Monday, January 5, 2015

Political News and Conservative Comment to warm you in this cold snap


Winter is here
When we left for the VA Monday morning, Bonnie to volunteer and me for PT rehab, the temperature was seven below zero. When we came out at 11 to go home, it was up to three below, but expected to go to 12 above, though with wind chills of 12 to 19 below. Three inches on snow forecast for tonight, a high of three below for Wednesday. I publish this to make those who live in the South feel good. You're welcome. ~Bob

Book Recommendation: The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard 
This is a terrific book. Not only will you learn things about Roosevelt, but also many interesting things about the Amazon Rain Forest (the PC term today for jungle). From reading bios of TR, I knew that he had taken an exploration trip to Brazil after he lost the 2012 presidential race as a third party candidate, but I had no idea that it was so harrowing. That he survived at all was a miracle--one more bad break, mistake or accident and his bones would be lost in the jungle. There is much to admire in his selflessness, fortitude and tenacity, but in this case his leadership was lacking. He allowed incompetents to plan the trip and changed the trip at the last minute to a much riskier area. You can delegate authority, but not responsibility. Having delegated responsibility for logistics, he should have supervised to be sure the tasks were properly carried out. Finding out when it's too late to turn back that they were missing much needed supplies resulted in a major fustercluck. The book is well written, educational and entertaining, but frustrating as much trouble could have been avoided with decent planning. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Another Friend Gone: Edward W. Brooke, first African American popularly elected to U.S. Senate, dies at 95
Excerpt: Edward W. Brooke, who in 1966 became the first African American popularly elected to the U.S. Senate and who influenced major anti-poverty laws before his bright political career unraveled over allegations of financial impropriety, died Jan. 3 at his home in Coral Gables, Fla. He was 95. ... Mr. Brooke, a liberal Massachusetts Republican, was one of only two African Americans to serve in the Senate in the 20th century. ... After distinguished combat service in the segregated U.S. Army during World War II, he forged a legal and political career in Massachusetts, becoming the state’s hard-charging attorney general before winning election to the Senate. (Brooke was a friend. Though I was much more conservative, he endorsed me, helped all he could and sent a team under his political guy, Roger Woodworth, to help with my recount. Without them, and my pro bono attorney, Andy Gelinas, I could not have held the Dems off in the recount, since they controlled the election apparatus. He always supported fellow Republicans, despite any policy differences. the liberal Democrats, not worried about being called racists, destroyed his career in 1978 with sears that were refuted--after he lost the election. Conservative Republicans, whom he had stood by, sat on their hands. Thus far left Paul Tsongas, followed by John Kerry, went to the US senate. Thus was an improvement how. Brooke was a state or national AmVets commander, I forget which. He was self-made and had a great life, but I regret his death. ~Bob

ObamaFund looks like another big subsidy
Excerpt: Even if you have several decades of productive work ahead — and thus a long investing time horizon — the White House wants you to consider a retirement plan that will invest in nothing but U.S. government debt. Any financial professional who advised a young investor to avoid stocks and corporate bonds — and everything else except Treasury bonds — would be sued for malpractice. But asset allocation is merely one of the problems with the new “myRA” fund rolling out from the Treasury this month.

Fallen US Marine’s Father returns Obama’s Condolence Letter with an Incredible Rebuke
Excerpt: "I am deeply saddened that you are the President of the United States. You sir are an embarrassment to the Oval Office. My son, as well as most Marines I know, despise you and your lack of representation for our military. Your ridiculous rules of engagement have caused the massive amount of casualties on your watch in Afghanistan. While we watch your media pander to your administration and clearly sweep things under the rug for you, I fully understand Marines die. You have tied their hands & feet!"

Income inequality — the issue the Democrats want. By Ed Rogers
Excerpt: It is interesting to watch the Democrats work to fashion “income inequality” into an issue they think they can use. Some Democrats bemoan income inequality as the paramount issue of our time, as if they have been chained, mute, helpless witnesses to policy development for the past six years. It takes a lot of gall for them to pretend that they had nothing to do with what they see as this great evil that has somehow been allowed to infect society. The Democrats are completely uninhibited by the truth. Under even mild scrutiny, their claims that they are foes of income inequality are revealed as hollow at best and are loaded with hypocrisy. 

Republicans are pro-police and pro-defense. By Jennifer Rubin 
Excerpt: The Post-ABC News poll’s latest results show how wide the gap is between libertarians and mainstream Republicans on two critical issues. Those who imagined that there was a “libertarian moment” may want to admit it vanished without a trace. ... When it comes to police, Republicans are four-square on the side of law and order. Among Republicans, 74 percent are very or somewhat confident police are held accountable for misconduct, as opposed to 54 percent of all registered voters. Among Republicans, 64 percent believe African Americans and whites receive equal justice, 77 percent are very or somewhat confident the police treat African Americans and whites equally, 76 percent believe they are adequately trained to avoid excessive force, and by a 50-to-35 percent margin over Democrats, they even agree with the grand jury decision not to charge the police officer in the killing of Eric Garner. (I suspect that the grand jury acted correctly in the Brown case, but have questions in the Garner case. But I cannot have an informed opinion--and neither can you--unless we see all the evidence they saw. ~Bob)

Rick Scott Will Raise the Conservative Standard in Inaugural Address
Excerpt: As he readies to be sworn in for a second term on Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott is promising to continue the fight for conservative fiscal policy, insisting it has helped bring Florida’s economy back.

Next House Speaker Must Tackle Trillion-Dollar Problems. By Rep. David Brat
Excerpt: Whoever runs for the Republican leadership of the U.S. House on Tuesday must communicate on paper how Congress is going to lead on the big issues. The American people elected us to solve trillion-dollar problems, not to kick the can down the road with only symbolic votes. My district expects any leader to clearly outline bold solutions on the major issues of our day, such as:

The Boehner for speaker whip count. By Aaron Blake
Excerpt: So, the likely/possible votes against Boehner currently stand at 14, with 29 being the magic number. That 29 number, we would emphasize, is a minimum. Boehner needs a majority, so if some members don't vote, Boehner's threshold for winning will be lower than the usual 218 votes -- as it was in 2013, when it was 214 votes. So if some of these Boehner opponents vote for nobody -- as Labrador and Mulvaney did in 2013 -- that hurts Boehner less.

The Flood: new music from ancient words (video)
Excerpt: ‘The Flood’ is a creative collaboration between Stef Conner, Andy Lowings (instrument-builder, harpist and creator of the Gold Lyre of Ur Project) and Mark Harmer (sound engineer, producer and harpist). Based on Mesopotamian texts from as early as the 4th millennium BC and composed for voice and the Lyre of Ur (a reconstructed 4500-year-old instrument excavated in the early 20th century from the Royal Graves at Ur), the album is the first ever CD of new music sung entirely in Sumerian and Babylonian. (Interesting music, but the site asks you to order, doesn't tell the price [12 pounds] until you add to your cart. ~Bob)

Voters Still Want Death Penalty for Boston Marathon Bomber
Excerpt: Jury selection begins today for the trial of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev nearly two years after his arrest for the bombing of the Boston Marathon in 2013, and most voters agree that trials shouldn’t take place this long after a crime is committed. Despite the time lag, voters are still looking for the same outcome if the surviving suspect in the bombings is found guilty. (IN Massachusetts? Not likely. When I was a MA state senator, it was on the books, but not enforced. I told a radio host that I was for. "Two chairs, no waiting--like a barbershop." He was aghast, asked, "But senator, who would we get to do it?" "Put a button on the foot of my bed, call me and tell me you've got one in the chair, and I'll hit it with my big toe, then go back to sleep. I'm a Marine--I don't ask others to do my killing." I had a it of a reputation for blunt truth telling, which meant, I think, that only 50% of what I said was rubbish as opposed to 95% for my colleagues. ~Bob)

Archaeologists find possible site of Jesus’s trial in Jerusalem
Excerpt: They knew it had been used as a prison when the Ottoman Turks and then the British ruled these parts. But, as they carefully dug down, they eventually uncovered something extraordinary: the suspected remains of the palace where one of the more famous scenes of the New Testament may have taken place — the trial of Jesus.

DISH Network co-founder accused of bullying execs for political donation
Excerpt: The co-founder of broadcasting giant DISH Network was accused in a federal complaint last week of intimidating company executives into making political donations that largely went to Democratic causes. The Federal Election Commission complaint, filed by conservative advocacy group Cause of Action, claimed an unnamed "insider" had come forward to report DISH executives "being compelled to make political campaign contributions." (Also, see

Venezuela's Maduro to visit China, OPEC nations amid cash crunch
Excerpt: His first stop will be China, which has become Venezuela's principal financier through oil-for-loan agreements in which Venezuela receives cash up front in exchange for future deliveries of crude and fuel.

