Category Archives: Opinion

It’s time for hard assets

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waste_of_moneyI spend a great deal of time sorting through PMI reports, GDP releases, key corporate financials and more – at this point – I’m just moving money into hard assets.

Cash is not a hard asset. It has no intrinsic value – only that assigned to it by an arbitrary entity.

Gold does not feed a hungry person or keep a cold man warm. It is .. just a soft metal that looks “perty.”

Ultimately, if things get upside down – which they are likely to do – tangible assets will be the most useful.

Tangible assets are things that have value regardless of an arbitrary government entity saying they are worth something. Chickens have value, cows, guns, ammo and whiskey all are worth something because there is a demand for them – not simply because the government says some piece of paper with a president on it is worth a buck.

I am not telling you that the end is near – who could know that?

I’m just saying that if you are concerned, cash in the bank may not be yours much longer and the government has confiscated gold before. This time, go hard.

Obama Lunches Suck – School Chefs Skirt Regs to Feed Kids

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school-lunch-michelle-obamaMichelle Obama’s lunch menu sucks and the “lunch lady” lobby joins the rest of America in telling President Obama’s wife where she can stick her terrible food.

The LA Times reports that the ingredients school cooks are forced to use are terrible:

A school system’s nutritional director finds there’s one advocate for healthy food whose demands she just can’t meet — Michelle Obama.

 

 

“We have tried every noodle that is out there,” said Gitta Grether-Sweeney, the Portland nutritional director who says she is exasperated by the federal school lunch rules the first lady champions.

 

 

“Whole-wheat noodles just don’t work in lasagna. We are having to go lawless to use regular pasta.”

The locally sourced macaroni and cheese the schools had been serving turned to mush when it was made with whole-grain macaroni to meet the new rules, Grether-Sweeney said.

Mrs. Obama has the advantage of having her children in expensive private schools and fed by well-paid White House chefs. Professing from the balcony that America’s kids should eat crappy food just seems kind of …. crappy.

The Devil Has Taken America

Recently I read something that sent shivers up my spine. How could someone in 1965 predict what America would be like today? As I read the article I was shocked at how much this man said back then, is so true today. The mans name was Paul Harvey, who was a conservative American radio broadcaster for the ABC Radio Networks. Read the transcript of his commentary below, it is amazing how true it is and shows how much America has fallen.

“If I were the devil, I wouldn’t be happy until I had seized the ripest apple on the tree—Thee. So I’d set about however necessary to take over the United States. I’d subvert the churches first—I would begin with a campaign of whispers. With the wisdom of a serpent, I would whisper to you as I whispered to Eve: “Do as you please.” “Do as you please.” To the young, I would whisper, “The Bible is a myth.” I would convince them that man created God instead of the other way around. I would confide that what is bad is good, and what is good is “square”. And the old, I would teach to pray. I would teach them to pray after me, ‘Our Father, which art in Washington…’

And then I’d get organized.  I’d educate authors on how to lurid literature exciting, so that anything else would appear dull and uninteresting. I’d threaten TV with dirtier movies and vice versa. I’d pedal narcotics to whom I could. I’d sell alcohol to ladies and gentlemen of distinction. I’d tranquilize the rest with pills.

If I were the devil I’d soon have families that war with themselves, churches that war that themselves, and nations that war with themselves; until each in its turn was consumed.  And with promises of higher ratings I’d have mesmerizing media fanning the flame.  If I were the devil I would encourage schools to refine young intellects, and neglect to discipline emotions—just let those run wild, until before you knew it, you’d have to have drug sniffing dogs and metal detectors at every schoolhouse door.

Within a decade I’d have prisons overflowing, I’d have judges promoting pornography—soon I could evict God from the courthouse, and then the schoolhouse, and then from the houses of Congress.  And in His own churches I would substitute psychology for religion, and deify science. I would lure priests and pastors into misusing boys and girls, and church money. If I were the devil I’d make the symbols of Easter an egg and the symbol of Christmas a bottle.

If I were the devil I’d take from those, and who have, and give to those wanted until I had killed the incentive of the ambitious. What do you bet I could get whole states to promote gambling as the way to get rich? I would question against extremes and hard work, and Patriotism, and moral conduct.  I would convince the young that marriage is old-fashioned, that swinging more fun, that what you see on the TV is the way to be.  And thus I could undress you in public, and I could lure you into bed with diseases for which there is no cure.  In other words, if I were to devil I’d keep on doing on what he’s doing.  Paul Harvey, good day.”

Amazing isn’t it? We have the Liberal-Progressives to thank for that.

“What Kind Of Society Are We Leaving Our Kids” Available here.

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This is one man’s opinion.

 

America Is No Longer the “Land of the Free”

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Is America really the “land of the free?” We may have been initially founded and constructed as such, but each year the land of the free becomes increasingly the land of the regulated, oppressed, disparaged, and dependent.

Gallup Poll.tiffGallup regularly conducts global polls to assess citizen’s perception of their levels of freedom around the world. In 2006, 91% of US residents were satisfied with their “level of freedom,” which was among the highest in the world. Last year’s iteration of the survey indicated only 79% of Americans are satisfied with their level of freedom. Such a precipitous drop in a few short years dropped the US to 36th place among the 120 nations sampled. Cambodia, Uzbekistan, Paraguay, and Rwanda are among the 35 nations more satisfied with their levels of freedom.

This seems to be confirmed by Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, which has seen the U.S. slip to number 12 this year. Countries with greater economic freedom, based on ten criteria, from personal property rights to personal financial freedom, include Chile, Estonia, and Mauritius, none of which could be considered bastions of liberty, as the U.S. historically has been.

bl-economic-freedom-fiscal-cliffAmerica was founded differently than any other nation in human history, which is what we refer to as American exceptionalism. Our founding documents guaranteed rights of free exercise of religion, free speech, free association, freedom from government oppression and illegal searches and seizures, among others. These rights and freedoms, our founding documents asserted, were “inalienable rights” derived from God, not granted by government. That “all men are created equal,” and that among those precious rights were “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (property).”

Every year those liberties are assaulted afresh by an ever-expanding governmental reach into our personal lives. Even those fundamental rights that are codified, by constitutional amendment as our Bill of Rights, are under assault. Freedoms of religious expression, speech, assembly, arms, illegal search and seizure, and due process are eroded with every congressional, legislative, and council bill, act, and statute, and are increasingly rarely upheld through judicial review.

imagesIn short, it seems that the machinations of government, politicians, and the courts, are arrayed broadly against the interests of individual liberty, personal accountability, and private freedoms. Our nation can only loosely be identified as a republic, where the enumerated powers of government are narrow and defined, with all non-enumerated powers residing in the states and the citizens, as the Tenth Amendment declares. The nation has morphed, and can be categorically and definitionally identified as a statist system, concentrating “extensive economic, political, and related controls in the state at the cost of individual liberty.”

This devolution of the republic and our individual liberties has only accelerated over the past several years, since the despicable attacks of 9/11. It was deemed necessary to relinquish some individual liberty for the defense of the realm, as the Patriot Act and other anti-terrorism measures sliced away at individual liberties for security purposes. In spite of the sunset provisions incorporated into that measure, they were extended in 2011, and have been expanded by NSA surveillance, more expansive monitoring of financial transactions, and even more circumvention of the 4th Amendment with the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2012. Sections 1021 and 1022 of the NDAA essentially classify the entire country as a battlefield, allowing extraordinary rendition, indefinite detention, and enhanced interrogation against U.S. citizens here on American soil.

The omnipotence of government today certainly contrasts sharply with what our founding fathers envisioned for this “land of the free.” As Thomas Jefferson said,

Quotation-Benjamin-Franklin-freedom-security-trade-people-Meetville-Quotes-230658“A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.” Or, in the context of abrogation of 4th Amendment rights, any government that is powerful enough to do everything we allow it, certainly is powerful enough to get away with everything it does.

Which also brings to mind Ben Franklin’s astute observation, “Those who surrender freedom for security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.” Clearly, the more ground we cede collectively as a citizenry to security, the less freedom and liberty there is. And that applies not just to issues of national security, but also to domestic fiscal policies as well.

Patrick Henry famously mirrored that sentiment, when he said, “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!” I’m sure the good governor would be aghast at the sacrifice of liberty for thralldom to government that has ensued these past several years.

FoundersExtremists1Every election from here on out is a referendum on the future of our republic. Will we choose to elect those who embrace our founding principles based on liberty and freedom, or will we continue to cede our liberty for “security” provided by a statist government which is increasingly less attune to the concerns and interests of the individual citizen?

For those of us who are lovers of liberty, there has never been a more critical time to reassert our founding principles and the constitutional limitations of governmental power than today. If we want to have anything even remotely resembling the American republic surviving for future generations, it’s time to quit being a doormat to the politically correct progressive and statist agenda, and to proactively engage in the political process. Most of the statist “accomplishments” can be unwoven, but we need the electoral majorities to do it. Passivity and acquiescence are no longer options for those who would concur with Patrick Henry, “…give me liberty, or give me death!”

Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil”

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Recently, when it serves him well, the president has resorted to beating on Christians with ridiculously out of context scripture references. Well, Mr. Obama, I have one for you.

“Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter!” ~ Isaiah 5:20 English Standard Version (ESV)

Basically, woe to the confused who think right is wrong and wrong is right! Mr. Obama, I have been listening to your carefully chosen words with these 2 major boondoggles you have going on.

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First, there’s Iran. You stated in a recent interview that you thought it was crazy that the legislators were out there “spinning” the Iran agreement that hadn’t happened yet (but then you said it did happen over a week ago.) You are concerned that the legislators are saying that Iran will not live up to the proposed agreement. Not that that matters. Iran won’t put it in writing and the legislators wouldn’t sign it anyway!

