Republican Party of Florida resolution asks Governor Scott to stop Common Core using Executive Powers

Pam Stewart and many others including John Thrasher, John Legg, Joe Negron, Erik Fresen, Anitere Flores, Don Gaetz, Kelli Stargel, and Will Weatherford are being asked to remove themselves immediately from serving on the Jeb Bush Foundation for Excellence in Education as there is a direct conflict of interest with their position and the state’s interest in examining Common Core.

Clearly, the Republicans of this state do not agree with the implementation of standards created and funded by the federal government and corporate entities, like iBloom, who stand to gain billions by the takeover of education nationwide via Common Core.  Below is the RPOF Resolution condemning Common Core in Florida:

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I received the following reply to an inquiry on Common Core to the Florida Department of Education:

Dear Ms. Quackenbush,

Commissioner Pam Stewart has asked our office to respond to your correspondence regarding Common Core.  On behalf of the commissioner, we would like to thank you for contacting us.

In the early 2000s, members of the National Governor’s Association (NGA) and Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) were provided research on education standards across the country and how standards from state-to-state compared to the standards of the highest performing countries on internationally benchmarked assessments. Additionally, with the high percent of high school graduates required to take remedial courses upon entering post-secondary institutions or training upon entering the workplace, there was an agreed upon need to provide consistency among states in the definition of college and career readiness. Governors and state school chiefs agreed to the need to address these issues that could negatively affect our nation’s economy and prosperity.

Led by a small group of state school officers, the decision was made to address this need by working as a team to develop research-based high quality education standards in English language arts and mathematics rather than have each state continue to work in isolation resulting in inconsistent, overall poor quality, and varied student college and career readiness rates. The standards that were created define the knowledge and skills students should have within their K-12 education careers so that they will graduate high school able to succeed in entry-level, credit-bearing academic college courses and in workforce training programs. The standards:

  • Are aligned with college and work expectations;
  • Are clear, understandable and consistent;
  • Include rigorous content and application of knowledge through high-order skills;
  • Build upon strengths and lessons of current state standards;
  • Are informed by other top performing countries, so that all students are prepared to succeed in our global economy and society; and
  • Are evidence-based.

The number of standards is fewer; however, the standards focus on much deeper understanding of content, critical thinking, rigorous problem solving, and applied learning, as opposed to shallow understanding under previous state standards. For example, students are required to master Algebra 1 and English 10 – both validated as essential levels of knowledge to success in life.

The Florida State Board of Education first adopted state wide education standards called the Sunshine State Standards in 1996 and has been a leader in the United States for ensuring all students have access to education standards and assessments that match those standards. The current set of English language arts and mathematics standards are the third set adopted by Florida. Recently changes to these standards, which were adopted by the State Board of Education. If you would like to look at the changes they can be accessed at: http://www.fldoe.org/eduaccsummit.asp. A decision on the assessment to be used has not yet been made.

Implementation of state adopted standards occurs at the local level; however, the state is committed to supporting local districts and schools in any and all capacities possible during the transition.  Per Florida statute, all school districts are funded through the state legislature. Districts then make appropriate allocations to support local schools during the implementation process. School districts continue to have jurisdiction over the curriculum they chose to teach the standards and teachers continue to have the jurisdiction to determine the instructional methods used in the classroom that best fit the needs of their students. The state is working with districts to ensure they have the capacity to administer the aligned assessments and provide quality instruction to Florida students. Full implementation with aligned assessments will occur during the 2014-15 academic year.

If the Bureau of Standards and Instructional Support can be of further assistance, please contact me at 850-245-0758 or via e-mail at Katrina.Figgett@fldoe.org.

Sincerely,

Katrina Figgett

Parents, teachers, concerned citizens and the RPOF are stating in increasing numbers that will never abandon the children of Florida by ceding control of education to corporations and Washington D.Cc politicians and bureaucrats who ARE mainlining our children with what has been called “educaiton propaganda.”

Republican voters are asking Governor Rick Scott to use his executive powers if necessary to stop Common Core in Florida.

Milton Friedman on America’s Haves and Have-nots

Nobel Prize-winning economist Milton Friedman talks about the state of inequality in America, what he calls a system of haves and have-nots. Learn more about Milton Friedman, school choice, and his legacy the Friedman Foundation for Educational Choice at http://www.edchoice.org.

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Baroness Margaret Thatcher on the Moral Foundation of Democracy

Margaret Thatcher was born in 1925 and went on to earn a degree in chemistry from Somerville College, Oxford, as well as a master of arts degree from the University of Oxford. For some years she worked as a research chemist and then as a barrister, specializing in tax law. Elected to the House of Commons in 1953, she later held several ministerial appointments. She was elected leader of the Conservative Party and thus leader of the Opposition in 1975.

She became Britain’s first female prime minister in 1979 and served her nation in this historic role until her resignation in 1990. In 1992, she was elevated to the House of Lords to become Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven. The first volume of her memoirs, The Downing Street Years, was published in 1993 by HarperCollins.

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EDITORS NOTE: The following transcript is from the concluding lecture given on November 1994  by Lady Thatcher delivered at the Hillsdale Center for Constructive Alternatives seminar, “God and Man: Perspectives on Christianity in the 20th Century” before an audience of 2,500 students, faculty, and guests. In an edited version of that lecture, she examines how the Judeo-Christian tradition has provided the moral foundations of America and other nations in the West and contrasts their experience with that of the former Soviet Union.

The Moral Foundations of the American Founding

History has taught us that freedom cannot long survive unless it is based on moral foundations. The American founding bears ample witness to this fact. America has become the most powerful nation in history, yet she uses her power not for territorial expansion but to perpetuate freedom and justice throughout the world.

For over two centuries, Americans have held fast to their belief in freedom for all men—a belief that springs from their spiritual heritage. John Adams, second president of the United States, wrote in 1789, “Our Constitution was designed only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” That was an astonishing thing to say, but it was true.

What kind of people built America and thus prompted Adams to make such a statement? Sadly, too many people, especially young people, have a hard time answering that question. They know little of their own history (This is also true in Great Britain.) But America’s is a very distinguished history, nonetheless, and it has important lessons to teach us regarding the necessity of moral foundations.

John Winthrop, who led the Great Migration to America in the early 17th century and who helped found the Massachusetts Bay Colony, declared, “We shall be as a City upon a Hill.” On the voyage to the New World, he told the members of his company that they must rise to their responsibilities and learn to live as God intended men should live: in charity, love, and cooperation with one another. Most of the early founders affirmed the colonists were infused with the same spirit, and they tried to live in accord with a Biblical ethic. They felt they weren’t able to do so in Great Britain or elsewhere in Europe. Some of them were Protestant, and some were Catholic; it didn’t matter. What mattered was that they did not feel they had the liberty to worship freely and, therefore, to live freely, at home. With enormous courage, the first American colonists set out on a perilous journey to an unknown land—without government subsidies and not in order to amass fortunes but to fulfill their faith.

Christianity is based on the belief in a single God as evolved from Judaism. Most important of all, the faith of America’s founders affirmed the sanctity of each individual. Every human life—man or woman, child or adult, commoner or aristocrat, rich or poor—was equal in the eyes of the Lord. It also affirmed the responsibility of each individual.

This was not a faith that allowed people to do whatever they wished, regardless of the consequences. The Ten Commandments, the injunction of Moses (“Look after your neighbor as yourself”), the Sermon on the Mount, and the Golden Rule made Americans feel precious—and also accountable—for the way in which they used their God-given talents. Thus they shared a deep sense of obligation to one another. And, as the years passed, they not only formed strong communities but devised laws that would protect individual freedom—laws that would eventually be enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution.

Freedom with Responsibility

Great Britain, which shares much of her history in common with America, has also derived strength from its moral foundations, especially since the 18th century when freedom gradually began to spread throughout her socie!y Many people were greatly influenced by the sermons of John Wesley (1703-1791), who took the Biblical ethic to the people in a way which the institutional church itself had not done previously.

