Economic Policies Have Consequences

Today’s Washington Examiner posted a story about Congressional Budget Office (CBO) statements on the condition of the American economy. The CBO is not optimistic about the future.

The article reports:

The CBO updated its fiscal projections Wednesday, and they reflected its new gloomy view that the future of the U.S. economy is one of slower growth and lower productivity.

“They think that we will get back up to potential growth,” said Loren Adler, an analyst at the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, “but they make it clear that they think potential growth is lower than it used to be in the ‘80s and ‘90s.”

The CBO first reached the conclusion that future growth will be slower when it released its long-term budget projections in July, but only incorporated it into its official 10-year budget projections Wednesday.

In its new projections, the CBO sees the economy suffering from a scenario in which its potential is slightly lower than before — 1 percent lower in 2024 than previously expected.

As a result of weak economic growth this year and slightly slower potential growth over the next 10 years, the CBO sees $514 billion in lost revenue.

…The CBO’s scenario — slower growth and permanently lower interest rates — is consistent with the “secular stagnation” scenario outlined by former Obama economic adviser and Harvard professor Larry Summers, who has argued that the U.S. economy may not be able to generate enough consumer demand for goods and services on its own without stimulus from the Federal Reserve or through federal spending.

The assumption that demand will return to normal “now seems problematic,” Stein (Center for American Progress’ Harry Stein) told the Washington Examiner, noting that he wasn’t sure whether the CBO assumed secular stagnation in its model.

So how do you grow an economy? Ronald Reagan seemed to have the answer–lower taxes. If you look at the deal that President Reagan made with Congress (a Democrat-controlled Congress), Congress was going to cut spending along with the tax cuts. Unfortunately, Congress chose to ignore their part of the bargain, and spending during the Reagan years increased greatly and deficits went up despite record tax revenues coming into the government. Even with the growing deficits, the economy grew rapidly once the tax burden was taken off of the people who create jobs and produce wealth. The Obama Administration has increased the income of the wealthy while leaving the middle and lower classes behind. This is the fruit of crony capitalism. The gap between rich and poor has increased during the Obama Administration–not decreased. If you want to see America prosper again, elect people to Congress who will cut taxes and cut spending.

Learning The Economic Lessons Of History

Yesterday George Will posted an article at National Review Online about the sluggish economic recovery under President Obama. When Ronald Reagan took office in 1981, the unemployment rate was approximately 7.5%. By January 1, 1983, the unemployment rate had risen to 10.4%. By January 1, 1988, the unemployment rate was 5.70%. Presidential economic policies do impact the economy.

The article reminds us:

Ronald Reagan lightened the weight of government as measured by taxation and regulation. Obama has done the opposite. According to the annual “snapshot of the federal regulatory state” compiled by Clyde Wayne Crews Jr. of the Competitive Enterprise Institute, four of the five largest yearly totals of pages in the Federal Register — the record of regulations — have occurred during the Obama administration. The CEI’s delightfully cheeky “unconstitutionality index,” measuring Congress’s excessive delegation of its lawmaking policy, was 51 in 2013. This means Congress passed 72 laws but unelected bureaucrats issued 3,659 regulations.

One of the things that is slowing down the recovery in our consumer-drive economy is the amount of student loan debt. Student loan debt is currently the fastest growing debt–larger than credit-card or auto-loan debt. Another factor is the retirement of the baby boomers.

The article further reports:

In April, the number of persons under 25 in the workforce declined by 484,000. Unsurprisingly, almost one in three (31 percent) persons 18 to 34 are living with their parents, including 25 percent who have jobs.

These are not positive numbers.

The article concludes:

There is, however, something new under the sun. The Pew Research Center reports that Americans 25 to 32 — “Millennials” — constitute the first age cohort since World War II with higher unemployment or a greater portion living in poverty than their parents at this age. But today’s Millennials have the consolation of having the president they wanted.

At some point the Millennials may realize that elections have consequences and that they have voted themselves out of jobs.

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Big Government At Work

In 2010 I attended a family reunion in Northern California. Because my military family was stationed near San Deigo, we made the drive up the Five. One of the things we saw was the impact of the Congress-imposed drought on the Central Valley, formerly the breadbasket of America. The story hasn’t gone away. The picture below of the Central Valley was taken during that drive.

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Today National Review Online posted an update of the story.

