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Archive for the ‘First Principles’ Category

So it turns out that Barack Obama just told some young people in Argentina that they should not get caught up in the difference between capitalism and communism/socialism <Washington Times, link>.

So often in the past there’s been a sharp division between left and right, between capitalist and communist or socialist. And especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate, right? Oh, you know, you’re a capitalist Yankee dog, and oh, you know, you’re some crazy communist that’s going to take away everybody’s property.
And I mean, those are interesting intellectual arguments, but I think for your generation, you should be practical and just choose from what works.

So mr. Obama is promoting the notion that the differences between capitalism and communism are merely “intellectual” and not affecting the every day life of the average citizen?

But let’s not be surprised by this sophistry — this is a man, after all, who told Americans on many occasions that he would redistribute wealth and pursue an openly statist agenda.

The good news is that there is a great video on the difference between capitalism and communism / socialism — it’s fun, informative, and downright entertaining as it lays waste to the nonsense being spewed by so many Liberals and “Progressives” who “hate capitalism” and now say that we should all “resist capitalism”.

If you have friends who fail to understand what capitalism is and why it is better than socialism and communism, then try to get them to watch this entertaining discussion of it.

If they watch to the end, they just might start to understand.

 

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So Bill Clinton is taking out the bully stick against the Republican Congress.

“That unprecedented obstruction these last eight years is their legacy…” <Huffington Post, link>

Many friends and family of mine fail this basic test of American Constitutional government (as does Slick Willie when he talks like this) by not realizing that the Founding Fathers created gridlock in our national government on purpose.

By design.

The Founders feared an overly meddlesome and corrupt central power, and trusted in the local wisdom and self-government of the citizenry. If national politicians fought with each other, then so much the better because they would be less likely to do bad things. And if they really wanted to get anything done, they would have to compromise with each other. Either way, the system was deemed to be working.

But there is a much more fun argument to make in the face of Liberals who get so upset about the allegedly evil “Republican obstructionism” and Republicans who exist solely to “stop Barack Obama at every turn”.

Here is a hint:

Trump makes a point

This man, Donald Trump, scares Liberals more than any man I can remember. It is breathtaking in fact — I believe they may be having night sweats about the prospect of him becoming president of the United States.

And so I ask these Liberals: if your dream of a Democrat party takeover of Congress comes true, and Trump is the president, how will you feel when Democrats in Congress “exist solely to stop Donald Trump”?

Will you claim that “Democrats are the problem in Washington”?

Will you blame Democrats for “obstruction” and chastise them for “not finding common ground” with the president?

No, you won’t.

You will forget you ever vilified Republicans in Congress for the very same behavior you will beg your Democrats to exhibit on your behalf.

Because you are blinded by partisanship, rather than enlightened by the Founders’ design.

 

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Hillary Clinton is horrifyingly guilty of trafficking in unsecured, classified email communications, an offense that mirrors others for which several American combat veterans, including a General, have been dismissed from the services they so devoted themselves to and risked their lives for.

This double standard, in which the laws of our nation, including those affecting national security, seem not to apply to a Secretary of State and yet apply to others whose loyalties to our nation are clearly superior to hers, is a direct assault against our nation’s core principles.

Hillary Clinton whithered

Here is a story this morning that leaves me wondering how an entire political party – the Democrat party – could continue to support a candidate like Hillary Clinton for the nomination, or how better candidates, such as the CURRENT VICE PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES could fail to jump in the race.

For shame.

From PJ Media (link):

A Marine and U.S. Naval Academy graduate who self-reported that he improperly stored classified documents will be separated from the Marine Corps Reserve following a decision by Assistant Navy Secretary Juan Garcia, the Washington Post reported Monday.

Maj. Jason Brezler’s emails warned officials about the corruption, including homosexual pedophilia, of an Afghan police chief named Anwar Jan, whose servant later killed three Marines and wounded a fourth. According to the Post:

Brezler’s case first came to light after he sent an e-mail with a couple classified documents attached to Marines in Afghanistan about Jan. Brezler was deployed to Afghanistan from 2009 to 2010, and had worked successfully to have Jan removed from power in another district, Now Zad. Brezler self-reported his spillage of classified information afterward, and the service found that he had been keeping it on an unsecured hard drive.
However unfortunate, the decision to expel Brezler for mishandling classified information is essentially orthodox.

But it came the same day the State Department released a new batch of emails Hillary Clinton sent from her private server while secretary of State. The latest wave contained 325 “confidential” and one “secret” email, rendering the batch’s classification rate 6.3 percent, and the highest so far, according to the Washington Times.

Clinton could not enjoy a greater contrast between her classified email fallout and Brezler’s. Currently Brezler works full-time for the New York Fire Department and will likely soon be discharged from the Marine Reserves. Clinton is the Democratic presidential frontrunner.

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The Paris attacks, at the hands of Islamic jihadis, are heartbreaking in so many ways. I truly love Paris, and have had many great moments there. At dinner with friends recently, I fantasized about us all traveling to Paris and bathing ourselves in the city’s great food, architecture, history, and beauty.

I once traveled to India on a business trip, and instead of flying directly home we chose to have a business meeting in Paris, allowing us to spend 24 hours in the city. I will never forget the feeling I had, exhausted from India, as the sight of Notre Dame came into view, in the afternoon sun…tears filled my eyes as my soul felt the embrace of this monument to the Western tradition.

Notre Dame Cathedral

Don’t get me wrong, I love India — its food, its people, its spirituality.

But I am wholly of the West, and cherish its essence so very, very much. The sight of Notre Dame spoke to me more loudly in that moment than any poetry ever could — I was home.

Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite.

But as much as I love the Western tradition, other people, including some who are of the west and many who are outside it, hate it and want to destroy it.

Now, if you want to destroy a group of wealthy and powerful nations, how do you go about it? Should you launch a direct assault?

Of course not, as frontal assault against a more powerful enemy always fails.

No, you must infiltrate the enemy’s borders, increase your numbers over time, resist any assimilation of your culture into theirs, show patience as you plot and plan, and then strike from within, to deadly effect.

Obama with frown

If you were a terrorist in the Middle East in 2007, you may have dreamed the following dream:

  • That an American president would diminish American power generally and specifically,
  • That an American president would abandon Iraq and Afghanistan without leaving a critical mass of combat personnel to help protect fledgling governments (as every previous American president had done as wars were ended),
  • That an American president would embrace Islamic hardliners like the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere,
  • That an American president would fail to intervene in Syria despite documented use of chemical weapons (proving that the so-called “red line” of the president was crossed without consequence, and that other murderous actions would face a similar lack of consequences),
  • That an American president would fail to protect U.S. diplomats from assassination and subsequent degradation of their bodies in the streets, 
  • That an American president would traffic in anti-Christian rhetoric while refusing to use the terms “Muslim” and “Islam” when discussing multiple terrorist bombings and killings inside his own country and around the world,
  • That an American president would liberate senior Muslim commanders from Guantanamo Bay, for no good reason,
  • That an American president would give the America-hating and Jew-hating Iranian mullahs a direct path to the procurement of nuclear weapons,
  • That an American president would welcome 10,000 refugees into the interior of the United States from a country whose population harbors terrorists from Hezbollah, ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other jihadist groups.

All this and more has in fact come true, so much so that our 2007 jihadi dreamer must be simply shocked at this point.

If you voted for mr. Obama, are you shocked yet? Will you ever be.

From Christopher Hull, writing in US News and World Report (“Obama is Dead Wrong About the Paris Attacks“):

The Obama White House would also have you believe that the 10,000 Syrian refugees the president is in the process of bringing to America this year alone will “go through the most robust security process of anybody who’s contemplating travel to the United States.” Just last week, the administration acknowledged that it was bringing online refugee screening outposts in the Middle East to “push out really ambitious goals” to “increase the channels” for bringing Syrians to America.

Unfortunately, President Obama’s own FBI director, James Comey, says the U.S. can’t properly vet Syrians for ties to Islamic jihad. Likewise, the assistant director for the FBI, Michael Steinback, has told Congress that when it comes to Syrian refugees, “We don’t have it under control.”

And so the accelerating suicide of the United States of America continues.

Since the Paris attacks Friday night, the internet has been flooded with examples of worldwide expressions of solidarity with France. On the one hand I find this to be touching and reaffirming of the goodness in many corners of the earth.

On the other hand, I am growing tired of the world’s sympathy for each “bloodbath” of terrorist carnage perpetrated against innocent Westerners, whether in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombing, committed by Muslim extremists, or the Madrid train bombing, committed by Muslim extremists, or the Paris attacks, committed by Muslim extremists.

And so with the benefit of hindsight, if you voted for Barack Hussein Obama in 2012 and/or in 2008, we can now say with certainty that you made the wrong choice. Whatever your “key issues” were in each campaign — you know, the ones that made you pull the lever for this man whose formative years were spent in Indonesia and whose mentors and parents hated our country and heritage — they were the wrong ones.

The Western world is being destroyed before our very eyes, and the liberty that we all have enjoyed these last 100 years is getting asphyxiated more and more each day as a result of the calamity of toxic actions taken or not taken by the Obama administration.

WE MUST RESOLVE, that for all its flaws, the Western tradition, as rendered most fully in the United States of America, is the last best hope of earth.

Inalienable rights.

Self-government.

Tolerance.

The sanctity of the individual.

Rule by law and not by personality.

The right to make free choices in pursuit of happiness.

These ideas are fragile and must be defended, or they will be extinguished by evil men.

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Back when Richard Nixon’s presidency began to shake, rattle, and roll under scrutiny for the Watergate break-in, the question of whether the Executive Branch of government was capable of investigating itself (via the Justice Department, an Executive Branch entity controlled by the president himself) once again came to the fore.

I found this synopsis of the events on PBS.org (link), and it neatly describes the cat-and-mouse game that presidents play when they are supposed to investigate their own administration:

As the investigation of the 1972 break-in of the Democratic Nationalrichard nixonCommittee’s Watergate offices began to reveal a deeper level of corruption — including political sabotage, obstruction of justice, and campaign finance irregularities — many in Congress pushed for the appointment of a special prosecutor. After his top aides and Attorney General either resigned or were dismissed in April 1973, President Richard Nixon himself suggested he might allow a new Attorney General to name a special prosecutor to investigate the scandal. The Senate held the administration’s feet to the fire by threatening to delay Attorney General-designate Elliot Richardson’s confirmation unless he agreed to appoint a special prosecutor. Richardson responded by naming Harvard University law professor Archibald Cox to the position, and publicly guaranteeing him the Justice Department would not interfere in his case.

This promise was put to the test in October 1973 during the so-called “Saturday Night Massacre,” when Nixon ordered Attorney General Richardson to fire Special Prosecutor Cox, who had continued to press for full release of the President’s secret Oval Office tapes. Neither Richardson nor Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus acceded to the President’s demand to fire the special prosecutor, and instead resigned. Finally, the next in command, Solicitor General Robert Bork, removed Cox on October 20. Galvanized by Cox’s firing and the subsequent public outcry, Congress initiated impeachment proceedings and began searching for ways to appoint a new prosecutor with greater independence. Trying to calm the storm he had unleashed, Nixon appointed Leon Jaworski to Cox’s position, with the proviso that Jaworski could not be fired without the consent of a majority of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

By the time Nixon resigned on August 9, 1974, Archibald Cox and his successor Leon Jaworski had carved out a new space in the public mind for the special prosecutor’s role in reining in official corruption. Moreover, many in Washington — including prominent Watergate investigator Sam Dash, members of Congress and important public interest groups — continued to push for some kind of institution which would insure a prosecutor’s independence in the future.

As this episode shows, once a prosecutor digs in on an issue, and the president who possibly committed crimes realizes he may be exposed, that president gets rid of that prosecutor. So much for the “independence” of the prosecutor.

So in the wake of the Nixon downfall came a powerful curb on executive power, signed into law by Jimmy Carter as part of a broad series of government reforms known as the Ethics in Government Act: The Office of the Special Prosecutor

The Act aimed to clean up American politics by creating a new ethics watchdog organization and by instituting new controls on high-ranking government officials, including financial disclosure requirements and lobbying restrictions. Prominent among these reforms were provisions for the appointment of an independent special prosecutor. Covering a wide range of executive branch officials, the law obliged the Attorney General to recommend the appointment of a special prosecutor whenever he or she received specific charges of misconduct, unless the charges were “so unsubstantiated” as to not warrant further investigation. Actually appointing the special prosecutor was a new three-judge panel, based at the US Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia.

