Friday, May 29, 2015

A lot of important political news and opinion today


And life rolls on
Friday afternoon, we learned that the 3-year-old grandson, dale, last seen here slaying dragons, had fallen and shattered his elbow. Operated on Saturday morning. He has two pins in the arm, IV in the other hand, and is not a happy camper. ~Bob

The Old Jarhead Blog--thanks for following!
I try to make this blog your one-stop-shop for political news and conservative opinion. Founded in October, 2008, it gets about 5k page views a week, most from the US, but hundreds from many countries worldwide. Feel free to post or forward to friends who need to be better informed. The news posts are created from several news feeds, from US and international websites, from twitter when I have spare time to follow it, and by many readers who send me items for inclusion, which I would have often have missed or skipped. We owe them thanks and appreciation. I try to include foreign sources and info you won’t get in the MSM, but I often use links to pieces in the Washington Post, New York Times, Politico, Reuters and other left-of-center sources. No one is required to read the blog, or any of the links. Trust me, no one reads everything posted, but scanning the headlines will keep you informed, and you can click on stories you want to know more about. I post articles because I think they are of interest and will stimulate thought and discussion. Doing so doesn’t mean that I necessarily agree (or disagree) with every—or any—opinion in the posted article, or that I was able to verify the information presented, which is the responsibility of the author. I try not to post things that are false, too far a stretch, or viciously inflammatory, regardless of the viewpoint. I also try to avoid items that will turn off thoughtful centrists and leftists or low-information independents, including “red meat” pieces with intemperate language or wild speculation, conspiracy theories with no supporting facts and silly distractions like the so-called “birther” issue (which I correctly predicted years ago was going nowhere, and was a waste of time and energy), but I don’t always succeed. I use maybe 50% of the conservative pieces sent me, probably less than 5% of the liberal opinion sent, usually to illustrate their views. Readers who don’t like that are welcome to start their own blogs. Readers who send formatted pieces (title, link, and a fair-use excerpt of no more than three sentences unless the piece is very short, than fewer) to tartanmarine(at) have a higher chance of my using them than people who just send a link. A piece without a link has a much lower chance of being used—it depends on how interesting it is and how much time I have right then to search for it, and my time is limited right now due to managing the lung transplant I received on December 23, 2013, which has developed complications. I understand if you don’t have the time to format or even to find a link—and hope you understand I don't either. I often include thoughtful comments from contributors. (Tell me if you want your full name used.) There are no ads on my blog, no fees and I receive no income from it. Now that I've retired, that might need to change, though I hate the ads on most blogs. For now, that’s how it is. I do promote my books, with the royalties going to charity. As always on the Net, as in the legacy media, you must read these posts critically and with skepticism.

General News and Comment

Charity begins at home: An Award for Bill Clinton Came With $500,000 for His Foundation. By Deborah Sontag
Excerpt: The former president of the United States agreed to accept a lifetime achievement award at the June 2014 event after Ms. Nemcova offered a $500,000 contribution to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation. The donation, made late last year after the foundation sent the charity an invoice, amounted to almost a quarter of the evening’s net proceeds — enough to build 10 preschools in Indonesia.

Books by Robert A. Hall
this might be a good place to remind you that 100% of the author royalties from all of my books goes to charity. And not my personal charity.

Excerpt: Let’s say, just for kicks, you murdered your husband (or wife). Your neighbors have been suspicious ever since your nightly arguments suddenly stopped, right around the time you put something large in your trunk and drove off in the middle of the night. Now they see you driving his car and putting his suits and golf clubs up for sale on eBay. The police find your explanations implausible and contradictory, and then you tell the cops to direct all future questions to your lawyer. The good news is that you have fans. Some neighbors think you’re the cat’s pajamas. They come to you and say they want to defend you against this terrible accusation. What should you tell them to say on your behalf? Frankly, I don’t know what you should say, but I do have a good sense of what you shouldn’t say: “Tell them there’s no smoking gun.”

Middle Class Champions: Millionaire Ex-Presidents Can Pay Their Own Way. By Jeff Jacoby
Excerpt: THE AVARICE of Bill and Hillary Clinton is a wonder to behold. They crave wealth, it seems, even more than they crave power, and display no qualms about exploiting their political stature to amass it. According to a required financial disclosure filing last week, the former president and his wife have collected more than $30 million since January 2014, most of it from speaking engagements for which they charged an average of $240,000 each. To put that figure in perspective, what the Clintons earn per speech is nearly five times what the median US household earns per year.

Income Inequality. By Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt
A major change from the America of a generation ago is that people who run official nonprofits like charities expect to be compensated on a scale comparable to corporate CEOs.
This is true for nonprofit organizations . . . The 25 presidents, CEOs, and other officers on our Highest-Paid Nonprofit Executives List averaged $520,000 in compensation in 2012, the most recent information available for all organizations (Note: Hospitals were excluded from our List) . ... The average compensation for the 100 highest-paid nonprofit executives was $307,818.
... and university presidents: Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute president Shirley Ann Jackson made more than $7 million in 2012 . . . Thirty six college presidents earned over $1,000,000 in 2012 — up one from the previous year — The Chronicle found. On average, college presidents earned nearly $400,000 in 2012, up 2.5% from 2011. The Clinton Foundation’s 2012 Form 990 reveals that CEO Bruce Lindsey was paid a salary of $385,046, with $27, 535 in “estimated other compensation.” The average American’s net worth is below $69,000.

Worth Reading: Anarchy Rules and Failure Follows When Authority Vanishes. By Colonel Donald J. Myers USMC (Ret)
Excerpt: We are currently seeing several examples of what happens when authority vanishes. On the national scene we are seeing Baltimore becoming even more unlawful following the riots in the recent past. Arrests are down 50% and it seems that the police force is being very careful in how it reacts to crime. Rather than patrol and possibly prevent crime, it seems that the police force has decided to wait until a crime occurs and then appear. Last weekend was the worst crime spree in this century for Baltimore. The Baltimore police force is being investigated by the federal Justice department and if other investigations by the Justice department are any indication, Baltimore will become another police force that must follow regulations from the Justice department as are twenty five other police jurisdictions throughout the country.

U.S. economy shrinks in first quarter, raising questions about underlying strength. By Chico Harlan
Excerpt: The U.S. economy shrank at an annualized pace of 0.7 percent in the first three months of the year, according to government data released Friday morning, a tumble for a recovering nation that until recently seemed poised for takeoff. The contraction, the country’s third in the aftermath of the Great Recession, provides a troubling picture of an economy that many figured would get a lift from cheap oil, rapid hiring and growing consumer confidence. (The laws of economics are like the law of gravity. You can deny or ignore them, but they get the last laugh. ~Bob)

Interesting: A Contrast: A Soldier's Story and a Secretary's Perspective. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: I've read more than a few books about combat through the ages. The more interesting ones being personal accounts not from the generals and admirals but from the man at the bottom of the chain of command carrying a rifle and killing - sometimes hand-to-hand. The most powerful and compelling account remains E. B. Sledge's classic 'With the Old Breed' - a Marine private's experience fighting the Japanese in the South Pacific. But the story of Colonel Shames is likewise compelling - a man and his buddies of 3rd platoon, Easy Company (2nd Battalion, Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne), who carried rifles. They fought. They killed - sometimes hand-to-hand. Some were wounded. Some died.

Obama's Deal with Terrorists: Bergdahl Teammates Asked to Stay Quiet About Desertion With Non-Disclosure Agreements. By Katie Pavlich 
Excerpt: According to Herridge's reporting and General Bob Scales, asking soldiers to sign non-disclosure agreements is unprecedented. "I can't remember, ever, have an enlisted soldier sign a non-disclosure agreement for anything. This is completely unprecedented," Scales said. "These non-disclosure agreements have got nothing to do with military justice." (We lost, what, 6-8 soldiers hunting for him. And how many Americans will the terrorists Obama released kill? ~Bob)

Scientists find evidence of 'history's first murder'
Excerpt: The skull found in the "Pit of Bones" site belongs to a young adult who lived around 430,000 years ago and bears what researchers say are unmistakable signs of deadly violence, reports Forbes, which notes that the scientists have assembled enough evidence to convince a modern jury that the early human was likely killed by a right-handed attacker who hit the victim in the head twice with some kind of object—and it wouldn't take a prehistoric Columbo to deduce that the murder weapon was probably a rock. This is the "earliest evidence of lethal interpersonal violence," the researchers write in the journal Plos One—and they note that the evidence of murder could explain why that body and 27 more were lying at the bottom of a cave shaft, apparently placed there by others. Given what's known of human behavior in the intervening 430,000 years, the scientists weren't too startled to find that the early humans they're studying were bashing each other over the heads with rocks. (Here we are in the End Times and we haven't learned a darn thing. Still stoning one another 430,000 years later, for various reasons. No wonder we are up for a Do Over. Still haven't obeyed, "Thou Shalt Not Kill." --Barb)

