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

Click on image for a larger view.

ABC Pilot “Alice in Arabia”: The Truth more Damning than Fiction

Creeping Sharia (CS) has featured our NER articles and Iconoclast posts on kidnapping of American children by Saudi Fathers. See An American Child Kidnapped in Accordance with Sharia and An American’s Rescue from Abduction to Saudi Arabia.

Yesterday, CS posted on an InsideTV/ Entertainment Weekly story about CAIR’s demand to control an ABC Family pilot about a fictional abduction by Saudi relatives of an American girl and her eventual escape. That pales by comparison with the truth about real episodes of such kidnappings.

We wonder what both Professor Margaret McClain and Yasmeen Alexandria Davis would say regarding this latest attempt by the Muslim Brotherhood front. They are  seeking to intimidate the  pilot’s producers and the cable TV channel for daring to unveil Sharia intrusion on the fundamental Constitution rights of American citizens, women and children.  We believe that Professor McClain’s story portrays Sharia Islamic law practiced by Saudi men denying basic liberties under our Constitution in violation of state and federal laws, as well as, international conventions against parental kidnapping.  As portrayed in our interview with Ms. Davis, our State Department did little to rescue her.  Instead, it was left to the resourcefulness of her mother and grandmother to accomplish that feat.   Ms. Davis’ resistance to physical abuse by her Saudi Father for her refusal to convert to Islam was a living nightmare.  A nightmare that is still very real and palpable.  Her Saudi father, who made threats to kill her, still keeps tabs on her via lawyers’ letters and attempts to visit her by an ex-FBI agent. They continually ask her if she would refrain from invoking an outstanding Interpol warrant for her father’s arrest for his abduction of her.  He is seeking  to bring  children by another marriage from Saudi Arabia on a visit to Disney World.

That is the ultimate chutzpah of Sharia, practiced by fundamentalist Muslims both here and abroad.  Sharia, when intrudes on our laws, should be deterred from recognition in state legal systems, including Florida.   American Law for American Courts legislation is currently making its fourth attempt at passage in the Florida legislature.  Perhaps this latest attempt by CAIR to muzzle free thought, coupled with stories of Sharia’s war on American women and children, can aid in  securing passage in the 2014 session of the  Florida state legislature. We shall see.

Our thanks to the team at CS for pointing out this related story and the cases of both Professor McClain and Ms. Davis.  Sending those stories to the ABC Family producers of the fictional pilot might embolden them to tell the truth about what lies behind the medieval barbarity of Sharia.  If so inclined you might Tweet at hashtag #AliceinArabia to protest CAIR’s move or call   ABC Family President Tom Ascheim at  818- 460-7477.  818-460-747   Let him know that the pilot needs to rebut CAIR’s intimidation by revealing the truth of these cautionary testimonies by Professor McClain and Ms. Davis.

Here is the CS post: Terror-linked CAIR wants to control ABC Family’s pilot on Saudi kidnapping of American girl

Real life Saudi-Muslim abduction dramas are playing out in the U.S. daily…while terror-linked CAIR is busy fighting for Sharia law across the U.S. via ABC Family’s ‘Alice in Arabia’ sparks outrage | Inside TV | EW.com.

ABC Family’s recently announced drama pilot Alice in Arabia is inciting significant backlash on Twitter and from a Muslim civil liberties organization. The pilot follows an American teen who is kidnapped by her Saudi Arabian extended family and must “find a way to return home while surviving life behind the veil.”

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), a Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization, called for the cable network to meet with Muslim and Arab-American community leaders to discuss their grievances with the potential series. CAIR sent a letter to ABC Family president Tom Ascheim on Tuesday requesting a meeting with its organization and other groups.

“We want ABC to sit down and to meet with us and have a dialogue,” spokeswoman Yasmin Nouh told EW. “[And] to recognize that the portrayal of [this story has] real consequences on Muslims and especially on Muslim youth, not only how others treat them, but in terms of how they see themselves.”

The organization has not yet received a response from ABC Family, which is owned by Disney, but a spokesperson for the cable network  issued the following statement: “We hope people will wait to judge this show on its actual merits once it is filmed. The writer is an incredible storyteller and we expect “Alice” to be a nuanced and character driven show.”

Here is the full ABC Family description of the pilot:

“Alice in Arabia” is a high-stakes drama series about a rebellious American teenage girl who, after tragedy befalls her parents, is unknowingly kidnapped by her extended family, who are Saudi Arabian. Alice finds herself a stranger in a new world but is intrigued by its offerings and people, whom she finds surprisingly diverse in their views on the world and her situation. Now a virtual prisoner in her grandfather’s royal compound, Alice must count on her independent spirit and wit to find a way to return home while surviving life behind the veil. The pilot was written by Brooke Eikmeier, who previously served in the US Army as a Cryptologic Linguist in the Arabic language, trained to support NSA missions in the Middle East. She left the service in September 2013 with the rank  of E-4 Specialist.”

Very troubling to several on Twitter is the reference to living life “behind the veil,” which Nouh says is just part of the bigger issue with the plot line. “The veil connotes and is equated to oppression, you are in an oppressive land with oppressive people and the veil is just a part of that,” she said.

The response on Twitter has been immense since Tuesday, with people using the Twitter hashtag #AliceinArabia to share their opinions and solicit a call to action.

Will ABC Family agree to the terror-linked, FBI-banned CAIR demands and meet with the Hamas front group? Will the unindicted co-conspirator be allowed to dictate what is shown and said on network television? 

Is Brooke Eikmeier aware of who CAIR is? Was her training whitewashed to prevent her from learning the truth about terror-linked Muslim organizations in the United States? Will she too be smeared and submitted to Hamas-CAIR litigation jihad? Will she whitewash the reality of what goes on in Saudi Arabia? Are real life Alice’s “intrigued by its [Saudi Muslim slavery] offerings and people, whom she finds surprisingly diverse in their views on the world and her situation”?

RELATED COLUMN: Islamic sharia law adopted by British legal chiefs

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared on The New English Review.

WORST CASE SCENARIO: The Missing Plane

The missing Boeing 777 from Malaysia is the hot item in the news for the last two weeks, making one wonder what other important information about other developments – domestic and foreign – would normally be, but are not at the forefront.

Be that as it may, this missing plane is a huge conundrum. And it may truly be the most crucial news item in the world. Like most of you, I have tried to follow the information and theories since day one, always bearing in mind to pay attention to the core facts. Truth: The authorities simply don’t have an answer. Thus, caring citizens like us do not have an answer.

But I do have a “worst case scenario” that is not outside the realm of possibility, and which could portend a grave disaster in the days, weeks or months to come.

The core facts:

1: Every piece of known data points to a deliberate act on the part of the cockpit operatives. The sudden shift in direction, the disconnect of transponders, the freezing of communications, and so forth, were acts that could only have been done – on purpose.

2: The pilots are Muslims. Sorry for the profile, but Muslims have earned it. Some Muslims around the world are recruited by the Muslim Brotherhood and/or associated splinter groups, for the single purpose of engaging in jihad. Jihad, for those who are not informed, is the command by Allah to engage in conquest. This objective is the reason the airline industry in every region of the planet spends trillions of dollars in security to prevent terror attacks.

3: The flight simulator in the pilot’s home, and the deletion of files from that simulator, is a dead giveaway that the pilot was practicing a landing at an airfield unknown to him.

4: Jihadists are often stealth operatives who live and work among the general populace, unknown to be involved in jihad activities until an act of aggression is actually carried out. (Example: Fort Hood)

5: There has been no sign of a terror attack or a mass killing associated with the hijacking. No debris, no crash, no bodies. No acknowledgments or statements of responsibility by the radical Islamic world. When terrorists kill, it’s meant to deliver a message. They want it known. Terror killings are always intended to be news items, so all the world is put on alert. Fear, intimidation, and submission is the ultimate goal, which usually aids radical Islam to accomplish their mission.

