Thursday, October 30, 2014

But Donna Brazile Doesn’t Have An Honest Bone In Her Political Hack Body

But Donna Brazile Doesn’t Have An Honest Bone In Her Political Hack Body:

Donna Brazile pens the most dishonest defense of teacher tenure in memory « Hot Air

An honest defense would go something like this:  “Since teachers vote something like ninety percent for the candidates of my party, and their unions contribute hundreds of millions of dollars to our campaigns, you’re damned right we want to make sure it is impossible to fire any of them, no matter how awful they happen to be.

Keith Ablow: We Need An ‘American Jihad’

Keith Ablow: We Need An ‘American Jihad’:

Keith Ablow

A board certified psychiatrist published an op-ed Tuesday calling for an “American jihad”, writing, “Wherever leaders and movements appear that seek to trample upon the human spirit, we have a God-given right to intervene.”

Dr. Keith Ablow, a member of the Fox News Medical A-Team, wrote Tuesday,

“An American jihad would reawaken in American citizens the certain knowledge that our Constitution is a sacred document that better defines and preserves the liberty and autonomy of human beings than the charter of any other nation on earth.

“An American jihad would embrace the correct belief that if every nation on earth were governed by freely elected leaders and by our Constitution, the world would be a far better place. And an American jihad would not only hope for this outcome, but work toward it.”
Ablow also called for the use of the military against human rights atrocities, even if the United States is not threatened.

“Because wherever leaders and movements appear that seek to trample upon the human spirit, we have a God-given right to intervene — because we have been to the mountaintop of freedom, and we have seen the Promised Land spanning the globe.

“An American jihad would never condone terrorist acts of violence against our adversaries or the targeting of people simply because their beliefs are different from ours. But for those who malignantly demonstrate their intentions to subjugate others, there would be no quarter.
A July Pew poll found 28 percent of Americans believe the U.S. “stands above all other countries, down from 38 percent three years ago.

Naturally, some reacted to his impassioned call to action with condemnation.

This guy is simply insane. Fox’s Keith Ablow: ‘It’s Time For An American Jihad’ (VIDEO) @TPM

— Rollo Kuokkanen (@pelotonprod) October 29, 2014
Others, however, agreed with Ablow wholeheartedly.

Dr. Keith Ablow, AMERICAN Jihad, “Cancer understands chemotherapy and surgery!” Let freedom ring, sir!

— Old Bald Fat Guy (@Old_BaldFat_Guy) October 29, 2014
Dr. Keith Ablow: “We need an American jihad! Re-embrace the Truth!” Thanks for speaking out! #betterwithfriends#AmericanJihad

— ♫ Melody Stuart♫ (@MStuart1970) October 29, 2014
Though his rhetoric was deliberately provocative, it is clear many who made the effort to understand his intent believe such a reawakening is precisely what this nation needs.

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism - Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Are blacks finally turning from Democrats?

Are blacks finally turning from Democrats?:

I read a shocking headline today: “Ex-Con: Most Black Youths See Obama As ‘Deadbeat’ Leader.” Is this an obvious outlier, or could there be something to this?

The ex-con referred to in the headline is Paul McKinley, a member of Voices of the Ex-Offender, which is described as a grass-roots group of former inmates.

On the “Steve Malzberg Show” on NewsmaxTV, McKinley said: “Every time they question the president about the black community, he’s apologetic or he’s embarrassed. … I would say, 97 percent of the time he (doesn’t) even want to say that there even exists a black community. So a lot of the young people are seeing this double standard that the president has.”

McKinley correctly observed that black Americans have identified with the Democratic Party since the mid-1960s, when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act into law. Since that time, they have been voting overwhelmingly Democratic.

McKinley’s choice of the word “identified” is telling. Black Americans do identify with the Democratic Party, as distinguished from particularly aligning with its policies.

I have long believed that the Democrats’ real Achilles’ heel is its urgent, desperate need to retain some 90 percent of the black vote to win national elections, for if that percentage decreased even moderately, they would be in serious electoral jeopardy.

This Achilles’ heel is exacerbated by the largely unspoken disconnect between the worldview of many blacks and the Democratic Party’s agenda. There are many black Christians and other blacks who tend to incline toward social conservatism, which is anathema to the party with which they almost monolithically identify. I would bet that many blacks, even among those who vote reliably Democratic, lean toward economic conservatism, as well. Yet many of the blacks who aren’t in line with the Democrats’ obsession with abortion on demand and other socially liberal ideas still vote for Democrats.

I think this is purely and simply because most blacks have been convinced that only Democrats care about them. Sure, many believe that the evidence for this is that Republicans promote welfare reform and the like. But it’s more than that for most.

I truly believe that many blacks vote Democratic mostly because of this noxious lie that Republicans and conservatives are racist, a pernicious slander that race-baiting black leaders and way too many Democratic politicians have peddled. This has been a pet peeve of mine for years, and it amazes me that it still works at all.

If this tactic didn’t work, Democrats wouldn’t keep using it, but they do, as when certain of their party leaders suggested that President George W. Bush deliberately abandoned blacks on their rooftops in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina and when others suggested that a vote for a certain Republican would mean another black church would burn or the civil rights of the African-American community would be eliminated.

David Limbaugh’s brand new book applies a lawyer’s skepticism to the Gospel of Christ and documents his own spiritual journey. Order “Jesus on Trial”

If anything, Democrats are getting worse about this. The New York Times reported this week that in the closest Senate races across the South, Democrats are turning to racially charged messages – “invoking Travyon Martin’s death, the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and Jim Crow-era segregation – to jolt African-Americans into voting and stop a Republican takeover in Washington.”

The Times admitted: “The images and words they are using are striking for how overtly they play on fears of intimidation and repression. And their source is surprising. The effort is being led by national Democrats and their state party organizations – not, in most instances, by the shadowy and often untraceable political action committees that typically employ such provocative messages.”

Democrats are employing this shameless smear all over. In North Carolina, a super PAC begun by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid aired an ad on black radio accusing Republican candidate Thom Tillis of supporting the kind of gun law that “caused the shooting death of Trayvon Martin.” In Georgia, Democrats are distributing a flier warning blacks that their voting is the only way “to prevent another Ferguson.” It shows two black children with cardboard signs saying “Don’t Shoot.”

These are so transparently over-the-top that I can’t help but believe that even some black voters will be turned off by them. Indeed, there are signs that some black voters are tiring of the propaganda. I just saw an Internet video featuring a number of black men citing the Democrats’ advocacy of the minimum-wage law as insulting. What good would a minimum-wage increase do, one asks, when there would be even fewer jobs?

These developments, coupled with the fact that black turnout is predicted to be very low in the upcoming elections, do not portend well for Democrats.

I am optimistic that at some point, many black voters will realize they have been used and abused by the Democratic Party, which is keeping them down, dependent on government and locked in inner-city schools and is overtly trying to alienate them against Republicans by categorically describing Republicans as racists.

The objective evidence is clear; it’s only a matter of time before this translates into dramatically shifting voter patterns. What a glorious day that will be – and what a great day for America and all Americans.

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After Election Day, the test of America's soul begins

After Election Day, the test of America's soul begins:

As we approach Election Day, I pray that Americans of goodwill will find some way to rise above the tendency of our present corrupt political process, which seeks to focus voters narrowly on issues and personalities and away from the general crisis of liberty that at present threatens our nation’s future. This morning I read an excerpt from an essay entitled “America’s Lost Sense of community” by L. Scott Smith. Its author criticizes the notion (which he disingenuously puts into the mouth of Cokie Roberts, as if the idea never occurred to generations of American leaders) that Americans “have nothing binding us together as a nation – no common ethnicity, history, religion or even language … except the Constitution and the institutions it created.”

Though I agree, to some extent with the author’s criticism, the argument he makes for it suffers from his willingness to accept the parameters of community Cokie Roberts alludes to. He sees the basis for America’s communal identity in our “scheme of government, including a declaration of rights” that is “a reflection of a people’s traditions, habits, mores and customs, and arises from deep within their very soul.”

Despite the reference to depth, however, there is a certain shallowness about this analysis that results from the pretense that the Constitution can be understood without reference to the logic and principles of the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration speaks for the community of all people of goodwill in the United States, i.e., those committed to the exercise of “right as God gives them to see the right.” As is clear in the Declaration, Americans are bound together by their acceptance of God-endowed right; their commitment to implement (carry into action) the understanding of what is just informed by God’s goodwill for human nature.

This is not about “democracy.” It is about government predicated upon fundamental truths that begin with respect for God’s predisposition of human will toward justice (i.e., what is right). People willing to act on that predisposition form a community. In the American case, that community successfully endured the rigors of war to sustain that common will.

I think it’s clear that Americans today still share that commitment to justice, that predisposition to do what’s right and to stand unified against injustice, whether perpetrated against themselves of other human beings. In fact, it is this predisposition that makes Americans so vulnerable to specious appeals to “right” that disregard its connection with God-endowed justice.

Our present political process has utterly abandoned the proper understanding of the substance of right. Our political leaders have used the word “right” as if it is synonymous with unbridled freedom, what was known to the founding generation as “licentiousness.” This many of them do purposely, knowing that this corrupt understanding will produce a result that makes tyranny (whether democratic, elitist or despotic in character) inevitable.

Americans are still disposed to follow the law of God written on their hearts. This is why the most successful plot lines in our popular culture are still predicated on the battle between good and evil, with heroines and heroes who end up fighting for good. Tragically, the people who should make it their vocation to educate and inform this disposition are instead busily engaged in a course of deceit intended to betray Americans into evil and injustice.

The American community endures precisely because God’s goodwill for justice transcends habits, customs and traditions. In every generation, people will arise to call the nation back to that transcendent understanding of right and rights, to call Americans back to true liberty. This is the imperative of our time, at least for people who truly wish to restore and conserve the distinctive hope America is supposed to represent for all humankind.

At present, America’s political process is in the grip of people who cast aside this imperative. The only freedom they care about is their own freedom of action, the natural preoccupation of those bent on exercising power unlimited by anything except force. This is the disposition of ambition and the will to power, with which they are replacing the disposition to value freedom for the sake of justice.

On account of this disposition they are in fact willing to disparage, violate and tyrannize over conscience if that serves their ambition for power. So, in the name of specious “rights” they have begun to abuse the force of law in order to force people to attack the God-endowed rights of the natural family as well as the unalienable right to life.

Because neither of the major political parties has, any longer, any real allegiance to the Declaration’s logic and principles, votes cast next Tuesday will, in many instances, have little bearing on the moral/political crisis that is engulfing America’s liberty. I applaud all those who have joined in the pledge to impeach mobilization, thus showing their willingness to challenge the corruption in principle that is threatening to doom our way of life in decent freedom. No matter which party claims “victory” next Tuesday, America stands to lose, and go on losing unless and until the real ground of our nation’s moral identity is restored.

The effort to organize people for that restoration will, in the next two years, have to focus on the need to demand accountability for unconstitutional actions that are destroying our Constitution and liberty. For though the Constitution does not, in and of itself, produce our identity as a free people, preserving the integrity of its purpose will be the test of whether we still retain the character (i.e., the good qualities of soul and spirit) without which freedom escapes the bounds of true liberty and dies by suicide.

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Err On the Side of Safety: Ebola & Common Sense

Err On the Side of Safety: Ebola & Common Sense:

ebolaGrowing up in Washington in the 1930s and ’40s, our home was, several times, put under quarantine. A poster would be tacked on the door indicating the presence within of a contagious disease—measles, mumps, chicken pox, scarlet fever.
None of us believed we were victims of some sort of invidious discrimination against large Catholic families. It was a given that public health authorities were trying to contain the spread of a disease threatening the health of children.
Out came the Monopoly board.
Polio, or infantile paralysis, was the most fearsome of those diseases. The first two national Boy Scout jamborees, which were to be held in Washington in 1935 and 1936, were canceled by Presidential Proclamation because of an outbreak of polio in the city.
Franklin Roosevelt, who had apparently contracted polio in 1921, never to walk again, appreciated the danger. In the 1930s, ’40s and early ’50s, there were outbreaks of polio in D.C. Swimming pools were shut down.
The Greatest Generation possessed a common sense that seems lacking today.
We read that five new Ebola cases occur every hour in Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, that thousands are dead and thousands more are dying, that, by December, there may be 10,000 new cases a week of this dreadful and deadly disease.
Yet calls for the cancellation of commercial airline travel from the affected nations to the United States are being decried as racist, an abandonment of America’s responsibilities to Africa, a threat to the economies of the poorest continent on earth.
How could we consider such a thing!
Where once we suffered from infantile paralysis, now we suffer from ideological paralysis. And there appears to be no Salk or Sabin vaccine to cure our condition.
ht_amber_vinson_jc_141017_4x3_992Exhibit A is the befuddled response of some in public service is the case of Amber Joy Vinson.
Nurse Vinson was among 75 health care providers who treated Thomas Eric Duncan, the Liberian who brought Ebola into the United States. At the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where Duncan was treated, Vinson had been among those in closest contact with the patient.
Two days after Duncan’s death, Vinson was allowed to fly to Cleveland to visit relatives. She then prepared to fly back to Dallas.
Before boarding, she called the Center for Disease Control, and said she was running a fever of 99.5.
Yet she was given clearance to fly commercial back to Dallas, where she was admitted to the hospital with symptoms of the disease. She is the second nurse at that hospital to come down with Ebola.
According to CBS Medical Correspondent Dr. John LaPook, “Nurse Vinson did in fact call the CDC several times before taking that flight and said she had a temperature, a fever of 99.5, and the person at the CDC looked at a chart and because her temperature wasn’t 100.4 or higher she didn’t officially fall into the category of high risk.”
Would not common sense have told that CDC apparatchik to tell Vinson not to fly at all, but remain in Cleveland, stay in touch with CDC, and monitor any symptoms to be sure she was not coming down with the disease that just killed her patient?
In dealing with contagious and deadly diseases, common sense says to err on the side of safety. Public safety must come before political correctness. Community and country come ahead of any obligation to the people of West Africa.
Indeed, is not the first duty of the government of the United States to protect the lives, liberty and property of the citizens of the United States?
Traveling to Africa decades ago, Americans were given a series of shots to avoid contracting indigenous diseases. Travelers to the United States were questioned about diseases to which they may have been exposed in third world countries.
Now we have a government that considers it discriminatory to put troops on our frontiers to halt the invading millions from across the Mexican border, and the mark of a cruel and cold people to send back lawbreakers who have broken into our country.
The two nurses who came down with this disease after close contact with Duncan are being cared for in quarantine, as is the NBC crew, one of whom contracted the disease. And rightly so.
Ebola+West+Africa+2014As for U.S. aid workers in Africa, they are heroic. But before bringing these good and brave people home, we ought to be sure they are not bringing back with them the Ebola they have been fighting.
If that means quarantining them for 21 days, so be it. If that means no commercial flights to the United States from the three most affected countries of West Africa, and no admission to the USA of any travelers whose visas show they have been in those countries in recent days, then it ought to be done.
Else political correctness is going to end up killing a lot of us.
Books on the topic of this essay may be found in The Imaginative Conservative Bookstore. Republished with gracious permission of Pat Buchanan.  
The post Err On the Side of Safety: Ebola & Common Sense appeared first on The Imaginative Conservative.

