If Congress Lets This Slide, We May Face Serious Consequences

Today’s Washington Examiner reported that two weeks ago a massive solar flare narrowly missed hitting the earth. The “electromagnetic pulse”  (EMP) that was associated with the solar flare could have knocked out power, cars and iPhones throughout the United States.

The article reports:

Pry (Peter Vincent Pry, who served on the Congressional EMP Threat Commission from 2001-2008), Cooper, and former CIA Director James Woolsey have been recently demanding that Washington prepare the nation’s electric grid for an EMP, either from the sun or an enemy’s nuclear bomb. They want the 2,000-3,000 transformers in the grid protected with a high-tech metal box and spares ready to rebuild the system. Woolsey said knocking out just 20 would shut down electricity to parts of the nation “for a long time.”

But Washington is giving them the cold shoulder, especially the administration. Woolsey told Secrets that some in Congress are interested in the issue, but the administration is just in the “beginnings” of paying attention.

Thomas.gov (there is no specific link, as their links expire–just type in “electromagnetic pulse” in the Bill Summary blank) reports that H.R.2417, Secure High-voltage Infrastructure for Electricity from Lethal Damage Act, was referred to the Subcommittee on Energy and Power on June 21. It lists no further action.

We are playing Russian roulette here. Protecting our power infrastructure from an EMP is not very expensive and in the long run will prevent a log of human suffering. Not immediately acting on H.R.2417 is irresponsible. This should be an issue both political parties can agree on.


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The Tax Increases In Massachusetts Take Effect Today

CBS Boston reported today that Massachusetts is increasing taxes on gasoline and cigarettes (effective today) and adding a 6.25% sales tax on computer software services.

The gasoline tax in increasing 3 cents a gallon, it will now be 24 cents a gallon, and the cigarette tax will be increasing $1 to $3.51 per pack.

On Monday, The Examiner reported:

Massachusetts made state history July 29th by implementing a new gas tax increase that is pegged to inflation. The new tax that takes effect Wednesday, following an override of Governor Patrick’s veto, adds 3 cents to the state’s already relatively high 21 cents per gallon tax. Adding in federal taxes, the total tax on a gallon of gasoline in Massachusetts is now 42.4 cents per gallon. Depending upon which grade is chosen, drivers now pay about 11 percent in taxes for the gas they use. That is the highest tax rate of any product one can buy in Massachusetts except cigarettes. Smokers also saw a one dollar tax increase per pack in this new bill.

Please note–THE GAS TAX INCREASE IS PEGGED TO INFLATION. This means that elected officials in Boston can avoid responsibility for future tax increases. The tax on gasoline will automatically increase, and the legislators can say, “I didn’t do that–it was automatic.” Governor Patrick vetoed this bill–therefore he can claim that he did not vote for the tax increases in it (of course he knew that the Democrat legislature would override his veto and still be voted back into office in the next election).

Until the Massachusetts voters begin to vote the current legislators out of office, they can expect more of this kind of shenanigans. It’s time to wake up and put people in office who actually care about the burden they are placing on taxpayers.


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A Compromise Is Not Always A Compromise

This story is based on two articles–one posted in Investor’s Business Daily yesterday and one posted in the Wall Street Journal today. Both articles deal with President Obama’s proposed “grand bargain” on tax reform.

Yesterday in Chattanooga, Tennessee, President Obama offered to cut taxes for corporations in return for increasing government spending. (I believe he calls it “investment.”)

The Wall Street Journal reports:

Mr. Obama will agree to reform the corporate tax code—a GOP priority and one even the President claims to support—but only if the reform raises more revenue and only if he is allowed to spend that windfall on his priorities.

A White House press release clarified that the President would also like to raise taxes on individuals, not just businesses, while allowing federal spending to rise still higher. But showing they retain a sense of humor in the West Wing, the press release suggests that the President is willing to forgo this tax increase for now because he wants to “work with Republicans.”

Investor’s Business Daily reports:

Since Obama’s “stimulus” took effect, job growth has been subpar, GDP gains are at record lows, median incomes have shrunk and the number of Americans on welfare has surged.

So we know that won’t work. But what about corporate tax cuts?

The nonpartisan Tax Foundation reckons a simple cut in the corporate tax rate to 25% would boost GDP more than 2% and wages by nearly as much. And capital investment would jump more than 6%.

Moreover, a corporate cut would increase federal revenues and help lower our deficits — assuming, that is, Obama doesn’t spend the new money.

Unfortunately, part of Obama’s “bargain” is to increase taxes on U.S. companies that operate abroad and to reduce business writeoffs for investments — the seed corn of future economic growth.

Even at 28%, Obama’s new tax rate would be higher than the 25% average paid by our main competitors.

So with one hand the president giveth, and with the other he taketh away. Worse, he seems intent on rewarding big companies with tax cuts while punishing small companies that account for 85% of all new jobs.

So what is going on here? The President wants to continue the tax and spend policies the Democrat party is known for while claiming to support tax reform and lower tax rates for corporations. Those tax and spend policies are what is causing the slow growth of the economy and also what got us into the fiscal mess we find ourselves in. However, depending on how the mainstream media reports this, the low-information voters may wonder why the Republicans won’t compromise. There is no compromise being offered here, but the media will probably neglect to mention that fact.

This proposal will kill any economic growth we may have in the near future. Hopefully the Republicans will not be drawn into the trap.

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Stating The Obvious

Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal posted an article stating that Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal is warning his country that America‘s development of shale oil will be a threat to the Saudi economy. The letter, written to Saudi Oil Minister Ali al-Naimi and several other ministers warned that the U.S. shale oil boom will decrease the amount of oil purchased from the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). The Prince also asked the government to accelerate its plans to diversify the Saudi economy.

The article reports:

In contrast to Prince Alwaleed, Mr. Naimi, the Saudi oil minister, has so far played down the significance of rising shale-oil production, despite the fact that some OPEC members, such as Nigeria and Algeria, have seen a sharp drop in their exports to the U.S. At an OPEC meeting in late May, he said it wasn’t the first time OPEC has had to compete with a surge in output from countries outside the group.

“We disagree with your Excellency on what you said, and we see that rising North American shale gas production is an inevitable threat,” Prince Alwaleed’s letter said, in comments directed at Mr. Naimi.

Neither Mr. Naimi nor a spokesman for the ministry could be reached to comment.

The chart below shows American imports of Saudi oil in the past thirteen years:


Notice that the biggest drop in American oil imports was during the height of the recent recession.

You’ll excuse me if I don’t have a lot of sympathy for Saudi Arabia and OPEC. Both OPEC and Saudi Arabia have used their monopoly on oil to support tyrannical rulers and international terrorism. Because of that monopoly, America and Western countries have been reluctant to deal with the death and carnage the Saudis and OPEC nations have been responsible for. It would be very nice to see a Saudi economy so diversified that a middle class could form.

In January of this year, The Guardian reported on poverty in Saudi Arabia:

The article reported:

Under King Abdullah, the Saudi government has spent billions to help the growing numbers of poor, estimated to be as much as a quarter of the native Saudi population. But critics complain that those programmes are inadequate, and that some royals seem more concerned with the country’s image than with helping the needy. In 2011, for example, three Saudi video bloggers were jailed for two weeks after they made an online film about poverty in Saudi Arabia.

“The state hides the poor very well,” said Rosie Bsheer, a Saudi scholar who has written extensively on development and poverty. “The elite don’t see the suffering of the poor. People are hungry.”

The Saudi government discloses little official data about its poorest citizens. But press reports and private estimates suggest that between 2 million and 4 million of the country’s native Saudis live on less than about $530 a month – about $17 a day – considered the poverty line in Saudi Arabia.

The money we are sending to Saudi Arabia for oil could be better spent building energy independence for America. We need shale oil, we need the Keystone Pipeline and we need new refineries. Development in those areas would greatly improve the American economy as well as improve our national security by making us more energy independent.

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Good News In America

CBN News posted a story today about the recent rescue of 150 children and the arrest of 150 pimps involved in human trafficking. The rescues and arrests took place in 76 American cities.

The article reports:

The Justice Department says nearly 450,000 children run away from home each year and that one-third of teens living on the street will be pulled toward prostitution within 48 hours of leaving home. Astoundingly, some are recruited right out of foster care facilities.

The graph below is from the Human Trafficking Statistics Report in 2012:

Human trafficking is a major problem around the world. America is not exempt from this problem. Part of the problem is related to the breakdown of families in America. Children need a stable home environment, and often that is something they don’t have. They can be lured into trafficking through promises of lucrative modeling careers and other wonderful-sounding promises. We need to educated our children about the dangers of looking for short cuts to financial success.

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Don’t Let Scientific Information Get In The Way Of Your Political Agenda

The roots of the outcry about the dangers of global warming are political. If global warming is a crisis, government can exert more power over citizens. Government can choose winners and losers in the business world (e.g. subsidies to Solyndra or avoiding the Keystone Pipeline to increase the business on Warren Buffett‘s railroad, etc.), and generally those in power can consolidate their power by employing quid pro quo policies without being obvious about it. So what about some of the claims used to sell the theory that we are melting?

Yesterday WattsUpWithThat posted an article about some recent claims that the North Pole is melting. Good grief, what will happen to Santa Claus?

The picture below was posted on Facebook by the Climate Reality Project. The picture was described as a picture of the North Pole showing that the North Pole was melting. There’s only one problem with that–the picture was taken 300 miles from the North Pole. So how much difference does 300 miles make? Three hundred miles is the approximate distance between Boston, Massachusetts, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Anyone who has been in these cities in February knows that 300 miles matters.


In case you are still fearful that we are melting, the article at WattsUpWithThat included a few pictures from the 1960’s.

Seadragon (SSN-584), foreground, and her sister Skate (SSN-578) during a rendezvous at the North Pole in August 1962

Seadragon (SSN-584), foreground, and her sister Skate (SSN-578) during a rendezvous at the North Pole in August 1962 (US Navy Photo).

The article also includes a picture of the North Pole from the 1980’s when Time Magazine was proclaiming the dangers of global cooling.

The following video posted on YouTube with the explanation below to clarify what is actually happening:

Published on Jul 27, 2013

There was quite a bit of hype bouncing around the Instanet on a “lake” at the North Pole. This video tries to clarify what’s up. Ponds of meltwater form routinely on Arctic Ocean sea ice in the summer. The sea ice is floating on the Arctic Ocean and in constant motion. The webcam that took these images was placed on the ice a few dozen miles from the North Pole in early spring, but has since drifted hundreds of miles.
The North Pole Environmental Observatory Web site:

I went on the 2003 expedition to set up the same batch of instruments in 2003 and wrote an award-winning book about the project and the once and future North Pole:

Andrew Freedman’s Climate Central post is helpful as well:
The Lake at the North Pole, How Bad Is It?

