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Posts Tagged ‘National Security’

An appeal to my reasonable conservative friends:

Important: if you are not reasonable and open-minded, don’t read any further. I’m not looking for “zots.” I’m looking for reasonable people who are serious about making the right choice. When I know I’ve chosen wisely, I feel at peace, without doubt in my mind, and start to get excited – like Chrissy Mathews, I get “that tingle.” How do you feel when you know you’ve made the right choice?

At this point, you’ve been following the primary race for months, and that means you are looking to make the right choice. Are you aware of how important making the right choice is in this primary process? I agree, and that’s why it is important to keep an open mind. That’s why you’ve read this far, so you might as well hear me out.

Obama has made it clear that he is pinning his reelection efforts on class warfare. So, think about whom you would want the GOP nominee to be if you were Obama, and you needed a target for class warfare? I agree – Mitt Romney. Understand that Obama uses Alinsky tactics, and Alinsky tactic 13 is “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Simply put, it is much easier to attack an organization or an idea if you can ‘put a face on it’. If you can find a single individual who both represents your opponent, and who, given the right spin, can be portrayed as the face of evil, you can use this person as a proxy for your attacks on your adversary. What face would you put on the 1%? Mitt Romney.

You may think that Mitt Romney is a great guy, and a great example of success, and I agree with some of that (and certainly applaud his success), and I would add that you should have no doubt in your mind that this is exactly what Obama will do (stick a big, fat 1% on him), and you can imagine that he is licking his chops in anticipation of doing it. If Mitt Romney is the nominee, this is what the general election will look like. Click Here. No matter what he says or how well he says it, he will not be able to shake that label. How does that make you feel about Mitt? And it doesn’t help that he has a habit of making mistakes and saying the wrong thing. Click here. Even Romney booster John McCain no longer believes Romney can win. Click Here. Moving on.

Obama’s second trick is throwing “red meat” distractions to keep us from discussing the areas where he is most vulnerable, such as economic and foreign policy. The biggest distraction so far has been the contraception controversy. And Rick Santorum took the bait- big time. Rick Santorum is a great father with great moral values, but he is also a one trick pony. Social issues are important, but he just can’t stop talking about them, and that has gotten him in a ton of trouble. The issue isn’t that he talks a lot about social policy, the issue is that he just can’t change gears quickly enough to avoid the damage caused by Obama’s intentional deceptions and sleights-of-hand. Consider how many distractions Obama will throw out there if Rick is the nominee. We’ll be talking about birth control all the way through November. By the time Rick manages to shift the debate back to Obama’s weak points, it may be too late.

Rick also tends to make serious, and very public, mistakes. For example, he loses his cool very quickly. Click Here. Cringing? He also gets confused regularly – in this instance, he gives Obama credit for CREATING jobs, publicly, on CNN! Click here. Just imagine if he makes even ONE mistake like this in the months between the nomination and the general election. Understand the very real risk with Rick. How do you feel about that, given the stakes?

Please understand that all of this is just fact, and I understand that some of you will now feel a bit disturbed and unsure at this point. But, I digress.

Newt is a flawed man, but recognize that his flaws are less subject to substantive attack. For example, Freddie and Fannie? It may be a big deal in the Republican primary, but Democrats do NOT want to go there! Yes, he’s had multiple marriages, but how many times has Rush been married? Do you still listen to Rush, at least here and there? And, of course, Democrats cannot launch credible attacks on the subject of adultery – we can go there. Before I close, I urge you to do one thing, and one thing only… please watch this video – click here. You’ve read this far, so another minute or two won’t kill you. Click here. Now, how do you feel about this man going up against Barack Obama?

The above letter from J.M. Stein at Red Side of Life is so good, as is, that I chose not to break up his text with my comments.

Indeed, Stein makes a very compelling case. But if there is still any doubt in your mind, please consider a few additional facts:

  • Besides the “1%er” card that Stein says will be played against Romney, the Democrats also have their old favorite: the race card. Mitt is a very committed member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, aka the Mormons, and until 1978, Mormon theology relegated blacks to a kind of second-class membership in the church. After considerable social and political pressure, the church’s “living prophet” declared a new “revelation” changing the previous position which had been held since the church’s inception. Already, many on the Left are raising a stink about this. We can be sure that if Mitt were the nominee, this ugly issue would only get uglier — much uglier. The Democrat-Media Complex will make sure of that.
  • The issue of contraception is problematic for Santorum not only for the reason Stein explains — namely, that the Left is skillfully and shamelessly using it to sidetrack discussion away from Obama’s staggering malfeasances in both foreign and domestic policy — but also because the driving force behind Obama is the “Shadow Party” funded by George Soros, who has an obsession with population control. Soros and other Agenda 21 promoters believe that world population must be reduced by literally billions of people. Santorum, the father of seven children — one of whom has Trisomy-18, a genetic disorder for which many Leftists believe abortion to be the only appropriate response — has the Left’s bull’s-eye on his back.
  • The Left surely will demonize Newt just as viciously as they would Romney or Santorum. That’s what the Left does — to anyone who opposes them. A key difference, however, is that Newt fights back. Like the late, great Andrew Breitbart, Newt is a “happy warrior” who both understands the Left, and loves taking them on. Plus, like Breitbart, Newt understands that Big Media is every bit as much our opponent as is the Democratic Party. He is smart, articulate and confident enough to be able to answer their attacks on the spot, without hemming or hawing. People in media continually try to nail Newt with their “gotcha” questions — but they never succeed.
  • America’s survival is threatened not only by terrorism and rogue states outside our borders, but by two major enemies within: communism and radical Islam. Yet, no other candidate besides Newt even mentions Saul Alinsky, Bill Ayers and George Soros. Newt is the only one who seems to recognize — or at least, will publicly say — that Obama is not a misguided incompetent with well-meaning intentions, but rather a Marxist radical who believes America is more evil than good, and who is committed to destroying the freedoms that have made America great. As for radical Islam, while Rick Santorum recognizes the threat from Iran, and is very knowledgeable on national security matters, only Newt recognizes — and openly talks aboutthe giant strides that sharia (Islamic law) has already made right here in the U.S., thanks to CAIR, ISNA, ICNA, MAS, MSA and the whole alphabet soup of Muslim Brotherhood-spawned groups that, despite proven connections to Hamas and other terror groups, are presented as legitimate “moderates” in our media and have infiltrated our government at high levels, including within the Department of Homeland Security.
  • We can look around and see the perfect storm of economic collapse, national-security threats and inflamed social passions that is converging on us. America is — whether or not we yet realize it — in as much danger now as Britain was in the spring of 1940. Almost too late, the British people finally recognized that Winston Churchill — whom they’d previously despised as “impulsive” and “arrogant,” whom they’d castigated for his “poor judgment” and “grandiose ideas” — was actually the best man, perhaps the only man, who could lead them through the crisis. I’m not saying Newt is Churchill — but having studied Churchill, I am struck by the remarkable parallels between the two. Just as Churchill saw who Hitler really was long before most of his countrymen woke up, Newt understands the dangers to America that many people have so far been unable or unwilling to see. Newt will help open their eyes — because, like Churchill, Newt has a gift for explaining things in ways people can understand. Just as importantly, Newt has the bulldog tenacity and unabashed can-do attitude that the nation needs in its leader if we are to make it through the tough times ahead. As we saw so clearly during the South Carolina debate — when standing ovations kept erupting as Newt spoke — Newt has, as Churchill did, the power to inspire.
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Rep. Allen West recently gave an awesome speech to the Center for Security Policy.

While it seems that our media can only focus on one “crisis” at a time, Allen West never takes his eye off of all the threats to U.S. national security.

No teleprompter, you’ll notice. The man is a walking encyclopedia, and he can communicate.

What Paul Ryan does for budget issues, Allen West does for national security.

Hat Tip: Big Peace

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Never underestimate the capacity of the Left to shoot itself in the foot — and injure the rest of us while they’re at it. The New American reports:

Most of their pet “alternative energy” projects — solar panels, hybrid and electric car batteries, wind turbine magnets, compact fluorescent light bulbs, etc. — are dependent upon “rare earth elements” that have been made all but unobtainable here in the United States, thanks in significant measure to environmental [regulations]. Over the past two decades, various environmental laws and regulations have closed down mining operations for these elements in this country, making us almost completely dependent on the communist government of China, which now produces 97 percent of the world’s supply of these important minerals [even though it only has 37 percent of proven reserves.] Now that China has announced it intends to dramatically cut its quotas of rare earth exports, including to the United States, the Obama administration has expressed concern.

“We are very concerned about China’s export restraints on rare earth materials. We have raised our concerns with China and we are continuing to work closely on the issue with stakeholders,” an anonymous spokeswoman for the U.S. Trade Representative’s office said in a statement carried by news services. The administration also says it will complain about the quota reduction to the World Trade Organization.

Don’t let the name “rare earth” mislead you: Most of the 17 “rare-earth” metals are anything but rare. For example, even the least two abundant, Lu and Tm are nearly 200 times more common than gold. Cerium, the most abundant REE, is more plentiful in the earth’s crust than copper or lead. Many of them are more common than tin, and all but promethium are more common than silver or mercury. The problem is that they are dispersed in forms that make them much harder to extract than those other elements.

