gunWith one side accusing the other of preferring to allow mass killings rather than endure even modest gun safety laws, and the other firing back with accusations of an attempt at total gun confiscation, all in the dust of the mass killing at Umpqua, it is easy to see how some very simple yet interesting facts can get lost.

One such fact is that mass killings, although horrific, are very minor, relative to the number of homicides that occur in the United States. According to  from 2009 and 2013, the US lost 227 people to “rampage shootings.” We can all wish that this number was much lower, but it is still only 0.003% of the number of overall murder victims during the same period.

Secondly, despite the President’s claim that “This type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency,” this sort of mass killing happens in a number of other advanced countries, and with greater frequency than in the United States.

Also, there seems to be no clear correlation between the number of gun ownership and the number of gun murders. The United States ranks first on the list of guns owned per capita but 111th on list of countries by intentional homicide rate, while Switzerland ranks fourth on the list of nations by gun ownership but ranks only 209 on the list of gun murders per capita, for example. Furthermore, according to the National Review, “The number of guns in the United States has increased by 62% since 1994 but gun violence has decreased by 49% since 1993.

While it would be difficult for anyone who looks at the ranking of countries by intentional homicide rate to miss that while poverty seems to be a contributing factor for a country to have a high homicide rate, it is far from the most decisive factor. Honduras, for example, although a poor nation, is a wealthier nation than the Ivory Coast, but has a homicide rate several times as high, despite a similar rate of gun ownership. It seems safe to assume then that culture plays a greater role than either income or rate of gun ownership in causing high homicide rate.

We see a similar pattern here in the United States. According to, the Utah county of Tooele has one of the highest number of guns per household in the country (59.1%), a median household income of similar to the New Jersey city of Trenton, but saw no gun murders in 2012, while Trenton saw 37.

The cultural impact upon the murder rate is even more vivid along racial lines. According to, 50% of all murder victims in the United States are African Americans, and 93% of these victims were killed by other African Americans.

“. . . according to the National Review, ‘The number of guns in the United States has increased by 62% since 1994 but gun violence has decreased by 49% since 1993.’

It should be noted in a discussion on the correlation between the rates of gun ownership and gun murders that “gun free zones” are not necessarily safer than zones that are not gun free, at least in terms of multiple victim killings. As reports “92% of mass public shootings between January 2009 and July 2014 took place in gun-free zones.” Professor John Lott painted a vivid picture on the attraction gun-free zones have on people intent to killing a mass number of report, reporting that the Aurora mass-killer James Holmes “appears to have carefully selected the theater he did: Seven theaters within a 20-minute drive of his apartment were showing the premier of The Dark Knight Returns. He chose the only one posting signs banning concealed guns — not the theater closest to his apartment or the one prominently advertising the largest auditoriums in Colorado.”

So although the President asks, “So how can you, with a straight face, make the argument that more guns will make us safer?”, evidence suggests that it is not the number of guns that endanger us, it is the culture of our community; and more guns can indeed make us safer.

However, this is not to say that all guns are equal, or that they should be treated equally. Some guns are clearly more dangerous than others. Weapons like the TEC-DC9, for example, which was used in the Columbine massacre, and the Bushmaster AR-15, which was used in the Sandy Hook and Aurora massacres, are guns designed to fire multiple rounds in mere seconds, and have no legitimate purpose other than the mass killings for which they are most known. Furthermore, the AR-15 and other similar weapons can be loaded with armor-piercing bullets which are useful, but only for those who wish to be able to shoot several of them per second at police officers wearing bulletproof vests.

It may be impossible to legislate a ruling that would allow homeowners the ability to protect their lives and property with a gun, while preventing the rare individual who wishes to use a gun to kill a group of victims, but there is hope that we prevent the manufacture of weapons designed solely for the purpose of mass killing.

More than passionate speeches following multiple victim shootings or arguing that people need a semi-automatic weapon that can shoot 45 armor piercing bullets a minute for home protection, if our goal is to reduce our homicide rate, our focus should then be to those people most likely to fall victim to homicides.

Few programs did so as effectively as New York City’s Stop-And-Frisk program. Unfortunately, the Stop-and-Frisk is being discontinued by Mayor DeBlasio’s administration, who is acting with the encouragement of President Obama. The reason for phrasing out this program cannot be to decrease the murder victims the President correctly argues we should be angered and saddened by. In fact, murders in NYC in June of 2015 is up 19.5% over June of 2014. Rather, the reason for ending Stop-And-Frisk is that it was deemed racist to protect the people most likely to be murdered from the people who are most likely to murder them.

– DK

Posted in Community, Cultural, Current events/topics, Gun control | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fact Check: Hillary, Champion of Women

Hillary-ClintonYesterday, while stumping in Ohio, Hillary Clinton “champion of women,” stated that her GOP rivals for the presidency of the United States hold “extreme views about women, we expect that from some of the terrorist groups, we expect that from people who don’t want to live in the modern world, but it’s a little hard to take from Republicans who want to be the president of the United States. Yet they espouse out of date, out of touch policies. They are dead wrong for 21st century America. We are going forward, we are not going back.”

I would find this laughable, if it wasn’t tragic on so many levels:

First, this is a woman who has shamelessly taken millions upon millions of dollars from countries that truly “hold extreme views about women,” and “espouse out of date, out of touch policies” through her “charitable” Foundation. These are countries that condone “honor” killings, force children into marriages with grown men, do not let women drive or go out of the home without a male relative escort, and stone women. Have I missed anything, Madame Secretary?

Secondly, Hillary Clinton has not been shy about her admiration for Planned Parenthood founder, Margaret Sanger. And, if you want to talk about “out of date, out of touch views,” look no further than avowed racist and eugenicist, Margaret Sanger! Let’s just look at a few of her quotes, to underscore the point, and hold up this “shining beacon” that Mrs. Clinton admires so much:

“Birth control must lead ultimately to a cleaner race.” 1

“We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members.” 2

Further, Secretary Clinton is the proud recipient of the Margaret Sanger award, and though she says she “deplores” the racist statements, she still admires the woman, her work (which was the extermination of “undesirables”), and accepts the award!

And, lastly, Hillary supports abortion on demand. She may think that abortion foes are “backward thinkers,” but as recent events have shown (something pro-life supporters have known all along), abortion is the brutal murder of innocent life. What can be more horrific, more hostile to living and pre-born women than the barbaric practice of abortion? That life for “body parts” could be so casually dismissed over Chianti and salad, while discussing lavish purchases with literal “blood money,” is acceptable, and pro-lifers are “backward” and “out-of-touch?” If so, I gladly plead guilty to being “backward” for the sake of human life, rather than “enlightened” with “hands swift to shed innocent blood” (Proverbs 6:17).

Hillary paints herself as the “champion of women,” while embroiled in “a little ethics snafu” that should cost her the bid for the highest office in the land; with the blood of four American citizens on her hands and on her watch; and the past defense of a child rapist while painting the preteen female victim as the villain . . . none of which make her a champ, but only paint those (p)sycophants who would still vote for her in a heartbeat, as chumps.

– Marie Stroughter


Woman, Morality, and Birth Control. New York: New York Publishing Company, 1922. Page 12. 

Woman’s Body, Woman’s Right: A Social History of Birth Control in America. New York: Grossman Publishers, 1976.

Hear me wax more poetically on this subject on our 4/14/15 radio show, during our end segment, #MarieRants

Posted in Abortion, Attacks from the Left, Current events/topics, DNC/Democrats, Elections, Media & Media Bias | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Black and White Lives Matter

StraightOuttaSomewhereThe #BlackLivesMatter movement has a message. It is a message they are so desperate for you to hear that they have recently shutdown an anniversary celebration of Medicare and Social Security for you to hear it, even if that meant physically bullying 73-year old Bernie Sanders off the stage. Their message is, primarily, that the police are a threat to the African American community

It is not a new message, of course. As Marco Rubio said, “It is a fact that in the African-American community around this country, there has been for a number of years now a growing resentment toward how the law enforcement and criminal justice system interacts with the community.”

As a member of that African American community, I am well aware of this resentment and of the tension between my community and the police. In fact, I am reminded of a conversation with a friend, an African-born NJ college professor, who told me of an informal experiment he likes to conduct. He would have a White student lay in the backseat of his Audi while he drove through one of NJ’s very wealthy neighborhoods. He said he would do so to show how inevitably and how quickly a police officer would find a reason to pull him over for questioning. According to him, this experiment has never failed to produce the predicted results. This experiment is never conducted with a Black student because there would be little point. Blacks almost always already assume that even a well-dressed Black in a nice car driving through a wealthy neighborhood would be stopped by the police.

Along with this resignation, and largely because of it, there is an anti-police sentiment within the African American community, further poisoning the relationship between police officers and African Americans. Our very culture helps cultivates this hostility. Ta-Nehisi Coates, for example, recently recounted that growing up he saw the police as just another force “with no real moral difference from the crews and the gangs and the packs of folks who dispensed violence throughout the neighborhood.” And Mychal Denzel Smith even argues that the police should be abolished, thinking that, “a world without police” would result in “less dead Black people.”

In fact, the most popular movie in the U.S. as I write this is Straight Outta Compton, based on the release of the album of the same name, by rap group NWA. In one of the hit songs on the album, F*** Tha Police, the group, or at least the personas the group created to appeal to their audience, complains about harassment from the Los Angeles police department because of their skin color. Ice Cube states, “F*** the police coming straight from the underground. A young n*gger got it bad cause I’m brown. And not the other color so police think they have the authority to kill a minority.”

Yet in the titular song of the album they – in their personas – boast of such things as using a sawed-off shotgun, “jack moves,” and having “a crime record like Charles Manson.” Based on that it seems as though NWA is pointing out very strongly that they have reason to have it bad from the LAPD based on much more than their skin color.

It is not a new message, of course. As Marco Rubio said, “It is a fact that in the African-American community around this country, there has been for a number of years now a growing resentment toward how the law enforcement and criminal justice system interacts with the community.”

Racism alone can not be used to explain the often tense relationship between the police and the largely African American inner city community, not when three of the police officers charged with the death of Freddie Gray are themselves Black, or when even Jesse Jackson himself stated, “There is nothing more painful to me … than to walk down the street and hear footsteps and start thinking about robbery, then look around and see somebody white and feel relieved.”

People like NJ Senator Cory Booker often complain about “a prison system that is 61 percent African-American even though our state is just 13 percent black.” But rarely, if ever, do they mention the reason that African Americans are in prison at such high percentages is because African Americans commit a higher percentage of crimes. Despite being just roughly 14% percent of the population, Blacks are responsible for 52% of homicides overall, and 66% of drug-related homicides.

Furthermore, rarely, if ever, will those who bemoan such things as the percentage of Blacks incarcerated mention that almost all of the crimes committed by these prisoners were against other Black people. Despite the impression one would get from reading Conservative blogs, with their incessant postings about “Black thugs,” Black crime — like all crime — is nearly exclusively intraracial. 93% of the Black murderers imprisoned murdered other Blacks, 74.8% of the Black rapists rape Black women. And 68.3% of the Blacks robbed are robbed by Blacks as well.

There are many times when the police overstep badly in their interactions with the African American community. It is for this reason that I am a strong supporter of dash-cams, body cams, and any other measure to monitor and temper those interactions. As John Adams once said, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary.” Police officers are not angels.

However, when I read the demands of the #BlackLivesMatter movement, which say “we will advocate for a decrease in law-enforcement spending at the local, state and federal levels” and “that the federal government discontinue its supply of military weaponry and equipment to local law enforcement,” it puzzles me. If the vast majority of crime is intraracial, if the overwhelmingly majority of Black crime victims are victimized by Blacks, then who are activists seeking to protect by demanding softer law enforcement against Blacks? If Black lives matter, then Blacks need more and better policing so that Black lives can be protected from the Black predators that would otherwise prey upon them.

– DK

Posted in Activism, Activism/Advocacy, Attacks from the Left, Community, Cultural, Current events/topics, DNC/Democrats, Media & Media Bias, Progressivism, Race/Racism/Race Relations, racism | Tagged , | 2 Comments

The Prince: Obama and a Nuclear Iran



Even Conservatives must admit to some begrudging admiration for President Obama’s ability to further his agenda. “If only,” we are tempted to think, “we had such a figure on our side. We’d have lower taxes, a stronger military, more secure borders, and protection for the lives of our Unborn!”

Look at how much Obama accomplishes, even as a lame duck president. Republicans hold a majority in the Senate, House of Representatives, in the statehouses, and (in terms of Republican appointed judges) the Supreme Court. Yet they can barely slow his Progressive agenda. Perhaps if the Republicans can maintain their advantages and add the White House, and Obama is retired to mansions in Hawaii and Chicago, then maybe Republicans can manage to at least defund Planned Parenthood, a relatively minor thing. But I doubt it.

Barack Obama’s strength is his ‘by any means necessary’ approach to politics. He is not a man ashamed to lie. Obama is not, of course, the only politician not afraid to lie. But he is easily the best.

Compare him, for a moment, to his appointed successor, Hillary Clinton. While both have shown an equal willingness to lie, Obama is seen as trustworthy by 53% of Americans  but Clinton is seen as untrustworthy by 57%.

The difference is, while neither hesitated to lie about such things like Benghazi being the result of a YouTube video, for example, Hillary is also willing to make such ridiculous or easily disprovable claims such as saying that she as a 27 year old recently married woman teaching law at the University of Arkansas attempted to enlist in the military as a Marine.

She is, as William Safire called her in 1996, “a congenital liar.” President Obama is Machiavellian.

Take his classic steamrolling over opposition to Obamacare for example, which was promised to not only create jobs and cut the cost of the average family’s health care but allow us to keep our current doctor and health care, if we liked them, as well. “A ruler will never be short of good reasons to explain away a broken promise.”

Or see how he manhandled the Tea Party, first by orchestrating a campaign to label it as a racist movement, then siccing the IRS upon them to suppress any influence they may have in the 2012 elections. “A prince who wishes to maintain his power ought therefore to learn that he should not be always good, and must use that knowledge as circumstances and the exigencies of his own affairs may seem to require.”

I was reminded of these quotes from Machiavelli’s The Prince while listening to President Obama speech at American University in defense of his Iranian deal. This speech should be used as a case study for students of Machiavellianism. It is a primer for it.

Obama said in this speech “Among U.S. policymakers, there’s never been disagreement on the danger posed by an Iranian nuclear bomb. Democrats and Republicans alike have recognized that it would spark an arms race in the world’s most unstable region and turn every crisis into a potential nuclear showdown.” However Obama himself scoffed at the notion of a dangerous Iran, saying that it was a tiny country, not dangerous compared to the Soviet Union, and wouldn’t stand a chance if it ever did try to pose a serious threat to us. President Obama also claimed “Iran’s Supreme Leader has issued a fatwa against the development of nuclear weapons. President Rouhani has indicated that Iran will never develop nuclear weapons.” So again, why should we fear an Iranian nuke if there is a fatwa against it?

