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“Keep your friends close; your enemies closer.”


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“Keep your friends close, your enemies closer.”  Sun Tzu, The Art of War, c. 600 B.C.

By this he meant that the better you know your enemies, the better you’ll be able to deal with them and their threats. At first glance it might seem difficult to pierce North Korea’s curtain of secrecy and isolation to figure out what is really going on in mind of the nation’s hereditary leader, Kim Jong Un, but…maybe not!

Kim, the heir of a 70 year long dictatorship, is playing the dangerous, evil and potentially catastrophic game of nuclear blackmail – but as a recent WSJ article retired Major General Robert Scales who served in South Korea and former N.Y. Democrat congressman Steve Israel points out, he isn’t unpredictable.

Here’s why:

The US can neutralize the blackmail threat by rapidly ramping up its defensive ballistic-missle capabilities. America should build on the technologies of Israel’s three missle interceptor systems – Iron Dome, David’s Sling and Arrow –  to supplement its already impressive capability to strike enemy missles, while expanding economic sanctions against North Korea and building up our alliance with China.

There can be little doubt in Kim’s mind that a nuclear strike on America soil, and likely even on ]Japan or any other America ally, would surely result in an annihilating response. Our leaders don’t need to rant and rave and threaten him; he already knows.  More likely, he hopes that by showing that he has a bomb he can force us to back away, something which seems unlikely at present.

The US military may one day be forced to attack Kim’s military infrastructure, but right now we need to attack his thinking. Most would agree that the North Korean dictator is irrational, but there is a rational side to his craziness. He seems to be calculating his moves, threats and strengths almost as if playing a strategic war game, and he is not unpredictable. The more we grasp what passes for logic in his tortured mind, the better we can exploit his thinking, the more predictable the outcome may be.

[The complete WSJ article may be found here but may not be accessible unless you’re a WSJ subscriber   ]

Rogue Nations – And what Thomas Jefferson did about them!


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When Thomas Jefferson became President of the USA in 1801 our nation had been threatened by the Barbary Coast pirates from Algiers, Tripoli, Tunis, and Morocco for nearly 15 years. American leaders had negotiated, pleaded, bribed, and been humiliated by the leaders of those rogue nations, but the piracy continued.

But Jefferson had had enough! He convinced Congress to authorize the use of force at his discretion to protect American ships and citizens against those who threatened us. He then built and dispatched fleets of powerful warships to aggressively force the rogue states into submission. Thomas Jefferson eliminated, once and for all, their threat to our nation and our people.

Anyone see a similarity between what Jefferson faced and defeated and the threat from a certain rogue nation that threatens America today?

As has been said many times: If We seek Peace, We Must Prepare for War!

Let your voices be heard here and now. How should the USA deal with the rogue nation you all know we’re talking about, the one we face today? The only way to get American citizens thinking and talking about our nation’s future is to join together and let OUR VOICES drown out those who counsel timidity, fear and retreat.

Please post your comments here and visit our website for more details on Jefferson’s path of courage!

When Jefferson first became president several of his cabinet members weren’t convinced that the Constitution gave him the power to take military action without first getting the consent of Congress.  Secretary of the Treasury Albert Gallatin said that “the Executive cannot put us in a state of war.”  Attorney General Levi Lincoln was even less convinced, saying “Our men of war may repel an attack, but they must not proceed to destroy the enemy’s ships.”

But Jefferson’s Secretary of War and Secretary of State, Henry Dearborn and James Madison, both agreed that we “should go forward openly to protect our commerce against the threatened hostilities.”  Eventually Jefferson swayed the entire cabinet to his side, and then convinced Congress that there was no alternative to force. On February 6, 1802 a law was passed authorizing the President to send as many ships as necessary to protect and defend American commerce and seamen. Within two years the threat was banished!

Jefferson’s commitment and determination along with his masterful interaction with both friends and opponents in Congress forged an American victory and the final elimination of the rogue nation threats from the northern coasts of Africa.

His achievements of over 200 years ago should stand as inspiration for our leaders today as we, too, face severe threats from a rogue nation here in the 21st century.

Give a mouse a cookie and he’ll want a glass of milk!


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In an interesting development, House minority leader Nancy Pelosi hosted an event in San Francisco to explain how she joined forces with President Trump to provide legal protection to young undocumented immigrants. One would think that she would have been praised for getting the President to step away from his campaign pledge and support DACA type legislation, but instead protesters rushed the stage chanting “all of us or none of us” and demanding that the bill not include provisions to upgrade border security.

As the Wall Street Journal put it: Perhaps before they’re granted legal status, these kids should be required to understand how America works. If they want legal status under the U.S. Constitution, Congress must pass a law and Republicans now have a majority. This requires compromise, and Ms. Pelosi is trying to cut a deal that will stop these protesters from being deported. They’re fortunate that a requirement of legal status isn’t an IQ test. Guess this is a good example of the old saying: “Give a mouse a cookie and he’ll want a glass of milk!”

What Price is Freedom?


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What Price is Freedom?
For the University of California at Berkeley, apparently the answer is “at least $600,000.”

According to the Wall Street Journal, that’s what their new chancellor, Carol Crist, said it cost to provide security for the speech by former Breitbart writer Ben Shapiro to speak unimpeded on Thursday night, September 14. Even more astounding, before the speech the city of Berkeley’s City Council rescinded the ban on police use of pepper spray for the first time in two decades.

Surely Thomas Jefferson would be cheering the courage of Ms. Crist to stand up to the pressure from multiple left-leaning students who have previously prevented conservative speakers from appearing on campus.

“The boisterous Sea of Liberty is never without waves.” Jefferson said on Oct 20, 1820. Clearly that seems to be true in America today where again and again we hear outcries against those whose speech offends one group or another. Those cries are followed all too often by vehement demands that certain types of speech, those who advocate one “offensive” belief or another, should be banned, restricted or even arrested for expressing their views.

But who decides what should be banned? That’s the difficult question: “Who decides?”

Most rational Americans would agree that certain beliefs are unwelcome in mainstream America. Someone who advocates naziism, anti-semitism, or racism is probably not the kind of person most Americans would want to take home to dinner, but does that mean that – so long as they don’t advocate violence – their freedom to express their views should be banned?

Sure, some say, we know what’s “over the line” and things that are “over the line” like Nazis, should be banned. The problem there is how do we know where to draw that line? Who decides?

America is a democracy; maybe we should let the citizens vote on it? If 50.1% vote one way, and 49.9% vote the other way, do we really want to ban some aspects of free speech on that close a vote? Most of us would probably quickly agree that “the majority rules” is probably not the best way to decide where to draw that line.

Do we let Congress decide? Or maybe the President? Perhaps the Supreme Court? Are we as freedom loving Americans willing to give any of those the power to decide which speech is allowable, and which is not? Again, I doubt that most of us would be willing to agree with that, particularly since recent Rasmussen polls show only 15% of Americans think Congress is doing a good or excellent job.

That, I fear, is the problem. Who can we trust to decide which speech is protected by law, and which is not?

The answer, perhaps, is to trust not in the law to ban what we feel is repugnant, but to rely on the actions, feelings, and social interactions of the citizenry to reflect how Americans see things.

When we find some group repugnant, disgusting, offensive, then let our actions – which we are often told speak louder than mere words – speak for us. Stay away from those kind of people. Turn your back, don’t pay any attention to them, don’t interact with them – just walk away and ignore them. After a while, when they realize that they have no influence on the rest of us, they’ll slink back under that rock that they crawled out from under and stop bothering us.



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September 11, 2001

A day that divides the past from the present, never to be forgotten, nor forgiven.
In order to ensure peace, we must always be prepared for war, and remain ever vigilant.

Honor all those who serve or have served in our Armed Forces for it is they who put their bodies between us and our loved ones and those around the world who would do America and Americans harm.

Think back to where you were that fated morning, the shock you felt, and how you reacted over the days that followed. All of us, America, and the world were changed on that terrible day. Let us never forget the determination that all Americans felt that day, to come together in defense of our country, of our freedom and our legacy to our children and those who will come after us.

