We Need To Find These People A Hobby

On August 9th, The New York Times posted an article with the following headline, “The Great American Lawn: How the Dream Was Manufactured.”

The article states:

America’s manicured front lawns represent the pride of homeownership, and the cultivation of community. But the ways we maintain them risk hurting the environment and contributing to climate change.

What? The article then goes on to provide a list of sources you can consult to show how evil your lawn is. Good grief.

The article concludes:

More Lawn Coverage from the Times

    • The Times’ “Climate Fwd:” newsletter published some tips on how to lessen your lawn care’s environmental impact.

    • Our Real Estate columnist Ronda Kaysen explained why she’s done mowing her lawn.

    • If you do mow your lawn, here’s a way to practice meditation as you go.

    • Finally, as mentioned in the video, here’s The Times’ coverage of former President Theodore Roosevelt mowing his lawn in 1914.

The implication here is that mowing your lawn is the problem. I suspect that the article also cites some of the lawn products people use to control weeds that are considered a problem.

Let’s talk about the good things a lawn provides–a place for the family to play. A well-maintained lawn is less likely to be a home for animals that are harmful to people. In the 1970’s there was a lot of concern about the ‘greenhouse effect.’ The basic theory was that because we have paved so many areas of the world, we were overheating the planet. The suggested cure for that was planting more grass and trees.

I wish these people would make up their minds.

I Suspect That This Is Not The First Time This Has Been Done

On Thursday The Federalist posted an article about The New York Times best seller list. It seems that the list is not as straight forward as it should be.

The article reports:

The New York Times fudged book sales data in order to deny top-five billing to the best-selling “Justice on Trial,” the definitive and deeply reported account of the nomination and confirmation of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, which was written by Carrie Severino and Mollie Hemingway, a Senior Editor for The Federalist. Industry sales figures show that the New York Times ignored actual data on nationwide sales in order to depress the rankings not just for the Hemingway/Severino book, but also Mark Levin’s latest book on the corruption of modern journalism.

According to Publisher’s Weekly, the only public source of point-of-sale data on book sales, “Justice on Trial,” was the top-selling non-fiction book published over the last week. Tara Westover’s blockbuster memoir “Educated” was the top-selling non-fiction overall according to data from NPD Bookscan, but is excluded from Publisher’s Weekly’s list since it was first published over a year ago.

Mark Levin’s “Unfreedom of the Press” came in at #2 on the best-selling list, followed by David McCullough’s “The Pioneers” at #3, “Three Women” by Lisa Taddeo at #4, and Michelle Obama’s “Becoming” at #5. Hemingway’s and Severino’s book outsold each of those books placed ahead of it on the New York Times list, according to nationwide sales data.

Amazon.com, the online retail giant, reported that “Justice on Trial” was also the top-selling non-fiction book on its site last week. It was Amazon’s top-selling book overall, non-fiction or otherwise, from Monday through Friday of last week.

The New York Times, however, reported a very different ranking at complete odds with the Publisher’s Weekly/NPD Bookscan sales figures. Instead of accurately reporting that “Justice on Trial” was the second best-selling hardcover non-fiction book in America last week according to widely accepted industry sales data, the New York Times put the book at #6 on its list, behind Mark Levin’s book at #5. Neither ranking can be justified by actual sales figures.

The article concludes:

Rather than collecting nationwide data on book sales across all platforms and locations, the New York Times reportedly surveys only select retailers, the identities of which the paper refuses to disclose.

In a 2007 column, former public editor Clark Hoyt all but admitted that the New York Times Best Seller list was fake news.

The list “is not a completely accurate barometer of what the reading public is buying,” Hoyt wrote. “For my money, if the main list is a best sellers list, it ought to reflect what’s selling best.”

So I guess The New York Times best seller list is about as accurate as the rest of their reporting.

 

Fact-Checking The Lies

I really hate being lied to. I also hate it when a source that should be reliable lies to me in order to convince me to take a stand on an issue. Unfortunately that has become a way of life for some of the mainstream media. The latest example illustrates that there might be some panic associated with having an attorney general who believes in the rule of law involved in the Epstein case.

The Gateway Pundit reported today:

The Fake News Liberal Media claimed that AG Bill Barr’s father worked with Jeffrey Epstein as a school teacher and therefore AG Barr should recuse himself from the Epstein case.  Of course, it’s just another liberal lie.

