Sunday, February 1, 2015

When Democrats talk about middle class Americans, they almost inevitably use them as a cudgel to attack the rich. On the other hand, bizarrely, Republicans seem to spend much more time defending the rich from attacks by the Left than talking about what they’re going to do to help the middle class.

That’s unfortunate because middle class Americans are the backbone of the country; yet their interests always seem to take a backseat to those of the wealthy, the poor and the naked self-interest of BOTH political parties. There’s nothing wrong with giving the poor a hand-up or making sure that the rich are treated fairly, but looking after the interests of America’s middle class should be priority #1 for both parties.

Instead of treating the interests of the middle class as a star for both parties to follow to take this country into the future, they’ve been getting screwed over.


1) Obamacare: The Affordable Care Act was portrayed as a panacea that benefits everyone, but what it actually does is punch middle class Americans in the teeth in order to help people with pre-existing conditions who didn’t already have insurance. At this point, everyone knows Barack Obama lied when he said you could keep your doctor. People also know he lied when he said you could keep your insurance. Millions of middle class small business owners have already lost their insurance and tens of millions of Americans will lose their insurance because of the employer mandate. However, the most devastating lie to the middle class was Obama’s false claim that the ACA would save the average family of four $2,500 a year in premiums. Instead, premiums skyrocketed by as much as 78% for some groups and there were $643 billion in new taxes, penalties and fees” to cover the $50,000 a head it’s costing Americans to pay for each person who gets on Obamacare. If you are a middle class American whose salary stayed the same, chances are health care costs alone have made you feel as if you’re being dragged backward.

2) Soaring College Prices: Even though median household income has declined ACROSS THE BOARD for Americans in all income groups since 2000, the price of a college education rose at 7.45% per year from 1978 to 2011. Parents are digging into their savings and their kids are coming out of school deeply in debt. The average student loan debt in 2013 was $29,400. Where’s the push by either party for more rigorous work schedules for professors at public universities, reductions in their inflated salaries or a drawback on the administrative bloat? The middle class is drowning in debt to put their kids through school and nobody seems to care.
The horrors of the Holocaust are hardly a distant memory; after all, the survivors present and who paid their respects this past week at Auschwitz prove it was less than a lifetime ago.

But the reprieve of open and unabashed Jew-hating following the Shoah, according to syndicated columnist Charles Krauthammer, has finally ended. In Europe, he argues, it is once again fashionable and socially tolerable to hate Jewish people:
Amid the ritual expressions of regret and the pledges of “never again” on Tuesday’s 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, a bitter irony was noted: Anti-Semitism has returned to Europe. With a vengeance. 
It has become routine. If the kosher-grocery massacre in Paris hadn’t happened in conjunction with Charlie Hebdo, how much worldwide notice would it have received?
As little as did the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse.
As little as did the terror attack that killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels.
The rise of European anti-Semitism is in reality just a return to the norm. For a millennium, virulent Jew-hatred — persecution, expulsions, massacres — was the norm in Europe until the shame of the Holocaust created a temporary anomaly wherein anti-Semitism became socially unacceptable.
The hiatus is over. Jew-hatred is back, recapitulating the past with impressive zeal. Italians protesting Gaza handed out leaflets calling for a boycott of Jewish merchants. As in the 1930s. A widely popular French comedian has introduced a variant of the Nazi salute. In Berlin, Gaza brought out a mob chanting, “Jew, Jew, cowardly pig, come out and fight alone!” Berlin, mind you.
Read it all here.

Anti-Semitism is a bigoted and ugly ideology that sleeps but will not be silenced. Elie Wiesel and other survivors of the death camps have tried -- in vain, it seems -- to shake the world of its apathy and amnesia. The gravest sin of all, witnesses argue, is not necessarily shying away from the suffering of the Jewish people -- but erasing it. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, built in 1993, and others like it, are important institutions because they (among other things) recover and preserve the history of this terrible period in human history.

Islamic State destroying all books other than Islamic texts

Mideast Iraq Libraries In DangerThey are following in the illustrious footsteps of the caliph Umar, who is supposed to have said when ordering the ancient, fabled library of Alexandria to be burned: “If the books agree with the Qur’an, they are superfluous. If they disagree with it, they are heretical.”

“Iraqi libraries ransacked by Islamic State group in Mosul,” by Sinan Salaheddin and Sameer N. Yacoub, Associated Press, January 31, 2015:
BAGHDAD (AP) — When Islamic State group militants invaded the Central Library of Mosul earlier this month, they were on a mission to destroy a familiar enemy: other people’s ideas
Residents say the extremists smashed the locks that had protected the biggest repository of learning in the northern Iraq town, and loaded around 2,000 books — including children’s stories, poetry, philosophy and tomes on sports, health, culture and science — into six pickup trucks. They left only Islamic texts.
The rest?
“These books promote infidelity and call for disobeying Allah. So they will be burned,” a bearded militant in traditional Afghani two-piece clothing told residents, according to one man living nearby who spoke to The Associated Press. The man, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he feared retaliation, said the Islamic State group official made his impromptu address as others stuffed books into empty flour bags.
Since the Islamic State group seized a third of Iraq and neighboring Syria, they have sought to purge society of everything that doesn’t conform to their violent interpretation of Islam. They already have destroyed many archaeological relics, deeming them pagan, and even Islamic sites considered idolatrous. Increasingly books are in the firing line.
Mosul, the biggest city in the Islamic State group’s self-declared caliphate, boasts a relatively educated, diverse population that seeks to preserve its heritage sites and libraries. In the chaos that followed the U.S.-led invasion of 2003 that toppled Saddam Hussein, residents near the Central Library hid some of its centuries-old manuscripts in their own homes to prevent their theft or destruction by looters.

More Muslim Threats Against America and the West

Pamela Geller / Atlas Shrugs

It’s a chorus of Muslims calling for war on us:
Islamic State Spokesman Renews Calls For Attacks In West, Praises Attacks Carried Out In Canada, France, Australia, And Belgium, Threatens ‘What Lies Ahead Will Be Worse… And More Bitter’
On January 26, 2015, the Islamic State (ISIS) via Al-Furqan media company, released an audio message by ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad Al-Adnani. In it, Al-Adnani renews his call from September 2014 to carry out attacks in the West. Al-Adnani also praises the terror attacks that have taken place in Canada, France, Australia, and Belgium, while promising at the same time that ‘what lies ahead will be worse … and more bitter.’
Al-Adnani also notes the coalition campaign...

Terrorism Is Americans' Top Concern in 2015

For the first time in five years, Americans cite defending the United States against terrorism as the top priority in 2015, a new survey by the Pew Research Center reveals.

Seventy-six percent of respondents say terrorism is a top priority, just ahead of strengthening the nation's economy at 75 percent.

Since President Barack Obama began his second term in January 2013, the percentage of Pew respondents citing the economy as a top priority has declined 11 points, and improving the jobs situation had fallen 12 points to 67 percent, while concern over terrorism has risen 5 percentage points.

That concern is also reflected in a new survey from Rasmussen Reports, which discloses that just 23 percent of Americans think the U.S. and its allies are winning the war against terrorism, down from 39 percent a year ago.

Strengthening the military has risen sharply as a top priority, according to Pew, while global warming is near the bottom of the list of priorities.

Republicans are more concerned than Democrats about terrorism — it’s their overall top priority cited by 87 percent, compared to 74 percent of Democrats, whose overall top priority at 77 percent is improving the educational system.

Seven out of 10 Republicans cite strengthening the military as a top priority, as do just 41 percent of Democrats.

Republicans and Democrats agree regarding strengthening the nation's economy — 75 percent of both groups believe it is a top priority this year.

After terrorism and the economy, the issues most cited as a top priority are jobs (67 percent), education (67 percent), securing Social Security (66 percent), lowering the budget deficit (64 percent), reducing healthcare costs (64 percent), securing Medicare (61 percent), reducing crime (57 percent), aiding the poor and needy (55 percent), strengthening the military (52 percent), and immigration (52 percent).

Further down the list are protecting the environment (51 percent), addressing race relations (49 percent), tax reform (48 percent), energy problems (46 percent), reducing the influence of lobbyists (43 percent), improving transportation (42 percent), dealing with the role of money in politics (42 percent), supporting scientific research (41 percent), dealing with global warming (38 percent), and promoting global trade (30 percent).

The largest discrepancy between Republicans and Democrats is on the global warming issue — 54 percent of Democrats cite it, while just 15 percent of Republicans consider it a top priority.

The largest discrepancy according to age is on the issue of supporting scientific research — 53 percent of those 18 to 29 years of age cite it as a top priority, compared to just 32 percent of those 65 and over.