Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Paris "Workplace Violence" and other important political news


Slammed for time and had computer email issues, but pulled a lot of important news for today's post. ~Bob

Book Recommendation: Riding the Red Horse [Kindle Edition]. Edited by Tom Kratman and Vox Day
This is a terrific collection of short military science fiction and essays on war in the future that will be of interest to not only SF fans, but those interested in how future conflicts might go. The collection is edited by Vox Day and Tom Kratman, whose engrossing military science fiction books I have recommended on my blog. It acknowledges its debt to Jerry Pournelle's excellent There Will Be War anthologies, and contains a story by that master. Short stories predominate, with setting a few years to centuries in the future. Some of the pieces I rate as "must reads," including "Sucker Punch" and "Battlefield Lasers" by Eric S. Raymond," "Red Waves in the South China Sea" by James F. Dunnigan, "War Crimes" by Benjamin Cheah and Tom Kratman's very well thought out essay, " Learning to Ride the Red Horse: The Principles of War." The essay that hit me hardest was " Make the Tigers Fight: Soviet Strategy in Asia, 1925-1975," by James D. Perry. I cannot tell how much of it is based on fact and how much on informed speculation, but it was enraging and sickening in turns. Unfortunately, the book is available in only a Kindle edition. Being an antediluvian jarheadosaurus, I'm a paper and ink guy, so I had to download a reader to my computer. However, if the upcoming cataract surgery doesn't improve my reading, I will have to think about a Kindle, despite having five shelves of yet-to-be-read history, economic and political books plus a dozen novels, as I understand that like my computer the Kindle will enlarge the print. Their plan is to put out annual anthologies. My plan is to survive to read every one. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Must Read: The Seductions of Appeasement. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Before World War II appeasement was a good word, reflecting a supposedly wise policy of understanding an enemy’s predicaments. Sober Western democracies would grant tolerable concessions to aggressive dictators in Germany, Italy, and Japan to satiate their appetites for more. With such magnanimity everyone would avoid a nightmare like another Somme or Verdun. Appeasement is always a seductive diplomacy because in the short term a bloody crisis is at least avoided. Hopes then rise that either tensions will cool as aggressors are pacified — or at least the latter won’t start trouble until the appeasers are long out of office. Appeasement is based on the theory that if you give one or two scraps of leftovers under the table to the dog at your feet, he will wag his tail and leave, grateful for such generosity, rather than to prove be even peskier for more.

With benefits from the state comes subservience to the state. --Theodore Dalrymple, Anything Goes

Older, but worth reading: The CIA Interrogations Followed the Law. Some of those now criticizing the program as illegal seem oddly uninterested in the laws they themselves helped write. By Michael B. Mukasey
Excerpt: Take, for example, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the prime mover behind last week’s release of a more than 500-page “Executive Summary” of the report by Democrats on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. She attaches her own six-page foreword, beginning with the dutiful assurance on the first page that the “horror” of the television footage of the 9/11 attacks “will remain with me for the rest of my life.” Thus credentialed, Sen. Feinstein proceeds to the task at hand: CIA personnel “decided to initiate a program” of “brutal interrogation techniques in violation of U.S. law, treaty obligations, and our values.” Setting aside for a moment the reference to “our values,” that statement is demonstrably false. Laws are a technical business in which both terminology and chronology play a part. So if the law that criminalizes torture defines it in a certain way, that definition—and no more—is what it is, punditry and cocktail-party figures of speech notwithstanding. (If you hit a paywall, Google the title.)

The ‘Equality’ Racket. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Some time ago, burglars in England scrawled a message on the wall of a home they had looted: “RICH BASTARDS.” Those two words captured the spirit of the politicized vision of equality — that it was a grievance when someone was better off than themselves. That, of course, is not the only meaning of equality, but it is the predominant political meaning in practice, where economic “disparities” and “gaps” are automatically treated as “inequities.” 

