Who Killed The Middle Class?

Photo Credit: DonkeyHotey “It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class.” So said Barack Obama in his State of the Union address.

And for one of his ideas to reignite that engine, Republicans applauded. “And tonight, I am announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union – because trade that is free and fair across the Atlantic supports millions of good-paying American jobs.”

One wonders if any of those in the hall who rose robotically at the phrase “free and fair” were aware of the trade results just in from 2012. What were the 2012 figures for the European Union?

U.S. exports to Europe fell, imports from Europe rose, and our trade deficit with the EU shot up 16 percent to $116 billion. We ran a trade deficit with Italy of $20 billion, with Ireland of $25 billion, with Germany of $60 billion. The Europeans are eating our lunch.

What about South Korea, the country with whom we signed a free-trade deal in 2012? U.S. exports to Korea fell last year, and due to a surge in imports our trade deficit in goods with South Korea soared 25 percent to $16.6 billion.

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China Takes Control of Strategic Pakistani Port

Photo Credit: Shakil Adil ISLAMABAD (AP) — China took over operational control of a strategic deep-water Pakistani seaport Monday that could serve as a vital economic hub for Beijing and perhaps a key military outpost.

Control of Gwadar port on Pakistan’s southwestern coast was transferred to a state-owned Chinese company, China Overseas Ports Holding Company Ltd., in a signing ceremony in Islamabad that was broadcast on TV.

Gwadar will soon be a “hub of trade and commerce in the region,” Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari said at the ceremony. “It holds the key to bring together the countries of Central Asia” and will further improve Pakistan-China relations, he said.

China paid much of the $250 million originally needed to construct the port, which was previously run by Port of Singapore Authority. It has been a commercial failure since it opened in 2007 because Pakistan never completed the road network to link Gwadar to the rest of the country.

The port on the Arabian Sea occupies a strategic location between South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. It lies near the Strait of Hormuz, gateway for about 20 percent of the world’s oil.

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Iowa Gov. Branstad To Rove: ‘Stay Out’

Photo Credit: Breitbart Republican Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad told Karl Rove to keep his new super PAC, which some conservatives believe was created to wage war on them, out of Iowa’s Republican primaries.

“I basically told Karl Rove that what he was doing is counter-productive and he needs to stay out of it,” Branstad told the Associated Press last Friday. “If some outside group that has no connection to Iowa attacks somebody from Iowa, that is not smart.”

After Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin, a Democrat, announced he would be retiring from the Senate in January, Rep. Steve King (R-IA) indicated he may be interested in pursuing the Senate seat, which has been held by a Democrat for 30 years, in 2014.

Rove’s group promptly decided to smear King a week later, indicating he would be a Republican against whom the group would try to obliterate with negative ads in a potential Iowa GOP Senate primary.

After Rove leaked the details of his super PAC to the New York Times, American Crossroads President Steven Law blistered King in the same publication, telling the Times the group was “concerned about Steve King’s Todd Akin problem” and that “all of the things he’s said are going to be hung around his neck.” These comments enraged King because they falsely implied King endorsed Akin’s views and comments about “legitimate rape,” which cost Akin Missouri’s Senate race in 2012.

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Republican U.S. Senator Decides To Quit

Photo Credit: WNDSen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., who grew up on a farm and had been accumulating influence as part of the Senate banking and agriculture committees, has stunned supporters by announcing that he will retire in January 2015.

He was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2008 after terms as Nebraska’s governor and the nation’s agriculture secretary. He had also served on the appropriations and veterans affairs committees.

On his website he explains how he was successful in fighting back against one of the provisions of Obamacare, the president’s keynote legislation that essentially sets up a national decision-making process for health care issues.

“After hearing from businesses in Nebraska about a provision in President Obama’s health law that would have created a paperwork nightmare for job creators, Johanns began an effort that gained bipartisan momentum and the 1099 reporting mandate was repealed.”

Politico speculates that he was “considered in a strong position for re-election next year.”

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Gun Dealers Report Shortages Of Ammunition

Photo Credit: John Rawlston, AP Gun shops are running low on ammunition from a run by customers fearful of potential gun-control legislation, according to gun retailers and customers.

Prices have more than doubled over past year in some shops, retailers are putting limits on the amount a customer can buy, and some common types of ammunition, such as .22-caliber long rifle shells, are hard to get.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation, which represents ammunition makers, retailers, hunters and sport shooters, attributes what it calls “spot shortages” around the country to rising popularity of sport-shooting and hunting, and to people who are “keeping firearms for personal and home defense.”

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in December reported recently that hunting license sales were up 9% from 2006 to 2011, reversing a 25-year decline. Michael Hampton, Jr., executive director of the National Skeet Shooting Association and the National Sporting Clays Association, says participation in those sports, which includes up to 4 million participants in each sport, is growing 3-5% annually.

But retailers say much of the demand is from gun owners who are stockpiling in case certain weapons are banned, who believe that economic chaos may be coming, or who are driven by rumors of inevitable background checks or rising taxes on ammunition. Gun sellers and owners say a run on ammunition began shortly after President Obama was re-elected, and has intensified in the gun-violence debate since the December mass killing of 20 children and six adults at a school in Newtown, Conn.

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Shock Claim: The Pope Seeks Immunity, the End of The Vatican Could Be Near

Photo Credit: Getty Images The Pope will have immunity from prosecution regarding the mishandling of child sex crimes by staying within the walls of the Vatican, according to an anonymous Vatican source. Reuters reported Friday, Feb. 15, that church sources have explained that the retiring Pope Benedict would be “defenseless” if he leaves the Vatican.

This official news story comes on the heels of a statement issued by the International Tribunal into Crimes Against Church and State (ITCCS) that detailed the legal situation that surrounds the Pope and the Vatican. An unnamed European country and the ITCCS have issued a campaign to hold the Pope accountable for the Vatican’s cover-up of child sex crimes. There was an international arrest warrant secured for the Pope’s arrest:

“On Friday, February 1, 2013, on the basis of evidence supplied by our affiliated Common Law Court of Justice (itccs.org), our Office concluded an agreement with representatives of a European nation and its courts to secure an arrest warrant against Joseph Ratzinger, aka Pope Benedict, for crimes against humanity and ordering a criminal conspiracy.

The Tribunal and the unnamed European nation intend to take a lien against the property and wealth of the Catholic Church, beginning on Easter Sunday March 31. They are calling it an “Easter Reclamation Campaign,” part of which involves citizens seizing the assets of the Church under international law and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.”

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NYT Goes Birther: Attacks ‘Canadian-Born’ Cruz, Calls Him ‘McCarthyite’

Photo Credit: Gage Skidmore

Liberals, the mainstream media, and establishment Republicans often reveal which conservatives they fear by their level of disdain and vitriol.

This week, they put their crosshairs on freshman Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), a Tea Party conservative of Hispanic descent who undermines the mainstream media’s ability to advance their false notion that being a minority and Tea Partier are mutually exclusive. He is a conservative who showed no desire to defer to the Senate’s “courtly” ways, the preferences of the institution’s old bulls.

The sinking ship that is the New York Times, the so-called paper of record, provided evidence of what it fears most in its Saturday edition: strong, distinct full-throated conservative voices from folks who ain’t “country club,” geriatric, and white. The Washington Post and Politico joined the times in assailing Cruz this week for similar reasons.

The Times did a thorough review of the freshman senator’s stunning seven-week run:

  • leading the charge on the destruction of Chuck Hagel’s bona fides as Secretary of Defense;
  • one of only three Republicans to vote against John Kerry because of his longstanding less-than-vigorous defense of U.S. national security issues;
  • one of only 34 that voted against raising the debt ceiling;
  • one of only 22 who voted against the Violence Against Women Act;
  • one of only 36 who voted against the pork-ladened Hurricane Sandy financial aid package;
  • one of only 19 who voted against arming the Muslim Brotherhood regime in Cairo;
  • called out Rahm Emanuel;
  • confronted Chuck Schumer on national TV;
  • enraged Senators Boxer and McCaskill enough for them to label him as a “McCarthyite”

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Complaint Filed Over School’s Purge Of Professor Who Told the Truth About Islam

Photo Credit: WNDOfficials with the Thomas More Law Center say they have filed a formal complaint challenging the accreditation of the National Defense University after officials there disciplined an instructor for teaching an approved course on Islam.

The law center said the complaint was filed with the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, which accredited NDU as a degree granting university, and the organization confirmed a preliminary review was launched.

TMLC said its complaint “provides overwhelming evidence that several NDU and Department of Defense (DoD) policies relating to academic freedom were violated when Lt. Col. (LTC) Matthew Dooley was removed from his teaching post as a result of demands by Muslim organizations that all training materials offensive to Islam be purged and instructors using the materials disciplined.”

Richard Thompson, law center president, said, “The actions taken against LTC Dooley are astonishing. NDU’s own policies recognize that academic freedom is essential to the integrity of the university classroom setting as well as U.S. national interests. In fact, the Department of Defense had specifically directed the National Defense University to establish a climate of academic freedom within the university, with the directed purpose to foster lively, classroom debate in the examination of national security issues. Contrary to these established policies, NDU and DoD have subsequently gone on to violate their own rules in handling this incident concerning the ‘Islamic Radicalism’ elective.”

TMLC also asked the commission to conduct its own confidential on-site interviews of NDU faculty members to determine the extent to which academic freedom has been diminished and what measures should be taken to insure the future integrity of NDU as a university.

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Heads Roll As The Religion Of “Turn The Other Cheek,” Meets The Religion Of “Peace”

Photo Credit: Irish CentralThe latest casualty in the war against Christianity, is a Tanzanian pastor who lost his head to an outraged Muslim mob. The incensed mob was demanding all non-halal butcher shops and especially pork butchery, be forbidden

A spokesman said a group of youths believed to be Muslim, assaulted several Christians, including a butcher shop owner, using sticks and machetes. During the confrontation Pastor Mathayo Kachili, of the local Assembly of God Church, was beheaded.

Besides the Pastors beheading, several other people were injured critically during the incident and taken to the local hospital in Buseresere for treatment.

Christians in a small village in southern Egypt are rebuilding their lives and homes after hundreds of Muslims rampaged through their community firebombing houses and businesses, over rumors of a romantic relationship between a Christian and a Muslim.

In Nigeria, Boko Haram, a group seeking to impose Islamic law on the country, picked out Christians in a small village, gathered them in a group before massacring them. 15 people died in the attack; many had had their throats slit.

These are not isolated incidents as Muslim extremists attack other religions wherever the two meet, but Christianity seems to be singled out.

According to a report named Christiana-phobia, by the think tank Civitas: The “lion’s share” of persecution faced by Christians arises in countries where Islam is the dominant faith. Between half and two-thirds of Christians in the Middle East have left the region or have been killed in the past century.

“There is now a serious risk that Christianity will disappear from its biblical heartlands,” it claims.

Violent oppression of Christians has become the norm in Muslim-majority nations, especially in Africa and the Middle East. In some countries it is government sanctioned violence that burns down churches and imprisons parishioners.

In others countries, groups and vigilantes take matters into their hands by murdering Christians and driving them out of regions they have called home for centuries.

One Christian pastor in an affected country described the situation this way: “On the Christian side, strong emphasis is placed on the teaching of Christian love, patience, mercy and forbearance. But in such a situation one wonders what the future of Christianity and of the nation as a whole can be.”

“Muslims believe that if they die in the course of a Holy War (or Jihad) they will go directly to heaven. We are dealing with a religious philosophy where war is a must! The whole weight of the challenge is now on our shoulders. Who can tell how successfully we will respond?”

It seems, the Christian philosophy of turning the other cheek, is on the road to running out of cheeks to turn, in Muslim dominated countries. It seems when it comes to tolerating other religions, the religion of “peace” isn’t so peaceful.

Ed Farnan is the conservative columnist at IrishCentral, where he has been writing on the need for energy independence, strong self defense, secure borders, 2nd amendment, smaller government and many other issues. His articles appear in many publications throughout the USA and world. He has been a guest on Fox News and a regular guest on radio stations in the US and Europe.

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‘Independent’ Bloomberg to Deploy Millions Against Pro-Gun Democrat in Illinois Primary

Photo Credit: APA Chicagoland special House election to replace disgraced former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. has suddenly become Ground Zero of the national gun control debate, courtesy of anti-gun crusader Mike Bloomberg.

The billionaire New York City mayor’s super PAC is poised to dump at least $2 million into the race, sources told POLITICO — a staggering sum for a single House race that’s meant to thwart a National Rifle Association-aligned Democrat who was cruising along as the frontrunner until a barrage of Bloomberg-financed attack ads hit the airwaves.

The massive independent expenditure by Independence USA PAC dwarfs what any of the 17 Democratic candidates have raised themselves. It’s a none-too-subtle statement of Bloomberg’s intention to take on the NRA after the Newtown, Conn. school shooting — though it’s debatable how much of a test case it is since the NRA is staying out of the race.

The bulk of Bloomberg’s cash has financed an air war against Debbie Halvorson, a former one-term congresswoman and longtime ex-state legislator with an “A” rating from the NRA. The lone white candidate in the Democratic field, she’s hoping that her base of suburban and rural voters in the southern outskirts of the district — who by and large favor gun rights — will be enough to give her the small plurality it will take to win.

The Democratic primary is on Feb. 26. The general election is all but irrelevant given the district’s heavy Democratic makeup.

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