Weekend off

May 30, 2015

hammock nap day off

Didn’t have time to post yesterday, and this weekend has turned into a busy, albeit thankfully productive one. So, I’m declaring a “weekend blog holiday.” Enjoy the late spring weather, folks, and, if you need some reading material, check out the fine sites in the sidebar on the right.

Normal service will resume Monday. smiley cool hey babe


Recycled: 2035 Himalayan Glacier Claim

May 28, 2015

Amazing. This claim was totally debunked, yet the Green Cultists are pushing it again. They must think the public has the memory capacity of an ant, or something.

Watts Up With That?

Himalayas

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Alarmists are busy recycling old debunked climate claims, in a desperate effort to build up momentum for the upcoming Paris climate conference.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald;

Glaciers in the Everest region could shrink at least 70 per cent or even disappear entirely by the end of the century as a result of climate change.

Researchers in Nepal, the Netherlands and France have studied weather patterns on the roof of the world and then created a model of conditions on Everest to determine the future impact of rising temperatures on its glaciers.

“The worst-case scenario shows a 99 per cent loss in glacial mass … but even if we start to slow down emissions somewhat, we may still see a 70 per cent reduction,” said Joseph Shea, who led the study.

The IPCC, a group of scientists convened by the United Nations to…

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Los Angeles: union hypocrisy on parade #RaiseTheWage

May 27, 2015
x

Union economics adviser at work

You have to love the moxie of these racketeers: demand a economically nonsensical minimum wage, $15 per hour, and then, when the city is about to implement it, demand an exception for union members because business owners have threatened to do the logical thing: cut jobs.

From The Los Angeles Times:

Labor leaders, who were among the strongest supporters of the citywide minimum wage increase approved last week by the Los Angeles City Council, are advocating last-minute changes to the law that could create an exemption for companies with unionized workforces.

The push to include an exception to the mandated wage increase for companies that let their employees collectively bargain was the latest unexpected detour as the city nears approval of its landmark legislation to raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2020.

For much of the past eight months, labor activists have argued against special considerations for business owners, such as restaurateurs, who said they would have trouble complying with the mandated pay increase.

But Rusty Hicks, who heads the county Federation of Labor and helps lead the Raise the Wage coalition, said Tuesday night that companies with workers represented by unions should have leeway to negotiate a wage below that mandated by the law.

Let’s review a basic lesson in economics, shall we, from another progressive, heavily unionized city:

Like I’ve said many times before: the laws of economics cannot be repealed by legislative fiat. Raise the cost of labor, and businesses will be faced with a choice from among four options — pass the costs on to the consumer; reduce labor costs by cutting hours or whole jobs; eat the costs and accept lower profits; or cease doing business in that jurisdiction, either by moving or closing shop. Ritu Shah Burnham may have loved her business, or she may have hated it. But, regardless, she’s come to the conclusion it isn’t worth staying in business in Seattle. She isn’t the first, and other small businesses in other progressive cities have made the same choice.

Apparently Rusty Hicks understands economics better than the Los Angeles city council and realizes he stands to lose union (dues-paying) jobs when the minimum wage goes up. So, he wants the freedom to negotiate a lower wage, more in line with economic reality. Fine. He’s pursuing his members’ interests.

How odd that he doesn’t want to allow that same freedom to all workers and business owners.

Afterthought: There is actually a sneaky benefit to this for the unions, besides preserving jobs. If unions can negotiate lower wages, there would then be an incentive for non-union businesses to unionize. That would lead to more union jobs and more dues coming into the union’s coffers. Oh, Rusty. You sly dog, you.

via Michael Strain


Move over, Nicolas Cage; Hillary Clinton is the real “Lord of War.”

May 27, 2015
"Obama loan officer at work."

Clinton Foundation staff at work

No, there’s no direct evidence that reveals bribery or other corruption, but the pattern of large donations to the Clinton Foundation occurring roughly at the same time as the Clinton-lead State Department awarded favorable decisions to the donors is pretty suspicious. Maybe not a “smoking gun,” but definitely a lot of shell casings lying around.

Which is fitting, since it seems Hillary was one of the most accommodating arms-dealers on the planet:

The Saudi deal was one of dozens of arms sales approved by Hillary Clinton’s State Department that placed weapons in the hands of governments that had also donated money to the Clinton family philanthropic empire, an International Business Times investigation has found.