In this day of far too much internal acrimony, conflicting feelings and even challenges to some of our constitutionally guaranteed freedoms let us remember how in that time we banded together, felt a surge of pride that we were Americans – and nothing would ever bring our nation down.



Why the Gun is Civilization = by Marko Kloos


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Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, that’s it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force. The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gangbanger, and a single gay guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that we’d be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the mugger’s potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiat–it has no validity when most of a mugger’s potential marks are armed. People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that’s the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then there’s the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones don’t constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level. The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weightlifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I don’t do so because I am looking for a fight, but because I’m looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I don’t carry it because I’m afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesn’t limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation … and that’s why carrying a gun is a civilized act.

Freedom of Speech


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I was a college student during the Vietnam War and served as a monitor at more than one march of protesters during those years. Of thousands of students who participated never once did I see anyone show up with their face covered, nor did anyone throw rocks through windows or attack anyone else. The whole point in marching for PEACE is to do it PEACEFULLY!

The First Amendment guarantees freedom of speech, not the freedom to commit violence, damage property, or prevent others from exercising their own freedom to express their opinions.  To allow those such as Antifa to intimidate those who they don’t approve of is just the same as those who helped Hitler rise to power.  For government or campus “leaders” to cave in to the demands of those who wish to deny freedom of speech or freedom of assembly to others is a clear abandonment of their respo nsibility to their citizens and students.

Once we allow limits to be placed on freedom, we have begun our walk down the path to no freedom at all!

ObamaCare: A Camel is a Horse Designed by a Committee


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That is exactly how ObamaCare, aka the Affordable Care Act, the plan that so many Americans have come to despise, came to be.

Now that the Republicans control the House and the Senate, and our lame duck President has apparently abandoned any hope or promise of trying to forge a bipartisan plan for America over the next two years, the time is ripe, and very possibly the votes may be there, to fix the problem once and for all.

Perhaps in order to formulate a serious reconstruction of the ACA we need to restate the problems that it was supposed to have solved and visualize how those problems could have been solved without all the unnecessary complications that found their way into the ObamaCare legislation.

Here is a blueprint to the solutions that America needs.

Why Did We Need Health Care Reform?
What were the critical “Key Problems” that ObamaCare was supposed to solve? That’s easy to answer; in fact the official website of the Democratic National Committee tells us what those two goals were:

  • There were too many Americans without medical insurance, and
  • There were too many Americans who wanted coverage but couldn’t get it because of pre-existing medical conditions.

That’s it, folks. Those were the problems. This entire four-year-long catastrophe was promulgated to fix just those two problems. (Well, unless you cynically believe that the REAL reason was to increase the power of the federal government by taking control of one of the largest sectors of the American economy – but let’s leave that out of this article, just for the sake of simplicity.)

Back to the two problems, which to repeat myself are essentially (1) all those people without coverage, and somewhat separately, (2) all those who couldn’t get the coverage because of their medical conditions.

Let’s look at that first problem: who were all those people without insurance and why didn’t they have it? That boils down fairly easily into two categories. There were those who couldn’t afford it, and then those who could afford it, but didn’t want it.

The solution to the problem of “I can’t afford it” is actually pretty simple, and it doesn’t involve the government getting involved in the details of the insurance policies, or the various policy benefits, or what name you give to the different types of coverage – HMO, PPO, Platinum, Gold, Silver, etc.

When people can’t afford to buy things that they need and want, it’s for a very simple reason: They don’t have the money.

Universal Coverage Without ObamaCares Insanity
Millions of people all across America can’t afford to buy the food that they need to eat. The solution isn’t for the government to get involved in food production, or to operate chains of grocery stores, to change the names of the foods, or to dive into the internal composition of the foods in the grocery stores (although in today’s world the government is involved in many of those ways) – the solution is, and has been for nearly 50 years, a program we all know as Food Stamps. The government prequalifies applicants, determines who is truly at need, and then gives Food Stamps to those needy people who use them to buy food.

So how should the government solve the “I can’t afford it” issue in the medical insurance world? Why not apply the well-known KISS theory (Keep It Simple Stupid)? In this case, I would suggest that the solution is to issue the equivalent of Medical Insurance Stamps, give them to people who can’t afford to buy their own coverage, and the problem is resolved. Period.

Yes, that’s a big entitlement program, but it wouldn’t have required the billions that the government (both state and federal) spent on setting up the ObamaCare exchanges, or their websites, or their additional layers of administrative bureaucrats, not to mention the restructuring of all the insurance plans that were working for 90% of Americans. All those savings would almost certainly have made implementing the Medical Insurance Stamps program far less expensive than the federal subsidy program boondoggle. And we might even have been able to implement a system for validating the information gathered from all those prospective recipients, something that ObamaCare still doesn’t do.

If we’d taken that approach, we could have avoided much of what ObamaCare gave us. We wouldn’t have needed exchanges, or to cancel all the previously existing plans and policies that made over 90% of Americans happy with their medical insurance, or to tell people that they couldn’t keep seeing the doctors that they love. None of those changes really had anything to do with the “I can’t afford it” problem; they were just the almost inevitable result of the government getting overly involved in what could have been a fairly simple solution.

We’re now left with the second half of that first “Key Problem” – those who could afford medical insurance, but didn’t want it.

This is a slightly more complex issue because many might suggest that in America – “the land of the free,” remember? – if people don’t want medical insurance, maybe the government shouldn’t be forcing them to get it. That might work, but if and only if we could make a binding requirement that those people who don’t buy medical insurance won’t get their medical expenses paid for by taxpayer dollars when they have medical problems.

And in case you haven’t noticed, that is clearly and without any doubt an utterly impossible thing to do in today’s America. Face it, people – our society will simply not allow those who voluntarily chose not to have medical insurance to suffer the unfortunate consequences involved in having no medical insurance when they end up getting sick. That is not debatable. It will not happen. We have to provide them the care that they need, and unless we want to bankrupt the rest of us in doing so, we need to make them pay their fair share. So – what then? How do we do that?

To understand where we go from here, and why it is absolutely essential that everyone participate in the financial pool that funds our nation’s health care plans, we have to understand the underlying principle of how insurance is designed to work.

The entire concept is to spread the risk of loss over a wide number of people, most of whom won’t suffer that loss, but all of whom contribute to the overall “financial pool” which will end up paying for those relatively few who do have losses.

An excellent and crystal clear example of this would be an early application of this “financial pool” concept which was initiated by ship owners in New England during the 1600-1700s. Every ship owner knew that if his ship went down, he was going to lose a huge amount of money. So each owner who wanted to participate in the “pool” would put in his share of what would be the total cost to lose a ship. Then the first one whose ship went to Davy Jones’s Locker instead of making it back safely to port got all the money in the “pool” and was able to build a new ship. At that point all the owners would then put another chunk of money into the pool, and they started over again, waiting for the next claim.

Simple concept, right?

But how much of that money in the financial pool should go to a ship owner who had refused to join the pool and put in his share? Why, nothing, of course, because he had voluntarily refused to join the pool and had hence forfeited his right to protection. Since he didn’t participate in funding the pool, he sure as heck shouldn’t get reimbursed for his losses by the pool when his ship goes down.

The answer, then, since we know that our society demands that everyone be protected in the case of medical need, is that even those who don’t want to buy medical insurance must be required to buy it. Yes, that legal mandate most assuredly conflicts with one of the underlying principles of our nation – that one should have the freedom to make one’s own decision. But if we don’t require 100% participation, or instead that those who opt out must pay a tax penalty equivalent to their share of the financial pool then, as our example of the ship owners points out, the financial pool cannot survive; it will collapse, dissolve, and the entire system will fall apart. It’s as simple as that. We must require 100% participation in the pool, and everyone who can afford to participate in the pool must be required to do so. For those who are deemed truly unable to afford to participate, then we give them the Medical Insurance Stamps to pay for it so that everyone is in the pool.

That eliminates all of Key Problem #1, that too many Americans were without coverage, because with these two simple steps we have now provided affordable universal coverage. And we’ve done it without disturbing the plans we like, the doctors we like, the freedom to determine what kind of coverage we’ll have, which insurers we’ll work with, without all the unnecessary ObamaCare nonsense.

Making the Pre-existing Conditions Bogeyman Disappear!
And – this may shock you! – we have also simultaneously completely eliminated Key Problem #2, the “I can’t get insurance because I’m already sick” problem.

How did this happen, how did we miraculously solve a problem that we haven’t even started to analyze yet?

Because another important component of every insurance system is that there are almost never any significant problems with anticipated claims, because the systems are designed to anticipate virtually every conceivable claim. What causes problems are unanticipated claims from people who haven’t been participating in the system and who haven’t been a part of creating the financial pool that’s paying for those claims. Since we’ve now pulled every single American into the financial pool, the actuaries and underwriters (those strange and semi-mystical folk who determine claims reserves and the premiums required to accumulate and maintain those reserves) can now include everyone in their calculations and there are no unanticipated claims.

Since everyone is now a participant, either paying to be in the pool on their own or with Medical Insurance Stamps to pay for them, there is no longer anyone who’s outside of the financial pool yet still incurring claims.

With all the ship owners in the pool, everyone is always covered and all the pre-existing conditions concerns have now been banished forever.

Mission Accomplished
In summary, if we were to require that every adult must have medical insurance, and that every parent has to provide insurance for their children, and to continue to allow children to remain on their parents’ medical insurance until they reach working age, and finally provide funding for the truly needy with a Medical Insurance Stamps program, we’ve eliminated the need for probably 95% of the complex, convoluted and confusing absurdity that we all know as ObamaCare.

And, in a not insignificant amount of icing on the cake, we’ve also pushed the intrusive hands of the Federal Government out of one of the largest sectors of our economy – health care – helping to continue to preserve a little bit more of our freedom and independence for ourselves, our children, and our posterity.

Obamacare question

America, 2014: The Land of Entitlements


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This article appeared on American Thinker September 12, 2014.

I run an employee benefits company that focuses on helping small business owners with medical and other health benefit plans for their employees.

Earlier this week I had lunch with a CPA client of mine to talk with him about increasing the number of his small business clients who provide medical insurance plans to their employees.  Everything that I am recounting herein is from him; I am not making this up.

His answer and the reasoning behind his answer were stunning to me.  In my naivety I hadn’t even dreamed that I would hear anything like what he was about to tell me.

He explained that essentially all of his clientele is Spanish speaking business owners, almost all of whom employ essentially 100% Spanish speaking workers. They own firms such as restaurants, gardening services, custodial services, small grocery stores, painting companies, trucking companies and so on. But, he said, most of their employees who work only 20 to 30 hours a week, with only a very few who work the full traditional “full time” 40 hours a week. As a result, my CPA client said, nearly all of his clients, the business owners, don’t feel an obligation to provide benefits to these “part time” employees.

When I asked why they had mostly part timers instead of full time workers, he explained that the employees don’t want to earn too much money, or else they’ll lose their government benefits.

They like getting free things like food stamps, a housing allowance, MediCal insurance (California’s government subsidize medical care for low income people), and the like. They would rather earn less and get the entitlement programs for free than work longer hours, make more money, and have to pay for their own food, housing, insurance, and so on.

He shook his head, admitting that he found it a little embarrassing to be telling me this, and said that it was a sad commentary on the way our country operates these days.  But, he pointed out with a shrug, if these people worked a full 40 hour week, yet had to pay for all the things that they now get for free – they’d end up in pretty much the same financial position as they are now – but they wouldn’t have all the extra time to just lie around resting, doing nothing.

I was speechless.  “Are you kidding?” I asked him, but he assured me that he was not.

“They’d rather get stuff for free and spend more time kicking back or hanging out with friends for most of the day than work all day long and end up with no real increase in their standard of living.

“Getting everything for free is a whole lot easier than working for it,” he finished.

I guess the people he was talking about have a very different “American Dream” than my great-grandparents did when they came to America in the late 1800s.  A sad commentary on how our nation is being run here in the 21st century.



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