Friday, December 25, 2015

Year End Reflections, Part III (On Obama)

Recently, President Obama said there are "...specific strains in the Republican Party that suggest that somehow I'm different, I'm Muslim, I'm disloyal to the country..." Different? Yes, you are a far left ideologue Mr. President. No one thinks you are different because you are black, as you are implying. As Dennis Prager has pointed out, when he asks a room full of conservatives if they would rather have nine white liberal men on the Supreme Court, or nine black lesbian conservatives, the audience always prefers the nine black lesbian conservative women. Because conservatives care about values; it is the left that is always dividing people into groups based on race, ethnicity, religion, economic status and so on.

But since you raised the issue Mr. President, let's discuss your "I'm a Muslim" comment. No, I am not going to argue that Obama is a Muslim - this blog has never addressed that. What I have said is that just look at the groups with which Obama aligns himself. So, seven years into the Obama Presidency, here is a little recap of Obama's words and deeds.

"Here in America, Islam has been woven into the fabric of our country since its founding generations."

"We do not consider ourselves a Christian nation."

Recall Obama's first telephone call from the White House was to Mahmoud Abbas, head of the Palestinian Authority. Abbas is a Holocaust denier, and refuses to accept Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state. But he is a Muslim. Remember when Obama bowed to the Saudi King. Remember his speech to the Muslim World from Cairo, where he invited the outlawed terrorist group the Muslim Brotherhood to attend.

And what's up with the use of ISIL to describe the Islamic State terrorist group? The rest of the world uses ISIS, but Obama uses ISIL. This is not just a personal preference as Obama has clearly instructed his entire Administration to say ISIL. Is it because the 'L' stands for Levant, an area used to describe the eastern end of the Mediterranean that predated Israel? And why has Obama so frequently said the goal is to "degrade" and defeat ISIL? Did Roosevelt or Churchill speak about "degrading" the Nazis?

"Islam has a proud tradition of tolerance."

"I consider it part of my responsibility as President of the United States to fight against negative stereotypes of Islam wherever they appear."

"In ancient times and in our times, Muslim communities have been at the forefront of innovation and education."

"The future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam."

Obama ordered the removal of the word "jihad" from FBI and military training manuals. He will not say "radical Islam" or "Islamic terror." Obama has made a deal with the Iranians that will allow them to get nuclear weapons, an existential threat to our greatest Mid-East ally, Israel. He does nothing while Iran keeps developing ballistic missiles. He said he would veto any new Congressional sanctions against Iran.

Groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood have been invited to the White House. Worse, people with radical ties are employed in some of our federal agencies.

Obama wants to bring Syrian refugees to the U.S. I understand the pros and cons of the argument. But the worst thing is that he has had precious little to say about the elimination of Christianity from the Muslim Middle East and North Africa. We are talking about some Christian communities that have lived there since the time of Jesus. Christian holy sites dating to antiquity have been destroyed. What is Obama's plan for the approximately one million Christians who have been displaced?

So, Obama wants to bring Syrian refugees here. He wants to make sure that a new Muslim state of Palestine is created on Israel's border, even as those Arabs continue to proclaim their desire to wipe Israel off the map. But what is Obama's plan for the Christians? Anybody?

Meanwhile, as large numbers of Muslims have been flooding into Europe, that continent has become an increasingly dangerous place for Jews. This year more Jews have left France for Israel than ever before.

Obama wanted to "fundamentally change" our country and the world. The world is indeed fundamentally changed under his watch. The few Christians left in the Muslim Middle Eastern and North African countries will soon be gone. The Jews may last somewhat longer in Europe, but they too may end up leaving. On the other hand, Muslims have moved in increasing numbers throughout the Western world. Part of Obama's plan to fundamentally change the world? You tell me.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Year End Reflections, Part II

In a win for the First Amendment's right to free speech, a Federal Court of Appeal has ruled in favor of the Washington Redskins. In trying to ban "disparaging" trademarks, the government overstepped its authority and violated the Constitution. Said the Court: "It is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment that the government may not penalize private speech merely because it disapproves of the message it conveys." I know many on the left would just as soon do away with the Constitution, so score one for freedom.

Following Obama's speech intended to calm an anxious nation after the San Bernardino attacks, the New York Times saved their criticism for the Republican presidential candidates, not the lack of substance put forth by Obama. Their criticisms are, as is frequently the case for those who engage in such tactics, childlike. For example, Ted Cruz was described as the "Twitter warrior," Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush went on Fox News (the old guilt by association ploy), and Donald Trump was the "bigot without foreign policy experience." What foreign policy experience did Obama or Bill Clinton have? Just asking.

On the 12/22/15 episode of the O'Reilly Factor was a debate between Zuhdi Jasser and Osama Siblani. Jasser is a medical doctor, a former lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy and an American Muslim. He runs the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and is stridently anti-Islamist. Siblani, on the other hand, runs the Arab American News. According to the Anti-Defamation League, that paper has had many articles expressing sympathy and even support for the terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah. Not surprising, therefore, to hear this ridiculous claim from Siblani: "radicalization is on equal footing among all the religions and ideologies - Christianity, Judaism and Islam." Sure.

Of course there is no war on Christmas. Except in Johnson County, Kentucky the school district did not approve of an elementary school putting on a production of "A Charlie Brown Christmas." According to Fox, schools in that district were "ordered to remove all religious references from their upcoming Christmas productions." Isn't that taking the "Christmas" out of "Christmas?" And in another school district one principal changed Thanksgiving to the "harvest festival" and Christmas parties became "winter celebrations." As Prager noted in a recent column, how often do you hear "Happy Holidays" instead of "Merry Christmas and Happy New Year?" As a Jew I still go with the latter.

What's up with the Republicans? They pass a budget of $1.1 trillion dollars, adding/keeping taxes, funding all of Obama's programs, and put it all in an omnibus bill of over 2000 pages. It passed in the Senate with the support of 27 Republicans. 26 Republicans opposed, including Cruz and Paul. Rubio was apparently on the campaign trail. So, we voted in a Republican Congress to get more Democratic legislation?

After the worst attack on Paris since World War II, nearly every country in the world came together in Paris to fight terrorism. Nope. They came together to fight climate change. Following passage of the non-binding agreement, our President was patting himself on the back for leading the way. Just as Obamacare was a way to redistribute wealth within the country, this climate accord is a way to redistribute wealth internationally. In order to pay for this it will require higher taxes for citizens of the wealthier countries, such as the U.S.

Reflecting the scare tactics of the mainstream media, the USA Today opined in their 12/14/15 editorial that "barring a technological miracle, global warming will continue unabated and wreak havoc on the planet." As I was listening to the local news the other night, they were reporting that this was the hottest month or year since some time in the 1880s. Instead of panicking, I thought - so did the earth burn out then? Did life as we know it end then? Of course not.

In response to the hysteria, Jay Ambrose wrote in the 12/19/15 Ventura County Star: "Cheap, powerfully efficient fossil fuels are one of the best things ever to happen to humanity. Oil, natural gas and coal make the modern, industrialized world go. Without them, we wouldn't have affordable computers, electric lights, TVs, effectively functioning hospitals, machines helping to produce gobs of needed food, transportation that gets you here, there and everywhere and more, much more, endlessly more." (Citing Alex Epstein in "The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.")

The Investor's Business Daily concurred. "Sustained economic growth, a necessary prerequisite for scientific and technological dynamism, became possible when humanity was able to rely on 'non-renewable, non-green, non-clean power'," citing Matt Ridley, author of "The Rational Optimist." But the left cares far more for the planet than they do for humanity. And they have almost no concern for the economic consequences of their policies. If they wanted to eliminate carbon-based fuels they would push for more nuclear power, but don't hold your breath on that one.

Year End Reflections, Part I

Following the San Bernardino murders by two Islamic terrorists, one letter writer to the New York Times opined as follows: "I am furious with the gun-crazed National Rifle Association...I am furious with the politicians who caved in to the demands of the N.R.A. I am furious with the Republican Party for making support of the gun lobby an immutable policy position. I am disgusted with the Republican candidates for president when they issue their "thoughts and prayers" comments on the San Bernardino shootings."

To this letter writer, like many leftists, the shooting was all about guns, the N.R.A. and Republicans. I am of a different mindset - I am furious with the shooters, the evil ideology that motivated them, and a President who wants to bring more potential terrorists to our shores. But that's just me.

But as L. Gordon Grovitz noted in a column in the 12/7/15 Wall Street Journal: "The U.S. won't deter Saudi Arabia from exporting its toxic Wahhabi teachings so long as Washington keeps pretending that radical Islam has nothing to do with terrorism." And, I would add, the same applies to any Islamic group dedicated to the spread of Shariah Law.

In support of the aforementioned letter writer, here is another. These letters are, of course, a reflection of the far left readership to which the Times caters. "I despair. Not so much of ISIS, as of our leaders who deny that the unfettered proliferation of guns is a danger to our society." I would ask this letter writer: had the two Islamic terrorists not murdered those 14 people in San Bernardino, are you of the opinion that the guns would have gotten themselves up and gone on a shooting spree on their own?

While I would not give much credence to a presidential poll nearly a year ahead of the election, just for fun here the results of the latest Quinnipiac Poll. Hillary is in a dead heat with Cruz, each garnering 44% support. She edges out Rubio 44% to 43%, which is well within the margin of error. She beats Trump 47% to 40%. I suspect not a single commentator would have predicted that Trump would not only last this long, but would be doing so well.

I have previously used scientific rules to explain the world of politics and international affairs. For example, Obama's "lead from behind" strategy of withdrawing from the world has allowed countries like Russia, China and Iran to assert their influence, because "nature abhors a vacuum." Similarly, another rule of physics is that "for every action there is a reaction, equal in force and opposite in direction." I believe that rule fairly sums up the appeal of Donald Trump.

Yes, Trump can be nasty and abrasive, and unnecessarily insulting. He can be like a tempestuous Junior High School kid. But he is speaking to people's concerns about immigration and terrorists because of Obama's weak stance on those issues. Obama has moved full steam ahead on many issues regardless of the opposition of the American people. From the Affordable Care Act to immigration to fighting ISIS and terrorism, his policies have not been shared by the majority of the citizenry. But Trump speaks to those issues. Trump cannot be bought, given his wealth. And Trump speaks plainly.

What is up with the Democrats, holding their debates on Saturday nights? I have to assume that the party leaders are desperate for a Hillary win. It appears they do not want to risk giving Bernie the media coverage that Trump gets. Keep him out of the spotlight, and keep any potential miscues of Hillary from being seen by a wide audience. I keep seeing more and more Bernie bumper stickers, even on rather costly automobiles. I am trying to work up the courage to ask one of those people if they would share their wealth with me.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

San Bernardino, Part III

In earlier posts, I commented on how after 9/11, the left and the mainstream media made Muslims the victims. The attacks that killed nearly 3000 Americans were carried out by men - all of whom were Muslims. Yet, in the twisted thinking of the left the Muslims were the victims.

And the left is at it again. After the San Bernardino murders, Attorney General Loretta Lynch spoke at the Muslim Advocates Dinner. Lynch: "Now obviously this is a country that is based on free speech, but when it edges towards violence, when we see the potential for someone lifting that mantle of anti-Muslim rhetoric or, as we saw after 9/11, violence against individuals...when we see that, we will take action."

Did the Attorney General of the United States say she would prosecute anti-Muslim "rhetoric?" And what does "edges towards violence" mean? Surely, the Attorney General must know that the Supreme Court has given the legal standard for not protecting such types of speech - and that standard is not what she has articulated. What was once a "clear and present danger" standard was subsequently modified to speech that is "directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action...and is likely to incite or produce such action."

So the speech must not only incite but be likely to lead to imminent lawless action. But we have a bigger issue. Lynch also commented on "an incredibly disturbing rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric...the fear that you have just mentioned is in fact my greatest fear as a prosecutor." Why is that your biggest fear, Ms. Lynch? Your FBI Director says he has 900 open investigations, spread out through all 50 states, looking into ISIS threats. So why isn't the threat of further attacks by ISIS and other radical Muslims your biggest fear, Ms. Lynch?

Everybody probably recalls the story out of Texas about the "clock boy." 14 year old Mohamed brought a clock to school which he claimed he had built himself. Others disputed that and said it was simply a store purchased clock. In any event, he brought it to school - with wires hanging out of it. His science teacher told him not to display the clock in other classes, but, of course, he did. One teacher called the police and Mohamed found himself under arrest.

Currently, Mohamed (after being invited to the White House and moving to Qatar) has a $15 million lawsuit against the Irving Independent School District and the City of Irving. He also wants written apologies from the city's Mayor and Police Chief, and the School District.

What does any of this have to do with the San Bernardino shootings? Plenty. You see, there has been an effort by those Muslims who support the terrorists to prevent any speech that is critical of Islam, and to prevent any actions that they say are discriminatory towards Muslims. In actuality, their goal is to intimidate other Americans from speaking out against radical Islam, or even reporting suspicious activity when they see it.

And the left joins in as the useful idiots of those Muslims supporting terrorist acts, by declaring any anti-Muslim speech as being hateful. And now the Attorney General has taken it one step further by threatening prosecution of those who engage in "anti-Muslim rhetoric." You see, this fear of either being sued or prosecuted or just not being politically correct and appearing racist all have the same intended effect - discourage Americans from speaking up and taking action.

So, maybe we should not just blame the Muslim perpetrators of this horrific crime in San Bernardino; maybe we should also blame political correctness. It has been reported that at least one neighbor was suspicious of some of the killers' activities, but did not report it to anyone for fear of being seen as a "racist." Another site reported a man working in the area was also suspicious - but again said nothing for fear of being accused of racial profiling. And it has happened before when the Army knew of Major Nidal Hasan's radical leanings - but did nothing because of political correctness.

Again, for my concerned liberal readers, I fully acknowledge that not all Muslims support terrorism. I acknowledge that the male shooter's brother served this country honorably in the Navy. But if mere political correctness - being seen as a bigot, or being called an Islamophobe - is enough to prevent people from reporting suspicious activity, how much more so is the deterrent effect of a $15 million lawsuit, or the threat of criminal prosecution? So, if it's your chance to speak up and do something, will you?

San Bernardino, Part II

The official site of the FBI notes a total of 14,196 murders in the US in 2013, obviously not all by guns. They state that the total represents a 7.8% decrease from 2009 and a 12.1 decrease from 2004. A decrease in the murder rate! Yet, while these mass killings are indeed horrific, and while every sane person feels for the victims and their loved ones, the left is automatically drawn to the issue as an issue of guns. In 2006, 1830 were killed by knives. The number was 1817 in 2007. Shall we ban possession of knives; or at least control their sale and distribution?

In 2013, 32,719 people were killed in auto accidents. Of that total, 11,126 had a blood alcohol equal to or greater than .08%. Where is the call to ban cars? (I know, a few wackos would have us do just that.) Where is the call to ban alcohol? I believe we tried that once. The CDC reports that on a daily basis "more than 9 people are killed and more than 1,153 people are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver." On a daily basis! Who has not seen people talking on their hand held phones and even texting while driving?

Why bring up auto fatalities, distracted driving fatalities and deaths by knifing? Because the number of those fatalities in each instance exceeds the number killed by mass shootings. Auto fatalities far exceed fatalities by mass shootings. Yet, the left and Democrats only see one thing - guns. It is certainly true that these mass killings are shocking. It is true that they have the ability to shake us to our core in a way that these other fatalities do not. (I am not even discussing deaths caused by various medical conditions, with each of the more serious causes numbering in the hundreds of thousands per year.)

These mass killings are so random. They can hit anybody at any time. The victims in San Bernardino included men and women, young and old, and were black, white, Asian and Hispanic. There is, perhaps, a feeling of urgency to do something - anything - to stop these killings from happening.

Said one letter writer to the LA Times: "I don't know whether to hate the gun lobbies, hate terrorists or hate myself for hating anyone." Such confused moral thinking. I know who I hate - the evil terrorist perpetrators of the crime. It has been repeatedly noted that the guns used in San Bernardino were purchased legally. So existing gun laws made no difference. What new gun laws short of confiscation would have made a difference here? No one believes confiscation is possible. We have laws on the books in many states against driving while talking on a hand held phone. The same for texting and driving. Yet people do these things all the time for the sake of their own convenience.

If putting convenience ahead of safe driving laws is not a deterrence, then why would any gun laws deter those motivated by an ideology? Radical Islamists often do not expect to survive their terrorist attacks. If that is the case, no law and no threat of punishment will deter them. But, as this blog has noted previously, the left does not see the world as being a conflict between good and evil. The left actually believes that radical Islamists would not kill people without access to guns. Tell that to the Israelis, who have been suffering one knife attack after the next in the current intifada. Tell that to the victims of ISIS beheadings.

Not surprisingly, the mainstream media gets it wrong again. In their 12/3/15 editorial, the LA Times opines: "We need to get rid of most concealed-carry laws and make sure there are no guns on school campuses." Yes, let's tell all the bad guys where no guns are allowed so they know they will meet no resistance when carrying out their evil attacks. Of course, these attacks were not at a school and had nothing to do with concealed-carry issues.

The American people are smarter than the editorial writers of the Times, who reside in their ivory tower. On the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) the FBI processed more firearm background checks than they ever have before in a single day - 185,345. People want to protect themselves and their families. And contrary to the Times' opinion, we need more permits to carry concealed weapons for law-abiding citizens. Somebody needs to try to stop the perpetrators while the police are still driving to the scene.

San Bernardino, Part I

A young couple, with the husband having a good job, and with having a six month old daughter, and by all accounts living the American Dream, decided to give it all up in order to commit mass murder at the San Bernardino Inland Regional Center. As is the policy of this blog, I refuse to name the perpetrators. However, they were both Muslim. 14 people were killed and at least 21 were wounded.

When the police tracked them down, they were found to have "1400 assault rifle rounds and 200 handgun rounds" in their vehicle. A search of their home revealed "a dozen pipe bombs, 2000 9-millimeter handgun rounds, 2500 .223-caliber assault rifle rounds, and hundreds of tools that could have been used to make more explosive devices..." (Data from LA Times, 12/4/15.)

It was reported that the husband had been to Pakistan, and twice to Saudi Arabia, the second trip apparently being for the purpose of bringing back his future wife. Some in the media have reported that the wife had sworn her allegiance to the head of ISIS. Meanwhile, much of the mainstream media, along with Democrat leaders, felt that the story was all about guns. President Obama said that these mass killings have "no parallel anywhere else in the world."

John Lott had a piece in the 12/3/15 Investor's Business Daily. (Lott holds a Ph.D. in economics and has worked at various universities as well as the conservative American Enterprise Institute. He is an advocate for gun ownership, but has been accused of having his studies funded by the NRA and a gun manufacturer, which he denies. So, there is your background.) He points out in his article that the number of deaths from mass killings in the US during Obama's nearly 7 years in office totals 394. However, he says that in just this year alone, France has had 508 fatalities from mass killings.

In looking at the rate (as opposed to actual number) of mass killings from 2009 to mid-June, 2015, Norway came in with the highest rate at two per million people. It was followed by Macedonia, Serbia, Slovakia, Finland, Belgium, the Czech Republic and then the USA. Closing out the top ten were Austria and Switzerland.

In support of Obama's plan to bring at least 10,000 Syrian refugees to the US (Hillary says it should be 65,000) he mocked Republicans, claiming they feared widows and children. Mockery has always been Obama's preferred debating technique. In any event, he ignored the fact that many young men would also be among those refugees. And now we see just how well the supposed strict vetting program of those refugees would likely work. The murdering wife came to the US on a "fiance visa." Both the FBI and Department of Homeland Security ran background checks on her - and cleared her for a conditional green card.

This woman had a six month old daughter. Yet, she would clearly be one of those women Obama would say we have no reason to fear. What kind of mother abandons her newborn child in order to commit mass murder? Was she driven to do it by the easy accessibility to guns? Or, was she driven to such behavior by the evil ideology of radical Islam? Reading the 12/3/15 editorials in the LA Times ("Horror in San Bernardino") and NY Times ("The Horror in California") one would reasonably conclude that it was all about access to guns. Neither editorial mentioned that the couple was of the Muslim religion, nor that they were drawn to radical Islamic ideology.

The LA Times editorial said that "the common element in the vast majority of these mass killings - and in the daily parade of violence across the country - is the easy access to firearms." They go on to state that "from 1998 to 2013, an average of 11,500 homicides each year were committed with guns in the US."

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Views From the Left

As college students are treated like children by their leftist professors and college administrators, and are provided "safe zones" from speech they may find offensive, the belief in the First Amendment is rapidly being extinguished. A Pew Research Poll from April and May, 2015 shows declining support for speech from generation to generation. Support for the government to prevent free - but offensive - speech now reaches 40% of millennials, compared to 27% for Gen-Xers (ages 35-40), 24% for Boomers (ages 51-69) and only 12% of the Silent generation (ages 70-89). I wonder what the generation that fought and defeated the Nazis - the Greatest Generation - would think of today's enfeebled generation.

In Utah's Salem Junior High School, freshmen students were given a rather unusual assignment. They were told to create a propaganda poster for a terrorist organization, such as ISIS. This is how the left believes we get insight into why terrorists do what they do. The left always feels a need to "understand" evil. Here's a clue - there is good and evil in this world, period. Currently, nearly all terrorists are driven by the same ideology - Islam. Yes, I know that all Muslims do not share the same interpretation of Islam; but contrary to the beliefs of leftists/Democrats, Islam is the motivating factor for terrorists.

The name for the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University has to go. Wilson had been president of Princeton, then Governor of New Jersey and then US President. But, Wilson was a racist. The NY Times supported changing the name of that school because of Wilson's "toxic legacy." Said one letter writer to the Times: "Why stop with Woodrow Wilson? Take Washington, Jefferson and Jackson off the $1, $2 and $20 bills...and their names off all public places. They were slave owners." Said another writer: "If the message is that leadership can't be accompanied by blemishes, what member of this self-aware generation will be willing to stand up to lead?"

The Truth-Uncensored has previously expressed our displeasure with the changing of historic definitions, such as for marriage. Now, the left wants to rewrite history altogether. Will we rewrite history and get rid of all references to Wilson, Washington, Jefferson, Jackson and others? Or, are we willing to accept the "blemishes" of past leaders, understanding that like most of us they were molded by the times in which they lived.

The Swedish Foreign Minister was asked why people get radicalized and fight for ISIS. With her leftist view of the world she replied: "Here, once again, we are brought back to situations like the one in the Middle East, where not least, the Palestinians see that there isn't a future. We must either accept a situation or resort to violence." Aside from the historical inaccuracy, it is another example of the left explaining and even justifying terrorism.

Our Secretary of State, John Kerry, was not to be outdone and gave his own justification for Islamic terror. "There's something different about what happened (referring to the recent Paris attacks) from Charlie Hebdo, and I think everybody would feel that. (No, we would not, you moron!) There was a sort of particularized focus and perhaps even a legitimacy in terms of...not a legitimacy, but a rationale that you could attach yourself to somehow and say, okay, they're really angry because of this and that. This Friday was absolutely indiscriminate, it wasn't to aggrieve one particular sense of wrong..."

How embarrassing that this man is Secretary of State. A "legitimacy" or "rationale" to the Charlie Hebdo attacks. What would that be Mr. Kerry? The terrorists killed people at Charlie Hebdo for exercising what would be their First Amendment rights in the USA. And that gives a certain legitimacy or rationale? "Moron" is not nearly a strong enough term to describe Kerry, but as readers of the Truth-Uncensored know, this blog is an intellectual discussion of real issues, and "moron" is the worst I will say in the blog. However, regardless of how moronic his comments are, they do reflect leftist thinking.

Obama wants to keep bringing in more and more Syrian refugees to the US, while many states are saying they do not want them. The Feds are now threatening the states, advising them they have no legal authority to refuse the refugees. House Judiciary Chairman, Bob Goodlatte, R-Va, noted the irony in the Administration's threat. Said Goodlatte: "It's hypocritical for Obama Administration officials to threaten enforcement action against these states when they refuse to enforce the vast majority of our immigration laws, such as cracking down on sanctuary cities that openly defy federal law and endanger the American people."

The Truth-Uncensored has written extensively on the harm ("fundamental change" per Obama) done by the left. From negating the importance of the First Amendment's freedoms of speech and religion, to the right to keep and bear arms, to controlling who gets to run a business based on their political beliefs, the left seeks to undermine basic American values. Who knew that today's leftists would turn out to be supporters of Joe McCarthy, although, they probably do not know who McCarthy was, or how they ideologically align with him. If you agree with all of this you should vote for Hillary Clinton. If you disagree but will vote for Hillary anyway - shame on you!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Another Paris Massacre, Part II

After the Paris attacks Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said this: "The time has come for countries to condemn terrorism against us to the same degree that they condemn terrorism everywhere else in the world." And in light of all the recent stabbings and other attacks against Israelis, Netanyahu said this: "We are not to blame for the terrorism directed against us, just as the French are not to blame for the terrorism directed against them."

These attacks in Paris were horrific and savage. Every human being should have sympathy for the victims and their families and friends. The perpetrators are/were evil. But I have bad news for Netanyahu - the French do not and will not connect the dots. The French government often leads the EU in their criticism of Israel, and yes - blaming Israel for the terrorist attacks inflicted on them by radical Muslims. But, because the radical Muslims attacking Israel are "Palestinians" they get a pass from France and the EU.

The West Bank and Golan Heights are far from being the only disputed land areas in the world. But with Jews on one side, it is the only one to which France and the EU pays attention. Why is that? Because anti-Semitism remains rampant throughout Europe. What about Kashmir, disputed territory between India and Pakistan? What about the dispute between China and Japan over islands in the South China Sea? And what about Russian aggression in taking the Crimea from the Ukraine? These are just a few of many land disputes in the world. But France and the EU saves its condemnation for the one Jewish state.

What have the French and EU learned as they take in increasing numbers of Muslims, and as Jews are leaving, often for Israel, in increasing numbers? Jews are leaving because life in Europe has become increasingly dangerous for them, especially in France. France no longer labels Hamas a terrorist organization, but they do label goods from Judea and Samaria. So while I feel for all the individuals affected by the Paris attacks, I do not have the same feeling for the French government. They remain steadfast in their inability/refusal to connect the dots; to see that Islamic terrorism against Israelis is no different than Islamic terrorism against the French.

Said one writer in the Jewish Press (Ari Fuld): "We (Israelis) told them (Europeans) this (Palestinian terror) was not about land or occupation, but they didn't listen! They pressured us to make deals with those who shoot us, blow us up and stab us, and when we refuse to do so, they condemn us." In fact, France continues to push for a resolution at the UN Security Council establishing a terrorist Palestinian state on the so-called 1967 borders. That would establish a Palestinian state within miles of Israel's main population centers in and around Tel Aviv. And, of course, the resolution would require Israel to relinquish the holy sites in so-called "East Jerusalem," because we know the Muslims have such a great history of protecting Jewish holy sites.

I am in favor of the French government having to surrender "East Paris" to Muslim control. If ISIS and Al Qaeda and other terrorist groups enter, then oh well. That is what they are asking of the Israelis.

The French news agency, AFP (Agence France-Presse), posted a list of some of the large scale terror attacks by radical Islamists since the 9/11 attacks here. Somehow, the list made no mention of any of the numerous terrorist attacks in Israel since 9/11. Not the 1/5/03 attack at a Tel Aviv bus station killing 22 and wounding 120. Nor the 8/19/03 bus attack killing 23 and wounding 130, to name just 2 omissions from the list.

Ordinarily, this is a blog about politics and culture, not religion. But one reference to the Torah is apropos here. G-d told Abraham to leave the home of his ancestors and travel to the land of Canaan (later known as Israel). And G-d told Abraham, recognized as the first Jew, "I will bless those who bless you, and those who curse you I will curse." Maybe the secular French and Europeans should take note.

Another Paris Massacre, Part I

This past Friday ISIS terrorists attacked innocent civilians at various venues in Paris. The attacks occurred outside the Stade de France during a soccer match, with the French President in attendance; at the Bataclan during a rock concert by a Southern California band; and at popular restaurants. The terrorists had assault weapons, grenades and wore suicide/homicide vests. It was clearly a well planned and coordinated attack, leaving at least 132 dead, and over 350 wounded.

Today, French jets were bombing ISIS targets in Raqqa, Syria, an ISIS stronghold. This, of course, was the second Islamic terrorist attack in Paris this year, the first being in January at Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish kosher market.

At the Democratic debate last night, the candidates were asked if they agreed with Marco Rubio's assessment that "we are at war with radical Islam." As is typical for Democrats, including Obama, Clinton did not agree. Clinton said she did not find that phrase to be "particularly helpful." Why is it not helpful to identify the enemy? Said Clinton: "I don't think we're at war with Islam," and "I don't think we're at war with all Muslims." Who said that we are? No one. Clearly, however, we are at war with radical Islam/Islamism.

Why is it so hard for these Democrats to tell the truth? Are peaceful Muslims unable to understand the difference between themselves and the radical ones who want to destroy Western Civilization? What is the problem? Clinton did go on to say that "I think we're at war with jihadists." Jihad is an Islamic concept, not a Christian or Jewish or Hindu one. Why can't they acknowledge the connection?

The other two candidates, Sanders and O'Malley were no better. In fact, it gets worse. Both Clinton and O'Malley said that the US should accept 65,000 refugees from the Middle East, with the qualification that they be carefully screened. Just how is that possible? Will we send FBI agents to run background checks on 65,000 people from Syria and Iraq? Just how reliable would any of that information be? And how many FBI agents would we need? They may as well use the approach jokingly suggested by my daughter - give them all a 3X5 index card asking "Are you an ISIS member or supporter, please check "yes" or "no." That ought to work.

Sanders also agreed that we need to take in Middle Eastern refugees. And, never one to disappoint, Sanders said this: "climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism." If this were said on Saturday Night Live it would be funny. Coming from a serious Presidential candidate, it is moronic. You know what's directly related to the growth of terrorism? Radical Islam. And what's directly related to the growth of radical Islam? The break-up of various Middle Eastern and North African countries, where central governments (former dictators) are no longer in power. (No, I am not going to use this post to discuss the relative responsibility of Bush vs. Obama.)

Speaking of moronic comments, our President was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America and was asked: "ISIS is gaining strength, aren't they?" To which Obama replied: "I don't think they're gaining strength...we have them contained." Contained? Admittedly, he could not know about the attacks in Paris occurring only hours later. But what about the Beirut attacks killing 40? What about the downing of the Russian jet killing 244? What about FBI Director James Comey saying the FBI has 900 active investigations into ISIS operatives in the US? Does any of that suggest "containment?" And again, why can't a Democrat tell the truth about ISIS?

Earlier this past week, the European Union voted to label products coming from the West Bank (Judea and Samaria) and the Golan Heights. The EU believes that land belongs to the "Palestinians," even though no Palestinian state ever existed there. Nevertheless, the EU declared that goods from those areas may not have the label "Made in Israel." Unfortunately, Obama has no issue with the EU, with his State Department saying "we do not believe that labeling the origin of products is equivalent to a boycott." And: " you know, we do not consider settlements to be part of Israel."

So why do I bring up this issue of labeling in a post about the Paris massacre? For my somewhat controversial take, see Part II.

Friday, November 6, 2015

The Culture Wars, Part III

Senator Ted Cruz had introduced a measure in the US Senate commonly referred to as "Kate's Law." Kate Steinle was murdered by an illegal immigrant in San Francisco, an immigrant who had been deported from the US at least five times. This criminal already had a lengthy criminal history of seven felony convictions.

The purpose behind the law was quite simple - to discourage criminals who had been deported from attempting to sneak back in to the US. If such an individual were caught after reentering the country they would face a mandatory five year prison sentence.

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid was able to block the measure from coming to a vote. Under Senate rules, 60 votes are needed to bring a measure to the floor for a vote of the full Senate. The Republicans have only 54 seats, allowing Reid to still have control over the Senate's business, even though he is no longer Majority Leader.

Said Reid: "All we've seen from Republican leaders and their caucus is bills that attack immigrants and tear families apart. So I object." In reply, Cruz said this: "When the Democratic leader suggests that incarcerating aggravated felons, murderers and rapists who illegally reenter this country is somehow a sleight to immigrants - well, Mr. President, I am a son of an immigrant who came from Cuba. There is no one in this chamber who will fight harder for legal immigrants than I will."

Bill O'Reilly was a huge supporter of Kate's Law. After Reid blocked a Senate vote, O'Reilly was furious and said: "Mr. Reid is a liar and a villain. This has nothing to do with the so-called immigrant community. This is about fixing a corrupt criminal situation."

The murderer of Kate Steinle was actually in the custody of San Francisco's Sheriff on unrelated charges when the Feds requested they he be held until the Feds could pick him up for immigration violations. However, when the local prosecutor decided not to pursue charges against the soon to be murderer, the Sheriff, Ross Mirkarimi, declined to keep the man in custody. Shortly after his release he killed Ms. Steinle.

Another positive result of this past Tuesday's election is that Sheriff Mirkarimi was soundly defeated by the challenger, garnering only 33% of the vote, with the victor getting 61%.

As I mentioned in Part II, the Democrats equate illegal immigrants, even criminal illegal immigrants, with legal immigrants. The complete blurring - no, elimination of any distinction between them. The fact that Senate Democrats - only 6 were needed to vote with the 54 Republicans to bring the bill to a vote - were unwillingly to take a firm stand against criminal aliens, tells you everything you need to know about how divided this country is. Shared fundamental values? Not by a long shot. Whose side are you on?

The Culture Wars, Part II

About one and a half years ago the City of Houston passed what became known as HERO - the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. The stated purpose was to protect 15 different classes of people (based on sex, race, color, ethnicity, national origin, age, familial status, marital status, military status, religion, disability, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity and pregnancy) from discrimination in housing, employment, public accommodations, etc.

Those opposed to the ordinance were able to get a vote on repeal of the ordinance on this past Tuesday's ballot. The ordinance was repealed by a landslide vote of 61% to 39%. Opposition to the ordinance was apparently fierce by those concerned that men would be allowed to use women's restrooms.

The Mayor of Houston, Annise Parker, who is openly gay, was quite upset over the ordinance's repeal. The Mayor blamed the repeal on a "small, very determined group of right-wing ideologues and the religious right." I don't know how small a group if the measure passed with 61% in favor of repeal. That does not sound like a "small group." I also dislike the attack on the religious.

Not living in Houston, I did not read the various editorials and letters to the editor in the Houston papers concerning the ordinance and the repeal measure. Having looked at the text of the Ordinance, I cannot help but wonder why the drafters did not specifically state that the ordinance does not permit men to enter women's restrooms, if that was the concern.

The Houston Mayor also added that the opponents "only know how to destroy and not build up." Aside from the typical demagoguery from the left, I would suggest that it is they who seek to destroy, with the target being Western Civilization and Judeo-Christian values.

Speaking of demagoguery, the New York Times lead editorial of 11/5/15 ran with this headline: "In Houston, Hate Trumped Fairness." I must say, it is quite tiring to hear the whining from the New York Times anytime something does not go their way. The "paper of record" does not prefer intellectual discourse; they do not see their job as elevating the discussion of issues in our country. Rather, like Junior High School kids, their arguments consist of name-calling and demagoguery.

The Mayor certainly did nothing to help her cause when she sought to subpoena the sermons of five (presumably outspoken) pastors in Houston. That was a clear violation of both the free speech and freedom of religion clauses of the First Amendment to the US Constitution. Was there some backlash from that overreaching? I do not know.

Here's a question: if a man sought employment and said he insisted on wearing a dress on the job, why should an employer not be allowed to say no - if you want to wear a dress do it outside of work. Would it matter to you if the man was looking to be hired as an elementary school teacher?

Society has always had to deal with issues of where lines should be drawn. But we are in a new era, an era in which the left seeks to obliterate all distinctions.

The Culture Wars, Part I

In a story out of Palatine, Illinois, a student in the Township High School District is undergoing hormone therapy. The student was born as a male, but identifies as female. It is unclear if the student ultimately wishes to undergo gender reassignment surgery. In any event, this student was denied access to the girls' locker room.

Apparently, a separate changing area was offered to the student, but that was unacceptable. Then the Feds stepped in and told the District to allow the student access to the girls' locker room, or end up on the wrong side of a federal lawsuit, and lose $6 million in federal aid.

The Washington Post quoted the student as follows: "This decision (by the Feds) makes me extremely happy - because of what it means for me, personally, and for countless others...The District's policy stigmatized me, often making me feel like I was not a 'normal person.'"

Locker rooms at a school are used for changing clothes. People are often naked. What if 15 and 16 and 17 year old girls do not want a male student changing in their locker room with them? What about the feelings of those students?

Now, before everybody yells at me, the student in question has all the male genitalia. Just as I believe we should not have changed the definition of marriage, I do not believe we should change the definition of male or female based upon how one feels. This does not mean that I do not have sympathy for people who feel so uncomfortable in their own bodies. I do. They are human beings and should be treated as such. But when do the feelings of other students come into play? And, if we were still a more religious oriented society we might have retained the concept of "modesty," with no explanation needed as to why the two sexes have separate locker rooms. Instead, we see another example of "it's all about me."

Not surprisingly, the New York Times was thrilled with the Federal government involving itself into a local matter. Said the Times in their 11/5/15 editorial: "...the Department of Education backed a transgender student in Illinois who is fighting for the right to use restrooms and and locker rooms on campus like any other female student." Like any other female student? Do the other female students have penises and testicles?

To the leftists at the Times it's all the same - no difference between males and females. I have expressed before my discomfort at the changing of definitions. Now we have "male equals female." If the Times had said that notwithstanding the male genitalia on this student the student should be allowed to use the girls' locker room, I would still disagree, but it would have been more honest. Instead, they want us to believe that a male student is "just like any other female student."

Fundamental concepts are being altered by the left, supported by the heavy hand of the Obama Administration. Meanwhile, common sense has left the building, all in the name of political correctness. None of us knows where this will end, and certainly not whether we will be happy with the consequences.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Whose Side Are You On - Obama's or Cruz's?

Recently, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was told by White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest that "the inflammatory rhetoric needs to stop." You see, Netanyahu somewhat overstated the case when he said that during the World War II era, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem persuaded Hitler to exterminate all the Jews instead of deporting them. Hitler apparently came up with the idea of the Jewish genocide on his own.

However, there is no doubt that the Grand Mufti supported the Holocaust. In Carolyn Glick's book, The Israeli Solution, she discusses how the Mufti was eager to assist Hitler but wanted two things in exchange: support for the Mufti ruling much of the Middle East (including modern day Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and Israel), and support for the genocide of Middle East Jewry. Support for genocide of the Jews!

So, Netanyahu overstated the argument - but not by that much. For that, he got White House condemnation. Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, recently said this: "We welcome every drop of blood spilled in Jerusalem. This is pure blood, clean blood, blood on its way to Allah." Have you heard the outcry yet? Have you heard the White House complain that the Palestinian Muslims have a culture of death? Many non-Jews have even heard that most famous Jewish toast: L'Chaim! To life! Does Obama ever acknowledge the contrast?

Abbas also recently said these words: "Al Aksa (mosque) is ours and so is the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. They (Jews) have no right to desecrate them with their filthy feet." Still waiting for that outcry from the White House?

On numerous occasions Abbas has said that not one single Jew may live in any new Palestinian state. There are over one million Arabs living in Israel. But not a single Jew may live in "Palestine." Are you straining to hear the protestations from the White House?

The dean of Koran studies at Gaza University had this to say: "All Jews in Palestine today are fair game - even the women...Every single Jew in Palestine is a combatant, even the children." He then called for attacks throughout Israel: " the very heart of the enemy - in Haifa, Jaffa, Tel Aviv, and Hadera as was the case in the past because that is what hurts the Jews." Maybe if we all cup our hands around our ears we can hear the denunciations from the White House.

By contrast, here are recent comments from Presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz: "I believe that nobody wants to see peace more than the Israeli people. The barrier to peace is not the government of Israel. The barrier to peace is Palestinians who refuse to renounce terrorism and refuse to even acknowledge Israel's right to exist as a Jewish state."

Cruz continued: "The Palestinians have turned down every reasonable offer of peace. And I believe America should stand unshakably alongside the nation of Israel." A little over a year ago, Cruz spoke at a Middle Eastern Christian event. Said Cruz: "Tonight, we are united in defense of Christians. Tonight, we are united in defense of Jews...Christians have no greater ally than Israel." The booing was deafening. But Cruz did not back down. He did not play to the room for political benefit.

Instead, Cruz said this: "If you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you. Good night and G-d bless." Then Cruz walked out. That type of moral clarity simply does not fit with Obama's agenda. It is not part of Obama's makeup - so don't expect to hear it. You can uncup your hands from your ears now. The next sound you hear will be the voice of...Josh Earnest, condemning Israel for something else.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

With Friends Like These...

From October 1 through early yesterday 7 Israelis have been attacked and killed by Arabs, with dozens more wounded. The attackers frequently walked up behind people and started stabbing them with knives. Whether it was an older person or a 13 year old victim, it made no difference to these animals. They believe that all Jews should be killed. The 7 dead Israelis is the equivalent of 278 Americans stabbed to death in under two weeks, and as if the attacks occurred all across the country. How long would Americans tolerate that?

Then along comes Secretary of State John Kerry, essentially justifying the murder of innocent Israeli civilians, with this: "And there's been a massive increase in settlements over the course of the last years, and now you have this violence because there's a frustration that is growing."

In the world occupied by the left, there is always an excuse for evil - because the left has a problem with acknowledging that evil even exists. So, the Arabs are frustrated. Many blacks in this country are frustrated because of the number of black deaths at the hands of the police. I guess that would justify blacks going out and randomly killing whites, in the eyes of John Kerry. After all, they are frustrated - just like the Arabs are.

The State Department attempted to back off the apparent link made by Kerry with this comment by spokesperson John Kirby: "The secretary wasn't saying, well now you have the settlement activity as the cause for the effect we're seeing."

Nice try, because Kirby added: "Is it a source of frustration for Palestinians. You bet it is, and the secretary observed that. But this isn't about affixing blame on either side here for the violence..." It's not? The Arabs started what may be the beginning of a third intifada. The Israelis reacted in self-defense. But in the eyes of the left we never affix blame. Rather, the left lives in the world of moral equivalency. No side is right and no side is wrong.

Not surprisingly, the mainstream media and various world leaders have adopted that viewpoint; simply stating that the violence by both sides has to stop, with no mention of who started it. And certainly no mention of who's at fault. They just condemn "violence," as if violence is the perpetrator.

The State Department spokesman continued talking out of both sides of his mouth, first stating that "the Israeli government has a right and a responsibility to protect its citizens." But then he added this: "We've certainly seen some reports of what many would consider excessive use of force, obviously we don't like to see that." I take it that Israelis can defend themselves - as long as no Arabs get hurt.

Isn't it nice to know that in the worldview of people like John Kerry, and the left generally, frustration can justify not only criminal behavior, but murder. When someone is rushing at you with a knife intending to stab you to death, I think you're going to want a gun to stop the attacker dead in his tracks - so that you're not stopped dead in yours. The moral idiots of the left be damned!

Sunday, October 11, 2015

He Was Practiced at the Art of Deception*

There were two very interesting opinion pieces regarding Obama's policy outlook in the 10/6/15 Wall Street Journal. One was by William McGurn, former speechwriter for George W. Bush. McGurn was comparing Obama with Jimmy Carter.

McGurn: "...toward the end of his tenure, President Carter proved himself capable of something that still eludes President Obama: a willingness to learn from mistakes and reconsider options." McGurn then goes on to note how Carter finally realized he needed to do something about the runaway inflation, and so appointed Paul Volcker who agreed: "Inflation certainly is the priority."

McGurn then discusses how the realities of Soviet behavior (the invasion of Afghanistan) made Carter reconsider his foreign policy. The US boycotted the 1980 Moscow Olympics, we imposed embargoes on certain Russian goods, and we supported the Afghan resistance. Carter even withdrew from the Senate "the one thing he had devoted his presidency to, his beloved SALT II treaty."

McGurn concludes: "Is there any any intrusion of reality that could ever persuade Mr. Obama to do the same" (and change course)? The other opinion piece was by Bret Stephens, who writes a regular column on foreign affairs for the Journal. Stephens has a much better understanding of Obama.

Stephens: "Mr. Obama believes his Syria policy - the one that did nothing as 250,000 people were murdered; the one that did nothing as his own red lines were crossed; the one that allowed ISIS to flourish; the one that has created the greatest refugee crisis of the 21st century; the one currently being exploited by Russia and Iran for geopolitical advantage - is a success."

In this writer's opinion it is not necessarily that Obama is happy with all the consequences of his inaction; he would probably view those things as unavoidable (if not desirable in some cases) consequences of his approach. Stephens explains Obama's "...fundamental conviction about American foreign policy is that we need less of it - less commitment, less expense, less responsibility."

In a further WSJ opinion piece by Niall Ferguson (in the 10/10-10/11/15 edition), he discusses some of the other consequences of Obama's foreign policy. "Since 2010, total fatalities from armed conflict in the world have increased by a factor of close to four," citing data from the International Institute of Strategic Studies. Then, citing a study from the University of Maryland, Ferguson says: "total fatalities due to terrorism have risen nearly sixfold."

Currently, both Russian and Iranian troops are in Syria - on Israel's northern border. The 10/12/15 IBD reports that Chinese warships are also en route to the Middle East. If there is one region of the world that would be most likely to set off another world war it would be the Middle East.

Obama's take on this is that Russia is acting out of weakness, not strength. Obama gave an interview to Steve Kroft of 60 Minutes, which is to air later today. Kroft to Obama: "He's (Putin) challenging your leadership, Mr. President." Obama's reply: "...if you think that running your economy into the ground and having to send troops in, in order to prop up your only ally is leadership, then we've got a different definition of leadership."

You have to hand it to Obama. He is indeed practiced at the art of deception. Whether it's keeping your health insurance policy, or keeping your doctor, or drawing a red line and then claiming he did not draw that line, Obama can lie with a straight face better than most who have preceded him. But when the ends justify the means, and truth is not a value - only the agenda is, then it is fairly easy to lie and not think anything of it.

I give Obama credit for this latest lie. Putin taking action is not true leadership; Obama doing nothing with turmoil swirling all around him - that's leadership. Putin taking the Crimea and part of Eastern Ukraine? Not leadership. Meanwhile, Obama's lackey, John Kerry, is practically begging his Russian counterpart to stand down, telling him that Russian involvement in Syria will only make things worse.

As Charles Krauthammer states in the 9/18/15 IBD, Russia's involement in Syria does not make things worse for Russia. Russia extends their power and influence to the Middle East, in a way that they have not been able to do since the 1970s when they were kicked out of Egypt.

Krauthammer: "Obama has given short shrift to the Kurds, shafted America's allies with the Iran deal and abandoned the Anbar Sunnis who helped us win the surge." Now that is what Obama would call leadership.

(*Apologies to the Rolling Stones.)

Does This Make Any Sense?

Remember a time when government workers got excellent benefits because they were paid less than those in the private sector? Government work at least meant job security. The 10/9/15 IBD reports on a wage comparison of earnings between federal government and private sector workers, based on a study by Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute.

According to the study, government workers average $84,153 per year. The private sector employees average $56,350 per year. Add in employee benefits and the results are truly shocking: $119,934 for government employees versus $67,246 for private employees. If you have ever dealt with a federal agency my bet would be that you do not believe those workers are worth 78% more than workers in the private sector.

This study by the Cato Institute is a perfect example of what is wrong with public employee unions. The unions spend large sums to back candidates who support their never-ending pay and benefit increases, and attack those who do not. Congressional members give in with taxpayer money (your money and my money) in order to protect their seats.

So, while private employers during this recession had to cut payroll, and even entire departments, the Feds were adding employees and increasing salaries. What a system.

Rand Paul has a solution. It is a solution that a more liberal friend and I have discussed and agreed on previously: zero-based budgeting. Far too frequently our government is faced with having to raise the debt limit. A large part of the problem is that each new budget assumes whatever was spent by each federal agency the prior year is the floor from which they begin to argue for more money.

With zero-based budgeting, each department of government would have to justify their very existence, and how much money they should get. If this is too big a task for yearly review, then make it a two year budget. But do it. It is the only approach that has the ability to shrink the size of the federal bureaucracy. All other efforts have only slowed the rate of growth of the federal government. The benefits are manifold. Less need for taking taxpayer money. Less competition for money between government and the private sector. And, of course, a lesser ability of government to try to control ever increasing aspects of our lives.

The lobbying pressure on Congress would be enormous. But at least the public would get to see who cares about their money and who does not; and what agencies are so important that government chooses to fund them over letting people keep their hard-earned money. Which brings up another topic.

Donald Trump has unveiled a tax plan that will allow 50% of Americans to not pay taxes. Bobby Jindal has a plan in which all Americans pay taxes. It is often said that about 46%-47% of Americans already do not pay taxes. The rebuttal is that many do still pay payroll taxes (Social Security and Medicare). While that money is not put into any special "trust fund," it is paid with the expectation of getting it back at retirement age. Federal income tax is what funds day to day government operations, and yes, I believe everyone should contribute to that.

Which brings me to my final topic: Bernie Sanders. The self-professed Democratic-Socialist wants to see an ever-expanding government. Government paid healthcare, government paid child-care and preschool, and "free" tuition at public colleges, among other things. Then there are the mandates he wants to place on employers - $15 minimum wage, mandatory medical leave, sick leave and vacation pay. (Per 9/16/15 IBD.) He is also a friend of unions. Who will pay for all of this? Get ready for a lower standard of living. Greece anyone?

You have to love how the mainstream media consistently portray the Republican party as a bunch of extremists when they stand up for what were always considered to be traditional American values. But now that the Democrat party is supporting an avowed Socialist in large numbers? Not a peep about that real sea change.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Leader of the Free World Speaks at the UN

On October 1, the leader of the free world spoke to the UN General Assembly. No, not Obama. He spoke on 9/28. I was referring to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the one Western leader who speaks the truth. In keeping with his usual vindictive, ill-tempered, mean spiritedness towards Israel, Obama directed both Secretary of State Kerry and UN Ambassador Samantha Power to stay away while Netanyahu spoke.

Netanyahu spent much of his speech criticizing the Iran nuclear deal. "You see, this deal doesn't make peace more likely. By fueling Iran's aggression with billions of dollars in sanctions relief, it makes war more likely." Netanyahu then recounted how, in the last six months alone, Iran has sent weapons and military forces to Syria, supplied Hezbollah and the Houthis in Yemen with weapons, and has been setting up terror cells around the world.

Netanyahu: "Does anyone seriously believe that flooding a radical theocracy with weapons and cash will curb its appetite for aggression?" Actually, that would be Obama, who naively believes that Russia, China and Iran have any interest in adhering to Western values.

Netanyahu spoke of the latest threats to destroy Israel by the Iranians - from the Commander of their armed forces to the Ayatollah in his recently released book describing the destruction of Israel. "Seventy years after the murder of six million Jews, Iran's rulers promise to destroy my country. Murder my people. And the response from nearly every one of the governments represented here has been absolutely nothing! Utter silence! Deafening silence." Then, in one of the most powerful moments in UN speechmaking history, Netanyahu stood there in silence for 44 seconds, glaring at all the representatives present; representatives of countries who vote for one anti-Israel resolution after the next. Twenty such anti-Israel resolutions have been passed during the time the UN managed a total of 1 against Syria for killing hundreds of thousands and causing millions to be refugees.

In repeating an oft-made threat, Netanyahu said: "Israel will not allow Iran to break-in, to sneak-in, or to walk-in to the nuclear weapons club." "So here's my message to the rulers of Iran: Your plan to destroy Israel will fail. Israel will not permit any force on earth to threaten its future. And here's my message to all the countries represented here: Whatever resolutions you may adopt in this building, whatever decisions you may take in your capitals, Israel will do whatever it must do to defend our state and to defend our people."

Netanyahu: "A thousand years before the birth of Christianity, more than 1,500 years before the birth of Islam, King David made Jerusalem our capital, and King Solomon built the Temple on that mount. Yet Israel will always respect the sacred shrines of all." And the leaders of the Western world, starting with Obama, believe that Israel should share their eternal capital with an Arab Palestinian state that is sworn to Israel's destruction. I'm still waiting to see if Obama refuses a Security Council veto on a proposed resolution by France to establish a Palestinian state on the so-called 1967 borders.

Netanyahu noted how from ancient times with the Babylonians and Romans, to modern times with the pogroms and Holocaust, every generation of Jews seems to have faced annihilation. Netanyau: "I stand here today representing Israel, a country 67 years young, but the nation-state of a people nearly 4,000 years old. Yet the empires of Babylon and Rome are not represented in this hall of nations. Neither is the Thousand Year Reich. Those seemingly invincible empires are long gone. But Israel lives. The people of Israel live. Am Yisrael Chai."

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Where Will it End?

(Ed.'s note. Generally speaking, I author all the blog posts. There have been times when I have posted exchanges I have had with others - the Public Editor of the New York Times, a UCLA professor, a Holocaust scholar, and a friend. This post was written entirely by my son, as a letter to the Mayor of Reykjavik, Iceland. A motion was passed by the governing council of Reykjavik to boycott all products coming out of Israel. This follows on the heels of the proposal by the European Union to label all products coming out of the West Bank (Judea and Samaria), because the Europeans, like Obama, believe that land belongs to the "Palestinians." There was also a push in the U.K. to have Netanyahu arrested for war crimes during his recent visit there. Following condemnation by Jewish Groups and others, the motion was amended to limit the boycott to products coming from the West Bank. The Mayor of Reykjavik expressed shock over the reaction to the proposed total boycott of all things Israeli. I wonder if this city council is also willing to boycott the large number of scientific and life-saving medical inventions developed by Israelis. And what's next for the anti-Semites? Bar all Jews? Or make them wear a yellow badge/Jewish star, as required by the Nazis? Where will it end? Anyway, for a related post, see "Letter to a College Student," posted 3/25/11.)

"My friends and I are traveling to Iceland one week from today. We are all Jews. We have been talking about this trip for over a year and words just can't do justice to describe how excited we are. Unfortunately, our upcoming trip will be marred by the misguided and short-sighted decision by your city to boycott all Israeli goods.

I am truly disappointed in your city's decision to boycott all Israeli products. One wonders why Reykjavik has yet to boycott China for occupying Tibet, India and Pakistan for occupying Kashmir, Turkey for occupying Cyprus, Iraq, Syria, Iran, and Turkey for not allowing the establishment of a Kurdish state, and on and on and on. It is therefore bewildering why the great city of Reykjavik has chosen to single out the one Jewish country in the world.

Surely before coming to this decision the members of the council educated themselves on the conflict. They must have learned that Israel was created by a UN decision that also granted the Arabs of Mandatory Palestine territory for a state of their own. They also undoubtedly were informed that while the Jews happily accepted this proposal, the Arabs rejected it and immediately started a war to fight, in the words of the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem at the time, "until the Zionists were annihilated." This war ended with the 1949 Armistice lines, also known as the '67 lines. These lines encompassed an area far smaller than what the Arabs were originally offered by the UN. However, like your city council, they too were driven by pure hatred of the Jews, and like you surely will too, they lost.

I am sure that the esteemed council members also learned that Israel is a vibrant democracy whose very declaration of independence extended equal rights to all of its citizens, regardless of race, religion, or gender. Are they aware that an Arab citizen currently sits on Israel's supreme court, and that the Arab population of Israel is represented by multiple parties in Israel's parliament? This despite the fact that these parties constantly work to undermine the security if Israel. How many Arab and Muslim-majority countries offer such protections to their minorities? Egypt, which incessantly harasses its Coptic Christian minority? Iran, which is infamous in its persecution of Kurds, Yazidis, Baha'i (whose beautiful headquarters is in the Israeli city of Haifa, I might add, due to their persecution in their native Iran), and homosexuals, just to name a few. Saudi Arabia, where women must be escorted in public by a male relative and are forbidden from driving? Or perhaps Jordan, whose citizenry is over 70% Palestinian yet is run by the small Hashemite clan? If the council members’ decision was truly driven by a concern for the oppressed and downtrodden, and not by blatant anti-Semitism, your city would have boycotted all of these countries long ago.

I am certain that as part of their history lesson the city council members also learned that there never has been an independent political entity in what was the Palestinian Mandate except for ancient Israel and the modern State of Israel. For 2,000 years the region was simply a neglected backwater of various empires, except for a short period when your European brothers came over and killed as many native Jews as possible.

One wonders why the creation of an Arab entity in the heart of the Jewish homeland is more important to Reykjavik than, for example, the creation of a state for the 20 million Kurds that are repressed by their host nations. One wonders why the Icelandic people bear such ill-will toward the Jews. When have the Jews ever caused any harm to the people or country of Iceland? In fact, when has the average Icelander ever even encountered a Jew? Surely, despite age-old claims that the Jews control financial institutions, you don't blame them for your country's economic crisis in 2008, do you?

Iceland is a small country of 100,250 square km surrounded by water, with no natural enemies. Israel is an even smaller country of only 20,330 square km surrounded by hundreds of millions of people who openly and proudly proclaim that they will never rest until Israel and all of its Jewish inhabitants are destroyed. It faces incessant rocket attacks from its southern border with the Gaza Strip and from its northern border with Hezbollah-controlled southern Lebanon. With the civil-war raging in Syria (which, mind you, has killed 300,000 people and displaced over 12 million people in 4 years, compared to about 100,000 deaths from 1945 until now in the Arab-Israeli conflict), and potential instability in neighboring Jordan due to the ISIS threat, does it really make sense for Israel to make itself even more vulnerable than it already is by allowing a human-rights abusing, terrorist-supporting entity to spring up right in its own backyard?

Despite your best efforts to malign this oft-persecuted people, my friends and I will still travel to Iceland next week. We debated returning the favor by boycotting Reykjavik, but we decided that we will not let a few hateful members of the city council ruin what will undoubtedly be a great experience for the four of us. We refuse to blame an entire nation for what we feel is a misguided and morally bankrupt decision on the part of several of its leaders. Instead, we will enjoy all that Reykjavik and Iceland have to offer, while remaining strong in our belief that Israel is unworthy of the constant and vicious opprobrium that it receives not only from Iceland, but from all across Europe. Though I will still come to your city and country, I will be very careful not to discuss my personal background while I am there. You have made it very clear that Reykjavik is an unwelcoming city not just towards Israelis, but towards all Jews, regardless of their country of origin. It is a shame, and also a bit ironic, that in claiming to support human rights and dignity, the city of Reykjavik is sparing no effort to take away the dignity of the Jewish people. Fortunately, the Jews are a strong people, and we will not be cowed by false morality from the anti-Semitic bastion that is Europe. Had your council members paid a bit more attention to their history lessons, they would have already known this too."

Sunday, September 13, 2015

And Yet More Comments on the Iranian Nuclear Deal

The Iranian nuclear deal is arguably the most significant treaty entered into by the USA in decades. Yet Obama and the Democrats did not think it was of enough significance to actually allow a vote on it in the US Senate. 42 Democratic Senators blocked cloture, which resulted in not allowing a measure on the deal to come to a vote.

Of course, Obama had no interest in ever allowing input from the elected leaders of the people of the United States. He immediately took this deal to the UN for a vote of approval there, the UN being the entity he most relates to - not the Congress. When he wanted the most significant piece of domestic legislation passed - the ACA - he did have to go to Congress, and only succeeded in passing that on a single party vote after having to bribe some Senators in his own party to vote for it.

Perhaps the most cogent comment on this deal came from Senator Ted Cruz, who noted that the deal will free up over $100 billion in frozen Iranian assets, with billions likely going to terrorist groups who will use that money to have the wherewithal to murder Americans, Israelis and Europeans. Cruz: "If it (the deal) goes through the Obama Administration will become, quite literally, the world's leading financier of radical Islamic terrorism." Imagine that.

On the 9/9/15 O'Reilly Factor, they put up poll results from Pew for the period 9/3-9/7/15 regarding the deal. Only 21% of Americans approve of the deal, with 49% disapproving, and 30% saying they don't know. Apparently, a number of Democratic Senators who were holdouts were persuaded to support the deal when China, Russia, Britain, France and Germany said they would not reopen negotiations regardless of what the US does. So I would ask who those Senators just who is it that they believe they represent - the American people, or the Chinese, Russians and Europeans. Clearly, Obama has convinced his party that the world is a better place when other countries make decisions that affect the American people.

In his Talking Points memo of 9/9/15, O'Reilly said this: "Europe's refugee crisis is happening because the United States and Western Europe have retreated from the Middle East. Once President Obama removed all U.S. forces from Iraq, ISIS moved in and chaos broke out. The President doesn't acknowledge that his disengagement policy has led to thousands of deaths and Europe's refugee catastrophe."

But what does the refugee crisis have to do with the Iranian nuke deal? Plenty. Remember, Obama will not only side with Muslims - it is where his gut takes him - but with the most radical and extreme Muslims. He supported the Muslim Brotherhood; he withdrew from Iraq which allowed for the growth of ISIS, and then has engaged in a halfhearted effort to eliminate ISIS; and is releasing over $100 billion to the Mullahs while allowing them to keep their nuclear enrichment capability and obtain ICBMs.

This is Obama's foreign policy. Allow other countries to become more powerful, while weakening the US military. Both approaches have the result of making it more difficult for the US to assert itself anywhere in the world under future presidents. If the Ayatollahs have nukes - and to Obama's mind why shouldn't they if we do - then so be it. If ISIS ends up controlling Iraq, then so be it. His view of the world will always take precedence for him over any negative consequences that are likely to result.

So if hundreds of thousands or millions of Christians are displaced from their centuries old homes throughout the Middle East, and some are even slaughtered, so be it. If hundreds of thousands of Muslims are also displaced, and also killed, so be it. And if Israel should get wiped off the map by Iran, so be it.

After the Democrats successfully blocked any vote in the Senate on the deal, the White House proudly issued this statement: "Today, the Senate took an historic step forward and voted to enable the United States to work with our international partners to enable the implementation of the comprehensive, long-term deal that will prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon." The first lie is the "historic vote." It was only a vote to block cloture. A majority of both the House and Senate oppose the deal. The second lie is that Iran will be blocked from getting a nuke. Obama believes that as much as he believed "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor."

Obama wanted to be a consequential President. There is no doubt that he has been. Now, the rest of us, and the the rest of the world, will have to live with the consequences of his Presidency for many years to come.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

More Leftist Thinking

The University of Tennessee has an Office of Diversity and Inclusion. I suspect most/all universities do today. You can tell from the title that no good could come from such a bureaucratic entity. While claiming not to be official university policy, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion is quite concerned about the use of pronouns. Specifically, pronouns that identify one's sex.

In order to not "offend" anyone, they are encouraging the use of gender neutral pronouns, rather than pronouns such as "he" or "she" or "him" or "her." Here are some of their suggestions (no, I am not making this up): ze, hir, zir, xe, xem, xyr. Being from the east coast, I think I prefer dat, dem and dose.

This leftist need to make sure that no one is ever offended by anything is eerily similar to another group - Muslims. Recall the effort by the Organization of Islamic States to get a binding resolution at the UN to ban all offensive and derogatory speech against Islam. (Criticize the other religions all you want.) So, rather than protecting the exercise of free speech, we see an ever growing movement to protect overly sensitive people from speech.

But let's be honest, these people are taught to be overly sensitive, because they are "victims." To the left, everyone is a victim of something or other, except, of course, for white males.

Former star pitcher and then commentator for ESPN, Curt Schilling, found himself on the wrong side of the speech police. Tweeted Schilling: "It's said only 5-10 percent of Muslims are extremists. In 1940, only 7 percent of Germans were Nazis. How'd that go?" I have had discussions with liberals who tell me that only 5-10% of Muslims are radical. I point out that even 10% is 160 million people.

However, I have also pointed out that all Germans did not wake up the same morning and decide it would be a great idea to kill all the Jews. Rather, it was what Hitler and a small number of initial followers were able to get an entire country to do. Which was Schilling's point. But the truth does not prevail against the word police. So Schilling was suspended.

The United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers Union has 37,000 members, and is apparently the first US union to join the BDS movement (Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel). The anti-Semites who run the union have adopted all the lies and propaganda put forth by the Palestinians. They want the US to cut off all aid to Israel in order to "pressure Israel to end its apartheid over the Palestinians." Not surprisingly, these people have no understanding of what true apartheid is. (See my 5/9/13 post entitled "An Open Letter to Professor Stephen Hawking.")

Said one union delegate: "It's absolutely disgusting what is going on. Free Palestine." I am not sure what is disgusting to that speaker, as Arab residents of Israel have better lives and more freedoms than do Arabs in Arab countries. What is disgusting, however, is the ongoing persecution, displacement and murder of Christians throughout North Africa and the Middle East - in Muslim countries.

Said Ron Lauder, President of the World Jewish Congress: "When hundreds of thousands of Christians - men, women and children - are killed, this isn't a war, this is genocide." But Obama and other Western leaders have little to say about it. I wonder what, if anything, this union has to say about it.

Equal Justice? We'll See

Kim Davis is the County Clerk of Rowan County, Kentucky. After the US Supreme Court declared gay marriage to be the law of the land in all fifty states, Ms. Davis refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. Based on her religious beliefs, Ms. Davis sought a stay, which was denied all the way up to the US Supreme Court. Thereafter, she still refused to issue licenses, citing her religious beliefs.

Now Ms. Davis must appear in Federal District Court Thursday morning, and face contempt charges as well as possible fines and imprisonment. Unlike the left, I respect Ms. Davis' religious beliefs. However, she has made a mistake. She refuses to resign her position, while also refusing to carry out the law. As a public official, it is her duty to execute the law; and as County Clerk she does not get to write the laws.

Resigning would allow her to not have to compromise her religious beliefs, albeit at the cost of losing her job. Adhering to one's beliefs does, at times, have negative consequences. I wonder if she will get off as easily as another public figure who broke the law.

In 2004, then San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom ordered the clerk for the city and county of San Francisco to issue marriage licenses to gay couples. At the time state law defined marriage as being between a man and a woman. State law controls over local or municipal ordinances and mayoral orders; just as federal law generally preempts state law. Mr. Newsom knew very well that he had no legal authority to supersede state law and issue marriage licenses. He did so nonetheless.

