Wisdom Proven True

Yesterday The Washington Times posted an article stating what many Americans knew all along–Vice-President Mike Pence was right when he said that he has a rule never to be alone with a woman who is not his wife. Think how many recent scandals we would have avoided if Hollywood, newscasters, and politicians followed that rule.

The article notes:

Vice President Mike Pence was roundly ridiculed when it was revealed that he makes an effort never to be alone with a woman who is not his wife, but the policy is looking less prudish and more sensible as accusations of sexual misconduct against powerful men proliferate.

Accusations first surfaced last month against movie mogul Harvey Weinstein and have since reverberated through Hollywood, the media and government at every level. On Wednesday, Matt Lauer, a longtime host of NBC’s “Today,” and Minnesota Public Radio’s Garrison Keillor were fired by their respective organizations amid accusations of improper behavior.

Joseph Backholm, president of the Family Policy Institute of Washington, said the spate of sexual misconduct accusations makes it “increasingly obvious that we need to re-evaluate our boundaries.”

The article notes:

The entry of women into the workforce since World War II, followed by the sexual revolution and the erasure of well-established sexual mores, has left men and women with little guidance as to how to interact in the workplace, Mr. Richards said.

“We now find ourselves trying to kind of create rules after discovering fallout from these dramatic social changes,” Mr. Richards said. “It’s not as if Pence’s rule is written in stone; different people have different rules that are similar to this. But I know many Christian organizations and Christian ministries that have rules more or less like Mike Pence’s in place for all employees.”

In addition to guarding against infidelity and other sexual misconduct, Mr. Richards said, the Pence rule preserves the reputations of all parties involved.

“It’s as much or more about preserving the reputations of himself and other women,” he said. “A simple guardrail is absolutely reasonable if you want to prevent the rumor mill from starting, let alone even worse sexual transgressions.”

There are some obvious things that could have been done to prevent some of this and some obvious questions about the actions of some of the people involved. Why did Matt Lauer have a button under his desk that would allow him to lock the door to his dressing room without leaving his chair? Why did Harvey Weinstein conduct meetings with women in hotel rooms wearing only his bathrobe? Did their employers or the people they were accountable to know of their behavior? Was there anyone Harvey Weinstein was accountable to? Where did these men get the idea that it was okay for them to do the things they did? Did they not believe that societal norms and social graces applied to them?

Where these actions are proven, there have to be consequences. Those consequences need to be consistent in the political and the corporate world. It will be interesting to see if they are. Meanwhile, the wisdom of Vice-President Pence is apparent.

 

President Trump At The United Nations

This is the link to the full text of President Trump’s speech at the United Nations.

Here are a few highlights from the speech:

Fortunately, the United States has done very well since Election Day last November 8th. The stock market is at an all-time high — a record. Unemployment is at its lowest level in 16 years, and because of our regulatory and other reforms, we have more people working in the United States today than ever before. Companies are moving back, creating job growth the likes of which our country has not seen in a very long time. And it has just been announced that we will be spending almost $700 billion on our military and defense.

Our military will soon be the strongest it has ever been. For more than 70 years, in times of war and peace, the leaders of nations, movements, and religions have stood before this assembly. Like them, I intend to address some of the very serious threats before us today but also the enormous potential waiting to be unleashed.

We live in a time of extraordinary opportunity. Breakthroughs in science, technology, and medicine are curing illnesses and solving problems that prior generations thought impossible to solve.

But each day also brings news of growing dangers that threaten everything we cherish and value. Terrorists and extremists have gathered strength and spread to every region of the planet. Rogue regimes represented in this body not only support terrorists but threaten other nations and their own people with the most destructive weapons known to humanity.

Authority and authoritarian powers seek to collapse the values, the systems, and alliances that prevented conflict and tilted the world toward freedom since World War II.

International criminal networks traffic drugs, weapons, people; force dislocation and mass migration; threaten our borders; and new forms of aggression exploit technology to menace our citizens.

To put it simply, we meet at a time of both of immense promise and great peril. It is entirely up to us whether we lift the world to new heights, or let it fall into a valley of disrepair.

…To overcome the perils of the present and to achieve the promise of the future, we must begin with the wisdom of the past. Our success depends on a coalition of strong and independent nations that embrace their sovereignty to promote security, prosperity, and peace for themselves and for the world.

We do not expect diverse countries to share the same cultures, traditions, or even systems of government. But we do expect all nations to uphold these two core sovereign duties: to respect the interests of their own people and the rights of every other sovereign nation. This is the beautiful vision of this institution, and this is foundation for cooperation and success.

Strong, sovereign nations let diverse countries with different values, different cultures, and different dreams not just coexist, but work side by side on the basis of mutual respect.

Strong, sovereign nations let their people take ownership of the future and control their own destiny. And strong, sovereign nations allow individuals to flourish in the fullness of the life intended by God.

In America, we do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to watch. This week gives our country a special reason to take pride in that example. We are celebrating the 230th anniversary of our beloved Constitution — the oldest constitution still in use in the world today.

This timeless document has been the foundation of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the Americans and for countless millions around the globe whose own countries have found inspiration in its respect for human nature, human dignity, and the rule of law.

The greatest in the United States Constitution is its first three beautiful words. They are: “We the people.”

…The scourge of our planet today is a small group of rogue regimes that violate every principle on which the United Nations is based. They respect neither their own citizens nor the sovereign rights of their countries.

If the righteous many do not confront the wicked few, then evil will triumph. When decent people and nations become bystanders to history, the forces of destruction only gather power and strength.

No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more.

We were all witness to the regime’s deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, Otto Warmbier, was returned to America only to die a few days later. We saw it in the assassination of the dictator’s brother using banned nerve agents in an international airport. We know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea’s spies.

If this is not twisted enough, now North Korea’s reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles threatens the entire world with unthinkable loss of human life.

It is an outrage that some nations would not only trade with such a regime, but would arm, supply, and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict. No nation on earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles.

…It is time for the entire world to join us in demanding that Iran’s government end its pursuit of death and destruction. It is time for the regime to free all Americans and citizens of other nations that they have unjustly detained. And above all, Iran’s government must stop supporting terrorists, begin serving its own people, and respect the sovereign rights of its neighbors.

The entire world understands that the good people of Iran want change, and, other than the vast military power of the United States, that Iran’s people are what their leaders fear the most. This is what causes the regime to restrict Internet access, tear down satellite dishes, shoot unarmed student protestors, and imprison political reformers.

Oppressive regimes cannot endure forever, and the day will come when the Iranian people will face a choice. Will they continue down the path of poverty, bloodshed, and terror? Or will the Iranian people return to the nation’s proud roots as a center of civilization, culture, and wealth where their people can be happy and prosperous once again?

The Iranian regime’s support for terror is in stark contrast to the recent commitments of many of its neighbors to fight terrorism and halt its financing.

In Saudi Arabia early last year, I was greatly honored to address the leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations. We agreed that all responsible nations must work together to confront terrorists and the Islamist extremism that inspires them.

We will stop radical Islamic terrorism because we cannot allow it to tear up our nation, and indeed to tear up the entire world.

We must deny the terrorists safe haven, transit, funding, and any form of support for their vile and sinister ideology. We must drive them out of our nations. It is time to expose and hold responsible those countries who support and finance terror groups like al Qaeda, Hezbollah, the Taliban and others that slaughter innocent people.

…One of the greatest American patriots, John Adams, wrote that the American Revolution was “effected before the war commenced. The Revolution was in the minds and hearts of the people.”

That was the moment when America awoke, when we looked around and understood that we were a nation. We realized who we were, what we valued, and what we would give our lives to defend. From its very first moments, the American story is the story of what is possible when people take ownership of their future.

The United States of America has been among the greatest forces for good in the history of the world, and the greatest defenders of sovereignty, security, and prosperity for all.

Now we are calling for a great reawakening of nations, for the revival of their spirits, their pride, their people, and their patriotism.

History is asking us whether we are up to the task. Our answer will be a renewal of will, a rediscovery of resolve, and a rebirth of devotion. We need to defeat the enemies of humanity and unlock the potential of life itself.

Our hope is a word and — world of proud, independent nations that embrace their duties, seek friendship, respect others, and make common cause in the greatest shared interest of all: a future of dignity and peace for the people of this wonderful Earth.

This is the true vision of the United Nations, the ancient wish of every people, and the deepest yearning that lives inside every sacred soul.

So let this be our mission, and let this be our message to the world: We will fight together, sacrifice together, and stand together for peace, for freedom, for justice, for family, for humanity, and for the almighty God who made us all.

Thank you. God bless you. God bless the nations of the world. And God bless the United States of America. Thank you very much.

We have a President who loves America and is willing to use our power and might to help move the world toward freedom and peace. It was a great speech.

Who Is Antifa?

One way to subvert a political movement is to plant radical people in it to make the entire group look bad. This happens in political campaigns all the time when candidates are forced to return a donation from a fringe group they may have been unaware of or a candidate is invited to give a speech somewhere that turns out to be a questionable set-up. The alt-right is a name the media has associated with racism, hatred, and general radicalism. If you carefully watch the way the media uses the term, you can see an attempt to expand the term alt-right to anyone who opposes the liberal agenda of the media. The media would like to convince you that believing good things about America and its future is unacceptable, racist, and radical. Meanwhile, a group called antifa pretty much gets a pass on anything they do.

Who is antifa? Antifa was started after World War II in Germany to counter the fascism that Hitler had brought to the country.

A website called jacobinmag describes the roots of antifa as follows:

Yet despite its failure to stop Hitler in 1933 and veritable dismantling in subsequent years, Germany’s socialist labor movement and its decidedly progressive traditions outlived Hitler in the factories of its industrial cities, and began gathering up the fragments as soon as open political activity became possible.

These groups, oftentimes launched from the aforementioned housing estates, were generally called “Antifaschistische Ausschüsse,” “Antifaschistische Kommittees,” or the now famous “Antifaschistische Aktion” – “Antifa” for short. They drew on the slogans and orientation of the prewar united front strategy, adopting the word “Antifa” from a last-ditch attempt to establish a cross-party alliance between Communist and Social Democratic workers in 1932. The alliance’s iconic logo, devised by Association of Revolutionary Visual Artists members Max Keilson and Max Gebhard, has been since become one of the Left’s most well-known symbols.

Essentially antifa is a communist group.

The article goes on to discuss how antifa should “fight a resurgent far right in the Trump era.” Obviously I disagree with that statement. There is nothing ‘far right’ about wanting to preserve America‘s history. There is nothing ‘far right’ about wanting to preserve the values of our Founding Fathers. I don’t believe that America is destined to become a communist country despite the efforts of groups like antifa. However, if we don’t get back to teaching our children the heritage of America and the extraordinary character and wisdom of our Founding Fathers, we could be in danger of losing the freedoms so many Americans have fought and died for.

Not every American in Charlottesville protesting the removal of historic statues was a racist, neo-nazi, etc. I am sure there were some people there who simply objected to the removal and eventual rewriting of American history. Those people had a permit to allow them to march. Antifa did not. Violence is unacceptable, but protest marches are legal. Who brought the violence? The violent incident caused by a neo-nazi has been widely reported. Has anyone reported the violence on the part of antifa?

The news media has taken sides against political conservatism (and American history). They did that a long time ago. The reporting on Antifa and the trouble they have caused in recent years (Berkley, Charlottseville, various G20 summits, etc.) has been limited and will probably continue to be so. The reporting on any extremes on the political right has been put on the front pages above the fold. Americans need to understand that they are being played.

 

The Real Cost Of War

I have a friend who was born in Japan in the late 1930’s. She is now an American citizen. A few years ago she shared her story with a local newspaper. I would like to share some highlights of her story here.

In March of 1945, she and one of her sisters were sent away from Tokyo to her grandparents’ home in Miyazaki on Kyushu to keep them safe. Her father remained behind. Her father was a high-ranking officer in the Japanese military.

She shares a story of a day at her grandparents’ home when she was pretending to go to school (her sisters went, but she was still too young) and heard the air raid warning siren. She laid down on the concrete road as flat as she could, then ran home as soon as the airplanes passed. Following that incident, she stayed close to her grandparents’ home where she could seek shelter in the bushes in the backyard.

During the time at her grandparents’ house, she traveled to Hiroshima with her mother and sisters to see cousins. While there, her mother received a call from her father to leave immediately. Her mother quickly left and returned to Miyazaki. The family later learned that their cousins had been killed in the bombing of Hiroshima.

She then traveled with her mother and sisters to visit friends in Nagasaki. Within two days of their arrival, her father called and told them to return to Miyazaki. They later found out that the friends they were visiting in Nagasaki were killed in the bombing.

She shares the story of spending a lot of time in an underground bunker at her grandparents’ home. They were in the bunker when they heard the news of the Japanese surrender. The day after the announcement, her father called and asked the family to return to Tokyo immediately. They boarded a train to Tokyo and were treated very well when some of the military officers on board recognized them and realized that they were related to their former superior officer (her father). They were escorted to the front of the train where there were soldiers carrying square wooden boxes wrapped in white scarves. Each soldier had an empty seat next to him reserved for his wooden box. Each box contained the ashes of a fallen soldier. In her story, she notes that as the train passed through Hiroshima, all the shutters were drawn so that the passengers could not see the devastation.

When the family arrived back in Tokyo, there were only a handful of houses left standing. Everything was flat and burnt.

There is more to the story. The lady telling this story was the daughter of a high-ranking Japanese officer who attempted to persuade the emperor to end the war in order to avoid the bombing of Japan that he knew was coming. Obviously the emperor ignored the advice. Her father was eventually relieved of his command just before the end of World War II.

I share this story for a number of reasons. The main reason is to illustrate that although war is sometimes necessary, it is a horrible thing. It has a great impact on the society and culture that is involved in the fighting. The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was a horrible first step into the atomic age, but without those bombs, many more lives would have been lost and the Japanese culture would have probably been destroyed as a result of an invasion of Japan.

The lesson here is that although war is a horrible thing, there are times when it must be fought. When it is fought, it must be fought hard in order to end quickly the death and destruction that it brings. That is the lesson we seem to have forgotten since the days of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. I hope we never see another atomic bomb dropped, but I also hope we have the wisdom and courage to do what we need to do in order to end quickly any war that we must fight.

Don’t Democrats Understand National Security?

I realize that many Americans are not old enough to remember the “Loose Lips Sink Ships” posters of World War II, but it seems as if many of our politicians have gone totally in the wrong direction on the matter of national security.

USMC Life posted the following article yesterday:

Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Tim Kaine, has a son in the Marines. And he’s getting ready to deploy — today apparently.

