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News for social, fiscal & national security conservatives who believe in God, family & the USA. Upholding the rights granted by God & guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, traditional family values, "republican" principles / ideals, transparent & limited government, free markets, liberty & individual freedom. All content approval rests with the ARRA News Service Editor. Opinions are those of the authors. While varied positions are reported, beliefs & principles remain fixed. No revenue is generated for this site - no paid ads accepted - no payments for articles. Fair Use doctrine is posted & used.
Editor/Founder: Bill Smith, Ph.D. [aka: OzarkGuru] - editor@arranewsservice.com (Pub. Since July, 2006)
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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

America, Our Debt-Ridden Nation

by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: Let’s look at just some of the latest news about the U.S. economy:

# According to the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Fiscal Services, the federal government paid $2,007,358,200,000—over $2 trillion—in benefits and entitlements in the 2013 fiscal year, October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2013. Most of the benefits, 69.7% came from non-means tested government programs that provide them to recipients who qualify regardless of income. That would include Medicare, Social Security, unemployment compensation, veteran’s compensation, and railroad retirement, to name a few.

# The total federal government spending in 2013 totaled $3,454,253,000,000—over $3.4 trillion—encompassing defense, highway and transportation costs, public education, immigration services, and government worker salaries, to name a few.

# An astonishing amount of that spending constitutes wasted taxpayer money. In July the Government Accountability Office (CAO) testified before Congress that federal agencies made more than $100 billion in improper payments in 2013. That is an amount comparable to the combined total budgets of the Coast Guard, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, Border Patrol, Secret Service, and the Federal Emergency Agency, et cetera. Improper payments result when people collect money from government programs for which they are ineligible.

# By August, the total U.S. federal debt had increased to more than $7 trillion during the five and a half years since Barack Obama has been President. That is more than the debt increased under all U.S. Presidents from George Washington through Bill Clinton—combined! More debt than was accumulated in the first 227 years from 1776 through 2003.

# During the time President Obama has been in office the number of unemployed reached 37.2%, a 36-year high for those 16 or older who do not have a job and are not actively seeking one. From December 2013 through May of this year, the labor participation rate had been at 62.8%. The last time the labor participation rate was that low was February 1978 when Jimmy Carter was President.

# As the nation sank deeper into debt by the end of 2012 there were 109,631,000 Americans living in households that were receiving one or more federally funded “means-tested programs”, more generally referred to as welfare. Combined with those receiving non-means-tested benefits and it added up to 49.5% of the population.

It is always tempting to blame everything on the President and, despite the usual rebound from a recession that has occurred in the past, it has not occurred during his first term, nor into his second at this point. In fact, the latest data reveals that the U.S. economy shrank at a 2.9% annual rate during the first quarter of 2014. Its long-run average rate of growth has been 3.3%, but the highest since Obama took office was 2.8%.

According to the World Bank, in 2013 the U.S. Gross Domestic Product, the value of its goods and services, was $16,800,000,000,000. The federal, state and governments took their share via taxation on income and/or property. The rest was saved or spent by those either holding a job or receiving government benefits; very nearly half of the population old enough to be employed if there were jobs for them.

The problem that affects all of us is the imbalance of the U.S. budget where more money is going out than coming in. The difference is deemed the “deficit.” In order to pay bills, Congress has to agree to raise the limit on how much the nation can borrow.

Nick Dranias, the constitutional policy director for the Goldwater Institute, has come up with a proposal, “The Compact for a Balanced Budget”, and it was been published by The Heartland Institute, a free market think tank, in July.

As Dranias points out, “The U.S. gross federal debt is approaching $18 trillion. That figure is more than twice what was owed ($8.6 trillion) in 2006, when Barack Obama was a junior U.S. Senator from Illinois and opposed lifting the federal debt limit.” It represents more than $150,000 per taxpayer.

“What if states could advance and ratify a powerful federal balanced budget amendment in only twelve months, asks Dranias. His proposal is “a new approach to state-originated amendments under Article V of the U.S. Constitution.

Two states, Georgia and Alaska, are expected to establish a Balanced Budget Commission, an interstate agency dedicated to organizing a convention—before 2014 ends—to propose an amendment to achieve a balanced budget. The amendment would put “an initially fixed limit on the amount of federal debt.” It would ensure Washington cannot spend more than tax revenue brought in at any point in time, with the sole exception of borrowing under the fixed debt limit. It would force Washington to reduce spending long before borrowing reaches its debt limit, preventing any default on obligations; something threatening many other nations as well.

Suffice to say, the proposed amendment involves some complex elements and, if the Compact does not receive sufficient support from many more states than just the two that have signed on, it won’t see the light of day.

What the rest of us understand, however, is that federal spending is out of control at the same time as the amount of money it takes in is more than what it “redistributes.” Add in a sluggish economy, not growing at its usual rate, and you have a recipe for a lot of trouble ahead.

Republicans are usually credited with being more financially prudent. If true, we need to elect a Congress controlled by the GOP in November and a Republican President in 2016. If we don’t, all bets are off.
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Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column,  Warning Signs". He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: America, Debt-Ridden Nation, Balanced Budget, Alan Caruba, warning signs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Don't Dare Call Them Socialists

by Phil Kerpen, Contributing Author: I recently published two stories about outspoken, committed socialists: one, an active member of the Industrial Workers of the World running for U.S. Senate and the other a self-described Marxist college professor leading a movement urging the federal government to regulate the Internet. While the facts I cited were undisputed, the left nonetheless reacted with attacks on me personally, on the organization I run, and on people they presume are our donors – which just proves how important it is to assure the privacy of our actual donors and protect them from such attacks.

Socialism has always inspired ideological people, mostly young, with wonderful aspirations. But it came to be seen as a pejorative for very good reasons; it was proven theoretically unworkable because of the knowledge problem, and it was tried in practice with calamitous results.

A system of centralized economic control is simply incompatible with basic human freedom. It should be within the bounds of polite political discourse to point out dangerous, extremist views. But in the current environment, it provokes a backlash.

When Amanda Curtis was nominated by the Montana Democratic Party to replace disgraced plagiarist John Walsh on the ballot for U.S. Senate, I checked to see whether she had a public Facebook page where I could learn more about her. What I found was shocking.

Less than two weeks earlier, she has tagged herself in a picture featuring Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) banners and identifying herself as a “Fellow Worker,” the term used in IWW for group members. Her husband Kevin Curtis is a leader of the state IWW, known as the Two Rivers General Membership Branch.
The group’s mission? “We are working to organize the people of Montana into the One Big Union to end wage slavery and eventually end the capitalist system.”

Did the media care? Not much. CNN did ask the campaign about it deep in a story for their website and the conservative Washington Free Beacon covered the story, but that was about it.

The Huffington Post, which didn’t see Curtis’s radical affiliation as worth reporting, took me to task for pointing it out. Their reporter Ryan Grim asked: “Are you really trying to red bait somebody in 2014? That's funnier than it is anything else.”

I asked if I got any facts wrong, and he said: “I don’t think so.”

I thought red-baiting involved false allegations.

But this was nothing compared to the angry reaction when I emailed conservatives about our StopInternetRegulation.org petition to oppose efforts by liberal activists to have the Federal Communications Commission reclassify the Internet as a public utility.

I accurately identified the intellectual leader of the regulate-the-internet effort as Robert McChesney, an avowed Marxist college professor who founded the advocacy group Free Press. I accurately quoted McChesney saying: “In the end, there is no real answer but to remove brick by brick the capitalist system itself, rebuilding the entire society on socialist principles.”

For this I was accused of “disinformation and fearmongering,” was called a “fascist,” and was told: “You will not be missed when you die.” (When I told the gentleman who made the last comment my wife and three kids would miss me, he disputed that, too.)

The ultraliberal Daily Kos website even ran a story that hilariously attacked us for claiming the left wants to reduce the Internet to a public utility – while a call-to-action overlay on the page promoted a petition to President Obama… to "treat the Internet like a public utility."
Now, I wouldn’t work in public policy advocacy if I couldn’t handle angry attacks from opponents. It goes with the territory and it means we’re being effective.

