The real Iran

Saeed Abidini, an American citizen and pastor in the great state of Idaho, has been held prisoner by Iran since September 2012 in one of their most notoriously gruesome prisons. While Fox News has recently provided some coverage of this situation, most of the media has been relatively quiet.  In Idaho, though, people are concerned and paying attention.  I live in a small town about 40 minutes east of Boise called Mountain Home.  As I was driving to church on Sunday, I noticed another local church was speaking out about Pastor Saeed.

The American Center for Law and Justice has been leading the charge pressuring political leaders to demand Pastor Saeed’s release.  I’ve signed their petition, and I encourage everyone–whether you’re a Christian or not–who cares about religious liberty to sign it as well.  

While Iran’s depravity is not surprising, our State Department’s total lack of interest Pastor Saeed’s plight is.  Jordan Sekulow with the ACLJ details this passivity and notes that even the EU is ahead of the curve.  Amazing.  Fortunately, some members of Congress are speaking out.  I’ll grant that I don’t know what might be happening behind the scenes outside of the limelight of the media and blogosphere.  And there may have been an initial concern that the US government’s calling media attention to this situation might have politically boxed in the Iranians so that they had no choice but to let the worse happen to Pastor Saeed to save face at home with their Islamic constituency.  But at this point the cat’s out of the bag.  

Pastor Saeed’s case stands for more than just a man in a prison cell.  He represents how fragile true freedom really is, and how little the Obama administration cares for it.  

-JNW

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Republican death spiral

Gun control. Immigration. Inaugural address. What do these issues have in common? They are all distractors to the Right. The Left has found that, if they throw issues out there and present them in a controversial manner, the Right will be focused on “getting a leg up,” so to speak. Unfortunately, the Right doesn’t have the foresight to realize that they should not be indulging these topics as people are out of work. Let’s go through the issues quickly to see what’s going on–

Gun control–this will never pass. The Right needs to step up and make that clear. The people will fight this fight for them, so they don’t need to be giving the time of day to that senator from California. Addressing this issue is validating the arguments the Left is attempting to make.

Immigration–I get that the 4 Republicans in the “Gang of 8” are trying to jump the gun on the president by attempting to portray themselves as friendly to the illegals. However, judging by the president’s rapid response, he was 1) prepared for this and 2) ready to direct them into a lengthy debate on this issue. He was prepared because he knew it would distract them from where they could be strong–the economy.

Hey, Republicans–why bother with “bi-partisanship”? Defined by the Left, it means you capitulate, which you seem to be trying to do.

If the establishment Republicans want to gain any traction with Americans, they need to make the focus on the economy. They can dictate this narrative because they control the money. Addressing any of the issues doesn’t matter anyway if the economy isn’t addressed–people won’t be able to afford the guns and lower tax revenues from a crappy economy won’t encourage enforcement of the current immigration laws at this point.

Establishment Republicans, get your acts together. It’s clear that you’re 8 steps behind the Left. You’re spiraling to a quick demise. Give creative thinking a shot, for once.

-JDW

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Captain Morgan’s Sweet Deal

Tim Carney has a revealing piece in the Washington Examiner that chronicles how certain tax credits were incorporated into the Fiscal Cliff Deal.  He reports:

Here’s what happened: In late July, Finance Chairman Max Baucus announced the committee would soon convene to craft a bill extending many expiring tax credits. This attracted lobbyists like a raw steak attracts wolves.

Former Sens. John Breaux, D-La., and Trent Lott, R-Miss., a pair of rainmaker lobbyists, pleaded for extensions on behalf of a powerful lineup of clients.

General Electric and Citigroup, for instance, hired Breaux and Lott to extend a tax provision that allows multinational corporations to defer U.S. taxes by moving profits into offshore financial subsidiaries. This provision — known as the “active financing exception” — is the main tool GE uses to avoid nearly all U.S. corporate income tax.

Liquor giant Diageo also retained Breaux and Lott to win extensions on two provisions benefitting rum-making in Puerto Rico.

It gets worse if you read the entire article.  This is a textbook example of why things are so broken in Washington.  Our government no longer serves the people–it serves the special interests.  Were it otherwise, we wouldn’t be running massive deficits, we wouldn’t be celebrating tax hikes on America’s most productive, and we wouldn’t be cultivating a culture of dependency and entitlement.  

I wonder if the Senate had more than three minutes before voting on this bill to read it if things would have been different…

-Jordan Walker

 

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I Bet This Won’t Be Addressed

To make a point of Republican weakness, I’m going to turn to an article that came out today on yahoo. Before I begin, however, I’d like to remind you of the first edition of UTL: narrative manipulation. Most people on the Right will write off this article because it doesn’t come from a mainstream source. Yahoo is a fledgling company that has been overshadowed by the Google behemoth, but it still produces articles that people read. Yes, people do read articles from yahoo. By overlooking this source, the Right misses an opportunity to quickly squash Leftist propaganda, and they continue to allow themselves to be defined by the Left.

The great Walter Shapiro, who is apparently yahoo’s character guru, champions the character of Boehner and McConnell because of the fiscal cliff “deal” they helped get pushed through. Shapiro positions himself as a rational, reasonable (and clearly of insanely high character) human being who is rationally acknowledging the bravery exhibited by these two Republican leaders. He writes of McConnell:

As the Senate minority leader, McConnell presides over the more mainstream wing of Capitol Hill Republicans. While there are Tea Partiers and right-wing firebrands among Senate Republicans, there are also a few remaining moderates and old-guard legislators who remember when the word “bipartisan” was not considered hate speech.

Still, it was impressive that McConnell convinced all but five Senate Republicans to support the legislation. What was more politically ominous, though, is that the two Senate Republicans most likely to run for president in 2016 (Marco Rubio and Rand Paul) both voted “no.” Rubio’s and Paul’s votes were obviously shaped by ideology, but the two White House dreamers also presumably made a calculation that Republican presidential primary voters will demand litmus-test purity on taxes.

Of Boehner, he writes:

As the first rays of daylight hit the Capitol on New Year’s Day, Boehner confronted a series of unpalatable choices. He could try to pass the Senate bill with mostly Democratic votes, in violation of the majority-of-the-majority tradition. He could support an effort to add spending cuts to the Senate legislation, even though all signs suggested that this was a route to a new impasse. Or he could follow the Republican base right off the cliff—in effect, do nothing until the new Congress began work on Thursday.

Boehner chose legislating over posturing. Even though Eric Cantor and Kevin McCarthy (the No. 2 and No. 3 figures in the House GOP leadership) opposed the Senate bill, Boehner remained undaunted. By tradition, House speakers rarely vote on legislation, but Boehner put his gavel aside to vote for the Senate bill. Even more pointedly, Boehner had a friendly chat with Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer on the House floor just before the vote.

Shapiro has positioned himself as a centrist, so the distance between himself and the tea party and “right-wing firebrands” represents the distance between rationality and the near-insane irrationality of those on the Right. He fails to recognize the unwillingness of the Left to negotiate on any terms the Right wishes to be considered, and he fails to mention how the Left received the bulk of what they wanted, while the Right got virtually nothing (even the ‘moderates’ on the Right were displeased). He’s framed his view as one that is not only rational (and full of character, given his series) and that which opposes his as one of irrationality and poor character.

Shapiro’s Leftist bias needs to be exposed. However, it won’t be. People on the Right will dismiss him as irrational, and they will continue to ignore this open war against their ideologies. What’s even worse about this article is how he’s painted Boehner and McConnell in a positive light. The Left needs them in charge because they will NOT stand up for principled values. They will continue to play the political game, continue to get clobbered because they are poorly positioned and don’t understand narrative construction, and the Left will continue to get its way. It’s in the best interests of the Left to keep them in power, so you’ll see more articles like Shapiro’s painting them as rational beings as long as they bow to the will of the Left.

We on the Right need to act immediately to counter these articles. We can’t let the narrative be dictated by self-proclaimed moralists on the Left (which they clearly aren’t) and we need to not only react to these narratives, but work to construct our own, more correct narrative. Until the Right realizes this, we’ll find ourselves drifting further from the Constitution, just like this guy wants.

-JDW

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Leadership

As the ‘fiscal cliff’ looms and it looks almost certain now that no deal will be reached in time to prevent my taxes from going up, I’m reminded how vacuous our leadership is in DC.  The problems facing this country are grave.  For starters, it doesn’t look like we will be able to pay off our now 16 plus trillion dollar deficit in my lifetime (and I’m still a relatively young guy).  Our country needs bold dramatic action coupled with a coherent, structured plan to right our fiscal ship.  In today’s vapid media echo chamber, this can only happen if a true leader emerges who will challenge and rally the nation to this great calling.

President Obama is not this leader.  While politically shrewd, he is petty and has demonstrated that he doesn’t have the stomach to lead.  (Recall his infamous approach to the military operation in Libya: Lead from Behind).  He has internalized the great liberal maxim that there is far more to gain in the short term by pandering and handing out, than there is in challenging people and communities to better themselves for the betterment of others.  

As I read through Winston Churchill’s epic six volume set, The Second World War, I’m struck by the clarity of the man’s vision for things both great and small, and his ability to passionately articulate this vision with the kind of conviction that rallies others to the cause.  In his case, he steered his country through a great war, but he did so by never selling short his constituents.  He made clear to them the amount of sacrifice and risk required to prevail, and people accepted his assessment because they also believed that the end game was winnable and worth it.  

Where’s our Churchill?  Certainly not in the White House.  Clearly not in Congress.  We have too many people that are good at politics, good at being politicians.  But we don’t have leaders.  And I sense that people in this country, whether they know it or not, are craving bold leadership.  They’re not looking for it to come necessarily from the right or the left.  People just want it–they want leadership that’s serious about solving problems, not good at playing politics.  

-Jordan Walker

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Understanding the Left: 1

Understanding the Left (UTL) is a new series that I’m starting that will periodically look out how and why the Left does what it does. This is necessary to know as many Republicans turn a blind eye to their activities. For too many years, the Right has assumed–incorrectly–that rationality and reason will ultimately trump anything the Left sells. This past election has shown us that Americans no longer vote on reason or rationality. This comes as no surprise to me, however. The Left has spent the last 50-60 years constructing piece by piece a method and framework that focuses on destroying the ideas and people on the Right.

Let’s take a look at the first theme–one of the most important–that we need to know in order to understand the Left: Manipulating the narrative. Before I get into this, it’s important to provide some background on their manner of thinking. The Left is made up of socio-culturalists (and when I say the Left here, I’m referring to the manipulative Left–there are two factions that I’ve noticed, and I’ve decided to call them the manipulative Left–mL– and the ignorant Left–iL). These are people who do not believe in the idea of inherency (except when convenient to their arguments of support for the marginalized–think homosexuality here). They believe that people are merely products of their immediate surroundings. This is their premise. The words, actions, thoughts, prejudices, brilliance of people–all of this derives from their surrounding environments. To the mL, faith is just a product of a religious upbringing and poverty is a result of an environment constructed by oppressive capitalists. To them, everything in every environment is socially constructed. This is why they push for control in any situations. As enlightened academics, they believe they understand the framework of social constructs and can manipulate people to provide “solutions” to the problems of the world. For instance, with the Sandy Hook tragedy, the mLs don’t view it as an issue of good and evil–remember, unless convenient to their arguments, they reject the notion of inherency. The mLs claim that this tragedy was clearly a result of the influence of guns on society. The gun culture leads people to violence, because–let’s face it–that’s the only thing that makes sense. Why else are guns necessary other than to hurt others? The existence of guns is what created this violent culture, so the solution is to eliminate guns. Guns gone=violence gone. Of course, there’s the well-publicized argument of no access=no violent crimes, but we all (should) know how that ends up (Columbine during the assault rifle ban, the Norway shooter last year, etc.). The issue is really about controlling the environment.

And this brings me to manipulating the narrative–one aspect of the Leftist culture that’s almost overwhelming is the need to control the narrative in the nation. To the mLs, control of the narrative means control of environments. It made me sick when I saw the anti-Romney ads on TV towards the end of spring. It made me even sicker to see that Romney did not respond to the ads. The mLs were making a push to define who Romney is as a person. The recent story in the Boston Globe openly confirms the effort to construct the narrative around Romney:

“I questioned why they didn’t spend more time and ­energy early defining Romney in a fuller way so people could identify with him,” Axelrod said in a postelection interview.

“One of my conclusions is so much of his life was kind of walled off from use. His faith is important to him, but they didn’t want to talk about that. His business was important, but they didn’t want to talk about that much. His governorship was important to him, but his signature achievement [health care] was unhelpful to them in the Republican primary. My feeling is you have to build a candidacy on the foundation of biography. That is what authenticates your message. I was always waiting for that happen.”

Axelrod jumped at the opening. In a major gamble, the Obama campaign moved $65 million in advertising money that had been budgeted for September and October into June, enabling the president to unleash a series of attacks that would define Romney at a time when the Republican would have little money to respond.

This attempt at manipulating the narrative was, quite obviously, effective. Romney never recovered from the late spring push by Obama, and many viewed him as a wealthy man who was out of touch with the American people. This was not necessarily true (especially relative to the president), but the  effort by the mLs to recreate what was true proved fruitful for their cause.

This brings me to an article I read today on the Maddow Blog. This is one of the first efforts of the mLs to actively begin to construct the narrative for the 2014 elections. Steve Benen, the author, writes:

Since the election, the top Republican in the House and Senate have both said they intend to initiate another debt-ceiling crisis, threatening to hurt Americans on purpose unless their demands are met, and prominent Republican leaders in Congress responded to a nightmarish elementary school shooting by declaring that they will not consider any new gun laws.

All of this comes on the heels of a cycle in which Republicans lost badly, up and down the ballot. GOP officials have responded to this public rejection by getting worse — become more extreme, more intemperate, and less open to compromise.

To quote those on the Left who feign academic honesty, integrity, and diligence, “Where’s your source?” To this author, the blame of the goings-on in Washington is the sole responsibility of the Republicans. Conveniently, the fact that they control one part of the legislative branch is of no concern. The fact that there’s no concrete evidence of these claims is of no concern. “Facts” are never a concern to the mLs, as they don’t believe in the existence of truth (they define it as entirely subjective and impossible to make objective, since the ‘truth-teller’ only knows what s/he has experienced). What the author is doing is constructing a new “truth” that will be supported by “facts” at a later time.

What will the Republicans do to address this? It’s widely known that the media doesn’t favor the Right, and this is typically an excuse of the Republicans as to why the process is so unfair to them. I’m going to go out on a limb and predict that they’ll do the following: declare in a press conference that they’ve done what they can to negotiate, passively watch the media add to the narrative placing blame on the Republicans, then reluctantly cave to the demands of the Left because it’s what the people want. Why?? Why do this?? This is what they always do!

How do we fix this cycle? How do we combat a process that is engrained in the political system? We need to put in some Republicans who 1) understand how the Left operates 2) know how to work like the Left 3) don’t fear political ramifications 4) understand how American culture has changed and how conservatism relates to the changes and 5) are young. It’s time to encourage retirement (I can’t even say early retirement here with many in Washington having been there 20+ years) and provide America with politically unseasoned alternatives (since the seasoned ones clearly aren’t working out) to the mess we have in Washington now. This is the most effective way to begin to combat the narrative of the Left. Unfortunately, everyone but the establishment Republicans knows this.

-JDW

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Plan B

The time for change is it hand.  According to The Hill:

Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) now ranks as the least-liked congressional leader, with just 31 percent of voters holding a positive opinion of the Republican leader and more than half — 51 percent — saying they view the Ohio congressman unfavorably.

 

That’s the first time in several years that Boehner has slipped below House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in the Rasmussen survey. The Democratic leader held a 37 percent favorability rating in the poll.

If accurate, this poll is not surprising.  Speaker Boehner is a good, decent man.  But the House GOP needs bold, dynamic leadership to counter Obama and his circle-the-wagon media.

 
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