Remember, the Muslim Brotherhood is a huge terror organization that has millions of loyal jihad operatives all over the world. With all this limited, but significant information gleaned thus far, here are some ideas to consider.

  • The flight simulator at the pilots home indicates the intent to land somewhere within the range of fuel allotment. That could be as far as Pakistan, or other remote regions of that part of the world.
  • Such maneuvers strongly indicate long range preparation and planning, which had to be coordinated with many other operatives on land.
  • The plane would not have landed at a commercial airport, nor a well-known private airfield. It could have ultimately landed in the middle of Bumstuck nowhere – in a remote airfield which would have been pre-modified to accommodate the Boeing 777.
  • All the pre-planning would entail the provisions for refueling the plane, perhaps painting the exterior a light color for day maneuvers, or a dark color for night maneuvers.
  • This entire operation would be carried out for one purpose, the deadliest terror attack in the history of the world. Therefore, while in the remote area of Bumstuck, the plane could be loaded with nuclear bombs, or other catastrophic weapons of mass destruction.
  • The pilots? They would arrive at paradise for serving Allah
  • The 239 passengers aboard are witnesses. More than likely, they would be lined up, shot, and buried in mass pre-dug graves never to be heard from again.
  • The objective: More than likely: Tel Aviv, Israel. Second choice: New York City or Washington D.C., but that would likely require another refueling.

Make no mistake, the Muslim Brotherhood – or their associated terror organizations – has the resources to carry out such a nefarious plot. The agencies in charge of this investigation, here and abroad, are not talking. But they certainly have considered this.

I sincerely hope the debris they spot in the ocean is identified to that plane, and this was all an accident after all, which means the “worst case scenario” is dead wrong. But if anything even similar to this should occur, no one will hear me gloat, “I told you so.” I will grieve with the rest of the world.

RELATED STORY: Malaysia Hunts for Missing Jet in Pakistan (“Israel Preps for Attack”)

LBJ: I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years

On March 20, 1854 the Republican Party was established in Ripon, Wisconsin. Referred to as the GOP or Grand Old Party, it established for one reason: to break the chains of slavery and ensure the unalienable rights endowed by the Creator of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness would be for all Americans.

The Republican Party was created to achieve individual freedom. Then, as now, the antagonist to the Republican party has been the Democrats, the party of collective subjugation and individual enslavement — then physical, now economic.

The first black members of the US House and Senate were Republicans. The first civil rights legislation came from Republicans. Democrats gave us the KKK, Jim Crow, lynchings, poll taxes, literacy tests, and failed policies like the “Great Society.”

Republican President Eisenhower ordered troops to enforce school desegregation. Republican Senator Everett Dirksen enabled the 1964 civil rights legislation to pass, in opposition to Democrat Senators Robert Byrd (KKK Grand Wizard) and Al Gore, Sr.

As a matter of fact, it was Democrat President Lyndon Baines Johnson who stated, “I’ll have those niggers voting Democratic for the next 200 years” as he confided with two like-minded governors on Air Force One regarding his underlying intentions for the “Great Society” programs.

Yep, and who are the real racists? So far, thanks to a Republican Party that is ignorant of its own history and gave up on the black community, Democrats have 50 of those 200 years under their belt.

The problem with today’s Republican Party is that it has forgotten its own history and raison d’ etre: individual liberty. The Party must come to realize that GOP also stands for “Growth, Opportunity, Prosperity” and articulate how it stands, as its history and founding clearly demonstrate, for the individual pursuit of happiness as opposed to the progressive socialist (Democrat) lie of a collective guarantee of happiness.

So, happy 160th birthday to my Party, the Republican Party. I am a strong Conservative and I hope Republicans recommit to those fundamental principles which established this Party — the historical antithesis of the Democrats. Do I agree with every Republican on everything? Not always, but I doggone ain’t about to join up with the other liberal socialist rascals. And I do have a word of caution to my fellow Republicans, (wo)man up, or go the way of the Whigs.

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

A VERY BAD IDEA: Transferring Control of the Internet to the UN

From an intelligence standpoint, it does not make sense to turn over control of the Internet to the UN. At a time when the US Armed Forces and the intelligence community are both trying to develop our national defenses against the threats of cyber warfare, to divest the nation of control of the Internet is not in the best interest of the nation. The Pentagon, White House, and other agencies of government have been signaling the onset of cyber warfare.

Obama’s transfer of the Internet to the UN is just another illustration of how he continues to weaken the Republic, his goal seems to move the nation to a post-modern utopian world. The Obama administration has been informing the world that Putin is on the wrong side of history, that Putin is living in the 19th Century of nationalism, not in Obama’s 21st Century vision of internationalism.

Obama believes anyone espousing nationalism in the United States is backwards, uneducated, and a danger to the “change” he envision for the United States. While Obama is degrading the strength of the US military to a level that existed before WWII, and is intent on seriously damaging the economic power of the nation, as he drives the Republic into unheard of levels of debt (soon the interest on the national debt will exceed the GNP).

Obama believes that the nation-state, and sovereignty must no longer be the basis for the foundation of the international system, in Obama’s new 21st Century world, he alleges Putin doesn’t understand, he wants to eliminate the US status as the only Superpower. It is rather apparent that Putin does understand Obama’s naive vision of the 21st Century and is taking full advantage of it, and of Obama’s leadership from behind. A destabilizing transfer of control of the Internet to the UN will not be in the best interest of the American people, the US Armed Forces, or for The Free Enterprise System. If control of the Internet is transferred to the UN, the American people can expect the UN to eventually levy taxes on use its use; the American public has been fortunate that ever since the US military created the Internet, it has been free for all Americans to use free of taxes.

Eventually the UN may allow certain restrictions to be imposed against certain member states that are not looked on favorably by the majority of member nations, like Israel, the United States, or any other nation the majority member states may disagree with. Internet privacy and computer security has always been protected by the United States, but can be abused by a new and unknown power structure at the UN.

The Republican leadership in the Congress that has done very little or nothing to oppose Obama’s transfer of the Internet to the UN, must take action to prevent the occupant of the Oval Office from effecting the transfer.

It appears Obama is transferring control of the Internet to the UN because he has had difficulty dealing with the open criticism of his administration on the Internet daily; that criticism, guaranteed by the freedom of speech, under provisions of the US Constitution has been difficult for him to accept.

It has been impossible for the Obama administration to control the American people’s freedom of expression, as they criticize the Obama administration’s multiple failures and scandals on Internet daily. Since the Internet would have to remain free and open if it were to remain under the control of the US Commerce Department, that must be changed. When the Obama administration turns control of the Internet over to the UN, he has full knowledge that a coalition of nations that restrict the freedom of expression of their own populations will endeavor to suppress the freedom of expression on the Internet.

Countries like China, Cuba, Iran, the Soviet Union, Syria, Sudan, Venezuela, Bolivia, Vietnam, Pakistan, Myanmar, Malaysia, Mozambique, Algeria, etc. will take aggressive action to change the Internet as we know it today. The American people will forced by the Obama administration to abide by new oppressive UN Internet regulations, and Americans will be forced to abide by new UN Internet restricted regulations be penalized if they do not, or even worse. The American people must be allowed to assert their freedom of expression on the Internet and their right to oppose any attempt to suppress their freedoms guaranteed by the Bill of Rights and the US Constitution, regardless of what any new UN Internet regulations may require.

The transfer of the Internet to UN control is not a small issue, it is about basic freedoms guaranteed to all Americans by the US Constitution, and must be opposed by any and all means possible. We encourage you to contact your Congressional representatives and demand that they take whatever action is required to prevent the transfer of Internet control to the UN.

RELATED STORIES: 

U.S. to relinquish remaining control over the Internet – The Washington Post
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A Russian joke behind the Crimean joke about the American joke

Did the Russian intelligence promote Obama from lieutenant to colonel? “I wonder, after the successful campaign of handing over the Crimea, will Barack be promoted to a colonel?” That was the question Tweeted yesterday by the newly elected Prime Minister of Crimea, Sergey Aksyonov, shortly after the Russian-speaking residents of the disputed peninsula voted to leave Ukraine with the prospects of joining the Motherland. The Russian-language Tweet was accompanied by a Photoshopped picture of Barack Obama wearing a Russian uniform.

The Huffington Post, which first reported on this Tweet, quickly replaced it with a different article about Aksyonov – possibly after a scathing call from the White House – but not before The Washington Times and a few conservative blogs picked it up and ran with it, reposting the picture along with the awkward English translation made by the HuffPost using Google translator or a similar electronic service.

None of them, however, provided any background, or asked a relevant question: why would a previously obscure pro-Russian politician, whom Obama administration’s incompetence helped to become a Prime Minister, sarcastically imply that Obama is working for the Kremlin? This doesn’t seem to make any sense.

Such a jab could have easily come from conservative jokesters in the U.S., as a way to vent their bitterness over Obama’s inept handling of international affairs and squandering America’s standing in the world. It could have also come from those Russians and Ukrainians who are opposed to Putin’s imperial policies. But why would a pro-Russian separatist with a shady past, who is himself very likely working on orders from Moscow, out his alleged “colleague”?

As someone who frequents the Russian-language side of the blogosphere, let me explain.

The Crimean PM’s question wasn’t a standalone joke, but rather a punch line to an earlier anonymous joke with a Photoshopped picture of Barack Obama, seen on various Russian websites and forums since he first became president.

The picture was a mock-up of a KGB personnel file with a photo of Obama wearing the uniform of a KGB lieutenant with three stars on blue epaulettes. The name on the card is listed as Boris Huseinovich Obamov, a spy and saboteur, born in Uzbekistan and of Uzbek ethnicity, a member of United Russia Party, recruited by Vladimir Putin in 1981, currently without a permanent address and working undercover as the U.S. President. The agent’s listed code name, The White One, is likely funnier in Russia than it is in America, where it comes off as overtly racist.


The “updated” picture Tweeted by the Crimean PM clearly shows two stripes and two stars across the blue epaulettes, corresponding to the rank of lieutenant colonel in the same organization – one step away from colonel. The KGB has been since renamed into FSB, and those are also the letters on his shoulder patch with the Russian flag.

In summary, Aksyonov’s joke is hardly political satire or commentary on Obama’s specific actions, but rather blatant mockery in the general direction of the American President.

The Crimean PM is not alone, as mocking Obama by addressing him as a “comrade” seems to be the latest gag among Russian politicians today, who are treating their own communist past as a joke while trying to reconstitute the USSR minus the Marxist-Leninist ideology.

Thus, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin fired out a number of Tweets yesterday, openly mocking Obama for putting him on the list of Russian officials whose foreign-held assets will now be frozen as punishment for their participation in Crimea’s secession.

“Comrade Obama, what should those who have neither accounts nor property abroad do? Have you not thought about it?” Rogozin Tweeted, implying that the U.S. President is acting like an erstwhile Soviet apparatchik. “I think some prankster prepared the draft of this Act of the US President,” he added later, in both languages. “Here it finally came to me: the real world-wide acclaim)) I thank the Washington Obkom!” he fumed sarcastically eight minutes later, using the abbreviation for the Regional Committee of the Communist Party – a once-powerful organ run by bureaucratic despots in the Soviet provinces.

Next to these messages, Rogozin’s Twitter thread also contains jingoistic cheers congratulating fellow Russian patriots with a win in the Crimean referendum, which he called “a great day of victory of the national spirit” and “the first result of our struggle for national unity.” His other Tweets contained veiled threats towards Ukraine in the form of promises to set up training shooting galleries in the Crimea and to expand Russia’s military-industrial complex to its territory.

Apparently, the cruel world refuses to live up to Barack Obama’s idea of peace through appeasement. This must come as a surprise to the president, who had received his Nobel Peace Prize as a validation of his understanding that the only real threat to world peace was greedy American imperialism. The prize was given to him by enlightened Europeans as an advance on the promise he brought to the world: that the sky would clear up and rainbows would unite different continents once America abandons its “cowboy diplomacy,” disarms its military, and pushes a cartoonish “reset” button with misspelled Russian lettering.

As it turns out, the world is full of thugs waiting to take advantage of the others’ weaknesses. Acting as if it isn’t has turned American foreign policy and the very office of the U.S. President into a joke. As of now, this joke has been made official and certified by the esteemed “international community.”

In the meantime, a desperate governor of an eastern Ukrainian region, which recently saw violent clashes with nationalist intruders from Russia, has given orders to dig an eight-foot-deep trench on the Russian border, hoping that even if it doesn’t stop an invasion, it will at least make the ride less enjoyable.

This most recent picture from the new Russian-Ukrainian border shows a hastily painted Russian emblem with dripping red paint leaving symbolic blood stains on the border fence.

Word Power: Why I like “liberty” better than “freedom” by Gary M. Galles

As someone committed to self-ownership and voluntary association, among the most frequent words I both read and write are “liberty” and “freedom.” In most instances, they’re virtually interchangeable. In my own writing, the choice between the two has usually come down to reducing repetition. But, as far back as I can remember, I have liked the word “liberty” better than the word “freedom,” though I had never given much thought as to why.

Then I ran across a reference to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms” speech in an article. It triggered a Superman-to-Kryptonite reaction in me. But my strong distaste for a speech full of “freedoms” led me to discover why I prefer the superior clarity of “liberty.” In my experience, demagogues have been able to successfully misrepresent freedom more easily than liberty.

Four “Freedoms”

FDR proposed “four essential human freedoms” in his famous speech. The first two—“freedom of speech and expression” and “freedom of every person to worship God in his own way”—gave me no problems. Both of those freedoms can be enjoyed universally, because the freedom of one person to speak or worship as he chooses does not detract from the same freedoms for others. The only role they create for government is the negative one of disallowing others’ intrusions on those rights. They entail general liberty for all by defending citizens’ rights against man-imposed coercion, including that exercised by the agency with the greatest coercive power—government itself.

In contrast, FDR’s third freedom—“freedom from want”—cannot be similarly universal. I think it muddles what John Hospers called “the most important distinction in the discussion of freedom,” that “between freedom-from and freedom-to.” Despite its freedom-from language, it actually represents freedom-to. It promises that government will provide some a greater freedom to acquire goods and services than they would have had through voluntary interactions with others. Unfortunately, in a world of scarcity, expanding that freedom-to must constrict others’ equal freedom to acquire goods and services with their resources. In other words, that freedom-to (disguised by the double negative construction of freedom from the absence of something one might want) violates general liberty.

Similarly, FDR’s fourth freedom—“freedom from fear . . . that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor”—strikes me as insufficiently generalized. It asserts that people must be protected against other governments’ depredations. Unfortunately, it says nothing about constraining a nation’s freedom to aggress against its own citizens, leaving intact what history has confirmed as the very legitimate fear of abuse by one’s own government. Particularly since FDR’s third freedom requires such government aggression to get the required resources for its “benevolence,” that freedom from fear omits the most significant agency most citizens in most countries need fear when it comes to their liberty.

In FDR’s speech, I saw “freedom” dramatically distorted into something very different from general liberty, and its employment to achieve that purpose set my teeth on edge. Since that same distortion has continued to this day, my preference for the less-distortable liberty has been reinforced.

On Liberty

In my reading, “liberty” has more strongly connoted the absence of an outside constraint imposed by government than “freedom.” Liberty seems clearer on what it is liberty from—man-imposed coercion—while “freedom” is agnostic about what it is from. Perhaps Ludwig von Mises stated my view most clearly when he wrote, “Government is essentially the negation of liberty . . . Liberty is always freedom from the government. It is the restriction of the government’s interference.” (Italics added.)

Further, I have found that “liberty” seems to more strongly suggest a general or universal condition than the word “freedom.” I can enjoy additional freedom from want through government’s use of what John Hospers called others’ “expropriated money and property,” but such freedoms cannot be general or universal. That is, they cannot provide liberty (or justice) for all. Such enhancements of my freedoms require taking away others’ equal freedoms. Liberty, in contrast, expands everyone’s joint freedoms, broadening the canvas for peaceful, voluntary actions.

Liberty of Travel Versus Freedom to Travel

Consider the usage of “liberty” with regard to travel or movement. As Justice William Douglas wrote inKent v. Dulles, “The right to travel is a part of ‘liberty’ of which the citizen cannot be deprived without the due process of law . . . ‘Our nation,’ wrote Chafee, ‘has thrived on the principle that, outside areas of plainly harmful conduct, every American is left to shape his own life as he thinks best, do what he pleases, go where he pleases.” That, in turn, reflected Blackstone’s description of the liberty to move to “whatsoever place one’s own inclination may direct.”

This protection against rulers’ power to restrict citizens’ movements is part of liberty as a general freedom from government coercion. However, it is only a negative claim against government interference with their choices. It gives citizens no positive claim on the beneficence of government (i.e., forced charity from others) to get them from point A to point B. If the government fails to coerce one person to give bus fare to another, it only fails to expand the recipient’s freedom to have things, but it in no way limits his freedom from government dictation. And that’s the essence of liberty.

Free Lunches Versus Liberty

It seems to me that the greater linguistic precision and self-consistency of “liberty” can also be derived from the well-worn economists’ TANSTAAFL adage (“there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch”). Its lesson is that while something could be made free to a particular individual (easing one’s fear of want), the fact of scarcity means there’s still a cost and somebody must bear it. Therefore, if something is made free to one individual through government, the burden must be imposed on others. Such a freedom not only falls short of being universal, it actually requires the violation of the same freedom for others. And that usage of the word “freedom” makes it more distortable than the word “liberty.” Slaves can be equally described as being freed or liberated, without confusion, but the same is not true of lunches.

The problem I have seen is that those on whom such burdens are imposed are often simply ignored when “freedoms” that are inconsistent with liberty are discussed. They fail William Graham Sumner’s test of asking, “Who holds the obligation corresponding to his right?” which is a logical extension of Frédéric Bastiat’s “What Is Seen and What Is Unseen” to “Who Is Seen and Who Is Unseen.” Those whose liberties are restricted are simply ignored by such language, which makes them disappear from consideration.

Freedom Versus Universal Freedom from Government Coercion

Considering FDR’s Four Freedoms has led me to more clearly distinguish between “freedom” and “liberty” as universal freedom from government coercion. “Freedom” can be used to mean “liberty,” but it can also be used to mean freedom for some that denies the same freedom for others and requires government coercion. And a host of abuses can find a foothold in that confusion. That is why I like the improved clarity of “liberty” over the ambiguity of “freedom.”

Our online world compelled me to check my understanding on Google. The first result of my search of synonyms for “liberty” turned up similar distinctions. It defined liberty as “the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one’s way of life, behavior, or political views,” and added independence, autonomy, sovereignty, self-government, self-rule, and self-determination as synonyms. Further, it added constraint as its antonym. That is generalized liberty, or freedom from government coercion that extends beyond protecting individuals’ self-ownership and the universal rights that logically follow.

Conclusion

I think “freedom” is a wonderful word, full of hope and possibilities. But I have frequently seen it manipulated to mean something that reduces general liberty by increasing government coercion. Further, some of the most ringing words of America’s founders are expressed in terms of liberty (e.g., John Adams’ statement that “liberty is [government’s] end, its use, its designation, drift, and scope,” Samuel Adams’ assertion that “the most glorious legacy we can bequeath to posterity is Liberty,” John Dickinson’s “liberty . . . her sacred cause ought to be espoused by every man on every occasion, to the utmost of his power,” and Patrick Henry’s belief that “Liberty is the greatest of all earthly blessings.”). That is why my preference is for “liberty,” which reduces such misrepresentation and clarifies the freedoms that provide the best hope and the greatest possibilities—universal freedom from government coercion.

ABOUT GARY M. GALLES

Gary M. Galles is a professor of economics at Pepperdine University.

On this Day, March 19th in 2003, the Invasion of Iraq began

Photo: Former US Marine Cpl. Edward Chin places the U.S. Flag over a statue of Saddam signifying the liberation of the Iraqi people in 2003 during Operation Iraqi Freedom.

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U.S. Army (USA) M1A1 Abrams MBT (Main Battle Tank), and personnel from A Company (CO), Task Force 1st Battalion, 35th Armor Regiment (1-35 Armor), 2nd Brigade Combat Team (BCT), 1st Armored Division (AD), pose for a photo under the “Hands of Victory” in Ceremony Square, Baghdad, Iraq during Operation IRAQI FREEDOM.

Special Forces Gear sent out an email remembering the time when America used its great power to stop the rule of a tyrant – Saddam Hussein. America the powerful rallied its allies to stop a meglomaniac. Fast forward to today, eleven years later, the Middle East is in flames, Iraq has sided with Iran, Syria is a blood bath, Crimea belongs to Russia and Ukraine is preparing for war.

Si vis pacem, para bellum – “If you want peace, prepare for war”

The 2003 invasion of Iraq lasted from 19 March 2003 to 1 May 2003 and signaled the start of the conflict that later came to be known as the Iraq War, which was dubbed Operation Iraqi Freedom by the United States (prior to 19 March, the mission in Iraq was called Operation Enduring Freedom, a carryover from the conflict in Afghanistan ). The invasion consisted of 21 days of major combat operations, in which a combined force of troops from the United States, the United KingdomAustralia, and Poland invaded Iraq and deposed the Ba’athist government of Saddam Hussein. The invasion phase consisted primarily of a conventionally-fought war which concluded with the capture of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad by American forces.

Four countries participated with troops during the initial invasion phase, which lasted from 19 March to 9 April 2003. These were the United States (148,000), United Kingdom (45,000), Australia (2,000), and Poland (194). Thirty-six other countries were involved in its aftermath. In preparation for the invasion, 100,000 U.S. troops were assembled in Kuwait by 18 February.  The coalition forces also received support from Kurdish irregulars in Iraqi Kurdistan.

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Dr. Condeleeza Rice, National Security Advisor, speaks with 1st Armored Division soldiers during a Thanksgiving celebration in the Bob Hope Dining Facility at Baghdad International Airport. Dr. Rice accompanied President George W. Bush on the surprise visit to Baghdad.

The invasion was preceded by an air strike on the Presidential Palace in Baghdad on 19 March 2003. The following day, coalition forces launched an incursion into Basra Province from their massing point close to the Iraqi-Kuwaiti border. While the special forces launched an amphibious assault from the Persian Gulf to secure Basra and the surrounding petroleum fields, the main invasion army moved into southern Iraq, occupying the region and engaging in the Battle of Nasiriyah on 23 March. Massive air strikes across the country and against Iraqi command and control threw the defending army into chaos and prevented an effective resistance. On 26 March, the 173rd Airborne Brigade was airdropped near the northern city of Kirkuk, where they joined forces with Kurdish rebels and fought several actions against the Iraqi army to secure the northern part of the country.

The main body of coalition forces continued their drive into the heart of Iraq and met with little resistance. Most of the Iraqi military was quickly defeated and Baghdad was occupied on 9 April. Other operations occurred against pockets of the Iraqi army including the capture and occupation of Kirkuk on 10 April, and the attack and capture of Tikrit on 15 April. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and the central leadership went into hiding as the coalition forces completed the occupation of the country. On 1 May, an end of major combat operations was declared, ending the invasion period and beginning the military occupation period.

As of December 2011, the 2003 invasion of Iraq was the most recent armed conflict between standing national armies causing at least 1,000 battle deaths.

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