February 26, 2013
As is the standard these days with so many low-information Americans, all they know is that something they are to dread, a sequester, is set to take effect on Friday, March 1, unless a deal is reached. And what makes so many Americans perceive that failure to reach a deal will usher in devastation of a catastrophic nature? Might is be because President Obama has been pounding home the horrendous effects of the sequester upon this nation, abetted by the mainstream media, should sequester become a reality on Friday.
Among many of Obama warnings: Furloughs of 800,000 civilian Pentagon employees; Air traffic controller furloughs resulting in three-hour waits at airports to clear security; 1,000 FBI agents laid off; fewer police and firefighters on the street; tens of thousands of parents will have to scramble to find childcare for their kids, and thousands of teacher and educator layoffs. Still not satisfied with his veiled threats, on Tuesday (Feb. 16), Obama plans to head to a shipbuilding yard in Newport News, Virgina, (a defense heavy region) to highlight how potential job losses could negatively impact the economy of the region.
To make matters worse, besides believing Obama’s many warnings, many Americans (among them the same low information individuals) have no idea how the sequester came about or what the terms of the sequester are.
As explained in a post by Dylan Matthews on February 20 at the “Washington Post”:
The sequester is a group of cuts to federal spending set to take place on March 1 unless Congressional action is taken. Originally passed as part of the budget Control Act of 2011 (BCA), it was intended as an incentive, because of the harsh nature of the cuts, to compel a select “Supercommittee” to reach a deal to cut 1.5 trillion over 10 years. When a deal couldn’t be reached by Dec. 23 of 2011, President Obama, Vice President Biden and congressional leaders extended the deadline to January 1 of this year. A perceived configuration by lawmakers of other economic policies occurring at the same time, prompted lawmakers to move the sequester date to March 1.
The 2013 sequester includes $85.4 billion in cuts of discretionary spending across-the-board: 9.45 percent for defense and 8.2 percent for everything else. No programs are actually eliminated. The effect is to reduce the scale and scope of existing programs (slowing the growth) rather than to zero out any of them.
As such the cuts of $85.4 billion amount to a sliver of our nation’s 2013 budget of $3.8 trillion (1,000 billion equals one trillion). The sequester cuts are even a tinier speck when pitted against America’s $16 trillion economy, yet according to President Obama a cut of 1/3 of 1% of our 2013 domestic economy (2.5 cents on every dollar) will throw this nation into a tailspin. As of August of last year household income was down 8.2%, yet American people had to make do. To put the sequester in perspective, Sandy Hurricane relief amounted to $60 billion. Sequester is set at $85.4 billion. Does it sound reasonable for President Obama to be telling the American people that government can’t do without a smidgen less?
What both angers and irritates Jonah Goldberg about the sequester, as stated in his “National Review” article of February 22: “If the sequester goes into effect, the federal budget for this year will still be larger than last year’s ($3.553 trillion in 2013 vs. $3,538 trillion in 2012). With the sequester in effect, federal non-defense spending will still be 10 percent higher than it was on 2008.” Wasn’t it the aim of sequester to deal with the out-of-control national debt?
At $16 trillion and rising, our national debt is draining free enterprise and weakening this nation. Our current Outstanding Public Debt of the the United States, as of Sunday, February 24th, 2013, is $16,608,318,357,376.54. Every man, woman and child in the United States currently owes $54,664 for their share of the U.S. public debt and still our spending continues. Out of every dollar spent forty-six cents is borrowed by government.
Charles Krauthammer had this to say in a recent commentary in the “Wall Street Journal”: “This is the most ridiculously hyped Armageddon since the Mayan calendar. In fact, it looks worse that the Mayan disaster, this, as you say, can be solved in a day, in an hour by allowing a transfer of funds. It’s incredibly soluble, easily soluble. And the president is the one who ought to propose it. He won’t, of course, because he is looking for a fight and not a solution.”
As alluded to by Charles Krauthammer, President Obama could agree to allowing individual agencies to decide less painless ways to trim a few pennies out of every dollar instead of across-the board cuts as required by the sequester. This idea was entertained by ABCNews’ Jonathan Karl and was asked of Ray LaHood in a briefing by LaHood to reporters about the sequester on Feb. 22. Upon Hood announcing that the Transportation Department was planning to furlough air-traffic controllers around the country causing delays up to 90 minutes for travelers, Karl said to Lahood: “You’re got a big budget. Can’t you find some other way to cut that without telling air traffic controllers to stay home?”
Just what is the fly in the ointment that seems to preclude that no deal will be reached and sequester will kick in on Friday? It is true that Republicans did vote for the sequester. It passed with 269 “yea” votes in the house (174 Republicans). In the Senate 28 Republicans joined nearly all Democrats, in a deal initially dreamed up by Jacob Lew of the White House, now Treasury Secretary nominee.
Republican are now in a bind and will be blamed for whatever they do. Without the bully pulpit Republicans have been unable to reach the public to stake out the core problem responsible for the sequester deal in the first place, this nation’s unsustainable debt. As an added insult to injury, Obama is insisting on tax hikes to accompany tax cuts. Furthermore, although the biggest portion of our debt involves entitlement spending, entitlement reform is off limits to President Obama.
Meanwhile, Obama is going around convincing the American people to accept tax cuts by presenting the choice as one between reasonable revenue increases or catastrophic cuts that will let people die on the streets and allow poisoned food to sit on supermaket shelves.
How can this be so when the math of the sequester doesn’t add up to the amount of misery Obama is prophesying for the American people? As portrayed in one of Aesop’s Fables, “The Boy Who cried Wolf” (“To cry wolf” is an English idiom meaning to give a false alarm.), Obama countless times has gotten away with telling the American people that they are one step away from a fate that sounds worse than death. The moral of “The Boy Who cried Wolf” is that liars are not rewarded, for even when consistent liars do tell the truth, no one believe them after too many lies.
