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Wake up America <wakeupamerica.spree@gmail.com> Mon, Sep 29, 2008 at 1:18 PM

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Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis

Posted: 29 Sep 2008 09:50 AM CDT

Here is documentation that irrefutably chains Barack Obama to the most odious leftist movements in the United States today. Furthermore, it presents conclusive evidence that Obama not only knows of, but has participated in promotion of the Left’s apocalyptic strategy of destruction for the United States: the Cloward-Piven Strategy of manufactured crisis. Don’t miss the flow chart!

Quote from Saul Alinsky – Rules for Radicals 1989: Make the enemy [Conservative thought] live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one.

*****

Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis
American Thinker, September 28, 2008 by Jim Simpson
Published at the request of Jim Simpson

Jim Simpson is a former White House staff economist and budget analyst. His writings have been published in American Thinker, Washington Times, FrontPage Magazine, DefenseWatch, Soldier of Fortune and others. His blog is Truth and Consequences..

America waits with bated breath while Washington struggles to bring the U.S. economy back from the brink of disaster. But many of those same politicians
caused the crisis, and if left to their own devices will do so again.

Despite the mass media news blackout, a series of books, talk radio and the blogosphere have managed to expose Barack Obama’s connections to his radical mentors — Weather Underground bombers William Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn, Communist Party member Frank Marshall Davis and others. David Horowitz and his Discover the Networks.org have also contributed a wealth of information and have noted Obama’s radical connections since the beginning.
Yet, no one to my knowledge has yet connected all the dots between Barack Obama and the Radical Left. When seen together, the influences on Obama’s life comprise a who’s who of the radical leftist movement, and it becomes painfully apparent that not only is Obama a willing participant in that movement, he has spent most of his adult life deeply immersed in it.
But even this doesn’t fully describe the extreme nature of this candidate. He can be tied directly to a malevolent overarching strategy that has motivated many, if not all, of the most destructive radical leftist organizations in the United States since the 1960s.
The Cloward-Piven Strategy of Orchestrated Crisis
In an earlier post, I noted the liberal record of unmitigated legislative disasters, the latest of which is now being played out in the financial markets before our eyes. Before the 1994 Republican takeover, Democrats had sixty years of virtually unbroken power in Congress – with substantial majorities most of the time. Can a group of smart people, studying issue after issue for years on end, with virtually unlimited resources at their command, not come up with a single policy that works? Why are they chronically incapable?
Why?
One of two things must be true. Either the Democrats are unfathomable idiots, who ignorantly pursue ever more destructive policies despite decades of contrary evidence, or they understand the consequences of their actions and relentlessly carry on anyway because they somehow benefit.
I submit to you they understand the consequences. For many it is simply a practical matter of eliciting votes from a targeted constituency at taxpayer expense; we lose a little, they gain a lot, and the politician keeps his job. But for others, the goal is more malevolent – the failure is deliberate. Don’t laugh. This method not only has its proponents, it has a name: the Cloward-Piven Strategy. It describes their agenda, tactics, and long-term strategy.
The Strategy was first elucidated in the May 2, 1966 issue of The Nation magazine by a pair of radical socialist Columbia University professors, Richard Andrew Cloward and Frances Fox Piven. David Horowitz summarizes it as:
The strategy of forcing political change through orchestrated crisis. The “Cloward-Piven Strategy” seeks to hasten the fall of capitalism by overloading the government bureaucracy with a flood of impossible demands, thus pushing society into crisis and economic collapse.

Cloward and Piven were inspired by radical organizer [and Hillary Clinton mentor] Saul Alinsky:

“Make the enemy live up to their (sic) own book of rules,” Alinsky wrote in his 1989 book Rules for Radicals. When pressed to honor every word of every law and statute, every Judeo-Christian moral tenet, and every implicit promise of the liberal social contract, human agencies inevitably fall short. The system’s failure to “live up” to its rule book can then be used to discredit it altogether, and to replace the capitalist “rule book” with a socialist one. (Courtesy Discover the Networks.org)

Newsmax rounds out the picture:

Their strategy to create political, financial, and social chaos that would result in revolution blended Alinsky concepts with their more aggressive efforts at bringing about a change in U.S. government. To achieve their revolutionary change, Cloward and Piven sought to use a cadre of aggressive organizers assisted by friendly news media to force a re-distribution of the nation’s wealth.

In their Nation article, Cloward and Piven were specific about the kind of “crisis” they were trying to create:

By crisis, we mean a publicly visible disruption in some institutional sphere. Crisis can occur spontaneously (e.g., riots) or as the intended result of tactics of demonstration and protest which either generate institutional disruption or bring unrecognized disruption to public attention.

No matter where the strategy is implemented, it shares the following features:

  1. The offensive organizes previously unorganized groups eligible for government benefits but not currently receiving all they can.
  2. The offensive seeks to identify new beneficiaries and/or create new benefits.
  3. The overarching aim is always to impose new stresses on target systems, with the ultimate goal of forcing their collapse.
Capitalizing on the racial unrest of the 1960s, Cloward and Piven saw the welfare system as their first target. They enlisted radical black activist George Wiley, who created the National Welfare Reform Organization (NWRO) to implement the strategy. Wiley hired militant foot soldiers to storm welfare offices around the country, violently demanding their “rights.” According to a City Journal article by Sol Stern, welfare rolls increased from 4.3 million to 10.8 million by the mid-1970s as a result, and in New York City, where the strategy had been particularly successful, “one person was on the welfare rolls… for every two working in the city’s private economy.”
According to another City Journal article titled “Compassion Gone Mad“:
The movement’s impact on New York City was jolting: welfare caseloads, already climbing 12 percent a year in the early sixties, rose by 50 percent during Lindsay’s first two years; spending doubled… The city had 150,000 welfare cases in 1960; a decade later it had 1.5 million.
The vast expansion of welfare in New York City that came of the NWRO’s Cloward-Piven tactics sent the city into bankruptcy in 1975. Rudy Giuliani cited Cloward and Piven by name as being responsible for “an effort at economic sabotage.” He also credited Cloward-Piven with changing the cultural attitude toward welfare from that of a temporary expedient to a lifetime entitlement, an attitude which in-and-of-itself has caused perhaps the greatest damage of all.
Cloward and Piven looked at this strategy as a gold mine of opportunity. Within the newly organized groups, each offensive would find an ample pool of foot soldier recruits willing to advance its radical agenda at little or no pay, and expand its base of reliable voters, legal or otherwise. The radicals’ threatening tactics also would accrue an intimidating reputation, providing a wealth of opportunities for extorting monetary and other concessions from the target organizations. In the meantime, successful offensives would create an ever increasing drag on society. As they gleefully observed:
Moreover, this kind of mass influence is cumulative because benefits are continuous. Once eligibility for basic food and rent grants is established, the drain on local resources persists indefinitely.
The next time you drive through one of the many blighted neighborhoods in our cities, or read of the astronomical crime, drug addiction, and out-of-wedlock birth rates, or consider the failed schools, strapped police and fire resources of every major city, remember Cloward and Piven’s thrill that “…the drain on local resources persists indefinitely.”
ACORN, the new tip of the Cloward-Piven spear
In 1970, one of George Wiley’s protégés, Wade Rathke — like Bill Ayers, a member of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) — was sent to found the Arkansas Community Organizations for Reform Now. While NWRO had made a good start, it alone couldn’t accomplish the Cloward-Piven goals. Rathke’s group broadened the offensive to include a wide array of low income “rights.” Shortly thereafter they changed “Arkansas” to “Association of” and ACORN went nationwide.
Today ACORN is involved in a wide array of activities, including housing, voting rights, illegal immigration and other issues. According to ACORN’s website: “ACORN is the nation’s largest grassroots community organization of low-and moderate-income people with over 400,000 member families organized into more than 1,200 neighborhood chapters in 110 cities across the country,” It is perhaps the largest radical group in the U.S. and has been cited for widespread criminal activity on many fronts.
Voting
On voting rights, ACORN and its voter mobilization subsidiary, Project Vote, have been involved nationwide in efforts to grant felons the vote and lobbied heavily for the Motor Voter Act of 1993, a law allowing people to register at motor vehicle departments, schools, libraries and other public places. That law had been sought by Cloward and Piven since the early1980s and they were present, standing behind President Clinton at the signing ceremony.
ACORN’s voter rights tactics follow the Cloward-Piven Strategy:
  • 1. Register as many Democrat voters as possible, legal or otherwise and help them vote, multiple times if possible.
  • 2. Overwhelm the system with fraudulent registrations using multiple entries of the same name, names of deceased, random names from the phone book, even contrived names.
  • 3. Make the system difficult to police by lobbying for minimal identification standards.
In this effort, ACORN sets up registration sites all over the country and has been frequently cited for turning in fraudulent registrations, as well as destroying republican applications. In the 2004-2006 election cycles alone, ACORN was accused of widespread voter fraud in 12 states. It may have swung the election for one state governor.
ACORN’s website brags: “Since 2004, ACORN has helped more than 1.7 million low- and moderate-income and minority citizens apply to register to vote.” Project vote boasts 4 million. I wonder how many of them are dead? For the 2008 cycle, ACORN and Project Vote have pulled out all the stops. Given their furious nationwide effort, it is not inconceivable that this presidential race could be decided by fraudulent votes alone.
Barack Obama ran ACORN’s Project Vote in Chicago and his highly successful voter registration drive was credited with getting the disgraced former Senator Carol Moseley-Braun elected. Newsmax reiterates Cloward and Piven’s aspirations for ACORN’s voter registration efforts:
By advocating massive, no-holds-barred voter registration campaigns, they [Cloward & Piven] sought a Democratic administration in Washington, D.C. that would re-distribute the nation’s wealth and lead to a totalitarian socialist state.
Illegal Immigration
As I have written elsewhere, the Radical Left’s offensive to promote illegal immigration is “Cloward-Piven on steroids.” ACORN is at the forefront of this movement as well, and was a leading organization among a broad coalition of radical groups, including Soros’ Open Society Institute, the Service Employees International Union (ACORN founder Wade Rathke also runs a SEIU chapter), and others, that became the Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform. CCIR fortunately failed to gain passage for the 2007 illegal immigrant amnesty bill, but its goals have not changed.
The burden of illegal immigration on our already overstressed welfare system has been widely documented. Some towns in California have even been taken over by illegal immigrant drug cartels. The disease, crime and overcrowding brought by illegal immigrants places a heavy burden on every segment of society and every level of government, threatening to split this country apart at the seams. In the meantime, radical leftist efforts to grant illegal immigrants citizenship guarantee a huge pool of new democrat voters. With little border control, terrorists can also filter in.
Obama aided ACORN as their lead attorney in a successful suit he brought against the Illinois state government to implement the Motor Voter law there. The law had been resisted by Republican Governor Jim Edgars, who feared the law was an opening to widespread vote fraud.
His fears were warranted as the Motor Voter law has since been cited as a major opportunity for vote fraud, especially for illegal immigrants, even terrorists. According to the Wall Street Journal: After 9/11, the Justice Department found that eight of the 19 hijackers were registered to vote…”
ACORN’s dual offensives on voting and illegal immigration are handy complements. Both swell the voter rolls with reliable democrats while assaulting the country ACORN seeks to destroy with overwhelming new problems.
Mortgage Crisis
And now we have the mortgage crisis, which has sent a shock wave through Wall Street and panicked world financial markets like no other since the stock market crash of 1929. But this is a problem created in Washington long ago. It originated with the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA), signed into law in 1977 by President Jimmy Carter. The CRA was Carter’s answer to a grassroots activist movement started in Chicago, and forced banks to make loans to low income, high risk customers. PhD economist and former Texas Senator Phil Gramm has called it: “a vast extortion scheme against the nation’s banks.”
ACORN aggressively sought to expand loans to low income groups using the CRA as a whip. Economist Stan Leibowitz wrote in the New York Post:
In the 1980s, groups such as the activists at ACORN began pushing charges of “redlining”-claims that banks discriminated against minorities in mortgage lending. In 1989, sympathetic members of Congress got the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act amended to force banks to collect racial data on mortgage applicants; this allowed various studies to be ginned up that seemed to validate the original accusation.

In fact, minority mortgage applications were rejected more frequently than other applications-but the overwhelming reason wasn’t racial discrimination, but simply that minorities tend to have weaker finances.

ACORN showed its colors again in 1991, by taking over the House Banking Committee room for two days to protest efforts to scale back the CRA. Obama represented ACORN in the Buycks-Roberson v. Citibank Fed. Sav. Bank, 1994 suit against redlining. Most significant of all, ACORN was the driving force behind a 1995 regulatory revision pushed through by the Clinton Administration that greatly expanded the CRA and laid the groundwork for the Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac borne financial crisis we now confront. Barack Obama was the attorney representing ACORN in this effort. With this new authority, ACORN used its subsidiary, ACORN Housing, to promote subprime loans more aggressively.
As a New York Post article describes it:
A 1995 strengthening of the Community Reinvestment Act required banks to find ways to provide mortgages to their poorer communities. It also let community activists intervene at yearly bank reviews, shaking the banks down for large pots of money.
Banks that got poor reviews were punished; some saw their merger plans frustrated; others faced direct legal challenges by the Justice Department.

Flexible lending programs expanded even though they had higher default rates than loans with traditional standards. On the Web, you can still find CRA loans available via ACORN with “100 percent financing . . . no credit scores . . . undocumented income . . . even if you don’t report it on your tax returns.” Credit counseling is required, of course.

Ironically, an enthusiastic Fannie Mae Foundation report singled out one paragon of nondiscriminatory lending, which worked with community activists and followed “the most flexible underwriting criteria permitted.” That lender’s $1 billion commitment to low-income loans in 1992 had grown to $80 billion by 1999 and $600 billion by early 2003.
The lender they were speaking of was Countrywide, which specialized in subprime lending and had a working relationship with ACORN.
The revisions also allowed for the first time the securitization of CRA-regulated loans containing subprime mortgages. The changes came as radical “housing rights” groups led by ACORN lobbied for such loans. ACORN at the time was represented by a young public-interest lawyer in Chicago by the name of Barack Obama. (Emphasis, mine.)

Since these loans were to be underwritten by the government sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the implicit government guarantee of those loans absolved lenders, mortgage bundlers and investors of any concern over the obvious risk. As Bloomberg reported: “It is a classic case of socializing the risk while privatizing the profit.”

And if you think Washington policy makers cared about ACORN’s negative influence, think again. Before this whole mess came down, a Democrat-sponsored bill on the table would have created an “Affordable Housing Trust Fund,” granting ACORN access to approximately $500 million in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac revenues with little or no oversight.
Even now, unbelievably — on the brink of national disaster — Democrats have insisted ACORN benefit from bailout negotiations! Senator Lindsay Graham reported last night (9/25/08) in an interview with Greta Van Susteren of On the Record that Democrats want 20 percent of the bailout money to go to ACORN!
This entire fiasco represents perhaps the pinnacle of ACORN’s efforts to advance the Cloward-Piven Strategy and is a stark demonstration of the power they wield in Washington.
Enter Barack Obama
In attempting to capture the significance of Barack Obama’s Radical Left connections and his relation to the Cloward Piven strategy, I constructed the following flow chart. It is by no means complete. There are simply too many radical individuals and organizations to include them all here. But these are perhaps the most significant.

Cloward Piven Strategy

The chart puts Barack Obama at the epicenter of an incestuous stew of American radical leftism. Not only are his connections significant, they practically define who he is. Taken together, they constitute a who’s who of the American radical left, and guiding all is the Cloward-Piven strategy.

Conspicuous in their absence are any connections at all with any other group, moderate, or even mildly leftist.
They are all radicals, firmly bedded in the anti-American, communist, socialist, radical leftist mesh.
Saul Alinsky
Most people are unaware that Barack Obama received his training in “community organizing” from Saul Alinsky’s Industrial Areas Foundation. But he did. In and of itself that marks his heritage and training as that of a radical activist. One really needs go no further. But we have.
Bill Ayers
Obama objects to being associated with SDS bomber Bill Ayers, claiming he is being smeared with “guilt by association.” But they worked together at the Woods Fund. The Wall Street Journal added substantially to our knowledge by describing in great detail Obama’s work over five years with SDS bomber Bill Ayers on the board of a non-profit, the Chicago Annenberg Challenge, to push a radical agenda on public school children. As Stanley Kurtz states:
“…the issue here isn’t guilt by association; it’s guilt by participation. As CAC chairman, Mr. Obama was lending moral and financial support to Mr. Ayers and his radical circle. That is a story even if Mr. Ayers had never planted a single bomb 40 years ago.”