But we in the West must also recognize our debt to other cultures. In the pre-Christian era, for example, the ancient philosophers like Plato and Aristotle had much to contribute to our understanding of such concepts as truth, goodness, and virtue. They knew full well that responsibility was the price of freedom. Yet it is doubtful whether truth, goodness, and virtue founded on reason alone would have endured in the same way as they did in the West, where they were based upon a Biblical ethic.

Sir Edward Gibbon (1737-1794), author of The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, wrote tellingly of the collapse of Athens, which was the birthplace of democracy. He judged that, in the end, more than they wanted freedom, the Athenians wanted security. Yet they lost everything—security, comfort, and freedom. This was because they wanted not to give to society, but for society to give to them. The freedom they were seeking was freedom from responsibility. It is no wonder, then, that they ceased to be free. In the modern world, we should recall the Athenians’ dire fate whenever we confront demands for increased state paternalism.

To cite a more recent lesson in the importance of moral foundations, we should listen to Czech President Vaclav Havel, who suffered grievously for speaking up for freedom when his nation was still under the thumb of communism. He has observed, “In everyone there is some longing for humanity’s rightful dignity, for moral integrity, and for a sense that transcends the world of existence.” His words suggest that in spite of all the dread terrors of communism, it could not crush the religious fervor of the peoples of Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union.

So long as freedom, that is, freedom with responsibility, is grounded in morality and religion, it will last far longer than the kind that is grounded only in abstract, philosophical notions. Of course, many foes of morality and religion have attempted to argue that new scientific discoveries make belief in God obsolete, but what they actually demonstrate is the remarkable and unique nature of man and the universe. It is hard not to believe that these gifts were given by a divine Creator, who alone can unlock the secrets of existence.

Societies Without Moral Foundations

The most important problems we have to tackle today are problems, ultimately, having to do with the moral foundations of society There are people who eagerly accept their own freedom but do not respect the freedom of others—they, like the Athenians, want freedom from responsibility. But if they accept freedom for themselves, they must respect the freedom of others. If they expect to go about their business unhindered and to be protected from violence, they must not hinder the business of or do violence to others.

They would do well to look at what has happened in societies without moral foundations. Accepting no laws but the laws of force, these societies have been ruled by totalitarian ideologies like Nazism, fascism, and communism, which do not spring from the general populace, but are imposed on it by intellectual elites.

It was two members of such an elite, Marx and Lenin, who conceived of “dialectical materialism,” the basic doctrine of communism. It robs people of all freedom—from freedom of worship to freedom of ownership. Marx and Lenin desired to substitute their will not only for all individual will but for God’s will. They wanted to plan everything; in short, they wanted to become gods. Theirs was a breathtakingly arrogant creed, and it denied above all else the sanctity of human life.

The 19th century French economist and philosopher Frederic Bastiat once warned against this creed. He questioned those who, “though they are made of the same human clay as the rest of us, think they can take away all our freedoms and exercise them on our behalf.” He would have been appalled but not surprised that the communists of the 20th century took away the freedom of millions of individuals, starting with the freedom to worship. The communists viewed religion as “the opiate of the people.” They seized Bibles as well as all other private property at gun point and murdered at least 10 million souls in the process.

Thus 20th century Russia entered into the greatest experiment in government and atheism the world had ever seen, just as America several centuries earlier had entered into the world’s greatest experiment in freedom and faith.

Communism denied all that the Judeo-Christian tradition taught about individual worth, human dignity, and moral responsibility. It was not surprising that it collapsed after a relatively brief existence. It could not survive more than a few generations because it denied human nature, which is fundamentally moral and spiritual. (It is true that no one predicted the collapse would come so quickly and so easily. In retrospect, we know that this was due in large measure to the firmness of President Ronald Reagan who said, in effect, to Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, “Do not try to beat us militarily, and do not think that you can extend your creed to the rest of the world by force.”)

The West began to fight the mora! battle against communism in earnest in the 1980s, and it was our resolve—combined with the spiritual strength of the people suffering under the system who finally said, “Enough!”—that helped restore freedom in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union—the freedom to worship, speak, associate, vote, establish political parties, start businesses, own property, and much more. If communism had been a creed with moral foundations, it might have survived, but it was not, and it simply could not sustain itself in a world that had such shining examples of freedom, namely, America and Great Britain.

The Moral Foundations of Capitalism

It is important to understand that the moral foundations of a society do not extend only to its political system; they must extend to its economic system as well. America’s commitment to capitalism is unquestionably the best example of this principle. Capitalism is not, contrary to what those on the Left have tried to argue, an amoral system based on selfishness, greed, and exploitation. It is a moral system based on a Biblical ethic. There is no other comparable system that has raised the standard of living of millions of people, created vast new wealth and resources, or inspired so many beneficial innovations and technologies.

The wonderful thing about capitalism is that it does not discriminate against the poor, as has been so often charged; indeed, it is the only economic system that raises the poor out of poverty. Capitalism also allows nations that are not rich in natural resources to prosper. If resources were the key to wealth, the richest country in the world would be Russia, because it has abundant supplies of everything from oil, gas, platinum, gold, silver, aluminum, and copper to timber, water, wildlife, and fertile soil.

Why isn’t Russia the wealthiest country in the world? Why aren’t other resource-rich countries in the Third World at the top of the list? It is because their governments deny citizens the liberty to use their God-given talents. Man’s greatest resource is himself, but he must be free to use that resource.

In his recent encyclical, Centesimus Annus, Pope John Paul I1 addressed this issue. He wrote that the collapse of communism is not merely to be considered as a “technical problem.” It is a consequence of the violation of human rights. He specifically referred to such human rights as the right to private initiative, to own property, and to act in the marketplace. Remember the “Parable of the Talents” in the New Testament? Christ exhorts us to be the best we can be by developing our skills and abilities, by succeeding in all our tasks and endeavors. What better description can there be of capitalism? In creating new products, new services, and new jobs, we create a vibrant community of work. And that community of work serves as the basis of peace and good will among all men.

The Pope also acknowledged that capitalism encourages important virtues, like diligence, industriousness, prudence, reliability, fidelity, conscientiousness, and a tendency to save in order to invest in the future. It is not material goods but all of these great virtues, exhibited by individuals working together, that constitute what we call the “marketplace.”

The Moral Foundations of the Law

Freedom, whether it is the freedom of the marketplace or any other kind, must exist within the framework of law. 0thenvise it means only freedom for the strong to oppress the weak. Whenever I visit the former Soviet Union, I stress this point with students, scholars, politicians, and businessmen—in short, with everyone I meet. Over and over again, I repeat: Freedom must be informed by the principle of justice in order to make it work between people. A system of laws based on solid moral foundations must regulate the entire life of a nation.

But this is an extremely difficult point to get across to people with little or no experience with laws except those based on force. The concept of justice is entirely foreign to communism. So, too, is the concept of equality. For over seventy years, Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union had no system of common law. There were only the arbitrary and often contradictory dictates of the Communist Party. There was no independent judiciary There was no such thing as truth in the communist system.

And what is freedom without truth? I have been a scientist, a lawyer, and a politician, and from my own experience I can testify that it is nothing. The third century Roman jurist Julius Paulus said, “What is right is not derived from the rule, but the rule arises from our knowledge of what is right.” In other words, the law is founded on what we believe to be true and just. It has moral foundations. Once again, it is important to note that the free societies of America and Great Britain derive such foundations from a Biblical ethic.

The Moral Foundations of Democracy

Democracy is never mentioned in the Bible. When people are gathered together, whether as families, communities or nations, their purpose is not to ascertain the will of the majority, but the will of the Holy Spirit. Nevertheless, I am an enthusiast of democracy because it is about more than the will of the majority. If it were only about the will of the majority, it would be the right of the majority to oppress the minority. The American Declaration of Independence and Constitution make it clear that this is not the case. There are certain rights which are human rights and which no government can displace. And when it comes to how you Americans exercise your rights under democracy, your hearts seem to be touched by something greater than yourselves. Your role in democracy does not end when you cast your vote in an election. It applies daily; the standards and values that are the moral foundations of society are also the foundations of your lives.

Democracy is essential to preserving freedom. As Lord Acton reminded us, “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” If no individual can be trusted with power indefinitely, it is even more true that no government can be. It has to be checked, and the best way of doing so is through the will of the majority, bearing in mind that this will can never be a substitute for individual human rights.

