committees that are very popular with socially conscious directors. They commit time, effort and money to enhancing the quality of life in their local communities, as well as nationally and globally. By not punishing these companies with corporate-tax rates that no other country in the world sees as reasonable, we not only contribute to their financial well-being, but we also greatly enhance their ability to have a positive effect on social problems here in the United States.
There is absolutely no need for animosity between the government and business. When businesses are successful, the reservoirs from which taxes are paid are much larger, resulting in more money for the government even though tax rates would be lower. If we enact policies that allow American companies to bring back hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate profits to our country without punitive taxation, the upside would be considerably greater than any negative consequences. This is not complex economic theory; it's common sense.
As the president and Congress consider enacting regulations to limit or eliminate future inversion deals, I hope they take the time to talk to a wide spectrum of business leaders about ways to create a fertile and friendly atmosphere for innovation and growth. It will require more than just talk to persuade American companies to stay or return to our shores. Instead of just talking about fixing our taxation woes, we need to just do it. And I hope grateful companies will feel an obligation to do even more to contribute to the well-being of the citizens of our nation.
By Thomas Sowell
New York's mayor, Bill de Blasio, like so many others who call themselves "progressive," is gung-ho to solve social problems. In fact, he is currently on a crusade to solve an educational problem that doesn't exist, even though there are plenty of other educational problems that definitely do exist.
The non-existent problem is the use of tests to determine who gets admitted to the city's three most outstanding public high schools — Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech. These admissions tests have been used for generations, and the students in these schools have had spectacular achievements for generations.
These achievements include many Westinghouse Science awards, Intel Science awards and — in later life — Pulitzer Prizes and multiple Nobel Prizes. Graduates of Bronx Science alone have gone on to win five Nobel Prizes in physics alone. There are Nobel Prize winners from Stuyvesant and Brooklyn Tech as well.
"If it ain't broke, don't fix it" is a motto that Mayor de Blasio and many other activist politicians pay no attention to. He is also out to curtail charter schools, which include schools that have achieved outstanding education results for poor minority students, who cannot get even adequate results in all too many of the other public schools.
What is wrong with charter schools and with elite high schools like Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and Brooklyn Tech? Despite their educational achievements, they have political problems.
The biggest political problem is that the teachers' unions don't like them — and the teachers' unions are the 800-pound gorilla among the special interests in Bill de Blasio's Democratic Party.
The next biggest political problem is that people who don't pass the tests for the elite public high schools don't want to have to pass tests to get in.
Their politicians have been denouncing these admissions tests for decades, and so have various other ethnic community "leaders." These include spokesmen for "civil rights" organizations, who think their civil rights include getting into these elite schools, whether they qualify or not.
Finally, there are the intelligentsia, who all too often equate achievement with privilege. In times past, such people called Stuyvesant "a free prep school for Jews" and "a privileged little ivory tower."
That was clever, but cleverness is not wisdom. Back in those days, Jewish youngsters were over-represented among the students at all three elite public high schools. Today it is Asian students who are a majority at those same schools — more than twice as many Asians as whites in all three schools.
Black and Hispanic students are rare at all three elite public high schools, and becoming rarer.
Many among the intelligentsia and politicians express astonishment that the ethnic makeup of these schools is so different from the demographic makeup of the city.
But such differences between groups are common in countries around the world. But in each country there are people who say that it is strange — and demand a "solution" to this "problem."
In Malaysia, for example, before group quotas were established at the country's universities, students from the Chinese minority earned more than 400 engineering degrees in the 1960s, while students from the Malay majority earned just 4.
When a university was established in 19th century Romania, there were more German students than Romanian students, and most of the professors were German. The same was true for most of the 19th century when a university was established in Estonia.
In none of these cases did the group that was over-represented have any power to discriminate against groups that were under-represented.
If racism is the reason why there are so few blacks in Stuyvesant High School, why were blacks a far higher proportion in Stuyvesant in earlier times, as far back as 1938? Was there less racism in 1938? Was there less poverty among blacks in 1938?
We know that there were far fewer black children raised in single-parent homes back then and there was far less social degeneracy represented by things like gangsta rap. If Mayor de Blasio wants to solve real problems, let him take these on.
The K Street president
by Michelle Malkin
Wonder of wonders: The Washington press corps woke up.
Finally, mainstream journalists are onto Barack Obama’s game. Their breaking-news shocker? Turns out all that “hope and change” stuff was just hot air. A new report from the D.C.-based press shows that — gasp — the White House is infested with Beltway lobbyists.
Good morning, sleepyheads!
According to Politico’s analysis published on Monday, the “Obama administration has hired about 70 previously registered corporate, trade association and for-hire lobbyists. And many of these former lobbyists work at the highest levels of government.”
Wait, there’s more. The “most transparent administration ever” is playing disclosure-dodging renaming games to hide lobbyists’ grubby paw prints. By officially de-registering as corporate lobbyists and morphing into “consultants,” “counselors” or “advisers,” Obama’s K Street operators can maintain the fiction of upholding the Great Agent of Change’s grand ethics pledge.
Remember: Back in the day, candidate Obama assailed the K Street crowd with righteous (or rather, left-eous) zeal. “I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over,” he thundered in 2007. In one of his first executive actions, he declared that the White House had closed “the revolving door that allows government officials to move to and from private sector jobs in ways that give that sector undue influence over government.”
But the reform-peddling candidate soon found it impossible to practice what he so sanctimoniously preached. Now, Obama depends on their “strategic advice” and Beltway wisdom. Here’s the White House’s chortle-inducing rationalization for elevating Broderick Johnson (husband of friend of the Obamas and NPR anchor Michele Norris, and longtime Democratic lobbyist for Microsoft, Pearson, JPMorgan Chase, Comcast, Fannie Mae and FedEx) as a top aide:
“The pledge does not bar anyone with prior lobbying experience from serving in this administration,” an Obama spokesman told Politico.com. “Broderick has substantial experience working in the Clinton administration, on the Hill and in the private sector in a variety of capacities, as well as on the president’s campaign. We welcome that mix of experience.”
That “mix of experience” also includes veteran Beltway lobbyist Cecilia Munoz, formerly of the National Council of La Raza and consultant to the Mexican government, who is now assistant to the president and director of the Domestic Policy Council — along with revolving-door beneficiaries Melody Barnes, Marc Berejka, Bradley Gillen and Sean Kennedy, all lobbyists turned Obama bureaucrats turned lobbyists again.
When Republicans hire lobbyists, it’s a culture of corruption and influence peddling. When Obama hires lobbyists, it’s a celebration of experience diversity.
