This Week’s Assault On Liberty: April 18, 2016

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Some quick notes, questions, and random thoughts about the news from this past week.

On October 21, 2011 President Obama declared the Iraq War over and said:

Over the next two months, our troops in Iraq—tens of thousands of them—will pack up their gear and board convoys for the journey home. The last American soldiers will cross the border out of Iraq …

Somehow the last American soldier never made it out and since 2014 he’s been getting a lot more company from his fellow citizens. Currently there are 5,000 US troops in Iraq, though the Department of Defense only officially counts 3,400 of them. This number does not include Air Force and Navy units based outside the Iraqi border but flying combat missions over the country and Syria. They are there fighting in the Iraqi and Syrian civil wars against ISIS, Al Qaeda, and the Syrian government despite the President’s repeated assertion that there would be “no American boots on the ground.”

This week Defense Secretary Ash Carter said he is discussing ways to intensify attacks against ISIS, including bringing in more American soldiers. The Obama administration is going to get us in even deeper.

What happened to the Democrats who so vocally opposed the war while Bush was President? Is war only wrong when conducted by Republicans? I don’t want to call the Democrats hypocrites, but they seem to be a bunch of hypocrites (Donald Trump voice).

This war has been going on for 13 years and there is no end in sight. Our presence does absolutely zero to defend the US from foreign attack. This is stupid and has gone on long enough. President Obama, why don’t you do what you promised to do and get us the hell out of there?

Last Tuesday was Equal Pay Day, the day when we’re supposed to have a collective guilt trip because women only make 77% (or 79% percent depending on which liberal is haranguing you at the moment) of what men make. So on Tuesday Hellary Clinton spent the day telling us how she would eliminate the unfair gap. Some of her solutions are voluntary, like encouraging women to pursue science and engineering degrees so they will get paid more (so what’s stopping them from doing that now?) but being a dyed-in-the-wool statist, she had to include solutions that require government force.

One solution would require companies to provide detailed reports about the different jobs in the firm, the gender of the job holder (male, female, male & female, neither, other?), and what each person is paid. Oh goody, more pointless paperwork completed at the point of a gun!

Another calls for paid family leave for women because nothing is more fair than being forced to pay a woman to NOT work while expecting men to actually do something to receive their wages.

When Hellary was warming up her bid for the Presidency in 2014 she often quoted the 77% figure as an accurate description of the pay disparity. So the Washington Free Beacon looked into the pay of male and female staffers who worked for Senator Clinton from 2002 to 2008. Using the same methodology that was used by the Census Bureau to come up with the 77% figure, the Free Beacon determined that women working for Clinton received only 72% of the pay of their male co-workers.

Of course Hellary complained viciously that the Free Beacon wasn’t comparing apples to apples, and she’s correct, they weren’t. But neither was the Census Bureau when they arrived at the 77% number of which Clinton is so fond. She knows she’s spouting BS on the campaign trail, lying is a way of life for Hellary. But as long as lying, fraud, and deceit propel her mash-potato thighs into the White House, it’s all good.

And about that 77% number. Numerous economic studies have determined that it is wrong and that women actually earn 90% – 95% of what men do. But lets put studies aside for a moment and ask yourself a question. If you were looking to hire someone for a job and you had two applicants, one male and one female, both equally qualified, wouldn’t it make sense to hire the woman if you only have to pay her 77% of what you’d have to pay the man? If the 77% number is real then it would be a huge advantage for female job seekers. Women would beat out their male counterparts every time.

Republicans got their panties in a wad this week over hotdogging Russian recon pilots. Last Monday and Tuesday Russian jets keeping an eye on a US Navy destroyer in the Baltic Sea got cocky and flew low, fast, and close to the American ship. The Russian planes were unarmed and there was never any indication that this was meant as an attack, but that didn’t stop American armchair warriors from throwing tantrums. This only happened because Obama is President! Reagan never would have allowed this! Blah, blah, blah.

Missing in the outrage was any comprehension of a salient fact, the US ship was within 70 miles of the Russian coast. That is the distance a car can travel in one hour on the highway. The US ship was also 4,000 miles away from America. Who was really buzzing whom? If the Russians parked a destroyer in the Gulf of Mexico just 70 miles from the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida then what do you think the US response would be? Russia was just playing a geopolitical game of “I’m not touching you!” Get over it.

Last week I dared to criticize Bruce Springsteen for dissing his fans by canceling a concert in Greensboro, NC in an ineffectual protest against HB2 (the God hates transsexuals law). Apparently many of you think criticizing someone for doing something stupid is wrong if that person means well. Screw that!

I said it before and I’ll say it again – Bruce’s actions did nothing to change this mean-spirited law and the only people he harmed by doing this are the ones who love him. I never said he didn’t have the right to do this – he does and I fully support his right to do it. But that doesn’t change the fact that he’s a jerk.

Instead of blowing off his fans, Springsteen should have done what Louis C.K. did. Last week the comedian made a surprise appearance at an Asheville, NC club. Charging $25 per ticket, C.K. announced that all the profits from his two shows would go to Equality NC to help fund the fight to repeal HB2. See? It is possible to make your fans happy and fight bigotry at the same time! Instead of taking his head and putting it where his ass is, C.K. put his brain where his heart is and did something constructive. Get it?

Oh, and Springsteen’s music still sucks.


As the year progresses I will keep a running tally of the number of unarmed citizens and dogs killed by police. I will also keep tabs on the number of cops killed in the line of duty.

Here’s the count for the first 15 weeks of the year along with links to the most recent killings:

Unarmed Americans killed by police: 14

Dogs killed by police: 17

Police Shoot, Kill Pit Bull in Northwest DC

Police intentionally killed in the line of duty: 16

Ohio Police Officer Wounded in Weekend Shooting Dies

Wayne Middlesteadt is the author of Five Ways to Beat the Market and The Golden Age of Distance Running.

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Wayne Middlesteadt is a 1986 graduate of Georgia Tech and has an MBA from Georgia State University. Currently working as a financial writer and track and field historian, his latest book is Five Ways To Beat The Market.