Satire: America’s Most Wanted

Authorities are asking the public for assistance with information regarding a pair of fugitives recently captured on the security cameras of a Chipotle restaurant in Ohio.
Officials are being very tight-lipped about the identities of the fugitives and the specifics of the ongoing investigation and have denied any connection to the notorious “Thelma and Louise” case; but here is what our sources have been able to piece together:
The older, blonde woman in the video, wearing the large “incognito” sunglasses, is believed to be the ringleader of a multi-billion dollar criminal enterprise that has operated with impunity for more than thirty years, with ties and disproportionate influence at the highest levels of government. The enterprise is sometimes known by the front name ‘Human Rights Commission’, but investigators suspect that the initials of that moniker may have a different significance. The suspect’s track record includes, among other things, authorship of signed major federal health legislation thought to have been defeated years earlier, the undermining of the current President of the United States prior to his nomination in the 2008 primary election, the compromising of the security of top-secret government intelligence and diplomatic information–especially at the Department of State–and rumors of an astonishingly large body count of once-associates who have turned up dead under mysterious circumstances.
The younger woman would seem to be an assistant of some kind, and has been linked directly to middle-eastern terrorist organizations. She is also rumored to have some association with a recently-disgraced United States congressman, but it is doubtful that that association was or is particularly intimate.
Authorities expressed surprise at the appearance of these two at such a down-scale and public place as a Chipotle in the Midwest, since the ringleader is known mostly to keep the company only of extremely wealthy if low-profile individuals in such places as New York’s Upper East Side and Beverly Hills/Bel Air and is rarely known to come near such places as in the video except while flying over in private jets financed by Saudi princes. Theories for this unusual appearance have been proposed, suggesting one or a combination of the following: 1) Her once-formidable resources are drying up as a result of her elite network of co-conspirators tiring of having constantly to cover for her public errors that threaten to derail the the mission of the enterprise, and therefore she is being forced to venture beyond her conventional circles and usual comfort zone for logistical support; 2) She is planning a new project or caper, the magnitude of which will dwarf all of her previous ones, and is working on numerous low-level details in remote areas which, despite their apparent lack of prestige, are nonetheless critical to the success of the project; and/or 3) She is slipping, losing her sophisticated edge and savvy operational skills due to old age and incipient senility.
If you or anyone you know have any information about this pair, which may help solve past crimes or prevent new ones from occurring, please contact the office of The Honorable Trey Gowdy, U.S. Congressman from South Carolina, at: 1404 Longworth HOB, Washington, DC 20515. Phone: (202) 225-6030 Fax: (202) 226-1177
Howard Hyde edits the website

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Equipping You With The Truth

California’s Golden Goose Getting Throttled

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Our once Golden state continues to bleed entrepreneurs, productive citizens, large businesses like Toyota, and small businesses too numerous to count.

In case you’ve been asleep for 30 years, California’s economy is not what it used to be. A generation ago, California had the sixth most productive economy in the world as compared to other nation states. That position has slipped to ninth; and for anyone with an inkling of knowledge of economics and the indispensibility of free markets, it’s not difficult to understand why.

California state income taxes are the highest in the nation, topping out at 13.3% (on top of federal income tax rates). After income is earned, it is taxed at the checkout stand with sales taxes ranging from 7.5% to 10%. The corporate income tax rate – 8.84% — is the 5th highest in the nation, while the $800/year business tax, imposed without regard to profits or losses, kills companies in their cradles.

Professional athletes such as DeMarcus Cousins of the NBA contemplate the half-million extra tax dollars it costs him every year to play for a California team instead of being traded – or moving the whole team – somewhere else, say, Seattle.

That’s the tip of the tax iceberg. Here’s a tip of the results iceberg: Golfers Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson bug out. Bank of America and Wells Fargo lay off California workers. Mattel ships 100 jobs from El Segundo to New York. Campbell Soup closes its oldest facility in the country and shifts production to North Carolina, Ohio, and … drumroll please … Texas. Boeing announces it is laying off 1,000 workers at its Long Beach facility in 2015. Apple Inc. expands domestic manufacturing…everywhere but California. Raytheon pulls out of El Segundo for…Texas.

Not all businesses are leaving for other states. Superior Industries of the San Fernando Valley relocated to Chihuahua, Mexico. Apparently, a nation under siege from drug cartel wars is a more hospitable place for business than California. Low hourly wages alone cannot explain dumping some of the most productive workers in the world; the excessive costs of employing Californians over and above their wages and salaries has to be recognized.

In all, between 2011 and 2012, Bloomberg estimates a loss of 73,000 businesses in California, a 5.2% drop. The tax and regulatory environment has not improved since then, so there’s little reason to expect change for the better.

All these businesses leaving California leaves the state with one of the highest unemployment and poverty rates in a nation with an already abysmal average, thanks to the most anemic recovery in 50 years fostered by unprecedented hostility to wealth creation and entrepreneurship emanating from our nation’s capital. The unemployment rate might be higher except that thousands of productive, employable people are leaving the state along with those thousands of businesses for greater opportunity elsewhere.

And the taxes keep coming. Proposition 30, Assembly Bills (AB) 8 and 241, and Senate bills 622, 782, 768 and many more continue to pile taxes upon taxes.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Libertarianism And Republicans

Photo credit: Rich Koele /

[Below is a speech I delivered to the Southern California Republican Women and Men, of which I am President, on April 26 of this year. Since being published on my blog two months ago, it has risen into the Top 10 all-time most-read posts (of almost 300 posts over 8 years) on that site.]

Today, our meeting competes with the California State Convention of the Young Americans for Liberty at USC; and coincidentally, my talk today is about Libertarianism and Republicans. I did not know about that event before I planned my presentation. I don’t pretend to know anything in detail about that organization, but I do know something about Libertarianism from my own perspective; and with just enough serendipity today, I hope to make a positive contribution to the discussion.

People sometimes ask me if I am a Liberarian, to which I reply, well, yes, I have some libertarian tendencies–but it’s not like I have a meth lab in my Winnebago or anything. To clarify, I say that when I am elected President of the United States, Ron Paul will be my Czar in charge of the decommissioning of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, The Community Reinvestment Act, Dodd-Frank, Sarbanes-Oxley, Section 1706 of the 1986 Tax Equity and Fairness Reform Act (or TEFRA), and the Fed. On the other hand, as it pertains to foreign policy and geo-politics, my nominations for Ambassador to the United Nations and Secretaries of Defense and State are, in no particular order, John Bolton, John Bolton, and John Bolton. In the unlikely event that Mr. Bolton is unequal to all three commissions simultaneously, my alternates are Allen West and Benjamin Netanyahu (it shouldn’t be difficult to procure a credible birth certificate for Ben, considering precedent.)

Almost half of the attendees of CPAC (the Conservative Political Action Conference) were under the age of 26, and a plurality of these are libertarians or members of the liberty caucus. This is an international movement of youth who have opened their eyes and realized that as a generation, they have been screwed by the collectivist members of their parent’s generation and are determined to do something about it. In libertarianism, they see the solution.

Is this good or bad for Americans in general and Republicans in particular? In my opinion, it is on balance very good, with the caveat that like anything else, it needs to be understood by all at a greater-than-sophomoric level–or, like anything else again, it could just as easily lead to catastrophe.

So, what exactly is libertarianism? What do we need to understand about it?

The modern libertarian movement has its roots in the Austrian School of economics, which began in the late 19th century with Carl Menger and reached its apogee in the works of Friedrich Hayek (Nobel Laureate) and his mentor Ludwig von Mises, whose 93-year lifespan overlapped with Menger’s from 1881 until 1973–after Nixon had declared that “we’re all Keynseyans now.” (Come to think of it, that’s probably what killed him.)

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Answering The Libertarian Indictments On Iraq

Photo credit: Rena Schild (

Some Libertarian readers of my June 17 and 18 articles on Iraq, ‘Peace Requires a Permanent Commitment‘ and ‘Our Intolerable Success in Iraq,’ have interpreted them as apologia for George W. Bush’s initial invasion and have taken the occasion to excoriate them on that basis. I stand accused of defending a permanent commitment, not to peace, but to war. I hear of the many Iraqis now nostalgic for at least the stable and predictable times under Saddam Hussein. I am told that our over-extended global adventures must ultimately lead to the collapse of our global empire, as they did with (now not-so) Great Britain. I am asked to consider how people from around the world, in particular South America and the Middle East, feel about our interventions in their countries. They tell me that to be pro-free-market, and to be logically consistent, requires being non-interventionist if not isolationist. And finally, the whole notion of fearing ‘the terrorists’ (their quotation marks) is ridiculed as so much irrationality, comparable to the communist ‘red scares’ of yesteryear that turned out, according to them, to be groundless.

While I do defend the decision to invade Iraq in 2003 as arguably the best that could have been made under the circumstances– with virtually the entire world, including prominent Democrats like Hillary Clinton as well as the UN, France, China, and Russia in unanimous agreement on the facts about Saddam Hussein, his crimes, and his intentions–that wasn’t the primary point of my articles. My point was that given the stable status quo of 2008-2011, the decision to withdraw in 2011 and pretend that Barack Obama had masterfully achieved the peace and triumphed over Bush was a short-sighted and politically-motivated blunder of colossal magnitude, if not a crime.

That said, having unleashed the Libertarian furies, so to speak, a decent respect for the opinions of mankind requires that we respond to at least some of their more thoughtful comments.

By “permanent commitment,” I mean keeping the peace that has been won at the cost of blood and treasure in police patrol mode. What city in the United States today decommissions its entire police force once the murder rate (temporarily) drops below some threshold? Would we try that in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, or Detroit, and then congratulate ourselves, proclaiming that “Our urban war in America’s cities ends this month”?  If the peace is kept more effectively and justly by us than by anyone else, then we are the ones who must do it. This doesn’t mean we charge into any and every unstable country to impose our will. But it certainly means we stay where we find ourselves the only thing standing between relative justice and open kill zones, even if it wasn’t our political party who got us there. The decision to pull out of a former theatre of war is at least as serious as the decision to go in in the first place, perhaps more so if recent experience is any guide. The next Republican president will have to deal with the world as Obama left it, not as he should have or as President Romney would have.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom

Our Intolerable Success In Iraq

Of the opportunities in Iraq squandered in our national insistence on our own inadequacy or even evil, few rank as highly as religious freedom and plurality.

The United States did not enshrine religious liberty in the Constitution because all of its people were tolerant, fair-minded, or secular. The colonists were as intolerant of religious difference as people anywhere in the world, no more and no less. But we came to recognize that in the interest of national survival, we had to put aside our differences–or at least ensure that no single sect of the 13 intolerant sects that dominated each if the 13 colonies would have the chance of becoming the official state religion, enforced by a tyrannical king or pope. Shared recognition of the higher principle of religious tolerance as a virtue in and of itself was a collateral outcome, not a primary cause, of the First Amendment.

It is a principle sorely needed in many parts of the world, not least of all the Middle East; and it was within our grasp to achieve it in Iraq 6 years ago. We owned the country. We operated the oil fields. Saddam Hussein was dead; his murderous Baath party was defeated; and Al-Qaeda and the jihadis, if not gone, were neutralized.

At that point, we could have drafted a Constitution based on the principle of separation of powers such that conflict between Sunnis and Shias and Kurds took a back seat to aggregations of citizens along different dimensions, neutralizing the religious one. We could have supported a leader who was able, ready, and willing by principle and conviction to govern across sectarian lines; we didn’t have to settle for the partisan Shia autocrat prime minister Nouri Al-Maliki; and we could have imposed the time-honored practice of term limits (even on the one we chose.) We could have given every adult Iraqi citizen, men and women, equal shares of common and preferred stocks and bonds of a fully privatized formerly national oil industry, giving them a direct stake in the defense of peaceful free-market capitalism and private property rights, as well as a sense of sharing in both the national purpose and its bounty. And we could have stayed until the job was truly done, or at least until after we had pulled out of those other countries where we had overstayed our welcome, like Germany and Japan (the Philippines kicked us out over 20 years ago; but due to the recent Chinese reality check, they want us back). At the very least, we could have negotiated a realistic and appropriate Status of Forces agreement.

But all of that would be Imperialism and ugly-Americanism, of course. Unacceptable! At the very least, too expensive!

Right, until you consider the alternative: the world that is re-emerging before our horrified naive eyes, of a world where American constitutional principles do not reign, where religious difference is grounds for brutal summary beheading, where American influence is weak or non-existent, and where our enemies do not fear us and our friends do not trust us (for good reason.) A lot more barbaric and expensive in the end than if we had the confidence of our actual virtues.

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The views expressed in this opinion article are solely those of their author and are not necessarily either shared or endorsed by

This post originally appeared on Western Journalism – Informing And Equipping Americans Who Love Freedom