by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

For his Labor Day speech, President Obama floated the concept of “immigration rights“:

Cynicism is a bad choice. Hope is the better choice. Hope is what gives us courage. Hope is what gave soldiers courage to storm a beach. Hope is what gives young people the strength to march for women’s rights, and worker’s rights, and civil rights, and voting rights, and gay rights, and immigration rights.

Let’s go back fifty years or so, to the days when union activist Cesar Chavez was advocating farmworkers’ rights:

Mr. Chavez, perhaps the best-known Mexican-American activist, fought for better wages and conditions for workers but held complex and evolving views on the status of unauthorized immigrants, some of which would be at odds with the changes many Hispanics and others are seeking today.

What the NYT reporter euphemistically calls “complex and evolving views” was decades-long opposition,

These days, Chávez is revered among Mexican-American activists and others as a civil rights figure. Yet that’s not who he was. Chavez was primarily a labor leader, and so one of his main concerns was keeping illegal immigrants from competing with and undercutting union members either by accepting lower wages or crossing picket lines. When he pulled workers out of the field during a strike, the last thing he wanted was a crew of illegal immigrant workers showing up to do those jobs and take away his leverage.

So Chavez decided to do something about it. According to numerous historical accounts, Chavez ordered union members to call the Immigration and Naturalization Service and report illegal immigrants who were working in the fields so that they could be deported. Some UFW officials were also known to picket INS offices to demand a crackdown on illegal immigrants.

Exactly what does Obama mean by immigration rights? asks John Hinderaker

Legally, of course, no one has a right to violate our immigration laws, whether the Obama administration enforces them or not. So what does the president have in mind here? It seems clear that Obama isn’t suggesting that immigrants are somehow being denied their actual rights under American law. Certainly he made no such explicit claim. Rather, his point appears to be that some people–not everyone in the world presumably, but some unspecified group of people–have a “right” to enter the United States, or stay here, even though it is illegal to do so under U.S. law, as long as Barack Obama opposes the law in question.

“Immigration rights”, for whom? It doesn’t matter, as long as Obama’s talking points are repeated.

For a Labor Day speech, however, it’s worth remembering that Chavez recognized that flooding the labor market with low-wage, low-skill laborers worked against his unionized farmworkers.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American news, politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

13900908195843375_PhotoLby baldilocks

Peter has been documenting the mind-boggling Rotherham scandal and its very existence is merely a single death rattle for the United Kingdom as we knew it. There are many other signs of rigor mortis, however. They might as well say the Shahada in Parliament.

There’s this:

There are now more than twice as many British Muslims fighting for Islamic State than there are serving in the British armed forces, according to a British Member of Parliament (MP).

Khalid Mahmood, the MP for Perry Barr in Birmingham, estimates that at least 1,500 young British Muslims have been recruited by extremists fighting in Iraq and Syria in the last three years.

Mahmood told Newsweek that this figure had been building since the start of the Syrian conflict: “If you look across the whole of the country, and the various communities involved, 500 going over each year would be a conservative estimate.”

According to the Ministry of Defence, there are only around 600 British Muslims currently serving in the Armed Forces, making up approximately around 0.4% of total personnel. 4.3% of the British population are Muslim.

There’s this:

Protesters filmed themselves blocking a London road with dozens of parked cars as they called for Israel to relinquish its grip on Gaza amid concerns the community is becoming ‘radicalised’

Drivers parked their cars, honked their horns and shouted ‘free free Palestine’, bringing the major commuter route in east London to a standstill. […]

The demonstration took place on July 20 in the Blackwall tunnel which connects Greenwich in south London with Tower Hamlets, an east London borough with a large Muslim population, police confirmed.

The footage of parked cars covered in Palestinian flags and the word ‘Gaza’ emerged on YouTube early this week and has been shared on Facebook more than 6,000 times.

It is unclear how long the tunnel remained blocked during the incident.

It came just days before Tower Hamlets’s Muslim mayor sparked outrage by raising the Palestinian flag outside the town hall.