You also say that the way we’ve been handling Iraq isn’t working and hasn’t worked for 30 years. Shouldn’t we use an entity’s previous track record or “MO” (modus operandi) anticipate how they will respond? Our military experts do it. Financial experts do it and you’ve even cited them many times. Business experts do it to predict the market and consumer buying trends. But Obamavision seems to be blind to this. It seems you believe that you have the Midas touch and everything you do is golden. Actually, I think you’re more like Schleprock from the Flintstones. You have a dark cloud that follows you around and everything you get involved with fails!

And now you want to give Iran a chance because you say this time they will actually stick to the agreement. Interestingly, almost every Middle Eastern leader thinks otherwise, but your crystal ball must be clearer than theirs. The fact that in the past they have cheated and lied to U.N. inspectors doesn’t concern you. The fact that they built an enrichment facility deep inside a mountain so we couldn’t see it doesn’t concern you. The fact that they have been playing war with their navy ships while bombing replicas of American ships doesn’t concern you. And what about the fact that their leader says there is no agreement, says you are lying, and says that they will not do anything until ALL restrictions are removed? Remember, you said restrictions would be removed gradually. Why don’t you call him out? Prove you’re not lying to us and that you have a spine. Never mind. I knew you wouldn’t.

The agreement says we won’t be able to inspect their military installations. Does that mean they promised us with a cross my heart and a kiss up to Allah that they will not be having any uranium on the bases? To coin an old seventies term, “Sure, I’ll still love you in the morning.”

Then, there is Cuba. Mr. President, you say we have been handling them the same way for 50 years and it has changed nothing. You’re right, I agree! They still oppress their people. The Castro brothers are still vicious dictators. They still imprison and torture political prisoners. Their 1% percenters are the Castro brothers. They still imprison homosexuals (so much for human rights.) But none of those things bother you. And you think that if we just lighten up and start doing business with them again all that will change?

Don’t you think if they really wanted freedom for their people they would have installed, or allowed to have elected, a democratic government? Just sayin’!

What do you think normalizing relations with an oppressive, communist, human rights offending government will do for them, and for that matter, us?

BS Grows Fat on the Rolling Stone

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The Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism has issued a 12,866 word report that literally shreds Rolling Stone magazine, convicting the publication and its employees of gross negligence and ethical malfeasance in the publishing of a story that falsely accused the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity members at the University of Virginia of gang-raping a freshman coed. Yet, no one at the magazine will lose their job, not the editors or the reporter. Evidently it’s a good time to be a Progressive media hack in the United States.

The Washington Times reports:

“In a stinging report released Sunday evening, an independent review by the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism said the magazine was reckless in vetting its sources, including the purported victim, identified only as ‘Jackie,’ and neglected ‘basic, even routine journalistic practice.’

 

 

“Rolling Stone Managing Editor, Will Dana,…said the publication was ‘committing ourselves to a series of recommendations about journalistic practices that are spelled out in the report’…However, he spelled out no consequences for any staff members involved.”

Well, isn’t that special. They’ll try to do better. And we’re supposed to believe that in the smear-merchant industry that is today’s magazine media Rolling Stone is suddenly going to transform from a publication whose genesis was high times and Hunter S. Thompson into a 2015 interpretation of the 1950s Wall Street Journal. Don’t hold your breath.

Liberal offerings like Rolling Stone are great for entertainment reading, but they aren’t serious news magazines; they aren’t balanced in their reporting or the injected opinion pieces, and they do not prompt any critical thinking for their readers. They publish narratives most often based in pure ideology and let the facts fall where they may. This is not news reporting or traditional journalism in any fashion of the imagination.

Today’s magazine journalism – and increasingly newspaper and television journalism – is activist journalism; journalism meant to persuade the consumer to a specific point of view or ideological affection, often not providing the total of the story and/or cherry-picking sources to craft a narrative sympathetic to achieving the ideological goals held by the author and the publication. Such is the case with Sabrina Rubin Erdely and Rolling Stone magazine.

Isn’t it time that we – as a people; as a society – recognize that we should not be gleaning our news information from entertainment publications and programs? Rolling Stone was originally a magazine glorifying the 60s drug culture. The Daily Show and The Colbert Report were both comedy shows. Late night talk show monologues are jokes crafted on current events meant to be entertaining and witty, not journalistic missives crafted to educate the public on the facts surrounding news events. One has to question when the transition was made that allowed comedians and the drug culture the arbiters of truth.

In Rolling Stone’s refusal to fire all involved in this public deception – this ideological manipulation of the people, they have relegated themselves to the lowest rung of the tabloid sphere. In fact, the warped cynicism of Mad Magazine now has more ethos than Rolling Stone. And the need for serious news outlets remains…and that’s no laughing matter.

EYEWITNESS TO HISTORY: Veteran Reporter Judy Woodruff Remembers the Day President Reagan was Shot

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Written by Gwendolyn Simms

Thirty-four years ago today, President Ronald Reagan was shot and several other were wounded in an assassination attempt. Today on her Twitter account, veteran reporter, Judy Woodruff, used new media to relay her first-person narrative of that chaotic and fateful day in her life and American history:

Six .22 caliber bullets were fired at President Reagan and three others in his entourage. “White House Press Secretary James Brady was shot in the head and critically wounded, Secret Service agent Timothy McCarthy was shot in the side, and District of Columbia policeman Thomas Delahaney was shot in the neck.”

“[T]he case of Jim Brady, shot in the head and the most grievously wounded that day,… began in confusion almost immediately with the erroneous report of his death, and has continued through subsequent months to be misunderstood by a public for whom the mysteries of the brain and its functions defy easy explanations.”

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Remember pay phones?

“The president was shot in the left lung, and the .22 caliber bullet just missed his heart. In an impressive feat for a 70-year-old man with a collapsed lung, he walked into George Washington University Hospital under his own power. As he was treated and prepared for surgery, he was in good spirits and quipped to his wife, Nancy, ”Honey, I forgot to duck,” and to his surgeons, “Please tell me you’re Republicans.” Reagan’s surgery lasted two hours, and he was listed in stable and good condition afterward.”

It was later learned the emotionally disturbed Hinckley shot President Reagan in a deranged attempt to impress actress Jodie Foster.

Read more at: TRS

They can only win by lying!

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It seems like the party of “the people” can only win by lying to “the people”.

Senator Harry Reid admitted this week that he lied to help Mr. Obama win. He, at this point, is the most honorable man in the Democrat party.
You see he is the ONLY Democrat to really come out after being caught and basically say… yup, I did it and I got what I wanted, so sue me. He knew the information on Obama’s opponent, Mitt Romney was false. There was no “insider” at Romney’s company. But he, and the rest of the Dems, were OK with lying about it.
The Democrats should change the name of the party to the “Whatever it takes to win” party. Tell the people whatever it takes to get them “in bed” with you and then you can say “I didn’t mean it that way.”
The now ever-famous and haunting words, “if you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor” was clearly a LIE! “If you like your plan, you can keep your plan,” also a LIE. Then he tried to “clarify” with “What I meant was, if it fit our parameters,” yet another LIE!

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I think when the NEW edition of “The Book of Lies” gets published the first group of pages will be all Democrats, and mostly Mr. Oblamo! It will be followed closely behind by Billy “where’s the free sex island” Clinton, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” and “it depends of what the meaning of is, is.” Not far behind is the oh-so-loving spouse, Hillary “what difference does it make” Clinton.
If a Republican did one-tenth of what the Clintons have done to the public there would be rioting in the streets, courtesy of the Reverends Sharpton and Jackson.
Recently, Representative Gutierrez from Illinois said, “If the Republicans got in the way of the amnesty order there would be militant action from the immigrants.” WHAT?!
Hey, Mr. Gutierrez, did you just threaten American representatives and citizens with militant action from NON-American citizens? Did you just sanction an act of violence to perpetuate the breaking of laws? Aren’t you a lawmaker, sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution? Isn’t this a form of treason?
A bunch of Democrats screamed “discrimination” about Indiana’s new law protecting peoples’ religious beliefs and the practice thereof. Interestingly enough, it’s the same reason the original settlers came here… to get away from religious persecution. This group of Dems said no one should patronize, support, or take part in any event or action to support Indiana. Curious! Some of these same Dems made a trip to Cuba to support the illegal actions of President Obama. In case you haven’t figured it out, Mr. Obama and clan believe the Constitution and the laws of this country don’t apply to them. They let the Castro Crew know they are in support of Cuba normalizing relations with America. Well, if the Dems hold true to their belief system then will that would only occur AFTER the Castro regime changes its laws and treatment of homosexuals, right? And after they change their laws on treatment of political prisoners.

Read the rest at TRS

Destructive Effects of Multiculturalism

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America has a rich history as a melting pot of cultures, ethnicity, and religion. Those who have come here over the past couple hundred years have sought a better life through the freedoms and liberties assured by our Constitution and the free enterprise system that fosters their “pursuit of happiness.” They’ve brought their culture, customs, and language with them, but they became Americans: learned English, learned our customs and conventions, and became encultured into the American way. America is great in large part because of the diversity of our people, and the richness of our cultural elements brought here. But multiculturalism has become much more than that, and is now more destructive than ameliorative, to American culture.

MulticulturalismIf the goal of multiculturalism was followed, which was to primarily facilitate the understanding and respect of other cultures, it would contribute, even add “seasoning” to our melting pot by encouraging our young people to compare and contrast, and then eclectically assimilate the best of all cultures. Instead, it has become an assailant to diminish Western values and advance ideologies distinctly anti-American. It has evolved, or devolved, to an illogical extreme that in academic and educational circles, attempts to vitiate the strengths and advances of Western civilization and promotes other cultures as preferable cultural paragons, regardless of their shortcomings.

Thomas Sowell, Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University has said, “What ‘multiculturalism’ boils down to is that you can praise any culture in the world except Western culture – and you cannot blame any culture in the world except Western culture.”

Roger Kimball of the New Criterion has written, “Wherever the imperatives of multiculturalism have touched the curriculum, they have left broad swaths of anti-Western attitudinizing competing for attention with quite astonishing historical blindness.” Multiculturalism has led to the historical revisionism that paints Christopher Columbus as a nefarious European who initiated the transformation of a supposed paradisiacal Western hemisphere into the evil, corrupt America of today.

multiculturalism-poster-denigrationIt is multiculturalism that precludes Shakespeare from being studied by many university literature and English majors, because he was a “sexist and racist white man.” It is also the underlying principle engaged in revising history, including the historical roots of our contemporary observance of Thanksgiving and acknowledgement of the Christian principles prevalent at the time of our founding. Multiculturalism, in it’s extreme, is at the root of the removal of any references to Christ in the public square and public schools, even at the time we celebrate His birthday, for one characteristic of the movement is distinctly anti-Christian.

As convoluted as it may seem, Al Gore was perhaps correct when in the 2000 Presidential campaign he defined E Pluribus Unum as out of one, many, instead of the other way around. Multiculturalism in its extreme form seeks to divide rather than unify as Jefferson and Franklin intended, as emblazoned on the official Seal of the U.S.

A poll by the Pew Research Center a few years ago indicated that only 55% of Hispanics, living either legally or illegally in this country, consider themselves Americans. Another poll of Muslims in Los Angeles County indicated that only 10% of them consider themselves to be Americans. It seems the hyphenation of Americans is another social and cultural divider, rather than a unifier. A hyphenated American is just another symptom of political correctness.

Multiculturalism in its extreme weakens community bonds and reduces the motivation for new immigrants to participate in the common culture, the shared history and the common language of America: English.

The American concepts of freedom of expression, religion, human rights, liberty and democracy are distinctively Western values. As historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr. has said, “These are European ideas, not Asian, nor African, nor Middle-Eastern ideas, except by adoption. There is surely no reason for Western civilization to have guilt trips laid on it by champions of cultures based on despotism, superstition, tribalism, and fanaticism.”

Teddy RooseveltThe pejorative aspects of multiculturalism have contributed alarmingly to a Balkanization of America, where differences are the focus instead of common values and ideals. Where culture and ethnicity divide us, rather than adding seasoning to our melting pot to enrich the entire culture.

President Theodore Roosevelt put the concepts of multiculturalism in perhaps the best context, although it was of course not known as such in 1907. He declared, “In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person’s becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American…There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn’t an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag… We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language… and we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people.”

As long as multiculturalism is an end in and of itself, or worse, as a means to continue to diminish western values and our history, and divide and weaken our country, we will continue to decline as a culture, losing those distinctively American traits that once made the nation unique. As it diminishes our value system, erodes our cultural strengths, and rewrites our history, the very meaning of what it means to be an American is perhaps forever changed.

Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].

Hey, Hillary, It’s No Laughing Matter

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During Hillary Clinton’s speech to reporters and analysts attending the Toner Prize journalism awards ceremony in Washington, DC, Mrs. Clinton employed variants of two classic Alinsky narrative manipulation tactics in targeting herself for ridicule over her use of a private email server and address during her time as Secretary of State. The use of her private server and email address allowed her to reverse the hierarchy of authority where the designation of government information is concerned. The use of the Alinsky tactics is meant to move the media on from this very damaging reality.

The UK’s Daily Mail quotes Mrs. Clinton as saying:

“I am well aware that some of you may be a little surprised to see me here tonight. You know my relationship with the press has been at times, shall we say, complicated…But I am all about new beginnings. A new grandchild, another new hairstyle, a new email account – why not a new relationship with the press? So here goes. No more secrecy. No more zone of privacy – after all, what good does that do me…”

Self-deprecating humor is a potent tool in a politician’s public relations toolbox, especially if the politician is trying to save face in an embarrassing situation. But targeting a damaging scandal with disarming ridicule is a tactic of manipulation to divert seriousness away from a point of vulnerability. Mrs. Clinton’s inclusion of the email scandal – which directly threatens her chances of becoming President of the United States – is purposeful and deliberate.

In Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals, Rule Number 5 reads:

“‘Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.’ There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions…”

Rule Number 12 reads:

“‘Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.’ Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”

By including the subject of the email scandal in her “humorous” remarks, Mrs. Clinton effectively targeted those who identify the scandal as a serious matter; a matter that includes the ability for her to shield herself from damaging information on policy failures including the rise of the Islamic State, the assassination of a US Ambassador and his security team in Libya, and the failure of the “reset” with Russia, all of which took place on her watch. By diverting the spotlight away from herself, and shining it onto those who are rightly sounding the alarm on her conduct, Mrs. Clinton has – or at least she hopes she has – painted herself the victim, while branding her “accusers” as the bullies.

Now that she has deceptively intimated that the acts of “unfairness” exist with her detractors, she is free to implement Alinsky Rule Number 12, by targeting those who have called her on her misconduct (the vast Right-Wing conspirators), attempting to make their objections the story, and personalizing it by inferring that the “conservative media” is once again on a Clinton witch hunt, thus completing the political divide into pro- and anti-Clinton factions; factions which the Clinton’s manipulate with ease for both personal and professional gain.

It’s important to remember that Hillary Clinton’s thesis at Wellesley College, There Is Only the Fight: An Analysis of the Alinsky Model, was, for her, a declaration of her intimate knowledge of Saul Alinsky. To say that her understanding of the Alinsky model has served her well would be an understatement. To say that she is an Alinsky disciple would be spot on. And the disciple preaches on to this day.

GOP Candidates Continue to Toss Money Down Cornhole

Gilligan-s-Island-Mr-and-Mrs-Howell-classic-television-revisited-3727152-435-326The really big difference between Republican and Democrat handout recipients is their ability to be sympathetically photogenic. When pressed, the average Democrat welfare recipient can hide the flat–screen TV, stash the cellphone in a drawer and refrain from cigarette smoking. And it’s not too much trouble to pretend to fill out the job application or limp convincingly to prove the bad back disability claim as long as photographers and media are around.

The Republican dependency class is another genus entirely. Empathy generating photo shoots and news coverage for these check–cashers is simply a non–starter. Hiding the Rolex, wheeling the executive jet inside the hangar, displacing the butler from the servant’s quarters and convincing the first wife to pretend to supervise the caterer is just too difficult to organize.

If Democrat welfare beneficiaries can avoid arrest, making jihad videos and Judge Judy the money continues to arrive completely free of social disapproval.

Not so for GOP crony capitalists. These leeches fight a two front war: Prevent competition and confuse conservatives. They are loud and proud “job creators,” economic mainstays and incubators of breakthrough technology! All the favored crony industry requires for total success is billions of taxpayer dollars in perpetuity while the people who supply the tax dollars maintain a discrete and respectful silence.

And Republican officeholders must pretend the conservative market principles they espouse in campaign commercials somehow don’t apply to this particular crony.

A disappointing number of 2016 GOP presidential candidates recently did just that in Iowa during the quadrennial Pour Money Down the Cornhole Festival otherwise known as the Iowa Ag Summit.

There Republican presidential candidates worship the ethanol subsidy and praise ethanol entrepreneurs for their selfless addiction to subsidies and environmental fairy tales.

The Renewable Fuel Standards law requires all gasoline refined in the US be 10 percent ethanol. Ethanol is the wonder product, made from corn, which makes gasoline more costly while reducing miles per gallon and increasing wear on internal combustion engines.

Diluting perfectly efficient gas with ethanol is like forcing mom to add sawdust to her cake recipe to protect our valuable flour stockpile. Sure the additional roughage keeps dad regular, but wear and tear on teeth and the occasional oven fire — not to mention that Home Depot flavor — doesn’t come close to compensating for the missing wheat.

The same is true for ethanol, all at a cost to taxpayers of $6 billion a year in handouts.

Somehow those facts didn’t make it into the spiel GOP mega contributor and summit sponsor Bruce Rastetter made.

Ethanol supporters would have one believe that before the bill was passed requiring refineries to dilute your gasoline, corn grew wild in Iowa and no one was even aware there was a use for the weed, other than the occasional frontier corn fritter. And even after wise agronomists in Washington started throwing money at corn farmers the fuel market was controlled by sinister forces that prevented innovation.

Just like the whale oil cartel prevented widespread drilling for oil until the early 60’s.

As columnist Paul Driessen wrote Rastetter’s pitch to the assembled candidates was pointed and effective: Failure to support ethanol handouts in Iowa means no victory in the 2016 caucus and no chance for the GOP nomination.

Naturally Big Government Republicans didn’t require much in the way of pressure to crumble. Jeb Bush said corny gasoline reduces the demand for imported oil. Mike Huckabee said it’s a way for the nation to “fuel itself.” (No pun intended.) And Lindsay Graham solemnly stated “Every gallon of ethanol … is one less gallon you have to buy from people who hate your guts,” which makes you wonder when Obama started pumping gas.

Rick Santorum, trying to get someone to pay attention, thought the RFS means something besides oil and natural gas “are allowed into [the energy] stream.” And Scott Walker was a profile in cowardice as he abandoned his 2006 call for an end to ethanol subsidies.

Rick Perry split the difference and wanted to end federal ethanol subsidies, but said that individual states could choose to be a foster parent for corn, which is at least a Constitutionally valid stance and would exempt most states that don’t grow corn and corn lobbyists.

The only candidates claiming to be conservative supporters of market competition and having the courage to tell Iowa voters the subsidy spigot should be turned off were Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio — although Rubio did refer to corn as “maize.”

There’s an old song about moonshiners called “White Lightening” with a refrain that goes “Mighty, mighty pleasin’ my pappy’s corn squeezin’s.” Until Republicans can stop “pleasin’” crony capitalists with subsidies at the expense of the public, taxpayers will continue to be subject to regular “squeezin.”

Hypocrisy Only Applies to the Right!

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Another week of news cycle finger-pointing goes both ways. The Left calls the Right hypocrites. The Right calls the Left hypocrites. Then comes the, “I know you are but what am I” line. Do you feel like you’re back in high school with all the drama?

I took a parenting class years ago where the person teaching the class said that kids are masters at deflecting the conversation to get out of trouble and take the heat off of themselves. They twist and tweak and throw temper tantrums until they get what they want. Enter the loons on the Left!

It started with Senator Dick Durban’s (D) statement saying that Republican Senators were going to hold up Loretta Lynch’s nomination until a vote was cast for a specific bill. Why did Republicans do that? Because Democrat Senators were playing politics with a serious sex slave and human trafficking bill. Durban stated that Republicans were relegating her to the “back of the bus” until the bill was passed. Hmmm… what possible meaning would “back of the bus” have? Why didn’t he say “back burner” or “the end of line” or something less, what am I looking for here, RACIAL! Instead, he tried to make it look like Republicans were not interested in affirming her or voting on her confirmation simply because she was black. Mr. Durbin, your medication isn’t working! Wasn’t it you who held up the nomination of Condoleezza Rice as Secretary of State? But I’ll bet the farm it had nothing to do with her color or her being a black woman, nor did a Republican accuse you of that.

Then there is that little matter of Democrats not getting involved with Netanyahu because it was too close to the elections in his country. As if shaking hands with our president would have assured him a win! Although if Obama’s campaign operatives were smart they might have made it happen considering a recent CNN poll showing that the majority of Israelis don’t trust Mr. Obama.

Read more at TRS

More Failed Policies Of The Progressive Mentality

The Liberal mind is truly a place where stupidity grows, and it never ceases to amaze me. Once again we see the inventors of political correctness prove how idiotic their policies are. Every time you think they have out done themselves with stupidity, they come up with new and improved ways of proving that they are lacking of common sense.

It seems that in New York City and Chicago and other cities they have come up with a new way to discipline students in school, which is to not discipline them at all. New York public-school students caught stealing; doing drugs or even attacking someone can avoid suspension under new “progressive” discipline rules adopted this past month.

As usual the Progressives are claiming the old way of disciplining children are, (you know what comes next) RACIST. I will never understand how everything is racist to these guys. They are convinced traditional discipline is racist because blacks are suspended at higher rates than whites. Once again, let me say this to the non-thinking Progressives, could it be that blacks are committing more of the crimes than whites?

“Every reasonable effort must be made to correct student behavior through restorative practices,” advises New York city’s new 32-page discipline code. Except everywhere it’s been tried, this softer approach has backfired. Other large urban school districts are reporting fewer suspensions since adopting the non-punitive approach. But that doesn’t necessarily mean fewer infractions. In fact, many districts are seeing more classroom disruptions and violence a national trend that ought to set off warning bells for New York school officials.

What’s more, the movement which is driven by new race-based anti-discipline guidelines issued by the Obama administration (who else) is creating friction between teachers unions and the liberal mayors they otherwise support. Politicians can praise the new system, but its teachers who must deal with the disruptive and sometimes violent results.

“It’s just basically been a totally lawless few months,” one teacher told the Chicago Tribune. The Chicago Teachers Union complained the city’s revised student-discipline code has left teachers struggling to control unruly kids. “You have to have consequences,” Chicago fifth-grade teacher John Engels told the paper. “If you knew the cops weren’t going to enforce the speed limit you’d go 100 miles an hour.” Bravo for that teacher, actions have consequences, why does the Liberal mind not grasp that?

In Syracuse New York, meanwhile, teachers complain student behavior has worsened since the school district collapsed discipline structures in favor of restorative justice practices. They say teens are more apt to fight, mouth off to teachers and roam the halls under the more lenient policy. They’re even seeing increasingly violent behavior among elementary school children.

Even in Los Angeles Unified School District is seeing a similar spike in campus offenses after its school superintendent followed federal orders to reduce suspensions of African-Americans. Even threats against teachers are ignored, as administrators’ hands are tied by the new policy. “I was terrified and bullied by a fourth-grade student,” a teacher at a Los Angeles Unified School District school recently noted on the Los Angeles Times website. “The black student told me to ‘Back off, bitch.’ I told him to go to the office and he said, ‘No, bitch, and no one can make me.”

Defiance toward teachers is on the rise in Philadelphia public schools, as well, where talking circles have replaced suspensions. A former Philly middle-school teacher complains minority students act out and then dare teachers to kick them out of class, knowing full well their hands are now tied. “I’m going to torture you,” Allen Zollman says one student told him. “I’m doing this because I can’t be removed.” Knowing there won’t be consequences; bullies control the classroom and disrupt lessons for all kids who want to learn.

After a black high-school boy repeatedly punched his teacher in the face, sending her to the emergency room, the teacher, who is white, was advised by the assistant principal not to press charges. The administrator lectured her about how hard it is for young black men to overcome a criminal record. Worse, she was told she should examine what role she, “as a white woman” holding unconscious racial biases, played in the attack, according to the Willamette (Oregon) Week. A white sixth-grade teacher at a mostly black Washington, DC, school told the US Commission on Civil Rights she had similar “conversations” in which she was told that the bad behavior of black boys is mainly the teacher’s fault. “I have been encouraged to examine and question how my own racial dispositions affect my teaching and my students,” Andrea Smith testified.

Progressives have always believed in that touchy feely type of justice, I have news for them; it never has worked and never will. They think they are doing black children a favor by not punishing them for their actions, all they are doing is setting them up for a prison term. When they leave school, thinking that they can get away with anything, prison isn’t far away. Liberal-Progressive policies have never worked, if you want to know why American society is collapsing, just thank the Liberal-Progressives for that.

“What Kind Of Society Are We Leaving Our Kids” Available here.

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This is one man’s opinion.

 

 

Be Informed and Watch Government “Like A Hawk!”

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It’s inevitable that citizens would often feel frustrated with their elected officials. After all, it’s impossible to please all the people all of the time, and if they are, they likely aren’t doing their job. But there is one thing that likely is felt universally by constituents, of all ideological persuasions; our elected officials work for us, represent us and our interests, and they should never forget their role of serving in our behalf.

Goldie Hawn as "Sunny," In the movie Protocol

Goldie Hawn as “Sunny,” In the movie Protocol

Every once in a while something in our popular culture will capture such universally felt sentiments. Such was the case several years ago with a movie titled Protocol, starring Goldie Hawn (mother to actress Kate Hudson).

In the film, Hawn plays the role of a loveable, yet somewhat ditzy waitress in D.C., who happens to save the life of a visiting Emir from the Middle East. For her heroism, the State Department rewards her with a job serving in the Protocol Division, and then initiates a scheme to marry her off to the Emir whose life she’d saved, in exchange for a new military base to be constructed in the Emir’s country.

When the plan unravels and comes to light, Sunny (Hawn’s character) is hauled before a congressional committee to answer to her involvement in the scheme that has been affectionately dubbed “Sunnygate.” Her response is classic, and reminds us all of some of our responsibilities as American citizens.

As the committee chairman begins the hearing, he declares his intent to find out who was responsible. Sunny responds, “I’m responsible!” She then explained why. “You want to know something? Before I worked for the government, I’d never read the Constitution. I didn’t even begin to know how things worked. I didn’t read the newspaper, except to look up my horoscope. And I never read the Declaration of Independence. But I knew they had, the ones we’re talking about, the experts, they read it. They just forgot what it was about. That it’s about ‘We, the People.’ And that’s ME. I’m ‘We, the People.’ And you’re ‘We, the People.’ And we’re all ‘We, the People,’ all of us.”

160418204“So when they sell me that ten cent diamond ring or down the river or to some guy who wears a lot of medals, then that means they’re selling ALL of us, all of ‘We the People.’ And when YOU guys spend another pile of money and when you give away or sell all those guns and tanks, and every time you invite another foreign big shot to the White House and hug and kiss him and give him presents, it has a direct effect on ‘We the People’s’ lives.”

“So if we don’t, I mean if I don’t know what you’re up to, and if I don’t holler and scream when I think you’re doing it wrong, and if I just mind my own business and don’t vote or care, then I just get what I deserve. So now that I’m a private citizen again, you’re going to have to watch out for me. ‘Cause I’m going to be watching all of you. Like a hawk.”

There are some notable principles embedded in that inspiring response. First, was the concept of personal responsibility. How often do we see people, whether in public life or in their personal lives, not take responsibility for their actions, or their refusal to stand up against those who ultimately are culpable? It’s becoming as uncommon as common sense. Someone, or something, else is always to blame for poor decisions, bad plans, and/or ill-spoken words. And regrettably it seems most obvious in the realms of government, where all too few feel they’re accountable to the electorate for their actions.

jfkNext Sunny reminded us that, as citizens, it’s our responsibility to be knowledgeable and proactive citizens. If we let our elected officials get away with things that are unconstitutional or illegal, we’re at least partly to blame. After all, collectively, we are the ones who put them in their position of responsibility, and they are, or at least should be, accountable to us.

That’s one of the beauties of the American governance model, is we hire them to protect us and our interests, and our rights as citizens. If we’re not proactive, they can increasingly feel like they’re accountable to no one, least of all us. When they start feeling entitled to their perks of office, and taking us, their employers, for granted, they’ve outlived their usefulness and it’s time to retire them.

Such a level of proactivity will only be efficacious if we’re knowledgeable of our founding documents to know the proper role of governance, and if we keep ourselves apprised of what our government attempts to do for, and to, us. Too many of us are illiterate when it comes to our founding documents, and don’t bother to keep informed of what those in government are doing. I think this is what Winston Churchill was referring to when he said, “The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

I think FDR would have approved of Sunny’s response to the congressional panel, for FDR himself said, “Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.”

It’s unusual to garner anything substantive from movies, and so something like Goldie Hawn’s eloquent speech before a congressional committee stands out rather starkly. Although she’s a fictional character, Sunny represents what should be the best in all of us, as citizens, as we educate ourselves, keep informed, and watch our elected officials “like a hawk!”

Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].

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