The article then goes on to report the actual facts:

The fake news New York Times reported in February 1974 that Bill Barr’s father had resigned from the elite school

…The far left Daily Beast reported that Epstein did work at the school but he didn’t work there until after the summer of 1974 –

 

 AG Bill Barr’s father couldn’t have worked with Epstein at Dalton School because he wasn’t even there when Epstein worked there.  He resigned months earlier.

So I guess there is no reason for Attorney General Barr to recuse himself. But how many people are mistakenly going to believe what they heard on the news? This sort of reporting is a threat to our republic–misinformed voters can be manipulated to vote any way a dishonest media wants them to vote.

Sometimes It’s Hard To Figure Out Who Your Friends Actually Are

There has been a civil war going on in Libya since 2014. When Muammar Gaddafi was killed in 2011, there was a revolution for less than a year, and a government was established. A new government was elected in 2014, but there were controversies surrounding that election. There has been a civil war in Libya ever since.

On June 28th, The New York Times reported the following:

Libyan government fighters discovered a cache of powerful American missiles, usually sold only to close American allies, at a captured rebel base in the mountains south of Tripoli this week.

The article notes that America supports the current government of Libya. Gen. Khalifa Hifter and his forces are waging a military campaign to overthrow the current government and take over Libya. So where did the American weapons, to be used against a government America supports, come from?

The article notes:

Markings on the missiles’ shipping containers indicate that they were originally sold to the United Arab Emirates, an important American partner, in 2008.

If the Emirates transferred the weapons to General Hifter, it would likely violate the sales agreement with the United States as well as a United Nations arms embargo.

Both the State Department and Defense Department are investigating how the weapons wound up in Libya.

The article continues:

“We take all allegations of misuse of U.S. origin defense articles very seriously,” a State Department official said in a statement. “We are aware of these reports and are seeking additional information. We expect all recipients of U.S. origin defense equipment to abide by their end-use obligations.”

The United States supports United Nations-led efforts to broker a peaceful solution to the Libyan crisis, the official added.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Defense declined to comment further on the matter.

The United Arab Emirates ambassador to Washington, Yousef al-Otaiba, declined to answer questions about the provenance of the missiles.

Finally, the article notes some interesting contradictions in those who support of the current regime and the rebels:

When General Hifter started his assault on Tripoli on April 4, in the face of much international opposition, the Emiratis continued to support him. They supplied a Russian-made surface-to-air missile system, Chinese-made Wing Loong combat drones and Emirati drones, said a senior Western official with knowledge of the arms trade.

Jordan, another American ally to side with General Hifter, sent a Jordanian-made anti-tank system known as Nashshab, the official said.

Turkey, a regional rival of the United Arab Emirates, intervened on the other side of the fight, sending combat drones and armored vehicles to help the United Nations-backed government in Tripoli.

The United States supports the Tripoli government, which it helped install. However, President Trump appeared to endorse General Hifter and his military drive after the two men spoke by telephone in April, hailing his “significant role in fighting terrorism.”

Other American officials later rowed back that position by stressing American support for the United Nations-led political process.

The foreign interventions, which flout a United Nations embargo on all arms sales to Libya, highlight how the conflict set off by the ouster of Libya’s longtime dictator, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, in 2011 has partly devolved into a proxy conflict between rival regional powers.

I would just like to note that civil wars are nasty, and it is foolish for outsiders to get involved in them. It really doesn’t sound as if the current government in Libya is the one we should be supporting.

How Should We Deal With Iran?

On Friday, Bret Stephens posted a column in The New York Times about the recent aggressive actions taken by Iran against international shipping. Bret Stephens is not a supporter of President Trump, but in this instance, his views seem to be in line with the policies of the Trump administration.

The column notes:

On April 14, 1988, the U.S.S. Samuel B. Roberts, a frigate, hit an Iranian naval mine while sailing in the Persian Gulf. The explosion injured 10 of her crew and nearly sank the ship. Four days later, the U.S. Navy destroyed half the Iranian fleet in a matter of hours. Iran did not molest the Navy or international shipping for many years thereafter.

Now that’s changed. Iran’s piratical regime is back yet again to its piratical ways.

Or so it seems, based on a detailed timeline of Thursday’s attacks on two tankers in the Gulf of Oman provided by the U.S. Central Command, including a surveillance video of one of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps patrol boats removing an unexploded limpet mine from the hull of one of the damaged tankers.

The column notes that the evidence points to Iran as behind the recent attacks:

In this case, however, the evidence against Iran is compelling. CentCom’s account notes that “a U.S. aircraft observed an IRGC Hendijan class patrol boat and multiple IRGC fast attack craft/fast inshore attack craft (FAC/FIAC) in the vicinity of the M/T Altair,” one of the damaged tankers. The Iranian boats are familiar to the U.S. Navy after decades of observing them at close range. And staging deniable attacks that fall just below the threshold of open warfare on the U.S. is an Iranian specialty.

So what do we do now?

The column concludes:

It can’t be the usual Trumpian cycle of bluster and concession. Neither can it be the liberal counsel of feckless condemnation followed by inaction. Firing on unarmed ships in international waters is a direct assault on the rules-based international order in which liberals claim to believe. To allow it to go unpunished isn’t an option.

What is appropriate is a new set of rules — with swift consequences if Iran chooses to break them. The Trump administration ought to declare new rules of engagement to allow the Navy to engage and destroy Iranian ships or fast boats that harass or threaten any ship, military or commercial, operating in international waters. If Tehran fails to comply, the U.S. should threaten to sink any Iranian naval ship that leaves port.

If after that Iran still fails to comply, we would be right to sink its navy, in port or at sea. The world cannot tolerate freelance Somali pirates. Much less should it tolerate a pirate state seeking to hold the global economy hostage through multiplying acts of economic terrorism.

Nobody wants a war with Iran. But not wanting a war does not mean remaining supine in the face of its outrages. We sank Iran’s navy before. Tehran should be put on notice that we are prepared and able to do it again.

Sometimes you simply have to stand up to a bully in order to correct his behavior.

The Ghost Of The Obama Administration

Breitbart posted an article today about trade agreements between the United States and Qatar. It seems that there are air trade agreements that Qatar is violating. Those violations were allowed under the Obama administration. Qatar would like to see those violations continue under the Trump administration.

The article reports:

Open Skies agreements are executive agreements, similar to treaties, between the United States and other nations regarding international air travel, designed to foster free-market competition and a level playing field for international flights. From trade, to commerce, to tourism, Open Skies requires each participating country to provide non-preferential access to their airspace, and requires airline companies to compete against each other to in terms of offerings, quality of service, and low prices, without government subsidies.

Breitbart News has previously reported on several Arab nations that were violating their Open Skies agreements with the United States, illegally subsidizing three Persian Gulf carriers. The Obama administration did nothing, and a group of NeverTrumpers tried to convince President Trump to do nothing as well.

President Trump’s team had other ideas. In January 2018, the Department of State announced a deal with Qatar to end violations involving Qatar Airways, and in May 2018, Secretary Mike Pompeo announced a deal with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) addressing the remaining airlines, Etihad Airways, and Emirates Airline. These were hailed as significant victories for American workers and the president’s America First agenda.

But it appears there may still be trouble with Qatar. And someone from the Obama administration has been implicated, apparently operating behind the scenes.

In late April of this year, the CEOs of all three of the top U.S. airline companies – American, Delta, and United – published an open letter to President Trump as an ad in the New York Times and New York Post, entitled, “President Trump: Please enforce our trade agreements to support U.S. airline workers.”

The article then goes on to explain the involvement of someone from the Obama administration in this matter:

Then three other airline companies – FedEx, Jetblue, and Atlas Air – sent a letter defending Qatar to Pompeo and also Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. The April 16 letter pushes back against “false claims” and touts the need “to set the record straight.”

However, according to materials Breitbart News reviewed, it looks like someone forgot to remove the metadata from the document, showing who wrote the document. Because the metadata shows the letter sent by FedEx, JetBlue, and Atlas Air was actually written by Jenny Rosenberg.

Rosenberg is a lobbyist. But she formerly served as assistant administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and at another time served as acting assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation – both stints during the Obama administration.

In other words, unless this document is a complete forgery or one of the CEOs’ personal secretaries happens to be named Jenny Rosenberg, an Obama White House political appointee is ghostwriting letters trying to persuade President Trump to ignore purported trade violations.