Nobel Prize-Winning Physician Backs Ebola Quarantine For Health Workers

Nobel Prize-Winning Physician Backs Ebola Quarantine For Health Workers: 'If you really want to isolate a disease, then you have to isolate the people who carry it'

4 charts that show how an intact family affects kids’ economic futures

4 charts that show how an intact family affects kids’ economic futures:

Today, Brad Wilcox and Robert Lerman have a must-read piece at NRO on “what’s happening to the American family and why it matters for the health of the American Dream.” Here are four charts from their article that show that young men and women “who grow up in an intact, two-parent family have a leg up in today’s competitive economy.”

1.)  Children raised in intact families are more likely to acquire the human capital they need to live the American Dream: “Having two parents in the picture typically increases the amount of time, attention, encouragement, and money that can be devoted to a child’s education.” This also “protects children from the household moves and emotional stress associated with family instability” – two factors “that seem to hurt children’s odds of educational success in high school and beyond.” [See feature chart. Note: The "0" baseline on the graph represents single-parent families; these changes are all relative to single-parent families.]

2.)  Children raised in intact families are less likely to fall afoul of detours on the road to the American Dream: “A nonmarital birth, for instance, puts a real economic strain on both women and men. That’s partly because such births can derail schooling and decrease adults’ future chances of getting and staying married. And a stable family protects them against these kinds of detours.”


3.)  Young men raised in intact families make more money: Note that “one reason that these young women and men enjoy higher family incomes is that they are more likely to be married compared with their peers from non-intact families.” 


4.)  Young women raised in intact families earn more: In addition, young adults raised in intact families work more hours. “On average, the more hours you work, the more experience you gain in the labor force and the more money you make.”


Read Wilcox and Lerman’s fascinating new report “For Richer, For Poorer: How family structures economic success in America” to learn more.

Follow AEIdeas on Twitter at @AEIdeas, and Natalie Scholl at @Natalie_Scholl.

The post 4 charts that show how an intact family affects kids’ economic futures appeared first on AEI.



College Fix-

During his talk, Strauss essentially argued that the scientific evidence for the existence of God could be found by studying the origins of the universe, the design of the universe, and what Strauss called the “rare Earth hypothesis.”

Strauss also brought up evidence for the existence of God by citing the apparent design of the universe, noting the amount of matter in the universe, the strength of its strong nuclear force, and the formation of carbon is so finely tuned that if any of these parameters were modified in the slightest, human life could not exist. Strauss stated there are about 100 similar finely tuned parameters.

Strauss’ third point delved into what he called the “rare Earth hypothesis.” Strauss detailed what it would take to for an earthlike planet to form by chance, a planet capable of sustaining not only bacteria, but higher life forms, such as those found in science fiction stories. (Think Class M planets from Star Trek.)

In fact, there are 322 such parameters needed for a planet capable of sustaining intelligent life to form, and the probability for occurrence of all 322 parameters to develop by chance is 10 to the minus -282.

“It is unlikely that Earth could ever be duplicated,” Strauss said Thursday.


ht/ just the tip

Climate change is happening – but not because of human activity... The goal is to make us feel guilty so we can be controlled

Climate change is happening – but not because of human activity... The goal is to make us feel guilty so we can be controlled:


by  29 Oct 2014

Climate change is happening – but not because of human activity, Daniel Botkin, professor Emeritus in the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at University of California Santa Barbara has said. Moreover, the focus on man-made global warming is detracting attention from real environmental disasters to nature’s detriment, he has argued. 

Writing on the National Parks Traveler, a website dedicated to America’s national parks, Botkin challenges the conclusions reached by the Union of Concerned Scientists in their paper National Landmarks at Risk, How Rising Seas, Floods, and Wildfires Are Threatening the United States’ Most Cherished Historic Sites, not least because they’ve taken the standard reports from the IPCC and others, “treating them as accurate and true,” and then used those results to look at the possible outcome for various national parks. 
“The point of the report, its opening theme and its major conclusion, is that these historic places are in trouble and it’s our fault, we have been the bad guys interfering with nature and therefore damaging places we value,” Botkin says, before methodically knocking down each assertion as demonstrably false. 
Climate models linking human CO2 output to rising temperatures are unreliable, he writes. “Conclusion: our addition of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere does not appear to be increasing Earth’s temperature. Whatever is happening to Earth’s climate does not seem to be our fault.”
However, he does acknowledge that climate change is happening. Taking sea level as an example, he says: “the sea level has been rising since the end of the last Ice Age, starting about 14,000 years ago as the continental and mountain glaciers have melted and sea water has expanded with the overall warming. The average rate has been about a foot or two a century”.
The question he poses is: what to do about it? Rather than spending time arguing over the causes of climate change, Botkin advocates simply rolling up our sleeves and dealing with the outcome, harking back to Frederick Law Olmstead, who in the mid 1800s, created the Back Bay Fens on Boston’s shoreline as a way to manage both ocean floods, deal with waste water for the city, and create a recreational area for city dwellers. 
“Confronted with the combined problems of ocean surges and flooding from river runoff inland, Olmsted did not waste his time complaining about whether or not people have caused the problem. He just set out and solved it.”
However, he saves his most damning criticism for the UCS’s treatment of wildfire frequency. The report claims two national park sites are at particular risk of damage from increasingly frequent wildfires, despite the fact that the evidence shows no increase. 
“Furthermore”, he writes, “it is well-established that most major wildfires that occur these days are from the failure to allow much more frequent, and therefore light fires, to burn. The 20th century policy dominated by Smokey Bear — “only you can prevent forest fires” — and the belief, ill-founded, that all forest and grassland fires are bad and must be prevented — have had a damaging effect.”
‘Damaging’ is an understatement – in fact, the policy caused the extinction of Kirtland’s warbler, a bird which nests in young jack pines, which only regenerate after a fire. 

