"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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The Patriot Post
Tuesday’s Daily Digest
Mar. 31, 2015
“Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God.” –Patrick Henry, Speech to the Virginia Convention, 1775
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
In response to Indiana’s new Religious Freedom Restoration Act2, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy announced he would sign an executive order banning state-funded travel to Indiana. This is the same knee-jerk reaction from Malloy that brought Connecticut some of the toughest gun control laws in the nation. “Because of Indiana’s new law, later today I will sign an Executive Order regarding state-funded travel,” Malloy wrote on Twitter. “When new laws turn back the clock on progress, we can’t sit idly by. We are sending a message that discrimination won’t be tolerated.” Well, we guess every liberal has to do his or her part to chip away at religious liberty. But Malloy really could have given it some thought before he acted, as Connecticut is one of the 19 states in the union that has the very same law on its books. In fact, some argue the Constitution State’s law is more absolute in protecting religious Liberty than Indiana’s – and it hasn’t been a problem until liberals decided otherwise.
Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act2 stirred plenty of opposition, including from many corporations doing business in the Hoosier State – Cummins, Apple and the NCAA to name a few. But National Review’s Charles C.W. Cooke wonders how this is possible, writing5, “We were told at the time of Hobby Lobby that companies can’t have consciences. We were told that they can’t have feelings. We were told that they can’t corporately opine on moral or legal questions as might an individual, and in consequence they can’t be worthy of praise or admonition. What, one wonders, has changed? It couldn’t be, could it, that progressives are opposed to the idea that corporations are entities that are capable of holding opinions and taking political stands … until they are needed in a fight that they care about?” Remarkable, isn’t it, how “new” arguments present themselves when leftists have a bone to pick?
On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear the case of a group of California students who were sent home after they wore American flag-themed shirts on Cinco de Mayo. In 2010, the Morgan Hill Unified School District forbade students from wearing American flag themes because it feared the act would spark racial violence. But the Supreme Court upheld the Ninth Circuit Court’s ruling7 that justified stifling the students' speech. In an amicus brief8, siblings Mary Beth Tinker and John Tinker wrote to the Supreme Court, “If students learn that threatening speakers is an effective way to suppress speech, this will produce more threats, and more suppression of a wide range of other speech. And beyond this, even peaceful students will learn that free speech must yield whenever its opponents are willing to threaten violence – a message antithetical to all things this Court has tried to convey about the First Amendment.” It wasn’t always this way. The Tinkers were the two siblings in a 1976 ruling that students have First Amendment rights just like every other citizen.
The Obama administration will announce today what the U.S. will contribute to the UN’s effort to fight global warming and change the world economy11 as we know it through an international treaty. But the pledge to the UN will be a rehash of all Barack Obama’s old dreams12. According to the Associated Press, Obama will pledge to cut America’s greenhouse gas emissions 26% to 28% by 2025 – a war on cars, coal and capitalism. It’s a move that’ll make Obama’s international cronies happy, but will probably face fierce opposition at home. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Considering that two-thirds of the U.S. federal government hasn’t even signed off on the Clean Power Plan and 13 states have already pledged to fight it, our international partners should proceed with caution before entering into a binding, unattainable deal.” In the months before the UN’s December meeting in Paris to draw up the treaty, look for the Obama administration to embellish the grandeur of it all: the legacy, the hope, the change. But this time, Obama has to work against a Republican Congress to enact his goals.
Barack Obama spoke Monday at the Dedication of the Edward M. Kennedy Institute in Boston, which, by the way, cost taxpayers $38 million15. Naturally, he spoke well, if inaccurately, of the “Liberal Lion” of the Senate. “What if we carried ourselves more like Ted Kennedy?” Obama asked. “What if we worked to follow his example a little bit harder? To his harshest critics, who saw him as nothing more than a partisan lightning rod – that may sound foolish, but there are Republicans here today for a reason. They know who Ted Kennedy was. It’s not because they shared Ted’s ideology or his positions, but because they knew Ted as somebody who bridged the partisan divide over and over and over again, with genuine effort and affection, in an era when bipartisanship has become so very rare.” Wait, did he just use the word “bridged” in a eulogy for Ted Kennedy? Joe Biden was even worse, saying, “He was an anchor to many of us.” Mary Jo Kopechne16 was not available for comment.
The deadline is midnight on Tuesday for a deal resulting from the latest round of nuclear talks between the United States, several other world powers and Iran, and – surprise! – it appears Iran is backing away from some of the terms. But at least the nations can look forward to a new round of talks and a real deal in the future – at least, in the words of Secretary of State John Kerry, “Allah willing21.”
Several months ago, Iran tentatively agreed22 to send a large portion of its stockpile of enriched uranium to Russia, where it would be inaccessible for the Iranians to use in any future nuclear weapons program. However, Iran’s deputy foreign minister ruled out such an agreement, claiming, “The export of stocks of enriched uranium is not in our program, and we do not intend on sending them abroad.”
So much for the tentative agreement. So, on to Plan B, which according to Western officials consists of convincing Iran to blend the enriched uranium into a more diluted form that can’t be used as weapons-grade material – at least not until the process is reversed in a couple of weeks. Quite the diplomacy here; uh, you can keep the enriched uranium, but only if you dilute it. Political analyst Charles Krauthammer calls this23 “one cave after another.”
If Iran were to agree to option two, then the Obama administration will be swift to claim that as long as regular inspections are conducted all will be well. At least until Iran bans inspectors from entering the country – a move right out of North Korea’s playbook.
We aren’t sure why this news is surprising to anyone, given that Iran has long desired and pursued nuclear weapons capability. Why on earth would they want to give up the enriched uranium they have when it’s their stated goal to destroy Israel? Further, why is this administration so inept at dealing with rogue nations like Iran, which supports terrorism and has a long track record of breaking its word?
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu isn’t at all impressed with the Iran nuclear negotiations, as he has warned all along24. Netanyahu realizes that if Iran created a nuclear weapon, it would threaten his country. Regarding the nuclear talks, he told members of his cabinet25, “This deal, as it appears to be emerging, bears out all of our fears, and even more than that.” He said Iran is trying to “conquer the entire Middle East,” citing the recent Iranian-allied advances in Yemen. Netanyahu went as far as condemning the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, outright, stating that “the Iran-Lausanne-Yemen axis is very dangerous to humanity, and must be stopped.”
Israel’s leader has the backbone to stand up to the Iranians, so why can’t the world’s major powers do the same? Because our “leaders” haven’t learned from previous talks with Iran.
As we’ve repeatedly noted, ever since it was discovered in 2003 that Iran had a nuclear program, Iran has used these bait-and-switch tactics. The United States and the major powers in Europe come to the negotiating table thinking they have a deal only to see Iran demand new concessions and blame the West for the impasse. More often than not, this ploy works. If and when the talks fail, the West has to regroup, and Iran continues to go on working toward having nuclear weapons capability. Over time, Iran makes demands for more concessions in order to come back to the table, all the while knowing it’s buying time for its nuclear weapons program.
Instead of acquiescing to Iran’s refusal to abide by any agreement, why not just lay out an offer and add or enhance sanctions upon Iran’s rejection? Well, that would require Netanyahu to be present, or the likes of Reagan or Churchill.
Obama and his diplomatic clowns just can’t seem to accept that, in dealing with Iran’s nuke program, no deal is better than a bad deal – even if they’ve said so themselves. A bad deal with Iran is a bad deal for the entire Middle East and the world.
Yet Obama is more concerned with partisan politics, telling Senate Democrats26 they need to stick with him on this terrible deal. His pitch to them is that if the Iran nuclear talks fail, then the GOP wins. How’s that for foreign policy? He’s more concerned about his perceived enemies from the other party than he is about a real enemy that wants to wipe the United States and Israel off the map.
The happy news of Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid’s impending retirement28 has lost some of its luster now that he’s tapped Chuck Schumer of New York as his successor. So what do we have to look forward to?
Schumer, now the third-ranking Democrat in the Senate, is one of the party’s most prodigious fundraisers. He is also a shrewd political strategist who was the architect of the strategy that flipped 14 Republican-held seats in two consecutive election cycles in 2006 and 2008, giving Democrats a filibuster-proof majority to pass ObamaCare in 2009.