Of course, these double standards and this double talk were clear from the outset. As I pointed out in my book “Culture of Corruption” five years ago this summer, the business-as-usual writing was on the wall from Day One. As soon as he was elected, Obama threw open his doors to the nation’s leading lobbyists and professional D.C. back-scratchers:
Attorney General Eric Holder was registered as a lobbyist at Covington and Burling. Tim Vilsack, former Iowa governor and Obama’s first agriculture secretary, was a registered lobbyist for the National Education Association. Ron Klain, Vice President Joe Biden’s first chief of staff, was a lobbyist at O’Melveny and Myers. Leon Panetta was a lobbyist-lite who raked in hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporations in “consulting fees.” Former Goldman Sachs lobbyist Mark Patterson served as chief of staff to former Treasury Secretary-turned-lobbyist Tim Geithner.
But now the K Street president is news?
Like the old saying goes: There are none so blind as those who will not see. The most deluded people are those who choose to ignore what they already know.
Readin', Writin' and Social Justice Agitatin'
By Michelle Malkin
It's back-to-school season across the country. But in an increasing number of districts, "back to school" doesn't mean back to learning. Under the reign of social justice indoctrinators, academics are secondary to political agitation. Activism trumps achievement.
In Massachusetts, the John J. Duggan Middle School will open on August 25 with a new name and mission. It is now a "social justice magnet school." As a hiring advertisement for teachers explained earlier this year, the emphasis will be on "helping students develop the necessary skills to analyze and synthesize information and to generate empathy by looking at multiple sides of important issues facing the world, be that hunger, water quality, racial barriers, child labor or imbalance of power."
Concise writing, as you can see, is not on the social justice pedagogues' agenda.
Oh, and forget about memorizing times tables or mastering the scientific method. The new principal says the school's primary job is teaching "fairness." Duggan Middle School's junior lobbying factory is "serious about creating 21st century global citizens, and it begins with understanding who we are as members of each of those communities."
The ultimate goal of these social justice prep schools: creating left-wing political advocates.
At the Crescent Heights Social Justice Magnet School in Los Angeles, children will work on "action projects" tied to the "United Nations Millennium Development Goals." Students will spend the academic year transforming into "agents of change." Yes, they will learn language arts. But basic reading and writing are only a focus of the magnet school, the founders explain, because "we want our students to recognize injustice in their world or the world at large and be able to fully express their outrage, their plan of attack, their progress in this endeavor."
In Chicago, Ground Zero for social justice brainwashing, the Social Justice High School (SOJO), follows a similar mission. Activist teachers openly foster identity politics and systematically undermine individualism. Their specialties: "struggle and sacrifice." SOJO's mission statement sounds like a pot-addled Oberlin College freshman's — er, freshperson's — Sociology 101 term paper:
"Through collective community power, we commit to a conscious effort to overcome the intended historical obstacles that have been designed to disempower and divide our communities."
At the Paulo Freire Social Justice Charter School, also in Massachusetts, students won't learn math. They'll be taught "social justice math." (Freire was a Brazilian leftist who wrote a social justice teacher's Bible called "Pedagogy of the Oppressed.")
His acolytes explain the push for radicalization of math: "Math is an instrument for detailing social justice issues and developing critical consciousness." In the hands of progressive teachers, math "becomes an analytic tool to bring awareness to important world issues."
In other words: One plus one equals "That's unfair!"
New York City schools have been infested for years with city-funded math teachers who "train students in seeing social problems from a radical anticapitalist perspective," as City Journal's Sol Stern reported. As I've noted previously, the "Rethinking Mathematics: Teaching Social Justice by the Numbers" guide rejects traditional white male patriarchal methods of teaching computation and statistics in favor of politically correct number-crunching.
Out: Algebraic equations, geometric proofs and advanced calculus.
In: "Racial profiling, unemployment rate calculation, the war in Iraq, environmental racism, globalization, wealth distribution and poverty, wheelchair ramps, urban density, HIV/AIDS, deconstructing Barbie, junk food advertising to children, and lotteries."
State education codes mandate value neutrality in the classroom. But in schools of "social justice," every academic subject is a means to a "progressive" (anti-American, pro-collectivist, redistributive) ideological end. The radical transformation of K-12 classrooms into leftist agitation labs is embedded in the mission of countless teachers colleges and universities, which require social justice training or offer special certification in its indoctrination techniques.
These teaching institutions are pumping out generations of educators who cast themselves as leaders against "social struggle" — instead of facilitators of intellectual inquiry. Passing the most rigorous student standards in the world won't amount to squat as long as the overseers of public education exploit government schools as community organizing vehicles for captive tots, tweens and teens.
Fact-Challenged and Extreme? Do You Really Want to Go There, Mr. President?'
By David Limbaugh
President Obama claims that the extremism and reality-challenged nature of his political opponents explain his limitless policy failures, which, of course, he also refuses to acknowledge. This is truly rich but nothing new.
Obama told New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman, "What you've seen with our politics ... is increasingly politicians are rewarded for taking the most extreme, maximalist positions." He continued: "Sooner or later, that catches up with you. You end up not being able to move forward on things we need to move forward on. ... We need to rebuild our infrastructure. You go to the Singapore airport and then you come back to one of our airports and you say, 'Huh?' We're not acting like a superpower."
Obama said we need "to revamp our education system." "All these things are doable. Our fiscal position, actually, now is such — you know, the deficit's been cut by more than half — where we're in a position to make some smart investments that have huge payoffs, that historically have not been controversial, historically have garnered bipartisan support. But because of this maximalist ideological position, we've been blocked. ... That ideological extremism and maximalist position is much more prominent right now in the Republican Party than the Democrats."
How did he describe the Republican maximalist extremism? He noted that while "the Democratic consensus" is "pretty common-sense, mainstream" and generally "fact-based and reason-based," the Republican position is "a lot of wacky ideological nonsense. He said: "We're not denying science. We're not denying climate change. We're not pretending that somehow, having a whole bunch of uninsured people is the American way."
Can you say "delusional"? Republicans are extreme? Not fact- or reason-based?
Obama simply will not accept responsibility for his own actions or the failure of his own policies. His latest jaw dropper is his denial that he had anything to do with completely withdrawing our troops from Iraq, though he campaigned on a promise to do so and refused to become engaged enough in the Iraq problem in 2011 to even try to achieve a status of forces agreement. As if auditioning for the "Saturday Night Live" character who would play him, he said, "What I just find interesting is the degree to which this issue keeps on coming up, as if this was my decision." Wow.
In Obama's defense, he has no choice but to blame others for his failures, because he is serving a lifetime sentence in the prison of his narcissistic psyche.
Fact-based, Mr. President? You mean like:
Your refusal to recognize the global threat of Islamic terrorism, believing the only culprit is al-Qaida? Or your fantasy that terrorists are born as a result of the failure of governments to give them a seat at the table of power, as opposed to their ideological fervor, and that they can be won over with a little tolerance?
Acting as though we don't have a crisis on our southern border?
Dismissing the Internal Revenue Service's targeting of conservative groups and the convenient, mysterious destruction of agency hard drives as a phony scandal?
Claiming Obamacare is improving our health care system, improving the quality of care, increasing choice and reducing costs to individuals and the government?
Contending that you've cut the deficit in half when you are basing that calculation on an artificially high base line based on your predecessor's last year in office, which included extraordinary items from the 2008 financial meltdown?
Alleging that a deficit that has finally been reduced — against your wishes, by the way — to a figure twice as high as President George W. Bush's average deficit constitutes fiscal progress when we have $17 trillion of debt and $100 trillion of unfunded liabilities? Do you actually expect us to believe that just because our deficits are lower than during Bush's last fiscal year and your first term, which featured record-setting spending, we are now swimming in money and have surplus resources to spend on infrastructure and education? That's like a bankrupt individual's saying he intends to build a mansion because he only increased his bankrupt-level indebtedness half as much this past year as he increased it the year before. Do you really not yet understand the difference between deficit and debt?
Claiming that your nearly trillion-dollar stimulus package, your war on business and oil, your avalanche of new smothering regulations, and your onerous tax policies have resulted in an economic boom throughout your term?
Pretending that one incidental quarter of growth — which fails to factor in that we have the lowest labor participation rate since 1978, anemic household income and record levels of people on government assistance — sustains your claim that we're witnessing an economic boom?
Your belief that if we just throw more federal money at education, we'll start seeing some results?
If the polls are any indication, people may finally be realizing that it is not Republicans but Obama's extremism, his unswerving ideology and his refusal to accept facts and draw reasonable conclusions from them that are perpetuating America's rapid decline.
November should tell the tale.
By Walter Williams
JewishWorldReview.com | Navi Pillay, U.N. high commissioner for human rights, has accused both Israel and Hamas militants of committing war crimes in the Gaza conflict. Her harshest criticism, as well as that of most nations, has been reserved for the Israeli government, charging that it has committed war crimes in direct violation of the Geneva Conventions. In the wake of the huge difference in casualties and property destruction, many in the West have accused the Israeli government of making a grossly disproportionate response to terrorist rocket attacks. A New York Times (July 23, 2014) article titled "As Much of the World Frowns on Israel, Americans Hold Out Support" says that a number of "world leaders and demonstrators pointed to the lopsided number of Palestinian casualties — more than 650, most of them civilians — versus 35 on the Israeli side, 32 of them soldiers." By now, those numbers have tripled, but let's think about some of the arguments being made.
First, let's take a historical look at proportionality in response to an attack. In February 1945, in Dresden, Germany, 25,000 lives were lost in one night and the city was reduced to rubble as a result of British and U.S. bombers firebombing. In March 1945, 300 U.S. B-29 planes dropped incendiary bombs on Tokyo, killing more than 100,000 people, with millions injured and made homeless. Later, atomic bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, leading to even greater loss of life and property destruction. Who's willing to criticize the Allies for lack of proportionality in response to Germany's and Japan's attacks? Though the Allies brought about a horrible loss of life and massive destruction, one thing is very clear and indisputable: Neither country has attacked ever since.
Anti-Semitic attacks have skyrocketed in Europe in the wake of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. It's not just a criticism of Israel's foreign policy; it's an attack on Jews. Synagogues have faced Molotov cocktails, bomb threats and vandalism. Several European cities have seen slogans such as "Dirty Jews," "Jews your end is near," "Out with Zionists," "Israel executioner" and "Save Gaza! Hitler, you were right!" According to RT, over the past month there has been a 50 percent increase in hate crimes against Jews in Britain.
The Western anti-Semitic and anti-Israel response is amazing and somewhat disconcerting. Israel is the only democratic nation in the Middle East. It has respect for relatively free markets, personal liberty and private property rights. Many Westerners give their moral support to Muslims who, as a matter of religion, practice brutal control of women that includes honor killings. Many Muslims consider homosexuality to be not only a sin but a crime under Islamic law punishable by death. What Westerners consider basic human rights are often outlawed in Islamic nations. The Quran is the religious guide of Islam, and Muslims believe it to be a revelation from God. It contains more than 100 verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. Westerners who condemn Israel and support the recent anti-Semitic attacks — or remain silent in the face of them — are by no means spared from Islamic condemnation as infidels.
It has to be heart-rending to any decent person to witness the suffering of the Palestinians, who're experiencing a major tragedy both in casualties and in property destruction. Though it is Hamas firing rockets into Israel, the ordinary Palestinian is not to be held blameless. Palestinians know that Hamas is storing rockets and building tunnels in civilian areas and that if Israel tries to take out these rockets and tunnels, civilian casualties will be part of the collateral damage. Their silence and acceptance implies support for the tactics of Hamas.
Gen. William T. Sherman told the 1879 graduating class of the Michigan Military Academy, "War is hell." There's no nice war, and that's why war should be a last alternative. Those Westerners who criticize Israel's response to close to 3,000 rocket attacks might tell us what Israel should do in response — just take the rockets, surrender or leave the Middle East?
The loophole is Obama
By Ann Coulter
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It's been reported everywhere -- The New York Times, The Washington Post, Fox News -- that the William Wilberforce Sex Trafficking Act requires that any non-Mexican children who show up on our border be admitted and given a hearing. (New York Times, July 7, 2014: "Immigrant Surge Rooted in Law to Curb Child Trafficking.")
The problem, we've been told, is that a loophole in the sex trafficking law mandates these hearings -- or "removal proceedings."
But there is no such loophole.
The fact that people on both sides of the aisle are telling the same lie about this law is worrisome. Are Republicans being tricked into thinking we need an emergency bill, so that, two weeks later, we'll see them emerging from a conference, saying:
We fixed the loophole! We didn't get everything we wanted, but you can hear about that later.
No, tell me now.
Well, remember amnesty? It's kind of in this bill. But the headline is: We closed the loophole! So no more worries about that loophole. But yeah, amnesty passed.
Why else would everyone be carrying on about a non-existent loophole? I know they're mistaken because I read the law.
The Wilberforce law states, in relevant part:
"Any unaccompanied alien child sought to be removed by the Department of Homeland Security, except for an unaccompanied alien child from a contiguous country (i.e. Mexico -- or Canada, so as not to sound discriminatory) ... shall be -- placed in removal proceedings ... eligible for relief ... at no cost to the child and provided access to counsel."
Obviously, that's the whole ball of wax. Once a kid is in, given La Raza attorneys and a hearing date, he's never going home. No immigration judge is going to listen to a lawyer-manufactured sob story and say, "No, I'm sorry, that didn't touch my heart. You have to go back to Huehuetenango."
But the law's definition of "unaccompanied alien child" limits the hearings to kids who have no relatives in the United States. If your relatives live here, the law assumes you're not being sex-trafficked -- you're trying to join them.
Here's the definition -- note subsection (C):
"(2) the term 'unaccompanied alien child' means a child who --
(A) has no lawful immigration status in the United States;
(B) has not attained 18 years of age; and
(C) with respect to whom --
(i) there is no parent or legal guardian in the United States; or (ii) no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody."
The law is not -- as George Will suggested on "Fox News Sunday" -- a general humanitarian mandate allowing all 2 billion poor children of the world to show up at our border and be told, "Welcome to America!" It's a law to combat sex trafficking.
Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Vice President Joe Biden wrote the law -- and Feinstein isn't stupid. She's well aware of illegal immigration. That's why the law specifically excludes two huge categories of illegal aliens from getting hearings: (1) Mexicans; and (2) children who have relatives in the U.S.
Those cases look more like illegal immigration than sex trafficking. (Didn't anyone wonder why Mexican kids are excluded?)
Mexicans make up the lion's share of illegal immigrants in the U.S., and children with relatives already living in the U.S. are probably just trying to rejoin family -- not trying to escape a fiendish kidnapper about to sell them into sex slavery.
According to last Friday's New York Times, almost 90 percent of the 53,000 illegal alien kids given refugee status since October have already been transferred to parents or relatives living in the U.S. By the law's clear terms, those 47,000 kids should have been summarily turned away at the border -- just as Mexican children are.
(Democrats wailing about a "humanitarian" crisis -- after calculating the precise number of voters they need -- evidently don't care about the Mexican kids.)
No law needs to be fixed. The only thing that needs to be fixed is the president.
Obama has gone mad and is defying the law in order to "fundamentally transform America" -- as he pledged to do during the 2008 campaign -- into Latin America. (Luckily for George Will, he won't be around by the time Latin America gets to his neighborhood.)
Any Republicans pushing for an immigration bill to seal an imaginary loophole aren't fighting Obama; they're helping him.
Constitutionally, the remedy for a president defying the law so he can assist an alien invasion is impeachment. But the media won't let us impeach Obama -- and Republicans don't have the votes, anyway. The only way for Americans to fight back is to put large Republican majorities in the House and Senate this November.
The smoking gun of Obama's lawlessness
By Judge Andrew P. Napolitano
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | In some respects, the recent admission by CIA Director John Brennan that his agents and his lawyers have been spying on the senators whose job it is to monitor the agency should come as no surprise. The agency's job is to steal and keep secrets, and implicit in those tasks, Brennan would no doubt argue, is lying.
Yet in another respect, this may very well be a smoking gun in the now substantial case against President Barack Obama that alleges that much of his official behavior has manifested lawlessness and incompetence. It is hard to believe that the president did not know about this but not hard to believe he would look the other way.
About four months ago, California Democrat Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, went to the Senate floor and accused the CIA of committing torture during the presidency of George W. Bush and of spying on the committee that she chairs as it was examining records of that torture. Brennan responded by denying both charges and leveling his own — that investigators for the Senate Intelligence Committee had exceeded their lawful access to CIA records and that that constituted spying on the CIA.
Brennan even got his predecessor, George Tenet, under whose watch Feinstein claimed the torture had occurred and the attacks of 9/11 took place, to deny vehemently that his agents had committed torture. With this mutual finger-pointing, both the CIA and the Senate Intelligence Committee reported each other to the Department of Justice, which promptly punted.
How did all this come about? Under federal law, the CIA gets to do what the president permits and authorizes only when it reports its deeds and misdeeds truthfully to two congressional committees, one of which is the Senate Intelligence Committee. (The other is the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.) None of this is constitutional, of course, seeing as the CIA fights secret wars; the Constitution mandates that only Congress can declare war, and Congress cannot delegate its constitutional authority to committees. This system of secret government is so secret that 90 percent of our elected congressional representatives are kept ignorant of it.
But last week, on a sleepy Friday afternoon in the middle of the summer, Obama admitted that the CIA had tortured people, and shortly thereafter, Brennan admitted that the CIA had spied on the Senate. Then the president said he still has confidence in Brennan.
This is approaching a serious constitutional confrontation between the president and Congress. Can the president's agents lawfully spy on Congress? Of course not. Can the CIA lie to Congress with impunity? Only if Congress and the Department of Justice let it do so.
Yet this administration thrives on lies. Brennan's boss, James Clapper, who is the director of national intelligence, lied to the same Senate Intelligence Committee when he denied that the National Security Agency is collecting massive amounts of personal data on hundreds of millions of Americans. And now we have the CIA director lying in secret to his congressional monitors, who were formerly his congressional protectors, and a Justice Department unwilling to do its legal duty by enforcing the law.
Do you remember former Yankee great Roger Clemens? He was indicted and tried twice for lying to a congressional committee about the contents of his urine. He was acquitted, yet this should tell you about the government's priorities. It is more interested in chastening a baseball player about a private matter than it is in being truthful to the American people about torture. It apparently thinks that government employment is a defense to lying.
So where does all this lead us? The president's agents have lied to Congress and have spied upon it. If Brennan did not know about this, he should be fired for incompetence and for failing to control his agents. If he did know about this, he should be indicted for lying to Congress, because he denied it at a time when he had a lawful obligation to be truthful, and he should be fired for his failure to communicate a violation of the Constitution to the president. If he did tell the president that his agents were about to spy on Congress and the president failed to stop it, the president has committed a serious violation of his oath to uphold the laws and violated the separation of powers by invading the privacy of a coequal branch of the government — and that is an impeachable offense.
So, what shall we do about this? House Speaker John Boehner will say, "Let's sue the president." That's a joke. How about subpoenaing the president to testify under oath and asking him what he knew and when he knew it? Now you're getting warmer. How about impeaching him and calling him as the first witness in his own impeachment trial? His Department of Justice has argued that the Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination applies only in criminal cases. Now you're getting hot.
But wait. All this requires moral courage, righteous indignation and fidelity to the rule of law; and the Congress has none of those traits. In the post-9/11 world, Congress has become a potted plant, ready to give any president whatever he wants, lest it appear less than muscular in the face of whatever danger the president says is lurking in the dark. And presidents know that if the kitchen gets hot, all they need to do is foment a foreign crisis in the dark, and the country will unite behind them.
I am not so sure that unity behind the president will happen this time.
Impeachment bait: Obama hopes amnesty will save Dems
By Charles Krauthammer
President Obama is impatient. Congress won't act on immigration, he says, and therefore he will. The White House is coy as to exactly what the president will do. But the leaks point to an executive order essentially legalizing an enormous new class of illegal immigrants, perhaps up to 5 million people.
One doesn't usually respond to rumors. But this is an idea so bad and so persistently peddled by the White House that it has already been preemptively criticized by such unusual suspects as (liberal) constitutional law professor Jonathan Turley, concerned about yet another usurpation of legislative power by the "uber presidency," and The Post editorial page, which warned that such a move would "tear up the Constitution."
If this is just a trial balloon, the time to shoot it down is now. The administration claims such an executive order would simply be a corrective to GOP inaction onthe current immigration crisis — 57,000 unaccompanied minors, plus tens of thousands of families, crashing through and overwhelming the southern border.
This rationale is a fraud.
First, the charge that Republicans have done nothing is plainly false. Last week, the House passed legislation that deals reasonably with this immigrant wave. It changes a 2008 sex-trafficking law never intended for (and inadvertently inviting) mass migration — a change the president himself endorsed before caving to his left and flip-flopping. It also provides funds for emergency processing and assistance to the kids who are here.
Second, it's a total non sequitur. Suspending deportation for millions of long-resident illegal immigrants has nothing to do with the current wave of newly arrived minors. If anything, it would aggravate the problem by sending the message that if you manage to get here illegally, eventually you'll be legalized.
Third, and most fatal, it is deeply unconstitutional. Don't believe me. Listen to Obama. He's repeatedly made the case for years. As in:
"I swore an oath to uphold the laws on the books. ... Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the [immigration] laws on my own. ... That's not how our Constitution is written" (July 25, 2011).
"This notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. ... There are laws on the books that I have to enforce" (Sept. 28, 2011).
"If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so. But we're also a nation of laws" (Nov. 25, 2013).
Laws created by Congress, not by executive fiat. That's what distinguishes a constitutional republic from the banana kind.
Moreover, Obama had control of both houses of Congress during his first two years in office — and did nothing about immigration. So why now?
Because he's facing a disastrous midterm election. An executive order so sweeping and egregiously lawless would be impeachment bait. It would undoubtedly provoke a constitutional crisis and stir impeachment talk — and perhaps even the beginning of proceedings — thus scrambling the electoral deck. As in 1998, it would likely backfire against the GOP and save Democrats from an otherwise certain sixth-year midterm shellacking.
Such a calculation — amnesty-by-fiat to deliberately court impeachment — is breathtakingly cynical. But clever. After all, there is no danger of impeachment succeeding. There will never be 67 votes in the Senate to convict. But talking it up is a political bonanza for Democrats, stirring up an otherwise listless and dispirited base. Last Monday alone the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee raised more than $1 million from anti-impeachment direct mail.
Apart from the money, impeachment talk energizes Democrats and deflects attention from the real-life issues that are dragging them down — the economy, Obamacare, the failures of Obama's foreign policy. Everything, in other words, that has sunk Obama to 40 percent approval, the lowest ebb of his presidency.
There's an awful irony here. Barack Obama entered our national consciousness with an electrifying 2004 speech calling for healing the nation's divisions and transcending narrow identities of race, region, religion, politics and ideology. Four years later, that promise made him president. Yet today he is prepared to inflict on the nation a destructive, divisive, calculated violation of the constitutional order and national comity — for the narrowest partisan advantage.
For this president in particular, who offered a politics of transcendence, this would constitute a betrayal of the highest order.
According to White House leaks, the executive order will be promulgated by summer's end. Time enough to reconsider. Don't do it, Mr. President.
Please Stop Helping Us
By Walter Williams
I thought about Will Rogers' Prohibition-era observation that "Oklahomans vote dry as long as they can stagger to the polls." Demonstrative of similar dedication, one member of Congress told Vanderbilt University political scientist Carol Swain that "one of the advantages and disadvantages of representing blacks is their shameless loyalty. ... You can almost get away with raping babies and be forgiven. You don't have any vigilance about your performance." In my opinion, there appear to be no standards of performance low enough for blacks to lose their loyalty to their black political representatives.
Riley says that between 1970 and 2001, the number of black elected officials skyrocketed from fewer than 1,500 to more than 9,000, but black poverty has remained roughly the same. Between 1940 and 1960, when black political power was virtually nonexistent, the black poverty rate fell from 87 percent to 47 percent. Riley points out that there has been significant achievement among the black middle class but that wide black-white gaps remain with respect to income, educational achievement, unemployment, labor force participation, incarceration rates and other measures. Despite political gains, there have been dramatic reversals in teen unemployment, crime, out-of-wedlock births and family stability. Political power is neither a necessary nor a sufficient condition for socio-economic progress.
Riley lays out the devastating deal black political leaders and civil rights leaders have made with labor unions, in his aptly named chapter "Mandating Unemployment." Black leaders of the past recognized that labor unions were hostile to the interests of ordinary blacks. Frederick Douglass, in his 1874 essay "The Folly, Tyranny, and Wickedness of Labor Unions," argued that unions were not friends of blacks. W.E.B. Du Bois called unions "the greatest enemy of the black working man." Booker T. Washington also opposed unions because of their adverse impact on blacks.
Today's black leaders have little reservation about giving their support to union policies that harm their constituents. They support minimum wage increases, which have had a devastating impact on black employment, particularly that of teenagers. Recently, black teen unemployment reached 44 percent, but few people realize that during the late 1940s, before rapid minimum wage escalation, it was less than 10 percent and lower than white teen unemployment. Black leaders also give their support to a super-minimum wage law known as the Davis-Bacon Act of 1931. The legislative history of Davis-Bacon makes clear that its union and congressional supporters sought to eliminate black employment in the construction trades.
Riley's "Educational Freedom" chapter details the sorry story of black education. Between 1970 and today, educational spending has tripled and the school workforce has doubled, far outpacing student enrollment. Despite these massive increases in resources, black academic achievement is a national disgrace. According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as the nation's report card, black 17-year-olds score at the same level as white 13-year-olds in reading and math. White 13-year-olds score higher than black 17-year-olds in science.
A number of studies show that black students who attend private and charter schools do far better than their peers in public schools. If there were greater parental choice, through educational vouchers, black achievement would be higher. However, teachers unions see school choice as a threat to their monopoly, and virtually every black politician, including the president, backs the teachers unions.
At an 1865 gathering of the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society, Douglass said everybody had asked, "What should we do with the Negro?" Douglass said: "I have had but one answer from the beginning. Do nothing with us! Your doing with us has already played the mischief with us." Later on, Washington explained, "It is important and right that all privileges of the law be ours, but it is vastly more important that we be prepared for the exercise of these privileges." It's the abandonment of these visions that accounts for the many problems of today that Riley's book does a masterful job of explaining.
Anti-Christian intolerance that fosters pogroms abroad is taking root in some U.S. communities
By Ben S. Carson
JewishWorldReview.com | The images projected across our television and computer screens throughout the day as we rest in the creature comforts of our offices and homes are very sobering. They should elicit the most basic instincts of both fear and compassion for hundreds of thousands, perhaps even millions of our fellow brothers and sisters. They are images not soon forgotten, though we have seen them before countless times. Each time we see them, the groans and pain evident on their faces grows more real for us and more difficult to ignore.
I’m referring to those around the world persecuted by a group of religious zealots whose behavior is difficult to comprehend. Their intolerance against Christianity is beyond horrible. People are being beheaded for their faith. Women and young girls are being sexually violated and whole families are being wantonly slaughtered in cold blood. Perhaps just as abhorrent is the profound silence of the American government as represented by the current administration. Even though President Obama has declared that we are not a Judeo-Christian nation, we are still compassionate people who should not ignore humanitarian atrocities, much less ones where the victims are only guilty of maintaining a belief in the principles espoused by Jesus Christ.
We have an obligation as Americans to denounce these acts of persecution. Even those who do not worship a higher deity should be concerned. For when we stand up to such intolerance, we are defending the root of freedom. We are defending choice — the ability to worship and call on the name of a heavenly being without fear of torture and abandonment.
The president, who very early in his tenure won the Nobel Peace Prize, now has an opportunity to truly be the broker of peace in a very troubled part of the world. He can be a champion of freedom of religion, which is a founding principle of our nation. As long as religious practices do not infringe upon the rights of others, he can make it clear that it is wrong to interfere with those practices.
In our own country, we must become more reasonable in the adjudication of disputes about religious symbols. For instance, if a Christmas tree or manger scene has been a long-standing tradition in a community, and one or two people come along and claim that it offends them and must be removed, should those few individuals have the power to interfere with the seasonal joy of thousands who rejoice in the viewing of those symbols of the holiday season? If someone is offended by a menorah in a Jewish community, would it not make more sense to give them some sensitivity training than to disturb the entire community by removing the symbol? I could go on for quite some time mentioning various symbols associated with a wide variety of religions, but I think the point is clear. When we reward unwarranted hypersensitivity surrounding religious ceremonies or beliefs, we add fuel to the hatred and intolerance that subsequently produces religious persecution.
I am certain that some will say religious persecution in other parts of the world does not concern us and that we cannot be the police for the planet. Certainly, there is some validity to the latter part of that statement, but if we continue to ignore or tolerate religious persecution elsewhere, it is just a matter of time before we will experience it to a much greater degree than we have already here at home.
As far as the Middle East is concerned, we are not helpless and can dispatch the State Department to do all it can to help those in this desperate time of need. Some conservatives and cynics might argue that such a move requires government dollars. Who’s to say? We don’t fully comprehend how besieged these people are, much less know what it would take to grant them relief.
Governments need to decry such persecution, and root it out wherever and whenever they can. The United States should lead in that effort — just as it has with combating sex trafficking and other problems the collective world can and has decried in the past. It is hard to find an issue that demands a sharper clarion call for leadership now.
Is Thinking Obsolete?
By Thomas Sowell
JewishWorldReview.com | Some have said that we are living in a post-industrial era, while others have said that we are living in a post-racial era. But growing evidence suggests that we are living in a post-thinking era.
Many people in Europe and the Western Hemisphere are staging angry protests against Israel's military action in Gaza. One of the talking points against Israel is that far more Palestinian civilians have been killed by Israeli military attacks than the number of Israeli civilians killed by the Hamas rocket attacks on Israel that started this latest military conflict.
Are these protesters aware that vastly more German civilians were killed by American bombers attacking Nazi Germany during World War II than American civilians killed in the United States by Hitler's forces?
Talk show host Geraldo Rivera says that there is no way Israel is winning the battle for world opinion. But Israel is trying to win the battle for survival, while surrounded by enemies. Might that not be more important?
Has any other country, in any other war, been expected to keep the enemy's civilian casualties no higher than its own civilian casualties? The idea that Israel should do so did not originate among the masses but among the educated intelligentsia.
In an age when scientists are creating artificial intelligence, too many of our educational institutions seem to be creating artificial stupidity.
It is much the same story in our domestic controversies. We have gotten so intimidated by political correctness that our major media outlets dare not call people who immigrate to this country illegally "illegal immigrants."
Geraldo Rivera has denounced the Drudge Report for carrying news stories that show some of the negative consequences and dangers from allowing vast numbers of youngsters to enter the country illegally and be spread across the country by the Obama administration.
Some of these youngsters are already known to be carrying lice and suffering from disease. Since there have been no thorough medical examinations of most of them, we have no way of knowing whether, or how many, are carrying deadly diseases that will spread to American children when these unexamined young immigrants enter schools across the country.
The attack against Matt Drudge has been in the classic tradition of demagogues. It turns questions of fact into questions of motive. Geraldo accuses Drudge of trying to start a "civil war."
Back when masses of immigrants from Europe were entering this country, those with dangerous diseases were turned back from Ellis Island. Nobody thought they had a legal or a moral "right" to be in America or that it was mean or racist not to want our children to catch their diseases.
Even on the less contentious issue of minimum wage laws, there are the same unthinking reactions.
Although liberals are usually gung ho for increasing the minimum wage, there was a sympathetic front page story in the July 29th San Francisco Chronicle about the plight of a local non-profit organization that will not be able to serve as many low-income minority youths if it has to pay a higher minimum wage. They are seeking some kind of exemption.
Does it not occur to these people that the very same thing happens when a minimum wage increase applies to profit-based employers? They too tend to hire fewer inexperienced young people when there is a minimum wage law.
This is not breaking news. This is what has been happening for generations in the United States and in other countries around the world.
One of the few countries without a minimum wage law is Switzerland, where the unemployment rate has been consistently less than 4 percent for years. Back in 2003, The Economist magazine reported that "Switzerland's unemployment neared a five-year high of 3.9% in February." The most recent issue shows the Swiss unemployment rate back to a more normal 3.2 percent.
Does anyone think that having minimum wage laws and high youth unemployment is better? In fact, does anyone think at all these days?
The Environmental Corruption Agency
By Michelle Malkin
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | The lofty motto of the Environmental Protection Agency is "protecting people and the environment." In practice, however, EPA bureaucrats faithfully protect their own people and preserve the government's cesspool of manipulation, cover-ups and cronyism.
Just last week, Mark Levin and his vigilant Landmark Legal Foundation went to court to ask federal district judge Royce Lamberth to sanction the EPA "for destroying or failing to preserve emails and text messages that may have helped document suspected agency efforts to influence the 2012 presidential election." The motion is part of a larger Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to force EPA to release emails and related records from former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson and others "who may have delayed the release dates for hot-button environmental regulations until after the Nov. 6, 2012, presidential election."
Thanks to Levin and Landmark, Jackson and other EPA officials admitted in depositions that they used personal, nongovernmental email accounts to hide communications about official EPA business sent and received on their government-issued BlackBerries and smart phones. The agency has continued to drag its feet for two years in response to Landmark's FOIA requests.
Levin minced no words: "The EPA is a toxic waste dump for lawlessness and disdain for the Constitution." Not to mention disdain for the public's right to know. As Levin added: "When any federal agency receives a FOIA request, the statute says it must preserve every significant repository of records, both paper and electronic, that may contain materials that could be responsive to that request."
The agency is legally obliged to notify all involved in the suit to preserve everything in their possession that could be discoverable in the litigation. But the feds have bent over backward to delay and deny. "(T)he people at the EPA, from the administrator on down, think they're above the law, that no one has the right to question what or how they do their jobs," Levin blasted. "Well, they're wrong. The laws apply to everyone, even federal bureaucrats."
That's a bedrock principle the EPA has defied over and over again. As I first reported 13 corruption-stained years ago in 2001, former EPA head Carol Browner oversaw the destruction of her computer files on her last day in office under the Clinton administration — in clear violation of a judge's order requiring the agency to preserve its records. Browner ordered a computer technician: "I would like my files deleted. I want you to delete my files." In 2003, the agency was held in contempt and fined more than $300,000 in connection with another email destruction incident under Browner's watch.
It was Levin's Landmark Legal Foundation — upheld by Judge Lamberth — that held the corruptocrats accountable then, as they are now.
As President Obama's energy czar, Browner went on to bully auto execs "to put nothing in writing, ever" regarding secret negotiations she orchestrated on a deal to increase federal Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards. She was also singled out by Obama's own independent oil-spill commission for repeatedly misrepresenting scientists' findings and doctoring data to justify the administration's draconian drilling moratorium.
Browner previously had been caught by a congressional subcommittee using taxpayer funds to create and send out illegal lobbying material to more than 100 left-wing environmental organizations. She abused her office to orchestrate a political campaign by liberal groups, who turned around and attacked Republican lawmakers for supporting regulatory reform.
The names may change, but the politicized rot stays the same. The GOP staff of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee issued a detailed report this week on the secretive "Billionaire's Club" behind EPA. The analysis exposed how a massive network of left-wing foundations, activists and wealthy donors exploits IRS-approved "charitable" status and tax-deductible donations to lobby illegally on behalf of the EPA and operate a "green revolving door" between government and far-left groups.
Among the key players: the Environmental Grantmakers Association, which coordinates green grants and refuses to divulge its membership list to Congress, and Democracy Alliance, the dark-money outfit led by Philip Gara LaMarche that does not disclose its members or donor-recipients.
"These entities propagate the false notion that they are independent citizen-funded groups working altruistically," according to the report. "In reality, they work in tandem with wealthy donors to maximize the value of the donors' tax-deductible donations and leverage their combined resources to influence elections and policy outcomes, with a focus on the EPA."
Saving the planet? Ha. The leftist-controlled Environmental Corruption Agency is only in business to serve its pals and subvert its political enemies, while endangering resource security and sabotaging the deliberative process. Real environmental protection starts with draining this fetid swamp.
Clueless in Gaza: Kerry has legitimized Hamas' criminality
By Charles Krauthammer
JewishWorldReview.com | John Kerry is upset by heavy criticism from Israelis — left, right and center— of his recent cease-fire diplomacy. But that's only half the story. More significant is the consternation of America's Arab partners, starting with the president of the Palestinian Authority. Mahmoud Abbas was stunned that Kerry would fly off to Paris to negotiate with Hamas allies Qatar and Turkey in talks that excluded the PA and Egypt.
The talks also undermined Egypt's cease-fire proposal, which Israel had accepted and Hamas rejected (and would have prevented the vast majority of the casualties on both sides). "Kerry tried through his latest plan to destroy the Egyptian bid," charged a senior Palestinian official quoted in the Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat — a peace plan that the PA itself had supported.
It gets worse. Kerry did not just trample an Egyptian initiative. It was backed by the entire Arab League and specifically praised by Saudi Arabia. With the exception of Qatar — more a bank than a country — the Arabs are unanimous in wanting to see Hamas weakened, if not overthrown. The cease-fire-in-place they backed would have denied Hamas any reward for starting this war, while what Kerry brought back from Paris granted practically all of its demands.
Which is what provoked the severe criticism Kerry received at home. When as respected and scrupulously independent a national security expert as David Ignatius calls Kerry's intervention a blunder, you know this is not partisan carping from the usual suspects. This is general amazement at Kerry's cluelessness.
Kerry seems oblivious to the strategic reality that Hamas launched its rockets in the hope not of defeating Israel but of ending its intra-Arab isolation (which it brilliantly achieves in the Qatar-Turkey peace proposal). Hamas's radicalism has alienated nearly all of its Arab neighbors.
Egypt cut it off — indeed blockaded Gaza — because of Hamas's support for the Muslim Brotherhood and terrorist attacks on Egyptian soldiers in Sinai.
Fatah, the main element of the Palestinian Authority, is a bitter enemy, particularly since its Gaza members were terrorized, kneecapped, expelled and/or killed when Hamas seized Gaza in a 2007 coup.
Hamas is non grata in Syria, where it had been previously headquartered, for supporting the anti-government rebels.
Hamas is deeply opposed by Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, which see it, correctly, as yet another branch of the Islamist movement that threatens relatively moderate pro-Western Arab states.
Kerry seems not to understand that the Arab League backed the Egyptian cease-fire-in-place, which would have left Hamas weak and isolated, to ensure that Hamas didn't emerge from this war strengthened and enhanced.
Why didn't Kerry just stay home and declare unequivocal U.S. support for the Egyptian/Arab League plan? Instead, he flew off to Paris and sent Jerusalem a package of victories for Hamas: lifting the blockade from Egypt, opening the border with Israel, showering millions of foreign cash to pay the salaries of the 43,000 (!) government workers that the near-insolvent Hamas cannot.
Forget about Israeli interests. Forget about Arab interests. The American interest is to endorse and solidify this emerging axis of moderate pro-American partners (Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Gulf states, and the Palestinian Authority) intent on seeing Islamist radicalism blunted and ultimately defanged.
Yet America's secretary of state doesn't see it. Speaking of Hamas-run Gaza, Kerry actually said in Paris: "The Palestinians can't have a cease-fire in which they think the status quo is going to stay." What must change? Gazans need "goods that can come in and out ... a life that is free from the current restraints."
But the only reason for those "restraints," why goods are unable to go in and out, is that for a decade Hamas has used this commerce to import and develop weapons for making war on Israel.
Remember the complaints that the heartless Israelis were not allowing enough imports of concrete for schools and hospitals? Well, now we know where the concrete went — into an astonishingly vast array of tunnels for infiltrating neighboring Israeli villages and killing civilians. (More than half a million tons, estimates the Israeli military.)
Lifting the blockade would mean a flood of arms, rockets, missile parts and other implements of terror for Hamas. What is an American secretary of state doing asserting that Hamas cannot cease fire unless it gets that?
Moreover, the fire from which Hamas will not cease consists of deliberate rocket attacks on Israeli cities — by definition, a war crime.
Whatever his intent, Kerry legitimized Hamas's war criminality. Which makes his advocacy of Hamas's terms not just a strategic blunder — enhancing a U.S.-designated terrorist group just when a wall-to-wall Arab front wants to see it gone — but a moral disgrace.
Dems, the Constitution and the Rule of Law
By David Limbaugh
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Have we arrived at the point in our nation that a Democratic president and powerful members of his administration can act as lawlessly as they choose without any significant objection or protest from the Democratic Party, the liberal media and Democratic voters?
Deny it as they might, liberals seem to have less fealty than conservatives to the U.S. Constitution and the rule of law.
Stop right there, you say. Democrats are no different from Republicans. Both parties are equally guilty.
Well, as much as it pleases some to invoke moral equivalency excuses when caught in wrongdoing, it simply isn't true that Republicans and conservatives are anywhere close to being as culpable as Democrats and liberals in thwarting the Constitution and the rule of law to achieve their ends.
There is a simple reason for that: Liberals believe, as a matter of their ideology, that the ends justify the means. We see it in practice every day. Liberals routinely distort facts and manipulate language to achieve their ends. As part of that, they will say that Republicans are guilty of precisely what they are doing. Manufactured projection is one of their most effective tools.
I know, I know, many will say that as an ardent conservative, I have little credibility in making such charges. I am blinded by my partisanship.
I don't deny my bias or my strong, mostly unwavering conservative ideology. Nor do I apologize for them. If I thought I were doing something wrong in being conservative, I would consider apologizing for it, but I don't.
But let me ask you to consider this: As a conservative, I would oppose judicial activism (roughly defined as the courts rewriting or making laws rather than interpreting them) to achieve conservative political ends. I don't know many liberals — other than perhaps law professor Jonathan Turley — who can make a similar statement.
It's not a matter of my (and conservatives generally) being more moral than liberals. That's not the point at all. The point is that we believe that preserving the integrity of the Constitution, as written and originally intended, is itself an essential end.
We cherish liberty, and we understand the inextricable relationship between preserving the integrity of the Constitution and preserving our liberties. Anytime our constitutional system is undermined through egregious executive, legislative or judicial overreaches, our liberty is diminished.
When President Obama continues to act outside the scope of his executive authority and against the express will of Congress, he is, in effect, disenfranchising the people and thereby diminishing our liberties. When the courts rewrite laws to achieve their ideological or political ends, they assault the prerogative of the legislative branch and thereby further disenfranchise the people and popular sovereignty.
As a strong believer in the Constitution, the rule of law, the separation of powers, the doctrine of federalism and other essential limitations on government, I abhor judicial activism, executive overreaches and congressional usurpations, even if these abuses might be in furtherance of my political or ideological preferences. For to me, there are few more important principles than preserving the Constitution and the rule of law.
So I can honestly say — and pass a polygraph saying it — that in addition to opposing conservative judicial activism, I would oppose a Republican president's issuing executive orders to unilaterally change immigration laws that were duly passed by Congress, even in a way that would serve my policy preferences. I would vehemently oppose the Internal Revenue Service if, under a Republican administration, it targeted Democratic and liberal groups. I would be fit to be tied if the hard drives of a Republican-appointed IRS commissioner mysteriously disappeared, if she made outrageous statements against liberals in her emails or if she took the Fifth Amendment instead of answering simple questions about these scandals. I would be outraged if a Republican president granted arbitrary exemptions from a major law a Republican president and Congress had passed, as President Obama has done with Obamacare, if he did not have the authority under the law to grant those exemptions. I would not support a Republican president's initiating a major military intervention in a foreign conflict without consulting, much less obtaining the approval of, Congress. I would never support a congressional law or administrative regulation violating freedom of expression for my political opponents. Or the right to bear arms. There are endless examples.
But can you liberals and Democrats make the same statements with respect to Democratic overreaches? Could the liberal media?
On a podcast on Ricochet, I was asked why I thought the liberal media never lift a finger of protest when Obama repeatedly engages in lawless behavior. My answer was that it's not just that they agree with his substantive policy ends, which they do. It's because, like most liberals, they don't believe so strongly in our Constitution, as founded, or in preserving the liberty it guarantees — or they're oblivious to the interdependence between the Constitution and rule of law on the one hand and our liberties on the other.
As a result of this pitiable situation, we have an entire political party and liberal media that grossly underappreciate our unique constitutional system of government and are so blinded by their ideological goals that they have no problem virtually conspiring with this lawless president in trampling our Constitution and the rule of law to serve his and their ends.
Think about it, my Democratic and liberal friends. Far more is at stake than some of you — especially those of you not in the political or major-media class — may realize.
Want a Real Anti-Poverty Plan? Stop Amnesty!
By Michelle Malkin
http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It is now all the fashionable rage in Washington, D.C., to proclaim solidarity with America's working poor in front of the cameras — while stabbing them in the back behind closed doors.
Privileged Illinois Democratic Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky and others have taken to Twitter, posting photos of themselves eating tuna sandwiches and buying Ramen noodles to show how much they empathize with minimum-wage workers. On the other side of the aisle, GOP Rep. Paul Ryan has wrapped himself in a cloak of compassion, putting a cheesy Taylor Swift hand heart around conservatism by proposing government "life coaches" for those in poverty.
Message: They care! Reality: They fake. The cognitive dissonance on Capitol Hill is so thick you need a V8-powered chainsaw to slice it.
While cynical politicians prattle on about protecting the American Dream, they're working together to destroy it. If these elected officials care so much about reducing poverty, why are they working so hard to import more of it from around the world? Leaders in both political parties have thrown struggling Americans under the bus to feed the cheap illegal alien labor machine.
The working poor are the biggest losers in D.C.'s amnesty game. U.S. Civil Rights Commissioner Peter Kirsanow has been a lonely voice warning about the impact of mass illegal immigration and perpetual amnesty on low-income black Americans. "The country's economic woes have disproportionately harmed African-Americans, especially those with little education," he warned this spring. "The economy has a glut of low-skilled workers, not a shortage," which is driving wages down.
Stagnant wages and depressed economic growth affect working poor Americans of all colors, while illegal alien amnesty beneficiaries cash in. Steve Camarota and Karen Ziegler of the Center for Immigration Studies reported last month that "since 2000, all of the net gain in the number of working-age (16 to 65) people holding a job has gone to immigrants (legal and illegal). This is remarkable given that native-born Americans accounted for two-thirds of the growth in the total working-age population. Though there has been some recovery from the Great Recession, there were still fewer working-age natives holding a job in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000, while the number of immigrants with a job was 5.7 million above the 2000 level."
President Obama has already granted administrative amnesty to an estimated two million illegal aliens and renewed "temporary" work permits for 520,000. The administration is planning an expansion that would grant amnesties to at least six million more lawbreakers.
Where is the opposition? Appeasement Republicans refuse to support Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz's on-target proposal to repeal Obama's "DREAM" magnet and Alabama GOP Sen. Jeff Sessions' clarion call to block any more executive amnesties as a precondition to border bill negotiations. According to my sources on the Hill, the staffs of Sens. McCain, Flake and Murkowski met privately and opposed any changes to Obama's DREAM passes for illegals — which makes them willing and suicidal accomplices in the perpetual Democratic voter recruitment drive. On the House side, GOP House Speaker John Boehner is also openly opposed to stopping the DREAM nightmare.
There are no longer two separate parties in Washington. There's just one big Amnesty Inc. conglomerate addicted to Big Business donations and Big Government grievance politics. The Obama White House needs to buy off Hispanic voters, keep immigration lawyers employed and secure a left-wing permanent ruling majority. Establishment Republicans need to pay off the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, pander to minority lobbyists and curry favor with open-borders CEOS led by Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg.
The real crisis is not at the border. It's being fomented inside our nation's capital. The "border crisis" is a bipartisan D.C. catastrophe of craven politicians abandoning their constitutional duties to defend our sovereignty and put American workers first.
Without the power to tax, politicians lose their power over the people... higher taxes...
Keep it Ringing!
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