Is Rep. Vern Buchanan (FL-16) Sugar Coating his Vote for the Ryan-Murray Budget deal?

I sent an email to Congressman Vern Buchanan (FL District 16) regarding his vote in favor of the Ryan-Murray Budget. I received a reply and decided to analyze what Rep. Buchanan said in his letter. This is important because Rep. Buchanan sits on the House Ways and Means Committee and is co-Chair of the Florida Congressional Delegation. Both are key positions in developing fiscal and spending policies at the federal level.

Here is a point by point analysis of Rep. Buchanan’s reply using a variety of resources including the Washington Post, Heritage Foundation and Breitbart:

Dear Dr. Swier:

Thank you for contacting me about the federal budget that passed the Congress last week.  Although far from perfect, this agreement is a positive step toward restoring fiscal responsibility to Washington.

ANALYSIS – RESTORING FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY: WaPO, ‘The total deal is $85 billion. About $45 billion of that replaces sequestration cuts in 2014. About $20 billion replaces sequestration cuts in 2015. About $20 billion is deficit reduction atop sequestration.” Heritage, “[T]he deal increases spending immediately while delaying deficit reduction until later and trades some spending cuts for more revenue.” Breitbart, “The Bipartisan Budget Act (BBA) of 2013 would increase the discretionary spending caps established by the 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) by $45 billion in 2014 and $18 billion in 2015,” the opening paragraph of the analysis reads. “The $63 billion in higher spending is not offset over the BCA window of 2014–2021; during that period, the legislation increases spending by almost $25 billion, as 53% of the offsets in the BBA realized during the BCA window come from higher fees and revenues.'”

The budget reduces the deficit and cuts spending by eliminating waste, stripping corporate welfare and trimming benefits for federal employees.  And it does this all without raising taxes.

ANALYSIS – ELIMINATING WASTE, STRIPPING CORPORATE WELFARE AND TRIMMING BENEFITS OF FEDERAL EMPLOYEES: WaPO, “The new policies in the deal are split between revenue through fees — travelers will see higher prices on airline tickets and federal workers will have to contribute more to pensions — and spending cuts.” Heritage, “The budget deal ends a cost-shared partnership called the Ultra-Deepwater and Unconventional Natural Gas and Other Petroleum Resources Research Program, which researches ultra-deepwater architecture and unconventional drilling technologies. Ending the program is an important recognition that the federal government allocates billions of taxpayer dollars to activities that the private sector should be fully funding. Congress should go much further and remove all of these funding streams for all energy sources and technologies … The budget deal’s provision to improve the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s (PBGC) $36 billion deficit is a step in the right direction, but the allocation of increased premiums is misguided. The budget deal increases both the per-participant premium as well as the variable-rate premium assessed on plans’ unfunded liabilities. Increasing the per-participant premiums forces financially sound pension plans to pay for the financially unsound plans.” Breitbart, ” [T]his plan is not even really a budget since Ryan and Murray abandoned commitments to a budget conference—making the legislation actually just a spending bill.”

The agreement replaces some of the arbitrary cuts under sequestration with more targeted spending reductions, while achieving deficit reduction greater than under current law.  The budget also preserved 92 percent of the original spending cuts required under sequestration.

Specifically, the budget deal includes some of the following provisions:

  • Reduces the deficit by $23 billion without raising taxes.
  • Reduces borrowing by $85 billion through a combination of mandatory savings and increased non-tax revenue.
  • Repeals corporate welfare policies, saving taxpayers $8.1 billion.
  • Ends the special carve-out for student-loan servicers saving taxpayers $3 billion.

ANALYSIS – ACHIEVING DEFICIT REDUCTION AND INCREASING NON-TAX REVENUE: WaPo, “Spending will be $45 billion higher in 2014 than it would’ve been absent the deal. The deal replaces about half of sequestration’s cuts to defense and non-defense discretionary spending in 2014. It replaces about a fourth of them in 2015. That means most of sequestration will go into effect in both years.” Heritage, “Under Title VI section 601, the proposal calls for an increase in aviation passenger security fees. This fee increase would take the current amount from $2.50 per passenger to $5.60. Unlike the original fee, this increase is not being used to fund or improve security. Instead, the revenue collected is being proposed to replace automatic spending cuts set to begin in January. The revenue, however, will not be directly distributed to the Transportation Security Administration (TSA); instead it will be deposited annually into a general fund of the Treasury. This increase is yet another way that the Administration and Congress are using the travel industries as an open pocketbook.” Breitbart, “Much of the spending increase in this deal has been justified by increased fees and new revenue. In other words: it’s a fee increase to fuel a spending increase—rather than reducing deficits. Disappointingly, CBO’s analysis states that $47 billion out of the $85 billion in offsets occur outside the original BCA window, and the spending cut portion of those outyear offsets are of dubious validity. It is not disputable that net spending in the BCA window is increased.”

Although far from perfect, this agreement is a positive step toward restoring fiscal responsibility to Washington.

Again, thank you for contacting me.  If you want to receive congressional updates on this issue click here.

Sincerely,

Member of Congress

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2014 begins with $54 billion in tax hikes

Connecticut State Trooper on Gun Law: “I will not register my AR-15. Governor Malloy is a joke!”

Gun-lines-firearm-gun-registration

Gun registration line in Middletown, Connecticut.

Today I saw pictures of people lining up in Middletown, Connecticut registering their guns and giving up their unalienable Second Amendment right to “keep and bear arms.”

I immediately called the Connecticut State Police and spoke to a State Trooper. I identified myself as Senior Chief Petty Officer Geoff Ross, US Navy retired. I stated my friends in Connecticut will not comply with this unconstitutional law first implemented in Germany by Adolf Hitler under the “1938 Weapons Act of NAZI Germany“.  The 1938 Weapons Act stated in part:

§ 1

Jews (§ 5 of the First Regulations of the German Citizenship Law of 14 November 1935, Reichsgesetzblatt 1, p. 1332) are prohibited from acquiring. Possessing, and carrying firearms and ammunition, as well as truncheons or stabbing weapons. Those now possessing weapons and ammunition are at once to turn them over to the local police authority.

§ 2

Firearms and ammunition found in a Jew’s possession will be forfeited to the government without compensation.

The State Trooper agreed with me and stated he “will not enforce this unconstitutional law.” He stated that he “will not register his AR-15, weapons and magazines.” He thinks “Governor Malloy is a joke.” I am withholding his name for his protection. We hit it off as if old friends.

The Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) is participating in a legal challenge of the new law – Shew vs. Malloy. Pending a court challenge the CCDL is reminding gun owners that the deadline to register and declare the assault weapons and high-capacity magazines is upon them. According to the CCDL website oral arguments are set for Shew vs. Malloy in the US District Court, District of Connecticut, on January 30, 2014 at 1:00 p.m. EST  at the Federal Courthouse in Courtroom One, 450 Main St., Hartford, before Judge Alfred Covello. The proceedings are open to the public.CCDL advises, “If you want a seat in the courtroom, you will need to arrive early.”

I then called Governor Malloy’s office at 860-566-4840 and spoke to a staffer who laughed when I told her Governor Malloy was violating the Second Amendment of the US Constitution. I told her that I will now travel frequently through Connecticut and I will not register my weapons when I do. I then told her if Governor Malloy wants my weapons he can come and get them himself. She promptly hung up.

I sent an email to Governor Malloy’s office. I am also writing a letter to the Commander of the Connecticut State Police, Colonel Danny R. Stebbins, asking him if he will comply with this law or the US Constitution. A copy of the letter will be sent to Governor Malloy. Stay tuned for their replies.

Residents in Connecticut were confronted with the reality that their constitutionally protected rights are not inalienable as they stood in long lines to register their firearms. The registration is mandated by the state’s new gun law, which went into effect on January 1, 2014.

Talking Points Memo reports, “Under a wide-ranging gun control law, passed earlier this year in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in Newtown, gun owners have until Tuesday to submit the paperwork.” The new law also prohibits the sale of magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

Below the acknowledgement of my email from Malloy’s office:

Dear Sir or Madam,

Thank you for your correspondence to Governor Dannel P. Malloy. Your email has been received and is in the process of being reviewed. If appropriate, a member of Governor Malloy’s staff will respond to you shortly

If you are in need of more immediate assistance, please feel free to call our office at 860.566.4840 or 1.800.406.1527, Monday-Friday between the hours of 8:00AM and 5:00PM.

Thank you for contacting our office.

Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy

RELATED COLUMN: Gun Control, the Jews, and the Third Reich

Who’s attacking the TEA Party now?

In what will certainly exacerbate the rift within the Republican party between the establishment and the constitutional conservative Tea Party base, Newsmax reports that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is planning to spend $50 million to support establishment and business-friendly Republican candidates in next year’s congressional elections.

“Our No. 1 focus is to make sure, when it comes to the Senate, that we have no loser candidates,” Scott Reed, the chamber’s strategist, told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday. “That will be our mantra: No fools on our ticket.”

Cleta Mitchell, One of Washington’s most respected elections attorneys and a personal acquaintance of mine had this reaction:

It’s insane. It’s based on false assumptions. When they say, ‘no fools on the ticket,’ the fact of the matter is that there were some centrist candidates who were the establishment favorites who lost in 2012,” Mitchell added. “That’s fine if they want to spend that money, but I think it’s going to be wasted money — and I don’t think it’s going to do any good in the final analysis.”

Newsmax reports that the chamber has expressed its dissatisfaction with such tea party-backed senators as Ted Cruz of Texas and Mike Lee of Utah, both of whom resisted passing a budget this year without a provision to defund Obamacare.

There can be no doubt that Mr. Reed’s battle cry of, “no fools on our ticket” will reverberate negatively among the grassroots. Once again, the inside the beltway crew just doesn’t understand what’s happening across America.

This goal of supporting centrist candidates is indeed puzzling and again reflects the establishment desire to be “Liberal Lite” — essentially a lesser version of Democrats. That has proven to be unsuccessful and as a matter of fact, it was constitutional conservatives who won back the majority for the Republican Party in 2010 — a massive victory.

Several “establishment” candidates for US Senate in recent cycles were unsuccessful in North Dakota, Montana, Virginia, and Wisconsin. And two GOP candidates who did not get Tea Party support last year, former Rep. Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, lost their senate races solely because of outrageous comments about pregnancy and rape.

The principles of limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual sovereignty, free market capitalism, and strong national defense are at the core of constitutional conservatism, and the policies to support those principles are central to this Republic.

It almost seems the establishment GOP is focused on being another version of big government and big business, which is not a formula for success. The GOP needs the grassroots supporters, their energy and the base support of volunteers to hit the pavement.

I seriously doubt Mr. Reed of the Chamber is going to take that route. Furthermore, local chambers are composed of many small businesses who are certainly not fat cats.

And for those who support the Democrat party, there is also a little civil war brewing between the progressive socialists and those who once known as conservative Democrats, such as Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WVa). The Democrat Party wants to move farther to the left and hail people such as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) and New York City’s new Mayor Bill DeBlasio, an avowed Marxist/Socialist as their champions.

Bottom line, there is clear evidence which principles have advanced the growth and prosperity of America. There can be no doubt about the fundamentals of this Constitutional Republic. There are groups on both sides of the aisle who seek not the best for our nation, but the perversion and decimation of our country as they advance their own self and special interest.

Let us never forget President Barack Obama’s desire to “fundamentally transform” America. If the US Chamber of Commerce fails to see that threat, then they are indeed part of the problem, and definitely not the solution.

Centrist GOP candidates such as Mitt Romney, John McCain, and even those who eschewed conservative principles such as Presidents George HW Bush and George W. Bush were not successful, and in the case of the latter, enabled Democrats to succeed them. These are lessons that should be learned, not dismissed.

As for me, I will stand by constitutional conservative principles, even though it was Republicans who redistricted me out and Democrats who implemented voter fraud to keep me from returning to the US House of Representatives. I’m glad to know both establishments were threatened by a principled black conservative.

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

SaveCalifornia.com Urges Rose Parade Boycott: “Live gay wedding” turns parade into political stunt!

Don, one of our readers, forwarded this press release to me with the following comment:

I had an initial reaction to the news that the Tournament of Roses was including a float that would be featuring a ‘gay wedding’ live during the Rose parade, but then I got to thinking.

On second thought … I love diversity and it may be time to totally embrace it. Can’t wait until the Rose parade has a float to celebrate bigamy and polygamy once the civil rights of those multi-spousal families get sorted out in court. It will be GREAT. Then, a few more years down the road, I will be totally excited when NAMBLA has a float, and we can watch young boys and their older lovers broadcast all over America in the continuing celebration of diversity. And won’t it be great when there is a BDSM float…we can watch as people whip each other into a sexual frenzy. Can’t wait. Way to go Tournament of Roses. Let’s all look forward to the day when we can TRULY celebrate ALL diversity.

Should you find my comment above offensive, I apologize.  Rarely do I send such content via email.

Sacramento, California — A leading pro-family organization, SaveCalifornia.com, is calling for a boycott of the Jan. 1st Rose Parade due to its in-your-face promotion of homosexual “marriage” to children.

But should you find the actions by the Tournament of Roses to be concerning, I encourage you to contact them today to politely share your thoughts.  Their direct number is626-449-4100.  Additionally, see the attached info below.

“Many parents and grandparents are appalled that the Rose Parade is being turned from a family-friendly parade into an offensive political stunt forced upon children who are watching,”said Randy Thomasson, president of SaveCalifornia.com, which promotes moral virtues for the common good. “SaveCalifornia.com is urging dads, moms and grandparents to boycott the Rose Parade, cancel plans to watch or attend, voice their opposition to tournament officials, and not do business with sponsors listed at tournamentofroses.com.”

“The Rose Parade was founded upon the reality of God’s beautiful creation of flowers and plants that decorate exquisite floats, to the delight of children and families,” Thomasson said. “Now, with a ‘live gay wedding’ on a float, the Rose Parade has turned against God’s natural design of sex and family.”

This year’s AIDS Healthcare Foundation float will feature a “live wedding” between two homosexual men. “Children watching will be taught that homosexual behavior is good and normal, when it’s not biologically based, results in a high rate of HIV/AIDS and other STDs, and squashes religious freedom, free speech, and other constitutional rights,” Thomasson said. (Source: SaveCalifornia.com’s “Not Born This Way”)

“The float’s slogan, ‘Love Is The Best Protection,’ is false advertising that hurts children,” Thomasson said. “The fact is, the promotion of homosexual behavior, including same-sex ‘marriages,’ in our culture has increased sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS. And male homosexuals in ‘committed’ relationships are notorious for having ‘open relationships,’ which enlarge the circle of transmission.”