How many more times will Obama be able be able to cry wolf by using a made up scenario that plays upon the emotions of the American people to escape blame for what he has sanctioned, while succeeding in casting total blame upon Republicans in an on going ploy to eviscerate and vilify the Republican Party and its leadership? Will Obama ever be made to “pay the piper” for his deceptive rhetoric and policies. So far his has been a Teflon presidency.
In that Obama was re-elected last November despite his propensity to do and say anything to win elections and to gain public support on timely issues (and it continues with the 2014 mid-term elections in mind), points to a serious problem. Critical thinking skills are missing in so many Americans. This is why Obama, without fail, is able to fool much of the public by crying wolf, helped along by a fawning, complacent, in-the-tank, and lazy main stream press.
This brings to mind an old tale of my childhood about a hysterical hen who believes the sky is falling. In the story of “Chicken Little” the hysterical hen jumps to the conclusion that the sky is falling, an event not worthy of belief. The hysterical hen in turn succeeds in getting other animals to believe as she does with results that are unfavorable to all.
Too many Americans are like Chicken Little. They jump to conclusion using information that doesn’t meet the smell test; accordingly, critical thinking skills are missing in so many Americans. This is why Obama, without fail, is able to fool much of the public by crying wolf, for when critical thinking skills (the ability to judge for oneself) are missing, people become like sheep and can be led by one whose rhetoric and policies are not what they seem to be.
Republicans must be wary, understanding that President Obama is forever campaigning (rather than leading), and that even now Obama is on the campaign trail to take back the House and keep control of the Senate in the 2014 mid-term elections.
The next big test after the Sequester will be how Republicans will handle the intense pressure to pass another continuing resolution before current government funding expires on March 27. Are Republicans up to the task and the challenge of facing President Obama and Democrats?
February 26, 2013
Could Ammunition Hoarding be Justified?
By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold –
Barack Obama has a past history of seeking strong gun control laws, which supersedes the present focus of attention being directed on the gun “problem” by the White House.
Consider the availability of ammunition. Harkening back to an Obama Colorado campaign speech in July of 2008, in a deviation from his prepared text Obama remarked: “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives that we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.” This statement caused numerous writers to speculate that Obama was eluding to some kind of national Obama para-military force.
After Obama was elected in 2008, ammunition flew off the shelves which stayed bare for over a year. It was not until the spring of 2010 that 9 mm or .40 S&W ammunition (the two most popular self-defense calibers) could be found in any quantity. Now, it is difficult to locate even the ubiquitous .22 LR “squirrel rifle and plinking” ammunition. Military calibers, such as AR style rifles (.223 Remington = 5.56x45mm) or M1 (.308 Winchester = 7.62x51mm) are not to be found anywhere. Even components used for reloading are in extreme short supply, especially primers and bullets (which can’t be reused).
Might the present ammunition shortage have to do with media reports that question why the feds are loading up on so much ammo? A commentary by Andrew Malcolm posted on February 8, notes the puzzling, unexplained development of the Obama administration’s buying and storing of vast amounts of ammunition in recent months. According to one estimate, the DHS has stockpiled more than 1.6 billion bullets, mainly .40 caliber and 9 mm. This is sufficient firepower to shoot every American about five times, including illegal immigrants. Several other agencies of the federal government, including the Social Security administration, likewise began buying large quantities of bullets in 2012.
In addition to the government’s large, unexplained purchases of ammunition, might the root cause of the ammunition shortages be attributed to hoarding? There are fears that the government will place restrictions on ammunition as a way to restrict firearms without running directly afoul of the Constitution (a minor impediment in any case to those on the Left).
When people see something on the shelf, they buy it all. Some stockpile it, others resell it on the internet or gun shows at exorbitant prices. As happened back in 2008, the same is happening now, only on a much more intense scale. Within two weeks of the Sandy Hill tragedy, the big mail order houses, Brownells in Iowa and Midway in Missouri, sold all of their magazines (a normal two year supply) for semi-automatic rifles. Surprisingly, most companies are not gouging their customers. This generates bitterness among enthusiasts, which is not soon forgotten. Word of gouging spreads quickly, leading to boycotts. Nor will the politicians who climbed on board with President Obama be forgotten. Many of them will be looking for work after the 2014 elections.
The reaction of the Left to Newtown was predictable. Although Congress probably won’t impose the restrictions demanded by the Left, the President is actively campaigning in vulnerable states (i.e., Democratic majorities) for even stricter measures. Out East, demagogues like Cuomo have taken the initiative, thinking that strict gun control laws will place them on the path to the White House. On January 15 New York was the first state to pass strict gun control laws since the New Town massacre.
We see similar action being attempted in Cook County, except that the rest of the state has swung to a polar opposite position. Although Chicago has some of the toughest gun laws in this nation (which aren’t enforced), Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy, on a Feb 17 morning radio program in Chicago, denied that Chicago gun laws are strict. McCarthy further believes that gun rights groups are corrupt and that the 2nd Amendment “limits citizens to owning smooth-bore muskets.”
It is foolhardy to expect that more gun control will cure Chicago and dispel the image held world-wide that Chicago is the murder capital of America. James Walsh attributes the crime wave in Chicago to the “Welcome to Chicago Ordinance” signed by Chicago mayor, Rahm Emanuel, which established the “Windy City” as a sanctuary city for illegal aliens.
The President says he supports the 2nd amendment, and “nobody is proposing to take your guns away,” but in the background intends to do exactly that. Several congressmen and states have bills to confiscate firearms on the table, although they don’t seem to be going anywhere.It is unlikely that criminal use of firearms will be affected in any way, so legal owners will bear the brunt of ever stronger measures if they are allowed to proceed.
Background checks are at an all-time high, but have fallen off about 10% in January compared to December 2012. That’s because there’s hardly anything left to buy. The number of NICS checks is not a good indicator of sales, because you only need one check for any number of firearms at that time. Like ammunition, those with enough money are buying everything they can as soon as it is available.
