Seventy-five Years Ago Today

Today is the 75th Anniversary of D-Day, the day that Americans, Canadians, and British soldiers combined resources and efforts to stop the advance of tyranny and genocide across Europe.

This is the speech President Reagan gave on June 6, 1984, to commemorate those who fought bravely on that day:

We’re here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For 4 long years, much of Europe had been under a terrible shadow. Free nations had fallen, Jews cried out in the camps, millions cried out for liberation. Europe was enslaved, and the world prayed for its rescue. Here in Normandy the rescue began. Here the Allies stood and fought against tyranny in a giant undertaking unparalleled in human history.

We stand on a lonely, windswept point on the northern shore of France. The air is soft, but 40 years ago at this moment, the air was dense with smoke and the cries of men, and the air was filled with the crack of rifle fire and the roar of cannon. At dawn, on the morning of the 6th of June, 1944, 225 Rangers jumped off the British landing craft and ran to the bottom of these cliffs. Their mission was one of the most difficult and daring of the invasion: to climb these sheer and desolate cliffs and take out the enemy guns. The Allies had been told that some of the mightiest of these guns were here and they would be trained on the beaches to stop the Allied advance.

The Rangers looked up and saw the enemy soldiers — the edge of the cliffs shooting down at them with machineguns and throwing grenades. And the American Rangers began to climb. They shot rope ladders over the face of these cliffs and began to pull themselves up. When one Ranger fell, another would take his place. When one rope was cut, a Ranger would grab another and begin his climb again. They climbed, shot back, and held their footing. Soon, one by one, the Rangers pulled themselves over the top, and in seizing the firm land at the top of these cliffs, they began to seize back the continent of Europe. Two hundred and twenty-five came here. After 2 days of fighting, only 90 could still bear arms.

Behind me is a memorial that symbolizes the Ranger daggers that were thrust into the top of these cliffs. And before me are the men who put them there.

These are the boys of Pointe du Hoc. These are the men who took the cliffs. These are the champions who helped free a continent. These are the heroes who helped end a war.

Gentlemen, I look at you and I think of the words of Stephen Spender’s poem. You are men who in your “lives fought for life . . . and left the vivid air signed with your honor.”

I think I know what you may be thinking right now — thinking “we were just part of a bigger effort; everyone was brave that day.” Well, everyone was. Do you remember the story of Bill Millin of the 51st Highlanders? Forty years ago today, British troops were pinned down near a bridge, waiting desperately for help. Suddenly, they heard the sound of bagpipes, and some thought they were dreaming. Well, they weren’t. They looked up and saw Bill Millin with his bagpipes, leading the reinforcements and ignoring the smack of the bullets into the ground around him.

Lord Lovat was with him — Lord Lovat of Scotland, who calmly announced when he got to the bridge, “Sorry I’m a few minutes late,” as if he’d been delayed by a traffic jam, when in truth he’d just come from the bloody fighting on Sword Beach, which he and his men had just taken.

There was the impossible valor of the Poles who threw themselves between the enemy and the rest of Europe as the invasion took hold, and the unsurpassed courage of the Canadians who had already seen the horrors of war on this coast. They knew what awaited them there, but they would not be deterred. And once they hit Juno Beach, they never looked back.

All of these men were part of a rollcall of honor with names that spoke of a pride as bright as the colors they bore: the Royal Winnipeg Rifles, Poland’s 24th Lancers, the Royal Scots Fusiliers, the Screaming Eagles, the Yeomen of England’s armored divisions, the forces of Free France, the Coast Guard’s “Matchbox Fleet” and you, the American Rangers.

Forty summers have passed since the battle that you fought here. You were young the day you took these cliffs; some of you were hardly more than boys, with the deepest joys of life before you. Yet, you risked everything here. Why? Why did you do it? What impelled you to put aside the instinct for self-preservation and risk your lives to take these cliffs? What inspired all the men of the armies that met here? We look at you, and somehow we know the answer. It was faith and belief; it was loyalty and love.

The men of Normandy had faith that what they were doing was right, faith that they fought for all humanity, faith that a just God would grant them mercy on this beachhead or on the next. It was the deep knowledge — and pray God we have not lost it — that there is a profound, moral difference between the use of force for liberation and the use of force for conquest. You were here to liberate, not to conquer, and so you and those others did not doubt your cause. And you were right not to doubt.

You all knew that some things are worth dying for. One’s country is worth dying for, and democracy is worth dying for, because it’s the most deeply honorable form of government ever devised by man. All of you loved liberty. All of you were willing to fight tyranny, and you knew the people of your countries were behind you.

The Americans who fought here that morning knew word of the invasion was spreading through the darkness back home. They fought — or felt in their hearts, though they couldn’t know in fact, that in Georgia they were filling the churches at 4 a.m., in Kansas they were kneeling on their porches and praying, and in Philadelphia they were ringing the Liberty Bell.

Something else helped the men of D-day: their rockhard belief that Providence would have a great hand in the events that would unfold here; that God was an ally in this great cause. And so, the night before the invasion, when Colonel Wolverton asked his parachute troops to kneel with him in prayer he told them: Do not bow your heads, but look up so you can see God and ask His blessing in what we’re about to do. Also that night, General Matthew Ridgway on his cot, listening in the darkness for the promise God made to Joshua: “I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.”

These are the things that impelled them; these are the things that shaped the unity of the Allies.

When the war was over, there were lives to be rebuilt and governments to be returned to the people. There were nations to be reborn. Above all, there was a new peace to be assured. These were huge and daunting tasks. But the Allies summoned strength from the faith, belief, loyalty, and love of those who fell here. They rebuilt a new Europe together.

There was first a great reconciliation among those who had been enemies, all of whom had suffered so greatly. The United States did its part, creating the Marshall plan to help rebuild our allies and our former enemies. The Marshall plan led to the Atlantic alliance — a great alliance that serves to this day as our shield for freedom, for prosperity, and for peace.

In spite of our great efforts and successes, not all that followed the end of the war was happy or planned. Some liberated countries were lost. The great sadness of this loss echoes down to our own time in the streets of Warsaw, Prague, and East Berlin. Soviet troops that came to the center of this continent did not leave when peace came. They’re still there, uninvited, unwanted, unyielding, almost 40 years after the war. Because of this, allied forces still stand on this continent. Today, as 40 years ago, our armies are here for only one purpose — to protect and defend democracy. The only territories we hold are memorials like this one and graveyards where our heroes rest.

We in America have learned bitter lessons from two World Wars: It is better to be here ready to protect the peace, than to take blind shelter across the sea, rushing to respond only after freedom is lost. We’ve learned that isolationism never was and never will be an acceptable response to tyrannical governments with an expansionist intent.

But we try always to be prepared for peace; prepared to deter aggression; prepared to negotiate the reduction of arms; and, yes, prepared to reach out again in the spirit of reconciliation. In truth, there is no reconciliation we would welcome more than a reconciliation with the Soviet Union, so, together, we can lessen the risks of war, now and forever.

It’s fitting to remember here the great losses also suffered by the Russian people during World War II: 20 million perished, a terrible price that testifies to all the world the necessity of ending war. I tell you from my heart that we in the United States do not want war. We want to wipe from the face of the Earth the terrible weapons that man now has in his hands. And I tell you, we are ready to seize that beachhead. We look for some sign from the Soviet Union that they are willing to move forward, that they share our desire and love for peace, and that they will give up the ways of conquest. There must be a changing there that will allow us to turn our hope into action.

We will pray forever that some day that changing will come. But for now, particularly today, it is good and fitting to renew our commitment to each other, to our freedom, and to the alliance that protects it.

We are bound today by what bound us 40 years ago, the same loyalties, traditions, and beliefs. We’re bound by reality. The strength of America’s allies is vital to the United States, and the American security guarantee is essential to the continued freedom of Europe’s democracies. We were with you then; we are with you now. Your hopes are our hopes, and your destiny is our destiny.

Here, in this place where the West held together, let us make a vow to our dead. Let us show them by our actions that we understand what they died for. Let our actions say to them the words for which Matthew Ridgway listened: “I will not fail thee nor forsake thee.”

Strengthened by their courage, heartened by their value [valor], and borne by their memory, let us continue to stand for the ideals for which they lived and died.

Thank you very much, and God bless you all.

President Ronald Reagan – June 6, 1984

Many of us have fathers or grandfathers who fought in France that day. We are grateful for their bravery and for their clarity of purpose. They understood that there was evil in the world and they sought to defeat it. We need that clarity today.

A Well-Deserved Honor

Steven Hayward posted an article at Power Line Blog today about a Presidential Medal of Freedom that President Trump will be awarding to Arthur Laffer, the father of the Laffer Curve.

So what is the Laffer Curve. The International Finance website defines it as follows:

The term “ Laffer Curve” was coined by Jude Wanniski (former associate editor of the The Wall Street Journal) in 1978 when Wanniski penned an article named “Taxes, Revenues and the Laffer Curve”. In December 1974, Wanniski who was the associate editor of The Wall Street Journal along with Arthur Laffer, Professor at the Chicago University, Donald Rumsfeld ( Chief of Staff of to President Gerald Ford) and Dickey Cheney (Rumsfeld’s deputy) were discussing President Ford’s WIN (Whip Inflation Now)  proposal for tax increases at a restaurant in Washington, Laffer grabbed a napkin and a pen and sketched  a curve on the napkin illustrating the tradeoff between tax rates and tax revenues, Wanniski later named it as the “Laffer Curve”.  A humble and honest academician who served Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan’s Economic Advisory Board, Arthur credited the theory to 14th century Muslim scholar Ibn Khaldun and eminent Economist John Maynard Keynes.

This is what the Laffer Curve looks like:

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The “Laffer Curve” is a theoretical curve showing the relationship between applied income tax rate and the resulting government revenue. The theory propagates the following points:

    • A tax rate of zero would result in zero government revenue
    • A tax rate of 100% will also result in zero government revenue
    • As the tax rate increases to above zero, there is an increase in the revenues of the government
    • As the tax rate continues to increase, the resultant increase in government revenue begins to slow
    • At a particular point the curve peaks and turns back towards the horizontal axis

The Laffer Curve is the reason that the federal government will collect more tax revenue this year despite the fact that President Trump lowered taxes. When taxes are raised, those with the money to hire good tax accountants find a way to avoid paying high taxes and tax revenues go down. Those of us without good tax accountants (usually the middle class) are stuck paying the increased taxes. The spending power of the middle class decreases, and the economy slows down. When the middle class has more money to spend, the economy does well.

Congratulations, Arthur Lapper. The recognition is well deserved.

The Real Russian Collusion

We are hearing a lot about Ted Kennedy with the release of the movie “Chappaquiddick” The man who was praised at his funeral for being a wonderful addition to American politics is being revealed for being a deeply flawed human being. Chappaquiddick was bad enough, but there were other things done by Ted Kennedy that were simply not right. His treatment of Robert Bork is one example, but there is another example of bad behavior that borders on treason.

The American Spectator posted an article today that reminds us of something Ted Kennedy did that was truly unacceptable.

The article states:

In 1991, when Russian President Boris Yeltsin opened the archives of the Soviet Central Committee, Western researchers quickly descended on Moscow to plow through the treasure trove of previously classified official documents.

Among those researchers was Tim Sebastian, a reporter for the London Times and the BBC who found a May 14, 1983 letter from KGB chief Viktor Chebrikov to Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov. Bearing the highest security classification, it summarized a confidential offer by Senator Ted Kennedy to the Soviet leadership to help stop President Ronald Reagan’s aggressive, anti-Soviet defense policies.

The letter was written as the debate was heating up over Reagan’s proposed deployment of intermediate range missiles to counter the Soviets’ medium range weapons in Eastern Europe.

 Sebastian reported his find in an article titled “Teddy, the KGB and the top secret file” which appeared in the February 2, 1992, London Times. And there the story remained unheeded and unheralded until 2006 when historian Paul Kengor published The Crusader: Ronald Reagan and the Fall of Communism in which he discussed Kennedy’s secret approach to the Soviets.

In an appendix to his book, Kengor reproduced Chebrikov’s classified missive unedited and unabridged along with extensive documentation establishing its authenticity.

This is an example of partisan politics going well past the borders of the United States.

The article at The American Spectator illustrates that media bias is not a new thing:

So, what was the reaction of the mainstream media when this alarming document was made public? According to Paul Kengor, not a single American news organization picked up the London Times story.

Similarly, when Kengor published his book which discussed and reproduced the letter, he “couldn’t get a single major news source to do a story on it. CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NBC. Not one covered it.” And “all mainstream sources” turned down his proffered op-eds regarding Chebrikov’s letter.

Think about that. Here is a classified document found in the Soviet archives from the head of the secret police to the General Secretary spelling out an outrageous and treasonous political plot by Kennedy to enlist the Soviet Union’s assistance in his campaign for the presidency. And not one major media outlet uttered so much as a peep about it.

So the voters of Massachusetts never had a chance to know that Ted Kennedy, their Senator, had attempted to work with the Russians to avoid the election of Ronald Reagan. Don’t you think they were entitled to know that? Well, wait a minute. These are Massachusetts voters, and he was a Kennedy.

The article concludes:

The media’s failure to even report or discuss the discovery and contents of Chebrikov’s letter is but one more example of their dishonesty. The fact that they have ignored this story should tell us all that we need to know about their integrity, fairness, and allegiance to the truth. How many more examples of their blatant bias and duplicity do we need before we completely discount all of their reportage as nothing more than progressive agitprop and propaganda?

As a wise man once said, if the mainstream media didn’t have double standards, they would have no standards at all. For further proof of that statement, one need only to compare and contrast the media’s fevered, unhinged coverage of the alleged Trump-Russia collusion theory with the protective cone of silence they have placed over “Teddy, the KGB and the top secret file.”

The silence on this story is one of many reasons Americans have turned to alternative news sources.

 

 

Tax Cuts For The Rich?

The Democrats objection to President Trump’s tax plan is that it is ‘tax cuts for the rich.’ That is always their objection to any sort of tax break for Americans. Never mind that the rich pay most of the taxes, Democrats do not want to give them a break.

The graph below is from the Pew Research Center last year. It shows who is paying taxes in America:

Obviously it does not make a lot of sense  to cut taxes for people making less than $50,000 a year–they don’t pay a lot of income taxes to begin with.

Yesterday Thomas Sowell, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, posted an article at Investor’s Business Daily about the Democrats’ cry of ‘tax cuts for the rich.’

Here are some highlights from the article:

One of the key arguments of those who oppose what they call “tax cuts for the rich” is that the Reagan administration tax cuts led to huge federal government deficits, contrary to “supply side economics” which said that lower tax rates would lead to higher tax revenues.

This reduces the whole issue to a question about facts — and the hard facts are available in many places, including a local public library or on the internet.

The hardest of these hard facts is that the revenues collected from federal income taxes during every year of the Reagan administration were higher than the revenues collected from federal income taxes during any year of any previous administration.

How can that be? Because tax rates and tax revenues are two different things. Tax rates and tax revenues can move in either the same direction or in opposite directions, depending on how the economy responds.

The article explains:

Before we turn to the question of “the rich,” let’s first understand the implications of higher income tax revenues after income tax rates were cut during the Reagan administration.

That should have put an end to the talk about how lower tax rates reduce government revenues and therefore tax cuts need to be “paid for” or else there will be rising deficits. There were in fact rising deficits in the 1980s, but that was due to spending that outran even the rising tax revenues.

Congress does the spending, and there is no amount of money that Congress cannot outspend.

As for “the rich,” higher-income taxpayers paid more — repeat, more tax revenues into the federal treasury under the lower tax rates than they had under the previous higher tax rates.

That happened not only during the Reagan administration, but also during the Coolidge administration and the Kennedy administration before Reagan, and under the G.W. Bush administration after Reagan. All these administrations cut tax rates and received higher tax revenues than before.

The article concludes:

As a source more congenial to some, a front-page story in The New York Times on July 9, 2006 — during the Bush 43 administration — reported, “An unexpectedly steep rise in tax revenues from corporations and the wealthy is driving down the projected budget deficit this year.” Expectations, of course, are in the eye of the beholder.

The problem is not the revenue–it’s the spending. Unfortunately, Congress has not yet heard the cries of the American people to stop overspending. It may take another election to cause them to listen.

We’ve Seen This Play Before

We have seen this play before–only last time it was non-fiction and this time it is fiction.

Hopefully this will be the last article I write about the Russians affecting the Presidential election.

First of all, let’s review some of the information about the information that was leaked from the Democratic National Committee (DNC) during the election. There have been a number of articles quoting reliable sources saying the leaks came from inside the DNC and had nothing to do with the Russians. There are also stories that point out that if the Democrats had not rigged their primary election, there would have been nothing to leak. You can find articles here and here.

The second article, from WSB-TV in Atlanta states the following about another recent cyber attack:

But the claim by the Democrats that the Russians interfered with an American election is interesting from a historical perspective.

The Daily Signal posted an article today reminding us of some past events. The article reminds us:

Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy had “selfish political and ideological motives” when he made secret overtures to the Soviet Union’s spy agency during the Cold War to thwart then-President Ronald Reagan’s re-election, a Reagan biographer said in an interview with The Daily Signal.

When they came to light years later, Kennedy’s secret contacts with the Russians through their KGB spy agency in the early 1980s didn’t cause nearly the tizzy that Russia’s alleged interference with this year’s election has for President-elect Donald Trump among liberal activists and reporters.

…As this reporter wrote in 2010, the story focused on a 1983 document from the spy agency detailing Kennedy’s overtures to top officials in the former Soviet Union. The Massachusetts Democrat had challenged President Jimmy Carter in the 1980 Democratic primaries and was considering the possibility of running again for president.

In a letter addressed to then-Soviet General Secretary Yuri Andropov, dated May 14, 1983, KGB head Viktor Chebrikov explained that Kennedy was eager to “counter the militaristic policies” of Reagan, who defeated Carter as the Republican nominee, and to undermine his prospects for re-election in 1984.

Please follow the link to read the entire article. This story makes the Democratic charges that the Russians influenced the 2016 election laughable. It is also important to remember that while the Democrats are screaming about Russian involvement, they are ignoring the damaging content of the emails. Even if the Russians leaked the emails, they didn’t write them. What was in the emails was a problem–leaking them only exposed the problem–it didn’t create it. As the saying goes, “Never put anything in an email that you wouldn’t want your mother to read in the headline of The New York Times.”