Ed's Blog

"Some people know everything, but that's all they know."

HOW BAD IS IT?

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So many people are bloviating about politics these days on cable television, the radio and on the internet that Americans tend to pay attention only to viewpoints they agree with or they tune out completely. To make things even worse, the American higher-education system is turning out political dunces who don’t know what every eight-grader in public school knew 50 years ago. But now, however, our presidential candidates all agree things are really bad. That must mean they really are.

To attract attention, professional and amateur political commentators increasingly have resorted to extreme language. The left has accused the right of sins the Nazis and the fascists became famous for. The right has accused the left of totalitarian tendencies communists are known for. So when either side makes an extreme accusation, even when they’re true, they often get lost in the background noise.

The ongoing presidential campaigns, however, appear to be rising above the clammer of the crowed. Republicans and Democrats are telling us that the fate of the nation rests on the outcome of the November election. Little is new in this except for the fact that it appears truer now than any time since the Civil War. Although Democrats have been running the Federal government for the past seven plus years, they want us to believe that every ill that’s befallen the country is the fault of Republicans. Republicans tell us that President Obama set out to transform America, he’s almost done it, all we need is another Democrat in the White House to complete what he began. America will be done for. Don’t get me started on climate change.

Listening to the respective presidential debates this year should be eye opening. Bernie Sanders and Hillary outdid Republicans at Thursday evenings debate, portraying the United States in the direst terms. Sanders says, “Almost everyone is getting poorer.” “Ordinary Americans are worried to death about the future of their kids.” “There is massive despair all over this country.” “Seniors are cutting their pills in half…don’t have decent nutrition…can’t heat their homes in the wintertime.” “A rigged economic system and a corrupt political system have created a moment of serious crises.”

Clinton repeatedly agreed with Sanders that too many Americans are getting left behind. “‘Yes, the economy is rigged in favor of those at the top.” Her main critique of the Sanders critique was that it lacked identity-politics specificity, that it didn’t recognize the unique challenges of “really systemic racism” against blacks, of “hardworking immigrant families living in fear,” of women’s rights that are “under tremendous attack,” of “discrimination against the LGBT community,” even of the struggles in coal country and other downtrodden white communities “where we are seeing an increase in alcoholism, addiction, earlier deaths.’”

So how bad is it, really? Like everything else in life, that much depends on your perspective. Not everyone in America is suffering; and Americans have faced extreme adversity in the past (The Civil War, WWII, The Great Depression) and rebounded. What’s so bad this time is that the America most of us knew and loved growing up already has disappeared and likely is unrecoverable. Demographic diversity, pervasive technological change, political correctness and a culture of victimization have overtaken traditional American values and replaced them with values we do not yet fully understand.

Certainly, change frequently is a good thing. America was better after the Civil war when slavery was abolished. It’s taking 150 years and more to adapt to that change, but still we’re better off. The world is better off since World War II, and the US economy blossomed tremendously after the Great Depression. These changes have led us to believe that no matter what befalls America we will always bounce back better and stronger. What scares us now is that it looks more and more as if this time we won’t.

This election is a seminal one. There is a huge difference between Republicans and Democrats. Your country and your life will change for better or worse. It’s time to get out your bullshit detector and vote. Remember, we get the government we deserve.

Filed under: Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

WHY I’M NOT OVERLY CONCERNED ABOUT BARACK OBAMA’S LAME ATTEMPTS AT GUN CONTROL

gun-controlLike millions of

American gun owners, I am bothered by President Obama’s and Democrats’ constant attempts at so called “common sense” gun control. Why they can’t understand the facts that stare them in the face befuddles me. Nevertheless, I am not overly concerned. Here’s why.

Large numbers of felons who should be denied the right to purchase a firearm after a background check aren’t. Poor and inconsistent reporting keeps them off the list. Prosecutions for gun crimes has dropped precipitously over the past decade. Etc., etc. We don’t enforce the gun laws we have on the books. Americans don’t understand why we need new gun laws when we don’t enforce the ones we have.

Beyond this, terrorism, the Ferguson Effect (discouraging aggressive policing) and rising crime rates make Americans feel less safe. Law abiding Americans buy guns to protect themselves and their families because they know that by the time first responders reach them, in most cases it will be too late.

Gun purchases and gun manufacturers stock prices are going through the roof not because rural rednecks are buying their tenth and twentieth gun. They are on the rise because more and more Americans who have never owned a gun are buying them. Despite all the anti-gun propaganda, they understand that they are their own first responder.

