Monday, March 21, 2016


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Mid-Day Digest

March 21, 2016   Print


"History affords us many instances of the ruin of states, by the prosecution of measures ill suited to the temper and genius of their people. The ordaining of laws in favor of one part of the nation, to the prejudice and oppression of another, is certainly the most erroneous and mistaken policy." —Benjamin Franklin (1774)


Obama's Visit to Cuba Will Accomplish Little

On Sunday, the whole Obama family touched down in Cuba for a historic visit, as this will be the first time in 88 years that a sitting American president visited the island. While there, Barack Obama will visit everyone from Cuban dictator Raul Castro to political dissenters calling for Liberty. However, Obama's visit will have failed if he doesn't condemn Castro's police state.
Last year, Obama claimed that he was interested in visiting Cuba only if he saw the country making progress towards Liberty. "I'm not interested in just validating the status quo," he said. However, on Friday, the U.S. Coast Guard picked up 18 Cubans who were fleeing the country on homemade rafts, trying to cross the 90 miles between Cuba and Florida. Hours before Obama's jet touched down on communist soil, the Cuban government arrested 50 protesters from the group Ladies in White for demonstrating and throwing pro-Liberty leaflets into the air. The protests have become a weekly occurrence.
The dissidents said Cuba's crackdown on political speech has increased in the weeks leading up to Obama's visit, showing that things are just as they have been. The Castros are still in charge, after all. While Obama hoped for a diplomatic shortcut, Liberty could yet come to the country ruled by a police state. It's possible that the flow of goods and information could foster more Liberty for the nation, especially when the 85-year-old Castro leaves power — just as when Ronald Reagan began to trade with the Soviet Union. But it will take time and an actual friend of Liberty in the White House.
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Remember the Global Threat of Terror

Salah Abdeslam being captured in Brussels Friday
First, good news: After a months-long manhunt, Belgian law enforcement captured alleged Paris attacker Salah Abdeslam in a neighborhood of Brussels on Friday. It was a blow to the Islamic State, as it disrupts the group's plans. Abdeslam said he was planning another attack. Now he's a mine of intelligence that interrogators hope to exploit. However, the fact that Abdeslam evaded capture for months shows the extent of the network in Belgium sympathetic to violent jihad.
Make no mistake: The tentacles of that network reaches into the United States. Late last week, the FBI finally announced the 18-year-old who was killed by police after stabbing four people on the Merced campus of the University of California was inspired by the Islamic State. Faisal Mohammad carried out a terrorist attack Nov. 4, 2015, despite the stubborn insistence of California law enforcement to the contrary.
This wasn't the only example of political correctness being destroyed by stark reality over the last few days. The city of Ă–stersund, Sweden, canceled its earth hour celebration over worries that turning off the lights for one hour on Mar. 18 would have encouraged sexual assaults from Muslim migrants.
Back in the Middle East, the violence continues and even grows. The Islamic State bombed one of Turkey's most popular shopping area Sunday and, the day before, a U.S. Marine was killed during a skirmish with the terror group. He is officially the first American combat death in fighting with the Islamic State. "There is no safe place in Iraq," said Najim Abdullah al-Jabouri, an Iraqi general. "Even the Green Zone in Baghdad, which houses the U.S. Embassy, is being targeted by rockets." Indeed, we must destroy the nexus of terror before it grows so much that the U.S. becomes the site of a Paris-like mass terror attack by a group the commander in chief still treats as the JV team.
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Diversity Must Be Only Skin Deep

Leftists sure do love diversity — to a point. Their favored constituencies include blacks, Hispanics and those suffering from gender disorientation pathology. But each member of those groups must yield to leftist groupthink, or they'll be excommunicated. The thought police were on patrol most recently at Brown University, where Janet Mock, a black transgender activist and author, was forced to cancel an appearance after students objected to the group that invited her. Hillel House is a Jewish group that asked Mock to speak, but a group of Palestinian activists accused Hillel of having "defended and even advocated for the Israeli state's policies of occupation and racial apartheid." Furthermore, the aggrieved students say, Israel is guilty of "colonialism, ethnic cleansing, and genocide of native Palestinians." In a petition, the students complained, "Hillel's Moral Voices campaign has chosen the topic of LGBTQ rights this year. This hides the fact that for decades, the state of Israel and Israeli advocacy organizations (like Hillel) have been engaging in pinkwashing, a strategy that tries to improve Israel's image and rebrand it as a liberal, modern, and 'hip' country."
Mock is hardly alone. Bruce/Caitlyn Jenner has been ridiculed by leftists for generally being conservative politically, but worse, for daring to say nice things about Ted Cruz. No doubt thanks to that backlash, Jenner even felt compelled last week to deny endorsing Cruz.
And then there's Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. Rep. Karen Bass (D-CA), who is black, said last month that Barack Obama should nominate a black because "to have an African-American voice that has definitely not been there since Thurgood Marshall would really be an incredible contribution to our country." Thomas is conservative, therefore he isn't "an African-American voice."
In other words, leftists love diversity, as long as it's only skin deep.
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Alternative Health Care Flourishes

By Robin Smith
Consumers seek solutions to either unmet needs or alternatives to a substandard product or service. A great example of this maxim is this: Participants in health care cost-sharing ministries have more than doubled in number since ObamaCare's inception in March 2010.
Before ObamaCare, there were faith-based risk pools such as Samaritan Ministries International, Medi-Share and Christian Healthcare Ministries. A hundred years ago, such mutual-aid societies covered one-third of American men before the welfare state saw to its decline. But while ObamaCare outlaws any new such ventures, membership has exploded for the ones grandfathered in under the law. Samaritan alone grew 33% last year, and is more than double its size in 2013.
With membership in these nonprofit organizations now surpassing 500,000, all credit rests with the so-called "Affordable Care Act." That monstrosity was passed without a single Republican vote and signed into law by Barack Obama on March 23, 2010 — six years ago this week. From their inception in the early nineties, these organizations were growing at a rate of no more than 10% annually, until the Left weaponized the IRS to mandate the purchase of a service (health insurance).
In other words, until Obama decided to play the good liberal Samaritan — helping the sick by forcing them to buy health insurance.
The health care cost-sharing agreements in these ministries work with a monthly premium, sometimes as low as $150 per month. Individuals and families are matched with others to create a risk pool of participants who contract to reimburse medical expenses from an approved list. The patient/consumer bears the financial responsibility to shop for the best pricing and to pay for services rendered. Imagine, market-driven health care that makes the patient the customer.
Because these organizations are faith-based, moral clauses protect participants from paying catastrophic costs for injuries or illnesses sustained from behavior deemed immoral. For example, members are responsible for their own medical costs incurred as a result of drunk driving or substance abuse, or for procedures like abortion — things that are contrary to the ministries' values.
The participants in these ministries, who are Judeo-Christian in their declaratory membership statements, tend to refrain from self-destructive behavior that is often deemed "high-risk" by actuaries and result in greater cause of injury and illness.
Again, with amazement, imagine that those who choose a risky lifestyle must pay for its effects themselves.
ObamaCare was promised to usher in a utopian era of increased access to health care and lower costs, all while "if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor." We know that web of lies all too well.
So much for empty political rhetoric. The government-controlled health system mandates standardized insurance plans with coverage for all — even if it's unneeded. Only by the logic of the State would an insurance plan for a group of nuns need to include contraception.
Unlike the cost-sharing ministries where certain behaviors are expected or rejected and risk pools are matched, Democrats want everyone's premium payment comingled to pay for all charges in an attempt at universal care.
While critics like Sabrina Corlette, project director at Georgetown University's Center on Health Insurance Reforms, are quick to dismiss these Christian co-ops as "junk coverage," these ministry participants are willingly paying premiums and sharing costs while being incentivized to be well and live a healthier lifestyle because they have skin in the game.
Again, contrast this free market approach to the IRS-driven mandates, which have caused premiums and deductibles to skyrocket, and you have a government-run system requiring most to pay out of pocket for their own care to subsidize the high-risk, chronically ill.
Get it? You can voluntarily assume greater risk and responsibility for your health and health care choices in the nonprofit cost-sharing ministries, or pay far more out of your pocket for one-size-fits-all ObamaCare.
Sir Isaac Newton studied the laws of nature, one of which, the third law of motion, is simply summarized as: "For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." The action of ObamaCare through its redistribution of wealth has produced the equal reaction in disrupting the health care market to reveal innovative alternatives. It's now up to federal lawmakers to understand that putting patients in charge of their health with financial incentives will meet the necessary goals of increasing access by reducing costs.
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Burt Prelutsky: "What is so confounding about the primary process thus far is how forgiving Republicans have been when it comes to Trump. For the past 50 years, Republicans have measured their candidates against the likes of Goldwater and Reagan. If a politician didn't rate at least a 90% score by the American Conservative Union, the group that hosts the annual APAC convention, he was universally dismissed as a RINO. But for Trump to achieve a score of even 40%, he'd have to copy off Ted Cruz's test paper. This year, Trump not only snubbed APAC and essentially called George W. Bush a traitor, but he's been on two sides of just about every possible issue, and yet he appears to be unstoppable. ... As Republicans, has our political conscience descended to such a depth that we now accept that the price of doing business has totally replaced the value of honesty and decency as a party principle? ... I had hoped that the fear of having another president announce that all he needed to get the job done was a phone and a pen would be as repugnant to every other Republican as it is to me."
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The Gipper: "Let us beware that while they [Soviet rulers] preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual man, and predict its eventual domination over all the peoples of the earth, they are the focus of evil in the modern world."
Upright: "The lure of revenge can be intoxicating, overwhelming even. But that's not how to win the culture back from the clutches of the PC legions. Revenge in the form of an emotionally stunted Donald Trump equals authoritarianism and anarchy — not justice." —Stephen Miller
Capitulation, not change: "For decades our two governments were locked in conflict. Not long ago my visit to Havana would have been unthinkable. This week I'll focus on how we can build more trade and ties between our two peoples. My visit will be a reminder that a reminder that even after decades of mistrust, it is possible for old adversaries to start down a new path." —Barack Obama to Iran
Demo-gogues: "The men and women who sit on the Supreme Court safeguard our rights. They ensure that ours is a system of laws, not of men. And they're given the essential task of applying the principles written into our founding documents to the most challenging questions of today. So this is a duty I take very seriously. It requires me to set aside short-term politics in order to maintain faith with our founders." —Barack Obama
Non Compos Mentis: "Savior and scourge, Fidel Castro was many things to many people. One thing all can agree on: He loved his sports." —ESPN tweet
The BIG lie: "We don't need a wall, and we don't need barbed wire. We need comprehensive immigration reform." —Bernie Sanders
Belly laugh of the week: "I really think that China can be the hero of the environmental movement, they can be the hero of the climate change movement. ... They have an opportunity to change the world and I have all the confidence in the world that that is their intention." —Leonardo DiCaprio
And last... "[This week's] historic meeting in Cuba features the world's foremost hater of Capitalism. And Castro doesn't care for it much either." —Twitter satirist @weknowwhatsbest
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Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis!
Managing Editor Nate Jackson
Join us in daily prayer for our Patriots in uniform — Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen — standing in harm's way in defense of Liberty, and for their families.

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