If you read nothing else today, take the time to read this gripping interview on the November 2015 Bataclan jihad attack in Paris with Eagles of Death Metal vocalist Jesse Hughes. The interview was conducted by Gavin McInnes over at Taki’s Magazine. Hughes’s band was onstage when the jihad killings occurred. This is his eye witness account of what happened. Hughes feels that the media totally misrepresented the story, with details pulled out of context from his previous interviews and manipulated to support editorializing and commentary that was completely opposed to his views.
Hughes tells exactly what happened, how it was handled and the implications for the future in the War on Jihad.
Here’s a taste:
McInnes: It’s hard to talk about the attack without sounding like you’re blaming the victims, but it’s impossible to deny fear of Islamophobia and fear of guns led to a lot of deaths that night.
Jesse Hughes:: I saw fear fall like a blanket on the whole crowd and they fell like wheat in the wind—the way you would before a god. I was totally alert from the very beginning. The first thing I needed to do was find my girl. Fear took a backseat and “where’s my girl?” took over. I could smell gunpowder in the backstage area and I knew someone fired a round back there. I saw a guy with an FAL and when he turned to face me his eyes looked like marbles. He was stoned out of his mind, and we now know they were on Xanax and cocaine. I recognized him. I’d seen him earlier in the day and noticed him staring at us.
McInnes: They were in the venue early. That implies some staff were in on it.
Jesse Hughes:I got in a lot of trouble for saying that. I know for sure that they were in there early. I remember them staring at my buddy. I just chalked it up to Arab envy. You know what I mean? When a Muslim sees a cocky American dude with tattoos, he stares at him. I realized later it was Abdeslam and he was staring at my buddy because they thought he was a threat. There’s no denying the terrorists were already inside, and they had to get in somehow. During the shooting I went outside and the backstage door was propped open. How did that happen?
McInnes: Do you think political correctness is killing our natural instincts and making us vulnerable?
Jesse Hughes:Definitely. There were two girls who were involved. They were at the venue and vanished before the shooting, and these women were in traditional Muslim garb. They knew people wouldn’t check them because of the way they were dressed. They got caught a few days later.
McInnes:The fear of offending Muslims is a terrorist’s greatest weapon.
Jesse Hughes:Look at the guys who bombed Brussels. They were wearing black gloves on one hand. Their luggage was too heavy to lift, but they didn’t want anyone helping them with it. Nobody brought any of this up until after the bombs went off.
McInnes:We’d rather die than be called a bigot.
Jesse Hughes: How is a faith being associated with racism? Just take out the word “Islam” and replace it with “communism.” It’s an ideology. The same way the Rosenbergs could sell nuclear secrets from within America is the same way Muslim terrorists can attack us from within. It’s okay to be discerning when it comes to Muslims in this day and age.
McInnes: Where is this push coming from? Is it all our fault?
Jesse Hughes:Of course not. When you’re at a soccer game in Europe and you see the words “United Arab Emirates,” you know there is a lot of Arab money floating around and influencing the dialogue. The conversation is constantly being steered away from scrutiny. They think we’re fools.
Arab money is a pollutant. So many movies are made with Arab money. George Clooney doesn’t kiss the ass of the Arabs for no reason. American movies are the best way to influence the hearts and minds of the world.
Read the whole interview at Taki’s Magazine. Highly recommended.
Continue reading A Must Read – The Untold Eyewitness Story Of The Paris Bataclan Killings
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Donald Trump recently sat down for a long interview on Foreign Policy with a couple of New York Times reporters in which he weighed in on a number of interesting topics. Some of his answers may surprise you. Here’s a slice:
Over two telephone conversations on Friday, Donald J. Trump, the Republican presidential candidate, discussed his views on foreign policy with Maggie Haberman and David E. Sanger of The New York Times. Here is an edited transcript of their interview:
HABERMAN: I wanted to ask you about some things that you said in Washington on Monday, more recently. But you’ve talked about them a bunch. So, you have said on several occasions that you want Japan and South Korea to pay more for their own defense. You’ve been saying versions of that about Japan for 30 years. Would you object if they got their own nuclear arsenal, given the threat that they face from North Korea and China?
TRUMP: Well, you know, at some point, there is going to be a point at which we just can’t do this anymore. And, I know the upsides and the downsides. But right now we’re protecting, we’re basically protecting Japan, and we are, every time North Korea raises its head, you know, we get calls from Japan and we get calls from everybody else, and “Do something.” And there’ll be a point at which we’re just not going to be able to do it anymore. Now, does that mean nuclear? It could mean nuclear. It’s a very scary nuclear world. Biggest problem, to me, in the world, is nuclear, and proliferation. At the same time, you know, we’re a country that doesn’t have money. You know, when we did these deals, we were a rich country. We’re not a rich country. We were a rich country with a very strong military and tremendous capability in so many ways. We’re not anymore. We have a military that’s severely depleted. We have nuclear arsenals which are in very terrible shape. They don’t even know if they work. We’re not the same country, Maggie and David, I mean, I think you would both agree.