A possible fly in the ointment impeding the Obama administration’s success in passing strict gun control laws that infringe upon the Second Amendment is that since New York State enacted its restrictive new gun laws, a group of Second Amendment-supporting gun makers are refusing to sell arms to law enforcement in New York and other gun-restricting states. As of Saturday, February 23, 44 gun companies have stopped selling to law enforcement in anti-2nd Amendment States.
This movement is picking up steam as additions to the list are being added daily. If SIG, Smith&Wesson and Glock get on board, the NYPD and the CPD will be making slingshots from the few trees left in their cities.
Published initially at Illinois Review on Monday, February 25.
February 24, 2013
By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold
In the coming days you will most likely hear a great deal about the danger of keeping a firearm in the house as the gun violence debate rages on in Congress. President Obama, in a plan presented last month to reduce gun violence, resolved to order the Center for Disease Control and Prevention to resume scientific studies on the issue, after such research was banned since the mid-1990’s.
Harold Pollack, co-director of the Crime Lab at the University of Chicago applauded Obama’s move, believing that knowing more about gun violence will result in being able to provide more effective law enforcement and public policy. Not so for Iowa Senator Charles Grassley, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who at a recent speech of the Senate floor made these remarks: “Gun violence is not a disease. And lawful gun ownership is not a disease. It is a constitutionally protected, individual right.”
The 1993 study which is presently stirring passionate emotions on both sides of the gun violence issue, and which Obama wants to resume, was conducted by the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) under a grant by the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
The most cited conclusion of this study suggests that homicide is three times (2.7) more likely to occur in households with a gun than those without. When issued gun advocates blasted the research. http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJM199310073291506#t=article
- First of all, the cited conclusion is not a correct interpretation of the study itself. The 2.7 ratio is the probability that having a gun in the home is a significant factor in homicide (chi square ratio). In other words, the probability it has an effect, not the magnitude of that effect. The ratio for other factors include problem drinking (20.0), use of illicit drugs (6.8), living in a rented house (5.9), or domestic quarrels resulting in injuries (10.2).
- The study included only households (388) in which a homicide occurred
- Suicides are lumped with other homicides. Statistically, 2/3rds of homicides are due to suicide. People tend to kill themselves in the least painful way possible. If guns aren’t available, then there are plenty of alternatives. The suicide rate is about the same (12) in Britain and the US, and half that of japan (22) where no firearms are allowed.
- The sample is not representative – 62% of the victims were black (11.2% of the population) and the median income of these households was in the bottom quartile.
It is only natural that the biased nature of the1993 CDC study (coupled with the fact that the CDC seems to equate gun ownership with “disease”), is raising furor in Congress. The outrage is well placed by gun owners.
Not to be forgotten is that anti-gun control language that has found its way into another government agency, the Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) under the direction of Kathleen Sebelius. In a report issued on January 16 by the White House outlining the Obama administration’s proposals to curb gun violence, clarified was that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit or otherwise regulate communication between doctors and patients, including discussion about firearms, but doctors are permitted to ask their patients about gun safety if they elect to do so. http://mediamatters.org/research/2013/01/17/four-falsehoods-about-doctors-and-guns-pushed-b/192305
How long might it take before a mandate has been issued for doctors to act as the eyes and ears for government as the means to locate and remove guns considered health hazards to children from law abiding parents, caregivers, and citizens? At the very least, there is the specter of the “Little Red Schoolhouse” behind the “Iron Curtain”, where children were encouraged to denounce their parents.
February 22, 2013
In Conjunction with Ed Ingold
Last November, the US 7th Court of Appeals ruled that Illinois’ long-standing prohibition on carrying loaded weapons outside the home was unconstitutional, and gave the state 180 days to comply. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-illinois-concealed-carry-ban-20121211,0,3364134.htmlpage
As the right to own and carry a gun are issues of importance to many readers, and a Constitutional one as well, it is essential that as concerned citizens of Illinois we allow our voices to be heard to affirm our convictions.
With this in mind we are directing your attention to a link where a petition can be found in support of Illinois HB0997, “Family Protection Act,” which allows concealed weapons to be carried by licensed individuals.
The bill was introduced by Brandon Phelps (D). Rep. Dwight Kay (R) is one of the co-sponsors. HB0997 is similar to a bill introduced by Rep. Phelps last March, which failed to achieve a veto-proof, home-rule-proof majority by only three votes. Full text of HB0997 can be found at here
We have reviewed HB0997 and give it our support. It establishes reasonable training and proficiency requirements. Any adult 21 years or older with a FOID card can qualify. The court order and this bill will preempt local firearm laws, including those of Chicago.
There are relatively few gun-free carve-outs. Notably, weapons will be allowed on all public transportation, and colleges unless prohibited by the administration. College administrators will assume civil liability if any licensee is subjected to a violent attack.
We urge you to sign the petition and forward this email to friends who are similarly inclined. It’s time criminals moved to the rear of the line in Illinois. This legislation has broad support of both parties downstate. Signing the petition is also a good way to make your support known to representatives outside the Chicago area.
Click on this link http://www.kay.ilhousegop.org/ to sign the petition Rep. Dwight Kay is circulating in support of concealed carry as a co-sponsor of HB0997.
February 22, 2013
President Obama announced at his State-of-the-Union address on Tuesday, February 14, a major effort to expand government preschool. According to a report by Lindsey Burke of The Heritage Foundation entitled, “Obama’s Ill-Advised Federal Preschool Push,” Obama’s plan would create “a continuum of child care for children from birth to age 5.”
After years of pushing the federal Head Start program, there is thin evidence that Head Start benefits the children enrolled in the program. It would however mean a boon to hiring an untold additional number of public education employees to the benefit of education unions.
According to a HHS report issued in early February, children’s attendance in Head Start has no demonstrable impact on their academic, socio-emotional, or health statutes at the end of first grade.
