A Double Double of Reality

By Greg Smith

This is an open letter to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

So Mr. Trudeau, you think it is your place to lecture the United States on how we manage our border, on whom we decide to let into our country? You think that since Canada has socialized medical care it’s okay for you to break your arm patting yourself on the back over your immigration policies because you won’t have to foot the bill? That seems to be a reoccurring trend in your thought process.

Please for once examine how the world works and think before you lecture us.

When there is a military or diplomatic crisis in the world does anyone ponder what Ottawa thinks? When a small nation that actually fears a larger, more powerful neighbor is faced with potential or actual military attack does anyone in the endangered capital yell, “Get me the (Canadian) prime minister on the line!”

When global tensions simmer over does anyone excitedly ask, “Where are the (Canadian) aircraft carriers?” or “When can the (Canadian) bombers get in the air?” No news cast handicaps the situation by discussing what Canadian military assets can be brought to bear.

Doesn’t it dawn on you why the attacks on 9/11 were against the United States and not any other NATO country? Is it so hard for you to realize as the nation ubiquitous in keeping the world safe the U.S. is a target that Canada will never be? Can’t you understand that no Canadians were taken hostage in Iran in 1979 because Canada held no responsibility to see to it oil would continue to flow to power economies and militaries of Korea, Japan, Australia, Western Europe and the U.S., and that this was necessary in the face of Soviet aggression?

Is it so incomprehensible to you why no one in Africa truck bombed the Canadian embassies in Kenya and Tanzania on Aug. 7, 1998? The attacks on that day occurred because it was the United States that protected Saudi Arabia and Kuwait from an Iraqi military attack and tried to feed starving Somalis. We are careful to credit allies for making a contribution, which is generally fine until those allies try to lecture us on how to run our borders.

For better or for worse since 1945 it has fallen on the United States to safeguard allies around the world, Canada included. In 1948 it was American resources that made the Berlin Airlift possible. For the following 41 years it was principally American blood in Korea, Vietnam and elsewhere around the globe on land, at sea and in the air that made the Soviets painfully aware that the West would fight. The people who like to count these as foolish incursions maybe should ponder if the Cold War would have become hot as Hell in Europe if the Soviets ever got a whiff of American reluctance or cowardice.

We sir, as a nation spend a huge percentage of our gross domestic product and offer up our young men and women to protect others. Since World War Two ended our military budget has not dropped below 3.5% of GDP. As a NATO member Canada agreed to spend at least 2.0% of GDP on defense. Yet in 2015 Canada only spent 0.98% of GDP on defense. You had the courage to increase your 2016 military budget upwards — to 0.99% of GDP. Were you planning to buy a tank?

Mr. Trudeau, your thoughts are nothing but self-congratulations of an armchair quarterback who wants to lecture the actual players on what to do. You’re free to pat yourself on the back because you will never have to make a tough decision, especially since you’ve made sure you don’t even have the resources to have to make a tough decision. American leaders, Democrat and Republican, liberal and conservative, have to make tough decisions that have and will continue to put Americans in the cross hairs. The luxury you have of avoiding getting your hands dirty is courtesy of the USA putting itself on the line around the world every single day.

You are like so many smarmy westerners who cling to their liberal beliefs because it will never cost them a thing. You’re as a college kid who lectures everyone about oppression and injustice and sneer at those who actually pay your freight. Until you’re willing to put some skin in the game do me a big favor and keep your opinions on our immigration policies – and probably everything else that pertains to us – to yourself. You haven’t earned the right because you refuse to do what we do to protect this world. It is because of people like us that people like you never have to actually grow up.

Mr. Trudeau, you have finally made me, a long-time internationalist, think it is high time we Americans stop being so damn pushy and start letting the rest of you fend for yourselves. Obviously we aren’t as smart or as good as you, and you know everything, so it will be easy for you. Good luck.

Sincerely Yours,

Gregory Charles Smith,

Bantam, CT, USA.

The Netherlands: International Welfare Queen

By Greg Smith

The U.S. cuts funding to other countries if the money might be spent on abortions, and The Netherlands quickly whips out its checkbook and also begins fundraising efforts to cover the difference?

These are the people who by treaty either must be spending at minimum 2% of GDP on defense or be working toward that goal. In 2015 it spent 1.2%. The U.S. spends 3.6% to defend our European “allies”.

This is just an international case of a welfare queen who can find money to fund her own priorities even as she expects others to provide for her basic needs.

It is about time to cut Europe loose. These people are no longer our allies, and we should no longer spend blood and treasure to defend these selfish states. The Trump administration should send a bill to every one of the over 20 NATO members who don’t meet their NATO obligations or begin pulling troops and equipment. They obviously have more money than they let on.

Hope the Dutch saved a few euros for cigarettes and lottery tickets.

Will Donations Drop?

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During the presidential election the Clinton campaign and Clinton Foundation repeatedly denied there was any ‘pay to play’ in donations from wealthy foreigners and foreign governments.

Clinton’s loss will now provide proof one way or the other. If there was no pay to play, no purchasing access, no legalized bribery, then donations from these wealthy foreign concerns will not drop off. After all, poverty, disease and natural disasters did not diminish on November 9.

If the wealthy and powerful were making contributions to the Clinton Foundation solely to do good, donations should remain static or increase.

There are an enormous number of charities. Why would the Clintons in 2001 need to begin their own foundation to help others? Couldn’t they have worked with an existing foundation managed by others, which would have largely or completely eliminated the appearance of conflicts of interest? Hillary would never have even considered it for the same reason she chose to not use an official email address. Control is what matters, but control isn’t required to help others.

The Clintons still have political power, but not nearly as much as they had just two months ago. If they were selling access no amount of leaked DNC emails will be as damning as a drop in donations over the next year. The greater the drop, the more obvious it will be what was being provided.

Now, time will tell.

iHypocrite

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By Greg Smith

If you support allowing government to force fundamentalist Christian bakers to bake cakes for gay weddings then it is hypocritical to complain when the government orders your company to hack the iPhone of a mass murderer.

Last year Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly opposed so-called religious objections laws, which would have allowed Americans, generally business owners, to claim anti-discrimination laws compromise their religious beliefs. Cook went so far as to say religious objections laws are “very dangerous.”

Proposed religious objections laws gained traction in the wake of incidents like Christian bakers in Oregon being fined $135,000 for deciding against providing a cake for a gay wedding.

These types of proposed laws were poorly thought out and named because freedom of association should have nothing to do with religion. If an atheistic caterer doesn’t want to serve a church picnic simply if he or she does not like religious people, government should have zero right to interfere. If a gay cab driver doesn’t want to lug around members of the Westboro Baptist Church, should not he or she have that right?

Still, religious objection laws would at least be a first step in beating back the silken fascism that squelches such a fundamental liberty as freedom of association, which also inherently means the right to not associate.

What does that have to do with hacking an iPhone? Enter the Commerce Clause of the Constitution, stage left. The Commerce Clause supposedly gives the government the legal right to intervene almost at will whenever anyone is trying to make a living. Doesn’t matter if you’re selling cakes or smart phones, your constitutional rights essentially disappear simply because you are trying to earn money.

In supporting laws that ban discrimination, Tim Cook is saying use of the Commerce Clause to force others into actions they would rather avoid is acceptable, and to do otherwise is actually “very dangerous.” That very same Commerce Clause is what gives government the right to force Apple or any other tech company to make their products less secure.

Cook wants to force all to dine at the smorgasbord of big government so long as he plans the menu. Now he has a piece of the Commerce Clause lodged in his throat.

Choke on it, Tim, choke on it.  ©

Greg Smith is a freelance writer and political consultant who lives in Bantam, CT. His blog is found at www.betterfatthanfascist.com.

http://www.foxnews.com/tech/2015/03/30/tim-cook-calls-religious-objection-laws-dangerous.html

The Media’s Two Big Lies

By Greg Smith

Why does so much of the media feel compelled to lie about Donald Trump’s proposal to temporarily halt Muslims from entering the country as a “ban” on Muslims?

To be clear, Trump’s comments were poorly made. In context it sounds like he meant immigrants — not U.S. citizens – who have no right to come here unless we invite them. And Trump’s plan would likely not be very effective because it assumes government would be capable of accurately classifying immigrants. If the federal government isn’t able to identify jihadists could it accurately identify immigrants’ religions?

Donald Trump said no Muslims should be allowed to enter the U.S. “until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.” That isn’t a ban. It is called a moratorium and it is basically the same thing President Carter did with Iranians after the U.S. embassy was taken over in 1979.

You’d think journalists would have sufficient grasp of the language to know the difference.

More importantly, Trump’s proposal has nothing to do with discriminating against people based on their religion, hatred of Muslims or any similar accusation. It is based on a belief the federal government doesn’t have a handle on keeping jihadists from entering the U.S. and murdering Americans.

Trump was not indicting Muslims, he was indicting the Obama administration’s ability to weed out the tiny minority of Muslims who are a threat to Americans. With the recent revelations that immigration officials were not even allowed to look at the social media usage by those seeking to enter the country, who can argue that right now the federal government’s immigrant vetting process is firing on all cylinders?

Why Trump’s advisors haven’t made that clear is a tremendous curiosity.   ©

Greg Smith is a freelance writer and political consultant who lives in Bantam, CT. His blog is found at www.betterfatthanfascist.com.

Prevention or Panic? Paul Ryan Hardly the Hysterical Type

(This post was written Nov. 22)

By Greg Smith

One has to wonder about President Obama’s mental state. The fights he picks seem more to be the reflexive argument against anything his perceived opponents pursue.

As Republicans, joined by many congressional Democrats, respond to the Paris terror attacks by pushing for increased investigations of Syrian refugees coming to the U.S. to prevent letting in terrorists posing as refugees, Obama responds by calling that a foolish, knee-jerk reaction.

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s comments were typical of those who want to increase vetting of Syrian refugees entering the U.S., “We cannot let terrorists take advantage of our compassion. This is a moment where it’s better to be safe than to be sorry.”

Obama responded by saying, “We are not well served when, in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic. We don’t make good decisions if it’s based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks.”

Perhaps Obama has forgotten the name Aaron Alexis. In September 2013 Alexis murdered a dozen co-workers at the Washington Naval Yard. To get the job Alexis was granted a top secret security clearance. After the murders an investigation found Alexis never should have been granted a clearance. He had twice been arrested for shooting a gun, including in 2004 when he shot the tires out of a parked vehicle in what he described as a black out caused by intense anger. The second arrest, in 2010, had a similar vibe.

When interviewed for his top-secret clearance and asked about the record of a felony arrest, he told investigators it was for letting air out of tires. That hardly sounds like a felony, but investigators chose to accept his answer and didn’t look into it any further.

A recent 60 Minutes episode highlighted how Alexis, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden each were able to receive top-secret security clearances despite major red flags. When Manning was 18 his stepmother called 911 and said he threatened her with a knife. While in the Army but before getting his clearance, Manning stabbed someone with a pencil. He was ordered into therapy.

According to 60 Minutes, when Snowden left the CIA, his behavior caused the agency to red-flag his file in case he ever applied for another job, but apparently no action was taken to revoke his security clearance. He later applied for a job that would involve working for the NSA and had to undergo a review of his security clearance, where he simply did not give any detail into his work for the CIA, and obviously investigators didn’t bother to check with the CIA. Snowden went on to commit the largest known theft of U.S. top-secret material, and then went to Russia.

These three persons all lived in the United States, where it should have been pretty easy to track and verify their identities and past. And a top-secret clearance is supposed to be extremely thorough. Something tells me that out of 10,000 refugees coming from Syria, it would be easy to sneak in dozens or even hundreds of jihadists because the review process is bureaucratic in nature, there is little or no ability to track official records or databases in their country of origin, and the Obama administration clearly finds it distasteful to place the security of the United States over the political correctness by which the president lives his life.

The only hysteria involved is Obama’s response to a sensible approach that recognizes the grave danger posed to Americans when jihadists are allowed to enter the country.  ©

Greg Smith is a freelance writer and political consultant who lives in Bantam, CT. His blog is found at www.betterfatthanfascist.com.

Hillary the Homebrew Hypocrite

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By Greg Smith

As a senator from New York, Hillary Clinton voted for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the government’s response to the accounting irregularities that brought down Enron, Arthur Andersen and other corporate giants.

One of the main requirements of Sarbanes-Oxley is the obligation that businesses not only maintain complete records – including emails – but the records must be maintained in a manner that allows they be searched quickly and methodically to comply with any government investigations. The only way to achieve the latter requirement is to store them electronically.

It is worth noting the Senate voted 99-0 in favor of Sarbanes-Oxley, so these requirements were and are considered quite reasonable and necessary.

When Congress began investigating the murder of four Americans in Libya including the U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens, it naturally wanted to see the electronic communications that passed among government officials regarding the attack. Clinton waited years to turn over any emails, deleting them all and providing only paper copies of about two-thirds of them, saying the other third were personal.

Imagine Clinton’s response were she still in the Senate and a company CEO showed up in front of her Committee on Environment and Public Works as it investigated large-scale illegal dumping of toxic chemicals. The CEO points to an 18-foot-tall pile of paper and tells the committee his company’s IT department printed 55,000 pages of the emails deemed to be related to the query and deleted all 85,000 pages of emails from its server. She and everyone else would ask the obvious: ‘What are you hiding because there is no other reason to turn over paper instead of electronic copies?’

Clinton keeps saying she did nothing illegal – “I am not a crook” doesn’t roll off the tongue? — using her own email server, deleting thousands of emails before investigators could see them or turning over only paper copies of those she did provide. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act Clinton supported means following the law is not good enough, businesses must do so in a transparent manner.

Why is it partisan to expect as much of the secretary of state, and why does Clinton think she and the rest of our government don’t owe us at least as much transparency as Walmart?   ©

Greg Smith is a freelance writer and political consultant who lives in Bantam, CT. His blog is found at www.betterfatthanfascist.com.

And the Nominee Will Be?

While the Republican field has a number of good candidates, it is nice to finally hear Ohio Gov. John Kasich, as well as see how he handles himself in the spotlight. If there is one word to describe Kasich it is “likeable.” His politics will appeal to a wide audience. He is a religious man, and a pragmatic conservative. Hillary Clinton will most likely not be the Democratic nominee, but imagine the contrast of her scheming untrustworthiness with his pragmatic likability.

Kasich’s part in the Republican Revolution after 1994 showed we would be very lucky to have him in the White House. He seems to be a man concerned with solutions instead of polls, and that is what the GOP needs to win. Steady funding would shortlist John Kasich for the nomination.

Missing John Paul II (II)

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By Greg Smith

The most obvious indication of the grave error the College of Cardinals made in elevating a nondescript South American leftist to the papacy came in late June when Pope Francis simultaneously said arms makers cannot be Christian while criticizing the Allied powers in World War Two for not bombing rail lines that led to German concentration camps.

“The great powers had photographs of the railway routes that the trains took to the concentration camps, like Auschwitz, to kill the Jews, and also the Christians, and also the Roma, also the homosexuals,” Francis said. “Tell me, why didn’t they bomb those railroad routes?”

In his mind if you are at all involved in building weapons you can’t be a Christian, but if you advocate using weapons you can be head of the Church. That brain must be a comfortable place to reside.

A pope should be, first and foremost, a scholar and theologian, and this man is neither. Jorge Mario Bergogli should be teaching in a community college, leading fellow soft minds in rhetorical attacks on the hands that feed him; where whatever sounds good actually is; where criticizing the judgments of political and military leaders requires no knowledge of history, military economy, strategy or tactics because nobody who knows better could hear him.

Why didn’t they bomb those railroads? Well Jorge, let us think about it.

The militaries that fought in World War Two did not possess smart bombs. For bombing raids to have any hope of being effective hundreds of bombers with fighters as escorts had to be sent. These raids required thousands of airmen – who each required considerable training — enormous amounts of materiel support such as engines, fuel, bombs and ammunition, tires. Supplying all the needed items required an enormous industrial and logistical process, mostly from across the Atlantic Ocean which was infested with German submarines until late 1943. Much of what was shipped never reached Europe.

Putting such an enormous amount of resources into a bombing mission gave no promise of hitting a target. Allied raids on pinpoint targets even in daytime were more a miss than hit affair, usually off by at least hundreds of feet. The Allies simply did not have the ability to accurately hit specific targets, yet bomber and crew losses were quite heavy.

Even if Allied bombers could have hit those rail lines regularly, it takes little time or resources to repair 50, 100 or 200 feet of track. It takes a relatively small amount of steel, wood and gravel. Germany industry proved quite resilient at repairing damage to much more complicated and expensive facilities. The bombing runs Jorge Mario Bergogli belatedly advocates would have cost the Allies hundreds of times more in resources than those required by Germany to repair the damage caused. The Allies simply did not have anywhere near that level of economic advantage.

The best way to stop the Holocaust was to end the war, which required an intelligent use of military resources. Bombing raids on oil facilities and German cities saved a lot more Jews, Roma and homosexuals than spending $250 million to destroy $1 million worth of railroads.

Jorge Mario Bergogli believes in a world where what sounds good is good. The simple fact is if the Allies had followed that rationale, today there might not be a Jew, Roma or homosexual in all of Europe, North Africa or western Asia. And the latter half of the 20th Century would have been a much darker place.   ©

Greg Smith is a freelance writer and political consultant who lives in Bantam, CT. His blog is found at www.betterfatthanfascist.com.

Missing John Paul II