This “office” evolved over the succeeding decades and survived a Supreme Court challenge and several 5-year expirations requiring new Congressional approval and presidential signature.

Of interest is the fact that Ronald Reagan himself signed a renewal of the law in 1983 and then again in 1987 even though his administration had been the target of special prosecutors seven times. Also of interest is that Bill Clinton signed a renewal of the law early in his first administration (emphasis added):

On July 1, 1994, Clinton signed the reauthorization bill, and called the law “a foundation stone for the trust between the Government and our citizens.” He dismissed charges that it had been a “tool of partisan attack…and a waste of taxpayer funds.” Instead, he said, the statute “has been in the past and is today a force for Government integrity and public confidence.”

Poor Bill ended up on the wrong end the of the law when he suffered the consequences of his bad testimony under oath in the Paula Jones lawsuit (a federal judge stripped him of his law license for five years and held him in contempt of court).

However it was the public perception of a runaway-independent counsel (Ken Starr’s discovery of the Monica Lewinsky evidence regarding Bill Clinton in the work place, which turned out to be central to the Paula Jones lawsuit — if you think it was only about blowjobs, you are wrong and should read this <link>) that led to the law’s failure to get renewed again after expiring in 1999.

Enter Barack Obama’s administration

So where are we now?

This is where we are now:

Judicial Watch today released new Department of Justice (DOJ) and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) documents that include an official “DOJ Recap” report detailing an October 2010 meeting between Lois Lerner, DOJ officials and the FBI to plan for the possible criminal prosecution of targeted nonprofit organizations for alleged illegal political activity.

The newly obtained records also reveal that the Obama DOJ wanted IRS employees who were going to testify to Congress to turn over documents to the DOJ before giving them to Congress. Records also detail how the Obama IRS gave the FBI 21 computer disks, containing 1.25 million pages of confidential IRS returns from 113,000 nonprofit social 501(c)(4) welfare groups – or nearly every 501(c)(4) in the United States – as part of its prosecution effort. According to a letter from then-House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen, “This revelation likely means that the IRS – including possibly Lois Lerner – violated federal tax law by transmitting this information to the Justice Department.” <judicialwatch.org, link>

That’s right, folks, Barack Obama’s IRS, and Barack Obama’s Justice Department, and Barack Obama’s FBI, engaged in a conspiracy to target Tea-Party groups not only for denial of tax-exempt status, but for possible criminal prosecution.

How badly do you think mr. Obama wanted to win re-election in 2012?

Badly enough to use the Executive Branch of government to suppress political opponents up to and including throwing them in jail?

Bring back the Office of the Independent Counsel

Now, who thinks that the Obama Justice Department is going to hold the IRS, and the FBI, and ITSELF accountable for any of this?

And why did this politician run the State Department on her own personal email server, which she now refuses to turn over to the government, and why does the Obama administration defend these actions? And did this same politician sell her influence as Secretary of State to the highest bidder? And did the same politician (and her boss) coverup wrong-doings in the Benghazi tragedy in which four Americans were left to be killed by Muslim extremists?

Hillary Clinton

Which brings us back to the point of this essay: the Office of the Independent Counsel is needed today more than ever in our history.

 

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Of note is the destination of choice for Chinese crooks who seek to live the good life outside of China:

The United States was identified as the leading destination by the Chinese authorities, with Canada second and New Zealand and Australia tied for third. <New York Times, link>

I have said many times that former colonies of the UK are the most free and wealthiest countries in the world, and that their forms of government are the most committed to foundations of liberty and justice for all.

We can all debate endlessly about which countries are better than others and whether one can even say such things at all (many Liberals hold up moral equivalency as a virtue).

But just look at how people around the world vote with their feet and you’ll see who has the winning argument about Western nations and the UK and its former colonies in particular.

UK and Friends

To be fair regarding this particular story, there is this to consider:

The four countries do not have extradition treaties with China, partly because of concerns about due process of law, human rights violations and excessive punishment in China.

The Chinese authorities say the reluctance of the four countries to hand over suspects has made them especially attractive havens for suspected economic fugitives.

However, I feel very comfortable making the same argument notwithstanding this extradition treaty issue.

We are still the best, period.

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Rudolph Giuliani, former Mayor of New York City and a man whose restoration of that city from the wreckage of David Dinkins to a shining city on a hill — a feat most thought impossible — will be celebrated and revered for hundreds and even thousands of years to come, has spoken the Truth about Barack Hussein Obama.

I do not believe, and I know this is a horrible thing to say, but I do not believe that the president loves America. He doesn’t love you and he doesn’t love me. He wasn’t brought up the way you were brought up and I was brought up, through love of this country.

Such plain-spoken truth has most certainly provoked our thin-skinned president and his servile enablers, but like the voice of an adult among so many gutless and infantile politicians in both political parties, Mr. Rudolph Giuliani is making no apologies, and in fact is doubling down. Rudy Giuliani is not running for President in 2016, but if he were, I would consider joining his campaign.

Truth Teller

Truth Teller

Here are excerpts of his follow-up on Fox News, under intense questioning by Megyn Kelly, a Fox News host (from The Kelly File, link): KELLY: The president’s team also getting involved today. The Deputy White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz taking a shot at the mayor over his failed run for president saying, quote, “Mr. Giuliani test drove this line of attack during his fleeting 2007 run for the presidency. I agree with him on one thing, it was a horrible thing to say.” Here now to respond, former New York City mayor and former Republican presidential candidate, Rudy Giuliani. Mr. Mayor, do you want to apologize for your comments?

RUDY GIULIANI, FORMER NEW YORK CITY MAYOR: Not at all. I want to repeat it. The reality is I — from all that I can see of this president, all that I’ve heard of him, he apologizes for America, he criticizes America. He talks about the crusades and how the Christians were barbarians, leaves out the second half of the sentence that the Muslims were barbarians also. He sees Christians slaughtered and doesn’t stand up and hold a press conference although he holds a press conference for the situation in Ferguson. He sees Jews being killed for anti-Semitic reasons. He doesn’t stand up and hold a press conference. This is an American president I’ve never seen before.

…. KELLY: A lot — a lot of Liberals don’t believe in American exceptionalism, but that doesn’t mean they don’t love America.

GIULIANI: Well, that I don’t feel it. I don’t feel it. I don’t feel this love of America. I think this man was — when I talked about his background, I’m talking about a man who grew up under the influence of Frank Marshall Davis who was a member of the communist party who he refers to over and over in his book, who was a tremendous critic of the United States.

This is a man who worked on Saul Alinsky who was a tremendous critic of the United States. I believe his initial approach is to criticize this country and then afterwards to say a few nice things about us.

KELLY: But when you say he wasn’t raised to love America, I mean, he was raised in part by his grandparents, his – his grandfather served in World War II, his grandmother worked in ammunitions plant to help the nation during World War II. I mean, to suggest he was raised by people who don’t love America, who don’t — didn’t help him learn to love America.

GIULIANI: Well, his — his grandfather introduced him to Frank Marshall Davis who was a communist who the president says.

KELLY: He fought in — he fought in World War II!

GIULIANI: OK. You can fight in World War II and then you introduce someone to a communist and the young boy gets.

KELLY: It’s a political world view. It’s not a hatred for the country.

GIULIANI: Communism wasn’t a hatred for America?

KELLY: I’m talking about this particular — his grandfather, if he had a leftist view of how politics in the United States should run, does that mean he doesn’t love America? Doesn’t mean.

GIULIANI: Well, OK. Well, Kelly, how about being in a church of 17 years where the minister of the church says, “It’s not God loves America but God damn America.” Now, if you were in that church, wouldn’t you quit that church?

KELLY: Let me ask you this.

GIULIANI: Wouldn’t — I’m going to ask you that? Would you quit that church?

KELLY: Well, listen. That is not — it’s not about me. But it’s not — it’s not about me. But I want to ask you this because.

GIULIANI: But I know you would quit that church. And the reason you would is because you were brought up about how exceptional this country is, how wonderful this country is. I am saying, and I may be wrong, it’s my opinion and I’m entitled to it.

KELLY: Yes.

GIULIANI: I do not detect in this man the same rhetoric and the same language, the same love of America that I detected in other American presidents including Democrats and I think it guides a lot of the things that he says and a lot of the things he does.

KELLY: Let me ask you this, so I mean, Debbie Wasserman Schultz is — she’s all upset about what she said.

GIULIANI: Well, she’s always all upset.

KELLY: — just for the record. She — she didn’t condemn Barack Obama when he called George W. Bush unpatriotic. She had no problem with that and she had said a lot of incendiary things.

GIULIANI: I did not — did not call him unpatriotic.

KELLY: I know. But she — she suggested you did. And she had an — an issue with that.

GIULIANI: I did not.

KELLY: She — Barack Obama actually did call George W. Bush unpatriotic. And Debbie Wasserman-Schultz had no problem with that. what I want to ask you thought because I have you here instead of her.

GIULIANI: OK.

KELLY: All right, is you went on Hannity’s show back in 2007 when you were running and this back when General Petraeus was — was testifying before Congress on the Iraq war and the surge and defending it. And MoveOn.Org had taken out an ad of the New York Times calling him “General Betray Us.”

GIULIANI: Right.

KELLY: And you were upset about that. You had the following exchange. I want to ask you whether it still stands. (BEGIN VIDEO CLIP, “HANNITY & COLMES,” SEPT. 13, 2007) HILLARY CLINTON, FORMER UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: The reports that you provide to us really require the willing suspension of disbelief. GIULIANI: It comes on the same day as the MoveOn.Org ad in the New York Times accusing General Petraeus of being a traitor, this is a despicable attack. Hillary Clinton should disown and condemn MoveOn.Org. SEAN HANNITY, Co-HOST: You actually said these times call for statesmanship, not politicians spewing political venom. GIULIANI: Yeah, you know, I mean, what — what kind of civility is that? (END VIDEO CLIP) KELLY: And so I ask you the same thing, what kind of civility is that?

GIULIANI: I think that’s perfectly civil. I think that is a perfectly reasonable opinion. But the president and his comments if we look at all his rhetoric has not displayed the kind of love of America, the kind of love of American exceptionalism that other American presidents have displayed. That he has gone abroad (ph) and criticized us over and over again, apologized for us. Every time he does it, it embarrasses me.

I was in Europe a lot this summer and this fall. And all I heard about is the bigoted American Police Departments and I never heard the president of the United States defend the policemen of America, 800,000 of which put their lives on the line for us.

KELLY: What about — what about the critics who say you’ve hurt the GOP? Because now you’ve got some people coming out saying these Republicans, this is how they are. I mean, that’s what Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, she wants Scott Walker to disavow your comments. She’s — she’s the head of the DNC. But — but do you think you hurt the Republican brand?

GIULIANI: I — I — I do not think I did. And last time all the candidates for president wanted me removed from office is when I fought the RICO case against teamsters union, the only one didn’t reach (ph) was George Bush.

KELLY: Accusing them of racketeering.

GIULIANI; And — and that case was just settled successfully after 30 years of changing the teamsters union (ph). I’m right about this. I have no doubt about it. I do not withdraw my words. If the president goes and makes a speech and talks about what a great country this is, if the president could complete the following sentence, “During the crusades the Christians were barbarians and so were the Muslims.” if the president could say, “Islamic fundamentalist terrorism is our enemy,” I will applaud the president.

But until he does that, I will have doubts about his emotions, his feelings, his attitudes and the way in which he developed. We haven’t even mentioned some of the other communists and leftists who educated him as a young man. But all we need is Reverend Wright. Seventeen years in that church and that man condemned America over and over and over again, and he remained a member of that church.

KELLY: the president suggested he wasn’t there —

GIULIANI: I would have —

KELLY: — for those sermons.

GIULIANI: The other parishioners didn’t tell him about it? I would have walked out of that church in two darn seconds because I love my country.

KELLY: Mr. Mayor, thanks for being here.

GIULIANI: Thank you.

KELLY: All the best, sir.

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