The conclusion that Botkin reaches is that, ultimately, “global warming has become the sole focus of so much environmental discussion that it risks eclipsing much more pressing and demonstrable environmental problems. The major damage that we as a species are doing here and now to the environment is not getting the attention it deserves.”

The left needs deception to gain and keep power as outlined by VDH

The left needs deception to gain and keep power as outlined by VDH:

Facts now pale in comparison with the higher truths of progressivism.

By Victor Davis Hanson

Do bothersome facts matter anymore?

Not really. This is an age when Americans were assured that the Affordable Care Act lowered our premiums. It cut deductibles. Obamacare allowed us to keep our doctors and health plans, and lowered the deficit. Those fantasies were both demonstrably untrue and did not matter, given the supposedly noble aims of health care reform.

The Islamic State is at times dubbed jayvee, a manageable problem, and a dangerous enemy — or anything the administration wishes it to be, depending on the political climate of any given week.

Some days Americans are told there is no reason to restrict connecting flights from Ebola-ravaged countries. Then, suddenly, entry from those countries is curtailed to five designated U.S. airports. Quarantines are both necessary and not so critical, as the administration weighs public concern versus politically correct worries over isolating a Third World African country.

Ebola is so hard to catch that there is no reason to worry about causal exposures to those without clear symptoms. But then why do health authorities still try to hunt down anyone who had even a brief encounter with supposedly asymptomatic carriers? 

The deaths of four Americans in Benghazi were caused by a video that sparked a riot, and then apparently not. Various narratives about corruption and incompetence at the VA, IRS, NSA, GSA and Secret Service are raised and then dropped. The larger truth is that these scandals must be quarantined from infecting the president’s progressive agenda.

Laws used to be real, not abstract. Again, not anymore. The administration sort of enacts some elements of Obamacare but ignores others. Enforcement of federal immigration law is negotiable, likewise depending on the campaign cycle.

The Tawana Brawley case, the Duke men’s lacrosse team accusations, and the O. J. Simpson verdict were constructed fantasies. No one cared much about the inconvenient facts or the lies that destroyed people’s lives — given that myths were deemed useful facts for achieving larger racial justice.

It no longer really matters much what the grand jury will find in the Michael Brown fatal-shooting case. Whether he had just robbed a store, was high on drugs, was walking down the middle of the road and prompted a violent confrontation with a police officer, or whether the officer was the aggressor in the confrontation, these have become mere competing narratives. The facts pale in comparison with the higher truth that Brown was black and unarmed, while Officer Darren Wilson white and armed. The latter scenario is all that matters.

Language is useful for inventing new realities. “Illegal alien” is a time-tested noun denoting foreign citizens who crossed a national border contrary to law. “Undocumented immigrant” is now used to diminish the bothersome fact that millions have broken and continue to break the law. 

To play down the dangers of radical Islam, an entire array of circumlocutions — “workplace violence” (in the case of the Fort Hood shooting) “overseas contingency operations” and “man-caused disasters” — were the euphemisms evoked by members of the Obama administration to construct an alternate reality in which radical jihadists are no more dangerous than disgruntled office workers or gale-force winds.

Many of the current campus poster icons are abject myths. Che Guevara, for all his hipster appearance, was no revolutionary hero, but a murderer who enjoyed personally executing his political opponents. Communist leader Angela Davis was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the totalitarian Soviet Union.

Plagiarism and making stuff up are no longer considered serious offenses against the truth. Lots of notable columnists or historians have had to confess to lifting the work of others and passing it off as their own — Maureen Dowd, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Fareed Zakaria, and the late Stephen Ambrose, to name a few. Most faced slaps on the wrist.

Even Vice President Joe Biden once had to drop a presidential bid due to accusations that he had plagiarized in law school and later had copied a speech from a British Labor politician. Barack Obama has had to acknowledge that in his autobiographical memoir, he used “composite characters” in some cases rather than actual people from his life. Sympathetic biographer David Remnick characterized Obama’s life story as “a mixture of verifiable fact, recollection, re-creation, invention, and artful shaping.”

Such disregard for truth and facts is no accident, but the fruit of postmodernism. So-called “after modern” thought was a trendy late-20th-century way to reduce facts to stories.

Progressives believed that because traditional protocols, language, and standards were usually created by stuffy old establishment types, the rules no longer necessarily should apply. Instead, particular narratives and euphemisms that promoted perceived social justice became truthful. Bothersome facts were discarded.

So far, political mythmaking has become confined to popular culture and politics, and has not affected the ironclad facts and non-negotiable rules of jetliner maintenance, heart surgery, or nuclear-plant operation. Yet the Ebola scare has taught us that even the erroneous news releases and fluid policies of the CDC can be as likely based on politics as hard science. 

If that is a vision of more relativist things to come, then we are doomed.

— Victor Davis Hanson is a classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and the author, most recently, of The Savior Generals. You can reach him by e-mailing © 2014 Tribune Media Services, Inc.

Sessions: 'The World Has Turned Upside Down'

Sessions: 'The World Has Turned Upside Down':

Senator Jeff Sessions will soon release this statement in response to a report in the Wall Street Journal that details President Obama's plans to unilaterally implement amnesty.

"The Wall Street Journal confirmed today that the President is planning to issue a massive unilateral executive amnesty after the election.

"In its report, the WSJ certifies that this executive amnesty would provide work permits for illegal immigrants—taking jobs directly from struggling Americans.

Fred On Everything - Blacks Rule

Fred On Everything:
"It is curious that blacks, the least educated thirteen percent of the population, the least productive, most criminal, and most dependent on governmental charity, should dominate national politics. Yet they do. Virtually everything revolves around what blacks want, demand, do, or can’t do. Their power seems without limit.


'via Blog this'

The very incurious media are not the least bit interested in anything that reflects poorly on this administration .

The very incurious media are not the least bit interested in anything that reflects poorly on this administration .:


Last week, we got information from a source in the Executive Office of the President that the EOP’s computer system had been down for, at that time, a week. Federal IT personnel evidently were having trouble identifying and fixing the problem that had brought the computer system down (although email and internet access had been restored), and EOP employees were instructed to say nothing about it. Scott followed up with posts herehere and here. He repeatedly emailed the White House press office, asking for information about the outage. The press office acknowledged receipt of his emails, but refused to answer his questions.
A major intrusion into the Executive Office of the President’s computer system is huge news, with potential implications for national security, among other things. The EOP’s web siteidentifies the many agencies that are part of EOP:
The following entities exist within the Executive Office of the President:
* Council of Economic Advisers

* Council on Environmental Quality

* Executive Residence

* National Security Staff

* Office of Administration

* Office of Management and Budget

* Office of National Drug Control Policy

* Office of Science and Technology Policy

* Office of the United States Trade Representative

* Office of the Vice President

* White House Office
In addition, the following entities exist within the White House Office:
* Domestic Policy Council

* Office of National AIDS Policy

* Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

* Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation

* White House Rural Council

* National Security Advisor

* National Economic Council

* Office of Cabinet Affairs

* Office of the Chief of Staff

* Office of Communications

* Office of the Press Secretary

* Media Affairs

* Research

* Speechwriting

* Office of Digital Strategy

* Office of the First Lady

* Office of the Social Secretary

* Office of Legislative Affairs

* Office of Management and Administration

* White House Personnel

* White House Operations

* Telephone Office

* Visitors Office

* Oval Office Operations

* Office of Presidential Personnel

* Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs

* Office of Public Engagement

* Council on Women and Girls

* Office of Intergovernmental Affairs

* Office of Urban Affairs

* Office of Scheduling and Advance

* Office of the Staff Secretary

* Presidential Correspondence

* Executive Clerk

* Records Management

* Office of the White House Counsel
Imagine the havoc that could result if a hostile foreign power accessed all of the computer files, including email, of all of those federal agencies. A large number of people work in the Executive Office of the President, and it seems hardly credible that no one in Washington learned of the massive computer outage described by our source. And yet, until today no news source other than Power Line had written a word about it.
This afternoon, I assume as a result of Scott’s persistence, the Obama administration made a limited disclosure that confirmed that our source’s information was correct. The administration’s belated disclosure is described in the Reuters article that Scott wrote aboutearlier this evening.
The Obama administration told Reuters that the outage affected “some EOP users.” Our source believed that it affected the entire EOP; be that as it may, “some” is critically ambiguous. Did it affect the National Security Staff, or the Office of the First Lady? The National Security Advisor, or the Office of Urban Affairs? The White House, or the Council on Environmental Quality? Or was the outage general across most, if not all, of the EOP? The administration spokesman offers no clue.
Further, the administration says the computer problems resulted from “suspicious cyber activity,” which suggests action by a hostile power. In an apparent effort to reassure, a second administration spokesman tells us that the outage impacted only unclassified networks, and “there were no indications at this time that classified networks had been affected.” This is a distinction that our informant did not draw. Whether it is accurate or not is vitally important, although at this point we have no information about what is stored on classified versus unclassified networks. It is also noteworthy that our informant says that he personally observed that portions of the State Department’s computer network were down last week, as well. Maybe that is just a coincidence, but history does not lead us to put great credence in the Obama administration’s initial spin on any event.
We may or may not ever know what persons or entity launched an apparent cyber attack on the White House and the many agencies that comprise the Executive Office of the President, what its purpose was, or whether it succeeded. If we do find out, it most likely will be after the Obama administration has departed the scene and its various coverups finally unravel. 
In the meantime, an obvious question arises: how is it possible that such an attack could be carried out, affecting thousands of federal employees, without being reported? I find it impossible to believe that we at Power Line were the only ones to get wind of what was happening in the White House. Isn’t there a large group of reporters who are collectively referred to as the “White House press corps?” Isn’t covering the President and his Executive Office their full-time job? And aren’t there hundreds more reporters and editors in Washington who ostensibly are on the lookout for news? And did not a single one of these alleged news hounds get wind of the computer outage that our informant told us about?
It think it is almost certain that numerous Washington reporters knew about the cyber attack (if that is what it was) on the Executive Office of the President, and perhaps the State Department and other federal agencies, and chose not to report the story. Why? The only explanation I can think of is that an election is coming up next week. Most Americans have concluded that the Obama administration is incompetent, and President Obama’s unpopularity is dragging down the Democratic Party. Republicans likely will take over the Senate. If voters knew about the EOP computer fiasco, many would see it as another indication of the administration’s ineptitude, and of the fact that things are not going well for the United States of America. 
Substantially all Washington reporters and editors are Democrats who went into journalism in order to advance a liberal agenda. They buried the computer story because they feared it would hurt Democrats and help Republicans in next week’s election. That’s my guess, anyway. At one time, reporters thought their job was to dig out information and make it public. Now, most reporters and editors see themselves as blockaders of information: they think their primary job is to make sure that citizens don’t get news that might confuse them or that they are better off not knowing. Especially when a tough election for the Democrats is looming.
UPDATE: The administration tells the Washington Post that the hackers responsible for the White House computer outage are “thought to be working for the Russian government.” Reset! It’s amazing how much information comes out once Scott’s persistence forces the administration’s hand. Whether it is accurate or not, of course, we won’t know for quite a while.
We wrote last night that the story Scott–and no one else–has been reporting for the last week has been confirmed. The computers in the Executive Office of the President have been down for two weeks because they were hacked by a foreign power–the Obama administration now says Russia–and administration technical personnel are having trouble bringing them back on line. This is a huge story, obviously, and it is inconceivable that Power Line knew about it, but no one in the vast Washington press corps got wind of the fact that computer systems belonging to the White House and dozens of important federal agencies (National Security Staff, to name just one) had been hacked and were out of commission. 
Another item from yesterday’s limited disclosure by the Obama administration: “U.S. officials were alerted to the breach by an ally.” This means that when the intrusion occurred, we were unaware of it. It also implies that it may have gone on for a long time before someone who spies on Russia–the British? the Israelis?–tipped us off. In other words, even to the extent it has been described by the administration, this was a major failure of American intelligence and technical expertise which could have significant national security repercussions. No wonder the Washington press corps, which consists almost entirely of Democrats, wanted to keep it quiet until after the election!

Black conservatives explain how blacks are brainwashed by Democrats

Black conservatives explain how blacks are brainwashed by Democrats: bishopewjacksonA great clip by One America News Network on Black ...

Corruption Reigns Supreme - No One is Held Accountable

DOJ Won’t Prosecute Vet Affairs Criminal Referrals:

The Veterans Affairs Inspector General referred at least 17 cases tied to allegations of wait-time manipulation to the Department of Justice for prosecution, and the agency has declined to prosecute all of them. Both agencies have refused to comment on the reasons behind the lack of prosecutions.

But according to a list obtained by the Washington Free Beacon from a source close to the House committee investigating the VA’s conduct, the most common reason given for the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) denial was that the referred cases involved lacked evidence of criminal intent.

At least two cases were declined, in part, because they were deemed as “best resolved through administrative actions” or “declined in lieu of administrative remedies.”

In others there was reportedly insufficient evidence of criminal misconduct.

