Should I vote with my heart or my brain? It's a question most Libertarians will ask themselves when they step into the ballot box in 2014 and 2016.
Until Libertarians have a serious candidate running on more than just legalization of marijuana, both Republicans and Democrats have an equal chance at recruiting this growing bloc of voters, especially among the younger voters who have recently turned to the Libertarian viewpoint as a result of their mistrust of Government. The chain of scandals from this administration does not sit well with today's youth as well as any other age group on either side of the aisle, with the most obvious solution being a Party based on less Government.
For years, GOP grandees have taken it for granted that Libertarians would be with them come Election Day. After all, aren't Libertarians essentially free-market, freedom-loving conservatives who just don't want to be formally affiliated with Republicans? more >>
What happened to Egypt's liberals? Jackson Diehl's question in The Washington Post is not a new one.
In the aftermath of the Egyptian revolution and as Islamists swept every electoral competition, the question was being sincerely posed. Where have all those young champions of freedom that filled Tahrir square and captivated the world disappeared? Today a deep sense of disappointment accompanies the question. The commitment to principles by those once hailed as the founding fathers and mothers of Arab democracy evaporated at the first real test.
Mohamed Morsi's election was not Egypt's first experiment with democracy. In the aftermath of the 1919 revolution and after a stormy constitutional process, Egypt's first democratic parliamentary elections were held in 1924. The elections pitted Egypt's greatest liberal thinkers and its political elite gathered in the Liberal Constitutionalist Party against a man that five years earlier had been one of their own; Saad Zaghloul and his Wafd Party. The masses chanted "if Saad nominated a stone we would elect it" and they gave the Wafd 90 percent of the seats leaving the liberals to lick their wounds and draw lessons from their humiliating defeat. more >>
The U.S. remains on high alert Wednesday of a potential terrorist attack in the Arabian Peninsula, despite an announcement by authorities in Yemen that it had thwarted a terror attack on its oil infrastructure and port cities.
Earlier this week, the U.S. began withdrawing American citizens and embassy workers from Yemen following the intercepted al-Qaeda message between the terrorist organization's leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and operatives in Yemen telling them to do "something big." Additionally, the U.S. closed embassies in the Middle Eastern country, citing an "extremely high" terror threat level, and issued a worldwide travel alert in the Middle East and parts of North Africa. The U.K. and France also removed their embassy personnel from Yemen.
If I were President, there would be no special treatment for anyone entering our country illegally. I would send a special delegation to Israel to study how to build a fence, secure it and then electrify it.
After the border is secure, I would put out a clarion call that all illegal aliens have six months to register and the clock starts ticking when the fence starts construction. When we catch them after that, there will be no citizenship possibility and then we would deport them. My concern would be for those who have been here for years and sought legal ways to gain citizenship and I would work with Congress to put them on the fast track like they do inmates on death row in Texas, fast and efficient. I would be sensitive to not breaking up families because that would be inhumane of course, so if you are caught after six months, then you and your whole family, whether your children are born here or not would be deported because you had six months to make it right. I would work with all illegal aliens if they sign up to do everything possible to get their green cards or work permits. However, if someone is attempting to gain citizenship, they must go to the back of the line.
If I were President, I would make a new commitment to Israel and announce the Muslim brotherhood as a terrorist organization, stop all shipments of money, weapons and planes to Egypt until a free government is elected that we deem is free and not a threat to our greatest ally, Israel. Syrian leadership must go and no one on either side will get help from us until we deem it safe for Israel and America. Iran would have one warning to disarm or we will stand with Israel to do it for them. more >>
Like most Israelis, I am an eternal optimist. Living day to day in our neighborhood and faced with continued threats to our legitimacy and even our existence, what choice do we have? That being said, I am extremely pessimistic about the latest round of peace talks that have been initiated in Washington, DC. There is no shortage of reasons why I should be skeptical, but what worries me most are the personalities involved in these talks and the faulty premises they represent.
Almost 20 years after the late Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin attempted to conjure arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat into a worthy partner for peace, it seems that we have not learned the necessary lessons from the past. As the "peace process" continued to hit bumps along the way, Israel and our American allies attempted many different variations which all led to the same failed result. We initiated staged withdrawals and implemented unilateral disengagements. At times we included the Europeans and our Arab neighbors in the process, while at key points we negotiated secretly without any third party involvement. The European Union was used to monitor border crossings, and donor countries were asked to invest in an "economic peace." Let us be brutally frank: None of this worked in changing the dynamics of the conflict or convincing the Palestinians to completely abandon hatred and violence and recognize that the Jewish State is here to stay.
Perhaps the problem with Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiations lies not with the process, but with the people involved in representing the parties at the table. In most professions, when one fails at his job and leaves the project in question in chaos and complete disarray, he is most definitely not asked to keep working on the task at hand. Again and again and again. In fact, he is usually fired. Not so when it comes to the "peace process industry." more >>
It's tough to imagine a more humiliating week for the world's sole superpower. Fears of "another Benghazi" are prompting not massive reinforcement to defend our citizens and our diplomatic soil but closure and retreat in 19 American embassies in the Middle East and Africa. In the meantime, our withdrawal from Afghanistan - according to publicly advertised timelines, with the equally publicly advertised possibility of total abandonment - proceeds right on schedule. Let's not forget the scorecard in Iraq, where a once-supine al-Qaeda slowly but surely reconstitutes after our diplomatic failure to retain even a toehold in that country after the hard-won military success of the surge.
It's shocking to say, but at this point the year's most decisive blow against al-Qaeda came at the hands of the French army, fighting in Mali. In the meantime, we wind down our drone strikes, appear impotent in the face of a few hunger-strikers in Gitmo, and don't even have the will to force an (alleged) murderer and terrorist to shave his beard before his court martial. Oh, and CNN is apparently more willing to track down the alleged architects of the Benghazi attack than is the U.S. government.