Monday, September 14, 2020

PLACE YOUR BETS!

 

[Guest Contributor - Donald G. Mutersbaugh Sr.] 

Well, it’s official: I can’t take it any longer! Ever since Hiden’ Biden has come out of his basement bunker and hit the road, the lies have become more egregious and frequent. Being a true blue American and trying to adapt to this new environment of falsehood has been excruciatingly painful.

I keep seeing these false news reports and polls and can only think one of two things. Either the Main Street media has completely underestimated the intellectual capacity of the American people or the American people have completely lost their collective minds. I see one poll that is completely contradictory to the rational man’s intellect – and I think okay, I’ll give them that one. Then on the next one I see another pole that is also completely upside down to reality, and I think – what in the world? So, you can imagine my angst when I see a whole page of completely irrational and completely incorrect conclusions about who is ahead of whom!

For example, somehow the Main Street media presents a “poll” that shows the people prefer Biden over Trump when it comes to law enforcement and nobody questions whether this flies in the face of reason. All of the cities that are burning and being destroyed are controlled by Democrat mayors and governors – doing nothing but defunding the police apparatus and reallocating the funds to other social endeavors – such as bailing out rioters. And need I mention that over 855,000 members of various police departments, sheriff departments, and the National Association of Police Organizations have endorsed President Donald Trump because they know he has their backs?

If you look at the various Main Street media polling websites, Biden almost is invariably ahead of everything except economics – they haven’t figured out how to credibly lie about that one yet! And recently – and reluctantly – these entities have had to concede that the race is tightening. I would submit that it was never as bad as they presented. Sure, Joe Biden could have been ahead in various issues at one time or another. But to somehow suggest that President Trump (e.g.) has not handled the coronavirus pandemic as best as any human could have done given what we knew and when – and even more ridiculously then submit that somehow Biden could have done better – puts all logic and understanding on its head! If that were true, then the Democrat party should get hammered on two points: first, what could they have done (give me something) that would have ameliorated the circumstances faced with this rogue virus from China? Second, if they really did have a better solution, time phased, according to what we knew and when – for them to withhold solutions that might’ve been better is treasonous in my mind because thousands of people have died needlessly. This has been a media driven story together with its perceived failure.

So, let’s take a look at the polling process. The polling organizations apparently refuse to update their models to reflect all kinds of changes in the way things are predicted. They apparently have never heard of such statistical concepts that validate data such as confidence intervals, correlations, and standard error. The data just doesn’t make sense. I’ve said in previous blogs that there have been several paradigm shifts in the electorate; I don’t really see any of these new variables incorporated in the results they produce. Even more worrisome is the way they choose their statistical sample; these supposedly random samples they use have allegedly been skewed by some of their sampling techniques. For example, several polls have been taken where the population sampled consisted of (e.g.) 25% Republican and 75% Democrat; how can you not get a skewed answer? (“Of course, the important question for pollsters who want to accurately reflect the partisan composition of the country is not “Are there more Democrats than Republicans?” but rather “What is the correct ratio of Democrats to Republicans?” The answer to this question depends, in part, on whether we are talking about the general public, the smaller subset who are registered to vote, or the even smaller group of people who are likely to vote in a given election (“likely voters”). Evidence suggests that the Democratic advantage is somewhat narrower among registered voters than the general public – and often even narrower among likely or actual voters.” https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2019/10/25/why-public-opinion-polls-dont-include-the-same-number-of-republicans-and-democrats/)

Then there is margin of error. Consider, “The concept of polling rests on the assumption that the opinions of the people sampled in the poll accurately represent the distribution of opinions across the entire population, which can never be completely true. The “margin of error” describes the uncertainty that comes from having such a small sample size relative to the size of the population. In general, the more people are surveyed, the smaller the margin of error. But this doesn’t take into account another key source of error called “biased sampling”. The fact that a poll samples a lot of people does not mean that it does so in the truly random fashion that would be needed to extrapolate results to the larger population. Unfortunately, many polls fall victim to a number of biases that significantly skew their results despite their small margin of error. The most common bias, known as convenience sampling, occurs when pollsters select people to survey using a convenient, but not entirely random, strategy.

“Another possible source of polling error is known as volunteer bias, wherein the people who volunteer their opinions to a poll do not represent the distribution of the entire population….

“Another tactic is for a pollster to copy off its neighbors…. The cheap polls may “herd” off stronger polls, tweaking their results to match them. This can make them superficially more accurate, but they add little value. Where there are better polls available, the cheap poll duplicates the results already in hand. Where there aren’t, the cheap poll may stray far from an accurate and representative sample of the race. Then there are the companies that have cheated in a much more explicit way: by fabricating data. There is strong evidence … there are more firms out there like them.” https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/where-are-the-real-errors-in-political-polls/

Trust me when I say the more you understand about the way these polls are conducted, the more you would be willing throw them in the trash – because that’s all they’re worth. Granted, as we draw closer to the actual election day, the polls will probably be more accurate. There are obvious reasons for that, but I’ll leave it to the reader to discern for themselves the overall topic of polling.

I needed to provide this background to get to the bottom line: what if you had to wager a substantial sum of money on who is going to win based on these polls? Would you do it? I know I wouldn’t! Instead, I would go to my favorite bookie and see what the odds were on each candidate! So, let’s look at that data over a comparable timeframe.

There are several websites that facilitate online wagering on election outcomes. The thing that is interesting to follow are the odds (over time) for each outcome – specifically, who is going to win the race for presidency? I looked at several websites, and several predicted that President Trump would win. Some said that he would lose to Biden, and in others the odds were even. One thing that was true for most of them was that the odds had switched from Biden winning to Trump winning and in all cases the odds were narrowing. One website even predicted that Trump would lose the popular vote, but the Republicans would win the election. Wouldn’t it be great if Trump lost the popular vote in two consecutive elections, but won the presidency in both cases (Electoral College outcome – there are odds on this, too!)? 

One other note on this is: “What does this mean for Donald Trump in 2020? As mentioned earlier, Donald Trump [sic] is no longer the bookmakers favorite to win the 2020 election. However, in 2020 Donald Trump has accounted for 53% of all bets placed in the US election betting market. In the last month, his dominance of the betting market has increased to 59%. Therefore, if the recent trend of political betting events were to continue, we’d expect Donald Trump to win the 2020 US Election despite the odds suggesting otherwise.” https://www.oddschecker.com/us/insight/specials/politics/20200813-2020-us-presidential-election-odds-betting-history-suggests-donald-trump-will-beat-joe-biden

All of my life I have been advised that whenever I wanted to know the answer to something, always follow the money. Which do you think is going to be more reliable: fake news that generates pats on the back and an at-a-boy in the newsroom or somebody who actually has to be right in order to put food on the table? My final advice is: when you see a headline that says “Biden ahead by six points” is throw the paper in the trash and go look at a couple of gambling websites – see what the odds are and in which direction they are trending. You may even want to place a bet while you’re there!

Donald G. Mutersbaugh, Sr. earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland and his Master of Business Administration degree from Mary Washington College. He is the former Associate Administrator of Information Resources for the U.S House of Representatives under Speaker Newt 

Saturday, August 22, 2020

WHY 2020 IS SO IMPORTANT

 

[Published on Newsmax]

Anyone still doubting what will happen if the Democrats take the White House and the Senate this November need to look at what just happened in Virginia.

In November 2019, Democrats won the governorship and control of both houses of the state legislature for the first time since 1993. While they had a 10-seat majority in the House of Delegates, their margin in the State Senate was a razor thin two seats.

As 2020 dawned, the newly sworn-in Democrats moved with lightning speed on a broad legislative front. It was a relentless Leftist Juggernaut.

During the 60-day legislative session, Democrats passed 1,900 bills. The governor signed every one of them into law.

Every Leftist dream came true.

First came eviscerating gun rights. The gun control bills were so groundbreaking, Gov. Ralph Northam held a special signing ceremony. The bills expanded background checks to include private sales, created severe penalties for leaving firearms near children, including inside a private home, limited handgun sales to one a month, and created red flag laws.

More importantly, new laws empowered local governments, as Virginia is a "commonwealth," to regulate the possession, carrying, storage or transport of firearms, ammunition, components or any combination of those things, and to ban guns in public spaces, including public buildings, parks, recreation centers and during permitted events.

This included authorizing local governments to establish stricter gun laws than exist at the federal and state level.

A second wave assailed Virginia history and culture. Lee-Jackson Day was eliminated as a state holiday. All protections for Confederate monuments ended.

Then came social legislation. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), long past its ratification deadline, was ratified anyway, providing the 38th state needed for final adoption. A hoped-for court challenge will try to overturn precedent and force the ERA into the Constitution.

The "Virginia Values Act" added sexual orientation and gender identity to all Virginia anti-discrimination laws. It granted the attorney general the power to take action against anyone "engaged in a pattern or practice of resistance" to the rights guaranteed by the new laws.

Abortion rights were dramatically expanded, rolling back existing provisions including a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, ending a requirement that women seeking an abortion to undergo an ultrasound and counseling, eliminating the requirement that abortions be provided by a physician, allowing nurse practitioners to perform them and ending building code requirements on facilities where abortions are performed.

Virginia's felony larceny threshold was raised from $500 to $1,000. Sponsors stated this will lead to fewer Virginians with felony convictions on their records.

Possession of marijuana was decriminalized and replaced with a $25 civil penalty.

The minimum wage went to $9.50 per hour. This will increase to $11 in 2022, $12 in 2023 and by another $1.50 in 2025 and 2026.

Virginia increased its gas tax 5 cents a year for two consecutive years.

A new tax on plastic bags was established.

Finally, they changed the rules for voting. Virginians no longer need to show a photo ID in order to vote, and they no longer need to provide an excuse to cast an absentee ballot.

Virginia became part of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, awarding the state's electoral votes to the national winner of the presidential popular vote, instead of the state's own popular vote.

Democrats have an even longer wish list at the national level, including the "Green New Deal," raising taxes and the minimum wage, and national gun control measures.

They are invoking racism and atoning for the 1619-based "America is a slave nation," to promote reparations and other laws that will eliminate America as we know it. The Left wants to erase freedom of speech in favor of "woke" sensibilities and political correctness and, of course, erase the right to bear arms.

The biggest national movement is to end "institutional racism" and "white privilege" by eliminating the Electoral College, make U.S. Senate seats based on population, granting statehood to the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, and packing the Supreme Court. 

Every one of these "reforms" is designed to solidify the Left's power forever.

The only thing standing in the way of Democrats recreating the Virginia Juggernaut at the national level is the U.S. Senate's filibuster.

The crusade for ending the filibuster is already underway. Even though it has been integral to the Senate since its founding, it is being portrayed as a recent racist manifestation.

The filibuster is the only protection for minority rights in Congress. Both parties embrace it as they know one day they may be out of power and need it.

The Left is banking on the November election giving them eternal power.

Monday, July 27, 2020

THE ROAD TO 911


[Part of Constituting America’s 90 Day Study - Days that Shaped America]

For those old enough to remember, September 11, 2001, 9:03 a.m. is burned into our collective memory.  It was at that moment that United Flight 175 crashed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. 

Everyone was watching.  American Airlines Flight 11 had crashed into the North Tower seventeen minutes earlier.  For those few moments there was uncertainty whether the first crash was a tragic accident.  Then, on live television, the South Tower fire ball vividly announced to the world that America was under attack.

The nightmare continued.  As horrifying images of people trapped in the burning towers riveted the nation, news broke at 9:37 a.m. that American Flight 77 had ploughed into the Pentagon.

For the first time since the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Americans were collectively experiencing full scale carnage from a coordinated attack on their soil.

The horror continued as the twin towers collapsed, sending clouds of debris throughout lower Manhattan and igniting fires in adjoining buildings.  Questions filled the minds of government officials and every citizen:  How many more planes?  What were their targets? How many have died?  Who is doing this to us?

At 10:03 a.m., word came that United Flight 93 had crashed into a Pennsylvania field.  Speculation exploded as to what happened.  Later investigations revealed that Flight 93 passengers, alerted by cell phone calls of the earlier attacks, revolted causing the plane to crash.  Their heroism prevented this final hijacked plane from destroying the U.S. Capitol Building.

The final accounting was devastating: 2,977 killed and over 25,000 injured.  The death toll continues to climb to this day as first responders and building survivors perish from respiratory conditions caused by inhaling the chemical-laden smoke.  It was the deadliest terrorist attack in human history.

How this happened, why this happened, and what happened next compounds the tragedy.

Nineteen terrorists, most from Saudi Arabia, were part a radical Islamic terrorist organization called al-Qaeda “the Base”.  This was the name given the training camp for the radical Islamicists who fought the Soviets in Afghanistan.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, a Pakistani, was the primary organizer of the attack. Osama Bin Laden, a Saudi, was the leader and financier. Their plan was based upon an earlier failed effort in the Philippines.  It was mapped out in late 1998.  Bin Laden personally recruited the team, drawn from experienced terrorists.  They insinuated themselves into the U.S., with several attending pilot training classes.  Five-man teams would board the four planes, overpower the pilots, and fly them as bombs into significant buildings. 

They banked on plane crews and passengers responding to decades of “normal” hijackings.  They would assume the plane would be commandeered, flown to a new location, demands would be made, and everyone would live.  This explains the passivity on the first three planes.  Flight 93 was different, because it was delayed in its departure, allowing time for passengers to learn about the fate of the other planes.  Last minute problems also reduced the Flight 93 hijacker team to only four.

The driving force behind the attack was Wahhabism, a highly strict, anti-Western version of Sunni Islam.  

The Saudi Royal Family owes its rise to power to Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab (1703-1792).  He envisioned a “pure” form of Islam that purged most worldly practices (heresies), oppressed women, and endorsed violence against nonbelievers (infidels), including Muslims who differed with his sect.  This extremely conservative and violent form of Islam might have died out in the sands of central Arabia were in not for a timely alliance with a local tribal leader, Muhammad bin Saud.

The House of Saud was just another minor tribe, until the two Muhammads realized the power of merging Sunni fanaticism with armed warriors.  Wahhab’s daughter married Saud’s son, merging their two blood lines to this day.  The House of Saud and its warriors rapidly expanded throughout the Arabia Peninsul fueled by Wahhabi fanaticism.  These various conflicts always included destruction of holy sites of rival sects and tribes.  While done in the name of “purification”, the result was erasing the physical touchstones of rival cultures and governments.

In the early 20th Century, Saudi leader, ibn Saud, expertly exploited the decline of the Ottoman Empire, and alliances with European Powers, to consolidate his permanent hold over the Arabian Peninsula.  Control of Mecca and Medina, Islam’s two holiest sites, gave the House of Saud the power to promote Wahhabism as the dominant interpretation of Sunni Islam.  This included internally contradictory components of calling for eradicating infidels while growing rich from Christian consumption of oil and pursuing lavish hedonism when not in public view.

In the mid-1970s Saudi Arabia used the flood of oil revenue to become the “McDonalds of Madrassas”.  Religious schools and new Mosques popped up throughout Africa, Asia, and the Middle East.  This building boom had nothing to do with education and everything to do with spreading the cult of Wahhabism.  Pakistan became a major hub for turning Wahhabi madrassas graduates into dedicated terrorists.

Wahhabism may have remained a violent, dangerous, but diffused movement, except it found fertile soil in Afghanistan. 

Afghanistan was called the graveyard of empires as its rugged terrain and fierce tribal warriors thwarted potential conquerors for centuries.  In 1973, the last king of Afghanistan was deposed leading to years of instability.  In April 1978, the opposition Communist Party seized control in a bloody coup. The communist tried to brutally consolidate power, which ignited a civil war among factions supported by Pakistan, China, Islamists (known as the Mujahideen), and the Soviet Union.  Amidst the chaos, U.S. Ambassador Adolph Dubbs was killed on February 14, 1979.

On December 24, 1979, the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan, killing their ineffectual puppet President, and ultimately bringing over 100,000 military personnel into the country.  What followed was a vicious war between the Soviet military and various Afghan guerrilla factions.  Over 2 million Afghans died.

The Reagan Administration covertly supported the anti-Soviet Afghan insurgents, primarily aiding the secular pro-west Northern Alliance.  Arab nations supported the Mujahideen.  Bin Laden entered the insurgent caldera as a Mujahideen financier and fighter.  By 1988, the Soviets realized their occupation had failed.  They removed their troops, leaving behind another puppet government and Soviet trained military.

When the Soviet Union collapsed, Afghanistan was finally free.  Unfortunately, calls for reunifying the country by reestablishing the monarchy and strengthening regional leadership went unheeded.  Attempts at recreating the pre-invasion faction ravaged parliamentary system only led to new rounds of civil war. 

In September 1994, the weak U.S. response opened the door for the Taliban, graduates from Pakistan’s Wahhabi madrassas, to launch their crusade to take control of Afghanistan.  By 1998, the Taliban controlled 90% of the country. 

Bin Laden and his al-Qaeda warriors made Taliban-controlled territory in Afghanistan their new base of operations.  In exchange, Bin Laden helped the Taliban eliminate their remaining opponents.  This was accomplished on September 9, 2001, when suicide bombers disguised as a television camera crew blew-up Ahmad Shah Massoud, the charismatic, pro-west leader of the Northern Alliance.

Two days later, Bin Laden’s plan to establish al-Qaeda as the global leader of Islamic terrorism was implemented with hijacking four planes and turning them into guided bombs.

The 9-11 attacks, along with the earlier support against the Soviets in Afghanistan, was part of Bin Laden’s goal to lure infidel governments into “long wars of attrition in Muslim countries, attracting large numbers of jihadists who would never surrender”. He believed this would lead to economic collapse of the infidels, by "bleeding" them dry.  Bin Laden outlined his strategy of "bleeding America to the point of bankruptcy" in a 2004 tape released through Al Jazeera.

On September 14, amidst the World Trade Center rubble, President George W. Bush addressed those recovering bodies and extinguishing fires using a bullhorn:

“The nation stands with the good people of New York City and New Jersey and Connecticut as we mourn the loss of thousands of our citizens”

A rescue worker yelled, “I can't hear you!”

President Bush spontaneously responded: “I can hear you! The rest of the world hears you! And the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon!”

Twenty-three days later, on October 7, 2001, American and British warplanes, supplemented by cruise missiles fired from naval vessels, began destroying Taliban operations in Afghanistan.

U.S. Special forces entered Afghanistan.  Working the Northern Alliance, they defeated major Taliban units. They occupied Kabul, the Afghan Capital on November 13, 2001.

On May 2, 2011, U.S. Special Forces raided an al-Qaeda compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, killing Osama bin Laden. 

Thursday, July 16, 2020

REAGAN's REVOLUTION


[Part of Constituting America’s 90 Day Study - Days that Shaped America]


The election of Ronald Reagan on November 4, 1980 was one of the two most important elections of the 20th Century.  It was a revolution in every way.

In 1932, Franklin Roosevelt (FDR) decisively defeated one term incumbent Herbert Hoover by 472-59 Electoral votes.  His election ushered in the era of aggressive liberalism, expanding the size of government, and establishing diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union.  Roosevelt’s inner circle, his “brain trust”, were dedicated leftists, several of whom conferred with Lenin and Stalin on policy issues prior to 1932.

In 1980, Ronald Reagan decisively defeated one term incumbent Jimmy Carter by 489-49 Electoral votes.  His election ended the liberal era, shrunk the size of government, and rebuilt America’s military, diplomatic, economic, and intelligence capabilities.  America reestablished its leadership in the world, ending the Soviet Empire, and the Soviet Union itself.

Reagan was a key leader in creating and promoting the conservative movement, whose policy and political operatives populated and guided his administration.  He was a true “thought leader” who defined American conservatism in the late 20th Century.  Through his writings, speeches, and radio program, Reagan laid the groundwork, and shaped the mandate, for one of the most impactful Presidencies in American history.

The road from Roosevelt’s “New Deal” to Reagan’s Revolution began in 1940.

FDR, at the height of his popularity, choose to run for an unprecedented third term.  Roosevelt steered ever more leftward, selecting Henry Wallace as his running mate.  Wallace would run as a socialist under the Progressive Party banner in 1948.  Republican Wendell Willkie was the first private sector businessman to become a major party’s nominee.  Willkie had mounted numerous legal challenges to Roosevelt’s regulatory overreach. While losing, Willkie’s legacy inspired a generation of economists and activists to unite against big government.

As the allied victory in World War II became inevitable, the Willkie activists, along with leading conservative economists from across the globe, established policy organizations (“think tanks”) and publications to formulate and communicate an alternative to Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Human Events, the premiere conservative newspaper began publishing in 1944. The Foundation for Economic Education was founded in 1946.

In 1947, conservative “free market”, anti-regulatory economists met at the Mont Pelerin resort at the base of Mont Perelin near Montreaux, Switzerland. The greatest conservative minds of the 20th Century, including Friedrich Hayek, Ludwig von Mises, and Milton Friedman, organized the “Mont Perelin Society” to counter the globalist economic policies arising from the Bretton Woods Conference.  The Bretton Woods economists had met at the Hotel Washington, at the base of Mount Washington in New Hampshire, to launch the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

Conservative writer and thinker, William F. Buckley Jr. founded National Review on November 19, 1955.   His publication, more than any other, would serve to define, refine and consolidate the modern Conservative Movement.
The most fundamental change was realigning conservatism with the international fight against the Soviet Union, which was leading global Communist expansion. Up until this period, American conservatives tended to be isolationist.  National Review’s array of columnists developed “Fusionism”, which provided the intellectual justification of conservatives being for limited government at home while aggressively fighting Communism abroad.  In 1958, the American Security Council was formed to focus the efforts of conservative national security experts on confronting the Soviets.

Conservative Fusionism was politically launched by Senator Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) during the Republican Party Platform meetings for their 1960 National Convention.  Conservative forces prevailed. This laid the groundwork for Goldwater to run and win the Republican Party Presidential nomination in 1964.

The policy victories of Goldwater and Buckley inspired the formation of the Young Americans for Freedom, the major conservative youth movement.  Meeting at Buckley’s home in Sharon, Connecticut on September 11, 1960, the YAF manifesto became the Fusionist Canon. The conservative movement added additional policy centers, such as the Hudson Institute, founded on July 20, 1961.

Goldwater’s campaign was a historic departure from traditional Republican politics.  His plain-spoken assertion of limited government and aggressive action against the Soviets inspired many, but scared many more.  Kennedy’s assassination had catapulted Vice President Lyndon Johnson into the Presidency.  LBJ had a vision of an even larger Federal Government, designed to mold urban minorities into perpetually being beholding to Democrat politicians.  Goldwater’s alternative vision was trounced on election day, but the seeds for Reagan’s Conservative Revolution were sown.

Reagan was unique in American politics.  He was a pioneer in radio broadcasting and television.  His movie career made him famous and wealthy.  His tenure as President of the Screen Actors Guild thrust him into the headlines as Hollywood confronted domestic communism.

Reagan’s pivot to politics began when General Electric hired him to host their popular television show, General Electric Theater. His contract included touring GE plants to speak about patriotism, free market economics, and anti-communism. His new life within corporate American introduced him to a circle of conservative businessmen who would become known as his “Kitchen Cabinet”.

The Goldwater campaign reached out to Reagan to speak on behalf of their candidate on a television special during the last week of the campaign.  On October 27, 1964, Reagan drew upon his GE speeches to deliver “A Time for Choosing”.  His inspiring address became a political classic, which included lines that would become the core of “Reaganism”:

The Founding Fathers knew a government can't control the economy without controlling people. And they knew when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. So, we have come to a time for choosing ... You and I are told we must choose between a left or right, but I suggest there is no such thing as a left or right. There is only an up or down. Up to man's age-old dream—the maximum of individual freedom consistent with order—or down to the ant heap of totalitarianism.”

The Washington Post declared Reagan’s “Time for Choosing”: "the most successful national political debut since William Jennings Bryan electrified the 1896 Democratic convention with his Cross of Gold speech."  It immediately established Reagan as the heir to Goldwater’s movement.

The promise of Reagan fulfilling the Fusionist vision of Goldwater, Buckley, and a growing conservative movement inspired the formation of additional groups, such as the American Conservative Union in December 1964.

In 1966, Reagan trounced two-term Democrat incumbent Pat Brown to become Governor of California, winning by 57.5 percent.  Reagan’s two terms became the epicenter of successful conservative domestic policy attracting top policy and political operatives who would serve him throughout his Presidency.

Retiring after two terms, Reagan devoted fulltime to being the voice, brain, and face of the Conservative Movement.  This included a radio show that was followed by over 30 million listeners.

In 1976. the ineffectual moderate Republicanism of President Gerald Ford led Reagan to mount a challenge.  Reagan came close to the unprecedented unseating of his Party’s incumbent.  His concession speech on the last night of the Republican National Convention became another political classic.  It launched his successful march to the White House.

Reagan’s 1980 campaign was now aided by a more organized, broad, and capable Conservative Movement. Reagan’s “California Reaganites” were linked to Washington, DC-based “Fusionists”, and conservative grassroots activists who were embedded in Republican Party units across America. The Heritage Foundation had become a major conservative policy center on February 16, 1973.  A new hub for conservative activists, The Conservative Caucus, came into existence in 1974.

Starting in 1978, Reagan’s inner circle, including his “Kitchen Cabinet”, worked seamlessly with this vast network of conservative groups: The Heritage Foundation, Kingston, Stanton, Library Court, Chesapeake Society, Monday Club, Conservative Caucus, American Legislative Exchange Council, Committee for the Survival of a Free Congress, the Eagle Forum, and many others.   They formed a unified and potent political movement that overwhelmed Republican moderates to win the nomination and then buried Jimmy Carter and the Democrat Party in November 1980.

After his landslide victory, which also swept in the first Republican Senate majority since 1956, Reaganites and Fusionists placed key operatives into Reagan’s transition.  They identified over 17,000 positions that affected Executive Branch operations.  A separate team identified the key positions in each cabinet department and major agency that had to be under Reagan’s control in the first weeks of his presidency.

On January 21, 1981, Reagan’s personnel team immediately removed every Carter political appointee.  These Democrat functionaries were walked out the door, identification badge taken, files sealed, and their security clearance terminated.  The Carter era’s impotent foreign policy and intrusive domestic policy ended completely and instantaneously.

Reagan went onto to lead one of the most successful Presidencies in American history. His vision of a “shining city on the hill” continues to inspire people around the world to seek better lives through freedom, open societies, and economic liberty. 

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

CARTER UNLEASHES RADICAL ISLAM


[Part of Constituting America’s 90 Day Study - Days that Shaped America]

The long tragic road to the September 11, 2001 terror attacks began with President Jimmy Carter, and his administration’s, involvement in the Iranian Revolution, and their fundamentally weak response to the Iranian Hostage Crisis.

The Iranian Hostage Crisis was the most visible act of the Iranian Revolution.  Starting on November 4, 1979, and lasting for 444 days, 52 Americans were imprisoned in brutal conditions.  The world watched as the Carter Administration repeatedly failed to free the hostages, both through bumbling diplomacy and the rescue attempt fiasco.

The result was the crippling of U.S. influence throughout the Middle East and the spawning of radical Islamic movements that terrorize the world to this day.

Islam’s three major sects, Sunni, Shiite, and Sufi, all harbor the seeds of violence and hatred.  In 1881 a Sufi mystic ignited the Mahdi Revolt in the Sudan leading to eighteen years of death and misery throughout the upper Nile.  During World War II, the Sunni Grand Mufti of Jerusalem befriended Hitler and helped Heinrich Himmler form Islamic Stormtrooper units to kill Jews in the Balkans.

After World War II, Islam secularized as mainstream leaders embraced Western economic interests to tap their vast oil and gas reserves.  Activists became embroiled in the Middle East’s Cold War chess board, aiding U.S. or Soviet interests.

The Iranian Revolution changed that.  Through the success of the Iranian Revolution, Islamic extremists of all sects embraced the words of Shiite Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini:

“If the form of government willed by Islam were to come into being, none of the governments now existing in the world would be able to resist it; they would all capitulate.”

Islamic dominance became an end in and of itself. 

This did not have to happen at all.

Iran has been a pivotal regional player for 2,500 years.  The Persian Empire was the bane of ancient Greece.  As the Greek Empire withered, Persia, later Iran, remained a political, economic, and cultural force. This is why their 1979 Revolution and subsequent confrontation with the U.S. inspired radicals throughout the Islamic world to become the Taliban, ISIS and other terrorists of today.

Iran’s modern history began as part of the East-West conflict following World War II.  The Soviets heavily influenced and manipulated Iran’s first elected government.  On August 19, 1953, British and America intelligence toppled that government and returned Shah Modammad Reza to power.

“The Shah” as he became know globally, was reform minded.  He launched his “White Revolution” to build a modern, pro-West, pro-capitalist Iran in 1963.  The Shah’s “Revolution” built the region’s largest middle class, and broke centuries of tradition by enfranchising women.  It was opposed by many traditional powers, including fundamentalist Islamic leaders like the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.  Khomeini’s agitation for violent opposition to the Shah’s reforms led to his arrest and exile.
Throughout his reign, the Shah was vexed by radical Islamic and communist agitation. His secret police brutally suppressed fringe dissidents.  This balancing act between western reforms and control worked well, with a trend towards more reforms as the Shah aged.  The Shah enjoyed warm relationships with American Presidents of both parties and was rewarded with lavish military aid.

That was to change in 1977.

From the beginning, the Carter Administration expressed disdain for the Shah.  President Carter pressed for the release of political prisoners. The Shah complied, allowing many radicals the freedom to openly oppose him.

Not satisfied with the pace or breadth of the Shah’s human rights reforms, Carter envoys began a dialogue with the Ayatollah Khomeini, first at his home in Iraq and more intensely when he moved to a Paris suburb.

Indications that the U.S. was souring on the Shah emboldened dissidents across the political spectrum to confront the regime.  Demonstrations, riots, and general strikes began to destabilize the Shah and his government.  In response, the Shah accelerated reforms.  This was viewed as weakness by the opposition.

The Western media, especially the BBC, began to promote the Ayatollah as a moderate alternative to the Shah’s “brutal regime”. The Ayatollah assured U.S. intelligence operatives and State Department officials that he would only be the “figure head” for a western parliamentary system.

During the fall of 1978, strikes and demonstrations paralyzed the country. The Carter Administration, led by Secretary of State Cyrus Vance and U.S. Ambassador to Iran William Sullivan, coalesced around abandoning the Shah and helping install Khomeini, who they viewed as a “moderate clergyman” who would be Iran’s “Ghandi-like” spiritual leader.

Time and political capital were running out. On January 16, 1979, The Shah, after arranging for an interim government, resigned and went into exile.

The balance of power now remained with the Iranian Military. 

While the Shah was preparing for his departure, General Robert Huyser, Deputy Commander of NATO and his top aides, arrived in Iran.  They were there to neutralize the military leaders.  Using ties of friendship, promises of aid, and assurance of safety, Huyser and his team convinced the Iranian commanders to allow the transitional government to finalize arrangements for Khomeini becoming part of the new government.  Many of these Iranian military leaders, and their families, were slaughtered as Khomeini and his Islamic Republican Guard toppled the transitional government and seized power during the Spring of 1979.  “It was a most despicable act of treachery, for which I will always be ashamed” admitted one NATO general years later.

While Iran was collapsing, so were America’s intelligence capabilities. 

One of President Carter’s earliest appointments was placing Admiral Stansfield Turner in charge of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).  Turner immediately eviscerated the Agency’s human intelligence and clandestine units.  He felt they had gone “rogue” during the Nixon-Ford era.  He also thought electronic surveillance and satellites could do as good a job.

Turner’s actions led to “one of the most consequential strategic surprises that the United States has experienced since the CIA was established in 1947” – missing the real intent of the Iranian Revolution, and anticipating the Embassy Takeover and Hostage Crisis.

The radicalization of Iran occurred at lightning speed.  Khomeini and his lieutenants remade Iran’s government and society into a totalitarian fundamentalist Islamic state.  Anyone who opposed their Islamic Revolution were driven into exile, imprisoned, or killed. 

Khomeini’s earlier assurances of moderation and working with the West vanished.  Radicalized mobs turned their attention to eradicating all vestiges of the West.  This included the U.S. Embassy.

The first attack on the U.S. Embassy occurred on the morning of February 14, 1979.  Coincidently, this was the same day that Adolph Dubs, the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan, was kidnapped and fatally shot by Muslim extremists in Kabul.  In Tehran, Ambassador Sullivan surrendered the U.S. Embassy and was able to resolve the occupation within hours through negotiations with the Iranian Foreign Minister.

Despite this attack, and the bloodshed in Kabul, nothing was done to either close the Tehran Embassy, reduce personnel, or strengthen its defenses.  During the takeover, Embassy personnel failed to burn sensitive document as their furnaces malfunctioned.  They installed cheaper paper shredders.  During the 444-day occupation, rug weavers were employed to reconstruct the sensitive shredded documents, creating global embarrassment of America.

Starting in September 1979, radical students began planning a more extensive assault on the Embassy.  This included daily demonstrations outside the U.S. Embassy to trigger an Embassy security response.  This allowed organizers to assess the size and capabilities of the Embassy security forces. 

On November 4, 1979, one of the demonstrations erupted into an all-out conflict by the Embassy’s Visa processing public entrance.  The assault leaders deployed approximately 500 students.  Female students hid metal cutters under their robes, which were used to breach the Embassy gates.

Khomeini was in a meeting outside of Tehran and did not have prior knowledge of the takeover.  He immediately issued a statement of support, declaring it “the second revolution” and the U.S. Embassy an “America spy den in Tehran”.

What followed was an unending ordeal of terror and depravation for the 66 hostages, who through various releases, were reduced to a core of 52.  The 2012 film “Argo” chronicled the audacious escape of six Americans who had been outside the U.S. Embassy at the time of the takeover. 

ABC News began a nightly update on the hostage drama.  This became “Nightline”.  During the 1980 Presidential campaign, it served as a nightly reminder of the ineffectiveness of President Carter. 

On April 24, 1980, trying to break out of this chronic crisis, Carter initiated an ill-conceived, and poorly executed, rescue mission called Operation Eagle Claw.  It ended with crashed helicopters and eight dead soldiers at the staging area outside of the Iranian Capital, designated Desert One.  Another attempt was made through diplomacy as part of a hoped for “October Surprise”, but the Iranians cancelled the deal just as planes were being mustered at Andrews Air Force Base.

Carter paid the price for his Iranian duplicity. On November 4, 1980, Ronald Reagan obliterated Carter in the worst defeat suffered by an incumbent President since Herbert Hoover in 1932. 

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

ASSAULT ON JULY 4th


Erasing celebrating the 4th of July and replacing it with Juneteenth is the Left’s Holy Grail.

Denigrating the American Flag, removing our National Anthem, and ending the 4th of July are the Left’s trinity for destroying America’s civic culture.

Changing calendar references eradicates the old order to establish a new radical one. The Bolsheviks replaced Christian holidays with May Day (May 1) and their October Revolution (November 6).  The French Revolution zealots went so far as to rename the months of the year.

Making an obscure moment in the Civil War our new “more inclusive” national holiday is fundamental to shifting the inspiring narrative of America’s founding in 1776 to the darker, anti-American, narrative of the 1619 movement.

Just before the 4th of July, Senators Ron Johnson (R-WI) and James Lankford (R-OK) called for establishing Juneteenth as “a national holiday to remember the 1865 emancipation of slaves in the United States”.   They eliminate the Columbus Day holiday, because “as a holiday that is lightly celebrated, and least disruptive to Americans' schedules”.  Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) co-sponsored Juneteenth legislation with Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX).

The moment Juneteenth is in and Columbus is out, the Left will move to eliminate the July 4th holiday as being just two weeks apart and “disruptive” to summer work schedules. 

Nikole Hannah-Jones, the intellectual force behind eliminating the 4th of July and the 1619 movement, barnstormed cable news to assert, “Independence Day does not mean the same thing to everybody.  We are forcing white people to confront what this holiday has meant to black people”.

On one show, Hannah-Jones’ assault was supported by historian Jon Meacham, who reported that the 4th was “only about a document not about shaping a nation”, while Juneteenth is a fully inclusive culminating moment in America’s story.  They both recommended that Americans “evolve”, and to end the “divisive” and racist 4th in favor of the “more inclusive and accurate” Juneteenth:  “For generations we have looked at 1776 as our founding moment, our “nativity”, when it was actually 1619… For too long we have taught this one narrative that glorifies white supremacy, glorifies colonization.”

Attacking July 4th began on July 1, 2011.  That was when Harvard University released a study revealing that “children who attend July 4 celebrations are more likely to identify themselves as Republicans in life”.  The study observed, “The political right has been more successful in appropriating American patriotism and its symbols during the 20th century. Survey evidence also confirms that Republicans consider themselves more patriotic than Democrats”.

The study continued, “attending one rain-free July 4 celebration before the age of 18 increases the likelihood that children will identify as Republican by two percent, and increases the likelihood that they will vote for a Republican candidate by the time they turn 40 by four percent”.

Overnight, patriotism became partisan. 

During the summer of 2019, the New York Times, armed with the revisionist history of Nikole Hannah-Jones, launched the 1619 history curriculum. 1619’s goal is to completely recast America as the most demonic, racist, destructive nation that has ever existed.  According to the 1619 narrative, America began when a ship with African slaves arrived at Jamestown during the summer of 1619.  Everything since is a steady march of white racism destroying dark skinned people and polluting the world with white supremist and white privilege dogma, as embodied in the Declaration of Independence and U.S. Constitution.

 

Since the 1960s, colleges and universities have indoctrinated students with anti-Americanism.  K-12 is the next battleground. A recent study found that 66 percent of high school students believe America is exceptional, and 70 percent look favorably on America’s history.  Only 47 percent of College students think America is exceptional, and 44 percent are favorable to our nation’s history.

 

The 1619 curriculum is already being used in over 3,000 schools.  Changing history to eliminate July 4th, and replacing it with Juneteenth, is a critical part of 1619’s anti-Americanism strategy.


Juneteenth is based on the false narrative that slavery in America ended on June 19, 1865.  That was the day a Union General marched into Galveston, Texas and announced the Civil War was over and the slaves being held in the region were free.

It took ratifying the 13th Amendment on December 6, 1865 to officially free all of America’s slaves.  Border states were not included in the Emancipation (Kentucky still had 40,000).  Over the next year, Federal officials had to personally enforce the Amendment as some slaveholders withheld news of Emancipation so their slaves could be used for additional harvests.

Elevating Juneteenth as the end of slavery and the Civil War is like celebrating the end of World War II based on Japanese soldiers surrendering on isolated Pacific islands in the 1950s.

Making Juneteenth a national holiday must be opposed at all costs.