EnduringSense

“The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.” Plato

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    "As far as Saddam Hussein being a great military strategist, he is neither a strategist, nor is he schooled in the operational arts, nor is he a tactician, nor is he a general, nor is he a soldier. Other than that, he's a great military man, I want you to know that."

    Norman Schwarzkopf

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Global Warming 101

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 18, 2014

Comedy writer Michael Loftus has done a shtick on the global warming industry included in the video below. Not only does Loftus appropriately question the science behind global warming, climate change, or whatever it’s currently referred to, but also the motivations behind those promoting it. As he correctly points out, Al Gore and other global warming high priests have become wealthy promoting the scare and the industries they have invested that create goods and services to save the world from the suppose it calamity.

Posted in Global Warming | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Obama to Conduct Bombing of ISIS as Johnson did in Vietnam

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 17, 2014

The Wall Street Journal issued a disturbing report that President Barack Obama will “exert a high degree of personal control over the campaign” for any US air strike within Syrian territory. The Journal reported that this direct authority is attempt limit the expansion of United States involvement with the military campaign in Syria.

It is the height of gall and audacity for a president with no military experience to believe that he has the knowledge to properly determine targets for air strikes. The last president to exert such control was Lyndon Johnson during the Vietnam War who attempted to limit US involvement to certain thresholds.  The results were disastrous with not only the war dragging on for years with many additional American deaths, but with the ultimate victory by the North Vietnamese.

Any military action on foreign soil is risky and costly. It should only be taken if America or Americans are directly at risk by inaction.  However, once the decision is made to go to war it should first be approved by Congress, as required under the U.S. Constitution.  In addition it should be executed with the utmost aggression to ensure victory as quickly as possible and the least amount of American casualties.  It seems evident that this President is not up to the task.

Posted in President Obama, Syria | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Liberals Bill Maher and Michael Moore Question Liberal Logic

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 15, 2014

The first decade of this new century brought pronounced problems, both internationally and domestically, for the United States. On the international front we had the 9/11 attacks, North Korean atomic bomb tests, Iran marching towards nuclear weapons, and more recently what started as the Arab Spring has evolved into civil wars in Syria and Iraq and still strengthening of radical Islam.

Domestically, the various bubbles of the 1990s turned into an economic meltdown of 2008. That has been followed by the most anemic recovery since the Great Depression.  In both the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, Liberals blamed Republicans and right of center policies for these difficulties.  That dog no longer hunts.

At the end of six years of an ultra-Leftist agenda promoted by Barack Obama, the challenges facing the United States is even greater on the international front and remain challenging domestically. With these realities have the blame game no longer no longer works for President Obama.  Instead, it has shown the fallacies of Progressive and interventionist policies of not only the current administration, but also similar policies of preceding presidents.

Some on the Left are beginning to question the policies of Barack Obama and the politically correct agenda promoted by Progressives. Bill Maher is unapologetic Leftist and atheist.  During a recent interview with PBS’s Charlie Rose, Rose attempted to spew the politically correct proposition that Islam is currently no more violent than other religions.  Maher would have none of this and took Rose to task , as included the video below.

Just as shocking, ultra-Leftist Michael Moore took Obama to task for his lack of accomplishments. While it is likely that Moore wants Obama to implement even more Leftist/socialist policies, it is apparent that he questions Obama’s executive skills.

The fact that Bill Maher and Michael Moore are dissing this liberal president and/or the political correctness mantra of today is an indicator that there is political change coming at the upcoming midterm elections. However, while the Republicans are likely to take control the Senate they have shown the inability to lead or create cohesive policies.  The Country is devoid of true leadership in either political party.

Posted in President Obama | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Liberal Comedian Speaks of his Conversion to Conservatism

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 12, 2014

Winston Churchill once famously said: “If you’re not a liberal at twenty you have no heart, if you’re not a conservative at forty you have no brain.”  It is not surprising that with age comes experience and with experience comes reality.

But age is not the only force at work in the morphing liberals into conservatives.  At times the real world offers horrific human experiences that force the change irrespective of age.  Such was 9/11, we attacks that left over 3,000 innocent Americans dead at the hands of Islamic militants. Since then the tide of radical Islam has spread throughout the Middle East, North Africa and even parts of Asia.

Comedian and author, Evan Savet, was one liberal whose conversion to conservatism was a direct result of the 9/11 attacks.  His brief story included in the video below is compelling.

Posted in Liberals | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

America’s Incoherent Foreign Policy

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 9, 2014

It can be argued that George W. Bush made poor foreign policy decisions. Bush made an ill-conceived decision to invade Iraq. While that took down a nasty dictator, there were no weapons of mass destruction, the purpose of the invasion. Bush’s Afghanistan invasion was initially successful and necessary. However, once the Taliban and were taken down the mission morphed into nation building with no chance of success. Obama continues this failed policy six years into his presidency.

It can be said that President Obama has no foreign policy. He jumps from crisis to crisis with slowly developing tactical responses that have failed. In Libya, Obama helped take down Qaddafi and that country has since become a failed state housing terrorists. In Syria, Obama dithered in backing Democratic protesters during the early days of the Arab Spring. Now, the country is in Civil War with radical Islamists dominating the opposition to Assad. Iraq is in the process of disintegrating into three countries with radical Islamists controlling up to a third of it.

George Friedman of strafor.com wrote a piece titled Ukraine, Iraq and a Black Sea Strategy, link supplied below that begins:

“The United States is, at the moment, off balance. It faces challenges in the Syria-Iraq theater as well as challenges in Ukraine. It does not have a clear response to either. It does not know what success in either theater would look like, what resources it is prepared to devote to either, nor whether the consequences of defeat would be manageable.”

Friedman’s call of Obama foreign policy “off-base” is an understatement. The Obama policies are also ill-conceived and naïve. However, this not only falls on the President, but also on the American electorate who voted in a Community Organizer with no foreign policy experience to the most important diplomatic position in the world.

Ukraine, Iraq and a Black Sea Strategy

Posted in Foreign Policy, President Obama | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

CNN Reporter Questions Violence of Islam

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 7, 2014

CNN reporter Don Lemon threw political correctness to the wind and asked the much-needed question: “Is Islam more violent than any other faith?” While the answer is apparent during this point in history, the fact that the question was asked by the mainstream media is significant and signifies that Western society is coming to grips with perhaps the most serious issue facing it today.

One of the guests being questioned by Lemon was Arsalan Iftikhar of the Islamic Monthly Magazine. Iftikhar’s response attempted to equate violence by non-Muslim religious fanatics to global jihad. It is often used by those who attempt to defend violent behavior in the name of Islam. However, the broad scope and brutality of the violence committed in the name of Islam makes this argument/excuse without merit. It is nothing more than an attempt to obfuscate. Until greater Islam modernizes itself in a similar fashion that other religions have, as suggested by another one of Lemon’s panelist, violence in its name will continue to be a serious threat to world stability.

Posted in Radical Islam | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Secretary of State Kerry gets Biblical with Islam

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 5, 2014

The greater Islamic world is in turmoil. Pakistan, a nuclear power, is teetering due to the many radicals in country. Afghanistan will fall apart when the US troops depart. Libya, Syria, and Iraq are in Civil Wars. Egypt is fighting its Islamic fundamentalist problems and Iran continues on a quest for nuclear weapons.

Given the chaos in the Muslim world, it was shocking to hear John Kerry on Wednesday giving a speech on Islam in the video below that included:

“Confronting climate change is, in the long run, one of the greatest challenges that we face, and you can see this duty or responsibility laid out in Scriptures clearly, beginning in Genesis.

“And Muslim-majority countries are among the most vulnerable. Our response to this challenge ought to be rooted in a sense of stewardship of Earth, and for me and for many of us here today, that responsibility comes from God.”

John Kerry is delusional and out of touch with reality. Yes, he is a religious fanatic. However, not one based on Scripture, but instead the new religion of global warming. You can’t make this stuff up!

Posted in Global Warming, Islam | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Eric Cantor Joins Wall Street Bank

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 2, 2014

The Wall Street Journal reported that former House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, who was defeated in a Republican primary earlier this year, will be joining the Wall Street investment bank Moelis.

Cantor was a Congressman for 14 years.  During that period he was a favorite of Wall Street bank, raising about $1.4 million from these financial firms.  Donors included Goldman Sachs and Blackstone Group.

Cantor’s experiences in the past 14 years make him an expert on opening doors in Washington, not on the ins and outs of investment banking.  Cantor’s $1 million plus compensation package from Moelis puts a high value on those connections.  This type of incestuous relationship between Washington DC and special interests is a major cause of the dysfunctional federal government.  It is also offers a compelling argument for term limits and the need for a balanced budget amendment.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Middle East Quagmire Created 100 Years Ago

Posted by Steve Markowitz on September 1, 2014

The modern Middle East was created nearly 100 years ago by the French and British through an opaque agreement called Sykes-Picot.  This agreement divided the Middle East after the Ottoman Empire’s defeat in World War I into zones and countries that promoted French and British interests.  While these borders suited French and British needs, they created countries that could only be held together by force due to their made up of diverse clans, ethnic groups, and religions that had/have no natural cohesion.

Prior to World War II the colonial powers, the French and British, ruled the Middle East through military power.  World War II sapped both countries of their strength and America became the dominant Western force in the Middle East.

With the Cold War, the Middle East was divided into countries that became proxies of either the United States or USSR.  The Arab countries were ruled by dictators who kept a lid on the feuds between clans and different religions.  With the Arab Spring, as well as the US toppling of Saddam Hussein, the Middle East as created by the French and British under Sykes-Picot unraveled and led to ongoing crisis in various countries.

George Friedman of stratfor.com published an article below titled Iraq and Syria Follow Lebanon’s Precedent that offers a concise history of the Middle East during the past 100 years. It should be required reading for the US State Department and American presidents. Instead, our diplomats continue the failed policies of the past 50 years attempting to maintain the unmaintainable created by Sykes-Picot. And yes, peace between Israel and the Palestinians will not undo the errors of Sykes-Picot.

Iraq and Syria Follow Lebanon’s Precedent is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

Iraq and Syria Follow Lebanon’s Precedent, By George Friedman

Lebanon was created out of the Sykes-Picot Agreement. This agreement between Britain and France reshaped the collapsed Ottoman Empire south of Turkey into the states we know today — Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and to some extent the Arabian Peninsula as well. For nearly 100 years, Sykes-Picot defined the region. A strong case can be made that the nation-states Sykes-Picot created are now defunct, and that what is occurring in Syria and Iraq represents the emergence of those post-British/French maps that the United States has been trying to maintain since the collapse of Franco-British power.

The Invention of Middle East Nation-States

Sykes-Picot, named for French diplomat Francois Georges-Picot and his British counterpart, Sir Mark Sykes, did two things. First, it created a British-dominated Iraq. Second, it divided the Ottoman province of Syria on a line from the Mediterranean Sea east through Mount Hermon. Everything north of this line was French. Everything south of this line was British. The French, who had been involved in the Levant since the 19th century, had allies among the region’s Christians. They carved out part of Syria and created a country for them. Lacking a better name, they called it Lebanon, after the nearby mountain of the same name. Read the rest of this entry »

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Corporate Bonds at Record Levels

Posted by Steve Markowitz on August 28, 2014

The Wall Street Journal reported that corporations are issuing US bonds, i.e. taking on debt, at record levels.  This is the third consecutive year for a record.  So far for 2014 the issued bonds are just shy of $1 trillion.

When corporations sell bonds, typically this is done to raise funds to be used for future expansion.  Such expenditures are usually productive and can be beneficial to the economy as a whole.  However, these are not normal economic times.

With interest rates remaining at record lows for years, companies are taking advantage of this abnormality, issuing debt to refinance previous loans, or merely holding cash with the belief that interest rates will rise in the future.  This hoarding of cheap cash creates economic imbalances with consequences to play out in the future.

The Fed’s low interest rate policies have not created an environment for a sustained economic recovery.  It can be argued that these policies have in fact delayed the recovery by not allowing supply and demand to meet their natural levels.  In addition, many who rely on fixed incomes, such as the elderly, are being hurt as their incomes decrease.  Finally, the artificially low interest rates have led to equity valuations that are now in bubble territory.  The world got a taste of the downside of bubbles in 2008.

Posted in Debt | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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