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Views on the News

Views on the News*

  July 30, 2016

 

Most Americans have decided who they are voting for, but those who haven’t must wonder if they’re trapped between an island of poisonous snakes and an ocean of sharks when it comes to their choice for President.  Hillary Clinton is a corrupt, power-mad, money-hungry, career climber willing to do or say anything to obtain what she wants.  She sells access, influence and anything not nailed down, as long as there’s nothing in writing.  She’ll trample anyone, destroy anyone, forsake anyone to win.  Donald Trump is a blowhard narcissist with no core values or principles in the political arena.  He buys influence and funds anyone if it serves his purposes at the moment.  He’s easily distracted and holds a grudge long after victory.  Hillary is married to a serial philanderer; Trump is a serial philanderer.  The only difference is Trump’s conquests were willing; some of Bill Clinton’s weren’t.  Hillary smeared and destroyed the lives of women her husband used; Trump dated or married them.  Neither are moral people.  One would ruin the country by continuing the failed progressive policies and animosity toward the Constitution of the past eight years; the other would ruin the country with protectionist economics and constitutional ignorance.  Trump simply seems incapable of moving past anything.  Winning wasn’t enough, accepting the nomination wasn’t enough.  Trump lied about Cruz’s speech, saying the senator had ad libbed lines not in the submitted text, but everything Cruz spoke were in the script and on the teleprompter.  Hillary lies not only about things that matter, such as emails and classified material, she also has a history of lying about things that don’t matter.  Claiming to have landed in Bosnia under sniper fire, recounting in specific detail how she had to run from the tarmac at the airport, knowing there was video of her smiling, greeted by children and accompanied by her own daughter.  Recounting the story of how she was named after Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to climb Mt. Everest, even though she was born long before he had set foot on the mountain or become famous.  Both candidates inspire fierce loyalty in their die-hard supporters, but neither has demonstrated the ability to reach beyond it.  Hillary is a known commodity, the Edsel of candidates, and there’s no polishing that mess.  The undecideds have decided they can only vote for her by voting against someone else.  Donald Trump is that someone else.  He’s known, a celebrity since the 1980s, but his political beliefs were a mystery.  If you told me both were trying to lose, I’d be inclined to believe you.  Barring a major change by one of these two people, November could see extremely low turnout as this election devolves fully from a battle for the future to a race to be the least unpopular.

(“The Race to be The Least Unpopular” by Derek Hunter dated July 24, 2016 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/derekhunter/2016/07/24/the-race-to-be-the-least-unpopular-n2196847 )

Barack Obama is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy.  That does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.  What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands.  Politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.  Politically, it is heads-I-win when things go right, and tails-you-lose when things go wrong.  This is far preferable, from Obama's point of view, since it gives him a variety of scapegoats for all his failed policies.  Government ownership of the means of production means that politicians also own the consequences of their policies, and have to face responsibility when those consequences are disastrous, something that Obama avoids like the plague.  The Obama administration can arbitrarily force insurance companies to cover the children of their customers until the children are 26 years old.  Obviously, this creates favorable publicity for Obama.  If this government edict causes insurance premiums to rise, then that is something that can be blamed on the "greed" of the insurance companies.  The same principle, or lack of principle, applies to many other privately owned businesses.  What socialism, fascism and other ideologies of the left have in common is an assumption that some very wise people, like themselves, need to take decisions out of the hands of lesser people and impose those decisions by government fiat.  The left's vision is not only a vision of the world, but also a vision of themselves, as superior beings pursuing superior ends.  In the United States, however, this vision conflicts with a Constitution that begins, "We the People..."  That is why the left has for more than a century been trying to get the Constitution's limitations on government loosened or evaded by judges' new interpretations, based on notions of "a living Constitution" that will take decisions out of the hands of "We the People," and transfer those decisions to our betters.  The self-flattery of the vision of the left also gives its true believers a huge ego stake in that vision, which means that mere facts are unlikely to make them reconsider, regardless of what evidence piles up against the vision of the left, and regardless of its disastrous consequences.  Only our own awareness of the huge stakes involved can save us from the rampaging presumptions of our betters, whether they are called socialists or fascists.  As long as we buy their heady rhetoric, we are selling our birthright of freedom.

