Friday, April 10, 2015

Hill's in, Iran wins and other important news and opinion


The weather continues to tend towards the warm side, which I love despite the aggravation the allergens cause to my chronic cough. knee deep in preparing for the ethics hearing Monday against the Dane County Sheriff for using his uniform and patrol car in political ads. I'm pretty sure he'll get off with another mild reprimand, but he has a history of doing violating the ethics law. See this ad from, I think, 2009: Apparently he holds the law and the ethics board in contempt, sure they won't have the courage to take strong action. I'll post my presentation on the blog after the hearing. ~Bob

Story of my life. People have been telling me I couldn't make it in the Marines, I wasn't college material, I couldn't be elected to the senate, I couldn't turn around a couple of hopeless situations, I couldn't survive a pulmonary fibrosis more than three years, and that the country is hopeless so I should give up the blog for fifty years. But I loath quitters--it wasn't on the curriculum at the University of Parris Island. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Clinton, Inc.: Report: Clinton changed stance on trade deal after donations to foundation. By Ben Kamisar
Excerpt: The Clinton Foundation reportedly accepted millions of dollars from a Colombian oil company head before then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton decided to support a trade deal with Colombia despite worries of human rights violations. The report in the International Business Times comes as Clinton readies an expected run for president. She’s been dogged by questions about whether foreign donations to her foundations could have influenced her official decisions. The report centers on donations from Frank Giustra and the oil company that he founded, Pacific Rubiales. (The foundation is the Clinton slush fund for first class travel and perks. Want a favor from President Billary? It will cost you. ~Bob)

Hillary Clinton to announce White House run on Sunday. She has privately told aides that she wants to avoid the coronation atmosphere of her 2008 launch.
Excerpt: The wait is almost over. Hillary Clinton will kick off her long-anticipated campaign for president on Sunday with a social-media announcement, three sources close to the campaign-to-be told POLITICO, and will begin her 2016 run for the presidency with a trip to Iowa.

'Draft Biden' movement imagines vice president in Corvette By Jesse Byrnes
Excerpt: Those hoping to draw Joe Biden into launching the 2016 presidential race are looking to rev up support by getting others to imagine the 72-year-old former senator driving a Corvette. Organizers behind the Draft Biden 2016 super-PAC have launched an online store around a "I'm ridin' with Biden" logo depicting the vice president sporting aviator sunglasses while behind the wheel. (I wouldn't let me 14-year-old granddaughter ride with "Touchy Uncle Joe." Biden may turn out to be the John Edwards of this cycle. ~Bob)

The Paradox of Rand Paul’s National Security Moment. By Molly O'Toole
The young, alternative Kentucky senator who blasts Republicans and Democrats as trigger-happy hawks makes his pitch for commander-in-chief with an old backdrop and mainstream message. Nothing says maverick outsider challenging the Republican establishment like a major national security speech delivered from a stars-and-stripes-draped podium in front of an aircraft carrier.

Excerpt: With the Vietnam War raging in 1969, two young fathers report for duty. A man of great faith and a doubtful cynic. A quarter-century later, their sons, Wayne and John Paul (David A.R. White and Kevin Downes), meet as strangers. Guided by letters handwritten from their fathers from the battlefield, they embark on an unforgettable journey to The Wall—the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C. Along the way, they discover the devastation of war cannot break the love of a father for his son.

Excerpt: A group of eight-year-old children in New Jersey have written letters to convicted cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, wishing that he will 'get better soon' while recovering in hospital from a mystery illness after being encouraged by their teacher. The cards have caused outrage and alarm among political commentators, many of whom claim the 60-year-old's illness is a fraud and clamor for attention. Abu-Jamal, who shot Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner in cold blood in 1981, was taken to hospital on April 2 after collapsing in the bathroom of the State Correctional Institution at Mahanoy. (Her New Jersey School District website is here: I sent her an angry e-mail today and copied the District, which is on spring break right now. She is really sick. It isn't enough to read about insanity such as this. We must make our voices heard at the very least. --John)

Last IOC in Marine infantry experiment drops female officers
Excerpt: The two-and-a-half year period in which the Marine Corps' Infantry Officer Course became gender-integrated for research will end without a single female graduate. The final iteration of IOC to accept female Marines on a volunteer basis began April 2 with two female participants. One was a volunteer and one was a member of the newly integrated ground intelligence track. Both were dropped that same day during the grueling initial Combat Endurance Test, said Capt. Maureen Krebs, a spokeswoman for Headquarters Marine Corps. Nine of the 90 men who began the course were also cut.

Video: Atheists become protected class in Madison, Wisconsin
First in the country. Pushed by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. No protection for Jews or Christians of course. I suppose a church who turned down an atheist for the position of pastor could be sued. ~Bob

The Long Retreat in the Culture War. By Patrick J. Buchanan 
Excerpt: Politics follows culture. And the cultural revolution of the ’60s is triumphant. Traditional Christianity, driven out of schools and the public square, is being whipped back into the churches and told to stay there. America has gone over to the revolution. Looking back, the sweep of the capitulation becomes stark.

This Culture War We’re In . By Daniel Greenfield
Excerpt: How are wars won? To win a war you don’t need to kill every soldier on the other side. What you need to do is destroy the other army as an organized force. You destroy the ability of the officers to command and the morale of the men. You destroy their perception of the worth of their side and of their own self-worth. All wars are culture wars. To win you must destroy the values of the other side. (That is one reason why we’re losing to Islam no matter how many times we beat them on the battlefield.) You must destroy their sense of purpose and the values instilled in them to break them as an organization. That is what the left has been doing to us. (Our founding fathers were brilliant in crafting a constitution whose Bill of Rights and form of government protect minorities from the tyranny of a democratic majority. However we have now reached a point where the bureaucratic state has enabled aggrieved minorities to tyrannize the majority. Cordially, Larry Greenberg)

Older but good: That Dangerous Idea of Liberty. By Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog
Excerpt: This Fourth of July marks the 234th anniversary of one the most dangerous ideas ever unleashed on the world. That people do not belong to governments, but governments belong to people. This was not an altogether new idea. History was filled with all sorts of theorizing and debating over the grounds on which a king might be overthrown. But the process that began with the Declaration of Independence did not merely set out to replace one set of chains, with a nicer set, but to overturn the top down rule of government, and replace it with a system in which people choose and replace their governments at will. (Just happened to come across this essay from five years ago, but it's a real Keeper. Thought it worth passing on. --Del)

Feds Paid Violent Sexual Predators $523,987. 18 individuals involuntary confined to mental health centers. By Elizabeth Harrington
Excerpt: The Social Security Administration (SSA) paid violent sexual predators nearly $524,000, in violation of federal law. According to a new audit by the Office of Inspector General (OIG), the SSA awarded benefits to 18 sexual predators after they were moved from prison to Special Commitment Centers (SCC).

Investigation casts cloud over Virginia voting machines. By Kenric Ward 
Excerpt: Nearly a year after Fairfax County scrapped its touch-screen voting machines, state officials are recommending decertification of the WinVote system used in 20 percent of Virginia’s precincts. The investigation has raised concerns about the credibility and integrity of upcoming elections throughout the swing state. With fewer than 60 days to the June primaries, the Virginia Department of Elections is taking public comment on the machines used in 29 localities. (I was on the Election Laws Committee. The old timer who ran the state elections division, very fair, competent, non-partisan guy, told me, "I'm a paper ballot man. Any voting machine man can make, man can fix." ~Bob)

Soldier dancing
OK, here is one guaranteed to choke you up a little. It's the TV show "Dancing With the Stars" and this one pair is made up of a double amputee US vet and his professional dancing partner. It is a superb example of how good people rise above the tragedies that befall them, and that this man lost so much in service to his country, but has gone on to adapt and overcome, is an inspiration of huge proportion. It's not a long video, but don't watch it until you have time to watch and then recover. --Del

Worth Reading: Conservatism as Counterculture. By Shelby Steele
Excerpt: If, at the charity dinner, I had found a way to sneer a little at America, I might have elicited a few cheers from the same side of the room (obviously an in-crowd) that had booed my reference to American exceptionalism. But cheers or boos, that side of the audience only reinforced what most Americans already suspect: that in the culture war between liberalism and conservatism that followed the tumultuous 1960s, liberalism won. That is, liberalism won the moral authority, the power, to set the terms of social relations among Americans — the manners, the protocols, the ideas of decency, the rules establishing how people must interact within the most diverse society in human history. Liberalism gave America a new “correctness” that enforced these new rules with the threat of stigmatization. There are still, certainly, ferocious debates between liberals and conservatives in many realms — economic policy, education, foreign policy, immigration, the environment, and so on. And these debates will surely grind on. But post-1960s liberalism won a certain moral hegemony over the culture by establishing dissociation as the über human value — the value that arbitrates the importance and relevance of all other values. (Long articles, by and about a (as well as from another) serious thinker, portends the decline of civil tolerance and the imposition of the Left's rules by governmental police power. As suggested by Erickson, this is Alinsky transformation into Machiavelli. Cordially, Larry Greenberg)

Obama, Castro to hold bilateral meeting Saturday
Excerpt: President Obama and Cuban President Raúl Castro will hold a bilateral meeting Saturday on the margins of the Summit of the Americas here, the first such encounter between the two nations in more than 50 years, White House officials said.
“We anticipate that they will have a discussion,” deputy national security adviser Benjamin Rhodes said.

U.S. military tactics falling behind those of adversaries, Pentagon official warns. By Spencer Ackerman
Excerpt: A “proliferation of precision” weapons and the spread of styles of warfare displayed by Russia in Ukraine risks ending “the American way of war that we have grown accustomed to over the last three decades”, the Pentagon’s No 2 official warned on Wednesday.
In a speech likely to be hotly debated in defense circles, US deputy defense secretary Robert Work outlined a vision of ground warfare for what might be called a post-insurgency era, one in which US adversaries cycle between using subterfuge tactics and high-tech precision artillery – “conventional weapons with near-zero miss”, in his warning – to potentially overmatch the US military.

How Marines Plan To Survive Littoral Warfare. By Sydney J. Freedberg, Jr.
Excerpt: PENTAGON: “You ever seen what an attack helicopter does to a small boat? That’s a Cuisinart.” The Navy’s long been nervous about the survival of its high-cost high-seas warships in coastal knife fights. (That anxiety drove the development of the controversial Littoral Combat Ship). Iran, in particular, is notorious for its shallow water mini-submarines and its light-weight but heavily armed attack boats. But as Marines come back aboard ship after a decade spent deep inland in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Navy is rediscovering America’s own littoral brawlers. Just as the Marine Corps’ recent Expeditionary Force-21 doctrine reemphasizes the value to Marine operations of ships and the sea, the Navy is refocusing on what Marines can do for the fleet.

Excerpt: The Hill reports that Major General James Post, the vice-commander of Air Combat Command was relieved from his position for warning Airmen at a convention to refrain from speaking to Congress or the media if they didn’t support the official policy of the Air Force to dump the A-10 Thunderbolt (the Warthog) close ground support aircraft.

Worth Reading: April 9, 1865. The Surrender at Appomattox
Excerpt: Were I asked to pick critical points in American history, points after Independence was a done deal but where the very fate of the Republic teetered on razor’s edge, three would instantly come to mind. First. Washington’s response to the Newburgh Conspiracy and his subsequent resignation as Commander in Chief. Second. Washington’s leaving office after two terms. (Obama, the first black president, took no notice of the surrender of the pro-slavery forces, ensuring emancipation. Maybe because the majority of those who fought and died to put down the slave power were white--including my great, great grandfather, Oliver Vernal, who fought through the war with the 6th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, and was badly wounded twice. Had he died, I would have died with him--he had no kids yet. ~Bob)

Fort Hood shooting victim denied benefits, despite Purple Heart decision
Excerpt: The Obama administration has finally acknowledged that those hurt and killed in the 2009 Fort Hood shootings were victims of terrorism -- and not “workplace violence,” as it was previously described. But while formal recognition of that is set for Friday, when victims will receive the Purple Heart, it may only be symbolic. Fox News has learned as part of its ongoing investigation of the 2009 terrorist attack that the military, at least in one case, is still denying benefits for injuries sustained in the attack.

Hearing date set for war hero who faces the boot
Excerpt: Maj. Matthew Golsteyn, the former Green Beret stripped of his Silver Star, will face a board of inquiry on May 18 to make his case against the Army's effort to boot him from the service. The board could recommend to separate the soldier and, if so, what type of discharge he should receive. ... Details of the case remain sparse. The Army has not publicly stated the allegations pursued in a completed Criminal Investigation Command probe. Stackhouse, however, said the Army investigated whether Golsteyn shot an unarmed combatant suspected of building a bomb that killed two U.S. Marines. (Maybe the Corps should pick him up. ~Bob)

VA makes little headway in fight to shorten waits for care. By David B. Caruso
Excerpt: The chronic delays plaguing the Veterans Affairs health system are concentrated in a fraction of its hospitals and clinics - many of them in the South - that have done far worse than others in delivering prompt care, according to government data reviewed by The Associated Press. A year after Americans recoiled at revelations that sick veterans were getting sicker while languishing on waiting lists, VA statistics show that the number of patients facing long waits has not declined, even after Congress gave the department an extra $16.3 billion last summer to shorten waits for care. (A whole year later, all kinds of promises, a change at the top, supposedly a bunch of people fired, more money thrown at it, and somehow things haven't changed all that much. What will it take? --Del. I'm still happy with and alive because of the Madison VA. ~Bob)

Gun News

Gun-friendly climate means big business in Tennessee
Excerpt: When executives from Italian gunmaker Beretta USA were looking to expand their U.S. manufacturing base, the first step was to make a list of gun-friendly states. "The first bright-line criteria was (is) it a state not only that was pro-gun, but that was likely to be pro-gun for many decades or generations to come," said Jeff Reh, general counsel for Beretta. It was not until after they assessed the political climate that they turned their attention to what most corporations prioritize: tax rates, workforce quality, education system, climate and proximity to their current base in Maryland. Tennessee rose to the top of their list, and in 2014, the company announced that not only would it be expanding in Gallatin, but it would move its entire operations there.

Police arrest 4, release surveillance video in Kute's Liquors robbery attempt
Excerpt: Jeffersontown Police Chief Rick Sanders said the video shows 30-year-old William Brandon Sexton walk into the store and order the clerk to the back.The clerk refused and that's when Sexton pulled out what the clerk thought was a loaded gun. The clerk then pulled out his semi-automatic weapon and the two were gun to gun before the clerk shot Sexton in the hand, sending the bullet into his chest.

One for the good guys; Craigslist robber shot by his victim
Excerpt: The victim stated that all of a sudden he heard his friend yell, “Son of a b***h.” He said that was when he saw his friend bending over in pain, like he had been punched in the stomach. At this point, the victim did not know that his friend had been stabbed. The victim told deputies that Smith then turned and ran toward him, at which time he drew his gun and fired a single shot, striking Smith. According to the victim, Smith fell to the ground but continued to try and get up to come at him. The victim said he told Smith to stay down.

Moms Against Guns; Gunning For Kroger
Excerpt: Well, despite all of Kroger's success, they are "under the gun" from an army of libtard moms called "Moms Against Guns." Unlike Target and Starbucks and a whole host of other retail establishments who have caved into political correctness, Kroger prefers to follow the gun laws of the states where they operate. Arizona is an "open carry" state so customers are allowed to carry guns if they wish. And Kroger accepts that. In states where open carry is prohibited Kroger honors those mandates as well. Well, this past week Kroger held their shareholders meeting. And, yes, Moms Against Guns stood outside with their protest placards, and screamed spittle filled hate words at anyone who dared to attend the meeting. Thankfully Kroger went about their business and politely ignored these PC goons. They announced that business was so good that they'll be hiring another 20,000 American workers so that we'll be paying for welfare and food stamps for 20,000 fewer people.

Race Card News

Witness: S.C. victim, cop struggled before killing
Excerpt: This is setting up to be an interesting trial. In no way am I trying to say what the officer did was right, but I see a defense building. The perp struggled with the officer after fleeing, threw the Taser at him, and the fear in the moment overcame him. Will this be enough to find him not guilty? Again, I’m not trying to defend the officer, just saying there will be a defense that could possibly set him free. (No excuse to kill a guy who was unarmed and no longer a threat, IMHO. ~Bob)

The Scott Killing. From The Patriot Post
Columnist Jonah Goldberg: "There are capital offenses for crimes other than murder because the integrity and effectiveness of the armed forces is a priority. We are not a martial society, but I could make a similar argument about police officers who murder and lie about it. Faith in the fairness of the justice system is simply indispensable to a democracy and social peace. Lack of such faith may be why [Walter] Scott ran from Officer [Michael] Slager. If so, his mistrust was tragically well-placed. ... People claim, usually tautologically, that retribution is illegitimate because revenge is illegitimate. Maybe that’s true. But it seems to me that what some people call revenge many others see plainly as justice. Deterrence is often a distraction. Capital punishment clearly doesn’t deter every murderer, but does it deter any would-be murder? It seems obvious it must. Deterrence is a red herring because the function of the death penalty isn’t simply to scare a would-be murderer with the corpse of a convicted one; it is also to inform an entire society about what we take seriously."

Video: From routine traffic stop to deadly encounter in minutes: New dashcam video from killer cop's car shows Walter Scott fleeing WITHOUT a struggle
Excerpt: A dashcam video has been released showing the moment Officer Michael Slager pulled over Walter Scott and engaged in a civil discussion - minutes before shooting him dead. 
The camera on Slager's patrol car captures him telling Scott his third brake light is broken, before asking him to produce insurance papers.

Two Americas. By Greg Richards
Excerpt: Why did it take until 100 years after the Civil War, until 1964, to pass a Civil Rights Act? Because the Democratic Party would not take its boot off the neck of the black man until Martin Luther King made the black vote a political force. Dedicated to being in power above all else, the Democrats had to make a U-turn on their race policy in the 1960s and join the Republicans in passing the Civil Rights Act because they realized that after the black vote was counted, they were not going to win any more national elections without it. But there was a problem. How was the Democratic Party going to overcome its deplorable record on race? It was the party of slavery, segregation, lynching, and the Klan.

Undocumented Democrat News

Texas Attorney General: ‘If the Law Matters,’ Courts Will Side With States in Fight Over Obama Immigration Policy. By Josh Siegel
Excerpt: As a federal appeals court considers whether to keep or rescind a hold on Obama’s immigration program, the attorney general of the state leading the charge against the president’s executive actions “is very confident” the plaintiffs will win out. “All I can tell you is, based on the law, I feel very confident,” said Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in an interview with The Daily Signal. “I am very confident we are right on the law. And if the law matters, we will do very well.”

Religion of Peace News

Worth Reading: Iran’s Negotiating Triumph Over Obama and America. By Reuel Marc Gerecht, Mark Dubowitz
Excerpt: President Obama believes that the nuclear “framework” concluded Friday in Switzerland is a historic achievement. Iran’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, says he believes the same. Those two positions are incompatible. Mr. Zarif is also a loyal servant of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who believes that the West, in particular the U.S., and Iran are locked in a “collision of evil and evil ways on one side and the path of . . . religious obedience and devotion on the other,” as he said in July 2014.

The Growing Chorus Against the Iran Deal. By Max Boot
Excerpt: President Obama would like to pretend that anyone who opposes the nuclear deal with Iran that he is in the process of striking must be a warmonger—because war is the (supposed) consequence of not doing a deal. But that charge is hard to level against some of the high-profile critics who had spoken out in recent days. –In the Wall Street Journal, former secretaries of State George Shultz (architect of the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty with the Soviet Union) and Henry Kissinger (architect of the Strategic Arms Limitation Agreement with the USSR and the “opening” to Chinablast Obama’s deal-making. They warn that not only will the agreement be extremely difficult to enforce, it is unlikely sanctions will be reimposed even if Iran is caught cheating: “Iran is in a position to violate the agreement by executive decision. Restoring the most effective sanctions will require coordinated international action.”

Ayatollah Khamenei Accuses WH of ‘Lying,’ Being ‘Deceptive,’ and Having ‘Devilish’ Intentions. By Thomas Joscelyn
Excerpt: President Obama has long known that the real decision maker in Iran is Ayatollah Khamenei, the so-called supreme leader. While other Iranian officials have negotiated with Western powers over the mullahs’ nuclear program, Khamenei’s opinion is the only one that really counts. It is for this reason that Obama began writing directly to Khamenei early in his presidency. Earlier today, Khamenei broke his silence on the supposed “framework” the Obama administration has been trumpeting as the basis for a nuclear accord. Khamenei’s speech pulled the rug out from underneath the administration.

Excerpt: “The West Capitulates.” That was the headline on an article by Ibrahim al-Amin, editor of the Lebanese daily al-Akbar. He elaborated: “Victors and vanquished. This is the truth of conflicts in the world since ancient times. Only those who live with their eyes closed believe conflicts end with compromises.” Al-Akbar is an anti-American newspaper, sympathetic to Hezbollah, the terrorist militia funded and instructed by Iran. Still, can one honestly dismiss Mr. al-Amin’s analysis -- and his gloating -- as unjustified?

Iran nuke deal, no deal at all. By Jonah Goldberg
Excerpt: The first thing one needs to know about the nuclear deal with Iran is that it is not, in fact, a deal. You might be confused about this point, given that so many news outlets refers to a "deal" that doesn't exist. In fairness, many do so simply for expediency's sake. The various parties to the talks did come away with an agreement, but it was an agreement to haggle more about what a deal might look like. We don't have a good word for such things, so people use "deal" as a placeholder.

Worth Reading: Why the Left Wants Iran to Get the Bomb. By Daniel Greenfield 
Excerpt: What made nuclear weapons and nuclear power plants bad was not that they killed children, mutated fish or doomed mankind. There was nothing wrong with Plutonium or Uranium. In Iranian or Soviet hands they are perfectly good substances. It’s when Uncle Sam gets his hands on them that they go bad. Soviet nuclear weapons were never the problem. Now anti-nuclear activists are defending Iran’s nuclear program because they were never really opposed to nuclear weapons; they were opposed to America. (Ye, lefties who would drop everything to protest the opening of a new nuclear power plant in the us are fine with a nuclear Iran. We are going to lose NYC. ~Bob)

Obama Ignoring Christian Slaughter
Excerpt: President Obama has a strange pattern of citing Christians for violence and intolerance on the one hand but refusing to identify them as the targets of Islamist supremacists on the other. In fact, in his remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast the president stretched back more than 800 years to declare that "during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ." This was a remarkably one-sided history of a long series of wars between Christians and Muslims in which atrocities were common on both sides. The president may not know that Saladin had more than 200 knights beheaded on July 4, 1187, or that in 1680 Turks cut off the heads of 813 Christians in Otranto, Italy (a group Pope Francis declared saints for their willingness to die for Christ). There were atrocities on both sides of these wars. Yet President Obama only found the violence perpetrated by Christians worth mentioning. (The article below points out clearly how Mr. Obama never expresses any clear concern for the pattern of oppression and murder of Christians by Muslim fanatics. He'll condemn the murder of "innocents" by "zealots", but will not acknowledge the innocents are not Buddhists, agnostics, atheists, or just random victims, nor that the zealots are not Buddhists, Jews, Mormons, or secularists. Why this strange refusal to ever mention the simple fact that it's Muslim fanatics killing Christians first and foremost, although they do like to kill Jews, Yazidis, and some other Muslims on occasion? It is another example of poor judgment on his part, and of the fact that he has no advisers who think any differently than he does, no one smart enough to tell him that it's just a bad idea to keep acting as if none of this is about the extremist branches of Islam. Of course he's not going to condemn Islam in general, and hardly anyone expects him to, but pretending that a subset of Muslims who are violent and murderous and barbaric does not exist is just silly. It's like condemning the "Final Solution" of Hitler, but refusing to mention Nazis. And it makes a lot of Christians and Jews very uncomfortable, feeling as if the President has more concern for Muslims and their feelings and sensitivities than he does about the groups of people that some subgroup of them are slaughtering. Aside from this being simply not right, not a proper attitude for a President to show, it's also just really poor politics, amazingly foolish. Is he just incapable of seeing that, or does he just not care? --Del)

8 Dead, 25 Wounded in Heavy Fighting Between Philippine Troops and Abu Sayyaf Militants
Excerpt: Officials say Philippine troops, backed by attack helicopters and artillery fire, battled with at least 250 Abu Sayyaf militants in the country's restive south, leaving two soldiers and six militants dead.

Losing Ground in Iraq, ISIS Pushes Farther into Syria. By Jonathan Spyer
Excerpt: The conquest by the Islamic State of the Yarmouk Palestinian refugee camp near Damascus confirms the resilience of the jihadis and is an indicator of their current strategy. Islamic State has lost considerable ground in Iraq, with the recapture of Tikrit constituting its latest setback. IS has no real response to coalition air power, when it is combined with a competent and determined ground force. This was first demonstrated in the organization's defeat at Kobani in January, and it is now becoming apparent in Iraq. However, Islamic State is responding to this reality in a shrewd and calculated way.

Excerpt: The head of the supposedly “rolled back” AQAP, Nasir al-Wuhayshi, is now also general manager of al-Qaeda, the No. 2 position with the ability to order attacks in the global terrorist organization. Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said Wednesday on a visit to Japan that “of course AQAP is a group that we’re very concerned with as the United States because in addition to having other regional ambitions and ambitions within Yemen, we all know that AQAP has the ambition to strike Western targets, including the United States.” (Will unsuspecting US cities soon be home to thousands of refugees of unknown allegiance, courtesy of the UN and Regime to "transform" America? Article points out US citizens caught in the melee sought help and told by embassy to evacuate; however, airport closed and ship could not dock. India currently attempting to help Americans.....Barb)

On the Ground in Yemen: Six Questions with Safa Al Ahmad
Excerpt: Over the past several months, the political crisis in Yemen has escalated dramatically: A capital city occupied by the Houthis, a rebel movement whose slogan includes the words, “Death to America. Death to Israel.” An airstrike campaign against them, led by Saudi Arabia. A president who has fled the country. A U.S. embassy closed. It’s a chaotic mix that has catapulted Yemen into the international spotlight. But one thing has at times been missing from media narratives on Yemen: reporters on the ground capturing voices from those caught in the middle of the crisis.

Yemen conflict’s risk for Saudis: ‘Their Vietnam.’ By Hugh Naylor
Excerpt: Two weeks into a Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen, airstrikes appear to have accelerated the country’s fragmentation into warring tribes and militias while doing little to accomplish the goal of returning the ousted Yemeni president to power, analysts and residents say. The Yemeni insurgents, known as Houthis, have pushed ahead with their offensive and seem to have protected many of their weapons stockpiles from the coalition’s bombardments, analysts say.

Would-Be Suicide Bomber Targeted Kansas Army Base. By Abha Shankar
Excerpt: A year ago, he wanted to join the U.S. Army to kill his fellow soldiers. When that didn't work, 20-year-old John T. Booker repeatedly expressed his desire to join the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or commit a suicide attack in the United States on the terrorist group's behalf. Booker, a convert to Islam who changed his name to Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, said American soldiers are enemies to Muslims, and the Quran sanctions killing enemies anywhere.

Madison, WI Muslim: “Cursed secular laws are worse than the laws of Islam.” By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: This is not just a view that Muslims who try to join the Islamic State hold. It is much more mainstream than that. But one wonders — where did this convert to Islam learn this in Wisconsin? Was he “radicalized on the Internet” — the all-purpose phrase that government and law enforcement officials use to absolve themselves of any responsibility to investigate what is being taught in mosques?

Iraq: Yazidi girls 'raped in public' and sold to Isis fighters before release. By Gianluca Mezzofiore
Excerpt: Yazidi girls were snatched from their mothers, sold to IS fighters, tortured and even raped in public by more than two or three jihadists at a time before being freed by the Islamic State (Isis) in northern Iraq, according to harrowing details recounted after their release.

Very Islamic: Isis: Man accused of 'witchcraft' decapitated in town square. By Priya Joshi
Excerpt: Islamic State militants in Iraq have beheaded a man accused of practising sorcery and witchcraft. Harrowing images of the killing have emerged on social media and have been shared by supporters of the terror group. While the exact nature of the crime the victim is accused of is not known, images of his death were uploaded to Twitter claiming that he was a 'sorcerer'. (Ask Obama if this is "Un-Islamic." If he says yes, ask him if he's told our Saudi allies. A Saudi man has been beheaded on charges of sorcery and witchcraft, the state news agency SPA says. ~Bob)

ISIS gaining traction in nuclear-armed Pakistan: Intelligence analysts
Excerpt: While President Barack Obama, his so-called security team and his news media water-carriers push the Iranian nuclear deal to prevent an Islamist regime from obtaining a nuclear bomb, reports coming out of the troubled nation of Pakistan on Wednesday are all but being ignored, at least for the time-being. One such intelligence report indicates that members of the notorious and bloodthirsty terrorist network, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS, attacked a platoon of Pakistani soldiers killing at least three of them and wounding several others, according to Steven Dunsforth, a former U.S. police advisor in Afghanistan. While the "always late to the party" Obama administration claims ISIS is only a threat to Iraq, Syria and perhaps Lebanon, it's been reported by regional newspapers in the Middle East, Asia and Africa that the Sunni terrorist army is recruiting members from a number of Muslim countries and at times entire terrorist groups such as Al-Shabaab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria and some of the Pakistani Taliban have sworn allegiance to ISIS, which formerly called itself al-Qaida in Iraq.

U.S. Cities 'Secretly Selected' For Importing Muslims. Requests for information often ignored, stymied
Excerpt: Jeffrey discovered that the objective is to plant a “seed community” in Spartanburg that will eventually blossom and transform the city.....The goal of integration is to have a multitude of diverse cultures living side by side in “coexistence” but never assimilating.... Of the more than 500 Syrian refugees brought to the U.S. so far this past year, 90 percent of them have been Muslim, Corcoran 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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