I was reminded of these quotes from Machiavelli’s The Prince while listening to President Obama speech at American University in defense of his Iranian deal. This speech should be used as a case study for students of Machiavellianism. It is a primer for it.

Obama added, referring to his proposed Iranian deal, “we have achieved a detailed arrangement that permanently prohibits Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon” and the deal “cuts off all of Iran’s pathways to a bomb.” Yet the deal actually puts Iran on a pathway of a nuclear bomb in 15 years, by Obama’s own admission, so the prohibition is hardly permanent at all.

The President boasted “while the process for resolving a dispute about access can take up to 24 days, once we’ve identified a site that raises suspicion, we will be watching it continuously until inspectors get in. And by the way, nuclear material isn’t something you hide in the closet. It can leave a trace for years.”

But others, like David Albright, former weapons inspector in Iraq, point out that 24 days might give the Iranians all the time they would need to hide their handiwork from inspectors: “If it is on a small scale, they may be able to clear it out in 24 days. They are practiced at cheating. You can’t count on them to make a mistake.”

It should also be pointed out that, as stated by Iran’s Deputy Foreign Minister, Abbas Araghchi, “inspectors should be from countries that have diplomatic relations with [the] Islamic republic of Iran.” Inspectors therefore will be from Russia, Syria, and others who will be incentivized to not be especially diligent in reporting any cheating on the Iran deal.

This assumes that Iran will cheat on the deal. They may not. They may simply disregard it, perhaps almost immediately, or perhaps later when they find the deal does not serve their interest. Obama warned in this speech that rejection of the deal could result in a nuclear Iran in as little as six months. History tells us that no nation six months away from being able to build a nuclear weapon will be dissuaded from having a nuclear weapon built in six months by economic sanctions.

This takes us to the boldest lie Obama said in his speech, or at least the one that rankled me most. Obama, despite decrying earlier in the speech “it’s easy to play in people’s fears, to magnify threats” claimed “The choice we face is ultimately between diplomacy or some form of war.” But if diplomacy is defined by this level of acquiescence to Iranian demands, then there is at least one favorable alternative to diplomacy, which is to let maintain the international sanctions, which have had a visible effect on Iran’s economy.

Even if the specious claim that these international sanctions were collapsing and that collapse is inevitable is true, then the US is capable of imposing damaging unilateral sanctions. The Iranian economy has been weak and heavily dependent upon the sale of oil, and the lost of a customer as deep-pocketed as the US would leave a mark.

Furthermore the US has the capacity to, as Senator Tom Cotton put it, set “Iran’s nuclear facilities back to day zero.” The sort of strategic strikes to which Cotton is referring would not necessarily mean a war against Iran – Israel struck Iraqi nuclear facilities without engaging in a full war with Iraq – nor should it be as anything other than an option of last resort. But if a strike against Iran does indeed become necessary to prevent the World’s Leading Sponsor of Terrorism from threatening the world with a nuclear weapon, it is better than strike them now, before they have such a weapon, than later, when they may already be a nuclear state.

This nuclear deal will undoubtedly soon be in effect, at least for as long as the Iranians see it to their advantage. Because Obama has already cleverly manipulated the treaty as not a treaty, Obama only one-third plus one of the Senate or the House to override a veto of it. Obama will spend the upcoming weeks portraying himself as a Bringer of Peace and someone who has earned his Nobel Peace prize, and will use the visiting Pope Francis to buttress that impression. Dissenters, such as prominent Democratic senator Charles Schumer, will continued to be attacked as a Jew more loyal to Israel than the United States. And Republicans will be said to be in “common cause” with those Iranians chanting “Death To America” while Obama and the Iranian leadership will be the adults in the room, despite Ayatollah Khamenei comments and recently published book “Palestine” which makes clear no such separation between Iran’s leaders and “death to America” chanters exist.

But any peace bought by this deal will be short-term and to America’s disadvantage. That is one lesson from Machiavelli that I wish Obama had not missed. “There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.”

– DK


Posted in Current events/topics, Foreign policy, Government, National Security, US Constitution | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trump vs. The Mean Kids


DJT_HeadshotFull Disclosure: I don’t support Donald Trump. I do like him, though. I like him from my days as a fan of The Apprentice (the non-celebrity one), and I like how he battles his enemies, such as reading Lindsay Graham’s personal cell phone number to an audience after the Senator called him a ‘jackass’ or remarking how Rick Perry may think his new glasses make him look intelligent but no one is falling for it.


But liking him isn’t likely to translate into me voting for him. In fact, of all the Republican candidates, Trump may be the one I am least likely to support. Trump has a long history of contributing to Progressives — such as the Clintons, Reid, Pelosi, Schumer, and Rangel — and he has expressed support for abortion, higher taxes, and universal healthcare. Although his stated views all seem conservative now  – except for his call for more immigration — when asked who was his favorite post-Reagan president was, his choice was Bill Clinton.