There will always be a cohort of people, mostly on the left, who abhor guns and would like to eliminate them from society altogether, but they are losing the battle. With every domestic terrorist attack and mass shooting in a “no-gun zone” more Americans buy guns.

Despite Barack Obama’s tendency to ignore The Constitution and the law, there is little he can do with his pen and his phone. The 10 executive measures announced on January 5 are meager and won’t stand up in the courts or survive a Republican president.

I don’t suggest we shouldn’t resist Obama’s and Democrats’ gun-control campaign, we should just buy more guns and more shares of American gun manufacturer’s stock. That sends a powerful message no on can ignore. Gun owners vote, and 2016 is a year to send another message. “Don’t mess with my guns.”

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , ,

THE COMING WAR IN THE MIDDLE EAST

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If anyone believes that the conflict between Islamic extremists and those they make war on isn’t going to result in a monumental conflict that will go down along with the great wars of history they are sadly mistaken.

The warning signs are all around us. The Islamic State, al-Qai’da, Boko Haram, Ansar Al-Shari’a , Al Nusra (a total of more than 30 groups on the State Department Terrorist list since 9/11/2001) are growing in strength and numbers. Daily atrocities in the territories they control and terrorist attacks in the areas they target are on the increase. When the Islamic State says “We will conquer Rome,” the don’t believe they are making an idle boast.

At the same time governments they target, most notably the United States, are doing what so many before them have done. They are failing to define and recognize the threat and do what’s necessary to defeat it before it gets completely out of hand. It’s only a matter of time before large-scale terrorist attacks take place in Europe and the United States, forcing the U.S. and its allies to react much as they did after 9/11/2001. This time however, it will become a multi-national conflagration that will take much longer than the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Five, 10 or 50 years after every major war we look back in hindsight at the obvious things governments could have done to avoid the conflict or defeat the enemy before it got too strong; but then as now governments convince themselves the threat isn’t that great or they can handle it “when the time comes.”

Yes, the United States, the leader of the free world and the only government capable of providing leadership in the war against Islamic extremism, is war-weary after more than a decade of wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and now in Syria and Iraq. But that’s no excuse when the threat of exponentially greater loss of life and treasure is in the balance.

Experts can provide numerous scenarios that demonstrate how a war in the Middle East cold engulf the entire region, involve Iran and large numbers of U.S. ground forces. Given the United States has no grand strategy for how to defeat Islamic extremism, any one of these scenarios could easily play out.

It is now clear that nothing anyone says or does is likely to convince the Obama administration of the error of its ways. It will go right on pretending that fighting international terrorism is like fighting urban crime, calling 21 beheaded Egyptians “Egyptian citizens” instead of Egyptian Christians, and refusing to call Islamic terrorism Islamic extremism. How much further into the abyss we will fall before President Obama leaves office is difficult to predict. And if there is another major terrorist attack in the United States, don’t expect President Obama to behave any differently.

So what can Americans do in the meantime? Prepare yourself and your family for a national emergency. Express yourself loudly and clearly to you Representative in Congress and your Senator. And Make your concerns known to anyone who calls you conducting a public opinion survey. Most important, vote for the presidental candidate that you believe will do what’s necessary to defeat Islamic extremism and defend America in the future.

Filed under: Terrorism, Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE MEASLES OUTBREAK

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On the way home in the car this afternoon, listening to Rush Limbaugh, he was talking about the measles outbreak in Southern California. He said he believed the outbreak of this disease, practically irradiated in the U.S., was because of all the un-vaccinated illegal alien children President Obama’s immigration policies have attracted to the U.S. For those of us who are not pleased with President Obama or his immigration policies, it’s tempting to want to believe this. On the other hand I have heard people say it’s the anti-immunization trend, mostly among the more affluent, that is responsible. Proving or disproving this, of course, would be impossible without doing the kind of contact mapping done for the Ebola outbreak. Because measles is rarely life threatening, it’s like the common cold, you can never be sure where or from whom you caught it.

Nevertheless, we know that illegal aliens from Mexico and Central America, where public health policies are not up to U.S. standards, bring many diseases into the country. Rush pointed out that the purpose of Ellis Island, that operated from 1892 to 1954, was to examine immigrants for diseases. It worked. Over the past 100 years, numerous diseases have disappeared in the U.S. Whatever the truth about the measles outbreak in California, is it wise to not do a better job of screening people coming into the United States, legally and illegally, to prevent the reintroduction of diseases thought to be no longer a threat to public health? Given that there no longer are centralized facilities for screening immigrants doing so would require considerable resources. We cannot and should not place that burden on the U.S. Border Patrol; and it’s just one more reason why we need to secure the border. Terrorists, criminals and carriers of infectious diseases must be kept out of the country. For those who cry “racial prejudice” I say nonsense. I don’t want to see any American die from terrorism, crime or disease.

Filed under: Healthcare, Updates, , , , , , , , , , ,

IRAQ – Déjà vu

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It sickens my heart as a Vietnam War combat veteran to watch Iraq fall apart like South Vietnam did. We may not have to watch American helicopters evacuating the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad as the Islamic State in Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) terrorist army takes over the city, but again we are watching the disintegration of a government and the loss of territory U.S. warriors fought and died for. Were their sacrifices in vain as some now say they were?  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Military, National Security, Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

UKRAINE: APPROACHING CRITICAL MASS?

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Critical mass in nuclear science is the smallest amount of fissile material needed for a sustained nuclear chain reaction. Critical mass in international politics is the smallest amount of aggression needed to start a war. Despite what President Obama and other Western leaders say and do, the situation in Ukraine may be fast approaching that point.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: National Security, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

RESTRUCTURING THE MILITARY

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Like most conservatives, President Obama’s proposed reductions of the U.S. armed forces disturb me. Since after World War I, every time we have reduced our military strength after a war, we’ve regretted it. Nevertheless, it’s time to rethink the mission, size and composition of the U.S. military, preparing for the next war, not a repeat of the last one. It all comes down to the correct assumptions.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Military, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

GLOBAL WARMING; A POLITICAL WEAPON OF MASS DESTRUCTION

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Speaking in Indonesia last week, Secretary of State John Kerry, said that global warming is “perhaps even the world’s most fearsome weapon of mass destruction.” Sec. Kerry may or may not be right about the destruction global warming may ultimately cause; but he’s absolutely right about one thin. Global warming is a weapon. It’s a political weapon of mass destruction.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

 

Filed under: Climate Change, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THE 2014 AND 2016 ELECTIONS

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The answers to five questions will determine the outcomes of the 2014 and 2016 elections.

Is the liberal bubble about to burst?

Are red states or blue states on the ascendency?

Will the Tea Party resurge or has it lost its clout?

Will political party allegiance hold?

Finally, who will be the nominees?

(Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

REDUCING MILITARY BENEFITS

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Reducing military benefits threatens U.S. national security as surely as deep cuts in operations, maintenance and acquisition spending. A high-quality, all-voluntary U.S. military is unsustainable without sufficient benefits and incentives to attract and retain top-quality warriors.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

 

Filed under: Military, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

POLITICAL VINDICTIVENESS

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Nothing demonstrates how petty and vindictive President Obama can be than the closure of national memorials and parks. They weren’t closed during previous shutdowns and it takes more money and personnel to keep vets away from the Vietnam Veterans, Korean War, and World War II memorials than it does to allow access to them. President Obama simply wants to make the shutdown as painful as possible for everyday Americans and blame it all on Republicans. This inexcusable behavior should anger every American. This is beneath the office of the President of the United States.

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

TWO ALTERNATIVE EXPLANATIONS FOR THE BENGHAZI COVER UP

 

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Is the Benghazi cover up just about hiding incompetence, dereliction of duty and deceptive presidential politics or are there plausible, more troubling explanations?  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Terrorism, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

THERE YOU GO AGAIN MR. PRESIDENT

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Mr. President, are you and the people who write your talking points ignorant of the history of Vietnam and those that inspired Ho Chi Minh, or were you just attempting to humor the President of Vietnam last week when you took a break from your perpetual campaign to meet with Truong Tan Sang in the Oval Office? Either way it’s troubling.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: The Presidency, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OBAMACARE, BENGHAZI, THE IRS, THE NSA AND THE 2014 ELECTIONS

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Intense media coverage of the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting has drawn attention away from four big issues that continue to plague the Obama administration—Obamacare, Benghazi, IRS targeting of conservative organizations and individuals, and NSA spying on the American people. Nevertheless, the collective time bomb is ticking. The question is will it go off during the 2014 election campaigns if it goes off at all.  (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

OBAMACARE: AN AVOIDABLE NATIONAL DISASTER

 

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The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) began as poorly crafted legislation that became a train wreck then turned into a national disaster that will take many years to recover from. Here’s what we should have done and still can do. (Read the full column at EWRoss.com)

Filed under: Healthcare, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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