Obama Administration is Not to Be Trusted on Ukraine

Here’s a lengthy Facebook post I wrote this morning about the situation brewing in Eastern Europe:

I’ve never been more infuriated by a sitting American president and his administration than I am right now. Not only has he weakened us domestically with high taxes, nationalized healthcare, bailouts, wiretapping, and targeting of political opponents, his policies have weakened us aboard by making us a global laughing stock.

The Obama administration is not to be trusted in its handling of foreign relations, particularly with the brewing Russia-Ukraine situation. Here’s the back story on what this administration (and Obama) did to complicate the situation:

As a U.S. Senator, Obama went to Ukraine with former Senator Dick Lugar (ugh) and “called for the immediate destruction of 15,000 tons of ammunition, 400,000 small arms and light weapons, and 1,000 man-portable air defense systems (MANPADS) or shoulder missile launchers that are often sought by terrorists. Lugar and Obama toured the Donetsk State Chemical Production Plant, a conventional weapons destruction facility where the U.S. has taken the lead in a three-year NATO program to destroy the weapons. Another 117,000 tons of ammunition and 1.1 million small arms and light weapons are slated for destruction within 12 years.” [Link here.]

In March 2009, then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presented former Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a gift-wrapped red button bearing the word “Reset” in English and “Peregruzka” in Russian. “Peregruzka” doesn’t translate to “reset” in English. It translates to “overcharged” or “overloaded” to English.

START II Treaty, the arms control treaty passed by the Senate in 2010, called on the U.S. to reduce a certain number of its strategic offensive arms in return for a reciprocal obligation by the Russian Federation to reduce its offensive strategic arms. Russia hasn’t retreated at all. Our politicians were duped into supporting this. [More on New START Treaty here.]

In a hot mic incident right before the 2012 election, President Obama told Russian President Dimitri Medvedev to back off on missile defense until after the election and said “I’ll have more flexibility after the election.” Russian puppet Medvedev then famously replied, “I will transmit this message to Vladimir.” Enter 2014: Russia threatens to go into countries with Russian-speaking populations and reclaim them for Mother Russia. (See Crimea, Eastern Ukraine, and threats towards Baltics.)

With tensions escalating in Eastern Europe and possible warships entering the Baltic Sea, Americans shouldn’t turn a blind eye to the situation. What can we do? Not go to war would be smart. Imposing sanctions on Russia may do. Passing the Magnitsky Act could work. [Investors are already pulling out of Russian stock and the ruble is suffering, so Russia can possibly implode on its own.]

Why am I concerned about this? I have family back in Lithuania and friends in Europe who’ll be targeted by Russia. George Santayana said it best: “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” We could use real leadership right now…

#HandsOffUkraine Rally in Washington, D.C.

Yesterday my parents and I ventured to DuPont Circle in Washington, D.C., to join other Americans from Eastern Europe – including Estonians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Georgians, Poles, Ukrainians, Russians – to protest Russia’s illegal invasion into Ukraine’s Crimean peninsula.

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The protest was organized by Joint Baltic Americans National Committee (JBANC). Lithuanian Ambassador Žygimantas Pavilionis and Ukrainian Ambassador Oleksandr Motsyk gave brief remarks at the event.

I’m pictured with some diplomats from the Lithuanian Embassy. [ Lithuania is my ancestral homeland, for those of you wondering.]

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With my new friends Rolandas Kacinskas (L) and Lithuanian Ambassador to the U.S. Zygimantas Pavilionis (R) at the #StopRussianOccupation rally in support of Ukraine. The ambassador’s sign reads, “Obama Beware! One day Putin might come “rescue” Russians in Brighton Beach, NY!”

Amb. Motsyk of Ukraine gave brief remarks at the protest.

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Amb. Pavilionis of Lithuania addressed the protest.

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Lithuanian Ambassador to the U.S. and Mexico Žygimantas Pavilionis

Pictured below is the Lithuanian National Flag alongside the Lithuanian State Flag with Vytis.

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A sign cautioning against Russian “liberation” of Crimea/Ukraine is shown below.

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LTU World covered the protest, as with Daily Caller.

