What would Reagan do with a punk like Putin?

Guest post by Investor’s Business Daily

Russian Aggression: Instead of a foreign policy that’s a blend of Neville Chamberlain and Monty Python, the U.S. should trade flexibility for some backbone, scrap the reset button and start digging some missile silos.

It takes a lot to make Jimmy Carter look like Winston Churchill. But President Obama, who bats not an eye as a Russian warplane buzzes a U.S. warship in the Black Sea, has accomplished that with his pusillanimous policy regarding Moscow’s creeping anschluss in Ukraine.

Former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s comparison of current events to the days before World War II is on the mark. On Saturday, March 7, 1936, Hitler ordered three battalions of the German army to cross the Rhine bridges into an area of Germany demilitarized by the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I.

The British and French, fearing war, did nothing. The rest, as they say, is history.

Crimea was Putin’s Rhineland, and the sanctions involving travel restrictions on low-level oligarchs was laughable. Tyrants do not move swiftly. They test the waters. They nibble. They watch. Weakness and inaction only delay the inevitable.

When Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev met Ronald Reagan in Reykjavik, Iceland, in October 1986, he hoped the U.S. president would be willing to trade his Strategic Defense Initiative (SDI) away in exchange for arms-control agreements and vague promises of making nice with America.

Reagan refused to negotiate the SDI away. He opposed the proposed nuclear freeze and put Pershing missiles in Europe to counter the Soviet SS-20s that were targeted on Western Europe. He put America’s security in the hands of American technology, not the goodwill of its enemies.

Within hours of the election of Barack Obama, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev announced that Moscow would deploy SS-26 Iskander missiles in the Russian enclave of Kaliningrad situated between our NATO allies Poland and Lithuania. He wanted the U.S. to abandon plans to deploy missile interceptors in Poland and warning radars in the Czech Republic designed to counter a future threat from Iran.

Unlike President Reagan, Obama meekly complied and notified the Poles in a midnight phone call on Sept. 17, 2009 — the 70th anniversary of the Soviet Union’s invasion of Poland — that we were pulling the plug on that system due to Russian objections.

Putin, getting ready to resume the Russian presidency and his plans to reassemble the old Soviet Union, took note. The U.S. under Obama would not resist Moscow’s ambitions.

Putin watched on 2012 as Obama promised Medvedev at the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, South Korea, that after his re-election he would have more “flexibility” to weaken missile defense, which would help him fulfill his dream of U.S. disarmament.

Speaking last Wednesday in Berlin not far from where President Obama once expressed his dream of a world without nuclear weapons, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence noted the obvious: that the Obama administration’s policy of “conciliatory diplomacy” toward Russia has failed and suggested an appropriate response to Putin.

“With continued instability in the Middle East, and Putin’s aggression in Ukraine,” Pence said, “I believe we must take immediate steps to strengthen our mutual security by deploying a robust missile defense in all of Europe — including Poland and the Czech Republic — to protect the interests of our NATO allies and the United States in the region.”

Coupled with an announcement that we would complete the Keystone XL pipeline and remove all drilling and energy export restrictions, it would be more than enough to make Putin, the old KGB colonel, pause.

Such strikes on the source of Putin’s economic strength and strategic ambitions would amount to real consequences for his actions.


Read more at Investor’s Business Daily

Doug Ross @ Journal

29-Year-Old Welfare Parasite Would Not Accept An $80,000 A Year Job Driving A Truck

This article has been generously contributed by Michael Snyder. You can follow his regular writings, research and analysis at The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream. Read his recent book The Beginning of the End to get an idea of what America may look like in the very near future.

Jason-Greenslate-2(Jason Greenslate enjoys a taxpayer funded lobster with friends)

What should be done with a 29-year-old welfare parasite that believes that in addition to practicing with his rock band, his main job in life is to “make sure the sun’s up and the girls are out”?  Most people that receive government assistance truly need the help and do not abuse the system, but there are definitely others that do abuse the system and do not make any excuses for doing so.  When 29-year-old Jason Greenslate was recently asked if he would be willing to take a job driving a truck in North Dakota for $ 80,000 a year, he said that he would not.  He would rather keep purchasing sushi and lobster with his EBT card and hanging out with his rock band.  Greenslate seems very happy with his taxpayer-funded lifestyle, and he says that he wants “to thank the United States of America, and the situation — the way things are set up”.  Is this really what we pay taxes for?  The rest of us are taxed into oblivion so that we can fund the endless partying of parasites like Jason Greenslate?  What in the world is happening to this country?

If you have never heard of Jason Greenslate, let me get you caught up by quoting the article that I wrote about him last year

When he was asked if he ever had any interest in actually getting a job, his response was “not whatsoever“.  Instead, he says that his job is to “make sure the sun’s up and the girls are out” and he would rather spend his days partying.  Of course every American should be free to live their own lives as they see fit, but the problem is that Jason Greenslate is using food stamps to help support his lifestyle.  In fact, he took Fox News into the gourmet section of a local supermarket where he purchased sushi and lobster with his EBT card.  Sadly, he is just like millions of other young men in America today that seemingly have had the drive to succeed and to be independent totally sucked out of them.  But what is the future of America going to look like if we continue to produce millions upon millions of young men that have absolutely no desire to make a living, get married and start a family?

Just recently, Sean Hannity had Greenslate on his program and asked him if he felt bad that his fellow Californians are being taxed at extremely high levels in order to pay for his lifestyle.   Sadly, this does not appear to bother Greenslate.  The following is from a recent Fox News article

Hannity pointed out that Greenslate rides around in a Cadillac Escalade and frequents strip clubs, all while receiving government assistance and not working at a job that actually pays.

When Hannity asked Greenslate who he thinks pays for his food stamps and free health care, Greenslate said, “Government, taxes, us, the people.”

“Not you, because you’re not paying taxes,” Hannity responded.

Hannity went on to point out that nearly 60 cents out of every working Californian’s dollar goes to taxes. “You’re taking their money and you just don’t seem to care,” Hannity said.

“Who says I don’t care?” Greenslate asked, adding that he was “thankful.”

Hannity even asked Greenslate if he would take a job as a truck driver for $ 80,000 a year, and Greenslate refused

Hannity went for broke: “If I could get you a job that would pay you $ 80,000 a year driving a truck in North Dakota, would you take it?

Greenslate paused for a moment to think about it: “No.

Of course most Americans actually do want to work, and only go on government assistance if they really need it.  Unfortunately, however, there are a lot of “Jason Greenslates” out there, and their numbers are growing with each passing year.

And without a doubt, life is tough if you are trying to survive at the low end of the wage scale these days.  It is hard enough to take care of yourself, much less an entire family, on 9 or 10 dollars an hour.

For many, it is simply easier to give up on working for a living and depend on the government instead.

Not that it is easy to find any kind of work these days.  The percentage of low wage jobs in our economy has steadily risen, and the competition for those jobs can be very intense.  Large numbers of college-educated workers are now finding themselves forced to apply for low wage jobs, and this is forcing many less educated workers out of the labor force entirely.  The following comes from a recent CNBC article

Today’s low-wage workers are also more educated, with 41 percent having at least some college, up from 29 percent in 2000. “Minimum-wage and low-wage workers are older and more educated than 10 or 20 years ago, yet they’re making wages below where they were 10 or 20 years ago after inflation,” said Mr. Schmitt, senior economist at the research center. “If you look back several decades, workers near the minimum wage were more likely to be teenagers—that’s the stereotype people had. It’s definitely not accurate anymore.”

But when many college-educated professionals start working these sorts of jobs, they find that they require extremely hard work.

For example, posted below is an excerpt from an article entitled “My Life as a Retail Worker: Nasty, Brutish, and Poor” by reporter Joseph Williams.  Let’s just say that he didn’t really care for his time working in retail after he unexpectedly lost his job…

It didn’t matter if it was at the beginning of my shift, if the store was empty, or if my knees, back, and feet ached from hours of standing. Park your behind while on the clock, went the unspoken rule, and you might find it on a park bench scanning the want-ads for a new job.

Another quick observation: Working in retail takes more skill than just selling stuff. Besides the mindless tasks one expects—folding, stacking, sorting, fetching things for customers—I frequently had to tackle a series of housekeeping chores that Stretch never mentioned in our welcome-aboard chat. Performed during the late shift, those chores usually meant I’d have to stay well past the scheduled 9 p.m. quitting time.

Mop the floors in the bathroom, replace the toilet paper and scrub the toilets if necessary. Vacuum. Empty the garbage. Wipe down the glass front doors, every night, even if they don’t really need it.

Yes, working in retail can be physically, mentally and emotionally exhausting.

I know this from personal experience.  In my younger years, I worked a number of retail jobs.

But nobody should be afraid of a little hard work.

That is what built America.

If you do have a job, you should be thankful.  The truth is that there are millions of Americans out there that would do just about anything for a decent job at this point.

Of course the U.S. economy should be doing better that it is right now.  I truly wish that it was like the good old days when any hard working person could easily find a decent job.  Thanks to decades of incredibly foolish decisions by our leaders, those days are permanently gone.

And if you think that things are bad now, just wait.  The U.S. economy is already heading toward another recession, and the next great financial crisis is rapidly approaching.

So let us enjoy this period of relative stability while we can.

Very soon, millions more Americans will be losing their jobs and the number of people that actually need government assistance is going to go even higher.

Jason-Greenslate

Michael T. Snyder is a graduate of the University of Florida law school and he worked as an attorney in the heart of Washington D.C. for a number of years. Today, Michael is best known for his work as the publisher of The Economic Collapse Blog and The American Dream. If you want to know what things in America are going to look like in a few years read his new book The Beginning of the End.


SHTF Plan – When It Hits The Fan, Don’t Say We Didn’t Warn You

EXPORTING GAS TO EUROPE WOULD BE A HUGE VICTORY FOR THE WEST: Which explains why Obama won’t do it

Guest post by Investor’s Business Daily

Geopolitics: Four central European nations have appealed to the U.S. to increase natural gas exports should Russia cut off its supply to Ukraine. We are the superpower of energy. Time to give Vladimir Putin some gas pains.

Hungary, Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic sent a letter Friday to House Speaker John Boehner, with a similar letter expected to be sent to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, asking the U.S. to expedite approval of natural-gas export applications. These nations believe a steady gas supply is key to the region’s economic and geopolitical stability.

Putin’s Russia has used its energy resources as a weapon, and the current crisis in Ukraine and Crimea is no exception. Most of the pipelines taking natural gas from Russia to a dependent Europe run though Ukraine, a fact not lost on fearful Europeans as the Russian bear growls anew.

President Obama says there will be “costs” for Russia’s seizure of Crimea, so it’s time the administration remembered that a crisis is a terrible thing to waste. This is a perfect opportunity to increase our exports, as Obama has pledged to do, and thwart in a non-military way Russia’s increasingly expansionist ambitions.

“The presence of U.S. natural gas would be much welcome in Central and Eastern Europe,” ambassadors from the four countries wrote to Boehner. “And congressional action to expedite (liquefied natural gas) exports to America’s allies would come at a critically important time for the region.”

Ukraine is dependent on Moscow for more than two-thirds of its natural gas, and Russia has been raising prices steeply. In 2012, Russia provided about 34% of the European Union’s natural-gas imports, second only to Norway, according to the Congressional Research Service.

Ukraine’s new government currently owes $ 1.89 billion to Russia for natural gas, and it might have been threats from Moscow to cut off that supply that led now-deposed Ukraine President Viktor Yanukovych to abandon a scheduled trade deal with the European Union.

Of the more than 20 applications that companies have submitted to export natural gas, the Department of Energy has approved six. We suspect this is due in large part to the Obama administration’s ideological opposition to fossil fuels. Witness the Kabuki dance the administration is doing on approval of the job-creating Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.

Exporting natural gas — the cleanest-burning of fossil fuels — from an abundance generated by private industry using the privately developed technology known as fracking is not favored by an administration that tilts at bird-slicing windmills and bird-frying solar panels as it tries to force us into electric cars.

Putin recognized the threat of the American fracking revolution to Russian power when he recently told Russia’s Duma that fracking will “seriously” shape the global energy market — and not necessarily to his, or Russia’s, advantage. “National energy companies, obviously, must respond to these challenges,” he warned.

Russian energy giant Gazprom has long had a near-stranglehold on supplies to Western and Eastern Europe, drawing on Russia’s massive energy reserves and lengthy pipelines to supply the bulk of gas to 30 countries, including most of the EU.

The fracking revolution, according to Thane Gustafson of Georgetown University, one of the world’s top experts on Russian energy, undermines Moscow’s economic and foreign policy goals. “The Russians are going to find themselves in the position of global gas price-takers,” he says. “Their capacity to influence the market there is going to diminish.”

As will their economy, their military power and their capacity for belligerence abroad. If the administration wants to stop Putin without military intervention, it needs to get on board with more fracking and get behind increased exports.

Read more at Investor’s Business Daily

Doug Ross @ Journal