Rand Paul, Hit or Miss?

Rand Paul’s Foreign Non-Policy

Senator Rand Paul was, until recently, a serious contender for the GOP Presidential nomination but his recent piece in the National Review Online shows why a President Paul would leave a lot to be desired. The Kentucky senator, heir to the libertarian dynasty founded by his father, has been making waves doing voter outreach among African-Americans, college students, Hispanics and more. These efforts should be praised and emulated, not merely by those on the right but by all who value the electoral system and want no vote taken for granted. Senator Paul has been a straight talker when discussing the failed war on drugs and the horrible consequences of prohibition which result in millions of Americans sent to jail for mere recreational possession.

http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/05/rand_pauls_foreign_nonpolicy.html

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Comments

  1. However clear-minded Senator Paul has been on some domestic issues, on foreign policy he has never been more intellectually oblique. Senator Paul begins by engaging in the time-tested dishonorable tactic of claiming the moral high ground through victimhood. As if we are to believe that he was unaware that both parties are composed of competing perspectives, he posits that “the knives are out” for those in his foreign policy camp. He then immediately engages in the wholesale slaughter of an army of straw-men by painting himself as against those who want “unlimited involvement in foreign wars,” a policy that no single person advocates. He continues with bold-faced falsehoods by asserting that his foreign policy opponents believe “you are either with us or against us” and that to them “no middle ground is acceptable.”

    Senator Paul’s piece has two interconnected goals. First, he seeks to marginalize non-isolationists; second, he plants the seeds for a limited understanding of liberty. The self-proclaimed ambassador of libertarianism, who has no problems going into the lion’s den of radical Berkeley, can articulate what type of foreign policy he supports in the ideal world but not the real world. Rather, Senator Paul resorts to dirty politics of non-definitions and euphemisms to describe what he is not. He is not a member of the (garage band sounding) “Wilsonian ideologues”, he is not an “interventionist”, and he is not a neoconservative. It takes until the last paragraph for Senator Paul to assert what foreign policy ideology he is wedded to, the amoral “realist and nuanced” school which divorces American values from American actions.

    In his hyperbole-laden search for mainstream legitimacy, Senator Paul asserts that those who disagree with him are trying to “carve up” and are “pointing daggers” at the founder of the modern conservative movement, William F. Buckley Jr., and the conservative movement’s greatest hero, Ronald Reagan. He attempts to claim both for his strange foreign non-policy and cherry picks Iraq quotes from the later life of Buckley. The truth he conveniently ignores is that Buckley was the proponent, and Reagan a follower, of fusionism – a partnership of the traditionalist, anti-communist, and libertarian elements of the right in a big tent alliance against big government, for traditional values, and for American exceptionalism.

    Senator Paul’s worldview of nonintervention is dangerous not just because of its inherent policy naivety, but because it undermines the American foundational ideas as they were meant to be — universal values. While we cannot, should not, and do not intervene in all conflicts, the idea that these values — “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, the rule of law, free press, freedom of conscience, and free speech — are limited by borders or nationality is antithetical to the ideas of the founding fathers and to common sense. Senator Paul asserts that helping foment democracy around the world is “utopian”, as if immigrants from Vietnam, Iraq, Russia, Pakistan and other oppressed nations can handle democracy after they have moved to the U.S. but not before. He divorces the liberties he claims to defend from their very foundation — that they are self-evident and exist in every individual before governments choose or refuse to recognize them.

    The application of force by the United States should be handled with nuance, care, and sobriety. It should also be executed with our values in mind and a commitment to liberty as the natural right of all people. Senator Paul doesn’t believe this. His “just say no” policy to big government is as uncontroversial as it is common sense and his outreach to communities which have seen the votes of their members taken for granted represents a step towards a healthier democracy. But his effort to win the pity parade, a historical attempts to claim Buckley and Reagan for his foreign non-policy, and his liberty diminishing attack on values-informed foreign policy disqualifies him from the office of President.

    • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

      You cannot force freedom and liberty on others – it isn’t freedom and liberty if you use force on others to “help them achieve it”. The ideas of the founders might be universal, but the idea of using force to make others accept those ideas is antithetical to the very ideas you are trying to IMPOSE. You cannot IMPOSE freedom and liberty onto others. That is simply nonsense.

    • Mathius™ says:

      “unlimited involvement in foreign wars,” a policy that no single person advocates.

      You are correct because Dick Cheney does not technically qualify as a “person.”

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        The US Government has made its living off of unlimited involvement in foreign wars for much of it’s history, and almost every single year for the past 100 years without a single break, especially the last 70 years or so. True, they do pick and choose when and where to “get involved”, but we are “involved” somewhere pretty much 100% of the time.

  2. PeterB in Indianapolis says:

    With a name like Sotomayor-Einstein, can we possibly doubt anything written in the article??? I mean, the writer is clearly related to 2 geniuses!!! (One self-professed genius and one actual genius, but let’s not get too technical here!!!)

    BTW, How could Rand Paul’s foreign “non-policy” possibly be any worse that what we have had under Bush and Obama? I think Rand Paul’s foreign policy might well be a VAST IMPROVEMENT compared to those 2 dolts….

    • Mathius™ says:

      How could Rand Paul’s foreign “non-policy” possibly be any worse that what we have had under Bush and Obama?

      Don’t get me wrong, Obama’s foreign policy blows. Mightily.

      But at least he hasn’t ensnared us in two major decades-long unnecessary ground wars in the Middle East. Obama’s FP is bad. Very, very bad. And, worse, it has failed to achieve many of its aims of resetting international relations to a more benign level. But Bush/Cheney’s policy was sheer lunacy. I mean, the One Percent Doctrine alone.. With Us or Against Us.. ::sigh::

      It’s like saying “Putin and Stalin’s foreign policy.” Yea, Putin is an ass-hat, sure, but he’s no Stalin. That doesn’t give Putin a free pass; it just means we need to maintain some perspective when lumping him in with even worse actors.

      Meanwhile…

      How could Rand Paul’s foreign “non-policy” possibly be any worse

      It can always be worse.

      Always.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        Mathius,

        It can always be better too… always.

        You seem to indicate in the first part of your post that dicking around in other places with our military is a bad idea when you reference the 2 unnecessary ground wars in the Middle East, and yet at the end of your post, you seem to indicate that Rand Paul’s foreign policy stance could be worse than that, so I don’t really get it.

        • Mathius™ says:

          Pete,

          I’m not.. entirely.. adverse to the idea of engaging militarily as needed. However, I certainly am against it in cases where it’s a “war of choice” or on such flimsy evidence that you have to sell it the way Iraq was sold (“weapons of mass destruction related programs and activities” and “fight ‘em there so we don’t have to fight ‘em here” and such classic fear-mongering as “we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.”).

          Obama does not seem to mind kicking over ant-hills either, and I wish he would reign it in. But there’s a big difference between getting bogged down in an unending land war (“boots on the ground” followed by “nation building” (something we’re terrible at) and no exit strategies) and what Obama’s been doing. Obama’s no saint, certainly, but at least he hasn’t done that – he hasn’t gotten us stuck in anything. Hell, Afghanistan is NICKNAMED the “graveyard of empires.” And what do we do? March right in, yeehaw!

          My understanding of Paul’s foreign policy, such as a thing might be called, is to cover your eyes and ears, shout la-la-la-I-can’t-hear-you, and hope the world leaves us alone and doesn’t go to hell in a hand basket (“Please, at least leave us alone in our living rooms. Let me have my toaster and my TV and my steel-belted radials and I won’t say anything. Just leave us alone!” – 5 points for the reference). The problem here is that that could readily be even worse. China and Russia are both somewhat constrained by us. Take the brakes off and, well… I don’t think it’d be too big a stretch to assume that they’d both want to try to fill that power vacuum to the detriment of the rest of Europe/Asia. Is it out “job” to prevent that kind of thing? Well, that’s a good question. But without us, the UN is completely toothless, so what, really, is preventing a return to the bad-old-days? And do we then think that an aggressive super-power Russia or China wouldn’t at some point start making serious problems for us as well?

          It doesn’t mean we have to be total assholes, but switching to non-interventionist isolationists isn’t really the answer either. I’d love someone could find the happy middle ground. How ’bout Clinton? Can we reelect him? I nominate Buck/Colonel ’20 (only because Buck’s not old enough to run for President yet so, I guess, we’ll go with Hillary for ’16).

          • “but switching to non-interventionist isolationists isn’t really the answer either.”

            It is absolutely the answer in all human affairs. Keep your nose out of other people’s business.

            • Mathius™ says:

              That only works if you can have faith in the idea that they, too, will keep their noses out of your business.

              If the US stepped off the world-stage, how long, exactly, do you think it would be before someone tried to fill that power vacuum? And what happens then? Do you think they’ll just leave us alone and everything will be hunky-dory?

              • There is no single body who would fill the power vacuum.

                Instead, each region would find a mix of powers, some greater or lessor, to do so.

                And, yes, they would “leave us alone”. Why do you believe otherwise?

              • Mathius™ says:

                Tell me, Flag, how do you see that playing out?

                Russia annexes all its neighbors.

                China invades Vietnam/Japan, assists N.Korea in attacking S. Korea.

                Then what? Peace on Earth?

                South America breaks out into a free-for-all and becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Cartels.

                Africa sinks into the ocean.

                The Middle East turns itself into a radioactive sheet of glass.

                Australia.. well, they just sit back and have a beer, probably.

                But you tell me, what happens.

                Or is it just “not my problem”?

              • “Russia annexes all its neighbors.”
                Nonsense.

                “China invades Vietnam/Japan, assists N.Korea in attacking S. Korea.”
                Nonsense.

                Making up fairy tales does not make an argument.

              • Oh, come on BF-some of this crap is in the works NOW-this isn’t fairy tales!

              • Nonsense!

                Russia is not annexing “all its neighbors”

                China and japan are not a war.

                You are fantasizing booggy men and expect a response from me!

                Well, here it is:
                NONSENSE

              • Hah-you don’t at all mind looking at the consequences of losing our freedoms but when it comes to foreign policy and the possible consequences we are suddenly talking about fairy tales

              • Mathius™ says:

                Thanks V!

                Flaggy: So tell me then. How does it play out. The US steps off the stage, withdraws its armies and then.. what? Everyone else starts singing Kumbaya?

              • Nothing changes, Mathius

              • Mathius™ says:

                Not that we’re not jerks, don’t get me wrong, but you don’t think that Russia / China might be even worse?

              • Why?

                Do you truly believe either is scared of the US?

              • Mathius™ says:

                Yes. Somewhat.

                I think you’ll agree that we do have a history of being batshit crazy.

                But, no, all three of us (US, RUS, CPS) have way too much to lose by getting into a shooting war – even Putin’s not that crazy. But we still have plenty of ways of making them miserable if we so chose – from funding their internal dissent to international sanctions, et cetera.

                It’s not enough to get them to behave perfectly, of course, but it’s enough to, as I said, “somewhat constrain them.” So “scared,” not really.. but more like we have our thumb on the scale for their cost-benefit analysis.

      • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

        The Obama foreign policy is merely a continuation of the Bush/Cheney foreign policy which he has tried to describe as being something completely different, so don’t let yourself be fooled.

        • Mathius™ says:

          Not fooled.

          But Obama’s version of Bush’s FP has been somewhat milder. Not nearly mild enough. I actually agree that “continuation” is a fair term. But it is still “better.”

          • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

            So, an infinitesimally smaller pile of steaming, stinking $hit is “better” than the original pile, merely because it has shrunk infinitesimally… gotcha.

            • Mathius™ says:

              ::ding ding ding ding ding::

              Give this man a prize!

              A slightly smaller shitpile is better than the original slightly larger shitpile.

      • @ Mathius…..you need to clarify this….”But at least he hasn’t ensnared us in two major decades-long unnecessary ground wars in the Middle East.”

        We have more troops in more places right now than under any of the Bush boys…..all involved in 1960′s stuff.

      • What???

        Obama absolutely snared the US into wars – not only continuing the debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, but Egypt, Libya and Syria and now potentially Ukraine.

        Me thinks you did not really think this out, and merely parroted a wish instead.

        • PeterB in Indianapolis says:

          Well, his characterization of Rand Paul’s foreign policy as “sticking his fingers in his ears and shouting “LA LA LA I CAN’T HEAR YOU” was equally off-base and a complete mis-characterization, so… yeah.

          • Mathius™ says:

            Pete,

            That’s roughly my understanding. So if I’m off base, feel free to enlighten me. Explain it to me like I’m 5.

            I haven’t bothered to learn about Paul’s foreign policy because Paul is never going to be in a position to implement his foreign policy. This is much the same as how I do not care what my barber has to say about what he would do if he were President.

            • Mathius makes a serious political mistake.

              You assume Rand needs to be elected into a position to manifest his policies.

              You do not consider that merely proposing such policies may create the necessary politics to manifest themselves.

              • Mathius™ says:

                You do not consider that merely proposing such policies may create the necessary politics to manifest themselves.

                I do not consider this, no.

                Because, as you know, the US is a two-party rigged system. There is no plausible way to elect anyone who is not a red-shirt or a blue-shirt. Neither shirt indicates a moderate / peaceful foreign policy. Anyone who steers too far from the necessary orthodoxy of their shirt-color can win a primary, let alone a general.

                Methods change, tactics change, scale, choice-of-targets, preferred reasoning, declared/undeclared, etc – all those might switch around depending on the shirt-color. But not whether we are aggressive war-mongers – that’s a given.

        • Mathius™ says:

          Flag,

          Please tell me where I said Obama didn’t start wars. What I said is that he didn’t get us stuck in endless boots-on-the-ground land wars. He still sucks.. Just not as bad. It’s kind of like how Hepatitis sucks, but at least it’s not AIDS.

          • *blink*

            I guess you don’t know that there are “US boots on the ground land wars” going on right now huh?

            • Mathius™ says:

              Of course there are.

              And a lot of them, too.

              All over the place.

              Are we going to be stuck in them for 10+ years, however? Are we going to kill and displace 6-figures worth of civilians in those? Are we going to spend trillions of dollars on them? Are we going to lose thousands of US soldiers?

              Is our involvement in, say, the Libyan civil war on par with out involvement with the ongoing Iraqi civil war which, by the way, we caused?

              Again: Not saying they’re not both bad. Or both involving troops, or costing money, or lives. What I’m saying is that one is bad, the other is extra-strength bad.

              • I don’t know, I find myself in the most uncomfortable feeling that we are closer to WWIII than we’ve ever been-not gonna blame it all on Obama but all those kicking of ant hills concerns me.

                I was happy when Obama made it clear to China that those Islands they are interested in were covered by NATO.

                As far as Rand at least he wouldn’t be kicking ant hills. Not sure that’s good enough.

              • Scratching my head…

                You say Obama “hasn’t done this”, then show he has, then complain it is a slop of a mess, then say it could be worse.

              • Mathius™ says:

                I feel like the US is the crazy drunk uncle at a family reunion who is just itching to start a fight. As a result, everyone around him is walking on eggshells. The fact that everyone else is on best behavior winds up keeping the peace all around.

                It’s just crazy enough to work!

              • You say we aren’t gonna be in them for 10 + years-I posit, you have no idea what all this is gonna lead too. I would say that Obama has been responsible for many civil wars that are occurring in the Middle East right now. His response to the problems in Egypt in my opinion has caused a great deal of harm and I for one am very unsettled by the possibilities.

              • Mathius™ says:

                Again: Not saying they’re not both bad. Or both involving troops, or costing money, or lives. What I’m saying is that one is bad, the other is extra-strength bad.

                Maybe I’m wrong. Time will tell, I suppose.

  3. Off topic but just too good to pass up.-Enjoy :)

    May 9, 2014 4:00 AM
    There’s Something about Harry
    By The Editors

    The Editors would like to extend our condolences to Senator Harry Reid and his family as they go through this difficult time. While we can only guess at the exact nature of the psychiatric or neurological trauma the Senate majority leader has suffered, we assume that it is severe, judging by his symptoms, the most prominent of which is his new habit of taking to the Senate floor to deliver speeches that sound like they ought to be coming from a man wearing a bathrobe in front of a liquor store in Cleveland.

    The Washington Post, which once had the fine discretion to overlook the embarrassing personal defects of Democrats within its good graces, recently awarded the poor man the dreaded “three Pinocchios” from its fact-checkers, who noted that the senator’s latest claims about the proprietors of Koch Industries, about whom Senator Reid obsesses the way Rosie O’Donnell obsesses about metallurgy, were largely disconnected from reality. Senator Reid, citing a recent White House report, claimed that Koch Industries was one of the main causes of global warming and that it was responsible for more greenhouse-gas emissions than Dow Chemical, Exxon, and General Electric combined. The report said no such thing and identified Exxon as a much, much larger emitter than Koch, which is no surprise, given that Koch is not in the oil-drilling business but in the refining and derivatives business. General Electric does not appear in the report at all. We deplore the Washington Post’s cheap exploitation of the troubles of an obviously confused man to sell newspapers.

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    By the fact-checkers’ reckoning, Koch Industries is, under the most damning calculation, responsible for one six-thousandth of 1 percent of worldwide carbon dioxide emissions. PriceWaterhouseCoopers, which issued a report ranking the world’s worst corporate global-warming offenders, did not see fit to put Koch on the top-50 list, and Richard Heede of Climate Mitigation Services, who published a similar list, also excluded Koch Industries.

    Senator Reid’s office is not doing him any favors, having issued a statement that “the overall point of Senator Reid’s speech was true,” despite the senator’s nearly complete break with reality on the matter of Charles and David Koch.

    Senator Reid’s obsession is a strangely narrow one. Asked about the similar political activism of casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, whose politics are not Senator Reid’s but whose employees are his voters, he scoffed: “I know Sheldon Adelson. He’s not in this for the money.” We hold Mr. Adelson in some esteem, but we are pretty sure that the Las Vegas Sands Corp. is, like Koch Industries, a profit-oriented enterprise. Mr. Adelson’s support of Israel and his interest in various Republican campaigns is not, we suspect, directed at furthering his gambling interests, and it is difficult to see how the Koch brothers’ various charitable and educational enterprises — which run the gamut from gay-marriage activism to the New York City Ballet to providing mentoring for future history professors — is designed to help them sell more asphalt or paper towels. But that’s the funny thing about conspiracy theories: The fact that there is no evidence for them is itself taken as evidence of the conspiracy. Of course you don’t believe that there’s a secret U.N. mind-control ray — that’s exactly what they’re telling you to think!

    We pray that Senator Reid has not slipped into some sort of sudden-onset dementia; given our knowledge of the man, our money is on his having been kicked in the head by some kind of livestock, and the good news is that they’re doing wonderful things for rehabilitation from blunt-force trauma to the head these days. In any case, we wish him a speedy and full recovery, and hope that his colleagues can keep him from embarrassing himself further on the Senate floor until such a time as he is back in full command of his senses.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/377603/theres-something-about-harry-editors

    • Mathius™ says:

      the most prominent of which is his new habit of taking to the Senate floor to deliver speeches that sound like they ought to be coming from a man wearing a bathrobe in front of a liquor store in Cleveland.

      Excellent. I will now steal this and pretend I came up with it.

  4. Just one more off topic-and I swear I’m done

    May 9, 2014 12:00 AM
    What the Living Constitutionalists Don’t Get about Public Prayer
    Empathizing should be left to local communities, not the Supreme Court.
    By Jonah Goldberg

    The notion that something can simultaneously be wrong and constitutional really seems to bother a lot of people. Consider the Supreme Court’s recent decision on public prayer.

    In Greece v. Galloway the court ruled, 5–4, that the little town of Greece, N.Y., could have predominantly Christian clergy deliver prayers at the beginning of city-council meetings.

    As a constitutional matter, the majority’s decision seems like a no-brainer to me. The authors of the Constitution permitted — and required! — prayer at similar civic gatherings when they were writing the document and for years afterward, when many served as congressmen, senators, judges, and presidents.

    As Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote in his majority opinion: “That the First Congress provided for the appointment of chaplains only days after approving language for the First Amendment demonstrates that the Framers considered legislative prayer a benign acknowledgment of religion’s role in society.”
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    Now, as I am someone who thinks the Constitution is not a “living” document (i.e. changing with the whims of whatever elite currently controls the judiciary) but an enduring one (its meaning is largely fixed until it is duly amended), that pretty much settles the debate for me. If you want to ban public displays of religiosity, even by public servants, you should amend the Constitution, not appoint more liberal justices who will simply impose their preferences on it.

    But don’t tell that to members of the Cult of the Living Constitution, who believe that if something is wrong it has to be unconstitutional. For instance, the Washington Post’s E. J. Dionne penned an op-ed called “The Supreme Court Fails the Empathy Test” in which he argues that the Greece city council should have been more inclusive. It’s not nice to make atheists, Jews, Muslims, and other minority faiths and non-faiths feel unwelcome.

    The problem is that the Supreme Court wasn’t set up to pass an “empathy test.” Indeed, despite much chattering and nattering about such things in liberal and Democratic circles, there is no such thing as a Supreme Court empathy test. There is however a more relevant — not to mention, real — test to be considered: Whether the justices of the Supreme Court are faithful to their oaths. And that oath suggests pretty strongly that empathy should be put aside as much as possible. Justices “solemnly swear (or affirm)” that “I will administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich . . . ” That doesn’t exactly scream out “go with your feelings” now does it?

    Now here’s the hitch. Dionne and others have a point. Local governments and civic organizations generally shouldn’t exclude people of different faiths. But whining to Washington and asking the Supreme Court to fill the empathy deficit at the local level is not the answer.

    Starting in 1999, Greece city-council meetings began with a prayer (before that it was just a moment of silence). The town relied on a list of clergy provided from the Chamber of Commerce and, for completely innocuous reasons, the list was overwhelmingly Christian — because the town is overwhelmingly Christian.

    For a long time no one complained. Then, in 2008, with the backing of an activist group, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, a Jewish woman and an atheist woman launched a lawsuit. When the complaints went public, practices changed. A Jewish layman asked to offer a prayer and was permitted to do so twice. The city council invited a prominent Baha’i follower to deliver a prayer. A Wiccan priestess asked and was allowed to do her thing as well. Eventually, as the courts took ownership of the process, the town stopped reaching out to non-Christians, which is a shame. Maybe if those offended had simply spoken up earlier, without suing, all of this could have been avoided?

    I believe that tolerance is a two-way street. Majority faiths need to make room for minorities and minorities need to show tolerance for majorities. But a climate of tolerance should be created by those who live in it, not imposed by a handful of lawyers in Washington.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/article/377593/what-living-constitutionalists-dont-get-about-public-prayer-jonah-goldberg

  5. http://instagram.com/p/nYPxAAnZ_k/embed/#

    …made on a chalkboard…

  6. Hope all will go to the link to National Review Online & read Sen. Paul’s words themselves.

    Buckley’s Realist Foreign Policy
    Is there no room for his views in today’s conservative camp?
    By Sen. Rand Paul

    The knives are out for conservatives who dare question unlimited involvement in foreign wars.

    Foreign policy, the interventionist critics claim, has no place for nuance or realism. You are either for us or against us. No middle ground is acceptable. The Wilsonian ideologues must have democracy worldwide now and damn all obstacles to that utopia. I say sharpen your knives, because the battle once begun will not end easily.

    Conservatives who want to read libertarian conservatives out of the movement should reread some old copies of National Review first.

    From Frank Meyer to William F. Buckley Jr. to George Will — indeed, to Ronald Reagan — there is a strain of libertarianism endemic to conservatism.

    Meyer, in fact, averred that conservatism needed a dose of libertarianism. He argued that traditional conservatism actually comes out a bit stale without a twist of freedom. Virtue needs a dash of liberty to refresh and excite the populace.

    On foreign policy, even National Review’s founder, William F. Buckley Jr., occasionally expressed views that today’s NRO writers might find heretical.

    With regard to the Iraq War, Buckley came to believe not only that it was a mistake but that it was not a “conservative” approach to foreign policy. In fact, in discussing foreign policy Buckley sounded quite the realist.

  7. Mathius™ says:
    May 9, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    Tell me, Flag, how do you see that playing out?

    Russia annexes all its neighbors.
    (What will NATO allow? A return to the cold war boundaries?

    China invades Vietnam/Japan, assists N.Korea in attacking S. Korea.
    (Or, China invades N. Korea, then S. Korea, then Taiwan, Vietnam/Japan.

    South America breaks out into a free-for-all and becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Cartels. (or, Brazil, Argentina or Venezuela go to war with a resulting “super power that invades Central America, threatening Mexico..

    Africa sinks into the ocean.
    (or, Egypt begins expansion thru conquest, killing or enslaving all non-Muslims..)

    The Middle East turns itself into a radioactive sheet of glass.
    (or Turkey/Iran begins re-conquest & reforming the Ottoman Empire)

    Australia.. well, they just sit back and have a beer, probably.

    But you tell me, what happens.

    Or is it just “not my problem”?

    (And here I am mostly agreeing with Matt. There is a point when it should become our problem. Hopefully before it becomes another world war. Russia & China are showing signs that they would use conquest to expand. The USA needs a strong military to act as a deterrent. The point here is this is in our interest. It is cheaper to avoid wars by being so strong no one wants to fight us.

    But strength without the will to fight is useless. We have treaties with NATO. If Russia becomes a threat to Europe, it is a NATO issue. Until & unless they step up, Russia is free to act. They have to show they can & will defend themselves.

    The same applies with China. Japan/Taiwan/S. Korea can be supported, but the fight is their if it comes to that. We can fight beside them, but not for them.)

    • I do not know what you are seeing at all.

      China is not showing signs of conquest whatsoever, and neither is Russia.

      Even if they did, there is absolutely nothing the US army could do about it.

      • I am seeing aggression. With Russia, used against Georgia & the Ukraine. And in no way do I advocate the US take any direct action. But if Russia takes them & looks to continue re-absorbing former block countries, it is up to them to resist. If Poland is still in NATO, we have a treaty to assist them. If they feel Russia is a more urgent threat, then Germany, France & the UK need to increase their military and prepare to meet force with force. And then I think the US army would be invincible. Fighting a defensive action with secure supply lines and a dedicated ally. I would not want to invade Russia, we might could with a united, prepared & enraged NATO, but it would be as bloody as we all know.

        China has shown aggression to Japan & the Philippians over territory they desire. N. Korea might be a coup, not an invasion, but where does that leave S. Korea? They still claim Taiwan. I think the question is not what I see, but what does Japan see, or Taiwan? If a large oil or gas field is discovered in the S. China Sea in territory they contest, will they simply take from a smaller power?

        Maybe the worst thing right now is our leadership. Japan is a protectorate, we are bound by treaty to defend them. Is anyone 100% sure our President would fight China if they invaded an island Japan claims & occupies? I would expect him to try and talk his way to peace, until it was somebody else’s problem…

  8. gmanfortruth says:

    It’s a day early, but let me wish all the SUFA Moms and Happy Mothers day :)

  9. Sedgewick says:

    @ VH

    They’re not ‘my’ Satanists. But they are my fellow human beings. And I will argue on behalf of their rights and freedom as much as I will yours or any other Christian, Mormon, Pagan, Jew, Muslim, New Ager, Taoist, gay/lesbian, trans-whatever, freak of nature, stupid, fat, ugly, etc. piece of shit like myself that I have to share this planet with.

    I do not argue from the perspective of competitive ‘us or them’ or ‘tit for tat’. I argue on the principle of universally beneficial unalienable rights.

    What you and others may see as an attack on Christianity is more like pointing out that you’re (accidentally) stepping on someone’s toe.

    Christians have the freedom of expression, but Satanists don’t?
    What is marriage?
    Who are the real jihadists in Murfreesboro TN ?

    ‘This land is my land. This land is your land if you’re a Christian, ..except some parts of California, but don’t move to Oklahoma or Tennessee. This land was made by poor people and the black slaves. God blessed America, except for the unsaved.’

    Learn to practice the Golden Rule as a ‘Christian Nation’.

    • But you aren’t arguing for the rights of satanist’s because those people aren’t satanist-they are simply atheist’s that aren’t arguing for anyone’s rights they’re trying to take rights away. As far as Murfreesboro-you pointed out the court case which I believe 17 people were involved in-not exactly the whole state of Tn. And by the way, go back and read about the situation prior to the court case-I think you will find that it isn’t as clear cut as you seem to believe it was. Marriage we’ve gone around that several times not interested in doing it again.

      • V.H.

        Sed is on the right track, and you’re slipping off.

        It’s simple, VH – if YOU require violence to enforce YOUR opinion upon another, it is YOU who is in the wrong, not the man who argues against your violence.

        If it takes the government, via its courts, to force others to pray before a council meeting, it is THAT FORCED PRAYER that is in violence.

        It’s simple – there is no human right in its exercise that diminishes another human beings rights.

        How does this work here?
        If you want to pray before your meeting, do it.
        If you don’t want to pray before your meeting, don’t do it.

        But when someone else forces you differently, regardless of which choice you made above, that FORCE is wrong.

        So when the court says its ok to force prayer, it is WRONG – and equally if the court said prayer is forbidden.

        • I am well aware that I am free to pray anywhere I choose as long as I don’t pray out loud or carry a Bible while doing it. Then I may or may not be allowed to do so. But I can always pray silently. The point isn’t whether I as an individual can pray-it’s whether people can pray in the public sphere. It isn’t a matter of force to offer prayer. And if public prayer and expressions of religion are not allowed in the public sphere than the only expressions that are allowed are secular opinion or in this cause atheistic expressions. How fair and free is that?

          • I am not clear what you are saying.

            Look, the measure is the violence. Do you think praying out loud is violent?

            If it isn’t, yet others do violence to stop you, who is wrong?

            If you are wronged, do you believe you should wrong others in the same way?

            • Look, let me put it this way-offering a prayer isn’t a matter of force-no one is forced to pray- if they are forced to do anything it is to allow others the freedom to pray.

      • Sedgewick says:

        “But you aren’t arguing for the rights of satanist’s because those people aren’t satanist-they are simply atheist’s that aren’t arguing for anyone’s rights they’re trying to take rights away.”

        How so?

        Most modern Satanists do not believe that Satan is a real entity, but rather representative of something… ” a metaphorical construct “. As I understand, the definition of god to a Satanist is something of an omnipresent spiritual force. The Baphomet is an ancient symbol of balance between the feminine and masculine spirit, among other things, ..not a literal horned evil demon. I recommend researching the Kabbalist meaning of the 5 Hebrew associated symbols.

        According to their statements, they seek ” a sincere movement ” to “separate religion from superstition and to contribute positively to the cultural dialogue.”

        They argue for equal inclusion, …that “Old Scratch gets a seat at the table. ”

        ” As far as Murfreesboro-you pointed out the court case which I believe 17 people were involved in-not exactly the whole state of Tn ”

        Indeed it was isolated to an area/town, and doesn’t represent everyone or all of TN. It does, however, represent the attitude and position of many across the USA, …like Oklahoma.

        Pay attention to what they were saying at that courthouse, rallies/protests, ..and try to understand the deeper meaning in it. What were they really saying with their words and actions?

        They are scared, they feel threatened. And where did that fear originate? WHY are they scared?

        It is because they have been listening to so much anti-non-Christian/anti Muslim propaganda for so long. It is ordinary good folks all across the US who have been taught to fear or that they are uniquely righteous, and are thus acting out accordingly.

        Those Muslims are not a threat.

        ” And by the way, go back and read about the situation prior to the court case-I think you will find that it isn’t as clear cut as you seem to believe it was. ”

        Muslims tried to settle in Murfreesboro and were wholly rejected and violated by a bunch of intolerant separatist ‘phobes’ and religious leaders.

        Here s the Wikipedia explanation;

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islamic_Center_of_Murfreesboro

        Planning controversy
        Pro-mosque supporters at a September 2010 rally in Murfreesboro
        Anti-mosque demonstrators proclaiming “Murfreesboro Mosque = Islamic Victory”

        In April 2010, the ICM sent the Regional Planning Commission of Rutherford County a request for the approval of the construction of a 52,000-square-foot (4,800 m2) complex on the Veals Road lot. Prior to its next meeting the commission ran an advertisement in The Murfreesboro Post newspaper.[4] The main local newspaper, The Daily News Journal, also published a small news story on the day of the meeting.[11] The commission unanimously approved the ICM’s plans at its monthly meeting on May 24, 2010.[4] County law did not require public hearings on religious construction projects and took a “use-by-right” approach, under which all that was needed for approval was a satisfactory set of plans, the approval of the commission at one public meeting, and the advertisement of that meeting in advance in a local newspaper. Other local religious buildings, such as the 80,000-square-foot (7,400 m2) World Outreach Church, had been approved on a similar basis.[7] Additionally, federal and state law made it all but impossible for local government bodies to deny building permits for religious institutions.[12]

        Although the application process attracted little comment at the time, a controversy broke out after the ICM’s plans were approved.[7] At the commission’s next meeting, on June 17, 2010, more than 600 people, some wearing Christian- or patriotic-themed clothes, turned out to protest its approval of the ICM’s plans. Many said they had only become aware of the plans after they had been approved. Opponents were harshly critical both of the ICM and of Islam itself.[13] Karen Harrell, a Murfreesboro resident, said: “Everybody knows they are trying to kill us. People are really concerned about this. Somebody has to stand up and take this country back.”[14]

        Other residents complained that the new mosque would have a harmful effect on traffic and housing values, noting that it was located in a primarily residential area. Commission officials rejected the criticism, stating that the plans met zoning requirements and that the law did not allow them to reject a project on religious grounds.[13] The tenor of the opposition attracted criticism, with some residents calling the dispute “one of the ugliest displays of religious intolerance in the county’s history.” Rabbi Rami Shapiro of Middle Tennessee State University blamed misinformation and misplaced fears, commenting that “there are some who are just anti-Muslim and will do anything to keep a mosque out of their neighborhood. They really feel that Islam is a threat to America and American values.”[14] Essam Fathy, an ICM member, said: “We have nothing to hide. We do not have a hidden agenda. We’re not affiliated with anyone. Where is the tolerance?” The mosque’s imam, Ossama Bahloul, said that he had told a child that the hatred faced by the center was “just a misunderstanding, miscommunication. I told him to love the people because one day they can love you, too.”[15]

        The controversy gained national currency soon afterwards when it was taken up by Lou Ann Zelenik, a Tennessee Republican Party candidate for the vacant representative’s seat in Tennessee’s 6th congressional district. In a statement issued on June 24, 2010, Zelenik denounced the planned mosque as “an Islamic training center” that was not a bona fide religious institution but a political one “designed to fracture the moral and political foundation of Middle Tennessee”. She declared: “Until the American Muslim community find it in their hearts to separate themselves from their evil, radical counterparts, to condemn those who want to destroy our civilization and will fight against them, we are not obligated to open our society to any of them.”[16] Ben Lemming, a Democrat candidate for the same seat, was one of the few Tennessee politicians to support the mosque project, stating: “The Americans that want to build this mosque are already our neighbors. They live next to us and they are a part of our community. They are not the enemy.”[17]

        Another Republican, Ron Ramsey, the Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee, questioned whether Islam is “actually a religion, or is it a nationality, way of life, cult or whatever you want to call it” and described it as resembling “a violent political philosophy more than [a] peace-loving religion.” His comments, made in the runup to a Republican primary election, were strongly criticised by a spokesman for the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who called them part of “a disturbing trend in our nation in which it is suggested that American Muslims should have fewer or more restricted constitutional rights than citizens of other faiths.”[18] Murfreesboro’s local state Senator, Bill Ketron, subsequently introduced what The American Prospect described as “one of the most extreme anti-Sharia-law bills in the country”, authorizing the state attorney general to designate “Sharia organizations” and imposing a 15-year jail term on anyone convicted of supporting such an organization. The law was passed, though the state legislature took out direct references to Sharia and Islam. Hedy Weinburg of the American Civil Liberties Union’s Tennessee branch saw the controversy as part of a trend; she told The American Prospect that “[y]ou don’t have to dig too deep to see and hear the very rampant xenophobia and anti-Muslim voices.”[19]

        In mid-July 2010, supporters and opponents of the mosque organised rival marches to the Rutherford County courthouse. Around 800 people turned up, with about the same number on either side. Supporters organised by a group called Middle Tennesseans for Religious Freedom promoted slogans such as “Freedom of religion means freedom for all religions”, while opponents circulated a petition asking the planning commission to overturn its decision and expressed concerns that the mosque’s members wanted to overthrow the U.S. government and impose Islamic law.[20] The mosque’s opponents wore “Vote for Jesus” t-shirts, carried signs with slogans such as “Keep Tennessee Terror Free”, chanted “USA! USA!”, conducted Christian group prayers and heard anti-mosque pastor Dusty Ray of the Heartland Baptist Church telling them, “Lord, we’re trying to stop a political movement.”[1][7]

        Televangelist Pat Robertson weighed in during August 2010, telling his TV audience, “You mark my word, if they start bringing thousands and thousands of Muslims into that relatively rural area the next thing you know they’re going to be taking over the city council.”[21] Murfreesboro’s mayor, Ernest Burgess, called Robertson’s claims “so ridiculous they do not deserve a response.”[17] Opposition was also fanned by a local newspaper, the ultra-conservative Rutherford Reader, which published numerous anti-Islamic articles that eventually resulted in some of its advertisers boycotting the newspaper after protests from readers.[3] As the barrage of criticism from right-wingers continued, the ICM received a series of threatening and offensive anonymous telephone messages.[4]

        Reviewing the controversy, the Nashville daily newspaper The Tennessean noted that in 1929 another faith group which was controversial at the time had faced opposition, led by the Ku Klux Klan, to its establishment in Murfreesboro. The building of the Roman Catholic church of St. Rose of Lima had prompted a march by angry residents to the town courthouse to highlight their fears that the project would endanger their security and way of life, amid claims that “suspicious outsiders” were funding it. The church was built to serve recently arrived Irish, German and Italian immigrants.[22]

        The newspaper highlighted four factors driving the opposition to the mosque: a dislike of immigrants, a fear that Christianity was losing its grip on a Bible Belt heartland, a “swell of fear and hatred” prompted by terrorist attacks, and the insecurity of the worst economic climate since the Great Depression. In past slumps, Chinese immigrants had been ostracized for being non-Christians, Catholics had been ostracized for being “the wrong kind of Christians”, and it was now the turn of Muslims to feel the brunt of prejudice.[2] Rabbi Rami Shapiro noted that “Muslims are in the way of God’s plan” for some anti-Muslim Christian Zionists, who believe that Muslims in Iran and Iraq will be forced out of their homes by Israeli expansion that will pave the way for the Second Coming of Jesus.[23] Professor Ron Messier, who teaches Islamic studies and lives in Murfreesboro, commented: “It’s happened because this is an election year and I think there were some political candidates who thought that, here in Middle Tennessee, a lot of people have very right leanings and they could gain some political leverage by promoting fear about people who have been here for 20 years or more without ever being an issue.

        How different would the situation been had people reached out to them and made them feel as included welcome Americans? Because that didn’t happen, it shows a sick population that needs healing. The cure is the Golden Rule.

        ” Marriage we’ve gone around that several times not interested in doing it again. ”

        Agreed. I made my point.

        It wasn’t really only about marriage anyway, but rather one example of intolerance of others as a matter of legal practice and against the principles of law, ..which is an inherent disaster anyway with all of it’s dysfunctions and contradictions.

        • “According to their statements, they seek ” a sincere movement ” to “separate religion from superstition and to contribute positively to the cultural dialogue.”

          They argue for equal inclusion, …that “Old Scratch gets a seat at the table. ” ”

          The they you are talking about are not satanists, by their own admission-they do not care about anything but screwing with Christians, again by their own admission. So forgive me if I do not believe their arguments are a sincere fight for rights.

          Ah, you posted a book and I don’t have time to read it all right now. So just a highlight-the mosque was there and no one cared-so there must be something that caused people to become concerned-it became an issue when they wanted to build a huge mosque that was so large that there was no way they could fill it unless zillions of people came from outside of the county. So people were concerned about many local issues that come with a huge traffic flow and such. Hell I’ve seen people not being allowed to hold Bible studies because there might be 7 or 8 extra cars in the neighborhood-which is stupid-but when one is talking about 700 or more-it really might create a problem. They were also upset that it was approved so quickly without the community having any say. I’m not standing with anyone here on this issue, I’d have to look into it a lot more-just pointing out that it is not as cut and dried or based on fear as you want to make it. And please note that they seem only capable of using quotes from the people who make extreme statements-I wonder how many reasonable quotes weren’t mentioned.

          • Sedgewick says:

            Ironically, Muslims often remind me of Christians. I sometimes laugh to myself about it. There are distinct differences of course, but the behavior of your average Christian or Muslim is often very similar. It’s little things like when approaching a group of them, one of the first orders of business is to ‘feel you out’ or ‘size you up’ to see if you are one of them, often with the same intent of convincing you of their ideas.

            Places of worship and traffic issues are another example.

            So what? ..20K Muslims move to town, ..population and economy grows. Those Muslims are liable to draw in a lot of Christians from neighboring townships. They may cause an economic boost that also allows for a Christian mega church or two.

            Where is the threat?

            Sure, there are going to be culture clash issues among some people, but they will ultimately work themselves out, as is the case with so many blending cultures in the past. Overall, it has a positive potential.

            I think it’s good to consider that they’re adapting to a cultural standard by settling in a predominantly Christian nation. They’re not terrorists or trying to take over. They’re mostly regular people like you, trying to live the American dream. If they are coming from somewhere else, it stands to reason they value something about American culture that they may otherwise not be getting.

            ” And please note that they seem only capable of using quotes from the people who make extreme statements-I wonder how many reasonable quotes weren’t mentioned. ”

            I agree with the need for reason. I think the intent is to point to issues within the population concerning position and attitude.

            Aside from traffic or zoning issues, what is the issue? What reasonable argument is there for not allowing them their place in Tennessee? Does it require protests, arguments and vandalism?

            • The threat is if they are devout Muslims, they believe everyone not of their faith should be either killed or enslaved, eventually. Where they have immigrated in large numbers, they started as nice, reasonable people. As their number grey, they frequently became disruptive, trying to force their new neighbors to adapt their culture to fit their beliefs. In the UK, they demanded Sharia law be recognized by the UK courts. So a Muslim female would have few rights. In France. they have done billions in damage with their riots. Is it not foolish to view them as possible invaders bent on “conquering” us by using our own laws against us while they build their numbers & influence?

              As a Christian, what would I do? I would ask them in a public meeting if they would teach from the Koran. I would ask if they believed as it states that they have a religious duty to kill or enslave all non-believers. If someone states they intend to shoot you, do you have a duty to invite them into your home?

              As for the Satanism, mostly I would treat them as a joke, but if they are true Satanists, they would practice animal/human sacrifices? I expect they would be closely watched, which might amuse them to no end…

              • Sedgewick says:

                ” The threat is if they are devout Muslims, they believe everyone not of their faith should be either killed or enslaved, eventually. Where they have immigrated in large numbers, they started as nice, reasonable people. As their number grey, they frequently became disruptive, trying to force their new neighbors to adapt their culture to fit their beliefs. In the UK, they demanded Sharia law be recognized by the UK courts. So a Muslim female would have few rights. In France. they have done billions in damage with their riots. Is it not foolish to view them as possible invaders bent on “conquering” us by using our own laws against us while they build their numbers & influence? ”

                No. Muslims are and will be respectful living in the USA. Quit being a phobe.

                If by some bizarre set of events, a radical army of Muslims DO start a jihad conquest in the USA, they are basically fuct.

                ” As a Christian, what would I do? I would ask them in a public meeting if they would teach from the Koran. I would ask if they believed as it states that they have a religious duty to kill or enslave all non-believers. If someone states they intend to shoot you, do you have a duty to invite them into your home? ”

                You do not have a duty to invite anyone into your home, and for whatever reason you choose. However, you may find that by doing so, you can create social bonds that are above needing to worry with violence.

                ” As for the Satanism, mostly I would treat them as a joke, but if they are true Satanists, they would practice animal/human sacrifices? I expect they would be closely watched, which might amuse them to no end… ”

                I don’t think it is really about sacrifices. Granted, there are Satanists out there ‘playing the role’, so to speak, …but it’s more about not being inhibited by fear of eternal punishment, and all about making the best of time on earth.

                If a Satanist shalt not lie steal or murder, he/she likely does so because it is practical, and not because they are afraid of hell. If they DO lie steal or kill, it is probably for the same reasons.

                If you are worried about Satanists, don’t give them the chance to lie to you, and if they attempt to steal from or kill you, treat them with equal prejudice as you would any other student of the 2nd amendment.

                I don’t think it is an issue, though.

                How many animals are slaughtered every year to feed America?

              • Sed, any relation to “Right Said Fred”? lol

                Will let this simmer for now. Have a mother to visit & her damned dog to put up with.
                Will put up an article on Muslim Immigrants and see if SUFA feels like devoting their full attention….

        • Sed,

          The myth of Satan is quite interesting if one studies it.

          If one includes all references to its biblical essence (and not merely the name), how many human being were killed or died as an act of “Satan”?

          …Zero…

          Yet, he is evil.

          If one includes all references to its biblical essence, how many INNOCENT human beings were killed by an act of God…

          Arguably, hundreds of millions.

          Yet, he is good.

          The mind explodes with such contradictions.

          • Sedgewick says:

            ” The myth of Satan is quite interesting if one studies it. ”

            Indeed!

            ‘Satan/Shaytan, …the infamous antithetical unrestricted god.’

            Satanism is like any other religion with it’s own different sects, ..the more spiritually oriented satanism falling in line with lessons and practices from/like a variety of religions.

            I think the demonization comes from the foreign nature in comparison to most major religions who are about obedience as a matter of avoiding postmortem spiritual consequence.

            Satanism doesn’t promote the violation of others so much as it does not worrying about going to hell, and therefore not restricted to behavioral standards as a matter of doctrine.
            It doesn’t recognize hell as a consequence and generally believes in indulgence of the physical world. It says.. “I may as well make the best of it in this world (and the next?)”,

            …hence ” Do What Thou Will “.

  10. I suppose we’ll be told this has been investigated enough too.

    May 10, 2014
    DOJ official’s testimony demonstrates that Holder’s IRS probe ‘a joke’
    Thomas Lifson

    The top Department of Justice official in charge of overseeing ‘public integrity’ prosecutions made a fool of himself yesterday in Congressional testimony and demonstrated that getting to the truth is the last thing on the Department’s agenda when it comes to the IRS scandals. President Obama’s statement that “not a smidgen” of corruption existed apparently is regarded as holy writ in Eric Holder’s domain. David Martasko of the UK Daily Mail reports:
    The acting deputy U.S. attorney general in charge of overseeing ‘public integrity’ prosecutions testified Friday that he doesn’t know who’s in charge of the criminal investigation of Lois Lerner, the former IRS official at the center of the tea-party targeting scandal.

    David O’Neil, whose job atop the DOJ’s criminal division puts him in charge of public corruption prosecutions, told Ohio Republican Rep. Jim Jordan that he also doesn’t know how many prosecutors are assigned to the case, or how many attorneys from his division are working on it.

    Asked to identify the lead agent in the Lerner investigation, O’Neil would only answer, ‘I’m sure that we can provide that information to you.’ (snip)

    Jordan told MailOnline Friday afternoon that O’Neil’s testimony ‘is even further proof as to why a special counsel is needed to get to the bottom of the IRS scandal.’

    ‘The DOJ investigation has been a joke, as evidenced by Mr. O’Neil’s unfamiliarity with even the most basic details of the work being done by the division he oversees.,’ Jordan said.

    ‘We are talking about the IRS violating the First Amendment rights of Americans, and we deserve a real investigation that helps us deliver justice.’

    This is evidence that a special counsel must be appointed. Holder’s minions aren’t even bothering to round up the usual suspects (those would be tea partiers, actually, so one cannot complain on that issue).

    Holder is on dangeours ground here, for the IRS is the most feared agency in Washington, and political corruption there resonates deedply, which is why President Obama at first reacted so strongly, and why, on consideration, the effort to denigrate the corruption is so thorough. Remember that using the IRS for political purposes was one of the indictments of President Nixon in his Articles of Impeachment.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/blog/2014/05/doj_officials_testimony_demonstrates_that_holders_irs_probe_a_joke.html

  11. I think the man’s all out attack on Bundy personally is wrong and filled with a lot of judgemental assumptions based on a few stupidly spoken words. But he is free to his own opinion, in the end it really has nothing to do with the issue anyway. But the rest of the article is worth reading.

    Trashing Rural America
    12:15 PM 05/08/2014

    It looked like a modern variation of a Hollywood range-war flick. On one side stood environmentalists and federal agents demanding protection of tortoise habitat endangered by over-grazing. On the other, a rancher who insists on grazing his cattle on federal lands where his family has always grazed (while refusing to pay grazing fees), and his supporters, including some armed militia.

    The confrontation between the indefensible and bigoted Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy and a small army of federal law enforcement officers struck many living east of the Rockies or in West Coast cities as bizarre. It was hard to comprehend the nature of the dispute — a confusing mix of cattle, fees and fines, trespassing and tortoises. And the notion of settling the matter with guns seemed like something from an earlier century.

    In reality, the showdown had little to do with tortoises. To understand what was really going on, one must understand the history of public lands use and how the Green movement and its allies in D.C. have steadily choked off the commercial use necessary to the survival of rural America.

    The federal land on which Bundy had a permit to graze his cattle was not in a national park. National parks account for about 80 million acres — an area about the size of Norway. But that’s just a fraction of all federal lands.

    Along with the larger land holdings of three other agencies — the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Forest Service — encompass more territory than France, Germany, Poland, Italy, Spain and England combined. This makes for a huge federal footprint, especially in the West.

    The vast majority of the federal estate was not set aside for preservation as a park but to be managed under a conservation approach that provides for economic activity. These areas are supposed to be “lands of many uses,” and allow those who produce our food, fiber, minerals and energy to tap into their natural resources of timber, minerals, energy, and grass for livestock forage.

    The BLM, in fact, was created by a Truman-era reorganization that folded together two agencies, one of which was the U.S. Grazing Service. The Grazing Service was a product of the 1934 Taylor Grazing Act, which addressed the longstanding practice of ranching on federal lands, some of which was encouraged by government.

    Today, many ranchers continue to graze the federal lands their families have used for generations. They have a court-recognized private property interest in their grazing permits, which are taxed by the IRS, inheritable, and transferable with the sale of a ranch. The U.S. Court of Claims recognized that ranchers can have private rights in the federal estate following the Fed’s bullying of another Nevada rancher, Wayne Hage. Said U.S. District Court Judge Robert C. Jones of that confrontation: “[T]he Government’s actions over the past two decades shocks the conscience of the Court.”

    People often assume — erroneously — that all federal lands were set aside expressly for the preservation of an animal, plant, vista or other natural resource. The environmental movement has promotes this false assumption because it helps advance their goal, which is to treat the entire federal estate as a national park.

    In pursuit of that agenda, the greens — abetted by allies in Congress and the land managing agencies — have steadily sought to strangle beneficial economic uses of the federal estate. Some are placed off limits by wilderness designations or restrictive land management plans. Or cumbersome National Environmental Policy Act assessments or Endangered Species Act challenges are launched to thwart use. Swath by swath, the greens are blanketing the West with “Human — Keep Out” signs.

    It’s killing rural economic activity. Over the last 50 years, grazing on public lands, which is measured in AUMs (the amount of forage needed to sustain one cow and her calf for a month), has plummeted from 18.2 million AUMs to 7.9 million AUMs. Between 2009 and 2013, as crude oil and natural gas production surged on non-federal lands, it fell – by 6 and 28 percent, respectively — on federal lands. Timber harvesting on public lands has fallen from 12 billion board feet in the Reagan years to under 3 billion board feet in FY 2013. The statistics for miners on public lands are equally grim.

    The environmental movement often uses “flagship species” to strangle economic activity. The spotted owl, for example, was used to close off huge tracts of federal timberland. As Andy Stahl of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund put it: ”thank goodness the spotted owl evolved in the Northwest, for if it hadn’t we’d have to genetically engineer it. It’s a perfect species to use as a surrogate.”

    The owl was weaponized through the Endangered Species Act. Small wonder that many Western ranchers now see desert tortoises as crawling legal land mines.

    The irony, of course, is that rural Americans actually walk the walk unlike most professional environmental activists who seek to shut them down. Ranchers, farmers, loggers and miners actually live in rural communities and spend their days in the desert, mountains, forest, pasture and on the range. They enjoy the hoot of the owl or the flash of a lizard skittering across their path. It’s part of why they choose to stay in the boondocks — a partial trade-off for foregoing the comforts of urban life. It’s hard for them to swallow the environmental self-righteousness of people paid to yammer on about “saving family farms” from their stylish concrete and glass edifices.

    Bundy is as far from a sympathetic martyr as his Nevada ranch is to Washington’s halls of power. Focusing on his indefensible and ugly behavior is, however, to miss the big point – that cruel policies are destroying rural economic activity and with it rural America.

    Read more: http://dailycaller.com/2014/05/08/trashing-rural-america/2/#ixzz31KfLMd13

    • gmanfortruth says:

      I stopped reading at the accusation of bigoted. The lost all credibility at thst point. No need to give him any further time,

      • G-read the article-do not be like so many that refuse to listen to another’s opinion because it offends them. Denounce him for the accusations but do not prejudge the rest of his argument- see if there’s anything of value before you just dismiss him. I think you will find a lot of value in the rest of his arguments.

        • Or let me put it this way-the left managed to put the label racist on Bundy-now they feel free to just ignore him and anything else that is said about this issue-don’t be like them

  12. I read articles like this one and think-is this too much of an exaggeration -then I think NOPE-it’s a warning and it’s appropriate.

    May 10, 2014
    America’s Last Straw
    By Cindy Simpson

    The tenth of May is the anniversary of the “royal assent” of the Tea Act — famously known as one of the last straws that led to the American Revolution.

    A “last straw” — defined as “the last of a series (as of events or indignities) that brings one beyond the point of endurance” — represents the point at which things really do make a difference.

    The phrase originated from a proverb about a camel whose back was broken after it was laden with one straw too many. The exact appearance, consistency, or origin of that particular straw, however, is open to speculation.

    The proverbial last straw may have been barely noticeable by itself, far from the perfect specimen. It may have been certified organic, or the latest answer to global warming or world poverty. It could have been lifted off of another camel’s back in a fairness or diversity or redistribution program, or simply to benefit a crony. And who knows the emotional state of that beast before that single straw was added to its burden — or why it would just stand there rather than shrug it off. But even so, for that particular camel — it was The Last One.

    The story and impact of Tea Act was recalled by Sen. Mike Lee in his recent editorial. He wrote: “[N]ot only was the American idea hatched in protest to a government that was too big and too intrusive,” but also one that was “willing and able to unfairly benefit favored special interests at the expense of everyone else.”

    That last straw — remarkably similar to the many issues we presently encounter today — did not break the backs of those Americans. It energized them to protest.

    A hundred years later, President James Garfield issued this warning:

    Twenty years ago, the presence of the national government was not felt by one citizen in a hundred. Except in paying his postage and receiving his mail, the citizen of the interior rarely came in contact with the national authority. Now, he meets it in a thousand ways…[and] a vote in Congress may, any day, seriously derange the business affairs of every person.

    Today, more than another hundred years later, Garfield would be appalled to see that not only is our postal system bankrupt, but that outside of our mailboxes and in both our business and personal affairs — we meet the serious derangement of national authority practically everywhere and in every way imaginable.

    A crippling burden — accumulating a debt in excess of 17 trillion dollars — has been heaped upon us by the intrusive, redistributive, red-tape-wrapping and crony-embracing arms of an ever-growing government bureaucracy. In fact, Uncle Sam could be holding the last straw right now. It may be hovering over our nation, about to drop.

    What might this potential last straw represent, and when and where will it land? Will it spur citizens to become more actively engaged in our political community, or perhaps even further, to the point of outright defiance?

    “Come and get me if you must, Mr. President. I will not bow before your wicked regulation!” Those were the words spoken by Focus on the Family founder James Dobson at this year’s National Day of Prayer. With this statement, Dobson identified his last straw — an Obamacare mandate — and vowed his defiance:

    I believe in the rule of law, and it has been my practice since I was in college to respect and honor those in authority over us. It is my desire to do so now. However, this assault on the sanctity of human life takes me where I cannot go. I WILL NOT pay the surcharge for abortion services.

    One too many Obamacare mandates represented the last straw for Dr. Daniel Craviotto. In his WSJ editorial titled “A Doctor’s Declaration of Independence,” he urged others in his profession to resolve: “enough is enough.”

    The point at which America says “enough” may very well be related to Obamacare. After all, every single one of us is affected in the most personal of ways. Reporter Keith Koffler recently observed: “Obamacare is a catastrophe. Americans know it. The question is whether they are going to do anything about it.”

    Might it take one more illegal delay, fix, or “little noticed” provision finally coming to our attention? One more story of a patient denied treatment? A taxpayer bailout of insurers?

    Taxes might be the source of another last straw. Justice Scalia, recently speaking before a group of law students, was asked about the constitutionality of federal taxation. He qualified his affirmative answer with the remark: “if [taxation] reaches a certain point, perhaps you should revolt.”

    Scalia, obviously referring to taxpayers (which currently comprise around half of the nation when it comes to income taxes) as the “you,” didn’t define that “certain point” — nor did he explain what he meant by “revolt.” Merriam-Webster, however, defines it as something very serious.

    Could a “revolt” be sparked by one more tax dollar or new tax? Or might a “certain point” of Obamacare premium increase be the last straw? After all, only a dollar of income can make a substantial difference on either tax rates or Obamacare subsidies, as can a single hour of work affect eligibility.

    A minor “glitch” in the EBT system affected thousands of recipients out of the almost 50 million who depend on the food stamp program, and was the last straw for this woman who angrily wondered, “How am I going to feed my family?”

    Giving a set of Common Core standardized tests to his students pushed this teacher past his limit when he wrote that “Today is the first day I was ever ashamed to be a teacher.”

    Might one more regulation protecting one more species of tortoise or fish cause farmers or ranchers or entire communities to snap?

    Could one more example of lawlessness or appalling waste and corruption unleash a significant reaction? One more IRS scandal? Another trillion added to the debt?

    One more “spontaneous protest” or instance of “workplace violence” while citizen protestors are labeled “domestic terrorists”?

    One more regulation added to the thousands, or another batch of controversial rules delayed until after another round of elections?

    Another decision in our courts, decided by the margin of a single vote, that twisted words in order to uphold a clearly unconstitutional law? One more vote that bans public prayer?

    One more presidential lie or damning email?

    None of the above examples — singly — may appear to be cause for “revolt.” But probably neither did the Tea Act to the British Parliament.

    The Tea Act, as Sen. Lee reminded us, didn’t actually raise taxes on the colonists — it reduced the taxes of the politically-connected British importer. One can almost hear the echoes of King George in some of Obama’s comments regarding a Tea Party rally — that he had “cut taxes,” and “you would think they’d be saying thank you.”

    Tea-Act-type cronyist and redistributive legislation has become the norm, and whether due to taxes, penalties, regulations, insurance premiums, or inflation — the burden on hard-working American citizens has been anything but “cut.” Numerous examples of lawlessness and corruption add to the weight that is breaking our spirits and threatening our financial and national security — fast becoming an unsustainable liability that future generations had no hand in building, yet will be asked to bear.

    And when we dare to balk, we’re chastised by a Democrat-media complex that portrays us as extremist, unintelligent, conspiratorial, anarchist, racist, hateful, or as warring against the environment, science, women or the poor.

    But still our party and pundits admonish us to be patient, choose our battles wisely, steer clear of social issues, and employ only “winning” arguments as we focus on the bigger goal of building a bigger tent.

    The establishment seems unwilling to deviate from that strategy unless it is presented with the perfect alignment of the perfect issue or the perfect case — or perhaps it is holding out for the perfect quantity of them. It appears doubtful, however, that any number of additions to the 76 examples listed in a Tea Party favorite Senator’s fourth report on Obama’s abuses of power would receive any serious attention.

    Instead, we the People are told to wait for: The Next Election. A rescue by a Republican majority — led by an establishment that we are supposed to trust to cover our breaking backs, even though we have seen it turn its back on Tea Party members and have heard its hints that “Obamacare isn’t going anywhere.”

    Is that last straw fluttering overhead, about to land? Will it inspire citizens to do more than vote, write letters, sign petitions, or stand in protest — but actually refuse to pay the fine, enroll in the program, follow the rules, or submit the tax? Might we find it necessary to compose a list of grievances that begins with the phrase, “When in the course of human events?”

    “There is a direct line from our forefathers on Griffin’s Wharf in Boston Harbor to where we stand today,” wrote Sen. Lee. “They had the courage to challenge a government that was too big and too intrusive, but also unfair. The result was the creation of an America of, by, and for the people. Our challenge today is to reclaim it.”

    Before that last straw breaks America’s back.

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/05/americas_last_straw.html

    • Sedgewick says:

      …Okay, …so how do we have a global revolution of for and by all the people and do so in the name of peace love truth and righteousness?

      I recommend we muster as many people as possible, agree on and establish a universally beneficial non-coercive framework for social order and prosperity, live it and love it, and bypass this mess we have created for future generations.

      ם

      י נוֹתָר

      קש

      הקש

      גבעול

      ה זרד

  13. Wow, just unbelievable that anyone could think this way.

    http://www.bookwormroom.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/image.jpg

  14. gmanfortruth says:

    Happy Mothers Day! I hope all the SUFA ladies have a great day!

  15. Happy Mothers Day! My boys made eggs & toast for their mother (and me).
    Off to church, then over the river & thru the cattle gate….

  16. Have a great day ladies and thank you gentlemen for helping the children make our day a happy one.

  17. I know it’s Mother’s Day-read it tomorrow if it’s too depressing to handle today.

    Study: Abortion Most Consequential Issue Determining Socioeconomic, Demographic Composition of United States

    Email Article Print article Send a Tip
    by Dr. Susan Berry 11 May 2014, 1:57 AM PDT 304 post a comment
    A new study has concluded that, while largely ignored by the scientific community, abortion is undoubtedly the most consequential issue determining the socioeconomic and demographic composition of the United States.

    The study, conducted by Dr. James Studnicki, professor of Public Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina, and colleagues Sharon J. MacKinnon and John W. Fisher, utilized data from the 2008 national summary of pregnancy outcomes, which indicated that 64.6% of all pregnancies ended in a live birth, while 18.4% ended in abortion.

    According to the national report, the overall pregnancy rate for non-Hispanic black women (144.3 per 1000) was 65% higher than the rate for non-Hispanic white women (87.5 per 1000). In addition, black women have an average of more pregnancies in a lifetime (4.3) than white women (2.7).

    In 2008, while 69% of white pregnancies resulted in a live birth, only 49% of black pregnancies led to live births. The abortion rate for white women was 12.4%, and the rate for black women was nearly three times higher, at 35.6%. Thus, despite a higher pregnancy rate than whites, black pregnancies are much less likely to result in a live birth, largely because of their dramatically higher abortion rate.

    In their study, Studnicki and his colleagues applied race-specific death estimates to the abortions occurring to white and black women in North Carolina in 2008. The resulting number of births lost by abortion was then used to project Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL).

    The researchers found that, for non-Hispanic (NH) whites, abortions in 2008 contributed 59% of total years of potential life lost, while, for NH blacks, abortions contributed 76% of the same, leading to the conclusion that “induced abortion is the overwhelmingly predominant contributing cause of preventable potential lives lost in the North Carolina population, and NH blacks are disproportionately affected.”

    In an email discussion about his study, Studnicki cited Breitbart News’ February review of the New York City Department of Health report that found more black babies were killed by abortion in the city than were born there in 2012.

    “As a public health researcher, I was truly astounded by the results in our paper,” Studnicki said. “Federal officials presumably responsible for racial disparities in health outcomes have greeted my paper with absolute silence.”

    Studnicki said Public Health agencies must be informed by sound science, rather than ideology and political correctness, in evaluating priorities and allocating limited resources.

    “Nevertheless, as a nation we have allowed induced abortion to be relegated to the ideological ‘shadows’ and thereby hidden from valid and objective science,” he said.

    As an example, Studnicki cited the fact that some states, including California and Maryland, still do not report abortion data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    Studnicki said his research makes the following points in a completely valid and objective way: Abortion is not contraception, but the termination of a developing life; induced abortions account for more years of potential life lost than all other causes of death combined; and the black abortion rate and rate of years of life lost to abortion is more than three times that of whites.

    “Why is a year of life lost to abortion less valuable or worthy than a year of life lost to cancer, heart disease or diabetes?” Studnicki asks. “Remember, this nation routinely spends billions of dollars annually for therapies which may extend the lives of terminally ill patients a few weeks or months.”

    “Why is this gigantic racial disparity ignored while others such as diabetes mortality, childhood obesity, and geographical proximity to fresh foods (none of which have a fraction of the mortality consequences of abortion) are constantly in the news and attract vast amounts of programmatic resources?”

    “The point is that health professionals consider premature death as an important measure of community health status,” he states.

    “The metric most often used to measure premature death is called Years of Potential Life Lost (YPLL),” Studnicki explains. “Yet induced abortion was never, before our study, considered as a cause of death for YPLL calculations because it was assumed that you cannot count a potential life without first a live birth.”

    Studnicki said that when he and his colleagues applied the YPLL construct to induced abortions as a cause of death, they discovered that abortion accumulates more years of preventable premature death than all other causes of death combined. Secondly, blacks have more than three times the rate of YPLL due to abortions than do whites.

    “There is no doubt that abortion is the most consequential issue now determining the socioeconomic and demographic composition of the United States,” said Studnicki, “and it is largely ignored by the scientific community and likely many in black leadership.”

    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/05/10/Study-Abortion-By-and-Far-Most-Consequential-Issue-Determining-Socioeconomic-Demographic-Composition-of-United-States

  18. I ran across this quote today and found it interesting:

    Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren wrote: “Individual rights must be balanced against the power of the government to control human reproduction. Some people have viewed the right to have children as a fundamental and inalienable right. Yet neither the Declaration of Independence nor the Constitution mentions a right to reproduce.” Ecoscience (1977). 2 Population, Resources, Environment (1970).

    Ehrlich is the author of Population Bomb, Holdren is Obama’s science adviser.

    • It is scary how some people think!

    • Those documents don’t give a right to have sex either!

    • gmanfortruth says:

      Those Rights are indirectly covered by the 9th Amendment. Remember, the Constitution and bill of Rights doesn’t grant any Rights, it simply provides limits to Government action. Article 1, Section 8 describes the powers of Congress. Back in the 1700′s we didn’t have idiots like Paul Ehrlich and John Holdren , so no one would have thought to add to the Bill of Rights the Right to Reproduce or the Right to have Sex. Those are common human rights, not subject to the laws of the Feds in Art 1 Sec 8.

  19. Her eyes do look sad.

    Death Versus Life
    May 11th, 2014 – 2:47 pm
    by Andrew Klavan

    Even when I was an abortion supporter, it always seemed odd to me that abortion should be such a sacrament to the left, so central to its agenda. I understand why a person of good will might argue in favor of legalized abortion. You might say it was a tragic necessity; you might say it was a small tragedy needed to avoid a bigger tragedy; you might even say that, up to a certain point, it isn’t really a moral issue at all. Whatever. But to say that it’s a good thing? A positive thing? I don’t get it.

    Yet whenever I hear a leftist saying abortion should be “safe, legal and rare,” I suspect her position is like Obama’s “evolving” position on gay marriage: a convenient lie, a delaying tactic meant to bring a reluctant public along, a political deception.

    In fact, many on the left, especially the feminist left, seem actually to prefer the idea of abortion to the idea of giving birth. Witness this terribly sad (to me) mother’s day post from Slate writer Rebecca Helm, “The Worst Thing You Ever Did to Your Mother”:

    This Mother’s Day I’d like to apologize for what is probably the worst thing I’ve ever done to my mother. And you did it to your mother, too. Dear Mom: I’d like to say I’m sorry. I’m sorry for manipulating you, stealing from you, taking control of your blood supply, and consuming part of your body. I, like everyone else alive today, did all this before I was even born…

    Really? Wow. You’re apologizing for being conceived? For being born? You think your mother wants that apology? You think she wants you to feel guilty that she gave you life?

    Or take the equally pathetic Emily Letts, who videotaped herself having an abortion as if it were a live birth. She said it was “as birth-like as it could be,” “a special memory,” and that she loves “how positive it is.” Of course, the miserable thing about this is that you can bet cash money that within a few years she’ll be writing her memoir about how awful it was, and how she fooled herself and then came to her senses and realized blah, blah, blah. But by then, of course, she’ll have already inspired others with her self-deception.

    In a brilliantly insightful post, the Catholic blogger Elizabeth Scalia, The Anchoress at Patheos, screen captured a picture of Letts’ face as she sang abortion’s praises a month after the procedure. ”If you let yourself become distracted by what is coming from her mouth,” Elizabeth writes, “you miss all that is revealed in her face, which tells the whole, and very different story.”

    Well, right.

    You know, it’s almost as if, having lost the doctrine of original sin and Christian forgiveness, these poor women are left with nothing but the free-floating, universalized guilt that makes them hate themselves and life. Maybe that’s unfair. I don’t know these ladies. But life hatred — humanity hatred, self-hatred and ultimately God hatred — seem to permeate so much of radical leftism. Feminism and Marxism with their revulsion at human nature, environmentalism with its elevation of greenery over humankind, radical groups like PETA that put the love of animals before the love of neighbor, the sweaty insistence on self-esteem and feeling good about yourself, giving praise, praise, praise for nothing, nothing, nothing, the ceaseless need to define your opposition as hateful… and abortion as a positive. It all smacks of self-hatred, doesn’t it? The love of death over life.

    C.S. Lewis once said that in the modern age, before you could deliver the good news of Christ, you had to deliver the bad news of original sin. But frankly, I think we carry the bad news inside us. Life itself poses the terrible question. If you’re not going to become mired in self-hatred and death love, you have to go looking for the answer. Indeed, maybe you were born to make that journey.

    Happy Mother’s Day.

    http://pjmedia.com/andrewklavan/2014/05/11/death-versus-life/?singlepage=true

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