I am often asked whether I think there will be a single international democracy, known as a “new world order.” Though many of us may yearn for one, I do not believe it will ever arrive. We are misleading ourselves about human nature when we say, “Surely we’re too civilized, too reasonable, ever to go to war again,” or, “We can rely on our governments to get together and reconcile our differences.” Tyrants are not moved by idealism. They are moved by naked ambition. Idealism did not stop Hitler; it did not stop Stalin. Our best hope as sovereign nations is to maintain strong defenses. Indeed, that has been one of the most important moral as well as geopolitical lessons of the 20th century. Dictators are encouraged by weakness; they are stopped by strength. By strength, of course, I do not merely mean military might but the resolve to use that might against evil.

The West did show sufficient resolve against Iraq during the Persian Gulf War. But we failed bitterly in Bosnia. In this case, instead of showing resolve, we preferred “diplomacy” and “consensus.” As a result, a quarter of a million people were massacred. This was a horror that I, for one, never expected to see again in my lifetime. But it happened. Who knows what tragedies the future holds if we do not learn from the repeated lessons of histoy? The price of freedom is still, and always will be, eternal vigilance.

Free societies demand more care and devotion than any others. They are, moreover, the only societies with moral foundations, and those foundations are evident in their political, economic, legal, cultural, and, most importantly, spiritual life.

We who are living in the West today are fortunate. Freedom has been bequeathed to us. We have not had to carve it out of nothing; we have not had to pay for it with our lives. Others before us have done so. But it would be a grave mistake to think that freedom requires nothing of us. Each of us has to earn freedom anew in order to possess it. We do so not just for our own sake, but for the sake of our children, so that they may build a better future that will sustain over the wider world the responsibilities and blessings of freedom.

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image of a portrait of Baroness Margaret Thatcher is courtesy of the Margaret Thatcher Foundation.

Calling the Global Warming Charlatans “Nazis”

On February 20th, the noted meteorologist, Dr. Roy W. Spencer, fed up with being called a “denier” of global warming, posted a commentary on his blog titled “Time to push back against the global warming Nazis.”

“When politicians and scientists started calling people like me ‘deniers’, they crossed the line. They are still doing it,” said Dr. Spencer. “They indirectly equate (1) the skeptics’ view that global warming is not necessarily all man made nor a serious problem with (2) the denial that the Nazi’s extermination of millions of Jews ever happened.” The Holocaust happened, but global warming’s latest natural cycle ended about 17 years ago and, as a lot of people have noticed, it has been getting cold since then.

“Like the Nazis,” said Dr. Spencer, “they advocate the supreme authority of the state (fascism), which in turn supports their scientific research to support their cause…” In the case of global warming, this huge hoax was put forth by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

The UN would like to be the world’s global government, but that’s not going to happen. In the meantime, the IPCC provided scientists that cooperated with lots of money for their alleged research, all of which “proved” that carbon dioxide was dramatically heating the Earth. Others like Al Gore made millions selling “carbon credits”. Along the way, both Gore and the IPCC received a Nobel Peace Prize.

Dr. Spencer received a Ph.D. in meteorology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1981. He was a Senior Scientists for Climate Studies at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center where he and a colleague, Dr. John Christie, received NASA’s Exceptional Scientific Achievement Medal for their global temperature monitoring work with satellites. He became a Principal Research Scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville in 2001 and continues to advise NASA as a U.S. Science Team Leader. As he points out on his blog, his research has been supported by U.S. government agencies, so the usual claim by Greens that he is a paid stooge of Big Oil just doesn’t work in his case.

Dr. Spencer’s decision to call a Nazi a Nazi ignited a lot of discussion among the global warming hustlers and those whom they have been calling “deniers” for many years. I always found it particularly offensive, but I suspect those I called charlatans and hustlers felt the same way. The difference, however, is the connotation applied to the term, “denier.” Even today anti-Semites of various descriptions deny that six million Jews died in the death camps of Nazi Germany during World War Two along with millions Christians and Eastern Slavic Europeans

What makes this particularly offensive and horrid is the fact that those in the Nazi leadership under Adolf Hitler were all environmentalists, deeply committed to conservation and similar expressions that put the Earth above the value of human life.

This is all revealed in a book by R. Mark Musser, “Nazi Oaks”, now in its third printing. Musser was introduced to environmentalism at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, from which he graduated in 1989. In 1994 he received Master of Divinity and spent seven years as a missionary to Belarus and in the Ukraine.

Musser’s book is absolutely astonishing as he documents how “Green” the Nazis were from their earliest years until their defeat. It was Heinrich Himmler, the Reich Leader from 1929 to 1945, who was responsible for the “Final Solution”, the mass killing of Europe’s Jews. He led the Nazi party’s SS.

As Musser notes, “The Nazis were trying to eliminate both global capitalism and international communism in order to recover a reverence for nature lost in the modern cosmopolitan world.” The Nazis also held Judeo-Christian values in contempt.

“That this evolutionary Nazi nature religion was clothed in secular biology and colored by environmental policies and practices, is a historical truth that has been ignored and underreported for too long a time in all the discussions about the Holocaust,” writes Musser.

I am inclined to believe that it is no accident that the global warming charlatans began to use the term “deniers” to describe skeptics.

By 2011, a Gallup poll that surveyed people in 111 countries revealed that most of the human race did not see global warming as a serious threat. Still, worldwide 42% told Gallup that they thought global warming was either ‘somewhat serious’ or ‘very serious.’ That was down from 63% in polls taken in 2007 and 2008 in the U.S.

More than just a spat between scientists, in April 2012, the Congressional Research Service estimated that, since 2008, the federal government had spent nearly $70 billion on ‘climate change activities.’ That kind of money could build or repair a lot of bridges and roads. It could fund elements of our military. It could be spent on something other than a climate over which neither the government nor anyone in the world has any influence.

Bursting onto the national stage, Dr. Spencer’s decision to call the global warming scientists Nazis for their efforts to intimidate or smear the reputations of those whose research disputes their claims, Holman W. Jenkins, Jr. a Wall Street Journal columnist, wrote on March 1 that “Surely some kind of ending is upon us. Last week climate protesters demanded the silencing of Charles Krauthammer for a Washington Post column that notices uncertainties in the global warming hypothesis.”

“In coming weeks,” wrote Jenkins, “a libel trial gets under way brought by Penn State’s Michael Mann, author of the famed “hockey stick” graph (Editor’s note: an IPCC graph Mann created that asserted a sudden, major increase in heat has been widely debunked) against the National Review, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, writer Rand Simberg and roving commentator Mark Steyn for making wisecracks about his climate work.”

Revelations of several thousand emails between IPCC scientists, one of whom was Mann, were christened “climategate” and demonstrated the efforts in which they engaged to suppress the publication of any papers that questioned global warming in scientific journals. As the climate turned cooler, they became increasingly alarmed.

What we are likely witnessing are the long death throes of the global warming hoax. Calling those scientists and others like myself “deniers” and other names simply reveals the desperation of those who are seeing a great source of money slip away under the spotlight of scientific truth, nor will they be able to impose their lies on the rest of us.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

EDITORS NOTE: The featured photo is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Germany license. Attribution: Bundesarchiv, B 145 Bild-P049456 / CC-BY-SA

A Quick Guide to Obama’s 2015 Budget

14ObamaBudget_V2_MBYesterday, Heritage experts dove into President Obama’s new budget proposal. Check out our infographic to see just a few of the disturbing things they found.

National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee Raises $2.8 Million in First Six Months

MERRIFIELD, Va., March 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ — The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, a political action committee formed to draft Dr. Ben Carson into the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, raised $2,837,401 in its first six months of activity, the committee announced today.

“Dr. Carson has said he will consider running for president if the American people are clamoring, and the tremendous outpouring of donations shows that the people are indeed clamoring,” said Vernon Robinson, the Committee’s campaign director. “Hundreds of thousands have signed the petition asking him to run, donated to the grassroots effort and volunteered their time to represent the Committee at events around the country.”

