Flight of the WASPS Exploits of Women Pilots During World War II A Seldom-told Story by MONICA HESSE


WASHINGTON — A possibly apocryphal story about Dorothy “Dot” Lewis: When she was 13, in what would have been 1929 or 1930, she absconded from church with her Easter collection plate money and hightailed it to a nearby airstrip, where she demanded to learn to fly.

A definitely true story about Dorothy “Dot” Lewis: In 1942, she was one of 25,000 women to apply, one of 1,830 women to be accepted, and one of 1,102 women to earn her “silver wings” with the Women’s Airforce Service Pilots. For two years as a WASP, she trained male fliers, flew the P-63, the B-26 and the P-40, and did a hell of a barrel roll.

Lewis died in September, a few weeks shy of her 98th birthday.


http://frontpagemag.com/2013/andrew-harrod/germanys-sharia-no-go-zones/print/ “To mark No Go Areas, that is to say law-free areas with high danger potential, is nothing unusual,” Rüdiger Franz of Bonn, Germany’s General Anzeiger (GA) newspaper wrote, as travel guide entries for cities such as Detroit, Istanbul, Johannesburg, or Mogadishu show.  Considerable controversy, however, ensued after a language school posted an Internet No Go Area map […]

The Political Debate We Need to Have Posted By Bruce Thornton


Reprinted from Hoover’s Defining Ideas.

The media and pundits treat politics like a sport. The significance of the recent agreement to postpone the debt crisis until January, for instance, is really about which party won and which lost, which party’s tactics are liable to be more successful in the next election, and which politician is a winner and which a loser. But politics rightly understood is not about the contest of policies or politicians. It’s about the philosophical principles and ideas that create one policy rather than another—that’s what it should be about, at least.

From that point of view, the conflict between Democrats and Republicans concerns the size and role of the federal government, which is no surprise to anyone who even casually follows politics. But more important are the ideas that ground arguments for or against limited government. These ideas include our notions of human nature, and what motivates citizens when they make political decisions. Our political conflicts today reflect the two major ways Americans have answered these questions.
The framing of the Constitution itself was predicated on one answer, best expressed by Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli: “It is necessary to whoever arranges to found a Republic and establish laws in it, to presuppose that all men are bad and that they will use their malignity of mind every time they have the opportunity.” Throughout the debates during the Constitutional convention, the state ratifying conventions, and the essays in the Federalist, the basis of the Constitution was the view that human nature is flawed.

As Alexander Hamilton wrote in Federalist 6,men are “ambitious, vindictive and rapacious,” and are motivated by what James Madison called “passions and interests.” These destructive passions and selfish interests were particularly predominant among the masses, whose ignorance of political theory and history left them vulnerable to demagogues. Hence the people “are daily misled into the most baneful measures and opinions by the false reports circulated by designing men,” as Elbridge Gerry said during the Constitutional convention debates.

This low estimation of the people partly explains the “democracy deficit” in the original Constitution, which allowed the people to elect directly only the House of Representatives. But unlike Plato, who proposed an elite with superior wisdom to run the state justly and efficiently, early Americans believed the flaws of human nature were universal, and all men, no matter their wealth or intelligence, were corruptible. More important, they were firm believers in the tendency of concentrated power to corrupt, for power is “of an encroaching nature,” as George Washington and James Madison said, and is ever striving to increase its scope. Vanity, greed, pride, and selfishness, John Adams wrote, “are the same in all men, under all forms of simple government, and when unchecked, produce the same effects of fraud, violence, and cruelty.”

Will Obama Give Iran the Deal of the Century? By P. David Hornik


Israeli officials were described as “furious at the Obama administration” over what seemed to be an emerging nuclear deal between the P5+1 countries (the U.S., Britain, France, Russia, China, plus Germany) and Iran.

One official was quoted saying that “the Americans capitulated to Iranian maneuvering…. Kerry wants a deal at all costs and the Iranians are leading the Americans by the nose.”

As for Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, he was described as being “in shock.” That was evident enough in a statement Netanyahu released Friday morning after seeing off Secretary of State Kerry at the airport, in which Netanyahu dispensed with diplomatic bromides and said:

I urge Secretary Kerry not to rush to sign, to wait, to reconsider, to get a good deal. But this is a bad deal—a very, very bad deal. It’s the deal of a century for Iran; it’s a very dangerous and bad deal for peace and the international community.

Kerry’s visit to Israel had already been a rough one, in which he first stigmatized Israeli communities as “illegitimate” and then, on Israeli TV Thursday night, as The Times of Israel’s Raphael Ahren aptly put it, “appeared to come perilously close to empathizing with potential Palestinian aggression against Israel.” (Reactions by other Israeli commentators were titled “Kerry, give it a rest” and “Kerry: Stay home”.)

But the real stunner came on Friday when Jerusalem apparently got word of the deal that seemed to be taking shape in Geneva. It led to the canceling of a joint media appearance between Netanyahu and Kerry, and prompted, instead, a bitter exchange between them before Kerry headed off to the Swiss city.





So the national embarrassment known as Healthcare.gov and the 36 federal ObamaCare exchanges won’t be fixed by the end of November after all, notwithstanding a month of assurances from the White House.

In updates for reporters on Thursday and Friday, the Affordable Care Act’s lead repairman Jeff Zients more or less conceded that the website three years in the making won’t work until sometime after the end of this month. He explained that every problem that is resolved and taken off the “punch list”—already several hundred items long—reveals new problems that the tech people didn’t know about. “Where we are is not where we want to be,” he said.

The tech squeeze is apparently so bad that chief U.S. technology officer Todd Park is too busy to testify before Congress. The House Oversight Committee is probing what went wrong in the development process, but Mr. Park can’t attend the Wednesday hearing because he’s “occupied full time on the critically important work of improving the website,” according to a White House letter rebuffing the invitation.

Is Mr. Park personally rewriting code? Chairman Darrell Issa issued a subpoena compelling him to appear, and maybe he can also address the emerging problem of ObamaCare fraud. That includes the way the law was sold and rolled out, but especially the profusion of identity thieves and scam-artist pages that are now pretending to be Healthcare.gov and are tricking people into divulging sensitive information or buying fake products. Important consumer warning: If an insurance shopping website is usable, it’s not the federal government’s.

Rep.Michael McCaul (R-Texas):Nobody’s Home at Homeland Security The Man Running the Inspector General’s Office is Under Investigation: So is the Man Nominated to Replace Him


President Obama recently announced the long-overdue nomination of Jeh Johnson, the former general counsel of the Defense Department, as the fourth secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. If confirmed, Mr. Johnson will immediately face a major obstacle: Over 40% of the department’s senior leadership positions are either vacant or have an “acting” placeholder. This means that nearly half of the top positions at the third-largest agency in the U.S. government aren’t filled—a problem that has impaired its operations and speaks volumes about this administration’s commitment to homeland security.

The positions didn’t become vacant all at once. The problem has snowballed as the Obama administration has failed to fill open spots in various parts of the department for many months, and in some cases for years.
Despite the president’s claims that the “border is secure,” Customs and Border Protection—the DHS agency responsible for securing the border, regulating international trade and immigration—has not had a Senate-confirmed commissioner during the entire Obama presidency. After a recess appointment expired at the end of 2011, the president waited more than a year and a half before nominating someone in August. Customs and Border Protection now has its fourth acting leader of the Obama presidency.

The situation at Immigration and Customs Enforcement is not much better. When Director John Morton resigned this summer, he was replaced by John Sandweg on an acting basis. Mr. Sandweg is a former political operative with no law-enforcement experience. Since his installment, the administration has not announced a nominee, leaving one of the largest federal law-enforcement agencies without credible, confirmed leadership.

Perhaps the most dire leadership vacuum at DHS is the lack of steady, long-term management in cyber and national security. While rogue nations continue to target everything from Wall Street to our energy industry, and terrorist groups continue to plot against the U.S., both the assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications and the undersecretary for intelligence and analysis have been under acting leadership for nearly a year.

The vacancies extend to DHS financial management. Undersecretary for Management Rafael Borras, who is now acting deputy secretary, is currently without a chief financial officer. Earlier this month, Chief Financial Officer Peggy Sherry left DHS for the IRS. The department’s antiquated financial systems need modernization, and this turnover will hamper progress and waste more money.

Max Hastings on Catastrophe 1914, and Breaking Conceptions of “Blame” Over World War I : Cullen Murphy

When the Lights Went Out Journalist Max Hastings has been skillfully educating readers and television viewers about military history for more than four decades now, and his latest effort—Catastrophe 1914, which covers the origins of the First World War and the first months of fighting—is a terrific crescendo to a series of books that has covered […]

A Secular Palestinian Leader Who Admires and Supports Israel — on The Glazov Gang ****

A Secular Palestinian Leader Who Admires and Supports Israel — on The Glazov Gang
Mudar Zahran denounces Islamists and daringly points to the Palestinian homeland in Jordan.



Apologies, like postcards and encyclopedias, are another of those elements of our past being left behind in the detritus of the old twentieth.

Obama’s non-apology apology “I’m sorry that you’re unhappy” is typical of the passive aggressive apology of the twenty-first. What was once character has become branding. What was once manners has become damage control.

In the peculiar “I feel” grammar of the twenty-first century, “Sorry” has become ubiquitous and meaningless, it’s the new “Eh” or “Is that so.” The ubiquitous sorry assumes that everyone else is constantly being subjected to a torrent of grievances and acknowledges that while taking no responsibility for it.

To the millions of Americans kicked out of their health plans, Obama was offering an “Is that so”; not an admission of guilt or a confession of fault.

They had relied on his assurance, he conceded, and he was sorry that they had. But he was not sorry for causing anything. Merely he was sorry that they felt that they had been misled. As he said this, his spokesmen were busily explaining why no one had been misled at all. If any of the victims of ObamaCare were under the impression that they had received an apology, it was instantly withdrawn by a gaggle of talking heads. Like their health plans.

There can be no apology without responsibility. And responsibility is as dead as the fountain pen.