31 December 2012

Let's Go Over the Cliff

I don't generally get aggravated by politics, but it seems that I am. We're about 8 hours away from the so-called "fiscal cliff" and they're still talking about tax rates, but not at all discussing spending cuts. Amazingly stupid. The whole point of the fiscal cliff was to force Congress to deal with our terrible 16 TRILLION dollar deficit - to give the US some financial stability. But we'd rather spend all our time discussing taxes and tax rates. Where are the spending cuts? Where are they?

I say we go over the fiscal cliff. It's time to put that deficit on the front burner. If it means that we cut everything - let's cut everything. Defense, social programs - everything.

The game the Democrats are playing is incredible. Last Sunday President Obama announced that the two main goals for his second term are immigration and gun violence.  That's incredible. Unemployment is still sky high, people are dropping out of the work force - and he's focusing on immigration and gun violence. Where are his priorities? But we know where his priorities are - there hasn't been a budget in Washington for 3 years - and the one that Obama proposed didn't even get one Democratic vote.

But those that voted for him don't care. For four years, they bought the line that the economy was President Bush's fault. Stimulus spending was the way to go - and did nothing to create jobs. So here we are - President Obama has his second term, we have a 16 TRILLION dollar debt - and the Democrats still don't believe in spending cuts. Incredible.

I can't imagine why I'd be aggravated.

26 December 2012

Random News Wrap-up

It's been a busy few weeks - so I want to take a moment to welcome a new contributing writer to the blog, my sister Talya. She's a great asset and I'm happy to have her aboard.

Some old news. As a former Michigander I am absolutely thrilled that we passed "right to work" laws a while back. I finally have hope that Michigan will become a magnet for business - and as a result, more people will have an opportunity to find a job. Michigan is a wonderful state, it's time for us to get back on our feet. We can do it.

Michigan's Modest Labor Reform
Let's embrace Michigan's 'right to work' law
Unions: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

An article about gun ownership worth reading.

In a free society, people have the right to own guns

Another article worth reading as well.

Lessons from Newtown

Wishing everyone a happy, healthy and successful upcoming year.

20 December 2012

Proper Focus is Key

Let me introduce myself... My name is Talya Drissman Woolf, and I have been invited to be a contributing writer to this blog.

I'm a practicing attorney, newly married, and a writer and runner. I enjoy exercising, meeting new people, learning new things (including languages), and have my own company where I teach people how to shoot handguns (mainly women-only classes though I do have plenty of male students). I am a huge fan of the USA and Israel, and host a blog of my own, which discusses military, politics, Israel and related issues.

I'm honored to be writing for Shira's blog. I hope you enjoy my articles.

-Talya W.

---
It’s been a rough week for Americans.

Unfortunately, when a tragedy occurs (especially one that involves children), we want to do something to prevent it from happening again. Americans are fixers. This time is no different, but we have wrongly identified the problem that needs to be solved. It doesn’t help that the media sensationalizes the murderer, and it doesn’t help that we haven’t been focusing on the victims, or on the mental health aspect of these instances.

All states have laws in place that make it unlawful for certain individuals to acquire and possess guns. The laws in Connecticut, for example, state that a person must be twenty-one years of age to possess a handgun; that it is unlawful to possess a handgun by a person who has been convicted of a felony; convicted as a delinquent of a serious juvenile offense which includes illegal possession of a controlled substance, negligent homicide, third degree assault, first degree reckless endangerment, second degree unlawful restraint, rioting, or second degree stalking; discharged from custody within the preceding 20 years after acquittal by reason of mental disease or defect; confined by court order for mental illness within the preceding 12 months; subject to a restraining or protective order involving physical force; or an illegal alien. It is unlawful to possess any other firearm by a person who has been convicted of a felony.

Each state has comparable laws in place, but they do not affect how criminals and bad guys obtain their weapons, and never will. Perhaps those laws have to be harsher, but punishing law-abiding citizens and preventing them from obtaining guns so that they may defend themselves and loved ones is simply not the solution.

Instead of arguing about our country’s problems, debating what they might be, and using the deaths of small innocent children to push through restrictive laws, we should be focusing on finding a solution, both for schools and other public areas.

Teachers have always had a challenging job. Not only do they have to educate our children, but they are also responsible for keeping them safe. Principals and superintendants have the most pressure and the most children to watch over. One small town in Texas, Harrold, has found a solution.

Since it’s so small, the nearest sheriff’s office is thirty minutes away, much too long if something evil happens. They don’t have the money for a security guard either.

Instead, the school board voted to let teachers bring guns to school. Their teachers aren’t just anyone. They have master’s degrees, are older, have extensive training, and their guns are hidden. Normally, Texas law bans guns in school unless the school has given written authorization. In 2007, Harrold’s school board voted unanimously to allow employees to carry weapons. After obtaining their state concealed-weapons permit, each employee who wants to carry a weapon must be approved by the school board based on his or her personality and reaction to a crisis. This is a strict standard, and it continues. Employees must also undergo training in crisis intervention and hostage situations and must use bullets that minimize the risk of ricochet (similar to the ones used by air marshals on planes). 

Harrold, Texas is not alone. Superintendant David Thweatt stated that there are other Texas schools that allow teachers to carry weapons, but would not reveal their locations due to negative publicity.

The Texas solution is a smart one. It allows the teachers and administrators to protect their students and provides them with training so that they may do so. Most parents would do anything to protect their children, and want to be able to trust other adults to do the same. They want responsible and trained individuals to be watchdogs for their little loved ones.

It is important for administrators and principals to be able to protect their wards. Principals and vice-principals should be encouraged to go a step further and either carry weapons (and undergo training) or persuade interested teachers to do the same. Superintendants should be looking into similar solutions for their districts.

Rep. Mark McCullough of Oklahoma is working on a bill that would allow teachers and administrators to receive firearm training through the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training.

Richard Fairburn[1] suggested another solution, which can complement the above policy. While there simply aren’t sufficient policemen or military personnel to provide each school system with an armed guard, there is a no-cost solution available: Minutemen, defined as “an organization of citizens with limited military training who are available for emergency service, usually for local defense.” According to Fairburn, Minutemen must be exempted from every geographic restriction placed on those who currently carry concealed weapons since virtually every mass killing in recent history has occurred in a “gun-free zone.”

Fairburn lists three different categories of Minutemen: (1) former law enforcement officers; (2) retired military personnel; and (3) honest, armed citizens. This opens it up to hundreds of thousands of volunteers who would selflessly give their time (and lives) to serve and protect our next generation – and would do so at a moment’s notice.

These proposals will not deter opponents of the Second Amendment or eliminate fear. People still have doubts that more armed people, even trained ones, will equal more injuries and deaths. However, doubts can be eliminated, or at least seriously reduced, with extensive training and responsible guards. 

It’s sad that it has come to this, and nothing is guaranteed, but it’s better to be prepared and trained than it is to be ignorant and fearful. Let’s protect our little ones and our public with more than just hopes and wishes. Let’s teach them that we love them and care for their safety. Let’s find and utilize reliable solutions first, so that we can then have breathing room to address the real problems and not the guns. 

---
[1] Richard Fairburn has more than 30 years of law enforcement experience in both Illinois and Wyoming, working patrol, investigations and administrative assignments. Richard has also served as a Criminal Intelligence Analyst and as the Section Chief of a major academy’s Firearms Training Unit and Critical Incident training program. He has a B.S. in Law Enforcement Administration from Western Illinois University and was the Valedictorian of his recruit class at the Illinois State Police Academy. He has published more than 100 feature articles and two books: Police Rifles and Building a Better Gunfighter.

11 December 2012

Israel/Canadian Relations and the Canadian Health Care System

Recent articles that I've found important reading:

"No greater friend": The bond between Netanyahu and Harper goes beyond statecraft
An interesting point of view on why Canada's Prime Minister Harper is such a huge supporter of the State of Israel.

End-of-life battles expose the culture clash in Canada's intensive care units
The article talks about "culture clash" but anyone religious or has specific ideas about how they'd like to have control over their end-of-life issues should be concerned about the lack of control they and their families truly have. Coming to a country near you... which reminded me about this next article.

The Ugly Truth About Canadian Health Care
Another must read.

04 December 2012

Party at the United Nations!


Okay everyone, let's all give a big round of applause to welcome the new state of "Palestine" to our august body of the United Nations... that's right, this is a great moment.

As for you "Palestine", we know you have no history, no great leaders to point to, no true national identity - but we'll overlook that. We know that you hate the Jews, and what more do we need to say? We do too!

We're sure that you'll enjoy your time here at the UN. There are plenty of other countries that you have much in common with, dictatorships, rogue states, terrorist states - oh, you already know Iran? Of course, they gave you those missiles you shot off into Tel Aviv and Jerusalem a couple of weeks ago. It's always good at know at least somebody at a party.

Freedom? Democracy? Tolerance for religious minorities? Human rights? Respect for your neighboring countries? Nah, details, shmetails, those things aren't important here at the United Nations.

Get comfortable, join a few committees - maybe file charges against Israel at the International Criminal Court once you get the hang of things. We're sure that you can find something to do here at the UN to delegitimize Israel.

Again, everyone please welcome "Palestine" to the United Nations - we are so happy to have you here.

The Peace Talks to Nowhere Good

27 November 2012

Religious vs. Secular Egypt

This is the best news that has come out of the Arab "Spring" yet. Secular Egyptians and even the court system are protesting the recent power grab by Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Morsi. It almost gives me hope that something good may come out of the Arab Middle East yet.

Why is this a good thing? It seems that the more secular a Muslim is - the more pragmatic he becomes. He's willing to be more tolerant toward others with whom he does not agree.

On the flip side of that, it seems that the more religious, or devout a Muslim becomes - the more intolerant he is. All of a sudden jihad becomes a leading tenant and the fight against the infidel moves to the forefront of his brain (or her brain - we don't want to be sexist, there have been female suicide bombers).

It is in the US and Israel's interest to have a secular Egypt - they may not love us, but they'll work with us. A religious Muslim Brotherhood has other priorities - working with infidels would not be included in them.

We should hold our breath as the crowds in Tahrir Square get larger.


21 November 2012

"Cease-fire" aka "Time to Rearm"

I reprint this article every so often when Israel finds herself in this situation - to remind us all what a "cease-fire" really means in the Muslim mind. In essence it's a chance to rearm and prepare for another war.

What does Israel gain by accepting a cease-fire? Are the rockets from Gaza going to stop? The media is reporting that this conflict began about eight days ago... they're wrong. The conflict began when the rockets entered Israeli airspace, targeting schools and civilians - years ago when Israel evacuated all her citizens out of the Gaza Strip in a show of good will toward the "Palestinians". When the Jews left the Strip, the rockets began flying. I'm glad that  'land for peace' swap worked out so well for us.

Letter to Bibi: Expulsion Blew Up in Our Face

July 24, 2003
Cease-fire?

I do not ride the buses because I'm afraid that I'll be blown up. In fact, I rented a car here in Israel so I would not have to use the convenient and inexpensive public transportation system. My life and the life of every other Jew in this country has been changed because of the Arab occupation of this land.

What about this "cease-fire"? Doesn't that mean that we are working toward peace over here in Israel? One would think so. But the Jewish woman who was blown up in her own home when a suicide bomber walked in might disagree. It was only a "splinter group" that took responsibility.

Two days ago I was sitting at my friend's kitchen table in a suburb of Jerusalem playing cards. All of a sudden I heard shooting from the nearby Arab village. Did someone say something about a "cease-fire"?

What is being touted as a "cease-fire" is something called a "hudna". A hudna is a tactical cease-fire that allows the Arabs to rebuild their terrorist infrastructure in order to be more effective when the "cease-fire" is called off.

We must listen carefully to the double talk of Yasser Arafat and Abu Mazen when they call for peace with the Jews. Arafat has always used the peace treaty that Mohammed signed with the Quraysh tribe in Mecca in the seventh century as a model for his peace treaties signed with the Jews.

But why should we care about a peace treaty signed hundreds of years ago?

If we do not understand this important event, we will never understand the situation here in Israel.

Israelis here were thrilled when the latest cease-fire was signed. There were pictures in the newspapers showing our young soldiers jumping for joy. Unfortunately, they obviously do not know that a historical mistake is being replayed. It is based on the history of Mohammed and the tribe of Quraysh.

Mohammed originated from the city of Mecca, which was being controlled by the tribe of Quraysh. But in 622 A.D. Mohammed fled to Medina after being forced from Mecca by the Quraysh tribe for preaching a monotheistic message.

While in Medina, Mohammed signed a peace treaty with the tribe of Quraysh that "agreed to remove war from the people for 10 years. During this time...no one is to lay hands on another...evil [is] to be abstained from, and there is to be no raiding or spoliation."

During the next eight years Mohammed concentrated on building his power base and was soon much stronger than the Quraysh tribe. The treaty quickly fell to pieces and Mohammed attacked the Quraysh tribe in 630 A.D. and took the city. The peace treaty was only a tactical tool against the Quraysh tribe.

Here too in Israel we have the same situation. israel has signed peace treaty after peace treaty with the Arabs who occupy this country. These peace treaties mean nothing when Arafat compares them to the peace treaty between Mohammed and the Quraysh tribe of Mecca. This and every other peace treaty is based on the belief that it is acceptable to deceive your enemy if he is stronger than you.

Peace is certainly an honorable goal, but it requires that all parties act honorably. When it is obvious that when the Arabs are not acting in good faith, a peace treaty becomes a death pact. The treaty of Mohammed and the Quraysh tribe is one to be remembered.

The Arabs here certainly do.

19 November 2012

Humanitarian Aid for Terrorists


These numbers were posted on Facebook - to remind all of us that the Israeli attacks are only occurring in order to stop the rockets from falling, and are not indiscriminate attacks like those coming from the Gaza Strip. To show everyone that Israelis care about all human beings - even those who prefer to see every Jew dead. And just a reminder to all - Hamas was democratically elected. I have little sympathy for those who voted them in.

While Hamas fires rockets from Gaza, Israel delivers food and medicine (National Post)

I wrote this article back in August 2011. Nothing has changed - I could have written it today.

Feed the Terrorists - They Need Strength to Fire Rockets into Israel

This tweet from the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) Spokesperson caught my eye:
#Hamas pounds #Israel w/rockets; Thurs. Israel sent 263 truckloads w/goods into #Gaza for #Palestinian Pop. & sending more today #IDF
Why? Why is Israel sending tons of "goods" into Gaza?

Rockets are being sent into Israel indiscriminately, over a hundred in the last 3 days - people are being hurt and murdered - and Israel is sending goods into Gaza? It's almost a bad joke.

Does Israel think that sending goods into Gaza is going to make them our friends? We know it isn't going to happen. In fact, a poll of "Palestinians" in the "West Bank" and the Gaza Strip published last month proves the point.
Respondents were asked about US President Barack Obama’s statement that “there should be two states: Palestine as the homeland for the Palestinian people and Israel as the homeland for the Jewish people.”

Just 34% said they accepted that concept, while 61% rejected it.

Sixty-six percent said the Palestinians’ real goal should be to start with a two-state solution but then move to it all being one Palestinian state.

Asked about the fate of Jerusalem, 92% said it should be the capital of Palestine, 1% said the capital of Israel, 3% the capital of both, and 4% a neutral international city.

Seventy-two percent backed denying the thousands of years of Jewish history in Jerusalem, 62% supported kidnapping IDF soldiers and holding them hostage, and 53% were in favor or teaching songs about hating Jews in Palestinian schools.

When given a quote from the Hamas Charter about the need for battalions from the Arab and Islamic world to defeat the Jews, 80% agreed. Seventy-three percent agreed with a quote from the charter (and a hadith, or tradition ascribed to the prophet Muhammad) about the need to kill Jews hiding behind stones and trees.
So basically, these "people" are all for the kidnapping and murdering of Jews and establishing "Palestine" in all of what is Israel today. Yup, sending tons of goods into Gaza is going to do a lot for this relationship. What a waste.

I just don't get it. This is beyond comprehension. These "Palestinians" are bound and determined to destroy the Jewish People and we're trucking in "goods" as good will gestures. They must be laughing at us. How stupid are the Jews?

Come September when these wonderful, "peaceful" and tolerant people come to the United Nations to ask for a state - I'm sure they'll remember the good ole' days when the Jews were trucking in "goods" to help them out... even while they were sending rockets raining down on Ashkelon and Be'er Sheva. I'm sure that they really care.

It's amazing that some still assume that the "Palestinians" in the "West Bank" are somehow different than the ones in Gaza. Again, remember that this poll includes both groups... and again, remember that Fatah in the West Bank and Hamas in Gaza are already in unity talks - which means that the United Nations will be thrilled to announce new terrorist states in the West Bank and in Gaza as well. Another bad joke.

Since the "Palestinians" have decided to forgo all negotiations and treaties signed with Israel - Israel should say that all is null and void. It's time to annex Judea/Samaria (aka the West Bank) and end the Arab occupation of Jewish land. We have a 3000 year history the Arabs do not respect or recognize. If those Arabs living in Judea/Samaria cannot handle living in a Jewish State - they are welcome to leave. No one is stopping them.

And as it's said - don't let the door hit you on the way out.

18 November 2012

Restraint?!

Calls for "restraint" have begun. Yes, restraint. After months of hundreds of missiles raining down on Israeli heads - murdering, injuring and destroying - Israel finally decided to do something serious. They killed a top Hamas terrorist, best known for orchestrating the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit. Oh, it was then that the world decided to finally take notice of Israel's "aggression".

Rather than cheering on the Israelis and complementing them on a job well done - we hear calls for Israeli restraint, even from the United States.
Obama said Israel had the right to defend itself against Hamas' missile attacks from Gaza. But he urged Israel not to launch a ground assault in Gaza, saying it would put Israeli soldiers, as well as Palestinian citizens, at greater risk and hamper an already vexing peace process. 
"If we see a further escalation of the situation in Gaza, the likelihood of us getting back on any kind of peace track that leads to a two-state solution is going to be pushed off way into the future," Obama said.
I wonder what message this sends to the democratically elected Hamas government in Gaza - the world won't say a word about the hundreds of rockets targeting school buses and innocents trying to live their lives - but when the world is made a safer place by the assassination of a chief murderer - "restraint" is called for. The message is clear: Jewish blood is cheap.

Not only is Jewish blood cheap - we'll even reward these attacks by more "peace" talks, more talk of another terrorist state on Israel's border. A second "Palestinian" state - since Gaza is State #1.  Don't escalate this war, the President warns Israel, we're trying to have "peace" talks with these terrorists - never mind that they don't have an interest in peace - just in seeing Israel and her citizens in pieces.

No other nation in the world would tolerate even a single missile entering their airspace. Not the French, and especially not the Germans. Imagine the United States allowing such a thing to happen without an overwhelming response. But the world calls for "restraint" from Israel even after they've shown restraint - allowing hundreds of rockets to rain terror on her civilians without complaint.

Jewish blood is cheap and the Arab world knows it. They know the world doesn't care about the Jews...go ahead, feel free to send the rockets.

Calls for "restraint"? What a joke.

Please donate to One Family Fund, a great organization dedicated to Israel's victims of terror.

11 November 2012

Veterans Day/Remembrance Day 2012


In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

- John McCrae

Today we commemorate Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in Canada. Please take the time to thank a veteran and take the time to support a veterans organization as well. These listed are only suggestions.

Final Salute Inc. - help homeless female vets

Fisher House Foundation - housing for military families near hospitals/rehab

Canadian Hero Fund - help support Canadian military personnel and their families

21 October 2012

Barbarians in the Streets

A violence prone-minority with a bad attitude and no sense of humor. Yep. Seems like you've met the Muslims before... (thx Talya for this perfect description)

Yes, the humorless Muslims are back and protesting in a city near you. Not only in the nascent pan-Islamic caliphate, but in London, England. That darn YouTube video seems to really be getting under their skin. Ten thousand Muslims descended on Google's office in London as part of a lead up to a "million-strong march in Hyde Park" to demand a ban of the video.

We shouldn't be too surprised. We know that Muslims have no sense of humor and expect the rest of us to play along with their lack of understanding of basic human rights. Free speech is still free speech whether it offends them or not.

The best part of this protest is that they call on other religions - Jewish and Christians - to join in a call for civility.
"Organisations like Google are key players and have to take responsibility for civility. You can't just say it doesn't matter that it's freedom of speech. It's anarchy."
Sheikh Siddiqui, a barrister from Nuneaton, said he wanted to form a coalition with the Church of England, Catholics, Jewish groups, Trade Unions and even Conservatives to encourage their ranks to join his "campaign for civility".
"We want everyone in society to recognise these people are wrecking our fragile global society. We want the Church, the Synod, Jewish groups and establishment figures involved," he said.
It's a bad joke. Muslims calling on other religious groups that are regularly terrorized in Muslim countries. Christians are murdered and churches are burned all over the Islamic world. Jews, as well, are a hated minority - terrorized and murdered regularly - with the Muslim hope of complete annihilation.

The Muslims are not to be underestimated - they are flexing their muscles in the streets of London. They are testing the limits of a liberal democracy - in the country that gave the world the Magna Carta and John Locke - by calling for limits on freedom of speech, but at the same time using that same freedom to march by thousands in the streets attempting to impose their 7th century sensibilities onto our modern world with the implicit threat of violence.
Self-employed businessman Ahmed Nasar said he was worried the video could lead to violence in Britain in the same way as it had abroad. "If you push people too far," he said, "You will turn the peaceful elements into violence."
The western world is under siege in the name of tolerance and "civility". To accept limits on free speech simply because that speech offends a particular group - to self censor due to fear - is where we are headed by not countering this march. In essence, we are destroying our own freedoms in order to avoid conflict - but unfortunately acquiescence is appeasement. Rather than bringing peace, we are bringing conflict by not making it clear that our western freedoms are not negotiable.

Barbarians are in the streets. Where is Charles Martel?

14 October 2012

Vice-Presidential Debate Impressions

I call the debate a tie. Vice President Joe Biden is a good debater, but Representative Paul Ryan definitely held his own. Joe Biden seemed to find just about everything Ryan said funny. Some have been saying that it's a nervous tic, or just a way to be condescending. I agree with the latter. Many on the left do not debate ideas - perhaps they are unable to - they would rather mock them and belittle those who hold them. I was not surprised by Biden's antics, but wish Ryan would have called him out on them. Ryan was too polite, too deferential to Biden.

The economy is in the toilet, but only took 10 minutes worth of debate time. Why bother with discussion about a 16 trillion dollar debt or the death of Social Security/Medicare/Medicaid for those of us under 40? Do we really expect them to exist when we get old enough to need them?

The question about their personal beliefs about abortion was a waste of time. Who cares? Law of the land is Roe v. Wade, and even if that Supreme Court case were to be overturned, it does not make abortion illegal in the United States - let's repeat that - it does not make abortion illegal. It does kick the abortion question back to the states where it belongs. Each state would make their own decisions about the abortion rights. Don't worry, California and New York will always have abortion - and if you're really stressed about it - just come to Canada, where there are no - let's repeat that - no limits on abortion.

After the debate I caught a couple comments by others - A.B. Stoddard made a good point about the debate. It won't change anything, but it will make the Democrats feel better, especially after President Obama's pathetic attempt at the first presidential debate. I have to agree, no one expected much from this debate other than tuning in to see how Ryan was going to do and to see how far Biden was going to shove his foot down his throat.

Another comment I heard was from Chris Matthews - a "brilliant" political analyst. He said that people care more about abortion than about Benghazi. If this is true, then I'm scared. Four Americans, one of them an ambassador to Libya, were murdered in a terrorist attack on 9/11 in Benghazi, Libya. First, the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton came on television to condemn the supposed anti-Islam video that caused the riot that supposedly got out of control that killed those four men - then condemned the murders. But even that condemnation (if you can call it that) was weak - no anger, no passion - that Americans were murdered in cold blood. Never mind that there was no riot - and the fact that the administration took weeks to actually call it "terrorism", since that word doesn't readily exist in their vocabulary - that those in Benghazi asked for more security and didn't get any... the Middle East is quickly becoming a Muslim Brotherhood fraternity and the Obama administration has the audacity to proclaim that since they killed Osama Bin Ladin all is well with the world.

It's scary to think that anyone may actually believe that the world is a safer place to live in since Barack Obama took charge. The fact that four Americans were murdered with no serious repercussions proves to the world, and the Muslim terrorist world in particular, that we are weak - that our representatives can be attacked and murdered at will. And if our diplomats - who are supposed to have special immunity - are open to attack, what does that say for Americans traveling abroad?  The Obama administration's foreign policy has been a disaster, not just for the immediate future - but for the next generation or two.

Im looking forward to the next Presidential debate. I will say that the highlight of the last one was the question about the proper role of government. Obama babbled on about something, darned if I know what it was - and Mitt Romney clearly pointed to the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Excellent.

16 September 2012

Baby Boy!

In case anyone was wondering where I've been the last little while, I have been busy with life. We have welcomed an adorable baby boy to our family about two weeks ago and been trying to juggle everything since then. Life is good, thank G-d!

A wonderful Rosh HaShana (New Year) to the Jews out there. Please G-d, this should be a peaceful, healthy and successful year for all of us and the entire world.

28 August 2012

The Muslim Brotherhood's Egypt

Caroline Glick has written some excellent articles about the Muslim Brotherhood's takeover of Egypt. I seriously recommend taking the time to read them. What's been happening in Egypt has been mostly ignored by the media at large - considering that Hosni Mubarak was a stabilizing figure in the Middle East and was thrown under the bus by President Obama after 30 years of being a US ally - I'm not surprised.

The Muslim Brotherhood's Useful Idiots (June 22, 2012)

Obama's Spectacular Failure (July 12, 2012)

The Muslim Brotherhood's American Defenders (July 27, 2012)

The IDF's Egyptian Fiasco (Aug. 12, 2012)

Who Lost Egypt? (Aug. 17, 2012)

27 August 2012

Canadian Corner

Even though Canada is the United States' largest trading partner and just happens to be our neighbor to the north - Americans don't seem to know anything about the country, myself included until about three years ago when I married a wonderful Canadian and moved to the red and white maple leafed country. We take Canada for granted, a peaceful and democratic neighbor that we make a lot of fun of - eh!

Since I'm a relative newbie here - I've decided to try to add a posting every so often of news relating to Canada as part of learning about where I live and to try to expose Americans to our good friends with similar values. Canada is truly an important partner to the US - especially when they are trying to help us with our energy needs (ie. the Keystone XL pipeline from Alberta) when they could very easily ship to any other part of the world. We need to nurture this relationship rather than throw their good-will gestures back in their faces.

Stephen Harper renews hunt for Franklin ships long lost to the Arctic depths

Mitt Romney's energy plan could heal U.S.-Canada rift

24 August 2012

The 1st Amendment and Political Speech


While we're in the thick of the political season, it's very easy to dislike the rhetoric being thrown around - but we should understand how lucky we are to have the right to speak our minds. Protection of political speech was the main reason for the inclusion of "freedom of speech" and the press in the 1st Amendment to the United States Constitution.
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for the redress of grievances.
Keep in mind other places around the world where political speech is not protected. For example, we can point to Russia and the arrest and imprisonment of the "girl band" Pussy Riot. They received a sentence of two years in prison for essentially doing not much more than the crime of trespassing - oh and by the way, "singing" against Russian President Vladimir Putin, while they were there.

The right to speak our minds (within the limits set by the US Supreme Court - for example: don't yell "fire" in a crowded theatre) is truly one that we need to be thankful for. The freedom of political speech is one that the Founders took seriously - and we should too.

Bill of Rights "Text Study"
Happy Bill of Rights Day! Time to Celebrate! (Dec. 15, 2011)
Bill of Rights Day (Dec. 9, 2002)

13 August 2012

Bill of Rights "Text Study"


Next in our study of founding documents we will take a look at the Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution. The Constitution would not have been ratified without these individual protections to go with it.

Like the Declaration of Independence, we take these ideas and G-d given rights for granted, never really thinking about or appreciating these rights. It's time to take a few minutes to read them through - asking yourself how things would be so different without them, and which one you find most important or meaningful.

The Preamble to The Bill of Rights
Congress of the United States
begun and held at the City of New-York, on 
Wednesday the fourth of March, one thousand seven hundred and eighty nine.
THE Conventions of a number of the States, having at the time of their adopting the Constitution, expressed a desire, in order to prevent misconstruction or abuse of its powers, that further declaratory and restrictive clauses should be added: And as extending the ground of public confidence in the Government, will best ensure the beneficent ends of its institution.
RESOLVED by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America, in Congress assembled, two thirds of both Houses concurring, that the following Articles be proposed to the Legislatures of the several States, as amendments to the Constitution of the United States, all, or any of which Articles, when ratified by three fourths of the said Legislatures, to be valid to all intents and purposes, as part of the said Constitution; viz.
ARTICLES in addition to, and Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, proposed by Congress, and ratified by the Legislatures of the several States, pursuant to the fifth Article of the original Constitution.
Note: The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791, and form what is known as the "Bill of Rights."
Amendment I
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment II
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Amendment III
No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Amendment IV
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Amendment V
No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Amendment VI
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Amendment VII
In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Amendment VIII
Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Amendment IX
The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment X 
The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident... but not Everyone Does  (Aug. 8, 2012)
Declaration of Independence "Text Study" (Aug. 2, 2012)

10 August 2012

08 August 2012

We Hold These Truths to be Self-Evident... but not Everyone Does


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.
These truths which Americans hold to be "self-evident" and codified in the Declaration of Independence are truly not "self-evident" to much of the world at large.

We just need to take a quick look around -

In honor of the Olympics we can use China as a good example. The government takes the children from their homes if they show an aptitude for certain sports. In other words, the children belong to the government, and not to their parents - and the government has the right to take these children. The power of the government does not come from the people, but instead, any rights people there have come from the largesse of the government.

Of course, we must mention the lack of political speech, basic human rights, the limitations on private practice of religion and the government's role in forced abortions. All of which are at odds with our "self-evident" truths that are G-d given rights.

We can also take a look at the Muslim/Arab world. Slavery still exists there. We assume that it's clear that one person shouldn't own another - but this is another "self-evident" truth that isn't quite that evident to everyone.

The fact that women are created equal to men is also another "self-evident" truth that is unacceptable in the Muslim/Arab world. The right to vote, the ability to even drive a car, the ability to walk in public without a male chaperone, and even the extreme but regular occurrences of honor killings in the Middle East and in western societies such as the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom also point to the lack of basic understanding of "equality", "life" and "liberty".

Some may point to the fact that these high minded truths were not originally adhered to in the United States when this document was written in 1776. That is true. But what it also true is that this document was bringing the novel idea of G-d given rights to the world at a time when they didn't exist. It is a founding document - it is one that all throughout our history people have pointed to in order to show us the way. We are living up to those ideals. Many are not and have no interest in doing so.

There is much to be learned from our founding documents - and much that we take for granted.

Declaration of Independence "Text Study"

02 August 2012

Declaration of Independence "Text Study"

There are so many things that we take for granted as Americans - our freedoms, our way of life, our exceptionalism. I think that it's time to delve into... or at least take a look at some of our basic founding documents.

I've looked over the Declaration of Independence this week and these are some of the interesting points that I've found -- please share which ones you find most interesting.

First, a side note - The Declaration of Independence was written in one sitting by Thomas Jefferson, I think a most brilliant thinker. It was adopted by the United States Congress on July 4, 1776 - Independence Day.

The first two introductory paragraphs seem to be a general reasoning why the American Colonies were declaring their independence from Great Britain, followed by a listing of grievances that the Americans felt.

A lot of the reasoning come from John Locke, another thinker of the time that we should take a look at, but not today.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, 
When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. 
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
Like Jefferson says here, government is granted its power from the people. Not the other way around. Another very important point here (but generally overlooked) is that our rights come to us from our Creator - not given to us by government.

People do not generally on a whim change their form of government, like Jefferson writes, "mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed." Very true - but then there becomes a breaking point.

He then lists many of these abuses that the colonists are no longer willing to suffer with. The two that jump out at me are these:
He has erected a Multitude of new Offices, and sent hither Swarms of Officers to harass our People, and eat them out of their Substance.  
Creating new offices and expanding government through new bureaucracies and thousands of laws that we are required to follow - without really knowing what they are, while still paying for them through our taxes - seems wrong. Taking a look at New York and Mayor Bloomberg trying to micro-manage people's lives through limiting soft-drink sizes and even "forcing" women to breast-feed seems like a huge over-reach of government power.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
When reading that statement I think about the lack of Executive interest in enforcing the border and immigration policies. I know very well that immigration laws need to be rewritten - but until then - policies have to be enforced. American citizens are in danger, especially American ranchers along the border who are scared to death of the drug cartels and illegals.

"I'm a citizen of the United States. This is supposedly sovereign soil, but right now it's anybody's who happens to be crossing here," he said. "I'm a little nervous being here right now. Definitely don’t come down here after dark." 
The farmer said a federal law enforcement agent told him to buy a bulletproof vest to use while working in his fields. Whenever he goes out to survey his agricultural operations, he always tells his office where he is headed, and he has purchased a high-powered rifle. 
"One of the basic points of the federal government is to protect the people of this nation to secure the border, and they're not doing that," he complained.

In some ways, the federal government doesn't seem to care - in other words "declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us."

It's a fascinating document - I'm glad I was able to take a few minutes to re-read such an interesting piece. Of course, so much to say... so little time.

Jewish versus "Palestinian Culture"


Stop the presses... the "Palestinians" are whining again. They've been insulted. Mitt Romney, while in Israel, said that the "Jewish culture" has made Israel successful. The "Palestinians" find this to be a racist comment.

Of course they also thought that taking a moment of silence during the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games to remember the eleven murdered Israelis during the 1972 Munich Olympics was "racist" as well - I assume that's because they were the murderers... and murdering Jews simply because of their religion might identify the "Palestinians" as the real racists and they didn't really want that made public on the world stage.

Then again, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) obliged them - rather than pointing out to the world the hypocrisy of the "Palestinians" as well as the Muslim world who had threatened to boycott the Games.

Romney did the right thing and did not appease the "Palestinians" by pretending that their "culture" is equal to the "Jewish culture". To begin with, Jews believe in the sanctity of life. The "Palestinians" clearly do not. Hey, hey, how many buses have you bombed today? - comes to mind. Jews have a strong focus on education and taking care of the next generation. The "Palestinians" clearly do not. Summer camps named after so-called martyrs that teach kids how to to shoot machine guns and blow themselves up do not constitute being "educational". Surprisingly enough, neither are school textbooks that portray Christians and Jews as pigs, dogs and monkeys. Children's television programming with children singing about "jihad" and "martyrdom" wouldn't fall under "educational" either.

One has to wonder about the "Palestinian culture" of which they are so proud.

To show support for the Jewish culture which has contributed to Western Civilization as a whole and to the world community through amazing medicaltechnological and other breakthroughs (Nobel Prize winners) doesn't require a person to be a rocket scientist, but it does require honesty and, it seems, a little bit of backbone. It's nice to finally see these traits in a presidential candidate. It's about time.

30 July 2012

Thank You Bob Costas, the Italian Olympic Team and EasyJet

It is important to show gratitude to those who publicly do the right thing. While the International Olympic Committee (IOC) did not take a moment of silence during the opening ceremonies to remember the Israeli 11 that were murdered 40 years ago during the 1972 Munich Olympics, there were a few who did take the time to publicly remember them:

Bob Costas, of NBC, when the Israeli delegation marched during the opening ceremonies, explained that Israel had asked the IOC for a moment of silence and was refused, and the IOC instead had a private moment with about 100 attending. Costas disagreed with that decision and said that the place to take that moment of silence was in front of the world. He was then silent until he went to commercial.

The Italian Olympic Team also deserves our public thanks.
The Italian Olympic team at the London Olympic Games made a noble gesture Sunday and stood in silence outside the quarters of the Israeli team, in memory of the 11 athletes slain in the Munich Olympics 40 years ago... 
About 30 Italians were present at the ceremony, including Italy's Minister of Sport, the heads of the Italian Committee and athletes.

And kudos to an EasyJet pilot flying from England to Israel.
"The pilot came on the intercom and informed the passengers that the crew will be observing a minute of silence as they fly over Munich and he invited the passengers to join them in remembering the Israeli sportsmen who were murdered there at the Olympic Games 40 years ago," according to the report.
While there are those who choose to go the "easy" route to placate and appease those who "dislike" Jews - we must remember and publicly thank those who deliberately go out of their way to do the right thing and stand by us. I'm sure there were many others around the world who took a quiet moment of silence in honor of those Jews. Thank you to all who did. Thank you to those who do the right thing.

Please Join our "Text Study" of the Declaration of Independence


I was inspired last week watching an interview by Piers Morgan with Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia. It was an interesting interview - Morgan asking questions completely from an ignorant standpoint - which can be a good thing - but one of his last questions was the one that got me thinking. To paraphrase: How are the Founders any smarter than the legislators that we have sitting in Congress today? Why should we take their ideas any more seriously than we take anyone else's?

Justice Scalia answered better than I could have - I almost fell off my chair when I heard the question. First, I believe, he said that no one today has the capability to wrote what the Founding Fathers wrote, and that if you read the Federalist Papers you could understand that. And that there were certain times in history where genius strikes, and the late 1770s-1780s was a time that it struck.

That got me thinking. I had a Constitutional law teacher some years ago who had suggested that we read one of the Federalist Papers each night since they are quite short. I should have listened to her.

So I propose here a "text study" of sorts. I hope that everyone here will participate. I want to start with the Declaration of Independence and then move on to the Federalist Papers.  I would like to spend about a week on each text. I am including a link to the Declaration of Independence here. The idea is to start to fully understand what our country - through the founding documents - is all about. I hope that we can do that together. Please leave your comments and questions below.


26 July 2012

A Moment of Silence for Jews? You Must be Joking


It's now 40 years since the 1972 Olympics. 40 years since the Munich massacre funded by now-Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas. 40 years since the Games amazingly continued after 11 of the Israeli delegation were murdered.

Two widows of the murdered athletes have requested from the Olympic committee for a moment of silence during the Olympic opening ceremonies Friday night.  Their request for a public moment has been rejected.

In contrast to the Munich massacre being broadcast around the world, this week the Olympic committee held a small, private ceremony to remember the Israeli athletes. I assume not to offend anyone, especially not the Muslims that have come to the Olympics to be part of a peaceful, worldwide celebration of mutual respect and competition. And certainly not to offend the "Palestinian" delegation, whose murderous president has yet to be brought to brought to justice.

Even better was the letter by the Palestinian Olympic Committee to the International Olympic Committee:
Sports are a bridge for love, communication and the spreading of peace between nations and should not be used for divisiveness and the spread of racism.
Why should we be surprised by the "Palestinian" or Olympic reaction to the request for a moment of silence? The "Palestinians" continue to advocate violence against Jews, naming roads and parks after so-called martyrs. President/murderer Mahmoud Abbas denies the Holocaust and the Jewish history in the Land of Israel.

While we know the "Palestinians" are calling for the murder of Jews, we always seem to hold out hope for the international community for some reason. We hope that the Olympic Games and the high standards of 'brotherhood and community' ring true. But why do we bother? The "Palestinians" were first allowed to compete in the Olympics in 1996, only 24 years after the massacre. Jewish blood is cheap. Why not let them compete alongside the same people that were murdered? Sure, why not.

Olympic Silence by Shraga Simmons (excellent article)
Widows of Israeli Olympians killed in 1972 call for a silent Olympic ceremony protest
Where's the Coverage? PA President Mahmoud Abbas' Role in the Munich Massacre


24 July 2012

Breaking News: Murder is Illegal

I have a sad, and what seems to be a little known fact that I want to share with all of you. Criminals don't care about laws - that's why they are known as "criminals" and not "law-abiding" citizens. Shocking, I know.

Here's another shocker. Murder is already illegal in all 50 states of the union. Amazing. Carrying a gun into the Aurora, Colorado movie theatre was also illegal, but surprisingly enough this did not stop James Holmes from breaking both laws - the one against murder as well as the one against carrying a gun into a movie theatre.

We were all horrified to hear of the massacre by this lunatic, but already this action has been used as another example of why guns are bad and why we need more laws against them. So many out there, conservatives as well as liberals, are saying the stupidest things proving once again that you don't need to know anything about a subject in order to have an opinion.

'Ban assault weapons' seems to be a favorite phrase. Sure, can anyone tell me what the definition of an 'assault' weapon is? Is it defined by how scary it looks? Defined by what material it's made out of?

Let me clear up a misconception. There is no difference between a so-called "assault" weapon and any other gun in the way that they function.  They are all semi-automatics, which means that when the trigger is pulled - one bullet comes out. That's it. Fully automatic guns, meaning that as long as the trigger is pulled the bullets continue to come out, have been illegal to own in the United States for almost 100 years without express permission of the government. Let me repeat, they have been illegal to own for a long time.

An assault weapon ban is stupid simply because it's done based on how "scary" the gun looks, not on how it actually operates.

The argument that a potential gun owner should have to pass a test proving that they know how to use a gun safely is also quite ignorant. Don't drivers also have to pass road safety tests? Does that guarantee that there are no drunk drivers or speed demons on the road? That there will be no car accidents or vehicular homicides occurring? Of course not.

All that we know about the movie theatre massacre is that there were no previous indicators pointing to Holmes plans that evening. There was no way to stop him - the laws on the books were obviously not deterrents, only another person with a gun would have been able to - but unfortunately, as we started with, only "law-abiding" citizens care about laws. and wouldn't have been armed since the law forbade it. Since Holmes is a "criminal" no law stopped him.

Let us stop with the punditry and the posturing - especially from those who have never held or shot a gun in their life - and mourn for those who lost their lives last week and pray for those who were injured. Taking advantage of such a horrible situation is unnecessary - humanity already took a hit last week, let's take the time to rebuild and stand by each other in this time of need.

The Media Botches Aurora - by Robert VerBruggen

The Colorado Shooting and the Media - by Thomas Sowell

P.S. Blaming that pro-lobby also seems to be a good idea. That big, bad, all-powerful, gun lobby (aka the National Rifle Association) is made of individuals, people like me, who care about their gun rights. I don't have the time or ability to go to Washington DC and talk to my congressman - I have other things to do. Therefore, like what happens in every other lobby, I make my donation to the NRA and let them do the talking for me. Welcome to democracy at work.


18 July 2012

President Obama Reveals his True Anti-Business Colors



A response to President Obama by a friend and business owner, Michael Zwick:

Mr. President- Your comments today confirm something that many Americans know. You simply don’t know much about the role that business owners and entrepreneurs play in creating jobs and, by extension, the economic welfare of this great nation. 

I am an entrepreneur and owner of a company. My company is not big. Including me and my two partners, we have fluctuated in size over the past few years between 14 and 21 people. In other words, my company alone has a negligible effect on the employment numbers. In its own small way though, it has been successful. We have been in business for over eleven years, provided numerous people with the opportunity of employment and conferred on society a net benefit. In other words, I am just one person but I am one of millions who have worked hard and taken risks in creating something bigger than ourselves.
 
