THE FOUNDATION"Experience teaches, that men are often so much governed by what they are accustomed to see and practice, that the simplest and most obvious improvements ... are adopted with hesitation, reluctance, and slow gradations. The spontaneous transition to new pursuits, in a community long habituated to different ones, may be expected to be attended with proportionably greater difficulty." --Alexander Hamilton, Report on Manufactures, 1791
TOP 5 RIGHT HOOKSdonut burger) shows America is no longer the bright beacon on the hill for business enterprise. Formerly American companies are now resorting to the greener pastures through tax inversion. The Heritage Foundation's Stephen Moore writes, "Expect a blizzard more of these tax moves if the U.S. corporate tax isn't reduced quickly to at most the average in the industrialized world of 25 percent. Better yet would be to abolish the corporate tax altogether and tax the shareholders on these profits. This would cause a flood of companies to come to the U.S. rather than leave." Even Warren Buffet, the Left's poster boy for "paying your fair share," thinks the donut-burger merger is a good way to avoid taxes, seeing as he is investing in the deal. More...
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GOP Hires Law Firm, Sets Budget for LawsuitRepublicans in Congress are taking the next steps in their plan to sue Barack Obama for abuse of power. ABC News reports, "The House of Representatives has hired Baker & Hostetler, one of America's largest law firms, to the tune of $500 an hour, but a total not to exceed $350,000, to represent the lower chamber in its lawsuit against President Obama." Democrats are blasting Republicans for wasting taxpayer money. "House Republicans continue to waste time and taxpayer dollars," complained House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. "Americans are tired of election-year stunts." And if anyone knows about election-year stunts and wasting taxpayer dollars, it's Democrats. While the lawsuit may not be the best course for the GOP to take, it at least serves to highlight Obama's lawlessness, which we think is rather important to consider come election time.
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Oh, by the Way, Lerner's Blackberry Was Willfully DestroyedThis week Judicial Watch uncovered evidence suggesting the government always had former IRS official Lois Lerner's emails. That revelation is contrary to the agency's previous assertions, but the saga of damning evidence doesn't stop there. The investigation also found that Lerner's Blackerry was willfully destroyed shortly after Congress began looking into the scandal. According to Fox News: "Thomas Kane, Deputy Assistant Chief Counsel for the IRS, wrote in the declaration, part of a lawsuit filed by Judicial Watch against the IRS, that the Blackberry was 'removed or wiped clean of any sensitive or proprietary information and removed as scrap for disposal in June 2012.' That date -- June 2012 -- is significant because by that time, ex-IRS official Lerner had already been summoned before congressional staffers who interviewed her about reports of the IRS' targeting of conservative groups." No wonder Lerner pleaded the Fifth. Almost surreally, the question remains: What exactly is it going to take before charges are filed? More...
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A Gun Rights Win in CaliforniaA judge in California ruled the state's 10-day waiting period for gun purchases is unconstitutional if buyers passed a background check, either when they applied for a handgun permit or when they bought their first firearm. The Calguns Foundation, one of the plaintiffs in the case, released a statement that said, "Federal Eastern District of California Senior Judge Anthony W. Ishii, appointed to the bench by President Bill Clinton, found that 'the 10-day waiting periods ... violate the Second Amendment' as applied to members of certain classifications ... and 'burdens the Second Amendment rights of the Plaintiffs.'" This is the second time a court has chipped away at California's gun laws, which shows that some of the most severe gun laws in the nation are also some of the most unconstitutional. More...
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Obama Violating Constitution With International TreatyThe Obama administration is trying to create a "politically binding" international treaty regulating climate change without the consent of the Senate. This move subverts Article II, Section 2, Clause 2 of the Constitution, which says the president is allowed to make international treaties that are legally binding only if two-thirds of the Senate ratifies it. The New York Times reports: "'There's some legal and political magic to this,' said Jake Schmidt, an expert in global climate negotiations with the Natural Resources Defense Council, an advocacy group. 'They're trying to move this as far as possible without having to reach the 67-vote threshold' in the Senate." A lot has changed in a few years. The "constitutional law professor" in the Oval Office, who "actually respect[s] the Constitution," is ramming through a treaty that would not only do damage to that document, but would also hurt the poor of the world. More...
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Syria's Assad Aided the Rise of ISIL
|Assad vs. ISIL|
"I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line," Obama insisted on Sept. 4, 2013.
We argued at the time that taking out Assad's regime would not serve vital U.S. interests, because it would leave a power vacuum in the country and we might not like what came next. For an example of why such caution is needed, see the disaster in Libya, created in part by Obama's careless actions to remove Moammar Gadhafi from power. Jihadis now control Tripoli.
Unfortunately, Assad may have played that fear to his advantage, aiding the rise of ISIL. His support of al-Qaida in Iraq against U.S. forces was known in 2007, but The Wall Street Journal also reports it happened within his own borders: "Earlier in the three-year-old Syrian uprising, Mr. Assad decided to mostly avoid fighting the Islamic State to enable it to cannibalize the more secular rebel group supported by the West, the Free Syrian Army, said Izzat Shahbandar, an Assad ally and former Iraqi lawmaker who was Baghdad's liaison to Damascus. The goal, he said, was to force the world to choose between the regime and extremists." Frankly, pitting his enemies against each other was a smart strategy.
Now, however, ISIL has all but wiped out the Free Syrian Army and any other "moderate" rebel forces, and it has proven to be a serious threat to the Assad regime. McClatchy reports, "Islamic extremists captured a major government military airport in Raqqa, eastern Syria, on Sunday, completing their takeover of the entire province and dealing a humiliating blow to President Bashar Assad."
ISIL also controls vast territory in Iraq, and in June its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, declared a caliphate and shortened the group's name to just the Islamic State. Its army of perhaps 20,000 fighters certainly poses a threat to the United States. Western fighters, including perhaps 300 Americans, have taken up arms with ISIL. NBC reports, “Douglas McAuthur McCain, of San Diego, California, was killed over the weekend fighting for [ISIL].” British Muslims are joining by the hundreds, as well. Jihadis with Western passports pose a significant problem if they return undetected.
In what could be a major policy shift, the Obama administration may be allying with Assad to fight ISIL. According to Agence France Presse, "The U.S. has begun reconnaissance flights over Syria and is sharing intelligence about jihadist deployments with Damascus through Iraqi and Russian channels."
Naturally, the White House denies the report. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest insisted the U.S. has "not recognized" Assad and has "no plans to coordinate with the Assad regime." It would be odd indeed to partner with the dictator after the Obama regime sought to aid "moderate" Syrian rebels against him.
The administration's incoherence on policy regarding ISIL is dangerous. Last week, various parts of the administration made contradictory public statements on how serious the threat was or what to do about it.
Drawing another red line of sorts, Obama promises not to send ground troops back to the Middle East. "American combat troops will not be returning to fight in Iraq," he said. "I will not allow the United States to be dragged back into another ground war in Iraq."
In fact, he argued, doing so only causes problems: "The answer is not to send in large scale military deployments that over-stretch our military, and lead [to] us occupying countries for a long period of time and end up feeding extremism.” So he won't tell us what the answer is, only what the answer isn't.
Though carrying no stick (a nine-iron doesn't count), he spoke loudly about doing "whatever is necessary" to capture or kill James Foley's murderers, while employing a broader strategy against ISIL. "Rooting out a cancer like ISIL won't be easy, and it won't be quick," Obama said. And, he declared, "Our message to anyone who harms our people is simple: America does not forget. Our reach is long. We are patient. Justice will be done."
That remains to be seen under a commander in chief who would rather attack Republicans or a golf ball than enemies of the United States.
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Don't Arrest Kids; Educate Them
Playtime once found swing sets, seesaws, jungle gyms and slides swarming with little people. Older kids engaged in rough and tumble games, making cuts and scrapes common, but serious injuries were extremely rare. Children burned energy and calories, and obesity was virtually unknown. Today's educationists are trying to build a utopia not realizing what they’ve lost.
For example, they want to eradicate bullying and name-calling, but it’s an impossible dream because people aren't robots. Fortunately, real bullies are rare. They can scar people physically and emotionally. But it’s essential that kids learn how to deal with bullies because such people can still intimidate when they grow up. Name-calling offends many people on the Left, but as the First Amendment says, “Sticks and stones...” Public schools do have the right to regulate speech to a point, but only to prevent danger.
The effects of Lyndon Johnson’s "Great Society" turned America upside down, including changing the character of public schools. In 1960, 95% of children had a mom and dad at home. By 2010, that had dropped to 59%. Almost all single-family homes are now headed by mothers, 33% of whom have no high-school diploma and live in poverty, often in dangerous neighborhoods.
While the programs multiplied and the billions of dollars flowed, the problems of the inner city spread to other schools and communities. Some problems plaguing inner city and minority schools made the jump to the suburbs. Unfortunately, violence is endemic in urban America, but the drugs, students’ radicalized attitudes and general disrespect now fill the halls of many schools.
Pressured by frightened parents, school boards adopted what's known as a “zero tolerance” policy. In short, the policy's definition is the strict and uncompromising enforcement of rules, even for minor infractions and regardless of extenuating circumstances. It allows for no judgment or grace. For an institution of learning, such a policy is absurd.
Schools now have zero tolerance all across the fruited plain: zero guns, zero religion, zero bullying, zero disrespect, zero tardiness, zero pictures of offending things. How kids can remain positive in a “zero-atmosphere” amazes us.
We’ve recounted several of the many, many outrageous stories of its implementation in recent months. Many are just plain idiotic as they harm the kids involved without really solving anything. A suspension on a transcript, for example, can kill the chance of winning a scholarship.
As an assignment, a 16-year-old wrote a fictional story about shooting a dinosaur for which he was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, ostensibly for his reaction to questioning. But who wouldn't be outraged at such nonsense? That arrest remains on his record despite the sheer idiocy of the underlying “offense.”
A senior honor student with nothing negative on his record innocently drove his father’s truck to school. A security check turned up a dangerous weapon in the lad’s truck -- a fishing knife. The young man was suspended the maximum 10 days. Worse, his record is now tarnished with an arrest on a weapons charge.
In another case, a child with Asperger’s disease -- a genuine illness, not a disorder d’jour -- was suffering a panic attack. The mother soon arrived, was buzzed in to the school and proceeded to her son’s room where she comforted him. But wait! She had violated school policy by failing to sign in. Police were called, the school locked-down and the mother handcuffed. Imagine the effect on the boy, already pathologically uncomfortable in social situations. Anyone think he’s eager to get back to school? How cruel.
This brings us to a crucial point. While schools have lost their collective mind, they have become the biggest bullies in the nation (IRS excluded). Yet these people see themselves as the arbiters of all that’s good and evil. They behave like a bunch of chicken little, Victorian spinsters -- arresting mothers, locking down schools and confiscating dangerous gun-shaped Pop Tarts from small children.
How did these people get into these positions of power? The policy-makers were elected by a small segment of voters -- those who cast ballots in school board elections. Unfortunately, getting more people to vote in these elections is a Sisyphean task. Few people know either the current board or the current candidates, so, they’ll say, what’s the point? That’s a good question. But until someone makes a drastic change, you can count on more zeros and less education.
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TOP 5 RIGHT OPINION COLUMNS
- Walter E. Williams: Blacks Must Confront Reality
- John Stossel: Green Monster
- Terence Jeffrey: DOT Proposes Mandating Cars Broadcast Data
- Jacob Sullum: The Literal War on Drugs
- Jonah Goldberg: If 'Evil' Doesn't Apply to Islamic State, What Does?
OPINION IN BRIEFBritish statesman John Viscount Morley (1838-1923): "The means prepare the end, and the end is what the means have made of it."
Columnist Walter E. Williams: "Each year, roughly 7,000 blacks are murdered. Ninety-four percent of the time, the murderer is another black person. Though blacks are 13 percent of the nation’s population, they account for more than 50 percent of homicide victims. ... According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, between 1976 and 2011, there were 279,384 black murder victims. ... To put this violence in perspective, black fatalities during the Korean War (3,075), Vietnam War (7,243) and all wars since 1980 (about 8,200) come to about 18,500, a number that pales in comparison with black loss of life at home. Young black males had a greater chance of reaching maturity on the battlefields of Iraq and Afghanistan than on the streets of Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, Newark and other cities. ... If it is assumed that problems that have a devastating impact on black well-being are a result of racial discrimination and a 'legacy of slavery' when they are not, resources spent pursuing a civil rights strategy will yield disappointing results."
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Columnist John Stossel: "Today, instead of environmental regulations that actually save lives, we pay to subsidize politicians' cronies and pet projects, such as electric cars. Voters rarely object to such deals, says David Harsanyi of The Federalist, because government hides their real costs. 'If people actually paid what a Chevy Volt cost to make, it would probably be around $200,000. Without government -- essentially, government cronyism and all kinds of subsidies -- the Volt wouldn’t exist.' He says Chevy, even with its government subsidies, loses about $49,000 on every Volt it builds. It’s ironic that, as environmentalists talk about 'sustainability,' they create totally unsustainable subsidy schemes."
Comedian Conan O'Brien: "The U.S. Postal Service ... lost $2 billion this Spring. Postal officials are busy emailing each other wondering how this could happen."
Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!
Nate Jackson for The Patriot Post Editorial Team
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