Wednesday, December 23, 2015

for Christmas, lots of must-read political news and opinion

Merry Christmas
I have much to be grateful for. Wednesday, December 23, is the two-year anniversary of my lung transplant. I know of too many who are no longer here. Given that 20% of lung transplant patients die in the first year, I am very grateful for the great caregivers at the Madison, VA, and for all the support, prayers and good wishes of my family and friends. I had my three-month evaluation  last week, and everything looked good, my weight is slowly going down (172.3 lbs this morning), my FEV numbers (the liters of air I can expel in one second) are slowly going up )1.82 average today. More than most, I know every day is a gift, and that things can turn on a dime. Next up is a colonoscopy in January. And, God willing, my 70th birthday in April. ~Bob

Peace on Earth, Goodwill Towards Men. It remains as far out of reach as ever. If you want it for your part of Earth, the iron rule remains unchanged: keep your ramparts in good repair, and those who guard them strong, brave, well-armed and well-led. The alternative is the yoke or the grave. ~Bob

Just did my low-sugar Christmas Baking, two batches of cookies and a first-time pie. ~Bob

The Obama Effect: Germans Stock Up on Weapons for Self-Defense. By Soeren Kern
Excerpt: Germans, facing an influx of more than one million asylum seekers from Africa, Asia and the Middle East, are rushing to arm themselves. All across Germany, a country with some of the most stringent gun-control laws in Europe, demand is skyrocketing for non-lethal self-defense weapons, including pepper sprays, gas pistols, flare guns, electroshock weapons and animal repellants. Germans are also applying for weapons permits in record numbers. The scramble to acquire weapons comes amid a migrant-driven surge in violent crimes — including rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults — in cities and towns throughout the country.

Moscow’s Five-Star Treatment of a Three-Star Army General
An interesting article about how Moscow works and an American general sees them as possible ally. --Del

World War 3 fears as Russia frets over ISIS
They still haven't found the 2 Afghanistan men who were fully trained and about to graduate from flight school at Moody AFB in Valdosta who went AWOL.  DHS and NSC are not concerned saying the men "pose no threat."  Really?  They've been trained to fly jet fighters by US and that is the recent push by ISIS--to fly the jets they have confiscated from the US.  They have the simulators but now they have US-trained pilots AWOL--but it "poses no threat."  Are these people brainless? -Barb

Obama Goes Golfing After Terrorist Attack In Afghanistan Kills Six American Soldiers

Hillary Clinton Fan Threatens Mosque; Media Blame Trump

INSPECTOR IN CHIEF BARACK CLOUSEAU. David Limbaugh braces for more 'Twilight Zone'-ish speeches on Islamophobia

Excerpt: His first instinct is to blame, shame and scold Americans, Christians, gun owners and Republicans and then defend Islam while warning us against Islamophobia. He never reassures Americans that he recognizes the threat and is taking the important steps needed to combat it.... He audaciously claimed that his strategy to combat the Islamic State is working and that the only problems are that saturated media coverage after the Paris attacks is fueling terror fears in the United States and that he hasn’t done enough to communicate his strategy to the people. (Yeah, he hasn't controlled that Mass Media enough; they are wearing the red/black or black/blue uniforms as ordered but every now and then, they say something he doesn't like, like something news-like and near reality.  Oops.  But not often.  Cupcake decorating contests, ugly Christmas sweaters/apparel contests, movie reviews, much more important than WWIII and its causes. --Barb)

