The articles posted on this page are written from a conservative, Christian worldview. Patriot Post publications are usually posted M, W, & F. Others are posted as discovered by yours truly. These posting are meant to instill a love for God, family and country as well as to educate, equip, enlighten, and challenge to good deeds for the betterment of mankind, those who visit these pages.
"The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency. It will be far easier to limit and undo the follies of an Obama presidency than to restore the necessary common sense and good judgment to a depraved electorate willing to have such a man for their president. The problem is much deeper and far more serious than Mr. Obama, who is a mere symptom of what ails America. Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president." Author Unknown
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9/16/2014 12:01:00 AM - Thomas Sowell
Anyone who knows what anxiety, and sometimes anguish, parents go through when they have a child who is still not talking at age two, three or even four, can appreciate what a blessing it can be to have someone who can tell them what to do -- and what not to do.
That someone is Professor Stephen Camarata of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, whose recently published book, "Late-Talking Children" gives parents information and advice that they are not likely to find anywhere else. And it does so in plain English.
Professor Camarata has been researching, diagnosing and treating children with speech problems for decades. Moreover, he knows from personal experience what it is like to be a parent of a late-talking child, and he himself was three and a half years old before he began to speak. So he has seen this problem from many angles.
A child can be years behind schedule in beginning to speak and yet go on to have a perfectly normal life. Some children with delayed speech may even be noticeably brighter than other children their age. But, for other late-talking children, the delay in beginning to speak can be a symptom of much deeper and long-lasting problems, including mental retardation or autism.
Most parents are in no position to know which of these very different conditions applies to their own child. Nor is it easy to find out, because there are so many people so ready to put labels on late-talking children that can follow these children for years, even when these labels have no solid foundation.
False diagnoses of late-talking children are by no means rare. Even Albert Einstein was thought to be retarded, when he failed to talk at an age when most other toddlers begin to speak. Three renowned nuclear physicists who were involved in the creation of the first atomic bomb had been late-talking children.
Late-talking children can be at any intellectual level, from the lowest to the highest. But it is hard to know what their intellectual level is when they are not saying anything.
In his clinical research at Vanderbilt University, Stephen Camarata has devised some ways of discovering what a late-talking toddler knows and understands. But these methods work only when the child cooperates -- and cooperation is not universal among very young children.
When he cannot get enough cooperation from a child to make a reliable diagnosis, Camarata simply tells the parents that he will have to wait until the child becomes more mature, which may be months later or a year or more later. A false diagnosis is worse than no diagnosis.
Unfortunately, too many other people who diagnose late-talking children are not always so careful or so candid. Some rely on checklists of "symptoms" or on even less reliable criteria.
The net result is too often an unreliable diagnosis of retardation or autism that devastates the parents, and leads to counterproductive treatment for the child.
As the parent of such a child, I remember all too well what the problems are like. But there was no book like this available then. When my son was old enough to take an intelligence test, his IQ turned out to be well above the national average.
Stephen Camarata's "Late-Talking Children" goes into these and other pitfalls that parents of such children need to watch out for. He also explains what science knows -- and does not know -- about some of the possible reasons why children talk late.
Professor Camarata urges parents to get the most reliable diagnosis they can -- and an independent second opinion, when they have any doubts. Above all, he warns them not to park their common sense at the door when they seek either diagnosis or treatment for their child. Too much is at stake to put blind faith in anyone.
Although most parents of late-talking children simply heave a sigh of relief when their child finally begins to talk, Camarata's book warns that there are often behavior patterns common among such children, even after they have learned to speak -- and that these patterns may conflict with the rigidities of many public schools.
In a brief review, it is not possible to do justice to the extremely valuable and very readable book that Stephen Camarata has written. It will be like a bright light shining into the darkness for many worried and puzzled parents of children who are years behind schedule in beginning to speak.
9/16/2014 12:01:00 AM - Mona Charen
"Oh, it's a shame when you have a wan, diffident, professorial president with no foreign policy other than 'don't do stupid things.'" So griped President Obama to a select (and loose-lipped) group of dinner guests the other night. The president is annoyed that critics cannot see the wisdom in his prudence. "I do not make apologies for being careful in these areas, even if it doesn't make for good theater."
Obama's tendency to caricature his critics -- in this case suggesting that they're looking for "theater" rather than solid accomplishment -- may be remembered as one of his most damaging traits. It betrays a prickly narcissism that precludes honest self-assessment.
In fact, the president's failure in Iraq is not the result of being unwilling to act militarily. His failure lies in setting up a situation in which "kinetic military action" (to use the Obama administration's actual euphemism for intervention in Libya) is the only choice. The president who came into office scorning the use of military power and boasting of his diplomatic prowess did not just fail by military weakness, but also by diplomatic malpractice.
Obama withdrew all U.S. troops from Iraq when their continued presence would have facilitated the growth of democratic institutions and prevented the upwelling of extremism. As Dexter Filkens of The New Yorker explained in a recent interview:
"Every single senior political leader ... said to them privately, we want you to stay. ... We don't want combat troops. We don't want Americans getting killed, but we want 10,000 American troops inside the Green Zone training our army, giving us intelligence, playing that crucial role as the broker and interlocutor that makes our system work." But Obama wanted bragging rights about "ending" the war.
What is even more striking for the president who prides himself on non-military solutions is his diplomatic failure.
After a free election in 2010 gave a plurality to Ayad Allawi, a secular Shiite, Nouri al-Maliki, a close second-place finisher, staged a coup backed by Iran. The U.S. remained silent about this clear violation of Iraq's constitution. Writing in The Atlantic, Peter Beinart quotes the Brookings Institution's Kenneth Pollack: "The message" that America's acquiescence "sent to Iraq's people and politicians alike was that the United States under the new Obama administration was no longer going to enforce the rules of the democratic road. ... (This) undermined the reform of Iraqi politics and resurrected the specter of the failed state and the civil war."