Speaking for myself, I do not deny that I have benefitted from others--my family, teachers and even people I have never met or whose names I will never know. At the same time though, your argument that my partners and I didn’t build our business or “make it happen” is downright false and insulting.



My company started from nothing—no clients, no mentoring, no handouts and no clear picture of where it would go. My partners and I invested our time and money, including the opportunity cost of steady employment. Along the way, we have had our ups and downs. During the down times, we have always made sure to pay our bills and make payroll, even if it meant we and our families came last. We have taken risks along the way, some of which worked in our favor and some of which didn’t.


During these eleven plus years, we have not only employed our current and past employees. We have purchased so many goods and services—payroll administration, legal services, insurance policies, bonds, office supplies, airline tickets, taxi rides, IT support, computers, printers, copiers, telephones, etc., etc., etc. Each and every one of the vendors from whom we purchased those goods and services used the money we paid them to employ people and purchase goods and services from other vendors. In other words, our company not only directly employs people and provides a valuable service to our clients but we also create economic activity and growth among other businesses.


Yes, I pursued my entrepreneurial visions with a selfish motive. I wanted to provide a good life for me and my family. I will not apologize for that. Neither do I seek some special recognition or award from you. I say all this to educate you on how the real world works. While pursuing my own dreams, I have created jobs and growth for others. The more that government impinges on that pursuit, the less I have to contribute to the marketplace. I am sure that you believe that government is the better arbiter than the marketplace of where my money should go. If that is what you believe, just say so. Ask your fellow Americans who is better equipped to decide how to spend their hard earned dollars, themselves or some centralized bureaucracy.


Obama Against the Self-Made Man by Rich Lowry

09 July 2012

Was Yasser Arafat Murdered? Who Cares.


The news world is all abuzz with the possibility that "Palestinian" leader Yasser Arafat was murdered.

The big story was broken by the most "trustworthy" of sources... al-Jazeera, a news network sometimes known for its terrorist ties.

Al-Jazeera's investigation into Arafat's death has revealed that his clothing has traces of the radioactive material polonium-210, suggesting that radioactive poisoning led to his death. Now the questions are flying... how could this happen? Who could be responsible for his death?

I have my own questions.

1. Why did al-Jazeera decide now, eight years after Arafat's death, to test his clothing?

2. If Arafat was truly murdered - who really cares? Aren't terrorists supposed to be targeted and killed?

Yasser Arafat created the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) in 1964. Three years before the Israeli "occupation" of Judea/Samaria (West Bank) and the Gaza Strip. If the PLO was formed three years in advance of the occupation - where was this 'Palestine' that he was hoping to liberate?

That would obviously be the State of Israel - Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem (the western half), Be'er Sheba included. We can see the map (above) of Israel included in the PLO emblem, not just the "occupied" parts, answering our question. Of course, Jordan, the eastern half of Palestine under the British Mandate was ignored. Only the Jewish presence in the Land needed to be murdered and expelled.

Yasser Arafat was a murderer of Americans as well as Israelis. Unarmed men, women and children were targets of this "liberation" movement. School buses were deemed legitimate targets. Olympics athletes as well.

In later years, Arafat supposedly became a man of "peace" - but one who spoke of war in Arabic to his brothers, and of peace to the Western media.

Yasser Arafat was a murderer, plain and simple, of hundreds of innocents. Whether or not he was targeted doesn't much matter. The only question that matters now is why he wasn't killed sooner.

21 June 2012

President Obama, the Benevolent Dictator

We're all sitting and holding our collective breath waiting to hear the decision from the Supreme Court about the constitutionality of the health care law. But we shouldn't worry too much, we've been assured by the Obama administration that they have a contingency plan if it is struck down. Mind you, we don't know exactly what the plan is - but I think that we can assume that an Executive Order is what Obama has in mind.

Why not? The Dream Act is the perfect example. When President Obama was unable to pass it through Congress, and when he thought the polls supported it, he bypassed Congress and made it into law by writing an Executive Order. I'm so glad to see how as a Constitutional "scholar" how clearly he understands the separation of powers concept.

It's a scary thought, an Executive branch that can write and pass legislation without the input of Congress. This is exactly the opposite of what a "republic" is. A republic is where the citizens of the country send a legislator to represent them in Congress to write laws for all of us. Instead of respecting the legislative process, President Obama would rather play the part of a benevolent dictator. When he feels it's the "right thing to do" he goes out on his own and writes his own laws. We've seen it recently with the Dream Act, why not with the health care law? And let's think back, is there anything else he wasn't able to get through Congress over the last three and a half years?

20 June 2012

Pushing Egypt into the Abyss

The crowds in Egypt's Tahrir Square have returned in response to the military controlled Supreme Constitutional Court's decision to disband the parliament.  But who are these protestors? They are supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood, the organization that was banned under the dictatorship of Hosni Mubarak, and pro-Islamists. They want to see Egypt turned from a relatively pro-western, secular state to another Islamist one.

The United States is considering withholding 1.3 billion dollars in military aid to Egypt if the democratic process is not respected. But why? It was not secular groups that were elected into power, rather the Muslim Brotherhood and other fundamentalist groups. Even the office of the presidency looks like it has gone to the Brotherhood as well. Is the United States pushing Egypt toward the abyss of Islamic rule?

It's a general rule in the study of political science that democracies do not go to war with each other. While this may hold true in western democracies with similar values, it does not for Islamist states - where war with infidels is expected. We find this in the democratically elected Gaza Strip, where Hamas was their party of choice. At this moment, at least 99 rockets have been shot into southern Israel just over the last three days. It doesn't seem to matter to Hamas that Israel is a democracy as well.

The concept of western style democracy - respect for differing views, opinions and religion - does not exist in the Islamic world. Why is the United States forcing the military to give up power to the Islamists? Are we so blind to think that an Islamic definition of "democracy" is the same as ours? To paraphrase a teacher of mine, "The Middle East is certainly not the middle west."

I do suppose that the United States is being consistent. We helped unseat Hosni Mubarak after he kept the peace in the region for 30 years in the name of democracy. It's only fair to make sure that under free and fair elections, the Islamists that were properly elected be allowed to take power - but democracy for the sake of democracy is a dangerous road to travel, and not one I'd want to take.