Clinton spoke at a VFW Convention saying, “My running mate in this election is a wonderful man from Virginia named Tim Kaine. He’s a US Senator, he was governor of Virginia, mayor of Richmond, Virginia… His son is a Marine. His son is actually deploying today, to help defend our NATO allies in Europe.” See 7:20 in YouTube below for the sequence.

So now the enemies of America have the date and location of these troops, putting a target on them overseas.

A few days earlier, one of Kaine’s aides told reporters Saturday that Lt Kaine was deploying to Europe on Monday, according to CNN.  Kaine followed up saying his son was helping “to uphold America’s commitment to our NATO ally,” according to the news source.

It seems Kaine needs to attend OPSEC classes as well and national news organizations have posted the information since he relayed it.

Didn’t Clinton and Kaine read the directions?

Reporting Spin Instead Of History

Yesterday Yahoo News posted a timeline of President Obama’s visit to Japan. The timeline included the following:

6:10 p.m.

President Barack Obama has signed a guest book and laid a wreath during his historic visit to Hiroshima and its memorial park.

Here is what he wrote:

“We have known the agony of war. Let us now find the courage, together, to spread peace, and pursue a world without nuclear weapons.”

The United States dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima during the closing days of World War II, killing some 140,000 people.

Obama is the first sitting U.S. president to visit Hiroshima.

He also laid a wreath near the base of an arched memorial in Hiroshima Peace Memorial Park.

Please reread the italics. The reason it was the closing days of World War II was that the two bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki ended the war.]

In 2006, The Free Republic posted the following:

Invasion Not Found in the History Books

Deep in the recesses of the National Archives in Washington, D.C., hidden for nearly four decades lie thousands of pages of yellowing and dusty documents stamped “Top Secret”. These documents, now declassified, are the plans for Operation Downfall, the invasion of Japan during World War II. Only a few Americans in 1945 were aware of the elaborate plans that had been prepared for the Allied Invasion of the Japanese home islands. Even fewer today are aware of the defenses the Japanese had prepared to counter the invasion had it been launched. Operation Downfall was finalized during the spring and summer of 1945. It called for two massive military undertakings to be carried out in succession and aimed at the heart of the Japanese Empire.

In the first invasion – code named Operation Olympic – American combat troops would land on Japan by amphibious assault during the early morning hours of November 1, 1945 – 50 years ago. Fourteen combat divisions of soldiers and Marines would land on heavily fortified and defended Kyushu, the southernmost of the Japanese home islands, after an unprecedented naval and aerial bombardment.

The second invasion on March 1, 1946 – code named Operation Coronet – would send at least 22 divisions against 1 million Japanese defenders on the main island of Honshu and the Tokyo Plain. It’s goal: the unconditional surrender of Japan. With the exception of a part of the British Pacific Fleet, Operation Downfall was to be a strictly American operation. It called for using the entire Marine Corps, the entire Pacific Navy, elements of the 7th Army Air Force, the 8 Air Force (recently redeployed from Europe), 10th Air Force and the American Far Eastern Air Force. More than 1.5 million combat soldiers, with 3 million more in support or more than 40% of all servicemen still in uniform in 1945 – would be directly involved in the two amphibious assaults. Casualties were expected to be extremely heavy.

Admiral William Leahy estimated that there would be more than 250,000 Americans killed or wounded on Kyushu alone. General Charles Willoughby, chief of intelligence for General Douglas MacArthur, the Supreme Commander of the Southwest Pacific, estimated American casualties would be one million men by the fall of 1946. Willoughby’s own intelligence staff considered this to be a conservative estimate.

During the summer of 1945, America had little time to prepare for such an endeavor, but top military leaders were in almost unanimous agreement that an invasion was necessary.

While naval blockade and strategic bombing of Japan was considered to be useful, General MacArthur, for instance, did not believe a blockade would bring about an unconditional surrender. The advocates for invasion agreed that while a naval blockade chokes, it does not kill; and though strategic bombing might destroy cities, it leaves whole armies intact.

So on May 25, 1945, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after extensive deliberation, issued to General MacArthur, Admiral Chester Nimitz, and Army Air Force General Henry Arnold, the top secret directive to proceed with the invasion of Kyushu. The target date was after the typhoon season.

President Truman approved the plans for the invasions July 24. Two days later, the United Nations issued the Potsdam Proclamation, which called upon Japan to surrender unconditionally or face total destruction. Three days later, the Japanese governmental news agency broadcast to the world that Japan would ignore the proclamation and would refuse to surrender. During this same period it was learned — via monitoring Japanese radio broadcasts — that Japan had closed all schools and mobilized its schoolchildren, was arming its civilian population and was fortifying caves and building underground defenses.

…In addition to the use of poison gas and bacteriological warfare (which the Japanese had experimented with), Japan mobilized its citizenry.

Had Olympic come about, the Japanese civilian population, inflamed by a national slogan – “One Hundred Million Will Die for the Emperor and Nation” – were prepared to fight to the death. Twenty Eight Million Japanese had become a part of the National Volunteer Combat Force. They were armed with ancient rifles, lunge mines, satchel charges, Molotov cocktails and one-shot black powder mortars. Others were armed with swords, long bows, axes and bamboo spears. The civilian units were to be used in nighttime attacks, hit and run maneuvers, delaying actions and massive suicide charges at the weaker American positions.

At the early stage of the invasion, 1,000 Japanese and American soldiers would be dying every hour.

The invasion of Japan never became a reality because on August 6, 1945, an atomic bomb was exploded over Hiroshima. Three days later, a second bomb was dropped on Nagasaki. Within days the war with Japan was at a close.

Had these bombs not been dropped and had the invasion been launched as scheduled, combat casualties in Japan would have been at a minimum of the tens of thousands. Every foot of Japanese soil would have been paid for by Japanese and American lives.

One can only guess at how many civilians would have committed suicide in their homes or in futile mass military attacks.

In retrospect, the 1 million American men who were to be the casualties of the invasion, were instead lucky enough to survive the war.

Intelligence studies and military estimates made 50 years ago, and not latter-day speculation, clearly indicate that the battle for Japan might well have resulted in the biggest blood-bath in the history of modern warfare.

Far worse would be what might have happened to Japan as a nation and as a culture. When the invasion came, it would have come after several months of fire bombing all of the remaining Japanese cities. The cost in human life that resulted from the two atomic blasts would be small in comparison to the total number of Japanese lives that would have been lost by this aerial devastation.

With American forces locked in combat in the south of Japan, little could have prevented the Soviet Union from marching into the northern half of the Japanese home islands. Japan today cold be divided much like Korea and Germany.

The world was spared the cost of Operation Downfall, however, because Japan formally surrendered to the United Nations September 2, 1945, and World War II was over.

The aircraft carriers, cruisers and transport ships scheduled to carry the invasion troops to Japan, ferried home American troops in a gigantic operation called Magic Carpet.

In the fall of 1945, in the aftermath of the war, few people concerned themselves with the invasion plans. Following the surrender, the classified documents, maps, diagrams and appendices for Operation Downfall were packed away in boxes and eventually stored at the National Archives. These plans that called for the invasion of Japan paint a vivid description of what might have been one of the most horrible campaigns in the history of man. The fact that the story of the invasion of Japan is locked up in the National Archives and is not told in our history books is something for which all Americans can be thankful. 

