I have to be honest. Working with the reality of numbers often hurts my brain. I’m not good at. Justin Smith seems to have a great grasp of number realities when it comes to deficit spending, the National Debt, Gross Domestic Product and the need of a Balanced Budget.
Justin is displeased with the results of the Trump Administration/Pelosi budget agreement and urges a Presidential veto. No matter how much the numbers are painful, the inevitable result will be catastrophic if this Federal accounting disparities continue.
However, the realities of America’s political divide demonstrated by near even splits of opposing ideologies in Congress means neither the Socialists nor the fiscal Conservatives will get what they want. Perhaps an idiotic budget compromise keeps the government operating rather than frozen. EVEN THOUGH it’s doom and gloom, if voters DO NOT opt soon for fiscal responsibility a national catastrophe will occur.
Trump’s hands are tied by political realities, if voters want a different outcome untie divisive politics – OR ELSE.
A coward’s financial agreement is the phrase that best describes the budget deal recently agreed upon by President Trump and Speaker Nancy Pelosi, that just passed the House with a vote of 284 to 149 at 2:14 CST on July 25th, since it avoids any real battle over government spending by suspending the debt ceiling until July 2021. It raises spending caps and lifts the debt ceiling in the name of avoiding a fiscal crisis, but in reality and ignoring any lessons from 2008, this explodes U.S. debt in a way never seen in U.S. history, and it exhibits President Trump’s willingness to meekly surrender to another massive expansion of the federal budget, that creates a short term political “win” for the DC Establishment of both parties and a long term loss for the American people.
This deal received 65 Republican votes, and it spends $2.7 trillion over the next two years. It commits President Trump to signing spending bills that add $320 billion above spending limits set in a 2011 agreement that established automatic spending cuts. This Pelosi Dream Deal also says there will be absolutely no limit on how much new debt the federal government can accumulate between now and July 31rst 2021.
The Washington Post was absolutely correct, when it recently wrote that the budget and debt deal would not contain actual spending cuts, since the $150 billion in new spending cuts demanded by White House budget director Russell Vought soon materialized as only [about] 70 billion in actual cuts, that don’t go in effect for ten years and are likely to be reversed by Congress at a later date. This marks a retreat for the White House.
Reported by the Wall Street Journal, Maya MacGuineas, president of the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget, stated on July 22nd: “This deal would amount to nothing short of fiscal sabotage.” [Blog Editor: I found quote at USA Today]
And yet, rather than debate the most serious issue of the day and seek real solutions, the cowards of both parties hid behind “bipartisanship”, in an erroneous, corrupt and wrong-minded fashion, and cooperated to serve their own personal political interests, as DC’s supposed “elite” elected class.
Incredibly, the federal government spent $3,355,970,000,000, in the first nine months of this fiscal year, while running a $747,115,000,000 deficit. President Trump’s Treasury is currently issuing U.S. dollars faster than it did in fiscal 2009 — even when adjusted for inflation — when President Bush signed the bailout legislation for failing banks and President Obama signed a Stimulus bill focused on ending our economic recession.
Noted by The Hill, grave concerns on the economy were expressed by the Congressional Budget Office on July 23rd[Blog Editor: I could not confirm a 7/23/19 date, the links in thos paragraph relate to a 6/25/19 date], and the CBO wrote in its budget projection that U.S debt is on track to increase from 78 percent of the GDP to an “unsustainable” level of 144 percent of the GDP over the next thirty years, even if spending caps aren’t lifted and taxes are raised. Now, with the passage of this bill, we are on track to see the debt rise to 219 percent of the GDP, unless President Trump can be persuaded to send the bill back with a demand that more actual spending cuts must be made.
Representative Chip Roy (R-TX) was upset with President Trump for negotiating through Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin, rather than Office of Management and Budget Director Russell Vought. As reported by the Wall Street Journal, Roy exclaimed, “The president should be listening to (White House Chief of Staff) Mick Mulvaney and Russ Vought, and he should not be listening to Steven Mnuchin, period.” Roy added that “Senate Republicans will never find a corner where they can go and hide”, implying that Senate Republicans are untrustworthy regarding fiscal responsibility.
Once consumed by fiscal worries, this coward’s agreement is one more sign that makes it more than clear, both houses of Congress and both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party have become Big Spenders, and Congress is no longer concerned about the extent of the budget deficits or the debt they add. The DC Establishment no longer cares, even as our national debt hits one trillion annually and rapidly approaches $23 trillion.
According to the Washington Post, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) recently stated: “Nobody has lost an election by spending too much money”, in regard to Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney’s effort to pay for the spending deal.
After the last massive spending deal, President Trump vowed never to sign another one. And yet, here he is again, at the ready and far too willing. He just keeps confirming to the American people that he really is a Big Government Guy and a Big Spender.
Today, America barely hears any objections over the exorbitant debt. When Trump campaigned in 2016, he bragged about his ability to prosper from his own debt. He told CNN, on May 4th 2016: “I’m the king of debt. I love debt.” … adding the next day … “if the economy crashed, you could make a deal … if the economy was good, it was good … you can’t lose.”
But that’s not just the reality of matters for most Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, and it is just not smart for anyone or any nation to accumulate debt; at some point another bubble will burst in our economy, since Wall Street hasn’t stopped any of the bad business practices that caused the 2008 crisis. And, an economic collapse of 2008 magnitude will pale in comparison to the coming economic catastrophe that deals such as this one are sure to create. Most of our national debt has been monetized, and any bailout for the American people will be virtually non-existent.
Niall Ferguson, senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institute, has warned that empires fall when interest on their debt equals what they spend on defense. According to the Office of Management and Budget, this will happen around 2024. If interest rates increase, it could arrive much sooner.
Unfortunately, America is currently a nation focused on instant gratification, selfishness and greed, and seems oblivious to the dangerous path it is on. Whether or not the nation can afford all the current government benefits, plus the desired additional costs of free university educations and free healthcare for all, and even though our credit card is maxed out, Americans seem intent on voting for politicians who promise to borrow money to give them what they want.
Everyone would do well to recall that in Psalm 37:21 it says, “The wicked borroweth, and payeth not again: but the righteous sheweth mercy, and giveth.”
Noting that Congress’s out-of-control spending “is ripping off the American family”, former Congressman Dave Brat recently delivered the following observation to Tony Perkins at Washington Watch, as he looked across the Atlantic: “There’s evidence you can be pathetic for a long time. And the evidence is called Europe. … eventually … debt will impinge on your economic growth rate as it has been. And what’s really missed in the point is it’s intergenerational theft. And I mean that quite literally. We are stealing from our kids and the next generation to the extent that our deficit is $1 trillion. We’re spending $1 trillion and getting the goods from it right now — and the kids are going to have to pay for [everything] we’re consuming. And so it is literally theft. So they’re going to have to work hard, pay their taxes, get tax increases, pay off the debt, and pay all their own personal bills for our runaway spending binge.”
America has embraced reckless spending and She doesn’t even pretend to repay what She owes. She incurs more debt daily at an unprecedented rate and most of Her current leaders do not acknowledge that this is even a problem. And so, if our leaders have one shred of human decency and honesty, of a personal or intellectual kind, rather than pander for votes, their bipartisan action should warrant a majority of both parties to end this deal and move forward on a deal that truly cuts all unnecessary spending, or President Trump must reconsider this deal and veto it, rather than continue on a path that watches our deficit soar and attacks our nation’s solvency and the future prosperity of America.
By Justin O. Smith
Edited by John R. Houk
Source links and text embraced by brackets are by the Editor.
The United States’ economy has surpassed all normal ebbs and flows, corrections, by approximately five years, since on average in each past cycle it rose for 56 months before collapsing. We’re about five years past that point and our economy is only now “cooling”. We’re just about due for another economic recession, if not a collapse that makes 2008 look small. We’re at the end of the line.
These facts alone should raise concern in any interested observer.
And now we see twenty-nine year old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a product of the Puerto Rican Enlightenment and a Bronx resident, and other red, radical socialists like her in the House of Representatives, promising Pie-In-The-Sky Utopia for everyone. This makes her a danger to herself, her constituents and the nation, since she believes there isn’t any problem that a government program cannot solve, and she is already advocating for Medicare for all, a job guarantee, free college tuition, a green infrastructure program, and a squeeze the rich tax plan (70% for those making over $10 million).
Most political pundits say, “It will never pass … it’s crazy … it will harm the economy.” But, crazy plans that hurt the economy just might stand a chance at passing, since just over half the population in its entirety, and 51% of all Millennials, now have an acceptable view of socialism, some even embracing communism.
When existing laws of the land cause bankruptcy and chaos, people seem to look to legislate even more absurd laws, which is precisely how the first New Deal was pushed through Congress, during the panic and despair of the 1932 elections. And the New Deal gave President Franklin D. Roosevelt carte blanche to enact a series of costly programs.
A good guess is that the next economic crisis will be severe and long-lasting, too, as stocks fall hard and the economy goes into a deep recession.
“How did we get here”, one young lady recently asked me. Short answer: America has been guided to this point, by the consequences of the Federal Reserve Act, centralized banking, regulations, currency manipulation, devaluing the U.S. dollar, socialist initiatives in Congress to fast-track globalism, unfunded debt, monetized debt and acts of anti-American national sovereignty on both sides of the aisle who are intent on tearing apart the Founders’ vision and U.S. sovereignty, in order to pave the way for the globalists and their vision of a “new world order”.
The enemies of America, both foreign and domestic, have been working towards this goal for the past 120 years, and they have been working tirelessly and consistently towards leveling America’s power and wealth to the point She can be managed and coerced or forced to submit to the global agenda of the few power elite, the oligarchs of the world,
Mainstream media almost never hype a financial crisis, so it’s significant when they do. But when billionaires are sounding the alarm, you might want to pay close attention.
At least two billionaires are doing just that, starting with Baupost Group’s Seth Klarman. Baupost Group is a $28 billion hedge fund, and Klarman normally positions himself out of the limelight. His fund is only open to private investors, so he has little incentive to promote his brand to the public.
But recently, he felt the need to write a warning to investors about the global debt, with specific reference to the U.S., according to Sovereign Man:
In a 22-page letter to his investors, Klarman warned that government debt levels, particularly in the US (where debt exceeds GDP), could lead to the next global financial crisis.
“The seeds of the next major financial crisis (or the one after that) may well be found in today’s sovereign debt levels,” he wrote.
Even ignoring economic history, there are signs everywhere, as nearly every major asset class around the world, from stocks and bonds to real estate, is selling at nearly an all-time high at prices that defy common sense. This suggests the possibility of a big recession and market correction just before the 2020 election, giving the socialists a much needed crisis that could catapult them into a majority in both houses of Congress. And that’s why we should all be praying that if any coming recession must come, let it hit soon, so it can be properly addressed before it becomes a major election issue.
In the same letter, Klarman continued: “There is no way to know how much debt is too much, but America will inevitably reach an inflection point whereupon a suddenly more skeptical debt market will refuse to continue to lend to us at rates we can afford…”
Since the U.S. spends almost a third of its revenue on interest payments alone, it doesn’t seem like it can afford to pay much more.
You might think the U.S. government would do everything to curb this problem, but Uncle Sam’s total debt is rapidly approaching $22 trillion, and according to the Congressional Budget Office’s latest ten-year projection, it will be more than $33 trillion by 2029, with $1 trillion annual deficits set to begin again and stay above that for as far as the fiscal eye can see.
Skyrocketing debt, check. Deficit to match, check. Or will it be checkmate?
Although I’ve stated this twice before in this piece. let me reiterate — The U.S. spends almost a third of its revenue on interest payments alone. America and Her people cannot afford to pay much more.
ISLAMABAD (Online) Mr. Piotr A. Opalinski, the Ambassador of Poland to Pakistan has said that Poland values its historical links with Pakistan and enjoys the multifaceted collaboration. Currently, the two countries are significantly developing their political, economic and defence cooperation. The current trade volume is reaching a half billion Euro and there are good prospects for the further growth of their bilateral trade. Peace and stability are the key for the development of the region. Poland supports the peace process in Afghanistan and acknowledges Pakistan’s efforts in facilitating the talks between the US and Taliban.
Talking to the ‘Online News Agency’ in an exclusive interview, the Polish Ambassador Mr. Piotr Opalinski said that the relations between Pakistan and Poland are ‘excellent and very cordial’. He pointed out both at the ongoing political dialogue as well as enhancement of economic cooperation, especially in the areas of energy and exploration of natural resources, in which Polish companies have been engaged in Pakistan since last 20 years. He said that Poland’s vast expertise and long tradition in coal mining, defence production, agriculture and food processing offered new opportunities for the mutually beneficial cooperation in these areas as well.
Ambassador said, that Poland supported the inclusion of Pakistan in the GSP Plus by the European Union (EU) to grant non-reciprocal preferential treatment to Pakistan’s exports. He emphasized that the geographical location of Poland in the exact centre of Europe made it very suitable to become a hub for Pakistani products designed for the European market. The bilateral trade volume in 2018 raised to about 500 million Euro. The trade balance is in favour of Pakistani exports, mainly textiles (90 percent), with a relatively smaller share of leather products, sportswear, foodstuff and surgical instruments.
Ambassador Opalinski also said, in the area of development cooperation Poland was directly working with Pakistani partners – local organisations capable of a very efficient implementation of the projects. Some of the best examples of educational projects supported i.e. by the Polish Embassy were the primary schools in Kaghan Valley and Bari Imam area of Islamabad. They are providing quality education, counselling and medical care for the children.
Answering a question about visa policy, the Ambassador said it was based on the common Schengen Visa Code, as Poland, being one of 26 Schengen Member States, issues the visas allowing for a border-free movement of travellers in the whole area in all categories of travels – businessmen, tourists, students etc. The available statistics indicate that the number of visitors from Pakistan to Poland is gradually increasing.
Talking about the regional and international situation, the Ambassador appreciated Pakistan’s role in the Afghan peace process and its efforts in facilitating the talks between the US leadership and Taliban. Poland wholeheartedly supports peaceful resolution of the protracted conflict in Afghanistan, to the benefit, stability and development of the whole region.
Recollecting his very good personal experiences of nearly ten years of diplomatic service in Pakistan (first tenure as Deputy Head of Mission and now as Ambassador) Mr. Piotr Opalinski said the Polish-Pakistani friendship, transcending through different times and geographical distance was deeply-rooted in history and time-tested. He referred to the memories of Polish refugees who were granted shelter in Karachi during the World War and to the Polish pilots, who made a great contribution to the development of the PAF and civil aviation at the nascent stage of Pakistan’s statehood. He said, all this, and more fascinating stories of Polish-Pakistani personal relations of friendship, would be described in an excellent book “Freedom Under the Pakistani Sky” by Polish author Mrs. Anna T. Pietraszek [Polish Wikipedia], which is going to be launched in Pakistan later this year. Ends/
[Blog Editor: Shamim also does Christian activism in Pakistan. It can be dangerous work in Islamic Pakistan. Please consider a contribution. The last I heard services like PayPal are not supported in Pakistan. The Western Union is a good way to send money which will transfer into Pakistan Rupee – https://www.westernunion.com/us/en/send-money.html; Shamim Mahmood; Islamabad; +92-300-642-4560.
Blog Editor: This Facebook video should be of interest in relation to Polish refugees helping to build the Pakistan Air Force after WWII:
I’m a Baby-Boomer. My parents were teenagers during The Great Depression of the 1930s. Of course that means my grandparents were adults during that trial of economic poverty in America and globally for that matter.
You may have heard the old story from your parents or grandparents (depending on the generation you were born from) about the days they to walk to and from to school up hill both ways in the snow? Perhaps with little clothing or decrepit shoes? With no lunch or perhaps a stale dried biscuit? Though I suspect a little exaggeration to get their point across, this was the Depression era of which they were speaking.
So, what was the point being hammered into my thoughts?
If you want something in life, you have work for it. If you desire a decent future, you have to plan for it. Why? If you are looking for free lunch, you’ll probably starve to death.
Justin Smith addresses this issue of the Leftist preaching of everything must be made free or the end of the world as we know it is upon us. Life DOES NOT work that way.
Keep complaining about not having enough. It could always be worse.
Today, we hear so many complain about needing $15.00 per hour and “free” this and “free” that, never understanding that nothing is “free” and someone, somewhere, ends up having to pay for it. They demand free healthcare, free college education, free housing and even free money. Some cities, like Stockton, California and Chicago, Illinois are even considering handing out free money, calling it a “universal basic income” for doing nothing.
A group of migrants waiting for relief checks outside of building. Calipatria, California. February 1937. Credits: Dorothea Lange; The Library of Congress
The Depression Era and the Dust Bowl Days were terribly hard and tough days. My dad, his siblings and my Grandparents lived through the worst dust storm in U.S. history. They were in Springfield, Colorado, one-hundred and sixty miles north of Amarillo, TX and eighty miles north of Guyman, OK, in the middle of the Black Sunday dust storm of 1935. There were many people who did not make it to shelter in time, and they died after being caught out in it.
Migrant man and woman walking along road. Crittenden County, Arkansas. May 1936. Credits: Carl Mydans
The Great Depressionitself took a massive toll on everybody. Millions of Americans barely survived those years. The economic collapse was terrifying in its scope and impact. The average family income crashed from an average of $6132.22 in 1929 to just $1550 four years later. In Pennsylvania coal fields, three or four families crowded together in one-room shacks and lived on wild weeds. In Arkansas, families were found staying in caves, while whole families in Oakland, CA were living in sewer pipes.
Migrant family walking on road, pulling belongings in carts and wagons. Pittsburg County, Oklahoma. June 1938. Credits: Dorothea Lange; The Library of Congress
Incredibly, while there were millions of cases of malnutrition, the death toll from starvation was supposedly surprisingly low, as the government had interceded as best it could and soup lines and charitable kitchens were found in every city across the country. However, millions of Americans did too often come close to the edge of death by starvation, and according to many researchers, starvation deaths were very often attributed to some other affliction, for a litany of medical explanations.
President Herbert Hoover declared: “Nobody is actually starving. The hobos are better fed than they have ever been.”
But, in the New York City of 1931, there were twenty known cases of starvation, and in 1934, one-hundred and ten people starved to death. There were so many accounts of New Yorkers starving that the West African nation of Cameroon sent $3.77 in relief.
Tenant farmer family. Hale County, Alabama. 1936. Credits: Walker Evans; The Library of Congress
Despite the hardships it inflicted, the Great Depression drew some families closer together. They lost their cars and homes, often everything they owned and found their true nature, their true character and their souls. Families had to think outside the box in ingenious manners through the hard times, because their survival depended on it. They moved in with relatives to cut expenses, combined their incomes, bought day old bread and did without many necessities just to scrape by. And, while many people and families placed their faith in themselves and their own dogged determination to survive, many other families drew comfort from their faith and sustained themselves with hope for the future, that everything would turn out well in the end.
Today, far too many Americans no longer believe that our nation’s problems can be solved by people acting alone and through voluntary associations. Increasingly, they look to our federal government, the Nanny State, and currently, there are millions of Americans afforded massive amounts of aid, one-fifth of the population according to the 2012 Census Bureau report.
America’s poor now live better than some “affluent” leaders in Third World countries. They all have government housing and food assistance, along with scores of other programs designed to help clothe and educate them too.
Children on porch, leaning on railing. Pursglove, West Virginia. September 1938. Credits: Marion Post Wolcott; The Library of Congress
Today’s “poor” are millionaires in comparison to the real poor of the 1930s Depression Era.
And as my Dear Ol’ Lil Granma would tell me, right up until she passed from this world at age 96, “I cried because I had no shoes, until I saw a man who had no feet.”
“[Britain wants] to be like Switzerland but they don’t know that Switzerland has to pay an enormous amount to the EU… They will have to accept the free movement of people and pay high fees and accept some laws which they would have no influence on.” — Daniel Pedroletti, president of the Swiss community group New Helvetic Society London.
Norway is the only country that has adopted all EU directives before their deadline. Norway, which is supposedly not a member of the EU, thus implements EU rules and regulations more obediently than do the founding members France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.
Most of Norway’s laws are currently written by bureaucrats in Brussels, not by elected parliamentarians in Norway.
The citizens of Norway rejected membership in the EU, twice. Opinion polls today show that a very large majority of Norwegians are against membership in the EU. Despite this, the nation’s politicians have made the country more or less a member of the EU, only without any influence or voting rights — in opposition to the popular will, and possibly also in violation of the country’s Constitution.
The British should study the case of Norway closely. But mainly as a negative example of what to avoid.
On June 23, 2016, 51.9% of the voters in the United Kingdom voted for leaving the European Union (EU). The turnout was high, and the British referendum gained great international attention. Marine Le Pen, leader of France’s National Front, praised the result, calling Brexit “the most important moment since the fall of the Berlin Wall.” Le Pen said that if she wins France’s 2017 presidential election she would call a referendum on leaving the EU.
Nigel Farage stepped down as leader of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) shortly after winning the historic vote. Many death threats against him and his family from supporters of the EU reportedly affected his decision.
The complicated divorce process between the UK and the EU could take years of negotiations. Some people have looked to Switzerland and Norway, two of the wealthiest countries in Europe, as possible models to follow, yet both maintain a close cooperation with the EU. There are also concerns in Switzerland and Norway about how Brexit will impact their own relationship with the EU.
Daniel Pedroletti, president of the Swiss community group New Helvetic Society London, says there is “a big misunderstanding” in Britain surrounding Switzerland’s position:
“They want to be like Switzerland but they don’t know that Switzerland has to pay an enormous amount to the EU and accept the laws without being an influence [on them].
“They don’t realize that if they want a similar agreement they will have to accept the free movement of people and pay high fees and accept some laws which they would have no influence on.”
Though not a full member of the EU, Switzerland has over 120 bilateral agreements in place with the bloc — its main trading partner.
Nigel Farage does not want Britain to emulate Norway’s deal with the EU. It is terrible, he says. The Norwegian people rejected membership in the EU. Yet the Norwegian Parliament (Stortinget) has “deceived the people” and got Norway into a very bad agreement with the EU, according to Farage.
Norwegians voted against joining the European Community/European Union twice, in 1972 and in 1994. After the 1994 referendum, the country’s political leaders designed a close association deal with the EU. This is the EEA Agreement, known as the EØS Agreement in Norwegian. This does not cover common agriculture and fisheries policies. Control over natural resources is sensitive in a country with a long coastline plus major offshore deposits of oil and natural gas. Yet apart from a few such exceptions, Norway in reality became an associate member of the EU after 1994. EEA membership requires the free movement of persons, services, goods and capital with the EU. Norway is also a part of the open-borders Schengen Agreement, which has severely weakened checking migrants and asylum seekers across much of Europe.
Statistics from 2016 show that of all the 31 countries in the EU and the European Economic Area (EEA), Norway is the only country that has adopted all EU directives before their deadline. Norway retained its top position for the third year in a row. Its two fellow EEA countries, Iceland and Liechtenstein, were the worst at implementing directives. Norway, which is supposedly not a member of the EU, thus implements EU rules and regulations more obediently than do the founding members France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. This may surprise people who view Norway’s relationship with the EU as something to emulate.
Most of Norway’s laws are currently written by bureaucrats in Brussels, not by elected parliamentarians in Norway. Some scholars warn that the transfer of power to the EU is so great that it violates Norway’s Constitution and seriously undermines the democratic system.
In June 2016, the Norwegian Parliament voted overwhelmingly to attach the nation to the EU’s financial supervision. Critics decried this as the “biggest concession of sovereignty” in many years. With a vote of 136 in favor and 29 against, Parliament approved a bill that would tie Norway’s regulation of financial and insurance institutions to EU rules. Center Party leader Trygve Slagsvold Vedum opposed the bill and warned that it was “a circumvention of the Constitution.” The group “No to the EU” stated that Parliament had gone directly against the will of the people by weakening national sovereignty. An opinion poll showed just 26 percent of Norwegians supported the plan to tie Norway to the EU’s financial oversight.
The citizens of Norway have rejected membership in the EU, twice. Public opinion has been consistently against membership for decades. Opinion polls today show that a very large majority of Norwegians are against membership in the EU. Despite this, the nation’s politicians have made the country more or less a member of the EU, only without any influence or voting rights. The politicians have done this in opposition to the popular will, and possibly also in violation of the country’s Constitution.
Britain is a larger country with a much bigger economy than Norway. This will give it a stronger position in negotiations with the EU and others. However, it would be a mistake not to learn from the experiences of other nations. When shaping their future relationship with the EU, the British should study the case of Norway closely. But mainly as a negative example of what to avoid.
“Let us tenderly and kindly cherish, therefore, the means of knowledge. Let us dare to read, think, speak, and write.”
— John Adams
Gatestone Institute, a non-partisan, not-for-profit international policy council and think tank is dedicated to educating the public about what the mainstream media fails to report in promoting:
Institutions of Democracy and the Rule of Law;
A free and strong economy
A military capable of ensuring peace at home and in the free world
Ensuring the public stay informed of threats to our individual liberty, sovereignty and free speech.
Gatestone Institute conducts national and international conferences, briefings and events for its members and others, with world leaders, journalists and experts — analyzing, strategizing, and keeping them informed on current issues, and where possible recommending solutions.
Gatestone Institute will be publishing books, and continues to publish an online daily report, www.gatestoneinstitute.org, that features topics such as military and diplomatic threats to the United States and our allies; events in the Middle East and their possible consequences, and the …READ THE REST
ACT for America takes the logical stand that oil dependence from Muslim dominated nations are dollars in Islamic terrorists’ pockets. Oil cash is likely not the only source of terrorist income. For example, Islamic charities in the West claiming the Moderate moniker actually are quite supportive of Islamic terrorists often via stealth measures. Nevertheless, ending oil dependence from Muslim nations would cause a big hit in the pocketbooks of Caliphate-minded transnational terrorists.
Last week, I attended a special event on Capitol Hill: The Jewish Heritage Commission’s and AISH International’s “Celebration and Presentation of the King David Award”.
Since 1994, the King David Award has recognized men and women who have made dramatic contributions to American society and Jewish heritage. Marc Goldman, a good friend of ACT for America, was one of this year’s award recipients. Marc is an accomplished businessman, involved in multiple charitable activities, and is a steadfast patriot who has devoted much of his life to protecting both Israel and the U.S.
I attend many events on the Hill, and I certainly hear a lot of speeches. Marc’s words, however, were particularly inspiring. He reminded us that just as God provided a slingshot to defeat Goliath, He has provided the free Western world a slingshot to defeat its current-day enemies.
What did he mean? Here is a small excerpt from Marc’s speech to help explain:
Today’s Western Civilization faces a much bigger threat than David did. Nuclear weapons – our enemies have them and have promised to use them against us. There will be no recovery if they do, so there is no time to waste. We must overcome our complacency. So what do we do? God gave David the slingshot. What slingshot has he given us and how do we use it?
It turns out we do have a slingshot, a very effective one. If we just have the will, courage and faith as David did, we too can use it. The slingshot we have is to end oil dependence…. This slingshot will be the shot heard around the world. And we can emulate the example that King David set for us, our enemies will scatter and we will make the world a better, safer, and even cleaner place and then we can begin to bring peace, love, and harmony to all of God’s children.”
To watch Marc’s speech in its entirety, including important details about how oil independence is our modern-day slingshot, please watch HERE or click on the image below to play video.
Achieving oil independence (specifically allowing consumers transportation fuel choice) in order to stop terror funding, has been an issue on which ACT for America has been working for years. Only when oil is no longer a worldwide strategic commodity will our modern-day enemies lose their petrodollar-purchased terror weapons.
Please register your support for H.R. 2418, the Fuel Choice for American Prosperity and Security Act, with your U.S. legislator. We’ve done all the work for you. Simply click HERE to learn more information about the bill, and to send your e-mail.
Stripping our enemies of the ability to fund terror through oil money is the only real “silver bullet” to defeating worldwide jihadi terrorism. Utilizing solely our domestic oil certainly is a step in the right direction, but it won’t solve the much larger problem: Enemy nations setting the world-wide price of oil and then using the proceeds to fund terror. Working together, we can stop this.
Thank you for all that you do.
Director of Government Relations
ACT for America
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ACT for America is the largest and the only grassroots organization dedicated to national security and defeating terrorism. Today, ACT for America has expanded to 890 chapters and 280,000 members with a goal of 2,500 chapters and 1,000,000 members by the end of the decade.
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ACT for Americaeducates citizens and elected officials to help impact national security policy & stands ready to take action as the only national security grassroots organization in America.
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We are all Americans first -citizens who put their differences aside and came together to secure our country. Every American has one thing in common – “we are all interested” in keeping our homes, communities, states, and nation safe.
What makes ACT for America different is that our members and supporters come from every background, age, gender, race, social status, political point of view, and lifestyle choice. Remember, national security is not a conservative, liberal, or libertarian issue – it’s an American issue.
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ACT for America is continuing to expand its nationwide volunteer chapter network that trains citizens to recognize and help prevent criminal activity and terrorism in the United States while preserving civil liberties protected by the United States Constitution.
ACT for America focuses on activities that enhance the national security standing of the United States — such as educating elected officials from the school board level to Congress. Many of these officials go on to pass vital legislation to this end. ACT has driven the education process towards the successful passage of 37 bills in 19 states over the last six years.
Remarkably the New York Times (a Left-oriented News Paper) has exposed one of President Barack Hussein Obama facilitators between the Administration and the press. Ben Rhodes was tasked to selling the Iran Nuke deal and manipulated the press info on Iranian Navy boarding an American Navy vessel and humiliating U.S. sailors. Rhodes relationship to Obama is evidently chief liar to the American voter. David Samuels wrote a masterful profile on Rhodes showing that political manipulation and misdirection that painted a picture of dealings with Iran that simply and deceptively did not exist.
In essence the Obama-Rhodes team is a propaganda machine that sells a bill of goods based on deception. Since parallels in history tend to repeat over the years you should ask yourself, “What political duo in history reminds of present day Obama-Rhodes?”
I’ll tell you what time in history struck me. The Obama-Rhodes propaganda team reminds of the Hitler-Goebbels team that convinced Germans that the Nazi Party goals and ideals would transform Germany into a master of nations.
The difference between Obama-Rhodes/Hitler-Goebbels are the tactics of global domination. Hitler viewed military power to impose Nazism in ruthless world domination coloring every nefarious action as a glorious moment for the Aryan race. Obama is a Leftist globalist utilizing Gramsci’s Marxist principles of stealth to transform nations from within by delegitimizing the indigenous culture slowly. If slow delegitimizing of culture is successful in a democratic-style government, the people have the illusion they voted in a more favorable Marxist cultural paradigm rather than the individual rights of innovation and property goals as a pursuit of happiness. Thus the pursuit of happiness is taken from the people and turned over to the government to make all the decisions for how a person lives materially and ethically.
Briefly look at Joseph Goebbels’ art of manipulation and you will see how Obama used Ben Rhodes.
Goebbels’ most famous quote (ironically some historians believe is wrongly attributed) that is still the paradigm of Leftist manipulation in the 21st century:
A Goebbels quote that is probably closer to what he actually said:
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.” (Ibid.)
And a Goebbels quote I was less familiar with but discovered in my research that is most applicable to Obama-Rhodes:
“Propaganda works best when those who are being manipulated are confident they are acting on their own free will.” (Ibid.)
The last Goebbels quote is exactly the manipulation used on the press, Congress and American voters!
Fred Fleitz made this observation pertaining Obama-Rhodes and foreign policy in the National Review:
It would do you well to read that entire Fleitz article.
Something to think about is that a Hillary Clinton presidency would simply be a continuation of the Obama Administration deception to the American public as well as the furthering of Obama’s Gramsciesq transformation of America and a New World Order.
YOU NEED to understand what a Gramsci transformation agenda looks like:
Specifically, Gramsci called for Marxists to spread their ideology in a gradual, incremental, stealth manner, by infiltrating all existing societal institutions and embedding it, largely without being noticed, in the popular mind. This, he emphasized, was to be an evolutionary, rather than a revolutionary, process that, over a period of decades, would cause an ever-increasing number of people to embrace Marxist thought, until at last it achieved hegemony. Gramsci described this approach as a “long marchthrough the institutions.” Among the key institutions that would need to be infiltrated were the cinema and theater, the schools and universities, the seminaries and churches, the media, the courts, the labor unions, and at least one major political party. According to Gramsci, these institutions constituted society’s “superstructure,” which, if captured and reshaped by Marxists, could lead the masses to abandon capitalism of their own volition, entirely without resistance or objection. (From Determine The Networks but cross posted at SlantRight 2.0 – Gramsci the Eurocommunist and Obamunism; posted by John R. Houk; 4/2/13)
Antonio Gramsci photo 79th Anniversary of Death
You clueless American voters that support Obama and Hillary YOU are supporting the Gramsci Marxist Transformation. Ergo you millennial voters that think Hillary or Sanders will make your life better are deceiving yourselves into Marxist slavery.
Here is a good look at what Marxist slavery looks like from the excerpted thoughts of Chuck Braman:
Karl Marx claimed that economics determines history, and that one’s economic class determines one’s ideas. Ironically, he proved himself wrong, in a deadly way. The twelve-thousand word propaganda tract written by Marx in 1848 and known as The Communist Manifesto was a concise summary of many ideas which Marx himself created. These ideas proceeded to shape the history of the twentieth century, including its political and economic history, as well as the ideas of most twentieth century intellectuals. This history included approximately one hundred million innocent citizens slaughtered by Marxist governments, millions more enslaved by Marxist governments, international conflicts on an unprecedented scale, and an intellectual tradition that, at present, is thoroughly entrenched in the humanities and is in the process of destroying the ideas and ideals of the West. …
The underlying epistemological error that Marx commits early in the Manifesto is the advocacy of a form of intellectual determinism and relativism which denies both free will and objectivity by claiming that the truth and falsehood of one’s ideas bear no objective status and are determined by, and their truth relative to, one’s economic class. He says, “Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property… don’t wrangle with us so long as you apply… the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, etc.” And: “Law, morality and religion are… bourgeois prejudices, behind which lurk in ambush just as many bourgeois interests.”
What Marx is claiming here is that the entire Western philosophic and intellectual tradition, as it had developed up until his time (and on which, ironically, he was entirely dependent for his own ideas), is a subjective rationalization used to justify the “exploitation” of the workers by the capitalists, a tradition consisting of ideas which are neither consciously chosen by the capitalists, nor have any basis in fact. Thus, in a single swoop, Marx himself rationalizes the destruction not only of entire fields, such as law, but of Western culture as such, including its most fundamental concepts. (Contemporary manifestations of these Marxian premises taught in modern universities include the doctrines of “Deconstruction,” “Neo-Pragmatism,” and “Multiculturalism.”)
… Having dismissed freedom, culture, morality and law as subjective myths, Marx then feels free to advocate their outright destruction by the totalitarian State, which he refers to as the “Communistic modes of… appropriating intellectual products,” resulting in the elimination of “class culture.”
… The random killing of groups of people, linked by class status or profession (such as homeowners and high school teachers) immediately followed. The “bourgeois notion” of freedom was eliminated by throwing those who were not murdered outright into concentration and labor camps. Consistent with Marxian subjectivism, objections to slave labor were brushed aside by Lenin’s associate Karl Radek as “the bourgeois prejudice of ‘freedom of labor'”.
Hitler, of course, would soon apply the same methods on a larger scale in his National Socialism, adapting the Soviet model to his own ideology by substituting the concept of race for class. Thus, in Marx’s epistemological ideas, began the intellectual subjectivism, the moral relativism, and mass murder of the totalitarian governments in our century.
The “Communistic modes of… appropriating intellectual products” in order to eliminate “class culture” were made a reality both in the Soviet Union and Red China, whose leaders, Stalin and Mao, systematically smashed Western culture in “Cultural Revolutions” in 1946 and 1966-67 respectively. During these intellectual purges, Western-influenced “bourgeois” scientists and artists were killed or imprisoned, while their works were destroyed.
The point is the elites of the Democratic Party have already transformed that political party that is democratic-socialist at best and at worst a Gramsci-style Marxist destroyer of the founding principles of America’s Founding Fathers. And that which is even more heinous the Marxist elites of the current Dem Party are using the same instruments of governing from the Founding Fathers to undermine America’s founding principles and destroy what has made America an exceptional nation among nations. A HILLARY VOTE OR NON-TRUMP VOTE IS A VOTE TO END AMERICA as it was meant to be as a Republic of the people, by the people and for the people.
Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
The New York Timesprofile of Ben Rhodes, Obama’s foreign policy guru, had plenty of shocking moments from his attempt to cover up Iran’s abduction of US sailors to his blatant gloating over the stupidity of the journalists whom he manipulated into spreading his lies in support of the Iran deal.
But the larger revelation is also simpler. Ben Rhodes knows next to nothing about foreign policy. He has no idea whether Iran will get nukes and couldn’t care less whether it’s moderate or not. He’s a failed fiction writer whose goal is “radically reorienting American policy in the Middle East in order to make the prospect of American involvement in the region’s future wars a lot less likely”.
That’s another way of describing a foreign policy built on isolationism.
Obama’s interviews are liberally spiced with contempt for the Europeans, whose foreign policy he adopted, and even former Islamist allies like Turkey are being treated with disdain. He despises both traditional US allies such as the UK and Israel, but he also has little use for the enemies, such as Russia and the Sunni Islamists, whom he tried to court. About the only enemy nation he still likes is Iran.
The first wave of Democratic backlash to the Iraq War was to champion diplomacy over military intervention. But diplomacy without intervention proved toothless. All that’s left now is a warped isolationism in which the US still pays the bills, signs all sorts of meaningless international accords that compromise our interests, but completely abandons its leadership role as a world power.
Rhodes sneers at the reporters whom he manipulated as knowing nothing. And he’s right. But he also doesn’t know anything. The condition is typical of an American left which has no foreign policy. It only has an anti-American domestic policy which it projects internationally without regard to its relevance.
The Iran deal had to happen to defeat “neo-conservatives”, the “war lobby” and whatever other leftist boogeyman was lurking around the premises. The men and women doing the defeating, like Rhodes, had zero interest in what was actually happening in Iran or what its leaders might do with nuclear weapons. They would tell any lie to help sell the deal because they were fighting a domestic battle of narratives. Iran wasn’t a real place. It was a fictional counter in a domestic ideological battle.
This problem did not begin yesterday.
Senator Ted Kennedy’s infamous letter to the Soviet leadership was seen as treasonous. But as a practical matter it revealed that an aspiring president had no interest in the USSR except to use it in a domestic battle against Reagan. Democrats had similarly supported and then turned against the Iraq War over domestic politics. Not only had they backed the removal of Saddam Hussein in the past, but Obama’s regime change in Libya showed that they did not believe any of their own critiques of regime change or unilateral intervention. Their foreign policy was based entirely on a domestic agenda.
Earlier generations of Democrats did have a comprehensive foreign policy based on ideas. It might be wrong, but it did exist. The Clinton-Kerry generation was very interested in talking about foreign policy, but viewed it purely in terms of opposing the Vietnam War as a critique of American power.
They had no other ideas to offer and it showed.
Without the Cold War, the Clinton era reduced foreign policy to multilateral diplomacy that existed to resolve conflicts and prevent genocide. But diplomacy proved useless in Rwanda and Bosnia. So Clinton ignored the former and used ruthless force casually for the latter. Meanwhile his foreign policy couldn’t process the rise of Al Qaeda and the growing threat of Islamic terrorism which led inevitably to 9/11.
Hillary Clinton is offering up a freezer fresh version of the same thing. The policies that failed her badly in Syria, Libya and across the Middle East are the only foreign policy offerings that she has for sale.
Bill Clinton had no foreign policy. Like Obama, he viewed foreign policy in terms of his domestic conflicts with Republicans. He tried to engage diplomatically while retreating militarily. His botched intervention in Yugoslavia had strong similarities to Obama’s disastrous intervention in Libya.
And a Clinton was behind both.
Hillary Clinton took the Secretary of State position to build up credibility for a presidential run. The invasion of Libya was a platform to take her to the White House. Libya did not matter to her. While the State Department blew through fortunes to finance her self-promotion, the Benghazi mission lacked basic security. Even the Jihadists who were hired on to provide security weren’t getting paid.
And that led to the murder of four Americans.
It’s a short distance from Ted Kennedy trying to figure out how he could use Soviet officials to undermine Reagan and become president to Hillary Clinton seeing regime change in Libya as a campaign commercial right down to the punchy media-friendly slogan, “We came, We saw, He died.”
Democratic foreign policy is animated by political careerism and the conviction that American power is the problem. Beyond that lies a deep and abiding ignorance of the actual conflicts and issues abroad.
The left’s reflexive anti-Americanism makes it easy to be ignorant while appearing knowledgeable. It allows the conflation of domestic policy critiques with foreign policy by blaming America for everything. Anything that doesn’t fit into the neat anti-American box can be waved away with some clichés about the importance of global communication, global poverty, trade policies, global warming and reform.
Democrats didn’t have to understand Iraq. They just had to know it was Bush’s fault. First it was Bush I’s fault for not removing Saddam Hussein, as Democrats and the media instead he should have. Then it was Bush II’s fault for removing Saddam, which Democrats and the media had now decided he shouldn’t have. But blaming Bush I and II didn’t actually teach them anything about Iraq. And so they had no idea what to do about it.
Bill Clinton ricocheted from bombing Iraq to trying to trying to ignore it. Obama followed the same course, first trying to ignore it and then bombing it. Neither of them understood anything about Iraq. While Obama still boasts of having gotten Iraq right, that’s because no one reminds him that back in the Senate he was insisting that Iraqis would achieve a political solution once American soldiers had left.
The political solution they achieved was a bloody civil war culminating in ISIS.
But Obama’s understanding of Iraq was limited to blaming America for its problems. He didn’t know anything else and he didn’t feel that he had to.
The rise of ISIS happened because Democrats didn’t feel they had to know anything about Iraq except that it was Bush’s fault. When Bush tried to get Assad to cut off the flow of Al Qaeda terrorists into Iraq, leading Democrats, including Pelosi and Kerry, rushed to support Assad against President Bush.
That flow of terrorists from Syria into Iraq eventually became the basis for ISIS.
It’s no wonder that Obama has never been able to come up with a working plan for Syria. Blaming Bush is not a plan. And it’s a particularly bad plan in this case.
Anti-Americanism, like most prejudices, is a license for ignorance. By embracing a prejudice against their own country, Democrats have lost any skill at foreign policy that they once had. Instead of learning anything about the world, they resort to the easy answer of turning away from the confusing problems of other countries to blame them all on us. Anti-Americanism is the only foreign policy that they need.
Anti-Americanism is the foreign policy of fools. It’s not smart power. It’s ignorance and prejudice with a dictionary.
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