Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is cutting health insurance for another 30,000 part-time workers and raising premiums for its other employees, as U.S. corporations push to contain costs in the wake of the federal health-care law.

Autumn is typically when U.S. companies unveil changes to employee insurance plans. This is the first such enrollment period since employers could assess the full financial impact of the federal health-care overhaul, and it is a key moment as companies work to lower their spending ahead of looming taxes on the most generous plans.

Many businesses are continuing to shift more costs to workers. Phoenix-based technology distributor Avnet Inc., for example, is paring back its traditional plans in favor of high-deductible options. Other companies are reducing coverage for spouses, according to consultants at Towers Watson & Co.

Still others are going further, ending their traditional coverage for employees who will instead get a fixed sum of money to buy their own insurance on private exchanges. Aon PLC’s Aon Hewitt is set to announce that enrollment in its exchange will grow to around 850,000 workers and dependents next year, as another 15 employers sign up.

Several facets of the health-care overhaul are driving concerns about costs: one is the coming tax on so-called Cadillac plans, which carry high premiums and offer rich benefits, and another is the individual mandate that requires most workers to obtain coverage or else face a penalty.


The President’s lack of attention and indifference to years of intelligence reports and analysis is leading to a potential horror in which Iran fulfills its quest to make its own nuclear weapons. It already has the missile capacity to deliver them throughout the Middle East and to Europe.

On October 6th Secretary of State John Kerry received a letter signed by 354 members of the House of Representatives that said in part “We are concerned that an agreement that accepts Iran’s lack of transparency on this key issue (inspections) would set the dangerous precedent that certain facilities and aspects of Iran’s nuclear program can be declared off limits by Tehran…”

Obama, however, is so intent on securing a deal with Iran-any kind of deal-that he has virtually ensured it will become the next nuclear power at the worst time in the worst place. This is the same President who thought he could reverse that hostility of the region to the U.S., blaming it on his predecessor’s military interventions. He thought he could also ignore the most powerful element of the region, the hostilities between Sunnis and Shiites that have been around for 1400 years.

Throughout history there have been world leaders who have warned of a coming horror only to be ignored. Almost alone Winston Churchill warned of the Nazi regime’s intentions and now Benjamin Netanyahu, prime minister of Israel, issued a comparable warning about Iran on September 29 at the United Nations. He spoke to a General Assembly gathering that many diplomats from Mid-Eastern nations shunned.


If you’d asked me three months ago, who was Leo Strauss, I’d have answered, “Didn’t he write polkas or operas? Or was he a ne’er-do-well brother or cousin of Johann or Richard?”

Email correspondents of mine have engaged in a lengthy discussion centering on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s U.N. speech of September 29th and whether or not he was either a “Straussian” or a tool of the “Straussians.” The statement by Netanyahu that precipitated the discussion was, concerning the depredations of ISIS – “It’s not militants. It’s not Islam. It’s militant Islam.” – in which he makes a contentious distinction between Islam and jihadist violence in the name of Islam. Readers know my position well enough: Islam is what Islam does – what ISIS is doing – and has been doing for fourteen centuries.

However, not being familiar with Leo Strauss, I investigated him and discovered some unsettling information. I had expected to find that he was associated with the Frankfurt School, a Marxist intellectual clique that emigrated to the U.S. from Nazi Germany in 1933. This was not the case. Shadia Drury, a Strauss scholar, wrote in an encyclopedia entry:

Leo Strauss (1899-1973) was a German-Jewish émigré political philosopher and historian of political thought, who wrote some fifteen books and eighty articles on the history of political thought from Socrates to Nietzsche….

Strauss was born in Kirchhain, Hessen, Germany. He studied at the Universities of Marburg and Hamburg where he came into contact with Edmund Husserl and the young Martin Heidegger. He left Germany in 1932 and eventually settled in the USA where from 1949 to 1968 he was professor of political science at the University of Chicago. He amassed a sizeable following of devoted students, who have played a significant role in US academic life and government.

And what did Strauss write? What did he advocate? What influence did his devotees and disciples exert on academic life and government? Apparently, he was a political Platonist.

China Using Hong Kong’s Uprising for Its Own Crises? by Francesco Sisci

In China, President Xi originally wanted to focus on the rule of law, aimed at eliminating corruption in the Communist Party and reforming the often overbearing state-owned enterprises. The center of the drama is not the streets of Hong Kong but in the hidden plots secretly unfolding in the corridors of power in Beijing. Who is using the students to undermine the enemy and buttress his position? The real target might be President Xi.

People in Hong Kong are said not to like mainlanders, a feeling warmly reciprocated. Beijingers often say: ‘You in Hong Kong already have far more democracy than us, what else do you want?’

In the past few days, the situation in Hong Kong has created a new and unpredictable challenge to the overall stability of China. The two relatively fast and easy ways out of the siege that Hong Kong students have laid on the local government both bode ill for Beijing.

If Beijing were to crack down violently on the students, this could prove to the world that the 1989 repression in Tiananmen was not an isolated episode, almost an accident, as the official version practically goes, but a pattern of behavior unfit for a global superpower, and thus proof that China must be sanctioned and stopped.

Yet, Beijing may have a hard time now agreeing to some of the demands from the demonstrations. It has already made concessions to previous democratic demonstrations; namely, it scrapped its former plans for indirect elections of the head of the territory, and promised that after 2017 there would be more political reforms. If now, after just a few weeks, Beijing were to make further concessions it could start a never-ending game in which students in the streets of Hong Kong actually dictated the policy agenda to Beijing on matters like political reforms, extremely delicate for the future of the whole country.

Is This the Real Obamacare? By Eileen F. Toplansky

The biblical prophets of old were constantly scorned for their prescience, and yet their understanding of human behavior and the outcomes of such behavior still speak to us moderns today.

The dizzying array of actions condoned by Obama is bewildering if one presumes that an American president is entrusted to uphold the safety of the people of this country. The idea that a president would knowingly put Americans at risk is almost impossible for most decent people to contemplate.

Nonetheless, though he has been repeatedly warned by credible sources of the health risks of illegal immigration, Barack Hussein Obama refuses to use the legal power within his authority to “seal the borders to any class of aliens who pose a threat to the United States.”

In fact, Obama has gone out of his way to flaunt his disregard of the dangers posed by our porous border and has actually flouted federal law to pursue this dangerous and high-security-risk behavior.

On September 23, 2014, there was a Forbes article entitled “Is Ebola Coming to America?” The question was then answered one week later, when the first case of Ebola was diagnosed in the United States.

Moreover, though doctors repeatedly raise the alarm that the massive influx of illegal Mexican and Central American children will result in an upsurge of diseases, their legitimate concerns fall on deaf ears. In fact, the “next wave of [illegals] may be worse than the first, because monsoon conditions, a harsh drought and the globalization of transport are ensuring that the 50,000 or so unscreened new entrants will be bringing a raft of new diseases with them.” In fact, a dengue fever epidemic currently raging through Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala has resulted in 120,000 cases and 60 known deaths. Already an American child has died of Enterovirus D68, which has been known to afflict Central America in the past.

Netanyahu’s Escape From Washington :Jack Engelhard

An invitation to the White House for an Israeli leader is more like an invitation to a hanging – his own.

When it comes to Israel, everybody has an opinion and everybody is a critic. The world is full of experts and geniuses upon the Jewish State.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu barely managed to make his escape from Washington and already the sniping began.

By the time he started back to Israel, the carping was underway from world leaders and editorialists, all of whom want a piece of the action.

Nobody wants to be left out and no other country gets tested and examined like this. Yom Kippur – if you failed to judge yourself harshly enough, fret not for the world will do it for you, if you are Jewish enough. If it’s loyalty you want, an understanding heart, you’ve come to the wrong place, pilgrim.

Jewish leaders from Israel never get the red carpet treatment at the White House. It’s the kitchen entrance.

An invitation to the White House is like an invitation to a hanging, if you’re an Israeli leader.

So, this time? This time it was the same all over again. What did Netanyahu gain? More to the point, what did he lose? Netanyahu was forced to utter the magic words “two-state-solution” before the Obama meetings even got started – something he forgot to do during his UN speech.

From there it only got worse.


Obama didn’t know anything and he never knew it. At least not until, like smuggling weapons to druglords, bugging journalists, IRSing his political enemies and killing vets, his right hand found out about what his left hand was doing from the morning paper.

After skipping 58% of his daily intelligence briefings in Term 1 and 59% of them in Term 2, he went on 60 Minutes and blamed intelligence agencies for being caught by surprise by ISIS. The intelligence had been there all along, but Obama wasn’t just missing his 3 AM phone calls, he was also skipping the 3 PM phone calls while golfing with the CEO of Comcast, friendly hedge fund managers and assorted lobbyists.

When the media, in the person of loyalist New Yorker editor David Remnick, tried to do its newfound duty by briefing him on the ISIS takeover of an Iraqi city, Obama snarked back by calling ISIS a jayvee team. Snark had proven to be an effective national security strategy for him before when he won a presidential debate by dismissing Mitt Romney’s concerns about national security with lines like, “The 80s called, they want their foreign policy back” and “We also have fewer horses and bayonets.”

The media cheered the spectacle of a real life version of a Saturday Night Live or a Daily Show skit while licking its lips at the thought of a President Stewart or Colbert ruling through pre-scripted quips. And the problem was solved until ISIS took over much of Iraq.

The ISIS version of a snappy comeback was to call Obama “a White House slave” and a “mule” which sounds really racist and doesn’t translate well.

What the ISIS standup act lacked in comic timing, it made up for by besieging Baghdad, bringing back slavery and taking selfies with severed heads. Between his golf games and vacations, Obama finally penciled in a war, declaring, “The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force.”

Time for a New Ellis Island? by Michael Cutler

The open borders/amnesty advocates whom I have come to refer to as the “immigration anarchists,” regularly complain bitterly that Ellis Island was closed. Indeed, Ellis Island was closed on November 12, 1954. However, this hardly meant that the United States was no longer permitting aliens to be legally admitted into the United States which was the message that I suspect those bemoaning the closing of that government facility wanted people to infer.

The reality is that while Ellis Island had nearly 70 years ago, other ports of entry scattered across the United States were open and facilitating the entry of aliens into the United States. These ports of entry are to be found along both the northern and southern borders of the United States, at seaports along the coastlines of the United States and at international airports. This coincides with a point I have often made about the United States having 50 “border states.”

Last year approximately one million aliens were lawfully admitted into the United States by presenting themselves for inspection at those numerous ports of entry and provided with Alien Registration Receipt Cards (also known as “Green Cards”) to signify their lawful immigrant status in accordance with the alien registration requirement of the Immigration and Nationality Act. These aliens, from virtually every country on this planet, were, upon their day of being granted lawful immigrant status, immediately placed on the pathway to United States citizenship. The number of aliens who were lawfully admitted for permanent residence in the United States was greater than the number of all immigrants legally admitted by all other countries around the world.

So much for the wailing about the shuttering of Ellis Island!

However, what is almost never discussed by anyone — especially the immigration anarchists, is that Ellis Island was a quarantine station that was operated by the United States Public Health Service in conjunction with immigration authorities. The fact is that the inspection facility was intentionally located on an island of the shore of New York City to make certain that aliens could not set foot on the U.S. mainland unless they were admitted into the United States and transported to the mainland. This was done to make certain that aliens who suffered dangerous communicable diseases could not sneak into the United States and create an epidemic.

Recently the hospital located at the Ellis Island complex of buildings has opened as a new exhibit at the Ellis Island Museum. CNN published a report about the hospital on October 1, 2014 with the appropriate title, “New York’s hospital of immigrants: Where hope and pain collide.” The timing of the opening of that component of the museum at Ellis Island could not have come at a more appropriate time.

Sweden: The New Donald Duck Government Ilya Meyer

Sweden has had a new government for a week now.

So far the only public statement the new government has made has been its intention to recognise the fictitious State of Palestine. But not the very real (and beleaguered) State of Kurdistan.

Here are a few reflections on this new government, and what drives it:

It is a Leftist government, a coalition of Social Democrats and Sweden’s hard-line Green Party.
The Green Party in Sweden is not like the Greens in the real world. Here the Greens are not terribly concerned about the environment. Party leader and Environment Minister Åsa Romson paints her houseboat with a poisonous substance that is expressly banned by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency for its toxic properties, fending off criticism on the grounds that her boat is “too large” to be pro-environmentally washed clean instead of coated with poison to keep barnacles at bay. She heats this houseboat – which is moored in the heart of central Stockholm’s low-emission zone – with emission-spewing diesel fuel. In Sweden, the Green Party is concerned less with the environment and more with bucking the system. What system, you might ask? Answer: any system, just so long as there’s a system against which to revolt. Long live the revolution – any revolution. The Greens are simply here to be different.
Another Green Party minister – Minister for Culture, no less – is Alice Bah Kuhnke. She is known, not least, for baring her breasts in the media, and for threatening to cut off funding to organisations that work against honour killings if any of the funding for that noble purpose goes to men working against this crime. She justified her position on the grounds that she is a feminist. As a feminist, she said, support should only be given to women. No, seriously. She demanded that funding only be given to women, thus effectively barring male members of immigrant communities from daring to take a stance against this horrific crime. Interestingly, she joined the Green Party just last week, AFTER being nominated for a ministerial post on behalf of the Green Party…
Another Green Party government minister is Mehmet Kaplan, an ardent Islamist whose mission in public life is to “end the occupation of Jerusalem”. One might be tempted to ask if he is referring to Muslim occupation of the area overlooking Judaism’s holy Western Wall, from which boulders are routinely hurled by Muslims down onto Jews praying below. But he is of course referring to a “Jewish occupation” of Judaism’s holy sites in the Jewish capital of the Jewish state of Israel. Mehmet Kaplan is the new Housing and City Development Minister. Quite comical really – a Swedish Settlement Minister opposing what he regards as settlements in Israel… Mehmet Kaplan applauds young Western jihadists who travel to IS(IS)-controlled territory in Syria and Iraq for beheading tourism and says they are no different to other patriots fighting against invaders, such as the Finnish patriots who once struggled against the invading Soviet empire. No, really. And he is a key minister in the new Swedish government. Mehmet Kaplan was also a key agitator on board the infamous Turkish ship Mavi Marmara along with several dozen other terrorists who tried to break Israel’s weapons embargo on the Hamas regime in Gaza.


Dr. Richard Horton, the editor of the English medical journal The Lancet, was not transformed by his visit to Israel last week.

Horton came to Israel last week the guest of Rambam Medical Center in a bid to dig himself out of the hole he dug himself into. On August 19 Horton published a 1,600-word letter criminalizing Israel. In it, Israel was accused of committing war crimes and crimes against humanity. The authors called for a boycott of Israel, including Israeli academia. Since its publication on Lancet’s website, the letter has garnered 20,000 signatures.

The letter made no mention of the fact that the war this summer was initiated by Hamas through its illegal missile, mortar and rocket offensive against Israeli population centers. The esteemed medical professionals who wrote the letter failed to mention that Hamas’s operational headquarters was located in Shifa hospital in Gaza. And of course, they ignored the underlying fact that Hamas’s entire campaign against Israel was a crime against humanity.

Immediately following its publication, Prof. Gerald Steinberg, the head of NGO Monitor, exposed that the letter’s principal authors are frothing-at-the-mouth anti-Semites. Dr. Paola Manduca and Dr. Swee Ang disseminated a video entitled, CNN, Goldman Sachs & the Zio Matrix. It was produced by the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke.

As Britain’s Telegraph reported, in disseminating the video, Ang exhorted her audience to understand that the Jewish threat outlined in the video is a threat to humanity. In her words, it “is not about Palestine – it is about all of us!” For her part, as the Telegraph reported, Manduca has accused Israel of responsibility for the Boston Marathon bombing. And she disseminated an article comparing Israel to a “strangler fig,” which as the Telegraph explained, “grows around other trees and takes their sunlight, often resulting in the deaths of the original trees.”