Thursday, November 19, 2015

President Francois Hollande and President Obama: A Contrast in Leadership

Both President Hollande of France and president Obama of the United tates entered office as socialists President Hollande is an avowed socialist where President Obama was a closet socialist. He hid it from most voters, but any doubts should have been removed with the Toledo impromptu debate between Joe the Plumber and candidate Obama. The Senator’s redistributionist views were present for all to see and hear. Both entered office with left wing economics. President Hollande’s initial acts met with substantial resistance and were a failure in advancing the economy. He was smart enough to back off. President Obama gave us the non-shovel ready Stimulus Bill, the bloated budget, and government dependency across the board, especially with the failing ObamaCare. President Hollande never forgot France’s historic role. It continues to use its military, especially the French Foreign Legion, to promote stability in its former African colonies, if they seek assistance. President Obama has steadily been running away from America’s role over the past seven decades as the stabilizing force in the world. He does not believe in American Exceptionalism, but rather America as an Imperialistic force in the world. Thus, he has steadily shrunk the military and ceded Ukraine to Russia, the Mideast to Iran and Russia, and the South China Sea to China. He went out of his ay to insult England and Israel, our two most steadfast allies since 1949. He apologized to much of the rest of the world for America being America. He hailed and backed the “Arab Spring,” fro which as sprung the chaos of Libya and Syria. He pulled all forces out of Iraq, opening the door to the birth of ISIS. ISIS s the defining moment for both Presidents. President Hollande responded to the Charlie assassinations with severe force against ISIS. He responded to the recent Paris attacks by calling it an act of war by ISIS, and further unleashing his military on the Islamic terrorists. He has also fought against the burgeoning anti-Semitism in Europe. President Obama, on the other hand, has proven himself to be worse than either Neville Chamberlain of the Munich Appeasement and the failed Presidency of Jimmy Carter. Both recognized, albeit too late, that their policies failed. He said the day before the Paris bombings that ISIS was contained. Indeed, his National Security Advisor, the proven incompetent Susan Rice, is going around even today saying that ISIS is contained. We know it because its conquered territory has shrunk by 25%. Let’s think about that a moment. A doctor manages to reduce the size of a cancer tumor by 25%, but the cancer has already metastasized through the body. ISIS is in Libya and Lebanon, and its acolytes are popping up over the world. Radical Islam is a cancer upon civilization. He said ISIS was contained after ISIS had just blown the Russian airliner out of the sky and then bomber Beirut and Baghdad. He said ISIS was contained the day before the ISIS cell killed 129 in Paris. He referred to the Paris terrorist attack as a “setback.” President Hollande referred to the attacks as Act of War. The pentagon then proudly announced that it had taken out 116 ISIS fuel trucks. All is not as it sounds. The Pentagon warned the drivers to get out of the way before the A-10 Warthogs (which the Pentagon wants to scrap) and the C-47 gunships destroyed them. The French and Russian air attacks have no such qualms. A tank, fuel truck, APC, or other vehicle of ISIS should be subject to attack onsight. They are targets of opportunity for almost every other military. Russia said its pilots have freedom to hit at will in Syria The Obama White House Rules of Engagement are so strict that the military and drone attacks cannot put civilians at risk. They are micro-managing the battle against ISIS to a greater extent than the LBJ White House micro-managed the bombing campaign in Vietnam. Wars are not decided by the conquest of territory, but by the defeat of the enemy forces. President Obama resorts to ridicule and sarcasm in attacking his political enemies, but cannot use the phrase “Radical Islam.” If you do not even know who your enemies are, then you cannot defeat them. Secretary of State John Kerry said last Tuesday that the terrorists had a “rationale” in attacking Cherlie Hebdo on January 7. He walked the remarks back on Wednesday, but once again we have an insight into the real thinking of the Obama Administration. Is America at risk? Ask yourselves: Does ISIS have the desire to attack the United States? Answer: Yes Ask yourselves: Does ISIS have the will to attack the United States? Answer: Yes The attack on Times Square almost succeeded on May 1, 2010. ISIS made it clear that they intend to attack Times Square and the White House. Never underestimate the intelligence and capabilities of your enemies. Box cutters brought down the World Trade Center. Does President Obama have his head stuck in the sand like an Ostrich?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Lessons and Thoughts on the Paris Terrorist Attack

Never underestimate the capabilities of your enemies. Box cutters brought down the World Trade Center. Never underestimate the ferocity of religious warriors. The Ottoman Empire was built on Islam Never forget who your enemy is War is war Justice is not war Cities such as Paris, London, and New York present a seemingly infinite number of soft targets. You cannot safeguard every restaurant, bar, street, or other soft target. Security checks can minimize the risk to arenas, coliseums, stadiums, and critical facilities Thus three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the Stade de France, one after a security guard denied him admission Terrorism is a global threat. Radical Islam has attacked nightclubs (Bali in 2002), hotels (Bali 2005 and Jakarta 2009), schools (Beslan 2004), and subways in London (2005) and Moscow (2010), shot up trains in Mumbai (2006) and Madrid (2004), blew up ferries (Manila 2004), kidnapped women in Nigeria (2014), and mounted coordinated attacks in Mumbai (2008) and now Paris. President Obama is still clueless. Yesterday morning, after ISIS blew up a Russian airline, and suicide bombers just wrecking havoc in Beirut and Baghdad, but before the Paris terrorist attacks, he said ISIS has been contained, “which is our goal.” He earlier said our goal was to defeat ISIS. He earlier called ISIS the junior varsity. President Obama is still clueless; he just doesn’t get it We have to grieve, empathize with the victims, and express ourselves, but always remember words of outrage will not defeat ISIS The keys to defeating terrorism are to destroy it at the source, combined with great domestic and international intelligence, and sometimes luck Asymmetrical warfare cannot be defeated by the traditional rules of war Democracy will sometimes have to give up some rights of freedom to combat terrorism ISIS will again strike the West The United States is at risk There should be no doubt about what ISIS will do to Israel if it gets the chance A backlash will grow against Islam and Muslim refugees in Europe, hopefully expressed only at the ballot box

Friday, November 13, 2015

Missouri and Yale Are But the Beginning

We’ve had the Greatest Generation, the Baby Boomers, the Beat Generation, the Lost Generation, Hippies, the Now Generation, the Me Generation, and now we have the Entitlement Generation. The Entitles believe they are entitled to perfection and an escape from reality. They want trigger warnings and comfort zones. They try to muzzle, silence, and fire those who disagree with them. They believe they are the only ones entitled to Freedom of Speech. They are in the ideal place – the nation’s campuses, where they have been pampered by a liberal professoriate. Today’s colleges need a Father Hesburgh of Notre Dame and Boston University’s John Silber - leaders who recognize the university is a cathedral of learning, and not intolerance. The University of Missouri last week was partially a speakout, or scream out, against white privilege. Tensions had been building over a series of racially charged incidents over the past year. The demonstrators at Missouri knew they had two aces: President Obama and Missouri Governor Jay Nixon. They knew the leaders of the University of Missouri were hapless and would not have the backing of either the state or federal government. Sadly the students built upon the tragedy of Ferguson. They repeated the wrong lessons of Ferguson, which was based on fraud. Michael Brown, the Gentle Giant, did not have his back turned with his hands raised, saying “Hands Up; Don’t Shoot.” He was a thief who reached for Officer Wilson. Even President Obama’s Justice Department found the police shooting justified. Some of the Missouri grievances are legitimate. They have received racist taunts, which are unacceptable. Racism, of all stripes, exists in society. It will manifest itself on campus. Yet the widely publicized feces Swastika on the dorm wall is the work of a deranged mind – not representative of the university. Drunken use of the N word by a teenager is also not representative of the university, but rather the immaturity of teenagers. Payton Head, the African American President of the Student Body, relayed warnings about the KKK. He posted “Working with U of Missouri police, Mo. State Highway Patrol, & National Guard after KKK members had been ‘confirmed’ to be on campus.” He advised the students to stay away from windows and take other precautions. The Missouri University alert system notified students that no threat existed. Head apologized later that the threat was false, and said the student body could impeach him if they wanted. He had earlier claimed in September that as he was walking on campus some men in a SUV yelled racist, sexist and homophobic slurs at him. His credibility is at issue. Brenda Snith-Lezama, the student body Vice President, also African American, has some interesting views on the First Amendment. She said on MSNBC Wednesday that journalists claiming First Amendment rights in reporting the Missouri protests are creating a “hostile” and “unsafe” environment. She similarly said: “I personally am tired of hearing that First Amendment rights protect students when they are creating a hostile and unsafe learning environment for myself and other students here …. I think that it’s important for us to create that distinction and create a space where we all can learn from one another and start to create a place of healing rather than a place where we are experiencing a lot of hate like we have in the past.” The First Amendment problem doesn’t end there at Missouri. Tim Tai, a student was photographing the demonstration for ESPN when a number of protestors confronted him. Professor Melissa Clark, with a courtesy appointment in the Journalism Department, went up to him screaming “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here.” The Journalism Dean said her behavior was contra to the First Amendment. She resigned her courtesy appointment in the Journalism Department. Jonathan Butler, an African American graduate student, initiated a hunger strike demanding that the President resign among other demands. Butler claimed to be oppressed by “white male privilege.” Jonathan’s dad, Eric, earned $8.4 million last year as Executive Vice President for Sales and Marketing at the Union Pacific Railroad. One of Jonathan’s complaints was that during October’s Homecoming Parade the President’s car crashed into him. This incident became a cause celebre of the protestors. Videos show Butler rushed the car. The hypocrisy, naiveté or stupidity of the two student body leaders is notable. The population of Missouri is 83.5% white and 11.8% African American. The demographics of the student body at the University of Missouri is similar: 79% white and 8% African American. In other words, whites elected them as their officers, just as whites helped elect President Obama. The white population, the privileged whites, are the ones who created the University of Missouri. It is the privileged whites, the taxpayers, who support the University of Missouri. And it is the privileged whites who are supporting the financial aid, especially scholarships, that many of these students may be receiving. Now, we can’t be certain that this story is any truer than the false Ferguson Narrative. Yet, Head’s actions sparked the demonstrations and protests at Missouri. The students’ protests were joined last Saturday by 32 African American members of the 4-5 football team promising to cease all football activities until their demands were met, including the resignation of Missouri’s President Tim Wolfe. The President and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin resigned. Here’s what we therefore know about the Missouri protests. Many of the grievances were legitimate, but some were fraudulent. Yale was also experiencing the Black protests in the past weeks. Yale’s Intercultural Affairs Council sent a message October 28 urging students to reconsider wearing Halloween costumes that could offend some students. The request can be viewed as a reasonable request, but it is not a mandate. Erika Chirtakis, the associate master of Yale’s Stillman residential college, sent out a response, also of a reasonable nature. She wrote: “Is there no room anymore for a child to be a little bit obnoxious … a little bit inappropriate or provocative, yes, offensive? That triggered a reaction and backlash. As did the alleged refusal of Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE), in trouble at other campuses for racist behavior, to admit Balck women and Latinas to a party, saying “White girls only.” The fraternity denies it, but the belief persists in the Yale community. Nicholas A. Christakis, Erika’s husband, and the master of Stillman College, was confronted by a student (the video is disgusting). Dara Huggins, the President of Yale’s Black Women’s Coalition wanted Nicholas to resign from his administrative position. Yale’s President apologized to several minority students for Yale’s “failure to make them feel safe on campus.” The odds are that Nicholas and Erika will not be masters next year of any of Yale’s 12 residential colleges. Students at Clemson last January demanded a suspension of the First Amendment. They demanded the University prosecute “criminally predatory behavior and defamatory speech committed by members of the Clemson University community ….” Capri’Nara Kendall, now a senior at the University of Michigan, recounts a conversation as a freshman. Another student asked the African American if she was attending the University on an athletic scholarship. She was on an academic scholarship. It is insulting to be asked if you’re at the school because you are a jock rather than for your intelligence. Others asked her the same question. However, an alternative explanation is possible. Perhaps a socially awkward teenager couldn’t think of a better way to start a conversation with the classmate. Regardless of whether the question was asked maliciously or innocently, it is demeaning. It also brings up a related problem with affirmative action. Others may think, but probably won’t ask it aloud “Are you here because of your abilities, or because of affirmative action?” The assumption is that as a member of a minority group the student received preferential, or privileged, access. Then we have the follow up at Claremont McKenna College. Tempers were rising for months due to an inadequate response to a number of incidents. Lisette Espinosa wrote an op-ed in which she expressed discomfort as a low-income Latina. Adjusting to college is often difficult for students, even when white and affluent. Mary Spellman, Dean of Students, emailed Lisette, promising to better serve students “who don’t fit our CMC mold.” That was pouring fuel on the fire when the email went viral and ballistic. I think I know what Dean Spellman was trying to say, but it clearly came across as condescending and insulting. Two students commenced a hunger strike, promising to continue until Dean Spellman resigned, which she did on Thursday. Students at Vanderbilt first demanded the firing of Professor Carol Swain and are now just demanding her suspension along with diversity training. Her supposed hatred to minorities was shown by a column she wrote in the Tennessean in response to the Charlie Herbo terrorist attacks in Paris. The conservative African American professor of Political Science and Law wrote: “If America is to be safe, it must remove the foxes from the henhouses and institute serious monitoring of Islamic organizations.” Critics labeled her remarks “Hate Speech.” She is protected by tenure, but Chancellor Nicholas Zeppos did her no favors. He said: “I have heard and appreciated the serious concerns of our many students and alumni who have signed a petition calling for the suspension of Carol Swain…. Professor Swain’s opinions are her own. They do not reflect the opinions of the University in any way. They are not my opinions, the opinions of the provost, or the opinions of university leadership.” Students at Ithaca College want President Tom Rochon fired for inadequate responses to the complaints of the minority students and the failure to increase the number of minority students. These students, collectively representing nationally the “Social Justice Movement,” are demanding free tuition, forgiveness of student loans, and a $15 minimum wage. They feel entitled. They are emboldened by Missouri and Yale. Those of us who lived through the 1960’s remember how the student demonstrations, often, but not always, anti-war and anti-draft directed, spread like a wildfire from Berkeley through America as the students realized university presidents lacked backbones. Chancellor Zeppos is apparently auditioning for the presidency of a major university. University presidents usually rise through the academic ranks, showing an ability to both solve problems and often balance competing interests. It takes a rare talent to please students, faculty, alumni, administrators and staff, and regents/trustees and, if at a public institution, legislators and the Governor. It is clear that today’s young blacks will not quietly tolerate the insults their parents and grandparents suffered through. Nor will other minorities. They take offense to insults and indignities, real or perceived. They want respect. They deserve respect. They have a right to object and protest. That though does not give them the right to act like thugs and bullies, or as I referred 1½ years ago to the faculty and students who drove off conservative commencement speakers as “Academic Neanderthals.” Insensitivity becomes a capital offense in their eyes. So too does failure to respond as they would like. Criticism of them is racism. They cow administrators and faculty. They are a minority on campus, but a loud, bullying minority. Demands for mandatory diversity training may have one benefit. It might muzzle many of the racist statements, but it will not change racist thinking. For fear of saying something that could be construed as hate speech by these agitated students, the students may instead be met by the sound of silence. There will be a backlash, especially at the ballot box. Ronald Reagan was elected Governor of California in 1966 in response to the student riots, beginning with the Free Speech Riots, at Berkeley. The formerly popular incumbent Governor Edmund G. Brown lost by almost 1 million votes.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Last Tuesday's Elections

The mid-Midyear even year elections are always very interesting, like reading tea leaves to predict the future. If Presidential lections are every four years, then the midyear elections are every two, even numbered years. The Midyear elections generally draw a much smaller, more conservative turnout. The turnout in the odd number years is even lower and more conservative. These elections only have a few Gubernatorial elections and no regular Senate or House of Representatives election. Here is a belated update on last Tuesday’s elections due to waiting for the final vote counting. Taxes are always on the ballot. Seattle voters approved by 60-40% a 10 year, subsidized experiment in public campaign funding. Every voter will receive in every election cycle 4 $25 vouchers to be used as campaign contributions for candidates in local elections. The candidates in turn will agree to lower spending and contribution levels and must agree to participate in 3 debates. It will be funded by a property tax levy amounting to about $9/year on a $450,000 property. The tax will be much higher in fact because of rapidly escalating property values in King County (Seattle). Washington State voters responded to a Washington Supreme Court decision which threw out a 2/3 requirement for voter approved tax increases since that requirement would have to be in the state constitution. The voters approved a referendum which cut the state sales tax to 5.5% from 6.5% unless the Legislature placed on the ballot a provision to amend the state constitution with the 2/3 tax approval for tax increases. The state, counties, and cities have been imposing $billions in tax increases in recent years. Paul Allen sponsored a referendum which substantially barred the trafficking in in animal products to product tigers, lions, marine turtles, elephant tusks, and rhino horns. Colorado voted to divert $66 million in pot taxes to school funding. Pueblo County voters imposed a 5% excise tax on pot, expected to yield $13.5 million by2020. The proceeds would cover the tuition of county residents attending the two colleges in the county. Ohio voters may be Buckeye nuts with a mixture of potheads, but they are not dunderheads. They voted down two marijuana legalization proposals, one of which would have given the sponsors a monopoly in Ohio. The vote was not even close – 64-36%. Neighboring Michigan voters had even less tolerance for two disgraced, former GOP representatives who sought redemption by running for the legislative seats they were forced to vacate earlier this year. The erstwhile Tea Party backed Representatives could not conceal their public lust for each other. Todd Courser came in sixth with 415 votes in his race and Cindy Gamrat came in slightly better in her race with 912 votes and a third place finish. They ran in the wrong state. Bridgeport, Connecticut returned to office former Mayor Joseph Gann who had served 7 years in prison for corruption. He was convicted in 2003 of 16 counts after serving 12 years as Mayor. Some voters expressed forgiveness. Flint, Michigan tossed out their incumbent Mayor, who presided over the contaminated water poisoning of Flint children with elevated blood-lead levels. San Franciscans voted out their embattled, non-gun bearing, spousal abusing Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi by a 62-33%. Vicki Hennessy, the victor, will be the first woman Sheriff of Los Angeles. The voters retained Ed Lee as the first Chinese Mayor of San Francisco. San Francisco voters also voted down Prop P, an anti-Airbnb ordinance that would restrict short-term rentals with civil and criminal penalties. The measure was backed by the hotel employee union, but opposed by Airbnb, which spent about $8.5 million in opposition. Republicans retained their state Senate majorities in New York and Virginia. Matt Bevin, the Tea Party underdog, was elected Governor of Kentucky as Kentucky is rebelling against President Obama’s War on Coal. The Governor-Elect had mentioned his support for Kim Davis, the county clerk who refused to grant marriage licenses to gay couples. Yet, this past weekend he said he would change the Kentucky rule that requires the Clerk’s signature on the marriage licenses. The polls had him losing the election, but he won by a wide margin as only the second Republican Governor of Kentucky in 44 years. Democrats are now down to 17 governors. As widely reported, 61% of Houston voters rejected the HERO Ordinance, the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance. The turnout in African American and conservative white neighborhoods was large. Both groups are against gay marriage. In addition, the advertising campaign against HERO featured bathroom privacy; i.e. do women want transgender men with entering woman restrooms. Houston’s Mayor Annise Parker is gay, but that didn’t matter in this election. HERO was endorsed by President Obama, Vice President Biden, and Secretary Clinton. Texas voters made the right to hunt and fish a constitutionally protected right, becoming the 19th state to protect the right to hunt and fish.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

The Ben Carson Narrative versus the Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton Narratives

CNN and the Politico acted yesterday as if they caught Dr. Ben Carson in a defining “Gotcha” moment. Attack his credibility and he’s toast in the Republican primaries. This from the media, which sank to all time lows during the CNBC Debate Debacle. Dr. Carson wrote in his 1996 memoir, “Gifted Hands,” that he met General Westmoreland in Detroit. The story goes that the general was so impressed by the top ranking Junior ROTC cadet that the general offered him a scholarship to West Point. For that he has been pilloried today. We know that West Point generally does not offer scholarships because tuition is free. We also know that West Point usually needs a Congressional or Presidential recommendation for admission. We are told that General Westmoreland was not in Detroit when Dr. Carson said he met him. We are told that West Point has no record of applying to the Academy. We are told no scholarships were available. Hence, Dr. Carson has misspoken, if not outright lied. Therefore, we should not believe his otherwise great personal story. Therefore Dr. Carson’s campaign is toast. Or not! Dr. Carson was a teenager coming out of Detroit. The odds are that he would not know the difference between free tuition and a scholarship. We also know that some cadets get in by essentially bypassing the normal admissions route. We also know that no evidence exists that Dr. Carson and General Westmoreland did not meet. His memory could have been off as to the timing. The media is flyspecking Dr. Carson, as hey did with Governor Palin 8 years ago when scores of reporters “parachuted” into Wasilla, Alaska looking for “dirt” on the Governor. By way of comparison we have the media’s kids glove approach to Senator Obama. Senator Obama said in his book, “Dreams of My Father,” that he was a cocaine snorting druggie in college. Apparently no one in the media checked out the veracity of his story to interview his fellow junkies. The media was not interested in his collegiate criminal activity, but obsessed over the claim that Mitt Romney may have bullied a high school classmate. The Senator wrote about his unnamed girlfriend, but actually didn’t. She was non-existent. He wrote about a composite girl friend, like his composite Julia in his 2012 campaign. His girlfriend was a work of fiction. The media applauded. The media was unconcerned about his college and law school academic records, but were focused on the supposed stupidity of Governor George W. Bush, not to mention President Reagan. Senator Obama claimed never to have heard the rabid anti-Americanism, Liberation Theology in 20 years of worshiping at the church of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright, who presided at his marriage. The media accepted at face value his incredulous denials. The erstwhile, all-inquiring media has not followed up on the hours-gap when President Obama seemingly dropped off the map when the Benghazi attack was underway. Then we have the Presidential lies, including “shovel ready jobs” and “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” etc. Barely a peep from the mainstream media! And that brings us to Secretary Hillary Clinton, who the great William Safire referred to on January 8, 1996 as a “congenital liar.” Her mendacious history is too extensive to detail in this blog. We need only go back to the 27 year old attorney for the 1974 House Judiciary Committee, which was investigating President Nixon during the Watergate scandal. Jerry Zeifman, the Democratic Chief Counsel fired her for lying. He called her an “unethical and dishonest lawyer.” We have her Brian Williams moment when she hurriedly scrambled to escape sniper fire while landing in Bosnia, presumably to write the cover memos claiming the Benghazi attack was based on a video. Her testimony before the House last week was shown to be a lie because her emails to her daughter and the President of Egypt acknowledged the attack was a terrorist attack. Video in Bosnia showed her nonchalantly walking to the terminal. The media called her debate appearance a masterpiece and decided it clinched her nomination since the Republicans failed to land blows on her The double standard of the media was on display yet again yesterday for all to see. Conservatives are rallying to Dr. Carson’s defense. His media enemies have unknowlingly become his biggest supporters today.