Monthly Archives: January 2015

Here is my take on Obama’s Middle East policy as published in the Miami Herald on January 25, 2015

In Chicago de-Nile is a river in Egypt.  In Washington, denial is a Middle Eastern policy.

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Miami Herald

Letter to the Editor

January 25, 2015

I found it interesting and most telling, that President Obama didn’t mention Israel in his State of the Union address — even as he spoke optimistically about our newfound relationship with Iran and made false claims about our “victories” over a terrorism that has no name.

His most dangerous foreign policy may well be his actions that favor the enemies of Israel and, therefore, the United States.

There is a new holocaust occurring in the world today, and even many Jews are turning their backs on that reality. Pope Francis criticizes capitalism while ignoring those Christians, Jews and Muslims being slaughtered. The United Nations does nothing to stop the genocide.

It all makes the “never again” mantra seem a bit empty.

Larry Horist, Boca Raton

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What’s with MSNBC?

Following my usual practice, I woke this morning and grabbed the remote to check out the news coverage on the various channels.  When I got to MSNBC, I thought I was still captured in the arms of Morpheus.  The Morning Joe panel was discussing the appearance of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell on CBS’s 60 Minutes.  Except for the uber liberal co-host, Mika Brzezinski, the MSNBC panel seemed unusually positive in their assessment of the GOP duo.

The real shocker came when they discussed the Koch brothers, who appear on liberal dart boards across the nation.  They noted what most media folks miss.  The Koch brothers are libertarian conservatives, meaning they tend to be pro-choice and okay with gay marriage.  The panel also praised them for their enormous contributions to education, culture and medicine.

At this point, I had to check the television menu to see if I had crossed wires with FOX News.

It just goes to show that truth is a most persistent virtue.

The war on terrorism is now a war … period.

Much has been said about the difference between the war of Islamic terrorism and a war between nations.  It is no longer, and maybe never was, a battle with a rag tag assemblage of religious based fanatics.  That war is between the Sunnis and the Shiites.  Their common bond is a radical minority with mutual hatred for western civilization and those they consider to be infidels.  They are on a global genocidal mission to take over the world.

The negotiations with Iran seem painfully similar to Neville Chamberlain’s negotiations with Hitler, which bought him time, but never changed his ambitions and actions.  Even as John Kerry talks, Iran has sponsored the toppling of the pro-American government in Yemen.

This is already a world war, with the evil forces gaining ground every day.  As the saying goes, “We will fight them over there, or when they arrive here” — as they already have.

It is time for the world’s civilized nations, societies and religions — including Muslims — to unit in a global war on Islamic-bred  terrorism.  We can no longer deal with the problem as a collection of unorganized nations fighting an ill-defined and elusive enemy.  The line between good and evil must be clearly drawn, and the civilized nations and honorable societies must defeat this new threat to world peace, stability and freedom.

This means the full use of western military.  Yes, boots on the ground in overwhelming numbers.  The terrorists do not have the power to defeat the civilized world, unless the civilized world is unwilling to fight.

Obama’s State of the Union. File under “Fiction.”

I would have offered my analysis of President Obama’s State of the Union speech, but it took me time to get over the shock.  His tendency to take victory laps following defeats reached its zenith in the State of the Union speech.  This even surpasses his response to the shellacking he got on Election Day.  You know … when he said he still has the support of all those who did not vote.  What he described was not the state of our union, but a spin on reality that is usually reserved for hyperbolic campaign speeches, where repudiating facts are not so obvious and available.

Most notably, the President engaged in political hypocrisy by proposing programs that have zero chance of passing Congress, something he was very critical of when the GOP was pushing Obamacare repeal.

His assessment of the economy was surreal. Yes, there is some long delayed improvement – a longer recovery than any recession in American history.  The stock market is booming, but it is due to the higher profits achieved by shedding the cost of all those unemployed Americans and not hiring them back.  The government unemployment figure is a sham because it does not include all those folks who are unemployed, but are no longer counted as such.  The rate of unemployment is less important than the average income, and that is down yet.

The real hardship is seen in the surge in food stamps – from 17 million when he took office to 48 million today, and still increasing.

All his policies reflect his bias – shifting jobs and wealth from the free market of the private sector, where you and I make the consumer decisions, to more public sector jobs and government wealth redistribution where Washington makes the spending decisions.

His Capital Gains tax will kill private sector job creation, as it always does.  He makes no mention of the avalanche of costly regulations his administration has imposed on the private sector job producers.

Those students who cheer another couple thousand dollars for education, need to check out the tens of thousands his programs will be costing them in the future as they start paying for them.  Also, this subsidized money for college will increase tuitions, just as students loans did.

