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Mr. President I Want That Job ... In the movie "A Man For All Seasons" Sir Thomas More, on trial for high treason, comments to his accuser, Sir Richard Rich, solicitor for Wales: "What profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his soul? But Wales?" It's a question that many in Washington would have difficulty answering. In fact, there's a similar spiritual and intellectual gap in the leadership of the West that arguably leaves them incapable of dealing substantively with ISIS; that leaves them unable to understand what motivates many people. (See Page 8, Feb 26, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
We Hold These Truths ... The world's a mess: Russia's Ukrainian adventures continue; the fight continues against ISIS; Yemen is coming apart; fighting continues in Afghanistan; Boko Haram is expanding fighting in and around Nigeria. Elsewhere, despite Washington's rose colored glasses the economy shows signs of strain; total US employment is mixed; government spending is up; Greece seems headed towards default; China's economy is developing major cracks, and on and on. (See Page 8, Feb 19, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Guns Are Not for Crazy People ... Crazy people should never have guns, knives or anything that could potentially harm another. A crazy person will find a way to inflict injury or cause death. Eddie Ray Routh who murdered American hero Chris Kyle and Kyle's friend Chad Littlefield at a firing range proves my point again. This is one of the tragedies of the year. Two intelligent, knowledgeable men, one who had survived horrific Middle East combat situations, were snuffed out of this life by a crazy man like Routh. (See Page 8, Feb 19, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Slow Motion War and the Fight Against ISIS ... The 1991 US led coalition against Saddam Hussein fought, strictly speaking, a limited war. But for Saddam it was unlimited, a war of survival. And from Saddam's perspective, he won. Dozens of nations faced him, he was attacked by the most powerful air forces in the world, his country was invaded and his army badly mauled. Then the invaders left. By 1993 President Bush was out of power, Prime Minster Thatcher was long gone, the entire Soviet Union was gone - and Saddam was still in power. Was it clear and complete? No. He had to endure embargoes and UN inspections. But he was still in power. He'd faced this huge coalition; and in not losing he'd won. And remained in power another 12 years. (See Page 5, Feb 12, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Boots On The Ground ... The war against ISIS may require boots on the ground. These boots should not be the soldiers of the United States of America. I have been as incensed as any other American over the barbaric beheadings of our own Americans, and burning of a recent Jordanian prisoner. Isis is truly the scum of the earth. They are worse than scum. My Christian upbringing will not allow me to use words to express my feelings about Isis. They are evil and need to be eliminated from the planet. Our world cannot tolerate this cancer that is filled with such vicious hate for the rest of the planet. (See Page 5, Feb 12, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Boehner, Netanyahu and US Interests ... There are things happening on the international scene, things of great importance. And, there's a bit of a stink about Israel's Prime Minister Netanyahu being invited to speak to Congress by Speaker of the House Boehner. The White House is upset: Mr. Boehner made the arrangements without consulting them, and upset that Mr. Netanyahu accepted without notifying the White House. This may be a breach of protocol. But it isn't crystal clear. You see, there is that pesky Constitution. While giving the Executive Branch responsibility to carry out foreign policy, the limits aren't defined. (See Page 8, Feb 5, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Edit Obamacare ... There are two good points to Obamacare. Insurance for Americans with preexisting conditions is vital to saving some Americans from financially drowning. Also, not dropping an individual's health insurance because he gets sick is also crucial. Making insurance available for America's very down and out is not a bad thing. However, this is only expanded Medicaid. Helping people to become well, productive, get off Medicaid, work a job and pay insurance premiums must be the goal of every state. (See Page 8, Feb 5, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
The Real Tragedy Isn't Selma ... A great injustice is being perpetrated, one which strikes at the very heart of the life of the late Rev. Martin Luther King. The injustice, the tragedy, is the number of young black Americans, particularly young black men, who are, in essence, outside of our society. Black unemployment is over 10% - 4 points higher than the rest of the population. In every subcategory, black men, black men under 20, etc., unemployment rates are even higher. When they do have jobs, they earn less. The average inner-city black family is worth less than the average family in India. (See Page 8, Jan 29, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Americans Need Money, Not Washington ... American's median income was $51,939.00 in 2013. In 2012 our median income was $51,759.00. In 1999, the pre-recession peak median American income was $56,436.00. Five years ago the United States Treasury took in 2.1 trillion dollars. Last year our federal government collected a record amount of taxes, just over 3 trillion dollars! (See Page 8, Jan 29, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
What Can We Do? ... Let's assume the Executive Branch really wanted to do something definitive about eliminating, or at least substantially reducing, radical Islamic movements around the world - besides holding a conference on "violent extremism."This isn't meant as a snide remark; the proof of the pudding is, as they say, in the tasting. (See Page 6, Jan 22, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Change The World - For Good ... Recently on cable news a little boy appeared to execute two men in Syria. Beside him a thug chants something that is probably related to the Muslim religion. Days before this, men arrogantly stood in the streets in Paris France shouting Islamic religious rhetoric. In recent months we have seen beheadings of journalists and humanitarians in Syria while their hooded captors recited words from the Koran or Islamic prayers. While this is going on militant Islamists recruit Europeans, Africans and Americans to come and join their forces. (See Page 6, Jan 22, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
The Guns of January -Paris and the West ... In Paris 5 gunmen attacked a magazine's offices, killing 12 and wounding others, then they escaped. One of the terrorists then surrendered. The French police, as I write this, have killed several terrorists, but several more hostages are dead, bringing the total innocent dead to 17. The 5 terrorists showed good fire discipline and had clearly received some training and had practiced. They were looking for certain people and they weren't distracted, moving deliberately through the magazine's offices. They were committed to killing, and they had an escape plan - that appears to have worked fairly well even in crowded Parisian streets. (See Page 8, Jan 15, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
The Afghanistan war is over! ... Well, not really. On 28 December the Commander of US and NATO forces formally transitioned combat operations to Afghan forces. The President announced the war was over. So, US forces are coming home. Well, no - US forces will remain in Afghanistan for the foreseeable future. They'll continue to conduct combat operations. Air Force, Navy, Army and Marine aircraft will continue to fly combat missions over Afghanistan, and Special Forces will continue to hunt down terrorists. But politically, we'll call it something else. (See Page 6, Jan 8, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)
Shaw imageHave You Heard Mitch Shaw's Talk About the Constitutional Convention Trend? ... The Constitutional convention has come back again, as it has for decades. Despite its many rebrandings and renamings, it is always an effort to promote the same thing: opening up the Constitution to change. You have a chance to hear this presentation at the regular monthly meeting of the Virginia Beach Tea Party. Those who have heard it have found Mitch to be an engaging, upbeat speaker. If you have friends in VB area who would like to hear this, please pass it on to them. The room has limited space, and there is no reservation necessary, so get there early! (See Page 6, Jan 8, 2015 Edition) (Have a Comment?)


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