(“Socialist or Fascist” by Thomas Sowell dated June 12, 2012 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2012/06/12/socialist_or_fascist )

Some Republicans are disillusioned with their party's nominee, but imagine how rank-and-file Democrats must feel.  Their presumptive nominee, Hillary Clinton, not only is exceedingly unappealing in her own right but also seeks to fulfill Barack Obama's third term and must defend, even champion, his disastrous record.  Apart from Clinton's own baggage: her corruption, her empty record, her enabling of her husband's sexual exploits, her enormous unlikability, she has sidled up to Obama so much during his tenure that she is stuck with his record, whether she likes it or not.  As Obama's record reflects the worst Presidential performance in modern memory, and probably longer, Clinton has her work cut out for her, but she will have a smorgasbord of excuses available.  Clinton must misrepresent Obama's record by sanitizing the miserable conditions Americans are currently experiencing and arguing that any failures, all of which she will deny, were caused by Republican opposition and obstruction during his term or Republican disasters preceding his term.  Every mainstream media report that grudgingly concedes the economy is struggling invariably cites the 2008 financial crisis Obama "inherited."  Not only is it ridiculous to scapegoat Republicans for a recession that began 8 1/2 years ago but also it is outrageous that Obama and his media enablers airbrush the Democrats' principal culpability in engineering the policies that led to the financial crisis.  To Democrats, the economy is a zero-sum game and the "haves" (Republicans) have too much of that finite pie and must be forced to share their pieces with the "have-nots."  They view as fantasies the concepts of robust economic growth and "a rising tide lifts all boats."  Besides, being tied to Obama's record, Clinton will have no optimistic economic arrows in her quiver.  Unfortunately for Clinton, the economy, including Obama's egregious record on jobs, are only the beginning of her troubles. There are a host of other issues she's going to have to explain away or distort. Consider this small sample:

·    The $19 trillion national debt - No end in sight.

·    ObamaCare - An unmitigated disaster, failing all expectations as to cost and accessibility, and is steadily getting worse.

·    Foreign policy - No coherent foreign policy except cozy up to enemies and insult allies.

·    The polarized state of the American people - Obama has mightily contributed, especially on racial relations, which haven't been this bad since the 1960s.

·    Islamic terrorism – Abroad and at home, Obama and his party have no answer, other than to encourage us to believe their alternate reality that they have this under control.

·    Open-borders policy- this policy exacerbates every other problem we are facing.

I didn't list this administration's assaults on the rule of law, traditional values, religious liberty, the Second Amendment, work and the conventional energy industries, because Democrats have succeeded in conning many people into believing that they are on the right side of these issues.  Hillary Clinton can harp all she wants to about the Republicans' "darkness," but her evidence of our darkness is that we are pointing out the darkness of the Democrats' policies and record.  It is our patriotic duty to contrast that darkness with the luminous potential of a strong, prosperous and free America, one that Democrats have forsaken.

(“OK, Hillary, Have Fun Defending Obama Record” by David Limbaugh dated July 26, 2016 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/davidlimbaugh/2016/07/26/ok-hillary-have-fun-defending-obamas-record-n2197697 )

 

Democrats must not only continue to get nine-tenths of black votes, they also need to get a high turnout of black voters on election day.  People who expected the election of President Barack Obama to lead to racial healing and a post-racial society failed to take account of the political reality that racial healing and a post-racial society would, at a minimum, reduce black voter turnout.  Black votes matter to many politicians, more so than black lives.  That is why politicians must try to keep black voters fearful, angry and resentful. Racial harmony would be a political disaster for such politicians.  Racial polarization makes both the black population and the white population worse off, but it makes politicians who depend on black votes better off.  Hillary Clinton desperately needs black votes in this year's close election.  Promoting fear, anger and resentments among blacks serves her political interest.  Barack Obama has mastered the art of keeping black voters aroused while keeping white voters soothed, thanks in part to the gullibility of much of the public, who mistake geniality and glib rhetoric for honesty and good will.  Obama has repeatedly put the weight and prestige of the Presidency on the side of those who denounce the police before any facts are verified, and even after facts have come out.   Nothing reveals the political cynicism of the Obama administration like their campaign to force schools to reduce the number of black male students who are disciplined for misconduct.  Black male students are cited for disruption and violence more often than other categories of students that is automatically taken to mean that racial discrimination is the reason.  The most obvious explanation is that black male students engage in more disruption and violence than Asian females or some other students, but that possibility is implicitly ruled out.  What makes it a disaster is that it only takes a few thugs in a classroom to deprive all the other students of a decent education, which, for many, is their only chance for decent lives as adults.  If black lives matter to the Obama administration, they obviously don't matter as much as black votes that can be won by posing as defenders of blacks, even in situations where defenders of thugs are destroying black children's futures.  Even the thugs themselves will be worse off in the long run, if somebody does not put a stop to behavior that can lead them to prison as adults.  Hillary Clinton plays the same political game of posing as a defender of blacks from enemies threatening them on all sides, as she tries to win an election that would amount to a third term of the Obama administration's policies, most of which have left blacks worse off than before Obama took office.  One key question this election is whether black lives matter more than black votes that can be won by racial charades that undermine and endanger those lives.  Racial turmoil is to no one's interest, except some politicians and race hustlers.

(“Black Votes Matter” by Thomas Sowell dated July 26, 2016 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/thomassowell/2016/07/26/black-votes-matter-n2197651 )

Many developing nations will not ratify the Paris climate accords because they understand that fossil fuels are needed to modernize, industrialize, and decrease poverty, malnutrition and disease.  They want the free technology transfers and trillions of dollars in climate “adaptation, mitigation and reparation” funds that now-wealthy nations promised to pay for alleged climate transgressions.  But they now know those promises won’t be kept, especially by countries that absurdly insist on slashing their energy use, economic growth and job creation, while developing countries surge ahead.  It is better to have energy, technology, modern housing and wealth to adapt to, survive, recover from and even thrive amid inevitable warming, cooling and weather events, than to forego these abilities (on the absurd assumption that humans can control climate and weather) and be forced to confront nature’s onslaughts the way previous generations had to.  The November 7-18 Marrakech, Morocco UN climate conference goal is to accelerate GHG emission reductions, “brainstorm” with government and business leaders to achieve “new levels of cooperation and technology sharing” (and subsidies), and embrace “urgent action” to help African and small island nations survive the supposed ravages of manmade droughts and rising seas.  The real goals are: to pressure industrialized nations to end most fossil fuel use by 2050; replace free enterprise capitalism with a “more equitable” system; “more fairly” redistribute the world’s wealth and natural resources; and ensure that poor countries develop “sustainably” and not “too much” all under the direction and control of UN agencies and environmentalist pressure groups.  Over the past three decades, fossil fuels helped 1.3 billion more people get electricity and escape deadly energy and economic poverty, over 830 million because of coal.  China connected 99% of its population to the grid, also mostly with coal, enabling its average citizens to be ten times richer and live 32 years longer than five decades previously.  Rich nations used fossil fuels to advance science, create wondrous technologies beyond previous generations’ wildest imaginings, eradicate killer diseases, increase life expectancy from 46 in 1900 to 78 today, and give even poor families better living standards than kings and queens enjoyed a century ago.  Instead of holding poor nations and billions of less fortunate people back still more decades, we are ethically bound to do everything we can to encourage and assist them to throw off their shackles, and join us among the world’s wealthy, healthy, technologically advanced nations.

(“Keeping the Poor Impoverished” by Paul Driessen dated July 23, 2016 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/pauldriessen/2016/07/23/keeping-the-poor-impoverished-n2196581 )

Terrorism cannot be defeated, it can only be significantly reduced if the right measures are adopted.  We are engaged in a war without end, a war that has gone on for fourteen centuries, a war that cannot be decisively won, but it is a war that we need not lose.  We can limit the enemy’s ability to strike, keep him on the defensive, degrade his arsenal and confine him as far as possible to the peripheries of our world.  The necessary measures are not difficult to discern, but unlikely to be applied so long as our leaders are either weak or suborned, the media circulate their usual obfuscations, the academy persists in its ideological corruption, the talking heads keep talking before repairing to the security of their gated communities and tony neighborhoods, and the general populace remains mired in its habitual lassitude and fear of sounding politically incorrect.  The measures and policies that would need to be put in place are so obvious that the failure to implement them is nothing but a sign of lethal complacency and moral cowardice:

·    Islamic immigration must be drastically curtailed if not completely stopped.

·    Since large Muslim populations are already settled within our borders, surveillance must be intensive, methodical and ongoing.  Self-regulated ghettoes have to be opened up and rigorously policed. Islamic law must be ruled in contravention of common law and legally prohibited.

·    All mosques, which are effectively command centers, must be stringently investigated and many must be closed down.

·    Every imam in the country should be thoroughly vetted and many should be de-licensed and restricted from preaching.

·    Jihadi suspects clearly and unequivocally known to law enforcement agencies should not be so readily allowed, as is far too often the case, to mix freely among the people. As has often been said, lone wolves are usually known wolves.

·    Muslims and non-Muslims who leave the country to fight alongside terrorist entities must not be repatriated, even if they are passport-holding citizens.

·    Muslim organizations with ties to terror-sponsoring organizations or that lobby for Sharia or for cultural and political influence must be disbanded and outlawed, no matter how powerful and widespread.

·    Stop using euphemisms to describe the threat: “Islamic extremism” or “radical Islam.”  The enemy is not radical Islam but Islam pure and simple. The terrorists, their enablers and the “entry” cohort take their lead from their scriptures: the Koran, the Hadith, the Sira, the schools of jurisprudence, and centuries of political and religious commentary.

In summation, until we recognize that Islam itself, not only its presumably “radical” variants, is incompatible with pluralistic Western democracies, we will not be able to save our countries.  Peaceful Muslims must be pressured by informed opinion to undertake a thoroughgoing transformation of their faith even if the result has little affinity with millennial orthodoxy.  Should these measures be instituted, Islam will not go away, and innocent people will still die in terrorist attacks or find their everyday lives to some extent imperiled by Islamic social and cultural incursions, although to a much diminished degree.  Nevertheless, there is no other resolution to our dilemma, failing which the sequel is eminently predictable: the grizzly march of terrorist atrocities like those we have seen since 9/11 (and before) up to the latest carnage in Nice, dramatic Muslim inroads into the culture, eventual civil conflict and armed skirmishes on the streets of our cities, the rise of fascist parties profiting from the general malaise, and the inevitable disintegration of a way of life that we have ignorantly taken for granted.  There needs to be an admission that we are in a full-scale war, not just lip-service, but a genuine acknowledgment, followed by a genuine war footing, and an end to the weepy memorials, empty condemnations, and po-faced get-nowhere investigations. This is not crime; this is war.  Either we are prepared to continue being slaughtered like sheep and to lose our ancestral traditions of rights and freedoms, or we are determined to preserve our Judeo-Christian heritage and the best the West has to offer.

(“How to Defeat Terrorism” by David Solvay dated July 22, 2016 published by PJ Media at https://pjmedia.com/blog/how-to-defeat-terrorism/ )

 

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:

·    Media at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/media.php

·    Social Security at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/Culture/socialsecurity.php

·    Employment at http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/dp/employment.php

 

David Coughlin

Hawthorne, NY

http://www.returntocommonsensesite.com/