Views on the News
Views on the News*
October 10, 2015
Remember the much-maligned Tea Party movement, the millions of patriotic Americans who took to the streets and the townhalls across America and revolted against Bush's corporate bailouts, Obama's stimulus spending blowout, ObamaCare, and the Fed's policy of tossing trillions of dollars out of helicopter windows. The good news is that the Tea Party movement helped change and maybe even slightly fix America. The latest budget deficit numbers for the fiscal year that just ended find that the deficit has fallen by $1 trillion since Obama's tragic first term. The deficit is still near half a trillion, but the hole is a lot smaller than it was before the Tea Party spontaneous combustion happened in 2009. This was a movement about saving America from itself. Tea Party members are homemakers, veterans, small business owners, retirees, college students, and blue collar workers. "All we want from government is less of it." In two years, 2009 and 2010, Barack Obama and his accomplices then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and then-Majority Leader Harry Reid managed to borrow about $2.5 trillion. These fiscal three stooges called this volcano of debt a stimulus to the economy. It didn't work and the unemployment rate was higher than it would have been without the borrowing blitz, by their own admission. The Tea Party, more than any other political organization, sprang into action with the single-minded purpose of forcing an end to this spending orgy. This is all the more impressive because government spending for ObamaCare is soaring. This means that every dollar that has been spent on this new entitlement program has been offset by a dollar of cuts elsewhere. The budget numbers of the U.S. government are, of course, still dire. The debt has toppled $18 trillion and soon we will bump up against another debt ceiling with the spending lobby demanding an increase on the congressional credit card. We may need the Tea Party to take to the streets again. Republicans are set to negotiate a budget deal with the White House that could bust through budget caps and spend an extra $75 billion, which will reverse hard earned progress. In Washington, the urge to play Santa Claus is still truly bipartisan. Let's hope the history books get the Tea Party chapter right because this was and still is a Save America crusade as impactful as the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s, and the anti-tax activism of the 1970s that arrived just in time, and now America needs them again.
(“Score one for the Tea Party” by Stephen Moore dated October 4, 2015 published by CBN News at http://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/finance/2015/October/Score-One-for-the-Tea-Party )
Barack Obama is not solely responsible for all that ails the United States of America, because the truth is that we were already going down the toilet long before he came along. He has just helped hasten our trip into the sewer that the social engineers who preceded him, and who he aligns himself with now have made of our country over the last several decades. For roughly seventy years now the anti-American teaching in our universities has helped create an environment where traditional American values have been denigrated and ridiculed. Our traditional morality has been questioned, dismissed as ‘old fashioned’, and eventually discarded. Back in the Sixties college radicals urged us all to “question authority” as they demonstrated against “the man.” They advocated the experimentation and use of hallucinogenic and psychoactive drugs of all types, and urged everyone to also discard traditional relationships for ‘free love’ and promiscuity. The reality is that the U.S. has been in a downward spiral for decades now brought on by liberalism and social tinkering that has weakened us morally, and changed American culture from a time when John Kennedy told us to "ask not what your country can do for you, but ask what you can do for your country", to the time of Barack Obama's "fundamental transformation" of this nation. We have done it to ourselves through greed, avarice and mendacity. Barack Obama just came along and took advantage of a country already in a severe decline. The question is whether there are enough Americans willing to bear the burdens required to get this country back on the right track? Many of us will go down swinging, but those of us willing “to pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty,” as so eloquently said by President Kennedy during his inauguration address, are far too few. As a nation we have become spoiled and dependent on machines and devices, or having other people take care of us. Take away their internet, cable and satellite television, and smart phones, and few Americans could make it through a single day, much less survive and flourish over the long haul. Generations have become shackled to Welfare and other government assistance never learning the importance of hard work and self-sufficiency. President Obama alone didn’t bring this nation to the brink of destruction. He simply took advantage of a country already in decline. The blame rests with each of us who looked the other way and closed our eyes to what was happening, instead of responding as we were challenged by President Kennedy so many years ago.
(“Obama Responsible for What Ails America, or Just Good Timing” by D.W. Wilber dated October 2, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/dwwilber/2015/10/02/obama-responsible-for-what-ails-america-or-just-good-timing-n2059934 )
If Obama has demonstrated anything in nearly seven years of a chaotic and incompetent presidency, it is that he despises Western principles and ideas, and would like nothing better than transform our carefully crafted and noble republican experiment into a third-world-like autocratic, socialist kleptocracy, not unlike like Indonesia, where he spent many of his formative years. Unfortunately, step by step, however bumbling, he is succeeding among an increasing somnambulant, distracted, and uninformed electorate. Obama’s open willingness to feign righteous anger while politicizing the issue of gun control is cynical, coming especially as it did as Russia’s decisive moves in the Middle East embarrassed his administration’s policies and revealed his personal weaknesses. That Obama doubled down on his politicization effort at recent his press conference, shows that he thinks he has a political winner. Here we might take some comfort that Obama is often wrong. In this as in most things he differs from Socrates, who took the Oracle’s pronunciation that he was Athens’ smartest man to mean that he was the only man who knew how much he did not know. Obama falls on the other end of the ledger, a fool for believing he is always right. It is hard to believe that Obama was ever a “student of history” or a Constitutional Law professor, much less at any time the “smartest man in the room.” Socrates is credited with developing the method of using probing questions and direct answers to develop dialogue to search for truth. Obama avoids such opportunities, and when he does engage the press does so in the turgid, blustery, and run-on manner of people who use words to hide meaning rather than enhance it. Obama is neither a student of history, a Constitutional scholar, nor particularly smart. He is not much of a grownup either. This is evident in his dealings with foreign leaders, especially his repeatedly childish insulting behavior towards Benjamin Netanyahu. Let’s leave aside Obama’s usual rhetorical tics, e.g., repeating phrases, referring to himself, and calling good hearted Americans that disagree with him “the other side.” It’s a juvenile way to address an important issue, and insulting to anyone with half a brain listening to it. Barack Obama’s desire to turn an explicitly guaranteed liberty in to a political contest shows he has no appreciation of the freedoms the Constitution protects, especially for minorities, or the traditions of Western governance that led there.
(“Politicizing Liberty” by Jonathon Keller dated October 7, 2015 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/10/politicizing_liberty.html )
For the past few years, the Obama lovers in the media have been boasting about the supposedly great economy Americans are enjoying, where Obama’s strong leadership saved the economy and led to our “recovery,” but, in reality, we face today a RINO or “Recovery in Name Only” economy. The so-called experts blame it on the global economic slowdown, yet, the economy of the United States has been troubled for years. We never recovered from the Great Recession of 2008 and have really been suffering from a prolonged recession. The stock market only “recovered” because of a massive influx of money from the Federal Reserve. This policy of “Quantitative Easing” was the main reason the market did not totally collapse. Interest rates are being kept artificially low because the Federal Reserve is not confident the weak economy can sustain an increase. They have every reason to be concerned. Workers are earning less and working less hours as the average work week declined to only 34.5 hours. Some hopelessly positive analysts will cheer that the unemployment rate remained steady at only 5.1%. However, this rate is totally meaningless in an economy with only 148.8 million Americans working and an astounding 94.6 million people outside of the workforce. The labor force participation rate fell to 62.2%, the lowest since 1977. Americans outside of the labor force include all people 16 years of age and older who are not employed and have not made any efforts to look for a job. Millions of these individuals are so discouraged about the labor market that they have stopped looking for employment. Many are completely dependent on government assistance. In America today, 50 million Americans are living in poverty, while 46 million people are receiving food stamps, a figure that has been exceeded for 38 straight months. A mere 15 years ago, only 17 million Americans received food stamp benefits. In 1977, the country was suffering from the administration of Jimmy Carter, who ruined our economy. His policies were disastrous for the American people and led to high unemployment, high inflation and high interest rates. Thankfully, Carter was succeeded by President Ronald Reagan who restored economic growth, created over 20 million new jobs, reduced and simplified the federal tax rates and made Americans proud of their country once again. After seven years of Obama, who raised taxes, almost doubled the national debt and created massive new government bureaucracies through the Affordable Care Act and other legislation, it is time for a Reagan-like leader in the White House. In fact, our economic troubles today are different and even more serious than at any other time in our nation’s history, so let’s hope and pray the voters choose the next President very carefully.
(“The American Economy is a RINO: Republican in Name Only” by Jeff Crouere dated October 3, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/jeffcrouere/2015/10/03/the-american-economy-is-a-rino-republican-in-name-only-n2060312 )
Socialism was the avant-garde approach to how to do government in the Twentieth Century, and is a failed ideology. The Soviet Union was the flagship petri dish that conquered, infiltrated or ingratiated themselves with many other nations to establish them as additional petri dishes (Hello, Cuba). We certainly now have a large enough, long enough sample set and the results are in: the system is contaminated - Socialism does not work! Communism is Socialism, with a boot in the neck. The Communist boot is almost always ultimately necessary because people eventually figure out Socialism stinks on ice, which is why so many peaceful Socialist experiments end up as Communist totalitarian regimes. Unfortunately, the vast majority of Americans attend government schools, and they don’t teach that Socialism stinks on ice. They have for decades defied evidence, and declared Socialism to be great. Avowed Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders is a force in the Democrat Presidential primary. Speaking of Hillary Clinton, behold Robert Reich, who was Labor Secretary during her husband’s Presidential administration. In 2010, he praised the uber-failed ObamaCare, and proposed similar huge government power grabs for just about every other economic sector. Foreshadowing Sanders, he called for a 70%-90% top income tax rate. Now, Reich thinks uber-failed ObamaCare wasn’t huge-government enough, and demands a government-only single-payer system. He robustly defends Senator Sanders’ $18 trillion (at least) in new spending. Suffice to say, Reich has very little to say about the economy that is of any actual assistance. Reich is lambasting some huge Internet players, threatening them with an eventual government hammer to break them apart. Government recently did intervene in the Tech Sector in massive, all-encompassing, Reich-like fashion. The Obama administration just fundamentally transformed the basic economics of the entire Tech World: It’s called Network Neutrality. In actuality, Net Neutrality mandates that crony companies like Amazon, Netflix and Google get unequal, MUCH better treatment than do our Mom-and-Pop sites. The huge companies Reich is decrying in the Times just received a huge crony boost from Huge Government. This terrible government policy allows them a permanent, mass-transport free-ride. Reich now writes that the huge companies his favored policies heavily favored are too big and must be broken up. It is certainly understandable being confused because Reich is terminally confused. This is what happens when government and our Betters try to micromanage the economy. In reality, the economy is like a long, thin balloon, and when our Betters press on one section, other sections in unanticipated ways bubble and warp. When the government pressure gets too great (like when they mandate banks make too many bad home loans), the economy pops. Reich dropped Net Neutrality on the economy balloon and watched an unexpected bubble arise that benefits the companies Reich says are overly-benefitted and should be broken down. Reich the Wiser couldn’t see that coming, because he doesn’t understand economics, r government, or government’s effects on economics. Socialism officially doesn’t work, so we must stop trying it, and stop listening to those who still think it does.
(“Bernie Sanders and Robert Reich are Confused by Economics, and Government, and Reality” by Seton Motley dated October 5, 2015 published by Town Hall at http://townhall.com/columnists/setonmotley/2015/10/05/bernie-sanders-and-robert-reich-are-confused-by-economics-and-government-and-reality-n2061360/page/full )
Critical to understanding the potential problems inassimilable aliens pose to western culture, especially Europe and the U.S., is the notion of assimilation. A standard dictionary definition of assimilation is: “the process by which a person or persons acquire the social and psychological characteristics of a group.” That definition, albeit accurate, only scratches the surface of what assimilation entails. First, those who wish to assimilate to a different nation should learn that country’s dominant language. Unless one speaks and reads a nation’s foremost language, there is no hope for integration into that society. In the United States today, many Hispanic immigrants, legal or otherwise, refuse to learn English and retain their native tongue, a practice made easier by the ready availability of Spanish-speaking media, English-as-a-second-language instruction in schools, and a host of other bilingual practices. Failure of so many to learn English means, above all, that no matter how long Hispanic immigrants have lived in the U.S., they remain perpetual outsiders, doomed to life at the bottom of American society. Another manifestation of assimilation is learning (and living) the adopted country’s culture, particularly its dominant values and manners. Contrary to leftists’ constant bleats, multiculturalism is not a strength. It is a sign that a nation, or at least its ruling class, is committing suicide. The more diverse a community is, in terms of the number of immigrants, ethnicity, etc., the less trust members have in others, including the political system, and even themselves. This country’s experience with (mostly legal) immigrants in the 19th and early 20th centuries occurred before elites lost belief in themselves and the U.S. Today, our ruling class, i.e., most politicos and the chattering classes, lacking belief in the country’s exceptionalism and their own rectitude, makes virtually no effort to assimilate recent immigrants (legal or otherwise). Once-upon-a-time, (mostly legal) immigrants were expected to learn America’s history, to honor its heroic personalities and observe its official holidays. Today, not only is our history not taught (to immigrants or to natural born Americans), newly naturalized citizens aren’t required to take an oath of loyalty to the United States. If you want to see the consequences of lack of assimilation, read about conditions in France’s banlieues, i.e., suburbs dominated by unassimilated Muslims who have made them no go zones where the police do not intrude. These banlieues are governed by Sharia, not French law. Still another feature of assimilation is acceptance and obedience of the new country’s laws. This also means acknowledging the legitimacy of “new” country’s legal system. When people arrive as illegal immigrants, their very act of entering the country initiates them into breaking the nation’s laws. As scofflaws from the outset, it is not surprising that a disproportionate share of illegal aliens habitually runs afoul of the law. The very existence of hundreds of sanctuary cities in the U.S. lends credence to the contention that some of the ruling class have lost belief in America’s righteousness. A new Pew Research Center report sheds interesting light on patterns of immigration to the U.S. and ignores critical facts. The report projects immigrants will be 17.7% of America’s population by 2065. By then, Asians will comprise 14% of the country’s population, Hispanics will make up 24%, Blacks, 13%, and Whites, 46%. Forty-seven percent of immigrants came from Latin America in 2000; 34% came from Mexico alone. By 2011, Asians made up the largest percentage of immigrants to the U.S., a trend projected to continue. America’s situation vis-à-vis immigrants, is probably a lot worse than she lets on. In 1965, leftists, led by Ted Kennedy, changed U.S. immigration law, blithely assuring people the new policy would have no significant effect on America’s population. Today, unless changes are made, and soon, we will find that Kennedy and his ilk were wrong, and uncontrolled immigration can undermine and destroy a nation.
(“Unassimilated Immigration: Dystopia Now!” by Richard Winchester dated October 3, 2015 published by American Thinker at http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2015/10/unassimilated_immigration_dystopia_now.html )
Just three years ago, President Obama famously ridiculed GOP opponent Mitt Romney’s statement that Russia remained America’s main geopolitical foe by taunting: “The 1980s are calling to ask for their foreign policy back.” Four years before that, Obama stood at Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate to declare that once he became President, all people would join him around a global campfire, hold hands and put an end to the world’s evils and miseries. Well, seven years into Obama’s Presidency, the promised worldwide Kumbaya is instead global chaos, caused in large measure by his willful retreat from America’s position of leadership. Washington’s traditional allies increasingly feel abandoned, its enemies emboldened. The United States isn’t even leading from behind, it’s cowering in weakness. No one is taking better advantage of this than Vladimir Putin, now storming headlong into the yawning chasm of American retreat and reasserting Russia’s global influence and power, just as Mitt Romney said. Putin remains unchallenged in his invasion of Ukraine, leaving him free to intervene, again unchallenged, in the Middle East. In Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya, Obama’s outreach to the Muslim world hasn’t ended the threat of terrorism. Israelis and Palestinians remain as far apart as ever, because only Israel has been targeted to make concessions. This President accuses his political foes of wanting to wage war as their first option and warns of the limits of unilateral military power. In his eagerness to leave office as the President who ended America’s wars, he refuses to consider any use (or even a credible threat) of US force, even when hundreds of thousands are being massacred in Syria, many by the chemical weapons he claimed to eliminate. His premature abandonment, against all military advice, of Iraq and Afghanistan (where the pullout is still under way) has left both countries worse off. Iraq, in particular, is bleeding far more than it did even in the worst years of “George Bush’s war.” Equally eager to open America’s arms to longtime adversaries, this President has begun new relationships with Iran (all but giving Tehran a direct path to a nuclear arsenal) and Cuba without any concessions in return, even on such basic issues as human rights. America’s allies want Ronald Reagan’s assertive foreign policy of the 1980s back with an America that leads, not retreats.
(“How 7 years of Obama brought the world from Kumbaya to chaos” dated October 3, 2015 published by New York Post at http://nypost.com/2015/10/03/how-7-years-of-obama-brought-the-world-from-kumbaya-to-chaos/ )
What many see as bungling, naiveté, or evidence of a plot to destroy America is simply the consequence of a particular view of interstate relations Barack Obama has openly and frequently endorsed. Obama came into office chanting all the mantras of idealistic internationalism. Obama promised to “rebuild the alliances, partnerships, and institutions necessary to confront common threats and enhance common security.” Contrary to accepting force as an arbiter of conflict, he championed “tough diplomacy” and “new partnerships,” promising our enemies to “seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect,” and to “extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.” In short, Obama represented the foreign relations idealism that despite its repeated failures is now in its second century. Central to this idealism is the false notion that humanity is progressing away from violence as an instrument of state policy, towards a world of international institutions focused on verbal engagement and discussion. Any nation that behaves contrary to this internationalist ideal is merely an avatar from the brutal past, one “doomed to failure,” as Obama has said of Putin’s adventurism. Meanwhile, the backward-looking Putin has taken over the Crimea, solidified his hold on eastern Ukraine, and now has replaced the U.S. as the dominant power in the Middle East, positioned to influence if not control that oil-rich region on which the global economy depends. Putin’s methods may be old-fashioned and crude, but they work. Russia acts, Obama and Kerry “discuss.” Obama’s catalogue of failure has been the fruit of the bad ideas he expressed as a candidate and then as President. These widely shared ideas have a long history, and ultimately reflect the mistaken assumption that sciety is progressing away from violence to peaceful coexistence, since all peoples across the globe are “just like us” and share the same aims. The central point is less that people misunderstand other people, or that cultures misunderstand other cultures, than that they have no notion that this may be the case. They assume that the light of their own parochial common sense is enough, and they frame policies based on illusions. Obama has serially proved the truth of this timeless wisdom, misunderstanding every one of our adversaries and enemies from the mullahs in Iran to Vladimir Putin. The human race is not progressing towards some peaceful utopia, because human nature has not advanced that much over the last three millennia. The desire for power, resources, and status is as constant among nations as it is among men, and force is the eternal means of achieving those aims. To think that such men can be talked or bargained out of what they perceive is their interests are sheer folly. The truth is, war is not an anomaly or evidence of a failure to progress, but a sad constant of state relations, and to think otherwise is to encourage the bold and violent and the death and misery they leave in their wake.
(“The Roots of Obama’s Catastrophic Foreign Policy” by Bruce Thornton dated October 6, 2015 published by Front Page Magazine at http://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/260357/roots-obamas-catastrophic-foreign-policy-bruce-thornton )
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: