A Further Perspective

A Further Perspective

Does Anyone Believe Her?

By 3.12.15

As Hillary Clinton took questions from the media about the personal email account she used as secretary of state, I felt a flashback coming on. She said she simply chose to use a personal account with a personal server “for convenience.” I felt I had traveled back in time to 1998. Washington was screaming across the aisle. First lady Hillary Clinton charged that a “vast right-wing conspiracy” was behind stories that her husband had an affair with Monica Lewinsky. President Bill Clinton denied that he ever had “sexual relations” with the former intern.

Deep down, everyone knew that Bubba was lying. And he was lying. Judge Susan Webber Wright eventually would fine Clinton for giving “intentionally false” testimony during depositions with attorneys representing plaintiff Paula Jones, whose sexual harassment lawsuit nonetheless tanked.

Up until the president was forced to admit that he had lied about Lewinsky, partisans who surely suspected otherwise vehemently argued that Clinton had been truthful. When that ruse crumbled, the knee-jerk defenders used cable news as a nonstop forum for odd debates meant to distract from the core issue.

A Further Perspective

The Iran Empire Strikes

By 3.11.15

Clouds of evil surround the Middle East. Since 1979, Iran was and remains the leading state sponsor of terrorism. However, now, Darth Vader has been converted into Luke Skywalker.

Qasem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s Quds Force, is one of the covert operators undermining governments and promoting the imperial interests of his Islamic government. He has emerged as an international “hero” bolstering the morale of Iraqi troops and inserting his Revolutionary Guard agents into the struggle against ISIS. He stands in the vanguard of the empire Iran has created from the Mediterranean to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. As Alaeddin Boroujerdi (a member of Iran's parliament) noted: “Iran is more powerful than any time in the past 30 years.

A Further Perspective

The ‘Disparate Impact’ Racket

By 3.10.15

The U.S. Department of Justice issued two reports last week, both growing out of the Ferguson, Missouri shooting of Michael Brown. The first report, about “the shooting death of Michael Brown by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson” ought to be read by every American.

It says in plain English what facts have been established by an autopsy on Michael Brown’s body — by three different pathologists, including one representing the family of Michael Brown — by DNA examination of officer Darren Wilson’s gun and police vehicle, by examination of the pattern of blood stains on the street where Brown died and by a medical report on officer Wilson, from the hospital where he went for treatment.

The bottom line is that all this hard evidence, and more, show what a complete lie was behind all the stories of Michael Brown being shot in the back or being shot while raising his hands in surrender. Yet that lie was repeated, and dramatized in demonstrations and riots from coast to coast, as well as in the media and even in the halls of Congress.

A Further Perspective

Which Leaker Is Worse, Petraeus or Snowden?

By 3.9.15

Former four-star general and CIA chief David Petraeus pleaded guilty to one count of retaining classified information for handing over information in personal notebooks to his biographer girlfriend in 2011. He agreed to pay a $40,000 fine; prosecutors said they would recommend two years’ probation instead of prison, although a judge could decide otherwise. It’s a sad close to a government career for the man whose counterinsurgency strategy turned around the war in Iraq. He’s an American hero who seemed all that much more upright when he resigned in November 2012 after admitting to an affair that compromised his position — without drama and after quickly owning up to his mistakes.

Except he didn’t come completely clean; America now knows — because it’s in the official record — Petraeus lied to the FBI. That’s a serious offense. But should he go to prison?

On one side, Petraeus supporters, such as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., argued that Petraeus had done too much for the country to be discarded in a prison cell. In January, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., said the Department of Justice should not prosecute the former CIA chief, as he had “suffered enough.”

A Further Perspective

Preparing for the Next Debt Fight

By 3.5.15

While the Obama administration lectures Europe about the latter’s fiscal policies, Washington continues to run deficits. The problem is bipartisan. When George W. Bush took office the national debt was $5.8 trillion. When Barack Obama took over it was $11.9 trillion. Now it is $18.2 trillion.

And these numbers will look like the “good ol’ days” when the entitlement tsunami hits in coming years. Interest alone ran $431 billion last year. As interest rates rise to more normal levels, debt payments will be one of the big spending boulders, alongside Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and military. Worse, economist Laurence Kotlikoff figures total unfunded liabilities today run about $200 trillion. But who’s counting? Certainly not the president!

A Further Perspective

Europe’s Real Time-Bomb

By 3.2.15

While Europe’s governments and financial markets have been fixated in recent months by the ongoing fiscal and political disaster otherwise known as Greece, the challenges facing one of the EU’s smallest members are, frankly, quite minor compared to what may well be Europe’s biggest looming internal problem.

The name of that challenge? In a word: France.

It’s no exaggeration to say that France is facing one of its most systematic crises since the Fourth Republic’s collapse in 1958. This time, however, there’s no man of destiny—no Charles de Gaulle—waiting in the wings to save France from itself. In fact, that’s part of France’s problem: a political class that, regardless of party, isn’t adept at imaginative thinking, especially concerning Exhibit A of France’s problems: its economy.

A Further Perspective

How Not to Fight Violent Extremism

By 2.27.15

What could the White House have been thinking? The Obama administration’s recently concluded Summit on Countering Violent Extremism was a high-profile affair, bringing together key world leaders and decisionmakers on a critical topic at a critical time. But it was also punctuated by instances of stunning tone-deafness, and a profound failure to understand the dynamics of terrorism in its many forms. 

A case in point is Alexander Bortnikov, the head of Russia’s FSB (Federal Security Service), who was invited to Washington as the head of Russia’s delegation to the Summit. Ostensibly, Bortnikov was here to talk about “the role of the state” in Russia, and the techniques used by Russian law enforcement agencies against “foreign terrorist operatives.” The FSB noted in an official statement ahead of the parlay that “Bortnikov will inform the participants of the forum about the functioning of the Russian Federation in the national system to counter extremism, while focusing attention on the importance of the central role of the state in countering the ideology of terrorism.” 

A Further Perspective

The Unique Horror of Beheadings

By 2.25.15

War is hell. We see gruesome killings on the battlefields as a tragic result of combat. We have become sadly accustomed, even jaded, to reports of the numbers of troops and innocent civilians killed in action.

Some are blown to bits by mortar shells, barrel bombs, or IEDs. Some are shot in the head or heart and die instantly. Still others die from massive gunshot wounds received in an intense firefight . And then, there are those severely wounded who are medivacked off the battlefield only to die later on an operating table.

But, beheading is killing of a much different kind. The result is the same—a dead body, grieving family and friends. But, the means are barbaric, gruesome, grotesque. It's inhuman and inhumane. It’s intended to horrify and it does just that.

It inspires rage and calls for revenge. It becomes the catalyst for massive retaliation. Politicians promise to pursue the perpetrators to the ends of the earth and to deliver them to justice.

A Further Perspective

What’s in a Name?

By 2.23.15

The editorial writer for the Washington Post (a propaganda arm of the Democrat party) was in quite the tizzy on Wednesday morning. Islamic State (ISIS) had rounded up and beheaded 21 Egyptian Christian workers in Libya, in a sacred rite required by the Koran, that was duly recorded for posterity by an ISIS videographer. Egypt’s president Sisi was understandably put out for, though a Muslim, he regards all citizens of his country as equals. He ordered air strikes against ISIS camps in Libya, and who could blame him?

The Washington Post, that’s who. The editorial prissily complained that Sisi had bombed the wrong terrorist camp. According to the Post, the bloody assassins hailed from the Sirte camps, and Sisi had bombed the Derna camps.

Sisi’s problem, carped the Post, is his chronic failure to make distinctions amongst terrorist groups. That’s a view widely shared on the left. According to a European diplomat quoted in the Wall Street Journal, “Sisi doesn’t have credibility with…moderate Islamists [italics added].”

A Further Perspective

The Real ‘Dirty Dozen’ at the IRS

By 2.19.15

The IRS just released its “dirty dozen” list of tax scams and schemes for the American people to avoid. In addition to normal phishing and identity theft, a slew of new phone scams around the nation has caught many taxpayers off guard. Plus, unscrupulous return preparers take advantage of confused Americans, especially given that 60 percent of taxpayers need assistance figuring out all those documents, tables, and exemptions. The list also warns the less honest among us to avoid hiding money offshore, in abusive tax shelters, or with false documents. Additionally, it urges people not to falsify income or claim too much in fuel tax credits, either.

But there is an even more concerning “dirty dozen” list that the IRS wants the public to forget.

It’s been almost two years since the news broke that the IRS had been targeting Tea Party, pro-Israel, and other conservative groups — and a scandal erupted. Here are just a select few ways the IRS has mismanaged its problems and shown itself to be incompetent and untrustworthy: