Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Important news today you won't want to miss


I had an email glitch, so you may have gotten an earlier blog post today that failed to send. Probably a PICNIC problem.

My FEV1 (liters of air I can expel in one second) average Monday was 1.77, highest since March 30, down a little since. My all time high was 2.24, back in January. And I added speed on the treadmill, weight on two exercise machines and another exercise in PT Rehab Wednesday. So I'm exhausted, but all good.

Filled the gas tank Wednesday at $2.47/gal. Last three times were $2.63, $2.82 and $3.02. A lady at a political function bet me $5 that it will be $1.80 or lower the first week in January. I sure hope she wins. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Very Important: Sony Pictures scraps Dec. 25 release of 'The Interview.' By Hollie McKay
Excerpt: Sony Pictures announced Tuesday it had scrapped the Dec. 25 release of "The Interview" after a number of major movie chains announced they would not show the film in the wake of threats from unknown hackers implying the theaters were at risk. ... The U.S. government reportedly gave the thumbs-up to the ending of the film in which North Korean leader Kim Jung-Un's head blows up. ... The Sony hacking saga took a sinister turn on Tuesday when hackers sent a message and threatening to target theaters showing “The Interview” in a 9/11 type attack. (If they release the movie, I'm going, and the commie dictator can get stuffed. Now international hackers get to censor what you can see and hear. Having blocked you from seeing this film, expect that similar attacks will hit books, newspapers, TV shows and other movies. I'd bet $100 to a Prune Danish [which I don't like and am not allowed to eat] that North Korea is behind this. But watch for similar attacks from ISIS, al Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorists groups, plus domestic environmental and racial extremists. Do you think that the KKK and the New Black Panthers [The Klan with a Tan] haven't noticed? Neither group may have the G2 to pull this off, but I bet both try. ~Bob)

Important: U.S. and Cuba Swap Prisoners; Obama Ends Isolation Policy. By Josh Siegel
Excerpt: Gross’ release was accompanied by a separate spy swap. CNN reported, “The three Cubans released as a part of the deal belonged the so-called Cuban Five, a quintet of Cuban intelligence officers convicted in 2001 for espionage.” The New York Times reported that the Cubans also released a U.S. intelligence agent who had been in a Cuban prison for nearly 20 years. (Have spies or murders in US custody? Grab an American--Obama will deal. It's a get-out-of-jail-free card. Obama never met a left-wing murder he didn't love. ~Bob)

"A Concession to a Tyranny": Marco Rubio Absolutely Blasts Obama's New Cuba Policy. By Daniel Doherty 
Excerpt: “No commitment was made to allowing the establishment of political parties or to even begin the semblance of a transition to democracy,” he said about the announcement. “In exchange for all of these concessions, the only thing the Cuban government agreed to do is free 53 political prisoners – who could wind up in jail tomorrow morning if they once again take up the cause of freedom – and to allow the United Nations and the Red Cross to monitor conditions on the island.” “This entire policy shift announced today is based on an illusion, on a lie,” he continued. “The lie and the illusion that more commerce and access to money and goods will translate to political freedom for the Cuban people. All this is going to do is give the Castro regime – which controls every aspect of Cuban life – the opportunity to manipulate these changes to perpetuate its sovereign power.”

On Cuba, it’s Hillary Clinton versus Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. By Greg Sargent
Excerpt: President Obama’s historic announcement that his administration will pursue normalization of relations with Cuba — and his suggestion that he will ask Congress to lift the embargo — all but ensures that the Cuba question will become another issue around which Hillary Clinton and the GOP 2016 presidential hopefuls square off, with Clinton embracing the Obama position and Republicans lining up in opposition to it. The politics of Cuba, of course, occupy a special place in presidential politics. As Ed Kilgore puts it, one of the leading obstacles to normalization has been “the 29 electoral votes of Florida, and the belief that a highly politically engaged Cuban-American community would wreak vengeance on any president or party who dared to refuse to repeat the stale pieties of Cold War anti-Castro rhetoric.” (If anyone thought that Obama was a black JFK... ~Bob)

Worth Reading: Tortured Reasoning. By Thomas Sowell 
Excerpt: Critics and defenders of the harsh interrogation methods applied to captured terrorists can argue forever over whether those methods were "torture." But any serious discussion of a serious issue -- and surely terrorism qualifies as serious -- has to move beyond semantics and confront the ultimate question: "Compared to what alternative?" If you knew that there was a hidden nuclear time bomb planted somewhere in New York City -- set to go off today -- and you had a captured terrorist who knew where and when, would you not do anything whatever to make him tell you where and when? Would you pause to look up the definition of "torture"? Would you even care what the definition of "torture" was, when the alternative was seeing millions of innocent people murdered?