Also included in the mix is Theresa Heinz Kerry’s favorite charity, the Tides Foundation. A partial list of Tides grants tells you all you need to know: ACLU, ACORN, Center for American Progress, Center for Constitutional Rights (a communist front,) CAIR, Earth Justice, Institute for Policy Studies (KGB spy nest), National Lawyers Guild (oldest communist front in U.S.), People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), and practically every other radical group there is. ACORN’s Wade Rathke runs a Tides subsidiary, the Tides Center.

Carl Davidson and the New Party
We have heard about Bomber Bill, but we hear little about fellow SDS member Carl Davidson. According to Discover the Networks, Davidson was an early supporter of Barack Obama and a prominent member of Chicago’s New Party, a synthesis of CPUSA members, Socialists, ACORN veterans and other radicals. Obama sought and received the New Party’s endorsement, and they assisted with his campaign. The New Party also developed a strong relationship with ACORN. As an excellent article on the New Party observes: “Barack Obama knew what he was getting into and remains an ideal New Party candidate.”
George Soros
The chart also suggests the reason for George Soros’ fervent support of Obama. The President of his Open Society Institute is Aryeh Neier, founder of the radical Students for a Democratic Society (SDS). As mentioned above, three other former SDS members had extensive contact with Obama: Bill Ayers, Carl Davidson and Wade Rathke. Surely Aryeh Neier would have heard from his former colleagues of the promising new politician. More to the point, Neier is firmly committed to supporting the hugely successful radical organization, ACORN, and would be certain back their favored candidate, Barack Obama.
ACORN
Obama has spent a large portion of his professional life working for ACORN or its subsidiaries, representing ACORN as a lawyer on some of its most critical issues, and training ACORN leaders. Stanley Kurtz’s excellent National Review article, “Inside Obama’s Acorn.” also describes Obama’s ACORN connection in detail. But I can’t improve on Obama’s own words:
I’ve been fighting alongside ACORN on issues you care about my entire career (emphasis added). Even before I was an elected official, when I ran Project Vote voter registration drive in Illinois, ACORN was smack dab in the middle of it, and we appreciate your work. – Barack Obama, Speech to ACORN, November 2007 (Courtesy Newsmax.)

In another excellent article on Obama’s ACORN connections, Newsmax asks a nagging question:

It would be telling to know if Obama, during his years at Columbia, had occasion to meet Cloward and study the Cloward-Piven Strategy.

I ask you, is it possible ACORN would train Obama to take leadership positions within ACORN without telling him what he was training for? Is it possible ACORN would put Obama in leadership positions without clueing him into what his purpose was?? Is it possible that this most radical of organizations would put someone in charge of training its trainers, without him knowing what it was he was training them for?

As a community activist for ACORN; as a leadership trainer for ACORN; as a lead organizer for ACORN’s Project Vote; as an attorney representing ACORN’s successful efforts to impose Motor Voter regulations in Illinois; as ACORN’s representative in lobbying for the expansion of high risk housing loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that led to the current crisis; as a recipient of their assistance in his political campaigns — both with money and campaign workers; it is doubtful that he was unaware of ACORN’s true goals. It is doubtful he was unaware of the Cloward-Piven Strategy.
Fast-forward to 2005 when an obsequious, servile and scraping Daniel Mudd, CEO of Fannie Mae spoke at the Congressional Black Caucus swearing in ceremony for newly-elected Illinois Senator, Barack Obama. Mudd called, the Congressional Black Caucus “our family” and “the conscience of Fannie Mae.”
In 2005, Republicans sought to rein in Fannie and Freddie. Senator John McCain was at the forefront of that effort. But it failed due to an intense lobbying effort put forward by Fannie and Freddie.
In his few years as a U.S. senator, Obama has received campaign contributions of $126,349, from Fannie and Freddie, second only to the $165,400 received by Senator Chris Dodd, who has been getting donations from them since 1988. What makes Obama so special?
His closest advisers are a dirty laundry list of individuals at the heart of the financial crisis: former Fannie Mae CEO Jim Johnson; Former Fannie Mae CEO and former Clinton Budget Director Frank Raines; and billionaire failed Superior Bank of Chicago Board Chair Penny Pritzker.
Johnson had to step down as adviser on Obama’s V.P. search after this gem came out:
An Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) report[1] from September 2004 found that, during Johnson’s tenure as CEO, Fannie Mae had improperly deferred $200 million in expenses. This enabled top executives, including Johnson and his successor, Franklin Raines, to receive substantial bonuses in 1998.[2] A 2006 OFHEO report[3] found that Fannie Mae had substantially under-reported Johnson’s compensation. Originally reported as $6-7 million, Johnson actually received approximately $21 million.
Obama denies ties to Raines but the Washington Post calls him a member of “Obama’s political circle.” Raines and Johnson were fined $3 million by the Office of Federal Housing Oversight for their manipulation of Fannie books. The fine is small change however, compared to the $50 million Raines was able to obtain in improper bonuses as a result of juggling the books.
Most significantly, Penny Pritzker, the current Finance Chairperson of Obama’s presidential campaign helped develop the complicated investment bundling of subprime securities at the heart of the meltdown. She did so in her position as shareholder and board chair of Superior Bank. The Bank failed in 2001, one of the largest in recent history, wiping out $50 million in uninsured life savings of approximately 1,400 customers. She was named in a RICO class action law suit but doesn’t seem to have come out of it too badly.
As a young attorney in the 1990s, Barack Obama represented ACORN in Washington in their successful efforts to expand Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) authority. In addition to making it easier for ACORN groups to force banks into making risky loans, this also paved the way for banks like Superior to package mortgages as investments, and for the Government Sponsored Enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to underwrite them. These changes created the conditions that ultimately lead to the current financial crisis.
Did they not know this would occur? Were these smart people, led by a Harvard graduate, unaware of the Econ 101 concept of moral hazard that would result from the government making implicit guarantees to underwrite private sector financial risk? They should have known that freeing the high-risk mortgage market of risk, calamity was sure to ensue. I think they did.
Barack Obama, the Cloward-Piven candidate, no matter how he describes himself, has been a radical activist for most of his political career. That activism has been in support of organizations and initiatives that at their heart seek to tear the pillars of this nation asunder in order to replace them with their demented socialist vision. Their influence has spread so far and so wide that despite their blatant culpability in the current financial crisis, they are able to manipulate Capital Hill politicians to cut them into $140 billion of the bailout pie!

God grant those few responsible yet remaining in Washington, DC the strength to prevent this massive fraud from occurring. God grant them the courage to stand up in the face of this Marxist tidal wave.

.

Barack Obama and the Strategy of Manufactured Crisis

Posted: 29 Sep 2008 09:44 AM CDT

UPDATED: This article is now available, in full, on Wake up America here.

Here is documentation that irrefutably chains Barack Obama to the most odious leftist movements in the United States today.

Obama’s ‘Truth Squad’ Threatens Freedom of Speech

Posted: 28 Sep 2008 04:34 PM CDT

A bold maneuver, unprecedented in American politics, has pitted the Obama campaign against freedom of speech. Missouri authorities will pursue criminal charges against those who speak “falsely” against Barack Obama.

“Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts – not a free society.” (From a statement issued by Governor Matt Blunt on Sept. 24)

St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce and St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, both members of The Obama Truth Squad, have threatened to bring libel charges against those who speak out falsely against Barack Obama. Some say that such threats by Missouri authorities to pursue criminal charges violate civil rights. Many see this as an attempt by the Obama campaign at voter intimidation.

KMOV has a Sept. 23 video news report on this story. The report clearly shows involvement by the Obama campaign. This is an excerpt from the KVOV report:

“Sen Barack Obama’s Presidential campaign is asking Missouri law enforcement to target anyone who lies or runs a misleading television ad during the Presidential campaign . . . Prosecutors and sheriffs from across Missouri are joining something called the Barack Obama Truth Squad . . .”

According to Saint Louis CofCC Blog the attempts by the Obama campaign at voter intimidation are clear, but in actuality “virtually nobody that levels criticism at Barack Obama can be charged criminally for doing so.”

The implication here is also clear — if people with badges and guns are getting involved, they want Obama critics to shut up lest some cop will arrest them and send them to jail. We also found out from this news clip that this is indeed all at the behest of the Obama campaign. . .

Based on the 1964, the U.S. Supreme Court landmark decision, New York Times vs Sullivan, Saint Louis CofCC Blog goes on to explain that if a “prosecutorial authority brings criminal libel charges against a defendant on behalf of a plaintiff, as McCulloch and Joyce are threatening to do, then the prosecutor has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt to twelve out of twelve jurors that the defendant knowingly said or wrote something factually incorrect about the defendant.”

The two key concepts here are “knowingly” and “factual.” Successful civil libel lawsuits brought by public figures are exceedingly rare, because it’s very difficult to prove that the defendant “knowingly” said or wrote something factually incorrect. Criminal libel prosecutions thereof, because they require a unanimous jury and a higher legal standard of proof, are virtually impossible.
As for “factual,” it means that the statement made cannot relate to an opinion. If you say that Barack Obama isn’t really a Christian, that’s not a statement of fact, because religion is mostly subjective. The Catholic Church still really doesn’t consider Protestants to be Christians, and in some cases, some radical Protestants don’t think that Catholics are really Christians. Therefore, if one says that Barack Obama isn’t a Christian, it isn’t actionable, because it’s somebody’s opinion. Now, if Obama were a Catholic, and really was Confirmed as such, and someone for whom that it can be proven does know he is a Confirmed Catholic goes out and says that he isn’t, that’s actionable. The reason is that Confirmation in the Catholic Church is (usually) provable by ecclesiastical records.

Federal civil rights lawsuits could be brought against Missouri officials and the Obama campaign under several statutes such as the First Amendment Retaliation (under 42 USC Section 1983), or “under the KKK Act (42 USC Section 1985) – it is unlawful for two or more persons to form a conspiracy to use threats or intimidation to prevent the exercise of civil rights (including voting).”

Instapundit.com has listed several other attempts at free speech intimidation by the Obama campaign.

Stephen Kruiser of America Needs Me writes:

. . .There is a disturbing pattern of thuggish behavior by Obama and his supporters. Obama himself finally let the mask slip for a moment when he told supporters to go out and “get in peoples’ faces”. He then dispatched his minions to threaten and silence critics.

The Fredericksburg Free Lance Star has an editorial about the Obama campaign banning signs and banners during his rally Saturday at the University of Mary Washington in Virginia.

. . .Mr. Obama, the Democratic nominee for president, is scheduled to speak at a rally at the university today. The public is invited to this forum, on property it, the public, owns. However, signs and banners will not be allowed, according to the organizers and compliant campus officials. Suddenly, UMW is a First Amendment-Free, or at least a First Amendment-Crippled, Zone, subject to the self-serving preferences of politicos. Why does an Obama rally–or a McCain rally or a Nader rally–justify taking a little off the top of Americans’ most fundamental rights?
A UMW spokeswoman says that the Obama campaign required the sign-and-banner ban. That campaign tells us that the ban is for “security” reasons. But a spokesman for the U.S. Secret Service, responsible for protecting presidential candidates, says that the service has no objection to signs at rallies, provided that no “part of the sign could be used as a weapon”–e.g., a heavy metal pole or a sharpened stick. Finally, the McCain campaign tells us, “We encourage people to make signs at our events.” . . .
The First Amendment guarantees the freedoms of religion, speech, the press, peaceable assembly, petition of the government. Will one who aspires to the title Defender of the Constitution begin inhibiting these First Freedoms even before he is in office–at a public university?

Some are drawing inferences that Obama’s Truth Squad is a precursor to Obama’s plan for a civilian national security force. In July World Net Daily wrote:

Democrat Sen. Barack Obama’s stunning assertion in a recent speech that the U.S. needs a “civilian national security force” that would be as powerful, strong and well-funded as the half-trillion dollar Army, Marines, Navy and Air Force is not included in published transcripts of his prepared remarks. . . Campaign officials have declined to return any of a series of WND telephone calls over several days requesting comment. Nor have they posted a transcript of the speech on their website.

Gateway Pundit warns Obama Stalinist Police State Already Taking Form

. . .Reminiscent of the beginning of the Stalin purges, the Obama “Truth Squads” seem to be the beginning of Obama’s plan to end free speech and create a police state that is beholden only to its secular messiah. Note: Stalin’s purges were affected by his country-wide police forces to silence political opponents. The Obama campaign has also advised Missouri law enforcement throughout the state to look for anything that the Obama campaign determines a lie. . . One of the most frightening aspects of all of this—as if it could become any more horrific—is that Missouri law enforcement now appears to be following Obama’s marching orders and it is being allowed to get away with these gangster tactics! . .

Here’s the statement issued by Governor Matt Blunt on Sept. 24.

Gov. Blunt Statement on Obama Campaign’s Abusive Use of Missouri Law Enforcement
JEFFERSON CITY – Gov. Matt Blunt today issued the following statement on news reports that have exposed plans by U.S. Senator Barack Obama to use Missouri law enforcement to threaten and intimidate his critics.
“St. Louis County Circuit Attorney Bob McCulloch, St. Louis City Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce, Jefferson County Sheriff Glenn Boyer, and Obama and the leader of his Missouri campaign Senator Claire McCaskill have attached the stench of police state tactics to the Obama-Biden campaign.
“What Senator Obama and his helpers are doing is scandalous beyond words, the party that claims to be the party of Thomas Jefferson is abusing the justice system and offices of public trust to silence political criticism with threats of prosecution and criminal punishment.
“This abuse of the law for intimidation insults the most sacred principles and ideals of Jefferson. I can think of nothing more offensive to Jefferson’s thinking than using the power of the state to deprive Americans of their civil rights. The only conceivable purpose of Messrs. McCulloch, Obama and the others is to frighten people away from expressing themselves, to chill free and open debate, to suppress support and donations to conservative organizations targeted by this anti-civil rights, to strangle criticism of Mr. Obama, to suppress ads about his support of higher taxes, and to choke out criticism on television, radio, the Internet, blogs, e-mail and daily conversation about the election.
“Barack Obama needs to grow up. Leftist blogs and others in the press constantly say false things about me and my family. Usually, we ignore false and scurrilous accusations because the purveyors have no credibility. When necessary, we refute them. Enlisting Missouri law enforcement to intimidate people and kill free debate is reminiscent of the Sedition Acts – not a free society.”

Rush’s Interview with Greta Van Susteren on Fox

September 19, 2008

Watch It For Free! Windows Media Player

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

VAN SUSTEREN: Rush Limbaugh is angry at Senator Obama. I guess that’s no surprise. But what has Rush so fired up that he says Senator Obama is “stoking racial antagonism”? Earlier, Rush Limbaugh went On the Record.

BEGIN VIDEOTAPE

VAN SUSTEREN: Rush, it’s nice to have you join us. And I caught The Wall Street Journal article today in which you said that Senator Obama’s campaign is “trafficking in prejudice.” What do you mean by that?

RUSH: What I mean is… Greta, by the way, great to be with you. Thanks for having me back again. What I mean by that is specifically that Obama is stoking racism, himself, via his campaign ads. Spanish-language-only ads in four states — including Florida, where I live and three Southwestern states — he is purposely lying about Senator McCain’s position. He is taking statements I’ve made entirely out of context. He knows they’re out of context and is using them anyway to create division between people, in this case racial division. He’s talking to Hispanics. He needs the Hispanic vote. And what’s happened, the wheels have come off the Obama campaign! The mask, the disguise is gone. The messiah, “the one we’ve all been waiting for,” all of that is now history, and he’s just been reduced to what he always has been: a street agitator, a typical liberal Democrat hack politician campaigning the same way they always do: divide people; pit people in groups against each other, try to create racial division, and so forth, and then present themselves as the great healers. I find it interesting Obama cannot talk about himself. He cannot explain his own virtues, why it’s worth us electing him president.

He has to rip other people apart, lie about them. Just this afternoon, Greta, Bill Burton, the spokeshack for Obama, was interviewed on National Journal Radio by Tammy Haddad, and Bill Burton actually said two things. He said, that, “Well, of course we’re going to keep talking about Limbaugh because that helps us identify McCain.” Well, John McCain and I are not that close — particularly on immigration — on a host of issues. We’re very tight on Sarah Palin, obviously. It was a great decision. But they’re running against me. They think that they can tar and feather McCain by linking him to me. But of course, we can’t link Obama to Jeremiah Wright! We can’t link Obama to Bill Ayers! The other thing he said is “the purpose of my radio show is to defeat Obama.” It’s, like, “Yeah, I’ve been in this business 35, 40 years, and I’ve been waiting for this moment. I have been preparing for all these years to beat Obama.” I mean, this is just amazing. I find it all amazing and I’m flattered by it all, but you’ve got to respond rapidly when they start lying about you and taking you out of context, especially in foreign language ads, where they’re trying to create racism. I really think these are the tactics of the old segregationists, and I think anybody who would employ these kinds of tactics is unworthy of the presidency, and that’s Obama. I think he’s a disgrace.

VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Explain to me. I know that what you’ve said is that you are different from — or you take different positions on some things from Senator McCain. But can you tell me specifically in this ad where it is that he’s trafficking in prejudice?

RUSH: Where he’s trafficking in prejudice?

VAN SUSTEREN: Yes. What was it? What was it that was in the ad?

RUSH: What’s in the ad is that he claims that I said Mexican illegal immigrants are “dumb and stupid,” which I didn’t say. And he also takes an excerpt from a commentary I did in which I was parodying Mexican law, Mexican immigration law, in which I said — while going through Mexican immigrant law — immigrants to Mexico have to shut up, you can’t participate in the political process, or get out. He portrays both those comments as about illegal immigrants. One of the comments was made to a caller 1993. The other was from a Morning Update commentary I did in 2006. So the prejudice is trying to make these Hispanic audience members watching this ad think I hate them, think I dislike them, think I want nothing to do with them. I’ve never said that. I have never in any way, shape, matter or form said illegal immigrants are dumb and stupid. I have never told them to shut up and get out, not once! Now, I don’t know what you call that. If you want to just call it lies. But it’s certainly prejudice because he’s trying to gin up anti- American sentiment, anti-Republican sentiment with lies to people who may be illegal in the country, may be legal or what have you. But he’s pitting groups of people against each other left and right here, and that’s… I mean, I don’t know what you’d call it. It’s not even just prejudice. It’s bigotry. It’s flat-out racism.

Obama’s Social Security Whopper
He tells Social Security recipients their money would now be in the stock market under McCain’s plan. False.
Summary
In Daytona Beach, Obama said that “if my opponent had his way, the millions of Floridians who rely on it would’ve had their Social Security tied up in the stock market this week.” He referred to “elderly women” at risk of poverty, and said families would be scrambling to support “grandmothers and grandfathers.”

That’s not true. The plan proposed by President Bush and supported by McCain in 2005 would not have allowed anyone born before 1950 to invest any part of their Social Security taxes in private accounts. All current retirees would be covered by the same benefits they are now.

Obama would have been correct to say that many workers under age 58 would have had some portion of their Social Security benefits affected by the current market turmoil – if they had chosen to participate. And market drops would be a worry for those who retire in future decades. But current retirees would not have been affected.

Analysis
In our “Scaring Seniors” article posted Sept. 19 we took apart a claim in an Obama-Biden ad that McCain somehow supported a 50 percent cut in Social Security benefits, which is simply false. Then, on Saturday Sept. 20, Sen. Barack Obama personally fed senior citizens another whopper, this one a highly distorted claim about the private Social Security accounts that McCain supports.

What Obama Said


In Daytona Beach, Florida, Obama said in prepared remarks released by the campaign:

Obama, Sept. 20: And I’ll protect Social Security, while John McCain wants to privatize it. Without Social Security half of elderly women would be living in poverty – half. But if my opponent had his way, the millions of Floridians who rely on it would’ve had their Social Security tied up in the stock market this week. Millions would’ve watched as the market tumbled and their nest egg disappeared before their eyes. Millions of families would’ve been scrambling to figure out how to give their mothers and fathers, their grandmothers and grandfathers, the secure retirement that every American deserves. So I know Senator McCain is talking about a “casino culture” on Wall Street – but the fact is, he’s the one who wants to gamble with your life savings.

That’s untrue. All current retirees would be covered by exactly the same Social Security benefits they are now under what the Obama campaign likes to call the “Bush-McCain privatization plan,” which Bush pushed for unsuccessfully in 2005.

Who Would Have Been Affected


As the White House spelled out at the time, on page 5 of the document titled “Strengthening Social Security for the 21st Century,” released in February 2005:

Bush Plan: Personal retirement accounts would be phased in. To ease the transition to a personal retirement account system, participation would be phased in according to the age of the worker. In the first year of implementation, workers currently between age 40 and 54 (born 1950 through 1965 inclusive) would have the option of establishing personal retirement accounts. In the second year, workers currently between age 26 and 54 (born 1950 through 1978 inclusive) would be given the option and by the end of the third year, all workers born in 1950 or later who want to participate in personal retirement accounts would be able to do so.

Nobody born before Jan. 1, 1950 could have participated, and anyone born on that date would be 58 years old now. The earliest possible age for receiving Social Security retirement benefits is 62, for early retirement at reduced benefits. Full retirement age is currently 66, and scheduled to go up to age 67 in coming years.

It is certainly true that the stock market carries risks, as recent events remind us. The Dow Jones Industrial Average is down nearly 17 percent for this year, for example, and despite gains in other years it is still barely above where it was at the start of 2000. But historically there have also been rewards for those who make diversified investments and hold for long periods. When Obama spoke, the Dow Jones average still stood 305 percent higher than it had at the start of the 1990’s.

Disappearing nest eggs?


Also worth noting here:

  • The private accounts would have been voluntary. Anybody fearful of the stock market’s risk could simply stay in the current system.

  • Obama’s reference to “casino culture,” disappearing “nest eggs” and gambling with “your life savings” are also misleading exaggerations. Only a little over one-fourth of any workers’ total Social Security taxes could have been invested (a maximum of 4 percent of taxable wages, out of the total 15.3 per cent now paid, split equally between worker and employer.)

  • Speculation in individual stocks would not have been permitted. Workers would have had a choice of a few, broadly diversified stock or bond funds.

  • While McCain has voted in favor creating private Social Security accounts in the past, and endorsed Bush’s 2005 proposal (which never came to a vote in Congress), he is not making a strong push for them as part of his campaign. In fact, a search for the term “Social Security” on the McCain-Palin Web site brings up the following: “No documents were found.”

Footnote:  When we contacted the Obama campaign for comment, spokesman Tommy Vietor defended Obama’s remarks as accurate:

Vietor: You don’t have to be retired to rely on Social Security. Millions of people who will one day retire rely on Social Security as they plan their future. Senator Obama’s bottom line is absolutely true. If McCain got his way and we had private accounts . . . people who are relying on that money for their retirement would be in a very difficult situation.

We would grant Vietor a point if Obama had made any mention of workers being fearful of their future retirement (although this would apply only to those who had chosen to participate in private accounts, and not to everybody.) But Obama did not say that. Instead, he referred to “elderly women” in danger of poverty. He spoke of families “scrambling to figure out how to give their mothers and fathers, their grandmothers and grandfathers” a secure retirement – not to families worrying about their own retirement.  If Obama did not mean what he said to be a reference to current retirees, he could say so clearly and amend his words.

-by Brooks Jackson

Sources
The White House, “Strengthening Social Security for the 21st Century,” Feb 2005.

Dow Jones & Co. “Dow Jones Industrial Average Historical Performance” Spreadsheet accessed 20 Sep 2008.

Related Articles

The Importance Of Age And Experience: A Clinton Catalog Of Missed Opportunity

By INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY | Posted Thursday, September 11, 2008 4:20 PM PT

Another of our youngest presidents, Bill Clinton, was 46 when sworn in and became the first Democrat since FDR to serve two terms.


IBD Series: The Importance Of Age And Experience


Born in Arkansas, educated at Georgetown University and a graduate of Yale Law School, he was also a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford. He had weaknesses as well as strengths but was popular with the average man and woman, and especially with minorities.

He was a smart politician and a great salesman whose way with words earned him the nickname of Slick Willie when he was governor of Arkansas.

The economy was strong during Clinton’s term, benefiting in no small part from the collapse of the Soviet Union. It occurred during the Reagan-Bush years but paid a “peace dividend” in the ’90s in the form of huge defense cuts that helped achieve a balanced budget.

After Republicans gained control of Congress in 1994, Clinton wisely moved to the center and agreed over liberal objections to what turned out to be a successful restructuring of the welfare system. But an unrealistic attempt by Clinton and his wife Hillary to have the federal government take over and run the entire medical and health care system failed.

The late ’90s saw the dawning of the Internet, a bounty of biotech start-ups and the rise to leadership of young, entrepreneurial companies such as Microsoft, Amgen, Dell, Adobe, Oracle, Cisco, Qualcomm, America Online and EMC, plus innovators like Home Depot and Charles Schwab. All had come public since 1982 during the low-tax Reagan-Bush incentive period. Stocks of these companies rocketed 25,000% to 90,000% from their offering prices.

It was a wild, anything-goes era much like the late 1920s. From September 1998 to March 2000, the NASDAQ composite index advanced 203%, or two and a half times the climax run in the Dow industrials from 1928 to the 1929.

Both markets blew up due to excessive speculation. Under Clinton’s watch from March 2000 to January 2001, the NASDAQ market that had led the run-up plummeted ____%, the sharpest decline since 1929. But the boom was great while it lasted.

Arguments about who or what is best for the economy go on and on. But since World War II, the United States has done pretty well in every cycle regardless of the person or party in power. Our free-market economy, after all, is driven not so much by government as by entrepreneurs, innovators and inventors who start new businesses, create new products and generate new jobs for all who are willing and able to work.

But when it comes to national defense and foreign relations, the age, experience and judgment of the person occupying the Oval Office become absolutely critical.

History teaches that no matter how attractive younger, less-experienced presidents may be, they simply exercise more bad judgment and make the kinds of mistakes that take years to correct and sometimes put our country in danger.

Take, for example, the threat to our national security posed by Osama bin Laden and the terrorists of al-Qaida:

• It was only a month into his first term that President Clinton was tested by al-Qaida. On Feb. 26, 1993, terrorists bombed the World Trade Center in New York, killing six and injuring 1,000. Some of the terrorists were trained at the Khalden terrorist camp in Afghanistan. They had hoped to kill 250,000. But this was treated as a local police matter.

• In October of that year, Somali warlords with al-Qaida trainers and weapons shot down two Black Hawk helicopters. Seventy-three Americans were wounded and 18 were killed, some of them shown on TV as they were dragged through the streets of Mogadishu. But Clinton retreated and withdrew all U.S. forces. Said bin Laden later: “They planned for a long struggle, but the U.S. rushed out in shame.”

• In January 1995, Philippine police discovered that Ramzi Yousef, mastermind of the Trade Center bombing, had another plan to blow up a dozen U.S. airliners over the ocean and crash a plane into CIA headquarters. Clinton’s government was made aware of the plot.

• In November 1995, a car bomb exploded at a joint Saudi-U.S. facility, killing five Americans.

• In June 1996, 19 Americans were killed and 372 wounded in a bombing at a housing complex in Khobar, Saudi Arabia, where U.S. forces were stationed. The attack was carried out by Saudi Hezbollah, with help from Iran and al-Qaida.

• In July 1996, the U.S. received from senior-level al-Qaida defectors intelligence on the creation, character, direction and intentions of al-Qaida.

• In February 1998, bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri issue a fatwa declaring “war on America” and making the murder of any American on earth the “individual duty” of every Muslim.

• In May 29, 1998, after a series of deadly bombings stretching back six years, and with bin Laden urging attacks on the U.S., Clinton’s CIA created a plan to raid and capture bin Laden at his Tarnak Farms compound in Afghanistan.

After months of planning and full rehearsals that went well, the raid was called off by CIA Director George Tenet and others who were worried about possible collateral damage and second-guessing and recriminations if bin Laden didn’t survive.

• On Aug. 7, 1998, al-Qaida blew up U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, killing 200 and injuring 5,000. Clinton’s team decided to fire Tomahawk missiles at bin Laden’s training camp and a Sudan aspirin factory.

But they gave a 48-hour heads-up to Pakistan’s army chief of staff so that India wouldn’t think missiles were aimed at them. Forewarned, bin Laden and other leaders left, no terrorists were killed, and U.S. incompetence and ineffectiveness were on full display.

• On Dec. 20, 1998, intelligence learned that bin Laden would be at the Haii house in Kandahar, Afghanistan. But the U.S. passed on this opportunity, too, again fearing collateral damage and risk of failure. Clinton approved a plan by his national security advisor, Sandy Berger, to use tribals to capture bin Laden. But nothing happened.

• Next, the Pentagon created a plan to use a more precise HC130 gunship against bin Laden’s headquarters, but the plan was later shelved. Lt. General William Boykin later told the 9/11 Commission that “opportunities were missed due to an unwillingness to take risks, and a lack of vision and understanding.”

• On Feb. 10, 1999, CIA found out that bin Laden would be at a desert hunting camp the next morning. The military failed to act, however, because a United Arab Emirates aircraft was there and it was feared an Emirate prince or official might be killed.

• In May 1999, the CIA learned from several sources that bin Laden would be in Kandahar for five days. All agreed this would be the best chance to get him, but word came to stand down. It was believed Tenet and Clinton were still concerned about civilian collateral damage. A key project chief angrily said three opportunities were missed in 36 hours.

• In October 2000, the USS Cole was bombed, killing 17 U.S. sailors. No action was taken due to concerns expressed by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright.

All told, the Clinton administration had at least 10 chances to get bin Laden but repeatedly could not make the decision to act. Too many departments were involved, creating too much confusion, and no leader was strong enough to make the tough call. All were timid and overly concerned about repercussions if they failed.

The Clinton administration also allowed the selling of vital defense technology and secrets to China. Now the Chinese have silent submarines we can’t track.

Contrast this unwillingness to confront an enemy to the willingness of a more experienced, 62-year-old Harry Truman to defend Greece, beat the Soviet Union’s Berlin blockade and stop North Korea from taking over South Korea. Or to the resolve of Ronald Reagan, who in his 70s defeated the Soviet Union and freed 20 countries and 240 million people.

Based on what these more seasoned presidents achieved, we rate Reagan as our fifth-best president, Harry Truman seventh-best and Dwight Eisenhower our ninth-best. Eisenhower entered office in 1953 when he was 62 and served two terms as a popular and productive chief executive until age 70.

Our three youngest post-war presidents — Kennedy, Carter and Clinton — were all intelligent and well-educated. But they were also inexperienced in matters of national defense and security and far from successful in dealing with America’s hardened enemies. In some cases, they also failed to place competent people in Cabinet or advisory positions.

So, who would you rather have deal with and stand up to Putin’s Russia, Iran’s nukes, China’s emerging power and al-Qaida’s radical Islamic terrorists — someone in his 40s with little understanding of the military or someone in his 60s or 70s with sounder experience and judgment?

This concludes a five-part series that is available in its entirety at www.IBDeditorials.com/specialseries.

Remember Why You’re a Patriot

FORT DIX, N.J. – I stepped outside my home one recent August evening to catch some cool night air. The next thing I knew the melancholy notes of “Taps” filled the air.

I had forgotten that at 10 p.m. every night at McGuire Air Force Base, N.J., as in most military installations at nondeployed locations, the lone bugler or trumpet signals lights out.

With no shoes on, I could feel the dew seeping into my socks as I stood at attention with my hand over my heart as the music hit its waning notes. As the last note faded, I heard the hum of jet engines from a KC-10 Extender as it flew over my home.

“Here’s to you and all you’ve done,” I thought as the stillness returned to the evening. I was saluting all the men and women, the consummate patriots of this great land of ours, who died for America’s freedom.

The emotionally textured “Taps” combined with the aircraft flyover provided that strong reminder. I forgot about my wet feet as I thought about patriots and why I’m one.

