The News Of Russia’s Death Is Greatly Exaggerated

Photo credit: Timofeev Sergey / Shutterstock.com

The talking heads are all abuzz over the dramatic fall of the Russian currency, the ruble. Phrases like “financial collapse” and “full-blown currency crisis” dominate the headlines.  The leadership of Vladimir Putin has been called into question, with some news outlets saying he may be removed by those around him due to the economic losses they have suffered.

The downward spiral of the ruble, along with oil and sanctions, are definitely body blows to the Russian economy.  However, I think the world is underestimating, or maybe just doesn’t understand, Russia.

Stratfor put out a quote this week that I thought was especially enlightening: “The sanctions were designed to inflict more economic pain than the West could withstand.”  This in a nutshell is what we are facing with the situation in Russia.

One thing I can tell you is that this time, Russia will not be broken. The people support Putin, but what they really support is Russia. It’s kind of like that old saying: “I can talk bad about my family, but no one else can.”

Russians are used to enduring depths of pain that the West cannot understand. The Nazis killed twenty million Russians in World War II. We Americans can’t understand that depth of loss.

Stalin then killed another twenty million for good measure.  That was only seventy years ago.

Ukraine is near and dear to a Russian’s heart. It is the birthplace of Slavic civilization. White Russians hailed from Ukraine a long time ago.

It is where the Russian Orthodox Church was started under Vladimir the Great. Russia, especially under Putin, will never allow Ukraine to belong to the West, no matter how many sanctions we impose. Think of Texas being armed by the Russians, and you’ll get my point.

Putin will find a way out of this mess. It is rumored that China is preparing to bail them out. When this happens, the ruble will soar.

That’s why I’ve been counseling people to look at buying rubles, not selling. They still have hundreds of billions in foreign currency reserves and a whole lot of oil and natural gas.

Russia doesn’t make many; but they do make darn good weapons, and there are plenty of countries who don’t like us willing to buy them.

When Putin emerges from this crisis, he will be stronger than ever. He will be the man who saved Russia from the West’s conspiracy to destroy Russia. The people will love him even more.

Photo credit: Timofeev Sergey / Shutterstock.com

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

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

Michelle Obama Just Joined The Race-Baiting Frenzy, And It Couldn’t Be More Absurd

Photo: Inquisitr

In an interview published Wednesday, both President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama recalled how they were once victims of racism before moving into the White House.

“I think people forget that we’ve lived in the White House for six years,” the First Lady told People Magazine alongside her husband. “Before that, Barack Obama was a black man that lived on the South Side of Chicago, who had his share of troubles catching cabs.”

The First Lady even recounted her highly publicized trip to Target in 2011 where she was somewhat disguised; she said a woman asked her to take something off the shelf for her.

“I tell this story – I mean, even as the first lady – during that wonderfully publicized trip I took to Target, not highly disguised, the only person who came up to me in the store was a woman who asked me to help her take something off a shelf. Because she didn’t see me as the first lady, she saw me as someone who could help her. Those kinds of things happen in life. So it isn’t anything new.”

President Obama empathized with other black men who have struggled with race in the past. He tells People: “There’s no black male my age, who’s a professional, who hasn’t come out of a restaurant and is waiting for their car and somebody didn’t hand them their car keys.”

The First Lady illustrated a specific story: “He was wearing a tuxedo at a black-tie dinner, and somebody asked him to get coffee.”

However, the President acknowledged things are much better in this generation than in past generations. “The small irritations or indignities that we experience are nothing compared to what a previous generation experienced,” he said.

“It’s one thing for me to be mistaken for a waiter at a a gala. It’s another thing for my son to be mistaken for a robber and to be handcuffed, or worse, if he happens to be walking down the street and is dressed the way teenagers dress.”

H/T The Gateway Pundit

Photo: Inquisitr

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

Look At The Awesome Way This Cop Challenges The ‘I Can’t Breathe’ Anti-Cop Slogan

Breathe Easy

The NBA’s Phoenix Suns wore them during pregame warm-ups Monday night — T-shirts with the protest slogan, “I Can’t Breathe.”

The Suns were doing what other NBA players have done–stars such as LeBron James and Kobe Bryant have worn similar shirts in a show of support for the family of Eric Garner, the Staten Island resident who died after a New York police officer placed him in a headlock while he was being arrested.

Even college teams have gotten in on the protest act. Georgetown’s players donned “I Can’t Breathe” T-shirts while warming up for a home game. The Notre Dame women’s basketball team wore the controversial shirts prior to their game against Michigan.

The shirts, seen by many as a statement about supposed police misconduct and mistreatment of minorities, are at the center of a mini-industry of sorts and are available for purchase in many places, including on Amazon.com.
Picture 4

Now an Indiana-based clothing company owned by a corporal on the City of Mishawaka Police Force is selling message-shirts with a twist on the “I Can’t Breathe” slogan.

The owner of South Bend Uniform, veteran officer Jason Barthel, says that his goal is to make a statement of his own — to point out the potential for conflict being created by people who don’t consider the viewpoints of the officers trying to protect them.

Breathe

From a post at the website OpposingViews.com, we learn that Corporal Barthel says his purpose is not to divide people and cause tension, but rather to bring them together with a reminder to obey the law.

The new shirts read, “Breathe easy, don’t break the law,” and are being sold to raise support for police officers.

Barthel says he hopes his shirts remind people that police are there to protect them from those who break the law.

“My goal is to create a new brand, and that brand is going to continue to evolve into a sense of bringing people together,” Barthel said.

 

h/t Conservative Tribune

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

All I Want For Christmas Is A (Real) Government Shutdown

Photo credit: Lewis Tse Pui Lung / Shutterstock.com

The political class breathed a sigh of relief Saturday when the US Senate averted a government shutdown by passing the $1.1 trillion omnibus spending bill. This year’s omnibus resembles omnibuses of Christmas past in that it was drafted in secret, was full of special interest deals and disguised spending increases, and was voted on before most members could read it.

The debate over the omnibus may have made for entertaining political theater, but the outcome was never in doubt. Most House and Senate members are so terrified of another government shutdown that they would rather vote for a 1,774-page bill they have not read than risk even a one or two-day government shutdown.

Those who voted for the omnibus to avoid a shutdown fail to grasp that the consequences of blindly expanding government are far worse than the consequences of a temporary government shutdown. A short or even long-term government shutdown is a small price to pay to avoid an economic calamity caused by Congress’ failure to reduce spending and debt.

The political class’ shutdown phobia is particularly puzzling because a shutdown only closes 20 percent of the federal government. As the American people learned during the government shutdown of 2013, the country can survive with 20 percent less government.

Instead of panicking over a limited shutdown, a true pro-liberty Congress would be eagerly drawing up plans to permanently close most of the federal government, staring with the Federal Reserve. The Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies not only degrade the average American’s standard of living; they also allow Congress to run up huge deficits. Congress should take the first step toward restoring a sound monetary policy by passing the Audit the Fed bill, so the American people can finally learn the truth about the Fed’s operations.

Second on the chopping block should be the Internal Revenue Service. The federal government is perfectly capable of performing its constitutional functions without imposing a tyrannical income tax system on the American people.

America’s militaristic foreign policy should certainly be high on the shutdown list. The troops should be brought home, all foreign aid should be ended, and America should pursue a policy of peace and free trade with all nations. Ending the foreign policy of hyper-interventionism that causes so many to resent and even hate America will increase our national security.

All programs that spy on or otherwise interfere with the private lives of American citizens should be shutdown. This means no more TSA, NSA, or CIA, as well as an end to all federal programs that promote police militarization. The unconstitutional war on drugs should also end, along with the war on raw milk.

All forms of welfare should be shut down, starting with those welfare programs that benefit the wealthy and the politically well connected. Corporate welfare, including welfare for the military-industrial complex that masquerades as “defense spending,” should be first on the chopping block. Welfare for those with lower incomes could be more slowly phased out to protect those who have become dependent on those programs.

The Department of Education should be permanently padlocked. This would free American schoolchildren from the dumbed-down education imposed by Common Core and No Child Left Behind. Of course, Obamacare, and similar programs, must be shut down so we can finally have free-market health care.

Congress could not have picked a worse Christmas gift for the American people than the 1,774-page omnibus spending bill. Unfortunately, we cannot return this gift. But hopefully someday Congress, will give us the gift of peace, prosperity, and liberty by shutting down the welfare-warfare state.

Photo credit: Lewis Tse Pui Lung / Shutterstock.com

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

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

American Tyrants: Four Presidents That Failed Us

Photo credit: House Divided Project (Flickr)

We’ve had some good presidents, and we’ve had some not-so-good presidents. These days, unfortunately, our position on either side of the political aisle convinces us that we can tell the difference.

There’s little question that President Obama has courted controversy for most of his time in office so far, the most recent example being his executive order on immigration. While we’re still awaiting the verdict of history, and I myself am stuck somewhere between calling him a tyrant and naming him a groundbreaker, I thought it might be time to get a little bit of perspective.

Which past presidents became famous for their administration’s failures? I’m not talking about the occasional scandal here and there; no, I’m talking about the U.S. presidents who left the whole country reeling with their terrifically bad decisions.

Below are four U.S. presidents who could be considered the worst of the worst. My essential criteria for determining this are simple:

  1. Their damage affected multiple facets of American society.
  2. They helped to destabilize trust in the U.S. government.
  3. The effects of their decisions lasted into the next administration.

Let’s get started, shall we?

#1: Jimmy Carter

No matter your party affiliation, paying obscene gas prices (and waiting in quarter-mile, bumper-to-bumper lines to fill up your DeLorean) was probably not one of your top-five favorite things in the world if you had a set of wheels in the 80’s. Needless to say, this certainly didn’t do any favors for the U.S. economy–and things got bad. Very, very bad.

But how did we end up in a prolonged Oil Crisis in the first place? And how did the oil investment playbook change as a result? Well, price controls tend to lead to shortages, especially on commodities. Gasoline is one such commodity. Carter, apparently, was not very good with things like economics, which is probably why he implemented the Marx Method of fixing a capitalist economy.

Then again, he also had issues with things like foreign policy, too (which was another reason why OPEC wasn’t doing us any favors on oil). Essentially, the Iranian Revolution could not have happened without Carter’s facepalm-worthy decisions – and to make a long story short, the Iranians decided to take 52 American hostages.

Say what you will about Reagan; at least he managed to get those Americans back on our home turf.

#2: James Buchanan

With some presidents, you have to wonder if they were just bad at their jobs or they were implementing the Joker method of fixing the world by watching it burn. With James Buchanan, I’m thinking he just ran for the presidency because he wanted to live in a white house. Either way, the U.S. Civil War began on his watch: When Confederate forces attacked Fort Sumter, his reply went something like this: “Do what you want.” Then he promptly abandoned the fort.

He also reacted largely the same way when an economic depression hit the country, called the Panic of 1857. Did he blunder by making some bad decisions in an attempt to fix it? Actually, no. In fact, he took virtually no action at all (or maybe he played a round of golf in Wheatland). Basically, the entire U.S. was going broke; and half the country was ready to split.

And Buchanan just did not want to be bothered by those things. He did, however, want to buy Cuba – and he was willing to mug Spain for it if they weren’t in the mood to sell.

Lucky for us, he practically gave his job to the next guy.

#3: Richard Nixon

Was he a crook?

According to him, the answer was no. As for the rest of the country, the answer was a clear and resounding: Yes, you’re a crook, Mr. Nixon. In fact, whenever you hear about any modern political scandal with the suffix -gate, it’s because of Nixon.

The Watergate office complex was the Democratic National Committee headquarters, and Nixon wasn’t fond of the Dems because, well, he was a Republican. So he decided to bug them, NSA-style, and then lie about it to the American people. Well, it didn’t take long for us to find out; but he quit before we could fire him. If only we had an Edward Snowden back then.

Basically, Richard Nixon might have single-handedly caused an entire generation of Americans to become politically complacent and completely distrustful of government. It even galvanized Congress into amending the Freedom of Information Act. The Watergate scandal is basically why we don’t have much faith in our fearless leaders anymore — and I can’t say I blame us, after realizing that the president was up to his neck in corruption.

#4: Lyndon B. Johnson

Johnson apologists may sometimes claim that his only true failure was the unrealistic scope of his ambitions. The truth is much simpler: Johnson was a failure because he had no idea how to follow through on his vision.

In 1964, Johnson delivered a speech about what he liked to call the “Great Society.” It laid out his plans for turning America into a place where we were free from poverty, racial injustice, and even boredom. It sounded like a fine plan, to be sure; but like those of too many politicians, it had little basis in reality – and was ultimately a failure.

His very obvious lack of direction also informed his disastrous handling of the Vietnam War; his plan began and ended with a vacuous mission statement about defeating the communists, but commenced without any obvious endgame in mind.

Arguably his worst failing, though, was his outright corruption. Johnson and his wife, thanks to close ties with then-FCC chairman Clifford Durr, managed to amass a personal fortune thanks to their television monopoly in Austin, Texas. What began as a simple purchase of station KTBC by Lady Bird Johnson in 1943 became instead one of the most egregious examples of an American politician using his position for financial gain.

The Takeaways

With the U.S. still reeling from some seriously stressful mid-term elections, it might be time to readdress the role of the average American citizen in government. It’s never been clearer that many of us don’t see past the red or blue or campaign banners when we pull the lever in the voting booth; we vote with our hearts instead of our heads, and we end up getting losers like these four gentlemen above for no other reason than because they’re not the other guy.

Barack Obama’s place in presidential history remains uncertain; but one has to admire his pioneering spirit, even if it’s legally ambiguous and perhaps ill-timed. To revisit the immigration issue for a moment, I do mourn for a country where the president takes action on his own; but considering how many other immigration bills have been in a holding pattern for years, it’s time something was done.

No matter what you have to say about our president, one thing is clear: for examples of truly failed presidencies, we need only look backward in history – and sometimes it’s not that far back at all.

Photo credit: House Divided Project (Flickr)

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

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