Saturday, June 13, 2015

Today's political news and conservative opinion


Monday is the 800th anniversary of the adoption of the Magna Carta, the foundation of western (thus all) liberty. One of my ancestors was Saher de Quincy, a Magna Carta baron. A salute to them and to all who served in the long struggle for freedom--the battle goes on today.

Visited my Marine friend John Payne in the VA hospital today. Looks like he'll be there for a couple of weeks as they try to get his complications under control. ~Bob

General News and Comment

Worth Reading (and subscribing to): America’s Progressive Autoimmune Crisis Continues Apace. By Jonah Goldberg, The Goldberg File
Excerpt: Coming in a close second is that the reason I’m a conservative is that I believe conservatism and libertarianism are only partial philosophies of life. Obviously, this is even more the case for libertarianism than it is for conservatism, but both schools of thought set relatively clear boundaries for what politics should touch. Not so for what we call liberalism. The progressive vision sees all of mankind as clay to be molded, sheep to be herded, a third-grade diorama to be diorama’d. There are no safe harbors from politics because the personal is political.

Worth Reading: @CarlyFiorina. By Andy Weddington
Excerpt: A political animal I am not. Some think they know my politics. They do not. In short, I do not support politicians. I support common sense; morals; principles; ethics; trustworthiness; physical and mental strength; followership and leadership. Period.

Hillary: The Movie
From Buzz Patterson (the person who carried the 'nuclear football' for Bill Clinton): "Prior to Hillary Clinton running against Obama in 2008, I was asked to participate in this documentary, Hillary: The Movie. ( 1 Hr-30 min)  This is the movie that spawned the whole Citizens United Supreme Court case. If you want to know what Hillary is all about, watch this. It's full length so set some time aside."

Video: Comedian Slams NYT For Ridiculous Rubio Scoops. By Daniel Doherty

White House spins trade defeat as ‘good sign.’ By Ben Wolfgang
Excerpt: The White House on Friday tried to spin the resounding defeat of President Obama’s trade agenda in the House as a “good sign” and pledged not to give up the fight. The House voted down the Trade Adjustment Assistance bill 302 to 126 on Friday afternoon, effectively killing Mr. Obama’s broader push for authority to unilaterally negotiate trade deals.

Excerpt: Ever since Mitt Romney’s loss to President Obama in 2012, it has become a mantra in the Republican Party that on foreign policy especially, “Romney was right.” In a stuffy mountain lodge here Friday night, Romney joined the chorus. Dusting off a page from his management consulting playbook, the former Republican nominee delivered a speech by PowerPoint to more than 200 corporate CEOs and other attendees of his annual ideas festival about what he deemed (and titled his slides): “The Most Consequential Obama Foreign Policy Mistakes.” Slide by slide, Romney ticked through 20 mistakes, from Obama’s “Middle East apology tour” to the president’s lack of support for Iran’s green revolution to the administration’s infamous “reset” with Russia.

President’s Behavior, “APPALLING”, “ABUSIVE”, “ARROGANT”
Excerpt: Appalling, abusive, and arrogant are just three of the descriptions that emerged from President Obama’s morning meetings with both Democrat and Republican members of Congress today as he tried in vain to accumulate the needed support for what is being called the ”Obamatrade” legislation. Apparently those meetings did not go well for the president, who lashed out at members of Congress and then left visibly upset over how few were willing to support him. ... The contentious environment was apparently not simply between Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats either, but in fact involved certain influential members of the Democratic Caucus telling Nancy Pelosi if she did not stand up to the president on the trade bill, her time as Minority Leader was over. Pelosi must have taken her own members at their word as she was among those who then told Barack Obama he didn’t have the votes. The president pushed back, Pelosi refused to budge, and the president then got up and walked out, “tight lipped and ready to leave.”

Bernie Sanders: Free Vacation For Everyone. By Daniel Davis
Excerpt: Bernie Sanders has introduced legislation that would take America one large step closer to European social democracy. The bill would require all businesses with 15 or more workers to provide two weeks of paid vacation for all employees that have been employed for over one year. The requirement would even apply for part-time workers who work an average of 24 hours per week.

Gunman fires on Dallas police outside headquarters
Excerpt: A crazed gunman armed with an automatic weapon and a shotgun fired on officers outside Dallas Police Headquarters early Saturday morning before he was believed killed by a police sniper following an hours-long standoff. Dallas Police Chief David Brown said at press conference hours later that the gunman ranted in a 911 call after the attack about killing cops and came within seconds of doing so in the case of several officers. “We barely survived the intent of this suspect,” Brown said

Wisconsin: Abrahamson ‘out of order’ and running out of legal options. By M. D. Kettle
Excerpt: Former state Supreme Court Justice Shirley Abrahamson was “out of order” Wednesday in the divided court she once ruled, and she’s quickly running out of legal options in her lawsuit against her peers and state voters. This week the motion to stay a lower court’s review of her civil rights lawsuit pending an appeal. The justice is asking the appeals court to at least temporarily give back the leadership position Abrahamson held on Supreme Court for 19 years. One legal expert with knowledge of the case told Wisconsin Watchdog that the appeals court ruling portends poorly for Abrahamson’s appeal, with the court effectively disagreeing with the justice that there is an inherent urgency to her case.

UK: Oxford's New Feminist Hit Squad: Cute Tumbler. Scary politics.
Excerpt: The influence of CL goes way beyond its membership,’ says one male undergraduate. ‘Girls who come up to Oxford as mild feminists pick up the message that they have to take offence at anything that might be considered misogynistic. So boys have to monitor their own language, pretend to be worked up about trans issues, if they’re to stand any chance of getting laid.’ Something similar happened during the early Seventies heyday of old-style feminism, when guys would denounce patriarchy in order to get laid. 

Marine Recruiter In Idaho Saves Man's Life After Suicide Attempt
Excerpt: "We can mess up a lot of things in life where there are no immediate consequences," Leftheit said. "One thing you can never fail at twice is saving a person's life." (That is a quote for posterity. --MasterGuns) 

Too funny: Army proof

Sanders refuses PAC money, unlike fellow Democrat Clinton. By Martin Barillas
Excerpt: Veteran MSNBC reporter Andrea Mitchell was able to draw out Sen. Bernie Sanders, the only designated Independent in the U.S. Senate, who is currently running for the Democratic party’s nomination in the current presidential race. When asked about how he is different from frontrunner Hillary Rodham Clinton, he retorted, "Let's start with one simple difference: I don't have a SuperPac, and I'm not going to be getting huge sums of money from millionaires and billionaires." In the past, Sanders has characterized himself as a socialist, even while he caucuses among Democrats in the Senate.

Rising Dragon News

Important: Where Are the China Hawks? The greatest potential threat to America’s national security involves Beijing, not Iran or “radical Islam.” By Peter Beinart
excerpt: China, by contrast, is not a midsize power. It’s a superpower. At current prices, its GDP is 28 times larger than Iran’s. Its military budget is roughly 13 times larger. Its willingness to invest vast sums in the economic development of other nations gives it tremendous soft power. And it is claiming much of the South China Sea as its own, thus asserting dominion over a territory with vast reserves through which one-third of the world’s shipping travels.
From 1941 to 1989, the United States risked war to prevent great powers from dominating the world’s economic and industrial heartlands, and thus gaining veto power over America’s ability to conduct international commerce. That’s what China is seeking today. (I seldom agree with Beinart, but having recently read The Hundred-Year Marathon: China's Secret Strategy to Replace America as the Global Superpower by Michael Pillsbury, I think China is at least as large a threat. In my 2011 book, The Coming Collapse of the American Republic I identified four trends that, together, will bring the country down if not reversed: the Rise of China, the growth of Radical Islam, the destruction of our culture and economy by illegal immigrants and the unpayable debt and unfunded liabilities of our government. All have gotten worse since publication. ~Bob)

Chinese hack of federal personnel files included security-clearance database. By Ellen Nakashima
Excerpt: The Chinese breach of the Office of Personnel Management network was wider than first acknowledged, and officials said Friday that a database holding sensitive security clearance information on millions of federal employees and contractors also was compromised.
In an announcement, OPM said that investigators concluded this week with “a high degree of confidence” that the agency’s systems containing information related to the background investigations of “current, former and prospective” federal employees, and others for whom a background check was conducted, were breached.

Can China Be Contained? As tensions with China rise, U.S. foreign policy thinkers are dusting off ideas from the Cold War—and questioning the long-standing consensus for engagement with Beijing
Excerpt: “Taking the long view,” he wrote, “we simply cannot afford to leave China forever outside the family of nations, there to nurture its fantasies, cherish its hates and threaten its neighbors.” Four years later, having ascended to the White House, Nixon engineered an “opening to China” that promised to turn the communist giant into a diplomatic partner, one that would adopt America’s values and maybe even its system of democracy. For many Americans today, watching the administration of President Xi Jinping crack down hard on internal dissent while challenging the U.S. for leadership in Asia, that promise seems more remote than ever before. In his recently published book “The Hundred-Year Marathon,” Michael Pillsbury—an Asia specialist and Pentagon official under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush—writes that China “has failed to meet nearly all of our rosy expectations.”

Gun News

Authors Of FBI Study Backtrack: Mass Shootings Are Not Increasing. By Awr Hawkins
Excerpt: Last week, the two authors of a study the FBI released on September 24, 2014, admitted they “got it wrong” when they “reported mass shootings were on the rise” in America.
Outlets like The New York Times and the Associated Press had seized on the study by Texas State University’s J. Pete Blair and M. Hunter Martaindale as proof that more gun control was needed, while outlets like Breitbart News saw a political agenda behind the report, based on the flimsy criteria used in discerning what was or was not a mass shooting for the purposes of the study. The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) has now reported that the study was wrong.

Huge problem for gun-grabbers: Polls reveal Americans know guns make their homes and neighborhoods safer. By Thomas Lifson
Excerpt: A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 22% of Likely U.S. Voters would feel safer living in a neighborhood where nobody was allowed to own a gun over one where they could have a gun for their own protection. Sixty-eight percent (68%) would feel safer in a neighborhood where guns are allowed, while 10% are not sure. (To see survey question wording, click here.) Yet many of the nation’s largest cities like New York; Chicago; and Washington, D.C. enforce severe limits, amounting to outright bans on gun ownership. I think this can be attributed to what I like to call the “blue disease” – a collection of obsessions and phobias that motivate progressives. 

Milwaukee bar owner’s self-defense struggle leads to Second Amendment win. By M. D. Kettle
Excerpt: “The one guy with a gun locked eyes with me. As he was raising his weapon at me he was saying, “Don’t do it! Don’t do it!’ I got my gun out faster than he did. They all started scrambling around. I anticipated return fire so I started targeting at all of them. One guy went down. The other two started to head for the door. I stopped shooting when the door closed,” the bar owner said. ... The incident in August 2013 wasn’t the first time Kochanski was involved in a shootout at his establishment. During a Christmas party in 2008, two armed robbers walked in and shot Kochanski. He returned fire. He believes he shot the man, but the suspects fled and there was no blood trail at the scene.

Homeowner shoots intruder in face during attempted home invasion
Excerpt: That is when the homeowner grabbed his semiautomatic pistol and opened fire on the suspect. The suspect was shot five times in the face, police said. He was transported to Memorial Hermann Hospital by Life Flight in critical condition. (Shot five times in face and still alive? homeowner needs a larger caliber gun. ~Bob)

Race Card News

Excerpt: A Tennessee civil rights activist who once marched with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. is taking the now-popular “black lives matter” slogan in a completely new direction — and putting blame squarely where it belongs — black-on-black violence. He erected a billboard that says for all the world to see, “Black lives matter. So let’s quit killing each other.”
Excerpt: Since news broke that Rachel Dolezal — the Spokane, Washington leader of the NAACP — is a white woman pretending to be African-American our social media timelines have been filled with gut-wrenching hilarity. Dolezal’s parents outed their estranged 37-year-old daughter as white in a television interview and now it seems the entire country has something to say about her.

Minnesota Schools Ban Suspensions for Black Students… Guess How That Ended?
Excerpt: In 2010, the St. Paul school district teamed up with a radical leftist organization known as the Pacific Educational Group to reform its policies. This group argued that black kids need and deserve special treatment. Specifically, the group believed that suspensions and expulsions should not be used to discipline black students. After the district teamed up with PEG, it not surprisingly decided to replace suspensions with “time outs” and to start forgiving or outright ignoring other forms of unacceptable behavior, including violence. As a result, “chaos” eventually ensued, and now numerous black students regularly act out because they know they will not be punished for behaving inappropriately.

VIDEO: 3 Teens Beat Elderly White Man “Just for the Fun of It”… No Businesses Burned
Excerpt: Louisville Metro Police have arrested one adult and two teens for brutally beating a homeless man and leaving him in critical condition, fighting for his life. The attack occurred Tuesday around 5 a.m. Police say witnesses reported seeing three individuals attacking a white man in his 60s. The victim suffered severe head trauma, according to LMPD detective Anthony Wilder. Wilder also said that a medical examination conducted at University Hospital indicated the victim’s injuries were life threatening and he is not expected to survive.

Undocumented Democrat News

The Zombies of Fishtown: The Illegals You See in Small Towns Are Not Just Trimming Lawns, But Selling Heroin
Excerpt: Mexican gangs are many of the providers in these areas. The Sinaloa cartel has dominated the heroin market in America recently as the main supplier. This is the same Sinaloa cartel that has been working with the U.S. government for years. This cartel has set up shop in our president’s hometown: Chicago is its main distribution hub.

"You're Greener than Gore" News

FLASHBACK: ABC News Warns NYC Will Be Under Water by 2015 Due to Global Warming and Polar Bears Will Fall From Sky. By Jim Hoft 
Excerpt: New York City underwater? Gas over $9 a gallon? A carton of milk costs almost $13? Welcome to June 12, 2015. Or at least that was the wildly-inaccurate version of 2015 predicted by ABC News exactly seven years ago. Appearing on Good Morning America in 2008, Bob Woodruff hyped Earth 2100, a special that pushed apocalyptic predictions of the then-futuristic 2015. The segment included supposedly prophetic videos, such as a teenager declaring, “It’s June 8th, 2015.

Religion of Peace News

Interesting: There’s a Reason the Saudi Arabia Section of CIA’s Newly Declassified 9/11 Report Is Raising Questions. By Jason Howerton
Excerpt: The CIA released a trove previously classified documents related to the 9/11 terror attacks on Friday afternoon, including a report with a section on Saudi Arabia.
But there wasn’t much insight to be gleaned from the Saudi section, titled “Issues Relating to Saudi Arabia,” as nearly all of the information was redacted. Subsections on “implications” and “accountability” were entirely redacted:

How to defeat the Islamic State. By Gemunder Center Senior Advisor Lt. Gen. Deptula
Excerpt: Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter’s recent remarks on the efficacy of Iraq’s army reflect the fact that, despite years of training by thousands of U.S. and coalition forces, the army has not been able to halt Islamic State aggression. What makes anyone think that a few more months of similar training will yield success? We must not, however, confuse Iraq’s objectives with critical U.S. national security interests. While the two may overlap, they are not the same. Each demands its own strategic, military and policy approach. From the U.S. perspective, the most important goal is not the maintenance of the Iraqi government but the destruction of the Islamic State. The current U.S.-led coalition is following the counterinsurgency model used in Iraq and Afghanistan for more than a decade, but the Islamic State is not an insurgency. The Islamic State is a self-declared sovereign government. We must stop trying to fight the last war and develop a new strategy.

Secret CIA effort in Syria faces large funding cut
Excerpt: Key lawmakers have moved to slash funding of a secret CIA operation to train and arm rebels in Syria, a move that U.S. officials said reflects rising skepticism of the effectiveness of the agency program and the Obama administration’s strategy in the Middle East. The House Intelligence Committee recently voted unanimously to cut as much as 20 percent of the classified funds flowing into a CIA program that U.S. officials said has become one the agency’s largest covert operations, with a budget approaching $1 billion a year. (Neither covert nor effective. ~Bob)

Thanks to Obama and Clinton: Sources: ISIS terrorists using chaotic Libya as new ‘route to the West.’ By Adam Housley
Excerpt: Islamic State terrorists are said to be using Libya ‎as an "entry point" into Europe, with intelligence sources on the ground in Africa telling Fox News at least 30 ISIS fighters who left from the country have been "picked up" by the Italians in recent weeks. 
The purported terrorists all claimed refugee status but American ‎and European agents believe this is a clear indication that ISIS terrorists have come into Europe virtually untouched.

Minnesota first state to fall to Somali Muslims
Muslim cab drivers refusing service to blind folks with guide dogs and Christian bakers refusing service to Gay couples based on religious beliefs is the same. Of course, Muslim bakers would also refuse service, but the Gay couples don't dare challenge them. ~Bob

Boko Haram extremists burn 6 Nigerian villages, kill 37
Excerpt: Boko Haram extremists have burned down six northeast Nigerian villages and killed 37 people near the insurgents' Sambisa Forest stronghold, a survivor said Friday.
Ahmed Ajimi, a fighter in the anti-Boko Haram Nigerian Vigilante Group, said many victims of Wednesday night's attacks were farmers who had recently returned home after soldiers earlier this year forced the extremists out of the area where they had declared an Islamic caliphate.
Now they are refugees again, with many survivors suffering gunshot wounds and burns, Ajimi told The Associated Press in a telephone call from Biu town, 60 miles west of the destroyed villages.

Islamic State: The Myth of a Baathist 'Hidden Hand.' By Aymenn Jawad al-Tamimi
Excerpt: Since the full-blown revival of Iraq's Sunni insurgency at the beginning of 2014, there has been much misunderstanding of the relationship between the Islamic State and insurgents of Baathist orientation, principally represented by the Jaish Rijaal al-Tariqa al-Naqshabandiyya (JRTN). Much of the discourse on this subject attempts to tie the JRTN to the Islamic State, arguing that a so-called "alliance of convenience" between the two groups has been key to the Islamic State's maintenance of power in areas outside of government control. Linked to this theme is the portrayal of the Islamic State as somehow Baathism reincarnated, most commonly noting the former careers that many leading figures in the group had in the security apparatus of former Iraqi president Saddam Hussein's government.

Terrorism Works: Student’s Anti-Islam Article Retracted Due To ‘Safety’ Risk. By Blake Neff
Excerpt: An opinion piece written by a student at the University of California-Berkeley explaining her decision to leave Islam has been pulled from the school newspaper’s website over fears for the author’s safety. The opinion piece, titled “On Leaving Islam,” recounted the personal story of the narrator (whose name we will withhold) growing up a devout (though moderate) Muslim in Pakistan, but later abandoning the faith as she learned more about the world. “If someone had told me six years ago that I would leave Islam and end up an atheist, I would never have believed him,” the author writes to open the piece. “But now, as a Muslim apostate and atheist, my journey couldn’t have led me any further from what I once knew to be true.” According to the author, her departure from the faith was driven substantially by her inability to reconcile it with her increasingly liberal personal beliefs.

Khamenei regime legitimized by Obama nuclear talks, Iranian dissidents say. Expatriates plan massive Paris rally, say ‘circumstances ripe for regime change’
Excerpt: Days before a major Iranian dissident rally in France, the head of the host organization says the “circumstances are ripe for regime change” in Tehran, but Washington and other Western governments are standing in the way by legitimizing the regime of Supreme Leader Sayyid Ali Khamenei through the pursuit of a nuclear deal. “Through their policy of appeasement and giving concessions to the regime, Western governments have served as an obstacle to the regime’s overthrow,” said Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. “In the absence of Western assistance, this regime would have fallen by now.”

Israel, through the eyes of some Harvard students. By David Singer, CFP
Excerpt: Recently, a group of 52 Harvard students – of all backgrounds and faiths – visited Israel for 10 days during the Harvard Israel Trek 2015 (Do visit this link and read the comments) Sometimes the impact of such a trip cannot be expressed in prose – but can only be captured in poetry. What follows is a poem – posted on the Harvard trek blog by Oliver Marjot – a British PhD candidate studying Medieval Latin at Harvard – that reflects his transformative experience. Oliver expected that the Trek would confirm his reasonable European certainty of Israel’s arrogant oppression. That’s not quite the way things turned out.
Excerpt: The Obama administration transferred six detainees from the military prison at Guantanamo Bay to Oman Friday night. The detainees arrived on a U.S. Air Force C-17 plane that dropped them off, then departed and cleared Oman’s air space around midnight EDT. After Friday night, 116 detainees remain at Guantanamo, 51 of whom have been cleared for transfer.

Muslims Take Nine Innocent Children, And Slaughter All Of Them. By Theodore Shoebat
Excerpt: Muslims in the Syrian city of Palmyra, all members of ISIS, took nine children and slaughtered all of them. The nine children were amongst twenty three other captives who were murdered, and ten of them were ritually beheaded (as reported) . According to one report:

Governed like California: Iran rainfall down 20%
Excerpt: Water has gone from being a renewable resource to a growing human security issue in Iran. The country’s most important lakes and rivers are drying up at a frightening rate as climate change, poor infrastructure, shortsighted policies and a skyrocketing population send the country into crisis. Former Agriculture Minister Isa Kalantari said the water crisis was “more dangerous than Israel, America or political fighting,” even suggesting that the Iranian plateau will become uninhabitable in the near future.

Excerpt: Leading Iraqi political and religious leaders such as Prime Minister Haidar al Abadi and Grand Ayatollah Sistani have been reduced to cozying up to what John Allen, the US Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition To Counter ISIL, or the Islamic State, described as the “extremist elements” of the Popular Mobilization Committee.

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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