Donald Trump Restores “The Forgotten Man”

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“Through false nostalgia for the New Deal, you are taking the younger generation hostage. They are the ones who are going to have to pay far greater taxes. They are the future’s forgotten men.”
Amity Shlaes

It was November 9, 2016 at 3:36AM in New York City and Donald Trump was still reeling from his unlikely victory over Hilary Clinton to become the 45th President of the United States of America. He had already delivered his victory speech to hundreds of his elated supporters at his campaign headquarters but still he had one more thing to do. He had to send out one more tweet:

Such a beautiful and important evening. The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again. We will all come together as never before

The forgotten man was actually coined over 133 years ago in William Graham Sumner’s 1883 essay “What the Social Classes Owe to Each Other”. In Sumner’s opening paragraph…he defines the forgotten man:

The type and formula of most schemes of philanthropy or humanitarianism is this: A and B put their heads together to decide what C shall be made to do for D. The radical vice of all these schemes, from a sociological point of view, is that C is not allowed a voice in the matter, and his position, character, and interests, as well as the ultimate effects on society through C’s interests, are entirely overlooked. I call C the Forgotten Man.

Some 49 years later, Franklin Delano Roosevelt evoked the forgotten man in a 1932 radio address promoting his New Deal policies. In his version, however, he reassigned Sumner’s original roles making “D” the forgotten man. Roosevelt used the phrase to describe the poor who needed money rather than the overlooked middle class who were forced to provide it via government dictate. Roosevelt said:

“These unhappy times call for the building of plans that rest upon the forgotten, the unorganized but the indispensable units of economic power, for plans like those of 1917 that build from the bottom up and not from the top down, that put their faith once more in the forgotten man at the bottom of the economic pyramid.”

Jump ahead to the year 2007, Amity Shlaes, a columnist for Bloomberg and a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations publishes “The Forgotten Man: A New History of the Great Depression”. Shales explores the policies of The New Deal through more modern economic eyes. She concludes that while some of the New Deal policies provided relief…many more policies simply prolonged the depression. Stringent regulations and government intrusion into the free market brought business spending and growth to a crawl with unemployment remaining around 10% until the start of World War 2. Shlaes proves how both Hoover and Roosevelt “overestimated the value of government planning” and prolonged the very problems they were seeking to fix.

I read The Forgotten Man several years ago and my biggest take away was that business and industry can simply wait out presidential administrations that are hostile to business. And that’s exactly what has happened after nearly eight years under Obama’s own nostalgic New Deal policies. Obamacare, Dodd Frank, the EPA attack on coal and energy and a plethora of intrusive executive orders have once again stifled business spending and kept GDP under 2% through the duration of Obama’s term. Unlike the Great Depression however, corporate America’s balance sheets were relatively strong with plenty of cash on the books. Rather than deploy that cash to expand their business, they opted to improve efficiency, reduce debt, buy back their own stock, increase their dividend or acquire the competition. They knew that Obama’s bullying would eventually come to an end so they just waited him out.

Enter Donald J. Trump. After a year and half of intense campaigning, he was still three or four points behind Hilary Clinton in most polls entering election day. The media attacks on Trump were relentless throughout the entire campaign. The New York Times, Washington Post and the rest of the main street media did their best to paint his character as unfit for the presidency. The polls, however, stood in sharp contrast to the raucous enthusiasm displayed in Trump’s huge campaign events held throughout the country. Everywhere he went he was greeted by capacity crowds and fire official often had to turn people away. So why this disparity between the polls and the Trump rallies?

The answer became evident as the election results started to flow in on November 8th. As swing state after swing state were added to Trumps electoral college totals…it was obvious that a particular voter segment was turning out in large numbers. It was the forgotten man. The overlooked middle class who was struggling to pay their health insurance, who hadn’t had a pay raise in many years or who were stuck in a lesser job because nothing else was available. The forgotten man turned “shy” because the media portrayal of Trump made them uncomfortable to speak out. The forgotten man, the man who pays, the man who prays, the man who is not thought of….actually turned out and rebuked the failed New Deal policies of Barrack Obama….and his legacy along with it.

So…not only did Donald Trump engineer one of the greatest Presidential upsets in modern history, he restored the forgotten man to his rightful place in Sumner’s social essay. As Sumner wrote: “He will be found to be worthy, industrious, independent, and self-supporting. He is not, technically, “poor” or “weak”; he minds his own business, and makes no complaint”. Unfortunately, I don’t share Trump’s assertion that he will never be forgotten again. History does have a way of repeating itself. But rest assured, if the left ever does forget, the forgotten man is lurking just under the surface, ready to pounce, ready to make a difference again.

This is John Galt Speaking!

 

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Political Correctness: America’s Own Extremism

“The notion of political correctness has ignited controversy across the land. And although the movement arises from the laudable desire to sweep away the debris of racism and sexism and hatred, it replaces old prejudice with new ones. It declares certain topics off-limits, certain expression off-limits, even certain gestures off-limits. What began as a crusade for civility has soured into a cause of conflict and even censorship.”
President George H.W. Bush

It was only hours following the terrorist attack that took 14 lives in San Bernardino when we learned that political correctness (and the stigma of racial profiling) kept one individual from reporting suspicious activity in a Redland’s neighborhood to the police. CBS News in Los Angeles reported:

A man who has been working in the area said he noticed a half-dozen Middle Eastern men in the area in recent weeks, but decided not to report anything since he did not wish to racially profile those people. “We sat around lunch thinking, ‘What were they doing around the neighborhood?’ he said. “We’d see them leave where they’re raiding the apartment.”

If you think it wouldn’t have done any good to report it….you don’t remember the “Ft. Dix Six”. Back in 2006….a young Circuit City clerk was struggling with being tagged a racist after he viewed a jihadist video showing a gang of middle eastern men firing guns in the air and shouting “god is great”. The clerk was approached by two of the men in the video and asked to convert a video tape to DVD. After discussing the incident with a coworker and his supervisor…he over came his fear of being labeled a racist and called 911. Some 16 months later (and after a long undercover operation)…that phone call led to six Muslim immigrants being arrested by the FBI. The “Ft. Dix Six” planned to storm the Ft. Dix Army base and kill as many American soldiers as possible.

Unlike our President…most Americans recognize the threat posed by radical Muslim extremists. However….do they recognize the threat posed by the creep of extreme political correctness?

While the rise of political correctness in the United States is widely attributed to the anti-war demonstrations of the 60’s and the feminist movement of the 70’s, according to conservative columnist Bill Lind, it’s roots go back to the teachings of Karl Marx. In his speech entitled “The Origins of Political Correctness” Lind claims political correctness is Marxism translated from economic into cultural terms. Lind maintains that political correctness is a grave danger to the United States because it is not taken seriously and is regarded with a mixture of pity and amusement.

No where has the creep of political correctness been so prevalent as on our college campuses. One of the most disturbing developments are the so called “free speech” zones. These are small, often remote areas of campus, where students are allowed to hold rallies, demonstrate, distribute literature or give speeches. Students are often forced to apply 10 days in advance in order to use these zones. According to Greg Lukianoff, president and CEO of the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE) one in six universities maintain free speech zones.

One student at Modesto Junior College in California who failed to comply with the free speech zone codes found himself facing off with the campus police. He was distributing copies of the US Constitution on September 17 – the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.

Students aren’t the only ones suffering the effects of the politically correct campus establishment. On December 7, a Yale administrator, Erika Christakis, resigned after writing (in an e-mail she sent in October) a counterpoint to Yale administration’s suggestion that students refrain from dressing in Halloween costumes that might be deemed culturally insensitive. Here’s a portion of her e-mail which generated a massive student protest in which the students demanded her resignation:

Nicholas says, [referring to her husband who is a professor at Yale] if you don’t like a costume someone is wearing, look away, or tell them you are offended. Talk to each other. Free speech and the ability to tolerate offense are the hallmarks of a free and open society. She closes her e-mail asking…Who’s business is it to control the forms of costumes of young people? I know it’s not mine!

So this was the offensive rhetoric which caused a massive student protest? It’s not just the absurd reasons for these protests that are worrisome but also the method the students use when they demonstrate. Long gone are the peaceful marches or sit ins of the 60’s. Today…students act aggressively…shouting out slogans and forcefully drowning out any opposing viewpoints. Several of these protest have gone viral on Youtube. In one…an Assistant Professor of Journalism at the University of Missouri is filmed trying to have a student journalist (who was covering the student protest for ESPN) removed forcefully from the protest. She is heard asking for “muscle” to remove the journalist who refused to leave. She later expressed regret for her “tactics” and resigned her non faculty position.

If your looking for the right word to describe this behavior on our college campuses….it’s Fascism. The term Fascism is more widely used today as a pejorative but all definitions include a supreme authoritarian rule where any and all opposition is prohibited. Perhaps they don’t realize it….but these students (along with most of the faculty) have established there own Orwellian version of “Oceania” and “Newspeak”. Newspeak is the fictional language in the novel 1984 by George Orwell. Created by the totalitarian state known as Oceania, it’s a tool to limit freedom of thought and anything which pose a threat to the regime such as freedom, self-expression, individuality, and peace. Any form of thought alternative to the party’s construct is classified as “thoughtcrime”.

The rise of Muslim extremism was not spontaneous. It’s been cultivated for decades at radical Madrasah’s throughout the Middle East and exported to the United States through lax visa and immigration policies. So while America waits in fear for the next terrorist shoe to drop and our president tries to fight a politically correct war against terrorism….is anyone paying attention to the end product coming out of our own colleges? If not…what was once creeping political correctness on campus could well become full fledge “Newspeak” and we may wake up one day in an Orwellian nightmare of our own creation.

This is John Galt Speaking!

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Is Obama’s Red Line Drawn with Syrian Blood?

“Domestic policy can only defeat us; foreign policy can kill us.”
John F. Kennedy

When the Soviet Union tried to park nuclear missiles 90 miles off the coast of Florida….President Kennedy showed the world what true leadership was. He backed up strong words with military might and stared down the Soviets with a Naval “quarantine” of Cuba. Kennedy understood that United States foreign policy had to have clearly communicated objectives, goals and an actionable strategic response plan if it were to achieve desired results.

Unfortunately….President Obama has failed to learn this lesson. His continued “dithering” during the Syria Crisis may just be the final blow to what little credibility America possessed with both allies and enemies alike. Clearly what Americans and the rest of the world have viewed over the last two weeks on CNN, Fox and MSNBC is the complete dismantling of American foreign policy.

Syria has been in the grips of a Civil War after Arab Spring protests against the Bassar Al-Assad regime turned violent in April 2011. To date….over 100,000 have been killed in the fighting. For the most part…America has remained on the sidelines despite pleas from some in Congress to aide the rebels with weapons and logistics. In August, 2012, President Obama warned that the use of chemical weapons would cross a “red line” in the eyes of the United States and would trigger “enormous consequences”. Allegations that chemical weapons have been used in Syria first began to emerge in December 2012, when Al Jazeera released unconfirmed reports that a gas attack killed 7 civilians in the rebel-held neighborhood of Homs. Last month….opposition forces reported two separate chemical attacks that reportedly killed over 1,000 people including hundreds of children. American intelligence sources confirmed these victims tested positive for sarin gas exposure.

Now….apparently trapped by his own “red line” comment (you may remember Obama was caught joking about Benjamin Netanyahu’s “red line” comments on Iran’s nuclear program), the president is struggling to obtain international support for a “limited” strike on Syria targets. Britain’s parliament recently voted down participating in a military strike on Syria. Furthermore, after weeks of insisting he didn’t need congressional approval for military action, Obama surprised the nation when he did an about-face and said he would seek congressional approval for the use of force in Syria.

Such indecision in the face of an international crisis begs the question – Does President Obama even have a foreign policy? I doubt any journalist could accurately articulate it. Other than his campaign promise to end the Iraq War….his other foreign policy objectives were rather ‘fuzzy’. During his campaign, Obama emphasized the importance of diplomacy and development as tools to aid the U.S. in building new and even stronger alliances, re-building broken relationships and repairing the United States image abroad. In addition, he stated that one of his foreign policy objectives was to combat global poverty, generate wealth and build educated and healthy communities as a means to combat extremism. Well….now that he’s been in office almost five years….have these ‘fuzzy’ objectives been achieved? Let’s take a look at his record:

Egyptian Speech, June 2009: Obama delivers “A New Beginning” speech at Cairo University….basically apologizing to all Muslim for the errors of American policy. Even though he is basically next door….he snubs Israel and flies from Cairo to Germany instead.

The Iran Green Revolution: In his first real test as the leader of the free world, President Obama remains silent for days when violent protests erupted in the streets of Tehran following their 2009 elections. It was only after the ‘Death of Neda’ became a Twitter sensation did Obama issue a statement of condemnation. Little else was done by the administration.

The Libyan Crisis: Once again…President Obama remained silent for days while Moammar Gaddafi turned his guns on his own people. After the UN initiated a no-fly zone, US forces took a back seat to other NATO nations in enforcement. Libya today is still struggling with Gaddafi loyalist and disbanded militias who refuse to integrate into the Libyan Military. Islamist extremism is on the rise.

Iraq: While he ended the war, he left little American personnel there to assist with a transition to a democracy. As a result….Iraq is slipping back into sectarian warfare and Al-Queda is once again on the rise.

Egypt: Another example of Obama policy gone wrong. Rather than support Hosni Mubarak until a better replacement could be found….Obama called for his resignation and he was thrown to the wolves (and literally imprisoned)….only to be replaced by the Islamic Brotherhood! In less than a year there was a military coup and more blood in the streets of Cairo. The fighting still continues.

US & Russia Relationship: Russia and US relations are at their lowest levels since the end of the cold war. Obama and Putin clearly do not like each other and the Syria Crisis continues to erode the relationship. Russia recently granted American traitor Edward Snowden political asylum.

US/China Relations: China continues to build out its Military and Space program at accelerated rate. China continues to engage in government sponsored computer hacking on American corporations and possibly government installations.

US/Israel Relations: While trying to put on a happy front, Israel and the Obama Administration continue to butt heads on the issue of a Palestinian state, Israeli settlements and Iran’s nuclear program. Israel has currently deployed its “Iron Shield” missile defense system and citizens are lining up for gas masks in fear of a retaliatory strike from Syria. Many Israelis consider President Obama a coward for how he has dealt with the Syrian crisis.

Terrorism: Despite degrading Al Qaeda leadership ranks with drone strikes, the United States continues to be targeted by Muslim extremist. Four America’s were killed in a staged attack at a US consulate in Libya on September 11, 2012. The Obama Administration is still embroiled in a scandal when they tried to call it spontaneous violence spurred by an anti-Islamic video. Three died and over 260 were injured when two Muslims brothers (formerly from Russia) exploded two bombs during the Boston Marathon. A mass shooting killed nine people at Fort Hood by a Muslim officer who had ties with an extremist cleric. The attack was ridiculously labeled as work place violence and many soldiers and families were denied battlefield benefits and purple hearts.

OK OK….he killed Bin Laden! He didn’t actually pull the trigger but I do give him credit for not capturing him and bringing him to trial. But what about all that jargon about “rebuilding relationships” and “repairing the US image abroad”??? Clearly….President Obama’s foreign policy is a complete and utter failure and that failure continues with his handling of the Syrian Conflict.

I have to feel for Secretary of State Kerry who really delivered an impassioned plea for immediate action in Syria in a national covered speech on Saturday. However…the hypocrisy of his word didn’t escape me. Absolutely everything he said about Bassar Al-Assad could have been said about Saddam Hussein yet I don’t remember Kerry or Obama supporting regime change in Iraq. I guess things are different when it’s your legacy at stake.

President Obama had a real chance to impact the outcome in Syria back when the conflict started in 2011. He should have approached both Turkey and Jordan and offered covert assistance of weapons, logistics and intelligence. But I guess that would have smelled like Bush interventionism. Instead, he waited until Al-Qaeda and Hezbollah moved in and then he opened his big political mouth in an unscripted press conference! Now he has a red line all over his face. Makes you think…will this limited strike actually be about helping the rebels in Syria or is this just a way to save political face?

This is John Galt Speaking!

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President Obama: Ignore the voices of reason….listen to me instead!

“The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.”
Maximilien Robespierre

Almost one year after launching his reelection campaign there…President Obama returned to The Ohio State University to deliver the 2013 commencement address. Before 57,000 student, teachers and relatives, Obama once again evoked class warfare claiming today’s ill-functioning government works for the benefit of society’s elite. While calling on the students to fix our economy, fight poverty and climate change….he urged them to “reject these voices” that warn of the evils of government saying:

“Still, you’ll hear voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s the root of all our problems, even as they do their best to gum up the works; or that tyranny always lurks just around the corner. You should reject these voices. Because what they suggest is that our brave, creative, unique experiment in self-rule is just a sham with which we can’t be trusted.

The cynics may be the loudest voices—but they accomplish the least. It’s the silent disruptors—those who do the long, hard, committed work of change—that gradually push this country in the right direction, and make the most lasting difference. [Emphasis added]”First of all…..the last thing that President Obama believes in is “self-rule”. The Obama Administration is perhaps the biggest violator of law in our history. His insistence of bypassing Congresses constitutional authority to make laws proves his contempt for the United States Constitution and our system of governance. He’s done more to expand the entitlement society than any President since LBJ. He believes now and has always believed that big government can make better decisions than an individual. Perhaps President Obama misunderstands the concept of self-rule. I wonder if he mistook “self” as “himself”?

So who specifically were the “voices” which Obama referred to? Radio Talk Show host Rush Limbaugh believes it’s wasn’t his voice but the parents of these young graduates. I couldn’t disagree more. No…the parents of these graduates spent more time trying to be their friends….rather than their parents. It was these same parents who voted Obama into office back in 2008 and again in 2012. These new graduates come from the “Millennium Generation” or more amply named the “Peter Pan Generation”. They enter the workplace with an inflated sense of entitlement (no doubt reinforced by their left leaning teachers) and are more likely to live with their parents well into their mid twenties.

No….Obama was likely referring to the new breed of Constitutional conservatives. Voices like Rand Paul whose appearance at this years CPAC conference attracted a much younger crowd.

Matt Kneece, director of the youth leadership school at the Leadership Institute, a conservative non-profit organization that focuses on campaign, public speaking and fundraising training, said he thinks many young people, particularly recent college grads, are finding themselves in a sort of “political purgatory,” abandoned without jobs in a bad economy. He believes that many young voters don’t really feel like they have a home in either party, but desires a government which believes in personal responsibility, fiscal responsibility and self-ownership….all attributes which Rand Paul embraces.

Rand Paul is only one example of “those” voices. Both Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz have risen quickly through the conservative ranks, appealing to both the young and the Latino demographic….two voter segments which the Republicans need to bring out in the upcoming 2014 elections. If that isn’t enough for you….don’t forget the conservative women in the line up. Voices like Mia Love and Kelly Ayotte help bring yet another voter segment into the fold.

This is what President Obama doesn’t want younger voters to hear. He certainly has nothing to fear from the ranks of the establishment republicans…..many of which aren’t far different from their democratic counterparts. Voices like McCain, McConnell or Sessions are already ignored by young and older voters alike. These new younger voices are the future of the Republican Party….and they far better understand what faces these graduates than the so called “establishment”.

Robespierre was right….the secret of freedom lies in education. Unfortunately….these graduates from the class of 2013 will have to learn the hard facts without the influence of their leftist professors. Now that they are out in the real world…they’ll soon discover what it means to “make it on your own”. No free lunches…..no happy faces…..and everyone keeps score! If these new graduates just open their eyes…and realize they were sold a bill of goods….the young voices of the Republican Party might just flourish. But if they ignore these voices of reason….and remain ignorant….they will learn what real tyranny is.

This is John Galt Speaking!

Follow up: Not more than a week following President Obama’s remarks to ignore the voices warning of government tyranny and while I was writing this article…..the IRS was forced to apologize for targeting Tea Party and other patriot groups applying for tax exempt status during the 2012 Presidential elections.

In addition….both e-mail evidence and congressional testimony confirmed that the Obama Administration knowingly covered up and lied to the American people regarding the truth surrounding the murder of the US Ambassador to Libya along with three other Americans in the terrorist attack in Benghazi.

Both of these incidents are indicative of a gross “injustice in the exercise of power”…the exact definition of Tyranny from the online Encarta dictionary. Now….if only the mainstream media would cover these stories…perhaps all of the American people would know about it.

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Will We Lose More than Innocent Lives Because of The Boston Bombings?


“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
Thomas Jefferson

The siege of Watertown is over. After nearly five days of terror….Bostonian are venturing out and returning to their daily routines. The Red Sox will play their scheduled game against the Kansas City Royals and the Bruins will take the ice to play their postponed game on Saturday against the Pittsburg Penguins. However the capture of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the only surviving suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing after his brother was killed in a shootout, presents authorities with decisions which may have far reaching implications for what it means to be a US citizen. Should authorities classify Tsarnaev, a naturalized US citizen, as an enemy combatant?

Calls to hold Tsarnaev as an enemy combatant began even before his capture on social media. Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain issued a joint statement calling for the administration to hold the 19-year old Chechen under the Law of War. John Bolton, former UN Ambassador, repeated the call on Fox News.

“Under the Law of War we can hold this suspect as a potential enemy combatant not entitled to Miranda warnings or the appointment of counsel. Our goal at this critical juncture should be to gather intelligence and protect our nation from further attacks. We remain under threat from radical Islam and we hope the Obama Administration will seriously consider the enemy combatant option.” McCain and Graham wrote in their joint statement.

At the time of this writing….Tsarnaev has not yet been read his Miranda Rights. He is under guard and listed in serious condition in Beth Israel Hospital in Boston. The Obama administration said it would invoke the public safety exception to the Miranda rule and would withhold the warning normally read to suspects under arrest when the accused terrorist is physically able to be interrogated. The administration did not mention how long they would invoke the public safety exception but media has largely been stating 48 hours as these are the Justice Dept. guidelines to the FBI. The clock does not start ticking until Tsarnaev is physically able to answer questions.

It’s important to understand that the Supreme Courts ruling which established the public safety exception (New York v. Quarles) did not specify a time limit. The exception was created without specific constraints because the Supreme Court knew that it could not foresee all possible scenarios in which the exception could be applied. The FBI guidance was issued months after Attorney General Eric Holder offered to work with Congress on a law that would provide clarity to law enforcement in applying the public safety exception. Holder, who doesn’t exactly have a great reputation with Congress following the Fast & Furious scandal, failed to get any legislation passed.

Questioning a suspect without administering his Miranda Rights only means that that particular information, if any, cannot be used in a criminal prosecution. Clearly….there is enough video and material evidence to bring a conviction in this case. However…any information gleaned during this questioning can be used to track down any additional collaborators or suspects that may have provided assistance to the Tsarnaev brothers including any international terrorist organizations.

Understandably, conservatives are concerned that the Boston Bombing prosecution can take the same path as the bungled Nidal Hasan trial. Hasan, an Army Psychiatrist, opened fire on unsuspecting soldiers at Ft. Hood on November 5, 2009 killing 13 people and wounding 30. Despite proof of Hasan communicating with known terrorist Anwar-Al-Awlaki and screaming Allahu Akbar during his attack…the Obama Administration classified the event as “workplace violence” and not an act of terror. The trial continues to drag on in a Military court and survivors have been denied purple hearts and other benefits associated with combat injuries. Truly…..a national disgrace.

