Posts Tagged United States
Please, Please, Please click on the blue links………..it is imperative to be fully informed and to remember the history of this President in order to understand what is happening to us and to our country. Our children and grandchildren will be the future victims of the policies of the progressive elitists on both sides of the aisle. Let us not pretend that everything is going to be all right while we silently ignore the push toward a secularist, collectivist “cradle to grave” nation.
February 10, 2014
Obama’s Loafer Nation
By Ed Lasky
President Obama has broken many promises. One that he has not broken is his boast that he would “fundamentally transform America.” He and his fellow Democrats are on the verge of doing just that by turning us into a nation of loafers.
A loafer is an idle person who lives off others. Barack Obama seemingly has no problem with such people. He might even relate to them. He does have a serious problem with his own work ethic, and finds work boring. He also denigrates the work of others who build businesses through dint of hard work and risk-taking (“You didn’t build that“); talks incessantly of “fat cats” on Wall Street; embraced the Occupy Wall Street Movement of squatters and pumped up their own inflated self-importance by telling them “You are the reason I ran for office“; and accuses doctors of running up the tab by, among other evils, taking tonsils out for money instead of diagnosing problems as allergies). He has yet to speak critically of union leaders, class action lawyers and others who run up the tab for all Americans because they are, after all, the Democratic Base.
But Obama and his Democratic Party allies seem to be gleeful about the rise of the loafer class. Recent revelations from the Congressional Budget Office bear witness to this phenomenon. When the CBO’s prognosis on the future of Obamacare revealed that the equivalent of 2.5 million jobs would be lost because the provisions of the law would create disincentives to working (as well as hiring) what was the response from the left side of the political spectrum?
“ObamaCare will give more of us more time away from work. This is a good thing.”
- It “will enable more than 2 million workers to escape ‘job lock.'”
- It “gives workers more choices, including the option to work less.”
- Because ObamaCare will make people less willing to work, companies will “have to pay more per hour to get those workers in the door.”
- One lawmaker even boasted ObamaCare will give parents more time to “tuck their children in at night.”
Jason Furman, Obama’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, also tried to spin these projected job losses into good news by saying ObamaCare would allow workers greater “choice.” Furman said, “This is not businesses cutting back on jobs. This is people having new choices.” If taxpayer-funded health insurance encourages some people to work less, “that, in their case, might be a better choice and a better option that what they had before.”
Then-Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi unwittingly revealed this goal years ago in a comment that unsurprisingly got little airplay in the mainstream media when she toasted the fact that the health care reform that she and her fellow Democrats forced down America’s throat would be a godsend for the “creative class”:
Think of an economy where people could be an artist or a photographer or a writer without worrying about keeping their day job in order to have health insurance.
Yes…think about it! The lady from San Francisco does not think about the plumbers, contractors, accountants, sanitation workers and legions of other Morlocks toiling away for the benefit of artistic Elois and their patrons. Maybe performers can be hired to entertain government bureaucrats during over-the-top government junkets, or for IRS training films, or sculpt artwork that can be sold at outrageous prices to grace American embassies across the world for the delectation of Obama donors-ambassadors.
Well, these people’s choice to work less in order to qualify for subsidies to pay their health insurance premiums means that other people are paying for their liberation from work and from the responsibilities of being an adult and an American (at least what used to be considered an American). But such a goal is very attractive for loafers.
ObamaCare also makes it very appealing for children to be coddled by their parents. Instead of becoming fully-functioning adults, paying their own way in the world, they can stay under their parents’ insurance policies until the age of 26-further reducing the incentive to mature out of loafer-dom. Paul Ryan noted this sad state of affairs at the Republican National Convention:
College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life.
More 27-year olds are living in their parents’ basements than with roommates-and this is true for college graduates, as well.
But what if the Democratic Party does not want them to be anything other than loafers? That can be a very appealing prospect for many people.
After all, Obama telegraphed his goal in 2008, making a Kinsley gaffe (a politician accidentally telling the truth) when he went off the teleprompter and told Joe the Plumber that his goal was to “spread the wealth.”
How have Obama and his fellow Democrats achieved that goal? Count the ways:
Endless extensions of unemployment insurance to anesthetize jobless Americans from the pain of reckless Democratic anti-growth policies;
Record high food stamp usage;
A record number on disability were getting the highest-ever monthly benefits;
Labor Force participation rates have declined; people not in the labor force are at a record 91.8 million;
Democrats are encouraging people to get on the government dole at an early age. High-school students are constantly exhorted to go to college.
John Kerry typified the view of liberals when he told a crowd of Ohio voters:
You know, education, if you make the most of it, if you study hard and you do your homework, and you make an effort to be smart, uh, you, you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.
Barack Obama has repeatedly said that he thinks everyone should go to college — seemingly oblivious to the reality that college may not be appropriate for everyone. Millions of people have come out of college with degrees that do not lead to jobs but have led to unsupportable debt loads. Collectively there may be more than a trillion dollars in student loan debt — and it is a growing menace to the health of America. But the federal government has continued to feed the beast because colleges may not to lead to jobs but do lead to many more Democratic voters. Democrats have hinted of future plans to wipe away the debt of college students –effectively transferring the debt to taxpayers.
Michelle Obama recently urged high school students to grab as much taxpayer money as they can by applying for federal aid when they go to college. At T.C.Williams High School in Alexandria, Virginia she told students that applying for federal student aid is easier than they think:
“Don’t leave money on the table,” Mrs. Obama said. “Almost everyone is eligible for some form of financial aid, and all you have to do to access that aid is fill out this one little form. It’s so simple.”
“Through FAFSA [Free Application for Federal Student Aid], the Department of Education provides more than $150 billion every year in low-interest loans, in grants that you don’t have to pay back, and work study programs that can help cover your educational expenses,”
As Dr. Susan Berry wrote at Big Government:
Mrs. Obama, however, emphasized that there are “thousands of dollars to help you and your family pay for college,” and that students could receive federal aid regardless of how well they perform in school or even if their families are not at poverty level.
“You don’t have to be the valedictorian. You don’t have to major in a certain subject,” the First Lady said. “You don’t even have to be at the very bottom of the income ladder to receive the money…”
Yet student loan defaults continue to skyrocket. One day the bubble will burst and Republicans will be handed the blame.
If the cliché that insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result is true, then the Obama administration is certifiable (that’s okay since mental health care is covered by Obamacare and by the time he finishes his second term many Americans will be seeking mental health professionals). Obama’s pick to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, former Congressman Mel Watt, has made clear his intention to spend taxpayer dollars to help otherwise unqualified home buyers to purchase homes. Formerly, one had to work and get a good credit rating to be able to take out a mortgage and purchase a home. Not anymore. There is a new sheriff in town and he is not interested in enforcing reasonable and sound credit standards and rules .
The administration is also pressuring banks, and cities to make it far easier for people to buy cars and homes –– regardless of how sensible and sustainable such purchases and loans may be or how solid the job prospects are for purchasers.
Obama has used his executive authority to gut workfare — one of the great bipartisan reform efforts over the years to transform welfare and get people off the government dole and into the workforce. Barack Obama also subtly changed the federal definition of “poverty” so that many people on welfare don’t have to “worry” about being dropped from the welfare rolls, secure in the knowledge that the checks from taxpayers will continue to flow.
So when Republicans declare their goal is to grow the economy and create more jobs and thus more taxpayers, they lose the loafer vote.
And when Democrats are in the forefront of legalizing marijuana even for non-medical purposes they gain the loafer vote. As the liberal Washington Post columnist Ruth Marcus wrote:
“…persistent cannabis use was associated with neuropsychological decline broadly across domains of functioning, even after controlling for years of education.” Long-term users saw an average decline of eight IQ points.
Once again, teenage toking was the problem. The decrease in IQ was linked only to those with adolescent marijuana use, not those who started in adulthood
Lassitude, lethargy and lack of motivation follow — sounds like a drug tailor-made for loafers.
Barack Obama was a member of the Choom Gang in his fancy Hawaii high-school. One wonders if those effects can persist?
Didn’t Obama make clear he was all out for the loafer vote — and that his goal was to create another class in America, the loafer class?
After all, wasn’t his animated campaign pitch “The Life of Julia” celebrating cradle to grave dependency on big government (the role of taxpayers was left on the cutting room floor)?
As Ethel Fenig wrote on American Thinker:
Julia would attend a government school complete with Head Start, go on to a government college thanks to government funds, start a business with government help, birth and raise a child supplemented with government funds and finally retire to a happy, healthy old age with her living and health care expenses all paid for with government funds.
Isn’t Julia’s perfect match, Pajama Boy, a poster child for the loafer life: lolling about in PJs, sipping hot chocolate, advocating Obamacare at Thanksgiving instead of, say, talking about his job?
Rich Lowry wrote in “Pajama Boy, An Insufferable Man-Child” about Julia and PJ Boy:
But it’s hard not to see Pajama Boy as an expression of the Obama vision, just like his forbear Julia, the Internet cartoon from the 2012 campaign. Pajama Boy is Julia’s little brother. She progressed through life without any significant family or community connections. He is the picture of perpetual adolescence. Neither is a symbol of self-reliant, responsible adulthood.
And so both are ideal consumers of government. Julia needed the help of Obama-supported programs at every juncture of her life, and Pajama Boy is going to get his health insurance through Obamacare (another image shows him looking very pleased in a Christmas sweater, together with the words “And a happy New Year with health insurance”).
The breakdown of marriage and its drift into the 30s mean there are more Julias and Pajama Boys than ever. The growth of government feeds off this trend, and at the margins, augments it.
In other words, they are loafers.
But wouldn’t Pajama Boy, though androgynous in a metrosexual way, be more suited as Julia’s mate? Barbie had Ken; Eve had Adam. Addicted to Other People’s Money, mainlined by Democrats, hooked at an early age they could have the politically correct two children and raise them as True Believers in Big Brother.
Brave New World!
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2014/02/obamas_loafer_nation.html at February 10, 2014 – 03:20:36 PM CST
Having just finished watching “The Project”, an expose on the Muslim Brotherhood’s infiltration into the highest levels of the United States Government, I feel an even greater sense of urgency (if that is possible) to inform anyone and everyone about the true “transformation” that awaits us if Barack Obama is re-elected. The following article puts forth reasoned, step by step arguments, supported by links to factual information to assist people of good faith to see the “clear and present danger” of another Obama term.
The author makes the point that the situation, not just here in America, but around the world, has deteriorated to such an extent that it is inconceivable to regular consumers of MSM news that there are some working within our own government whose goals are diametrically opposed to “one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all”. Furthermore, to win them over we must “persuade them with an avalanche of undeniable facts” for as the author states, “the stakes could not be higher…………..the time could not be later”.
September 25, 2012
The Persuasive Force of an Avalanche
Preaching to the choir, which has spiritual value as an expression of camaraderie, must temporarily take a back seat to the urgent task of persuading the hitherto disengaged. For while there is a large portion of the American electorate that seems irremediably committed to Barack Obama’s promise of a food stamp in every pot, there is also, one must hope, a smaller segment of the population that remains inattentive to, or ignorant of, what is happening to America.
These are people of good faith who simply do not see what you see. They have refused to listen to the evidence thus far; they have been educated to believe in the kind of euphemisms the left uses to mask its true intentions; they cannot accept that real live men and women could possibly have aims so antithetical to the interests of humanity, civilization, and decency, let alone that such people could have risen to the highest positions of government, education, the press, and the arts.
(Before you scoff at the possibility that there might be such “people of good faith,” consider the Tea Party. I have read the self-descriptions of many people who say they were politically disinterested all the way into their 50s, but have had a violent awakening within the past few years. What happened to them can happen to others.)
Though it may be difficult to muster the patience to argue with those who have chosen to remain under the rock of everyday life during this time of tectonic shift, if ever there was a moment for forbearance in the name of a greater good, this is it. The stakes could not be higher. The time could not be later.
The practical problem, however, is that merely being correct is not enough to win an argument. You must also make your interlocutor see your case, and take it seriously. But the world has reached such an extremity of degradation that for those who have not been paying attention, even calling the dangers by their right names seems “over the top.” And if someone dismisses your argument as ridiculous on its face, they will not finally be swayed by it.
This problem cannot be ignored. Those frustrating “undecideds” to whom the obvious appears far-fetched must be won over. If they cannot finally be persuaded, then the only other way out of this crisis may simply be to watch civilization die, and hope that reason and humanity may be reborn in some distant future.
How to overcome this barrier? Consider how you yourself arrived at your conclusions regarding modern leftism in general or Barack Obama in particular. You got there through inference and synthesis after exhaustively examining the verifiable facts. Without the facts, you would never have believed those inferences and syntheses either — nor should you have. The accumulated evidence comes first. Inescapable conclusions follow.
This is the solution for dealing with the disengaged. Wave your arms in front of their televisions and newspapers until you have swept away “Dancing with the Stars,” Peggy Noonan, and the rest of the veil of life-as-usual that blinds them to the danger all around. Then overwhelm them, forcefully but without exaggeration or hyperbole, with the documented facts. Merely say what you know, and what can be proven incontrovertibly, without scaring them away with inferences they are not yet able to understand. If they are reachable at all, they will draw their own inescapable conclusions, just as you did.
This modern version of the Socratic Method might just avert catastrophe. It is fitting that Western civilization’s most time-honored model of education should be the most valuable tool in rescuing Western civilization.
Persuade them with an avalanche of undeniable facts.
Barack Obama was raised by a committed leftist mother who clearly displayed a predilection for men of similar inclinations, fathering Obama with one, and later marrying another.
Both his father and stepfather were Muslims. Obama spent a significant portion of his early formative years being raised and educated among Indonesian Muslims. His mother was, on his own account, opposed to organized religion on principle. In short, he was not raised in a Christian household or atmosphere.
The only church to which Obama is known to have belonged is Jeremiah Wright’s. Wright, a black liberation theologian, sermonizes about the fundamental evils of America, and is vehemently anti-Jew and pro-Palestinian. Obama has claimed that he heard none of this over his twenty years in Wright’s church, and has publicly disowned his pastor. (Wright has since described himself as a close political and spiritual mentor of Obama’s, and claimed that in 2008 an Obama surrogate offered him $150,000 for his silence.)
One of the most influential male role models in his youth was Frank Marshall Davis (see Paul Kengor’s work on this), a radical activist, card-carrying member of the Communist Party USA, and pornographer. Obama’s first autobiography, Dreams from My Father, written before he ran for public office, discussed Davis in some detail. The audio version of the book, which Obama recorded in 2005, excised all references to Davis.
Obama’s political career began with a “meet the candidate” coffee klatch in the Chicago home of Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. Ayers and Dohrn are founding members of the Weather Underground terrorist group, dedicated to the communist overthrow of the American system of government. They have remained openly devoted to undermining American “capitalism” and “imperialism” to this day, though they have traded in the ineffectual methods of their youth for more subtle and gradual forms of cultural re-education.
They are not the sort of characters who would blindly support just any old Democratic candidate for the state senate, let alone host his campaign kick-off party. That is, they would not have supported Obama without feeling very certain that they knew who and what he was, and that his views and agenda were consistent with their subversive aims. Ayers has subsequently spoken with his unique brand of leftist lyricism about the excitement and promise of Obama’s 2008 presidential victory.
When Obama was publicly questioned about his relationship with Ayers, he famously dismissed this associate, mentor, and probable ghost writer of Dreams (see here) as merely “a guy who lives in my neighborhood.”
Throughout his presidency, Obama has been strongly supported by the Communist Party USA. The language of the CPUSA’s 2012 endorsement includes a simple litany of all the same policy achievements and principles that Obama himself touts in his own defense. It is the official position of the CPUSA that Obama’s policy agenda is consistent with and conducive to the Party’s goal of establishing a communist state in America. They ought to know.
For several years (we do not know how many), beginning in high school, Obama was a heavy user of illegal drugs, ranging from marijuana — in his high school yearbook, he thanked his dealer by name — to cocaine. During his 2008 presidential bid, he repeatedly exploited his drug use to attract young voters by appealing to their desire for the “cool” candidate. (See here.)
Obama admits to having been a bad student, due to being frequently absent from classes as a “loafer” and dedicated partier; and yet he was somehow able to wend his way up the American education food chain, from Occidental to Columbia to Harvard. His academic records have been withheld from the public to this day. (A valuable clue to the mystery of Obama’s academic upward mobility may have just been discovered.)
His first literary agent promoted him using a short bio which claims he was born in Kenya. This bio was changed in other ways over the course of seventeen years, but continued to say he was born in Kenya until 2007. The agent’s official explanation for this is a whimpered “fact-checking error.” As many have pointed out, however, a publisher does not create an unknown author’s bio for him. (How could they?) They print the information they are given by the author. Does this prove that Obama was born in Kenya? Only if we assume he was telling the truth when he provided or approved his biographical information. Perhaps he was. My assumption is that he was not. So Obama is either constitutionally ineligible to be president or a dishonest careerist who is prepared to promote his career with convenient lies about the most basic facts of his personal history, à la Elizabeth Warren, his fellow Harvard leftist and presidential appointee. Take your pick.
Obama was a featured speaker at a dinner in honor of Rashid Khalidi, a pro-Palestinian academic who has made a career of defending the PLO and the Muslim Brotherhood, while spewing venom at the “occupiers” of Jerusalem. We know that in his speech, Obama spoke of Khalidi as an intimate friend and mentor. We also know that anti-Israeli sentiments abounded at this event, and that attendees apparently included Ayers and Dohrn.
That, however, is about all we know, because the Los Angeles Times possesses the only known video of the event, and has refused to release it on the grounds of respecting the wishes of their source. In plain English, they refuse to release it because they respect their source’s desire to protect Obama from the video’s incriminating evidence, as is apparent from the damage control story the Times published about this event.
In 2008, asked about his relationship to Khalidi, which, according to the Times’ own “nothing to see here” story, Obama himself described as deeply influential, Obama said, “To pluck out one person who [sic] I know and who [sic] I’ve had a conversation with who has very different views than 900 of my friends and then to suggest that somehow that shows that maybe I’m not sufficiently pro-Israel, I think, is a very problematic stand to take.”
Obama has 900 “friends,” all of them pro-Israel, but just one anti-Israeli vague acquaintance — “one person who I’ve had a conversation with.” So there, Professor Khalidi. Yet another long-time Obama mentor and confidante thrown under the campaign bus.
On the other hand, there is his administration’s renunciation of the Mubarak government in Egypt. The pro-Muslim Brotherhood and pro-Palestinian forces (to which Khalidi prominently belongs) hated Mubarak, not as an authoritarian, but as an Arab who tried to work with, rather than annihilate, Israel. Thus it is clear why those forces cheered Mubarak’s ouster in favor of the Muslim Brotherhood’s takeover of Egypt, personified by Mohamed Morsi.
Now Morsi — whose campaign for Egyptian president was introduced by a cleric promising that Morsi would lead a “march on Jerusalem” — is boldly setting the terms of U.S.-Arab relations, while the Obama administration trips all over itself to certify that, Obama’s shaky words notwithstanding, they really do regard Morsi’s government, and by implication the “civilization jihad”-seeking Muslim Brotherhood, as an ally. (When Michele Bachmann and others raised the issue of Muslim Brotherhood infiltration of the U.S. government, the Washington establishment convulsed in melodramatic outrage — without refuting the claims.)
Furthermore, the Democratic Party tried to remove the recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital from its 2012 platform, along with language condemning the Brotherhood’s offspring group, Hamas. Facing public scrutiny, and against the will of their own convention delegates, the Jerusalem language was reinserted into the Democrats’ platform. The Hamas language, however, was not.
Then there is Obama’s private plea to Dmitri Medvedev, caught on tape, that Vladimir Putin needed to give him “space,” i.e., stop making public demands of him before the election, after which time Obama promised he would have more “flexibility” to give Putin what he wants regarding missile defense.
This, of course, is merely a beginning of the avalanche of facts — not speculative inferences, but facts — that can and must be presented to those who have not yet come to terms with what is at stake.
Supplement this bombardment as needed. Your ammunition will last at least as long as the 1.4 billion rounds the Department of Homeland Security purchased this year. Consider: adding 50% to an already irredeemable national debt; supporting infanticide; violating Catholics’ freedom of religion in the name of a “student” who claims she needs enough birth control to supply the Mustang Ranch; declaring himself a proponent of single-payer (i.e., socialized) health care achieved incrementally (but then denying that the signature legislation of his first term is exactly that); giving the most perfunctory and unfeeling “sad day” speech in history in response to the barbaric assassination of a U.S. ambassador, before racing to Vegas for a fundraiser; mocking every human being’s pride in his own achievement (“You didn’t build that”), thereby completely inverting the actual relationship between private success and “public works”; EPA drones flying over your farm; and so on ad infinitum.
You could not invent someone less suited to being president of the United States. Just lay it out for the undecided, verifiable step by step, and dare them not to draw the only conclusion reason permits.
And never forget that just as Obama is, for the radical left, merely the public symbol of their agenda, so he is, for your argument, merely the thin edge of a wedge. Having set the disengaged to thinking on this one score, a whole world of corruption and impending catastrophe will open up for them. Once one has begun to see reality, there is no turning back.
Page Printed from: http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/../2012/09/the_persuasive_force_of_an_avalanche.html at September 25, 2012 – 01:23:44 PM CDT
I will not, nor can I, add anything more to this article………………..”you will have to read it, to find out what is in it”!!!!
Transcript: Romney’s speech to the Clinton Global Initiative
By Michelle Malkin • September 25, 2012 09:35 AM
Mitt Romney spoke to the Clinton Global Initiative in New York. All three major networks broadcast the speech live. He name-checked the Muslim Brotherhood, noting that Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi is a member. Here’s a transcript of his prepared remarks:
If there’s one thing we’ve learned this election season, it’s that a few words from Bill Clinton can do any man a lot of good. After that introduction, I guess all I have to do is wait a day or two for the bounce.
Since serving as President here in America, President Clinton has devoted himself to lifting the downtrodden around the world. One of the best things that can happen to any cause, to any people, is to have Bill Clinton as its advocate. That is how needy and neglected causes have become global initiatives. It is that work that invites us here today.
As I have watched the astounding impact of this Initiative from afar, I have been impressed by the extraordinary power you have derived by harnessing together different people of different backgrounds, and different institutions of different persuasions. You have fashioned partnerships across traditional boundaries — public and private, for-profit and nonprofit, charitable and commercial.
On a smaller scale, I have seen partnerships like this work before. In Massachusetts, two social pioneers brought corporations and government and volunteers together to form City Year, the model for Americorps. I sat with then candidate for President Bill Clinton as he investigated the life-changing successes which occurred when young people came together for a year of service, linked in teams with corporate sponsors. Then, as the head of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games, I saw again the stunning success than comes when the disparate elements of a community join together in unity, to overcome challenges that had seemed insurmountable before.
The Clinton Global Initiative has also demonstrated the effectiveness of entrepreneurship and social enterprise. You endeavor to not only comfort the afflicted, but to also change lives thorough freedom, free enterprise, and the incomparable dignity of work.
Free enterprise has done more to bless humanity than any other economic system not only because it is the only system that creates a prosperous middle class, but also because it is the only system where the individual enjoys the freedom to guide and build his or her own life. Free enterprise cannot only make us better off financially, it can make us better people.
Ours is a compassionate nation. We look around us and see withering suffering. Our hearts break. While we make up just 4.5 percent of the world’s population, we donate nearly a quarter of all global foreign aid—more than twice as much as any other country. And Americans give more than money. Pastors like Rick Warren lead mission trips that send thousands of Americans around the world, bringing aid and comfort to the poorest places on the planet. American troops are first on the scene of natural disasters. An earthquake strikes Haiti and care packages from America are among the first to arrive – and not far behind are former Presidents Clinton and Bush.
But too often our passion for charity is tempered by our sense that our aid is not always effective. We see stories of cases where American aid has been diverted to corrupt governments. We wonder why years of aid and relief seem never to extinguish the hardship, why the suffering persists decade after decade.
Perhaps some of our disappointments are due to our failure to recognize just how much the developing world has changed. Many of our foreign aid efforts were designed at a time when government development assistance accounted for roughly 70 percent of all resources flowing to developing nations. Today, 82 percent of the resources flowing into the developing world come from the private sector. If foreign aid can leverage this massive investment by private enterprise, it may exponentially expand the ability to not only care for those who suffer, but also to change lives.
Private enterprise is having a greater and greater positive impact in the developing world. The John Deere Company embarked upon a pilot project in Africa where it developed a suite of farm tools that could be attached to a very small tractor. John Deere has also worked to expand the availability of capital to farmers so they can maintain and develop their businesses. The result has been a good investment for John Deere and greater opportunity for African farmers, who are now able to grow more crops, and to provide for more plentiful lives.
For American foreign aid to become more effective, it must embrace the power of partnerships, access the transformative nature of free enterprise, and leverage the abundant resources that can come from the private sector.
There are three, quite legitimate, objects of our foreign aid.
First, to address humanitarian need. Such is the case with the PEPFAR initiative, which has given medical treatment to millions suffering from HIV and AIDS.
Second, to foster a substantial United States strategic interest, be it military, diplomatic, or economic.
And there is a third purpose, one that will receive more attention and a much higher priority in a Romney Administration. And that is aid that elevates people and brings about lasting change in communities and in nations.
Many Americans are troubled by the developments in the Middle East. Syria has witnessed the killing of tens of thousands of people. The president of Egypt is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. Our Ambassador to Libya was assassinated in a terrorist attack. And Iran is moving toward nuclear weapons capability. We feel that we are at the mercy of events, rather than shaping events.
I am often asked why, and what can we do to lead the Middle East to stability, to ease the suffering and the anger and the hate.
Religious extremism is certainly part of the problem. But that’s not the whole story.
The population of the Middle East is young, particularly compared with the population of the West. And typically, these young people have few job prospects and the levels of youth unemployment across the region are excessive and chronic. In nations that have undergone a change in leadership recently, young people have greater access to information that was once carefully guarded by tyrants and dictators. They see the good as well as the bad in surrounding societies. They can now organize across vast regions, mobilizing populations. Idle, humiliated by poverty, and crushed by government corruption, their frustration and anger grows.
In such a setting, for America to change lives, to change communities and nations in the Middle East, foreign aid must also play a role. And the shape that role should take was brought into focus by the life and death of Muhammed Bouazizi of Tunisia, the street vendor whose self-immolation sparked the Arab Spring.
He was just 26-years-old. He had provided for his family since he was a young boy. He worked a small fruit stand, selling to passers-by. The regular harassment by corrupt bureaucrats was elevated one day when they took crates of his fruit and his weighing scales away from him.
On the day of his protest, witnesses say that an officer slapped Bouazizi and he cried out, “Why are you doing this to me? I’m a simple person, and I just want to work.”
I just want to work. (emphasis mine)
Work. That must be at the heart of our effort to help people build economies that can create jobs for people, young and old alike. Work builds self-esteem. It transforms minds from fantasy and fanaticism to reality and grounding. Work will not long tolerate corruption nor quietly endure the brazen theft by government of the product of hard-working men and women.
To foster work and enterprise in the Middle East and in other developing countries, I will initiate “Prosperity Pacts.” Working with the private sector, the program will identify the barriers to investment, trade, and entrepreneurialism in developing nations. In exchange for removing those barriers and opening their markets to U.S. investment and trade, developing nations will receive U.S. assistance packages focused on developing the institutions of liberty, the rule of law, and property rights.
We will focus our efforts on small and medium-size businesses. Microfinance has been an effective tool at promoting enterprise and prosperity, but we must expand support to small and medium-size businesses that are too large for microfinance, but too small for traditional banks.
The aim of a much larger share of our aid must be the promotion of work and the fostering of free enterprise. Nothing we can do as a nation will change lives and nations more effectively and permanently than sharing the insight that lies at the foundation of America’s own economy–free people pursuing happiness in their own ways build a strong and prosperous nation.
When I was in business, I traveled to many other countries. I was often struck by the vast difference in wealth among nations. True, some of that was due to geography. Rich countries often had natural resources like mineral deposits or ample waterways. But in some cases, all that separated a rich country from a poor one was a faint line on a map. Countries that were physically right next to each other were economically worlds apart. Just think of North and South Korea.
I became convinced that the crucial difference between these countries wasn’t geography. I noticed the most successful countries shared something in common. They were the freest. They protected the rights of the individual. They enforced the rule of law. And they encouraged free enterprise. They understood that economic freedom is the only force in history that has consistently lifted people out of poverty – and kept people out of poverty.
A temporary aid package can jolt an economy. It can fund some projects. It can pay some bills. It can employ some people some of the time. But it can’t sustain an economy—not for long. It can’t pull the whole cart—because at some point, the money runs out.
But an assistance program that helps unleash free enterprise creates enduring prosperity. Free enterprise is based on mutual exchange—or, rather, millions of exchanges—millions of people trading, buying, selling, building, investing. Yes, it has its ups and downs. It isn’t perfect. But it’s more durable. It’s more reliable. And ultimately, as history shows, it’s more successful.
The best example of the good free enterprise can do for the developing world is the example of the developed world itself. My friend Arthur Brooks of the American Enterprise Institute has pointed out that before the year 1800, living standards in the West were appalling. A person born in the eighteenth century lived essentially as his great-great-grandfather had. Life was filled with disease and danger.
But starting in 1800, the West began two centuries of free enterprise and trade. Living standards rose. Literacy spread. Health improved. In our own country, between 1820 and 1998, real per capita GDP increased twenty-two-fold.
As the most prosperous nation in history, it is our duty to keep the engine of prosperity running—to open markets across the globe and to spread prosperity to all corners of the earth. We should do it because it’s the right moral course to help others.
But it is also economically the smart thing to do. In our export industries, the typical job pays above what comparable workers make in other industries, and more than one-third of manufacturing jobs are tied to exports. Sadly, we have lost over half a million manufacturing jobs over the last three and a half years.
As president, I will reverse this trend by ensuring we have trade that works for America. I will negotiate new trade agreements, ask Congress to reinstate Trade Promotion Authority, complete negotiations to expand the Trans-Pacific Partnership, and create what I call a “Reagan Economic Zone,” where any nation willing to play by the rules can participate in a new community committed to fair and free trade.
I’ve laid out a new approach for a new era. We’ll couple aid with trade and private investment to empower individuals, encourage innovators, and reward entrepreneurs.
Today, we face a world with unprecedented challenges and complexities. We should not forget—and cannot forget—that not far from here, a voice of unspeakable evil and hatred has spoken out, threatening Israel and the civilized world. But we come together knowing that the bitterness of hate is no match for the strength of love.
In the weeks ahead, I will continue to speak to these challenges and the opportunities that this moment presents us. I will go beyond foreign assistance and describe what I believe America’s strategy should be to secure our interests and ideals during this uncertain time.
A year from now, I hope to return to this meeting as president, having made substantial progress toward achieving the reforms I’ve outlined. But I also hope to remind the world of the goodness and the bigness of the American heart. I will never apologize for America. I believe that America has been one of the greatest forces for good the world has ever known. We can hold that knowledge in our hearts with humility and unwavering conviction.
Thank you, Mr. President, and thank you all very much.
With only 42 days left until the election that will determine the future for our children and grandchildren, time is of the essence. I am on a mission to share the “best of the best” political articles and videos from some of the many websites and blogs that I read each day. It is my hope that the information they contain will provide food for thought as you weigh the merits of each of the arguments for any given topic. Clicking on the imbedded links will assist you in gathering more information about specific details as well as clarifying the veracity of the author’s message. The following article touched on a subject which frustrates me a great deal. The author of this piece gives voice to the concerns that I have about the moral neglect in the media to seek the truth, and to report and interpret information in an honest and fair manner.
The second article is also well worth the read, in my very humble opinion.
A Few Questions for ABC-NBC-CBS-NYT-NPR-CNN-WASHPO-LAT
You’re the elite, the cream of the national press corps (That’s pronounced “core” rather than “corpse,” which the president botched recently, but which you all found far less important than the “e” that’s not at the end of potato when a Republican VP stumbled). Thanks for coming. I invited you here to ask when’s the last time any of you fearless pros asked the president as direct and challenging a question as these two hardballs he faced last week at Univision, the Spanish language network:
“I think up to 100 Mexicans might have died (in Operation Fast and Furious) and also American agent Brian Terry. There’s a report that 14 agents were responsible for the operation, but shouldn’t the attorney general, Eric Holder…have known about that and if he didn’t, should you fire him?”
“You promised [immigration reform] and a promise is a promise. And with all due respect, you didn’t keep that promise.”
Those are some respectful zingers doing just what the press is supposed to: holding political leaders accountable for their words and actions. So, can you think of any tough question you’ve put to him lately? As in, sometime this term?
You don’t really want to look like lap dog sycophants, do you? Good. Then here are a few suggestions:
Ask him if his policies toward the Middle East may have contributed to current violence there.
Specifically, did his decision to pressure Mubarak out of Egypt and to forcibly remove Qaddafi from Libya enable radical elements hostile to the US to rise to power?
Ask him if his overall approach to engaging the Muslim world has produced positive results.
Ask him why, after the attacks on Egyptian, Libyan, and other embassies, his administration immediately asserted the fiction they were spontaneous demonstrations of religious grievance at an obscure internet clip critical of Mohammed.
Ask why for over a week it denied there was a deliberate targeting of America by terrorist groups on the anniversary of September 11th. Ask him if it’s true the State Department had warnings of likely attacks in the Middle East at least 48 hours before they occurred.
Ask him, with or without warnings, why are American embassies in some of the most dangerous places on earth essentially unguarded? Will secretary of State Clinton be held accountable for this failure to protect American personnel?
Speaking of Obama team players, will any of you professional skeptics ask Harry Reid if he plans to apologize to Mitt Romney for falsely accusing him of paying no taxes for 10 years? And if he doesn’t, then why not?
Will any of you ask the president how he can serve all Americans, as he pointedly told David Letterman is his job, if he doesn’t even know what the national debt is or what he has added to it?
When the president declares he “saved the auto industry,” will you ask him if he thinks Ford Motor Company and the American plants of Toyota, Honda, and Nissan aren’t also part of the American auto industry?
Ask him—if Chrysler and GM couldn’t pay their bills–what he thinks would have happened if bankruptcy law had been allowed to operate in a normal way? Would Americans’ demand for cars have been less? Wouldn’t Chrysler’s and GM’s assets have been sold in an orderly way to leaner competitors or start-up companies, who would have created new jobs and joined other suppliers to serve the American market?
Will you ask if it isn’t it more accurate to say he saved the ruinous pay, benefits, and pensions of the United Auto Workers that GM and Chrysler employed, and did it by lawlessly ripping equity out of the hands of secured creditors and bondholders and gifting it to the labor unions?
And, isn’t it true that the happy talk a while back about GM paying back its loans was highly misleading, as in essentially false? That wasn’t income from auto sales, was it, just federal stimulus grants that GM turned around and handed back to the government? And don’t taxpayers still hold a major chunk of GM ownership in billions of devalued stock? And isn’t the company’s survival still very much in doubt?
Will you ask him if this is really a success story, or likely a terribly costly, vote-buying boondoggle that just hasn’t played out yet?
Those are just a few starters. If you all think about it, there are a lot of fastballs you could throw over the left edge of the plate—if your peripheral vision reaches there.
For those of you who would like to test the waters of the “alternative” media and discover “independent” thinking versus “group” thinking please read the following article which will present a great number of media sites to check out:
July 14, 2012
Yes, Virginia, There Is Truth in Media
A smart, savvy high school student recently asked me to recommend some sources for real news, or what is commonly found in new media — truth. For most readers, it is a long-held foregone conclusion that mainstream media is little more than a mouthpiece of the left — celebrity wannabes clinging to the coattails of the ruling class elite. And yet, far too many of our youth and, far more startlingly, right-of-center adults are still dangerously unaware that the mainstream media of old is a wholly unnecessary exercise in head-banging frustration. Yes, Virginia, there really is another media. The media. Maybe it’s time we spell out how to get there.
For all the lessons youth have crammed down their throats by leftist teachers, MTV, Steven Colbert, and even Planned Parenthood, the ideals of conservatism are largely, if not entirely, left to parents. This is not exactly a news flash. But it does make it all the more alarming that so many adults are still in the dark when it comes to finding reliable, truthful news without spin and without the taint of progressivism. There really is a media that exposed the coming fundamental transformation at the hands of a composite fraud long before youth voted for him in droves in 2008, and long before David Maraniss came along and made even old media scratch its collective head for the first time in years. For Maraniss, it’s one thing to expose embellishment (lies) for the sake of narrative — a deception that is practically the left’s modus operandi — and there’s missing the forest for the cover of a few trees. Because the truth is, the ultimate Barack-Barry-Soetero-Hussein-Obama fraud, as Maraniss fails to report, is that Obama didn’t actually write his auto-biography (autobiographies), so much as close friend and terrorist Bill Ayers did, as has been exhaustively and expertly established by author Jack Cashill, at American Thinker and elsewhere. If this is news to you, it’s time you had a blueprint for finding real media, no matter your generation.
Dictating thought is virtually protocol to the left, so I don’t presume to borrow their pulpit. New media thinks far too much of your ability to reason, as do I, to consider offering anything more than friendly suggestion on your new path to information. I certainly don’t have the blueprint, and this is far from an exhaustive list. The only thing to really remember is there is no path to truth, and certainly to conservatism, through old media. We can talk fair and balanced until the cows come home, but there’s simply none to be found between the right and wrong. Compromise with communists still begets only communism, if only in very small and incremental doses.
First, let’s get one big question out of the way — why are we still having this conversation? Why are so many smart friends, under no delusions of mainstream impartiality, still wading through old media looking for glimmers of hope amid the inept, and nearly defunct, cesspool? How is it that a friend was aghast to only just discover honor killings and female genital mutilation under Islamic law? How can Republican friends, by no means Obama supporters, herald Mrs. Obama’s garden, wholly unaware that the Obamas plant the illusion of personal responsibility with one hand and sow millions of new food stamp recipients with the other? Why, on the day John Roberts betrayed the Constitution and the American people, did I leave a lunch meeting almost more distraught over my companions’ reactions than Roberts’s decision itself? One lunch partner was equally devastated by the Court’s decision, but resigned to his fate. What can I do about it? Two admitted that they simply can’t stomach mainstream news of any kind, and are thus all too happy to concede willful ignorance, which they prefer to call ignorant bliss. And my last lunch partner, in what seemed a scene from the Twilight Zone, asked, “What’s ObamaCare?”
If I may, let’s begin with making sure both parent and child know one simple truth about the old media company they still keep. Take again, for example, ObamaCare — a tyrannical tax behemoth and an egregious constitutional breach of the limits of federal government, passed by the vilest political maneuvering in history, against the will of the people. Unless ObamaCare is repealed in its entirety, doctors will flee or practice medicine according to bureaucratic dictate, private insurers will implode, joblessness will increase, and states’ rights and what we know of individual liberty will be a thing of the past as much as actual medicine. ObamaCare makes every person from his birth to his death property of the state, and the IRS the enforcement mafia. This is fact. Not that you would ever know ObamaCare was anything more than free health care from the land of magic government fairies for the gazillions of poor and put-upon denied medical care, according to old media.
Now think for a moment that following Robert’s decision, not one conservative, or any of the majority of this country that opposes Obamacare, took to the streets to pillage. Not one conservative occupied anything, nor demanded the fruits of another’s labor. John Roberts didn’t receive death threats, and no one camped on his front lawn and threatened his children’s lives. This seems like good company to keep. And yet, it is those who oppose government-run health care, wealth redistribution, runaway entitlements, rewriting the Constitution, crippling taxation, and tyranny over liberty who are the uncivil according to old media: Republicans, conservatives, Sarah Palin, Christians, opponents of illegal immigration, the Tea Party, gun owners, the military, and pro-life advocates. Truth be told, barbaric behavior is the sole property of the left, and that includes its media. This is not company you wish to keep, let alone those from whom you should receive information — any information.
So — here goes. It is not my intention to highlight any particular new media, much of which has been around for some time — print, blog, radio, or otherwise — and with none of which I have any association, other than American Thinker, which I unashamedly believe to be one of the best op-ed sites around. Once you really begin to find your way around new media, click on other links you find listed from site to site, and find your own favorites. Old media does make for some near-hilarity as it attempts to deny bias and spin the economic and jobless misery it aids and abets. Think Andrea Mitchell stammering her way through economic fallacy. Brent Bozell has been hard at work for many years exposing the inanities. For the highlights, peruse his site, NewsBusters.
Read the Wall Street Journal editorial page, and bookmark it on your computer for easy access. It is an especially useful source for college students who will notice all too soon to which media most of their professors are beholden. Investor’s Business Daily is another excellent op-ed site. Michael Ramirez’s brilliant cartoon on that same page puts the absurdity of liberalism in perspective as well as any editorial. These are some personal blog favorites you might consider: Lucianne, Michelle Malkin, Mark Steyn, Drudge Report, Badblue, Fox Nation, Legal Insurrection, HotAir, Breitbart’s Big Government, Townhall, Daily Caller, Real Clear Politics, Gateway Pundit, Red State, Right Wing News, Pajamas Media, PowerLine, and American Thinker. You certainly won’t agree with every conservative, nor should you. But it will be an education no matter what you eventually call your comfortable new media home. And you will find you are among more friends than the MSM led you to believe you had.
There are phenomenal writers at American Spectator, Weekly Standard, National Review, American Conservative, and Human Events, to name a few in print medium. All have websites. A few of my favorite writers include Quinn Hilyer, Paul Rahe, Jonah Goldberg, George Will, Andrew McCarthy, Shelby Steele, John Fund, Katie Pavlich, Kimberley Strassel, and Dinesh D’Souza.
Study Islam and the threat of sharia law under the tutelage of the great Robert Spencer at Jihad Watch, Pamela Gellar at Atlas Shrugs, or Brigitte Gabriel at Act! For America.
The organizations working on behalf of conservatives are an invaluable resource: the Heritage Foundation, American Enterprise Institute, the Hudson Institute, Cato, FreedomWorks, Ludwig von Mises Institute, John Birch Society, Hoover Institution, and Hillsdale College, to name just a few. Read Hillsdale’s Imprimis newsletter. And read conservative authors — the greats, such as Frédéric Bastiat; Milton Friedman; Hayek; de Tocqueville; William F. Buckley, Jr.; and anything by Thomas Sowell. If you don’t know where to start, try Thomas Sowell’s Intellectuals and Society, Jonah Goldberg’s Liberal Fascism, or Mark Levin’s Liberty and Tyranny.
Follow — or better yet, join — the TEA Party. Know what it really stands for — not just the imbecilic, racist picture old media and Saturday Night Live paint. Listen to Rush Limbaugh. No matter what you believe him to be, Limbaugh is still the standard-bearer of truth in the muddied political world. Mark Levin, Laura Ingraham, Dennis Prager, and Dennis Miller are other good conservative radio choices. Just beware the conservative who speaks from the borrowed grandiose Greek columns so loved by Barack Obama. They can be a bit of a distraction, considering that the message of conservatism itself speaks volumes.
Because conservatives are not as humorless as the old media would like you to believe, enjoy the brilliant satire of David Burge at Iowahawk (as well as his Twitter feed), I Own The World, Weasel Zippers, Sunny TV, and the incomparable wit of Mark Steyn. Call it civil disobedience.
Finally, beware what is easily mistaken — likely the intention — for reliable media. Those who claim to be above the fray — who shirk “divisive” labels, claiming moral, middle high ground — Third Way, Americans Elect, NO Labels. Many of them claim conservatives among their ranks, but they are progressive fronts — as incapable of real compromise as any leftist, despite their rhetoric. For that matter, write off any organization that has “open” anywhere in its title. It is almost always funded by George Soros.
With a few noted exceptions (Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, or Allen West, for example) even most teens are smarter than those elected to rule — excuse me, serve — and that includes at least five Supreme Court justices. You deserve a media that respects your intelligence, protects your liberty, and speaks truth to power, even if it takes a bit more effort to seek it out. It’s really quite simple — without the media, you would never know what the old media is keeping from you. And our representative republic simply will not survive such ignorance.
It’s a brave new media world out there, but don’t just take my word for it. I will never lead some to that water, but thinkers, like you, will glory in the refreshment. Enjoy your journey.
Referencing a previous blog post regarding the bias of the mainstream media, the following article cites twenty-nine questions posed to President Obama and signed by forty percent of United States Senators. When the President announced that he will not enforce laws against illegal aliens aged 16-24, he should have been called out for this blatant abuse of the Executive Office by the very journalists whose duty it is to serve as a monitor of power. It is encouraging that twenty senators (perhaps realizing how irrelevant the President has made them) are finally finding the gumption to demand that the President explain himself in a lot more detail. When the President places himself and “privileged” illegals living in our country above the law, he needs to be reigned in immediately or we, as a nation, will find ourselves being governed by a Hugo Chavez type clone.
Phyllis Schlafly (Townhall Columnist) June 16, 2012
Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, a good friend of the Constitution and We the People, has sent President Obama a powerful letter co-signed by 20 senators. The letter spells out many unlawful aspects of Obama’s recent announcement that he will not enforce U.S. laws against young illegal aliens and will reward their illegal status with residency and work permits.
Grassley doesn’t mince words in his letter. He accuses Obama of taking an action for which he lacks legal authority, is contrary to his constitutional duty to “take care that the laws be faithfully executed,” is an affront to representative government and the legislative process in bypassing Congress, and is an inappropriate use of executive power.
Grassley points out that Obama has full knowledge that his action was unlawful. Just last year, Obama stated, “This notion that somehow I can just change the laws unilaterally is just not true. … We live in a democracy. You have to pass bills through the legislature, and then I can sign it.”
Here are a few of the 29 questions, slightly paraphrased and condensed, which Grassley asked the president to answer.
Why has your position on your legal authority changed? Did you consult with attorneys about this and get a legal opinion and, if so, please provide copies of those legal opinions and emails? How will you treat the parents and others who deliberately violated federal immigration law by illegally bringing these young people into the U.S.?
What criteria will you use to decide who gets work permits and who doesn’t, and what will be the status of the illegal aliens after the expiration of the two-year span of your executive order? Will the implementation cost of this gigantic program be paid by those who benefit, or will it be loaded onto the U.S. taxpayers?
Obama supporters try to justify his illegal order by claiming that the young people were brought into the U.S. through no fault of their own. Then we must assume that the fault belongs to the parent or whoever brought the kids, so those persons should be deported and allowed to take their children with them.
Although Obama bragged that his executive order would make our policies “more fair” and “more just,” Grassley prefaced his litany of legal and fiscal questions about Obama’s executive order by citing its fundamental unfairness. American citizens of ages comparable to the illegals who Obama is rewarding, ages 16 to 24, are suffering 17 percent unemployment, and another 32 percent of American citizens aged 18 to 29 are underemployed.
Grassley wrote: “It is astonishing that your administration would grant work authorizations to illegal immigrants during this time of record unemployment.” No wonder Obama wouldn’t answer a reporter’s question as to why he favors foreign workers over American.
Obama argues that he has the authority to stop deportations of illegal aliens and reward them with work permits because he was using “prosecutorial discretion.” But prosecutorial discretion is properly applied only on a case-by-case basis to deal with extenuating circumstances, not for cancelling prosecution of a million people.
Obama’s action is an open invitation to fraud and lies. For example, Obama says his plan is for illegal aliens who arrived in the U.S. before the age of 16 and are still under the age of 30. Will the young illegal aliens Obama is favoring be required to prove their age with verifiable documents, such as birth certificates, school records, W-2s, tax returns, or affidavits under penalty of perjury?
Obama’s estimated figure of eligibles is 800,000, but the Pew Hispanic Center says it will be 1.4 million. The bipartisan amnesty of the 1980s was estimated to top out at 1 million, but wholesale document fraud coupled with the lack of enforced sanctions increased the number to 3 million.
Obama undoubtedly thinks he will benefit from the mainstream media’s continued failure to report the many costs to U.S. taxpayers of tolerating the influx of illegal aliens. According to Victor Davis Hanson, California is a showcase of the problem: taxes are the highest and rising, 70 percent of the last 10 million new Californians are on Medicaid; public schools have plunged to 48th and 49th in English and math test scores; and 50 percent of college freshmen need to take remedial courses.
Obama’s pitch to illegal aliens is one more unlawful, unilateral, dictatorial action added to his administration’s 21 specific violations of law that were itemized in an amazing document issued a few weeks ago by the Attorneys General of nine states.
Obama’s gambit to admit illegal aliens will not help our country. It is clearly designed to help Obama attract a bloc of voters to re-elect him in November, and that’s no excuse for violating the laws of the United States.