Worth Reading: Epitaph for Hope and Change: Obama has fundamentally transformed America, all right — but not as he intended. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: A perfect storm brought into power Barack Obama, a previously little-known Illinois community organizer. He had at best a mediocre record as a state legislator and rookie senator. Yet he quickly dazzled the liberal establishment. Joe Biden and Harry Reid were wowed by his sounding and behaving like a white liberal, while retaining the ability to turn on his supposedly authentic black persona when needed. That he had no record of achievement was seen as an advantageous clean slate. Teleprompted glibness was preferred to ad hoc repartee, as if an entire presidency could be scripted and Photoshopped with backdrops of Greek columns and Latin mottos.

Ready For Romney. By Matt Vespa 
Excerpt: The Ready for Romney PAC launched last night, but CNN’s Alexandra Jaffe noted that nothing is on paper yet–and that this effort is in its “infancy.” Nevertheless, they did name an executive director (via CNN): If encouragement from major GOP donors and favorable polling isn't enough, former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney now has a super PAC launched by an unknown benefactor urging him to run.

New Poll: Romney, Clinton Lead for 2016. By Katie Pavlich 
Excerpt: Romney dominates the field for the 2016 Republican nomination. He comes in at 19 percent among self-identified Republicans, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 10 percent. No other candidates garner double-digit backing. 

'Team Marco 2016' to Huddle With Major GOP Donors Next Month. By Guy Benson 
Excerpt: Senator Marco Rubio of Florida will gather over 100 Republican donors, fund-raisers and other supporters at a luxury hotel in Miami next month for a two-day strategy session about Mr. Rubio’s political future, according to an invitation obtained by The New York Times. The conference, scheduled to begin Jan. 23 at the Delano hotel in South Beach, will be hosted by Mr. Rubio’s leadership political action committee, Reclaim America, and it is expected to draw supporters from Washington and South Florida

Jeb Bush "Actively" Exploring a 2016 Presidential Run. By Christine Rousselle 
Excerpt: We also talked about the future of our nation. As a result of these conversations and thoughtful consideration of the kind of strong leadership I think America needs, I have decided to actively explore the possibility of running for President of the United States. (I see things from conservatives trashing this or that potential GOP candidate as a RINO. I have a few I'm not crazy about but all are preferable to President Hillary or President Big Chief Warren or President Biden. ~Bob"

Excerpt: Back in 2005, Peggy Noonan wrote about the increasingly public friendship between George H. W. Bush and Bill Clinton: What bothers me about the fervid friendship of the Bushes and Mr. Clinton — and the media celebration of it — is the faint whiff of superiority, a sense they radiate that all those slightly icky little people running around wailing about issues — tax reform, the relation of the individual to the state, the necessary character of a president — and working the precincts are somehow . . . a little below them.

Excerpt: Jeb Bush, who says he is considering running for president, is a strong conservative. As governor of Florida from 1999 through 2007, he advanced conservative goals on taxes, school choice, privatization, racial preferences, the right to life, and many other issues. He did all this and left office popular in a swing state — but one that became more conservative during his time in its politics. And the state’s schools, by all accounts, got a lot better thanks to his efforts.
Many conservatives disagree with Bush on various issues — we certainly do — and have other reservations about his candidacy. None of that should lead any conservative to doubt that he is a friend and ally, and an extraordinarily accomplished one. He deserves a fair hearing,...

McSally (R) Wins Recount in Arizona CD-2, Officially Declared Winner. By Christine Rousselle
Excerpt: Martha McSally (R) has been officially declared the winner in Arizona's second congressional district by a razor-thin 167-vote margin over incumbent Rep. Ron Barber (D). This was the final race of the 2014 election that was yet to be decided, as Arizona law mandates a recount if an election is decided by fewer than 200 votes. (having won my state senate seat by 9 on election day and 126 after the recount of paper ballots finished in December, I know how she feels. ~Bob)

Newly Released NSA Documents Show That China Captured American Soldiers During The Vietnam War
Excerpt: During the US campaign in Vietnam, over a thousand service members were classified as prisoners or war (POW) or missing in action (MIA). Generally, those who went missing were killed or captured by the North Vietnamese. But in a few instances, as Robert Beckhusen recounts at War is Boring, Americans were captured or went MIA when their planes were shot down in or near Chinese airspace. Beijing's role in the conflict is becoming increasingly apparent as the NSA releases signals intelligence (SIGINT) documents from Vietnam and Southeast Asia. (Interesting for this to be coming out. --Del)

Voters See A Sinking America
Excerpt: Just 27% of Likely U.S. Voters believe the United States will still be the most powerful nation in the world by the end of the 21st century, down from 37% in January 2009 shortly after the Wall Street meltdown and just before President Obama took office. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% disagree and believe the United States will not be the number one world power, a 14-point increase from 34% six years ago. Twenty-four percent (24%) are not sure. 