Rare earth elements, or REEs, are those elements in one particular section of the periodic table of elements:  lanthanum and the fourteen elements following it (together, called the lanthanide series), plus scandium and yttrium, which tend to occur in the same ore deposits as the lanthanides and have exhibit many of the same chemical properties.

These elements were little more than a curiosity until the advent of “green technology” in the late twentieth century.

Their relatively low toxicity, combined with unique magnetic properties, quickly made rare earth metals vital to green technology. The USGS fact sheet [“Rare Earth Elements — Critical Resources for High Technology”] gives a detailed account of the environmental uses of rare earth metals. Some of these are:

  • Lanthanum could replace the much more toxic cadmium and lead in batteries leading to more environmentally friendly disposal and recycling.
  • Cerium could replace heavy metals in the commercial pigmentation industry.
  • The magnets in a 3 megawatt wind turbine use up to two tons of neodymium and other rare earth metals.
  • [A report published in the British newspaper] The Independent claims [that] the Toyota Prius automobile, the premier hybrid car in the world, uses up to 1 kg of neodymium in the electric motor and between 10 and 15 kg of lanthanum in the electric battery.

The U.S. has some of the largest known REE deposits. According to the U.S. Geological Service, the U.S. had, as of 2010, 13 million metric tons of rare earth elements. Unfortunately, according to The New American,

like many other minerals that have been put off-limits through environmental edicts, [REEs] have been made artificially rare…. Now there is a mad scramble to re-open some of these mines, as rare earth mining stocks have soared and green activists have reversed themselves in order to advance their “earth friendly” hobby horse technologies.

It did not take a crystal ball to see that the environmentalist attack on the rare earth mining industry would bring the serious consequences we now face. The New American warned about this repeatedly over the past two decades, including in this article, Engineered Extinction, in December, 2003. It reported:

Unfortunately, because of our anti-mining regulatory climate, we are now dependent on foreign producers for many of these vital materials. The case of the Mountain Pass Mine in California’s Mojave Desert is a prime example of the destructive power of the envirocrats. Mountain Pass, the world’s largest lanthanide mine, is a treasure trove of rare earth minerals like samarium, lanthium, europium and neodymium. The mine owner, Molybdenum Corporation of America, invested millions of dollars developing uses for these exotic elements in televisions, miniaturized motors, long-lasting lightbulbs, super magnets, and hi-tech military applications. Thanks to these efforts, the U.S. led the world in rare earth production and sparked a revolution in the use of these important minerals. But federal and state regulators shut the mine down on environmental pretexts.

Don Fife, a professional geologist and columnist, called the government action a “regulatory outrage” and “the coup de grace for America’s rare earth industry.” “With Mountain Pass Mine out of business,” says Fife, “we are dependent on foreign sources for our supply of these minerals. Since other countries produce only small amounts of rare earths, nearly all of these militarily strategic minerals now come from Communist China.”

This table will give you some idea of how utterly dependent our modern technological society is on these elements. ( I’ve omitted promethium, which has no known uses.)

