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Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hillary and OJ

For John, BLUFGo with the first option.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Roger Simon, of Pajama Media, asks "Will Hillary Be the New OJ?".

Here is what I think is the dollar quote:

Either of two things are operable here.  One, Hillary was so cut out of any significant decisions of the Obama administration that it was all irrelevant or, two, virtually every country and terror group west of the Philippines knows every state secret of the United States.  (The second might be an exaggeration, but not by much.  In fact, it's highly likely to be at least partially true.)
Two interpretations of the facts.  Pick one.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Obama in Cuba and Fidel's Reaction

For John, BLUFOverall the President's visit to Cuba was a success.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Wall Street Journal, and Reporter Kemal Vyas, we have, earlier this week, "Fidel Castro Lashes Out at Obama After Cuba Visit".  This is some backwash from President Obama's trip to Cuba, solidifying our opening to the island nation.

Here is the sub-headline:

The 89-year-old former leader offers a written rebuke a week after president’s historic trip
Here is the lede plus two paragraphs:
Retired Cuban leader Fidel Castro slammed President Barack Obama’s recent visit to the Caribbean island, warning his countrymen to beware of Washington’s sweet talk as both nations embark on a long and uncertain path toward improved relations.

In a long column published Monday in Granma, the newspaper of the Cuban communist party, the elder Mr. Castro decried Mr. Obama’s call to set aside the countries’ decades of animosity and look to a common future as neighbors.

“One assumes that each of us runs the risk of a heart attack hearing these words from a U.S. president,” Mr. Castro wrote, outlining a long list of grievances including the failed U.S.-backed 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.  “We don’t need the empire to gift us anything,” he added, touting his economically crippled country’s independence from foreign powers.

Someone noted that this reaction by former President Fidel Castro might be personal:
Fidel's reaction shows, at minimum, that he was probably furious that President Obama didn't stop by to pay him homage—attention he still dearly craves in his dotage.  Then too, he also was probably really angry at younger brother, Raul, bumbling in the joint Press Conference with the US President.

He probably had fantasies about how he would never have agreed to a showcase Press Conference.  Such an event allowed a nationwide TV audience to compare a media savvy US President to work the occasion to give a contrast between the US with the Communist regime in Cuba.  After all, FIDEL'S legacy was being contested, in a small part, by the reality of a US President speaking confidently, while his brother acted somewhat cluelessly with regard to how the optics of this event could spiral out of control.

I score this as a victory for President Obama, a good foreign policy move.

Regards  —  Cliff

Fact Checking Terrorism

For John, BLUFWe are bending over backward to deny a link that is in front of us and over which we may well trip.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

So, CNN was fact checking Senator Ted Cruz, regarding if the Muslim Brotherhood is a terrorist organization.  This, in turn, is fact checked by Daniel Greenfield of Front Page Magazine, "CNN FACT CHECK:  MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD TERRORISTS AREN'T TERRORISTS".

So what is the Muslim Brotherhood?

The more important question is if there is a group of terrorists out there who have adopted the scriptures of Islam as their own?  The thing that goes with that question is the question of which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

GOP and Guns

For John, BLUFTricky, those Democrats.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Some days it is best just to quote from the InstaPundit and poster Ed Driscoll.

BUT OF COURSE:  Hillary Supporter Started RNC Open Carry Petition – “The purpose of the petition was to expose a perceived ‘hypocrisy’ on the right.”

Straight out of the playbook of Hillary’s schoolgirl crush, Saul Alinsky.

Not illegal.  Clever even.  And, Conservatives should be held to their principles.  That, I welcome.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Airbrushed Out

For John, BLUFNot the Press that Boston Publisher James Franklin envisioned.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Well, it is Twitchy, by Mr Greg Pollowitz, but it is interesting, "Guess Which Country CNN Wiped Off The Map For Its #EgyptAir Coverage…".

Hint:  Israel.

So Fox News doesn't like Mr Donald Trump, and CNN doesn't like Israel.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Quote of the Day

For John, BLUFSource is Anonymous.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Obama lives in DC (Denial City).
Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Two Events Tonight

For John, BLUFThings happening tonight.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

First there is Kam Kay and the City Council:

My friend Kam Kay asks you to join him and others at the City Council Meeting, (City Council Chambers) tonight at 6:30 to strongly urge our officials to not host LTG Hun Manet from Cambodia, given his, and his Father's, wrong approach to politics.

At one time, back in 1973, I helped fight the Khymer Rouge and think this is a worthy cause Kam Kay is backing.

As an aside, looking at Facebook posts, I saw one comment from Sikh Chum, using the term "Khmericans in Lowell", which I thought was clever and very American.

Then there is Ann Wofford Announcing her run for US Congress:

If going to a City Council Meeting is not your thing, there is always the Announcement of Ann Wofford's run for US Representative, against Ms Niki Tsongas.

Here are the details:

Ann Wofford Campaign Kick Off for U.S. Congress, 3rd District
The Real Change We Need

Tuesday, March 29
at 7 PM
at Cobblestones in Lowell

See you there  —  Cliff

Note:  Parking GPS location is 75 Arcand Drive (private lot opposite police station, 2nd lot on right just past Cobblestones)

Regards  —  Cliff

A Higher Bar For Hillary?

For John, BLUFIf you let it happen, you set a bad precedent.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

There is the suggestion out there, e.g., Mr Ron Fournier, that because Ms Clinton is running for President, the bar for prosecution should be higher.

Legally though, there is a big bar that you have to get over to prosecute anybody for these crimes, much less somebody who is running for president. …I do understand that when somebody is running for president, there is a higher bar that you have get over because we can’t have a system in which we are constantly charging people who are running for president of crimes…

Politically, there are severe questions about her judgment that voters really have to look into.

Legally…there is a higher bar you have to get over before you prosecute somebody who is running for president.

Like former Texas Governor Rick Perry, maybe.

This is the United States and so we have some degree of transparency, in this case the U.S. Attorney’s Manual .  Here are the extracts Law Professor Glenn Reynolds pulled for our enjoyment.

The attorney for the government should commence or recommend Federal prosecution if he/she believes that the person’s conduct constitutes a Federal offense and that the admissible evidence will probably be sufficient to obtain and sustain a conviction ….

In determining whether to commence or recommend prosecution or take other action against a person, the attorney for the government should not be influenced by: The person’s race, religion, sex, national origin, or political association, activities or beliefs ….

If you can't tell where I stand, I will make it plain.  No special deal for Ms Clinton.  Send a message to politicians across the Fruited Plain.  No immunity for politicians.  Especially for politicians.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Seeking the Answer Under the Answer

For John, BLUFThe elites are clueless.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I thought this item from the FiveThirtyEight Blog post by Ms Clare Malone,"Why Donald Trump?", was interesting.  It is from about a week ago.  The sub-headline is "A quest to figure out what’s happening in America."

Here is the lede plus two:

The night before Super Tuesday I was on a plane from Oklahoma City to Cleveland, my hometown, when a thought struck me:  I truly had no idea what was going on in America.

I’d been traveling a fair bit during the rush of primary season, and you start to feel unstuck when you do that.  The moments of my days I would have otherwise spent doing soothingly banal things — grocery shopping, hand-washing delicates, pouring Drano into various plumbing orifices — I now spent alone in hotel rooms, contemplating the Donald Trump phenomenon.

I’d seen glints and glimmers of his wide swath of support — the man in New Hampshire who was following Trump around the country, hawking merchandise; the friendly middle-aged women in Iowa who just liked his style; the Oklahoma couple at a Bernie Sanders rally who, after a few minutes of pleasant chitchat about Sanders, started talking to me about their deep admiration for and likely support of Trump.  But the thesis was still missing for me:  Why him? Why these people?

This remind me, slightly, of the famous New Yorker staff member line:  "I don't understand how Nixon got elected.  No one I know voted for him."  The difference is that Ms Malone actually goes out and examines what is going on, looks at how our various media and political institutions are recognizing what is doing on in our nation.

Worth a read.

Hat tip to the FiveThirtyEight Blog.

Regards  —  Cliff

The New Segregation?

For John, BLUFShould the immigrants/refugees adapt to their host nation or visa-versa.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

About three days ago my wife forwarded this Brietbart article to me—"German Railway Launches Gender Segregated Carriages In Wake Of Sex Attacks".  The author is Reporter Oliver J J Lane.

Here is the lede plus three paragraphs:

A central German regional railway is launching a special women and children only area for their trains, a move which has triggered controversy.

The announcement from the central German Regiobahn line came earlier this week, with the network stating the new compartment on their Leipzig and Chemnitz would admit women and young children only.

To ensure maximum peace for those choosing to travel in that compartment not only would it be sandwiched between the service’s two quiet coaches, but it would also be next to the on-board office of the “customer service representative.  Traditionally known as a train guard or ticket inspector, the company said “the local proximity to the customer service representative is chosen deliberately”.

Yet despite the recent mass sex-attacks in Germany, and the official advice to young women that the best thing to do is to keep groping migrant men “at arms length” to prevent rape, the railway denies the segregated trains has anything to do with sexual harassment.

There are those who believe the mixing of the sexes is wrong and that when men and women are thrown together it is an indication that all rules are off.  This is not how American society works.  We believe there should be no barriers based on sex or gender and that no one person or group should take undue advantage of this mixing.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, March 28, 2016

Terror in Europe the Last 45 Years

For John, BLUFAnd there was also the Provos, whose events reached as far as Germany.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From a friend down at the Naval War College, Newport, RI, I got a link to the DataGraver website, where we can see European deaths due to terrorism from 1970 to 2015.  Here is the link—"PEOPLE KILLED BY TERRORISM PER YEAR IN WESTERN EUROPE 1970-2015".

Besides a chart with overall numbers there is one that breaks out the number of terrorist events noted as "Islam Inspired".

The first thing to note is that terrorist events have been a way of life in Western Europe and the numbers have been down as we have moved into the 21st Century, until recently.

The other thing is that there are some events not listed as we might.  An example is the 1988 Pan Am flight 103 blown up over Lockerbie, where 270 people died.  While the event was traced to Libya, it is not listed as "Islam Inspired" and one can see why.  Also, the Air India flight 182 that crashed after a bomb exploded in Irish air space in 1985 is not included in the Western Europa data by GTD.  In that crash 329 people died.

Some of the terrorism in the 1970s shown on the chart was from the German Baader Meinhof Gang (also known as The Red Army Faction) and some was from the Italian Brigate Rosse.  As an anecdote, one of those deaths due to the Red Brigades was that of former Italian Prime Minister Aldo Moro, who was kidnapped and his body dumped 55 days later.  The location was about a mile or so north of where we had been living for three and a half years.  He was found near the "Marble Factory".  We had left several weeks before the body was found.  Terrorism can pass quite close by you and you might not realize it, until something ugly happens.

UPDATE:  Corrected a typo, changing "Factor" to "Factory".

Regards  —  Cliff

  One of their actions was to kidnap US Army Brigadier General James Dozier.  Their original target, a NATO FIFTH ATAF American General wasn't home when the team came calling.

Creating Jobs in America

For John, BLUFAre these good jobs?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

If this report out of The Hill (Reporter Jesse Byrnes) is to be believed, Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton may be the candidate with the most potential as a job creator—"147 FBI agents involved in Clinton email probe".

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mother Angelica (RIP)

For John, BLUFLike you, a TV pioneer.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Boston Pilot is this breaking news item:
Irondale, Ala., Mar 27, 2016 CNA/EWTN News.—The Catholic Church in the United States has lost the Poor Clare nun who changed the face of Catholicism in the United States and around the world. Mother Mary Angelica of the Annunciation, foundress of the Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN), passed away on March 27 after a lengthy struggle with the aftereffects of a stroke.  She was 92 years old.
May she rest in peace.

Regards  —  Cliff

Those Democrat Superdelegates

For John, BLUFHope is what powers political campaigns.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Hill, Reporter Jessie Hellman tells us Senator Sanders, after a successful Weekend is saying "Superdelegates may now be eyeing switch from Clinton".


Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Daesh in a Divided Nation

For John, BLUFBelgium has problems.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This is an opinion piece from Mr Jean-Michel Paul, "Belgium, My Country, Is in Denial".

Mr Paul is born and bred from Belgium and knows some of the things that make things difficult in Belgium, like the fact that the nation is divided between the Flemish (Dutch Speaking) north and the Walloon (French Speaking) (plus a touch of German Speakers) south.  This is a cause of division and thus makes it harder for the country to act in a unified manner.

While the author doesn't say it, it seems that Belgium has been living in a live and let live state of mind, but the other side, the third side, was not interested in such a bargain.

Here is the last paragraph:

Terrorist attacks such as those that struck Zaventem Airport and the Brussels metro system on Tuesday can happen to any country — Belgium did not invent the Islamic State.  But my country needs to stop living in denial.  It was the logical conclusion of our failures that Brussels should produce so many of the perpetrators of jihadist atrocities in Europe.  We need to keep calm, as the British say, but not to carry on.  This week's tragedy must, finally, become the catalyst that forces Belgium to change.
While the hat tip goes to the InstaPundit, separately my wife recommended this to me.

Regards  —  Cliff

Ms Clinton is Very Confident.  Why?

For John, BLUFI think she is bluffing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Ms Clinton tends to dismiss questions about if she is concerned about being indicted with "Not going to happen".

That seems pretty concrete, but what does she feel that way?

Why is Ms Clinton So Confident? free polls

Or maybe she just thinks she is bullet proof.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Except, maybe, for a certain retired Army Four Star and former head of the CIA.
  Creativity is everywhere and this is a chance to use yours.  Check the Response and leave a comment.

Bitter Clingers

For John, BLUFThe Current Administration has done a worse job of informing us about terrorist threats than its predecessor.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Law Professor Ann Althouse asks, "Do These Twao Messages About Terrorism Hold Up?"  She is quoting from a blog post, at his blog, by her son John Althouse Cohen, where Mr Cohen notes "two messages we've been hearing a lot — often from the same people".
(1) When speaking about Islamic terrorists, it's considered appropriate to adopt this understanding tone — not that we're excusing the acts, but that we recognize that terrorism comes from being oppressed and disenfranchised, that people turn to terrorism as a last resort, etc.  (I don't necessarily agree with those statements, but I've heard them countless times, from people who seem to feel very strongly about it.)

(2) We're told that the word "terrorist" is used too selectively, and especially that we should be more willing to apply it to white men and Christian men (e.g. the KKK, mass shooters, and those people who occupied the Oregon wildlife refuge).

Well, wait a minute... how oppressed and disenfranchised are white, Christian men?

I would note that the idea that terrorism is always about oppression seems far fetched.  It is often about religion and in particular preparation for the end times.  For some of the Muslim faith it is about the Mahdi and the Anti-Christ.  And the last battle.  That is what it has been about in Paris and Brussels.

But, Professor Althouse zeroes in on "oppressed and disenfranchised" Caucasians.  Which leads her to President Barrack Obama's "bitter clingers" statement.

I'm looking anew at Obama's old guns-and-religion statement:
"You go into some of these small towns in Pennsylvania, and like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them.  And they fell through the Clinton Administration, and the Bush Administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.  And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."
He imagined these people pathetically holding onto abstractions of power to soothe themselves in their weakness, not getting up the gumption to do anything.  He was showing and trying to stir up empathy.  He was not alarming his audience — rich people in San Francisco — about the potential for domestic terrorism.

But that was 2008, and now it's 2016, and they've got Donald Trump "explain[ing] their frustrations with "anti-immigrant sentiment" and "anti-trade sentiment."  We're spared decline into violence because we have democracy — and yet the nice people of the elite places like San Francisco see Trump as the embodiment of violence, not any kind of bulwark against it.

And, as this is an election year, it eventually leads to "The Donald".

But, the lesson to be drawn here is that we likely, as a nation, as a Government, don't understand terrorism.  And if we don't understand it, we can't identify the enemy's center of gravity, and we can't develop a useful strategy.  Or maybe even useful tactics.

And, if we think the Ku Klux Klan in America is as large a threat to our People and Freedoms as is Daesh, or even a bigger threat, then we could miss what is coming toward us.

And, as a final thought, if Daesh has a network here in the United States, formal or informal, conducting terrorism, is that Domestic Terrorism, or just Terrorism?  And, given the leadership of Daesh, is this not bitter Caucasians?

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

  For Christians something like Hal Lindsey's The Late Great Planet Earth.

The Challenge of Easter

For John, BLUFIt isn't really about bunnies and Easter eggs.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Father James Martin, Editor of the Jesuit Magazine America gives us, in of all places, The Wall Street Journal, "The Challenge of Easter"/

Here is the sub-headline:

Whether you’re a believer or not, there is no way to ignore the radical claim of the Resurrection
The author starts out with a comparison between Christmas and Easter.  He notes:  "Easter has resisted the commercialization and commodification that have distorted the celebration of Christmas."  Then we get this series of paragraphs:
If you believe that Jesus rose from the dead, however, everything changes.  In that case, you cannot set aside any of his teachings.  Because a person who rises from the grave, who demonstrates his power over death and who has definitively proven his divine authority needs to be listened to.  What that person says demands a response.

In short, the Resurrection makes a claim on you.

This is unlike Christmas.  To be clear, Christians believe that, at the first Christmas, God became human.  This is the meaning of what theologians call the “Incarnation.” God took on flesh, a concept as bizarre then as now.

But the Christmas story is largely nonthreatening to nonbelievers: Jesus in the manger, surrounded by Mary and Joseph and the adoring shepherds, is easy to take.  As the Gospels of Matthew and Luke recount, there was no little danger involved for Mary and Joseph.  But for the most part, it can be accepted as a charming story.  Even nonbelievers might appreciate the birth of a great teacher.

By contrast, the Easter story is both appalling and astonishing: the craven betrayal of Jesus by one of his closest followers, the triple denial by his best friend, the gruesome crucifixion and the brutal end to his earthly life. Then, of course, there is the stunning turnaround three days later.

But, for Christians, this is the money paragraph (so to speak):
Easter says, above all, that Jesus Christ is Lord. That is an odd thing to read in a secular newspaper.  But I’m merely stating a central Christian belief.  And if he is Lord, and if you’re a Christian, then what he says has a claim on you.  His teachings are invitations, to be sure, but they are also commands:  Love your neighbors.  Forgive.  Care for the poor and the marginalized.  Live a simple life.  Put the needs of others before your own.
As Father Sannella's Homily on Holy Saturday Evening Mass notes, we have our problems living up to what we should be, but we are working on doing it right.  Holy Mother the Church is our place of refuge.

You pray for me and I will pray for you.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Child Proofing the White House

For John, BLUFMr Trump is the focus of all our hopes, or, on the other side, all our fears.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Atlantic Monthly has a strange article earlier this month, written by Mr Conor Friedersdorf.  The headline was "Tyrant-Proof the White House—Before It's Too Late".

The subheadline was:

Bush and Obama ran roughshod over Madisonian checks and balances, but there's still time to restore them.
Here is the lede plus two:
An op-ed in Tuesday’s New York Times points out that, thanks to precedents set by President Obama, “whoever prevails in November will inherit a sweeping power to use lethal force against suspected terrorists and militants, including Americans.”

Let me put things more starkly: Under current precedent, the commander in chief can give a secret order to kill an American citizen with a drone strike without charges or trial.

Should Donald Trump have that power?

My initial instinct is to scoff, but Mr Friedersdorf recognizes that President Obama (and before him, President George W Bush) has too much power and his instinct is to use this transition in January 2017 to rein it in. After talking about the ACLU's wish to rein in drone attacks, or more specifically Presidential authorization of targeting killings, the author appeals to my sense by saying "Congress should reassert itself…".
Reforms of that sort would do more to limit abuses under the next president than the status quo.  But as I’m sure the ACLU co-authors would agree, even more steps are necessary, and Congress should reassert itself and fulfill its role as a coequal branch.
While framed as protecting us from a President Trump, the same philosophy should apply to a President Cruz or a President Clinton or even a President Sanders.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  But it isn't "drones" that are the issue but the tools available to the President to execute individuals without trial.  Convenience should not be the issue, or expediency, but justice and retaining our sense of right and wrong.
  And while we are at it we should change the name of the GAO back to the General Accounting Office.  Congress is the Government Accountability Office.

Rolling Down to Rio

For John, BLUFRemember the Munich Olympics?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

As we all know, the XXXI Olympiad (this Summer) will be in Brazil.  And, as we all know, Brazil is having some domestic political turmoil right now.  For instance, President Dilma Rousseff faces Impeachment.  And then there is the economic situation, although I would think hosting the Olympics would be a boost to the economy.

So, safety and security should be important considerations for the Brazilian Olympic Committee and the Brazilian Government.

From the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, and Reporter Kim Brunhuber, we have "Brazil cuts security budget ahead of Summer Olympics".

Former police captain says Brazil isn't taking the risk of terror attack seriously enough
A Canadian friend of mine, who forwarded this, noted:
When Canada hosted the Winter Olympics, our security budget was ~1 Billion, and involved pretty much every security group we had (RCMP, CSEC, CSIS, Military, etc.).  Given what else is going on in Brazil, if I wanted to create an incident, this would be a prime target.
Rolling Down to Rio Regards  —  Cliff

Bombing Daesh Trainees

For John, BLUFQuestions have been asked.  Charlie provides the answer.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Asking the Important Questions:

Yes, We Can Lawfully Target Islamic State Trainees Preparing to Conduct Terrorist Attacks in Europe and Elsewhere.

The author is Charles J. Dunlap, Jr., a former Air Force JAG and currently is the Executive Director of the Center on Law, Ethics and National Security and a Professor of the Practice at Duke Law School.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thoughts on Islam and Terrorism

For John, BLUFI don't think we are helping American Muslims by pretending there is no nexus between Islam and Terrorism.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the Hillsdale College Imprimis we have an adaptation of a speech by Mr Andrew C McCarthy, Islam—Facts or Dreams?.

Mr McCarthy's bona fides for making this discussion about terrorism connected with some version of Islam include his experience in 1993-95 leading the terrorism prosecution against Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and 11 others in connection with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to bomb New York City landmarks.

Mr McCarthy makes the point that the Administration has bent over backward to exculpate Islam and Muslims with regard to terrorism and terrorists, including those related to Daesh and al Qaeda.

At one level the Obama Administration is absolutely correct.  There are some 1.6 Billion Muslims in the world.  Those connected with various terrorist organizations are, at best, less than 1% of those Muslims and probably closer to 0.04% (around 600,000).

However, ignoring the impact of Islam on these terrorists is to not fully understanding what is going on here.

For example, the connection of the Wahhabist version of Islam is something that should not be ignored, but to raise it is to put us cross-ways with our long term friend in Middle East, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

This leads us to the fact that fixing the problem of Daesh means fixing the Saudi Arabian relationship with the Wahhabist Imams.  But, Saudi Arabia operates with an agreement with the Wahhabist Imams (the Al ash Sheikh).

No easy answers, but a little more transparency and openness would be helpful to the American Citizenship.

Ignoring connections will not make us safer.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  The majority of whom are not Arabs.
  This willingness to compromise can turn bad, as in Belgium, where the live and let live approach has turned out to be ineffective in keeping the terror threat at bay.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Good Friday

For John, BLUFThe Big Seekend.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

This part seems straight forward.

Sunday is the challenge.  Did Jesus rise from the dead?

Yes, he did.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, March 24, 2016

It May Not Be Over in November

For John, BLUFThe fun and games could continue into January 2017.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

We should probably file under "Don't know much about history".

From The Boston Globe we have "Moulton compares Trump’s rise to election of Hitler in 1930s".  That would be US Congress member Seth Moulton.  The Reporter is Mr Travis Andersen, of the Globe Staff.

Here is the gouge.  The voters in Germany did not elect Herr Adolf Hitler Chancellor.  No.  They elected people like Herr Seth Moulton, who then made Mr Hitler the Chancellor.

Anyway, here is the lede:

Representative Seth Moulton compared the rise of Republican presidential front-runner Donald J. Trump to the election of Adolf Hitler and said Wednesday that constituents should warn “that crazy uncle” against voting for the businessman if he wins the GOP nomination.
But, aside from making fun of a US Congressman for his ignorance of history, there is a practical lesson here.

While folks are focused on if the Republicans will have a contested Convention in Cleveland from 18 to 21 July of this year, maybe they should focus on the Electoral College.  If there is a breakdown in the Republican Party and a Third Party emerges and then no one gets the required 270 Electoral Votes, the election of the President will tumble into the US House of Representatives.  There Representative Seth Moulton will have a chance to elect some sort of a tyrannical scofflaw, like Herr Hitler.  Chose well Representative Moulton.  The future of the Republic could hang on your vote.

Hat tip to the MASSterList.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Chaos made more likely if Ms Hillary Clinton is indicted for breaking Federal Statutes, or is given a pass notwithstanding overwhelming evidence.  I am glad I am not Attorney General Loretta Lynch.  A lot is riding on her decision, her integrity.
  Did you have a "crazy uncle" who voted for Herr Hitler?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Relook at Mr Trump's Ideas re immigrants

For John, BLUFDid the Brussels bombing move more into the Trump Column?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

I thought Piers Morgan was another Progressive Brit, looking down on Middle America.  Then I see this headline from The Daily Mail, "When it comes to terror, isn’t it time we started listening seriously to Trump?"

Hat tip to the Drudge Report.

Regards  —  Cliff

GOP Voters Not Happy

For John, BLUFI don't think anyone is listening.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Rasmussen Reports, 22 March 2016, we have "76% of GOP Voters Rate Their Own Congress as Out of Touch".
No wonder Donald Trump and Ted Cruz are winning the Republican primaries:  GOP voters are more fed up than ever with their elected representatives in Washington, D.C.

Seventy-six percent (76%) of Likely Republican Voters say Republicans in Congress have lost touch with GOP voters from throughout the nation over the past several years, according to the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey.  That’s up from 65% in January of last year and the highest finding since we first asked this question just after Election Day in November 2008.

Yes, I know it is the great unwashed, but if they can organize themselves to vote they can make a difference.

Regards  —  Cliff

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Muslim ≠ Arab

For John, BLUFIslam is fairly diverse and not all are like Saudi Arabia.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

So, when one thinks Muslim, one normally also thinks Arab.  This is unfortunate.

There are something like 1.6 Billion Muslims on earth.  Of this 1.6 Billion, over 1 Billion are living in just eight nations.  And, of those eight nations, only one is Arab—Egypt.

There is no doubt that Daesh, who perpetrated today's bombings in Brussels, and the ones in Paris a while back, is an Arab Muslin nation.  There should be no doubt that they have a Wahhabiest like religious doctrine, with an Apocalyptic vision.

But, they are not the majority of Muslims.

On the other hand, parts of Islam has yet to reconcile with modernity, with what we might call the Enlightenment.  This is not to say Islam has not had its own periods of Enlightenment, but this is not one of them.

The eight nations mentioned include Indonesia, Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Egypt, Nigeria, Iran, Turkey, in that order.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Another is Iran, which is NOT Arab.
  Well, there is a question as to if Daesh is a "state" within International Law and the view of nations.  But, it claims to be a state.
  Apocalyptic as in these are the end times.
  Which means that until Islam in Saudi Arabia can accommodate a place for Western Culture in their world view, there will be trouble.

Bombs Bursting in Europe

For John, BLUFYes, we thwarted them and rolled them back.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

On his radio program today, in light of the Daesh bomb attacks in Brussels, Mr Limbaugh asked, "Why do they hate us".

I think the answer is Poland.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Rush was echoing a US Department of State symposium soon after 9/11, asking that question.
  The Polish, under King John III Sobieski, came to the relief of Vienna, lifting the two month Ottoman siege.  This would be 11-12 September 1683 and represented the high water mark of Muslim expansion into Europe.


For John, BLUFAIR BORNE!  SERGEANT!  Nothing to see here; just move along.

A nice article from Task and Purpose on a 5' 30" 1970s film on Airborne Training.

I remember Airborne School, down at Fort Benning, George.

I am bothered by high places, so I had to learn to look up to not tense up as I neared the ground.

Regards  —  Cliff

Monday, March 21, 2016

Another Take on Trump

For John, BLUFHere is the dark view of the Presidential Election.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

With the intro line "FASCIST VS. CAPO", Reporter Joel Kotkin (Daily Beast) gives us "Trumpism:  America’s Berlusconi Moment".

The sub-headline is:

Trump envisioned and created today’s city of white boxes for rootless new money types, who dominate the city even as they leave little mark here.
Here is how it starts:
An old joke—that in heaven, the Italians do the cooking; in hell, they run the government—feels a lot darker now that American politics are taking an Italian turn.

Since the fall of Il Duce, Italy has had a staggering 62 governments, and while American doesn’t have that problem yet, our political system is showing all the signs of decline—an inability to come to any consensus, the increased vulgarity of discourse, the utter incompetence of an impenetrable bureaucracy and the growth of extra-constitutional fascist and Mob-like “familial” —run modes of governance—with which Italians have long and unhappy familiarity.

Yes, Mr Silvio Berlusconi is more the model for Mr Trump than is that other Italian, Il Duce (Benito Mussolini). 

Here is an excerpt from further down the article:

If Trump is tarnished, that’s a good thing.  But his political demise would sadly [lead to] one that opens the door to another ugly Italian model, the less public but arguably more effective one followed by Hillary Clinton and much of the Democratic Party.

Clinton, notes journalist Jamelle Bouie reflects a machine model, with control of the party itself as a goal.  Rather than an ideological figure, she “appeals to stalwarts and interest groups (like banks and industry) far more than voters who choose on ideology and belief.”

This approach approximates, more than anything, the structure—though not the actual violence—of the Mafia, with “families.”  These groups that represent distinct, sometimes interlocking, interests, each functioning with almost total dominion over its respective turf but able to process competing demands through a central “commission” like the New York based one founded in 1931—when organized crime, incidentally, was under assault by fascist Italy.

Under a second President Clinton, the Democrats will operate under a similar system, with Wall Street, tech oligarchs, greens, feminists, gays, African-Americans, public sector unions, universities, Latinos, urban land speculators sitting around the table and her as il capo di tutti cape.

She won’t have much patience for legal niceties, having already pledged to circumvent Congress if they won’t do her bidding.  What drives progressives crazy about the former Secretary of State is not centralism – they generally supported Barack Obama’s rule by decree – but the very pragmatism that grows naturally out of this kind of familial structure.

Well, that is a pretty dark view of the future.  At least we aren't Italy, which is a fractured collection of provinces masquerading as a nation.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  It is time we show some historical understand and drop the references to Adolf Hitler.
  Keep in mind that Mr Mussolini is the one who invented Fascism.  The term comes from the latin, Fasces.  Remember the back side of the Mercury Dime?  That is the symbol.  But, back to Mr Benito Mussolini, he was a Communist, who decided that Communism was not a workable solution.  But, with World War I the idea of liberal democracy was called into question with the need for total mobilization of the nation, including civilians into uniform or into industry or other productive activities.  Thus, we got Fascism.

The Left is a Cult

For John, BLUFOf course he is a Brit, so to speak.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Front Page Magazine we have this short testimony from Mr Michael Faraday, "THE MIND OF THE LEFT FROM AN INSIDER".  The sub-headline is:
What I witnessed inside a faith of lies &mdash and what it took to leave.
Here is how the article starts:
First of all, forget the ‘60s. This situation has been brewing for over 100 years.  I was born into a working-class socialist family in New Zealand in 1960.  Democratic socialism had been established by popular reforms in the 1930s.  By the late ‘50s, almost every working-class child in New Zealand was raised socialist.

But we didn't call it socialism.  We called it "workers' rights.”  In my family, my older siblings and I were the third generation of socialists.  We never chose socialism, we inherited it.  In the late ‘60s, the younger middle-class joined us.

It is especially in the British Commonwealth that millions have been raised by leftists, who were raised by leftists, who were raised by leftists, and so on.  Some leftist families have been so for more than a century.  They consider themselves leftist royalty.

For the millions raised as leftists, it is not an ideology; it is a culture.  Since childhood, they have lived and breathed it every day in the home.  They know nothing else.  Like any culture, it is a way of speaking, thinking and acting, with its own narratives and rituals.  Narratives are held sacred, repeated, reinforced and, over time, added to.  That which challenges sacred narratives, even reality itself, is met with confusion and hostility.  As with any aggressive, intolerant culture, if you enter it, it enters you.

And here is the final paragraph:
Despite all this, it is hard to totally leave leftist thinking because it surrounds you.  It has become mainstream.  It’s like trying to bail a boat with holes in the bottom.  It takes a persistent intellectual effort to leave it behind.  But there is another reason why it takes time to dig out the leftist brain parasite.  A powerful lie lives there.  It is the most powerful lie they have.  It is that the Left “cares.”  You must fully embrace the fact that this is a lie.  All leftist “caring” has a hidden agenda.
It is those Conservatives, those Libertarians, those Independents who are outside the hive and able to think various alternative ideas.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Not that Michael Faraday.

The Jobs Aren't Coming Back to America

TRIGGER WARNING:  No, there won't be lots of jobs when you graduate from college.
For John, BLUF.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Writing at the FiveThirtyEight Blog, Mr Ben Casselman tells us "Manufacturing Jobs Are Never Coming Back".

Here is how it starts out:

A plea to presidential candidates: Stop talking about bringing manufacturing jobs back from China.  In fact, talk a lot less about manufacturing, period.

It’s understandable that voters are angry about trade.  The U.S. has lost more than 4.5 million manufacturing jobs since NAFTA took effect in 1994. And as Eduardo Porter wrote this week, there’s mounting evidence that U.S. trade policy, particularly with China, has caused lasting harm to many American workers.  But rather than play to that anger, candidates ought to be talking about ways to ensure that the service sector can fill manufacturing’s former role as a provider of dependable, decent-paying jobs.

Here’s the problem: Whether or not those manufacturing jobs could have been saved, they aren’t coming back, at least not most of them. How do we know? Because in recent years, factories have been coming back, but the jobs haven’t.  Because of rising wages in China, the need for shorter supply chains and other factors, a small but growing group of companies are shifting production back to the U.S. But the factories they build here are heavily automated, employing a small fraction of the workers they would have a generation ago.

That is pretty grim news.  And I am not sure he is wrong about the fact that while industries may return they may now be more automated.

And, while Mr Casselman is touting Service Economy jobs, the average man or woman from the manufacturing sector is not necessarily prepared to take on a Service Economy job.  You have been assembling cars for twenty years and now you are moving into the Service economy.  What are you going to be doing?  Writing software.  Selling things on the phone?  Repairing computers?  It boggles the mind.  And it is why our U-6 unemployment is double our U-3 unemployment.  People are dropping out.  They are going from tax payers to users of taxes in the form of welfare.

Two other things Mr Casselman didn't deal with are taxes and trade deficit.

The fact is that our taxes on industry are (1) keeping profits overseas rather than being repatriated to these United States, and, (2) causing companies to move overseas to avoid taxes (e.g., to Ireland or Canada).  Given that taxes on corporations get largely flowed down to the consumer, eventually, keeping the US with one of the highest taxes on corporations in the West seems like a losing bet.  It doesn't make sense.

The second part, the trade deficit, is like an iceberg, waiting to sink us.  This is all about The Trade Balance.  Do we buy more goods from abroad than we sell abroad?  If we always have a negative trade balance, how is that made up?  It could be by creditor nations buying our national debt, until a large segment of our Federal Budget goes to paying the interest rate to other nations.  How long can that go on?

Here is a graphic showing our trade balance.

This says that Mr Trump and Senator Sanders are going to have a hard time bringing back jobs.  And it means that Ms Hillary Clinton doesn't have a clue.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Underclass Speaks Up

For John, BLUFWhen he says "white" I figure he means "Caucasian".  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"Why Poor White Males Are the Core of Trump’s Support".

While this says it is talking about Donald Trump, it is also talking about Senator Bernie Sanders.  The Author, Mr Ian Welsh, is not a Trump supporter.  He is a seeker of truth, as here, talking about unemployment in the United States.

Here is a small sample of the subject Blog Post:

Do not tell me, or them, that they are “privileged.”  Yes, it is better to be poor and white than poor and black, and better to be a poor white man than a poor white woman, but people who are in pain do not react well to some smug, upper-middle-class jerk telling them they are privileged when their lives are clearly terrible.

It is a FACT that working class whites will not see any improvement worth mentioning under any normal politician, including Clinton.  They may see an improvement under Trump, they certainly would under Sanders.

They are voting for what they see as their interests, and they are not necessarily wrong.  Certainly, Trump is more likely to help than Clinton, as the chance of Clinton helping them is zero.  Zip.  Nada.

So, you have a group of people who are not only not doing well economically, but are also looked down upon by their betters.

What kind of a reaction would you expect?

As you go further down in the blog it becomes gloomier, and goes a direction I am not sure I agree with.  But, it does point out for us that treating the poor white men like Neanderthals is not doing us any good.  As they say about trying to teach a pig to read a wrist watch, it is a waste of our time and it annoys the pig.

I don't know how this election will turn out, but it could turn out that our betters pushed the envelope just a little too far.

A lot of it depends upon if the underclass votes in November.  Right now it looks like they are turning out, and turning out for Mr Trump and Senator Sanders.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Word Definition—Bien-pensant

For John, BLUFLike Bill O'Rielly, a new word every day.  Or not.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From time to time I will use the term Bien-pensant, or make it one of my tags (or labels).  It is meant to be sarcasm.
noun (bien-pensant)

a right-thinking or orthodox person.

French, from bien ‘well’ + pensant, present participle of penser ‘think.’

On the other hand, I have to admit that my late friend, Bill Tuel, was correct to say that negative humor is bad.  So, I will work to minimize my use, but the election season is certainly a condition that invites me to sin in this way and sin freely and happily.

Regards  —  Cliff

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Keeping Women Safe

TRIGGER WARNING:  A real person, with different views.
For John, BLUFI sure wish Marisa DeFranco was on the Republican Team.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From today's Lowell Sun and the "Focus Section", Lawyer Marisa DeFranco writes "Matters of Life and Death".  It is a well written and cogent argument that we are missing a crisis and that crisis is women being murdered.  Women being unsafe in any location and from a random selection of murderers.  She has the statistics to prove her case.

We should listen.

Regards  —  Cliff

  On line the headline is "Women are being murdered and there's not enough concern".  Both work for me.

Running Amok in Framingham

For John, BLUFThe Captain is gaining a wider readership.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is an item from The Boston Herald's Columnist, Mr Howie Carr—"‘Undocumented’ are running amok with no recourse".

Read it and then ask yourself why there is a Donald Trump.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Running Amok.  Behave uncontrollably and disruptively.  A Malay language word that came to America after we liberated the Philippines from Spain.

Name Calling

For John, BLUFGodwin's Law in action, Democrat version.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From Mr Daniel Greenfield and Front Page Magazine we have "EVERY REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE IS HITLER".

Even as far back as when Pat Brown was Governor of California.

The thing is, if one wants to compare the current Republican Candidate with a truly evil person there is really only Joseph Stalin.  Reigned longer and died in his sleep.  Killed more.  Was going after Jewish Doctors when he died.  That wouldn't have ended well.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  At least I think so.

Tip of the "ICE" Berg

For John, BLUFThere are no consequences for poor performance.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"ICE Director Shirks Responsibility:  Woman’s Death At Hands of Illegal Immigrant Was ‘After the Fact’".  This per Reporter Cortney O'Brien of Town Hall.
In January, Eswin Mejia, reported to be an illegal immigrant, went street racing in Omaha, Nebraska and caused a fatal car crash, killing 21-year-old Sarah Root.  The Omaha police alerted Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities and they took Mejia into custody.

He was released on $5,000 bail and has not been seen since.

How could this happen? : Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) demanded of ICE Director Sarah Saldana when she testified before the Senate Homeland Security Committee on Tuesday.

This was her explanation:

“We acted — we tried to act, sir, but I believe there was a matter of hours between the time that we were contacted and the actual release,” Saldana testified.  “It is very hard for us to get to every inquiry that is made by law enforcement, and unfortunately it had a horrible consequence here.  But we try very hard to respond as quickly as possible; we just can’t get to every site within a matter of hours.”
Did that explanation from ICE Director Sara Saldana even make sense?

Is there any question as to why the masses are unhappy with Washington?

If Trump did not exist, we would have to invent him.

With apologies to Voltaire

Hat tip to Memeorandum.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Can you imagine that the director of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Ms Sarah R Saldaña, doesn't even have her own page on Wikipedia.  She can be found on this ICE page.  I would think ICE Chief of Staff Mr Leonard Joseph would get on that, subito.

The State of Religion in Various States

For John, BLUFEven California and Nevada were 16 points more religious than this Commonwealth.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"How religious is your state?"  The answers, from the PEW Trust, were developed by Mr Michael Lipka and Mr Benjamin Wormald.

According to PEW research, the top ten states for religious sentiment are, Oklahoma and West Virginia excepted, from the South, the Old South.  I am not attributing that to Caucasian Racism, as some might.  A large number of Blacks are religious.  While they might vote for Ms Hillary Clinton on Tuesday, on Sunday morning and Wednesday evening they are in Church.

But, at the other end of the list, the five least religious are the New England States, with New Hampshire and Massachusetts anchoring the list at 33% of adults listing themselves as highly religious.

Regards  —  Cliff

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Everyone is a Mix

For John, BLUFWell, we still have Saint Patrick.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Well, this is a bit awkward.

Our whole understanding of the Irish may be a bit off.

From the British Newspaper, The Independent, reporter Peter Whoriskey (obviously an Irish name), tells us recent DNA testing of old bones suggests that things didn't develop the way we normally think they did.  "Man’s discovery of bones under his pub could forever change what we know about the Irish".  Bertie Currie stumbled over [what] was an ancient burial that challenges traditional centuries-old account of Irish origins."

The last paragraph:

“But there’s going to be no way to do that. These groups were frequently traveling east-west across Europe, from one place to another. Everyone is a mix.”
That thing about "Everyone is a mix" is a good line.  The real issue is one's political culture.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Well, the Pub thing fits.

Republican Party Finished?

For John, BLUFAt this point I see the race going to the wire.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Writing for Pajamas Media, Mr Rick Moran gives us "GOP Must Destroy Itself to Save Its Soul".

He starts with a discussion of a Washington Post Editorial calling for the Republican Party apparatus to deny Mr Trump the election, whatever it takes.  Mr Moran says that even if Mr Trump gets the nomination his negatives are so high he will not get elected.  Thus, the Republican Party will collapse. The final paragraph:

WaPo urging Republicans to embark on a "moral"campaign to keep Trump from the presidency is unnecessary. The Republican Party is essentially finished.  After the election, there will be some sort of entity that we will call the "Republican Party."  But it will be unrecognizable from what came before.  And whether that remnant of Republicanism can survive is an open question.
But, it could result, as well, in the demise of the Democrat Party as we know it, as a new coalition forms, taking voters from the old Republican Party and the old Democrat Party, leaving the Democrat Party as the Party of the bi-coastal elites.

On the other hand, Mr Moran could be wrong and Mr Trump could win it all.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  One wonders if their Lordships in the WaPo editorial office would give the same advice to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, et al, if Ms Clinton was found to have violated a number of Federal Laws with her home brew server?

Counterterrorism Screening and Assistance Act of 2016

For John, BLUFNote the emphasis on protection of sources and methods.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

So, is this what Mr Trump is looking for in terms of protecting the United States from foreign terrorists?

Regards  —  Cliff

  Intel Speak for don't give away the identities of spies working for us nor technical capabilities for obtaining information of value from foreign governments.

Friday, March 18, 2016

There Are Those Who Want To Pick None of the Above

For John, BLUFI've got nothing.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

On the Rush Limbaugh show today, the first caller, from Thousand Oaks, was declaring a pox on both houses, both Mr Trump and Ms Clinton.  She did allow, however, that Ms Clinton's fingers were longer than Mr Trumps, whatever that means.

I wonder what such people will do in November.

Regards  —  Cliff

As Evangelicals Vote

For John, BLUFThere actually are Evangelicals around here.  Asking me off line.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

There has been some talk this election season about how self-identified Evangelicals are voting.  Aware of that, PEW Research has come out with a discussion of the issue.

There are several graphs in the article, but this is a good one for capturing how big is the Evangelical vote.  In looking at the chart, please keep in mind that Evangelical and Christian are not the same set of people.  Evangelicals are Protestants, as opposed to Catholics and Orthodox.  And not every Protestant would consider himself or herself an Evangelical.

So, yes, Evangelicals, self-identified in Exit Polls, are a factor in recent Republican Primaries, and they seem to be breaking, strangely enough, for Mr Trump.

Regards  —  Cliff

  And there are other issues, such as the assertion that Senator Ted Cruz subscribes to "Dominion Theology".  There is the view that this is pretty much nonsense, stirred up by those looking for an issue.  It isn't like we are talking Daesh and the Caliph, Dr Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
  Evangelicals believe in salvation by grace through faith in Jesus Christ's atonement.  They are apt to ask someone if "they are saved".  This movement grew out of the Great Awakening that swept the United States and UK in the late 18th Century and the first half of the 19th Century.
  Having said that, there are Catholics and Orthodox who think and believe like Evangelicals in terms of their relationship to Jesus and the need for evangelization of the world.  A Venn diagram inside a larger circle.

Senator E Warren Ducks Questions

For John, BLUFShe did a good job of ducking the questions and sticking to her message.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Somewhere on the Internet I found this interview of our Senator, Ms E Warren.  The interview was being done by CBS.  The poster of this video noted that she was interviewed and "dodged and skirted around 11 questions in under 5 minutes during an interview on CBS This Morning Thursday" last.

Well, there is the dodging and weaving, but I thought the most interesting part was when she said:

...America's Middle Class is really on the ropes.  What we need is someone in the White House who is going to be out there fighting for them.  That is what this next election is going to be about.

The Republicans make it clear.  They are going to keep working for the rich and the powerful.  The Democrats are making it clear.  The're going to get out there for working families.

Really?  I don't think so.  The Democrat holy grail of big government means that big business will succeed (the rich and the powerful) and the small business will be squeezed out by an ever increasing bureaucracy that the small guy can't afford to hire people to cope with; the ever increasing regulations coming out of Washington that are overwhelming not just small businesses, but also small towns and cities.

Mr Trump, to take an example, has talked about the high unemployment rate for young Blacks.  This is a serious issue for this nation and I am not hearing innovative ideas out of the Democrats on Capitol Hill, or anywhere in the current Administration.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, who couldn't answer a single question, has it wrong about the Parties and the little guy.  Neither are great, but the Republican are doing less harm than the Democrats.  And isn't that the first rule—"Do no harm"?

And, I think I got this from Rob Eno's Facebook page.  Thanks, Rob.

Regards  —  Cliff

Update on Daesh Actions in the US

For John, BLUFIt really isn't happening.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It was back in November of last year, but Ms Claudia Koerner of Buzz Feed gives us the update—"California University Stabbing Attack Was ISIS-Inspired, FBI Says"
Faisal Mohammad, 18, visited ISIS websites before stabbing four people at the University of California Merced, but it appears he acted alone, the FBI said.
So, is this real terrorism?  Domestic or international?  To what degree is it Daesh activated and to what degree is it just mental illness?  To what degree do we fear it happening in our neighborhood?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Merced is in Merced County in the San Joaquin Valley of Northern California.

Amending the Constitution

For John, BLUFAsking five members of the Supreme Court to Change the Constitution is wrong, and dangerous.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From the on-line magazine Task and Purpose, we have Mr James Clark talking about "Failed Constitutional Amendments That Would Have Changed How America Wages War".

While some expect the US Supreme Court to update the Constitution to fit current needs, those who are really serious propose and push a constitutional amendment.  This linked article talks to some of those proposed amendments in the area of warfare.

Regards  —  Cliff

Looking Into SecState Clinton

For John, BLUFI am not hopeful.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

The Daily Caller Reporter Richard Pollock writes "Hillary Faces National Security Establishment ‘Uprising’ Over Emails".


Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Thursday, March 17, 2016

SecState Kerry Acknowledges Genocide in Daesh Controlled Areas

TRIGGER WARNING:  Suggests a specific form of Islam is killing whole groups of people.
For John, BLUFNo change on the ground, but puts us on record as seeing what is happening.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

"Kerry determines IS group committing genocide in Iraq, Syria", per Mr Matthew Lee of the Associated Press.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State John Kerry determined Thursday that the Islamic State group is committing genocide against Christians and other minorities in Iraq and Syria, meeting a congressional deadline for a decision.

The declaration, while long sought by Congress and human rights groups, changes little.  It does not obligate the United States to take additional action against IS militants and does not prejudge any prosecution against its members.

A day after the State Department said Kerry would miss the deadline because he needed to gather evidence and act deliberatively, Kerry said he had completed his review and determined that Christians, Yazidis and Shiite groups are victims of genocide and crimes against humanity by IS militants.  The House earlier this week passed a nonbinding resolution by a 393-0 vote condemning IS atrocities as genocide.

Regards  —  Cliff

The Parliament vs the Crown

For John, BLUFThe problem is the pain of being Ted Cruz and being pilloried for shutting down Government.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Yesterday Mr Pau A Rahe write, at the Blog Ricochet a post titled "The Power of the Purse".

Here is his lede:

Last week, Mona Charen published a post on Ricochet, defending the Republican establishment.  She began by observing that “The Republican Party is choosing an odd time to commit suicide,” and she rightly drew attention to the fact that “in the Obama era the Democrats lost 13 US Senate seats, 69 House seats, 910 legislative seats, 11 governorships, and 30 legislative chambers.”  The only thing that “stood between Republicans and real reform at the federal level was the White House,” she observed, “and the Democrats were sleepwalking toward nominating the least popular major player in American politics.”  Then, she rightly noted that the Republicans had “managed to find someone who is even less acceptable,” and she added a few choice words about Donald Trump – all of them, alas, plausible, but (and this may turn out to be important down the road) not all of them, as they pertain to the future, certain.
Here is the part that Law Professor Glenn Reynolds chose to extract:
“The truth is that modern liberty depends on the power of the purse.  All of the great battles in England in the 17th century between the Crown and Parliament turned ultimately on the power of the purse.  The members of Parliament were elected at least in part with an eye to achieving a redress of grievances, and that redress was the price they exacted for funding the Crown.  Our legislature has given up that power. Our congressional leaders claim – once the election is over – that they have no leverage.  If that is really true, then elections do not matter, and a redress of grievances is now beyond the legislature’s power.  Absent that capacity, however, the legislature is virtually useless.  Absent that capacity, it is contemptible — and let’s face it:  the President and those who work under him have showered it with contempt.”
To which Professor Reynolds rightly added:
Which is why we have Trump.
But, as long as the Democrats (in the current Congressional configuration) hold party loyalty above Congressional prerogatives, things will continue as they have.  The only question is if it would continue that way if Democrats ruled the roost on Capitol Hill?

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

Mother Teresa to be Canonized in Sept

For John, BLUFShe is an example for all of us.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Mother Teresa to be Canonized 4 September of this year, in Rome.

From the 15 March edition of Zenit we have:

Decree of 5 Future Canonized Saints Signed at Ordinary Public Consistory This Morning, Including Mexican Child Martyr
Regards  —  Cliff

A Cartoonist's View

For John, BLUFI don't think the elite understands what is going on.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Here is a different spin on the election.  The author is Mr Scott Adams, who has given us the very insightful Dilbert Cartoon.  This is from the Blog of Professor Ann Althouse.  Here is how it starts:
"Trump is well on his way to owning the identities of American Alpha Males and Women Who Like Alpha Males."

"Clinton is well on her way to owning the identities of angry women, beta males, immigrants, and disenfranchised minorities.  If this were poker, which hand looks stronger to you for a national election?"

That's Scott Adams.  (Again.  Sorry, but he keeps saying interesting things.)

Between Mr Scott Adams and some MSM Pundit, which would you pick to understand what is going on out there?

Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

Regards  —  Cliff

St Patrick

For John, BLUFSee you at the Dinner.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Today we celebrate Saint Patrick, who brought Christianity to Ireland, from where it was exported back to Italy.  See, for example, How the Irish Saved Civilization.

Regards  —  Cliff

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Sanctions Imposed on North Korea

For John, BLUFAnd well we should.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Did you ever want to see an executive order?  Here is one with regard to North Korea and Sanctions against that nation for dealing in nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Blocking Property of the Government of North Korea and the Workers' Party of Korea, and Prohibiting Certain Transactions with Respect to North Korea


By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), the United Nations Participation Act of 1945 (22 U.S.C. 287c) (UNPA), the North Korea Sanctions and Policy Enhancement Act of 2016 (Public Law 114-122), section 212(f) of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 (8 U.S.C. 1182(f)), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code, and in view of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 2270 of March 2, 2016,

I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, find that the Government of North Korea's continuing pursuit of its nuclear and missile programs, as evidenced most recently by its February 7, 2016, launch using ballistic missile technology and its January 6, 2016, nuclear test in violation of its obligations pursuant to numerous UNSCRs and in contravention of its commitments under the September 19, 2005, Joint Statement of the Six-Party Talks, increasingly imperils the United States and its allies.  To address those actions, and to take additional steps with respect to the national emergency declared in Executive Order 13466 of June 26, 2008, as modified in scope and relied upon for additional steps in subsequent Executive Orders, I hereby order:

And from there comes the list of sanctions.

In your name, by the President.  And it was the right and proper thing to do.

Regards  —  Cliff

Is Mr Trump sui generis?

For John, BLUFThe idea that Mr Trump has introduced the approach of strong opinions and personal attack shows a lack of historical insight.  Nothing to see here; just move along.


From the pen of Mr Ed Driscoll, at the InstaPundit, quoted in full.

SHOT:  How Democrats abandoned the working class and spurred rise of Donald Trump.

—Kyle Smith, the New York Post.

Chaser:  The Resentment Powering Trump.

—Molly Bell, the Atlantic.

Of course, it’s not like, in their manic quest for Internet clicks, the Atlantic fueled that resentment by surreptitiously comparing Bush to Hitler in 2007, then relentlessly attacking Sarah Palin and utterly fixating on the notion that Trig Palin wasn’t her son the following year, and then comparing milquetoast John Boehner to an Irish Republican terrorist in 2013, or anything.

Oh wait.

Related:  What Trump’s Insults Tell Us About American Democracy:  Welcome to “a future where politics and entertainment are finally, completely unified, to the detriment of both, and of everyone subjected to them.”  In other words, Trump is Godzilla, spawned by the radioactive DNC-MSM overculture of the past quarter century.

It isn't like our past history is not sprinkled with this kind of thing.

But, to be fair to Mr Trump, he is just following the advice of then Senator Barrack Hussein Obama (initial source is InstaPundit):

Argue with neighbors, get in their faces…  If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard…  I don’t want to quell anger.  I think people are right to be angry.  I’m angry…If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.  Because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl.  I’ve seen Eagles fans.
Here and here.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff

  Sui generis, as in "unique", from the Latin, literally ‘of its own kind.’
  President Obama, now that he has less than a year in office, says that "Dismayed by Vulgarity, Violence of Campaign".  I have to admit that I look to the Democrats for the violence.  On the other hand, Mr Trump can be vulgar.  Then there is the fact that Ms Clinton is the scofflaw in the race.

Dear Prince Harry

For John, BLUFwhen you have lost Piers Morgan….  Nothing to see here; just move along.

Writing in The Daily Mail, Mr Piers Morgan, says "Dear Harry, If you are really thinking about going to Yale, you must be nuts.  You wouldn’t last five minutes against the politically correct sex police."

Here is how it starts:

Dear Prince Harry,

I hear you may be considering attending Yale University to study law.

There was a time when I would have urged you to do this; a bygone, glorious time when Ivy League university campus life was actually fun.

A time in which young adult men and women came together in academic, sporting and social harmony.  They worked hard, played hard, drank too much, had wild sex (a lot) and even took the occasional substance that wouldn’t pass a tennis dope test.

President William Jefferson Clinton’s studied law at Yale, for God’s sake – even if he didn’t inhale.

But those days are long gone and how, can I put this, you are a young, single man who quite reasonably enjoys the company of ladies and the odd night of partying.

The story then goes on to talk about the Yale’s 22-year-old basketball captain, Mr Jack Montague, who was expelled over an accusation of rape.  Not over conviction for rape, or even indictment, or even an accusation to the police.  No, an accusation, a year after, to the University Administrators.

If Mr Montague did it he should go to jail.  But he hasn't gone into the criminal system.  The over bloated Yale Administration system expelled him because another student said he did something wrong.

Mr Montague has sued.  Good on him.  I hope he wins and wins big.

Our university system is doomed.  And the Federal Department of Education has a lot to do with it.

But, finally, someone is pushing back.

Hat tip to the InstaPundit.

Regards  —  Cliff