I made my way to the cement step leading to the back door of my home and sat down. Being a patriot isn’t easy. It takes commitment to believe so strongly in your country that you’re willing to lay down your life for it. That is what it takes to serve in the military — the definition is actually one who loves his or her country and supports its authority and interests.

I was nearly in tears. How lucky am I to be in America enjoying this cool beautiful night while my comrades are off in some foreign land helping others gain their own freedom? What did I do to deserve to be born, grow up and live in what I consider the greatest country in the world? That’s my personal belief but that’s also why I’m a patriot.

A breeze whipped up all of the sudden and sent a chill down my back. The chill made me think of a childhood friend I’d almost lost to a heart attack weeks earlier and a friend who’s supported me all these years.

I’ve known him since I was 4 years old when, as neighbors, we’d swap tricycles while out playing some 35 years ago. We’d gone to school together in my hometown in Michigan. We went hunting, fishing, skiing, snowshoeing and played a few thousand games of basketball against each other.

I was there with him when he battled cancer, and won, nearly 20 years ago. When I joined the military and was heading off for basic training more than 16 years ago, he organized a going-away party in my honor. He was also the best man at my wedding. He’s the best friend I’ll ever have.

It’s because of people like him that I serve; that I’m a patriot. He’s always supported me, been there when I needed him, and whenever I see him and talk to him, it’s like we’ve never been away from each other.

A half hour has passed, and I’m getting colder. There’s another blast of wind yet now I’m not chilly any more as my thoughts shift from my friend to my family.

I’ve often taken for granted how well my family treats me. My wife, for example, has been through deployments, long work hours and a load of other things during our marriage and my military career, yet she stands beside me as we move forward in life. She gives me strength and provides that “reality check” whenever I need it. I love her more every day we’re together. She is my co-patriot.

There are also my children and grandchildren. Whenever I look into their eyes, I see the patriots of the future. I see people who also love their country, and what it means to be a patriot. I can add in my parents, brothers, sister and extended family. They are all reasons why I want to be in the Air Force and why I’m a patriot. They inspire my patriotism.

By this time I figured it was time to call it a night and head indoors. I felt better for some reason after hearing the music, seeing the plane flyover and thinking about family and friends.

“I’m so lucky.” That’s all I could say to myself. I’m so lucky to have the opportunities I do and lucky to have the life of being a patriot of this country affords me.

On Patriot Day Sept. 11, I will not only remember the people who became heroes on Sept. 11, 2001, I will also remember their friends and families who supported them because that is why we are all patriots.

I encourage everyone, on Patriot Day and every day, to remember what makes you a patriot.

© Copyright 2008 Air Force Print News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Phony War Hero Gets 3 Years

Former Soldier Randall Moneymaker has been sentenced to three years in prison for embellishing a brief military career into that of a decorated combat veteran.

Moneymaker is part of the growing problem of “phony war heroes,” across the nation, Assistant U.S. Attorney Craig “Jake” Jacobsen said.

“As the wars drag on in this country, you have more and more wannabes” who make claims of sacrifices never suffered and medals never earned, Jacobsen said. Moneymaker was sentenced on Sept. 5.

Unlike other imposters, who seek only bragging rights or political gain, Moneymaker was motivated mostly by greed, the government contended — making his false claims to collect more than $18,000 in disability and military benefits.

Moneymaker was sentenced Friday by Judge James Turk following a March trial in U.S. District Court in Roanoke. After hearing testimony that Moneymaker made up tales of firefights, Ranger missions and hundreds of parachute jumps, a jury convicted him of six charges of fraud and theft.

“I’m sorry for what I’ve done,” Moneymaker told the judge, apologizing to his family, his country, his fellow soldiers and “anyone else that I’ve done wrong.”

After spending just two years in the Army in the mid-1980s, Moneymaker would later claim to be a decorated Army Ranger with more than 20 years of service that included tours in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Panama and Grenada.

But during the years when he told of suffering post-traumatic stress disorder from seeing his fellow soldiers killed beside him, Moneymaker was actually attending college and working in the telecommunications field.

And the scars on his back that he attributed to shrapnel wounds were actually the result of liposuction, federal prosecutors said.

Moneymaker was “someone who obtained respect, sympathy and benefits based on the sacrifices and the blood of other veterans who went through what he claimed he went through but didn’t,” Jacobsen said.

Although Moneymaker wore Ranger badges and a Purple Heart he never earned, the charges he was convicted of were limited to the paperwork he filled out to receive benefits from the U.S. Army and Veterans Affairs.

The charges included five counts of making false statements on forms he filed or in claims he made while applying for disability benefits or inquiring about a military pension. He also was charged with theft for receiving $18,449.32 in disability payments to which he was not entitled.

Moneymaker, a 44-year-old who now lives in North Carolina, was ordered to pay that amount back to the government, plus another $600.

Choosing not to testify at his trial or his sentencing, Moneymaker spoke only when asked by the judge if he had anything to say just before his punishment was announced. Looking across the courtroom, he apologized to Jacobsen, who as a veteran of the war in Iraq has said he takes the case especially seriously.

Defense attorney C.J. Covati questioned Jacobsen’s statement that Moneymaker’s crimes were among the worst he has seen in his 17 years as a federal prosecutor.

“To say that it’s one of the worst ever is to let moral indignation get a little bit ahead of the facts in this case,” Covati said.

Following Friday’s hearing, Moneymaker was allowed to remain free on bond until he is ordered to report to prison, which Covati said will probably be in two or three months.

© Copyright 2008 Roanoke Times & World News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

http://blog.heritage.org

Morning Bell: Toward a More Resilient Nation

Posted By Conn Carroll On September 11, 2008 @ 9:11 am In Protect America | 1 Comment

This evening John McCain and Barack Obama will appear together (but speak separately) as part of a [1] nationally televised forum at Columbia University in Manhattan. The two presidential candidates have promised to set aside politics to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and will instead lay out their personal visions on civic engagement and service. The candidates’ call for unity on this day is admirable, but the chosen topic of the event is also yet another missed opportunity for the American people to hear about how each candidate plans to protect our country from future attacks and disasters.

Energy, taxes and federal spending are all important issues that deserve the candidates time, but [2] the candidates have devoted almost no time to discussing their vision for improving homeland security. Despite this lack of attention, Americans still face threats from abroad (where al Qaeda has reconstituted itself in the border regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan) and at home (another hurricane is bearing down on Texas and California).

Seven years after 9/11 and more than five years after its creation, [3] the Department of Homeland Security is afflicted with high turnover and low morale. It has turned into a political football that [4] answers to 86 different congressional committees and subcommittees (by contrast, the Department of Defense answers to only 36 committees, and six of those handle 80% of the oversight). Too much attention is focused on DHS, which ought to be only one part of a much larger homeland security system that includes not just federal agencies like the the Departments of Defense, Health and Human Services, Justice, Energy and State, but also state and local governments.

Due to its sheer size and growing population, the United States has many vulnerabilities. Spending billions to protect infrastructure does not make the nation invulnerable. It is impossible to protect every target, and a strategy predicated on protection is bound to fall short. For too long the federal government has been designating more and more items as “critical” infrastructure. If everything is critical, nothing is critical. Instead, the next administration should pursue [5] a strategy of resiliency. Heritage senior research fellow James Carafano explains: “[R]esiliency promises something much more achievable and important: sustaining society amid known threats and unexpected disasters. Indeed, the more complex the society and the more robust the nature of its civil society, the more it should adopt a strategy of resilience.”

Toward this end, Carafano [6] recommends:

  • Establishing improved public-private models for risk management that define reasonable roles for government and industry.
  • Encouraging bilateral cooperation to address liability issues.
  • Developing national and international forums for increasing collaboration.
  • Innovating to pave the way for resilient public infrastructure in the 21st century.

As we remember those we lost seven years ago, it is also a good time to reflect on what we can do better to protect all Americans from tomorrow’s threats, both natural and man-made. Hopefully, we’ll hear both candidates address these issues soon.

Quick Hits:


Sisterhood Of The Protected Female Liberal Journalists
By Michelle Malkin
September 10, 2008

Let’s talk Mommy Wars, double standards and the media elite. Last Friday, Howard Gutman, a member of the Obama campaign’s National Finance Committee, attacked Sarah Palin’s ability to be a good parent and have a high-powered public life at the same time. In a finger-wagging appearance on the Laura Ingraham radio show, Obama’s operative scolded the Republican mother of five children for not putting her professional career on hold.

“Your responsibility is to put your family first,” Gutman lectured as he singled out Palin’s Down Syndrome baby and pregnant teenage daughter. “The proper attack is not that a woman shouldn’t run for vice president with five kids, it’s that a parent, when they have a family in need” should get out of the public sphere and stay home.

The Gutman standard has now been proffered by countless Obama hacks and water-carrying commentators. Damningly, it’s high-powered working mothers in the journalism business who are helping to broadcast the anti-Palin slams or doing nothing to defend her.

How would Katie Couric like the Gutman standard applied to her? Her husband died at 42 when her daughters were 6 and 2 years old. With two young children devastated by the loss of a father, she opted not to quit journalism. She anchored NBC’s “Today Show” through his illness and death, continued working an intensive, time-consuming schedule as one of America’s most visible broadcast journalists while a single mother with two fatherless children at home, and then jumped to CBS News, where she maintains a rigorous on-air schedule, travel plans and an off-air social calendar. Where are the finger-waggers?

How about CNN’s Soldedad O’Brien? She’s been working overtime covering the presidential campaign season, anchoring daily coverage and nighttime conventions, and producing documentaries that require large chunks of time away from home. Disney’s Family Parenting website lauds her as “a modern mom balancing a thriving career as one of America’s top news anchors along with her four children” — two daughters now ages 7 and 6 and twin boys who are 4. Where are the Palin-bashers to lambaste O’Brien’s professional pursuits?

Also at CNN, Campbell Brown flew to Las Vegas last year to moderate a political debate while 8 and a half months pregnant. Fox News host and left-wing blogger Alan Colmes, last seen questioning Palin’s commitment to prenatal care because she worked and traveled late in her pregnancy, had no comment. When Brown initially left the “Today Show” in 2007, she said she was stepping down to devote more time to family and baby. She immediately turned around and jumped ship to CNN, where she has anchored wall-to-wall CNN Election Center coverage and will launch a new nightly show in November.

At NBC, famous balancer of work and motherhood Meredith Viera replaced Couric on the “Today Show.” She has three children at home and a husband who has battled multiple sclerosis and two bouts of colon cancer. By the Gutman standard, Viera should have left the business years ago to tend to her family in need.

As a working woman in the media for 16 years and a working mother in the media for the last eight, I know the commitment and energy it took for these women to get to the top. I’ve filed columns from hospital beds, written books while nursing, brought my toddlers to TV studios, and told bedtime stories on the cell phone while boarding planes. I’ve worked hard to strike the “balance” we all seek. I’ve made good choices and bad choices, and have no regrets about the opportunities I’ve taken or the opportunities I’ve rejected. I couldn’t have done it without a supportive husband willing to forego his own career goals — the kind of spouse the media has ignored in Todd Palin and the kind of spouse I’m sure the Sisterhood of the Protected Female Journalists all have.

I don’t challenge the commitment these fellow working mothers in the media have to their home lives. What I challenge is their silence and complicity as the Palin-bashers impose a “Family First” double standard on conservatives. The sorority is closed to the Right.

Michelle Malkin is author of “Unhinged: Exposing Liberals Gone Wild.” Her e-mail address is malkinblog@gmail.com.

On Shooting Taggers: Why Conservatives and Liberals Differ
Dennis Prager
Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Earlier this month Andrew Sullivan, a well-known writer, once in the center, now on the left, nominated me for what is apparently his lowest badge of distinction for defending citizens who shoot to wound graffiti vandals, or “taggers,” while committing their vandalism.

Under the heading, “Malkin Award Nominee,” Sullivan provides a quote from my radio show:

“‘So you will now say — I hear the voice of an ACLU member — ‘Dennis, do you think that this guy should have shot these people spray painting graffiti on his shop?’ To which my answer is yes. I do. Not to kill. Not to kill. But if he shot them in the legs or in the arms I would have considered the man one of the great advancers of civilization in my time. And that is what divides left from right. Because anybody on the left hearing this would think that this is barbaric whereas I consider not stopping these people in any way that is necessary to be barbaric.’ — Dennis Prager, on his radio show.”

Mr. Sullivan provides no commentary because, as I predicted in the excerpt he cites, what I said is so obviously morally offensive to him, no commentary is necessary. It is self-indicting.

To those on the left.

Their differing reactions to graffiti vandals further clarify the philosophical differences between liberals and conservatives.

Reactions to graffiti on the cultural left — not necessarily the political left, since liberal politicians must respond to public outrage or they are not re-elected — have generally ranged from support to indifference.

Many on the left have long described graffiti as “urban art” and graffiti vandals as “artists.” Even when not admired or even defended, most liberals regard graffiti in far less negative ways than do conservatives. Conservatives tend to regard graffiti as an assault on society, perpetrated by pathologically narcissistic lowlifes bent on undermining the foundations of higher civilization.

To personalize this for a moment, while I assume that graffiti troubles Sullivan, I strongly doubt it troubles him nearly as much as it troubles me. If it did, the odds are he would not be a man of the left.

Why are so many on the left not as angered by graffiti as most conservatives are? I would like to offer some possible reasons:

One is that liberals find it difficult to condemn the poor, especially poor members of ethnic and racial minorities. If rich white kids spray painted their names on university buildings, there would probably be a liberal outcry.

A second reason is that crimes against property tend to disturb the left less than the right, especially when “no one is hurt”; and graffiti is deemed by many liberals as a classic example of no one being hurt. That is why I suspect that most people on the left would express greater anger toward someone who lit up a cigarette in a mall or a restaurant than toward an inner city kid who spray painted his initials on neighborhood walls and signs.

A third reason is that conservatives tend to view higher civilization as more fragile than the left views it. Conservatives believe the line between civilization and barbarism is under constant assault and is not necessarily enduring. That is one reason the right tends to have a higher regard for the police than does the left. Conservatives see the police as “the thin blue line” that separates civilization from barbarians.

So, it is natural that conservatives would see graffiti as vandalism, as an undermining of the very notion of higher civilization, as a public scorning of the common good, as essentially an “F—- you” to society.

Liberals are far more inclined to see graffiti as a mere nuisance, or even as an example of the downtrodden trying to have a voice in a civilization that oppresses young people who are usually members of historically oppressed minorities.

To the conservative, graffiti is an assault on civilization; to the liberal, graffiti is the result of civilization’s assault on those who paint the graffiti.

For those who share Sullivan’s political and social values, the notion that someone would defend a man who shot and wounded graffiti vandals defacing his property is worthy of derision. Sullivan is so sure his readers have contempt for such a view that he felt it unnecessary to offer a word of commentary on what I said.

That is unfortunate. I would be interested to know how Sullivan regards taggers and what he would suggest be done to them if caught in the act of defacing property. Since most people suspect that calling the police would achieve little, if anything, what should be done?

My first wish is that taggers be arrested and punished. I also wish for world peace and a cure for cancer. But the real-life choice is almost always between taggers getting away with their vandalism and an irate citizen taking action. Given the destructive nature of tagging — the moment one sees graffiti, one knows one has entered a largely lawless and violent environment where thugs terrorize innocents — I prefer something, even if violent, rather than nothing be done.

I have no desire to see a graffiti vandal killed — my position has always been that only those who cause death deserve death (that is why I oppose the death penalty for any crime except murder). But if enough taggers are wounded, their assault on civilization will decline dramatically. And if one accidentally dies? That would be a tragedy. But here is the bottom line: More innocent people will die if tagging is not stopped than if it is. Graffiti unchecked leads to worse crime.

Those who deface private and public property are not otherwise decent kids who are oppressed and not allowed any other form of self-expression. My sense is that the vast majority of graffiti vandals are headed toward, if not already involved in, a life of sociopathology, including violence.

Indeed, increasingly those graffiti vandals do engage in violence. Citizens who so much as flash their headlights or yell at them to stop have been shot and sometimes murdered.

As in so many other areas, with regard to taggers, right and left see life through opposing moral prisms. On the left, the tagger is viewed as society’s victim; on the right, society is viewed as the tagger’s victim.

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