Friday, September 12, 2014

Great Collection of News and Comment Today


My friend and brother Marine, John Payne was in town with his brother, Dennis, also a Marine vet. As regular readers know, John got a lung five days before I did, also for pulmonary fibrosis. He was here for a three-month checkup, and is doing great. Above we are at dinner at the Beach House Restaurant in McFarland, Dennis on the left.

Friday 9/12 it was cold, rainy and about 46 degrees here. More like November than September. It was 90 when John left Louisiana. He asked when it was supposed to warm up again. I said, "May." I am not looking forward to this winter, but glad to still be here for it.

The Year 1000: What Life Was Like at the Turn of the First Millennium, An Englishman's World by Robert Lacey and Danny Danziger 
My bride and I are listening to this fascinating short history on CD in the car. Very interesting facts. Folks in 1000 were more advanced than we credit. A lot of the things developed then are still strong influences on our world. The book does dwell a bit on the disastrous reign of my ancestor, Ethelred II, the Unready. The epithet “unready” is derived from unraed, meaning “bad counsel” or “no counsel,” a puns on his name, which means “noble counsel.” Ah, well, we can't all have Robert the Bruce in the linage.

Ethelred II

5 million Gmail passwords leaked: Check if yours was among them
Mine was not. And I always try to put the receiver's addresses in the BCC field to protect them from spammers and scammers--though I have screwed up a few times. I blame the drugs, not age. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Fox News poll: 10 pieces of bad news for the White House

When you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear. - Thomas Sowell

Just 63% Know Which Parties Control the House and Senate
Excerpt: Over one-third of Likely U.S. Voters remain unaware which political party controls the House of Representatives and which has a majority in the Senate - less than two months before an election that may put one party in charge of both. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that only 63% are aware that Republicans have majority control of the House. An identical number (63%) know that Democrats run the Senate. (And we wonder why we are in the shape we are. These are the low-info loot-the-future voters when they vote. $20 says my 39-year-old step-daughter is among them. Two month after we invaded Iraq, she walked in and asked, "Are we at war?" Doesn't follow news on TV, read a paper, or use the Internet except for Facebook. ~Bob)

DC teacher has sixth-graders compare George Bush to Adolf Hitler
Excerpt: A public school teacher in Washington who instructed sixth-graders to compare former President George W. Bush to Adolf Hitler has learned her own lesson, according to district officials, but critics wonder why she still has a job. D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kayak Henderson responded to the controversy late Wednesday on Twitter, saying no curriculum intended to make the comparison “in any way” and that the district and unidentified teacher are “deeply apologetic” about the matter. Henderson said the teacher has been ordered to apologize to the class. ("They have to be carefully taught".....Barb)

Delaware, US domestic tax haven, under Pressure
Excerpt: There are more companies than people in the small US state of Delaware, its population of under one million nestled on the Atlantic coast just south of New Jersey. The reason is clear: the state offers companies low taxes, an efficient, pro-business legal environment, and it allows anyone to set up a company anonymously, registering a shell that hides who really controls it and controls the money within it. That has now put Delaware, and other states that permit shell companies, in the sights of the US authorities, after they have campaigned against international tax havens like Switzerland to fight tax dodging and money laundering. (Too bad Delaware doesn't have any high ranking US government officials to go to bat for it. ~Bob)

Why Democrats Can’t Win the House
Excerpt: Democrats often blame gerrymandering, but that’s not the whole story. More than ever, the kind of place where Americans live — metropolitan or rural — dictates their political views. The country is increasingly divided between liberal cities and close-in suburbs, on one hand, and conservative exurbs and rural areas, on the other. Even in red states, the counties containing the large cities — like Dallas, Atlanta, St. Louis and Birmingham — lean Democratic.

Why Dem voters may not show up this fall. By Greg Sargent 
Excerpt: What if a key part of the problem is that many of these voters simply don’t know that Democratic control of the Senate is at stake in this fall’s elections? That’s one of the conclusions veteran Dem pollster Celinda Lake reached after conducting new focus groups and polling for the liberal group MoveOn. Lake conducted two focus groups of people from Detroit and its suburbs. (Detroit? With what the Democrats have made of the cities' school systems, lucky if they know what a senate is. This highlights the fact that Democrats are highly dependent on low information voters. ~Bob)