Teri O’Brien, a regular contributor to “Illinois Review,” presented her take on Obama’s State of the Union educational comments on Friday, February 15, in a posted “Illinois Review” article in which she referred to Obama’s educational musings as “Obama’s Early Education Scam.” As O’Brien reflected, “Their [liberals] policies are always ‘for the children,’ and if you oppose their plans, then you must not care about all the innocent, wide-eyed little moppets who will benefit from bigger government and more of your paycheck going into the federal back hole.”
Most readers are familiar with the federal Head Start program launched in 1966 as part of President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society campaign to promote school preparation of disadvantaged children. During its time of operation it is fair to say that a certain amount of liberal indoctrination occurred, even among children so young of age.
Common Core now takes center stage. Approximately 80 percent of the public knows nothing about the Common Core education standards, which represent one of the most comprehensive K-12 reform efforts ever attempted in this nation.
For the clueless 80 percent, The Phyllis Schlafly Report, Vol. 46, No. 6, published monthly by the Eagle Forum, describes ObamaCore as a “Power Grab Like ObamaCare,” which fits right in with Obama’s attitude that there is no higher power than the federal government. Common Core is a “comprehensive plan to dumb down schoolchildren so they will be obedient servants of the government and probably to indoctrinate them to accept the left wing view of America and its history.”
The essence of Common Core as explained by The Phyllis Schlafly Report:
“The Obama Administration has latched onto a new national education curriculum called Common Core that was launched by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers in 2009. Those organizations have very official names as though they are government agencies, but they are actually private groups financed by foundations such as Gates and various corporations.
“Their plan is to induce all elementary and secondary schools to accept a comprehensive national education system that will enforce a national curriculum. National standards will be locked in by the tests students must take called assessments, which in turn are tied to teacher evaluation. The standards instruct the teachers what to teach so their pupils can pass the tests and teachers can get positive evaluations.
“The process bypasses parents and state and local school boards and will fundamentally transform education by dictating what every child will learn and not learn.
“No Child Left Behind’ was a step in this direction, but it allowed the states to set their own standards. Common Core, on the other hand, requires all states to adopt the same federally endorsed standards.
This will be achieved by carrot-and-stick methodology. The carrot is the offer of federal money, such as ‘Race to the Top’ money granted if, and only if, the states first adopt the Common Core standards. The stick is the threat to withhold federal funds from states that don’t obey.”
Forty-five state (now 46) the District of Columbia, and four territories signed on to Core, Illinois included, within five months of its release in 2010. It was presented as a new educational guide to what K-12 children were expected to know at each grade level in math and English/language arts. The original plan was to fully implement Common Core standards in math and English/language arts in each grade, along with matching tests, by 2014-2015, but the matching tests are still being developed.
Finally three years after a majority of states ascribed to Core, the Math and English Literature Common Core programs have been developed, released and made public, but not without expressed concern that standards have been set low enough so asto enable most students to pass the tests. Even more troublesome are comments from educators saying that Common Core graduation standards in math and Language Arts don’t prepare students for college work. They only move kids to two-year community colleges.
To make matters even worse, fatal flaws have been found to exist in the Common Core English Language Arts, standards which went unnoticed until now because of the haste in which 45 state boards of education and/or their governors signed on to Common Core back in 2010 before Core standards were written or finalized.
Rising concern also exists over the high cost of implementing the Core standards and the national tests that will be based on them, coupled with the potential loss of local control of curriculum and instructions. As an insult to injury, it is estimated tha tforty-six states will spend $5 to $12 billion to put in place a new set of national Common Core educational standards to implement basic curriculum being developed by public officials in closed-door meeting by the NGA and the CCSSO without sufficient public input, although taxpayer state officials can attend CCSSO meetings and become members.
Joy Pullmann, in a Policy brief published by the Heartland Institute, January 2013, “The Common Core: A poor Choice for States,” sums up the Common Core education standards in this way:
2. No state, school district, or even school has ever use the Common Core. It has no track record.
3. Comparing the Common Core to the Core Knowledge Foundation’s metrics immediately reveals a quality gap. (As early as kindergarten, Core Knowledge students encounter money in math class, whereas Common core student don’t until second grade, etc.)
4. The new tests will cost far more to administer every year in these tight times. Georgia estimates that Common Core tests would cost $22 per student annually. Previous tests cost taxpayers $5 per student per year.
5. In addition to usurping nearly every standardized tests it is likely to overhaul teacher preparation, evaluations, and methods.
6. The U.S. Department of Education has issued regulations allowing the sharing of personally identifiable student information without parent consent.
7. States may not change the standards, must adopt all of them at once, and may only add up to an additional 15 percent of requirements.
8. A centralized education market is a significant boon to firms that earn significant income by selling test, textbooks, etc., giving the education business a large financial stake in Common Core and a reason to keep it that way regardless of its instructional defects and costs to taxpayers.
U.S. schools need to improve, but will Common Core help? Not according to Joy Pullmann and many others who are expressing similar views: “No. On the contrary, it contains many harmful provisions, and its full effects are yet unknown.”
Constitutionally Common Core falls far outside the enumerated powers which our Constitution grants to the federal government.
But above all else one argument remains paramount: All kids are unique. Doesn’t it only make sense to treat them that way?
February 21, 2013
By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold –
Bob Beckel, Democratic strategist and co-host of Fox News’ “The Five” said something profound during the broadcast on Monday, February 17.
The issue under discussion was the status of the Keystone Pipeline, which President Obama is hesitant to approve due to opposition from a small but noisy group of “green” protesters. Whether Obama approves of funding the Keystone Pipeline or not, the oil will still be shipped and sold. The difference is whether the United States will use the oil for independence from the Middle East, or if it will instead be sold to China while we continue to funnel billions of dollars to unfriendly countries.
