Monthly Archives: October 2014

Halloween Not as Scary as The News

This year, you have to feel sorry for old friends Dracula, Frankenstein, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon.   Don’t let us forget all those witches, either.  Try as they might, they simply can’t conjure up the terror they used to.

After all, those devilish monsters could barely harass a handful of folks on any particular evening.  Some of those goblins and ghouls were restricted to just All Hallows Eve.  What horror could a nibble on the neck from a hungry vampire produce when ISIS is beheading folks on a mass scale every day?

How do you compare the frightening capabilities a misunderstood creature of the night can inspire to, say, the thought of a terrorist heading in your direction? Or even something as tiny as an Ebola germ?

What we find really scary, though, isn’t some raging enemy or even a toxic malady.  What scares us the most is the growing inability or unwillingness of our leaders to deal these threats.  Americans used to be a “can do” people.  If something stood in our way, we cut a path through it.  If someone opposed us, we flattened them.  Now we passively tolerate true evil.

Happy Halloween.

Dangers of uncontrolled entry into the U.S.

Grateful parents around the world recently celebrated the birthday of Jonas Edward Salk,  a medical researcher and virologist born in New York in 1914.  He passed away in 1995. He discovered and developed the first viable polio vaccine.

Currently, the United States is experiencing an outbreak of enterovirus 68, which is in the same family of illnesses that includes polio, although it is not a polio infection. 43 states have reported cases. The timing of the outbreak coincided with the large scale arrival of unaccompanied minors from Latin America. Enteroviruses have been noted in America since the 1960’s, but the current strain is rare in the United states.  It is, however, more prevalent in Central America, according to at least one study.

The outbreak, at this point, with absolute scientific certainty, cannot definitely be blamed on the large scale arrival of the unaccompanied minors, although the circumstantial evidence is hard to ignore.

There is a disturbing lack of caution and sound medical procedure on the part of The White House towards both the lack of adequate border controls in the south and the lax attitude towards quarantining Ebola.  This is not a question of open borders, of allowing, essentially, immigration at will without serious restrictions. It is a question of sound medical practice.

Even during the periods of great mass immigrations in the past, when there were comparatively little restrictions, the new arrivals were subjected to medical inspection.  Most Americans are familiar with the iconic photos of physicians on Ellis Island in New York Harbor carefully examining immigrants before allowing them to set foot on the U.S. mainland. Many have also heard of the story of Mary Mallon, better known as Typhoid Mary.   Although healthy herself, she carried and transmitted the typhoid infection. She was, after a trial, forced to live in seclusion.

It is highly disturbing that President Obama has failed to learn the lessons of the past, as well as sound current medical wisdom, and continues to endanger the nation by refusing to engage in cautious border practices.

More Reports of Early Election Problems

 Reports  of potential fraud in the 2014 early voting process continue to come in.  Similar to the Cook County, Illinois problem we reported earlier, a Anne Arundel County, Maryland polling site has come under scrutiny for electronically placing votes cast for Republicans into the Democrat column.

A 2012 Scientific American report quoted by Verified Voting .org  asked: “In an age of electronic banking and online college degrees, why hasn’t the rest of the nation gone to voting on touchscreen computers? The reason is simple and resonates with the contentious debate that has yet to be resolved after at least 15 years of wrangling over the issue of electronic voting. No one has yet figured out a straightforward method of ensuring that one of the most revered democratic institutions—in this case, electing a U.S. president—can be double checked for fraud, particularly when paperless e-voting systems are used.”

Concern has been expressed in numerous sources. A National Geographic study found shown that electronic voting machines are less reliable than paper ballots in accurately counting votes. The Caltech-MIT Voting Technology Project, a study group set up to analyze elections dating back to 1988, found that old-fashioned lever machines were actually more accurate than electronic voting machines.

A Washington Post review of a test by a team of cyber security experts noted that “it would take only one person, with a sophisticated technical knowledge and timely access to the software that runs the voting machines, to change the outcome.”

China’s Growing Sea Power Alliances

China’s extraordinary jump to military superpower status has been emphasized both by the quality of its armed forces, its growing list of allies, and its far-ranging naval activities.

Recent announcements from Beijing’s Ministry of National Defense emphasize the growing relationship between China and Iran. Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan met with visiting Iranian Navy Commander Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari on naval cooperation. According to Defense officials, “Chang said the two armed forces have seen good cooperation on mutual visits, personnel training and other fields in recent years. Exchanges between the two navies have been fruitful and their warships have paid successful visits to each other. Chang, also a state councilor, stressed China is willing to work with Iran to further pragmatic cooperation and strengthen military-to-military ties.Praising the achievements of the Chinese Navy, Sayyari said Iran attaches great importance to its relationship with China and is ready to enhance bilateral exchanges to push forward cooperation between the two armed forces, especially in naval cooperation.”

It is with Russia that China has cooperated most deeply, forming a de facto alliance.  The New York Analysis of Policy & Government will review that growing relationship in a future report.

The Iranian cooperation followed a recent docking by a Chinese sub in Sri Lanka, a move Beijing described as “routine,” but which demonstrates the growing reach of its navy. It is in the area of submarine warfare that China has progressed most.  Beijing’s undersea forces are capable of hitting the U.S., and its subs are now capable of quietly sailing beneath all the world’s oceans. U.S. forces have had great difficulty in detecting the ultra-quiet vessels.

U.S. collects more taxes than ever

Statistics released from the U.S. Treasury Department reveal that for the first time in history, the U.S. took in over $3 trillion in revenue, $3 trillion and 21 billion to be precise. That’s a $247 billion jump from the prior year.  A significant part of the additional revenue largely came from huge tax hikes resulting from the expiration of the Bush tax breaks and Obamacare taxes.

Despite that, the government ran a $483 billion dollar deficit, even though key areas of federal responsibility, such as Defense and homeland security spent less. Even the Social Security Administration spent less.

The agencies that spent more included the Environmental Protection Agency, and the General Services Administration.  And of course, spending on welfare type programs have increased significantly during the Obama years.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-Ok) recently released his  annual waste in government report, noting that:

“Ebola in america. Security breaches at the white house. Waves of unaccompanied minors and others pouring across our nation’s borders. The Russian red army on the move, marching into peaceful, democratic nations. Iraq in turmoil with oil fields pumping millions of dollars a day into the jihadist activities of radical Islamic terrorists.our nation’s heroes being killed, not by enemy combatants, but by the very veterans’ health system set up to care for them. The world increasingly appears to be in disarray with the chaos, confusion and uncertainty growing ever closer. All the while, the leadership in our nation’s capital is ever more distant, disconnected, and absent. And there is that government health care website that still does not work.”

Ebola in NYC: What it Reveals

The arrival of Ebola in New York City illustrates the shortcomings of official attitudes towards this deadly challenge.

The lack of candid conversation about how it is spread must be addressed.  The American public is constantly told not to worry because the contagion is not airborne. The reality is that the disease is so virulent that it can exist for hours on surfaces. So if an infected individual sweats, coughs, sneezes, or otherwise leaves any bodily fluid on a site others can touch, it can spread.

It must also be understood that direct flights to or from infected areas is a terrible idea. Unlike several African nations and other countries including France and the United Kingdom who have banned direct flights, the United States, inexplicably, has continued them. The CDC’s director Thomas Freidan has been asked about this on several occasions, and none of his explanations have been even remotely credible. There is no reason that specially prepared charter flights cannot be substituted for any necessary transit to or from West Africa.

The five airports designated for receiving individuals from West Africa, including Kennedy International in New York, Newark Liberty International, Washington Dulles International, O’Hare International in Chicago, and Hartsfield-Jackson International in Atlanta, are both too numerous and located precisely in densely populated areas where the disease can most quickly spread. A more rational move would have been to limit travel, after a suitable quarantine period, to a single reception site in the United States where comprehensive health checks could be performed.

