Wednesday, December 25, 2013

The Meaning of Christmas

* As a Jew, I certainly do not mean to be presumptuous about this topic. However, an editorial in today's New York Times has prompted this post. The editorial is rather short, and is entitled "This Day of Good Cheer."

* Said the editorial writers of the Times: "Christmas is, for many of us, our only glimpse of what tradition really means. Our lives are, by and large, not the least bit traditional. If it feels sometimes as though Christmas is another country, that's because it is." I have absolutely no idea what that last sentence even means. Is the idea of Christmas now so alien to the New York Times, so passe, that it no longer fits with their view of today's America?

* As for the lack of tradition, I assume the Times is referring, at least in part, to their favorite news topic - gay marriage. No surprise that today's edition has yet another front page story on gay marriage, entitled: "Indiana Finds It's Not So Easy To Buck Gay Marriage Trend." Nor does the Times much care for the tradition regarding the sanctity of human life. And they seem to be more enamored with socialism than that outdated, traditional concept of capitalism. As for G-d and religion in the public square? Not a chance.

* The Times editorial continues with: "There is no need to draw a lesson from Christmas. Life offers lessons aplenty." So much for what the New York Times thinks of Christmas. You know, maybe some people need a lesson still, about things like "peace on earth, good will to their fellow man." News item today: two bombs exploded in Iraq, with the aim of killing Christians. One exploded near a church and killed at least 26, and wounded 38. Another exploded in an outdoor market in a Christian section of a town, killing 11 and wounding 21. Think the perpetrators might do well to take a lesson from Christmas?

* I, for one, prefer one of the "traditional" messages as stated in an 1897 New York Sun editorial, in reply to a letter from young Virginia O'Hanlon. It read, in part, as follows: "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy." Perhaps we can bring back the Sun and have it replace the Times.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A Difference in Values

* I recently repeated my assertion that Republicans and Democrats in Congress can rarely reach compromise because they no longer share the same fundamental values. When the two sides understand that they share the same basic values, it is far easier to then reach agreement on specific issues. I further indicated that the liberal/Democrat position had moved so far to the left, and so far away from basic American values, that the problem was mostly the result of Democrat radicalism. Needless to say, the liberals hearing my opinion objected. So let's take a look.

* The Pew Research Center did an extensive poll of Americans in April, 2012 regarding their values. One question asked was why people are poor; was it due to "circumstance" or "lack of effort." Republicans answered 28% due to circumstance and 57% due to lack of effort. However, 61% of Democrats said circumstance was to blame, versus 24% who blamed lack of effort. This belief reflects the underlying belief of those on the left that people are mostly "victims" of something or other. This belief also helps to explain the results of a Gallup Poll reported in November, 2012. Asked if they had a favorable view of socialism, 53% of Democrats/and those leaning Democrat did, but only 23% of Republicans/and those leaning Republican did. For a majority of Democrats it just does not matter that the US system of capitalism has created more wealth for more people than any other country in the history of the world. Facts just do not matter. Ideology is what counts.

* It also then follows that Democrats are more likely to have a favorable view of the federal government than do Republicans: 75% to 27%. (From the Gallup poll.) After all, if people are victims of "circumstance," then the government needs to step in and take care of them. It also follows that Democrats are more likely than Republicans to favor "preferential" treatment of minorities, and they do by 52% to 12%. Again, minorities are viewed as "victims." (From the Pew Research Center poll.)

* Prior to the 2012 election people were asked if government does more harm than good. It comes as no surprise that 85% of likely Romney voters agreed, compared to only 32% of likely Obama voters. With Obamacare still a big issue for the public, 91% of likely Romney voters said government was becoming too involved in healthcare, compared to only 29% of likely Obama voters. When broken down by party, 88% of Republicans agreed government was too involved in healthcare, compared to 37% of Democrats. (From the Pew Research Center.)

* People were asked, once government does get involved, is it usually inefficient and wasteful. A full 77% of Republicans agreed with that assertion, compared to only 41% of Democrats. Even Independents agreed with 63% in the affirmative.

* One interesting self-assessment asked people if they had "old-fashioned" values. A full 88% of Republicans said they did, whereas only 60% of Democrats agreed. Of significance, however, is the fact that 86% of Democrats agreed only 16 years ago, in 1987. (Data from the Pew Research poll.) Such a large shift, while stunning, is also not surprising to anyone paying attention to how far the Democrats have moved to the left.

* With regards to foreign policy and the military, 73% of Republicans agreed that the best way to insure peace is through military strength. Such an opinion is, of course, consistent with the views of two prior Presidents: Democrat John Kennedy and Republican Ronald Reagan. However, only 44% of Democrats agreed with the proposition. (From the Pew Research poll.) Nearly 4 in 5 Republicans (77%) favor Israel over the Palestinians, compared to only 55% of Democrats. (From a Gallup poll.) I was pleased to see an increase in Democrats support for Israel. The prior poll numbers I saw had Democrats at only 49%.

* While many on the left have an unfavorable view of this country, that view is not shared by the rest of the world. In a Gallup poll of foreigners, 640 million people said they would like to move to another country. To which country? The USA came in first with 23%. Second was the UK - with only 7%. Canada was third with 6%. Many university professors would undoubtedly be shocked by the above numbers, as they regularly blame the US for all the ills in the world. One example is Hawaii professor Haunani-Kay Trask, who said this to her students: "We need to think very, very clearly about who the enemy is. The enemy is the United States of America and everyone who supports it."

* The evil of political correctness, begun by the left, has, under Obama, also infiltrated our military. According to the military manual used by its Equal Opportunity officers: "Simply put, a healthy, white, heterosexual, Christian male receives many unearned advantages of social privilege, whereas a black, homosexual, atheist female in poor health receives many unearned disadvantages of social privilege." Not only does the military do a tremendous disservice to those minorities; I suspect that liberals reading this will not even see any problem with it. At every turn, the left tells people they are victims, and the alleged "victims" then act accordingly.

* I am reminded of the inspiring movie "Stand and Deliver," in which math teacher Jaime Escalante tells his inner-city students just the opposite - that they are not victims. He tells them that they can take and pass the AP calculus exam. And that is exactly what they do. When minorities come from other countries they often become successful - because they have not been exposed to decades of hearing that they are victims, that the system is rigged against them, that only whites can succeed, and therefore they are unable to accomplish anything on their own. Yet, that evil message of victimhood is, ironically, the message that is regularly perpetrated by a black man elected to the highest office in the land - by a majority white country.

Sunday, November 24, 2013


* "If you like your healthcare plan you can keep it." Personally, I never bought into this lie for one minute; knowing that the true goal remained single payer. This lie was right up there with being able to insure 30 million more people - without it costing anybody anything. Or that your premiums would go down, even as insurers were required to have no policy limits, accept all preexisting conditions, and let your 'children' stay on your policy until age 26. I do not know how many people bought into these lies - right up until their policies were cancelled.

* Incredibly, only 52% now believe Obama to be a liar and untrustworthy, according to a recent poll. What is wrong with the rest of the population? There are those who still do not believe Obama to be a liar, even after NBC obtained memos from 2010 showing that up to 2/3 of those in the individual market would lose their coverage; and that in 2010 the White House predicted up to 80% of small business policies would be cancelled, along with up to 69% of employer provided group plans. Whereas the policy people in the White House argued for the President to speak the truth, the political advisers felt differently. So, Obama went with the political people because, as a good leftist ideologue, the ends justify the means; and the 'issue' trumps all other values, including the truth.

* Obama said, maybe dozens of times, "If you like your health care plan you can keep it. Period. No one will take it away from you." Here is more proof it was all a lie. After millions had their policies cancelled, Obama told another lie to cover up the lie about keeping your plan: What I said was you can keep your policy if no changes were made to it after the law's enactment. Jay Carney added this lie: "What the President that there are going to be changes brought about by the Affordable Care Act that create minimum standards of coverage." Uh - no! Obama never said any of that. There were no caveats to "You can keep your policy, period."

* Obama then took it to the next level by blaming insurance companies. But the insurers had no choice - the policies had to meet the law's minimum standards, even if it was for a type of coverage you do not need (maternity and newborn care, for example). So, Obama decided that everyone's policies that did not meet the law's requirements were "substandard." Not surprisingly, the mainstream media supported the President in his lies. Said the New York office of Pravda (you may know it as the New York Times), the President did not lie, he simply "misspoke." So, even after the memos showed Obama knew he was lying in 2010 and thereafter, and even when he subsequently claimed a caveat that he never mentioned, the Times says Obama "misspoke." Anybody still believe the trash published in this paper's editorials? The Times went on to say that the millions of policies that were cancelled were "substandard." That's exactly how Obama described those cancelled policies; which is not a surprise coming from a government controlled media outlet. Hence, the reference to Pravda.

* As one of those millions who had their policy cancelled, I can assure everyone that neither Obama nor the editorial writers of the Times asked to read my policy before describing it as "substandard." But why let facts interfere with the advocacy of the underlying issue. Again, the 'issue' over truth. The Washington Post, another Pravda branch, said Obama's comments "reflect how elected officials sometimes gloss over nuances." This same left wing media had no problem adopting the left wing lie of "Bush lied, people died." So they had no problem calling a President a liar, even though they had absolutely no proof of Bush lying. Nor was there any proof, when every major intelligence agency in the world, including Israel's Mossad, said Iraq was developing WMDs.

* Economist Christopher Conover at Duke University has predicted that 129 million Americans (of 189 million with their own health insurance) will lose their coverage after full implementation of the law. The Manhattan Institute predicts an average increase in insurance premiums of 41%. I wonder how many still believe the Affordable Care Act was about getting better healthcare for anyone. It was, and remains, all about government control. You think you know what's best for you and your family? You think you still live in a free society? Young people who do not need or want insurance will pay for those who need subsidies. Those who will still be able to pay for private policies will pay higher premiums, to help pay for those who need subsidies. This is, of course, nothing other than income redistribution. Obama told you he thought it was a good idea to 'spread the wealth around' during his first campaign. Why didn't some of you believe him?

* We know that many plans will give you fewer doctors from which you can select, resulting in longer waits to see your doctor. We know that many plans will have fewer hospitals in their network. Don't like the hospital you may have to use? Sorry, the government knows what's best for you. And what about the doctors? Think some will drop out? Likely. And those who do not? I think we can anticipate that the government will dictate that they must take Medicare and Medicaid/Medi-Cal patients, resulting in reduced income. After all, doctors are licensed by the government. You want that license? Then you will do what we tell you to do. Think this is far-fetched? It was already proposed in Massachusetts.