Nearly 47,000 individuals contributed to the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee in its first six months in operation between August 21, 2013 and February 22, 2014. The average contribution amount is $45, with many donors contributing more than once. The Committee reinvests the funds in projects to raise awareness of Dr. Carson’s qualifications and lay the groundwork for a national grassroots support network for his candidacy.

The Committee’s fundraising efforts are outpacing similar efforts designed to draft other high-profile candidates into the 2016 presidential race. A political action committee encouraging former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to enter the race for the Democratic nomination raised approximately $1.3 million in its first six months of operation, and roughly $2.75 million in its second six-month span.

More than 300,000 Americans have signed petitions encouraging Dr. Carson to enter the race. The Committee delivers roughly 4,000 petitions to Dr. Carson each week from Americans who want him to run. In addition to petition signatures and financial support, over 7,100 Americans have volunteered across the nation to represent the Committee at GOP and Tea Party events and encouraged their friends and neighbors to join the movement and clamor for Dr. Carson.

In January, Dr. Carson overwhelmingly won the Linn County, Iowa, midterm caucus straw poll with 87 percent of the votes. And in a recent poll of thousands of Tea Party activists, 77 percent of respondents said they support Dr. Carson. Dr. Carson will be a candidate on the 2014 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll March 6-8 in Washington, D.C., where the Committee will be on site educating attendees about Dr. Carson and encouraging them to clamor for him to run.

“Grassroots conservatives are drawn to Dr. Carson because they know he is the only candidate capable of healing our land and uniting our country to overcome the crises created by recent administrations,” Robinson said. “Our ranks continue to swell as more and more conservatives realize that Ben Carson is the one candidate we can trust with our votes in 2016.”

Ben Carson is a political outsider with the background, experience, leadership and vision to heal the bitter divides in American politics and set our nation on the path to prosperity. As a former director of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Hospital and one of the most respected brain surgeons in the world, he has the leadership skills required to lead the country. Dr. Carson is a great communicator and man of character who embraces the Founding Fathers’ vision for America to be built on principles of freedom, liberty and personal responsibility.

“The first six months of our campaign to draft Dr. Carson have been a great success,” said John Philip Sousa IV, national chairman of the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee, “but the next six months will be even more important. Now is the time for other conservatives to join this movement and clamor for Dr. Carson to run by signing the petition, speaking out with the Committee’s Clamor Kits, and supporting their fellow activists.”

About the National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee

The National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee is a political action committee formed to draft Dr. Ben Carson into the race for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination. It was founded in August 2013 by John Philip Sousa IV and Vernon Robinson, and works to raise awareness of Dr. Carson’s qualifications and to engage grassroots conservative activists in clamoring for Dr. Carson to run for president. For more information visit http://www.runbenrun.org/

SOURCE: National Draft Ben Carson for President Committee

EDITORS NOTE: The featured image is by Gage Skidmore and is  licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic. The use of this image does not in any way indicate the creator endorse the author or this column.

How the U.S. Shale Energy Boom Can Help During Crises Like in Ukraine

The crisis in Ukraine illustrates clearly the importance of energy security. The Wall Street Journal reports that Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled oil and natural gas company, is using natural gas prices to pressure Ukraine:

Russian state-controlled natural-gas giant OAO Gazprom said Tuesday it would raise natural-gas prices for Ukraine—a move that ratchets up financial pressure on Kiev and raises the economic stakes in the standoff between Moscow and Western Europe.

Ukraine’s lack of energy security has placed it in this unenviable situation.

Today, the U.S. Chamber’s Institute for 21st Century Energy released its 2nd International Index of Energy Security Risk, measuring the energy security of 25 large energy-consuming countries. Norway is at the top of the list followed by Mexico, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Ukraine ranks last.

For the United States, its energy security situation is quite different. It ranks six, climbing one place since last year and four places since 2002 because of the shale energy boom.

The Index finds that increased U.S. energy production has resulted in lower price volatility and improved energy security for all countries in the Index. For instance, increased production by the United States (835,000 barrels) made up for Iranian oil production (687,000 barrels) taken off world markets because of economic sanctions.

The report finds that the shale energy boom also has lowered natural gas supply risks:

Gas import risks remain very high for many countries, especially in Europe and Asia. It is now expected that by 2020, the United States will be a net exporter of natural gas. This is already having an impact on overseas markets, where shipments once destined for the United States are being diverted to European and other markets.

In short, improved energy security in one country–the U.S.–has improved energy security in all countries.

Going back to the Ukraine situation, an implication from the Index is that if oil and natural gas export barriers were removed, U.S. energy abundance could play an important role in stabilizing world energy markets during times of instability and global uncertainty.

Christopher Guith, vice president for policy at the Energy Institute told Bloomberg, “This is a geopolitical fulcrum that we could be utilizing if we didn’t have this protectionist constraint on U.S. energy.”

On a press call, Steve Eule, vice president at the Energy Institute noted that since Russia is “not afraid to use its energy power for political ends” this argues for greater U.S. energy exports.

Karen Harbert, president and CEO of the Institute for 21st Century Energy, also on the call, added, “Sending a market signal” like speedy approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export facilities “will have a calming market effect.” “Democratic [oil and natural gas] molecules from the West” will reduce volatility and improve energy diversity and security for both a Europe reliant on Russia for gas, and a Japan who has become less energy diverse following the Fukushima reactor disaster in 2011.

Foreign policy analysts agree. “[A]dditional suppliers will give European customers leverage they can use to negotiate better terms with Russian producers, as they managed to do in 2010 and 2011,” write Council on Foreign Relations Fellows Robert Blackwill and Meghan O’Sullivan [via Lachlan Markay].

The Ukraine situation makes clear that by lowering energy export barriers, the United States’ shale energy boom can help lower energy price volatility and improve global energy security especially in times of crisis.

The full International Index of Energy Security Risk and an interactive map can be found at the Institute for 21st Century Energy’s website.

UPDATE: Lachlan Markay at the Washington Free Beacon reports that Congressional leaders are calling for lifting energy export restrictions in light of the Ukraine situation. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) for example:

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R., Alaska), ranking member of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee, told an audience in Houston on Monday that current export restrictions are reducing the country’s ability to “respond quickly and nimbly” to punitive market manipulations by Russia and others.

“If this was a situation where we wanted to use our natural gas opportunities as political leverage, we’re not in that place now,” she said.

Soviet Socialism in the 21st Century – World War III: The Deadly Boomerang of Stalinism

I write about Stalin, because I am a child of Stalinism. I saw and heard Stalin many times. As a young girl, I was mesmerized, like the vast majority of Russian people, listening to him. At the time I did not know the meaning of the word “propaganda.” Growing up, I have learned this word and I am surprised to hear propaganda here, in America. The recent attempt to present Communism (socialism) in America as “our bright future,” is appalling. Watching this difficult political time in America, I found some resemblances with Soviet Socialism here. Unfortunately, both the Democrats and Republicans are not competent on the subject: hence the nature of our country is openly and fundamentally transforming.

It is for this reason I published an earlier article, presenting Josef Stalin and his ideology—Stalinism, a developed system of Soviet Socialism. His domestic policies destroyed Russian agriculture and industry; however they could not be implemented and enforced without the involvement of Stalin’s security apparatus, including secret police. Seeing a rare situation on the globe and America’s vulnerability today, I purposely used the image of a deadly boomerang in the article, because Stalin also waged a war against Western civilization. I gave this war a new title—WW III.

Glenn Beck continually warns his listeners that WW III is coming. His efforts to prepare Americans for the war should be praised. Yet, with all my respect to Glenn and his activities to prevent the tragedy, in this particular topic, he is wrong. WW III began decades ago and never ended. To confirm my statement, let me give you some background and a document, which shows the details and significance of the war already upon us.

red cocaine book coverStalin’s idea of a world government under the Kremlin’s auspices has been a major agenda of the Communist Party for all further leaders. The ideology translated into expansion, invasion, and occupation: the East European Warsaw Pact testified to that.

In 1955, the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev gave the idea to the members of the Communist Party—drugs and narcotics trafficking should be viewed as a strategic operation that would directly weaken the enemy. “Accordingly, he ordered a joint military-civilian, Soviet-Czechoslovak study to examine the total effect of drug… on Western society; its effects on labor productivity, education, the military (the ultimate target at that time), and its use in support of the Soviet Bloc intelligence operations.” Red Cocaine, The Drugging of America, by Joseph D, Douglass, Jr. Clarion House, 1990.

The effects of drugs were analyzed by scientists from the Soviet Academy of Sciences and the conclusions were that the drug trafficking would be extremely effective and the most vulnerable countries would be the United States, Canada, France, and West Germany. This study was approved in 1955 by the Soviet Defense Council. It was the first formal Soviet decision to launch narcotics trafficking against the bourgeoisie and especially against the American capitalists:

“Soviet strategy for revolutionary war is a global strategy… narcotics strategy is a sub-component of this global strategy. …First was the increased training of leaders for the revolutionary movements—the civilian, military, and intelligence cadres. The founding of Patrice Lumumba University in Moscow is an example of one of the early actions taken to modernize the Soviet revolutionary leadership training. The second step was the actual training of terrorists. Training for international terrorism actually began as ‘fighters for liberation’…The third step was international drug and narcotics trafficking. Drugs were incorporated into the revolutionary war strategy as a political and intelligence weapon to use against the bourgeois society and as a mechanism for recruiting agents of influence around the world.”

Read the rest of the quotation:

“The fourth step was to infiltrate organized crime and, further, to establish Soviet Bloc sponsored and controlled organized crime syndicates throughout the world. The fifth step was to plan and prepare for sabotage throughout the whole world. The network for this activity was to be in place by 1972. …The decision on organized crime… was to be a global operation targeted against… the United States, along with France, Great Britain, Germany, and Italy… The main reason for infiltrating organized crime was… information on political corruption, money and business, international relations, drug trafficking, and counter-intelligence—was to be found in organized crime. …A secondary reason was to use organized crime as a covert mechanism for distributing drugs.”

Baltic Winds pimpko book coverAs a matter of fact, I have already mentioned the Soviet operation on drug trafficking in my first book: Baltic Winds: Testimony of A Soviet Attorney, Xlibris, 2002.

At that time I discussed the Soviet and Cuban intelligences and their activities in cahoots with drug cartels drugging America. Red Cocaine described in detail the concealed operations of the Cuban DGI and the Soviet KGB, using a powerful drug syndicate in Colombia and Panama against America. I wrote the book in 1992 and for the first time I also gave the notion of Soviet Fascism in the 1990s. Certainly Red Cocaine helped me to arrive at that conclusion. Now at the time of global terrorism, I have a duty to give the reader a detailed explanation of all the terms I used in my first two books and all the avenues the Soviets organized to drug America. Red Cocaine provides me with needed information and data.

In the Soviet operation of drugging America, besides Cubans, the central role was given to Czechoslovakia as well. The first plan was put into action in 1956; it instructed Czechoslovak strategic intelligence to infiltrate seventeen different organized crime groups including the Mafia in France, Italy, Austria, Latin America, and Germany. I have already mentioned that 20 percent of the Italian police were members of the communist party and the Italian Communist Party used them heavily in the infiltration operation. “These members helped the Soviet Bloc intelligence agents infiltrate the Mafia. War criminals, e.g. Germans were also coerced into assisting the Soviet Bloc agents in this endeavor, especially throughout Latin America.” What is Happening to America? The Hidden Truth of Global Destruction, Xlibris, 2012

You will grasp the current situation by reading both books, especially Red Cocaine, which warns us about upcoming narcotics warfare with striking details and documentation. Its summary is equally impressive:

“Narcotics, terrorism, and organized crime were coordinated and used together in a complementary fashion. Narcotics were used to destroy the society. Terrorism was used to destabilize the country and prepare the revolutionary situation. Organized crime was used to control the elite.  All three were long-range strategic operations, and all three were incorporated into Soviet Bloc planning by 1956.”

Look at our world now fifty years later and you will find incredible “achievements” of the Soviet fatal design. Red Cocaine was a harbinger of our future and we missed it.

While I am writing these words, Russia positions itself to invade Ukraine—the world is stunned and confused, I am not.

Moreover, I can predict again—Russia will never leave the Crimean Peninsula—Crimea is a strategic military post on the Black Sea and has pipeline under it. That is why the Ukrainian flag was taken down and replaced with the Russian flag (a typical Soviet behavior). I see Russian soldiers without insignia occupying Crimea. Life and current events in Ukraine confirm my definition and the use of the term – WWIII. The situation is more that dramatic in the entire globe—the aggressor must be stopped by economic sanctions. Mr. Romney was right—Russia is our geopolitical foe NO.1. Arguing that statement in 2012, Obama has exposed himself as a person out of touch with reality.

The consequences of that we are reaping today—we and our economy are the hostages of WW III.

In the preceding articles, discussing Stalinism, I called some leaders charlatans, mobsters, or thugs. If you want a real confirmation of my words, just study the biography and the behavior of the Ukrainian President Victor Yunukovich, who ran to Russia. I can offer another suggestion, please find out about the leaders and the conditions in which people are living in Abkhazia and Assetia, annexed the Georgia territory by Russia in 2008. Do you remember a young KGB’s diplomat of the Soviet Embassy, Vitally Churkin 25 years ago? He is the current Russian Ambassador in UN. All of what we are watching today is Soviet Socialism in the 21st Century–To move ahead, Russia will try to provoke a civil war in Ukraine, while blaming the West.

To be continued www.simonapipko1.com

The Crony Gap: Political Inequality is the Real Problem by Stewart Dompe, Adam C. Smith

When it comes to public discourse, inequality is immensely fashionable. Along with its featured position at this year’s Davos conference, it received top billing in President Obama’s recent State of the Union address. But most of this talk lacks merit.

Some inequality is in fact necessary; it provides the incentives for creativity and innovation. In other words, if inequality is a consequence of overall growth, then it’s a positive symptom. Apple revolutionized cell phone and tablet technology—fields littered with less profitable models—and very few would argue their profits were unearned, any more than they would argue that ordinary people have been made worse off by owning iPhones. If we can agree that some inequality is needed to incentivize wealth creation, the question becomes: What are the illegitimate sources of the inequality we see in the world?

Sources of Inequality

Inequality has emerged in the modern world for a number of reasons. For one, more money is currently accruing to capital than labor, as capital becomes scarcer in a regulated market. These returns to capital outpace that which goes to labor, and the divergence becomes significant over time.

The marketplace for labor has also changed, favoring those with unique skills in technology and finance. Those who are most productive in these areas are compensated handsomely. People who can put their skills to use in the new knowledge economy also often find increasing returns to their investment as compared with more traditional industries, which face diminishing patterns of growth.

President Obama’s answer is to spend more on education. His argument is that higher levels of education lead to increased productivity and better wages. But even if every dollar of additional spending was translated into human capital, this would be insufficient to prevent inequality. After all, many people eschew careers with high salaries because they want something different for their lives—think of art history majors. While these preferences may generate greater well-being, they will not necessarily alleviate income inequality; after all, engineers and computer scientists would see their productivity rise alongside their peers’.

So what about politics? Oxfam made waves at this year’s Davos World Economic Forum with a widely touted study of rising global inequality, “WORKING FOR THE FEW: Political capture and economic inequality.” What sets this piece apart from the virtual avalanche of recent anti-inequality manifestos is that it calls attention to an underreported, though fundamental, cause of economic inequality: political capture. Coming from Oxfam, which doesn’t exactly have the best record when it comes to economic assessment, it’s a welcome development.

The difference between political and economic causes of inequality is that political inequality is an artifact of government control, while economic inequality flows as a natural consequence of voluntary human action. Political inequality arises when the State controls access to markets or intervenes with largesse extracted from the market. It creates juicy prizes that only the politically connected can access and increases the value of otherwise expensive routes around the State.

The irony here is even when we properly diagnose the problem, we are just as likely to reinforce it as address it. So it is with the Oxfam report. While chastising the business community for putting its hands in public coffers, Oxfam cannot help but recommend policies that encourage only more political panhandling. Progressive taxation, greater public presence in education, health care and social protection, demand for a living wage, and stronger regulation of markets—each, in its own way, contributes to the very problem Oxfam ostensibly hopes to solve.