Nico Sell: ‘To me, the NSA and Edward Snowden are just the tip of the iceberg’. The founder of secure messaging app Wickr on privacy, why she always wears dark glasses in public and why girls make great hackers
Excerpt: If people really understood what was going on, they would be. To me, the NSA and Snowden are just the tip of the iceberg. I don’t have personal conversations that I wouldn’t want to read in a newspaper on email and SMS, nor a phone call unless it’s encrypted with Wickr.

Who’s the true enemy of internet freedom - ChinaRussia, or the US? By Evgeny Morozov
excerpt: In short, the US government insists that it should have access to data regardless of where it is stored as long as it is handled by US companies. Just imagine the outcry if the Chinese government were to demand access to any data that passes through devices manufactured by Chinese companies – Xiaomi, say, or Lenovo – regardless of whether their users are in London or New York or Tokyo. ...Rhetorically, it is very hard to oppose government-run digital surveillance and online spin in RussiaChina or Iran, when the US government probably does more of it than all of these countries combined.

Obamas in Royal Trouble for Dining at Restaurant with $500,000 Membership Fee
Excerpt: Nearing the end of the their 17-day vacation in Hawaii, President Obama and the First Lady had their New Year’s Day dinner at one of the most expensive restaurants in Hawaii – where memberships can run upwards of $500,000. The Obamas enjoyed a nearly three hour long, 15-course meal that is priced at nearly $300 a head. According to Honolulu Magazine, that doesn’t include the dessert, wine, or tip, and a dinner for two can run $1000 or more. (Only a Republican would be in trouble. The media will hardly cover this. ~Bob)

The Bubble to End All Bubbles
Excerpt: But as politicians have shown us time and again, overspending is never a temporary issue. This is compounded by the fact that the political process largely consists of promising various social spending programs/ entitlements to incentivize voters. This type of social spending is not temporary… this is endemic.

Is Life Better in America’s Red States? By Richard Florida, New York Times
Excerpt: Blue states, like California, New York and Illinois, whose economies turn on finance, trade and knowledge, are generally richer than red states. But red states, like Texas, Georgia and Utah, have done a better job over all of offering a higher standard of living relative to housing costs. That basic economic fact not only helps explain why the nation’s electoral map got so much redder in the November midterm elections, but also why America’s prosperity is in jeopardy.

Going home from the South, a new holiday exodus. Dustin Chambers, New York Times
Excerpt: Since 1990, the share of residents of Georgia, Tennessee and the Carolinas who were born in California has roughly doubled, according to a New York Times analysis of census data. The number of Oregon, Washington and Colorado natives — as well as natives of Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York — in the Southeast has surged, too. ... The main reason is a version of what economists call arbitrage: Growing numbers of people have realized that many of life’s biggest costs — including housing, energy and taxes — are lower in the South, said Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moody’s Analytics, which specializes in regional economic data. House prices, for example, were already lower in the Southeast in the early 1990s than in much of California and the Northeast — and the gap has widened significantly since.

New Senate majority leader’s main goal for GOP: Don’t be scary. By Paul Kane
Excerpt: Mitch McConnell has an unusual admonition for the new Republican majority as it takes over the Senate this week: Don’t be “scary.” The incoming Senate majority leader has set a political goal for the next two years of overseeing a functioning, reasonable majority on Capitol Hill that scores some measured conservative wins, particularly against environmental regulations, but probably not big victories such as a full repeal of the health-care law. McConnell’s priority is to set the stage for a potential GOP presidential victory in 2016.

