Saturday, August 31, 2013

Syria and President Obama's managerial style

(My new American Thinker post)


A couple of years ago, Frank Burke wrote this in the pages of American Thinker.  

"In classic management theory, Barack Obama would have to be described as an abdicative manager.   The abdicative manager evidences a tendency to flee from responsibility and is frequently encountered in situations where he or she never wanted the job in the first place (for instance, a son or daughter who inherits a company or the individual who discovers that they are incapable of adequate performance).  Abdication can be exhibited in a variety of ways, ranging from physically removing oneself through travel (the confusion of movement with action), to obsessing about personal interests or a limited range of controllable subjects.  Obama's frequent vacations and absences, especially in times of crisis, coupled with his unwillingness to personally invest himself in key initiatives, are demonstrative of this style.  An excellent example occurred after passage of the healthcare initiative.  Having ceded authority in what would later be described as his key achievement to Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, he watched as they forced the bill through under a manufactured emergency that precluded lawmakers from having time to read it.  He then went on a four-day vacation before signing it. "     

From Syria to domestic concerns, President Obama has been avoiding decisions. He does not seem comfortable with the duties of the job. Furthermore, he came in without experience but has not grown in the job. 

Let's compare him to President Bush.

The Bush administration spent much of 2002 and into 2003 preparing the country for the Iraq War.  He went to the UN and listed one by one all of the resolutions that Saddam had violated.  He went to Congress and we had a war debate. He went back to the UN and had the inspectors returned to Iraq.

By March 2003, the country was informed and supported the invasion. 

Has President Obama spoken about Syria?  Did he prepare his administration for the possibility that Syria could cross the line that he drew?

Frank is right.  This is "an abdicative manager."  This is why he faces so many difficulties in Syria and so many places.

P.S. Check out my chat with Frank Burke on Friday:











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No Brits but Pelosi is in!

(My new American Thinker post)

President Obama lost the UK but Rep Pelosi is all in to bomb Syria:   

"House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi pressed top administration officials Thursday night to take military action to punish Syrian President Bashar Assad in response to reports that he used chemical weapons in his nation's ongoing civil war.    
"It is clear that the American people are weary of war. However, Assad gassing his own people is an issue of our national security, regional stability and global security," Pelosi said in a statement after the 90-minute conference call with members of the National Security Council and 26 high-ranking lawmakers."  (Politico)  

Is this what the Democrat Party has come to?  

Speaker Pelosi apparently believes that President Obama can start a war without going to Congress.  Or, going to the UN.  Or, speaking to the American people from The Oval Office.  

Is hypocrisy a strong enough word here?



Tags:  Nancy Pelosi and Syria  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Who is giving President Obama advice on Syria?

(My new American Thinker post)

President Obama is now in the worst of all positions:  

1) no popular support in the US; 

2) no congressional resolution or debate to fall back on; and, 

3) a little uncertainty about that coalition of allies.  

The Democrats and the left are learning that building coalitions was a lot easier in the campaign trail than in the real world.  

Here at home, the public is opposed to another Middle East war.  My guess is that these polls reflect a president on "mute mode" about national security rather than the "war weary" conventional wisdom.   

Does anyone recall a recent speech about our strategy in the Middle East?  He speaks about Treyvon Martin, distribution of wealth, birth control pills, student loans but not Afghanistan, the collapsing situation in Iraq, the mess in Egypt and now Syria.   

The US public will never support a president who does not explain international threats.  We remind you that President Bush spoke to the nation about Iraq before and after the invasion.  He delivered updates often!    

Bush was always very clear about his words or intentions.  Obama is not.  

President Obama will not go to Congress.  My guess is that he is afraid of losing the vote. He should go to Congress, explain the threat and get a resolution, like Bush 43 and Bush 41 did in Iraq and Afghanistan.  He will be standing on stronger ground with Congress than without it.  

I agree with the Washington Post:    

"Under the circumstances, the president would be wise to seek the maximum feasible congressional involvement. This is only partly a judgment about what's constitutionally and legally sound; it's also a judgment about what's politically optimal. The more Congress shares in the burden of decision-making, consistent with the operational necessities of the prospective mission, the more legitimate the ultimate decision will be."  

Over in Europe, where he was welcomed like a rock star in the summer of 2008 and given a Nobel Peace Prize for being the anti-Bush, we are seeing a case of "second thoughts" about military action.     
The UK, our best ally and the only one who can bring real military assets to the effort, just "voted no" in parliament.   

France, who was ready to invade Syria a few days ago, is a bit more restrained now.   

By the way, many of our allies are mired in serious economic recessions with large numbers of unemployed young people.  I don't think that they are in mood to go into Syria or anywhere else.  

European concern is also rooted on doubts about the chemical attack.  In other words, it's not clear that it was the government of Syria who used the weapons.   

Who is advising President Obama?  I hope that it's not Valerie Jarret and all of those young aides invested in the "Obama personality cult"!    



Tags: President Obama and Syria  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

The death of Cleopatra and the movie with Elizabeth Taylor

We discussed the death of Cleopatra with Leslie Eastman and Barry Jacobsen.  

Of course, this is also the 50th anniversary of Elizabeth Taylor's role as Cleopatra.      Leslie has a link to a review of the movie.

I have not seen all of the Cleopatra movies but it's hard to top Elizabeth Taylor.

Click for our Thursday show:

The Battle of Actium and the Murder of Cleopatra.........click to listen........https://t.co/yPnokdz178


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Thursday, August 29, 2013

A foreign policy of "'red lines"?

Over the years, I supported US presidents on national security.   However, President Obama has crossed, and continues, to cross another "red line", or the Constitution.

As George Will wrote today, President Obama is talking us into war without a national security issue at stake:

"The administration now would do well to do something that the head of it has an irresistible urge not to do: Stop talking.   
If a fourth military intervention is coming, it will not be to decisively alter events, which we cannot do, in a nation vital to U.S. interests, which Syria is not. Rather, its purpose will be to rescue Obama from his words.""

Yes, stop talking and start explaining why this intervention is vital to the national interest.

Click here for Tuesday's show:





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Can you govern without bread and toilet paper?

(My new American Thinker post)

President Maduro of Venezuela likes to say that he is in touch wih the late Hugo Chavez. 

We hear that Chavez 'tweets" Maduro with suggestions and ideas, i.e. "the little Chavez bird."   Maybe this is a Caracas version of Hillary Clinton having conversations with Eleanor Roosevelt.

Frankly, don't be shocked if Maduro takes a rifle and shoots "the little Chavez bird" the next time that he is flying around offering this or that.

Chavez is dead. However, inflation is alive is alive and hurting Venezuelans. 

I just had a conversation with a friend in Caracas who said the following:

!) Venezuela is a creeping dictatorship.  The Maduro government is squeezing out the opposition and making life very difficult for the free press;

2) He is concerned about Globovision, a TV network.   He confirmed what Daniel Duquenal posted recently.  There is nothing critical or objective in the Venezuela media anymore;

3) The opposition is afraid to publish blogs, go to Twitter and Facebook; and,

4) Inflation and prices are a big problem. 

Overall, my friend is very disappointed and disillusioned.  He is hoping that the lack of toilet paper and bread may bring about the demise of the government.

Speaking of toilet paper & bread, we refer you to Mary Anastasia O'Grady via our friends at Babalu:    

"The ruling chavistas, led by President Nicolás Maduro, need a circus because there is no bread--and that's not a metaphor.    At times in Venezuela, there really is no bread. Earlier this year there was, for a time, no toilet paper.  Mr. Maduro knows he is in trouble."     

This is Maduro's dilemma:  Can you govern a country when people have no bread or toilet paper?   

So far he has but don't bet on it!    

P.S. We spoke with Fausta Wertz of Fausta's Blog about all of this on Wednesday's show.



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Obama just threw the black kids of Louisiana under the bus

(My new American Thinker post)

The Obama administration's war against states is now beyond Texas and the Voter-ID card.  The new target is Louisiana, our neighboring state under the able leadership of Governor Jindal:    

"Late last week, Justice asked a federal court to stop 34 school districts in the Pelican State from handing out private-school vouchers so kids can escape failing public schools. Mr. Holder's lawyers claim the voucher program appears "to impede the desegregation progress" required under federal law. Justice provides little evidence to support this claim, but there couldn't be a clearer expression of how the civil-rights establishment is locked in a 1950s time warp.   Passed in 2012, Louisiana's state-wide program guarantees a voucher to students from families with incomes below 250% of poverty and who attend schools graded C or below. The point is to let kids escape the segregation of failed schools, and about 90% of the beneficiaries are black.""   


Where do we start?

First, this is cruel and hurts black kids. See the aforementioned reference that  "90%" of the beneficiaries are black.

Second, whatever happened to the idea that schools are run at the local level? The legislature of Louisiana created these schools so why is the federal government closing them.

The sad reality is that the Obama administration is all about the teachers' union. The kids just got thrown under the bus!  

P.S. We spoke about this on Tuesday's show:






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Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Too many dead journalists in Mexico

(My new American Thinker post)

We just heard about Central American migrants killed in another train bound for the north.   At least, 5 are dead and 18 injured.  We hear about these tragedies because the dead are people trying to get into the US.     

We are not hearing much about the journalists being targeted south of the border.  I would like to hear from US and Western journalists, too.    

Let me thank The Dallas Morning News for bringing this to our attention:  

"A commendable new report by Mexico's National Human Rights Commission documents a horrific increase in the number of killings, disappearances and threats against journalists over the past 13 years. The mounting danger for Mexican journalists coincides with growing turf battles between that country's drug cartels as they jockey for control of major export routes."    

The cartels have declared war on journalists, in much the same way that they've targeted policemen, public servants and even politicians. It's a campaign of intimidation hoping to kill policemen and bribe everybody else. 
   
The numbers are staggering:   

"The human rights report lists the state of Tamaulipas, on Texas' southern border, atop all other states in terms of violence against journalists. In Tamaulipas alone, 12 journalists have been killed since 2000. Two others have disappeared, and 10 others have been attacked in the past eight years. Nationwide, 85 journalists have been killed and 20 more have disappeared. Only 12 cases have resulted in convictions.   
On June 25 in San Antonio, hundreds of U.S. investigative journalists sat spellbound as Turati described her profession's dire situation. One Mexican reporter was strangled in her home. Another was killed as he took his daughter to school. One newsroom was attacked by gunfire three times. A hand grenade exploded in another. Cartel leaders dictated the stories that they required newspapers to publish.  
She recounted one story in which a reporter in Veracruz received word that he was on a hit list. A colleague asked how she could help. The reporter asked for a pistol. "A pistol? 'Yes,' he said, 'it isn't to kill them, it's to kill myself if they come for me. Because now they don't just kill you -- they torture you as well,'" Turati recounted.  
Citizen reporters have tried to fill the gap, posting YouTube videos and establishing websites such as Valor por Tamaulipas. But cartel leaders target them, too, and soon the silence returns."  

We salute the journalists in Mexico who continue to do their work despite death threats.  

We also remind Americans that the cartels are financed by our consumption of illegal drugs. We are financing the people who are targeting the Mexican journalists. 

It's time for Americans to realize that their consumption sends billions of dollars south of the border.  

 


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What exactly is the national interest in Syria? Oil routes?

(American Thinker)  

We understand that President Obama is going to make "an informed decision" (Sec Kerry's words) and very likely bomb Syria. 
Don't you love how this administration wants you to think that President Obama has been carefully and methodically considering every option?
The administration is acting because Syria violated "the red line" and apparently used chemical weapons on innocent people.
There is also an economic concern and you don't hear that anywhere.  This is the story, according to  CNBC:
"Oil prices spiked above $108 a barrel amid worries that potential military action in the Middle East could disrupt oil production.  
John Kilduff of Again Capital said that Syria's location was vital, even though it is not a major oil exporter. 
"It's clearly become a proxy war for almost the whole region," said Kilduff. "What's happening is you have Egypt and Syria that are not oil producers…
You have a tight market and two significant flash points,and it keeps getting undermined by things like the problems with the Libyan oil, the lack of Iranian oil.""
I'm not surprised that a military action would upset the oil markets.   In fact, I'd expect the US to make sure that "oil routes" are open and oil is flowing.
I'm surprised that the left is not talking about it, like they did with Iraq.   Don't you remember when the left said that Iraq was all about oil and the Bush family oil interests? 
Where are the marches now that we are bombing Syria without Congress and protecting "the oil routes", such as The Suez Canal?
.Click here for Tuesday's show:




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Yes, President Obama has to go to Congress to start a war in Syria

At some point, President Obama has to be reminded that we have a Constitution and checks on presidential power.

We can debate whether or not we should act against Syria.    I am not crazy about military action because there are some unintended consequences when you get involved in a civil war.

We do expect President Obama to go to Congress and request permission to attack Syria.

Click here for Tuesday's show:





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Monday, August 26, 2013

'Los locos': Out of control teachers' union in Mexico

(My new American Thinker post)

Thank God that I was in Dallas rather than Mexico City last Friday.   The teachers' union decided to destroy whatever little reputation they have left.  They blocked the major avenues to the airport making everybody angry, as reported in The NY Times:      

"A radical teachers' group mobilized thousands of members in Mexico City last week, chasing lawmakers from their chambers, occupying the city's historic central square, blocking access to hotels and the international airport, and threatening to bring an already congested city to a halt in the coming days."   

It was so interesting to watch the reaction of citizens on Mexico City TV.  

There was no sympathy from the people in the streets. Merchants were furious!  Even a bride all dressed up for her wedding got caught up in the traffic jam.  

One lady said "this is too much.  I no longer respect the teachers."   Another man said:  "They don't own the streets. They belong to all of us". 

What are the teachers complaining about?  The answer is reforms, not too different from the reforms that many of us would like to see in public education in the US.   

President Pena-Nieto, a man who could teach President Obama a thing or two about leadership, wants to reform public education in Mexico:  

"Mr. Peña Nieto had focused on the public education system because he and analysts have called it vital to moving more people into the middle class.  Mexico ranks last in standardized test scores among the countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Teachers buy, sell or inherit positions as though they were family heirlooms. Removing poorly performing teachers is virtually impossible, even over allegations of sexual or substance abuse."    

As everybody knows, Mexicans have a two-tier education system.  The rich, middle class and anyone who can get a scholarship sends their children to private or religious schools.  The rest, specially the lower middle classes, are forced to attend schools incapable of preparing them for the international economy that Mexico competes in.   

As a Mexican friend told me:  "The private schools are in the business of educating kids.  The public schools are about guaranteeing lifetime jobs"!  

President Pena-Nieto understands that Mexico will always be a 3rd world country as long as the state is managing energy and the unions are running education.  

Let's congratulate President Pena-Nieto for taking on "sacred cows", such as public teachers' union and the energy monopoly.  

It will be difficult, as we saw in the aforementioned spectacle at the airport on Friday.   However, leadership is about making tough decisions, such as tackling one of your party's favorite groups.  

What a contrast.  

In Mexico, President Pena Nieto puts the kids over the teachers' union that contributed to his campaign.  

In the US, President Obama puts the teachers' union that contributed to his campaign over the kids.



Tags:  Mexico and the public teachers' unions  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Even The NY Times is desperately looking for leadership

(My new American Thinker post)

Guess where I saw this?  Please sit down before you read it:   

"In the excruciating test that Egypt has become, the president has largely failed to live up to his own eloquently articulated standard.  In the two years since his speech -- and most shamefully in the eight weeks since the army's coup -- America has seemed not just cautious (caution is good) but timid and indecisive, reactive and shortsighted, stranded between our professed commitment to change and our fear of chaos.  One of the administration's most acute critics, Vali Nasr of the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, goes so far as to suggest that United States policy is, whether by design or inertia, coming full circle: back to a pre-Arab Spring, Islamophobic, order-at-all-costs policy that puts us in the cynical company of Saudi Arabia and Russia.  Is it any wonder that the generals in Egypt feel they can get away with murder -- or, for that matter, that Syria's Assad thinks he can call our bluff and poison his people with impunity? " (Bill Keller, NY Times)   

Rush Limbaugh could not have said it any better.  The left would call Rush a racist.  What are they going to call Bill Keller?    

The problem is that President Obama is not leading or even seems interested in leading.  I understand that there are no pretty options in the Middle East.  However, doing nothing and projecting weakness is always the wrong way to go.   

My good friend Bill Katz (Urgent Agenda) shared something very important with his readers today:  

"There is an old saying in international politics:   "If you say you're going to take Vienna, take Vienna."  The credible threat of force is often the greatest peacemaker.  We lost our credibility in the handling of the Syrian crisis early on, and now we're paying a price. "

I guess that's why even Bill Keller is making the leadership argument.  
Will the next NY Times editorial say that we need a president not a community organizer?  Don't bet against it!



Tags:  Syria, President Obama To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

The 'Civil Rights game' needs more African American players

(My new American Thinker post)

The Rangers and White Sox played in the "civil rights game", a great idea to remember the unique role of major league baseball in the civil rights movement.

The game had a little bit of everything, from a great tag at the plate to nice pitching.  It also had some great pre-game interviews with legendary players like Frank Robinson and Hank Aaron.  

The game had everything except African American players.   Only one African American appeared in the game.  He was Donnie Veal of Chicago who made a relief appearance.   

This is really sad, especially because of the connection between baseball and civil rights. The numbers speak for themselves:  

"Major League Baseball revealed some interesting data in its Player Diversity Report, released Nov. 13.   
Big-league 40-man rosters were 62 percent Caucasian, 28 percent Hispanic, 8 percent African-American, and 1 percent Asian.    
According to MLB records, the percentage of players on 2013 Opening Day 25-man rosters who identified themselves as African-American or black was approximately 8.5, consistent with the last few years. One positive return: The first round of the 2012 draft featured seven African-American players, the most by total and percentage (7 of 31, 22.6 percent) since 1992.  
The Giants have no black players. The Phillies have the most with five. The Red Sox, Diamondbacks, and Orioles each have only one."

It could be that African American young men are more likely to get football and basketball scholarships. USA Today had a story about this earlier this year:   

"There are only 11.7 scholarships for college baseball programs, compared to 85 in football and 13 in basketball.   
"If you're a high school athlete coming from a single-parent home that doesn't have the money to go to college,'' Boras said, "you're going to go to the sport where you can get a full scholarship. This needs to change if we want to get the best athletes in baseball.'' 
The dearth of African-Americans can be seen even at the high-school level, Hall of Fame executive Pat Gillick says.  "At the high-school level,'' Gillick told USA TODAY Sports, "the coaches get these kids in revenue-driven sports, and take them away from baseball. There's so much pressure on these kids to even play spring football."

Maybe it's about scholarships or the fact that the NBA and NFL do a great job of promoting their players. It's probably a little bit of both.   

Yes it's sad to play a "civil rights game" without African American players. I hope that it changes over time.




Tags:  The civil rights baseball game 2013  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

'No chamba Obama' ('No jobs Obama') is the real story in Hispano districts

(My new American Thinker post)

Yesterday, I attended a Hispanic event in the Dallas area.  It game me a chance to talk to a lot of Hispanics about the economy.  Most of them were young professionals and business owners.   

On the economy, I heard this over and over again:  "No hay chamba" (no jobs) or "La cosa esta dificil" (Things are hard).  Not one person told me that the economy was great! 

I did not see the same "crazy love affair" with Obama that I saw years ago.   Some people are still making excuses (i.e. "he inherited the worst economy in the history of civilization" meme) but that's even less intense as it used to be.

These people are not economists.  They are real people living in the real Obama economy.   As I learned last night, the real Obama economy is very hard, specially for people in Hispanic districts.

It reminded me of what Chad Stafko told AT readers last week:    

"So you voted for Barrack Obama back in 2008, and perhaps you helped to re-elect him in 2012.  How's that working out for you?  
Chances are, not well."   

Unfortunately, Hispanics were one of those groups who got really invested in "hope and change".    

They are also one of the groups that has seen very little progress under President Obama:   

"Unemployment among American Hispanics climbed to 9.4 percent in July, up from 9.1 percent in May and June, and 9.0 percent in April, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.   
During President Obama's time in office, the number of American Hispanics who are unemployed has increased 161,000--rising from 2,205,000 in January 2009 to 2,366,000 in July 2013.   BLS defines a person as unemployed if they are 16 years or older and do not have a job, but have actively sought one in the last four weeks.  The Hispanic community has been hit harder by unemployment in recent years than Americans generally, as the Hispanic unemployment rate has never dropped below 9.0 percent during President Barack Obama's time in office, according to BLS."   

Add to this that Gallup just reported a big jump in the official unemployment:  7.7% to 8.9%.  


Maybe some lights are going off in the Hispanic community.  Perhaps people are starting to realize that "si se puede" has become "no se puede".    

The real Obama economy is "part time jobs" and lots of business owners who are not hiring because they are operating week to week or scared to death that ObamaCare will be indigestible.   

Yes, he is "No chamba Obama." 



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Friday, August 23, 2013

The week that Soviet tanks crushed the Prague Spring

(My new American Thinker post)


As a kid, we heard the stories of Cuban political prisoners.  Our family dinner table was a classroom with my parents telling us about communism or reading the latest letter from Cuba.

I grew up admiring the men and women who risked their lives to fight for freedom. Some of these men were Cardinal Mindszenty of Hungary, those who tried to cross the Berlin Wall, the guerrillas who fought Castro in The Escambray Mountains and those who tried reforms inside the Soviet bloc.

On August 21, 1968, the Rascals were riding high with a song called "People got to be free". 

It was a pop hit in the US.  It was reality in the streets of Prague:   

"On August 21, 1968, more than 200,000 troops of the Warsaw Pact crossed into Czechoslovakia in response to democratic and free market reforms being instituted by Czech Communist Party General Secretary Alexander Dubcek. Negotiations between Dubcek and Soviet bloc leaders failed to convince the Czech leader to back away from his reformist platform. The military intervention on August 21 indicated that the Soviets believed that Dubcek was going too far and needed to be restrained. On August 22, thousands of Czechs gathered in central Prague to protest the Soviet action and demand the withdrawal of foreign troops. Although it was designed to be a peaceful protest, violence often flared and several protesters were killed on August 22 and in the days to come."

Alexander Dubcek's mistake is that he called for reforms

"On January 5th 1968, the party's central committee nominated Dubček to succeed Novotný after the Czechoslovak Party Central Committee passed a vote of no confidence in Novotný.  
What happened next must have come as a great surprise to the communist leaders in Moscow. Dubček announced that he wanted the Czech Communist Party to remain the predominant party in Czechoslovakia, but that he wanted the totalitarian aspects of the party to be reduced. Communist Party members in Czechoslovakia were given the right to challenge party policy as opposed to the traditional acceptance of all government policy. Party members were given the right to act "according to their conscience". In what became known as the 'Prague Spring', he also announced the end of censorship and the right of Czech citizens to criticise the government. Newspapers took the opportunity to produce scathing reports about government incompetence and corruption.  
Dubček also announced that farmers would have the right to form independent co-operatives and that trade unions would have increased rights to bargain for their members. Crucially, however, Dubček stated that Czechoslovakia had no intention of leaving the Warsaw Pact. Between July and August 1968, he met senior Moscow politicians on the Slovakian-Ukraine border to reassure them that they had nothing to worry about and that what he was trying to achieve would have no bearing on the Warsaw Pact and its ability to compete with NATO. He repeated the same message to all members of the Warsaw Pact on August 3rd 1968.  
However, Dubček was informed by Moscow that they had discovered evidence that West Germany was planning to invade the Sudetenland and that the Soviet Union would provide Czechoslovakia with the troops needed to protect her from invasion. Dubček refused the offer but he must have known that this would count for nothing.  
His reassurances about not leaving the Warsaw Pact were ignored and on August 20th/21st Soviet troops (with token forces from other members of the Warsaw Pact) invaded Czechoslovakia. Dubček was arrested by released after talks in Moscow. Dubček claimed that the talks had been "comradely" and that he was abandoning his reform programme. As a result, Dubček remained as First Secretary until April 1969 when he was appointed Speaker of the Federal Assembly until he was expelled from the Communist Party in 1970. Following his expulsion, he was banished to Bratislava where he worked in a timber yard."

Prague '68 followed Hungary '56.  It was another signal by the Kremlin that it would not tolerate dissent in any of its satellites.   

The Soviet control over Eastern Europe began to crumble in the 1980s.  

First, the USSR economy fell apart and no doses of Perestroika did anything to fix it.   You can't be an economic superpower if your tractors don't work.

Second, the West stood strong led by every US president from Truman to the first Bush.   It was a good example of bipartisanship and serious leadership.

Third, the Poles in the 1980s completed what the Hungarians and Czechs started.  They revolted and succeeded in bringing down the Soviet empire. 
Ironically, it was workers who brought down the "workers' paradise.

It was 45 years ago and there are other issues on the table. 

Nevertheless, it's important to remember today Alexander Dubcek and all of the men and women who stood up to Soviet tanks.  



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Thursday, August 22, 2013

President Obama's words mean nothing

(My new American Thinker post)

We don't know for sure whether chemical gas was used or not used on civilians in Syria.  We've seen the pictures but no one knows for sure whether it was the government or someone else.  Frankly, we just don't know.   

Check out Egypt where we've made everybody angry. We've seen those pictures too and it's not pretty, or "Close to the edge" as Thomas Friedman wrote.  

All of this is happening almost on the anniversary of the "red line" remark.   

And that's the problem!  Nobody cares, or is afraid, of Obama's words. Why should they?  

In all fairness, there are some very serious problems in the Middle East.  

We are not just dumping on Obama but he is the one who made the "red line" threats.  He is also the one who delivered "The Cairo Speech" and welcomed The Arab Spring.  And let's not forget that he was also the one who stood in the sidelines when people were being slaughtered in the streets of Tehran in the spring of '09!    

President Obama has another problem.  He can't get the UN to do a darn thing or cooperate with the US on tough issues like Syria and Egypt.   

The problem is compounded because Obama ran for president criticizing Bush and promising more cooperation with our allies.  

The bottom line is that the UN is not working with him anymore than they did with Clinton or Bush.   

They are still the same UN that would pass resolutions and not enforce them against Sadam Hussein.  Or, the same one that did nothing in Rwanda.  

So here we are.   

President Obama's words mean nothing and the UN is still a worthless organization.  The net result is that more innocent people will get killed in the Middle East.  

Sad to watch the devaluation of a president and the deaths in the Middle East.  Really sad to watch.


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Let's debate our big issues with modern day Lincoln Douglas style debates


We remember another anniversary of The Lincoln-Douglas debates:

"Senator Stephen Douglas of Illinois and Abraham Lincoln, a Kentucky-born lawyer and one-time U.S. representative from Illinois, begin a series of famous public encounters on the issue of slavery. 

The two politicians, the former a Northern Democrat and the latter a Republican, were competing for Douglas' U.S. Senate seat. 

In the seven Lincoln-Douglas debates--all about three hours along--Lincoln argued against the spread of slavery while Douglas maintained that each territory should have the right to decide whether it would become free or slave. 

Lincoln lost the Senate race, but his campaign brought national attention to the young Republican Party."

The debates were a good example of how two people could debate complex and difficult issues.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could debate complicated issues like that today?

What if we had a debate about the role of government?  the level of taxation?  our foreign policy?


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Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Senator Cruz's message makes a lot of sense

(My new American Thinker post)

Like many others, Senator Cruz is in Iowa to "test the waters," as they like to say.  Frankly, I don't care much about the politics of 2016.  It's too early anyway. 

I am listening to what these candidates are saying.

Senator Cruz' message is upbeat, pro-American, pro-freedom and one that Hispanics should be taking note of:  

"In his 26-minute speech at The Family Leadership Summit, the 42-year-old senator presented himself as a zesty outsider. He called on grassroots activists to help him and a small band of like-minded lawmakers pressure Congress to defund Obamacare, drawing ovations for that , for his call to abolish the IRS, and for his refusal to accept a path to citizenship in any immigration overhaul."     (Dallas Morning News)

Senator Cruz is talking to Hispanics like Americans not an ethnic group.  I really like that.  Identity politics makes me sick!

He delivers a message of opportunity and growth, or precisely the two things that the Hispanic community needs more of.  On the other hand, Democrats speak to Hispanics like victims.  They also oversell what government can and will do. 

On education, Senator Cruz is calling for more choice and options.  Democrats are just calling for more of the same, or "no reforms" and forcing teachers to contribute to the teachers' union.

On ObamaCare, the single biggest threat to our freedom and prosperity, Senator Cruz is saying that it is disaster for businesses or job creators. 

He is also calling for the elimination of the IRS.   This is even more important today that the IRS leadership has been exposed as highly partisan and arrogant.  

Last, but not least, immigration is about the rule of law not pandering for votes. We are all for a "humane approach" as long as it puts the rule of law first and foremost.

Senator Cruz' message will appeal to more and more Hispanics, especially as they get to hear it and continue to live under Obamaeconomics.



Tags: Senator Cruz  To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the My View by Silvio Canto, Jr. Thanks!

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