More on my blog on Arctic climate change and sea ice: http://j.mp/dotPole

Before you purchase waterfront property in West Virginia in anticipation of global warming, you might want to look at the facts.

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New Information On Benghazi

This YouTube video tells the story of one of the survivors of Benghazi:

ChicksOnTheRight Reports:

“David Ubben waited for twenty hours after he was hit on that rooftop with Tyrone Woods and Glenn Doherty. His leg was shredded. We know that he has been recovering for ten months at Walter Reed as Catherine has just reported. He was defending the US consulate and then no medical aircraft was apparently sent to this scene to get him out of there. How could this be?”

There are still a lot of questions that need to be answered. Hopefully those answers will be forthcoming.


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A New Take On The McDouble Cheeseburger

On Saturday, the New York Post posted an article about the McDouble Cheeseburger sold at McDonald’s.


English: A close shot of the McDouble, a chees...

English: A close shot of the McDouble, a cheeseburger from McDonald’s. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


The article quotes the Freakonomics blog run by economics writer Stephen Dubner and professor Steven Leavitt:


What is “the cheapest, most nutritious and bountiful food that has ever existed in human history” Hint: It has 390 calories. It contains 23g, or half a daily serving, of protein, plus 7% of daily fiber, 20% of daily calcium and so on.


Also, you can get it in 14,000 locations in the US and it usually costs $1. Presenting one of the unsung wonders of modern life, the McDonald’s McDouble cheeseburger.

You will note that the article failed to mention the amount of fat involved, but I guess you can’t have everything.

But there is another very interesting bit of information in the article. We have all heard of the horrors of fast food–blaming it for the obesity problem in America. Well, not so fast. A 2008 study out of Berkeley and Northwestern stated that people who eat out tend to eat less at home on that day to compensate–the net gain is actually only about 24 calories a day.

Not everyone is willing to admit that the existence of McDonald’s might actually serve a purpose. The article reports:

The outraged replies to the notion of McDouble supremacy — if it’s not the cheapest, most nutritious and most bountiful food in human history, it has to be pretty close — comes from the usual coalition of class snobs, locavore foodies and militant anti-corporate types. I say usual because these people are forever proclaiming their support for the poor and for higher minimum wages that would supposedly benefit McDonald’s workers. But they’re completely heartless when it comes to the other side of the equation: cost.

Driving up McDonald’s wage costs would drive up the price of burgers for millions of poor people. “So what?” say activists. Maybe that’ll drive people to farmers markets.

Fast food consumption, on occasion, is not a horrible thing. I will admit that I prefer Wendy’s to McDonald’s, but neither one in moderation is evil. There are more horrible things in life than fast food.


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When Sixties Radicals Refuse To Go Away

Bill Ayers, after avoiding prosecution on domestic terrorism charges, famously stated, “Guilty as hell, free as a bird—it’s a great country.” Well, he really hasn’t changed much. He has just adopted a more peaceful strategy in trying to ruin America.

Yesterday the Daily Caller reported that Bill Ayers has signed a letter urging the United Nations to investigate the closing of 49 Chicago elementary schools.

The article reports:

The Midwest Coalition for Human Rights sent the missive to the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland this week.

The letter says that the closing of the schools is causing massive human rights violations.

The article reports:

The letter argues that the 49 school closings violate human rights because they affect black families disproportionately, because they force students to cross gang lines to get to the new schools they will attend, because class sizes will be slightly larger and because the school closings happened despite the objections of some people.

The dispatch asks the U.N. to “urge the United States to investigate and prevent these human rights violations.”

It’s not clear how or if the U.N.’s human rights office will act. The U.N. has no power to direct or regulate any federal, state or municipal government in the United States. The international body is, of course, free to conduct inquiries and issue findings, however.

An American city trying to balance its budget by closing schools and consolidating their educational program is running the risk of being investigated by the United Nations. This is not acceptable. First of all, according to a website called betterworldcampaign.org, America pays 22 percent of the regular UN budget and 27 percent of the peacekeeping budget. I really think we need to take a good look at what we are paying for. While we are at it, I think we should strongly encourage the United Nations to find a new home.

Bill Ayers was a domestic terrorist. He wanted to overthrow the American government. Now he has signed a letter asking the U.N. to take action undermining American sovereignty. I really don’t think he has changed much.

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Social Media And The Holocaust

The Blaze posted a story today about an Israeli-based social media genealogy company that is using the Internet to help match property stolen by the Nazis to heirs of the victims. A website called My Heritage founded by Gilad Japhet lets people build their family trees on line. The names on that website are being matched up with the names of businesses and properties seized by the Nazis during the reign of Adolph Hitler so that restitution can be made to survivors and heirs.

The article reports:

“We are only just seeing the huge impact that social media will have on Holocaust history,” said Robert-Jan Smits, the director-general of the European Union’s commission for research and design. “We are moving from dusty archives to digitized databases.”

One of the driving forces behind the new push has been Gilad Japhet, CEO and founder of Israel-based MyHeritage, a social media website with about 70 million registered users worldwide that lets individuals build their own family trees online.

A few months back, Japhet read a report about the Claims Conference’s list of over 40,000 buildings, stores and factories that could not be matched with their original owners. Japhet matched some names on the list to the millions of names that users had posted on MyHeritage’s family trees online.