Maliki set about harassing and arresting leading Sunni politicians, but the Obama administration, "eyeing the exits" in the words of Vali Nasr, a foreign service officer at the time, gave tacit consent. On a visit to the White House, Maliki tested the waters with Obama by denouncing Vice President Tariq al-Hashimi, the highest-ranking Sunni government minister, as a supporter of terrorism. Obama responded that this was an internal Iraqi matter. A week later, a warrant was issued for Hashimi's arrest. He fled the country, but 13 of his bodyguards were tortured. This was followed by a wave of arrests and murders of Sunnis.
The Obama administration claims that it pressured Maliki in private to be more inclusive. Perhaps so, but private conversations do not make history. Maliki could take satisfaction in Obama's continued public support. Even after he had unleashed a wave of arrests and worse against Iraqi Sunnis, Obama declined to criticize. On the contrary, he praised "Prime Minister Maliki's commitment to ... ensuring a strong, prosperous, inclusive and democratic Iraq." That was carte blanche for civil war.
Iraq was a fragile coalition of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds. The minority Sunnis had ruled under Saddam Hussein and feared retribution from the majority Shiites. A steady hand from the United States, backed by the stabilizing presence of 10,000 or so U.S. troops, could have guided Iraq toward the kind of government that would have been able to prevent the dangerous rise of ISIS, which took root in Anbar Province, a majority Sunni region. The Sunnis were open to ISIS precisely because they had been excluded, harassed, arrested, tortured and murdered by Maliki.
Only when ISIS was charging through the countryside beheading, crucifying and enslaving did Obama bestir himself to notice that the Maliki government had created the conditions for this disaster. He has yet to recognize that his own diplomatic malpractice is also to blame.
Ted Cruz's Speech to Arab Christians
9/16/2014 12:01:00 AM - Dennis Prager
Last week at the inaugural summit of the organization, In Defense of Christians, founded to help the most persecuted religious communities in the world today, Christians in the Middle East and other parts of the Muslim world, Senator Ted Cruz was heckled and booed, and decided to walk off the stage.
This is how he began his speech:
"Today we are gathered at a time of extraordinary challenge. Tonight we are all united in defense of Christians. Tonight, we are all united in defense of Jews."
All of 117 words -- about the killing of Christians -- later, Senator Cruz said the following:
"Our purpose here tonight is to highlight a terrible injustice. A humanitarian crisis. Christians are being systematically exterminated. In 1948, Jews throughout the Middle East faced murder and extermination and fled to the nation of Israel. And today, Christians have no greater ally than the Jewish state. Let me say this: those who hate Israel, hate America. And those who hate Jews, hate Christians. And if this room will not recognize that, then my heart weeps, that the men and women here will not stand in solidarity with Jews and Christians alike who are persecuted by radicals who seek to -. If you hate the Jewish people you are not reflecting the teachings of Christ. And the very same people who persecute and murder Christians right now, who crucify Christians and behead children, are the very same people who target and murder Jews for their faith for the very same reason."
During that time, Cruz was interrupted by hecklers. Then, as reported by ABC News, "an apparent organizer [identified by some as IDC President Toufic Baaklini] took the stage to urge 'respect for dialogue. Respect, please. We are in America.' Audience members shouted at Cruz."
"I will say this, I am saddened to see that some here, not all, but some here, are so consumed with hate that they cannot [unintelligible]. I will say this, if you will not stand with Israel and the Jews, then I will not stand with you. Thank you, and God bless." Cruz then left the stage.
For the record, it sounded as if a small minority of those present disrupted the senator.
Ted Cruz's comments have been hailed as brave by some and as cynical political posturing by others, including pro-conservative New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, who wrote:
"If Cruz felt that he couldn't in good conscience address an audience of persecuted Arab Christians without including a florid, 'no greater ally' preamble about Israel, he could have withdrawn from the event. ... The fact that he [Cruz] was widely lauded says a lot about why, if 2,000 years of Christian history in the Middle East ends in blood and ash and exile, the American right no less than the left and center will deserve a share of responsibility for that fate."
I admire Ross Douthat, often cite his columns on my show, and recently shared a stage with him in Louisville, Kentucky. But whatever his view of the Ted Cruz speech, it is wrong to blame the American right as much as the left for the decimation of Christians in the Middle East. Virtually all the support that exists in America for Middle East Christians comes from conservatives (Jews as well as Christians), while the left is not only silent, it regularly attacks defenders of Middle East Christians as "Islamophobic." The left's rule on this matter is: You are allowed to lament the slaughter of Arab Christians, but you are not allowed to dwell on who is slaughtering them.
Was Ted Cruz irresponsibly engaged in a political "performance" as Douthat (and others) charge?
The Israel portion of his remarks are transcribed above, so readers can judge for themselves. They strike me as pretty accurate. And, having spent some time with the senator and, separately, with his father Rafael, a Christian pastor, I am certain that Ted Cruz believes every word he said.
If I had been asked to write the keynote address for Senator Cruz, I might have worded these truths a bit differently, and I would have suggested speaking about Israel toward the end of the speech, after gaining the trust of the audience.
This is what I would have suggested:
"I know that some of you are opposed to the State of Israel. And I know that for some of you, expressing anything other than radical hostility to Israel can get you arrested and perhaps even killed. Nevertheless, given that unlike many of you, I live in a country that provides complete freedom to members of every faith, I have no excuse for not telling you this truth as both a Christian and as a human being: Those who hate Israel and the Jews are enemies of Christ and of Christians. And, as difficult as it may be to hear after living a lifetime in a society immersed in Israel-hatred, Israel really is the Christians' best friend in the Middle East. I appreciate that, for reasons of self-preservation, some of you feel that you cannot say any of these things publicly in Lebanon or in Syria or elsewhere in the Arab world. But at least you need to understand all this. If you do not, you do not understand who threatens Christian survival in the Middle East."
So, I ask the critics of Ted Cruz: Had the Senator put it that way, would you still object? And if so, why?
Women and NFL Stand by Wife Beater Ray Rice
9/16/2014 12:01:00 AM - Crystal Wright
I don’t know what’s worse, Ravens football player Ray Rice knocking his then fiancée, now wife, unconscious in an elevator, the NFL protecting him, or women defending Rice for punching “an unarmed woman.” All of the above are equally repugnant. But a woman, saying Rice’s wife Janay Palmer deserved it, is disturbing.
“She hit him first and any woman who hits a man deserves to be hit,” described a woman interviewed by NBC News. The woman was describing the video of Rice knocking out Janay in response to her slapping his body in an elevator of the Revel Hotel in Atlantic City. So, it was okay for Rice to respond by whacking Janay in the head unconscious and then drag her by her feet like a slaughtered animal out of the elevator?
“Why is it that the victimizer becomes the victim? Why is it that we want to protect these men? What is it about our society? What is it about us, as women, that we feel a need to protect them?” Robin Givens explained on the Today Show about her abusive marriage with professional boxer Mike Tyson.
An unarmed woman never, ever “deserves” to be punched or beaten by a man. Absolutely never! As a young woman, my parents taught me it’s not normal for a man to hit a woman and if a man ever as much as threatened me, he wasn’t a real man and I needed to run as fast as I could.
Yet society at large, as Givens elaborated, usually blames women who are victimized by men. In fact, it is very difficult for women in abusive relationships to get restraining orders to keep abusive boyfriends or husbands away from them. And even when women are successful, abusers often violate their restraining orders because law enforcement isn’t effective in enforcing them. In many cases, the result is women, who are victims of domestic violence, end up being seriously harmed or killed by their abusers.
With that said, why would any woman defend an abusive tyrant like Ray Rice? Because society tells women every second of each day that we’re nothing in life without being someone’s wife or girlfriend.
In fact, I would posit society holds married women with children at a higher regard than married women without children. A few weeks ago, when I was guest hosting WMAL’s Mornings on the Mall radio program with co-host Larry O’Connor, one of the topics was the media’s obsession with whether or not Jennifer Aniston is going to have a child. Many males phoned in and said they view married women with children as better than single women or even married women without children.
Through movies, fairy tales, the prom, and some parents, girls are socialized at a very young age that they must find prince charming and that even settling for an abusive man is better than no man at all. There’s no place for the single woman at dinner parties or galas. This is part of the reason why abused women stay in relationships with their abusers. Because society frown’s on single women.
By not pursuing an aggressive investigation against Rice, the NFL was telling women like Janay to “get over it, you’ll lucky to married to a rich, albeit a wife beater, football player.” But if an investigation confirms news reports the NFL saw the video of Rice punching his wife and Rice admitted to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in June that he did hit Janay, the message of professional football is clear. The NFL promotes and protects players knocking each other around on the field and battering their women off the field.
The Patriot Post
Daily Digest for Monday
"I want an American character, that the powers of Europe may be convinced we act for ourselves and not for others; this, in my judgment, is the only way to be respected abroad and happy at home." --George Washington, letter to Patrick Henry, 1795
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
White House Flip-Flops: 'We Are at War' With ISIL
We are not at war with ISIL. We are at war with ISIL. Which is it? Apparently, whatever suits your fancy. Shortly after State Secretary John Kerry declared that America is not at war with the Islamic State, he conceded that we are. "[I]n terms of al-Qaida," he said, "which we have used the word war with, yeah, we're at war with al-Qaida and its affiliates. And in the same context, if you want to use it, yes, we're at war with ISIL in that sense." But Kerry thinks "it's a waste of time to focus on that." His colleagues were out singing varying strains of that tune, too. "The United States is at war with ISIL in the same way that we are at war with al-Qaida and its al-Qaida affiliates all around the globe," said White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Friday. "Make no mistake; we know we are at war with ISIL," added Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. National Security Advisor Susan Rice, on the other hand, said, "I don't know whether you want to call it a war or a sustained counterterrorism campaign" because we won't have "American combat forces on the ground fighting." Whatever you call it, the administration is being clear about one thing: Barack Obama is nothing like George W. Bush. The incessant flip-flopping within this administration is absolutely appalling and reveals just how incoherent its foreign policy is.
Methodology Flawed in VA Investigation
The report done by the acting Veterans Affairs Inspector General smacks of political weaseling. Sure, the report, created by IG Richard Griffin, found abuse of power and fraud in the bureaucratic health care system, but it never blamed the VA for any of the waiting list deaths. It might have something to do with how Griffin measured the problem. As Arizona Central points out, "[H]ealth-care experts say Griffin's report used a measure that is not consistent with pathology practices because no matter how long a patient waits for care, the underlying 'cause' of death will be a medical condition, rather than the delay. Put simply, people die of pneumonia, heart conditions and bullet wounds -- not waiting to see the doctor." One tweak of the methodology, and the eel of a system slips off the hook.
So Much for Tracking Stimulus Spending
Among his first acts as president in 2009, Barack Obama pushed the so-called "stimulus" -- $800 billion in new spending to reinvigorate the economy after the recession. Predictably, it failed to do what he promised. But it did set a new, higher baseline for federal spending and jack up the federal debt. In selling his snake oil, Obama promised "unprecedented measures that will allow the American people to hold my administration accountable," including Recovery.gov, a website meant for tracking spending. Now, however, The Washington Post reports, "[B]y the end of the month, the ability to see which entities received contracts and grants through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is going to vanish from Recovery.gov, officials say, making it impossible to track where the more than $800 billion ended up." That's because the government "is not renewing its license with Dun & Bradstreet, a major U.S. financial firm that assigns an identification number to all entities doing business with the federal government. When the license expires at the end of this month, those identification numbers -- and other associated data -- will no longer be available to the government. No numbers, no way to track the money." It's just the price of Hope 'n' Change™.
Gallup: Americans' Faith in Government at Historic Low
Just before Barack Obama's speech on ISIL, Gallup found an interesting problem for the commander in chief: "Americans' trust in the federal government to handle international problems has fallen to a record-low 43%." But the problems aren't limited to foreign policy. "Separately, 40% of Americans say they have a 'great deal' or 'fair amount' of trust in the federal government to handle domestic problems, also the lowest Gallup has measured to date." We have noted this paradox before: Obama's complete faith in government to solve and heal every problem (the evidence of his "enlightened executive" inheritance from Woodrow Wilson) has destroyed the credibility of that vision through his repeated failures. The best argument against Big Government is Big Government.
'The Assault Weapon Myth'
For years, anti-gun zealots have deliberately blurred the lines between military and civilian firearms in an effort to confuse the general public and rally support for banning "assault weapons." There are semiautomatic rifles, which fire one bullet for each trigger pull, and there are automatic rifles, which fire multiple rounds per trigger pull. The latter are military weapons, are considered "Class 3" firearms severely restricted for ownership under the 1934 National Firearms Act, and can properly be called "assault weapons." Legally owned automatic weapons were used in two murders since 1934. But rifles of any kind comprise less than 2% of guns used in any crime. The New York Times finally admits the "assault weapon" scare is a myth: "The law that barred the sale of assault weapons from 1994 to 2004 made little difference" in crime. The truly amazing thing, however, is that the article's author discovers poverty, drugs and inner city violence are the real problem. It's probably too much to hope that evidence will sway the zealots, but it's a start
Keeping Immigration Political
Another summer is over, and another Barack Obama pledge is broken. Remember when he vowed to address immigration reform by summer's end? Instead, the president announced last week that he will defer his action on deferred action for illegal immigrants until after the November election, hoping to stave off election losses for Democrat senators in difficult re-election fights. Since public perception on the issue is shifting in favor of the GOP, those desperate to hold the Senate prevailed on Obama to wait.
Of course, by playing to one side of the political arena, Obama has to soothe the bruised egos on the other side, the ones who believed he would follow through on their dream of allowing millions of undocumented Democrat voters across the border. So last week, White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was dispatched to a meeting of members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to listen to their complaints and try and convince them whatever is up Obama's sleeve will be worth the wait, saying the president would “go as far as he could under existing law."
But at least one member was unconvinced. “I don’t want to go down this path come November and then for some other reason find that the immigrant community and the Latino community get thrown in the heap again,” grumbled Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ).
Signs abound that Obama is already placating the pro-amnesty side, though. For example, deportations continue to decline in part because the overwhelmed system cannot keep up with the demand of illegal immigrants for non-existent “permisos.” Out of an estimated 59,000 in the latest wave of border-crashers, just 319 have been returned to Central America, according to the Associated Press. There's no question word of this lax enforcement has spread to those countries.
Meanwhile, the Justice Department recently warned Yuma County, Arizona -- which has had a successful “get-tough” policy on illegals called Operation Streamline -- that it would no longer prosecute first-time border crossers. (Interestingly enough, Rep. Grijalva represents a portion of Yuma County, which is in the southwest corner of the state.) These actions further cement the pro-amnesty reputation Obama has earned thanks to his lack of action on securing the border.
Over the last half-century, multiple bipartisan attempts have been made to address the immigration issue, with the most radical being the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which eliminated quotas by nation in favor of the current family-based approach, and the Simpson-Mazzoli Act of 1986 that granted amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants who could prove they had been here and otherwise law-abiding since 1982. Those changes led to the current situation.
Earlier this summer, immigration looked like the biggest issue for November, but ISIL's entry into the Long War, Russian aggression and a stagnant economy also will have an impact.
Yet as we look forward to 2016, pushing back any executive action on amnesty beyond this year's midterms will obviously affect the presidential race, and a number of Democrats may be seeing this political football as one worth keeping around. It's another example of how our government works: Solving problems only means your reason for existence disappears, so the best course of action is to perpetuate your justification.
The GOP's 'Don't Rock the Boat' Strategy
In August, Republican prospects for victory in the midterm elections were looking up, even though victory was not a foregone conclusion. Now that the last of the primaries are behind us and the election season is in high gear, another view of the landscape reveals a slightly different story.
The House is quite likely to remain in Republican control. Democrat campaigners still talk publicly about opportunities for victory, but in private even they admit their focus now is stemming the number of losses. And the GOP remains optimistic about taking the Senate, though that optimism is more guarded than in recent months. Just a few weeks ago, everyone was talking about a wave election, but that's no longer the case. The chances for significant gains in the House have all but evaporated, and the GOP Senate strategy is focused on getting just enough seats to gain control, if that.
Republicans have done this to themselves. For too long, their strategy has been "Don’t vote Democrat" rather than "Vote Republican." Three caveats: First, there is wisdom in the proverb from the book "The Art of War," in which ancient Chinese writer Sun Tzu said, "When your enemy is in the process of destroying himself, stay out of his way." Second, even if Republicans win both houses of Congress, they'll have only so much leverage against Barack Obama's White House. Third, GOP leaders are all too aware that the party's approval numbers are right down in the mud with Democrats, making it difficult to predict voter sentiment ahead of Election Day.
But none of that is an excuse to toss principles out the window.
Last year, they fought hard against Obama's agenda, stopping new gun control, minimizing tax damage, and holding the line, at least for a little while, on the budget. Obama has made it a theme to complain of their obstruction, saying on Labor Day, "They oppose almost everything. Republicans in Congress love to say 'no.'"