Gun News

Worth Reading about the M-16: Gun Trouble. The rifle that today's infantry uses is little changed since the 1960s—and it is badly flawed. Military lives depend on these cheap composites of metal and plastic. So why can't the richest country in the world give its soldiers better ones? By Robert H. Scales
Excerpt: One afternoon just a month and a half after the Battle of Gettysburg, Christopher Spencer, the creator of a seven-shot repeating rifle, walked Abraham Lincoln out to a grassy field near where the Washington Monument now stands in order to demonstrate the amazing potential of his new gun. Lincoln had heard about the mystical powers of repeating rifles at Gettysburg and other battles where some Union troops already had them. He wanted to test them for the rest of his soldiers. The president quickly put seven rounds inside a small target 40 yards away. He was sold. But to Army bureaucrats, repeaters were an expensive, ammunition-wasting nuisance. Ignorant, unimaginative, vain, and disloyal to the point of criminality, the Army’s chief of ordnance, General James Wolfe Ripley, worked to sabotage every effort to equip the Union Army with repeating rifles, mostly because he couldn’t be bothered. He largely succeeded. (Whenever I went on perimeter watch at Khe Sanh, I would clean my M-16, and my magazines, oiling every round and loading the 20-round mags with only 17, as we were told that would help prevent jamming. This was a luxury I had, as I was with HQ, 26th Marines, and Khe Sanh was relatively quiet in 1967. The grunts fighting in the rice paddies didn't have this luxury. At Phu Bai, the LT. took us in front of the lines to practice assaulting a hill. I was giving a fire team. Three of the four rifles in the team jammed, including mine. The party line was we hadn't cleaned them, but we knew better. In Road of 10,000 Pains: The Destruction of the 2nd NVA Division by the U.S. Marines, 1967 by Otto J. Lehrack, the author, a Marine infantry officer, reports that about half the several hundred Marines who were KIA that summer in the Que Son valley died because of jammed rifles. ~Bob. -- I got there a bit after you... December 68. My 16 never jammed and we slept in the mud many nights... (actually I never knew anyone whose 16 jammed and we did not have the opportunity to clean our rifles after each firefight). I have had one 16 as a civilian and many, many AR's as well. I have never had one jam on me. I have read that there was a brief ammunition problem during a segment of use in Nam and that was the culprit. The only time I was willing to give up my 16, was for the period I was gunner on the M-60, but was so happy when I got my 16 back. I have had many AK's and SKS's... good touch rifles, but I would not give one 16 for two of them. --Sonny. -- I got on the kick against the M-16 a very long time ago, when I heard Marines calling desperately for ramrods during a firefight. Anyone who was in Viet Nam for the first three versions of the M-16 has the same memories of its unreliability. After a whole host of "fixes" they got it to where if you really worked hard at keeping it clean, it would work most of the time. But it could never compare in reliability to the AK-47, the M-14, or the M-1. Its bullet does not have real knockdown power, its practical range is 300m, and it's still intolerant of dirt. Every grunt I knew was more than ready to take the extra weight of an M-14 and its ammo rather than depend on the M-16, and the M-4 is just not that much better. It has been time for decades for the US military to get real about a grunt rifle and go to any of the numerous alternates that have been developed and shown up in all kinds of tests. Hopefully this article will spur some movement, but under today's totally political atmosphere, I am not too hopeful. --Del. -- Another perspective: The article also fails to mention modern variants with gas piston uppers, which run a lot cooler and much less dirty – the modern German HK416 is essentially an m16 with a railed gas piston upper. Certainly they are more and more fancy polymer designs, but its versatility is great as it is easy to switch to higher powered calibers, overcoming its limitations as a heavy hitter at long distances or through obstacles. here is one more article which addresses the capacity to go special purpose with a heavier cartridge, but still on what essentially is the familiar m16 platform. 6.8 Remington. Some of our snipers have used Knight’s SR25 or LMRC VEPR rifles (beefed up Stoner type rifles) quite effectively in Iraq and Afghanistan. Interviewed a young (to me) Marine who had quite a bit of success at quite long distances with the VEPR. --Ernie. -- Sheesh. If I was in that hell on the ground (and I thank God I was not) I think I would have looked for an AK-47. Ammo might have been a problem though. It is kind of like that nutsy contract to Italy for our Beretta service sidearm at 9mm. Nice to see the Corps and SpecOps going back to 45cal. I could tell you some tales of bureaucrats designing carrier aircraft… besides scups by McNamara and his arrogant 'whiz kids' with their Wall Street shirts and suspenders. --Chet Nagle [Chet is a Naval Aviator, former CIA agent and the author of the excellent thrillers The Iran Covenant and The Woolsorter's Plague. ~Bob] -- A fair and thorough discussion. Did you train with an M-14, and get your intro to the M-16 in Vietnam? That was a common story, and a ludicrous McNamara policy. I don't think the current M-4 is really lighter than the old M-16. Lots of controversy around what makes the ammo "effective". I do agree that a larger caliber is called for. --Steve. -- Once again the M-16 pops up. Here are two pieces I did in VN. There were others, after Colt sent a team of inspectors to check it out. They found rust in the chambers and barrels and shipped tons of them back to Okinawa to be chromed. I have never understood why the US didn’t adopt the AK-47, dress it up to suit US tastes and issue it. Those buggers never failed, while I’ve seen guys cross rice paddies and get their weapons wet – bingo – jam. --Bob Erlandson. -- Before being fully cognizant of the jamming problems, the M-16 seemed to be a blessing because of the extra quantity of rounds that one could carry. I do not remember "oiling every round", Wouldn't that exacerbate the problem in a dusty environment? SF, --Peter. I wiped them down with an oily rag, not a lot of oil, supposed to feed better. Cannot testify if it helped. ~Bob)

Excerpt: In a groundbreaking opinion examining the Gun Control Act’s categorical prohibition on firearm possession for persons who have been “committed to a mental institution,” the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit determined the Second Amendment prohibited application of the ban to an individual who had been committed 28 years earlier and had no viable option for seeking restoration of his rights. ... Clifford Tyler is a 73-year-old man who does not currently suffer from mental illness and has no history of violence, unlawful behavior, or substance abuse.

Democrats Run As Pro-Gun To Get Elected, Then War Against Guns
Excerpt: For example, consider President Obama, who actually campaigned as a supporter of the Second Amendment to win his first presidential election. According to Real Clear Politics, he said the following in 2008: “I believe in the Second Amendment. I believe in people’s lawful right to bear arms. I will not take your shotgun away. I will not take your rifle away. I won’t take your handgun away.” Fast forward to 2013 and Obama’s presidency was characterized by various gun pushes that included complete bans on certain types of rifles.

Race Card News

Excerpt: Want to influence a casino bid? Polish your corporate image? Not be labeled a racist?
Then you need to pay Al Sharpton. For more than a decade, corporations have shelled out thousands of dollars in donations and consulting fees to Sharpton’s National Action Network. What they get in return is the reverend’s supposed sway in the black community or, more often, his silence.

Interesting: ‘We Have a Brand!’  Martin Luther King Jr.’s heirs seem more interested in money than in his message. By John Fund
Excerpt: The film Selma, a soaring biographical drama about Martin Luther King’s role in the 1965 civil-rights marches, opens nationwide this week. Critics and audiences are lavishing it with praise, but it could have been an even more meaningful film if its producers hadn’t been blocked by the King estate — represented by a for-profit company, King, Inc. — from using words from King’s speeches, including “I have a dream.” Selma still works because filmmaker Ava DuVernay was able to construct phrases that conveyed King’s oratory without using his actual words. King, Inc., is controlled by King’s surviving children and holds the copyright to King’s speeches. 

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Excerpt: On November 10, the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) predicted 9.1 million enrollees, within an expected range of 9.0 million to 9.9 million. This was a retreat from an estimate of 13 million enrollees made by the Congressional Budget Office. In light of reported enrollments, this prediction appears very optimistic. About 7.1 million applicants had “selected” (which includes auto-enrollment for 2014 enrollees) a plan on an Obamacare exchange by December 26. This is likely an underestimate, because data from state exchanges were updated only to December 13, by which date 14 states with their own Obamacare exchanges reported over 600,000 enrollees (p. 16). Let’s upgrade that to an even million, making the total enrolled 7.6 million as of December 26. Obamacare would still have to add one-fifth more enrollees to hit its low target.

Mia Love Vows to Do ‘Everything Humanly Possible to Stop Obamacare.’ By Natalie Johnson
Excerpt: Rep.-elect Mia Love will join congressional Republicans in the fight against Obamacare tomorrow. (She only opposes Obamacare because she's a racist and hates Obama for being black. Yes, I know she's black and according to progressives, blacks cannot be racist even if they murder whites, Asian and Hispanics because of their race. They make an exception for black conservatives. ~Bob)

GOP Must Plan For Obamacare's Demise. By Sally Pipes
Excerpt: But Republicans cannot be satisfied with simply repealing Obamacare. They must formulate a replacement plan that will reduce health costs and expand access to care. And with a final decision in King expected in late June, they must do so quickly. The plaintiffs aiming to bring down Obamacare have the law on their side. In a section known as 36B, the Affordable Care Act states that the federal government can only offer subsidies through exchanges “established by the State.”