DOCUMENTATION FROM MYTH 10 OF “THE TEN TOP MYTHS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY,” PUBLISHED BY FAMILY RESEARCH COUNCIL (2010):

Myth No. 10: Homosexual relationships are just the same as heterosexual ones, except for the gender of the partners.

Fact: Homosexuals are less likely to enter into a committed relationship, less likely to be sexually faithful to a partner, even if they have one, and are less likely to remain committed for a lifetime, than are heterosexuals.

Homosexual men and women are far less likely to be in any kind of committed relationship than heterosexuals are. A 2006 study by researchers at UCLA concluded: We found that lesbians, and particularly gay men, are less likely to be in a relationship compared to heterosexual women and men. Perhaps the most outstanding finding is also the most simple-that over half of gay men (51%) were not in a relationship. Compared to only 21% of heterosexual females and 15% of heterosexual males, this figure is quite striking.(77)

Secondly, even homosexuals (especially men) who are in a partnered relationship are much less likely to be sexually faithful to that partner.

  • A Dutch study of partnered homosexuals, which was published in the journal AIDS, found that men with a “steady partner” had an average of eight sexual partners per year.(78)
  • A Canadian study of homosexual men who had been in committed relationships lasting longer than one year found that only 25 percent of those interviewed reported being monogamous. According to study author Barry Adam, “Gay culture allows men to explore different . . . forms of relationships besides the monogamy coveted by heterosexuals.”(79)

A 2005 study in the journal Sex Roles found that “40.3% of homosexual men in civil unions and 49.3% of homosexual men not in civil unions had ‘discussed and decided it is ok under some circumstances’ to have sex outside of the relationship. By comparison, only 3.5% of heterosexual married men and their wives agreed that sex outside of the relationship was acceptable.”(80)

Finally, research shows that homosexual relationships tend to be of shorter duration and much less likely to last a lifetime than heterosexual ones (especially heterosexual marriages). A 2005 journal article cites one large-scale longitudinal study comparing the dissolution rates of heterosexual married couples, heterosexual cohabiting couples, homosexual couples, and lesbian couples:

On the basis of the responses to the follow-up survey, the percentage of dissolved couples was 4% (heterosexual married couples), 14% (heterosexual cohabiting couples), 13% (homosexual couples) and 18% (lesbian couples).(81)

In other words, the dissolution rate of homosexual couples during the period of this study was more than three times that of heterosexual married couples, and the dissolution rate of lesbian couples was more than four-fold that of heterosexual married couples.(82)

Myth 10 – footnotes:

77  Charles Strohm, et al., “Couple Relationships among Lesbians, Gay Men, and Heterosexuals in California: A Social Demographic Perspective,” Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, Montreal Convention Center, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, (Aug 10, 2006): 18. Accessed at: http://www.allacademic.com/meta/p104912_index.html

78  Maria Xiridou, et al, “The Contribution of Steady and Casual Partnerships to the Incidence of HIV Infection among Homosexual Men in Amsterdam,” AIDS 17 (2003): 1031.

79  Ryan Lee, “Gay Couples Likely to Try Non-monogamy, Study Shows,” Washington Blade (August 22, 2003): 18

80  Sondra E. Solomon, Esther D. Rothblum, and Kimberly F. Balsam, “Money, Housework, Sex, and Conflict: Same-Sex Couples in Civil Unions, Those Not in Civil Unions, and Heterosexual Married Siblings,” Sex Roles 52 (May 2005): 569.

81  Lawrence Kurdek, “Are Gay and Lesbian Cohabiting Couples Really Different from Heterosexual Married Couples?” Journal of Marriage and Family 66 (November 2004): 893.

82  Ibid., 896.

ABOUT SAVECALIFORNIA.COM

SaveCalifornia.com is a leading West Coast nonprofit, nonpartisan organization standing strong for moral virtues for the common good. We represent children and families in the areas of marriage and family, parental rights, the sanctity of human life, religious freedom, financial freedom, and back-to-basics education.

Self Defense and 2nd Amendment Preservation “Rally in Tally”, January 7th at FL Capitol

A broad range of citizens grassroots organizations across Florida are working together to defend every Florida citizen’s inherent and Constitutional Second Amendment rights. Among these groups is the Gun Owners of America and the Florida Citizens Alliance who announced their endorsement of the Florida Second Amendment Preservation Act.

Many of these organizations have been working tirelessly for the past six months to build grassroots support for a Florida 2nd Amendment Preservation Act. The full text of the proposed bill can be reviewed here.

The Florida Second Amendment Preservation Act states that the Legislature of the State of Florida declares that all federal acts, laws, orders, rules, regulations – past, present or future – in violation of the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution of the United States are not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violate its true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers, and are hereby declared to be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, are specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.

It declares that no agency of this state, political subdivision of this state, or employee of an agency or political subdivision acting in his or her official capacity, or corporation providing services on behalf of this state or a political subdivision of this state shall enforce any federal act, law, order, rule, or regulation of the federal government of the United States regarding a personal firearm, firearm accessory, or ammunition within the limits of this State.

Simply, this proposed legislation re-asserts Florida’s Constitutional Authority of State Sovereignty to declare Federal laws, Executive Orders and UN Treaties that infringe the 2nd Amendment to be Unconstitutional in Florida. Ten states have recently passed similar laws reasserting their State Sovereignty with respect to the 2nd Amendment. We expect this proposed bill to be filed in early January in both the Florida House and Senate.

The purpose of the Rally is to encourage the Florida legislature to take action to protect those rights. Further, as citizens, we want to show our solidarity and support for our inherent Second Amendment rights.

To help raise awareness and garner support for the Act the Self Defense and 2nd Amendment Preservation Rally is scheduled for January 7, 2014 at 12:00 EST, in the Capitol Building Courtyard in Tallahassee, FL.

For more information on the Florida Second Amendment Preservation Act go here. To learn more about Gun Owners of America and support this bill go here.

ABOUT GUN OWNERS OF AMERICA

Gun Owners of America (GOA) is a non-profit lobbying organization that was established in 1975 to preserve and defend the Second Amendment rights of gun owners. The organization was founded by Sen. H.L. (Bill) Richardson, who continues to serve as the Chairman of Gun Owners of America, offering his many years of experience in politics to the leadership team of the GOA. The Board of Directors at GOA has over 100 years of combined knowledge and experience on firearms, politics, and legislation. They are considered the “no compromise” gun lobby.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA CITIZEN ALLIANCE

The Florida Citizens Alliance is a decentralized grassroots association of activist leaders, citizens, and interested parties across 32 counties (and growing) in Florida who have come together through the need to protect the Constitutional rights guaranteed by the Second Amendment. This organization is currently exclusively focused on educating others and promoting the Florida Second Amendment Preservation bill and State Sovereignty guaranteed by the 10th Amendment of our US Constitution. This alliance was inspired by the SWFL Citizens’ Alliance, a coalition of citizens and groups in Collier and Lee counties, who unite to advance the ideals and principles of liberty including, but not limited to, individual rights, free markets and limited government through education, outreach and community involvement.

Why the Israeli-Palestinian Agreement Is Absurd

It makes sense that the Israel-Palestinian agreement is being made with Obama and Kerry in charge. The deal offers a kind of neo-mandate, with an American presence entrenched in the Jordan Valley for the next 10 years.  That’s no joke.

Let’s look at a different but parallel “pacification” effort and see what happened there. The Afghanistan peace talks with Taliban have gone absolutely dreadfully, and President Karzai is very dissatisfied. The results are–not surprisingly–unsatisfactory.

Let’s consider casualties in that case and a couple of others.

As of the end of 2013, roughly 3,000 Western troops have been killed in Afghanistan. Western forces will retreat with their tails between their legs and will probably abandon the government to horrible massacres and long wars following a Taliban victory.

Since the start of the ongoing civil war in Syria, there have been about 200,000 casualties–mostly civilians. A truly staggering number.

The population of the West Bank is about 3.1 million; if losses will be proportional to those in neighboring nations, the cost of American soldier’s lives would be high.

So, if the Obama/Kerry peace deal does go through, what would the risks be?

  • Dozens of Israeli civilians would be at risk of being killed by cross-border Palestinian-Arab and Islamist terrorist attacks, even if the settlements did not exist.
  • And of course, how fast would U.S. troops respond to such attacks?
  • Might there be an intifada in Jordan, a neighboring country with a Palestinian majority and a very strong Muslim Brotherhood opposition?
  • Remember too that the peace treaty would be incomplete, unable to involve the Hamas-led Gaza Strip. And incomplete peace treaties cannot stand.

In the Gaza Strip, there are more than 1.6 million people under the rule of Hamas. This government will do everything it can to sabotage the peace process. And U.S. help to the PA will be presented as collaboration with the infidels. There is no possibility of their participation in this agreement. That means that even in the best of circumstances, even if the PA is at peace with Israel, Hamas will be in an ongoing war with Israel.

So what great advantage is peace with the West Bank and war with Gaza?

It is predictable that Hamas will attempt to carry out cross-border raids and fire missiles at Israel. What is the U.S. position on that? Is the United States at war with Hamas? CIA director John Brennan, the architect of Obama ideology, publically–but not officially–has said that he wants to make peace with Hamas.

Is the PA going to cooperate with Hamas or at least radical segments of the PA? Remember during the Second Intifada, from 2000 to 2005, Fatah did cooperate with Hamas.

Moreover, if Fatah were to change its policy, it might get support from countries such as Iran, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and so on. Turkey, for example–which is now a conduit for the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, Salafists, and al-Qa’ida obtaining arms–knows that most of its policy with the Arabs will be dependent on its degree of support to the Palestinians, including cooperation if there is a Palestinian state. The fact is that Turkey has pinned its hopes on Turkish influence in the Arab world, and to associate with aggressive support of Palestine would be key to its popularity. What if aid from Turkey and these other countries prepares Palestine to fight?

What is the United States, an ally with Israel, going to do if Palestine is created by its own agreement but wages a war of terrorism against Israel?

By the way, let’s remember that Mahmoud Abbas will probably be replaced in the next few years. It is very hard to predict whom he will be replaced by, but the most popular candidate is a serious hardliner.

Shaykh Abd al-Muhsin al-Mutairi stated, “Oh servants of Allah, how saddening and very painful it is to see many Muslim youths glued to TV screens at cafes or at home, passionately watching entertainment shows, like the Football World Cup, in despicable subjugation to the abominations of the other nations–as if we were not a nation with a brilliant history and a lofty civilization.”

And guess who they blame?

“The Jews were successful in preoccupying the Muslim youth–except those protected by Allah–with the most inane matters, distracting them from important things…”

It is important to understand that millions of people believe this–thoroughly and completely–and can be motivated by these kinds of arguments to the point of killing or supporting terrorism. This is reality; even if it is not unanimous, it is a major motive. If you don’t understand that a majority of people in the Arab-Islamic world believe this, you cannot understand this is the majority view. Certainly Obama and Kerry do not understand this.

So, what are the potential issues that stem from this mindset?

  • Any Muslim killed by a Christian American soldier will be a reason for revenge. This is to engage in a blood feud. Even if a terrorist band has captured a kindergarten and shot children, there will be sympathy in the streets among Arabs and Muslims. If Palestinians are killed by Americans, there will be retaliation.
  •  A terrorist attack at a Kansas airport, Boston, or Fort Hood would be viewed as justification for causalities in Palestine.
  • Remember that the prospects for Arab terrorist movements are much better than Afghan ones, because they have many weapon suppliers–including Libya, Lebanon, al-Qa’ida, Syria, and the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
  • Also, in comparison with populated Afghan villages, Palestinians are concentrated in villages and small towns. Let us consider the American patrol knocking down doors in Jordan Valley towns.

In short, an Israeli-Palestinian peace agreement is not going to be a picnic. Hamas and likely Fatah as well will attempt to kill Americans and commit terrorism. Forget Iranian nuclear weapons; this will be a war of AK-47s and rockets from Gaza. Does Obama Care?

This is definitely a war in which America will get bogged down, or the United States may stay a few years and leave. Just look at the situation in Afghanistan–either this agreement will never be implemented or it will be a disaster.

The 13 Tax Increases of 2013 – Gird Your Loins, more coming in 2014!

Curtis Dubay from The Foundry writes, “It’s about time for us to uncover our eyes and take a hard look at what 2013 did to our finances. Did you feel the pinch of the 13 tax hikes that hit Americans this year?”

Before you review the list below, put these two on your watch list for 2014:

  • Obamacare’s individual mandate. Beginning in 2014, it’s mandatory to purchase health insurance. If you don’t, you’ll pay a penalty that dramatically increases over time. It starts at $95 or 1 percent of your income (whichever is greater). It rises to $325 or 2 percent of income in 2015, and $695 or 2.5 percent of income in 2016.
  • Obamacare tax on insurance companies. If you liked seeing your premiums go up, you’ll love this new tax on health insurers—which they are most likely to pass on to you.

As you start reviewing your tax information for 2013, here’s what you’re contending with.

The 13 Tax Increases of 2013

1. Payroll Tax: increase in the Social Security portion of the payroll tax from 4.2 percent to 6.2 percent for workers. This hit all Americans earning a paycheck—not just the “wealthy.” For example, The Wall Street Journal calculated that the “typical U.S. family earning $50,000 a year” would lose “an annual income boost of $1,000.”

2. Top marginal tax rate: increase from 35 percent to 39.6 percent for taxable incomes over $450,000 ($400,000 for single filers).

3. Phaseout of personal exemptions for adjusted gross income (AGI) over $300,000 ($250,000 for single filers).

4. Phase down of itemized deductions for AGI over $300,000 ($250,000 for single filers).

5. Tax rates on investment: increase in the rate on dividends and capital gains from 15 percent to 20 percent for taxable incomes over $450,000 ($400,000 for single filers).

6. Death tax: increase in the rate (on estates larger than $5 million) from 35 percent to 40 percent.

7. Taxes on business investment: expiration of full expensing—the immediate deduction of capital purchases by businesses.

Obamacare tax increases that took effect:

8. Another investment tax increase: 3.8 percent surtax on investment income for taxpayers with taxable income exceeding $250,000 ($200,000 for singles).

9. Another payroll tax hike: 0.9 percent increase in the Hospital Insurance portion of the payroll tax for incomes over $250,000 ($200,000 for single filers).

10. Medical device tax: 2.3 percent excise tax paid by medical device manufacturers and importers on all their sales.

11. Reducing the income tax deduction for individuals’ medical expenses.

12. Elimination of the corporate income tax deduction for expenses related to the Medicare Part D subsidy.

13. Limitation of the corporate income tax deduction for compensation that health insurance companies pay to their executives.

President Obama demanded these higher taxes, but they did nothing to address the actual cause of our deficit and debt problem: too much spending. The proper way to address this problem is through reforms to entitlement programs.

President Obama promised the American people a “balanced approach” of tax increases and spending cuts to reduce deficits and debt. He achieved the tax increase portion of that approach. Now Congress needs to force him to follow through on the spending cuts.

Why Common Core is the Wrong Solution for Public Education

“There is a proper way to educate and there is a proper way to govern, and they are both known. Today we do these things in a different way, which presents a serious and perhaps fatal problem for our country. But repair is possible.”

This is how Larry P. Arnn, the twelfth President of Hillsdale College, put it in his remarks titled “A Rebirth of Liberty and Learning.

President Arnn notes, “The word ‘education’ comes from a Latin word meaning ‘to lead forth.’ And if you think about it, ‘forth’ is a value-laden term. Which way is forth? The Bible tells us to ‘raise up a child in the way he should go.’ But which way should he go?”

President Arnn says, “”[I]f you ask a young person today which way is the right way to go, more often than not he or she will answer: ‘It depends on which way you want to go.’ Young people today give that answer because they’ve been taught to give that answer. But it’s the wrong answer, and the activity of getting from there to the right answer—the activity of coming to know which way is the right way—is education. Thus ‘to lead forth.’”

The core of education according to President Arnn is to lead forth by answering these questions: What is the right way for a man to live? What is just by nature and what is unjust? These are value-laden questions, any education system that does not focus on them is not educating it is indoctrinating.

“A true [value-laden] core, as I’ve described, has a unifying principle, such as the idea that there is a right way to live that one can come to know. Compare that to the use of the same word in describing the latest bright idea of the education establishment—the so-called Common Core—which is an attempt by bureaucrats and politicians to impose national standards on American schools. When one looks into Common Core, it becomes clear that it has no unifying [value-laden] principle in the sense I have described. And it has destructive effects,” states President Arnn.

The Northwest Ordinance, adopted in 1787 and passed again in 1789, states: “Religion, morality, and knowledge, being necessary for good government
and the happiness of mankind, the means of education shall forever be encouraged.”

Common Core is not “value-laden” but rather is designed to “shape values and ethical systems” states the Teacher’s Guide for Advanced Placement English Literature.

President Arnn concludes, “[M]odern education treats students chiefly as factors of production, as people to be trained for productive jobs [human capital]. And although we all wish productive jobs for our children, as parents we know that they are not chiefly job seekers or factors of production. After all, how many of us, if we were given the choice of our children earning a lot of money and being bad, or struggling economically and being good, would choose the former?”

It is better to be good and know why good is better. That is what education is all about.

ABOUT HILLSDALE COLLEGE

Founded in 1844, Hillsdale College is an independent, coeducational, residential, liberal arts college with a student body of about 1,400. Its four-year curriculum leads to the bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree, and it is accredited by the North Central Association of Colleges and Secondary Schools.

Hillsdale’s educational mission rests upon two principles: academic excellence and institutional independence. The College does not accept federal or state taxpayer subsidies for any of its operations.

Winners and losers of 2013

Well, it’s that time of year once again for me to pick my biggest winners and losers for 2013.  Unlike most of the year end lists, mine will not be based on polling data, or popularity. Rather, it’s from the lens of a businessman. Based on the contribution of time, money, or intangible capital, did the person or group receive an appropriate rate of return on their investment?

I will begin with the three biggest losers and work down from there.  By far, the biggest loser of the year and of the Obama presidency was and is the Black community.  How can a group give a president 96 percent and 94 percent of their vote to him and have little, if anything to show for it. If the White unemployment rate was the same as the Black unemployment rate, it would be declared a national crisis. No sitting president, regardless of party, would have won reelection with that dynamic at play.

According to the November 2013 unemployment report (the most recent data available), the national unemployment rate was 7.2 percent. For Blacks, it was 12.5 percent; for Latinos 8.7 percent, and Whites 6.2 percent.  According to Heidi Shierholz, an economist for the Economic Policy Institute, “the Black unemployment rate has always been higher, largely due to long term structural trends that include a lower education level and a more limited social circle.”

Blacks have been the most loyal voting bloc for Democrats and for Obama particularly in the history of the U.S. and yet this president says he is not going to do anything specific for Blacks because he is president of all of America. All except Black America.

Yet, this president can’t go a day without trying to shove homosexuality down the throats of Americans and Africans. He doesn’t have the guts to try this in the Middle East because he know how the pro-Israel lobby will react.

This president can hardly go a day without trying to give amnesty to those in the U.S. illegals. He wants to inject millions of new people into the labor market to compete with Blacks for low and unskilled jobs, thus further exacerbating the high unemployment rate in the Black community.

And to think, educated Blacks said all of last year, that if Obama won reelection he would then help Blacks since he didn’t have to face the voters again.  When a person shows you who they are, you better believe them.

The second biggest loser is the “truth.”  According to Obama, “You can keep your own doctor.”  Enough said.

The final biggest loser is the media.  They have bent over backwards to curry favor with Obama and his minions.  They worked hand in hand with Obama to perpetuate the story line that Benghazi was about a video tape.  They reluctantly covered the IRS scandal and many of them hold out Edward Snowden as some kind of hero. Obama has more active journalists in his administration than any of his predecessors, yet he is one of the least transparent presidents.

By far the biggest winner of the year is the homosexual movement, both under Obama and the U.S. Supreme Court. Obama has done more to expand the homosexual movement than any other person on the face of the earth.  He is the same person that Newsweek magazine labeled  the “first gay president.”  It is estimated that homosexuals account for 2-5 percent of the U.S. population, but they have been showered with more tangible benefits under Obama than all other groups combined. And the Supreme Court has also been complicit in furthering that agenda.

The second biggest winner of this year are those in the country illegally. They can’t even vote, but yet they have received more attention and action from Obama than the Black community.  As if this weren’t bad enough, you have the NAACP and the National Urban League supporting illegals and their push for citizenship. This defies logic that they would put a group of non-citizens before the interests of citizens they purport to represent. What is it about Black organizations that they have to be “inclusive” yet other effective groups look after the narrow interests of their supporters.

The third biggest winner is Vladimir Putin.  During his annual state of the nation address two weeks ago, he said, “…We do not infringe on anyone’s interests, we do not force our patronage on anyone, or try to teach anyone how to live…We know there are ever more people in the world who support our position in defense of the traditional values that for centuries have formed the moral foundation of civilization, putting traditional family values top of the list.”

Wow!  Who would have ever dreamed that the U.S. would be lectured by Putin on traditional values and the sanctity of the traditional family?  This was a direct rebuke of Obama’s attempt to force other nations to accept his views on homosexuality.

So I end this year as I began—trying to get people to think a new thought.  Happy New Year!

Anti-TEA Party GOP PAC funded by Labor Unions

The anti-TEA Party GOP PAC Republican Main Street Partnership has been exposed. The Partnership mission states, “Main Street is aligned with the governing wing of the Republican Party and centrist policy makers.” Click here to see who are the RMSP members.

Former Ohio Representative Steve LaTourette (pictured above) is the President and CEO of RMSP. LaTourette was one of only seven Republicans who voted “NO” on a measure introduced in the US House of Representatives to strip all government funding from NPR.

In a meeting with transit advocates, LaTourette disparaged fellow legislators, referring to them as “knuckledraggers that came in in the last election that hate taxes,” due to their reluctance to even consider revenue as part of a compromise to extend the debt ceiling.

LaTourette was one of only two Republicans (along with Scott Rigell of Virginia) who voted against a motion to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in criminal contempt of Congress, though he did vote to bring civil charges against Holder, for his handling of the Fast and Furious gunrunning scandal.

But who are those funding this “GOP PAC”?

Eric Odom of Liberty News reports, “One major new group, Republican Main Street Partnership, has openly declared war on conservatives. It was one thing when it was just known as moderates fighting to keep their thrones, but it’s another when you look at who is bankrolling their efforts.”

Odom found:

The Republican Main Street Partnership has emerged as an outspoken, deep-pocketed player in pro-business GOP plans to beat back tea-party challengers next year. But the group’s new super PAC has an unexpected source for its seed money: labor unions.

The super PAC, called Defending Main Street, has not yet submitted a major donor disclosure to the Federal Election Commission. But documents filed by other groups show that two labor organizations, the International Union of Operating Engineers and the Laborers’ International Union of North America, directed a combined $400,000 to the Republican group in September and October.

Main Street says it has raised roughly $2 million total between its super PAC and an affiliated nonprofit group so far—and that means labor has supplied at least 20 percent of those funds.

“In other words, liberal Republicans can’t beat conservatives without labor union support? If that’s the case then what exactly is the point of having a Republican party?” asks Odom.

Another Grim Year with Obama

The fifth year in the political marriage between Barack Obama and the rest of America has the look of a divorce in which a lot of Americans are wondering how we can rid ourselves of the worst President in the history of the nation. That’s not just my opinion.

As 2013 comes to a close it is abundantly clear that even the starry-eyed journalists and political pundits who thought Obama was as close to the Second Coming as American politics had ever known were having, not just doubts, but serious regrets. The White House press corps is now in a state of rebellion.

As the year began, Victor David Hanson, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and respected conservative commentator, took a look back at George W. Bush, the predecessor that Obama blamed for everything so often it became a joke.

“George W. Bush left office in January 2009 with one of the lowest job-approval ratings for a president (34%) since Gallup started compiling them—as compared to Harry Truman’s low of 32%, Richard Nixon’s of 24%, and Jimmy Carter’s of 34%–and to the general derision of the media,” wrote Hanson. Obama is likely to achieve a rating less than these predecessors.

Bush has distinguished himself by never publicly commenting on Obama while he has held office. When his presidential library was opened in April, Bush’s approval rating was 47%, but it is worth noting that Bush was in office when 9/11 occurred, followed by combat action in Afghanistan and in Iraq. Just before Bush left office, a financial crisis struck the nation.

The signs of dissatisfaction with Obama and his policies were evident as 2013 began. A January Gallup poll found that American opinion of the country’s state of affairs was at its lowest point since 1979. Fewer than four-in-ten Americans (39%) rated the U.S. in a positive manner. By February, the national debt during Obama’s presidency had increased $5.9 trillion, more than it had increased under all presidents from George Washington to Bill Clinton combined.

By April the New York Times columnist, Maureen Dowd, was continuing to put distance between Obama and herself. “Unfortunately, he still has not learned how to govern” wrote Dowd, adding “No one on Capitol Hill is scared of him.” Obama had devoted so much time to fundraising and non-stop campaigning, that governing was obviously not a priority, but that is exactly why Presidents are elected.

By May, Politico.com reporters, Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei noted that Republicans in the House had one-third of its committees investigating scandals and wrong-doing by the Obama administration. “Establishment Democrats, never big fans of this President to begin with, are starting to speak out. And reporters are tripping over themselves to condemn lies, bullying and shadiness in the Obama administration.”

By July, a Washington Times editorial, “Obama’s Feats of Weakness” observed that “Since Mr. Obama took office, the opinion of the United States generally has declined in every country surveyed by the Pew Global Attitudes Project…Despite the vaunted White House effort to reach out to Muslim-majority countries, U.S. favorability ratings in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, and Pakistan are below where they were in 2008 when George W. Bush was at the helm.”

As 2013 comes to a close, longtime former allies such as Saudi Arabia are openly berating Obama for the secret deal negotiated with Iran. Egypt, a former ally, feels betrayed by Obama for his support of the Muslim Brotherhood and, Israel was being visited by Secretary John Kerry to express his opposition to new housing in Jerusalem, but he has put Israel at great risk of annihilation by Iranian nuclear weapon. The Washington Times opined that “There’s a reason Mr. Obama has not been a strong leader internationally. He never set out to be one because he has never believed in the exceptional mission of the United States.”

During the October government shutdown, Fred Barnes, executive editor of the Weekly Standard, noted that Obama “[W]on’t negotiate with Republicans, though the fate of Obamacare, funding of the government, and the future of the economic recovery are at stake.” A veteran observer of the White House, Barnes said, “His approach—dealing with a deadlock by not dealing with it—is unprecedented. He has gone where no president has gone before.”

Earlier, in June, Barnes said “the Obama administration is in an unexpected and sharp state of decline. Mr. Obama has little influence on Congress. His presidency has no theme. He pivots nervously from issue to issue.”

When the Obamacare website debuted on October 1st, it was such a disaster that it was a perfect reflection of a horrendous piece of legislation that is causing widespread dismay and disruption affecting millions of Americans.

When you add in the residue from first term scandals such as Fast and Furious, Benghazi, and the use of the IRS to harass conservative groups seeking non-profit tax status, it was obvious to all but mindless Obama devotees that we face three years of further decline at home and internationally.

There is still massive unemployment. There are still massive numbers on government welfare programs and the nation’s health care system and insurance industry is being massively disrupted. The economy is improving incrementally, almost despite the administration’s policies.

To say that 2013 has been a bad year for Obama is also to say it has been a bad year for over three hundred million Americans. As Obamacare kicks in, 2014 will be a year its hidden taxes take effect. In November, voters will have the midterm elections to begin ending the a record of failed domestic and foreign affairs.

© Alan Caruba, 2013

PJTV: #1 Public University Producing Idiots

Steven Crowder goes undercover exposing UC Berkeley‘s liberal bias and the indoctrination underway in its classrooms. You won’t believe the hilarious and alarming interactions Steven has with the Berkeley students.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/rytC4QsIiG8[/youtube]

Watch more great videos and get the latest news at: http://www.pjtv.com.

Early returns: Top ten states for year-over-year job growth

Conservative Intelligence Briefing reports, “Nationwide, job growth just can’t seem to get ahead of growth in the U.S. working-age population.” The share of Americans who work for a living remains stuck near its post-crash low, and that hasn’t changed in 2013:

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National employment growth was just 1.7 percent over the last twelve months. Still, some states are doing better than others. The Bureau of Labor Statistics published its preliminary state jobs data for November this week. Thirty-three states enjoyed statistically significant job growth in the year-long period that ended at the beginning of this month.

Here are the biggest job gainers in terms of percentage growth. There isn’t a clear common political thread here, but it is worth noting that all of the top five and seven of the ten have all-Republican governments.

10. Colorado:

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Who knows — maybe all that recent election spending helped out? The Centennial State has 46,000 more people employed today than it did twelve months ago — a gain of 2.0 percent, which is 12 percent ahead of the national rate. Among other things, the fracking revolution has helped Colorado exploit its shale resources — the state now ranks sixth for natural gas production and ninth for oil.

Construction jobs in Colorado are up 7 percent and shale gas is although a few financial sector jobs disappeared. The unemployment rate fell from 7.6 to 6.5 percent during those twelve months.

9. Delaware:

delaware

Hi, we’re in…Delaware, home to the nation’s most corporate-friendly legal system. Financial and professional services enjoyed the largest gains as Delaware created 8,400 jobs, or 2 percent growth year-over-year. It also has some nice beaches.

8. Indiana:

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The Hoosier State’s beaches aren’t quite as nice, but it is the second-newest right-to-work state and the top state for manufacturing as a share of all employment. The Hoosier Tiger now sustains nearly 3 million workers on the job — more than Washington State, which has a larger population and faster population growth.

Unemployment in Indiana fell from 8.4 to 7.3 percent over the last year. Job growth was 61,100, or 2.1 percent, with the trade/transportation/utilities sector leading the way. Neighboring Illinois, with a population twice as large, created fewer jobs over the same period.

Hoosier job growth especially picked up in the fall, with more than 25,000 jobs added between October and November.

7. Utah:

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Former Gov. Jon Huntsman pointed out during the 2012 GOP primaries that his state had been tops in job creation, ahead of Texas. The Beehive State isn’t number one this time, but it’s not doing too badly. The manufacturing, financial services, and trade/transportation/utilities sectors all grew as the number of employed grew 28,100, or 2.2 percent. Unemployment also fell by a full point over the last 12 months to 3.4 percent.

6. Oregon:

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When the price is $4.99 in Oregon, you’re going to get that penny back in change — there’s no sales tax. It’s also a beautiful place where lots of people want to live – and it has the best ads for Obamacare, by far.

Construction jobs are up nearly 8 percent in the Beaver State since last year. Oregon added 36,800 jobs in the last 12 months for 2.2 percent growth, and its unemployment rate fell from 8.4 to 7.3 percent.

5. Georgia:

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Life’s still not a peach in Georgia, with the unemployment rate above the national average, but at least it fell over the last year from 8.7 to 7.7 percent. Construction jobs rose 9.5 percent as overall job growth was 2.3 percent, or 91,400.

4. Idaho:

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A hidden Gem — nope, it’s not just a bunch of potatoes.

Idaho’s employment base increased by 2.3 percent as it added 14,500 jobs in twelve months, leaping ahead of New Hampshire in its absolute job total. The state’s unemployment rate also fell from 6.7 to 6.1 percent.

3. Florida:

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Rick Scott, the Sunshine State’s unpopular Republican governor, has to be happy to see his state doing well at just the right moment for him. Construction, trade, and professional and business services all made big gains as the state continued its recovery from the depths of the real estate crash. Job growth was 183,000, or 2.5 percent. Unemployment, which exceeded 10 percent after the crash, fell from 8.0 to 6.4 percent over the last 12 months.

2. Texas:

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In absolute numerical terms, Texas remains the Granddaddy of job growth, beating even California, with its much larger population. In total, Texas is now home to three-quarters as many jobs as California, despite having just two-thirds the population.

On net, the Lone Star state added 274,200 jobs in twelve months, an increase of 2.5 percent. Among other things, Texas has played a large role in the recovery of U.S. domestic oil production.

1. North Dakota:

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For years, there was a serious effort among state legislators to rename this state just “Dakota,” to make it seem a bit less remote. That probably won’t be necessary anymore. North Dakota created jobs this year twice as fast as the national average, with 4.0 percent growth or 17,500 jobs.

The state’s oil boom has led to such massive growth that infrastructure can hardly keep up. Oil and gas exploration has created vast numbers of jobs that pay very well, along with huge demand for supporting industries. Construction jobs are up 8 percent year over year. The cost of living has skyrocketed, as has the cost of real estate.
If you need a job — or if you want to spend a year doing something practical before you go to college — there’s no better place to go. You can call the state whatever you want, but at 2.6 percent, the unemployment rate is almost as low as the temperature this time of year.

Read more.

ABOUT CONSERVATIVE INTELLIGENCE BRIEF

The Conservative Intelligence Briefing is a blog on political trends and current events, and a weekly email newsletter (sign up here) focused on politics and elections.

Israel’s Christians Who Defend the Jewish State

The Wall Street Journal weekend edition had an article by former Ha’aretz editor Adi Schwartz, “Israel’s Christian Awakening” discussing the grassroots movement led by a Greek Orthodox Priest, Fr. Gabriel Naddaf,  a charismatic former spokesperson for the Greek Orthodox Patriarch in Jerusalem. He hails from the village of Yaffia, located between Migdal Ha’emek and Nazareth. Nazareth, with its Church of the Annunciation is the largest Arab town in Israel. Once the boyhood town of Jesus and predominately Christian, it is now majority Muslim. Despite this, there are plans afoot to build a 100 foot statue of the community’s most famous son.

Fr. Naddaf, who has been featured in  the Jerusalem PostEcumenical News, Fox News, and Times of Israel  this year is doing something important. He and a team of Christian IDF serving officers and reservists have formed the Israel Christian Recruitment Forum. The aim of the group, Schwartz notes, is “to increase the number of Christians joining the Israel Defense Forces” from among the 130,000 Arabic -speaking Christians who constitute 1.6% of Israel’s 8 million population. Those Israeli Arabic speaking Christians are either Greek Catholic or Greek Orthodox.  Some of their liturgy harkens back to the language of their non –Arabic ancient forbearers, the Arameans – derived from the ancient name for Syria, Aram, who spoke the lingua franca  of Jesus and many ancient Jews, Aramaic. By contrast there are 1.3 Million Arab Muslims in the Jewish nation.

A Hebrew University specialist on Christians in Israel Amnon Ramon cited by Schwartz indicated that demographically Christians are closer to fellow Jewish citizens than Muslims; their median age is 30 versus 31; Christian women marry later and have fewer children and their educational attainment surpasses Jews.

Fr. Gabriel is seeking to integrate the Arabic-speaking Christian community into Israel and what better way to do that than through service in the Israel Defense Force (IDF). The Forum spokesperson, IDF 1st Lt.  (Res. )Shadi Khaloul, said that “the total number of Christians serving in the Israeli military has more than quadrupled since 2012 from 35 to 150”.  Fr. Naddaf reaffirms that saying, “ Israel takes care of us, and if not Israel, who will defend us?  We love this country, and we see the army as a first step in becoming more integrated with the state.” 18 years old Henry Zahir from the village of Reineh is cited by Schwartz agreeing with Fr. Naddaf saying, “Israel is my country and I want to defend it. The Jewish State is good for us.”

Lela Gilbert of the Hudson Institute wrote about the jeopardy that Naddaf’s leadership has placed both he and his family in a Fox News report, “In Nazareth a Christian-Arab priest seeks full integration into Israeli society”:

On December 6, the son of Nazareth priest, Fr. Gabriel Naddaf, was assaulted and beaten and is now hospitalized. Fr. Naddaf, who is Greek Orthodox, has received death threats for years; the attacker went after his son instead.

Prime Minister Netanyahu commented in a Times of Israel  report on the attack:

I have heard about the threats of physical attacks by extremist elements in Israeli society against Christians, Christian Arabs who want to enlist in the IDF, who want to be part of the State of Israel. Against these people is an extremist group that is threatening them. We will not tolerate this; I will not tolerate this. We will use all of our tools to stop these thugs and we will allow whoever – Christian, Muslim and Druze – wants to link their fate even more to the State of Israel and wants to serve in the IDF to do so.

Fr. Naddaf  commented about the source of the attack on his son in the Times of Israel report, saying, “Arab MKs have not issued any condemnation and I put the responsibility on them. This is the result of incitement that comes from them day and night.”  Schwartz noted  how virulently  an Anti-Israel Arab Muslim Member of the Knesset, Hanin Zoabi,  “wrote Naddaf  calling him a collaborator, accusing him of putting young Christians  in danger.” Zoabi told Schwartz,” We are a national group, not a religious one. Any attempt to enlist Christians is part of a strategy of divide and rule.” Forum spokesperson Khaloul, an officer who served in an IDF parachute brigade, countered Zoabi’s remarks saying,“We are not mercenaries. We want to defend this country together with the Jews. We see what is happening these days to Christians around us in Iraq, Syria and Egypt.”

Gilbert noted in her Fox News report:

In the Middle East, persecution against the region’s ancient churches continues to smolder, flare and rage out of control. Inflamed by Islamist ideology and specifically targeting Christians, brutality has escalated to unprecedented levels.

She drew attention to how Israeli Christians distinguish themselves from Muslims:

Speaking at a September Jerusalem conference, Fr. Naddaf, Capt. Bishara Shlayan, and a Christian IDF reserve officer, Lt. Shaadi Khalloul, offered their historical perspective.

Technically they are not Arabs, they emphasized, but are part of an ancient Christian community  — a community that did not convert to Islam during the Muslims’ Seventh Century invasion.

“I think we should be referred to as Israeli-Christians,” Capt. Shlayan affirmed, rejecting the Arab-Christian label.  “Yes, we speak Arabic. But our nationality is Israeli. And our religion is Christian.”

In fact, they are not only Christian Israelis, they are Zionists.

Theologically grounded in Aramaic and Assyriac liturgy and worship, this population has followed Jesus of Nazareth since he walked among them. Many of them even hail from Nazareth, his hometown – now Israel’s largest Arab city.

In their view, their spiritual heritage has been nearly forgotten, apart from within their churches. At the same time, neighboring Muslims harass and threaten harm while attempting to eradicate Christian shrines, signs and symbols.

Forum spokesperson Khaloul noted in an October video presentation (see below)  that the group is seeking  to have its  heritage nto included in Islamic and Arabic History Courses.  These Christian Israelis also want to form a Knesset Party, “B’nai Brith”, reflecting Ha Shem’s covenant with Jews and Christians.

When I shared these courageous acts of solidarity with the Jewish state by these Israeli Christians with author and scholar Bat Ye’or, she responded in an email:

This is quite a change! It is amazing that it took a century for Christians in the Middle East to understand that they were not Arab and that Muslims were not their friends. It is true that they were forced into this situation by France and England which declared that they will no more help them and that Christians had  to militate into the Arab Nationalism non-sense.

Yuval Brandsetter in a Jerusalem Post oped about Fr. Naddaf, “The Good Father, “noted something that impressed us.  This evident assertion of Israeli Christian identification and solidarity with Israel was a rejection of Dhimmitude; the 1,400 years of Islamic Imperialism imposed on Jews and Christians under the pact of Omar.  He wrote:

In spite of his lowly position, or maybe because of it, Fr. Gabriel Naddaf has reached the conclusion that Christians Arabs residing in Israel must link their fortunes to the Jewish state. In acting on this conclusion with fortitude and a free mind, Fr. Naddaf stands in defiance of the 1,300-year legacy of dhimmitude – the legacy that both his Jerusalem Patriarch and Istanbul’s Ecumenical Patriarch continue to observe.

Watch this video of Fr. Gabriel Naddaf at an October 2013 Liaison Committee of The Israel Christian Recruitment Forum.

Watch this video of IDF Reservists 1st Lt. Shadi Khalloul, at an October 2013 Liaison Committee of The Israel Christian Recruitment Forum.

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

Congrats to Phil Robertson, his Family and America!

Congratulations America, we did it! Thanks to your passionate push back, A&E networks rescinded its suspension of Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson. One thing to take away from the Duck Dynasty controversy is that no one knows enough or can predict the future well enough to be a pessimist.

Conservative intellectuals (smart people) read negative political tea leaves which lead them to conclude that all is lost; Obama and his army of liberal socialist/progressives have all the power. They do everything right to further their agenda while we bumbling conservatives do everything wrong.

I simply can not subscribe to negative predictions of the future. No one knows what tomorrow may bring. Secondly, 60 something years of living has taught me to trust God.

For example, who could have predicted that a scruffy bearded duck hunter would inspire mega-millions of Americans to push back and win a major battle in the war against the tyranny of political correctness? Phil’s victory over political correctness zealots reminds me of the scripture that says, “God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise.” (1Cor. 1:27) Unquestionably, the arrogant elitist aggressors on the left were blown away by America rallying around Phil.

Another unforeseen gift hidden in the left’s feverish overplayed attack on Phil is that it has opened the eyes of millions of Americans to the truth that the left truly have launched a war on religious faith and traditional family values.

Thanks to Phil holding firm to his beliefs, Americans are organizing to push back against the left’s assaults on not just religious freedom, but liberty in general. Once passive Americans are joining the fight; signing petitions and more.

In the midst of the left (NAACP, GLAD and NOW) rising up with pitch-forks demanding the head of Phil Robertson for quoting the Bible, I noticed that Kathy Griffin, queen of poking her finger in the eye of Christians will again co-host CNN’s New Years Eve coverage. Ms Griffin told Jesus to “S*** it” in her Emmy award acceptance speech.

Unlike the left’s hysterical demands that Phil Robertson be fired, I am not suggesting that CNN not employ the services of Ms Griffin. I am merely shining the light of truth, exposing the left’s blatant selective outrage and hypocrisy.

Ask yourself folks, would Ms Griffin be ringing in the new year on CNN had her disrespectful comments been directed at Mohammed? I shutter just thinking of the consequences.

So why has the left deemed it OK to dis my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? I ask, WDJD (what did Jesus do) to inspire such hate and disrespect from the left?

Not to stray too far off topic, I just want to express my gratitude and excitement over the much needed shot in the arm that Phil’s victory has given the Tea Party movement.

And one last thing. Well meaning folks on our side have been criticizing Phil; his interpretation of scripture and so on. While such observations may or may not be true, there are a plethora of vicious left-wing pundits ripping Phil to threads with exaggerations, distortions and lies.

Displaying manhood and backbone that has become rare in America, Phil courageously took a stand against political correctness for us; our principles and values. Therefore, I will not dare criticize him. I choose to view my Phil Robertson glass half full.

Thanks again brother Phil. You are appreciated and respected more than you will ever know.