(The italics in the above quote are mine.)Sometimes when you fight evil, you have to fight hard. I am not saying that the people of Japan are evil, I am saying that they were under the influence of evil leaders. The Japanese leaders began the path to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima with the rape of Nanking. They continued on that path with the attack on Pearl Harbor. The journey was filled with stories of mistreatment of Americans and other prisoners taken and/or killed. The dropping of the atomic bombs was necessary. Without it, many more people would have been killed in the invasion of Japan, and there is a strong possibility that in the destruction of the country, the Japanese culture would have been lost. The dropping of the atomic bomb was a horrible event, but it was a necessary event.

Good News From The House Of Representatives

Stripes reported yesterday that the House of Representatives passed a bill that will allow a group of female World War II military pilots to be buried at Arlington National Cemetery. The bill now goes to the Senate.

The article reports:

The Army sparked a growing controversy last year when it reinterpreted a law from the 1970’s to exclude the female veterans who trained pilots and ferried combat aircraft from 1942-1944 from the national cemetery, where space is increasingly limited.

The WASPs were not considered active-duty troops at the time but have since received the Congressional Gold Medal, veteran benefits and renown as role models for female troops serving today.

McSally (Rep. Martha McSally, R-Ariz), an A-10 Thunderbolt II pilot who flew combat mission over Iraq, has said they “opened the door for people like me being able to serve.”

A military pilot is a military pilot. Hopefully the Senate will pass this law quickly.

The article concludes:

The acting secretary of the Army said earlier this month that not even President Barack Obama has the executive power to change the rule excluding WASPs and that only Congress can make a fix by passing a new law.

The service reversed a national cemetery policy in place since 2002 that allowed internment.

I am old-fashioned enough to believe that women do not belong in combat, but I do feel that if they take the risks that men take, they should also be eligible for the honors and rewards.

The Winston Churchill Of Our Time

Yesterday was Holocaust Remembrance Day. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave the following speech:

Seventy years ago, the bells of freedom rang out across the free world. The horrific nightmare that had engulfed all humanity in blood had come to an end in Europe. But the day the Nazis were vanquished was not only a day of relief and jubilation. It was also a day of great sorrow for our nation, and a day of reflection for the world’s leaders. Leaders of modern countries realized that it was a propitious time to establish a new world order based on defending liberty, eradicating evil and opposing oppression. They articulated the most important lesson of World War II: democracies must not turn a blind eye to the aspirations of tyrannous regimes to expand. A conciliatory attitude toward these regimes only increases their propensity for aggression. And if such aggression is not stopped in time, humanity might find itself in a much bloodier battle.

In the years before World War II, the free world tried to appease the Nazi regime, to gain its trust, to curry its favor through gestures. There were those who warned that this concessionary policy would only whet Hitler’s appetite, but these warnings were ignored due to the natural human desire for calm at all costs. And indeed, the price was exacted not long after, and it was too heavy to bear – six million of our people were slaughtered in the Holocaust, and millions of others were killed in this terrible inferno.

When the war ended, the conclusion was clear: there is no room for weakness when facing tyrannous regimes that send their murderous tentacles in every direction. Only by standing firm and adhering to the values of liberty and tolerance can we ensure the future of humankind.
There are many around the world who claim that the lessons learned then are still valid today. They affirm: “Never again!” They declare: “We will not turn a blind eye to the expansionist intentions of a violent tyranny.” They promise: “We will oppose evil as soon as it begins.” But as long as these announcements are not backed by practical actions – they are meaningless. Did the world really learn a lesson from the inconceivable universal and Jewish tragedy of last century? I wish I could stand here and tell you that the answer to this was yes.

Today, ever more threats challenge human civilization. Radical Islamist forces are flooding the Middle East, destroying remnants of the past, torturing the helpless, murdering innocents. They hope to establish caliphates, more than one, like in the Middle Ages. At the same time, the extremist regime in Iran is oppressing its people; it is rushing forward and submerging the Middle East in blood and suffering – in Yemen, in Syria, in Lebanon, in Iraq, in Gaza and across the border of the Golan Heights.

Just as the Nazis aspired to crush civilization and to establish a “master race” to replace it and control the world while annihilating the Jewish people, so too does Iran strive to gain control over the region, from which it would spread further, with the explicit intent of obliterating the Jewish state. Iran is advancing in two tracks: the first is in developing the ability to arm itself with nuclear weapons and stockpile ballistic missiles; and the second – exporting the Khomeinist revolution to many countries by widely using terrorism and taking over large parts of the Middle East. Everything is out in the open – it is all taking place in broad daylight, in front of the cameras. And yet, the blindness is immense.

“For, behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the peoples,” said the Prophet Isaiah. The determination and lessons that were acquired through blood seventy years ago are now dissipating, and the darkness and fog of denying reality are taking their place. The bad deal that is being made with Iran demonstrates that the historic lesson has not been internalized. The West is yielding in the face of Iran’s aggressive actions. Instead of demanding a significant dismantling of the nuclear program in Iran – a country that clearly states its plans to exterminate six million Jews here and elsewhere, to eradicate many countries and many regimes – the superpowers back down. They are leaving Iran with its nuclear capabilities intact, and even allowing it to expand them later on, regardless of Iran’s actions in the Middle East and around the world.

As the civilized world is lulled into slumber on a bed of illusions, the rulers of Iran continue to encourage subversion and terrorism and disseminate destruction and death. The superpowers turn a deaf ear to the crowds in Iran shouting: “Death to America; Death to Israel.” They turn a blind eye to the executions of those who oppose the regime and of  members of minority populations. And they hold their peace in the face of the massive arming of terrorist organizations. At most, they make a halfhearted statement for the record.

I have heard that in honor of Holocaust Remembrance Day a competition with prizes is soon to take place in Tehran with participants from 56 countries. It is a Holocaust denial cartoon competition. Will we hear protests? At best, a minor condemnation might be heard; that will minimally fulfill their obligation.

Distinguished guests, Israeli citizens and representatives of other countries,
The bubble of this illusion is going to burst. Democratic governments made a critical mistake before World War II, and we are convinced – and I must say that many of our neighbors are too – that they are making a grave mistake now too. It is possible that this partnership with many of our neighbors, the partnership in identifying threats, will be the foundation for the partnership to forge a better, safer and more peaceful future in our region. Meanwhile, we will not flinch. We will continue to insist on the truth, and we will do everything we can to open the eyes that are shut.

I do not want to mislead anyone. We have tests ahead of us. We are in the midst of a great battle against the enervation, the weakness, the denial of reality – we will stand with our full force.

While there are those who refuse to understand our position, there are many others who identify with us. But even if we are compelled to stand alone, we will not be afraid. In any scenario, in any situation, we will safeguard our right, we will maintain our ability, we will keep our resolve to defend ourselves.

Seventy years ago we were war refugees, powerless and voiceless. Today we express what we have to say, and we are determined to safeguard our existence and our future. It is our duty to fight those who wish to destroy us, not to bow down to them or to downplay reality. We will not allow the State of Israel to be a passing episode in the history of our people.

Distinguished guests,
Today in my office I met an 85-year-old  Holocaust survivor, Abraham Niederhoffer. Abraham was born in Romania. When he was 12 years old he witnessed the brutal murder of his relatives by a Romanian soldier. He was taken on a cattle train to Ukraine, where he survived the Holocaust. Due to the persistent refusal of the communist authorities in Romania to permit his emigration, he only came to Israel in 1969. Here he worked as an engineer and supervisor, contributing to the building of the country. He told me his story with great emotion, so much so that he had to pause several times. At the end of the meeting, he beseeched me, “Prime Minister,” he said, “it is your duty to prevent another Holocaust.” And I responded: “That is exactly how I see my responsibility. That is exactly how I see my responsibility.”