When the CEOs of American companies are asking the president to stand up for American companies against foreign interests who are undercutting American workers, someone who formerly held “senior executive positions” – that is how her company webpage biography puts it – to advance Barack Obama’s policy priorities is seeking to influence the President Trump’s White House, trying to persuade the current president that what is happening is consistent with his America First agenda, and that his Cabinet should ignore claims to the contrary.

If you are going to do something dishonest, it is wise not to leave your electronic fingerprints on it.

An October Surprise That Continues

Yesterday The Gateway Pundit reported that Senator Rand Paul announced Wednesday that according to a high level source, former CIA Chief John Brennan insisted Hillary’s fake Russia dossier be included in the Intelligence Report.

The article reminds us of the series of events leading up to the 2016 election:

In late summer of 2016, then-FBI Director James Comey was notified that former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid would be sending him a letter asking him to investigate the Trump campaign’s alleged ties to Russia.

Harry Reid’s letter was written a week after he met with John Brennan – raising suspicion that Brennan briefed Reid on the fake Steele dossier — Reid’s letter was then leaked to the New York Times just before election day.

John Brennan said during a February 2018 appearance on “Meet the Press” that he learned about the dossier in December of 2016 and that “it did not play any role whatsoever in the intelligence community assessment that was done that was presented to then-President Obama and then-President elect Trump.”

The article concludes:

John Brennan told the House Intelligence Committee in a May 2017 hearing that the dossier was not a part of the intelligence used to assess Russian interference in the 2016 election.

The dossier, Brennan testified, “was not in any way used as a basis for the intelligence community assessment that was done.”

Former House Intel Chairman Devin Nunes was reportedly investigating whether Brennan perjured himself during his 2017 testimony to the Committee.

Rand Paul is right — it’s time for Congress to drag Brennan in again and question him under oath ASAP.

The total lack of integrity in some of our government officials and elected officials in appalling.

 

Objectivity From An Unexpected Source

Paul Farhi posted an article yesterday at The Washington Post about the media’s role in the Mueller investigation.

The article reports:

After more than two years of intense reporting and endless talking-head speculation about possible collusion between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russian agents in 2016, special counsel Robert S. Mueller III put a huge spike in all of it on Sunday. Attorney General William P. Barr relayed Mueller’s key findings in a four-page summary of the 22-month investigation: The evidence was insufficient to conclude that Trump or his associates conspired with Russians to interfere in the campaign.

Barr’s announcement was a thunderclap to mainstream news outlets and the cadre of mostly liberal-leaning commentators who have spent months emphasizing the possible-collusion narrative in opinion columns and cable TV panel discussions.

“Nobody wants to hear this, but news that Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller is headed home without issuing new charges is a death-blow for the reputation of the American news media,” Rolling Stone’s Matt Taibbi wrote in a column published Saturday, a day before Barr nailed the collusion coffin shut. He added: “Nothing Trump is accused of from now on by the press will be believed by huge chunks of the population.”

That’s bad enough, but there is another noteworthy observation in the article:

Other news outlets defended their reporting as well, noting that much of it is undisputed and has led to indictments and guilty pleas by figures associated with Trump’s campaign.

“I’m comfortable with our coverage,” said Dean Baquet, the New York Times’s top editor. “It is never our job to determine illegality, but to expose the actions of people in power. And that’s what we and others have done and will continue to do.”

He noted that Barr’s letter summarizing Mueller’s findings points out that the actions that warranted an obstruction inquiry were “the subject of public reporting” — a fact “that’s to the credit of the media.”

In fact, revelations by the Times and The Washington Post about contacts between Russian agents and Trump’s campaign advisers in 2016 helped prompt the inquiry that the special counsel took over in May 2017. The two newspapers shared a Pulitzer Prize for their reporting on the issue that year.

Although the mainstream media tried to make this Watergate, it wasn’t, and I suspect they have little or no intention of admitting their misreporting of major aspects of the story. First of all, where was the reporting of the abuse of power by the Obama administration in surveillance of an opposition party political campaign? Second, where was the commentary on inflammatory statements by former intelligence officials that later proved to be wrong? Third, where was the commentary on the accomplishments of the Trump administration in trade, taxes, and economic policy? If you are still watching the mainstream media and believing what they say, you will continue to be misinformed and mislead.