Too Late: Vivek Murthy shouldn't be confirmed as surgeon general. Dr. Richard Carmona
Excerpt: This is not meant to be personal; in fact, I have never met Murthy. However, at just 36 years of age, Murthy is only a few years out of his residency and has very limited public health education and experience. I believe he is unqualified to effectively serve as the nation's doctor. (Obama figured that ideology substituted for experience and accomplishment in his case, would be okay in every case. ~Bob)

Best-Selling Author Brad Thor: 'If Jeb Bush Is The Nominee, I Will Never Vote Republican Again'
Excerpt: "The whole of idea of a Jeb Bush candidacy and potential Presidency is managing the country’s decline, not fixing it, not repairing it," Thor told Breitbart News in an exclusive interview on Tuesday, shortly after his tweet exploded across the conservative blogosphere. (I respect Thor for his views and his writing, but what's the alternative? If the GOP voters in the primaries give Bush the delegates, you can vote for him, vote for Hillary/Biden/Warren, or stay home, thus helping Hillary/Biden/Warren. A conservative not voting is like giving half a vote to the most liberal candidate. ~Bob)

Democrat makes Rape Joke – Media Silent
Excerpt: Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN) is no stranger to saying ridiculous and controversial things. (See the time he called Republicans Nazis or the time he told a female reporter that she was very attractive… and there are other examples.)

The Right on Hillary. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
Over the past six years, we on the right -- and in particular, the previous Republican nominee -- have been proven right time and again. Russia is indeed behaving like our preeminent geopolitical foe. Negotiating with the Taliban was a stupid idea. We knew leaving absolutely no U.S. military presence in Iraq was a formula for trouble. We never dismissed ISIS as a “jayvee team.” Democrats didn’t need to pass Obamacare for us to know what was in it. The Obama team scoffed at Romney’s idea of giving veterans vouchers for care at private hospitals, assuring us that the Department of Veterans Affairs was reducing the backlog and giving our veterans the care they deserved. We talked about the need for a secure border decades before Central America decided to turn our border into a giant open-air day care center. We do not like Hillary Clinton. We do not like her philosophies, her decisions, or the weapons-grade pabulum that she stuffs in her books and offers for six figures per speech. Perhaps in person she is warm and funny and all of those things her hagiographic media fans insist. But her record in public life -- and that of her allies, and her party -- has been an absolute disaster for the country for the past six years, and the 2016 Republican nominee needs to be able to make that case and win that argument six days a week and twice on Sundays.

It cost 1.7 cents to make a penny this year, and 8 cents to make a nickel
Excerpt: Production costs for all four major coin types fell in fiscal year 2014 due to the falling price of copper, one of the primary metals used to make coins. The Mint estimates it saved $29 million this year compared to last year on account of lower copper prices.
But it continues to lose money on pennies and nickels.

Excerpt: The Air Force Special Operations Command (AFSOC) crews and 21 Navy SEALs on board to protect the operation had been told they were flying into a “permissive environment.” Gunfire had brought down a U.N. helicopter the day before in the same area, but the U.N. compound was under the control of Indian peacekeeping troops. Then Shea heard what sounded like “popcorn popping.” Suddenly, a bullet smacked into Shea’s chest and knocked him flat on his back in the cabin, one of at least 119 rounds that struck the three Ospreys as they came in.

Gun News

Burglars Regret Returning to This ‘Hood After Heat-Packing Alabama Couple Spoils Their Plans
Excerpt: How did this Alabama family handle it when they saw the people who broke into their house and stole their Christmas presents? They drew their pistols, followed the suspected bad guys and stopped them at gunpoint until police got there.

Anniston police investigating Friday shooting death
Excerpt: George said the incident allegedly began after Randall Dale Gaddy — who apparently lived in the house next door, the captain said — and the homeowner got into an argument. At some point, Johnson went inside his house and locked the door, George said. "Our preliminary investigation indicates that Gaddy then had taken a cinder block and smashed in some windows," George said. "The homeowner then fired two or three rounds through the front door." Gaddy’s body will be sent to the Department of Forensic Sciences in Huntsville for an autopsy.

Georgia gun club offers weapon-wielding photo ops with Santa
Excerpt: Gun enthusiasts who showed up at the Sandy Springs Gun Club and Range got to pose for a photo with Santa Claus while holding an AK-47, AR-15 or FN-SCAR-17. (Love the photo. ~Bob)

Race Card News

Worth Reading: Another incident involving a white cop and a black woman in Alabama
Excerpt: And it couldn’t be more different from what you’ve been seeing lately. Office William Stacy was dispatched to a Dollar General Store in Tarrant Alabama for a shoplifting complaint. What happened next is wonderful: The holiday spirit is definitely in the air in one town in Alabama.

Ferguson: Maligning Good Men; Emulating Bad. By lt. Colonel James G. Zumwalt, USMC (Ret)
Excerpt: In the 1992 movie "A Few Good Men," a heated courtroom exchange occurred between two main characters-Tom Cruise playing Navy JAG Lieutenant Daniel Kaffee and Jack Nicholson playing hardened Marine Colonel Nathan Jessep-as Kaffee questioned Jessep on the death of an enlisted Marine. Colonel Jessep's response to Lt. Kaffee's demand, "I want the truth," became legendary-voted one of the top 100 most memorable quotes in movie history.

Excerpt: Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke recently blasted the Obama administration's divide races and conquer strategy as being "destructive for America."

Video: Open season on cops: Black on cop assaults, 5 cases in few days. #CopsMatter

Worth Reading: Should Profiling Be Banned? By Walter E. Williams 
Excerpt: Last week, the Obama administration announced new curbs on racial profiling by federal law enforcement. Before deciding whether this is good or bad policy, we might try to develop a description/definition of racial profiling or any other kind of profiling. A good definition of profiling in general is the use of an easily observed physical characteristic as a guess for some other, difficult-to-observe characteristic. The reason people profile is that information is costly and they seek methods to economize on information costs. One way to do that is through profiling. Imagine a chief of police in a city where there has been a rash of automobile hubcap thefts and he’s trying to capture the culprits. Should he have his officers stake out and investigate residents of senior citizen homes? What about spending resources investigating men and women 40 or older? (Dr. Williams is a brilliant black economist. His book Race and Economics is a must read. ~Bob)

‘We Don’t Mind if It Takes Martial Law to Get This in Order’ — Another Innocent Teen Murdered in Chicago. By Jason Howerton
Excerpt: A 15-year-old Chicago boy was reportedly shot and killed when he attempted to protect his twin brother during an armed robbery. The tragic killing has further shaken the violence-stricken city — one fed-up principal even floated the idea of “martial law” to gain control over the violence.

Worth Reading (Black Writer): Hands Up, Won't Shoot: Black Protest Isn't Black Progress. By Carl Jackson 
Excerpt: Acting a fool has never affected change for the better. Eric Garner is dead, due in part, to excessive liberal regulations. Michael Brown is dead because he beat down a cop, attempted to take his gun and then charged the officer like he was trying out for the NFL. Berkeley students burdened and trained in the art of "white privilege" are incensed because their professors tell them they should be, and though Al Sharpton has lost a lot of weight, his pockets continue to grow fat despite his irrelevancy. In the end, with the exception of more regulation to spark more protest, the riots and picket signs will all be for naught.

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

A Lull Before the ObamaCare Rate Storm. Premiums this year are a nice surprise. It’s 2017 when hikes will kick in—‘bronze’ family plans alone could rocket 45%. By Stephen T. Parente, professor of health finance, associate dean, Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota.
Excerpt: Americans visiting to purchase 2015 health-insurance plans are finding a nice surprise: Average premiums for the cheap “bronze” plans have increased only by 3.4% and premiums for the middle-of-the-road “silver” plans are rising by 5.8%, according to the American Action Forum. Where are the double-digit premium increases that so many predicted? Check back around this time in 2016. That’s when you’ll see the real spikes. (Google the title if you can't get to the story. ~Bob)

Undocumented Democrat News

Obama opens fraud-ridden benefits program to illegals. By Byron York
Excerpt: President Obama's unilateral executive action on immigration will make hundreds of thousands, perhaps more than a million, illegal immigrants eligible for federal transfer payments. That will be done primarily through two widely used programs -- the Earned Income Tax Credit, or EITC, and the Additional Child Tax Credit, or ACTC. As it turns out, those two programs are already among the most corrupt and fraud-ridden in the entire federal government.

Federal judge rules Obama amnesty order unconstitutional power grab
Excerpt: A federal judge Tuesday ruled parts of President Obama’s deportation amnesty to be unconstitutional, with a scathing memo dismantling the White House’s legal reasoning and arguing that Mr. Obama tried to steal Congress’ lawmaking powers.

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Study Finds All-Electric Cars Aren't Very Green At All\. By Leah Barkoukis
Excerpt: Researcher and former electric car enthusiast Ozzie Zehner put it best when he said, “moving from petroleum-fueled vehicles to electric cars starts to appear tantamount to shifting from one brand of cigarettes to another." Zehner is not alone in his assessment. A new study published by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences echoes his finding that green cars aren’t very green at all.

Despite Steady Temperatures, Policymakers Plow Forward with Climate Change Agenda
Excerpt: While pundits continue to talk about the dangers of global warming, the globe actually hasn't seen warming since 1998, says Institute for Energy Research CEO Robert Bradley. Despite increases in carbon dioxide emissions, Bradley notes that the world has not seen the explosion in extreme weather events, famine or loss of ice forecast by warming activists. In fact, he cites research from scientist Roy Spencer who analyzed 90 different climate models and found that 95 percent of climate simulations have overestimated warming since 1979.

Religion of Peace News

Pakistani forces reclaim school after ‘horrific’ Taliban attack kills at least 141
Excerpt: Taliban gunmen stormed an elite army high school Tuesday in a killing spree that claimed at least 141 lives — nearly all students — and turned the streets into a frenzy of grieving, anger and calls to strike back harder against militants. After a nearly nine-hour battle in Peshawar — in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border — police officials said all seven militants had been killed. (As usual, most of the victims of Allah-murder are Muslims, in this case more children. ~Bob)

Excerpt: A suicide assault team from the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan (or Pakistani Taliban) stormed a military high school in Peshawar today. It is one of the deadliest jihadist attacks in the country's history. According to initial reporting, the attackers have killed more than 140 people, including scores of children. At least nine Taliban fighters armed with assault weapons and suicide vests entered the Army Public School in Peshawar, the capital of the northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, this morning. The fighters fanned out through the school and killed everyone in their path, according to press reports.

Pakistani Army and Intelligence Chiefs Ask Afghans to Help Find Taliban Commanders Behind Massacre. By Ismail Khan and Azam Ahmed
Excerpt: But Pakistani officials have been increasingly assertive about protesting operations by Afghan-based militants. And after the school attack, in which 132 of the 148 people killed by a group of Taliban gunmen were young students, officials were quick to blame Afghan-based elements of the Pakistani Taliban, also known as Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan.

Pakistan school attack: PM Sharif vows to end 'terrorism'
Excerpt: He also announced an end to the moratorium on the death penalty for terrorism cases, which correspondents say is a move aimed at countering a view held by many Pakistanis that many terror suspects end up evading justice. (Or he could follow Hillary's advice to have empathy and respect for the child murderers. ~Bob)

Again? African leaders: West should intervene in Libya
Excerpt: African leaders are calling on Western countries to intervene in Libya to stem a flow of arms to militant groups in the Sahel region. Libya is mired in the worst fighting since dictator Moammar Gadhafi was overthrown in 2011, leaving the country with two rival governments. In the chaos, arms have flowed from Libya into Africa’s Sahel region, home to several militant groups. (We intervened once already. Obama, unauthorized by Congress, led us from behind to create the current mess and terrorist haven. ~Bob)

Obama Marks End of Afghanistan Combat. From The Patriot Post
Barack Obama addressed U.S. troops at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst (a.k.a. Fort Dix) in New Jersey, saying, "Our combat mission in Afghanistan will be over this month, and our war in Afghanistan will come to a responsible end." Except it won't. Thousands of U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan to continue operations against al-Qaida and the Taliban. Obama talked tough on al-Qaida, promising, "[M]ake no mistake, our coalition isn't just going to degrade this barbaric terrorist organization -- we're going to destroy it." But he also wants you to remember his success in "decimating al-Qaida's core" by killing Osama bin Laden. The best we can say is leaving a contingent of U.S. forces in Afghanistan shows he perhaps learned a little something after abandoning Iraq to the Islamic State. On a final note, it's worth remembering that Fort Dix was the target of the radical Weather Underground terrorists, who in 1970 planned to detonate a bomb at a dance for non-commissioned officers. Fortunately, the bomb detonated while they were constructing it, killing only three members of the group. Obama began his political career in the living room of two other members of the Weathermen: Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn. He didn't mention that in his speech.

Kill the Jews--Satire
Too much truth in this. ~Bob

The Terrorist Attack in Australia: Coming to a Theater Near You. By Steven Emerson
Excerpt: There should be no doubt that this was a pure act of Islamic terrorism despite ludicrous assertions by some commentators that his "motivations" were unknown. We will see all sorts of "explanations" that because his rap sheet included indictments for sexual assault and murder, he was not really an Islamic terrorist but someone who was simply mentally unstable. Well, the same rationale could be said for all terrorists. After all, who in their right mind would want to kill innocent civilians because of their religious beliefs? Islamic extremists do. And to deny their radical Islamic motivation—as our own government has done repeatedly in refusing to classify Islamic terrorist attacks as such as in the case of the massacre carried out by Major Nidal Hassan—is a guarantee that such acts will continue to be perpetuated especially by lone wolf terrorists.

Excerpt: Lindt cafe manager Tori Johnson was wrestling a gun from hostage taker Man Haron Monis when he was killed. Mother-of-three Katrina Dawson, who had stopped at the cafe for a morning coffee, died while trying to defend her pregnant friend.

U.N. Sending Thousands Of Muslims To America. Resettlement will cost billions of dollars
Excerpt: The U.S. State Department announced this week that the first major contingent of Syrian refugees, 9,000 of them, have been hand-selected by the United Nations for resettlement into communities across the United States. ... “The United States accepts the majority of all UNHCR referrals from around the world. Last year, we reached our goal of resettling nearly 70,000 refugees from nearly 70 countries. And we plan to lead in resettling Syrians as well,” the statement reads. “We are reviewing some 9,000 recent UNHCR referrals from Syria. We are receiving roughly a thousand new ones each month, and we expect admissions from Syria to surge in 2015 and beyond.” The United States, with its commitment to accepting 70,000 displaced people a year, absorbs more refugees than all other countries combined. ... The State Department announcement was careful to explain that the U.S. will take in only those Syrians who are “persecuted by their government.” Christians in Syria are being killed by ISIS and other Muslim rebels, not by “their government,” but the Sunni Muslims are being killed by the Shiite-led government. (Well, we can't expect Australia to give asylum to all the terrorists. ~Bob)

Muslim 'Reformers' Are All Talk. By Raymond Ibrahim
Excerpt: Due to its rarity, it's always notable whenever a top Islamic leader publicly acknowledges the threat of Islamic radicalism and terror. And yet, such denunciations never seem to go beyond words—and sometimes not even that. Thus, in "An Arab Prince Denounces Islamism," Daniel Pipes highlights "a remarkable but thus-far unnoticed address on Dec. 5" by Salman bin Hamad Al-Khalifa, the crown prince of Bahrain. In his address, the prince "candidly analyzed the Islamist enemy and suggested important ways to fight it."

European Court Orders Hamas' Removal from Terror List
Excerpt: Hamas must be taken off the European Union's terrorist list, ordered Wednesday, finding that it was not based on direct evidence of Hamas action. EU officials downplayed the ruling, with a statement from the EU External Action Service saying it "is clearly based on procedural grounds and it does not imply an assessment by the Court of the substantive reasons for the designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization." (It's not like murdering Jews and vowing to murder the rest is considered unacceptable in Europe. ~Bob)

What if the Military Has Been Focusing on the Wrong Thing the Whole Time? By Yinon Weiss
Excerpt: Going back to my time training Iraqi Commandos as a US Special Forces officer, I have had one question that always lingered in the back of my mind: “We are investing hundreds of billions of dollars in training our allies, so how is our enemy able to achieve so much success when no major power is training them?” In other words, despite the seemingly successful training of the Iraqi Army, why are they unable to stand up to forces like ISIS, who are not trained by any major power? Similarly, why is training the Afghan Army considered the yardstick of success, when there is no major power similarly training the Taliban? If training is the key to success, how is the other side surviving and even thriving when we have been training our allies for over a decade? (The people we are training are fighting for a paycheck. The other side is fighting for their warped view of God. ~Bob)


Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. He is the author of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic. For a free PDF of Collapse, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at) Hall’s eleven books are listed here: His blog of political news and conservative comment is

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