Russian opposition leader's illness raises fears of foul play
Excerpt: A Russian opposition leader is in intensive care in a Moscow hospital, and a lack of clarity about the cause of his sudden illness has raised suggestions of foul play. Vladimir Kara-Murza was a close associate of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, who was assassinated in February, and works with a civic organisation founded by Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the former oil tycoon and opponent of the Kremlin....The Interfax news agency, citing the hospital’s chief doctor, said he appeared to be suffering from pancreatitis and double pneumonia.

Hastert indictment is related to old allegations of sexual misconduct, law enforcement says
Excerpt: Former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert was trying to cover up decades-old allegations that he sexually molested a male victim to whom he recently paid hush money in violation of federal banking laws, according to a federal law enforcement official briefed on the case.
Hastert’s suspected misconduct dates back to a time when he was a teacher and coach in Illinois before entering politics in the early 1980s, the official said. 

Cometh the Censor: Birth of What Will Prove a Short Siege. By Fred Reed
Excerpt: I see with no surprise that Washington is stepping up its campaign to censor the internet. It had to come, and will succeed. It will put paid forever to America’s flirtation with freedom. The country was never really a democracy, meaning a polity in which final power rested with the people. The voters have always been too remote from the levers of power to have much influence. Yet for a brief window of time there actually was freedom of a sort. With the censorship of the net—it will be called “regulation”—the last hope of retaining former liberty will expire. (Will the freedom of the Internet be curtailed? Well, we have more than a few people who are really worried about it. Maybe we all should be. --Del)

Turn Out the Lights and Lock the Door. I Hear the Fat Lady Singing. By Fred Reed
Excerpt: Almost daily, friends send me links to accounts of what seem to them, and to me, lunacy, usually accompanied by notes expressing incredulity and—this will matter one day--anger. The stories deal with things utterly repugnant to much of the country, especially the South and West, the blue collar, the military, and much of the Mid-West:: racial lawlessness, glorification of every sexual weirdity anyone can imagine, hostility to Christianity (but not to Judaism or Islam), phony charges of rape, compulsory Ritalin-ingestion, grotesque affirmative action in the hiring of cops and firemen, attacks on academic standards, little boys dragged from school in handcuffs for drawing a soldier, the anti-gun crusade, the truffle-hound search for "stereotypes" and discrimination, and the denigration of masculinity and every aspect of white European culture. And, always, always, the suppression of news of the unending vicious attacks by er, teens, on whites. This latter goes beyond bias into undeclared censorship.

Too funny: Friday Fun: Jon Stewart Mocks Hillary’s Fake Southern Accent. By Cortney O'Brien

Los Angeles Labor Leaders Want Minimum Wage Exemption. By Jordan Candler 
Excerpt: Considering a whopping 50% of the city’s workforce makes minimum wage, the new law is bound to have significant ramifications — which may explain this oddity from the Los Angeles Times: “Labor leaders, who were among the strongest supporters of the citywide minimum wage increase approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, are advocating last-minute changes to the law that could create an exemption for companies with unionized workforces.”

Excerpt: U.S. Marshals have arrested Eric Sheppard Jr., in Tampa Florida after a month long manhunt. Sheppard was originally wanted for firearms violations, threats against students, and most recently terrorism threats specifically against white people in Georgia ... The Lowndes County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that Eric Sheppard was arrested in Tampa, Florida Thursday morning without incident. (Scroll down and read InstaGram.....Barb)

Putin opponent near death in suspected poisoning
Excerpt: An outspoken opponent of Russian President Vladimir Putin was near death Friday from an apparent poisoning just three months after his close political ally was gunned down near the Kremlin, and supporters want him evacuated to Europe or Israel to determine what sickened him. Vladimir Kara-Murza Jr., who has long been based in Washington, was in a hotel in Moscow when he suddenly lost consciousness May 26 and was hospitalized with what his wife called "symptoms of poisoning." The 33-year-old is a coordinator for Open Russia, a nongovernmental organization which on the previous day released a documentary film accusing close Putin crony and Chechen strongman Ramzan Kadyrov of human rights abuses including torture and murder. (Does not look good if in multiorgan failure, as connected to "10 devices" suggests, with renal and lung failure. --Barb)

Honoring a heritage
Excerpt: The Battle of Okinawa, in which about 14,000 American troops lost their lives, was the largest and most costly campaign of the war in the Pacific. But its history has not been given the reading that other battles have had, like Iwo Jima. Someone has made a great documentary about it. Click the link and learn about it.

Rising Dragon News

For American pundits, China isn’t a country. It’s a fantasyland. By James Palmer
Excerpt: Whenever I want to be cheered up about the future of my adopted country, I turn to American pundits. The air here might be deadly, the water undrinkable, the Internet patchy and the culture strangled, but I can always be reassured that China is beating America at something, whether it’s clean energy, high-speed raileducation or even the military. Over the past decade, American audiences have become accustomed to lectures about China, like a schoolboy whose mother compares him with an overachieving classmate. “That used to be us,” Thomas Friedman writes, citing the “impressive” Tianjin Meijiang Convention and Exhibition Center (thrown up in a few months) as an example of China’s greatness and glacial U.S. construction projects as an example of America’s decline. China is “kicking our butts” because the United States is “a nation of wusses,” according to then-Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell, who in 2010 lamented his state’s inability to handle snow.

US surveillance reportedly shows Chinese artillery on artificial islands
Excerpt: U.S. surveillance images reportedly show that China has positioned weaponry on at least one of the artificial islands it is developing in the South China Sea, apparently confirming suspicions that Beijing has been building up the area for military use. The Wall Street Journal, citing U.S. officials, reported that images taken about a month ago showed two Chinese motorized artillery pieces on one of the artificial reefs. Although the weaponry would not pose a threat to U.S. planes or ships, it could potentially reach neighboring islands, the officials told the paper.

China likely has many more: North Korean hackers 'could kill', warns key defector. By Dave Lee and Nick Kwek
Excerpt: North Korean hackers are capable of attacks that could destroy critical infrastructure and even kill people, a high-profile defector has warned. Speaking exclusively to BBC Click, Prof Kim Heung-Kwang said the country had around 6,000 trained military hackers. The warning follows last year's Sony Pictures hack - an attack attributed to North Korea.

Gun News

Man shot girlfriend's ex at Orlando home, police say
Excerpt: A man shot his girlfriend's ex-boyfriend late Wednesday after the ex tried to break into her Orlando home and threatened her, according to police.

Thought they were in Baltimore: Man not charged with shooting neighbors
Excerpt: Reid said one brother shattered the window of an SUV parked in Edwards’ driveway using a hammer. Edwards told the brothers to leave, but they reportedly refused. Then, one brother reportedly attempted to rip a .270-caliber rifle out of Edwards’ hands. Allegedly, both brothers also threatened to kill Edwards. After firing a warning shot, Edwards’ shot the two brothers in the lower extremities. One was about five feet away from him, Reid said.

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Why Doctors Quit. By Charles Krauthammer 
Excerpt: About a decade ago, a doctor friend was lamenting the increasingly frustrating conditions of clinical practice. “How did you know to get out of medicine in 1978?” he asked with a smile. “I didn’t,” I replied. “I had no idea what was coming. I just felt I’d chosen the wrong vocation.” I was reminded of this exchange upon receiving my med-school class’s 40th-reunion report and reading some of the entries. In general, my classmates felt fulfilled by family, friends and the considerable achievements of their professional lives. But there was an undercurrent of deep disappointment, almost demoralization, with what medical practice had become. The complaint was not financial but vocational — an incessant interference with their work, a deep erosion of their autonomy and authority, a transformation from physician to “provider.”

Undocumented Democrat News

Important: Poll: Majority of Democrats Think Illegal Immigrants Should Have Right to Vote in U.S. Elections. By Katie Pavlich 
Excerpt: According to a new poll from Rasmussen Reports, 53 percent of Democrats believe illegal immigrants should have the right to vote in U.S. elections so long as they pay taxes. Although the number is significantly lower, 21 percent of Republicans believe the same. The majority of the country, 60 percent, believe illegal immigrants should not have the right to vote. (To be fair, why not let non-citizens vote absentee from their home countries before they come here. Democrats support extending the franchise to anyone who would likely vote Democrat--non-citizens, felons, monkeys, cats, dogs... In 2004 in Wisconsin we had a report at the GOP HQ of a Democrat worker who showed up at the polls with a van, took 8-10 retarded citizens in to vote. Of course, since they were handicapped, they could have someone go in to help them vote--her. So she voted 9-11 times. All legal. ~Bob)

Mexico's Worst 'Beheader' Lives in the U.S. By: Paul Bedard
Excerpt: In what may be the most twisted example of American immigration laws, a teen convicted in Mexico of beheading four men and hanging their bodies off a bridge south of Mexico City lives freely in the United States as a U.S. citizen because he was born in San Diego to an illegal mother.

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Obama Warns Of ‘Extreme Weather’ Despite 9-Year Hurricane Drought
Excerpt: It’s been nearly a decade since a major hurricane has made landfall in the U.S., but that hasn’t stopped President Barack Obama from claiming that more global warming-induced “extreme weather” will pummel Americans every year. (Tornadoes are down too. ~Bob)

Sharpton Asks Followers If They Think TX Flooding Is ‘God’s Rebuke’
Excerpt: Al Sharpton posed this question to his followers today: does the flooding in Houston have to do with climate change or is it God’s rebuke? And if you think those last two words are just an exaggeration, no, that’s literally what he said:

Obama’s Dangerous Thinking About Climate Change and National Security. By Dakota Wood
Excerpt: The White House has released a new report entitled “The National Security Implications of a Changing Climate,” essentially a summary of the administration’s view that climate change is a primary threat to the nation’s security. President Obama made the issue a central feature of his commencement speech at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. “Climate change constitutes a serious threat to global security, an immediate risk to our national security,” he stated. “And make no mistake, it will impact how our military defends our country. And so we need to act—and we need to act now.” The president went on to tell the graduating cadets that failure to address the threat of climate change and its implications would constitute “negligence” and would be “a dereliction of duty,” and that “denying it, or refusing to deal with it endangers our national security” and would undermine “the readiness of our forces.” (I of course am a Climate Change skeptic, since the satellite data indicate no real warming for the last 18 years. All the models the rabid proponents of Change rely on so heavily would predict something over 2 deg C warming in the last 18 years, and in science, real science, when the actual data totally deviate from the predictions of the models, you trash the models and reconsider all your thinking on the subject. Mr. Obama is not a scientist, in fact not remotely technical about anything, but even he should understand this. However, he has gulped down the AGW Kool-Aid and now no mere facts are going to bother him. On top of which, suppose there is warming and the oceans rise slightly and there are more problems with limited water in numerous areas of the world. How are we supposed to fix any of that? Are we going to take in 500 million refugees somehow? Or even 50 million? Will we be running rescue missions day and night all over the world? This is dumb. Nations would have to take measures to take care of themselves. Water conservation, and huge desalinization plants for those near the ocean, would be a big part of it. As a SciFi writer proposed decades ago, huge icebergs could be towed to the beaches of some countries, and their pure fresh water captured as they melt. And if nations somewhere go to war over who controls some rivers, what are we supposed to do about it? Suddenly we are going to be accepted as the world's water cop? The whole thing is just too dumb to go into. But our President really thinks about it a lot. Heaven help us. --Del)

Study Predicts Decades Of Global Cooling Ahead. By Michael Bastasch
Excerpt: A new study out of the United Kingdom predicts the Earth is about to go through a major climatic shift that could mean decades of cooler temperatures and fewer hurricanes hitting the United States. Scientists at the University of Southampton predict that a cooling of the Atlantic Ocean could cool global temperatures a half a degree Celsius and may offer a “brief respite from the persistent rise of global temperatures,” according to their study. This cooling phase in the Atlantic will influence “temperature, rainfall, drought and even the frequency of hurricanes in many regions of the world,” says Dr. Gerard McCarthy. The study’s authors based their results on ocean sensor arrays and 100 years of sea-level data. (I read that an ice age can come on quickly, that in the last one, Britain went from inhabited to under several feet of ice in 40 years. ~Bob)

Climate change: Mr. Obama, 97 percent of experts is a bogus number. By Richard Tol
Excerpt: The 97 percent claim was taken from a study paper by Australian John Cook, Climate Communications Fellow for the Global change Institute at the University of Queensland, and his colleagues, published in the journal Environmental Research Letters in May, 2013. The paper says nothing about the would-be dangers of climate change and it counts the number of publications, rather than the number of scientists, in support of human-made climate change. Never let facts get in the way of a good story. The paper is a treasure trove of how-not-to lessons for a graduate class on survey design and analysis: the sample was not representative, statistical tests were ignored, and the results were misinterpreted. (It's simple, we're back into the whole pseudoscience running on bias and emotion, not at all related to true, rigorous scientific research. The guy writing the article below is a qualified scientist, raising exactly the questions a real researcher asks when examining the claims someone has published. And he's raised the questions, but gotten no answers, and of course been ignored by the very authorities who should have asked those questions first. But it is anti-PC to question anything about Climate Change, so none of those who should be responding to him will take note of anything he or anyone else, however qualified, however correct, asks. What a sad time for all of us, whose lives may well be affected negatively by the ridiculous measures that the Climate Change disciples are demanding in the name of the health of the planet. Measures that will mostly serve to make some more multimillionaires into billionaires, while raising the cost of living for all the rest of us. And, by the way, not really having much of anything to do with changing whatever the planet's weather decides to do. --Del)

Religion of Peace News

Worth Reading: Why Obama Is Losing. By Gary Bauer
Excerpt: It has become obvious in recent days that President Obama's strategy for confronting ISIS isn't working. Today's New York Times explains why: Obama has handcuffed our military. According to the report, U.S. intelligence has identified seven buildings in Raqqa, Syria, that essentially function as the headquarters of ISIS. Yet the Times writes that the buildings have not been bombed "during the 10-month allied air campaign." When ISIS captured Ramadi, its fighters "paraded triumphantly through the streets . . . unscathed by coalition fighter-bombers." What's going on? The Times tells us that "American officials say they are not striking significant -- and obvious -- Islamic State targets out of fear that the attacks will accidentally kill civilians." (This is simple. If you absolutely cannot abide some level of "collateral damage", and you are fighting a group that knows it and surrounds themselves with civilians constantly, you may as well fold your tents and go home. War is a dirty business (DUHH!!) and always has been, and playing to the enemy's strengths and allowing him to dictate what goes on in the fight is worse than senseless, it's criminal. Obama has no concept of war, no stomach for any of it, and until he is out of the Oval Office this country will be a "paper tiger", with zero respect from our enemies and zero confidence from anyone else. I shudder to think of the damage he can still inflict in the next 19 months. --Del. According to the President's spokesperson, our policy is to avoid any military action which might result in civilian casualties. Thus ISIS knows that as long as they keep women and children close by, they are safe. It encourages them to use human shields. With that policy we would have lost WWII to the Nazis. We could not have invaded France or taken German without massive civilian casualties. And Japan would have been safe from attacks. ~Bob)

Excerpt: Earlier this week, Al Jazeera aired the first part of its interview with Abu Muhammed al Julani, who is the emir of the Al Nusrah Front. Julani stressed that his organization is "committed" to Ayman al Zawahiri's "orders," thereby dispelling erroneous reports that his group was going to "break" with al Qaeda.

Hillary Tipped Murdered Ambassador's Movements In Emails. Secretary of state was using her unsecured private server. By Aaron Klein
Excerpt: In the year prior to the deadly 2012 Benghazi attack, Hillary Clinton used her private email server to correspond about such highly sensitive national security matters as specific threats to the Libya hotel where Ambassador Chris Stevens was staying as well as his decision to remain at the hotel despite the threats. The emails, released May 22 by the State Department, also contained the exact movements of Stevens while he was stationed in arguably one of the most dangerous zones in the world for any American diplomat, a WND review has found. On April 24, 2011, Clinton’s senior aide, Huma Abedin, forwarded to Clinton’s personal email an internal State email from that same day written by Timmy Davis and sent to Abedin as well as to the State email addresses of other employees, including Clinton’s then-foreign policy aide, Jacob Sullivan.

Excerpt: A North Korean delegation that traveled to Iran in April for secret meetings about nuclear technology spent much of its time working with an Iranian agency responsible for weaponizing the country’s nuclear program, according to an exiled Iranian opposition group.

Kurdish troops retake cities in Syria from ISIS. Motivated by revolutionary fervour, Kurds succeed where Iraqi army fails
Excerpt: The Kurds, motivated by a desire for their own homeland and backed by U.S.-led airstrikes, have now retaken more than 200 cities from ISIS fighters. In contrast to the Iraqi army’s failures, Kurdish fighters in Syria are on the march against ISIS, capturing towns and villages in an oil-rich swath of the country’s northeast under the cover of U.S.-led airstrikes.

Militias rout ISIS from Christian area in Syria. Militias recapture ancient Assyrian villages but find churches destroyed. By Mindy Belz
Excerpt: In Syria, an unheralded combination of Kurdish and Assyrian Christian fighters in recent weeks managed to recapture a string of villages along the Khabur River from the so-called Islamic State (IS or ISIS). The victories came three months after ISIS swept into the area, taking command of 14 villages and kidnapping several hundred Assyrian Christians who lived there. They went unnoticed as ISIS made gains elsewhere, chiefly in taking Palmyra further south in Syria, and capturing Ramadi in central Iraq. But as local forces reenter the Khabur River villages, they are finding a swath of devastation in the Islamic militants’ wake.

Legitimizing Censorship: 'Islamophobia Studies' at Berkeley. By Cinnamon Stillwell and Rima Greene
Excerpt: "Islamophobia studies" is the latest addition to the academic pantheon of politicized, esoteric, and divisive "studies" whose purpose is to censor criticism of differing views by stigmatizing critics as racist or clinically insane. The University of California, Berkeley's recent Sixth Annual International Islamophobia Conference—organized by the Islamophobia Research & Documentation Project (IRDP)—was titled, "The State of the Islamophobia Studies Field." The fact that this "field" doesn't yet formally exist in the U.S. may explain why speakers the first day of the conference barely mentioned it. As in years past, the conference featured victimology, academic jargon, and anti-Western rhetoric.

Anti-Semitism. By Mona Charen. From The Patriot Post
 "Iran’s leaders are infected by a disease of the mind that prevents them from perceiving the world accurately. Their anti-Semitism is Nazi in intensity. They believe, as Hitler did, in a worldwide Jewish conspiracy that is responsible for wars, sectarian conflict among Muslims (!), disease and oppression. The regime hosts Holocaust denial conferences. They ceaselessly refer to Israel and Jews as 'cancers' or 'rabid dogs.' What do you do to cancers and rabid dogs? You kill them. ... It’s profoundly worrying that Obama can shrug off the abundant evidence that the Iranian regime is in the grip of dangerous illusions about Jewish power and Jewish evil, and casually compare it to the kind of anti-Semitism found in modern-day Europe and America. It’s also morally offensive. The mullahs' anti-Semitism, along with their threats, should be enough to cause Obama, or any decent person, to recoil in disgust. Instead, he has made it the cause of his second term to reach a rapprochement with Iran. He has invited the regime to take the 'path' he’s offering to become “a very successful regional power. ...Obama’s morality is always in service of his politics, not the other way around."

Worth Reading: Iraq exists only as an idea, not a nation. By Fareed Zakaria
Excerpt: Defense Secretary Ashton Carter did misspeak last week with remarks that caused a firestorm in both Washington and BaghdadHe explained the Islamic State’s takeover of Ramadi by saying Iraqi forces “showed no will to fight.” He just forgot to complete the sentence by adding the words, “for Iraq.” It’s clear that many people are willing to fight fiercely and bravely in that part of the world — just look at the levels of violence. The Kurds fight ferociously for Kurdistan. The Shiites have been fighting doggedly for their people. The Sunnis of the Islamic State are killing and dying for their cause. But nobody is willing to fight for Iraq. The problem really is not that Iraq’s army has collapsed. It’s that Iraq has collapsed. (Iraq was created by the victors in WWI out of three Ottoman provinces. That one was Sunni, one Shi'a and one Kurd didn't matter to the map makers. ~Bob)

Graphic: The carnage committed in the name of Allah. By Raymond Ibrahim
Excerpt: The picture below is one of many appearing on Arabic social media concerning the Islamic State’s barbarism and sadism, where those deemed “infidels” are treated as pieces of meat to be carved up for “fun.” The Arabic writing behind the masked savage reads, “One umma, one state.” Similarly, in a new report based on eyewitness testimonies from Assyrian Christians fleeing Islamic State (IS) held territories in Syria, children were forced to watch beheadings and other atrocities carried out by the Islamic militants.

U.S. saw Islamic State coming, didn’t order airstrikes, let it take Ramadi. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: Did they want the Iraqis to win a great victory over the Islamic State all by themselves? Or did they want the Islamic State to take Ramadi? We need answers, but almost certainly aren’t going to get them from a press that covers for Obama at every turn.

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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