This is fantastic. The article explains:

Japhet put together a team of five employees and had them write a computer program that automatically matches the names on the Claims Conference’s list with those on the virtual family trees. So far, they have been able to match about 150 names on the list with names on the family trees. They expect to continue working on this project for several more months.

Nothing can make up for the suffering the Jews went through under Adolph Hitler, but it is wonderful to know that members of families who lost everything will be compensated.

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When Justice Looks The Other Way

The American military is struggling right now with the issue of sexual assault in its ranks. The lax moral standards of our society make it rather difficult to distinguish between morning-after regret and genuine sexual assault. When you add to the mix the chain of command in the military and the culture of the military, things don’t always seem to be sorted out correctly.

The Wall Street Journal posted an article yesterday which illustrates this problem. The incident in the article deals with Raymond Cromartie. Raymond Cromartie entered the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., in 2010. In 2011 he was charged with sex crimes against a female cadet. He was acquitted of those charges, but now faces expulsion from the military.

The article reports:

The alleged attack turned out to have occurred during an academy-sponsored ski trip to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, in January 2011. The 180 cadets on the trip had been told they were permitted to drink, but only if they were over 21 (Quebec‘s drinking age is 18) and only in public places like bars and restaurants. Both those limits were widely flouted.

…He also acknowledges a sexual “hookup” with the accuser, which occurred in the hotel bedroom she shared with three other female cadets. But while her account and his agree on some of the physical details, he denies her claim that he forced himself on her.

…Although the accuser waited half a year to file charges, on the night of the incident she did phone Second Lt. Scott Wright, a young Army officer she described as a family friend. After hearing her version of events, Lt. Wright assumed the role of white knight. He demanded that she file a formal complaint. She demurred, so the next day, over her objection, he alerted the academy. “What that bastard did to you is vile and unforgivable,” he texted her. “You can’t let this go. I did what I had to do; what I knew in my heart to be right.”

It seems that there were some other connections here. In July 2011, Mr. Cromartie was summoned to the campus military police station after completing a grueling three-day combat simulation field training exercise in 90-degree summer heat. At that point, without fully understanding what he was doing, he signed a waiver of his right to counsel.

The article further reports:

Mr. Cromartie was acquitted of all the accuser’s charges. A few days later, he sent a brief no-hard-feelings email to now First Lt. Wright, who responded with a long, effusive apology. Lt. Wright wrote that after learning the facts of the case, “I was shocked and appalled. I felt as though I had been used and manipulated.” When he heard of the acquittal, “I thanked God that I didn’t play a part in sending an innocent man to prison.”

The article then explains the problem of unlawful command influence (UCI):

In addition, in October 2011 the accuser’s father sent an inflammatory three-page handwritten letter to the commandant, Gen. Martin. The father asserted that his daughter had been “raped” and repeatedly referred to Mr. Cromartie as a “rapist.” (This was not in fact a rape case; even the accuser said the sexual activity stopped well short of intercourse.) The letter began “Dear Ted.” The father and Gen. Martin were classmates at the academy 30 years ago, and West Point classes are famously tightknit.

Perhaps the clearest indication of UCI came in April 2012, when the defense counsel asked Maj. Jeffrey Pickler, Mr. Cromartie’s company tactical officer, to write a letter attesting to the cadet’s good character. Maj. Pickler agreed, then sought advice from his superior, Lt. Col. John Vermeesch, who discouraged him from writing the letter. Maj. Pickler testified that Col. Vermeesch prefaced his recommendation with a pre-emptive denial: “Just to be clear, this is not UCI.”

The military command is a tight-knit group. Generally speaking, they look out for each other, and generally speaking, that is a good thing. However, the father of the accuser could not be expected to be objective about this case and should not have gotten involved.

Because Mr. Cromartie revised some of the details of his original statement, he is now facing perjury charges, which could get him court-martialed from the Army.

The article concludes:

After the court-martial panel read its verdict, Mr. Cromartie took the stand in the proceeding’s sentencing phase to show remorse for the misstatement: “I should have reviewed my statement thoroughly. I just skimmed it and it was my fault,” he testified. “I should have asked for a lawyer.”

If that is the most important lesson a young man can learn at West Point, it is an indictment of both the academy’s leadership and the country’s.

It is unfortunate that we may lose a good leader over an unprovable charge because politicians have decided that they need to meddle with the military’s sexual assault policies. It seems to me that the guilt over this incident is shared by both parties–it’s just that one of those parties shared her regret in ways that were destructive to the other. If Mr. Cromartie is to be discharged because of this incident, the other party should also be discharged. This is much more a reflection of the sexual morals we have taught our young people than it is a crime.

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The Rocky Road To An Impossible Peace

As Secretary of State John Kerry prepares to bring peace to the Middle East, he would do well to look at some of the history of the people and countries involved.

In 1979, under the leadership of Anwar el-Sadat, Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel. In 1981, Sadat was assassinated by the Muslim Brotherhood, who felt that he had betrayed them by signing that treaty. In 2000, Yassar Arafat rejected a peace offer by Ehud Barak (with the encouragement of President Clinton) at Camp David that would have given the Palestinians parts of the Old City of Jerusalem and 91 percent of the West Bank. Arafat rejected that offer because he knew that if he accepted it he would be assassinated. Being the leader of a terrorist group is not unlike being a Mafia Don–it is a powerful, dangerous job with a lot of unwritten rules that must be followed very carefully.