Element Uses
Scandium Alloys for aerospace industry; sports equipment; metal halide lamps
Yttrium Television cathode-ray tubes; LEDs; spark plugs; catalysts; mantles for propane lanterns; microwave filters; lasers; strengthener for aluminum and magnesium alloys; camera lenses; cancer therapies; arthritis treatments; superconductors
Lanthanum High-end lenses for cameras and telescopes; catalysts; carbon lighting; ignition elements in lighters and torches; scintillators; gas lantern mantles; water treatment; pharmaceuticals; tracers in molecular biology; nickel-metal hydride batteries, including especially those used in hybrid cars
Cerium Catalysts in self-cleaning ovens and in petroleum refining; heat-resistant alloys; magnets; analytical chemistry; carbon arc lighting, especially in the film industry; gas tungsten arc welding; glass polishing powders; phosphors for screens and fluorescent lamps; pharmaceuticals; etching of electronic components; fuel additives for reducing vehicle emissions
Praseodymium Coloring glass and ceramics; catalysts; high-strength alloys used in aircraft engines; carbon arc lights used in film studios and movie projectors; achieving ultralow temperatures in physics research; fiber optical amplifiers; ignition elements in lighters and “flint” fire starters
Neodymium Coloring glass and ceramics; infrared radiation filtering; lasers; welder’s and glassblower’s goggles; astronomical spectroscopy; camera filters; incandescent light bulbs; powerful magnets (such as those used in wind generator turbines and hybrid cars)
Samarium High-strength magnets, especially when effectiveness at very high temperatures is needed; cobalt alloys; control rods in nuclear reactors; catalysts; geological dating; cancer treatment; lasers used in holography, astrophysics and high-resolution microscopy of biological specimens; pressure sensors and pressure-triggered memory devices; thermoelectric power converters
Europium Red phosphors and blue phosphors for color televisions and computer screens; “trichromatic” indoor lighting; compact fluorescent light bulbs
Gadolinium Contrast agents used for MRI scans; scintillators in PET imaging; gamma ray source for bone-density scans used in osteoporosis screening; high-temperature-resistant alloys; microwave applications; manufacture of optical components; green phosphors for TV screens and compact discs
Terbium “Green” (actually yellow) phosphors for color television and computer screens and fluorescent lamps; solid-state devices; stabilizers for fuel cells at high temperatures; sensors; naval sonar systems; biochemical probes; “trichromatic” indoor lighting
Dysprosium Control rods for nuclear reactors; data storage applications, such as hard disks; dosimeters; transducers; high-precision liquid fuel injectors; wide-band mechanical resonators; high-intensity lighting; nanofibers to strengthen materials or for use as catalysts; in drive motors for hybrid electric vehicles
Holmium Control rods in nuclear reactors; high-strength magnets; colorants for glass and cubic zirconia; spectrometer calibration; lasers for medical, dental and fiber-optical applications
Erbium Colorant for glass, porcelain and cubic zirconia; photographic filters; metallurgical additive; fiber-optical amplifiers used in communications; control rods for nuclear reactors; cryocoolers; high-power fiber lasers for metal welding and cutting applications; laser surgery; laser enamel ablation in dentistry
Thulium Radiation source for portable X-ray machines; lasers used for military, medical and meteorological applications; detecting flaws in inaccessible mechanical and electronic components; high-temperature superconductors; ceramic magnetic materials used in microwave equipment
Ytterbium Metallurgical and chemical experiments; optical and laser applications; some stainless-steel alloys

Sources: Chemical Elements.com; Wikipedia

New American continues:

REEs are essential for the increasingly ubiquitous lithium-ion batteries that power so many of our electronics today. And lithium-ion batteries are being held up as the saving technology that will power the electric vehicles (EVs) and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that the federal government says Americans must give up their gasoline-powered cars for. However, lithium mining has fallen victim to the same legislative and regulatory forces that killed America’s rare earth industry.

So let’s get this straight. Environmentalists want us to use hybrid cars, wind turbines, compact fluorescent light bulbs and rechargeable batteries. But all of these “green” products require rare-earth elements — which we are not allowed to mine in this country because of “green” regulations! (Can you say “Catch-22”?) Instead, we must buy them from China, with whom we are running an annual trade deficit of over $273 billion, and which holds about $1.7 trillion in U.S. government debt. All while the U.S. sits on 13 percent of the world’s rare earth reserves.

It’s one thing if your enemy shoots you in the foot; but only a fool or a masochist shoots himself in the foot. And only a suicidal maniac shoots himself again and again and again.

It’s time to quit letting the lunatics run the asylum.

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Readers, I feel like just having fun today — and invite you to come along for the ride! Nothing is better than just letting Allen West speak for himself, so here is his latest weekly update, which I’m posting it in its entirety, with comments and links by me in brackets, and anything boldface is mine, not Rep. West’s.  Enjoy!

Dear Patriot,

Greetings constituents, fellow Floridians, and all Americans who shall read this missive. Another week has flown by and what an eventful one!

Before I begin, let me say one simple thing. The most important civil liberty of an American is their life. As a matter of fact, it is the first inalienable right addressed in the Declaration of Independence.

This week, we had a vote to extend three provisions within the PATRIOT Act; Library Provision, Roving Wiretap, and Lone Wolf. I voted YES for these extensions and many of you called me a traitor and felt that I had turned my back on your 1st and 4th Constitutional rights.

A law abiding United States citizen has nothing to fear from me and my vote. However, I shall NOT ALLOW the enemies of our State to find gaps in which they will exploit our misplaced benevolence. There is a simple reason why radical Islamic terrorists and their supporters are successful in infiltrating Western nations. They take our founding premise of liberty and turn it against us. I say, NOT ON MY WATCH.
[If you’ve been reading this blog for long, you already know that the most important report thing for every American to read is the Center for Security Policy’s report Shariah: The Threat to America, which shows how the infiltrators do it, and names names.]

I can assure you that I will not allow this enemy any quarter, and shall uphold my commitment to our Constitution and all of you.

Now, onto one of the most eventful weeks in my life.

The week began with meetings with several local political and business leaders and impact players. The best part of the day was being invited to the Pinecrest School in Ft. Lauderdale and addressing the 5th grade class. When you stand before these young boys and girls, it energizes you and steels your resolve to fight for their future.