Theirs But To Do and Die: Dien Bien Phu and the twilight of the warrior. By Robert Messenger
Excerpt: The Battle of Dien Bien Phu passed from history into legend almost the moment it ended in the early hours of May 8, 1954. Popular conception is that colonialism’s days in Indochina were numbered, and there was nothing French soldiers could have done to arrest the forces of history. The Indochina War that ebbed and flowed after 1945 tends to be presented as either a small episode in the story of postwar Asian nationalism or the opening act of a long war that ended in 1976. These are handy tales for textbook writers and newspaper columnists, but the facts don’t support them. Even a cursory study shows that Dien Bien Phu was a viable military gamble and one that the French came close to winning. Indochina might just as easily have been another Malaya as a precursor to U.S. failure in Vietnam. As so often when political issues are intertwined with military, hindsight is blind. (Wow, what a fascinating discussion of the French experience in Viet Nam and elsewhere and the US experience in Viet Nam and elsewhere. --Del)

Excerpt: One of the reasons that I worked for many years as an ill-remunerated doctor in a prison, and used earlier in my life to visit countries torn by civil war, is that extreme situations help to clarify what is important in life. I never arrived in the prison but I wondered how I would react to incarceration, whether I would be a stoic and retreat into myself or be someone who kicked against the traces and made trouble for the authorities just to assert my own continuing humanity. (A very nice explanation of the most unpleasant human truths... should be read by everyone, but most especially by those who think every conflict can be solved by good communication and good will. --Del)

Excerpt: On the evening of January 11, 1996, while Mitt Romney was in the final years of his run as the head of Bain Capital, Barack Obama formally joined the New Party, which was deeply hostile to the mainstream of the Democratic party and even to American capitalism. In 2008, candidate Obama deceived the American public about his potentially damaging tie to this third party. The issue remains as fresh as today’s headlines, as Romney argues that Obama is trying to move the United States toward European-style social democracy, which was precisely the New Party’s goal

Obama losing the confidence of key parts of the coalition that elected him. By Karen Tumulty
Excerpt: Both Cole and Richardson were surveyed in the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll and represent one of its most striking findings: the degree to which the president’s approval has slipped among key parts of the Obama coalition — the women, youth and Latino voters most responsible for putting him into office.

Moore's a racist? Who knew? Michael Moore slams Obama: He was the first black American that got elected president, and that's it': Michael Moore slams Obama's legacy for leaving Detroit in the lurch
Excerpt: Angry left-wing filmmaker trashed Democratic president in Toronto as 'a big disappointment' Said his ghost-town home city of Detroit, Michigan should be better off – and would be, if it were in Iraq or Syria. Insisted the only historic accomplishment Obama will be remembered for is breaking the presidential color barrier 'Not a bad accomplishment, but that's it' (Moore has given up on Obama, which is interesting, he was one of the guys who thought Obama was The One. --Del)

Race Card News

93% of Democratic Senate or Governor Candidates Are White: Not So Diverse. By Dan McLaughlin 
Excerpt: ...while Republicans will be running two Hispanic Governors for re-election, Democrats will not have a single Hispanic candidate heading a statewide ticket. ... In the 71 races they are contesting, 66 of the 71 candidates the Democrats are running (93%) are white, 56 of the 71 (79%) are male, and 53 of 71 (75%) are white males. That could spell trouble for the Democrats’ hopes of turning out a voting base that is disproportionately non-white and female. For all the Democrats’ rhetoric about race, they are running fewer non-white candidates than the Republicans are, and fewer in races they are seriously contesting. (I'm sure the race-sensitive MSM will be all over this. Ha! ~Bob)

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

ObamaCare - "Take Ten Pills and You're Fine"
This satire video is too funny! ~Bob

Undocumented Democrat News

If the USA enforced the same immigration laws as Mexico enforces– we would be called mean-spirited & racist! (Those racists in Mexico also have voter ID. ~Bob)

Religion of Peace News

Worth Reading: World at War. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Two questions will determine whether radical Islamic terrorists will attack us once more: one, are the post-9/11 anti-terrorism protocols that have so far stopped major terrorist attacks still viable and effective, and, two, is Al-Qaeda or an analogous Islamic terrorist organization now still as capable as were Osama bin Laden’s henchmen in 2001?
Unfortunately, the answers to those two questions should raise great concern. Take the current status of the so-called war on terror in all of its manifestations.

A TIME OF CR-ISIS. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Excerpt: This president is still walking around with an oversized sense of his own popularity, political capital, and public trust. He still thinks that if he says, "We will do X," people will believe him. He's capable of giving a good speech — well, reading from a teleprompter with the right tone, facial expressions, and mannerisms — but very few people, at home or abroad, still expect dramatic action to follow dramatic words. The Obama pattern is clear: big promise, lousy results. Too many lines instantly pop into the minds of viewers. Red line. "If you like your plan, you can keep your plan." "We're going to arm the moderate Syrian rebels." "New tone." "Assad must go." Just because Obama says it doesn't mean it's going to happen. (Today's Morning Jolt is excellent, but I have no link and can't include the whole thing. Worth subscribing to--it's free. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: Obama’s ISIS Speech: It succeeded in tone but failed in substance. By Tom Rogan
Excerpt: But at a basic level, the speech lacked clarity of intent. President Obama began by listing his assumed counterterrorism successes. This had a raw domestic political motivation that was unbefitting of the moment. It distracted rather than reinforced his message. President Obama’s assertion that he had removed “Syria’s declared [note: declared] chemical weapons so they cannot pose a threat to the Syrian people — or the world — again” was especially problematic. That WMD deal is a disgrace that shames America

Excerpt: In a televised address on how to address the Islamic State this evening, President Barack Obama declared the organization variously known as ISIS or ISIL to be “not Islamic.” In making this preposterous claim, Obama joins his two immediate predecessors in pronouncing on what is not Islamic.

Balanced Overview: What Obama Got Right—and Wrong—in His ISIS Speech. By Steven Bucci
Excerpt: The next section began to float toward hyperbole. The president spoke of a “comprehensive counterterror strategy.” He gave Yemen and Somalia as examples of the validity of this methodology. ... The final words were an attempt to convince the listeners that his leadership has been successful. That “case” is weak. Now the nation will wait to see if this works.

'Moderate' Syrian Revolutionaries Front continues to support al Qaeda. By Lisa Lundquist
Excerpt: An article in yesterday's New York Times titled "US Pins Hope on Syrian Rebels with Loyalties All Over the Map" highlights the fact that President Obama's recently declared strategy against the Islamic State depends on empowering Syrian rebels to take control once the Islamic State is driven out. This plan leaves the US "dependent on a diverse group riven by infighting, with no shared leadership and with hard-line Islamists as its most effective fighters," the article observes, and proceeds to elaborate on the difficulties of working with the various groups and even knowing what their allegiances are. ... The only problem with this example of a possible US ally in the fight in Syria is that Maarouf has already stated that he has no problem with al Qaeda's Syrian branch, the Al Nusrah Front, and has admitted to sharing weapons with it. (Okay, here I go again: THERE ARE NO GOOD GUYS IN SYRIA. The weapons we give them will be eventually used to kill Americans, Israelis and other westerners. ~Bob)

Reid: Obama's request needs 'immediate' action
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Thursday that Congress will pass legislation authorizing the training and equipping of moderate Syrian rebels by the end of next week. The authorization will include the $500 million requested by President Obama for the task, but Democratic leaders say it is too early to project how much the open-ended military engagement will cost. “The proposal that the president has given to the American people requires immediate congressional action in granting the administration the authority to equip and train Syrian rebels under Title X to fight ISIS,” Reid said. (There are over 31,000 followers in ISIS now. The regime wants to continue to arm them using America's $$. What is a "moderate Syrian Islamist"? Intelligence reports on the net and other reports indicate they state they are such, get the material, and swear allegiance to ISIS. Kurds have captured weapons from ISIS soldiers that say "Made in USA." Send more? And Reid is banging his fist saying that the almighty OZ has declared we do it? Maybe we are sheeple. Send them $500 million more? Call your representatives so they know how the people they represent feel. Or go play golf and wait for someone wrapped in black to play soccer with your head. --Barb)

‘Eyes Wide Open’ Urged in Funding Syrian Rebels to Fight ISIS. By Melissa Quinn
Excerpt: House Speaker John Boehner yesterday reassured Americans that Syrian rebels — who could be the recipients of $500 million in U.S. aid – have been “well-vetted” by intelligence officials. A former top Pentagon official, however, urged that congressional leaders keep “eyes wide open” and not rush toward unintended results.

Blocking Obama's ISIL Strategy. From The Patriot Post
In his speech to the nation on ISIL Wednesday, Barack Obama declared, "[W]e will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. ... [W]e will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq." He claimed to be assembling a "broad coalition" in support of his mission so as to not, as he has previously put it, "go it alone" like George W. Bush in Iraq. Bush went with support from 37 countries; Obama has fewer than 10. And one of them is not Turkey, which announced Thursday it would not permit U.S. aircraft to conduct airstrikes from its air bases. That limits our options to carriers in the region or other NATO bases further away. Oh, and Great Britain and Germany also won't be helping with airstrikes. Behold, the results of "leading from behind."

We're Not at War, Kerry Says. From The Patriot Post
Secretary of State John Kerry insisted Thursday that we are not at war with ISIL -- at least not just yet. "What we are doing," he said, "is engaging in a very significant counter-terrorism operation.” Just to reiterate the point, he said, "If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL they can do so, but the fact is it's a major counter-terrorism operation." We're glad he cleared that up. It reminds us of Kerry's comments just over one year ago, when he was pumping up action against Syria's Bashar al-Assad. He promised we would counter Assad "without engaging in troops on the ground, or any other prolonged kind of effort, in a very limited, very targeted, very short-term effort,” and that any action would be an “unbelievably small, limited kind of effort.” The administration sure is twisting itself into knots to assure its hard-left base that Barack Obama is not George W. Bush. Kerry's remarks would be funny if they weren't so disgraceful.

The Problem with Obama’s ISIS Strategy: The president’s war plan against the group suffers from a glaring mismatch of ends and means. By Charles Krauthammer
Excerpt: In his Islamic State speech, President Obama said many of the right things. Most importantly, he finally got the mission right: Degrade and destroy the enemy. This alone will probably get him a bump in the polls, which have dropped to historic lows. But his strategic problem remains: the disconnect between (proclaimed) ends and means.

Five things that could go horribly wrong with Obama's action in Iraq. By Byron York
Excerpt: If there's one thing America's misadventure in Iraq from 2003 to 2011 taught everyone, it is that things can go terribly wrong when the U.S. intervenes in a foreign environment with deep sectarian divisions, an ineffectual government, armed factions, and the general complexities of the Middle East.

Worth Reading: Countering Islamic State will be hard in Iraq and harder in Syria, officials say
Excerpt: In Iraq, dissolved elements of the army will have to regroup and fight with conviction. Political leaders will have to reach compromises on the allocation of power and money in ways that have eluded them for years. Disenfranchised Sunni tribesmen will have to muster the will to join the government’s battle. European and Arab allies will have to hang together, Washington will have to tolerate the resurgence of Iranian-backed Shiite militias it once fought, and U.S. commanders will have to orchestrate an air war without ground-level guidance from American combat forces. “Harder than anything we’ve tried to do thus far in Iraq or Afghanistan” is how one U.S. general involved in war planning described the challenges ahead on one side of the border that splits the so-called Islamic State.

Brother of Beheaded American Journalist James Foley: State Department Threatened Us. By Katie Pavlich 
Excerpt: Further in reaction to a question posed by Kelly about whether the Obama administration did everything it could to bring James Foley home, especially after the Bowe Bergdahl swap and comments by Obama saying Americans leave no man behind, Michael Foley said his family is "appalled" by the situation. Foley also talked about how he was threatened directly by the State Department and said that when the family tried to get information from the U.S. government or from other allies, they were stonewalled. 

Islamic State can’t be beaten without boots on the ground. By Con Coughlin 
Excerpt: If Barack Obama believes he’s come up with a strategy to defeat Islamist militants in Syria and Iraq, he should think again. Far from devising a plan to crush the dangerous fanatics, all he has done is to provide what is potentially a recipe for disaster. (Racist UK Telegraph dares to question Obama's strategy. --George)

Obama Will Fight ISIS by Arming ISIS. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: A few centuries later his fellow Englishman, Winston Churchill, quipped, “The United States invariably does the right thing, after having exhausted every other alternative.”
It’s not true of the United States, but it is true of Barack Obama who, having exhausted every alternative that involved appeasement or pretending that ISIS wasn’t a threat, has decided to do the right thing.

Syria crisis: Chlorine gas used in attacks, says OPCW
Excerpt: Chlorine gas was used in attacks in northern Syria this year, says the international body seeking to implement global laws banning chemical weapons. The Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) said it had found "compelling confirmation" of the use of chlorine, in pure or mixed form. (This can't be true. Obama just bragged about his success in getting Assad to give up chemical weapons. He didn't mention that was thanks to Putin putting together a deal that let Assad stay in power, despite Obama's "Assad must go" statement. ~Bob)

Bush in 2007 delivered eerily accurate warning about Iraq unrest
Excerpt: A prophetic warning from then-President George W. Bush before he left office about what would happen if the U.S. withdrew troops from Iraq too soon is getting new attention in light of the Islamic State’s gains, as each of his predictions appears to be coming true. Bush, as discussed on "The Kelly File," made the remarks in the White House briefing room on July 12, 2007, as he argued against those who sought an immediate troop withdrawal. “To begin withdrawing before our commanders tell us we are ready would be dangerous for Iraq, for the region and for the United States,” Bush cautioned.

I am a 14-year-old Yazidi girl given as a gift to an ISIS commander. Here’s how I escaped. They killed my brother and tried to make me a concubine. I found a meat cleaver and broke out. By Mohammed A. Salih 
Excerpt: The militants divided us by gender and age: One for young and capable men, another for girls and young women, and a third for older men and women. The jihadists stole cash and jewelry from this last group, and left them alone at the oasis. Then they placed the girls and women in trucks. As they drove us away, we heard gunshots. Later we learned that they were killing the young men, including my 19-year old brother, who had married just six months ago.

Isis recruitment moves from online networks to British mosques. Growing evidence that Britain is a specific target for jihadis looking to exploit fundamentalist Islam
Excerpt: Networks of radicals are re-emerging in British mosques and elsewhere to encourage and facilitate Muslims wanting to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight for Islamic State (Isis). Until now most fighters from Britain who are known to have travelled to Syria have been persuaded and helped via online networks where extremists provide advice on crossing the Turkish border and linking up with Isis fighters. (Well I'm sure the moderates in these mosques are loudly speaking out against this. Those with a death wish, anyway. Moderate Muslims are as irrelevant as moderate Germans in 1938. ~Bob)

Jihadi DOCTOR stands with severed head in her hand as kids look on in horror. A BRITISH doctor and suspected jihadi holds aloft a severed head while two children look on in horror.
Excerpt: The sickening snap is posted on Mujahidah Bint Usama's Twitter page and shows her wearing a white lab coat, veil and holding her arm outstretched, with what appears to be a decapitated head. The photo is captioned "Dream Job... A Terrorist Doc" which she has added a smiley face song and two hearts to. (Obviously joined the Jihad because of poverty, privation and racism which kept her from getting ahead! ~Bob)

Excerpt: Wherever Muhammad Bayoudh Al-Tamimi is located, he should expect a knock on his door, and Barack Obama, David Cameron, Philip Hammond, Yvette CooperFr. Dwight LongeneckerRev. Professor David Thomas, and a host of other non-Muslims to walk in and explain to him that he is misunderstanding Islam, and that the Islamic State has nothing whatsoever to do with the genuine article.

Worth Reading: The Middle East’s Maze of Alliances. It’s increasingly difficult to navigate the web of transitory enemies and allies in the region. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: In 2012, the Obama administration was on the verge of bombing the forces of Syrian president Bashar Assad. For a few weeks, he was public enemy No. 1 because he had used chemical weapons on his own people and because he was responsible for many of the deaths in the Syrian civil war, with a casualty count that is now close to 200,000. After Obama’s red lines turned pink, we forgot about Syria. Then the Islamic State showed up with beheadings, crucifixions, rapes, and mass murders through a huge swath of Iraq and Syria. Now the United States is bombing the Islamic State.

How to deal with the ISIS
Cool video-Get Some! ~Bob

You are being manipulated: Al Qaeda Wasn’t ‘on the Run.’ Why haven’t we seen the documents retrieved in the bin Laden raid? By Stephen F. Hayes
Excerpt: Three weeks before the anniversary, the administration provided that handpicked set of documents to analysts at the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) at West Point. ... To some involved in the CTC study, it was clear that the report was to be part of a broader administration public relations effort. ... The administration originally approved 19 documents for declassification and release. But shortly after providing them to the CTC, Lieutenant General Doug Lute, a senior official on the National Security Council, called to ask that one of the documents be withheld. The document in question detailed the close relations between al Qaeda and senior leaders of the Afghan Taliban. Lute explained that the administration had restarted secret negotiations with the Taliban, and releasing the document could present unwanted complications. The document was not released.

Thirteen Years Ago, Remember. By Andy Weddington

Excerpt: This story doesn’t note the best thing that Cruz said: “If you will not stand with Israel, I will not stand with you.” Then he left the stage — he wasn’t booed off. It is shameful that these Middle Eastern Christians heckled Cruz for standing with Israel. This is the result of their long historical identification with Muslims as fellow Arabs.

Bill Maher Destroys the Idea of a "Moderate" Islam
Excerpt: “Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you leave the Christian religion, you should be killed for it. Vast numbers of Christians do not treat women as second-class citizens. Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you draw a picture of Jesus Christ you should get killed for it.”

Allah Akbar! Blast kills leader of Ahrar al-Sham rebels
Excerpt: The leader of one of the biggest Islamist rebel groups in Syria has been killed by an explosion in the north-western province of Idlib. Ahrar al-Sham said Hassan Abboud was among a number of senior figures who died in the blast at the group's headquarters in the town of Ram Hamdan.

U.S. Muslims ask Obama to block counter-terror training

Excerpt: Even as fears grow that ISIS terrorists are secreted inside America’s Muslim community, dozens of American Muslim groups have fired off a letter to President Obama demanding he cut off federal funding for sheriffs and other local police receiving anti-jihadist training from a former FBI agent.

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