March 27th, 2015
By Barry Secrest
The US government's intensified attacks, primarily under Obama, against freedom of religion and 1st amendment rights, has caused a large number of states to retaliate by enacting laws which seek to anchor the founder's original intent.
There have been numerous attacks, especially in light of gay militants who feel their beliefs should be forced upon other individuals, that have caused a significant number of court cases and otherwise where individuals are barred from exercising their beliefs, in many cases under threat of being jailed or even bankrupted.
As a result, the state of Indiana recently signed its "Religious Freedom Restoration Act" which clearly defines the fact that no one can be denied freedom of their religious beliefs, even if it means offending others.
Unfortunately, some Progressive corporations whose heads actually espouse a belief in denial of religious freedom in favor of whatever pet cause or perverse affectation they favor, are now threatening to halt investments or worse, in states that enact religious freedom laws.
When Indiana Governor Mike Pence recently signed a state act on behalf of religious freedom, one the state's indigenous companies, Salesforce, a company which creates contact management software, actually threatened the state.
“Today I signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, because I support the freedom of religion for every Hoosier of every faith. The Constitution of the United States and the Indiana Constitution both provide strong recognition of the freedom of religion but today, many people of faith feel their religious liberty is under attack by government action."~ Mike Pence
Salesforce, the company at odds with the religious freedom act, was founded in 1999, and has grown into a $4 billion software corporation, and has over 12,000 employees.
50-year old CEO and founder Marc Benioff, who started the company in San Francisco, had this to say through one of his employees, in retaliation:
"We have been an active member of the Indiana business community and a key job creator for more than a decade. Our success is fundamentally based on our ability to attract and retain the best and most diverse pool of highly skilled employees, regardless of gender, religious affiliation, ethnicity or sexual orientation.Without an open business environment that welcomes all residents and visitors Salesforce will be unable to continue building on its tradition of marketing innovation in Indianapolis."
Unfortunately, while Salesforce is certainly free to do as it pleases, the move could prove to be a double-edged sword. The company has come out squarely against religious freedom, and on behalf of a relatively small, but extremely militant, sub-sector of America.
In addition, the company could, in fact, be alienating a large part of America which still places religious freedom as being a supreme right. While the company grants broad lip-service to religious affiliation, it seems to mostly desire the forcing of individuals to accept practices at odds with their beliefs, as being their supreme imperative.
March 26th, 2015
The vacuum left by Obama's Iraq pullout has directly caused this conflict to widen by orders of magnitude, which some believe, may be at the heart of Obama's ultimately feckless Mideast policy.
Now the US is backing the Saudis against Iran's proxies in Yemen, even while the US is backing Iran proxies in Iraq against ISIS, making Obama's Mideast policy incoherent at best.
On the other hand, the formerly bottoming out oil prices which threatened Russia, Iran, and even oil producers in America, not to mention numerous facets of the world economy, are now surging, again--good for big oil, but not so much for US consumers.
~ Refocus Notes
There’s nothing like a scare about the safety of middle-eastern sea-lanes to send oil prices higher, particularly when the scare involves fears of a conflict between the region’s two biggest powers.
Crude oil prices were back at their highest in two weeks at $51.32 a barrel by midmorning in Europe, after Saudi Arabia and its allies launched airstrikes against the Houthi rebels who have overrun much of Yemen, including a military airbase that was used until recently by U.S. forces.
Prices have now surged 8% in the last 48 hours. The impact of the flare-up has been magnified by the fact that many participants in the market have bet on prices staying low all through the year. Those caught in ‘short’ positions have had to cover those positions in a hurry as the price rebounds. Fundamentally, though, the market remains oversupplied, and U.S. stocks of crude and fuel are at record highs.
Ten other countries, including other Gulf Arab states and Egypt and Sudan, took part in the airstrikes. The U.S. has agreed to provide logistical and intelligence support but nothing more.
In addition to the airstrikes, Saudi Arabia has moved thousands of troops and large amounts of heavy weaponry to the border with Yemen, in what may presage a full-scale invasion of the country in support of its beleaguered President Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi.
The dramatic escalation increases the risk of another front opening in a sectarian conflict that is raging across the Middle East, pitting Sunni Muslims against Shia ones. The Houthi are part of Yemen’s large Shia minority, while Saudi Arabia is the largest and most powerful Sunni state in the region.
The Foreign Ministry of Iran, the largest Shia power, warned Thursday that the airstrikes were “a dangerous step” that will worsen the crisis.
Oil prices are always sensitive to geopolitical problems in the region, but particularly so when they threaten vital choke-points in global sea-lanes. Located at the south-western tip of the Arabian peninsular, Yemen commands the gateway to the Red Sea and the Suez Canal, through which around 5% of the world’s oil passes, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Congress last month that “Backed by Iran, Huthis are seizing control of Yemen, threatening the strategic straits at the mouth of the Red Sea. Along with the Straits of Hormuz, that would give Iran a second choke-point on the world’s oil supply.”
Teheran disputes that analysis, saying it has never tried to interfere with the passage of ships through the Red Sea.
The Strait of Hormuz, which separate Arabia from South Asia, are far more important to the global oil trade, as 15% of the world’s oil supply has to come out through it.
Higher oil prices would theoretically be welcome for Iran, which has been sharply critical of Saudi Arabia’s decision in November to start a price war to defend its share of the global market.
But far more than higher oil prices, Iran needs a deal with its international partners on its nuclear program that will allow crippling sanctions on its economy to be lifted. It’s also far from clear that Iran would want to rile China, an important ally, by disrupting sea traffic through the Straits of Bab el-Mandeb.
Long-running talks about Iran’s nuclear program are at a crucial stage. CBS reported an official travelling to the talks in Lausanne, Switzerland, with Secretary of State John Kerry said Thursday that “we very much believe we can get this done by the 31st.” The month-end is the deadline for reaching a political framework for a deal (they have until June to agree on the technical details).
More from Fortune
March 26th, 2015
By Barry Secrest
It's what many among us are trying to achieve while simultaneously endeavoring to understand what in the world is happening to a government originally devised as being "By the People and for the People," never mind a world now gone almost completely insane.
The [now] old mantra about Obama's 'governing against the will of the people' has been supplanted by none other than a bi-partisan capitulation of the entire government, which is unapologetically governing against the will of the people, and of course under the imprimatur of a self-important, paper-hanging, POTUS.
While the Republicans were voted in under the premise of a concerted effort to halt Obama's final completion of a promised 'transformation of America,' what we have actually seen is something approaching the exact opposite, in the GOP's less than spectacular effort.
Indeed, at every turn available, the Republicans have feigned extraordinary opposition initially, only to head-fake a complete capitulation in the end while protesting their complete innocence once it's far too late.
Even the very talented Glenn Beck has seemingly crossed over and is now seeking a moderated capitulation, which disdains those continuing to "dance with the one that brung him" in favor of a wider audience, catering to none other than CNN, and its ever waning influence.
Yes, you read that right; after devoting virtually his entire career to the defeat of Obama's autocratic menace, Beck has done an almost complete turn-about. Dually noted; Beck lost me back several years ago after accusing Conservatives of being racists for favoring Newt Gingrich over fellow Mormon Mitt Romney. Now Beck's gone one better in actually apologizing to Obama over past insults, and in the face of the President's ongoing abuse of traditional Americans across the country.
Beck saw two senior officers of his organization quit --ostensibly as a result of his, shall we say, change of heart.
According to a report from Breitbart:
Last year, Beck tried and failed to strike a deal with CNN. During that time, he attempted to moderate his image for television executives. He apologized for his inflammatory comments about Obama. As Breitbart News noted, Beck started positioning himself toward the political center, bashing Americans who were against illegal immigration during last summer’s border crisis. Trying to distance himself from politics, he also proclaimed on CNN that he would rather be Walt Disney than Edward R. Murrow or Rush Limbaugh.
Point-in- fact, Beck has moderated his tone and to a considerable degree. When we pointed these facts out in a recent news article, Beck had this to say back to us, in his defense:
"I am not 'becoming a moderate' I am a libertarian.
I believe man should be free to rule over himself.
I don't know how and when people missed this about me.
My own personal life choices may be very conservative, but I do not wish to impose them on anyone."
To this, we might only suggest to Beck that altering one's overall persona or beliefs in order to gain ratings can only sour what was formerly a best-selling brand.
Remember the 'new and improved' Coca-Cola?
Perhaps Beck might consider boldly asserting and maintaining himself as Glenn Beck "Classic," and let's not forget the Conservative Rock of consistency; good ole Rush Limbaugh, who probably couldn't change even if he wanted to. Oh, and lets not even talk about Beck's recent disapprobation for the Republican Party--he's been saying that for years.
Indeed, the rubric of the general dysfunction that we see exploding all about us, in a thousand different ways and across a thousand different fronts, point to an ever-expanding existential threat to America, as a viable political entity.
Moreover, the wobbly axle about which all of this jealous dysfunction seems to rotate is none other than President Barack Hussein Obama.
Point being, nothing, these days, is as it seems...
In essence, anything seemingly associated with America's success can now be denoted as Obama's failure, at least in Obama's mind, and that ongoing failure is what drives the GOP into apparently piling onto Obama's mad dash towards utter oblivion for the US.
Mainline Americans everywhere are rapidly losing faith to the point of morosely stating "what's the point? Nothing will be done about this," and the problem, at least thus far, is that they are nothing if not completely correct.....
March 26th, 2015
By Barry Secrest
The same ardent Latino Progressive who wishes to repeal the 22nd amendment so that Obama can remain President, Rep. Luis Gutierrez, was shouted and jeered off the stage at USC when he tried to deliver a pro-amnesty speech on March 24th.
Gutierrez, who also threatened Republicans with illegal alien "militancy" back in February due to a Federal Judges injunction against the Obama regime, couldn't seem to get a word in edgewise as the patriotic crowd delivered the same type of treatment that Conservatives routinely receive when speaking at various Liberal colleges and universities.
Guiterrez, in a slam against the university audience, had initially vowed to deliver his speech only in Spanish, while refusing to take any questions, raising the ire of the individuals in attendance.
As Guiterrez took the stage, the audience began loudly chanting USA refusing to allow Guiterrez to speak. A uniformed law official then arrived and warned the audience to allow the congressman to orate.
Guiterrez then spoke against loud individual protests for only a few moments, as challenges to his statements continued to rain against him from the crowd, eventually causing the representative to hurriedly retreat from the building.
March 25th, 2015
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