Yet, though I do not support him, but perhaps because I do like him, I find myself compelled to defend him against the Mean Kids who attack him, as if he was the unpopular kid in class, or the strange guy who eats lunch alone in the office. The Mean Kids are piling on every opportunity to insult him and shun him from the Cool Kids Club, which may be ironic since Trump is a bit of a Mean Kid himself, and probably donated a lot of money to that club.


The vitriol being directed towards Donald Trump for committing no crime besides expressing his views, has been a disgrace for a nation that supposedly values political debate. One would think he was caught on an undercover video negotiating the sale of body parts taken from unborn children. Trump is, for example, “an embarrassment to our entire nation,” according to the cover of the New York Daily News. And the Huffington Post, in a remarkable display of arrogance, will no longer even cover Trump in their political pages, despite its willingness to cover (and presumably endorse) a candidate so dishonest that she once claimed to come under sniper fire at a Bosnian airport when in fact she was presented with flowers from a school girl.


Far worse, however, than the media using its freedom of speech to suppress Trump’s freedom of speech are politicians using the Power of the State to punish Trump for his views. New York’s Mayor de Blasio has promised to not do business with Trump in the future, and Boston Mayor Walsh has warned Trump to stay out of his city, both acts intended to punish Trump for his comments about illegal immigration. It’s no surprise that we are currently flying the Cuban flag over their embassy in Washington, since we are beginning to use their tactics to deal with political opposition. See Chick-fil-A and the gay marriage controversy for another example.


Strangely, many of the Republican candidates have joined in the chorus attacking Trump. Trump’s 2016 campaign has so far been very nearly opposite the 2008 campaign of Barack Obama’s. While the Democratic party and the media fought diligently to defend and excuse Obama’s radical opinions, baffling mistakes, and dangerous associations; Trump’s party and the media underline, highlight, and amplify everything he does that might hurt him. In fact, I can think of no Republican candidate so disavowed by the Republican establishment since David Duke ran for Senate in Louisiana. This is noteworthy, since the GOP establishment has disavowed many a conservative over the years. In fact, I believe if Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, or Marco Rubio do not win the nomination, many of them would vote for Hillary Clinton.


Most outspokenly anti-Trump of the Republican establishment presidential candidates has been Governor Rick Perry. Perry probably has five reasons why Trump is unworthy to be our next President, although Perry can only remember four of them.


What has Trump done to deserve such antipathy? One accusation is that Trump called all Mexicans rapists. However, what Trump actually said was “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best… They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.” This is quite different, of course, and hardly controversial, unless one thinks all illegal immigrants come to our country as “an act of love.”


Trump touches upon a point I think valid, as long as it isn’t stretched too far. The crime rate the US suffers from illegals isn’t epidemic in comparison to native born Americans but illegals do commit crimes here, including rape and murder, as evident by the recent Congressional testimony of Laura Willkerson, whose teenaged son was viciously murdered by an illegal. And yes, 90% of cocaine in the US has traveled across the Mexican border.


Nor do I believe Trump thinks POWs aren’t war heroes, or even that John McCain isn’t a war hero. Trump’s actual words regarding McCain was, “He’s a war hero because he was captured,” a deliberate insult to McCain in response to McCain calling Trump supporters “crazies” but hardly what the remark has been characterized as. Trump stated that McCain is a war hero no less than four times during this referenced exchange, as reporter Sheryl Attkisson points out.


To underscore how ridiculous and hypocritical those who are attacking Trump have become, I will point out that the Daily Kos published a piece in 2008 stating that McCain Is No War Hero.  It now calls Trump “despicable” after falsely charging that he claimed that John McCain is no war hero.

Unfortunately for Trump-haters, at least Republican Trump-haters, attacks upon him only seem to make him more popular among Republican voters. A recent poll, shows Trump almost as popular as Bush and Walker combined. And this same poll shows Trump would be popular enough as a third party candidate to almost ensure a Clinton presidency.


Trump has stated that he won’t run third party, but that is a decision that can change at any second, especially given the GOP’s treatment of him. Trump may very well eventually decide that if he is going to be treated as an outsider by the GOP, he might as well run outside the GOP.

– DK

Posted in Current events/topics, Elections, GOP/RNC, Immigration | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama, the Great Negotiator

It is not often that I feel compelled to defend President Obama. But in this case I will. The recent nuclear deal with Iran reveals that he is not a poor negotiator but rather an excellent one.

The President has been mocked for his negotiation skills throughout his tenure by the Left and the Right — from people ranging from Paul Krugman to Bob Woodward to Donald Trump. And interestingly the reasons both sides give for their assessment are as similar as they are contrary.

To the Left, Obama is simply too good to be good negotiator. He’s no mere politician, after all. He’s an ideologue! Too filled with idealism, too pure, too above the taint of politics to be talented at negotiation.

The Atlantic for example wrote in its 2011 piece, Why Obama is So Bad at Negotiations that, “The truth is, that while the president’s idealism has made him a very poor negotiator, it is what attracted me and I suspect many others to him in the first place. His lack of cynicism and belief that we could tackle our problems together as one nation was unique, beautiful and stunning in our modern political system.”

Similarly, the Right argues that Obama is a poor negotiator because, again, he is an ideologue. As GOP presidential candidate Carly Fiorina said on a recent appearance on Hannity “[Obama] has spent a lifetime in politics and ideology. That’s it. That’s his life. If you have no experience in negotiating you don’t negotiate very well. If you have no experience in problem-solving you don’t solve problems very well. If you have no experience in compromising you don’t compromise very well. What’s he good at? Giving a speech and sticking to his ideology.”

This perception of Obama as a poor negotiator has been tested by the recently announced Iranian nuclear deal. The Left has begrudgingly given the deal its approval because a) it’s Obama; b) use of force should almost never be on the table; c) the status quo was too hard to maintain; d) we’re not that fond of Israel anyway; and e) it’s Obama.

However, the deal — to the Right, and to many of our allies — is, as Prime Minister Netanyahu stated, an “historic mistake,” and has brought their criticisms of Obama’s negotiation talents to the forefront.

As details of the deal are released, it is easy to understand the Right’s position. Iran was able to extract from our negotiations more than even they could have predicted. Iran not only gets to keep its nuclear infrastructure, it gets to improve upon them, as nuclear research and development programs continue unhindered. It will be receive billions — as much as $300 to $400 billion, according to the Heritage Foundation — in unfrozen assets and additional oil revenue. The arms embargoes against it will be removed after five years and ballistic missile limits will be lifted after eight. In return Iran has to concede nothing — not even its ties and sponsorship of terrorist groups, not its threat to eliminate Israel, not even a single American hostage. One would think for $400 billion dollars Iran could have let at least one American go home to his family, but no.

In short, this deal paves the way for Iran to become history’s greatest Islamic caliphate in perhaps a decade, unmolested by the United States. Assuming this deal stands, only a collapse in world oil prices or a vigorous pursuit of Iran’s regional rivals can alter such an outcome.

But is the Iranian nuclear deal emblematic of Obama’s inability to negotiate a deal favorable to the United States and its position as the world’s superpower? This presumes that it was Obama’s intention, and when has that ever been evident?

Certainly not at the United Nations in April of 2010 when the President complained that the United States remains a dominant military superpower “whether we like it or not.” Nor was it evident when the President complained to the same UN that “no one nation can or should try to dominate another nation.”

Much of the negative reaction to the Iranian nuclear deal also presumes that Obama had a desire to prevent a Mullah-ruled Iran from ascending. Again, when has this ever been evident?

In 2009, during the time of Iran’s so-called Green Revolution, when much of the West was hoping to seize the opportunity to aid in the overthrow of the Mullahs, our President seized the opportunity to write a secret letter to the Ayatollah Khamenei, calling “for an improvement in relations” between the two nations, and to seek “a resolution of the dispute over Iran’s nuclear program.”

Furthermore, when had Obama showed any desire to maintain the sanctions against Iran? It was Obama, in fact, who stood in opposition to the Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act of 2013, which would have imposed new sanctions against Iran, even though two of its sponsors (Menendez and Schumer) are Democrats. It was also the President who defended Iran’s right to a peaceful nuclear program around this time. And it was the President, who as a candidate, legitimized the Mullah’s governance over Iran by signaling a willingness to met with them without any preconditions, a move Hillary Clinton at the time falsely characterized as dangerously naive. It wasn’t from naïveté that Obama took this position and the others. It was from a reflection of his very pro-Iranian worldview.

If President Obama was a poor negotiator, how then has he been able to outnegotiate the GOP and Congress at every turn? This Iranian deal is no exception. Obama has already promised to veto any resolution threatening to hinder the deal, and he is in a great position to have such a veto hold, as he has skillfully outmaneuvered Congress, which had sought input into the negotiations with Iran, into passing the Corker-Menendez bill, which limits their ability to do so. As Mark Levin explained, because of Corker-Menendez, “Now we need a supermajority to override the president rather than a supermajority where the president needs approval for a treaty.”

In other words, President Obama does not need 67 votes to uphold the Iran deal. Thanks the Corker-Menendez, he only needs 34.

Poor negotiator, indeed.

– DK


Posted in Current events/topics, DNC/Democrats, Foreign policy, Government, National Security, Progressivism | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Comments

Same-Sex Marriage and the Man in the Sky

What did homosexuals and the Progressives gain from the Supreme Court ruling on marriage?

There are of course some financial benefits of being married – even over civil unions. Consumer Reports spells them out nicely:  pointing out that “no matter where they live or were married, [gay] couples can file their state taxes jointly, file for spousal and survivor benefits through Social Security, and enjoy other financial perks that previously belonged only to heterosexual couples or same-sex couples living in states that recognized their marriages.”

But no one argues that those who fought so long and hard for gay marriage found the often minor financial benefits of marriage to be anything more than a secondary consideration. If gay marriage were primarily motivated by the financial bottom line of gay people in civil unions, there were other routes – probably easier routes – they could have taken.

One route would have been to expand the financial protections for those in civil unions so that they would be more equitable to those in traditional marriages.

Another route that gays could have taken interestingly enough would have been to vote Republican in greater numbers. Most of the  financial penalties of not being married which homosexuals can now happily avoid were created by the very same Progressives now celebrating their right to marry. For example, a homosexual can now inherit his or her partner’s estate if that estate is $2M or higher without paying the federal estate tax. However, Conservatives have long called for the elimination of this “death tax” for all people; homosexual and heterosexual, only to be called “lackeys of the rich” by the Left.

Married homosexuals can now enjoy higher Social Security benefits when his or her spouse dies, the argument goes. But as many Conservatives argue, these benefits are artificially lowered by our inability to utilize Social Security private accounts. Progressives are adamantly against any privatization of Social Security accounts. Some Conservatives would even argue that holders of Social Security private accounts should have the ability to bequeath those account to heirs whomever they choose without the inheritor having to endure an additional tax.

It can also be pointed out that marriage itself can be financially disadvantageous. Many gays will not find themselves inheriting their spouses $2M estates. Rather, many will inherit, or incur, their spouses debts, which he or she will be liable for, depending upon where he or she lives.

There is also the specter of divorce and alimony. The divorce rate for same-sex couples have thus far been lower than that for traditional marriages. But that is in part because of the difficulty same-sex couples had in obtaining divorces. A gay couple married in a state that recognized same-sex marriage, but who decided at some point to live in a state that does not, would have to at some point move back to the original state to be granted a divorce. For example, if Thelma and Louise married in, say, California (which recognized same-sex marriage) and moved to Texas (which did not), they would have to move back to California for as long as a year to qualify for a divorce.  With this in mind, it was not only cheaper to keep her (or him), it was probably a lot less work. But without this burden, it is very probable that the divorce rate for homosexuals to catch up to the divorce rate of heterosexuals.

. . .Rather than being intended to add any benefit to homosexuals, the same-sex battle was waged as an attack against People of Faith. 

Not only do the financial rewards of marriage seem to be an underwhelming motivator for the fight for gay marriage, so does the value of marriage itself. In fact, one of the most perplexing things about the spectacle of so many Progressives celebrating the right of gays to marry is that marriage in our increasingly Progressive society is becoming less common, and less important, as evident by our declining rate of matrimony. According to the Pew Research Center,  the number of married households, which was at 72% in 1960, fell to 50.5% in 2012.  Even couples who become parents together are feeling less compelled to marry. According to the CDC, 40.6% of all births are to unmarried women today.

So, if they were not motivated by money, and the social value of marriage itself is in decline, I ask again, what did homosexuals and the Progressives gain from the Supreme Court ruling on marriage?

Keep in mind that Progressivism and Christian faith are essentially incompatible, which the Left recognizes far more readily than Christians. Christian belief, to the Left, is the Enemy, and those who hold to it must either coerced to abandon their views.

Karl Marx, whose writings much of today’s Progressivism is based upon, certainly knew this, said once “The first requisite for the happiness of the people is the abolition of religion.” Margaret Sanger also spent much of her career railing “against the Church,” as has Noam Chomsky and a number – perhaps the majority – of influential Progressives. Barack Obama, before he was to become our current president, characterized many Americans as ‘bitterly clinging to religion.’ Hillary Clinton, who may be our next president, has announced that “deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.” Both Obama and Clinton claimed to be People of Faith in the past, and both spoke out against gay marriage, but both are enthusiastically celebrating the Court’s pro-gay marriage decision today.

So great is the Progressive hatred of Christianity that the far left Salon ran a story on the day of the Supreme Court ruling titled “Antonin Scalia is unfit to serve: A justice who rejects science and the law for religion is of unsound mind.” The story was subtitled “The justice claims to be an originalist, but his real loyalty is to religion and a phony man in the sky.”

Let’s remember the Chick-fil-a – a fast food chain so Christian that they close on Sundays – controversy in which the restaurants were boycotted, and told by several mayors that their business was not welcome in their city after its COO said spoke in favor of traditional marriage. Chick-fil-A, hires gays, promotes gays, and treats their gay customers fairly, as far as anyone knows.  But they were targeted by same-sex marriage advocates, smeared as being homophobic, and punished for Christian views.

John Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court and Chief Architect of Obamacare, wrote most clearly of the consequences of the same-sex marriage ruling in his dissent: “Hard questions arise when people of faith exercise religion in ways that may be seen to conflict with the new right to same-sex marriage – when, for example, a religious college provides married student housing to only opposite-sex marriage couples, or a religious adoption agency declines to place children with same-sex married couples. Indeed, the Solicitor General candidly acknowledged that the tax exemptions of some religious institutions would be in question if they opposed same-sex marriage.”

Justice Clarence Thomas largely agreed with Roberts in his dissent: “Had the majority allowed the definition of marriage to be left to the political process—as the Constitution requires—the People could have considered the religious liberty implications of deviating from the traditional definition as part of their deliberative process. Instead, the majority’s decision short-circuits that process, with potentially ruinous consequences for religious liberty.”

My view is, rather than being intended to add any benefit to homosexuals, the same-sex battle was waged as an attack against People of Faith. The result of the Supreme Court decision is significant not so much for what homosexuals gained from it, which in a sense is very little, but rather what People of Faith lost from it; namely, a diminishing of their religious liberty to define marriage, not as a mere ‘contract between adults’, but as the sacred union between a  male and a female, as they are taught to by their faith, and by the Man in the Sky.

– DK

Posted in Activism, Attacks from the Left, Current events/topics, DNC/Democrats, Economy/Fiscal Issues, Marriage, Progressivism, Spiritual | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Marie Stroughter on the Earl Hall Show

On Thursday, June 11, AACONS Co-Founder, Marie Stroughter, was a guest on The Earl Hall Show. Take a listen and tell us what you think:




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Marie Stroughter on the Rod Eccles Show

On Thursday, May 7, 2015, AACONS Co-Founder, Marie Stroughter, was a guest on the Rod Eccles Show. Take a listen and tell us what you think:

Posted in Cultural, Current events/topics, Podcasts | Leave a comment

God Don’t Never Change: Same-Sex Marriage

It does not seem that long ago that I was in a distinct minority in arguing — inspired no doubt by some noted libertarian, though whom I do not recall — that government should avoid being involved in defining what is and who should be married.

My view was, and is, that should anyone who wished to do so should enter a civil union, which would afford them the rights and benefits of marriage, even if that person wished to enter into such an union with a partner of the same sex. I also felt, and feel, that no church, synagogue, mosque, or other religious institution should be required to recognize such an union as a marriage, if they choose not to do so.

As a Catholic (though a poor one, so far) who is legally divorced, I recognize that my right to remarry in the view of the State is limited only essentially by my ability to find a suitable partner — which is a challenge enough, believe me.

However, to have another marriage recognized by the Church would be much more cumbersome. As I understand it, it would require a Decree of Nullity from a marriage tribunal to free myself from my first marriage, and depending upon how they analyze the circumstances of my divorce, such a Decree might not be forthcoming. The Church makes itself very clear that it does not have the power to separate any persons who were united by God.

Similarly, if I was a homosexual, or wished to be a polygamist, I would not expect Father Anthony to perform my wedding ceremony, as gay and polygamist marriages are against the Church’s teachings. Yet here in NJ I could currently get married in the eyes of the law to a same-sex partner; or eventually, no doubt, to multiple partners.

This is a distinction that made sense to me as a young man, and I find it interesting to recall that my associates at the time, all of whom were liberals, disagreed. Marriage was for straights, they argued, and civil unions were for gays. Separate, but equal.

“I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage,” said Senator Obama in 2008. “I remain opposed to same-sex marriage. I believe marriage is an institution for the union of a man and a woman. This has been my long-standing position, and it is not being reviewed or considered,” said President Clinton in 1993. “Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman” said Senator Hillary Clinton in 2000. These are the three most prominent figures of the Democrat Party, a party that attracts about 75% of the gay vote.

God is both eternal and immutable. So is then His Word. It is not subject to change from political opinion polls, peer pressure, threats of violence; or because of the demands of the State. His Word is a firm foundation on which we can stand.

Now, of course, most of the very same liberals who so doggedly support Obama and the Clintons would call anyone who holds their previously stated views on gay marriage ‘homophobic’, and deserving of bullying, ostracism, and vile conduct. Let us not forget the boycott against Chick-Fil-A after their COO said “We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit” — a statement hardly different that what Obama or the Clintons once said. In fact, as I write this, there is a pizza shop in Indiana that is being boycotted and threatened with arson, because an owner said that “If a gay couple came in and wanted us to provide pizzas for their wedding (?), we would have to say no.”

This calls to mind three quotations. One is Leviticus 20:13, which makes clear that although the Bible states that we should not become judges with evil thoughts, nonetheless “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination.” The second comes from the first amendment of the US Constitution, which states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.” I would think that these two quotes, taken in combination, would protect the rights of the Church or of people of faith against legal repercussions for not recognizing the legitimacy of same-sex marriage.

But perhaps the key quote comes from bluesman and theologian Blind Willie Johnson, who sang “Yes God, God don’t never change. He’s God. Always will be God.”

Progressives place their faith in Big Government, and argue that from Big Government we should derive our values. Yet how can we anchor ourselves to the values of Big Government when those values ebb and flow like a wave on a windy day?

As the quotes from Obama and the Clintons above indicate, often the values expressed by the men and women who lead Big Government today are very different from the values they expressed ten years ago, and God only knows what values these men and women will hold ten years from today.

But as Mr. Johnson points out, God is both eternal and immutable. So is then His Word. It is not subject to change from political opinion polls, peer pressure, threats of violence; or because of the demands of the State. His Word is a firm foundation on which we can stand.

– DK


Posted in Attacks from the Left, Current events/topics, Marriage, Religion, Spiritual | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment