Monday, September 15, 2014

More Of The Nanny State Gone Wild

O.K., I really, really don't think on the surface, this really constitutes child abuse in the true sense. Well, the Florida authorities charged Patricia Denault with child neglect, not child abuse per se. But just a little more investigating and I am sure that will be the end result.
Look, I'm 50 years old and back in my childhood, it was not all that unusual for parents to let their children try, usually, wine. I personally would not start my child at the top of the heap of spirits such as Cinnamon Fireball, but hey, if I did I would start more like at, well wine.
The real mistake, and the only reason I think that the authorities got involved in the first place is Mrs. Denault's lack of restraint and posting a photo of her letting not one, but two of her children taking a sip of the said Devil's urine on Facebook.
Of course a busy-body saw the said photo on Mrs. Denault's Facebook page and called the coppers.
So, your humble blogger did a little investigating, and this may be the photo's in question that set off the busy-body. To see the rest, one would have to ask Mrs. Denault to be her Facebook friend. I do not want to bother her but more or less defend her.
Here's something interesting. The ages of the children are never mentioned. Yet all one has to do is go over to Mrs. Denault's Facebook page and It appears that the Denault's have six children and the the oldest is 16 years old. It appears that the youngest is probably about three years old.
Now I am somewhat with Allahpundit over at HotAir and the age and amount and reason of consumption have to be taken into account.
The real crime, if there is one, is that Mrs. Denault thought it would be cool to put any photo of such things of Facebook.
Now, when I was young and stupid, I imbibed adult beverage. I remember sneaking homemade wine coolers at a nephew's birthday party. I was damn good at sneaking and drinking WAY TOOOO MANY and well, you know the rest of the story.
In high school, my best friends parents would let us consume adult beverage at their home. But we were hostages and could NOT leave until the next day no matter how much anyone consumed.
Was that a good thing to do?
Mrs. Denault said that she thought it was better that any of her children would consume any adult beverage at home in a controlled setting.
My friends parents knew the occasions that alcohol would be consumed and figured it was going to be done so do it somewhere safe. Sure, we were all under 21-the legal age even then in California. And it should be noted that this was when states determined their own minimum drinking age. But on our graduation night from high school, I'm glad we did not go out and get drunk and very possibly killed. In that case, my friends' parents were right.
So was Mrs. Denault trying to show her kids that maybe adult beverage is not all that good a thing? Or was she just maybe herself in an altered state of mind and figured, why the hell not?! HA! It's pretty funny seeing the kid's reaction. Especially to that Fireball.
Nothing indicates that Mrs. Denault has any history of child neglect and or child abuse. Nor is there any history that Mr. Denault, Patrick Denault, has any neglect or abuse on his record. This appears to be a first time happening. I'm not saying that Mrs. Denault should be hoisted up as mother of the year, but come on?  At worst, it showed a lapse of parental judgement. Maybe her real crime is trying to be too much of a friend to her children rather than a parent. It really is not a crime to be not the best parent. And maybe people could just mind their own business.
See, what might have been a good idea is if the person who ratted Mrs. Denault out tried to contact her and point out that it wasn't a good idea to post photos of that nature online, it may have avoided what could be a process that may end up with serious consequences.
Is it possible that children would be taken from the Denault family? Stranger things have happened once cases are put into the system. The ready willingness of the authorities to see abuse and neglect everywhere clouds logic and often times simple cases of parental lapses of judgement become cases of the century.
Another thought is that, as I suspect but do not have knowledge of, a Facebook friend called the coppers, was there some revenge being played out over some other issues? Think about that for a moment.
When people become front line soldiers of the excesses of the Nanny State and rat out others, it does lead to the Nanny State going wild and maybe do more harm than good.
Does letting kids have a sip of alcohol at home constitute child neglect? I do not think so but it is now up to the state of Florida to decide.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

What Do We Really Know About The Islamic State?

OK, let me get this house cleaning out of the way before I proceed with the topic.
There are numerous definitions of what is currently referred to by the current conquerors as The Islamic State. So here are the two other more prominently used ones. First is the one preferred by the Dear Leader, President Obama, and the state department and that is the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant or ISIL. Then there is the one that much of the media uses and that is Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (which information on this is available at the link above) or ISIS.
For me, they refer to themselves as the Islamic State and that is what I will refer to them as. It is not meant to grant them legitimacy as much as to not get into any contest about names and the like.
The fundamental question of this post is germane and that is what do we know about the Islamic State?
Lets start with the numbers of men under arms for this wannabe nation.
Supposedly low estimates are about 10,000 to 15,000. In the link above it suggests that as many as 80,000 to 100,000 are under allegiance to the Islamic State.
Now look at the map below.
The red-colored areas are under control of the Islamic State. Most of the land is in Iraq, but the Islamic State began in Syria as a direct result of the civil war and divisions among the opponents of the Syrian dictator, Basaar al-Assad. Once they separated they supposedly had about 4,000 men under their black banner of death. What was once known as ISIS, then ISIL began an invasion of Iraq in June and the Iraqi army in the north fled like chickens with their heads cut off. Supposedly at the point of invasion, the forerunner to the Islamic State only had about 2,000 to 3,000 members.
Really?! An army that at the most only had 3,000 members chased an American-trained army away with little if any resistance? Very doubtful.
The fact that few people agree on the numbers of those under arms in the Islamic State is one of the reasons that we have no real clue in how to deal with these degenerates. One of the reasons that I find the higher figure to be more accurate is the willingness to throw men into battle so freely. Even if one counts religious fervor, there is no way a supposed rag-tag army could have seized so much land so quickly.
So, what is life like under the Islamic State?
Compared to Western life, it is clearly stifling and downright scary.
There is a five-part series on the news website Vice in which they have unprecedented access to life in the Islamic State. Here are links to all five episodes. I find this to be compelling that life in the Islamic State is wonderful if one is a Wahhabi-Sunni Islamic fanatic and male. Everyone else, eh not so much. Watch all five episodes and you will notice something mostly missing. Women. Women are treated not only like property but barely above how one would treat an animal. And male children are being very quickly indoctrinated into the bizarre world of Wahhabi-Sunni Islamic fanaticism.
One thing is very clear is that the Islamic State is a certifiable death cult. There is no doubt about it.
For instance, here are a couple of photos of what they do with captured Iraqi soldiers. This is not for the weak hearted.

 Yes, you are seeing correctly. Islamic State soldiers forcing captured Iraqi soldiers to lie face down in their graves as mostly masked executioners open fire and summarily murder them. No sir, these dudes are not real clued in on the Geneva Convention and the proper way to treat prisoners of war. Nah, why should they? They are infidels and they do not need to be treated as human beings. Animals are put down more humane than what these vermin do.
Pretty gross, wouldn't you say?
But no, my friends. The above is nothing.
Below is some of the Islamic State's real gruesome handiwork. Videotape beheading. I will not show any video but two photos will suffice.
Above is a sword and or a machete being placed on the throat of a victim.
And voila! Off with his head!
I will not show how far gone these degenerates are but these beheadings are not limited to men or soldiers of Iraq or Syria. Men, women and children have been beheaded. The most savageness usually is saved for Christians or other infidels such as the Yazidi. And for good measure, many heads are stuck on pikes or paraded around by children.
And leave it to these guys to bring back an oldie but a goo die.
Crucifixion.
Yes, these vermin are really low. But there is a somewhat decent side to these folks. Most of the crucifixions are done after people are killed. But every now and then, one just gets nailed to a cross and left to die.
As I said, these fanatics are a roving cult of death. And they are teaching a potential whole generation of youth the way of the sword.
So, life in the Islamic State is harsh and very primitive. The only things modern these cretins like are their guns, pickup trucks and video cameras to show the world their handiwork.
But its what we are not being told that should be worrisome.
To this writing, we still do not have a real number of the force that we, the United States, could be dealing with. It can be as low as 10,000 (doubtful) to as much as 100,000 (more probable). We do not really know all the weapons seized in their march through Iraq. If you watch part one of the Vice report from the Islamic State, they paraded at least a large missile, tanks and armored personnel carriers.
And here is something to make you sleep well tonight.
Islamic State forces seized the al-Taqba air base on August 24 and yes, they captured Syrian fighter planes. And today, they showed off their conquered prize: fighter planes.
Now we have been assured that the Islamic State forces are not all that big. That is proving false. We are being assured that they are spread thin and can't keep control of all they have. Again, this is false as they continue to, if nothing else, tighten their grip on what they do control and seem to be fighting hard to gain more land and people. And we are being assured that while they may have these fighter planes, they probably can't fly them. I don't think that is reassuring. Does anyone really think that they do not have at least some men in their ranks that have the capability to fly fighter planes? I am sure that among 10,000 to 100,000 men, at least one can fly a fighter plane. And if one can, surely more can as well.
Keep this in mind.
Tomorrow is the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City, Shanksville, Pennsylvania and Washington, D. C.
Does the Islamic State have a special surprise for the United States?
And back to the original question.
With all that we have been wrong about the Islamic State, what do we really know about the Islamic State?

Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Joys Of Jury Service

Last Tuesday, I completed my annual visit to Downtown Los Angeles and the county courthouse to serve my jury duty.
In Los Angeles county, the policy is one day and or one trial. In other words, one is on call for a week. If you call everyday and are not asked to go to the assigned court in your summons, you are done.
However, I did not dodge that bullet.
And I should make the admission that I am one of the few people that actually likes jury duty. I see it as a huge contribution to the American idea of citizenship. What amazes me is how much so many people will do and or say anything to get out of jury duty.
On Monday, August 18, I had to make my trek on the Gold Line light rail system. It is one of the few conveniences of local public mas transit. Its a short walk or bike ride from Union Station to the courthouse.
I arrived at the appointed time, went through the metal detector putting my backpack through and all my other stuff in a large plastic bowl. After going through that, I went to the 11th floor assembly room and went through the orientation that I have head and seen so many times that I could give it. After that, it was time to wait to see if I would be called as park of a larger panel to a courtroom. And before lunch, a nice short hour and a half, I was part of a group of 30 called to a courtroom.
After lunch we were told by the judge that the case we would hear would be about a residential first degree burglary and it would be a short trial. As it turned out, a short trial of six days. It took two full days to pick and seat a jury. Twelve jurors and two alternates, a standard for a criminal case.
So we were treated to the opening statements of the prosecutor and the defense attorneys. And to be clear, I thought that the openings left a lot to be desired.
The short version of the trial is that a 20-year old guy went to Hollywood with his brother to "pick up chicks" as was described in not so many words by both sides. The one brother supposedly hooked-up with a gal and went back to her apartment. That left the defendant all by his lonesome. After about five minutes, he did not think that his brother would come back for him and he began to wander. Wander all the way up the Hollywood Hills to a nice, large home that had a For Lease sign. After finding a way to break into the home, which was a sizable dumbbell, the defendant opened the door and went inside. He went to the kitchen and pulled out a lot of food and drink. But the one thing he did not count on was that the homeowner would be home. She was and called the police, who responded quickly. Quickly enough to prevent the defendant from doing anything more. He tried to escape but ended up leaning in a hiding position next to a tree.
But the defense had an amusing version of events. They did not argue that the defendant did not break into the home. But the reason they used is that the defendant was tired, hungry and was looking for a place to sleep. And that the Metro train subway stopped running after midnight, when the event occurred. And he had no way to get home because he did not have a cell phone. But he did have $9.60c in his pocket.
A note here for pick-up artists, aka PUAs.
If you expect to pick up chicks, you kind of really need more than $9.60c in your pocket. Really.
Mind you this is Hollywood. There are many fast food establishments. There are gas stations. There are even such archaic things as pay telephones. He could have called his parents that he lives with. He could have even done that as a collect call. He could have grabbed a bite at a fast food establishment or even a gas station. In other words, there were many other ways to get home to sleep that the defense was trying to convince us jurors of.
So in the trial we heard from three uniform police officers, a detective and the defendant himself. No one was especially memorable except the defendant. For he was unbelievably bad. He did himself no favor whatsoever. In fact, it was his testimony that cemented what I believed to be the outcome. Much of his testimony was contradictory and of him trying to sound smarter than he was.
After the testimony, we heard the closing statements. Twice from the prosecutor and once from the defense. And each time the prosecutor made her argument stronger. The defense attorney, a very able public defender, just stuck to the story.
We received the jury instructions and then proceeded to the jury deliberation room.
At some point, I had mentioned that on my last trial, I was the jury foreman. And someone remembered and they all asked if I would want to be foreman for this trial and I agreed.
The first thing that we did was take a vote. And it seemed ominous to me. Seven of us said guilty. Five said not guilty. So there were going to be deliberations. And there should have been. And FTR, we were a helluva lot more serious than the O. J. Simpson jury that took a whole four hours of deliberation. In fact it did take us about seven hours of deliberation. And between a couple of us, including my self, four of the original jurors that voted not guilty changed to guilty. But there was one woman, one woman that held the defendant's fate. And he should be damn thankful to her. The problem for that juror is one of the two elements the prosecutor had to prove beyond a reasonable doubt. And the one that the woman juror was having problems with was intent. Because there was nothing stolen from the home, it made her not sure he intended to take any items from the said home. However, if he had even taken a bite of food and or a swig of wine, that would be enough to prove intent. But this juror just could not come around. Even after two different read backs and her  conceding some points that we agreed to, she still could not come around. There was nothing more we could talk about. We took one more vote and it was 10-2 for a guilty verdict. But in a criminal case, the jury must be unanimous for conviction. And we were not. And we would not be.
So I called the bailiff and we eventually went back to the courtroom and were questioned by the judge. After a couple of private consults with the attorneys, the judge declared a mistrial.
I have to admit, I was disappointed and just a wee bit bitter. I thoroughly believe that had the police not acted quickly, the defendant would have ate the food, have some drink and would have taken whatever he could fit in his pocket. But we all had to agree. And we could not.
A couple of things that made me realize it was not a total waste of time.
First, the defendant had been in jail since he was arrested in late March. How do we know? A couple of jurors made mention that while he was wearing a nice dress shirt, he had jail-issued pants and jail slippers. So he either was not given bail or the amount was more than his parents wanted to pay. Or they wanted to teach him a lesson.
Second, even though he probably will not be recharged and may already be out on the streets, he spent time in jail. More than likely, had we found him guilty, he probably would have been credited for time served. Because of state prison overcrowding, many cases like this a convicted burglar serves time in a county jail. And Los Angeles County jail is like a state prison with constant overcrowding.
My initial reaction of dismay and bitterness was wrong. It was wrong because the system did work.
The defendant had a speedy and fair trial. A jury of his peers, us, looked at all of the evidence seriously and studiously. We talked, talked and talked. And because, rightfully, in a criminal case the bar is that all jurors must agree to convict or not convict. If a juror can not agree as was the case in this trial, we had no choice. The judge realized we were serious and deliberative and declared a mistrial.
Throughout this post, I have referred to it as jury duty. Yet I realize that it is in fact jury service. We should not look at it as a duty but that we are serving our fellow citizens. Yes, it is about a week of our time that we could be working or doing whatever, but do we really want to not be a part of the process? Do we really want to not participate in a compact of what it means to be a citizen of the United States? I do not and if one really thinks about it, they would not want to give up that right. They would not want to have a bunch of so-called professional jurors that have been proposed many times in American history.
It is a joy of citizenship to be asked to participate in jury service, even when it does not turn out the way one thinks that it should.
Oh, but once, just once, I would like to be assigned to my local courthouse about four blocks from home!

Monday, August 11, 2014

Ann Coulter, You Ain't A Christian Theologian

Once again I find myself at odds with someone that I know, like and respect and that is Sweet Ann Coulter.
No, I am not being sarcastic when I refer to her as Sweet Ann.
But the latest column from Miss Coulter regarding the doctor and his nurse that contracted Ebola in Liberia in Africa and the decision to bring them back to the United States for treatment was not over the top. It was a total lack of knowledge and understanding of Christian mission and what that means.
Of course those on the left and or Christian modernists already despise Miss Coulter and their reaction is not worth mentioning here.
So I will give you two reactions from respected evangelicals. The two that I would like to share the comments of are former Bush administration official Pete Wehner and the current president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Dr. Albert Mohler. I choose these two because one, Mr. Wehner, has been involved in politics. The other, Dr. Mohler, has been involved in Christian theology. Both would seem to be allied with Miss Coulter in many ways. But this time, they, to be blunt, give her a new one.
First, the point of Miss Coulter's column seems to be that Dr. Kent Brantly and his nurse, Nancy Writebol were nothing but Christian narcissists that were asking for it. And that they would have been better off either trying to save souls in Hollywood or New York City. And to buck up her point, she even cites the Holy Bible, the Old Testament passage from Deuteronomy 15:11:

For the poor shall never cease out of the land: therefore I command thee, saying, Thou shalt open thine hand wide unto thy brother, to thy poor, and to thy needy, in thy land.

Oh, she was good enough to also quote the Holy Gospel of Matthew 28:19:

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

But I don't think she really cares about ALL the nations. Just the United States really. I mean, we need all of the saving. The rest of the world, eh not so much.
Dr. Brantly and Mrs. Writebol are Christian missionaries with Franklin Graham's Samaritan Purse. So, I guess according to Dr. Coulter, in reality, the Rev. Franklin Graham is a Christian narcissist for he believes in that quaint passage in Matthew. The Rev. Franklin Graham, and by extension his father, the Rev. Dr. Billy Graham, are not good, American Christians  because they also wanted to save the world for Christ.
Before I continue my own thoughts, let me share the response of Mr. Wehner. It is a classic because it calls Miss. Coulter out for being especially cruel to beat up Dr. Brantly and Mrs. Writebol when they are down. And she is. He rightfully mocks Miss. Coulter and her strange way that the two should really be sharing Christ. That she was suggesting, no telling the two that they should have focused on power broker types in Los Angeles/Hollywood or New York City. According to Ann:

If Dr. Brantly had practiced at Cedars-Sinai hospital in Los Angeles and turned one single Hollywood power-broker to Christ, he would have done more good for the entire world than anything he could accomplish in a century spent in Liberia.

Or this:

If he had provided health care for the uninsured editors, writers, videographers and pundits in Gotham and managed to open one set of eyes, he would have done more good than marinating himself in medieval diseases of the Third World.

Of course there is not one shred of knowable evidence that any of the above might have happened and thus it is total speculation on her part. Which is what is wrong. As Mr. Wehner pointed out, Miss Coulter is divining the heart and mind of Dr. Brantly and Mrs Writebol. Something that we can not nor should ever do. And Mr. Wehner and all other critics of the column point out that there are millions of committed Christians spreading the Gopsel of Christ right here in the United States of America. To places like Zavala county, another place Miss Coulter thought the good doc should have used his God-given talents instead of Africa and specifically Liberia. There is an outreach center right here in El Monte, California that my particular church has been, in my estimation, spreading the Gospel of helping thy neighbor. And yes, we have sent a missionary to Mongolia of all places to teach children and yes, spread the Gopsel of Christ.
So let's examine what Dr. Mohler had to say about Miss Coulter and her descent to Crazyland.
As Dr. Mohler pointed out, Miss Coulter said that the kind of missionary work Dr. Brantly and Mrs. Writebol did would get a lot of praise from people like New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof. Here is what Miss Coulter wrote:

Evangelize in Liberia, and the Times' Nicholas Kristof will be totally impressed.

It appears that he was. Yes, Mr. Kristoff did indeed heap praise on Dr. Brantly and Mrs. Writebol. To me in this case, so what? Where Dr. Mohler equates both Miss Coulter and Mr. Kristof is that both are off the mark. Dr. Mohler:

Kristof argues that we should be very appreciative of these two American missionary doctors and others from the western world who are fighting this contagion in Africa because if the disease is not stopped there, it will indeed come here. That is an argument that is certainly superior to the argument of Ann Coulter, but it is also an argument that is far short of the Christian worldview. These two American missionary doctors did not go merely as humanitarians. They did not just join some kind of merely humanitarian effort. They were sent by American Christian missionary organizations. Their concern was not just the bodily health of those they would serve through medicine, but the spiritual condition and indeed the spiritual fate of those they would meet as they went to West Africa.

I italicized the important point of Dr. Mohler. That the two are committed Christians that were sent to do what they did by Christian missionary groups. That they are caring not just for the immediate needs of the people but their spiritual needs as well. They are not just humanitarians as Mr. Kristof wants folks to believe.
Here is what I think about this.
One, if Miss Coulter had written about whether or not it was a good idea to bring two people back with a disease that has no cure and the merits on that, I think that would make a good potential column.
But Miss Coulter went for the jugular and assaulted the very nature of the work the doctor and nurse was doing. She was saying that the place that needs the most missionary work is their home nation, the United States. She misrepresents the very essence of the ministry of the church and the Great Commission that Jesus Christ laid out for all who follow him to do. Again that is to go to ALL the nations to spread the Gospel. Not just one nation and not just the United States.
The fact of it is that Ann Coulter, you ain't a Christian theologian.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

When Your Computer Is Attacked By Viruses . . .It sucks

FINALLY!
I am finally back after a month of problems beyond belief with my home PC.
Most important I found a reliable computer repair guy locally and that is why I am finally able to get back to blogging.
As I found out today, my computer was attacked many times by a slew of Trojan viruses. It was about 20 different ones over the course of the last month. Needless to say, I barely know how to turn a computer on let alone know the ins and outs of the thing.
No matter.
It is fixed and I am ever so greatful.
I do have a lot to say so there really will be a lot of posts in the coming days.

Tuesday, July 01, 2014

The Islamic Caliphate Revealed

Today this map of the Middle East, Central and North Africa and a swath of Southern Europe appeared on The Daily Mail Facebook page.
It is a map of the Caliphate of the Islamic State as envisioned by the Islamic State of Syria and Iraq.
In this photo of the Islamic map as envisioned, it is in Arabic. But in this accompanied article, we are treated to the names of regions in English.
The above maps are a restoration of the Sunni Islamic Caliphate of the 7th century.
In the linked article, The Islamic State wants the map to be a reality within the next five years.
I suppose that many if not most of the brain trust in the Western world pretty much dismisses all of this as wishful thinking.
But these are the same people that did not see the rise of ISIS in the first place and how they all but became the dominant force in the Syrian civil war. And with their power expanded that war directly into Northern Iraq with little to any resistance. This is the current area under control of The Islamic State.
I do not know about you, but this is a very wide area under control of what we have been told is but a rag-tag army of maybe 10,000 men. And consider that as the Iraq army in Northern Iraq essentially turned tail and ran, The Islamic State obtained a lot of hardware including many, many American arms including HumVees and tanks and possibly fighter planes, and most important, new recruits.
When one puts all of that together, it does show the above caliphate map to be as The Daily Mail wrote, Chilling.
Maybe The Islamic State picked their battle in the weakest areas of the Middle East and by doing so are stronger than they appear.
But then what about this parade of the spoils of war? Does anyone think that The Islamic State does not have some people knowledgeable enough to use a SCUD missile? And forget that they would only be happy to do what Saddam Hussein did during the First Gulf War and lob some to Israel. They would be more than glad to use them against Shi'a fighters in Iraq. Needless to say that they also are freshly gaining conventional weaponry as well.
Make no mistake about this.
The Islamic State will make trouble around the region beyond what they control. They will try to undermine Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arabian peninsula. They will then try to wrest control of Lebanon from the Shi'a, Syrian and Hezbollah influence. At this writing, Lebanon has the largest Christian population in the region. If The Islamic State takes over, they will flee as fast as the Iraqi Christians are doing today.
But, as is wont of many Americans, there is a substantial minority that would like to bury it's collective head in the sand and retreat to a semi-Fortress America. While most of those who would, essentially, like to do nothing, are on the left, there is a substantial number of libertarians and yes, some conservatives that want us out of the region entirely. Many believe that the United States is simply blindly following an "Israeli" foreign policy. That if the United States was not so enamored with Israel, we might even get some love from those that are now our enemies.
Sadly, this is where they are wrong.
This radical Islamic hate for anything non-Islamic precedes the founding and, before that, settling of the United States. As the United States has developed and became the world's superpower, radical Islam sees the United States as a threat period. The nation's third president, Thomas Jefferson, had the first encounter with Islamics in Tripoli and this quote is worth reading. Pretty current, isn't it?
And as far as Israel goes, let me point out something that I have said before with this caveat. What I have said is actually happening before my scenario. If tomorrow, Israel ceased to exist for whatever reason, after the two minutes of joy among all of its enemies in the Arab, radical Islamic world, they would turn their guns on each other. That is what we are seeing now in Syria, Northern Iraq and between Sunni and Shi'a and everything else in between. There is even hope against hope among some that current allies of The Islamic State will turn against them because of their strict interpretation of Islam.
This the radical Islamic figures that eventually, they will just wear down those opposed to it. It may be on it's way in Western Europe. However there are people waking up to the real threat. Note that the map of The Islamic State goes to the. . .Gates of Vienna. That is why they fight. That is why they show the brutality. That is why they propagate fear to wear down opposition. Maybe this is why the army in Northern Iraq fled. They just are tired of fighting. Being that the current Iraq army is pretty corrupt (and the biggest mistake Team Bush made, disbanding the Iraqi army after ousting Saddam.)
and they are defending a predominantly Sunni area, many thought better to defend their Shi'a brethren in Baghdad and the south of the country than people in the north.
We in the United States have to take this The Islamic State seriously. The fact that they have such a wide swath of territory and are bold enough to proclaim their new caliphate is a serious matter. If they didn't have advanced weapons of war, they sure as hell do now with the retreat of the Iraqi army and leaving behind advanced American weaponry.
The caliphate has been revealed and the protagonists believe they can fulfill their dream in five years or less. The job of the West is not just to contain that threat but to defeat it.
 
 

 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Mississippi Keeps Tea Party Vs. Establishment War Into Overdrive

As a conservative, Tea Party Republican, last Tuesday's election result in the Mississippi senate runoff between Sen. Thad Cochran and state Sen. Chris McDaniel hurt a lot as Sen. Cochran pulled out a dramatic, come-from-behind victory.
It was in all ways the worst of what politics has to offer. And no doubt because Sen. Cochran did win the runoff, he is being tarred and feathered by a lot of Tea Party folk. Some of it is righteous and some of it is as bad as the criticisms of the Tea Party from the other side.
But where I think one of the blames does lie in the person of Thomas Carey.
Who the heck is Thomas Carey you ask?
Well, I thought the same thing. As it turns out, Mr. Carey is the third Republican candidate for the U.S. senate seat on the ballot on the initial primary day on June 3, 2014. Mr. Carey received a grand total of 4,789 votes or 1.5% of votes in the Republican primary. In Mississippi, a candidate needs to get 50% of total votes plus one to avoid a runoff. As you can see here, because of Mr. Carey's 4,789 votes and 1.5%, neither of the two top candidates, Sen. Cochran nor Sen. McDaniel passed the 50% plus one threshold.
And that, my friends, is what sent the primary into overtime. And that overtime was fierce, sloppy and pretty dirty. And it revealed a lot of things.
First, Sen. Cochran is a pork-laden Southern Republican. And damn proud of it as the runoff campaign proved.
Before I go on, Sen. Cochran is not a moderate Republican in the least. Sen. Cochran's overall American Conservative Union life rating as a senator is 80%. That is 40 plus years worth of votes. But he certainly is not a conservative that really talks a lot. Very low key kinda dude. As a comparison to others of his way, Sen. John "F--- You McCain (R-Az.) has a lifetime 81% rating. Sen. Goober Graham (R-S.C.) has an 88% lifetime rating. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Ut.) has a ACU lifetime rating of 89%.
What unifies these senators is what they get their press about.
As noted, Sen. Cochran is a pork-barrel, earmark kinda dude. Sens. Graham and McCain are very pro-amnesty for illegal aliens. Sen. Hatch has been around Washington over 40 years. As has Sen. Cochran. All represent what we call the Washington establishment.
As Sen. Cochran barnstormed across Mississippi, he knew that he had lost conservative Republicans that would consider themselves to the right of himself. He needed to find votes somewhere. And some of his advisers pushed him into seeking Black, Democrat votes in Hinds county, the largest in the state and where the state capitol, Jackson, is located.
But, Sen. Cochran did not campaign as some kind of Republican that would be interested in gaining Black voters for the long term. Not in the least. It was clearly targeted to get enough crossovers to make up for those votes he knew that he could not get from his fellow Republicans. Why, Sen. Cochran went so far as to point out all the money that he got from the feds for Mississippi. And especially how much of that went to Black Mississippians. And how he was always with them on all the civil rights stuff.
In other words, Sen. Cochran sounded like a born-again Democrat to gain these new voters. Voters that would vote now for Sen. Cochran to deny state Sen. McDaniel the GOP nomination and then come November turn around and proudly vote for the Democrat nominee, Travis Childers.
But worse it maybe that Team Cochran actually paid a Democrat operative, James "Scooby Doo" Warren, to work with a prominent Black pastor, Bishop Ronnie Crudup, Sr., to spread more money around for Black votes
It is very possible all of the above is totally true. And much of this is what irks Team McDaniel so much that they may very seriously challenge the election results. Now it just maybe way too much to challenge an election in which Sen. Cochran appears to have won by roughly 7,000 votes. And to challenge based on potentially singling out Black voters, I hate to say this, but it will not help the Tea Party at all.
But make no mistake, what Sen. Cochran did was not present those potential voters with a conservative, Republican message.
Ronald Reagan did in fact do that during the 1980 presidential campaign. Mr. Reagan went so far as to visit a South Bronx neighborhood to discuss his economic program. Sure, he was shouted down and reacted to the shouts. But he did make the effort in an area he had no chance of winning. He gave a conservative message, not one touting bringing in federal dollars and especially targeting that money to Black Americans.
That is what really bothers me about the whole way Sen. Cochran went for the Black vote.
It is not the way the Republican party should be doing so. For then we are nothing but Democrat Light. If even that.
But it's not just the feeling among the rank and file that many a Republican is finding themselves are not listening to them. For the leadership, especially in Washington, D. C., is not. There is a feeling that the congressional leadership especially is doing a Kabuki Theatre on issue after issue. So called "comprehensive immigration reform", tax policy, regulations, over-reach in general of the federal government. The leadership talks tough but behind the scenes are trying, still as this writing, for some kind of "comprehensive' immigration reform. This even as our Southern border is literally being invaded by children from Central America.
What the base and or the Tea Party want is leadership and elected officials to speak and act like an opposition that is ready to lead, not a bunch wanting to cut deals and take the road of least resistance. And also to mean what they say. Especially about cutting the size and scope of government, especially the federal government. That is what has the rank-and-file voter and Tea Party folks so frustrated.
It is not a good thing to see a stalwart Republican senator so desperate to cling to power that he would do anything to win an election. Even so far as trying to buy votes.
But this was not an election about Chris McDaniel. At least it should not be. But what I fear is happening is that Sen. McDaniel is doing what we accuse, rightfully, of RINOs* of doing when they lose.
Being a sore loser.
Remember Mike Castle in 2010 when he was running against Christine O'Donnell for the senate seat of now Vice-President Biden? Mr. Castle was the RINO, a real RINO, that was suppose to win the nomination in a cake walk. But a little publicity and push by some conservative talk radio hosts and Miss O'Donnell ended up winning the nomination. Mr. Castle refused to endorse her candidacy. He went away sulking. Ditto that for Sen. Richard Lugar who also lost his bid for renomination in 2012.
Did we conservatives not rightfully complain about their sour grapes? Did we not suggest that their personal piques more than the candidates that bested them may have cost the Republicans control of the senate in 2010 and 2012?
Yes, we did.
To see Sen. McDaniel go down the same road, I honestly believe, will make us no better.
I am not alone in thinking that we should let the Mississippi results stand and live to fight another day. After all, Sen. Cochran is not a RINO but a center-right conservative. He did a very bad thing is apparently winning the Republican nomination for the senate. But we should learn from that experience. That some candidates will stoop to any level to attain and or hold on to power.
David Freddoso of The Washington Examiner explains that because of the Tea Party and it's revitalizing the conservative movement, the Republican party as a whole is moving more to the right. Mr. Freddoso explains also how it took 16 years from then Sen. Barry Goldwater's defeat for the presidency to Ronald Reagan's triumph. That there were a lot of bumps along the way. Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, real RINOism front and center. Conservatives were truly in the minority of a minority party. And since Ronald Reagan, we have had to deal with Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush and their serious lapses of conservatism. I think the old man would have to be the less conservative of the two.
But what has happened since George W. Bush left the White House in 2009?
Conservatives have fought to get the party back in the right direction. It was the Tea Party that put the testicles back into the Republicans. Many candidates, especially in the House and Senate were Tea Party supported and won election.
What the Tea Party has done is put fight back into the party. And we still do by keeping those in leadership from themselves and cutting bad deals in Washington.
We have to accept this loss in Mississippi. Its not because of anything but to drag it out does not do any side any good. Yes, I would vote for Sen. Cochran in the general election over the Democrat, Mr. Childers. Not because I think that he is an honorable man. He has proven that he is not. But because we can't let one state and the shenanigans done there ruin the chance of the Republican party gaining the senate majority. Yes, it is principled because Sen. Cochran will be a reliable no vote if the Dear Leader, President Obama, gets a chance at another supreme court nomination. On most issues he will be with us. And I think he will not support so-called "comprehensive" immigration reform. Not at all.
It hurt to lose this election in Mississippi. It really did. But it would be even more painful if the Democrats can somehow pull the rabbit-out-of-the-hat and win this seat. We don't always win the battle, but we can win the war.

*RINO-Republican In Name Only