Views on the News
Views on the News*
February 28, 2015
Few qualities are as important in a US President as a love of country and seldom in American history has the patriotism of a President been questioned. The Obama years, marked by a vigorous and consistent dispute about this very matter, stand in stark contrast. The latest example came from former New York City Mayor, Rudy Giuliani, “I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the President loves America. He doesn’t love you. And he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up through love of this country.” The remarks prompted strong reaction from predictable quarters, with the mainstream media, Twitter and their progressive heroes seemingly taking turns to audition for apoplexy. Few asked if the statement was true, preferring to consider hurt feelings. The evidence is powerful, and it falls on Giuliani’s side. There has been little in the current President’s actions or words in the last six years to suggest affection. From an international apology tour to equivalence on exceptionalism to anodyne words to describe evil, the President has perpetually scratched the proud American psyche. It is President Obama’s current preparedness to slander the reputation of Christians and America while protecting the reputation of Islam, as well as his increasing openness in the last few months that is now raising eyebrows. Many Americans are unsettled by a President more animated by largely imaginary racial and religious discrimination than the genuine evil of Islamic terror. The belief espoused by the Administration that climate change and US overreach are the two greatest threats to American national security is rejected viscerally by the majority of American. Few would dispute the compatibility of anti-Americanism with liberal ideology. America, after all, is the greatest impediment to leftist success, and represents the last great holdout to the secular-progressive agenda. It is not impossible for liberals to love America, but if they do, they are far more likely to love it for what it can become, rather than what it is, explaining their need for a fundamental transformation.
(“The President’s Paltry Patriotism” by Nick Adams dated February 21, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://finance.townhall.com/columnists/nickadams/2015/02/21/the-presidents-paltry-patriotism-n1960248 )
Most Presidents lie, but some go a step further and craftily construct damnable lies, and the most pernicious lies are the Obama lies. Like statistics, they’re often used to bolster weak arguments and obfuscate reality when it dares infiltrate preconceived notions. Curiously, one of our least effective Presidents was known for his honesty - Jimmy Carter. Most lies (distortions) are mostly justifiable, constructed to deceive the enemy and protect the homeland. Damn lies ratchet up the immorality quotient, and are what Obama specializes in when he actually knows what he’s doing. They’re concocted to protect a political future or ram through unpopular legislation under the guise that “If you like your health-care plan, you can keep it." There’s a problem: millions of Americans with health plans that didn't meet ObamaCare's standards got cancellation notices. Obama earned his lie of the year award with his lie designed to foist unpopular legislation on a skeptical public amidst all manner of corrupt wheeling and dealings. There are worse lies: Obama lies that are repeated so often and are so deeply enmeshed in a contorted concoction of sophistry that they literally supplant reality. Whereas many Presidential lies protect us; Obama lies are protecting our enemies: ISIS marches on; Iran gets closer to the bomb as Obama rejects calls for more sanctions. Obama lies are insidious because they wriggle their slimy way through his delicate psyche, untethering him from the vast world beyond self or golf course. When reality dares to intrude into his bubble of self-deceit it elicits cognitive dissonance, prompting his auto defense mechanisms to blast the interlopers as phony, or blame it on hyperbolic social media. Obama lies are an outgrowth of what French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre called “bad faith,” in which he not only deceives others, but also himself. Over time, the habit of lying divorces Obama further and further from reality, so he see less and less clearly the choices before him and what is at stake in them. Eventually, he may be unable to see what he’s really doing and how it is affecting others. This is not abstract philosophical rumination, just consider his bizarre State of the Union address, which had the remarkable effect of eliciting bi-partisan unity: Obama is delusional on foreign policy. Once deemed a JV team during a reckless “bad faith” episode, ISIS now has strongholds in Iraq and Syria, and has promised to "break the borders" of Jordan and Lebanon and to "free Palestine". In a gut-wrenching act of barbarism that would make anyone with a developed conscience shudder, ISIS massacred 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians in Libya. An executioner pointed his knife toward the Mediterranean and said “We will conquer Rome, by Allah’s permission.” Perhaps I’ve too much good faith, but that’s not defensive. Neither is it violent extremism; its Islamic Terrorism! Meanwhile, during years of futile negotiations, Iran continues to advance its nuclear capabilities. Despite bipartisan support for sanctions to ensure Iran’s good faith, Obama, forever deluded in bad faith, claims they’ll undermine the Sisyphean process. He looks through a myopic mask of delusion that has melded into the contorted face of narcissism, endangering us all in his tangled gweb of deceit. He may well want to give terrorists jobs instead of killing them, but he’s a negligent commander-in-chief, descending into rabid solipsism that denies the world is alight in Islamic Terrorism.
(“Lies, Damn Lies, and Obama Lies” by Noel S. Williams dated February 21, 2015 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/02/lies_damn_lies_and_obama_lies.html )
Is the liberal elite unbelievably dumb or unbelievably cynical? Do our over-credentialed, under-educated, would-be betters actually believe the bullstuff they are shoveling, or do they really think that we normal Americans are so stupid that they can lie to our faces and we will just take it? I’m guessing Door Number Two, and It’s time for the lies to stop:
· Liberals, stop lying about the weather. There is no climate change crisis. Whatever changes our climate is undergoing are natural processes that have been going on since the Earth was formed. All we hear is a succession of ridiculous forecasted catastrophes with the solution always to give more power and money to liberal elites.
· Liberals, stop lying about our war with radical Muslims. We are at war with radical Islam, and we need to end the lies, the equivocation and dissembling and speak the truth. Our enemies think they are Muslims, and they think the Koran commands their actions. They think they’re pious Muslims even if we, as well as most of the world’s Muslims, disagree. All we need to know is how to more effectively hunt down and kill them.
· Liberals, stop lying about sexual assault. There is no “rape culture.” That’s a lie liberal feminists constructed to solidify their politically-useful victim status and to indict their political opponents without the inconvenience and hassle of actually offering facts and evidence in support of their positions.
· Liberals, stop lying about illegal aliens. They aren’t all hardworking and they aren’t all here because they love America and have dreams and stuff. Some are criminals. Some are bums. None were invited. We owe them nothing. Go home.
· Liberals, stop lying about race. The only mainstream ideology within the American political spectrum that is in any coherent sense racist is liberalism.
· Liberals, stop lying about welfare. We all know that your place in life is the result of your good and bad choices.
· Liberals, stop lying about taxes. People like us who actually contribute to society by working aren’t bad or greedy because we get mad at our money being taken to subsidize freeloaders. We’re normal.
· Liberals, stop lying about ObamaCare. That would mean you can never speak of it again, since everything said so far has been a lie.
· Liberals, stop lying about Christians and Jews. Our country was built upon a Judeo-Christian foundation, and without it America would just be another festering boil of hideous pathologies like the majority of this planet.
Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Jon Gruber, that woman with the glasses who thinks we should carpet bomb ISIS with want ads: Liberals all, stop lying about everything.
(“Liberals, Stop Lying About Everything” by Kurt Schlichter dated February 23, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/kurtschlichter/2015/02/23/liberals-stop-lying-about-everything-n1959550 )
Last year was the eighth year in a row of sub-2.5% growth, following four straight years (2003-2006) of higher growth. It is no coincidence that the first year of that awful 2007-2014 streak just so happens to have been the same year that the Democrat Party took legislative control in Washington. The nation’s political and media elites were absolutely ecstatic when Barack Obama won the November 2008 presidential election and took office in January 2009. Raising the minimum wage was a key agenda item for new House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority leader Harry Reid after their party took over Congress in 2007. The resulting effects on overall employment have been gruesome, to the point where the people who arbitrarily determine such things have absurdly decided, in the interest of covering their tracks, that the 4.5% unemployment rate seen last decade is no longer achievable, and “full employment” is really a rate of 5.5%. The higher minimum federal wage, and the even higher hourly minimums seen in many states and cities, have been especially disastrous for the very people supposedly targeted for help. Since the end of 2006, the seasonally adjusted black teen unemployment rate has risen by 5.5 points to 29.7%; that rate got perilously close to 50% during the recession. The only reason that the number of unemployed black teens is barely higher now than it was eight years ago is that far fewer of them are even bothering to look for work, and therefore aren’t considered part of that statistic. Not satisfied with the number of job prospects they have already ruined for those who most need their first gainful employment opportunity, President Obama continues to push for a minimum-wage increase to $10.10 per hour, while leftist fever-swamp cities like Seattle are heading towards hourly rates as high as $15. More unemployment and more of the harmful effects of idleness await. Democrat’s hostility towards developing energy resources and their intent to impose tax and regulatory overkill if elected became readily apparent, sending the economy into a far bigger swoon than the housing bubble alone would have caused. Two years of Democrat control of Congress followed by six years of Obamanomics have given us the worst economic performance in 62 years. They are dozens of contributors to the current malaise, but three of them capsulize the horrid situation:
· The Obama administration has spent six years passive-aggressively dithering over approving the 1,200-mile Keystone Pipeline.
· Operators of certain legal but politically incorrect businesses have seen their banking relationships terminated by financial institutions intimidated into their decisions by the government’s Operation Choke Point.
· The administration has been operating a “shadow immigration system,” which during the past six years has issued 5.5 million work permits to non-citizens.
Thus, agenda-driven regulators are deliberately holding up economic progress and bullying existing businesses, while illegal competition undercuts citizens who want jobs. Madness will continue as long as Congress is unwilling to fully exercise its power of the purse. Unless we see a miraculous change in Obama’s outlook, that’s not going to happen, so we should prepare for two more very rough years.
(“The Economy’s Worst 8-Year Run in 62 Years” by Tom Blumer dated February 20, 2015 published by PJ Media at http://pjmedia.com/blog/the-economys-worst-8-year-run-in-62-years/ )
Anyone who's followed the polls over the course of the Obama administration knows that the economy and jobs have been among our strongest concerns. The Gallup Poll reinforces this in its latest survey, asking people what they think are the biggest problems facing our country. "Economic problems" was their top concern mentioned by nearly 40%, followed by unemployment/jobs generally, the budget deficits and the federal debt, in that order. Despite the network news telling us the Obama economy is doing great and the job market is just getting better and better, the real story on that score isn't good. This week, Gallup's daily tracking polls put the jobless rate at nearly 7%, and the "underemployment rate", those who said they need full-time work but were forced to take part-time jobs, at 16%. "The Economic Confidence Index fell five points from the week prior, the largest drop since July," Gallup said. The index "is the average of two components: how Americans rate current economic conditions, and whether they say the economy is getting better or getting worse.” The index showed that the economy is underperforming, wages are flat for most workers, and that a good-paying, full-time job is still hard to find. Worse, the economy barely grew at a 2.4% rate for all of last year, roughly its level of performance over the past five years. President Obama's anti-investment policies have raised capital gains tax rates, the chief source of risk investment in new startups that in turn create new jobs. Recent economic research found that the rate of new business formation sharply declined by 31% during the recession and has been weak ever since. The National Association of Realtors reported that existing home sales plunged in January to their lowest rate in nine months. Sales fell 4.9% and were down in every region of the country. Meanwhile the mortgage interest rates increased for the second consecutive week to their highest level this year, as home loan applications declined 13.2%, the Mortgage Bankers Association said. Perhaps one of the most chilling developments in the Obama economy was the news this week that the number of property foreclosures was up by 5% in January, fueled by a 15-month high in bank repossessions. Perhaps the strongest sign of how many Americans are struggling was a little-noticed report earlier this month that said consumer spending barely rose in January. Retail sales barely budged, too, as workers tightened their belts, while nonfarm productivity fell 1.8%. One final bit of bad news. Heading into last year, the typical household had only $111,000 in retirement savings, as workers dipped into their accounts to make ends meet. Brace yourself because for the next two years, our economy is in for a bumpy ride.
(“Many Americans Still Struggling in Dismal Obama Recovery” by Donald Lambro dated Februar 25, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/donaldlambro/2015/02/25/many-americans-still-struggling-in-dismal-obama-economy-n1961827 )
President Obama seems more interested in defending the religion of Islam than in defending the United States against the threat of Islamic jihad, but Islam isn't under attack; we are. The United States isn't at war with Islam -- or even radical Islamists, for that matter. By incessantly and wrongly suggesting we are hostile to Islam proper, Obama is giving credence to that charge and planting a seed in the minds of Muslims, thereby aggravating the problem he claims he wants to diminish. Our authorities don't profile Muslims in any way, at any time, in any capacity. The Transportation Security Administration is so paranoid about creating that impression that it has a policy of erring on the side of coddling jihadis such as when it declined to pursue leads concerning U.S. Army Major Nidal Hasan's ties to radical clerics that might have prevented his fatal shootings at Fort Hood in 2009. The stubborn reality is that acts of terrorism in the world today are overwhelmingly committed not by Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus or Zoroastrians but by those claiming to be Muslims, no matter how much Obama strains to advance his fraudulent claims of moral equivalency. No one is fooled by Obama's willful confusion, and the cause of world peace is not furthered by it. Obama protests that he just wants to make clear to the Muslim world that we are not against the religion of Islam. He says the Islamic State group and other jihadis are not truly Islamic but attempting to hijack the religion. If he is determined to convince peaceful Muslims that we recognize they are not like the terrorists, why does he insult them by coddling the ones he claims are aberrant? If Obama believes that the violent ones are not representative of the religion, why does he insist on treating them like the peaceful ones or assume the peaceful ones would want the radicals treated delicately? Obama agrees, saying the radicals would have greater difficulty recruiting people to their cause if we would quit smearing the religion he holds so dear and try harder to understand and address their "grievances," including their poverty and certain unspecified democratic complaints about a civil society, both of which are so self-evidently and embarrassingly preposterous as to warrant no rebuttal. What Obama needs to understand is that Islamic terrorists are not driven by grievances, unless you define grievances as opposition to their determination to create a global caliphate. They are motivated by deeply held religious and ideological convictions that are not going to be mollified by liberal domestic policy overtures. This is a spiritual matter. Obama is doing more to fuel Islamic State recruitment by showing its potential recruits how weak we are and that Islamic State aspirations for a global caliphate are not such a fantasy if the world is rolling over for them rather than fighting them with equal and superior force.
(“Obama the Unwitting Recruiter” by David Limbaugh date February 20, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/davidlimbaugh/2015/02/20/obama-the-unwitting-recruiter-n1959673 )
In 2007, the New York Police Department’s released their report, “Radicalization in the West: The Homegrown Threat” which offers insight into Islamic radicalization. Experts studied eleven cases of America’s “homegrown jihadists,” isolating specific factors that appear to move some people, primarily young men, to radical, violent activity even as most Americans, including American Muslims, remain unmoved by or even repulsed by the idea of violence committed in the name of religion. Among the NYPD findings:
· Salafist ideology combines Islam with a determination to solve problems through violence. Salafist institutions and literature are readily available in the West.
· Al Qaeda provides inspiration, but generally not operational assistance.
· Susceptible people seek an identity or a cause and often self-identify before finding compatriots. Radicalization has proceeded slower in the US than in Europe, where even second and third generation immigrants have trouble assimilating into the local culture.
· The Internet is an enabler, providing an anonymous virtual meeting place. Sites other than mosques can provide the sense of community otherwise isolated people may be seeking.
· A “spiritual sanctioner” and an “operational leader” are necessary to move people from the ideological phase to an operational terrorist cell.
· Not everyone who begins the process of radicalization becomes a terrorist; there are several points at which people drop out.
Professional jihadists are required to move people from curiosity or interest in jihadist philosophy to becoming active terrorists, and people drop out of this process all along the way (repulsed, perhaps, at some point by the violence). There is no inevitable link between Muslim people and radicalism; poverty is not the driver; and lack of good governance is not the issue. Far better than a plea for an understanding of “root causes” and sympathy for people’s inability to find a “legitimate” outlet for their grievances, would be a hard-headed consideration of the fact that professional jihadists who may be anywhere in the world are trolling for susceptible young people, primarily males, but increasingly females, to take up the cause of religious extremism and rush to the current battlefield in Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere. The fault lies there, not with the West’s lack of empathy.
(“NYPD had it Right a Long Time Ago” by Shoshana Bryen dated February 27, 2015 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/02/nypd_had_it_right_a_long_time_ago.html )
* There is so much published each week that unless you search for it, you will miss important breaking news. I try to package the best of this information into my “Views on the News” each Saturday morning. Updates have been made this week to the following sections:
· National Defense at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/fp/defense.php