Things Are Coming Into Focus

In 1964 a movie called “Seven Days In May” was released. The movie deals with a plot by United States military leaders to overthrow the President because he supports a nuclear disarmament treaty and they fear a Soviet sneak attack. Byron York posted an article at The Washington Examiner today about eight days in May 2017 when a politicized FBI and Department of Justice began their efforts to unseat a duly elected President.

The article reports:

The New York Times reported last month that in that period, the FBI opened up a counterintelligence investigation focused on the president himself. “Counterintelligence investigators had to consider whether the president’s own actions constituted a possible threat to national security,” the Times reported. “Agents also sought to determine whether Mr. Trump was knowingly working for Russia or had unwittingly fallen under Moscow’s influence.”

That is one sort of investigation. The other probe McCabe wanted to nail into place was what became the Mueller investigation. Describing the decision to appoint Mueller — the decision was actually made by Rosenstein — McCabe wrote, “If I got nothing else done as acting director, I had done the one thing I needed to do.”

And then there were the talks about secretly recording the president and using the 25th Amendment to remove him from office. According to CBS, top law enforcement officials were discussing which Cabinet members might be persuaded to go along with an effort to remove Trump. “They were counting noses,” Pelley said on CBS Thursday morning. “They were not asking Cabinet members whether they would vote for or against removing the president, but they were speculating.”

Much, if not all, of what McCabe reports has been reported before. But an eyewitness, insider account lends new weight to the idea that the highest levels of the national security apparatus experienced a collective freakout in the days after the Comey firing.

In particular, it intensifies questions about Rosenstein’s behavior in those eight days. Remember that Rosenstein played a key role in the removal of Comey. A few days later, he was talking about removing the president for having removed Comey. The sheer audacity of that has stunned even experienced Capitol Hill observers.

If we are to keep our free country and our election process, there are a number of people who need to be held accountable for their actions while they were in leadership roles in government organizations.

If The Price Becomes Too High, Will It Stop?

The mainstream media has not really paid a price for its irresponsible reporting. The story that came out last weekend about President Trump asking Michael Cohen to lie was proven false, yet no penalty was paid. There were no read consequences–people who saw President Trump as evil incarnate continued to do so and people who distrusted the media continued to do so. The story about the Covington high school boys is a little different. False reporting has resulted in death threats, the school being closed for security reasons, and other serious matters. So what should be the consequences of spreading the lies and piling on?

The American Thinker posted an article today that provides a clue to some of the possible fallout from the false reporting.

The article reports:

The ongoing campaign of hate against children from Kentucky guilty of being Catholic, being (mostly) white, and wearing MAGA caps will not end until there are legal consequences.  Fortunately, the wheels of justice already are turning in Kentucky, albeit at a pace that is frustrating to those who operate at internet speed.  But the prospect of Kentuckian jurors judging those who libel or threaten their children is delightful.  There are two separate avenues available, and both are being explored by people ready and willing to act.

The more serious path to legal relief was articulated by Kenton County (which contains Covington) prosecutor Rob Sanders.

The Gateway Pundit reported yesterday:

Rob Sanders, a Kenton County Prosecutor, confirmed Tuesday that there are multiple investigations into Twitter users who made terroristic threats against Covington Catholic High School.

“We’ve got multiple ongoing investigations into numerous, numerous threats,” Mr. Sanders said Tuesday in a podcast interview with 700 WLW. “There’s probably a dozen law enforcement agencies, if not more involved in this — it’s growing, it’s spreading, there are other jurisdictions now involved in this,” Sanders added.

700 WLW radio host Willie Cunningham brought up the death threats towards the Covington teens made by bluecheck verified accounts on Twitter and asked Mr. Sanders about Kentucky law.

…“What is the Kentucky law about making threats to Covington Catholic specifically? Is there a law against it?” Willie asked Rob Sanders.

“There is. It’s called ‘terroristic threatening’ in Kentucky and it is a felony offense punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison to make a threat of violence to an educational institution, so everyone who makes a specific threat.”

Mr. Sanders made sure to clarify that saying “nasty things” about the Covington kids is not the same thing as making an “actual threat of violence” against Cov Cath or any other school in Kentucky that’s punishable by 1 to 5 years in prison. The punishment can go up to 5 to 10 years if they talk about using a weapon of mass destruction.

The American Thinker article continues:

The other avenue for legal redress is libel suits.  Robert Barnes, who reads, tweets about, and occasionally writes for these pages, has stepped up with an offer of free legal representation for libel lawsuits on behalf of the children and already apparently is representing some of them.  He has been warning prominent people – such as Rep. Ilhan Omar and New York Times writer Maggie Haberman – to repudiate and apologize for their libels or face a lawsuit.

I do hope these lawsuits are brought in Kentucky.  It is a state often dumped on as backward, full of hillbillies and moonshiners.  It is also a place with a distinctive local culture and much well deserved pride in is world pre-eminence in thoroughbred horse-breeding and bourbon.  I suspect that Kentucky jurors would not take kindly to threats and libels aimed at the children of their state.

I hope that reporting fake news stories that result in cyber bullying becomes outrageously expensive. Maybe that way it will end.

Shoes? She’s Writing About Shoes?

It’s my blog, and I can write about anything I want. Yes–I am writing about shoes. Americans are waiting for the other shoe to drop. Half of America is waiting for the shoe that says Donald Trump is a Russian agent planted in the White House, and half of America is waiting for the shoe that says the Obama administration misused government for political purposes and that abuse is continuing under the guise of the deep state.

Only one side of this debate has actual evidence (even though much of it has been erased, gone missing, or willfully destroyed–which in itself is telling), so what has the other side got? On Sunday The Washington Post posted an opinion piece with the title, “Here are 18 reasons Trump could be a Russian asset.” Some items listed were pulling troops out of Syria, doing business with Russia for years, Russians interference in the 2016 election to help President Trump get elected (so far no evidence of that), candidate Trump encouraging Russia to hack into Hillary’s emails (they already had, and he was joking), Paul Manafort owing a Russian oligarch money, President Trump firing James Comey (something the Democrats had previously recommended and Rod Rosenstein wrote the letter for), and President Trump citing the corruption in the FBI and DOJ–the charge is that President Trump has undermined these organizations by citing corruption (how about the leadership undermined them when they allowed them to be used for political purposes).

The opinion piece ends with the following:

This is hardly a “beyond a reasonable doubt” case that Trump is a Russian agent — certainly not in the way that Robert Hanssen or Aldrich Ames were. But it is a strong, circumstantial case that Trump is, as former acting CIA director Michael Morell and former CIA director Michael V. Hayden warned during the 2016 campaign, “an unwitting agent of the Russian federation” (Morell) or a “useful fool” who is “manipulated by Moscow” (Hayden). If Trump isn’t actually a Russian agent, he is doing a pretty good imitation of one.

Last time I checked, you couldn’t convict someone on the basis of your opinion or simply because he won an election. The argument for this shoe seems to be rather weak.

Continuing with this shoe… The Federalist posted an article yesterday with the title, ” NYT Reveals FBI Retaliated Against Trump For Comey Firing. ”

The most important paragraph in the New York Times article states:

No evidence has emerged publicly that Mr. Trump was secretly in contact with or took direction from Russian government officials. An F.B.I. spokeswoman and a spokesman for the special counsel’s office both declined to comment.

I will discuss the other shoe in my next article.

Looking At The Complete Picture

Every now and then someone comes along who sums up a situation beautifully–succinctly and with humor. Victor Davis Hanson has done that in an article posted at American Greatness yesterday. The article is titled, “The Circus of Resistance.”

Here are a few wonderful observations by Professor Hanson:

Democratic senators vied with pop-up protestors in the U.S. Senate gallery to disrupt and, if possible, to derail the confirmation hearings of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. U.S. SenatorCory Booker (D-N.J.) played Spartacus, but could not even get the script right as he claimed to be bravely releasing classified information that was already declassified. I cannot remember another example of a senator who wanted to break the law but could not figure out how to do it.

Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), former Harvard Law Professor who still insists she is of Native American heritage, called for the president to be removed by invoking the 25th Amendment. Apparently fabricating an ethnic identity is sane, and getting out of the Iran deal or the Paris Climate Accord is insanity and grounds for removal.

…To cut to the quick, the op-ed was published to coincide with the latest Bob Woodward “according-to-an-unnamed-source” exposé, Fear. The intent of anonymous and the New York Times was to create a force multiplying effect of a collapsing presidency—in need of the Times’ sober and judicious handlers, NeverTrump professionals, and “bipartisan” Democrats of the sort we saw during the Kavanaugh hearing to “step in” and apparently stage an intervention to save the country.

Had the Woodward book not been in the news, neither would be the anonymous op-ed. And of course, the Times, in times before 2017, would never have published a insurrectionary letter from an unnamed worried Obama aide that the president was detached and listless—playing spades during the Bin Laden raid, outsourcing to Eric Holder the electronic surveillance of Associated Press journalists, letting Lois Lerner weaponize the IRS, and allowing his FBI, CIA, and Justice Department to conspire to destroy Hillary Clinton’s 2016 opponent.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. It is beautifully written. The article takes the time to remind us of past events as well as the current lunacy. It also reminds us that although President Trump often refers to some members of the press as ‘fake news,’ he has not followed in the steps of the previous administration by monitoring on the sly the communications of Associated Press reporters or the private emails of a Fox correspondent, or using his Justice Department and FBI hierarchy to delude a FISA court in order to spy on American citizens.

President Trump was elected by ordinary people like you and me who decided that we wanted our country back. The elites who like running things their way instead of our way do not approve. We will continue to see evidence of that for as long as President Trump is in office.

An Interesting Perspective

DaTechGuy is one of my favorite bloggers. He always has insight and an unusual perspective on current events. Recently he hit it out of the park in an article about the recent New York Times opinion piece.

DaTechGuy noted:

The real significance of this revelation by the NYT of a mole with is this:

Consider the following, So far during his presidency Donald Trump has managed to:

Create a booming economy

Create a soaring stock market

Push through a record number of Conservative Judges

Win significant trade concessions favorable to the United States 

Promote the Pro-Life Cause

Open negotiations with in the Korean Peninsular that have the prospect of bringing actual peace

Decimate ISIS

Make the US energy independent

Cut regulations by the bucketful

Advance Tax Reform and relief

Move the US Embassy to Jerusalem

Cut funding to Palestinian Terrorists

Induce Nato allies to increase their defense payments

Bring manufacturing jobs back to the US

produce record employment for blacks and Hispanics

ALL WHILE AT THE SAME TIME (according to the NYT) A PERSON OR PERSONS UNKNOWN IN THIS ADMINISTRATION HAS BEEN SECRETLY WORKING TO UNDERMINE HIS EFFORTS.

The article concludes:

That Donald Trump has compiled the above record of accomplishment while practically the entire media, education, entertainment and elite political culture has fought him AND if the NYT is accurate, Persons or Persons unknown working inside the administration have been actively trying to thwart him, then Donald Trump is undoubtedly the greatest and most successful occupant of the White House since day one period!

Or put it another way, if Trump has managed all this with at least one high level saboteur working against him can you imagine what he’d accomplish without a traitor in the house?

The NYT doesn’t realize it, but they are asserting that Donald Trump is the most accomplished occupant the White House has ever seen and I guess they’re right.

Well said, Tech Guy!

When We Mean Well, But Just Don’t Get It Right

On Friday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an editorial about recycling. Most American communities have made provisions to recycle items rather than just dump them in the landfill, but evidently things are not always what they seem. China used to take about one third of America’s recycled material, but China has put strict rules on what it will accept–generally refusing most of our recycled material. This has resulted in many recycling companies dumping recyclables into landfills. So all of our sorting efforts are for naught.

The editorial reports:

But this isn’t even the worst of it. As John Tierney explained in an exhaustive analysis of recycling programs, also published by the New York Times, recycling is not only costly, but doesn’t do much to help the environment.

The claim that recycling is essential to avoid running out of landfill space is hogwash, since all the stuff Americans throw away for the next 1,000 years would fit into “one-tenth of 1% of land available for grazing,” Tierney says.

Other environmental benefits, he finds, are negligible, and come at an exceedingly high price. Tierney notes, for example, that washing plastics before recycling them, as is the recommended practice, could end up adding to greenhouse gas emissions. And the extra trucks and processing facilities produce CO2 as well.

Since it costs far more to recycle trash than to bury it, governments are wasting money that could be more effectively spent elsewhere.

We need to find a way to convert waste into energy without pollution. That might be a pipe dream, but it is a worthwhile goal.

 

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.

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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.