This year, however, Republicans haven't pursued any bold moves that could shake up the electorate or put them in a compromising position with voters. That doesn't mean they're doing nothing. The Hill reports on their latest proposals: "Republicans are putting together an agenda for the first 100 days of 2015 in case they win control of the Senate. Authorizing the Keystone XL oil pipeline, approving 'fast-track' trade authority, wiping out proposed environmental regulations and repealing the medical device tax top their list." Good things, but not bold.
Last week, House Republicans announced a continuing resolution to keep the government funded into December. If Obama were to kill that resolution for any reason, another government shutdown would loom, and Republicans would face another media disaster weeks before the midterms.
Republicans are so afraid to rock the boat that the House has gone ahead and reauthorized the Export-Import Bank through June 30, 2015. This "bank" goes against the free-market principle of reduced government interference in the private sector. For years, Ex-Im has redefined crony capitalism by doling out taxpayer dollars to large exporters who are hardly in need of additional cash to fund their efforts.
Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Financial Services Committee chairman, has undertaken to kill Ex-Im. He recognizes the problem the bank causes by putting its thumb on the economic scales, distorting the economic picture and freezing out mid-size firms that could be robust additions to the export market. Unfortunately, Hensarling and a number of Republicans fell victim to the old Washington two-step. Many of their largest donors happen to be companies that benefit greatly from the Ex-Im Bank. What happened next is pretty self-explanatory.
Reauthorization of the bank couldn't have come at a worse time. Perhaps next June Republicans will be able to slay the beast, but for now, they are unwilling to pay the political cost.
The non-fight over the Ex-Im Bank is a symbol of the problem with the current Republican midterm strategy. By refusing to act boldly and follow their principles, Republicans are actually hindering the possibility of a landslide victory in November. Voters may give them the edge, but there will be no significantly higher turnout and certainly no mandate if most voters have trouble differentiating between the parties.
OPINION IN BRIEF
The Gipper: "We did not seek the role of leadership that has been thrust upon us. But whether we like it or not, the events of our time demand America's participation."
Columnist Peggy Noonan: "The anguish and indignation of American Christians at what is being done, by Islamic State, to their brothers and sisters in faith is surely part of the reason Americans are backing U.S. action against the terror group. ... If the president were a more instinctive man, or rather if his natural instincts were more in line with those of your average American clinger, he would have moved quickly, sharply and without undue drama. He would have bombed Islamic State when it was a showy army in the field, its fighters driving stolen armored vehicles down highways in the sand, in their black outfits, with their black flags. They are not terrorists hiding in holes and safe houses. They are not doing Internet showbiz from caves, they are seizing and holding territory. They say they are the caliphate, and they intend to expand. They are killing and abusing many, not only Christians. They are something new and deadly. My guess is two things are not acceptable to the American people. One is the full-scale commitment of scores of thousands of troops to invade and occupy a country. The other is a diffident, confused, unfocused, unserious campaign."
Columnist Arnold Ahlert: "In a letter written to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder by House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA), Issa reveals there was an attempt to coordinate media spin regarding the IRS investigation between the DOJ and the staff of the Committee’s Ranking Democrat, Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD). How did Issa find out? A DOJ official in the Office of Public Affairs who thought he was calling Cummings' office, mistakenly phoned Issa’s office instead. ... The gaffe ... would be amusing were it not for the reality that it is yet another indication of the endemic corruption that infests the Obama administration, their Democrat colleagues and a willfully somnambulant mainstream media. All of them seemingly prefer to run interference for one of the most powerful agencies in government, than allow the truth, no matter how inconvenient, to come out."
Humorist Frank J. Fleming: "Hopefully President Obama can use our military might to intimidate our enemies, as a tank is still scary even if a puppy is driving it."
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform -- Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen -- standing in harm's way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.
Why Farmers Need Keystone XL
9/15/2014 12:01:00 AM - Katie Kieffer
It’s harvest time! But oil shipments out of the Bakken are causing dangerous and costly rail delays for farmers.
The oil boom in the Northern Plains is a boon to the U.S. economy, creating thousands of jobs and increasing our supply of American energy. With nearly 3 million Americans out of work, the Bakken is like a pool of cool water in an arid desert.
However, our railroads do not have the capacity to transport unprecedented levels of crude oil as well as the fall harvest. Farmers are understandably frustrated with the railroad companies, yet the railroad companies say they are already doing everything possible to increase speeds.
Farmers are scrambling to store their harvest while they wait for rail service. Some growers are forced to store their grain on the ground because they do not have enough temporary bin capacity—rendering the grain susceptible to spoilage or insects.
Overall, the rail delays are increasing costs for farmers and will likely end up raising the cost of food for consumers down the line. In Minnesota alone, transportation delays cost wheat farmers $8.5 million, soybean farmers almost $19 million, and corn farmers $72 million between the months of March and May.
Realistically, oil will continue to flow out of the Bakken and there will be another harvest of corn, soybeans and grain in the autumn of 2015. So, the long-term solution is not to accelerate trains and increase the risk of fiery derailments. The long-term solution is to build more pipelines, starting with Keystone XL.
Rail is the most dangerous mode of transportation for crude oil and it is only a matter of time before Americans die in a tragic derailment. Last summer, a train loaded with crude from the Bakken derailed in Lac-Megantic, Quebec and killed 47 people. And, a few months ago here in the United States, a train derailed in Lynchberg, VA just outside of a children’s museum—barely sparing the children inside.
The State Department has thrice (yes, that’s three times) declared the Keystone XL pipeline to be environmentally safe. And, as I prove in “Let Me Be Clear,” transporting crude via rail is far more damaging to the environment than via pipeline. Yet President Obama and his sidekick Vice President Joe Biden are prioritizing huffing and puffing about raising the minimum wage rather than approving Keystone XL—a project guaranteed to make Americans safer and more economically secure.