Take progressive taxation. On the face of it, this is a simple transfer from the rich to the poor. But if that’s the case, why does Warren Buffet pay so little in taxes in an already-progressive system? Or Mitt Romney? Steepening the tax curve only benefits wealthy accountants as the rich discover legal loopholes and tax shelters. Cayman Island accounts provide little in the way of “public benefit,” instead enabling such assets to go to greater capital investment. And greater capital investment only serves to widen the inequality gap, as we explained above.

Regulation of markets is another disturbing entry on the list. Regulation has long been a means for special interest groups to toy with the market process to further their own interests while burdening their competitors. Studies show there is a strong correlation between market regulation, political corruption, and an erosion of trust in public institutions. In other words, talented rent-seekers learn to rig the rules in their favor.

Furthermore, regulatory uncertainty can lead to capital scarcity as lenders will only invest in new ventures with a high enough rate of return to compensate for the increased risk. Firms also operate within a given capital structure that depends on the productivity of their employees. If well-intentioned regulation prices these employees out of the market, there might not be a viable substitute, in which case the productivity and return to that capital falls. Put another way, highly skilled workers are not always a substitute for unskilled workers if you have to radically alter the capital structure to accommodate them. So, say, if meatpackers are priced out of the market, their tools might not maintain their value; instead, the firm may hire an engineer to monitor and maintain a chicken de-boning robot. Ultimately, if regulation causes the existing capital structure to shift radically, existing capital might lose value—leading to far greater returns to what capital remains, increasing the divergence in income between those who hold the capital and those who don’t (e.g. computer coders vs. art history majors).

Finally, wage controls are probably one of the surest ways of undermining the efforts of the poor. It’s no wonder that unions are among the fiercest advocates for wage controls; they jump at any chance to push workers willing to accept lower wages out of the running for jobs. Even worse, those who are willing to work for less are usually the very poor who need the income most. It might not pay all the bills, but it’s certainly better than no job at all. This was indeed the finding of a recent CBO report indicating that current proposals to raise wage floors to $10.10 would result in the elimination of 500,000 jobs.

To competently address any justifiable concerns regarding income inequality, we have to maintain focus on the problematic features of society that lead to it. Simply decrying inequality itself clouds the issue. Political inequality is the sort that makes people worse off, and kudos go to those who are willing to admit this. But it takes more than acknowledgement. It takes an understanding of how wealth is created and how it is distributed to truly root out the illegitimate causes of wealth inequality. Considering just how political inequality operates to undermine the economic forces of wealth creation is therefore a useful lens in determining what makes our society less equal.

ABOUT  STEWART DOMPE

Stewart Dompe is an instructor of economics at Johnson & Wales University. He has published articles in Econ Journal Watch and is a contributor to the forthcoming Homer Economicus: Using The Simpsons to Teach Economics.

ABOUT ADAM C. SMITH

Adam C. Smith is an assistant professor of economics and director of the Center for Free Market Studies at Johnson & Wales University. He is also a visiting scholar with the Regulatory Studies Center at George Washington University and coauthor of the forthcoming Bootleggers and Baptists: How Economic Forces and Moral Persuasion Interact to Shape Regulatory Politics.

Blinking Lights Project

“One night we asked people to blink their lights if they believed in freedom for Poland.  We went to the window, and for hours, all of Warsaw was blinking.”  

Over the last 25 years, leaders in the free market movement have stressed the need for sound public-policy research and basic economic education. Though important, they are proving to be insufficient to overcome trends that are eroding our liberties. Why?

The missing focus is on personal character.

The Blinking Lights Project is a new effort at the Foundation for Economic Education (FEE) designed to highlight and emphasize the vital link between personal character and a free society.

In America’s first century, strong personal character kept our liberties substantially intact without the need for think tanks, policy research, and economic education. Americans from all walks of life generally opposed the expansion of government power not because they read policy studies or earned degrees in economics, but because they placed a high priority on character. Using government to get something at somebody else’s expense, or mortgaging the future for near-term gain, seemed dishonest and cynical to them, if not downright wrong.

A free society is impossible without character because bad character leads to bad economics, which is bad for liberty. Ultimately, whether we live free or stumble in the dark thrall of serfdom is a matter of our individual character.

The Blinking Lights Project at FEE connects character, liberty and economics. On this webpage you will find resources designed to explain that connection. We are launching this project by offering the inspirational movie Amazing Grace, numerous written articles, videos and recorded webinars.

If you find these resources helpful, please share them with your family and friends. Our future depends on it.

Why is it called the Blinking Lights Project?

It stems from an experience Lawrence Reed had back in 1986, when he took a trip behind the Iron Curtain to visit freedom-fighters in communist-run Poland.

There he met with Zbigniew and Sofia Romaszewski, two brave dissidents who had just been released from prison because of their work to spread the word of liberty.

They had run an underground radio station that communicated the truths that the state-controlled media wouldn’t let their people hear.  They could only broadcast eight to ten minutes at a time before moving their location to stay ahead of the police.

Lawrence asked them “how did you know people were listening?”  So they told him something he’ll never forget:

“One night we asked people to blink their lights if they believed in freedom for Poland.  We went to the window, and for hours, all of Warsaw was blinking.”  

Those blinking lights were a harbinger of freedom to come for Poland, as just three years later the Iron Curtain fell and Eastern Europe was freed from communist oppression.

Here is Lindy Vopnfjörð’s song inspired by the story:

Are We Good Enough for Liberty?

Without Character, A Free Society Is Not Just Unlikely . . . It’s Impossible.

“Ravaged by conflict, corruption, and tyranny, the world is starving for people of character.

Indeed, as much as anything, it is on this matter that the fate of individual liberty has always depended.

A free society flourishes when people seek to be models of honor, honesty, and propriety at whatever the cost in material wealth, social status, or popularity. It descends into barbarism when they abandon what’s right in favor of self- gratification at the expense of others; when lying, cheating, or stealing are winked at instead of shunned.

If you want to be free, if you want to live in a free society, you must assign top priority to raising the caliber of your character and learning from those who already have it in spades.

Read more.

If you do not govern yourself, you will be governed.” —Lawrence W. Reed

For parents and the rising generation, an important lesson told in forceful and persuasive speech. The barbarians are now at our gates. Will we respond?

Download this book as a:

PDF
ePub
Mobi

Amazing Grace

“Most inspiring movie!  I’ll carry this passion with me for a long time.  It will be my work to pass this on to my students.”  – 5th grade teacher

One initiative that we’re pleased to announce as part of this project is our Amazing Grace initiative. Thanks to Walden Media, we are able to offer free copies of this film, along with a brief pamphlet including discussion questions. Our hope is that this film will help promote discussion of the importance of individual character in a free society.

Module Overview

Lawrence Reed on Liberty and Character:

[youtube]http://youtu.be/iHwyGkYKa5s[/youtube]

Recommended reading:

The Character of Edward Snowden
What Doesn’t Kill You
The Story of Nicholas Winton
Are We Rome?
A Tribute to the Polish People
Character, Liberty, and Economics
A Student’s Essay That Changed the World
Joseph P. Overton: Character for a Free Society
An Inspiration for All Time

The Progressive Destruction of the U.S. dollar

Barack Obama is the final piece of the map in the progressive movement’s century of steady destruction of the U.S. dollar, income taxation, and massive, liberal intrusion into the lives of all Americans from birth to death.

An excellent analysis of this is found in “The Great Withdrawal: How the Progressive’s 100-Year Debasement of American and the Dollar Ends” by Craig R. Smith and Lowell Ponte ($19.95, Idea Factory Press, Phoenix, Arizona). Together they have written eight books on economic topics.

There is a great backlash to the Obama administration’s efforts to impose a socialist economy on America in which the federal government essentially controls all elements of it. The most recent and dramatic example is Obamacare, the takeover of one sixth of the economy. The Tea Party movement emerged to protest it in 2009 and has steadily grown as a political movement.

Their protest march on Washington, D.C. that year drew nearly a million or more Americans.

In 2010 the movement was instrumental in returning power to the Republican Party in the House of Representatives. If the political pundits are right, the forthcoming November midterm elections will remove many of the Democrats who voted for it and may also return power to the GOP in the Senate. The elections are critical to thwarting Obama’s further efforts to destroy the nation by adding millions to its many welfare programs as the result of its failure to increase economic growth from a dismal 2% per year, the lowest in decades. Presidents Kennedy and Reagan took office and reversed recessions. Obama has not.

“Either we successfully reboot the original operating system of individual freedom, free enterprise, and small government that America’s Framers built into the U.S. Constitution or the Progressives will by manipulation and force continue to impose their failed collectivist ideas on humankind’s future,” writes Smith in the introduction to his book. Make no mistake about it, “collective ideas” is another way of describing Communism, often referred to as Socialism.

“They aim to replace Capitalism, private property, ‘selfish’ individualism and God with a human-made Eden, a utopian humanist society where an all-powerful State would equally redistribute the world’s wealth and power to the working elite.”

Consider just five ways progressivism has impacted America; (1) abortion that has killed more than 55.7 million fetuses since 1973, (2) banning prayer to support the development of moral values in schools, (3) the spread of same-sex marriage as a legal definition of marriage, (4) the movement to legalize marijuana, a known gateway drug, and (5) a culture filled with films and television that exploit violence and sex.

The Utopian dream has been the creation of intellectuals who view themselves as an elite group who should control economies and lives. The failure of the former Soviet Union and the adoption of Communism in China are prime examples of this elitist notion which, as history has demonstrated, includes the murder of hundreds of millions in the process. Progressivism depends on the use of force.

Noting the stalled economic growth in the U.S. Wall Street Journal columnist, Daniel Henniger, addressed the global implications on Feb 26. “If the American economic engine slows permanently to about 2%, you’re going to see more fires around the world like Ukraine and Venezuela. At the margin, the world’s weakest, most misgoverned countries will pop, and violently.”

Craig points out that “More than 100 years ago, these collectivist ideas began to dominate Western civilization. In 1913 they took control of the United States government and began a ‘fundamental transformation’ of our economy, politics, culture and beliefs that continues today.”

The good news, however, “The Progressive collectivist vision today is dying and its death will cause huge changes in our world.” The anger that gave rise to the Tea Party movement is emerging as a widespread desire for national change. Efforts to downgrade the freedoms embodies in our Bill of Rights are generating major resistance.

“The various collectivisms may still pose a military, political or economic threat as their power wanes—but fewer and fewer people take the Left seriously as an ideology anymore. History has thoroughly discredited the Left as both a moral and practical failure” says Smith, adding that “the trouble is, many have likewise lost faith in the values that once made the West great—Judeo-Christian values and belief, free enterprise and the individual rights of the Enlightenment…Millions of Americans have become hooked, dependent on the entitlement state and on the paper money conjured out of thin air.”

There are signs, though, of change. “As of August 2013, polls found that only 35 percent of Americans supported President Obama’s economic policies, a rating similar to President Herbert Hoover’s after the start of the Great Depression. He is destroying the confidence needed to encourage investment in new jobs or to expand businesses.” More recent polls indicate Obama’s performance in office is rating poorly.

We are witnessing the way the Progressive movement works. “When the economy is good, they raise taxes and expand government. When the economy cycle turns negative, the politicians blame others, refuse to reduce government—and, increasingly, use the bad economy as a reason for expanding government and spending even more.”

That is why Obama’s policies have added $6 trillion dollars to the national debt and expanded government welfare programs. At $17 trillion and growing, it is a massive threat to the economy and to a government that depends on borrowing money to pay its bills. The downgrade of the nation’s credit rating—the first in the nation’s history—is a major warning sign if this is not reversed by electing politicians who want to reduce the debt and the size of the government.

Thomas Jefferson said the future of the nation depended on binding those in power “with the chains of the Constitution”, but we have a President who now routinely ignores those limits and wants to rule independent of the legislative branch, Congress, and refuses to enforce existing laws or changes them unilaterally, an issue the judicial branch increasingly is addressing.

America needs a major revision to the progressive income tax system that began in 1913. It needs to end the Federal Reserve’s (a cartel of banks) control of the economy and its creation of money “out of thin air.” It needs to return to the gold standard to back the value of the dollar. It needs to end the Department of Education’s grip on the curriculum that has indoctrinated the generations since the 1960s to accept Big Government. It needs to eliminate the Environmental Protection Agency and return this responsibility to the States. These and other measures must be implemented to return the nation to greatness.

Progressive politics and policies have reversed the greatness of America making it the exceptional nation it was before they were imposed a century ago. That is the challenge of the current and future American generations.

© Alan Caruba, 2014

Hillary as President? Heaven Forbid

It is mind boggling that the mainstream media, and the American electorate elevate political people to divine levels of love and respect based solely on image and exposure, but not on substantive achievements. Meanwhile, though red flags fly high, Americans ignore them as though they don’t even exist.

Would someone please identify one major accomplishment in the political career of Hillary Clinton, other than sleeping with a president and winning an election, and then flying around the world shaking hands with dignitaries and having her pictures taken for future campaign marketing.

To the exclusion of many more accomplished democratic colleagues among governors and senators, this woman is already fete accompli, the runaway nominee for the democratic party in 2016, already coronated by the constant barrage of love-Hillary publicity.

But let’s take a step backwards and examine the candidate beyond the façade.

Where do we begin?

Before and after becoming First Lady, Hillary was the subject of a number of investigations by the Office of Independent Counsel, dubbed:  Whitewater, Travelgate, Filegate and Hillary Rodham Cattle Futures controversy. (See links below for explanation)

Many question her motives for staying with a man who had a well-known history of philandering, not only while governor of Arkansas, but in the Oval Office as well. Bill Clinton repeatedly denied his White House trysts, until a semen stain nailed him as an outright liar. Despite all the private and public embarrassment, Hillary’s lifelong quest to be the first female president trumped honor and respect. After all, she’s got the number one Democratic campaigner on her side. That’s a political insurance policy.

How does that speak of integrity?

For the sake of brevity, let’s examine all her accomplishments while serving New York State as a U.S. Senator for eight years. I researched. Couldn’t find any. It’s clear to anyone paying attention that she was basically holding a political position as a platform to run for president in 2008. It’s all about cosmetics.

When Obama became president, Hillary Clinton became the Secretary of State for four years. How would an objective person measure her major accomplishments during her time on the international scene?

Pathetic.

America’s relationship with every foreign power is worse off than it was in 2008. Beyond Afghanistan, the world has evolved into global chaos. Even where chaos has yet to erupt, respect for the United States has diminished, virtually everywhere. Things are worse off today in North Korea, Iraq, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Syria, Jordan, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, and most every other nation in the middle east including Israel who no longer trusts us. Then there is China who owns us, Russia who embarrasses us, Africa, Mexico, Canada, and the European Union, where leaders are denouncing American wiretapping and find themselves at the low end of the priority totem pole.

The anti-Muslim Brotherhood counter-uprisings in Egypt, which brought secular government back to that country, saw many derogatory placards and signs in the streets of Cairo and other places, denouncing Hillary Clinton as pro-Muslim Brotherhood, calling her a terrorist sympathizer and more. She was clearly on the side of Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood, as was Barack Obama.

While we’re at it, let’s not forget that Hillary Clinton’s Number One confidante and traveling companion during her senatorial and secretarial years, was Huma Abedin, raised and schooled strictly Islamic in Wahhabi Saudi Arabia, daughter of parents closely tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, sister of a man tied to the Muslim Brotherhood, and who held a high-ranking position at Georgetown University in the Muslim Students Association, (MSA) a stepchild of the Muslim Brotherhood. This woman had open access to all of our most important national security secrets. How’s that for potential breaches of national security?

Americans want this woman to be our president?

The coup de gras, so to speak, is the despicable behavior of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton before, during and following the Benghazi fiasco. Yes, despicable. That is not a strong enough term. This so-called leader did not have the conscience, yet the good judgment to provide much needed increases in security to one of the major hot-spots in the diplomatic world, despite all the pleas from consulate staffers, including Ambassador Stevens himself. If she says she was unaware, that makes her a very poor leader and incompetent at best. If she was aware, it not only makes her incompetent, it could even be described as negligent manslaughter.

When the attack was under way and shortly thereafter, despite the fact that information was coming in immediately, that this was no demonstration about a video, it was a terror attack by an al Qaeda affiliate. Yet, nothing was done. Everyone, including Hillary, sat on their hands. No one even sent investigators to the scene for two weeks thereafter.

When the smoldering rose smoke to the heavens and bodies were being bagged, Hillary ducked any and all questions, as did her boss. (How does one define “Obstruction of Justice?) Three days later, she blamed the attack on a spontaneous demonstration against an anti-Muslim video, which she, Obama, and everyone else knew was false. Nevertheless, Hillary flew the coop – literally – and transferred her responsibilities to UN Ambassador Susan Rice to answer public questions and parrot the lies on five news shows as instructed.

For the next four months, rather than take a leadership role in the investigation, Hillary ducked all inquiries and went glob trotting for four months, avoiding congressional inquiries, (obstructing justice) shaking hands and accomplishing nothing, all in the interest of making herself unavailable until the heat died down. And when she finally had to appear before congress, she pulled off a typical Hillary and went on the offense with her despicable statement, “What difference does it make.”

Head shaking yet?

I ask democrats:  Is this really who you want to see as an American president? Don’t you have anyone in the government, or in the states, who is unquestionably honorable, who will not risk national security, who will respond to important inquires, who will put America first over politics, who will take a substantive leadership role as opposed to daily tasks of photo ops and hand shakes?

If she is the best you can come up with, I would hate to see the worst.

Ladies and gentlemen of all parties, let’s do the right thing.  We’ve already had a president whose loyalty, honor and integrity, and virtual identity, has been in serious question by millions. We don’t need to go through that again.

Or it is all about winning, and nothing else?

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A Little Help for Sister Darla

DARLA DAWALD

Darla Dawald

A featured speaker at the rallies, Darla always inspired the crowds; preserve freedom, Constitutional principles, God, family and country. Darla is a fearless, courageous and true patriot folks. Thus, the reason I call her sister.

Sheriff Joe Arpaio, America’s Toughest Sheriff, has given Darla a thumbs up with his endorsement.

Please allow me to get real with y’all. I have been feeling frustrated. Not hopeless, but frustrated. It seems like every day brings another new unprecedented incident of the Obama Administration ignoring a law it dislikes and creating a new law at will.

Charles Krauthammer said Obama has gotten away with breaking the law for so long that it has become no big deal.

Rush Limbaugh characterized the Obama regime as a Banana Republic.

The mainstream media is in total solidarity with Obama’s socialist/progressive agenda. Their mission is to portray anyone opposing the first black president, on any issue, as a rabid racist.

Despite five years of unprecedented power grabs, scandals and lawless behavior by the Obama Administration, Republicans are still petrified of challenging Obama.

In low moments, upon hearing on Fox News about Obama’s latest crime against the Constitution, I yell, “So what!” So what if Obama continues to act like America’s first king. If no one politically pushes back, so what!

I have been racking my brain and praying, “Dear Lord, How do we defeat this evil which is fundamentally transforming your great country?”

Then, I came upon this quote by Founding Father, Samuel Adams.

“It does not take a majority to prevail…but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.”

I thought, Praise God! That is the answer. We simply MUST keep fighting. Each of us must do our part, using our talents, gifts and intellect — doing whatever we can to set brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. Doesn’t that just stir your soul?

As Chairman of Conservative Campaign Committee, my incredible team and I continue to do our part, tirelessly working to get conservatives elected in key races around the country; setting brushfires folks.

Tea Party Express, Tea Party Nation, Patriots Action Network, Tea Party.net, Tea Party.org, Tea Party Patriots and numerous other groups and patriot individuals are all fire starters; setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.

I am pleased to announce that a couple of black Tea Party leaders have started huge brushfires of freedom. Katrina Pierson is running for congress in Texas.

Niger Innis is running for congress in Nevada.

I am extremely proud of my patriot sister Darla Dawald for setting her brushfire in Arizona; running for State Representative.

Help these patriots folks. The cold reality is funding is a crucial component in winning elections.

This is how we win folks – keep setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men. We must remain irate (but controlled) and tireless; everyone doing their part, keeping our eyes on the prize — a restored America. Samuel Adams would be proud.

Fooling Black Voters: Exposing some of the Hypocrisy

The Democrat party is filled with liars and bigots. Americans need to expose them in order to defeat them. Knowledge is power.

Historian Eric Foner observed:

In effect, the [Ku Klux] Klan was a military force serving the interests of the Democratic party, the planter class, and all those who desired restoration of white supremacy. Its purposes were political, but political in the broadest sense, for it sought to affect power relations, both public and private, throughout Southern society. It aimed to reverse the interlocking changes sweeping over the South during Reconstruction: to destroy the Republican party’s infrastructure, undermine the Reconstruction state, reestablish control of the black labor force, and restore racial subordination in every aspect of Southern life.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/z3kezu8O6yM[/youtube]

Iran: On Carrots, Sticks and Knives By Oren Kessler

Three months ago, I took a leap into the unknown. After eight years as a journalist and analyst in Tel Aviv, I moved to London to establish a Centre for the New Middle East at the Henry Jackson Society. At the time I wouldn’t have been able to tell Wembley from Wimbledon, Norwood from Norbury or Gospel Oak from Honor or Burnt or Royal. Then two weeks ago, I found myself in Westminster (that’s about halfway between Gospel Oak and Royal Oak, if you’re counting), trying to coax a dozen sceptical members of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee to get serious about Iran.

I knew it would be a tough crowd. In the previous session, Jack Straw, the ex-foreign secretary and head of the Iran-Britain Parliamentary Friendship Group, dismissed the notion that the Islamic Republic is a threat to world peace. He lamented that the US foreign policy establishment – egged on by AIPAC and Bush-era neocons – had a “pervasive vulgarity” that required a “demon.” That demon was once the Russians, he said, and now it’s the poor Persians. “It is not about foreign policy analysis,” he said, “they have a psycho-political need.”

Having just visited Tehran, Straw assured the esteemed panel that the Iranian capital feels much like Madrid – you know, aside from the religious police and bodies hanging from cranes – and that if the mullahs twist the wording of nuclear agreements it’s because “they have a long tradition of poetry … ambiguity is part of their popular culture.”

A week before, Sir Robert Cooper, an LSE lecturer and former top UK and EU diplomat, assured the esteemed panel that Iranians are “people of enormous charm.” Committee chair Sir Richard Ottaway responded with the obvious conclusion: the problem may well lie in Washington rather than Tehran.

I don’t doubt Iranians are charming (I wouldn’t know – as a dual American-Israeli citizen, my travel options in Iran are rather circumscribed). I do, however, doubt that it’s insufficient appreciation of that charm that has poisoned the well of Iran’s relations with the world. Quite the contrary: the West is so charmed by Iran’s new president Hassan Rouhani – his ready smile, passable English and Glasgow PhD – that it overlooks the inconvenient truth that Iran’s execution rate, already the world’s highest, has shot up since his election last year. Or that “election” means something a bit different in the Islamic Republic, where the mullahs barred 99% of candidates from running for president. Or that homosexuality is a capital crime in Iran, or that women’s testimony in court is, by law, worth half that of a man.

But I digress. What the committee really wanted to know was whether Israel would attack. “Isn’t it right,” MP John Baron asked me, “that ex-Mossad chief Meir Dagan had said an Israeli strike would be ‘stupid’?”

“He did,” I replied, before completing the rest of Dagan’s remark: the Jewish state should not attack, he had said, until and unless the proverbial knife is up against its neck. “If, metaphorically speaking, the knife were against Israel’s neck,” I said, “I think Israel would strike, and I think it would have a legitimate reason to.”

Is the knife now up to Israel’s neck? Perhaps; perhaps not. But when going up against Iran, it’s vital to remember that this very dangerous game is played not only with carrots and sticks, but with knives as well.

EDITORS NOTE: Oren Kessler is a research fellow with the Henry Jackson Society.