Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Last week the International Business Times reported:

"In their annual End of Year poll, researchers for WIN and Gallup International surveyed more than 66,000 people across 65 nations and found that 24 percent of all respondents answered that the United States 'is the greatest threat to peace in the world today.' Pakistan and China fell significantly behind the United States on the poll, with 8 and 6 percent, respectively. Afghanistan, Iran, Israel and North Korea all tied for fourth place with 4 percent."

For those of us who believe the opposite -- namely, that the United States is the world's greatest force for peace (and liberty) -- an explanation of this poll is called for.

Here is my explanation:

Much of the world's moral compass is broken. The moral north reads south and the moral south reads north. In a world of such loathsome and barbaric regimes as North Korea, Iran and Syria; with Chinese nationalism rising to chauvinistic levels under a communist dictatorship; with Russia under Vladimir Putin seeking to recreate the Soviet empire and silencing critics, sometimes through murder; with the totalitarian murderers of the Taliban about to retake much of Afghanistan; and with Islamic terror producing atrocities almost daily, it is the United States that is voted the greatest threat to peace.

Not the Chinese regime that still venerates Mao Zedong, the greatest mass murderer in history; that continues to crush Tibet, one of the world's most ancient countries and cultures; that squelches liberty and arrests and tortures dissidents; and that is engaged in a massive military buildup.

Not Iran, which is governed by a regime that has repeatedly called for the extermination of another nation; that tortures and kills dissidents on a daily basis; that is the greatest supporter of terrorist movements; and that is building a nuclear weapon.

Not the Taliban, which, when in power, gave safe haven to Osama bin Laden, the world's most lethal terrorist; which murders girls who attend school; and which murders aid workers who inoculate Afghan children against polio.

Not nuclear North Korea, the world's largest concentration camp, which regularly threatens its neighbors.

And not Islamic terror groups, the greatest murderers of innocent people in the world today.

Unfortunately, the poll results are not surprising.

First, while individual human beings do enormous good, mankind has always been morally unimpressive. In terms of moral judgment, we should expect little from the majority of the human species.

Second, the world's news media are responsible for this perception of America. Almost every major news medium on earth is either center-left or left. And the left around the world loathes America.

That the poll's results are synonymous with the left's perception of America is also shown by another result of the poll:

"A plurality of people polled in several officially American-allied nations also rated the United States as dangerous. Thirty-seven percent of Mexicans and 17 percent of Canadians view their neighboring country with suspicion on the world stage. A surprising 13 percent of American respondents rated their own nation the biggest threat to world peace as well."

Who are these Mexicans, Canadians and Americans? They are leftist Mexicans, leftist Canadians and leftist Americans.

Third, there is a morally flawed understanding of "peace." In much of the world (again, thanks to the left), peace has been so narrowly defined as to be morally irrelevant. It essentially means not having troops fighting in a foreign country. Thus, because the United States has troops fighting in Afghanistan and recently had troops fighting in Iraq, it is considered a "threat to peace." But Iran, with no troops on foreign soil, is not considered a threat to peace, even though it sustains terror movements, murders its own people, seeks to annihilate Israel, props up the mass murdering Syrian regime and is rapidly developing a nuclear weapon.

It is only according to this definition of "peace" that states like Iran, North Korea and China -- states that stay in power through violence -- are not deemed threats to peace.

Finally, here are two questions that should make clear the moral absurdity of the poll's results:

Would the world be more or less peaceful if only America disarmed?

Would the world be more or less peaceful if only America were armed?


It is widely accepted that Hispanics will become a larger share of the American electorate in the years to come.

This is a matter of simple arithmetic. Less than one-tenth of adults counted in the 2010 Census classified themselves as "Hispanic" (a term invented by the Census Bureau for the 1970 count).

But one-quarter of children were similarly classified. Many of them the offspring of illegal aliens, were born in the U.S. and thus entitled to citizenship.

It's true that Hispanics may not be as large a share of voters as is sometimes projected. There has been zero net migration from Mexico to this country since 2007, and, given advances in Mexico, immigration at the 1982-2007 levels may never resume.

In any case, Hispanics are bound to form some larger percentage of the electorate than the 10 percent recorded in the 2012 exit poll, and one that inevitably will be targeted by both parties and many candidates.

Which is why it may be helpful to expose two myths about Hispanic voters advanced by both the political right and the political left over the past few years.

One, advanced hopefully by the right, is that Hispanics are highly religious and family oriented, and as a result are natural cultural conservatives.

The picture these analysts paint looks much like 1950s Irish-American Catholics, regular Mass attenders with large families. But in fact, Hispanic rates of divorce, unmarried motherhood and single-parent families are significantly higher than among whites (though lower than among blacks).

Latin Catholicism has traditionally been more lenient on mores than traditional Irish-influenced American Catholicism; the Catholic Church has not survived for nearly 2,000 years without adapting to local terrain.

Recent polling shows that Hispanics are as accepting of same-sex marriage as most Americans and that opposition to abortion among Hispanics is higher than average only among immigrants and not among their children and grandchildren.

"Family value" themes may resonate among the one-sixth of Hispanics who are evangelical Protestants, but not so much among others.

A second myth about Hispanic voters, advanced by many on the left, but also ruefully by some on the right, is that they are big government liberals.

This finds backing in surveys where Hispanics are more likely than average to say that they favor a bigger government providing more services and less likely to favor a smaller government providing fewer services.

In the 2012 campaign, this translated into support for Obamacare. Obama campaign strategists noted that the law was unpopular among voters generally, but evoked very positive responses from Hispanics.

So the Obama campaign, generally mum on Obamacare in English, ran Obamacare spots in Spanish-language media.

The numbers seem to look different now. Since the Obamacare rollout, Gallup's numbers show that the president's job approval has declined more among Hispanics -- 23 percent -- than among any other demographic group.

If Hispanics had difficulty, like everyone else, in using the English-language Obamacare website, they had even more difficulty with the Spanish-language version, which wasn't operative at all for weeks.

Hispanics with roots in societies where government is crony-ridden and corrupt may have expected government that would be trustworthy and efficient in the United States. Hey, who doesn't want free stuff from such a government?

But practice proved different. The Obamacare rollout -- just like the government programs that encouraged home mortgages for not necessarily creditworthy Hispanics -- has not produced the favorable results they may have expected.

By my estimate, about one-third of the homeowners foreclosed on in the years just after the housing price collapse were Hispanics. Their dreams of accumulating wealth through ever-rising house prices were shattered.

And the dreams of getting subsidized health insurance through a website just as efficient as Amazon.com seem to be getting shattered too. Government in the United States is beginning to look as unreliable as government has traditionally been south of the border.

People tend to form their political attitudes over the years as they experience how political parties' policies work out in practice. People who have been voting for many years tend to have fixed attitudes because they already have plenty of experience, and one new episode doesn't usually make much difference.

Most Hispanic voters, in contrast, don't have years of experience voting in the United States. They may be more susceptible to revising their attitudes in light of recent events.

Which is to say, the Hispanic vote is up for grabs.

"Palestinian" official: Establishing a state within '67 borders only a step to destroying Israel "in stages"

From Jihad Watch / Posted by Robert Spencer

 

Click link for video... 
http://www.jihadwatch.org/2014/01/palestinian-official-establishing-at-state-within-67-borders-only-a-step-to-destroying-israel-in-sta.html

"You can't say it to the world. You can say it to yourself." We hear. And yet the useful idiots in Washington refuse to hear. "PA leader: Stages plan to eliminate Israel is basis of PA policy," by Itamar Marcus and Nan Jacques Zilberdik for Palestinian Media Watch, January 6:
Senior Palestinian official Abbas Zaki posted on his Facebook page an interview he gave to Syrian TV in which he said the PA will only agree to a treaty with Israel if the Palestinian state is established on the 1967 lines. However, he stressed that '67 lines would only be the beginning. After that, the Palestinians will continue with the stages plan:
"Even the most extreme among us, Hamas, or the fighting forces, want a state within the '67 borders. Afterward, we [will] have something to say, because the inspiring idea cannot be achieved all at once. [Rather] in stages."
Click to view

In an interview on Al-Jazeera TV in 2011, Zaki also mentioned this PA stages plan and referred to "the inspiring idea," explaining that it means the end of Israel. He said that Mahmoud Abbas shares the goal of eliminating Israel in stages, but that the PA says it only wants a state along the 1967 borders because it is unacceptable politically to say you want to destroy Israel: 
"You can't say it to the world. You can say it to yourself."
Zaki stressed that the goal is clear-cut because if Israel were to return to the 1967 lines, it certainly could not survive: "Israel will come to an end."

This is Zaki's full statement from 2011: 
"The agreement is based on the borders of June 4 [1967]. While the agreement is on the borders of June 4, the President [Mahmoud Abbas] understands, we understand, and everyone knows that it is impossible to realize the inspiring idea, or the great goal in one stroke. If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, if Israel uproots the settlements, 650,000 settlers, if Israel removes the (security) fence - what will be with Israel? Israel will come to an end. If I say that I want to remove it from existence, this will be great, great, [but] it is hard. This is not a [stated] policy. You can't say it to the world. You can say it to yourself."
[Official PA TV, Sept. 23, 2011]

Expressing his refusal to recognize Israel earlier this year during a public lecture, Abbas Zaki started to refer to Israel's Ben Gurion Airport as "Israel's Airport," but then stopped himself and corrected himself: 
"When Mr. Obama came to the region during his visit, as soon as he arrived at the airport of Isra... [corrects himself], I mean, the airport where the Israelis are. I don't want... [corrects himself] this whole country is ours, and Allah willing, the airport will also return to us."...

Op-ed:
Economic inequality...the repackaging of income redistribution                                                                    
By: Diane Sori  

Unfortunately with the Democrats currently the stewards of our economy due to their strangle-hold on the Senate, 'income inequality'...the newly packaged same old tired 'income redistribution' rhetoric...is once again taking center stage as Barack HUSSEIN Obama tries to gloss over and divert our attention away from his disastrous roll out of ObamaCare... ObamaCare complete with all its website failures, lost coverage due to policy cancellations, premium hikes, and totally unacceptable raises in deductible outlays.

Leaving Michelle and the kids behind in Hawaii...to spend even more of our hard-earned taxpayer dollars on their narcissistic selves...Obama is back in DC and first on his agenda is putting pressure on Congress to pass an emergency extension of unemployment insurance for the 1.3 million Americans who lost their benefits at the end of 2013.

And his buddy 'Prince' Harry Reid will aid him by trying to clear away the now in place legislative block to do so. But as with everything this current crew of Democrats do, this move is just to pander and play to their base, and to garner much needed Democratic votes for the upcoming mid-term elections. Remember, the monstrosity that is ObamaCare has shaken the base...has even caused some to desert the base...so what better way to bring them back into the fold and assure themselves of votes than to extend benefits instead of actually fixing the problem as they should do. Instead they want to create even more people relying on federal entitlements and benefits for their economic survival... creating even more people who will NOT bite the Democratic hand that feeds them.

And in that quest Obama and crew will also shove back in our faces his old standby touch point of redistribution of wealth, but now like I said above it's been reworded and repackaged into income inequality. Besides rousing the base, and with these words repeated ad-nauseum in the media (as per Obama's orders), Obama is counting on this rhetoric to win support and loyalty to the party from middle-class Americans who, thanks to media indoctrination, still worry that only the rich are getting richer.

But what Obama does NOT understand...or more likely just chooses to ignore...is that all his rantings about income inequality is just smoke and mirrors, because income inequality is NOTHING but his way of trying to rationalize redistributing our wealth. But by redistributing wealth what he is actually doing is taking money away from the middle and lower class, as the monies garnered would actually come from our payroll taxes NOT from the 'supposedly' rich themselves.

Economic inequality...the gap between rich and poor...is NOT really the problem for there will always be rich people just like there will always be poor people as there should be otherwise communism would be the economic reality. The true problem is that if we continue to subsidize those poor who...with their Obama-phones in hand...are only poor because they refuse to work but who still want...who still demand...all that we have, we will continue on as we are and the status-quo will NOT change. And with the left continuing to claim that a middle class with more cash to spend would stimulate both economic growth and job creation, you just know we are in for a fight as stimulus spending as a problem solver simply does NOT work.

And anyway, rich vs. poor in America is somewhat of a misnomer, because while the rich work or have worked for what they have, the poor have become comfortable getting all the freebies and handouts they deem they are entitled to simply because they are poor. And that comfortable existence will NOT change as long as they keep voting for the Democrats who are actually doing them the most harm by allowing them to exist and live off a parasitic government relationship.

Now don't go off the deep end here for I obviously do NOT mean the truly poor or the sick for every society must take care of those who cannot take care of themselves. Those of whom I speak you all know of well...those whose mere existence is driven forward by their 'gimme gimme...you owe me' mentality.

And sadly, Barack HUSSEIN Obama will add fuel to the fire of his self-made inequality campaign as he tries to force the Senate into raising the minimum wage. And his bloviatings will start with his soon to come State of the Union Address... which by the way I can save us all the annoyance of watching by summing up the State of the Union as it currently exists in two little words...it stinks.

Bottom line...to help the poor the one thing that should NOT be done is to raise the minimum wage for minimum wage jobs are NOT supposed to be forever jobs. Being that minimum wage jobs for the most part are low-skill jobs in retail and personal service, with many being part time jobs created to be summer jobs for kids home from college...created to be jobs filled by the mentally challenged... created to be jobs taken as 'fillers' while one looks for a better job...the one thing minimum wage jobs were NEVER created to be is a career.

And so by raising the minimum wage pay scale you take away the incentive to do better...to strive for what others have but getting it by yourself. But Democrats being what they are they will push and push hard for this raise just to assure themselves that those who benefit from this raise will happily vote Democratic in eleven short months. And they will focus their efforts on locking in the Southern states of North Carolina, Louisiana, and Arkansas all of which have above-average numbers of those paid at or below minimum wage...those they hope will sell their souls to the Democratic party in exchange for a few dollars more in their paychecks.

And the job gains numbers the Obama administration tries to herald as a proven success of his economic policies are anything but, for one indisputable fact is that when the majority of jobs created continue to be low-wage, low-skill jobs, that is NOT something we need to be proud of nor see as a solution to America's economic problems, especially when the majority of people out of work are anything but minimum wage earners.

So if Congress lets Barack HUSSEIN Obama continue on his oh-so-obvious path to the economic destruction of America, the only thing we will see in the end is the rich falling to the level of the poor instead of the poor aiming to be at the level of the rich. And that's truly sad because with hard work and determination anything is possible...and possible without the government leading you by the hand.