Displaying posts published in

May 2016


I am getting a tad annoyed at the high dudgeon of the #Never Trumpsters. I did not want Trump but I will vote for him. Those high minded friends might remember a previous campaign when Senator John Kerry, now our Secretary of State, ran for the white House and got the endorsement of the Democrats in 2004 and appointed John Edwards as his running mate. But never mind all that.
On April 22, 1971, When Kerry was 27 years old and dressed in his green fatigues and Silver Star and Purple Heart ribbons, he addressed Congress and libeled and maligned American soldiers who fought in Vietnam.He accused them of war crimes “with the full awareness of officers at all levels of command.”
Quoting soldiers he elaborated: “They relived the absolute horror of what this country, in a sense, made them do.They told stories that, at times, they had personally raped, cut off ears, cut off heads, taped wires from portable telephones to human genitals and turned up the power, cut off limbs, blown up bodies, randomly shot at civilians, razed villages in fashion reminiscent of Ghengis Khan, shot cattle and dogs for fun, poisoned food stocks, and generally ravaged the countryside of South Vietnam.”
Veterans of both parties – high ranking officers as well as clerks- accused him of lies and launched a campaign against his election. Other than that there were no #Never Kerryites.
Even his medals were questioned- he won a Purple Heart for getting shrapnel in his buttocks….which could explain his brain damage.
Kerry never apologized, and he should never have been elected a Senator, no less a presidential candidate. rsk

Enemies, Foreign and Domestic An interview with author and Navy SEAL Carl Higbie. Mark Tapson

Enemies, Foreign and Domestic: A SEAL’s Story is a new book by former Navy SEAL Carl Higbie. Higbie was on the Navy SEAL assault team that in the summer of 2007 captured the most wanted man in the Middle East (apart from Osama bin Laden) – Ahmed Hashim Abd Al-Isawi, known as the Butcher of Fallujah. But afterward, Higbie and others in his unit were charged with prisoner abuse when Al-Isawi alleged that they had bloodied his lip.

Suddenly, the “mission accomplished” became a much more challenging ordeal as Higbie et al were threatened with courts-martial over supposedly roughing up a ruthless terrorist. When he went public with his account of what happened, the Navy pushed back hard to save face and protect careers. But Higbie pushed back harder.

Higbie, also the author of Battle on the Home Front: A Navy SEAL’s Mission to Save the American Dream, became a SEAL in 2003 and deployed twice in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is now a political commentator in national media including the Fox News Channel, Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Daily Caller, and Breibart. He graciously agreed to answer a few questions for FrontPage Mag about his lates book, Enemies, Foreign and Domestic.

Mark Tapson: About the mission to capture and extract this high-value target, the Butcher of Fallujah. You and your unit accomplished the mission, handed him over, and all seemed good – but then what happened afterward?

Carl Higbie: After turning over custody to the Master at Arms (MP), the MP admittedly left his post. During this time the prisoner bit his lip (as testified by an oral surgeon) and spit blood on his clothing. Out of fear for his own career, the MP concocted a story that he saw many of us abuse the prisoner. This story was fabricated, as was apparent from his numerous changes in his official statement.

Sometimes, Heads Should Roll If you don’t dismiss a journalist for dishonesty, then what? By Kevin D. Williamson

Of course Yahoo News should fire Katie Couric. She committed an act of gross intellectual dishonesty — and if you don’t fire a journalist for dishonesty, what in hell do you fire one for? Bad manners?

Well, yes. More on that in a bit.

Couric is under fire (you know, like Hillary Rodham Clinton in Bosnia) for her role in an anti-gun documentary (NB: My iPad wants “anti-gun” to be “anti-fun” — changed it three times — and I do not disagree) in which dishonest editing was used to make it look as though pro–Second Amendment activists were unable to answer elementary questions about a gun-rights controversy. This technique is known as “the Jon Stewart.” What you do is take a few seconds (or, in this case, a few minutes) of reaction shots (the footage they shoot of people’s faces while other people are talking) and then insert that non-talking footage after a question is asked: Voilà, the opposition is literally speechless. My friend Jonah Goldberg knows a little bit about this, his Daily Show appearance being an infamous example of editing with malice.

This kind of thing is the stock-in-trade of faux journalists such as Jon Stewart and crude propagandists such as Michael Moore, but Katie Couric is, in theory, something else: an actual journalist. There are things we permit among comedians that we do not permit among journalists: I doubt very much that every anecdote Richard Pryor ever shared actually happened.

The usual idiots are rallying to Couric’s defense for the usual reason, which has absolutely nothing to do with principle and everything to do with a deep disinclination to allow anything to happen that might be considered a victory for conservative critics of the mainstream media. This is not a First Amendment question: No one is arguing that this film should be censored, the way films critical of Hillary Rodham Clinton were subject to government censorship before Citizens United; rather, this is a straightforward question about journalistic standards and Yahoo’s adherence to or wanton abandonment of them. Journalists are not supposed to tell lies to their audiences.

Couric did.

The EPA vs. Science Why is the agency delaying a long-awaited report on a weed killer? Congress wants to know. By Julie Kelly

A political battle is brewing on Capitol Hill with an unlikely source: a weed killer.

Congress is demanding to know why the Environmental Protection Agency posted and then pulled a long-awaited report on the carcinogenicity of glyphosate, the world’s most widely used herbicide. The weed killer is also the latest bogeyman for anti-GMO activists.

Two congressional committees — the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology and the House Agriculture Committee — have asked EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to explain why her agency took the assessment offline and is continuing to delay its release.

On April 29, the EPA posted a report concluding that glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide and other products) is “not likely to be carcinogenic.” The committee found no relationship between glyphosate exposure and a number of cancers, including leukemia, multiple myeloma, and Hodgkin lymphoma. The 86-page assessment was signed by the EPA’s cancer review committee back in October 2015 and marked “final.”

But the EPA took it down on May 2, claiming the documents were “inadvertently” posted and only a preliminary report. “EPA has not completed our cancer review. We will look at the work of other governments. . . . our assessment will be peer reviewed and completed by end of 2016,” said an EPA spokeswoman.

That move caught the attention of House Science Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R., Texas), who fired off a letter two days later to McCarthy, questioning the agency’s “apparent mishandling” of the report and demanding all documents and communications about the report dating back to January 1, 2015. The House Agriculture Committee followed up with its own letter (signed by both the chairman and the ranking member) asking McCarthy why the agency has “continually delayed its review of glyphosate.” Both committees expect answers within the coming weeks.

Class, Trump, and the Election If the ‘high IQs’ of the establishment have let America down, where is a voter to turn? By Victor Davis Hanson

Donald Trump seems to have offended almost every possible identity group. But the New York billionaire still also seems to appeal to the working classes (in part no doubt precisely because he has offended so many special-interest factions; in part because he was seen in the primaries as an outsider using his own money; in part because he seems a crude man of action who dislikes most of those of whom Middle America is tired). At this point, his best hope in November, to the extent such a hope exists, rests on turning 2016 into a referendum on class and a collective national interest that transcends race and gender — and on emphasizing the sad fact that America works now mostly for an elite, best epitomized by Clinton, Inc.

We should not underestimate the opportunities for approaching traditional issues from radically different perspectives. The National Rifle Association is running the most effective ads in its history, hitting elites who wish to curtail gun ownership on the part of those who are not afforded the security blankets of the wealthy. Why should not an inner-city resident wish to buy a legal weapon, when armed security guards patrol America’s far safer gated communities? For most of the Clintons’ adult lives, they have been accompanied by men and women with concealed weapons to ensure their safety — on the premise that firearms, not mace, not Tasers, not knives or clubs, alone would ultimately keep the two safe.

Fracking provides jobs and cheaper fuel; the elites of the Democratic party care about neither. Indeed, Barack Obama and Energy Secretary Steven Chu proclaimed their desire for spiraling gas and electricity prices. Boutique environmentalism is a losing issue for the Democrats. The very wealthy can afford to be more concerned for a three-inch smelt than for irrigation water that will ensure that there are jobs for tractor drivers and affordable food for the less-well-off. When Hillary Clinton talks about putting miners out of work, she’s talking about people she has no desire to see unless she needs their votes.

Obama’s Ho Chi Minh Trail :Daniel Greenfield

On his visit to meet with Communist leaders in Vietnam, Obama criticized the United States for having, “too much money in our politics, and rising economic inequality, racial bias in our criminal justice system.” He praised Ho Chi Minh’s evocation of the “American Declaration of Independence” and claimed that we had “shared ideals” with the murderous Communist dictator.

Shortly after the “evocation” that Obama praised, his beloved Ho was hard at work purging the opposition, political and religious. When Obama references these “shared ideals”, does he perhaps mean Ho’s declaration, “All who do not follow the line laid down by me will be broken.”

Perhaps he means the euphemistically named “land reform” which may have killed up to a million people. Like Stalin and Mao, Ho Chi Minh seized land and executed property owners as “enemies of the state”. The original plan had been to murder one in a thousand. But the relatively modest plan for mass murder was swiftly exceeded by the enthusiastic Communist death squads.

Obama has consistently called for wealth redistribution. This is what it really looks like. It’s men being hung from trees or lying in dirt dying of malaria. It’s death squads coming in the night. It’s a declaration that you are to be executed because you are the wrong class in a class war. It’s a man condemned to hard labor in a New Economic Zone and a family starving to death because the regime has commanded that they must be made an example of to other peasants.

What’s wrong with a little wealth redistribution anyway?

As Obama said, on his visit to the brutal Communist dictatorship in Cuba, “So often in the past there’s been a sharp division between left and right, between capitalist and communist or socialist… And especially in the Americas, that’s been a big debate, right? Oh, you know, you’re a capitalist Yankee dog, and oh, you know, you’re some crazy communist that’s going to take away everybody’s property… you should be practical and just choose from what works. You don’t have to worry about whether it neatly fits into socialist theory or capitalist theory — you should just decide what works.”

Does Vietnam’s Communist dictatorship work? Obama seems to think that it does, talking up the, “skyscrapers and high-rises of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, and new shopping malls and urban centers. We see it in the satellites Vietnam puts into space”. What’s a million dead when you’ve got satellites in space? What does it matter if you don’t have freedom of speech when there are skyscrapers in Ho Chi Minh City?

Unlike Pol Pot, whose genocidal crimes leftist activists like Noam Chomsky tried and failed to cover up, the Communist butchery in Vietnam that took place even long before the Vietnam War has largely been erased from common history. The victims of Ho Chi Minh and his successors have become non-persons not just in Vietnam, but in Washington D.C. Instead Obama associates one of history’s bloodiest Communist butchers with Thomas Jefferson.

What of the Declaration of Independence was there in Ho’s concentration camps? The brutal Communist regime whose ideals Obama praises, sent political dissidents to camps. Are those the ideals he shares with Uncle Ho?

Senate investigation finds ‘systemic’ failures at VA watchdog: Donovan Slack ….See note

In spite of all the posturing on Memorial Day, this scandal continues unabated…..rsk

WASHINGTON — A Senate investigation of poor health care at a Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Tomah, Wis., found systemic failures in a VA inspector general’s review of the facility that raise questions about the internal watchdog’s ability to ensure adequate health care for veterans nationwide.

The probe by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee found the inspector general’s office, which is charged with independently investigating VA complaints, discounted key evidence and witness testimony, needlessly narrowed its inquiry and has no standard for determining wrongdoing.

One of the biggest failures identified by Senate investigators was the inspector general’s decision not to release its investigation report, which concluded two providers at the facility had been prescribing alarming levels of narcotics. The facility’s chief of staff at the time was David Houlihan, a physician veterans had nick-named “candy man” because he doled out so many pills.

Releasing the report would have forced VA officials to publicly address the issue and ensured follow up by the inspector general to make sure the VA took action. Instead, the inspector general’s office briefed local VA officials and closed the case.

A 35-year-old Marine Corps veteran, Jason Simcakoski, died five months later from “mixed drug toxicity” at Tomah days after Houlihan signed off on adding another opiate to the 14 drugs he was already prescribed.

The 350-page Senate committee report obtained by USA TODAY also chronicles instances where other agencies could have done more to fix problems at the Tomah VA Medical Center, including the local police, the FBI, DEA, and the VA itself, but it singles out the inspector general.

Jewish “Pilgrims” flock to one of the Arab world’s last Jewish communities Kristen McTighe

An annual Jewish pilgrimage to Africa’s oldest synagogue got under way in Tunisia where security forces were deployed heavily to ward off potential jihadist attacks.
“….About 850,000 Jews lived throughout the Arab world before the state of Israel was created in 1948. That number has dwindled to fewer than 4,500.
Jewish communities have virtually disappeared across North Africa and the Middle East, including Libya, Algeria, Egypt and Yemen….”
No cause given for the “dwindling” or “virtual disappearance”….a rather glaring omission of the actual history, though not an unusual one?

DJERBA, Tunisia — Despite warnings from Israel to avoid traveling to one of the Arab world’s last Jewish communities, thousands came to the ancient El Ghriba synagogue this week to celebrate the Jewish festival of Lag b’Omer.

Jews from Tunisia, Europe and elsewhere made the annual two-day pilgrimage that began Wednesday under tight security to mark the holiday with prayers, candles and wishes written on eggs.

Organizers estimated 2,000 people made the trip here despite a severe warning by Israel’s National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau that recommended all travel to Tunisia be avoided.

“Terrorism is everywhere, it’s in Paris, it’s in Bardo. The problem is worldwide,” Lior Elia said in his family jewelry shop in Houmt Souk, the main city on the island of Djerbaoff the Tunisian coast. “We are protected here, the police work for us and for everyone, and we are also protected, thanks to God.”

“We protect each other always,” said Madji Barouni, a Muslim college student who stopped by the shop to visit his friend Elia.

There have been plenty of security concerns. In an assault in March, militants affiliated with the Islamic State stormed the Tunisian border town of Ben Gardane, leaving more than 50 dead. Access to Djerba was immediately cut off.

Two high-profile attacks last year in Tunisia — at the Bardo National Museum in Tunis and in the beach resort of Sousse — stoked fears that the Jewish community could become a target of extremists.

DJERBA, Tunisia — Despite warnings from Israel to avoid traveling to one of the Arab world’s last Jewish communities, thousands came to the ancient El Ghriba synagogue this week to celebrate the Jewish festival of Lag b’Omer.

Jews from Tunisia, Europe and elsewhere made the annual two-day pilgrimage that began Wednesday under tight security to mark the holiday with prayers, candles and wishes written on eggs.

Organizers estimated 2,000 people made the trip here despite a severe warning by Israel’s National Security Council Counter-Terrorism Bureau that recommended all travel to Tunisia be avoided.

The Old Generals’ Old Plan The fantasy of peace with the Palestinians. Caroline Glick

There is no Palestinian constituency for peace with Israel. The more Israel offers the Palestinians, the less interested they are in settling.
The Israeli Left is a one trick pony. As it sees things, all of Israel’s problems – with the Palestinians, with the Arab world, with Europe and with the American Left – can be solved by giving up Judea and Samaria and half of Jerusalem (along with Gaza which we gave up already).

Once Israel does this, the Left insists, then the Palestinians, the Arab world, Europe and Bernie Sanders voters will love us as they’ve never loved us before.

The events of the past quarter century have shown the Left’s position to be entirely wrong. Every time Israel has given the Palestinians land, it has become less secure. The Arabs have become more hostile.

The West has become more hostile. The Palestinians have expanded their demands.

Because of their negative experience with the Left’s policy, most Israelis reject it. This is why the Right keeps winning elections.

Given the failure of its plan, the Left could have been expected to abandon it and strike out on a different course. But it didn’t. Instead it has tried to hide its continued allegiance to its failed withdrawal strategy by pretending it is something else.

A central component of the Left’s concealment strategy is its use of former generals.

Over the past quarter century, and particularly since the Palestinians began demonstrating in 2000 that they have no interest in a state living side by side with Israel, the Left has carted out retired generals at regular intervals to proclaim that continued allegiance to the Left’s failed policy of withdrawal is not irrational.

Every couple of years, a new initiative of former generals – often funded by the EU – is published.

Iran’s Holocaust Cartoon Contest Goes International “Artists” from around the world join in mocking the attempted genocide of the Jewish people. Joseph Klein

Iran’s international cartoon exhibition and contest mocking Jews and the Holocaust has just concluded. It provided a prominent hate-filled platform to those who deny or make fun of the genocide inflicted on Jews by the Nazis and who seek to compare Israel today to Nazi Germany. One hundred fifty “cartoonists” from 50 countries submitted entries. The exhibition provided a perfect bookend to the message emblazoned by the Iranian regime on missiles it test fired last March, “Israel must be wiped out.”

Western-educated Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif played the free speech card to defend the right of the organizers to put on their show, while denying that his government had anything to do with it.

During an April 2016 interview with the New Yorker, Zarif said the exhibition was organized by a non-governmental organization “that is not controlled by the Iranian government.” Zarif claimed, “Don’t consider Iran a monolith. The Iranian government does not support, nor does it organize, any cartoon festival of the nature that you’re talking about.”

A well-known exiled Iranian cartoonist, Nikahang Kowsar, laid bare Zarif’s Big Lie in a blog post published by the Times of Israel:

“The claim that the Iranian government doesn’t control this platform for spewing hate and denying the Holocaust is a pure lie, coming from a pathological liar whose previous absurd claim, exactly a year before this one, was ‘we do not jail people for their opinions.’

The director of the Iranian Cartoon House, a former member of the Revolutionary Guards, runs the contest by the rules set by the Culture and Arts Center of Tehran’s Municipality. Cartoon House is not allowed to hold International competitions and contests without permission from the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.”