The Virginia Shooting: Of Powder Kegs and Shoulder Chips

alison-parker-shootingOn Wednesday morning, August 26, 2015, forty-one-year-old Vester L. Flanagan II, a.k.a. Bryce Williams, walked up to a WDBJ-TV (Roanoke) television crew in Smith Mountain Lake, Virginia, drew a gun, and opened fire, killing 24-year-old news reporter Alison Parker and her 27-year-old cameraman, Adam Ward. Vicki Gardner, executive director of the Smith Mountain Lake Chamber of Commerce, who was being interviewed by Parker when the shooting occurred, was shot in the back but is expected to survive.

A statewide manhunt ensued and within hours Virginia State Police and sheriff’s deputies drove Flanagan’s car off the road on Interstate 66 in northern Virginia.  Before officers could remove Flanagan from his rented automobile he attempted suicide. He died approximately two hours later in a Fauquier County, Virginia, hospital from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Flanagan was a TV journalist, obviously consumed with self-loathing over the color of his skin and his sexual orientation, who had apparently walked around for many years with a large chip on his shoulder and a deep-seated hatred in his heart for white people. In fact, in a rambling 23-page manifesto faxed to ABC News in the hours before the shooting, Flanagan wrote: “I’ve been a human powder keg for a while… just waiting to go BOOM!!!!  You (expletive deleted)!  You want a race war (expletive deleted)?  BRING IT THEN YOU WHITE (expletive deleted)!!!”

vester-lee-flanagan

Vester L. Flanagan II, a.k.a. Bryce Williams

As news reports describe the manifesto, Flanagan was inspired by the Virginia Tech shootings of April 16, 2007, in which 32 students and teachers were killed and 17 wounded, and the April 20, 1999, Columbine High School shootings, in Colorado, in which 13 students and teachers were killed and 21 wounded.  But it was the June 17, 2015, massacre at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, that finally drove him over the edge.  Flanagan felt compelled to respond to Dylann Roof’s massacre in which 9 black churchgoers were killed and one wounded.

The horrible crime that Flanagan committed is symptomatic of the stultifying frustration that so many young black people feel today.  Most walk around with huge chips on their shoulders, just daring white people to show disrespect for them or even to brush past them too closely on a public sidewalk, while others, like Flanagan, are so full of seething anger that they become walking “powder kegs” of racial hatred.

Trayvon Martin, who felt he was being unfairly shadowed in Sanford, Florida, lost his life because he responded to the chip on his shoulder by physically assaulting a neighborhood watch captain, George Zimmerman. Eric Garner, who was observed selling untaxed cigarettes on a sidewalk in Staten Island, New York, lost his life when the chip on his shoulder caused him to resist arrest. Michael Brown, who ignored the instructions of a police officer not to walk down the middle of a Ferguson street, attempted to take the officer’s handgun away from him.  He lost his life because the chip fell off his shoulder and he became an instantaneous “powder keg.”

These are just three stories out of millions.  All over America we find young blacks engaging in deadly home invasions and a sometimes deadly activity called the “knockout game,” in which a gang of young blacks pick out an intended victim, at random, and attempt to knock that person unconscious with a single punch.  But what is so frightening and unsettling about all this violence is that the difference between a young black man with a chip on his shoulder and a Vester Flanagan with a “powder keg” mentality is only a split second in time.

But none of this has happened in a vacuum. There is a reason why we’ve become two nations occupying the same piece of real estate.  How did we get to this point?  The answer is a political one. Beginning in the early 1930s, the Democratic Party has worked tirelessly at building a broad national coalition of special interests, and through the following eighty years, as a means of keeping elements of their coalition from becoming a conglomeration of warring factions, they created a multitude of federal giveaway programs to benefit all of their political constituencies.

As an example, they have produced a welfare state with a permanent underclass of minority citizens where three out of four babies are born out of wedlock, where government-subsidized housing developments are not only the most expensive high-rise slums in the country but, next to ISIS-controlled territory in the Middle East, the most dangerous places on the face of the Earth… places where Barack Obama’s “hope and change” have left people with nothing but crushing despair and little hope for the future.

The only price blacks have had to pay for all the free money, food stamps, subsidized housing, free healthcare, and preferential treatment in jobs and higher education was to pull the Democrat lever on Election Day.  With that “devil’s bargain” in place, blacks have consistently given 90-95 percent of their votes to Democrats.  Yet, decades later, and in spite of endless promises of “better times” by liberals and Democrats, blacks have seen little social and economic progress.

So is it any wonder that, in 2015, as blacks look back over more than half a century of fidelity to the Democrat Party on the one hand, and an almost complete absence of social and economic progress on the other, they would tend to be a bit angry?  In assessing where they are today they tend to blame white Republicans more than white Democrats because Democrats have convinced them that they are the “victims” of an economic system that benefits only white Republicans.

But how does a young black man in 2015 suddenly turn all of the seething anger and resentment he feels into the sort of positive energy that has made Dr. Ben Carson, a world-famous pediatric neurosurgeon, what he is today?  It simply is not possible to do so because we cannot go back in time and start all over again with the same wise counsel that Dr. Carson received as a child.  Many black men are irretrievably lost and cannot be rehabilitated or redirected at this late date.

These are the cold, ugly facts of American political history in the 20th and 21st centuries. But as damaging as all those years of Democratic social experimentation have been, it’s clear they have not finished their long term goal of the complete and utter destruction of the greatest nation on Earth.  According to a July 20, 2015 National Review article by Stanley Kurtz, describing Barack Obama’s plan to reorient our cities and suburbs, “It is difficult to say what’s more striking about President Obama’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) regulation: its breathtaking radicalism, the refusal of the press to cover it, or its potential political ramifications. The danger AFFH poses to Democrats explains why the press barely mentions it. This lack of curiosity, in turn, explains why the revolutionary nature of the rule has not been properly understood.”

So exactly what is this new Obama proposal that is so “breathtakingly radical” that not even his apologists in the mainstream media are willing to discuss it for fear that, if the American people begin to understand it, it will severely damage the long term prospects of the Democrat Party?

According to Kurtz, the Obama plan has three major elements: 1) Inhibit suburban growth and, when possible, encourage suburban re-migration to cities, 2) Force the urban poor into the suburbs through the imposition of low-income housing quotas, and 3) Institute “regional tax-base sharing” where states force upper-middle-class suburbs to share tax revenues with nearby cities and less-well-off suburbs.

As Kurtz correctly concludes, “If you press suburbanites into cities, transfer urbanites to the suburbs, and redistribute suburban tax money to cities, you have effectively abolished the suburbs.”  In short, the Obama AFFH rule represents such a radical approach to population control and distribution that it immediately brings to mind the 1973 Khmer Rouge policy of driving Cambodian city dwellers into the countryside, where they were savagely brutalized and murdered.  Since Obama is the sort of man who cares about nothing but his legacy and his place in history, would it not be ironic for history to record him as the “Pol Pot of the 21st century?”

The prescription for what ailed the black community some 60 years ago was precisely what Dr. Carson discussed in his breathtaking USA Today editorial of August 24, 2015.  Dr. Carson points out that “our schools are failing and we have no power to abandon them.  The actions of rogue police officers take black lives one at a time.  Our public school system has destroyed black lives not in the ones and twos, but in whole generations… The schools don’t teach and our children don’t learn.  Too many public schools are controlled by teachers unions focused more on the convenience and compensation of adults rather than the education of children who started out far behind.  Their failures don’t kill as quickly, but they do kill as surely as a bullet.”

Finally, he suggests that black people need to have a talk with the Democratic Party.  “Let’s tell them, we don’t want to be clothed, fed, and housed.  We want honor and dignity.  We don’t want a plan to give us public housing in nice neighborhoods.  We want an end to excuses for schools that leave us without the means to buy our own houses, where we choose to live.  We want the skills needed to compete, not a consolation prize of Section 8 (housing), food stamps, and a lifetime of government paperwork.”