While he brags about reductions in the annual deficit, he makes no mention of the continued run-away growth in the far more dangerous national debt.  At a time when federal spending is at or past the sustainability point, he offers up trillions more to be placed on the back of future generations – now exceeding $18 trillion.  Obama is running the economic train at full throttle heading into a future derailment.

His new tax burdens on banks will be passed on to consumers – rich and poor.  Liberals never understand that you cannot tax businesses because it only becomes a cost that is passed on to the consumer.  The only thing that is taxable is the productivity of a human being.  Everything else is a device to conceal that fact.  If you believe that a property tax is a tax on property, next time you get the bill, give the government your garage.

If the President’s rose colored view of the economy was surreal, his victory claims in foreign policy were delusional.  The war is not over in Afghanistan, and we are not sure which side will win.  Our withdrawal from Iraq paved the way for ISIS.  Obama’s empty words on Syria has left us in a no win position.  Russia now controls the Crimea and still pressing to takeover of the Ukraine.  Iran is relieved of sanctions as the charade of negotiations goes on.  Central Africa is characterized the unimaginable brutal Muslim genocide at the hands of Boka Haram.  They are making Nazis look like boy scouts.  Yemen, which only months ago he cited as one of his policy accomplishments, has now fallen to the Anti-American Iran-supported rebels.  As we play patty cake with the Iran regime, they continue to export terrorism against the West.

There have been terrorist attacks on France, Canada, Australia, the United States and scores of other nations.  The Terrorists are gain significant control of the Middle East and Central Africa.  Beyond Yemen, there is Somalia and Nigeria.  He takes not notice of Venezuela as a base for South American Muslim Terrorism – exporting terrorist cells to nations throughout the continent, as well as the United States.  Nation after nation is moving from U.S. ally to U.S. enemy.

It is noteworthy that Obama said nothing about Israel, preferring to brag about our new found camaraderie with Iran.  His omission signals to the world that the Obama White House does not see Israel as our strongest, most consistent and most important ally in the Middle East, maybe in the world.  Such an omission cannot be an oversight.  His consistently soft approach on Muslim terrorism cannot be seen as anything less than a pro-Arab bias.

These are not just my opinions.  Most Internet fact checkers are giving the President any number of “Pinocchios” for his State of the Union address.

I am not sure if any American president has given a State of the Union speech so removed from reality.  The world is in the grips of a new holocaust, and Obama would like us to believe that he has created an international Garden of Eden.

I am not into conspiratorial theories.  I have always believed Obama is American born.  I do not think he is some sort of Manchurian Candidate Muslim.   But, I cannot find a rational explanation for policies so detrimental to American interests, here and abroad.

Based on his back ground, I am confident that he came to office as a lifelong hard left hater of traditional American values of limited government, personal freedom, free enterprise and world leadership.  He believes we are a racist nation, when the vast majority of evidence proves the opposite.

I know we elected a president with no exposed record and little qualifying experience. Perhaps, it is this toxic combination that has produced arguable the worst and most dangerous president in American history.

Why does President Obama give brutal dictators a break? Cuba is the latest.

Since November, I had been telling people that they have yet to see the worst of Obama.  With no more elections in the future, no control over Congress and no Harry Reid to block legislation from reaching his desk, we will see a succession of autocratic directives coming from the White House.  In many ways, he is bitter and lashing out at a country that took him down from the pedestal upon which he placed himself.  In the worst of the Chicago tradition, it is payback time on the America the radical left loathes.

His private deal with Raul Castro is another in what will be a long string of hard core left-wing dictates to be coming from the Oval Office.  Whether you agree that normalizations with Cuba is a worthy goal or not, this is not the time or way to do it.

For decades, Cuban leaders have longed for a deal with the United States that would bring untold advantages to their struggling economy and more power to their brutal regime.  While sanctions failed to topple the two-headed Castro regime, they did prevent the dictatorial duo from becoming popular – an important leverage for both the United States and eventually the welfare people of Cuba.

Once again, Obama uses past precedents that are not true examples.  The administration cites China and Russia as two adversaries where we benefited by normalizing relationships.  Where Obama is typically deceptive is that normalization with those nations came on OUR terms, with great benefits to world trade and free enterprise.  In the case of China and especially Russia, we were open to negotiations AFTER we put their economies on the road to collapse.

In Cuba, Obama is giving benefits to the dictators without any discernible benefits to the United States.  Sure, we got the release of one American hostage, but the Obama trade was typically disproportionate.  And, despite his grand announcement, there are elements of the trade that are beyond his power.  He is again tip toeing to the edge of abuse of power.

