Day: December 24, 2017

The Democrats' Hard Candy Christmas


The Democrats’ idea of economic stimulation runs like this: Give the government more money and they will invest it in useless projects like Solyndra, urban streetcars, and fast trains to nowhere, which eventually get scrapped because, as I said, they are useless and of benefit only to the Democrat politicians’ donors. The Republicans’ idea has been to let you keep more of your money and spend it in ways that meet your needs. The contrast could not have been clearer this week, for as soon as the law was passed, companies like ATT, Boeing, Fifth Third, Wells Fargo, and Comcast announced salary increases, major investment plans, increased philanthropic spending, tagging the shift to the tax cuts. And this has and will continue to cascade to more and more businesses and this money will help more and more communities as money is spent to supply the needs and wants of those who earned it.

Of course, the president gamed this ahead of time with the CEOs of these large companies. Unless you have a 1930s comic book outlook on the world, CEOs, unlike Daddy Warbucks, do not just hand out millions of dollars without first coordinating this with their boards, and they could not do this all within 24 hours. The President, like Patton explaining how he knew Rommel’s strategy, read the book. In this case, the Democrats have played true to form: class, race, and sex warfare. So they were sure to scream this was a payoff to the rich at the expense of the poor. A coordinated response like this shows it was not. It was a masterful refutation of the presciently anticipated left-wing response to the cuts.

Even apart from that, beginning with the first paychecks in January, taxpayers who pay attention should notice a reduction in their withholding. Happy New Year! CBS, for example, picked three families with differing incomes from different areas of the country to see how the cuts would affect them, doubtless hoping it would evince proof of the Pelosi-Schumer-media poppycock. An accountant examining the families’ returns last year and assuming their incomes would be stable, found to their surprise each and every one would get a welcome tax cut.

Younger, healthier people will probably forego paying mortgage-sized ObamaCare insurance payments for policies with such high deductibles they constitute only a payoff to the insurance companies and a subsidy to others. Now there’s no tax penalty for refusing to play.

Foreign Policy

Just as the President has been dismantling the socialist narrative and policies of Obama and the media, he has been working to undo and right the feckless foreign policies of his “leading from behind” predecessor whose aim, it appears, was to diminish us on the world’s stage, not further national interests. I’ve not seen a better explication of this than Commentary Magazine’s:

Even as early as March of 2017, it was clear that the Obama administration’s foreign-policy professionals were quite insecure about how posterity would remember their stewardship of American interests abroad. They had every reason to be. For now, at least, the Trump administration has declined to govern as Trump campaigned; not as a populist firebrand but a conventional Republican. Susan Rice and her former White House colleagues have every reason to worry, but not for the United States. Their reputations, however, are another matter entirely. 

Aided by our first-rate UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, he fired a shot at the anti-American corruptocrats of the United Nations this week, too. Thieves, tyrants, and the moronic weaklings of the West who the great Iowahawk accurately described in a tweet as “the He-Man Jew Haters club.”

In this respect, Josh Meyer of Politico (decidedly not a right-wing publication) had the blockbuster revelation of the week on Project Cassandra. In a meticulously researched piece, he describes how Obama halted an investigation into and prosecution of drug trafficking by the Iranian-supported Hezb’allah as it was funneling cocaine into the U.S. And he did it because he feared the investigation might interfere with the nuclear deal with Iran.

Consider this — the messiah of the black community refused to halt a drug operation that had its greatest negative impact on those communities which most strongly supported him.

And what was the deal? Pallets of cash and numerous concessions for what? To permit Iran to control the Middle East.

As a former FBI agent who agrees with strategists that Iran doesn’t actually want to develop nuclear weapons noted to me:

So why would Iran enter into the Nuclear Deal with Obama, if they don’t actually intend to go nuclear? Well… It’s an excellent opportunity to shake down the US. Play hard to get, get everything they can get for a deal that doesn’t actually change their policies. A pass for Hezbollah, etc. What’s in it for Obama? Adulation from globalists? Sure. Money? That’s an interesting concept. After all, I’m sure there were plenty of US strategists to second what those Israeli strategists were saying, have been saying, for years. There really never was anything in the deal for the US, since Iran wouldn’t actually be giving up anything that it really wants and would only be collecting concessions. It even probably gives Iran political leverage with the US if it wants it. So would the adulation be worth it for Obama? For a narcissist like him, maybe. But adulation measured in money might be a very interesting path to explore.

Indeed. If we’re looking for a dollar payoff, I’d start with the unprecedented $60-million-dollar advance the Obamas received from the German giant publishing house Bertelsmann which, among other things, owns 75% of Penguin Random House. Bertelsmann is privately owned in Germany, so its finances are not readily transparent. Earlier this year, this publication ran a well-researched article on how George Soros and Bertelsmann are moving to control not only the media but the book publishing business in the U.S. as well, to advance German interests in the U.S.

The books it published had earlier given a huge boost to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

The Wall Street Journal reported when the deal was announced “The company is courting potential minority investors, mainly “long-term funds, including pension funds, family offices and the like, Mr. Rabe [Bertelsmann’s chief executive] said, adding that there was “plenty of interest” in the U.S. and the U.K.” Maybe one of those was Iran. Of course, I could be wrong. It could be that readers around the world really will buy $60 million worth of ghost-written books praising the work of a man whose minor “achievements” are being erased day by day. What do I know as opposed to these publishing moguls? Maybe the Iranians just pre-purchased millions of dollars of this pap to shield their nuclear facilities.

The Deep State

Mueller keeps chugging along, and I agree with Kurt Schlichter that the President should just leave him there. He’s eviscerating his own reputation all by himself.

Surely, the rest of us are moving to an inescapable conclusion that the absurd, unverified Dossier paid for by the opposition, and perhaps even the FBI, was the basis for the FISA warrant that led to the spying on Trump. And by law, that warrant had to be signed by then Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who would never conceivably have done this without consultation with Obama.

This farce is grinding to a halt, threats that Mueller may try to drag it out for another year notwithstanding. Improperly seizing the transition emails was not a flexing of Mueller’s atrophied muscles but a confession that he is spinning his wheels. The transition, you know, came after the election that was supposedly influenced by all this invisible “collusion.” But hey — perhaps someone sent an email on a .gov account saying, “Gee, remember how we worked with Vlad to get him to buy $100,000 of Facebook ads promoting the ‘Hillary wants to outlaw the flag’ story from ‘Truz Newz’ targeted at working class whites in Wisconsin and how that won the election? Good times!” Unlikely. Even Team Smartest Woman In The World Who Still Lost To Donald Trump was smart enough to use its own servers for its illegal activities.


Mueller and his Loretta Lynch mob don’t have squat. They know it. We know it. Even somewhere in the back of their minds, past the voices and the demons, the Never Trumpers know it. The Grand Marshal of the HIPAA Court is not going to arrest everyone in the White House for treason. Mueller is going to come out with a report with lots of innuendo and a few outright lies, but no yellow scalp. A year from now — three years from now, and if the wins keep coming, seven years from now — Donald Trump will still be president.


Don’t fire him, Mr. President, at least not yet. Do something even crueler. Let Mueller and his pack of Democrat clowns keep making fools of themselves.

The Counteroffensive

Timing, as the saying does, is everything. Well, maybe timing plus persistence and preparation, and now that the tax bill is done and our military operations against ISIS are proving successful, among other things, the counteroffensive against the corrupt Deep State is taking place. Attorney General Session announced he is probing the Cassandra Project revealed by Meyers, Uranium One, and the Clinton Foundation.

James Baker, the FBI general counsel, was demoted. It was reported that he contacted David Corn about the Dossier. (Corn is the propagandist who, by the way, crafted the notion that Valerie Plame was a covert agent deliberately outed to punish her husband Ambassador Joe Wilson for claiming Bush lied to get us into war.) Corn has denied that Baker was his source. And that’s probably true. Most likely the contacts were to introduce his cutout to peddle this nonsense and maybe follow up to thank him for taking the meeting. One expects the FBI’s general counsel to be smart enough to use flunkies to do this.

Even more importantly, this week, the White House announced an executive order under the Magnitsky Act, which should raise even more alarm bells in the Deep State.

I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the prevalence and severity of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, such as those committed or directed by persons listed in the Annex to this order, have reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems. Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets. The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons.


I therefore determine that serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

The list of persons and entities whose property will be frozen reads a lot like a list of Clinton and Clinton Foundation contributors, a compendium of international crooks. And there’s still the mysterious Pakistani-born Awan Brothers case pending, made even more intriguing by a report that a virus found inside the DNC server is linked to a company based in Pakistan.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who overpaid the Awan Brothers and gave them access to many key Democrats’ online accounts and emails, should also be having a hard candy Christmas.