That is precisely what black people need and want, but that’s not what Democrats have given them.  In fact, there is not a smidgeon of evidence that liberals and Democrats care a whit about black people beyond the votes they deliver on Election Day.  And as more and more blacks come to the stark realization that they’ve been played for suckers, the result is often a violent one.

Yes, black Americans have every right to be angry… even as angry as Vester Flanagan… but, if blame is to be assessed, their anger and their deep-seated rage are more appropriately directed at Democrats who bear total responsibility for where black people are today.  Unfortunately, when black men with chips on their shoulders decide to give vent to their anger and their frustrations, they never stop long enough to ask to see anyone’s voter registration card.

Immigration: The Refugee Scam

Jeb Bush has called illegal migration “an act of love.” And all over the West we see nations being loved to death, with endless human waves from Third World countries washing ashore. The results were predictable and are now plain: balkanization, riots, ethnic and racial strife and no-go areas in European lands. Yet we’re told that accepting what are “refugees” is a humanitarian imperative. Yet no one, it seems, points out an obvious fact, something that really is the crux of the matter.

If a stranger in need happens by your area and you’re a charitable sort, you may take him in for a time, feed him and provide other basic necessities.

You don’t generally make him an official part of your family and empower him to help decide on finances, what products to buy, how your kids will be educated and what values will prevail within your home.

The point? At issue in the current “refugee crisis” is not charity and the humane treatment of refugees. This isn’t only because most of the migrants in question may not even be refugees.

It’s because the issue is granting uninvited guests citizenship.

People talk about the financial burden of accommodating Third World migrants, largely because money (as opposed to national integrity) is all a demoralized and denationalized people think to discuss and because finances are a politically correct subject. But a national family can recover from devastated finances. It can’t recover from a destroyed national family.

I have pointed out again and again and again that the groups represented by virtually all illegal migrants and refugees — and 85 percent of legal immigrants since 1965 — vote for socialistic candidates between 70 to 90 percent of the time upon being naturalized. Related to this but also generally overlooked is that the people make the culture and government. Replace a Western people with Muslims or Mexicans and you no longer have Western civilization. You have Mexico Norte or Iran West.

Unfortunately, the granting of aid and the granting of citizenship have been so melded into one amorphous, superficially homogenous blob of bad policy that most people don’t even recognize they should be two distinct and separate issues — as they had been for most of history.

Of course, this serves the Left’s ends. The Refugee Crisis™ debate is framed as a battle between compassionate liberals responding to desperate pleas and coin-counting, callous, conservative reactionaries. But charitable motives animate the Left little, if at all. Liberals are notoriously tightfisted with (their own) charitable dollars; even more to the point, when a shipload of Jews fleeing Nazi persecution wanted safe haven in the US, leftist icon FDR turned it away. It’s one of those curious coincidences in history that the Left’s attitude toward refugees changed precisely when leftists discovered they could import voters who would empower them.

And does attaching something as a rider — citizenship — to charity aid the cause of charity? Are people more or less likely to offer charity to a person if the act begins and ends with charity, or if they must grant the individual some decision-making power in their home as well? That’s a package deal only a masochist could love.

So there’s an easy way to uncover liberals’ true motivations and whether they’re serious about charity for refugees. Make a simple offer: you’ll give bona fide refugees safe haven, and you’ll do your best to ensure they’re treated well. But there’s no citizenship. Ever. And they’ll be expected to eventually return to their homelands. See if the leftists bite…anything but your extended hand.

But liberals have already tipped their hand. Andrew Neather, a former adviser to ex-British prime minister Tony Blair, admitted in 2009 that one of the goals of the mass immigration authored by his Labour Party was “to rub the Right’s nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.” Barack Obama said in February he was “pretty optimistic” that because immigration was making the US “more of a hodgepodge of folks,” conservatism would be drowned out. Even more incredibly, there was this report, which tells us that “Obama’s amnesty plan is to use illegal aliens as ‘seedlings’…[who will] ‘navigate, not assimilate,’ as they ‘take over the host,’ create a ‘country within a country’ and start ‘pushing the citizens into the shadows,’” as I wrote in March. And a refugee scam is part of this: in order to get around immigration law and maximize Third World migration into the US, the Obama administration is categorizing as many people as possible as “refugees.”

This brings us to a contradiction here. On the one hand, liberals sometimes point out that despite doom-and-gloom prognostication, we live in the most “peaceful era in human history.” And they cite statistics backing up the assertion. On the other, they claim we must suddenly accommodate endless troves of “refugees” fleeing persecution. Question: if the world is unprecedentedly peaceful, why now do we have a supposedly worse refugee crisis than in more warlike times?

There’s another contradiction. We’re told that prosperous countries have a moral responsibility to the world’s poorer nations. So why then are wealthy Asian Tigers never asked to absorb any “refugees”? Japan, in fact, has virtually no immigration whatsoever despite having an extremely low birthrate and shrinking population. Moreover, since many refugees are Muslim, why aren’t Saudi Arabia, Qatar, The United Arab Emirates and the other oil-rich Arab nations taking them in? Wouldn’t it seem a natural fit? (Then they could stop importing the Filipinos and others they use for domestic help.) Maybe they know something we don’t.

In a sense, most of the world could be said to comprise would-be economic refugees. After all, how many people in Asia, Africa and Latin America wouldn’t want to emigrate to the West and enjoy the welfare state? And how many should, and can, the West absorb? One billion? Two billion? Three billion?

There undoubtedly are people in this world facing serious persecution. As to this, the West in general and the Obama administration in particular have done nothing to aid, for instance, the Christians being slaughtered in Muslim lands. But the bottom line is that the “refugees” are coming to the West simply because the West is nicer than where they come from. And they will keep coming until they’ve turned the West into where they’ve come from — unless we change course.

There’s much talk today about anchor babies, but that’s only part of our obsession with granting citizenship to foreigners. Workers should be expected to work and go home. Guests should be expected to visit and go home. For whether or not you believe charity begins at home, for certain is that conflating it with family status is robbing us of our home.

Contact Selwyn Duke, follow him on Twitter or log on to SelwynDuke.com

Unpacking the On Air Murders and ‘Targeted Violence’

The horrific murders of Virginia’s WDBJ journalists, Alison Parker and Adam Ward, at the hands of Vester Flanagan II is an example of what the Secret Service refers to as an incident of “targeted violence.” Secret Service researchers define targeted violence as “any incident of violence where a known or knowable attacker selects a particular target prior to their violent attack.”

The Secret Service, tasked with protecting the President of the United States and foreign heads of state, has over a century of experience in dealing with targeted political violence and has engaged in exhaustive research into the behavioral patterns of people who engage in this type of violence.

Their Exceptional Case Study Project was a pioneering research piece, which documented the reported thoughts and behaviors of over 80 individuals who either attacked, or planned to attack a public figure. The results of this study, combined with the Secret Service’s work on targeted school violence in their Safe School Initiative Report can provide some helpful information for public figures in the media, school principals, security professionals, law enforcement and intelligence operators.

Here are some of the highlights of their targeted violence research:

  •  “Handguns were the most common weapons used during a Principal Incident but a number of subjects reported using knives when they were unable to procure handguns.”
  • “While more than 60% of the subjects had had contact with a mental health professional at some point in their lives before the Principal Incident, fewer than one-fourth had such contact in the year before their attack or near lethal approach.”
  • “Most subjects had used weapons but few had formal training.”
  • “One-fifth of the subjects had been arrested for a violent crime.”
  • “Motives included wishes for notoriety, revenge, idiosyncratic thinking about the target, hopes to be killed, interest to bring about political change, and desires for money.”

Here are some of the highlights of their school violence research:

  • “Incidents of targeted violence at school rarely were sudden, impulsive acts.”
  • “Prior to most incidents, other people knew about the attacker’s idea and/or plan to attack.”
  • “There is no accurate or useful ‘profile’ of students who engaged in targeted school violence.”
  • “Most attackers engaged in some behavior prior to the incident that caused others concern or indicated a need for help.”
  • “Most attackers had difficulty coping with significant losses or personal failures. Moreover many had considered or attempted suicide.”

There are no easy answers here and, thankfully, violent incidents such as this are still rare, but this information can assist in attuning the senses of those in leadership positions to the warning signs that may otherwise be missed.

In my experience as a Secret Service agent interviewing potential assassins and attackers I feel that this is the most important takeaway from this research:

“In two-thirds of the incidents, the subject had a grievance. Usually grievances concerned the target (of the attack).” And, “Many subjects had taken action in response to a grievance, such as writing a letter or visiting an office.”

There are no easy answers here and, thankfully, violent incidents such as this are still rare, but this information can assist in attuning the senses of those in leadership positions to the warning signs that may otherwise be missed.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the Conservative Review. The featured image of CBS anchors grieving is of WDBJ-TV7 news morning anchor Kimberly McBroom, center, gets a hug from visiting anchor Steve Grant, left, as meteorologist Leo Hirsbrunner reflects after their early morning newscast at the station, Thursday, Aug. 27, 2015, in Roanoke, Va. Reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward were killed during a live broadcast Wednesday, while on assignment in Moneta. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

President Obama’s Two Americas

The two Americas phrase referred to social stratification in American society, made famous in a 2004 speech by former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards. Fast forward to today and we see the realities of President Obama’s two Americas. Obama’s  two Americas is more than the haves and have-nots (i.e. 99% anarchist movement). Much more.

Perhaps President Obama’s two Americas is best understood in the context of the slaughter of two CBS employees by Vester Lee Flanagan, an unemployed angry black homosexual.

vester-lee-flanagan

Vester Lee Flanagan (a.k.a. Bryce Williams)

Flanagan (a.k.a. Bryce Williams) slaughtered an unarmed white female reporter and her white cameraman in Virginia. Pierre Thomas, Jack Cloherty, Jack Date and Mike Levine via ABC’s Good Morning America, report:

Sources familiar with the investigation tell ABC News that in his attack, Flanagan used a Glock 19 — a firearm similar to one that Cho used in his mass attack.

In Flanagan’s often rambling letter to authorities, family and friends, he writes of a long list of grievances. In one part of the document, Flanagan calls it a “Suicide Note for Friends and Family.”

He says he has been attacked by black men and white females. He talks about how he was attacked for being a gay, black man. He says has suffered racial discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying at work.

[ … ]

He chronicles the “tough times” he’s faced, including some “financial crashes.” He says he used to work as a male escort but, “I am proud of it” because he “made thousands.”

alison-parker-shooting

Allison Parker moments before being shot by Vester Lee Flanagan.

Since his election in 2008 President Obama has:

  1. Created a black white racial divide.
  2. Created an economic divide, which created social stratification (i.e. more haves and abandoned the have-nots).
  3. Used government regulations and departments to attack opponents.
  4. Introduced Common Core into public schools nation wide to indoctrinate not educate.
  5. Created a divide between Christians and anti-Christians (e.g. Muslims, homosexuals, satanists, collectivists).
  6. Created a social divide between naturalized citizens and illegal aliens.
  7. Created class warfare (i.e. the 99% versus the 1%).
  8. Created a war on fossil fuels, especially coal, using Environmental Protection Agency rules.
  9. Created a barrier between law enforcement and citizens (e.g. in cities like Baltimore, Ferguson, Detroit)
  10. Created a war against lawful gun owners rather than addressing criminals like Vester Lee Flanagan.
  11. The war against unborn children – over 55 million causalities and counting.
  12. The Planned Parenthood Industrial Complex – selling dead, mostly black, babies for profit.
  13. Created a opaque government rather than his promised transparent government.
  14. Created a political divide between Democrats and all others opposed to his policies, including some Democrats.
  15. Created a divide between America and Israel.
  16. Created a foreign policy divide between America and global freedom loving movements.
  17. And on, and on, and on…

Before President Obama Americans did not see issues like being black, Hispanic, homosexual or bulling as important. President Obama has made these policies the keystones of his administration.

Question: Can you see that the slaughter of two white CBS employess by Vester Lee Flanagan, an angry black homosexual, is a natural outcome of President Obama and his policies?

RELATED ARTICLES: 

Killer-newsman was an Obama lover! Had to be reprimanded over campaign button

U.S. and world are ruled not by parties, but clans – Pravda

RELATED VIDEO: Bryce Williams / Vester Lee Flanagan Road Rage recorded 6 July 2015:

Two Hundred Retired U.S. Generals and Admirals sign letter opposing Iran Nuke Deal

Retired Admirals and Generals are still usually subject to the UCMJ and do not speak their opinions on political matters without some risk. Speaking out against the Commander in Chief could be a big no no. So when you have 200 opposing the C in C, that is significant.

NOTE: Many of the signatories served in the White House, under Democratic administrations as well as Republican. The only thing they appear to have in common is that they consider the Iran nuclear deal a threat to U.S. interests in the region and its own national security.

As Reported By Times of Israel:

Letter signed by former officers and navy admirals says nuclear agreement will enable Tehran to become ‘far more dangerous’

Nearly 200 retired US generals, admirals and former political officials have come out strongly against the Iran nuclear accord, and have called upon Congress to sink the aon the grounds that it will “enable Iran to become far more dangerous.”

Among the signatories are top former career officers from every branch of the US military, as well as officials who have served in the White House, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.

“The agreement will enable Iran to become far more dangerous, render the Mideast still more unstable and introduce new threats to American interests as well as our allies,” the letter, which was addressed to Republican and Democratic senators and congressmen, stated.

“What I don’t like about this is the number one leading radical Islamic group in the world is the Iranians,” McInerney

CONTINUE READING:

200 retired US generals lobby Congress to reject Iran deal | The Times of Israel

RELATED ARTICLE: Traitor Senators Took Money from Iran Lobby, Back Iran Nukes

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

Poll: Trump leads Republican field and Clinton in West Virginia

CHARLESTON, W.Va. /PRNewswire/ — If the 2016 General Election were held today, 26 percent of West Virginians would vote for Democrat Hillary Clinton, while 58 percent would vote for an unspecified Republican candidate, according to a survey conducted by Orion Strategies, a strategic communications firm with offices in Charleston and Buckhannon.

Donald Trump holds a commanding lead among Republican presidential candidates, according to the Orion Strategies poll. Twenty-nine percent of respondents said they would vote for Trump, compared to eight percent for his closest challenger, Marco Rubio – who is statistically tied with Jeb Bush, Mike Huckabee, Ben Carsonand Ted Cruz.  Still, a plurality of Republican and Independents are undecided.

Orion Strategies today released the first results of a new, wide-ranging statewide poll that measured voter attitudes toward next year’s election and significant national issues – including questions about Obamacare, Planned Parenthood, the use of body cameras by police and the treaty with Iran.

“Every year or two, Orion Strategies compiles a list of all the questions we ourselves want to ask,” said Curtis Wilkerson, president and CEO of Orion Strategies.  “We poll often, but almost all of the polling we do on a regular basis remains proprietary. So this is always a fun and enlightening project.”

Orion Strategies also asked a number of questions regarding West Virginia-based state issues. The results of the state-oriented poll questions will be released tomorrow.

The live-interview telephone survey was conducted among historic, likely voters in West Virginia.   A total of 406 respondents completed the entire survey – giving the poll a 4.9 +/- margin of error with a 95 percent confidence rate.  The sample was proportionate to each of the three congressional districts in the state. All 55 counties were called, and results were collected from 54 of those counties.  Partisan registration among respondents was 52 percent Democratic, 34 percent Republican and 14 percent Independent.

Orion Strategies conducts polling and research surveys on behalf of various clients, including trade associations, law firms, universities, media outlets and political campaigns.  The firm also conducts surveys for change of venue requests on prominent court cases. Curtis Wilkerson, Principal of Orion Strategies, is a member of the American Association of Public Opinion Research.  Learn more about Orion Strategies at www.orion-strategies.com

Key Findings of the Survey

In the 2016 General Election for President, would you likely vote for a Democratic or Republican Candidate?

28%

Democratic

52%

Republican

If in the 2016 General Election for President, your choices were Hillary Clinton and a Republican candidate, for whom would you vote?

26%

Clinton

58%

Republican Candidate

If the 2016 Republican Presidential Primary in West Virginia were held today, for which candidate would you vote? (Republicans and Independents only)

29%

Trump

8%

Rubio

7%

Bush

7%

Huckabee

7%

Carson

5%

Cruz

2%

Walker

2%

Fiorina

1%

Kasich

1%

Paul

32%

Other/Undecided

If the 2016 Democratic Presidential Primary in West Virginia were held today, for which candidate would you vote? (Democrats and Independents only)

23%

Clinton

12%

Sanders

16%

Biden

49%

Other/Undecided

If in the 2016 General Election for President, your choices were Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, for whom would you vote?

30%

Clinton

53%

Trump

17%

Undecided

Other key findings:

  • 61% believe that things in West Virginia are not headed in the right direction
  • 36% believe that Planned Parenthood should receive state and federal funding, while 54% do not
  • 77% oppose paying college athletes salaries in addition to athletic scholarships, with 17% in support
  • 91% of respondents support the use of body cameras by all law enforcement officers
  • 63% believe that the death penalty should be reinstated while 23% are opposed and 13% undecided
  • 19% believe Congress should ratify the current proposed treaty with Iran, with 62% against and 18% undecided
  • 29% of respondents agree with the recent Supreme Court ruling upholding the ability for same sex couples to marry, while 66% were opposed

Respondents were asked two similar questions with altered names at very different points in the poll:

–Do you believe that Obamacare is effective in providing more healthcare to residents in West Virginia?

35%

Yes

50%

No

–Do you believe that the Affordable Care Act is effective in providing more healthcare to residents of West Virginia

40%

Yes

46%

No

In regards to United States President Barack Obama, how would you rate his job performance?

8%

Excellent

16%

Good

13%

Fair

64%

Poor

SOURCE Orion Strategies

Israel: ‘No Choice’ but Military Option against Iran’s Nuclear Program?

Israel - Iran War Scenarios  12-14(2)In 1964, I sat in a darkened movie theater in Washington, D.C. with a fellow Army Intelligence officer watching Stanley Kubrick’s brilliant dark satire film on how to live with thermonuclear warfare, Dr Strangelove: or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. My colleague and I laughed nervously as we had just finished secret intelligence assignments. That memory was triggered by a recent American Thinker article by veteran nuclear war gaming and arms control expert, John Bosum, “Thinking About the Unthinkable: An Israel-Iran Nuclear War”.  That was a reference to books and articles by nuclear game theorist and Hudson Institute co-founder Herman Kahn and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger on limited nuclear warfare.

Scary prospects then, scary prospects now with the world on the verge of concluding a nuclear agreement with the apocalyptic Islamic Republic of Iran virtually assuring it of an arsenal of nuclear weapons in a decade, if not sooner funding in part by the lifting of $150 billion in sanctions. The U.S. says it has the means of striking back at Iran if it is found cheating, a reference to possible military actions. The reality is that the Administration has hollowed out the nation’s military capabilities leaving Israel isolated. The Jewish nation would doubtlessly be reviled by world opinion, should it undertake a strike of its own on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

The Israeli Limited Nuclear Attack Scenario

There are daunting prospects facing Israel with the looming Congressional vote rejecting the Iran nuclear pact in the face of a likely veto threat by President Obama that may not be overridden. John Bosum, in his American Thinker article vets a possible limited nuclear attack by Israel against Iran’s nuclear facilities. His credibility stems from his considerable expertise and professional background in nuclear war gaming and arms control.  He posits an attack scenario using conventional air craft equipped with US supplied GBU 28 “bunker busters” followed by tactical nukes or nuclear tipped cruise missiles launched from Israeli Dolphin subs offshore in the Arabian Sea.  That scenario faces the realities of estimated losses by Israel Ministry of Defense planners. They have estimated that such a scenario might result in the loss of 40 percent of air crews-a heavy price to pay for young IAF pilots.  Then there is Bosum’s suggestion that Israel might use a low altitude EMP attack on Iran by a Jericho 2 missile.  Ex-CIA official Chet Nagle suggested that Israel might pursue that during a Capitol Hill EMPact program on the EMP Threat several years ago. There is also the non nuclear option using swarms of Drone- launched CHAMP cruise missiles that could take out specific targets. Examples are computer controllers and major power transformers for underground enrichment and centrifuge R& D facilities as well as command and control networks. Israeli encrypted software managing large swarms of drones may provide a stealth shield against the Russian supplied S300 batteries. In September 2008 the IAF flew simulated missions against Greek S300 systems involving swarms of IAF aircraft that rattled the IRGC military. From that exercise the IAF may have developed electronic means of spoofing these Russian systems version of S-300 air defense systems.

Bosum believes that Israel’s anti-missile umbrella including the Arrow anti-ICBM, David Sling, Iron Beam and Iron Dome systems, might not be able to withstand barrages of Iranian rockets and medium range ballistic missiles. There is evidence from the Tel Aviv University Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) November 2012 Iran attack simulations that a conventional attack might succeed in setting back the Iranian program by three years.  Moreover, the simulations suggest that the anti-missile umbrella may destroy significant numbers of incoming Iranian missiles sparing Israel’s major population centers. From reliable sources we understand that Israel may have successfully conducted tests against North Korean developed Shahab 3 missiles likely candidates for nuclear equipped MIRV warheads.

The real issues for Israel are priorities and staging of a limited nuclear attack scenario on Iran’s nuclear program.  From release of  interview audio tapes  this weekend on Israeli Channel 2  by the authors of a forthcoming memoir of  former Defense Minister Ehud Barak   there were allegations  that  Netanyahu was thwarted  from undertaking possible Iran nuclear attack missions  because of objections from  former IDF Chief of Staff Gabi Ashkenazi, “cold feet” of Ministers Yuval Steinitz, Minister of Defense Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon  and  looming joint Israel US military exercises in 2012. There were reports that President Obama threatened to invoke the Brzezinski Doctrine with orders to shoot down IAF aircraft attacking Iranian targets.  Problem is Barak’s representations may have been part of a promotional effort to enhance his reputation and legacy.  There were also rumors that current Minister of Defense, Moshe “Bogie” Ya’alon may have also revisited the limited Iran nuclear attack option this past year.  He broadly hinted  that “steps” might have to be taken during a May 5, 2015 conference in Tel Aviv hosted by the Israel Law Center, sufficient to bring a reaction from Iran’s UN Ambassador. Ya’alon was cited in a Times of Israel report saying:

“Certain steps” Israel might consider against tyrannical regimes threatening the nation’s security.

Cases in which we feel like we don’t have the answer by surgical operations we might take certain steps that we believe…should be taken in order to defend ourselves.

Of course, we should be sure that we can look at the mirror after the decision, or the operation. Of course, we should be sure that it is a military necessity. We should consider cost and benefit, of course. But, at the end, we might take certain steps.

He was reminded of US president Harry Truman who “was asked how you feel after deciding to launch the nuclear bombs, Nagasaki and Hiroshima, causing at the end the fatalities of 200,000, casualties? And he said, “When I heard from my officers the alternative is a long war with Japan, with potential fatalities of a couple of millions, I thought it is a moral decision.

We are not there yet, Ya’alon then added.

The Hezbollah Attack Scenario

The release in mid-August 2015 of a definitive national strategy document by IDF Chief of State (COS) Gen. Gadi Eizenkot,  criticized failures to combat both Hamas and Hezbollah, raised the risk from non-state fundamentalist Islamic State, but downplayed the Iran threat.   It is not without moment in late August that there was a stream of contradictory declarations from PM Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ya’alon that Iran is behind a series of low intensity and rocket attacks on Northern Israel and the Golan frontier since the beginning of this year. The attacks involved IRGC officers and Iranian proxies Hezbollah and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.  Israeli PM Netanyahu referencing acceptance of the Iran nuclear pact by world powers said, “You rush to embrace Iran, they fire rockets at us. We will harm those who harm us”

From the assessments of retired Maj. Gen. Yaakov Amidror, former National Security Adviser, the immediate objective is the elimination of the near enemy and proxy of Iran, Hezbollah.  Recently Iran unveiled a new solid fuel surface to surface missile, the Fateh 313, that President Rouhani threatened  ballistic missile exercises would demonstrate the ability of longer range missiles to strike both Israel and Saudi Arabia.  The limited range of 310 miles of the Fateh-113 makes the weapon suitable for possible launch from Syria and Lebanon against population centers in Israel. Further, this threat is bolstered by the turmoil in Lebanon behind the unresolved political crisis over the possibility of a power grab by Hezbollah.

An Israeli preemptive attack scenario is at the heart of Jon Schanzer’s article, “The Iran Nuclear Deal Means War between Israel and Hezbollah”.   Schanzer argues that the Iran nuclear deal may trigger a major war against Hezbollah to eliminate the Iranian- supplied rocket and missile inventories and the command and control echelons of Hezbollah.  Schanzer refers to discussions with senior Israeli defense officials who appear committed   to dislodge Hezbollah and destroy the huge inventory of 150,000 rockets and missiles in Lebanon. Israel has both air and naval combat capabilities to achieve this including interdiction of Iranian and Chinese supplied anti-ship missiles. Further, the IDF would not have to rely on those U.S.-supplied GBU-28’s bunker busters.  It has sophisticated weapons like the Rafael SPICE precision guided glide bombs used to foil weapons deliveries from Syria to Hezbollah in the Bekaa Valley. It also has its own variant of the Boeing CHAMP cruise missiles capable of non-nuclear EMP effects against command and control nets. Moreover, unlike the inconclusive Second Lebanon War of 2006, the IDF has learned its lessons about unit training, command and control and effective means of taking out anti-air,  anti-tank rockets and  launching precision battlefield missiles, using the Iron Beam, Trophy and Pereh systems.

This sequencing of threat priorities was reflected in a Wall Street Journal Weekend Edition Interview by Sohran Ahmari with former Saudi General and National Security Advisor Anwar Eshki, “The Saudis Reply to Iran’s Rising Danger.”  General Eshki held colloquies with Dr. Dore Gold   director general of the Israel Foreign Ministry. The most notable one was the public forum at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. General Eshki’s conclusion drawn from a Socratic dialogue on the near versus far enemy decision paradigm was: “Israel is thinking first of all to destroy Hezbollah, to solve the problem with Hezbollah. After that they can attack Iran.”

Walla News in Israel reported a senior defense official   saying that Israel may be capable of undertaking an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities and defending Israel against a retaliatory strike:

Every year that passes, the IDF improves. We never stand still. The professional level increases. In the coming year we will receive another submarine, F-35 fighter jets and other platforms. Intelligence is improving as well.

Further, Walla reported IDF COS Eizenkot instructing deputy, Maj. Gen. Yair Golan to revise military plans for a possible military strike. But it cautioned that the military option was off the table until there are ‘significant developments’.  That may be for public consumption. Israel has a tradition of saying nothing or opaquely very little when such events occur

Conclusion

The planners in the Ministry of Defense pits in Tel Aviv have multiple threats and must prioritize resources. By necessity Israel must plan for taking out the near enemy, Hezbollah, which would enable them to have a clear path to attack Iran.  Thus, it must be prepared to accomplish both threats.  At issue is whether Israel I PM Netanyahu and the security cabinet have the resolve to accomplish both despite adverse world opinion and likely intervention by the Obama Administration.

When Israeli PM Begin ordered the “raid against the sun’ in 1981 that took out Saddam Hussein’s  Osirak nuclear reactor , it took a decade for former Vice President Dick Cheney to thank Israel when the US led coalition unleashed the First Gulf War.  No such thanks came from the Bush Administration following the IAF’s successful obliteration of the Syrian al-Kibar nuclear bomb factory following the September 2007 raid.  . The Obama Administration has demonstrated its inability or unwillingness to exercise a possible military option should Iran be found cheating under the terms of the JCPOA. It has hollowed out the US military capability under the Congressional Sequester.  We have the smallest navy since WWI and the smallest Army since before WWII. We have less than 26,000 first line aircraft.  Israel has no choice, but to undertake its sovereign right to defend the Jewish nation against such existential threats.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review. The featured image is of Iranian President Rouhani and Defense Minister Hossein Dehghan with Fateh-313 Sold Fuel Missile, August 22, 2015. Source: Iranian Presidential office/AP.

Market Corrections Inspire Dangerous Political Panic by Jeffrey A. Tucker

Some kinds of inflation people really hate, like when it affects food and gas. But now, with the whole of the American middle class heavily invested in stocks, there is another kind inflation people love and demand: share prices that increased forever.

Just as with real estate before 2008, people seem addicted to the idea that they should never go anywhere but up.

This is the reason that stock market corrections are so dangerous. The biggest danger is not economic. It is political. Such corrections push politicians and central bankers to undertake ever-more nutty political in do order to fix them.

To make the point, Donald Trump immediately blamed China, which has the temerity to sell Americans excellent products at low prices. Bernie Sanders blamed “free trade,” even though the United States is among the most protectionist in the world.

Nothing in this world is more guaranteed to worsen a correction that a trade war. But so far, that’s what’s been proposed.

Tolerance for Downturns

It was not always so. In the 1982 recession, the Reagan administration argued that it was best to let the market clear and grow calm. Once the recession cleaned up misallocations of resources, the economy would be well prepared for a growth path. Incredibly, the idea was sold to the American people, and it proved wise.

That was the last time in American history we’ve seen anything like a laissez-faire attitude prevail. After the 1990s dot com boom and bust, the Fed intervened in an effort to repeal gravity. After 9/11, the Fed intervened again, using floods of paper money to rebuild national pride. That created a gigantic housing bubble that exploded 7 years later.

By 2008, the idea of allowing markets to clear became intolerable, and so Congress spent hundreds of billions of dollars and the Fed created trillions in phony money, all to forestall what desperately needed to happen.

Now, with dramatic declines in stock markets around the world, we are seeing what happens when governments and central banks attempt to counter market forces.

Markets win. Every time. But somehow it doesn’t matter anymore. There’s no more science, no more rationality, no more concern for the long term, so far as the Fed is concerned. The Fed is maniacally focused on its member banks’ balance sheets. They must live and thrive no matter what. And the Fed is in the perfect position now to use public sentiment to bolster its policies.

The Right and Wrong Question 

In the event of a large crash, the public discussion going forward will be: What can be done to re-boost stock prices? This is the wrong question. The right question should be: What were the conditions that led to the unsustainable boom in the first place? This is the intelligent way to address a global meltdown. Sadly, intelligence is in short supply when people are panicked about losing their retirement funds they believed were secure.

Back when people thought about such things, the great economic Gottfried von Haberler was tapped by the League of Nations to write a book that covered the whole field of business cycle theory as it then existed. Prosperity and Depressioncame out in 1936 and was republished in 1941. It is a beautiful book, rooted in rationality and the desire to know.

The book covers six core theories: purely monetary (now called Chicago), overinvestment (now called Austrian), sudden changes in cost (related to what is now called Real Business Cycle), underconsumption (now called Keynesian), psychological (popular in the financial press), and agricultural theories (very old fashioned).

Each one is described. The author then turns to solutions and their viability, assessing each. The treatise leans toward the view that permitting the recession (or downturn or depression) run its course is a better alternative than any large policy prescription applied with the goal of countering the cycle.

Haberler is careful to say that there is not likely one explanation that applies to all cycles in all times and in all places. There are too many factors at work in the real world to provide such an explanation, and no author has ever attempted to provide one. All we can really do is look for the primary causes and the factors that are mostly likely to induce recurring depressions and recoveries.

He likened the business cycle a rocking chair. It can be still. It can rock slowly. Or an outside force can come along to cause it to rock more violently and at greater speed. Detangling the structural factors from the external factors is a major challenge for any economist. But it must be done lest policy authorities make matters worse rather than better.

The monetary theory posits that the quantity of money is the key factoring in generating booms and busts. The more money that flows into an economy via the credit system, the more production increases alongside consumption. This policy leads to inflation. The pullback of the credit machine induces the recession.

The “overinvestment” theory of the cycle focuses on the misallocation of resources that upsets the careful balance between production and consumer. Within the production structure in normal times, there is a focus on viability in light of consumer decisions. But when more credit is made available, the flow of resources is toward the capital sector, which is characterized by a multiplicity of purposes. The entire production sector mixes various time commitments and purposes. Each of them corresponds with an expectation of consumer behavior.

Haberler calls this an overinvestment theory because the main result is an inflation of capital over consumption. The misallocation is both horizontal and vertical. When the consumer resources are insufficient to realize the plans of the capitalists, the result is a series of bankruptcies and an ensuing recession.

Price Control by Central Banks

A feature of this theory is to distinguish between the real rate of interest and the money rate of interest. When monetary authorities push down rates, they are engaged in a form of price control, inducing a boom in one sector of the production structure. This theory today is most often identified with the Austrian school, but in Haberler’s times, it was probably the dominant theory among serious specialists throughout the world.

In describing the underconsumption theory of the cycle, Haberler can hardly hide his disdain. In this view, all cycles result from too much hoarding and insufficient debt. If consumer were spend to their maximum extent, without regard to issues of viability, producers would feel inspired to produce, and the entire economy could run off a feeling of good will.

Habeler finds this view ridiculous, based in part on the implied policy prescription: endlessly inflate the money supply, keep running up debts, and lower interest rates to zero. The irony is that this is the precisely the prescription of John Maynard Keynes, and his whole theory was rooted in a 200-year old fallacy that economic growth is based on consumption and not production. Little did Haberler know, writing in the early 1930s, that this theory would become the dominant one in the world, and the one most promoted by governments and for obvious reasons.

The psychological theory of the cycle observes the people are overly optimistic in a boom and overly pessimistic in the bust. More than that, the people who push this view regard these states of mind as causative of economic trends. They both begin and end the boom.

Haberler does not deny that such states of mind are important and contributing elements to making the the cycle more exaggerated, but it is foolish to believe that thinking alone can bring about systematic changes in the macroeconomic structure. This school of thought seizes on a grain of truth, and pushes that grain too far to the exclusion of real factory. Interestingly, Haberler identifies Keynes by name in his critique of this view.

Haberler’s treatise is the soul of fairness but the reader is left with no question about where his investigation led him. There are many and varied causes of business cycles, and the best explanations trace the problem to credit interventions and monetary expansions that upset the delicate balance of production and consumption in the international market economy.

Large-scale attempts by government to correct for these cycles can result in making matters worse, because it has no control over the secondary factors that brought about the crisis in the first place. The best possible policy is to eliminate barriers to market clearing — that is to say, let the market work.

The Fed is the Elephant in the Room

And so it should be in our time. For seven years, the Fed, which controls the world reserve currency, has held down interest rates to zero in an effort to forestall a real recession and recreate the boom. The results have been unimpressive. In the midst of the greatest technological revolution in history, economic growth has been pathetic.

There is a reason for this, and it is not only about foolish monetary policy. It is about regulation that inhibits business creation and economic adaptability. It’s about taxation that pillages the rewards of success and pours the bounty into public waste. It is about a huge debt overhang that results from the declaration that all governments are too big to fail.

Whether a correction is needed now or later or never is not for policymakers to decide. The existence of the business cycle is the market’s way of humbling those who claim to have the power and intelligence to outwit its awesome and immutable forces.

Jeffrey A. Tucker
Jeffrey A. Tucker

Jeffrey Tucker is Director of Digital Development at FEE, CLO of the startup Liberty.me, and editor at Laissez Faire Books. Author of five books, he speaks at FEE summer seminars and other events. His latest book is Bit by Bit: How P2P Is Freeing the World.  Follow on Twitter and Like on Facebook.

I am proud to be a ‘crazy’ woman that opposes the Iran deal by Rachel Avraham

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Iran executed body parts of prisoner Photo Credit: Shabnam Assadollahi

Obama referred to the people that oppose his Iran deal as “the crazies.” However, some of the most innovative and thoughtful people throughout human history were considered crazy in their times but there was never an instance where it was good to appease terrorism like Obama does.

Politico recently reported that U.S. President Barack Obama recently called everyone who opposes the Iran deal “the crazies.” In Obama’s world view, you are either with him when it comes to appeasing the terrorist regime in Iran or you are insane. In the past, Obama has compared opponents of the deal to Iranian hard-liners, which prompted many Republicans to ask whether he would include in that category Democrats who oppose the deal such as the respectable incoming Democratic Senate Leader Chuck Schumer.

As a duel Israeli-American citizen, I want to tell Obama that I wear the badge of being viewed as crazy by him with a badge of honor. All great and innovative people were initially viewed as crazy. When Moses approached Pharaoh and asked to free the Jewish people from slavery before G-d performed the miracle of the Ten Plagues, Pharaoh and his entire court related to Moses as a ridiculous crazy magician. When Judah Maccabee decided to liberate the Land of Israel from the Seleucid Empire, I am sure the average Joe in the ancient world viewed him as nuts for standing up against such a mighty empire with such meager forces at his disposal. When Theodore Herzl spoke about the establishment of a Jewish State in the Land of Israel, many people including numerous Jews did not think that it had a chance of actually happening. Former Israeli Prime Minister David Ben-Gurion was viewed by many to be nuts for declaring the existence of the Jewish state on lands where Jews were a minority and faced an onslaught of five invading Arab armies on the outside with meager forces at his disposal. In the end, he is viewed by historians to be one of the greatest leaders in Jewish history.

In world history, Galileo was persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church’s Inquisition for making new discoveries on his special telescope. He was viewed by them to be a heretic and a nut as his ideas opposed their theology. In the end, everyone knows who Galileo was and no one knows the names of these inquisitors. Many of the contemporaries of Leonardo Da Vinci probably considered him crazy for thinking that one day that there would be flying machines but now, airplanes are a common part of our world.

When former British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain declared “peace in our times” following the deal he signed with Adolph Hitler that surrendered the Sudetenland to a horrendous fate in the hopes that by feeding the Nazi crocodile the big countries of Western Europe would be spared, Winston Churchill knew better but many people were skeptical of him and did not agree with him on this issue. Now, everyone knows Churchill was right and Chamberlain has been written down into history as a horrible world leader. Many people claim that Muslims aren’t capable of having democratic regimes that respect human rights but Mohammed Mosaddegh succeeded to create such a regime in Iran until 1953, when the American and British intelligence foolishly overthrew his regime in favor of the Shah just so they could have a better oil deal. Iran has never been a democracy since. This proves that Muslim countries can be democratic one day and Iran is not condemned to always be under the totalitarian rule of the mullahs.

Therefore, I think it is much better to be among these crazies than to go down in history as an appeaser of terrorist regimes like Obama has. This Iran deal won’t create “peace in our times.” Even if it solves the nuclear issue, which it likely won’t as the IAEA does not have the resources to inspect Iran properly and the system in place has too many loopholes, the Iranian issue is much greater than Iran’s nuclear program and this deal does not address those other critical issues. Therefore, it will only lead to more wars, more terrorism, and more grave human rights abuses but if the world had listened to Netanyahu, maybe a better deal could have been reached that would have prevented this. Now with the sanctions in the process of disappearing, that hope has vanished and only Israeli intervention can possibly stop the Iranian threat now.

The Iranian government is a regime that rapes virgins before they are executed from cranes; amputates body parts; declares homosexuals, Bahais, and the State of Israel don’t have a right to exist; and brutally represses both women and minorities. This is a regime that is behind massive terrorism in Yemen, Iraq, Syria, Gaza, and other places throughout the world. This is a regime responsible for terror attacks against Israelis and Jews abroad in addition to murdering Iranian dissidents who left that are too politically active. It is a totalitarian regime in every sense of the word and it will remain a threat to world peace as any successful deal, which this one isn’t, must also end human rights abuses within Iran and ensure that Iran is no longer a threat to other countries. Any deal short of that is not worth it, especially if it involves the removal of sanctions. It is better to be among the crazies who identified evil when it is front of them and sought to stand against it even if the rest of the world seeks to follow the path of Neville Chamberlain in the hopes that the Iranian crocodile will eat them last than to appease Iranian terrorism and to have that be my legacy. And it appears that there are Iranians who agree with me.

In response to these developments, prominent Iranian Canadian human rights activist Shabnam Assadollahi had the following to state: “According to US President Barack Obama, anyone who doesn’t believe in his lies and his weak foreign policy is crazy. Obama has failed because he acts like a dictator who keeps threatening the US Congress by vetoing anything against his wishes. He lacks dignity and shows no respect to his established allies especially Canada since Canada has been leading in opposing the bad Iran deal. But Obama prefers to build friendships with those regimes that violate their own citizen’s rights, showing no respect for religious and ethnic minorities. When you have allies, you are meant to be in alliance with them, not calling them crazies.”

“The regime Obama is appeasing and shaking hands with has been holding four American citizens as hostages in jail for years,” Assadollahi stressed. Additionally, Iran recently executed six prisoners, among them Kurdish dissident Behrouz Alkhani: “They beat the family in front of the prison. The poor guy was only 30.” Despite Amnesty International and the international human rights community calling not to execute Alkhani, Iran not only executed him but refused to hand over his body to his family: “They gave the other five prisoners bodies over but they did not give his to the family and told them to go to court tomorrow. And Obama is calling us the crazies. I wonder if Obama’s daughters were in the hands of the Mullah’s regime would he still call me crazy. It seems that Obama’s cozying up with the Mullah’s regime of Iran has prompted him to ignore the fact that the true crazies are those Iranians who burn US flags in the streets of Tehran shouting ‘Death to America!’ Obama, I am proud to be called crazy by you who have appeased and empowered the inhumane, murderous, evil, terrorist Islamist regime of Iran.”

In conclusion, I want to state that I don’t know what the best way to proceed is! On the one hand, with Iran purchasing all of these new weapons, Israel cannot really afford to wait to attack Iran’s nuclear facilities as the existential threat will only grow greater the longer we wait. By the time a Republican could potentially be elected, it will be much harder to attack Iran than today and if that Republican is Donald Trump, it might not be much of an improvement for he said he would uphold the Iran deal despite its flaws. But on the other end of the coin, Obama will create major problems for Israel or anyone else who stands in the way of his deal as he views us as the “crazies” and can’t tolerate a different vision that goes against appeasement of terrorism, much less Israel acting upon that worldview. Israel will face terrible diplomatic ostracism that will also adversely affect the American Jewish community if Israel attacks Iran under Obama’s watch. The recent drama with the Palestinians at the UN will look like a joke in comparison to the actions that Obama could take against Israel for attacking Iran. Israel’s leaders have difficult decisions to make these days.

EDITORS NOTE: This op-ed column by Rachel Avraham originally appeared on the JerusalemOnline.com website. It is reprinted with the permission of the author.

Apathy + Complacency = Disaster

Gene Sweeney from Sarasota, Florida came up with this simple A+C=D formula that explains what is happening in America.

Religious apathy combined with political complacency leads to social disaster.

Today too many citizens refuse to discuss politics and religion, when these two topics are the most important to society itself. I hear Christians say, “We don’t discuss politics here in the church!” I see family members, community and political leaders and the media refusing to openly discuss religion and politics for fear of being labeled.

Religion and politics were the staples of life in colonial America. It was this discussion about religion, the free exercise thereof, and politics, freedom from King George III, that led to the American Revolution. As President John Adams wrote, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

It was religion, freedom from slavery, and politics, the Emancipation Proclamation, which led to the American Civil War. President Abraham Lincoln in a speech at Peoria, Illinois in 1854 said, “Near eighty years ago we began by declaring that all men are created equal; but now from that beginning we have run down to the other declaration, that for some men to enslave others is a ‘sacred right of self-government.’ These principles can not stand together. They are as opposite as God and mammon; and whoever holds to the one, must despise the other.”

Religion and politics are inextricably linked.

You cannot have one without the other. Religious apathy plus political complacency leads to cultural suicide. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the separation of church and state, it effectively took God out of the public square and public schools. Since that ruling darkness, Satan, has replaced the void and he is thriving.

Take any issue facing the West in general and America in particular:

  1. The threat of Islam and the Islamic State – politics and religion.
  2. The Iran nuclear deal – politics and religion.
  3. Gay marriage – politics and religion.
  4. Government intrusion on individual freedoms – religious liberty and politics.
  5. The Planned Parenthood/Industrial complex profiteering from aborted baby parts – religion and politics.
  6. Obamacare – religion and politics.
  7. September 11, 2001 – religion and politics.
  8. The anti-Christian and anti-Semitism across the West and in the Middle East – religion and politics.
  9. And on, and on and on.

Ayn Rand wrote, “The uncontested absurdities of today are the accepted slogans of tomorrow. They come to be accepted by degrees, by dint of constant pressure on one side and constant retreat on the other – until one day when they are suddenly declared to be the country’s official ideology.”

Perhaps the greatest uncontested absurdity is that politics and religion don’t mix.

Florida: Lawsuit filed to stop ‘Blue Zone Project’ in Collier County Public Schools

There is a new initiative making its way across America and the Sunshine State called “The Blue Zone Project.” The name is soothing, much like green zones, but the goal is pure collectivism. The Blue Zone Project targets entire communities including public schools.

One Collier County parent has filed a lawsuit to stop the Blue Zone Project in Collier County, Florida. Read the Bracci vs. Patton lawsuit here.

Melhor Marie Leonor from the Naples Daily News wrote:

Collier County public school parent Steven Bracci filed a lawsuit this week against district Superintendent Kamela Patton, alleging that Blue Zones planning meetings dealing with potential school policies should have, but did not, follow the state’s open meetings laws.

According to its website, the Blue Zones Project is, “[A] community-wide well-being improvement initiative to help make healthy choices easier for everyone in Southwest Florida.” “Help make healthy choices” is code for control of individual behaviors.

According to the lawsuit Superintendent Kamela Patton joined the Blue Zone Steering Committee, thereby abrogating her district decision making authority. There are no parents or citizens of Collier county on the committee. All of the members are elected, appointed or individuals such as Bill Barker, publisher of the Naples Daily News.

This new initiative is really an old form of creating social change, without the consent of the governed. 

Ayn Rand wrote a short nineteen page paper asking: What is the basic issue facing the world today? Rand, in her paper makes the case that, “The basic issue in the world today is between two principles: Individualism and Collectivism.” Rand defines these two principles as follows:

  • Individualism – Each man exists by his own right and for his own sake, not for the sake of the group.
  • Collectivism – Each man exists only by the permission of the group and for the sake of the group.

The Blue Zone Project is the ideal that each man exists only by the permission of the group and for the sake of the group and the group alone.

Poll: Clinton Leads Trump; Ties With Bush, Rubio, Walker in Virginia

ROANOKE, Va. /PRNewswire/ — Among Virginians, likely Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump (45%-32%), but is in a virtual tie with Jeb Bush (42%-41%), Marco Rubio(41%-40%), and Scott Walker (42%-38%), according to The Roanoke College Poll.

Despite the attention given to the Planned Parenthood videos, opinion regarding abortion is unchanged sinceJuly 2013. Virginians polled are more likely to see the Confederate battle flag as a symbol of Southern pride (42%) rather than as a racist symbol (31%).

The Roanoke College Poll interviewed 608 residents in Virginia between August 10 and August 20 and has a margin of error of +4 percent.

“Clinton’s lead over potential Republican opponents appears to have shrunk, although the comparisons are not perfect,” said Harry Wilson, director of the Institute for Policy and Opinion Research. “Of course, it is still very early, but no one likes to lose momentum. While she appears to be replicating the Obama winning coalition among blacks and women, she is not creating an age gap.”

“Despite the media attention to the Planned Parenthood videos, overall opinion regarding abortion is unchanged. Opinion regarding abortion is generally thought to change slowly, if at all, and that certainly seems true in this case. We may have reached a tipping point on symbols, especially when it comes to removing statues dedicated to Civil War veterans. The racial and regional differences regarding the flag are what we would expect to see. Perhaps most interesting is that those who had ancestors who fought for North were more sympathetic to the battle flag and its symbolism than those who did not have any ancestor in the War.”

More information is available at http://www.roanoke.edu/about/news/rc_poll_politics_aug_2015.

France to Turkey: Strike the Islamic State not the Kurds

The revelations about the Moroccan Jihadi, who brave Americans, Brit and French took down on the Thayles fast train last Friday, clearly indicated Ayoub El-Kanazzi’s travels to Turkey, were to confer with alleged French ISIS fighters. Following the glowing tributes and medals bestowed at the Elysee Palace to Americans, Spencer Stone, Alek Skarlatos and Anthony Sadler and Brit Chris Norman, French President turned his political attention to Turkey’s President Erdogan.  He issued a statement today suggesting that Erdogan concentrate hitting ISIS targets instead of Kurdish PKK forces in both Syria and Iraq. Reuters reported these developments in an article, “France’s Hollande: Turkey Needs to Ramp up Islamic State Fight:”

French President Francois Hollande said on Tuesday Turkey must do more to tackle Islamic State in Syria and urged it to restore dialogue with Kurdish groups after launching strikes against them more than a month ago.

Hollande delivered his annual foreign policy speech to French ambassadors a day after the Turkish foreign minister told Reuters that Turkey and the United States would launch air operations to push Islamic State from a border area in northern Syria, something that could help prevent the militants bringing in fighters and arms in.

“All the players need to be part of the solution. I’m thinking of Gulf Arab states and Iran. I’m thinking of Turkey that needs to be involved in the fight against Islamic State and needs to relaunch dialogue with the Kurds.” Hollande said.

Turkey’s critics say it has used its role in the U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State as a cover to attack Kurdish PKK fighters and stem Kurdish political and territorial ambitions. Ankara says it is conducting a “synchronized war on terror”

[…]

Hollande also said the deal reached with Iran over its nuclear program opened a window of opportunity to include it in resolving regional crises such as Syria, where it is Assad’s primary backer.

“We must ask Iran to associate itself with the resolution of crises that are devastating the region,” Hollande said. “Iran must be a constructive player.”

Hollande is putting on brave face following the close call last Friday with a heavily armed Moroccan Jihadist on the Thalys train taken down by U.S., Brit and French heroes. He’s requesting that Turkey’s Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan go after ISIS instead of the PKK and Kurdish resistance forces in both Iraq and Syria. Add to that hoping that Iran, an accomplice in the Axis of Evil including Russia, Syria and North Korea, would aid in removal of Bashar Assad is truly whistling past the graveyard. But then Hollande acquiesced to approval of the Iran nuclear pact given glowing economic opportunities for French companies like Total and Peugeot.

Erdogan is caught in a trap of his own making. He snookered his admirer Obama by relenting on the use of the Incirlik air base, while sending his F-16s to attack PKK bastions on the Quandil Mountain in northern Iraq, leaving the USAF to attack ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq. Then he rounded up the usual PKK suspects in southeastern Turkey and found both he and his security forces in an internal revolt by Kurds in Southeastern Turkey.

Because the minority Kurdish party in the Ankara parliament, the HDP, won eighty seats, by attacking the Kurds inside Turkey, that will ensure another political fiasco now that he’s called for a new snap election in October. So-called Conservative Kurds who fell for his sinuous Islamist appeal are bailing, which translates to the HDP increasing its stake of possible seats in this coming election. Add to that the swooning Turkish economy. So, the neo Ottoman Sultan in Ankara may find himself in a stalemate quagmire of his own making and the elusive executive authoritarian Presidency beyond his reach.

Having said all that Hollande unlike Obama is correct that Turkey has to shut down the cross border flood of ISIS wannabees into Syria. But then Erdogan wouldn’t make illicit profits from the sale of antiquities and smuggled oil from the Islamic State. Moreover, his ally, the IHH Muslim charity, involved with the Mavi Marmara incident off Gaza in 2010, wouldn’t be able to ship cash and weapons for the Sunni supremacists in Raqaa, Syria. Further, his seeking that 60 mile buffer zone in northwest Syria abutting the Turkish frontier may not become a reality. The U.S. and others suggest that a no-fly zone based on the model from the 1990’s in Saddam Hussein’s Iraq may be the best solution. Besides the buffer zone was supposed to solve two problems: a means of sending back Syrian refugees and blunt a Kurdish push to seal the frontier perhaps all the way to the Mediterranean. So, thank you President Hollande for the honors you bestowed on our heroic boys and for the clarity of your message to Islamist recalcitrant, Turkish President Erdogan, an alleged NATO ally.

On Iran, M. Hollande, you bought into the nuclear pact because of glittering economic prizes to French companies.  You may have inadvertently have let loose the dogs of war against Israel via proxy Hezbollah.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in the New English Review.

Florida: Stop Iran Demonstration at offices of Rep. Lois Frankel (D- FL 22) [Video]

On Tuesday August 25, 2015 a group of pro-American activists assembled at the office of Florida Congresswoman Lois Frankel (D-22) to protest the current Obama deal with Iran and visit with Rep. Frankel to find out where she stands.

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Al Jazeera: Stop saying the word “migrant” and call them all “refugees”

Invasion of Europe news….

We’ve seen this coming for some time—the word-police are out in force and want to be sure you stop using certain words to describe the “invasion” of Europe.

By the way, “invasion” is one of those words you are NOT to use, which is precisely why we won’t stop using it!

According to Al Jazeera, any “migrant” on the move even for economic reasons or for nefarious reasons is to be called a “refugee.”

We are seeing it right here in America as the illegal alien kids are rushing (LOL! swarming!) the U.S. southern border and the Obama Administration and the resettlement contractors refer to them as “refugees” or “asylum seekers.”

Here is the Washington Post telling us about Al Jazeera:

Reading a British tabloid newspaper in 2015, you might wonder if Europe was again at risk of being conquered by the Mongol Empire. The continent is under “siege,” the papers report, facing an “invasion” from a “horde.” Parts of Europe have become like a “war zone,” they say, as“marauding” foreigners “swarm” the borders. The reality, of course, is that there is no army at the gates. The migrants that cause Europe such angst aren’t arriving in warships. Instead, most arrive in a human trafficker’s dinghy, if they arrive at all.

It’s not hard to see that using sort of language could have a dangerous impact on the discourse surrounding migrants. “Words that convey an exaggerated sense of threat can fuel anti-immigration sentiment and a climate of intolerance and xenophobia,” Alexander Betts, director of the Refugee Studies Center at Oxford University, told WorldViews recently. Critically analyzing the derogatory words used to describe migrants is clearly prudent, but some want to go even further: Last week, Al Jazeera English broke with other major news organizations to announce that it was ditching the word “migrant.”

“The umbrella term migrant is no longer fit for purpose when it comes to describing the horror unfolding in the Mediterranean,” Barry Malone, the online editor of Al Jazeera English, explained in a blog post. “It has evolved from its dictionary definitions into a tool that dehumanises and distances, a blunt pejorative.” Instead, Malone wrote, his news organization would use the term “refugee” to describe those crossing the Mediterranean. “Migrant is a word that strips suffering people of voice,” Malone concluded. “Substituting refugee for it is – in the smallest way – an attempt to give some back.”

For more and for embedded links go here.

By the way, the word “refugee” holds an even greater meaning when one understands that in much of the first world it entitles those so designated to be given welfare goodies of all sorts.

I kind of like some of those words in the first paragraph, words like “swarm!” I’ll have to remember that one for future use.

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