* And what about those thinking of entering medical school? Think they will want to incur $200,000. in student loans if they might never be able to pay off those loans? You see, there are any number of potential - and likely - negative consequences that will flow from Obamacare. Things like longer waits to see your doctor, and lesser quality of care. But when you are a leftist, you need not concern yourself with any of that. It 'feels good' to say we are covering more people; and if it 'feels good,' what else do you need to be concerned about? The other nice thing about being on the left is that you do not believe your laws have any actual consequences. But even if they do, and even if those consequences are negative, you can still take comfort in knowing that, somehow, Obamacare makes everything more 'equal.'

* With Thanksgiving only days away, the President wants you to discuss healthcare and insurance at your Thanksgiving dinner. No - really! Obama tweeted: "When your loved ones get together this holiday season, remember to talk to them about health insurance." His web site even tells you when to bring it up, how to bring it up, and why everyone needs to participate in the system. I hope even my liberal readers can see the totalitarian/communist nature of Chairman Obama's web site. Soon, they will want you to report anyone who refuses to buy insurance; and perhaps not too much thereafter, anyone who owns a gun. As I discussed in my analysis of the Supreme Court decision upholding Obamacare, the Court gave Congress virtually unlimited power to force you to do or buy whatever they want. If you wish to see that power exercised, then continue to vote for democrats.

Friday, November 1, 2013

An Allegory

* My son recently accompanied me to the local car dealer. Upon our arrival we were greeted by the dealer salesman (D.S.): "Hi, my name is Ron. How can we help you?"

* Me: "Well, it's time for me to get a new car, and I see the model I've been getting for years sitting right over there on the floor. I'm not really a car guy, so I usually get the basic version, with the power windows and brakes, of course, and air conditioning."
* D.S.: "Yes sir. That model would be just the one you are looking for. No extras beyond what you want."
* Me: "Great. I'll take it. Let's write it up."
* D.S.: "I'm sorry sir, that won't be possible. We don't sell that version anymore."
* Me: "What do you mean? It's sitting right there. So I'll take it."
* D.S. "Sir, we cannot sell you that model. Also, the manufacturer will be ceasing production of that model. Haven't you heard about ObamaCarcare?"
* Me: (with temper rising) "No. So I can't buy the car I always get anymore?"
* D.S.: "That's correct sir. But allow me to show you some of these other models. They have many more bells and whistles than the model you used to buy."
* Me: "I don't need bells and whistles. I just need a car."
* D.S.: "Sir, take a look at this one, please. It has a sun roof."
* Me: "I don't like sun roofs!"
* D.S. "It's also a six cylinder, unlike the four cylinder you're used to. And it has 300 horsepower instead of 200 on your model. Also, it has built in blue tooth and..."
* Me: (interrupting) : "Look, I neither need nor want all these extras. Are you telling me I have to buy one of these fancier models?"
* D.S.: "I'm afraid so, sir. ObamaCarcare requires it."
* Me: "Fine. How much will these fancier models cost me?"
* D.S. "Well, the model with the fewest bells and whistles will be $5000. more than your old model, and it goes up from there. But, we also give you a list of wonderful mechanics, who will take good care of your car."
* Me: "That's all right. I like my current mechanic just fine. I'm happy with his service and his rates are reasonable."
* D.S.: "Well, give me his name and I'll see if he is on the approved list of mechanics."
* Me: "No! I told you I'm happy with him!" (my anger is still rising.)
* D.S.: "Sir, I do not mean to belabor the point, but I'm not sure you've been keeping up with the news. Under ObamaCarcare, each car comes with its own list of approved mechanics and body shops. So, you really have no choice."

* While I stood there muttering obscenities under my breath, the salesman approached my son.
* D.S. "How about you young man? Are you in the market for a new car? And, if I may ask, how old are you?"
* Son: "Well, I'm 27 and in graduate school. So I really do not need a car as I take public transportation. Anyway, I could not afford one, being in school."
* D.S.: "That's a real shame. You see, now that you are 27, you will no longer be able to drive your Dad's car, even if he says it's okay. It's the law. And if you don't get a car, you will have to pay a fine."
* Son (now approaching my anger level): "What do you mean 'pay a fine?' Why would I have to pay a fine for not wanting a car!"
* D.S.: "I'm sorry to have upset the two of you. I'm just trying to inform you of what the law requires. The government wants everybody to buy a car. But some people cannot afford it. So young people like you, young man, who decide not to get a car, will have to pay a fine in order to help people who want to buy a car but cannot afford to do so. That's how it works."
* Son: "That's the biggest bunch of bull crap I ever heard. I should help someone else get a car when I won't have one! I won't do it!"
* D.S: "Maybe I should clarify. You won't be paying the fine to us. You pay it to the government. They then redistribute the money to make sure everyone can get a car. If you don't buy a car, and you don't pay the fine, you will be hearing from the IRS. Now, nobody wants that."
* Me: "You know what. I agree with my son. This is bull crap. I want to talk to someone in corporate management."
D.S.: "I can give you the number of Mr. Jones, our VP of West Coast operations. I can assure you, however, that he will tell you what I just told you."
* I took the phone number and we left.

* The next day I called the VP.
* Me: "I'd like to talk with Mr. Jones please."
* VP: "This is he. How can I help you?"
* Whereupon I recounted everything that occurred at the dealership.
* VP: "Well, what the salesman told you was correct. ObamaCarcare is the law of the land."
* Me: "But, you are going to lose me as a customer. I won't pay those prices for bells and whistles I won't use. Don't you care about losing customers? Why don't you do something?"
* VP: (in a whisper) "Sir, we really shouldn't be talking about this."
* Me: "Why shouldn't we? I said you're going to lose me as a customer! And why are you whispering?"
* VP: (still whispering) "You really do need to keep up with events, sir. I don't know who may be listening in on this conversation. For that matter, for all I know you may be a plant - just testing me."
* Me: "Testing you? What do you mean testing you? Testing you for what?"
* VP: (now barely audible) "You know who enforces ObamaCarcare, don't you? It's the IRS. The White House has made it clear to all the car manufacturers that they want no criticisms of ObamaCarcare. Frankly, sir, none of us wants the IRS breathing down our necks. Look what they did to the Tea Party and other critics of Obama during the last election. Look at Ben Carson, that poor doctor who made the mistake of criticizing the Affordable Care Act. You cannot reasonably expect any of us to take a public position."
* Me: (now steaming) "Isn't this still America? Don't we still have free speech? You know - the First Amendment."
* VP: "Good bye sir. Have a nice day."

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Debt Crisis and Other Leadership Failures

* The Government Shutdown. You would not know it from the mainstream media, but the Republicans in the House of Representatives were well within their rights in trying to defund Obamacare. Article I, Section 7 of the US Constitution reads as follows: "All bills for raising revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with amendments as on other bills." If the House chooses to not fund Obamacare, or the EPA or any other agency for that matter, they can simply pass a bill that provides for no funding for that particular law or agency. Some do not appreciate the genius of our Founding Fathers, who feared an overly powerful central government, and an even more powerful single authority - a President acting as King. The power of the Presidency is vast, and Congress has certainly in the past threatened to cut off, and has cut off, funding from a President.

* But some prefer a King, especially one whom they believe is on their side. has called on the Attorney General to "arrest Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Speaker of the House John Boehner and other decision-making House Republican leaders" because of their attempt to "extort the United States government into altering or abolishing the Affordable Care Act," in what they consider was an act of "seditious conspiracy." Now, one can argue that maybe they just do not understand the system of "checks and balances" created by the Founders. Unlikely. Rather, their position reflects a willingness to arrest and try the opposition, exactly as a totalitarian dictator would do. And they have the nerve to say that Republicans are "extreme."

* Perception is Reality. The mainstream media made it quite clear who they thought the bad guys were in this debt ceiling "crisis." Obama and Reid knew very well that the media would spin the debt ceiling battle according to Democrat policy. Much of the public adopts this false "perception," which then becomes their reality. Imagine, if you will, a different media. Imagine these headlines. "Obama again refuses to negotiate with Republicans." "While Bush invited the Congressional leadership to the White House within days of taking office, Obama waited 542 days to invite McConnell." "Once again, Obama seems oblivious to the ever growing threat to our economy and credit rating by asking for greater debt." "Greece, here we come." "Democrats are like children in a toy store, unable to control their spending." "Unlike Reagan, who met regularly with Tip O'Neill to reach a consensus, Obama tells Republicans 'It's my way or the highway.'" Create a different spin and create a different perception.

* It is unlikely that you would have read anything accurate in the mainstream media about the government shutdown, or the consequences of not reaching an agreement by last Thursday night. If no deal had been reached, there were no debt payments due for another couple of weeks. If no deal had been reached, the government would still take in more than enough money to pay the interest on the debt. The real issue is that they would have had to prioritize with regards to how they would spend the rest of the money. Not unlike the way almost every household in America has to do. Yet, many liberals expressed sentiments not too dissimilar from - they hate the Tea Party. I would surmise that these same critics run a balanced budget, and even put away money for savings. But when the Tea Party tries to protect future generations from a crushing debt burden so that we do not end up like Greece - well, that's just evil.

* Obama and the Muslims. No, I am not going to discuss whether or not Obama is really a Muslim. I am going to point out that he withheld foreign aid from the Egyptian military because they overthrew President Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood. The military is trying to prevent a build-up of Al Qaeda forces in the Sinai, which could lead to an open war with Israel. The military prevented a key ally of the US, Egypt, from becoming another Islamic dictatorship. Clearly, they needed to be punished. Syria crossed a "red line" with their use of chemical weapons according to Obama. But, maybe not. Maybe it was just a pink line, maybe they didn't really cross any line, maybe they didn't see the line. (Apologies to Jackie Mason.) So, now the Russians get to decide whether or not Syria is complying with their commitment to eliminate their chemical weapons. What could go wrong there?

* Well, at least Obama is on good terms with Turkey's leader Recep Erdogan. That's a good thing, right? Turkey has been aligning itself with radical Islamists and away from the secular country established by Ataturk over ninety years ago. Erdogan has called Zionism a "crime against humanity." Erdogan accused Israel of orchestrating the overthrow of Morsi in Egypt. Erdogan says Israel is guilty of "genocide" when the Israelis defend themselves against terrorist attacks. And David Ignatius of the Washington Post reported that in 2012 Turkey revealed to Iran the names of 10 Iranians working for Israel. I imagine those 10 souls suffered quite a bit of torture before being executed. And speaking of Iran, I am guessing that Obama, taken in by Rouhani, will agree to let Iran continue their nuclear enrichment, so long as they promise not to build a bomb. Again, what could go wrong there?

* So, has Obama done anything right in the Middle East? In a word: no. He is demanding that Israel create a terrorist Palestinian state on its borders. He has given the two sides nine months to reach an agreement. At that point, and absent an agreement, I suspect he will have the US formally recognize "Palestine" as a state; with Jerusalem as its capital. While I have predicted similar actions by Obama in the past, this time he does not have to face re-election. This time, he need not worry about either the "Jewish vote" nor the fund raising provided by many Jewish supporters.

* A word on the home front about the politically correct stupidity of "zero-tolerance" policies. A 17 year old high school student in Massachusetts went to a party where there was underage drinking. Realizing she could not safely drive herself home, she called a friend, another 17 year old. The friend went to pick up her drinking friend, and went into the house where the party was in order to find her. That is when the police arrived and arrests were made. However, the nondrinker was released without charges. That was not good enough for her high school, which has a zero-tolerance policy on the use of alcohol. As an honor student and volleyball player on the school team, she was suspended for 5 games. The school's attorney said this: "the school is really trying to take a very serious and principled stand regarding alcohol." Incredibly, MADD agreed with the school's position.

* Now, one could argue that this falls under the category of "no good deed goes unpunished." One could also argue these situations should be evaluated on a case-by-case basis, just as courts do in any civil or criminal matter. What if we instituted a zero-tolerance policy against killing. Isn't killing bad? "Oh, you killed someone in self-defense? That's a shame because under our zero-tolerance policy you will spend the rest of your life in prison. You should have let yourself been killed." Far fetched? Not at all; because that's exactly the message this high school is sending to students. Better to drive home drunk and risk getting yourself killed and killing others, than to get your good friend in trouble. And the non-drinking friend - better to not go and get in trouble with the school.

* As I have said before, zero-tolerance policies substitute a predetermined outcome in place of judgment. Zero tolerance is an admission by school administrators that "we are just too stupid to be able to determine right and wrong by ourselves. Therefore, we will create a 'one size fits all' policy." More seriously, it means that students cannot trust those in authority to do what's right - and that alone outweighs any perceived benefits of "zero-tolerance."

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Guns, Jihadists and Starbucks

* It's certainly difficult keeping up with the religion of peace. On September 21, radical Islamists shot up a mall in Nairobi, Kenya. At least 68 people were killed with 205 injured (not the final count). Apparently, the al Shahaab terrorists were upset over the Kenyan government providing aid to the Somali government. The answer, of course, was to kill as many innocent people as possible. Actually, the goal was to kill innocent non-Muslims, as Muslims were allowed to leave. Just maybe the outcome would have been different if every adult shopping in that mall was armed. Let me repeat: the way to stop bad guys with guns is to have good guys with guns.

* The radical Islamists were busy that week. In Pakistan, they shot up a church as the parishioners were leaving. There, at least 85 died, with over 120 wounded. Christians have not been doing well in Muslim countries. I would love to see a piece in one of the mainstream papers that discusses the lot of Christians in the Muslim world: from Pakistan to Iraq to Lebanon to Gaza to Sudan to Nigeria. But I guess that is not too likely as long as the mainstream media keeps treating Muslims as if they are the victims (of what, I'll never know).

* But the New York Times knows. In their 9/9/13 editorial they complain about the NYPD's designation of mosques as terrorist organizations allowing open-ended investigations. Complained the Times: "Plainclothes police officers were sent to restaurants, cafes and other spots where groups of Muslims get together." Hmmm. Radical Muslims carry out tens of thousands of terrorists attacks around the world. The worst terrorist attack on US soil was in the City of New York by radical Muslims. So the NYPD tries to gather intelligence that can be used to prevent further attacks in their city, and that's no good? How many morons does it take to write a New York Times editorial?

* Just this morning, I awoke to read that Islamic militants murdered dozens of students at a college in Nigeria. They were rather easy targets as the students were asleep in their dorms. According to Fox News, the victims were almost all Muslims. It is believed that the attack was carried out by Boko Haram, which seeks to establish an Islamic state in Northern Nigeria, but their efforts have been thwarted by the Nigerian military. The answer - attack innocent, sleeping students.

* Just a few days ago, the Indian government warned Jewish groups in that country, and especially in Mumbai, to tighten their security. We remember the brutal attack in Mumbai several years ago when Islamic terrorists killed over 160 people, including the rabbi and rebbetzin at the small Chabad House. Apparently, the Indian government has information that Islamic groups have been monitoring Jewish establishments, possibly in preparation for further attacks. One of the ways to tighten security, of course, is to have armed guards. You know - good guys with guns.

* Following the shooting at the Naval shipyard, a liberal friend and reader said he had three words for me: "guns, guns, guns." Never mind that the perpetrator had three run-ins with law enforcement. Never mind that one of those incidents caused the local police to report him to Naval authorities. No, the Navy went ahead and renewed his security clearance anyway. Here's a thought: if someone discharges a gun in public under questionable circumstances (as this man did), then even if the local prosecutor decides not to bring charges, maybe they should be allowed to order a mental health evaluation. Maybe that would have stopped this guy. Of course, the other thing that would have helped would be allowing the military to defend themselves on their own bases. (But in 1993, then President Bill Clinton issued an executive order barring military and civilian personnel on bases from being armed.) How many more shootings on bases do we need before people on bases can protect themselves?

* What's Starbucks got to do with this? On 9/18/13, the CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, issued an open letter to all Starbucks customers. While not banning guns from Starbucks, he said he was "respectfully requesting" that customers not bring their guns into any Starbucks stores. Starbucks has over 11,000 stores in the US, and 29 states have no prohibition on openly carrying firearms, with another 15 allowing it with permits. Even California allows it in rural areas. The trend, in fact, has been to allow the "open carry" of guns. Mr. Schultz felt the need to take some action when gun rights advocates started holding "Starbucks Appreciation Days" across the country.

* When one such group decided to hold such a rally in Newtown, Connecticut (scene of the December, 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings) it may have proven too much for Mr. Schultz to ignore. Frankly, I would have preferred that the group chose a different city for their pro-gun rally. It is not political correctness to acknowledge the feelings of those parents who lost their children at Newtown. It is common decency.

* In any event, Mr. Schultz was walking a fine line between the pro- and anti-gun advocates. Clearly, as a businessman, he does not wish to offend either side of his customer base. So, while not banning guns, he asked people to not carry them into Starbucks. An understandable, if misguided, position. If bad guys with guns enter a Starbucks, I'd feel a lot better knowing that the good guys are armed as well. It's ironic that people will feel safe and secure at a coffee shop or restaurant when armed police officers are there also. So why not armed civilians as well?

* Still, the Starbucks position did not satisfy everyone. One liberal indicated that if Schultz's request was not successful, they would seek to boycott Starbucks in order to force them to issue an outright ban on guns. That woman should have a sign on her front lawn that reads: "Come on in, no one here is armed." How do we stop bad buys with guns? Good guys with guns.

The Pros and Cons of Obamacare

* Con: According to Republicans, the Affordable Care Act threatens to "destroy the foundation of the 40 hour workweek." Well, maybe. But that quote is actually from a letter written by the United Food and Commercial Workers union, with two other unions joining in, to none other than Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. The unions have come to recognize what the Dems will not: employers are protecting themselves from Obamacare. Trader Joe's, among others, announced they will drop coverage for employees working under 30 hours. And numerous employers have announced they will cut employees' hours in order to keep them under the 30 hour threshold.

* Con: Republicans also claim that Obamacare will "end up forcing millions out of multi-employer plans." Sorry, that was actually another union complaint.

* Con: The IBD has been keeping track of employers who have cut jobs and/or employee hours in order to avoid the effects of Obamacare. As of 9/20/13, they report 62 private employers and a whopping 239 public sector employers have made these cuts. It appears that school districts and colleges and universities in particular are being affected. The same article notes that low wage earners are being hardest hit, with a record low 27.4 hour workweek in July.

* Con: The Republicans claim that the big insurance companies will have to limit the number (and quality) of doctors and hospitals available to patients in the new exchanges in order to keep costs down. That, in turn, may result in consumers having "long wait times, a scarcity of specialists and loss of their longtime doctor." Oops, wrong again. That information is actually from the 9/15/13 front page story in the liberal LA Times. Does this mean that the Times has actually learned how free markets operate when faced with undue government regulation? But not to worry. Peter Lee, executive director of the California exchange - Covered California - says they can deal with companies that do not sufficiently serve their customers: "...if a plan can't serve patients, we'll close it down from taking new enrollment." Well, that should help.

* Con: Apparently, Health Net will be beating the other carriers in keeping the premium costs down by limiting the size of their networks. Essentially, they are emulating HMOs like Kaiser. Says one health insurance broker: "Health Net will get a lot of business with those rates...But no one mentions you might not be able to see your doctor." (Again, from the 9/15/13 LA Times.)

* Con: If you are in the middle class like I am, no worries. Your premiums may be going up substantially, but you also get to pay higher taxes to pay for those subsidies for those who cannot afford to pay for their own insurance. Don't you feel better already?

* Con: Again, Republicans are complaining that the taxes and fees mandated by Obamacare will "drive the costs of...union administered plans, and other plans that cover unionized workers, to unsupportable levels." But isn't that the idea; to make insurance so unaffordable that we have to end up with the single payer system. (Okay, you got me. The above quote is actually from a resolution passed by the AFL-CIO.)

* Con: While some insurers (as noted above) will be limiting the number of hospitals in their offerings, hospitals themselves have been forced to lay off employees and/or cut their hours, in order to compensate for the added costs of Obamacare. According to the 9/19/13 IBD, over a dozen hospitals have already announced cutbacks, including the well known Cleveland Clinic. So, less hospitals in certain plans, and less employees to staff those hospitals. What's the problem?

