Saturday, January 31, 2015

Random Thoughts for February, 2015

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

True Love
As the pastor loves his God,
As the miser loves his lock,
As the farmer loves the sod,
The liberals love Barack.

As the mother loves her child,
As the mobster loves his pelf,
As the hunter loves the wild,
Obama loves himself. ~RAH

Extremists, left or right, almost always believe that lying and fraud are okay if done in the name of a higher good, as they define good. See: "You can keep your health plan."

Nazis, fascists, communists, Islamists and progressives all believe they know exactly how everyone should live. So of course, do other religions or philosophies. The difference is that the former are willing, in fact compelled to use coercion to make everyone live according to their vision, whether the people want to or not. It is not so far from slaughtering people in concentration camps, in man-made famines in the Ukraine and China's "Great Leap Forward," or in the twin towers or the offices of Charlie Hebdo, to building an ever-larger government bureaucracy to force you to eat what you should, use energy as you should, use your property as you should, disarm yourself in the face of thugs as you should and seize your earnings to "help" the various disadvantaged groups that are in their favor, with ever more draconian penalties to ensure compliance. (See: Madman who starved 60million to death: Devastating book reveals how Mao's megalomania turned China into a madhouse Progressives may wear a silken glove, but it covers the iron fist of government coercion. It is no wonder that Obama debate coach and cabinet member Anita Dunn described Mao, the greatest mass murderer in history (Hitler is only third behind Stalin) as one of her favorite philosophers.

Many people go through life with little hope and fewer expectations. And they usually get what they expect.

If not for poor impulse control, many people would have no control at all.

The old adage, "Hire for attitude, train for skills" remains true. The problem is that in our society today, poor attitudes are fostered. Kids are denied low level jobs, where they could learn basic jobs skills, by minimum wage laws at the behest of unions. (My junior year in high school, I worked at Moffet's, a small grocery and butcher shop, delivering groceries on a bike and stocking shelves. I learned a lot for $1.00 per hour and tips for deliveries, usually a quarter.) The "systems" fosters attitudes that every thing is unfair, that poor people are victims, and that people are entitled to things that other people worked to earn. Personal responsibility is an unknown concept--nothing is ever their fault. It's big business, Wall Street, racism, drugs, politicians or whatever, but never them. Of course they make bad employees and thus have trouble getting or holding jobs.

If all forms of capital punishment are "cruel and unusual," are not all forms of assisted suicide also?

The way my body stores food for the coming famine, I'm worried it knows something I don't.

So far, all that money I've spent on life insurance has been a waste.

My wife reads magazines with health articles like, "Eat Eggplant and Banish Hangnail for Life." I'm waiting for one like, "Boston Cream Donuts--the Secret to Great Health."

My Medigap Policy dropped 50 cents a month for 2015. Great news, except that my wife's health care policy went up over $40 per month. Way to bend that cost curve down, Mr. President.

Though I go to physical therapy three morning a week, I don't like to exercise. However, I like having exercised--that seems to be enough.

So called "conservatives" who don't vote for a GOP candidate because he/she is not a pure conservative on every issue (as they define pure) are the handmaidens of the progressive agenda. I have found that I never agree with any candidate on 100% of the issues. Having been elected to the Mass. state senate five times, I found that I didn't even agree with myself on every issue. Some times I had to vote a certain way to survive, so I could vote conservative on the state budget. Sometimes I was just wrong, or not sure of either side in the debate. Senator Ed Brooke was a pretty liberal Republican, but he supported me and I supported him. He lost in part because conservatives he had supported sat on their hands in his election, because he was "too liberal." The result was far left Senator Paul Tsongas, followed by far left Senator John Kerry. Kerry might have won the White House. Wouldn't that have been great for the country?

Hollywood celebrities and other leftists firmly believe that talent excuses evil. See their stout defense of Roman Polanski for his drugging and rape of a 13-year-old. Whoopi Goldberg excused it as "not rape, rape," though she doubtless had the vapors over the faux-rape store in Rolling Stone.

Global Warming is today's Y2K scare, raising great funds from the public for the intimidators.

We have the granddaughter's 14-pound Teddy Bear pup, Caramel living with us. He's a good watchdog, though completely unable to distinguish between an elderly lady lawfully using the sidewalk, and three armed thugs bent on home invasion and mayhem.

It's bad enough to have an unwanted song stuck in your head for days. But when it's January and the song is "Santa Claus is coming to town"....

You are, of necessity, subservient and obsequious to those you are dependent on: a boss, a rich uncle, your parents. The fast-growing percentage of the population that is dependent on the government for jobs or handouts are no different.

The problem with doing exercise is that, like laundry and dishes, it doesn't stay done.

We don't need more laws. we need politicians and officials with the grit to enforce the laws we have.

Too many people have bought into the, "Poor me, I'm a victim" mentality. They are not happy if they have nothing to complain about, and cast about for something to fill their empty lives.

Refusal by much of the media to publish the Charlie Hebdo cartoons is cowardice cloaked in the cause of multicultural principles. It's the left's staple. Je suis poulet.

Hillary can lie as expertly as Barack, but progressives won't really take to her unless she shows her bowing and apologizing for America is in his league. ~Bob

Given how he has destroyed race relations for political gain, I suspect future historians will classify Obama's elections as hate crimes.

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, you'd have to have a heart of stone to read about Harvard Professors up in arms over their health insurance rate increases caused by Obamacare and not laugh.

"Nice" and "Annoying" are not mutually exclusive.

Politics is strange. From time to time, even a good man wins.

Muslims seem a LOT more upset by the Charlie Hebdo cartoons than the slaughter of thousands of fellow Muslims by ISIS and Boko Haram.

I hope if Hillary runs in 2016, she will again regale us with tales of being under fire in the Balkans. Politics needs more old-fashioned, side-splitting humor.

I looked over Jordan, what did I see,
Coming to cut my head off?
A band of Jihadists coming after me,
Coming to cut my head off.
I.S.I.S., you wouldn't dare,
Coming to cut my head off.
If Barack Obama would just grow a pair,
Coming to cut my head off. ~RAH

Addition from a blog reader:

As you crossed over Jordan, what you did not see
Were two loaded Glocks belonging to me
Extra mags readily at hand
I'll gladly transport you to Allah's land.
Better turn around now before it's too late
Before you and my defense have an unpleasant date.
Shut up and leave, it's all that I ask
Or else you will have lead in your . . . .BW

They say if you repeat a lie long enough and loud enough, people will believe it. Seemed to work for Hitler and Stalin. And it seems to work for liberals (see "Global Warming") and Obama/keep your plan/etc. (see Obamacare). But when enough people realize they have been lied to, the backlash can get nasty.

If you do not read and cherish books, you cannot justly call yourself a civilized person.

"We often forgive those that have injured us, but we can never pardon those that we have injured." -- François, duc de La Rochefoucauld (1613–1680). Which is why the left and the media are compelled to pick at Sarah Palin, though doing so makes her more popular with her base, and thus more wealthy.

Ted Cruz says every time Republicans run to the middle, they lose the presidency. Thankfully, Barry Goldwater--on whose campaign I volunteered as a teen--ran to right. Carried six states, too. Both Bushes ran to the middle, for three wins out of four. Reagan was arguably less conservative than he is pictured. In my view, the last truly Conservative Republican President was Coolidge. The last Conservative Democrat president was Cleveland. But folks will believe what they want to believe. We all thought Goldwater was going to win. (Of course, I missed the last three months of the campaign, on vacation at "Beautiful Beaufort by the Sea, the Parris Island Resort and Spa.")

As the Greek elections just showed, no one likes austerity. Spending money is much more fun then tightening the belt several notches to pay for past spending to buy votes. But trust me, they will like the eventually results of profligate spending far less. It will involve fiscal, political and social collapse, violence, starvation and a lot of the folks who are against austerity now running around blubbering, "Why didn't someone do something?"

You'll notice that the media that says it is wrong to publish something that offends Muslims has never extended the same content veto to Christians and Jews.

If you support the Muslim Brotherhood, you support terrorism and the extermination of the Jews. Jews first that is...

Do you suppose Obama ever asks himself on foreign or domestic policy, "What happens if I'm wrong about this?" No, me neither.

Ziggy: Wisdom doesn't necessarily come with age. Sometimes age just shows up all by itself.

Get the collection! My “Random Thoughts” from 2008 through July, 2013 are collected in this book: The Old Jarhead's Journal: Random Thoughts on Life, Liberty, and Leadership by Robert A. Hall
The Old Jarhead’s Journal is a collection of Random Thoughts on politics and life and Conservative Political Essays, mostly published on the author’s blog, including the essay “I’m Tired” which went viral on the Internet in 2009, “The Hall Platform,” “This I Believe,” and “Why I’m a Republican.” While they will be of interest to conservative thinkers, they are collected here in book form as a service to readers who wish to give a copy to favorite liberals and watch their heads explode. All royalties are donated to the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund.


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: His blog of political news and conservative comment is

Friday, January 30, 2015

Romney out--Lots of 2016 election news today


Why I do this blog: " Life is really simple: Do all that you can, for as many as you can, for as long as you can." –Anonymous US Marine Corps Sergeant Major.

