Monday, August 03, 2015

Sex slaves: pure Islam

GOP candidates on gay marriage ruling

Maggie Gallagher has been researching the positions taken by the GOP candidates on the Supreme Court's ruling on gay marriage. She gives a report card to each candidate and explains each "grade" in depth here.

One person knew

Dan Joseph of MRCTV stands in front of the National Archives building in Washington D.C., home of the Constitution. Visitors can go in and look at the Constitution. On their way out, Dan interviewed people to see how many knew the five rights guaranteed to Americans under the First Amendment.

Robot experiences life in the inner city

Have you heard about HitchBot the talking robot? He had been hitchhiking across Canada and two European countries, and here is what he planned to do in America:


Unfortunately, he decided to visit the city of brotherly love, Philadelphia. This is what's left of his decapitated body.


Friday night, it was picked up by two males who live in Philadelphia, according to their Twitter accounts.

“Thanks Philly!!! You freaking Killed @hitchBOT I’m so mad right now,” tweeted Jesse Wellens shortly after a selfie with his new robotic pal.

He and a friend tweeted they would drop it off about 1 a.m. at Elfreths Ally, a historic cobblestoned street 100 metres from the Delaware River in the heart of downtown Philadelphia. That was the last place HitchBOT was seen.
Read more here.

Kerry and Obama: Naivete, vanity, and foolishness

Historian Victor Davis Hanson compares Hitler's Nazi Germany with today's Iran. Hitler sized up the fecklessness, and lack of cohesion of his enemies and then went on his killing spree across Europe.
In every regard, Hitler brilliantly judged the appeasing mentalities of his far more powerful enemies. Only a horrific war restored a grim reality to Hitler’s Nazis. By late 1943 the Third Reich had been brutally reminded that Britain, the Soviet Union, and the United States really were far more powerful than Germany all along.

Iran now de facto runs Lebanon. It props up what is increasingly a puppet state in Syria and all but controls Iraq, while attempting to take over Yemen and erode Sunni authority in the Gulf. The regional Sunni states — including Egypt, Jordan, the Gulf states, Turkey, and Pakistan — together are collectively far stronger than Iran. But like the Western democracies and their eastern allies in 1938, each nation apparently prefers, in the paraphrase of Churchill, to be eaten last by the crocodile, and thereby eschews collective forceful deterrent action.

...Iran is as militarily weak as was the 1938 Third Reich. But like Hitler’s Germany, Iran fancies that its ardor and brinkmanship constitute military assets far more valuable than mere carriers or planes. Like Hitler, the theocracy believes loud bluster and perhaps even feigned insanity offer real advantages against those who are sober, judicious, and intent on avoiding the use of force at all costs. Are “Death to America” and constant threats from Teheran — even as negotiations of the non-proliferation deal were still fluid — all that much different from Hitler’s scoffing that his interlocutors at Munich were “worms”? Acting as if one has nothing to lose is advantageous in geostrategic poker.

...The danger of an aggressor is never just the specter of raw power, but instead the insidious messages about using what it has that it sends to more responsible parties. Once Chamberlain and Édouard Daladier backed down at Munich, the Soviets concluded that friendship with Western democracies was as dangerous as enmity to Hitler, and thus flipped their affinities. Other opportunistic Eastern European nations soon realigned with Hitler. So-called neutrals like fair-weather Sweden, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and Turkey conducted lucrative trade deals with Hitler and made the necessary adjustments to fit what they saw as an ascendant Third Reich. If the Iranian deal goes through, and if it is perceived as an economic, political, and military boon to the theocracy, then the surrounding and terrified Middle East will likely make the necessary political modifications to allow for Iranian expansionism.

...The appeasers always pose as peace-makers and caricature their skeptics as near troglodyte war-mongers.

Today we see a Munich-like arrogance that men of assumed reason and sobriety, by their winning charisma, rare mellifluence, or superior wisdom, can convince Khamenei of the errors of his ways. Western humanists habitually preen that they can demonstrate to authoritarians why their bellicosity is supposedly against their own self interests — as if autocratic aggressors envision risking war, and shorting their own people, as unimaginable evils in comparison with the acquisition of honor, glory and respect that follows from easily bullying neighbors and successfully gobbling up real estate. John Kerry believes that the bomb is not in Iran’s real interest; Iran believes that so far even the idea of a bomb most certainly has proved very much in Iran’s interest.

...While John Kerry ignored the long-term security of Israel and the Sunni states in the Middle East, Vladimir Putin had earlier demonstrated that Ossetia led to the Crimea that led to Eastern Ukraine that may well soon lead to the Baltic states. Failed reset no more wised up John Kerry than Abyssinia or Manchuria had enlightened Neville Chamberlain. Munich’s 1938 hype led to catastrophe in 1939, in a way that the current 2015 self-congratulation may well become frightening in 2016.

The Iran deal is not Munich, but the same naiveté, vanity, and foolishness of Western leaders are close enough to warn us about what happens next. And it will not be good.
Read more here.

Carly Fiorina is strong

Hugh Hewitt interviewed Carly Fiorina today. I didn't hear it, but Hugh has posted it at his website. Here are some excerpts:
The money is already flowing to Iran. And so on day one in the Oval Office, I will make two phone calls – the first to Bibi Netanyahu to reassure him we will stand with the state of Israel, the second to the Supreme Leader of Iran. He might not take my phone call, but he would get the message. The message is no deal. Until and unless you open up every military and every nuclear facility to real anytime, anywhere inspections, we will make it as difficult as possible for you to move money around the global financial system. Those two phone calls, critical in and of themselves, also send a message to every ally and every adversary we have in the world. The United States of America is back in the leadership business.

Think about the reality of an administration, a president, Hillary Clinton, a presidential candidate, silently, as well as every other Democrat presidential candidate or would-be candidate out there, no one is saying a word about the fact that we have secret deals between the Iranian regime and the IAEA. And God bless a couple of Republicans who said wait a second, what’s in these deals. It’s stunning. The Congress needs to reject this deal, but we need to be realistic. Even if they do, and I hope they do, the money is flowing. China and Russia, the U.N., the European Union, they don’t care what Congress does. The American people will watch very carefully what Congress does, but the rest of the world has moved on. And that’s why this deal is such an abomination for this administration, and for any Democrat candidate who says they support it.

HH: Carly Fiorina, you just mentioned Hillary Clinton. I wanted to you ask you now about her. More comes out. The thumb drive that has the classified information, and more will continue to come out. At this point, 18USC Section 1924 is what David Petraeus had to plead guilty to violating. He was sentenced to two years’ probation, a hundred thousand dollar fine. It’s what Mr. Deutch had to leave the Agency for violating. It is obvious to me that Hillary Clinton has violated this. Do you expect any criminal investigation to occur of the former Secretary of State?

CF: Well, I have no idea. I certainly hope so, but let us acknowledge that the Department of Justice has been politicized under this administration. And ultimately, it is up to the Department of Justice. So I wish I had great faith in the Department of Justice, but history would tell us, recently history, that is, that perhaps that faith is not well-placed.

HH: What percent of probability do you put it at that she has violated 18USC 1924?

CF: Oh, I think it’s exceptionally high. I think there’s no doubt. You can’t have a server in your basement and be trafficking in classified information on your personal device without having violated that section, I don’t think, and it’s pretty clear she did move classified information around.

HH: And kept it after she left, which is the second violation. I mean, it’s actually kind of staggering that there isn’t a special prosecutor already appointed for her, but I, like you, am skeptical. Now let me ask you about the Planned Parenthood videos. Have you watched them, Carly Fiorina?

CF: I have, and it’s almost unbearable to watch.

It’s almost unbearable. And as I have said many, many times, this is not about whether you think you’re pro-choice or pro-life. This is about the moral foundation of this nation. It is an abomination. Truly, it is depraved, and I hope very much that Congress will vote to defund Planned Parenthood now, but I hope as well that every Democrat running for president, for Senate, for Congress or for dog catcher is asked to explain why they are not condemning this practice, these videos, and voting against the funding of Planned Parenthood.

HH: Now Carly, it will come down to shutting the government down, again, on this issue. And that’s where we’re headed. We’re headed there in September, September the 30th. The government will run out of money. The Republicans will refuse to fund Planned Parenthood. The President and the, well, the Democrats in the Senate will refuse to pass an appropriation bill. Should the Republicans blink at that moment? I want to get people ready for this right now. The Democrats will never give up on the abortion industry. You and I both know that. So should the Republicans be preparing now, and educating the American people that they will do what it takes to end what is in essence support for infanticide?

CF: Well, I certainly hope that the Democrats in Congress and in the Senate will be asked the question over and over and over again. I will certainly continue to ask the question of Hillary Clinton and anyone else. So will you. I hope every Republican does. I hope every media outlet does. Explain to me, explain, more importantly, to the American people how you can continue to support a policy that it isn’t a life until it leaves the hospital, and how can you continue to support taxpayer funding for this organization. We have to hammer away at that. Ask them the question.

HH: Now, you know, though, Carly Fiorina, I’ve probably interviewed you 30 times. You’re one of the best interviews out there. I tell people that’s because you did quarterly conference calls on earnings for so long. But that’s the first time I didn’t get a direct answer from you. Maybe because it’s a very difficult question, so I’m going to try it again. If it comes down to closing the government down or funding Planned Parenthood, what should the Republicans in the Congress do?

CF: I apologize for not answering your question. They should close the government down.

CF: My point is this, however. We have a long way to go. And between now and then, beginning with this vote today, every single Republican out there, as well as I hope every media outlet, needs to ask the question that I have been asking for weeks. How does any Democrat justify their position? How does any Democrat justify the continued taxpayer funding of this organization? And if you really think it’s necessary, then why don’t you support taxpayer funding for pregnancy centers right next door to every single Planned Parenthood facility across this nation so that women really understand what their choices and their options are? We have to hammer the Democrats on this, because honestly, their position, which most Americans do not understand, that’s the shame of it. Most Americans don’t understand that the Democrats’ position is it’s not a life until it leaves the hospital. Most Americans don’t agree with that position. We have to educate the American people about how extreme Democrats are.

HH: Now Planned Parenthood’s defense is that the videos have been edited. What do you think about that?

CF: Yeah, yeah, well, I didn’t hear anybody getting upset at an edited video about Mitt Romney at a fundraiser. Look, whether they’re edited or not, and by the way, the people who have made these videos have also put the unedited videos out there for everybody to see, so if you want to watch the whole thing, you can. This is not about editing. This is about a horrific process of infanticide to harvest body parts. It is abominable.
Read more here.

Trump marches on

I notice that Roger L. Simon has backed off his Donald Trump criticism. In this article he wrote at PJ Media, he has trouble thinking of any other candidate who can knock off Trump. Hugh Hewitt interviewed Trump today. I heard the interview, and could not find anything objectionable about what Trump had to say. Hugh will have that interview posted here.

Cecil the lion versus murdered babies

Andrew Klavan writes at PJ Media about the love of animals and the love of a mother for her child:
You are not just who you are, but also who you’ve been and who you will be. Likewise, a fetus is not just the creature it is, it is also the child it will become, and likewise the child is the adult it will grow into. A mother who lets the love for her baby grow as the baby grows, who learns to release her child into its own consciousness and yet loves it still even on into adulthood — she is the nearest exemplar to the gospel commandment we have this side of heaven. That’s why — no matter how many female soccer stars and talk show hosts and corrupt senators the media hold up for our veneration — the Good Mother remains our chief human image of love, sacrifice and virtue.
Read more here.

Trump is not going anywhere

Dick Morris believes Trump will stay in the GOP race. In his latest video, Morris makes the point that the political establishment has certain consensus political assumptions that the American people do not share. For example: immigration. Nobody will say the two fundamental facts about immigration: 1. We would have a quarter to a third less crime in the United States if we didn't have illegal immigrants living here, and 2. The major cause of income inequality and low wages is the constant influx of illegal immigrants. Morris mentions three other issues: our bloated disability program, 500,000 refugees assigned to America by the U.N., and affirmative action based on race and gender.

Having their exposed sexual organs skinned from their bodies

Julia Hahn writes at Breitbart,
a petition from the womens’ group Equality Now reveals that immigration has put the United States on a list that will be much more difficult for progressive immigration enthusiasts to cheer. A massive influx of immigrants from Muslim-populated countries in Africa and the Middle East has led the group to conclude that more than half a million girls in the U.S. are in danger of having their exposed sexual organs skinned from their bodies.

The practice is known as female genital mutilation (FGM).

...The Atlantic describes how the procedure is carried out:

It usually involves the complete removal of the clitoris, and often the removal of some of the inner and outer labia. In its most extreme form–infibulation–almost all the external genitalia are cut away, the remaining flesh from the outer labia is sewn together, or infibulated, and the girl’s legs are bound from ankle to waist for several weeks while scar tissue closes up the vagina almost completely. A small hole, typically about the diameter of a pencil, is left for urination and menstruation. The cutting is usually done with a razor, a kitchen knife, or a pair of scissors. It is rare for any anesthesia to be used.


...Although Americans will not hear it reported on your evening news, the summer season now brings with it more than summer school or summer camp: for thousands of girls, it’s what is known as “cutting season” in America.

While many American girls associate summer with campfires, lightening bugs, community pools, sweet tea, and plastic lanyards, a new summer tradition is taking hold in the nation as thousands of migrant communities from around the country begin preparing their daughters for grotesque and lifelong sexual disfigurement.

In 2013, there were up to 507,000 U.S. women and girls who had undergone FGM/C or were at risk of the procedure… This figure is more than twice the number of women and girls estimated to be at risk in 2000… The rapid increase in women and girls at risk reflects an increase in immigration to the United States, rather than an increase in the share of women and girls at risk of being cut… about 97 percent of U.S. women and girls at risk were from African countries, while just 3 percent were from Asia (Iraq and Yemen).

The African-born population in the United States, according to U.S. Census data, “has roughly doubled each decade since 1970.” The PRB report notes that, “between 2000 and 2013, the foreign-born population from Africa more than doubled, from 881,000 to 1.8 million”; and, “in fiscal year 2014, one-fourth of the 70,000 refugees arriving in the United States were from Africa.” Additionally, as the Center for Immigration Studies documented from a recent Census report, immigration from the Middle East is the fastest-growing bloc of new visa admissions.

“Egypt, Ethiopia, and Somalia—accounted for 55 percent of all U.S. women and girls at risk in 2013,” the Population Reference Bureau reports. “The FGM prevalence rate for women and girls ages 15 to 49 is 91 percent in Egypt, 74 percent in Ethiopia and 98 percent in Somalia.”

Aissa describes how her sister was taken away by a woman to “wait for her turn” while Aissa’s stepmother instructed her to lay down on a bed. Aissa did as she was told, as four women stood over her pinning her to the bed as another woman began to cut her. No anaesthetic was used to remove Aissa’s clitoris with a razor blade. Aissa explains that it doesn’t matter how tightly you are held down, your body instinctively convulses, which results in deeper and longer incisions.

“The pain is, well, it’s so difficult to describe to you what it is like. Imagine when you cut your finger, it’s a million times worse than that. But that doesn’t even begin to describe the type of pain that takes over when the part of your body that has the most nerve endings in it is cut away. Only girls who have been cut will ever know what that level of pain is like. I honestly thought I was going to die, and then everything went black.”

...the Republican Party continues to push for more immigration from FGM countries. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), for instance, a candidate for president and possible vice president pick, introduced two bills—the Gang of Eight and, more recently, I-Squared—that would expand immigration and foreign workers admissions from countries with large Muslim populations.

...Only one top-polling presidential candidate, Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, has so far even expressed a willingness to consider reducing the number of visas handed out each year by our government.

...It may be regarded as one of the great ironies of the 21st century that Ted Kennedy’s lasting legacy may be having making the United States an infinitely more dangerous place for young girls and women—as immigration has resulted not only in widespread female genital disfigurement, but has also produced thousands of cases of rape, sexual assault, and murder of young girls, which never would have occurred if not but for his 1965 immigration law.
Read more here.

“Character is what you do when no one is watching”

Jonah Goldberg writes at National Review,
I always liked the old line, “Character is what you do when only God is watching.” The alternate version, “Character is what you do when no one is watching,” is actually theologically and philosophically a very different statement. But both have their relevance in the age of the Digital Panopticon.

...The only way to guarantee you don’t get “outed” as an adulterer is not to commit adultery in the first place. Behave as if God is watching you and you won’t much care who else is watching you.

...The phrase “Character is what you do when no one is watching,” is really a way to get you to imagine that someone is watching you. We are relearning that someone is watching us, but we aren’t being taught that that someone is God. We’ll see how that works out.
Read more here.

In politics things aren't always what they seem

From CBS News:
As the race for the White House heats up with the first Republican debate set for Thursday, there appears to be a growing number of supporters showing up at campaign speeches and appearances. The increasing pressure to gain an edge has some candidates paying actors to be faces in the crowd, CBS News' Carter Evans reports.

When Donald Trump entered the presidential race, spurred on by an energetic crowd, apparently not all were true believers. According to an email obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, actors were offered $50 to wear T-shirts, carry signs and cheer.

Trump denies paying supporters, but if he did, he is hardly alone.

Adam Swart is CEO of Crowds on Demand. His initial clients were minor celebrities looking to get create a buzz. He hired actors to play paparazzi and fans. It wasn't long before politicians came calling.

"You want the world to think that it's really a genuine crowd, and that's what we do," Swart said.

Swart said party affiliation doesn't matter. You want a crowd, he'll give you a crowd to cheer or go negative. He'll even provide protesters for an event.
Read more here.

Too little, or too much?

Byron York reports that at the Koch confab in California, Jeb Bush said, "'Look, watch Washington. Nothing's happening. People are angry. People are frustrated.'

Many people believe just the opposite: far too much is happening.

Zebra lives matter

Americans oppose Iran deal 2 - 1

American voters oppose 57 - 28 percent, with only lukewarm support from Democrats and overwhelming opposition for Republicans and independent voters, the nuclear pact negotiated with Iran, according to a Quinnipiac University national poll released today.

Voters say 58 - 30 percent the nuclear pact will make the world less safe, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University Poll finds.
Read more here.

Cecil and Cecile

Kevin Williamson writes at National Review,
...we’re treated to the spectacle of Twitter mobs composed of people who have never thought about the condition of lions, or the condition of Robert Mugabe’s Zimbabwe, emoting with great satisfaction for a minute and a half until they move on to the next thing. Pretty lion, mean dentist. Mean, mean dentist.

But Cecile Richards’s butchery, those dishes full of tiny hands and feet and hearts and brains, the blasé negotiations about price, “I want a Lamborghini” and all the rest of that? Oh, there’s context, don’t you know.
Read more here.

Hillary's two races

John Fund writes at National Review,
Hillary Clinton is running two races: one for president and one to keep information about her private e-mail server and activities as secretary of state from public view as long as possible, preferably until she is back in the White House in 2017.

Last week, we learned more about the extent of the Clinton cover-up. Acting on a lawsuit brought by Judicial Watch, federal Judge Emmet Sullivan, a Bill Clinton appointee, cracked down on the delay tactics exercised in the effort to build a moat around her e-mails. He ordered Clinton and two of her closest aides, Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, to “describe, under penalty of perjury, the extent to which Ms. Abedin and Ms. Mills used Mrs. Clinton’s email server to conduct official government business.” He also ordered them to confirm that that “they have produced all responsive information that was or is in their possession as a result of their employment at the State Department.” And if “all such information has not yet been produced,” they are ordered to produce it “forthwith.”

The answers are important. The inspector general for the government’s intelligence community, I. Charles McCullough III, has found that some of the 30,000 Clinton e-mails turned over to the State Department contain classified material. Taking a random sample of 40 e-mails, he found four with classified information — material that was classified at the time it was sent and that was extremely vulnerable to hackers and foreign intelligence agencies. A fifth e-mail concerning the 2012 Benghazi attack that left an ambassador and three other Americans dead is already public and appears to have contained classified information. In all likelihood, there are many more.

All this led McCullough to refer the matter to the Justice Department as a “potential compromise of classified information.” Not so long ago, the government took that sort of thing seriously. The U.S. Criminal Code states, with regard to documents or materials containing classified information: “It is a crime to knowingly remove such documents without authority and with the intent to retain such documents or materials at an unauthorized location.” David Petraeus, the former CIA director and Army general, pled guilty just this year to mishandling classified information after storing sensitive CIA data in an unlocked desk drawer at his home in Arlington, Va. If a desk in a house in Virginia is an unauthorized location, a server in a house in Hillary Clinton’s New York home is one, too.

...Team Clinton is asserting that “any released emails deemed classified by the administration have been done so after the fact, and not at the time they were transmitted.” But that is flatly contradicted by the State Department. Hillary can plead ignorance as to what was sent to her on her private e-mail account, but, as the liberal Cleveland Plain Dealer editorialized this week: “Clinton seeks to become president and commander in chief, but if McCullough’s findings are correct, she was at best inattentive about her handling of intelligence secrets when she was secretary of state even as she worked to shield her activities from public view. If that’s not a disqualification from the White House, it’s hard to imagine what is.”

Even reporters are now openly stating the obvious. Dan Balz of the Washington Post told CBS News this Sunday: It’s a fact that the Clintons, especially Hillary, are very guarded, very secretive people, and this has erupted into multiple controversies, including the e-mail scandal. And so they realize that’s hurting them, and they’re trying to present a sort of charade of transparency.

If the charade doesn’t work and Hillary loses the race to keep her e-mails and past mistakes buried, her race for the White House could be in real jeopardy. It’s the growing understanding among both political elites and voters that she’s unapologetically slippery that is her biggest obstacle in her other race — the one for the White House.
Read more here.

Politics

P.J. O'Rourke explains at The Weekly Standard,
Politics is a way to gain power over people without justification for having that power.

...Politicians gain power by means of empty promises or threats, or both when they’re on their game. Should you vote for people who are good at politics? No. You should vote for Republicans. We’re lousy.

Believe me, I know why you don’t vote for Republicans. You see the Republican candidates and they look so .  .  . Bush-League, Dog Walker, Rubio Rube, Get-Outta-the-Carson, Hucka-Upchuck, Ap-Paul-ling, Cruz Control, Fat-Fried Christie Crispy, Son-of-a-Kasich, Dingleberry Perry, Flee the Fiorina, Sancta-Santorum, Graham Cracker, and Nervous 7/11 Night Shift Manager Jindal.

And never mind the busted flush Trump Card who should be spray-painted with Rust-Oleum primer, have a squirt gun super-glued to his hand, and kicked through the front door of the Ferguson, Mo., police station.

Republican politicians stink. This is because real Republicans don’t go into politics. We have a life. We have families, jobs, responsibilities, and it takes all our time and energy to avoid them and go play golf. We leave politics to our halt, our lame, and our feeble-minded. Republican candidacies are sinecures for members of the GOP who are otherwise useless and/or retired.

Democrats, on the other hand, are brilliant politicians. And I mean that as a vicious slur. Think how we use the word “politics.” Are “office politics” ever a good thing? When somebody “plays politics” to get a promotion, does he or she deserve it? When we call a coworker “a real politician,” is that a compliment?

Democrats pay a lot of attention to you. They offer you all sorts of trick-or-treat giveaways.

Benefits are the way government is expanded. The more government expansion, the more opportunities for politicians to get power. (Beware of razor blades in the candy apples.)

Democrats offer you regulations to make your life safer from razor blades in candy apples. Regulations expand government with unelected regulatory bodies so that politicians can get power without bothering about your vote.

...Democrats adore your demographic groups. Democrats are pro-woman, pro-black, pro-Latino, pro-immigrant, pro-LGBT, pro-AFL/CIO, pro-differently abled, pro-unemployed, pro-poor. (And by pro I mean whore.)

Besides prostituting themselves to your demographic groups, Democrats are adhering to the first principle of political elites: Divide and conquer.

...The Democratic party is one big family. This means—as those of us from big families know—all of you detest each other. Or you will by the time Democratic matriarchs and patriarchs get done parceling out too little to one group, too much to another, and none to most.

Democrats are particularly infatuated with the demographic group of voters who are poor. Democrats provide many social programs for the poor. If you happen to be poor, you know what these social programs do. They pay you to stay poor.

Democrats favor a higher minimum wage. And they’ll make sure you get a minimum wage. Forever.

Democrats want to give you health care that’s free—and worth it.

Democrats will provide you with more opportunities to get an education and buy a house. A couple hundred thousand dollars of student loan debt and a huge mortgage that’s underwater will keep you poor for sure.

And then Democrats tax the hell out of your beer and cigarettes—two of the few small pleasures available to the poor.

Democrats are tough on business. After all, you might get into business. And make money. And
vote Republican.

And even if we don’t care about you—because of our inability to care or your inability to be cared for—at least we’ll leave you alone.

Democrats will herd you into a group. Democrats like groups because they loathe individuals. Any given group can be made dependent on political power. Any given individual is a different matter.

Democrats are in favor of abortion and against the death penalty. How could anyone possibly arrive at that pair of moral judgments? Republicans can, sometimes, understand the majesty of death—abortion as a matter of private conscience and evil paying the ultimate price. Republicans can, sometimes, understand the sacredness of life—each fetus as a being and how we must not take what we cannot give from any person, however bad. But no Republican understands the virtue of killing a baby too innocent to be born while sheltering and feeding a murderer until he gets fed up and tunnels out of Dannemora.

Democrats hate you. And your family. Sixty-nine percent of America’s abortions are performed on women who are poor. More than half of the people in prison report pre-arrest annual incomes of less than $10,000.

A fetus is an individual who might grow up to be anything, even a Republican. Meanwhile convicts are a group that is fully dependent on government. (And in Vermont, felons in prison can vote by absentee ballot, which may explain Bernie Sanders.) “Wait!” you say. “Republicans are just as bad! Look at the Republican candidates trying to attract votes from segregationists, male chauvinists, gun nuts, religious lunatics, transgender-bashers, Nazis, climate-change-deniers, union-busters, flagrant emitters of greenhouse gases, and Wall Street malefactors of great wealth.”

Yep. There our candidates are, trolling through the gutters of the electorate. That’s what politics does to people. It sullies even the most well-bred fellow and gal. Especially if they happen to be halt, lame, feeble-minded, or otherwise useless and/or retired and have therefore taken up politics.

Stay away from politics. And vote Republican. As it says in Forrest Gump (the book’s author, Winston Groom, is a Republican), “Stupid is as stupid does.” And you can count on us Republicans to not do much.
Read more here.

In sync

Seth Godin writes,
My friend Lisa is fascinated by the self-cleaning oven. In principle, it takes care of itself, an ongoing cycle of productivity. One button gets it dirty, then another button cleans it right up. Even better, consider the camera that cleans its mirror every time it's turned on.

Relationships, processes, interactions--these can be self cleaning too, if we build them that way.

Instead of waiting for things to degrade or even to break, we build in a cycle of honesty, a tradition of check-ins. Instead of a strategy that includes [and then an emergency happens/and then a miracle happens] as a key steps, we have a process in which growth fuels more growth, where satisfaction leads to more satisfaction.

The interstate highway system will continue to degrade until it falls apart, because infrastructure funding and repair wasn't built into it from the start. On the other hand, a company that earmarks a big part of its sales commissions and profits to ongoing customer support probably won't have to overspend when a crisis hits.

Self-cleaning systems don't careen until they hit a crisis point, because they're designed from the start to be in sync, the process itself avoids the crisis.

It's neither obvious nor easy to build a system that's self cleaning. It requires addressing problems before they show up, and putting in place the (apparently distracting and expensive) cycles necessary to keep them from showing up in the first place.

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Ted Cruz is sharp

Ted Cruz is growing on me. I think he will win the debate next week. Watch how he handles MSNBC hardballer Chris Matthews.

Police officer interrupts marijuana deal, gets murdered in Memphis

Police in Memphis have released information about the killing of a police officer there.

This undated photo released by the Memphis Police Department shows Officer Sean Bolton, who interrupted a drug deal. Adrian Sainz writes for AP,
ennessee police officials on Sunday identified a suspect in the fatal shooting of a Memphis police officer, and an intense search for the man is underway.

Tremaine Wilbourn, 29, faces a first-degree murder charge in the death of Officer Sean Bolton, 33, on Saturday night, Memphis Police Director Toney Armstrong said at a news conference.

...Armstrong said Bolton interrupted a drug deal in progress. Officers found about 1.7 grams of marijuana inside the car, which likely would have just resulted in a misdemeanor citation and a fine for Wilbourn, Armstrong said.

"He's a coward," Armstrong said of Wilbourn. "You gunned down, you murdered a police officer, for less than 2 grams of marijuana. You literally destroyed a family."

Armstrong says the U.S. Marshal's office has offered to help in the search of Wilbourn, whom he says is armed and dangerous. He said Wilbourn is on supervised release after serving a federal sentence for robbery of a banking institution.
Read more here.

Largesse

Julie Bykowicz of AP writes about a conference that has been taking place this week in Dana Point, California. It is put on by Charles Koch of Koch brothers fame. Attendees were
450 business leaders — many among them top political contributors — and the elected officials who receive that largesse. They've been strategizing with officials at the education, policy and activist groups that Koch and his brother David have spent years building up and funding.

That network has a budget of $889 million through the end of 2016 — and much of it will be directed at electing a Republican to the White House.

As such, five GOP contenders spoke to the donor group, answering questions.

...The Koch donor conferences, held twice a year, are insular affairs.

Only those who have donated $100,000 or more to Koch-backed groups are invited. Yet even those deep-pocketed donors must check their mobile phones at the doors of some strategy sessions.

For the first time, a small number of reporters were invited to hear the 2016 candidates and attend some other forums. As a condition of attending, reporters were not permitted to identify any of the donors in attendance.

Most of the Koch-backed entities are nonprofits that do not have to disclose their donors. The two most politically active groups are American for Prosperity, which deploys activists to knock on doors and discuss issues important to the Kochs, and Freedom Partners, which has a super PAC that can spend directly on elections.

Although leaders for those two groups say they aren't endorsing anyone in the GOP primary, donors at the retreat have the ability to write million-dollar checks to boost a candidate's chances.
Read more here.

Trusto in Telluride

At the American Spectator Gilbert T. Sewall writes about the unbearable lightness of trustafarians.
...When little people have to meet a mortgage or worry when the stock market tanks, Trusto may think for an instant, you poor loser, but he never— ever — says this out loud. Negativity spoils his bliss. It damages his inner space. He is empathetic instead over his mid-morning steamed-milk cappuccino.

But Trusto and his pals have been fencing out reality a little too long — and it shows. The terminal acedia is kicking in, along with middle age and thinning hair.

Trusto looks down from the mountain at the gorgeous orange and pink sunset over the San Juan Mountains. He feels like Zarathustra on kale. He is above it all and in the clouds, which is exactly how he likes it.
Photo of Telluride, Colorado by John Fowler/Flickr-Creative Commons

Read more here.

I enjoyed the satire in this article, having lived in beautiful Durango, Colorado, and visited Telluride several times. Telluride is indeed populated with many people like Trusto.




Barbaric, decadent, or vigorous?

Daniel Greenfield writes at Sultan Knish,
Civilizations normally go through three stages; Barbaric, Vigorous and Decadent.

The barbaric civilization is the simplest of all. It runs on kinship. Pre-rational, it operates on explosions of emotion. It has no concept of enduring facts or objective reasoning. It holds life cheaply and kills casually. It loathes outsiders and has no universal laws. It is ruled by hierarchies which gain their position through brutality and trickery.

The decadent civilization has a million laws which it applies selectively. Its universal laws, inherited from a vigorous civilization, are so mired in legalisms as to be meaningless. The laws do not mean what they say. Instead they must be interpreted by a specialized caste. Everyone is always in violation of some obscure laws. Life depends on a lawless dispensation from the law.

...Interpretation is what the decadent civilization does best. While vigorous civilizations discover new things, decadent civilizations endlessly categorize and re-categorize them to accommodate intellectual fads.

The decadent civilization is convinced that if it can amass enough information, its interpretations will be superior, but its information gathering techniques and its interpretative techniques are both fatally flawed by an inability to focus, by ideologically obsessions and societal corruption. Scientists may have more rapid access to more information, but the scientific community is more contaminated leading to worse results. Similarly, corruption undermines information gathering efforts from the start as projects are diverted to crony contractors by corrupt politicians.

Vigorous civilizations understand that a process must be kept clean by open debate. Decadent civilizations operate corrupt closed processes while convinced of their own innate superiority.

...The barbaric and vigorous civilizations speak little of sex and yet have high birth rates. Decadent civilizations are obsessed with sex and have few children. Perversions multiply in decadent civilizations, especially among the elites, who have the fewest morals, the most wealth and the greatest need for new taboos to violate.

...Barbarians have large families and a tolerance for limited personal space. They speak loudly, are more casual about the deaths of their children, and view success in terms of power. Decadents speak softly, have a high need for personal space, have small families while playing helicopter parents and view success in terms of their own unattainable happiness. Vigorous civilizations have medium sized families, speak loudly, view success in terms of personal accomplishment, are not too concerned about personal space and value their children while allowing them to take risks.

Decadents want emotional rewards without commitments. As a result they are constantly unhappy. They pursue happiness as if it were a quality that could be permanently obtained through the right techniques, rather than a shifting response to the rigors of daily life. The more decadents do this, the more unstable they become, obsessively self-medicating and attempting to otherwise set the conditions of their happiness by controlling its application, and blaming others for their failure.
Read more here.

Follow the money!



The Civil War was all about freeing the slaves, right? Not according to Walter Williams, who writes at Front Page,

We call the war of 1861 the Civil War. But is that right? A civil war is a struggle between two or more entities trying to take over the central government. Confederate President Jefferson Davis no more sought to take over Washington, D.C., than George Washington sought to take over London in 1776. Both wars, those of 1776 and 1861, were wars of independence. Such a recognition does not require one to sanction the horrors of slavery. We might ask, How much of the war was about slavery?

Was President Abraham Lincoln really for outlawing slavery? Let's look at his words. In an 1858 letter, Lincoln said, "I have declared a thousand times, and now repeat that, in my opinion neither the General Government, nor any other power outside of the slave states, can constitutionally or rightfully interfere with slaves or slavery where it already exists." In a Springfield, Illinois, speech, he explained: "My declarations upon this subject of Negro slavery may be misrepresented but cannot be misunderstood. I have said that I do not understand the Declaration (of Independence) to mean that all men were created equal in all respects." Debating Sen. Stephen Douglas, Lincoln said, "I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of making voters or jurors of Negroes nor of qualifying them to hold office nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races, which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality."

What about Lincoln's Emancipation Proclamation? Here are his words: "I view the matter (of slaves' emancipation) as a practical war measure, to be decided upon according to the advantages or disadvantages it may offer to the suppression of the rebellion." He also wrote: "I will also concede that emancipation would help us in Europe, and convince them that we are incited by something more than ambition." When Lincoln first drafted the proclamation, war was going badly for the Union.

London and Paris were considering recognizing the Confederacy and assisting it in its war against the Union.

The Emancipation Proclamation was not a universal declaration. It specifically detailed where slaves were to be freed: only in those states "in rebellion against the United States." Slaves remained slaves in states not in rebellion — such as Kentucky, Maryland, Delaware and Missouri. The hypocrisy of the Emancipation Proclamation came in for heavy criticism. Lincoln's own secretary of state, William Seward, sarcastically said, "We show our sympathy with slavery by emancipating slaves where we cannot reach them and holding them in bondage where we can set them free."

Lincoln did articulate a view of secession that would have been heartily endorsed by the Confederacy: "Any people anywhere, being inclined and having the power, have the right to rise up and shake off the existing government and form a new one that suits them better. ... Nor is this right confined to cases in which the whole people of an existing government may choose to exercise it. Any portion of such people that can may revolutionize and make their own of so much of the territory as they inhabit." Lincoln expressed that view in an 1848 speech in the U.S. House of Representatives, supporting the war with Mexico and the secession of Texas.

Why didn't Lincoln share the same feelings about Southern secession? Following the money might help with an answer. Throughout most of our nation's history, the only sources of federal revenue were excise taxes and tariffs. During the 1850s, tariffs amounted to 90 percent of federal revenue. Southern ports paid 75 percent of tariffs in 1859. What "responsible" politician would let that much revenue go?

Social Justice



Thanks to The Atheist Conservative

The staggering number of abortions

Do you know about the website http://www.numberofabortions.com/? Based on the most current statistics for the number of abortions in the US & the number of abortions Worldwide, the site tells you how many abortions have been performed in the US today (over 2400), this year (over 640,000), US since 1973: Roe vs Wade (over 58,000,000), Worldwide since 1980 (over 1,343,000,000), Worldwide this year (over 23,815,000), Worldwide today (over 88,742).
Read more here.

Thanks to The Atheist Conservative

Barbarism

We have PETA, People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. I think is time for us to have a PETH, People for the Ethical Treatment of Humans! George Will writes in the Washington Post about the barbaric practices of Planned Parenthood:
...The abortion industry’s premise is: At no point in the gestation of a human infant does this living being have a trace of personhood that must be respected. Never does it have a moral standing superior to a tumor or a hamburger in the mother’s stomach.

...When life begins is a scientific, not a philosophic or theological, question: Life begins when the chromosomes of the sperm fuse with those of the ovum, forming a distinctive DNA complex that controls the new organism’s growth. This growth process continues unless a natural accident interrupts it or it is ended by the sort of deliberate violence Planned Parenthood sells.

Even partial-birth abortion is — must be — a sacrament in the Church of “Choice”. This sect knows that its entire edifice depends on not yielding an inch on its insistence that what an abortion kills never possesses a scintilla of moral significance.

In partial-birth abortion, a near-term baby is pulled by the legs almost out of the birth canal, until the base of the skull is exposed so the abortionist can suck out its contents. During Senate debates on this procedure, three Democrats were asked: Suppose a baby’s head slips out of the birth canal — the baby is born — before the abortionist can kill it. Does the baby then have a right to live? Two of the Democrats refused to answer. The third said the baby acquires a right to life when it leaves the hospital.

The nonnegotiable tenet in today’s Democratic Party catechism is not opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline or support for a $15 minimum wage. These are evanescent fevers. As the decades roll by, the single unshakable commitment is opposition to any restriction on the right to inflict violence on pre-born babies. So today there is a limitless right to kill, and distribute fragments of, babies that intrauterine medicine can increasingly treat as patients.

What kind of a government disdains the deepest convictions of citizens by forcing them to finance what they see in videos — Planned Parenthood operatives chattering about bloody human fragments? “Taxes,” said Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., “are what we pay for civilized society.” Today they finance barbarism.
Read more here.

From the time of Jimmy Carter to the present, we've had many opportunities to change the course of history, and we've failed every time

Is Washington broken, or is the GOP broken?

Rand Paul says, "Washington is broken." Mark Steyn says,
That's true. If you're a liberal, Washington isn't in the least bit "broken": It's given you Obamacare, same-sex marriage, massive expansion of welfare... It's an effective vehicle for delivering to liberals the world they want to live in. So they vote Democrat, and Democrats use Washington to reward them. Conservatives vote Republican, and get what? Washington isn't "broken" so much as the GOP is broken.
Read more here.

Obama's condescending and neo colonial lectures to his African hosts

Mark Steyn notes a certain cowardice in Obama's lecturing of his African hosts, while he ignores the brutal treatment of gays by Muslims in the Middle East:
President Obama has wrapped up his tour of Africa. It was notable, insofar as that word can be applied to the trip, for his somewhat condescending and neo-colonial lecture to his hosts on the need to ease up on the old homophobia.

Certainly, Africa is not terribly gay-friendly. But nor are other parts of the planet. In his ardent wooing of Iran, for example, he doesn't seem to have been perturbed in the least by his new best friends' executions of homosexuals, anymore than he is by the brutalization of gays elsewhere in the Muslim world. You might deduce in his highly selective criticism a certain cowardice. I'll bet the mullahs do.
Read more here

When even Bernie Sanders can talk like this, how come half the Republican field won't even go there?

Mark Steyn writes,
Every sentient Republican voter knows that "comprehensive immigration reform" is Beltway-speak for legalizing 30 million law-breakers while incentivizing 30 million more.

A significant section of the GOP base is sick of dialing Republican headquarters and hearing "Press 1 for Spanish, press 2 for consultant-approved claptrap, press 3 for artful straddle, press 4 for all disavowals of last year's positions, press 5 for endless looped replays of John McCain's amusing primary-season-only super-butch 'Build the danged fence!' commercial, press 6 for live audio feed of John McCain teaching Lindsey Graham how to say 'Danged!', press 7 if you know the Spanish for 'Danged!', press 8 to hear Jeb Bush say 'No amnesty, not on my watch, no sirree!', press 9 to hear Jeb Bush say 'Viva la danged amnistía!' If you wish someone to speak to you in non-forked-tongue English, please stay on the line and wait for an operator."

After years in touch-tone hell for GOP voters, the operator has now shown up. Donald Trump is a slicker operator than some of us would like, but his observations on immigration were a rare intrusion of reality into an other-worldly public discourse.
Read more from this immigrant here.

Will we demand it?

Seth Godin writes,

There’s an increasing gulf between the privacy of individuals and that of corporations and monopolies.

An individual is almost certainly going be videotaped every time he leaves home. You will be caught on camera in the store, at the airport and on the street. Your calls to various organizations will also be recorded “for quality purposes.”

At the same time, it’s against the law to film animal cruelty on farms in many states. And if you say to a customer service rep, “I’m taping this call,” you’re likely to be met with hostility or even a dead line.

Kudos, then, to police departments for responding to the public and putting cameras in cars and on uniforms. And points to Perdue for building a chicken processing plant where the animals aren’t covered with feces and where they’re able to proudly give a tour to a reporter. They're not doing this because they're nice guys... they're doing it because customers are demanding it. They view a transparent supply chain as a competitive advantage that their competitors will have trouble replicating.

Your online history with a company ought to include a complete history of all the emails and phone calls you've had with them. And when you choose a piece of clothing or a piece of fish, it ought to be easy to see where it was made and who touched it along the way.

If we're willing to see it.

It's not a technical problem. It will happen as soon as enough voices in the supply chain (perhaps us, the end of the chain) demand it.

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Think twice before stopping to help this guy


Inquisitr.com reports
A man posing as a stranded driver convinced a family to stop along the road of a Montana Indian reservation – and then allegedly pulled out his gun and shot the entire family. Jesus Deniz Mendoza, 18, (also known as Jesus Deniz) demanded money from the Shane family and began firing his gun as the daughter, Jorah Shane, 26, was ordered to run, by her mother.

Jesus Deniz claimed he had run out of gas near the Crow Indian Reservation, Jorah Shane told Montana police officers from her hospital bed before undergoing surgery to have a bullet removed from her spine. Ada Shane, the young woman’s aunt, made sure the television stayed off in her niece’s room as she shared her story because Jorah had not yet been told that both of her parents had been killed.


The Shane family was about 50 yards from home when they stopped to help Jesus Mendoza. Tana Shane reportedly went home and gathered up her daughter and husband, and then drove back to help the stranded driver. Soon after exiting their vehicle, Mendoza pulled his gun and pointed it at Jason Shane’s head.

After ordering the mother and daughter out of the car, he reportedly demanded all of their money. The Shane family had only recently returned from a Window Rock, Arizona religious revival, and only had some spare change on hand. Mendoza then reportedly ordered the family to “start walking” and Tana Shane whispered to Jorah in their Native American language, telling her to run.

Jorah Shane recalled hearing a shot and began running quickly as she said she heard bullets passing close by her head. She then heard her mother screaming, felt blood running down her face when a bullet grazed her head, and then a bullet hit her in the spine area.

Read more here.

"Hilla the Hun"

Laura Collins writes at DailyMail.com about the likelihood of more women who have been sexually involved with Bill Clinton speaking out as Hillary begins her run for the presidency.
...especially from Gennifer Flowers who claimed Bill liked to be blindfolded and tied up with silk scarves and called his wife 'Hilla the Hun'

...Among the most explosive of scandals was Gennifer Flowers, 65, whose torrid 12 year affair with Bill during his time as Attorney General and governor of Arkansas wrought havoc on his presidential bid in 1992. She may be next to divulge more damaging secrets of her time with the former president.

She has claimed that Hillary and Bill have an 'understanding' where 'each would look the other way,' at the other's marital infidelities and sexual indiscretions.

In the books she revealed that Bill was 'not very well endowed' but that 'his desire to please' was 'astounding.' She described their often experimental sex life as one filled with fantasy and play. Frustrated by the clandestine nature of their affair Bill used to fantasize about having sex with his lover in a store window.

According to Flowers, Bill shared with her the reality of his marriage to Hillary whom he called 'The Sarge' or 'Hilla the Hun,' and claimed that sex with her was nothing but a 'duty.'

In stark contrast she described wild sex with Clinton who, she revealed, had a penchant for telephone sex and sex-play that involved blindfolding her and feeding her various food items. And though she claims to have drawn the line at Clinton's request for a threesome, she recalled how on several occasions she tied him to her bedposts with silk scarves.

'He was completely at my mercy,' she wrote. 'And I took full advantage of it…Bill as always wanted to take it a step further, so next time I tied him to the bed, he asked me to use a dildo-shaped vibrator on him.'

She also revealed that the couple nicknamed their private parts. She called hers Precious, he called his Willard.

At times Clinton was surprisingly reckless asking Flowers to dress like a man and meet him at a public bar – unconvinced that she could pull off the disguise she didn't go through with their plan.

On another occasion he tried to persuade her to have sex with him in a restroom at the Governor's mansion while Hillary was co-hosting a function with him and just yards away in another room.

It was, Flowers believed, evidence of a 'bulletproof attitude' that Clinton adopted in relation not only to their affair but also to recreational drug use.

She recalled one occasion when 'he casually put his hand in his pants pocket and pulled out a joint…I thought how foolish it was of him to carry marijuana around but…he felt comfortable enough to continue smoking.'

She said she never saw him use cocaine but that he talked about it, once referring to a party he had been to and claiming, 'I got so f***** up on cocaine at that party.' He said it made his scalp itch.

...Speaking to Daily Mail Online recently Flowers said that the former president called her as recently as 2005 asking to meet up and alleged that Hillary was bisexual and that Clinton had long been aware of the fact.

...It was, according to Flowers, a lack of enthusiasm that first raised Clinton's suspicions that his wife was more interested in women than men. He told her, she said, 'Honey, she's probably eaten more p**** than me.'

She also voiced the belief that she and Clinton would be together to this day had it not been for the birth of Chelsea, whom he adores – an assertion made all the more piquant by the fact that Flowers claimed that Clinton paid for an abortion after she fell pregnant during their affair.
Read more here.

Another massive new Obama power grab

Stanley Kurtz writes in National Review that in July
HUD Secretary Julian Castro announced the finalization of the Obama administration’s Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule.

AFFH is easily one of President Obama’s most radical initiatives, on a par with Obamacare in its transformative potential. In effect, AFFH gives the federal government a lever to re-engineer nearly every American neighborhood — imposing a preferred racial and ethnic composition, densifying housing, transportation, and business development in suburb and city alike, and weakening or casting aside the authority of local governments over core responsibilities, from zoning to transportation to education. Not only the policy but the political implications are immense — at the presidential, congressional, state, and local levels.

...the real story of AFFH is the attempt to force integration by class, to densify development in American suburbs and cities, and to undo America’s system of local government and replace it with a “regional” alternative that turns suburbs into helpless satellites of large cities. Once HUD gets its hooks into a municipality, no policy area is safe. Zoning, transportation, education, all of it risks slipping into the control of the federal government and the new, unelected regional bodies the feds will empower. Over time, AFFH could spell the end of the local democracy that Alexis de Tocqueville rightly saw as the foundation of America’s liberty and distinctiveness.

...It will take time to collect the data on which HUD’s new demands for local governments all over America will be based. While important enforcement will begin under the Obama administration, the major impact of AFFH will come under President Hillary Clinton, should she be elected. And Obama’s AFFH enforcer, Julian Castro, is widely touted as a likely vice-presidential running mate for Hillary. That means AFFH is going to be an issue in the next presidential campaign.

And the political implications go deeper still, to every level of government. Westchester County, New York, where AFFH has had a dry run of sorts, is now administered by Republican county executive Robert Astorino. Many forget that before the Obama administration tried to force Westchester County to cast aside its own zoning laws and build high-density, low-income housing at its own expense, Westchester was a liberal Democratic county run by liberal Democrats. After all, this is where Bill and Hillary Clinton live. At the local level, the Obama administration drove Westchester into the arms of the Republicans. The same thing could happen nationally, at every political level. But only if the frog wakes up and jumps by November of 2016. Even with AFFH now public, the Obama administration and the press corps will do everything in their power to obscure the real issues at stake in the massive AFFH power-grab. Don’t let that happen.
Read more here.

The mammogram lie

Michelle Malkin writes at National Review,
The breast-cancer screening charade casts Planned Parenthood as a life-saving provider of vital health services unavailable anywhere else. You may recall that during the 2012 presidential campaign, Obama himself falsely claimed during a debate that the abortion provider administers mammograms to “millions” of women — and liberal CNN moderator Candy Crowley let him get away with it.

Once again, it was undercover pro-life journalists who unmasked the truth. An investigation of 30 Planned Parenthood clinics in 27 different states, conducted by the pro-life group Live Action, confirmed that the abortion provider does not perform breast-cancer screenings. “We don’t provide those services whatsoever,” a staffer at Planned Parenthood of Arizona confessed on tape. Planned Parenthood’s Comprehensive Health Center clinic in Overland Park, Kan., admitted: “We actually don’t have a, um, mammogram machine at our clinics.”

...The Obama HHS apparently needs to be reminded of its own review exposing the mammography deception. In June 2012, the agency responded to a request for information about how many Planned Parenthood clinics were certified to operate mammogram facilities. “Our search did not find any documents pertinent to your request,” HHS told the Alliance Defense Fund.

...Ladies, open your eyes and hearts. Watch the videos for yourselves. Get the facts. Unmask the lies. The cackling profiteers of Planned Parenthood don’t care about your breasts. They’re too busy putting price tags on the baby hearts, livers, lungs, and limbs swirling around in bloody pie plates, stacked in their “research” labs, subsidized with your tax dollars and sold to the highest bidders. For “preventative care,” of course.
Read more here.

Organic agriculture not what you may think

Henry I. Miller and Drew L. Kershen report at Forbes that
the vast majority of pesticidal substances that we consume are in our diets “naturally” and are present in organic foods as well as non-organic ones. In a classic study, UC Berkeley biochemist Bruce Ames and his colleagues found that “99.99 percent (by weight) of the pesticides in the American diet are chemicals that plants produce to defend themselves.” Moreover, “natural and synthetic chemicals are equally likely to be positive in animal cancer tests.” Thus, consumers who buy organic to avoid pesticide exposure are focusing their attention on just one-hundredth of 1% of the pesticides they consume.

Some consumers think that the USDA National Organic Program (NOP) requires certified organic products to be free of ingredients from “GMOs,” organisms crafted with molecular techniques of genetic engineering. Wrong again. USDA does not require organic products to be GMO-free.

USDA reported in 2012 that 43% of the 571 samples of “organic” produce that were tested contained prohibited pesticide residues, and that “the findings suggest that some of the samples in violation were mislabeled conventional products, while others were organic products that hadn’t been adequately protected from prohibited pesticides.”

Organic agriculture is an unscientific, heavily subsidized marketing gimmick that misleads and rips off consumers, both because of the nature of the regulations and cheating. The old saying that you get what you pay for doesn’t apply when you buy overpriced organic products.
Read more here.

Thinking about some resistance training?

Michael Schramm writes at college.usatoday.com with some advice about weightlifting exercises.
Here are 7 tips that will set you on the path for success.
1. Understand how weightlifting works scientifically.
Your muscles actually grow by being torn down. When performing resistance training, your muscles will create small tears from being pushed to the limit. Once this happens, your body repairs these micro tears, adding more tissue than before to account for the increased damage in your body.

2. Be realistic about your goals.

3. Know the basics of how to train.
You’ll want to understand how lifting regimens work before choosing one that’s most effective for you. When weightlifting, you perform exercises that engage specific muscles. Beginners frequently perform a few exercises on each muscle 2-3 times a week and work up to splitting their workout days by body part. Tricep and chest day, bicep and back, and leg and shoulder day are a few examples of how to split up a 3-day-week exercise regimen.

4. Heavily research a workout plan before you start.
Instead of making your own routine, it’s often easier and more effective to start with a routine that a professional has created. Websites like bodybuilding.com contain a variety of exercise regimens — with an entire section dedicated to beginners.

5. Doing an exercise correctly is more important than using more weight to do it incorrectly.

6. Push yourself.
You should always use correct form, but you should also be pushing yourself to perform an exercise with either more repetitions or a higher weight than you’ve done before. No exercise you do should be easy because then you’re not maximizing the tears and gains that you could make. If it’s easy, then you should be trying to either do more repetitions or increase the amount of weight.

7. Switch up your routine.
These changes can include the amount of sets and reps done, variations in the exercises you do for each muscle and incorporations of other weightlifting techniques (drop sets, super sets and negatives, for example).
Read more here.

Flying free over Dubai



Thanks to Open Blogger at Ace of Spades.

Paralyzed legs moving voluntarily again

Richard Moss reorts at gizmag,
Five men with complete motor paralysis have regained the ability to move their legs voluntarily and produce step-like movements after being treated with a non-invasive form of spinal cord stimulation. The new treatment builds on prior work to generate voluntary movements in paralyzed people through electrical stimulation – in particular, two studies (one completed in 2011, the other in 2014) that involved surgically implanting an electrode array on the spinal cord. This time, however, the researchers found success without performing any invasive surgery.

The new treatment uses a technique called transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation, which involves strategically placing electrodes on the skin of the lower back. While receiving stimulation, the men's legs were supported by braces that hung from the ceiling. At first their legs only moved involuntarily, if at all. But they soon found they could voluntarily extend the distance their legs moved during stimulation. They doubled their range of voluntary motion after four treatment sessions.

In an effort to further improve voluntary motion, the researchers gave the men a drug called buspirone during the final four weeks of the 18-week study. This drug mimics the neurotransmitter serotonin, and it is known to induce walking motions in mice with spinal cord injuries.

All five men had been paralyzed for more than two years prior to receiving the treatment, which lasted 45 minutes at a time and was conducted once a week for the duration of the study. But by the end of the study, after they had received the buspirone drug, they could all move their legs with no stimulation at all. This movement was comparable to what they achieved while receiving stimulation.

"It's as if we've reawakened some networks [in the nervous system]," said co-lead researcher V. Reggie Edgerton.

There appear to be connections between the brain and spinal cord even in some paralyzed people, only they have gone dormant. But electrical signals generated in the men's leg muscles during stimulation suggest this can be reversed.
Read more here.

Thanks to Instapundit

Slavery of Christian women and girls continues in the Islamic State

Nina Shea writes at The American Interest about
The Islamic State’s Christian and Yizidi Sex Slaves. Women, children, even toddlers—the Islamic State’s goal is to sell them on an open market to men of all means, especially the young jihadis on whom the caliphate depends.

Unlike Muslims, who can conform and wait out ISIS until the day it is defeated, Christians, along with “polytheist” Yizidis, can don veils and give up cigarettes and alcohol, but, as non-Muslims, their very presence is an intolerable offense to the year-old “caliphate.” These minority religious groups in Iraq and Syria, lacking protecting armies or militias of their own, find themselves in unique peril. During his Bolivian trip this month, Pope Francis called it “genocide.”
ISIS demands nothing less than the conversion of all Christians and Yizidis to Islam under penalty of death for men and enslavement for women and children. (Another frequently cited option for Christian “People of the Book”, the payment of jizya, is a ruse, for the tax is raised until it becomes unpayable and property and lives are taken after all. Hence, last summer, Mosul’s bishops chose exile for their communities, rather than attend an ISIS meeting to learn of its jizya terms.)

The beheadings, crucifixions, and other means ISIS uses to slaughter unarmed Christian and Yizidi men—from priests and bishops to destitute migrant workers—have been proudly displayed by the ultra violent group on social media and have drawn condemnations worldwide. But the Islamic State’s “revival” of the institution of chattel slavery—sex slavery of Christian and Yizidi women and girls no less—has faded from public attention.
Read more here.

When you elect a President, you’re also electing a whole lot of other people.

Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit provides

A BIT OF BACKGROUND ON THE JUDGE WHO BLOCKED RELEASE OF ABORTION STING VIDEO: “Judge William H. Orrick, III, granted the injunction just hours after the order was requested by the National Abortion Federation. Orrick was nominated to his position by hardline abortion supporter President Barack Obama. He was also a major donor to and bundler for President Obama’s presidential campaign. He raised at least $200,000 for Obama and donated $30,800 to committees supporting him, according to Public Citizen.”

Remember, when you elect a President, you’re also electing a whole lot of other people.

Be human, be kind, pay attention, smile.

Seth Godin expresses some thoughts today about how to keep your customers.
Yes!, please and thank you

Don't jerk people around

Here's a simple marketing strategy for a smaller company trying to compete in a big-company world: Choose your customers, trust them, treat them well.

Say yes.

Bend the rules.

Show up on time.

Keep your promises.

Don't exert power merely because you can.

Be human, be kind, pay attention, smile.

Not everyone deserves this sort of treatment, not everyone will do their part to be the kind of customer you can delight and serve. But that's okay, you don't need everyone.

When in doubt, be the anti-airline.

Friday, July 31, 2015

Cuckservatism

I have been seeing the word "cuckservative" a lot lately. I have hesitated to use it, although I think some of the GOP candidates are awfully mushy. I also hesitate to use it because I have seen it at sites that I think are racist, such as Chateau Heartiste.

Charles C. Johnson writes at Taki's Magazine,
“Cuckservative” isn’t about race but about how much power you allow the word “racist” to have over you. It’s about the fake, phony conservatives who enjoy watching the real fighters on the right get sodomized while they gleefully gawk.

...Thirty-year-old William F. Buckley, writing in the inaugural issue of National Review, put it thusly:

Radical conservatives in this country have an interesting time of it, for when they are not being suppressed or mutilated by the Liberals, they are being ignored or humiliated by a great many of those of the well-fed Right, whose ignorance and amorality have never been exaggerated for the same reason that one cannot exaggerate infinity.

...But there’s a new generation cropping up that is giving the finger to the established way of doing things. James O’Keefe changed voter ID laws in six states for less than $50,000 while voter integrity fraud group True the Vote all but imploded. He defunded ACORN for a few thousand while the Cato Institute has wasted millions in its failed efforts to privatize Social Security. My friend David Daleiden ended Planned Parenthood’s string of victories with $100,000 and three years of meticulous planning. Pro-life professional activists, meanwhile, have spent $1 billion and 30 years and have nothing to show for it. I sued to slow down the Soros-funded #BlackLivesMatters anti-police terrorism for $20,000 before coming up with the evidence that discredited the Ferguson protesters and Michael Brown. I delivered a brutal blow to both Rolling Stone magazine and campus feminism by naming Jackie Coakley for about $500. Yesterday yet another lawsuit was filed against Rolling Stone using my research.
Read more here.

Hillary Clinton stomped all over Jeb Bush today

Michael Barbaro writes in the New York Times,
Jeb Bush and his aides had envisioned a big, inclusive, high-minded speech about race on Friday in his home state of Florida, a chance to bring his message of colorblind opportunity to a prestigious group of African-American leaders.

In a rare gesture of bipartisanship, Mr. Bush even planned to warmly quote President Obama, usually the object of his derision.

Then Hillary Rodham Clinton stomped all over those plans.

In a biting surprise attack, delivered as Mr. Bush, the former Florida governor, waited backstage here at the annual convention of the National Urban League, Mrs. Clinton portrayed him as a hypocrite who had set back the cause of black Americans.

It was an unexpected moment of political theater that seemed to presage what could be a bitter general-election rivalry between two of the biggest names in American politics.

Mrs. Clinton, a Democratic candidate for president, latched onto Mr. Bush’s campaign slogan and the name of his “super PAC” —Right to Rise, his shorthand for a conservative agenda of self-reliance and hope — and turned it into a verbal spear.

“People can’t rise if they can’t afford health care,” Mrs. Clinton said to applause from conventiongoers, a dig at Mr. Bush’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act.

“They can’t rise if the minimum wage is too low to live on,” she said, a jab at his opposition to raising the federal minimum wage.

“They can’t rise if their governor makes it harder for them to get a college education,” she said, a critique of Mr. Bush’s decision as governor to eliminate affirmative action in college admissions.

When Mr. Bush reached the lectern, declaring, “I believe in the right to rise in this country,” the scent of political gunpowder was still in the air.

The assault on her Republican rival was all the more striking because the Bush and Clinton families make a point of highlighting their friendly ties: Former Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush appear on this week’s cover of Time magazine.

Mr. Bush appeared unprepared to respond, thanking Mrs. Clinton for joining him at the event but otherwise leaving her criticism unanswered in his own speech.

And I, I will always love you...

Crushed and broken bodies of innocent children

Laura Ingraham writes at LifeZette,
The same week we see staffers at Planned Parenthood haggling over baby body parts, chit-chatting as tiny hands and hearts slosh around in specimen bowls, the elites’ outpouring of grief and anger centers on a lion two continents away.

I share their sadness for the dead lion. But I will never understand how they can feel no pain over the crushed and broken bodies of innocent children.
Read more here.

Maybe they can get a grant from the Clinton Foundation

Mark Lungariello writes at lohud.com,
CHAPPAQUA – Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino walked up to the gated entrance to the Clinton home in this leafy hamlet on Friday, telling the guard he wanted to see Hillary.
Astorino, a Republican, had summoned reporters to the cul-de-sac outside the home of the Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State to draw attention to Westchester's fight with federal officials over an affordable housing settlement. He said he planned to ask Clinton if she thought the town she lives in is discriminatory. The county executive lashed out at the federal government for threatening penalties this week against Westchester for violating the terms of the 2009 settlement, a claim the county denies. Astorino, sounding a familiar refrain, said the federal government wants to dismantle zoning and go as far as building apartments in single-family-home neighborhoods. “This isn’t alarmist,” he said. “This is happening right here in Westchester County and if you live in Texas, if you live in Ohio, if you live in Florida, if you live in Maine — wherever you live in the United States — you are next.” Read more here.

Do drones trump “Constitutional rights” to both privacy and property?



This man's daughters were sunbathing in his yard behind a six foot fence. The daughters came to get their father and tell him that a drone was hovering overhead. The man shot the drone out of the sky. The owners of the drone came to his house to tell him that he now owed them $1800. He responded by telling them that if they came across the sidewalk, there would be another shooting. The man was arrested for wanton endangerment and criminal mischief.

Chris Matyszczyk writes at Yahoo News,
For his part, Merideth says he will sue the drone's owners. He told WRDB: "You know, when you're in your own property, within a six-foot privacy fence, you have the expectation of privacy. We don't know if he was looking at the girls. We don't know if he was looking for something to steal. To me, it was the same as trespassing."

What would you do?

Read more here.
and here.

"What is the difference between a Democrat and a Socialist?"

Swept under the rug

Elizabeth Price Foley writes at Instapundit,
the genocidal aims of Iran toward Israel have been swept under the rug, not even worthy of discussion, which is exactly what the Obama Administration wanted. The Administration’s failure to even discuss the inhumanity of Iran’s racist/ethnic hatred is both shameful and telling, particularly given that Obama is our first black president whose entire presidency has focused incessantly on issues of race and ethnicity. The Obama Administration’s indifference to Iran’s hatred of Jews will further fan the flames such hatred across the globe.

The only explanation I can fathom for American Jews’ acquiescence to the Iran deal is that most are liberals/progressives first, Jews second. How tragic that this attitude has emerged only one generation removed from the Holocaust.
Read more here.




IAEA refuses to brief US Senators on Iran side deal

Bridget Johnson reports at PJ Media,
Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said at a hearing on the Iran nuclear deal today that they requested a meeting with International Atomic Energy Agency on its agreements with Tehran.

These deals are not in the possession of the Obama administration and have never been seen by Secretary of State John Kerry, much less provided to Congress.

“I believe one person may have read it at the — at the facility, but doesn’t have it, they don’t possess it,” Kerry told the Senate Armed Services Committee yesterday.

Today, Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano had been invited to come address lawmakers next week, but refused.

He turned down a meeting with senators in any setting: public, private or classified.

Corker is now gathering signatures from senators for another letter to Amano in hope that the IAEA chief will reconsider.

Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Md.) stressed that they’ll “continue to press” for such a meeting as “from the beginning, it’s been our hope that we can get direct communications with the IAEA.”

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) noted that the IAEA is a UN organization “for which we pay membership dues.”
Read more here.

Blue moon tonight

Alyssa Newcomb writes at ABC News,

There's a reason why "once in a blue moon" is a saying and tonight will prove it.

A blue moon is defined as any time there is a second full moon during a calendar month, according to NASA. While most years have 12 full moons, this year has 13.

Don't let the name fool you, though. Blue moons are very rarely blue. Most are pale gray and white, resembling a moon on any other night.

A truly blue colored moon can occur on rare occasions, according to NASA, with most being spotted after volcanic eruptions. It's also possible Friday's moon could be red.

"Often, when the Moon is hanging low, it looks red for the same reason that sunsets are red, NASA explains. "The atmosphere is full of aerosols much smaller than the ones injected by volcanoes. These aerosols scatter blue light, while leaving the red behind."

Step outside at sunset on July 31 to check out the blue moon, then if you're so inclined, go ahead and celebrate by doing something you only do "once in a blue moon." You do have an excuse, after all.

Imagining it is often the first step to getting there

Seth Godin writes today about adding a zero. Can you imagine?

Just about everyone can imagine what it would be like to add 10% more to their output, to be 10% better or faster.

Many people can envision what their world would be like if they were twice as good, if the work was twice as insightful or useful or urgent.

But ten times?

It's really difficult to imagine what you would do with ten times as many employees, or ten times the assets or ten times the audience.

And yet imagining it is often the first step to getting there.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

We will not forget

Sophie Jane Evans For Dailymail.com brings us these videos and photos
released by the National Archives following a FOIA request by FRONTLINE filmmaker Colette Neirouz Hanna.






Many more photos here.

How's your memory?

The editors of Prevention have put together an article to help us prevent memory loss. Here are some of their suggestions:
Give your mind a workout.
Practice brain games, fill in crossword puzzles, and do memory exercises that stress verbal skills.

Bite into brain foods: Enrich your diet with plenty of omega-3 fats (hello, salmon!), low-glycemic-index carbohydrates (e.g., whole grains), and antioxidants. And consider eating several smaller meals throughout the day. Eating five small meals prevents dips in blood glucose levels, and glucose is the primary energy source for the brain.

Keep your body fit. Take brisk walks each day and do stretching exercises. Increased cardio can make your brain actually grow, with more white matter and more neuron connections.

Make managing your stress a priority.
Stretching and relaxation exercises help keep anxiety in check. Stress causes the body to release cortisol, and cortisol has been found to shrink the memory centers in the brain, which results in impaired memory. Meditation has also been proven to substantially improve memory.

Check your iron.
Iron helps the neurotransmitters essential to memory function properly—and your body may be sensitive to low amounts. In one study, women low in iron missed twice as many memory questions as women with adequate levels.

Don't multitask. Listening to the news while you read a magazine will impair your ability to recall either later. When you attend to multiple tasks, the brain switches processing to another region that retains fewer details. Focus on one task at a time to keep a better recollection of each one.

Control your cholesterol.
The plaque buildup caused by high cholesterol doesn’t only damage the veins of your heart, but blockage of the blood vessels in your brain can also deprive it of valuable nutrients and cue memory problems. And it doesn’t take much plaque to block the tiny vessels, so check your cholesterol levels regularly.

Check your meds.
Many prescription drugs can affect your memory, and the older you are, the longer drugs stay in your system. Drugs that can cause memory lapses include antidepressants, anti-anxiety drugs, beta-blockers, chemotherapy, Parkinson’s drugs, sleeping pills, painkillers, antihistamines, and statins.

Eat an apple a day...…to keep the neurologist away. Apples have enough antioxidants to raise levels of acetylcholine, which is an essential neurotransmitter for memory. The same antioxidants can also protect your brain from harmful free radicals.

Sip red wine.
Red wine contains the compound resveratrol, which may help ward off Alzheimer’s disease. Its ability to lower cholesterol levels also helps prevent plaque buildup in your entire body, including your brain.
Read more here.

Nobody saw that, right?


Hey, at least he made it home! I know the feeling, pal.

An honest article about illegal immigration

Victor Davis Hanson asks at Investors Business Daily,
Can we be honest about illegal immigration, a challenge common to almost every advanced Western country that is adjacent to poorer nations?

American employers and ethnic activists have long colluded to weaken border enforcement and render immigration law meaningless. The former wanted greater profits from cheaper labor, the latter wished more political clout for themselves.

Mexico conspired, too. It received billions of easy dollars in remittances from its expatriates in America. Mexico had few qualms about letting millions of its own citizens illegally cross its northern border into the U.S. — even though the Mexican government would never tolerate millions of Central Americans illegally crossing the border to become permanent residents of Mexico.

For better or worse, illegal immigration is tied to race and ethnicity. No doubt, ignorant racism drives some to oppose illegal immigration. But by the same token, the advocates of open borders, many of them with strong ties to Mexico, would not be so energized about the issue if hundreds of thousands of Europeans or Africans were entering the U.S. illegally each year.

There is too often a surreal disconnect about the perception of the U.S. in the immigration debate. Millions, we sometimes forget, are fleeing from the authoritarianism, racism, corruption and class oppression of Mexico. They have voted with their feet to reject that model and to choose a completely different — and often antithetical — economic, social, cultural and political paradigm in the U.S.

...Then there is the matter of law. America went to war over the Confederate states' nullification of federal laws. A century and a half later, do we really want hundreds of sanctuary cities, each declaring irrelevant certain federal laws that they find bothersome?

For every left-wing city that declares immigration statutes inoperative, a right-wing counterpart might do the same with the Endangered Species Act, gun registration laws, affirmative action or gay marriage. The result would be chaos and anarchy, not compassion.

We should not minimize criminality. Creating a false identity, using a fraudulent Social Security number and knowingly filing inaccurate federal forms are serious felonies for most Americans. They are not infractions or simply innocuous wages of living in the shadows, but undermine the sinews of a society.

Reform should first include strict enforcement of the border. A new, ethnically blind immigration system would select from among applicants based on skill sets and education, and consider candidates from all over the world — not on the basis of ethnic identity or proximity to the border.

Immediate and lasting deportation would ensue for those who committed crimes or cynically chose to receive public assistance rather than work while here illegally.

Many Americans are in favor of offering a path to legal residence to those undocumented immigrants who have long lived and worked in the U.S. and have crime-free records — after they pay a fine for breaking federal law and then wait patiently in line while the legal process plays out — as long as the border is sealed to prevent future illegal immigration.

If some newly legal residents wished to become full-fledged citizens, then they could pass citizenship and English tests and assimilate into the American body politic.

Somehow I doubt that this fair, reasonable process is what the president really wants.