"You're Greener than Gore" News

What Americans Think About Keystone XL Pipeline: Build It. By Katie Pavlich 
Excerpt: Among the goals of the new GOP majority in Congress is passing legislation to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would transport oil from Canada’s oil sands region through the Midwest to refineries in Texas. By nearly two-to-one, the public favors building the pipeline (59% to 31%); yet overall support is down from March 2013 when 66% favored the project. (Yet another case, like late term abortion and Obamacare, where the Undemocratic Party opposes the will of the majority. ~Bob)

Religion of Peace News

Erdogan's Egyptian Nightmare. By Burak Bekdil
Excerpt: After the coup in Egypt, when el-Sisi ran for president and won the elections, Turkey's Erdogan declared them "null and void." And not just that. Erdogan also said that he did not view el-Sisi as "president of Egypt." At another time, he said, "Turkey would not recognize the coup regime in Egypt." Last July, he called el-Sisi "an illegitimate tyrant" and a "coup-maker." Meanwhile, neither was Erdogan a "rock star" in Cairo nor was Turkey "the most popular country." Egyptian non-governmental organizations [NGOs] called on Egyptians and Arabs to boycott Turkish goods and soap operas. Egypt's intellectuals, writers and businessmen were recommending a break in Egypt's relations with Turkey because "they were disappointed." Egypt unilaterally cancelled both visa-free travel for Turkish citizens and a transit agreement for Turkish trucks.

Boko Haram overruns Multinational Joint Task Force base
Excerpt: At around 5 a.m. yesterday, the al Qaeda-linked jihadists attacked the Multinational Joint Task Force (MNJTF) base, which is located just outside the town of Baga in northeastern Borno state, and battled with soldiers for hours. The Boko Haram fighters attacked the MNJTF base "from all directions," and forced the soldiers to abandon the base, the BBC reported.

US drones hit 'good Taliban' commander's compound in North Waziristan
Excerpt: The US launched the first drone strike in Pakistan this year in an attack targeting fighters loyal to a Taliban commander who is favored by Pakistan's government as well as its military and intelligence establishment. The CIA-operated, remotely piloted Predators or Reapers launched an airstrike on a compound in the village of Wacha Basti in the Datta Khel area of North Waziristan earlier today, Dawn reported. Eight people, including an unidentified "high-value target," are reported to have been killed in the strike. (Well, the "High Value Target" at least is a good Taliban. Now. ~Bob)

Turkey is no American Ally. By Efraim Inbar
Excerpt: Turkey is officially a NATO ally, and President Barrack Obama has called the current President of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a friend. But Erdogan-led Turkey does not behave as an ally or a friend of the US. This is not a new development. Erdogan and his Islamist party, the AKP, have ruled Turkey since 2002. Erdogan's Turkey has gradually distanced itself from the West, adopting domestic and foreign policies fueled by Ottoman and Islamist impulses.

Man shouting "God is Great" tries to strangle French police officer. The incident in Metz raised fears of "lone wolf" attacks by Islamist terrorists
Excerpt: A man has tried to strangle a police officer while shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is great), the latest in a spate of attacks in France that have heightened fears of terrorism. The latest assault took place in the eastern city of Metz on Friday when a man arrested for bag-snatching asked the officer to bring him a glass of water. When the policeman opened his cell door, the 23-year-old lunged at him and tried to throttle him while shouting "Allahu Akbar". (How many "lone wolves" does it take to make a pack? ~Bob)

The Real Islam: Syria rebels 'burned down churches and destroyed Christian graves'
Excerpt: Beside the desecrated graveyard in the Syrian town of Kessab stood the Holy Trinity Armenian Evangelical church. Its library, pews and altar had all been burned by arsonists.
The perpetrators had shown both purpose and glee in their destruction of Christian sites in this ancient Armenian town. Statues were riddled with bullets and Islamist slogans were scrawled across the walls of homes and shops. (“During weeks of planning before the assault, rebel fighters were given strict orders to use the offensive to show themselves as “moderate Muslims” and natural allies of the West.” Time for Obama to send them more weapons, and the UN to issue another condemnation of…Israel. --Robert Spencer,

The Real Islam: Attacks by Islamic Extremists in Nigeria Leave at Least 28 Christians Dead. Fulani herdsmen, suicide bomber ring in new year with violence in three states.
Excerpt: Muslim Fulani gunmen on Friday (Jan. 2) killed 15 Christians in an area of Kaduna state where 10 others were killed on Dec. 27, ending a week of violence in Nigeria in which at least 28 died. The ethnic Fulani herdsmen killed the 15 Christians in Ambe-Madaki village, in Kaduna’s Sanga Local Government Area, in an attack that began at about 4 a.m., sources said. On Dec. 27 in Tattaura village of the same area, Muslim Fulanis killed 10 Christians.

The Real Islam: For Muslim apostates, giving up their faith can be terrifying, alienating and dangerous
Excerpt: In many Muslim-majority countries, renouncing Islam is a crime punishable by death. But even in the liberal West, some ex-Muslims continue to fear leaving their faith. Although reformists point to the Qur’anic ruling, "there is no compulsion in religion,” they hide their disbelief or risk being ostracized by their families and the wider ummah (community) of believers. In extreme cases they believe their status as “apostates of the faith” puts them in danger. (This article tells the stories of several ex-Muslims, but it doesn’t explain why it has proven so difficult for them to leave Islam — indeed, true to form for the mainstream media, it gives the impression that Muslims who threaten or shun apostates are violating the Qur’an’s dictum that “there is no compulsion in religion” (2:256). Author Simon Cottee doesn’t mention, and may not know, that a Hadith depicts Muhammad saying: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 9.84.57). The death penalty for apostasy is part of Islamic law according to all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence. This is still the position of all the schools of Islamic jurisprudence, both Sunni and Shi’ite. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most renowned and prominent Muslim cleric in the world, has stated: “The Muslim jurists are unanimous that apostates must be punished, yet they differ as to determining the kind of punishment to be inflicted upon them. The majority of them, including the four main schools of jurisprudence (Hanafi, Maliki, Shafi`i, and Hanbali) as well as the other four schools of jurisprudence (the four Shiite schools of Az-Zaidiyyah, Al-Ithna-`ashriyyah, Al-Ja`fariyyah, and Az-Zaheriyyah) agree that apostates must be executed.” --Robert Spencer,

Excerpt: A senior al Qaeda operative known as Abu Anas al Libi has died in the US as he was awaiting trial. Al Libi was captured in Tripoli during a raid by US forces in late 2013. He had been wanted for his role in the August 1998 US Embassy bombings for more than a decade prior to his arrest. The US government has in its possession numerous pieces of evidence concerning al Libi's al Qaeda role, including files recovered in May 2011 from Osama bin Laden's home in Pakistan.

Excerpt: For a President who was suddenly concerned with optics after media outlets juxtaposed of his hitting the golf course while acknowledging news of journalist James Foley’s beheading with Foley’s grieving parents, Barack Obama doesn’t appear to have learned from it. While vacationing in Hawaii, Obama hit the links again, only this time on Christmas eve with a staunch Islamist who last year defended ISIS and supports Sharia law in his country.

Islamist militants kill seven Malian soldiers in dawn attack
Excerpt: Islamist gunmen killed at least seven Malian soldiers near the Mauritanian border, a local mayor said in Monday, in a dawn raid that illustrated continuing volatility two years after France helped take back territory seized by al Qaeda-linked militants.

Arab spring prompts biggest migrant wave since second world war
Excerpt: The two “ghost ships” discovered sailing towards the Italian coast last week with hundreds of migrants – but no crew – on board are just the latest symptom of what experts consider to be the world’s largest wave of mass-migration since the end of the second world war. Wars in SyriaLibya and Iraq, severe repression in Eritrea, and spiralling instability across much of the Arab world have all contributed to the displacement of around 16.7 million refugees worldwide. A further 33.3 million people are “internally displaced” within their own war-torn countries, forcing many of those originally from the Middle East to cross the lesser evil of the Mediterranean in increasingly dangerous ways, all in the distant hope of a better life in Europe.

ISLAM: Raping Its Way Through The West
Excerpt: A not so surprising phenomena has surfaced in the West: The more Muslims in an area, the more infidel women are raped.... Islam’s holy book has no term for “rape”. Rather, there’s several verses in the Quran that encourage rape and other sexual crimes against women.

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:

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