Sunday, December 27, 2015

Today's worth-reading political news and opinion

Worth Hearing: Mormon Tabernacle Choir-- Christmas from Heaven: The Candy Bomber Story

Too Funny: Santa Claus Boot Camp!!!

Book Recommendation: The End of Sparta: A Novel. By Victor Davis Hanson 
Dr. Hanson is a well-known political commentator who is always worth reading, but his background is as a military and classical historian. I have read a lot about both the Greek wars against the Persian (Iranian) invasions at Thermopile, Marathon and Salamis and about the Peloponnesian war between Athens and Sparta, especially from Hanson's excellent history A War like no Other. But I knew little about the period when Sparta ceased to be a major factor, perhaps because, as Hanson points out, many of the histories of that era have been lost. So it should be no surprise that this reads like a history, though the protagonist is fictional and Hanson has to invent some events to explain others. As a classical historian, he is so well versed in ancient Greece that you come away from this novel feeling that this was really the way Greeks in the fourth century BC thought, talked and acted. This novel is not for the squeamish--it's about war as it was (and is), not the romanticized, sanitized pabulum we often get. For the military history buff, it's a must read.

UK Study: Muslim Brotherhood Review: Main Findings

Comment on: How Our Overly Restrictive Rules of Engagement Keep Us from Winning Wars
The problem isn't the ROE; the problem is a society that acquiesces in or demands that kind of ROE. --Tom Kratman. (Tom Kratman is a retired USA LtCol, an occasional contributor to this blog, and an outstand author of military science fiction, including the A Desert Called Peace series. ~Bob)

African Migrants Trash Small Italian Town, Demand Free Wifi And A Cleaner

Senator Russ Feingold offers "no ideas" on Iran
Maybe declare it a "gun free" zone? It works so well here. ~Bob

UK Muslim Family Who Blamed Islamophobia and Trump for Disney Travel Ban Linked to Taliban and Al Qaeda

Christians Face Middle East Elimination
Excerpt: Christianity is facing "elimination" in the Middle East at the hands of an Islamic State "apocalypse", the Archbishop of Canterbury has warned.

A Christmas of despair for Syrian Christian refugees in Lebanon
No help here. ~Bob

Syrians' arrival at U.S. border crossing raises concern of a flood of asylum seekers

Excerpt: When I first met Jason Amerine, it was hard not to be impressed.  He’s got the right stuff.  His resume — flush with the type of things that would make a Hollywood movie producer drool — isn’t too bad either. (How utterly disgusting to read of the illicit use of so much power to try to crush a good man, whose crime was to try to achieve something good for the nation.  I only wish there were a way to visit this kind of hassle on those who were behind this. --Del)

America’s Brave Soldiers: Lions Led by Donkeys. By DAVID FRENCH 
Excerpt: In 14 years of continual combat, has there ever been a greater  disconnect between our warrior class and the civilians who purport to lead them?  American politicians still don't understand our enemy, still don't understand the capabilities and limitations of the American military, and worst of all, they still seem unwilling to learn.   They come from an intellectual aristocracy that believes itself educated simply because it's credentialed and they tend to listen only to those who share similar credentials. They've built a bubble of impenetrable ignorance, and they govern accordingly. (A great comment by a combat vet. --Del)

Defense Secretary Ash Carter's historic personnel changes irk generals
I'm trying to figure out more and better ways to make joining the military less attractive than ever, but I'm not half as smart as the people already working on it.  All the stuff going on just makes one want to scream or cry. And things like the mixed up kid who committed treason by broadcasting confidential information now gets us taxpayers to foot the bill for his hormone therapy because he's decided now that he wants to be a girl?  I'm sorry, once you screw up bad enough to be sent to prison, what society owes you is decent food, shelter, and basic medical care.  Gender transformations are something you get to do with your own resources.  Anyone notice that inmates don't get their tattoos paid for by the system, they have to do that on their own?  Female inmates don't get botox or breast implants either.  This is nuts.  And for active duty soldiers who want to change gender, I'm sorry, that is not standard medical coverage either, if it's going to be allowed, OK, but you take out the loan for it and get it done in private care during your leave time.  Is that really so unreasonable?  Otherwise what makes sense for anyone wanting the expensive operations and therapy who doesn't have a lot of money, it makes sense to sign up for the military, then come out after a year and demand "your right" to the change at taxpayer expense.  People will game any system that they see is open to it and will give them something they want but can't easily get on their own. Messing up the retirement system that's been in place for living memory is another high point, although instituting 401K as a voluntary system would be a good idea, so people who serve less than 20 can still benefit from their time in. BTW, the chart included says that there are 12,000 transgenders serving right now.  How in hell could anyone know that with any kind of precision?  By just using the theoretical one percent of the population that is or wants to be transgender?  Neglecting the solid chance that a lot of people with that frame of mind would be quite unlikely to join the military is more than a bit silly, but in today's PC world of course they just plug in the number. Ash Carter will be remembered in years to come as one of Obama's most effective "agents of change", but just not in the positive sense. --Del

Singing Kumbaya Is Not A Strategy

So Democrats don't want us to speak against Muslim murder of gays and apostates, stoning of rape victims for adultery, FGM of little girls, child marriage, oppression of women, Jihadist terror, the Islamic state headed by a scholar of Islamic thought, execution of witches and lest we forget, drinking camel urine. Fine. I condemn Democrats for being in favor of all this. ~Bob. The short form is that some congressmen wrote a Bill that first, talks about things like the enormous contributions Muslims have made to the nation over its history, which is just so damn stupid that it makes me scream.  And then talks about all the terrible things that have happened to Muslims lately, as if there was blood running in the streets and all the mosques in the country were burned like the synagogues in Germany on Kristallnacht.  The incidents of actual acts against Muslims can be counted on one hand, the truth is that Americans as a group are extremely tolerant and non-discriminatory, and while many of us do think and wonder about the fraction of Muslims here who are fundamentalists, hardly anyone is ready to go out and treat someone badly solely because they are Muslim. But the idiotic PC push to just be super nice to all groups and make a big thing out of it just keeps rolling along.  Oops, not "all" groups, if you're an older White man, Christian, and you happen to own any firearms, your particular group is, shall we say, not exactly in good stead with the PC crowd.  But let's no focus on mere details, all the animals are equal, except for that few who are just a tad more equal. --Del.

British doctor being attacked at Islamic hospital for being a women. This is Islam. The religion of peace.
I cannot verify this film. ~Bob

Our tolerant Muslim ally: Christmas season hits ... Saudi Arabia? Festive whiff helps foreigners feel at home in strict Islamic state
Excerpt: Saudi Arabia has stated publicly that its policy is to protect the right of non-Muslims to worship privately. However, Defense Minister Prince Sulta also stressed that the kingdom would never allow churches to be built. Earlier this year, Sheik Ibrahim al-Ghaith, chief of the powerful religious police, said Saudi Arabia would never allow public displays of non-Muslim faith.

We Want The Truth. Pat Condell

Contained? Surge in terrorism charges a sign of ISIS’s online reach

Interesting: Robert Spencer at Breitbart: “Allahu akbar” doesn’t mean what media says it means
Excerpt: Media outlets routinely mangle the true meaning of “Allahu akbar,” the ubiquitous battle cry of Islamic jihadists as they commit mass murder. The war-cry is mistranslated in the Western media as “God is great.” But the actual meaning is “Allah is greater,” meaning Allah Is Greater Than Your God or Government. It is the aggressive declaration that Allah and Islam are dominant over every other form of government, religion, law or ethic, which is why Islamic jihadists in the midst of killing infidels so often shout it.

Robust Vetting? German police: Only 10% of migrants are checked with terror databases

Tolerant Islam: No Chance to Celebrate Christmas in Sudan, Crackdown Continues
Merry Christmas from the Religion of Peace. ~Bob

India: Muslim abducts, tortures, sexually assaults woman, forces her to convert to Islam to marry him

Worth Reading: The Challenge For Moderate Islam. Moderate Muslims must explain the substantive difference between Islam and Islamism. If they don’t, the rest of us will worry substantive differences don’t exist.
Excerpt: That’s too bad, because many of us in the West need to understand distinctions that moderate Muslims seem to take for granted. I recently argued that if ISIS and its underlying ideology are to be defeated, the Islamic doctrines that animate it must be discredited—not just by a crushing defeat on the battlefield but also by moderate Muslim leaders around the world arguing for a peaceful version of their faith. We in the West have no competency to judge which interpretations of Islam are valid and which are not—no matter what President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry say. If moderates have a compelling case to make, they’d better start making it. Polls Say Radical Islam Is Mainstream. They don’t seem to be up for the challenge. After the attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Muslim groups like the American Council on American–Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Circle of North America (ICNA) were quick to condemn the attacks and distance themselves from “radicalism.” But none of these groups have ever addressed head-on one of the central claims of ISIS and other Islamist groups, which is that Muslim societies (including non-Muslim minorities) should be governed by Islamic law, or Sharia.

Tolerant Islam: “Palestinian” Muslims torch Christian town’s Christmas tree

Tolerant Islam: Germany: Muslims beat Christians after Christmas celebrations: “I’m a Muslim, what are you?”

World's Oldest Quran Supports Claim That Muhammad Changed Text Already in Existence!

Bosnia says arrests foiled Islamist attack in Sarajevo

UK Muslims provide less than 10% of terror tips, boycott anti-radicalization program

Mr. Conservative: Trey Gowdy to Endorse, Campaign With Marco Rubio
Gowdy was touted for speaker by the most conservative faction in the House. ~Bob

Interesting: Webb Attacks Clinton With Eye on Independent Run
Excerpt: Webb's campaign has told Bloomberg it would concentrate on mobilizing voters in the ideological middle, along with people who have become dissatisfied with politics. In a tight race, even a small base of support could make him a factor. Ralph Nader, for instance, famously won only small percentages of the vote in many states in the 2000 presidential election, yet that arguably helped tip the Electoral College vote to then-Texas Governor George W. Bush, denying Democratic Vice President Al Gore, the winner of the popular vote, the presidency. (The article assumes an independent Webb run for the Presidency will hurt Hillary. I can’t help wondering how badly it might hurt Republicans. Webb is by far the most conservative Democrat who has expressed any interest in running in 2016; but, he was part of Reagan’s administration, so he also has Republican creds as well. If there are any truly "middle of the road" voters left out there, Webb is the one guy they could flock to. Without Webb, they almost have to fall mostly our way or go full liberal. With him running as an independent candidate, who knows. I wonder if he could be drafted as a candidate for VP on our ticket? That would poke a stick in Hillary’s eye, wouldn’t it? Ron P.)

FLASHBACK: Obama Promises No Vacations For Himself As President [VIDEO]
Excerpt: “The bargain that any president strikes with is, you give me this office and in turn my, fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure is gone,” Obama said. “I am giving myself to you.”

Worth Reading: If Trump wins the nomination, prepare for the end of the conservative party. By George F. Will
Excerpt: If you look beyond Donald Trump’s comprehensive unpleasantness — is there a disagreeable human trait he does not have? — you might see this: He is a fundamentally sad figure. His compulsive boasting is evidence of insecurity. His unassuageable neediness suggests an aching hunger for others’ approval to ratify his self-admiration. His incessant announcements of his self-esteem indicate that he is not self-persuaded. Now, panting with a puppy’s insatiable eagerness to be petted, Trump has reveled in the approval of Vladimir Putin, murderer and war criminal. (Will have been one of the most solid conservative commentators over the years. ~Bob)

The foolish ‘theism’ of government enthusiasts. By George F. Will

Feds dump heavily redacted Benghazi emails on Christmas Eve
Excerpt: The Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Thursday released 16 pages of sensitive documents related to the 2012 Benghazi terror attack. The documents, released ahead of the Christmas holiday, include mostly blacked-out emails and some press clippings about events in Libya after the attack on the U.S. embassy, which left four Americans dead. The event has become a central part of Republican criticism of Hillary Clinton's time as Secretary of State as she runs for president. (Who do they think they are, Santa Claus?  Oh, heavily redacted, so what's it matter?  Hillary safe.  Obama's got her back. --Barb)

Obama will cover her: FBI found TOP SECRET info in Hillary emails, evidence enough to CHARGE Clinton says Monica Crowley

Older, worth reading: The Australian Gun Ban Conceit. Australia’s gun ban isn’t what the Left wants it to be.
Excerpt: The study doesn’t conclude that “murders and suicides plummeted” in Australia after the 1996 gun ban, as Vox claims in its headline. Instead, it focuses solely on firearm-related murders and suicides. In that category they found a marked decline (although, interestingly, it still makes up nearly 20 percent of all homicides nearly two decades after most guns were banned by the island nation). But at the same time Australia was banning guns and experiencing a decline in gun homicides, America was more than doubling how many firearms it manufactured and seeing a nearly identical drop in gun homicides. That throws a bit of a wrench into the idea that Australia’s gun ban must be the reason for its decline in gun crime.

GQ’s (5th) Worst Person of the Year is… Hillary Clinton?
Excerpt: GQ named their Worst People of 2015. Now it’s GQ, so yes, the list had a bit of a left wing slant. But coming in at number 5 with a bullet? Hillary Clinton. Maybe had the list not been limited to just one year, Hillary would’ve been up a few more spots. No worries, after this year, the slate will be wiped clean. With a cloth or something.

Bernie Sanders says he doesn’t want Rahm Emanuel’s help in the presidential race
Rahm seems to have fallen out of the pantheon of progressive gods. ~Bob

Interesting: Ryan’s long-term tax victory. By Kelsey Snell, Washington Post
When Congress passed the $622 billion year-end tax deal, House Speaker Paul Ryan quietly scored a budgetary victory that could set the stage for his long-sought goal of overhauling and simplifying the tax code. The permanent tax breaks secured in the legislation will make a tax reform proposal that cuts tax rates without increasing revenue through other policies look cheaper to accomplish in the future. That in turn will make the political fights over the potential deficit impact of tax reform much easier for Ryan and his allies to navigate. (The crazies are now saying Ryan is Muslim because he has a Muslim Beard. Just as Santa and every married Amish man I have met is...~Bob)

"The whole history of the progress of human liberty shows that all concessions yet made to her august claims have been born of earnest struggle... If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground, they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters." --Frederick Douglass

‘Christmas Is Dead': Venezuela Left Without Food, Lights, Presents on Holiday

Thank liberals for today's chaotic and dangerous world. By STAR PARKER
Excerpt: We're in a world today increasingly defined by chaos. At home it's on our college campuses. Abroad it's spreading across the Middle East and spilling over into Europe. Who do we have to thank for it all? Liberals and moral relativists in power in our country and Europe.

Environmental Activist Madonna Criticized for Using Private Jet for 120-Mile Commute
The paper reports Madonna’s jet, a 12-seater, would have “contributed 2.907 tonnes of carbon emissions,” while a stretch limousine “would produce just 0.081.” Fellow environmentalists are reportedly enraged at the singer for increasing her carbon footprint, while she herself campaigns to end climate change.

Border militia founder reportedly shot dead in Arizona. A toddler is one of those killed along with a man identified as white supremacist Jason 'J.T.' Ready and three others after reports of a domestic dispute in suburban Phoenix. Police back away from calling it a murder-suicide.

Expecting Bailout, Puerto Rico Pays $120 Million in Christmas Bonuses

The Uber RINO: Donald Trump Praises Obama, Hillary and EPA Chief Lisa Jackson

Russia Rearms for a New Era

A political bomb is about to blow up in the Democrats’ faces

Another Gun Free zone? Aspiring Rapper Opened Fire in Busy Mall on Christmas Eve Before He Was Killed by Off-Duty Cop: Police
Daquan Antonio Westbrook – an aspiring rapper known as Donkey Cartel – was shot dead by an off-duty police officer who was working security at the Northlake Mall. The officer responded to an argument that broke out between two rival groups. A statement from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department alleges that Westbrook pulled out a gun during the fracas and started firing. (The shooting at the East Towne Mall about five miles from our home was also a dispute between teen groups. Paper didn't say, but the wounded victim and bystanders were black. Can't understand how it happened--I believe the mall is a gun free zone. ~Bob. Police stymied in mall shooter case by uncooperative victim, witnesses.

Minneapolis City Councilwoman DOXES Constituents Who Criticized Her Black Lives Matter Protesting
Excerpt: A Minneapolis city councilwoman published the addresses, phone numbers and other personal contact information of people who took her to task for taking part in a Black Lives Matter protest that shut down the Mall of America on Wednesday....The complaints do not seem overly hostile or personal. Instead, they were merely critical of Cano’s participation as a public official in the so-called “Black XMas” demonstrations at Bloomington’s Mall of America, one of the largest in the nation.

San Diego police search for 400-pound bearded woman suspected of stabbing man

Funny or sad? Rep. Blake Farenthold: The 12 Failings of Obama

Poll: 59 Percent of Americans Say Hillary Clinton Is Dishonest
Excerpt: A Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday shows that 59 percent of Americans view Hillary Clinton as being “not honest and trustworthy,” with only 35 percent thinking that she is, actually, honest and trustworthy.

Too True: Trump Has Succeeded in Convincing Conservatives to Discard their Principles Overnight. By Charles C. Cooke
Excerpt: Since he jumped self-confidently into the political limelight, Donald Trump has been quite the upside-down man. Customarily, primary seasons permit each party’s voters to indulge in a rational process of elimination: First, they discover which candidate most closely agrees with them on policy, and then they ask themselves whether that person is capable of representing their ideas in public. This time around, however, this process has been disastrously inverted, a solid portion of the Republican party’s balloters having decided first who they want to speak on their behalf, and then, as if t’were a mere afterthought, wondered what he might end up saying. That their pick lacks any sort of conservative message at all does not seem to have mattered in the slightest. “We want that guy,” a host of voters have determined. “Whatever he believes, he says it so well.”

New England Patriots Owner Makes $20 Million Donation to Fund Israeli Medical Research


NASA REPORT: Antarctic Ice Sheet is Actually… Growing By Billions of Tons?

#OnlyBlackLivesMatter: Three Young Black Women Accused of Beating 51-Year-Old White Man to Death

Worth Reading: Property Rights and Religious Liberty

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