* What's the problem with those Republicans? Do they really want to shut down the government over Obamacare? Actually, their latest bill, passed last night, simply delays the implementation of Obamacare for a year, and also eliminates the 2.3% tax on medical device makers. Is not reasonable to think, even if you favor Obamacare, that a piece of legislation over 2000 pages in length, with over 15,000 pages of regs, might need some tinkering? Or, as lawyers would say, come "clean up" legislation.

* Obama gave a press conference on Friday explaining why, in our Constitutional democracy, one side does not get to shut the government down because they are unhappy with legislation passed by the other side. Actually, it was not a bad argument. Of course, Obama did not actually believe one word of what he said. If he believed in our Constitutional democracy he would not have already made 19 changes to Obamacare on his own - all without Congressional approval. Perhaps the most well known change was when he announced he would not enforce the employer mandate until January 1, 1915. Was that delay written into the law? No. Is Obama legally allowed to pick and choose which portions of a law passed by Congress he will enforce, and which he will delay or amend on his own? No, because the president does not get to write legislation. But it's good to be King.

* So what if some big donors got some delays or exemptions for their businesses. Although I have to admit that my favorite exemption was that given to the members of Congress and their staff. Obama wouldn't be trying to bribe Congress with such an exemption, would he? Not at all, it's just unfair to make Congress play by the same rules as the rest of us do. Does it matter that 92% of likely voters think the Congressional exemption is unfair? Why would it, when nearly 2/3 of Americans were opposed to Obamacare in the first place.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Why I'm Mad at Liberals and Other Non-Conservatives

1. Because their politically correct nonsense is stupid and evil. The Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute has a training guide for the military. When describing who the "extremists" are in this country, they say this: "Nowadays, instead of dressing in sheets or publicly espousing hate messages, many extremists will talk of individual liberties, states' rights, and how to make the world a better place." Well, I am for all of the above, so label me "extremist." (Yes, I know the history of southern states trying to maintain their segregationist laws under the guise of "states rights." That is not what this guide is talking about. It is referring to conservatives who believe in a smaller federal government, and greater power in the states and more individual liberties.) And it warns to watch for groups that have "tea party" or "patriot" in their names. (Still think the IRS targeting of conservative groups was just an isolated incident?) An example of an extremist group is "the colonists who sought to free themselves from British rule..." (From the 8/29/13 IBD.)

2. Because they will not accept the truth. Recently, Neil Cavuto on Fox ran a tape of President John Kennedy speaking in favor of lowering taxes. He received a number of emails from liberals accusing him of editing the tapes to make it look like Kennedy favored lowering taxes, when they knew he did not. Therefore, he subsequently aired many different Kennedy speeches arguing for lower taxes. It is not just that liberals will believe whatever they want to believe. (Remember, liberals let their beliefs dictate their reality.) More importantly, the above reflects how little knowledge and understanding today's liberals have about how far their party has moved to the far left. They cannot digest that a democrat pushed for lower taxes. They have not only come to believe in socialism, they believe their party always did; and they will rewrite history if necessary - just like the Soviet Union did.

3. Because their politically correct nonsense can be deadly. It turns out that the NYPD has been labeling radical mosques "terror organizations," giving them far more flexibility in investigating and preventing future terrorist attacks. On the other hand the Feds - the FBI - were living in their politically correct world. The world that says mosques are no different than other houses of worship. Therefore, the Feds did not know about the ties the Boston bombers had to the local, radical mosque. Their incompetence can be directly tied to their political correctness; which, in turn, can be directly tied to the deaths and injuries caused by the Tsarnaev brothers. (From the 8/29/13 IBD.)

4. Because they twice elected the most divisive president in U.S. history. Obama spoke at the 50th anniversary of the "I Have a Dream" speech delivered by the late Rev. Martin Luther King. Obama could not overcome his nature and simply give a speech that would be unifying, as Dr. King did. No, at all times and in all places he must attack his opponents. (Recall his unprecedented attack on the Supreme Court Justices for their "Citizens United" decision, while they were seated directly in front of him at his State of the Union speech.) No, Obama had to criticize "entrenched interests - those who benefit from an unjust status quo (and) resisted any government efforts to give working families a fair deal, marshaling an army of lobbyists and opinion makers to argue that minimum wage increases or stronger labor laws or taxes on the wealthy who could afford it...that all these things violated sound economic principles." In other words, he had to attack those evil people who oppose his policies. But MLK's speech had a unifying theme, speaking of a time when "little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers." MLK also said: "Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred." (From the 8/29/13 WSJ.) That would be the cup from which Obama regularly sips.

5. Because they buy into all the Palestinian propaganda and believe that Israel is the worst country in the Middle East, if not the entire world. Laurent Fabius is the French Foreign Minister, and recently met with Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. Afterwards, Fabius said this: "Even if we speak of other neighboring countries - the dramatic conflict in Syria, Lebanon, Egypt - the fact remains that the Israeli-Palestinian issue is one of the issues, PERHAPS THE CENTRAL ONE, for the region." (Emphasis added.) Another leftist moron. Over 100,000 dead in Syria, due to a civil war that has nothing to do with Israel. Egypt - the Muslim Brotherhood gets elected and the Egyptian military throws Morsi out in a coup. Nothing to do with Israel. Iran's nukes a threat to the entire region and world - obviously not a big issue for Fabius. Israel is a democracy and has had nukes for decades, with the region and the world understanding that those nukes were for defensive and deterrent purposes only. Israel's nukes have never been a threat to any country. But if Israel just allows yet another Islamic, terrorist state on its borders, one sworn to Israel's very destruction, then there will be peace in the entire region.

6. Because the liberal media will only criticize the right, but is blind when it comes to the harm caused by the left. Recently, the New York Times editorialized about the "bizarre" and "unconstitutional" bill pending in the Missouri legislature. The bill apparently declares federal gun safety laws unenforceable in Missouri, and would subject federal agents to arrest if they attempted to enforce such laws. My son also asked me if such a proposed law would not be unconstitutional. Indeed it would be, pursuant to Article VI of the U.S. Constitution, declaring the Constitution and laws of the federal government to be the "supreme law of the land." However, I explained to my son that such apparent lawlessness was to be expected when the President and top government officials ignore the law themselves. Need some reminders? Obama "declares" he will not enforce federal immigration laws, stopping deportation of those under age 30, even though Congress declined to pass such a measure.

* Obama "declared" that his Administration would not enforce the employer mandate in the Affordable Care Act; stating he did not need to seek Congressional approval for not enforcing a law on the books because we are not in a "normal" political environment. Obama has now also "declared" that he would not enforce the cap on out-of-pocket expenses in Obamacare. Obama unconstitutionally "declared" the Senate to be in "recess" in order to make political appointments he did not believe the Senate would approve. Just recently, Obama's Attorney General "declared" he would not pursue federal drug charges in all cases because of the mandatory minimum sentences imposed by Congress in the 1980's. The proper approach, of course, was to ask Congress to reconsider the effectiveness of their decades old policy. But why do that when you can just "declare" which laws will be enforced, and which will not be enforced.

* One of the the liberal media supported this lawlessness by the top law enforcement officer in the country, saying: "If members of Congress resent Holder's exercise of prosecutorial discretion...they can reassert their authority by accomplishing the same objective through legislation." (Los Angeles Times editorial from 8/13/13.) Wow! First, it is not prosecutorial discretion to state you will ignore a law passed by the Congress of the United States. Second, and more importantly, the Times endorses this lawlessness, and says the only thing Congress can do is pass a law consistent with Holder's policy. That is exactly backwards - it is the Congress that sets policy and it is up to the President and Attorney General to enforce those policies. The New York Times concurred, indicating they would have preferred that the Missouri legislature "set a law-abiding example of government responsibility." Apparently, they have no such preference for the most lawless President and Administration in my lifetime.

7. Because the liberals have no tolerance for disagreement. Earlier this year, a family owned bakery in Oregon (Sweet Cakes By Melissa) was in the news for refusing to bake a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. As Christians, they did not believe in gay marriage. A complaint was made by the lesbian couple with the state's Bureau of Labor and Industries. The couple also went to the local media - TV and newspapers. But the LGBT crowd could not await the legal outcome. They threatened to kill the family - including the kids. Then they threatened to shut down any company that continued to do business with the bakery by providing their supplies. That was the end of the line for the family owned business. I would guess these same thugs have the "Coexist" bumper stickers on their cars. Except that they would never try such tactics on a Muslim owned bakery.

8. Why am I mad at liberals and non-conservatives? Because they no longer respect our Constitution nor our system of government, with its checks and balances. They no longer respect the free speech rights of others nor even that others may think differently. They no longer have respect for the religious among them (unless they are Muslims). They no longer believe that those who hold contrary views should be able to make a living. The American idea of "live and let live" is gone. The fact that the President of the United States and his top advisers can denigrate a major media outlet (Fox News) because they dare to disagree with him smacks of a totalitarian dictatorship; as does Obama's lawlessness. But all I can get from liberals is a big yawn - and maybe an attempt to still blame Bush.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Is This the Government You Want?

* Obama. Before the Egyptian military deposed Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood, many Egyptians had been protesting his rule, and his desire to move the country toward Sharia law. After he was deposed, pro-Morsi supporters took to the streets, with the military having to use force in order to maintain order. Our President has condemned the violence. Must the left condemn all violence all the time? The answer is yes; because, as noted previously in this blog, the left is unable to make distinctions. Violence by the good guys against the bad guys is always the same as violence by the bad guys against the good guys, in the eyes of the left. This inability to make distinctions led Obama to say this: "America will work with all those in Egypt...all parties need to have a voice in Egypt's future." And this: "We don't take sides with any particular party or political figure."

* Why not Mr. President? You failed to support the protesters in Iran when such support might have made a difference. Would you like to see radical Islam control the entire Middle East, and then Europe, and then the rest of the world, including the U.S.? Prior Presidents of both parties had no difficulty in understanding that Communism was bad for America and the world; and they took the side of those who fought against the communists. Yet Obama is unable to see that radical Islam is also bad for America and the world; and refuses to take the side of those who fight against the islamofascists. The Muslim Brotherhood spawned Hamas. The Muslim Brotherhood threatened an end to the peace agreement between Egypt and Israel. The Muslim Brotherhood was taking Egypt in the direction of being yet another Islamist state. And the Brotherhood supporters have now destroyed over thirty Christian churches in the last week. So why does Obama refuse to stand against them?

* Once again Obama passed on a teachable moment, one of many missed opportunities. This is what he should have said: "While it is true that the Muslim Brotherhood's candidate (Morsi) won the last election, elections alone do not make for a democracy; nor do they guarantee a free society. Hitler, Hugo Chavez, and Hamas in Gaza were all elected. Elections are a necessary but not sufficient element of any free democracy. For true democracy requires a belief in the primacy of the individual, including such basic rights as freedom of speech and the freedom to practice one's religion." Actually, I take it back. Obama does take sides. When he gave his speech to the Muslim world from Cairo, he invited the then-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood to attend; a direct slap in the face to Hosni Mubarak.

* Harry Reid. Reid is perhaps the most smarmy Senate majority leader in our history. After saying the Republicans are doing everything possible to make Obama fail, he added this: "I hope that's based on substance and not the fact that he's African-American." What he really was saying is this: the Republicans are a bunch of racists; how else can one account for their opposition to Obama's policies? Remember, for the left, no honest disagreements are allowed. When you do disagree you are a hater or a bigot or a racist. Of course, I should not be surprised by the depths to which Reid will sink when spewing his vile. After all, he unabashedly stated on the floor of the Senate during the last campaign that he would like to see proof that Romney paid income taxes, because he (Reid) knew that Romney did not. It was, of course, a total lie; but Reid never saw any need to apologize.

* HUD. The Department of Housing and Urban Development apparently needs something to do. Therefore, they will be mapping every single neighborhood in the country in order to assess "the access African American, Latino, Asian and other communities have to local assets, including schools, jobs, transportation, and other important neighborhood resources that can play a role in helping people move into the middle class." For those of you who thought that getting a good education and then a good job was the path to the middle class, sorry. Under Obama's handling of the economy the opportunity to get and keep a good paying job has lessened; and under Obamacare the chances of keeping a full time job have decreased as employers attempt to avoid all the penalties created by the law. And let's be realistic - this policy is meant for blacks only. Asians do exceptionally well in education, and socioeconomically. Who are the "other communities?" No mention of poor whites. Obama has shown us his pro-black bias time and again.

* The real question here is what will HUD do with all the data they obtain from their neighborhood mapping. I can assure you it will not be for informational purposes only. Will they require that low-income subsidized housing be built in neighborhoods of million dollar homes? Or, when homes go on the market in the "better" neighborhoods, will they directly subsidize low income (black) families to buy expensive homes? What happens if they decide they can dictate where you may live? Can't move into that neighborhood, it already has its' quota of whites. Far fetched? At one time maybe. But now we have the NSA monitoring Americans' cell phones, we have the IRS monitoring conservative groups, and we have government control of your healthcare and monitoring of your medical records. And remember, for the left "equality" does not mean equal opportunity. It means equal results. The assumption in all this is that a neighborhood alone will dictate your outcome in life. Except there are still some of us who believe that good values and hard work will determine your success.

* Not your property - not your loan. According to the 8/7/13 LA Times, the City of El Monte is looking at eminent domain in a new way. The problem is that a number of homeowners in the city are underwater - with their loans being for more than the current market value of the house. According to the Times, the city is proposing that the holders of over 620 mortgages "sell the loans to the city at a discount. The city would then write down the debt and refinance the loans for amounts in line with current home values." So what's the problem? Doesn't it feel good to help those who are struggling with mortgages exceeding their homes' values? So what if the mortgage holders have to take a loss? Remember, the left never worries about potential consequences of their feel-good policies.

* However, the President and CEO of the Mortgage Bankers Association, was not a fan of the idea of forced sale of loans. No surprise there. But does he have logic on his side? In a letter to the editor in the 8/9/13 NY Times, he explained why shifting the risk of mortgages to the lender is a bad idea. Per David Stevens: "This risk would be factored into all future mortgages through higher interest rates and higher down-payment requirements, increasing the cost of a mortgage in that specific city or town." He goes on: "That town would then become less desirable for potential home buyers, and anyone who wants or needs to move wouldn't be able to sell. A result would be lower home values for all, even those who own their homes outright."

* Who follows the law anymore? This blog has previously argued that no branch of government has respect for your economic liberty. After all, it was only in 2005 that the U.S. Supreme Court decided the case of Kelo vs. City of New London. That Connecticut town used their eminent domain powers to take private property in order to sell it to a private developer. SCOTUS upheld such a taking by redefining "public use" to include "public purpose." "Public use" had always been considered to be a use by the government, such as for a school or library or road. By defining the term more broadly as "public purpose," the Court was rewriting the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution. The left wants the Constitution to be a "living, breathing" document. And this is what you get - when the Courts can rewrite the Constitution as they see fit, we are left with no Constitution at all.

* Then again, it was only June of last year that the Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act/Obamacare by rewriting the statute themselves. (See the July 1, 2012 post: "Obamacare Upheld a Flimsy - and Dangerous Theory.") You see, there was a time when it was understood that we had three separate branches of government, with each acting as a check on the others' powers. Our Founders knew very well the dangers of an all powerful central government. It was understood that Congress makes the laws, the President is tasked with faithfully executing the laws, and the Supreme Court interprets the laws. Now, both the Supreme Court and worse, the Chief Executive believe they get to make the laws.

* How else can you explain Obama declaring which sections of the Affordable Care Act he will enforce and which sections he will deny enforcement. Recently, his Administration announced they would "postpone" for one year, until January, 2015, the enforcement of the employer mandate, along with the imposition of any employer penalties. Obama has told us on many occasions that if Congress refuses to act, he will. Here is Obama's explanation for his unilateral action in delaying enforcement of the employer mandate: " a normal political environment, it would have been easier for me to simply call up the Speaker and say, 'You know what, this is a tweak that doesn't go to the essence of the let's make a technical change to the law.' That would be the normal thing that I would prefer to do." Since when does the President get to declare we do not have a "normal" political environment such that he need not follow the Constitution? Anyone see the mainstream media complaining of an "imperial presidency?"

* Many Presidents did not have a Congress led by their own party. Many of us remember Reagan, a Republican, having to sit down with Democrat Speaker Tip O'Neill, in order to get legislation passed. But Obama sees no need to speak with Boehner. Then again, Obama felt he could decide when the Senate was no longer in session in order to make "recess" appointments that he thought the Senate might not otherwise approve. Thankfully, the Supreme Court declared those appointments to be unconstitutional. But acting outside of the law has been emblematic of Obama and his Administration; from selective enforcement of Obamacare, to the granting of exemptions from Obamacare to the special interests that supported him, to his selective enforcement of the immigration laws, and the rewriting of the welfare laws regarding work requirements.

* Should the next President be a Republican, I trust that we will hear no complaints from the liberals or the mainstream media if he decides he gets to make the laws he wants by bypassing Congress. Right? Just kidding - the complaints will begin long before any Republican President is even sworn in.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Is This The America You Want?

* According to, the City of Seattle has a new policy regarding certain words; words that government employees were told are not to be used in either government documents or speech. (No, not "swell" or "so's your old man.") Rather, "citizen" is an inappropriate term. Not everyone is a citizen. Some are legal residents, and probably a whole bunch are illegal aliens. Either way, we cannot be offending anybody, so let's get rid of the term "citizen." Of course, when we eliminate the term we also eliminate the concept. But isn't that the goal of the left? To eliminate distinctions. (See the 4/1/13 post: "What's the Difference? Why Do We Make Distinctions?") Why should citizens get to vote but not legal residents or even illegal aliens?

* Seattle also says no to the use of the phrase "brown bag." Instead, government employees should use "lunch and learn" or "sack lunch." I had no idea that those little brown paper lunch bags had racial connotations. According to the story, they were used as a way to determine skin color. (Anybody know this?)

* Seattle's policy comes on the heels of a New York City Department of Education policy from 2012. They determined that companies that provided standardized tests to the City should not use certain words that might cause "unpleasant emotions in the students." A few examples were given. "Birthdays" is inappropriate because Jehovah Witnesses do not celebrate birthdays. "Halloween" clearly no good as it is a pagan holiday. "Dinosaurs" even? Yes, "dinosaurs" might upset fundamentalists.

* Here is the rest of the list of what might provoke "unpleasant emotions" in the students: abuse, alcohol, tobacco, drugs, bodily functions, cancer, catastrophes/disasters (such as tsunami or hurricane), celebrities, children dealing with serious issues, cigarettes, home computers, crime, death, disease, divorce, evolution, expensive gifts, vacations, prizes, gambling with money, homelessness, homes with swimming pools, hunting, junk food, in depth discussion of sports, loss of job, nuclear weapons, parapsychology, occult topics, politics, pornography, poverty, rap music, religion, religious holidays, rock and roll music, running away, sex, slavery, terrorism, excessive TV/video games, vermin, violence, war, bloodshed, weapons (guns, knives), witchcraft and sorcery.

* While some of these might be understandable, especially depending upon the age of the student, I still see two major problems. One, is that any unpleasant emotion must be avoided. So how does one discuss history without discussing wars? Should the tests refer to World Event One and World Event Two? It is far too much politically correct nonsense. The second problem is the creeping socialism/equality philosophy. No mention of "homes with computers" because not everyone can afford a computer. No use of "vacations" because not every family can afford one. The same applies for "expensive gifts" and "homes with swimming pools." Does the NYC Department of Education really think that their students do not know that some families are better off than others?

* The NYC Department of Education dropped their insistence on these banned words/concepts after much protest, according to the Huffington Post. But officials said that they would "continue to advise companies to be sensitive to student backgrounds." So, after considering socioeconomic and religious differences, they need to consider the hundreds of ethnicities that populate the NYC school system? It would be easier to forgo all testing; which has the added benefit for the left of precluding unequal test results. After all, such unequal results might produce "unpleasant emotions in the students."

* Speaking of schools, Hannity on 7/31/13 reported on an interesting history textbook being used in Brevard County, Florida. According to Hannity's guest, Todd Starnes, chapter 10 of the textbook is devoted to Muslim Civilization from 622 to 1629. Jihad is no different than the Crusades; one is a holy war to defend Islam, the other to defend Christianity. The text apparently describes the wonderful way women are treated under Islam. And, best of all, Mohammed is said to be G-d"s messenger. As Hannity noted, imagine a book that declared Moses or Jesus to be G-d's messenger - how fast would the ACLU move to stop its use as a violation of the separation between church and state?

* Do not bother to look for the chapters on Judaism or Christianity - there are none. (The book is said to be published by Pierson Publishing.) According to Starnes, there are at least 80 textbooks that are filled with a pro-Muslim bias that are in use across the country. The adviser on the text is said to be the Institute on Religious and Civic Values. Innocuous enough name, except that it used to be the Council on Islamic Education.

* I have discussed previously how Saudi money is influencing/buying content in numerous textbooks being used in this country. You want to know why the conflict between Israel and the Arabs has gone on for so long? Because the Arabs brainwash their children from the beginning of their schooling that Jews are evil, that Jews are descendants of apes and pigs, that Jews need to be killed. Then, as adults, they get more brainwashing from their media which repeats all the lies on a regular basis. The conflict is not about land, it is about a never-ending religious hatred promulgated by one side only. Think it is different here? Look at what is in our children's textbooks. Consider how left wing (anti-American and anti-Israel) professors dominate our colleges and universities. Look at The New York Times one volume encyclopedic desk reference. I purchased one years ago. Sometime after 9/11 they updated their book, significantly enlarging the section on Islam. After all, the media told us that after 9/11 Muslims were the victims. (Plus, if we just understand them they will not hate us.) Look at how the mainstream media reserves all of its criticisms for Israel and Christianity; none for Islam and the Arab world. (See the 6/6/13 post "Are We At War With Islam, Part IV.)

* I am often criticized for saying that our schools and mainstream media engage in a form of left-wing brainwashing. But what else would you call it when the leftist side is always presented as fair and just, and the other side is always depicted as evil, oppressors, haters, bigots and so on. The Republicans/conservatives in this country are spoken of in the mainstream media the way Jews are spoken of in the Arab/Muslim media. And sadly, the Republicans/conservatives in this country are spoken of by Democrat leaders and pundits in a manner that is quite similar to the way Jews are spoken of by Arab/Muslim leaders. If you disagree, I would love to hear from you. But remember, it was then Chairman of the DNC, Howard Dean, who said Republicans want children to go to bed hungry. It was the NY and/or LA Times which said you were a bigot and a hater if you disapproved of gay marriage. And it was Obama who said the Republicans want dirty air and dirty water. The left demonizes Republicans/conservatives the way the Arabs/Muslims demonize Jews.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The Racial Politics of Criminal Justice

* (On July 13, 2013, a Florida jury made up of six women acquitted George Zimmerman of all charges in the death of Trayvon Martin. As a parent, I can still only imagine the pain felt by Trayvon Martin's parents; and, as any parent would, I feel for their loss.)

* "If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon." So said our President over one year ago; again improperly injecting himself and the office of the Presidency into a local criminal matter - much as he did with his criticism of the Cambridge Police Department with regards to Professor Gates, a black man. Undoubtedly, many whites who voted for Obama twice thought that the election of a black man would bring us to a post-racial America. The mainstream media did their part in trying to make this a case of a white on black killing. George Zimmerman, whose mother is Hispanic, thinks of himself as Hispanic as well. Yet, the media referred to him as a "self-identifying Hispanic", and even made up a new term - "white Hispanic." (Does that make Obama, only half black, a self-identifying black man? Or a "white black?")

* Following the acquittal of Zimmerman, the Rev. Jesse Jackson had this to say: ...the "American legal system has once again failed justice." (I am curious as to whether he felt the same way after O.J. Simpson was acquitted of the murder of two white people.) The Rev. Al Sharpton said: "The acquittal of George Zimmerman is a slap in the face to the American people..." (Did he know, or care, that Zimmerman lived in a mixed race household as a youth? Did he know, or care, that Zimmerman tutored black children?)

* Benjamin Jealous, head of the NAACP, said: "We are outraged and heartbroken over today's verdict." (Is he outraged that, according to a Justice Department study from November, 2011, young black men between the ages of 14 and 24 account for 27% of the country's murders - while making up only 1% of the population? Data from 7/19/13 IBD.) President Obama spoke on Friday about the experiences of black men in America, commenting about being followed in a department store, or hearing car doors click locked on passing by. (As the above-referenced Justice Department study found that "blacks of any age are eight times more likely to murder than whites," might he have addressed legitimate fears instead? Quote from the same IBD article of 7/19/13.)

* Disappointingly, Obama did not see fit in his comments to take on those who would do harm to Zimmerman and his family. No comments about the New Black Panthers offering a $10,000. bounty for the capture of Zimmerman in March of last year. Or New York Giants football star Victor Cruz saying that Zimmerman won't last a year "until the 'hood catches up with him." Or basketball player Rodney White's comment that the "jurors should kill themselves." (Is that not a reflection of the problem already - too many blacks prone to resolve disputes by killing. See the stats above.)

* Apparently, one Georgia State Senator referred to the verdict as a "modern-day lynching." (So, one wonders what he thinks of the fact that the same Justice Department study mentioned above found that 93% of black homicide victims are killed by - blacks! From the 7/19/13 IBD article. What does he have to say about the fact that whites are twice as likely to be murdered by blacks than the reverse?)

* In his recent remarks on Friday, Obama asked all of us to question ourselves about racial bias: " I judging people, as much as I can, based not on the color of their skin but the content of their character?" (This comment, of course, comes from the late Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. Sadly, many of the so-called and self-described black leaders of today seem not to live by that credo. It is also noteworthy that a recent Rasmussen poll found that 31% of blacks think that most blacks are racists, yet only 24% of blacks think that most whites are racist. From an article by Thomas Sowell in the 7/9/13 IBD. So blacks tend to agree with whites as to which group is the most racist. 38% of whites, in the poll, thought most blacks to be racist, and only 10% of whites thought most whites were racist.)

* In speaking to the NAACP, Attorney General Holder said that: "We are mindful of the pain felt by our nation...The Justice Department shares your concern...I share your concern." Holder also announced that the Justice Department would look into possible civil rights violations and possible federal charges against Zimmerman. Many commentators have indicated that the FBI conducted an investigation last year and found no evidence of racial bias or animus. (The FBI spoke to at least 45 friends, neighbors, coworkers and others who knew Zimmerman, finding no evidence of racial bias.) Many commentators have added that it is likely that no federal charges will be brought; that the feds are just waiting for a cooling off period before making such an announcement. So here is a politically incorrect question: is there something in the black community that suggests they would automatically resort to violence absent the desired verdict and absent a federal prosecution? Was the country worried about white violence after O.J. was found not guilty?

* Chicago has a murder problem. In the city of 2,695,598 people, more people have been murdered between 2003 and 2011 than troops killed in Afghanistan from 3/20/03 to 12/15/11: 4265 in Chicago versus 2166 in Afghanistan. Chicago's make-up is 33% black, 32% white and 30% Hispanic, with some others in relatively small numbers. Yet, 75% of both the victims and the accused perpetrators were black (during the above-referenced time period). Only 19% of the victims and 20% of the alleged perpetrators were Hispanic. The numbers for whites were 6% and 4%. So why isn't the President of the United States addressing this very serious crisis? Why isn't the Attorney General of the United States addressing this crisis; and addressing his own Justice Department's study from 2011, referred to above. Interestingly, while the President uses almost every occasion to call for gun control, the City of Chicago bans the purchase of handguns. (Data from an article of 1/16/13 on WND.)

* In his comments on Friday, President Obama said that he acknowledged that young blacks are disproportionately perpetrators of violent crimes and was not trying to make excuses for that. But then he did just that by tying the problem to the "poverty and dysfunction that we see in those communities (which) can be traced to a very difficult history." He was, of course, referring to our country's history of slavery and later institutionalized discrimination. That history is real. I would submit, however, that modern-day welfare has caused most of today's problems in the black community; with too many fatherless homes and mothers having more babies than they can care for. Our President has acknowledged previously that the lack of fathers in the home leads to more kids dropping out of school, more kids having babies as kids themselves, and more unemployed and ending up in legal trouble. He needs to return to those issues.

* In his 7/16/13 IBD article, Thomas Sowell noted how Obama improperly injected himself into the Trayvon Martin case ("If I had a son, he'd look like Trayvon"), noting: "The political perversion of the criminal justice system began early and at the top, with the President of the United States." He concluded: "The only real heroes in this trial were the jurors. They showed that this is still America - at least for now - despite politicians who try to cheapen or corrupt the law, as if this were some banana republic. Some are already calling for a federal indictment of George Zimmerman, after he has been acquitted. Will this still be America then?"

* It was disappointing to see many black commentators suggest that it was now open season on young black men - by whites. I cannot imagine that they truly believe that. Do they believe that the whites they know are now going to think about killing young blacks because maybe they can get away with it? So, whites really want to murder blacks but only held back from doing so for fear of being prosecuted? If these black commentators have a concern it ought to be about the various statistics on crime noted above; it ought to be about the frequency with which blacks kill other blacks. As blacks and whites constitute approximately the same percentage of the population in Chicago, for example, but blacks commit 75% of the murders compared to 4% by whites, where does the greater danger lie? The Attorney General frequently says we need to have a more open and frank discussion about race in this country. If we do, let it begin with an understanding of the facts and the feelings on both sides, and without any threats of violence or boycotts when things don't go our way.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Liars and Morons

* As we approach July 4th I turned my thinking to the brilliant men who founded this country. Men who created a Constitution and form of government intended to protect the people from themselves and their leaders. Then my thoughts turned to today's leaders, consisting of numerous liars and morons. The lying and lack of common sense is beyond disheartening. It seems to me that the current Administration also has the most scandals since Harding and Nixon. And the most liars.

* We all know the Benghazi lies. National Security Adviser Susan Rice goes on five national talk shows to tell the country that our people died because of a movie video. Our President and Secretary of State repeated the lies for weeks. Then Press Secretary Jay Carney denies White House involvement in altering the CIA talking points. All lies.

* Attorney General Eric Holder lied about his department's refusal to prosecute the New Black Panther Party for voter intimidation in 2008. Holder said the decision was made by career prosecutors and was not a political decision. In fact, according to testimony by one of those career prosecutors, J. Christian Adams, the decision was made by the Associate Attorney General, an Obama appointee. In testimony to Congress on 5/3/11 Holder said he had just found out about the Fast and Furious gun running operation a few weeks earlier. Except, a July, 2010 memo reflected he was told at that time. He authorized the surveillance and tapping of Fox reporter James Rosen's phones, as well as those of his parents. He signed off on the warrant, but later said he never meant to prosecute Rosen. (From the 6/3/13 IBD.)

* At the Ohio State commencement, Obama warned students to reject the voices suggesting that tyranny is just around the corner. Voices that suggest that government is "nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that's at the root of all of our problems." Those same voices, said Obama, suggest "that our brave and creative and unique experiment in self rule is somehow just a sham with which we can't be trusted." Well, given all the scandals and lies emanating from the Obama Administration, along with the desire to extend government control and surveillance into every aspect of our lives, why should we trust government? I guess our President would be surprised by a Fox News poll reported on 6/15/13, which found that a mere 5% of the people had a great deal of trust in the federal government. 32% reported a fair amount of trust; while 41% reported not having that much trust in the feds, with a whopping 22% having no trust in the federal government. As our Founders understood, and as Reagan said, it is too often the case that government is the problem, not the solution.

* The people also do not believe IRS claims of a few rogue agents in the Cincinnati office targeting conservative groups. Fox News reported on 6/23/13 that 70% of the people believe the orders came from Washington. Of that 70%, 41% believe the orders came from the White House, and 29% believe the orders came from the D.C. office of the IRS. To put it another way, the people think your Administration is lying, Mr. President.

* What evil characters is the Obama Administration targeting now? Employers who run criminal background checks on job applicants, that's who. What, you say? Isn't that just common sense? Not so according to our racist President and Attorney General. You see, the Obama EEOC believes it constitutes racial discrimination to "choose law-abiding applicants over applicants with criminal convictions." The Obama Labor Department does not want federal contractors to ask about criminal convictions. Obama's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is investigating Equifax, Experian and TransUnion for racial bias. Said Holder: "The question is not when does affirmative action end, but when does it begin?" And this: "When do people of color truly get the benefits to which they are entitled?" (Information from article by Paul Sperry in the 6/28/13 IBD.) Think we have a President and Attorney General of all the people?

* But no fear. Obama not only favors blacks, he favors Muslims as well, even radical ones. The 6/13/13 IBD reports that, notwithstanding all the spying on Americans, "mosques have been off limits to FBI agents" since October, 2011. Only the Sensitive Operations Review Committee at the Justice Department can okay such surveillance. One wonders if that lack of surveillance allowed the Boston bombers to go undetected. After the attack, the FBI did not even contact the local mosque for possible help in identifying the bombers. It gets better. The National Security Council invited one Sheik Abdullah bin Bayyah to the White House. The 6/27/13 IBD reports that bin Bayyah is employed by one Yusuf al-Qaradawi, who advocates for attacks on US soldiers in Iraq, and suicide bombings. During his White House visit, bin Bayyah is alleged to have asked for support for Hamas. It gets better still. According to the 6/25/13 IBD, 400 soldiers will be sent to Egypt on a "peacekeeping mission." They apparently have training in riot suppression. So 2 million Egyptians are demonstrating for Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood to go, and we are sending troops to help Morsi? Not to mention the billions in military aid.

* Recently, Obama gave a speech in Berlin. His opinion regarding terrorism is as follows: "We may strike blows against terrorist networks, but if we ignore the instability and intolerance that fuels extremism, our own freedom will eventually be endangered." Just who is intolerant of whom? It must be apparent to all but Obama that radical Islamic terrorists have no tolerance for him, the West, the US, Israel, Christians, and pretty much everyone who is not Muslim.

* In that same Berlin speech, Obama told us: "I've determined that we can ensure the security of America and our allies, and maintain a strong and credible strategic deterrent, while reducing our deployed strategic nuclear weapons by up to one-third." When and how did he determine that? In college, when he proposed eliminating all nukes? To Medvedev when he said he would have greater "flexibility" after the election? Obama also said he "will not develop new nuclear weapons." So, just curious, how does he believe our aging nuclear arsenal provides a "strong and credible strategic deterrent?" When Democrats still believed in this country, we elected a different kind of President; a different kind of Democrat. John Kennedy said: "only when our arms are sufficient beyond doubt can we be certain beyond doubt that they will never be employed." As Reagan later said: "Peace through strength."

* In yet another speech in yet another country (our President does love to travel) Obama told the Irish people: "If towns remain divided - if Catholics have their schools and buildings and Protestants have theirs, if we can't see ourselves in one another, and fear or resentment are allowed to harden - that too encourages division and discourages cooperation." In 2008 Obama told us he is a citizen of the world. He also would not wear the American flag on his lapel. You see, nations and religions create division in the world. So we need to end them. What else did Obama mean when he said he was a citizen of the world? What else was Obama suggesting when he spoke disparagingly of separate Catholic and Protestant schools? This is John Lennon's "Imagine" world. Of course, there is one slight difference. Obama wants there to be a world government, an all powerful United Nations perhaps. That is why there will be no need for nuclear weapons. Obama would call himself an idealist. Those who are regular readers of this blog know that I refer to such people as "liberals who let their beliefs dictate their reality."

* A final point. I know just who Obama has in mind to be leader of the new world order. After all, he sees him every time he looks in the mirror.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Are We At War With Islam? No, We've Already Lost. Part IV

* (Editor's note: Are We At War With Islam? Parts I & II were posted on 8/29/10 and 9/13/10. Part III was posted 9/30/12. This is a continuation of that series.)

* The May 27, 2013 New York Times had a rather lengthy article concerning the recent rioting in Stockholm, Sweden. The article, entitled "In Sweden, Riots Put An Identity In Question," starts on page 4 and continues onto page 8. The article discusses how rioting occurred in Stockholm and throughout Sweden when "bands made up mostly of young immigrants set buildings and cars ablaze in a spasm of destructive rage rarely seen in a country proud of its normally tranquil, law-abiding ways." The article makes note of the rioting that had previously occurred in Paris and London, "which also involved mostly immigrants." They also note how "in 2008 and 2010, immigrants clashed with the police in the southern port city of Malmo."

* If you were counting on the "paper of record" to actually inform you who these rioting immigrants were, you would be disappointed. If you were counting on the "paper of record" to tell you if the rioting immigrants in Stockholm, Paris, London, Malmo and other European cities had anything in common, you would be disappointed. Here's a clue: they share the same religion...Islam. Yet the NY Times will not tell its readers that the rioters in each instance were Muslim. It is a fact that most of its readers would want to know. But the paper that claims it has "All The News That's Fit To Print," does not see fit to tell the truth. When the mainstream media, the "paper of record," will not tell the truth, the war is lost. The "useful idiots" of the left are assisting in our defeat.

* The 5/30/13 Investor's Business Daily reports that one Amina Ismail, former Egyptian reporter, is now a White House correspondent. Soon after the Boston bombing she asked Press Secretary Jay Carney this: "President Obama said what happened in Boston was an act of terrorism. I would like to ask: Do you consider the U.S. bombing on civilians in Afghanistan a form of terrorism?" (Ms. Ismail sees no difference between the targeting of civilians and the targeting of terrorists, which sometimes leads to the deaths of civilians. Or does she? Maybe she just knows to manipulate the media in order to make us feel bad about killing terrorists.) Hina Shamsi, head of the ACLU's National Security Project, has appeared on MSNBC. Said she: "There is no global jihadist movement." Hadeel Al-Shalchi, former CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) Canada spokeswoman, writes anti-Israel and pro Muslim Brotherhood pieces for the AP. Sharaf Mowjood, formerly of CAIR also, has written pro-Islamist pieces for the NY Times, ABC and NBC.

* The mainstream media are co-conspirators in radical Islam's war against the West. The AP, under pressure from CAIR, will no longer use the term "Islamists" when referring to radical Muslims. The NY Times used "immigrants." The Obama Administration frequently uses "extremists." The left and "islamists" have something in common: manipulation of the language to reach their goals. So "abortion" becomes "a woman's right to choose." "Gay marriage" becomes "marriage equality." Given the lack of warming of late, "global warming" has become "climate change." And now, we see a media that will not use "radical Muslims" or "Islamists" and certainly not "Islamofascists" when referring to Muslims who murder and maim in the name of Islam.

* Recently, a British soldier by the name of Lee Rigby was literally hacked to death by two Muslim men in broad daylight on a street in London. Proud of their actions, one attacker encouraged passers-by to video him afterwards. The one stated to the cameras: "The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day." Never mind that more often than not Muslims are killing other Muslims. And, of course, the murderer (I refuse to give their names) added the mandatory "Allahu Akbar." The Times of London former editor Simon Jenkins said the public should not get worked up over "mundane acts of violence." So that's it - just get used to the brutal hacking death of a soldier on the streets of London as being "mundane." If Jenkins attitude prevails, such murders may indeed become "mundane."

* And then we had these gems. Brian Paddick, Assistant Commissioner at Scotland Yard, told us that "Islam and terrorism don't go together." David Miller, Mayor of Toronto, after learning of the plot to behead the Canadian Prime Minister by 19 Muslims said this about Islam: "It's a very peaceful religion." The BBC, a pillar of left wing ideology, somehow failed to use the word "Islam" in their story about the murder of Mr. Rigby. And they did not think it necessary to tell their viewers of the "Allahu Akbar" comment by the murderer. You see, if you want the truth about what happens in the world, you have to read and listen to conservative media outlets. If you want to remain uninformed with politically correct spins on every news story, stay with the mainstream media. After all, protecting certain groups from being offended is more important than telling the truth. (Information in this and above paragraph from an article by Mark Steyn in the 5/28/13 IBD.)

* BBC political editor Nick Robinson described the murderers of Mr. Rigby as being "of Muslim appearance." He had to apologize for saying that. Maybe the BBC can apologize to Mr. Rigby and his family and friends and fellow soldiers for his brutal slaying by Muslims. Except that they will not say the word "Muslim" in any negative context - truthful or not. The Guardian quoted a Muslim in London with this headline: "These poor idiots have nothing to do with Islam." Makes you wonder then why so many kill in the name of Islam, shouting "Allahu Akbar." (Information from article by Ayaan Hirsi Ali in the 5/28/13 WSJ.)

* One Moshen Rezaei will be running for president of Iran in next year's election. According to Interpol, Rezaei was behind the 1994 terror attack on the Jewish Center in Buenos Aires in 1994. Eighty-five people were killed and 300 were injured. Only two years prior a car bomb blew up the Israeli embassy in Buenos Aires. Iranians were also believed to be behind that terrorist attack. Isn't it comforting to know that Rezaei might be the man leading a nuclear armed Iran? (Information from 5/29/13 IBD.)

* I have to say I continue to be amazed by people telling me that under Obama the standing of the U.S. has improved throughout the world, and especially throughout the Muslim world. Except, the 3/25/13 IBD reported that approval for Obama's policies in the Muslim world has gone from 34% to 15%. That is lower than the approval of Bush's policies in his last year in office. The IBD data was from a Pew Research Center poll. Pew is considered to be one of the preeminent polling agencies in the international arena.

* President Obama recently gave a major policy address on the issues of terror and the use of drones. After telling us of both the efficacy and legality of the use of drones, he then said we need to change our policy. Drones should not be used unless we have "near certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured." That, of course, is an impossible standard to meet, and is simply another concession to the terrorists trying to kill us. After discussing "extremism" in general, Obama then referenced the "native" U.S. extremists such as at the Oklahoma City Federal Building, and at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin. And that is how it works for the left. Ninety-nine percent of the terror attacks in the last few decades can be by Muslims, but if you are on the left it is mandatory to remind everyone about Oklahoma City. See, it's not just Muslims, right?

* Obama went on to explain that there is a "pull towards extremism (that) appears to have led to the shooting at Fort Hood and the bombing of the Boston Marathon." After referring to various terror attacks in the last few decades (without mentioning Islam or Muslims, even though Muslims caused all the attacks he referenced) he then tells us this: "Most, though not all, of the terrorism we faced is fueled by a common ideology - a belief by some extremists that Islam is in conflict with the United States and the West...Of course, this ideology is based on a lie, for the United States is not at war with Islam." I agree; the United States is not at war with Islam. American soldiers have fought and died in various countries on behalf of Muslims. But he begs the question of whether Islam is in fact at war with the U.S., Israel and the rest of the West. I do not read stories about Christians burning down mosques in the Muslim world or anywhere else. I frequently read stories of Christian Churches being burned and Christians being oppressed and even murdered throughout the Muslim world. Those stories are of no concern to the left, who give ideological support to those who would kill us.

* Is there any hope? British Prime Minister David Cameron wants an investigation into "whether universities, prisons, Muslim charities and the Internet have been at times allowed to become a 'conveyor belt' of Islamist radicalization." He expressed concern about an "extremist ideology that perverts and warps Islam to create a culture of victimhood and justified violence." Cameron went on: "We need to dismantle this process at every stage - in schools, colleges, universities, on the Internet, in our prisons, wherever it is taking place." I certainly agree with that last sentiment. The truth, however, makes me discouraged. The truth is that our schools, colleges, universities and mainstream media are institutions that are overwhelmingly dominated by the left. In every instance, until maybe someone in their own family is beheaded, those on the left will give safe harbor to the Islamofascists. The left will continue to criticize the U.S and Israel and other Western countries as oppressors of Muslims. And, as I noted in an earlier post, after Muslims murdered 3000 Americans on 9/11, the media made Muslims the victims. So just how do we stop this culture of "victimhood" when the left pushes the idea of "victimhood" on almost every so-called minority group - blacks, hispanics, women, gays and Muslims. So I ask: is there any hope?

Monday, May 20, 2013

Benghazi and the IRS

* Scandals. It's almost too good to be true for those of us who are conservative and never trusted Obama nor believed a word out of Obama's mouth. We have the ongoing investigation into the Benghazi cover-up, the IRS targeting conservative groups and the subsequent cover-up of that, and the Justice Department obtaining the work and personal phone records of AP reporters. At the same time we have the jury decision in the Doctor Gosnell case; finding that the killing of babies born alive, following an attempted abortion, is indeed murder. I throw that in the mix because not only is it a victory for conservatives, but because Obama favored so-called partial birth abortions - not significantly different from what got Gosnell convicted.

* Benghazi. There are three parts to the Benghazi story: why did the State Department fail to provide adequate security for the diplomatic post in Benghazi, why were some troops given an order to stand down instead of go in and assist, and why was there a cover-up of the truth behind the attacks. Underlying all three issues is who was involved in all of the decisions. Or, in Watergate parlance, who knew what, and when did they know it?

* An unwillingness to face the truth. Incredibly, there are still those on the left who will not even acknowledge any cover-up occurred, coincidentally, only weeks before the presidential election. The mainstream media leads the charge with regards to denial. The LA Times (5/9/13) said the testimony of the whistle blowers before Congress "shed little new light on the key questions at issue in the hearing." They continued that "partisan politics loomed large" at the hearings. Every congressional hearing involves politics. That's not the question though; the question is whether independent of the politics, there is a legitimate issue warranting Congressional investigation. Greg Hicks, second in command in Libya in the State Department (and first after the murder of our Ambassador) said it was clear from the beginning it was a coordinated attack. No one there was talking about an alleged anti-Muslim video. When he heard UN Ambassador Susan Rice went on five talk shows the Sunday after the attack, blaming it all on the anti-Muslim video, Hicks said he was disgusted.

* As Hicks never reported anything about a video, a real news organization might be a little curious about how Rice ended up blaming the video and not terrorism, as did Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama for weeks afterward. A real news outlet might wonder how it came to be that the highest officials in our government all came to repeat the same lie. Of course, the State Department's Accountability Review Board (A.R.B.) was not interested in the truth either. They did not interview Mr. Hicks, Mark Thompson (another whistle blower), or Secretary of State Clinton. But the so-called media of the left did not want to know why such important people were not interviewed. Neither the media nor the A.R.B. could think of a single question to ask these people. They do not want to know who gave the order to troops at the ready to "stand down." If that order came from anyone other than Obama (and if Obama had stayed engaged rather than worrying about heading to Vegas for another fundraiser) then as Commander-in-Chief he had the absolute authority to overturn that order.

* The NY Times, not surprisingly, was no better than the LA Times. In their 5/10/13 editorial the headline was "The Republicans' Benghazi Obsession." You see, the A.R.B. already blamed unnamed leadership and management at State for the inadequate security and lack of response. So, that's that. Then a funny thing happened. ABC, a mainstream outlet, disclosed additional emails revealing more about how the "talking points" were watered down, with far more involvement by State and the White House than Jay Carney had admitted last year. It's one thing for Fox, The Weekly Standard or other conservative outlets to pursue this story. Now, the NY Times sees one of their competitors in the liberal media pursuing it. So suddenly - overnight in fact - it is not just the Republicans' obsession. No, it's a front page story above the fold on May 11, with a clearly different twist to the headline: "Benghazi e-mails put White House on the defensive." With ABC having taken the lead, the very first paragraph says "the White House was more deeply involved in revising talking points about the attack than officials have previously acknowledged." So when White House spokesman Jay Carney said that the only change made by the White House and State Department was to change Benghazi from being a "consulate" to a "diplomatic outpost" it was a lie.

* State spokeswoman Victoria Nuland was unhappy with the the original CIA draft of the talking points, referring as it did to Al Qaeda and Ansar al-Sharia, and possibly making State look bad for not having increased security in light of earlier attacks on various consulates in Benghazi. However, the first rewrite was still unsatisfactory, as Ms. Nuland stated that the changes did not "resolve all my issues or those of my building leadership." Of course, her building's leader was Hillary Clinton. But the A.R.B. did not address the cover-up and the NY Times and the rest of the mainstream media could not think of anything to ask Secretary Clinton regarding the cover-up. After all, with regards to whether the attack was a terrorist attack or due to a demonstration over a video, Clinton told us in her testimony before Congress: "What difference does it make?" The media that held on like a pit bull over Watergate, was satisfied with that comment by Clinton. Obama subsequently added with regards to the investigation, "there's no there there." And that satisfied today's mainstream media as well.

* The press serves a unique function in our society. Aside from the constitutional checks and balances on unrestrained government power, the First Amendment guarantees a free press, with the ability to challenge government officials and question their words and deeds. When the press will only challenge Republican leaders, we all lose. One might think that the IRS scandal, in which the Obama Administration targeted conservative groups and individuals which supported Romney, would make the media say "enough is enough." It was not to be.

* The front page of Sunday's NY Times explains in its headline: "Confusion and Staff Troubles Rife at Cincinnati I.R.S. Office." In reading the article I counted at least 8 different excuses the Times made for this anti-American abuse of government power. (1)There was a "revolving cast of midlevel managers," (2)there was "miscommunication with IRS lawyers and executives in Washington," (3)they were "confused about the rules they were enforcing," (4)"few if any of the employees were experts on tax law," (5)"people were coming and going, asking for advice and not getting it," and (6)"sometimes forgetting the cases existed," (7)"administering the nearly four million word federal tax code involves so many arcane legalities," and (8)the Cincinnati office was overwhelmed by "60,000 paper applications trying to find efficient means of dealing with that."

* First, none of these excuses explain how the IRS came to target conservative groups. Given all the excuses proffered by the NY Times, one wonders how the IRS could have even figured out which groups were conservative groups. Yet figure it out they did, and targeted those groups accordingly. Second, let me state that it was not only the Cincinnati office targeting Tea Party and other conservative groups. Third, individuals were targeted as well. One Frank VanderSloot made a large donation to Romney in 2011. In April, 2012, VanderSloot and seven others were targeted by the Obama campaign. Mr. VanderSloot was accused of having a "less than reputable record." After never having problems with the IRS, in June he gets audited. In July, the Department of Labor decided they needed to audit the guest workers at his ranch, and in September the IRS decided they needed an audit of his business. (Info from Kimberly Strassel article in the 5/17/13 Wall Street Journal.)

* Strassel makes a brilliant point. Whether Obama ever picked up the phone or directly ordered anyone to engage in these abuses of power is beside the point. It is not just that he is the President. No, it is the tone he has set from the time he first ran for office until now. Everyone who disagreed with him was an enemy; none held their beliefs or acted in good faith. Those who cling to their guns and religion. Obama (along with Reid, Pelosi and others) badmouthing the very peaceful Tea Party, and supporting the far less than peaceful Occupy Wall Street. Obama condemning the "millionaires and billionaires" time after time after time as not paying their fair share. Obama saying the Republicans want dirty air and dirty water. Obama calling supporters of the Second Amendment liars. And the list could go on and on.

* When Obama first ran for President I had suggested to a friend that, regardless of his democrat affiliation, he should be wary of a Chicago politician who not only hails from Chicago, but has a history of engaging in Chicago-style politics. It is a take-no-prisoners approach to one's opposition. And now, if I may borrow a line from Obama's mentor Reverend Wright, "Obama's chickens are coming home to roost."