I am a published historian, conservative activist and public servant. My publications include a chapter entitled "The Aftermath," in Lepanto by G.K. Chesterton and The Centennial History of Holy Rosary Parish: 1904-2004 Reading, PA. I serve on the Board of Directors of the Italian-American Cultural Center of Pennsylvania. I was elected a Reading School Director in 2005, serving until 2009, and then was appointed to the Board of Directors to fill a vacancy in 2013. I was appointed to the Reading Planning Commission in 2014 and elected Chairman in 2017.
Ukraine has signed a major trade
deal with the European Union, the rejection of which by the prior authoritarian
pro-Russian government, led to its overthrow.
The E.U. also signed deals with Georgia
and Moldova, which, like Ukraine, have
been menaced by Russian imperialism. With
this deal, these three former SovietRepublics demonstrate their interest in integration
with Europe and the West, instead of Russia. The economic benefits to Ukraine in particular will help its economy and,
in turn, its government’s fiscal problems, which will help it to emerge more
fully from dependence on Russia.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane, a Democrat, has
issued a report clearing her predecessor, current Governor Tom Corbett, a
Republican, of absurd accusations he delayed his investigation as Attorney
General of child abuse by former Pennsylvania State University Assistant
Football Coach Jerry Sandusky for political reasons.
Commonwealth’s first elected Democratic chief prosecutor promised during her
campaign for Attorney General in 2012 to investigate the investigation by her
predecessor and his subordinate prosecutors.
The long-awaited report into possible delays by Corbett and its
subordinates itself took almost a year and a half. It found no evidence that anyone had
willfully delayed the investigation.
theory was that the investigation was delayed for political reasons, specifically that
the prosecution of the case was delayed to avoid negative political reactions,
either from Penn State football fans or donors to the alleged perpetrator’s
charity. As far as conspiracy theories go,
this one was even more cynical, devoid of evidence and reliant on a series of
assumptions than usual.
prosecutor, Corbett was scrupulously non-partisan. He had investigated, prosecuted and won
convictions of both Democratic and Republican state legislators, including
former Speakers of the House from each party.
Even as Governor, Corbett is not political, as his style of governance
and public relations reflect his career as a prosecutor. Indeed, his current low showing in public
opinion polls demonstrate how apolitical he is.
Furthermore, the prosecutors working under him in the Attorney General’s
office were career prosecutors, not political appointees.
political candidate in 2010, Corbett might just as much have had a political
motivation to prosecute a celebrity like Sandusky
to draw more attention to his campaign, as prosecutors are often accused in
such cases, as not to prosecute. Furthermore,
it is well known that cover-ups do not work and would have exposed Corbett and
his subordinates to serious consequences.
Also, there is apparently more benefit in terms of public opinion to go
overboard in the opposite direction in order to appear to be extremely
concerned with the alleged victims, such as by assuming the credibility of
every accusation of child abuse, treating the accused as necessarily guilty,
convicting everyone around the alleged perpetrator through guilt by association
and sympathizing unquestionably with the alleged victims, such as the
Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees apparently have done, like
others when faced with such a public relations crisis, as no one wants to
appear in the slightest not to be against child abuse, regardless of the
veracity of all of the allegations and no matter how unfair it is to the accused
or anyone associated with him. The
concern for erring to the safe side in regard to serious accusation is
understandable, but the double standard is that it is not a concern for public
opinion that leads to wrongs to which these critics object, only certain
actions or omissions based upon such a concern.
conspiracy theorists assume the apolitical Corbett would have been
micromanaging his statewide gubernatorial campaign, while continuing his
full-time job as Attorney General, to such a degree to know who was donating
what and would also have had to have known that the donors were also members of
the suspect’s charitable organization, something which would have required access
to the charity’s membership list in order to cross-check it with a donor list,
as donors are not required to provide a list of organizations to which they
belong. The conspiracy theorists also
cynically assume that these philanthropists who were donating to help children
would necessarily have been upset with the prosecutors instead of with the
alleged perpetrator of the child abuse, if they believed the charges were
element of the theory is a tacit acknowledgement on the part of the conspiracy
theorists that one witness would not have been credible, which is why a
stronger case was built with more credible witnesses, which was successful in
winning convictions on the overwhelming majority of the more than 40
charges. Corbett and his subordinate prosecutors judged their case
would have been weak with only one witness, in whom they did not have
sufficient confidence, especially against a celebrity. In my experience of having worked with
victims and witnesses, victims of various kinds of abuse usually change their
minds and opt not to testify.
Prosecutors try only to bring cases to prosecution that they believe
have a reasonable chance of success. No
one today defends the perpetrator because of the strength of the
of why the case took as long as it did to investigate, it is important to note no
one was allegedly abused by the perpetrator during the investigation, meaning
that the long time the investigation took to achieve a successful prosecution
did not result in any further child abuse.
demonstrates how cynical, partisan and foolish the conspiracy theorists are and
how partisan and ideologically biased many of Governor Tom Corbett’s critics
The United States
military mission to the Philippines
began shortly after the September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attacks to fight an
al-Qaeda affiliate that had kidnapped several Americans, beheading one of them,
in addition to numerous kidnappings and terrorist attacks committed against
The soldiers trained and advised
the Filipino military, only engaging in combat one time in self-defense,
although one American soldier was murdered in a bomb blast by the Islamist
rebels and others perished in an accident.
The American mission to the Philippines was a major success in
the U.S-led War on Terrorism, as the Filipino military has gained ground
against the jihadists, who have seen their numbers diminish dramatically.
Most American soldiers will soon depart
the combat zone, but a large percentage will be based indefinitely outside the
zone elsewhere in the Philippines,
where they will be on standby. The U.S. and the Philippines
also recently concluded a separate agreement allowing American soldiers to be
based in the Philippines to
defend it against Chinese aggression in the disputed SpratlyIslands, the first time U.S. troops
will be on Filipino soil in decades since they departed from the former
American colony after the Cold War. As I
posted previously, the Filipino government had negotiated a peace deal with the
main group of non-Islamist Muslim rebels who had fought a long guerilla
campaign for independence, while Filipino troops have been routing Communist
withdrawal of U.S. military forces from the Philippines is in sharp contrast to
the Obama Administration’s withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, where no American
troops remained afterward, and the announced plan to withdraw from Afghanistan
at the end of this year, where a residual force will remain only temporarily –
before either state was fully ready to defeat Islamist rebels without
significant American help.
A classroom resource written by several of Common Core’s
lead writers contains lessons on the United States Constitution that claim the
Framers only regarded white males with property as persons, according to CNS.
belief that the Founding Fathers did not extend the guarantees of liberty to
blacks and women is based upon ignorance and bias. Free blacks and women were both persons and
citizens under the Constitution. Liberty is the birthright
of all persons, while certain privileges are conveyed by citizenship.
could be of any race, as could slave-owners.
Regardless, even slaves were referred to as “Persons,” such as in
Article I, Section 9 of the Constitution, which phased out the slave trade. Three Fifths Rule of Article I, Section 2 of
the Constitution, which also refers to slaves simply as “Persons,” was another
anti-slavery provision. As I have posted
previously, it reduced the apportionment of seats in the House of
Representatives, which is based upon population, to States where slavery was
legal because the slaves could not be counted fully toward the total
population. Otherwise, the slave-owning
states would have had a larger share of seats in the House and been able to
protect and expand slavery beyond the possibility of abolition. In no way did the Three Fifths Rule
necessarily make slaves less than full persons under the federal
the Constitution or the federal government it created, determined the
qualifications for the franchise. It is
important to note, however, that voting is a privilege, not a right. Non-citizens are persons, but may not vote
and even some citizens, such as minors, convicted felons and the mentally
incapacitated may not exercise the franchise.
The privilege to vote, as well as other privileges permitted by the
States, was guaranteed by the Privileges and Immunities Clause, Article IV,
Section 2 of the Constitution.
I have posted about the numerous dangers
of Common Core in my post from September of 2013, Stop Common Core Now!, http://williamcinfici.blogspot.com/2013/09/stop-common-core-now.html,
but the liberal bias of the curriculum based upon it is yet another reason to
oppose it.It has been encouraging that
several more States have opted out of Common Core. Let us keep up the pressure to stop this
dangerous scheme from the damage it would cause to education and to civil
society and replace it with truly rigorous educational standards that teach
students not only the basics of a good education, but how to think critically
and prepare them for good citizenship.
Arab Muslim scholar, opponent of Islamism and promoter of liberty Fouad Ajami
died Sunday at the age of 68.
Born in Lebanon in 1945,
Ajami was a Shi’ite Muslim. He emigrated
to the United States in 1963,
where he studied, becoming a recognized expert on the Middle
the cogent case for the world to uphold the principal of sovereignty by
opposing Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait. He supported the War on Terrorism against
Islamists like al-Qaeda and other global terrorist networks. Ajami supported removing the
terrorist-sponsoring Baathist regime of Iraq from power and liberating the
Iraqi people from oppression and did not waiver from his position. Although liberal critics dismiss his prediction that Iraqis would greet the American and allied soldiers with jubilation, it was nonetheless true that some Iraqis were able to summon the courage after having lived in the Republic of Fear to greet their liberators warmly. He supported President George W. Bush’s goal
of spreading freedom, which he was manifest in the Arab Spring and was a critic
of President Barak Obama’s weak foreign policy, up to his Administration’s
current failures in Syria
was a Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution, was the author of several books
about the Middle East and hundreds of essays
and was a frequent guest on television news programs. He won several prestigious awards for public
service, journalism and the humanities.
Ajami was a
strong ally in the cause of liberty. His
writings and broadcast statements will long be a fount of insight about the
Arab and Islamic World and the global threat of violent Jihad and will continue
to offer sound advice on how to defeat Islamism by promoting freedom as an
One of the many arguments used by opponents of the
Liberation of Iraq was to minimize or dismiss the terrorist threat to Americans
from Iraq’s Baathist regime of Saddam Hussein was that the Baathists, whom the
war opponents refer to as “secular,” were unlikely to cooperate with al-Qaeda
or other Sunni Islamists because of political or religious ideological
differences. However, the recent reports
of cooperation between Sunni jihadists, who had been affiliated with al-Qaeda,
and former Baathist regime members disprove this anti-war argument.
Liberation of Iraq in 2003 by the United States and its allies, some
of the opponents of the war had raised the possibility of terrorist strikes
against Americans or its interests in retaliation for attacking Hussein’s
Baathist regime, which openly sponsored terrorism, as a reason not to go to war. During the war, after no such attacks
occurred, these anti-war critics reversed their argument and minimized or
as a terrorist threat. Some of these
critics of the War on Terrorism or other American policies of self-defense
justify terrorism, which is the targeting of violence toward innocent
civilians, as an emotional or rational response to those foreign policies they,
like the terrorists, oppose. However,
terrorism is neither emotional, nor rational and is never justifiable. It is evil.
Apparently, the opponents of liberating Iraq did not explain why terrorists
would oppose the overthrow of Hussein’s regime by the Americans and its allies
if they thought it did not matter to their Islamist objectives. The fact that many militant jihadists,
including a significant number affiliated with al-Qaeda, entered Iraq to fight the Americans, their allies and
the new Iraqi regime, only proved the Islamists’ strategic interest in
preventing Iraq from
enjoying representative government that respects the liberty of its people and
is an ally of the U.S.
in the War on Terrorism.
Although the opponents of the war
had linked Iraq with
terrorism and then later minimized or denied any link, the overall relevance of
to al-Qaeda was undeniable. In fact, al-Qaeda’s
largest gripe against the U.S.
had been the presence of American troops in Saudi Arabia. Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden’s hatred of
Americans was such that he regarded their presence in that kingdom to be a
desecration of Islamic holy sites, even though the U.S. troops were not
anywhere near the holy region. The
American troops were present in Saudi Arabia
to protect it from an invasion by Iraq
and to enforce no-fly zones over Iraq to protect Arab Shi’ites from
Hussein’s oppression. One of bin Laden’s
other chief complaints against the U.S.
was the trade embargo against Iraq.
Furthermore, there were al-Qaeda
affiliates present in Iraq
before the overthrow of Hussein’s Baathist regime, including Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi, who had been responsible for the murder of an American diplomat in Jordan. Regardless of whether his presence was known
or tolerated by the totalitarian Baathist regime, his presence alone refutes
the anti-war argument that al-Qaeda was not present in Iraq before its liberation in
The anti-war argument rests upon
the theory that because Saddam Hussein’s Baathist Iraqi regime was “secular,” their religious and political
differences with al-Qaeda were too great for the two ever to cooperate against
American interests. The theory is based
upon a misunderstanding of the word secular
within the context of the Islamic world.
There, secular means “non-theocratic,”
(not ruled by clerics), not “non-religious.”
In fact, the Baathist regime was coated with an Islamic veneer, despite
being non-clerical. Its language and
symbols were Muslim. For example, Saddam
Hussein was officially portrayed in art as dressed in traditional religious
garb; he made sure to be seen praying five times daily, and even spoke about
his dream in which Muhammad, the Prophet of Islam, appeared to him. Hussein even saw himself as a modern Saladin,
the Muslim leader who fought the Christian Crusaders. Both were from Tikrit, Iraq. Hussein and al-Qaeda were both anti-American
Sunni Islamic militants and terrorists, despite their differences. Although the record is not certain as to the
exact relationship between Hussein’s regime and al-Qaeda, it does suggest there
was at least a non-aggression pact between them. I have noted in other posts the tendency of
various rogues to cooperate. If even atheist
and theocratic Muslim Iran cooperate, it would not have been far-fetched that
Hussein and al-Qaeda would have cooperated.
It would have been irresponsible for the U.S. to base its security on the
hope that these two enemies would never have made an alliance, especially if
their survival was in jeopardy. The
current cooperation between Baathists and Islamists proves the Liberation of
Iraq was justified.
sponsorship of terrorism by Iraq’s
Baathist regime under Saddam Hussein should not be dismissed or minimized. Iraq both harbored and financed
terrorists and other militant Muslim suicide bombers who targeted and killed
Americans. Among others, Hussein’s
regime had harbored for many years Palestinian terrorist Abu Abbas, who had led
the hijacking of the Achille Lauro
cruise ship in 1985, during which his terrorists murdered a disabled elderly
American by dumping him overboard. Abbas
was also the conduit for Iraqi funds to subsidize Palestinian suicide bombers,
including the ones who successfully targeted an American-owned restaurant frequented
by Americans in Jerusalem,
among a number of other attacks on Israelis that also resulted in American
Whether or not there were links between
the Baathist regime of Iraq to
al-Qaeda is irrelevant as to whether or not Iraq was a terrorist threat to
Americans, as links to al-Qaeda are not the sole standard by which to judge
whether or not a terrorist was a threat to Americans.All terrorism is unacceptable, but that which
targets Americans or its interests or allies is of particular concern.The War on Terrorism is not only the “War on
al-Qaeda,” but a campaign against all terrorists who threaten Americans, which
included the Baathist regime of Iraq.In fact, state sponsors of terrorism, whether
the states themselves carried out acts of terrorism or not, were of particular
concern because of the safe harbor they often provided terrorists, in addition
to providing them resources.Hussein’s
regime was a sufficient terrorist threat, apart from al-Qaeda, for its
overthrow to be justified, among other reasons.The recent events in Iraq
only remind us of the greater strategic threat posed by that regime in the War
Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a retired
general that had serving in Egypt’s
interim government that had taken power last year through a military coup
against the elected Islamist government that had become authoritarian, won the
presidential elections last weekend in a landslide, although with a voter turnout of less
than half the electorate. He has been sworn into office. It is hoped Sisi can keep Egypt
peaceful, stable and free without being subject to Islamist rule. The interim Egyptian government’s faithfulness
to its treaty with Israel in obtaining the Jewish State’s consent to the
placement of Egyptian troops in the Sinai Peninsula to defeat Islamist rebels there,
as well as an Egyptian crackdown of smuggling to the terrorist Hamas-ruled Gaza
Strip are encouraging developments.
A unity Palestinian
Authority government between Fattah, which had controlled the West
Bank and Hamas, which had controlled the Gaza Strip, has been
formed. Hamas is an Iranian and
Syrian-sponsored terrorist organization.
The United States of America
under the Administration of President George W. Bush had cut off aid because of
Hamas, but now the Obama Administration has announced that it will fund the
Palestinian Authority, despite its significant inclusion of a terrorist
The recent presidential elections during the civil war were a farce, despite the first
appearance in decades of more than one candidate on the ballot, as even these
candidates supported the incumbent who was seeking re-election, dictator Bashar
Meanwhile, Syria has still not surrendered all of its
chemical weapons, as it had agreed to do in order to military punishment from
the United States
and its Western allies for using such weapons of mass destructive against
twenty five years of a Chinese Communist government crackdown on dissent since
the Tiananmen Square Massacre of 1989, the Chinese people remain as un-free as
ever, despite the predictions of some at the time that the remaining Communist
dictatorships in China, Cuba, North Korea and elsewhere would fall, despite their brutal repression, and repeated
assurances that trade with such states would lead to political, in addition to
Meanwhile, China has become even more aggressive in pushing
its territorial claims, versus the Philippines
over the SpratlyIslands
and Vietnam over the ParacelIslands,
as it continues to assert its claim over the Japanese-administeredSenkakuIslands.
European Union/Spain There has been significant progress in Greece, Portugal and Spain in lowering their level of debt, but challenges remain as these states, as well as much of the rest of Europe, struggle with a severe recession that reduces government tax revenue.
King Juan Carlos of the House of Bourbon has announced his intention to abdicate the Crown of the Kingdom of Spain soon in favor of his son, Prince Felipe, who would rule as King Felipe VI. Juan Carlos deserves praise for his key role in Spain’s transition to representative democracy after the death of dictator Francisco Franco in 1975 and subsequent threats to liberty and unity. Felipe will ascend to the throne at a difficult time in recent Spanish history. In addition to its economic and fiscal troubles, Spain faces a significant movement for independence for Catalonia. May he reign well and long.
There have been numerous reports recently across the Union of veterans being denied needed health care at
Veterans Administration (VA) hospitals.
The backlog of veterans on waiting lists for care was reduced by
fraudulent means by VA bureaucrats, including by the delay or even denial of
health care, in some cases until veterans died.
veterans who are fully disabled currently may receive care from private health
care facilities of their choice and be reimbursed, but other veterans may only
receive free care outside of the VA’s system of hospitals and clinics from
military facilities or contracted hospitals, only if the needed care is not
available at a VA facility. The VA has
long been excessively bureaucratic, especially since at least the 1970s, and
its quality of care was not necessarily as good as civilian care, despite the
good effort of some of the health care providers and bureaucrats in its employ. Both the quality of care and the efficiency
of the VA had improved over the years. Nevertheless,
the VA has proved why government-run health care – or government-run any other
kind of industry – is a bad model, particularly when government has a monopoly,
as in the case of health care for most veterans. Indeed, a government monopoly is worse than a
private sector one, as it stifles competition, whereas a private monopoly is at
least potentially subject to competition.
portrays government as better than the private sector, because public servants
are motivated by public good versus the private sector’s motivation of profit,
which the liberals regard evil because it is based upon self-interest. However, the VA scandal demonstrates that
even individual public employees can be self-interested, even to the point of
criminality. It should have been obvious
especially to the liberals in the Obama Administration who disdain the profit
motive that the financial incentives it offered VA employees to clear up the
backlog of veterans waiting for health care would encourage cheating, even by
public servants , as these bureaucrats would thereby profit from their
deception. Indeed, because of human
nature, there will always be at least some incompetence and scandal in
government. The private sector, even if
only motivated by self-interest, has more incentive to do public good than a
government monopoly and its staff.
for the use of the services of any private health care facility should be an
option for all veterans. Eliminating this
government monopoly would improve health care for veterans by reducing their wait
times. The competition from the private
sector, which is often of superior quality, would also improve the care
rendered by the VA and make it more efficient in delivering that care.
As for the
political aspect of this scandal, unlike some of the other scandals of the
Obama Administration, the President and even his Cabinet Secretary for Veterans
Affairs were likely not aware of what lower-level federal bureaucrats were
doing, although better supervision might have discovered it sooner. However, the Administration is nonetheless
responsible, as the misdeeds were done under its management, which included offering the financial incentives. Regardless of what administration is in
power, the Democratic Party is responsible for scandals committed by federal
bureaucrats that harm people, as it is the party of government that boasts of
having created all these big-government federal programs to make people
dependent on the federal government and grateful to the Democrats. If it had not conceived of a government-run
monopoly health care system in the first place, instead of reimbursing veterans
for their health care, there would be no scandal and veterans would have likely
received their needed health care in a much timelier manner, instead of
suffering and dying because self-interested employees failed their duty to
It is worth
remembering that veterans, unlike other recipients of federal largess, have
earned their health care benefits through their usually self-less service to
the United States of America,
often at great risk. The health care of
the veterans should be the priority, not preserving a government monopoly for
political reasons or the interest of a protected class of bureaucrats.