When The Press Interferes With National Security

Terrorism is a worldwide problem. As ISIS is being defeated in Iraq, its members go to other parts of the world to commit terrorist acts. Bringing down ISIS worldwide would be a major step in the direction of peace. However, not everyone is working toward that goal.

Yesterday the following video was posted on YouTube:

An article at The Conservative Treehouse that included the above video. In the video, General Tony Thomas explains how leaked intelligence foiled the capture of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.

The article at The Conservative Treehouse quotes a Fox News story from July 21st:

“We have absolutely dismantled his network,”  Gen. Tony Thomas, speaking of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, said at the Aspen Security Forum. “I mean everyone who worked for him initially is dead or gone. Everybody who stepped to the plate the next time [is] dead or gone. Down through a network where we have killed, in a conservative estimate, 60,000 to 70,000 of his followers, his army.”

In a wide-ranging interview moderated by Fox News’ Catherine Herridge, Thomas, who leads the Special Operations Command, said his team was “particularly close” to Baghdadi after the 2015 raid that killed ISIS oil minister Abu Sayyaf. That raid also netted his wife, who provided a wealth of actionable information.

“That was a very good lead. Unfortunately, it was leaked in a prominent national newspaper about a week later and that lead went dead,” Thomas said. “The challenge we have [is] in terms of where and how our tactics and procedures are discussed openly. There’s a great need to inform the American public about what we’re up to. There’s also great need to recognize things that will absolutely undercut our ability to do our job.”

The article mentions that the comment about a national newspaper probably refers to a New York Times article that appeared in June 2015.

I wonder how the Department of Justice would have handled this sort of leak during World War II. There is no doubt that this leak cost lives–either in America or other places around the world. A major international terrorist was allowed to escape because a newspaper wanted a headline. I understand that a free press is necessary for a representative republic such as America, but what about a responsible press?

 

The New York Times Posts A Favorable Opinion Article About Donald Trump

Wow. The opinion page of the New York Times today posted an article entitled, “Why This Economy Needs Donald Trump.” The article was written by David Malpass, a senior economic adviser to the Trump campaign.

Mr. Malpass explains:

There is no doubt who has the better plan. Our economy is growing at only 1.1 percent per year, a fraction of our average rate, and the Congressional Budget Office forecasts just 2 percent annual growth (in inflation-adjusted gross domestic product) for the next 10 years.

Yes, we went through a deep recession, but it ended in 2009. The recovery has been the weakest in decades, and the first that has actually pushed median incomes down. Business investment and profits are lower now than a year ago. Counterproductive federal policies squash small businesses with inane regulatory sprawl that affects hiring, taxes, credit and medical care.

The result is a stagnant economy that leaves out millions of Americans who would like to work and get ahead, and a devastating report card on the Obama White House.

To restart growth, Mr. Trump would immediately lower tax rates, including for middle-income voters, and simplify the tax code. Americans would be able to exempt average child-care expenses from taxes, and Mr. Trump’s administration would eliminate the death tax, which falls especially hard on some small businesses and farmers.

The article goes on to explain that simplifying the tax system while reducing corporate taxes and eliminating or capping many tax deductions would make us more competitive in the world market and create jobs in America. Mr. Malpass contrasts this with Hillary Clinton’s plan to raise taxes, creating an noncompetitive corporate tax rate and discouraging investment with higher estate and capital gains taxes. Obviously Mrs. Clinton is not familiar with the Laffer Curve. This is a picture of the Laffer Curve. What the curve illustrates is that there is a point of no return in raising taxes where increased taxes no longer result in increased revenue.LafferCurveMr. Malpass also points out that Donald Trump wants to halt the negative impact of federal regulations on business. These regulations represent a hidden tax that increases the cost of doing business so that the consumer is forced to pay higher prices for goods. Government overreach is expensive.

The article concludes:

Voters will have an opportunity to decide for or against a government that’s failing on health care, taxes, trade, cost control and regulation. One candidate wants higher tax rates. The other would lower them. One candidate thinks the economic recovery has been successful whereas the other thinks it left millions of Americans out. One candidate has spent her lifetime seeking the presidency. Mr. Trump hasn’t.

As Thomas Jefferson said, “A little rebellion now and then is a good thing, and as necessary in the political world as storms in the physical.” It’s time for one now.

Agreed.

A Very Interesting Alliance

Front Page Magazine reported yesterday that CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) coordinated its response to the terrorist attack in Garland, Texas, with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). The stated purpose (although in reality this is not necessarily the case) of the ACLU is to protect the civil liberties of Americans. I would assume that those civil liberties include free speech.

The article quotes a New York Times article:

Then she took calls from those she views as allies — other Muslim advocates, a Methodist minister, an organizer for the American Civil Liberties Union — to come up with a response that would walk a fine line: clearly condemning the extremists behind the attack, while also calling to account what they see as hatred decked out in free speech finery.

I know this may come as a shock to some people, but there is no law against hatred. There is also no reason to see a draw Mohammed contest as hatred–it is simply an exercise of free speech. The exercise of free speech is part of American law. If Muslims want to speak freely, they need to extend that right to those around them. If they don’t support free speech, I suggest they live somewhere other than America.

The article at Front Page Magazine observes:

You don’t normally denounce someone after they were nearly killed in an attack by your people, but that’s exactly what was going on here. As with Rushdie and Charlie Hebdo, elements of Muslim organizations that weren’t openly shouting “Death to America” instead doubled around to destroy sympathy for the targets of the terrorists.

And Salem is now pushing the ‘incitement’ line whose goal is to criminalize criticism of Islam. The ACLU’s organizer is apparently okay with that.

The New York Times swiftly spins this into Muslims being persecuted by being denied the power to impose Sharia law. Denying the power to oppress women is not usually considered oppression by the left… but there’s a special exception in there for Muslims.

I sense a double standard.

There Are Some Things Money Can Buy

The Weekly Standard posted an article yesterday about a New York Times article about the University of Virginia’s Miller Center‘s newly released oral history project about the Clinton presidency.

The article reports:

In a five year span, the William J Clinton Foundation gave five grants totaling $851,250 to the University of Virginia’s Miller Center. One year in particular, 2007, the Clinton gift was specifically marked: “Oral history project of Clinton presidency.” 

Well, today the New York Times has a front page feature on the newly released oral history project about the Clinton presidency. The one the Clintons helped pay for. But nowhere in the 2,600 word piece do Times writers Amy Chozick (who is on the Clinton beat) and Peter Baker (longtime White House reporter) disclose the obvious conflict of interest.

On the Miller Center project, the authors only write, “Her triumphs and setbacks are laid bare in the oral histories of Mr. Clinton’s presidency, released last month by the Miller Center at the University of Virginia. The center has conducted oral histories of every presidency going back to Jimmy Carter’s, interviewing key players and then sealing them for years to come. But more than any other, this set of interviews bears on the future as much as the past.”

No other presidential foundation has given money to the Miller Center, according to a search of the database Foundation Search. 

The article lists the grants given from the William J. Clinton Foundation to the Miller Center. It has become obvious in recent years that the William J. Clinton Foundation serves William J. and Hillary R. Clinton and little else. On August 13, 2013, The New York Times posted an article detailing concerns about the Clinton Foundation.

The Times article stated:

Soon after the 10th anniversary of the foundation bearing his name, Bill Clinton met with a small group of aides and two lawyers from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett. Two weeks of interviews with Clinton Foundation executives and former employees had led the lawyers to some unsettling conclusions.

The review echoed criticism of Mr. Clinton’s early years in the White House: For all of its successes, the Clinton Foundation had become a sprawling concern, supervised by a rotating board of old Clinton hands, vulnerable to distraction and threatened by conflicts of interest. It ran multimillion-dollar deficits for several years, despite vast amounts of money flowing in.

I am hoping that Hillary Clinton will not run for President. The Clintons have a history of playing right at the edges of the law, and there have been questions as to whether or not they have on more than one occasion stepped over the edge. We need honest, transparent people in Washington. I don’t believe that Hillary Clinton fits that description.

This Is Not The Time To Ignore The Ongoing Nuclear Negotiations With Iran

The Center for Security Policy posted an article yesterday about the ongoing negotiations with Iran about its nuclear program. The article listed the developments this week in the negotiations:

1. NYT says Obama plans to sidestep Congress on an Iran deal. An October 19th article in the New York Times stated that the Obama administration “will do everything in his power to avoid letting Congress have a vote” on a final nuclear deal with Iran.

2. Do Iran’s recent steps to dilute some of its enriched uranium mean Tehran is serious about reaching a deal on its nuclear program? This question is based on a Monday Reuters report that a new IAEA report said Iran diluted 4,100 kg of 2% enriched uranium to the natural uranium level (0.7% uranium-235). The article at the Center for Security Policy points out that a September 2014 IAEA report specified this was a separate batch from Iran’s 12,464 kg of reactor-grade uranium (enriched to 3 to 5%). Iran can still make 7-8 nuclear weapons from its reactor-grade uranium stockpile if this uranium was further enriched to weapons-grade.

3. New U.S. Concessions. The Iranian news service Mehr reported this week that the Obama administration has offered to allow Iran to operate 4,000 uranium centrifuges. Iran is using centrifuges to enrich uranium to reactor-grade and could easily adapt them to enrich to weapons-grade. Iran has 19,000 centrifuges but only about 9,000 are currently operational.

If this report is true it is consistent with previous reports of U.S. offers allowing Iran to operate 1,500-4,500 centrifuges if it converted any uranium it enriched to uranium power. As I explained in an October 2 National Review Online article, these previous concessions would do little to stop or slow Iran’s pursuit of nuclear weapons.

4. Dennis Ross Thinks There Could be a Partial Nuclear Deal with Iran. Ross thinks a partial deal which “contains” Iran’s nuclear program and prevents Tehran from moving closer to a nuclear “breakout” capability – the ability to produce enough weapons-grade fuel for one nuclear weapon – would be a good outcome for the nuclear talks. Ross says this might also be achieved by a “muddling through” strategy under which Iran would agree to limit its nuclear program and the West would not impose additional sanctions. Under such a scenario, the nuclear talks would be suspended for a few months but bilateral talks with Tehran would continue….The current understandings with Iran allow Tehran to continue to enrich uranium and keep a huge stockpile of reactor-grade uranium which could be used to fuel 7-8 nuclear weapons if this uranium was enriched to weapons-grade. Iran also has been permitted during this year’s nuclear talks to install new centrifuge designs that may be four to 16 times more efficient. These are unacceptable concessions that Ross is proposing be made permanent under a partial deal with Iran or through a muddling through strategy.

America has not yet prevented a country that desires to obtain nuclear weapons from going nuclear. I suspect that we will not be able to prevent Iran from going nuclear. Unfortunately, the change in the balance of power in the Middle East that would result from Iran going nuclear is not a pleasant one.

 

 

This Isn’t News–Some Of Us Have Known It All Along

Yesterday the Daily Caller posted an article about a recent statement by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy.

The article reports:

The Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed global warming regulations aren’t just about stemming global temperature rises — according to agency’s chief, they are also about “justice” for “communities of color.”

“Carbon pollution standards are an issue of justice,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy in a teleconference call with environmental activists. “If we want to protect communities of color, we need to protect them from climate change.”

McCarthy is referring to the EPA’s proposed rule that would limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The agency says the rule will not only help fight global warming, but will also improve public health as coal-fired power plants are shuttered. McCarthy, however, put special emphasis on how the rule would reduce asthma rates, which affect African-American children.

Rush Limbaugh said once that if the world were going to end tomorrow, the New York Times headline would be, “World Ends Tomorrow–Women And Children Most Effected.”

If we have any doubt that the climate-control movement was the new home of the communists and socialists, the above statement by Ms. McCarthy should remove all doubt.

The article reports:

Green For All acknowledges the need to disrupt the current economy, because we understand that our current economy was based upon human trafficking, the exploitation of labor, and violent racism,” according to the group’s website. “We are safe enough to be invited into spaces where power-building groups are not, and radical enough to push a deeply justice-based agenda in those spaces. We are radical enough to partner with grassroots organizations when other national groups are turned away, and enough of an ally to offer resources and support in those spaces.”