And this, regarding Rotherham; it is the most telling sign–and the most disgusting one–that it’s over, over there.

The dads had attempted to remove their daughters from houses where abuse was taking place, but they were the ones who were then arrested by police.

Prof Jay’s inquiry said police often treated victims with ‘contempt’, frequently arresting them while taking no action against those committing offences.

Her report said: “In two of the cases, fathers tracked down their daughters and tried to remove them from houses where they were being abused, only to be arrested themselves when police were called to the scene.

“In a small number of cases, the victims themselves were arrested for offences such as breach of the peace or being drunk and disorderly, with no action taken against the perpetrators of rape and sexual assault.

Why haven’t such things happened here? You know why. But the zone is being flooded and our leadership is being tested…and found wanting. But I have more faith in the American people.

Rest in Peace, UK…and James Foley and Steven Sotloff.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game, was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!baldilocks

by baldilocks

Report: ISIS eyeing Mexican border to infiltrate America and execute terrorist attacks

Islamist militants tweet gruesome images of dead American soldiers and vow to blow up embassies

Saudi King warns that the west jihadis’ next target

dandelions (1)

The weeds of fear are the favored crop of any terrorist.

Two years after that bit of unpleasantness in New York City, in Washington, DC, and in the Pennsylvania countryside, I wrote this:

Terrorists commit their acts not for the benefit of the dead, but for those who remain alive. “Look at what we’ll do to you and yours,” they say, “if you don’t do what we want you to do.” They revel in our horror. They rejoice in the sorrow of the families who will never bury the atomized [or beheaded] bodies of their loved ones. They say, “yeah, we did it and we’ll do it to you unless you….submit.”

Does anyone remember the story of Emmett Till? Several years before I was born, Till, fourteen-years-old, was the victim of another set of terrorists. This young black man, not knowing or not caring about the ways of the South of that period, was murdered for allegedly making an indecent remark to a white woman. He disappeared and, days later, his body, beaten and shot, was found in a river. The men who were tried for his murder were acquitted. Emmett’s murder wasn’t an isolated case of a man supposedly defending the honor of his wife. As we know, all over the South, black men were being murdered for “stepping out of their place,” whether they actually had stepped out of their “place” or not.

Those who committed these crimes did so not only for “revenge” on the dead, but to send a message to and strike fear in the living. That’s what made it terrorism. Sound familiar?

In 2001 (and 1968 and 1979 and 1983 and 1988 and 1993 and 1998 and 2003 [added: and in 2014] and every year in between), the players are different from that of 1955, but the message is the same: do what we want or this will happen to you or to those whom you love. In this case, it is “worship in the way we worship; bow five times a day to Mecca or else.”

I mention the Till case not to compare the two sets of terrorists, per se, but to compare the dissimilar reactions of the victims’ loved ones. Mamie Till, Emmett’s mother, had an open-casket funeral for her son. […]

[Till’s] head–monstrous from the beating, the bullet and the decomposition–contrasted against the normalcy of the casket and the suit that Mrs. Till had picked out for the body. It gave the picture that much more ugliness: your worst nightmare in banal black and white.

But Mamie Till’s steely words about the open-casket decision were electrifying: “I want the world to see what they did to my son.”

Well, the “world” did see and, though there was much more sorrow to be had–as it is with any major upheaval of a society–things changed. Some of us even think that things have changed for the better…such home-grown types of terrorists still exist, but when caught, they usually sit on death row rather sit at home having beers with their friends. We can send our message as well.

Keep sowing, jihadis. Most of us are good at pulling up weeds–and at cleaning metal.Baldilocks mini

All die once. But the feaful die twice.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game,
was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, 
Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

The book of Ecclesiastes is a fascinating piece of literature albeit “Sacred Literature” from the ancient world.

The book of Ecclesiastes along with the books of Proverbs and the Song of Songs represent the trilogy of books authored by Solomon.