I hope you won’t. The next year looks even better for the U.S. as the rot which has been exposed in the media, Hollywood, and now the Deep State, gets a thorough excision by our consequential president and his talented cabinet which my online friend “Miss Marple” has dubbed the living Justice League.

In the “Best Little Whorehouse in Texas,” the working girls sing that the shuttering of the brothel will mean a hard candy Christmas for them. The passage of the tax bill and the other steps taken this week by the administration which I will summarize means this will be a hard candy Christmas for them, too.

The Tax Cut

The Democrats’ idea of economic stimulation runs like this: Give the government more money and they will invest it in useless projects like Solyndra, urban streetcars, and fast trains to nowhere, which eventually get scrapped because, as I said, they are useless and of benefit only to the Democrat politicians’ donors. The Republicans’ idea has been to let you keep more of your money and spend it in ways that meet your needs. The contrast could not have been clearer this week, for as soon as the law was passed, companies like ATT, Boeing, Fifth Third, Wells Fargo, and Comcast announced salary increases, major investment plans, increased philanthropic spending, tagging the shift to the tax cuts. And this has and will continue to cascade to more and more businesses and this money will help more and more communities as money is spent to supply the needs and wants of those who earned it.

Of course, the president gamed this ahead of time with the CEOs of these large companies. Unless you have a 1930s comic book outlook on the world, CEOs, unlike Daddy Warbucks, do not just hand out millions of dollars without first coordinating this with their boards, and they could not do this all within 24 hours. The President, like Patton explaining how he knew Rommel’s strategy, read the book. In this case, the Democrats have played true to form: class, race, and sex warfare. So they were sure to scream this was a payoff to the rich at the expense of the poor. A coordinated response like this shows it was not. It was a masterful refutation of the presciently anticipated left-wing response to the cuts.

Even apart from that, beginning with the first paychecks in January, taxpayers who pay attention should notice a reduction in their withholding. Happy New Year! CBS, for example, picked three families with differing incomes from different areas of the country to see how the cuts would affect them, doubtless hoping it would evince proof of the Pelosi-Schumer-media poppycock. An accountant examining the families’ returns last year and assuming their incomes would be stable, found to their surprise each and every one would get a welcome tax cut.

Younger, healthier people will probably forego paying mortgage-sized ObamaCare insurance payments for policies with such high deductibles they constitute only a payoff to the insurance companies and a subsidy to others. Now there’s no tax penalty for refusing to play.

Foreign Policy

Just as the President has been dismantling the socialist narrative and policies of Obama and the media, he has been working to undo and right the feckless foreign policies of his “leading from behind” predecessor whose aim, it appears, was to diminish us on the world’s stage, not further national interests. I’ve not seen a better explication of this than Commentary Magazine’s:

Even as early as March of 2017, it was clear that the Obama administration’s foreign-policy professionals were quite insecure about how posterity would remember their stewardship of American interests abroad. They had every reason to be. For now, at least, the Trump administration has declined to govern as Trump campaigned; not as a populist firebrand but a conventional Republican. Susan Rice and her former White House colleagues have every reason to worry, but not for the United States. Their reputations, however, are another matter entirely. 

Aided by our first-rate UN ambassador, Nikki Haley, he fired a shot at the anti-American corruptocrats of the United Nations this week, too. Thieves, tyrants, and the moronic weaklings of the West who the great Iowahawk accurately described in a tweet as “the He-Man Jew Haters club.”

In this respect, Josh Meyer of Politico (decidedly not a right-wing publication) had the blockbuster revelation of the week on Project Cassandra. In a meticulously researched piece, he describes how Obama halted an investigation into and prosecution of drug trafficking by the Iranian-supported Hezb’allah as it was funneling cocaine into the U.S. And he did it because he feared the investigation might interfere with the nuclear deal with Iran.

Consider this — the messiah of the black community refused to halt a drug operation that had its greatest negative impact on those communities which most strongly supported him.

And what was the deal? Pallets of cash and numerous concessions for what? To permit Iran to control the Middle East.

As a former FBI agent who agrees with strategists that Iran doesn’t actually want to develop nuclear weapons noted to me:

So why would Iran enter into the Nuclear Deal with Obama, if they don’t actually intend to go nuclear? Well… It’s an excellent opportunity to shake down the US. Play hard to get, get everything they can get for a deal that doesn’t actually change their policies. A pass for Hezbollah, etc. What’s in it for Obama? Adulation from globalists? Sure. Money? That’s an interesting concept. After all, I’m sure there were plenty of US strategists to second what those Israeli strategists were saying, have been saying, for years. There really never was anything in the deal for the US, since Iran wouldn’t actually be giving up anything that it really wants and would only be collecting concessions. It even probably gives Iran political leverage with the US if it wants it. So would the adulation be worth it for Obama? For a narcissist like him, maybe. But adulation measured in money might be a very interesting path to explore.

Indeed. If we’re looking for a dollar payoff, I’d start with the unprecedented $60-million-dollar advance the Obamas received from the German giant publishing house Bertelsmann which, among other things, owns 75% of Penguin Random House. Bertelsmann is privately owned in Germany, so its finances are not readily transparent. Earlier this year, this publication ran a well-researched article on how George Soros and Bertelsmann are moving to control not only the media but the book publishing business in the U.S. as well, to advance German interests in the U.S.

The books it published had earlier given a huge boost to Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

The Wall Street Journal reported when the deal was announced “The company is courting potential minority investors, mainly “long-term funds, including pension funds, family offices and the like, Mr. Rabe [Bertelsmann’s chief executive] said, adding that there was “plenty of interest” in the U.S. and the U.K.” Maybe one of those was Iran. Of course, I could be wrong. It could be that readers around the world really will buy $60 million worth of ghost-written books praising the work of a man whose minor “achievements” are being erased day by day. What do I know as opposed to these publishing moguls? Maybe the Iranians just pre-purchased millions of dollars of this pap to shield their nuclear facilities.

The Deep State

Mueller keeps chugging along, and I agree with Kurt Schlichter that the President should just leave him there. He’s eviscerating his own reputation all by himself.

Surely, the rest of us are moving to an inescapable conclusion that the absurd, unverified Dossier paid for by the opposition, and perhaps even the FBI, was the basis for the FISA warrant that led to the spying on Trump. And by law, that warrant had to be signed by then Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who would never conceivably have done this without consultation with Obama.

This farce is grinding to a halt, threats that Mueller may try to drag it out for another year notwithstanding. Improperly seizing the transition emails was not a flexing of Mueller’s atrophied muscles but a confession that he is spinning his wheels. The transition, you know, came after the election that was supposedly influenced by all this invisible “collusion.” But hey — perhaps someone sent an email on a .gov account saying, “Gee, remember how we worked with Vlad to get him to buy $100,000 of Facebook ads promoting the ‘Hillary wants to outlaw the flag’ story from ‘Truz Newz’ targeted at working class whites in Wisconsin and how that won the election? Good times!” Unlikely. Even Team Smartest Woman In The World Who Still Lost To Donald Trump was smart enough to use its own servers for its illegal activities.


Mueller and his Loretta Lynch mob don’t have squat. They know it. We know it. Even somewhere in the back of their minds, past the voices and the demons, the Never Trumpers know it. The Grand Marshal of the HIPAA Court is not going to arrest everyone in the White House for treason. Mueller is going to come out with a report with lots of innuendo and a few outright lies, but no yellow scalp. A year from now — three years from now, and if the wins keep coming, seven years from now — Donald Trump will still be president.


Don’t fire him, Mr. President, at least not yet. Do something even crueler. Let Mueller and his pack of Democrat clowns keep making fools of themselves.

The Counteroffensive

Timing, as the saying does, is everything. Well, maybe timing plus persistence and preparation, and now that the tax bill is done and our military operations against ISIS are proving successful, among other things, the counteroffensive against the corrupt Deep State is taking place. Attorney General Session announced he is probing the Cassandra Project revealed by Meyers, Uranium One, and the Clinton Foundation.

James Baker, the FBI general counsel, was demoted. It was reported that he contacted David Corn about the Dossier. (Corn is the propagandist who, by the way, crafted the notion that Valerie Plame was a covert agent deliberately outed to punish her husband Ambassador Joe Wilson for claiming Bush lied to get us into war.) Corn has denied that Baker was his source. And that’s probably true. Most likely the contacts were to introduce his cutout to peddle this nonsense and maybe follow up to thank him for taking the meeting. One expects the FBI’s general counsel to be smart enough to use flunkies to do this.