SANGER: So, just to follow Maggie’s thought there, though, the Japanese view has always been, if the United States, at any point, felt as if it was uncomfortable defending them, there has always been a segment of Japanese society, and of Korean society that said, “Well, maybe we should have our own nuclear deterrent, because if the U.S. isn’t certain, we need to make sure the North Koreans know that.” Is that a reasonable position. Do you think at some point they should have their own arsenal?
TRUMP: Well, it’s a position that we have to talk about, and it’s a position that at some point is something that we have to talk about, and if the United States keeps on its path, its current path of weakness, they’re going to want to have that anyway with or without me discussing it, because I don’t think they feel very secure in what’s going on with our country, David. You know, if you look at how we backed our enemies, it hasn’t – how we backed our allies – it hasn’t exactly been strong. When you look at various places throughout the world, it hasn’t been very strong. And I just don’t think we’re viewed the same way that we were 20 or 25 years ago, or 30 years ago. And, you know, I think it’s a problem. You know, something like that, unless we get very strong, very powerful and very rich, quickly, I’m sure those things are being discussed over there anyway without our discussion.
HABERMAN: Will you –
SANGER: And would you have an objection to it?
TRUMP: Um, at some point, we cannot be the policeman of the world. And unfortunately, we have a nuclear world now. And you have, Pakistan has them. You have, probably, North Korea has them. I mean, they don’t have delivery yet, but you know, probably, I mean to me, that’s a big problem. And, would I rather have North Korea have them with Japan sitting there having them also? You may very well be better off if that’s the case. In other words, where Japan is defending itself against North Korea, which is a real problem. You very well may have a better case right there. We certainly haven’t been able to do much with him and with North Korea. But you may very well have a better case. You know, one of the things with the, with our Japanese relationship, and I’m a big fan of Japan, by the way. I have many, many friends there. I do business with Japan. But, that, if we are attacked, they don’t have to do anything. If they’re attacked, we have to go out with full force. You understand. That’s a pretty one-sided agreement, right there. In other words, if we’re attacked, they do not have to come to our defense, if they’re attacked, we have to come totally to their defense. And that is a, that’s a real problem.
Nuclear Weapons, Cyberwarfare and Spying on Allies
HABERMAN: Would you, you were just talking about the nuclear world we live in, and you’ve said many times, and I’ve heard you say it throughout the campaign, that you want the U.S. to be more unpredictable. Would you be willing to have the U.S. be the first to use nuclear weapons in a confrontation with adversaries?
TRUMP: An absolute last step. I think it’s the biggest, I personally think it’s the biggest problem the world has, nuclear capability. I think it’s the single biggest problem. When people talk global warming, I say the global warming that we have to be careful of is the nuclear global warming. Single biggest problem that the world has. Power of weaponry today is beyond anything ever thought of, or even, you know, it’s unthinkable, the power. You look at Hiroshima and you can multiply that times many, many times, is what you have today. And to me, it’s the single biggest, it’s the single biggest problem.
SANGER: You know, we have an alternative these days in a growing cyberarsenal. You’ve seen the growing cybercommand and so forth. Could you give us a vision of whether or not you think that the United States should regularly be using cyberweapons, perhaps, as an alternative to nuclear? And if so, how would you either threaten or employ those?
TRUMP: I don’t see it as an alternative to nuclear in terms of, in terms of ultimate power. Look, in the perfect world everybody would agree that nuclear would, you know, be so destructive, and this was always the theory, or was certainly the theory of many. That the power is so enormous that nobody would ever use them. But, as you know, we’re dealing with people in the world today that would use them, O.K.? Possibly numerous people that use them, and use them without hesitation if they had them. And there’s nothing, there’s nothing as, there’s nothing as meaningful or as powerful as that, and you know the problem is, and it used to be, and you would hear this, David, and I would hear it, and everybody would hear it, and — I’m not sure I believed it, ever. I talk sometimes about my uncle from M.I.T., and he would tell me many years ago when he was up at M.I.T. as a, he was a professor, he was a great guy in many respects, but a very brilliant guy, and he would tell me many years ago about the power of weapons someday, that the destructive force of these weapons would be so massive, that it’s going to be a scary world. And, you know, we have been under the impression that, well we’ve been, I think it’s misguided somewhat, I’ve always felt this but that nobody would ever use them because of the power. And the first one to use them, I think that would be a very bad thing. And I will tell you, I would very much not want to be the first one to use them, that I can say.
SANGER: The question was about cyber, how would you envision using cyberweapons? Cyberweapons in an attack to take out a power grid in a city, so forth.
TRUMP: First off, we’re so obsolete in cyber. We’re the ones that sort of were very much involved with the creation, but we’re so obsolete, we just seem to be toyed with by so many different countries, already. And we don’t know who’s doing what. We don’t know who’s got the power, who’s got that capability, some people say it’s China, some people say it’s Russia. But certainly cyber has to be a, you know, certainly cyber has to be in our thought process, very strongly in our thought process. Inconceivable that, inconceivable the power of cyber. But as you say, you can take out, you can take out, you can make countries non-functioning with a strong use of cyber. I don’t think we’re there. I don’t think we’re as advanced as other countries are, and I think you probably would agree with that. I don’t think we’re advanced, I think we’re going backwards in so many different ways. I think we’re going backwards with our military. I certainly don’t think we are, we move forward with cyber, but other countries are moving forward at a much more rapid pace. We are frankly not being led very well in terms of the protection of this country.
Continue reading Trump On Foreign Policy – And In Depth Interview
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Sean Hannity does a good job here of grilling House Speaker candidate Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) on how he’d be different than John Boehner, and McCarthy actually holds his own fairly well. He’s definitely right about Mitch McConnell and the Senate’s primar…
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President Barack Obama had something to say about that in a servile interview with the Leftist Jewish magazine Forward:
President Obama challenged critics who suggested that he was anti-Semitic as he continues to promote his nuclear deal with Iran, ignoring Israeli leaders who are expressing concerns about it.
“There’s not a smidgen of evidence for it, other than the fact that there have been times where I’ve disagreed with a particular Israeli government’s position on a particular issue,” Obama said in an interview with Forward.com when asked how he felt about the accusation.
Of course, one shouldn’t expect the Forward to do much in the way of a real interview with this president. To show how hilarious the whole thing was, after allowing President Obama to repeat his usual talking points about how wonderful the Iran deal is, they finished up with this idiocy:
Q: Thank you. One last question. One of my daughters wants to know, what’s your favorite bagel flavor?
THE PRESIDENT: I was always a big poppy seed guy.
Q: Poppy seed.
THE PRESIDENT: So the poppy seed bagels at H&H Bagels — which somebody told me they closed —
BEN RHODES: They closed.
Q: It’s closed, yes.
THE PRESIDENT: Which is shocking.
MR. RHODES: My school was a block from H&H bagels.
THE PRESIDENT: I mean, I would walk down from —
MR. RHODES: Columbia.
THE PRESIDENT: — Columbia just to get H&H bagels on Saturdays or on the weekends.
Q: And what do you like on a poppy seed?
THE PRESIDENT: Just a schmear.
Q: Just a schmear.
THE PRESIDENT: Lox and capers okay, but generally just your basic schmear.
Yes, one of those tough, hard hitting interviews.Notice how he had to be prompted on Columbia University?
But let’s address the question seriously, shall we? The first thing that caught my eye was the president’s language about there not being a smidgen of evidence that he was anti-semitic or anti-Israel. Now where did we hear that before?
Oh, now I remember! It was back when this president told us that there wasn’t a smidgen of corruption in the IRS after allegations that the IRS targeted the president’s political enemies or conservative groups. Oddly enough, one of them, Z-Street is a pro-Israel organization run by a friend of mine, Lori Lowenthal Marcus, a Pennsylvania lawyer.
They won a suit against the Obama IRS last year for exactly this kind of targeting. And Z Street was by no means the only one targeted. Admittedly, we have, shall we say, a less than effective Republican leadership and caucus, so this never got pursued to its logical end. But there was obviously more than a smidgen of corruption based on how the WHite House chose to stonewall things.
So, when this president talks about a smidgen of anything, what should we assume that means?
Since we can’t know what’s in Barack Obama’s heart and he’s not exactly the most truthful of men, let’s examine this in another way and see if we can get a clue.
Suppose, hypothetically, a public figure is accused of racism against blacks, which he of course denies.
So you look into his background. And you find that from his earliest days, his closest associates have been people like Tom Metzger, Willis Carto, David Duke, Sam Bowers,Bill Church, Larry Payne, Stormfront’s Don Black and Chloê Hardi and Bo Gritz.
Let’s say that his pastor whom he described as his ‘spiritual mentor’ was Thomas Robb and his church for two decades was Robb’s Christian Revival Center.
Let’s further assume that this man was our president, that his administration includes a number of people with questionable views on Africa and on American blacks, and that his administration has policies toward African nations that appear to be hostile.
In fact, let’s imagine that Black and Hardi are regular visitors to the White House and help in determining political strategy. And that this president is clever enough to have a number of self-serving blacks in his employ as a cover for any accusations of racism.
I think many people might describe this politician as a racist, or at the very least someone with racist tendencies. After all, if you hang with those folks, there’s obviously an affinity, no?
Let’s examine President Barack Obama with that same criteria. The comparison isn’t totally workable, since racism against blacks is socially unacceptable in much of the world, not well organized and hardly funded while anti-semitism, sometimes disguised as ‘anti-Zionism’ is well organized, socially chic and thriving, but let’s try and see what we can do.
Let’s see…closely associated with Jew haters and Israel bashers his entire life, including Frank Marshall Davis, Edward Said, Rashid Khalidi, Khalid al-Mansour, Al Sharpton, Jeremiah Wright, Bill Ayers (who dedicated one of his books, Prairie Fire to Sirhan Sirhan) and George Soros, to name a few.
Participated in and helped organize the Nation Of Islam’s ‘Million Man March’ with Louis Farrakhan, one of the worst public exhibitions of Jew hatred in American history.
Spent two decades in a rabidly anti-Israel church with a harshly ‘anti-Zionist’ pastor.
Has noted anti-Semite Al Sharpton as an intimate who is frequently at the White House and whom helps in determining political strategy. And has a number of servile, secular Leftist Jews in his employ, including the folks at J Street, the organization he created with George Soros as a cover.
Gave out the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Jew haters like Bishop Tutu, and to UN functionary Mary Robinson, who officiated over the the infamous Durban Conference and did nothing to stop it.
On record as saying he wanted to create ‘daylight; between America and Israel, and insists on creating 500,000 Jewish refugees and moving Israel back to indefensible borders. And best pals with Samantha Power, who wrote that the US should send its army to impose this and forcibly evict the Jews. Also, has said publicly that Israel has no rights to its religious sites in Jerusalem and must give them up to ‘Palestine’. Refused to honor guarantees made by the Bush Administration as part of the Road Map to include Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria as part of Israel in any peace settlement as a quid pro quo for Israel’s disengagement from Gaza. Openly lied and said they never existed.
Gave out more money to the Arabs whom call themselves Palestinians, including Hamas, than any other president in history.
The only president since Israel became an ally in 1970 ever to hold up arms
shipments during a shooting war. And actually put in place an arms embargo on Israel for his first three months in office.
illegally Interfered directly in Israel’s last election with money and operatives, and threw a tantrum when that failed.
And finally, put together a farcical deal with the genocidal Iran that will
allow them to have a clear path towards nuclear weapons. And has used
anti-semitic themes and buzz words against people who opposed it.
Hmmmm…it does seem like a pattern is emerging, doesn’t it?
In the end of course, it doesn’t really matter if President Obama claims to like an occasional bagel or has a nice smile and a warm greeting for certain Jews he finds useful.
It’s the overall pattern of actions and associations that count, and I will let you decide what that signifies.
it was Jesse Jackson (yet another Obama associate with less than complimentary views of Jews) , who has known the Obamas for decades who famously said in 2008 ” Now that Obama’s elected, the Zionists are going to lose all their clout.”
It does seem he knew what he was talking about.
Continue reading Is Obama An Anti-Semite?
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Remember Donald Trump’s fairy tale about how he was now pro life at the GOP debate? How he knew a couple who were considering abortion but decided against it, and now that kid is a ‘superstar?’
Well, today on Hannity, the real Donald once again revealed himself:
Hannity threw a few softballs at Trump, but also pressed him a little on specific policy proposals for Obamacare, the economy, and even Planned Parenthood.
And Trump kind of surprised Hannity by defending them, saying that abortion is only a “fairly small part of what they do” and overall they do a great service for women, so “we have to look at the positive also for Planned Parenthood.”
Why yes! Our taxes should definitely continue to fund trafficking in baby body parts.
I pretty much said everything I had to say about Trump’s candidacy here.
He’s there to ensure that his friends the Clintons get back into the White House, just like Ross Perot did in 1992. Trump ias this year’s Ross perot
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Once again, WWTFT has been fortunate enough to get to speak with another fine author. Jack Kelly has written a book (Band of Giants) that appealed to this reader/reviewer so much, that asking a few questions seemed like a necessity! Fortunately, Mr. Ke… . . . → Read More: Interview With Jack Kelly
At WWTFT we have been privileged to speak with notable and learned scholars like Thomas Fleming. In our interviews, we try to extend the knowledge we’ve gained from reading their work, by asking questions about items of particular interest to …
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Renowned historian Thomas Fleming graciously and generously agreed to answer a few questions about his last book, The Great Divide Continue reading An Interview with Thomas Fleming . . . → Read More: An Interview with Thomas Fleming
I recently finished reading Werewolf Cop and thought it might be fun to talk to the author about it. The folks at Pegasus Books kindly arranged for the author to answer a few questions. Continue reading Interview With Andrew Klavan . . . → Read More: Interview With Andrew Klavan
The Hollywood Reporter has a fascinating interview with Roger Ailes, the head of FOX news, by far the number one cable news station. It’s a very fair and balanced (no pun intended) portrait of a man who has become a legend in the news business. Here are a few bits:
We talk for nearly two hours about everything from Hillary Clinton (“Do you believe that the stuff on 30,000 emails that were destroyed after the prosecutor told [her] to keep it had things on it about yoga? I don’t”), the 2016 presidential field in general (“I haven’t heard anybody in election campaigns say things that would make me run out and vote for them yet”), exiled NBC News anchor Brian Williams (“I’d put Brian back, but I’d do it the right way”), fatherhood (“It made me a coward”) and his legacy (“I don’t give a rat’s ass what the world thinks”).
As I sit across from Ailes on this Wednesday morning in early April, his eyes dart reflexively to the wall of six televisions to the left of his desk; his networks, Fox News Channel and Fox Business Network, and the competition, CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and Bloomberg. My eyes repeatedly wander to a framed photo on a shelf over his left shoulder. It is an iconic black-and-white photograph of Martin Luther King Jr. escorting children into their newly integrated school in Grenada, Miss., in 1966.
The picture is signed by Dr. Bernice King and Dr. Alveda King, King’s daughter and niece, respectively, who attended in November the graduation ceremony for the Ailes Apprenticeship Program, a diversity education program he founded in 2004. In point of fact, though, Ailes actually knew Dr. King back in the 1960s — the two crossed paths occasionally when Ailes was a local TV producer in Philadelphia. It’s a nugget of Ailes’ ‘biography that some might find surprising. […}
As the country enters a presidential campaign season with dynastic implications, Ailes has a dilemma: How much oxygen does he give the fringe GOP candidates who could torment likely frontrunner Jeb Bush and potentially aid Hillary Clinton in the process. It’s not a question he answers directly. “I just don’t think I should weigh in on it, even in the press because people will think, ‘Well, that’s the way he’s making the network go.’ But it looks like Hillary is going to do whatever she wants,” he says, “and the press is going to vote for her.”
Asked if he thinks Ted Cruz, the intransigent Texas tea party candidate, has a chance of securing the GOP nomination, Ailes deflects: “Listen, we elected Warren G. Harding. Anybody has a chance. You don’t know who you’re going to be running against. If the other guy falls on his rear end, you could win.” […]
Ailes always has been in the trenches, and that hasn’t changed. He’s known to call the control room if he sees his anchors straying into territory over which he objects. “I say, ‘Tell them to cut this shit out, but don’t tell them I called because that will raise the level too high.’ ” He participates in the 8 a.m. executive meeting (usually by phone), makes all programming decisions and sometimes even negotiates directly with talent (Megyn Kelly, who is a lawyer, negotiates her own contracts directly with Ailes). […]
Still, there have been changes at the network since the 2012 election, with Ailes clearly wooing a younger brand of conservative. (The network’s median age — over 65 — is the oldest of the news networks, though Fox News still outrates the competition among the advertiser-coveted 25-to-54 demographic.) In 2013, he moved Kelly into the 9 p.m. slot occupied for more than a decade by conservative firebrand Sean Hannity. And he built Shepard Smith — an empathic reporter often suspected of being liberal — a $7 million studio and made him the network’s on-call anchor throughout the evening.
“Nobody else has this — it’s very expensive,” says Smith of his show’s News Deck, which is staffed by dozens of producers who monitor news feeds and social media for what amounts to a perpetual news factory. “We’re paying a lot of people in case something happens. It’s an enormous commitment, and nobody else is making it. But those things don’t get talked about. What gets talked about is O’Reilly bloviating about something.”
Fox News has 19 liberals on the payroll, though they’re often dismissed as straw men. When I put this to Juan Williams, a veteran commentator who wrote a well-regarded biography of Thurgood Marshall, he laughs. “Can you get a witness? I’m a witness.
“Clearly the audience likes the kind of tilt that exists [at Fox News],” he says. “But they’re not stupid. They want to hear a real, honest conversation. I am allowed to make substantial, critical arguments. And that never gets stepped on.”
Williams, in fact, has known Ailes since 1984, when Williams was covering the White House for the Washington Post and Ailes was a campaign advisor for Ronald Reagan.
“Part of the struggle of being a skinny black kid with an afro covering the Reagan White House is that a lot of people [there] basically thought I was the enemy. Ailes’ response to me was, ‘You’re an underdog in this situation, aren’t you? I got your back; I’m going to help you.’ And he became a key source for me.”
Interestingly, while Fox News is the go-to channel for conservatives, about 37 percent of its audience holds “mixed” views, according to a 2014 Pew study, while 14 percent are “liberal” and 4 percent are “consistently liberal.” But Ailes doesn’t appear to be all that interested in bringing more of these people to his network. “I don’t give a rat’s ass,” he says, breaking out his favorite rodent reference. “My job is to cover the news and do it accurately and fair. And we do. And voila! We have the largest number of independents watching television of any channel. Why is that? Not because we suck around and try to talk these people into watching our programming. We do programming that appeals to them, and so they tune to us. That’s how you get them. You can’t be chasing these little balkanized groups of people around. It’s just nuts. Do your programming. It should be American. We’re Americans. It’s a culture. We should defend that culture, and we should reinforce that culture.”
The full interview is here, and definitely worth a read.
Continue reading An Interesting Interview With The Head Of FOX News
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Anyone who watched Rand Paul’s interview with Megyn Kelly last night saw Sen. Paul’s less-than-elegant side: Simply put, Sen. Paul was combative, argumentative and vague. He was argumentative when Kelly pressed him for a definition of who he meant when he talked about neocons. By comparison, Sen. Paul said that Charles Krauthammer was “just wrong” […]
Continue reading Rand Paul’s ‘skin’ problem
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Tim McGrath, author of a fantastic biography of John Barry and most recently of Give Me Fast Ship, graciously agreed to answer a few questions on the latter book. Continue reading A Brief Interview With Author Tim McGrath . . . → Read More: A Brief Interview With Author Tim McGrath
Diana West, author of American Betrayal, graciously consented to an interview with Marcia. Ms. West has been excoriated by some members of the conservative media, accused of being a crackpot and closet John Birch Society member. Apparently many of her … . . . → Read More: An Interview With Diana West
Here we see Israeli economics minister Naftali Bennett making an appearance on the BBC’s ‘Hard Talk’, hosted by one Stephen Sackur, who perhaps needs to learn that in an interview, if you want answers it’s usually a good idea to listen, not talk over your guest and let the interviewee finish his sentences.
Nevertheless, Naftali Bennett makes an admirable showing. I especially found it humorous to watch Sackur (who, full disclosure is married to an Iraqi Arab and has always been outspokenly pro-Palestinian) lecture Israel’s economics minister (and a multi-millionaire in his own right) on the state of Israel’s economy.
Money quote from Bennett: “Would you hand over half of Britain to someone who keeps on killing you?”
Of course Sackur didn’t answer that, but in reality the Brits are doing just that in places like Tower Hamlets and Birmingham, although they probably don’t realize it yet. So are the French in La Zone and elsewhere, the Swedes in Malmö, and Norwegians in certain parts of Oslo, among others. This also explains a great deal about the anti-Israel sentiment in many European countries; aside from thei rown generic Jew hatred, they have now imported a huge number of Muslim voters with their own religiously inherent anti-semitism, and politicians if nothing else can count votes.
The implicit threats of boycotts against Israel also come from a similar place. Blackmailers of this sort will always do what they threaten to do to you eventually anyway, so Bennett’s stance that a strong, secure Israel with things the world wants to buy is more likely to prosper and attract trade and investment than a cringing and vulnerable one makes a great deal of sense.
Continue reading Must See – Israeli Minister Naftali Bennett Vs. The BBC
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One of the more successful conservative governors in the U.S. is Wisconsin’s Scott Walker, whose been attracting increasing attention nationally as a possible 2016 presidential candidate, especially if he wins re-election. He has a new book out about exactly how he was successful in Wisconsin andhis thoughts about national affair called, Unintimidated: A Governor’s Story and a Nation’s Challenge, that’s a decent read. My pal John Hawkins over at Right Wing News scored an interesting interview with Governor Walker …here’s a slice:
Outside of Wisconsin you are most famous for taking on the unions in your state; briefly tell us what you did legislatively and what the impact of it has been on the state.
The easiest way to explain it is we had a choice. In the past the big union bosses had been in charge of both state and local government. We made a change that ultimately put the hard working taxpayers back in charge and by that, what I mean is under the old system of collective bargaining, not only the state but local governments had to abide by union contracts that many times were run contrary to the best interest of the taxpayers and to the people they newly elected. So we came in early 2011, we faced a big budget deficit, $3.6 billion per capita, one of the biggest in the country — and we knew to balance our budget we weren’t going to raise taxes, we weren’t going to do massive layoffs, we weren’t going to cut things like Medicaid. Instead we put in place these long-term structure reforms that put the power back in the hands of, again, of the hard working taxpayers.
By pulling back on collective bargaining we empowered local governments, school districts, counties, cities, towns, villages, and the state to go out and control and not only get things like reasonable pension and healthcare contributions which were nowhere in line with the private sector, but they got to change work rules and everything else as part of running a government. We went from a $3.6 billion budget deficit to today we finished our fiscal year off with just shy of a $760 million surplus. We cut taxes a billion and a half and an unemployment rate that was once 9.2% is now 6.3% — so we’ve had some positive results and we’re going to keep on that path.
Yeah, that’s an amazing record. Now even despite that, there were a lot of people on the other side, politically, who were very unhappy about what you were doing. You were demonized, not just in Wisconsin, but all across the country. You were the biggest, baddest Republican in the whole country. Tell us about some of the abuse and threats that you and your family suffered as a result of that because it is really amazing some of the things that were aimed at you.
It seems almost like an eternity ago, but on February 11, 2011 — almost three years ago, we introduced our reforms. By the next week, 14 of the state Senate Democrats had left the state — much like our Democrat leaders down in Texas years ago in redistricting. They did it in this case because of our reform. They left Wisconsin and went to Illinois and that bought them some time and it went from just thousands of just in-state protestors to within a few weeks to as many as 100,000 protesters in and around our state capital. Obviously many of them had come in from far beyond the borders of Wisconsin. They were initially bussed out from Chicago — but eventually from New York and New Jersey and Washington and Nevada and elsewhere — and that’s not just speculation on our part; we saw the signs. We saw the banners, we saw the hats and the jackets that would say this union or that union from other parts of the country.
……And the protestors themselves were pretty intense, but it was beyond that. The protestors would shout me down; they would shout down lawmakers at events. They would not allow people to speak. It eventually got to the point where I and even some of our Senate Republicans in particular got death threats. I got threats against me probably a stack high from the ground. As I point out in my book Unintimidated, we had one of the most egregious ones, one that I got right before I went into a press conference. It was directed actually at my wife, pointing out that a governor had never been assassinated before in Wisconsin, but that she should start paying attention and that they not only were going to target me, but maybe they’d start thinking about my kids. It talked about where my kids went to school at the time, it talked about where my wife works, where my father-in-law lives, and where my parents were at.
There was another one that talked about threatening to gut my wife like a deer. My kids were targeted on Facebook. There were just all sorts of horrible things. Now I counter to that and this is one of the positives I mentioned in that book Unintimidated is that for every one of those, there were eight or nine or ten more others who — when I would go out around the state to farms and factories and small businesses, who literally come off the line and would tell me that they and their families were praying for us. So that’s what sustained us throughout it all.
Well, people appreciate courage. Thank you. There are a lot of Republicans across the country who appreciate what you did, too. I think you set an example for a lot of people. Now Barack Obama is simply not enforcing the immigration laws we have in place today. That is more of a national issue than a Wisconsin issue, but realistically does it make sense to come up with some sort of grand deal where we change legal status for illegal immigrants in return for tougher laws when the laws we already have are being ignored?
No, I don’t think it makes sense to have a grand compromise. I think part of the problem is that right now in America we don’t have a legal immigration system that works. I mean that from two different standpoints — not only from the standpoint of enforcing the law against folks who are in this country from any other place. So many people focus in on Mexico, but it could be Germany, it could be Australia, it could be Canada, it could be anywhere, but the federal government doesn’t enforce the laws that are in place. They’re just kind of overlooking them.
At the same time the federal government is also failing in the sense that they don’t have a legal system that works appropriately — meaning that people who want to come to this country, they want to live the American dream. They want to work hard, they want to do the same sort of things that our ancestors and so many others before them came into this country for — to work hard with self-determination. You know, what’s great about America is we’re one of the few countries left in the world where you can. It doesn’t matter what class you were born into, it doesn’t matter what background your parents had; in America anyone has the opportunity to do just about anything they want. The opportunity is equal. The outcome is up to the individual and that should be an aspiration we should encourage.
The problem is, again, with the federal government, is they have such a horrible bureaucratic system that someone that wants to come to this country legally finds tremendous barriers and time constraints to do that. My sense is that instead of spending all this time trying to work out some grand compromise or a deal, we should fix the legal immigration system. Enforce the laws so that people that are coming here legally, make a process that is a reasonable and timely process so that if people want to come here, if they want to come here for all the right reasons, if they want to be makers, not takers, we should find a way to get them into the country just like somebody – today’s Americans and their ancestors did for generations before.
But it is so typical of Washington that they spend all their time and focus about people who are already here illegally instead of saying maybe we should fix the very system itself – the legal system that isn’t working today.
Tell us a little bit about what you’ve been doing in your state to deal with Obamacare. You’ve done something very innovative there. Let us know what you think of the program as a whole and give a little advice to Republicans in D.C. Should they insist on full repeal? Should they go some other direction? What do you think, Scott?
I campaigned both in 2010 and again even in my recall against Obamacare. I don’t think the government should play a direct role, not only at the federal level, but even at the state level. I think individuals and families should be making those decisions and so ultimately my goal is to get to a patient-centered system where the government doesn’t play a direct role in terms of defining benefits or things of that nature. Consumers, patients get to drive that.
What we’ve done to fight it though is from day one. The first day I took office, January 3, 2011, I gave our Attorney General the authorization to join the federal lawsuit. I rejected a state exchange or a partnership and that looks like a wise decision every day since we see the mess with the Obamacare rollout. I did not take the Medicaid expansion for two reasons. One, I think it will expose taxpayers in my state and other states to tremendous unforeseen costs when the federal government reneges as they have so many times before the reimbursement — but more importantly, my objection is I don’t think adding more people to Medicaid is of itself a good thing. My goal is the opposite. I want to transition people from government dependence to true independence. I’m still optimistic enough to believe that most people in America, including some who are on assistance today, don’t want to be. They understand that the American Dream is not fulfilled by the mighty hand of the government.
It’s empowered by giving people the freedom and the dignity that comes from work, the ability to control their own destiny and that ultimately leads to more freedom and prosperity. What we’re doing in the meantime until the federal government makes those sorts of changes is something kind of creative. We did not take the Medicaid expansion and yet we didn’t just say no to it either. We found a way, thanks to the only part of the Supreme Court decision I like, which freed the states up to do what they want with the Medicaid is for the first time in our state’s history, everyone living in poverty will be covered by Medicaid.
Maybe I’m old school, but I always thought that Medicaid was supposed to be for the poor — and so we cover people with poverty, many of whom even under a previous Democratic governor were on a waiting list. Everyone living above poverty will now be transitioned into the marketplace with the idea being that long-term my goal is to get these people off the government and transition them off of government assistance and get them comfortable being in the marketplace and the workplace. So we have fewer uninsured, everyone living in poverty covered, those living above poverty transitioning and we don’t expose the people of our state to the higher costs that I think other states are going to face because of the Medicaid expansion.
But long-term for the last part of your question: what should they do in Washington? Two quick things: one, I don’t think any Republican should relish the failure of Obamacare. The failure has left a lot of people kind of in no man’s land slipping between the cracks. I think instead of relishing the failure that many of us predicted, what we should be doing is sharing in the frustration that most Americans have with it and then showing them that we’ve got a positive, viable alternative that’s not based on more government. It’s based on putting patients in charge, giving them the ability to purchase plans across state lines, giving them the ability to have the same tax benefits whether they buy their health insurance through their employer, whether they buy it in the market, whether they go off and do something like a health savings account. The government shouldn’t be treating them differently when it comes to tax advantages. Health care should be something that we control, not something the government controls.
So you think we should repeal and replace it with a patient-centered system?
Absolutely, yes. To be specific, I think you’ve got to get rid of everything with Obamacare. The whole thing is a mess and I think for the handful of pundits that say, well, what about this, that, or whatever, there are little tiny components like you said, like opening up the access over state lines or things like that, that could be done — but I think it should be very limited and I’m not an advocate of going back to the old system. I think you repeal it and go the opposite direction. I think the old system was too bureaucratic and had too much in government intervention.
I think you make it as wide open as possible. You give patients as many choices as possible and then you let people determine their future. One of the examples I often give talking about healthcare is most Americans, probably like our family, know more about their cell phone coverage than they do about their health insurance. I’ve got an 18 and 19-year old son and for years they’ve had cell phones. I knew early on I had to get unlimited texting or I’d be in the poor house. Yet most Americans don’t know much more than what their deductible is on their prescriptions or how much of a co-pay they have to pay for a doctor visit. They have no idea what the true costs and implications are of their healthcare choices and so to me I think you go the opposite direction and you make it as transparent as possible.
You have patients in the driver’s seat and then I think all of us, myself as a consumer as well as everyone else, then we’re going to be more actively engaged — not just in what we do for healthcare but how we manage things like diabetes and high blood pressure and overall wellness. All of those things are things that are going to be much different if the patient is in charge and not the government and not even some of the private sector bureaucracy, but the patient.
In your book you encourage Republicans to do something important that the GOP, much to its detriment, has gotten out of the habit of doing. You said we should champion the vulnerable. Talk a little bit about that, talk about why that’s important for Republicans to do.
Yeah, one of the things that frustrates me so much in the Presidential election is I thought there was a tremendous lost opportunity — and obviously the clearest example of that was when Republican nominees talked about the 47% and also in a similar conversation talked about not worrying about the poor because the poor had a safety net. That really, truly doesn’t match where I’m at. I don’t think it matches with people like Ronald Reagan who was a great inspiration for me as a kid. I went back in the book and talked about how Reagan in 1980 at the National Convention in Detroit in his acceptance speech talked about things like saying if you’re living in poverty, we want to lift you out. If you’re living in despair, we want to be hope, but that hope isn’t based on more government. It’s based on empowering people with the skills and the talents and the abilities that they need to go out and control their own lives and so I think the message is really simple, I believe, and I think this was the missed opportunity. I believe the president and his allies in Washington in particular measure success in government by how many people are dependent on government, by how many people are on Medicaid, by how many people are on food stamps, by how many people are on unemployment. That’s why they want to extend unemployment benefits. They want more people signed up, more people dependent. I think we as Republicans should measure success by just the opposite — by how many people are no longer dependent on the government, not because we’ve got to be careful to articulate this correctly, not because we don’t care about people or because we want to push people out to the streets, but because we understand that true freedom and prosperity don’t come from the mighty hand of the government. It comes from empowering the people to control their own lives and their own destiny. One example that I give in the book that I’ve talked about before is we made a change in food stamps that said if you want to get food stamps, if you don’t have kids, you’re an adult in our state and you want to get food stamps, you’ve either got to be working part-time or you’ve got to be in one of my employment training programs, and I said it’s simple.
I don’t want to make it harder to get government assistance. I want to make it easier to get a job and we’ve got to show people. I think any of us who either have our own households or who have friends who have sons or daughters who are in their 20’s, they’re at college and at some point you say to your son or daughter eventually in their best interest, “Hey, it’s time to move out of the house. It’s time to get your own job and your own place.” That’s not about being heartless and cold. That’s just the opposite. It’s about you love your kids so much you want to get them out and help them get on their own two feet so they can have the pride that comes from work in controlling their own destiny.
….And that’s the message that we’ve got to get out to people — that the Left, they want you under their thumb. They want to control you. They want to control your lives. They want you to be dependent on the government. We should say we’re the ones, not only for the poor, but for young people coming out of college, for working class families, for immigrants, for others out there. We should say we are the ones who empower the American Dream. We’re the ones who say you can do and be anything you want, but it’s because we empower you with the ability and the platform to do that. Then it’s up to you to make that happen. The other side tells you they want to help you, but in the end they want to keep you limited in how far you can grow.
We want to make sure everyone’s a part of the recovery. We’re not going to leave anybody behind, but we’re going to do it by empowering people to control their own lives and destiny.
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