Mr. Newsom believed that to deny marriage licenses to gay couples was a denial of equal protection. But as San Francisco Mayor he had no authority to either write or interpret state law. After issuing several thousand licenses, the California Supreme Court ordered the mayor to stop, and declared the previously issued licenses to be void.

Having clearly violated state law, what punishment did Mr. Newsom face? No fines. No imprisonment. Instead, he went on to become Lieutenant Governor of California. When cities across the country declare that they are "sanctuary" cities, in violation of federal immigration laws, do those mayors and city council members in those sanctuary cities face fines and imprisonment? Of course not.

Admittedly, Mr. Newsom did stop issuing the marriage licenses to gay couples when ordered to do so. So he did not face contempt charges. But he knowingly violated state law with no negative consequences. It seems to this writer that one faces less risk when the violation of the law is on behalf of leftist causes. So tomorrow we will see if Ms. Davis gets a slap on the wrist only or is dealt with more harshly.

In declaring a constitutional right to gay marriage, Justice Kennedy wrote: "Finally, it must be emphasized that religions, and those who adhere to religious doctrines, may continue to advocate with utmost, sincere conviction that, by divine precepts, same-sex marriage should not be condoned."

In dissent, Justice Roberts wrote: "The majority graciously suggests that religious believers may continue to "advocate" and "teach" their views of marriage. The First Amendment guarantees, however, the freedom to "exercise" religion. Ominously, that is not a word the majority uses."

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Who Controls Your Right to Run a Business?

Out of Denver, Colorado, comes one of the more disturbing and dangerous left wing ideas to plague our country. It seems that a committee of the City Council was disturbed over an application by a Chick Fil-A franchise seeking to open a store at the Denver airport. You see, the owner of Chick Fil-A had previously expressed his personal belief that marriage should be defined as being between a man and a woman.

Some council members issued a statement that read in part: "Gay and lesbian families have been fighting for decades for full recognition of their relationships. Denver has been at the forefront of honoring gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender employees and their families..." But the owner of Chick Fil-A believes in the traditional definition of marriage, and has even contributed in the past to groups seeking to keep that definition.

So now, the Democratic members of the Denver City Council want to impose a political litmus test before granting anyone or any entity a license to do business in their town. Unfortunately, this is nothing new for democrats. For those of you new to the blog, I encourage you to go back and read my August 2, 2012 post entitled: "Why I Am No Longer a Democrat." In that post I discuss how the democratic mayors of four of the country's big cities (Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Washington, D.C.) sought to block Chick Fil-A from opening in their communities.

If anyone is even remotely inclined to think that such a political litmus test is a good idea, here is a question for you. What if a town wanted to know from a Jewish business owner what their position is on the creation of a Palestinian state? Should the business owner have to share the left wing view on that issue before being granted a business license? Think that's far fetched? Hardly.

At the recent Rototom Sunsplash music festival in Spain, American Jewish reggae singer Matisyahu was invited, and then disinvited, to perform there. After some controversy, he was again invited. But the story reflects the dangers of demanding a political litmus test. At times, Matisyahu has expressed support for Israel. However, he declines to debate the issue of a Palestinian state, stating that he is a musician. As a musician he seeks to bring people together.

But the BDS (the goups that seek to Boycott, Divest and Sanction Israel) movement would have none of it. They claimed that Mastisyahu is a Zionist who defends Israel, a state that "practices apartheid and ethnic cleansing." How is that for a political litmus test? If you support Israel you can not perform (work) in our concert. I am a Zionist. Should I be forbidden from making a living? Should I be denied a city business license based upon my political views?

But the Matisyahu story is out of Spain - that could never happen here. Think again. Earlier this year, a Jewish student at UCLA was almost denied a seat on the student government judicial board, based on her being Jewish! How's that for a litmus test? The applicant was asked this question: "Given that you're a Jewish student and very active in the Jewish community, how do you see yourself being able to maintain an unbiased view?"

If you still agree with this evil nonsense, then how about these questions. "Are you now, or have you ever been, a Jew?" "As a Jew, are you loyal to the United States of America or to Israel?" So let me be clear - if you are Jewish and continue to vote Democrat, these issues will be coming to you or your children soon.

Remember when we were all Americans? When you had a right to have your own religious and political beliefs? When conservative ideals were also American ideals - things like freedom of speech and freedom of religion. I believe many of you will come to regret your continued support for a party that seeks to marginalize those who do not adhere to left wing ideology. I just hope that by the time you recognize this danger that it is not too late.

Who Controls Your Language?

Generally speaking, we communicate through language - through words. We express our ideas through words. We think with words. Therefore, the ability to control language can affect how people communicate, and how they think. As I have commented previously, the left has done an outstanding job of controlling and changing the language.

We know "abortion" is "a woman's right to choose." "Gay marriage" became "marriage equality." Phrased as such, only bigots and haters could be opposed to women controlling their bodies, or gays getting married, right? The latest development comes from Tennessee.

Apparently, the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts decided to change their court forms, replacing the words "mother" and "father" with "parent 1" and "parent 2." For those of you new to this blog, I would encourage you to go back and read my earlier post of July 20, 2014 entitled "My Ex-Wife." When the words "husband" and "wife" were removed from the California codes, I suggested that "mother" and "father" would be next. Both are based on sex/gender. But we know from the left that those concepts no longer exist.

In that earlier post I had suggested use of the terms "parent unit 1" and "parent unit 2." The State of Tennessee mostly agreed, although they removed the word "unit." After some backlash from actual moms and dads, who resented being called parent 1 or parent 2, the State relented and has gone back to using the old forms - for now. But I assure you that change is coming. After all, the US State Department already removed the words "mother" and "father" from passport applications. So all you moms and dads, enjoy it while you still can.

California tends to lead the nation in left wing crazy ideas. The latest is a bill that removed the word "alien" from the California Labor Code. California already provides driver's licenses to illegal aliens - I mean "California citizens". And, of course, those "citizens" also get the advantage of paying in-state tuition at California colleges and universities. And let's not forget healthcare. You would find it difficult to even locate the use of the expression "illegal alien" in any mainstream news outlet. Control the language - control how people think.

I think the 8/11/15 edition of the Los Angeles Times actually got it right. Said the Times: "The various benefits, rights and protections add up to something experts liken to a kind of California citizenship." Just how long do you think it will be until these "California citizens" are given the right to vote and hold elective office. To deny those rights would be discriminatory, would it not? After all, they are people too. Why should the happenstance of birth determine what rights and privileges we enjoy?

Whether you agree with that last proposition or not is of little import. After all, given Democrat control of California, we will be there soon enough.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

What Obama's Iran Deal Speech Tells Us...About Obama

On August 5, Obama spoke at American University, giving a speech encouraging support for his Iran nuclear deal. It is worthwhile to take a look at some of his comments - not for what he tells us about the deal, but for what it tells us about Obama.

After discussing the threat of war President Kennedy faced with the USSR, Obama said: "But the young President offered a different vision...with Kennedy at the helm, the Cuban Missile Crisis was resolved peacefully." After Kennedy was told that the Russians were moving nuclear missiles to Cuba, he ultimately ordered a naval blockade of Cuba. Had Russian ships breached the blockade, we might very well have had war.

But let's be clear - a naval blockade is an act of war. Imagine if Obama was President in 1962. Who believes he would have ordered a blockade? Anyone doubt that he would have come to the American people announcing that he made a deal with Russia in order to avoid war? Anyone doubt that there would have been some agreed number of nuclear armed missiles in Cuba since 1962, with Russia being able to hold that threat over our heads ever since?

Obama: " Congress decides whether to support this historic diplomatic breakthrough or instead blocks it over the objection of the vast majority of the world." The last I looked it was Congress that represents the interests of the American people - not the UN, not Russia, not China, not the U.K., not France and not Germany. But Obama has never believed in our system of three co-equal branches of government. He very much believes in the UN, an entity run by dictators, Islamic states, and leftist Western democracies.

Obama: "...many of the same people who argued for the war in Iraq are now making the case against the Iran nuclear deal." Unless you are a complete pacifist and do not believe in war ever, then you understand that Iraq and Iran are two very different issues. But just to remind Obama, Senators voting in favor of the Iraq war resolution included: John Kerry, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Diane Feinstein, Chuck Schumer and Harry Reid. Oops.

Obama: "...because this is such a strong deal, every nation in the world that has commented publicly, with the exception of the Israeli government, has expressed support." Obama could have said: "virtually every country in the world supports this deal." Why did he choose to publicly single out Israel? He did so because from day one he has sought to lessen the support the American people have for Israel. And that approach has substantially worked among rank and file democrats. And just to be clear, the Arab Sunni states have also voiced their displeasure with this deal.

Obama: "Now the final criticism, this is sort of catchall that you may hear, is the notion that there is a better deal to be had...I have repeatedly challenged anyone opposed to this deal to put forward a better, plausible alternative. I have yet to hear one." The purpose of this post is not to rehash all the arguments against this deal, and all the ways it could have been better. See the prior posts for that. Rather, notwithstanding all the alternatives put forth by Republicans in Congress and conservative commentators, Obama has heard nothing. And he says it with a straight face.

Obama: "It's those hardliners (in Iran) chanting "Death to America" who have been most opposed to the deal. They're making common cause with the Republican caucus." Once again, the Divider-in-Chief reveals his true nature. NEVER give any legitimacy to your opponents. In fact, demonize them and equate them with terrorists. It's straight out of the Saul Alinsky handbook.

So, this speech is a reflection of Obama's approach over the last 6 1/2 years: divide, lie, misrepresent, demonize your opposition, and, of course, isolate Israel. Perhaps the 8/7/15 Investor's Business Daily said it best: "Has there ever been a president who so depends on the ignorance of those listening to him?" I would only add: why not? It works so often.