The article reminds us that the disruption in the economy would hit the very people the movement claims to be helping the hardest. The higher energy costs would impact small businesses, causing people to lose their jobs. Lower paid and unskilled workers would be impacted. Low income people would be devastated by higher energy costs.

Wealth redistribution never accomplishes anything good. It simply makes more people poor. It also allows certain people who are in control to be immune from having their wealth redistributed. Generally speaking, it is a really bad idea. Socialist and communist countries have a much lower standard of living than countries where people are free and have property rights. To move in the direction of socialism or communism is to move toward poverty–not toward economic equality or freedom.

The Result Of Doing The ‘Popular’ Thing

Colorado legalized marijuana in 2012. They are reaping in tons of revenue as a result, but what is the actual cost? Today The Daily Signal posted an article about seven negative results of the legalization of marijuana.

The article lists some of the negative impacts of legal marijuana:

1. The majority of DUI drug arrests involve marijuana and 25 to 40 percent were marijuana alone.

2. In 2012, 10.47 percent of Colorado youth ages 12 to 17 were considered current marijuana users compared to 7.55 percent nationally. Colorado ranked fourth in the nation, and was 39 percent higher than the national average.

3. Drug-related student suspensions/expulsions increased 32 percent from school years 2008-09 through 2012-13, the vast majority were for marijuana violations.

4. In 2012, 26.81 percent of college age students were considered current marijuana users compared to 18.89 percent nationally, which ranks Colorado third in the nation and 42 percent above the national average.

5. In 2013, 48.4 percent of Denver adult arrestees tested positive for marijuana, which is a 16 percent increase from 2008.

6. From 2011 through 2013 there was a 57 percent increase in marijuana-related emergency room visits.

7. Hospitalizations related to marijuana has increased 82 percent since 2008.

This information is from a new report by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area entitled “The Legalization of Marijuana in Colorado: The Impact.”

Do you love your children enough to oppose the legalization of marijuana for recreational use?

 

There Are Numbers And There Are Numbers

This graph is from an article in Tuesday’s New York Times. It has to do with the reporting of civilian casualties in Gaza.

aaaapalestinian1aaaapalestinain2

The New York Times reminds us that all civilian casualties reported in Gaza are not civilians:

But the Meir Amit Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center, the Israeli group that analyzed the first Palestinian deaths, accused the Hamas-controlled Health Ministry of “concealment and deception” in order “to create an ostensibly factual infrastructure for a political, propaganda and legal campaign against Israel.”

The Times analysis, looking at 1,431 names, shows that the population most likely to be militants, men ages 20 to 29, is also the most overrepresented in the death toll: They are 9 percent of Gaza’s 1.7 million residents, but 34 percent of those killed whose ages were provided. At the same time, women and children under 15, the least likely to be legitimate targets, were the most underrepresented, making up 71 percent of the population and 33 percent of the known-age casualties.

We need to remember that Hamas soldiers do not always wear uniforms. Those infiltrating Israel through the tunnels wore IDF uniforms. As has been previously stated, Hamas routinely puts rocket launchers in heavily populated civilian areas. That is part of their strategy in the propaganda war. Now that the journalists are leaving Gaza, they are reporting rockets being fired from directly under their hotel rooms and in civilians areas. The world needs to understand the propaganda war being waged by Hamas and not fall prey to the misinformation that is being reported.

A website called Israellycool reports:

Tyler Hicks, the New York Times photographer, begins by telling us that Hamas fighters are hiding in civilian areas, embedded within the civilian population and firing rockets from residential neighborhoods:

I was stationed in Gaza, and covered the Palestinian side of the war where you saw most of the casualties.  One of the reasons for that is because the Hamas fighters are living among the civilian population. . . .  This is a situation where the fighters fire rockets from all over the Gaza Strip, from neighborhoods to cemeteries, from parking lots, from any number of places.

And no, the reason they do this is not because “Gaza is pretty small.”  Hicks next tells us that the fighters seek safety at the expense of the civilian population:

Hamas fighters are not able to expose themselves.  If they were to even step a foot on the street they would be spotted by an Israeli drone and immediately blown up.  We don’t see those fighters.  They are operating out of buildings and homes and at night.

Israel is fighting a terrorist neighbor. The world has a choice. They need to understand that this is a fight against terrorism and for democracy. They can choose to help Israel or they can ignore what is going on. The problem with ignoring what is going on is that the terrorists in Gaza are not a unique entity. They are linked (at least in philosophy) with Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, ISIS in Iraq and Syria, etc. We allow them to continue ruling Gaza at our own peril.

Why There Is So Little Reporting On The Actions Of Hamas

A website called Legal Insurrection posted an article yesterday about the lack of reporting in the mainstream media about the activities of Hamas.

You may recall a April 11, 2003, New York Times article by Easton Jordan entitled “The News We Kept To Ourselves.” The article states:

Over the last dozen years I made 13 trips to Baghdad to lobby the government to keep CNN’s Baghdad bureau open and to arrange interviews with Iraqi leaders. Each time I visited, I became more distressed by what I saw and heard — awful things that could not be reported because doing so would have jeopardized the lives of Iraqis, particularly those on our Baghdad staff.

For example, in the mid-1990’s one of our Iraqi cameramen was abducted. For weeks he was beaten and subjected to electroshock torture in the basement of a secret police headquarters because he refused to confirm the government’s ludicrous suspicion that I was the Central Intelligence Agency’s Iraq station chief. CNN had been in Baghdad long enough to know that telling the world about the torture of one of its employees would almost certainly have gotten him killed and put his family and co-workers at grave risk.

That is the way thugs in the Middle East handle reporters. Things have not changed–that is the modus operandi used by Hamas.

The article at Legal Insurrection reports:

The Times of Israel confirmed several incidents in which journalists were questioned and threatened. These included cases involving photographers who had taken pictures of Hamas operatives in compromising circumstances — gunmen preparing to shoot rockets from within civilian structures, and/or fighting in civilian clothing — and who were then approached by Hamas men, bullied and had their equipment taken away.

The article at Legal Insurrection included tweets from reporters and stories of intimidation of reporters. The reason we are not hearing both sides of the story of the Gaza-Israeli war is that one side is a bunch of thugs who are endangering their own civilian population and doing everything they can to hide the truth.

An Infrequently Reported Example Of Bullying

This was written by a friend on Facebook:

Against Bullying? Start with Walmart

By: Christine Morabito – July, 2014

After years of harassment by special interest groups, Walmart is fighting back. As with most bullies, the claims they make have less to do with reality than with bolstering the tormentor’s self-esteem.

This was evident in Timothy Egan’s New York Times op-ed, June 19, 2014, entitled “The Corporate Daddy,” where Egan accused the company of paying “humiliating wages.” He claimed, “Working at Walmart may not make you poor, but it certainly keeps you poor.”

Responding to the NYT hit piece, Walmart’s David Tovar, Director of Corporate Communications, reposted Egan’s article, complete with snarky, red-inked edits in the margins. He began, “Thanks for sharing your first draft.” Tovar proceeded to dispute claim after baseless claim. It reminded me of the triumphant scene in “Napoleon Dynamite,” where the relentlessly mistreated protagonist earns a standing ovation for his dance moves.

With 2.2 million employees worldwide, Walmart is also the largest U.S. employer. The average full-time associate earns around $12 an hour, well above minimum wage. In 2013, the corporation was praised by First Lady Michelle Obama for announcing plans to hire 100,000 veterans. Last year they donated more than $1 billion to charity globally. They also offer education assistance and help associates who have been affected by catastrophic life events such as fire, divorce, death, etc. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, the retailer sent truckloads of goods to help victims. Yet, their reputation is under constant attack.

The Washington Examiner reported that Walmart’s health insurance is not only more affordable than Obamacare, but it also offers better coverage, minus the income, age or gender restrictions. The retailer revolutionized the pharmacy industry by offering inexpensive prescription drugs with little to no co-pays for their employees. Still, nothing satisfies the bullies, intent on pushing Walmart down and taking their lunch money.

Walmart is known for their entry level positions. But starting wages are rarely static. According to their website, “About 75% of our store management teams started as hourly associates, and they earn between $50,000 and $170,000 a year … Last year, Walmart promoted about 170,000 people to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay.” This is a key point lost on the Walmart bashers — as people gain knowledge and experience they climb the economic ladder.

It is clear the Walmart smear campaign is a pastime mostly enjoyed by far left activists, unions, angered by the superstore’s refusal to unionize, and the politicians beholden to such groups. To protest the opening of Walmart stores in cities, like Brooklyn, New York and Boston, is to deprive consumers of a wide variety of quality goods at low prices. A 2011 NYT poll showed 62 percent of New Yorkers wanted a store in their neighborhood. In her blog, “Ghetto Economics & the Politics of Poverty,” Stephanie Davis writes: “In essence, Boston’s political class has turned its city limits into a type of food dessert or island in which the cost of goods is higher because of limited supply or lack of competition.”

Today’s trend is to be obsessed with the gap between the highest paid worker and the lowest. Of course there’s an income gap! But, we must also take into account the gap in initiative, experience and in some cases, education (all of which can be rectified). These things being equal, we could legitimately criticize the income disparity. If career politicians and intellectual elites had even a smidgen of experience in the private sector, they might understand how this works. Until then, they shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near economic policy.

Call me old-fashioned, but I miss the days when we valued hard work and success in this country. Young people today are encouraged to vilify those who have more. It seems to me a childish and selfish way to view the world.

In my youth, I had many low paying jobs. When I got tired of being broke, I applied for student loans, studied hard and became a nurse. If I wanted more money, I could go back to school and become a nurse manager or even a surgeon. Here’s the thing: I don’t want to. I’d rather not put forth the effort or incur the associated expense. Do I resent doctors because they make more than me? Not at all. Do I march in the streets and demand the same salary as a physician? That would be absurd.

Instead of browbeating Walmart and coveting thy neighbor’s paycheck, maybe we should be inspiring people to educate and market themselves so they have skills employers need. I learned early in life that no one is going to pay me to sit around looking pretty.

The Game Changer In The Israeli-Gaza War

This is a picture from Monday’s New York Times:

IsraeliMapTunnels1 The Israeli military said it had uncovered about two dozen tunnels with more than 60 access points, many of them in this Gaza City neighborhood where there has been some of the most intense fighting. 2 In early July, the Israeli Air Force struck a tunnel that led to this kibbutz, near where Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier, was captured in 2006. 3 Hamas gunmen emerged from a tunnel about a mile from this kibbutz last Thursday. Israeli officials cited this as the final straw before the ground invasion. 4 Eight Palestinian militants emerged from a tunnel near here on Saturday, armed with automatic weapons and wearing Israeli military uniforms. 5 A deadly battle ensued between Israeli troops and Hamas militants on Monday after the militants emerged from a tunnel about 500 yards from this community’s homes. 6 Some of the militants tried to make their way here. 7 Residents of this kibbutz were warned to stay inside.

There is no way Israel can stop fighting until all of the tunnel network is destroyed. Any call for a cease fire without the destruction of the tunnels will result in a continued attack on Israeli civilians. The world generally ignored the rocket attacks on Israeli civilians as they continued over the years. We cannot ignore the attacks that would come from the tunnels if the tunnels were left intact.

This video from Palestinian television might explain why peace in the region is so difficult:

The video can be found at YouTube.

Just as America and its allies had to defeat Germany completely to stop Hitler, the Israelis will have to defeat Hamas and other terrorists whose goal is to eliminate Israel completely. Until that happens, Israel will have to defend herself against those who attack settlements and kill civilians.

Correcting The Lies

This is a link to an article at The Blaze. The article shows a letter written by David Tovar, Walmart’s VP of corporate communications for Walmart to New York Times columnist Timothy Egan after Mr. Egan posted an article that attempted to smear Walmart.

Please follow the link to read the reply. It is an example of the correct way to respond to a smear attack.

 

 

Overloading The System

This post is one I don’t like writing. It reminds me of the phrase, “Just because you are paranoid, it doesn’t mean that someone isn’t out to get you.” I hate conspiracy theories. My brain isn’t complicated enough to put all the pieces together, but after a while it becomes difficult to ignore a recurring pattern.

The following is from a 2005 article posted at Discover the Networks. It explains the Cloward Piven approach to bringing about social change.

First proposed in 1966 and named after Columbia University sociologists Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven, the Cloward-Piven Strategy seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Inspired by the August 1965 riots in the black district of Watts in Los Angeles (which erupted after police had used batons to subdue an African American man suspected of drunk driving), Cloward and Piven published an article titled “The Weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty” in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation. Following its publication, The Nation sold an unprecedented 30,000 reprints. Activists were abuzz over the so-called “crisis strategy” or “Cloward-PivenStrategy,” as it came to be called. Many were eager to put it into effect.

In their 1966 article, Cloward and Piven charged that the ruling classes used welfare to weaken the poor; that by providing a social safety net, the rich doused the fires of rebellion. Poor people can advance only when “the rest of society is afraid of them,” Cloward told The New York Times on September 27, 1970. Rather than placating the poor with government hand-outs, wrote Cloward and Piven, activists should work to sabotage and destroy the welfare system; the collapse of the welfare state would ignite a political and financial crisis that would rock the nation; poor people would rise in revolt; only then would “the rest of society” accept their demands.

So how is this relevant to what is happening today? At some point when you examine the Obama Administration, you have to decide whether the failed policies are simply the result of a political ideology that doesn’t work, poor administration skills, or if they are by design. I am coming to the conclusion that they are by design.

Yesterday Human Events posted a story about the crisis of unaccompanied children pouring into America through our porous southern border.

The article reports:

There have been anecdotal reports of a message being spread throughout Central American countries, by everything from word-of-mouth gossip to news media: “Go to America with your child, you won’t be turned away.”  (It will come as no surprise to learn that the Mexican government is not doing much to halt the train of amnesty-seekers headed for American soil.  On the contrary, corrupt Mexican officials are trying to get a cut of the profits from the refugee-smuggling trade.)

Two of the state hit hardest by this are Texas and Arizona–payback for being thorns in the side of the Obama Administration. But the point here is that this wave of children is going to overwhelm the federal government’s ‘safety net.’

Let’s look at some recent events and their impact on the morale of our military. Certainly the VA scandal does not make our military feel loved. What about the federal government’s effort to disarm returning veterans? (rightwinggranny.com) What about sending five high-ranking enemy combatants back to war while are troops are still in the battlefield? (Yes, I know they are in Qatar, but you can bet they are on the internet and in communication with their former comrades in arms.)

Let’s look at the impact of the Obama Administration on medicine and medical insurance in America. Premiums are skyrocketing while it is becoming more difficult to obtain care in a timely manner. It is very possible that ObamaCare will put medical insurance companies out of business and the insurance industry will not be able to be rebuilt after the disaster that is coming. The medical system will be overloaded with people who are not able to obtain care.

I don’t know if America will recover from the Obama Administration. If we do recover, it will be a long and difficult road back to prosperity. President Reagan was able to walk that road after one term of Jimmy Carter, but Jimmy Carter did not do the structural damage to America that President Obama is doing. Electing Republicans in November may lessen the damage, but when you consider President Obama’s lack of respect for the U.S. Constitution, his leaving office in January 2017 and being replaced by someone who does not share his political philosophy is really the only hope left for America.

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Changing The Parameters To Mask The Results

Today’s New York Times is reporting that the Census Bureau, an agency which President Obama brought into the sphere of the White House, is changing the way it reports health insurance date. The change will make it more difficult to measure the impact of ObamaCare in the report due out this fall.

The article reports:

The changes are intended to improve the accuracy of the survey, being conducted this month in interviews with tens of thousands of households around the country. But the new questions are so different that the findings will not be comparable, the officials said.

An internal Census Bureau document said that the new questionnaire included a “total revision to health insurance questions” and, in a test last year, produced lower estimates of the uninsured. Thus, officials said, it will be difficult to say how much of any change is attributable to the Affordable Care Act and how much to the use of a new survey instrument.

“We are expecting much lower numbers just because of the questions and how they are asked,” said Brett J. O’Hara, chief of the health statistics branch at the Census Bureau.

Can you pick out the taking points?

This will, of course, mute the effectiveness of attacks on ObamaCare in the fall election.

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A Scapegoat Speaks Out

RULE 12 of Saul Alinsky‘s Rules for Radicals states: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)

The latest example of the use of this rule is the political left’s attack on the Koch Brothers.

As I reported on February 14th (rightwinggranny.com):

Open Secrets has posted a list of the top donors to Republicans and Democrats from 1989 to 2014. It is not really a surprise to me that you have to go down to number 17 to find a donor who donated more to the Republicans than Democrats. Koch Industries, the organization liberals love to cite as the buyer of elections, is number 59 on the list.

Well, the Koch Brothers are speaking out, and John Hinderaker Power Line posted  the story yesterday.

John Hinderaker states:

I asked Koch Industries’ general counsel, Mark Holden, who sometimes acts as a spokesman for the company, whether he would like to comment on the Times’ account of the Democrats’ new strategy. He responded with these observations:

It is disappointing, but not surprising, to see the NY Times become the launch pad for Senator Reid’s and his allied group Patriot Majority USA’s most recent dishonest and desperate attack campaign against Charles Koch and David Koch. It was very surprising, however, to see the Times’ headline that this was a “new strategy” by the Democratic leadership. For the past several years, the Times has been reporting and opining, and sometimes joining in, the attacks against us.

This is a living example of Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals Rule No. 12.

John Hinderaker compares the New York Times with Koch Industries:

Indeed. It is revealing to compare Charles and David Koch with the owners and managers of the New York Times Company. The Koch brothers employ a growing, highly-paid work force of 60,000 in the United States, around one-third of whom are unionized. Koch Industries enjoys excellent relationships with its unions. The New York Times Company, on the other hand, employs a shrinking, largely ill-paid work force, and is embroiled in a long-running feud with its unions.