The conversation then shifted to the basis for the President’s continual barrage against “subsidies for the big oil companies.” The oil companies in question pay billions of dollars in fees and taxes to the US. The so-called “subsidies” are tax deductions related to the cost of doing business, and their elimination would add little to the treasury.
According to Beckel, the President hammers them, not because the charges are true, but because people believe it. This is Realpolitik in it’s most cynical manifestation (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Realpolitik). It explains, at once, so many of the talking points used by the President and his supporters.
What makes Realpolitik so easy to be packaged as truth by Obama and his fellow Democrats can be attributed to the willingness of the mainstream media to pass these cachets along, unchallenged. They have aligned themselves with the Democratic Party with its mission to keep the media’s prefabricated Obama image alive and well.
This might explain how after almost 4 years of massive deficits and staggering debt, all of it racked up by Obama and the Democrats, a surprising 50+% of voters say they still blamed the economy on George Bush!
Also true is that Democrats are better at marketing than Republicans. Republicans believe that facts will win the day for them, while Democrats know how to couch their messages in emotional language that reaches a majority of Americans who are neither politically active nor economically knowledgable. Accordingly Democrats are able to demonize the rich and big business, the very people who employ most of the American worker, by telling the little guy that they are victims of the 1% and have a right to a certain standard of living.
The so-called War on Women was actually a “straw woman” argument in which a misrepresentation of the Republican position made it possible for Democrats to win the overwhelming support of the single women vote last November. Seeing that women were losing jobs because of their failed economic policies, Democrats maintained that Republicans were “waging a war on women,” whereas the Democrats are the saviors and protector of their rights (epitomized as free contraceptives).
Additionally, Democrats are able to peg Republicans as being on the wrong side of the issue or of public opinion, such as when President Obama framed his call for an increase in the minimum wage to $9 an hour (up from the current $7.25). Of course to many Americans the raise sounds just and fair, not realizing that when the price of employment is raised jobs are lost.
Other issue that the Left is calling its own, citing public support to reinforce their claims, are abortion, same sex marriage, legalization of marijuana, and the right to bear arms. Many Republicans would just as soon forget about the so-called social issues, but unless Republicans are willing to defend the social value issues, they will have blood of their hands asthis nation descends into the morass and decadence that defeated the once powerful Roman Empire from the inside out.
Some blatant examples of Realpolitik include:
•The Republicans are in favor of subsidies to the big oil companies (deductions for business expenses)
•Republicans want to protect the rich at the expense of the middle class (the traditional middle class pay little or no taxes
•The rich should pay their fair share (the top 2% pay 80% of all tax revenues).
•Assault weapons are responsible for mass murders (less than 1% of violent crimes are committed with long guns of any sort, no homicides in Chicago).
•We need comprehensive background checks on all gun purchases (fewer than 10% slip through the cracks).
•Medical expenses are out of control (perhaps, but under Obamacare, they are wildly out of control, having doubled in less than 3 years).
•Most undocumented immigrants haven’t committed any crime (unlawful entry is a crime. In Mexico, you can be sentenced to 10 years in prison for it.).
•We need to encourage foreign professionals to move to this country (Harry Reid is sitting on a House bill to do just that. The President actually opposes it, in part because other countries see it as a “brain drain.” We have thousands of engineers and scientists out of work, but foreigners will work for half the pay and are “locked” to the employer by visa restrictions).
•Politicians are indentured to the NRA (the strength of the NRA is based on sharing information and keeping its members aware of issues, not political contributions).
•The Constitution is outdated (meaning it won’t let us do what we want to do)
.Global Warming is killing the polar bears and destroying the environment (Global temperatures have not budged in nearly 15 years).
•No citizen should be forced to wait for hours to exercise the right to vote (Way to increase voter fraud to favor Democrats).
•That our county cannot succeed when a shrinking few do very well and a growing many barely make it (Redistribution of wealth).
•Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law (to demoralize and punish Christians while pushing for gay marriage).
•The need to invest in infrastructure an education in a modern economy (payback for support of teachers’ unions and unsustainable pensions).
We could add to this list almost indefinitely.
We see just the tip of the iceberg in the press. Hidden from view are the millions of Twitter and other social media accounts used so effectively by the Democrats. We hear the same phrases, word for word, uttered by Democrats across the nation, as though rehearsed. These phrases are inevitably included in every response, no matter how unrelated to the question.
Republican responses are never that consistent, because we like to think we think for ourselves. How unrealistic is that?
It is way past time for Republicans to realize that Democrats will do and say whatever is necessary to win elections, to win issues, and to emasculate the Republican Party so it loses all effectiveness as a viable political party. Talk of compromise means to Democrats “my way or no way,” leaving Republican nursing their wounds, feeding on crumbs, while further being blamed for what Democrat misgivings have wrought on this nation and its people.
Wednesday, February 20, 2013 at 01:15 PM | Permalink
February 18, 2013
By Nancy Thorner and Ed Ingold –
President Obama in his Chicago speech on February 15th — part of his tour following his State of the Union address on Tuesday, February 12th — deplored the gun violence in Chicago and urged Congress to at least vote on his failed gun bans (to get the Senators’ positions on paper).
Obama called for better community services to keep young people entertained, better schools so they can get better jobs (50% fail to graduate in Chicago), and more emphasis on family values (60% of Chicago births are out of wedlock).
In other words, Obama and others of his ilk are demanding that more taxpayer “investments” be thrown at the problem, believing that money can substitute for the soaring fatherlessness, illegitimacy, and disintegration of the family that has been part of Chicago’s inner-city life for decades, unchanged from the time when Obama was a community organizer in the same inner-city area.
Attempting to connect with many in his captive audience, Obama draw a parallel between the youth in Chicago’s gang-ridden neighborhoods and his own “troubled” youth. In realityObama’s “troubled” youth, other than being born to a single mother, was spent in the more forgiving atmosphere of Hawaii where young people weren’t sent to jail or murdered nightly on streets by gang-related revenge killings.