“Self-quarantining” simply is not practical or effective. Ebola has been known to remain dormant in a patient for 21 days, and there is evidence it may do so for up to 42 days. It strains credulity to believe that any individual can or will voluntarily refrain from engaging in the necessary activities of securing food to eat, socializing with family or friends, and doing all the things necessary for life without the support system of an enforced quarantine.  It is both dangerous and irrational to allow individuals who have been in affected regions to directly travel without first undergoing cautionary quarantine.

While there is a humanitarian obligation to allow trained medical personnel and the equipment they must use to go to West Africa, the concept of also sending up to 4,000 American troops borders on the insane.

Thomas Friedan, during his prior tenure as head of New York City’s Department of Health, appropriately became a national laughing stock because he thought the sale of large soda portions was a huge problem, and attempted to outlaw them.  He has failed to bring the same intensity to the fight against the very real Ebola problem.  Ron Klavin, the semi-“czar” appointed to oversee the White House’s Ebola efforts, is best known for his administration of the “Stimulus” program, which spent $700 billion and accomplished nothing to stimulate the economy.

Throughout this entire period, U.S. officials have been far less than honest with the American people.  It is a breach of trust unprecedented in the history of the nation, and calls into question the veracity, integrity, intelligence and competence of those involved.

The Three Pillars of Election Fraud

The news that a Cook County, Illinois election machine automatically transformed votes cast for Republicans into votes cast for Democrats this week should come as no surprise. It’s time America had a very candid conversation about the rapidly growing epidemic of election fraud.

At this point in most discussions about the crisis, it’s customary to say that both parties engage in balloting shenanigans. But in reality, it is the Democrat Party that is, by far, the greatest offender.

There are three pillars in the Democrats’ efforts to unlawfully alter results at the polls:

Election Day antics. From tampering with balloting machines and technologies, some of which were developed under questionable circumstances, to stuffing ballot boxes, to intimidating Republican voters, the Democrats have done it all. Examples are legion. In the 2008 election, Republican voters in one section of Philadelphia were openly intimidated, but Eric Holder’s Justice Department declined to take action.

Consider the Republican congressman from California who lost when numerous votes were cast by individuals ineligible to do so. According to a City Journal article written by John Fund, who has extensively studied the topic,

“…4,023 illegal voters possibly cast ballots in the disputed election between Republican Robert Dornan and Democrat Loretta Sanchez. Dornan lost by fewer than 1,000 votes. In 2002, Dean Gardner, a losing GOP candidate for California’s state legislature, sent out a survey to 14,000 first-time voters. A total of 1,691 surveys came back. The results were startling: 76 people admitted that they weren’t citizens but had voted, while 49 claimed not to have registered at their correct residence, as the law requires. Gardner lost by only 266 votes.”

In the 2012 presidential contest, President Obama somehow received 100% of the vote in 21 Cleveland districts.

Registration fraud. In a study, the Pew Center on the States found “millions of voter registration records nationwide that are either inaccurate or no longer valid…based on data [indicating] a voter died, moved, or had been inactive from 2004 to March 2011.” The study revealed that 2,758,578 individuals were registered to vote in more than one state. In addition, “12.7 million records nationwide…appear to be out of date and no longer reflect the voter’s current information, more than 1.8 million records for people who are no longer living, but have active registrations on voter rolls, and 12 million records with incorrect addresses…once duplicates among categories are eliminated, approximately 24 million registration records, or nearly 13% of the national total, are estimated to be inaccurate or no longer valid.”

Townhall reports that one out of every five registered voters in Ohio is ineligible to vote. In at least two counties in Ohio, the number of registered voters exceeded the number of eligible adults who are of voting age. In northwestern Ohio’s Wood County, there are 109 registered voters for every 100 people eligible to vote. An additional 31 of Ohio’s 88 counties have voter registration rates over 90%, which most voting experts regard as suspicious.

Voter Registration fraud is made far easier by practices such as motor voter, internet registration, and election day registration, all concepts vigorously supported by the Democrat Party.

Opposition to voter ID. The Democrats vehemently oppose voter identification, just as they oppose stricter border controls. There is a pragmatic motivation for that. According to the Pew Research Center these new illegal arrivals are overwhelmingly favorable to the Democrat party. “In 2012, the Pew Research Center’s National Survey of Latinos found that among Latino immigrants who are not U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents (and therefore likely unauthorized immigrants), some 31% identify as Democrats and just 4% as Republicans…Democratic candidates have garnered a greater share of the Hispanic vote than Republican candidates in every election over the past three decades…”

Illegal immigrants, overwhelmingly supportive of Democrats, cast unlawful ballots with relative ease. Writing in the Huffington Post, Howard Foster notes that “Only two states actually require proof of citizenship in order to register (Arizona and Kansas). The others merely require the applicant to sign a sworn statement attesting to the fact that he or she is a citizen…It stands to reason that illegal immigrants who are illegally registered to vote would have a very real stake in seeing to it that Republicans do not come to power with their…ideas about requiring proof of citizenship to vote (which has been required since the founding of the Republic)… There is a huge problem with voter fraud…it is proven by the vehemence of the Democrats, the beneficiaries of the fraud, toward enforcement of our laws.”

The evidence concerning the Democrat Party’s culpability in voting fraud is clear and abundant.

AMERICAN DISINTEGRATION, PART 4: THE U.S. MILITARY

Since 2009, American spending on defense has been reduced as a percent of GDP,  from 4.6 in 2009 to 3.8 in 2013. Russia spends 17.5 percent of GDP on defense, a figure that will increase to 21% by 2017.  China has increased its military budget at a pace faster than either the U.S. or the U.S.S.R. did at the height of the Cold War.

In addition to threats from other nations, the rising danger from terrorism requires a robust defense.  ISIS, for example, is well funded and some believe it is pursuing the acquisition of a nuclear weapons capability.

Despite the $700 billion spent on the President’s “Stimulus” package, a glaring defense vulnerability in the U.S. homeland—the need to protect the national electrical grid from an electro-magnetic pulse attack which would cripple the U.S. for decades—remains un-addressed and unfunded.

Sharp reductions in the defense budget are the most significant of the efforts to engage in questionable, short-term goals at the expense of the nation’s future. In an effort to fund massive increases in social spending, the military has suffered budget cuts at a time when the world has grown increasingly dangerous.

It is important to put this into context. By 2008, the U.S. military had already been sharply reduced.  From its high point in the last decade of the 20th century, the Navy had slipped from 600 ships to 284. The Air Force from 37 fighter commands to 20, and the Army from 17 divisions to 10.  Much of the remaining equipment was aged and worn from overuse in various wars.  The U.S. nuclear arsenal was rapidly becoming obsolete. America was dependent on Russia for certain rocket engines, and on China for certain other key ingredients in our weapons.

Significant new threats, such as cyber warfare, have emerged even as Washington has reduced defense spending.

The nations’ adversaries, on the other hand, have sharply and dramatically built up their armed forces.  Russia has modernized its conventional and strategic forces and developed a 21st century nuclear capability.  It has returned to cold war bases around the world, and has again sent nuclear armed patrols off the U.S. coasts. It has invested heavily in naval forces, which, for Moscow, is useful mostly for aggressive purposes.

China has attained a level of military sophistication that equals and in some areas surpasses America’s.

Most worrisome, China and Russia have established a de-facto alliance aimed at the United States. Both nations, along with Iran, have established ties with Latin American and Caribbean states. Both assist client states, including Iran and North Korea, that individually and collectively present a significant danger to the U.S. and its allies.

Even in the face of these threats, the President continues to advocate unilateral reductions in the American nuclear arsenal and continues to oppose a viable anti-ballistic missile system to defend the homeland from a nuclear attack.

The disintegration of American military supremacy returns the planet to a state of affairs that existed before the Second World War, with probable consequences that are deeply disturbing. Russia now occupies the role of Nazi Germany, casting an envious eye on the territory of other nations.  Vladimir Putin has even adopted some of the language of the Third Reich, including using an excuse of protecting Russian ethnic groups outside of his nation’s borders as an excuse to threaten his neighbors.  China serves as the 21st Century version of imperial Japan, seeking to establish hegemony in Asia and beyond.

Those favoring cuts to defense note that the U.S. spends more than its adversaries. That must be tempered by the large hidden spending in nations without a free press, and in the fact that a significant portion of the U.S. defense budget goes to expenses other countries don’t include in their military spending figures.  It also fails to include the sobering realization that from Moscow to Beijing, Tehran to Pyongyang, and in terrorist camps throughout the world, it is the United States that is the main target.

AMERICAN DISINTEGRATION, PART 3: THE TIES THAT NO LONGER BIND

The New York Analysis continues its multi-part examination of “American Disintegration,” a look at the rapidly declining fortunes of the United States over the past several years. Today, we review  the frayed unity of interests of the population.

Black vs. White. Rich vs. poor. Republican vs. Democrat. Conservative vs. Liberal. Young vs. Old. Male vs. Female.  Straight vs. Gay. Workers vs. Management. Employed vs. Unemployed. Native born vs. Immigrant.

Over the past several years, it appears that every division in American society has grown deeper and more virulent. While the U.S. has always had these separations, there was a series of common goals that kept the nation united.  Prosperity based on individual work and effort. The benefits of limited government. A dedication to personal freedom. An understanding that the world is a dangerous place. A general appreciation of the Judeo-Christian ethic. A devotion to the Bill of Rights and adherence to the Constitution.

Extraordinary new capabilities, including non-broadcast television and the internet have allowed candidates and political parties to build direct appeals to particular interest groups, rather than to a broader national consensus. This approach has been successfully employed by “Progressive” politicians, resulting in the total capture of the federal government by the hard left in 2008. Their victory, and their total domination of both houses of Congress for two years, allowed newly elected President Obama to fulfill his pledge to “fundamentally transform” America.

Seizing on the divisive tactics that led to the momentous 2008 victory, the new Administration and its allies, quickly pursued an agenda that appealed strictly to the interest groups that swept it into power. Little to no effort was devoted to comprising with groups outside of its political base.

Constitutional procedures and rights were significantly ignored in the drive to quickly enact a very different agenda for the nation, one that essentially rejected the individualism that formed the original American character, replacing it with a greater emphasis on a powerful central government cast as the ultimate provider for the people.

Clear examples of their hyper-partisanship can be seen both in the Administration’s use of the White House web site http://www.whitehouse.gov/ ,which has been dramatically more partisan than any of its predecessors, and in the extreme tactics of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who eliminated all efforts to work with Republicans or even more moderate Democrats.

 

More so than any predecessor, the current occupant of the Oval Office has sought to demonize his opposition. His speeches cast Republicans as more of an enemy than any foreign threatening power.  A prime example: the Administration’s Homeland Security Director issued a paper claiming that returning veterans, generally more conservative politically, were more of a threat to national security than al Qaeda.

 

Most tragically, the President has utilized racial tensions as a tool to rouse a part of his base support, rather than employ his historic role to finally end whatever remnants of racism that exist.  It is difficult for even his most ardent partisans to deny that race relations have deteriorated during his administration. Mr. Obama’s statements about the Trayvon Martin affair, his statements concerning the Ferguson shooting, and his embrace of racial extremists such as Al Sharpton have all set back the cause of improved relations.

 

This hyper partisanship has led to a number of scandals.  The failure to prosecute clear cases of voting abuses, the unlawful surveillance of journalists who have criticized the White House, the use of the IRS to intimidate political opposition, and the direction of stimulus funds towards friendly contributors are clear examples.