Old Testament scholars believe that Solomon – who was the son of David the first great King of Israel – wrote the magnificent “Song of Songs (Song of Solomon) when he was a young man enraptured in love (as an aside, Solomon had 700 wives and 300 concubines.. let us leave this subject for another discussion….).

Solomon composed the book of Proverbs during his mature years or during the time that his great Wisdom and Mental faculties were on display when men and women from the ancient world traveled days and months to imbibe the sage advice that flowed from his mind and heart.

Ecclesiastes was written during the latter stages of his life when it appears that he had become somewhat cynical and perhaps even somewhat melancholic as he reflected upon his life.

Solomon was one of the richest men who ever lived; he literally was able to do almost anything that his heart and ambition desired to do.

Yet, in the book of Ecclesiastes Solomon repeats over and over again that “all is vanity” and that “there is nothing new under the sun.

In the third chapter of Ecclesiastes, Solomon exclaims that:

What does the worker gain from his toil?

I have seen the burden God laid on men.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

He has also set eternity in the hearts” of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

I know that there is nothing better for men than to be happy and do good while they live.

That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil – this is the gift of God” (Ecclesiastes 3.9-13 NIV).

 How would one even begin to exegete these verses?

The first verse in this stanza would remind the observant reader of “the book of beginnings” or the book of Genesis.  Adam was told that “by the sweat of his brow he would eat his food” (Genesis 3.19).

Solomon appears to be echoing this thought.

With regards to his statement that “he has seen the burden God laid on men” one might ask, “Is true work a burden or a joy?”  The answer to this question may greatly depend upon the job that an individual may have to do at a given moment.

Solomon continues and avers that “God has set eternity into the hearts of men; yet they cannot fathom what God has done from beginning to end.”

Centuries later Sir Francis Bacon would concur with King Solomon when he wrote a commentary on one of Solomon’s proverbs (25:2):

“For he [Solomon] sayeth expressly, the Glory of God is to conceal a thing, but the Glory of a King is to find it out [Proverbs xxv, 2]:

 as if according to that innocent and affectionate play of Children, the Divine Majesty took delight to hide his works, to the end to have them found out; and as if Kings could not obtain greater Honour, than to be God’s play-fellows in that game;

specially considering the great command they have of wits and means, whereby the investigation of all things may be perfected.”  

— Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning (1605), Book I.

Yet, while Solomon extolled the glory and joy of work, investigation, and inquiry, he also would warned the readers of the book of Ecclesiastes that –

“…of making many books there is no end, and much study wearies the body” (Ecclesiastes 12.12).

There comes a time when we must take a time out to rest from our labors and lay our burdens down.

Perhaps we might begin to think of the Labor Day Holiday weekend as a time to –

  • …cease from making many books, articles, study, and the work that so often wearies the body.
  • …think creatively and meditate upon the things that matter most in life.

Perhaps “Labor Day” is a time for a reassessment to see if a life course change is in order and if we are in need of priorities realignment?

If indeed Our Creator has placed “eternity into our hearts” as affirmed by King Solomon, then just perhaps “Labor Day” is a time for us to cherish our families, our loved ones, and to be thankful for the freedoms that we have in this great land of ours.

Happy Labor Day!

 

 

 

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

NYT: Obama Urges Calm in Face of Crises in Ukraine and Syria, while admitting that

“We don’t have a strategy yet,” he said. “I think what I’ve seen in some of the news reports suggests that folks are getting a little further ahead of where we’re at than we currently are.”

Well, some folks indeed “are getting a little further ahead of where we’re at than we currently are.” As Richard Fernandez so aptly puts it, Predators have always gone for the weak and defenseless prey from the beginning of time.

Putin:
Ukrainian PM: ‘Russian Military Boots Are on Ukrainian Ground’

ISIL:
ISIL has claimed responsibility for bombing attacks in Iraq going back to 2010.

ISIS:
WARNING: GRUESOME PHOTO
Continue reading “The audacity of taupe”

by baldilocks

This is going to be an “I, me, my” kind of post.

I don’t know what to write about anymore. As a matter of fact I have had to re-think my whole way of living and interacting with the world–both the online world and the real one, of which writing is an integral part.

Like all too many Americans, I have had to scale back on the things which require more money: less extravagant food items and more basics. I found out I’m eligible for EBT, but I’d rather starve that sell my freedom for a “mess of pottage.” (Side note: I recently gave up fast food–not for financial reasons, but because my half-century old digestive system said “no más.”) I’ve lost weight and (re)learned to sew because I can’t afford new clothes. I’ve learned tbaldilockso repair rather than replace household items. And let’s not even discuss transportation.

Watching what is happening to our country and to the world at large is the main culprit. And, it’s not merely the myriad signs that our Lord’s return is imminent; nor is it just the temptation to sit back and let it happen. It’s the obliviousness of most people in my sphere. It’s the normalcy bias among many, even as they feel the same financial and (sometimes) spiritual crunch that I do. And, even among those who see what’s happening, it’s the tunnel-vision–the inability to pull the lens back from things like the Ferguson debacle and look at things from a decades-long or even a millennia-long perspective.

So what to do now? I sell many items on eBay; some were items that I owned; others were bequeathed to me by my great-aunt. (When I mentioned on Facebook that I was selling some of her old stemware, one of my cousins teased me, saying that our aunt would not be happy with me selling her stuff. I replied that she couldn’t take the stuff with her and neither could I.) I am using several other means to earn money; it’s a bit easier for me than most, since I only have myself to worry about.

I have been blessed with family and a few good friends who have helped me financially, with transportation and, most importantly, with their prayers. I have people like our host–Peter, Da tech Guy–who gave me this fine gig. I even have a personal drug-dealer; she keeps me stocked in caffeine.

I have God, the Church, my church, my pastor and my fellow congregants. Through this, I’m even learning a fourth language (Hebrew).

In the midst of the storms of the larger world and one’s personal world, grabbing onto the blessings of God seems hard, at first. But, in my experience, once the mind is set to see what is good in life, it becomes easier. So I will continue to be grateful for the blessings–especially when many of my brothers and sisters in Christ have it infinitely worse.

So, the plan: read, watch, wait, and listen…with my spiritual ears and my fleshly ones. And I have faith that God will sustain me and tell me what to do when these abnormal times become even more interesting.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game,
was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, 
Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

Every Political season is full of “mis-truths.” The worst part about them is that we, the voting public, let politicians asking for our vote get away with it, again, and again, and again. To make matters slightly worse we allow these lies to separate us and cause arguments in our personal lives. Ok…maybe not all of us engage in those arguments, but I know I have had heated arguments with professional people, in my workplace, over certain issues just because it was on a campaign ad. I decided to accumulate a few, and put them in a list. I hope you agree with me, but I am sure someone, somewhere will yell at me (but what are friends for).

I will stop EBT fraud!

Electronic Benefits Technology is a program that has fraud in it, lots of fraud. Depending on whose numbers you believe the fraud rate is somewhere between $2B and $50B annually. I personally approached members of both political parties here in Massachusetts (at a State level) about a high tech solution to EBT fraud. You can find it over on PJMedia in an article I wrote. The answer I got back was funny in ways. “Oh we need to get this other State Rep.” The reasoning seemed sound. That person is known for screaming about fraud in that system and wanting to make changes. After months of attempting to get them on the phone, I did…They didn’t want to even touch it because “the other party would never…” you know the rest. Funny part is I had members of the other party interested. If we can save the program money, and keep the system around for those who really need it by weeding out fraud and abuse, then why not? Both parties should love that. Unfortunately not really, the long and short of it was that both sides raise too much money demonizing the other on that issue to ever solve it.

I’m going to eliminate wasteful government spending!

I have been an adult long enough to know that you won’t ever drive wasteful spending to zero. It can’t be done. The government is HUGE. If you work for a company larger than 15 people you will know that there are times that waste comes into play. Someone out there will do it, it happens. Given the insane number of employees of the Federal, State and Local governments there will always be examples of waste. Just once I would love to hear someone tell the truth and say “I’ll tell you about waste when I see someone else do it, then look for another thing I can complain about, while getting my face on the news for the free exposure.” The phrase “I’ll reduce government waste” I would believe, but I will never hear that during a campaign. The very that moment these words leave a politicians lips run the other way and vote for someone else.

All Scientists agree that ….

Fill in the blank, I have heard this phrase on a variety of subjects. I am a Scientist with a PhD in Experimental Physics. I have known many scientists in my life. You will never, ever get all scientists to agree on anything (including how gravity works). I can barely get three of them to agree on which book has the best presentation of it, or worse, where to go have lunch. If someone says this assume everything they say after this is just an excuse for a large spending program that will funnel money to someone who donated to a campaign.

I will make sure that we convert everything everywhere to renewable, clean energy sources

Ok, ok…I like clean energy also. I did work in alternative fuels as part of my career early on. I want nothing more than to minimize the use of fossil fuels everywhere. They are dirty, they are dangerous but OMG they are plentiful and cheap. If anyone says “I will make sure we replace all fossil fuels with,” assume that someone who owns a wind, solar, or fuel cell company is a big backer, OR whoever said those words doesn’t understand something. That something is just how much we consume of fossil fuels every single day (natural gas counts also, don’t forget). It isn’t that we don’t want those energy sources, I know I do, but fossil fuels are just so darned efficient and we consume so much of them. The various alternatives are not going to reach the scale of fossil fuels as far as production anytime soon. My favorite one here is people that push electric only cars. That is fun…you do have to charge those cars and most electricity in the United States is generated with coal which burns dirtier than gasoline, so in reality, all you are doing is trading a dirty fossil fuel to charge your electric car, in place of a cleaner one I put in my car. But if it makes you feel good, enjoy…more power to you, that is one of the things that makes this country great. You are free to do as you choose, as am I. I would probably own a Tesla if I could afford one, but I can’t, so I drive a gasoline based car.

My new program will reduce overall government expense

I’m not even sure what to say when I hear this. Let’s think about it this way. This person running for office is going to start a NEW program that will SAVE us money. How? By spending more money? It is new, it is money we didn’t spend before. Will it shut down a different program or will this new thing just run around and collect fees and taxes from us we didn’t pay before it existed. I think we all know the answer to this. If you want to SAVE money you eliminate programs not start new ones.

 

 

I hope you have enjoyed my little rant and rave of this list. It is an election season, and while this is meant as humorous we should all take how we vote seriously. It is important to do so. We should give serious consideration into who runs this country. Please research who you are voting for, look beyond the party affiliation at the person. Elect only the best people to office, not ‘Us Versus Them.’

Tim

You can finding my writing here on DaTechGuy on Tuesday most weeks, or in one of several books on Amazon.com including the best-selling fiction novel Forest of Assassins, and the recently published eBook Laughing at a Military Enlistment, about the jokes various friends and I pulled on people when we were in the Army.  It is amazingly juvenile humor but funny all the same.

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Olimometer 2.52

If you think the coverage and commentary we provide here is worth your support please consider hitting DaTipJar below to meet our annual expenses.

Consider the lineup you get In addition to my own work seven days a week you get John Ruberry (Marathon Pundit)  on Sunday Pat Austin (And so it goes in Shreveport)  on Monday  Tim Imholt on Tuesday,  AP Dillon (Lady Liberty1885) Thursdays, Pastor George Kelly Fridays,   Steve Eggleston on Saturdays with  Baldilocks (Tue & Sat)  and   Fausta  (Wed & Fri) of (Fausta Blog) twice a week.

If that’s not worth $20 a month I’d like to know what is?

by baldilocks

The 75th anniversary of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact is today and the names of the two signatories—the two foreign ministers–practically scream “USSR” and “Nazi Germany.” The agreement is infamous; one in which the envoys of a pair of tyrants agree to divide Poland and several other countries.

Molotov (l.) and Ribbentrop
Molotov (l.) and Ribbentrop

I’m looking for something perversely symbolic to happen today; perhaps something similar to what happened five years ago when President Obama reneged on a promise to give Poland and the Czech Republic missile shield technology—a promise which George W. Bush had made and set into motion.

The date which President Obama announced that he would break that promise? September 17, 2009, which was the 70th Anniversary to the day of the beginning of invasion of Poland by the USSR and Nazi Germany.

No, I don’t think that President Obama knew this—he simply does what he’s told–but you can bet that his handlers picked that day for that very reason. They were sending Poland a message.

Anyway, all these milestones and the gearing up of new conflicts, new treacheries, new genocides, and new Jew-hatred got me to thinking about what I wrote on 2010’s D-Day anniversary.

From reading Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope…I discovered what a death toll World War One had taken on the population of its European participants.  Present-day protesters against the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan [sic] would have committed serial seppuku over the type of casualties taken in any single battle of the Great War—the great numbers of dead being caused by contemporaneous weapons combined with American Civil War-era tactics.  Then, there were the civilian casualties.  Overwhelming to ponder at the time, no doubt, but small potatoes compared to what was to come a few years after the “War to End All Wars.”

Europeans murdered each other thoroughly in that war, in World War Two, in between the wars and afterward. They did so via gas chambers, ovens [sic], starvation and government prison camps and most of them viciously turned on the Jews, using the means stated.  Because of that–and abortion–there have not been enough indigenous Europeans left to reproduce and, thereby, fund the welfare states in which they so desperately believe and which are become their undoing.  So, they had to invite in immigrants from Africa and Asia–mostly Muslim.

And therein lies the interesting part.  Murdered Jews—the monetary experts and culture of Europe–who would have reproduced to populate a far stronger and more admirable Europe, IMO–have been replaced by those who hate both Jews and non-Muslim white Europeans and who reproduce at a far greater rate than do their hosts.  And, the kicker is that the white post-Christian Europeans invited in their would-be conquerors.

The children and grandchildren of those who coveted Jewish possessions will soon be in a struggle with those who simultaneously claim that there was no Holocaust and who long to perpetrate the next one.  No, hatred doesn’t have to make sense.

That struggle will be over possession of a land which is covered with the ashes of the Jews.

You don’t think God doesn’t keep his promises?  Think again.

Also, God sends messages and will sometimes use His supreme comic talents to do it. The recipient, however, is never laughing.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng blogs at baldilocks. Her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game,baldilocks was published in 2009; the second edition in 2012. Her new novel, Arlen’s Harem, is due in 2014. Help her fund it and help keep her blog alive!

The noted Political Philosopher Dr. Russell Kirk wrote a book called The Roots of American Order (1974).  Dr. Kirk espoused the belief that a safe and stable “Societal-Order” precedes a society’s or a nation’s ability to grow, expand, or to produce cultural innovation.

Dr. Kirk was described as a “Paleo-Conservative”; Mr. Kirk was an exponent of the type of political conservatism espoused by the former British Statesman Edmund Burke.

Mr. Kirk was one of the original contributors to the magazine entitled “National Review”’ this magazine was founded by the late William F. Buckley, Jr.

In the Roots of American Order, Dr. Kirk proclaimed that before there can be a stable economic, political, or social environment that there must first be safe and secure political and social institutions which allow people to feel a sense of peace and well-being.

How do we maintain and promote domestic and international order?

Mr. Kirk and Mr. Buckley both put forth the axiom that if a nation desired to stay free that they must prepare for war and be ready to meet dire threats head on without being unnecessarily bellicose.

The events on the world scene are both troubling and frightening.

Recently the international terrorist group the Islamic States of Iran and Syria (ISIS) ruthlessly murdered (beheaded!) a journalist named James Foley; his crime:  he simply reported on world events transpiring in the Middle East.

ISIS is committed to exporting their unique form of murder, extortion, and fear worldwide.

The existential question is this:  What should the family of nations – especially the democratic governments of Europe and America – do in response to ISIS’ malicious and heinous activities?

Should the United States seek to exterminate and root out this form of terrorism at its source?

Should the United States and the democratic governments of the world form a Confederacy and share Intelligence reports and resources in an endeavor to treat terrorists in a similar manner to how governments worked against Pirates in the late 18th century and in the early decades of the 19th century?  This approach took decades to bear fruit, but eventually it worked.

Finally, should the United States adopt an “isolationist posture” and simply play “defense” and attempt to protect the home front and quietly withdraw from the International Scene

King Solomon wrote nearly 3,000 years ago in the book of Ecclesiastes that “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Ecclesiastes 3.1).

Prayers, Entreaties, and well wishes should go out to President Barack Obama and to the members of Congress who analyze intelligence reports and who must work together with formulating a coherent foreign policy response which is adequate to the grave and perilous events that have overtaken us.

Students of the Presidency inform us that the decisions that a President makes not only shape the immediate environment, but the policies put forth by the Executive branch help to determine the nation’s ability to adequately respond to external and internal threats in the future.

Let us pray that the men and women at Foggy Bottom (the State Department); the Pentagon (Department of Defense) and Homeland Security give the President the intelligence reports that he  and his staff will need to successfully navigate our nation into a tumultuous future.

Let us pray that the President’s mettle, temperament, and conceptual outlook will lead him to make wise and prudent decisions that best protect our nation – and inspire free democracies to stand firm against terrorism.

This is a time for sober, deliberate, and thoughtful responses which are equivalent to the severe nature of the worldwide terrorism that seeks to bring about chaos and disorder.

Let us look deep down within ourselves to see if we are willing to fight for our families, our lives, and our sacred honor and for the freedoms that we enjoy in the United States of America.

 

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz

Venezuela, sliding further into Cuban-like totalitarian Communism, faces severe food shortages. Take a look at the lines at a food distribution center:

What next?
Venezuela Proposes Fingerprinting Grocery Shoppers

President Nicolas Maduro says a mandatory fingerprinting system is being implemented at grocery stores to combat food shortages by keeping people from buying too much of a single item. He calls it an “anti-fraud system” like the fingerprint scan the country uses for voting.

In a country where accusations of electoral fraud have plagued several elections, that’s almost risible, but I digress.

Questions of where the broke and corrupt regime will find the funds to equip and maintain the machines to scan fingerprints at every grocery store (considering it’s not maintaining the government-owned oil producing monopoly, PDVSA) aside, the issue is that of control, and failure. Failed governments are really good at only one thing: controlling and oppressing the people. Juan Cristobal Nagel writes of a Venezuelan facing onerous currency controls while visiting him abroad:

Watching this hero of mine, this towering figure from my youth, reduced to going from one ATM to another trying to see if “pasó la tarjeta,” if their card was actually working, kind of broke my heart. It brought home the inherent perversity of a system like Cadivi. He couldn’t really enjoy his vacation, because he was always worried that he wouldn’t be able to pay off his hotel bill, his car rental, his incidentals. You never knew when the government would pull the plug on your financial independence, when they would revoke the permission to use your money wherever you please.

You, my gentle reader, may wonder, what doe this have to do with you, who may not even have met a Venezuelan, let alone been to the country, in your whole life?

Well, let’s go back to Nagel’s post (emphasis added):

Sometimes, you give up your freedoms because you have to, because they are taken away from you. That is the case in Venezuela. But the least you can do is be mindful of it. This thing from last night? It’s just the corollary of what you’ve been subjected to.

Here in the U.S. we’re not as complacent with the concept of “you give up your freedoms because you have to, because they are taken away from you”; but first we must be mindful.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics and culture at Fausta’s Blog.