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

Friday, August 8, 2014

Job Search Demonstration Of Homeless Man

Each month's jobs report has another distinguishing feature illustrating the precarious employment conditions in America.  In June it was the large number of part time jobs created that swamped the few full time jobs created & in July it was the lowest number of jobs created since March - if the July rate of increase would continue it would take over four years just to reemploy the 3.2 million people who have been unemployed for twenty seven weeks or longer.  Calculation is based on 150,000 jobs per month needed to keep up with population growth @ the current labor force participation rate.
The July official jobless rate, U-3, increased from 6.1% to 6.2% but more importantly the U-6 rate - the total unemployed, plus all persons marginally attached to the labor force including discouraged workers who have stopped looking for work, plus the people working part time who want full time employment – increased from 12.1% to 12.2%. 
The number of government workers increased by 96,000 in July to 20.453 million – the highest level of government workers in 2014.  Government consumption is a component of GDP that is a drag on the wealth creating growth of our economy.  We know that money taken from the wealth creating taxpayers to fund the employment of government workers @ a new 2014 high will not be spent as efficiently as if the taxpayers had spent or invested the money themselves.

Since 2000 5.2 million private sector jobs have been created.  This compares to 42.5 million such jobs between 1980 & 2000.  There were 36 quarters of growth of 4% or more on an annual basis between 1980 & 2000 & only three such quarters since 2000.  Source Jim Pethokoukis of AEI.

To find out just how bad the economy & job opportunities are Neel Kashkari, the Republican nominee for governor of California, went to Fresno with $40, a backpack, a change of clothes, & a toothbrush with the intent of finding a job to earn enough money to get by.  Click here to see how he made out.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Needed Mindset Change - Dependence To Prosperity

For years I have written about the general deterioration of employment in America including specifically the reduction in median income as well as less seemingly relevant matters to some like the misuse of federal agencies such as the IRS, EPA, NSA, & Justice Department, the cover up of the truth concerning the murders in Benghazi, Libya on 9/11 2012, & BO's planned destruction of America's oil, gas, & coal industries under the widely held but manmade pseudo science formerly known as global warming.
Many Americans are concerned about the employment & income topics because they can see how they directly affect their lives – the other topics are not of immediate concern, or of any concern @ all to the citizenry of a nation floating somewhere in the final two stages of Death Of Democracy – apathy to dependence & dependence back into bondage.
At this point in people's breakdown in the ability to make a living their interest & attention is not held by airliners shot out of the sky over Ukraine with Russian made missiles, the al Qaeda offshoot ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq & al-Sham) army taking over a significant portion of Iraq & Syria setting up a caliphate, Hamas & Israel shooting rockets @ each other day & night, or the advancement of the Iranian nuclear bomb capability.
The root cause of the country's economic decline is that the majority of people prefer to redistribute wealth than to create wealth - 150 million Americans live in households that receive some kind of government assistance.  This deterioration of the work ethic has torn the heart out of people who live on a combination of part time jobs, receiving government checks, & spending down the wealth their families accumulated over their lifetimes. The choice regarding creating wealth or redistributing wealth is really a choice between prosperity or poverty for America – & BO, the Democrat controlled Senate, & the establishment Republican controlled House, that can't get out of its own way, all side with redistribution.
There are faint signs that people may be catching on to the mismanagement & dereliction of duty of our elected representatives.  The increase in the public's awareness of wounded veterans dying in poorly run VA facilities is a crack in the politicians' armor.  After all what politician would not @ least make it look like they respect & support the troops even if they know nothing about the troops & have no intention of ever becoming a member of the troops themselves.  This VA disgrace did not escape BO who continued his feigned facade of concern by attempting to move the VA scandal off the front pages by negotiating with the Taliban for the exchange of five terrorist generals held @ the Guantanamo prison for the release of private first class [later promoted in absentia (desertia?) to specialist & in turn sergeant] Bowe Bergdahl. 
Following a disastrous rose garden ceremony with Bergdahl's parents it quickly became obvious that BO thought his image had jumped from the frying pan into the fire trading the VA story for Bergdahl's release story – but this too has faded into the distant or non-existent memory of a citizenry whose family budget meetings around their kitchen tables dominate their attention.  (Further complicating BO's image pickle is the fact that Marine Sergeant Andrew Tahmooressi is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder in a Mexican jail after serving two tours of duty in Afghanistan.)
To counter all of this BO captured Ahmed Abu Khatallah, the suspected leader of the Benghazi murders.  Now Khatallah had been interviewed several times in the last 21 months by journalists who sat inches from him but he was only captured when it was convenient for BOlike right now.
But simultaneous to much of this, reports started coming in from our southern border that unaccompanied children from several Central American countries were not only crossing the border from Mexico, but were handing themselves in to border agents immediately after doing so in order to obtain sanctuary under BO's lack of enforcement of immigration laws & specifically BO's encouragement to come to America through his Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that is purposely being misinterpreted by all concerned.
Chris Cabrera, 13 year Border Patrol veteran & now a vice president in the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 says children are being prompted to say -  "Obama will take care of us."  "We are going to get amnesty when we get here. Where is my permiso? Where is my permission to go north so I can get my medical care and my schooling and all that? President Obama is going to take care of us and make sure we're all OK."
In brief, the children are being used as pawns & the following poll results show that the American people have sympathy for the children but also recognize that we are being played for fools.  Seventy-seven percent of those polled do not want the children to stay in America – to one degree or another.  And an even larger 81% finally have met an issue they think is important other than their livelihoods.
click on graphs to enlarge
Can Americans who are not making ends meet be concerned about lost IRS e-mails & destroyed computer hard drives – we know not.  But elevate the problem to the citizenry realizing the NSA is spying on them while the country simultaneously provides more privacy rights & free legal representation to people flocking to our southern border than it does to them & you have a chance that the country can be turned around.
The above list of problems show that we are & have been @ the same point since before the 2012 presidential election campaign – namely, that the type of issues that used to be important (& really still are) to the citizens of a strong U.S. now mean nothing.  With BO's manipulated contrived lackluster economy people vote for the politicians who promise & provide the welfare they need.  This explains how BO won reelection in 2012 with the weakest pro-American record of any previous incumbent president.  It also explains why a Democrat will win every future presidential election in our lifetimes if a change in mindset from dependence to prosperity is not made.