Might President Obama’s faulty and revealing parallel give some insight into Obama’s attitude toward street crime, as well as his obstinate refusal to address the problem directly? Like many individuals on the far Left, might President Obama exhibit empathy with the culture and families of the gangsters who always come to their defense no matter how grievous the offense? After all, many participating in the gun violence are his heritage and his core constituency.
Of note is that Obama voted against the prosecution of juvenile gun offenders in and around schools as adults when a member of the Illinois Senate before his election as president. Now as president, Barack Obama and his confidante, Rahm Emanual, are blaming Chicago violence on guns owned by law-abiding suburbanites and are directing their efforts to abridge the second amendment rights of millions of citizens. It also relates directly a public policy of going easy on so-called minor crimes while blaming others for the major ones. Breaking an occasional window and writing on sidewalks is a juvenile crime. Carrying a gun and murdering children is something else, and must be countered with every means at our disposal.
So what CAN be done? Chicago needs a vigorous, unrelenting effort to catch street criminals for other offenses before they commit murder which has nothing to do with proper education, nothing do to with youth services, nothing to do with more taxpayer “investments” thrown at the problem, and nothing to do with guns in the suburbs. It instead has everything to do with young men bereft of morals and consideration of others. If the courts are not reporting convictions in a database available to the police, then those responsible should be replaced with effective judges and clerks. If the police need access to this database on the streets, supply them with the computers and communications needed to get the job done.
The two men, aged 18 and 20, arrested for killing Hadiya Pendleton, were stopped several times while cruising the streets. Ward, the driver, had no convictions, but was wounded in a gang incident months earlier. Williams was on parole for illegal gun possession. Had this information been available at the time of contact, the Williams could have been arrested for parole violation and the car searched. A search would probably have uncovered a gun, and ended this affair before it came to tragedy. As it was, Ward handed a pistol to Williams, and waited while Williams got out of the car and fired six shots into a crowd of teenagers he thought might belong to a rival gang, thus the tragic situation: Pendleton, who marched with a band at the President’s inauguration, was shot once in the back and killed.
A more effective solution is in the works. Chicago is under court order to establish the ability of private citizens to own handguns under MCDONALD ET AL. v. CITY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS.
A decision by the US 7th Court of Appeals expands this to mandate that Illinois grant its citizens to carry loaded handguns in public, giving Illinois until June to effect this decision. Chicago’s response has been to erect the same barriers to self defense that existed before, with fees and licenses which often exceed the cost of the firearm, and endless bureaucratic delays.
In every known instance, allowing citizens to carry concealed weapons has led to a significant decrease in robbery and violent assaults, because criminals fear an armed victim more than arrest and conviction. Concealed carry has had little effect on homicides, because most are ambushes like that which killed Hadiyah Pendleton.
Even though fewer than 4% of the population takes advantage of this right to bear arms nationwide, crime nonetheless takes a hit. Even armed criminals run away rather than “shoot it out,” as seen in a regular succession of videos taken when citizens offered armed resistance. Fewer than one instance in a thousand results in the death of the assailant. (Part of the training for concealed carry is that you can use deadly force to STOP an assault, but you must not shoot at a fleeing or disabled assailant.)
Democrats are still railing against Wayne LaPierre’s main proposal to station armed guards in schools, and to train teachers if they so desire. Alan Colmes of Fox News think those who side with LaPierre are schizophrenic and need help.
As Wayne LaPierre related in his response to Obama’s State of the Union address:
“It was only a few weeks ago when they [the administration] were marketing their anti-gun agenda as a way of protecting schoolchildren from harm. That charade ended at the State of the Union, when the president himself exposed their fraudulent intentions.
None of these measures would have changed the course of events at the tragedies used to justify them. Yet the administration and main stream media continue to mock LaPierre’s suggestions, despite the fact that many schools are proceeding in this direction. How can we deny public schools the same protection afforded to fans at football games?
February 17, 2013
By Nancy Thorner & Ed Ingold –
Chicago police have arrested two gang members on February 12 and charged them with the murder of young Hadiya Pendelton, who marched in a parade at President Obama’s inauguration. She was standing under a shelter from the rain when a man opened fire with a handgun, killing her and wounding another.
The mayor, Rahm Emanual, was quick to blame the easy availability of guns, and the President was quick to chime in on that theme. Predictably the mayor admonished city agencies to divest themselves of investments in companies making firearms and encouraged Bank of America and other financial institutions to do the same. After all, it’s the greed of gun companies driving the mayhem on Chicago streets. Or is it?
Both men had been stopped traveling together on several occasions leading up to the deadly night, according to “contact cards” filed by the policemen. However, the policemen were not aware that Ward was under probation, hence subject to search without a warrant, and probably in violation of his parole by associating with a known gang member. Even so Mayor Emanual has the audacity to blame gun companies and millions of law-abiding gun owners for the mistakes of his own police department and the depravity of Chicago gang members.
Up until the murder of 15-year-old Hadiya Pendelton, ABC, CBS, CNN, CNBC, NBC and President Obama had given little attention to Chicago’s horrific gun violence statistics, yet Chicago probably has the toughest gun laws in the country. Last year 446 school-age children were shot. So far in 2013 sixty-two school age children were shot in the leftist utopia of Chicago run by Rahm Emanuel that has also produced President Obama, Jesse Jackson, Louis Farrakhan, etc.
The story was definitely a news-worthy one. Whether the disinterest in covering the daily shootings in Chicago could have been related to the minority status of most of kids shot and killed, or to a mainstream media whose adulation for President Obama mandates that Chicago not be shown in ways which would blemish his image or cast doubt on his narrative. Political correctness informs us that it is inappropriate to note that that gun violence is inflicting such a terrible scar on Chicago’s image when Emanual is working to portray Chicago as a beautiful, global capital with a diverse economy and robust culture. If there is a problem, someone else is always to blame!
