Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Who Are Obama's Real Enablers? 

By: David Limbaugh  / Townhall Columnist

Who Are Obama's Real Enablers?
I was reading the Old Testament book of Amos a few days ago and was reminded that liberation theologians get much comfort from that prophet's decrying the mistreatment of the poor.

At about the same time, I read a piece by a brilliant conservative analyst with whom I sometimes disagree who was arguing that some conservatives don't take the formidable Barack Obama seriously enough and, in effect, give him cover with their over-the-top depictions of Obama as a Marxist and worse. He erroneously assumes that these supposedly hyperbolic characterizations are motivated by greed (stirring up audiences yields more revenues) and, in any event, only serve to enable Obama.

Please stick with me; I will tie these first two paragraphs together before I'm finished.

I agree with the analyst to some extent. In fact, I have long argued that President Obama is not "The Amateur" some paint him as. He is quite competent on big-picture items and is advancing his agenda even if he doesn't have a clue about the details, most of which he doesn't want to be bothered with, anyway.

Obama never did produce a health care reform bill, but the name "Obamacare" will forever credit him with that bill's coming into law, as well it should. But do you remember Obama's rambling, incoherent, embarrassingly nonsensical 2,600-word response to a woman named Doris at a health care forum about cutting medical costs?

Obama also seems to be a virtual economics illiterate. But that doesn't keep him from getting away with expanding the government, spending trillions of borrowed dollars and taxing major producers into oblivion.

The disastrous results of his policies didn't prevent him from being reelected.

Obama's style of governance can best be understood by his frustrated command regarding the hole responsible for the Gulf Oil Spill: "Just plug the damn hole." But that doesn't mean he should be taken lightly.

While I agree with many of the unnamed analyst's points about Obama, I disagree with some of the lessons he draws.

I agree that some of the claims about Obama have enhanced his credibility by making the accusers seem unserious. But I don't think calling attention to his extremism and labeling it as such falls into that category.

It seems that this particular conservative analyst and a number of others are saying we need to recognize that Obama is not so much a radical, but more of a European-type socialist who is also weak on defense.

Well, I'm not sure how much substantive difference there is between a European socialist and a dictatorial Marxist. But putting that question aside, I think there is more danger in sanitizing Obama's radicalism than there is in potentially overstating it.

Part of the reason Obama has been able to succeed, including in his reelection effort, is that the overly cautious types on our side insist on pulling their punches in criticizing him. If Mitt Romney's campaign proved anything, it proved that.

Just when Romney had Obama on the ropes, he not only let him back into the center of the ring, but he quit throwing punches altogether and just offered up his chin. Similarly, congressional Republicans can't successfully navigate their budget battles with Obama if they're constantly giving him the benefit of the doubt and assuming (and asserting), against the evidence, that he is dealing in good faith.

If our side had been as relentless in pointing out Obama's substantive radicalism as Obama and the left have been in falsely demonizing Republicans, I dare say we could have defeated him in 2012.

Obama is not just a garden-variety liberal who wants to nudge America's political pendulum left of center. He has told us from the beginning and has now proved that he intends to fundamentally transform America.

Nor is he motivated by ideological liberalism alone. He holds grudges, from race to capitalism to who knows what else.

This is where we tie the first two paragraphs together. Obama was demonstrably lying when he said he didn't hear and approve of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's racist black liberation theology sermons for 20 years. He has not only established that with his books and his past four years in office, but also in the church he frequents most often today.

Check out the sermon Obama chose to hear on Easter Sunday from Rev. Luis Leon, who decried that "the captains of the religious right are always calling us back, back, back. For blacks to be in the back of the bus, for women to be back in the kitchen, for gays to be in the closet, and for ... immigrants to be on their side of the border."

It is not those pointing out Obama's radicalism who are his primary enablers, but those who are naively downplaying it.
Guns Save Lives
By: Thomas Sowell / Townhall Columnist
Guns Save Lives
We all know that guns can cost lives because the media repeat this message endlessly, as if we could not figure it out for ourselves. But even someone who reads newspapers regularly and watches numerous television newscasts may never learn that guns also save lives-- much less see any hard facts comparing how many lives are lost and how many are saved.

But that trade-off is the real issue, not the Second Amendment or the National Rifle Association, which so many in the media obsess about. If guns cost more lives than they save, we can always repeal the Second Amendment. But if guns save more lives than they cost, we need to know that, instead of spending time demonizing the National Rifle Association.

The defensive use of guns is usually either not discussed at all in the media or else is depicted as if it means bullets flying in all directions, like the gunfight at the OK Corral. But most defensive uses of guns do not involve actually pulling the trigger.

If someone comes at you with a knife and you point a gun at him, he is very unlikely to keep coming, and far more likely to head in the other direction, perhaps in some haste, if he has a brain in his head. Only if he is an idiot are you likely to have to pull the trigger. And if he is an idiot with a knife coming after you, you had better have a trigger to pull.

Surveys of American gun owners have found that 4 to 6 percent reported using a gun in self-defense within the previous five years. That is not a very high percentage but, in a country with 300 million people, that works out to hundreds of thousands of defensive uses of guns per year.

Yet we almost never hear about these hundreds of thousands of defensive uses of guns from the media, which will report the killing of a dozen people endlessly around the clock.

The murder of a dozen innocent people is unquestionably a human tragedy. But that is no excuse for reacting blindly by preventing hundreds of thousands of other people from defending themselves against meeting the same fate.

Although most defensive uses of guns do not involve actually shooting, nevertheless the total number of criminals killed by armed private citizens runs into the thousands per year. A gun can also come in handy if a pit bull or some other dangerous animal is after you or your child.

We need to recognize the painful reality that, regardless of what we do or don't do about gun control laws, there will be innocent people killed by guns. We can then look at hard facts in order to decide how we can minimize the number of needless deaths.

But that is not the way the issue is presented by many in politics or the media. Every story about an accidental shooting in the home will be repeated again and again, while a thousand stories about lives saved by defensive uses of a gun will never see the light of day in most newspapers or on most television newscasts.

More children may die in bathtub accidents than in shooting accidents, but you are not likely to read that in most newspapers or see it on television newscasts. Some in the media inflate the number of children killed by counting as children the members of criminal teenage gangs who shoot each other in their turf fights.

Many seize upon statistics which show that Britain has stronger gun control laws than the United States and lower murder rates. Yet they ignore other countries with stronger gun control laws than the United States, but which have much higher murder rates, such as Brazil, Russia and Mexico.

Even in the case of Britain, London had a much lower murder rate than New York during the years after New York State's 1911 Sullivan Law imposed very strict gun control, while anyone could buy a shotgun in London with no questions asked in the 1950s.

Today, virtually the entire law-abiding population of Britain is disarmed-- and gun crimes are vastly more common. Gun control laws make crime a safer occupation when victims are unarmed.

The gun control crusade today is like the Prohibition crusade 100 years ago. It is a shared zealotry that binds the self-righteous know-it-alls in a warm fellowship of those who see themselves as fighting on the side of the angels against the forces of evil. It is a lofty role that they are not about to give up for anything so mundane as facts-- or even the lives of other people.
Op-ed:
And the bellicose rhetoric from Kim Jong-un continues...
By: Diane Sori

This past weekend North Korea (full name: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea) again tried to play the shell game of who holds the upper hand when they stated, “we are at war with the South.”

South Korea, their long time nemesis who they constantly refer to as a puppet of the US, heard these familiar words repeated yet again, and hopefully like all the times before this is just more grandiose posturing and 'face-saving' from the North's man-child 'Supreme Leader' Kim Jong-un. However, the reality is that the two Korea's have always technically remained at war, as the Korean War ended with a U(seless) N(ations) brokered agreement that suspended hostilities on the peninsula but ended it as an armistice instead of with a much needed peace treaty.

These war words were broadcast by the official Korean Central News Agency and were issued jointly by the North's government, ruling party, and other so-called 'official' organizations. Saying, "...as of now, inter-Korea relations enter a state of war and all matters between the two Korea's will be handled according to wartime protocol" the powers that be in DC do take these threats, like always, somewhat seriously (or so they say), but stress that the North has a long history of bloviating war rhetoric. And with tensions throughout the region running high since Kim Jong-un successfully completed a third nuclear weapons test in February, the shifting shell game just entered a new phase.

State media also reported that Kim Jong-un “judged the time has come to settle accounts with the US imperialists.” North Korea's leaders have always liked to hear themselves blow hot air against both the South and the US, and they did it again last week when Kim Jong-un ordered missiles to be ready to strike the US mainland and military bases at a moments notice after expressing outrage over two nuclear-capable stealth bombers that flew alongside South Korean forces over the Korean peninsula.  Kim Jong-un also had all communications hotlines with the South, with US forces, and with the U(seless) N(ations) dismantled as well as having fired a volley of short-range missiles into the Sea of Japan.

But they can threaten all they want as the reality is that there really is little damage they could do to the US mainland as North Korea’s most advanced missiles are thought to be able to reach only as far as Alaska. But they could inflict tremendous damage on South Korea through the sheer number of their 'million+ man army' by launching 500,000 rounds of ammunition on the South within the first hour of an attack (Seoul is less than 200 miles from Pyongyang) as well as with their medium-range Rodong missiles (which have a range of about 800 miles) that could reach US bases in the South and in Japan as well.

Now add into this that Kim Jong-un has once again threatened to shut down the Kaesong Zone, a factory complex that's the last vestige of inter-Korean cooperation which gives the North access to $2 billion dollars in trade a year. Shutting down this complex would also trap hundreds of South Koreans who work at the 100+ firms that have factories there.

But the game continues as the question is why would Kim Jong-un want to trap them...what purpose would that serve. I'll tell you what purpose...they would be used as bargaining chips...hostages if you will...to extort both money from the South, and a removal of the U(seless) N(ations) sanctions against them, the newest of which is specifically targeting cash transfers. Sanctions that are hard to fight leaving them with what options...threatening war...unleashing more cyberattacks against the US...or worse...terrorist attacks carried out by their special operations forces.

The thought of that is chilling, because with North Korea being such a secretive country we don't know exactly what they have in their arsenal of 'nasties' and what they don't.
 
However, this complex and its factories have been shut down before and then re-opened after previous threats proved to be nothing but empty words...empty words and veiled threats by the North to totally dismantle the complex and nothing more.  As such, this is seen as a sign that the North will NOT risk this guaranteed much needed source of foreign revenue by starting an actual military play against the South or against the US.

But adding a bit of drama-queen theatrics to the game, like most bloviating dictators like to do, is the words that any military provocation from South Korea or the US near the North-South land or sea border would result "in a full-scale conflict and a nuclear war.” But the question is how would they deliver such a weapon as they do NOT yet have the capability to mount a warhead on a deliverable rocket...or do they...as remember who their allies are...China, Russia, and the ever unstable Iran...and China and Russia do indeed have deliverable rocket capability.

And as the US continues to put pressure on China to reign North Korea in, China has called for restraint from the North for even they see the deliberate upswing in saber rattling emanating from a not-quite-all there man-child, and they also voted for the recent round of sanctions against North Korea.

China finally got something right simply because it's in their best interest to do so for the fact is that if the economic sanctions do work and food becomes even more scarce than it already is, China will be faced with millions of Korean refuges crossing their border, and that is something they do NOT want nor can afford to have happen.

And even Russia has now chimed in with Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov saying, "We can simply see the situation getting out of control.” Out of control for sure, something that would NOT be good for them as Russia's monetary resources are already stretched thin with all the military aid and such they are expending in the Middle East. Russia is NOT the giant the old Soviet Union was and they cannot afford to have to police and support two unstable powder-keg areas of the world.

And now we have ratcheted up the game even more as we just sent two F-16 bombers to the Korean peninsula along with a Navy ballistic defense destroyer capable of shooting down any missiles the North might launch, and we positioned it right off shore.

So the shell game continues as the shells keep getting moved back and forth with us never knowing what's really under the one being moved around by the hand of a bloviating man-child who has his finger on a nuclear button.