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The way to crush the middle class is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation. – Vladimir Lenin

Archive for May 11th, 2011

The Atlantic Monthly: On Second Thought, Sarah Palin was a Great Governor

Posted by iusbvision on May 11, 2011

Every once in a while, the elite media (Democrat Media Complex) remembers that they are journalists and when they think they can get away with it they tell the truth or at least get much closer to it. Of course they had to destroy Sarah Palin first with all of their lies, editing chop jobs and other malfeasance, but at least now they can say “hey we reported what a good job she did”.

[Editor’s Note – Here is something else you might not know. In the infamous interview Palin had with Katie Couric over those couple of days, Katie would ask Sarah the same questions over and over again. This frustrated Palin and some of her answers became flippant as she was just getting sick of Couric’s badgering. The flippant answers are what NBC put on TV. 

This is while Steve Schmidt, (who was hostile to Palin from the beginning because he despises religious conservatives and made that clear in his own writings)  who ran the incompetent McCain communications machine, kept her off talk radio where she had a lot of experience, and wanted Sarah to behave in a way Schmidt wanted, Sarah just could not be herself.

In the infamous interview with ABC’s Charlie Gibson, ABC cut out many of the substantive parts of her answers to foreign policy questions. Gibson misquoted Palin when he scolded her for saying that Iraq was a “mission from God”. Palin never said it in that context as the full quote was selectively edited. Palin’s answer about the “Bush Doctrine” was also correct; as there are six “Bush Doctrines” with Sarah naming one and Gibson naming one.

When ABC’s Barbara Walters asked Sarah Palin the infamous question again “what do you read” they edited out the books she mentioned about law, philosophy and history such as Liberty & Tyranny by famed attorney and legal scholar Mark Levin.]

This Atlantic  article isn’t perfect, but from a leftist outfit that often just publishes smears and hate that can be debunked in mere moments, it is quite good where it is just explaining the facts and not editorializing for the left.

Sarah Palin did not just “raise taxes” as MSNBC tried to spin this piece, Sarah Palin pushed through an entirely new royalty structure for the oil companies buying oil from the people of Alaska. The old royalty system was not just a good deal for the oil companies, it resulted in a royalty so low that the people of Alaska were being ripped off (details HERE). The Murkowski machine was corrupt and on the take, they were also corrupt in the contract bidding process which Palin also fixed.

As far as I know, this is the first elite media publication to tell the truth that Dick Morris told us way back in mid 2008 (and what we have told you in dozens of articles ever since):

So why do so many of the American people not know this Sarah Palin? Why did the elite media, who knew all of this, not bother to tell you?

Atlantic:

As governor, Palin demonstrated many of the qualities we expect in our best leaders. She set aside private concerns for the greater good, forgoing a focus on social issues to confront the great problem plaguing Alaska, its corrupt oil-and-gas politics. She did this in a way that seems wildly out of character today—by cooperating with Democrats and moderate Republicans to raise taxes on Big Business. And she succeeded to a remarkable extent in settling, at least for a time, what had seemed insoluble problems, in the process putting Alaska on a trajectory to financial well-being. Since 2008, Sarah Palin has influenced her party, and the tenor of its politics, perhaps more than any other Republican, but in a way that is almost the antithesis of what she did in Alaska. Had she stayed true to her record, she might have pointed her party in a very different direction.

Inside the Alaska capitol hangs a framed copy of the front page of the Anchorage Daily News for September 11, 1969, its headline—“Alaska’s Richest Day: $900 Million!”—stretching above a picture of purposeful-looking men in suits carrying large briefcases and about to duck into a car. The briefcases contain a fortune that is being rushed to the airport and on to a bank in San Francisco, so Alaskans will not forgo a single day’s interest. This is the proceeds of the state’s first oil-lease auction since the discovery, a year earlier, of the massive oil deposit at Prudhoe Bay on Alaska’s North Slope, to this day the largest in North America. The headline captures the euphoria over the massive payout by the world’s leading oil companies—a windfall that transformed the state’s politics, economy, and self-image almost overnight.

Throughout most of its history as a territory and, after 1959, as a state, Alaska was a tenuous proposition, a barren outpost rich in resources yet congenitally poor because the outside interests that extracted them didn’t leave much behind. The main obstacle to statehood was convincing Congress that Alaska wouldn’t immediately go bust. It still relies heavily on aid from Washington, and that, combined with the federal government’s holding title to 60 percent of its land base (the state itself holds 28 percent more), generates a robust resentment of federal power. The colonial mind-set is reinforced by the intensity of the state’s politics, a common attribute of remote settlements like Alaska, as the historian Ken Coates has noted—think Lord of the Flies.

To suddenly strike it rich opens up all sorts of possibilities, but there can be problems too. The legislature exhausted its fortune without meeting Alaskans’ outsize expectations. And although oil brought jobs and revenue, it also ensured that a state long accustomed to economic subservience would be beholden to a powerful new interest. Oil is more important to Alaska than the movie business is to Los Angeles or the auto industry is to Michigan. Stephen Haycox, a professor at the University of Alaska at Anchorage, writes in Frigid Embrace, his history of the state’s political economy, “The oil industry is, for all practical purposes, Alaska’s only private economy.”

This binds the state’s fortunes not just to the price of oil but also to the fate of the three giants that dominate Alaska: BP, ExxonMobil, and ConocoPhillips. Oil taxes supply almost 90 percent of the general revenue, so oil is the central arena of state politics. The industry is forever trying to coax lower taxes, lighter regulation, and greater public investment by promising jobs and riches—or, on occasion, threatening to withdraw them.

In 1978, the Democratic legislature tried to secure the state’s share of oil profits by establishing a corporate income tax over the bitter opposition of the oil companies, which sued to overturn it. They lost in every venue, including, finally, the U.S. Supreme Court. But the real battle was fought in the statehouse.

The oil industry contributed mainly to Republicans through the 1960s and ’70s, but came to realize that it needed broader alliances, and in the late ’70s began courting Democrats too. The strategy paid off. In 1981, the oil companies, through their allies in the legislature, launched a coup, ousting the speaker of the house and key committee chairmen. Then they revoked the corporate income tax. For the next 25 years, oil interests ruled the state almost uninterruptedly.

Palin’s rise began in 2002, when, term-limited as mayor of Wasilla, she ran for lieutenant governor. Little known and heavily outspent, she beat expectations, losing only narrowly and showing an exceptional ability to win fervent support. Afterward, she campaigned for Frank Murkowski, the four-term Alaska senator come home to run for governor. Palin traveled the state speaking about Murkowski, and making herself better known. When he won, she was short-listed to serve the remainder of his Senate term, and even interviewed for the job. But it went to his daughter Lisa instead. (Palin acidly recounts the patronizing interview with the new governor in her memoir, Going Rogue.) Palin got the low-profile chairmanship of the Alaska Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, a regulatory body charged with ensuring that these resources are developed in the public interest.

By the time she arrived, the notion that Alaska’s oil-and-gas policy operated in the public interest was getting hard to maintain. The industry controlled the state, and especially the Republican Party. Other than a modest adjustment to oil taxes that squeezed through in 1989 after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, the hammerlock held. Alaskans were coming to regard this situation with suspicion and anxiety. The problem wasn’t just that the state was starved of revenue from its most valuable resource. It was also the failure to develop another resource to which the oil companies held title: Alaska’s bountiful supply of natural gas. It’s always been understood that North Slope oil would one day run dry. Someday, perhaps as soon as 2019, there won’t be enough oil left to push through the trans-Alaska pipeline—a catastrophe, unless the state somehow replaces the revenue. For this reason, building a gas pipeline has long been a political priority, and one the oil companies have balked at.

From her spot on the oil-and-gas commission, Palin touched off a storm over these anxieties. One glaring example of the unhealthy commingling of oil interests and Republican politics was her fellow commissioner and Murkowski appointee, Randy Ruedrich, who was also chairman of the state Republican Party. Less than a year into the job, Ruedrich got crosswise with Palin for conducting party business from his office (and, it was later revealed, giving information to a company that the commission oversaw). When he ignored her admonitions to stop, she complained to Murkowski’s staff, but still nothing happened. So Palin laid out her concerns in a letter to the governor and the story leaked to the media. In the ensuing uproar, Palin became a hero and Murkowski was left no choice but to fire Ruedrich from the commission.

Palin got strong support from an unlikely quarter: Democrats. “She had the appearance of someone who was willing to go in a different direction,” Hollis French, a Democratic state senator, told me. “We subsequently learned that she’ll throw anyone under a bus, but that wasn’t apparent at the time. It looked like real moral courage.”

Even so, Palin’s actions were presumed to have ruined her prospects. Murkowski and Ruedrich still ran the party. Breaking with them made her no longer viable as an ordinary Republican or a recipient of oil-company largesse. To continue her rise, she needed to find another path. Palin alone imagined that she could. In this and other ways, she displayed all the traits that would become famous: the intense personalization of politics, the hyper-aggressive score-settling—and the dramatic public gesture, which came next.

Palin was clearly the victor (Ruedrich paid the largest civil fine in state history), but she quit the commission anyway. In Going Rogue, she says only that as a commissioner, she was subject to a gag order that Murkowski refused to lift. But quitting didn’t void the gag order. What it did was thrust her back into the spotlight and reinforce her public image. It also gave her a rationale to challenge Murkowski.

All of this turned out to be shrewd politics, because Murkowski’s governorship proceeded to fall apart, thanks to his brazen sense of entitlement. After failing to persuade the Homeland Security Department to buy him a personal jet (to help “defend, deter or defeat opposition forces”), he ignored the legislature’s objections and bought one with state funds. But it was his handling of matters vital to the state’s future that finally threw open the door for Palin.

Murkowski made up his mind to strike a deal with the major oil producers to finally build a gas pipeline from the North Slope. He cut out the legislature and insisted on negotiating through his own team of experts, out of public sight. This rankled all sorts of people because, beyond his arrogance, Murkowski had distinct views about oil and gas that many others didn’t share.

Alaska’s parties align differently from parties elsewhere—they’re further to the right and principally concerned with resource extraction. The major philosophical divide, especially on oil and gas, is between those who view the state as beholden to the oil companies for its livelihood, and will grant them almost anything to ensure that livelihood, and those who view its position as being like the owner of a public corporation for whom the oil companies’ interests are separate from and subordinate to those of its citizen-shareholders. “Oil and gas cuts a swath right through ordinary partisan politics,” Patrick Galvin, Palin’s revenue commissioner, told me.

Murkowski’s willingness to cater to the oil producers, and his secrecy, caused tensions in his administration that burst into view when he announced his deal, in October 2005. It was a breathtaking giveaway that ceded control of the pipeline to the oil companies and retained only a small stake for Alaskans; established a 30-year regime of low taxes impossible to revoke; indemnified companies against any damages from accidents; and exempted everything from open-records laws. In exchange, the state got an increase in the oil-production tax. (Palin later released a private memo in which Murkowski’s top economic adviser complains that he has “gone completely overboard” and is treating “Alaska as a banana republic in order to secure the gas line.”) The deal conceded so much that Murkowski’s natural-resources commissioner, Tom Irwin, publicly questioned its legality—and was summarily fired. Six of Irwin’s aides quit in protest, and the “Magnificent Seven” became a cause célèbre. In the end, the legislature rejected the gas-line deal. But, in a twist, it agreed to the oil tax—which had been intended as an inducement to pass the rest of the package.

Palin came out hard on the other side of the philosophical divide from Murkowski—and made it personal. She announced she would challenge him for governor. She assailed the “secret gas line deal” and the “multinational oil companies that make mind-boggling profits off resources owned by all Alaskans.” She put an “all-Alaska” pipeline at the center of her campaign. And she declared her intention to hire Tom Irwin to negotiate the deal. “She’s what I call ‘alley-cat smart,’” Tony Knowles, the former Democratic governor, told me. “It’s not about ideology. She knows how to pick her way down the political route that she feels will be the most beneficial to what she wants to do.”

Murkowski’s tax was discredited almost immediately. Just after he signed the new Petroleum Profits Tax, the FBI raided the offices of six legislators, in what became the biggest corruption scandal in state history. During the legislative session, the FBI had hidden a video camera at the Baranof Hotel, in Juneau, in a suite that belonged to Bill Allen, a major power broker and the chief executive of Veco Corporation, an oil-services firm. The tapes showed him discussing bribes with important politicians, and revealed the existence of a group of Republican legislators who called themselves the “Corrupt Bastards Club” and took bribes from Allen and others. (Several were later sent to prison.)

In the Republican primary, Palin crushed Murkowski, delivering one of the worst defeats ever suffered by an incumbent governor anywhere. She went on to have little trouble dispatching Knowles, an oil-friendly Democrat. “A lot of people on the East Coast, when they think of Sarah Palin now,” Cliff Groh, a former state tax lobbyist, told me, “some five-letter words come to mind: Scary. Crazy. Angry. Maybe some others. But the five-letter word that people in Alaska associated with her name was clean.”

You betcha.

Posted in 2012 Primary, Campaign 2008, Chuck Norton, Journalism Is Dead, Palin Truth Squad | 2 Comments »

Dr. Thomas Sowell: Too many people coming out of even our most prestigious academic institutions graduate with neither the skills to be economically productive nor the intellectual development to make them discerning citizens and voters.

Posted by iusbvision on May 11, 2011

Famed Author and Economist Thomas Sowell

In a nutshell….

One of the sad and dangerous signs of our times is how many people are enthralled by words, without bothering to look at the realities behind those words.

One of those words that many people seldom look behind is “education.” But education can cover anything from courses on nuclear physics to courses on baton twirling.

Unfortunately, an increasing proportion of American education, whether in the schools or in the colleges and universities, is closer to the baton twirling end of the spectrum than toward the nuclear physics end. Even reputable colleges are increasingly teaching things that students should have learned in high school.

We don’t have a backlog of serious students trying to take serious courses. If you look at the fields in which American students specialize in colleges and universities, those fields are heavily weighted toward the soft end of the spectrum.

When it comes to postgraduate study in tough fields like math and science, you often find foreign students at American universities receiving more of such degrees than do Americans.

A recent headline in the Chronicle of Higher Education said: “Master’s in English: Will Mow Lawns.” It featured a man with that degree who has gone into the landscaping business because there is no great demand for people with Master’s degrees in English.

Too many of the people coming out of even our most prestigious academic institutions graduate with neither the skills to be economically productive nor the intellectual development to make them discerning citizens and voters.

Students can graduate from some of the most prestigious institutions in the country, without ever learning anything about science, mathematics, economics or anything else that would make them either a productive contributor to the economy or an informed voter who can see through political rhetoric.

On the contrary, people with such “education” are often more susceptible to demagoguery than the population at large. Nor is this a situation peculiar to America. In countries around the world, people with degrees in soft subjects have been sources of political unrest, instability and even mass violence.

Nor is this a new phenomenon. A scholarly history of 19th century Prague referred to “the well-educated but underemployed” Czech young men who promoted ethnic polarization there– a polarization that not only continued, but escalated, in the 20th century to produce bitter tragedies for both Czechs and Germans.

In other central European countries, between the two World Wars a rising class of newly educated young people bitterly resented having to compete with better qualified Jews in the universities and with Jews already established in business and the professions. Anti-Semitic policies and violence were the result.

It was much the same story in Asia, where successful minorities like the Chinese in Malaysia were resented by newly educated Malays without either the educational or business skills to compete with them. These Malaysians demanded– and got– heavily discriminatory laws and policies against the Chinese.

Similar situations developed at various times in Nigeria, Romania, Sri Lanka, Hungary and India, among other places.

Many Third World countries have turned out so many people with diplomas, but without meaningful skills, that “the educated unemployed” became a cliche among people who study such countries. This has not only become a personal problem for those individuals who have been educated, or half-educated, without acquiring any ability to fulfill their rising expectations, it has become a major economic and political problem for these countries.

Such people have proven to be ideal targets for demagogues promoting polarization and strife. We in the United States are still in the early stages of that process. But you need only visit campuses where whole departments feature soft courses preaching a sense of victimhood and resentment, and see the consequences in racial and ethnic polarization on campus.

There are too many other soft courses that allow students to spend years in college without becoming educated in any real sense.

We don’t need more government “investment” to produce more of such “education.” Lofty words like “investment” should not blind us to the ugly reality of political porkbarrel spending.

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Culture War | Leave a Comment »

Dallas public school teacher runs virtual “Fight Club” in class.

Posted by iusbvision on May 11, 2011

I noticed this story while browsing. A teacher in Dallas sits there while students are attacked, and in another video he sits there while students make an arena with the chairs, two students casually strip to their shorts and fight while other students film it with a cell phone. The Teacher says that policy prevents him from doing anything, so he just sits there as “fight club” goes on in his class and apparently this is not uncommon.

WFAA has the story and Hotair.com has updates. Click the links to see the video and the story. So much for the effectiveness of the so called “zero tolerance policy”.

[Editor’s Note – The information and video of the “fight club” that went on in the class is at the WFAA link so be sure to watch it]

“Ever constant, never changing, ongoing harassment” is how the victim describes the situation. Of course what did the school do about this?

Now the victim is dropping out of school because he is convinced it is unsafe; which is not unusual for a state run union school and is in fact what they prefer because victims mean that there is trouble in their school that administrators do not want to admit to under their watch, so if the victim goes away, bureaucratically speaking, so does the crime.

The school is also going after the student who recorded it, after all we can’t have the outside world know what is going on in class can we?

Victims go ignored, some even kill themselves like Phoebe Prince and the story is always the same. The school claims ignorance when the kids and teachers say that everyone knew about it.  District Attorney Elizabeth  Scheibel demonstrated that the administrators, from the Superintendent on down, were lying about not knowing, as Prince’s mother had multiple meetings with the schools administrators, which proved to be fruitless. Another reason that schools tend to side with the bullies, “Both Phoebe and Tyler were targeted by high-status kids who were well-liked in the community,” said Barbara Coloroso, a prominent anti-bullying consultant. By the way, Prince’s bullies were sentenced last week (expect a civil suit to follow).

MORE STUPIDITY – A public school in Maryland had a student dragged off in handcuffs and why? Because he had a two inch folding pocket toolkit that included a pen knife which he used to maintain and repair his Lacrosse stick. He had a lighter to burn off strings and frays. The school said that the folding took kit was a deadly weapon and that the lighter was an “explosive device”. Is being a moron a requirement to getting a school administrator position paying six figures? – LINK with video.

Posted in Academic Misconduct, Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Stuck on Stupid, Violence | 1 Comment »

Feds spending $2 million to install cameras in school lunchroom to see what your kid is eating.

Posted by iusbvision on May 11, 2011

The government goes on as if there is no $16 trillion debt with Social Security and Medicare near broke. Do we really need this crap?

Related: Dept of Education is a Failure: 82 Fed Govt Programs to Improve Teachers. Billions Spent With No Results. Bill Gates Foundation Concludes that Teaching Credentials Make No Difference

For those of you who wonder why so many women, Catholics and Hispanics voted with the TEA Party in 2010, this nonsense is one of the reasons.Democrats will not make priorities and the cuts we eed to keep the important programs going and pay the debt. The GOP will only do it if we keep their feet to the fire.

AP/Yahoo News:

That’s the idea behind a $2 million project being unveiled Wednesday in the lunchroom of a San Antonio elementary school, where high-tech cameras installed in the cafeteria will begin photographing what foods children pile onto their trays — and later capture what they don’t finish eating.

Digital imaging analysis of the snapshots will then calculate how many calories each student scarfed down. Local health officials said the program, funded by a U.S. Department of Agriculture grant, is the first of its kind in a U.S. school, and will be so precise that the technology can identify a half-eaten pear left on a lunch tray.

“This is very sophisticated,” said Dr. Roberto Trevino, director of the San Antonio-based Social & Health Research Center, which will oversee the program.

The grant from the USDA will fund the study for four years. Trevino said the coming school year will be very experimental, with programmers fine-tuning the cameras and imaging software to accurately identify what’s a pear and what’s an apple. He expects the “prototype” to be in place by the second year.

Posted in Chuck Norton, Government Gone Wild, Is the cost of government high enough yet?, Stuck on Stupid | Leave a Comment »

Prof. Niall Ferguson on Obama: A colossal failure of American foreign policy.

Posted by iusbvision on May 11, 2011

Niall Ferguson


WANTED: A Grand Strategy for America

By Niall Ferguson

“The statesman can only wait and listen until he hears the footsteps of God resounding through events; then he must jump up and grasp the hem of His coat, that is all.” Thus Otto von Bismarck, the great Prussian statesman who united Germany and thereby reshaped Europe’s balance of power nearly a century and a half ago.

Last week, for the second time in his presidency, Barack Obama heard those footsteps, jumped up to grasp a historic opportunity . . . and missed it completely.

In Bismarck’s case it was not so much God’s coattails he caught as the revolutionary wave of mid-19th-century German nationalism. And he did more than catch it; he managed to surf it in a direction of his own choosing. The wave Obama just missed—again—is the revolutionary wave of Middle Eastern democracy. It has surged through the region twice since he was elected: once in Iran in the summer of 2009, the second time right across North Africa, from Tunisia all the way down the Red Sea toYemen. But the swell has been biggest in Egypt, the Middle East’s most populous country.

In each case, the president faced stark alternatives. He could try to catch the wave, Bismarck style, by lending his support to the youthful revolutionaries and trying to ride it in a direction advantageous to American interests. Or he could do nothing and let the forces of reaction prevail. In the case of Iran, he did nothing, and the thugs of the Islamic Republic ruthlessly crushed the demonstrations. This time around,

in Egypt, it was worse. He did both—some days exhorting Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to leave, other days drawing back and recommending an “orderly transition.”

The result has been a foreign-policy debacle. The president has alienated everybody: not only Mubarak’s cronies in the military, but also the youthful crowds in the streets of Cairo. Whoever ultimately wins, Obama loses. And the alienation doesn’t end there. America’s two closest friends in the region—Israel and Saudi Arabia—are both disgusted.  The Saudis, who dread all manifestations of revolution, are appalled at Washington’s failure to resolutely prop up Mubarak. The Israelis, meanwhile, are dismayed by the administration’s apparent cluelessness.

Last week, while other commentators ran around Cairo’s Tahrir Square, hyperventilating about what they saw as an Arab 1989, I flew to Tel Aviv for the annual Herzliya security conference. The consensus among the assembled experts on the Middle East? A colossal failure of American foreign policy.

This failure was not the result of bad luck. It was the predictable consequence of the Obama administration’s lack of any kind of coherent grand strategy, a deficit about which more than a few veterans of U.S. foreign policy making have long worried. The president himself is not wholly to blame. Although cosmopolitan by both birth and upbringing, Obama was an unusually parochial politician prior to his election, judging by his scant public pronouncements on foreign-policy issues.

Yet no president can be expected to be omniscient. That is what advisers are for. The real responsibility for the current strategic vacuum lies not with Obama himself, but with the National Security Council, and in particular with the man who ran it until last October: retired Gen. James L. Jones. I suspected at the time of his appointment that General Jones was a poor choice. A big, bluff Marine, he once astonished me by recommending that Turkish troops might lend the United States support in Iraq. He seemed mildly surprised when I suggested the Iraqis might resent such a reminder of centuries of Ottoman Turkish rule.

The best national-security advisers have combined deep knowledge of international relations with an ability to play the Machiavellian Beltway game, which means competing for the president’s ear against the other would-be players in the policymaking process: not only the defense secretary but also the secretary of state and the head of the Central Intelligence Agency. No one has ever done this better than Henry Kissinger. But the crucial thing about Kissinger as national-security adviser was not the speed with which he learned the dark arts of interdepartmental turf warfare. It was the skill with which he, in partnership with Richard Nixon, forged a grand strategy for the United States at a time of alarming geopolitical instability.

The essence of that strategy was, first, to prioritize (for example, détente with the Soviets before human-rights issues within the U.S.S.R.) and then to exert pressure by deliberately linking key issues. In their hardest task—salvaging peace with honor in Indochina by preserving the independence of South Vietnam—Nixon and Kissinger ultimately could not succeed. But in the Middle East they were able to eject the Soviets from a position of influence and turn Egypt from a threat into a malleable ally. And their overtures to China exploited the divisions within the Communist bloc, helping to set Beijing on an epoch-making new course of economic openness.

The contrast between the foreign policy of the Nixon-Ford years and that of President Jimmy Carter is a stark reminder of how easily foreign policy can founder when there is a failure of strategic thinking.  The Iranian Revolution of 1979, which took the Carter administration wholly by surprise, was a catastrophe far greater than the loss of South Vietnam.

Remind you of anything? “This is what happens when you get caught by surprise,” an anonymous American official told The New York Times last week.

“We’ve had endless strategy sessions for the past two years on Mideast peace, on

containing Iran. And how many of them factored in the possibility that Egypt

moves from stability to turmoil? None.”

I can think of no more damning indictment of the administration’s strategic thinking than this: it never once considered a scenario in which Mubarak faced a popular revolt. Yet the very essence of rigorous strategic thinking is to devise such a scenario and to think through the best responses to them, preferably two or three moves ahead of actual or potential adversaries. It is only by doing these things—ranking priorities and gaming scenarios—that a coherent foreign policy can be made. The Israelis have been hard at work doing this. All the president and his NSC team seem to have done is to draft touchy-feely speeches like the one he delivered in Cairo early in his presidency.

These were his words back in June 2009: America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles—principles of justice and progress; tolerance and the dignity of all human beings.

Those lines will come back to haunt Obama if, as cannot be ruled out, the ultimate beneficiary of his bungling in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood, which remains by far the best organized opposition force in the country—and wholly committed to the restoration of the caliphate and the strict application of Sharia. Would such an outcome advance “tolerance and the dignity of all human beings” in Egypt? Somehow, I don’t think so.

Grand strategy is all about the necessity of choice.  Today, it means choosing between a daunting list of objectives: to resist the spread of radical Islam, to limit Iran’s ambition to become dominant in the Middle East, to contain the rise of China as an economic rival, to guard against a Russian “reconquista” of Eastern Europe—and so on. The defining characteristic of Obama’s foreign policy has been not just a failure to prioritize, but also a failure to recognize the need to do so.  A succession of speeches saying, in essence, “I am not George W. Bush” is no substitute for a strategy.

Bismarck knew how to choose. He understood that riding the nationalist wave would enable Prussia to become the dominant force in Germany, but that thereafter the No. 1 objective must be to keep France and Russia from uniting against his new Reich. When asked for his opinion about colonizing Africa, Bismarck famously replied: “My map of Africa lies in Europe. Here lies Russia and here lies France, and we are in the middle. That is my map of Africa.”

Tragically, no one knows where Barack Obama’s map of the Middle East is. At best, it is in the heartland states of America, where the fate of his presidency will be decided next year, just as Jimmy Carter’s was back in 1980.

At worst, he has no map at all.

Posted in Chuck Norton, Click & Learn, Niall Ferguson, Stuck on Stupid | Leave a Comment »

Meet the Favorite Candidate of that “Racist” TEA Party

Posted by iusbvision on May 11, 2011

Herman Cain

At the beginning of the first GOP Presidential Primary Debate only one person in the Frank Luntz focus group knew who this man was, by the end he had won the debate handily.

Herman Cain has been TEA Party favorite since 2009 and this author has followed his career since 1994. Cain has been speaking a TEA Party and GOP events for a long time and this debate was his national television debut. Cain is also a former Indiana resident.

www.hermancain.com

  • A native and current resident of Atlanta, Georgia. Married for over 40 years with two adult children and three grandchildren
  • Author of four books, Leadership Is Common Sense (1997), Speak As A Leader (1999), CEO of SELF (October, 2001), and They Think You’re Stupid (May, 2005)
  • Graduated from Morehouse College with a B.S. in Mathematics in 1967. Earned his Master’s Degree in Computer Science from Purdue University in 1971
  • Recipient of eight Honorary Doctorate Degrees from Morehouse College, New York City Technical College; Suffolk University, Johnson & Wales University, Creighton University, Purdue University, Tougaloo College and the University of Nebraska
  • Serves on the Boards of Directors of AGCO, Inc., Georgia Chamber of Commerce, Hallmark Cards Inc., Whirlpool, Inc., and Morehouse College, Atlanta, Georgia
  • Member of The National Commission on Economic Growth and Tax Reform (1995), chaired by former Republican Vice-presidential candidate, Jack Kemp
  • Former Chairman and President of the Tax Leadership Council, the public educational component of Americans for Fair Taxation
  • Former Chairman of Godfather’s Pizza, Inc. after serving as CEO and President for ten years, 1986 – 1996. In 1988 he bought the company from The Pillsbury Company
  • Past Chairman of the Board of the National Restaurant Association (1994-1995), and former full time CEO and President of the Association (1996-1999)
  • Recipient of a 1996 Horatio Alger Award and the 1991 International Foodservice Manufacturers Association’s Operator of the Year/Gold Plate Award
  • Chief Executive Officer and President of THE New Voice, Inc., a business consulting company, and Head Coach of HITM
  • Past Chairman and Member of the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City
  • At a nationally televised Presidential Town Hall Meeting on Health Care Reform (1994), challenged President Bill Clinton’s health care proposal when he said, “Mr. President, with all due respect, your calculations are incorrect…”
  • Radio Talk Show Host, “The Herman Cain Show”, News Talk 750 WSB – Atlanta, Monday – Friday, 7pm-10pm EST

Herman Cain is incredible in a debate. The Democrats (and their media complex) already know that they do not want to have Obama on the same stage with this man. They will try to ignore him, but when they can ignore him no longer they will attack and smear him. Expect it.

Herman Cain: Stay Informed, Stay Involved, Stay Inspired

Sen. Rick Santorum also gave a very impressive showing at the debate. Here is an interview with Judge Napolitano:

Posted in 2012 Primary, Chuck Norton, Journalism Is Dead | Leave a Comment »

Dept of Education is a Failure: 82 Fed Govt Programs to Improve Teachers. Billions Spent With No Results. Bill Gates Foundation Concludes that Teaching Credentials Make No Difference

Posted by iusbvision on May 11, 2011

Posted in Campus Freedom, Indoctrination & Censorship, Chuck Norton, Click & Learn | Leave a Comment »