But liberals want to go further, reversing the principle established by the Supreme Court in the 1958 landmark civil rights case NAACP v. Alabama that protects the privacy of the members of groups that engage in controversial political speech.

When the U.S. Senate returns from their summer break, they will vote on a Democratic amendment to the Constitution that would effectively repeal the First Amendment with respect to political speech, subjecting any organization that utters any criticism of elected officials or candidates for public office to forced disclosure, violating the privacy of their members.

On the left, supporting even the most radical and extreme ideas will result in no repercussions. On the right, people will be viciously attacked, vilified, and intimidated into silence. I’d list some of the countries that possibility reminds me of, but that would only get me accused of more red-baiting.
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Phil Kerpen is president of American Commitment and a contributing author for the& ARRA News Service.He is on Twitter and on Facebook.

Tags: Don't Dare, Call Them Socialists, Phil Kerpen, American Solutions To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Shades of Past Democrat Actions Reflected in Eric Holder Forcing Bank of America To Pay Off Left-wing Community Organizers

Dusting off the old ACORN image.
 Dr. Bill Smith, Editor: The following IBD article evidences shades of past action by Democrats. On Sept. 25, 2008, I wrote a ARRA News story which went viral and was shared by conservative bloggers, radio hosts, Fox News and others. The title of the article was Major "Earmark" in Democrat Bailout Agreement. "I received a copy of "Agreement in Principle" relative to the $700 billion "bailout" being proposed and supported by Senate Democrats. The one page agreement from the U.S. Senate Banking Committee details guidelines to be put in place relative to taxpayer protection, oversight and transparency, home ownership preservation and Funding Authority. ... In the "agreement in principle," there is the effect of a major "earmark" which commits money from future "profits" to be given to nonprofits organizations like ACORN, National Council of La Raza and potentially the National Urban League. This agreement clearly evidences that the Government expects to benefit in the future from the bailout when the values of property rises and mortgages or properties are then sold by the Federal government. The agreement --"Directs a certain percentage of future profits to the Affordable Housing Fund and the Capital Magnet Fund to meet America's housing needs."In the proposed bailout agreement, Sen. Christopher Dodd, the Senate Banking Committee and other Democrats desire to pre-direct that future funds (profits) not be returned to the taxpayers via the treasury but that they be used to underwrite potential questionable (maybe even illegal activities) of certain nonprofits which have had a hand in promoting and expanding access to "no money down" loans for minorities, illegal voter registrations and extensive lobbying activities."

As identified by the below IBD editorial, Democrates are at it again, finding ways for banks to fund left-wing Community Organization,

In this current situation, Americans for Limited Government President Nathan Mehrens has blasted part of the $17 billion settlement between Bank of America and the Justice Department that requires leftover funds to be given to the Interest on Lawyers' Trust Account, NeighborWorks of America, La Raza, the National Community Reinvestment Coalition, the Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, Operation Hope, and the Mutual Housing Association of New York (an ACORN off-shoot), as revealed by Investor's Business Daily (detailed below):"During the financial crisis, federal regulators supported Bank of America's rescue of the bankrupt Countrywide, and now we know why. It ultimately gave the government a foothold to go after the larger Bank of America, and then to redirect the shakedown funds to community organizers that contributed to the financial crisis by coercing low-income, Community Reinvestment Act loans from financial institutions engaged in mergers.

"Congress needs to act to stop Eric Holder's Justice Department from compelling this transfer, with similar shakedowns having occurred in the Citibank and JP Morgan Chase settlements. One thing is clear, the President and Attorney General never miss an opportunity to funnel government-extorted funds to their favorite community organizers."
IBD Editorial: Extortion: Radical Democrat activist groups stand to collect millions from Attorney General Eric Holder's record $17 billion deal to settle alleged mortgage abuse charges against Bank of America.

Buried in the fine print of the deal, which includes $7 billion in soft-dollar consumer relief, are a raft of political payoffs to Obama constituency groups. In effect, the government has ordered the nation's largest bank to create a massive slush fund for Democrat special interests.

Besides requiring billions in debt forgiveness payments to delinquent borrowers in Cleveland, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Oakland, Detroit, Chicago and other Democrat strongholds — and up to $500 million to cover personal taxes owed on those checks — the deal requires BofA to make billions in new loans, while also building affordable low-income rental housing in those areas.

If there are leftover funds in four years, the settlement stipulates the money will go to Interest on Lawyers' Trust Account (IOLTA), which provides legal aid for the poor and supports left-wing causes, and NeighborWorks of America, which provides affordable housing and funds a national network of left-wing community organizers operating in the mold of Acorn.

In fact, in 2008 and 2009, NeighborWorks awarded a whopping $25 million to Acorn Housing.

In 2011 alone, NeighborWorks shelled out $35 million in "affordable housing grants" to 115 such groups, according to its website. Recipients included the radical Affordable Housing Alliance, which pressures banks to make high-risk loans in low-income neighborhoods and which happens to be the former employer of HUD's chief "fair housing" enforcer.

BofA gets extra credit if it makes at least $100 million in direct donations to IOLTA and housing activist groups approved by HUD.

According to the list provided by Justice, those groups include come of the most radical bank shakedown organizations in the country, including:
• La Raza, which pressures banks to expand their credit box to qualify more low-income Latino immigrants for home loans;
• National Community Reinvestment Coalition, Washington's most aggressive lobbyist for the disastrous Community Reinvestment Act;
• Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America, whose director calls himself a "bank terrorist;"
• Operation Hope, a South Central Los Angeles group that's pressuring banks to make "dignity mortgages" for deadbeats.

Worse, one group eligible for BofA slush funds is a spin-off of Acorn Housing's branch in New York.
It's now rebranded as Mutual Housing Association of New York, or MHANY. HUD lists MHANY's contact as Ismene Speliotis, who previously served as New York director of Acorn Housing.

The recession has dried up funding for such groups. But Holder's massive bank shakedown could rebuild their war chests in a hurry.

He's written back-door funding for Democrat groups into other major bank deals he's brokered, including the $13 billion JPMorgan Chase settlement and the $7 billion Citibank deal. They stand to reap millions more from those deals.

All told, Holder has shaken down the nation's largest banks for a whopping $128 billion, more than a 10th of a trillion dollars, and counting. Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo are reportedly in talks with Justice to settle additional mortgage cases.

In effect, lenders are bankrolling the same parasites that bled them for the risky loans that caused the mortgage crisis. With new cash, they can ramp back up their shakedown campaign, repeating the cycle of dangerous political lending that wrecked the economy.

These settlements have little, if anything, to do with "justice" or restitution for innocent victims. In its 30-page "statement of facts," Justice couldn't provide a single shred of evidence of fraud against BofA. Nor could it ID a single "victim" by name.

The attorney general is actually perverting justice by extorting billions of dollars from the largest banks in the country and giving it away to the president's political friends and favorite political causes.
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ARRA News Editor's Postscript via referenced 2008 article: "ACORN is the agency where Sen. Barack Obama worked as a trainer for the Association of Community Organizations for Reform (ACORN), whose affiliate, Project Vote, is known for voter fraud. It is this same organization from which a large part of the mortgage mess has grown. After Harvard Law School, Obama provided legal representation for ACORN. Obama sat on the boards of the philanthropic Woods Foundation and the Joyce Foundation which both funneled millions of dollars to ACORN."

Tags: Democrats, Eric Holder, forcing, funding, Left-wing community organizers, shades of the past, Dr. Bill Smith, ARRA News, Americans for Limited Government, President Nathan Mehrens, IBD editorial To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Believe in Climate Change

Editorial Cartoon by William Warren.

Tags: man-made, climate change, Barack Obama, editorial cartoon, William Warren To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Dead-End Road Called Pre-K

Eagle Forum opposes H.R. 3461/S. 2452, which expands federal support for pre-K programs. These programs do not deserve more taxpayer funding when studies repeatedly fail to discover any benefits from them. Furthermore, funding for pre-K encourages governmental supervision at the expense of active parental involvement.

by Phyllis Schlafly: After President Obama in his 2013 State of the Union address called for a new federal entitlement for taxpayer-funded free preschool or pre-K for all 4-year-olds, we thought his idea would be quickly discredited, not only by its enormous cost, but even more importantly by the overwhelming weight of research proving the lack of any long-term benefit from such programs.

Now we are dismayed to learn from Politico that a dozen Republican-governed states are expanding state-based pre-K programs or are planning to do so next year. And in Washington, some Republicans are offering bipartisan support to a pre-K bill drafted by two of the Congress’s biggest liberals, Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), both of whom are retiring at the end of this year.

Why are these Republicans willing to accept Obama’s claim that pre-K “works” by producing big benefits in a child’s later life? In fact, the science tells us that pre-K provides, at best, a small temporary benefit that cannot be measured beyond the third grade.

And those small temporary benefits were found only among low-income or at-risk children. There is no science that even pretends to show that middle-class kids benefit from attending preschool instead of being cared for by their mothers at home.

These Republican governors seem to think they can defeat the Democrats by adopting one of Obama’s favorite programs, pre-K, which he has urged for years without success. Despite the high profile of these Republican pre-K salesmen, we still haven’t seen any evidence that pre-K benefits children or accomplishes any of the goals it promises. Like the classic TV ad, where’s the beef?

They don’t call it daycare anymore, and of course they don’t call it baby-sitting, which it really is. The new gimmick label is pre-K, meaning before kindergarten.

The daycare advocates like to cite as models for success the so-called Perry Preschool Project and the Abecedarian Project. Those two projects took place a half century ago and used highly trained teachers under optimum conditions.

One project treated only 58 3- and 4-year-old children, and the other only 57. The Perry favorable results have never been replicated despite many subsequent attempts, so that study is not scientifically credible.

The proclaimed purpose of pre-K is to close the gap between kids from high-income and low-income households. There is no evidence that pre-K can accomplish that.

The liberals like to say that pre-K “investments” (that’s the liberals’ synonym for taxes) save money later on. All studies show that Head Start and all the early interventions do not achieve what they promise, and they “fade out” at least by the third grade.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Head Start Impact Study tracked 3- and 4-year-olds from entering Head Start through kindergarten and first grade, then to the end of the third grade. The conclusion was that Head Start had little to no effect on cognitive, social-emotional or health outcomes of participating children.

The principal goals of the billions of federal tax dollars poured into public schools during the George W. Bush Administration were to raise U.S. scores on international tests and to close the gap between high-income and low-income students. All that spending was a failure on both counts. The only thing pre-K accomplished was to provide daycare services for single moms, the majority of whom voted for Obama.

Head Start was based on the assumption that government schools could compensate children for the disadvantage of being poor. It’s time to face up to the fact that the children are poor mainly because they don’t live in a nuclear family with their own father and mother.

The problem we should address is the decline in marriage. There is no substitute for the enormous advantage to children who grow up in a home with their own mother and father.

A better formula for helping kids to achieve in school would be to stop giving out financial handouts that operate as incentives to women to have babies without marriage and will therefore turn to Big Brother Government for financial support. Pre-K is another anti-marriage incentive.

The liberal Brookings Institution admitted that the supposed benefits of pre-K programs often don’t last even until the end of kindergarten. Brookings’s lead research analyst commented, “I see these findings as devastating for advocates of the expansion of state pre-K programs.”

It doesn’t matter whether pre-K money is run by Democrats or Republicans. We shouldn’t “invest” any more taxpayers’ money in pie-in-the-sky projects that make adults feel sanctimonious but do no long-term help for the kids, and enable their moms to join the majority of single mothers who voted for Obama.

One of the best things we can do for pre-kindergarten children is to make sure we don’t hang trillions of dollars of debt around their necks.
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Phyllis Schlafly has been a national leader of the conservative movement since 1964. She founded and is president of Eagle Forum. She has testified before more than 50 Congressional and State Legislative committees on constitutional, national defense, and family issues.

Tags: Pre-K, dead end road, Phyllis Schlafly, Eagle Forum To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

NYT: Obama Plans To Bypass Senate To Bind US To Climate Change Treaty

. . . Sen. Mitch McConnell: Another Example Of Obama Admin "Ignor[ing] The Elected Representatives Of The People When They Don’t Agree”

Today in Washington, D.C. The dirty deeds continue. Has President Obama now declared the Constitution "null and void"?  Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the United States Constitution, includes the Treaty Clause, which empowers the President of the United States to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements between the United States and other countries, which become treaties between the United States and other countries after the advice and consent of a supermajority of the United States Senate.[The President] shall have Power, by and with Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur...
President Obama has a record of trying to circumvent Congress when it suits his purposes on a whole host of issues, regardless of the limitations of his powers under the law. Most famously his administration has tried to implement immigrations proposals Congress has rejected, continues to change and tweak numerous aspects of Democrats’ unpopular health care law without legal authorization, and is using EPA regulations to enact a war on coal that was never approved by Congress. Today, The New York Times  reports that the president is attempting to go even further, this time by binding the United States to a climate treaty without getting the approval of the Senate as he’s required to do under the Constitution.

The Times reports, “The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress. In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. To sidestep that requirement, President Obama’s climate negotiators are devising what they call a ‘politically binding’ deal that would ‘name and shame’ countries into cutting their emissions. The deal is likely to face strong objections from Republicans on Capitol Hill and from poor countries around the world, but negotiators say it may be the only realistic path. . . .

“Lawmakers in both parties on Capitol Hill say there is no chance that the currently gridlocked Senate will ratify a climate change treaty in the near future . . . . ‘There’s a strong understanding of the difficulties of the U.S. situation, and a willingness to work with the U.S. to get out of this impasse,’ said Laurence Tubiana, the French ambassador for climate change to the United Nations. ‘There is an implicit understanding that this not require ratification by the Senate.’ American negotiators are instead homing in on a hybrid agreement — a proposal to blend legally binding conditions from an existing 1992 treaty with new voluntary pledges. The mix would create a deal that would update the treaty, and thus, negotiators say, not require a new vote of ratification. Countries would be legally required to enact domestic climate change policies — but would voluntarily pledge to specific levels of emissions cuts and to channel money to poor countries to help them adapt to climate change. Countries might then be legally obligated to report their progress toward meeting those pledges at meetings held to identify those nations that did not meet their cuts. ‘There’s some legal and political magic to this,’ said Jake Schmidt, an expert in global climate negotiations with the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group. ‘They’re trying to move this as far as possible without having to reach the 67-vote threshold’ in the Senate.”

The NYT notes, “In seeking to go around Congress to push his international climate change agenda, Mr. Obama is echoing his domestic climate strategy. In June, he bypassed Congress and used his executive authority to order a far-reaching regulation forcing American coal-fired power plants to curb their carbon emissions. That regulation, which would not be final until next year, already faces legal challenges, including a lawsuit filed on behalf of a dozen states. . . . The Obama administration’s international climate strategy is likely to infuriate Republican lawmakers who already say the president is abusing his executive authority by pushing through major policies without congressional approval.

“‘Unfortunately, this would be just another of many examples of the Obama administration’s tendency to abide by laws that it likes and to disregard laws it doesn’t like — and to ignore the elected representatives of the people when they don’t agree,’ Senator Mitch McConnell, the Kentucky Republican and minority leader, said in a statement.”

Tags: NYT, President Obama, to bypass Senate, Bind US, Climate Change Treaty, U.S. Constitution, Article II, Section 2, Clause 2, Power of the Senate, 2/3 must agree, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Does Evil Exist?

. . . .The Real Threat!
Editorial Cartoon by AF "Tony" Branco

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Decapitating the U.S. Military

by Alan Caruba, Contributing Author: Many Americans were shocked by the Islamic State video of the beheading of the photo journalist James Foley. Perhaps they had already forgotten the decapitation of Wall Street Journal journalist, Daniel Pearl in 2002. Most certainly, the memory of the murder of nearly 3,000 on September 11, 2001 with the destruction of the World Trade Towers has begun to recede.

What most do not know is that decapitation is a requirement in the Islamic holy war and holy book, the Koran.

“So when you meet in Jihad in Allah’s cause those who disbelieve, smite their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them…” (Surat 47, al-Qital—the Killing--, Ayat 4.

“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks and smite them over all their fingers and toes.” – Surat al-Anfel (The Spoils), Ayat/Verse 12.)

If I were a jihadist who wanted to undermine the capacity of the United States of America to both defend itself and/or to wage war on those who regard us as their enemy, I would welcome what is currently occurring to weaken our military. It is exactly what President Obama and a compliant Congress has been doing for some time now.

In the name of the “sequester”, an across-the-board reduction in federal spending, the military has suffered the most despite being the single key factor to defend the nation and to project our power to protect our allies.

An August 26 article in Politico reported that the five leading U.S. defense firms, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Boeing’s defense unit, and Northrop Grumman, have eliminated 70,000 jobs since 2008 through layoffs, buyouts, attrition, or, as Boeing did, moving employees to the commercial side of its business. “There’s little momentum in Congress to undo the current caps on discretionary federal spending and, facing a war-weary public, U.S. officials are pledging to avoid sending combat troops to today’s hotspots, including Iraq, Syria, and Ukraine.”

As reported by Bloomberg News in July, “The U.S. Navy can’t meet its funding needs for surface warships and a new class of nuclear attack submarines from 2025 to 2034 according to the service’s latest 30-year shipbuilding plan.” The Navy is just one element of the Pentagon’s current five-year funding plan “in an era of declining defense spending.” It will impact the need for new submarines, the planned full production of F-35 fighter jets, and a new long-range strike bomber.

In March, The Washington Times reported that “President Obama is seeking to abolish two highly successful missile programs that experts say have helped the U.S. Navy maintain military superiority for the past several decades.” Obama wants to eliminate the famed Tomahawk and Hellfire missile programs. Why?

We have, however, billions for a variety of welfare programs, those devoted to “environmental research”, and countless other examples of sheer waste.

In January, commentator Mike Snyder raised the question, “Why are Dozens of High Ranking Officers Being Purged from the U.S. Military?” He noted that “Since Barack Obama has been in the White House, high ranking military officers have been removed from their positions at a rate that is absolutely unprecedented. Things have gotten so bad that a number of retired generals are publicly speaking out about the ‘purge’ of the U.S. military that they believe is taking place.”

Retired Major General Paul Vallely was quoted as having said, “He’s intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon, and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”

Recognizing the threat that the Islamic State represents, even Secretary of State, John Kerry, has spoken of the need to destroy it, but he has for too long been saying that “climate change” is the most serious challenge the world is facing.

The U.S. has a full range of enemies such as Iran which since 1979 has declared the U.S. its enemy and continues a program to make its own nuclear weapons. Additional challenges include Russia’s actions in Russia in the Ukraine and China’s military power.

In July, Rowan Scarborough, a Washington Times columnist, warned that “An independent panel appointed by the Pentagon and Congress said that President Obama’s strategy for sizing the armed services is too weak for today’s global threats.” The National Defense Panel called on the President to “dump a major section of his 2014 Quadrennial Defense Review and write a broader strategy that requires the military to fight on multiple fronts at once.” That alone would require a larger military than we have now; one that is the size it was prior to World War Two!

How stupid is the Obama-Kerry climate change policy? In June, The Washington Times reported that “Some critics say such alarmist reports are causing the Pentagon to shift money that could be used for weapons and readiness. It is making big investments in biofuels, for example, and is working climate change into high-level strategic planning.”

The article quoted Sen. James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Senate Committee on Armed Services, as saying “The president’s misguided priorities with our national security can be seen in the $1 trillion defense cuts he has put into motion since taking office and then using the limited defense budget to support his green agenda.” Everything the President has said about climate change has been a lie.

President Obama has taken steps to open the military to homosexuals, a practice that was avoided for most of the nation’s history because of its effect on morale and he has advocated women in combat units in the name of “diversity.”

Questioned about it in 2013, Gen. Martin Dempsey, Joint Chiefs Chairman, referred to the requirement to introduce a “critical mass” or “significant cadre” of women into previously all-male units. Wars are not won by diversity. They are won by men who meet the physical standards and requirements of combat.

In May, The Washington Times reported that “These days, the U.S. military is only taking twenty percent of the applicants who walk into their local recruiter’s office intent on enlisting in the armed forces” noting that “the tough environment for potential recruits is due in large part to troop reductions in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as the Pentagon’s plans to cut the size of the active duty Army.” Cut the size? At a time when we may need “boots on the ground” again in Iraq and a possible incursion into Syria?

Whether it is weapons systems needed by the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard, the Obama administration has waged its own war on America’s capacity to meet the needs of our national security currently and in the years ahead. It has waged an effort to alter the makeup of our military personnel, to reduce portions of it, and to eliminate many top officers to lead it.

It isn’t just the Islamic State’s American hostages that are being decapitated. It is the U.S. military.
-----------------
Alan Caruba is a writer by profession; has authored several books, and writes a daily column,  Warning Signs". He is a contributor to the ARRA News Service.

Tags: removing leadership, U.S. military, Alan Caruba, Warning Signs To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Warren Buffett Knows Less Government Means More Economic Activity

Editor's Note: Before conservatives pull out their hair at even the mention of Warren Buffet, Please read the article.

by Seton Motley: Remember the “Buffett Rule?The Buffett Rule is part of a tax plan proposed by President Barack Obama in 2011. The tax plan would apply a minimum tax rate of 30 percent on individuals making more than a million dollars a year.Remember for whom it’s named?The Buffett Rule is named after American investor Warren Buffett, who publicly stated in early 2011 that he believed it was wrong that rich people, like himself, could pay less in federal taxes, as a portion of income, than the middle class, and voiced support for increased income taxes on the wealthy.Remember what Buffett 2012 said - in his New York Times editorial?Suppose that an investor you admire and trust comes to you with an investment idea. “This is a good one,” he says enthusiastically. “I’m in it, and I think you should be, too.”

Would your reply possibly be this? “Well, it all depends on what my tax rate will be on the gain you’re saying we’re going to make. If the taxes are too high, I would rather leave the money in my savings account, earning a quarter of 1 percent.”
But he has to know that potential investors do exactly that all the time.Untaxed US Corporate Profits Held Overseas Top $2.1 Trillion

Foreign profits held overseas by U.S. corporations to avoid taxes at home nearly doubled from 2008 to 2013 to top $2.1 trillion, said a private research firm's report….
Well, flash forward to Warren Buffett 2014.Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway is expected to help finance Burger King's pending acquisition of Canadian doughnut-chain Tim Hortons.

The deal will allow Miami-based Burger King to claim Canada as its new legal home for tax purposes….
And why is Canada a more favorable tax locale than the U.S.? Because everywhere on the planet is.U.S. Corporate Tax Rates Are the Highest in the Developed World
Buffett’s corporate tax move is called an “inversion.”Tax inversion, or corporate inversion, is the relocation of a corporation's headquarters to a lower-tax nation, or corporate haven, usually whilst retaining its material operations in its higher-tax country of origin.Does Buffett 2014 know this? He’s not a dumb guy. But here’s your Joke of the Day: He ludicrously claims:
…(T)he deal was not about taxes, saying that the combined company would be based in Canada because of Tim Hortons' "strong roots" north of the border.Of course in May Buffett said:"I will not pay a dime more of individual taxes than I owe, and I won't pay a dime more of corporate taxes than we owe. And that's very simple.”Indeed it is very simple. And you can’t blame Buffett 2014 for the sentiment. But you may certainly blame Buffett 2012 for his contradictory sentiment - and for wishing to impose its inanity upon us all.

So the Buffett Rule fails the Reality Test - per Buffett his own self. Just as do all the Left’s attempts at reverse engineering the economy and human nature.

This is just and yet another example of (at least) a couple of empirical facts.1) The greater the government involvement in the marketplace - the more warped and damaged the marketplace becomes.

2) The private sector’s wealthiest members will always outsmart, outpace and outdistance whatever the oft-talentless government hacks try to throw at them.
The government damage is instead done to those who can least afford to absorb it.

The Buffetts already have theirs. But the tens of millions of Americans looking for work and new opportunities desperately need the Buffetts parking their $2.1 trillion overseas to bring it on home.

And until the government makes it more attractive to do so - those tens of millions of Americans will continue to suffer while the Buffetts jet set - and Buffett Rule champion President Obama golfs.
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Seton Motley is the President of Less Government and ARRA News Service contributor. Please feel free to follow him on Twitter  /  Facebook

Tags: Warren Buffet, less government, more economic activity, Seton Motley, Less Government To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Proper Foreign Policy for America

Dr. Bill Smith, Editor:  Get your favorite refreshment and digest read this "meat and potatoes" digest by Nelson Heltberg.  It is indeed time for the establishment of a "Proper Foreign Policy for America."  Gary Varvel's editorial cartoon was added to depict the reality of the present "foreign policy of America."

Editorial Cartoon by Gary Varvel
by Nelson Hultberg, Contributing Author: “What is America’s destiny,” asks Patrick Buchanan? “The answer depends upon another question: How do we see America? As the ‘world’s last superpower’, whose wealth and might must be used to reshape the world in our own image? Or as the land of liberty to be loved and preserved for itself? Is it our duty and destiny to go out into the world to seek monsters to destroy, or do we instead keep before us the Founding Fathers’ goal of defending the peace and freedom of our own country and becoming a light unto the nations? Do we follow the vision of Washington or the temptation of Wilson?”1

When the Founding Fathers formed their Republic in 1787, their view of foreign policy was not to solve the world’s problems; it was to defend our country’s security and survival.

As Professor Thomas G. West tells us, “For the Founders….foreign policy was conceived primarily as defensive….Alliances were to be entered into with the understanding that a self-governing nation must keep itself aloof from the quarrels of other nations, except as needed for national defense. Government had no right to spend the taxes or lives of its own citizens to spread democracy to other nations or to engage in enterprises aiming at imperialistic hegemony.”2

In light of this, we must examine today’s foreign policy that the Democrats and Republicans in Washington have formed. Is it a policy that has our security and survival at heart? Or is it a policy that is driven by the irrational goals of neoconservative factions? Is it America First? Or is it world hegemony dominated? It should be pretty obvious that it is the latter.

The question we must ask is: Are the seeking of world hegemony and the spreading of democracy proper goals for America? The Founders would say: No! Such a foreign policy is misguided and will bring America nothing but oppressive debt, economic decay, and moral vitiation. But in order to understand this we must first understand the major danger that confronts America today – Islamist terrorism and why it has come about.

There are two basic factors that have created Islamist terrorism, and neither of them are well understood by our authorities today. They are 1) the irrational religious worldview of Islam, and 2) Western intervention into Mideast cultures over the centuries. These are not the only motives, but they are the primary motives. Let’s investigate them.

The Metaphysics of Islam
1) When I speak of the “irrational religious worldview of Islam,” I mean the metaphysical views of Islamic theologians and scholars adopted over the centuries beginning a thousand years ago. This came about because of their departure from the Hellenistic emphasis on reason as one of our prime tools to decipher reality, truth, and goodness. Starting around the eleventh century, Islam’s leading intellectuals abandoned man’s capacity for reason as a tool to explain the mysteries and requisites of life. The inexplicable “will of Allah” became the fount of all that happens. Free will was denied. Consequently modernity, built by reason and science, is impossible for Muslims to achieve because Islam rejects what is termed, in the West, man’s God given reason. Life becomes, in the Islamic mind, a predestined stage play that Allah has willed absolutely. The favorite saying, “Inshallah” (If God wills it), is the standard theme of discourse in Mideast countries. Natural law perceived by reason is dismissed. Cause and effect are illusions. All human actions and all of life’s events are a product of Allah’s will.

This rejection of reason in metaphysical matters has doomed Islamic culture to perpetual backwardness with no hope to achieve civilizational progress. Robert R. Reilly explains this tragedy in his provocative book, The Closing of the Muslim Mind. From this cultural backwardness has sprung a pervasive bitterness and humiliation among many Muslims, which in turn has spawned “Islamism,” which is the radical sector of the Islamic religion. It dreams of reviving jihad and world conquest in somewhat the same manner that Hitler preached the glory of Germanic conquest over Europe as a salve for the humiliating defeat of Germany in World War I. But it is very important to note that Islamism is just the fundamentalist part of Islam. As Reilly points out, most Muslims “find terrorism morally repugnant and alien to Islam’s core teachings.”3

But Islamist terrorism still has a dreadful appeal to growing cults of bitter minds conditioned from birth to believe that “reason” is impotent and “will” (with its concomitant of force) all-important. Hatred of the West then is primarily Islamist hatred. All Muslims disapprove of the Western way of life because of its emphatic materialism, but the virulence of Islamism does not contaminate the majority of them. These, then, are the philosophical roots of Muslim hatred of the West.

Thus it can be safely said that Islam is a religion that has some severe structural flaws, and these flaws create a definite danger to America and other Western nations. How to confront this danger is one of the crucial questions of proper foreign policy. Before tackling it, however, we must first look into the second factor creating Islamist terrorism: European and American intervention into Mideast countries over many centuries.

Sticking Pins In Rattlesnakes
2) One of the most fundamental lessons of foreign policy that all traditional statesmen and military planners have understood for thousands of years is “blowback.” As Richard Maybury points out in his book, The Thousand Year War in the Mideast, America has been “sticking pins in rattlesnakes” for decades in the Mideast, and European nations have been engaged in such behavior for centuries. If a country persists in this kind of irrationality, it will eventually get bit in a venomous manner. Manipulatory interventions eventually have nasty consequences.

Unfortunately, such interventions have created in the Muslim mind an intense hatred of those Western nations that intrude into their cultures. These interventions become a very irritating political salt rubbed into the Islamic nations’ subconscious “self-hatred” and “humiliation,” which has been brought about by their own philosophical and cultural impotence.

Unless a better understanding of this hatred of America and Europe by Mideast rattlesnakes is achieved in Washington political circles, atrocities committed against our country from Islamic terrorist groups will continue to escalate for decades into the future.

Islamic hatred of America is only about 65 years old as Maybury’s brilliant little book shows us. But Islamic hatred for European nations goes back 900 years to the Crusades (1095 A.D. – 1300 A.D.) when Europeans systematically pillaged and destroyed Muslim communities. In return the Muslims were certainly no angels.Thus ever since the 12th century, Europeans and Muslims have been clashing over religion, politics, and colonial conquest – especially so during the past 300 years in which the European nations, with their superior technology, have usually dominated the more primitive Muslim countries. They have occupied their lands and manipulated their people with puppet governments placed in power to favor European interests. This has understandably led to much resentment among Muslims.4

“Not since the Middle Ages,” writes Maybury, “have Moslem armies threatened an invasion of Europe, but since that time there has hardly been any five-year period in which European troops have not been under arms on Moslem soil.”5

In the aftermath of World War I, European nations began to phase out of the Mideast because colonialism became too much of a burden to maintain. But into the vacuum leaped the new world power, America, to pursue the discoveries of oil in Saudi Arabia in the 1920s. This was not the blatant colonialism of the past that Europe had partaken in, but rather “voluntary economic involvement” that started justifiably. In the aftermath of World War II, however, it erupted into “coercive political intervention” when the Truman administration, in conjunction with the U.N., rammed through the 1948 partition of Palestine.

America was now involved in the Mideast in a very hubristic manner that was no longer merely economic (and thus justifiable). America’s presence was now political and coercive, and Muslims have not forgotten it. To compound the problem, America then began much heavier manipulative political interventions for various fascist satrapies in the region with billions in aid, weapons, and technical support that continue to this day. In the eyes of the Islamic people, our interventions, our military / bureaucratic presence, and our shoring up of the regimes that tyrannize their lives make us the Great Satan.

The sources of Islamist terrorism are, of course, many faceted. But there are always one or two primary factors in any cause and effect relationship; and the two primary factors that have caused Islamist terrorism are 1) Islam’s metaphysical irrationality and 2) the West’s constant meddling in Mideast affairs.

To the extent that fundamentalist Islamic theologians have gained sway with their cultures’ intelligentsia over the centuries, they have kept the Mideast in backward status. But our role in America cannot be to save misguided cultures from their primitiveness with the butt ends of our rifles. Our role should be one of benign neglect; simply leave them alone. If they want to wallow in cultural idiocy and economic stagnancy, so be it. Our role should be to lead the world to rationality and prosperity through the shining light of example. Let us restore the vision of the Founders and demonstrate to the world, as we did from 1787 to 1913, what a truly free country is like.

Contesting Neoconservative Arrogance
Because of our establishment intellectuals’ failure to grasp the two root causes of fundamentalist Islam’s hatreds, our nation has been plunged into twelve years of suicidal overextension in the foreign policy arena.

The Iraqi war was launched by the “neoconservative” George Bush administration because it was supposed to be necessary in order to defend our country against the terrorist threat that arose from the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001. In the minds of many American patriots and military personnel, however, the war in Iraq was not necessary to fight terrorism. Moreover its cost, in both spirit and material, weighed on our decaying society in irreparable ways.

As General Douglas MacArthur warned President Kennedy to stay out of a guerrilla war in Indochina,6 so too should America stay out of such wars in the Mideast. Winning a guerrilla war on the guerrillas’ home territory requires devastating the indigenous population and then occupying the country for decades with authoritarian methods. This is not the American way; it is the way of imperialists.

MacArthur was one of our greatest, most daring generals. He was a consummate patriot who well understood the necessity to go to war when it was forced upon us. But he also understood the dangers of the 20th century Leviathan and its manipulation of its citizens to justify war.

In 1957, perhaps anticipating Vietnam, MacArthur warned that, “Our government has kept us in a perpetual state of fear – kept us in a continuous stampede of patriotic fervor – with the cry of grave national emergency. Always there has been some terrible evil at home or some monstrous foreign power that was going to gobble us up if we did not blindly rally behind it.”7

General MacArthur was speaking 57 years ago, but does not his warning fit today’s statists who revel in stampeding the people with constant threats about terrible evils abroad? The names and events change downthrough the centuries, but the ploys of Lord Acton’s power lusters remain the same. They continue to spur well-meaning men to war fever with “the cry of grave national emergency.”

Today’s guerrilla wars in the Mideast are no different in principle than the one MacArthur cautioned us about in Indochina. They must bog our nation and fighting troops down for decades into the future, which America is not prepared to do.

Iraqi Consequences of Neoconservatism
Because of this, what has been the actual result of our war in Iraq? After a decade of fighting, political wrangling, thousands of deaths, and hundreds of billions of dollars expended, we conned ourselves into believing that Islamic theocrats were eager for American style government. Thus all we had to do was dispense Jeffersonian lectures to them, accompanied by several years of political counseling, and Iraq would become a “wise and modern democracy” in the Mideast.

After ten years of this self-delusion, we ended up declaring victory and pulling out of Iraq, claiming our goal of bending the population to Western values had been accomplished. But it didn’t take long before infighting commenced among the tribes that populate the region. Like all shrewd guerrillas, the Shiite, Sunni, and Wahabbi extremists played a waiting game until the ravages of war and the difficulties of foreign occupation eroded Washington’s desire to remain in the country. With the rise of ISIS, the natural “tribalism” of the Mideast is returning to create chaos and undo what democratic forms have been constructed.

This was foreseen by numerous perceptive students of history and Mideast culture. Muslim tribes have been fighting among themselves for 1400 years, and American political philosophy is not going to eliminate the hostilities they hold for each other, nor will it change their theocratic antagonism toward democracy and individual rights. The political forms that we manage to erect will eventually be junked by the tribal mentalities that dominate Islam. The only way to avert this is to become a permanent occupational force and engage in “perpetual war for perpetual peace,” as George Orwell put it.

Our statists in Washington are bewildered by the difficulty in getting Muslims to be enthusiastic about democracy and an American style Constitution. But as Richard Maybury points out, Muslims have their own Constitution. It’s the Koran, and it has ruled them for over a millennium. Yet our solons imagine that they can overturn 1400 years of metaphysical tradition with guns and gung-ho American lectures.

This is embarrassingly naïve. Change in a culture’s metaphysical views takes place over centuries, not years. It moves like a glacier sliding across a continent. And it does not respond to the butt end of a rifle. Our hubris has already cost us over a trillion dollars and thousands of lives on the battlefield in this Mideast cauldron, as well as untold lives lost morale-wise on the home front as our economy slouches toward bankruptcy (and our culture toward Gomorrah) because of our government’s reckless reaching beyond its financial and spiritual supply lines. Great nations fall precisely because of this kind of blindness, this kind of senseless waste and inhumanity that the Bushes and Obamas of history so callously heap upon their fellowman.

Hard Questions for Americans
Just as important as the practical and strategic irrationalities of Washington’s invasion of Iraq was the overall moral inadequacy of our position. The following questions need to be considered by all of us regarding the Iraqi war and any possible return of our troops:

What if Iraq, Iran and Saudi Arabia were one country called Persia, and it was a sophisticated world power? How would we like it if this Persian superpower was constantly intervening into our affairs to guarantee a steady supply of our wheat and corn by shoring up political dictatorships in several of our states with loans and weapons?

Is this not what America has done in the Mideast during the past 65 years by shoring up the Shah of Iran and his ruthless secret police, by shoring up the House of Saud which lives in Marie Antoinette style while dispensing crumbs to its people, and by shoring up several smaller satrapies in the region? Is this not what we have done to guarantee a steady supply of Mideast oil?

How would we like it if this Islamic superpower, Persia, had pressured the United Nations into partitioning our east coast states into two sections – one for blacks and one for whites – giving New York, Massachusetts, and the northeast to Jesse Jackson to rule as he sees fit, and in the process, uprooting hundreds of thousands of families and their property? Is this not what America and the U.N. did in 1948 in Palestine with its major ethnic groups?

How would we like it if Persia was building military bases in and around America over several decades to maintain vigilance over our affairs and help protect Jesse Jackson and his newly partitioned country? Is this not what America has done for several decades in the Mideast in regards to Israel?

How would we like it if Persia did not wish for Washington to build up its defense forces, and thus began an eight year bombing campaign upon our country that killed hundreds of thousands of American women and children? Is this not what America did to Iraq from 1992 to 2000? Sure, Iraq was ruled by a ruthless tyrant, but where in the Constitution does it say our foreign policy is to rid the world of ruthless tyrants?

How would we like it if Persia was using its privilege of possessing the world’s reserve currency to export its domestic inflation into our country? How would we like it if Persia’s Islamic corporations and bureaucrats continually patrolled Washington in their white turbans and robes attempting to sway our politicians into doing their bidding? Is this not what America has been doing in the Mideast over the past several decades?

Listen to Our Ablest Generals
We correctly retaliated to 9/11 with a blitzkrieg of the Taliban in Afghanistan. But history will surely show that we made a tragic mistake by pressing our bet and invading Iraq. General Norman Schwarzkopf rightly warned George Bush Sr. not to go into Iraq in Gulf War I. It is a “tar pit” of insanity and virulence, and has been this way for centuries. “Don’t fight with these troglodytes,” was the advice of the ablest military men. You’ll just get bogged down in a grisly guerrilla war that is not genuinely winnable without authoritarian occupation. Bush Sr. wisely listened to Schwarzkopf as did President Kennedy to MacArthur in the early 1960s. JFK was in the process of pulling out of Vietnam when he was assassinated.8

Authoritarian occupations violate one of the most important principles of traditional foreign policy wisdom learned over the centuries: Better, freer nations do not invade less free nations just because they are primitive and tyrannical to their people. The job of correct foreign policy is to protect our nation’s security and survival while exercising extreme prudence in taking on the onus of war. We need to listen to our ablest generals with hard-fought field experience, rather than career politicians who wish to manipulate the military for their personal aggrandizement.

If we continue to pursue hegemony in the Mideast, we will destroy the last vestiges of freedom and financial solvency we as a nation have left. Washington’s neoconservatism is driving us into the role of a dying empire. Its PNAC doctrine of “benevolent global hegemony” is in reality “militaristic global hegemony.” Formulated by Robert Kagan, Bill Kristol, and Paul Wolfowitz in the 1990s, it is apparently now Washington’s permanent plan for world governance. Both Democrats and Republicans are comfortable with its advocacy. But this is what imperialists advocate; and it is what brings on their death throes. It happened to Rome. It happened to the Ottoman Turks. It happened to Napoleon. It happened to Britain. Is this what America now stands for?

In view of General MacArthur’s warning about stampeding Americans into war, what would he be saying about the Democrats and Republicans today? Would he not be thundering out a vehement condemnation of their pundits and politicians who are so eager to send young boys off to fight for dubious goals? In MacArthur’s mind, wars must always be fought judiciously after much consideration, never indiscriminately and hastily as our politicians are doing today. War is the most abominable of human endeavors. To entrust its ready execution to those behind mahogany desks in Washington, who have never put boots on the ground, is fraught with danger.

The Root Causes and How to Confront Them
The establishment explanation for Islamic hatred that the George Bush administration put forth is: “They hate us because of our freedom.” As we can now see, this is shallow and unacceptable. The real causes of Muslim hatred are philosophical (Islamic self-hatred spawned by metaphysical irrationality) and political (American interventionism).

Democrats and Republicans are guilty of simplification in attributing Islamist terrorism solely to Islamic fundamentalism’s rise in Mideast culture. It is the combination of Islamic fundamentalism with our interventionism that has brought today’s terrorism about. This is a two-part problem. Without American intervention, Islamic fundamentalism would never have swollen to become the curse that it is.

To come to grips with this will entail opening up our minds and seeing both sides of the Islamic-Western clash. People who cannot see both sides of human conflict are doomed to being blindsided throughout their lives. Such short-range mentalities always bring disaster when they assume the leadership of great countries.

Thus Islamist terrorism is a much deeper and more complex problem than what Democrats and Republicans view it as. It is going to require a much more sophisticated approach than just military retaliation against its perpetrators. It is going to require an ideological metamorphosis in our foreign policy. A new conservative paradigm must capture the minds of our statesmen that respects the inherited wisdom of history and the rights of man.

The place to begin is with the first of our Presidents, George Washington, from his Farewell Address: “It is our true policy to steer clear of permanent alliances with any portion of the foreign world ….Taking care always to keep ourselves by suitable establishments on a respectable defensive posture, we may safely trust to temporary alliances for extraordinary emergencies.”9

Does it need to be said for modern pundits that Washington was one of our ablest generals and a true patriot? If he were alive today he would tell us that reason and prudence dictate to us that foreign nations are best left alone even when their rulers are primitive and pathological, in fact especially then. Islamic nations must be allowed to work out their own destiny even if they choose backward theocracies over enlightened democracy.

This is not an advocacy of isolationism. As Patrick Buchanan points out in A Republic, Not An Empire, isolationism is a smear term used to defeat a sane policy of America First and drag us into a globalist agenda that destroys our sovereignty. America has never been an isolationist nation, and it should never be one.10

“The message of Washington’s Farewell Address was not to isolate America from Europe,” says Buchanan, “but to keep it independent of Europe. Stay out of foreign wars, Washington admonished….Avoid ‘permanent alliances’; devote your energies to our own country. Independence, not isolation, is the American tradition.” 11

A policy of national independence is what we as American patriots desperately need to restore, where we look after our own, where we fight in retaliation when our security and survival are at stake. But we do not go abroad in search of despots to bring down. We do not intervene in other nation’s affairs to alter their cultures, rearrange their borders, and browbeat them into democratic institutions. The “benevolent global hegemony” of neoconservative doctrine should be just as repugnant to Americans as all other policies of conquest down through history from Pax Romana, to Pax Britannica, to Nazi Germany’s seeking of “lebensraum.”

A Proper Retaliation
Our solution to the 9/11 WTC attack should have been very powerful and very simple. We started out correctly by attacking the Taliban; but then Bush, Rumsfeld and Cheney, made the decision to expand the war to Iraq.

“In the Afghan phase of this war,” Buchanan tells us, “we had the support of the world and the acquiescence of Arab and Islamic governments. But when we invaded Iraq, we played into bin Laden’s hand. The Arab and Islamic world turned hostile, for they could not see the link between the Saudis who attacked us and the Iraqis we were attacking. And just as the appearance of Suleiman at the gates of Vienna united the quarrelsome Christian kings against the Turk, so the appearance of Bush in Baghdad united Islam against America.”12

What is crucial to grasp is that we did not need to invade Iraq to fight terrorism and respond to the WTC attack, and thus properly defend America. Nor do we need to maintain a powerful military and bureaucratic presence throughout the Mideast. There are three important strategic actions that we should have implemented.

First, we should have swiftly invaded Afghanistan. This was justified because the Taliban gave sanctuary to Osama bin Laden with full knowledge of his past crimes and attack upon the WTC, yet refused to relinquish him.13 They were accessories and just as guilty under the legal principles that sustain civilization. The fact that collateral damage occurs is unavoidable. Our attacks, being retaliatory, were justified. Bin Laden and the Taliban were the initiators and thus the cause of any collateral deaths, as all initiators in war are.

Second, when bin Laden escaped into Pakistan, our remaining efforts should have been clandestine, commando-oriented espionage in the manner of the Israelis’ pursuit of Adolf Eichmann. Our goal should have been to track down bin Laden by use of every espionage resource we had in our arsenal, rather than large-scale troop occupation and political reorientation of Afghanistan’s mountainous, tribal culture. Eliminating the Taliban without permanent occupation of the country is the height of neoconservative naivety. And establishing a democracy for Afghans will be no different than it has been in Iraq – an ultimate failure. If this approach had been followed, bin Laden would have been captured much sooner than he was.

Once bin Laden was killed, we should have announced to the Islamic nations that we would pull our military and support personnel out of all Mideast countries that did not want us and reappraise our position in those that did on a case by case basis. In addition we would phase out grants of aid and weapons to all Mideast nations including Israel (but would come to the aid of Israel if Arab nations attack her). We would leave Arab nations alone, and we fully expected them to leave us alone. If there were any future attacks upon our shores from terrorists connected to their nations, then in the words of Arnold Schwarzenneger, “We’ll be back, baby!”

Our need to protect our “oil interests” would be done through diplomacy and trade. Oil is the “property of its owners” and needs to be treated economically by the marketplace rather than militarily by troops and bureaucrats.

Third, we should have made a very important additional announcement by sending envoys from our State Department to every one of the Mideast nations to meet with their rulers. In these private meetings, we should have made it very clear that if, in the future, we had to retaliate against their country for fomenting and harboring terrorists involved in bombings of America, then we would not just attack their country and its infrastructure as we had done to the Taliban, we would rain a shower of smart bombs down upon the private residence and family of the ruler himself. We would do what Ronald Reagan did to the Libyan ruler Qadaffi and his family palace. And we wouldn’t do it sporadically. We would do it relentlessly until the ruler himself was dead.

After Reagan slapped Qadaffi with a bit of Yankee retaliation for his barbarism and effrontery in the late 1980s, good old Muammar developed a different attitude, did he not? Would not other Mideast rulers react in like manner? Would they not begin to police their own terrorists domestically to make sure they do not plan any more American attacks? Would they not readily relinquish any and all terrorists involved in attacks on America to American authorities promptly? As a consequence we would not have to be anchored in their lands losing thousands of brave soldiers in the process.

“Terrorism is the price of empire,” says Buchanan. “If we do not wish to pay it, we must give up the empire. Strategic disengagement is not a strategy of defeat but a recognition of reality. The Islamic world, roiled by its own tribal, religious, and national struggles, must work out its own destiny….

“Time is on our side in this struggle, for Islamic radicals cannot build great nations nor solve the problems of modernity. The only problem of Islamic peoples these extremists can help them solve is the problem of America’s massive presence. Remove that root cause of this war, and Arab and Islamic peoples will see no longer through a glass darkly, but face to face, who their true enemies are.”14

Thus we did not need to invade Iraq to handle the terrorist problem. Our efforts should have been solely in Afghanistan and geared toward ferreting out bin Laden rather than “nation building.” Our present approach is tragically self-defeating; but this is the level of historical acumen and strategic creativity possessed by today’s establishment pundits and politicians. The world of politics always has its unimaginative bullies who revel in the use of brute force because they possess no moral compass to guide them and because they can’t generate the necessary cerebration to fashion wiser, less destructive strategies of defense. Unfortunately modern day Washington is now a hotbed for such people.

The problem of Islamist terrorism is basically a problem of prohibiting its infiltration of our country because that is the only way terrorists can hurt us. They have no military power that can reach our shores as a threat. But this view will take strong immigration reform to end the present “open border” policies of the Democrats and Republicans. This means shutting most Muslims out as immigrants and returning to the pre-1965 Immigration Accords – then setting an example to the world by building a free country here at home. Eventually modernist Muslims would emulate our economic system over the decades. The fundamentalist Muslims would be left to stagnate in their own ignorance.

Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace
If we as a country do not bring ourselves to confront the Democrat-Republican insanity of seeking hegemony in the Mideast, our fate will be no different than that of Britain and the Soviet Union before us. As the British found out in Afghanistan and the Sudan in the 19th century and then later in Palestine between 1918-1948, and as the Russians found out in Afghanistan in the 1980s, the Mideast is a swamp of ungovernable tribal factions, long standing ethnic hatreds, and barbaric religious squabbles. It has been this way for thousands of years.15 If we persist in attempting to establish hegemony over this region, we will have to become an occupying military force. This can do nothing but hasten the bankruptcy of our nation.

It is true that no great country should ever be concerned with whether it is loved by the rest of the world. But a great country must always be willing to objectively examine its policies, both past and present, to be sure it is not creating its enemies itself through ignorance and arrogance.

There is no more lethal combination of flaws for a man to possess than ignorance and arrogance. Those intellects who have studied history and grasp the flawed nature of man realize this. We see the hubristic tendencies of man throughout the centuries and long for leaders desirous of leaving people alone to seek their own destiny. We fear greatly the dreadful consequences of allowing ignorant and arrogant men to occupy the White House. We know that the tyrannical, bully mentalities of existence will always be with us in some capacity or another. But we also know that Washington and Jefferson wisely warned us to never let our destiny be controlled by such crude amoralists in positions of political power.

To be a country in pursuit of empire is pragmatically unworkable, for it bankrupts all those who attempt it. But more importantly it is morally reprehensible, for it violates the “rights of man” – the very creed that spawned our nation.

We are not a country of empire; we are a country of peace and individual freedom. “So let us set about creating a new impenetrable shield for the Republic,” as Buchanan advises, “crafting a new foreign policy rooted in the national interest, so America may pass through the turbulent decades before us, serene and secure, and men will look back, one hundred years hence, and say, that, yes, the twenty-first century, too, was an American Century.”16

This will require brave, moral men and women who are willing to stand up to the liberals and neoconservatives to reject their globalist agenda. We are a unique nation with a destiny to fulfill. It is to show the world what freedom is and how it is to be preserved, which cannot be done if we merge our sovereignty into World Government. And it cannot be done if we are browbeating backward people into submission to democracy with the butt ends of our rifles. We are a sovereign Republic, and we must never let that ideal die.

Notes
1. Patrick J. Buchanan, A Republic, Not an Empire, Reclaiming America's Destiny (Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, 1999), pp. 389-390.
2. Thomas G. West, "The Progressive Movement and the Transformation of American Politics," Heritage Foundation, July 18, 2007, http://www.heritage.org/Research/Thought/fp12.cfm.
3. Robert R. Reilly, The Closing of the Muslim Mind: How Intellectual Suicide Created the Modern Islamist Crisis, Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2011, p. 192.
4. Richard J. Maybury, The Thousand Year War in the Mideast (Placerville, CA: Bluestocking Press, 1999), pp. 66-84.
5. Ibid., p. 70. From Godfrey Jansen, quoted in Robin Wright, Sacred Rage (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1986), p. 252.
6. Bernard K. Duffy and Ronald H. Carpenter, Douglas MacArthur: Warrior as Wordsmith, (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1997), p. 151.
7. Speech to the Sperry Rand Corporation, New York City, July 30, 1957. Major Vorin E. Whan, Jr., ed., A Soldier Speaks: Public Papers and Speeches of General of the Army Douglas MacArthur (New York: Frederick A. Praeger, 1965), p. 333.
8. Duffy and Carpenter, op. cit., p. 151.
9. Washington's Farewell Address, Philadelphia, September 17, 1796. Speeches of the American Presidents, ed., Janet Padell and Steven Anzovin (New York: H.W. Wilson Co., 1988), p. 20.
10. Patrick J. Buchanan, Chapter 4, "The Myth of American Isolationism," in A Republic, Not An Empire, op. cit., pp. 47-55.
11. Ibid., pp. 52-53. Emphasis added.
12. Patrick J. Buchanan, Where the Right Went Wrong (New York: Thomas Dunne Books), pp. 238-239.
13. "Bin Laden 9/11 planning video aired," CBC News, September 7, 2006. http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2006/09/07/al-qaeda-tape.html.
14. Buchanan, Where the Right Went Wrong, op. cit., pp. 239-240.
15. Maybury, The Thousand Year War in the Mideast, op.cit.
16. Buchanan, A Republic, Not an Empire, op. cit., p. 390.
---------------
ARRA News Service. He is a freelance writer in Dallas, Texas and the Director of Americans for a Free Republic and author of The Golden Mean: Libertarian Politics, Conservative Values.

Tags: foreign policy, America, Nelson Hultberg, Americans for a Free Republic, Gary Varvel, editorial cartoon,   To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

IRS Backups & Blackberries

by Gary Bauer, Contributing Author: There may be a breakthrough concerning the IRS Tea Party targeting scandal. Judicial Watch, which is currently engaged in a legal battle with the IRS, is claiming that Lois Lerner's emails are not missing.

In a statement yesterday afternoon, the organization said that IRS attorneys acknowledged Friday that "Lois Lerner's emails, indeed all government computer records, are backed up by the federal government in case of a government-wide catastrophe." But it would be "too onerous" to retrieve them.

The implication of the statement is that -- contrary to all previous testimony -- Lerner's emails still exist.

Tom Fitton of Judicial Watch told Fox News: "So everything we've been hearing about scratched hard drives about missing emails of Lois Lerner, other IRS officials, other officials in the Obama administration, it's all been a pack of malarkey."

Fitton went on to accuse the IRS of "massive obstruction of justice."

IRS officials are pushing back, saying that Judicial Watch mischaracterized their statement.

"There was no new back-up system described last week to Judicial Watch," an administration spokesman said. "Government lawyers who spoke to Judicial Watch simply referred to the same email retention policy that Commissioner (John) Koskinen had described in his Congressional testimony."

The IRS claims that its backup tapes are routinely recycled, so any backups of Lerner's emails were (conveniently) lost too. That may well be true. If so, then why say at all that the database is "too onerous" to search? There would be no point in searching it.

Nevertheless, the Treasury Department's inspector general is investigating the backup system and whether data can be retrieved from recycled backup tapes. This confusion will likely lead to another round of sworn statements regarding who said what and exactly what was meant.

But wait…there's more.

Potentially more damaging to the IRS is the revelation that Lois Lerner also had a Blackberry, which should have contained all the missing emails. But, according to this report, "The IRS destroyed Lerner's Blackberry AFTER it knew her computer had crashed and after a Congressional inquiry was well underway."

Lerner was conveniently issued a new Blackberry in February 2012 -- just as news began to break about the IRS targeting conservative groups. Her previous Blackberry would be the one with the missing emails on it. But guess what? The IRS says it has no protocols for retrieving data from such devices because it only backs up computer hard drives!
-------------
Gary Bauer is a conservative family values advocate and serves as president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families

Tags: IRS, backups, Blackberries, Gary Bauer, Campaign for Working Families To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. and "Like" Facebook Page - Thanks!


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