Monday, May 25, 2015

U.S. led coaliton knowingly created ISIS

Nafeez Ahmed writes in Medium,
A declassified secret US government document obtained by the conservative public interest law firm, Judicial Watch, shows that Western governments deliberately allied with al-Qaeda and other Islamist extremist groups to topple Syrian dictator Bashir al-Assad.

...According to the newly declassified US document, the Pentagon foresaw the likely rise of the ‘Islamic State’ as a direct consequence of this strategy, and warned that it could destabilize Iraq. Despite anticipating that Western, Gulf state and Turkish support for the “Syrian opposition” — which included al-Qaeda in Iraq — could lead to the emergence of an ‘Islamic State’ in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), the document provides no indication of any decision to reverse the policy of support to the Syrian rebels. On the contrary, the emergence of an al-Qaeda affiliated “Salafist Principality” as a result is described as a strategic opportunity to isolate Assad.
Read more here.

The Hillary Clinton Libya fiasco

John Hinderaker writes at Powerline,
In my opinion, Hillary’s biggest problem isn’t Benghazi per se, it is the broader issue of Libya. Why were Ambassador Stevens and three other Americans murdered? Because by September 2012, Libya was a terrorist playground. Since then, things have only gotten worse. Libya has become a failed state, a 21st century source of boat people, as refugees from ubiquitous violence stream across the Mediterranean. Libya is now a haven for ISIS and other terrorist groups; it was on the Libyan coast that ISIS beheaded 30 Christians. Some of the “refugees” now making their way into Europe are, in fact, ISIS agents. In short, Libya is a disaster.

Whose disaster? Hillary Clinton’s. It was Hillary who, more than anyone else, pushed to overthrow Moammar Qaddafi. Why? No compelling reason. Qaddafi had been tame ever since the Iraq war, which he interpreted as a threat to his rule. Almost incredibly, Clinton and her cohorts in NATO overthrew Qaddafi (who was subsequently murdered by a mob) without having a plan for what would come next.

Who says Hillary Clinton is responsible for the Libya fiasco? She does. In fact, at one point she was poised to claim Libya as the notable accomplishment of her term as Secretary of State.
John has been reading the emails released by the State Department last week. Read more here.

Backlash

At Ace of Spades, Weirddave thinks we may soon see a backlash:
So what happens, if, having achieved an objective, having convinced society at large of the rightness of their cause, a group keeps pushing further, demanding not just equal treatment, but preferential?

Backlash. This backlash can, in this case, take one of two forms. Either it occurs withing the context of the culture and outrageous demands for preferential treatment start being routinely ignored as spurious and even mocked by the population as a whole. This is a best case scenario, what I would call the normal functioning of a free society. On the other hand, if western society has been so weakened by constant attacks on its founding principles that it recoils from those principles and allows the demanding minority to get its way in the name of fairness or in fear of being called homophobic, then that society is ripe for takeover by a society more confident in its own founding principles. That's what is happening in Europe, the confident interloper is Islam, and I really don't think it all ends well for the gays.
Read more here.

Nationwide defiance against Common Core

Joy Pullman writes at The Federalist,
While Charles Murray has been out promoting measured civil disobedience in an effort to restore individual liberty, thousands of parents and children have been acting upon the same concept. This spring has seen an extraordinary nationwide defiance movement aimed against standardized tests, thanks to Common Core.

...In Germantown, Wisconsin, 62 percent of public-school students are sitting out tests. The district has been a hotbed of Common Core opposition, with a local school board among one of the handful nationwide to reject Common Core and decide to run with its own, higher-quality, curriculum. In Maine, “Cape Elizabeth saw 32 percent of its eighth-graders, 18 percent of its seventh-graders and 64 percent of its high school juniors opt out. There are many examples of high opt out rates across the state, but a reliable statewide tally isn’t yet available.” A bill to secure parents’ right to excuse their kids from mandatory tests recently passed the Delaware House 36 to 3 after a blaze of opt-outs left local schools scrambling. “A wide-ranging bill that would eliminate [national Common Core] tests in Ohio and limit state achievement tests to three hours per year passed the House 92-1 on Wednesday,” reported the Columbus Dispatch.

This is nowhere near a set of isolated incidents. In Washington state, every single junior at Nathan Hale High School (natch) refused state tests this spring. Somewhere around 200,000 children refused tests this spring in New York and, contrary to race-baiting from U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, substantial numbers of these defiant parents were not white rich people.

...So we’re losing both money and freedom. We’re losing money and our dignity. We’re sacrificing kids’ spirits and futures to bureaucrats who have never taught a child and can’t budget their way into the right amount to tip a waiter.
Read more here.

Memorial Day



Thanks to Open Blogger at Ace of Spades

You don't pay your debts? Well, then, you might make a good president!

Michelle Conlin writes in Reuters about Carly Fiorina.
Twelve of about 30 people who worked on Fiorina’s failed 2010 California Senate campaign, most speaking out for the first time, told Reuters they would not work for her again.

...The reason: for more than four years, Fiorina - who has an estimated net worth of up to $120 million - didn’t pay them, a review of Federal Election Commission records shows.

Federal campaign filings show that, until a few months before Fiorina announced her presidential bid on May 4, she still owed staffers, consultants, strategists, legal experts and vendors nearly half a million dollars.

...It's not common for campaigns to end in debt but not extraordinary either, said Trevor Potter, a Republican former FEC chairman. Usually wealthy candidates pay off the debts themselves "as a matter of honor and reputation because they feel badly about vendors who are stuck with these debts."

At the end of her 2008 presidential bid, Clinton owed $12 million to nearly 500 staffers, consultants and vendors, according to campaign finance website Opensecrets.org. FEC documents show Clinton paid off the bulk of her leftover debts by the third quarter of 2009.

Clinton did continue to owe money, about $845,000, to one firm, that of her pollster Mark Penn, which her campaign steadily chipped away at over the course of the next three years, the records show. As secretary of state, Clinton was banned from fundraising to clear the debt, but both President Barack Obama and former President Bill Clinton helped fundraise the money.

...Obama's 2012 re-election campaign ended with $5.6 million in debt. As of April, $2.3 million of that is still on the books, FEC records show. Obama's campaign did not respond to requests for comment.

...A number of former campaign workers said they were upset that Fiorina paid them only once she had decided to run for president. They also complained that around the time she lost her campaign, Fiorina repaid herself $1.2 million of the $6.78 million she had loaned her campaign.

Another source of pique: nine months after she lost the election, Fiorina paid $6.1 million for a 5-acre (2. hectare) waterfront estate in Virginia, near Washington, D.C. The house has no mortgage, property records show.
Read more here.

Created a monster?

Will Simon and Garfunkel ever tour together again? That is one of the questions Nigel Farndale asks Art in an interview in the Telegraph. Art's reply:
Well, that’s quite do-able. When we get together, with his guitar, it's a delight to both of our ears. A little bubble comes over us and it seems effortless. We blend. So, as far as this half is concerned, I would say, 'Why not, while we're still alive?'

"But I've been in that same place for decades. This is where I was in 1971."

He then seems to address not me but his old friend. “How can you walk away from this lucky place on top of the world, Paul? What’s going on with you, you idiot? How could you let that go, jerk?”

...He adds that at school he felt sorry for Paul because of his height, and he offered him love and friendship as a compensation. “And that compensation gesture has created a monster. End of interview.”
Read more here.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

"You didn't build that"

Finally someone has taken on Obama for his "Michelle Malkin has a new book out entitled, Who Built That: Awe-Inspiring Stories of American Tinkerpreneurs. She also has a column at USA Today in which she reports Obama's diatribe this week
at Georgetown University, President Obama's class-envy diatribe applies to everyone who has earned too much for his taste. "You pretty much have more than you'll ever be able to use and your family will ever be able to use," Obama scoffed — as if capitalists stash their capital like toilet paper in the utility closet.

Our president then casually derided America's top achievers as "society's lottery winners" who need to stop being selfish and start being their "brother's keepers."

For radical progressives, life is a Powerball drawing. Success is random. Economic achievement is something to be rectified and redistributed to assuage guilt. Only those who take money, not those who make it by offering goods and services people want and need, act in the public interest. Those who seek financial enrichment for the fruits of their labor are cast as rapacious hoarders in Obama World — and so are the private investors who support them.

Wealth-shaming is a recurrent leitmotif in the Obama administration's gospel of government dependency.

In 2010, the president proclaimed, "I do think at a certain point you've made enough money." In the summer of 2012, he openly denigrated American's makers and builders because someone else "invested in roads and bridges." Team Obama argued that his "you didn't build that" remarks were taken out of context. But let's remember what he said immediately preceding that infamous sound bite:

Look, if you've been successful, you didn't get there on your own. You didn't get there on your own. I'm always struck by people who think, 'Well, it must be because I was just so smart.' There are a lot of smart people out there. 'It must be because I worked harder than everybody else.' Let me tell you something — there are a whole bunch of hardworking people out there.

The context then and now makes Obama's incurable contempt for private entrepreneurial accomplishments even clearer. Pushing to raise taxes even higher on wealthy Americans, Obama stoked you-think-you're-so-smart resentment of business owners. His intent was to humiliate those who reject collectivism. The president's message: Innovators are nothing special. Their brains and work ethics are no different from anyone else's. They owe their success to taxpayers, public school teachers, public infrastructure — and unfair dumb luck.

The progressives' government-built-that ethos is anathema to our Founding Fathers' first principles. They understood that the ability of brilliant, ambitious individuals to reap private rewards for inventions and improvements benefited the public good. This revolutionary idea is a hallmark of American exceptionalism and entrepreneurship. Alexis de Tocqueville observed that the doctrine of enlightened "self-interest rightly understood" was a part of America's DNA from its founding. "You may trace it at the bottom of all their actions, you will remark it in all they say. It is as often asserted by the poor man as by the rich," de Tocqueville wrote.

...Here is the marvel Obama and his command-and-control cronies fail to comprehend: From the Industrial Age to the Internet Age, the concentric circles of American innovation in the free marketplace are infinite. This miracle repeats itself millions of times a day through the voluntary interactions, exchanges and business partnerships of creative Americans and their clients, consumers and investors. No federal Department of Innovation or Ten-Point White House Action Plan for Progress can lay claim to the boundless synergies of these profit-earning capitalists.

Of course, they benefit from the "help" of others. But America's best and brightest wealth creators deserve the ultimate credit for the fruits of their individual minds and the untold byproducts of their labor. And no, President Obama, they didn't just get a better roll of the dice. They were smarter, faster, more daring and more hardworking than everyone else, including you and me.

We owe them, not the other way around.
Read more here.

Human-level Artificial Intelligence

Natalie Wolchover writes in Wired about recent advancements in artificial intelligence. She took this picture of Stuart Russell.

Wolchover writes,
Russell, 53, a professor of computer science and founder of the Center for Intelligent Systems at the University of California, Berkeley, has long been contemplating the power and perils of thinking machines. He is the author of more than 200 papers as well as the field’s standard textbook, Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach (with Peter Norvig, head of research at Google). But increasingly rapid advances in artificial intelligence have given Russell’s longstanding concerns heightened urgency.

Recently, he says, artificial intelligence has made major strides, partly on the strength of neuro-inspired learning algorithms. These are used in Facebook’s face-recognition software, smartphone personal assistants and Google’s self-driving cars. In a bombshell result reported recently in Nature, a simulated network of artificial neurons learned to play Atari video games better than humans in a matter of hours given only data representing the screen and the goal of increasing the score at the top—but no preprogrammed knowledge of aliens, bullets, left, right, up or down. “If your newborn baby did that you would think it was possessed,” Russell said.
Read more here.

Criminalizing "hate speech"

Do you support criminalizing hate speech? A poll at YouGov found that 51% of Democrats and 37% of Republicans do. Roger Kimball writes at PJ Media,
But in fact, as the law professor and blogger Eugene Volokh and others have pointed out, there is no “hate speech” exception to the First Amendment. As Volokh wrote in the Washington Post, “Hateful ideas (whatever exactly that might mean) are just as protected under the First Amendment as other ideas. One is as free to condemn Islam — or Muslims, or Jews, or blacks, or whites, or illegal aliens, or native-born citizens — as one is to condemn capitalism or Socialism or Democrats or Republicans.”

But the law has never defined “hate speech” for the simple reason that it is a nebulous and ultimately subjective commodity, essentially coterminous with the phrase “speech I disapprove of.”
Read more here.

Concocting fiction...and making everyone else live with it

Concerning the death of Hillary's and Barack's "close friend" Ambassador Chris Stevens and other Americans who died that night in Benghazi, Mark Steyn writes,
As was confirmed by yesterday's release of selected emails by the State Department, Mrs Clinton did not even know her ambassador's name:

From: H [mailto:HDR22@clintonemail.com]
Sent: Tuesday, September 11, 2012 11:38 PM
To: Sullivan, Jacob J; Mills, Cheryl D; Nuland, Victoria J
Subject: Chris Smith

Cheryl told me the Libyans confirmed his death. Should we announce tonight or wait until morning?

"Chris Smith", huh? At least she got the "Chris" right.

I loathe the fakeness of contemporary politics. Presumably those brave souls who battled through to page 323 of Hard Choices did so because they want to get to know "the real Hillary". But instead it's just a more organized version of the fake Hillary - of the lies she improvised into life on the night her friend Chris Wossname sacrificed himself for the illusions of Obama-Clinton foreign policy.

It was apparently Sid Blumenthal, selfless Clinton Foundation charity worker, who emailed HDR22 to pin the Benghazi attack on "a sacrilegious internet video" - and the thought was so appealing to the Secretary of State that it overrode any alternative suggestions she was getting from career diplomats or the heads of the intelligence agencies, assuming any career diplomats or the heads of the intelligence agencies had her email address. So she and Barack went and made a commercial in which they gave the "sacrilegious internet video" two thumbs down, and then they went and lied over the coffins of the dead.

That service at Andrews Air Force Base is the only sacrilegious internet video in the Benghazi story. It was a fiction from start to finish - a heartwarming fairy tale on a patriotic set - but profoundly sacrilegious in its profane violation of something sacred: the homecoming of fallen heroes, two of whom saved dozens of lives by slogging on valiantly through an all-night firefight to die on a rooftop waiting for the cavalry that never came. No matter. They are merely extras - non-speaking parts - in Hillary's fantasy.

Michael Gerson wrote this week:

Does Clinton really have the political skills to pull this off? Her husband was a master of projecting likability, remorse and good intent. She is plausible as a president but mediocre as a candidate. Her silence is often an improvement on her availability. As new controversies come — and that is close to a political certainty — will her polling hold? I have heard significant Democratic donors wonder about this aloud.

But if Clinton succeeds, it would expand the boundaries of the permissible. It would again define deviancy down. Americans would have rewarded, or at least ignored, defiant secrecy and the destruction of documents. Future presidential candidates and campaign advisers would take note. Americans would have rewarded a skate along the ethical boundaries of money and influence. Future donors would see a green light, no matter what candidate Clinton says about campaign finance reform.

A democracy becomes the image of the virtues it rewards.

But, as Mrs Clinton would say, what difference at this point does it make? Both the awful hollow moral void and the accompanying ruthless unyielding discipline were present in those days after Benghazi. She concocted her fiction and then made everyone else live with it.
Read more here

Who lost America?

Are you following the war between the Wall Street Journal and writer Pat Buchanan? The Journal started it with this lead editorial:
Here we go again. In the 1990s Pat Buchanan launched a civil war within the Republican Party on a platform targeting immigration and trade. Some claimed Pitchfork Pat was the future of the GOP, though in the end he mainly contributed to its presidential defeats.

...This is no way to rebuild a conservative majority. What America’s working families need most after the Obama era is a healthy, vibrant and growing economy that creates more jobs, increases paychecks and expands opportunity. A trade deal that would help open up a market of one billion people to the goods and services produced by the American worker is an excellent place to start.

Pat Buchanan responds by asking, who really lost America?
Now it is true that, while Nixon and Reagan won 49-state landslides and gave the GOP five victories in six presidential contests, the party has fallen upon hard times. Only once since 1988 has a Republican presidential nominee won the popular vote. But was this caused by following this writer’s counsel? Or by the GOP listening to the deceptions of its Davos-Doha-Journal wing?

In the 1990s, this writer and allies in both parties fought NAFTA, GATT, and MFN for China. The Journal and GOP establishment ran with Bill and Hillary and globalization. And the fruits of their victory?

Between 2000 and 2010, 55,000 U.S. factories closed and 5 million to 6 million manufacturing jobs disappeared. Columnist Terry Jeffrey writes that, since 1979, the year of maximum U.S. manufacturing employment, “The number of jobs in manufacturing has declined by 7,231,000 — or 37 percent.”

Does the Journal regard this gutting of the greatest industrial base the world had ever seen, which gave America an independence no republic had ever known, an acceptable price of its New World Order?

Beginning in 1991, traveling the country and visiting plant after plant that was shutting down or moving to Asia or Mexico, some of us warned that this economic treason against America’s workers would bring about political retribution. And so it came to pass. Since 1988, a free-trade Republican Party has not once won Pennsylvania, Michigan, Illinois, or Wisconsin in a presidential election. Ohio, the other great Midwest industrial state, is tipping. The Reagan Democrats are gone. Who cast them aside? You or us?

Since the early 1990s, we have run $3 billion to $4 billion in trade deficits with China. Last year’s was $325 billion, or twice China’s defense budget. Are not all those factories, jobs, investment capital, and consumer dollars pouring into China a reason why Beijing has been able to build mighty air and naval fleets, claim sovereignty over the South and East China seas, fortify reefs 1,000 miles south of Hainan Island, and tell the U.S. Navy to back off?

The Journal accuses us of being anti-growth. But as trade surpluses add to a nation’s GDP, trade deficits subtract from it. Does the Journal think our $11 trillion in trade deficits since 1992 represents a pro-growth policy?

On immigration, this writer did campaign on securing the border in 1991-92, when there were 3 million illegal immigrants in the United States. But the Bush Republicans refused to seal the border. Now there are 11 million to 12 million illegal immigrants and the issue is tearing the party apart. Now everybody is for “secure borders.”

We did urge a “moratorium” on legal immigration, such as America had from 1924 to 1965, to assimilate and Americanize the millions who had come. The Journal Republicans called that xenophobia. Since then, tens of millions of immigrants, here legally and illegally, mostly from the Third World, have arrived. Economically, they consume more in tax dollars than they contribute. Politically, most belong to ethnic groups that vote between 70 and 90 percent Democratic. Their children will bury the GOP.

Consider California, which voted for Nixon all five times he was on a national ticket and for Reagan in landslides all four times he ran. Since 1988, California has not gone Republican in a single presidential election. No Republican holds statewide office. Both U.S. Senators are Democrats. Democrats have 39 of 53 U.S. House seats. Republican state legislators are outnumbered 2-to-1.

Americans of European descent, who provide the GOP with 90 percent of its presidential vote, are down to 63 percent of the nation and falling. By 2042, they will be a minority. And there goes the GOP.

Lest we forget, the “Buchanan wing” also opposed the invasion of Iraq while the Journal-War Party wing howled, “Onto Baghdad!” ”Unpatriotic Conservatives,” we were called in a cover story by a neocon National Review for saying the war was unnecessary and unwise. Now, a dozen years after the “cakewalk” war, GOP candidates like Marco Rubio and Bush III are trying to figure out what it was all about, Alfie, and what they would have done, had they only known.

Our agenda in that decade was—stay out of wars that are not our business, economic patriotism, secure borders, and America first.

The foreign debt and de-industrialization of America, the trillion-dollar wars and the chaos of the Middle East, the shortened life span of the Party of Reagan, that’s your doing, fellas, not ours.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

How will Ron and his team escape?



Thanks to Christopher Buckley

Chinese military tries to jam U.S. drones

Bill Gertz writes in the Free Beacon,
China tried to electronically jam U.S. drone flights over the South China Sea in a bid to thwart spying on disputed island military construction, U.S. officials said.

Global Hawk long-range surveillance drones were targeted by the jamming in at least one incident near the disputed Spratly Islands, where China is building military facilities on Fiery Cross Reef.

Disclosure of the jamming came as a U.S. Navy P-8 surveillance flight on Wednesday was challenged eight times by the Chinese military to leave the same area.


A U.S. Global Hawk surveillance drone lands at the Misawa Air Base in Japan / AP

Read more here.

John Boehner should resign because of Patriots' deflated footballs

11-year-old boy graduates from college with three degrees and a 4.0 grade point average

CBS Sacramento reports that
An 11-year-old boy receiving three degrees became the youngest graduate at American River College this year, by far.

Tanishq Abraham graduated from high school at age 10, and now has his sights set on a medical degree. He told KCRA he wasn’t intimidated by taking classes with students twice his age.

“Even on the first time I came to a college class, I wasn’t really nervous, so, this isn’t much of a big thing to me,” Abraham said.

Abraham graduated with a perfect 4.0 GPA.

A medical degree isn’t the only goal Abraham has set for himself.

“I also want to be a medical researcher, and the President of the United States.”
Go here to see pictures of Tanishq and his family.

65-year-old German woman gives birth to quadruplets

Frank Jordans of the Associated Press writes,
A 65-year-old teacher from Berlin has given birth to quadruplets after a pregnancy that was widely criticized by medical professionals because of her age, RTL television said Saturday.

Annegret Raunigk, gave birth to a girl — Neeta — and three boys — Dries, Bence and Fjonn — by cesarean section at a Berlin hospital Tuesday, RTL said. The newborns weighed between 655 grams (1 lb., 7 ounces) and 960 grams (2 lbs., 2 ounces) each.

A spokeswoman for RTL said the babies stood a strong chance of survival but possible complications couldn't yet be ruled out, because they were born in the 26th week of pregnancy. Their mother was doing well, the spokeswoman said.

... Raunigk already had 13 children ranging in age from 9 to 44, from five fathers. She told Germany's Bild newspaper last month that she decided to become pregnant again because her 9-year-old daughter wanted a younger sibling. She also has seven grandchildren.

Raunigk traveled abroad to have donated, fertilized eggs implanted — a procedure that is illegal in Germany.
Read more here.

Ted Cruz on gay marriage, ISIS, media obsession with sex

Who is responsible for the poor security at Benghazi?


John Bolton doesn't back away from holding Hillary Clinton responsible for Benghazi:
Now you’ll recall in her limited public appearances to date that she has said, you know, I don’t get involved in that security stuff, you know, I have people that do that. Well I have to say when I heard that I was stunned. I’ve worked for six different secretaries of state, everyone of them coming from very different backgrounds, every one of them cared about the safety of the Americans who worked for them in the State Department. And not one of them would have missed the danger that our diplomats in Libya faced. And this was called to her attention repeatedly and she didn’t do anything about it. So When we ask the question, who is responsible for the tragedy of the murder of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other Americans in Benghazi, there is a very clear answer. It was Hillary Clinton.
Thanks to Director Blue

Hiding behind her own skirts

Mona Charen writes at Real Clear Politics,
The best response to the charge of sexism is ridicule. Any female candidate who hides behind her own skirts to avoid robust debate is not striking a blow for equality or dignity. Rather than displaying fitness for the job of commander in chief, she's conveying her weakness and inability to compete. Any male candidate who pulls his punches is patronizing her. Anyone who takes her on (within the bounds of civility) is according her respect.
Read more here.

Democrats and Planned Parenthood support baby killer in Colorado

Dustin Siggins writes at Daily Caller,
Last week, millions of Americans paid homage to the women who do world’s most important job — raising our nation’s children. It is a life that offers no fanfare, no paycheck, and no benefits, yet mothers put their all into this important, loving vocation.

Also last week, tens of thousands of men, women, and children marched for life in Canada, showing their support for the unborn and their mothers, fathers, doctors, and society at large. Simultaneously, the House of Representatives finally passed a bill that would ban most late-term abortions in America.

In light of these grand celebrations of life — born and unborn — it is the height of irony that Planned Parenthood chose this past Thursday to highlight its radical pro-abortion agenda in Colorado by withdrawing its support of a female state senator who “states she is pro-choice and supports a woman’s right to have a safe and legal abortion and access to contraception, including intrauterine devices, or IUDs.”

However, because Ellen Roberts supported a law that would punish those who attack a pregnant woman and harm her unborn child, Planned Parenthood says she’s just not good enough.

You cannot support fetal personhood measures and be pro-choice,” said Cathy Alderman, spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains. “Despite what the proponents claimed, when you define ‘person’ prior to birth, you have created fetal personhood. Just saying it’s not personhood doesn’t change that.”

Alderman’s comments come just two months after a pregnant woman was viciously attacked by a woman who literally cut her baby out of her stomach. The mother survived, the baby did not — and the attacker could not be charged with the death of the child. Republicans attempted to fix this gaping hole in the state’s laws, but Democrats stopped them from joining more than three dozen states with similar measures.

This is not the first time Planned Parenthood’s radical agenda has been on display in Colorado, but it provides an opportunity to remind the American people that the nation’s largest killer of children stands not for women, nor for choice, but instead exclusively for its bottom line. And that bottom line relies on the deaths of hundreds of thousands of babies and the disempowerment of women.
Read more here

9 out of 10 of us could die from a blackout

Bill Straub writes at PJ Media that
A report has found that up to nine out of 10 Americans could die from a long-term blackout as a result of starvation and societal collapse.

...Peter Vincent Pry, executive director of the Task Force on National and Homeland Security, a congressional advisory board working to protect the U.S. from EMP and other threats, said that in addition to destroying the grid, an event could “collapse all the other critical infrastructures — communications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water — necessary to sustain modern society and the lives of 310 million Americans.”

...The nation should undertake several initiatives, Baker said. A national executive agency should be created within either the Department of Homeland Security or the Department of Defense with the first order of business being the development of a national EMP/GMD protection plan and a set of national planning scenarios.

Baker said the nation also needs to create a national program to protect the electric power grid, including essential supporting infrastructures used for fuel supply and communication.

And Congress should establish an independent commission solely focused on electric grid reliability with the authority to issue and enforce regulations similar to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

Baker told the panel that the lack of progress in protecting critical infrastructure from EMP and GMD centers on the fact that responsibility is distributed.

“EMP protection has become a finger-pointing, ring-around-the-rosey, duck-and-cover game,” he said. “Our bureaucracy has enabled gaps for addressing the difficult problems of EMP and GMD, resulting in no substantive action to protect the nation.”

The U.S. faces the “classic Washington problem of issues that span departments or fall between departments, which we’re all very familiar with, but then we add to that the involvement of the private sector, without central leadership, we’re foundering.”

In response to the situation, Rep. Trent Franks (R-Ariz.) has introduced the Critical Infrastructure Protection Act, which, among other things requires the Department of Homeland Security to include EMP threats in its national planning scenarios and conduct a campaign to proactively educate owners and operators of critical infrastructure, emergency planners, and emergency responders at all levels of government of EMP threats.
Read more here.

Will they allow themselves to be silenced?

Elizabeth Price Foley notes at Instapundit,
There are still many good, intelligent, and strong young people within our universities. The question is: Will they find a way to lead, and fight back against this progressive, PC censorship nonsense, or will they allow themselves to be silenced?
She links to a Wall Street Journal column by Peggy Noonan, who writes,
I shudder to think what kind of President this generation could potentially produce.

To which Instapundit commenter Daniel in Brooline writes,
Me too. We could wind up someday with a hypersensitive President, skin as thin as tissue paper, who sees mild criticism from the press as reason to lash out; who uses childhood gripes as the basis for foreign policy; who airs petty grievances all the time and gets in the way of police and the courts doing their jobs; who is more interested in tony vacations than in leading the country.

Oh, wait -- aren't we there now?
Read more here.

"Knowing what you know now..."

Steve Huntley writes at Real Clear Politics that
the ISIS crisis, Russia’s interference in Ukraine, the festering Libya dilemma, the loss of U.S. credibility in the Middle East and other of today’s headaches are the result of decisions made when Clinton served in the Obama administration.

She is, in effect, running for president on the premise that she is the best person to clean up the foreign policy mess that she is in no small measure responsible for.

...Republican presidential candidates keeping running into the The Question: “Knowing what you know now, would you have invaded Iraq in 2003?” Democrats love it, viewing the answers by GOP leaders as in some way repudiating a Republican president. Still, Democrats might not be so enthusiastic if that type of question were asked Hillary Clinton.

And there are a lot of that type of questions for the all-but-anointed Democrat presidential nominee.

For starters, as a number of Republicans have wondered, why not ask her this one: Knowing what you know now about the rise of the Islamic State and its conquest of Ramadi and other victories in Iraq, would you have pulled out all U.S. troops from Iraq in 2011 against the recommendation of military advisers?

Then, there’s this one: Knowing what you know now about Russia’s annexation of Crimea and aggression against Ukraine, would you have gone ahead with the “reset” with Russia?

Or, knowing what you know now about the terrorist attack that killed four Americans in Benghazi, would you have rejected requests for more security for the U.S. ambassador to Libya? And would you have blamed an Internet video for the killings?

Speaking of Libya, Mrs. Clinton, knowing now about the chaos, strife and terrorism engulfing the country, would you have overthrown dictator Moammar Gadhafi?

And knowing about what Human Rights Watch calls the “contraction of democratic space and respect for fundamental human rights” in Myanmar, would you have become in 2011 the first U.S. official to visit the country in half a century, lifted most sanctions and allocated foreign aid to the country once called Burma? Myanmar policy was termed by Foreign Policy to be the “crowning achievement” of Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, but became, the magazine said last year, “Hillary’s Burma problem.”
Read more here.

Will Republicans take the bait?

Jonah Goldberg writes at National Review,
A truly sociopathic liar (though his sociopathologies hardly end there), Clinton has a gift for making other people feel like there is something wrong with them for objecting to his deceptions.

Are you familiar with the term "gaslighting?" Goldberg uses it when writing about Bill Clinton. From Wikipaedia:
Sociopaths frequently use gaslighting tactics. Sociopaths consistently transgress social mores, break laws, and exploit others, but typically, are also charming and convincing liars who consistently deny wrongdoing. Thus, some who have been victimized by sociopaths may doubt their perceptions.

Goldberg continues,
Clinton’s sexual exploits were only one facet of his full-spectrum gaslighting of America. He sold pardons. He sold the Lincoln bedroom. He lied and cheated in innumerable ways, large and small, and he successfully made the people who objected, or even pointed out the truth, seem like the weird ones.

Hillary Clinton recognized that her ambitions could only be realized by hitching herself to her sociopath husband. No doubt that decision had its downsides, but look where she is now. Let’s not pretend she didn’t make peace with her husband’s ways a long, long, time ago. She was happy to make $100,000 on cattle futures, after all. When the Clintons left office they created a “foundation” whose chief purpose was to give form and function to House Clinton, a modern day version of a medieval aristocracy. The House of Medici did many good things. They fed the poor. They built cathedrals. But their good works were the price of power, not the purpose of the power. The Clinton Foundation does some good things, I’m sure. But the charitable work should be seen for what it is: the cost of business. Mob bosses buy ice cream cones for poor kids. When Marlo Stanfield becomes the big man in The Wire, he’s quick to have his goons hand out money to the school kids for new clothes.

...the Clintons are so good at corrupting liberals to their cause and gaslighting everyone else who objects.

...As Alexander Solzhenitsyn said, “Let your credo be this: Let the lie come into the world, let it even triumph. But not through me.”

If Hillary Clinton wanted these e-mails out ASAP, she would not have printed them out and delivered hard copies — some double-sided, some not, for extra inconvenience — to the State Department. She would have handed over an easily searchable hard drive. Heck, she still has electronic versions of the e-mails. She could hand them over today if she wanted to expedite the process. But that’s not the plan.

...She really does want these e-mails out. Why? Because the damning ones were already destroyed. This shouldn’t be so complicated, and yet I keep hearing useful idiots suggest that Hillary will be “exonerated” when the State Department finally releases the scrubbed e-mails. If you’ve destroyed incriminating evidence, releasing the non-incriminating evidence is a good thing. After all, there’s a little-known codicil to the doctrine of Occam’s razor: When a Clinton says, “There is no evidence I did X,” the most reasonable conclusion is that the evidence of X was “handled.”

This was Clinton’s plan all along. Already her flacks and hacks have been trying valiantly to redefine the controversy over her stealth server into a more vague and generic controversy over her “e-mails.” The hope was that by the time the State Department released her sanitized correspondence in January of 2016, people would forget about the details — if they ever knew about them in the first place. The specific lies would get airbrushed out of the story and all that would remain would be some vague controversy about her e-mails. Then — voila — they’re released and there’s no there there. “No smoking gun!” and “exonerated!” punctuate the Sunday shows.

The larger lesson remains: The Clintons are artists at telling lies — Bill by natural talent, Hillary by years of practice and studying her savant husband — and their preferred medium for telling lies is the truth. They take truths and yoke them to the service of lies.

I gather that the people who need to yank aquatic-craniate animals out of the water to justify their daytime drinking habits use lots of different kinds of bait depending on the circumstances. The Clintons have many kinds of bait at their disposal as well. The trick for Republicans is to recognize as many of the different lures in their tackle box as possible. It’s worth recalling that even Abraham Lincoln, the first Republican president, was not immune to being baited by his enemies.

...a good alternative would be for Gowdy to ask all the questions. He has a prosecutor’s gift for interrogation. He knows the material. He could ask crisp, factual questions that build a case and expose weaknesses in Clinton’s testimony. And, he’s probably immune to Hillary’s well-honed gaslighting techniques. It’s easy to seem like a victim — ironically one of Hillary’s favorite roles, given her claims of being an empowered, independent woman — when a bunch of blowhard politicians are mugging for the cameras and mansplaining away.
Read more here.

Strengthen your cells to fight oxidative stress

Have you heard of heavy fats? I hadn't. Glenn Reynolds at Instapundit links to this article at New Scientist by Jessica Hamzelu. Jessica explains,
COULD a shiny orange capsule of modified fat help to keep you young? For the first time next month, fats designed to reinforce our cells against age-related damage will be given to people in a clinical trial. The participants have a rare genetic disorder, but if the treatment works for them, it could eventually help us all live longer, more youthful lives, says the scientist behind the work.
Read the whole thing here.
I take Protandin to fight oxidative stress.

No one to turn to

Josh Kraushaar writes in National Journal,
One of the most underappreciated stories in recent years is the deterioration of the Democratic bench under President Obama's tenure in office. The party has become much more ideologically homogenous, losing most of its moderate wing as a result of the last two disastrous midterm elections. By one new catch-all measure, a party-strength index introduced by RealClearPolitics analysts Sean Trende and David Byler, Democrats are in their worst position since 1928. That dynamic has manifested itself in the Democratic presidential contest, where the bench is so barren that a flawed Hillary Clinton is barreling to an uncontested nomination.
Read more here.

Will rises in minimum wage spur automation?

Randall Parker writes at FuturePundit,
A gradual rise to $15 per hour puts LA on course to a $15 per hour minimum wage along with San Francisco and Seattle.

I expect this move will spur more venture capital funding for start-ups trying to automate fast food restaurants, janitoral work, retail stores, movie theatres, and other places that employ lots of minimum wage workers. This will widen an already large gap in employment rate by educational level. But it will only change the rate at which this gap is widening.

At any give moment in time there is a gap between the average productivity in an industry and the potential highest level of productivity given current technology. The size of the gap varies with time. A recession or other external shock can cause a sudden shift in business practices to narrow the gap by quickly adopting the latest tech. For example, automated ordering kiosks are slowly getting rolled out to fast food restaurants. McDonalds rolled out ordering kiosks in Europe a few years ago but has been slow to do it here. A high minimum wage will change that.

One of the biggest changes for customers will be a reduction in interactions with service workers. No more telling counter help at Carl's Jr what you want. You'll type in your order in a kiosk pad and slide a card or wave your phone (or maybe smart watch) to make your payment. Or, even better, you'll order your burgers and fries on your smart phone before you get to CJs (saving time just like you can already do with Domino's Pizza). By the time you arrive your order will be done. Your order will be popped out after an automating id'ing machine (palm reader or iris reader perhaps) determines it is you.
Read more here.

"I never went to college, because I was too busy learning stuff."

Ted Nugent gives a commencement speech in an opinion piece at Daily Caller:
...
I never went to college because I was too busy learning stuff. As I take a rare break from my ferocious rhythm and blues Rock-N-Roll safari, I am relaxing a bit at the tender age of 66.5 glowing years of my nonstop American Dream perfection because I earned it. You can earn your own too if you remain honest to yourself, reasonably tuned into your surroundings, maintain a superior level of awareness, and respect your sacred temple (body) mind, heart, spirit and soul.

Life is not fair. Get used to it.
Social justice is a commie scam. Read the drivel of Saul Alinsky and fight it with all you’ve got.
Nobody owes you jacksquat. You will either earn your own way, or feel like a helpless leech. There is no middle ground.
Economic equality is for sheep. If you really believe we are all equal in our capabilities you will go nowhere.
The minimum wage is for minimum wage earners. If you believe you are worth more, go get it. Show by your productivity and professionalism that you are better than minimum. Upgrade awaits upgraders.
The government cannot create jobs for you. You must create your own worth by proving yourself to be a gungho benefit for your employer. If you think you can do better, by all means, do better.
Partying should not include dangerous or foolish behavior. Clean and sober always provides the most memorable parties without the danger of puking, stumbling, making an ass of yourself or passing out and dying.
Peer pressure is for sheep. Stand up for what you believe in.
The whole world sucks, but America still sucks less. Learn your history and be the best we the people participant that you can be.
Don’t fall for the curse of political correctness. Feeling good is not as important as doing good.
Posture and hygiene matters. Carry yourself with dignity and treat others as you would have them treat you.
Tell me who you go with and I will tell you what you are. Avoid losers for they will drag you down.
Sometimes you give the world the best you got and you get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you got anyway.
Read more here.

Houseplants that filter toxins from the air we breathe

Connor Macdonald wrote an article at lovethegarden.com about houseplants that remove toxins from the air. Go here to read what toxins are in the air we breathe, how those toxins affect us, and what plants filter those toxins out of our air.

Thanks to Instapundit.

" When it comes to the arts, passion should always trump common sense."

You discovered a talent, developed your ambition, and recognized your passion...Go with it!

She just got too much information

Sharyl Attkisson reports at Daily Signal,
Newly reported emails indicate Hillary Clinton was personally made aware of security dangers in the months leading up to the Sept. 11, 2012, terrorist attacks on U.S. compounds in Benghazi, Libya. That’s according to the House Benghazi Committee, which has obtained 300 long-sought emails from the State Department among tens of thousands under subpoena.

...Clinton has long denied being in the loop about mounting dangers in Benghazi and her agency’s rejection of security requests from U.S. personnel, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens, who was killed in the attacks. Though Clinton was sent multiple cables about security prior to the assaults, she explained that she got far too many to read.

...Gowdy (House Benghazi Committee Chairman) says he is not confident the committee will get all relevant material, because Clinton has acknowledged deleting 30,000 emails that she said were personal in nature.


Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C. (Photo: Jeff Malet Photography/Newscom)

“To assume a self-selected public record is complete, when no one with a duty or responsibility to the public had the ability to take part in the selection, requires a leap in logic no impartial reviewer should be required to make and strains credibility,” said Gowdy in a statement today.

Gowdy added that there are “inexplicable gaps” in the secretary’s emails during key times of her involvement in Libya policy including:

June 10-Aug. 8, 2011—Time period where Clinton was heavily involved in Libya policy.
Sept. 14-Oct. 21, 2011—Dates of Clinton’s trip to Libya, when the now-famous picture of Clinton on her blackberry was taken
Oct. 21, 2011-Jan. 5, 2012—Time period when the State Department was extending the Benghazi mission for another year
April 27- July 4, 2012—Time period of increased security during which an IED was thrown at the compound blasting a hole through the wall and during which the British ambassador was attacked

Four Americans, including Stevens, Tyrone Woods, Glen Douherty and Sean Smith, were killed in the Benghazi attacks.

Climate Change = National Security?

Elizabeth Price Foley writes at Instapundit,
...the liberal/progressive forces are gearing up to scare LIVs (Low Information Voters) into believing global warming climate change is a national security risk.

So now, if one rejects massive economic reorganization based upon ever-changing evidence of cyclical, fluctuating global temperatures, one is not merely a “science denier,” but also putting U.S. national security at risk. Ironic, given that this accusation is coming from the same people who are so intimidated by ISIS that they dare not insult Mohammed, and think that talking about “radical Islam” is discriminatory because hey, as President Obama said, “Islam is a religion of peace.” But global warming climate change!– now that’s a real security risk!

These radical climatists don’t want to hear about contrary evidence, of which there is plenty. And indeed, if someone dares to publicly disagree with the progressive orthodoxy on global warming climate change, he is likely to be branded a heretic.

I hope the Republican candidates for President are readying themselves to punch back twice as hard when the mainstream media and Queen Hillary hit them with this “national security” accusation.
Instapundit Commenter Libby2 adds,
Seems the only war Obama won't engage in is one with America's enemies.

I'm sure ISIS/AQ/Taliban/Boko Haram, Iran, and Russia are thrilled we'll be diverting more money toward an imaginary foe instead of focusing on them.
Read more here.

Retrospective hypotheticals


Displaced Iraqis from Ramadi cross the Bzebiz bridge near Baghdad while fleeing fighting. (Karim Kadim/Associated Press)
Charles Krauthammer writes in the Washington Post,
Ramadi falls. The Iraqi army flees. The great 60-nation anti-Islamic State coalition so grandly proclaimed by the Obama administration is nowhere to be seen. Instead, it’s the defense minister of Iran who flies into Baghdad, an unsubtle demonstration of who’s in charge — while the U.S. air campaign proves futile and America’s alleged strategy for combating the Islamic State is in freefall.

It gets worse. The Gulf states’ top leaders, betrayed and bitter, ostentatiously boycott President Obama’s failed Camp David summit. “We were America’s best friend in the Arab world for 50 years,” laments Saudi Arabia’s former intelligence chief.

Note: “were,” not “are.”

We are scraping bottom. Following six years of President Obama’s steady and determined withdrawal from the Middle East, America’s standing in the region has collapsed. And yet the question incessantly asked of the various presidential candidates is not about that. It’s a retrospective hypothetical: Would you have invaded Iraq in 2003 if you had known then what we know now?

The fact is that by the end of Bush’s tenure the war had been won. You can argue that the price of that victory was too high. Fine. We can debate that until the end of time. But what is not debatable is that it was a victory. Bush bequeathed to Obama a success. By whose measure? By Obama’s. As he told the troops at Fort Bragg on Dec. 14, 2011, “We are leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq, with a representative government that was elected by its people.” This was, said the president, a “moment of success.”

...Which Obama proceeded to fully squander. With the 2012 election approaching, he chose to liquidate our military presence in Iraq. We didn’t just withdraw our forces. We abandoned, destroyed or turned over our equipment, stores, installations and bases. We surrendered our most valuable strategic assets, such as control of Iraqi airspace, soon to become the indispensable conduit for Iran to supply and sustain the Assad regime in Syria and cement its influence all the way to the Mediterranean. And, most relevant to the fall of Ramadi, we abandoned the vast intelligence network we had so painstakingly constructed in Anbar province, without which our current patchwork operations there are largely blind and correspondingly feeble.

The current collapse was not predetermined in 2003 but in 2011. Isn’t that what should be asked of Hillary Clinton? We know you think the invasion of 2003 was a mistake. But what about the abandonment of 2011? Was that not a mistake?

Mme. Secretary: When you arrived at State, al-Qaeda in Iraq had been crushed and expelled from Anbar. The Iraqi government had from Basra to Sadr City fought and defeated the radical, Iranian-proxy Shiite militias. Yet today these militias are back, once again dominating Baghdad. On your watch, we gave up our position as the dominant influence over a “sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq” — forfeiting that position gratuitously to Iran. Was that not a mistake? And where were you when it was made?

...The current situation in Iraq, says David Petraeus, “is tragic foremost because it didn’t have to turn out this way. The hard-earned progress of the surge was sustained for over three years.”

Do the math. That’s 2009 through 2011, the first three Obama years. And then came the unraveling. When? The last U.S. troops left Iraq on Dec. 18, 2011.

Want to do retrospective hypotheticals? Start there.
Read more here.

Hillary's war on women

Roger Stone writes at Stone Zone,
...Hillary is a life-time abuser of women and her advocacy on women issues rings hollow. While core Democratic women will not be weaned from the former First Lady, a large percentage of younger independent women can be persuaded against her by the truth.

For instance, while Hillary gives lip service to pay equality, her Senate office paid women 72 cents on the dollar compared to men. Even worse, the median salary for women was less than $15,000 of the median salary for men.

The Clinton Foundation’s record is even worse. In 2013, eight of the top eleven most highly compensated individuals were men. The gender pay gap also widened every year during the period of 2011-2013; in 2011 women earned 77 percent of men’s income, in 2012 women earned 71 percent of men’s income and in 2013 women earned less than 65 percent of their male counterparts. Hillary often forgets that hypocrisy is not a virtue.

Meanwhile, the Clinton Foundation has pocketed millions of dollars from foreign Muslim regimes that oppress women. Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Kuwait, Oman, and Qatar and the Arab Emirates have funneled millions to the Clintons.

These countries all deny women the most basic of human rights: the right to an education, the right to drive a car, the right to choose her own husband – even the right to show her face. They condone caning and stoning women accused of adultery. Their cash is tainted with the blood of women abused, but Hillary’s foundation still accepts it. Hypocrisy anyone?

Then there is Hillary’s role in denigrating victims of Bill Clinton’s serial sexual abuse and authorizing heavy handed tactics to silence the victims of Bill’s assaults. Juanita Broderick, Paula Jones, Kathy Willey all alleged they were assaulted by Bill Clinton. Sometimes he just exposed himself and demanded oral sex.

Hillary “is the war on women, as far as I’m concerned, because with every woman that she’s found out about—and she made it a point to find out who every woman had been that’s crossed his path over the years—she’s orchestrated a terror campaign against every one of these women, including me,” said Willey.

Instead of outrage against her husband for being a sexual predator, Hillary repeatedly smeared and attacked Bill’s victims. Hillary called Monica Lewinsky, a “narcissistic looney toon” in private conversations with confidante Diane Blair. She called Gennifer Flowers “trailer trash.” Clinton rape victim Juanita Broaddrick said Hillary Clinton threatened her in person only two weeks after she was violated by Bill Clinton. Heavy handed California private detective Jack Palladino confirmed Hillary paid him as well as now-jailed PI Anthony Pellicano to silence Bill's victims.

Hillary’s strong handed tactics against abused women were not just used for Bill. When Sen. Bob Packwood was accused of sexual harassment by a group of women in 1993, Clinton told Blair she was “tired of all those whiney women and she needs (Packwood) on health care.” So much for sisterhood.

Unlike 2008, I expect many of Bill’s victims to speak during the 2016 cycle. Having already interviewed many of them, I can say all have been threatened and all pose a grave threat to Hillary’s ambitions. While swing female voters may not listen to crusty old white Republicans, perhaps they will listen to their terrorized sisters. As a result of Citizens United, the victims of Bill and Hillary’s many abuses can and will have wide reach and exposure.

Hillary was quick to denounce Senate Republicans for their inaction on a sex trafficking bill on Twitter only weeks ago. Yet she was not so fast to return the contribution of convicted pedophile and friend of Bill Jeffrey Epstein who was trafficking under-age girls to an A list of celebrities that may have include Bill Clinton himself.

The Clinton Foundation accepted $25,000 from Epstein after his conviction in Florida. She also took a 2008 campaign contribution from Ghislaine Maxwell who worked as Epstein’s pimp recruiting under -aged girls for their sexual abuse and trafficking enterprise. Maxwell got immunity in the controversial sealed non-prosecution agreement in which Epstein got a slap on the wrist. Now she works for a non-profit funded by the Clinton Foundation. Child trafficking anyone?

Hillary’s self-purported advocacy for women is a crock. While Bill sexually abused women over the years, Hillary followed these abuses with psychological abuses. The one-two Clinton punch. They key to defeating her is proving it to women voters.
Read more here.

Peewee League

Walter Russell Meade writes at American Interest,
...As things stand, the Obama Administration will be lucky if nothing worse happens than a government loosely-aligned with al Qaeda takes power with tacit Turkish and Syrian backing—an outcome that would have sent the commentariat into cascades of vituperation if President Bush had been responsible for something so nasty. And in Iraq, the policy of withdrawal clearly failed when Mosul fell; it now appears that the policy of limited re-entry is also in trouble, with the amount of support Obama is willing to provide failing to achieve his minimum goals.

To which Glenn Reynolds adds at Instapundit,
IF ISIS IS JV, THEN OUR ADMINISTRATION IS PEEWEE LEAGUE.

When your preferred strategy is to put problems off until after the next election, problems that could have been easily addressed when small become problems that require major efforts, and risks, to address. Pretty sure Obama’s plan is to continue to put that off until . . . after the next election, when it’s somebody eles’s problem. In essence, that’s what Clinton did with Osama bin Laden in the 1990s.

And here is what commenter Sardoni asks at Instapundit:
We sneak into Syria and insert boots on the ground to capture one guy; but we can't be bothered when ISIS - astoundingly - puts what looks to be every last piece of the wheeled and tracked military vehicles it possesses nose-to-nose for miles, just begging to be wiped out what would have been an even greater opportunity to deprive the Islamic war machine of a significant percentage of its war materiel and fighters than on the "Highway of Death" in Desert Storm. Where were the bombing runs, the Apache and Thunderbolt attacks?! Can you imagine what a string of cluster bombs on that victory parade would have done to ISIS? Heck, even if our current leaders have forgotten how to make war in the open, where were all the armed drones?!*

What the hell is wrong with the Obama people?! It's like ISIS was certain they could drop trou and show off their war machine like that because they knew Obama was too cowed to come and kill them.


*Okay, I know - the drones are now tasked with the vital intel work of surveilling suspected Tea Party supporters on US soil.

Really? We can tell.

Seth Godin asks,
But do you want to get better?

It seems like a stupid question. Of course we want our organization, our work and our health to improve.

But often, we don't.

Better means change and change means risk and risk means fear.

So the organization is filled with people who have been punished when they try to make things better, because the boss is afraid.

And so the patient gets the prescription but doesn't actually take all the meds.

And the bureaucrat feigns helplessness because it's easier to shrug than it is to care.

There are countless ways to listen, to engage with users, to learn and to improve, but before you or your organization waste time on any of them, first the question must be answered, "do we want to get better?"

Really? We can tell.

Friday, May 22, 2015

How do Republican candidates propose to deal with Islamic State?

Roger L. Simon writes at PJ Media,
Houston, we have a problem this Memorial Day weekend!

ISIS has taken Palmyra and Ramadi and is threatening Baghdad and Damascus, making inroads into Afghanistan, Libya and, yes, Malaysia while planting who knows how many sleepers here to Heidelberg. Iran continues to run roughshod over the Middle East (and South America), planting a flag in Yemen while pretending to negotiate with the West as they move inexorably closer to the bombs and the ICBMs to deliver them in everyone’s back yard. The revived Russian Bear is moving in on Eastern Europe again while backing up the Iranians in negotiation. China is surpassing the United States in practically everything, including space, and North Korea is off doing what North Korea does only more so (starving its people while building nukes). Meanwhile, his unexcellency the current president of these Younited States is off lecturing the Coast Guard about climate change!

...So what’s going on in the Republican presidential campaign that’s supposed to solve this mess and rescue us from more of the same (therefore worse) from the serially mendacious Dame Hillary?

...what we have here is basically a game of I’m-more-libertarian-than-you or I’m-more-conservative-than-you, depending on your preference, while the world burns.

...Anyway, back to the real Memorial Day story. Apparently, our good friends in ISIS, not to be outdone by those nasty Shiites in Tehran, are claiming they are about to buy a bomb of their own.
Simon links to a story in the Independent by Heather Saul, in which ISIS claims to be planning to buy a nuclear weapon from Pakistan in the next twelve months.

Simon concludes:
And speaking of time flying, what I would love to see from the Republican candidates is some specific, real detail on how they intend to deal with this global conflagration that seems to be spreading faster than pancreatic cancer. I know Rubio and Graham have said some things, maybe a few others, but we are in an immensely difficult situation. It deserves serious discussion this Memorial Day weekend and in the days following like nothing I can think of.

By the way, I am completely uninterested in what the Democrats have to say about this. Listening to Bernie Sanders discussing national security is like listening to Kim Kardashian discuss Einstein’s Unified Field Theory. As for Hillary Clinton, I don’t want to hear anything about anything ever again from that congenital liar except three simple English words, ”Guilty, your Honor.”
Read more here.

Russia's neighbors are nervous

Instapundit links to a story in the Telegraph by Nick Squires:
Finland has sent letters to nearly a million military reservists, setting out their roles “in the event of war” amid rising tension with neighboring Russia.

The letters have been dispatched to 900,000 former conscripts in the armed forces, including to Finns living abroad.

...Finland is not a member of Nato and the country shares an 830-mile border with Russia – the longest of any European nation apart from Ukraine.

One Finnish reservist, who received the letter, said: “The timing was not random. It is clearly due to a more aggressive stance by the Russians. I’ve been in the reserves for 15 years and this is the first time I’ve received something like this. They send out letters like this very rarely.”

Finland’s army has 16,000 soldiers, but it could expand to 285,000 if reserves were to be called up.

In recent months, Russian warplanes have frequently probed Finnish air defences. In April, the Finnish navy resorted to depth-charging a suspected submarine that was detected near the capital, Helsinki.

Neighboring countries are also on a heightened state of alert. Last October, Sweden carried out its biggest military mobilization since the Cold War to hunt for a mysterious submarine sighted near Stockholm.

... On Thursday, David Cameron joined EU leaders for a summit with six former Soviet states in Riga, the Latvian capital.

Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, said the EU’s Eastern Partnership was not “directed against anyone”. But the two-day summit will inevitably discuss the military threat posed by Russia, not just to Ukraine but, potentially, to the Baltic states, which are Nato members.
Read more here.

Kidnapped school girls in Nigeria sold as brides for $12

Finally, the media is beginning to give us reports on Islamic activities in Nigeria. Terrence McCoy reports in the Washington Post on hundreds of kidnapped Nigerian school girls reportedly sold as brides to militants for $12.
The Washington Post could not independently verify such claims, and the Nigerian defense ministry didn’t immediately return requests for comment Wednesday morning. But if true, the news would add another terrifying wrinkle to an already horrifying set of events that has galvanized the nation, spurred foreign leaders to take notice, and exposed the powerlessness of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration in the face of a radicalized and murderous militant group named Boko Haram.

...The news of the mass marriage comes from a group of fathers, uncles, cousins, and nephews who gather every morning to pool their resources, buy fuel, and journey unarmed to forests and border towns in search of the missing girls. They learned this week, they said, that mass wedding ceremonies had occurred on Saturday and Sunday. The insurgents reportedly shot their guns into the air after taking their new brides, and split them into three groups. They were then reportedly moved out by truckload.

“It’s a medieval kind of slavery,” village leader Bitrus told the BBC.

“The free movement of the kidnappers in huge convoys with their captives for two weeks without being traced by the military, which claims to be working diligently to free the girls, is unbelievable,” he said.
Read more here

Does it pay to be a jerk?

Donald Hambrick, a Management professor at Penn State....“to the extent that innovation and risk taking are in short supply in the corporate world”—an assertion few would contest—“narcissists are the ones who are going to step up to the plate.” Hambrick says that to Jerry Useem, who writes in The Atlantic about Why It Pays to be a Jerk.



Useem concludes,
So here’s what we know works.

Smile at the customer. Take the initiative. Tweak a few rules. Steal cookies for your colleagues. Don’t puncture the impression that you know what you’re doing. Let the other person fill the silence. Get comfortable with discomfort. Don’t privilege your own feelings. Ask who you’re really protecting. Be tough and humane. Challenge ideas, not the people who hold them. Don’t be a slave to type. And above all, don’t affix nasty, scatological labels to people.

An Islamic tidal wave? The hour is later than we think.

Will compassion for migrants overrule the national sovereignty of European nations? David Solway addresses that possibility at PJ Media.
Our intellectual milieu is so “progressive” that we are progressing straight toward civilizational extinction. The spectacle of a Europe undergoing its own species of social, political and economic “convulsions,” its inability to assimilate the millions of Muslims who are transforming Europe into what Oriana Fallaci in The Rage and the Pride regarded as an abattoir-in-the-making, its impotence before the spiralling Muslim crime rate and appalling rape statistics, its evident helplessness in the face of Sharia enforcement and ongoing terrorist atrocities, and its presiding over the depletion of its welfare budgets exploited by a parasitical Islamic presence — all this counts for little to the liberal/left constituency. Europe’s moral duty, apparently, is to mutate out of all recognition, to betray the legitimate rights and normative expectations of its own native citizens, and ultimately to abolish itself.

...Our best political thinkers, like Bat Ye’or, Andrew Bostom, Robert Spencer, David Horowitz, Caroline Glick, Raymond Ibrahim, Geert Wilders, Bruce Bawer, Melanie Phillips, Mark Steyn, Douglas Murray, Mark Durie and others too numerous to mention, have warned us repeatedly that if we persist in ignoring the theo-political virus of canonical Islam, we may not recover from the affliction.

But one does not need to read the literature to stimulate awareness. Nothing prevents us from using our wits to observe and understand what is going on beneath our very noses. The savage Muslims launch terrorist attacks against Western interests and civilians while the clever Muslims insinuate themselves into the political and social infrastructures of the countries they have come to inhabit. One might assume that the latter may even object to the tactics of the former as actually impeding their subversive agenda by alienating their formerly complacent hosts. But both are equally barbarians at large, whether in ski masks and keffiyas or perfectly tailored Armani suits. In the long run the stealth jihadists are infinitely more effective. The Islamic politico-cultural incursion currently in place is working, owing not just to the wiliness and patience of the Muslim infiltrators but to the pathological extent of Western compliance.

There are no doubt many reasons for such complicity: politicians and academics have been bought off — vendus, as the French say; far too many of us are constitutively feeble-minded or proudly ignorant; others adhere to the liberal sedative that all cultures are equally worthy (except, perhaps, for our own); still others naturally gravitate to the “strong horse”; and the intellectual “elite” is committed to the belief that we are morally compelled to expiate a colonial guilt, as if the flagrant and unremittingly vicious colonial history of Islam never existed. Moreover, the pervasive sense of spiritual emptiness which vitiates the communal life of the West demands to be filled. For a people, no less than nature, abhors a vacuum. If Freud was right in proposing that every individual seeks his own path to the grave, the same is surely true of civilizations. Every civilization seeks its own way to die, and Islam is the form in which we administer the coup de grâce to ourselves — what James Burnham called, in his book of that title, the “suicide of the West.”

... The United States is confronting a European-like dilemma as millions of illegal immigrants are pouring across an undefended southern border, among whom, as an added menace, Islamic jihadists are reportedly embedded. No less disturbing, as Judicial Watch reveals, ISIS is operating a training camp in Mexico just eight miles from the Texas border.

...Dispassionate analysis of Islam and its destructive inroads into non-Islamic countries is in no way an instance of that egregious canard “Islamophobia”; quite the contrary, it betokens what American Thinker blogger Greg Richards calls “Islamorealism,” a means of dealing with facts, not myths, with concrete details, not beguiling narratives. Those who claim otherwise, insisting that Islam is a religion of peace, have consulted neither the Koran nor the Hadiths. Nor have they familiarized themselves with the blood-drenched history of Islam from the seventh century onwards. Nor have they examined the off-the-charts terror statistics of the last decade, a sign of the sacralised depravity we shrink from bearding in its cave.

...Are we then to accept that refusing to publish books or cartoons in a free society out of fear or coercion is normal, that being forced to live or travel with an entourage of bodyguards is perfectly tolerable in a liberal culture, that being threatened with violence or legal action by the communicants of a particular faith for speaking our minds is standard practice and that we should properly hold our tongues? Or should we put our enemies on notice that such a state of affairs in a free and democratic society will be resisted with every means at our disposal? That such questions even need to be posed shows how much we have already conceded, how far down the road of groveling surrender we have gone.

The hour is later than we think.
Read more here.

If this isn’t “losing,” how does the President define victory?

The Wall Street Journal editorializes,
At least Mr. Bush, for all his mistakes after the fall of Saddam Hussein, ordered a change of strategy that left Iraq stable by the time Mr. Obama took office. On present trend Mr. Obama’s Cool Hand Luke generalship will leave his successor an Iraq in turmoil and a mini-caliphate entrenched across hundreds of miles. If this isn’t “losing,” how does the President define victory?
Read more here.

Depraved Islamic State

Jay Akbar writes for Mailonline,
ISIS is sending the 'prettiest virgins' they capture to slave markets in the Syrian city of Raqqa, where they are sold as sexual objects to the highest bidder, the United Nation's Special Representative on Sexual Violence in Conflict has said.

After the depraved militants attack their villages, they strip the girls naked, conduct virginity tests, evaluate their bodies and send them to twisted auctions, Zainab Bangura claims.

She discovered the gruesome extent of Islamic State's sexual crimes against young women - particularly from Iraq's Yazidi minority community - after collecting information from Syria, Iraq, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

ISIS has released several gruesome images and videos from the city which show armed militants parading the streets, public executions and the extremists' all-female brigade which enforces its strict interpretation of Sharia Law.

Heart of darkness: UN's envoy claims ISIS is taking girls to its adopted capital in Raqqa (pictured), Syria, where the militants have carried out many beheadings (pictured)


Brutal: Raqqa is patrolled by Islamic State's fearsome all-female Al-Khanssaa Brigade (pictured) who violently impose the group's twisted interpretation of Sharia Law
Read more here.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Why does the NFL allow each team to supply its own footballs?

Mike Bianchi asks in the Orlando Sentinel,
Did the NFL look the other way for years while quarterbacks used performance-inducing balls much like MLB had its head buried in the on-deck circle while sluggers brazenly bulked up on performance-enhancing drugs?

Why do you think the league listened to Brady, Manning and the NFL's other top quarterbacks back in 2006 when they successfully lobbied the league for a rule change that would allow each team to supply its own footballs? Do you think the Competition Committee would have listened if the league's top cornerbacks or linebackers had lobbied them?

"The thing is, every quarterback likes it [the ball[ a little bit different," Brady told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel back in 2006. "Some like them blown up a little bit more, some like them a little more thin, some like them a little more new, some like them really broken in."

And some like them illegally deflated, too, which shouldn't be surprising to anyone. Good grief, allowing NFL quarterbacks to supply their own balls would be like allowing NASCAR crew chiefs to supply their own restrictor plates. Except the NFL — like Major League Baseball with steroids — wants us to believe now that it had no earthly idea players and teams might actually cheat to gain an unfair advantage.

The most under-reported story during the entire Deflategate saga came when the Tampa Bay Times reported in January that former Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Brad Johnson bribed some ball boys and paid them $7,500 to scuff up the balls that were used during Tampa Bay's 2003 Super Bowl victory over the Oakland Raiders.

"I paid some guys off to get the balls right," Johnson told the Times. "I went and got all 100 footballs, and they took care of all of them."

Sorry, but I simply cannot believe a multi-billion-dollar industry like the NFL is so stupid that it couldn't foresee cheating when it allowed its most important piece of equipment — the actual ball itself — to be supplied by the two participating teams. And it certainly doesn't make any sense that the league would leave its precious Super Bowl balls in the care of some poor schlubs who can be bought off for $7,500.

...The NFL's performance-inducing balls are no different than MLB's performance-enhancing drugs. Football fans loved seeing Manning and Brady setting offensive records just as baseball fans loved seeing McGwire and Sosa chasing home run records.

Hulked-up players bulked up baseball's bottom line just as deflated balls induced football's inflated TV ratings.
Read more here.

“Happy wife, happy life.”

Do you expect your husband to mess up? And when he does, do you call him out on it and without reservation?
Given this kind of negative reinforcement over time, he feels like nothing he can do is right (in your eyes). If he’s confident with himself and who he is, he’ll come to resent you. If he’s at all unsure about himself, he’ll start to believe you, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Neither one is a desirable, beneficial outcome to you, him or the marriage.

Jason Stevens at the Federalist links to a story at tickldwritten by a woman who suddenly realizes she has been doing this to her husband for a long time. She writes,
I started thinking about what I’d observed with my friends’ relationships, and things my girlfriends would complain about regarding their husbands, and I realized that I wasn’t alone. Somehow, too many women have fallen into the belief that Wife Always Knows Best. There’s even a phrase to reinforce it: “Happy wife, happy life.” That doesn’t leave a lot of room for his opinions, does it?

It’s an easy stereotype to buy into. Look at the media. Movies, TV, advertisements – they’re all filled with images of hapless husbands and clever wives. He can’t cook. He can’t take care of the kids. If you send him out to get three things, he’ll come back with two — and they’ll both be wrong. We see it again and again.
Read more here.

Training yourself to take more action

More wisdom from the guest post from Kyle Eschenroeder at The Art of Manliness. More overlooked truths about taking action:
8. Action Beats the Odds. You don’t need to know if it will work (you probably can’t know), you need to try and find out.

Your obstacles are yours to face. It doesn’t matter how they compare to the obstacles in history or those of your peers. It’s a waste of time to consider anything except how you will overcome them.

9. Action Makes You Humble. Teenagers think they know everything because they haven’t tested their mettle. They don’t know anything and so they feel like they know everything. They are just beginning to learn about theories and possibilities. They haven’t done anything so they feel like they can do anything.

After the young realize they can’t do everything they become disillusioned. They stop trying anything. They fall into inaction.

This is why most adults end up so dull. They don’t do anything because it’s probably going to fail. They mistook early failures for a sign that they should stop trying.

That’s why they’re bored, depressed, and lethargic.

Instead, our failures should strengthen us. We should recognize that failures are how we learn and grow.

10. Action Isn’t Petty

Eschenroeder offers two specific ways you can train yourself to take more action.

I. Systems Over Goals
If you train yourself to be emotionally rewarded for actions taken rather than outcomes you may be able to lengthen the time you can spend in active “failure” and increase your chances of success.

A possible solution is to reward yourself for following your system rather than achieving a specific outcome. Select a system you know will lead to success and follow it.

Eating right vs. losing 20 pounds. Building a business vs. achieving financial independence. Going on dates vs. having a successful relationship. The first are systems, the second are goals.

Scott Adams, the creator of “Dilbert,” champions this idea in How to Fail at Almost Everything and Still Win Big:

“Goal-oriented people exist in a state of continuous pre-success failure at best, and permanent failure at worst if things never work out. Systems people succeed every time they apply their systems, in the sense that they did what they intended to do. The goals people are fighting the feeling of discouragement at each turn. The systems people are feeling good every time they apply their system. That’s a big difference in terms of maintaining your personal energy in the right direction.”

II. Input Deprivation Week

Go an entire week with zero information consumption.

For one week:

No reading books.
No reading blogs.
No reading newspapers.
No going on Facebook (even just to post).
No watching TV (shows, sports, news, anything).
No watching movies.
No listening to talk radio.
No going on Reddit.
No going on Twitter.
No information input – only output!

This will, first and foremost, force you into action by stripping away every activity you run to in order to avoid actually doing the work you know you should be doing.

Besides that, it will increase mindfulness, increase the respect you have for your own ideas, you’ll have more ideas, unsolvable life problems may begin to make sense, you’ll have an increased appreciation for the news that actually matters, you’ll become more social, you’ll gain perspective, and you’ll become more original.

Remember that this is only a week and not a suggestion for a lifestyle. I love books. I love learning new things. I consume information like crazy. And it’s valuable! Input Deprivation Week is about creating a better relationship with information, not denying its importance.
Read more here.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Do it!

Instapundit linked to a guest post by Kyle Eschenroeder at The Art of Manliness. Eschenroeder writes,
That’s where we are as a culture. We run desperately to abstraction and avoid action at all costs.

...We judge men based on what they have instead of what they do.

...Modern man has forgotten how to take action.
Eschenroeder provides 10 powerful and mostly overlooked truths about the nature of action:
1. Action is Cheaper Than Planning. ...Most of the time, planning is procrastination. It’s based on theory. It’s going to be wrong.

Plans are useless without action.

That’s why Step 1 is to take action based on what you already know. Then improve bit by bit. Then begin forming a plan.

2. Action Allows Emergence. ...If you’re obese then you probably don’t see a possible future where you’re fit. But, after three months of working out and eating well there will be a possible future of physical fitness that didn’t exist before.

These possibilities seem to “come out of nowhere” but they actually come out of action.

3. Inaction is Scarier...The pain that comes with action is acute, gives you scars, and makes you grow.

The pain that comes from inaction is low-grade, makes you soft, and makes you decay.

4. Motivation Follows Action...I don’t feel like working out until I’ve been at the gym for 15 minutes. I’m too tired to have sex until we’ve started. I don’t want to go to the party until I’m there.

Motivation (and passion) will follow you if you have the balls to go without them.

5. Action is an Existential Answer...It is only in the flow of action that life can make sense.

6. Action Creates Courage
7. Explanations Follow Actions

Keep reading here, but most importantly, take action!

Progress in predicting Alzheimer's

Pam Belluck writes in the New York Times,
The largest analysis to date of amyloid plaques in people’s brains confirms that the presence of the substance can help predict who will develop Alzheimer’s and determine who has the disease.

Two linked studies, published Tuesday in JAMA, also support the central early role in Alzheimer’s of beta amyloid, the protein that creates plaques. Data from nearly 9,500 people on five continents shows that amyloid can appear 20 to 30 years before symptoms of dementia, that the vast majority of Alzheimer’s patients have amyloid and that the ApoE4 gene, known to increase Alzheimer’s risk, greatly accelerates amyloid accumulation.

The findings also confirm that amyloid screening, by PET scan or cerebral spinal fluid test, can help identify people for clinical trials of drugs to prevent Alzheimer’s.
Read more here.

After all, what are old friends for?

John Tabin writes in the New York Post about Hillary's "old friend" Sidney Blumenthal. It was Blumenthal that developed and circulated the lie that poor Bill Clinton was a victim of stalking by Monica Lewinsky. There is also a Libyan connection.

Bitter-hearted leftism

Tonight is David Letterman's last show. Ace of Spades, a fan of Dave's in Dave's early years, came tostrongly dislike the Dave of later years:
And then, of course, the cheating, the intern, the out of wedlock child, the weird marriage (which he all but openly confessed on camera he wasn't that into, as if I, or anyone else, needed to know that), and more and more overt (and contemptuous) expressions of his bitter-hearted leftism.
I couldn't agree more.
Read more here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Inherent Resolve

Mark Stein weighs in on the events in Ramadi:
The Pentagon has an unrivaled comic genius when it comes to naming its operations. General Weidley is Chief of Staff, Joint Task Force for "Operation Inherent Resolve". If one had to name the single quality most obviously lacking in local ground forces, in the "60-nation coalition" and in US strategists, that would be it. Iraqi troops fled their US-supplied government buildings and then, at the edge of town, abandoned their US-supplied Humvees to melt into the local population, hopefully with nothing US-supplied about their person to give them away. The Humvees and the buildings are now in the hands of Isis. That's the great thing about taking on a "60-nation coalition". When you roll over them in nothing flat, the stuff they leave behind is world-beating state-of-the-art.

Almost exactly twelve years ago, I spent two days in Ramadi - one coming, one going. I wandered around the streets, browsed the shops, ate in the cafes, all in the same suit-and-tie get-up you can see me in on stage and telly. And I got the odd surly look but no beheading. Because, in the spring of 2003, the west was still believed to be serious. Now they know we're not.

...And, of course, when you let one enemy know you're not serious, everyone else gets the message, too - from Putin in the Ukraine to Beijing in the South China Seas to Assad bringing his temporarily mothballed chemical weapons up from the basement to every ragtag jihadist militia minded to overrun a US consulate.

What does Isis on "the defensive" look like? They're now in Afghanistan, and controlling Libyan seaports. Any reason why they should stop there? From today's Daily Mirror:

Terror group Islamic State are using human trafficking gangs to smuggle militant extremist to the west.

The jihadi organisation is utilising the Mediterranean refugee crisis to sneak their fighters into Europe, an investigation has revealed.

Intelligence sources say ISIS are working with the cruel people-smuggling network to hide terrorists, bent on destruction, on boats among stricken refugees.

Experts claim ISIS is also capitalising on the emergency in the region to fund its terrorist activities by taxing people smugglers.

Abdul Basit Haroun, an adviser to the intelligence service of the Libyan government, said he had spoken to boat owners who operate in IS-controlled areas who told him the group takes a 50 per cent cut of their income.

The Mirror and the rest of Fleet Street are tapdancing around the genius of what Isis is doing: They conquer territory, terrorizing the locals, beheading and raping on an industrial scale, and sending millions fleeing - and then, having caused a "humanitarian catastrophe", they turn it into a cash cow. In effect, Isis is now running the humanitarian rescue from Isis. They're simultaneously the Nazis and Schindler - if Schindler's list were full of crack German agents he were smuggling into Britain. Which is a hell of a business model.

...A state needs territory, but Isis doesn't. Having stolen everything it wants, killed everyone it hates and destroyed everything in sight, it can abandon Ramadi for new killing fields. The Islamic State is less a state than a state of mind.

...Then again, most western nations are not states, either - not in the conventional Westphalian sense of coherent entities pursuing state strategy. Unlike Britain, America has chosen to run its global order not through conventional expressions of national interest (the British Empire) but through post-Westphalian institutions - the IPCC for "climate change", the "60-nation coalition" for war. The UN-style post-state model strikes me as all but useless. By comparison Islamic imperialism has come up with a form of post-state transnationalism that's boundlessly flexible, encompassing conventional war, global crime syndicates, and the ability to spontaneously ignite "lone wolves" from Sydney to Copenhagen to Garland, Texas.

Meanwhile, our official no-Islam-to-see-here brings only the certainty of further retreat. Even if one accepts the view that this is a "tiny minority" of "bad apples", absolving Islam of responsibility for the cancer that nests within it ensures that there's nothing left to do but what Liddell Hart tells us is strategically pointless: bomb vehicles and buildings. And, given that western taxpayers paid for those vehicles and buildings, it's even more stupid.

Where's our wit and nimbleness and "ability to reconfigure on the fly"? After 14 years, we've learned nothing. Announcing another 473 bazillion sorties and marveling at how swimmingly the US-funded Iraqi Army Please-Don't-Run-Away-Quite-So-Quickly Program is going is not only a sign that we're losing, but that we don't even know enough to know we're using the wrong metrics.
Read more here.