The VA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) has acknowledged that there are ongoing criminal investigations at 93 Veterans Health Administration (VHA) facilities, and that number has been public since June. Officials with the OIG have also made reference to it in various hearings in the House and Senate.

However, beyond that, the OIG has provided little information on the status of the investigations, despite repeated request from the House Veteran Affairs Committee, and they have declined or ignored similar press inquires.

Rep. Mike Coffman (R., Co.), the chairman of the House Veteran Affairs Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigation, made a formal request to the VA Acting Inspector General Richard Griffin on Aug. 27.

In the letter, Coffman requested that Griffin “indicate how many criminal investigations have been referred to a United States’ Attorney’s Office or to any other component of the Department of Justice for prosecution,” and asked that Griffin “also indicate how many of the cases were declined for prosecution.”

Griffin’s response came on Sept. 12 and said that “currently, 17 cases have been declined for prosecution by the responsible Office of the United States Attorney,” but that questions about the details of those declined cases would need to be answered by the Department of Justice.

According to the documents viewed by the Free Beacon, the inspector general received explanations behind each of the denials from the DOJ and then gave that information to committee staffers. But sources on the committee saythey have yet to receive any information regarding the total number of cases that the VA referred for prosecution.

At least seventeen cases were referred and declined, but the statuses of the other seventy-six are unknown.

“The committee has asked VA OIG for that info, but has not received it,” a staffer explained, adding that the agency has “not briefed anyone from [the House Veteran Affairs Committee] on the 93 investigations and has not released a list of facilities that are under investigation.”

A spokesperson for the DOJ declined to confirm the contents of the list, but in a previous correspondence said that “the guidelines for why a referral might be declined is covered in the U.S. Attorney’s Manual.”

The Free Beacon reached out to the VA’s Office of Inspector General on Oct. 14 and spoke with congressional relations officer Catherine Gromek asking for information on how many of the 93 ongoing investigations were referred to the DOJ and how many were declined or accepted. Gromek asked that the request be sent through email, and one was sent shortly after the phone call.

Later that day, the Free Beacon emailed Gromek to confirm that she received the request. “I got it,” Gromek wrote. “What is your deadline—this is not my only request.”

The email was the last response the Free Beacon received from Gromek. Subsequent phone calls and emails went unanswered.

The Department of Justice told the Free Beacon in an email that their prosecutors are “coordinating with the Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General as it conducts its ongoing review,” but declined to comment on the referrals because the investigations are incomplete.

“We’ll decline to comment on an ongoing matter,” wrote DOJ spokesman Peter Carr, “but in general the department often consults with inspectors general on legal matters and acts on any referrals should they find sufficient predicate for a criminal investigation.”

The VA Office of Inspector General did not respond to additional request for comments by press time.

Voting Republican Is the Smart Choice for Libertarians

Voting Republican Is the Smart Choice for Libertarians:

This article is part of a series on the libertarian vote
in the 2014 midterm election. Here's the first set of arguments
Today's alternative perspectives from the other parties will be up

You only have one vote. How best to use it to advance

A libertarian preparing to vote in a House or Senate race
this November that features three candidates, a Republican, a
Democrat and a Libertarian must make a decision.

Will voting for the Libertarian candidate add one more vote
for a losing candidate that may win one or two or five
percent of the vote and thereby convince America of the strength of
the libertarian movement and the power of its ideas? Will the
newscasters announce the libertarian vote and muse on how it
grew from one percent to two percent? Maybe.

If the Democrat Senate candidate in North Carolina or Virginia
wins by a narrow margin because several hundred or
thousands of liberty voters voted for the libertarian third
party candidate rather than the Republican Senate candidate how
will this be understood by the media and by the national
electorate? Will the media announce that the Democrat victories are
actually a demonstration of the growing strength of the
libertarian movement? Or will they argue the nation voted for big
government? What message does your "message" vote send?

Richard Tisei, the gay pro-liberty Republican candidate for the
House of Representatives in the 6th congressional district in
Massachusetts lost by 3,650 votes in 2012. The libertarian
candidate, Dan Fishman, won 16,668 votes. The winner, Democrat John
Tierney was a consistent vote for statism for his entire career and
the past two years. He just lost his primary to a young
self-described "progressive" whom Joe Biden just went to
Massachusetts to endorse; fortunately Tisei is running again. This
time the Libertarians have decided not to field a candidate; in
fact, Fishman is supporting Tisei, who may win this November. What
lesson did Massachusetts libertarians learn from 2012?

In 2006, Montana's Republican Senator Conrad Burns lost to
his Democrat opponent Tester by 3,562 votes. The Libertarian
Candidate Stan Jones captured 10,377 votes. Tester's win meant that
Obama had 60 votes in December 2009 and could pass Obamacare. That
one vote passed a bill designed to fail into single-payer over
time. Did the "too cool for school" libertarians advance liberty
when they voted that day?

"But I want to advance liberty as rapidly and as powerfully as
possible. Isn't voting for the Libertarian candidate sending a
stronger signal that there is a real demand in the electorate for
greater liberty than voting for the 'lesser of two evils'

Well who is getting this message? When you watch the TV
commentators on election night the tally they put up on the
board is either, one, Republicans win and the nation
wants lower taxes and spending and an end to Obamacare or two,
Democrats win the Senate and the nation wants Obama's growing
government. We don't get to write the script.

Liberty activists should remember that voting is only one
political act. Speaking with your siblings, co-workers, neighbors,
children and parents provides daily opportunities to advance
liberty and multiply the voice and power of the liberty movement.
Call your grandparents. Speak with the waitress. Don't whine that
Republican candidates do not talk about liberty. You talk about
liberty to everyone who will listen. Whining about other people is
not work. It is whining. The struggle against statism is a great
deal of work and the only person you control is you. Be the calm,
coherent voice for liberty you wish the Republican candidate for
Senate was.

Hollywood producer Sam Goldwyn used to tell writers, "If you
want to send a message, use Western Union." Not every political
message had to be jammed into "his" movie. Liberty activists know
that the Internet now allows us to share tweets, Instagram pics,
Facebook posts, simple e-mails, and whatever was invented last week
and I haven't heard of yet.

I would argue that if the election is close or might be close
the smart move is to vote for the Republican. The corollary of that
is that if a particular election is not close—and every election
day has a number of elections at the same time (congress, Senate,
state legislature, governor, mayor)—then "send a signal" with a
vote for the Libertarian. And if you are a potential libertarian
candidate, organize your campaigns so that you can honestly
look any liberty voter in the eye and accurately assert that there
is no opportunity cost of casting a "message" vote for you on this
particular ballot this year.

Do We Even Have A Foreign Policy?

Do We Even Have A Foreign Policy?:

imageEven The New York Times is piling on Susan Rice for this — so perhaps it’s unnecessary to pose the question — but her comments strike me as so wondrously stupid and terrifying that I’ve got to wonder whether there could be any charitable or vaguely reassuring way of reading it:

[Rice] was peppered with critiques of the president’s Syria and China policies, as well as the White House’s delays in releasing a national security strategy, a congressionally mandated document that sets out foreign policy goals. On that last point, Ms. Rice had a sardonic reply.
“If we had put it out in February or April or July,” she said, according to two people who were in the room, “it would have been overtaken by events two weeks later, in any one of those months.”
I get that she was being sardonic. I get it that this is not what she literally and officially thinks about this. But she’s an experienced public official who knew this would make the front page of The New York Times. It would therefore seem that she knowingly told the whole world — and not entirely in jest — the United States no longer has foreign policy goals because there have been a series of crises in the past year. Oh, and by the way, to hell with Congress.

Does that sound as epically mad to you as it does to me? Is there any way her comment could have been funny and appropriate at the time, or that she could have thought, reasonably, that it would never leak? I suppose it’s possible that I’ve lost my sense of proportion and this actually makes perfect sense. But even The New York Times is freaking out, so I fear it’s every bit as Under-the-Reign-of-Elagabalus as it sounds.

The post Do We Even Have A Foreign Policy? appeared first on Ricochet.

What Is America’s Role in the World?

What Is America’s Role in the World?:

A crisis-driven foreign policy will inevitably succumb to disorientation and exhaustion. The United States needs a serious discussion about its role in the world—one that matches objectives and means.

‘Work Is A Good Thing For Man’

One of the fundamental problems of the welfare state is that it denies the dignity of honest work.

‘Work Is A Good Thing For Man’:

I was transfixed by this video the other day. The simplicity of the video itself, the careful, skillful work, the lovely hands of a master at work – all brought to mind the goodness of work and creation that God granted to us. St. John Paul II, in his encyclical Laborem Exercens (On Human Work) says this:

Read more on ‘Work Is A Good Thing For Man’…

The post ‘Work Is A Good Thing For Man’ appeared first on Acton Institute PowerBlog.

Islam is changing the West

Islam is changing the West: Western leaders keep saying that we must not be intimidated by militant Islam. Yet their actions suggest we are indeed being intimidated, all the time, and that our way of life in Britain and elsewhere is changing

Married, Intact Families Yield Higher Incomes

Married, Intact Families Yield Higher Incomes:

In a new report for the American Enterprise Institute, W. Bradford Wilcox and Robert I. Lerman look at the link between today's economy and family structure.

America's family structure -- and corresponding economic situation -- has changed since 1950. From 1950 to 1979, families saw an 80 percent increase in income and almost 90 percent of working-age men were employed. Since that time, things have changed, with family incomes stagnating and male employment falling. At the same time, the marriage rate has fallen.

Wilcox and Lerman describe the link between marriage and incomes:

  • The drop in the marriage rate is having a significant impact on incomes. If the United States had a married parenthood rate at the same level that it had in 1980, the median income of families with children would increase by 44 percent.
  • Since 1979, 37 percent of the decline in the male employment rate is due to the drop in the number of intact families.
  • Children who grow up with both parents in the home tend to be higher educated and have higher incomes. Both men and women earn an income premium of $6,500 and $4,700, respectively, simply for growing up in an intact household.
  • Married men have an income "marriage premium" of $15,900 annually, compared to their single counterparts, making family incomes higher.
  • Married couples who themselves were raised by intact families have a family income premium of $42,000 compared to their unmarried counterparts raised in non-intact families.
The researchers hope that policymakers will recognize the vital role that family and marriage play in economic security. They encourage government policies that strengthen marriage, remove penalties on marriage and improve economic opportunities for families, including by expanding the earned income tax credit and expanding vocational programs that improve job prospects for young adults.

Source: W. Bradford Wilcox and Robert I. Lerman, "For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America," American Enterprise Institute, October 28, 2014.

For more on Economic Issues:

Here's Yet Another Reason to Abolish the Income Tax and IRS: Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuse

Here's Yet Another Reason to Abolish the Income Tax and IRS: Civil Asset Forfeiture Abuse:

For some time now we’ve lived with the scourge of civil asset
forfeiture, under which the police can seize a person’s property on
the mere suspicion it was used in a crime and without having to
charge the owner with an offense. Since the authorities have no
burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, the burden of
proving innocence falls on the hapless citizen who wishes to
recover his property.

Amazingly, people describe as free a society that features this

Now it comes to light that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
does something similar. The New York
reports that
the IRS seizes bank accounts of people whose only offense is
routinely to make deposits of less than $10,000. If you do this
enough times, the IRS may suspect you are trying to avoid the
requirement that deposits of $10,000 or more be reported by the
bank. The IRS keeps the money, but the depositors need not be
charged with a crime.

You read that right. The government demands notification
whenever a bank customer deposits $10,000 or more. If you are
merely suspected of avoiding that requirement, it can cost you big

Welcome to the land of the free.

“Using a law designed to catch drug traffickers, racketeers and
terrorists by tracking their cash,” the Times’ Shaila
Dewan writes, “the government has gone after run-of-the-mill
business owners and wage earners without so much as an allegation
that they have committed serious crimes. The government can take
the money without ever filing a criminal complaint, and the owners
are left to prove they are innocent. Many give up.”

Dewan tells the story of a restaurateur who learned this the
hard way:

For almost 40 years, Carole Hinders has dished out Mexican
specialties at her modest cash-only restaurant. For just as long,
she deposited the earnings at a small bank branch a block away —
until last year, when two tax agents knocked on her door and
informed her that they had seized her checking account, almost

The Internal Revenue Service agents did not accuse Ms. Hinders
of money laundering or cheating on her taxes — in fact, she has not
been charged with any crime. Instead, the money was seized solely
because she had deposited less than $10,000 at a time, which they
viewed as an attempt to avoid triggering a required government
“Who takes your money before they prove that you’ve done
anything wrong with it?” Hinders asks. “The federal government
does,” the article replies.

Three brothers who own a company had $447,000 seized under this
power, while a man saving for his daughters’ education lost
$66,000. He settled and got all but $21,000 back.

When the Times asked the IRS about this, the
agency “announced that it would curtail the practice, focusing
instead on cases where the money is believed to have been acquired
illegally or seizure is deemed justified by ‘exceptional

We should not be comforted. First, it took a query from the
country’s most prominent newspaper before the IRS said a word. And
second, why should we trust the IRS? The next time a seizure is
exposed, an IRS official can plead “exceptional circumstances.”

How long will Americans quietly suffer such outrages? They seem
to have no idea that the country was founded by colonists who were
sick of arbitrary rule by tyrants who saw them as mere subjects to
be looted and humiliated.

In the past, when advocates of big government called for an
income tax, opponents warned that the government would become
How right they were. The tax rationalized the creation of the IRS,
which to carry out its nefarious work must have access to all of
our personal financial information. Nothing can escape its view if
it is to do its job.

That’s the mandate Congress has given the IRS, and that’s why it
does the ugly things it does. Congress could stop it by repealing
some laws. But don’t hold your breath.

All taxation is robbery, but the income tax is the most
egregious form of all because of this invasion of privacy. Modest
reforms will not be enough. Only uprooting the tax system and
abolishing the evil IRS will do.

This article originally
at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

MSNBC: Teachers Unions Undermine Good Teachers Who Want To Improve Educational System

MSNBC: Teachers Unions Undermine Good Teachers Who Want To Improve Educational System:

Militant Christianity IS The Soul Of Christianity

Militant Christianity IS The Soul Of Christianity:

Posted in FeaturedGeneral

By Theodore Shoebat The Apostle John said, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8) Christ came to fight, and to destroy. For this reason do I say that militant Christianity is the soul of Christianity. It is an inherent part of […]

The post Militant Christianity IS The Soul Of Christianity appeared first on Walid Shoebat.

There's A Massive Disconnect Between The White House And Everyone Else

There's A Massive Disconnect Between The White House And Everyone Else:

obama staffThe past week has revealed just how the Obama administration is operating largely on its own.

Regarding the Middle East, senior US officials described the obvious "disconnect" in the president's plan for battling ISIS while others called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "chickenshit." The administration defended the president's ISIS strategy, and backed away from the insults of Netanyahu.

Within Washington, a senior Armed Services Committee staffer told Politico that the Department of Defense “and Capitol Hill are often taken by surprise at same time and on same issues” by the White House.

An egregious example involved the Obama administration failing to have Pentagon lawyers review the legislative language about training Syrian rebels before sending it to Capitol Hill. Republican staffers on the House Armed Services Committee said the language was "so sloppy that it failed to mention adequate protections against so-called 'green-on-blue' attacks by trainees on American troops."

Blame has fallen partly on the administration's National Security Council, which has beefed up to 300 members from 50 and is seen as reacting to a series of crises, as opposed to being proactive with a coherent strategy.

"There is a sense that the NSC is run a little like beehive ball soccer, where everyone storms to wherever the ball is moving around the field," one former administration official told Politico.

Furthering their perceived isolation, White House officials even joke that that US Secretary of State John Kerry is so untethered from the White House at times that he is like Sandra Bullock in "Gravity."


Basically, the only people that the White House can smile with is themselves. Even campaigning Democrats are keeping their distance from the president. 

David Rothkopf, The CEO and Editor Foreign Policy, described the perceived problems with the Obama administration in September. They included "the composition of his team; the structure of the administration; its risk-averseness and defensiveness; its tendency to be tactical and focused on the short term, rather than strategic in its approaches to problems; and the president's seeming unwillingness to devote more of himself to working with peers worldwide to shape and lead action on many big issues."

This week showed that either Rothkopf's assessment was wrong and everyone is being unfair to the White House, or it was spot on and the issues have gotten worse.

Join the conversation about this story »

How Modern Government Is Destroying the Presumption of Liberty Our Founders Cherished

How Modern Government Is Destroying the Presumption of Liberty Our Founders Cherished:

In the years following the adoption of the Constitution, before
he was Secretary of State under President Thomas Jefferson and then
president himself, James Madison, who wrote the Constitution, was a
member of the House of Representatives. During that period of his
life, he gave illuminating speeches and wrote elegant essays and
letters about human freedom.

In one of his essays, Madison noted that freedom came about in
Europe when the people rose up and cast off or intimidated tyrants,
who reluctantly granted the people the freedoms they sought. That
was, in Madison's words, "power granting liberty." The American
experience was the opposite, he argued. After we seceded from Great
Britain, the free people of the 13 independent states voluntarily
came together and through the states delegated discrete amounts of
power to a central government. That was, in Madison's words,
"liberty granting power," especially since the people reserved to
themselves the liberties they did not delegate away.

Much of the political class of the founding generation, unlike
our own, viewed the Constitution as restraining, not unleashing,
the government. They recognized along with Madison and Jefferson
that natural rights—areas of human behavior for which we do not
need a government permission slip—are truly inalienable. An
inalienable right, like speech, worship, travel, self-defense, and
privacy for example, is one that cannot be taken away by majority
vote or by legislation or by executive command. It can only be
taken away after the behavior of the person whose restraint the
government seeks has been found by a jury to have violated
another's natural rights.

This process and these guarantees are known today as the
presumption of liberty. Stated differently, because of our
recognition of natural rights, and our history, values, and written
constitutional guarantees, we in America are self-directed and free
to make our own choices. In fact, the constitutional guarantee of
due process mandates that because our individual liberty is natural
to us, it is always presumed; thus, it is always the government's
obligation to demonstrate our unworthiness of freedom to a judge
and jury before it can curtail that freedom. It is not the other
way around.

Until now.

This past week has seen disturbing events in which the
government, as if in "Alice in Wonderland" mode, has punished first
and insisted its victims prove they are unworthy of that
punishment. The IRS, for example, revealed that it has been seizing
the contents of bank accounts of folks whose taxes have been fully
paid. It has done so pursuant to a federal statute that permits
confiscation if the government detects a series of bank deposits
that appear to be structured so that a significant number of them
are below $10,000. That number triggers a bank obligation of
reporting the deposit to the feds.

The original anti-structuring statute required the feds to prove
that the structuring was done willfully so as to avoid reporting
requirements, rather than innocently or for some other not unlawful
purpose, as is often the case. After the Supreme Court reversed the
first structuring conviction that made its way there because the
feds had failed to prove it was "willful," Congress responded by
removing the word "willful"—and hence the burden of proving
willfulness—from the statute and authorizing the confiscations.
This violation of the presumption of liberty happened to more than
600 Americans last year, and fewer than 120 of them were actually
charged with a crime.

Also last week, a nurse who returned to the U.S. from western
Africa, where she had been caring for Ebola patients, was arrested
at Newark Airport on orders from the governor of New Jersey and
held in a tent in a parking lot in downtown Newark until she could
prove she was not symptomatic with Ebola. This, too, violated the
presumption of liberty. It is not she who must prove that she is
not contagious in order for her to be set free; it is the
government that must prove that she is symptomatic in order to
restrain her. When she quite properly threatened to sue those who
arrested her, they acknowledged that they had no evidence of her
contagion and released her.

What's going on here?

What's going on is the systematic governmental destruction of
the presumption of liberty in the name of public safety.
Politicians who want to appear bold and strong often ride a popular
wave and ignore the rights of their targets. And those responsible
for public safety—all of whom have taken an oath to uphold the
Constitution—have forgotten that chief among their duties is the
safekeeping of our freedoms.

Would it be easier for the government to keep us safe from money
laundering and Ebola if it could disregard the Constitution and
trample personal freedoms? Yes, it would. But who would want to
live in such a society? If the government can reverse the
presumption of liberty over appearances, what is the value of
constitutional guarantees? Whose freedom in America is safe