Interesting: Team Hillary: “Hell no,” she won’t apologize for claiming that ISIS is using Trump to recruit jihadis
Excerpt: Hillary’s claim at the debate wasn’t speculative, though. She said ISIS is already using Trump in its propaganda, of which there’s no evidence at all. What can I say? Her track record involving inflammatory videos and jihadi incitement is … not good.
Ed and Jazz have already chimed in on Hillary’s lame charge but let me add two things. One: How far should this rule extend against saying things that jihadis might exploit? Trump shouldn’t have proposed his ban, the theory goes, because ISIS will use it as proof that America hates Muslims. In that case, should Obama have held off on stating his support for gay marriage? I’m no expert but I’d guess most Muslims would be more receptive to propaganda that the infidels are perverting Allah’s moral order by letting men marry men and women marry women than that some random politician who isn’t the president wants to keep Muslims out (temporarily). In fact, doesn’t ISIS agree that Muslims shouldn’t visit the filthy Dar al-Kufr known as America (except for purposes of jihad)? They’re trying to build a caliphate; the only proper place for Muslims, according to the caliph, is the caliphate itself, I would think. It’s a neat trick to try to build resentment at the U.S. for keeping people out when ISIS presumably is trying to keep them in. But to repeat the underlying point: If we’re going to let our policy choices be influenced by jihadi reaction, how do we justify legalized gay marriage? (To simplify a longer discussion, according to the Islamists’ interpretation of their holy book, God’s on their side, and is supposed to be helping them win. They look around and don’t feel like winners. (Boy, after a while we all sound like Trump, don’t we?) The Caliphate is supposed to be the most powerful and strongest kingdom, and instead the West is (and China, and Russia, and arguably Israel, and . . .) . . . they’re lashing out at what they see as a cosmic injustice, attempting to correct a world where they were supposed to be on the top but feel like they’re at or near the bottom. Because they’ve victims of a demonic injustice, perpetuated by the Great Satan, etc., all means and tactics are justified. --Jim Geraghty, Morning Jolt.)

Migrant crisis: One million enter Europe in 2015

U.S. lets in four times as many suspected terrorists as it keeps out

Religion of Peace? Mullah Allegedly Shoots U.S. Army Veteran Dead in Afghanistan. American Lisa Akbari believed to have been killed by mullah with terrorist ties
Pretty girl, just trying to help people. Apparently Muslim clerics never learned that, as Obama, Kerry and Clinton claim, Islam is a religion of peace. ~Bob

UK: Muslim rape gang found guilty of sexual grooming of 14-year-old non-Muslim girl. By Robert Spencer,
Excerpt: The judge said they treated his court with “contempt and arrogance.” Of course. They don’t consider themselves bound to respect the laws or legal system of unbelievers, “the most vile of created beings” (Qur’an 98:6). They consider what they did to be perfectly justified: according to the Qur’an, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: O Prophet! We have made lawful to you your wives to whom you have paid their dowries, and those whom your right hand possesses of those whom Allah has given you as spoils of war (33:50).

ISIS Recruitment Video Features Bill Clinton and Barack Obama not Donald Trump. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter who the U.S. president is. Terrorism is about Islam. Period.

UK Declares Muslim Brotherhood Terrorist Group, Breaks With Obama. By Todd Beamon  
Excerpt: The United Kingdom declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group after an 18-month study ordered by British Prime Minister David Cameron — and the Obama administration slammed the document as flying in the face of the Brotherhood's history as a "nonviolent Islamist group." The report, which Cameron presented to the House of Commons on Thursday, described the Muslim Brotherhood as anti-democratic, openly supportive of terrorism, dedicated to establishing an Islamist government — and opposed to the rule of law, individual liberty, and equality. (The Brits have figured it out, why not our Prez? Because he's got that soft spot from childhood memories of the beautiful call to prayer, or some such stupid nonsense.  As the Bible says, "There are none so blind as those who WILL NOT see." One more year to somehow survive and then maybe we can start to recover and instead of digging the hole deeper, start to fill it in. --Del)

Saudis shut down camel urine shop: owner was selling his own urine
Customers pissed off. ~Bob

Video: Ex-Muslim compares “Islamophobia” to the persecution of ex-Muslims in Muslim countries

Must Read: The Democrats’ Theme for 2016 Is Totalitarianism. By Kevin D. Williamson
Excerpt: Koch, two libertarian political activists, should be considered — his remarkable words — “an enemy of the state.” He posed the same question about Exxon, and John Kerry, who could have been president of these United States, said that he looked forward to the seizure of Exxon’s assets for the crime of “proselytizing” impermissibly about the question of global warming. An enemy of the state? That’s the Democrats’ theme for the New Year: totalitarianism. Donald Trump may talk like a brownshirt, but the Democrats mean business. For those of you keeping track, the Democrats and their allies on the left have now: voted in the Senate to repeal the First Amendment, proposed imprisoning people for holding the wrong views on global warming, sought to prohibit the showing of a film critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton, proposed banning politically unpopular academic research, demanded that funding politically unpopular organizations and causes be made a crime and that the RICO organized-crime statute be used as a weapon against targeted political groups. 

Worth Reading: CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS. By Col. Andy Weddington, USMC (Ret)

Excerpt: The political Left has been trying to run other people’s lives for centuries. So we should not be surprised to see the Obama administration now trying to force neighborhoods across America to have the mix of people the government wants them to have. There are not enough poor people living in middle-class neighborhoods to suit the political Left. Not enough blacks in white neighborhoods. Not enough Hispanics here, not enough Asians there.

Worth reading: Transitioning to the Post-Obama Era. By Victor Davis Hanson
Excerpt: How will the country wake up from its coma in 2016 to reality in 2017? Next year the lame-duck, legacy-starved Obama administration will double down on its executive orders, bureaucratic fiats, and circumvention of the law. Obama will seek to fundamentally transform America, contrary to law, effecting change in ways he was not able to by adhering to the law. The media, as it has the past seven years, will not only ignore the illegality, but also rationalize and commend it. Then comes 2017. If a Republican is elected president, what will the media and its liberal sympathizers do should the next chief executive decide to follow the Obama modus operandi?

Old Double Standard: 6 Times the Mainstream DC Media Ridiculed Children of Republicans
Excerpt: One of the biggest lies told by our corrupt and rotting DC Media is the one that states that the children of politicians are off-limits. Unwritten or unspoken, there is no such rule. There is, of course, a strictly-enforced DC media rule about the children of Democrat politicians being off-limits. The children of Republican politicians, however, have always been fair game — and I’m not talking about in the left-wing fever swamps, but in mainstream outlets such as the Washington Post, CNN, NBC News, The Atlantic, The Daily Beast, and Salon. (The Washington Post cartoonist depicted Sen. Ted Cruz's kids as monkeys. If someone depicted the Obama kids as monkeys, the WaPo staff would be out with torches and pitchforks, leading the lynch mob in pursuit. ~Bob)

Ted Cruz Strikes Back at Washington Post Cartoonist for Mocking His Daughters: They’re ‘out of Your League
OK, so Ted Cruz made a video poking fun at Liberals using a Christmas story theme that had his two young daughters on his lap playing roles.  I watched it and it was fairly funny.  One can legitimately say this was pushing the envelope a bit, using little kids in a political ad, but it was set up as a fun thing, didn't pick on individuals in any really nasty way.  But the cartoonist for the Washington Post decided it was a terrible thing and drew a nasty cartoon with Ted as the organ grinder guy and his two kids as little monkeys, saying that the children were now "fair game". That is definitely over the line, since it portrays the children themselves.  Complaining about Cruz's video using the kids would be justified, but putting the children in the crosshairs is not, it's a bit of viciousness that needed to be pointed out.  And it was, and the editor of the paper retracted the cartoon and made the excuse that he hadn't seen it before it went in.  (Then what does an editor do, if he's not editing?)  The cartoonist is still unapologetic, but of course she is so far into her view of the GOP as bad guys that any chance to hit Cruz is a good one in her eyes.  One more example of just how fair and balanced most of the media are when it comes to politics. --Del

Military physical training: It’s a problem bigger than obesity, with no easy solutions
Excerpt: Just a few years ago when I was chatting regularly with Marine recruiters, they talked a lot about how hard it was to qualify recruits now, with such high standards for school records, no hint of ever being in any kind of trouble, and being in decent physical condition.  Apparently things got tough enough that the Corps started taking in some overweight kids, figuring to whip them into shape.  I certainly saw a whole bunch of slightly heavy people, including myself, shed excess weight like crazy in Basic Training, nobody finished the ten week training of that time with any rolls of fat on them. But from the article below, it looks like things are doubly tough now, young men who never played outside that much just didn't develop what we'd consider skills so basic as to defy discussion.  They can't skip?!!!  Wow is all I can say about that. Hopefully these new programs will help with the problems.  Truth is, back when the DI could really motivate people and the Army didn't issue the "time out" cards to trainees, getting the weight off was a natural side effect of training.  Now it seems not, so they have to invent new programs to fix this.  I hope it all works out. --Del. If you make your sons soft and pampered, you are preparing lunch for the wolves. ~Bob

Second Amendment Hypocrites: Senators Schumer And Feinstein Possess Concealed Carry Permits
Excerpt: A check of Pistol License records shows that Senator Schumer possesses an “unrestricted” pistol permit, a rarity in New York City. Licenses are distributed in different categories in the Big Apple: Target Permits allow only use of a firearm at a licensed firing range; Premises Permits allow weapons to be kept in a home or apartment; Restricted Permits allow the gunowner to carry their firearms concealed but only within the purview of their job (security, jewelers, armored car guards, etc.). So it’s evident that Senator Schumer has two sets of rules — one for Americans and one for himself. And then we have Senator Diane Feinstein on the Left Coast who possesses something more rare than a conservative Republican in San Francisco – an unrestricted concealed weapons permit. Apparently without shame, she participated in a citywide gun turn-in program that was intended to create some kind of statue from the donated guns that were to be melted down. One of her police body guards let it slip that she contributed a cheap model for the meltdown, while retaining her .357 magnum revolver for her own personal self-defense. (Do as I say, NOT as I do.  The mantra for today's "Progressives".  Here are two famous rabid anti-gun politicians, who it turns out have their own carry permits, and of course also often have armed bodyguards around them.  You wonder how they dare to shoot their mouths off so vehemently about gun control for everyone else while very happily enjoying their own 2nd Amendment right. --Del)

Can't in gun free zones: Wisconsin Lawmaker: Gun Owners Need To Start Shooting Criminals ‘Center Mass’
Excerpt: A Republican lawmaker in Wisconsin wants law-abiding gun owners to “clean our society […] of scum bags.” Wisconsin state representative Bob Gannon posted a statement on Facebook Monday following a shooting at a mall in Madison. The statement reads in part: (Statement by Rep. Gannon about Easttown being a gun free zone, like most malls. ~Bob)

Climate change shock: Burning fossil fuels 'COOLS planet', says NASA
Excerpt: Major theories about what causes temperatures to rise have been thrown into doubt after NASA found the Earth has cooled in areas of heavy industrialisation where more trees have been lost and more fossil fuel burning takes place. Environmentalists have long argued the burning of fossil fuels in power stations and for other uses is responsible for global warming and predicted temperature increases because of the high levels of carbon dioxide produced - which causes the global greenhouse effect.

Our fading military

IRS Issued $46 Million in Erroneous Tax Refunds. $230.4 million at risk over next five years
Excerpt: The Internal Revenue Service issued more than $46 million in erroneous tax refunds due to a computer glitch and ineffective monitoring, issues that left uncorrected could cost taxpayers up to $230 million over the next five years. The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) released an audit Monday faulting the IRS for approving thousands of potentially fraudulent tax refunds in 2013.... The audit said the returns were flagged for claiming a “questionable tax credit” but were then automatically issued before the IRS could complete its verification process. (Per article, Omnibus bill gave IRS another $290 million.  Some programmer and those bilking the system sure made out great.  No point in arresting and putting in prison; they would just be pardoned. --Barb)

Baby Jesus, "Merry Christmas" banner removed from VA hospital
Excerpt: I’d like to know what happened to the manger scene and the other “overly religious and offensive” decorations....The VA hospital told me they have no idea what became of Joseph, Mary and the Baby Jesus. There was no room for them in the inn or apparently the Audie Murphy VA Hospital.

Property Rights and Religious Liberty. By Larry P. Arnn
Excerpt: Many Christians, while they cherish religious liberty, seem to believe that property rights, and the commerce that arises from the establishment of property rights, are somehow un-Christian. At the same time, a lot of free marketers seem to think that all we need are property rights and the rest will take care of itself. Neither of these views is correct, and I will explain why with reference to both James Madison and Winston Churchill.

So he lied--ho, hum. Obamacare Taxes On The Poor And The Middle Class Held At Bay. By John Goodman
Excerpt: Congress did a big favor last week for about one third of seniors on Medicare, roughly two-thirds of low-income families on Medicaid, people who are getting insurance in the (Obamacare) exchanges and everyone else with private insurance – whether obtained at work or on their own. What did Congress do for all these folks? It delayed the imposition of health reform taxes. But wait a minute. Didn’t Barack Obama promise no new taxes on anyone who isn’t “rich”? He did indeed: Here is Obama’s 2008 campaign promise: "I can make a firm pledge under my plan, no family making less than $250,000 a year will see any form of tax increase. Not your income tax, not your payroll tax, not your capital gains taxes, not any of your taxes."

This gentleman is one of the founders of GreenPeace, so his record as a person very caring of the planet is solid.  He makes a very logical, factual case about the whole concept of Climate Change in a fairly short time.  I recommend it when you have a few minutes to spend. --Del

Do #BlackLivesMatter to blacks? The racial divide on gun deaths in America. By Jazz Shaw
Excerpt: Christopher Ingraham at the Washington Post has an interesting factoid to toss out this week regarding gun violence in America. It’s particularly salient in the current political climate since Hillary Clinton keeps slinging around that “30,000 deaths to gun violence” line in her efforts to promote gun grabbing. We’ve already exploded those numbers here, but today we look at a slightly different subset which likely reveals some new factors to consider. What Ingraham is talking about is the difference in “how different populations experience gun violence.” (Which is really a nicer way of saying how people of different races are being shot.) The Brookings Institution’s Richard Reeves highlighted one stunning example of this in a recent blog post: Among whites, 77 percent of gun deaths are suicides. But among black Americans, 82 percent of gun deaths are homicides. (Here is a set of statistics that really grab one's attention.  The rate of black-on-black murders is simply awful, but somehow it just doesn't get the attention that any white cop killing a black person gets, instantly.  Black cops also end up killing black men, but most of the time that gets much less notice.  I want any killing by police checked out carefully, and if there's something wrong about it, then there must be a detailed investigation and a trial.  But it shouldn't be assumed that every time a white cop shoots a black man it is just racism in action.  Sadly, we have whites as a majority among cops in big cities, and blacks as a majority of violent criminals in big cities, so it's a guarantee that there will be shootings of black men by white cops at least once in a while.  Every life should matter, but every shooting should be investigated objectively and only hard evidence considered before any conclusions are drawn. Right now I have to think that most cops are quite sensitized about what will come if they shoot a black man who hasn't been observed by others in attacking the cop or attacking others.  The jump in crime in several big cities lately is clearly the result of cops holding back in how they patrol and deal with people, and those communities are worse off overall because they aren't getting full law enforcement support.  This isn't a good thing at all. --Del)

Hillary Clinton Named ‘Worst Ethics Violator of 2015′
Excerpt: The Foundation for Accountability and Government Trust (FACT), a Washington-based think tank, released a year-end list of Worst Ethics Violators for this ill-begotten calendar year. Clinton ran away with the contest.

Hysterical: Dave Barry’s Year in Review: The sad thing is, we’re not making this up!

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