Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Romnesia Versus Obambulation

Romnesia – (n) an affliction that causes a victim to forget the truth of what an opponent has said

Obambulation – (n) a tendency to wander or stray, especially from the truth.

One of these words is a made-up word.  The other is actually in the dictionary.  Obama created the fictional disease of Romnesia, although he seems to be the chief victim.  In the last debate, Obama accused Mitt Romney of wanting to take the flailing Detroit automakers through bankruptcy.  Romney didn’t deny it.  In fact, in September 2008, Romney wrote a New York Times Op-Ed describing how he disagreed with the bailout and the managed bankruptcy he would take the company’s through, to rid them of excess debt and labor, and bring them back to financial health.

If you have “Romnesia,” fear not; the Times editorial is still available:

Let Detroit Go Bankrupt

Nov. 8, 2008   Mitt Romney

“IF General Motors, Ford, and Chrysler get the bailout that their chief executives asked for yesterday, you can kiss the American automotive industry goodbye.  It won’t go overnight, but its demise will be virtually guaranteed.

“Without that bailout, Detroit will need to drastically restructure itself.  With it, the automakers will stay the course – the suicidal course of declining market shares, insurmountable labor and retiree burdens, technology atrophy, product inferiority and never-ending job losses.  Detroit needs a turnaround, not a check.

“I love cars, American cars.  I was born in Detroit, the son of an auto chief executive.  In 1954, my dad, George Romney, was tapped to run American Motors when its president suddenly died.  The company itself was on life support – banks were threatening to deal it a death blow.  The stock collapsed.  I watched Dad work to turn the company around – and years later at business school, they were still talking about it.  From the lessons of that turnaround, and from my own experiences, I have several prescriptions for Detroit’s automakers.

“First, their huge disadvantage in costs relative to foreign brands must be eliminated.  That means new labor agreements to align pay and benefits to match those of workers at competitors like BMW, Honda, Nissan and Toyota.  Furthermore, retiree benefits must be reduced so that the total burden per auto for domestic markets is not higher than that of foreign producers.

“That extra burden is estimated to be more than $2,000 per car.  Think what that means:  Ford, for example, needs to cut $2,000 worth of features and quality out of its Taurus to compete with Toyota’s Avalon.  Of course the Avalon feels like a better product – it has $2,000 more put into it.  Considering this disadvantage, Detroit has done a remarkable job of designing and engineering its cars.  But if this cost penalty persists, any bailout will only delay the inevitable.

“Second, management as is must go.  New faces should be recruited from unrelated industries – from companies widely respected for excellence in marketing, innovation, creativity and labor relations.  The new management must work with labor leaders to see that the enmity between labor and management comes to an end.  This division is a holdover from the early years of the last century, when unions brought workers job security and better wages and benefits.  But was Walter Reuther, former head of the United Automobile Workers, said to my father, “Getting more and more pay for less and less work is a ‘dead-end street’”

“You don’t have to look far for industries with unions that went down that road.  Companies in the 21st Century cannot perpetuate the destructive labor relations of the 20th.  This will mean a new direction for the U.A.W., profit-sharing or stock grants to all employees and change in Big Three management culture.

“The need for collaboration will mean accepting sanity in salary and perks.  At American Motors, my dad cut his pay and that of his executive team, he bought stock in the company, and he went out to talk to workers directly.  Get rid of the planes, the executive dining rooms – all the symbols that breed resentment among the hundreds of thousands will also be sacrificing to keep the companies afloat.

“Investments must be made for the future.  No more focus on quarterly earnings or the kind of short-term stock appreciation that means quick riches for executives with options.  Manage with an eye on cash flow, balance sheets, and long-term appreciation.  Invest in truly competitive products and innovative technologies – especially fuel-saving designs – that may not arrive for years.  Starving research and development is like eating the seed corn.

“Just as important to the future of American carmakers is the sales force.  When sales are down, you don’t want to lose the only people who can get them to grow.  So don’t fire the best dealers, and don’t crush them with new financial or performance demands they can’t meet.

“It is not wrong to ask for government help, but the automakers should come up with a win-win proposition.  I believe the federal government should invest substantially more in basic research –on new energy sources, fuel-economy technology, materials science and the like – that will ultimately benefit the automotive industry, along with many others.  I believe Washington should raise research spending to $20 billion a year, from the $4 billion that is spent today.  The research could be done at universities, at research labs and even through public-private collaboration.  The federal government should also rectify the imbedded tax penalties that favor foreign carmakers.

“But don’t ask Washington to give shareholders and bondholders a free pass – they bet on management and they lost.

“The American auto industry is vital to our national interest as an employer and as a hub for manufacturing.  A managed bankruptcy may be the only path to the fundamental restructuring the industry needs.  It would permit the companies to shed excess labor, pension and real estate costs.  The federal government should provide guarantee for post-bankruptcy financing and assure car buyers that their warranties are not at risk.

“In a managed bankruptcy, the federal government would propel newly competitive and viable automakers, rather than seal their fate with a bailout check.”
There’s the truth, in black and white.  There’s Mitt Romney telling the automakers that they’ve got to cut the excessive executive salaries, the private jets and dining rooms, as well advising that the company must cut excessive union benefits.  There’s Mitt Romney giving sound business advice and a coherent explanation of what a managed bankruptcy means:  that the company’s debts will be cancelled, or paid off by the government, so as long as the company takes measures to improve its financial standing.   The company is saved, the jobs are saved.

I don’t necessarily agree with Mr. Romney about leaving the investors hanging in the wind.  It was their capital that helped the company get started.  But it seems to me if they hang in there in the long-run, they will see a return on their investments.

That’s Mitt Romney’s record, his legacy.

Meanwhile, Obama is suffering from a dreadful case of Obambulation; whenever someone challenges him, he obambulates.  He dances around the issue at hand until he can cleverly change the topic. 

He’s running as fast as he can from his disastrous record as a president.  He’s got a very severe case of “the runs,” indeed.  He’s running from a $16 trillion dollar debt, a high unemployment rate, an increase in people on food stamps, one scandal involving running guns to Mexican drug cartels, and an even bigger scandal involving running guns to Syria.  He’s offended our allies around the world, gone on an “Apology Tour” in the Middle East, criticizing his own nation’s policies for promoting freedom throughout the world.  He’s provided financial aid to terrorists in Palestine.  He’s wasted billions on personal trips.  He was going to have Khalid Sheikh Mohammed tried in New York City, until popular opinion made it impossible.  He’s ordered any criticism of Islam purged from military training manuals.  He’s solidly in the pockets of the very unions that helped wreck Detroit as well as the biggest bankers who have contributed to his campaigns.

He also wants to downsize the military, all the while claiming to care about our armed forces.  He criticizes our presence in Afghanistan, yet has kept us there for four years for no discernible reason other than that our military has cleared the path of Talibanists in order for China to exploit Afghanistan’s rare earth mineral deposits.  We should note that China has plenty of her own rare earth mineral deposits which she is sitting on, the way American oil companies want to sit on our own oil on federal lands.  You see, an oil company trader once told me that the last guy holding the reserves win.  Bad as it is having the Arabs hold us over the oil barrel right now, if we were to consume all our reserves now, inevitably we would be begging them for oil and much higher rates than $4 per gallon for gas.

Obama’s clean energy policies are worthless.  Here’s a list of clean energy companies that have gone bust.  Mitt Romney (who expressed support for clean energy) take note):
       1. Evergreen Solar ($24 million) - bankrupt
 2. SpectraWatt ($500,000) - bankrupt
 3. Solyndra ($535 million) - bankrupt
 4. Beacon Power ($69 million) - bankrupt
 5. AES’s subsidiary Eastern Energy ($17.1 million) - faltering
 6. Nevada Geothermal ($98.5 million) - faltering
 7. SunPower ($1.5 billion) - faltering
 8. First Solar ($1.46 billion) -faltering
 9. Babcock and Brown ($178 million) - faltering
 10. EnerDel’s subsidiary Ener1 ($118.5 million) - bankrupt
 11. Amonix ($5.9 million) - faltering
 12. National Renewable Energy Lab ($200 million) - faltering
 13. Fisker Automotive ($528 million) - faltering
 14. Abound Solar ($374 million) - bankrupt
 15. A123 Systems ($279 million) -bankrupt
 16. Willard and Kelsey Solar Group ($6 million) - faltering
 17. Johnson Controls ($299 million) - faltering
 18. Schneider Electric ($86 million) - faltering
 19. Brightsource ($1.6 billion) - faltering
 20. ECOtality ($126.2 million) - faltering
 21. Raser Technologies ($33 million) -bankrupt
 22. Energy Conversion Devices ($13.3 million) -bankrupt
 23. Mountain Plaza, Inc. ($2 million) - bankrupt
 24. Olsen’s Crop Service and Olsen’s Mills Acquisition Company ($10 million) - bankrupt
 25. Range Fuels ($80 million) - bankrupt
 26. Thompson River Power ($6.4 million) - bankrupt
 27. Stirling Energy Systems ($7 million) -bankrupt
 28. LSP Energy ($2.1 billion) -bankrupt
 29. UniSolar ($100 million) -bankrupt
 30. Azure Dynamics ($120 million) - bankrupt        
 31. GreenVolts ($500,000) - faltering
 32. Vestas ($50 million) - faltering
 33. LG Chem’s subsidiary Compact Power ($150 million) - faltering
 34. Nordic Windpower ($16 million) - bankrupt
 35. Navistar ($10 million) - faltering
 36. Satcon ($3 million) – bankrupt

* Figures courtesy of the Stop U.N. Agenda 21! Facebook site.

The list of Obama’s failures as president is longer than the list of failed clean energy companies.  He wants to Americans to believe that a pinwheel can get America’s economy going again.   He doesn’t believe or desire any such thing.  Anyone as beholden to the unions as Obama is determined to drive America over the cliff towards a communist “Workers’ Paradise.” 

He’s depending on the black and Latino vote in the large cities, especially Los Angeles, to do that for him.  That is how he proposes to win the electoral vote.
Whether he wins the election or not, Obama and his cronies intend for America to surrender her sovereignty and be governed under the auspices of the United Nations.  When we say he’s for Big Government, he means really big, as in global government.  The Progressives have opened our borders to a flood of illegal aliens, and alienated the immigrants who are here through socialist education, pouring oil on every minority grievance and discouraging assimilation into the majority, Westernized culture.

The only thing that can save us is the truth.  That’s a real word, not a malady.  It’s a remedy to sociopathy, amnesia, and narcissism.




Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Blaze Lights Fire Under O's Benghazi Lies

Congratulations to Glenn Beck and his Blaze Network team for broadcasting the truth about Obama’s scandal and Libya.  The long and short of is that, according to recently released documents, the White House, the State Department and the Pentagon were all watching the Libyan atrocity unfold in real time.

They had U.S. Christopher Stevens’ memo pleading for help, in Obama’s hands before the attack actually began.  There was enough time to send in the Marines from Sicily to evacuate the ambassador.  Instead, the administration sat and watched as the safe house – Glenn cautions that it was not a consulate, an annex, or even an official government building; it was a private residence – burned and those inside murdered.

One responsible columnist – Victor Davis Hanson in the Aug. 27, 2012 issue of the National Review – discussed the whole issue of Syria.  The title of the article is “The ‘Reformer’ Tyrant:  Our Syria policy has been incoherent.”

Hanson discusses how the U.S. dropped its support for the “Annan plan”, with Annan “shuttling between the Syrian and government and the rebels” in order to facilitate a peaceful transition to consensual government and not upset the friends of Assad - China and Russia.  The bargain was to “be overseen by the United Nations and result in a pluralistic society, with some sort of face-saving retirement for the deposed tyrant.”

But that didn’t happen.  Annan retired as special U.N. Syrian envoy, “leaving the United States with the task of ‘asking Assad to step down while stealthily sending arms to the insurgents to ensure his compliance – hoping thereby to gain some influence when and if they take power.”

Assad, however, according to Hanson, “is no mood to compromise given the fate of other deposed authoritarians such Moammar Qaddafi, Hosni Mubarak, and Saddam Hussein.”  Hanson says Assad is wagering that the West is generally “tired of the Middle East and will not interfere in Syria the way it intervened in Libya – and that Barack Obama in particular is more worried about the November elections than the escalating violence.  Further, the regime [which one, Mr. Hanson, Assad’s or Obama’s?] knows that China and Russia will not abstain from Security Council votes on Syria as they did from votes on Libya.”

This assessment came about two weeks before the September 11th attack in Benghazi.  But who reads The National Review, save for some Conservative think-tankers, politicians, and radio talk show hosts?  Certainly not the average American, and certainly not the Liberal mainstream Media.  The only news source to be generally alarmed by the events in Libya, in real time, was The Blaze and its host, Glenn Beck.  This is the link to their report from Sept. 14, 2012, three days after the attack:

In the article, the Blaze reports, “Senior diplomatic sources say the U.S. State Department had credible information, 48 hours prior to the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya and the embassy in Cairo, that American locations may be targeted, however, no warnings were issued, no “lock down” orders given, The Independent reports.

On Tuesday, a mob of radical Islamists stormed the consulate in Benghazi, killing U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens and three other Americans in a fiery assault. Officials say the murders of the four men were likely the result of “a serious and continuing security breach,” the report states.

They give their source as The Independent, a British news website.  The (UK) Independent reported on Sept. 14, 2012:

“The killings of the US ambassador to Libya and three of his staff were likely to have been the result of a serious and continuing security breach, The Independent can reveal.

“American officials believe the attack was planned, but Chris Stevens had been back in the country only a short while and the details of his visit to Benghazi, where he and his staff died, were meant to be confidential.

“The U.S. Administration is now facing a crisis in Libya. Sensitive documents have gone missing from the consulate in Benghazi and the supposedly secret location of the ‘safe house’ in the city, where the staff had retreated, came under sustained mortar attack.  Other such refuges across the country are no longer deemed ‘safe.’

“Some of the missing papers from the consulate are said to list names of Libyans who are working with Americans, putting them potentially at risk from extremist groups, while some of the other documents are said to relate to oil contracts.

“According to senior diplomatic sources, the U.S. State Department had credible information 48 hours before mobs charged the consulate in Benghazi, and the embassy in Cairo, that American missions may be targeted, but no warnings were given for diplomats to go on high alert and ‘lockdown,’ under which movement is severely restricted.

“Mr. Stevens had been on a visit to Germany, Austria and Sweden and had just returned to Libya when the Benghazi trip took place with the US embassy's security staff deciding that the trip could be undertaken safely.”

Glenn Beck offered us more insight this morning into Mr. Stevens’ activities the day he was killed; he’d had lunch with Turkey’s consul.  Turkey has been serving as the go-between in delivering Saddam Hussein’s former stockpile of weapons not just to rebels but Islamist terrorist groups.

“Eight Americans,” The Independent’s report goes on, “some from the military, were wounded in the attack which claimed the lives of Mr. Stevens, Sean Smith, an information officer, and two U.S. Marines. All staff from Benghazi have now been moved to the capital, Tripoli, and those whose work is deemed to be non-essential may be flown out of Libya.

“In the meantime, a Marine Corps FAST Anti-Terrorism Reaction Team has already arrived in the country from a base in Spain and other personnel are believed to be on the way. Additional units have been put on standby to move to other states where their presence may be needed in the outbreak of anti-American fury triggered by publicity about a film which demeaned the Prophet Mohamed.

“A mob of several hundred stormed the U.S. embassy in the Yemeni capital, Sanaa yesterday. Other missions which have been put on special alert include almost all those in the Middle East, as well as in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Armenia, Burundi and Zambia.

“Senior officials are increasingly convinced, however, that the ferocious nature of the Benghazi attack, in which rocket-propelled grenades were used, indicated it was not the result of spontaneous anger due to the video, called Innocence of Muslims.  Patrick Kennedy, Under-Secretary at the State Department, said he was convinced the assault was planned due to its extensive nature and the proliferation of weapons.

“There is growing belief that the attack was in revenge for the killing in a drone strike in Pakistan of Mohammed Hassan Qaed, an al-Qa'ida operative who was, as his nom-de-guerre Abu Yahya al-Libi suggests, from Libya, and timed for the anniversary of the 11 September attacks.

“Sen. Bill Nelson (D), a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said:  ‘I am asking my colleagues on the committee to immediately investigate what role al-Qa'ida or its affiliates may have played in the attack and to take appropriate action.’

“According to security sources the consulate had been given a ‘health check’ in preparation for any violence connected to the 9/11 anniversary.  In the event, the perimeter was breached within 15 minutes of an angry crowd starting to attack it at around 10 p.m. on Tuesday night. There was, according to witnesses, little defence put up by the 30 or more local guards meant to protect the staff.  Ali Fetori, a 59-year-old accountant who lives nearby, said:  ‘The security people just all ran away and the people in charge were the young men with guns and bombs.’

“Wissam Buhmeid, the commander of the Tripoli government-sanctioned Libya’s Shield Brigade, effectively a police force for Benghazi, maintained that it was anger over the Mohamed video which made the guards abandon their post.  ‘There were definitely people from the security forces who let the attack happen because they were themselves offended by the film; they would absolutely put their loyalty to the Prophet over the consulate. The deaths are all nothing compared to insulting the Prophet.’

“Mr. Stevens, it is believed, was left in the building by the rest of the staff after they failed to find him in dense smoke caused by a blaze which had engulfed the building. He was discovered lying unconscious by local people and taken to a hospital, the Benghazi Medical Centre, where, according to a doctor, Ziad Abu Ziad, he died from smoke inhalation.

“An eight-strong American rescue team was sent from Tripoli and taken by troops under Captain Fathi al- Obeidi, of the February 17 Brigade, to the secret safe house to extract around 40 US staff. The building then came under fire from heavy weapons. ‘I don't know how they found the place to carry out the attack.  It was planned, the accuracy with which the mortars hit us was too good for any ordinary revolutionaries,’ said Captain Obeidi. ‘It began to rain down on us, about six mortars fell directly on the path to the villa.’

“Libyan reinforcements eventually arrived, and the attack ended.  News had arrived of Mr. Stevens, and his body was picked up from the hospital and taken back to Tripoli with the other dead and the survivors.”

Bing West, also of the National Review and former Assistant Secretary of Defense under Pres. Ronald Reagan, gave this interesting account of the Benghazi attack in his online column on Oct. 21, 2012, entitled “First, Aid the Living”:

“A U.S. ambassador is missing and his diplomatic team is desperately fighting off terrorist attacks. Our commander-in-chief and his national-security team in Washington are listening to the phone calls from the Americans under attack and watching real-time video from a drone circling overhead. Yet the U.S. military sends no aid. Why?

“On Sept. 11, at about 10 p.m. Libyan time (4 p.m. in Washington), Ambassador Chris Stevens and a small staff were inside our consulate in Benghazi when terrorists attacked. The consulate staff immediately contacted Washington and our embassy in Tripoli. The White House, the Pentagon, the State Department, and numerous military headquarters monitored the entire battle in real time via the phone calls from Benghazi and video from a drone overhead.

“Our diplomats fought for seven hours without any aid from outside the country. Four Americans died while the Obama national-security team and our military passively watched and listened. The administration is being criticized for ignoring security needs before the attack and for falsely attributing the assault to a mob.  But the most severe failure has gone unnoticed: namely, a failure to aid the living.

“By 4:30 p.m. Washington time, the main consulate building was on fire and Ambassador Stevens was missing.  In response, the embassy in Tripoli launched an aircraft carrying 22 men. Benghazi was 400 miles away.

“At 5 p.m., President Obama met with Vice President Biden and Secretary of Defense Panetta in the Oval Office. The U.S. military base in Sigonella, Sicily, was 480 miles away from Benghazi. Stationed at Sigonella were Special Operations Forces, transport aircraft, and attack aircraft — a much more formidable force than 22 men from the embassy.

“In the past, presidents had taken immediate actions to protect Americans. In 1984, President Reagan had ordered U.S. pilots to force an airliner carrying terrorists to land at Sigonella. Reagan had acted inside a 90-minute window while the aircraft with the terrorists was in the air. The Obama national-security team had several hours in which to move forces from Sigonella to Benghazi.

“Fighter jets could have been at Benghazi in an hour; the commandos inside three hours.  If the attackers were a mob, as intelligence reported, then an F18 in afterburner, roaring like a lion, would unnerve them. This procedure was applied often in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Conversely, if the attackers were terrorists, then the U.S. commandos would eliminate them. But no forces were dispatched from Sigonella.

“In the meantime, while untrained and poorly led by American standards, the terrorists at Benghazi were proving to be lethal. They forced the Americans to abandon the consulate, with the ambassador still missing, and fall back to an annex a mile away. When the terrorist gang followed the Americans, looters took the opportunity to ransack the empty consulate. But when they found Ambassador Stevens unconscious on the floor, they stopped looting and rushed him to a hospital. Unfortunately, the doctors could not save his life. Not knowing who he was, they took the cell phone from his pocket and called numbers. By about two in the morning, the American embassy received word that the ambassador was dead.

“At about the same time, the 22 men from the embassy in Tripoli had arrived at the Benghazi airport. They drove to the annex to assist in its defense against persistent terrorist attacks. Around 4 a.m. Libyan time — six hours into the fight — enemy mortar rounds killed two of the defenders on the roof of the annex.

“The fight began at 10 p.m. and petered out at dawn when the Libyan militia came to the aid of the Americans.

“It is bewildering that no U.S. aircraft ever came to the aid of the defenders. If even one F18 had been on station, it would have detected the location of hostiles firing at night and deterred and attacked the mortar sites. For our top leadership, with all the technological and military tools at their disposal, to have done nothing for seven hours was a joint civilian and military failure of initiative and nerve.

“Secretary of State Clinton has said the responsibility was hers.   But there has been no assertion that the State Department overruled the Pentagon out of concern about the sovereignty of Libyan air space. Instead, it appears passive groupthink prevailed, with the assumption being that a spontaneous mob would quickly run out of steam.

“Firefights, however, wax and wane from dusk to dawn. You cannot predict ahead of time when they will stop. Therefore a combat commander will take immediate action, presuming reinforcements will be needed.

“The administration wrongly blamed a mob for the attack.  Yet ironically, Mr. Obama’s chances of reelection would have plummeted were it not for the human decency of a mob that took the ambassador to the hospital before the terrorists returned.

“If the terrorists had taken his body and, with no Special Operations Forces hot on their trail, taunted America the next day — claiming the ambassador was still alive — the Benghazi tragedy would have escalated into an international disaster. The U.S. military sent no aid.  Why?”

All this certainly makes a liar of Vice President Biden, who claimed they knew nothing about the attack until it was all over.  Obama, covering his tracks, made a general statement about terrorism in his Rose Garden presser the next day, but then spent the next two weeks, along with his good friend, U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Susan Rice, taking a minor Libyan police official’s word for it that the attack was due to the video.

The Blaze and Glenn Beck deserve credit for issuing the general alarm to the American people.  Beck’s producer, Stu Burgiere said this morning that he hoped now “real reporters” would take up the story.  I wanted to jump up and shake the television.  “Real reporters?”  REAL REPORTERS!!?  Who does he mean?  Those card-carrying, water-carrying communists at the New York Times and the Washington Post?  The cheerleaders on the network news stations?  The late-night comedians posing as news anchors on the cable networks?

Glenn said that he didn’t like this job of bringing the truth to the American people.  He’d much rather being doing things that make people happy.  However, his station’s slogan is “The Truth Lives Here” and apparently that’s no lie.  He’s obligated to live up to his promise.  He should know that he and his team of reporters and researchers are doing an excellent job.  They may not think they have a big enough audience to claim credibility.  I’ve found it’s not the size of your audience that matters, but their attention span, and their willingness to spread the word to others.

We have to play the cards we’re dealt.  We happen to be at a crossroads in American history, where we Conservatives are going to push back against Socialist-creep or we’re going to defend our freedom.  We don’t want to make that wrong turn down the “Road to Serfdom.”  That means that we’re going to have to wrest the steering wheel – and the microphone – away from the Progressives.  America takes a back seat to no one – and neither should The Blaze or Glenn Beck.  Or any of us.

By the way, Mitt Romney’s approach to Obama in the third debate was understandable.  Big Brother had called right in the middle of the exchange about the military, so I missed some of what had been said.  Obama’s response to Mitt’s criticism about downsizing the military to 1916 levels was yet another Obama non-sequitur.  Obama tried to patronize the older Romney by saying, ‘This isn’t 1916; we have things like aircraft carriers.  Planes land on them.  And submarines that go under the water.’

Once again, Obama was diverting from the point.  If Obama carries through with his plans to reduce the military, we will not have those things.  We will not have enough aircraft carriers, planes, or submarines to engage in even one conflict, much less multiple conflicts. We will be in the same position as Great Britain was prior to World War II, where the British sunk their own fleets leftover from World War I in order to appease the Germans, who were busy cranking out ships, planes, the revamped submarines, and new thing called “tanks.”

Here’s some fact-checking for Obama:  Yes, there were battleships and aircraft carriers in World War I and submarines and torpedos.  Capt. Georg Von Trapp from the Sound of Music?  Remember him?  He was the captain of one of those subs in the Adriatic.  The award he got was for sinking the most British ships.  His first wife was Agathe Whitehead, granddaughter of the inventor of the first effective, self-propelled torpedo, Robert Whitehead.  He left all his vast fortune to her.

What’s more, to this day, our army uses horses and bayonets.  Glenn Beck noted that the Army uses horses in the Afghanistan war.  There’s even a book about it, called “Horse Soldiers:  The Extraordinary Story of a Band of Soldiers Who Rode to Victory in Afghanistan,” by Doug Stanton, published by Scribner in 2009.

In any case, Obama chose the loudmouth ignoramus approach to the debate, and Romney wisely let him go at it.  I know how it is.  The Tattooed Lady was complaining about how I completely ignore her, even when she shouts at me.  I responded by decorating my right-hand garden outside my door as a cemetery for Halloween.  I even have a ghost figure I’m saving back for Halloween Eve that looks just like her.  The point is, there’s really no arguing with idiots.  If someone is committing political suicide, you don’t try to save them; you keep out of their way and let them hammer themselves into oblivion.

Polls indicate that Obama technically won the third debate, yet Glenn Beck reported that while those who voted in his favor said they thought he won the debate, they didn’t like the way he did it.  Others didn’t understand what pundits meant by “looking presidential.”  What did Big Brother say about the undecided ten percent being the idiots who don’t know what’s going on, still haven’t made up their minds, and have no idea where Libya is, much less Benghazi,  yet they will decide who our next president will be?

If Obama doesn’t win the election, some pundits are promising that there will be riots in the streets.  A scarier thought, however, is that if he loses the election, he’ll become the next Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Obama brags about having killed Bin Laden (personally).  Yup, he got Bin Laden, chief of the 9/11/01 attacks - sent Navy SEAL Team Six in to bag him - and lost a U.S. ambassador, whose saving was not as optimal, on Sept. 11, 2012.  If The Blaze is the “media” of record, so be it.  I followed Glenn Beck from Fox News to his own network, cancelling all but my basic cable, because I wanted to hear the truth, something I wasn’t hearing anywhere else, not even on Fox.

The Benghazi story bears out my investment in that little Roku box and the subscription to Beck’s network.  The truth lives there.  If only Beck would stop beating himself up for being successful, I’d be perfectly satisfied…






Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Where Was the Real Romney

Towards the end of last night’s debate, Big Brother called.  He wanted to know who these guys were that we were watching on the debate.

“It’s like watching two totally different guys from the first two debates.  What’s Romney doing?  I’m bored.  I’m thinking of switching to the football game.”

My guess was that Romney was playing to the Independent base, although Romney hit Obama with a couple of good slams, especially on the Apology Tour.  Obama retorted with a technicality, claiming he never actually said, “I’m sorry.”  You could have fooled the rest of us.  The fact-checkers have reams of paper quoting Obama as bashing America’s previous foreign policies and promising better relationships with our adversaries, which pretty much amounts to an apology.

Romney allowed so many opportunities to slip by, leaving his supporters wondering where their hero went.  Why didn’t he finish the job?  Why did he let Obama get away with so many lies and misstatements?  Why didn’t he continue with the facts about Libya?

Let’s take Obama’s declaration that we no longer need a Navy and that the Army and Marines no longer fight with bayonets as we did in 1918.  Anyone in the military will tell you that they can still affix a bayonet to their gun as a last resort when they run out of ammunition.  We still have a cavalry – the four-footed kind as well as the mechanical.  Our military is also taught hand-to-hand combat, how to throw a bunch and so forth.  Very old-fashioned and fundamental, but necessary.

As for our Navy, here are the watery facts:   95.7 percent of all of earth’s water is salt water, 3 percent fresh, 1.5 percent soil moisture.  Oceans cover 71 percent of the earth’s surface and makes up 95 percent of all space available to terrestrial life.  We found out during World I and World War II that air superiority – air being 100 percent available – was critical in war.  However, transportation of bulk materials by air is difficult, dangerous, and expensive.  For military and commercial purposes, water transportation is still the favored mode, particularly across the vast expanses of the Pacific and the Atlantic.

Free, unimpeded trade is vital to a free world and a free economy.  Therefore, a strong Navy is vital to protect the merchant marine trade.  We’d certainly like to produce more of our own goods in America, but traditional economic theory states that if we don’t want prices to spiral out of control, we must also have solid trade agreements with other countries, to sell our excess production – something we don’t have right now.

We also have enemies abroad; those who would see our status as a trading nation reduced, by force if necessary, those who would destroy capitalism, and a third that zealously seek a global caliphate.  Surface ships – battleships, aircraft carriers, destroyers, and support ships - are all necessary to this effort.  And we don’t have the air support necessary anymore to protect the ships.

Obama is not worried about economics; he’s ambitious to achieve military “parity” with Russia and China, which is to say, have fewer ships, tanks and soldiers than they do.   More than that, he wishes to destroy our military superiority.  His disingenuous remarks about being concerned about America’s security are simply bilge water.

A large fleet is necessary to challenge a determined enemy.  Hundreds of merchant ships, barely armed per the Geneva Convention, were sunk in the North Atlantic during World War II.  These ships were bringing badly needed supplies to Great Britain.  Obama would have us build fewer, larger ships for the sake of economy.  But we’re not talking about double-tractor trailer trucks on Route 80, crossing the country, where the biggest dangers to the trucks are bad weather, bad auto drivers and bad roads.  One submarine hit on a cargo ship could destroy thousands of gallons of fuel or iron ore for munitions.  One hit on a large aircraft carrier could mean the loss of hundreds, if not thousands of lives.  A torpedo hit in the right section of the ship could mean she would sink almost immediately, as the USS Arizona did in Pearl Harbor.

Winston Churchill advised Great Britain to build medium-sized troop carriers, lowering the risk of a great number of personnel being lost.  Even the Germans only a built a handful of large battleships.  Another “relic” of the past, the submarine – the first submarine served in the Civil War – is still a weapon and a menace of the seas.  Yes, technology plays a greater role in tracking them, but you still need the hardware to sink one, a combination of radar, sonar, destroyers, our own submarines, and aircraft.

We also need good intelligence.  For years, the Liberals excoriated the Central Intelligence Agency.  Now that they’re in charge, they’re finding this agency quite useful in carrying out their plans.  The Progressives, who once wanted to impeach Ronald Reagan for trading arms for our hostages in Iran, merrily supply Islamist and even Al-Qaeda extremists with the weapons they need to achieve their ends, under the guise of freedom and democracy.  There’s been an endless line of them parading in and out of Obama’s White House.

Why didn’t Romney point out all this to Obama during the debate?  Possibly because the Liberals have an army of Media cheerleaders who will back Obama up, verifying his false information, his lies, and cover-ups.  Maybe he figured there was no point in making accusations because Obama would simply deny them.  Romney did not allow Obama’s attacks on himself to go unchallenged.  He would have defended his record further, but moderator Bob Schieffer would not permit him to do so.  No surprise there.

“I want peace,” Romney said.  What he didn’t mention was that our enemies do not want peace.  When questioned about Iran, he said he agreed with Obama’s strategy, a remark that left Romney supporters perplexed and unsatisfied.  Let Iran make the first move.  Let them lie, and then attack Israel, and if Obama is president, we will see if he keeps his promise to stand by Israel, or whether he crosses the border from Jordan into Israel, with King Abdullah in the lead and our army behind, to negotiate what will be essentially a surrender by Israel.

Let them lie, and then attack Israel, and if Romney is president, he will keep his word and protect Israel, our long-time ally.  It could mean war.  It must come soon before they complete their ability to launch an attack, which is very near.  Once Iran has that ability, talking and sanctions will be useless.

Let us take the positive view, and assume that Romney was playing to the Independents and that they’re convinced Romney is the right leader for our nation, no matter how disappointing last night’s performance was to us.  Look, it wasn’t all that bad.  Romney delivered a few satisfying punches to Obama that left the president scowling and confused.

When Romney agreed with Obama on his approach to Afghanistan (according to Glenn Beck, two-thirds of the losses in Afghanistan have occurred under Obama’s administration), Obama replied, puffing up his chest, “Well, I’m glad you agree with me, Mr. Romney.”

That wasn’t for you, Obama, you silly doofus;  that was to satisfy the Independents.  We’re in Afghanistan to clear the area of Taliban fighters so China can mine the Afghan mountains for rare earth minerals.  China, the same country reports indicate you’ve been accepting foreign donations from.  The same country whose leader you hosted.  The same country you have investments in, as well as the Cayman Islands.  China, where you are held in great esteem.  They sell tee-shirts of you over there, with your face under a Mao Cap, with the words – in Chinese – “Mao-bama.”  I have one.  Are you getting royalties on the sale of your face on those tee shirts, and are they going towards financing your campaign?

Your record on everything from clean energy to the economy to foreign policy to Obamacare is a disaster.  If voters make the right choice, you will find yourself bowing to a future President Romney in January 2013.



Monday, October 22, 2012

The Land of Many Little Towns: West Milford, The Story of a Suburb, Ch. 9

The Land of Many Little Towns:  West Milford, The Story of a Suburb, Ch. 9


Modern-day urban planners decry the fact that New Jersey has 566 municipalities, all doing things their own way.  They blame this architecture for the fact that New Jerseyans pay high property taxes.  Of course, they don’t mention how much of those taxpayers go to support the state’s blighted cities, who complain of having practically no tax base.  Obama leads the charge in accusing whites of “racism” in their flight from the cities.  He has backed the creation of a non-profit group called “Building One America” to combat this problem.

Building One America is the community organizing arm of the redevelopment effort.  Stanley Kurtz, in his book, “Spreading the Wealth:  How Obama is Robbing the Suburbs to Pay for the Cities,: notes:  “The New Jersey Regional Coalition, a Gamaliel affiliate and now the core component of Building One America, pushed for regional tax base sharing in the New Jersey legislature in 2006” six years ago.  So there’s a community organizing arm and there’s a political arm.

Unlike New York State, New Jersey can’t simply legislate its 566 communities out of existence with a wave of its magic gavel.  The state must persuade those 566 communities to voluntarily surrender their autonomy.  It’s called “home rule.”  The plan is called The New Jersey State Development and Redevelopment Plan.  David Rusk himself, author of “Cities Without Suburbs” has personally met with towns up and down the state trying to convince ecology-minded citizens to sign on.

In 1898, New Jerseyans looked on in horror as the New York State legislature abolished all the municipalities of New York and Richmond counties, the western portion of Queens County (ultimately abolishing it entirely), and the city of Brooklyn, and consolidated into one city of New York.  You can find the remnants of these towns and villages on current maps, listing them now as “neighborhoods” – Astoria, Richmond Hill, Jackson Heights, Auburndale, Hillcrest, Forest Hills, Arlington, Bedford Park, Bushwick, Canarsie (the name of the Indian tribe that sold Manhattan to Peter Minuit), Morris Park, Rosedale, Schuylerville.  It’s a long list.

For all the consolidation, New York City still has financial problems and wealthier, Conservative residents are fleeing its tax rate, just about the highest in the nation, save for New Jersey itself.

West Milford became a municipality by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 10, 1834, when it was formed from the westernmost portions of both Franklin Township and Saddle River Township, while the area was still part of Bergen County. On Feb. 7, 1837, Passaic County was created from portions of both Bergen County and Essex County, with West Milford as the western end of the newly formed county.

The town was actually called “New Milford.”  The same Dutch settlers and former Puritans from Newark also built a town of New Milford in eastern Bergen County. After both New Milfords applied for post offices in 1828, a clerk in Washington, D.C. is said to have approved the Bergen County application first and assigned the name “West Milford” to the New Milford in then-western Bergen County in order to distinguish between the two locations.

Many old name towns were absorbed into the 80 square mile township including Postville, Utterville, Corterville, Browns, Awosting, Echo Lake, Macopin, Charlotteburg, Clinton, Moe, Upper Greenwood Lake, Oak Ridge aka Oak Hill, Newfoundland, Apshawa, New City, and Smith Mills, Germantown and Hewitt.  Borderline towns were split between West Milford and neighboring Rockaway and Jefferson Townships.  Some towns made up Ringwood Township, including Boardville, Monksville, Stonetown aka Mosstown, Midvale, Haskell, and Wanaque.  After New  York’s consolidation, towns began to look into incorporation as a means of protecting their autonomy, an act that the New Jersey legislature approved, but which regional advocates derided as “boroughitis.

New Jersey Transit’s bus route No. 196’s sign does not list as its destination “West Milford”; it lists “Newfoundland.”  If you ask a West Milford resident where they live, unless they live in or near the actual West Milford town center, they’re as likely to tell you they live in Macopin, Newfoundland, or Apshawa, as to say they live in West Milford Township; for them, that’s an afterthought.

Still, as large as the township is (the tenth largest in New Jersey), its population of over 25,000 still manages to stick together on certain issues.  When Gov. Christie came to the town this week, 700 residents squeezed into the West Milford PAL Center a piece of their minds.

The subject was the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act .  The meeting was so crowded, I wasn’t allowed near the site, even though I’d reserved a seat and friends were holding my place for me.

According to the New Jersey Star-Ledger, “Judy Ziegler, a 69-year-old restaurant owner in the Passaic County town, said she was frustrated over her property tax bill and the fact that the 2004 law was limiting development.

She said the money was going toward subsidizing water for some of the state’s urban residents who could afford to pay an extra dollar or two if they “can sit out on their stoops in the summertime, smoking pot, drinking booze, collecting food stamps.”

“The [politically-incorrect] comment drew loud applause from the town hall crowd, but Christie quickly cut in and criticized it.

“It is unfair, with all due respect, to characterize every person who lives in Newark, which you just did, as sitting on their stoop smoking pot, drinking booze and collecting food stamps." Christie said.

He then told the largely friendly group he understood Ziegler’s complaint: "I hear them and we’re going to try to help you fix them. But we are not going to fix them by scapegoating, because when we do … we lessen each other."

“After the event, Ziegler said she didn’t mean to denigrate all Newark residents.

“I wasn’t allowed to finish because he was offended right away and I apologize, because I wasn’t referring to everyone in Newark," she said.  Once again, the inconvenient truth got steamrollered and the resident had to apologize for it.

Ziegler said one of her customers, a Democrat, told her Newark residents could not afford the extra charge because they are “downtrodden” and that she didn’t realize “how hard they have it.”

Still, Ziegler held her ground as best she could. 

“Yes I  know a lot of them do have it hard," she said. “But we have it hard in West Milford, too. We’re hard-working citizens. A lot of those people are hard-working, but they’re also getting paychecks. So paychecks, welfare, whatever they’re getting to sustain themselves. Whatever they have, that dollar or two a month is worth getting that water you’re getting from us, and why should our taxes go up $16,000, $18,000?”

“Christie is well-known,” the Star-Ledger cheered, “for his harsh rhetoric aimed at those with whom he disagrees. But Patrick Murray, a pollster at Monmouth University, said his words today were not out of character, noting that in the past he had spoken out against conservative pundits who criticized his appointment of a Muslim judge.

“Christie understands that the politics of division don’t help New Jersey Republicans,” Murray said, “the politics of division in terms of race, class, those types of things.”

“What was clear was the level of dissatisfaction among suburban and rural residents in this northern part of the state, where towns have had to limit development because of the Highlands Act.   The law was intended to preserve the primary supply of fresh water for more than 5 million New Jersey residents.

“Ziegler’s comment came after Christie said the state was selling property owners short by not living up to its promise to compensate them for land lost as a result of the law.  He said there was no chance of getting the law repealed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature, whose members ‘in the main took property from Republican areas to benefit Democratic areas.’

“’That’s why they have a new focus on trying to ease some of the restrictions where appropriate and also giving recommendations to me for a new funding recommendation on being able to compensate people in a way that Gov. McGreevey promised,’ he said.

“Environmental groups have criticized Christie for appointing political allies to the Highlands Commission who they say have little experience in the environment and are trying to dismantle the law from the inside.

“What Governor Christie is doing is trying to repeal the Highlands Act through his appointments and he is siding with land speculators and developers,” Jeff Tittel, director of the New Jersey Sierra Club, said.

Proponents of regionalization call such opposition “borough fever” or “boroughitis.”

Boroughitis was a political phenomenon that spread throughout in the late 19th century, which led groups of residents to unite to form boroughs from within and among the many townships that were the prevalent form of local government at the time. The basis of the phenomenon were major changes to the borough form of local government in the state that allowed boroughs to easily obtain independence without approval from the New Jersey Legislature and provided boroughs formed from more than one township to be entitled to a seat on the county’s Board of Chosen Freeholders.

In 1894, the state permitted boroughs to be formed by petition, without requiring a special act of the legislature, as had been required before and since. This process was widely used, particularly in Bergen County, “that being the year the county went crazy on boroughs,” according to the book, “A History of Bergen County.”  Today, 56 of the 70 municipalities in Bergen County are boroughs.

Communities often were motivated by financial issues; Chatham broke loose of a township it had joined in 1806, over the financing of gas lighting in the town. The town wanted gas lighting, but the township government refused to finance it.  First the community reorganized as a village (as it had been founded in 1710 under colonial English provincial rule), but, when the borough form was introduced through legislation, the citizens of Chatham immediately voted to adopt that new form of government.

This wave of municipal reformations was fomented by legislation that allowed a borough to be created by a referendum with no further legislative approval required. In 1875, only 17 boroughs had been created, and half of those had been dissolved or elevated to cities, but the prevalence of boroughs exploded, so that they are now the most common type of municipal government in New Jersey, accounting for over 200 of the 566 current municipal governments statewide.  Notice here that the accusation of over 566 borough municipalities is inaccurate.

Early in 1894, the N.J. Legislature passed a school act which had each township constitute a separate school district.  Taxpayers were required to pay off any existing debts of the old districts and all future school-related debts of the new districts.  Exempted from this provision were “boroughs, towns, villages, and cities.”  An amendment to the Borough Act, passed on May 9, 1894, allowed for the creation of a borough from parts of two or more townships, and allowed these boroughs created from multiple municipalities to have their own representative on the County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

Newspapers of the time, liberal criticized the will of the voters.  On June 14, 1894, The Hackensack Republican noted that borough mania continues to spread in Bergen County and the possibilities are that it will not be checked in some time.”

The citizens responded to the legislation in 1894, and the shift to boroughs was in full force, as scores of new boroughs were carved from townships. The borough-formation pace slowed down when new legislation was passed mandating that boroughs could have their own school districts only if they had 400 children within their boundaries.

The formation of new boroughs continued after 1894. The borough remained the most popular form of government for new municipalities, and most governments formed into the early 20th century used the borough form.  Pompton Lakes took immediate advantage of the new law and incorporated in 1894.

Legislation was drafted to effectively repeal the Borough Acts of 1882, 1890, 1891 and all of their supplements. Under the Incorporation by State Act of March 26, 1896, “No borough or village shall hereafter be incorporated in this state except by special act of the legislature, and every borough or village so incorporated shall be governed by the general lawws of this state relating to boroughs of this state relating to boroughs or villages respectively.” With the formation of new municipalities
now firmly returned to the hands of the N.J. Legislature, the wave of changes met its end, by the
beginning of the Great Depression.

But boroughs were formed all the same.  Bloomingdale, just south of West Milford, was incorporated
in 1918, along with Wanaque and Ringwood when was Pompton Township was broken up.   The
borough of Butler was incorporated earlier, in 1901.  The anti-boroughists prided themselves on
putting a stop to all this “boro”-ing.  But the love of freedom, however, and independence is hard to
quell, once it rises into a flood.
Groundbreaking on the George Washington Bridge began in October 1927 and the bridge was dedicated
on Oct. 24, 1931.  Despite the best efforts of progressive planners, thanks to this link between New
York and New Jersey, the suburbanites were coming.

But so was a great flood of water.