On Friday, 1/23 my FEV1 average (amount of air I can exhale in one second) was 1.697, the lowest this month. Thursday, 1/28 it was 1.845, the highest since March 29. Highest I ever had was a 2.28 in January. Some of the guys who got two lungs are blowing in the 3.6 range. But two is cheating, right? ~Bob

General News and Comment

Important: Mitt Romney Opts Out of Third Presidential Bid in 2016
Excerpt: Former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., announced to supporters on Friday that he will not seek the Republican presidential nomination for a third time. Romney was the Republican presidential candidate in 2012 who lost to President Barack Obama. Conservative pundit and radio show host Hugh Hewitt received a copy of what Romney told supporters on Friday. Romney insisted that he could win the nomination but decided against a third bid. (Romney was the front runner among Republican voters. Jeb Bush was second. I think this makes Jeb the front runner. If Romney should throw his support to Jeb, it could be over. ~Bob)

Romney announces he will not run for president in 2016
Excerpt: Bush, in a written statement on Friday, praised Romney as a party leader and a patriot. "There are few people who have worked harder to elect Republicans across the country than he has," he said. "Though I'm sure today's decision was not easy, I know that Mitt Romney will never stop advocating for renewing America's promise through upward mobility, encouraging free enterprise and strengthening our national defense." A day earlier, it emerged that a key former Romney adviser was joining up with Bush's team. 

A Message From Marco Rubio
After listening to Mitt Romney's latest... I Thought you would be interested in this.. A message from Marco Rubio. His FB message to followers. "Over the past two years, there hasn't been a day when I didn't think that Mitt Romney would have been a better president than Barack Obama. Over the years, I’ve enjoyed getting to know Mitt and campaigning for him, was grateful for his support in my Senate race, and I know what a difficult decision this must be given his love of our country. He certainly earned the right to consider running, so I deeply respect his decision to give the next generation a chance to lead. I wish him, Ann and his entire family the best and hope he will continue to serve our country and his community as he’s done throughout his life." To me it kind of looks like Mitt might have been referring to Marco. Personally, I would love to see Marco run. --Laura (Laura knows politics. She and her late husband, Ron [A local selectman] were staunch Hall Campaign Volunteers throughout my five successful races. ~Bob)

Lindsey Graham of South Carolina joins other Republicans in pursuit of presidency
Excerpt: The already-crowded field of would-be Republican presidential candidates grew again on Thursday when Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) announced the formation of an exploratory committee for president. The launch of the Security Through Strength committee enables Graham to raise money for a potential run. It’s the clearest sign yet that he is serious about entering the race, and comes as a flurry of White House aspirants are taking public and private steps toward entering what could be the most wide-open GOP primary in memory.

New signals of Rubio weighing a 2016 bid as senator makes California fundraising stop
Excerpt: Sen. Marco Rubio this week may be sending the clearest signals yet that he intends to run for president rather than seek reelection to a second term in 2016. In a week when the Senate was consumed with a bill to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, Rubio (R-Fla.) was in California raising money for his political action committee and reelection campaign. He was the only Republican senator who did not vote on final passage of the Keystone bill Thursday.

Time for Scott Walker to get serious about foreign policy. By Philip Klein 
Excerpt: So, having talked up Walker’s chances when many were underestimating him, I think it’s worth offering a note of caution now that that everybody else has realized he’s been underestimated. For Walker to realize his potential as a candidate, he will have to get serious about foreign policy. This isn’t to say that Walker, to date, has said or done anything particularly embarrassing when it comes to foreign policy. But for perfectly understandable reasons — advancing ambitious reforms in a state while running for election three times in four years — he hasn’t had the time or cause to do much studying of national security issues until now.

Excerpt: A group of major liberal donors who want Elizabeth Warren to run for president have paid for a poll intended to show that Hillary Clinton does not excite the Democratic base and would be vulnerable in a 2016 general election. The automated poll of nearly 900 registered voters, conducted last week by Public Policy Polling, found that 48 percent of respondents had an unfavorable opinion of Clinton, compared to 43 percent who viewed the former secretary of State favorably. (I have a very unfavorable opinion of both Benghazi Hill and Big Squaw Warren. ~Bob)

True, this: Sniping Potshots at American Sniper. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt:" I saw American Sniper less than two weeks ago - on a weekday in the middle of the afternoon. Long ticket lines. Packed theatre. ... And after ignoring nearly a dozen irritatingly noisy previews of "coming attractions" while lost in thought, the film began."

Good Review: American Sniper: The Voice of Veterans
Excerpt: I fear the plaid shirt, hash-tagging, trust-fund protestors are going to start coming out of the woodwork. The people who have kept their mouths shut because the war was still ongoing, are going to come forward and start openly bashing on us. The war is “officially” over and as a country, we are no longer engaged in combating terrorism with any sort of genuine commitment. ... To those that saw it as more “pro Bush/Iraq/Right Wing/anti-Muslim” political statement and wants to bash it and our military, I say this: The movie wasn’t for you. It was for the guy with mud on his boots and a hole in his heart, and for the families that are left to pick up the pieces. Go back to your latte.

Worth Reading: Neither A Lender Nor A Borrower Be. By Theodore Dalrymple
Excerpt: Two considerations led me to turn down all these kind offers. The first is that my taste in holidays of a lifetime runs more to observing civil wars than to lolling in the lap of luxury, and while sometimes expensive to go to, civil wars offer little in the way of sybaritic possibilities (though there was a surprising availability of pink champagne during the Liberian civil war, even if it was difficult to chill). The second consideration was the faintly puritanical belief, no doubt the psychological consequence of having been born only a few years after the end of the Second World War, that if one could not afford to pay cash on the nail for the holiday of a lifetime, one could not afford the holiday of a lifetime. One did not go deeply into debt for the sake of evanescent pleasures, such as that of a couple of weeks’ sitting under palm trees by a lighted pool in the tropical sunset, waited upon by obsequious, and no doubt secretly resentful, flunkies. Even allowing for the change in my personal circumstances over the forty years, the irresponsibility of the bank (and other financial institutions) seemed to me – if one absented knowledge of history, that is - astonishing. There is no doubt, however, that many people, in fact many millions of people, listened to the siren song of easy credit, of fritter now, pay later.

Castro To Obama: Reparations, Gitmo, and Cutoff From Dissidents
Excerpt: Here’s the price for ‘normalized relations.’ The good news: The discomfort over the embargo of Cuba has led to a good bargaining position in talks with the US. The bad news: Raul Castro’s the one that thinks so. Far from being grateful for the diplomatic overture from Barack Obama, Castro wants the US to pay reparations for the economic damage that Castro says the embargo caused, plus the immediate return of control over Guantanamo Bay, as the opening ante for normalizing relations:

Texas Executes Man for Killing Woman Two Decades Ago While on Parole for Triple Slaying Years Earlier
Decades late. ~Bob

Man Heard Threatening Police Faces Weapons Charges: NYPD
Excerpt: Elvin Payamps, 38, was arrested after a 54-year-old man overheard a suspect matching his description talking about killing cops and having guns at his home while at a TD Bank on Metropolitan Avenue and 80th Street in Woodside on Christmas Eve. ("What do we want?" "DEAD COPS!" Protesters at Al Sharpton's march. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: What is courage? By Noemie Emery 
Excerpt: What is courage? In Valor, his book of the tales of grace under pressure that have been ignored, suppressed and largely omitted from the recognized history of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by a press that prefers to focus on traitors and victims, Washington lawyer Mark Lee Greenblatt hits on a number of things: an innate or learned ability to be calm under fire; the impact of training, which builds in some responses until some reactions become automatic; and a sense of attachment to cause and to comrades that crowds out all concerns for the self. "If you reflect on the anecdotes of anyone who has faced death and lived to tell you about it, there is almost a universal response," a psychiatrist told Greenblatt. "They did what they had to do. They never felt it was heroic, and never even felt it was a choice." (This is a superb article, it covers an important topic better than I have ever seen before. And it makes a point that we don't usually think about. What takes more courage to face, the near certainty of imminent death, or the absolute certainty of a life changed enormously for the worse by huge changes to your own body, perhaps to your own sense of self, and with a never-ending need for help and care by others? I vote for Door #2 in a heartbeat. Just facing dying is one thing, but facing living as a changed being, with your expectations of what you can do cut far back from what you had up until the explosion rearranged your body, that's tough, very, very tough. And not just on you, but on everyone who loves or cares for you. God bless all our people so affected. --Del)

Now You See It, Now You Don’t: Putin Cheating on the Armistice Line in Ukraine. By Vladimir Socor
Excerpt: Russian President Vladimir Putin is playing a cheating game with the West and Ukraine, not only hollowing out the Minsk armistice agreements (see EDM, January 22,2327), but even shifting the agreed-upon demarcation line on the ground and on the map. Kyiv is alert to Putin’s con games, but it is forced to face a stronger Russia one-on-one, without Western assistance. Ukraine’s Western partners are slow, as usual, to notice Putin’s maneuvers, most recently at the January 21 “Normandy group” meeting in Berlin. There, Russia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov prevailed on his German and French counterparts to evenhandedly urge “all signatories of the Minsk agreements to meet in the coming days to implement the ceasefire and the withdrawal of heavy weapons in accordance with the Line of Contact as agreed in Minsk on September 19 [2014]” (, January 21). (Anyone know this media outlet? first I've seen it. ~Bob)

