Another Reason We Have A Budget Deficit

I can’t believe that I am posting this story during the same week that I posted a story talking about proposed cuts to promised benefits to veterans and their families (

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted a story reporting that the U. S. Government has just spent $750,000 of taxpayer money to build a new soccer field for prisoners held at Guantanamo.

The article reports:

The field is reportedly half the size of a standard American football field and has been constructed so that detainees can have “maximum access” to it — about 20 hours a day — including secure passage to the field without a guard escort.

Navy Comander Tamsen Reese told the AP Tuesday the new field replaces a small recreational area in a part of the facility that is no longer used.

According to a Fox Guantanamo source, outdoor activity helps to “reduce behavioral problems” and limits the interaction between guards and prisoners.

Spending $750,000 on Guantanamo prisoners while denying American veterans things they were promised if they served twenty years seems a little lopsided to  me.

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They Did What ???!!!

an old pirate ship.

Image via Wikipedia

I’m hoping this story is just a nasty rumor, but since I fear it may not be, I am reporting it. Big Peace is reporting today about an Arabic Al-Arabiya story entitled (pathognomonically), “ ‘Umar ‘Abd-al-Rahman at Forefront of Egyptian-American Prisoner Exchange Deal.”

The story states:

The Egyptian government began taking steps to respond with the American offer to release 50 Egyptians being held in American prisons–including Shaykh ‘Umar ‘Abd-al-Rahman—in exchange for the release of 19 Americans accused in the case of foreign funding of civil society organizations. This is according to what was confirmed by Major General Muhammad Hani Zahir, an expert in military studies and international counterterrorism. 

Zahir in comments to the newspaper ‘al-Masriyun’ said it was necessary for Egypt to exploit America’s weak position, especially after condemning its citizens in cases affecting Egyptian sovereignty over its territory. He added that Egypt should not permit this exchange to take place unless the American administration agrees to release more than 500 Egyptians being held in American prisons, of whom the Egyptian foreign ministry knows nothing.

We need to understand that kidnapping and taking hostages are a standard way of raising money and gaining things that would otherwise be unattainable in the Middle East. We are stupid if we have even considered making this offer. It will only lead to more situations where Americans are held hostage.

In speaking of the rules that govern Islamic societies, the article at Big Peace reports:

Indeed such odious “rules” were iterated by all four classical schools of Islamic jurisprudence, across the vast Muslim empire. Specifically, Ibn Abi Zayd Al_Qayrawani (d. 996), head of the North African Maliki school at Qairuan, and the famous Syrian jurist Ibn Taymiyya (d. 1328) of the Hanbali school under the Mamluks, wrote the following:

[Ibn Abi Zayd Al_Qayrawani ] There is no inconvenience to kill white non-Arabs who have been taken prisoner… 

[Ibn Taymiyya] …If a male unbeliever is taken captive during warfare or otherwise, eg., as a result of a shipwreck, or because he has lost his way, or as a result of a ruse, then the imam may do whatever he deems appropriate: killing him, enslaving him, releasing him or setting him free for a ransom consisting in either property or people. This is the view of most jurists and it is supported by the Koran and the Sunna…

It is time to come to the realization that all civilizations are not created equally and that to negotiate with barbarians is folly. We need to delay (and eventually cancel) all aid to Egypt and demand that they release the Americans they are holding hostage. This situation is an example of why America needs a strong President and a strong military. Currently we have a weak President who is trying to destroy our strong military. November of this year is the time to bring change to the White House.

Comments By Cardinal Francis George

Cardinal Francis George is the archbishop of Chicago and former head of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB). His comments on President Obama’s recent ruling on contraception coverage at Catholic Institutions were posted at CNS News yesterday.

The bottom line on his comments:

He continued: “What will happen if the HHS regulations are not rescinded? A Catholic institution, so far as I can see right now, will have one of four choices: 1) secularize itself, breaking its connection to the church, her moral and social teachings and the oversight of its ministry by the local bishop. This is a form of theft. It means the church will not be permitted to have an institutional voice in public life. 2) Pay exorbitant annual fines to avoid paying for insurance policies that cover abortifacient drugs, artificial contraception and sterilization. This is not economically sustainable. 3) Sell the institution to a non-Catholic group or to a local government. 4) Close down.”

This is an intentional effort to take the voice of religious people out of the public square. When you consider that the basis of the American legal system is the Judeo-Christian ethic, this is a rather amazing step by our government.

The Cardinal further stated:

“Liberty of religion is more than freedom of worship,” says the cardinal. “Freedom of worship was guaranteed in the Constitution of the former Soviet Union. You could go to church, if you could find one. The church, however, could do nothing except conduct religious rites in places of worship — no schools, religious publications, health care institutions, organized charity, ministry for justice and the works of mercy that flow naturally from a living faith. All of these were co-opted by the government. We fought a long cold war to defeat that vision of society.”

It is my opinion that all Christian churches in America need to stand with the Catholic Church on this issue. The church (other than the Catholic church) stood quietly while the Catholic adoption agencies in Massachusetts were shut down due to Biblical standards upheld by the Catholic church on homosexuality. We can’t afford to stand quietly now as Catholic hospitals are denied their rights to be Catholic hospitals.


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Sometimes You Just Wonder What Reality Some People Live In

Gas Pump 3 - Charles River Museum of Industry,...

Image via Wikipedia

How do you feel about what you are paying these days to fill up your gas tank? Do you think anyone in Washington cares about how much you are spending? Well, there has been some interesting testimony in Congress recently.

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an interesting article on recent testimony by Energy Secretary Stephen Chu.

The article reports:

When asked by Rep. Alan Nunnelee whether the Obama administration wants to work to get gas prices to come back down, Chu replied that they’re not focusing on that — and that higher gas prices mean more of a push for the alternative energy sources the administration wants to push. 

As I have stated before–I don’t have a problem with alternative energy sources–however, those sources will develop naturally as they become cost-effective. The market needs to left alone so that the most efficient sources are developed. Government subsidies and interference simply muddy the waters and prolong the process.

The Heritage Foundation stated:

As shocking as his remarks are, they shouldn’t come as a surprise. Chu has a long record of advocating for higher gas prices. In 2008, he stated, “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Last March, he reiterated his point in an interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, noting that his focus is to ease the pain felt by his energy policies by forcing automakers to make more fuel-efficient automobiles. “What I’m doing since I became Secretary of Energy has been quite clear. What I have been doing is developing methods to take the pain out of high gas prices.”

One of those methods is dumping taxpayer dollars into alternative energy projects like the Solyndra solar plant. Another is subsidizing the purchase of high-cost electric cars like the Chevy Volt to the tune of $7,500 per car (which the White House wants to increase to $10,000). In both cases, those methods aren’t working. Solyndra went bankrupt because its product couldn’t bear the weight of market pressures, and Chevy Volts aren’t selling, even with taxpayer-funded rebates. What’s the president’s next plan? Harvesting “a bunch of algae” as a replacement for oil.

Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is seemingly doing everything it can to make paying for energy even more painful by refusing to open access to the country’s oil and gas reserves and blocking new projects that would lead to the development of more energy in America. Case in point: the president’s decision to say “no” to the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that would have delivered hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil from Canada to Texas refineries, while bringing thousands of jobs along with it.

High gasoline prices take a toll on all areas of the economy. They cause inflation in food prices and all other goods.

The article at Hot Air points out:

Congressional Democrats are ramping up pressure on President Obama to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to prevent rising gas prices from threatening the economy and their election-year prospects.

They are growing anxious that the price of fuel could reverse their political fortunes, which had been improving due to signs of growth in the economy.

Republicans have hammered Democrats on the price spike, repeatedly noting that gas prices — now at $3.72 per gallon for regular — have doubled since Obama won the White House.

Even if their motives are less than pure, it is nice to know that Democrats are at least aware that high gasoline prices are a problem for most Americans.

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The Children Are Throwing Tantrums Again

The Des Moines Register posted an article today about the Iowa House Democrats who have left the Capitol to protest two gun bills the Republicans are bringing up. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has accused the Republicans of not giving enough notice so that Democrats could amend the bills.

I’m not even going to go into the details of this–I just want to show you the two bills as reported in the article:

House Joint Resolution 2009: Iowa Right to Keep and Bear Arms State Constitutional Amendment

This resolution would begin a process to amend Iowa’s constitution to include a “right to keep and bear arms.” The proposed amendment echoes the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, saying “The right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”

To pass, the resolution must be approved by both the House and the Senate in two consecutive general assemblies before voters would weigh in on the issue.  It means that the earliest a vote could occur would be 2013, should the legislature act this year and next.

House File 2215: Reasonable force/Stand your ground

The bill would rewrites the law on “reasonable force” so that a person may use force — including deadly force — against someone who they believe threatens to kill or cause serious injury, or who is committing a violent felony.  The bill specifically says that a person is presumed to be justified in using deadly force if the person reasonably believes that deadly force is necessary to avoid injury or risk to his or her life.

Iowa’s current law allows potential victims to use deadly force against a perceived threat only if an alternative course of action also entails “a risk to life or safety.”

The first bill does nothing except echo the Second Amendment. What is the problem? The second bill simply allows a person to defend himself. Again, what is the problem? What amendments are needed?

Somewhere along the line, we have lost the concept of having the right to defend ourselves and our property. I don’t think that violence is always the solution, but I do think we have lost the distinction between right and wrong in our victim mentality society. If someone murders someone, the murderer is often painted as a victim of some evil in society–poverty, bullying, disturbed childhood, etc. Parents are told not to spank their children and parental authority is undermined in our schools. If we are to survive as a society, we need to relearn the concept of good and evil and learn to deal with evil when it rears its ugly head!

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Please Read Carefully

This is a free website. I started it in 2008 because I felt that a lot of valid news was not being reported. I appreciate everyone who has taken the time to read what I post. Now I am asking a favor.

My husband and I will be taking part in the Parkinson’s Unity Walk in New York City on April 28. I would truly appreciate it if anyone who reads this post would support my efforts.

The film below is a video done my niece who has Parkinson’s Disease.

In order to contribute, please follow this link to the Parkinson’s Unity Walk, and click on Mary Griswold. Thank you.

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Looking For A New Congressional Candidate ?

I am not sure how to take this, but I thought I would share it. This appears on YouTube.


According to Hot Air:

Want the rats out of Washington? Who better to elect than Hank, a cat that can smell ‘em out and will be to quick to pounce on any opportunity to serve his constituents? The nine-year-old street cat wants Virginia’s open U.S. Senate seat — and he’s challenging former Virginia governors George Allen (R) and Tim Kaine (D) to get it. According to his official campaign materials, he’s “a proud Independent” with “real world experience, a unique point of view and limitless energy.”

It’s a very positive ad!

An Outrageous Policy Toward Our Military Veterans

Bill Gertz at the Washington Free Beacon is reporting today on changes proposed by the Obama Administration to the medical benefits of our military veterans.

The article reports:

The Obama administration’s proposed defense budget calls for military families and retirees to pay sharply more for their healthcare, while leaving unionized civilian defense workers’ benefits untouched. The proposal is causing a major rift within the Pentagon, according to U.S. officials. Several congressional aides suggested the move is designed to increase the enrollment in Obamacare’s state-run insurance exchanges.

The disparity in treatment between civilian and uniformed personnel is causing a backlash within the military that could undermine recruitment and retention.

I have already posted articles showing the difference between government workers pay and benefits and those of the private sector. (See Congressional Budget Office chart). Needless to say, military salaries are considerably lower than both. Why in the world would the President cut military benefits and not cut civilian defense department employees’ benefits?

The article further reports:

“We shouldn’t ask our military to pay our bills when we aren’t willing to impose a similar hardship on the rest of the population,” Rep. Howard “Buck” McKeon, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a Republican from California, said in a statement to the Washington Free Beacon. “We can’t keep asking those who have given so much to give that much more.”

Administration officials told Congress that one goal of the increased fees is to force military retirees to reduce their involvement in Tricare and eventually opt out of the program in favor of alternatives established by the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

This is an outrage. Additionally the plan calls for large increases in the cost of Tricare for military families.

The article states:

According to congressional assessments, a retired Army colonel with a family currently paying $460 a year for health care will pay $2,048.

This doesn’t sound like much, but consider the sacrifices our servicemen and their families make during their twenty or more years of life in the military. The favoring of civilian union employees over the military is obscene. These changes have to be passed by Congress–any bill proposed needs to be dead on arrival.


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Solar Energy In Germany

As Americans learn about the amount of money the Obama Administration is spending to subsidize solar energy, there is an interesting report posted at The Association of Mature American Citizens website

The article reports:

Germany invested  gargantuan amounts of money in green energy, doling out more than 130 billion in  subsidies to install solar systems and spends an additional 10 billion per year  subsidizing existing solar installations.

Yet after all of this capital  expenditure, Germany has little to show in terms of reducing green house gasses  and helping the country’s power needs. Despite massive investment, solar power  accounts for approximately three percent of Germany’s total energy… when the  sun shines!  To add insult to injury, Germans also pay the second highest  price for electricity in the developed world, due mainly to the fact that they  are heavily subsidizing green energy by adding the cost to everyone’s utility  bills.

The article explains that Germany will be phasing out subsidies for solar energy over the next five years.

The article further reports:

According to Der Spiegel, members of Chancellor Merkel’s staff are  describing the policy as a massive money pit. Philipp Rösler, Germany’s minister  of economics and technology, has called the spiraling solar subsidies a “threat  to the economy.”

We need to learn from Germany’s experience.


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Something To Think About As The Presidential Primary Races Continue

On Thursday, Byron York posted a column at the Washington Examiner that says a lot about where the campaign for the presidency has gone. If you are unhappy with the direction that President Obama and his administration have taken this country, this is a column you need to read carefully.

Remember, we are in a political war. The media is not on the side of conservatives. The media controls the dialogue both by the slant of the story and by what they do not report. They also control the debates by controlling the questions.

Byron York points out:

The days leading up to Wednesday night’s debate were filled with bad feelings, and the debate itself was filled with bad feelings. Santorum found himself the target of a media pile-on after reports of old statements about — astonishingly enough — contraception and Satan. Santorum’s advisers grew angry and frustrated, feeling he was being singled out for questions about religious views that were not also directed at Romney, Paul, and Newt Gingrich. Santorum lost precious campaign time explaining himself.

Byron York relates the story of another campaign event:

Santorum spoke at length about the Obama administration’s policies on Iran, Syria and Israel. He discussed his proposal to cut taxes for manufacturers and the more general issue of jobs. He talked a lot about immigration, both illegal and legal. He went into quite a bit of detail about energy — shale oil, the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, oil sands, the Keystone pipeline, fracking, and more. He talked about values and families — “This is what I know gets everybody on the secular left bonkers about my campaign: I say America is at heart a moral enterprise” — but he did not revisit the battles of the previous 48 hours.

It was, in other words, an entirely normal and wide-ranging campaign speech, full of substance. When it was over, Santorum took two questions. The first was about the health of his daughter Isabella. The second was about Social Security. No contraception, no Satan.

Guess which event got the most publicity.

We are in a battle for America. We can elect someone who respects our Constitution or continue with someone who generally ignores it. Unfortunately, the debates have not dealt with issues that impact Americans–debt, budget, energy, Obamacare, etc. It’s time to end the debates and begin talking about the things that matter. The Republicans have the answers to the issues–those answers are simply not being reported. One major media person commented during the 2008 election that media bias generally adds about 10 percentage points to Democrat candidates. We need to work hard to overcome that bias.

Republicans win in 2012 on the issues. The media is working very hard to keep the discussion away from those issues.

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All Civilizations And All Religions Are Not Equally Civilized

Yesterday CNS News posted an article about Afghan President Hamid Karzai’s response to President Obama’s apology for American troops accidently burning the Koran.

The article reports:

Karzai, according to a BBC translation of his remarks made Sunday, told the Afghan people he was speaking to them after discussing the matter with “jihadi leaders,” “prominent scholars,” and Afghan elected officials, and that he spoke for the “pure sentiments” of the “Afghan nation” and the “Islamic world,” when he said: “We call on the US government to bring the perpetrators of the act to justice and put them on trial and punish them.”

At the same time Karzai was demanding the prosecution and punishment of U.S. troops involved in the Koran-burning incident, he conceded that the U.S. government had indicated that the Koran burning “was not deliberate.”

There was nothing in the letter about punishing the people who killed Americans and Afghan civilians after the incident was revealed. Are the lives of the people killed as valuable as the Koran? What sort of value system is this? Aren’t the rioters responsible for their actions?

There are a few points here that have not been stated often enough. The Korans were accidentally burned. They were originally confiscated because prisoners were using them to send messages. How did this news travel so quickly in a country that doesn’t even have electricity in many parts of the country? How many Korans has the Taliban burned when they have attacked mosques? Islam is a violent religion that stirs up its followers to violence. It is not conducive the free societies or peaceful nations. Until the followers of Islam renounce violence, there will never be peace in countries where Islamists are in control or in regions of the world controlled by Islamists. When in charge, the followers of Islam are violent people. History has taught us that.



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Drug Testing Welfare Recipients

A friend of mine lost his job before Christmas and thankfully has recently found a new job. He is fairly high on the chain of command, and I was rather surprised that even when you are a responsible adult family man with a good work history, you are generally required to take a drug test before being approved for employment.

That situation entered my mind when I began reading about the idea of drug testing welfare recipients. Just as my friend was drug tested before he could be gainfully employed, should welfare recipients be drug tested before they receive taxpayers’ money? posted an Associated Press article yesterday about the move to drug test people who receive money from the government.

The article reports:

Data show that about 8 percent of the population uses drugs. And before a random drug testing program in Michigan was put on hold by a court challenge, about 8 percent of its public assistance applicants tested positive.

In years past such legal challenges had a chilling effect on state legislatures, but that seems to have thawed.

Michigan’s program was halted after five weeks in 1999, eventually ending with an appeals court ruling that it was unconstitutional.

For more than a decade, no other state moved to implement such a law.

Drug use is a problem. If people are drug tested to get a job, why shouldn’t they be drug tested to be paid money from the government?

The article states:

This year conservative lawmakers in 23 states from Wyoming to Mississippi _ where lawmakers want random screening to include nicotine tests _ are moving forward with proposals of their own.

Romney, in an interview this month in Georgia, supported the idea. “People who are receiving welfare benefits, government benefits, we should make sure they’re not using those benefits to pay for drugs,” Romney said to WXIA-TV in Atlanta.

Newt Gingrich addressed the topic with Yahoo News in November, saying he considered testing as a way to curb drug use and lower related costs to public programs.

Drug use can prevent people from being responsible and holding down a job. Why should we support the drug habit of someone who would rather stay home and do drugs than work? I object to the idea of testing for nicotine–cigarettes are still a legal product–but I think testing for illegal drugs is a good idea. If people who want to be hired for a job need to be drug tested, why shouldn’t welfare recipients also be tested?

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An Interesting Perspective On The Auto Companies Bailout

Today’s Wall Street Journal posted an article on the auto bailout and the cost to American taxpayers. The article mentioned the fact that in order to get taxpayers’ money back, shares of General Motors will need to rise to $53 from their current $26 to recoup the Bush-Obama investment. But that’s not the real cost of the bailout.

The article reminds us:

However things shake out, it will be only a fraction of the true costs in precedent and politicized investment. The bailouts signaled that major companies with union labor are too politically big to fail and undermined confidence in the rule of law. More troubling, the conversion of Detroit from an indirect to transparent Washington client continues to distort the auto market.

Last November, Mr. Obama’s enviroteers tightened fuel economy regulations again, jacking them up to 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025—well beyond the standards Congress set in 2007. The auto makers agreed despite their misgivings because as wards of the state they had no political choice. So Chrysler, GM and Ford will still be forced to make cars that dealers struggle to sell profitably, only many more of them.

The rule of law was not followed in the bailouts, and that will create problems for the companies in the future.

The article concludes:

The point is that the auto bailout isn’t an example of enlightened government revitalizing an industry after a market failure. It is a bailout in the wake of failed government policies and bad management that may keep going and going as Washington does whatever it takes to make sure Detroit keeps doing its political bidding.

Government meddling in the private sector is never a good idea.


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Taxpayer-Funded Inflation

Yesterday posted an article explaining how government student loans and grants have caused an increase in college tuition. The article points out that federal aid for college students has increased 164% over the past decade, but many potential students still find the cost of a college education unaffordable

The article points out:

Lesley Turner, a PhD candidate at Columbia University, looked at data on aid from 1996 to 2008 and calculated that, on average, schools increased Pell Grant recipients’ prices by $17 in response to every $100 of Pell Grant aid. More selective nonprofit schools’ response was largest and these schools raised prices by $66 for every $100 of Pell Grant aid.

The article further states:

After adjusting for differences among schools, the authors find that Title IV-eligible schools charge tuition that is 75% higher than the others. That’s roughly equal to the amount of the aid received by students at these schools.

Studies like these suggest that if one goal of government is to make college affordable, aid should become more thoughtful instead of merely more plentiful. And the total cost of federal spending on college isn’t fully known. That’s because spending on loans dwarfs that on grants. Student loans recently eclipsed credit card debt.

The article reminds us that with high unemployment and the unavailability of the high paying jobs that graduates need to pay off their college loans, the taxpayers could wind up paying the bill for a lot of college tuition loans.



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Have They Really Thought This Through ?

The Obama Administration is using taxpayer money to subsidize electric cars. John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article yesterday that pointed out that only 29 percent of Americans support those subsidies. Please follow the link to see a wonderful cartoon that explains exactly how electric cars work! The article at Power Line reminds us where the electricity for electric cars comes from–coal-fired power plants.

The article points out:

Note, too, that as the Obama administration feverishly tries to put power plants out of business with onerous new regulations, the effect will be to force the cost of driving electric vehicles higher and higher.

Man has been looking for the perpetual motion machine for centuries. We haven’t found it yet. Meanwhile, the Obama Administration is attempting to subsidize it!

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Some Sanity In An Insane World

Andrew McCarthy posted an article today at National Review Online today about the recent events in Afghanistan following the accidental burning of some Korans.

The article points out:

The facts are that the Korans were seized at a jail because jihadists imprisoned there were using them not for prayer but to communicate incendiary messages. The soldiers dispatched to burn refuse from the jail were not the officials who had seized the books, had no idea they were burning Korans, and tried desperately to retrieve the books when the situation was brought to their attention.

Mr. McCarthy also reminds us:

Also understand this: In sharia societies, non-Muslim religious articles are confiscated and destroyed every single day as a matter of policy. In Saudi Arabia, where sharia is the law of the land, where Mecca and Medina are closed to non-Muslims, government guidelines prohibit Jews and Christians from bringing Bibles, crucifixes, Stars of David, and similar artifacts emblematic of their faith into the country. When that prohibition is violated, the offending items are seized and burned or otherwise destroyed. Moreover, though Saudis deny having an official policy that bans Jews from entering the country at all, reports are rampant of travelers’ being denied visas either because they are Jewish or because their passports bear stamps indicative of prior travel to Israel.

The riots and killings that followed the burning incident were not justified. They should not be acceptable in a civilized society. Apologizing for them simply makes them appear justified. Where is the apology for the Americans killed?

The riots and killings are a part of Sharia Law. When we apologize for someone else’s bad behavior, we are honoring Sharia Law. Since Sharia Law is in direct contradiction to a free society and human rights, that is not something we actually want to do.

Mr. McCarthy concludes:

At the very least, our immigration laws should exclude entry from Muslim-majority countries unless and until those countries expressly repeal repressive sharia laws (e.g., the death penalty for apostates) and adopt American standards of non-discrimination against, tolerance of, and protection for religious minorities.

If you really want to promote freedom in Islamic countries, an immigration policy based on civil-rights reciprocity would be a lot more effective, and a lot less expensive, than dispatching tens of thousands of troops to build sharia “democracies.” It would also protect Americans from people whose countries and cultures have not prepared them for the obligations of citizenship in a free society.

Andrew McCarthy led the 1995 terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and eleven others. The defendants were convicted of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and planning a series of attacks against New York City landmarks.He also contributed to the prosecutions of terrorists who bombed US embassies in  Kenya and Tanzania. In prosecuting the case in the World Trade Center bombing, he studied closely the teachings of Islam to determine if terrorism was an aberration of the religion or an integral part of it. He concluded that the concept of jihad encouraged terrorism.

He knows what he is talking about.

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Exposing The Lies In The President’s Energy Speech

Yesterday posted its fact check on President Obama’s recent energy speech. They noted five lies and posted the relevant facts.

Here is the summary:

1. The President claimed that he was focused on production. Actually, the current increase in production is due to the actions of the Bush Administration before President Obama took office. President Obama has closed down exploration and slowed down the issuing of permits for offshore drilling.

2. The President stated that America has 2 percent of the world’s oil reserves, but consumes more that one fifth of the world’s oil. Actually, the U.S. has a mind-boggling 1.4 trillion barrels of oil, enough to “fuel the present needs in the U.S. for around 250 years,” according to the Institute for Energy Research. The problem is the government has put most of this supply off limits.

3. The President stated, “Because of the investments we’ve made, the use of clean, renewable energy in this country has nearly doubled.” According to the Federal Energy Information Administration (EIA), production of renewable energy increased 12% between 2008 and 2011.

4. The President stated, “We need to double-down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising.” According to the EIA, renewable energy will account for just 13% of U.S. energy production by 2035.

5. The President stated, “There are no short-term silver bullets when it comes to gas prices.”

The article reminds us:

Obama could drive down oil prices right now simply by announcing a more aggressive effort to boost domestic supplies. When President Bush lifted a moratorium in 2008, oil prices immediately fell $9 a barrel.

President Obama’s nose is growing.


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Is This The Direction We Should Be Heading ?

The Corner at National Review posted an article today by Andrew McCarthy about a recent court ruling in Pennsylvania.

The article reported:

A state judge in Pennsylvania has dismissed an assault and harrassment case against a Muslim defendant who admitted attacking the victim. Magistrate Judge Mark Martin, a veteran of the war in Iraq and a convert to Islam, ruled that Talag Elbayomy’s sharia defense — what he claimed was his obligation to strike out against any insult against the prophet Mohammed — trumped the First Amendment free speech rights of the victim.

So let me get this straight. The assault victim, Ernie Perce, an activist atheist, paraded last October in a “Zombi Mohammed” costume. As a result of this, he was attacked by Talag Elbayomy. According to this judge, Mr. Perce’s First Amendment free speech rights are not valid since Mr. Elbayomy’s god was insulted. OK. So do this mean that if I want to attack someone physically for some of the anti-Christian artwork that has surfaced in recent years, I can do that and not be convicted? If I kill them, is it still ok?

This is totally ridiculous. I am not sure if appeal is an option in this case, but it should be. The U. S. Constitution trumps sharia law. If the judge does not believe that, he has no business being a judge in America.

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The Right To A Speedy Trial

Today Hot Air posted a story about the ongoing saga of Gibson Guitar Company. As you know Gibson Guitar in Memphis and Nashville was raided in August of last year (see by the federal government and charged with violating the Lacey Act. During that raid, the government confiscated property worth at least $500,000. The guitar manufacturer had not followed to the letter a small part of India’s laws in importing the wood for its guitars. They had not violated United States laws.

Hot Air reports:

Apparently, Gibson used an inappropriate tariff code on the wood. According to, “At issue is not whether the wood in question was endangered, but whether the wood was the correct level of thickness and finish before being exported from India.” In other words, Gibson’s violation had nothing to do with forest preservation.

So how is the case progressing? The article reports:

Turns out, the DOJ has filed no charges. That means Gibson hasn’t had its day in court to defend itself — and the government still has all that confiscated property.

Thankfully, according to the article, Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul has introduced legislation to amend The Lacey Act to remove each and every mention of “foreign law” in the Act and to substitute a civil penalty system with The Lacey Act’s current criminal penalties.

I hope this is resolved quickly–Gibson needs its wood–they make fantastic guitars.

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What Really Happens When You Raise Taxes

Yesterday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article about what has happened to tax revenue in the Great Britain since the government put a 50% tax rate on wealthy residents. The new tax rate went into effect in January of this year.

The article reports on the results of the tax hike:

The Treasury received £10.35 billion in income tax payments from those paying by self-assessment last month, a drop of £509 million compared with January 2011. Most other taxes produced higher revenues over the same period.

Senior sources said that the first official figures indicated that there had been “manoeuvring” by well-off Britons to avoid the new higher rate. The figures will add to pressure on the Coalition to drop the levy amid fears it is forcing entrepreneurs to relocate abroad.

What did they expect? Those people who have accumulated large fortunes have also gained the knowledge of how to manage those fortunes or employ people who know how to manage them. Taxing the rich at a confiscatory rate decreases tax receipts and puts a larger tax burden on the middle class.

Mr. Morrissey points out:

Obama’s plan to hike capital-gains taxes to 20% and push a surtax on higher earnings will produce the same result here.  The capital that might have gone to work in the US will go to work somewhere else or not at all, which will not just kill the direct revenues expected in static tax analysis from the hike, but also discard the revenues that would have occurred had the capital been put to work here.  That’s the lesson from the British face-plant on surtaxes, and hopefully the US learns that lesson the easy way.

At the risk of appearing pessimistic, I can’t imagine President Obama learning from the British experience. Hopefully the next president will be able to undo some of the damage that is about to be done.

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We Have Lost The War On Poverty–What Do We Do Now ?

Big Government posted an article yesterday about the growing dependence of Americans on government and its impact–current and future–on our society.

The article cites a Heritage Foundation study:

“Today…67.3 million Americans, from college students to retirees to welfare beneficiaries—depend on the federal government for housing, food, income, student aid, or other assistance once considered to be the responsibility of individuals, families, neighborhoods, churches, and other civil society institutions…Unsustainable increases in dependent populations predate the recent recession—and continuing economic morass—and have continued to rise since the economy collapsed in 2008 and 2009.”

As the government has taken over the responsibilities of families, churches, and other charitable institutions, these institutions have become weaker.

The article points out:

The Administration is allowing people to become fully dependent on them for their basic needs like food and access to health services, even encouraging it. The more they rely on the Government, the more Government has control of their lives and the less people feel they are capable of escaping their situation.  Without responsibility and choices, they give up.

An excellent example of this was presented in a study in 1976 by Langer and Rodin.  It showed the effects of nursing home patients who were given responsibility and choices as opposed to those “where conformity and passivity is encouraged and every whim is attended to.”  The latter dramatically declined in overall “health and well-being”.  The study was extended to homeless shelters.  When people were given both responsibility and choices they were much more likely to find work and a place to live.

People do better when they have responsibilities and purpose. We need to bring back the concept that there is value in all work. Somehow we have lost that and have focused instead on over-educating our young people at high expense and leaving them with massive debt and unrealistic expectations. It’s time to reinvent America’s values and bring back people helping people (instead of government helping people) and the value of work and responsibility.

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Things That Make Me See Red

I realize that as I get older I have less patience with stupid statements, but every now and then someone says something that sends me through the roof.

Yesterday CNS News reported that:

John P. Holdren, the top science adviser to President Barack Obama, wrote in a book he co-authored with population control advocates Paul and Anne Ehrlich that children from larger families have lower IQs.

The article further reports:

Holdren and the Ehrlichs published “Human Ecology” with W.H. Freeman and Company in 1973. In June 2000, a study published in American Pyschologist debunked the notion that children in larger families have lower I.Q.s. But when Holdren appeared in the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee in 2009 for a confirmation hearing on his appointment to run the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, he continued to argue for the benefits of “smaller families” on other bases.

Why does this matter? Because the mindset of the Obama Administration is generally anti-family.

Just a few notes on I.Q.s. A website called posted an article entitled, “Do You Need A High IQ To Be Successful?”

Some highlights from the article:

A Canadian television program recently tracked down some of the people with the highest IQ scores in North America. One man who has an extremely high genius IQ works as a motorcycle mechanic, hangs out with biker gangs, and is frequently in and out of jail. 

…Qualities such as determination and vision can be more important to your ultimate success in life than the IQ number you started out with. Being creative, optimistic, and flexible are important hallmarks of many successful people. Common sense, the ability to get along with other people, and knowing a good idea when you see one, may be more useful qualities than having a genius IQ.

Let’s look at that last paragraph again. Common sense and the ability to get along with other people are things that people learn in healthy two-parent families (generally with more than one child). A child with siblings learns to share–toys, the spotlight, successes and failures. A child with siblings (in a healthy family) grows up with a close support group that helps launch him into success.

The other part of this equation is the definition of success. Is a stay-at-home mother who volunteers in the community less successful that the corporate executive? Is her work any less valuable?

The article at CNS News states:

“The columnist Dr. Joyce Brothers answered a question sent into Good Housekeeping (February, 1981) by a mother of four asking if she should consider having another baby as follows: ‘Studies have shown that children reared in small families are brighter, more creative, and more vigorous than those from large families,’” the authors noted.

“However,” they said, “the belief that, for a particular set of parents in a modern country like the United States, a larger family will lead to children with lower IQs appears to be, simply, wrong. The belief that birth order effects on intelligence act directly to decrease the intelligence of children born later in a given family also appears to be, simply, wrong.”

“Do large U.S. families make low-IQ children? No,” said the authors. “Are birth order and intelligence related to one another within U.S. families? No.”

When you consider that the Obama Administration is moving the country toward a philosophy of national dependence on government, there is always the possibility that the move to limit the size of families is part of a plan to make the total population’s dependence on government more affordable. If you would like to see the results of a governmental policy that discourages children, take a look at the current demographics of Japan and the impact that is having on the Japanese economy.

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