Koch Industries and its subsidiaries produce tangible products that enrich the lives of Americans–among other things, Koch transports and refines oil, makes products that are used in construction, and manufactures a wide array of consumer products that are staples in most American homes. The New York Times Company produces nothing but shoddy left-wing journalism that is of questionable benefit to anyone.

This is not a Republican or Democrat issue. The issue here is what Americans want from their politicians and media. We can have a media that is objective and tells voters what they need to know to make informed choices, or we can have a media that lies to us and attacks people in a partisan way. The destruction of an honest man running a successful business does not do anyone any good. It is harmful to our representative republic. If Americans want honest news sources, they need to stop buying newspapers from sources that are not helpful to the political debate. We all need to support the sources telling the truth, and let the sources not telling the truth deal with a pile of unsold newspapers.

 

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This Really Is More Information Than I Needed

ESPN and other news outlets are buzzing today about Michael Sam, an All-American defensive lineman from Missouri and the Associated Press‘ SEC Defensive Player of the Year. Michael Sam has announced that he is gay. Mr. Sam, no offense, but I really don’t care. My question is, “Would the press make this much fuss if a football player announced that he was celibate because he was a Christian?” Either way, it’s more information that I need. I wish Mr. Sam the best in his career, and I hope that he is treated fairly. Other than that, this really is more information than I need, and it is none on my business.

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When Government Works

Yes, government can actually work. You haven’t heard about this one example because it really does not illustrate what the media wants illustrated, but government can work.

Yesterday The Blaze reported on some comments made by Rush Limbaugh about what is happening in Wisconsin. You haven’t heard much about this, but the state has done an amazing turn around.

The story reports:

The state of Wisconsin’s unemployment rate is “rapidly falling” and the government’s budget ended the year with a $912 million surplus, Limbaugh explained. He says the dramatic turnaround is due in large part to the conservative policies of Gov. Scott Walker.

What’s even more amazing, he continued, is the fact that Walker is going to “rebate the money in the form of tax cuts to the people, who he said own the money.” Limbaugh says the news is “earth-shattering” because, in one of the bluest states, Walker was targeted for removal twice but continued to implement conservative policies that he was confident would help his state — and his strategy appears to be working.

If you think back a little bit, you remember what Governor Walker went through to implement his plans for the state. He had protestors trashing the capitol, he survived recall elections, and personal attacks, but he just kept on moving forward.

The article reminds us:

“He’s going to cut income taxes and property taxes, and he made the point that it’s not just a gimmick of budgeting or accounting. It’s the result of serious, significant policy changes,” Limbaugh argued.

“Now, folks, what I just told you was not reported once anywhere in what you would consider mainstream media. It was not reported on one cable network, much less all of them. It was not reported in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the LA Times,” he added. “It was reported in Wisconsin. There was an AP story on it, maybe some local papers picked it up, but just as a filler.”

“And to me, for us as conservatives, Wisconsin and Governor Walker, I mean, everything that we want to happen, happened there,” the radio host concluded.

When government is done right, unemployment goes down, taxes go down, and everyone gains. When government is done wrong, unemployment goes up, taxes go up, the number of people receiving food stamps goes up, and everyone loses.

It is, in the long run, up to the voters to decide what they want.

“He’s going to cut income taxes and property taxes, and he made the point that it’s not just a gimmick of budgeting or accounting. It’s the result of serious, significant policy changes,” Limbaugh argued.

“Now, folks, what I just told you was not reported once anywhere in what you would consider mainstream media. It was not reported on one cable network, much less all of them. It was not reported in the New York Times, the Washington Post, or the LA Times,” he added. “It was reported in Wisconsin. There was an AP story on it, maybe some local papers picked it up, but just as a filler.”

“And to me, for us as conservatives, Wisconsin and Governor Walker, I mean, everything that we want to happen, happened there,” the radio host concluded.

Listen to the segment via the Daily Rushbo:

Walker is proposing a $504 million property and income tax cut plan as a means to return some of the surplus money to the people of Wisconsin. Some Democrats and Republicans are already criticizing the plan and are calling for changes.

“The budget surplus is really your money,” Walker recently said at a meeting of the Wisconsin Grocers Association. “You earned it.”

However, some lawmakers are concerned that Walker’s tax cut plan would increase the state’s projected budget shortfall from $700 million to $800,000 million. The Republican governor argues the estimates don’t take into account any revenue growth, which he says will cover the difference.

The unemployment rate in Wisconsin dropped to 6.2 percent in December and has been dropping steadily since 2011.

Featured Comments

  • Shreknangst

    A $912 million surplus, turns into a projected $700-$800 million deficit … a $1.6 Trillion negative shift.
    Somehow that sounds like Reagan era traditional GOP math and economics … Where are the Tea Party and their idea of cutting deficits? This guy seems to be creating a massive one, and, naturally, Rush doesn’t see it.
    A 6.2% unemployment rate doesn’t leave much room for growth in the economy. To wipe out that $1.6 Trillion negative shift, the state would need to get to nearly zero unemployment.

    Shreknangst

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Using The IRS To Silence Free Speech

Yesterday the New York Times posted an article about an organization formed in Hollywood called Friends of Abe. The group of about 1,500 conservative people in the entertainment industry has applied for tax-exempt status. The group has kept a low-profile in order to avoid the possibility of a conservative black list that would result in their not being hired to work in their industry.

The article reports:

Now the Internal Revenue Service is reviewing the group’s activities in connection with its application for tax-exempt status. Last week, federal tax authorities presented the group with a 10-point request for detailed information about its meetings with politicians like Paul D. Ryan, Thaddeus McCotter and Herman Cain, among other matters, according to people briefed on the inquiry.

The article further reports:

The group is not currently designated tax-exempt, but it behaves as a nonprofit and has almost no formal structure, people briefed on the matter said. The I.R.S. review will determine whether Friends of Abe receives tax-exempt status that would provide legal footing similar to that of the People for the American Way Foundation, a progressive group fostered by the television producer Norman Lear and others. If not, Friends of Abe could resort to the courts, or it might simply operate as a nonprofit, but it would be unable to receive tax-deductible contributions.

I hate to by cynical about this (but I am), but it would be nice if Friends of Abe were treated the same way as People for the American Way. Unfortunately under President Obama, the IRS is as much a political tool as an agency to collect taxes.

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The Kickoff For The Silly Season

Generally speaking, the silly season is the four to six-month period before a major election when you are deluged by television and radio ads and phone calls from various candidates. It is a time when you have to look behind everything you hear to see who is putting the information out there and if there is any money involved in your hearing it. If you are a low-information voter, you will probably be totally mislead by the process. If you are a high-information voter, you may be slightly wiser, but you will be sick of the entire process by the time the election arrives. Right now we are in the run-up to the November 2014 Congressional elections, but the day after that election, the 2016 presidential election campaign begins. Actually, it has already begun.

Today, John Hinderaker at Power Line posted an article about a New York Times article about Benghazi. The New York Times is already preparing the way for Hillary Clinton to run for President in 2016. It is preparing the way by rewriting the history of Benghazi in a way that scrubs out any lies or mistakes made by the Hillary Clinton State Department and places the blame for the death of Ambassador Stevens anywhere but on Hillary Clinton.

The article at Power Line reports:

The Times, attempting to shore up Hillary Clinton’s 2016 candidacy, tries to show that the attacks on American facilities in Benghazi that took place on September 11, 2012, were not orchestrated by al Qaeda. The paper’s reporter reaches this conclusion, as Paul and Tom show, by simply ignoring most of the relevant facts. Further, the paper tries to resurrect the theory that an obscure YouTube video had something to do with the death of four Americans. Sure, that’s highly plausible: for the first time ever, movie critics were armed with mortars.

The article at Power Line asks three basic questions:

1. Why didn’t Hillary Clinton, then Secretary of State, respond to any of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ several requests for increased security?

2. Where were Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton on the night of September 11, 2012, and what orders, if any, did they give?

3. Why haven’t the perpetrators of the murders been found and punished?

I’m not likely to vote for Hillary Clinton for President, but I still would like to see those questions answered before she runs for office.

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I Have A Card, Why Can’t I See A Doctor?

One of the distinctions that has not been clearly made in the discussion of ObamaCare is the difference between having a card that says you have medical insurance and actually being able to obtain medical care when you need it. Somehow that has been pretty much left out of the discussion. Well, as theory meets reality, access to care (regardless of whether or not you have insurance) will become an issue.

Yesterday the New York Times posted a story about what is happening to California’s Medicaid program as a result of ObamaCare.

The article tells the story of one California doctor:

Dr. Ted Mazer is one of the few ear, nose and throat specialists in this region who treat low-income people on Medicaid, so many of his patients travel long distances to see him.

But now, as California’s Medicaid program is preparing for a major expansion under President Obama’s health care law, Dr. Mazer says he cannot accept additional patients under the government insurance program for a simple reason: It does not pay enough.

“It’s a bad situation that is likely to be made worse,” he said.

His view is shared by many doctors around the country. Medicaid for years has struggled with a shortage of doctors willing to accept its low reimbursement rates and red tape, forcing many patients to wait for care, particularly from specialists like Dr. Mazer.

In theory, ObamaCare was supposed to help people who were not able to afford health insurance to get medical care. In practice, ObamaCare will probably result in less care and more people with serious health issues not getting the care they need. The promise of “if you like your insurance, you can keep it” has been proven to be false, and now the promise of access to medical care for all Americans is also turning out to be false.

The article further reports:

In California, with the nation’s largest Medicaid population, many doctors say they are already overwhelmed and are unable to take on more low-income patients. Dr. Hector Flores, a primary care doctor in East Los Angeles whose practice has 26,000 patients, more than a third of whom are on Medicaid, said he could accommodate an additional 1,000 Medicaid patients at most.

“There could easily be 10,000 patients looking for us, and we’re just not going to be able to serve them,” said Dr. Flores, who is also the chairman of the family medicine department at White Memorial Medical Center in Los Angeles.

We need to repeal ObamaCare before it does any more damage and replace it with a private-sector-based plan that actually works. If we don’t stop this train wreck now, we may not be able to stop it later.

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Economic Justice???

I guess I’m  more than a little out of step here, but my definition of economic justice is helping more people increase their earnings and keep more of what they earn. Economic success should be available to everyone who is willing to work for it to the degree which they are willing to work. For example, a businessman starting a business will put in 60 hour weeks in the beginning of the venture in order to get things started. When his company grows and becomes more stable, he may be able to drop to 50 hours a week. If he becomes wealthy, it is because he has earned that wealth. That businessman should be held up as a positive example of what hard work can accomplish, and every American should be encouraged to follow that example. That is economic justice–you get what you work for and are allowed to keep a large portion of it. It is not economic justice to take money from someone who has earned it and give it to someone who has not.

Unfortunately, the definition of economic justice has been skewed in recent years to embrace the idea of taking money from people who earn it and giving it to those who have not earned it. ObamaCare is the epitome of that concept, and the mainstream media has finally awakened to that fact.

Yesterday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article about the redistribution of wealth that ObamaCare represents.

The article reports:

Take the New York Times. In a fit of candor, it now agrees with what we’ve said all along — “redistribution of wealth lies at the heart of” the Affordable Care Act.

The paper reported that “economic justice” was Obama‘s real goal in taking over a sixth of the economy.

But to make his plan “palatable” to “middle-class voters,” he had to mislead them into thinking nothing would be taken from them. He had to assure them, in a “semantic sidestep,” that ObamaCare was a win-win for all Americans, when in fact it created “losers as well as winners” — tens of millions of losers, as it turns out.

“Hiding in plain sight behind that pledge — visible to health policy experts but not the general public — was the redistribution required to extend health coverage to those who had been either locked out or priced out of the market,” the Times said. “Now some of that redistribution has come clearly into view.”

Of course, it was visible to Times correspondents as well. But they’re just now getting around to informing voters, after flooding them with pro-ObamaCare stories during the 2012 campaign.

Right now the media is not the friend of the American voter, but we as voters have to take some responsibility for what we are willing to believe. During the 2012 election campaign, the information about ObamaCare was available to anyone who chose to look past the mainstream media. The death panels were talked about, the taking money out of Medicare was discussed, and the problems with keeping your current health plans was discussed–not often in the mainstream media–but those ideas were discussed.

The lesson to all of us is simple–the media is telling us what they want us to know when they want us to know it. If we want to be informed citizens, all of us need to learn to do research on our own. There is an election next year–it’s time to get busy.

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The Impact Of Voter Identification Laws On Voter Turnout

Yesterday National Review posted an article about the impact of voter ID laws on a recent election in Texas. The article quotes a a New York Times headline Thursday stating: “Texas’ Stringent Voter ID Law Makes a Dent at the Polls.” However, the facts cited in the article in the New York Times does not seem to support the headline.

There are four so-called victims of the voter ID law named in the article, but all of them were given the right to vote.

The article at National Review further quotes the New York Times article:

It does, however, note, “Officials also said there was little traffic at the offices set up by the state to provide free voter-ID documents for those without another approved form of identification.” So, in other words, the state had conscientiously prepared for the contingency of people needing voter-ID documents, and had set up offices to provide them for free. That’s a good thing, right? And what’s more, it turns out that there was really no problem after all. Contrary to the hysterical claims of those opposing voter-ID requirements, there apparently are not large numbers of Texas voters who lack identification.

The article concludes:

Texas’s secretary of state, who might know something about all this, is quoted belatedly as follows: “This was our first statewide election with a photo ID requirement in place, and it was smooth, secure and successful.” Somehow, that pithy summary was not quite up to snuff for the Times’s headline writer.

Consider the things you have to show identification for. If you want to enter any government building, you have to show identification. If you want to sign up for any government program, you have to show identification. If you want to board an airplane, you have to show identification. Isn’t voting at least as important as those activities?

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I’d Be More Inclined To Listen If You Practiced What You Preach

From The New York Times January 12, 2011:

It was one of the more powerful addresses that Mr. Obama has delivered as president, harnessing the emotion generated by the shock and loss from Saturday’s shootings to urge Americans “to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully” and to “remind ourselves of all the ways that our hopes and dreams are bound together.”

“At a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized, at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do,” he said, “it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”

…“If, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse,” Mr. Obama said, “let us remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy — it did not — but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud.”

From the Washington Times yesterday:

Senior White House adviser Dan Pfeiffer on Thursday compared Republican lawmakers to suicide bombers as the showdown over a possible government shutdown intensified.

“We are for cutting spending, we are for reforming our tax code, we are for reforming entitlements,” Mr. Pfeiffer told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “But what we are not for is negotiating with people who have a bomb strapped to their chest.”

Mr. Pfeiffer, 37, who was hospitalized twice this month for stroke-like symptoms, also compared the GOP to arsonists and kidnappers. He called Republicans’ bid to attach other priorities to a debt-ceiling bill “ransom demands.”

‘Nuff said.

 

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One of the Problems with Syria

Michael Rubin was on the Bill Bennett show this morning. During his comments he restated something he had written in an AEI article on August 28.

The article states:

Remember: While the Aug. 21 attack on East Ghouta, on the outskirts of Damascus, was the most severe chemical weapons strike, the UN has accused both sides of utilizing chemical agents.

I haven’t heard that reported in a lot of places.

Meanwhile, the New York Times posted an article today detailing some of the brutality of the Syrian Rebels. There are the rebels that an American intervention would help. A recent video smuggled out of Syria shows rebel forces brutally executing prisoners.

The New York Times article details some of the problems with supporting the rebels:

Much of the concern among American officials has focused on two groups that acknowledge ties to Al Qaeda. These groups — the Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — have attracted foreign jihadis, used terrorist tactics and vowed to create a society in Syria ruled by their severe interpretation of Islamic law.

They have established a firm presence in parts of Aleppo and Idlib Provinces and in the northern provincial capital of Raqqa and in Deir al-Zour, to the east on the Iraqi border.

While the jihadis claim to be superior fighters, and have collaborated with secular Syrian rebels, some analysts and diplomats also note that they can appear less focused on toppling President Bashar al-Assad. Instead, they said, they focus more on establishing a zone of influence spanning Iraq’s Anbar Province and the desert eastern areas of Syria, and eventually establishing an Islamic territory under their administration.

I really think we need to consider what we would be supporting if we were to get involved in Syria’s civil war. I am still not convinced that there are any good guys in this fight. My heart breaks for the civilian casualties, but I am not sure helping the rebels will improve things for the people of Syria. It might be much more constructive simply to help the refugees as they find their way to other countries.

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Another ObamaCare Promise Broken

The Daily Caller reported today that the limits on the out-of-pocket costs to consumers under ObamaCare will be delayed until 2015.  If this is such a great program, how come major parts of it keep getting delayed?

The article reports:

The limit on out-of-pocket expenses was not to have exceeded $6,350 for an individual and $12,700 for a family, however, the New York Times reports, federal officials placed a one-year delay on these caps providing insurers the ability to set their own limits in 2014.

The delay was noted on the Department of Labor’s website since February, however, as the Times notes, it went unnoticed until now.

…“We’ll place a limit on how much you can be charged for out-of-pocket expenses, because no one in America should go broke because they get sick,” Obama said in an August 2009 weekly address; a sentiment Obama repeated that September before a joint session of Congress, the Times reported.

The problem with putting caps on a person’s medical expenses is that someone has to pay those expenses. I don’t like the idea of people going bankrupt because of medical expenses, but I am not sure that is the federal government’s responsibility. I also wonder who will actually paying these expenses.

It seems as if there are a lot of unresolved problems and questions regarding ObamaCare. I am really uncomfortable with ObamaCare going forward when it seems to consist of delays, exceptions for the people who passed it and their staffs, and broken promises.

 

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