The New York Democrat has an unrivaled reputation as a press hound. One of the running jokes in DC is that the most dangerous place in Washington is between Chuck Schumer and a TV camera.
A number of Schumer’s colleagues, including Minority Whip Dick Durbin, have endorsed him for leader primarily because of his extensive work in bolstering the Democrat caucus. He is known for burning up the phone lines to keep the caucus in line and for his dogged leadership at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee and Democratic Policy and Communications Center, which he founded. Schumer has a reputation for being a pragmatic dealmaker … with other Democrats, that is.
Senate Republicans can look forward to a nightmare not much different than they faced with Reid. Schumer has always been a vocal and unapologetic proponent of Big Government and the nanny state, and he won’t hesitate to twist arms to get it – or pick any fight to stay in the media spotlight.
Schumer’s list of crusades over the years is a sign of what’s in store. Schumer has called for investigations, regulations or outright bans on so many products and services it’s difficult to keep track29: cereal prices, e-cigarettes, fast-food bread, powdered caffeine, yoga mat chemicals, Bitcoin, laser pointers, payday lending and flame retardants to name a few.
Furthermore, Schumer’s on the record musing about nationalizing oil companies, pushing a universal carbon tax, and, of course, even more taxes for the “wealthy,” however that is defined these days.
Most important, Schumer has never seen a gun control measure30 he didn’t like – unless it wasn’t strict enough.
The quest to find a Democrat candidate to run for Reid’s Senate seat in Nevada isn’t as clear as who will fill his leadership post. Nevada has become uncertain territory for Democrats, and Reid may have decided to retire rather than risk losing his re-election bid in 2016. He denied being worried, but he nearly lost in 2010. And he said, “I think it is unfair for me to be soaking up all the money to be re-elected.” If he had it in the bag, why would it take so much money to win?
To take his Senate seat, the outgoing minority leader favors former Nevada attorney general Catherine Cortez Mastro, who he claims is unbeatable. Other possible candidates include Ross Miller, who lost the attorney general race last year, and former representatives Steven Horsford and Shelley Berkley, voted out of office in 2014 and 2012, respectively.
The only other viable candidate may be Rep. Dina Titus, but Democrats might not want to risk running her, as she is the only remaining member of the state’s Democrat delegation in the House. Whoever they choose to run for the open seat in 2016 will almost surely face Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, a strong candidate who could give the GOP a pickup in Nevada.
All in all, we’re glad to see Reid headed for the Senate exit, as he has done tremendous damage to the institution itself. But Schumer won’t be an improvement, and if a Democrat wins Reid’s seat little will have been gained.
OPINION IN BRIEF
French sociologist Alexis de Tocqueville (1805-1859): “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.”
Columnist Thomas Sowell: “Why is Barack Obama so anxious to have an international agreement that will have no legal standing under the Constitution just two years from now, since it will be just a presidential agreement, rather than a treaty requiring the ‘advice and consent’ of the Senate? There are at least two reasons. One reason is that such an agreement will serve as a fig leaf to cover his failure to do anything that has any serious chance of stopping Iran from going nuclear. Such an agreement will protect Obama politically, despite however much it exposes the American people to unprecedented dangers. The other reason is that, by going to the United Nations for its blessing on his agreement with Iran, he can get a bigger fig leaf to cover his complicity in the nuclear arming of America’s most dangerous enemy. In Obama’s vision, as a citizen of the world, there may be no reason why Iran should not have nuclear weapons when other nations have them.”
Columnist Dennis Prager: “One psychopath, in one hour, killed 149 innocent people aboard a Germanwings airliner. How many people will ever be able to do nearly as much good for 149 people in a lifetime? With very few exceptions, good can only be achieved one by one by one. That’s why, if you want your name remembered by many people, you have a far better chance of accomplishing it by doing evil than by doing good. And that’s why most great evils are done by movements that want to change the world. If you really want to change the world for the better, work on making better people, not a better world. … [Andreas] Lubitz murdered 149 people because he was a narcissistic individual who lacked a properly functioning conscience. The number of people walking around in the world with a broken moral compass is quite large. Not all of them are depressed. And I am not only referring to violent Islamists. The U.N. just voted to condemn one country in the world for mistreatment of women: Israel. Are all those U.N. ambassadors depressed?”
Humorist Frank Fleming: “We need to stop Christians from forcing their beliefs on us about how we shouldn’t be forcing beliefs on them.”
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
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.
Who Trashes Liberal Arts?
3/31/2015 12:01:00 AM - Thomas Sowell
An op-ed piece titled "Conservatives, Please Stop Trashing the Liberal Arts" appeared last week in the Wall Street Journal. But it is not conservatives who trashed the liberal arts.
Liberal professors have trashed the liberal arts, by converting so many liberal arts courses into indoctrination centers for left-wing causes and fads, instead of courses where students learn how to weigh conflicting views of the world for themselves. Now a professor of English, one of the most fad-ridden of the liberal arts today, blames conservative critics for the low esteem in which liberal arts are held.
Surely a professor of English cannot be unaware of how English departments, especially, have become hotbeds of self-indulgent, trendy fads such as trashing classic writings -- using Shakespeare's works as just another ideological playground for romping through with the current mantra of "race, class and gender."
Surely he cannot be unaware of the many farces of the Modern Language Association that have made headlines. And when our English professor uses a phrase like "critical thinking," he must be at least dimly aware of how often those words have been perverted to mean uncritical negativism toward traditional values and uncritical acceptance of glittering catchwords of the left, such as "diversity."
Diversity of political ideas is not to be found on most college campuses, where the range of ideas is usually from the moderate left to the extreme left, and conservatives are rare as hen's teeth among the faculty -- especially in English departments. Academics who go ballistic about an "under-representation" of ethnic minorities in various other institutions are blissfully blind to the under-representation of conservatives among the professors they hire. On many campuses, students can go through all four years of college without ever hearing a conservative vision of the world, even from a visiting speaker.
The problem is not political, but educational. As John Stuart Mill pointed out, back in the 19th century, students must hear opposing views from people who actually believe them, not as presented by people who oppose them. In the 18th century, Edmund Burke warned against those who "teach the humours of the professor, rather than the principles of the science."
During my years on the lecture circuit, I liked to go into college bookstores across the country and see how many of their courses assigned "The Federalist" among the books students were to buy, as compared to how many assigned "The Communist Manifesto" or other iconic writings on the left.
"The Federalist" is a classic, written by three of the men who were among those who wrote the Constitution of the United States. It is a book of profound thoughts, written in plain English, at a level aimed at the ordinary citizen.
It might even be called "The Constitution for Dummies." There are Supreme Court Justices who could benefit from reading it.
My survey of college bookstores across the country showed "The Communist Manifesto" virtually everywhere, often required reading in multiple courses -- and "The Federalist" used virtually nowhere. Most college students will get only the left's uncritical negativism toward the American form of government, under the rubric of "critical thinking."
The liberal arts in theory could indeed make valuable contributions to the education of the young, as our English professor claims. But the liberal arts in practice have in fact done the opposite, not just in the United States but in other countries as well.
The history of the 20th century shows soft-subject students and their professors among the biggest supporters of extremist movements, both fascist and communist -- the former in central and eastern Europe before World War II and the latter in countries around the world, both before and after that war.
Those who want liberal arts to be what they were supposed to be will have to profoundly change them from what they have become. Doing that will undoubtedly provoke more denunciations of critics for "trashing" the liberal arts by criticizing those who have in fact already trashed the liberal arts in practice.
Leftist Sharks Finally Circling Around Sheriff Arpaio
3/30/2015 9:42:00 AM - Rachel Alexander
When progressives can’t beat Republicans square and fair at the ballot box, they resort to dishonest Alinskyite tactics, such as character assassination and abusing the left-wing dominated legal system. ey’ve been after America’s popular Sheriff Joe Arpaio for years and are finally circling around him like sharks. A local progressive writer for The Arizona Republic gleefully titled his column about the sheriff’s downfall earlier this month, “Would Sheriff Arpaio Look Pretty in Pink (Underwear)?”
Long known for his no-frills jails (pink underwear so gang members wouldn’t steal them), chain gangs and inexpensive meals (green bologna and water), Arpaio finally really infuriated the left when he started cracking down on illegal immigration in 2005. Arizona’s illegal immigration levels had reached epidemic levels, straining tax dollars. Working with conservative Maricopa County Attorney Andrew Thomas, the pair made a significant dent in the state’s illegal immigration. They lobbied to get four ballot initiatives against illegal immigration made into law in 2006. When left-leaning judges refused to enforce the new laws, the two fought back.
A flurry of investigations and legal actions began shortly afterwards. This is where the tide started turning against Arpaio, because the left controls much of the judiciary. It started with chipping away at the low-hanging fruit around Arpaio, lower-level employees who had no money, power or connections to defend themselves. The judges made findings against Arpaio, and the complicit state bar disbarred Thomas and another prosecutor ( disclaimer : I was also targeted by the state bar as a low-level attorney for Arpaio at the time).
The Obama Justice Department began an investigation into Arpaio’s agency in 2008, nitpicking every policy and procedure in order to cast blame. It wasn’t hard to do, considering if you look hard enough, you can find a crime anywhere. Defense attorney Harvey Silverglate finds fishing expeditions such a prevalent problem now, he wrote a book entitled, “ Three Felonies a Day: How the Feds Target the Innocent.” In 2011, the DOJ declared that it had found racial discrimination against Hispanics by Arpaio’s law enforcement agency. This was peculiar considering 23 percent of the employees are Hispanic. The Department of Homeland Security revoked Arpaio’s authority to identify and detain illegal immigrants in 2011. In March 2012, Arpaio announced that Obama’s birth certificate was a forgery, and coincidentally two months later, the DOJ filed a lawsuit against him over racial profiling, U.S. v. Maricopa County.
In 2010, Pima County Superior Court judge John Leonardo ruled that Arpaio had "misused the power of his office to target” elected county officials who Arpaio believed were complicit with the judges. In what many think is no coincidence, shortly afterwards Leonardo received a plum appointment, becoming U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, one of the largest U.S. Attorney’s Offices in the country. A former high-level attorney there told me recently that the office regularly receives orders from the Obama administration to target its enemies, which employees are forced to carry out.
In 2007, a Mexican tourist filed a lawsuit against Arpaio alleging racial profiling, Melendres v. Arpaio. The plaintiff found powerful allies with deep pockets to assist him, the American Civil Liberties Union and the Mexican-American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Since illegal immigrants are more likely to have traffic violations, due to being not as familiar with our laws, or to have a taillight out or similar, due to less financial resources, it is easily explainable why a larger proportion of them are pulled over.
A police officer for another law enforcement agency in Arizona told me recently that his agency is so terrified of what is happening to Arpaio that all officers have been ordered not to arrest illegal immigrants anymore unless they have a warrant out for their arrest involving a serious felony. They also have completely stopped looking for telltale signs by drivers, in place of it they indiscriminately run every single license plate they see around them. Instead of being efficient and looking for the worst offenders in society, they waste time running the plates of many who are unlikely to have any infractions.
U.S. District Court Judge G. Murray Snow has repeatedly ruled against Arpaio in the Melendres case. In 2013, he held that Arpaio’s office had discriminated against Hispanics by targeting them in traffic stops. Arpaio believes there is something fishy about Snow’s rulings against him, and at one point started investigating his ties to the DOJ.
In what many believe was retaliation, county officials conducted an investigation of Arpaio’s office in 2011, aided by The Arizona Republic’s public records requests. They concluded that he had misspent funds. Several of Arpaio’s underlings were targeted in the investigation, leaving Arpaio no option but to fire his longtime Chief Deputy and Deputy Chief.
With the tide turning against Arpaio, it has been easy for the DOJ and judiciary to dismantle Arizona’s SB1070, the comprehensive bill against illegal immigration that passed in 2010 with Arpaio’s support. By 2012, most of the law had been gutted by judges.
Under attack from so many angles, with his former top circle of advisers and attorneys all taken out, Arpaio finally seems to be losing his ability to fight back. He has agreed to apologize for racial profiling, donate to an Hispanic civil rights group and admit that he committed civil contempt of court for not complying with a racial profiling order in the Melendres case. That still isn’t enough for Judge Snow, who indicated this month that he wants Arpaio to pay personally out of his own pocket.
While Arizona is a red state, and most of its elected officials are Republicans, the judiciary, state bar and mainstream media are all controlled by the left, and even some elected Republicans are afraid to stand up to them. Anyone who aligns themselves with Arpaio becomes a target – until Arpaio is finally taken out. Arpaio is a media celebrity, but at 82 years old, he has not kept up with the vicious opposition on the Internet.
This should serve as a warning to anyone on the right who thinks popular and powerful conservatives can withstand attacks from the left. Sheriff Arpaio has been the most popular sheriff in the country for years. If the Alinskyites can take him down, they can take down anyone.
Life Lessons from the German Air Disaster
3/31/2015 12:01:00 AM - Dennis Prager
It is far easier for an individual to do great evil than to do great good.
That the world isn't fair is known to every human being who thinks. It may be our first insight into life. What child who ever complained, "That's not fair," wasn't told by some adult, "Life isn't fair"?
One sad example of how unfair life is concerns how much harder it is to do massive good than massive evil. One psychopath, in one hour, killed 149 innocent people aboard a Germanwings airliner. How many people will ever be able to do nearly as much good for 149 people in a lifetime?
With very few exceptions, good can only be achieved one by one by one. That's why, if you want your name remembered by many people, you have a far better chance of accomplishing it by doing evil than by doing good. And that's why most great evils are done by movements that want to change the world. If you really want to change the world for the better, work on making better people, not a better world.
Depression and lack of conscience aren't the same.
We've heard repeatedly that Germanwings co-pilot Andreas Lubitz was being treated for depression -- as if that largely explains why he did what he did.
Yet, every one of us knows one or two depressed individuals, and it is inconceivable that they would commit mass murder. As a number of Lincoln biographers have noted, most recently Richard Brookhiser, the great president was probably depressed all his life. And he was a moral giant.
Lubitz murdered 149 people because he was a narcissistic individual who lacked a properly functioning conscience. The number of people walking around in the world with a broken moral compass is quite large. Not all of them are depressed. And I am not only referring to violent Islamists. The U.N. just voted to condemn one country in the world for mistreatment of women: Israel. Are all those U.N. ambassadors depressed?
The 149 were ultimately killed by the 9/11 terrorists.
The pilot of the Germanwings plane could not get back into the cockpit because after 9/11, cockpit doors were made impregnable. That is how it should be. If anyone could get into a locked cockpit, terrorists would also be able to do so. For that reason, it can be said that the 149 passengers and crew were additional victims of 9/11.
The West takes truth seriously.
We take it for granted that Germanwings, the German government and the German people will fully acknowledge any findings, no matter how damning of one its pilots.
We shouldn't. Acknowledging painful truths is not a universal value.
To this day, neither the Egyptian national airline, nor the Egyptian government, nor the Egyptian people acknowledge that it was the Egyptian first officer, Gameel Al-Batouti, who deliberately sent EgyptAir flight 990 into the ocean south of Massachusetts en route to Cairo on Oct. 31, 1999.
In many societies, the Arab world most particularly, saving face matters far more than truth. And where that is the case, social and moral progress is impossible.
It would be a sign of major progress in Egyptian life if, watching the German airline and German society acknowledge that a German deliberately crashed his plane into the Alps, Egyptians rethought their position on Al-Batouti and EgyptAir 990.
The damage Lubitz did is incalculable.
This one man murdered 149 people. An ancient Hebrew saying is worth repeating here: He who destroys one life is considered to have destroyed the whole world. This is not mere hyperbole. Every one of us is an entire world. Read the stories of those on board Germanwings flight 9525, and this insight becomes all too clear.
But the damage is much more than that.
Lubitz not only killed all of these people. He thrust them into a state of terror the likes of which few humans ever experience. People with terminal illnesses know that they will soon die. But they have time to prepare for it. And, over that time, and given the illness, they eventually expect to die. There is, of course, great sadness, but there is no terror -- certainly none in any way comparable to the terror on board the Germanwings flight. For at least five minutes, these people knew they were about to die. Out of nowhere. They had just boarded an airplane -- one of modern society's most routine and safest activities. And suddenly they were about to die. Add to that the terrified screaming of everyone else, and you realize what an almost unique hell these people -- many traveling with a child or a spouse -- went through.
Then there are the people who were not on this flight who loved the people who were. These people -- parents, grandparents, siblings, children and, never forget, friends -- will suffer this loss in varying degrees until they die.
And then there are the pilots of the world. I flew the day after the crash. Though I fly, on average, every week, on that day, I looked at the pilots at the airport a bit differently. It was not an intellectual reaction. But I have no doubt just about every passenger did the same.
Finally, there are Lubitz's parents -- arguably the most harmed people of all. Losing a child is the ultimate parental nightmare. But there is something much worse: when your child is a murderer. And even worse than that: a mass murderer.
As a parent, I can only imagine the pain of parents who lose a child. But nowhere in my imagination is there a place for a child who is a mass murderer.
What's Happening on College Campuses?
3/31/2015 12:01:00 AM - Phyllis Schlafly
Who would have thought, only a few years ago, that our basic First Amendment right of free speech would be under attack on college campuses (of all places!)? But those are now ordinary campus events.
Progressives want to shield college students from what are called "scary ideas." They are not referring to Halloween pranks or costumes, or to historic wartime episodes of bitter fighting; the new buzzwords are "trigger warnings," "outgrowths of fragility" or "sexual paranoia."
Professors talk about the need to overturn the "privilege theory." Anyone who can't claim to belong to an oppressed group must be unfairly advantaged by unearned "privilege."
A whole new vocabulary has come into collegians' lingo. Students claim they suffer from "microaggressions," a word defined as the use of a verbal expression or any customary social norm of behavior to which somebody might take offense or feel threatened.
Everyone is subject to having his ordinary conversation or acts construed as secretly or inadvertently using racism, sexism or heterosexism. Everyday slights or indignities, verbal or behavioral, are assumed to be giving offense.
Some students gripe about hostile classroom environments, which the left usually attributes to "white privilege" and other forms of institutionalized oppression. Students are even offended by professors correcting their papers and exams because corrections allegedly deride their intellectual capacity and harm their psycho-physiological health.
Another trendy phrase among college students is the claim that they need "safe spaces" where their feelings can't be hurt. The safe place at Brown University, for example, was equipped with cookies, coloring books, Play-Doh, calming music, pillows, a video of frolicking puppies, plus staff trained to deal with trauma.
"Safe places" are designed to calm students who experience anxiety from being "bombarded" with upsetting opinions. For example, if a class discusses the "rape culture," the college should provide a "safe space" for students who find some comments "troubling" or even (the new buzzword) "triggering."
At Reed College in Portland, Oregon, freshman Jeremiah True was banned from participating in class discussion after he challenged the concept of "rape culture" and questioned the widely used statistic that 1 in 5 college women is sexually assaulted. The 19-year-old student was accused of "placing too much emphasis on men being unfairly charged with rape," which was "deeply upsetting" to other students and "retraumatized and triggered survivors."
Funny thing, I haven't heard of any safe places reserved for those who are offended by anti-American, anti-Christian or even anti-religion talk. Where is the safe place reserved for the University of California, Irvine, students who were upset when dozens of leftist professors signed a letter supporting banning the American flag on campus?
The professors' letter stated that "nationalism, including U.S. nationalism, often contributes to racism and xenophobia" and referred to the American flag as "paraphernalia of nationalism ... used to intimidate." Rather than banning the flag, the university could have designated a "safe place" for any students who feel "intimidated" by the mere sight of the American flag.
At Cornell University, an assistant dean of students said he would welcome a pro-ISIS group on campus, even if it wanted to conduct a training camp for students or ship care packages to the Middle East. But at California State University, Stanislaus, in Turlock, the Christian fraternity Chi Alpha and its Stanislaus Christian Fellowship were barred from campus for "discrimination" because their leadership positions were reserved for professing Christians.
And what about the students at Pine Bush High School in New York State where, during the regularly scheduled morning announcements, the speaker read the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic? This event exploded into a raging controversy that divided the school into angry factions, even though the principal came on the loudspeaker to apologize.
National Review has blown the whistle on who really does enjoy "privilege" in America. This useful article shows that the most valuable "privilege" is not "white privilege" nor even "wealth privilege," but is the "marriage privilege," i.e., the advantage of growing up in a home with a mother and father who are married to each other.
Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution also found that only 19 percent of the kids in the lowest economic quintile remain stuck at the bottom of the economic pile if they are born to parents who are married and stay married. This marriage privilege works for the middle class, too.
Harvard Professor of Economics Raj Chetty is another scholar who has noted the significance of the marriage privilege, but he added another dimension: the neighborhood where the kid lives. "Once we control for the fraction of single parents in an area, we find no correlation between racial shares and upward mobility."
These conclusions were confirmed by the late William Raspberry, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post columnist. He expressed little tolerance for those who blame black problems on poverty, crime or even racism when, he wrote, the chief cause is the failure of marriage and the absence of fathers.
Over Half of Funding for Teddy Kennedy “Shrine” Came From Taxpayer Dollars, Half of That From Defense Budget
Nick Sorrentino | Mar 31, 2015
It was supposed to be all private money but alas even in death Teddy Kennedy has found a way to take from the American taxpayer. That the money is going to his own self aggrandizement would have pleased him. That the money came from “defense” would have pleased him even more.
The New York Times writes;
Here’s an unstated lesson: It pays to have friends running the Appropriations Committee.
More than $18 million of the $38 million in public funds for the center was funneled through the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, a powerful panel once run by other Senate powerhouses who have died in recent years: Senators Daniel K. Inouye, Democrat of Hawaii, and Ted Stevens, Republican of Alaska.
Boy is that ever true.
But one would think people would be lining up to throw cash at the project given how great Kennedy was. Couldn’t the Kennedy clan pony up the dough? Or maybe just house the memorial in the basement of the Hyannis Port estate?
But why have the family or friends of the Kennedy’s pay for Teddy’s monument when one can get the taxpayers to do it?
President Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and Sen. Elizabeth Warren will all gather to praise the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate. Much will be said about Kennedy’s 46-year record in the U.S. Senate, nothing about various scandals that ranged from Chappaquiddick to his attempts to have the Soviets intervene in the 1984 presidential election against Ronald Reagan.
Boston Herald columnist Howie Carr points out that the Insititute “was supposed to be paid for exclusively with private donations.” But it should come as no surprise that the gorgeous 40,000-square-foot building that will house Kennedy’s papers and memorabilia as well as a recreation of his personal office and the Senate chamber was financed with a generous $38 million congressional earmark. The state of Massachusetts chipped in with another $5 million for education “infrastructure.”
The Patriot Post
Monday’s Daily Digest
Mar. 30, 2015
“[A] constitution of government once changed from freedom, can never be restored. Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.” –John Adams, letter to Abigail Adams, 1775
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKS
The whispers coming out of the Pentagon are that Pfc. Bowe Bergdahl2 may defend himself against charges of desertion by arguing he left his unit at an observation post in 2009 to report on his fellow soldiers' lack of discipline and strife with his commanders. For some reason, Bergdahl thought the best way to do that was to leave for another U.S. base in the dead of night, days before his unit was to head back, leaving his uniform and firearm behind. CNN reports3, “Bergdahl was planning to report what he believed to be problems with ‘order and discipline’ in his unit, a senior Defense official tells CNN. A second official says Bergdahl had ‘concerns about leadership issues at his base.’ … ‘This was a kid who had leadership concerns on his mind,’ the second official said. ‘He wasn’t fed up, he wasn’t planning to desert.’” So six soldiers are dead and five Taliban jihadis will soon rejoin the battlefield because Bergdahl wanted to take a walk to another base and file a complaint? Yeah, right.
Sen. Harry Reid hasn’t even taken a step out the door and some people already miss his “leadership.” After Reid announced his retirement5, the Democrat senator next in line is Chuck Schumer. And looking at Schumer’s track record, the New York Democrat is probably the worst of two evils. He has said6 he disagrees with the Supreme Court’s definition of religious liberty, he wants to tax the snot out of “rich” people, and he’s as gun-phobic as they come. Political analyst Charles Krauthammer argued7 that Reid “emasculated [the Senate] in the name of protecting the president and trying to re-elect Democrats.” It always seemed like Republicans only had two years before the game would change again. Depending on how the 2016 elections go, it may get a lot harder. With Schumer holding the reins of Democrat leadership, he would be fully guided by the far-Left ideal. And if he controls the Senate, he may do the chamber more harm than even Reid managed.
Barack Obama never lets a week go by without waging class warfare. This time, he hit the Republican budget10 in his weekly address. “Protecting working Americans' paychecks shouldn’t be a partisan issue,” he said, making it a partisan issue. “But the budget Republicans unveiled last week would make it harder, not easier, to crack down on financial fraud and abuse. And this week, when Republicans rolled out their next economic idea, it had nothing to do with the middle class. It was a new, more-than-$250 billion tax cut for the top one-tenth of the top one percent of Americans. That would mean handing out an average tax cut of $4 million a year to just 4,000 Americans per year, and leaving the rest of the country to pay for it.” Sometimes we tire of correcting him, but a tax cut is not a “hand out.” The money first belongs to the earner, not the government. Obama and his ilk have it backwards. He continued yammering about “everyone [doing] their fair share” and “middle-class economics11,” but the message was the same old leftist redistributionist drivel.
The House committee investigating the 2012 attack on Benghazi learned former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton pressed the reset button on her private email account that held all her communication from her time in office. Her emails are gone. In a statement, Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) said, “We learned today, from her attorney, Secretary Clinton unilaterally decided to wipe her server clean and permanently delete all emails from her personal server. While it is not clear precisely when Secretary Clinton decided to permanently delete all emails from her server, it appears she made the decision after October 28, 2014, when the Department of State for the first time asked the Secretary to return her public record to the Department.” It is thought Clinton’s homebrew email account was built to be permanently deleted, not for critical concerns like security. And she put that design to use when people started investigating. Now, the question is, will Clinton get away scot-free from willfully destroying government records that rightfully belong to the American people? In the meantime, perhaps Gowdy and his committee can ask the NSA and the Russians if they could forward them copies of Clinton’s communications.
While the U.S. is enjoying a boom in oil production, it has been no thanks to Barack Obama’s policies – as federal lands remain closed, the growth is almost entirely on private lands. Yet no good thing lasts forever, and even the government says we should be prepared. The Associated Press reports15, “The U.S. should immediately begin a push to exploit its enormous trove of oil in the Arctic waters off of Alaska, or risk a renewed reliance on imported oil in the future, an Energy Department advisory council says in a study submitted Friday.” It takes years from exploration to first barrel on the market, so best to get started. Thanks to economic growth in China, India and elsewhere, fossil-fuel demand is expected to grow – in spite of leftist climate alarmism. So why the Arctic? The AP says geologists estimate it “holds about a quarter of the world’s undiscovered conventional oil and gas deposits.” More oil drilling has never been a policy goal for the Obama administration, but even a stopped clock is right twice a day. That said, an Energy Department study is hardly going to persuade Obama to open up the spigots.
Indiana is ground zero for the latest in a long line of protests now mandatory in the standard operations of the Left. At issue is the Hoosier State’s new religious liberty law, which most of the Leftmedia are inclined to put in scare quotes – as if “religious liberty” is a made-up fantasy. And that’s exactly why such laws are needed.
All the ingredients are present to cook up a hyper-responsive framework to marginalize targets – celebrities and corporate CEOs18 yammering about discrimination and “hate,” raving partisans calling for resignations and activists organizing boycotts. The leaders of the Left, including Saul Alinsky disciple Barack Obama, must be very proud of the kerfuffle. Indeed, Obama’s spokesman Josh Earnest said the law appears to “legitimize discrimination.”
Last week, Indiana’s state house, senate and governor all supported legislation based upon current federal law to protect religious liberty. Republican Governor Mike Pence’s signature placed the state in the same category of 19 others in modeling legislation on the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993. That law was signed by Bill Clinton after Democrats led by the likes of Ted Kennedy and Chuck Schumer supported religious liberty.
Oh, and by the way, Illinois is one of those 19 states, and its law passed with the vote of a then-state senator by the name of … Barack Obama.
Just prior to signing the 1993 federal law, Clinton described19 its scope: “What this law basically says is that the government should be held to a very high level of proof before it interferes with someone’s free exercise of religion. This judgment is shared by the people of the United States as well as by the Congress. We believe strongly that … we can never be too vigilant in this work.”
But Democrats' support for religious liberty completely evaporated when they literally booed God at the party’s convention in 2012.
The Indiana law, named the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (sound familiar?), does not institutionalize discrimination as those on the “tolerant” Left declare. Instead, it protects the likes of businesses in the well-publicized cases of bakery owners, florists and wedding photographers attacked by the Left for standing by the teachings of their faith.
Simply, business owners whose faith says the same thing as God does about homosexuality – that the act is a sin – have their rights protected to observe their faith and not be forced to endorse, for example, a same-sex wedding ceremony.
We know that’s brutal, calling homosexuality a sin – just as it is to call abortion the murder of an infant. Operating a business on principles of faith where the observant says the same thing about love, goodness, mercy, sin, judgment and righteousness as the God being worshipped… It’s simply brutal to some.
Appreciate that in the world of the unicorn-riding Left, the only rights that exist are awarded by the state based on secular whims of division by constituency. It’s where sexual preference is celebrated, the acceptance of destructive behavior is applauded and antagonism of politically incorrect faith is the ideal.
The Left does not fight for the rights of individuals. They fight for the license of individuals, or the freedom to act upon one’s instincts, rather than rights and responsibilities.
The federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 and the laws of the other 19 states have not conjured up or encouraged discrimination. On the contrary, we’re watching a “hands up, don’t shoot” moment in the making where the false narrative of the activist Left is parroted and crafted into “fact” by the presstitutes in the media. It’s awfully difficult to articulate a stance based on reason, precedent and true rights to a group inflamed by emotion and invested in the movement-of-the-moment.
This effective tactic employed by the Left – of marginalizing those with standards and a moral compass – is destroying our society’s foundations and, dangerously, the truth itself.
Will you be forced to participate in an act that violates your faith? Asked another way: Will one’s politics and cultural conveniences determine one’s god, or will God determine one’s politics and culture?
No doubt by command of a president with the impulses of a passive-aggressive teenager, the Obama administration recently declassified21 a formerly top-secret Department of Defense document illuminating the details of Israel’s nuclear program.
The betrayal occurred early last month, when the release of the 1987 report, “Critical Technological Assessment in Israel and NATO Nations,” breached a longstanding mutual silence aimed at preventing a Middle East arms race. Released just prior to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s March 3 address to Congress22, the 386-page report reveals critical details regarding how Israel advanced its military technology and its development of a nuclear infrastructure during the 1970s and 1980s.
The document reveals that the Jewish State’s nuclear infrastructure is “an almost exact parallel of the capability currently existing at [U.S.] National Laboratories,” and that Israeli research efforts “are equivalent to our Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore and Oak Ridge National Laboratories.” It further revealed that, in some cases, Israel’s military prowess “is more advanced than in the U.S.”
Israeli news site Arutz Sheva, highlighting this story with an intensity that stands in stark contrast to an American mainstream media that ignored it, says Israel was singled out: “[W]hile the Pentagon saw fit to declassify sections on Israel’s sensitive nuclear program, it kept sections on Italy, France, West Germany and other NATO countries classified, with those sections blocked out in the document.”
The document release was an ostensible effort by the Obama administration to comply with a three-year-old Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by anti-Israel activist23 Grant F. Smith. His group, Institute for Research: Middle Eastern Policy, in conjunction with anti-Israel groups If Americans Knew24 and the Council for the National Interest25 (CNI), holds an annual Israel-bashing conference in Washington, DC. During last year’s conference, San Francisco radio host Jeffrey Blankfort referred to our nation’s capital as “Israeli-occupied territory” and spoke of “AIPAC’s occupation of Congress.” Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA) opined that “the pro-Israel lobby usually has a whole lot of money and those of us who act of conscious generally don’t. … [T]hey can buy and intimidate people.” And CNI Executive Director Philip Giraldi offered up an Israeli-based truther narrative with regard to 9/11: “The existence of a large scale Israeli spying effort at the time of 9/11 has been widely reported incorporating Israeli companies. … Five Israelis from one of the companies were observed celebrating against the backdrop of the Twin Towers going down.”
It’s useful to point out the same administration eager to get this information in the public domain is the one that has routinely stonewalled FOIA requests. The administration recently announced26 it would simply ditch regulations subjecting substantial portions of White House correspondence to FOIA requests, reversing a 30-year-old policy. And in a testament to the administration’s Orwellian instincts, the reversal was announced during “Sunshine Week,” the annual celebration of the Freedom of Information Act.
Yet when it comes to undermining Israel, the Most Transparent Administration in History™ is apparently up to the task.
A senior Israeli official who wished to remain anonymous offered the Times of Israel his take on Obama and company. “The White House is driven by three main motives,” he contended. “The first is revenge [for Netanyahu’s congressional speech]. The second is frustration: It’s no secret that they were involved in an attempt to bring down the Netanyahu government – something that we have clear knowledge of – and failed. The third [motive] is the administration’s attempt to divert attention from the negotiations with Iran to the Palestinian issue.”
The Times report also details Israel’s foray into hydrogen bomb-making – as in “developing the kind of codes … which detail fission and fusion processes on a microscopic and macroscopic level.”
Jewish Daily Forward blogger Michael Karpin puts that revelation in perspective27, explaining, “It should be emphasized that in the history of the relations between the two countries there is no other published official American document that mentions in any way the Israelis' development of hydrogen bombs.”
That’s because no other administration in American history has harbored as much animosity for Israel as this one. The New York Post’s Michael Goodwin exposes28 Obama’s despicable level of petulance, saying he is “paving the way for an Iranian nuke” and “hinting he’ll also let the other anti-Semites at Turtle Bay have their way.” Goodwin also notes why this is occurring: “Whatever form the punishment takes, it will aim to teach Bibi Netanyahu never again to upstage [Obama]. And to teach Israeli voters never again to elect somebody Obama doesn’t like.”
And if such petulance engenders a nuclear arms race in the Middle East, much as Saudi Arabia has already indicated29?
So be it.
Furthermore, Americans should be clear that, despite protestations30 to the contrary, Obama’s contempt for Israel resonates within his party. It was Democrat delegates attending their 2012 National Convention who heartily booed30 the idea that Jerusalem should be the capital of the Jewish State. And it was Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough who told an adoring crowd of J Street leftists that Israel must end31 its occupation of the West Bank.
No doubt many in the White House are thrilled with the “outing” of Israel’s nuke program – courtesy of the same administration that will bend over backwards to keep any details of Iran’s efforts from being publicized, even after they reach a “historic” agreement. For those who believe such pie-in-the-sky diplomacy will be successful, it is worth remembering the equally “historic” Agreed Framework of 199432 that was trumpeted as a success in preventing North Korea from obtaining nukes.
Unfortunately, with the current gaggle of clueless Obama administration officials in charge, history gets to repeat itself – and Israel becomes target Numero Uno for an Islamofascist Iranian regime. For those aligned with Obama and his thoroughly twisted worldview, that’s known as a “twofer.”
For more, visit Right Analysis16.
TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
For more, visit Right Opinion38.
OPINION IN BRIEF
The Gipper: “I’ve learned in Washington that that’s the only place where sound travels faster than light.”
Columnist Jeff Jacoby: “Perhaps Netanyahu should be flattered that Obama holds him to such a high standard of constancy. The president has certainly never demanded it of himself. On a whole slew of issues, Obama has adamantly taken one position, then cast it aside when it was politically advantageous to do so. He stoutly told AIPAC that Jerusalem must remain the undivided capital of Israel. Then he took it back. He endlessly promised voters that if they liked their existing health plan, they could keep it. Then he took it back. He repeatedly explained that he didn’t have the authority to unilaterally change or ignore immigration law. Then he took it back. He coldly warned Syrian dictator Bashar Assad that any use of chemical weapons would cross a "red line” calling for a military response. Then he took it back. He firmly asserted that he was not in favor of same-sex marriage. Then he took it back. … Hypocrisy, thy name is Obama.“
Columnist George Will: "As Hillary Clinton begins her campaign to again reside with the White House furnishings, remember an episode perhaps pertinent to the family penchant for secrecy and to her personal email server. Sandy Berger, who had been President Clinton’s national security adviser, was Clinton’s designated representative to the commission that investigated the 9/11 attacks that occurred less than nine months after Clinton left office. While representing Clinton, Berger frequented the National Archives. Later, he was fined $50,000 for surreptitiously taking highly classified documents from the Archives and destroying some of them. Another Clinton presidency probably would include a reprise of the couple’s well-known patterns of behavior. Voters will make an informed choice.”
Comedian Argus Hamilton: “Obama played host to high school science students from across America at the annual White House National Science Fair. The president surveyed some projects that are silly and would never work. And after he left his foreign policy meeting, it was on to the kids' work.”
Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
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.
Ted, Monica, and Mickey
3/30/2015 12:01:00 AM - Star Parker
In 1979, the year before Republicans nominated Ronald Reagan as their presidential candidate, the Rev. Jerry Falwell and conservative activist Paul Weyrich founded the Moral Majority.
It was at the Christian university in Lynchburg, Virginia, Liberty University, founded by Rev. Falwell, where Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) just announced his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination.
Although Cruz made no reference to the Moral Majority in his remarks, his thinking clearly is where Falwell’s and Weyrich’s was when they founded that organization. That getting a widely politically inactive universe of church going evangelical Christians politically engaged can change America.
Cruz made this explicit in his remarks, noting, “roughly half of born-again Christians aren’t voting…”
Although Cruz’s detractors call him “extreme”, he may not be so far at the margin as they think. Cruz may indeed represent a large unrepresented voter block in a new, highly polarized America.
Approval ratings for President Obama show historically high polarization. In recent data reported by Gallup, Obama’s approval from Democrats stood at 83 percent and at 13 percent among Republicans – a gap of 70 percentage points.
The average gap in approval between Republicans and Democrats for President Carter, whom Reagan defeated, was just 26 points. The average gap for Reagan during his presidency was 52 points. The average gap for Richard Nixon during his presidency was 41 points.
America is a deeply divided nation today. Large parts of our population are barely on the same page regarding how they see the world and how they see our nation.
Many, widely manifest in the Tea Party movement, but also among church going Evangelicals, see American freedom centered not in government, but in individuals taking personal responsibility for their lives – lives defined by traditional notions of right and wrong, good and evil.
In sharp distinction, another large cross section, those who continue to support our current president, sees the essence of freedom as moral relativism and government sanctioned entitlement.
An example of this latter stream of America is on display in the latest re-emergence of Monica Lewinsky in a presentation she made at a recent TED conference – a popular event largely attended by those in the technology and entertainment fields – entitled “The Price of Shame.”
Lewinsky drew much sympathy for her appeal against what she called “public humiliation” enabled by the power of the internet and technology.
But the essence of her pitch was moral relativism and entitlement. Although she expressed regret about her affair with Bill Clinton, this certainly was not about personal repentance. Rather, the core of her message is her victimization. The locus of evil, in Lewinsky’s take on things, is with her accusers and not in her personal choices.
Lewinsky lobbies for a compassion that denies sin rather than a compassion that grants forgiveness once a wrong is acknowledged and a new path taken.
Contrast this with the message to America, and particularly to America’s young people, by baseball legend Mickey Mantle at the end of his life.
Playing for the New York Yankees in the 1950s and 1960s, Mantle could do everything on the ball field. He was an American idol.
Weeks before he passed away in 1995, suffering from liver cancer and cirrhosis from years of alcoholism, he held a press conference and appealed to America’s youth, “Don’t be like me.”
“God gave me a body and the ability to play baseball. I had everything I just….. I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to make it up.”
Ted Cruz is making a bet that the center of gravity of America can and should move. That our youth need to hear that every moment matters, that there is right and wrong, that choices have consequences for which they must take personal responsibility. And that this is what really defines the essence of freedom.
A Bold Proposal for Conservative GOP Candidates
3/30/2015 12:01:00 AM - Matt Barber
As Jesus warned, “If a house is divided against itself, that house cannot stand” (Mark 3:25). Nothing has borne out this reality in recent decades like that exasperating spectacle called the Republican presidential primary. These last few GOP horse races have been jam-packed with would-be conservative presidents who, after infighting with largely simpatico opponents, have canceled each other out, limped off to lick their wounds and left the perpetually underwhelmed GOP base to stay home and not vote for “imminently electable” establishment paragons like Presidents Dole, McCain and Romney. Divide and conquer. That’s how the “moderate” RINO establishment plays the primary.
And then they lose the general.
Albert Einstein famously quipped that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” In that sense, we conservatives are insane.
How about trying something new?
As John Fund told Newsmax TV in January: “If Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum both run for president in 2016, they will split the primary votes of most conservative evangelicals and open the path for the nomination to somebody else.”
I agree, but I’ll take it further. Add Ted Cruz to the mix and you divide the conservative Christian vote – the majority base of the Republican Party – three ways. I’ve had the distinct honor of visiting with each of these fine leaders and could enthusiastically support any of them in a general election. But if they all run, chances are neither I nor anyone else will have that opportunity.
Still, it gets worse. Add Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Rick Perry and Ben Carson to the mix and the pie pieces turn to slivers. Lop on a scoop of Rand Paul to keep the libertarians happy, slice in Marco Rubio, Michele Bachmann, Sarah Palin and others, and the votes become crumbs.
I’m not alone on this.
“What has happened in the last two presidential election cycles is that the candidates that the Christian conservatives favored split the votes up,” Tim Wildmon, president of the American Family Association told CNN in a recent interview. “When you get three or four social conservative candidates splitting up the vote, McCain and Romney are going to win.”
Or Jeb Bush.
I promise you that for 2016, Bush and the Republican congressional leadership are salivating over the prospect of a packed conservative field. They’re hoping that every conservative Christian pol in America will soon announce his presidential bid. As they offset one another, Jeb (or some other establishment candidate) will, once again, be the last man standing.
And, once again, he’ll lose.
Admittedly, there is no easy answer. “A major roadblock in unifying behind a singular candidate,” observes CNN, “is the deep, personal relationships that social conservative activists and leaders have developed with individual candidates over the years. As one activist noted, ‘You bleed with them in battle. There are alliances, friendships … people who worked hard for you. You don’t want to burn them.’”
So here’s my proposal. Don’t burn them. Let’s take “social conservative activists and leaders” out of the picture on the front end. Let’s let the candidates decide who should run. Let’s let them “unify behind a singular candidate” and then the rest of us can follow suit.
A conservative presidential primary summit
Maybe I’m dreaming, but I think it could happen. It would take tremendous courage and conviction on the parts of each of the aforementioned candidates (and any other credible conservative who might decide to run), but if a majority of them signed off on the idea, this thing could happen.
I’ll let them hash out the details, but here’s the general idea. Before too many of them officially declare, I propose that all prospective conservative candidates gather at a pre-determined, undisclosed location. They could then shut themselves in a room, alone (with no staff or supporters), for as long as it takes. Each candidate would have an allotted amount of time to make his or her case to the others as to why he or she is best suited to take on Jeb Bush and the GOP establishment in the upcoming primary. Q&A, open discussion and collective prayer and fasting would play a critical role.
After everyone is satisfied, they would then vote, via written ballot, for the one candidate (other than themselves) who they believe can take it all.
Having signed an agreement beforehand, they would then publicly announce their support for the candidate with the most votes. In the months leading up to the general election cycle and beyond, they would actively campaign on behalf of that candidate and strongly encourage their supporters, including potential voters, activists, leaders and organizations, to likewise band together behind that candidate.
To the victor go the spoils. But not all the spoils. If the winning conservative candidate ultimately defeats both the GOP establishment in the primary and Democrats in November, then perhaps it could be agreed that the other candidates be given, in reward, the vice presidency, a Supreme Court nomination, a Cabinet-level appointment or the like.
We saw a national thirst for true conservative leadership on display in the 2014 mid-term elections. In addition to being a repudiation of Barack Obama’s insane, cultural Marxist policies, the election was a firm rebuke of the Democrat-lite GOP establishment. It is the conservative candidate, not the establishment candidate, who will defeat Democrats in 2016.
But only if we have a conservative candidate.
Recently, several of the individuals mentioned above attended a California event organized by the Family Research Council. According to Newsmax, “One woman who took part in efforts to identify a single candidate acceptable to social conservatives addressed [Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal] with what sounded like a supplication: ‘I would love to see you godly leaders pray and fast and see who God would be anointing to raise up.’ Adding, ‘we would rally behind him. We cannot be so divided. Our money, our time, our loyalty is so divided.’
“Jindal responded: ‘Amen.’”
To which I respond: Amen.
Can you make it happen, Governor?
(Note: Political strategist Deryl Edwards contributed to this column.)
Harry Reid and the Chamber of Secrets
3/30/2015 12:01:00 AM - Katie Kieffer
“Deeply and deceptively interesting,” is how New York Times Magazine described Sen. Harry Reid in January of 2010. Deceptive indeed. Five years later, Reid’s cache of secrets in the Senate chamber puts Harry Potter’s wizardry to shame.
Two chambers—House and Senate—comprise the U.S. legislature. Our bicameral structure helps keep raw political power in check. Yet without term limits, a bicameral legislature is not enough to restrain the ambition of politicians like 75-year-old Reid who have held public office for decades.
Grab your candle and follow me as I guide you through the backmost rooms of the Senate chamber, where Reid hides five dark healthcare secrets. Ignore the cobwebs, broken wall lamps and thick layer of dust. Few human beings ever traverse this quiet corridor.
First Secret: Women and Children Last
In Washington, many politicians on both sides of the aisle behave like members of a “Good Old Boys Club” with one unwritten rule: Never Be Chivalrous.
A chivalrous man is one who, finding himself on a sinking ship, helps all the women and children board the lifeboats first. A chauvinist man is one who gets a girl pregnant and then kindly offers to pay for an abortion—with his father’s money.
Sen. Harry Reid made the news last week for opposing a $214 billion Medicare bill because he is dissatisfied with the bill’s low level of perks for his pet organization, Planned Parenthood. According to CNN: “Reid believes language that is attached to the [additional allocations of] health center money would expand an existing federal ban on using taxpayer funds for abortion services.”
Rising costs are sinking the “ship” of Medicare as the program assumes 10,000 new Baby Boomer recipients a day. Despite his dark sunglasses, Reid sees the disaster coming. Boehner and Pelosi’s “bipartisan” plan to spend $214 billion is not a long-term solution for doctors or their Baby Boomer patients. Unfortunately, Reid opposes their plan for the wrong reason—a fear of falling out of good graces with Planned Parenthood.
If Reid believes children are “first,” then he should throw excessive costs overboard to reform Medicare rather than forcing every American taxpayer to contribute to a coffer of fungible dollars for health centers that perform abortions. The Constitution is silent on the issue of abortion which, per the Tenth Amendment, leaves the issue up to states and individuals. Moreover, reason tells us that all children have a natural right to life—which Reid does not appear to respect.
A chivalrous politician is one who asks his female constituent for input before making major financial decisions—with her money—that impact her reproductive system. A chauvinist politician will pass healthcare legislation without input from female patients or their doctors.
If they balk, he’ll say: Ok, I’ll grant you an exemption. You can go without insurance—by either paying a handsome fine or going to prison. His “exemption” is no exemption. Her “choice” is no choice. She wants excellent, ethical and affordable health insurance that she chooses without threat of fine or imprisonment. He offers her the opposite.
Young women of my generation, the Millennial generation, must stand up. Millions of us are approaching our prime childbearing years. We owe it to ourselves to speak out against the chauvinists impinging on our natural rights of free speech and choice.
Second Secret: Socialized Medicine Hurts Young Entrepreneurs
70 percent of Millennials aspire to become entrepreneurs according to a recent Deloitte study. I’m a young entrepreneur. So are many of my friends. The health insurance plans that we are eligible for under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) offer us fewer options, at a higher rate.
I am opting out of the ACA through one of the few current legal routes for withdrawal: joining a healthcare sharing ministry. Until we repeal the ACA, this is a great emergency healthcare plan for a young and healthy person who rarely needs a doctor. If I have eligible medical expenses, I submit them to the ministry. For individual doctor visits, I pay out of pocket at the often-lower cash rate. I pay a monthly rate of $185 a month—and I know exactly where my money is going. For example: For Sara Smith, who was tested for an abnormal heartbeat; or For Joe and Lacy, who are expecting a baby in August.
Young entrepreneurs facing pregnancy often struggle to find affordable out-of-pocket maternity coverage. Unlike the ACA, most healthcare sharing ministries embrace life from conception and thus have very generous maternity offerings.
Real people. Real care. Transparent. Affordable for entrepreneurs. 100% my choice.
Third Secret: Peeping Reids Go Unpunished
Male voyeurs, or “Peeping Toms,” face repercussions if caught. Political voyeurs, or “Peeping Reids” face zero consequences for compelling you to join a socialized medicine exchange via a website rife with security vulnerabilities . Here’s a sampling:
January 20, 2015: The Associated Press reports, “The government’s health insurance website is quietly passing along consumers’ personal data to outside websites [advertisers]...”
January 23, 2015: Amidst public outcry the administration agrees to dial back some, though not all, of the personal information HealthCare.gov shares with third party websites.
February 20, 2015: The New York Times announces, “About 800,000 taxpayers who enrolled in insurance policies through HealthCare.gov received erroneous tax information from the government…”
March 1, 2015: The Government Accountability Office (GAO) releases a report citing ongoing “problems” and the need to “further implement system development best practices” for HealthCare.gov.
Fourth Secret: ACA Could Triple Your Chance of Depression
This month, the CDC journal Preventing Chronic Disease reported that unemployed Americans between the ages of 18 and 25 were 3.17 times more likely than their employed peers to become depressed. Nearly 15 percent of Millennials have been unemployed and over a third—a historic high—have been living with their parents during the Obama reign.
AdvaMed revealed empirical data to the Minneapolis Star Tribune in late January showing that the heavy tax levied on the medical device industry—Congress’ way of “paying” for universal healthcare—costs tens of thousands of American jobs. 14,000 jobs were lost in 2013; 4,500 industry jobs were lost in 2014; and an additional 20,500 jobs will be lost within five years. The administration needs to rake in $26 billion by beating an unemployed horse—I mean, through taxing the medical device industry—over the next 10 years in order to “pay” for the ACA.
Talented Millennials are facing meager job prospects, reduced hours or lower benefits. Socialized medicine was supposed to make us healthier. By ushering in higher levels of under- and un-employment, it has instead made us more vulnerable to debilitating depression.
Fifth Secret: D.C. Conflates Fancy with Functional
Giorgetto Guigiaro is the entrepreneur behind many famous hot rods. He now designs cars for the Volkswagen Audi Group. In March, he told the Wall Street Journal that a common design mistake is ‘to design something that has no other value than being something “new.” If it has no function, it is not design.’
We can all agree to improve healthcare. We can also agree that we did not need to extirpate our healthcare system in order to improve it. Four years after Obamacare passed on that fateful Christmas Eve of 2009, the vast majority of Americans (79 percent) told Gallup that they were satisfied with the quality of their plans.
Most Americans preferred a functional plan over a fancy Healthcare.gov plan which often amounts to no plan at all (when many employers drop insurance altogether) or an unaffordable plan (especially for the self-employed).
Of the nearly 300 doctors that I interviewed for “Let Me Be Clear,” close to 90 percent said the ACA would “discourage talented young people from attending medical school and exacerbate the shortage of doctors and surgeons in the U.S.” They also thought the plan would raise costs and lower the quality of care for all Americans, especially Millennials.
Thank you for joining me on this tour of Harry Reid’s Chamber of Secrets. Now you can see why PolitiFact deemed the current administration’s promise of If you like your healthcare plan, you can keep it, the 2013 Lie of the Year. Pass these secrets on.
Obama Puts America’s Eggs in Iran’s Basket
3/30/2015 12:01:00 AM
Ponder the dire significance of the extraordinary story from MSNBC(!) last Friday, reporting on US “incoherence” in the Middle East, the exploding chaos there, and the shocking news Arab states like Egypt, the Saudis, and UAE are withholding intelligence and launching attacks without consulting the US. Why? Because they don’t trust Obama not to leak information to Iran. In seeking closer ties with Iran, Obama is threatening every other strategic US relationship in the region and candidly committing alliance-cide against America’s closest ally there, Israel.
The president, as chief executive and commander in chief may be the captain of foreign policy, but the Senate, representing the American public, has a Constitutional role, which Obama is deliberately evading.
What is happening is historically unprecedented. It makes Nixon-goes-to-China look like a Junior League milk and cookies outreach. Obama is pursuing a one-man foreign policy of realigning the US in the Middle East, ending our friendship with Israel, forging ties with Iran, and facilitating, or at least benignly accepting, the expansion of Iran’s interests, influence, and agents throughout the region.
This profound agenda is not one he ran on. It is not disclosed to, or understood by, the American people. It is not vetted or discussed in high circles of military and security leadership. It is contrary to long and widely held understandings of US security interests. It is a covert one man revolution.
In playing his chess pieces, Obama unsuccessfully pressed Egypt to submit to the Muslim Brotherhood; stiff-armed the courageous President al-Sisi who wants to move Egypt closer to America, keep peace with Israel, and move Islam closer to modernity; launched unprovoked missiles against Libya’s Qaddafi, lighting that nation on fire, delivering it to chaos and Iran-backed rebels; played patsy with Iran’s client Assad while Assad scorned Obama’s red lines and gassed civilians; and manufactured an escalating series of confrontations and crises with Israel, most recently exposing top secret details of its previously unacknowledged nuclear program. After Yemen fell to Iran backed rebels, the White House continues to insist its approach there is a “model of effective counterterrorism.”
Against all the other dots in this picture, it’s becoming apparent the trade of five Taliban field leaders for one US deserter was not a “bad deal” but a head fake. Bergdahl was just cover for Obama to hand back five Jihadi leaders and move closer to his goal of closing Gitmo.
Recent reports of the surreal “negotiations” with Iran would make for farce if they weren’t terrifyingly real. Alone among the P5 + 1 world powers, the US is desperate to sweeten the pot to offer Iran whatever it takes. Obama originally set a redline of 500 high-speed centrifuges; we now shrug at 6,000. We’re good with Iran continuing operations at its reinforced, underground lab. It doesn’t have to reveal its ongoing research with military dimensions until after the world lifts sanctions…wink. Surprise inspections will be rare to never. Last week, the Associated Press astonishingly reported a final agreement may not even be in writing. Spokesman Josh Earnest failed to deny that unfathomable idea after three direct queries.
We recently witnessed the spectacle of France trying to put the brakes on this runaway concession train, complaining it’s a weak, bad, unenforceable deal and the US is still conceding. That’s something…the French accusing Americans of being burger eating surrender monkeys.
The president’s defenders might call his upheaval a matter of high stakes, high risk strategy to improve US standing in the Middle East by aligning it with the region’s strongest power. Other commentators might call it wrongheaded, reckless, and dangerous. And others, seeing what’s right in front of their face, might call it hostile to America’s interests and security, treacherous to America’s allies, and of great aid and comfort to America’s enemies.
Under a different Iranian regime, maybe a secular one, or a reformist product of the Green Revolution that Obama strangely spurned, it might make sense to support Iran as a stabilizing force. It’s the Mullacracy with its radical, bloody vision that makes Obama’s policy deranged. His defenders and critics alike speculate Obama is betting the regime can be enticed to make nice and join the community of nations during the limited lifespan of the agreement. But that surmise is incoherent. If Obama wanted a reformed Iran, he would have spoken up for millions of brave protesters who confronted the Mullahs and pled for his support. He stood mute as they were brutally crushed.
It’s an unresolved question if, or where, there is a redline that a president’s policies abroad become Constitutionally actionable. His leads in foreign policy. But, he also took an oath to protect American peace and security. If, for an extreme hypothetical, videotape emerged showing a president handing over US nuclear codes to Vladimir Putin, presumably, he would be dealt with as a treasonous traitor, his foreign policy authority notwithstanding.
Obama’s actions in the Middle East raise troubling questions about how fundamentally a president can contradict deeply rooted US understandings, policies, and alliances before he enters a danger zone. Cutting off the Senate’s voice adds to the gravity. To conclude any position a president holds, no matter how radical, must be the position of the US, is akin to embracing Louis XIV’s declaration: “"L'État, c'est moi" or Richard Nixon’s more recent formulation: “When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.”
Twenty months remain in this presidency. About a day is left till Obama’s contrived deadline to reach a deal with Iran. It may be one of the only lines he means to respect. Few imagined after the 2012 election how fast events would unfold in the Middle East and how fast Obama’s hand would emerge into view. It is going to be a dangerous and scary ride.