Conservative Political Commentary

...usually with an attempt at historical and economic context

Monday, August 22, 2016

The Election as Anger Management

By Eddie Howell

Many Americans today are sick and tired of the political left. We've found that the government cannot be trusted to simply do its job, but thinks it has to be involved in everything and be in control of everything. Most Americans are smart enough to know that government exists to serve the people and not to be their master. People are sick of government's coddling of those who are in the process of destroying our nation. That is because the government itself is a special interest, out for its own power and the public be damned. That's what the great American system has become. I, like millions of others, am sick of it, and I don't wish to pretend otherwise.

Donald Trump rally, Milford, NH, February 2, 2016. (Trump campaign photo)
President Obama is such a bad president, that very little he does could surprise me. What a hypocrite! But he wouldn't let a mere flood in Louisiana interrupt his all-important vacation. He himself criticized George W. Bush for his Katrina flyover, and Obama couldn't be bothered to do even that. Bush had good reason for doing what he did, but he was slammed by the “mainstream media” for it.

The Obama Administration, globalists that they are, are truly frightened of Donald Trump. If Trump does nothing else, he has thrown a great scare and a lot of anxiety into the elitist camp. People are growing tired of government interference in everything. They are beginning to realize that Obama, Hillary, George Soros, and others are fine with the racial violence and anti-police activity going on, which they are deliberately stirring up. Black Lives Matter is a terrorist organization and no amount of “official” sanction by Obama, Lynch, or anyone else will change that. They also seem to tolerate radical Islamic terror attacks, as evidenced by their lack of interest in doing anything substantial about them. So afraid of Islamophobia, ya know.

Are people going to quietly accept the hundreds of thousands of “refugees” that are slated to come into our country to join those already here? ISIS says that they are coming with them. Angela Merkel is either deliberately trying to destroy Germany or else just doesn't care what trouble these people are causing in her country. The globalists are apparently engineering this destruction for their own nefarious purposes.

The elites are trying to get the people to share their extreme dislike for the anti-establishment movement, trying to paint Trump and others as dangerous, and are somewhat succeeding, with the help of their propaganda ministry, the MSM. The time is past when the mainstream media reported the news with any reliability. Outside of some right-leaning outlets, there is very little responsible journalism in America any more. It's America's version of Pravda now on NBC, CBS, CNN, etc. Nothing there is to be automatically believed. It's truly the left that's dangerous, not Donald Trump. Of the two presidential campaigns, his is the only one that is telling the truth. As far as I can tell, neither Barack Obama nor Hillary Clinton has ever accomplished much of anything to benefit the United States of America. What they have brought is division, death, debt, and weakness.

You can contrast their supporters with those of Donald Trump. They are law-abiding, mature citizens and not like the street thugs who “protest” and attack them. They are working through what's left of our political system to support a good candidate for president. He and they are abused every day by the leftist elites and the press.

They are law-abiding and responsible, but they are very angry and justifiably so. There are limits to what Americans will put up with in terms of being abused and pushed around. There is a reason for the fact that their support for Donald Trump is so strong and unwavering. He is a responsible candidate whose values correspond with theirs, and who has the strength to deal with our problems. He is not an establishment weasel or proven criminal like his opposition. He knows George Soros is funding BLM, paying them to create trouble. Trump is taking the high road, trying to educate people as to what is going on and correct it through our political system. The elites seem to be trying to bring that system down for their own benefit. America has had dirty politicians and elections before. Hopefully, we'll get through this election cycle with a better president and administration than what we have now.

There is a lot wrong in America, politically and morally. I believe we've been under God's judgment, and that's why we've had Obama in the White House. At any rate, he has been a tough punishment for the U.S. Perhaps those who are seeking America's redemption will be successful enough in prayer and work that we will see a positive change not only in our government, but in our culture, which government has been working to destroy. Politicians can do a lot, but there are some things only God can do.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Yes, It Was Ransom


Iran hostage crisis, 1979 -- 52 American hostages from the U.S. embassy were held for 444 days
By Eddie Howell
Obama promised “hope and change,” and he's brought about quite a bit of change and left many of us hoping for an end to his changes. The change promised by Donald Trump is essentially designed to return our country to a normal condition, rather than let it be destroyed by Hillary Clinton. She would double down on Obama's misguided policies and leave America greatly weaker, poorer, less safe. And less free than we've been since the days of King George III.

Obama's changes have brought about a “new normal” of amazingly large and unwise actions that do not in any way benefit America. In this latest ransom payment (“contingent on release of American detainees”), serious weaknesses in America's dealing with the terrorist nation of Iran are highlighted.

Our 1979 hostages were released when Ronald Reagan took office. To get the hostages freed, the Carter Administration agreed to return frozen Iranian assets of $7.9 billion, and made several other concessions. That looked a bit like a ransom. Iran apparently didn't want to negotiate with Reagan. Carter's Secretary of State Warren Christopher negotiated the deal, but Reagan signed the agreement. Carter was detemined to get the crisis ended before his term expired. Possibly Reagan thought the only alternative would be war, and, anyway, he chose to honor his predecessor's agreement. 

Subsequent events events should have been sufficient to void the agreement before now. Serious sanctions have been placed against Iran in the years since the hostage crisis. The sending of an airplane loaded with $400 million in cash to Iran was, in my view, extremely unwise and arguably treasonous. Oh, and coinciding with the release of prisoners makes it even more foolish and shameful. Yes, Iran says it was a ransom. They got $400 million to speed up their nuclear project, and increase their terrorist activities. This is supposed to have partly settled a deal from 35 years ago, when America sold Iran weapons, that were never delivered because of the hostage situation. Why should that money ever be paid back? And the $400 million is just the first installment of $1.7 billion to be refunded to Iran. The deal was made before the jihadists came to power. It's not properly the current government's money anyway.

If any other president, particularly if he were a Republican, had a plane loaded with $400 million in cash sent to Iran, whatever the reason given, he would have been endlessly criticized and probably impeached. But the Obama Administration's lame explanations are supposed to satisfy everyone that this was not ransom. If it looks like ransom, sounds like ransom, and smells like ransom, chances are it's ransom. 

As has been observed, the U.S. is now the world's greatest financier of terrorism around the world. The bad behavior of Iran should long ago have caused them to forfeit any agreement to end sanctions or have anything returned to them beyond what the U.S. Congress thought necessary. And this wasn't necessary. It puts Americans everywhere is more danger than they were in previously. Iran has killed lots of Americans. We shouldn't be facilitating our own victimization by terrorists. What next? Getting Iran's “Supreme Leader” to address a joint session of Congress?

Sunday, August 7, 2016

With the Clintons, Dishonesty Is Just Part of the Problem

By Eddie Howell
The documentary motion picture “Clinton Cash,” by Peter Schweizer, based on his book of that name is available for free viewing on YouTube


There's an old one-liner that goes, “I've read so much about the dangers of smoking that I've decided to give up reading.” That's sort of how I'm beginning to feel about politics in America these days – I've read so much about the fawning so-called “journalists” who love Hillary, and the lying liberals who seize on every opportunity, real or imagined, to demean Donald Trump, it's just disgusting.

Trump has a very good chance of becoming our next president if the left doesn't assassinate him.

I watched the documentary “Clinton Cash” on YouTube the other day, and I must say, it seemed very factual and well-sourced. I plan to read the book as soon as it arrives at my house from Amazon.
[I also plan to see Dinesh D'Souza's documentary “Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party,” currently in theaters. It is based on D'Souza's book of the same name.]

Based on the film “Clinton Cash,” and what has been reported over the years about the scandal-a-week Clintons, it seems to me that Hillary is like Al Capone, only on a much larger scale, and probably a lot meaner. She almost makes Capone seem like a philanthropist by comparison.

The scale of Clinton corruption and hypocrisy is breath-taking. By selling influence and virtually inviting bribes, directly, and through their “charitable” foundation, the Clintons have amassed great wealth for themselves and their friends through shady, and often taxpayer-funded, schemes. In Haiti, for example, with Bill representing the United Nations' and Hillary the United States' relief efforts after the devastating earthquake several years ago, great promises of rebuilding were made. Large contracts were awarded to Clinton cronies, but very little helpful rebuilding work was actually done. But the Clintons and their friends made a great deal of money at the expense of U.S. taxpayers, using the people of Haiti, then the poorest nation in the Western Hemisphere.

Similarly in Africa and elsewhere, the Clintons have praised and propped up tyrannical dictators in order to get lucrative concessions awarded to their friends, friends who have directly paid them six-figure speaking fees and/or contributed millions to their foundation. And so it goes. As the film points out, they have often back-tracked (flip-flopped) on some of their cherished liberal principles to do some of these deals – things like environmental concerns, human rights abuses, and other issues. As is often said, “follow the money,” and Schweizer and friends have done that and it turns out that many millions of dollars have found their way to the Clintons personally and to their foundation in very questionable circumstances.

The Clintons are adept at saying the right things, but if one observes what they actually do, one must wonder how they get away with these things.

America has seen some rich, profit-making families, but never on this kind of scale, profiting from influence peddling on the basis of past and present government offices held. It is shocking and would be much more so if more people were paying attention.

But dishonest activities are not the only, and not even the main, thing that makes the Clintons a blight on America. Their political agenda is, I believe far more dangerous than their crooked money-making schemes. They are right in step with the globalist elites who are working toward a one-world government that holds tight control over everyone and everything. Agenda 21, anyone? Saul Alinsky?
Their kind of “progressivism” (Hillary's that is, not what President Bill Clinton practiced) threatens doom for the American ideal of liberty. The Bill of Rights would soon be out with the daily trash, starting with the Second Amendment, then the First, and so on, until our “rights” would be defined by a statement of political correctness, in line with what the United Nations, Bilderberg Group, etc., want.

Hillary, as president, would double down on Obama's policy failures (though from the Progressives' standpoint, successes) in health care, taxes, “social justice.” race-baiting, etc. She would continue to push onerous taxes (but ever-greater borrowing), reams of regulations, massive legislation that no one reads, all aiming at total control over the local neighborhoods from police to housing to land use. Their ideal would be a docile, government-dependent population living in small spaces, driving small cars that cannot go far or fast, or, better, no cars, just public transportation. Eventually the majority of people would be on food stamps and in poverty, maybe getting “free college,” but with nothing meaningful to use it for. The elites would be the exceptions, living like the Obamas live now in terms of luxury and a degree of freedom. Eventually, dissidents would be placed in re-education (FEMA?) camps or just eliminated entirely.

All that sounds (and is) extreme, but it would take place over several years and a few generations, little by little, as the government became able to neutralize opposition in order to implement it. At some point, even “elites” who were no longer helpful would be gotten rid of also. These things would happen gradually but methodically. “Progressives” have pursued their agenda since the days of Woodrow Wilson and before, and history shows that they flirted seriously with fascism and Soviet communism along the way, and have been enamored of collectivism in general, and great executive power in particular. As a present-day example, Obama, often and on many issues, shows his disdain for the government-limiting Constitution, bypassing Congress and ruling by decree.

Conservatives have complained and even sued, but Congress generally has shown little to no inclination to seriously stand up to Obama's usurpations. And Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan et al wonder why people are upset with the establishment, including the Republican establishment?

Personally, I say away from the GOP with those Republicans who will vote for Hillary. Their days of GOP influence will soon be over. Trump is not everyone's choice for president, but he is the only one with a chance to beat Hillary. The fate of the nation is at stake. The next election and the next few years will show whether America is willing to stand up for her principles, and whether Western Civilization is deemed by the people in all Western countries to be worth saving. To the extent that the globalists have their way here and in the West generally, there will be large Muslim population growth, greatly increased terrorism, much more racial strife and the obliteration of America as a sovereign nation. There will be more unconstitutional treaties and regulations, bad trade deals, crime, poverty, and general misery. That's if the globalists win. The Brexit vote and the Donald Trump presidential campaign represent a movement that is probably our last best chance to stop globalism and preserve America as America.

ADDENDUM: HOW THE GLOBALISTS' PLANS MIGHT FIT INTO
END-TIME BIBLE PROPHECY

Some people who might be labeled “conspiracy theorists” have said that the Bible-prophesied Antichrist (“The Beast”) and false prophet of Revelation have appeared already, and they name who they believe it is. I'm not prepared to think that, although things seem to be moving in such a manner, that if left unchecked, it will soon be feasible for these satanic characters to appear. See Revelation, Chapter 13. Consider: Technology is already in place that could be used to implement the “mark of the beast,” insofar as not allowing anyone to buy or sell unless he or she possessed some required physical or electronic “mark” is concerned. Two things pointing toward this are (1) the cashless society – everyone could buy or sell only through a universal banking system, with every transaction recorded, monitored, and fully traceable, and (2) negative interest rates, which would preclude earning anything from savings or checking deposits, with balances gradually and selectively dwindling, so as to reduce or eliminate economic power of account holders. Negative interest rates are currently being used in some places, and the idea of a cashless society is being talked up, and seems to appeal to some people. What's not in place yet is the religious aspect, whereby people will worship the Antichrist, which is what the “mark” would signify. Scripture says that those who refuse to take the mark will be put to death, and those who take the mark can never be saved, but would spend eternity in hell. Our secular-minded world would greatly be deceived into believing the Antichrist's lie. But this is how the Antichrist could come to power – through a one-world government, trying to take control over everyone and everything. Of course, they couldn't do it entirely, but great damage would be done and millions of souls forever lost, and many saved only by giving up their physical lives. Only the return of Jesus Christ will prevent all humanity from being wiped out. But He will return and prevent this total destruction, and set up His righteous kingdom.

Many Christians believe these things will happen soon. It may be fairly soon, or not for a considerable time. One thing certain is that no one knows when Christ will return. When He does, it will be unexpected. Another thing certain is that He will return. Therefore, Christians are advised to be ready.

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

New Taxes, Anyone?


By Eddie Howell

 The late conservative columnist Robert Novak said that God put the Republican Party on earth to cut taxes. The GOP has a very mixed record in this regard; their opponents the Democrats have been very consistent in their efforts to increase taxes and spending. Since it's hard for tax revenues to keep up with massive spending programs, stratospheric deficits have resulted, to which both parties have contributed.

Both presidential candidates have spending plans that would strain the deficit, but depending on the makeup of the Congress over the next few years, there could be some restraint applied. Of the two candidates, Hillary Clinton has the most aggressive spending plans, seeking to provide everything liberals could wish for, and maybe even outdo Bernie Sanders' admittedly socialist agenda. Free or nearly free college, more government regulation and enforcement for mandatory benefits for workers (child care, paid family leave, equal pay for equal work), more refugee and other immigration with benefits, plus more military adventures abroad. If you listen to Hillary's speeches, you may note that almost everything she proposes will require more government, more regulation, and much more spending, not to mention more in-your-face and on-your-back government. While supposedly aiming the financial burden at the “rich,” it turns out that the rich are everyone who owns a business, and ultimately anyone who has a job and is currently paying income taxes. But it's true that higher incomes are hit harder as percentages, due to the Buffett Rule.

According to Tax Foundation analysis, Hillary's plan, if enacted would increase tax revenue, and decrease after-tax income across the board, and reduce economic output. In other words, it would lead to a recession. There would be reductions in jobs, wage rates, and capital investment. Not a good prospect for middle-class earners who haven't seen a real raise in years.

Donald Trump's plan calls for significant corporate and individual tax reductions that would stimulate economic growth. According to Tax Foundation analysis for Trump's plan, wages would increase, jobs would increase, and capital investment would increase.

Neither plan looks likely to decrease the national debt, but progress on that can be made only by cutting spending. You can be sure that Hillary's plan will exacerbate the deficit problem more than Trump's. Her plans for more social engineering and massive immigration would preclude any deficit-reducing progress. Spending cuts would be easier to find in a strong economy than in a declining one.

Economically, it's a clear choice: pro-growth with Donald Trump or no-growth (except government) with Hillary Clinton.