Did I hear Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave? Part 3 of 3

Back to the question that I asked in Part 1—why has it been so easy for the GOP to fool so many adult Americans into believing that President Obama is responsible for the growth of the national debt since he took the oath of office?

I think it has to do with adult literacy skills where one cannot understand what he or she reads, and those adults turn to some other source for information—for example—Fox News; Rush Limbaugh; Sean Hannity; Glenn Beck and others just like them who spew misinformation cherry-picked from facts that mislead fools.

In the United States, 43% of adults read at the most basic level and only 4% read at the highest level of literacy. … [the 43%] is a class of adults who, although not meeting criteria for functional illiteracy, face reduced job opportunities and life prospects due to inadequate literacy levels relative to the requirements of contemporary society.

And these people are eligible to vote. In fact, ten of the eleven poorest states in the US voted for McCain, the Republican candidate for president in 2008. In addition, the top 15 most educated states voted for Obama while 82% of the least educated states voted for McCain. Source: DailyKos.com


Bill Maher: most Americans are Dumb and Uneducated

My conclusion: if your literacy skills are so low you have no idea of how to find the facts to check what your favorite conservative claims is the truth as he or she cherry- picks the facts, then you are easy to fool.

And if you are among the 4% who read at the highest levels and you believe that President Obama is one-hundred percent responsible for the increase in the National Debt since he took the oath of office, then you are lazy because the facts are there—from primary sources—for anyone who wants to spend the time to discover them just like I did for this series of posts.

If you have read this far and want to learn more, you may want to read about discretionary spending versus mandatory spending at Keeping America Great.org. And if you read this short explanation, you may notice that the word “President” doesn’t appear anywhere. But the word “Congress” does—over and over.

Here’s my first recommendation for spending cuts: cut the Department of Defense by 50% and stop fighting wars with countries that never attacked America. Vietnam never attacked America. Iraq never attacked America.  And it could be argued that Afghanistan never attacked America. The attack on 9/11in New York was caused by al Qaeda who was operating out of Afghanistan when the Taliban ruled that country.

Al Qaeda is made up of terrorists who are scattered across many countries but rule none. They are hunted criminals, killers and outlaws and the Taliban were removed from power in Afghanistan during the war and now are no different than al Qaeda.

Do we really need to spend $700 billion annually to fight these terrorist gangs who have no country?

Abraham Lincoln was right. There will always be some people who will be fooled all of the time.

After reading all three of the posts in this series, if you still believe Obama is responsible for the increase in the National Debt while he has been in office, prove it by showing us where he increased discretionary spending without approval of the Congress.

Return to I heard Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave: Part 2 or start with Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Did I hear Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave? Part 2 of 3

If you read Part 1, then you might understand that the annual federal budget is a complicated process and no President or Congress can be held responsible for all of the Mandatory and Discretionary spending. By that, I mean, can we blame President Obama for Social Security; Medicare; the VA, the Department of Defense [formed in August 1949], etc.?

Have you ever asked what would happen if the President and Congress had to cut discretionary spending and stop borrowing money to fund government, what would have to go? Mandatory spending cannot be cut because it is funded with specific taxes. For example, Social Security cannot use other taxes to fund that program. Social Security has to be funded by the Social Security tax but Congress has used this tax to fund other departments and programs. To understand this better, I suggest you read Social Security and Medicare’s impact on the national budget = ZERO!

To—hopefully—give you a better idea, I found this information at The Heritage Foundation: In 2012, there was $2.501 trillion in total revenues; Mandatory Spending was $2.073 trillion, and Discretionary Spending was $1.313 trillion.

If the government was not allowed to borrow, that would leave $428 billion to fund Discretionary Spending, and then $885 Billion would have to be cut—for example— from the Department of Defense’s [DOD]; the VA’s Discretionary budget; the Department of Transportation’s budget; the Administration of Justice’s [the courts] budget, etc.

I’m sure criminals would love to see Justice cut.

Now, who decides how to divide up those cuts and how many millions of people might see their retirement incomes shrink so drastically that they wouldn’t have enough money to feed themselves in addition to paying the electric bill and the rent. Soon the homeless population would explode like a nuclear bomb.

How would our military defend America and fight its endless wars?  How would the VA take care of veterans who were wounded in combat and the health care of retired military? How would the Food and Drug Administration make sure the food was safer to eat?


National Debt and Deficit Explained

Oh, and if you think all it would take is cut welfare from the budget and make those so-called deadbeats work [most people on welfare work long-hours at low-paying jobs and the rest are too old to work; are children, or are disabled], the budget for Food Stamps and other Nutrition programs for the elderly and disabled cost $114.9 billion in 2012 and that is not even close to the $885 billion that would have to be cut to balance the budget and stop deficit spending. Housing assistance, another form of welfare costs only $40 billion. Even with that gone, we’re still a long way from cutting $885 billion from the budget.

Maybe the United States could cut Farm Subsidies that are usually paid to wealthy corporate farmers, but that’s only $12.5 billion [this program cost $24.4 billion in 2002 so it has already been cut in half].

We could also cut unemployment benefits even though America’s workers and employers paid unemployment taxes to fund that government insurance program. That would cut $107 billion, but then there would be no unemployment benefits when a citizen lost his or her job. Without money, they would soon be homeless and starving along with the elderly, children and disabled who lost their food stamps and welfare support.

I think this must be repeated as often as possible: Entitlement programs like Unemployment, Social Security and Medicare all have their own special tax revenue source to fund them and that was and still is being paid for by working Americans.

So, who do you want to cut out of the budget? Remember, the cuts you propose must add up to almost $900 billion, and if we did away with Social Security and Medicare then the taxes that fund those entitlement programs would vanish too leading to even deeper cuts.

If you still don’t get it, maybe this will help: if we call Social Security Paul, and the discretionary slice of the budget Mary, then Congress has been legally stealing from Paul to pay Mary for a very long time but Paul can’t steal from Mary because the law that manages Social Security doesn’t allow that to happen.

For some fool to think that President Obama is personally responsible for the trillions of dollars that have been added to the National Debt while he has lived in the White House, Obama would have had to launch new spending programs and add more departments and agencies to the government that increased spending but he would still need the approval of the Congress. The only program we’ve heard the GOP complain about is The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act—better known as ObamaCare—a program that has not increased the national debt one penny so far and may never increase it.

It has been estimated that ObamaCare will cost the federal government $1.36 trillion dollars by 2023. That means, ObamaCare—as it is popularly known—will cost an average of $136 billion annually to fund according to the Congressional Budget Office. But due to the methods/sources used to fund the program, it has been estimated that ObamaCare will reduce the federal deficit by $210 billion over the 2012 – 2021 period. To discover how, click on the following link and scroll down to read How Do We Pay for ObamaCare Costs?

The only way President Obama may be held responsible for the increase in the National Debt is if he increased spending but according to Tax Policy Center.org, Obama has cut spending by 1.4% while he has been in office.

In comparison, G. W. Bush increased spending 4.5%.


What They Won’t Tell You about the National Debt

In fact, Bush’s 1st annual budget [2002] increased the deficit by $157.8 billion; the 2nd [2003] annual budget by $377.6 billion; 3rd [2004] by $412.7 billion; 4th [2005] by $318.3 billion; 5th [2006] $248.2 billion; 6th [2007] $160.7 billion; 7th [2008] $260.7 billion, and the 8th [2009—Yes, Obama was president but it was the last budget President Bush proposed to Congress] led to a deficit of $1.4127 Trillion. To explain, the first year a president is in office, he or she runs the country with a budget left over from the previous president and it’s too late to do over because the Congress already approved it.

By comparison, Obama’s 1st annual budget in 2010—the first budget Obama proposed to Congress—had a deficit of $1.2935 Trillion—$119.2 billion less than Bush’s last budget; 2nd [2011] $1.2996 trillion, and 3rd [2012] of $1.087 Trillion—all lower than Bush’s last budget.  Source: Tax Policy Center.org

Continued on November 16, 2013 in I heard Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave: Part 3 or return to Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Did I hear Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave? Part 1 of 3

The Republican Party—known as the GOP or the Grand Old Party—was founded on February 28, 1854, when Alvan E. Bovay called an anti-slavery meeting at the Congregational Church in Ripon, Wisconsin. Abraham Lincoln was the GOP’s first elected U.S. President.

Abraham Lincoln said, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”

That leads me to this question: why is it so easy for the GOP—or Democrats for that matter—to fool some of the people all of the time, and why am I asking this question?

Let me explain, and I hope that I don’t lose the thirty-second people who make up the average readers surfing the Internet.  Short attention spans and poor reading skills often don’t make for educated people and ignorant people are easy to fool.

I left a comment for an ABC-Yahoo! News piece about the US National Debt and the Deficit. Many of the comments blamed Obama for the increased National Debt. Anyone who disagreed was voted down by a large margin.

President G. W. Bush’s 2009 budget—the last budget he submitted to Congress—left the national debt at $12,311,349,677,612 [that’s more than $12.3 Trillion].

Near the end of Obama’s first term in office in December 2012, the debt had reached $16.4 Trillion, and conservative-media critics and tea-party politicians blamed Obama for the increase—in thirty seconds or less, I’m sure—and in my comment, I explained—until I ran out of room—why President Obama could not be held responsible for most of what has been added to the debt since he has been President.

Then an anonymous person left a comment and accused me of lying and this anonymous person left no evidence to support that accusation. I did not lie and the facts—when one spends the time to understand them—also do not lie.


Mandatory and Discretionary Spending Explained

All I did was explain—probably in too much detail for the average 30-second fool—that the annual-federal budget had two parts: 1. mandatory and 2. discretionary spending.  According to NationalPriorites.org, 62% of the annual budget is mandatory and only an act of Congress can change this portion of the budget. When I say mandatory, I’m talking about programs like Social Security that’s been around since 1935 and Medicare since the early 1960s. Without approval from Congress, the president cannot change the way these programs are funded, because they are on automatic pilot. If you want to discover more about mandatory spending in the U.S. Federal Budget, you can find it here at cbo.gov

It is Discretionary spending that funds the departments and agencies of the federal government and here is where the President has some input, but he still needs approval from Congress. He can’t force Congress to approve the budget.

For example, the Department of Defense [DOD] gets 57% of discretionary spending [in 2011, President Obama proposed $549.1 billion to fund the DOD, but Congress only approved $530.8 billion]; the Department of Education received 3% of discretionary spending; Department of Labor 2%; Department of Transportation 2%, etc.

Discretionary spending may be increased or decreased on an annual basis by Congress. In other words, what will it cost for each agency to operate for another year to fulfill that department or agencies duties according to laws that were passed by Congress?

There is one department that has both mandatory and discretionary spending. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) was formed in 1778, and for 2013, 54.4% of its budget [$76.3 Billion] was considered mandatory and could not be touched. Therefore, the President can only submit the VA’s discretionary budget of $64 Billion to Congress for approval.

This paragraph offers an example of the challenge that comes with cutting federal budgets: VA Medical Programs make up 87.9% of the Discretionary Budget for the VA—programs that are in place because they were promised to military veterans who fought in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, The Iraq War and Afghan War. Millions of troops who fought for their country—for you—have service-related disabilities that need medical care, and each year the cost of this medical care increases requiring the President—no matter who he or she is—to request more money to fund this program.  Source: va.gov

And some fools blame the president for increasing spending for the VA and other departments. Do you want to refuse medical care for the troops who fought in America’s war—the troops who defended this nation; who defended you?

As you might now understand—I hope—based on the needs of the federal agencies and departments, the president’s budget proposal projects estimated spending, revenue, and borrowing levels for the coming fiscal year starting each October 1. The president’s budget proposal serves as a starting point for Congress to consider, and Congress is under no obligation to adopt all or any of the President’s budget and—historically—often makes significant changes.

And deficit spending happens when tax revenues do not cover mandatory and discretionary spending. If the law didn’t allow the federal government to borrow money, one of four things might happen: 1. The Congress drastically raises taxes; 2. The Congress drastically cuts funds to federal departments and agencies like the DOD ending the ability of the U.S. to defend itself; 3. The Congress raises both taxes and cuts funds to some agencies and departments to find a balance if possible, or 4. the government goes bankrupt, shuts down and the United States collapses as a civilization erupting into anarchy, chaos and violence.

Maybe China would send troops to the United States to restore order, because after the West collapsed financially, China might be the only country left that could afford to do that.

Continued on November 15, 2013 in I heard Abraham Lincoln groan as he rolled over in his grave: Part 2

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Social Security and Medicare’s impact on the national debt = ZERO!

I recently read a post by Chris Moody writing for Yahoo News. The focus was on Republican House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, and his goals to fix what many Americans think of as broken entitlement programs: Social Security and Medicare—as if those two programs are the problem that has caused today’s U.S. National debt of almost $17 Trillion.

First, I want to examine the word “entitlement”, because today many see the word to mean the same as welfare but entitlement means “the fact of having a right to get something”.

Now, how did most Social Security recipients earn this entitlement? For me, I had to work for more than ten years and pay taxes into Social Security to earn the right to collect it later after I was in my mid-sixties, but now I will never see one dime from Social Security. I’ll explain why at the end of this post.

If you click on the link at the end of this paragraph, you will discover: “When you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn up to a maximum of four ‘credits’ for each year. The way you earn a credit has changed over the years. … During your lifetime, you probably will earn more credits than the minimum number you need to be eligible for benefits. These extra credits do not increase your benefit amount.” Source: Official Social Security Website

Did you see the words work, pay and earn—that explains how these two programs work?

Remember this: People who are entitled to and who collect Social Security have not contributed to the National Debt for this entitlement—not one penny. Why? Because the Social Security law clearly says that the program cannot be funded by any other source than the Social Security tax that was first collected in 1935.

In fact, for 2012, Social Security collected $840,190,000,000 [billions] and only paid out $785,781,000,000 in entitlements to Americans who earned those payments. And the Social Security trust fund had $2,732,224,000,000 [trillions] in assets at the end of that year—of course the real problem is that those assets are in the form of IOU’s from the U.S. Congress who spent all that money over the last seventy-seven years for other budget items.


Where did your Social Security’s funds go?

Do you know that the U.S. Congress can borrow and spend the money collected to fund Social Security from the Social Security tax but the same law says Social Security cannot be funded by any other tax?

Therefore, the United States Congress—our elected government—owes the American people Trillions of dollars. To escape the hole the U.S. Congress has dug for itself since 1935—a very deep hole—they have to demonize the Social Security and Medicare programs and manipulate public opinion to believe these programs are one of the causes of the National Debt.

Medicare, like Social Security, is funded by payroll taxes paid by most employees, employers, and people who are self-employed.… The Medicare Program is the second-largest social insurance program in the U.S., with 50.7 million beneficiaries in 2012. To learn more, I suggest you click on the following link: How is Medicare funded?

In 2012, Medicare collected $532.6 million and paid out $550 million but the deficit of $17.4 million was funded by its assets—savings account—that still had a balance of $301.2 million at the end of that year. Source: cms.gov

Conclusion: If Social Security and Medicare have not contributed one penny of the almost $17 Trillion U.S. National Debt, what spending programs did Congress approve in the last seventy-seven years that are responsible? What is it that America’s elected Congress doesn’t want the American voters to know?

Here is the answer to why I can’t collect the Social Security that I worked for and earned:

I started working at age 15 and by the age of 30—more than ten years of work [this includes my years as a U.S. Marine, and I am a Vietnam veteran] and five years of college later—when I went back to school to become a public school teacher, I had earned the right to collect Social Security.

But because I was a teacher in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005) and paid more than 8% of my earnings into the CalSTRS retirement system instead of Social Security for those thirty years, I was disqualified from collecting the Social Security I had earned between the ages of 15 and 30. The feds call it double dipping—something the US Congress had been doing since 1935 with the Social Security Trust Fund.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Who is [really] responsible for the U.S. federal government shutdown?

Before I say anything on this issue, I want to make it clear that I have no bias or interest in Obamacare. My medical provider is the VA, and because of my age, I also qualify for Medicare if I wanted to leave the VA medical system. No matter what happens to The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, I will still have healthcare.

The easy answer to the title of this post came from Calvin Woodward and Jennifer Agiesta writing for the Associated Press, but to discover what it meant in more detail I had to do some fact gathering.

Woodard and Agiesta said, “More than 4 in 10 Republicans identified with the tea party and were more apt than other Republicans to insist that their leaders hold firm in the standoff over reopening government and avoiding a default of the nation’s debt in coming weeks.”

There it is—the answer to who is really responsible for the shutdown.

A Pew research poll in 2012 found that about 35% of registered voters are Democrats, 28% Republicans and 33% are Independents.  I’m one of the Independents. I can’t stand either party so I refuse to register with either one.

That means 11.2% of registered Republican voters are in control of the shutdown due to what they think is true about the national health care program known as Obamacare that has been plagued from the beginning with claims, rumors, lies and exaggerations.

If we crunch the numbers, we soon discover that there are more registered voters than the number of people who vote.

In 2012, the US Census reported that there were 206,072,000 Americans eligible to vote, but 146,311,000 were registered and 131,144,000 voted in the 2008 Presidential election.

That means about 16.3 million Americans are yanking the rest of us around because they want it all their way based on faulty, mostly misleading information. Subtract 16.3 million from the total population of the United States and you get a better idea of how small this group is.

Obamacare may not be the best national healthcare program for some Americans [since Americans that already have health care can just keep the same health care plan and change nothing], but I’m also sure this national health care program will not destroy America.

Meanwhile five-percent of the U.S. population is making sure the shutdown continues by using blackmail against the leaders of the Republican Party. This blackmail works because the leaders of the GOP fear losing too many votes in the next election.

And the GOP is counting on the short attention spans and worse memories of most Americans—the independents like me who vote—to have forgotten all about who was responsible for this shutdown by the next Congressional elections in 2014—more than a year away.

So, how about a summary profile of those 16.3 million Americans responsible for the pressure that led to the federal government shutdown.

“The Tea Party movement is best understood as a new cultural expression of the late-20th century Republican Party,” said Steven J. Tepper, associate professor of sociology at Vanderbilt and associate director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at the university. “Compared to the Republican Party, Tea Party supporters are more likely to support libertarian principles.  But virtually every other characteristic of Tea Party supporters – from demographics to political and social attitudes – matches the profile of Republican supporters.” Source: Vanderbilt.edu

In addition, A new analysis by the Pew Research Center’s Forum on Religion & Public Life finds that Tea Party supporters tend to have conservative opinions not just about economic matters, but also about social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. In addition, they are much more likely than registered voters as a whole to say that their religion is the most important factor in determining their opinions on these social issues. And they draw disproportionate support from the ranks of white evangelical Protestants.

Conclusion, a few Americans think they have the right to dictate how the rest of us should live. Benjamin Franklin once said, “Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God,” and “It is the religion of ignorance that tyranny begins.”

The Founding Fathers of the United States despised democracy. In the beginning and for more than a century the United States was not a democracy—it was a republic ruled by a political system known as a plutocracy. But in the early 20th century, changes in voting laws and the structure of the U.S. Senate turned the United States into a democracy from the plutocracy the Founding Fathers created.

Do you think the tea-party movement should be the tail that wags today’s American democracy?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy that started life as a memoir and then became a fictional suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

 

Censored but not Silenced: Part 5/5

Disclaimer: Before I conclude this series, I want to make it clear that I support the existence of Israel and its right to defend itself with America’s help, but I do not believe in the neoconservative political agenda of nation building by exporting democracy using America’s troops, bullets and bombs.

But—at the same time—I do not think it is a good idea to allow Iran to develop the bomb. If Iran wasn’t using its nuclear program, as it claims—to build nuclear bombs—why not follow China’s example and build thorium reactors that do not need weapons grade plutonium to generate electricity, but that is another topic. If you are interested, I recommend reading China blazes trail for ‘clean’ nuclear power from thorium.

Does that mean I support America going to war against Iran? Yes, but not to build a democracy but to make sure Iran never has a nuclear weapon. There are too many of these bombs already. Instead of building more, we should be dismantling them, because a conventional war isn’t as total as nuclear war.

Keep in mind that today’s nuclear weapons are much more devastating than what was dropped on Japan at the end of World War II. If you have no concept of that horror, I refer you to this site where there is an info-graphic that will show you. Click on Ingeniously Charting The Horrifying Power of Today’s Nuclear Bombs.

In addition, there are 17,300 of these modern nuclear weapons stockpiled by nine countries: Russia has 8,500; the United States 7,700; France 300; China 240; United Kingdom 225; Pakistan 90 – 110; India 80 – 100; Israel 60 – 80, and North Korea has less than 10.  Source: Ploughshares.org: World Nuclear Stockpile Report

_______________

Censored but not Silenced continued:

Neoconservatism is a branch of American conservatism that advocates assertive promotion of democracy, and American national interest in international affairs including by military means.  Neoconservatives also believe it is okay to lie to the public to achieve their political agendas—and I think that lies and any form of censorship go hand in hand.

To follow this reasoning further, Rupert Murdock, a billionaire and a known neoconservative has “hired Jews as his closest advisers. His support for Israel has been absolute. Arguably, it is his support for Israel, and for neoconism in general (for many years, he owned and funded the losses of the Weekly Standard), that helped solidify rightwing support for Israel.” Source: The Guardian.co.uk

Is it possible that Murdock—and/or other wealthy neoconservatives—are supplying the money supporting the IMED where Julie Lenarz is a fellow?

Before answering that question, you may want to read a post by Andrés Perez-Alonso, Neoconservatism, the Israeli Lobby, and other Power Relations, on a Website/Blog that has 1,536 linked sites compared to the 38 linked to Julie’s Think Tank.

Andrés says, “The historical neoconservative commitment to Israel has been so pronounced that even traditional conservatives like Russell Kirk have charged them with mistaking ‘Tel Aviv for the capital of the United States’.”

This—of course—brings me to the fourth group with another alleged political agenda that might have done almost anything for an American war in Iraq and then later in Iran. This political agenda is based on an old proverb that is both ironically Arabic in addition to being Chinese. It is a foreign policy doctrine commonly used to interact with a significant enemy through an intermediary rather than through direct confrontation.

The proverb says: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.”

What better way to defend the survival of Israel than to have the only super power on the earth wage wars in the Middle East against your enemies while manipulating the flames of conflict between the Sunnis and Shiites in addition to working behind the scenes to encourage an Arab Spring that has led to clashes between Islamic factions and/or rebellions and civil wars in Muslim countries like those in Libya, Syria, and Egypt. I would not be surprised if a political faction in Israel was behind the Lebanese Civil War that raged for fifteen years. An Islamic Middle East at war with each other and/or at war with America is not focused on the destruction of Israel. Instead of “Blood for Oil”, this is”American Blood for Israel’s survival”.

Return to Censored but not Silenced: Part 4 or start with Part 1

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy, a suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper right-hand column and click on “Follow”.

Censored but not Silenced: Part 4/5

I have learned that it is best to be suspicious of political nonprofit organizations with impressive sounding names that promise to achieve wonderful things and make the world a better place. They could be a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

For example, some of the libertarian and/or conservative think tanks launched with support from the infamous Koch Family Foundation are: Citizens for a Sound Economy; Citizens for the Environment (the Koch brothers do not believe carbon emissions are causing global warming and want little or no restrictions on what causes air pollution); American’s for Prosperity (the Koch brothers advocate a smaller federal government, lower taxes and less federal oversight of the private sector); Patients United Now (against Obamacare); the Cato Institute; the Institute for Justice; the Institute for Energy Research; the Foundation for Research on Economics and the Environment, and the Heritage Foundation, etc.

If you want to learn more about the Koch brothers and their political beliefs, I recommend clicking this link.

I discovered that The Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy (IMED)—where Julie Lenarz is a fellow and where she publishes opinion pieces that she may use to support her other opinions posted on Julie’s Think Tank—was founded in 2009 by Sam Westrop.

And the IMED does not reveal its key funders. Instead it states that it receives no money from any government and relies on individual donations. Source: powerbase.info

Transparency is important so we all know where the money is coming from. Without transparency, it is possible to hide the real political agenda of an organization like the IMED.

However, there is another way to discover the alleged political agenda of the IMED by focusing on the people in charge.

Powerbase.info lists Jonathan Sacerdoti as one of the leading directors. If you click on the powerbase.info link, you will discover that Sacerdoti may be a strong supporter of Israel.

For example, powerbase.info said: “Sacerdoti appeared on BBC news programs four times in two days between 14-15 November 2012 and was described as being from the Institute for Middle Eastern Democracy giving the impression that he was a neutral expert on the region. Each time he defended Israel’s attacks on Gaza and each time no alternative perspective was given by the BBC.”

Sam Westrop is another leading director, and powerbase.info says he is a climate change denialist (Do you see a possible link to the Koch brothers, who are also climate change denialists?).

In addition, Westrop has a history of being involved in pro-Israeli politics. Powerbase.info says, “Westrop has also reportedly stated, after visiting Jordan and Syria: I did not find the Arabs romantic. I found them interestingly hostile. A mentality of very irrational hatred was evident everywhere, venom regurgitated by government propaganda. Decades of despotic rule have kept a perpetual mob mentality. There is not the ability for the individual to think about what the reality of their relationship with Israel may be.”

Then along comes Julie Lenarz—with Julie’s Think Tank—who allegedly dismisses and/or censors comments that do not support her own opinion and the alleged political agenda of the IMED that may be one and the same.

Then after considering Julie Lenarz own beliefs and support for the Iraq War, I wondered if there was a link between the IMED and American neoconservatives. More on this in the last post of this series.

Continued on March 6, 2013 in Censored but not Silenced: Part 5 or return to Part 3

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Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy, a suspense thriller. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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