Book Recommendation: Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America by Mark Levin
With Liberty and Tyranny, Mark Levin established himself as a major current political thinker, able to convey complicated concepts in clear, concise language. Therefore, I was looking forward to finding the time to read Ameritopia. It did not disappoint, and should be required reading for anyone to serve in public office, not in place of, but in addition to Liberty and Tyranny. Levin reviews utopian political thought, from Plato to Marx, and contrasts it with the political thought of Locke, Montesquieu and de Tocqueville, which are so foundational to our limited government Republic. Levin demonstrates with frightening precision how far the Republic has strayed from the principals that guaranteed our freedom and prosperity. I wish I had this book when I was wading through these writers while majoring in political science at the University of Massachusetts, though many of my professors were ivory tower utopian statists.
Some of the quotes are gems. From Montesquieu: "When legislative power is united with executive power in a single person or a simple body of magistracy, there is no liberty, because one can fear that the same monarch or senate that makes tyrannical laws will execute them tyrannically. Nor is there liberty if the power of judging is not separate from legislative power and from executive power." One immediately thinks of Czars, Executive Orders, ignoring Congress on the War Powers Act, and the attack on the Supreme Court. Levin points out that, "America has become a society in which the people are wise enough to select their own leaders, but too incompetent to choose the right lightbulb." Indeed.
SEALs: Obama Taking Credit for bin Laden 'Cheap Shot'
Excerpt: Current and former US Navy SEALs have joined the attacks on President Barack Obama for attempting to take credit for killing Osama bin Laden and using them and Special Forces members as 'ammunition' for his campaign. Author and former SEAL Brandon Webb told Newsmax that Obama's White House predecessor, George W. Bush, deserves much of the praise for taking out the world's most wanted man.
The path to bin Laden’s death didn’t start with Obama. By Jose A. Rodriguez Jr.
Excerpt: Shortly after bin Laden met his maker last spring, courtesy of U.S. Special Forces and intelligence, the administration proudly announced that when Obama took office, getting bin Laden was made a top priority. Many of us who served in senior counterterrorism positions in the Bush administration were left muttering: “Gee, why didn’t we think of that?” The truth is that getting bin Laden was the top counterterrorism objective for U.S. intelligence since well before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. (Heard Obama say “The goal that I set – to defeat al Qaeda, and deny it a chance to rebuild – is within reach.” Gee, what was the goal of the Bush administration in invading Afghanistan? To take al Qaeda and the Taliban to tea? ~Bob.)
Obama's one-hit wonder: I shot bin Laden
Excerpt: In 2008 Barack Obama criticized Democratic rival Hillary Clinton for using Osama bin Laden in an ad to score "political points." Four years later the Obama campaign has created an ad of its own, insinuating that Mitt Romney would not have given the order to capture and kill bin Laden. The blowback has been swift and severe, with Navy SEALs, Sen. John McCain and even Democrat allies like Arianna Huffington denouncing the ad.
Why does President Obama take so much credit for killing Bin Laden?
Great one minute video from veterans for a Strong America. ~Bob.
Explosions in Kabul hours after Obama leaves
Excerpt: Violence erupted in a diplomatic area of Kabul on Tuesday, just hours after the departure of President Barack Obama from Afghanistan. There were three explosions, followed by sporadic shooting, in the eastern part of the Afghan capital, Afghan officials told the Associated Press. A Taliban spokesman has claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Muslim Brotherhood in America
Excerpt: Have you ever asked yourself why, despite more than ten years of efforts –involving, among other things, the loss of thousands of lives in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, well-over a trillion dollars spent, countless man-years wasted waiting in airport security lines and endless efforts to ensure that no offense is given to seemingly permanently aggrieved Muslim activists – are we no closer to victory in the so-called “war on terror” than we were on 9/11?
Man Protects His Kids From A Bank Robber!
Good man. ~Bob.
Chris Christie's Islam Problem: He has repeatedly sided with some nasty characters. by Daniel Pipes and Steve Emerson
Excerpt: A Quinnipiac poll in April showed Chris Christie as the most popular potential Republican vice-presidential candidate, thanks to his budget cuts and standing up to government employees' unions. But the governor of New Jersey has a problem, specifically an Islam problem, that can and should get in the way of his possible ascent to higher office. Time and again he has sided with Islamist forces against those who worry about safeguarding American security and civilization.
Chen Guangcheng leaves U.S. embassy; deal to guarantee his safety may be unraveling, friends say
Excerpt: In an interview from his room at Chaoyang Hospital, Chen told the Associated Press that he had been informed that his wife would be beaten to death if he did not leave the embassy. He said that U.S. officials relayed the threat. (Even money Obama told the Chinese it wasn’t his fault, that Bush had invited the guy to visit the embassy. ~Bob.)
Elizabeth Warren’s Native American problem
Excerpt: On Friday, the Boston Herald reported that Harvard Law School had touted Warren as a Native American employee in the 1990s when the school was under fire for lack of diversity. Warren said she had no idea she was described as such until the Herald reported it, although she does have native ancestry. (A genealogist says Warren‘s great-great-great grandmother is listed as Cherokee.) Yet Warren also identified herself as a minority in professional legal directories for nine years. (That would make her 1/32 Cherokee. Guess the NYT would call her a “White Native American.” Most of the “Jim Crow” laws didn’t go that far back to establish someone as black. According to my Grandmother, my Grandfather was 1/4th Cree, making me 1/16th. If true, I’ve apparently been missing out on the benefits of being a minority all these years. ~Bob.)
"Sacaja-Whiner": Elizabeth Warren and the Oppression Olympics
Excerpt: But don't call her "Elizabeth Warren." Call her "Pinocchio-hontas," "Chief Full-of-Lies," "Running Joke" or "Sacaja-whiner." Warren has claimed questionable Native American minority status for years to reap career "diversity" benefits. Now, Cherokee leaders, campaign rival GOP Sen. Scott Brown and an army of Twitter detractors have called her out for gaming the racial-preference system. Live by identity politics, die by identity politics.
Excerpt: What is unique about American health care? Americans control a smaller share of our health spending than do residents of most other developed countries. More importantly, the share of health spending controlled by Americans, rather than government or insurers, has declined much faster than it has in any other developed country (for which we have measurements) in the last couple of decades.
Job-Based Health Coverage to Become Even More Expensive under Affordable Care Act
Excerpt: In a new report prepared for Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.), data from America's Fortune 100 companies show they could save hundreds of millions of dollars a year under the new health care law by simply terminating health insurance for their workers and dumping these employees into taxpayer-funded health care exchanges. More than 70 percent of America's Fortune 100 companies detailed their health care costs for the Committee, providing the ability to analyze how those self-reported costs would compare to ending employer-sponsored insurance and paying the employer mandate penalty. Based on an aggregation of the data received, if the 71 Fortune 100 companies that replied to the survey ceased to offer health care coverage and paid the $2,000 per full-time employee penalty, they could save a total of $28.6 billion in 2014 (an average savings of over $400 million per company) and $422.4 billion from 2014-2023 (an average savings of nearly $6 billion per company). From 2014 through 2023, the average employer responding to the survey could save $5.9 billion if they dropped coverage in favor of paying the mandate penalty. Eliminating the plans would impact more than 10.2 million employees and dependents covered by those plans. Despite promises that the law would control health care costs, employers have overwhelmingly concluded increases in cost will accelerate in the years after the Democrats' health care law is fully implemented. Alarmingly, 84 percent of responding employers expect their future health care costs will increase at rates that are greater than those they've experienced over the past five years. During this period, employers responded that their health insurance costs have increased 5.9 percent, on average, while they expect future health costs will grow 7.6 percent, on average.
Worth Reading: Earth Day, the Free Market Way: Environmentalism today rejects science and technology, ensuring abject misery for the poorest on our planet. By Henry I. Miller
Excerpt: How well have the genetically engineered crops been accepted? Introduced less than two decades ago, they are the most rapidly adopted agricultural technology in history. In about three-dozen countries worldwide, more than 17 million farmers are using agbiotech crop varieties to produce higher yields with lower inputs and reduced environmental impact. Most of these new varieties are designed to be resistant to pests and diseases that ravage crops or to herbicides so that farmers can more effectively control insects and weeds while adopting more environmentally friendly farming practices and more benign herbicides.
13-Year-Old Jada Williams persecuted over her essay on Frederick Douglass
Excerpt: On Saturday, February 18, 2012, the Frederick Douglass Foundation of New York presented the first Spirit of Freedom award to Jada Williams, a 13-year old city of Rochester student. Miss Williams wrote an essay on her impressions of Frederick Douglass’ first autobiography the Narrative of the Life. This was part of an essay contest, but her essay was never entered. It offended her teachers so much that, after harassment from teachers and school administrators at School #3, Miss Williams was forced to leave the school. (Another story on this: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/05/jada-williams-student-allegedly-harassed-for-essay_n_1321926.html)
Quotes from The Patriot Post
"Election Day 2012 will not be a presidential election. It will be a plebiscite. ... They will be participating in a plebiscite on the definition of America. ... The usual description of presidential elections -- 'the most important in our lifetime' -- is true this time. In fact, it may be the most important election since the Civil War, and possibly since America's founding. ... [Barack Obama] described the left's aim perfectly: to fundamentally transform America. It seeks to replace Liberty, In God We Trust, and E Pluribus Unum. That is what 'fundamentally transform' means. In fact, those words are proof that American values and leftist values are fundamentally opposed to one another. ... For these reasons, this election is not just a choice between a Democrat and a Republican. It is between Americanism and leftism. ... The left's desire to transform America is the biggest issue. Barack Obama is to be opposed because he is a man of the left." --radio talk-show host Dennis Prager
"A major source of objection to a free economy is precisely that it ... gives people what they want instead of what a particular group thinks they ought to want. Underlying most arguments against the free market is a lack of belief in freedom itself." --economist Milton Friedman (1912-2006)
Occupy Activists' Bomb Plot Foiled. By Arnold Ahlert
Remember when the Tea Party tried to blow things up? Me neither. ~Bob. Excerpt: The group initially aroused suspicion last October 21st, when the FBI learned that some "self-described anarchists" would be attending a "Cleveland protest." The protest taking place in Cleveland on that day was yet another OWS demonstration, during which approximately a dozen people were arrested. (How strange -- and in some ways, awesome -- is it that two Occupy lunatics are arrested for attempting to blow up a bridge on the day the new trailer for the upcoming Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, depicts angry terrorist forces led by Bane blowing up bridges? -- Jim Geraghty in Morning Jolt.)
Obama Supports Occupy Wall Street
A reminder. ~Bob.
A Cynical Process: Part II. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Just as there is no free lunch, there is no free class warfare. Some people may be inspired by President Obama's talk about making "the rich" pay their undefined "fair share" of taxes, or taking away corporations' "tax breaks." But talk is not always cheap.
Mission Accomplished—At Last?
Excerpt: Let’s be clear: Flying abruptly to Kabul to announce that the end “is now within our reach” against a backdrop of military vehicles on the anniversary of Osama bin Laden’s death is nothing like landing on a carrier bearing a “Mission Accomplished” banner to say you’ve whupped the Iraqis. Or is it? (Since the author, Michael Hirsh, is both left-of-center and a Bush-hater, of course this is all Bush’s fault, but redeemed by The One. In fact, if Obama is now ready to declare victory, it has been accomplished by others and largely against his will. Even the coverage of the bin Laden raid makes clear the dithering and hesitancy at the highest levels to go ahead with it. Yes, Obama finally decided to proceed—unlike Bill Clinton—but does anyone really doubt a fall guy, in case the mission had gone sour, had already been picked out? Ron P. Ike took the blame when Power’s U2 was shot down, and was prepared to take the blame if D-Day failed. They used to call that leadership. ~Bob.)
Romney's Latest Web Ad
Senate Race Rankings: Straightening Out the Field
Excerpt: The Senate primary fields are largely set, most of the top races have clear front-runners in both parties, and everyone's focusing on raising money and winning the base. But we're still learning a lot about a landscape that looks promising—but tough—for both sides. Republicans must net at least five seats to win the majority outright, assuming former Maine Gov. Angus King caucuses with Democrats. They have lots of targets, putting Democrats on defense in both red states and blue states, but winning the majority will mean almost running the table.
Triple Play! Obama Blows Off Congress, Funds Palestinians, Lies About PA Stance on Israel By Andrew C. McCarthy
Excerpt: Friday night news dump: President Obama has decided to provide $192 million to the Palestinian Authority despite Congress’s freeze on PA funding after its president, Mahmoud Abbas, attempted to declare statehood unilaterally last September, in violation of the PA’s treaty commitments. Obama’s “waiver” of the restrictions on Congress’s Palestinian Accountability Act was first reported in the foreign press (AFP), which is where Americans generally need to go to get news about what the U.S. administration is up to. (Obama has overruled Congress, and handed over $192 million to the Palestinian Authority, headed by Mahmoud Abbas. This is the same man who provided the funding for the Black September terrorists who murdered the Israeli athletes and coaches at the Munich Olympics in 1972. –JJ)
Eurozone jobless rate hits record high
Excerpt: For all 17 nations in the eurozone, the jobless rate rose again to 10.9%, the highest since the euro was formed in 1999, Eurostat said. (You might think this doesn’t concern you. You’d be wrong. ~Bob.)
Too little, too late: Politics colors O’s A’stan speech
Excerpt: President Obama said the right things in Afghanistan last night, after signing a decent agreement with Afghan President Hamid Karzai. Too bad it’s all going to be judged in light of Obama’s campaign antics over the last few days. The earlier presidential triumphalism — from the slap-down Romney ad to the bunker tour for NBC’s Brian Williams — seemed over the top. Obama’s serial crowing had begun to grate.
Georgia 5th grader charged with murder
Excerpt: Albany community leaders say they know young children are involved with violent crime, but they're shocked and saddened by the arrest of an 11-year-old murder suspect. That fifth grader was charged yesterday with felony murder for Saturday's shooting death of a 13-year-old. (No word if Obama thinks this kid could look like his son. ~Bob.)
From threats to join the Taliban to handshakes with Obama: Why Karzai signed. By Patrick Quinn
Excerpt: Afghanistan's president has branded his U.S. allies as corrupt, wasteful and contemptuous of Afghan lives. Once he even threatened to join the Taliban. Nonetheless, Hamid Karzai signed a deal that could keep thousands of U.S. troops in his country for years…….Afghanistan also desperately needs support for its future development and to keep its economy afloat.
Israel Approves Call Up of 22 Additional Battalions to Secure Egypt, Syria Borders
Excerpt: Instability in Egypt and Syria has led the Israel Defense Forces to call up 6 additional battalions for emergency duty, with 16 others available if needed. Israel’s Parliament, the Knesset, received a request from the IDF to call up the reservists and granted that request based on a 2008 law known as the Reserve Duty Law….
Tweet from Laura @GOPrincess
2 Federal Reserve officials warned US could be heading for "fiscal cliff" at year's end...Also known as Obama's campaign slogan,
U.S. Military Bows to Islam ... Again
Excerpt: The U.S. military is in a full-fledged retreat that is marked by such desperation that it qualifies as a rout. … Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Martin E. Dempsey, has ordered all Department of Defense (DoD) curricula to be reviewed for anything "disrespectful of the Islamic religion." Pentagon spokesman Captain John Kirby added helpfully (if not especially grammatically) that the U.S. is "at war with terrorism, specifically with Al Qaeda, who has a warped view of the Islamic faith. (I understand the impulse, but there will never be an end to the new things that radical Muslims find disrespectful or offensive, to whip up the Muslim masses about, until we are Muslims and have Shari’a Law, banning, for example, all public displays of other faiths. ~Bob.)
ICNA Relief Promotes Jihad Donations
Excerpt: table wing of a major American Muslim organization is promoting donations to extremist causes, undercutting a nationwide campaign to improve its image. The website link from the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) Relief division hints at deeper connections to extremism and terror, both by the charitable branch and by its parent organization. CNA's self-proclaimed goal is "to communicate the message of Islam to the society at large" and "also to initiate change in the social and political spheres [of American society] in light of the principles of the noble Qur'an," according to the group's 2020 Vision program.
14-year-old MO Girl Gang Raped By Illegal and Accomplices
Excerpt: l immigrant from Guatemala has been charged with the rape of a 14-year-old girl who said 24-year-old Juan Domingo Francisco-Esteban and two accomplices held her down by the shoulders and forcibly gang raped her on the couch in her home. Police did not have to look far to find Francisco-Esteban as the illegal happened to have been arrested and jailed for another forgery crime, under another name, on the same day the young girl reported the alleged rape.
Shabaab suicide bomber kills 3 members of Somali parliament
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob. Excerpt: e members of Somalia's parliament in an attack today at a hotel in Dusamareb, a city controlled by a militia that supports the government. he suicide bomber detonated his vest as several members of parliament met at a cafe in a Dusamareb hotel, according to Reuters. The three MPs and another person were killed in the blast, and several more were wounded, said a spokesman for the Ahlu Sunna Wal Jama'a, a Sufi militia that controls the city and is backed by the government and Ethiopia.
To cheer you up, a video. ~Bob.
Excerpt: The assaults of Virginian-Pilot reporters in Norfolk, Va., two weeks ago at the hands of 30 black youths, reported for the first time Tuesday, are the latest in a series of attacks driven by a warped sense of racial vigilantism hiding behind calls of “Justice for Trayvon.” At least 15 mostly isolated whites have been beaten not just with fists, but with potentially deadly weapons including hammers and lengths of chain. Many of the victims have been hospitalized, some may never fully recover, and one lingers on the verge of death. (Justice for these victims would be a large lawsuit settlement paid by Eric Holder, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson the NBPP and the other race baiters using this case to get power and money. ~Bob.)
Will Wisconsin Rise Again?
Excerpt: The Badger State keeps rising in the Chief Executive Best States/Worst States list, and that’s got Wisconsin businesses cheering—as well as investing. Nevertheless, CEOs and entrepreneurs there are worried that an election recall this summer of their champion, Governor Scott Walker, could upend the great improvements made in the state’s business climate in just two years.
Another study undermines Obama’s income inequality alarmism. By James Pethokoukis
Excerpt: Income inequality > too much borrowing > financial crisis and recession. A simple theory. An elegant theory, really. But quite probably a wrong theory—or so economists Michael Bordo and Christopher Meissner contend in a new study (bold for emphasis): (But the average economically ignorant voter who responds to envy won’t understand or care. ~Bob.)
Middle Class Mick - 60% of Britain's Pop Stars have been to Boarding Schools - Mark Steyn
Excerpt: In the space of two generations, almost every traditional escape route out of England's slums — from pop music to journalism — has become the preserve of the expensively credentialed. I say "almost" because as far as I know no Old Abingdonian has yet won the heavyweight boxing championship.
VIDEO: CNN: Muslims caught in UK plotting numerous massive and small attacks
Didn’t get the memo. ~Bob.
Spengler: Philistinism and Failure - by David P. Goldman, Pajamas Media
Excerpt: China’s massive and enthusiastic adoption of Western classical culture just might give it a world-dominating edge. There’s a difference between an engineer and an engineer who plays Bach. Higher mathematics as we know was incubated in music theory to begin with, as I explain in an essay in the April issue of First Things, “The Divine Music of Mathematics” (subscription required).
Robert A. Hall