The story at National Review Online describes the Central Valley:

The soil being uncharacteristically fertile and the summers being long and dry, growers are afforded that most valuable of things: control. Emancipated from Gaia’s caprice, farmers here can determine precisely not only how much water they wish to provide to their crops but when to add it, too. Which is to say that, in the Central Valley, irrigation is achieved not by the whimsy of the sky but by deliberately placed pipes, pumps, and microprocessors. It is here that the ancient earth meets the best of technology; where Silicon Valley meshes with the baser elements and, together, they yield life. “If the Pilgrims had landed in California,” Ronald Reagan liked to joke, “the East Coast would still be a wilderness.” Undoubtedly. I suspect fewer Pilgrims would have died, too. Make no mistake: This place is a miracle — a vast greenhouse in which, unmolested by the elements and provided with incomparably fecund terrain, farmers can do their thing as never before.

But the miracle has a problem. On the Harris Ranch in the Central Valley, 9,000 of the 15,000 acres are fallow because of lack of water.

The article explains:

The Central Valley’s woes began in earnest in 2007, when the hardline Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) won a lawsuit against California’s intricate water-delivery system, sending farmers like John Harris into a tailspin. In court, the NRDC’s lawyers contended that the vast pumps that help to funnel water from the reservoirs up in the Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta down to the Central Valley, to Southern California, and to the Bay Area were sucking in and shredding an unacceptable number of smelt — and, the smelt being protected by the Endangered Species Act (ESA) since 1994, that this was illegal.

And much of the breadbasket became a dustbowl.

Please follow the link above to read the entire article. It is a study in governmental destruction of a natural resource–America’s breadbasket.

The article concludes:

And so nothing happens. Each year, farmers sit and wait — praying for rain, and hoping that the federal government will send them a few drops of water so that they do not have to leave perfectly good land fallow and tell their employees that this month there will be no work. Of all our present troubles, California’s farming woes are perhaps the most inexplicably sourced and the most easily fixed. Complacently convinced of their infallibility, legislators in the nation’s richest state have prostrated themselves at the feet of many silly ideas in recent years. But for authorities to have put the livelihood of millions of citizens at the mercy of a tiny little fish is almost too much to bear.

We need a little common sense with our environmentalism.

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Some Perspective On The Rodeo Clown

After being banned from the Missouri State Fair for life for being a rodeo clown with a President Obama mask, Tuffy Gessling is speaking out.

On Monday Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted a story that provides some background on the incident. Tuffy Gessling has been dressing up as sitting presidents as part of his clown act since the days of Ronald Reagan. This is the first time it has been a problem.

The article at Hot Air concludes:

…Gessling figures that people have lost their ability to laugh, at themselves and their favored institutions, and a large amount of their perspective, too…Well … at least during Democratic administrations, anyway.  The hysteria over a silly rodeo skit boggles the mind, and it’s not benign, either.  Despite the fact that presidential face masks have a long history in the US for satire and entertainment, and perhaps especially so during the administration of Obama’s predecessor, this new-found abhorrence of offending the dignity of a sitting President does not bode well for political speech of any kind in the future.  Will wearing a presidential mask for satirical purposes during a possible Hillary Clinton administration be automatically assumed to be an act of unconscionable sexism, too, rather than just humor or criticism?

The lesson here is this: Toughen up, buttercups. And I’m not talking about Tuffy Gessling, either.

The history involved in the clown with a presidential mask incident makes me wonder what has happened to our sense of humor. This act has been perfectly acceptable for more than forty years. Why was the clown banned for doing something that he had been doing since the days of Ronald Reagan? There truly is a double standard here. There are much more important things to worry about in this world than a clown with a President Obama mask.

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We Have Lost A Great Lady

The U.K. Mail is reporting today that Britain’s Iron Lady, Margaret Thatcher, died this morning. I am citing the U.K. Mail article because it includes a lot of pictures of Prime Minister Thatcher during her time as Prime Minister and after she left office. Lady Thatcher, along with President Reagan, stood up to the Soviet Union, and eventually the Soviet Union collapsed.

Lady Thatcher was Britain’s first and only woman prime minister. She won three consecutive general elections to that post. Please follow the link above to read the article in the U.K. Mail. It is an inspiring story of a lady who broke the mold when it came to British politics.

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The Response To The State of the Union Address

For those of you who are not in shock by the fact that Marco Rubio actually took a drink of water, here is the video and some highlights from his speech Tuesday night.

The speech and video are posted at the Daily Beast. The video is also on YouTube. Here is the video:

A few highlights from the speech:

But America is exceptional because we believe that every life, at every stage, is precious, and that everyone everywhere has a God-given right to go as far as their talents and hard work will take them.

…This opportunity – to make it to the middle class or beyond no matter where you start out in life – it isn’t bestowed on us from Washington. It comes from a vibrant free economy where people can risk their own money to open a business. And when they succeed, they hire more people, who in turn invest or spend the money they make, helping others start a business and create jobs.

Presidents in both parties – from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan – have known that our free enterprise economy is the source of our middle class prosperity.

…This idea – that our problems were caused by a government that was too small – it’s just not true. In fact, a major cause of our recent downturn was a housing crisis created by reckless government policies.

And the idea that more taxes and more government spending is the best way to help hardworking middle class taxpayers – that’s an old idea that’s failed every time it’s been tried.

More government isn’t going to help you get ahead. It’s going to hold you back.

More government isn’t going to create more opportunities. It’s going to limit them.

…And tonight, he even criticized us for refusing to raise taxes to delay military cuts – cuts that were his idea in the first place.

But his favorite attack of all is that those who don’t agree with him – they only care about rich people.

Mr. President, I still live in the same working class neighborhood I grew up in. My neighbors aren’t millionaires. They’re retirees who depend on Social Security and Medicare. They’re workers who have to get up early tomorrow morning and go to work to pay the bills. They’re immigrants, who came here because they were stuck in poverty in countries where the government dominated the economy.

The tax increases and the deficit spending you propose will hurt middle class families. It will cost them their raises. It will cost them their benefits. It may even cost some of them their jobs.

And it will hurt seniors because it does nothing to save Medicare and Social Security.

So Mr. President, I don’t oppose your plans because I want to protect the rich. I oppose your plans because I want to protect my neighbors.

Senator Rubio concludes:

This dream – of a better life for their children – it’s the hope of parents everywhere. Politicians here and throughout the world have long promised that more government can make those dreams come true.

But we Americans have always known better. From our earliest days, we embraced economic liberty instead. And because we did, America remains one of the few places on earth where dreams like these even have a chance.

Each time our nation has faced great challenges, what has kept us together was our shared hope for a better life.

Now, let that hope bring us together again. To solve the challenges of our time and write the next chapter in the amazing story of the greatest nation man has ever known.

Thank you for listening. May God bless all of you. May God bless our President. And may God continue to bless the United States of America.

The reason that a lot of the media has focused on Senator Rubio’s drink of water is that they don’t want you to hear the wisdom in the speech.

 

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It’s The Spending–Not The Taxes

On Friday Representative Darrell Issa posted an editorial in the Washington Times about the current fiscal cliff debate in Washington.

He begins the article with some recent history on American tax policy:

Twenty-six years ago, President Reagan implemented significant tax reforms that lowered the individual income tax rate, limited deductions and brought equality to tax rates across all levels. Before that reform, there had been 15 different marginal tax rates reaching levels as high as 50 percent for top brackets. By the time Reagan left office, the number of brackets had been reduced to two: 15 percent and 28 percent.

In 1993, President Clinton raised the top two income rates to 36 percent and 39.6 percent while also raising the corporate tax rate, increasing the taxable portion of Social Security benefits and increasing income taxable for Medicare. This is what has become known as the “Clinton tax rates.”

In 2001, President George W. Bush changed the rate from 39.6 percent to 35 percent, lowered the capital gains and dividend income rates, and expanded credits and deductions such as the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The current discussions in Congress are centered on the idea of raising taxes–not on cutting spending. What would be the impact of raising taxes on the rich?

Representative Issa points out:

If you raised taxes on the top income bracket, you would generate around $1 trillion over 10 years. The past four years under President Obama have resulted in trillion-dollar deficits each year. At this rate, in 10 years we’re looking at $10 trillion in new debt. At best, the “tax-the-rich” proposal is just a 10 percent solution.

Government spending has traditionally been about 18 to 20 percent of America’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Under President Obama, it has been about 24%. Since tax revenue is about 18% of GDP for year, the source of the deficit is obvious. Even when taxes are raised, tax revenue remains about 18% of GDP.

Representative Issa concludes:

The other side tries to boil this down into a seven-second sound bite about taxing the rich and people paying their fair share. In 2009, the top 10 percent of earners in the United States already paid more than 70 percent of federal income taxes.

This isn’t about fairness and unfairness. It’s about taxing and spending, and the federal government has spent enough.

The federal government collects more tax money from all Americans than the Medieval lords collected from the serfs. It really is time for that to stop.

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What In The World Were They Thinking ?

The story of Benghazi has been in the news for more than a month now. There are many aspects of this story that are downright disturbing. The latest has to do with the military and special forces people that could have helped the Americans under fire being told to stand down. Stand down? While the higher-ups in the Obama Administration watched Americans being killed in real time? What in the world is this?

Fox News reported some of the details today. Fox reports:

Former Navy SEAL Tyrone Woods was part of a small team who was at the CIA annex about a mile from the U.S. Consulate where Ambassador Chris Stevens and his team came under attack. When he and others heard the shots fired, they informed their higher-ups at the annex to tell them what they were hearing and requested permission to go to the consulate and help out. They were told to “stand down,” according to sources familiar with the exchange. Soon after, they were again told to “stand down.” 

…According to sources on the ground during the attack, the special operator on the roof of the CIA annex had visual contact and a laser pointing at the Libyan mortar team that was targeting the CIA annex. The operators were calling in coordinates of where the Libyan forces were firing from. 

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta told reporters at the Pentagon on Thursday that there was not a clear enough picture of what was occurring on the ground in Benghazi to send help. 

American soldiers have a tradition of leaving no man behind. Evidently the Obama Administration was not familiar with that tradition. One of the problems Benghazi has caused is that it will reinforce the Al Qaeda attitude that America is a paper tiger. The lack of response to this attack with embolden Al Qaeda to plan and execute more attacks on American soil (an Embassy is considered American soil) without fear of retribution. This is very reminiscent of the Jimmy Carter administration–the reason the Iranian hostages were returned as soon as Ronald Reagan took office was that the Iranians feared that President Reagan would actually retaliate if the hostages were not returned. There was reason to respect the power of America. We have lost that respect and need to restore it.

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Taken To The Woodshed For Telling TheTruth

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air posted an article today about some recent comments by Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. On “Face The Nation” yesterday, Governor O’Malley told Bob Schieffer that he couldn’t say that we were better off now than we were four years ago, but “but that’s not the question for this election.” Really? (or ‘seriously?’ as my three-year-old granddaughter likes to say)

Here is the video:

The logical question at that point was, “Then what is the point of this election?”

Today Governor O’Malley has changed his mind.

According to the article:

A day after saying, no, the country was not better off than it was four years ago, Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley reversed course on Monday and said, yes, indeed it was.

“We are clearly better of as a country because we’re now creating jobs rathare than losing them,” O’Malley, a Democrat, said on CNN’s Starting Point. “But we have not recovered all that we lost in the Bush recession. That’s why we need to continue to move forward.”

He then motioned to a panel that included Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, among others. “Is there anyone on this panel that thinks we’ve recovered all we lost in the Bush recession? Clearly we’re moving forward, we’re creating jobs, unemployment is down, job creation is up. And that job creation would not happen without the president’s leadership.”

I get it–it’s George Bush’s fault. These people are getting so desperate they are becoming comical. We need to make sure no one votes for them out of sympathy.

This is the chart posted at Hot Air:

The Republicans are echoing Ronald Reagan:

I am sorry (but not surprised) to see the failure of the Obama Administration in so many areas. President Obama has done nothing that had a positive impact on our economy, and he has treated many of our friends around the world badly. I celebrate the fact that America elected a black President, but I fear that because President Obama has done such an inadequate job in the office that it will be difficult in the future for a black man to convince Americans that he is qualified to be President.

 

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Retired Military Speak Out Against The Law Of The Sea Treaty

This is the letter sent to Senator John Kerry by a number of retired senior military leaders regarding the Law Of The Sea Treaty:

June 14, 2012
 
Hon. John Kerry
444 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510-0802
 
Dear Chairman Kerry:
 
Much is being made at the moment of the support of the U.S. military for the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea, which is better known as the Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST). In your Foreign Relations Committee hearings to date, you have invited testimony from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and six other serving four-star commanders. We wish respectfully to challenge the perception that military personnel uniformly support this accord by expressing our strongly held belief that LOST’s ratification would prove inimical both to the national security interests and sovereignty of the United States.
 
This conclusion is ineluctable given five facts about the Law of the Sea Treaty:
  1. President Ronald Reagan recognized that the terms and institutional arrangements inherent in the treaty—including, but not limited to, seabed mining—were adverse to this country insofar as they were intended and designed to establish and empower a supranational government. For these reasons, he refused to sign this accord. And, as his Counselor and Attorney General, Edwin Meese, has observed, those defects continue to afflict LOST—despite suggestions to the contrary, based on false claims that a separate agreement signed by some but not all LOST signatories satisfactorily addressed Mr. Reagan’s concerns.
  2. There is already ample reason for Americans—in and out of uniform—to be leery of entrusting more power and authority to the United Nations. Yet, our membership in LOST would dangerously empower that organization. After all, this treaty creates an executive, legislature and judiciary that are supposed to govern seventy-percent of the world’s surface. And LOST’s institutions are intertwined with the UN system and would be capable of raising revenues. Given the UN track record of corruption and hostility to America and its allies, it would be reckless to endorse such arrangements, let alone subject ourselves to them.
  3. Of particular concern is the obligation under LOST to submit any and all disputes to binding arbitration or judicial action by entities that are inherently rigged against us. The treaty’s expansive mandate is so broad—involving virtually anything affecting the world’s oceans—that it is an invitation to UN and other nations’ interference in our affairs on an unprecedented scale.
  4. That prospect has particular implications for the national security were the United States to become a party to the Law of the Sea Treaty. As such, we would be required to make myriad commitments at odds with our military practices and national interests. These include agreeing to reserve the oceans exclusively for “peaceful purposes.”  Contentions that we need not worry about such formal commitments because we, as a maritime nation with a powerful navy, are not expected to be bound by them will surely prove unfounded.
  5. The same is certain to apply to assurances that the exemption of “military activities” will preclude LOST from having harmful effects on our armed forces and their necessary operations on, over, under and from the seas. Since the treaty does not include an agreed definition of what constitutes such activities, disputes are sure to arise—disputes we will be obliged to resolve through one LOST mechanism or another. [In the attachment, Judge Advocate General Captain Vince Averna (USN, Ret.) lays out a number of the treaty’s provisions that may invite such challenges.]   
One example of how untenable such assurances will prove can be found in the area of anti-submarine warfare (ASW). Of necessity, ASW training to be effective must necessarily replicate actual combat operations and thus involve the periodic use of high-power sonars and explosives. Unfortunately, some assert that these training activities cause harm to ocean wildlife, like dolphins and whales, and have sought to use judicial means to restrict or preclude them.
 
We must, therefore, recall that, during the Clinton administration, Secretary of State Warren Christopher called LOST “the strongest comprehensive environmental treaty now in existence or likely to emerge for quite some time.” That being the case, the U.S. armed forces must reckon with the prospect that what they consider to be essential and exempted military activities will be treated under LOST as environmental predation very much within the jurisdiction of its Tribunal and arbitration panels. The effect of adverse rulings, especially if enforced by federal judges, could prove devastating to our power projection and other defense capabilities.
 
For all these reasons (among others), it is our considered professional military judgment that the United States should remain unencumbered by state-party status in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea—free to observe those provisions we chose to and unencumbered by the others. We have demonstrated in the three decades since President Reagan refused to sign LOST that as a non-party great power we can exercise great and essential influence on matters involving the oceans without being relegated to one vote among 160-plus, obliged to abide by the will and whims of a generally hostile majority without the benefit of a veto to protect American national interests. There is no basis for contending that we will be better off if we have a so-called “seat at the table” under such circumstances.
 
We hope our insights and conclusions will be made part of the record of your Committee’s deliberations on this matter and would welcome an opportunity to participate in such deliberations if that would be helpful to you and your colleagues.
 
Sincerely,
 
Lt. Gen. William G. “Jerry” Boykin, USA (Ret.)
Former Commanding General, U.S. Army Special Forces Command;
Former Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence
 
Adm. Thomas B. Hayward, USN (Ret.)
Former Chief of Naval Operations
 
Adm. G.E.R. Kinnear II, USN (Ret.)
Former U.S. Member of the NATO Military Committee
 
Gen. Richard L. Lawson, USAF (Ret.)  
Former Deputy Commander-in Chief, Headquarters U.S. European Command
 
Adm. James “Ace” Lyons, Jr., USN (Ret.)
Former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet
 
Lt. Gen. Thomas G. McInerney, USAF (Ret.)
Former Assistant Vice Chief of Staff, USAF
 
Vice Adm. Robert Monroe, USN (Ret.)
Former Director of Navy Research, Development Testing and Evaluation
 
Gen. Carl E. Mundy, Jr., USMC (Ret.)
Former Commandant, U.S. Marine Corps
 
Adm. Leighton “Snuffy” Smith, USN (Ret.)
Former Commander-in-Chief, U.S. Navy Forces Europe and
NATO Allied Forces Southern Europe
 
cc:  Members of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee
 
The letter and more information on the letter are posted at the website of the Center For Security Police website.
 
 
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In Remebrance Of D-Day

A website called American Rhetoric posted the remarks of President Ronald Reagan on the 40th Anniversary of D-Day:

 

We’re here to mark that day in history when the Allied armies joined in battle to reclaim this continent to liberty. For four 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 forty 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, two hundred and twenty-five 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 at the edge of the cliffs, shooting down at them with machine guns 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 two days of fighting, only ninety could still bear arms.

 

And 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. And 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 roll call 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 4:00 am. 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 rock-hard 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. The Soviet troops that came to the center of this continent did not leave when peace came. They’re still there, uninvited, unwanted, unyielding, almost forty years after the war. Because of this, allied forces still stand on this continent. Today, as forty 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. Twenty 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 someday 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’re 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’re 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 and 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.

I miss President Reagan.

 

 

 

 

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Two Different Opinions On A Treaty

Yesterday Politico posted an article by Senator John Kerry giving his views on why America needs to ratify the Law of The Sea Treaty (LOST). On Monday, the Center for Security Policy posted an article on why America should not ratify the Law of the Sea Treaty. I suggest you read both and then draw your own conclusions.

There are, however, a few things I would like to point out. This treaty has been kicking around since the 1980’s when President Reagan strongly opposed it because of its negative impact on American sovereignty.

Some basic problems with the LOST treaty (aptly named):

 “Article 81 of the treaty would require the US. and all nations to pay a
 portion of royalties from the use of the sea’s natural resources to the
 International Seabed Authority in Kingston, Jamaica. If ratified this
 nation would be required to transfer part of any royalties realized from
 the drilling of oil resources found on the U.S. continental shelf —
 defined as 200 nautical miles or more from shore — for redistribution to
 poorer, landlocked countries. This could amount to billions of dollars.”

The treaty would give a U.N. body veto power over the use of U.S. territorial
water and to which we’d be required to give half of our offshore oil
revenue to third world countries.”

I don’t claim to be unbiased in this discussion, but there are a few obvious things going on here. This is an election year. There is a very good chance that the Senate that would  be voting on the LOST treaty will not be the same Senate that will be in Washington in January. Why is the Senate voting on this now? It is not a time-sensitive issue and should not be voted on in what will most certainly be a lame-duck Senate. There is also a strong possibility that as Americans make plans for their summer vacations, they are not paying attention to what is going on in Washington. This is the Senate equivalent of the Friday afternoon document dump–the Senate wants to do this while no one is looking.

This treaty needs to be voted down. Hopefully, the Senators in Congress will realize that.

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An Ego With No End

Fox News is reporting today that the Obama Administration has made some small additions at WhiteHouse.gov to biographies of former Presidents–going all the way back to Calvin Coolidge. I am sorry that anyone has the power to tamper with biographical information on the official White House site, but I guess if you are the President, it comes with the territory. President Obama has added little fact boxes at the end of the biographies of former Presidents relating his accomplishments to theirs.

The article reports:

For instance, the following line was added to the official bio of the late President Ronald Reagan: “In a June 28, 1985, speech, Reagan called for a fairer tax code, one where a multimillionaire did not have a lower tax rate than his secretary. Today, President Obama is calling for the same with the Buffett Rule.” 

Well, that kind of egotistic ridiculousness deserves a response, and the people at the Daily Caller were more than happy to provide one. A few of their suggestions:

On his desk in the Oval Office, President Harry Truman had a sign that read, “The Buck Stops Here.” After three years in the White House, President Obama’s 2012 campaign has internalized a similar motto: “The Buck Stops with George W. Bush.”
 
Coca-Cola was first sold at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Ga., in 1886. One of the two main ingredients in the original recipe was cocaine. In 1929, Coca-Cola became completely cocaine-free. During the 1980s, it is unclear if Barack Obama was totally Coca-Cola-free, but unlike Coca-Cola, he definitely wasn’t cocaine-free.
 

 In 1905 Theodore Roosevelt became the first sitting president to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He earned the prestigious award for helping end the Russo-Japanese war. In 2009, President Obama became the third sitting president — and the fourth president overall — to win the Nobel Peace Prize. He won the award for not being George W. Bush.

Please follow the link to the Daily Caller to read the entire article. It is the correct response to the meddling with the presidential biographies at WhiteHouse.gov.
 
 
 
 
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What Would LOST Mean ?

Frank Gaffney posted an article at Townhall.com about the Law Of The Sea Treaty (LOST) which may come up in the lame-duck session of the Senate at the end of the year. The treaty essentially will give the United Nations control over all waterways and set up a justice system at the United Nations that all nations would be under. In a few words, it is a direct threat to American sovereignty.

The article reports:

First, as Senator Lott once warned, ratification of LOST would commit the United States to submit to mandatory dispute resolution with respect to U.S. military and industrial operations. While LOST proponents argue that the United States will choose available arbitration mechanisms to avoid legal decisions from the International Court of Justice (ICJ) or the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS), such arbitration panels are no-less perilous for U.S. interests as the decisive, “swing” arbiters would be appointed by generally unfriendly UN-affiliated bureaucrats. The arbitration panels can also be relied upon to look to rulings by the ICJ or ITLOS to inform their own decisions.

Furthermore, while there is a LOST provision exempting “military activity” from such dispute resolution mechanisms, the Treaty makes no attempt to define “military activity,” virtually guaranteeing that such matters will be litigated – in all likelihood to our detriment – before one or another of LOST’s arbitration mechanisms. And the rulings of such arbitrators cannot be appealed.

I don’t think this is what our founding fathers had in mind.

The article concludes:

Of particular concern is the fact that LOST creates an international taxation regime. It does so by empowering the International Seabed Authority (ISA) to tax Americans for the purposes of meeting its ownadministrative costs and of globally redistributing revenue derived from the exploitation of seabed resources.

It is a travesty to portray atreaty with such clearly sovereignty-sapping provisions as an enhancement to our national sovereignty. LOST should be rejected this time – as President Ronald Reagan did thirty years ago and as Senator Lott urged twenty-five years later.

The UN has shown a definite lack of wisdom in selecting members of its Human Rights Commission, do we really want them to exercise any control over America?

 

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Sometimes History Is Amazing

 
Official Portrait of President Ronald Reagan.

Official Portrait of President Ronald Reagan. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

March 30, 1981, was the day that President Reagan was shot. The Daily Caller posted a very interesting article on the shooting on Friday. It seems that sometimes a small decision can have a lot of impact.

The article at the Daily Caller reported that after the assassination attempt on President Reagan, Mike Deaver felt responsible for the injuries to James Brady. It seems that as they were leaving the hotel, one of the reporters asked a question and Mr. Deaver moved Press Secretary Brady closer to the reporter to answer the question. Mr. Deaver felt that he had put the Press Secretary in the line of fire and was responsible for his getting shot.

Later, Mr. Deaver talked to the neurosurgeon that had operated on the Press Secretary.

The article tells the story:

The doctor listened, thought about it. When Deaver had told his story, the doctor asked, “How tall are you?”

Deaver was startled. “I told him, ‘I’m five foot nine.’ ”

And the neurosurgeon said, “Jim Brady is six feet tall. And if he’d stayed there where he had been before you moved him Ronald Reagan would be dead. Because Brady took the bullet that would have killed Reagan.”

If it had been Deaver standing where Brady was, the bullet would have gone over his head and hit the president.

As it was, we came very close the losing a great President. If Mike Deaver had not wanted to let the Press Secretary answer the question, we probably would have lost Ronald Reagan in that incident. There is a very good book written about the events of that day called Rawhide Down written by Del Quentin Wilber. I strongly recommend it.

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Why We Need To Leave The United Nations Immediately

English: Emblem of the United Nations. Color i...

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I have written a few articles on Agenda 21. If you use the search engine within this website you will find them. I would like to remind you of a few statements made by those who are in favor of Agenda 21.

“Current lifestyles and consumption patterns of the affluent middle class–involving high meat intake, use of fossil fuels, appliances, home and work air conditioning, and suburban housing–are not sustainable.”  Maurice Strong, Secretary General of the UN’s 1992 Earth Summit

“Land, because of its unique nature and the crucial role it plays in human settlements, cannot be treated as an ordinary asset, controlled by individuals and subject to the pressures and inefficiencies of the market. Private land ownership is also a principle instrument of the accumulation and concentration of wealth and therefore contributes to social injustice; if unchecked, it may become a major obstacle in the planning and implementation of development schemes.”  This is a quote from the 1976 UN Conference on Human Settlement, held in Vancouver, Canada. Under “Section D. Land,” of the Report of Habitat, which came out of the conference. It is from the preamble and speaks of the private ownership of land.

Well, as Ronald Reagan used to say, “There they go again.” Yesterday Fox News posted a story about a United Nations report issued last month.

The article reports:

The report, “21 Issues for the 21st Century,” from the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) Foresight Process, is the culmination of a two-year deliberative process involving 22 core scientists. It is expected to receive considerable attention in the run-up to the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, which will be held in Rio, Brazil, in June.

The scientists who wrote the report say it focuses on identifying emerging issues in the global environment, and that it is not about mandating solutions.

But its critics see an agenda lurking in its 60 pages, which call for a complete overhaul of how the world’s food and water are created and distributed — something the report says is “urgently needed” for the human race to keep feeding and hydrating itself safely.

There is no mention of the fact that many of the hunger problems in the world are caused by political situations where tyrannical dictators are in charge. During the time of the food for oil program, run by the United Nations, Saddam Hussein was eating well and building magnificent palaces. The United Nations was up to its neck in corruption is managing the program. Have we not learned from our mistakes? Might I also mention that many of those tyrannical dictators currently sit on the United Nations Human Rights Committee.

My favorite quote from the article (the italics are mine):

“We are not talking about a world government,” said Dr. Oren Young, professor of institutional and international governance and environmental institutions at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and one of the scientists who issued the report.

He said the panel’s conversations included questions like, “How do we resolve these problems without creating this monster entity?”

Young said the panel wasn’t tasked with finding all the answers.

If they weren’t expected to find the answers, why did they meet? How much money did they spend not finding all the answers?
 
More questionable actions by our government:
 

The State Dept. has already weighed in on many of the issues presented by the Foresight Panel in its own statement, titled “Sustainable Development for the Next Twenty Years United States Views on RIO+20.”

Submitted to the U.N by the Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific Affairs (OIES) in November, this policy vision makes it clear the State Dept. will back global government solutions — whether they be in addressing the overfishing of the oceans, making national laws and regulations more transparent, addressing land and ocean-based pollution, or water management.

I think it is time to clean house entirely in Washington–elected officials and bureaucrats. Let’s fire everyone and start from scratch.

 

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Are You Better Off Now Than You Were Four Years Ago ?

That was the question Ronald Reagan asked in the 1980 presidential campaign. I think that somehow we have wandered back to that time. The only thing missing is the gas lines, and if war comes to the Middle East (which it will within the next year), we will have those gas lines again.

Yesterday Investors.com posted the following graph:

 The article states:

The American public’s dependence on the federal government shot up 23% in just two years under President Obama, with 67 million now relying on some federal program, according to a newly released study by the Heritage Foundation.

The conservative think tank’s annual Index of Dependence on Government tracks money spent on housing, health, welfare, education subsidies and other federal programs that were “traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families.”

Note the statement “other federal programs that were “traditionally provided to needy people by local organizations and families.”” The advantage of having charity locally controlled is that the local people know the people they are dealing with. The other problem with government charity is that the government has no incentive to downsize the number of people receiving charity–in fact, the opposite is the case. If I am a welfare administrator in charge of distributing money to fifty people and half of those people become self-sufficient, will I lose my job?

It is very easy to blame the rapid increase in dependency on the depth and length of the current recession, but the article points out that economic effects account for only one-fifth of the change in the index.

The article concludes:

Research seems to validate this connection. Various studies have shown that extending unemployment benefits can keep unemployment rates higher than they would otherwise have been.

Obama’s own former economic adviser, Larry Summers, noted in the 1999 Concise Encyclopedia of Economics that “government assistance programs contribute to long-term unemployment … by providing an incentive, and the means, not to work.”

That conclusion is called common sense!

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It’s Getting Hard To Sort The Truth From The Spin

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The Republican primary race seems to have come down to a contest between Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich. I am totally willing to admit, political junkie that I am, that I haven’t made up my mind yet. I am willing to admit that I think that both leading candidates have totally forgotten President Reagan’s Eleventh Commandment.

There are a few things I am watching in deciding who will get my support–who is supporting each candidate and who is opposing each candidate. It was obvious at the start of the campaign that the Obama campaign was preparing for Mitt Romney as their opponent. Romney was ‘the next in line’ which, unfortunately, seems to be the way the Republicans choose their candidates. It doesn’t work very well, but they keep doing it. The Occupy Wall Street movement was the perfect prelude to a campaign against Mitt Romney–the man is obviously wealthy–he has worked hard and accomplished many things to obtain that wealth, but an opposing campaign could overlook that and just characterize him as the ‘evil rich.’ Governor Romney seems to be the choice of the Republican ‘establishment.’ Newt Gingrich is the rebel candidate. He has been knocked down twice already and just seems to bounce back up. He seems to be the Tea Party candidate (although I seriously doubt he was their first choice). Newt is a bit of a loose cannon, but seems to have an ability to explain things so that ordinary people can understand them and to get things done (although he steps on peoples’ feet in the process). As I have posted earlier, the ethics charges against him in the mid 1990’s were later proven to be completely false by the IRS. I believe he was run out of the House of Representatives on a rail (so to speak) because he was a threat to both the Republican and Democrat Washington establishment. If he can make that case to the public, he will win the nomination and the election.

On Friday, January 27, Newsmax.com posted a short article discussing some of the attacks on Newt Gingrich. Ronald Reagan’s eldest son Mike Reagan has issued a statement regarding the claim that Newt Gingrich did not support Ronald Reagan.

The article posted the statement:

I am deeply disturbed that supporters of Mitt Romney are claiming that Newt Gingrich is not a true Reaganite and are even claiming that Newt was a strong critic of my father.

“Recently I endorsed Newt Gingrich for president because I believe that Newt is the only Republican candidate who has both consistently backed the conservative policies that my father championed and the only Republican that will continue to implement his vision.

“It surprises me that Mitt Romney and his supporters would raise this issue — when Mitt by his own admission said he opposed my father in the 1980s claiming he was an ‘independent,’ and later supported liberal Democrat Paul Tsongas for president.

“As governor of Massachusetts, Romney’s achievement was the most socialistic healthcare plan in the nation up until that time.

“Say what you want about Newt Gingrich but when he was Speaker of the House he surrounded himself with Reagan conservatives and implemented a Ronald Reagan program of low taxes and restrained federal spending.

“Newt’s conservative program created a huge economic boom and balanced the budget for the first time in more than a generation.”

Mike Reagan concluded: “I would take Newt Gingrich’s record any day over Mitt Romney’s.”

Beware of the spin! Listen to the people who are closest to the events and have nothing to gain or lose by telling the truth.

 

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