Keystone XL: Who benefits? Who loses?

Last Thursday, 20 March, the Washington Post published an amazing article by Juliet Eilperin, their Environment reporter, claiming the Koch brothers are the major owners of Canadian “tar sands” – the source of oil to be shipped through the Keystone XL . Specifically the article said:

“The biggest leaseholder in Canada’s oil sands isn’t Exxon Mobil or Chevron. It’s the Koch brothers.”

In doing so, Eilperin and the Post relied on a recently issued report from a far-left outfit called the International Forum on Globalization (IFG).

Ms. Eilperin is a longtime advocate of action to save the earth from “catastrophic anthropogenic global warming” (CAGW), the old name before it became “climate change” or “carbon pollution.” It is not terribly surprising that Eilperin opposes the pipeline, whoever is invested in it. The surprise is that Eilperin rushed so quickly and gullibly into an obvious hoax.

The recent IFG report is a supplement to one issued in October, 2013, which became a laughingstock when John Hinderaker of Powerline blog tore it apart, noting that even IFG admits Keystone XL would provide competition for Koch oil sales in the American Midwest, costing them about $120 billion. In addition, Koch Industries has never lobbied for the Keystone XL. Also, one does not just drive up to a Keystone XL terminal – assuming one ever exists – and pour in a truckload of oil. A would-be user has to pay, in advance, for a quota of oil to be shipped, an allowance of a portion to be used (of a total 830,000 bbl/day). Koch Industries hasn’t bought a quota. Needless to say, Hinderaker had a lot of fun ripping the WaPo and Eilperin.

A wise journalist – or, at least, an honest one – would have issued a retraction and an apology to the readers. Eilperin and the Post have done neither. Nor has the Post’s Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, the man who issues “Pinocchio” awards to liars, said anything about the article.

pinocchio_4

Pinocchios courtesy of the Washington Post.

This lie ought to get Eilperin four pinocchios.

So, what did Eilperin offer in response? She said:

The Powerline article itself, and its tone, is strong evidence that issues surrounding the Koch brothers’ political and business interests will stir and inflame public debate in this election year. That’s why we wrote the piece.

Oh. The fact that someone – not even Koch Industries – tried to rebut a complete lie is justification for printing the lie in the first place – since it “stirs and inflames public debate.”

But wait, as the TV salesmen say, there’s more.

Juliet Eilperin is married to Andrew Light, who formulates environmental policy for John Podesta’s Center for American Progress (CAP). Light is also a member of the Obama Administration, as a Senior Advisor to the Special Envoy on Climate Change in the State Department. As you remember, Climate Change is the most important issue facing the world – according to the Secretary of State, John “A Child Could Understand This” Kerry. Today President Obama is in Europe, discussing with NATO and the leaders of the European Union, what we can do to blunt the Russian control of the EU energy supply.

As you probably remember, John Podesta was recently made a “special advisor” to Obama – and specifically to advise on climate for the guy who once promised to make your electricity costs “skyrocket.” Mr. Podesta strongly and unequivocally opposes the construction of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export terminals. He wants more study – as has been done for Keystone XL pipeline, for five years.

Who benefits if the Keystone pipeline goes ahead? Millions of Americans who will see gasoline prices decrease. Millions of Canadians who will see taxes flow into their national treasury. Thousands of Americans and Canadian workers. American energy independence, a priority since the 1970’s. Certainly not Koch Industries.

Who benefits if Keystone is not approved?

Tom Steyer, hedge fund billionaire and major Democratic Party contributor. Steyer is offering $100 million to Democrats in 2014 who oppose Keystone. Prior to the Democratic Senators’ talkathon, the leaders visited Steyer’s home in New York. Does anyone believe Mr. Steyer cares for the environment and global warming $100 million worth?

The feature image is a picture of Brad Johnson, a staff writer for Podesta’s Center for American Progress, admonishing the Washington Post against telling lies – when the Post dared print a column by Charles Krauthammer that suggested climate science is not “settled science.”

The American Physical Society (APS) recently appointed a panel of members, including three prominent sceptics, to review its previous endorsement of global warming as a matter of concern. Sounds pretty unsettled. I don’t often agree with Johnson or the rest of Podesta’s gang, but I also wish the Washington Post and its environment writer, Eilperin, would stop telling lies.

RELATED STORY: Keystone XL is Proof Obama Opposes U.S. Economic Growth

Should GOP Conservatives Adjust Their Message for Blacks?

Michael Brendan Dougherty wrote an article stating that the only way for conservatives to reach black voters is to drop their color blind idealism.

Dougherty wrote, “Conservatives in the GOP like to assail identity politics and tout their own ideology as one of color blindness. Sometimes this is stupidly marketed to black voters as a selling point for Republicans. “We don’t categorize you by race,” brags a Republican. The black audience hears: “We don’t take the most salient part of your American political identity seriously.”

I am a real-live black person. When I hear Republicans say “We don’t categorize you by race”, I think, “Thank you for respecting my intelligence enough not to pander to me.” Dr Martin Luther King, Jr, a Republican, dreamed of a day when Americans would focus on principles such as character rather than skin-color (race).

Civil rights leaders and Democrats have abandoned Dr King’s vision of a colorblind America. Especially since Obama, the exploitation of race is the Democrats’ super weapon to win every political battle. Anyone daring to oppose the black president’s socialist/progressive agenda is bombarded with accusations of racism. Checkmate!

Dougherty appears to suggest that we conservatives can not simply stand up for what is right and true. We must adjust our message to fit the Democrats’ false accusations and false assumptions.

For example. Dougherty thinks the GOP should back-off from their push for voter I-D laws because it looks like they are attempting to suppress the black vote. Mr. Dougherty, as a black conservative, I find the concept that blacks are too incompetent to find their way to acquire a photo I-D extremely insulting, demeaning and offensive. Democrats are fighting voter I-D because they seek to steal elections via voter fraud. Will Republicans waving the white flag on this issue win them black votes? I think not.

Dougherty thinks America’s history of racial injustice causes blacks to deal with the issue of race every day. I beg to differ. Neither myself nor my black family, friends and associates deal with racial issues every day.

Despicably, liberals and Democrats strive to make race an issue, polarizing Americans; keeping the fires of racial tensions burning bright for political gain.

I reject Mr Dougherty’s call for conservatives to abandon colorblind politicking. Why must we always allow Democrats and their media buddies to determine the rules of engagement?

We are all Americans and should be dealt with accordingly, rather than doing what the Democrats do; divide Americans into supposed victimized voting blocs and pandering to each group for political exploitation.

In the 1980s, as a young black kid clueless about politics, Ronald Reagan’s one-size-fits-all conservative message of American exceptional-ism spoke to me. Reagan inspired me to be all I could be. His speeches made me feel good about myself and my country.

Admittedly, Conservatism will not resonate with everyone. Some people are born leeches and lazy; always looking for a free ride. These types feel entitled to the fruits of other folk’s labors. Democrats love to pander to them.

But I believe in the character and goodness of a majority of the American people. When presented unfiltered by liberals, conservatism will find a lot of Americans eager to embrace it. Why? Because Conservatism is in-sync with the human spirit.

Please understand. Packaging the conservative message to appeal to various audiences is an excellent idea. However, watering down our principles or choosing not to challenge the Democrats’ false narratives is foolish and wrong.

Certain principles have a universal appeal. Such principles bridge racial divides.

In the 1970s, I was a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art. My fellow black students at the mostly white college were extremely militant and anti-whitey. A group of them demanded that the Black Panthers be allowed to rally on campus.

I was stunned when these same black students approached me extremely excited about this awesome movie, “Rocky”, the Italian stallion. It was remarkable to witness these particular black students so passionately embracing a white boy. The magic ingredient was the “colorblind” principles espoused in that movie which spoke to the humanity in us all.

Mr Dougherty, I respectfully disagree with your article. As an American who happens to be black, I do not desire a “black version” of Conservatism which is rooted in true compassion and common sense.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo montage was created by Soldieranabi. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Fig Pastors: Revelations’ Last Message to the Seven Churches and the End Times

Barren_fig_tree

The BarrenThe fig tree in Matthew 21:19 represented the Jewish nation in the time of Christ, but could also represent America now. The message to the last church in Revelation is addressed to the preachers. America’s condition today may largely be the responsibility of a failed ministry.

Speaking of when the end-time would suddenly come into view, Christ said, now learn a parable of the fig tree. As His own end-time began, the last week of Christ’s life finds Him walking from Bethany, hospitable home of Mary, Martha and Lazarus, to Jerusalem where He sees a fig tree in full leaf with promise of figs. But searching it, He finds only leaves, no fruit.

Christ cursed the fig tree as an acted parable. The barren tree with its pretentious foliage was a symbol of the Jewish nation. The Savior desired to make plain to His disciples the cause and the certainty of Israel’s doom. The Jews were ahead of other nations, professing allegiance to God. Though specially favored by God, they were corrupted by the love of the world and the greed of gain.

In saying, Learn a parable of a fig tree (Matthew 24:32), Christ was implying a lesson for us at the end of time. More than any other nation now, America has been blessed with a knowledge of truth that was responsible for its prosperity, but corrupted also by greed of gain the the love of the world, America is about to wither as the fig tree in Matthew 21:19.

From a gardening standpoint, fruit trees can become unmanageable and unproductive in a few years. Fruit appears on new growth, but if the tree is allowed to grow without pruning it, too many branches and blossoms mean not enough support for the fruit.

This is a commentary on religion in America. Lots of fig leaves, which was also what Adam and Eve used to cover their nakedness in Genesis 3:7. Preachers are offering smooth things to not offend any in their large congregations. It may be a gospel of prosperity, or false hope of salvation, but there is not much that people are getting from the Word of God that should prepare us for all issues in life.

God understood this about 2000 years ago when the apostle John was given a letter to the aggelos, the messenger or preacher for the last of seven churches–lukewarm with materialism, not unlike the Jewish nation at the time of Christ’s fig tree parable.

“To whom much is given, of him much is required,” Luke 12:48. This sounds like God will hold preachers accountable for what’s happening (or not happening) as a result of their smooth messages.

“The Lord, whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple…but who may abide…He is like a refiner’s fire, and He shall purify the sons of Levi [religious leaders]” Malachi 3:1-3.

Readiness for what’s coming [end-times] results from an understanding of the Apocalypse—the book of Revelation. Tragically, most western Christians have little understanding of this book that pronounces a blessing on those who read and keep those things written in it, Revelation 1:3.

Too many Christians have been taught that they will be raptured! Why should they try to understand the book of Revelation? On the other hand, we could have a serious loss in destiny if there’s no rapture and we don’t understand the visions that John penned for us. Most pastors don’t even see America in prophecy.

RELATED STORY: Book “The Harbinger” asks: What will you do on the Day of Judgement?

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo titled “Old Fig Tree” is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Democrats can be racists, too

Two weeks ago, Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) set off a firestorm of controversy by saying on the syndicated radio talk show of Bill Bennett: “…we have got this tailspin of culture in our inner cities, in particular, of men not working and just generations of men not even thinking about working or learning the value and the culture of work; and so there’s a real culture problem here that has to be dealt with…”

To read the unedited interview, go to: http://www.politifact.com/wisconsin/article/2014/mar/14/context-paul-ryans-poverty-comments-racial-attack/

This made up controversy about Ryan is a bunch of garbage. People need to be much more judicious in labeling someone as a “racist.” It is a very damning term that should only be used under the most extreme of circumstances.

What Ryan said was stupid, but not racist. In the 80s, Jesse Jackson referred to New York City as “Hymietown.” Like Ryan, it was stupid but doesn’t make Jackson anti-Semitic. Professional athletes using the word fa**ot in the locker room doesn’t necessarily make them homophobic, but it may be stupid to use in today’s PC climate.

We, who are in public life or have a media platform, all say stupid things at some point in our lives. But our lives should not be destroyed by the mistakes we make. Rather, our lives should be affirmed by the totality of the contributions we make to society. By this standard, Ryan is definitely a good guy.

Not surprisingly, members of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) sharply criticized Ryan. Strangely, they never direct similar anger at President Obama, even after he for willfully disrespected them and ignored them for five years and counting. Republicans are constantly accused of ignoring the Black community because they are racists. So does that also make Obama a racist? Just asking.

U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), former head of the CBC, called Ryan’s comments a “thinly veiled racial attack.” House Minority Leader, Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) spokesman called his remarks “shameful and wrong.”

If you only go by the media coverage, a person can only be a racist if they are a White Republican. So, allow me to give you a little Democratic history.

During the Democratic primary of 2008, our “real” first Black president, Bill Clinton had this to say about Obama’s campaign, “Give me a break. This whole thing is the biggest fairy tale I’ve ever seen.” The response from the CBC and white Democrats? Crickets! Nothing. Laryngitis.

The morning after Obama’s 28-point blowout of Hillary in South Carolina, Bill Clinton called Obama another Jesse Jackson (meant in a negative way). Of course, who could forget Bill Clinton’s Sista Soulja moment from the 1992 campaign? Again, Crickets! Nothing. Laryngitis.

I could go on forever with examples of Democrats doing the same thing that Ryan is accused of, but you get the point.

There is also the issue of what I call “White Republicanitis.” I have warned Ryan about this issue, but he didn’t get it. Bob Woodson, founder and president of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise, has been taking Ryan all across the country to meet with inner city Blacks to discuss possible policy solutions to deal with some of the issues they deem important.

Ryan refused to do any media surrounding this personal initiative with him and Woodson because he’s doing it because he cares, not because he wants media attention.” Paul, they are not mutually exclusive; it’s not either or, but both and.

This is what I call “White Republicanitis:” doing the right thing but in the wrong way. If Ryan had followed my counsel, then he would have some goodwill in the bank to draw down from during his moment of crises.

I have done several media interviews about this Ryan flap and in every instance the comment was made that maybe Ryan needs to go into the Black community and talk with a few Blacks before he opens his mouth. When I shared with the interviewer/host what Woodson was doing with Ryan, they all indicated that they had no knowledge of this. Most looked shocked, as though they couldn’t reconcile the idea of a White Republican going into the Black community because that is the antithesis of their view of a Republican.

Maybe now Ryan will start engaging with the Black media.

But, it’s not just Ryan. I have had similar conversations with the House and Senate leadership about this same issue to no avail.
As far as this feigned outrage from members of the CBC and Pelosi, weak people take strong positions on weak issues.

The Green Scam of “Endangered Species”

A recent article in The Wall Street Journal took note of what has occurred since the 1990s when some three dozen gray wolves were captured in Canada and transferred to the wilderness of Idaho. According to federal biologists, this was necessary to restore the ecological balance in a region teeming with elk and other creatures on the gray wolf food chain.

The article noted that more than 650 wolves roam the state today according to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game which has been hearing a lot of complaints that the wolves “are wreaking havoc on Idaho’s prized elk and livestock, and prompted the governor’s office to embark on an effort to wipe out three-quarters or more of the population.”

So the federal biologists bring in the wolves and a few years later the governor’s office says kill them. Why? Because the elk population has fallen about 15% since the wolves arrived, along with 2,589 sheep, 610 cows, and 72 dogs.

Take a moment on contemplate how arrogant and unconscionably stupid it is to take gray wolves from Canada and put them in Idaho in the name of “ecological balance.” The only balance achieved was a significant imbalance in the elk population and witless destruction of sheep and cows which represent a livelihood to ranchers and dinner to the rest of us.

Throughout America we are all paying for the environmental notion of “endangered species” and the quest to “save” some from extinction. The problem with that conceit is that 95% of all the species on Earth have gone extinct over hundreds of millions of years. One paper on this noted that “Mass extinction of biological species has occurred several times in the history of our planet.”

The Endangered Species Act became law on December 28, 1973, just over forty years ago. It’s not about saving species. It’s about providing a vehicle to environmental groups to shut off access to vast areas of the nation in order to prevent drilling for oil and natural gas or mining them for coal and other minerals.

In a December 2013 Wall Street Journal article, Damien Schiff and Julie MacDonald reported that “A law intended to conserve species and habitat has brought about the recovery of only a fraction—less than 2%–of the approximately 2,100 species listed as endangered or threatened since 1973.”

“Meanwhile, the law has endangered the economic health of many communities—which creating a cottage industry of litigation that does more to enrich environmental activist groups than benefit the environment.”

“One reason the Endangered Species Act has spun out of control is that the federal agencies that decide whether to list a species—the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—no longer based decisions on what the law calls for: data. Instead they invent squishy standards like ‘best professional judgment.’”

The result of that can be seen in California’s San Joaquin Valley where much of the nation’s almonds, broccoli, onions, watermelons, lettuce and tomatoes have been grown. About 13% of all agricultural production in the nation takes place in the region where some 250 different crops are grown. That is, until the Natural Resources Defense Council won a lawsuit against California’s water-delivery system that they claimed was endangering Delta smelt, on the Endangered Species list since 1994. The result was a manmade drought for the valley’s farmers and ranchers. If you wonder why the cost of everything in the vegetable section of your supermarket costs more, you can thank the NRDC.

Polar Bears (2)Lying about animal species is so much a part of the environmental movement that polar bears have become a fund-raising symbol over the years despite the fact that polar bear populations, said to be threatened by melting Arctic ice, have been thriving since the 1970s. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there are between 20,000 and 25,000 polar bears worldwide, living in Canada, Greenland, the northern Russian coast, islands of the Norwegian coast and the northwest Alaska coast. Hunting them was banned in the U.S. and worldwide with the exception of Alaskan Natives for tribal needs.

Currently almost half the land west of the Mississippi river belongs to the federal government and environmentalists want to expand on that to prevent the nation’s booming oil and gas development. That development could make the U.S. energy independent, create many jobs, and its revenues could significantly reduce the tremendous national debt. At the heart of the environmental movement is an intent to destroy capitalism and reduce the U.S. among other nations to an era before fossil fuels improved life for everyone.

One way to do that is to increase the endangered list by a record 757 new species by 2018. Two species with the greatest impact on private development are range birds, the greater sage grouse and the lesser prairie chicken. Among the environmental groups who specialize in using the Endangered Species Act are the Wildlife Guardians and the Center for Biological Diversity who have been party to more than one thousands lawsuits between 1900 and the present. The Center has made no secret of wanting to end fossil-fuel production in the U.S.

The Endangered Species Act should be repealed because it has a pathetic record regarding its goal over the past forty years and because it threatens the economic development of the nation. Unless or until this occurs, environmentalists will continue their assault on America.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Manly Obama pictures released to counter shirtless Putin

In order to help toughen President Obama’s image on the international arena, the White House released photographs of a shirtless, muscular U.S. President engaged in various manly activities. Barack Obama appears in these pictures playing golf, riding his daughter’s bicycle, throwing a baseball, and negotiating with Russian President Putin, who seems dismayed by the U.S. President’s superior physique.

The White House stated that previously released pictures of shirtless Vladimir Putin riding a horse or holding a rifle are no match to the new masculine image projected by Barack Obama in these photos, which until now had been kept from the public due to the U.S. President’s famously humble disposition.

America’s progressive satirists and Photoshop jockeys are now expected to use these pictures in creating a new series of viral “Obama vs. Putin” infographics, to counter the existing pictorial comparisons portraying the U.S. president as an emasculated lightweight.

obama golf shirtless

obama shirtless bike

obama shirtless baseball

RELATED STORYObama to Kill Tomahawk, Hellfire Missile Programs Cornerstone of U.S. Naval power eliminated under Obama budget

Why Government Does Not Function

Do you have the feeling that we no longer have government from the federal to the local level that is able to function because of vast volumes of laws and regulations that have made it impossible to do anything from build a bridge to run a nursing home? If so, you’re right. The nation is falling behind others who do a better job by permitting elected and appointed officials to actually make decisions. We are living in a nation where lawsuits follow every decision to accomplish anything.

Cover - The Rule of NobodyThis is the message of Philip K. Howard in a book that everyone concerned for the future of America should read; “The Rule of Nobody: Saving America from Dead Laws and Broken Government”.

It explains why we can elect a Representative or Senator, send him or her to Washington, D.C. and still see no progress. Instead, we get the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—that began as a 2,700-page law that has already metastasized into regulations that, stacked up, stand seven feet tall! And more on the way. It has destroyed the healthcare insurance industry and is destroying the U.S. healthcare system.

“The missing element in American government could hardly be more basic. No official has authority to make a decision. Law has crowded out the ability to be practical or fair,” says Howard. “It’s a progressive disease. As law grows to fill the vacuum, the wheels of government go slower every year.”

Howard points to a variety of problems that nation is encountering. “America’s electrical grid is out of date—transformers, on average, are about forty years old, and not digitized.” As vital and essential as the grid is to all life in America, “there’s no active plan to rebuild America’s electrical grid. The main reason is that government cannot make the decisions needed to approve it.”

Citing proposals that would allow the Bayonne Bridge to permit the new generation of large container ships clearance that would enable the Port of Newark to remain competitive, it took three years for environmental reviews to clear the project, but as Howard notes, “the average length of environmental review for highway projects, according to a study by the Regional Plan Association, is over eight years.” Eight years!

“Government on legal autopilot,” says Howard, “doesn’t have a chance of achieving solvency. In 2010, 70 percent of federal tax revenue was consumed by three entitlement programs—Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security—that don’t even come up for annual congressional authorization.”

Americans are in general agreement that Big Government is a big problem, but did you know that more than twenty million people work for federal, state and local government—or one in seven workers in America. Their salaries and benefits total more than $1.5 trillion of taxpayer funding each year or about ten percent of the Gross Domestic Product. Cities in America are declaring bankruptcy because they cannot afford the retirement and other benefits that their employees receive. State budgets are comparably weighed down.

We read about the often incomprehensible results and costs of the legal system affecting all levels of government. “Up and down the chain of social responsibility, responsible people do not feel free to make sensible decisions,” says Howard. “Everything is too complicated: rules in the workplace, rights in the classroom, and machinations in government. We’re bogged down in bureaucracy, pushed around by lawsuits, and unable to steer out of economic and cultural storms.”

“The point of regulation, we seem to have forgotten, is to make sure things work in a crowded society.”

What is forgotten or never learned is that there are elements of risk in everything we do. Trying to legislate risk out of our lives only leaves us with millions of rules that make it impossible to function intelligently in business, in schools, in hospitals and nursing homes, and everywhere else. It eliminates swings and seesaws from playgrounds out of fear of lawsuits.

“America is losing its soul,” says Howard. “Instead of creating legal structures that support our values, Americans are abandoning our values in deference to the bureaucratic structures.” Too often, decisions made by elected officials or reflected referendums voted upon by the public have been taken over by the court system in which judges now feel free to decide these matters. The response was a growing objection to “judicial activism.” Now even the judges are distrusted.

Howard’s book explains why America is in trouble and offers recommendations to put it on the right path again. If it is ignored, the America into which I was born more than seven decades ago will not be around or livable for the next generation or two of Americans.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Divided We Stand: A Traditionalist Manifesto

Conservatives are generally very nice people — who never saw a culture war they couldn’t lose. That is to say, we often hear cracks about how Barack Obama and his ilk may “evolve” on issues, but conservatives exhibit that tendency, too, and their evolution goes something like this:

“Marriage is between one man and one woman, period!”

Five years later…

“I can accept civil unions, but marriage should not be redefined.”

After five years more:

“The states can do whatever they want, just keep the feds out of it.”

And 10 years further on:

“People can do what they want. How does faux marriage affect me, anyway?” (This is the point British “conservatives” have reached.)

And at an even later juncture it’s, “Why shouldn’t homosexuals have the right to ‘marry’? It’s a matter of equality.” (Just ask some “conservatives” in Sweden.)

Oh, this isn’t limited to marriage or anything else some dismiss as “social issues.” Conservatives were against Social Security (in FDR’s time) before they tolerated it before they were for it before they demanded it. And they are against socialized medicine. But should it endure for 15 years, their children will tolerate it and then accept it and then expect it — as today’s conservatives do in Western Europe.

This gets at the only consistent definition of conservatism: a desire to “conserve,” to preserve the status quo. This is why while 1950s conservatives in the US were staunchly anti-communist, conservatives in the USSR were communist. As the status quo changes, so does the nature of the prevailing conservatism. And it is liberals, as the agents of change (without the hope), who shape tomorrow’s status quo.

Here’s how it works: the liberals come to the bargaining table demanding a change. The conservatives don’t like it, but being “reasonable” they give the other side some part of what they want. And it doesn’t matter if it amounts to 50 percent, 30, 15 or just 1 percent.

Because the libs will be back, next year, next election cycle, next decade.

Again and again and again.

And each time the cons will get conned, giving the libs a few more slices, until the left has the whole loaf and those ideological loafers, conservatives, are left with crumbs and a crumbled culture.

In a word, today’s conservatives are generally people who have assimilated into yesterday’s liberals’ culture. And every time we compromise — on civil unions, big-government programs or whatever it may be — we assimilate further. And what is the nature of this evolution?
It is nothing less than a superior culture being subsumed by an inferior one.

Now, all this perhaps sounds hopeless. Are we damned to inexorable and irrevocable movement toward the “left,” at least until the complete collapse of civilization is wrought? Well, there is an alternative to assimilation.

Separation.

There has been some talk of secession lately. But note that there is a prerequisite for political separation: cultural separation. Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Slovenia didn’t become their own nations because they suddenly thought the name Yugoslavia was no longer cool, but because of profound cultural differences. And Catalans in Spain some time back empowered parties that have called for an independence referendum this year because of cultural differences. Make the cultural differences great enough, and separation (assuming you can avoid bondage via a governmental iron fist, which is the other possibility) is a natural by-product.

But a key to increasing that cultural divide is avoiding assimilation. Did you ever hear of an Ainu (Japan’s original people) independence movement in Japan? No, because they’ve been largely absorbed by the wider culture, sort of how traditionalists get absorbed by our modernistic culture and end up having, at best, children who’ll reflect today’s liberals and be called tomorrow’s conservatives. So how can further assimilation be avoided?

We only need to look at how it’s done all over the world. And there are two ways. To illustrate the first, consider how ardent Muslims avoid being subsumed. They don’t view fellow citizens in a host nation as national brothers.

But as the “other.”

Oh, the others may occupy the same borders, but they are as alien as anyone outside them. Their culture is to be rejected not just because it’s decadent and despicable — and our liberal-created variety is certainly those things — but because it is of the other. So it is with the others’ laws, social codes, and traditions, too: they are born of an infidel, alien culture and are to be viewed with extreme suspicion if not hostility.

And this is precisely how leftists should be viewed.

For this to work, our instincts must be thus: If liberals say left, we go right. If they say down, we say up. If they scream “Change!” we shout all the louder “Tradition!” and then push for our own change — tradition’s restoration.

Note here that I’m not speaking of a cold intellectual understanding of the issues, which, don’t get me wrong, is important. But just as it is passion that makes a man fight for a woman, it is passion that makes you fight for a cause. Loathe what the liberals stand for, meet their agenda with animosity, cultivate a visceral desire to wipe it from the face of the Earth. Hate, hate, hate it with the fires of a thousand burning suns.

One drawback to this tactic for division, however, is that it constitutes a blind defiance that could conceivably reject virtue along with vice. An example of this is when elements of the black community dismiss education, Christianity and higher culture because they view embracing them as “acting white.” Yet since liberals are right only about 0.4 percent of the time (and I’m perhaps being generous), this isn’t the greatest of dangers at the moment. Nonetheless, this brings us to the ideal method for separation.

G.K. Chesterton once said, “The true soldier fights not because he hates what is in front of him, but because he loves what is behind him.” A good example of love-driven separation is the Amish. They do try to avoid hating anyone (although I suspect they hate certain ideas), yet their love for their culture is so great that they remain a people apart. Of course, where they fall short is that they won’t fight at all, even politically. And this philosophy will not yield separation on a wide scale because the left simply won’t allow millions of people to live “off the grid.” Someone has to fund the nanny state, after all.

But the proper combination is obvious. We need sort of an Amish jihad, a deep love of the good and hatred of the evil that translates into action. But there is a prerequisite for this, and it brings us to something both the Amish and Muslim jihadists have in common.

They believe in Truth.

Sure, the Muslims may call it the will of Allah; the Amish, God’s law. But the point is that they aren’t awash in a relativism that, amounting to the Protagorean notion that “man is the measure of all things,” is unduly influenced by man. They don’t see a large number of people lobbying for some loony social innovation and figure that, with man as arbiter, they have to “get with the times.” Rooted to what they see as eternal, they don’t bend to the ephemeral.

Quite the opposite of G.W. Bush, I’m a divider — not a uniter. If this sounds bad, note that Jesus himself said He had not come to unite the world but as a sword to divide brother against brother. And while I certainly don’t claim to be God or even godly, I do know that tolerance of evil in unity’s name is a vice — and blessed division a virtue.

We can hate what is in front of us, love what is behind us, or both. But if we’re sheep and not soldiers, compromisers and not crusaders, Western civilization’s days will be behind us — and in front, perhaps, a thousand years of darkness.

In the dictionary under weakness, there’s a picture of —

Slide15-300x180The dictionary defines weak as liable to yield, break or collapse under pressure or strain; not having much political strength, governing power or authority; impotent, ineffectual, or inadequate…well, you get the idea.

This week we saw clearly the contrast between weak and strong. This week President Obama did his NCAA basketball bracket, delightfully referred to as “Barack-etology.” discussed mom jeans with Ryan Seacrest, and chatted up Ellen Degeneres about Obamacare and those critical issues on “House of Cards” and “Scandal.”

In the same week, the territory (Crimea) of a sovereign nation (Ukraine) was annexed by an invading one (Russia). Down South, would-be football champions dream of going “between the hedges.” Instead, we have a President who went “between two ferns” — and that’s supposed to instill confidence? Nah, that’s a display of weakness, regardless of how liberals see it themselves.

Now, some believe President Obama is displaying the highest degree of strength and resolve — by not fighting back. They think only a real strong guy can say “there will be no military option.” It reminds me of another heroic Obama administration idea: the Combat Restraint Medal. Yep, a medal to be rewarded to combat troops for NOT firing back at the enemy. Only in Obamaworld is not shooting back at the enemy reason for an award.

In the world of progressive socialists, crushing your political opposition by using governmental power is strength. I call it tyranny. However, not standing up to a dictator who has invaded a sovereign free nation is showing strength? Both instances show weakness. Rhetoric about standing with protesters is courageous — unless of course those protesters are Iranian and belong to the Green movement. Then no one stands for you.

Liberal progressives are very adept at changing the meaning of words, altering the lexicon and turning words upside down. After all, a terrorist attack is just a man-caused disaster or workplace violence. Ergo weak is relative, according to the “living” meaning of the word. What a crock!

America, we elected a president who believed we needed to improve our global image. Someone who thought that it was more important to be “liked” — as if foreign policy is a Facebook page — than respected. We elected a person as Commander-in-Chief who truly believes “peace through strength” is an imposing and threatening mantra, and prefers “peace through appeasement” as a means to make friends. We elected a person who hasn’t a clue about geo-political strategy — as he evidenced by his sarcastic remark to Gov. Mitt Romney telling him “the 80s are asking for their foreign policy back.”

The only thing Barack Hussein Obama has brought to America is domestic tyranny and a cult of personality — neither impress the current list of despots, dictators, autocrats, and theocrats who now salivate at the naiveté and weakness of this “prankster.” Both are making us weak, at home and abroad.

So what does this mean for the American Republic? It means we have three more years during which we shall suffer, unless we wise up and take the gavel away from Harry Reid in the US Senate. But then again, Obama, keeper of the pen and phone, has shown his abject disdain for the rule of law and our governing Republican principles of separation of powers, coequal branches of government, and checks and balances. Has anyone ever had a front row seat to a train wreck? You do now. Sadly, there are those who actually bought the tickets — twice—and the rest of us are forced to watch. Heck, we’re all on the train.

The spinmeisters can try all they want, but you cannot deny the fact that Obama is weak and it is crippling America. The seminal question is, how low does America have to go? Have we now decided as a people that we no longer wish to lead? We no longer aspire to be exceptional? Are we fine with just sitting around watching reality TV shows, getting fat, and smoking dope while a new era of global brutes step forward? Barack Obama is forcing us to decide, and define, who we are: weak or strong.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on AllenBWest.com.

US Foreign Policy In A Tailspin

The weak and inadequate leadership displayed by the occupant of the Oval Office, over the last 5 years, is responsible for, and has created the worldwide political destabilization we are witnessing. When Obama came into office, he felt the United States prior inordinate stature in the international community was an undeserved stature and a result of unfairly acquired advantage, Obama now believes that the US underserved stature has been reset by “changes” he instilled in US policies, and Obama is bent on continuing to bring the Republic down in its military and economic strength. Obama sees US foreign policy as antithetical to domestic spending, since military readiness would be retained only at the expense of public entitlement. There is no Obama Foreign Policy or Obama Doctrine; just an intent to be sure that the United States will not be the only Superpower in the world.

Hillary Clinton’s naïve “RESET” with Russia obviously didn’t work, and was wrecked by Putin’s aggression in Crimea. Putin invaded Crimea because he has been watching Obama lead from behind for 5 years. The situation in Ukraine is rapidly deteriorating with Ukraine on the brink of war with Russia, yet Obama takes feeble action that has the Russians laughing and the world community shaking their collective heads. Obama should encourage NATO to join with the US in taking a number of actions that will send an strong signals to Putin that may get him to stop. Obama should halt his unilateral disarming of the US military, should support the development of energy resources on federal lands that he has restricted from domestic exploration for the last 5 years, provide the missile defenses systems for Poland and Czechoslovakia that Obama cancelled as soon as he was inaugurated in 2008, send humanitarian supplies to the people of Ukraine on a nonstop Military airlift bridge, deploy US Navy destroyers into the Black Sea, move a carrier battle group to the eastern Mediterranean, commence NATO exercises with the former Eastern member nations, and provide the Ukrainian Defense Force with the small arms they have been desperately asked the US for. The “Red Line” in Syria only empowered Putin; Putin has been supporting Assad’s suppression of the Syrian people, and he hoodwinked Obama into thinking Assad would turn in his chemical weapons which has come to a halt. Putin has given whistleblower Edward Snowden political asylum to demonstrate to the world that he has obvious disrespect for Obama. Obama’s now empty “Red Line” in Syria, then his empty “Red Line” in Crimea, has encouraged Putin’s to consider future land grabs in Eastern Ukraine, Moldova, more of Georgia, and he will probably takes bites out of the Baltic States.

Obama’s employment of standoff aerial drones to attack Al Qaeda’s leadership over the last 5 years has been ineffective, because leader are just replaced by the next in line. Instead of employing Special Operations Forces on the ground to decimate rank and file terrorists & capture others to develop operational intelligence for future strikes, he used drones and is solely responsible for the massive expansion of a depleted Al Q’ieda when President Bush left office—Al Q’ieda terrorists have no fear of attacks or capture by Special Operational Forces. The proliferation of Al Qaeda has manifested itself with the Black Flag of Al Qaeda flying over much of Libya, flying over the northeastern region of Syria, flying in Fallujah and the western regions of Iraq, flying throughout Somalia, and the Black Flag will soon be flying over Afghanistan once again, because Obama has been signaling Al Q’ieda for over 3 years that he will definitely pull out all US military forces from Afghanistan in about 8 months—–does anyone believe Obama’s false pronouncements in his last Presidential campaign that “Al Qaeda has been defeated and is on the run.” Military casualties in Afghanistan have increased by 358%/year over the last 5 years, over the annual casualty rate during the previous 8 years, because of Obama’s new and very dangerous Rules Of Engagement forced upon the US Armed Forces by Admiral Mullen. Mullen’s legacy has created unheard of casualty rates and Killed In Action rates in Afghanistan.

All efforts to achieve an effective Iranian boycott to stop a nuclear Iran have been abandoned by Obama, and without concessions. Iran is on the cusp of becoming a nuclear power and has been providing Republican Guard ground troops in Syria to kill freedom loving Syrians. The support for Israel has been be relegated to the trash heap of history, and Israel knows it is on its own. A nuclear confrontation is in the making in the Middle East, with Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and Turkey seeking nuclear weapons from Pakistan in self-defense. The heroic effort to stabilize Iraq by US Combatant Forces was thrown away when Obama yanked all US troops out of Iraq after the success of the “Surge,”; US military forces were abruptly pulled out without the negotiation of a Status of Forces Agreement (Iraq is the only country in the world, that the US saved from a dictator, that the US hasn’t entered into a Status of Forces Agreement with). Iran has filled in the void in Iraq left by the abrupt removal of US military forces from Iraq by Obama, and is now repeating the benefits of an alliance with Iraq as a result of the sacrifice the finest sons of America who removed the despot, Saddam Hussein, from power.

Relationships in the Middle East are in shambles. Obama’s unwise initiative to develop diplomatic relations with Iran at a time when it is threatening old US friends in the Middle East, killing freedom fighters in Iran, destabilizing Lebanon, Iraq, & Bahrain, is threatening the destruction of Israel, has fractured US relations with US diverse friends such as Israel and Saudi Arabia. When the US commenced negotiating to normalize diplomatic relations with Iran, in its defense, Saudi Arabia established an independent coalition with the Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco, and Jordan, and is now developing close relations with Putin. Libya whose ruler, Muammar Gaddafi, was turned from being hostile to be more supportive of the US, was deposed by military strikes led by the US, the attack on Gaddafi unleashed Al Qaeda that built 10 training camps in eastern Libya, and those training camps provided the commandos that attacked the US Mission in Benghazi that resulted in the death of 4 Americans because Obama refused to authorize “Cross Border Authority” required to send in military support; now a destabilized Libya has become Somalia on the Mediterranean, and is another failed state created by ineptness of the Obama administration.

Egypt’s Pro-US Prime Minister, Hosni Mubarak, was deposed by Obama, so the Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Morsi could come to power, Morsi permitted the Muslim Brotherhood to start murdering Christians throughout Egypt, and for over a year the Obama administration has had proof from Egyptian intelligence that Morsi was complicit in having his followers participate in the attack on the US Mission in Benghazi; when Morsi was deposed by the US trained & US friendly Military Junta, Obama had all arms shipments and financial aid to Egypt promptly cancelled. Saudi Arabia was infuriated when Mubarak was deposed by Obama in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood leader Morsi, the Saudis helped undermine Morsi, and provided 10 times more financial aid to the pro us Junta than Obama cancelled. Putin jumped in to replace the military arms shipment Obama cancelled, and now for the first time in 35 years Egypt has moved away from the US and is more friendly to Putin’s Russia.

China, Russia, and Iran are building and modernizing their very powerful military armed forces, while Obama continues to degrade the US Military to pre-World War II levels. The US unilateral reduction of its nuclear arsenal with no concessions from anyone, together with our Hamlet-like stance toward China, has terrified our Pacific allies. The US Navy had more ships in the Pacific when Jimmy Carter was President than the US has in the entire US Navy today, and President Reagan’s 660 ship Navy is headed to a less than 200 ship Obama Navy (less ships than the US Navy had before WWI). China is expanding its navy with its first aircraft carrier and many missile firing submarines; it is getting ready to forcibly annex the 5 tiny Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands that Japan purchased many years ago. China Like Russia and Iran viewed Obama’s follow thru when his “Red Lines” were crossed in Syria and Crimea. In the next three years, Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan (and perhaps the Philippines and Australia as well) will either make concessions to China or threaten to go nuclear—especially if their suspicions continue to grow that they are no longer under the US strategic umbrella.

Obama’s outreach to Latin America’s Marxist regimes has been a colossal failure. Bolivia has now become a Marxist state; Communist Cuba, Ecuador and Argentina are more anti-American than ever. Ortega of Nicaragua humiliated the US with his long public dressing down of Obama. To make matters worse, on November 19, 2013 Secretary of State John Kerry declared the 200 year old policy that was adopted by the US Congress in 1823, The Monroe Doctrine, is “dead!” Obama’s strongly support for Hugo Chavez’s Marxist Venezuela, while he ignored the pro US demonstrators in the streets voicing their opposition to Marxist regime of Chavez, they were seeking a democratic form of government. It is interesting to know that Obama did support demonstrators in the streets during the Arab Spring who were trying to destabilized governments allied with the US in the Middle East; Chavez prevailed against the freedom seeking demonstrators in the streets, destroyed the economy of Venezuela, and now Venezuela is another failed Marxist state.

Obama feels his foreign policy towards China, Russia, and Iran has been a smashing success, and because the left of center liberal media establishment is deeply invested in Obama’s success, they obviate, obscure, mislead, and outright lie to confuse the American people about the truth on issues. However, for the past 5 years, despite the attempt by the media and the Obama administration to mislead the American people, clear thinking Patriots understand how completely Obama has failed the United States, leaving the Republic less secure, gave them a weaker military establishment, financially weakened the Republic, and the nation is now less respected in the eyes of the international community. The long and the short of it is that, Putin is a dynamic leader who is maximizing what little military power he has and is rapidly rebuilding his military, while the United States is virtually leaderless on the international stage with a strong military establishment that is rapidly being degraded by Obama. More likely over the next 3 years, we will see a doubling down by Obama on reducing US influence, going into a project debt of $24 trillion, reducing the US military strength in the world, and ensuring the US no longer has, a too-prominent global profile.

The only thing the American voters can do is elect Senators and Congressmen in less than seven months who will put a stop to Obama’s failed foreign policy, and his out of control spending. The thirty-four endorsed Combat Veterans For Congress are some of the Patriotic Americans who will support the principles upon which our Forefathers based the US Bill of Rights and the US Constitution—elect them in November to protect and defend the US Constitution and The Free Enterprise System.

EDITORS NOTE: The flag used as the featured image is that of the United States Secretary of State.

SANCTIONED: Obama Banned from Russian Honey Store

Above sign reads: SANCTIONS – US President Barack Obama has been denied the right to enter the Honey Store. Management of the Honey Store

First posted in PJ MEdiaSanctions: them’s fighting words!

Some Russians are taking sanctions imposed on their country by the Obama administration with a grain of salt, or a spoon of honey as the case may be – and impose their own improvised sanctions in return.

In one example, this Russian-language sign just appeared on the entrance door to a small store in Moscow named “Myod,” which sells honey products. Translated into English, it says:

The reflection in the glass reveals a photographer wearing a Russian fur hat, against the background of a snow-covered street.

The lettering above the sign provides the store’s street address and website, magazinmed.ru, which lists their products as “high quality bee pollen, ambrosia, royal jelly, beeswax, and propolis,” gives directions (two minutes on foot from the Airport Metro station), and shows pictures of the interior.

Barack Obama sanctions in RussiaA humorous sign inside the store says, “Citizens with bears are served ahead of the line,” referring to the stereotypical view of bears as honey connoisseurs and aficionados. The website also has a discriminatory warning, “Customers with kangaroos are not allowed.” Online purchases are not available either.
Barack Obama sanctions in Russia

In a different corner of the world, a picture on the entrance door to a Malaysian restaurant says “Welcome to Penang Island – except Russian occupants. Go Crimea!” And then, in Russian, in red letters, “Get out!”

This is followed by the Russian flag crossed by a red line, and a footnote that says, “Free freedom drink to every Ukrainian. Offer valid until the end of occupation.”

I’d like to know the address so I can take them on their offer.

Ukraine_Welcome_Malaysia.jpg

Death by a Thousand Cuts: The Downfall of a Country by Fernando J. Milanes. M.D.

It was not easy. With many diverse factors, interests and ideology at play, our forefathers were able to unanimously agree on a beautiful and simple manuscript, the Declaration of Independence. The words that began the second paragraph of this document became the basis upon which the philosophy of a new country would be built.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

After defeating the English empire under the brilliant direction of George Washington, and the signing of the Constitution, an experiment consisting of a different form of Democracy was started. The success of the United States of America was dependent on the strength of four ideological pillars.

Our Constitution; when the first ten of the twelve proposed amendments of this document, known as the Bill of Rights, were drafted by James Madison its main purpose was to avoid a takeover of individual rights by a central power. This idea of limiting central authority and concentrating it on the citizen was crucial to the success of the system. Power to the States, and separation of federal governance by three equal branches, legislative, judicial and executive would provide checks and balances to the structure. Human folly, including personal ambition was supposed, paraphrasing Madison, to neutralize each other. The success of the US and its democratic approach was highly dependent, explained Alec De Tocqueville, on the wisdom and education of its citizens.

The community; our population was and is based on immigrants. The attraction to come to the U.S. was rooted on the search for freedom and opportunity. Most of the newcomers shared the Judeo-Christian values of the original pilgrims. Freedom to worship, to labor, and to raise a family was central to these original inhabitants. With the initial success of the country, the idea of opportunity for liberty and the pursuit of happiness attracted many that were unable to achieve those in their nation of origin. Our nation’s accomplishments increased with these new arrivals. In addition to a strong family unit, religious support, and schooling, the people were educated by what was supposed to be a fourth power, the press.

Education; the earlier and most important education, came from the family unit, religious advisors and schools. These institutions were in agreement of the importance of love for one another, for our land, work, sacrifice, and helping those in need. As adults the free press gave us facts, many diverse opinions, and demonstrated impartiality in order to help us form an independent opinion, not to manipulate our thoughts. People that achieved, worked hard, and had some luck and entrepreneurship abilities, were able to accumulate riches in our capitalistic economic approach.

Free markets; the economy grew based on free market principles with limited regulations, competition, and incentives for individuals to come up with new and original ideas. There was no limit for achievement, and those who made it were praised and admired and became a source of inspiration as written in the popular Horatio Alger stories of rags to riches.

As described in the Chinese torture of one thousand cuts, our way of life was attacked in a thousand ways, causing inexorable erosion to the four pillars previously described. Our Constitution became old, before our times, needing revision. The separation of powers became a farce, with the legislative branch weak, the judicial dependent and subservient to the executive that appointed them, and a presidency more and more resembling the strong voice that our forefathers feared. Persons with ambition united, instead of cancelling each other as Madison had hoped. Individual liberty has increasingly been defined by the bias of the leaders, thus curtailing the ability to voice an independent opinion.

The family nucleus has been eroded to the extent that marriage, in its symbolic definition, has been eliminated; couples remain together in dwindling numbers, religion beliefs, especially Judeo-Christian, are not respected, and God is eliminated from our teachings.

The press has become, for the most part, a propaganda apparatus in the service of the establishment. The ones that dare to oppose the governing machinery are surreptitiously being attacked by branches of the same government that we elected to represent us.

Our schools and institutions of higher learning are led by teachers that spouse a particular point of view, thus intellectually forming a new youth, with preconceived notions of reality.

Our citizens are mostly uninterested in the electoral process, more and more ignorant, and attracted less by the opportunity to pursuit happiness than the guarantee of receiving it.

A symbiotic relationship between capitalists and politicians has changed our free market system into one where regulations kill initiative, and favors the crony allies of the rulers.

What was decades ago the majority of the population that revered our nation, constitution and way of life, are now defined as extreme, selfish, uneducated and racist. As in Europe, both political parties are of a liberal philosophy, the less extreme called conservatives. Whether this erosion of our way of life has been caused by many diverse circumstances, and/or an inevitable cycle of the rise and falls of civilizations, or, as some belief, under the direction of a single evil force, is debatable.

What are not are the facts, and these are clear, and demonstrate our continuing decline and eventual downfall.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on Bear Witness Central.

Blue State Blues

Two headlines on Tuesday, March 18, are bound to give Democrats across the country a really bad case of heartburn. The Washington Free Beacon headline read: “Born to Run Away From High Taxes,” while a New York Times headline read, “Businessman Wins Republican Primary for Governor in Illinois.”

The Free Beacon story details the extent to which “New Jersey’s high taxes may be costing the state billions of dollars a year in lost revenue as high earning residents flee (the state).” According to the Free Beacon story, the study,” titled Exodus on the Parkway, was completed last year by Regent Atlantic, of Morristown, New Jersey, but held for publication until after the 2013 elections. The study stated it intentionally withheld its results because 2014 is not an election year for state legislators… and the dire findings of the study would “hopefully encourage a serious and objective dialogue aimed at addressing and solving the challenges that New Jersey currently faces.”

The study found that, since the Democrat-controlled legislature passed the “millionaire’s tax” in 2004, signed into law by Democratic Governor Jim McGreevey, New Jersey has been steadily losing high-net-worth residents. That ill-advised and counter-productive approach to revenue enhancement, which presupposes that the rich will just sit still forever and allow themselves to be taxed back into the middle class, or worse, imposed a 41 percent increase in the state income tax on those with annual incomes of $500,000, or more.

Lacking the capacity to understand basic economic principles, and having no ability to learn from their mistakes, New Jersey Democrats have continued to push for even higher taxes on the wealthy. Under threat of veto by a tough-minded Republican governor, Chris Christie, they have failed on three successive attempts.

According to the Regent Atlantic study, New Jersey collects $10 billion annually in personal income taxes, $4.2 billion of which is paid in by just one percent of the population. Before the millionaire’s tax was enacted, the aggregate net worth of New Jersey residents increased by $98 billion over a four year period. However, in the four year period following the tax increase, 70 percent of that aggregate increase in net worth has fled the state. Because New Jersey residents have learned how to vote with their feet, the state lost taxable income of $5.5 billion in 2010 alone because residents moved to more tax-friendly states.

However, it’s not just the wealthy that New Jersey Democrats wish to bilk in their never-ending quest to buy enough votes to maintain themselves in power. Democrats in the legislature have also proposed a five-cent-per-gallon increase in the gasoline tax, a tax on water consumption, a tax on plastic bags, a tax on plastic water bottles, and yet another increase in the income tax. These are increases that would damage everyone who lives in or drives through the Garden State.

Apparently New Jersey Democrats believe that they have reached nirvana when a majority of the people are on food stamps, AFDC, Medicaid, unemployment compensation, and workman’s compensation, while the state confiscates 100 percent of the incomes and assets of those foolish enough to continue working… those for whom a job offer in Detroit would look like the opportunity of a lifetime.

Some 800 miles to the west, in Illinois, the state that currently resembles Detroit more than any other, wealthy private equity manager, Bruce Rauner, has won the Republican nomination for governor. Rauner, who spent $6 million of his own money in a four-way race for the GOP nomination, won 40.1% of the vote in defeating three better known GOP candidates, all long-time GOP officials in Springfield.

If Rauner is elected… and it looks as if he has the right stuff to get the job done… he will be taking on the toughest job of any Republican governor in the nation. Illinois is, after all, an economic basket-case, the worst run, most corrupt state in the nation.

On January 12, 2011, Investors Business Journal reported that the State of Illinois faced a budget deficit of $15 billion, “equivalent to more than half the state’s general fund.” According to the report, “(Illinois) officials warned that state government might not be able to pay its employees. It certainly would fall further behind in paying the businesses, charities, and schools that provide services on the state’s behalf.”

In response to that economic tsunami, the Governor of Illinois, Democrat Pat Quinn, and the Illinois legislature, controlled by Democrats (35-24 in the Senate and 64-54 in the House), developed a response that only a bunch of Democrats would see as a viable solution. In the midst of a major national recession they increased personal income taxes by 66% and corporate taxes by 46%, increases that were expected to produce an additional $6.8 billion per year… assuming, of course, that every employer then in Illinois, would remain in Illinois.

A year later, the Illinois Comptroller’s Office estimated that the backlog of unpaid bills was nearly $8 billion… and this after Democrats in Springfield placed a crushing load of new taxes on the shoulders of taxpayers and corporations.

Reactions were predictable. According to the Journal, neighboring states immediately began plotting to “lure business away from Illinois.” Governor Scott Walker (R-WI) said, “Years ago, Wisconsin had a tourism advertising campaign targeted to Illinois with the motto, ‘Escape to Wisconsin.’ Today we renew that call to Illinois businesses, ‘Escape to Wisconsin.’ You are welcome here.”

Then-Governor Mitch Daniels (R-IN) said, “It’s like living next door to the ‘Simpsons’ – you know, the dysfunctional family down the block.” Gov. Daniels may have mixed a metaphor. To say that living next door to Illinois is like living next door to the Adams Family may have been a more apt comparison.

But now it appears that Republicans are about to field a candidate with some business sense who is not afraid to tell the people of Illinois what they need to hear, while Democrats continue to insist on telling them whatever is necessary to get their votes on Election Day. And while union leaders in Illinois could not have failed to notice that their state is now surrounded by states where right-to-work was once thought to be impossible… Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin… right-to-work is probably not something that will happen in Illinois until a hard-nosed Republican governor can make Republicanism respectable everywhere in the state except in America’s most corrupt city… Chicago.

Bruce Rauner may be that man. According to the Times story, Rauner has already angered the public sector unions. He has criticized union leaders, advocated charter schools, and suggested that recent reforms in the public employee pension system… with unfunded liabilities of about $80 billion… were far too timid.

Never in American history has a political party been as vulnerable to resounding defeat as is the Democrat Party in 2014. The only thing the Republican Party needs is leadership. With John Boehner (R-OH) as Speaker of the House, with Mitch McConnell (R-KY) as Minority Leader of the Senate, and with Eric Cantor (R-VA) as House Majority Leader, the GOP is in great danger of wasting the opportunity to literally devastate the Democratic Party. Never before have there been three political leaders more capable of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

Although most pundits agree that Republicans will maintain their majority in the House of Representatives, many hedge their bets by saying that the party could actually lose a few seats in the House. I believe the Republicans will maintain their majority in the House, picking up an additional five to ten seats in the process.

In the Senate, most pundits hedge their bets by predicting that Republicans have a shot at taking control, but with a slim majority of only one or two seats. I believe that those predictions are far too conservative and fail to take into account the foul mood of the American people and the intense unpopularity of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and Nancy Pelosi.

Republicans have 15 Senate seats at stake. I believe Republicans will retain all of those seats. On the other hand, the Democrats have 21 seats at stake, only eight of which are all but certain to remain in Democrat hands. The remaining 13 seats are either leaning heavily Republican or are vulnerable to Republican takeover. A net gain of 10 seats by the GOP is not outside the realm of possibility.

All we need are leaders and candidates who are willing to take the battle to the enemy in a most forceful and straightforward way. At a recent rally in Illinois, Bruce Rauner shouted, “Let’s shake up Springfield! Let’s go get ‘em!” Republicans should never doubt that we have the people and the issues on our side. And if we can get Republicans across the country to adopt that same rallying cry, to say, “Let’s shake up America! Let’s go get ‘em!” we can win a victory in November that will make the Republican Revolution of 1994 pale by comparison.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured map is courtesy of Theshibboleth. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Can America Survive Obama?

After a series of events that continue the decline of America’s global reputation along with increasing questions about the level of Obama administration corruption within the Internal Revenue Service, these and other factors lead inevitably to the question of whether America can survive Barack Hussein Obama.

By March 12, a Wall Street Journal/NBC news poll indicated that Obama’s popularity had declined to an all-time low with 48% approval versus 54% disapproval. This is unchanged from December when the Obamacare rollout dominated the news. The rate of disapproval among Democrats stands at 20%.

The question of survival might sound absurd under normal circumstances, but there has not been anything “normal” about Obama’s first term in which he lied repeatedly to Americans to secure the passage of the Affordable Care Act—Obamacare—and then claimed that what he and Congressional Democrats said was an inadvertent misstatement of the facts. His namesake legislation has been a disaster from the beginning. Nothing about it works and it costs more while destroying the healthcare insurance system.

And he has continued to lie to the point where anyone above the age of five has concluded that nothing he says can be trusted. So, if he weren’t President, he could be fired, but he can’t. He can be impeached, but he won’t because Republicans tried that with Bill Clinton and it failed. So that leaves only the forthcoming November midterm elections as a means to curb his further destruction of the economy and all other aspects of life in America.

It is useful to keep in mind that Americans have survived hard times, from the long Revolutionary War to the Civil War through many financial crises and, of course, the Great Depression in the last century. In these and other hard times, many suffered, but the nation was sustained.

I know the headlines out of Wall Street continue to be good. The bankers and the investment crowd know how to turn a dollar, but there are scores of opinion pieces saying that the collapse of the dollar is eminent or that another financial crisis like the one in 2008 is just around the corner. For the record, the banks that survived that crisis, the ones that were “too big to fail”, were not only bailed out with taxpayer dollars, but paid it back and thereafter enjoyed enormous profits thanks to a Federal Reserve that charged no interest on the money it loans them.

On March 6, Wall Street Journal columnist Daniel Henninger opined that “Putin Carterizes Obama, Totally.” I remember Jimmy Carter mostly for the lines I had to wait in to get gas for my car. Then there was the seizure of American diplomats in Tehran, Iran in 1979. Every day since then the Iranians wake up crying out “Death to America. Death to Israel” and they mean it. So with whom is Barack Obama and his idiot Secretary of State, John Kerry, “negotiating”? The same Iranians. You know, the ones who were shipping dozens of Syrian-made surface-to-surface rockets to the Palestinians in Gaza until the Israelis boarded the ship in the Red Sea last week and put a stop to that. The same ones he relieved of the sanctions regarding their nuclear weapons program.

What makes me ask the question about survival is the way the ideologies that Obama believes—Communism, Islam, and his ability to influence other nations—blind him to reality. Thinking that diplomacy will get the Iranians to stop their quest to build their own nuclear weapons isn’t just stupid, it’s insane.

It’s the same with his views of Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. Having “re-set” the former Cold War relationship with Russia, Obama has just discovered that Putin has not. Given the political turmoil in Ukraine, Putin did what all of his predecessors did for hundreds of years; he decided to take control of the Crimea. Why not? Russia has essential shipping ports there and some airfields. The Crimea was part of Russia for hundreds of years. Putin knows that Obama will not go to war over these events. He wouldn’t even take on Syria when it used poison gas.

While Russian troops were moving into Crimea, the President had his Secretary of Defense, Chuck Hagel, announce reductions in the Pentagon budget that would reduce our military power to pre-World War Two days. Last week, China announced it was going to increase its military budget 12.2% within a week or so of the U.S. announcement it was reducing its military budget to pre-World War Two levels.

Obama’s weakness and his policies that weaken America economically and militarily have not gone unnoticed around the world.

It’s hard to win wars with stateless fascist Muslims that call themselves al Qaeda and other names. Throughout the Middle East, despite their increase in numbers, the states there are trying to fight them. The Taliban will regain Afghanistan about a week after we leave while Egypt has allied with Russia after Obama backed the Muslim Brotherhood. A third of Iraq is now controlled by al Qaeda. Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates just withdrew its ambassadors from Qatar for backing the Muslim Brotherhood. It is home to al Jazeera, the television channel.

At home the Environmental Protection Agency continues to play havoc with the economy and, in particular, our need for electricity with its “war on coal.” It is undertaking a regulatory storm to control all aspects of our lives.

The question of whether America can survive Obama is not inconsequential.

He’s all for same-sex marriage, the legalizing of marijuana, and forcing people to violate their strong moral and religious convictions. He keeps talking about jobs but there are millions unemployed and millions on government welfare programs. The nation’s economy has gotten worse since Obama was elected in 2008 to fix it. And he prefers to rely on executive orders than to work with Congress.

Elections have consequences. Let’s hope the voters keep that in mind in November.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

‘RESET’ in Russian means ‘invade Ukraine’

The official ceremony in which US. State Secretary Hillary Clinton presented Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov with a pretty plastic “Reset” button that had a mistranslated Russian word “peregruzka” written in Roman characters, was the first act of the “new and improved” foreign policy of the Obama administration. It happened almost exactly five years ago, in March of 2009, during Hillary’s visit to Moscow. We covered this event twice:

How Do You Say ‘Hillary’s Gaffe’ in Russian?

Middle Finger to Obama On Russian TV Is Not What It Seems

A lot has happened since the “new and improved” foreign policy took effect, backed up by the Nobel Peace Prize, awarded to Obama in advance for his expected achievements. During these short five years, glorious improvements have been popping up, almost spontaneously, all over the map – North Korea, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, Honduras, Venezuela, Egypt, Libya, Syria, and now Russia.

To really understand how it happened, let’s go to the roots and reconstruct the initial Moscow meeting between Hillary and Lavrov, using advanced techniques in reading lips and body language on the available footage.

HILLARY: America gives Russia this pretty button. It says “reset” in English and in Russian, I think.
LAVROV: Well, I do not think it means what you think it means. See? This here in Russian means “Invade Ukraine.”
HILLARY: Whatever. (Both smile for the cameras)

reset

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