To those who are going to whine and complain about the $100B in federal spending we want to cut….go speak to a 5th grade class. I shall not burden them with the debt we have amassed. One 5th grader, Madison Hawthorne wrote me the most lovely note!

I also had the chance to address the Seniors at the school and their questions centered on the events in Egypt and the economic situation. They get it and recognize the seriousness of the domestic and foreign policy positions in which we find ourselves. These are our future leaders. I am committed to visit as many High School Senior classes in our district as possible.
[For those of you who don’t know, after West retired from the Army, he was a high-school history teacher, because he wanted to serve the next generation. During his active-duty years, he was also a college ROTC instructor for a time, and received awards for his excellence in teaching.]

Monday was also a big event in my life, as I turned 50 years of age. And no, there is no mid-life crisis! I did have a surprise birthday party that evening!

I flew back to DC early Tuesday, with many South Florida constituents, including local Mayors, on the plane. First on my agenda once I got back in the office, was a meeting with the incredible Brigitte Gabriel, President and CEO of ACT! for America. This woman is fully charged and focused and determined to secure the safety of her country. [Find out more at http://www.actforamerica.org/]

I had the chance to spend time with constituents at the showing of the film “Iranium” and was able to see one of my foreign policy heroes, Mr. Michael Ledeen. [You can watch “Iranium” online or purchase the DVD by clicking on the “Iranium” widget in this blog’s right-hand sidebar.] I then went to the Florida League of Cities reception and met the local Mayors before we had our Wednesday meeting. Another fantastic meeting was with former Presidential candidate, Gary Bauer, who is President of American Values.  [More info at http://www.ouramericanvalues.org/]

Our Congressional office was honored to host the Head Administrator of the Small Business Administration, Ms. Karen Mills. She and I had a great discussion about reducing the regulatory burden on our small businesses and setting the conditions for their growth. I also was successful in having her agree to come down to CD-22 and visit our local economic engine, the South Florida business community.

We wrapped up Tuesday evening at the National Press Club where we participated in a Tea Party town hall meeting. It was an incredible, interactive event which reached over 2.5M people online. Watch it here. I was honored to share the stage with several US Senators and my House colleagues Steve King and Michele Bachmann. It is always great to have the chance to share perspectives and thoughts with the people whom we are elected to serve.

Due to the lateness of the hour, my Chief of Staff and I decided to hit our favorite Chinese food joint and while I was there in line, he received an incredible call. It was from the organizers at CPAC who asked me to be their keynote speaker. What an honor!

Wednesday got off to a great Army start when the Army Liaison hosted an Army Day in the lower Rayburn Building parking lot. The best part was the range being open and I got to fire two clips of 9mm, after my opening warning shot, we were dead center tight shot group.  [Allen West has got our back!] It was there that young Army SGT Jason Aubin asked me if he could attend CPAC, and I said absolutely.

I decided to introduce that young hero to the gathering later in the week, which is no violation of the Hatch Act because it was not a political campaign event. How dare any liberals attack an American Soldier who has fought to guarantee their freedoms. It was my honor to have that young man walk on stage with me.

We had our GOP Conference meeting and as you know this past week we made the decision to honor the pledge of cutting spending by $100B. The pundits and the liberals are already decrying this and seeking means to make this effort unnecessary and accuse the GOP of promoting a government shutdown.

Let’s have an honest conversation, should we do nothing? Should we allow former Speaker Nancy Pelosi back in charge and again see a $5T increase in the debt, which occurred over her four years as Speaker? When will anyone look the House and Senate Democrats in the eye, as well as the President, and let them know we have to enact this massive undertaking because of their FAILURES!

We have a spending problem in Washington D.C. and the typical liberal tactic of fear mongering and class warfare diatribe, no longer holds any credibility in America. America was never intended to be a bureaucratic nanny-state and we are going to begin turning this ship around. As for this Conservative Congressman, the message is clear. The liberals had their shot and they threw dirt on the car that was run into the ditch.

We are going to build a new car!

[Touché!  Way to take Obama’s car-in-the-ditch metaphor and turn it against him! LOL!]

Wednesday is always the heavy day with committee and subcommittee meetings and even with all that was going on we were able to make all required meetings.

Wednesday evening, I was invited to the annual Weyrich Awards dinner and it was a Who’s Who in the conservative movement. I had the distinct privilege of giving one of three five minute speeches from new freshmen. My message was simple and titled , ‘What Makes a Winner in America.’

Thursday was the first day of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) and you could feel an energy in Washington DC. Hat tip to all those who came over and visited our Congressional office.

The morning started with a House GOP Freshman class meeting where we made it clear that the pledge stated $100B and that was what we supported.

I gave my first one minute speech on the House floor that day in support of H.R. 72 which seeks to reduce the regulatory burden coming from the federal government agencies. [This small-business owner thanks you, Rep. West!] It was also the day that our House GOP leadership committed to the $100B in spending cuts. Yes, there is pain involved, but the longer we will go along deceiving ourselves, the pain will only increase.

It was later that day when we had two meetings, one with Speaker John Boehner, and the other with Armed Services Commiteee members, that set our clear path for confronting the Continuing Resolution. My position is that across the board would not suffice, we have to make the hard decisions and go into each specific program and create a line by line justification. I am quite sure at our next series of town hall meetings we will make this a topic of discussion.

Thursday evening, I attended the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation reception at PepsiCo. I was excited to meet the President of the Foundation and other prominent individuals.

Friday morning kicked off with an Awards breakfast where I and several other Freshmen Iraq veterans were honored for our past, present, and future service by the CEO of American Defense Systems, Inc. Afterwards, I proceeded to another of the many Armed Services classified briefings, focusing on the Middle East. After the meeting, I had a chance to drop by the U.S. Special Operations Command display where I thanked our most highly trained warriors for their service. I also got to see some of the new tactics techniques and deployment platforms being used by our SpecOps.

I then went back for an Armed Services Subcommittee hearing on the cyber threat and the Department of Defense’s role. This was a highly informative meeting and we had best get our act together in this critical aspect of the 21st century battlefield. My afternoon was spent with more meetings but they were good ones with a local flair.

I had an energized meeting with the new Co-Chair of the Republican Party, Sharon Day, who is also a constituent.  [How cool is that?!] We talked about messaging, focus, and political strategy as we move forward in 2011.

I wrapped up Friday by developing my first draft of the CPAC speech and sent it to my two closest confidants, my Chief of Staff Jonathan Blyth and Joyce Kaufman….based upon their review and insights, I knew we would have a winner.

Saturday morning, I arose at 7:00 am and had a nice 8 mile run through DC and around the entire Washington Mall. [8 miles, woohoo! You’re an inspiration, Rep. West!] Running along the symbols of America’s national character just gives you a certain sense of what it means to be a citizen of this great Country. It also provides me the clear opportunity to visualize the coming event, the CPAC keynote speech. I got back to the “Batcave”, made some written notes for the speech, washed clothes, showered, dressed, and headed to the office.

I made my final changes to the speech, did three read throughs, and at 2:00 pm we departed for CPAC. I attended my first CPAC in 2008 and walked through the conference trying to get anyone to recognize me and our Congressional race . In 2009, I did not attend CPAC and in 2010, I was given the final 15 minute speech slot before the keynote which was Glenn Beck. Now, here I was, a brand new United States Representative about to deliver the closing speech to the largest gathering of Conservatives in America.
[That 15-minute speech in 2010 was one of his best — but that was also the weekend he gave the incredible 20-minute speech at Pam Geller’s “Jihad: The Political Third Rail” conference. Click on the links if you haven’t seen them yet!]

The response to my walking the halls was completely different from 2008 and 2010. The Palm Beach Post followed me around along with the Washington bureau of the Sun-Sentinel. We did several interviews, to include Geraldo Riviera, and we hit ABC News, Fox, PJTV, Newsmax, and Bloggers row (now that was a blast, an impromptu press session). [You can watch that session on yesterday’s blog post here.] At 5:00 pm, we headed to the “green room” and sat awaiting our turn, kind of like the Gladiator awaiting to enter the arena, as you hear the cheers and roar of the crowd. Then came the moment, Congressman West, we are ready. You say that final prayer, “May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable to thee o Lord my God.” You stand there at the end of the stairs and listen to outgoing American Conservative Union Chairman David Keene introduce you……and then he says your name and looks over. The first step is always the hardest, then you look upon a crowd of 3,000…game on.

And the rest is history and recorded on You Tube. Click CPAC

Steadfast and Loyal,

Allen

God has been so merciful to us, to give us this man, at this time, in this country. Godspeed, Allen West!

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I’m running this piece about Obama’s State of the Union address a bit belatedly, I admit, but before today, I did not know of this author, Michael Connelly, an army veteran and law professor in Texas. His brilliant, incisive assessment of our nation’s national security, written right before the civil unrest broke out in Egypt, is even more ominous now that we’re facing a potential Muslim Brotherhood takeover in that country.

[W]hat struck me as the most worrisome aspect of the speech was not so much what Obama said, but what he didn’t say. In a sixty-two minute speech he waited until the last few minutes to even mention foreign policy and national security and when he did, he seemed to find the subject quite boring and mundane.

While members of our armed forces are fighting and dying in Afghanistan and elsewhere every day to defeat the terrorist enemies who want to destroy us, the whole thing was just briefly and casually mentioned by our Commander in Chief. He did thank our troops for their sacrifices, while at the same time reassuring our enemies in Afghanistan that we will began withdrawing our troops later this year. I’m sure the applause among the Taliban and al-Qaida leaders who were watching the speech was much more enthusiastic than any applause by our members of Congress.

In fact, the President seemed most enthusiastic when he mentioned the fact that the don’t ask and don’t tell policy regarding gays in the military had been repealed. This was wildly applauded by the progressives in the room, but the men in command of the American military sat stone faced and silent in front of the President. They know how much damage doing something like this in the middle of a war is going to have on the morale of our troops.

The President also paid scant attention in the speech to the fact that Iran will soon have nuclear weapons and that the North Koreans, who already have such weapons, are acting crazier and more belligerent than ever. His overall plan for these countries is to continue to beg them to “play nice.” His speech also pointedly ignored the fact that China is rapidly increasing the size of its military and now has a stealth fighter as well as missile technology that can destroy our aircraft carriers. However, he touted the passage of the START treaty with Russia that lowers our defenses against nuclear attack while doing nothing to limit the Chinese.

At the same time, Obama has ignored the fact that our enemies such as Iran, Libya, and Venezuela are deliberately forcing up the price of oil in order to damage our economy. We are presently buying half of our oil from countries that have no love for us, yet the only thing Obama said about this crisis in the speech was that he plans on ending tax breaks for domestic oil companies and spending more on vague and unspecified “clean energy.” When coupled with his refusal to issue new drilling permits the outcome will mean that soon we will be producing less than one-third of the energy we need and the price of a gallon of gas could easily reach $5.00 by next year. This is a threat not only to our economy, but to our national security.

Finally, does anyone recall the President even mentioning the chaos on our border with Mexico? He made one vague reference to working with both parties to secure our borders, but he ended that with another apparent push to grant amnesty to those who have already broken our laws and entered our country illegally. The fact is that the violence among the Mexican drug cartels is spilling over into our country and Americans are dying in the crossfire. While this is happening there is growing evidence that hundreds of illegal aliens from nations that support Islamic terrorism are also entering our country.

Obama’s response to this is to decrease our border security and allow many entry points to be unpatrolled by both State and Federal authorities. However, he is prepared to make one bold move. His administration will soon be proposing new gun control laws that will limit the rights of law abiding American citizens to purchase weapons to protect themselves and their homes. It will have no effect whatsoever on the ability of the drug cartel soldiers and the terrorists to acquire weapons, but it will make the progressives happy.

The bottom line is that our country is being rendered defenseless by the people who are charged in the Constitution to protect our nation and its people. As a result, the violence on our borders will increase and our enemies will be encouraged to increase their efforts to attack us around the world and on our own soil. I’m afraid that this could be a very dangerous year for the people of the United States.

Hat tip:  Jan C.

Linked by:  Marine Patriot and The Old Jarhead   Thanks!

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The inimitable Mark Steyn — author of one of the great books of the new century, America Alone, and probably the most popular substitute host on the Rush Limbaugh radio show — likes to crunch numbers. In America Alone, he examined population statistics to show how Muslims are conquering Europe demographically, by the sheer differential between Muslim and non-Muslim fertility rates.

Lately, he’s been crunching some equally alarming numbers:  namely, numbers describing the U.S. debt, and interest payments on that debt versus expenditures on our national defense. From his article, “Dependence Day,” in the current issue of The New Criterion,

According to the cbo’s [Congressional Budget Office] 2010 long-term budget outlook, by 2020 the U.S. government will be paying between 15 and 20 percent of its revenues in debt interest—whereas defense spending will be down to between 14 and 16 percent. America will be spending more on debt interest than China, Britain, France, Russia, Japan, Germany, Saudi Arabia, India, Italy, South Korea, Brazil, Canada, Australia, Spain, Turkey, and Israel spend on their militaries combined. The superpower will have advanced from a nation of aircraft carriers to a nation of debt carriers.

J-11 fighters (JianJi-11) is an advanced 4th-generation fighter in the People’s Liberation Army Air Force

What does that mean? In 2009, the United States spent about $665 billion on its military, the Chinese about $99 billion. If Beijing continues to buy American debt at the rate it has in recent years, then within a half-decade or so U.S. interest payments on that debt will be covering the entire cost of the Chinese military. This year, the Pentagon issued an alarming report to Congress on Beijing’s massive military build-up, including new missiles, upgraded bombers, and an aircraft-carrier R&D program intended to challenge American dominance in the Pacific. What the report didn’t mention is who’s paying for it. Answer: Mr. and Mrs. America.

Within the next five years, the People’s Liberation Army, which is the largest employer on the planet… will be entirely funded by U.S. taxpayers. When they take Taiwan, suburban families in Connecticut and small businesses in Idaho will have paid for it.

According to Steyn, however, the money is only a symptom; the real tragedy is the relative decline, in the global political mix, of the great cultural inheritance of the English-speaking world: the whole concept of ordered liberty and self-governance, and the legal-political systems that embody it. After reading Steyn’s article, I would go so far as to say that, as important as scientific and technological genius has been for the alleviation of human suffering, the genius of the English and American political worldview has perhaps been equally important for the aggregate prosperity and happiness of the human race. But,

We are coming to the end of a two-century Anglosphere dominance, and of a world whose order and prosperity many people think of as part of a broad, general trend but which, in fact, derive from a very particular cultural inheritance and may well not survive it.

F.A. Hayek, author of the classic The Road to Serfdom, wrote in 1944 that collectivism changes the character of a people — and that it specifically erodes the virtues at which the British happened to excel:

independence and self-reliance, individual initiative and local responsibility, the successful reliance on voluntary activity, noninterference with one’s neighbor and tolerance of the different and queer, respect for custom and tradition, and a healthy suspicion of power and authority.

After quoting Hayek, Steyn goes on to say:

Within little more than half a century, almost every item on the list had been abandoned, from “independence and self-reliance” (some 40 percent of Britons receive state handouts) to “a healthy suspicion of power and authority”—the reflex response now to almost any passing inconvenience is to demand the government “do something.” American exceptionalism would have to be awfully exceptional to suffer a similar expansion of government without a similar descent, in enough of the citizenry, into chronic dependency.

Steyn makes the case much better than I can; read the whole piece here.

As Steyn’s article makes so clear, it is critical to the survival not only of America — but also of the ideals that America offers to the world — that we defend American exceptionalism, which is under vigorous attack by the “elites” in our own country.

It is urgent that we choose leaders such as Allen West who believe deeply in American exceptionalism. Like Mark Steyn, Allen West understands that:

1)  the national debt is a matter of national security;

2)  American exceptionalism is real, and it is a good thing — not only for us, but for the world overall.  For the good of everyone, we should fight to preserve it.

As you may recall, Allen West’s official campaign theme last fall was “Restoring American Exceptionalism.”

Allen West gets it.

hat tip: swvapatriot at RedState

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We’ve talked about the ongoing family feud in the Republican party between “fiscal” and “social” conservatives.  Probably the liveliest discussions, with the most thoughtful — and thought-provoking — comments, that I’ve seen on this matter have been a couple of articles (and their comment threads) over at RedState.

As important as this fiscal-versus-social discussion is, aren’t we forgetting something?

Recall that Ronald Reagan is remembered as a brilliant politician because he was able to unite the three — not two, but three — strands of conservatism, namely, fiscal, social and national security/defense. Reagan called it a “three-legged stool” — because a three-legged stool cannot stand if even one of the three legs is missing.

Isn’t it a little strange — not to mention, dangerous — for that third leg to be neglected when we are, after all, at war, with “hot” fronts currently in two different countries?

You will not find Victor Davis Hanson neglecting it.  (Elsewhere on this site I have compared Allen West to Hanson, since both are military historians, with advanced degrees — Hanson, a doctorate; West, a master’s — and both men not only know the truth about Islam, but are bold enough to come right out and say it.)  In his recent piece, “In Defense of Defense,” Hanson makes the case that, as we go about the very necessary task of drastically reducing government spending, the defense budget should have some degree of immunity.

Hanson’s argument immediately got my attention, because I remembered that Allen West had said recently that everything should be “on the table” for budget cuts — even defense.  As West’s brilliant speech about Afghanistan made clear, however, we are wasting a lot of money — and American lives — with our dunderheaded non-strategy in Afghanistan.  We could fight leaner if we would fight smarter.

Not long ago, I read a disturbing novel, a thriller:  John Lescroart’s Betrayal.  The title had multiple meanings in the book, but one of the main ones was the nefarious behavior — including huge-scale embezzlement — of one of the many private contractors working with the U.S. military in Iraq.  Granted, it was only a work of fiction; and granted, Lescroart — though one of my favorite writers — may tend toward the liberal side of politics.  Still, he was describing things that really do happen.  As long as there have been private defense contractors, there have been waste and fraud.  How Allen West, if elected President, will attack this problem remains to be seen — but I’m sure that he saw some things in Iraq that will give him some pretty clear ideas of how and where our mammoth defense budget might be tightened up.

Meanwhile, conservatives should read Hanson’s piece.  The fiscal-versus-social conservatism debate will be moot if we lose in Afghanistan, and give radical Islamists around the world a morale boost that will drastically increase their numbers and their boldness.

hat tip:  Big Peace

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