So where are we now? Last week Breitbart.com reported that in preliminary negotiations for a peace treaty between Israel and her Palestinian neighbors, Secretary of State John Kerry has successfully negotiated the release of 82 Palestinian terrorists, all of whom have been serving life sentences since 1993. Sounds like a great step forward for peace–release people who kill people they don’t like.

The article reports:

Additionally, the Palestinian delegation in the disputed West Bank has rejected the notion that the release of terrorists is enough to get them to the negotiating table. They would like to see Israel unilaterally withdraw from its present sovereign borders and return to where the state’s territorial boundaries were before 1967. 

The fact that Israel’s territorial gains post-1967 ultimately came from defending its nation from its genocidal neighbors seems to have, time and time again with both the Obama Administration and the Palestinian leadership, fallen upon deaf ears.

Peace in the Middle East is a wonderful idea. Peace everywhere is a wonderful idea, but at some point you have to face reality. The fact that Israel exists is a fantastic recruiting tool for every Arab extremist on the planet. Peace is NOT a goal of Islam–a world-wide caliphate is.

The Hamas Charter states:

Article Thirteen: Peaceful Solutions, [Peace] Initiatives and International Conferences

[Peace] initiatives, the so-called peaceful solutions, and the international conferences to resolve the Palestinian problem, are all contrary to the beliefs of the Islamic Resistance Movement. For renouncing any part of Palestine means renouncing part of the religion; the nationalism of the Islamic Resistance Movement is part of its faith, the movement educates its members to adhere to its principles and to raise the banner of Allah over their homeland as they fight their Jihad: “Allah is the all-powerful, but most people are not aware.” From time to time a clamoring is voiced, to hold an International Conference in search for a solution to the problem. Some accept the idea, others reject it, for one reason or another, demanding the implementation of this or that condition, as a prerequisite for agreeing to convene the Conference or for participating in it. But the Islamic Resistance Movement, which is aware of the [prospective] parties to this conference, and of their past and present positions towards the problems of the Muslims, does not believe that those conferences are capable of responding to demands, or of restoring rights or doing justice to the oppressed. Those conferences are no more than a means to appoint the nonbelievers as arbitrators in the lands of Islam. Since when did the Unbelievers do justice to the Believers? “And the Jews will not be pleased with thee, nor will the Christians, till thou follow their creed. Say: Lo! the guidance of Allah [himself] is the Guidance. And if you should follow their desires after the knowledge which has come unto thee, then you would have from Allah no protecting friend nor helper.” Sura 2 (the Cow), verse 120 There is no solution to the Palestinian problem except by Jihad. The initiatives, proposals and International Conferences are but a waste of time, an exercise in futility. The Palestinian people are too noble to have their future, their right and their destiny submitted to a vain game. As the hadith has it: “The people of Syria are Allah’s whip on this land; He takes revenge by their intermediary from whoever he wished among his worshipers. The Hypocrites among them are forbidden from vanquishing the true believers, and they will die in anxiety and sorrow.” (Told by Tabarani, who is traceable in ascending order of traditionaries to Muhammad, and by Ahmed whose chain of transmission is incomplete. But it is bound to be a true hadith, for both story tellers are reliable. Allah knows best.)

The goal of the ‘peace process’ for the Palestinians is to drive Israel into the sea and destroy the country forever.

For those of us who believe in the Bible, we would do well to remember Genesis 12 :3 (Good News Translation):

I will bless those who bless you, But I will curse those who curse you. And through you I will bless all the nations.

America needs to be very careful about undermining the existence of Israel.

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What In The World Are We Putting On Television?

I know that my cable company has channels that I won’t watch. I understand that movies I think should be rated “R” are often rated “PG-13.” I understand that basically I don’t think nudity or sex belongs on my television or my computer. I think that makes me something of a dinosaur. However, it was not quite as bad when it was somewhere in the triple-digit channels that I don’t even flip through. Now it is coming to a FOX station in the regular line-up.

CNS News reported today:

Beginning Saturday, the FOX network will air a number of animated shows that contain sexually explicit and profanity-laced content never before shown on network television during its “Animation Domination High-Def” (ADHD) programming block.

The article reports that originally the explicit material will be shown at 10 o’clock at night when ideally children will not be watching it. There are two problems with that idea–the shows could be DVR‘d by anyone over the age of five, and the network is breaking ground with the intention of moving the shows into prime time after they have been on for a while.
This is not good for our children and it is not good for our society. Television already teaches children bad manners and inappropriate ways to treat people, why do we have to add bad language and sex?

The article reports:

In an interview with CNSNews, Dan Isett, director of public policy for the Parents Television Council (PTC), said that the programming contained some “adult-oriented material, certainly raunchy and inappropriate for an awful lot of audiences and frankly beyond the pale. It’s not really material that we’ve really seen produced by a mainstream media company before.”

If you care about your children, you need to care about what they are exposed to on television. None of this is conducive to building future citizens of a healthy society. The only way these shows will go away is if no one watches them.

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Do They Know Something We Don’t?

National Review posted a story today about the call centers being set up to help Americans work through the changes in their healthcare insurance that will occur on October 1. These call centers will be accessible 24 hours every day.

The article reports:

One branch of that call center will be located in California’s Contra Costa County, where, reportedly, 7,000 people applied for the 204 jobs. According to the Contra Costa Times, however, “about half the jobs are part-time, with no health benefits — a stinging disappointment to workers and local politicians who believed the positions would be full-time.” The county supervisor, Karen Mitchoff, called the hiring process “a comedy of errors” and said she “never dreamed [the jobs] would be part-time.”

ObamaCare is one piece of bad news after another. Even the people who will help Americans access health insurance will be working limited hours so that their employees do not have to provide health insurance. Amazing.

Hot Air reported today that the National Treasury Employees Union (the union of the Internal Revenue Service) has indicated that it does not want to be covered under ObamaCare. The IRS employees are covered under the same health insurance coverage as other government employees, and they do not want to go into ObamaCare.

The article reports:

This is the agency that will be collecting data on you and, if you’re not in compliance, levying the penalties and collecting them.  But under ObamaCare, they have the misfortune of having a “Cadillac plan”.  Currently their health care insurance is provided through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, the same program which covers members of Congress.  Naturally Congress has exempted themselves from the law.

The first requirement of ObamaCare should be that politicians and federal employees should not be allowed to be exempt from it. If it is good enough for us average Americans, it should be good enough for the political class.

ObamaCare will not be repealed under President Obama no matter how unpopular it is. If you want to get rid of this awful law, the only way it will happen is if the Republicans control the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the Presidency. Otherwise, like death and taxes–it is forever.

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Stacking The Audience

In case you wondered how a President who has presided over the worst economic recovery in American history manages to draw such favorable audiences, the following story might be a clue.

Today the National Review reported that at yesterday’s speech at the University of Central Missouri, students who held tickets but were wearing Tea Party, patriotic, or other clothing deemed to be Republican inspired were not admitted to the speech. Despite the fact that the students held tickets to the event, the students were turned away due to ‘security’ concerns.

The article suggests:

I’d like to offer a helpful tip to all College Republicans who hope to attend an Obama speech in the future: Odds of admission improve if you wear a Che Guevara t-shirt, an “I Heart Kim Jong Uncampaign button, and/or a ballcap displaying the slogan “Obama Girl” prominently above the brim.

We are currently being governed by thugs who specialize in propaganda.

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Greedy Governments Profit From The Success Of People They Actually Have No Connection To

Over taxation is a worldwide problem. It seems as if anytime anyone does something extremely well and reaps a large financial reward, the vultures start circling.

One of the more recent examples of the vultures circling was reported in yesterday’s Los Angeles Times. The article reported on the recent golfing victories of Phil Mickelson. Phil Mickelson earned more than $2.16 million in just two weeks.

The article reports:

According to Forbes, Mickelson has been subjected to the United Kingdom’s 45 percent tax rate for those who make more than £150,000 a year. In addition, the magazine reports, he will be taxed on a portion of the endorsement income he earned during his time in Scotland.

While Mickelson can take a foreign tax credit to avoid being taxed again by the U.S. government, he still has to pay self-employment taxes, the new Medicare surtax, and hand over 13.3 percent of his wages to the state of California, which does not have a foreign tax credit, Forbes reported.

To put it simply, Phil Mickelson gets to take home 39 per cent of what he earned. Out of 2.16 million, it is estimated that he will take home $842,700. I don’t care how much you are into class envy, that seems a little unfair. He earned it, why should everyone else reap the benefits?


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Your Tax Dollars At Work

America is a very generous country. We feed people all over the world and do everything we can to make sure that people in this country do not go hungry. However, sometimes the controls on our generosity are not what they should be.

On Sunday, the New York Post reported that many of the people receiving food stamps in New York are using them to buy food to ship to relatives in their home countries.

The article reports:

Welfare recipients are buying groceries with their Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) cards and packing them in giant barrels for the trip overseas, The Post found.

The practice is so common that hundreds of 45- to 55-gallon cardboard and plastic barrels line the walls of supermarkets in almost every Caribbean corner of the city.

The feds say the moveable feasts go against the intent of the $86 billion welfare program for impoverished Americans.

No kidding. I don’t want to see anyone starve anywhere. However, we have programs that ship dollars and food overseas. In many cases, the politics of the receiving country prevent the food and aid from going to the people who need it most. That is something that needs to be dealt with, but it is a separate issue. Why are American taxpayers paying for people to ship food out of the country?

The article reports:

The United States spent $522.7 million on foreign aid to the Caribbean last fiscal year, government data show.

Still, New Yorkers say they ship the food because staples available in the States are superior and less costly than what their families can get abroad.

“Everybody does it,” said a worker at an Associated Supermarket in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn. “They pay for it any way they can. A lot of people pay with EBT.”

Customers pay cash for the barrels, usually about $40, and typically ship them filled with $500 to $2,000 worth of rice, beans, pasta, canned milk and sausages.

Workers at the Pioneer Supermarket on Parkside Avenue and the Key Food on Flatbush Avenue confirmed the practice.

If Congress were actually looking for places to cut the federal budget, they might want to take a look at the food stamp program.

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Sometimes There Is A Reason A Law Needs To Be Changed

Today Hot Air posted an article about some changes Texas has made in its voting laws.

The article explains the conflict between the state of Texas and Eric Holder‘s Justice Department:

What Holder proposes to do is to tell Texas to get DoJ approval for its voting (and redistricting) laws before putting them in force, right after the Supreme Court told Texas and the other Section 4 states that they don’t need to do so.  Holder can file a lawsuit to attempt to force compliance, but that’s just bluster. Texas isn’t going to comply, and it’s doubtful a federal court would do anything but laugh at the filing after the ruling last month.  The DoJ has no more jurisdiction to tell Texas to get pre-approval for laws passed under its own sovereignty.  This is grandstanding on a particularly demagogic scale.

In 2011, Texas passed a law requiring the following forms of identification in order to vote (according to the Texas.gov website):

With the exception of the U.S. citizenship certificate, the identification must be current or have expired no more than 60 days before being presented for voter qualification at the polling place

Why are these laws necessary? As I reported in rightwinggranny.com in September 2010, this is what happened when a group of people decided to investigate who was voting in Texas:

“”The first thing we started to do was look at houses with more than six voters in them” Engelbrecht (Catherine Engelbrecht, founder of True the Vote) said, because those houses were the most likely to have fraudulent registrations attached to them. “Most voting districts had 1,800 if they were Republican and 2,400 of these houses if they were Democratic . . .

“”But we came across one with 24,000, and that was where we started looking.”

“Vacant lots had several voters registered on them. An eight-bed halfway house had more than 40 voters registered at its address,” Engelbrecht said. “We then decided to look at who was registering the voters.”

“Their work paid off. Two weeks ago the Harris County voter registrar took their work and the findings of his own investigation and handed them over to both the Texas secretary of state’s office and the Harris County district attorney.

“Most of the findings focused on a group called Houston Votes, a voter registration group headed by Sean Caddle, who formerly worked for the Service Employees International Union. Among the findings were that only 1,793 of the 25,000 registrations the group submitted appeared to be valid. The other registrations included one of a woman who registered six times in the same day; registrations of non-citizens; so many applications from one Houston Voters collector in one day that it was deemed to be beyond human capability; and 1,597 registrations that named the same person multiple times, often with different signatures.”

It seems as if voter id would be a good idea after that kind of fraud. Why would the Department of Justice want to prevent a law that would stop voter fraud?

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Fireworks on Morning Joe

The Daily Caller reported today on Jay Carney‘s appearance on the Morning Joe Show with Joe Scarborough. Evidently Joe Scarborough was actually looking for information from Jay Carney, and Jay Carney was not willing to be forthcoming.

The article at the Daily Caller posted some of the exchange between the two men:

“At the beginning, you said it was just the Cincinnati office,” Scarborough said. “And then we find out more people in Washington are involved. And then this past week we found out, despite what any of us think of the investigations on Capitol Hill — and I see you smiling, I don’t know that there’s anything to smile about, that it wasn’t a couple of crazy people in Cincinnati, that this information actually went up to the Chief Counsel of the IRS, which was one of two political appointees by the president of the United States and the entire IRS. So it doesn’t sound phony to me, Jay.”

CARNEY: I greatly appreciate that that is the line pushed by Republicans who want Washington to be focused on scandals instead of the economy —
SCARBOROUGH: No, no, no, no, no, no, Jay — is that the truth or not? Don’t give me talking points! That doesn’t work on this show. So answer my question, and then let’s talk about the economy.
CARNEY: When you get to the question I’ll answer it—

Looks like some of the Jay Carney charm took a slight vacation. The only involvement by the Republicans in the IRS scandal is that they were the targets of the illegal activity.

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An Interesting Choice Of Words

I don’t want to spend a lot of time on the Anthony Weiner story–I just want to point out that his choice of words at his press conference was revealing.

KSAT.com quotes part of the press conference:

“Some of these things happened before my resignation, some happened after,” Weiner said at a hastily organized press conference in New York, where he also pushed back when asked if the latest revelation would prompt him to drop out of the race.

He also commented on the things that had ‘happened to him and his family.’ Does anyone actually believe that obscene text messages just happen?

I just want to point out that nothing ‘happened’ to Anthony Weiner–he made the choices that resulted in his resignation from Congress and may cost him in the current campaign for Mayor of New York. One of the problems we are having in our society right now is that no one is willing to take responsibility for their actions. This is a prime example of that problem. If they residents of New York City elect Anthony Weiner as Mayor, they deserve anything they get.

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Why The Internal Revenue Service Scandal Is Important

Yesterday the Washington Times posted an article about a part of the Internal Revenue (IRS) Scandal we haven’t heard too much about. In January of this year, Christine O’Donnell, former Senate candidate in Delaware, was told that her confidential tax records were breached three years ago on March 9, 2010. Oddly enough, that is the same date she scheduled a news conference to announce her Senate run.

The article reports:

The timing of when Ms. O’Donnell’s records were accessed remains in dispute. Even though they claim to have no records, Delaware state officials have said they believed the access occurred on March 20, 2010, only after a public story about the IRS lien against Ms. O’Donnell was published.

The IRS later admitted the lien against her was mistakenly generated by a computer and sent to Delaware.

I don’t live in Delaware, so I did not follow Ms. O’Donnell’s campaign carefully. It may have been great; it may have been awful. She did lose the election. What we don’t know is how many votes the false IRS lien and the breached tax information cost her.

The article further reports:

The Times reported last week that the Treasury inspector general for tax administration had discovered at least four cases in which a candidate’s or donor’s tax information was inappropriately searched.

In one case, the investigator said the violation was willful and referred it to the Justice Department, which declined to pursue the case.

How much of our federal government has become an extension of the Democrat party’s campaign?

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Why I Don’t Believe Everything I Read

In his book Barack Obama’s Rules for Revolution, The Alinsky Model, David Horowitz relates an incident that tells us all we need to know about how underhanded the game of politics can be.

The book states:

College student activists in the 1960’s and 1970’s sought out Alinksy for advice about tactics and strategy. On one such occasion in the spring of 1972 at Tulane University’s annual week-long series of events featuring leading public figures, students asked Alinsky to help plan a protest of a scheduled speech by George Bush, then U.S. representative to the United Nations, a speech likely to be a defense of the Nixon Administration‘s Vietnam War policies [Note: the Nixon Administration was then negotiating with the North Vietnamese Communists to arrive at a peace agreement- DH] The students told Alinsky that they were thinking about picketing or disrupting Bush’s address. That’s the wrong approach, he rejoined – not very creative and besides, causing a disruption might get them thrown out of school. [Not very likely-DH] He told them, instead, to go hear the speech dressed up as members of the Ku Klux Klan, and whenever Bush said something in defense of the Vietnam War, they should cheer and wave placards, reading, ‘The K.K.K. supports Bush.’ And that is what the students did with very successful, attention-getting results. (This story is taken from a Saul Alinksy book, Let Them Call Me Rebel)

So why am I telling this story? The tactics really have not changed. A website called redflagnews is reporting that Renee Vaughan, who was holding a sign at a Trayvon Martin rally, was not who she appeared to be. Ms. Vaughan held a sign that stated, “We’re racist & proud,” and stood with the group supporting George Zimmerman.

The article at Red Flag News reports:

Austin resident Renee Vaughan echoed the sign’s ugly sentiments by yelling, “We’re racist. We’re proud. We’re better because we’re white,” at the Martin group as they passed, according to the Chronicle.

Brandon Darby interviewed Renee Vaughan at the rally. She told him her sign means that “there are people here who are racist and apparently think that’s OK. I’m not one of them. I’m being sarcastic.”

It looks as if Saul Alinsky’s tactics are alive and well among those who want to divide this nation along racial lines.

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At Some Point The Republicans Need To Realize That They Are Not Playing TiddlyWinks

Yesterday National Review Online posted an article about the House Oversight Committee hearings on the Internal Revenue Service last week. The article focused on the attacks on Inspector General (IG) J. Russell George. This is the political equivalent of a defense lawyer attacking the District Attorney because he does not want to deal with the evidence against his client.

I am a registered Republican only because there is no real Conservative Party at this time. Generally I can go along with most of what the Republicans do, but if they don’t wake up and smell the coffee, they will be permanently known as the Stupid Party.

The attacks on the IG were designed to change the subject. Unless some Republicans start speaking up, the attacks will have served their purpose.

Scott Johnson at Power Line also posted an article about last week’s hearings. In his article he pointed out that none of the mainstream reported that the attack on the IG was unwarranted and false.

The Democrats‘ claim is that the IG neglected to mention that progressive groups were targeted as well as Tea Party groups. That probably has something to do with the fact that the claim is false.

The story at National Review states:

The accusations contradict the obvious facts: The 14 BOLO lists Levin released, though they contain the term “Progressive,” instruct IRS screeners to treat the applications of progressive organizations differently from those of tea-party groups. In George’s words, the “Progressive” entry “did not include instructions on how to refer cases that met the criteria,” whereas tea-party cases were automatically sent to higher-ups in the agency for coordination with Washington, D.C. The “Occupy” entry to which Cummings refers instructs screeners to send cases to the same group processing tea-party applications. The head of that group, though, told Congress that when she received applications from liberal groups, she sent them back to “general inventory.” George on Thursday told the House panel that, of the 298 cases scrutinized for political activity, zero fell under the “Occupy” rubric. The “Progressive” and “Occupy” listings may be problematic — it is not clear why the terms were added to the list — but the political activity of liberal groups simply was not put under the microscope.

The use of the IRS for political purposes is wrong. It is also dangerous to our republic. It becomes even more dangerous with all the information the IRS will be overseeing under ObamaCare. What was done with the targeting of Tea Party groups is a threat to our republic. If this abuse continues, our elections will be neither free nor fair.

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Making Anti-Semitism Official

Last week the Daily Caller reported that the European Union has forbidden its member states from funding Israeli individuals or organizations based in the contested territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The article states:

In new guidelines that were originally published on June 30 and are scheduled to go into effect on Friday, the 28 nations that make up the E.U. are no longer allowed to contribute financially to or cooperate in any way with organizations that are headquartered beyond the historic “Green Line” that divides the West Bank from the rest of Israel.

Significantly, the guidelines also define East Jerusalem as one of the illegal Israeli settlements that cannot receive future funding. East Jerusalem includes Old City landmarks like the Temple Mount and the Western Wall that are central to thousands of years of Jewish faith and history, making Israeli agreement with the ruling very unlikely.

It’s amazing sometimes how some organizations rewrite history. In April 2011, the American Thinker posted an article stating:

…Except that there was no “border” on Israel’s eastern flank from 1948 until 1967 — only a 1949 armistice line that marked the farthest westward military penetration by Jordan during Israel’s War of Independence when half a dozen Arab armies unsuccessfully tried to exterminate the nascent Jewish state.

The 1949 armistice line was never recognized internationally as a “border.”  Neither of course were Jordan’s aggression and illegal occupation of the West Bank and East Jerusalem since  they occurred in flagrant violation of the 1947 UN partition plan to divide British Mandate Palestine between a Jewish state and an Arab state.

Israel needs defensible borders. Israel lives in a tough neighborhood where its neighbors won’t even admit that it has a right to exist there. The European Union is definitely coming down on the wrong side of history.

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