Monday, September 30, 2013


From Powerline. The Republicans may be incompetent, but surely the Democrats share some blame at some point in everything going on in Washington.

Why do Republicans never seem to come out ahead politically when they go toe-to-toe with the Democrats? Part of the reason, at least, is that the press, to a greater extent than at any time in our history, is monolithically Democrat. The most important news organ is the Associated Press, whose articles appear in hundreds, or possibly thousands, of newspapers around the country. The AP pretends to be a neutral, just-the-facts information source, but it is nothing of the kind. While there are some good reporters at the AP, the overwhelming majority function, as to issues that are politically controversial, as advocates for the Democratic Party.

A summary of press coverage and who is to blame.

Saturday, September 28, 2013


Another article on how governments are taking money from those who have savings in a bank account or money in a retirement fund to fund government deficits.  This is expropriation of private savings.

Now that "bail-ins" have become accepted practice all over the planet, no bank account and no pension fund will ever be 100% safe again.  In fact, Cyprus-style wealth confiscation is already starting to happen all around the world.  As you will read about below, private pension funds were just raided by the government in Poland, and a "bail-in" is being organized for one of the largest banks in Italy.  Unfortunately, this is just the beginning.

The precedent that was set in Cyprus is being used as a template for establishing bail-in procedures in New Zealand, Canada and all over Europe.  It is only a matter of time before we see this exact same type of thing happen in the United States as well.  From now on, anyone that keeps a large amount of money in any single bank account or retirement fund is being incredibly foolish.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Peggy Noonan, quoting unnamed international sources, reports on the drop in respect for President Obama in the international community. 

In diplomatic circles, attitudes toward his leadership have been declining for some time, but this week you could hear the disappointment, and something more dangerous: the sense that he is no longer, perhaps, all that relevant. Part of this is due, obviously, to his handling of the Syria crisis. If you draw a line and it is crossed and then you dodge, deflect, disappear and call it diplomacy, the world will notice, and not think better of you. Some of it is connected to the historical moment America is in.


Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Seymour Hersh has some critical views of the current media in America.  Traditionally he has been regarded as a liberal, but I am sure this will get not set well with current liberals.  The media needs to challenge whoever is in power, Democrat or Republican.  But current journalists are so preoccupied with getting jobs in the Obama administration that they do not want to say anything critical of the administration.

Seymour Hersh has got some extreme ideas on how to fix journalism – close down the news bureaus of NBC and ABC, sack 90% of editors in publishing and get back to the fundamental job of journalists which, he says, is to be an outsider.

It doesn't take much to fire up Hersh, the investigative journalist who has been the nemesis of US presidents since the 1960s and who was once described by the Republican party as "the closest thing American journalism has to a terrorist".

He is angry about the timidity of journalists in America, their failure to challenge the White House and be an unpopular messenger of truth.

Don't even get him started on the New York Times which, he says, spends "so much more time carrying water for Obama than I ever thought they would" – or the death of Osama bin Laden. "Nothing's been done about that story, it's one big lie, not one word of it is true," he says of the dramatic US Navy Seals raid in 2011.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013


From The National Interest.  Some excerpts.

First, if the Kerry-Lavrov deal was such a good idea, why didn’t anyone try it a year ago? 

Moscow has not been this powerful in the Middle East in at least a century. It is now enjoying a new status because Washington has chosen to confer it.

The Kremlin’s objective is to curtail American power by all means short of outright military conflict. While Russia has no global ideological agenda, it is governed by atavistic leaders who seek revenge on behalf of a humiliated great power that no longer exists.

Putin’s goal is to make Russia a viable alternative partner for repressive states in the Middle East (and by extension, in the rest of the world). His offer to such regimes is simple: Unlike the Americans, Russia will never judge other forms of government, violate the sovereignty of authoritarian states, encourage any “color revolutions” against their leaders, or hold any of them to any standards regarding human rights.



I thought this picture was very interesting, especially if you are familiar with medieval paintings of the Virgin Mary and Jesus.  Or if you look at Orthodox icons of Bible figures or saints.  The gold ceiling behind Senator Cruz's head gives the sense of a halo over the head of Senator Cruz.  St. Cruz!

"Obama and Cruz Political Twins."  Interesting observations.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013


An analysis of Samantha Lewthwaite, an Englishwomen who converted to Islam:

It’s unknown at this point, but it’s thought that Samantha may have been killed as a result of her participation in the Nairobi, Kenya shopping mall terrorist attack.  Who is Ms. Lewthwaite you ask?  She may very well be the most unassuming terrorist you’ve ever seen, one that is known to British intelligence as the ‘White Widow’.  Born in Ireland and converting to Islam as a teen, she went on to marry her (now deceased) husband Jermaine Lindsay.  Jermaine killed himself in a London suicide bombing in 2005 and took 26 innocent lives with him.  The White Widow has been on the run ever since.


Anne Applebaum writes about German Chancellor Angela Merkel:  Merkel calls herself a "Swabian housewife."  But she gets the job done!


Excellent summary of the political factions in Iran and how it may be impacting current problems.  There is a power struggle occurring.

More on Iranian infighting.


The story of an American woman who married an Afghani and how she managed to get out of the harem when she traveled to Kabul.

Monday, September 23, 2013


From NPR


This report from the Daily Mail is the best coverage I have seen.

The terror attack on a Kenyan shopping centre that has left 68 dead was being led by the white English widow of a 7/7 bomber, it was claimed last night.

Soldiers said a white woman wearing a veil was shouting orders to gunmen in Arabic during the bloody massacre inside the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi.


A video report from the Wall Street Journal.  There sure is a lot of data supporting the IRS effort to "control" conservative groups while giving liberal groups a walk.  A "hit list" appears to have existed.

From the Christian Science Monitor:

A House Oversight and Government Reform Committee memo suggests that IRS scrutiny of the tea party movement – egged on by liberal media – helped Obama win reelection in 2012.

But what has become clear to many conservatives is that federal agencies going back to 2010 appeared to openly champion liberal causes by, for example, putting on special conferences to show black churches how to express political opinions without losing their tax-exempt status, all the while stonewalling tea party groups with questions ranging from queries about religion to personal relationships.

In 2009 Obama joked about auditing his opponents.

Saturday, September 21, 2013


A group of international relations' experts spoke recently at Yale on the crisis in Syria.  I would love to read the transcript or listen to the video.  It appears that none of them think too highly of Obama's policies in Syria. . .and this is Yale!


From The Public Domain Review by Nicholas Jeeves:  An interesting study of why people smile or don't smile in portraits and pictures throughout modern history.

Today when someone points a camera at us, we smile. This is the cultural and social reflex of our time, and such are our expectations of a picture portrait. But in the long history of portraiture the open smile has been largely, as it were, frowned upon.


A review of Ronald Stone's book on Tillich and Niebuhr's views on politics and faith.

Friday, September 20, 2013


"The Weakened West" is the title of this article from the Economist

Now every tyrant knows that a red line set by the leader of the free world is really just a threat to ask legislators how they feel about enforcing it. Dictators will be freer to maim and murder their own people, proliferators like North Korea less scared to proceed with spreading WMD, China and Russia ever more content to test their muscles in the vacuum left by the West.

From Sarah Palin (she is still around!):  I can see Putin's shoe print on Obama's behind from my house.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria defends the Obama administration seeing it as a "lucky break."  But even he admits it is just a small step.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


From The Economist

Whether this agreement works depends largely on what you think Russia’s intentions are. Some see the deal as merely a stalling tactic to head off an American military intervention that might have tipped the balance in Syria’s civil war against Mr Assad. “It requires a willful suspension of disbelief to see this agreement as anything other than the start of a diplomatic blind alley, and the Obama Administration is being led into it by Bashar Assad and Vladimir Putin,” say Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Monday, September 16, 2013


An economist looks at Rome's economic system and compares it to what is happening in America today.

Saturday, September 14, 2013


Putin was criticized by liberals for his recent Op-Ed piece in the New York Times, but he was really saying what American liberals have been saying about American exceptionalism for decades.  What Obama was considering doing in Syria violated all of the principles of American liberalism.

There is an unspoken sub-text at play here: what President Putin said in his column is pretty much what American liberals and leftists have been saying about the United States since the 1960s. From the standpoint of American liberals, there is nothing the least bit new or controversial in anything Mr. Putin wrote in his column. He is merely hoisting President Obama and his liberal friends by their own ideological petard.

Andrew Klavan's view.

Friday, September 13, 2013


A Russian minister said he talked too much.  I like the Russian minister's gentle put-down:  Sometimes diplomacy demands silence.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013


The Russians feel they have won one over Obama and Kerry.

Watching one administration bungle after another unfurl, Alexi Pushkov , the chairman of the Parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee, is publicly mocking Obama. Via Twitter, Pushkov wrote that this mess “knocks the ground out from under Obama’s plans for a military strike.”  

 Syria Backs Russia. I like Instapundits' comment on this article:  If the problem was minor enough that this solution is acceptable, then it wasn’t worth getting all heated-up about with bombing threats and Holocaust analogies to begin with.

From the liberal New RepublicObama got played by Putin and Assad.

There are two clear winners in this slow-motion train wreck, and they are not Obama or Kerry. They are Assad and Putin. Both wanted, for their own reasons, to avert a military strike, and a military strike was averted. Putin insisted on a diplomatic solution while doing everything to make a diplomatic solution impossible, and now he gets his phony, unenforceable diplomatic solution. Assad wanted to go on killing his opposition, and he will continue to do so.

From the Weekly Standard:   Putin didn't save Obama, he beat him.

In fact, it is the sound of American allies around the world—the Poles and Czechs, the Japanese and the South Koreans, the Saudis, Jordanians and Israelis, among others—gnashing their teeth. They now see that they are on their own, and that  he word of the United States means nothing. 

Norman Podhoretz.  A neocon writes:  The president may look incompetent on Syria.  But his behavior fits his strategy to weaken America abroad.

Israel is "laughing," too. 

9 Key Blunders. 

Monday, September 09, 2013


From Victor Davis Hanson.  He evaluates 7 issues that should be considered in US Syrian policy.  US policy has been marked by previous empty threats; support from Congress, the American people, etc. is minimal; the US military has some qualms about the implications of intervention; its the Middle East (!); the lessons of failure in Iraq; politics; and possible outcomes.


Here is a list of articles that cover the gamut of positions on what to do in Syria (prepared by a professor at Liberty University.                    

Borchgrave, Arnaud de. Americans Favor Pivot Back Home over Syria

Chivers, C. J. Brutality of Syrian Rebels Posing Dilemma in West

Coren, Courtney, and John Bachman. US Cannot be Indifferent to Syrian Conflict

Hanson, Victor Davis. Recommended Reading

Ibrahim, Raymond. Islam Translated (website with numerous postings)

Kahlili, Reza. Iran Threatens Brutal Attacks on Americans, Obama Family if US Hits Syria

Kurtz, Stanley. The Frightening Truth about Syria's WMDs

Lord, Jeffrey. Reagan's Rules for Military Action

Stratfor. Iran: Managing US Military Action in Syria

Thursday, September 05, 2013


Here is an old interview of Kerry denouncing humanitarian invasions.  He is against American "moralism." Now he is supporting a humanitarian intervention in Syria. (Look at his hair!)


From Buzzfeed.  "Was Romney Right about Everything?"

“I think about the campaign every single day, and what a shame it is who we have in the White House,” said Spencer Zwick, who worked as Romney’s finance director and is a close friend to his family. “I look at things happening and I say, you know what? Mitt was actually right when he talked about Russia, and he was actually right when he talked about how hard it was going to be to implement Obamacare, and he was actually right when he talked about the economy. I think there are a lot of everyday Americans who are now feeling the effects of what [Romney] said was going to happen, unfortunately.”


President Obama is being portrayed as Satan in Egyptian media and it is going the rounds on Facebook.  This is not a good sign for the President's Middle East policy.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013


Israel is supporting Obama publicly but are very concerned with his conduct of policy on the Syrian question.  He is regarded as a weak leader (a view held by some other world leaders).

Well-placed Israeli sources told Fox News they "get it" as to why the president felt the need to cloak his planned military strikes in congressional legitimacy. But they regard the way he went about his decision-making in this instance as erratic, unnerving to them, and a bad omen for what the Israelis regard as the sine qua non of their foreign policy: the looming showdown with Iran over its nuclear program.


Yossef Bodansky raises questions about whether Syrian rebels were behind the gas attack.

There is a growing volume of new evidence from numerous sources in the Middle East — mostly affiliated with the Syrian opposition and its sponsors and supporters — which makes a very strong case, based on solid circumstantial evidence, that the Aug. 21 chemical strike in the Damascus suburbs was indeed a premeditated provocation by the Syrian opposition.

In another column he raises the issue of why Assad would do this based on the consequences he potentially face.

From a strategic point of view, why would he take action that invites — almost demands — Obama to take military action against him when he is in the middle of a violent civil war? 

And there is the issue of why aren't we going after Assad's arms supplier, North Korea, if all of this is true.

Pyongyang is also providing “after-sales services” to Assad, even putting its personnel close to the front lines. North Korean officers, for instance, have been spotted around Aleppo. The location is significant because in mid-March allegations of chemical weapons use near that northern city surfaced.

Pyongyang has been sending chemical weapons experts to Syria since the mid-1990s.


Reza Aslan is a Muslim who has written a popular book debunking Christianity.  Here is a response from Robert Spencer noting the errors in his writings.


Reasons why Republicans won't support Obama on his proposed Syria attack.  One reason is that he did nothing when thousands were killed in conventional attacks so why do it now, especially when many of the rebels are al-Qaeda.

A libertarian view. Bush's support in the Iraq war dwarfs the support Obama is getting around the world for US action in Syria.

One of the things we were promised back in the 2008 election campaign was that under a Democratic administration America would be better liked and more influential in the world. Forget those dumb cowboys in the Bush/Cheney administration whose brash style grated on foreign sensibilities: Smooth, Europhile Democrats would win over the world, ushering in an era of peace and good feeling.

So, as Sarah Palin might say, how's that hopey-changey stuff workin' out for ya?

Say what you will about George W. Bush's diplomacy, but he nurtured relationships with our most important allies -- like Britain -- and managed to put together a huge multinational coalition for his own foray against an Arab dictator suspected of having chemical weapons. Obama's diplomatic efforts -- championed by Hillary Clinton and, now, John Kerry -- are looking more and more inept by comparison: So far, our only ally in the proposed Syria venture is France, maybe.


When Obama goes to St. Petersburg, Russia for the G2 Summit, he won't meet with Putin but he will meet with Russian homosexual activists.  Another nail in the coffin with Putin.

More analysis from The Hill.


It remains to be seen what the final vote will be but a number of Democrats are upset with Obama's decisions on Syria.

Representative Charles Rangel (D, New York):

Speaking on MSNBC, Rangel said "I love Obama" and you'll "never find a truer Democrat than me."

But he said the idea that a president could draw a red line and push the nation into war was "unheard of.

"So of course it's embarrassing, I wish it didn't happen. I guess Secretary Kerry is even more embarrassed than me after making his emotional speech that this was urgent."

From Politico:
“This could be the biggest miscalculation of his presidency,” a senior House Democrat told POLITICO Sunday. “Not only is his credibility on the line but the country’s credibility is on the line, so he is rolling the dice by taking this to Congress.”

The prospects for passage of Obama’s war resolution are dim. Prominent Democratic allies of the president have said they won’t vote for it in its current form. Senate Judiciary Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.) said Sunday that his aides are working on new language. But even a resolution that circumscribes the president’s authority to strike Syria more than the relatively open-ended version he sent to the Hill Saturday would face a tough vote in both chambers.

Another Democrat congressman with concerns. 

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) said Monday that the administration's argument that letting Syria's use of sarin gas last month go unchecked would hurt U.S. security was "not logical" and did not "make any sense."

Monday, September 02, 2013


The NSA has been spying on Brazil and Mexico.  Brazil has been particularly upset with the Obama administration for allowing this to occur.  If you spy on friends, don't get caught. . .but historically this is not something new in espionage.

"I feel a mixture of amazement and indignation. It seems like there are no limits. When the phone of the president of the republic is monitored, it's hard to imagine what else might be happening," Ferraco told reporters in Brasilia. "It's unacceptable that in a country like ours, where there is absolutely no climate of terrorism, that there is this type of spying."

Brazilian Justice Minister Eduardo Cardozo told the newspaper O Globo that "if the facts of the report are confirmed, they would be considered very serious and would constitute a clear violation of Brazil's sovereignty."

"This is completely outside the standard of confidence expected of a strategic partnership, as the U.S. and Brazil have," he added.

The BBC report on the spying. 


The liberal foreign policy elite appears to be deserting Obama. . .or at the very least they feel his foreign policy is a mess.


This is hard to believe.  A UN inspector says the Bush administration made the decision to go to war in Iraq on a mistranslation. . .using Google Translate from Arabic to English!

According to Kay, who headed up the Iraq Survey Group and acted as a weapons inspector in Iraq after the 2003 U.S. invasion, mistranslations of Arabic to English is what went wrong in 2003 when then Secretary of State Colin Powell on behalf of the Bush administration made the case to go into Iraq at the United Nations.


According to liberals and Democrats, Republicans have no health care plan(s).  But they do, although evidently the media does not cover Republican alternatives.  I don't know if Republican proposals are good or bad, but I think the debate should move beyond just one on Obamacare.  Even George W. Bush had a proposal on the table and it looks better (simpler) than what Obama has on the table.

It’s arguably the favorite myth of progressives, the oft-repeated claim that Republicans have no health plan. Hence, President Obama was fully justified in ignoring them and proceeding to enact a comprehensive health reform law on a strict party line vote—something completely unprecedented in American political history. Karl Rove last week did an excellent job of countering that myth in a Wall Street Journal op-ed. For those who may have missed that piece, or those who want further details and links not feasible to include within the constraints of a printed op-ed, this post is intended to fill in some blanks.

Sunday, September 01, 2013


Listen to what President Obama says about Muslims and what he doesn't say about Christians persecuted in Egypt.