Even more importantly, this week, the White House announced an executive order under the Magnitsky Act, which should raise even more alarm bells in the Deep State.

I, DONALD J. TRUMP, President of the United States of America, find that the prevalence and severity of human rights abuse and corruption that have their source, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States, such as those committed or directed by persons listed in the Annex to this order, have reached such scope and gravity that they threaten the stability of international political and economic systems. Human rights abuse and corruption undermine the values that form an essential foundation of stable, secure, and functioning societies; have devastating impacts on individuals; weaken democratic institutions; degrade the rule of law; perpetuate violent conflicts; facilitate the activities of dangerous persons; and undermine economic markets. The United States seeks to impose tangible and significant consequences on those who commit serious human rights abuse or engage in corruption, as well as to protect the financial system of the United States from abuse by these same persons.


I therefore determine that serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world constitute an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security, foreign policy, and economy of the United States, and I hereby declare a national emergency to deal with that threat.

The list of persons and entities whose property will be frozen reads a lot like a list of Clinton and Clinton Foundation contributors, a compendium of international crooks. And there’s still the mysterious Pakistani-born Awan Brothers case pending, made even more intriguing by a report that a virus found inside the DNC server is linked to a company based in Pakistan.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz, who overpaid the Awan Brothers and gave them access to many key Democrats’ online accounts and emails, should also be having a hard candy Christmas.

I hope you won’t. The next year looks even better for the U.S. as the rot which has been exposed in the media, Hollywood, and now the Deep State, gets a thorough excision by our consequential president and his talented cabinet which my online friend “Miss Marple” has dubbed the living Justice League.



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The Bogus Iran Deal Could Learn from the SALT Treaties


The Iran nuclear agreement should be considered a treaty much as other accords governing arms control were, particularly SALT I and II in the 1970s.  Throughout the negotiations, there were many points of contention, but also agreement.  Congress, Nixon, Brezhnev, and others cooperated to resolve their differences, all within constitutional restraint.

Whereas SALT culminated in a historic treaty that heralded the fall of communism in the following decade, the Iranian nuclear “agreement” was nothing more than capitulation.  Its provisions missed the point while Iran’s bellicosity missed the form.  The implications of a nuclear-armed Iran are real for both the U.S. and our allies.

SALT I, signed on May 26, 1972 in Moscow, had two important provisions.  These provisions could be considered quid pro quo provisions with the net result of parity between the USA and the USSR.  The first provision was designated the Treaty of Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Systems.  The treaty limited each side to only one ABM deployment area (i.e., missile-launching site) and 100 interceptor missiles.  Here we see a beautiful, symmetrical commitment.  Also, it is worth noting that this treaty was ratified by the Senate, whereas, to the consternation of concerned citizens throughout our country, the Obama treaty with Iran was presented not as a treaty to be ratified by the Senate, but as an agreement or deal to be voted through by votes of confidence in the House and Senate.

The other important provision of SALT I was called the Interim Agreement and Protocol on Limitation of Strategic Offensive Weapons.  This agreement froze each side’s number of ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) for five years.  Again, there was parity.  The arms race was dramatically slowed down.  Both sides clearly benefited.

SALT II was a much more complex negotiation between the USA and the USSR, taking close to seven years.  Finally, agreement was reached limiting and equalizing the number of MIRVs (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles – i.e., missiles with multiple warheads, each capable of being launched separately) as well as heavy bombers.  It is worth noting that it took seven years and was called a treaty, meaning it had to be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Senate.  There was no faked sense of urgency such as we saw with “the deal” consummated by the Obama-Kerry negotiations.  Rather, the whole SALT process had a gravitas befitting negotiations intended to make a safer world.  However, before SALT II came to a vote in the Senate, Carter took it off the table as a response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Compare those serious and technical SALT negotiations, which resulted in parity of arms reduction, with the long march of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), the Security Council of the United Nations, and the P5+1 (namely, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States plus Germany) to deal with the Iranian efforts to produce 20% enriched uranium as well as plutonium (both essential for weapons-grade nuclear production) through the Clinton and Bush years, and even into the Obama presidency.  It is especially concerning to think Russia is on board with the deal affirmed by Pres. Obama, since Russia has been helping Iran play its strategic mind games since the 1990s and the Clinton presidency.  It is a timeline of deception and duplicity.  Facilities were being hidden by Iran and then acknowledged by Iran when they could no longer remain hidden.   

The mullahs have made it clear that they cannot be trusted to implement the agreement with fidelity.  The recent emergence of dubious “side deals”  gives Iran wide latitude to undermine inspection and enforcement regimes, particularly at Parchin and Natanz.  Moreover, funding will be used for support of her military and terrorist proxies once assets have been unfrozen.  As recent events have shown, Russia is already modernizing air defense systems and intending them for Iran.  The potential for the annihilation of Israel and the U.S. because of these is now not so far remote.  If history is a guide, then time will prove the consequences far more detrimental than even its stalwart supporters envisioned.

It does not need to be so.  At the very least, the administration could have seized upon the opportunity for preconditions as gestures of goodwill.  Four Americans now sit in Iranian jails, and a demand for their immediate release would have been most opportune.  A renunciation of terror and recognition of Israel’s right to exist, to say nothing of our own, are essential demands that were not to see the light of day.  The release of Iranian assets should have come in stages and been made contingent upon all of this.

Finally, good deals can be negotiated only through positions of strength and a willingness to learn from history.  Good deals are made only when each side trades something in return for what it wants more.  Much to the consternation of its most discerning critics, the administration acted with reckless abandon by using the opportunity not as a means to weaken Iranian resolve, but as a pretext to preserve legacy.  The U.S. got nothing.  While Pelosi cheerleads the agreement as a “masterwork of diplomacy,” “the deal” makes it easier for our security to be destroyed with impunity by the duplicitous mullahs and ayatollahs.  Iran now has a clear path to a nuclear bomb because of Obama’s hatred of a Republican Congress.

The Iran nuclear agreement should be considered a treaty much as other accords governing arms control were, particularly SALT I and II in the 1970s.  Throughout the negotiations, there were many points of contention, but also agreement.  Congress, Nixon, Brezhnev, and others cooperated to resolve their differences, all within constitutional restraint.

Whereas SALT culminated in a historic treaty that heralded the fall of communism in the following decade, the Iranian nuclear “agreement” was nothing more than capitulation.  Its provisions missed the point while Iran’s bellicosity missed the form.  The implications of a nuclear-armed Iran are real for both the U.S. and our allies.

SALT I, signed on May 26, 1972 in Moscow, had two important provisions.  These provisions could be considered quid pro quo provisions with the net result of parity between the USA and the USSR.  The first provision was designated the Treaty of Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Systems.  The treaty limited each side to only one ABM deployment area (i.e., missile-launching site) and 100 interceptor missiles.  Here we see a beautiful, symmetrical commitment.  Also, it is worth noting that this treaty was ratified by the Senate, whereas, to the consternation of concerned citizens throughout our country, the Obama treaty with Iran was presented not as a treaty to be ratified by the Senate, but as an agreement or deal to be voted through by votes of confidence in the House and Senate.

The other important provision of SALT I was called the Interim Agreement and Protocol on Limitation of Strategic Offensive Weapons.  This agreement froze each side’s number of ICBMs and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs) for five years.  Again, there was parity.  The arms race was dramatically slowed down.  Both sides clearly benefited.

SALT II was a much more complex negotiation between the USA and the USSR, taking close to seven years.  Finally, agreement was reached limiting and equalizing the number of MIRVs (multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles – i.e., missiles with multiple warheads, each capable of being launched separately) as well as heavy bombers.  It is worth noting that it took seven years and was called a treaty, meaning it had to be ratified by a two-thirds vote of the U.S. Senate.  There was no faked sense of urgency such as we saw with “the deal” consummated by the Obama-Kerry negotiations.  Rather, the whole SALT process had a gravitas befitting negotiations intended to make a safer world.  However, before SALT II came to a vote in the Senate, Carter took it off the table as a response to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Compare those serious and technical SALT negotiations, which resulted in parity of arms reduction, with the long march of the IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency), the Security Council of the United Nations, and the P5+1 (namely, China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States plus Germany) to deal with the Iranian efforts to produce 20% enriched uranium as well as plutonium (both essential for weapons-grade nuclear production) through the Clinton and Bush years, and even into the Obama presidency.  It is especially concerning to think Russia is on board with the deal affirmed by Pres. Obama, since Russia has been helping Iran play its strategic mind games since the 1990s and the Clinton presidency.  It is a timeline of deception and duplicity.  Facilities were being hidden by Iran and then acknowledged by Iran when they could no longer remain hidden.   

The mullahs have made it clear that they cannot be trusted to implement the agreement with fidelity.  The recent emergence of dubious “side deals”  gives Iran wide latitude to undermine inspection and enforcement regimes, particularly at Parchin and Natanz.  Moreover, funding will be used for support of her military and terrorist proxies once assets have been unfrozen.  As recent events have shown, Russia is already modernizing air defense systems and intending them for Iran.  The potential for the annihilation of Israel and the U.S. because of these is now not so far remote.  If history is a guide, then time will prove the consequences far more detrimental than even its stalwart supporters envisioned.

It does not need to be so.  At the very least, the administration could have seized upon the opportunity for preconditions as gestures of goodwill.  Four Americans now sit in Iranian jails, and a demand for their immediate release would have been most opportune.  A renunciation of terror and recognition of Israel’s right to exist, to say nothing of our own, are essential demands that were not to see the light of day.  The release of Iranian assets should have come in stages and been made contingent upon all of this.

Finally, good deals can be negotiated only through positions of strength and a willingness to learn from history.  Good deals are made only when each side trades something in return for what it wants more.  Much to the consternation of its most discerning critics, the administration acted with reckless abandon by using the opportunity not as a means to weaken Iranian resolve, but as a pretext to preserve legacy.  The U.S. got nothing.  While Pelosi cheerleads the agreement as a “masterwork of diplomacy,” “the deal” makes it easier for our security to be destroyed with impunity by the duplicitous mullahs and ayatollahs.  Iran now has a clear path to a nuclear bomb because of Obama’s hatred of a Republican Congress.



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Winter Holiday Music Is So Jewish


I’m a baby-boomer.  American-born Mom was the child of Polish Jews scrapping by through the Great Depression in the land of plenty.  They lost everything.  Nothing went to waste ever again.  We barely threw a garbage bag out once a week.

Her favorite times of year were the baseball and holiday seasons.  She loved wintertime songs, so many written by Jewish immigrants and their firstborn.  The music reminded her of good times during a rocky early life.  Judy Garland’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” captivated Mom.  Carl Sigman’s 1949 lyrics to

“A Marshmallow World,” performed by Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Arthur Godfrey, and half-dozen more artists, always brought a smile to Mom’s face:

It’s a marshmallow world in the winter
When the snow comes to cover the ground

It’s time for play, it’s a whipped cream day

I wait for it the whole year round…

Oh, The world is your snowball, see how it grows
That’s how it goes whenever it snows

The world is your snowball just for a song

Get out and roll it along…

Mom was a true-blue American tomboy, loving baseball.  Mom’s spirit of “I’ll do it myself” and her determination never to complain, especially about America, were her declarations of independence.  She married a German Jewish immigrant in the 1940s.  He spoke only German.  Mom cut the grass on hot summer days after watching father do it in a suit and tie.  Mom spoke English and a smattering of Yiddish.  I can’t explain how they hooked up, but they thrived on mutual respect and love.

Mom’s kitchen smelled of fresh cooking and cigarettes.  Holiday radio music played in the background when she cooked in the dark, early-morning hours for Shabbat between Thanksgivings and springtimes.  It was deep winter cold, icy and windy Chicago.  The kitchen window was frosted from the hothouse steam, and we drew hearts, wrote our names on the panes, and laughed together.

She koshered zaftig (juicy and succulent) fresh chickens bought from the neighborhood shochet  (slaughterer) every Thursday.  Mom cleaved them into quarters, heavily smothering them in Morton Kosher Salt (the blue box with the young, umbrella-holding girl in a short yellow skirt).  My little sister and I cringed watching the mix of watered-down blood oozing into the sink.  The chicken pieces and the sink were washed down with boiling hot water after an appropriate amount of time.

Some chicken pieces were plunked into a large pot bubbling atop the gas stove.  Adding fresh vegetables and marrowbones, Mom concocted the greatest pharmaceutically curing and greasy chicken soup (next to my wife’s).  Some quarters were roasted in a flat pan – never broiled or BBQed.

By ten at night, the soup cooled down, and the pot was stuffed into the icebox (but that’s another story).  By seven A.M. Friday, out came the pot, with a good inch of fat congealed on top that you get only from fresh chickens.  Christmas holiday music was playing on the radio, interrupted only with news about the Korean War or the Cold War with Russia.  A frying pan was making sizzling sounds by the time I made it down to the kitchen.  Mom scooped off the fresh chicken fat, plopping each yellowish schmaltzy spoonful into a fry pan smeared with Crisco before the advent of non-stick pots and pans.  The crackling frying fat smelled fantastic, and its sounds kept to the beat of the music.

Crisco was a cheap, white, Proctor & Gamble vegetable shortening introduced in 1911.  Its ingenious marketing tag proclaimed that the “Hebrew race has been waiting 4,000 years” for Crisco.  The frying fat separated into crunchy popcorn-like morsels now called grebenese.  Mom mixed it with her fried onions, sprinkled with salt and pepper, to create the original comfort food.  Grebenese was hot and ready to eat.

Mom poured grebenese from the frying pan into a large bowl lined with paper towels to absorb the grease.  All this happened by eight a.m. before we left for school.  Breakfast of hot chocolate, grebenese, and fried fresh eggs readied this ten-years-old patrol boy to face winter at its worst.

Okay – the radio music.  Live disc jockeys introduced songs, naming the writers and performers, while loading vinyl records onto players.  Jews loved the holiday season music because it was inspirational, and the writers were often children of the Tribe: “Let It Snow,” “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” “White Christmas,” and that one about Rudolf, though it was unlikely that any Jew had seen a live reindeer.  For Mom, the music was decorous, not religious, personifying freedom and the American spirit.

There were other songs, too, that stirred the emotional stewpot.  Mom wondered how Judy Garland could not be Jewish.  Ms. Garland is now buried in the Beth Olam section of a Los Angeles cemetery reserved for Jewish people.  Several seemingly reliable pundits tell the rest of the story.  In A Journey into the Holocaust

“Somewhere over the Rainbow” is about Jewish survival and the founding of Israel.  Lyrics by Yip Harburg (Isidore Hochberg), who also wrote “April in Paris” and “Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” was born to Russian Jewish immigrants.  Yip grew up in a Yiddish-speaking Orthodox Jewish home in New York.

Harold Arlen (Hyman Arluck), a cantor’s son, wrote the score.  “The two men reached deep into their immigrant Jewish consciousness – framed by the pogroms of the past and the Holocaust about to happen – and wrote an unforgettable melody set to near prophetic words.”  Read the lyrics in a Jewish context.  They are about not wizards of Oz, but Jewish survival.

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high,

There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue,

And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star

And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.

Where troubles melt like lemon drops away above the chimney tops

That’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly.

Birds fly over the rainbow.

Why then, oh why can’t I?

If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow

Why, oh why can’t I?

Jews heard of a land “once in a lullaby,” but it was not America.  It was Israel.  The lullaby is the story of the exodus from Egypt, annually read the first night of Passover.  It is the most observed precept among Jews.  A decade after the publication of “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” the exile was over with the rebirth of the modern, defensible State of Israel.  Dreams Mom dared to dream really do come true.

Dr. Harold Goldmeier is a public speaker and writer teaching business and politics to international university students in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  His book Healthcare Insights: Better Care Better Business is available on Amazon.  His articles and reviews appear on American Thinker, Arutz 7, Life in Israel, the Jerusalem Post, and more.  He was a research and teaching fellow at Harvard.

I’m a baby-boomer.  American-born Mom was the child of Polish Jews scrapping by through the Great Depression in the land of plenty.  They lost everything.  Nothing went to waste ever again.  We barely threw a garbage bag out once a week.

Her favorite times of year were the baseball and holiday seasons.  She loved wintertime songs, so many written by Jewish immigrants and their firstborn.  The music reminded her of good times during a rocky early life.  Judy Garland’s rendition of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” captivated Mom.  Carl Sigman’s 1949 lyrics to

“A Marshmallow World,” performed by Bing Crosby, Ella Fitzgerald, Dean Martin, Arthur Godfrey, and half-dozen more artists, always brought a smile to Mom’s face:

It’s a marshmallow world in the winter
When the snow comes to cover the ground

It’s time for play, it’s a whipped cream day

I wait for it the whole year round…

Oh, The world is your snowball, see how it grows
That’s how it goes whenever it snows

The world is your snowball just for a song

Get out and roll it along…

Mom was a true-blue American tomboy, loving baseball.  Mom’s spirit of “I’ll do it myself” and her determination never to complain, especially about America, were her declarations of independence.  She married a German Jewish immigrant in the 1940s.  He spoke only German.  Mom cut the grass on hot summer days after watching father do it in a suit and tie.  Mom spoke English and a smattering of Yiddish.  I can’t explain how they hooked up, but they thrived on mutual respect and love.

Mom’s kitchen smelled of fresh cooking and cigarettes.  Holiday radio music played in the background when she cooked in the dark, early-morning hours for Shabbat between Thanksgivings and springtimes.  It was deep winter cold, icy and windy Chicago.  The kitchen window was frosted from the hothouse steam, and we drew hearts, wrote our names on the panes, and laughed together.

She koshered zaftig (juicy and succulent) fresh chickens bought from the neighborhood shochet  (slaughterer) every Thursday.  Mom cleaved them into quarters, heavily smothering them in Morton Kosher Salt (the blue box with the young, umbrella-holding girl in a short yellow skirt).  My little sister and I cringed watching the mix of watered-down blood oozing into the sink.  The chicken pieces and the sink were washed down with boiling hot water after an appropriate amount of time.

Some chicken pieces were plunked into a large pot bubbling atop the gas stove.  Adding fresh vegetables and marrowbones, Mom concocted the greatest pharmaceutically curing and greasy chicken soup (next to my wife’s).  Some quarters were roasted in a flat pan – never broiled or BBQed.

By ten at night, the soup cooled down, and the pot was stuffed into the icebox (but that’s another story).  By seven A.M. Friday, out came the pot, with a good inch of fat congealed on top that you get only from fresh chickens.  Christmas holiday music was playing on the radio, interrupted only with news about the Korean War or the Cold War with Russia.  A frying pan was making sizzling sounds by the time I made it down to the kitchen.  Mom scooped off the fresh chicken fat, plopping each yellowish schmaltzy spoonful into a fry pan smeared with Crisco before the advent of non-stick pots and pans.  The crackling frying fat smelled fantastic, and its sounds kept to the beat of the music.

Crisco was a cheap, white, Proctor & Gamble vegetable shortening introduced in 1911.  Its ingenious marketing tag proclaimed that the “Hebrew race has been waiting 4,000 years” for Crisco.  The frying fat separated into crunchy popcorn-like morsels now called grebenese.  Mom mixed it with her fried onions, sprinkled with salt and pepper, to create the original comfort food.  Grebenese was hot and ready to eat.

Mom poured grebenese from the frying pan into a large bowl lined with paper towels to absorb the grease.  All this happened by eight a.m. before we left for school.  Breakfast of hot chocolate, grebenese, and fried fresh eggs readied this ten-years-old patrol boy to face winter at its worst.

Okay – the radio music.  Live disc jockeys introduced songs, naming the writers and performers, while loading vinyl records onto players.  Jews loved the holiday season music because it was inspirational, and the writers were often children of the Tribe: “Let It Snow,” “Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire,” “White Christmas,” and that one about Rudolf, though it was unlikely that any Jew had seen a live reindeer.  For Mom, the music was decorous, not religious, personifying freedom and the American spirit.

There were other songs, too, that stirred the emotional stewpot.  Mom wondered how Judy Garland could not be Jewish.  Ms. Garland is now buried in the Beth Olam section of a Los Angeles cemetery reserved for Jewish people.  Several seemingly reliable pundits tell the rest of the story.  In A Journey into the Holocaust

“Somewhere over the Rainbow” is about Jewish survival and the founding of Israel.  Lyrics by Yip Harburg (Isidore Hochberg), who also wrote “April in Paris” and “Brother Can You Spare a Dime,” was born to Russian Jewish immigrants.  Yip grew up in a Yiddish-speaking Orthodox Jewish home in New York.

Harold Arlen (Hyman Arluck), a cantor’s son, wrote the score.  “The two men reached deep into their immigrant Jewish consciousness – framed by the pogroms of the past and the Holocaust about to happen – and wrote an unforgettable melody set to near prophetic words.”  Read the lyrics in a Jewish context.  They are about not wizards of Oz, but Jewish survival.

Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high,

There’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.

Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue,

And the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.

Someday I’ll wish upon a star

And wake up where the clouds are far behind me.

Where troubles melt like lemon drops away above the chimney tops

That’s where you’ll find me.

Somewhere over the rainbow, bluebirds fly.

Birds fly over the rainbow.

Why then, oh why can’t I?

If happy little bluebirds fly beyond the rainbow

Why, oh why can’t I?

Jews heard of a land “once in a lullaby,” but it was not America.  It was Israel.  The lullaby is the story of the exodus from Egypt, annually read the first night of Passover.  It is the most observed precept among Jews.  A decade after the publication of “Somewhere over the Rainbow,” the exile was over with the rebirth of the modern, defensible State of Israel.  Dreams Mom dared to dream really do come true.

Dr. Harold Goldmeier is a public speaker and writer teaching business and politics to international university students in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.  His book Healthcare Insights: Better Care Better Business is available on Amazon.  His articles and reviews appear on American Thinker, Arutz 7, Life in Israel, the Jerusalem Post, and more.  He was a research and teaching fellow at Harvard.



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Education and the Leftist Creed


I was touched recently by what a young man visiting my office told me. He attends a Catholic high school in the area. I asked him how Christian prayer plays a role in his school day. He told me that there is a formal prayer to the beginning of each class. It was not only a prayer for the beginning of each school day, but prayer for the beginning of each of the several classes throughout the day. So, he said, algebra starts with giving thanks to God for their ability to study, their school, and teacher. It is repeated next period at the start of English, on and on through the day. Amazing, I thought, how beautiful, how enriching and elevated, that such words come from the mouths of some of our American young regularly through the day. We know or should know as we experience more in life that expressing regular gratitude is a key element for happiness. We know that regular ritual changes the mindset. Such prayer is also a key way we transmit culture to our young — not only religious culture but American. We are, as we should recall, “One nation under God.” America is a country with a secular government but a religious people.

Yet, how depressing, how tragic, in fact, to know that in our modern America such words never leave the lips of most of our young for an entire 12 or 15 years during their schooling. It is tragic that our citizens on the left have taken this form of prayer from our young and replaced it with different prayer. It is the prayer of the religion of secular leftism. The replacement is destroying American culture and terribly harming especially our young.

The prayer our kids now encounter each day is a quiet but powerful one. It is not said with words but it is clear and strong. It is the prayer of secular leftism. It tells our kids lies each day such as, America is not a God-based culture. It tells them nothing significant about American culture ties us to the wonderful liberal values and wisdom of the Bible, Judaism, or Christianity. It says there is no God blessing and caring for America. It tells them is no loving God that has created us, that roots for this great country steeped in liberty, that allows us to know good and evil; that obligates us to behave in certain ways, that judges us for our behavior; that ultimately gives justice in the afterlife. This is the prayer of Leftism, the same one that has now swept over soulless and God-free Europe. It is the prayer that we are but dust; our lives are at their core meaningless; enjoy what you can; get as much free stuff from government as you can; get as much vacation time as you can; have as few children as possible; have as much fun as you can before you deactivate and become dust again. 

With the other prayer, the old one, the one based on American Judeo-Christian values — it’s a slam-dunk as far as Jews on the left are concerned. To most of my fellow Jews with this value system, they give thanks to God, nature, the stars, or whomever they give thanks to that we have wiped that form of prayer clean from the lives of American children, particularly at school where they spend most of their day. 

I have now lived in both worlds, the current one with the religion and prayers of leftism my kids received each day at public school and the former America with the Judeo-Christian ones I said as a kid in a Miami public school in the early 1960s. Then, the school day began similarly to the young man I met, began with giving a nonsectarian blessing to the God of the Bible for all the gifts bestowed on us and the meaning and values he gives to our lives and country. 

My first world, my childhood America as a young Jew, was a far better place. It was far better because the public, rich, enthusiastic expression of our Judeo-Christian foundation was vital to experiencing joy and shaping a love of country, American values and God. It was far better because it helped give us wonderful America of God fearing Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, and Rev. King to admire rather than the new icons of kneeling football ingrates, Al Sharpton, Rev. Wright, and foulmouthed Colbert and Maher.

Now, thanks to the left and their prayers, even a mention of anything related to our Judeo-Christian foundation in a public school is considered a micro, actually, a cosmic-sized macro-aggression. It might even land you in jail. The man of the American left thinks pushing his own particular religion onto our kids is progressive and liberal. It is not. It is regressive, destructive, and illiberal. Our founders understood this. They did not build a society for leftist prayers. They made one centered in the God of the Bible. They made one where robust, decent, nonsectarian expression of our Judeo-Christian values in the public domain was encouraged and understood as a necessary ingredient for a good, virtuous, and free people.  Also, in their great wisdom they also understood such a people also needed to be led by a central government barred from forming a national religion. 

So now we are left with our kids praying to leftism each day at school. It’s a sterile, bleak, soulless world in our public-school space, where the day may begin with a reminder to move quickly through the front door metal detectors so homeroom may start on time. We are left with schools replete with kids dressed like they are going to watch a football game in the basement, who routinely mouth off to their teachers and not infrequently attack them verbally or physically. We are left with millions of kids who do not fear the authority of God, parent, or teacher, we are left with a whole generation of young, ungrateful to their country, clueless about the Bible and ready at an instance to take a knee against this despicable land. We are left without the joys of prayer, of color, smells, music, and songs of Christmas, our American national holiday to the God of the Bible. 

In that other world, my childhood America, the much better, much more liberal, enlightened, and progressive America, we were allowed and encouraged to speak the words banned by the Catholic hating former KKK member, and Supreme Court justice appointed by another leftist icon FDR, Justice Hugo Black.

We were once allowed to start the day with the beautiful elevating words:

Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen.”

He nixed that. The religion of leftism banned that. We are much poorer for it. 

Now the American left calls such words repugnant in a school setting. How far we have fallen. If we don’t reverse this, America will be no more. God forbid.  

I was touched recently by what a young man visiting my office told me. He attends a Catholic high school in the area. I asked him how Christian prayer plays a role in his school day. He told me that there is a formal prayer to the beginning of each class. It was not only a prayer for the beginning of each school day, but prayer for the beginning of each of the several classes throughout the day. So, he said, algebra starts with giving thanks to God for their ability to study, their school, and teacher. It is repeated next period at the start of English, on and on through the day. Amazing, I thought, how beautiful, how enriching and elevated, that such words come from the mouths of some of our American young regularly through the day. We know or should know as we experience more in life that expressing regular gratitude is a key element for happiness. We know that regular ritual changes the mindset. Such prayer is also a key way we transmit culture to our young — not only religious culture but American. We are, as we should recall, “One nation under God.” America is a country with a secular government but a religious people.

Yet, how depressing, how tragic, in fact, to know that in our modern America such words never leave the lips of most of our young for an entire 12 or 15 years during their schooling. It is tragic that our citizens on the left have taken this form of prayer from our young and replaced it with different prayer. It is the prayer of the religion of secular leftism. The replacement is destroying American culture and terribly harming especially our young.

The prayer our kids now encounter each day is a quiet but powerful one. It is not said with words but it is clear and strong. It is the prayer of secular leftism. It tells our kids lies each day such as, America is not a God-based culture. It tells them nothing significant about American culture ties us to the wonderful liberal values and wisdom of the Bible, Judaism, or Christianity. It says there is no God blessing and caring for America. It tells them is no loving God that has created us, that roots for this great country steeped in liberty, that allows us to know good and evil; that obligates us to behave in certain ways, that judges us for our behavior; that ultimately gives justice in the afterlife. This is the prayer of Leftism, the same one that has now swept over soulless and God-free Europe. It is the prayer that we are but dust; our lives are at their core meaningless; enjoy what you can; get as much free stuff from government as you can; get as much vacation time as you can; have as few children as possible; have as much fun as you can before you deactivate and become dust again. 

With the other prayer, the old one, the one based on American Judeo-Christian values — it’s a slam-dunk as far as Jews on the left are concerned. To most of my fellow Jews with this value system, they give thanks to God, nature, the stars, or whomever they give thanks to that we have wiped that form of prayer clean from the lives of American children, particularly at school where they spend most of their day. 

I have now lived in both worlds, the current one with the religion and prayers of leftism my kids received each day at public school and the former America with the Judeo-Christian ones I said as a kid in a Miami public school in the early 1960s. Then, the school day began similarly to the young man I met, began with giving a nonsectarian blessing to the God of the Bible for all the gifts bestowed on us and the meaning and values he gives to our lives and country. 

My first world, my childhood America as a young Jew, was a far better place. It was far better because the public, rich, enthusiastic expression of our Judeo-Christian foundation was vital to experiencing joy and shaping a love of country, American values and God. It was far better because it helped give us wonderful America of God fearing Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, and Rev. King to admire rather than the new icons of kneeling football ingrates, Al Sharpton, Rev. Wright, and foulmouthed Colbert and Maher.

Now, thanks to the left and their prayers, even a mention of anything related to our Judeo-Christian foundation in a public school is considered a micro, actually, a cosmic-sized macro-aggression. It might even land you in jail. The man of the American left thinks pushing his own particular religion onto our kids is progressive and liberal. It is not. It is regressive, destructive, and illiberal. Our founders understood this. They did not build a society for leftist prayers. They made one centered in the God of the Bible. They made one where robust, decent, nonsectarian expression of our Judeo-Christian values in the public domain was encouraged and understood as a necessary ingredient for a good, virtuous, and free people.  Also, in their great wisdom they also understood such a people also needed to be led by a central government barred from forming a national religion. 

So now we are left with our kids praying to leftism each day at school. It’s a sterile, bleak, soulless world in our public-school space, where the day may begin with a reminder to move quickly through the front door metal detectors so homeroom may start on time. We are left with schools replete with kids dressed like they are going to watch a football game in the basement, who routinely mouth off to their teachers and not infrequently attack them verbally or physically. We are left with millions of kids who do not fear the authority of God, parent, or teacher, we are left with a whole generation of young, ungrateful to their country, clueless about the Bible and ready at an instance to take a knee against this despicable land. We are left without the joys of prayer, of color, smells, music, and songs of Christmas, our American national holiday to the God of the Bible. 

In that other world, my childhood America, the much better, much more liberal, enlightened, and progressive America, we were allowed and encouraged to speak the words banned by the Catholic hating former KKK member, and Supreme Court justice appointed by another leftist icon FDR, Justice Hugo Black.

We were once allowed to start the day with the beautiful elevating words:

Almighty God, we acknowledge our dependence upon Thee, and we beg Thy blessings upon us, our parents, our teachers and our country. Amen.”

He nixed that. The religion of leftism banned that. We are much poorer for it. 

Now the American left calls such words repugnant in a school setting. How far we have fallen. If we don’t reverse this, America will be no more. God forbid.  



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Trump, McConnell, Ryan Discover Politics Is Team Sport


Sometimes there can be an unexpected yet undeniable ‘disturbance in the force’ of our politics – where one event or image seems to quietly and quickly shift the entire axis of momentum.  We saw it in 2012, when the love-fest between Chris Christie and Barack Obama on the tarmac after Super-Storm Sandy, including the iconic hug photo, seemed to realign the stars in what seemed like a sure Mitt Romney victory.  I could feel it happening at the time, and I suspect that many of you could, too.  We were right.

I felt the same thing a couple days ago, as President Trump, surrounded by Republicans whom he suddenly seemed to like, and who suddenly seemed to like him, celebrated the sweeping tax reform and tax cut bill victory.  Just a week earlier, the Republican Party and the president were smarting from an internally self-inflicted wound in Alabama.  That was a bottoming out.  The shift was palpable.  It was in the air.  Did you feel it?

The Democrats did, and they immediately went into a deeper apoplexy than normal.  They understood it on a certain level.  More on that later.

For now, it was as if this dysfunctional GOP team, with a coach who didn’t want to coach and two quarterbacks still awaiting spine donors, finally figured out what has been true for the entire history of our nation.

Politics is a team sport.

You don’t have to like that fact, or like your teammates, but it’s true nonetheless.  After the big win, Coach Trump was smiling, and one QB, Speaker Paul Ryan, was giving a speech that came straight out of a Tea Party-Ayn Rand manifesto about what makes America America.  The other QB, the despicable McConnell, had done a pretty darned good job of corralling a Republican caucus suffering from the likes of John McCain and Susan Collins still being in office and having only a tiny majority in the first place.

Credit where credit is due, even if it comes off the tongue with nausea.

The Republicans won.  Trump won, but so did Ryan and McConnell.  It was a team win.  And what we were witnessing is that as with team sports, wins can cover a multitude of sins.

And let’s be adults and admit that there were sins aplenty to go around.  McConnell, along with Karl Rove and Haley Barbour and some others, has been destroying conservatives running for office for a couple of decades. This was the toxic environment that Trump entered in June of 2015 and inherited officially in January of 2017.

The problem is, Trump ran for, and was elected, president.  As nominee, and as president, you are the head coach of your party.  Period.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to be.  It doesn’t matter if your hardest-core supporters don’t want you to do that part of the job.  And it doesn’t matter that your party has too many snakes and weasels and weaklings.  You asked for the job, you got the job, and part of the job is leading the party.  It just is.

Trump refused to do that important part of the job, publicly sniping at Ryan, McConnell, and the Freedom Caucus and threatening to “work with Democrats” at numerous junctures.  This caused Obamacare repeal to fail.  Trump, who is philosophically agnostic on health care to begin with, merely “led from behind” on that issue.

It was a loss, and Trump owns it just as McConnell does.  All of the above.

Yes, I know: the Republican establishment have been pulling against part of their own party for twenty years.  I wrote the book about it, and that book inspired Steve Bannon to recruit me for Breitbart, specifically to write harshly about the GOP-E.  So yes, I realize that McConnell might not have wanted Obamacare to be repealed, but he did vote the right way.  And he did again on the tax bill that removes the Obamacare mandate.  He did the right thing, rare as that might be.

Trump showed more leadership on this issue than he did on Obamacare, and he did not take Twitter shots at his own team during the process, which surely was arduous.  The result was a feel-good win, and one that should prove extremely beneficial for all Americans economically and for the Republicans, including Trump, politically.

A huge collateral benefit is that they kind of got the daily double here, neutering Obamacare in the process.

I don’t know if Trump, McConnell, and Ryan can stand each other personally.  And frankly, I don’t care.  They all like to win, and perhaps in all the rancor of the last two years, they had forgotten just how sweet victory is – until this week.  Now the stage is set to rock and roll with the rest of the agenda.

And perhaps they had also forgotten how sweet, and how important, it is to see Democrats lose.  Sure, Hillary’s loss was incredibly satisfying, but that was more a victory over the Hildabeast and Team Clinton than it was anything ideological.  This tax bill, with the Obamacare sweetener, was a mainline conservative crushing of the left.

And the left knows it.  The leftists know that the more people find out about this tax reform, the more they will like it.  They know the economy will roar with this.  They know that the Republicans rediscovered teamwork and the sweetness of victory.  This is why they have been in abject panic mode since Wednesday.

This is analogous to where I parted company with my friend Steve Bannon.  He and I agree on the problem, and it was the basis of our relationship, in fact.  It’s the solution phase where we split.

He wants to burn it all down, ridding the party of the establishment wing, even if it means elevating Chuck Schumer to power.  I want to build the conservative caucus in the party and overwhelm the establishment with numbers.

He seems to hate Paul Ryan above all others in Washington.  I realize that it was Ryan voters who carried Trump to victory in Wisconsin.  Yes, Trump lost the rest of the state badly. 

Bannon wants to defeat incumbent senators in the upcoming primaries.  I want to emphasize winning the ten Democrat seats in Trump states with new conservatives, expanding the majorities, and moving the party to the right.

The Democrats have to defend 24 seats this go-round in the Senate.  The GOP has to defend only ten.  This is a golden opportunity for us to give Trump a big majority in the Senate and to ensure that his agenda moves forward.  It will ensure more victories.

A unified GOP, like the one we saw this week, will pick up five or six or seven Senate seats in 2018.  In 2020, Trump will win re-election, and his agenda will move forward.  A divided GOP will squander this historic opportunity, and America will suffer.

I see that.  Heck, even the Democrats see that.  Will Trump?  Will McConnell?  Will Trump’s hardcore base?  Will Bannon?  Time will tell.

Edmund Wright is longtime contributor to American Thinker, as well as Breitbart, Newsmax TV, and Talk Radio Network. 

Sometimes there can be an unexpected yet undeniable ‘disturbance in the force’ of our politics – where one event or image seems to quietly and quickly shift the entire axis of momentum.  We saw it in 2012, when the love-fest between Chris Christie and Barack Obama on the tarmac after Super-Storm Sandy, including the iconic hug photo, seemed to realign the stars in what seemed like a sure Mitt Romney victory.  I could feel it happening at the time, and I suspect that many of you could, too.  We were right.

I felt the same thing a couple days ago, as President Trump, surrounded by Republicans whom he suddenly seemed to like, and who suddenly seemed to like him, celebrated the sweeping tax reform and tax cut bill victory.  Just a week earlier, the Republican Party and the president were smarting from an internally self-inflicted wound in Alabama.  That was a bottoming out.  The shift was palpable.  It was in the air.  Did you feel it?

The Democrats did, and they immediately went into a deeper apoplexy than normal.  They understood it on a certain level.  More on that later.

For now, it was as if this dysfunctional GOP team, with a coach who didn’t want to coach and two quarterbacks still awaiting spine donors, finally figured out what has been true for the entire history of our nation.

Politics is a team sport.

You don’t have to like that fact, or like your teammates, but it’s true nonetheless.  After the big win, Coach Trump was smiling, and one QB, Speaker Paul Ryan, was giving a speech that came straight out of a Tea Party-Ayn Rand manifesto about what makes America America.  The other QB, the despicable McConnell, had done a pretty darned good job of corralling a Republican caucus suffering from the likes of John McCain and Susan Collins still being in office and having only a tiny majority in the first place.

Credit where credit is due, even if it comes off the tongue with nausea.

The Republicans won.  Trump won, but so did Ryan and McConnell.  It was a team win.  And what we were witnessing is that as with team sports, wins can cover a multitude of sins.

And let’s be adults and admit that there were sins aplenty to go around.  McConnell, along with Karl Rove and Haley Barbour and some others, has been destroying conservatives running for office for a couple of decades. This was the toxic environment that Trump entered in June of 2015 and inherited officially in January of 2017.

The problem is, Trump ran for, and was elected, president.  As nominee, and as president, you are the head coach of your party.  Period.  It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to be.  It doesn’t matter if your hardest-core supporters don’t want you to do that part of the job.  And it doesn’t matter that your party has too many snakes and weasels and weaklings.  You asked for the job, you got the job, and part of the job is leading the party.  It just is.

Trump refused to do that important part of the job, publicly sniping at Ryan, McConnell, and the Freedom Caucus and threatening to “work with Democrats” at numerous junctures.  This caused Obamacare repeal to fail.  Trump, who is philosophically agnostic on health care to begin with, merely “led from behind” on that issue.

It was a loss, and Trump owns it just as McConnell does.  All of the above.

Yes, I know: the Republican establishment have been pulling against part of their own party for twenty years.  I wrote the book about it, and that book inspired Steve Bannon to recruit me for Breitbart, specifically to write harshly about the GOP-E.  So yes, I realize that McConnell might not have wanted Obamacare to be repealed, but he did vote the right way.  And he did again on the tax bill that removes the Obamacare mandate.  He did the right thing, rare as that might be.

Trump showed more leadership on this issue than he did on Obamacare, and he did not take Twitter shots at his own team during the process, which surely was arduous.  The result was a feel-good win, and one that should prove extremely beneficial for all Americans economically and for the Republicans, including Trump, politically.

A huge collateral benefit is that they kind of got the daily double here, neutering Obamacare in the process.

I don’t know if Trump, McConnell, and Ryan can stand each other personally.  And frankly, I don’t care.  They all like to win, and perhaps in all the rancor of the last two years, they had forgotten just how sweet victory is – until this week.  Now the stage is set to rock and roll with the rest of the agenda.

And perhaps they had also forgotten how sweet, and how important, it is to see Democrats lose.  Sure, Hillary’s loss was incredibly satisfying, but that was more a victory over the Hildabeast and Team Clinton than it was anything ideological.  This tax bill, with the Obamacare sweetener, was a mainline conservative crushing of the left.

And the left knows it.  The leftists know that the more people find out about this tax reform, the more they will like it.  They know the economy will roar with this.  They know that the Republicans rediscovered teamwork and the sweetness of victory.  This is why they have been in abject panic mode since Wednesday.

This is analogous to where I parted company with my friend Steve Bannon.  He and I agree on the problem, and it was the basis of our relationship, in fact.  It’s the solution phase where we split.

He wants to burn it all down, ridding the party of the establishment wing, even if it means elevating Chuck Schumer to power.  I want to build the conservative caucus in the party and overwhelm the establishment with numbers.

He seems to hate Paul Ryan above all others in Washington.  I realize that it was Ryan voters who carried Trump to victory in Wisconsin.  Yes, Trump lost the rest of the state badly. 

Bannon wants to defeat incumbent senators in the upcoming primaries.  I want to emphasize winning the ten Democrat seats in Trump states with new conservatives, expanding the majorities, and moving the party to the right.

The Democrats have to defend 24 seats this go-round in the Senate.  The GOP has to defend only ten.  This is a golden opportunity for us to give Trump a big majority in the Senate and to ensure that his agenda moves forward.  It will ensure more victories.

A unified GOP, like the one we saw this week, will pick up five or six or seven Senate seats in 2018.  In 2020, Trump will win re-election, and his agenda will move forward.  A divided GOP will squander this historic opportunity, and America will suffer.

I see that.  Heck, even the Democrats see that.  Will Trump?  Will McConnell?  Will Trump’s hardcore base?  Will Bannon?  Time will tell.

Edmund Wright is longtime contributor to American Thinker, as well as Breitbart, Newsmax TV, and Talk Radio Network. 



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Is Working Well within a Group the Essence of Education?


According to a new twist to an international test, American students are much better at group collaboration than they are doing academic work on their own. If true, is that an advancement or setback for education in America?

One thing is certain: This first-ever attempt at assessing collaborative problem-solving (CPS) — the holy grail for workplace-oriented education reform — did succeed in vaulting American teenagers to a much more respectable ranking among the world’s developed nations than their scores on individual tests of mathematics, science, and reading ever have.

On previous triennial testing of 15-year-olds by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a project of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, U.S. students’ performance has been mediocre, at best, and often closer to worst than first.

For instance, the latest batch of PISA scores from the 2015 round of testing, which were released in November, show American individual scores in mathematics ranking 40th out of 70 nations and other entities. (Average PISA score: 490. U.S. average: 470.) However, on the new assessment of the so-called “soft, 21st-century” social skill of CPS, the United States ranked 13th, rarefied air for Americans in these international comparisons.

PISA officials said they ventured into the collaborative realm because business leaders informed them the ability to work in groups is what they seek from their workers. That is no surprise, because business, government, and foundation elites have put preparation of children to solve problems in workforce groups high on their school-reform agendas, beginning with the Outcome-Based Education craze of the 1990s and continuing through the current drive for Common Core standardization.

On the Common Core State Standards website, a set of frequently asked questions provides this indication of the importance the standards assign to student collaboration: “The middle school and high school standards call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real-world issues and challenges. Across the English language arts and mathematics standards, skills critical to each content area are emphasized. In particular, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and critical-thinking skills are interwoven into the standards.”

PISA had received related criticism for focusing too heavily on skills transmitted expertly via the structured educational systems of South Asian nations, which emphasize the sort of repetitive drills and memorization detested by American progressives. Thus, adding CPS to the testing mix could help apologists for U.S. government schools soft-pedal their failures to teach kids the basics of literacy and computation.

Indeed, a relatively good grade on CPS could help excuse results of a separate international literacy test recently showing U.S. 4th-grade literacy skills tanking since 2011, the very year Common Core began to infect the government education standards of most states.

Interestingly, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea were the highest scorers in the softer-skills CPS testing, despite lacking the U.S. elites’ obsession with compulsory teamwork. They also were top-10 scorers for individual achievement. 

A legitimate question arises as to the accuracy of the first-year assessment of collaboration. At this point, CPS-PISA is more comparable to an experiment than an established form of testing. For instance, computer simulations are used to assess a student test-taker’s ability to adjust to the human dynamics within the supposedly cooperative group. That method must have its limitations.

A much more important question is whether functioning as part of a workforce team should be such an all-consuming feature of education — or corporate management, for that matter. Legitimate criticisms of groupthink are out there, just don’t expect them to be the feature of any lavishly financed educators’ or workforce-preparation conferences.

In an Inc.com article, “Collaboration Creates Mediocrity, Not Excellence, According to Science,” Geoffrey James cited a study of collaborative work environments that found “cooperative contexts proved socially disadvantageous for high performers.” It turns out that instead of viewing top performers as inspiring models, “mediocre employers tend to see them as threats, either to their own position in the company or to their own feelings of self-worth.” What often results are internal efforts to sabotage the work of the stars, or to steal credit for it.

Open, unwalled working or instructional areas intended to foster togetherness and collaboration pose special problems for introverts, who need privacy to be productive. Susan Cain has devoted a book and a blog to fighting what she calls “The New Groupthink” and advocating for introverts. Cain reminds us that “solitude has long been associated with creativity and transcendence.” As Cain notes, Picasso said, “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.”

“A central narrative of many religions is the seeker — Moses, Jesus, Buddha — who goes off by himself and brings profound insights back to the community,” Cain added.

Obviously, teamwork can play a role in final decision-making. However, education should be about preparing well-informed, independent-thinking individuals who can bring fresh ideas to the table. That’s hard to do when children are trained to become nothing more than cogs in elites’ exceptionally large wheel.

Robert Holland (holland@heartland.org) is a senior fellow for education policy with The Heartland Institute.

According to a new twist to an international test, American students are much better at group collaboration than they are doing academic work on their own. If true, is that an advancement or setback for education in America?

One thing is certain: This first-ever attempt at assessing collaborative problem-solving (CPS) — the holy grail for workplace-oriented education reform — did succeed in vaulting American teenagers to a much more respectable ranking among the world’s developed nations than their scores on individual tests of mathematics, science, and reading ever have.

On previous triennial testing of 15-year-olds by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a project of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, U.S. students’ performance has been mediocre, at best, and often closer to worst than first.

For instance, the latest batch of PISA scores from the 2015 round of testing, which were released in November, show American individual scores in mathematics ranking 40th out of 70 nations and other entities. (Average PISA score: 490. U.S. average: 470.) However, on the new assessment of the so-called “soft, 21st-century” social skill of CPS, the United States ranked 13th, rarefied air for Americans in these international comparisons.

PISA officials said they ventured into the collaborative realm because business leaders informed them the ability to work in groups is what they seek from their workers. That is no surprise, because business, government, and foundation elites have put preparation of children to solve problems in workforce groups high on their school-reform agendas, beginning with the Outcome-Based Education craze of the 1990s and continuing through the current drive for Common Core standardization.

On the Common Core State Standards website, a set of frequently asked questions provides this indication of the importance the standards assign to student collaboration: “The middle school and high school standards call on students to practice applying mathematical ways of thinking to real-world issues and challenges. Across the English language arts and mathematics standards, skills critical to each content area are emphasized. In particular, problem-solving, collaboration, communication, and critical-thinking skills are interwoven into the standards.”

PISA had received related criticism for focusing too heavily on skills transmitted expertly via the structured educational systems of South Asian nations, which emphasize the sort of repetitive drills and memorization detested by American progressives. Thus, adding CPS to the testing mix could help apologists for U.S. government schools soft-pedal their failures to teach kids the basics of literacy and computation.

Indeed, a relatively good grade on CPS could help excuse results of a separate international literacy test recently showing U.S. 4th-grade literacy skills tanking since 2011, the very year Common Core began to infect the government education standards of most states.

Interestingly, Singapore, Japan, Hong Kong, and South Korea were the highest scorers in the softer-skills CPS testing, despite lacking the U.S. elites’ obsession with compulsory teamwork. They also were top-10 scorers for individual achievement. 

A legitimate question arises as to the accuracy of the first-year assessment of collaboration. At this point, CPS-PISA is more comparable to an experiment than an established form of testing. For instance, computer simulations are used to assess a student test-taker’s ability to adjust to the human dynamics within the supposedly cooperative group. That method must have its limitations.

A much more important question is whether functioning as part of a workforce team should be such an all-consuming feature of education — or corporate management, for that matter. Legitimate criticisms of groupthink are out there, just don’t expect them to be the feature of any lavishly financed educators’ or workforce-preparation conferences.

In an Inc.com article, “Collaboration Creates Mediocrity, Not Excellence, According to Science,” Geoffrey James cited a study of collaborative work environments that found “cooperative contexts proved socially disadvantageous for high performers.” It turns out that instead of viewing top performers as inspiring models, “mediocre employers tend to see them as threats, either to their own position in the company or to their own feelings of self-worth.” What often results are internal efforts to sabotage the work of the stars, or to steal credit for it.

Open, unwalled working or instructional areas intended to foster togetherness and collaboration pose special problems for introverts, who need privacy to be productive. Susan Cain has devoted a book and a blog to fighting what she calls “The New Groupthink” and advocating for introverts. Cain reminds us that “solitude has long been associated with creativity and transcendence.” As Cain notes, Picasso said, “Without great solitude, no serious work is possible.”

“A central narrative of many religions is the seeker — Moses, Jesus, Buddha — who goes off by himself and brings profound insights back to the community,” Cain added.

Obviously, teamwork can play a role in final decision-making. However, education should be about preparing well-informed, independent-thinking individuals who can bring fresh ideas to the table. That’s hard to do when children are trained to become nothing more than cogs in elites’ exceptionally large wheel.

Robert Holland (holland@heartland.org) is a senior fellow for education policy with The Heartland Institute.



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