Sunday, July 30, 2006
Friday, July 28, 2006
A Call to Action: Taking down liberal Joe Schwarz is critical!
What would you say if I told you that in less than two weeks, FlashReport readers have an opportunity to defeat a liberal in Congress?
His name is
and along with other liberals in the House of Representatives, he is standing firmly in the way of moving our conservative Republican agenda in Congress. Actually, Schwarz is uniquely situated to sabotage the GOP agenda, and I will explain why in a moment.
But first let me take a moment to tell you just how liberal Schwarz is... Schwarz
Has repeatedly advocated higher income, business, property and gas taxes.
Has suggested suspending or rescinding the President's income, capitol gains and dividend tax cuts to pay for more government spending.
Voted against a proposal to reduce non-security spending by 2%.
Opposed slowing the rate of mandatory spending increases to 6.1%.
Also voted against a 1% across-the-board spending reduction, but sadly voted for taxpayer-funded Viagra purchases.
Joined the Democrat leadership in their call for President Bush's Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld's resignation.
Does not believe the Second Amendment of the Constitution gives individuals the right to keep and bear arms.
Called his state's right-to-carry law "nuts"
Voted against Alaska oil drilling even announced he would oppose the Republican budget if Congress approved Alaska oil drilling.
Sent a letter to the House Rules Committee opposing Republican efforts to provide school vouchers to low-income families hit by Hurricane Katrina.
Voted to make it easier for local government to take private property from one landowner and give it to private landowner, under the law of eminent domain.
Voted against the federal legislation to overdue the Supreme Court's Kelo decision.
I could go on at length - I haven't even gotten to Schwarz anti-life stands or his opposition to the federal marriage amendment.
"But Jon," you ask, "why is this particular liberal, Schwarz, any more of a threat to our Republican agenda than any of the other liberals in Congress like Nancy Pelosi, Barbara Lee, Henry Waxman?"
The answer is simple, and unbelievable. Joe Schwarz is a registered REPUBLICAN.
That's right, all of those liberal positions I have outlined above belong to one of the most liberal Republicans in Washington, making Schwarz much effectively situated to stop a conservative agenda on Capitol Hill than any Democrat in Congress!
If you aren't amazed at how "anti-Republican" Schwarz is from the points above, here are a few more, taken from the Joe Schwarz is a Liberal website:
The National Taxpayers Union rated him a dismal 47%, which was more than 20% below the average of all House Republicans
He voted to fund the National Endowment for the Arts
He voted to fund the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
He even voted for the infamous pork-barrel Alaska "Bridge to Nowhere."
Schwarz is exactly the kind of big-government politician that we don't want in Congress.
One of America's premiere conservative activist groups, The Club for Growth, has declared Schwarz to be the most vulnerable liberal in Congress. You see, Schwarz, who is from Michigan, is facing a primary challenge in less than two weeks from conservative former long-time State Legislator Tim Walberg. I learned about this whole issue because, on behalf of the FlashReport, I participate (via phone) in a weekly conservative bloggers national meeting hosted by The Heritage Foundation and Human Events. The Club for Growth's main blogger, Andy Roth, participates in these meetings as well. And in one recent meeting, CfG President Pat Toomey (a great conservative former Congressman) specifically called upon bloggers around the nation to carry a message -- (to paraphrase...) 'if you believe like we do that liberal Republicans are keeping us from key achievements like making the Bush tax cuts permanent, reforming social security, and reigning in federal spending, you need to be part of our effort to target Schwarz for defeat.'
Here is some great news. According to Andy Roth whom I just spoke with recently on this race -- Schwarz is in the political battle of his life. One political expert in the district said, "The Schwarz people are running scared". How is this possible? When you look at Schwarz record, imagine the opportunity for an articulate, values-oriented conservative candidate to really draw a contrast to the voters. And Walberg is doing just that.
The Club for Growth has this to say about Walberg:
TIM WALBERG - ONE OF THE GOOD GUYSYou can also see the contrast between the two candidates right here on Walberg's website.
Former Michigan State Rep. Tim Walberg
just announced he will challenge Congressman Schwarz in the Republican primary in Michigan's 7th congressional district.
Tim had a stellar record in the State Legislature, repeatedly advocating pro-growth economic policies and fighting for taxpayers. He's also a candidate with a backbone, who defied his own party's leadership when it wouldn't side with taxpayers.
Tim believes in limited government and is sharply critical of the Supreme Court's Kelo decision, which weakened private property rights.
When he ran for Congress last year, the Lansing State Journal quoted Tim as saying "I will work continually to leave more resources with our families, businesses, and non-profit organizations. First, I will seek to reduce government spending so more resources can be left directly with the people. Every dollar the politicians spend is one less dollar in the pockets of American families and businesses. Second, I will strive to cut tax rates to increase incentives to work, save, and invest."
We can use a lot more of that common sense pro-growth medicine in Congress.
THE CALL TO ACTION
As I have said all along, the biggest danger we have to losing our Republican majority in Congress is if we squander it by not keeping our promises as a party. Taking down a leftist "Republican" like Schwarz would send a chilling message to any remaining Republicans on the Hill who want to stand in the way of reducing the size and scope of the federal government. We need to send a message that if you can't support a mere 1% cut in the amount of federal spending, you are endangering our majority.
Of course electing Walberg and defeating Schwarz is something that will have to be done by Michigan voters far from the Golden State. But we can still make a difference. The Club for Growth is raising tons of money from thousands of grassroots folks like YOU to help fund independent efforts (such as these commercials) to help put Walberg over the top. Today I went to the CfG website and I made a donation to help their effort. I want to encourage each of you to do the same. While $50 or $100 would be awesome, even $15, $10 or $5 would help - and you can give to Club for Growth via credit card here. This is really important.
A RACE WE CAN WIN (from the CfG site)
Running as the most liberal Republican in a field with six strong candidates, Schwarz finished first in the 2004 GOP primary with just 28% of the vote - that is, 72% of the voters cast their ballots against Schwarz.
Unfortunately, Michigan does not have a runoff election, so 28% was good enough to win the nomination.
Walberg ran in the same race and finished a strong third, despite having been outgunned by richer (one candidate put in over $500,000 of his own money) or better-funded candidates.
Both our analysis of that race and a poll we recently conducted in the district convinces us that Walberg has a very good chance to win if he has the funding to carry his Reaganite pro-growth message to the voters.
Here's where Club members like you come in.
You have the power to help Tim Walberg defeat Schwarz. The incumbent will be raising money from special interests here in Washington. But Club members can be the great equalizer in this race, donating the funds to provide Tim with the resources to upset this incumbent...and put all other liberal Republicans on notice that they, too, are vulnerable in a GOP primary.
This is a heavily Republican seat - Bush beat Kerry by nine points.
When Tim first ran for the State Legislature, he ran against a liberal Republican incumbent in the primary, and won.
We think the odds are good for that history to repeat here.
Now is the time for all good men and women to stop complaining about a Republican Congress that won't limit government and start donating to Republican candidates who share our pro-growth values.
WHY SHOULD WE IN CALIFORNIA PITCH IN?
We have some liberal Republicans here in California. And if Schwarz is successfully removed from office in Michigan, you can be sure that if our California RINO's (Republicans In Name Only) don't shape up, then our blogger colleagues from around American will be pitching in to help us get rid of our problem legislators!
Again - the link to donate is right here. You can also go check out the Club for Growth website right here.
Let's make a difference, and take on the biggest threat to our Republican Majority -- the liberal "registered" Republicans who make a mockery of our party platform.
I would appreciate if you sent even a small donation. Email me and let me know if you do, or better yet, post a comment and challenge others! Together we can all make a difference.
PS: Just so you know, labor unions have given over $125,000 to Schwarz. Environmentalist have given over $300,000. And the Republican Main Street Partnership (the 'home team' for the band of liberal GOPers on the Hill) is supporting him as well. If your character is defined by the company you keep, Schwarz is a BIG TIME liberal
Thursday, July 27, 2006
What Israelis have learned and not learned
I am writing this in between ducking in and out of the bomb shelter as Haifa is bathed by the Katyusha rockets and other missiles that Ehud Barak has now fired at the city. Why Ehud Barak? Because as Israeli Prime Minister in 2000, HE ordered the cowardly unilateral withdrawal of Israeli troops from the security zone in southern Lebanon, and so HE positioned the thousands of Hezbollah rockets on Israel's northern border.
It occurred to me that now would be as good a time as any to sum up everything that has been learned about the Middle East conflict, that is, everything that the Israeli government and chattering classes refused to learn for the past two decades.
1. Nice fences do not stop missiles, rockets, and mortars.
2. Complete removal of Israeli forces and Jewish settlers from an area does not achieve anything, and merely signals Israeli weakness, inviting escalated terror and aggression from the Arabs.
3. The Hezbollah and the Hamas cannot be defeated with air strikes. There is no effective alternative to ground invasion and ongoing control of the ground.
4. Unless the Israeli military controls the ground on the OTHER side of fences, those fences achieve nothing.
5. Goodwill gestures by Israel increase terror.
6. Goodwill gestures by Israel never produce moderation of Arab goals and demands, but rather produce the opposite.
7. Terror is not caused by settlements, but rather by the *removal* of settlements.
8. Terror is not caused by Israeli military occupation, but rather by the *removal *of Israeli military occupation.
9. It is impossible for there to be two sovereign entities between the Jordon River and the Mediterranean.
10. No matter how many concessions Israel makes, the world will always justify Arab terrorism, because there is always one more capitulation that Israel failed to make (e.g., giving up the "Shebaa Farm" on the Golan Heights)
11. No matter how nice Israel is to Israeli Arabs, no matter how many affirmative action programs it implements, it will always be accused of being an "apartheid regime".
12. The Israeli Far Left is an openly anti-Semitic movement that seeks Israel's destruction and automatically endorses the enemies of Israel in all things.
13. The Israeli Labor Party and its Kadima cousin may be more effective at fighting terror, once they decide to do so, than the Likud. The reason is that if the Likud were fighting terror, the Israeli Left would take to the streets in mass demonstrations against Israeli imperialism and aggression, and the leftist Israeli media would declare that 400,000 protesters turned out.
14. The *real* enemy of Israel is not Arab fascism but Jewish leftism.
15. The world likes to see Jewish civilians murdered by terrorists and will applaud and justify all such murders as comeuppance for the Jews for being so insensitive.
16. The Israeli Left will oppose every conceivable act of Israeli self-defense, other than total capitulation.
17. Israeli niceness and flexibility fan anti-Semitism.
18. Israel-bashing is nothing more than anti-Semitism and Israel-bashers are increasingly open about their delight at seeing Jewish civilians murdered.
19. Israeli pursuit of the "peace process" has triggered a world-wide storm of anti-Semitism.
20. Terrorists cannot be appeased.
21. Arab terrorists do not morph into statesmen.
22. There are no Palestinian moderates.
23. Israel bashers do not care about dead Arab civilians, other than as a useful bludgeon with which to delegitimize Israel.
24. The Western Left would celebrate if Israeli Jews were shipped off to concentration camps in cattle cars, and would demand improved rail service.
25. The vast majority of Israeli Arabs want to see Israel destroyed and the Jews thrown into the sea.
26. There are hundreds of Jewish professors in Israel who serve as an academic Fifth Column that will do anything to collaborate with the enemies of their country.
27. The Arabs will not accept an independent Israel in ANY set of borders, no matter how small. Hence one achieves nothing by reducing Israel's territory, other than to signal weakness and destructibility.
28. Much of the Western media believes that there are no problems on earth that could not be greatly improved by destroying Israel.
29. Most of the governments of Europe do not believe Jews should be treated with respect, and certainly do not think Jews should ever be allowed to defend themselves.
30. The only country on earth that is expected to respond to mass murder of its civilians through turning of the other cheek is Israel. The only country on earth that spent many years trying to defeat aggression and terrorism by turning the other cheek is Israel.
31. No matter how Israel responds to aggression and terrorism, it will always be a "disproportionate" response.
32. Those who claim that anti-Zionism is different and distinct from anti-Semitism are anti-Semites.
33. The only people on earth whom the Left believes should be denied the right to self-determination and self-defense are the Jews.
34. "Palestinians" are not a people and never were. They are simply Arabs who happened to migrate into historic Western Palestine. They have no right whatsoever to statehood.
35. The Golan Heights are not "Syrian" and never were.
36. Noam Chomsky is an anti-Semite and Norman Finkelstein is a neo-nazi. People who endorse them are anti-Semites, even if they happen to be Israeli Jews.
37. Israeli politicians are among the stupidest on earth.
38. Israeli leftists never learn from the failures of their policies and "ideas". Every failure is simply because their policies were not applied thoroughly *enough.*
39. The moral and legal responsibility for every single Arab civilian killed or injured in the Middle East conflict rests squarely upon the shoulders of the Arab fascists and terrorists.
40. There is no moral or legal reason for Israel to refrain from attacking terrorists and murderers when they hide among civilians.
41. "Anarchists" and others who protest against Israel's security wall want the wall removed because they want terrorists to murder Jewish civilians.
42. Palestinians are the Sudeten Germans of the Middle East.
43. Israel has no obligation to share its water resources with the "Palestinians" or anyone else.
44. There are no non-military solutions to the problem of terrorism.
45. One can only make peace with one's enemies. One also only makes war with one's enemies.
46. There are no significant differences between the agenda of the PLO and the agenda of the Hamas and Hezbollah.
47. The Middle East conflict is not a marital spat. Going through the pretense of holding hands and holding talks does not calm tensions and achieves nothing.
48. One cannot make peace by pretending that war does not exist. 49. One cannot buy off anti-Semites and Islamofascists with trade
concessions and subsidies.
50. The only way to stop terrorism is to kill terrorists.
Steven Plaut is an American-trained economist, a professor of business administration at Haifa University and author of "The Scout." He frequently comments - both seriously and satirically - on Israeli politics and the left wing academic community. His website address is http://www.stevenplaut.blogspot.com. Contact him at email@example.com
Boy, is he ever right.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
Freedom vs. Unlimited Majority Rule
By Peter Schwartz
Hezbollah, which has been waging war on Israel, and America, for years, is the immediate cause of the current fighting in the Middle East. The broader cause, though, is the United States government.
When Washington declared that freedom could be advanced by elections in which Hezbollah participated, and by which it became part of Lebanon's government, we granted that terrorist entity something it could never achieve on its own: moral legitimacy.
We gave legitimacy to Hezbollah--just as we did to such enemies as Hamas in the Palestinian Authority and the budding theocrats in Iraq and Afghanistan. These people all came to power through democratic elections promoted by the U.S. But a murderer does not gain legitimacy by getting elected to the ruling clique of his criminal gang--nor does anyone gain it by becoming an elected official of an anti-freedom state.
The premise behind the Bush administration's policy is the hopeless view that tyranny is reversed by the holding of elections--a premise stemming from the widespread confusion between freedom and democracy.
The typical American realizes that there ought to be limits on what government may do. He understands that each of us has rights which no law may breach, regardless of how much public support it happens to attract. An advocate of democracy, however, holds the opposite view.
The essence of democracy is unlimited majority rule. It is the notion that the government should not be constrained, as long as its behavior is sanctioned by majority vote. It is the notion that the very function of government is to implement the "will of the people." It is the notion espoused whenever we tell the Lebanese, the Iraqis, the Palestinians and the Afghanis that the legitimacy of a new government flows from its being democratically approved.
And it is the notion that was categorically repudiated by the founding of the United States.
America's defining characteristic is freedom. Freedom exists when there are limitations on government, imposed by the principle of individual rights. America was established as a republic, under which the state is restricted to protecting our rights. This is not a system of "democracy." Thus, you are free to criticize your neighbors, your society, your government--no matter how many people wish to pass a law censoring you. You are free to own your property--no matter how large a mob wants to take it from you. The rights of the individual are inalienable. But if "popular will" were the standard, the individual would have no rights--only temporary privileges, granted or withdrawn according to the mass mood of the moment. The tyranny of the majority, as the Founders understood, is just as evil as the tyranny of an absolute monarch.
