Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Today's important political news and opinion

My Latest Baking

Trigger Warning--Adult Language: The Social Justice Armed Forces. By Tom Kratman
Excerpt: Next time you’re in worship services, if you’re religiously observant, or next time your mind turns to matters divine, even if you are not, do us all a favor and ask the Lord not for forgiveness of our sins; He’ll probably do that anyway. Instead, ask for forgiveness of our stupidities. That’s an unusual request, so maybe He’ll listen. (Tom Kratman is a retired USA LtCol, an occasional contributor to this blog, and an outstand author of military science fiction, including the A Desert Called Peace series. http://www.amazon.com/Desert-Called-Peace-Carrera-Book-ebook/dp/B00B5HJOFY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426715332&sr=8-1&keywords=Peace+Kratman I expect that in 20 years they will move his novel Caliphate to the history section. ~Bob)

It's their culture: Pakistani diplomat's son charged with raping 13-year-old Bronx girl he met on Whisper app

American Freedom or Sharia Compliance. By Eileen F. Toplansky
Excerpt: Too few Americans want to understand the cultural climate of the Muslim world and the dictates of the political-religious system of Islam or shariah.

Cleric denies ties to San Bernardino killers as phone records surface

PC Kills: School’s Warnings About Paris Attacker Were Not Passed On. By SEWELL CHAN and MILAN SCHREUERDEC, New York Times
See passing on warnings get you accused of Islamophobia, which damages your career. Better the innocent should die. After all, it may look like a bomb but it might be a clock. ~Bob

Obama's War: A year of Taliban gains shows that ‘we haven’t delivered,’ top Afghan official says
Excerpt: With control of — or a significant presence in — roughly 30 percent of districts across the nation, according to Western and Afghan officials, the Taliban now holds more territory than in any year since 2001, when the puritanical Islamists were ousted from power after the 9/11 attacks. (In 2008, Obama said that Afghanistan was a war of necessity, a war we had to win. ~Bob)

Worth Reading: 'The only country ISIS fears in the Middle East is Israel'
Excerpt: A German journalist who spent 10 days with Islamic State says that the radical jihadist group that has captured wide swaths of Syria and Iraq is deterred by only one Middle Eastern country -- Israel. ... Todenhofer said that ISIS was “preparing the largest religious cleansing in history” and that he was “pessimistic” that the threat it poses could be neutralized. He added that the Paris attacks was just the first of “a storm” that is coming to Western cities. “They are not scared of the British and the Americans, they are scared of the Israelis and told me the Israeli army is the real danger. We can’t defeat them with our current strategy. These people [the IDF] can fight a guerrilla war.”
 (Remember how Obama likes to go around saying, “We ended two wars”? What he means is, “We ended two wars by losing them.” --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt. You can have peace with people who hate you, as long as they fear you. But if they hate you, and hold you in contempt as well, you will never have peace. ~Bob)

Russia accuses U.S. of protecting ISIS
Excerpt: The Russian Defense Ministry is accusing the Pentagon of fighting the Islamic State in ‘word only’ after the U.S. military refused to share targeting and intelligence information with Vladimir Putin’s forces.

Japan Only Accepted 11 Syrian Refugees Out of 7,500 Last Year
We'll buy more Toyotas if they'll take our share of the refugees. ~Bob

Finland: Police forced to cover up Muslim rape of fellow officer at Hennala asylum shelter

Boko Haram attacks in Nigeria leave 52 dead

Muslim Student Association leader calls campus police over invitation to debate. BY NOOR AL-AMRIKI
Excerpt: Back in the early Fall of 2006, I was attending a university in my home state. Over three years before that, I had left Islam, and I wanted to do my little part to prevent others from being deceived by Muslims and their attempts at whitewashing what Islam actually taught. Facebook was very new to me, but I managed to find the head or representative of the Muslim Student Association at my school. I sent her a friendly message and asked if she might be interested in participating in a debate on campus about Islam. After finishing the message, I forgot it because of classes. Approximately two or three days later, I was in my dorm room when I heard a knock at the door. I opened the door and was surprised to see a campus police officer standing there. I greeted him and he asked if I was me. Then he asked if I had sent a message to the Muslim woman in question. I confirmed that I had indeed done so, and asked what the problem was. The officer stated that the woman took my email merely asking if she would like to participate in a campus debate on Islam as a threat and contacted campus police.

MUSLIMS, ATHEISTS TEAM UP AGAINST WAR MEMORIAL. 40-foot cross erected in 1925 now deemed offensive
Excerpt: The imposing landmark, which has stood since 1925 in Bladensburg, a small town in Prince George’s County, Maryland, happens to be in the shape of a Latin cross. The American Humanist Association, joined by the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, has challenged the state in court, arguing that the large cross violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment. A Nov. 30 ruling by a federal judge came down in favor of the state of Maryland and its right to maintain such a memorial on public land honoring the sacrifice of World War I veterans. (But they are appealing, trying to use our laws of freedom to DENY freedom of religion to others.  Get over it.  This is supposed to be THE LAND OF THE FREE.  If they don't like it, leave.  Try Cuba.  It's the new, posh, PC-approved atheistic, totalitarian hot spot. --Barb)

The Beachhead: Islamic State Uses Libya to Gain African Foothold
The Islamic State is using the same strategy it deployed in Syria in order to expand its territory in North AfricaLibya has become the center of its deadly activities in the region. (Toppling of the Libyan government and assassination of Gaddafi demanded by Hillary Clinton and approved by Obama; set up vacuum for ISIS.  The former a matter of record when HC head of DOS.  The latter expressed by many, including Putin. --Barb. Thanks to Obama's and Hillary's unauthorized war. ~Bob)

Fear, Anger and Hatred: The Rise of Germany's New Right
Excerpt: For years, a sense of disillusionment has been growing on the right. Now, the refugee crisis has magnified that frustration. Increasingly, people from the very center of society are identifying with the movement -- even as political debate coarsens and violence increases. By SPIEGEL Staff. (They'll be singing the Horst Wessel Song in short order. ~Bob https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZEXMpqr1NQ)

Important: As U.S. Focuses on ISIS and the Taliban, Al Qaeda Re-emerges
Excerpt: Most of the handful of camps are not as big as those that Osama bin Laden built before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. But had they re-emerged several years ago, they would have rocketed to the top of potential threats presented to President Obama in his daily intelligence briefing. Now, they are just one of many — and perhaps, American officials say, not even the most urgent on the Pentagon’s list in Afghanistan. (Obama spent the final month of the 2012 campaign assuring us, “al-Qaeda is on the run” -- after the Benghazi attack, of course. --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt)

'Migrant' Crisis an Organized Invasion, Says Czech President
A million people suddenly show up in Europe, most of them able-bodied young Muslim men claiming to be "refugees," and it's all entirely by chance? Hardly:  Czech President Milos Zeman has called the current wave of refugees to Europe "an organised invasion", adding young men from Syria and Iraq should instead "take up arms" against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (Isil) group. "I am profoundly convinced that we are facing an organised invasion and not a spontaneous movement of refugees," said Zeman in his Christmas message to the Czech Republic released on Saturday. (Predicted by Nostradamus as beginning of WWIII centuries ago....and Obama opening the gates to destroy US for his "New America,"  anti-Christian. --Barb)

Didn't Obama tell her Islam is a religion of peace? Muslim ACLU Official: ‘I Emphatically Refuse’ to Condemn Islamic Terrorism
Excerpt: Rana Elmir, an American Muslim and deputy director of the ACLU of Michigan, says that she “emphatically” refuses to condemn jihadist terrorists “just because I’m Muslim.” In her provocative article in Monday’s Washington Post, Elmir claims that she is often asked to condemn Islamic terrorism, to which she replies: “I emphatically refuse.” She then goes on to compare the systematic slaughters wrought under the name of Islamic terrorism with “the terror advanced by mostly white men at the alarming rate of one mass killing every two weeks in this country.” (Also ACLU member (now former) who sat on two boards who recommended shooting Trump voters before they could vote.  Department of Injustice NOT investigating any of ACLU statements/actions as hate crimes, because they involve whites, Christians and just plain folks.  However, her comments are incorrect.  Most crime in our cities is black-instigated, black on black or black on white, not vice versa.  But Obama will free them all with pardons.  Can we send her back to her planet of origin to experience that religion of peace and leave ours alone? --Barb)

The Real War on Women: Mob Rips Apart Afghan Woman Falsely Accused of Burning Koran
So, praying to their god with their religion of peace and they do this? --Barb

Islamic State Female Brigade Mutilates, Kills Breastfeeding Mom
Excerpt: Members of the female Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) brigade mutilated and butchered a mom who breastfed her child in RaqqaSyria, according to reports. “An [Isis] policewoman took the baby, gave it to another woman, and then killed the mother,” explained Aisha, who managed to escape the grips of ISIS after militants beheaded her husband in front of their child. The mother attempted to shelter her son under her burqa while she hid under the tree, but she did not succeed for long enough to escape the female al-Khansaa brigade, which attacked her following the alleged exposition. (Aww, they're no danger to the folks.  Just women. --Barb)

Excerpt: A Kansas City mosque owned by an Islamic umbrella organization with deep ties to the U.S. arm of the Muslim Brotherhood has received millions of dollars in federal grants over the past several years, according to a federal spending database. The Islamic Center of Greater Kansas City has received $2,739,891 from the Department of Agriculture since 2010, a Daily Caller analysis has found. The money largely went to the mosque’s Crescent Clinic to provide services through the Women, Infant and Children nutrition program, known as WIC.

Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg reveals that Muslims are calling for his death

Islamic State Fatwa Codifies Sex with Female Slaves

“The person who agrees with you 80 percent of the time is a friend and an ally – not a 20 percent traitor.” --Ronald Reagan

Worth Reading: The Great Republican Revolt: The GOP planned a dynastic restoration in 2016. Instead, it triggered an internal class war. Can the party reconcile the demands of its donors with the interests of its rank and file? By David Frum
Excerpt: The angriest and most pessimistic people in America are the people we used to call Middle Americans. Middle-class and middle-aged; not rich and not poor; people who are irked when asked to press 1 for English, and who wonder how white male became an accusation rather than a description. You can measure their pessimism in polls that ask about their expectations for their lives—and for those of their children. On both counts, whites without a college degree express the bleakest view. You can see the effects of their despair in the new statistics describing horrifying rates of suicide and substance-abuse fatality among this same group, in middle age. (There was a time when an American could get a high-school education, go out and get a job at age 18-19, feel secure that they would have that job for a long time, and support a family, buy a house, buy a car, and so on. But that was a long time ago, when the rest of the world’s economies were rebuilding from World War II. If you drop out of high school, or only have a high-school education, you will have a difficult time getting ahead in life. That’s not a value judgment or snobbishness, it’s just a reflection of who’s hiring and what they’re paying. This is the case today, it has been the case for quite some time, it will be that way for the foreseeable future, whether the next president is Donald Trump, or Hillary Clinton, or someone else. --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt.)

From the Left: Trump is right about Bill Clinton. By Ruth Marcus
Excerpt: Sexism isn't the precise word for his predatory behavior toward women or his inexcusable relationship with a 22-year-old intern. Yet in the larger scheme of things, Bill Clinton's conduct toward women is far worse than any of the multiple offensive things Trump has said.

Worth seeing: Donald Trump The Truth Revealed 2015 Documentary

The Obama Effect: Number of women buying guns up sharply

Japan and South Korea reach deal on wartime sex slaves

Researcher: Database of 191 million US voters exposed on Internet
Excerpt: A representative with the U.S. Federal Elections Commission, which regulates campaign financing, said the agency does not have jurisdiction over protecting voter records. Regulations on protecting voter data vary from state to state, with many states imposing no restrictions. California, for example, requires that voter data be used for political purposes only and not be available to persons outside of the United States, according to the website of NationBuilder, a company that sells voter records. (This sounds scary, but I suspect the article is overstating the problem. ALL this information is "public." Laws at both the federal and state levels generally REQUIRE that it be made available to every candidate or party who asks for it –usually for free!–to ensure free and fair elections. They can then send their message to every eligible voter by mail or phone to try to influence that voter and raise funds. Think about it; would you rather have elections with this information kept secret? This is generally to the advantage of all voters. That it also benefits telemarketers and scammers is an unintended and unwelcome side-effect. The only real surprise here is that all the data was in one place; the good news is that likely means about 20% of it is out of date. --Ron P.)

Brace Yourself: No charges against two Cleveland police officers in 2014 shooting death of 12-year-old boy
Excerpt: Grand jury decides not to file charges against two Cleveland police officers involved in the November, 2014, shooting death of 12-year-old Tamir Rice, citing 'indisputable' evidence that the boy drew a weapon before a police officer opened fire. (There will be protests, maybe riots. I have felt this shooting was questionable--but the Grand jury saw the evidence, I did not. ~Bob)

Chicago officer kills two while responding to domestic disturbance
Excerpt: A Chicago police officer shot and killed two people early Saturday while responding to a domestic disturbance call on the city’s West Side, police said. Quintonio Legrier, a 19-year-old college student, was pronounced dead at a hospital at 4:51 a.m.; and Bettie Jones, a 55-year-old mother of five who was Legrier’s neighbor, died at a different hospital at 5:14 a.m. Both were black, according to the Cook County medical examiner’s office.

Worth Reading: Benghazi committee chairman backs Rubio for president
Excerpt: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has won the support of Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.), the chairman of the Select Committee on Benghazi and one of the most popular members of Congress among the restless GOP base. "Marco is a rock solid conservative and a strong leader we can trust," Gowdy said Saturday, in a statement first obtained by Townhall's Guy Benson. "I look forward to campaigning in Iowa with him, and introducing my good friend to voters across the state." (Trumpeters, who a few weeks ago were calling for Gowdy to be Speaker, are now calling him a RINO. But it is Trump who is the RINO, based on his statements over the last 15 years. ~Bob)

WaPo Editorial: Russia’s new underwater nuclear drone should raise alarm bells
The only thing that alarms Obama is global warming and rural, white Christians with guns. Maybe the post should have listened to Mitt Romney's warning, instead of backing BO. ~Bob

Interesting: Food Fads: Make Mine Gluten-Full. By Charles Krauthammer
Excerpt: When the federal government’s 1980 “Dietary Guidelines for Americans” warned about the baleful effects of saturated fats, public-interest activists joined the fight and managed to persuade major food companies to switch to the shiny new alternative: trans fats. Thirty-five years later, the Food and Drug Administration finally determined that trans fats are not just useless but unsafe, and ordered them removed from all foods. Oops.

Figures: California Laws: On January 1st, Students Won’t Have to Pass High School to Receive Diploma
During the Revolution, something worthless was said to be, "Not worth a Continental." (Un-backed paper money.) Now something worthless will be described as "Not worth a California Diploma." I feel sorry for the kids work worked for one. ~Bob

Sharpton on Rahm Emanuel: ‘I Don’t See How He Can Continue Governing’
The left eating its own. Eventually, Robespierre goes to the guillotine. ~Bob

Spike Lee to Black Lives Matter: It Wasn’t a Cop That Executed 9-Year-Old Tyshawn Lee
Excerpt: “It wasn’t a cop that killed and that executed Tyshawn Lee, the 9-year-old boy who was lured into an alleyway in Chicago’s Southside,” Lee said. Little Tyshawn Lee’s slaying, as Breitbart News has reported, was a planned retaliatory murder, allegedly carried out by a gang member named Corey Morgan, who was seeking vengeance against Lee’s father.

Excerpt: When hotel magnate George Tsunis, Obama’s nominee for Oslo, met with the Senate last month, he made clear that he didn’t know that Norway was a constitutional monarchy and wrongly stated that one of the ruling coalition political parties was a hate-spewing “fringe element.” Another of the president’s picks, Colleen Bell, who is headed to Budapest, could not answer questions about the United States’ strategic interests in Hungary. But could the president really expect that she’d be an expert on the region? Her previous gig was as a producer for the TV soap opera The Bold and the Beautiful. ... And President Obama—who entered office promising to limit the practice and instead appoint more Foreign Service professionals to ambassadorial positions—has arguably done more to exacerbate the problem than his recent predecessors. His second-term appointments have gone to political allies more than half of the time. Since World War II, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, that number has been lower: About a third of the ambassador posts have been offered to non-professional diplomats.

Emanuel aide attacked at vigil for victims of police shooting
Yesterday I called Al Sharpton’s call for Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s resignation over a police shooting the “perfect Obama-era scandal.” It showcases Obama’s hometown, home of some of the country’s strictest gun-control laws, plagued by 2,937 shootings in the past year, about 350 more than the previous year; an entirely Democrat-controlled political system that engages in cover-ups and a culture of unaccountability; and a microcosm of African Americans, the most loyal demographic to the Democratic Party, feeling victimized and disregarded by leaders they eagerly elected and reelected. Elitism, double standards, runaway state power, incendiary agitation, racial tensions -- it’s all here. --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt

Mayor Emanuel returning early from Cuba
Hey, just thinking out loud, if you’re the mayor of a major city that’s on edge because of a big cover-up by your police department and questions about what you knew, maybe you shouldn’t schedule a two-week vacation at a destination that doesn’t include regular return flights? Could you imagine if there had been, say, an ISIS attack on Christmas and Emanuel was stranded in Cuba? --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt

America's Can't-Do State: California's Man-Made Drought Continues
Excerpt: The first desalination plant in a state dragging itself through a drought has finally opened — a welcome event but also instructive in how nearly impossible it is to build anything useful in California. The Claude "Bud" Lewis Desalination Plant was dedicated Dec. 14 in Carlsbad north of San Diego. It will remove salt from seawater, turning it into fresh water fit to consume. The $1-billion facility should churn out 50 million gallons of drinking water each day. With an ocean of water sitting there for the taking, this plant — and several others like it — should have been built years ago. If so, California's man-made drought could have been avoided. But California has become a can't-do state. (This is what happens when the system is allowed to become complex with both the government and assorted warring parties jumping in with lawsuits to make sure nothing goes forward.  18 years to build something that anyone with a brain knows is not just a good idea, but a necessary one for the future.  That's 3 years of construction, and 15 years of fighting, and now chances of finding investors for more desalinization plants are less than before.  In time the water situation will slide inexorably into crisis, and people will be screaming about restrictions, while some of the best farmland in the world goes dry, jobs are lost, tax revenue drops, and the cost of food goes up.  What a great future to look forward to.  And of course by then it'll take years to start to fix anything even if somehow all the barriers get swept aside.  Good luck, future Californians. --Del)

State Lawmakers Urged to Question Taxpayer-Subsidized Climate ‘Alarmists.’ By Kevin Mooney 
Excerpt: Conservative lawmakers, scholars, and activists say it’s time for the Virginia General Assembly to look into the taxpayer funding of academics who don’t want President Obama to tolerate dissenting views on climate change. The question, they told The Daily Signal, is why taxpayers should pay for the work of radical academics and scientists who want Obama to launch a racketeering investigation of organizations that have an open mind on how much mankind contributes to global warming. (Here we are, back to the increasing examples of "progressives" to progress right into the tactics used by Nazis and others to grind under anyone who doesn't toe their line.  Call for RICO investigations into anyone who has not supported or even (OMG!) argued against manmade global warming is as extreme as it gets.  Of course, they will next demand the IRS go after them as well, and maybe find some way for the EPA to join in the blood hunt. The second some scientist wants the government to go after another scientist, that first guy has abandoned all the underlying principles of both real scientific practice and the right to Free Speech.  That they can do so with glee tells you how far out their minds have wandered away from reason, tolerance, respect for others, and have dived headfirst into total self-righteousness, blind arrogance, and simple viciousness.  Hopefully the VA legislators will shortstop these requests for persecution of one group of citizens by another. --Del)

#FutureDemocratLivesMatter: New Mexico Air Base to House 400 Illegal Immigrant Children in January
In an attempt to prevent the chaos of the immigrant border surge that occurred in the summer of 2014, Department of Homeland Security officials are securing various locations to temporarily house Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) and family units from Central America. As a result of that effort, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter has directed Holloman Air Force Base in AlamogordoNew Mexico to house up to 400 children starting in January. According to the Associated Press, the children are currently in the care of the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) Administration for Children and Families. (So military bases, supposed to be bastions of national security, now to house illegal aliens per DHS. --Barb)

Figures: Cuba Detains 70-Year-Old American for Inflatable Santa Claus Display
Excerpt: Cuba joins the Islamist dictatorships of Tajikistan and Brunei in cracking down on public celebrations of Christmas, though the Cuban government has not issued an explicit ban, using tangential ordinances to end any hint of a celebration. While Cuba’s population is predominantly Catholic, the communist government forbids explicit displays of faith, particularly on the part of political dissidents. For the past year, secret police have detained, verbally abused, and beaten the members of the Ladies in White dissident group, comprised of female relatives of political prisoners. (Obama and Rahm such great supporters. (Rahm holidaying in Cuba with his family until Chicago problems called him back.)  NOW do you see what side the US regime is on? --Barb)

Ron makes care packages for troops across Wisconsin
They showed the one in Fitchburg where bonnie and I stuffed packages, but we didn't make the clip. ~Bob

Naked And Armed: Newark Homeowner Thwarts Christmas Burglary

The states people really want to move to — and those they don’t

Man dies in Germany after blowing up condom machine
Excerpt: A man died on Christmas Day in Germany after he was hit in the head by a flying piece of metal from a condom machine that he and two accomplices blew up in an apparent robbery attempt, police said on Monday.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Today's baking

Today's baking

Our friend, Leslie Blain of Balquhidder, Scotland, one of the best cooks whose table I've ever sat at, gave us her wonderful shortbread recipe (below mine). Alas, with my lung transplant, and the drugs I'm on, I have a sugar, salt and calorie-restricted diet. So I modified the recipe, adding the vanilla, oats and pecans.

Bob's Healthier Scottish Short Bread

1 cup granulated Splenda
1 15-oz. tub of Light Butter
3.5 cups flour
1 cup quick cook oats
1 cup of chopped pecans. (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla

Mix and kneed into dough—takes a while. Roll out in log. Slice ¼ to ½ inch thick Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for about 25 minutes, or until edges are brown. Dough may also be placed flat in shallow pan, and cut into fingers while still warm, in which case backing will take considerably longer.

Leslie Blain’s 1-2-3 Scottish Short Bread

1 cup sugar (Caster/Baking sugar (very fine) is best
2 cup (1 lb.) butter
3 cups flour

Mix and kneed into dough—takes a while. Roll out in log. Slice ¼ to ½ inch thick. Place on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 325 for about 12 minutes, or until edges are brown.

Dough may also be placed flat in shallow pan, and cookies cut into strips while still warm. Will require longer baking.

Cranberry Nut Pound Cake

1.5 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw)
3/4 cup sugar free maple-flavored syrup
1 cup chopped pecans
3 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
2.5 cups Splenda
1 cup light butter
1 cup part-skim Ricotta cheese or low fat sour cream
1.5 cups egg beaters
2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries (optional. Chopped apples work well too.)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour a 8x4 inch loaf pan.
Wash and sort fresh cranberries, eliminating any soft ones. Put in microwave safe bowl with syrup and boil until cranberries have burst (8-10 minutes)

In a large bowl, cream butter and Splenda until light and fluffy. Add Ricotta/sour cream, vanilla and eggbeaters. Add flour, baking powder and baking soda, mix well. Pour into a 8x4 inch loaf pan. If too thick, add some skim/1% milk.

Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 50-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted into center of cake comes out clean.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Today's worth-reading political news and opinion

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

Too Funny: Santa Claus Boot Camp!!!

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

UK Study: Muslim Brotherhood Review: Main Findings

Comment on: How Our Overly Restrictive Rules of Engagement Keep Us from Winning Wars
The problem isn't the ROE; the problem is a society that acquiesces in or demands that kind of ROE. --Tom Kratman. (Tom Kratman is a retired USA LtCol, an occasional contributor to this blog, and an outstand author of military science fiction, including the A Desert Called Peace series. http://www.amazon.com/Desert-Called-Peace-Carrera-Book-ebook/dp/B00B5HJOFY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426715332&sr=8-1&keywords=Peace+Kratman ~Bob)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Singing Kumbaya Is Not A Strategy

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

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

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

We Want The Truth. Pat Condell

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bosnia says arrests foiled Islamist attack in Sarajevo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russia Rearms for a New Era

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

Another Gun Free zone? Aspiring Rapper Opened Fire in Busy Mall on Christmas Eve Before He Was Killed by Off-Duty Cop: Police
Daquan Antonio Westbrook – an aspiring rapper known as Donkey Cartel – was shot dead by an off-duty police officer who was working security at the Northlake Mall. The officer responded to an argument that broke out between two rival groups. A statement from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department alleges that Westbrook pulled out a gun during the fracas and started firing. (The shooting at the East Towne Mall about five miles from our home was also a dispute between teen groups. Paper didn't say, but the wounded victim and bystanders were black. Can't understand how it happened--I believe the mall is a gun free zone. ~Bob. Police stymied in mall shooter case by uncooperative victim, witnesses. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/crime-and-courts/police-stymied-in-mall-shooter-case-by-uncooperative-victim-witnesses/article_1bb0317c-ffaa-5925-a079-251d97617541.html)

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Worth Reading: Property Rights and Religious Liberty