Seven decades ago, the survivors emerged from the camps, from the forests, from the March of Death, battered and bruised with nothing but the tattered clothes on their backs. Upon their release, the prisoners of the camps from all nations were asked by the Allied soldiers where each one wished to go. The Poles returned to Poland; the Russians returned to Russia; the Hungarians – to Hungary; the Ukrainians – to Ukraine. But a great many of them had nowhere to return to. They stood hopeless, because they did not have their own country.

Today, we have our own country – a flourishing and modern country; a country that rests on the heritage of our forefathers and stands at the vanguard of global knowledge; a country that disseminates a great light; a country that has taken charge of its destiny. Seventy years after the valleys of death, we revere the living, the vibrant, the creative, the flourishing.

Israel breaks ground on every front of modernization – in science, medicine, technology, agriculture, education and culture. And we do this not only for our people. We do this for the benefit of all humanity. This is what our existence is based upon – on our commitment to the safety and future of Israel, on the deference to our heritage, and on the unity of a nation in which a vast life force shines. The nation of Israel, which has arisen from the hellfire, is ready for any challenge.

“Shake thyself from the dust; put on thy beautiful garments, my people.” The eternal nation has shaken itself from the dust, returned home, stood tall, established an outstanding country and an outstanding army, the Israel Defense Force, in which our brave and courageous sons and daughters serve.

We will remember those who were murdered, we will guarantee life.

What Did You Learn In School Today?

In North Carolina, high school students are required to complete two courses entitled American History I: Founding Principles and American History II in order to graduate. Students also have the option of substituting Advanced Placement U. S. History (APUSH) for these two courses. So what does AP U.S. History teach? Let’s looks at some of the mechanics of how this whole process works.

A student who takes AP U.S. History will be given tests by his teacher during the school year. If he receives a satisfactory grade, he passes the course and gets credit for it. However, in order to get college credit for having taking an American History course, he has to pass a national test on the subject. The national test is designed by David Coleman, now president of the College Board, formerly the architect of the Common Core Standards.

According to the Course and Exam Description put out by the College Board about the AP History Course,the goal of the course is to teach the student ‘historical thinking skills.’ How about teaching them history instead?

Here are some of the questions and concepts taking from the booklet put out by the College Board explaining the goals and concepts in the AP History course. The quotes are taken directly from the teacher’s guide:

Describing the historical period of 1607-1754, the teacher’s guide explains:

The British-American system of slavery developed out of the economic, demographic,and geographic characteristics of the British-controlled regions of the New World.

…Reinforced by a strong belief in British racial and cultural superiority, the British system enslaved black people in perpetuity, altered African general and kinship relationships in the colonies, and was one fact that led the British colonists into violent confrontations with native peoples.

Slavery was then, and still is, common in Muslim cultures. It was the Muslim slave traders who were capturing the slaves and selling them to the British and the British colonies. It was, later on, the British who ended the practice of slavery. Many Muslim cultures still practice slavery. It wasn’t and isn’t about the British and their colonies.

The AP History section on World War II is very limited. Among other things, it states:

Wartime experiences, such as the internment of Japanese Americans, challenges to civil liberties, debates over race and segregation, and the decision to drop the atomic bomb raised questions about American values.

No they didn’t. The internment of the Japanese was a violation of their civil liberties. It was wrong. However, it was understandable as a panicked response to the surprise attack on Pearl Harbor. Many historians today view that internment as a serious mistake. The debates over race and segregation were needed–we were still a segregated society in many areas of the country as was most of the rest of the world. The military made great strides during this time in its acceptance of black soldiers. Not perfect strides, but definite progress in the right direction. The dropping of the atomic bomb ultimately saved American lives and the Japanese culture. Japan would have been totally destroyed by ground troops with heavy losses to American troops had we not forced their surrender with atomic bombs. The debate on these issues is a credit to American values.

There is no mention in the World War II summary of the German concentration camps and the people killed in them. There is no mention of D-Day and the risks (and reasons to take those risks) taken on that day. There is no recognition of the heroes of World War II.

There is no understanding in the AP History course of the greatness and uniqueness that is America. That greatness and uniqueness comes from the genius of our Founding Fathers and the Constitution they wrote. It seems to me that the students would be better served by spending their time studying the U.S. Constitution and the efforts and principles involved in writing it.

What We Are Teaching American High School Students

The College Board, under the leadership of David Coleman, architect of the Common Core, is introducing a new AP History course and exam this month called Advanced Placement U.S. History Curriculum Framework (APUSH). The course has no resemblance at all to the history those of us over the age of forty learned in school.

A post at American Principles in Action explains some of the problems with the course:

Here is a sampling of what our nation’s brightest high-school students can expect:

  • A relentlessly negative view of American history, which emphasizes every problem and failing of our ancestors while ignoring or minimizing their achievements.
  • Almost total silence about the Founding Fathers, including no mention of Jefferson, Franklin, Madison, and Adams, and almost none of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Omission of military history, battles, commanders, and heroes.
  • A biased and inaccurate view of many important facets of American history, including the motivations and actions of 17th-19th-century settlers, American involvement in World War II, and the conduct of and victory in the Cold War.

I have a copy of the course standards for the course. One of the more interesting goals in the course is “Competency Goal 10: The emergence of the United States in World Affairs (1865-1930) The learner will analyze cause and effects of the United States emergence as an imperial power and world influence.” Now think about that for a minute. The entire course paints the United States as an imperial power. I would like to note at this point that if we are an imperial power, we are not very good at it. We did invade France during World War II. We took enough land to bury our dead. We did invade North Korea in the 1950’s. We set up a border for South Korea and left them to run their country. We did invade Japan during World War II. We kept some land for military bases, and promised to protect them since they were prohibited from acquiring nuclear weapons to defend themselves. I love my country, but I have to say that as imperialists we have failed miserably. We didn’t even take the oil from Iraq!

There is nothing wrong with teaching our children to be patriotic. America is unique in the world, and in order to stay unique, we need educated leaders. This AP History course will create leaders who do not love their country and may not be willing to defend our way of life. This is another attempt by the political left to undermine the future of America by teaching future leaders inaccurate history. Like Common Core, this curriculum needs to be scrapped.

Why American Isolationism Is A Really Bad Idea

On July 18th, Gates of Vienna posted an article explaining why ignoring the establishment of a caliphate in the Middle East is a major mistake. In the eyes of Muslims who believe in the Koran, there are certain privileges that come with the establishment of a caliphate and the existence of a caliph in charge of that caliphate. I need to explain here that there are no ‘moderate Muslims’ who believe in the Koran–the Koran makes very clear that the obligation of Muslims is to wage war on the infidels. There are many ‘moderate Muslims’ who discount what the Koran says and have no desire to wage war on the infidels, but unfortunately, they tend to be rather quiet.

The article at Gates of Vienna explains the dangers of a Muslim caliphate. The article quotes Egyptian-American scholar of Islam and Middle East history Raymond Ibrahim:

The very existence of a caliphate would usher a state of constant hostility: Both historically and doctrinally, the caliphate is obligated to wage jihad, at least annually, to bring the “disbelieving” world under Islamic dominion and enforce sharia law. Most of what is today called the “Muslim world”-from Morocco to Pakistan-was conquered, bit by bit, by a caliphate begun in Arabia in 632.

A caliphate represents a permanent, ideological enemy, not a temporal enemy that can be bought or pacified through diplomacy or concessions — economic or otherwise. Short of agreeing either to convert to Islam or live as second-class citizens, or “dhimmis” — who, among other indignities, must practice their religions quietly; pay a higher tax [jizyah]; give way to Muslims on the street; wear clothing that distinguishes them from Muslims, the start of the yellow star of David required for the Jews by the Nazis during World War II; have their testimony be worth half of a Muslim’s; and never retaliate against Muslim abuses-the jihad continues.

A caliphate is precisely what Islamists around the world are feverishly seeking to establish — before people realize what it represents and try to prevent it. Without active, preemptive measures, it is only a matter of time before they succeed.

Robert Spencer of Jihad Watch is also quoted in the article:

And now it [the caliphate] is here, although it is by no means clear, of course, that The Islamic State will be viable or long-lasting. If it is, however, the world could soon be engulfed in a much larger conflict with Islamic jihadists even than it has been since 9/11. For in Islamic law, only the caliph is authorized — and indeed, has the responsibility — to declare offensive jihad against non-Muslim states. In his absence, all jihad must be defensive only, which is why Islamic jihadists retail laundry lists of grievances when explaining and justifying their actions: without these grievances and a caliph, they have to cast all their actions as responses to Infidel atrocities. With a caliph, however, that obligation will be gone. And the bloodshed in that event could make the world situation since 9/11, with its 20,000 jihad attacks worldwide, seem like a harmless bit of “interfaith dialogue.”

Unfortunately, there will come a time in the near future when America and Western Europe will have to stand up to a Muslim caliphate. It will have to be done before the population demographic in Europe changes enough to make it automatically part of the caliphate. If we wait too long, the Muslim population in Western Europe will reach a point where it represents the majority of the people in Western Europe. At that point, America (and Canada) will stand alone.

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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The Mystery Deepens

The world is searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370. The Diplomat posted an interesting story yesterday about the flight. There were at least two passengers on the plane with stolen passports.

The article notes:

“The counterfeiting of all sorts of identifications is very widespread, particularly out of Thailand,” Steve Vickers, a Hong Kong-based risk consultant, told The Wall Street Journal. “It’s pretty easy to pick up a stolen or a counterfeit passport.”

…“Any flight of that size in Asia would be carrying a couple of people with false passports,” said Clive Williams, a counter-terrorism expert at Macquarie University in Australia. “When you think about the number of passports that have been stolen or gone missing around the world, it could be related, but it is probably not.”

This morning, Malaysia’s Transport Minister Hishamuddin Hussein said that a total of four passengers are being investigated: the two impersonating Kozel and Marald, as well as two other travelers with European passports described as “possibly Ukrainian.”

There are a lot of theories as to what has happened to the plane. One commenter on the article in The Diplomat explained how an empty fuel tank could have exploded. While that explanation is as feasible as any other, it doesn’t explain why the plane would have changed direction and dropped below the radar. I would also wonder if there are any old World War II airfields in the area that could be used without raising suspicion. But what would be the purpose of stealing an airplane? Why has no one demanded ransom or claimed credit?

It is also somewhat odd that we have not heard stories from anyone who is relieved that by some chain of events that they missed the plane. Usually after a plane crash, at least one person comes forward explaining that they got caught in traffic and missed the plane. I personally know a soldier who was coming home from Iraq and had to change planes in an American airport and missed at least three flights because kind, patriotic Americans kept on buying him drinks!

Like everyone else, I really have no clue as to what has happened.

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A Very Interesting Afternoon

Yesterday afternoon I was privileged to attend a meeting between North Carolina Department of Public Instruction State Superintendent, Dr. June Atkinson, Karyn Dickerson, the North Carolina Teacher of the Year, Jen Currin, the North Carolina Virtual Teacher of the Year, and some of the leadership of the Coastal Carolina Taxpayers Association (CCTA). The purpose of the meeting was to discuss concerns about the Common Core standards for education that are coming to North Carolina. The meeting was very cordial, and both sides of the discussion were genuinely interested in providing the best possible education for children and young adults in the North Carolina schools.

There was, however, some very basic disagreement on the value of the Common Core standards and curriculum. One example of inaccurate teaching of history was found in Prentice Hall’s The American Experience, a textbook which has been aligned to the Common Core.

Townhall.com posted a story about this textbook, citing the chapter in the book about World War II:

There is no reading in this chapter ostensibly devoted to World War II that tells why America entered the war. There is no document on Pearl Harbor or the Rape of Nanking or the atrocities committed against the Jews or the bombing of Britain. The book contains no speech of Winston Churchill or F.D.R. even though the reading of high-caliber “informational texts” is the new priority set by the Common Core, and great rhetoric has always been the province of an English class. There is not a single account of a battle or of American losses or of the liberation of Europe.

As the daughter of an Army veteran who landed on Utah Beach on D-Day, I am offended by this. As an American, I am offended by this.

I admire Dr. Atkinson’s desire to bring quality education to the children of North Carolina. I just feel that she has not examined the Common Core curriculum closely enough to realize that the Common Core curriculum will not give her the quality education for the students in North Carolina that she desires.

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Misplaced Prorities

During a period of danger and unrest around the world, the Obama Administration is attempting to balance the budget on the backs of our military. Hopefully Congress has more sense than that.

Yesterday The Hill posted an article detailing some of the proposed cuts to our military. I have no doubt that there are places in our military that can be cut, but I believe that reducing the army to pre World War II levels is not wise. I also believe that reducing benefits to soldiers who have been at war for almost thirteen years is also wrong–not to mention the veterans of previous wars whose benefits will be cut.

The Hill reports:

Lawmakers, as well as groups that represent veterans and the military, accused the Pentagon of balancing its pocketbook on the backs of soldiers and their families.

“We know the Defense Department must make difficult budget decisions, but these cuts would hit service members, making it harder for them and their families to make ends meet,” said Paul Rieckhoff, the founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).

Coupled with a 1 percent ceiling on pay hikes and assuming a 5 percent annual increase in housing costs, the Military Officers Association of America estimated an Army sergeant with a family of four would see an annual loss of $1,400. An Army captain would lose $2,100, it said.

The group said those figures doesn’t account for other costs that would affect military families, such as increased prices at military commissaries because of another budget proposal and an increase in healthcare fees for military family members. 

Meanwhile, on August 29, 2013, the New York Times reported:

Paul Krugman and others attribute essentially all of the SNAP spending growth to the depressed economy. They have the general direction right – a more depressed economy will cause unemployment and antipoverty programs to spend more – but have missed the single largest factor increasing program budgets: program rules that are more generous now than they were in 2007.

Veterans benefits, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families all experienced a depressed economy, too, but they somehow managed through it without doubling their spending. Veterans benefits increased the most among these – 49 percent beyond inflation and population growth – compared with 110 percent for SNAP. (These data, which exclude administrative costs, can be found in the Bureau of Economic Analysis’ National Accounts Table 3.12.) Even state unemployment benefit spending, which is directly linked to layoffs in the economy, increased “only” 24 percent beyond inflation and population growth. (The italics are mine)

We are taking money away from people who have earned it and giving it to people who have not. Admittedly, we have to take care of the poor, but we have created a system that encourages poverty–not discourages it.

In May 2013, this chart appeared at The Blaze:

Guess How Many More Americans Are on Food Stamps Now as Compared to 10 Years Ago

As usual, the Obama Administration is punishing the producers and encouraging non-producers to continue not producing. Cuts should be made to both the administration of our food stamp and welfare programs and those receiving aid, and these programs should be redone to encourage work–not poverty. President Obama has undone the welfare reforms that President Clinton put in place during his administration. Those reforms resulted in a decrease in the welfare rolls. We need to bring those reforms back and examine those programs before we begin cutting military benefits.

Just a note. I don’t appreciate it when the President and members of Congress refer to Social Security and Medicare as entitlement programs. The government set up those programs and has been willing to take money from people who work to support them for many years. If they are entitlement programs, then the people who work should not be required to pay into them. As long as the government is taking money from working people with the promise of eventually giving it back to them, these are not entitlement programs.

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An Historic Passing

WCVB.com in Boston is reporting that Maria von Trapp, the last surviving member of the von Trapp family who fled Nazi-occupied of Austria in 1938, has died at age 99. The play and movie “The Sound of Music” were loosely based on a book written by Maria von Trapp’s stepmother, also Maria von Trapp.  After they escaped from Austria, the musical family performed concerts in Europe and America. In the early 1940’s the family settled in Vermont and opened a ski lodge in Stowe.

The death of Maria von Trapp is another reminder that the generation that fought and was impacted by World War II is rapidly disappearing. We need to remember their courage and hold on to the principles they stood for.  Maria’s father, Georg von Trapp, was a captain in the Austrian Navy. He had the wisdom to see where the country was going under the Nazis and the courage to get his family out of there.

 

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The State Of The Union

Today’s Independent Journal Review posted a list of seven of the lies President Obama told during his State of the Union address. There were more than seven, and I am sure anyone who has been paying attention was able to spot many of the lies in the speech.

The article lists seven:

1) Income inequality is the worst it’s ever been! The article points out that income inequality is the same as it was in 1987.

 

2) Raising minimum wage will help families. The article reminds us that it’s not hard to believe that Obama, who has never run a business, doesn’t understand that artificially forcing a business to pay someone more than their wage is worth will put more people out of the labor market. Making job creation more expensive leads to fewer jobs.

 

3) His minimum wage hike for federal workers brings immediate relief. The article points out that most employees of federal contractors earn more than the minimum wage, so this will apply to only about 10% of those, or 200,000 employees. Finally, this wage hike won’t apply until 2015 at the earliest, and even then, only for new contracts, not old ones.

 

4) How many Americans have gained insurance under Obamacare? In fact, five million Americans have lost insurance, meaning that this number is not a net gain. In other words, the vast majority already had insurance before Obamacare. As few as 11% might be new enrollments to Obamacare. Finally, the payment system for the federal Obamacare website isn’t completed; who knows how many of these will experience more “glitches.”

 

5) Obama will cut red tape that’s holding up construction jobs!  The article reminds us “The reason most of these projects are delayed is they don’t have enough money. So it’s great that you are expediting the review process, but the review process isn’t the problem. The problem is we don’t have enough money to invest in our infrastructure in the first place.”

 

6) Your medicare premium went up? You’re making that up! The article points out that on paper, the program’s giant trust fund for inpatient care gained more than a decade of solvency because of cuts to service providers required under the health law. But in practice those savings cannot simultaneously be used to expand coverage for the uninsured and shore up Medicare.

 

7. Obama’s created 8 million new jobs in the last four years. The article reminds us that this figure leaves out a lot of lost jobs early in Obama’s presidency and glosses over that this recovery has been the weakest since World War II. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, only a net gain of 2.4 million job have been added on Obama’s watch (this doesn’t account for population growth, leading to the lowest labor participation rate since 1978).

 

Generally speaking, there were a lot of lies in the speech. After listening to the speech, a person could easily assume that ObamaCare was working fabulously, the economy was in great shape, and the President could do anything he wanted to without the approval of Congress. Obviously, none of the above is true. I understand that politicians tend to stretch or spin the truth, but any resemblance to truth in last night’s State of the Union speech was purely coincidental.

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Is This The Right Time?

I am asking the above question because I really don’t know the answer. The article that follows is for your consideration.

The U.K. Independent is reporting today that a previously unseen Alfred Hitchcock documentary about the Holocaust is about to be released.

The article reports:

In 1945, Hitchcock had been enlisted by his friend and patron Sidney Bernstein to help with a documentary on German wartime atrocities, based on the footage of the camps shot by British and Soviet film units. In the event, that documentary was never seen.

“It was suppressed because of the changing political situation, particularly for the British,” suggests Dr Toby Haggith, Senior Curator at the Department of Research, Imperial War Museum. “Once they discovered the camps, the Americans and British were keen to release a film very quickly that would show the camps and get the German people to accept their responsibility for the atrocities that were there.”

The film took far longer to make than had originally been envisaged. By late 1945, the need for it began to wane. The Allied military government decided that rubbing the Germans’ noses in their own guilt wouldn’t help with postwar reconstruction.

Five of the film’s six reels were eventually deposited in the Imperial War Museum and the project was quietly forgotten.

In the 1980’s the film was found, restored, and the missing sixth reel reconstructed. The film and a new documentary, Night Will Fall, are scheduled to be shown on British TV in 2015 to mark the 70th anniversary of the “liberation” of Europe.

Showing the film would remind the world of what happened in Germany and it would take some of the wind out of the sails of those who deny the Holocaust. Releasing the film would illustrate how cruel man can be to his fellow men, but will it actually accomplish anything?

The thing to remember is that there are people who walk among us who still are anti-Semitic. Releasing the film (or not releasing the film) is not going to impact that fact at all.

I am in favor of releasing the film because it represents a real part of the history of the world. It shouldn’t be glossed over as if it didn’t happen. The Holocaust happened to real people with real children and real parents. In some cases entire families were wiped out. It is a shameful event in world history, and if reminding the world of that event will prevent it from happening again, we need to remind the world of that event every day.

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From A Friend On Facebook

This story is from a website called truthseekerdaily.com. It is what happened when the children Sir Nicholas Winton had saved from the Nazi death camps in Czechoslovakia had a chance many years later to pay tribute to Sir Winton. Sir Nicholas Winton rescued approximately 669 children.

This is the YouTube video:

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This About Sums Up Where We Are

On Wednesday, Investor’s Business Daily posted an article giving their impression of how President Obama is dealing with the government shutdown. It’s not a pretty picture.

The article reports:

So the administration decided instead to put barricades around various other popular open-air Mall monuments to score political points in the budget shutdown standoff. That required, in turn, posting freshly printed signs explaining why they’re off limits, and a police presence to guard the barricades.

“The Obama administration is going out of its way to erect barricades and have people manning them in order to keep people out,” said Rep. Doc Hastings, R-Wash. In other words, Obama is expending more resources to close these monuments than they require to stay open.

Incredibly, this includes the Mall’s World War II memorial, which prompted a group of WWII veterans to force their way past the barricades — risking arrest — to pay homage to the fallen heroes of that war.

In case there’s any doubt as to who’s to blame for this outrage, a spokesman for National Park Service said the White House Office of Management and Budget ordered up the blockades.

Do you suppose they will try to stop people from driving on the streets of Washington, D.C.?

These are the actions of a petulant bully. He will be in office for the next three years, but as Americans we can make him less effective by electing people to Congress who refuse to be bullied. Let’s do it!

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Looking For A Way To Earn Some Easy Money?

Yesterday PJMedia posted a story about the protesters who showed up at the World War II Memorial.

The article reports:

After about an hour, about 20 protesters arrived on the scene chanting “Boehner, get us back to work” and claiming they were federal employees furloughed because of the shutdown.

As usual in Washington, things were not what they appeared to be.

The article further reports:

Then, remarkably, a guy carrying a sign passed by wearing a McDonald’s employee shirt, which I noted. I then began asking them how much they had been paid to protest, at which point the guy wearing the McDonald’s shirt came back and admitted he had been paid $15.

Huffington Post reporter Arthur Delaney states that the protest was organized by a group called “Good Jobs Nation,” not SEIU as I previously reported, and that, remarkably, the protesters weren’t even federal employees at all but individuals who WORK in federal buildings affected by the shutdown.

This is the video:

Whatever happened to real protest?

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Exactly What Is Hate Speech?

The beginning of this story is about a month old, but there are some recent events related to the story, so I am posting it now. Admittedly, I missed it when it happened.

On July 24, Breitbart.com posted an article about Lt. Col. Kenneth Reyes, a U.S. Air Force Christian chaplain currently serving at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson in Alaska. Col. Reyes has a page on the base’s website called “Chaplain’s Corner.”

The article reports:

Reyes recently wrote an essay entitled, “No Atheists in Foxholes: Chaplains Gave All in World War II.” This common saying is attributed to a Catholic priest in World War II, made famous when President Dwight D. Eisenhower said during a 1954 speech: “I am delighted that our veterans are sponsoring a movement to increase our awareness of God in our daily lives. In battle, they learned a great truth that there are no atheists in the foxholes.”

As reported by Fox News’s Todd Starnes, when Reyes referenced this famous line in his essay, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) contacted the base commander, Col. Brian Duffy, demanding he take action on Reyes’s “anti-secular diatribe.”

MRFF’s letter says that by Reyes’s “use of the bigoted, religious supremacist phrase, ‘no atheists in foxholes,’ he defiles the dignity of service members.” They accuse him of violating military regulations.

The essay was removed from the website and Col. Duffy apologized to the MRFF. However, the MRFF wanted more. They stated, “Faith based hate, is hate all the same,” and, “Lt. Col. Reyes must be appropriately punished.” (Emphasis added).

The article quotes the response of Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin of the Family Research Council, “A chaplain has been censored for expressing his beliefs about the role of faith in the lives of service members… Why do we have chaplains if they aren’t allowed to fulfill that purpose?”

Thanks to the actions of the American Family Association, the essay has been put back up on the website. Base commander Colonel Brian Duffy was influenced by over 70,000 emails and scores of posts on the base’s Facebook page by AFA supporters.

So what is the lesson we can learn from this episode? Anyone can call anything they want hate speech. If you are someone that supports the rights of military chaplains to speak of their faith, you need to be ready to respond when something like this happens. The response of everyday people like us makes a difference–even the military will respond to public opinion. If you hear of an incident like this one, speak up, be heard. If this is important to you, get involved with an organization such as the American Family Association or the Family Research Council. If we do not speak up when something like this happens, we may lose the right to speak at all.

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The Jobs Numbers In Perspective

Mort Zuckerman posted an article at the Wall Street Journal yesterday analyzing the latest jobs report. Mort Zuckerman is chairman and editor in chief of U.S. News & World Report. In the article Mr. Zuckerman points out that the longest and worst recession since the end of World War II has been followed by the weakest recovery from a recession in that period.

The article points out that the jobless rate is actually increasing–not decreasing:

The jobless nature of the recovery is particularly unsettling. In June, the government’s Household Survey reported that since the start of the year, the number of people with jobs increased by 753,000—but there are jobs and then there are “jobs.” No fewer than 557,000 of these positions were only part-time. The survey also reported that in June full-time jobs declined by 240,000, while part-time jobs soared by 360,000 and have now reached an all-time high of 28,059,000—three million more part-time positions than when the recession began at the end of 2007.

That’s just for starters. The survey includes part-time workers who want full-time work but can’t get it, as well as those who want to work but have stopped looking. That puts the real unemployment rate for June at 14.3%, up from 13.8% in May.

That is not a recovery.

The article also points out:

That brings us to a stunning fact about the jobless recovery: The measure of those adults who can work and have jobs, known as the civilian workforce-participation rate, is currently 63.5%—a drop of 2.2% since the recession ended. Such a decline amid a supposedly expanding economy has never happened after previous recessions. Another statistic that underscores why this is such a dysfunctional labor market is that the number of people leaving the workforce during this economic recovery has actually outpaced the number of people finding a new job by a factor of nearly three.

We need a serious change of economic policy to turn this around. ObamaCare is a major part of the problem, but over regulation and over taxation also play a part in this problem. Unemployment numbers of above 7 percent should not be allowed to become the norm.

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About The Rather Modest Recovery We Are Experiencing

Recently I have heard some Democrats blame spending cuts for the fact that we are in the weakest economic recovery since recoveries began. Investor’s Business Daily has a different perspective. They posted an article today with the following chart:

The article explains:

Instead, the researchers found, “the excess fiscal drag on the horizon comes almost entirely from raising taxes.”

Taxes as a share of GDP are on track to rise well above historic averages and well above rates at comparable periods in previous recoveries.

And what explains this “super-cyclical” rise in taxes?

Well, let’s see. Obama forced through a $600 billion tax hike on upper-income families at the start of this year in the name of “fairness.”

Before that, he and his fellow Democrats imposed $1 trillion of new taxes for ObamaCare, taxes that are just now hitting the economy.

As a result, federal tax revenues as a share of GDP will hit 19.3% of GDP by 2015, a level reached just six times since World War II and well above the 17.9% average over the previous 40 years.

We’d only add that Obama’s other economic policies — an out-of-control regulatory state, the looming disaster known as ObamaCare, various attempts at industrial policy among them — have also weakened what should have been a robust recovery.

Increased taxes have taken spending money out of the pockets of all Americans. Even those people fortunate enough to get raises or bonuses this year found themselves with smaller paychecks because of the increases in taxes. The combination of less spending money for the average American and the confusion many companies are dealing with regarding ObamaCare has stalled our economy. Because many of the regulations in ObamaCare only apply to companies with fifty or more employees, we are going to see many companies stop hiring at forty-nine employees until they are certain of the impact of all these regulations. We are essentially in an economic holding pattern as we wait for the current paradigm of higher taxes and more regulation to settle in. Unfortunately, if that paradigm does permanently settle in, low growth and economic stagnation will be the new normal.

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Found On Facebook

Patriot Graves

Of all the dangers facing our country, perhaps the greatest danger of all is the one that still doesn’t make many headlines — our collective national amnesia. Our history textbooks are sanitized to be politically correct and give our children little sense of the greatness of the nation they live in. The Founders are seldom mentioned unless it is part of a controversy about slavery or some other scandal.

I am often struck by how often decent American kids have nothing good to say about their own country. Their knowledge of the sacrifices made to establish and preserve their freedom is virtually non-existent. They are the recipients of the greatest freedom and opportunity that any society has ever produced, yet they are unaware of the price in flesh and blood that was paid for it.

At my father’s table, I learned love of country in a way that only a Marine could teach it. Dad taught me that patriotism wasn’t a theory — it was flesh and blood, real sacrifice and pain. You are your children’s most important teacher. They are listening.

This weekend, as we celebrate Memorial Day, tell your children about the sacrifices that had to be made to stop the march of fascism and the cancer of communism. Tell them about the beaches of Normandy and the Bataan Death March. Tell them about why there was a Berlin Wall and how free men brought it down.

Remind them about 9/11, what happened at the Pentagon and over the fields of Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Take just a minute in the next three days to teach them to love the things we love and honor the things we honor.

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