Foreign Firm Funding U.S. Green Groups Tied to State-Owned Russian Oil Company
Excerpt: A shadowy Bermudan company that has funneled tens of millions of dollars to anti-fracking environmentalist groups in the United States is run by executives with deep ties to Russian oil interests and offshore money laundering schemes involving members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. (Both the Saudis and the Russians, dependent on oil money, have a large interest in defeating fracking, Keystone and anything the helps the American oil industry. Duh. ~Bob)

After 500 Years, Portugal Says Jews Can Return. By Rob Quinn
Excerpt: Portugal is trying to make amends with the descendants of the Jews who were ordered to convert to Christianity or get out of the country more than 500 years ago. The country's lawmakers have approved a plan to grant citizenship to Sephardic Jews who can prove a strong connection to the country through surname, language, or direct descent from the heavily persecuted population of Portuguese Jews that once numbered in the tens of thousands, the BBC reports. (Come back, all is forgiven. Please bring money. ~Bob)

Gun News

Interesting: Guest Post: US Murder Rate. From Del

Excerpt: Thanks to her father who gave her a revolver when she went off to college, college student Sable Nehme was able to save both herself and her boyfriend when two home invaders broke into her apartment Tuesday near the university’s Orange County campus, WFTV reported. (I doubt the home invaders are part of the "No Means No!" campaign. ~Bob)

WSJ Report: “U.S. Spies on Millions of Cars” – Aligns With Our 2013/2014 Maryland MCAC Hub Research…
Excerpt: Over a year ago we brought you the story of Mr. Filippidis and his family, a Florida Driver who was pulled over by law enforcement in Maryland. The traffic stop would have been typical except for the fact the responding officer demanded, at random, Mr. Filippidis’s firearm. Mr. Filippidis did not have his legally owned -CCW permitted- hand gun, it was home in Florida. Nor did Mr. Filippidis ever say he had a firearm – yet the officer was insistent Mr. Filippidis owned one, handcuffed Mr. Filippidis, and strip searched his vehicle on the side of the road. Numerous Maryland state police arrived to assist in the search. They found nothing, because Mr. F was telling the truth. After two hours Mr. Filippidis and his family were allowed to continue their travels, but the entire process was unnerving. Which prompted Mr. Filippidis to ask “how did a Maryland officer know I was a gun owner”? Which led to a severely awkward litany of obfuscations and explanations from Maryland that did not make sense.
 (This article, starting with a 2 hour harassment of a Florida driver in Maryland, then leads on to exactly what people said was a Right Wing paranoid fantasy of police organizations tapping into all kinds of records from all over to find out who owns a gun or has a carry permit. I am as much a law abiding citizen and supportive of law enforcement as you are going to find in this country, but this stuff really bothers me. --Del)

Race Card News

"You're Greener than Gore" News

Saudi Arabia Opens Window of Opportunity for Obama. By Jonah Goldberg
Excerpt: With no help from Barack Obama, the U.S. has launched an energy revolution, becoming the world’s leading oil and natural gas producer. This has dismayed environmentalists and donors in and out of the Obama administration. After all, Obama bet big – really big – on green energy. The oil and gas boom is not the energy revolution Obama was looking for. Saudi Arabia and other petro-monarchies aren’t happy about it either (which is one reason the United Arab Emirates and other OPEC states bankroll anti-fracking propaganda in the West). Until recently, Saudi Arabia was the world’s biggest oil producer, and it is still arguably the most important one in global markets because its oil is so easy to get out of the ground. The cheaper it is to extract, the easier it is to maintain profits when prices go down. That means the Saudis have an outsized ability to affect the global price of oil.

What Does the Future Look Like for American Coal?
Excerpt: While coal remains America's most used energy resource, it faces mounting challenges, writes Jacopo Zenti, research fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis. Natural gas is becoming increasingly popular compared to coal due to a decrease in natural gas prices spurred by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies. Worse, coal is the target of many Environmental Protection Agency regulations which seek to limit power plant emissions. However, the decreased domestic demand for coal does not necessarily spell doom for coal producers. In 2012, the United States produced 1 billion short tons of coal and exported 125 million short tons. More could be exported: India, Japan and China all have increasing demand for coal, and China relies on coal for more than 70 percent of its energy production. Demand is also high in Europe -- Germany decided in 2011 to replace its nuclear energy production with coal by 2022, which led to a doubling of American coal exports to Germany between 2010 and 2011. The United Kingdom and the Netherlands were the two largest importers of American coal in 2012, and American coal exports to Britain were 73 percent higher in the first three quarters of 2012 than in 2011. (In 8th grade, I lived with my Grandmother in her large four-square in Collingswood, NJ. One of my jobs was to fill the coal hopper every night. It was very modern with auto feed, only had to be filled once a day. The ashes had to be put out with the trash--large, heavy buckets. Coal was delivered via a shoot through a window into a basement coal bin. ~Bob)

Religion of Peace News

Excerpt: The Charlie Hebdo massacre once again has politicians and the media dancing around the question of whether there might be something a little bit special about this one particular religion, Islam, that causes its adherents to go around killing people. It is not considered acceptable in polite company to entertain this possibility. Instead, it is necessary to insist, as a New York Times article does, that “Islam is no more inherently violent than other religions.” This, mind you, was in an article on how Muslims in the Middle East are agonizing over the violent legacy of their religion. ... As an atheist, I have no god in this fight, so to speak. 

NO ONE saw this coming: Terrorist released by Obama for Bergdahl has gone BACK to terrorizing!
Excerpt: I mean it’s not like an army of bloggers and conservatives tried to warn the American public that this deal was full of the same crap that the negotiator-in-chief was, no. There was absolutely no way that the Obama administration could have known that terrorists that the Taliban wanted would go back to terrorism once released.

Obama Funding the Anti-Bibi Campaign. By Matthew Vadum 
Excerpt: The Obama administration is using taxpayer dollars to fund a radical anti-Israel group that aims to drive Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from office in March parliamentary elections. And the U.S.-based group receiving the U.S. government money, OneVoice International, in turn is working with V15, an “independent grassroots movement” in Israel, according to Ha’aretz. V15’s unofficial motto is said to be “anyone but Bibi,” a reference that includes the prime minister’s nickname.

Excerpt: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and Congressman Lee Zeldin, R-NY-1, today sent a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry asking for information regarding media reports that U.S. taxpayer dollars are being used to fund efforts to influence upcoming elections in Israel. “Has President Obama launched a political campaign against Prime Minister Netanyahu and his representatives?” Sen. Cruz asked. “This administration’s relentless harassment of Israel is utterly incomprehensible. The Islamic Republic of Iran is pursuing the deadliest weapons on the planet, and there can be no doubt that their first target will be Israel, followed by the United States. This administration should be focusing its animosity on the very real enemies we face, not on our staunch allies.”

Worth Watching: Who ended the war in Iraq?
Watch to the end--only one minute long. It will seem strangely repetitive (because it is), but the finale is really a killer. Pretty much guaranteed to make you laugh. --Del

What we fight: Isis publicly behead man in Syrian town square for 'insulting Allah' as he screams for help
Excerpt: A man was held down and beheaded for “insulting Allah” in the middle of a Syrian town by Isis fighters as he screamed for help from the silent crowd. ... Unlike most victims, the young man was not blindfolded and was forced to the ground face down to be decapitated. ... One militant dropped his Kalashnikov as the man fought his captors for several minutes, eventually being pinned down by four men including one sitting on his back and pinning his arms behind him. ... The group has recently carried out an unprecedented string of public executions – including throwing men accused of being gay off towers, stoning a woman accused of adultery and crucifying at least 17 young men in a 48-hour period.

ISIS Operative: This Is How We Send Jihadis To Europe. By Mike Giglio and Munzer al-Awad
Excerpt: An ISIS operative traveled across the Syrian border late last year, settled in a Turkish port city, and began work on a mission to sneak jihadis into Europe. It has been successful, he said, in an interview near the Turkey-Syria border: “Just wait.”
The operative, a Syrian in his thirties with a close-cropped black beard, said ISIS is sending covert fighters to Europe — as did two smugglers who said they have helped. He smuggles them from Turkey in small groups, he said, hidden in cargo ships filled with hundreds of refugees. 

Worth Seeing: Video: "Islam & Free Speech"
Dr. Carol Swain, black professor. ~Bob

Where's PETA? Sharp rise in halal abattoirs slaughtering animals without stunning them first. Experts said the rise in non-stun killings was due to 'stronger campaigning' from Muslims who wrongly believed that stunning killed animals
Excerpt: The number of animals killed in halal abattoirs without being stunned first soared in the last year, figures have revealed. Campaigning by Muslims for traditional methods of slaughter has led to a 60 percent rise in the number of non-pain free killings, industry experts said. Last year 2.4 million sheep and goats had their throats cut without being stunned in halal and kosher abattoirs, according to the British Veterinary Association (BVA).

The political divide on views toward Muslims and Islam
Excerpt: A separate,2011 survey found that 15% of Muslims said that they see the Republican Party as friendly toward their community while 48% said they are unfriendly. By contrast, 46% of Muslims said the Democratic Party is friendly toward them and only 7% said they are unfriendly. ... In September, a Pew Research Center survey found that 82% of Republicans are “very concerned” about the rise of Islamic extremism in the world, compared with 60% of political independents and 51% of Democrats. Similarly, two-thirds of Republicans (67%) say that Islam is more likely than other religions to encourage violence among its believers, compared with 47% of independents and 42% of Democrats.

Yes, and Obama is too dumb to realize that the Western World will eventually do what they have done in the past...stand up to the Muslims in a serious way, and then the Muslims will retreat until a future generation becomes aggressive and brave enough to attack the west again. History repeats itself. But, too many American voters are "low information voters" and continue to give Obama the benefit of the doubt...they keep taking him seriously believing that he is on the side of our citizens. Unfortunately his bible is Alinsky. --ME

Homeland Security Adviser Mohamed Elibiary Goes on Hate-Filled Anti-Christian Rant, Attacks Jindal as ‘Bottom Feeder’
Excerpt: Obama administration Muslim adviser Mohamed Elibiary is no stranger to regular PJ Media readers. In September, Elibiary was unceremoniously removed from his fellowship position with the Department of Homeland Security, which he tried to spin as a “resignation,” but letters sent to members of Congress by DHS officials indicated he would not be reappointed. Undoubtedly, one of the chief reasons for DHS cutting ties with Elibiary was a long string of extremist statements he had been making on Twitter, including talking about the inevitability of the return of an ISIS-style caliphate — tweets that were subsequently used by ISIS supporters for recruiting purposes. (A "moderate" Muslim? If he's moderate, then it's easy to understand how those not-moderate ISIS guys act. He's smart though, he tries to make arguments that sound somehow reasonable, but in fact are just major bias on his part. That's one of the sad things of aggressive Islamists, they may even thing they ARE reasonable, when in fact they are very biased. --Del)

Kurdish PM says U.S.-led coalition against Islamic State faces long war. By Samia Nakhoul, Ned Parker and Isabel Coles
Excerpt: Kurdish Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani warned that despite victories in the war against Islamic State, the global coalition against the group was inadequate and predicted a campaign to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul would not happen before the fall.

The Moderates are Coming! Muslim Brotherhood: Prepare for Jihad
Excerpt: Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, hailed as a moderate voice and welcomed by officials in the Obama administration just this week, issued separate statements on its English and Arabic websites this week that appear to contradict each other. A call for "a long, unrelenting Jihad" appeared on the Brotherhood's Arabic language website Tuesday. The statement, reported Friday by the Washington Free Beacon's Adam Kredo, starts by invoking a passage from the Quran: "And prepare against them whatever you are able of power and of steeds of war by which you may terrify the enemy of God and your enemy and others besides them whom you do not know but whom Allah knows. And whatever you spend in the cause of God will be fully repaid to you, and you will not be wronged."

Blast at Shi'ite mosque in southern Pakistan kills 49. By Mukhtar Ahmed
Excerpt: At least 49 people were killed in a powerful explosion at a crowded Shi'ite mosque in Pakistan during Friday prayers, the latest sectarian attack to hit the South Asian nation. ... Jundullah, a splinter group of Pakistan's Taliban which last year pledged support for the Islamic State group based in Syria and Iraq, claimed responsibility. Jundullah, a splinter group of Pakistan's Taliban which last year pledged support for the Islamic State group based in Syria and Iraq, claimed responsibility.

At least 32 killed in Egypt as militants attack army and police targets in Sinai
Excerpt: Egypt’s president, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, has cut short a visit to Ethiopia for an African Union summit after his country’s security forces suffered one of the bloodiest days in their peacetime history. At least 32 people were killed on Thursday in a series of attacks on soldiers and police in north-east Sinai, where the government has struggled to contain an 18-month insurgency by militants linked to Islamic State (Isis).

Here's what a Hamas training camp for teens looks like
Excerpt: Judging by the orderly rows of hundreds of young wanna­bes lined up in crisp military fashion at their graduation ceremony here Thursday, the armed wing of the Islamist movement Hamas will have plenty of eager recruits this year. More than 17,000 fresh-faced teenagers and young men, ages 15 to 21, mustered at a dozen camps over the past week in the Gaza Strip to climb ropes, practice close-order drills and fire Kalashnikov rifles, all of them pledging to defend the coastal enclave and ready to fight the next war against their Zionist enemies.

The Ghosts of Auschwitz in the Muslim World. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: “You 360 million Mohammedans to whom I have had a strong inner connection since the days of my association with your Grand Mufti of Jerusalem,” Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust wrote. “You, who have a greater truth in the surahs of your Koran, I call upon you to pass judgment on me.” Eichmann knew he could expect a good verdict from a religion whose prophet had ordered the ethnic cleansing of Jews and which believes the end will
“not come until the Muslims fight the Jews and kill them. When a Jew hides behind a rock or a tree, it will say, ‘O Muslim, O servant of Allah! There is a Jew behind me, come and kill him!’

University Professors Blame the West for Paris Terror Attacks. By Cinnamon Stillwell
Excerpt: Middle East studies professors responded to the attacks by Islamic terrorists in Paris earlier this month not with rigorous, informed analysis or even unadulterated sympathy for those gunned down in the offices of Charlie Hebdo and a kosher market. Their reaction was instead precisely what one has come to expect from academics more concerned with shielding Islam from blame and shifting responsibility for its adherents' actions to the West than with the disinterested pursuit of truth. University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole accused the Bush/Cheney administration and the Iraq War of "radicalizing" terrorist brothers, Sharif and Said Kouashi: (If I feel the need to knock off some Brit, at my trial I'll say the revolution radicalized me. ~Bob)

Kerik, Harvey: Obama 'In Denial' on Iran, Taliban, Islamic Terror
Excerpt: A White House's characterization Wednesday of the Taliban as an "armed insurgency" rather radical Islamic terrorists is another example of the Obama administration's failure to grasp the gravity of the situation, retired Army Col. Derek Harvey said Thursday on Newsmax TV's "America's Forum." "It is very dangerous because it continues to show that there's intellectual dishonesty by the administration," said Harvey, who was joined by former New York Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik to discuss the Obama administration's paralysis in dealing with terror groups. "They refuse to define the threat and importantly, it seems that they don't understand the threat. Words do matter. (Something is really wrong when you can't even name the enemy properly. Sun Tzu said "know the enemy, know yourself" if you want to win in a war. We have a "leader" who can't begin to even name the enemy, or give full recognition to how widespread this threat to civilization is. And we have to somehow bungle through two more years of this, while things only go downhill? How worrisome is that! --Del)

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:

Guest Post: US Murder Rate

I have friends who are Brits, and have a number of erroneous ideas about the USA in guns and violence.  They once tried to tell me we have the highest murder rate in the world.  I decided to try to nicely present them with some important facts about guns and murder rates, which you can see below.  Feel free to use it if you know others who are running on false information.

The current UN figure for the USA is 4.7 murders per 100K people, with Honduras at #1 with 90.7.  (Wow, that's really scary, I would not want to live there even if you gave me my own arsenal and the right to carry it around.)  USA comes out about 69th down the list of countries.

But here's what is really of interest.  The distribution of murder rates across the country is pretty much a bimodal plot, with a bunch of cities holding up one end.

New Orleans – 53.2 per 100,000
St. Louis – 35.5 per 100,000
Baltimore – 34.9 per 100,000
Newark - 34.4 per 100,000
Oakland – 31,8 per 100,000
Stockton – 23.7 per 100,000
Kansas City – 22.6 per 100,000
Philadelphia – 21.5 per 100,000
Cleveland – 21.3 per 100,000
Memphis – 20.2 per 100,000
Atlanta – 19.0 per 100,000
Chicago – 18.5 per 100,000

The big cities drag the national average way up from what you see in the rest of the nation.  Here are some other, small cities that don't have major ghettoes or gangs.

Austin – 3.7
Seattle – 3.7
San Diego – 3.5
El Paso – 3.4
Portland – 3.3
Santa Ana – 3.3
Mesa – 3.1
Henderson – 1.5
Lincoln – 1.1
Plano – 0.4

Plano, TX, is a nice small town with an extremely high rate of both gun ownership and carry permits, what some have called "gun nut Central". Yet that is as safe a place as there is to live in this country, or pretty much most of the whole world.

Violence seems to be much more a function of social disorders, dysfunctionality, and perhaps some other factors we can't analyze right now.  Since a large fraction of the countries of the 68 with higher murder rates than the US have very strong gun laws, it's not just about gun availability.  And most of the murders committed in the high murder
rate areas of the US are committed with guns that are illegal, often carried by people who have criminal records already, it sure isn't about legal guns owned by good citizens.

This is not to tell you there are no problems at all in this country about violence and guns outside the ghettoes and gangs, but real understanding of details gives all of us a lot better picture than the oversimplified use of simple sound bites and poorly used statistics.


Thursday, January 29, 2015

Today's very interesting political news and comment


One week eye checkup Wednesday. All good. 20/25 in the left (fixed) eye without glasses. They decided that the right one is far enough along that they should do it in April. If it goes as well as the left, I'll only need reading glasses after that. ~Bob

There's never one around when I need it!

Book Recommendation: Anything Goes by Theodore Dalrymple
Another incisive collection of essays on culture, politics and the passing scene by British Psychiatrist Anthony Daniels, writing as Theodore Dalrymple. Every one is worth reading, and some are "must reads." I've linked to a few on line in the blog, (see below.) Daniel's wit is endless entertaining, his use of language always sends me to the dictionary, and he never fails to make you think (if that's within your capacity, of course). Some quotes: (Political Correctness) is the attempt to reform thought by making certain things unsayable; it is also the conspicuous, not to say intimidating, display of virtue (conceived of as the public espousal of the 'correct,' which is to say 'progressive' views) by means of a purified vocabulary and abstract human sentiment. To contradict such sentiment, or not to use such vocabulary, is to put yourself outside the pale of civilized men (or should I say 'persons?'). (P47) "The first thing to remember is that freedom and democracy are not necessarily the same thing at all. A people may easily vote into power a government that wishes to massacre part of the population." (P67) "Illusion and disillusion spring eternal in the human heart." (P157). I received three Dalrymple books for Christmas, a wonderful gift. (Available in Kindle edition too.) ~Bob

General News and Comment

American Snacker--Michael Moore's New Film

Must Read From the Left: Not a Very P.C. Thing to Say: How the language police are perverting liberalism. By Jonathan Chait.
Excerpt: But it would be a mistake to categorize today’s p.c. culture as only an academic phenomenon. Political correctness is a style of politics in which the more radical members of the left attempt to regulate political discourse by defining opposing views as bigoted and illegitimate. Two decades ago, the only communities where the left could exert such hegemonic control lay within academia, which gave it an influence on intellectual life far out of proportion to its numeric size. Today’s political correctness flourishes most consequentially on social media, where it enjoys a frisson of cool and vast new cultural reach. And since social media is also now the milieu that hosts most political debate, the new p.c. has attained an influence over mainstream journalism and commentary beyond that of the old. It also makes money. Every media company knows that stories about race and gender bias draw huge audiences, making identity politics a reliable profit center in a media industry beset by insecurity. ... In a short period of time, the p.c. movement has assumed a towering presence in the psychic space of politically active people in general and the left in particular. “All over social media, there dwell armies of unpaid but widely read commentators, ready to launch hashtag campaigns and circulate petitions in response to the slightest of identity-politics missteps,” Rebecca Traister wrote recently in The New Republic. (Jonathan Chait is a commentator and writer for New York magazine. He was previously a senior editor at The New Republic and a former assistant editor of The American Prospect. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: The Art and Politics of Climate Change and Kite Flying. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: For whether we like it or not America's climate influences that of the planet. And, oh, that's not a forecast but truth - about kite flying and more. (Not about "Global Warming." ~Bob)

Worth Reading: The Triumph Of Evil. By Theodore Dalrymple
Excerpt: Since then, I have found it a little more difficult to say exactly how I would behave if I had to live in an evil tyranny. My behaviour in the cell in Tiranan had been sensible, perhaps, but hardly heroic. I am not the stuff from which, for example, a Solzhenitsyn is made. I am too attached to my ordinary existence for that, and too afraid of the worst that can be done to me. Of course, the question of how to behave under an evil tyranny is one that much of the population of Europe in the Twentieth century had to decide. 

Important: Mark Levin: “This is the greatest threat we face in the United States of America today” 
Excerpt: Mark Levin opened his show last night talking about what he says is the absolute greatest threat America faces internally. He points out that we are getting warnings from the trustees of the social security system, from the trustees of Medicare and Medicaid, from the CBO, and from the GAO, with all of them saying we are headed for the abyss. And nobody is talking about it. (I've been talking about it for years: The Coming Collapse of the American Republic All royalties go to a charity to help wounded veterans. ~Bob)

Excerpt: Storming into bars and restaurants, locking themselves to concrete-filled-barrels and blocking Interstates . . . this is the progressive grassroots of 2015. This is the Left, capital-L. This is blind fury, lashing out at others for having the audacity to drink beverages, eat brunch, or commute in a manner that the self-appointed arbiters of justice on the Left deem insufficiently down with the cause. There is no actual “activism” here. There is no attempt at persuasion here. There is no thought here. There is only resentment and anger and a desire to lash out at anybody who isn’t one of them. There’s no agenda or plan to actually improve things. There’s no call to action. It’s just rage-whining.

Common Core Grading: Touchy-Feely
Excerpt: Common Core is about making sure that incompetent students do not feel bad about themselves. “A for effort!” “College try!”
So, they will be graded on how well they cooperate. The old grading system is being scrapped. It’s the worst of both worlds: they won’t make the objective grade, but they will be told, “There, there. Don’t feel bad. Big Brother will kiss it, and make the hurt go away.” The parents are being misled. But when the annual state exams are imposed and graded, millions of kids will flunk. Parents will wonder: “What happened?

White House Now Pressuring Army to Let Bergdahl Go Free! By Rodney Lee Conover
Excerpt: As incredible as it may sound, the Obama Administration is putting pressure on The Army to let deserter Bowe Bergdahl go free after earlier reports he would be charged with Desertion. Maj. Gen. Ronald F. Lewis, the Army’s chief of public affairs, put out a statement Tuesday afternoon calling the reports, including one by NBC News, “patently false.” (Not incredible at all. Obama cannot let the guy be convicted of desertion after trading five terrorists for him. ~Bob)

Your 529 Plan Is Safe. Here’s Why the White House Changed Course. By Kate Scanlon
Excerpt: President Obama is abandoning his controversial plan to tax the interest on 529 savings accounts, the White House announced Tuesday. The 529 plans are savings accounts in which parents and families can invest after-tax dollars. If the money is used for specified college costs, they don’t have to pay federal tax on the interest accumulated in these accounts. (Barack Obama set a new record for backing down on a "fairness" tax increase noted in his State of the Union. A week after Obama proposed "free" community college paid for by taxing 529 college savings accounts, the White House is dropping the idea of the tax. Both House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) lobbied the president to drop the half-baked proposal, warning Obama it was a political blunder. Jared Bernstein, former economic adviser to Joe Biden, described the tax on 529s as "kicking a ball in your own goal." Obama must have thought only rich people used 529s, as he put $240,000 into college savings for his daughters in 2007 alone. But according to the College Savings Foundation, the amount sitting in the average 529 is $19,774 -- less than a tenth of Obama's annual contribution. It's the way 12 million American families prepare for college. You could call it "middle-class economics." But Robert Tracinski argues that the Left really is anti-middle class: "The truly committed leftist looks upon our private savings as a vast reserve of capital unfairly withheld from its proper function of servicing the needs of the state." To the Left, all money belongs to the government. -- The Patriot Post

Obama, Ignoring Realities, Sticks to His Comfort Zone. By Jonah Goldberg
Excerpt: A week after his State of the Union address, political observers are still trying to figure out what President Obama’s game is. That’s because rhetorically and substantively, he seems to be in another world. In his State of the Union address, Obama refused to even take note of the GOP’s historic midterm gains and the fact the House and Senate are now both under Republican control. On foreign policy, Obama talked as if everything was going swimmingly abroad, prompting even the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank to marvel at Obama’s “disconnect” from what is happening in Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Russia.

Defense Against Demagogues. By Walter E. Williams
Excerpt: This year’s congressional efforts to reduce corporate income tax will create great opportunities for demagogues. The United States has the highest corporate income tax rate among the 34 industrialized nations of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. The effect of high corporate taxes gives corporations incentives to lower their effective tax rates by engaging in activities that lower their competitiveness and to shift profits to foreign subsidiaries. Demagogues will claim that corporations should pay their fair share of taxes. The fact of the matter, which even MIT economists understand but might not publicly admit, is corporations do not pay taxes.

Behind the Koch Caricature: The Koch brothers are nothing like Harry Reid’s lurid portrayal of them. By Ian Tuttle
Excerpt: In fact, the Kochs are hardly the biggest spenders. In 2012, reports the Center for Responsive Politics (a nonpartisan outlet that tracks political spending), 13 of the 20 most generous organizations making donations to outside spending groups (i.e., those not affiliated with candidates’ official campaigns) leaned Democratic. Koch Industries was No. 136 on that list. The Kochs did not even appear on the list of the top 100 individual donors (to outside spending groups that required the disclosure of donor names — some, such as 501(c)(4)s, do not). Then in last fall’s midterms, the largest individual donor was California billionaire Tom Steyer, whose $73.7 million went exclusively to Democratic candidates or causes. After Steyer came former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose $23.8 million also worked almost entirely to the benefit of Democrats. The Koch brothers were tied for 24th on the list.

Democrats see new chance to attack Kochs after $1 billion spending announcement
Excerpt: Forget Jeb, Rand and Ted. For Democrats, it’s all about Charles and David.
The announcement this week that the vast political network backed by the wealthy industrialist Koch brothers aims to spend nearly $1 billion on the 2016 elections has reignited Democratic hopes of casting the brothers as electoral villains and linking them closely to Republican candidates. It’s a campaign strategy that yielded little success for the party in 2014, a banner year for the GOP. But Democratic officials and operatives say they are hopeful that their anti-Koch message will have more potency in a presidential election year.

Children in Single-Parent Families Perform Worse on Achievement Tests than Their Two-Parent Peers
Excerpt: Woessman notes that single-parent homes tend to have fewer resources -- and less time -- to devote to their children, and various studies indicate that children of single parents in the United States face greater emotional distress and have lower educational attainment. What about academic achievement? According to Woessman's study: Children of single-parent families score lower than students in two-parent families, on average scoring 18 points worse. In the United States, the difference is especially pronounced: the average achievement difference in math between children of single- and two-parent families is 26.6 points -- roughly equivalent to one grade level. (But it flies in the faith of leftist orthodoxy, so will be ignored. And the kids will go on failing. But the left likes more voters dependent on government. ~Bob)

Creeping Fascism in the (Un) American Air Force? By Tony Carr
Excerpt: Last week, a 2-star Air Force general reportedly accused some of his own people of treason. Not because they were cowardly in the face of adversaries or gave aid and comfort to the enemy, but because they dared to speak to their own congressional representatives about the direction of the defense budget. The comments, delivered in the midst of a failed, flawed, but relentless effort by the service to retire the A-10 against the best advice of many of its own people, raises an important question: does the Air Force see itself as an extension of a free society or an extremist and intolerant world apart? Before we explore one possible answer to that question, a few propositions as to why this general’s actions are much more important and distressing than the Air Force’s languid response would indicate.

Fool’s errand to expect Cuba change
Excerpt: George Santayana got it right when he said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” President Obama’s latest move to normalize diplomatic and trade relations with the brutal Cuban regime with little or no guarantee of anything much in return will only empower and enrich the communist leaders even more. Mr. Obama needs to take a lesson from history. It has been almost two decades since the United States established diplomatic and normal trade relations with the brutal communist regimes of former Indochina (Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia), yet the peoples of these countries continue to suffer extreme human-rights abuses, repression of religious freedom, ethnic cleansing of minorities, loss of livelihood and extreme poverty. The corrupt leaders of these countries line their pockets with riches while the common folk continue to suffer and tens of thousands of political prisoners languish in prisons and gulags under abhorrent conditions. The less lucky have been murdered. Why should Mr. Obama expect anything different from communist Cuba? --Mike Benge (The comment above on this subject is short, sweet, and very cogent. This "breakthrough" will afford Mr. Obama nice photo ops and claims of brilliance in diplomacy, but in reality just gives the Castros and their supporters great support for their interests while doing pretty much nothing for anyone else. [Well, yes, we did get one American back. Not a really fantastic trade.] --Del)

In the early days of the world, the Almighty said to the first of our race In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread; and since then, if we except the light and the air of heaven, no good thing has been, or can be enjoyed by us, without having first cost labour. And inasmuch [as] most good things are produced by labour, it follows that [all] such things of right belong to those whose labour has produced them. But it has so happened in all ages of the world, that some have labored, and others have, without labour, enjoyed a large proportion of the fruits. This is wrong, and should not continue. To [secure] to each labourer the whole product of his labour, or as nearly as possible, is a most worthy object of any good government. --Abraham Lincoln

Interesting, but scary charts: How Capitalism Dies. By Tyler Durden 

Read About the Ridiculously Lax Atmosphere at Army Boot Camp. By Aaron MacLean
Excerpt: Those who served in the Marine Corps enjoy picking on the Army because of its reputation as the softer of the two ground-combat services. But this is getting ridiculous. ... The piece is headlined, “More female drill sergeants help change cadence at Fort Leonard Wood.” The tone is clearly meant to be positive, though it is not clear why the reporter writing the piece thinks that associating female drill instructors with a virtual caricature of soft, ineffective military training portrays these pioneering soldiers in a more positive light. Cooing words of encouragement if recruits are afraid of a rifle’s recoil? Physical training to be held inside … because of the cold?

One of the Most Chilling Super Bowl Ads Ever
Excerpt: The National Football League will air a bone-chilling commercial during Sunday’s Super Bowl to raise awareness about domestic violence and sexual assault. (Good--but I first thought "home invasion" not "domestic violence." ~Bob

Worth Reading: Sharyl Attkisson Testifies: If You Cross The Obama Administration, You Will Be Attacked and Punished. By Katie Pavlich 
Excerpt: "The job of getting at the truth has never been more difficult. Facets of federal government have isolated themselves from the public they serve. They covet and withhold public information that we as citizens own. They bully and threaten access of journalists who do their jobs, news organizations that publish stories they don't like and whistleblowers who dare to tell the truth," Attkisson said. "When I reported on factual contradictions in the Administration's accounts regarding Fast and Furious, pushback included a frenzied campaign with White House officials trying to chill the reporting by calling and emailing my superiors and colleagues, using surrogate bloggers to advance false claims, one White House official got so mad he angrily cussed me out. The Justice Department used its authority with building security to handpick report(ers) allowed to attend a Fast and Furious briefing, refusing to clear me into the public Justice Department building." (When in the senate, we used to say, "Freedom of the press belongs to those who own one." Maybe we need to change that to, "Freedom of the Press belongs to those who hold the whip or gun over the media." ~Bob)

Excerpt: For years, studies showed that the older we get, the less capable we become. However, new studies by the universities of Virginia, Texas and Stanford indicate that many of our previous notions about aging are dead wrong. Over the next two minutes, Steve McDonald talks about what’s now being considered the new best years of peoples’ lives. (I really liked this two minute video, and recommend it highly to every senior! --Del. As soon as I find my reading glasses...~Bob)

Marine Corps Commandant Highlights Sequestration’s Impact. By Amaani Lyle, DoD News, Defense Media Activity
Excerpt: While the Marine Corps can meet Defense Department Strategic Guidance requirements, there is no margin, and even absent sequestration the service will need recovery years following a decade of war, the service’s commandant testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee here today. Sequester will exacerbate current challenges and result in fewer active-duty Marine Corps battalions and squadrons, Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. told the Senate panel. “You expect your Marines to operate forward, engage with partners, deter potential adversaries and respond to crises,” Dunford said. “And when we fight, you expect us to win.”
Yet, despite budget concerns, the Marine Corps remains ready to help defend the nation and its global interests, Dunford said, with more than 30,000 Marines forward deployed and engaged around the world. (Maybe this new guy will be more direct and less political than Amos was. --Del. Like the Madison recruiting office, HQMC is in contact with the enemy every day. And it's a political enemy, Del. ~Bob)

Narcissist in Chief Praises Himself 118 Times in Single Speech. From The Patriot Post
Excerpt: Can you ever get tired of hearing yourself talk, much less making it all about you? Not if you’re Barack Obama. The president made a stop in New Delhi this week to deliver a speech that was once again replete with personal pronouns. After analyzing the yawn-inducing remarks, Grabien reported, “Somehow in the span of just 33 minutes, Obama referenced himself 118 times.” They added, “For those keeping score at home, that’s 3.5 Obama references per minute.” Whether he’s demogugeing here at home, or proselytizing abroad, it’s never about “We the People,” as the beginning words of the U.S. Constitution make clear. It’s about “I, Barack Obama.” As if that weren’t embarrassing enough, the man actually believes he’s accomplished something.

No Quarter! How Much Is That Psychology Degree Worth? By Ann Coulter 
Excerpt: Democrats are on offense all the time, even when they’ve just had their legs cut off. They announce absurd agenda items and then indignantly demand to know why Republicans are refusing to deal with the free unicorn-rides proposal. Obama is a lame-duck president and, three months ago, his party was slaughtered in midterm elections. And yet, I gather that his State of the Union address consisted of a litany of insanely expensive, utterly pointless ideas. ... The GOP needs to hold tobacco company-style hearings, hauling in the presidents of various universities and asking them to justify their multimillion-dollar salaries. We want professors explaining, under penalty of perjury, exactly how much they make per hour for their rigorous schedules of two classes a week, summers off, and full-year “sabbaticals” every few terms. Also, we’d like to know how driving the getaway car for a cop-killer constitutes a qualification to teach college.

How to Lose Friends and Empower Radicals: The Peace Prize President's More Dangerous World
Excerpt: Since 2008, the world has become a significantly more dangerous place. In every region, new threats have emerged or old ones have reasserted them. The scorecard is clear: the bad guys are winning and America’s interests are being undermined daily.

Agree: Why Mike Huckabee’s Cornpone Politics Drives Me Crazy — And Will Never Work. It’s aesthetically irritating and electorally counterproductive. By Charles C. W. Cooke
Excerpt: Among the panoply of rightward-learning politicians who are currently flirting with running for the presidency is one Mike Huckabee, a former pastor, governor, television host, and author who has of late been preparing for office by converting himself into Larry the Cable Guy. ... “We like the simple life,” Huckabee announces in his book. “Status is a Ford 150 truck; luxury is crawfish étouffée and slaw on your pulled-pork sandwich; and privilege is front-row seats at a Lynyrd Skynyrd concert.” And unlike those “misfortunate” souls in “Manhattan, the Washington Beltway, or in Beverly Hills,” we know the joy that one can get from wading “in chest-deep water to hunt mallards.” Insofar as it goes, there is nothing wrong with this. Indeed, I like many of these things too. But the self-conscious spinning of local tradition into a national political aesthetic is invariably irritating, and, typically, electorally counterproductive. There are many wonderful things about the world Huckabee is attempting to represent. But surely, just surely, it is possible for a southerner to run for high office without dressing up as Forrest Gump? (A quick point about that line, “Status is a Ford 150 truck; luxury is crawfish étouffée and slaw on your pulled-pork sandwich . . . “ Governor, I think you have to be a little careful about suggesting that you’re all about the “simple life” with a more humble definition of luxury than all those coastal elites. For starters, your three-story beachfront house in Florida -- with 8,224 square feet of living space, and 2,969 square feet of porch and deck space -- is worth $2.8 million. It’s a nice house, with a built-in radio studio. -- Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt Every politician says things the opposition uses--or twists--to club him or her with. But Huckabee will say so many, the campaign, which he would lose, would be 90% about his gaffes. ~Bob)

Mike Huckabee’s PAC Paid His Family Almost $400,000. The would-be candidate's organization hasn't given much to fellow Republicans—but it has spent a ton on family and fundraising. By Tim Murphy
Excerpt: Politics is a family business for potential Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee. Over the last six years, the Fox News host's political action committee, which was created to raise money for GOP candidates, has paid nearly $400,000 to members of Huckabee's extended family, while spending just a fraction of its multimillion-dollar fundraising haul on the Republican contenders. ... Republican candidates haven't benefited as much from the political action committee as Huckabee's relatives. Since its inception, Huck PAC has never spent more than 12 percent of its funds on candidates or other PACs. It gave only 5 percent of its revenues—that is $47,000 of $1,063,142—to candidates during the 2012 cycle, when Huckabee briefly flirted with a second presidential run.

Charter Schools: Doing More with Less Money
Excerpt: At, Jason Keisling, Nick Gillespie and Lisa Snell have compiled an infographic with some potentially surprising facts about charter schooling: Charters produce more, with less money. In fact, charter schools receive 30 percent less per student than what a typical public school receives, yet they perform better -- for every $1,000 in funds, charter school students perform better on standardized testing -- 16 points higher on reading, and 17 points higher on math. Charter schools have more racial diversity than traditional public schools. Whites make up 52.4 percent of traditional public school students but just 35.6 percent of charter school students. Minority children from low-income families see real academic gains from charter schools. For example, blacks from low-income families attending charter schools receive the equivalent of an additional 7.5 weeks of math instruction and 6.5 weeks of reading instruction.

Worth Reading: Minimum Wage Advocates Should Support School Choice. By Diana Furchtgott-Roth
Excerpt: During National School Choice Week groups from all over the country are showcasing the many benefits of school choice. But the vast coalition of politicians and organized labor who are pushing for an increase in the federal hourly minimum wage from $7.25 to $10.10 or $15.00 are silent. That’s a pity, because improved education is the most reliable route to higher wages. ... Former Democratic New York State Senator and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton also opposes educational vouchers because she does not “think we can afford to siphon dollars away from our underfunded public schools.” The Clintons sent their daughter Chelsea to the private—and pricey—Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C. Mrs. Clinton supports a higher minimum wage and expanded government funding for higher education. Similarly, President Obama, a proponent of higher minimum wages, has repeatedly tried to end funding for D.C.’s Opportunity Scholarships. He must be aware of the value of better education, because his daughters also attend Sidwell Friends. Opposition to school choice is driven by teachers’ unions, who do not want parents to be able to opt out of the low-performing schools.

The Economic "Recovery" Isn't So Great
Excerpt: Is America in recovery? President Obama called the State of the Union "strong" during his address last week, but Stephen Moore, economist at the Heritage Foundation, says that, despite some improvement, the economy is still struggling: America has not seen an economic recovery as slow as today's in the last five decades. Had America's economy improved at the same rate as an average recovery, American families would have $10,000 more in income, on average. Median household income is $1,500 below what it was when the recession ended -- pay raises are not keeping up with inflation. Business creation in the United States in 2013 was at its lowest rate since 2001.

SC Poll: Romney Leads with Palmetto State Voters. By Neil McCabe 
Excerpt: W. Mitt Romney, who was the GOP nominee for president in 2012 against President was the selection of 20 percent of the respondents, followed by former Florida governor John E. "Jeb" Bush with 16 percent and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 9 percent, said Doug Kaplan, the managing partner of Gravis Marketing, the Florida-based company that conducted the poll. (Yeah, but remember that those SC Republicans are all right wing racists who just elected an Indian Governor and the first Black US Senator from the south since reconstruction. ~Bob)

Gun News

Excerpt: “Get down, get down. Everybody get down.” New Hope, Minnesota, city councilman John Elder drew his concealed weapon Monday night and covered his fellow city council members Monday night after a man with a long history of mental illness opened fire after two new police officers were sworn in. Elder, a former police officer, drew his concealed weapon and prepared to cover his fellow city council members after shots range out outside the room in city hall. He did not have to fire his weapon, even though at least one bullet entered the room. The attacker was killed in the exchange of fire with police officers, and two officers were wounded, including one the officers who was just sworn in.

Ebola and Enterovirus News

Ebola outbreak: Virus mutating, scientists warn. By Tulip Mazumdar
Excerpt: Scientists tracking the Ebola outbreak in Guinea say the virus has mutated.
Researchers at the Institut Pasteur in France, which first identified the outbreak last March, are investigating whether it could have become more contagious. More than 22,000 people have been infected with Ebola and 8,795 have died in Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. (Meanwhile, Americans, relieved that Ebola proved not as dangerous as feared [as predicted in this blog] are on a smoke break outside McDonalds. [Tobacco kills 430,000 people a year, obesity 300,000, flu up to 30,000, breast cancer 40,000, pulmonary fibrosis (my problem) 40-45,000, traffic accidents 33,780, and murder 12,664.] ~Bob)

Race Card News

Race-Hoax Debunked: Cop Who Detained Charles Blow’s Son Is Black
Excerpt: Charles Blow, a black, left-wing New York Times columnist, took to Twitter and the pages of the Times to excoriate Yale and a campus police officer over his son being detained at gunpoint. Apparently, Blow’s son met the description of a campus burglar. After learning of the incident, an incensed Blow published a series of racially-charged Tweets followed by a racially-charged Times column. ... "I am reminded of what I have always known, but what some would choose to deny: that there is no way to work your way out — earn your way out — of this sort of crisis. In these moments, what you’ve done matters less than how you look." ... Yale’s police chief is also black.

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

Bipartisan: Senate passes Keystone XL pipeline bill despite Obama promise to veto. By Paul Kane 
Excerpt: The Senate approved legislation Thursday that would mandate the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, a bipartisan vote that will set the stage for a veto showdown with President Obama. On a 62-to-36 vote, Republicans and nine Democrats approved a bill that mandates construction of the 840-mile energy pipeline that Obama has vowed to veto while federal environmental reviews continue.

"You're Greener than Gore" News

There's just No Winning with the Church of Climatology
Excerpt: The rabid devotees of the world's most fanatical religion, (I'm not looking at you Islam), the not-so-great church of Global Warming - will, no matter what happens with the climate or the weather, always point to it as proof positive that they are right. The believers in this worldwide cult, led by their prophet Al Gore, cry out day and night for the blood (and money) of our people... and it seems that nothing can sway their devotion.

Very Scary: What’s the right temperature for the Earth? And what happens when countries disagree about what it should be? By Andy Parker and David Keith
Excerpt: Imagine being able to control the temperature of the Earth like a home thermostat, turning it down a few notches to reduce the effects of global warming. That’s the goal of solar geoengineering. By spraying aerosols into the stratosphere, we could block a fraction of inbound sunlight and temporarily cool the Earth. ... Long treated as an illegitimate child of the climate-science community and rarely mentioned in polite company, solar geoengineering is now coming of age. The Royal Society, the oldest scientific academy in the world, mainstreamed the issue with the publication of the seminal report “Geoengineering the Climate” in 2009. (Some of my correspondents believe it is already being done, reporting on "chemtrails." I have seen no solid evidence. But engineering the climate could so easily go badly wrong. Back in the seventies, when "global cooling" was the "settled science," scientists suggested dropping ash on the poles to increase the sunlight absorbed and warm the Earth. Warning at least has some winners, in increased food production. See the Medieval Warm Period, when I have read it was warmer than now, the Norse settled Greenland, and established vineyards. When the climate, with no help from man, turned cooler again, they died out. ~Bob)

Religion of Peace News

Worth Reading: Can Israel Survive? By Victor Davis Hanson 
Excerpt: Israel is the only liberal democracy in the Middle East and North Africa. Eight million Israelis are surrounded by some 400 million Muslims in more than 20 states. Almost all of Israel’s neighbors are anti-Israeli dictatorships, monarchies or theocracies – a number of them reduced to a state of terrorist chaos. Given the rise of radical Islam, the huge petrodollar wealth of the Middle East and lopsided demography, how has Israel so far survived? The Jewish state has always depended on three unspoken assumptions for its tenuous existence.

Video: Pat Condell: “Jews are being driven out of Europe by Muslim anti-Semitism

Excerpt: Two gunmen entered the Corinthia Hotel in Tripoli Tuesday morning. When their shooting rampage was over, at least ten people had been killed. For jihadists in Libya, the hotel was an inviting target. Foreign diplomats, Western tourists and officials from Libya's rival governments are known to frequent it. Indeed, the victims were five foreigners, including an American, and five Libyans. The American killed in the attack has been identified as David Berry. According to The New York Daily News, Berry is a former US Marine who worked as a security contractor for Crucible, LLC. (More fruit of Obama's Excellent Libyan Adventure. ~Bob)

Important: Transparency goes on holiday in Afghanistan. By Jonathan Capehart
Excerpt: “U.S. suddenly goes quiet on effort to bolster Afghan forces” was the headline in the New York Times that caught my attention. How, pray tell, does a nation go quiet on a $65 billion endeavor? It stops talking. Score another victory for the forces of over classification in the name of national security. The Times reports that routine data used in the quarterly reports from the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction for the past six years are now classified. Locked behind an appendix to the report that can only be read by those with high-level security clearances. That’s a decidedly small universe. (A cynic might think this stuff was classified, not to protect the dwindling American forcers there fighting the non-terrorist Taliban, but to protect the "most transparent administration in history" from criticism. ~Bob)

Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah trade fire across border; at least 3 dead
The left hates Israel, but they also hate Assad, on whose side Hezbollah fights. Who to cheer for? Decisions, Decisions.

