Saturday, March 21, 2015

Today's important political news and opinion


My 14-year-old granddaughter Britnye was one of two "presidential candidates" who gave speeches to her 8th grade class. She was the GOP candidate and took a conservative, almost libertarian line in her speech on minimum wage, healthcare, gun control and taxes. Then they voted and she won. Of course, this was not in Madison, but in a rural town about 25 miles out. ~Bob

Robert Hall Winery Provides a Delicious Taste of Paso Robles
Excerpt: I could go on and on. An impressive 12 wines received medals at the San Francisco Chronicle wine competition, the world’s largest competition of American wines.

General News and Comment

Worth Reading: When Will We Ever Learn? By Colonel Donald J. Myers USMC (Ret)
Excerpt: At the start of football season, the “Peanuts” cartoon by Charles Shultz always had a strip where Lucy held a football for Charlie Brown to kick. Charlie would run to the ball and at the last minute, Lucy would pull the ball away and Charlie would fall. That particular series went on for years with the same outcome each year. As a country, we are the Charlie Brown and our adversaries today and in the past are Lucy. We continue to believe that we can trust those who have consistently shown that they can not be trusted. Unfortunately it is not a football that is pulled away from us at the last minute, but something more important and menacing. it is our security and freedom that is at stake. We made countless agreements and pacts with the Soviet Union throughout the years following World War II, and they cheated with each one. We hoped each time that perhaps they had changed and would finally live up to the latest agreement signed. That never happened. We continued to hope and believe that if we treated them “nice’’ they would respond in kind. that also never happened because they viewed our actions as weakness to be taken advantage of. (Some people will not learn until they are stood against a wall to be shot. Their last words will be, "Why didn't somebody do something?" ~Bob)

Excerpt: Why do our “best and brightest” fail when faced with a man like Putin? Or with charismatic fanatics? Or Iranian negotiators? Why do they misread our enemies so consistently, from Hitler and Stalin to Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliph? The answer is straightforward: Social insularity: Our leaders know fellow insiders around the world; our enemies know everyone else. The mandarin’s distaste for physicality: We are led through blood-smeared times by those who’ve never suffered a bloody nose. And last but not least, bad educations in our very best schools: Our leadership has been educated in chaste political theory, while our enemies know, firsthand, the stuff of life.

The Technophobic Democrats. By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: If you believe Hillary Clinton, her email scandal happened because she couldn’t figure out how to do what every American of working age knows how to do; juggle a work and personal email account. The Clinton vaporware bridge to the 21st century turned out to be a private email server that kept out the media, but not foreign spy agencies. When Hillary finally had to turn over some emails, she printed out tens of thousands of pages of them as if this were still the 20th century. But like the rest of her party, Hillary is very much a 20th century regulator, not a 21st century innovator. (Very nice article, explaining something about today's Democrats. The Party leadership is mostly high IQ intellectuals, ideologues, and they aren't engineers, physicists, practical scientists or technologists. Their worldview is specialized, and only thinks of science as something to use to help implement their great plans for society. And yes, that doesn't matter to them, because, after all, they KNOW they are the smart people who are best able to take care of the rest of us. --Del)

Operation Jade Helm- Military trains for Martial Law in American South-West
Excerpt: A couple months ago the DHS (Department of Homeland Security) and FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation) stated that the number one threat to the United States is none other than its own citizenry. This isn’t some small group of spun out nuts or even groups of people that the government feels are too religious such as Waco Texas and The Branch Davidians. As far as Islam, they were not even mentioned in the report. Instead, huge swaths of American culture and people were listed as the most likely threat to our country.

Video: Obama: False hope, False Messiah

Report: Clinton broke promise made to Obama
Excerpt: She made a pledge to publish all the donors on an annual basis to ease concerns that as secretary of state she could be vulnerable to accusations of foreign a breach of the pledge, the charity's flagship health program, which spends more than all of the other foundation initiatives put together, stopped making the annual disclosure in 2010, Reuters has found. (...) The finding could renew scrutiny of Clinton's promises of transparency as she prepares to launch her widely expected bid for the White House in the coming weeks. Political opponents and transparency groups have criticized her in recent weeks for her decision first to use a private email address while she was secretary of state and then to delete thousands of emails she labeled private. (This "scandal in a teacup" may not be over yet. It also explains why the White House is so irritated they are throwing leaks at the media to make HRC's life difficult. This article is from Reuters via AOL News, neither exactly bastions of conservative thought. Many liberals around here are deeply concerned, no, not concerned enough to vote for a Republican, but still.... On the other hand, AOL positioned it as #39 of 40 stories at 11PM EDT. Ron P.)

Obama-Turned-Clinton Aide Makes 'Tens Of Millions' As Silicon Valley's D. C. 'Fixer'
Excerpt: Jim Messina, the co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s super PAC and former White House Deputy Chief of Staff for President Barack Obama, is earning “tens of millions” of dollars as “Silicon Valley’s go-to government fixer” in WashingtonMessina is also famous as the White House staffer who told Democrats to “punch back twice as hard” in town hall meetings on Obamacare in 2009, and as the campaign manager for President Obama’s negatively-themed re-election in 2012. Currently, Messina works for companies like Uber and Airbandb, selling his connections in the Obama administration for a hefty price. (To cite Robert Bolt: “For Wales? Why Richard, it profit a man nothing to give his soul for the whole world. . . but for Wales!” ― Robert BoltA Man for All Seasons. --Barb)

Worth Reading: Blame parents for those narcissist kids. New research reveals the roots of inflated egos -- and why they're dangerous. By Mary Elizabeth Williams
Excerpt: New research this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that children whose parents describe them as “more special than other children” and “deserving something extra in life” were – shocker – more likely to score higher on tests of narcissism than children whose parents described them differently. The year and a half long Netherlands-based study looked at 565 children aged between seven and twelve, and their parents. And as Ohio State University communications and psychology professor Brad Bushman explains, the danger in raising kids to believe they’re more special and deserving is that there’s a strong correlation between narcissism and bad behavior. (The roots of the entitlement generation. As I have said on this blog before, if you want to destroy your kids, give them lots of un-earned self esteem. ~Bob)

Welfare: The Obama Recovery. 33% of Americans out of workforce, highest rate since 1978
Excerpt: The number of Americans aged 16 and older not participating in the labor force hit 92,898,000 in February, tying December’s record, according to data released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). ... To put it another way, when President Obama took office in January 2009, there were 80,529,000 Americans who were not participating in the workforce, which means that 12,369,000 US citizens have left the workforce since then.

Gun News

Worth Reading: Background Checks and the Sins of My Youth. By Ronald G. Pittenger

Moment rape survivor stood up in Maryland state Senate hearing to demand the right to carry a concealed weapon
Excerpt: A brave rape survivor took the podium at a Maryland state Senate meeting this week and told the frightening tale about being stalked by a man she never met. Jacqueline Kahn was speaking in support of a measure that would allow residents in Maryland to carry concealed weapons for self-defense. The state is currently one of just a handful in the nation that doesn't allow residents to carry firearms on the basis of protection alone.

WaPo Fact Checker: Obama’s odd series of exaggerated gun claims. By Glenn Kessler
Excerpt: The president was playing fast and loose with his language here—to a group of college students no less. There’s little excuse for the claim that in some neighborhoods, it is easier to buy a gun than vegetable (see update above) — or to say he’s “not exaggerating” when he claims that some people have proposed laws that would allow machine guns in bars. As for the U.S. ranking on homicides among industrialized nations, the president certainly would have had a stronger case if he said the United States was above average, or that it was in the top ranks. But instead he claimed the United States had rates that were higher “by like a mile.” The gun debate is serious enough that it should not be poisoned by exaggerated claims and faux statistics. The president earns Three Pinocchios.

ATF Director Resigns Amid Controversy Over Backdoor Ammo Ban
Excerpt: The director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives resigned suddenly on Friday while the agency is still reeling from its failed “backdoor ammo ban” of the popular 5.56 M855 bullet. It is unclear if B. Todd Jones’ departure is at all related to that proposed ban..... With backing from the Obama administration, ATF sought to prohibit the sale of the M855 — the so-called “green tip” — out of fear that they pose a risk to police officers since they can pierce bullet-proof vests. 

Business Rewards Monthly Bonuses To Concealed Carry Employees, “It’s a good thing for society and if I can encourage it I think it’s kind of my duty to do that”
Excerpt: A law office in Iowa is rewarding staff members who tote guns to work with a monthly $50 bonus. As a registered NRA instructor, Davenport attorney Eric Puryear says he wanted a way to combine his law practice and his passion for the Second Amendment.

Racist: Feminist Reporter: Take Away White Men’s Guns
Excerpt: Andrea Grimes, senior political reporter at the lefty women’s site RH Reality Check, sank to a disgusting new low Thursday by saying that guns should be confiscated only from white men. “Suggestion: we don’t have to vaporize all the guns. Let’s just vaporize white men’s guns,” Grimes tweeted, linking to an article about Arizona shooter Ryan Giroux.

84-Year-Old Man Sends Tulsa Robber Running In Fear
Excerpt: The robber stopped near the door - like he was looking inside the billfold – then, all of a sudden, he took off running. We asked what scared the man off, Jandebeur said, "I pulled out my automatic and was getting ready to ventilate him."

Man, 63, wielding machete tries to slash TSA workers and passengers and is shot three times by police at New Orleans airport
None of the people wounded could protect themselves, as airports are criminal empowerment (gun free) zone. ~Bob

Machete-wielding suspect in New Orleans airport attack was carrying bag with 6 Molotov cocktails, officials say
Excerpt: Officials said they don’t know what suspect Richard White intended to do with the homemade bombs or what triggered the incident. (We need to make airports Machete and Molotov Cocktail Free Zones. That'll solve the problem. ~Bob)

‘Stand Your Ground’ Cited After Disabled Vet Steps In To Help Assaulted Pregnant Woman [VIDEO]. By Chuck Ross
Excerpt: A Florida sheriff is citing “stand your ground” in his decision not to charge a disabled Army veteran with a crime after he shot two homeless men while helping a pregnant woman being assaulted.

Race Card News

The Race Conversation Starbucks Wants You to Have. By Mona
Excerpt: Each and every time we’re hectored to engage in an “honest conversation” about race, it’s a sham. What’s wanted is not honesty, but confession of sin by white people and expressions of pain from blacks and others. Decade after decade, despite vastly diminishing levels of white racism (and the rapid growth of non-white populations), we are told that the old stain of racism continues to poison the lives of minorities. By encouraging that fiction, Starbucks is subtracting from racial understanding.( I think it's an honest and not really unfair comment by this lady, about things in this country, about how the great majority of decent, White middle and upper class people feel. The push, however subtle, for Whites to feel guilt about slavery and discrimination has gone on so long and is so constant in the media and public commentary that it's really worn people out. Seeing the term "racist" thrown around so fast, so often, has gotten a lot of people tired of it, even though all of us know very well that there is still White racsim, and most of us also recognize there is Black racism as well. There's no point in arguing which group is the larger, the existence of both is unfortunate and counterproductive for all of us. And at times, the harping about racism ends up with one of the "unforeseen consequences", which is the increase of racial tension and a widening of racial divide. I don't suggest we all put on blinders and pretend there wasn't slavery, nor discrimination, nor that there isn't still some racism and some discrimination. But focusing on it so tightly, so constantly, and going with the instant assumption that every Black man shot by a cop was a racist murder, and that the rage and frustration of the Black community justify burning and looting, is not helping any steps forward, it keeps us moving backward. What we need is a lot more concentration of getting along (Rodney King was very right) and a very great deal less of jumping to conclusions. Part of the formula for getting over racism is to just get along and focus on positives more than negatives. And we need leaders of all colors to work towards that. --Del)

Perhaps time to pass this on again: Essay: Racism in America. By Robert A. Hall
Warning, it's 8,000 words with an equally long reading list of books and articles on the topic, all of which I have read. Maybe I'll take it to Starbucks and read it to the barista. ~Bob

Worth Reading: When Liberals Blew It. Nicholas Kristof
Excerpt: Fifty years ago this month, Democrats made a historic mistake. ... “The fundamental problem,” Moynihan wrote, is family breakdown. In a follow-up, he explained: “From the wild Irish slums of the 19th-century Eastern seaboard, to the riot-torn suburbs of Los Angeles, there is one unmistakable lesson in American history: a community that allows large numbers of young men to grow up in broken families ... never acquiring any stable relationship to male authority, never acquiring any set of rational expectations about the future — that community asks for and gets chaos.” Liberals brutally denounced Moynihan as a racist.

Report: Army Alaska Command Investigating 'Racial Thursdays'
Excerpt: The Army is investigating a platoon of soldiers in Alaska reportedly given a free pass to use racial slurs against each other in what was known as "Racial Thursdays.". ... "When I first got to my unit, someone said we should do 'Racial Thursdays' because it's been a tradition," said the soldier, who asked to remain anonymous. "It's something they made up where you can say any racist remark you want without any consequences. The platoon sergeant said no, but [it's] still going on."

That’s Not Racist, You Idiot': Jay Leno Slams PC Intern for Labeling Him ‘Racist’ for Not Liking Mexican Food
Excerpt: The 64-year-old comedian, who has been performing college shows around the country, described how the youngster told him he was ‘racist’ when he said he didn’t like Mexican food.. (Video - watch some at the end. --JB)

Obamacare/Government Healthcare News

More Phony ObamaCare Numbers From The White House
Excerpt: The Obama administration says more than 16 million have gained insurance, thanks to ObamaCare. But a closer look at the numbers shows they're once again playing fast and loose with the data. (Interesting... my kids and most of their friends all say they pay little to no attention to anything that comes from regular news channels, they expect it all to be silly, vapid, manipulated, and at least inaccurate, more often just false. Apparently all the generations from the 80s on see things mostly this way. How can I blame them? They have it right, you have to look hard and carefully to find reporting that is reasonably truthful and not heavily slanted. The joyful reports from the news just today about how ObamaCare has brought insurance to so many millions of people who never had it before are as good an example as anything. There is some truth there, but so much of the numbers can be explained by other factors that it becomes much harder to proclaim ObamaCare as a fantastic solution to a terrible problem. And the cost is much higher than promised (so hard to believe, isn't it?) overall, and a whole bunch of people the media don't want to talk about are paying more money for less insurance than they had before. If it weren't for the subsidies, which all of us taxpayers are footing the bill for, many of those recently insured people still would not have been able to get insurance. As the article winds up, there had to be other ways to work on health care that would be more efficient than those 2700 pages have turned out to be. --Del)

"You're Greener than Gore" News

The War on the Poor: Obama administration tightens federal rules on oil and gas fracking. By Joby Warrick
Excerpt: The Obama administration imposed tougher restrictions Friday on tens of thousands of fossil-fuel wells on public lands that use fracking technology to extract oil and gas, saying the measures would help safeguard the nation’s water supply. (Anything to raise energy costs--the Democrats War on the Poor. ~Bob)

New Climate Paper Gives Global Warming Alarmists ‘One Helluva Beating.’ By James Delingpole, Breitbart News
Excerpt: A new scientific paper has driven yet another nail into the coffin of Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming theory. (H/T Bishop Hill) The paper – Rethinking the lower bound on aerosol radiative forcing by Bjorn Stevens of the Max Planck Institute for Meteorology in Hamburg, Germany, published in the American Meteorological Society journal – finds that the effects of aerosols on climate are much smaller than those in almost all the computer models used by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Aerosols are the minute particles added to the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels (as well as by non-anthropogenic sources, like volcanoes). The reason they are important is that they are so often cited by alarmists to excuse the awkward fact that the world has stubbornly failed to warm at the disastrous rate they predicted it would.

Religion of Peace News

Excerpt: On Thursday, the press announced that the Obama administration would fully consider abandoning Israel in international bodies like the United Nations. According to reports, President Obama finally called Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to congratulate him – but the “congratulations” was actually a lecture directed at forcing Netanyahu to surrender to the terrorist Palestinian regime. For some odd reason, many in the media and Congress reacted with surprise to Obama’s supposedly sudden turn on Israel. The media, in an attempt to defend Obama’s radicalism, pretend that Netanyahu’s comments in the late stages of his campaign prompted Obama’s anti-Israel action.

Excerpt: There is only one problem: Netanyahu never said that a Palestinian state was out of the question. The interview in which Netanyahu expressed the much-misinterpreted remark took place with the conservative Israeli publication NRG. It also took place in Hebrew, a language virtually none of the members of the Western press read or speak; most simply took the Ha’aretz report and ran with it. Netanyahu was asked directly about whether his Bar-Ilan speech was “irrelevant.” ... In other words, Netanyahu did not discount the possibility of a Palestinian state forever. He said that anyone who tries to build a Palestinian state “hayom” – “today” – would be giving territory to radical Islam. He even added that this was a reality created in recent years. (Really doesn't matter. Neither Fatah nor Hamas would sign a two state agreement allowing Israel to live. ~Bob)

Top violator of women's rights around the world? It's Israel says UN. By Anne Bayefsky
Well Israel doesn't allow women to vote or drive or serve in the armed forced, allows men to divorce them with a word. Allows polygamy. Limits or forbids them to have jobs. Requires them to wear religiously prescribed garb. And stones women accused of adultery, including rape if they don't have four male witnesses. Oh, wait, those are Muslim countries that do that. Israel is the only country in the Middle East with any kind of equality of women. Google "Stoning." ~Bob. See: Iran amends law on stoning for adultery. Excerpt: Women are buried up to the their shoulders, but men only up to their waists. They are spared if they manage to free themselves before dying. ... At least 150 people may have been stoned in Iran since 1980, the International Committees against Execution and Stoning said in 2010.)

Bedouin Village Gave 76% Of Its Votes To Netanyahu. "The truth is it's surprising to us as well, but it turns out each one of us voted their hearts."
Excerpt: “This settlement was always discriminated against, and no one would recognize us as an official settlement. ... Bibi Netanyahu himself and the Likud government finally recognized us,” Naim explained. “In our heritage, we remember the good things a person did for us, and that explains this unusual vote.”

Obama Threatens to Abandon Israel at United Nations
Excerpt: He did promise to “fundamentally transform” our nation, didn’t he? I wonder if this was the “change” that liberals were hoping for when they first bought into Obama’s worthless drivel back in 2008.

Sen. Tom Cotton pledges that he and the Senate will protect Israel in the UN and the ICC
Excerpt: And now he has made a speech in which he pledges that the Senate will do its utmost to prevent the Obama administration or any other institution, be it the UN or the ICC, from harming Israel.

Satire: Iranian leader questions Obama’s citizenship; halts negotiations
Excerpt: Nuclear negotiations came to a halt Friday as Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, Iran’s supreme leader, demanded to see President Obama’s long-form birth certificate before continuing discussions. Khamenei’s decision came after a letter sent by 47 Senate Republicans revealed that any deal signed with the President would be null and void because of a law requiring that he be born in the United States. The letter, signed by the entire Republican leadership, expressed concern that Khamenei may trust Obama simply because they are both Arabs.

Will Obama Support Egypt's War on Radical Islam? By Raymond Stock
Excerpt: Egypt's President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi continues to reach out to America for help in rallying the forces of good against a rising tide of evil—the ever-spreading virus of militant Islam. And so far we are still snubbing him. As I have written before in this space, Sisi appears to be a surprising successor to the heroic British leader who first rallied his own people, then appealed to the New World to join not only his, but humanity's, cause against the Nazi menace—which is in many ways similar to the Islamist one today. Despite America's declared need for strong Arab allies in the war against ISIS, which Sisi is already fighting in the northern Sinai, and has even bombed in Libya, our own government's commitment is still pending. (Short answer: Obama's more likely to support Sen. Tom Cotton for president. ~Bob)

The Ongoing Collapse of Obama-Hillary 'Smart Power' Foreign Policy. By Guy Benson
Excerpt: Three fresh examples: YEMEN, a country President Obama touted as a foreign policy "success" story in 2014, whose US-supported government has since been overthrown by rebels backed by...the country with whom we're currently negotiating a bad nuclear deal:

Tunis museum attackers wore belts packed with explosives
Excerpt: Gunmen who shot dead 21 people at Tunisia’s Bardo Museum were also armed with explosive suicide belts and would have killed many more had police not reacted so quickly to the attack, the country’s president said last night. In an Independence Day television address, President Beji Caid Essebsi described the carnage as a “great disaster” but said it could have been much worse. (They wanted to present as many dead bodies as possible to their bloodthirsty god. --Robert Spencer,

Obama's War: U.S. fears Islamic State is making serious inroads in Libya
Excerpt: The United States is increasingly concerned about the growing presence and influence of the Syria-based Islamic State movement in Libya, according to U.S. officials and a State Department report. The officials said what they called "senior" Islamic State leaders had traveled to the country, which is whacked by civil war, to help recruit and organize militants, particularly in the cities of Derna and Sirte. (Libya under Gadhafi was quiet, but Obama led-from-behind a war not authorized by Congress to change it into a violent, terrorist hell hole. ~Bob)

Obama Praises Iranian Dictator In Nowruz Address, Throws US Allies Under Bus
Excerpt: President Obama sent out his annual Nowruz (Persian New Year) message on Thursday, hoping to “speak directly” to the “leaders” of Iran in a highly politicized message meant to garner support for an upcoming nuclear deal with the Islamic Republic. In the video, the President mischaracterizes the reality of Iran’s political system, while trashing dissenters of his upcoming nuclear deal with Iran. He even finds time to praise Iran’s dictator for his supposed fatwa against nuclear weapons–and speaks of Iran’s “leaders” as if the despotic regime is governed by a legitimate parliamentary democracy.

Excerpt: The Islamic State's attacks on Houthi civilians are part of a deliberate strategy. AQAP tries to avoid such operations, but the permissibility of deliberately killing Shiite civilians is still debated in jihadist circles.

Boko Haram fighters slaughter dozens of their 'wives' who had been kidnapped and forced to marry them because they feared they would be freed and marry 'infidels' 
Excerpt: Dozens of Nigerian women who were forced to marry Boko Haram fighters were reportedly slaughtered by their 'husbands' before a battle with troops in the northeast town of Bama. Witnesses said the Islamist militants feared they would be killed by advancing soldiers or separated from their wives when they fled the town. They killed the women to prevent them from subsequently marrying soldiers or other so-called non-believers, they said.

Robert A. Hall is a Marine Vietnam Veteran who served five terms in the Massachusetts State Senate. He is the author of The Coming Collapse of the American Republic. For a free PDF of Collapse, e-mail him at tartanmarine(at) Hall’s eleven books are listed here:

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