Obama only offers some vague hope that things will get better with Cuba in the far future.  There is no quid pro quo addressing Cuban civil rights abuses, crushing opposition, supporting international terrorism, confiscation of American property and undemocratic policies.  In other words, for a public relations victory among his radical left-wing base, Obama has strengthened the grip of the totalitarian Castro brothers and their Communist successors.

It is said that the Obama-Castro deal was brokered by the Pope.  It seems to be so.  To me this makes the Pope just another hard core left-wing leader, who holds America in contempt.  Pope John Paul II and President Ronald Reagan formed an alliance to bring down the Soviet Union.  Obama and Francis have formed an alliance to bring down American power and influence.  I predict his narrow political views will exacerbate the loss of membership in the Catholic Church.  I already know a few who heading out the door.  I also expect that Francis will be the first Pope to be welcomed to the United States by demonstrators opposing his reign.

Cuba is another example of the Obama doctrine that suggests that a weak America is better for the world.  For six years, he has sided with America’s traditional adversaries over long time friends.  He has bowed figuratively and literally to despotic leaders who would be thrilled to see American influence in the world diminished to the point of irrelevancy.  This is why he chokes up when ever asked about American Exceptionalism.

Hang on to your seats.  The last two years of the Obama administration is going to be bumpy.  At this point, we can only try to limit the damage he does.

My thoughts on Mayor de Blasio as published in the Palm Beach Post on January 8, 2015

Palm Beach Post

Thursday, January 8, 2015

 

De Blasio’s missteps doom administration

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio was once the toast of the town. He is now just toast. He cannot recover, because he is either the most tone-deaf politician in America or is just too arrogant to be humble. Methinks both.

Pleas from Police Commissioner Bill Bratton did not stop the turning of backs at the funeral of Officer Wenjian Liu. I suspect that every turned back represented a multiple of officers who privately shared the sentiment.

In his first appearance after the shooting, de Blasio had an opportunity to mend fences. Instead, he made a request for both sides of the controversy to gag themselves, ostensibly out of sympathy for the dead officers’ families. It backfired, because it came across as insincere, blatantly self-serving and arrogant.

The failed “peace summit” with various police unions only made matters worse.

De Blasio needed to be humble, take responsibility for his rhetoric and publicly disassociate from Al Sharpton. He did none of it. Now it is too late.

After 9/11, then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was called “America’s mayor.” De Blasio has now earned himself the well-deserved appellation some are calling him: “America’s most hated mayor.”

LARRY P. HORIST, BOCA RATON

Remembering Senator Edward “Ted” Brooke

People pass away, but memories do not.  That happened for me again with the passing of former Republican United States Senator Edward “Ted” Brooke, of Massachusetts, at the age of 95.  Serving from 1967 to 1979, Brooke was the first African-American to serve in the Senate since Hiram Revels and Blanche Bruce, also black Republicans, who served during the post Civil War Reconstruction period in the 1870s.

The Democrat Party would not elect a black United States Senator until the election of Carol Mosley Brown, in 1993.  I also knew her, since she was a local Chicago public official during my tenure as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago.

I had two occasions to spend time with Senator Brooke.  The first was during the 1968 presidential election.  Candidate Richard Nixon was coming to town for a “ticker tape” parade down LaSalle Street as  his first post nomination event.  The crowds were so large and enthusiastic in this Democrat city that I was sure Nixon would win in the General Election.

I was a young GOP volunteer in those days.  My assignment was to escort Senator Brook – driving him around town and generally serving as an aide de camp.  We had a lot of time for discussion as I drove him from appointment to appointment in my three-year-old Pontiac LeMans with a repair patch on the right rear fender.

I was then to drop Brooke off at the parade starting point.  When I got there, I got a pleasant surprise.  Secret Service agents told me to park my car and take the wheel of a brand new Lincoln convertible.  They wanted me to drive the Senator in the parade.  They then directed me to a spot just behind the Secret Service car trailing the Lincoln convertible that would chauffeur Nixon through the parade.

We waited for about fifteen minutes for Nixon to arrive.  Seeing Brooke, he walked over to our car and exchanged greetings with both Brooke and me.

I drove the route with a blizzard of confetti filling the car to about two feet.  I was literally driving without being able to see past my knees.

Following the parade, Brooke returned to my car.  A police escort, with lights flashing and sirens blaring, took us to Midway Airport.  I drove directly on to the tarmac and alongside the Nixon plane. With the Kennedy assassination such a recent memory, the area surrounding the plane was a ring of uniformed military and police personnel.

After the departure of the Nixon plane, with Senator Brooke aboard, I had a few minutes to chat more casually with the secret service guys.  When I made mention of all the security, I recall one of the agents telling me that they wanted Nixon to remain in a closed car, but the future President insisted in sitting on the back deck, occasionally standing to wave to the crowd.  The agent said that they take every precaution possible, but there is no such thing as 100 percent protection.

They also showed me some of the “special features” of the Lincoln that carried Nixon.  It looked a lot like the one I drove, but was quite different.  It was one of the Secret Service cars.  The back bench seat, on which Nixon stood, was an arsenal.  Lifting up the seat like a toy box, I could see machine guns, pistols and even hand grenades.  The back of the front bucket seats broke way to reveal more weapons.  All the metal was reinforced, and the car had three levels of siren – which seemed to me to be (1) excuse me, you need to get out of our way, (2) MOVE, because we are taking off and (3) peddle to the metal for the fastest escape.

My second chance to sit with then former Senator Brooke was when he came to the City Club as one of my monthly luncheon speakers.  During lunch, he and I had some time to reminisce about the Nixon parade, with him sounding convincingly that he remembered me.

On both occasions, he struck me as a very nice, rather humble, person.  He was always polite and most considerate.   He was one of the people that the world needs more of.  I have always been appreciative of the opportunity to get to know him, even just a little bit.

Rolling Stone should be renamed “Rolling Stoned”

Rolling Stone was way to eager to take up a feminist issue that made Neanderthal abusers out of fraternity men and college life something akin of living under the governance of ISIS.  They accepted of this fairy tale story of gang rape as factual, even though they made no effort to check out the facts.  The did not even look for verification among the troubled girls friends or a rebuttal from the accused “knuckle draggers.”  Not only did the editors buy into the sordid story, but they sensationalized it by making it a front page feature.  The embarrassment was palpable.

Well, you think they would learn their lesson.  But, nooooooooooo!

They latest bit of front page fantasy fiction rolled out by  Rolling Stone is that Barack Obama is the greatest president in American history.  You do not have to agree with the many who view Obama as the worst American chief executive, but placing him at the top is as wrong and outrageous as the rape story.  They both are advancing narratives that are grossly untrue, and easily disproved by rational observation and mounds of evidence.  Only the most intellectually compromised Obama-phile could believe such a claim.

What next?  That Al Sharpton is the greatest civil rights leader

DAILY OBSERVATION: Dictators are no friends of mine

I have come to believe that entirely too much public opinion and public policy is based on myths.  That has led me to start a book on political myths (but more about that another time).  I was reminded of one of the most common myths – the existence of right wing dictatorships.

We all know that the political continuum goes from right to left, with those of us on the right fighting for limited government, lower taxes and more citizen authority.  Starting on the extreme right is anarchy … libertarianism … mainstream conservatism … economic conservatism … etc.

Coming in from the left extreme is dictatorship … oligarchies … socialists … progressives … etc.

I am sure you can see where this is going.  We, on the right, NEVER like too much government – and dictatorships are state-of-the-art “too much government.”  We believe in what President Reagan once said.  “Government is not part of the problem, it IS the problem.”

Let me make it clear.  We conservatives do not like authoritarian government – not ever.  We may have to deal with them in a complex world, but we favor democracies and republics.  Liberals, too, must deal with dictatorships according to their relationship with the United States.  That is just international politics.

The record shows that in conservative administrations, dictatorships are more challenged and often overturned.  The Reagan foreign policy encouraged more nations to shift to participatory governance than any time since the Founders began a world trend toward global democratization.

Liberals are more accommodating to dictatorships.  They oppose “imposing” democracies on other nations.  They seem to not even understand the concept.  America does not “impose,” but rather helps remove the shackles of totalitarianism so that the people can “impose” their own government.

You see the liberal view in Washington today.  Obama is impotent in dealing with the brutal dictatorships spreading throughout the Middle East today.  He plays na na na boo boo with North Korea.  He bails out a failing brutal dictatorship in Cuba.  He gets into rope-the-dope negotiations with Iran.  After “I’m going to kick your ass” threats to Syrian despot Bashar al Assad, Obama cuts and runs.  After conservative Republican policy faced down the Russians and crushed the “evil empire,” Obama does nothing in the face of the re-emerging “evil.”

Domestically, it is the progressive mentality that believes that a powerful government must solve problems for a less apt or willing public.  They believe that the public, as Jonathan Gruber put it, is stupid.  Thanks to liberal thinking, our federal government, which should have the least influence in our daily lives, is suffocating the constitutional rights of the several states, and, in the process, our individual personal rights.

That is not to say that grass-roots American liberals want a dictatorship.  No. No. No.  It is their tendency, however, to support the shift of more and more power to the government that is most distant and least responsive to public influence.  That is so obvious, it is beyond refutation.  In doing that, they do tip-toe along the edge of a very dangerous slippery slope.

So, let’s have no more talk about right-wing dictatorships.  They do not exist.