About Me

In writing the "About Me" portion of this blog I thought about the purpose of the blog - namely, preventing the growth of Socialism & stopping the Death Of Democracy in the American Republic & returning her to the "liberty to abundance" stage of our history. One word descriptions of people's philosophies or purposes are quite often inadequate. I feel that I am "liberal" meaning that I am broad minded, independent, generous, hospitable, & magnanimous. Under these terms "liberal" is a perfectly good word that has been corrupted over the years to mean the person is a left-winger or as Mark Levin more accurately wrote in his book "Liberty & Tyranny" a "statist" - someone looking for government or state control of society. I am certainly not that & have dedicated the blog to fighting this. I believe that I find what I am when I consider whether or not I am a "conservative" & specifically when I ask what is it that I am trying to conserve? It is the libertarian principles that America was founded upon & originally followed. That is the Return To Excellence that this blog is named for & is all about.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Terrible Price To Pay

Click here to hear Governor Mike Huckabee's 30 second statement regarding what to do with ISIS & really all the other terrorists in the world.  Although this statement by Governor Huckabee was made several days before the beheading of American journalist Jim Foley it is the exact same sentiment that the governor made regarding all terrorists to Carol in Bluffton, SC in December 2007, the first time we met him.  In all of my study & contact with Governor Huckabee he has never wavered from this position regarding terrorists.
 
In summary, the governor said ISIS is a cancer that the U.S. either cuts out or the cancer kills us.  In the case of Jim Foley the cancer killed him by beheading.
 
Now the question is how do we accomplish what the governor said – cutting out this ISIS cancer?
 
The closest official thing we have regarding this matter is the Joint Congressional Resolution authorizing war against Iraq that was passed in October 2002 by the House 296 to 133 & by the Senate 77 to 23.  Very long time readers will remember this document was posted on RTE on November 16, 2005. 
 
The aforementioned Joint Congressional Resolution authorized the use of U.S. Armed forces in Iraq, found that Iraq posed a continuing threat to the national security of the U.S. & international peace, authorized the (unnamed) president to use U.S. Armed Forces pursuant to several United Nations Security Council Resolutions, & authorized the (unnamed) president to use the Armed Forces of the U.S. as he determines to be necessary & appropriate in order to defend the national security of the U.S. against the continuing threat posed by Iraq, & to enforce all relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions regarding Iraq.
 
As I pointed out @ the time of the post there were many points in the 2002 resolution that did not pertain to weapons of mass destruction in Iraq for why Congress authorized this use of force.  At the time I also asked did you want a congressman or senator representing you who thought we could afford to find out whether or not Saddam was a threat to our homeland with the twin towers lying in rubble @ the hands of people from Afghanistan who lived in caves.  This is a time sensitive question meaning to answer it properly you have to put yourself back in the timeframe of the fall of 2002 – not looking @ what happened afterward.
 
In summary, this authorization to use force no longer applies because it was specific to Iraq in 2002.
 
This leaves a vacuum that allows every elected representative to free lance – some say they would bomb ISIS today & others say they would do nothing.  Currently BO & every Member of Congress feel free to make any statement they want because they have no responsibility for the consequences of their statements since they all figure nothing will come of them.  As long as there is no terrorist attack in America their comments are all bluster.
 
Although BO used similar words as Governor Huckabee's in his press conference last Wednesday where he expressed outrage about Jim Foley's beheading he ultimately picks & chooses what principles & laws he wants to enforce.
 
But there is a solution to all of this.  If ISIS is an immediate & imminent threat to America it is up to Congress to determine & ultimately to declare War or authorize the use of force on the Islamic State as ISIS is now known.
 
It has been reported that hundreds of sleeper cell terrorist fighters from dozens of countries have joined ISIS – much like the marquis de Lafayette came to America when he was nineteen to fight for the American Revolution.  Many of these terrorist fighters are holders of European & American passports & have visa free access to the U.S.  Congress should determine if this is all hot air or if it is a national security threat to America & if so take appropriate action.  This is really why we have them there.
 
With one American beheaded by ISIS & several more held captive by the terrorist group the country should know where their elected representatives stand on the ISIS threat – whether it is big, small, or of no significance - to our citizens & strategic interests in the Middle East – especially to know about those elected reps up for reelection in November.
 
Now I am not looking for trouble but it seems a good chance trouble could very easily find us again.
 
But another problem starts if Congress unconditionally & unambiguously declares War or authorizes the use of force on the Islamic State because we will have a president being dragged into the conflict kicking & screaming with absolutely no experience & much more important no desire to proceed.  If, & it is a big if, we could get our allies to join our coalition against ISIS we would have the inept & disinterested leading a coalition of the unwilling – a team destined for defeat.
 
This is a terrible price to pay but some lessons do not come easily.  But it is one of the very few chances we have left to expose the evil & anti-American leadership that has presided over our country for over five & a half years.  The response to the ISIS threat to America is a chance for those dependent on government for their livelihoods to clearly see what they have been supporting & to take another look – & their doing this is about the only chance all of the rest of us have to turn BO's fundamental transformation of America around.
 

Monday, August 18, 2014

What People Believe Regarding America's Future

Click on graph to enlarge.
 
Although several parts of the latest (July 30 to August 3) WSJ/NBC News Poll seem paradoxical the information in the above graph can not be mistaken – people sense the future is not going to be bright if we continue to follow our current path – The Road To Serfdom.
 
In addition to the above results another major finding of the poll is that 71% believe America is on the wrong track & only 22% think we are headed in the right direction.  While this too seems matter of fact the problem is that you have to read between the lines of the other poll results to determine why those polled think this is happening or who they blame.
 
BO has an overall approval rating of 40% accordingly to the above poll (41% according to Gallup on August 6 & 42% according to Fox News on August 13 so BO's approval is rising again) – extremely high for the president of a country in the declining condition of America by historical traditional standards – but many people no longer express their opinion based on such standards having thrown them to the wind in favor of obtaining the perceived security of government dependence. 
 
Congressional Republicans were viewed favorably by 19% of those polled & congressional Democrats by 31% – not a good sign for the midterm elections especially since Republicans continue to fall further behind with women.  They also are falling further behind with me.
 
BO's approval ratings, that never seem to fall below 40%, are very reminiscent of the 47% that Mitt Romney famously described in 2012 as the people who will vote for BO (in Mitt's case) no matter what...these people are dependent on government, believe they are victims entitled to government handouts, & pay no income tax.  Unless opponents of Democrats can make a case to this 47% every presidential election in our lifetimes will be lost.
 
Now people in the above poll majorities believe the future is not going to be bright in the long run but many are hoping the run is long enough for them to live out their days continuing their participation in one or more of the 126 anti-poverty federal government programs whose benefits & existence has been documented by the Cato Institute.  Such people can easily see that their children's generation will not be able to make a living to support their own American dreams or in turn will not be able to take part for decades to come in programs like their parents welfare programs.  In brief, the older generation think they can support BO & his current handouts but they also realize their children are stuck one way or another – hence parents & grandparents don't feel confident that life for the next generation will be better than it has been for them. 
 
This is a mixed bag & certainly does not mean that BO will be reined in his final two years in office.  In fact the poll was an even split between those who want their vote to be a referendum in BO's favor & those who want to put a check on him meaning there are plenty of people who support BO – it is still hard for many of us to understand the lure that government benefits have over work.  After five & a half years of BO being in office those 40% to 42%% still in favor of him have to be the people who prefer income redistribution over wealth creation.  That is a significant percentage compared to what it would have been even 30 years ago.
 
Economists tell us that this last recession ended in June 2009 yet two in five of those polled said someone in their household had lost a job since then & one in three said someone in their household was forced to take a job for significantly lower pay.  Over five years after the recession officially ended 49% of those polled still believe the recession has not ended. 
 
I believe the most complete measure of unemployment/underemployment is to add those employed full time who make a fraction of their former pay to the U-6 unemployment figure & calculate a U-7 unemployment rate accordingly.  Both U6 & U7 give very complete pictures of those relying on their wealth spend down to live on, which is an excellent measure of the unhealthiness & misery of today's job market.
 
The results of polls like the ones above clearly show it is not the same America most readers of RTE grew up in – we are no longer all on the same team pulling in the same direction.  In fact national political leaders who want to continue policies promoting the prevailing government-dependent mindset that led cities like Detroit to ruin are on the exact opposite team from the rest of the unsuspecting citizenry who are being led to the same fate experienced by the people of Detroit.
 
But to fight America's enemies – both foreign & domestic - we have to understand who the two teams are.  The first team is the citizenry who are trying to enjoy America & all its liberties that are mostly taken for granted today – that is, we are the saps sitting there waiting for the taking.  The second team is comprised of our elected politicians, the cooperative hostile anti-American media, the teachers unions, the legal system, & Hollywood who respectively & purposely try to mislead, misreport, poorly teach, improperly adjudicate, & biasedly entertain.  The second team does this in such a way that the unsuspecting citizenry succumbs after being brainwashed on issues like the fairness & necessity of increases in the minimum wage, equal pay protections for women, a widening income inequality, & the greed & unpatriotic nature of corporations who look to not pay their fair share of corporate income taxes by moving over seas – all topics that are insulting to people's intellect & only serve & actually are intended to degrade America.  It is almost impossible to imagine that the presentation of such topics by obviously self serving politicians could be believed even by the most ignorant & appallingly confused, let alone that they could influence & control the thinking & actions of people who have seen & participated in all the wonders of this magnificent country.
 

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Robin Williams' Salute To The Flag In Kuwait

click on photo to enlarge
 
Click here to see a portion of a very unique show that the late Robin Williams performed for our enlisted men & women @ Camp Arifjan in Kuwait on December 6, 2007 -  many thousands of soldiers passed through Camp Arifjan either on their way to Iraq or returning from Iraq.
 
I e-mailed my nephew & niece, who both are West Point graduates, regarding this & received the following response from my niece – "Mike passed through Camp Doha on his way to Baghdad, but not Arifjan. He went to Arifjan later though, in 2009, to visit me from Iraq.  I lived there for 15 months from 2008-2009" - so she didn't miss Robin's performance by many months.
 
Anyone who has been in the service knows how much these type of shows mean to our military personnel – shows like Robin's, the famous Bob Hope shows from decades ago, or the more recent WWE programs @ Christmas in both Iraq & Afghanistan.
 
All of these entertainers share a common thread – they are all inspired by our military personnel.
 
Below is a tribute that Gary Sinise made to Robin.
 
click on image to enlarge