As it was both national and international reporters flocked to Chicago to survey the situation. A news anchor from Britain’s Channel 4 told viewers this week, while standing on a South Side street: “In Chicago more civilians are killed from gun violence than American soldiers on the battlefields of Afghanistan. The same reporter introduced his special report about guns in America by saying that in Chicago “the gun in the law.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-biz-0215-city-image-20130215,0,739187.story
The Chicago Tribune, curious to learn what young African-American men most likely to be hit by the gunfire in neighborhoods like Roseland, Englewood, and Lawndale had to say about President Obama’s priority stop in Chicago to promote his national and anti-violence agenda, assigned a Tribune reporter who received an earful when violence was explained through a different lens from the usual cry about those evil guns.
On Wednesday night, February 13th, at the meeting held at the Salvation Army’s Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in West Pullman, Tribune reporter, Damleen Glanton, was told by young men — most of them of high school age who had steered clear of gangs — that Obama’s proposals to strengthen gun laws would have little effect on the illegal guns on the streets. “Someone will just give you a gun if they’ve just killed someone because they want to get rid of it. . . When you have a gun, it makes you feel like a man because of the power of that gun.”
As far as the effect of President Obama’s visit one young man said:
“They’re not going to give up their guns. They’re not going to even listen to Obama. Some of them don’t have a father in their lives, so why would they listen to the president, a man who’s not in their lives either?”
Yet another young man, about the allure of guns, “It’s about revenge, reputation and territory. That’s the city of Chicago.” http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/ct-met-obama-visit-0215-20130215,0,5468132.story
President Barack Obama returned to Chicago on Friday, February 15, to address the gun violence at the Hyde Park Academy on the South Side, suggesting that tougher gun laws, community involvement and improving urban economic conditions can help. At the same the president pointed out that gun control won’t stop every crime, that government can’t solve every problem, and that the community has to be involved. The part about community involvement has a good ring to it that sounds reasonable and agreeable, but good-sounding rhetoric goes only so far. http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/local/breaking/chi-obama-chicago-violence-20130215,0,2219119.story
Rahm Emanual might heed part of President Obama’s warning: Mr. Mayor, when you point a finger at responsible gun owners, you have four fingers pointing at the real source of your problems. Get your own house in order, or get out of the way!
Sunday, February 17, 2013 at 02:00 PM | Permalink
February 14, 2013
Thorner: When Purposeful Misstatements Becomes Lies
Posted on February 12 by Amy Payne at the “Morning Bell” News Blog of “The Heritage Foundation” was a reference to that night’s 5th State of the Union address by President Obama. It referred to Obama’s “Bogus State of the Union Promises” over the past four years and how they panned out. It was not a positive, uplifting, or forward-looking report.
The following morning Heritage released a comprehensive “State of the Union 2013: Heritage Experts’ Analysis” which took apart Obama’s address bit by bit, examining the statements made as to their validity and credibility. As was the norm in past State of the Union addresses, Obama glibly promised the store but delivered little. The full text of Obama’s address with video can be found HERE
Two paragraphs into Obama’s address disbelief engulfed me, having heard earlier in the night that Obama would introduce new programs (investments) to stimulate the economy and create jobs (A fallacy in itself because government is unable to do either. It can only provide the conditions under which the Free Market System can flourish to grow and establish business ventures with resulting job creation.).
To top it off Obama said, “Nothing I’m proposing tonight should increase our deficit by a single dime.”
When does a misstatement knowingly pronounced become a lie? Might it be true that the culture of lying has become so entrenched in American political culture that any deviation is swiftly punished? For example, people who question any part of the theory of man-caused global warming are branded “deniers.” End of discussion!
Robert Knight, a senior fellow for the American Civil Rights Union and a columnist for the Washington Times, sets forth this premise in this article, “The Allure of the lie.” As explained by Knight, “Lying often is accomplished with euphemisms. Government spending is ‘investment.’ Raising taxes is ‘revenue reform.’ Torture is sanitized as ‘enhanced interrogation techniques.’ Global warming has morphed into ‘climate change.’ Gambling is ‘gaming.’ Defense of religious freedom is a ‘war on women’. . .”
According to Knight, “The culture of lies depends heavily on cooked studies, weasel words and a compliant media that parrot them without examination.” http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/jan/29/the-allure-of-the-lie/
Robert Knight, without question, has captured the present atmosphere in this nation that is rife with lies masquerading as truth. Knight’s criteria for lies was more than met in Obama’s 5th State of the Union address. Accordingly, it is not out-of-line to refer to Obama misstatements as outright lies, knowing that political correctness has been abandoned so truth can be spoken.
Obama’s address covered many topics, but let’s consider Obama’s take on Global Warming. According to Marc Morano of “Climate Depot” in his February 13 post, “Obama fails climate science in his State of the Union address,” the President offered up nothing more than the usual incorrect global warming platitudes. Related was how the president could not have been more wrong in claiming that “extreme weather” was “now more frequent and intense.” Obama likewise failed to note that global temperatures have not increased in 16 years.
Morano goes on to present a point-by-point rebuttal of Obama’s statements (with links given for verification) to refute that heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and floods are more frequent and intense than ever before; that Superstorm Sandy was linked to man-made global warming; and that we must act before it is too late to stop storms. http://www.climatedepot.com/a/19683/Obama-fails-climate-science
Obama, like many politicians, evokes children in trying to score points with the public. So it was when Obama said, “But for the sake of our children and our future, we must do more to combat climate change.”
MIT’s Dr Lindzen has this to say about such a falsehood:
“Future generations will wonder in bemused amazement that the early 21st century’s developed world went into hysterical panic over a globally averaged temperature increase of a few tenths of a degree, and, on the basis of gross exaggerations of highly uncertain computer projections combined into implausible chains of inference, proceeded to contemplate a roll back of the industrial age.” http://cnsnews.com/blog/alan-caruba/slow-certain-death-global-warming-theory
What should be upsetting to the American people is this threat made by President Obama: “If Congress won’t act soon to protect future generations, I will. I will direct my Cabinet to come up with executive actions we can take, now and in the future, to reduce pollution, prepare our communities for the consequences of climate change, and speed the transition to more sustainable sources of energy.” http://thehill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/282697-obama-vows-executive-climate-push-but-many-specifics-remain-absent
But will President Obama be blamed when the EPA moves ahead with setting standards for new power plant regulations that would effectively be a nail in the coffin for efforts to build new-coal-fired plants, or if he issues other negative energy mandates to circumvent Congress, all under the guise of Global Warming?
This is doubtful because during Obama’s second term he was able to steer tens of billions of dollars into green energy projects through the 2009 stimulus law which resulted in Solyndra and other green energy boondoggles and taxpayers were the losers, not Obama. http://thebill.com/blogs/e2-wire/e2-wire/282697-obama-vows-executive-climate-push-but-many-specifics-remain-absent
Here is the quandary that exists. Like Rush Limbaugh I also watch Frank Luntz’s focus group on Hannity of the Fox News Channel. Those in the focus disagreed pretty much with everything Obama said but thought he gave a great speech, even those who had voted for Mitt Romney. They liked how Obama wanted everybody to work together to get along, they liked that he was going to tackle the deficit, they liked how he was going to create jobs, even though they disagreed with how he was going to do it.
The problem Republicans are now facing, if they wish to retain the House in the 2014 elections and some control over Obama’s misguided and destructive policies, has nothing to do with re-branding the Republican Party, as incorrectly put forth by Karl Rove and other Republican establishment leaders, but it is how to handle the dichotomy which now exists between Obama’s politics and Obama’s role in these policies as perceived by the public
As those in Frank Luntz’s focus group pointed out, many Americans don’t associate the decline of this nation to President Obama. This same absence of blame was not enjoyed by past presidents. This is because President Obama is seen as a crusader who is even now on the trail promoting his State of the Union proposed policies. Because Obama is seldom as governing, he presents an aura of being above it all by pretending to run against his own agenda while at the same time telling the American people that he cares about them.
The Republican Party is facing a challenge for its survival. Is the Republican leadership willing or even astute enough do what is necessary to counter Obama’s deceptive mood of operation?
Published initially at Illinois Review on Thursday, Feb. 14.
February 12, 2013
The announcement of the EPA rat and mouse ban also caught my attention because I had recently finished reading Silent Spring at 50, edited by Roger Meiners, Pierre Desrochers, and Andrew Morriss, which was all about the false crisis of Rachel Carson.
Fifty years ago Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring had a profound impact on our society. Carson was not the first to write about the dangers of pesticides or to sound environmental alarms, but her writing captured the attention of the public. In her book Carson vilified the use of DDT and other pest-control chemicals in agriculture, but ignored their role in saving millions of lives worldwide from malaria, typhus, and dysentery, among other diseases.
Caron also warned that the American bird population was on the verge of collapse when it was actually increasing at the time Silent Spring was published. What so alarmed the public about Carson’s book was her exaggerated claim that cancer rates were increasing because of DDT. Once statistical adjustment were made for population age and tobacco use, the apparent rise in cancer rates disappeared.
In Silent Spring at 50 an account can be read of how DDT was effectively used from the 2nd World War up until the time it was banned from use by the EPA in 1972. DDT was first created back in1874, but was essentially forgotten until 1942. It was during the second World War when Allies discovered that DDT was toxic to lice at doses safe for humans.
An EPA press release of December 31, 1972 issued this directive:
“The general use of the pesticide DDT will no longer be legal in the United States after today, ending nearly three decades of application during which time the once-popular chemical was used to control insect pests on crop and forest lands around homes and gardens, and for industrial and commercial purposes.” http://www.epa.gov/history/topics/ddt/01.html
Now the EPA is targeting Recktt Benckiser, Inc., maker of D-Con products, because D-Con refused to adopt the agency’s safety standards to prevent the poisonings of children and the deaths of non-targeted animals. All other rodenticide producers have already adopted the EPA’s safety standards for all of its consumer use products.
James Jones, acting assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, had this to say about the target he has placed on the manufacturer of D Con products: “Moving forward to ban these products will prevent completely avoidable risks to children. With this action, EPA is ensuring that the products on the market are both safe and effective for consumers.”
Jones further admitted that for companies who have complied with the new standards in 2011, EPA has received no reports of children being exposed to bait contained in bait stations, but neither were complaints from users of D-Con products.
The parallel between the banning of rat poison and DDT seems obvious to me. Evidently D-Con products were effective in killing rats and mice; DDT saved millions people worldwide wide from malaria. Nothing better has been found to replace it.
Two years ago when the EPA first proposed a ban on rat and mouse poisons, Kenneth Artz , a freelance reporter for Chicago’s Heartland Institute had this to say:
The ban could force people to rely on products from an alternate class of rodenticides which, unlike the d-CON products targeted by EPA have no antidote.
The ban could force consumers to avoid treating their homes for rodents. Without timely treatment, rodent problems can cause serious health problem, especially people living in poverty.
Furthermore Artz decries the EPA’s decision on a single statistic received between the years 1992 and 2008 of 12,000 to 15,000 reports of rat and mouse poison exposures each year regarding children under 6 years old, believing it improper to use an inadequate reason to ban an extremely useful product from the market. http://news.heartland.org/newspaper-article/2011/11/23/epa-proposes…
Shouldn’t there be a certain level of risk in society? Parents make choices every day such as weighing the risks and benefits of using a product.
This is the same EPA who allows mercury to be tossed into the environment via CFC light bulbs, but is suing coal fired plants who make electricity out of business because a small portion of mercury is released when being burned.
And may we not forget about the primitive 3.5-gallon toilet, which did work. It was outlawed by the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1992 in favor of the politically correct 1.6-gallon toilet, which doesn’t work.
Published at Illinois Review on Tuesday, February 12.