Liberals Can't Erase Reagan's Record. By David Limbaugh
Excerpt: Ever since Reagan's two terms in office, Democrats have been trying to recast those years of remarkable peacetime growth, without inflation, as a time of abject greed — when the rich got richer and the poor got poorer. But the facts have never corroborated their propaganda. To really understand Reagan's record — and thus mainstream conservatism still today — you must remember just how bleak things were during the Carter years. At the end of Jimmy Carter's term, unemployment was 7.4 percent, and galloping toward double digits; inflation was already in double digits; and interest rates were a staggering 21.5 percent. There was no end in sight. (Very nicely done, it's always good to just go to the basic facts. --Del)

Marine Harrier: Incredible Jet Landing on an Aircraft Carrier

GAO: TARP Bailouts Are Going To Cost Taxpayers Billions. By Peter Fricke 
Excerpt: Although some Troubled Asset Relief Program investments have returned a profit to taxpayers, a new report says non-housing programs overall will likely cost taxpayers billions.

Minnesota ‘Lord’ Sentenced to Prison After Living on Million-Dollar Yacht While Collecting Public Assistance. By Jon Street
Excerpt: Colin Chisholm III, or “Lord Chisholm,” as he calls himself, was sentenced to 21 months in prison Monday after it was discovered he and his wife, Andrea – had been living on a $1.2 million yacht while collecting tens of thousands of dollars in American taxpayer benefits.

Time capsule dating to 1795 included coins, newspapers. By Steve LeBlanc
Excerpt: When conservators at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston gingerly removed items from the box Tuesday, they found five tightly folded newspapers, a medal depicting George Washington, a silver plaque, two dozen coins, including one dating to 1655, and the seal of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Shocking New Report Proves Corruption in Chicago Schools
Excerpt: A Chicago school operations employee collaborated with at least five co-workers and multiple outside businesses to fabricate expenses and bilk the city’s public schools of almost a million dollars. That account is merely the most spectacular tale in a lengthy annual report released Monday by the inspector general of Chicago Public Schools, which found dozens of instances of corruption and suspicious dealings by the school district’s employees. (Ah yes, the "Chicago way" in action. Massive corruption in a school system that doesn't graduate even half the kids who start high school. Isn't it amazing that after all the decades of rule by the same Party, which is the one that says it exists to serve the people, such things could possibly have gone on? --Del. Can't say I'm shocked. ~Bob)

New Regulations Cost $181.5 Billion in 2014
Excerpt: Last year, federal agencies proposed and finalized $181.5 billion worth of regulations. Sam Batkins, Director of Regulatory Policy at the American Action Forum, has analyzed the 79,066 pages of new regulations, which threaten higher prices for consumers and new burdens on businesses. What's in that $181.5 billion?

The Overcriminalization of America. By Charles G. Koch and Mark V. Holden
Excerpt: Overcriminalization has led to the mass incarceration of those ensnared by our criminal justice system, even though such imprisonment does not always enhance public safety. Indeed, more than half of federal inmates are nonviolent drug offenders. Enforcing so many victimless crimes inevitably leads to conflict between our citizens and law enforcement. As we have seen all too often, it can place our police officers in harm’s way, leading to tragic consequences for all involved. (Koch is, of course, the conservative businessman whom liberals see as the monster under the bed. ~Bob)

The Disturbing Coburn Report: The departing senator’s final oversight report shows a DHS that’s wasteful, prone to corruption, and unable to keep us safe. By Ryan Lovelace
Excerpt: Only three in every 100 illegal immigrants will ever face deportation. That’s one of many shocking revelations found in the final oversight report of Oklahoma senator Tom Coburn. Coburn, who was the ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, has exposed some glaring problems at the Department of Homeland Security. Coburn’s report, released on Saturday, details DHS’s failure to fulfill any of its five core functions: securing the border, enforcing immigration law, preventing terrorism, safeguarding cyberspace, and strengthening national preparedness.

Why Is Jeb Bush Smiling? Mike Huckabee’s “exploration” announcement is good news for the former Florida governor. By Jonah Goldberg
Excerpt: This is all to say Huckabee isn’t “exploring” the question of whether he’s running any more than Bush is. Bush wouldn’t resign from all those corporate boards and Huckabee wouldn’t walk off the Fox stage — or any stage — unless they’d already decided. Huckabee’s announcement is good news for Bush for an obvious reason: The more crowded the right side of the Republican field, the clearer it will be on the left.

Excerpt: The dad also blames the Marine Corps, saying his son was in boot camp in South Carolina but left after five months. “When he came back he was totally different person,” he said. “He had a problem being around crowds and he didn’t like civilians. I told him, ‘Jase, this is not life.'” Yeah, five months in Marine Corps is what screwed him up – tens of thousands of Marines who spent a helluva lot longer than that, saw a lot more than Polanco saw, go to their regular jobs everyday without shooting cops or engage in armed robbery. (Just to be safe, I'm going to keep an eye on me. ~Bob)

Governor Scott Walker’s Inaugural Address
Excerpt: Unlike other places around the world, this document says, in Wisconsin, it doesn’t matter what class you were born into or what your parents did for a living. Here, our opportunities should be as equal as possible, but the outcomes should still be up to each and every one of us. In Wisconsin, we understand that true freedom and prosperity do not come from the mighty hand of the government. They come from empowering people to control their own lives and their own destinies through the dignity born from work. In Wisconsin, we understand people create jobs, not the government. Those who choose to employ—be it one or many—are to be appreciated and encouraged, so as to prosper and increase employment for others in the future. In Wisconsin, we understand the best way to improve lives and strengthen families, as well as raise wages, is to assist people to get a better education and to acquire more skills. This is how we grow household incomes, while putting people to work.

Autopilot Nation: Conservatives lament, and liberals brag, that Obama has fundamentally transformed America. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: Six years of slumber later, a surging America finally is transcending even the effects of hope and change. For the last few years, most Americans have tuned out their president’s no-time-to-profit rhetoric. They just kept slogging away at what they always did as the most productive people in the world, and waited for the natural up-bound of a moribund economy. Obama himself understands that America is prevailing despite his efforts, and the evidence comes from his own admissions. In a recent National Public Radio interview, Obama took credit for the fact that the deficit was falling — as if, suddenly, fiscal prudence is a good thing and red-ink stimulus is not.

Taxpayers Lose Billions as Auto Industry Bailout Ends
Excerpt: In late December 2014, the U.S. Treasury Department announced the official end of the automobile industry bailout, after loans given to two of the “Big Three” automakers have been repaid to the government’s satisfaction. However, final accounting tallies published in 2014 reveal that the corporations received almost $10 billion more than they repaid.

Gun News

More on the M-16
I tested an M-16 at Air Police HQ at Tan Son Nhut, after guys in the field kept telling me about the problem and the lack of enough cleaning gear. It was a clean weapon, right out of the armory. I fired a clip then tossed a small amount of dirt, really dust, in the air over the open receiver. New clip, three rounds, then jam.
When my first story appeared MACV went ape. The general, he had a French name, told me I was all kinds of wrong, until I dropped the cartridge cases on his desk; round 4 had plowed into the jammed case of round 3. Oh, was he pissed off. 
Colt guys explained to me that the M-16 was machined to minute tolerance, so it only took a few grains of dirt or mud to cause a jam. The wet and humidity also caused minute rust spots in the chambers and barrels. They and the dirt led to jamming.
Colt took hundreds, maybe thousands, of M16s back to Okinawa to have the chambers chromed. I came home in January, 1968, a couple of weeks before Tet and I didn’t hear any about M16s because a few months later I was shipped off to cover Latin America.
Another complaint was cleaning gear. You probably remember that the M-1 had a cleaning kit in the stock. The M-16 did not; they had a cleaning kit for each squad or something like. You also remember guys with shaving brushes in the camo elastic around their helmets; they were for cleaning out M-16 chambers.
Actually my stories didn’t cause a big noise anywhere except at MACV in Saigon. It wasn’t until CBS-TV did a piece from Danang about Marines with jammed M-16s that it raised a fuss back in the US. The pictures spoke thousands of words. The Marines didn’t want the M-16 to begin with, they still wanted the Stoner system or to keep the M-14.
My M-16 pieces whipped MACV into a lather. Every reporter in VN wanted to spend a Day With Westy and like everyone else I had applied. One evening an Air Force LTC came to my room and I should be at MACV the next morning. As he left, the LTC said, “And Bob, don’t mention the M16.” Westy comes out with his ADC and we go out to his little private jet. The ADC was up front behind the pilot; the general and I sat facing each other. We were no sooner wheels up than he leans toward me and, “Now Bob, about the M-16.” He told me the IaDrang story and said I could use it but on deep background, no attribution.
Ralph Kennan, who had been my predecessor in VN, was in The Sun DC Bureau. He got a call from Col. William “Wild Bill” Hacker, who had been JUPAO spokesman but was back in the Pentagon. Ralph sent me a cable that Hacker had called and said the story was bullshit, etc. I sent back a cable that “I got the story from the highest source it is possible to get a story from here.” I heard no more about it.
The AK, of course, was crude enough that it didn’t have these jamming problems and functioned well enough to give people a fit in so many places around the world. U.S. troops have certainly seen plenty of them, in Eastern Europe and all over the Middle East. Cheers, Bob Erlandson.
The 5.62? NATO AR was designed to use IMR powder, which contained NO calcium salts. Uncle MacNaMara decided to use up the TONS of unused BALL powder left over from WWII in the ammo. Many of the jams were white crusty crap, calcium carbonate, formed by the tube which worked as a cooling tube in the powder laden gas blowback, filling the bolt and chamber with the gunk. Butch told me they would make Mexican match rounds for the M-16 if they had to field one. Pull the bullets, dump the powder, collect M-14 powder (IMR 4895) and fill the 5.62 cases & reseat the bullets. The sniper groups always had reloading supplies, Lee loaders. Rumor at best. Criminal at worst. --Mark

French terrorist bloodbath: First-responder police arrived unarmed, fled.
And, of course, none of the law-abiding dead had guns to protect themselves. ~Bob

Jeff Foxworthy and Alan Jackson Targeted by Moms Demand Action for Gun 
Excerpt: You can file this under, "You might be a bunch of un-American, dimwitted liberals if…" The Michael Bloomberg anti-gun organization known as Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense have now set their sights on comedian Jeff Foxworthy and Country music star Alan Jackson because they agreed to appear at the 2015 NRA Annual Meetings & Exhibitions in Nashville on April 11.

Satire: Create your own Gun Free Zone

Homeowner shoots, kills man trying to enter his home
Excerpt: A man who feared for his — and his family’s — safety shot and killed a man who had run away from a South Austin group home Monday morning, according to Austin police. Investigators say the shooting happened just before 6:30 a.m. in the 10200 block of Brantley Bend. A few minutes before the shooting, several 911 calls came in reporting a man who had been walking around the neighborhood banging on doors.

Race Card News

Worth Reading: A Legacy of Liberalism. By Thomas Sowell
Excerpt: Kristof's other "overwhelming" evidence of the current effects of past slavery is that blacks do not have as much income as whites. But Puerto Ricans do not have as much income as Japanese Americans. Mexican Americans do not have as much income as Cuban Americans. All sorts of people do not have as much income as all sorts of other people, not only in the United States, but in countries around the world. And most of these people were never enslaved. ... If we wanted to be serious about evidence, we might compare where blacks stood a hundred years after the end of slavery with where they stood after 30 years of the liberal welfare state. In other words, we could compare hard evidence on "the legacy of slavery" with hard evidence on the legacy of liberals.

Navy vet, 100, persuades protesters to let him speak: 'Give me a chance'
Excerpt: "I feel I'm no hero," said Raschio, dynamic and spry, before the event. "I don't accept it as being a hero. I accept it as being a part of my job." Shortly after Wyden began speaking, though, protesters erupted in the back of the room, shouting "hands-up, don't shoot!" More than 100 pushed through the doors, banged on the windows from outside and hoisted signs.

Oprah Winfrey: Leaders Need to Step Up Following Ferguson, Eric Garner Unrest
Excerpt: Oprah Winfrey is ready for African-American leadership to step up to the plate in the wake of recent social unrest following the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, and the choking death of Eric Garner in New York. The media mogul, who also produced and costarred in “Selma,” thinks the ongoing marches and protests are “wonderful,” but she’s searching for more.

Liberals' Use of Black People, Part II. By Walter E. Williams 
Excerpt: Last week’s column focused on the ways liberals use blacks in pursuit of their leftist agenda, plus their demeaning attitudes toward black people. Most demeaning are their double standards. It was recently reported that Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the House majority whip, spoke at a 2002 gathering hosted by white supremacist leaders when he was a Louisiana state representative. Some are calling on Scalise to step down or for House Speaker John Boehner to fire him. There’s no claim that Scalise made racist statements. Hardly anyone blinks an eye at the Rev. Al Sharpton’s racist statements, such as: “White folks was in the caves while we (blacks) was building empires. … We built pyramids before Donald Trump ever knew what architecture was. … We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it.”

Al Sharpton’s ace card. By Kathleen Parker
Excerpt: One might also conclude that the United States has a hearty appetite for the carnival barker, the jester, the rabble-rouser, the race-baiter and, lest we leave anyone out, the performance-activist who pretends to be a newsman while fomenting unrest that only he can quell. I haven’t yet said Al Sharpton, but if his name came to mind, there must be a reason.
In nearly every high-profile case of late that involved a black alleged victim and a white alleged perpetrator, Sharpton has injected himself as arbiter

Worth Reading: Five Easy Steps To Eliminate Racism In The New Year. By Carl Jackson
Excerpt: Choosing to hate people simply based upon the color of their skin is despicable! Likewise, presuming that all whites are inherently racist based strictly upon the color of their skin is appalling. "How is it that Asians can succeed in America and we can't?" That was the question some of my friends and I asked ourselves as teenagers. 

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Cry me a river: Harvard Ideas on Health Care Hit Home, Hard
Excerpt: For years, Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar.
Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the heart of the 378-year-old university, voted overwhelmingly in November to oppose changes that would require them and thousands of other Harvard employees to pay more for health care. The university says the increases are in part a result of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, which many Harvard professors championed.

Religion of Peace News

The Real Islam: At least 12 dead in shooting at office of satirical French publication
Excerpt: Black-clad gunmen stormed the Paris offices of a satirical publication known for lampooning Islam early Wednesday, killing 12 and injuring as many as 15 before escaping, French officials said. As many as three Kalashnikov-toting shooters were being sought after the attack at Charlie Hebdo, the publication known for challenging Muslim terrorists with a 2011 caricature of Prophet Muhammed on its cover and which recently tweeted a cartoon of Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. Two policemen and several journalists - including the cartoonist behind the weekly publication's provocative images, were among the dead.

Charlie Hebdo: Martyrs for the Truth. By Abigail R. Esman
Excerpt: With the massacre of Charlie Hebdo magazine's editors and cartoonists in Paris by Islamic gunmen early Wednesday afternoon, the forces of radical Islam lay the gauntlet down: radical Islam is not just fighting against Western freedom, or the hegemony of Western powers. Their real enemy is truth.

Shouts of 'Allahu Akbar' at Jihad Massacre at French Magazine Shooting. By Pamela Geller 
Excerpt: No one is safe. And we can expect to warned and admonished about the “fear of reprisals” which never come, and “islamophobia.” President Obama and the leftist lapdogs will insist this mass murder is “not Islamic.” (And the western media will censor their reports on ISIS, al Qaeda and Boko Haram because they know the government, too busy with "outreach" appeasement, won't protect them. ~Bob)

Paris shooting at Charlie Hebdo office: how terrorist attack unfolded
Excerpt: Ms Rey says: "They shot on Wolinski, Cabu... it lasted 5 minutes... I had hidden under my desk. They spoke French perfectly... they said they were al-Qaeda." Benoit Bringer, a journalist who works next door for the agency Premieres Lignes Tele, tells French TV: “Two black-hooded men entered the building with Kalashnikovs. A few minutes later we heard lots of shots.” He says the gunmen left the building after ten minutes. According to one report, they shouted: “We have killed Charlie Hebdo! We have avenged the Prophet Mohammed!” (Incredible. Broad daylight, middle of Paris. Terrorists killed and drove away unopposed. Note: Article mentions couple of Paris police officers arriving on bikes; probably Gendarme, unarmed in the past but I thought that changed long ago. Obviously it did not. My cousin was Paris motorcycle cop, retired, armed and in many a gunfight, always carried an unmarked pistol in saddlebags since "if he made a mistake," the deceased would have a pistol in hand. The Paris cop lying on ground wounded and then terrorists calmly walks over to him and while cop has hand up probably begging for his life, he gets a shot in the head. The French police are not going to forget that barbarity on one of their unarmed own. --JP)

Why are the Parris murders terrorism, while the Fort Hood murders were "Workplace Violence"? ~Bob

White House Press Sec on France Attack: ‘If’ It Is Terrorism… By Madeleine Morgenstern
Excerpt: White House press secretary Josh Earnest initially used the word “if” when asked whether Wednesday’s deadly attack in France was an act of terrorism.
Appearing on CNN, Earnest was pressed about describing the attack as “violence” instead of terrorism.

Flashback: White House Questioned Newspaper’s ‘Judgment Behind the Decision to Publish’ Muhammad Cartoons. By Fred Lucas
Excerpt: The White House in 2012 said it had “questions about the judgment of publishing” cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad in the French satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo. On Wednesday, masked gunman stormed the newspaper’s offices, killing 12 people, including 10 journalists. President Barack Obama condemned it as a “terrorist act.”

Newspaper Editor Killed in Paris Refuted Islamic Intimidation: "I'd Rather Die Standing Than Live on My Knees." By Katie Pavlich
Excerpt: Regardless, Charbonnier refused to live in fear and proudly proclaimed, "I'd rather die standing than live on my knees" as Islamists threatened his life daily. He continued to publish satirical material about Islam. He was a staunch advocate for free speech and will continue to be an example of courage for journalists everywhere. 

Washington Post Editorial: Charlie Hedbo stands solidly for free expression. The West must do no less.
Excerpt: SEVERAL PUBLISHERS in Western countries have disgraced themselves in recent years with self-censorship to avoid being targeted by Islamic militants. The French newspaper Charlie Hebdo did the opposite: Even after its offices were firebombed in 2011, and even after its editor was put on an al-Qaeda wanted list, it continued to courageously publish cartoons and articles lampooning Islam — as well as Christianity, Judaism and established religion in general.
Consequently, the heinous attack it suffered Wednesday — when gunmen shouting “Allahu Akbar” invaded its Paris offices and slaughtered 12 people, including editor Stéphane Charbonnier and the police officers defending him — is a direct challenge to the West’s commitment to free expression. 

French police identify gunmen in attack on Paris magazine that killed 12. By Perry Chiaramonte
Excerpt: Two officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, named the suspects to the Associated Press as Frenchmen Said Kouachi and Cherif Kouachi, in their early 30s, as well as 18-year-old Hamyd Mourad, whose nationality wasn't immediately clear. (Frenchmen? Sacre Bleu. ~Bob)

Paris terrorists identified as Islamic state members: Said Kouachi, Cherif Kouachi and Hamyd Mourad
Excerpt: With French army deployed over Christmas to maintain security in France from daily Muslim violence, threats, and attacks, the civil war against Islam in the land of Eurabia has now started. The more Muslims provoke the quicker they will reel in a new crusade. Really dumb people. Media is in denial and want to promote the drawings as the cause, not the real cause: 1,400 years of Muslim ideology to kill and terrorize non-Muslims. They don’t need excuses. They’ll make them up their own excuses if there are no reasons. (What a shock! Who wudda evah thunk it? Yet the government in Paris has been downplaying the whole matter of radical Islam for years, and in Germany Merkel has been dismissing all the protesters as racists, skinheads, and semiNazis. Apparently denial is some kind of political policy for her and a lot of other German intellectuals. My friend who lives there with his German wife tells me the demonstrations have a fringe of extremists, of course, but are mainly just regular middle class people who are sick and tired of the coddling the new immigrants get (at huge taxpayer expense) and the aggressiveness of some of the radical Islamists. I figure push is coming to shove pretty soon over there. If it were here, by now we'd have organized groups patrolling around the suspect areas. And they'd be people with carry permits. But they have really tight gun control laws in France and Germany.... so they should all be safe, shouldn't they? Maybe that doesn't actually work out the way some people think. --Del)

Obama Rolls Dice With American Lives Over GITMO Releases: Snake eyes, you die. Seven, eleven, you live. All other rolls of the dice are anybody’s guess. By J. D. Gordon
Excerpt: Yes, just like craps, such is the randomness of President Barack Obama’s gamble on releasing so many radical Islamic terror suspects from Guantanamo and hoping they don’t kill Americans and our allies. Yet sadly it’s no game, countless lives are at stake. (The writer makes his points well. Many of this have felt strongly about this all along. --Del)

Denmark: artist making Islam-critical paintings brutally attacked by “anti-fascists.” By Nicolai Sennels 
Excerpt: "The new year started very well, I was attacked by six masked “anti-fascists” on Jagtvej, Nørrebro in Copenhagen. It is obviously not everyone who likes my art,’ writes Dan Park ironically on his facebook profile under a picture where you can see that one of the artist’s eyes has been severely damaged in the attack."

Cultural psychology: How Islam managed to stay medieval for 1,400 years. By Nicolai Sennels, Psychologist
Excerpt: While almost all other cultures changed from primitive and medieval to democratic and egalitarian societies, one culture has managed to keep even its most brutal and backward traditions and values for 1,400 years until today. Still today, the majority of Muslims prefer to live by values that can be traced all the way back to the desert tribes in which the founder of their religion lived. Getting to know life in Muslim families and societies is like traveling back to the time of Muhammad. Here one finds shocking laws and traditions that are obviously criminal and inhumane — but for some reason accepted — in our otherwise humanistic culture. ... What are the cultural psychological factors making Islam able to stay medieval for 1,400 years?

The Islamization of Britain in 2014. By Soeren Kern
Excerpt: The Muslim population of Britain reached 3.4 million in 2014 to become around 5.3% of the overall population of 64 million, according to figures extrapolated from a recent study on the growth of the Muslim population in Europe. In real terms, Britain has the third-largest Muslim population in the European Union, after France and Germany. Islam and Islam-related issues were omnipresent in Britain during 2014, and can be categorized into four broad themes: 1) Islamic extremism and the security implications of British jihadists in Syria; 2) the continuing spread of Islamic Sharia law in Britain; 3) the sexual exploitation of British children by Muslim gangs; and 4) Muslim integration into British society.

Predictably getting the Lindt Cafe siege wrong. By Bernard Gaynor
Excerpt: Australia has woken to the devastating news that two hostages died in the Lindt Café last night. Like all Australians, my thoughts and prayers are with the families of those now grieving. But I am not going to join in with the mob in perpetuating the myths that are already being circulated as a result of this completely preventable tragedy. And it was completely preventable. It was the entirely predictable outcome of the decision to allow a violent culture with a superiority complex and an itchy trigger finger to take root in Australia. ... Bernard Gaynor has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and has returned from three Iraq deployments.

Defeated at American Historical Association. By Jeffrey Herf
Excerpt: University of Maryland Professor Jeffrey Herf helped lead the battle to defeat anti-Israel resolutions at the American Historical Association, as we wrote about on Sunday. I asked him to submit this Guest Post to recount the events and strategies, in the hope they will inform others facing similar anti-Israel tactics. William A. Jacobson, Legal Insurrection.

Islamic Militants Scream ‘Allahu Akbar!’ & Spray Machine Guns at a Jet. Then the MiG Turns Around.

Turkish Marxist group claims Istanbul suicide bombing
Excerpt: A banned Marxist group in Turkey says it carried out Tuesday's suicide bombing in Istanbul in which the female bomber and a policeman died.

Bait: US To Send More Troops to Iraq To Train Iraqi Forces
Excerpt: Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said Tuesday that the U.S. would be sending additional troops to Iraq over the next six weeks as part of the training mission that already authorized up to 3,100 American troops. Of those, there are already about 2,150U.S. troops in Iraq today, including about 300 at al Asad airbase in Anbar Province and about 100 at Camp Taji north of Baghdad.

Executed for the world to see, ISIS release footage of brave Iraqi police officers who infiltrated the Islamist group but were caught aiding coalition air strikes
Excerpt: Islamic State have released photos from one of their forthcoming videos showing the execution of eight Iraqi police officers, who are accused of informing on Islamic State for the Iraqi government. Entitled 'the Day of Judgement', the photos show eight Iraqi men dressed in orange Guantanamo Bay style jumpsuits. Standing behind them are Islamic State's notorious security forces, known for carrying out mass public executions in broad daylight.

Islamic State attack kills 23 Iraqi troops, Sunni fighters
Excerpt: A suicide blast targeting Iraqi security forces and subsequent clashes with Islamic State extremists on Tuesday killed at least 23 troops and pro-government Sunni fighters in the country's embattled western province of Anbar, officials said.

Syria: Isis chief executioner found beheaded with cigarette in his mouth. By Gianluca Mezzofiore
Excerpt: In a grotesque twist of the saying "live by the sword, die by the sword", an Islamic State executioner in Syria who carried out beheadings for the jihadist group has been found with his head cut off. The body of Egyptian-born Abu Zaid al-Masri, the deputy emir of the feared al-Hesbah (or Hisbah) force in the eastern province of Deir al-Zor, was recovered near a power plant in al-Mayadeen city, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

Lejeune Marines prepare for deployment to Afghanistan
Excerpt: Just months after marking the end of the Corps' combat operations in Afghanistan, officials revealed that Marines are headed back into the war-torn country, but details of the deployment remain scarce. The disclosure came in a Marine Corps news release outlining preparations being made by 2nd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company aboard Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, in December. The company tested its Supporting Arms Liaison Team Alpha's readiness for an upcoming deployment to Afghanistan by tackling various "real-life" scenarios between Dec. 8 and 11, according to the release.

Erdogan Grooms a New Jihad Generation. By Abigail R. Esman
Excerpt: First, he promised to build a new, "religious generation." Now, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appears to be going one step further: creating, too, a new generation for jihad. If that sounds a bit like the Islamic State, there is one significant distinction: IS leaders shape their youth by teaching them to use Kalashnikovs and knives. Erdogan is shaping children's minds. And that can be far more dangerous.

Greek oil tanker bombed in Libyan port of Derna
Excerpt: Libyan air force jets have bombed a Greek-operated oil tanker chartered by Libya's national oil company, killing two crew members. A Libyan military spokesman told the BBC that the ship's movements at the port of Derna had aroused suspicion. The oil company rejected this, saying the ship was delivering fuel to industrial facilities there and the authorities had been kept informed. Derna has been controlled by Islamist militants for the past two years.

Interesting: Saudi Arabia Faces Challenges in the New Year
Excerpt: Riyadh begins this year under considerably more duress than it faced 12 months ago. Not only is King Abdullah gravely ill (a bout of pneumonia forced the 90-year-old ruler to ring in the new year in the hospital and on a ventilator), but the world's largest oil-producing country has also entered into a price war with American shale producers. Because Saudi Arabia and its principal regional allies, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, boast more than a trillion dollars in cash reserves between them, they will be able to keep production levels constant for the foreseeable future.

Bosnia: Muslim cleric who opposes Islamic State attacked by violent jihadis seven times in past year. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: “When did Muhammad ever behead anyone?” asks Selvedin Beganovic. He meant it as a rhetorical question to show that the Islamic State is un-Islamic. But then there is this:

Israeli attacked by men singing anti-Semitic songs in Berlin
Excerpt: German police are investigating an attack on an Israeli who was beaten by a group of young men after he asked them to stop singing anti-Semitic songs on the Berlin subway on New Year's Eve. Spokesman Martin Dahms said Monday police are still looking for the attackers.

Muslim cleric: If Jews had been “respectable,” Hitler wouldn’t have killed them. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: During a December 28, 2014 Hamas TV show, Palestinian imam Sheik Iyad Abu Funun said: “If the Jews had been a respectable, well-bred people,… [Hitler] would not have done those things to them. … Corruption is deeply rooted in that nation.” Abu Funun, who in the past was sentenced to 29 years in an Israeli prison, was released in the 2011 Shalit prisoner swap. He was later rearrested after resuming his militant activity and expelled from Bethlehem to Gaza for ten years. Abu Funun delivers sermons in a Gaza mosque and recently began to moderate a show on the Hamas-owned Al-Aqsa TV channel, where he made the current statements.

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:

1 comment:

  1. Re, the M-16. Did three years of Combat Security in Vietnam. Fired thousands of rounds without a single jam. When they dropped the magazine count from 20 to 18 I never heard a single complaint of jamming. Just my experience.