Sunday, February 1, 2015

Today's interesting political news and conservative comment


Been snowing since 9:00 pm Saturday, expected to last until 9 tonight. But 8 inches tops--lots better than Lunenburg, where I lived in Massachusetts, which got 33.5 inches. They showed the Massachusetts State House on the Weather Channel. You don't want to be on the Weather Channel. ~Bob

Random Thoughts for February, 2015. By Robert A. Hall
Feel free to post or forward.

General News and Comment

When a man says that he approves something in principal, it means he hasn't the slightest intention of putting it in practice. --Otto Von Bismarck

Excerpt: The temptation for Republicans is to worry that too many candidates will crowd the field. Since George W. Bush left office, every presidential primary has acquired more than a whiff of a freak show — with dud candidates like Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum or Newt Gingrich creating political circuses that ultimately amounted to nothing. It all compounds the adage that the quicker a nominee is selected, the sooner he or she can train fire on the other party’s pick. On balance, however, Republicans ought to relax.

Obama’s Green Lipstick Moment
Excerpt: There was a time, not so long ago, when interviewing the President of the United States was considered the pinnacle of a professional journalist’s career. Such an opportunity to probe the mind of the man responsible for directly or indirectly impacting the lives of virtually every person on the planet, was entrusted only to those with the qualifications and pedigree to handle such an important assignment; not to mention making the most of the president’s valuable and limited time.

An "Own Goal" Error: Legislator Apologizes After Photo Shows He Parked In Handicapped Space
Excerpt: The photo was posted by Kevin Brookman on his We The People blog Friday and shows state Rep. Brandon L. McGee Jr.'s BMW parked in a handicapped parking spot outside the Dunkin' Donuts shop at 365 Capitol Ave. McGee, a Democrat, represents portions of Hartford and Windsor.

‘Iraqi Muslim’ Interpreter Has More Than a Few Words for People Who Claim Chris Kyle Was ‘Racist.’ By Jason Howerton
Excerpt: One of the repeated allegations made against legendary Navy SEAL sniper Chris Kyle is that he was “racist” because he referred to radical Islamic militants in Iraq as “savages.” Just on Tuesday, MSNBC’s foreign correspondent claimed that “some” people believe Kyle was open about his “racist tendencies” as he went on “killing sprees” while serving in Iraq.

Chris Matthews: The 2016 Democratic National Convention belongs in Philadelphia
Hope so. Convention costs in Philly are very high due to the Union rules. ~Bob

Interesting: Bernie Sanders is right to be outraged
Excerpt: It’s just 9 a.m., but the socialist senator, contemplating a presidential run as a Democrat or as a populist independent, is red in the face and his white hair askew. In a conference room at The Washington Post, he’s raising his voice, thumping his index finger on the table and gesturing so wildly that his hand comes within inches of political reporter Karen Tumulty’s face. (He can't win the Democrat nomination. And if he runs as an independent, some left wing fanatic is likely to take him out to protect Hillary. I doubt he has the guts to run. ~Bob)

Jeb Bush Wins Big With Mitt Romney Out of 2016 Race. By Jeff Henderson
Excerpt: If Jeb Bush wins the Republican presidential nomination, he might have Mitt Romney to thank. Bush was smart enough to plant his flag early, announcing six weeks ago that he was exploring running for president. That was enough for donors and staffers to join Bush’s team early in the process and force Romney to bow to reality. Sure, Romney was at the head of the pack in the polls this month but that would not have lasted long once the knives came out. Nobody seemed enthused about yet another Romney presidential campaign. (Many "conservatives" have been demanding Romney not run. They got their wish...and likely Jeb with it. In my book, every one running on the GOP side is a conservative, some more than others, and some are off track on some issues with me. And there is no one running I don't have some problem with. But if you refuse to vote for the lesser of two evils, you will be governed by the greater of two evils--see Obama, Barack. ~Bob)

Suicides of young vets top those of active-duty troops
Excerpt: Young veterans just out of the service and receiving health care from the government committed suicide at nearly three times the rate of active-duty troops in recent years, according to data released Thursday by the Department of Veterans Affairs. VA officials say the data show that severe personal issues driving self-destructive tendencies for those in uniform follow them when they leave the military. The figures were released through a USA TODAY public records request. (It looks like the suicide rate of young vets is 4X that of nonvets of the same age group right now. This is pretty disturbing, and I wonder what's going on, and I hope the VA can get a really decent study done soon that explains some of it, and thus shows the way to start working against it. One detail... one article said 22 vets a day are committing suicide, which is a total mindblower. Also totally nuts, that would be 8000 vet suicides per year. In 2011 the total was 152. Apparently some people who write news articles are just a tad deficient in math skills. --Del. As with global warming and other scares, I always ask cui bono? Researchers have a lot of research dollars to gain from all these scares. Treatment groups too. ~Bob.)

Worth Reading: Why Can’t He Tell the Truth? Such a success, our president. By Ben Stein 
Excerpt: 1. In the President’s State of the Union address, he bragged about how U.S. oil production has surged thanks to shale drilling. Question for Mr. Obama: Does he not recall that he and his followers have been fighting and harassing the oil companies that are finding and producing all of that oil? Does he believe he deserves any credit at all for acts and successes done by people against whom he has waged war since he was a child? 2. In his SOTU, Mr. Obama bragged that the USA now has the highest high school graduation rate in its history. Roughly 80 percent of entering high school freshmen now graduate. Questions: Is Mr. Obama aware that in the city where he gave his speech, Washington, D.C., only about 53 percent of high school students graduate?

The Debaltseve Encirclement Complete- 9000 Ukrainian Soldiers Trapped! Mercy Offered! By George Eliason
Excerpt: Debaltseve is a key transportation city in Donbass and is now the scene of the largest battles of the Ukrainian war. Forces from Donetsk Peoples Republic (DNR) and Lugansk Peoples Republic(LNR) moved in surrounding Ukrainian infantry, artillery, and tank divisions over the last few days. A few days ago one Ukrainian tank and armored personnel carrier(BMP) group tried to break through at the village of Elenovka near DonetskUkrainian troops stormed the village killing 9 DNR infantry. The tanks and BMP’s then attacked civilians trying to escape.

The Surprising Power of Blue-State Republicans
Excerpt: The blue-state Republicans make it far harder for a very conservative candidate to win the party’s nomination than the party’s reputation suggests. They also give a candidate who might seem somewhat out of touch with today’s Republican Party, like Jeb Bush, a larger base of potential support than is commonly thought. ... But the blue-state Republicans still possess the delegates, voters and resources to decide the nomination.

Jeb Bush has become the GOP front-runner for 2016 — so now what? By Karen Tumulty and Matea Gold
Excerpt: Mitt Romney’s decision to forgo a third try at the White House has settled the question of whether the 2016 GOP presidential field has a front-runner — bestowing a coveted status on former Florida governor Jeb Bush that also raises new challenges and perils. Republicans have a tradition of picking an anointed one early. That establishment candidate almost always ends up with the nomination, although not without a fight and some speed bumps along the way.

Obama’s pick for ambassador to Mexico withdraws. By Colby Itkowitz
Excerpt: Echaveste was Bill Clinton’s deputy chief of staff, is a supporter of Hillary Rodham Clinton and an advocate for immigration reform – which all would have made her a target in the now Republican-controlled Senate.

Calif. Chicken Law Could Put Farmers Out of Business
Excerpt: The new standard backed by animal rights advocates has drawn ire nationwide because farmers in Iowa, Ohio and other states who sell eggs in California have to abide by the same requirements. To comply, farmers have to put fewer hens into each cage or invest in revamped henhouses, passing along the expense to consumers shopping at grocery stores. California is the nation's largest consumer of eggs and imports about one-third of its supply. ... Daniel Sumner, an agricultural economist at the University of California, Davis, said prices initially could rise dramatically this year but he expects them to eventually settle anywhere from 10 and 40 percent higher in California and return to their normal price elsewhere in the country. (So the CA legislators got overwhelmed by the PETA people and decided that laying hens needed cages big enough for them to spread their wings. That's somewhat larger than the standard cages for layers in real chicken farms, and so, like anything that forces a business person to invest more in producing their product, will increase their cost. OK, if people in CA don't mind paying more for their eggs, then that's OK. The ones who are buying free range eggs already pay more, quite a bit more, per dozen and choose to do so. But getting so ambitious that the law forbids the sale of eggs from other states if they don't meet the CA cage law is over the line, it's called restriction of trade, and the Commerce Clause of the Constitution says you can't do that between states. (That was the original purpose of that Clause way back when.) So now other states are suing CA about this, which will cost the CA taxpayers again, to defend this, and pretty likely lose. Meanwhile, some CA egg producers will be able to invest in overhauling all their barns and get the money back from revenues in the future when the price goes up. Other, smaller producers will end up giving up. There's that Law of Unintended Consequences again. You might hope that people elected to a legislature would think things through better, but clearly that's asking too much up in Sacramento. --Del. Going to raise the price of the free breakfasts they give to school students, too, thus hit the state budget. ~Bob)

Show me your shocked face: Exclusive: Spending- why 'red' states shoulder the deepest cuts under Obama. By Andy Sullivan
Excerpt: As Washington has tightened its belt in recent years, the budget cuts have sliced most deeply in states where President Obama is unpopular, according to an analysis of federal spending by Reuters. ... Though Congress sets overall spending levels, the Obama administration determines where much of that money ends up. ... That has given administration officials more power to steer money to places that might return the favor with votes, said John Hudak, an expert on federal spending at the centrist Brookings Institution who worked with Reuters on the analysis.

Excerpt: The city Department of Education has failed to fire a teacher rated “unsatisfactory” for six consecutive years. Ann Legra, 44, a first-grade teacher at PS 173 in Washington Heights, racked up “six years of failing her students,” the city ­argued in a 16-day termination hearing. ... He imposed only a 45-day suspension without pay. Legra keeps her $84,500-a-year salary, but is now assigned to a pool of 1,400 teachers who serve as substitutes. (The Unions and laws protect the incompetent at the expense of the kids. Why so many support school choice. ~Bob)

"Russian bomber intercepted by Norwegian F-16s carried nuclear warhead"
Excerpt: A Norwegian military listening post intercepted cockpit conversations revealing that one of the Tu-95 flying around the coast of Norway last Wednesday had a nuclear payload onboard. Two F-16s were scrambled from Bodø airbase and met the Russian planes outside Finnmark."

Gun News

Gun Range Owner Bans Muslims; Business Skyrockets
Excerpt: Because she bans Muslims, this Arkansas gun range is an Islam-free zone. If I were in this business owner’s position, I don’t think I’d go this far. But at the same time, it’s her business. If she wants to bar certain people from her gun range for whatever reason, it’s her prerogative to do so. If she suffers as a result, maybe she should change her policy. The thing is, it’s quadrupled her business ever since she started enforcing the ban. And yes, she’s gotten the threats of lawsuits from Muslims and organizations like CAIR, but she’s not backing down.

This Marine Was The ‘American Sniper’ Of The Vietnam War
Excerpt: Long before Chris Kyle penned “American Sniper,” Carlos Hathcock was already a legend. ... He deployed in 1966 as a military policeman, but immediately volunteered for combat and was soon transferred to the 1st Marine Division Sniper Platoon, stationed at Hill 55, South of Da Nang. This is where Hathcock would earn the nickname “White Feather” — because he always wore a white feather on his bush hat, daring the North Vietnamese to spot him — and where he would achieve his status as the Vietnam War’s deadliest sniper in missions that sound like they were pulled from the pages of Marvel comics.

Then there was Chuck Mawhinney
Excerpt: Charles Benjamin "Chuck" Mawhinney (born 1949) is an Oregon-born American who served in the United States Marine Corps as a sniper during the Vietnam War. He holds the record for the most confirmed kills by a USMC sniper, having recorded 103 confirmed kills and 216 "probable kills" in his 16 months of action.[1]

Southgate man, 74, shoots man breaking into house
Excerpt: “The defendant entered the home through a window and had a firearm with him,” Smith said. “The house was occupied by a man and his wife. He had a legal firearm and confronted the intruder. He ended up shooting him and the defendant died at the scene.”

Man dies after shooting at Leesburg apartment complex
Excerpt: The Leesburg Police Department said investigators spoke with a man, identified as 28-year-old Jimmy Soto, who told them he heard knocking at both his apartment doors and repeatedly said “go away” to the person knocking. Investigators said Soto told them that Ricker attempted to enter the doorway so he fired one shot hitting Ricker in the torso area Police said Soto told them he was in fear for his fiancĂ©, young daughter and son who were in the apartment with him.

Excerpt: Police said an adult man was getting ready to leave a home in the 3900 block of Lafayette Avenue around 8:45 Tuesday morning when he opened the garage and found a man with a gun. There was a struggle between the suspect and man, which ended when a woman inside the house got a handgun and began shooting at the suspect. The suspect and woman then exchanged gunfire. After gunshots were exchanged, the suspect got into the victim’s car, which was warming up in the driveway, and drove away.

Race Card News

You’ll Be Shocked to Read Who Helped Create This ‘Deeply Disturbing’ Cop Killing Music Video. By Zach Noble
Excerpt: The city’s paying them for legal work — and they’re shooting music videos calling for cop killings? A pair of New York City lawyers are facing heat for participating in a music video that decries police shootings of young black men and calls for police to be killed in return, Gothamist reported Thursday. The two lawyers with the taxpayer-funded Bronx Defenders appeared in a December WorldStarHipHop music video and allowed their office to be used in the video as well.

This may come as a shock to many, but #BlackHistoryMonth was created by Carter G. Woodson, who many historians consider to be a conservative. - Why February was chosen for #BlackHistoryMonth: it coincided w/the birthday of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Met my 1st victim of #ObamaCare. Young guy. Trying to lay a foundation 4 his life. Made 17 grand last year. $1,500 fine...oops I mean "tax"

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Finally catching on: 'Green' Biofuels Now Have Environmentalists Seeing Red. By John Merline
Excerpt: After years spent pushing biofuels as a "clean" and "renewable" energy source, and after taxpayers have spent billions of dollars in subsidies, environmentalists are starting to realize that feeding crops to gas tanks isn't such a good idea after all. A report released Wednesday by the World Resources Institute, which the New York Times calls a "prominent environmental think tank," blasts biofuels as land hogs that will raise the price of food while doing little to meet the world's energy needs or fight global warming. It sounds like a great idea to grow fuel instead of digging coal or pumping oil. After all, people lived with burning wood for fuel for millennia. But real technology and social practices need to be based on facts and logic, not what sounds good. Corn into ethanol for fuel is counterproductive energy-wise, but it sounded good and now the corn growers pay lobbyists to keep Congress from canceling the subsidies. Every way of generating energy needs to be examined objectively, with a close look at the cost/benefit ratio, but that's now how things have been going for the last 20 years. Certainly some use of biofuels for energy make good sense, so we won't see wood stoves all vanish. Burning biodiesel from recovered cooking oils makes sense too. Other things can be explored, but objectively, systematically, and without any rush based on how people feel about it. --Del. I've been saying this on the blog for years, and I'm hardly alone. Finally a "prominent environmental think tank" is catching up to our thinking. In another ten years, they may even discover that wind power is inefficient and economically not viable, while slaughtering eagles and other birds. After pouring millions in tax dollars and subsidies into it, like biofuels, of course. Duh. ~Bob)

Climate Change Indicators in the United States
Check out the heat waves in the 1930s. ~Bob

Religion of Peace News

Surprised they showed it: American Sniper Is Surprisingly Popular in Iraq. By Leah Barkoukis
Excerpt: In Iraq, the theater at Baghdad’s Mansour Mall was “full and rowdy” during the film’s opening week—and the crowd was into it. ... When asked by the Global Post whether he felt the film was in any way racist or anti-Arab, as one MSNBC reporter suggested on Friday, Mohammed replied, “No, why? The sniper was killing terrorists, the only thing that bothered me was when he said he didn’t know anything about the Quran!” Mohammed also went on to say that movies like American Sniper gave him “strength to face ISIS.” (Inviting an ISIS suicide bomber. ~Bob)

Worth Hearing: A special kind of hate. By Pat Condell
The basis of anti-Semitism in Europe.

Excerpt: For anyone who believed the British government tripe claiming “significant progress has been made in partnership with the community in tackling anti-Semitism,” here’s a bit that ought to be a wake-up call – if the Paris attacks didn’t already do that for you. A group called “Liberate Stamford Hill” has planned a rally for March 22 at 2pm local time to oppose what it calls the “Jewification of Great Britain.”
Excerpt: It has become routine. If the kosher-grocery massacre in Paris hadn’t happened in conjunction with Charlie Hebdo, how much worldwide notice would it have received? As little as did the murder of a rabbi and three children at a Jewish school in Toulouse. As little as did the terror attack that killed four at the Jewish Museum in Brussels. The rise of European anti-Semitism is in reality just a return to the norm.

Student Leader: 'Hamas & Shariah LawHave Taken Over UC Davis.' UC Davis Student Senator Proud that Islamist Terrorist Group Represented on Campus
Excerpt: However the actual divestment vote was overshadowed by a member of the UC Davis student senate, Azka Fayyaz, captioning a photo on Facebook that "Hamas & Sharia law have taken over UC Davis. Brb crying over the resilience." Hamas is an internationally recognized terrorist organization with the goal of murdering Jews worldwide. The photo features students in favor of divestment gathering around multiple Palestinian flags.

Muslims Gloat at Paris Kosher Market 2 Days After Attack. Muslim youths post pictures outside store where 4 Jews were murdered, exulting in the attack and flipping off the camera
Excerpt: A group of French Muslims posted photos of themselves in front of the supermarket to Facebook just after the attack, making rude gestures with their middle fingers in the pictures, reports the French-language Le Monde Juif which provided screenshots.
In the caption of the photos posted by user "Abdellah du Futur" reads vile messages such as "Charlie's a mother (expletive)."

Official: Gunman recorded terror attack on Parisian kosher grocery. By Paul Cruickshank, Jim Sciutto and Steve Almasy, CNN
Excerpt: The information backed up a report by Eric Pelletier, a national security reporter at the French magazine L'Express, who wrote that Amedy Coulibaly recorded seven minutes of the attack, including the moments when he killed three people. Citing a French source close to the investigation, Pelletier reported Friday that Coulibaly was able to use a computer at the market to email a copy of the attack video before he was killed by police.

Worth Reading: You Can’t Talk Sense to a Shotgun. By Michael Devolin
Excerpt: “The fight would continue, as it had in the Crusades, until the injustice was completely removed. By imposing partition, the United Nations would virtually precipitate Palestine into a bloodbath.” –Jamal Husseini, 1947. ... It should be obvious to all by now that the goals and visions of Islamic jihad, as it exists in the West Bank and Gaza, takes precedence over the lives and well-being of ordinary Palestinians: death to the Jews and the elimination of the State of Israel, in the minds of Hamas and PA leadership, is far more important than providing a means of livelihood and enduring infrastructure for ordinary Palestinians. Better to build concrete tunnels with the purpose of attacking Israeli Jews than to build homes and schools and hospitals for Palestinian families. Moreover, that the majority of ordinary Palestinians actually concur (after all, they elected Hamas) with these nefarious adventures, as defined by Arafat and Abbas, speaks volumes about this overwhelmingly anti-Jewish mindset an assortment of Israeli governments since 1948 have vainly attempted to conciliate. 

French fracture laid bare as 8-year-old praises terrorists
Excerpt: It was bad enough when France learned that the minute of silence for victims of the nation's deadliest terror attacks in decades was not respected by all students. Some children contested it, others walked out. But when an 8-year old Muslim boy proclaimed, "I am with the terrorists," the alarm bells sounded at full strength. ... "I said, my son, do you know what terrorism is. He said, 'No,'" the father, Mohamed Kebabsa, said later on French television. He said he told his son the killings were "barbaric ... not an act of Islam."

Swastikas Found Painted On Jewish Frat House
Excerpt: Two red swastikas were found painted on Alpha Epsilon Pi’s house, an off-campus fraternity. The Davis Police Department says they are investigating the incident as a hate crime. (Despite all the media/liberal fretting about Islamophobia and a backlash against Muslims after every Allah-murder, like Charlie Hebdo, hate crimes against both Jews and Gays remain much higher than against Muslims. ~Bob)

Netanyahu Fires Back At 'Obama Army' Plotting His Defeat. By Aaron Klein
Excerpt: Victory 2015, or V15, attracted U.S. media attention after it hired 270 Strategies, a consulting firm whose senior leadership is comprised mostly of former top staffers for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. During a press conference Sunday, the Likud Party officially accused V15 and other related nonprofits of being supported “through millions of dollars funneled from Europe, the U.S. and the New Israel Fund and international factors interested in bringing down Prime Minister Netanyahu” who think “that all means are appropriate.”

The Return of Anti-Semitism: Seventy years after the liberation of Auschwitz, violence and hatred against Jews is on the rise, especially in the Middle East and among Muslims in Europe. By Jonathan Sacks
Excerpt: The moment would have been emotional at the best of times, but this year brought an especially disturbing undercurrent. The Book of Genesis says that, when God told Abraham what would happen to his descendants, a “fear of great darkness” fell over him. Something of that fear haunted the survivors this week, who have witnessed the return of anti-Semitism to Europe after 70 years of political leaders constant avowals of “Never again.” As they finished saying Kaddish, the Jewish prayer for mourners, one man cried out, “I don’t want to come here again.” Everyone knew what he meant. For once, the fear was not only about the past but also about the future.

New video purportedly shows beheading of 2nd Japanese hostage by ISIS
Excerpt: An online video released Saturday appears to show Islamic State executing Japanese journalist Kenji Goto -- the apparent end to a frantic past couple of days in which Japan officials tried negotiating to save Goto’s life. The video shows a militant with a British accent beheading Goto, similar to other, recent execution videos released by the extremist group. (I wouldn't want to write a term life policy on the Jordanian pilot either. ~Bob)

Kenji Goto beheading video: Wife says she is 'extremely proud' as a nation mourns hero killed by Isis. PM Shinzo Abe says Japan will support anti-Isis action
Excerpt: Japan has vowed to make Isis pay for its execution of hostages Kenji Goto and Haruna Yukawa, with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe saying they "will never forgive the terrorists".
The release of a video on Saturday purporting to show the beheading of Goto has sent shockwaves across the country, prompting the government to heighten security measures at airports and overseas facilities following further Isis threats.

'Kill our pilot and we'll execute ALL your prisoners': Jordan 'says it will hang its ISIS captives' if airman hostage is dead
Excerpt: Jordan has threatened to fast-track the execution of a would-be suicide bomber the Islamic State is trying to free if the terror group kills its captured pilot, it was reported today.
The government has apparently warned that Sajida al-Rishawi and other jailed ISIS commanders would be 'quickly judged and sentenced' in revenge for Muath al-Kaseasbeh's death.
It comes after a deadline for a possible prisoner swap allegedly set by ISIS passed yesterday with no clue over the fate of al-Kaseasbeh or fellow Japanese hostage Kenji Goto.

Benghazi Cover-Up
Excerpt: Contrary to what the Obama administration had initially claimed in its public comments, top U.S. diplomatic officials knew the U.S. compound in Benghazi, Libya, was under terrorist attack on September 11, 2012. This is big. In testimony before the U.S. House Oversight Committee on October 10, 2012, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Charles Lamb let the cat out of the bag. Apparently, the agents within the Diplomatic Security Commander Center in Washington, D.C., knew that U.S. embassy personnel were under a terrorist attack from the moment it began.

Qaddafi was willing to step down peacefully but Hillary prevented it
Excerpt: The Citizens Commission on Benghazi revealed last year that Qaddafi was willing to step down peacefully and was in negotiations with the U.S. Government, but those negotiations ceased. AIM's Roger Aronoff quotes their findings, "Despite the willingness of both AFRICOM Commander Gen. Carter Ham and Muammar Qaddafi to pursue the possibility of truce talks, permission was not given to Gen. Ham from his chain of command in the Pentagon and the window of opportunity closed." (Yes, but would a GOP administration have done any differently? The GOP legislators just recently passed a bill to help the "moderates" defeat Assad, the only person standing between Syrian Christians and death. Evil is bipartisan! --Don)

Worth Reading: CIA and Mossad killed senior Hezbollah figure in car bombing. By Adam Goldman and Ellen Nakashima 
Excerpt: On Feb. 12, 2008, Imad Mughniyah, Hezbollah’s international operations chief, walked on a quiet nighttime street in Damascus after dinner at a nearby restaurant. Not far away, a team of CIA spotters in the Syrian capital was tracking his movements. As Mughniyah approached a parked SUV, a bomb planted in a spare tire on the back of the vehicle exploded, sending a burst of shrapnel across a tight radius. He was killed instantly. The device was triggered remotely from Tel Aviv by agents with Mossad, the Israeli foreign intelligence service, who were in communication with the operatives on the ground in Damascus.

Worth Subscribing to Brooklyn imam: “Let us admit…that we, the Muslims, are time bombs…The majority of us Muslims hate the Christians.” By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: The imam Tareq Yousef Al-Masri apparently believes that jihad terrorists have hijacked the Religion of Peace, as he says: “Anyone claiming that we are not allowed to wish the Christians happy holidays has prepared the killers in France, Boston, in Iraq, in Syria, in Egypt…These people constitute the fertile ground for terrorism, which they present as the religion of Allah, conveyed to the Prophet Muhammad, while Islam has nothing to do with them.” Nonetheless, he has gone much farther than virtually all other Muslim authorities and spokesmen in admitting that all too many Muslims are taught to hate Christians (he could have added “and other non-Muslims”), and in saying, “I am ashamed of the rotten and despicable conduct of the Muslims,” when Islamic supremacists never, ever say a negative word about the activities of any Muslim, but instead blame the Infidels for every jihad attack. Will he now be denounced as an “Islamophobe” and a tool of the Zionists?

Coalition kills Islamic State 'chemical weapons engineer'
Excerpt: US Central Command, or CENTCOM, reported yesterday that it killed Abu Malik, an Islamic State "chemical weapons engineer," in an airstrike near Mosul, Iraq. Abu Malik was associated with al Qaeda in Iraq and then the Islamic State for a decade before he was killed.

The Strategic Implications of Iran's STD Epidemic. By David P. Goldman
Excerpt: In the 5th Century BC, the "Persian disease" noted by Hippocrates probably was bubonic plague; in 8th-century Japan, it meant the measles. Today it well might mean chlamydia. Standout levels of infertility among Iranian couples, a major cause of the country's falling birth rate, coincide with epidemic levels of sexually transmitted disease. Both reflect deep-seated social pathologies. Iran has become a country radically different from the vision of its theocratic rulers, with prevailing social pathologies quite at odds with the self-image of radical Islam. Iran's fertility decline from about seven children per female in 1979 to just 1.6 in 2012 remains a conundrum to demographers. (The replacement rate is 2.1 live births per woman. ~Bob)

Video: State Department refuses to say if Taliban attack on Americans was a terrorist attack

Worth Reading: Why Obama Needs to Pretend the Taliban Aren’t Terrorists. The administration makes a desperate and indefensible claim. By Andrew C. McCarthy
Excerpt: 9. In the United States, Obama is operating in a political environment where the public — based on longstanding prudential American policy — believes we should not negotiate with terrorists because that encourages and legitimizes their savage methods. Similarly, the public strongly believes international terrorists are enemies who must be defeated, not defendants who must be indicted. Obama knows he is negotiating with, intends to settle with, and eventually will leave Afghanistan to the tender mercies of, the Taliban. Therefore, the administration is desperate that you not look at the Taliban as terrorists. 10. But they are terrorists.

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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