Monday, July 21, 2014

Lots of interesting news and comment today

General News and Comment

Worth Reading: America's Anagram Foreign Policy: Words vice Sword. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: About an hour ago President Obama approached the podium, later than expected, on the White House's South Lawn - he spoke about the fighting between Israel and Hamas and spent a bit more time addressing the Malaysian airliner shot down over Ukraine last week. His last word was "thanks" and he did not take any questions.

US Embassy Statement: United States Assessment of the Downing of Flight MH17 and its Aftermath
Excerpt: We assess that Flight MH17 was likely downed by a SA-11 surface-to-air missile from separatist-controlled territory in eastern Ukraine. We base this judgment on several factors. Over the past month, we have detected an increasing amount of heavy weaponry to separatist fighters crossing the border from Russia into Ukraine.

Abbott: We have to punish the guilty
Excerpt: Prime Minister Tony Abbott says military aircraft are on standby following his conversation with the Russian President over the Malaysia Airlines flight MH17. Mr Abbott told 2GB radio that “we have to punish the guilty”. “We have to do our best to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice,” he said.

Dutch Banks Respond to Reports of MH17 Victims' Looted Credit Cards
Excerpt: Reports that credit cards have been looted from the victims of Malaysia Airlines MH17 have prompted Dutch banks to take “preventative measures” against possible fraud, the Dutch Banking Association said in a statement Saturday. International outrage has erupted over the treatment of the bodies and evidence in the 16-square-mile debris field of the plane that was shot down over contested Ukraine airspace Thursday.

Malaysia reaches deal with separatists to turn over MH17 black boxes
Excerpt: Malaysia announced Monday that pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine have agreed to hand over the black boxes from a downed Malaysian airliner, send the remains of victims by train to Kharkiv and give international investigators safe access to the crash site.

Photographs emerge of shrapnel damage on Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. By Thomas Gibbons-Neff
Excerpt: From the debris of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in eastern Ukraine, the first potential forensic proof of what shot down the doomed airliner is starting to appear on social media as more observers access the crash site.

Obama and Putin’s Savage World Order. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: What both men have in common is a hard left background which has taught them that the only defining principle in politics is Lenin’s “Kto-Kovo”. Kto-Kovo or Who-Whom reduced all interactions to warfare. The Bolsheviks ushered in the end of rules, decency or honor. All that mattered was who would be able to destroy whom. It didn’t matter whether you had justice on your side, but what you would do about it. Obama and Putin have the same message for America. “Kto-Kovo.” “Sue me.” “So what?” “I won.”

Bragging about owning a Che tee shirt is pretty much the moral equivalent of bragging about owing a Nazi tee shirt. It’s the same evil.

Worth Reading: How liberalism became an intolerant dogma: Liberals are increasingly religious about their own liberalism, treating it like a comprehensive view of reality and the human good. By Damon Linker, The Week news magazine
Excerpt: My own cherished topic is this: Liberalism's decline from a political philosophy of pluralism into a rigidly intolerant dogma. The decline is especially pronounced on a range of issues wrapped up with religion and sex. For a time, electoral self-interest kept these intolerant tendencies in check, since the strongly liberal position on social issues was clearly a minority view. (Se my column: "The Great Progressive Church"

Modern Keynesians, unlike Keynes himself, are much keener on the 'borrowing in the bad times' bit than the 'saving in the good times' bit.

Chicago Violence: 'Joyful' 11-Year-Old Girl Shot Dead; Rahm Visits Family
Excerpt: An 11-year-old girl who was inside a home on a sleepover when a wayward bullet entered the house and struck her in the head died Saturday morning, a victim of gun violence that has seen nearly two dozen people shot this weekend, police said. (Boy, will this get a lot of media attention...if the shooter turns out to be white. ~Bob)

Why is it that we march when a White person kills a Black person yet do lil more than shake our heads when we kill our own?

Excerpt: But UW economics professor W. Lee Hansen notes something profoundly disturbing in the framework, which apparently went unnoticed by the faculty and the administration: ... It calls for “proportional participation of historically underrepresented racial-ethnic groups at all levels of an institution, including high status special programs, high-demand majors, and in the distribution of grades.” (From each according to his abilities, to each according to his ethnic heritage. Just progressives spreading the wealth around. ~Bob)

My Son Was Conceived in Rape, But That Doesn’t Define His Value or His Humanity. By Robyn McLean
Excerpt: I couldn’t believe I was pregnant. “How did I get to this point?” I thought.
Anywhere from a couple to a few weeks before, I had expressed to my fiancé that I didn’t want to be living sexually impure anymore; I wanted to wait until marriage. My conscience and debilitating relationship with God were tearing me apart. Then he violently raped me.

Former Clinton Advisor Lanny Davis: Time For a Special Prosecutor to Look Into IRS Scandal. By Katie Pavlich
Excerpt: First, It's refreshing to finally see a Democrat call for a special prosecutor considering Democrats on the Hill have been offering a full-throated defense of the IRS for month, even after hardly credible claims of lost emails and recycled hard drives. That being said, Davis' claim there is no evidence to show the IRS targeting was politically based is just not true. In fact, the vast majority of evidence we have so far shows the opposite.

WH: We Haven't Changed the President's Schedule Amid Crises Because it Might Scare People. By Guy Benson
Excerpt: On Thursday, we chronicled President Obama's series of decisions to carry on with his public schedule -- a burger joint photo op, a partisan speech on infrastructure spending, and a pair of Manhattan fundraisers -- in the midst of two major international crises. First, Russian-backed and -armed separatists in Ukraine shot down a commercial airliner, killing nearly 300 innocent civilians, including one American. (It scares people who pay attention that the President takes golf, fund raisers and photo-ops more seriously than he does the murder of 295 people by Russians, the Hamas terror attack on Israel to provoke civilian casualties and the crisis he created on our border. ~Bob)

Evidence: Russia Implicated in MH17 Attack, Europe Weighs Tougher Sanctions. By Guy Benson
Excerpt: Officials at the US Embassy in Kiev took the extraordinary step of releasing to the public a great deal of intelligence on the downed airliner attack this weekend, which clearly points the finger at Moscow. The case against Russia was built in a strikingly candid and prosecutorial blog post on the embassy's official website. (Obama mocked Romney for saying Russia was our greatest enemy. ~Bob)

Obama Spins Numbers In Improper-Spending Shell GameNews on improper payments is good, if you don't count a third of the government. 
Excerpt:….In other words, that $105.8 billion in improper payments could be significantly larger, especially given that large portions of the unexamined part of the federal budget are at high risk for improper payments. The reason for the exclusion? Simply that 32 percent of the federal budget cannot be reliably audited. (Bolding mine. The Master of the shell game…Barb)

Excerpt: Like most people, James Dittrich had horrible situational awareness.
He’d walked his dog and was returning up the stairs to his third floor apartment, and the two thugs were on him in the stairwell before he knew what was going on. ... They feel safer in Ohio, they said, adding that their experience drastically changed them and their views on a number of issues, including gun control. Before, both didn’t feel the need to own a gun. Now, they are proud gun owners and keep a handgun in the bedroom.

Excerpt: Finally, if history is a guide, it is safe to say that weak solar activity for a prolonged period of time can have a negative impact on global temperatures in the troposphere which is the bottom-most layer of Earth’s atmosphere - and where we all live. There have been two notable historical periods with decades-long episodes of low solar activity. The first period is known as the “Maunder Minimum”, named after the solar astronomer Edward Maunder, and it lasted from around 1645 to 1715. The second one is referred to as the “Dalton Minimum”, named for the English meteorologist John Dalton, and it lasted from about 1790 to 1830. Both of these historical periods coincided with below-normal global temperatures in an era now referred to by many as the “Little Ice Age”. (Scary. Warming has winners in increased crop production as well as losers. Cooling has losers, starvation and wide spread death. ~Bob)

Right-To-Work Study Destroys Obama’s Claim That Forcing Americans To Join Unions Helps The Economy
Excerpt: Currently, there are 24 states with right-to-work (RTW) laws, either by law or state constitution. The Competitive Enterprise Institute just released a study analyzing countrywide economic activity from 1977-2012, and here are the key results: Wages – Median income loss per-person is $3,278, or $13,100 for a family of four, in forced-unionism states. Furthermore, the higher the union membership of a state, the more depressed their economic growth.

Great. Now We've Got Presidential Attention Deficit Disorder. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Here's one big question: Will we still be talking about Ukraine and Israel/Hamas at the end of the week? Or will some other part of the world -- or perhaps our own border -- blow up then, pushing Ukraine and everything else back to the inside pages? Remember those kidnapped schoolgirls? Remember how releasing the Taliban Five was an ominous indicator for Afghanistan? Remember ISIS taking over Iraq? Remember the Syrian civil war? Aren't there still oodles of Central American kids coming over our border? Does our media lose interest in these crises because the president isn't interested in them? Or does the president feel like he's doing fine because the media stops covering them? Take a look at the president's schedule for the coming week, as laid out in Mike Allen's other morning newsletter . . ."On Monday morning, the President will sign an Executive Order to protect LGBT employees from workplace discrimination. In the afternoon the President will award Ryan M. Pitts, a former active duty Army Staff Sergeant, the Medal of Honor for conspicuous gallantry. On Tuesday, the President will deliver remarks and sign H.R. 803, Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, at an event at the White House; the Vice President will also attend. Afterward, the President will travel to Seattle, WA to attend a DNC event. Later in the day, the President will travel to San Francisco, CA, where he will remain overnight. On Wednesday, the President will attend a DCCC event in the San Francisco area, and later in the day will travel to the Los Angeles area, where he will remain overnight. On Thursday, the President will visit a community college in Los Angeles to deliver remarks on the importance of job-driven skills training, particularly for fast-growing sectors such as health care. Later, he will attend a DNC event . . ." That's three days of fundraisers! Two feel-good ceremonies on touchy-feely domestic issues! It's like Obama has decided he's governing in the late 1990s.

Worth Reading: The tranquility of Obama's mind. By Newt Gingrich
Excerpt: From his perch in the amazingly Obama-centric world in which our President lives, look again at what the rest of us think of as serious problems. Have any of the 1,000-plus Hamas rockets been aimed at Obama? No. That is why Obama is tranquil. Have any of the thousands who are crossing the border tried to move into the White House? No. That is why Obama is tranquil. Is ISIS an immediate threat to the United States that is likely to blow up the next golf course the President is playing at? No. That is why Obama is tranquil.

Man who escaped death TWICE: Cyclist was scheduled to fly on both MH17 and MH370... but changed his mind at the last minute
Excerpt: De Jonge was scheduled to fly aboard Flight MH370, which vanished without a trace in March, and he also had a ticket for Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, which was downed by a missile this week over the Ukraine - but he changed his travel arrangements at the last minute in both cases. (You can cheat death, but death is patient. ~Bob)

Cop killer’s wife: He should have killed more cops. Reporter gets fired for not liking it.
Excerpt: The reporter, Sean Bergin, lost his cool when he reported these remarks about a Jersey City cop, killed Sunday in the line of duty. Now he lost his job.

Obama Gives Trillions for Wall Street, Not a Dime to Stop Murder in Black Chicago Neighborhoods. By John Ransom
Excerpt: When president Obama was lifted to the presidency promising hope and change, no community was more hopeful than the black community. And inside the black community, no city was prouder than Chicago. But not anymore.

One Year of Fracking in CO, Creates More Jobs than Obama’s Entire Economy Has for Millennials. By Katie Kieffer
Excerpt: Fracking in the state of Colorado during the year 2012 created 111,000 jobs whereas Barack Obama’s entire economy has only generated 110,000 jobs for Millennials since 2007.

Fracking Rift Threatens to Sink Udall, Hickenlooper. By:Leon H. Wolf 
Excerpt: Fracking has been good for the State of Colorado and its economy, and therefore a large majority of Coloradans support fracking. However, the Democrat base, particularly in Colorado, is not so much with the whole science thing, and therefore they are vehemently opposed to fracking. Uber environmentalist wacko Jared Polis (D-CO), has decided to score an own goal on two vulnerable Democrats who are up for election in a non-Presidential election year and therefore are heavily depending on turnout from their base – by forcing Udall and Hickenlooper to take a stand on fracking.

IP candidate Kevin Terrell could influence US Senate race. By Mark Zdechlik
Excerpt: The Independence Party hasn't won a statewide election in Minnesota since Jesse Ventura's surprise gubernatorial victory in 1998. But since the 1994 election, when the party attained major political party status in Minnesota, its candidates have drawn significant support and had a big impact on the outcome of statewide elections. Kevin Terrell, IP's endorsed candidate in the U.S. Senate race this year, thinks that could happen again. Along with Republican Party's eventual nominee, Terrell will challenge Democratic U.S. Sen. Al Franken in November. (Might help Franken drawing off votes from the GOP. ~Bob)

Dim views of Hillary Clinton’s time at State. By Maggie Haberman
Excerpt: A majority of voters are unimpressed with Hillary Clinton’s performance as secretary of State, according to a new POLITICO poll. Just 14 percent described her time at State — she served four years ending in February 2013 — as “excellent,” while another 28 percent defined it as “good.” Another 21 percent called it “fair” and 32 percent rated her performance “poor.”

Injured veterans program in danger

Excerpt: A program that allows veterans with traumatic brain injuries to receive treatment in assisted living facilities is in danger of closing down. With only two weeks to go before the August recess, Congress has yet to take action on legislation that would renew the pilot program before it expires on Sept. 30. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J) and Dean Heller (R-Nev.) proposed legislation this week that would prolong the treatment option for another three years at a cost of $46 million.

Chuck Norris reveals plan to combat leftists' 5 historical lies about nation
Excerpt: But instead of raising America out of the muck and mire of global entanglements by new challenges and adventure, too many today believe that the only way forward is by simply shrinking back to our corner of isolationism and preservation. As a result, instead of casting visions, our leaders are crippling American values, apologizing for our power and surrendering our superiority and sovereignty. Dinesh D’Souza’s new blockbuster film, “America: Imagine a World Without Her,” does an outstanding job of critiquing exactly what is killing American exceptionalism.

The Outhouse of American Liberty. By Mark Steyn
Banana Republic Update! Exactly a week ago in this space, I wrote: Speaking of lèse-majesté, even when our sovereign liege lord is not present, it is improper to disrespect him. For example, Friday's Fourth of July parade in NorfolkNebraska included a float with a wooden outhouse labeled "Obama Presidential Library". …Well, the good news is that Eric Holder's Department of Justice - that would be the same Department of Justice that supplies guns to Mexican drug gangs, and monitors the phone calls and emails of US journalists, and declines to investigate the IRS' obstruction of justice, and prosecutes states that seek to verify the immigration status of people within their borders, etc, etc - Eric Holder's Department of Justice has dispatched a crack team of agents to Nebraska to investigate said act of lèse-majesté toward King Barack: The department sent a member of its Community Relations Service team, which gets involved in discrimination disputes, to a Thursday meeting about the issue. (Mr. Steyn notes NAACP was there as well as the parade organizers, the Odd Fellows. --Barb)

Obamacare News

Worth Reading: The White House Is Bribing Health Insurance Companies. By Avik Roy
Excerpt: The White House recently adopted a new approach for updating Americans on the country’s most consequential law. I call it the “needle in a haystack” method: Bury the announcement in hundreds of pages of regulations and hope no one finds it. The White House tried a test run several weeks ago. Hidden in the midst of a 436 page regulatory update, and written in pure bureaucratese, the Department of Health and Human Services asked that insurance companies limit the looming premium increases for 2015 health plans. But don’t worry, HHS hinted: we’ll bail you out on the taxpayer’s dime if you lose money. No wonder there wasn’t a press release.

No, You Can't Keep Your Drugs Either Under Obamacare
Excerpt: And now, you might not be able to keep your medicine, either. There are two reasons why. The first has to do with the higher out of pocket costs patients will face. The second issue may be even more significant. Simply put, many drugs may not be covered at all, and the costs patients incur by buying them with cash won’t count against out of pocket caps. 

U.S. Has the Worst Health Care? Not By a Long Shot. By Sally Pipes
Excerpt: Few complaints about the U.S. healthcare system are as common as the claim that we spend too much on health care and get too little for all that spending in return — especially compared to other industrialized nations. A new Commonwealth Fund report is the latest to indict U.S. health care. It pegs the American system dead last in a survey of 11 developed countries. But like virtually every other study that trashes the U.S. healthcare system, Commonwealth’s rankings rely on questionable assumptions, like giving weight to those systems that treat people equally rather than well. At the same time, Commonwealth ignores the problems that countries with socialized healthcare systems have actually treating people once they’re sick.

Undocumented Democrat News

Obama's foes on border crisis: Democrats
Excerpt: Republicans have seized on the ballooning number of unaccompanied children crossing into Texas as proof of Obama’s failed immigration policies. But Democrats are also frustrated and are increasingly blaming the White House for bungling the response to the situation on the border. (Gee, who knew there were racist Democrats now days? ~Bob)

Cartels suspected as high-caliber gunfire sends Border Patrol scrambling on Rio Grande
Excerpt: U.S. Border Patrol agents on the American side of the Rio Grande were forced to take cover Friday night when high-caliber weaponry was fired at them from the Mexican side of the river, sources told

Religion of Peace News

Worth Reading: Finally, a Rare Point of Agreement. By Mark Steyn
Excerpt: In recent days, Israel has been hit not only from the Gaza end of the Fatah-Hamas pantomime horse but also from Lebanon and Syria. It's under attack not merely from a terrorist squat but from two sovereign states, all of whom are clients to one degree or another of a third, Iran. Had not General Sisi overthrown Mohammed Morsi and tossed him in jail, there might have been a fourth country happy to make mischief. 

Cabinet ministers: IDF may have to reconquer all or part of Gaza to ensure security
Excerpt: Security Cabinet members said Thursday that the IDF may need to re-conquer all or part of Gaza to ensure Hamas does not continue to attack Israel. Communications Minister Gilad Erdan said during a visit to Ashkelon Monday that the IDF must continue fighting until it ensures long-term calm.

Obama, Kerry calls with Netanyahu interrupted by rocket sirens
Excerpt: Calls between both President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu were interrupted when rocket sirens went off in Tel Aviv forcing Netanyahu to go into a bunker.

MSNBC contributor on network’s Israel-Hamas coverage: ‘We are disgustingly biased on this issue.’ By Erik Wemple
Excerpt: This afternoon on the MSNBC program “Ronan Farrow Daily,” MSNBC contributor Rula Jebreal just ripped MSNBC coverage of the Israel-Hamas hostilities. “We are disgustingly biased when it comes to this issue,” said Jebreal in an interview with host Ronan Farrow.

Worth Reading: Israel Batters Hamas —- Kerry to the Rescue. By P. David Hornik
Excerpt: On Wednesday morning Netanyahu made an adroit move, publicly accepting an Egyptian ceasefire proposal. Hamas turned it down flat. 

UNRWA Gives Rockets to Hamas: Rockets found in UN school are reportedly handed over to terrorist group.
Excerpt: The UN agency for Palestinian Arab “refugees,” UNRWA, has caused outrage by apparently giving rockets to Hamas. On Thursday, UNRWA confirmed that 20 rockets had been found in one of its vacant schools in Gaza. ... However, Channel 2 reports Sunday that - rather than destroying the rockets - UNRWA workers called Hamas to come remove them.
And those evil Zionists better stand there and be blown up, or the world will condemn them. ~Bob

Excerpt: A senior IDF officer reports that terrorists in Gaza are transporting themselves around Gaza via ambulances with children in them, to avoid being targeted by the IDF.

Tweet from @AspieSavant
Zionism is the Jewish counterpart of Nazism. One could even argue that Nazism was but a reaction to Jewish extremism.

Israel accepted every proposal for a ceasefire - from Egypt, the UN and the Red Cross. Hamas violated all three.

Egyptian Cleric: Do Not Support Hamas. They Are Shiites and Their Leaders Hide Underground

Hamas Claims It Captured an Israeli Soldier, Celebrations Erupt in Gaza. by Dave Urbanski
Excerpt: CNN correspondent Karl Penhaul said during an on-air segment that when the announcement of the capture went out on Gaza TV, “all around we heard from apartment buildings loud cheers, clapping going up from ordinary citizens” as well as gunfire in the distance.

Excerpt: For years Hamas has been working on a secret weapon: tunnels. “Eight Palestinian militants emerged from a tunnel some 300 yards inside Israel on Saturday morning, armed with automatic weapons and wearing Israeli military uniforms, the Israeli military said. The gunmen fired a rocket-propelled grenade at two Israeli military jeeps on patrol, starting a battle that killed two Israeli officers and one of the militants, according to the military. The rest then retreated underground, back to Gaza.”

‘Helluva Pinpoint Operation:’ Kerry Caught On Open Mic Sarcastically Slamming Israeli Gaza Op
Excerpt: Seemingly oblivious to the fact that the State Department camera in front of him and mic pinned on his lapel were live, America’s top diplomat harshly criticized the on-going Israeli operation in Gaza following news of Israeli army casualties and Palestinian civilian deaths.
“It’s a helluva pinpoint operation,” he told a top aide sarcastically over his cellphone. “It’s a helluva pinpoint operation. We’ve got to get over there. (No big deal. He said far worse about his fellow Vietnam vets. ~Bob)

Hamas apparently telling journalists not to publish any photos of the 150+ Hamas fighters killed in the conflict thus far.

I stand with #Israel because #Isreal stands with Christians being slaughtered by Islamists around the world.

State Department Official Tweets #UnitedforGaza: Was it a typo, a Freudian slip, or a statement?
Excerpt: Richard Stengel, under secretary for public diplomacy and public affairs at the U.S. Department of State, took to Twitter on Saturday night and appeared to take sides in the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. Stegel, appointed to his post at the State Department by President Obama last year and confirmed by a 90-8 vote in the senate in April, used his personal Twitter account to call for an investigation into Malaysia Airlines Flight 17. The former managing editor of Time prefaced the tweet with the State Department’s Twitter handle and ended it with the hashtag #UnitedForGaza, indicating his solidarity with the Palestinians. (Anybody still wondering who/what this regime is about? --Barb)

Worth Reading: The Incoherent Excuses for Hating Israel. By Bruce Thornton
Excerpt: Take the displeasure aroused by the continually publicized disparity in deaths between Gazans and Israelis in the current ground operation to stop the rockets. Many critics seem affronted that Israel has taken great pains to protect its citizens by building bomb shelters and developing the Iron Dome anti-missile defenses, and so have suffered only 2 civilian deaths. They see the videos of dead Palestinian Arab children and blame those deaths on Israel’s “disproportionate response” instead of Hamas’ indifference to their own people’s safety.

Excerpt: Pro-Israel Jews and Christians were attacked by an angry mob yesterday at Calgary's city hall. Video footage shows this clearly: In addition to the males, 2 females were taken to the ground and kicked by a group of men. They sustained injuries. The crowd also chanted "kill the Jews".

Jewish students extracted from Boston anti-Israel ‘die-in
Excerpt: For the third time in eight days, Boston police were forced to intervene when a small group of student Israel supporters was swarmed by demonstrators screaming anti-Semitic epithets and initiating physical contact, said students involved in the incident.

Chicago: Anti-Jewish leaflets found on cars on NW Side
Excerpt: Several vehicles in the Pulaski Park neighborhood on the Northwest Side were targeted with anti-Jewish leaflets, police said. ... According to residents in the area, the leaflets made threats to Jewish people in connection with the conflict in Gaza which began on July 8. The leaflets threaten violence if Israel does not pull out of Gaza, according to residents and police.

Watch: Berlin Imam Prays for the Annihilation of Jews
Excerpt: An imam in the German capital, Berlin, recently gave a sermon in which he expressed support for Gaza and called for “the annihilation of Jews”. The sermon by Sheikh Abu Bilal Ismail, which was given last Friday at the Al-Nur Mosque was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute(MEMRI). (Is this WWII or WWIII? Shouldn’t have let them get off that U-boat in South America….Barb)

Iraq is still boiling. Remember Iraq, the last crisis before the airliner shoot-down and Hamas provoked Israeli retaliation? ~Bob. Excerpt: The Iraqi military said it has regained control of Camp Speicher, the large military base just west of the city of Tikrit that was stormed by fighters from the Islamic State late last week. The Wall Street Journal reports: Two Iraqi officials, including a military official on the base, reached by telephone said elite counterterrorism forces backed by Shiite militiamen had secured the base in the wake of the Islamic State attack on Friday.

Mosul’s Christians Ordered To Convert As Militants Burn Down Cathedral
Excerpt: The BBC reports that the group cited a historic contract known as a dhimma, in which non-Muslims must pay a fee to receive protection. They may also be subject to various humiliations, such as having to shave their heads, wear a red belt around their necks or wear only one shoe…."For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians," he added. (Coming soon to your neighborhood in the US. --Barb)

Obama moves deadline for Iran nuke deal past midterm elections
Excerpt: Iran, the United States and the five other countries negotiating the future of the Iranian nuclear program have agreed to a four-month extension of the talks, giving them more time to try to bridge major differences over whether Tehran will be forced to dismantle parts of its nuclear infrastructure, according to a statement released early Saturday in Vienna by all seven nations.
Conveniently, this moves us past the midterm elections so Democrats on the campaign trail won’t have to defend yet another foreign policy failure by Obama.

Syrian mother's agony: why I made my teenage daughter become a child bride: Mothers explain why they pushed their girls into marrying older men to protect them from rape and kidnap
Excerpt: One of the many wretched consequences of the Syrian war is the sudden insecurity felt by millions of female refugees, deprived (sometimes permanently) of their menfolk, left to fend for their families by themselves, threatened by the unwanted attentions of predatory men. ... Most marriages in the camp are for girls of 12, 13 or 14, but even 10-year-olds might get engaged if they are tall and developed. The way it works is that a female relative of the groom tours the tents to find a girl. When she finds someone suitable, she brings her to the man, who asks for her hand. The groom might be Syrian or Jordanian or from other Arab nationalities. A 70-year-old Saudi man married my neighbour's daughter.

US readies to transfer six Guantánamo Bay detainees to Uruguay, officials say: Pentagon notified Congress of intent to transfer group, including four Syrians, one Palestinian and one Tunisian

US officials said the Pentagon has notified Congress of its intent to transfer six Guantánamo Bay detainees to Uruguay. Uruguayan president Jose Mujica has opposed the way detainees are treated at Guantánamo and has said that he would take them in, but then they would be free to leave. The officials, who spoke Wednesday on condition of anonymity because it is the administration's policy not to publicly confirm such notifications, said the Pentagon alerted Congress of the plan last week. (Expect these OTMs (Other Than Mexicans) to find their way to the US shortly....those poor children. US security screwed. Hey, at least they "notified Congress" of the plans this time....right before their August vacation. --Barb)

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