The United States is on the fast track to looking like the America that Ayn Rand describes in her novel “Atlas Shrugged” if Obama doesn’t take his boot off the throat of Keystone XL. Our president is continually harping about creating a better future for America’s children, and yet he is the lone man standing in the way of building the technology that will keep our children safe. Obama also perpetually reminds us how the Republicans will not negotiate with him (which he defines as letting him take a metaphorical blowtorch to the U.S. Constitution). Yet isn’t it interesting that Mr. Compromise is the only person in the entire United States who is unwilling to reach across the northern border and shake hands with our friend and ally Canada?
Are we willing to wait until another derailment causes a fire that takes the lives of innocent children before we build Keystone XL? Are we willing to stall until the price of bread breaks a middle class family’s budget before we increase rail service for farmers and let the Bakken’s shippers use a pipeline? I think not. It’s time to build Keystone XL.
There Is A Conservative Wave Coming In November
9/15/2014 12:01:00 AM - Kurt Schlichter
When Barack Obama starts acting like a real American president and promises to destroy our country’s enemies instead of apologizing to them, you know he's worried about the upcoming midterms. He should be. Conservatives are going to win them going away, and it's going to be gloriously devastating to the progressive cause.
Get ready to savor the delicious taste of victory. All the signs are there except for one – so far Dick Morris hasn’t predicted a Democrat triumph. That would seal it.
It's not so much the polling, which remains tight as long as the people measured are those with a pulse as opposed to those committed to going out and voting. The numbers look slightly GOP-favorable now but the final vote tallies will be much higher for Republicans. Don’t buy into the spin that some Obama-hugging incumbent polling at 43% is going to draw 51 percent on election day.
The zeitgeist favors the GOP. As predicted in my book Conservative Insurgency, huge numbers of Americans are sick of defeat, decline and deception. The rest just don’t care. Even in the best of times, Democrat-voting losers dedicated to a vision of government as a feeding trough for those embroiled in social pathologies need plenty of incentive to get their ample behinds off the couch and into a voting booth.
Plus, right now Barack Obama is about as popular as Bob Crane at a Southern Baptist convention.
If you want to know how your battle plan is doing, watch the other side. After fessing up to having no strategy for dealing with the junior varsity team that’s serially humiliated him, Barack Obama hung up his golf clubs for a moment and started talking like John Wayne . . . or at least like what liberals think of as John Wayne. The Duke never had to beg people to let him be clear.
Regardless, when you get some academic lounge lefty like Barack Obama taking America’s side in a fight, you know he's worried about the next election.
Barack Obama also delayed his fascisty plans to unilaterally impose amnesty upon a disgusted America, something you know he’s aching to do. By going back on his promise to the left – hey guys, welcome to our world! – Obama betrayed his rabid pro-illegal supporters. But doing so won him nothing. He looks like what he is – a political hack thinking he’s clever for deciding to wait until he can’t be held politically accountable. But he isn’t fooling anyone – the GOP candidates running against the flailing liberals in the battleground states are going to beat their opponents around the head and shoulders with amnesty for the next two months.
Oh, and you never hear Obama or any of the other Democrats forthrightly talking about Obamacare. Ever. And just wait until the next round of premium increases kicks in.
Part of the GOP's current success has been its candidate selection. It has enlisted true warriors like Joni Ernst and Tom Cotton. It found up-and-comers like Corey Gardner. And, best of all, it managed not to nominate any lunatics. No one is running under the banner of fighting the Trilateral Commission, banning fluoride or investigating anyone’s birth certificate.
The GOP candidates are winning largely by not being aggressively stupid. This cycle, Republicans have somehow managed not to share any bizarre theories about female biology nor provide any idiosyncratic insights into the subject of rape. That’s a refreshing change.
This is really bad for the Democrats because this means that the bar for Republicans is so low all one has to do is not be a complete idiot. Most of them are, in fact, pretty bright, but the mainstream media is never going to let that cat out of the bag. You won’t hear how Tom Cotton went to Harvard in the New York Times. The best a Republican candidate can hope for is not to be painted as the kind of guy who stands on a street corner shouting that Obama was born in Mombasa.
As a Democrat, it must be a drag to realize that you're going to lose to anybody who manages to walk upright.
So, what can the Democrats do? The first thing they’ll do is run away from President Feckless. This guy is political poison. The only thing less appealing than getting a campaign visit from the President is going to the mailbox and finding a thick manila envelope from the local STD clinic.
“President Who? Obama? Never heard of him.”
Then they’ll pretend to be conservatives. Illegal aliens? “Against ‘em!” War in Iraq? “I’m for it again!” Common core? “Uh, look over there! Behind the squirrel!”
Oh, and we’ll also see the pinko kabuki theater in full effect. It started last week with the Senate’s consideration of a constitutional amendment to rein in that wacky First Amendment. Yeah, too much free speech is a huge problem. Next there will be a minimum wage increase debate designed to mobilize those achievers who think they have some sort of cosmic moral entitlement to $15 an hour for assembling Big Macs.
But these schemes aren’t going to work. We conservatives are going to romp to victory in November. And once we win, we need to make sure that our victory means something. What it must mean, to the extent Obama hasn't destroyed it himself, is the utter neutralization of the Obama administration. And who needs more incentive than that to get out and work for conservative victory?
Max De Pree has the answer to Ferguson
9/15/2014 12:01:00 AM - Star Parker
This is my third consecutive column about the shooting of Michael Brown, an unarmed 18-year-old black youth, by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri.
I have focused on this because the circumstances that led to this tragedy point to more than narrow, parochial concerns of low-income minority communities. They point to things fundamentally wrong in America that are dragging us all down.
Hopefully, remedial measures will be adopted that will lower the likelihood that a police officer will reduce a black youth to a racial stereotype and kill him.
But even with such measures, we cannot continue to ignore circumstances that practically guarantee ongoing intergenerational poverty and the dysfunctional behavior that accompanies it. The costs of not addressing and changing what has failed in low-income communities and the whole country are enormous.
The economic costs consist of the hundreds of billions of dollars in inefficient poverty programs, at a time of huge budget deficits and growing national debt and the huge opportunity costs of lost human potential. A McKinsey & Co study in 2009 estimated that the potential annual gain to our GDP of black and Latino education test scores reaching the average of white students exceed $500 billion dollars.
The moral costs speak to our willingness to tolerate hundreds of thousands of babies born in our country each year whose chances of a decent life are miniscule and yet continuing, year after year, the same failed policies that assure no future for these children.
I’ve written recently about the importance of Congressman Paul Ryan’s proposal to change the way the billions of dollars of poverty program funds are delivered which would allow more local control and creativity. And I have written about school reform advocate Howard Fuller and the importance of giving black parents power to choose where they send their children to school.
Another leader with ideas that could change current realities is Max De Pree, former CEO of the Herman Miller office furniture company and author of the best-selling book “Leadership is an Art.”
Although the focus of De Pree’s discussions on leadership is primarily corporate leadership, his important ideas are relevant in any arena, including political leadership.
De Pree says the art of leadership is about “liberating people to do what is required of them in the most effective way.”
There are two novel things here.
First, leadership is not about telling others what to do, running their lives and defining their world. It is about creating circumstances that allow individuals to assume responsibility and giving them the freedom to work in the best possible way, fitting to who they are.
Second, the focus is on personal responsibility. This is particularly novel given our national culture today is all about rights and entitlements.
Leaders, according to De Pree, “endorse a concept of persons.” The appreciation of the fundamental uniqueness of each individual flies in the face of putting people in income and racial categories and based on these, producing government programs that will supposedly address their problems.
Also different and important is De Pree’s idea of diversity. Rather than being about ethnic and gender head counting, it should be about recognizing “diversity of people’s gifts, talents, and skills.”
Bottom line is big government control of lives, particularly its dominance in low-income communities, is the opposite of Max De Pree’s idea of leadership. It diminishes rather empowers.
Leadership amounts to getting out of the way, paving a path to freedom, and embracing values that enhance each individual’s ability to take control of and responsibility for their own lives.
Max De Pree’s principles of leadership tell us it is time to move away from what has failed. The bureaucratized welfare state has only perpetuated poverty, crime, and deepened racial tensions in our nation.
Max De Pree has the answer to Ferguson.
Narcissism and Social Media: Where Should Conservatives Draw the Line?
9/15/2014 12:01:00 AM - Rachel Alexander
We live in an era today where practically everyone is “famous.” It’s not just reality stars anymore; anyone can have their own blog at no cost, and use social media for free, where their every word and photo is broadcast to the entire world. Activists all across the spectrum have taken to these platforms, utilizing them to influence politics. If that is where the younger generations are hanging out, it makes sense to reach out to them there. Organizations like Americans for Prosperity were ahead of the curve several years ago, encouraging and teaching activists on the right how to use the “new media” successfully.
Facebook opened up access to the general public in 2008, no longer limiting the platform to only college students. Conservative activists eagerly added as many friends as allowed by Facebook, 5,000. Then came the rise of the “selfie,” as everyone acquired smartphones that automatically came equipped with cameras. The younger generations have grown up with all the very public social media and selfies as a normal part of life, which can be disconcerting to those of us in Generation X and older.
“Facebook has really been around the whole time Generation Y was growing up and they see it more as a tool for communication,” lead researcher Shaun W. Davenport, chair of management and entrepreneurship at High Point University, found. “They use it like other generations use the telephone … For older adults who didn’t grow up using Facebook, it takes more intentional motives [to use it], like narcissism.”
The dilemma for political activists can be summarized like this: How many photos and posts about yourself are necessary to create interest in your activism - hence influencing people politically - and when does it cross over the line into narcissism? Studies have revealed a correlation between excessive social media use and narcissism. Of course, these studies were performed on the general populace and did not consider political activists.
How can a political activist use social media to their advantage, yet not get labeled a narcissist? There are ways you can distinguish yourself from the social media narcissists. Put up photos of yourself with relevant political people, family, etc., not just photos of yourself that scream, “I’m pretty and fun, hit like.” Don’t post every thought you have, stick to mostly political, witty or humorous thoughts. Tweeting out every single thought has become such a prevalent form of narcissism, there is now a word for it, “meformer.”
People like to hear some personal details about others; they just don’t want to hear every single detail. A few personal details increases interest in what you are posting, because it gives people an opportunity to relate to you on a human level. There are ways you can accomplish this without talking about yourself constantly. One method, which I use, is to post photos and information about my cat frequently. It’s not really about me, but it’s close enough that it sparks human interest.
YouTube also seems narcissistic, with people posting videos of themselves. But the reality is, it is incredibly effective. The younger generation is now more likely to recognize a YouTube star than they are an actor from Hollywood! Colion Noir, who was a virtually unknown black “urban gun enthusiast,” started making no-nonsense, humorous short videos about the Second Amendment. In just a couple of years, the videos went viral, receiving millions of views. The NRA discovered him and hired him as a news commentator. Now he’s one of the most influential Second Amendment commentators in the country - and all because of YouTube. YouTube has become a great venue for conservatives to work around the biased Hollywood elites to become influential performers.
Many in the older generations may be uncomfortable with all the posts and photos, but they are incredibly effective. Conservative commentator Michelle Malkin, who is part of Generation X, has figured out this balance more effectively than probably anyone on the right. She tweets frequently, but her tweets are mostly witty political updates. She posts plenty of photos, but few of herself. I have never heard anyone call her a narcissist. Her strategy is working, because she has over 1.5 million likes on Facebook and 745,000 followers on Twitter. Conservatives would be wise to emulate her. It may seem time consuming, but how hard is it really to post a couple of tweets while standing in a line for groceries, instead of scanning the vapid newsstand magazines next to you? Applications like Newsify, which provide instant, updated news headlines to your smartphone, make this possible.
Of course, part of the reason the older generations are wary of social media is because one careless post, hastily made in a few seconds while distracted, tired, or otherwise not fully paying attention, can destroy one’s career or reputation forever. Social media seems so cozy and fun, done from home or your smartphone virtually anywhere. But the reality is, anything you post should be done while keeping this rule in mind: Would you be OK if your post was front-page news on The New York Times tomorrow?
Admittedly, I still can’t get into Instagram, Pinterest, SnapChat and some of the other social media programs popular with the younger generations. As someone who prefers reading over video, it is difficult to adjust to mostly photos. And that is where younger conservatives can come in and pick up the slack.
Why Ezra Klein is an Idiot
9/15/2014 12:01:00 AM
Thank God for the Wonk Book (WB) run by the Washington Post.
For readers who have no idea what the Wonk Book is, it’s a blog run by some Poindexter types at the Post, who get use the amazing and changing D.C. buzzwords like “narrative,” “meme,” “optics,” and “pivot” to make themselves sound important and in-the-know.
“Aren't these just buzzwords that dumb people use to sound important?” asked the Simpsons character forever to be called “Writer,” about his generation of “wonks,” known back then as “TV executives”.
Yes. Yes, they are.
At times the Wonk Book is insufferable, and at times it’s hilarious- although it’s hilarious in a “they-meant-to-do-it-even-though-they-didn’t-mean-to-do-it” way.
And we’re it not for the WB, I’m not sure exactly how I’d feel about Obamacare.
Yes, the law would still suck.
But I wouldn’t get to laugh at the signature healthcare “reform” law of the Obama administration as often as I do now without reading the “they-meant-to-do-it-even-though-they-didn’t-mean-to-do-it” explanations from time to time.
I wear myself out in laughing when I see the human pretzels on the pages of the Post- who actually like to call themselves “wonks”- contort themselves into explanations why Obamacare is a great law, but, alas, just misunderstood.
So at least I get a laugh occasionally. And I get some of my best ideas to why it’s such a poor law from the Wonk Book.
For example, one of the laughers from the Book of Wonks rather silly, supercilious and condescending epistles on the Gospel According to Barack, comes our favorite policy clown, Lord of the Wonks, St. Ezra Klein.
Ezra spent much of his time defending Obamacare in the pages of the Washington Post when Democrats were trying to pass the ill considered law. He was one of the chief liberal spokespens for the White House on the issue, if not THE chief media spinner.
And he is also a liar. And an idiot.
In the wonk entry, Klein does his usual bit about lies, damn lies and Republicans.
But what he does best is make the very argument opponents are using in opposing Obamacare.
And- to use a favorite line of reasoning that Klein uses against his opponents- Klein is either: 1) too dumb to know it; or 2) he’s too dishonest to care.
The Klein post is an inside-the-beltway look at a Politico article that says lawmakers are trying to exempt themselves and their staff from the provisions of Obamacare, just as Obama has carved out exemptions for himself and for his staff.
“Congressional leaders in both parties,” reports Politico, “are engaged in high-level, confidential talks about exempting lawmakers and Capitol Hill aides from the insurance exchanges they are mandated to join as part of President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, sources in both parties said.”
The article provides a lot of back and forth commentary from insiders who are clearly worried about political fallout from exempting congress and staffers from Obamacare.
But wait: Not so, says Klein in his posted titled No, Congress isn’t trying to exempt itself from Obamacare.
Klein then goes on to explain that “they-meant-to-do-it-even-though-they-didn’t-mean-to-do-it” and the writers from Politico are either: 1) too dumb to know it, or 2) too dishonest to care.
“If this sounds unbelievable,” Klein writes, saying the Politico reporters are either lying or stupid, “it’s because it is. There’s no effort to ‘exempt’ Congress from Obamacare. No matter how this shakes out, Congress will have to follow the law, just like everyone else does.”
That’s how it always works for Congress, right? No matter what Congress does, they just follow the law… nothing to see here folks.
You see, when you get to write the laws, exempting yourself from a law it's the same thing as following the law, isn’t it, Ezra?
Oh, and by the way, for good measure, Klein explains, it’s George Bush’s fault.
“Based on conversations I’ve had with a number of the staffs involved in these talks, the actual issue here is far less interesting, and far less explosive, than an exemption,” Klein condescends to report to us. “Rather, a Republican amendment meant to embarrass Democrats and a too-clever-by-half Democratic response has possibly created a problem in which the federal government can’t make its normal contribution to the insurance premiums of congressional staffers.”
Yes, that’s what happens when you pass a law before you know what’s in it- or know whether you have to exempt yourself.
And there you have one of those “they-meant-to-do-it-even-though-they-didn’t-mean-to-do-it” examples that the Wonk Book is so good at.
I find it absolutely hilarious that Congress, Ezra Klein and the White House are busy- just like the rest of us are right now- trying to figure out what the hell the Obamacare law means for real people, who have real jobs, who have to pay real premiums and have real health issues.
It’s nice to see them, like ordinary citizens do, try to struggle with the same uncertain effects of their own, poorly though-out legislation for a change.
And Klein is either too dumb to notice this hypocrisy or too dishonest to care about it.
Some people think that Klein is an evil genius. But I think that anyone who tries to make his way in the world by presenting a lie as the truth, especially someone with the clear talent that Klein seems to possess, is an idiot.
(Ps. Ransom Notes Radio runs its weekly feature Ezra Klein is an Idiot every Friday to be followed immediately by Guy on a Buffalo)