Try as I may…..I cannot seem to forget that the younger Tsarnaev is a citizen of this country. I’m torn between my desire to classify him as something foreign and undeserving of the protections bestowed him as a citizen and my respect for the constitution and due process. It seems to me the real enemy combatant was his dead brother, Tamerian Tsarnaerv, who posted extremist Islamic videos on You Tube and was questioned by the FBI after an undisclosed country informed them of his extremist views. But make no mistake… Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is a stone cold killer and terrorist not unlike Ted Kaczynski, Eric Rudolph or Timothy McVeigh. All of which were found guilty but with their constitutional rights intact. The question is one of gathering intelligence.

If played correctly….the Obama Administration can obtain the intelligence they need while protecting Tsarnaev’s constitutional rights. They would be wise to push the envelope of the public safety exception to it’s fullest so that all agencies have the opportunity to question the suspect and gather all needed intelligence. Of course, this will require a cooperative Tsarnaev and a willing Obama Administration. If this questioning uncovers an international terror link…Tsarnaev should be classified as an “enemy combatant”.

Regardless of what transpires with Tsarnaev….terrorist worldwide have seen firsthand how a soft target public gathering incident can transpose a major metropolitan area into a localized police state. Safety concerns for malls, theaters, parks and parades will need to be re-thought. What happened at the Boston Marathon on Monday changes everything we thought we knew about public security.

But it shouldn’t change our values or our beliefs as Americans. We must find a way to preserve our liberties and our individual rights while maintaining an acceptable level of security. But if political grandstanding results in the degeneration of our constitutional protections and the militarization of our justice system……the terrorist win.

This is John Galt Speaking!

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The Great Intimidator: Nixon or Obama?

Woodward calls out Obama for saying the sequester was created by Congress. | AP Photo

“People react to fear, not love; they don’t teach that in Sunday School, but it’s true.”
Richard M. Nixon

As a product of Chicago politics…I think we all know where President Obama leaned how to use fear and intimidation. And last Thursday, he targeted his intimidation machine squarely at veteran reporter Bob Woodward. According to ABC news, the Washington Post journalist said he was threatened by the White House regarding a story he wrote regarding the sequester.

Woodward claims that a very senior White House official in President Obama administration threatened him prior to the publication of an editorial he wrote for the Washington Post. The article claimed the idea for the sequester came from the president himself but the White House has been blaming a dysfunctional Congress for the automatic budget cuts.

Republicans, however, point to reporting by Bob Woodward who said that former White House budget director Jack Lew and legislative liaison Rob Nabors hatched the idea of a “trigger” of automatic cuts during the negotiations on the debt ceiling during the summer of 2011. However, the President and Lew promoted a different story about sequestration when on the campaign trail. Woodward quoted President Obama on Oct. 22, 2012, when he said: “The sequester is not something that I’ve proposed. It is something that Congress has proposed.”

It’s not surprising the White House would be upset with the Woodward’s article. In addition for calling out the President for lying about creating the sequestration, the article claims President Obama has basically “moved the goal posts” by insisting that Republicans agree to new tax hikes as part of any replacement for the sequester. Woodward stated this was not the deal Obama made.

The White House machine wasted no time attacking Woodward’s article. Former White House advisors – David Plouffe – came out Wednesday night and strongly criticized the editorial suggesting Woodward was past his prime. Woodward also claims he was yelled at and bullied for 30 minutes by a senior White House official. Later he received an e-mail from the same official who apologized for his behavior and then warned Woodward that he would “regret” his position. The official was late identified as Gene Sperling, head of the Presidents Economic Council, when the actual e-mail was leaked.

Shortly after the news of the Sperling-Woodward tiff was released…..Woodward discovered he wasn’t the only reporter threatened by the White House intimidation machine. Washington Times columnist and Democratic insider Lanny Davis said his editor, John Solomon, “received a phone call from a senior Obama White House official who didn’t like some of my columns, even though I’m a supporter of Obama. I couldn’t imagine why this call was made.” Davis says the Obama aide told Solomon, “that if he continued to run my columns, he would lose, or his reporters would lose their White House credentials.”

You might also remember when the White House had to issue a formal apology to veteran journalist Charles Krauthammer after White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer called one of his articles patently false and ridiculous. In the article….Krauthammer reported that President Obama returned a gift of a bust of Winston Churchill which was on display in the Oval Office to the British government. Choosing to shoot off his mouth before checking the facts….Pfeiffer later learned that there were two busts of Churchill in the White House and that one had indeed been returned to the British.

The previous examples of intimidation and threats hearten back to the Nixon era when numerous journalist were found on Nixon’s “enemy list”. The youngest member of that list, Democratic Strategist Pat Caddell, said this in a Fox News article:

“While Barack Obama may not share the Nixon pedigree, he and his White House are the closest thing to the Nixon regime of any that we have seen since then — both in the extent of their paranoia and their willingness to suppress the truth and push the boundaries of law.”

Sadly the press focused on the wrong issue in this Woodward-Sperling tit-for-tat. The real story wasn’t how Woodward was treated but that President Obama was caught….once again… lying to the American people. In one way…President Obama intimidation machine is far worse than Nixon’s. Obama has a powerful ally which has helped him cover up such blunders as “Fast & Furious” and the attack on our Embassy in Benghazi. That ally is the majority of the mainstream media….who have abandoned journalistic integrity to protect their anointed President.

I admit it….I never thought I would say this….but we need more journalist like Bob Woodward!

This is John Galt Speaking!

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The “Drone” White Paper: Obama’s Blanket of Protection

“There are three things in the world that deserve no mercy….hypocrisy, fraud, and tyranny.”
Frederick William Robertson

One wouldn’t have to search far to find examples of hypocrisy in the rhetoric and policies of Barrack Hussein Obama. Perhaps it’s the promise of transparency while he hides the truth of the embassy attack in Libya or the details behind “Fast & Furious”. Or perhaps you prefer his call for civility on the campaign trail while he labeled his presidential opponent a felon and a liar. This week you can add yet another example to the list….. classifying lethal drone attacks against American citizens as constitutional while prohibiting enhanced interrogation techniques against captured foreign terrorists.

Of course….we would never have known about this latest hypocrisy if it had not been for the leak of a secret Department of Justice “White Paper” called “Lawfulness of a Lethal Operation Directed Against a U.S Citizen”. This paper, obtained by NBC News, lays out the administrations rationale for killing Anwar al-Awlaki, an American citizen who was also a leader of the Al Qaeda affiliate in Yemen. Obama considered Alwaki a grave threat to America and ordered him killed in a drone attack in September 2011. Civil libertarians and human rights activist quickly argued the killing amounted to a summary execution of an American citizen without due process.

You won’t find me shedding a tear for Awlaki. He was indeed a known terrorist and traitor who had plotted numerous terrorist attacks against the United States. I consider his killing justifiable as he was certainly an enemy combatant. Clearly….the war on terror presents some unique and unexamined challenges as to who constitutes an enemy combatant. While I would rather capture and interrogate any terrorist, I have no problem using lethal force against a traitor of the United States provided they meet sufficient criteria. Unfortunately…I’m not sure the criterion is sufficiently laid out in the newly leaked DOJ white paper.

The white paper lays out the justification for an “informed, high level official of the U.S government” to order a lethal strike against a U.S citizen in a foreign territory if the target is:

1. a “Senior Operational Leader” of Al Qaeda or “associated” force…or
2. “posses an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States” and
3. That an attempt to capture that individual is “infeasible”.

Clearly Awlaki was a “Senior Operational Leader”….but what about the next American to be in the crosshairs? One only needs to read a little deeper into the 16-page white paper to find a gaping hole in the justification to kill Americans on foreign soil. While the term “imminent threat” seems reasonable (and a traditional standard for military action) the white paper seems to attach a rather broad definition to the phrase. The paper states “the condition that an operational leader presents an imminent threat of violent attack against the United States does not require the United States to have clear evidence that a specific attack on U.S persons and interests will take place in the immediate future.” Huh?

Instead….the “high level official” can determine the target was “recently” involved in “activities” posing a threat of attack and that ”there is no evidence suggesting that he has renounced or abandoned such activities”. The paper does not define “activities” or “recently” leaving that up to the administration to determine. That’s a rather long leash to attach to a drone missile…..especially if it’s pointed at an American citizen.

White House Press Spokesman Jay Carney certainly had his hands full following the leak of the secret DOJ paper. Carney said these drone attacks were “consistent with our Constitution and our laws” and that they were “necessary”, “ethical” and “wise”. However…he seemed tongue tied when a reporter asked him about Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, the 16-year old son of Anwar al-Awlaki.

Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, also an American citizen, was killed by a CIA drone just a couple of weeks following the death of his father. “When asked by a reporter if Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was a “Senior Operational Leader”….Carney reverted to press speak and said “I’m not going to talk about individual operations that may or may not have occurred.” How’s that for transparency? He’ll talk about the policy but not how it’s actually administered?

The Obama Administration use of drones has been under the microscope since a May 2012 New York Times article which highlighted civilian casualties in drone attacks. The article stated civilian casualties were misreported because the administration counts all military age males in a strike zone as combatants.

In the days following the strike that killed Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, U.S. officials suggested that Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was not a teenager, but rather a “military-age male” in his 20s. Under international protocols of conflict, recognizing Awlaki as a “military-age male” provided justification for his killing. However, the family refuted the U.S.’s claim that Abdulrahman al-Awlaki was of military age by releasing a copy of his U.S. birth certificate showing that he was born on August 26, 1995 and was aged 16 at the time of his death.

It seems clear that the Department of Justice White Paper is just a manufactured justification for any lethal action the Obama administration wishes to take anywhere in the world. It’s hard for a rational individual to accept it’s more ethical to kill a suspected terrorist with a drone…..be they American or otherwise ….rather than capture and interrogate them. We can continue to argue the most effective and acceptable methods to interrogate captives but dead men tell no tales…nor provides any intelligence.

Sadly…it seems President Obama is more concerned with avoiding a political scandal than obtaining actionable intelligence. Lets face it….it’s just easier to kill them.

This is John Galt Speaking!

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Obama’s 2013 Inauguration Speech: A Call for Unity or A Case for Collectivism?

President Obama takes the oath of office for his second term. January 2013

“One’s philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes… and the choices we make are ultimately our responsibility.”
Eleanor Roosevelt

While I agree with Mrs. Roosevelt on her basic premise…..politicians do not have the luxury of remaining silent through their campaign…..or in the case of President Obama….in his inaugural address. Anyone who has paid any attention over the last four years should be well aware of President Obama’s “philosophy”. For those who have been less then attentive…let’s take a look at some of the words used by President Obama in his inaugural address earlier this week. Perhaps it will shed some light on his future “choices”.

My ears perked up not more than a couple of minutes into his speech when he said:
“But we have always understood that when times change, so must we; that fidelity to our founding principles requires new responses to new challenges; that preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”

Of course many Presidents have faced new challenges throughout history but they have always been required to work within the boundaries required in the Constitution. We can argue the founding fathers intention on “principals” till we are blue in the face….but the powers bestowed to the executive branch are clearly laid out in the Constitution. Any so called “new responses” must fall within these boundaries regardless of the challenges. Is he laying the framework for a venture beyond these boundaries?

Even more troubling was the statement “preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action”. My first question is…..who exactly is threatening our individual freedoms? Apart from the unlikely possibility of a foreign superpower taking over our country…the only force capable of jeopardizing our freedoms is the actions of our own government! And who exactly is the “collective” that must act? If it is our elected representatives in Congress…why doesn’t he say this? In fact….the only “collective” that has any power to act….IS our elected representatives in Congress.

Of course he goes on to explain that a single individual is incapable of certain accomplishments and only the collective can move our country forward. “No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need to equip our children for the future, or build the roads and networks and research labs that will bring new jobs and businesses to our shores” Obama said. You may remember he said the same thing on the campaign trial when he made the infamous quip….”you didn’t build that!”

President Obama seems confused and unable to distinguish between “individual rights” and “individual ability”. According to Ayn Rand…. “the only proper, moral purpose of a government is to protect man’s rights.” As far as ability goes….free men may pursue their own personal interests and make their own private fortunes…..to the best of their abilities. Government should have no role in this.

So once again we obtain a glimpse into President Obama’s real philosophy…Collectivism. What his speech really translates to is embodied in the following quote but I doubt it would have played too well in his inaugural remarks: “From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.” Sadly…he seems prepared to “redefine” our founder’s principals in order to move us closer to his vision of a collective society.

President Obama confusion with the proper role of government is once again evident in his closing remarks when he says:

“That is our generation’s task – to make these words, these rights, these values – of Life, and Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – real for every American. Being true to our founding documents does not require us to agree on every contour of life; it does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way, or follow the same precise path to happiness. Progress does not compel us to settle centuries-long debates about the role of government for all time – but it does require us to act in our time.”

It’s no secret Obama has his own progressive view regarding the role of the federal government. Sadly…he envisions a world which makes people dependent on government and forces individuals on a pre-determined path to his version of happiness. And if words mean anything at all…..don’t we have to agree on definitions? We may disagree on how best to achieve liberty….but shouldn’t we all agree on what liberty is?

It’s interesting that President Obama used words from the Declaration of Independence yet said nothing about the Constitution. Just minutes before he made this speech….he pledged to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States (perhaps they should add the phrase “adhere to” in the future?). There was nothing in his oath regarding the “Declaration of Independence”.

Historically….inaugural addresses usually embody ideals such as freedom, democracy and liberty in order to appeal to all Americans…regardless of who they voted for. Instead…President Obama twisted these ideals in a polarizing and partisan description of his liberal agenda for the next four years. If Republican’s felt the sting of his words on Monday….they should be prepared for the upcoming State of the Union address. I would recommend Kevlar long johns and a pair of good ear plugs because it isn’t going to be pretty.

This is John Galt Speaking!

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