Under Clinton’s leadership, the State Department approved $165 billion worth of commercial arms sales to 20 nations whose governments have given money to the Clinton Foundation, according to an IBTimes analysis of State Department and foundation data. That figure — derived from the three full fiscal years of Clinton’s term as Secretary of State (from October 2010 to September 2012) — represented nearly double the value of American arms sales made to the those countries and approved by the State Department during the same period of President George W. Bush’s second term.

The Clinton-led State Department also authorized $151 billion of separate Pentagon-brokered deals for 16 of the countries that donated to the Clinton Foundation, resulting in a 143 percent increase in completed sales to those nations over the same time frame during the Bush administration. These extra sales were part of a broad increase in American military exports that accompanied Obama’s arrival in the White House.

American defense contractors also donated to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary Clinton was secretary of state and in some cases made personal payments to Bill Clinton for speaking engagements. Such firms and their subsidiaries were listed as contractors in $163 billion worth of Pentagon-negotiated deals that were authorized by the Clinton State Department between 2009 and 2012.

The State Department formally approved these arms sales even as many of the deals enhanced the military power of countries ruled by authoritarian regimes whose human rights abuses had been criticized by the department. Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Oman and Qatar all donated to the Clinton Foundation and also gained State Department clearance to buy caches of American-made weapons even as the department singled them out for a range of alleged ills, from corruption to restrictions on civil liberties to violent crackdowns against political opponents.

Now, I’m not one of those who’s squeamish about selling arms to unsavory governments; sometimes the interests of the United States will make this necessary in pursuit of a greater goal. This happened a lot during the Cold War. And let’s not forget the Great Progressive, FDR, sold untold amounts of arms to Stalin, one of the true monsters of history, in order to defeat Hitler in World War II. The needs of foreign affairs and war often make for strange bedfellows.

But, somehow —call me “crazy!”— I don’t think FDR’s Secretary of State, Cordell Hull, was taking note of Russian gold going to the “Hull Foundation” while shipping planes to Uncle Joe.

Let this sink in:

In all, governments and corporations involved in the arms deals approved by Clinton’s State Department have delivered between $54 million and $141 million to the Clinton Foundation as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars in payments to the Clinton family, according to foundation and State Department records. The Clinton Foundation publishes only a rough range of individual contributors’ donations, making a more precise accounting impossible.

There’s much more at the IBT article. Be sure to read it all.

By any standard of public decency and good government, Hillary Clinton shouldn’t be running for president. She should be hiring defense attorneys to represent her (and Bill!) in a federal bribery investigation.

But, I suppose it’s too much to expect the leading and sole serious candidate for a major party’s nomination to be held to the same rules as the rest of us. Especially under Obama, and especially when it’s a Clinton.

via The Washington Free Beacon

Related: Why am I not surprised? Read all about Bill Clinton’s “shell corporation.” I can almost hear the money-laundering machines whirring away. (h/t Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt newsletter)


(Video) Should the US be the world’s policeman?

May 26, 2015

It’s a question that’s vexed Americans ever since the end of World War II, when maintaining the world order fell to us after the exhaustion and devastation of the European Great Powers. In the following video, The Wall St. Journal’s Bret Stephens answers this question in the affirmative because, in his view, the alternatives are much worse.

For what it’s worth, as an admitted foreign policy hawk, I tend to agree with Stephens.

via Prager University


Government-Subsidized Third-Party Payer Is a Great Recipe to Make a Sector of the Economy More Expensive and Less Efficient

May 25, 2015

It’s had the same pernicious effect on college education costs as it has in the health sector.

International Liberty

What’s the most effective way of screwing up a sector of the economy? Since I’m a fiscal policy economist, I’m tempted to say that bad tax policy is the fastest way of causing damage. And France might be my top example.

But other forms of government intervention also can have a poisonous effect. Regulation, for instance, imposes an enormous burden on our economy.

Today, though, we’re going to look at how subsidies can result in costly distortions. More specifically, using examples from the health sector and higher-ed sectors, we’re going to see how “third-party payer” is a very expensive form of intervention.

We’ll start with the example from the healthcare sector. Writing for the Institute for Policy Innovation, Merrill Matthews has a must-read article about an unintended consequences of Obamacare.

He starts with a very sensible point about the effect of third-party payer.

Health care actuaries will tell…

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(Video) National Popular Vote and the attack on the electoral college

May 25, 2015

vote03

The Electoral College is one of the more obscure features of our government, yet it plays a crucial role: it elects the president, not the popular vote. When people in a state go to the polls, they’re really voting for slates of electors pledged to a particular candidate. The electors have traditionally honored the voters’ wishes (with the occasional individual exception for a protest vote), but the fact remains that they could choose someone other than “the People’s choice.” It also means that, occasionally, a candidate could win enough electoral votes to win the presidency while not winning the overall popular vote, as happened in 2,000 in the race between George W. Bush and Al Gore.

The fact that the winner of the popular vote might not win the race has annoyed a lot of people, especially on the Left (1), and they have proposed something called the “National Popular Vote,” a compact among the states comprising 270 electoral votes (the number need to win) to award them to whomever wins the national vote, regardless of individual state results. Not surprisingly, given the source, this represents an end-run around the system established in the Constitution, rather than an honest attempt to amend it.

In the video below from Prager University, attorney and author Tara Ross explains how the Electoral College works, why it was set up this way, and why NPV is a very bad idea:

Footnote:
(1) Because, you know, the Electoral College is “unfair!” “Unfairness” meaning “I didn’t get what I want!”

(Crossposted at Sister Toldjah)


Free Speech: I find your lack of faith disturbing, America.

May 24, 2015
x

Do we need a refresher?

Via Tom Nichols, here’s Charles Cooke on the results of a survey showing a majority of Democrats and a significant minority of Republicans effectively favor repealing the 1st Amendment:

Depressing news from YouGov:

“YouGov’s latest research shows that many Americans support making it a criminal offense to make public statements which would stir up hatred against particular groups of people. Americans narrowly support (41%) rather than oppose (37%) criminalizing hate speech, but this conceals a partisan divide. Most Democrats (51%) support criminalizing hate speech, with only 26% opposed. Independents (41% to 35%) and Republicans (47% to 37%) tend to oppose making it illegal to stir up hatred against particular groups. Support for banning hate speech is also particularly strong among racial minorities. 62% of black Americans, and 50% of Hispanics support criminalizing comments which would stir up hatred. White Americans oppose a ban on hate speech 43% to 36%.”

What’s disturbing is that the speech in question doesn’t directly incite violence. It doesn’t urge people to go right now and burn the shops of those unliked people “over there.”

Rather, the “hate speech” referred to is a vague term (1) meaning “hurtful things you said that I don’t like.” To give a personal example, I’m very clear regarding my dislike for Islam: I think it an antisemitic, misogynistic, and bigoted faith with aggressive imperatives that lead it to demand supremacy over other faiths and to make war on their adherents until they submit. I have serious questions about whether it is or can be compatible with liberal, post-Enlightenment societies, at least with regard to Muslims who choose to live it as Muhammad intended.

For some, that would qualify as “hate speech”under the standards of that survey, because I would be “stirring up hatred” against Islam, though I would never advocate violence against Muslims, no matter how strong my criticisms of their faith. As Cooke explains, that standard is nevertheless exactly what would get me in trouble in the UK, where free speech protections are dying on the vine under the assault of laws such as the Public Order Act.

That a majority of the self-identified adherents of one of our two major parties would favor laws to criminalize the expression of thought — and that a large portion of the supposedly conservative party would agree with them! — is profoundly disturbing. I hope, indeed, I pray, that this is simply because people agreed with something they thought “sounded reasonable” and didn’t think through the implications thereof, rather than indicating a fundamental change to something that has made us, as a nation, truly exceptional.

Otherwise, we’re in deep trouble.

RELATED: While a number of Republicans have lost their way when it comes to free speech, let’s not forget that it was the Democrats who actually proposed an amendment effectively gutting the 1st Amendment.

Footnote:
(1) This is a great analysis of the increasing calls in the MSM for censoring free speech. Well-worth reading. (h/t Charles Cooke)


(Video) In which Ted Cruz owns a “reporter” on Gay rights

May 23, 2015

Senator Cruz isn’t my first choice for the Republican nomination for president in 2016, though I’ll happily vote for him if he is. However, he gets an unqualified high-five from me for putting this shill for Democratic National Committee talking points in his place:

Pardon me a moment… smiley dance smiley cheering smiley thumbs up

Few things tick me off more than the progressive Left’s hypocrisy on women and Gay rights: silently ignoring the hideous abuse both suffer under Islam while creating fake controversies here at home.

Go, Ted!


ISIS: “‘I rejoiced when we had our first sex slave, forced sex ISN’T rape and they should be thankful”

May 22, 2015
Don't these women look happy?

Don’t these women look happy?

(Graphic via Raymond Ibrahim)

I’m at a loss of words to describe the twisted evil that is ISIS. All I can say is “kill them all.”

ISIS has released a chilling document in which it justifies the kidnapping and rape of slave girls – and brands Michelle Obama a prostitute whose ‘price won’t even exceed a third of a dinar’.

These shocking admissions are made by a jihadi bride in the ninth edition of its propaganda magazine Dabiq, in a feature entitled: ‘Slave girls or prostitutes.’

For years Islamic State has been enslaving and sexually abusing the women it captures – particularly from Iraq’s minority Yazidi community – and sending the ‘prettiest virgins’ to depraved auctions, a United Nations envoy claimed this week.

ISIS has not only confirmed this to be true, but the terror group justifies the cruel sex crimes as Sunnah, which roughly translates as ‘a way of life’.

A counter-terrorism expert told MailOnline that this was another example of how ISIS is twisting the holy text to recruit young male fighters – who often can’t get wives in their own countries – by telling them their spoils of war will be women.

That last is simply not true: sexual slavery of infidel women (and the Yazidi women count as infidels) is justified in both the Qur’an and the hadiths (the sayings and deeds of Muhammad). Robert Spencer provides several examples. Here’s one:

The seizure of Infidel girls and their use as sex slaves is sanctioned in the Qur’an. According to Islamic law, Muslim men can take “captives of the right hand” (Qur’an 4:3, 4:24, 33:50). The Qur’an says: “O Prophet! Lo! We have made lawful unto thee thy wives unto whom thou hast paid their dowries, and those whom thy right hand possesseth of those whom Allah hath given thee as spoils of war” (33:50). 4:3 and 4:24 extend this privilege to Muslim men in general. The Qur’an says that a man may have sex with his wives and with these slave girls: “The believers must (eventually) win through, those who humble themselves in their prayers; who avoid vain talk; who are active in deeds of charity; who abstain from sex, except with those joined to them in the marriage bond, or (the captives) whom their right hands possess, for (in their case) they are free from blame.” (Qur’an 23:1-6)

Be sure to read the rest.

Meanwhile, let me pull from my shelf the “Reliance of the Traveler,” a manual of Islamic law certified by al-Azhar university, one of the chief intellectual authorities of Sunni Islam. Section o9-13 (p.604):

“When a child or a woman is taken captive, they become slaves by the fact of capture, and the woman’s previous marriage is immediately annulled.”

In other words, she is war booty — possessed “by the right hand” (the sword hand)– and is her captor’s to use as he wishes, including sexually. This is from a sharia law manual certified as in accord with Sunni practice and faith in 1991. The unnamed expert may know what  he’s talking about when it comes to counter-terrorism, but he’s ignorant or fooling himself when it comes to Islamic law.

Back to the joy infidel women should feel when subjected to rape — pardon me, “forced sex” — by Muslim men, the woman (sic!) who wrote the Dabiq article goes on:

The hate-filled rant is penned by a suspected jihadi bride named Umm Sumayyah Al-Muhajirah, who called for her ‘sisters’ to emigrate to Syria and become wives to Islamic State extremists in the previous edition of Dabiq.

(…)

And she openly admits that ISIS has plundered villages and kidnapped women, saying: ‘As for the slave-girl that was taken by the swords of men following the cheerful warrior then her enslavement is in opposition to human rights and copulation with her is rape?!

‘What is wrong with you? How do you make such a judgment? What is your religion? What is your law? Rather, tell me who is your lord?’

‘Allah has opened the lands for His awliya [supporter], so they entered and dispersed within the lands, killing the fighters of the kuffar [non-believer], capturing their women, and enslaving their children.’

She angrily adds: ‘I write this while the letters drip of pride… We have indeed raided and captured the kafirah women, and drove them like sheep by the edge of the sword.’

Sumayyah Al-Muhajirah expresses deep disappointment to Islamic State fanatics who refuted the mass kidnappings of Yazidi girls, saying: ‘So the supporters started denying the matter as if the soldiers of the Khilafah [Caliphate] had committed a mistake or evil.’

Emphasis added. She’s partially right. The jihadis of ISIS aren’t misunderstanding Islam, they are not insane, but they are evil. These brave knights of Allah are instead operating under a wholly different paradigm from the post-Enlightenment West, a paradigm under which what they are doing is right and is justified by their holy texts, no “twisting” needed. ISIS is practicing Islam and jihad as Muhammad intended.

I said last night on Twitter that there are some evils in the world that must be fought for their evil, regardless of geopolitics or national interests. This new “Caliphate” is just such an evil.

ISIS needs to be destroyed.

via Jihad Watch

UPDATE: Dear God. Those monsters burned a woman alive because she wouldn’t perform “an extreme sex act.” (h/t Amy Otto)

RELATED: If you want to enjoy (?) a bitter laugh, compare the above to the feminist pearl-clutching about the so-called “rape culture” in the US that my blog-buddy Sister Toldjah rants about in one of her latest posts.


In which ISIS imitates Kim Jong Un: teen executed with a bazooka

May 21, 2015
Justice under Islam?

Justice under Islam?

In 2014 the al-Sheitaat tribe in Syria revolted against ISIS. Hundreds of tribesmen died in the massacre that followed ISIS’ reconquest of the area. Perhaps in revenge for his people, or perhaps out of a simple desire to fight a heinous enemy, a young man of the tribe fired a rocket-propelled grenade that killed two ISIS savages.

For that, he had to die:

Islamic State (Isis) has posted a video showing the execution with a bazooka of a young member of the Sunni al-Sheitaat tribe in Syria’s eastern Deir Ezzor (or Deir al-Zour) province.

The clip, which was shot on 20 May according to the Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently blog, shows an armed group of IS fighters addressing a man tied to a pole. A jihadist asks the teenager to say his name, where he is from, and what he did. The young man says his name is Ibrahim al-Sharida from the city of Abu Hamam in Deir Ezzor and he’s from the al-Sheitaat tribe.

He admits to killing two IS soldiers in Hai Sanour with a rocket-propelled grenade. The IS fighter says the boy “is an enemy of God” for killing the IS soldiers and that they will avenge their deaths. In an eye-for-an-eye retribution, the extremists kill the teenager by firing a bazooka from a distance at him.

At first this might remind one of the bizarre methods of execution the North Korean psychotic god-king dictator imposes on those who offend him. But the sentence and the means of carrying it out have their roots in the sharia-law principle of qisas, which can be defined as “equal” or “eye for an eye” punishment, as ancient as the Code of Hammurabi. It’s the same principle by which ISIS justified the burning alive a Jordanian pilot last February: he had “rained fire” on areas held by ISIS, so he should die by fire. The teen in the linked article had fired an RPG at IS jihadis, so he should die in the same way. Islamic scholars may try to argue that this somehow “isn’t Islamic,” but the principle is there, straight from the 7th century.

But don’t you dare judge them “uncivilized.”

(Photo courtesy of IBT)


Instead of Ending Poverty, Big Government Subsidizes Dependency

May 20, 2015

I wish more people would see this: while begun with the best of intentions, the welfare state only traps people in poverty, providing an anchor that weighs against bettering their own lot.

International Liberty

President Obama recently took part in a poverty panel at Georgetown University. By D.C. standards, it was ideologically balanced since there were three statists against one conservative (I’ve dealt with that kind of “balance” when dealing with the media, as you can see here and here).

You won’t be surprised to learn that the President basically regurgitated the standard inside-the-beltway argument that caring for the poor means you have to support bigger government and more redistribution.

Many observers were unimpressed. Here’s some of what Bill McGurn wrote for the Wall Street Journal.

The unifying progressive contention here is the assertion that America isn’t “investing” enough in the poor—by which is meant the government isn’t spending enough. …President Obama…went on to declare it will be next to impossible to find “common ground” on poverty until his critics accept his spending argument.

I think this argument is nonsense. We’re spending record…

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Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before

May 19, 2015

Maybe it’s magic to them: if they say it often enough, it will come true! (Hey, I’ve always said it was a cult…)

cosmoscon

The Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) cult is getting desperate now that their dire predictions of global warming are coming under intense scrutiny since the Earth’s temperature anomalies have been flat for over 18 years.

Instead of confronting the inconvenient truth of this data and reworking their flawed models they instead choose to double down on the same tired predictions that just aren’t coming true.

From NPR:

antarctic ice

That’s a nice prediction you have there but unfortunately the data from the National Snow and Ice Data Center the Antarctic sea ice extent show that for the past 2 years the sea ice down there has been ABOVE the 2 standard deviation level of the average from 1981 to 2010.

antarctic ice 2

The AGW cult is beyond pathetic.

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Danish jihadis collecting unemployment while on jihad in Syria

May 19, 2015

“But first subsidize us, please.”

One of those “insult on injury” moments: these Muslims (1) despise Western liberal society and wish to overthrow it and replace it with one based on their totalitarian sharia law, but they’re quite willing to take our welfare money while they fight to destroy the hand that gives it to them.

We have met the useful idiot, and he is us:

A total of 32 ‘Danish’ terrorists have continued to claim state unemployment benefits amounting to kr.400,000 (£38,500) while fully employing themselves in the act of Jihad in Syria.

Documents acquired by a Danish Radio24syv show the security service and labour ministry had undertaken private discussions about the mispayments, presumably terminating them as they were discovered, but not before a significant amount of taxpayer money had been funnelled to enemies of the state.

Remarkably, out of the 32 fighters claiming Denmark’s generous £75 a day only one had been recognised as fraudulent and stopped by his benefits office. Somehow the remainder had managed to keep claiming, despite not even being in the country.

(…)

Claiming unemployment benefit while conspiring against the host country appears to have become a key part of terrorist life in many Western nations. ‘British’ hate preacher Anjem Choudary was recorded in 2013 making mockery of Westerners who worked regular jobs and paid taxes, and called on Muslims to claim “Jihad Seekers Allowance” instead of working.

Lenin once said “The Capitalists will sell us the rope with which we will hang them.” Well, the modern welfare state will do you one better Vlad.

We’ll also give them the money to buy that rope.

That’ll show’em. smiley headbang wall

Footnote:
(1) Not all Muslims, of course. But far too many at least support imposing sharia and recreating the caliphate, even if they’re ambivalent about waging violent jihad to do it.


Sleep easy: If Iran gets the Bomb, so will Saudi Arabia

May 18, 2015
x

Some deal, Barack.

Of the many fatuous reasons President Obama has offered in support of his nuclear giveaway deal, one of the big ones has been an exercise in scaremongering that runs something like this: “Congress has to approve this deal because, if we don’t, it will set off a nuclear arms race in the region.”

As with almost everything else our president says, he gets it all backwards:

Saudi Arabia telegraphed further opposition to the Obama administration’s ongoing push for the nuclear deal with Iran this week. This took place only days after the nation’s leader “snubbed” the president’s Persian Gulf Summit at Camp David.

The nation’s former head of intelligence argued the Sauds would match Iran’s nuclear capabilities as a matter of national security: “We can’t sit back … as Iran is allowed to retain much of its capability…” Further, Prince Turki bin Faisal has said they will not fall behind: “Whatever the Iranians have, we will have, too,” he declared at a recent conference in South Korea.

Emphasis added. Keep something in mind: Saudi Arabia may be famously corrupt; the Saudis may hypocritically enforce a particularly retrograde interpretation of Islamic law; they may tolerate slavery and treat their women like cattle; and they certainly export that same aggressive Islam and jihadism and have played a key role in the rise of the modern jihadist movement. They are all that. But they are also something else.

They are damn scared of Iran and they have all the wealth required to buy whatever weapons technology they feel they need to protect themselves against their hated Shiite foes.

Prince Turki is a very serious man and he sees the United States abandoning its traditional patronage of Saudi Arabia to appease the Saudis’ mortal enemies. If he says the Kingdom will have whatever the Iranians have (1), bank on it.

Barack Obama and John Kerry are creating the very thing they wanted to avoid in the Middle East: a nuclear arms race.

Footnote:
(1) And so will the Gulf states and Egypt, at a minimum.


(Video) Is the radical Left trying to take over the Democratic Party?

May 18, 2015

Could have fooled me: I thought they had been doing that since the 60s “New Left” decided to take over the party from within after 1968. Then again, maybe this is a generational shift — the new progressive Left pushing out the graying generation of the New Left, the way the New Left swept aside the old New Deal liberals.

Regardless, here’s an interesting discussion of New York City’s “Sandinista Mayor” DeBlasio possibly mounting a challenge to Hillary, courtesy of PJTV:

Of all the possible challengers to Hillary, it’s either Senator Warren or Mayor DeBlasio who pose the strongest threat. And if either one of them wins, I suspect the Democrats will be facing a electoral wipeout to rival 1984.


Like clockwork: in revenge for US raid, ISIS vows to kill Obama

May 16, 2015
"Still the JV?"

“Coming for payback?”

Following up on this story, it looks like we really did get someone important; the jihadis are doing their usual, tiresome chest-thumping about revenge:

“If they took Abu Sayyaf, we will take Obama,” one ISIS supporter posted in the hours after the raid, which took place near the eastern Syrian city of al-Amr.

(…)

Vocativ analyzed social media across Syria in the wake of the strike and discovered some ISIS supporters claiming the news was U.S. propaganda intended to counter the momentum ISIS gained after it took most of the Iraqi city of Ramadi this week. Others tweeted from outside the Syrian city of Raqqa vowing revenge for the strike, saying they heard explosions and helicopters.

Here’s one of them on Twitter this morning:

(“If your goal is killing Abu Sayyaf then our goal is killing Obama and the worshipers of the cross. We have attacks coming against you.” Translation courtesy of Vocativ)

“Worshipers of the cross” is an Islamic insult aimed at Christians. Attacking and killing Christians is something ISIS (and other jihadi groups) have been doing a lot of in Syria, and this message threatens to bring it here to the US.

While we rightly mock the savages of ISIS, this is not a threat to be taken lightly. The conservative advocacy group Judicial Watch has repeatedly claimed that ISIS has a presence on the other side of the border in Mexico, though these claims have been disputed and denied by the government. Yet we do know other jihad terror groups have a presence in Mexico, and it is a fact our southern border is about as secure as a tissue-paper fence. We’ve already experienced several jihadi attacks here in the US, so we discount the threat from a group as determined as ISIS at our own peril.

Revenge is important in a honor-and-shame culture such as the Arabs’, and we can expect them to try to take it.

via Jihad Watch


American soldiers kill ISIS commander, rescue slave. Yeah, we’re still the Good Guys.

May 16, 2015
"X"

“Nice work.”

John Wayne would be proud: Kick in the door, kill the bad guy, and free his captive.

Boom.

U.S. commandos mounted a rare raid into eastern Syria overnight, killing a senior Islamic State commander in a firefight, capturing his wife and rescuing a Yazidi woman held as a slave, the Pentagon said Saturday.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter announced the raid, identifying the militant as Abu Sayyaf. He said no U.S. forces were killed or injured in the operation.

(…)

A U.S. defense official said the raid was conducted overnight Friday (Friday evening Washington time) by a team of Army Delta commandos who flew from Iraq into eastern Syria aboard V-22 Osprey aircraft and Blackhawk helicopters.

Upon arrival at the target, which was a multi-story building, the Americans met stiff resistance. A “fairly intense firefight” ensued, including hand-to-hand combat, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss details of the raid by name.

The U.S. estimates that about a dozen IS fighters were killed but no civilians were wounded, even though women and children were present. The Americans returned to their base unharmed by about midnight Washington time.

The IS leader who was killed was a Tunisian national designated by IS as the organization’s “emir of oil and gas,” according to the U.S. official.

(…)

The statement said the commandos rescued a young Yazidi woman “who appears to have been held as a slave” by the slain militant and his wife. IS militants captured hundreds of members of the Yazidi religious minority in northern Iraq during their rampage across the country last summer.

The target was apparently at an oil and gas facility that some elements of Syrian state media also claim was attacked by Syrian forces, though not all government organs broadcast the news. It’s possible this raid was carried out in conjunction with the Syrians: it wouldn’t be the first time enemies have cooperated to take out a mutual foe. The subsequent silence and denials might have been to keep this occasional cooperation clandestine, as certain other parties might not be happy to learn that Washington and Damascus were talking. In that case, the single mention was an accidental “blabbing.”

Or, the Assad team was simply trying to grab some credit. It will probably be a long time before we know, if ever.

Regardless, a rare “well done” to President Obama for ordering this operation, to our commandos for their valor (never rare), and good wishes for the former slave as she recovers from her ordeal.


EPA’s draconian new plan: Is a 1% Cut in CO2 emissions worth $50 billion and 15,000 jobs annually?

May 14, 2015

We have met the enemy, and it is the EPA.

Watts Up With That?

Guest essay by Steven Capozzola, CAP Media

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is preparing to finalize its Clean PowerPlan, which aims to reduce power plant carbon dioxide emissions by 30% from 2005 levels over the next 15 years.

Looking at some of the best-case scenarios for CO2 reductions, the plan could potentially cut roughly 300 million tons of CO2 annually.

Because global man-made CO2 emissions reach roughly 30 billion tons annually, it’s estimated that the EPA plan could result in a possible 1% reduction in annual man-made CO2.

Overall, man-made CO2 accounts for only 4% of total atmospheric CO2. So the true atmospheric reduction in CO2 from the EPA plan would be approximately 0.04%.

The cost for this plan is estimated at $50 billion annually, with the loss of roughly 15,000 U.S. jobs each year. Increases in household utility billscould reach $100 billion annually.

These high costs have…

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And… North Korea creatively executes another general

May 13, 2015
"I've got some bad news, boss..."

“The dogs aren’t hungry? OK, get the AA squad!”

I’m beginning to think this is Kim Jong Un’s hobby: some people play Chess or collect stamps, he has generals who annoy him shot:

North Korea has publicly executed the country’s defense minister after the regime accused him of treason, according to South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Hyon Yong Chol was killed by firing squad using an anti-aircraft gun at a military school in front of hundreds of people in Pyongyang around April 30, the agency reported, citing a media briefing by the National Intelligence Service at its headquarters in Seoul.

Hyon “was purged for lese majeste” because he was seen “dozing off” during a military event and “did not carry out Kim’s instructions,” the agency said. It wasn’t clear what instructions Hyon failed to carry out.

With “an anti-aircraft gun.” (pause) (imagines) The guy was probably obliterated by the first round.

Like I said, I’m beginning to think this is not just a way for Kim to make sure the army doesn’t even think of trying to overthrow him (1), but that this is his recreation. I mean, why else think of so many bizarre ways to kill someone when a bullet to the head will do, unless you think it’s entertaining? We’ve seen execution by mortar, by flamethrower, and by being thrown to the dogs. Execution by machine gun seems almost pedestrian by comparison, unless one is wasting an ex-girlfriend in the process.

Not that I feel all that sorry for the late General Hyon. Let’s face it, he had prospered under a Stalinist tyranny that has to rank as one of worst in human history. He was, up until the moment of his arrest, one of the elite: he almost certainly enjoyed good food, a nice apartment or even a home, car and driver, and probably some graft privileges. He was an elite in a regime that runs the world’s largest prison camp masquerading as a nation, in which not only are thousands sent to horrid prison camps on the flimsiest of pretexts, but their families, too. Whole generations of people are born in those hellholes knowing nothing but a living Hell. And while I’m not familiar with Minister Hyon’s career, I wouldn’t be surprised he had denounced people a time or two along the way, nor that he dutifully cheered when someone else got the ax.

So, no, I don’t have much sympathy for the capo when the Godfather finally decides to whack him. Risks of the job and all that. But I do hope he had no young family members, who otherwise are likely on their way to the North Korean gulag.

Footnote:
(1) Yet again I have to wonder if some general or generals aren’t —very quietly and very privately— considering taking out Kim before he decides they need to meet the firing squad. With a “Dear Leader” this bloodthirsty, it would seem a necessity of survival.