I’ll have a column in Townhall.com later this week about the situation in Eastern Europe. As Americans, we should encourage means other than war to punish Russia for its behavior.

Stay tuned…

Join Rand Paul’s Class Action Lawsuit Against President Obama and the NSA

Yesterday, Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) announced that he’s suing President Obama and the NSA in a class action lawsuit .

In December, a federal judge ruled NSA’s domestic phone data mining as unconstitutional.

If you’re concerned about the lack of transparency from our government and this clear violation of Fourth Amendment rights, then sign this petition in support of Paul’s class action lawsuit. Sign it and then share it with your family and friends!

On Syria and American Exceptionialism: Don’t Trust Megalomaniacs Obama and Putin

I stumbled upon Russian President Vladimir Putin’s article in the New York Times. Not surprisingly, I took issue with Putin’s charge that America isn’t exceptional.

Putin writes:

And I would rather disagree with a case he made on American exceptionalism, stating that the United States’ policy is “what makes America different. It’s what makes us exceptional.” It is extremely dangerous to encourage people to see themselves as exceptional, whatever the motivation. There are big countries and small countries, rich and poor, those with long democratic traditions and those still finding their way to democracy. Their policies differ, too. We are all different, but when we ask for the Lord’s blessings, we must not forget that God created us equal.”

Perhaps it’s the anti-communist in me or perhaps it’s the very fact that my family escaped the former Soviet Union that I find Putin’s comments disconcerting.

Here are my thoughts about the Obama-Putin rivalry over who is the “better” world leader: I say neither! 
 
An ex-KGB officer (Russian President Vladimir Putin) who has been quoted lamenting the collapse of the USSR and has expressed interest in creating a Eurasian Union is seen as an adult when matched to President Barack Obama…
 
Unfortunately for Putin and Obama, both fail to understand how exceptional and unique America is. The USSR deprived all people of basic rights, and Russia today is no beacon of freedom. Why did many people, including my parents and family, flee the Soviet Union for the U.S.? America was exceptional and inviting to them because they could live in a free society, own property, freely express their views, and enjoy life without fear. The USSR was not exceptional; the U.S. was. America under Obama, who was mentored by communist Frank Marshall Davis and surrounded by anti-American mentors throughout his life, is departing from its founding and becoming mediocre. If you own a business, you didn’t build it unless the government subsidized it. If you are religious, you are seen as a bigot if you care about values and morals. If you are skeptical of big government, you are placed on a watch list. The list goes on and on. America has been subverted to political correctness (Cultural Marxism) for many decades, but its wrath has escalated under this president.
 
When it comes to Syria – a place where we have no business or vital interest in- don’t confide in Putin nor Obama. Putin wants to undermine America aboard and Obama wants to undermine her from within. Discern carefully and don’t place trust in these two megalomaniacs.
 
Agree? Disagree? Weigh in below!

My Tweet Condemning Obama’s Race Baiting Featured in National Journal

I often talk about the power of Twitter on my social media outlets. I cannot stress it enough. One tweet or retweet can carry immense sway and even land in an article or news story.

So, that happened to me again.

Jill Lawrence of National Journal, which is no bastion of conservative thought, borrowed one of my tweets in order to write why it was appropriate for President Obama to insert himself in the George Zimmerman trial. Lawrence took great issue with being “dangerously conservative.” (It’s called having a sense of humor.)

Below is the excerpt:

Inevitably, conservatives charged that Obama was stirring up controversy needlessly, and showing bias against whites. “Remarkable that the president of the United States continues to fan the flames on George Zimmerman. #StopTalkingSir,” tweeted Republican strategist Brian Walsh.

“Can this president and his ilk get over race? You’re dividing and destroying this country with your race-baiting—making Karl Marx proud,” tweeted Gabriella Hoffman, a regional field coordinator for the Leadership Institute who describes herself as “dangerously conservative.”

Yet for the black community, Obama’s remarks were more than four years overdue. After the Zimmerman verdict, they pleaded with him to say something commensurate to their pain over this case—to speak not just about race but about racism.

Tax Day Reflection: Frédéric Bastiat Was Right About Legal Plunder

The-Law-By-Frederic-BastiatEvery April 15th, I reaffirm my distrust in government — especially when it takes away more of my hard-earned money.

Like millions of Americans, I recently completed my tax returns.  It’s not a fun process but I’m relieved it’s over. If more young people understood the problem inset in high taxes, they wouldn’t continue to flock to the political left.

President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama recently released their 2012 tax returns. Unsurprisingly, the Obama’s didn’t pay their “fair share” of taxes — only a mere 18.4 percent of their adjusted gross income ($608,611). The question beckons: what happened to paying your “fair share” in taxes, Mr. President?

President Obama’s burdensome tax policies and its effects on business owners must be taken into account. Nevertheless, we must go beyond the president’s class warfare rhetoric and take a page from history about taxes to explain why exorbitant taxation is a detriment to a healthy, thriving society.

In his treatise The Law, renowned French philosopher Frédéric Bastiat wrote why unwarranted, high taxation of a free people qualifies as legal plunder. Legal plunder is defined as the following

Now, legal plunder can be committed in an infinite number of ways. Thus we have an infinite number of plans for organizing it: tariffs, protection, benefits, subsidies, encouragements, progressive taxation, public schools, guaranteed jobs, guaranteed profits, minimum wages, a right to relief, a right to the tools of labor, free credit, and so on, and so on. All these plans as a whole — with their common aim of legal plunder — constitute socialism.

Unsure as to why high taxation is legal plunder? Read another excerpt from The Law:

But how is this legal plunder to be identified? Quite simply. See if the law takes from some persons what belongs to them, and gives it to other persons to whom it does not belong. See if the law benefits one citizen at the expense of another by doing what the citizen himself cannot do without committing a crime.

Then abolish this law without delay, for it is not only an evil itself, but also it is a fertile source for further evils because it invites reprisals. If such a law — which may be an isolated case — is not abolished immediately, it will spread, multiply, and develop into a system.

The person who profits from this law will complain bitterly, defending his acquired rights. He will claim that the state is obligated to protect and encourage his particular industry; that this procedure enriches the state because the protected industry is thus able to spend more and to pay higher wages to the poor workingmen.

Do not listen to this sophistry by vested interests. The acceptance of these arguments will build legal plunder into a whole system. In fact, this has already occurred. The present-day delusion is an attempt to enrich everyone at the expense of everyone else; to make plunder universal under the pretense of organizing it.

Bastiat was correct about legal plunder. This administration is set on redistributing wealth and fulfilling its goal of diminishing American free enterprise.

Americans must be cognizant of the current and equally disastrous policies in place. If this assault on free enterprise continues, the America we love and know will cease to exist.

*Excerpts taken from The Law by Frédéric Bastiat.

Smells Like Tyranny: Obama’s Directive Targets Second Amendment With 23 Executive Orders

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Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you probably heard President Obama unveil a detailed plan-23 executive orders, mind you- yesterday detailing how his administration will “properly address gun violence” in response to the Sandy Hook massacre.

It’s no secret that this administration and many on the Left disparage law-biding gun owners. This president claims to respect the Second Amendment and our Constitution, but his actions and abuses of power as President of the United States point to the opposite.

The question beckons: Why must the few yet tragic criminal acts of violence define how guns should be viewed in our society? What about all the unreported stories of women and men using guns to defend themselves and their families against attack from burglars and other criminals? Why can’t this administration shed light on these positive stories rather than vilify the Second Amendment? Simple: they don’t care about the Second Amendment or what we think.

Below is an outline of the 23 executive orders you must make yourselves aware of:

The following is a list, provided by the White House, of executive actions President Obama plans to take to address gun violence.

1. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal agencies to make relevant data available to the federal background check system.

2. Address unnecessary legal barriers, particularly relating to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, that may prevent states from making information available to the background check system.

3. Improve incentives for states to share information with the background check system.

4. Direct the Attorney General to review categories of individuals prohibited from having a gun to make sure dangerous people are not slipping through the cracks.

5. Propose rulemaking to give law enforcement the ability to run a full background check on an individual before returning a seized gun.

6. Publish a letter from ATF to federally licensed gun dealers providing guidance on how to run background checks for private sellers.

7. Launch a national safe and responsible gun ownership campaign.

8. Review safety standards for gun locks and gun safes (Consumer Product Safety Commission).

9. Issue a Presidential Memorandum to require federal law enforcement to trace guns recovered in criminal investigations.

10. Release a DOJ report analyzing information on lost and stolen guns and make it widely available to law enforcement.

11. Nominate an ATF director.

12. Provide law enforcement, first responders, and school officials with proper training for active shooter situations.

13. Maximize enforcement efforts to prevent gun violence and prosecute gun crime.

14. Issue a Presidential Memorandum directing the Centers for Disease Control to research the causes and prevention of gun violence.

15. Direct the Attorney General to issue a report on the availability and most effective use of new gun safety technologies and challenge the private sector to develop innovative technologies.

16. Clarify that the Affordable Care Act does not prohibit doctors asking their patients about guns in their homes.

17. Release a letter to health care providers clarifying that no federal law prohibits them from reporting threats of violence to law enforcement authorities.

18. Provide incentives for schools to hire school resource officers.

19. Develop model emergency response plans for schools, houses of worship and institutions of higher education.

20. Release a letter to state health officials clarifying the scope of mental health services that Medicaid plans must cover.

21. Finalize regulations clarifying essential health benefits and parity requirements within ACA exchanges.

22. Commit to finalizing mental health parity regulations.

23. Launch a national dialogue led by Secretaries Sebelius and Duncan on mental health.

(Source: Fox News Politics)

No universal background check, no ban on high-capacity magazines, and certainly no ban on “assault” weapons will deter criminals from committing gun crimes. It comes from education and parenting.

Renowned conservative thinker Walter Williams expounded on this subject in this column titled, “Erosion of Traditional Values, Not Guns, to Blame for Senseless Violence” on January 15, 2013:

Today’s level of civility can’t match yesteryear’s. Many of today’s youngsters begin the school day passing through metal detectors. Guards patrol school hallways, and police cars patrol outside. Despite these measures, assaults, knifings and shootings occur. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2010 there were 828,000 nonfatal criminal incidents in schools. There were 470,000 thefts and 359,000 violent attacks, of which 91,400 were serious. In the same year, 145,100 public-school teachers were physically attacked, and 276,700 were threatened.

What explains today’s behavior versus yesteryear’s? For well over a half-century, the nation’s liberals and progressives — along with the education establishment, pseudo-intellectuals and the courts — have waged war on traditions, customs and moral values. These people taught their vision, that there are no moral absolutes, to our young people. To them, what’s moral or immoral is a matter of convenience, personal opinion or a consensus.

During the ’50s and ’60s, the education establishment launched its agenda to undermine lessons children learned from their parents and the church with fads such as “values clarification.” So-called sex education classes are simply indoctrination that sought to undermine family and church strictures against premarital sex. Lessons of abstinence were ridiculed and considered passé and replaced with lessons about condoms, birth control pills and abortions. Further undermining of parental authority came with legal and extralegal measures to assist teenage abortions with neither parental knowledge nor consent.

Customs, traditions, moral values and rules of etiquette, not laws and government regulations, are what make for a civilized society. These behavioral norms — transmitted by example, word of mouth and religious teachings — represent a body of wisdom distilled through ages of experience, trial and error, and looking at what works. The importance of customs, traditions and moral values as a means of regulating behavior is that people behave themselves even if nobody’s watching. Police and laws can never replace these restraints on personal conduct so as to produce a civilized society. At best, the police and criminal justice system are the last desperate line of defense for a civilized society. The more uncivilized we become the more laws that are needed to regulate behavior.

Parents, not the government, should teach their kids right from wrong with respect to handling guns. It is also parents, not the government, that should reinforce values and raise their children to be productive members of society. Teaching children about proper gun use will not be a detriment to a child’s upbringing; it’ll prove to be a benefit.
The Second Amendment is not simply about hunting, fishing, or shooting. It’s there as a reminder to protect ourselves against any threat of tyranny. It reads, “A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Learn more about “assault” weapons at The Truth About Assault Weapons.
Voice your opposition to Obama’s gun control agenda and hold your elected officials accountable. Take control of gun control!