Yes, we have the ability to vote, but that is not the yardstick by which freedom is measured. After all, even dictatorships hold official elections. It is only the existence of liberty that justifies, and gives meaning to, the ballot box. In a genuinely free country, voting pertains only to the means of safeguarding individual rights. There can be no moral "right" to vote to destroy rights.
Unfortunately, like President Bush, most Americans use the antithetical concepts of "freedom" and "democracy" interchangeably. Sometimes our government upholds the primacy of individual rights and regards one's life, liberty and property as inviolable. More often, however, it negates rights by upholding the primacy of the majority's wishes--from confiscating an individual's property because the majority wants it for "public use," to preventing a terminally ill individual from ending his painful life because a majority finds suicide unacceptable.
Today, our foreign policy endorses this latter position. We declare that our overriding goal in the Mideast is that people vote--regardless of whether they value freedom. But then, if a religious majority imposes its theology on Iraq, or if Palestinian suicide-bombers execute their popular mandate by blowing up Israeli schoolchildren, on what basis can we object, since democracy--"the will of the people"--is being faithfully served? As a spokesman for Hamas, following its electoral victory, correctly noted: "I thank the United States that they have given us this weapon of democracy. . . . It's not possible for the U.S. . . . to turn its back on an elected democracy." All these enemies of America--Hamas, Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed Shiites--abhor freedom, while adopting the procedure of democratic voting.
If we are going to try to replace tyrannies, we must stop confusing democracy with freedom. We must make clear that the principle we support is not the unlimited rule of the majority, but the inalienable rights of the individual. Empowering killers who happen to be democratically elected does not advance the cause of freedom--it destroys it.
Peter Schwartz is a Distinguished Fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute (www.AynRand.org) in Irvine, California. The Institute promotes Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand--author of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.
ENDGAME CONSERVATIVES, CHAPTER TWO - BABBIN
By Jed Babbin
Published 7/17/2006 12:08:45 AM
Hizballah terrorists killed 220 American Marines, 18 sailors, and 3 soldiers on 23 October 1983 by driving a bomb-laden truck into their barracks in Beirut. America then retreated from Lebanon, its tail between its legs. Hizballah and Iran -- the nation that created Hizballah and still arms, funds, and supplies it -- won that round. The two -- and Syria, which supports both Hizballah and Hamas -- are now in the warmup stage for the next round.
For those who missed the first lesson in March, there are two schools of foreign policy in the Republican Party. There are those neo-Wilsonians, such as President Bush and Secretary of State Rice, who believe that in order to defeat Islamic terrorism we must establish democracy in the Middle East as a competitor to radical Islam. They have embarked on a strategy that requires success in Iraq before action is taken anywhere else. It is a self-imposed quagmire.
The second school of thought I have labeled, "Endgame Conservatism." Those such as I say that history from Carthage to Vietnam teaches that if we fail to prosecute a war in a manner calculated to win it decisively, we will lose it inevitably. We believe that terrorism cannot threaten us significantly without the support of nations, and that those nations that are preeminent in their support for terrorists -- Iran and Syria -- must be forcibly disconnected from terrorism. We believe that waiting for Islam to reform itself is tantamount to accepting defeat and that radical Islam (an ideology, not a religion) must be defeated just as Soviet Communism and German Nazism were. We believe that our military's job is not to build nations but to defeat those that threaten America. Once they have done so, their job is finished and whatever the people of a nation do thereafter is their business, not ours, unless they choose to threaten America or its allies again. We assert that requiring democracy in Iraq before defeating the Syrian and Iranian regime enables the enemy to control the pace and direction of the war. And we believe that peace isn't about "processes." It's about winners and losers. Until you have each belligerent in one category or the other, the war isn't over.
We, and the Israelis who left Lebanon before us, left without defeating the terrorist regimes that have every day since then used Lebanon as a terrorist base. In Syria, Hafez Assad has been succeeded by his son Bashar and, in Iran, Ayatollah Khomeni has been succeeded by more ayatollahs and their face man, Ahmadinejad, for whom the Apocalypse is a career objective. Syria has been on our list of state sponsors of terrorism since 1979. Iran has been on it since 1984. Neither has suffered any consequence for their dedication to terrorism. Our weakness has become their strength.
WHAT IS HAPPENING NOW in Israel and Lebanon is the direct result of our failure for more than 20 years, and the Israelis' failure, to prosecute this war decisively. What happens next depends on what we do now. The Bush neo-Wilsonians lack the resolve essential for decisive action. On Fox News Sunday Secretary Rice did two things. First, she auditioned for the job of a BBC news presenter by using consistently the term "extremist" when she should have said "terrorist." Second, she took the preposterous position that going to the UN Security Council was a demonstration of American determination and strength. She said -- again and again -- that the UN payoff was that the Iranians were totally "isolated." Yes, Mizz Rice, if by "isolated" you mean Iran is in de facto control of the world oil market and command of growing global terrorism. If "isolated" means having huge, open trade with China and Russia and military weapons and training provided by both. And what are we doing to act decisively against either Syria or Iran? We are, again, abdicating our responsibility and asking the UN to decide for us.
If this White House truly believes feckless UN debating is decisive action, we have been the worst victims of campaign fraud since 1976 when Jimmy Carter bamboozled some of us into believing he was a conservative. We could have gotten this result by staying home in 2004.
The Democrats, (or rather their brain trust, the NYT editorial staff), long ago accepted that America is incapable of winning wars, and believe it should not be permitted to. In a Saturday editorial that could have been written by Rice, the Times accepted that Hamas and Hizballah would not be defeated or their supporters significantly affected by the outcome of this round of warfare. It opined that the proper direction of Israeli force is to weaken and isolate Hamas and Hizballah. Nyet, comrades. The proper direction of Israeli force is to attack and destroy the enemy's centers of gravity. Those are found in Damascus and Tehran, not in Gaza or Lebanon.
ON SUNDAY, Israeli deputy prime minister Shimon Peres said, "There are officers belonging to the Iranian Revolutionary Guard among Hizballah and they operated the missile [that struck the Israeli ship off Lebanon]." We know, from the statements he issues from his Damascus headquarters, that Hamas leader Khalid Messhaal operates from Syria with Syrian support. Since we toppled Saddam, Assad's regime has supplied, funded, and reinforced the Sunni insurgents in Iraq. Iran's mullahcracy has been both funding and arming the Shia militias and terrorists there. The single most lethal weapon used against our troops in Iraq -- the "explosively-formed projectile" version of the IED -- is made in Iran and smuggled into Iraq. Iran has waged a one-sided war against us since 1979.
What is happening now in Israel, Lebanon, and Gaza is not the decisive battle. Fearing a regional war, Israel won't press its advantage and remove the Assad regime. It lacks the ability to remove Ahmadinejad and the ayatollahs. This round of fighting will go on for weeks or months, and then -- unless Iran and Syria choose to raise the stakes -- it will end, again. Temporarily, again. Until they decide to attack, again. What Israel's enemies -- our enemies -- have learned is that we will allow them to choose the time and place of the decisive engagement. That must change.
Endgame conservatives understand that our enemy is moving slowly toward its own endgame. The radical Islamists are committed to win, and nothing will do more than slow their progress until they are defeated decisively, or until they win.
We have to face one simple fact: democracy depends on a separation of church and state that is impossible where Islamic law prevails. Democracy provides us with the freedoms we wish for everyone. But we cannot allow those who wish to destroy it to succeed because of our naive desire to impose it in their lands. It is still our choice to win decisively or lose inevitably. But soon that choice will no longer be ours to make. [emphasis added]
Jed Babbin is the author of Inside the Asylum: Why the UN and Old Europe Are Worse Than You Think (Regnery, 2004) and, with Edward Timperlake, Showdown: Why China Wants War With the United States
Tuesday, July 04, 2006