Sunday, December 2, 2012

The Liberal Mind; Texas vs. California; and The UN Recognizes Palestine.

* The Liberal Mind. In my last post I cited a CNN poll finding that Republicans overwhelmingly supported Israel's recent actions in Gaza (74% to 12%), whereas Democrats could not even muster majority support (41% to 36%). In an email to readers on my list I noted that readers who were Democrats might be surprised by their party's dwindling support of Israel. I also noted that I was not surprised. Sure enough, one Democrat reader disagreed with those stats. What follows is an exchange (given with his permission) between the reader (R) and Truth-Uncensored (TU):

TU: "So unless you think either I or CNN made up those stats, what is your explanation for the far greater GOP support? If you just don't buy it, then you have not been paying attention the last 10-20 years. Await your explanation."

R: "I live in a sheltered social circle. I have never met an anti-Israel person or a pro-Arab person. Just hard for me to believe, or perhaps accept, any numbers regardless of parties. I must be in denial as I have no reason to challenge you or your source. Where does CNN find these people I have never met or heard of?"

TU: "Let me correct you. You INTENTIONALLY live in a sheltered social circle. The evidence is all around you. I did NOT need that poll to tell me that Repubs overwhelmingly support Israel and Dems don't. Your inability to accept reality reflects two things: 1. You only read the mainstream media, and 2. As I often say, liberals let their beliefs dictate their reality. In this case, you BELIEVE all Dems support Israel, so you are UNABLE to process REALITY when it conflicts with that belief."

This exchange was with a reader whom I personally know. He is very bright and analytical in his job. So what's the problem? He is right about one thing - of course he is in denial. He only "knows" what he gets from the mainstream papers and mainstream/liberal talk shows. But like so many liberals I have come across, what they "know" is simply not true. Sadly, a combination of his "beliefs" and lack of exposure to other viewpoints and information, results in this liberal Jew not even recognizing how far his party has moved against Israel. Yet, this decreasing support for Israel among democrats has been going on for years, if not decades. These same limitations prevent these liberals from seeing how far their party has moved to the left on economic issues and social issues. And what incredible naivete to say these anti-Israel Dems don't exist because he never met them or heard of them. Will this same reader have to see an Iranian nuke go off in Israel or the US before he "knows" Iran has acquired nukes? The liberal mind.

* Texas vs. California. The growth rate in Texas the last two years: 3.3% and 5.2%. California: 2.0% and 1.7%. Texas' unemployment rate: 6.8% vs. California's whopping 10.2%. From 2008 to 2011 median hourly wages in Texas rose 8% vs. 5.7% in California. California's poverty rate of 23.5% is the highest in the US; Texas has a rate of 16.5%. Texas students do better in math and reading, even though Texas spends less on education. (Think about all the politically correct nonsense that California School Boards worry about over actual education.) From 2007 to 2010 about 500,000 people left California; Texas gained nearly 400,000 people. Not surprising as Texas has created more than double the number of jobs that California has created since June, 2009. (All stats and information from the 11/23/12 Investor's Business Daily.)

Texas regularly ranks in the top five of business friendly states. I suspect states like California, New York and Illinois are in the bottom five. Notwithstanding California's awful economic situation, they continue to raise taxes (Prop. 30 being the latest example), and will undoubtedly continue to increase regulations. Now that Californians have given super majorities in both legislative houses to the Democrats, they can pass whatever additional tax and spending measures they want.

So here's the question: Is Obama going to take us down California's path or the path of Texas? Yes, it's just a rhetorical question as we know Obama prefers the California path. In Obama's current fight with the Republicans in the House over the "fiscal cliff" and ending of the so-called Bush tax cuts, Obama continues to insist on raising taxes on the wealthiest 2% of Americans. Such a tax increase does almost nothing to pay down the debt or deficit. But as Obama told Charlie Gibson four years ago, he would consider raising the capital gains taxes out of a "sense of fairness," even though historically increasing the rates resulted in less revenue to the government. That's what his current fight is all about. Obama the ideologue, wants to raise taxes on the top 2%, even if it means impeding job growth; while at the same time making it look like it is the Republicans who are the extremist ideologues. (Here's a question: Who do you think creates more jobs, the top 2% or the bottom 2%? Or the top 2% vs. the bottom 50% for that matter.)

And, just to add insult to injury, if you want to rent a U-Haul to move from San Francisco to San Antonio, it will cost you $1693. If you want to go from San Antonio to San Francisco - that's only $983. Far less demand! (Data from the 11/23/12 IBD article.)

* The UN Recognizes Palestine. On November 29, the UN voted to upgrade the Palestinian Authority from non-member observer to non-member state. This new "state" consists of Gaza, the West Bank and "East Jerusalem," based upon the 1967 borders. The vote was 138 to 9, with 41 abstentions. The US, Canada, and Israel voted against, as did one European country - the Czech Republic. Voting for, among others, were France, Italy, Spain, Norway, Denmark and Switzerland. Britain and Germany "abstained;" such brave votes.

So what could be wrong with this picture? Well, Abbas has NO legitimacy as his term of office expired three years ago. Undoubtedly, he was reluctant to hold new elections fearing that Hamas would win, as they did in Gaza. This new "state" has two different governments: the terrorist group Hamas in Gaza and the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank. Here's a small matter: how does the UN have any jurisdiction to make this decision? When the UN General Assembly voted partition of the British Mandate in 1947, their jurisdiction was clear. Britain voluntarily turned over the Mandate area to the UN General Assembly to decide its' fate. Sixty-five years later they think they still have jurisdiction? While they are feeling so generous, they ought to recognize Tibet (too bad China), Chechnya (sorry Russia), Kurdistan (too bad Turkey, Syria and Iraq), just to name a few. And while they are at it, shouldn't they recognize Mexico's borders as including Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California?

How many lies did Abbas tell in his speech to the General Assembly before the vote? He noted that 65 years prior the UNGA "partitioned the land of historic Palestine into two states and became the birth certificate for Israel." Actually, it would have been a birth certificate for an Arab country as well but for the fact that the Arabs announced before partition that they would NEVER accept a Jewish state; and, oh yeah, they attacked Israel the day after Israel declared their independence in 1948. So, the partition was not Israel's birth certificate; it was the defeat of the Arab world's multiple armies that assured the existence of a Jewish state. Abbas: "In those dark days, our people had looked to the United Nations as a beacon of hope and appealed for ending the injustice..." Wow! There's a whopper. Again, the Arabs announced BEFORE the 1947 UN vote that they would NEVER accept a Jewish state there. That is why the war ensued. So Abbas claims they looked to the UN when the truth is they denounced the UN vote.

Otherwise, Abbas' speech was filled with the usual accusations showing his true attitude towards Israel. He referred to Israel's creation as the Nabka (catastrophe) as the Arabs regularly do. He accused Israel of war crimes for their retaliation against thousands of rockets and mortars from Gaza; and hinted that as a "state" now they would file a complaint with the International Criminal Court against Israel. We know how that would end up. He referred to Israel's "racist, colonial occupation" of lands Israel has controlled since 1967 because the ARABS LOST THAT WAR! We know, of course, that the Arabs are the real racists as they have said no Jew may live in their country, whereas over one million Arabs live in Israel. And, I might add, enjoy greater civil rights than Arabs do in Arab run countries.

The same liberal reader referred to above believes in the legitimacy of the UN. See how the UN protects the Syrian people from being murdered by their own government? They can't - because Russia would veto any resolution. The UN had a peacekeeping force in Southern Lebanon after Israel's war with Hezbollah. That UN force sat idly by while Hezbollah rearmed with tens of thousands of missiles from Iran and Syria. By maintaining our membership in the UN we only give credibility to the votes of dictators, thugs and islamofascists. The US ought to withdraw and establish a new UN of democratic and free countries. Countries wishing to join must not only have democratically elected leaders, but provide for basic civil freedoms for their citizens (such as free speech and freedom to choose one's religion). The UN as currently constituted allows for countries like Iran and Syria to be on the Human Rights Council. What a joke! Not only does the UN not promote peace, it arguably enables mass murder and genocide as in Syria. The Security Council is unable to act because dictatorships like Russia and China prevent action. Therefore, unless the US acts on its' own, nothing happens.

And let us not forget that the UN has voted more resolutions against the tiny country of Israel than the rest of the member states combined. Anyone who believes in the legitimacy of the UN has, quite simply, lost their moral compass.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More on Israel and the Palestinians; and Benghazi

* Before Israeli jets attack Gaza, the Israelis do everything possible to avoid civilian casualties. They drop leaflets in advance. They make phone calls into the soon to be targeted area. And strikes are even called off at the last minute when live feed shows civilians in the area. And what does Hamas do? They put their rockets on the rooftops of residential buildings, or near schools and mosques. Hamas P.M. Ismael Haniya said: "We desire death more than you desire life." A Hamas TV campaign urged: "bombs are more precious than children." Any wonder why Israel has a prosperous society while Hamas prides itself on death and destruction - and having tens of thousands of rockets and mortars. And let's not forget that after an Israeli bus full of civilians was blown up the Palestinians praised the attack and celebrated. Then again, the Arabs living in New York and New Jersey celebrated after our 9/11 attack.

* According to the Jerusalem Post, 1506 rockets were fired into Israel during the past week. 421 were intercepted by Iron Dome, the Israeli anti-missile system. Given that they only target rockets likely to hit civilian areas, it was quite an impressive display of the first functioning anti-missile system to ever be deployed.

* Cease-fire now in effect. As the LA Times described it in their lead article on 11/19/12: "An Israeli missile kills nine family members, increasing global pressure on both sides to end the hostilities." Can you imagine if these idiots were writing the news during WWII? Imagine the headlines: "Ike declares thousands died on Omaha beach, therefore U.S. should cease all hostilities." Or: "London devastated, Churchill needs to surrender!" Given that the mainstream media has completely lost their moral compass, it all becomes a numbers game. "Israel, you only have five dead, so make sure that you do not kill more than five Palestinians." The foolish leaders in the West are no better. This from the EU: Israel "must act proportionately and ensure the protection of civilians at all times..." Meanwhile, Assad's Syria can murder over 30,000 of its people, but...

* Meanwhile, masked gunmen in Gaza shot dead six people suspected of collaborating with Israel. They then dragged one of the bodies through the streets as Palestinians spit upon it. No indictment, no trial, just execution. Don't look for the mainstream media to be outraged. Anybody else think it's disgusting that Egypt's Morsi gets to be the "peacemaker"? Hamas' rockets and mortars come through Egypt via the Sudan or Libya. Morsi says he want to see the destruction of Israel and all Jews killed - but he is the peacemaker? Outrageous. Outrageous for Israel to agree on a cease-fire yet again. The only result is that Hamas will continue to fire rockets and mortars and missiles until a few years down the road when Israel decides they can no longer tolerate it and launches another attack. Here's the proof - the Jerusalem Post says 20 rockets have already been launched into Israel after the cease-fire took effect.

* Who supports Israel? A CNN poll found significant Republican support for Israel's defensive measures in Gaza - 74% in favor with 12% opposed. Democrats? Not even one-half in favor - 41% agreed, 36% disagreed. Sad, is it not? Thank G-d that most Congressional Democrats are supportive of Israel, notwithstanding the ever dwindling support amongst the rank and file. As the Democrat party goes further and further to the left this is not surprising - every major leftist group is anti-Israel (and often anti-semitic). And Obama? Anybody else tiring of his "violent extremists" phrase? When will he start telling the truth and call it radical Islam?

* More on Benghazi. The question in the past week has been who changed the original "talking points" used by Susan Rice when she went on the five Sunday talk shows. Specifically, who removed the references to terrorism and Al Qaeda? Originally, the intelligence agencies denied making any such deletions. Now, a spokesman for National Intelligence Director James Clapper said the intelligence community was SOLELY responsible for "substantive" changes to the talking points. So here's a question or two. Who authorized the changes? Was any pressure brought to bear by the White House or others? As noted above, Obama avoids use of the terms "terrorism" and "radical Islam." I would sure like to know how those changes came about. Whether or not the media cares (other than to try to prove that the White House was not behind it) I certainly hope Congress continues to investigate.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Israel and the Palestinians; GOP Blues; and More on Benghazi

* Israel and the Palestinians. Why the increase in hostilities? Who started it? If one just reads the mainstream media, you may not know that Hamas and Islamic Jihad have launched thousands of rockets and mortars into Israel from Gaza since 2005, when Israel vacated Gaza. Over one thousand were launched into Israel just this year up to Friday. Here is what everyone needs to know about the conflict: "We are sending a short and simple message: there is no security for any Zionist on any single inch of Palestine..." So said Abu Obeida, spokesman for the Hamas military. Inasmuch as Israel left Gaza years ago, and the rockets and mortars are falling on Israel, Obeida is telling the world that the Jews who live in Israel are actually living in "Palestine." As they do not recognize Israel's legitimacy, and say they never will, what else do you need to know?

* While the motivation of the Palestinians is clear, things do get more complicated by the involvement of others. Hamas has launched longer range Fajr-5 missiles at Tel Aviv. These missiles are supplied by Iran, proving that Iran is not just a threat if they get nukes. Meanwhile, the new Islamist leaders in Egypt and Tunisia, as well as the now Islamist leader in Turkey, have expressed their solidarity with the Palestinians. Does that mean they would get involved in a ground war with Israel if Israel sends troops into Gaza? Not likely, given their own internal problems, but it cannot be ruled out. And what about the U.S.? Two former military men (Col. Oliver North and 4 star General Jack Keane, former Vice Chief of Staff of the Army) believe that the Islamists, like Hamas, have felt emboldened since the 9/11/12 attack on Benghazi, killing the U.S. Ambassador and others. Obama blamed the attack on an anti-muslim video, and has taken no action against the terrorists. The U.S. has been perceived as being weak, resulting in a significant increase in anti-U.S. and anti-Israel "chatter." Nevertheless, I credit Obama for stating that "Israel has the right to defend itself," not something that every country acknowledges.

* As noted in the last post, Obama seems intent on presiding over a seriously diminished U.S. military force. A weakened U.S. always emboldens the enemies of peace and freedom. The mainstream media never gets it. In a 11/15/12 editorial, the New York Times opined: "The group (Hamas) has mostly adhered to an informal cease-fire with Israel after the war there in the winter of 2008-09." I suppose if you don't count a few thousand rockets and mortars raining down on Israel then they are correct. The Times continues: "Israel has a right to defend itself, but it's hard to see how Wednesday's operation could be the most effective way of advancing its long-term interests." If rockets were falling all around and in the NY Times' offices, would they want the NYPD and Homeland Security to stop it, or would they say fighting back would not be "an effective way of advancing the Times' long-term interests?" What a bunch of morons! One million Israelis have had to live in bomb shelters the last several days. Israel's long-term interests are in destroying the ability of Hamas to attack; not to worry about "new waves of condemnation against Israel in Arab countries," as the Times suggests. As if the Arabs would otherwise support Israel. The Times then concludes with their usual blaming of Israel - suggesting more countries would support Israel if they made peace with Abbas' Palestinian Authority. The dreamers of the left forever eschewing reality.

* GOP Blues. Numerous post-mortems have been written and verbalized about the GOP and what it needs to do since the election. Here are just a few suggestions that have been mentioned by commentators: back off on social issues like abortion and gay marriage, fix the immigration problem, learn to use social media, stop putting up Mr. Nice Guys to run, become more moderate, be better advocates of the free market, and select a more charismatic candidate. Having three young adults in my family, there seemed to be a general consensus that it was more "cool" and "in" to vote Democrat. My conservative son suggested the GOP stop talking about abortion and gay marriage. Abortion has been legal for 40 years, and gay marriage appears to be headed in the same direction. Mike Pence, a conservative Congressman, won the governorship in Indiana by avoiding discussion of the social issues. My older, more liberal daughter explained that Obama was more likeable, younger, cool, does Twitter, has a stylish wife and more easily relates to people.

* What seems clear from that daughter's analysis is that not a single substantive, policy issue was mentioned. And yet, she may be on to something. An exit poll asked people who was more "in touch with you," with 53% saying Obama to Romney's 43%. That ability to relate to people may trump substantive issues. If people sense that you understand them, they may feel that they can trust you to do the "right" thing on any policy issue. Some Republican governors are not happy with Romney saying Obama won with "financial gifts" from the government. Gov. Bobby Jindal says the GOP needs to campaign for every vote, and not insult people. Jindal says not to let demographics be destiny. As Gov. Scott Walker says, the Republican message works for everyone.

* The Investor's Business Daily suggests that the GOP "narrow the media gap." They want to see the GOP going on the mainstream media TV talk shows and fighting back. Of course, we need articulate conservatives doing so. I would add that conservatives should increasingly speak on college campuses, while acknowledging that even university presidents may hinder that effort. Fordham's president criticized the College Republicans for inviting Ann Coulter to speak, which ultimately resulted in the withdrawal of the invitation. Nevertheless, the effort must be made. When so many people hear only one viewpoint, it is incumbent upon Republicans to get the message out.

* We on the right should not be too discouraged. Of course, we felt extreme disappointment on the re-election of such a divisive, leftist ideologue. But, as noted by Don Campbell in the 11/14/12 USA Today, the GOP holds 30 of 50 governorships. Republicans also hold 27 of 49 state Houses/Assemblies, and 28 of 49 state Senates. (Nebraska has a non-partisan unicameral legislature.) The GOP also has a 40 seat majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and 45 seats in the U.S. Senate. So let's not take the gas pipe just yet. Can we expect Obama to now work with the Republican House? No, he remains an ideologue. He has said he wants to bring "fundamental change" to this country and that "elections have consequences." He wants to be a significant President, like a Roosevelt or a Reagan. So House Republicans will need to pick and choose their battles carefully.

* More on Benghazi. Now former CIA Director Gen. Petraeus claimed that the CIA "talking points" after the 9/11 attack in Benghazi made it clear that the attack was an act of terrorism, likely linked to Al-Qaeda in Africa. Yet, the "talking points" given to UN Ambassador Susan Rice contained no such statement. We are supposed to believe that that is how she ended up on five Sunday talk shows after the attack blaming it all on an anti-muslim video. Said Obama: Amb. Rice had "nothing to do with Benghazi." Then why was she selected to speak for the Administration on all the Sunday shows. Why not the Sec. of State or Sec. of Defense? Might it be that Rice, a longtime political ally of Obama's, could be counted on to lie for the Administration? Or, did they simply keep her in the dark and allow her to tell a story that had no basis in truth?

* Who are the racists and sexists? After Rice received heaps of criticism from Senators McCain and Graham, Obama said if they "want to go after somebody, they should go after me." Is Obama suggesting that, as a woman at the highest level of government, Rice still needs the protection of a man? And how about Congresswoman Marcia Fudge of Ohio, in line to be next chair of the Congressional Black Caucus. Fudge: "It is a shame that anytime something goes wrong, they pick on women and minorities." And this by Fudge: "There is clear sexism and racism that goes with these comments" by McCain and Graham. Sorry Congresswoman, if you can't take the heat, don't hold political office. According to Fudge's "logic," only white males may be criticized. THAT is racist and sexist. It is also typical of the left's constant focus on race and sex. As we on the right know, criticism of Obama is likely to result in a charge of racism. It is divisive, and a child-like reaction to legitimate criticism. Let's not forget why they do it though; they believe that the ends (supporting the Obama Administration in this case) justify the means (lying about McCain and Graham being racists and sexists). And they know the mainstream media will never call them on it.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Worst President Ever? Certainly the Most Radical.

* Obama, one of our greatest Presidents? So said a friend and reader. June, 2003, Obama said: I happen to be a proponent of a single payer universal health care program." But in 2009: I have not said that I was a single payer supporter." Obama, 1996: "I favor legalizing same sex marriages, and would fight efforts to prohibit such marriages." During the 2008 campaign he said, as a Christian, he felt that marriage was the sacred union of a man and a woman. Now, wanting to maintain his left-wing base, he favors same sex marriage again. Early on in the last campaign he favored public financing of elections and was committed to it. Until he wasn't.

* Obama has presided over the worst economy since the Great Depression. Over 8% unemployment his entire term except for the last two months (7.8% and now up to 7.9%). Higher than when he entered office. As a consequence, food stamp recipients up from 32 million to 47 million; and social security disability recipients now number 8.3 million. In 2008 Obama complained that Bush's adding 4 trillion dollars to the national debt in 8 years was "irresponsible" and "unpatriotic." In 4 years Obama has added 5 trillion to the debt. Upon taking office in January, 2009 the price of gas was less than half of what it is today. But forget about drilling.

* Obama decided not to support a manned space program for NASA. Cutting the size of our Navy's ships to the lowest number since WWI. Air Force fighters will decrease by more than half - 3602 to 1512). Wants to reduce our 5000 nuclear weapons to 1500 and then 300. Opposes next generation nukes. Missed more than half of his national security briefings. (Not nearly as much fun as Letterman, the View, JayZ, golfing or trips with Michelle.) Cut or put on hold 50 different new weapon systems, including the F-22 Raptor stealth fighter.

* Obama promised the most open and transparent Presidency ever. All legislation would be posted online before any vote on it. Neither he nor the Dems in Congress even read the Affordable Care Act. Still refuses to answer questions about Benghazi. Our annual growth rate (GDP)? 2010 - 2.4%, 2011 - 1.8%, first nine months of 2012 - 1.7%. Anemic? No, pathetic! When Bush had 3.4% the Dems were apoplectic over it.

* Promises to be a unifying President of "all" the people. Ended up in one term managing to be the most divisive President in memory (ever?). Sides with the violent and ill-behaved "Occupy Wall Street" movement; talks about the 1% versus the 99%; constantly complains about the millionaires and billionaires; disrespects the religious; disrespects the very peaceful "Tea Party" movement; tells Republicans they will have no input into his healthcare bill because "I won the election;" and, of course, "you didn't build that (business), somebody else made that happen."

* Israel? Militarily, aid has continued, after an initial bump in the road. Politically? A disaster. Dislikes (despises?) Netanyahu. Has yet to visit Israel, although visited numerous Arab/Muslim countries. First phone call? To Palestinian leader Abbas. First speech? From Cairo (where he invites members of the Muslim Brotherhood to attend, an insult to our then ally Hosni Mubarak, who was still in power) speaks to the Muslim world. Calls the West Bank "occupied" territory, the term used by the Palestinians. Says Israel must return to the indefensible 1967 borders. Says Israel must give up part of its Capital city, Jerusalem. Refuses to tell Palestinians they can not have a "right of return" to Israel, which would effectively make it yet another Muslim country. Does not object to the ethnic cleansing of Jews from the West Bank if Israel does agree to give up that land - even though Palestinians say no Jews would be allowed. Given the above, it is no surprise that Israeli Jews see Romney as more supportive (57.2% to 21.5%). Also not surprising, Israeli Arabs favor Obama by a 3 to 1 margin.

* The Muslims? In 2009, Obama says it is his responsibility to "fight against negative stereotypes of Islam." In one of his books, wrote that "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction." The White House - an open door for radical Muslims. Abdurahman Alamoudi, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, publicly denounces terrorism. Then privately praises Hamas and Hezbollah, and expressed regret that more Americans were not killed in African embassy bombings. Says Muslims must turn US into a Muslim country, even if it takes 100 years. And, as we know, Huma Abedein, Deputy Chief of Staff to Hillary Clinton, has family members in the Muslim Brotherhood. As noted in this blog, our defense establishment and other federal agencies have allowed the Brotherhood to eliminate what they deem to be offensive terms from our training manuals. Terms like "jihad." Of course, recall that Obama's National Intelligence Director described the Brotherhood as "secular." And remember what NASA's primary goal was? To make "Muslim nations feel good about their historic contribution to science...and math and engineering." Clearly, NASA's job is not space travel! And, in a sign that could easily make one suspicious that he is still a Muslim, he bows to the Saudi King.

* Benghazi? Were it not for Fox News, we would not know half of what we do now know. Fox News - the outlet that many on the left would like to see shut down. (As an aside, if Obama was the President during Watergate, with the current media, we would have never heard of "Watergate." We would not know it is a hotel in D.C. or the story behind the break-in. There would be no investigative journalism. No challenge to what government does or says. That would be - just like today. Today's LA Times? Not a single story in the first section on Benghazi. The NY Times? Puts the story on today's front page with the headline: "Libya Attack Shows Pentagon's Limits in Region." The entire gist of the article is to defend the Obama Administration's lack of action to save our Ambassador and other Americans. The article, quoting government sources, says: "An examination of these tumultuous events undercuts the criticism leveled by some Republicans that the Obama administration did not try to respond militarily to the crisis." But since when, in an incident of this significance, does the media simply accept at face value what government leaders are saying on the record? Only Fox News has dug deeper. But maybe you don't think it matters that Obama and his team lied for weeks about the attack occurring because people were upset by an anti-Muslim video. He said he would side with the Muslims. And calling it a terrorist attack did not fit with his narrative - Al Qaeda is done since Bin Laden is dead.

* So what did happen in Benghazi? According to Fox News, the CIA account that no request for aid was made until 9:40pm local time, has been disputed by others on the ground there. They also dispute the claims that there were no assets in the area - no armed drones, no F-18s, no AC-130 gunships. Fox says British sources said they had more people on the ground than the US did - but never got a call to assist. This was the anniversary of 9/11. Multiple requests were made beforehand for greater security. Al Qaeda and its affiliates were NOT dead, even though Bin Ladin was. And Obama will discuss none of this before the election. And the mainstream media will not ask. But we have not seen any photo-ops of everyone in the White House Situation Room that day coordinating a counter attack.

* A Marxist? Remember in 2008 Obama told Joe the plumber that "it's a good idea to spread the wealth around." More recently he said: "if you've got a business, you didn't build that, somebody else made that happen." Well, this is something he has believed for many years. In 1998, Obama said: "I think the trick is figuring out how do we structure government systems that pool resources and hence facilitate some redistribution because I actually believe in redistribution, at least at a certain level, to make sure everybody's got a shot." Except that the American way is to give everybody a shot - called "opportunity" - through economic growth; you know, capitalism! But Obama told us he wanted to bring "fundamental change" to our country. Think all the radical affiliations are an accident? Rev. Wright. Van Jones. Anita Dunn (remember Mao is her favorite political philosopher - none of the great (traditional) liberal democratic thinkers). Valerie Jarrett. Cass Sunstein. Samantha Power. And the list could go on and on.

* In 2008 Obama mostly hid his true agenda. He did mention, almost in passing as if testing the waters, things like "fundamental change" and "spreading the wealth around." Then, many people were tired of Bush and war. So they voted in the most radical President in our country's history. Four years later, overseeing one of the worst economies in history, I believe he will lose to Mitt Romney. While I will celebrate that victory, I take no joy in knowing that nearly 50% of the the American people are willing to vote for this obvious Marxist. While Thomas Friedman writes in today's NY Times about how far to the right the Republican party has moved, it is simply not true. The Republicans stand for what used to be considered fundamental American values: things like life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. It is the Democrats who want to undermine every traditional institution in this country - including the very basic one of capitalism. A Pew poll reported that only 47% of Democrats viewed capitalism in a positive light, 53% did not. 44% of Democrats saw socialism as positive. Either we return to those fundamental values or we on the right will suffer the same consequences that those on the left unwittingly will bring upon themselves.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Debate II, and Considerations on the Middle East for the Final Debate

* The second debate format was favored by some, disliked by others. The "in your face, in your space" format was not ideal in this writer's opinion. I could not help but wonder if the obvious hostility between the two reflected the hostility between the two sides in the greater society.

* When asked what they would do about the cost of living, which has gone up the last four years, we saw two different views of what has happened over that time. Obama said he cut taxes to the middle class and small businesses. He said he ended the war in Iraq and got bin Laden. He passed healthcare reform, and what he said were the toughest Wall Street reforms since the 1930's. He said he was using the savings ending two wars to put people back to work.

* Romney said if you reelect Obama you will get a repeat of the last four years. He said Obama predicted 5.4% unemployment by now; if that were the case we would have 9 million more jobs. There was no immigration plan as promised. There was no fix of Social Security and Medicare. The deficit was not cut in half as promised. Health insurance premiums not down $2500. per year as we were told, but up $2500. per year. 23 million people unemployed, with one out of six in poverty. The food stamp rolls went up from 32 million to 47 million. The economy has been growing slower each year. Romney said Reagan inherited 10.8% unemployment but helped the economy create twice as many jobs as did Obama in the same time.

* So, obviously two different takes on the last four years. Which candidate has a more realistic view of the Middle East? Here are some considerations for the two candidates. Which one do you think has the more realistic view?

* Abbas, as the head of the Palestinian Authority, is Israel's supposed peace partner. Abbas' term of office actually ended four years ago; and no elections have been held since (although municipal elections were just held). Abbas' doctoral dissertation was a denial of the Holocaust. In 2008, Abbas rejected Olmert's offer for a two state solution (just like Arafat rejected Barak's offer in 2000). Abbas has refused to negotiate with Israel since Obama took office. Abbas is now asking the UN to upgrade the PA's status from "observer" to "non-member state." As a non-member state, the PA would be able to join the International Criminal Court and file a complaint against Israel. The vote is expected to take place in the General Assembly...AFTER the US general election. (Coincidence? Obama told Medvedev and Putin that he would have more "flexibility" after the election. Today, the NY Times reports that Obama plans on having one on one talks with Iran - after the election.)

* Abbas posted on his official Facebook page that Israel not only occupies Palestinian territory illegally, but "the point applies to all the territories Israel occupied before June, 1967." Abbas has also said that UN recognition of a PA state in the West Bank "proves that Palestinians have rights to all the land that is occupied." (From both Jewish Press, 10/17/12 and Caroline Glick, 10/18/12.) So, as this blog has noted before, Abbas is claiming the right to all the land of Israel. He does not believe Israel has a right to exist. The land occupied by Israel before June, 1967 was based on the boundary set by the 1949 Armistice - the same area that the PA tells the West will be the State of Israel in a two state solution. But they clearly don't mean it. It is all a lie.

* So what about the other Arabs? Won't they keep the Palestinians in line? Hezbollah and the head of Lebanon's Baath Party just called for the "eradication" of Israel yet again. (Per The Jerusalem Post, 10/12/12.) With Islamist states taking over in the Middle East, any hope for moderation is unwarranted and unrealistic. Mohamad Morsi, the new head of Egypt, has said: "there is no peace with the descendants of apes and pigs" (referring to the Jews). (Per Caroline Glick.) In Turkey, school books describe Darwin as a "big nosed Jew." They went on to explain that Darwin had two problems: "First, he was a Jew; second, he hated his prominent forehead, big nose, and misshapen teeth." As for Einstein, he is described as "filthy and slovenly" and ate soap. The textbook adds: "the sad part is during that time the Gestapo was putting Jews into ovens and making them into soap." So, it's just a shame to the Arabs that the same fate did not befall Einstein, perhaps the greatest scientific genius of all time.

* And how does the West view the "peace process?" Catherine Ashton, the European Union Foreign Policy Chief, said this: "settlements are illegal under international law and threaten to make a two state solution impossible." First, how can settlements be illegal when there has never been agreed upon borders? Second, only someone on the left is willing to ignore the obvious, so let me highlight it: ABBAS, THE PA, HAMAS, HEZBOLLAH AND MOST OTHER ARABS DO NOT ACCEPT ISRAEL'S RIGHT TO EXIST AS THE JEWISH STATE! So what two states did you have in mind, Ms. Ashton?

* How about the US though? Sadly, 15 different leaders of Christian churches have called on Congress to reconsider aid to Israel, accusing it of human rights violations. (As reported in the 10/21/12 NY Times.) These include the Evangelical Lutheran Church, the United Methodist Church, the National Council of Churches, the United Church of Christ, the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the American Friends Service Committee (described as a Quaker agency), the Mennonite Central Committee, and two Catholic leaders. Let me be clear: to single out Israel can only be due to anti-semitism. Israel has the best human rights record in the Middle East. Arabs serve in the government. Syria is murdering tens of thousands of its citizens. Many Arab countries deny basic civil rights to women and gays. Why aren't these Christian leaders OUTRAGED over hundreds of thousands of Christians having been kicked out of Iraq, Lebanon, and the Palestinian territories; and persecuted like the Coptic Christians in Egypt? Why?

* So who better understands the realities of the Middle East, Obama or Romney? Who has the better relationship with the duly elected Prime Minister of Israel, Obama or Romney? (If you answered Obama please read my earlier posts concerning Obama and Israel.) Which candidate has a true affinity for Israel and the Jewish people; and which, by his own words, has aligned himself with the Muslims? Which candidate is most likely to believe in the words of our second President, John Adams, who said of the Jews: "They are the most glorious nation that ever inhabited this Earth. The Romans and their Empire were but a Bauble in comparison of the Jews. They have given religion to three quarters of the Globe and have influenced the affairs of Mankind more, and more happily, than any other Nation ancient or modern."

Sunday, October 14, 2012

And the Winner of the V.P. Debate was...and Other Matters

* According to the post debate CNN poll the winner was Ryan by 48% to 44%. But one of the networks had Biden up by about 20%. Charles Krauthammer said if you just read a transcript of the debate it was a tie, if you heard it on the radio then Biden won, and if you saw it on TV then Ryan won. This writer did see it on TV and thought that Biden won. He was more aggressive and succeeded more in making his points. His facial antics, however, were inexplicable and reminiscent of a junior high school performance. It does not appear to have mattered to the voters. In a focus group on Hannity, Frank Luntz had 26 people, most of whom had voted for Obama in 2008, but were currently among the undecided. Not one said the debate would sway their vote. There were, however, some interesting comments.

* Said Biden: "We can't afford $800 billion going to the people making a minimum of $1 million. They do not need it..." The reference was to an extension of the "Bush" tax cuts (said cuts having been approved by Congress). So let's be clear. Obama said it's a good idea to spread the wealth around. Obama constantly talks about the millionaires and billionaires; that everyone needs to pay their fair share (the top 10% pay 70% of the Federal income taxes already). It was Obama who said that after a certain point you've made enough money. So when Obama and Biden say the wealthy "do not need" their money we are really talking about government confiscation of private property. Sadly, my friends on the left are able to justify this unwarranted taking of private property because they have followed Obama and the Democrat party to the path of tyranny and socialism. The ends justify the means; and principle varies with the need. Of course, "spreading the wealth around" has never worked. It does not matter; Obama and his followers are driven by ideology.

* Biden claimed that Iran was more isolated now than at any time since Obama took office. No doubt they have been affected by the sanctions. But sanctions do not have a good history of preventing a country that wants nukes from getting nukes. And Iran is not that isolated. They just recently hosted a meeting of the so-called "non-aligned" nations - 120 countries strong! When asked directly which is worse, another war in the Middle east or a nuclear armed Iran, Ryan answered directly and said a nuclear armed Iran. Biden did not answer at all, simply claiming that Iran is being crippled by sanctions. The moderator did not press him for an answer. But why did former defense secretary Gates say a strike on Iran would be catastrophic and haunting for generations? What about the Ayatollahs and "I'manutjob" having nukes?

* While much has been made over the last four years about whether or not Obama was born here, and whether he is truly a Christian or a Muslim, this blog has purposely avoided discussion of those issues. What I have said is that it is clear where Obama's allegiances lie - and that is with the Muslims. Whether it was his speech to the Muslim world from Cairo; his mistreatment of Bibi Netanyahu, Israeli Prime Minister; his bow to the Saudi King; his immediate siding with the Palestinians by calling the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) "occupied" territory; his refusal to visit Israel as President after visiting numerous Arab and Muslim countries; his latest refusal to meet with Netanyahu during the U.N. General Assembly, claiming his schedule did not permit it (although it did permit appearances on Letterman and The View); or his welcoming of the Muslim Brotherhood into the Egyptian government - it all points to one thing for those willing to see. And let's not forget that Obama's Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, somehow could not be bothered sitting through Netanyahu's speech to the General Assembly.

* In his latest insult to Israel and the Jewish world, the Obama Administration has appointed one Salaam al-Marayati to represent the United States of America at the annual meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation, described as a 10 day human rights conference. Al-Marayati is the founder of the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Like others of his ilk, he says he just wants to uphold American values of freedom of religion. He speaks frequently on the subject of "Islamophobia." He knows how to sound reasonable and how to play to an American audience; and he knows how to play on their guilt. Unfortunately he is also a defender of Hamas and Hezbollah, mortal enemies of Israel, and I thought of this country. (Per Jihad Watch.)

* Following 9/11, Mr. al-Marayati had this to say: "If we're going to look at suspects, we should look to the groups that benefit the most from these kinds of incidents, and I think we should put the State of Israel on the suspect list because I think this diverts attention from what's happening in the Palestinian territories so that they can go on with their aggression and occupation and apartheid policies." This is a man who complained about having the Holocaust "shoved down (his) throat. At a 2005 Conference of the Islamic Society of North America, he told his fellow Muslims not to cooperate with any FBI investigations, saying: "We reject any efforts, notion, suggestion that Muslims should start spying on one another." (As reported by the Jewish Press.)

* If you missed the recently discovered video of Obama from 2007 speaking to a black audience, you should watch it. He had a black accent that one did not hear during the 2008 campaign. He said the federal government cheats blacks in favor of whites. He said "our people" should be getting more federal money and jobs and housing. He said; "We don't need to build more highways out in the suburbs" where the white folks live. And he claimed that the federal government did not care about the blacks in New Orleans the way they did about New Yorkers after 9/11 or Floridians after hurricane Andrew. Why? Because the Feds did not waive the Stafford Act for New Orleans; an act that requires local communities to contribute 10% toward disaster relief, after receiving federal assistance. Except - it's all a lie! Not only did the Senate vote to waive the Stafford Act, but the Feds spent more money on New Orleans than on New York post 9/11 and Florida post hurricane Andrew combined. And here's the kicker - then Senator Obama voted AGAINST waiving the Act! (Information from article by Thomas Sowell in the 10/9/12 Investor's Business Daily.)

* This is nothing other than classic Obama. Play black against white, Hispanic against white, poor against rich, non-religious against religious. But the black actress Stacey Dash had it right when explaining why she was going to vote for Romney. "I chose him not by the color of his skin, but the content of his character."

* Lastly, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, head of the DNC, was on Piers Morgan on CNN on 10/10/12. The discussion centered on the murder of our Ambassador and others in Benghazi; with the Obama Administration, and especially our UN Ambassador Susan Rice, claiming it was all due to an anti-muslim video, rather than a well coordinated terrorist attack. Said Schultz: "it is irresponsible and un-American, quite frankly, for my Republican colleagues in Congress to be jumping on this immediately, as some political opportunity." After telling her she was flogging the wrong horse, Morgan said: "The important horse that should be flogged is the behavior and misstatements of those who are in positions of responsibility and we would assume knowledge; and it's pretty un-American to be putting out completely false statements before you know the facts." Schultz: "Piers, it is not okay for you to be saying (that)." The look of astonishment on Schultz's face said it all. It was clear that she must have been thinking: Wait a minute. I'm on CNN, right? Am I on FOX? What just happened here? What happened is that we are starting to see a few usually Democrat-leaning reporters and talk show hosts actually asking tough questions of our leaders. I only wish that it would spread, and that the rest of the mainstream media would remember what their job is.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Romney Wins First Debate!

* It certainly appeared as if President Obama wanted to be anywhere but at the debate. And Governor Romney was energetic, enthusiastic and engaged with both Obama and the audience. Romney also came prepared with facts and argument.

* One of the most telling topics for this writer was the discussion about cutting tax rates. Romney said he would cut tax rates but also said he would cut deductions, essentially making his proposal revenue neutral. Obama kept saying how the numbers don't add up. Per Obama, we cannot cut enough deductions to make up for the cut in rates. He completely missed one essential Romney point: government revenues will grow when more people are back to work and paying taxes again. Those same people will no longer need government handouts of either welfare, food stamps, unemployment or social security disability.

* Obama's policies have hurt the middle class. According to the 10/3/12 Investor's Business Daily, the middle 20% of households suffered a 4% drop in income since 2009. The poorest 20% dropped 7%. The IBD also cites a study by the National Employment Law Project which found that 60% of the jobs lost due to the recession were mid-wage, but just 22% of the newly created jobs paid well. As Biden recently said, the middle class "has been buried the last four years." (After being told that did not look good for Obama, Biden then blamed Bush.)

* Obama previously complained that the US has only 3% of the world's population, but consumes 25% of the resources. He just does not get it. It is all a zero sum game to him. If the rich have more, the only way to even things out is to take money from the rich and give it to the poor. The US, as a wealthy nation, needs to consume less so others can consume more. In a nutshell, socialism. The last four years are proof enough to anyone willing to see that these policies do not work. (How many countries in Europe that have followed these policies are going under?) What works is a growing economy; the wealthy keep their money and the middle class grows. And many in the lower class can move up into the middle class because of good jobs.

* So the US should consume less? Maybe only our share of the world's population? How many jobs will be lost if we only buy 3% of the world's automobiles, for example. And only 3% of the world's cell phones and TVs and on and on. Millions of jobs would be lost as production dropped due to a lesser demand. It is NOT a zero sum game. When US consumers buy more, jobs are created all over the world. Would Obama also like us to only produce 3% of the world's food? Too bad for countries that depend on us?

* Obama just does not get it. It is time to put a man in the White House who understands that a growing economy benefits everyone.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Are We at War With Islam? Part III

* For those readers who may be new to this blog, I previously wrote two posts entitled "Are We at War With Islam, Parts I and II," on 8/29/10 and 9/13/10. These posts can still be read by simply scrolling down and clicking on "older posts." In my latest post of 9/23/12 I discussed how the Organization of Islamic States wants to criminalize any insults to Islam. I also discussed how the U.S. military is sanitizing all references to radical Islam and Jihad.

* At this past week's meeting of the U.N. General Assembly various world leaders spoke. In light of the recent violence across the Middle East, and the alleged provocation caused by the trailer for the film "The Innocence of Muslims," the topic of "free speech" was frequently discussed. President Obama, while again criticizing the film, gave a strong defense of the right to free speech. This is what the Muslim Brotherhood President of Egypt, Mohamed Morsi, had to say: "We expect from others, as they expect from us, that they respect our cultural specifics and religious references, and not seek to impose concepts or cultures that are unacceptable to us...Insults against the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, are not acceptable. We will not allow anyone to do this by word or by deed." And exactly how will they "not allow" it? Here's a clue. While running for president of Egypt, Morsi said this: "The Quran is our Constitution. The Prophet Muhammad is our leader. Jihad is our path. And death for the sake of Allah is our most lofty aspiration." So, prevent insults by causing deaths?

* The President of Yemen had this to say: "...there should be limits for the freedom of expression, especially if such freedom blasphemes the beliefs of nations and defames their figures." So, maybe we should outlaw criticism of the leaders of these countries too? The President of Pakistan also said he wanted to see "incitement of hate" against Islam criminalized. Said the Secretary General of the Arab League: "If the international community has criminalized bodily harm, it must just as well criminalize psychological and spiritual harm." (All quotes from the 9/27/12 New York Times.)

* In his 2009 speech to the Muslim world from Cairo, Obama said that "Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance." When? Certainly not now. How come hundreds of thousands of Christians left Iraq? How come 100,000 Christians have left Egypt? How come Lebanon went from being a majority Christian country to an Islamic country? And why have Christians by the thousands left Gaza and the West Bank? How come you cannot even bring a bible into Saudi Arabia?

* You want to hear tolerance? Take a look at the Arab Muslim media. The highest ranking cleric in the Sunni Muslim world has referred to Jews as "the enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs." Morsi has concurred with that. This same cleric has called Jews "the scum of the earth." But they want to outlaw insults to Islam?

* Malmo, Sweden. It is Sweden's third largest city, with about 700 Jews but up to 100,000 Muslims, in this city of 300,000 people. In 2010 a group of Jews were attacked there by a group of Muslims. Earlier this year a Rabbi was assaulted. On 9/28/12, just a few days ago, there was an explosion at a Jewish Community Building. Malmo has been referred to as the "Baghdad" of Sweden with its increasing violence, explosions and murders, often caused by...take a guess.

* Think it is so much better here? At the Arab festival in Dearborn, Michigan, Christians holding Christian signs were attacked. They had bottles, stones, eggs and other objects thrown at them. A video showed kids from the festival participating in the assaults. The Police were not inclined to actually protect the Christians; instead they ordered them to leave.

* Meanwhile, the 9/27/12 Investor's Business Daily reports that the ACLU now has at least eight Muslims on its executive staff. What's the result of that? Jameel Jaffer heads the ACLU's Center for Democracy, and is friends with one Tariq Ramadan, grandson of the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ramadan was denied a visa in 2004 based upon claims that he raised funds for Hamas. Jaffer sued and got the ban lifted. Jaffer has lobbied the Justice department to remove CAIR and other front groups for Hamas and the Brotherhood removed from the blacklist of groups accused of raising money for terrorists. Jaffer has also tried to get suspected Muslim terrorists removed from the "no-fly" list. And Jaffer wants the Feds to stop freezing the assets of terrorist groups.

* I have said before that the failure to believe in free speech and freedom of religion presents a fundamental clash in values between the West and the Muslim world. And whether or not you agree with the opinions expressed in this blog, do you believe that these comments should be criminalized, because some may take them as an insult to Islam?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Middle East.

* Recently, the U.S. sponsored a Global Counter-terrorism Forum, which was held in Istanbul. The European Union and 29 other countries were invited. One country, with perhaps the greatest expertise in fighting terrorism, was not invited - Israel. According to a State Department official: "...We were concerned that if the central issue from the outset was whether or not Israel should be a member, that it would be difficult to pivot away from the politicized discussions happening at the U.N. and elsewhere." (Information and quote from an article by David Suissa in the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, 8/10-8/16/12.) In other words, let's not offend the Muslim countries who are invited. The actions by the U.S. lend credibility to the "boycott, divest and sanction" movement. After all, if the U.S. can boycott Israel, why can't every other country in the world? Worse, the Arab/Muslim world could read into this lack of invitation an agreement with one of their own beliefs: that the U.S. agrees that killing of innocent Israelis is not terrorism because Israel is an "occupying" power. But Obama has Israel's back, and he always stands by our allies, right?

* For a number of years the Organization of Islamic States has been trying to get a measure approved by the U.N. that would make it illegal in all member states to insult Islam. Clearly, such a measure conflicts with our First Amendment rights to free speech; a right which the courts have consistently held is not limited by the offensiveness of the speech. In fact, as the courts note, speech is often intended to provoke and even insult. But the U.S. would never agree to such a measure, right? Well, when Obama spoke to the Muslim world from Cairo in 2009, he said it was his responsibility to "fight against negative stereotypes of Islam." And Obama did write in "Audacity of Hope": "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction."

* According to the 9/14/12 Investor"s Business Daily, Hillary Clinton met with officials from various Muslim countries to discuss establishing "mechanisms" to fight "Islamophobia" in the U.S. and the West. According to the I.B.D., the Justice Department "has considered designating Islamophobia as a hate crime." I.B.D. also states that the FBI and Homeland Security have "purged thousands of counter-terrorism training materials that Muslim reviewers complained pushed "negative stereotypes" of Islam." Jihad will no longer be defined as "holy war." (Maybe defined as something that is Bush's fault?) TRADOC (which the I.B.D. says is the Army's elite training and doctrine command) has "scrubbed all classes dealing with radical Islam."

* So, was the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, killed on 9/11/12, and did riots break out at 20 U.S. embassies in the Muslim world, because Muslims were offended by a movie trailer for a movie entitled "Innocence of Muslims?" That was the claim that the Obama Administration was pushing for the better part of a week. Strictly coincidental that a group of heavily armed terrorists, on 9/11, knew the location of our ambassador, killed him and three others at our consulate in Benghazi and dragged the ambassador's body through the streets. Our Ambassador to the U.N., Susan Rice, said: "...this is not a case of protests directed at the United States writ large, or at U.S. policy; this is in response to a video that is offensive." Obama, in an election year, did not want to admit that his entire Mideast/Muslim policy was a failure. So, acting like it was all about a movie, and even though it was our first ambassador to be murdered in over 30 years, Obama headed off to yet another fund raiser in Las Vegas. (Just imagine what the mainstream media would have written had Bush gone off on a fund raiser after such an attack on American interests. Wait, they already did that when they complained that Bush sat for a few minutes with kids after the 9/11 attack. Then, the press complained that the Secret Service kept him from immediately returning to Washington. But Obama - "Hey, good luck in Vegas Barack!")

* No, the media was upset that Mitt Romney complained that U.S. embassy officials in Cairo criticized the film trailer, instead of standing up for the First Amendment. Said our Secretary of State: "The U.S. Government had absolutely nothing to do with this video. We absolutely reject it's content and message." Said Obama: "We reject all efforts to denigrate the beliefs of others." Now, Obama and Clinton also it made it clear that there was still no justification for violence. But they once again passed on a teachable moment. They should have spent NO time criticizing the film and filmmaker. They should have spent all their time explaining why we have a First Amendment, that it contains two rights Americans hold most dear - freedom of speech and freedom to practice one's religion. They should have made it clear that speech often offends, but that comes as the price of having a free society; and that countries that do not respect these "fundamental" rights could not be expected to receive our financial aid. They should have made it clear that we have "fundamental" disagreements with countries that do not honor and respect these rights.

* Now, we have a Pakistani Minister offering $100,000 of his own money for the murder of the film's producer; suggesting that the Taliban or Al Qaeda should murder the producer. (The Pakistani Government has distanced itself from that Minister and his threat.) Will our President speak out against that minister? Does he now understand that he never should have criticized the filmmaker, or distanced the government from that individual? And if the producer is assassinated, especially if on U.S. soil, what will he do? This is why the principle must ALWAYS be the focus of what his Administration says.

* Israeli P.M. asked for a meeting with Obama this month. Netanyahu has been pushing the Obama Administration to set clear "red lines" which, if crossed by Iran, would result in military action by the U.S. Obama has refused - both the red lines and any meeting with Netanyahu. Between the Europeans, and now the U.S., the West has been negotiating with Iran over their nuclear program for almost a decade. Iran has inched ever closer to building a bomb, and may be there in a matter of months. As noted before, Obama must act in this country's interest - not Israel's or any other country's. What is unclear to this writer is why it is not in our interests to stop the Iranians from getting a nuke. An Iranian nuke threatens regional and world stability; with a nuke Iran can threaten to cut off Mideast oil supplies; they could commit yet another Holocaust of the Jewish people by bombing our ally Israel; and, they could give a suitcase nuke to some terrorists they support, who might then bring it here.

* We were told that Obama's schedule was too full to meet with Netanyahu. Thankfully, he did have time to go on the Letterman show; following that fundraiser in Vegas. The 9/18/12 I.B.D. reports that "Obama has skipped more than half of his intelligence briefings." What - has anything big been happening in the world lately? Hmmm - unemployment remains over 8%, our debt now exceeds $16 trillion, and an ambassador and three other Americans were just murdered, with rioting at 20 U.S. embassies. No, nothing big.

* Remember when Obama was caught on an open mic talking to Russian President Medvedev; telling him he would have more "flexibility" after the U.S. election? Flexibility to do what? Now, the I.B.D. is reporting that there has been pressure from the the new Egyptian President, and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohammed Morsi, to release the blind Sheik from U.S. prison. This Sheik was instrumental in the first attack on the World Trade Center, during Clinton's Presidency. According to the I.B.D., Congressman Peter King, Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, reports that his staff was approached by federal agents complaining about the Sheik's possible release. Of course, the release would not occur until after the election, and would be on "humanitarian" grounds. After killing six people, injuring over a thousand, and causing over half a billion dollars in damage, the real question is why this Sheik did not receive the death penalty. There is no question that he should not be released.

* What will Egypt promise in return? Next time they will try to protect our embassy? Reports have since come out that the Brotherhood actually encouraged the attack on our embassy in Cairo in order to help facilitate the release of the Sheik. Morsi has also told the Obama administration that prior administrations "have taken a very clear biased approach against something that (has) very strong ties to the people of the region - that is the issue of Palestine." So exactly what did Egypt do for the "palestinians" when they controlled Gaza from 1948 through 1967? Nothing.

* If Obama wins reelection will he really have Israel's back? He will not have to worry about the pro-Israel members of his party in Congress. He can safely ignore any pressure from them to protect Israel. He will not have to worry about the "Jewish vote." But, maybe he has already told Morsi that after the election he will have more "flexibility" to deal with the creation of a palestinian state. And he can tell Israel that they can pound dirt because he will not be getting involved militarily with Iran. Oh wait, he already did that through his Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. General Martin Dempsey recently said that the U.S. will not be "complicit" in any Israeli attack on Iran. If Obama wins we'll know all too soon whose back he really has.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why the Democrats Hate Republicans, But Feel So Good About Themselves.

* I was recently asked for my opinion on why there seems to be more hostility and bitterness than ever before between the two parties. While I accept that there is a great deal of bitterness, the truth is that most of it emanates from the left/democrats and is directed at the right/republicans. The issue, then, is why the increased hostility? The answer is fairly straightforward: the democrats and republicans no longer share the same fundamental values. When there is agreement on the basics, then differences over particular issues are not as intense; as both sides feel they are still on the same team. But the left no longer shares the fundamental American values. (It was Obama who said that he wanted to bring "fundamental" change to this country.)

* If you have not had the opportunity to do so, look at the last posting entitled "Why I Am No Longer a Democrat." The comments by the various democrat mayors quoted reflects that they no longer believe in free speech if it opposes their viewpoint; they no longer believe in freedom of religion if it is contrary to their viewpoint; they no longer believe business people who disagree with them have the right to make a living. When Dan Cathy, the CEO of Chick-fil-A, said he believed in traditional marriage, the democrats did NOT say (a quote generally credited to Voltaire): "I disagree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it." The reason is that the democrats are solely issue-oriented. Whatever the issue - gay marriage, abortion, immigration - trumps the fundamentals of free speech or freedom of religion or other fundamental American values. The democrats do NOT believe that there can be an honest, good-faith disagreement on any of their issues. Those who disagree are labeled racists, bigots, ignorant, or haters, and on and on it goes. The main stream media joins in with the labeling. Once you have put those kinds of labels on your opposition it becomes difficult to give any respect to their opinions. In fact, it becomes difficult to respect them as fellow human beings. Hence, the hatred.

* A few examples. It was Obama who disrespected those whom he said "cling to their guns and religion" and dislike people not like them. (Who dislikes whom?) It was Obama who said: "The Republican plan...boils down to this...Dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance." Biden, speaking to an audience with a large number of blacks, said Republicans are going to "put y'all back in chains." Maxine Waters: "And as far as I'm concerned, the Tea Party can go straight to Hell." Former Rep. Alan Grayson, in reference to Fox News: "It is a threat to this country." Wanda Sykes: "(Rush Limbaugh) just wants the country to fail...I hope his kidneys fail." Cher recently expressed that she hoped Rep. Todd Akin would "get raped by a man with HIV/AIDS." (Akin recently made the ridiculous comment about "legitimate" rape, and that a woman's body can prevent a pregnancy in those cases. He immediately apologized, but the penalty for offending the left is, apparently, death. Something they seem to have in common with radical Muslims.) And my personal favorite, in terms of the venomous hatred for anyone daring to hold a contrary viewpoint, comes from Ellen Barkin, expressing her wish that Hurricane Isaac would "wash every pro-life, anti-education, anti-women, xenophobic, gay-bashing racist SOB right into the ocean."

* So maybe the democrats have given up on being the party of "tolerance." But aren't they still the compassionate party? Aren't they the party that cares about the average working guy? After all, it was the then head of the Democratic National Committee, Howard Dean, who said: "Our moral values, in contradistinction to the Republicans', is we don't think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night." And that sentence, my friends, pretty well sums up why so many vote democrat. They believe that they are being "compassionate." And because those same people let their beliefs dictate their reality, it does not matter to them that Republican policies are the ones that better protect the average person.

* Case in point. Is it more compassionate to provide welfare and food stamps, or a job? Which has a better chance of feeding hungry children: a parent with a good paying job, or welfare and food stamps? According to the Department of Labor, states with Republican Governors have, on average, a 7.6% unemployment rate. Those with Democrat Governors average 8.8% unemployment. When VA Governor Bob McDonnell spoke at the Republican convention he noted that 12 of the 15 states ranked best for doing business in were Republican lead. The bottom three states: Democrat lead and high unemployment (Illinois, 8.9% unemployment, New York, 9.1% unemployment, and California, with 10.7% unemployment). But Governor McDonnell cut spending, did not raise taxes, yet managed to balance the state budget, lower unemployment to 5.9%, and improve his state's standing in the best places to do business to 6th place. Oh, he was even able to create a budget SURPLUS of $448.5 million.

* But Governor McDonnell is not alone. Other Republican governors have obtained similar results: Scott Walker in Wisconsin, Chris Christie in New Jersey, John Kasich in Ohio, Mitch Daniels in Indiana, to name just a few. But the Democrat Governor of California, Jerry Brown, wants to pass a November ballot measure that will significantly raise taxes. It is hard to see where the compassion is for so many people out of work - when the Governor wants to raise the sales taxes on items they buy.

* But lowering taxes and balancing the budget and improving the business climate with resultant lower unemployment is not Obama's way. That is not the Democrat way. After all, it was Obama who said that after you've made a certain amount of money, he thinks you've made enough. It is Obama who creates class warfare by criticizing those who have achieved what used to be called the "American Dream" - success and wealth. Who thinks a society is healthier when it creates millions upon millions of people dependent upon government handouts? (According to the 8/15/12 Investor's Business Daily, we now have over 1/3 of Americans receiving some government welfare, not counting Medicare or Social Security.) Who thinks a society is healthier when the government plays a smaller role with less taxes and less regulations, and allows businesses large and small to thrive?

* There was an interesting piece on from 8/20/12. A study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy found that states with greater religious participation, such as the South, tended to give a greater percent of their discretionary income to charity. The Northeast, with the lowest religious participation, was also the least generous in charitable giving. (The South tends toward Republican and the Northeast Democrat. But we already know that Republicans give more to charity.) The part I found to be particularly interesting was a comment by a Boston College professor, apparently defending his less than generous Northeast. He said that people in the less religious states give in a "different" way. How? They are more willing to pay higher taxes so the government can equitably distribute more to the poor. And that is how Democrats convince themselves that they are compassionate: by taking other peoples' money and redistributing it around. I would bet these same democrats do not voluntarily pay more than the law requires in taxes. No, their generosity consists of taking other peoples' money. I would also bet that the religious who live in the higher tax states give more of their after-tax income to charity than the liberal, non-religious.

* You see, the real difference between the "compassionate" Obama/today's Democrats and Republicans is this: Obama does not care if his policies bring everyone down to a lower standard of living, as long as it is more "equal." Republicans want to see an ever expanding economy with everyone having the "opportunity" to succeed, to become a millionaire, or even become the next Bill Gates. So, ending where I started, this basic American value of having the freedom to succeed economically and even amass huge wealth, is no longer shared by the Democrats. Unless American values are again taught in our schools and universities, the long term future for freedom and liberty in this country will be very much in doubt.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Why I Am No Longer a Democrat.

* The Chick-Fil-A controversy. The company is a family owned business and its' president, Dan Cathy, said that he believes in the biblical definition of marriage as being between one man and one woman. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, a Democrat, said: "Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values." I suppose that means the right to free speech and religious freedom, as given in the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, are not Chicago values. Chicago Alderman Proco "Joe" Moreno, another Democrat, indicated he would block Chick-fil-A's efforts to open a store in his ward. So, the right to run a business and make a living are also not Chicago values apparently.

Moreno said: "Because of this man's (Cathy) ignorance, I will now be denying Chick-fil-A's permit to open a restaurant in the 1st Ward." The "ignorance" he refers to arises out of the Judeo-Christian bibles, defining marriage as between a man and a woman. Judeo-Christian values are also not Chicago values. Said Mayor Edwin Lee, a Democrat, of San Francisco: "The closest Chick-fil-A to San Francisco is 40 miles away and I strongly recommend that they not try to come any closer." So now we get to threaten businesses if they do not meet our political litmus-test. There's a value. Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray, a Democrat, referred to Chick-fil-A chicken as "hate chicken." (I don't really know the chickens' opinions on gay marriage, but that's another matter.)

Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, yet another Democrat, said: "There is no place for discrimination on Boston's Freedom Trail and no place for your company alongside it." So, the Founders then did NOT believe in the First Amendment? I wonder how it ended up in the Constitution. When American soldiers fight and die for this country they are doing so for freedom and liberty for ALL Americans, not just those who are Democrats.

So what's going on here with these Democrats? The "values" that they are expressing are essentially fascist values. The sad part is that they and their party have moved so far to the left, that they often express, as above, completely non-democratic values. The Left also uses language to support their demonization of those opposed to them. Therefore, instead of "gay marriage" they talk about "marriage equality." So, if you are opposed to "equality" you must be evil, ignorant,etc. Hence, the verbal attacks and even threats. (This is analagous to those on the left not using the word "abortion" but, rather, "a woman's right to choose.") Of course, they do make exceptions for their friends and allies. In 2008, candidate for president Barack Obama said: "I believe that marriage is the union between a man and a woman. Now, for me as a is also a sacred union." This comment, expressed on national TV, did not prevent Mr. Emanuel from accepting the job of Chief of Staff to the President. Nor did Mr. Emanuel express any concerns at the time about the President's "values."

Not a single one of these democrats was able to demonstrate that Chick-fil-A discriminated against gays in hiring, or in denying of service. But here's a question: if a Muslim owned restaurant opened in their city and it was run by a devout Muslim who did not believe in gay marriage, what do you think you would hear from these Mayors? Silence. The same silence you hear from them about the real mistreatment of gays that occurs throughout the muslim world.

* Who plays the race/ethnic card? In one of the more racist, elitist and otherwise arrogant comments by an elected official, Senator Harry Reid, the Majority Leader of the U.S. Senate, and a Democrat, said this on 8/10/11: "I don't know how anyone of Hispanic heritage could be a Republican. Do I need to say more?" Yes, Senator, you do. First, an apology to Republican Hispanics would be nice. Second, it is exactly this type of thinking by my former party that I find so incredibly distasteful. If you are Hispanic you must be a Democrat? Why? Because the Democrats will give you more handouts at taxpayers' expense? What about those Hispanics, and there are many, who believe in hard work and the freedom and opportunity to succeed on their own? What about people who don't just want a handout? Need I say more, Senator Reid?

Not to be outdone by Senator Reid, however, is the head of the Democratic National Committee, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. Obviously a Democrat. Ms. Schultz: "There is nothing, and I mean nothing, in the Republicans' right wing agenda that appeals to the American Jewish Community." So, again, if you are a Jew (like Hispanics) you must be a Democrat. Must I? Really? If I thought she would read it, I would send her the link to this blog and she could see what this Jew finds more appealing from the Right than the Left. But let's be honest. Even if she read the blog, she would say that I just did not know what was best for me. This idea of "group-think" is another distasteful idea promulgated by...that's right...Democrats.

It is precisely this type of thinking that leads Democrats to demonize any minority group member who happens to be a Republican. They trashed Justice Clarence Thomas, a black man, for having conservative views. Larry Elder, a black radio talk show host has been called all sorts of horrendous names by black Democrat callers. And the Democrats will trash Senator Marco Rubio, a Hispanic, if Romney picks him as his running mate.

* Is that your business or Obama's? By now, most people have heard President Obama, a Democrat, say: "If you've got a business - you didn't build that. Somebody else made that happen." He later explained that he was referring to the bridges and roads throughout the country that enable businesses to operate. He had also mentioned having a great teacher to help you. This was after-the-fact nonsense. Here's the proof. Obama had already said: "I'm always struck by people who think, well, it must be because I was just so smart. There are a lot of smart people out there. It must be because I worked harder than everybody else. Let me tell you something - there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there." This is nothing other than collectivist thinking, which comes as no shock to those of us paying attention during the last election when Obama said: "it's a good idea to spread the wealth around."

When he said "somebody" helped to build the American system that allows business to thrive, he is correct. But it was the American citizen and taxpayer, often that "self-made" businessman, who did that. And maybe more often, it was private companies building roads and railways and airlines. But don't tell me everyone created Microsoft. Or Apple. Or any number of other businesses, large and small. Yes, there are plenty of smart and hardworking people out there. But it takes more than smarts and hard work, it involves a willingness to take a risk, often with one's own money, to make for a successful business. I know when I work long hours at night or on the weekend no one is there helping me or sitting next to me. (Well, maybe the IRS looking for their cut, but that's a different matter.) So don't tell business people they didn't build their business. Of course they did. And often they do it notwithstanding all the tax and regulatory burdens placed on them.

* Here's the real bottom line for Obama and the Democrats - since you didn't build it, you have no right to keep the proceeds from it. After all, there are other smart people out there. There are other hard-working people out there. Why should millionaires and billionaires get to keep money they didn't really earn? And THAT is how Obama and today's Democrats see the world. Doubt me? Then how about this recent line from Obama in reference to an across the board extension of what's referred to as the "Bush-era tax cuts" - we cannot afford "another trillion-dollar giveaway for millionaires." In other words, the government would be "giving away" a trillion dollars to these wealthy Americans if they don't raise their taxes and take that money away! Except that's backwards from American notions of freedom - if you earned the money, THEN IT'S YOUR MONEY. It is in no sense a giveaway of money that the government neither owns nor has a right to own. Unless, of course, you are Obama or a modern day Democrat, people who have adopted the type of collectivist mentality that was always considered to be antithetical to American values.

And it is, in part, for all of the Democrat viewpoints expressed above that I am no longer a Democrat. For those of you who are Democrats, and if you agree with these leaders of your party, do you at least acknowledge that freedom and liberty and the Constitution have been replaced by other values?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

It's the Economy, Stupid.

* The June jobs report came out and showed that the economy created only 80,000 new jobs. The second quarter averaged only 75,000 new jobs per month, generally considered to be rather lackluster (pathetic actually) by economists on all sides. Unemployment remained at 8.2%; although if you count those who have given up looking it is as high as 14.9%. (Per the Investor's Business Daily, 7/12/12, citing the Labor Dept. numbers.) Unemployment has remained over 8% for the last 3 1/2 years - not coincidentally the same length of time that Obama has been President. Obama proudly proclaims that the private sector has grown 4.4 million jobs while he has been President. But when Reagan inherited a worse economy and worse unemployment numbers, the economy grew 9.5 million jobs. And it did so with a smaller population. (Data from 7/9/12 IBD.) Obama initially said the 80,000 number was a "step in the right direction." He did not repeat that claim. But DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz said she was "pretty happy" with the economy. And Obama's lead economic adviser Alan Krueger claimed that the economy is "continuing to heal."

* Remember when Obama said if he did not get the unemployment rate under 8% he did not deserve to be reelected? No wonder he's not talking about the economy. Nor is he talking about Obamacare, the highly unpopular bill that turned out to be one of the largest tax increases. Instead, he is making up stories about Romney and Bain Capital. I say making up because the liberal Washington Post has a fact checker which says most (if not all) of the Obama campaign's allegations are WRONG! This does not deter either Obama or his campaign from repeating the same falsehoods. It's the old Big Lie theory - say it loud enough and often enough and a whole bunch of people will believe it.

* As we know, Obama wants to let what are referred to as the Bush era tax cuts expire at the end of this year. This will result in an increase in your income taxes, capital gains taxes, dividend taxes and estate taxes. According to the lead editorial in the 7/9/12 Wall Street Journal, Congress's Joint Committee on Taxation reported that 53% of the tax increases will come from business. As the Journal notes: "Those are the businesses that aren't hiring people (already) as they wait out the tax and other policy uncertainties." But let me explain once again: Obama and the left do not care about the actual impact their policies have on people. They just care about the ideology.

* Disagree? Then explain the following. In a 2008 interview with Charles Gibson at ABC, Obama was asked why he would raise the capital gains tax when, historically, a raise in the rates has resulted in less revenue to the government. Obama: "Well, Charlie, what I've said is that I would look at raising the capital gains tax for purposes of fairness." Again, the ideology over outcome. Still doubt it? One of Obama's close advisers, Andy Stern of the Service Employees International Union, said this: "I think Western Europe...has made different trade-offs which may have ended up with a little more unemployment but a lot more equality." A "little" more unemployment is when some other guy is unemployed. Try telling someone who has lost their job, their home, and their ability to take care of their family, that at least the wealthy are paying more than they already do in taxes. I'm sure that will make the unemployed happy. Again, ideology over results. One last example. When the country was debating Obamacare the LA Times had an article about the Canadian government run healthcare system. They interviewed a doctor who acknowledged that there were long waits, and perhaps lesser care, but he justified it by saying it was, at least, more "equal." Again, ideology over results.

* You still doubt it? Then tell me why liberals cannot stand Republican Governors like Mitch Daniels in Indiana and Scott Walker in Wisconsin, along with various other Republican governors, all of whom have turned around their states' economies. Lower unemployment because of lower taxes and less regulation. Deficits reduced or eliminated. Business moving in. After all, these governors inherited the same "Bush-era" economy that Obama blames everything on. Here's why liberals do not like these Republican governors - liberals do NOT care about results, just their ideology. The fact that Republican policies have benefited people in states with Republican governors is of no import. But the liberals in California will continue to vote in Democrats, notwithstanding cities going bankrupt, and the state being on the brink.

* Speaking of which, San Bernardino is the latest city to decide to file for bankruptcy protection. As noted by the 7/11/12 LA Times, part of the City's problems are "escalating pension costs (and) lucrative labor agreements." These ridiculously high public employee salaries and pensions are given to the unions as a reward by democrats, who receive much in the way of campaign contributions from these same unions. If you want fiscal solvency in your governmental entities, then you need to do what the Republican governors have been doing vis-a vis these unions. Or, if you care more about ideology than results, you can keep voting for more democrats.

* In the 7/6/12 LA Times was a report that retail sales grew only 0.1% in June. The Times notes that this was "the worst monthly showing since August, 2009." Hardly surprising. More people out of work means less people buying. Less people buying means stores will often have to lay off even more people. In a related story, the 7/7/12 LA Times lead business section headline was: "Engine of job growth sputtering." They quote one Chris Christopher, senior principal economist at IHS Global Insight: "There is no reason for small businesses to do well in this environment." Generally, small businesses are the drivers of job growth. The article goes to say that "about 30% of companies plan to reduce the number of employees in the next year, 48% plan to stay at the same level, and only 21% plan to hire new workers." Many businesses have said they have the money to hire, but will not do so until they see what is going to happen with all the new taxes (especially if the "Bush tax cuts" expire), and new taxes and regs under Obamacare. At a time when Obama should have been trying to stimulate the economy with tax cuts and less regulation, he instead spent two years getting Obamacare passed. The "ideology" of equality in healthcare over the negative impact on the economy, and over what will eventually be a negative impact on healthcare in this country.

* But some numbers are up. An increasing number of people are on Social Security Disability. Also way up are the number of people receiving food stamps (although the program is now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program). According to the 7/5/12 USA Today the number of people on food stamps has skyrocketed to 46 million people as of April,2012. The USA Today notes that that means one in every seven Americans is on food stamps. Obama has no problem with these numbers - he buys votes with government handouts. The democrats are used to this approach (see above about public employee unions).

* So, we the people have a very real choice in this election. If you prefer things as they are, and do not mind if they get worse, so long as the wealthy pay more in taxes, then vote for Obama. Although maybe you can tell me why the top 10% paying 70% of the federal income taxes, with the bottom 50% paying no taxes is not fair enough. If, however, you prefer job growth, lower budget deficits, and less taxes then vote for Romney. If you are on the fence do yourself a favor. Look at how states run by Republican governors are doing compared to those run by Democrats. Do not let your beliefs (ideology) win out over results (reality).

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Obamacare Upheld Under a Flimsy - and Dangerous - Theory.

In my posting of 4/15/12, entitled "Obamacare at the Supreme Court," I suggested that Chief Justice John Roberts might join an already existing majority in order to be able to assign the writing of the opinion to himself; allowing him to make the decision "as broad or as limited as the Chief wants." Admittedly, I did not anticipate that the Chief would end up being the deciding vote to uphold Obamacare, especially given the fact that four Justices were prepared to throw out the entire law. The liberal media, highly critical of Roberts to date, was gushing with praise for his "courageous" vote.

So what happened? It is not unusual for Courts to look for ways to uphold the constitutionality of statutes passed by Congress. Here, Roberts ruled that the "individual mandate" could not be upheld as an exercise of the interstate commerce clause, as was argued before the Court. Rather, Roberts deemed the requirement to buy insurance as not being mandatory; a failure to do so merely meant that one was obligated to pay a sum of money to the IRS. Obama insisted it was not a tax; Congress in the legislation expressly stated in numerous places that it was a "penalty" for failing to buy insurance. But, according to Roberts, Congress anticipated that many people (up to 4 million) would not buy insurance; and Congress did not intend to make all those people "outlaws." Rather, according to Roberts, Congress was giving the people the option of buying insurance or paying a tax.

Undoubtedly, Roberts believed he was limiting the power of Congress by expressly stating that the mandate could not be upheld under the commerce clause. Said Roberts: "Allowing Congress to justify federal regulation by pointing to the effect of inaction on commerce would bring countless decisions an individual could potentially make within the scope of federal regulation, and - under the government's theory - empower Congress to make those decisions for him." In this writer's opinion, Roberts was wrong both in considering the penalty to be a "tax," and in thinking that he was limiting the power of the federal government.

If this is a tax, it is the first of its kind. Roberts argued that Congress was merely encouraging people to buy insurance, otherwise they would have to pay a "tax." Roberts: "Congress's use of the taxing clause to encourage buying something is...not new." He pointed to tax incentives to buy homes and get a professional education. However, a "deduction" for buying a home, gives one a tax break. While not buying a home will mean not having that deduction, and likely a higher tax rate, we understand that not qualifying for a deduction is not the same as a tax. As the dissent said: "Taxes have never been popular...they must originate in the legislative body most accountable to the people, where legislators must weigh the need for the tax against the terrible price they might pay at the next election, which is never more than two years off."

The dissent continued: "We have no doubt that Congress knew precisely what it was doing when it rejected an earlier version of this legislation that imposed a tax instead of a requirement-with-penalty." Given the fact that Congress had the option to make it a "tax" and declined, meant that Roberts was not simply interpreting the statute - he was rewriting it. Besides, think of all the various taxes that you and I pay. Generally, we are taxed any time money changes hands (like the mob getting their "cut"). An employer pays an employee - taxed. Purchase of a good or service - taxed. We are also taxed for owning real or personal property, and investment property (stocks, some bonds). But under Roberts' decision, you can now be "taxed" for inaction - not buying the insurance. Again, completely different than giving a deduction for those who do buy the insurance.

Which leads me to my next point. If Congress can now tax us for failing to buy a product, how can that power in any sense be considered less all-encompassing than Congress' power under the commerce clause. Roberts tries to limit that power when he says: "Everyone will likely participate in the markets for food, clothing, transportation, shelter, or energy; that does not authorize Congress to direct them to purchase particular products in those or other markets today." Is he kidding? Of course it does! Congress already dictates fuel efficiency in cars. Why can't they order us all to buy small cars or hybrids - or pay a "tax" for failing to do so. Through the Food and Drug Administration the feds dictate certain requirements in food products and labeling. So what's to stop them from telling us we must buy certain food products - or pay a "tax." Given how many areas of life Congress has in some way regulated, there is no apparent limit on what Congress can order us to do - or pay a "tax" if we don't.

The outcome of all this is that the Court has now legitimized the lies of the Congress and the President when they repeatedly insisted that this was not a tax. Roberts thought it was more important to uphold the law under any theory imaginable, rather than insist on the integrity of our elected officials. We already know that politicians lie; now we know that the Court has sanctioned those lies. Said Roberts: "It is not our job to protect the people from the consequences of their political choices." Maybe not, but wouldn't it be nice if one branch of government insisted on truthfulness and integrity in our officials.

A side issue rarely commented on, is that Obamacare does not require illegal aliens to purchase the insurance. Nevertheless, they cannot legally be turned away from any emergency room. Maybe someone can explain to me why someone here illegally gets all the benefits but none of the obligations. If the estimate is between 10 and 20 million illegals in the country, why isn't it important for them to have insurance? Wasn't Obamacare intended to cover ALL the uninsured?

The only good news is that Obama now has to run for reelection after having signed into law (Obamacare) the biggest tax increase in our country's history; and having done so during one of our worst economic downturns. Not surprisingly, the White House still will not call the refusal to buy insurance a "tax." Said Press Secretary Jay Carney: "It's a penalty, because you have a choice. You don't have a choice to pay your taxes, right?"

It should be quite clear to all now that there is not a single branch of the federal government that will protect your economic liberty. You have only that liberty that a Congress and President will allow you to have; there are no Constitutional restraints. As noted by various commentators, this decision makes the upcoming November election more important than ever. Do not think for one minute that this President and Reid and Pelosi do not understand the virtually limitless power that Roberts has handed to them. If the democrats retake the House, you can count on them to address their social equality agenda by "giving you the option" (as Roberts would say) of buying a certain good or service - or paying a tax. Even if you like Obamacare, you may not like what the next Congress decides to order you to buy - or pay a "tax."