The United States’ failed war on drugs is a global affair, and a new report of this week illustrates how the nation’s efforts to quell the cultivation of opium poppies in Afghanistan is equal parts expensive and ineffective.
According to the report from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), 10 years and $7 billion in U.S. taxpayer money has done nothing to quell opium production in the country. In fact, the report notes, Afghan poppy cultivation is at an all-time high.
“Given the severity of the opium problem and its potential to undermine U.S. objectives in Afghanistan,” Special Inspector General John Sopko wrote in a letter to the officials, “I strongly suggest that your departments consider the trends in opium cultivation and the effectiveness of past counternarcotics efforts when planning future initiatives.”
The SIGAR report points out that, Afghan farmers grew an unprecedented 209,000 hectares of opium poppy in 2013, surpassing the previous peak of 193,000 hectares in 2007. Yeilds for this year are expected to be higher.
According to Sopko, the proliferation of opium crops creates a real danger that terrorists emboldened by narcotics trading could undo U.S. improvements to the Afghan region which have taken place over the past decade.
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Senator Rand Paul weighed in on the Ebola crisis this week at a gathering of the American Academy of Ophthalmology in Chicago. The lawmaker called for a quarantine of countries where the disease is prevalent.
“If quarantine works within a country, maybe countries should be quarantined for a certain period of time,” he said. “We could still send medical supplies and help to them, but if they’re coming to visit their cousin or their aunt, couldn’t they wait a couple months?”
Telling the audience that the Obama administration has focused more on “spin” than controlling the outbreak, Paul said that the president should ban all flights from countries stricken by the epidemic.
And while he said that U.S. citizens shouldn’t panic about Ebola, the junior senator lamented that the Obama White House hasn’t been forthright about the contagious nature of the disease. For instance, Paul said, the president was wrong to insist that “you can’t catch Ebola on a bus.”
“If they are [symptomatic], you can,” Paul said. “If they vomit on you, you can.”
The lawmaker added: “We are talking about something that is exponentially, probably, more transmittable than AIDS. It is exponentially more infectious.”
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President Obama is increasingly the target of critics who maintain his decisions are motivated by optics instead of principle. But it’s not always clear whether Obama harbors a desire to influence the public’s perception of the Democratic Party in general or of himself in particular.
Obama did his critics a favor this week, throwing fellow Democrats under the bus just as they head into the final two-week stretch of the midterm election season.
Appearing on Al Sharpton’s radio show Monday, Obama said that many Democratic incumbents in Congress who’ve shunned his support during their midterm re-election campaigns are the very same people who have supported his ideas.
“The bottom line is, though, these are all folks who vote with me; they have supported my agenda in Congress; they are on the right side of minimum wage; they are on the right side of fair pay; they are on the right side of rebuilding our infrastructure; they’re on the right side of early childhood education,” he told Sharpton.
Those comments come even as incumbents like Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.), as well as newcomers like Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes of Kentucky all hedge on their support for the same policies Obama continues to insist are party consensus-builders.
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The Obama administration has promised to make good on a plan to put millions of additional illegal immigrants on a path to citizenship following the 2014 midterm elections. In the interim, federal officials say that Americans can expect thousands of new undocumented minor aliens to make their way across the border this year.
That’s according to new Citizen and Immigration Services director Leon Rodriguez, who said at a gathering of the 11th annual immigration law and policy conference hosted by Georgetown Law School that his agency was preparing to deal with the aftermath of Obama’s plan.
Rodriguez, who says he is sympathetic to the plight of immigrants, said that the president’s proposals are no substitute for congressional action on immigration reform.
The official’s remarks come on the heels of reports that his agency is soliciting bids from potential vendors to provide the government with as many as 34 million blank green cards for an expected 2016 immigration surge.
The agency is buying the materials need to construct both Permanent Residency Cards (PRC), commonly known as green cards, as well as Employment Authorization Documentation (EAD) cards which have been used to implement President Obama’s “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” (DACA) program. The RFP does not specify how many of each type of card would be issued.
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Diet is about more than just managing your weight.
Except for the air you breathe, what you eat and drink is what makes up your whole body and makes it run. If you fill your body with junk, expect it to turn into junk. But if you want to keep your body out of the junkyard, try using a little common-sense discipline in what you put into your mouth.
There are lots of choices and variety that you can enjoy even with a healthy diet. Health, youthfulness, vigor, beauty, productivity and long life are the result of a correct diet and correct living habits. The wrong diet results in acidity, disease, suffering, failure in life, misery and an early grave.
Body acidity is the main cause of disease and must be neutralized or we will die young, no matter whether we are doctors or patients. Acid foods are death foods. Death is the end result of acid accumulation.
We must learn what acid foods are and leave them alone. At the same time, we must learn that we require an alkaline diet for health, vigor, efficiency, youthfulness and a long life.
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A front-page story in last Friday’s Wall Street Journal showed just how unpopular Barack Obama has become in one surprising constituency: Democrats who are running for office.
The article focused on the campaign that Michelle Nunn is running for the U.S. Senate in Georgia. She’s the daughter of former Senator Sam Nunn, a popular and widely respected Democrat. But the WSJ article revealed: “[S]uccess here actually could come down to Ms. Nunn’s ability to distance herself from her party and the increasingly unpopular man who leads it.”
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee recently announced that it will pour another $1 million into the Nunn campaign. Clearly, the Democrats believe they have a good chance of defeating David Perdue, the Republican nominee.
But if the Democrats win, they’ll do it without mentioning that she is a Democrat. The WSJ noted: “As Ms. Nunn strives to break the Republicans’ stranglehold on statewide races in the South in recent years, her party affiliation is missing in action.”
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One of the most dangerous philosophical contentions, even among liberty movement activists, is the conundrum of government force and prevention during times of imminent pandemic. All of us at one time or another have had this debate. If a legitimate viral threat existed and threatened to infect and kill millions of Americans, is it then acceptable for the government to step in, remove civil liberties, enforce quarantines and stop people from spreading the disease? After all, during a viral event, the decisions of each individual can truly have a positive or negative effect on the rest of society, right? One out-of-control (or “lone wolf”) person could ignite a biological firestorm, so should we not turn to government and forgo certain freedoms in order to achieve the greater good for the greater number?
If the government in question were a proven and honorable institution, then I would say pro-medical martial law arguments might have a leg to stand on. However, this is not the case. In my view, medical martial law is absolutely unacceptable under any circumstances, including Ebola, in light of the fact that our current government will be the predominant cause of viral outbreak. That is to say, you do not turn to the government for help when the government is the cause of the problem. Period.
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Do you feel like you truly understand men? Much has been written about how men don’t understand women, but the truth is that there is a whole lot about men that women don’t understand as well. The point is not to spark a debate about “the battle of the sexes” or anything like that. Rather, it is important for all of us to understand that there is a tremendous amount of confusion about what it means “to be a man” in America today. So many of our young men seem lost, so many of our older men seem defeated and depressed, and all over this country families are completely falling apart. We need to understand our problems so that we can start focusing on solutions. Below, I have shared 17 things about men that most women don’t know. Some of them are funny, some of them are quite interesting and some of them are extremely serious. But all of them say something about where we are as a society today…
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Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve are lying to you. The “economic recovery” that we all keep hearing about is mostly just a mirage. The percentage of Americans that are employed has barely budged since the depths of the last recession, the labor force participation rate is at a 36 year low, the overall rate of homeownership is the lowest that it has been in nearly 20 years and approximately 49 percent of all Americans are financially dependent on the government at this point. In a recent article, I shared 12 charts that clearly demonstrate the permanent damage that has been done to our economy over the last decade. The response to that article was very strong. Many people were quite upset to learn that they were not being told the truth by our politicians and by the mainstream media. Sadly, the vast majority of Americans still have absolutely no idea what is being done to our economy. For those out there that still believe that we are doing “just fine”, here are 19 more facts about the messed up state of the U.S. economy…
#1 After accounting for inflation, median household income in the United States is 8 percent lower than it was when the last recession started in 2007.
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“I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.””
As the nation barrels toward the 2014 midterms, Americans increasingly hold an unfavorable view of government, with those who hold the most politically polarized views being pegged as those most likely to turn out on Nov. 4.
Gallup numbers out last week reveal that just 14 percent of Americans approve of the way Congress is handling its job with just weeks to go until the midterm elections. The October approval numbers are in line with average approval numbers for 2014 and only five points higher than the Congress’s historical low point of 9 percent in November 2013.
The polling agency reports that the low approval ratings in a midterm election cycle could result in higher turnover for members of Congress in the president’s party.
“[C]ongressional job approval in October was 21% in 2010, and 23% in 1994, two years when the president’s party lost a large number of seats,” Gallup states.
A separate poll from Politico finds that it isn’t just Congress that is angering Americans — it’s the entire direction of the country.
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Following government criticisms of private sector tech firms seeking to alleviate consumers’ surveillance concerns by tightening data encryption standards, FBI Director James Comey is calling on Congress to force smartphone developers to give law enforcement a backdoor entrance into all communications devices.
During a speech at the Brookings Institution last week, Comey insisted that law enforcement investigations must not be hindered by individuals’ ease of access to data encryption processes.
“The FBI has a sworn duty to keep every American safe from crime and terrorism, and technology has become the tool of choice for some very dangerous people,” Comey said. “Unfortunately, the law hasn’t kept pace with technology, and this disconnect has created a significant public-safety problem.”
Apple and Google have both recently announced that they are taking steps to keep their costumers’ digital communications data safe from law enforcement hackers and identity thieves. The announcements have been met with law enforcement criticisms, including condemnation from Attorney General Eric Holder, who called it “worrisome” that the tech firms would make it easier for criminals to thwart officials.
Comey wants lawmakers to update the 1994 Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act, which mandates that wiretap access for law enforcement be built into conventional telephone networks, to include Internet and digital modes of communication.
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The conservative Club for Growth called Monday for officials to put an end to the federal gas tax, instead allowing the money to flow back to the states for infrastructure repairs.
Currently, money raised through the federal gas tax is applied to the nation’s Highway Trust Fund. The fund, which subsidizes transportation projects, was recently extended by Congress through May 2015.
Club for Growth president Chris Chocola called the trust fund “a politician’s dream because it transfers power to Washington and away from states, where the real decisions are made.”
Chocola, in a USA Today column, argued that the fund is outdated in an era where all 50 states have the tools in place to manage the money without federal meddling.
“All 50 states have Departments of Transportation. More than 70% of all transportation spending in this country is already financed and spent at the state and local level,” he wrote. “Each state has very specific infrastructure needs, and those needs are most effectively addressed at the local level, where those making the decisions are held most accountable by the taxpayers.
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Each year, the United States sends massive amounts of taxpayer dollars overseas in the form of humanitarian aid. And while much of the aid goes to worthy causes, it’s unsurprising that The Daily Beast reported Sunday that “truckloads of U.S. and Western aid has been flowing into territory controlled” by Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
The Daily Beast’s Jamie Dettner reported from Turkey:
The aid—mainly food and medical equipment—is meant for Syrians displaced from their hometowns, and for hungry civilians. It is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, European donors, and the United Nations. Whether it continues is now the subject of anguished debate among officials in Washington and European. The fear is that stopping aid would hurt innocent civilians and would be used for propaganda purposes by the militants, who would likely blame the West for added hardship.
The Bible says if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him something to drink—doing so will “heap burning coals” of shame on his head. But there is no evidence that the militants of the Islamic State, widely known as ISIS or ISIL, feel any sense of disgrace or indignity (and certainly not gratitude) receiving charity from their foes.
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There are a number of useful and necessary items that concerned citizens should stock for any emergency. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, old or young; we all have similar needs for survival, including food, water, shelter and security. But even if you store all of the essentials, there may come a point in time where it is not enough. There could even be an event that causes you to have to start over.
But what would you do if you were starting from scratch and there were no more box stores? Or what if you needed to do something to survive with which you were not completely familiar? Ideally, this would never happen; but there are no guarantees. If one of these scenarios were to come to fruition, there are some valuable tools to overcome these challenges: books. In addition to being useful in starting over, books can be a great way to get started with preparedness. They can also provide direction if you get lost or confused.
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Last week, the Houston mayor and city council attempted a direct assault on religious liberty and speech after they got into a snit when voters revolted against an Orwellian nondiscrimination ordinance that, among other things, would allow men to use women’s public restrooms and women to use men’s.
The voter revolt took the form of a petition drive that generated some 50,000 signatures — almost three times as many as required to put a referendum on the issue on the ballot. Demonstrating that the rule of law in Houston city government has disappeared into the memory hole, the psychopaths ruling the place threw the petition out. This prompted a lawsuit against the city by opponents of the ordinance.
The city responded by attacking preachers, issuing subpoenas that ordered them to submit any sermons dealing with homosexuality, gender identity or lesbian Mayor Annise Parker, or else face charges of contempt of court. The preachers were not even part of the lawsuit against the city. However, they are part of a coalition of some 400 Houston-area churches opposing the ordinance.
So the subpoenas were a clear-cut case of religious discrimination and an attempt to quell free speech and Bible teaching. To their credit, the preachers vowed to defy the city.
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|Commenting on It’s time to remove Obama from office — before he gets us killed,
|the American says:
|October 16, 2014 at 7:11 a.m.
|First, Americans jokingly called him “the food stamp president” and now we know why…and for good reason, now, ” president ebola” is quite fitting…..thanks progressive trash….now we know why you idiots who voted for this fool are so evil and dangerous.
Read more » (291 words, estimated 1:10 mins reading time)
|Commenting on Chaos and noise cover the fraud and crime of the paper money system,
|October 13, 2013 at 7:20 a.m.
“Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.”
Barack Obama and the head of the CDC need to quit saying that we know exactly how Ebola spreads. Because the truth is that there is much about this virus that we simply do not know. For example, a top Ebola scientist that is working in the heart of the outbreak in Liberia says that this version of Ebola looks like it could be “a very different bug” from past versions. Other leading scientists are echoing his concerns. And yet Barack Obama and Thomas Frieden continue to publicly proclaim that we know precisely how this virus behaves. Not only is that bad science, but it could also potentially result in the unnecessary deaths of a very large number of people. For example, Obama has refused to implement an Ebola travel ban because he is greatly underestimating the seriousness of this virus. This decision could turn out to be incredibly costly. If what you will read about below is true, we could be dealing with some sort of “super Ebola” that nobody has ever seen before.
Peter Jahrling of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease is on the front lines fighting this disease in Liberia. He is one of the top authorities in the world on Ebola, and what his team has been seeing under the microscope is incredibly sobering…
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“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”