Excerpt: A video uploaded to YouTube appears to show a large Hezbollah Brigades convoy transporting weapons, troops, and armored vehicles to the front to fight the Islamic State.
Several American-made military vehicles, including an M1 Abrams tank, M113 armored personnel carriers, Humvees, and Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles (MRAP), as well as Iranian-made Safir 4x4s and technicals (armed pickup trucks) are in the convoy.
The Hezbollah Brigades is US-designated foreign terrorist organization that has been involved in killing American soldiers in Iraq.

ISIS threatens Obama, Japanese and Jordanian hostages in new online messages
Excerpt: A new, grisly beheading video from ISIS includes a direct threat against President Obama and is one of at least three new warnings from the terror organization, including pledges to kill Jordanian and Japanese hostages if a hostage held by Jordan is not freed. In a new online video discovered by the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) on Tuesday, three Islamic State fighters stand behind a kneeling Kurdish fighter as one of the extremists launches into a diatribe against the U.S. and other Western nations. “Know, oh Obama, that will reach America,” says one of the fighters, clad in black and wearing a balaclava, in a translation from Arabic provided by MEMRI. “Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House, and transform America into a Muslim Province.” “Know also that we will cut off your head in the White House, and transform America into a Muslim Province.” - ISIS fighter in new beheading video. (Just wait until President Barack Hussein Obama learns about this recent beheading, he is going to be very angry at those who commit such "work-place violence," right? What is his new name for these Islamist terrorists? --Don)

Graphic but funny: Terrorist Funeral
A suicide bomber was shot dead by Israeli forces, Muslims took up his body and started protesting and these Dumbos did not know that that suicide belt was still tied to the bomber's body they were carrying.. what happened next .is in the video. (I just love a happy ending. --Steve.)

No Go Area: Iqbal justifies attack; toll soars to 49
Excerpt: Moro Islamic Liberation Front guerrillas were involved in the killing of 49 Special Action Force (SAF) commandos but the “unfortunate and saddening development” was due to the failure of the elite police unit to coordinate its activities with the rebel group, MILF chief peace negotiator Mohaquer Iqbal said yesterday. Iqbal said fighting erupted before dawn Sunday when three SAF platoons intruded into a supposedly government-recognized guerilla enclave in Barangay Tukanalipao, supposedly to arrest Malaysian explosives expert Zulkifli Bin Hir and his Maguindanaon cohort, the long wanted Basit Usman... Senior Superintendent Noel Armilla, officer-in-charge of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) police, said they have so far counted 20 fatalities, based on bodies recovered from the scene after the six-hour battle.

Worth Reading: Inside France’s Sharia No-Go Zones. By Pamela Geller
Excerpt: There is abundant evidence that there really are no-go zones, despite all the denial. See this video, and more: here is a video about how Muslims plotted to ambush Swedish police with firebombs. Another video shows riots that followed police trying to make an arrest in a Belgian Muslim suburb. Here is video of Muslim riots in Trappes, France. And here is a video showing the plight of the remaining French women in a Muslim-dominated area of FranceHere is a video showing Muslim youths running amok in Paris. In Paris, Muslims firebombed a bus with fifty passengers inside, and Muslim riots are spiraling out of control in Sweden. All this is well known.

Smoking Gun Benghazi Documents Demonstrate State Department Lies Put Other Embassies in Danger
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 Charlene Lamb let the cat out of the bag. Apparently, the agents within the Diplomatic Security Command Center in Washington, D.C., knew that U.S. embassy personnel were under a terrorist attack from the moment it began.

Swedish soldier stirs row over help for Isis fighters
Excerpt: A Swedish soldier's Facebook post from Afghanistan is causing a stir, after he suggested that he was likely to get less help when he came back to Sweden than returning Isis fighters.

Obama's National Security Wonderland. Dr. Peter Vincent Pry
Excerpt: America is headed for a national security train wreck because President Obama--for reasons of ideology and wishful thinking--believes in some dangerous fantasies: ... Dr. Peter Vincent Pry is Executive Director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security and Director of the U.S. Nuclear Strategy Forum, both Congressional Advisory Boards, and served on the Congressional EMP Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission, the House Armed Services Committee, and the CIA.

Humpty Obama: Taliban not a terrorist group, White House deputy press secretary says
Excerpt: White House deputy press secretary Eric Schultz argued during Wednesday’s briefing that the United States can negotiate prisoner swaps with Taliban members, because the Taliban is not considered a terrorist group. ( "When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less." "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things." "The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master— that's all." ~Bob)

The Pentagon just got weirder: General Dempsey Sponsors Essay Competition to Honor Saudi King.
Just when I thought the world could not get any stranger, the White House said this week that the Taliban is not a terrorist organization, and then General Dempsey sponsored a hagiography of the late King of Saudi Arabia. Respectfully, Michael Yon

Obama Just Renamed The Taliban, And It Insults Every Soldier That Fought Them
Excerpt: Deputy Press Secretary, Eric Shultz, was just made to come out and say that the current administration does (not?) regard the Taliban as a ‘terrorist group’, but rather an ‘armed insurgency.’ This is the same Taliban who attacked a school full of children in Pakistan, killing 132 of them.

But not terrorists: Gunman kills 3 American contractors in Afghanistan
Excerpt: Three American contractors and an Afghan national were shot to death in the North Kabul International Airport Thursday, a U.S. official confirmed.
It was not immediately clear who did the shooting or whether the shooter was a member of the Afghan security forces.

Obama is Treating Israel like An Enemy - this Can’t End Well
Excerpt: Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-OH) did something this past week that was likely a purposeful attempt at “tweaking” the White House and making some in the Obama administration a little upset. (It worked.) Without consulting the White House (or any Democrats), he chose to invite the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to come and speak before a joint session of Congress. Netanyahu gladly accepted (even knowing that their could be backlash since the White House was left out of the loop) saying “As prime minister of Israel, I am obligated to make every effort in order to prevent Iran from achieving nuclear weapons that would be aimed at the State of Israel. This effort is worldwide and I will go anywhere I am invited in order to enunciate the State of Israel’s position and in order to defend its future and its existence.”

Smoking Gun Benghazi Documents Show State Department Lied
Excerpt: Most Americans who have been following the story regarding the attacks on September 11, 2012 are pretty sure that the Obama State Department under Hillary Clinton pushed a false story on the American people. There has been quite a bit of documentation that substantiates this. However, a recent Freedom of Information Act lawsuit has produced new documents that reveal a memo that was sent the day after the Benghazi attacks to the US Embassy in Tunis, Tunisia which shows that the administration, knowing that Benghazi was an Islamic terrorist attack, warned the Embassy of "demonstrations."

France: ‘Discover Hell on Earth’: France Releases Graphic Video Showing Executions, Crucifixions and Terror to Warn Citizens Against Joining the Islamic State. By Billy Hallowell
Excerpt: Editor's note: The video embedded in this story features disturbing themes and extreme violence. Just three weeks after radical Islamic terrorists attacked satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo over its mocking cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad and waged deadly assaults on other locations in Paris, France, the French government has released a website and video aimed at countering extremism and, more specifically, discouraging young people from joining Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq. (Suddenly the French are stronger opponents of the Jihadists than the US. ~Bob)

Hamas-Supporting MB Figures Meet With Congress, State Dept. By John Rossomando
Excerpt: A delegation including senior exiled members of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood and two people with a history of open support for Hamas lobbied senators Wednesday. The delegation requested a meeting with several senators, a Senate source told the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT).

Finally Someone on the Left Gets It: It’s Not “Violent Extremism,” It’s Radical Islam. By Mathew Clark
Excerpt: “This is not just about words,” the Hawaii Democrat told Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren. “It’s not about semantics. It’s really about having a real, true understanding of who our enemy is and how important that is, that we have to understand what their motivation is and what their ideology is — the radical Islamic ideology that is fueling them.” Ms. Gabbard took umbrage with Secretary of State Sen. John Kerry (D-MA)0%‘s recent assertion that the criminal conduct of terrorists with the Islamic State and al Qaeda is “rooted in alienation, poverty, thrill-seeking and other factors,” which she said is flat-out wrong.

Former U.S. Military Leaders Outline Extremist Threat. By John Grady
Excerpt: Gen. John Keane—a former vice chief of staff of the Army—recognized the split between the radical Shi’ia branch of Islam and the role Iran plays not only in the Middle East but beyond, using “proxies to attack the United States”—such as Hezbollah did in Lebanon or its sectarian militias did in Iraq—while developing its own nuclear and long-range missile capabilities and radical Sunnis. The radical Sunnis, through al Qaeda and its affiliates, “exceed Iran” in attracting recruits and threatening Europe and North America. He cited the recent attack in Paris at satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket as an example of radical Sunni reach outside of the Middle East. (It’s about time for some of these people to speak --Don M.)

‘Voluntary’ Sharia Tribunal In Texas: This Is How It Starts. By Pamela Geller
Excerpt: This is how it starts. This is how it started in the United Kingdom. When Sharia courts were instituted there, Muslim and non-Muslim officials alike all assured the British public and the world that they would be voluntary, restricted to matters involving non-criminal matters, and subject to the British courts. Any areas in which British law and Sharia law conflicted would be referred not to the Sharia courts, but to the British courts. That is not how it worked out. The Telegraph reported in August 2011 that “there are growing concerns” that the Sharia courts “are creating a parallel legal system — and one that is developing completely unchecked.”

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: