Saturday, March 15, 2014

5 Structural Problems That Are Destroying America  
John Hawkins / Townhall Columnist
The biggest fallacy in politics is that we need "another Reagan" or more "Tea Partiers" in Congress if we want to save the country.
Granted, either would certainly help, but America's structural problems are much bigger than any personnel issues we have in D.C. Even if you're an extremely talented craftsman, you're going to have trouble building a house if the only materials you're allowed to work with are sand and straw. It wouldn't matter if Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, and Kevin Durant were all on the same basketball team if they were only allowed to put three players on the court at a time. If you're trying to build the world's largest farm in the middle of the Sahara Desert, it probably isn't going to matter if you have state of the art equipment.

We have the ability to fix every problem that's confronting us as a nation, but until we stop making cosmetic changes and start addressing the underlying, intractable issues that are ruining the country, we're unlikely to make a lot of progress.

1) Insufficient Turnover In Congress: Because of gerrymandering, political polarization, and a lack of term limits, Congress has turned into a stagnant pond. In most states and districts, that notorious Third World dictum (One man, one vote, one time) has become the rule. Unless a politician upsets his own side's interest groups or gets caught up in a major scandal, an election to Congress is likely to last until a politician is ready to retire to a beach somewhere. Career politicians produce bad outcomes for the country. Members of Congress make draconian laws because they don't expect to have to live under them as citizens. Additionally, politicians who view being members of Congress as their "jobs" are likely to feel very comfortable selling out the country to special interest groups because they contribute to their campaigns and it benefits them personally. As a practical matter, we've gotten to the point where there's not much difference between most members of Congress and nobles from 500 years ago who ruled because of their family names and given that, it's no surprise that many of them "rule" just as poorly.

2) A Broken Education System: The primary goal of our education is not to educate our students; it's to sustain the teachers’ unions and fatten the bank accounts of the college professors and administrators at our universities. This is why the education establishment hates private schools, school vouchers, and charter schools, even though they do a better job of educating students than our public school system. It's also why, as Mike Rowe likes to say, "We are lending money we don't have to kids who can't pay it back to train them for jobs that no longer exist." In a time when low-skill jobs are being replaced by automation and sent overseas, the quality of our high school education is inferior in most ways to what it was a couple of generations ago while the price of our college education has skyrocketed. In a world where the economy is increasingly centered around high-skill jobs, our education system is a recipe for decay.

3) Unsustainable Spending: It is quite literally impossible to pay off the debt our nation owes along with the commitment we've made to our own citizens via Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security unless inflation dramatically reduces the value of our currency which would erode savings, drive cost-of-living expenses into the stratosphere and generally decimate the economy. Meanwhile, taking even the mildest steps to safeguard the future of Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid has proven to be almost impossible in the current political environment. As a practical matter, this means our country is headed towards bankruptcy or runaway inflation so bad that we might as well be bankrupt. The tragedy of this is that there is no issue more important to our nation's future, but that has been said so often that most people's eyes glaze over when you talk about the subject. Sadly, our nation will probably have to start going over the falls before everyone agrees that we have to start paddling in the other direction and by then, it will be too late.

4) Our Immigration Policies: An ideal immigration policy would be based on merit, would focus on adding highly skilled immigrants, would be easily adjustable, wouldn't change the demographics of our country and would be simple and inexpensive for law-abiding immigrants. Our current system meets none of these requirements. Instead, we have a system that for all practical matters favors a law-breaking 17 year old from Mexico with a third grade education over a British neurosurgeon or a German engineer. Moreover, at times like these, when so many Americans are out of work, it's worth asking whether it makes sense to be bringing in any new citizens. That's not a slam on immigrants because we have a lot of hard-working entrepreneurs who came here because they saw America as a land of opportunity; it's an acknowledgement of the most basic fact of immigration: the whole purpose of it is to benefit people who are already American citizens. Bringing in uneducated ditch-diggers who'll never pay income tax doesn't benefit most Americans. Intentionally changing the demographics of the country doesn't benefit most Americans. Rewarding lawbreakers who come into the country illegally doesn't benefit most Americans. Bringing in more than a million a new immigrants a year when there are less people working today than there were seven years ago doesn't benefit most Americans. Immigration could be America's greatest strength, but our poorly designed system makes no sense. No business could survive if it brought in the same number of new employees every year, regardless of qualifications or need, then added everyone who could sneak into its lobby onto the payroll. Long term, our nation isn't much different than that business.

5) An Overly-Progressive Tax System: America doesn't have the highest taxes in the Western world, but it does have the most progressive tax system in the Western world. As a practical matter, what this means is that we have large numbers of Americans voting on whether others should pay more taxes in order to give them things. This is a recipe for disaster because it penalizes the most successful Americans, makes it more difficult to get ahead, discourages investment and job growth, and encourages massive spending in order to produce very marginal benefits. Put another way, "if you rob Peter to pay Paul, you can be pretty sure of getting Paul’s vote." Meanwhile, as we've learned during the Obama era, even after Paul ends up with Peter's cash, he'll still be screaming that he's not paying his "fair share." That's not a recipe for a happy society, a growing economy or a small, efficient government.

Now you're gonna have to answer to the Coca-Cola company, Mr. Obama.

OK, maybe not Coke, but, you’ll have to answer to today’s bubbly equivalent, which can also rot you from the inside out: Facebook.

Yeah. So be warned

“Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg called President Barack Obama Wednesday night to complain about U.S. government actions that are undermining trust in the Internet,” reports Politico, “after a report that described how the National Security Agency posed as a Facebook server to inject malicious software into targets’ computers.”

I wonder if Zuck’s voice broke when he talked to Obama. I wonder if Obama spoke without a teleprompter.

But mostly I wonder why Zuckerberg even bothered.

This is the NSA after all. The social media moth turned into a butterfly could have had the same conversation with Obama from the privacy of his commode without even picking up the phone.

“We’re the NSA, and we’re listening.”


“When our engineers work tirelessly to improve security, we imagine we’re protecting you against criminals, not our own government,” Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post Thursday according to Politico. “The U.S. government should be the champion for the internet, not a threat. They need to be much more transparent about what they’re doing, or otherwise people will believe the worst.”

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We believe the worst, because that's what we have come to expect from leaders in business and politics. And that’s because you’re not protecting us from our own government, Zuck.

You’re in bed with them.

Does anyone else find it ironic that a company that helped massage data for Obama’s reelection—a company that essentially spied on its customers for political purposes-- suddenly has found a conscience about Internet privacy?

Welcome to the Party pal… er, party.

Where have you been?

Oh, that’s right: You’ve been spying on your customers.

From Facebook:

We studied the group of people who changed their status from "Single" to "In a relationship" and also stated an anniversary date as the start of their relationship. During the 100 days before the relationship starts, we observe a slow but steady increase in the number of timeline posts shared between the future couple. When the relationship starts ("day 0"), posts begin to decrease. We observe a peak of 1.67 posts per day 12 days before the relationship begins, and a lowest point of 1.53 posts per day 85 days into the relationship. Presumably, couples decide to spend more time together, courtship is off, and online interactions give way to more interactions in the physical world

Hey, Facebook? Do you wanna get out of my bedroom?

Or are you too busy protecting us from “abusive” content that criticizes the administration and liberals in general.

I write five columns per week, or maybe more on occasion.

Every one of them makes it to Facebook.

And many of them are called “abusive” by Facebook, especially recently.

That’s because someone’s feeling get hurt when I say mean things about Obama, Jack Lew, global warmers and, heaven forbid! the Chevy Volt.

There are 739 Chevy Volt owners in the United States without ties to the federal government. And every time I write an article about the Volt’s failures I hear from every one of these owners.

“The Volt happens to be one of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the road today,” goes a real-life, emailed example, “and it is American ingenuity that build this car - not Japanese or European. It's American engineered, mostly American parts, built in America.”

The only American ingenuity that counts in my opinion is profitable ingenuity. And that's not the Chevy Volt.

And that’s the new tyranny here in the heart of our Republic.

It’s the key to the Pinkos governance model.

When you make subjective things a crime- like in this case hurting someone’s feelings about the Volt not being the best car ever designed-- you obviously can’t prosecute every miscreant. But you can prosecute the miscreants you don’t like-- which process Facebook has automated to select conservatives.

It’s censorship by arrogant means. It’s also prosecutorial discretion, which as I have observed at other times, is the way to create a tyranny in the United States while retaining the patina of “freedom.”

And it’s the sleight of hand that allows Tim Geithner and Tom Daschle to make a “mistake” on their tax return, rather than commit a crime; Lois Lerner to plead the Fifth rather than no-contest; some illegal immigrants to qualify for Obamacare, while some get sent back to Mexico for the day.

It’s what ails us.

And above all of it are guys like Zuckerberg and Obama, who are very selective about their indignation.

Welcome to the Party, Zuck.

They both take cash, checks or credit cards, for your convenience.

The hypocrisy is thrown in for free.

But you already knew that.

While Barack Hussein Obama, John McCain, and Hillary Clinton joyously welcomed al-Jazeera to America, Saudi Arabia joins Egypt in kicking them out

Al-JazbannedinEgypt.jpgBare Naked Islam


Saudi Arabia has shuttered the local al-Jazeera office over its home country Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood. At the heart of the dispute, is Qatar’s affiliation with the terror-linked Muslim Brotherhood, also banned by Saudi Arabia last Friday, because of Qatari opposition to the likely future president of Egypt, Field Marshall Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who came to power in a peoples’ revolution which ousted Mohamed Morsi last summer.


ajhandresized UK Independent (h/t Jim Y) The Saudis, UAE, and Bahrain are in confrontation with Qatar over it’s support for jihadi rebels in Syria and its satellite television station’s willingness to provide a platform for critics of the Gulf monarchs and their allies. Saudi Arabia intends to close the local office of the Qatari-owned al Jazeera satellite television station in the latest episode in the escalating conflict in which the Saudis, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain are in confrontation with Qatar, say local media.


Riyadh and Doha now differ on almost every aspect of foreign policy, notably Qatar’s support for jihadi rebels in Syria and al Jazeera’s willingness to provide a television platform for critics of the Gulf monarchs and their allies.


Al-Jazeera-AmericaSo far Saudi Arabia has not had any success in forcing Qatar to the same political line as the more conservative Gulf states. Gestures such as a withdrawal of the Saudi, Bahraini, UAE and Egyptian ambassadors from Qatar is likely to be ineffectual. Doha remains the base for the Muslim Brotherhood and its spiritual guide, Sheikh Youssef al-Qaradawi, who strongly criticised the UAE authorities after they had jailed dozens of Muslim Brotherhood members.


Qatar’s ruler, Sheikh Tamim al-Thani, is unlikely to bow to Saudi demands that would limit his country’s independence. But the Saudis have implied that they could step up the pressure on him by economic sanctions such as restrictions on use of air space and land borders.


al-jazeera-waging-jihad-1-article-at-a-timeIt is unclear how far Saudi Arabia is reordering its foreign and domestic policy by opposing radical Islamic movements and labelling almost all of them as “terrorists”. Under a new decree, any Saudi who fights in a foreign conflict could face 20-30 years in prison as will those supporting them. There are believed to be between 1,000 and 2,000 Saudis fighting in Syria and it is unlikely they will all be detained when they return home.


The Saudi state is also engaged in a project to support a new offensive by rebels in southern Syria and is reported to be offering the rebel fighters anti-aircraft missiles.


Saudi policy remains ambivalent, despite the recent rush of repressive legislation at home and a greater emphasis on diplomacy over military action in dealing with Syria. Saudi preachers on satellite TV continue to call for anti-Shia jihad in Syria.


Click here to see video...                                                                            


What the media won't say about the 2 Iranians on Flight 370
By: Diane Sori

OK folks...2 Iranians fly to Malaysia NOT from their home country of Iran but from Qatar to go to China to seek asylum in Germany...makes a lot of sense doesn't it. 

It appears the two men boarded a flight in Doha, Qatar, using their Iranian passports and flew to Kuala Lumpur. There they got two passports that were stolen in Thailand in 2012, used them to buy the one-way tickets to China but if Germany was their destination why go to China, and don't you think China would know the passports were false as one of the passports was that of an Austrian Christian and these two men looked anything but European.

So while the media keeps saying these two are 'sweet innocent NO ties to terrorist young people'...they are anything but. And why are we believing the story from the 'supposed' mother in Germany...just saying this STINKS as these two are involved and the media refuses to say it.

Could it be that in Obama and Kerry...are so afraid to 'upset' the Iranians for fear the Geneva Agreement would fall apart...I say let it as it is anything but a disarmament agreement anyway.

The missing plane...a mystery of a different kind
By: Diane Sori

"This is beginning to come together to say that...this had to have been some sort of deliberate act and not a catastrophic failure."         - ABC News aviation analyst John Nance
As the search area now encompasses the Gulf of Thailand, the South China Sea, the Strait of Malacca, the Andaman Sea, and the Indian Ocean...the game of who knows what...who's hiding what...and why was it done (if indeed the plane was hijacked) continues on. But in play are 239 human lives...lives I believe are still with us and will be used as bargaining chips at some later time....minus the three NOT quite 'kosher' passengers two of whom were Iranians with stolen passports and one-way tickets, and a Chinese Uighur muslim man with flight simulation training.

The mysterious disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370...a Boeing 777-200... grows stranger with each passing hour, but it now seems more and more likely that this plane is NOT missing per se, but is on the ground in some foreign some muslim country...possibly to be used to mimic the events of September 11, 2001.

Taking the plane to Pakistan or Iran to be used against the U.S. or more likely Tel-Aviv at some later date (it's closer and plays into Iran's nefarious wish for Israel quite well) now seems to be gaining credence as just released military radar data "suggests" the missing plane was "deliberately" flown off course. And with this plane needing only 3600 feet to land, it could land just about anywhere as leftover landing strips from WWII are all over the general area being searched, as are the airstrips of rouge nations.

Deliberately flown off course, for while the transponders (basically a radio transmitter working with ground radar to communicate with air traffic controllers to identify the aircraft's speed, altitude, and position) stopped working during the flight...and it's been confirmed that they were manually shut off in sequence as the plane veered off course while continuing to travel on for four to five hours on a flight path that's normally used for Middle East destinations. And according to experts, the so-called 'pings' that we've all been hearing about came from the plane's Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), and were transmitted to satellites after the transponders stopped sending signals by connecting to satellites via 'handshake' links...sort of like a cell phone network searching for its customer.

Now the pieces of the puzzle are starting to take shape...the transponders were shutdown manually one by one as opposed to suddenly which would be the case with a crash...two Iranians with stolen passports and one-way tickets, and a Chinese Uighur muslim who had flight simulation training were on board...the plane was deliberately taken off course and we know traveled on for said four to five hours based on the 'pings' picked-up...and the plane still has NOT been located even though if it had lost power and crashed investigators would have been able to calculate its location within about 100 miles based on its trajectory.

Now add in the fact that even after the plane lost contact with ground control it made sharp changes in altitude climbing up to 45,000 feet (roughly a mile higher than the approved altitude limit for this type of plane) then abruptly descended to 23,000 feet (which is below normal cruising levels) as it approached the Malaysian island of Penang (based upon signals recorded by two radar stations, one at the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s Butterworth base on the peninsula’s west coast and the other at Kota Bharu on the northeast coast)...then turned from a southwest- bound course to a northwest bound course over the Strait of Malacca and out towards the Indian Ocean.

And with this changing in altitude and course it most likely means that the plane was still under the command and control of the pilot or that someone was turning the autopilot on and off.
But then the plane descended, and the question becomes descended to what...and of course to where.

So did someone try to hijack the plane but found it too difficult... that would also account for the altitude changes...but did they finally succeed and gain control of the plane and take it 'under the radar' to some (un)friendly country...or did the plane plunge into the sea way off course from where it should be, possibly landing whole, but then as days went by did it sink to the bottom of the ocean.
So why can't we or the Chinese find the plane...or has it already been found with that information being deliberately kept from the public for obvious yet nefarious purposes. Quite possibly, as yesterday afternoon out of the blue Obama mouthpiece Jay Carney goes on TV and announces that the NTSB and the White House will NOT issue any more statements concerning the US made missing plane.

And that in and of itself brings us back to the strong possibility of this being a hijacking...the conclusion I have held since day one. Remember also that there were 20 highly skilled electrical engineers on the plane (something NOT being reported on by the media)...engineers who were experts in the very weaponry that allows planes and ships to 'disappear' in NOT being visible on radar.

And could one or more of the engineers have been in cahoots with a hijacker(s) and helped take the plane to Iran or Pakistan under the radar. Now think about this...two Iranians on board...Iranians who hate Israel enough to hijack a plane and use it against them in the NOT too far future...a definite possibility.

So with a catastrophic or mechanical event now being ruled out by most experts...including a breech in the plane's outer layer that would have resulted in a loss of oxygen...and because NO mayday signals were sent out...the Malaysian government has issued a statement saying this appears likely to have been a hijacking with possible corresponding sabotage. 
And with the last words from the flight crew being "All right, good night" the mystery of Flight 370 gets weirder with each passing day as we continue to focus on it which takes our attention off all things Obama...and you just know how happy he is about that.